Do you keep little things around that inspire you? I certainly do - in fact I have not one, but three dishes on my work table into which go items that please me, that help to stir my creative juices.
The first is a ceramic dish which I happily bought from a local potter during a studio tour. This dish holds all of my 'natural' wonders. A shell picked up at the beach on our last trip to Charleston; acorns picked up on my walks last fall; a feather also picked up on one of my walks. Then there is a piece of quartz with its shiny pointy things (obviously this is not a scientific definition) and more shells.
The next dish is wooden, part of a set picked up at a thrift shop. This smallest of the dishes holds little metal pieces that I have picked up along the way. In the back of my mind one or more of them will become part of a beaded piece but for now they sit there teasing me with their presence.
This wooden dish is much larger and it holds precious cabochons. Oh the inspiration in this dish! Some of these cabs are simply flat stones that I have collected, others are 'real' cabochons purchased at favorite bead shops. All of them whisper to me as I go about my daily beading.
Is there a bit of the magpie in each of us, the part of us which cannot imagine leaving a penny on the ground? Perhaps the love of beads and beading fulfills that need to capture the shiny and hold it in our hands.
I constantly add to these collections, and hope that I always will. Sometimes I even take one of these beauties and incorporate it into my beading -- but if I never did that, if they lay there forever just for my pleasure that would be okay too.
"Observe the wonders as they occur around us." - Rumi