Beads are one of my obsessions/addictions.
These beads are a recent purchase. I think about them a lot, but have yet to break the strand to do something with them. I'm a little afraid that I will dispel their magic by breaking them up, but they're not workable as a strand. Plus, strung as they are, you miss out on their real beauty.
At any rate, these carved shells are old, often worn in the hair of north african ghwaazee dancers. You can check out some of these women photographed in Africa Adorned, by Angela Fisher. This is a worthwhile buy as it contains over 400 spectacular color plates. When I'm feeling low on inspiration, I break this puppy out and drool over the beautiful pages.
When I'm honest with myself, I'll admit that I'm a hoarder. But, I tell myself, without materials, on hand, how can I create. What I need is a room of my own, a studio. Maybe then I wouldn't feel so bad about my piles of stuff crammed here and there.