What inspires me?

I crave inspiration.  I value inspiration as a key to my personal happiness.  There is a lot that inspires me. Sitting on a subway in NYC people watching and sketching jewelry ideas.  Nature plays a big role in my jewelry design; sunrise, sunset, an overgrown jungle trail, a rainstorm, a waterfall, a tropical wildflower. 

This year I am homeschooling my teenage son. By myself.  I have found that my job is to help him find inspiration is his daily schoolwork.  Reading history can make him restless.  But by inspiring him we lose track of time and he enjoys himself.  I love the moments when I can see inspiration in his eyes.

After 10 years of jewelry designing it has gotten harder to find inspiration.  But I have discovered some tricks that help me, and also my staff.  My foolproof tool for inspiration is to organize our gem stock. Gemstones never fail to inspire me! Opening the bins is like exploring pirate treasure.  Another trick is to walk through the store and try to find what is missing.  Which color combination or jewelry design is lacking in the display. Lastly I have kept a journal of design from over the years.  Sometimes looking at my ideas from 2008 helps me find inspiration for 2014.  

What inspires you? Do you have any tricks to find inspiration in mundane tasks? 

Here are some images that inspire me: