by Susanne Kathol, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Have you hit a creative wall? Creative block effects all designer-artists at some point or another. Whether you are struggling with how to start your next project, having trouble completing a current piece of work or just need some fresh ideas or a change of pace, here are our top ten ways to cure a creative block.

1. Be Inspired
Browse thousands of design ideas in the Gallery of Designs. View every little detail up-close with the magnifying zoom tool and use the printer-friendly format to print and post ideas to your workspace. Designs include links to materials lists and/or product suggestions for your creative convenience. The inspirational pieces are organized by jewelry style, making it a breeze to find exactly what you are looking for. The Gallery of Designs includes contest-winning pieces from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Bead Dreams, Bead Star and Swarovski contests.

2. Download a Free Project
Find a new project idea, complete with step-by-step, printable instructions in the Jewelry-Making Projects collection. Simply browse through or search to find a project to get your creative juices flowing.

3. Join the Community
Connect with us and other jewelry-artists on Facebook and Twitter for project ideas, jewelry-making tips, free resources, designer-artist profiles and much, much more. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to view and share free jewelry-making how-to videos for endless inspiration.

4. Learn a New Technique
Discover new techniques and sharpen your skills with over 100 instructional how-to videos and follow along with printable written instructions. Organized in a simple-to-search collection, these videos make learning jewelry-making techniques easier than ever.

5. See What's Hot
Find seasonal color palettes and corresponding trends, matched with jewelry design ideas and suggested products for instant inspiration in the Fashion Spotlight. Download free color forecasts and view jewelry design ideas "as seen in" top fashion magazines to prompt creativity.

6. Read Jewelry-Making Articles
Take your mind off your creative block and enjoy a comprehensive collection of jewelry-making articles by industry experts to boost your jewelry-making knowledge and beading business.

7. Discover New Products
Sometimes the best way to break out of a creative rut is to experiment with something new. Find an ever-expanding new product selection to keep you on your creative toes. Many new products include a featured design inspiration as well.

8. Browse a Jewelry Maker's Catalog
Request a free jewelry-maker's catalog for 448 pages of the best-selling jewelry-making supplies, new design ideas and featured model shots illustrating how to wear the pieces. Take the catalog on-the-go for jewelry inspiration at your fingertips.

Top 10 ways to Cure a Creative Block
9. Find a Cause
Creating jewelry for a cause you care about may light your designing fire. Search through the ''Awareness Ribbons: Color and Cause Guide'' to see the meaning behind the colors of ribbons and get product suggestions for designing awareness jewelry with Swarovski® crystals.

10. Meet other Top Designer-Artists
The featured designer-artists represent a range of artistic styles, all offering inspiration to others. Discover their stories and learn how they have turned their passions into thriving successes.

And last, but not least--SUBSCRIBE! Sign-up and receive all of the above and more directly to your inbox with our email specials and jewelry-makers newsletter.


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