I like to borrow various bead / mixed-media books from the library because it gives me an opportunity to see the book content without having to purchase the book. Some books I really, really like and I'll extend my borrow time frame or reserve it to read again. And a lot of times, I will purchase books that I think I can't live without.
I recently brought Margot Potter's "Beyond The Bead" book home from the library and have already reread it twice now. Margo starts her book introduction by saying "Creative types tend to be extremists. Either they zero in on one art form with an unrelenting focus or they endlessly seek new materials and techniques to add to their repertoire." Wow, I really felt like she was talking to me as I am definitely in the latter category.
When I first started working at DesignGroup (my day job), I was competing in ballroom dance competitions and did well in the Pro-Am Competitions that my dance instructor and I participated in, we actually won the first one that we entered. Then I started cake decorating and ended up teaching cake decorating classes at JoAnn Fabrics for a period of time. While taking my classes and later teaching, I also entered the state fair over a couple of years time and came home with Best in Show ribbons for my decorating level and also received the People's Choice award the last time I entered. My co-workers all joked that they wondered what I was going to take up next. Beadwork, of course!
I have taken many beadwork classes over the last couple of years, learning new beading techniques and was fortunate to place as a finalist the first year I entered Bead Dreams. The following two years after that, I was teamed with two fantastic lampwork bead artists and those collaborations were accepted for juried traveling shows. But the last year or so, I've been wanting to do more. So I've taken bookbinding classes, lampwork glass classes, a steampunk art class, and collage classes to name just a few. And, I keep trying to figure out a way to incorporate any and all of those with beadwork.
Maybe I'm really in the first category mentioned in Margot's introduction and I simply haven't found my niche yet. I guess only time will tell ...