Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A long time and a short message to visitors

This last year I had to give up doing the BJP. Too many things and something had to go. But I still see people checking out this blog.

To see the actual work scroll down...way down. The blog is photo heavy but I posted a bunch without photos so it looks like there aren't any. But there are.

Go on now, scroll down. See ya later. And hey, leave a comment, it's always nice to get comments.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October 2008

I've completed the page (whew!). It's been a little tough getting the muse to come out and play. Inspiration came when one day I spied a forlorn bunch of silk flowers that were all dusty and should have been thrown a way a long time ago. It was sitting with a bunch of stuff that I saved but didn't really know what to do with it.

Since I'm really thinking a lot of repurposing I didn't want to go out and buy new stuff when I have a bunch of stuff lying about. So the flowers called to me. They are also purple, a fun color for me, I love purple. *I wonder why I don't wear it more often?*

I love bright green and purple as a color combo *bwahahaha, my main blog are those colors*. The muse called out for a fat caterpillar! So that is how this months page turned out.

You're not seeing any pictures are you? Wellll, that's because I can't upload to this computer (too old, too full) and besides that my danged camera cord is 300 miles away. I left it at a friends house while visiting. She's supposed to send it but it hasn't shown up yet.

No matter, the 3 month restriction on showing journal pages isn't quite over yet so I have a little time. Besides, I'm not posting to the main BJP blog yet so there aren't many who are looking yet.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sept Swimming upstream

I've completed my Sept page.  It's a turtle swimming upstream.  Because upstream is where I want to go.  :-)

I've also figured out my background (fabric painted) but am not sure I like the execution of it.  My practice piece sucks.  LOL.  

Pictures to follow when we get the new pc.  This pc will not hold anymore images.  

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gearing up for the start of 2008/09 BJP

It's already September.  Who'd a thunk the summer would pass by so quickly?

I've decided to add on to my current BJP blog instead of creating a new one.  I'm going to need to label all last BJP posts with 2007/08 and this years with 2008/09 to differentiate.  

I'm choosing to go smaller this time around.  Last time I did 4 x 4 squares.  Because I (mostly) encrust the entire thing it was a lot of work to cover in a month.  So at the moment I'm thinking 3 x 3.  

I've been working to figure out exactly how to put the journal together.  I still don't like last years format and am thinking of something more structural.  

I'll figure it out - but I better do it before I get in too deep! 

Monday, June 2, 2008

Some favorites of mine

I finally added the May photo.  (Another thing I learned is how much I detest downloading pics off our camera and then uploading them all over the place.)  Oh well, I'll get over that, or get my daughter to slow down enough to do it for me.  Go here to see it with it's journal page.  

I was asked which of my pieces were my favorites.  These are my overall favorites, but I found I have different sets for my favorites.  Like I love some for their challenges, others I love because they are emotionally charged for me.  Still others because I love the design or the process of that one was great for me.  Click to see the photos much larger.  

Here are all of them together and the pic is not so good.  It's so long that I can't get close enough with good lighting and focus.  I might (later) go back and do it in pieces.  I got too frustrated over the weekend to mess with it more than I did.  

One of my favorite things was Robyn posting about symbols in her blog  I'd already finished through March or maybe April by the time she posted so it was cool to go back and see what symbols came up for me in my own work.  To see how I subconciously used the symbols even tho I had no idea what they signified.  

Another favorite thing for me was my daily (yes, I lurked daily) visits to the main blog and then following links to others blogs.  Some serious eye candy that really inspired me.  Sometimes the journal entries filled me with emotion, other times I was just plain impressed by the quality, the quanity and the sheer creativity of each blogger.  

I have a lot of favorites, so another was making friends.  I didn't post comments to every entry but I hope that you felt how I felt looking at each persons work.  But the comments I got and that I gave helped me make some friends that I hope I can continue to develop.  There are no beaders in my real life so most people have no idea what fascination I have with little pieces of glass that I string with thread.  The gift of friedship is important in my life so I do cherish each person who reaches out verbally or just by viewing my work.

Ok, this is long and I know I still have posts that are rolling around in my head.  So I might end up posting more to this blog as I work on things between now and Sept.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lessons Learned

I've learned alot about myself and beading over the last year, I thought I'd write a "Lessons Learned" post. (Oh, btw, I accidently posted this to the main blog and this was meant for my own blog).

I learned:

I'm a mixture of organization and a method to my madness rather than freeform in my beading. Meaning I don't like messy layouts.

Sometimes I draw out what I want and it changes midstream. That is a good thing even tho it makes me wrack my brains trying to come up with something that conveys what I want it to convey.

I am totally a texture person. Love matte with extra shiny. Do not like flat opaque beads on my work.

I love both contrast in color and monocromatic (although mono is difficult to photograph and see pattern).

I prefer fully beaded pages. My daughter even said to me: "You mean June is a finished piece? OMG, it's so bare!" I had to explain the page was done because I could hardly hold a needle at the time due to my elbow surgery. But she is right, it's so bare compared to the rest of the months.

4 x 4 inch squares take a lot of time for me to bead. I amy go smaller to 3 x 3 inches. Or I may play with fabric with pattern, but right now that confuses my eyes and I can't see the beading as well as I'd like. I want the beading to be the focus and for some reason my eyes focus on the fabric and see the beads as the embellishment.

My pages grew on me over the months. Things I didn't like when I finished them now are much more pleasing to me. Maybe because I know how difficult the piece was for me, maybe because I know that's where I was that particular month. Maybe because I learned something from each difficult piece and love it for that very reason.

Straight backstitch embroidery takes a whole lot less time but bead sizes are more apparent than if you use brick or peyote.

I love the streamlined look of brickstitch, not to mention the puzzle of curves and angles.

I hate following a pattern. I will probably never create someone elses patterned jewelry or fill in the blank item.

The daughter needs the computer so I will finish this post up later.

Friday, May 23, 2008

No weather cooperation for photos

I live in Southern California.  For the last week we've had extreme weather from both ends.  Last weekend it was 103 outside, too hot to stand in the sun (or the shade) and get the photos done.  It was blazing and air conditioners all over So. Cal were working overtime.  

Then 2 days ago the temps dropped over 30 degrees and yesterday we had rain, hail and nearby tornados.  Yes, tornados in southern Calif.  Also, thunder, lightning, wind, snow and mudslides.  

It poured today, the wind was blowing and yikes, it was almost as wild as yesterday.  

Tomorrow it's supposed to calm down a little but will probably still be overcast with a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon.

By hook or by crook I will get those photos done!  For crying out loud I am totally done!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Alllllmost done

I hated how the journal was put together. The 2" rings were too small for all 12 pages, I mean they all fit on there but it looked like an overstuffed rolodex. Not good.

Sooooo, I improvised.

I threaded a 2" round metal ring thru June using the right side grommet and then threaded a second 2" in ring thru the left grommet and then slid the July piece onto the same ring. I like the look. All together the 12 hang perfectly (lined those grommets up exactly 2" in between) and if you hang it on 2 hooks it looks like Tibetan prayer flags. It's pretty cool.

Not the easiest thing to display but it allows you to see each piece separately as well as a total collection. I keep looking at it and I know I have to photograph it outside in the sunlight.

Will have to wait for the weekend tho. I am so excited I can almost post everything I have again! Yay

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Finishing my pages

My May page has been done since April 29th. Need a photo, which I'll put here later.

I have to thank my husband for going out and buying me a sewing machine so I could finish up my pages. I borrowed one but it didn't have a regular zig zag stitch (can you imagine?). Target was having a sale on basic machines and I figured I could go with that.

It works fine (even if it's a little slower than I'm used to).

I learned something in trying to figure out how to finish my pages. Have a plan before you have to finish 12 pages at one time. My loose plan was to have a fabric page that was a pocket so I could slide each months written journal page inside. I wanted it with no seams on the outside but that was not going to work unless I hand sewed each page, right sides together and then turn them. Since I beaded almost every page to the edge of the 4 inch square, that wasn't going to work (with a machine).

So I zigzagged. And I decided it needed more body than 2 pieces of faux suede: I added Pellon Peltex 72. Which by the way is pretty heavy: more about this later.

Each page is 3 layers thick. Black faux suede for the back, Peltex 72 in the center and then the beaded brown faux suede.

I bead texturally, so almost all of my pages have some thickness. When I stacked all the pages together, it was about 6 inches I think. (I still have to measure it). I decided to use grommets and D rings.

3 layers of heavy materials is a royal pain in the butt to put a grommet thru. Really, really, really. Just making the holes was difficult. I ended up using a copper wire that I stuck in a flame and then tried to melt a hold big enough for the front side of the grommet. Mostly tha worked but it took a long time. Too bad the grommet are too small for me to have used the danged soldering iron! I could have done it in record time with that!

I sat on the floor and pounded grommets until my back complained so loudly I had to get up. And let me tell you, it's a good thing I have a package of 50, even tho I only need 24! I have 5 more to do. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

May I get stuck?

I'm stuck on my May piece. I have about 2.5 inches done and I love it but I haven't decided what to do with the rest. I have an idea and maybe tomorrow I'll work on that and see if that will work.

Oh and btw, I posted all my pics to Flickr.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

May: The ending or the beginning?

From The Power of Myth:
The Serpent
The serpent has been a symbol of long life, healing, and knowledge among almost all cultures and religions since the beginning of recorded history.

The Ouroboros, also spelled Oroborus, Uroboros or Uroborus, is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent swallowing its own tail and forming a circle. The Ouroboros is one of the oldest mystical symbols on Earth. The serpent appears in Aztec, Chinese, and Native American mythologies, among others.

It's taken me a couple of days to brickstitch the snake. It's stitched on interfacing and sewn down on the regular fabric.

Now to figure out what to do in the center and the outside of the snake.

Ok, I decided to use a mirror for the snake to curl around.  Afterall this is my last piece for the year and the title is: Reflecting Knowledge.  I've gone full circle with the year.  I learned so much, I stretched my heart a lot letting some pieces of me come out in a visual and with words too!  Not to mention making myself sit down and finish each piece by the light of the Ott lamp.

I chose resin flowers for each corner, starting at the top left is colors that means summer to me.  The top right is fall, the bottom right is winter and the bottom left is spring.  

btw, the leaves you see in the mirror is of my wisteria.  I wish I would have taken the pic when it was in bloom but I didn't.  (drat)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Month 11 and I've posted everything I have now

I finally posted all of my photos. Yay me. Took me long enough. New pics are Sept thru my April piece.

May: I haven't even started although I have a couple of ideas rolling around.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Posted my drafts posts

I haven't been able to get outside to take photos of all my pages. Yesterday it rained, today has been overcast and I'm just a little too gimpy to get down the front stairs and do all 6 or 7 photographs. I'm resigned to ask my daughter to do it for me I think.

I blog every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Oh, not in this blog but my regular family blog. I decided some months ago to write by BJP entries but not publish them until we got a replacement cord for the camera. The entries are just not the same without the visuals. I also thought it would be fun to post a huge number of photos to the main BJP sort of like we did back in Sept.

So if you visit this blog you can scroll down and see the newly published (previously kept at draft status) but you probably won't see the photos until I can get my daughter to get her camera out and do it for me.

I really want to get it done because I really want to get my pages up on the new BJP website. It's beautiful and pretty impressive. Here is the fabulous front page of the official website.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April life of luxury

I've had a lot of dedicated beading time the last 3 days. Not having to go to work, using crutches to get around the house also helps me stay in mostly one place so I am beading like a madwoman. That's one benefit of having knee surgery.

The first day I began beading this piece I drew out my image. The next day I choose the colors (which also seem to be in some flux) and started in on the head. Now I've got the head and body mostly done, am working on the wings and then the tail.

Then the background. Sounds easy!

Off to bead some more and maybe start a new book (the 3rd since my surgery). See? I even have time to read, what a life of luxury!

p.s. Maybe tomorrow I can get all my pieces photographed and can finally publish all my drafts with pictures! That's a good goal.

8:20 p.m. Today I started working on the background of the piece: I want the bird to stand out from the background texturally. I auditioned a couple of different colors: I hated the blue pearly beads as background. So I tried a matte lavender, no that didn't work either. I wanted transparent blue but I only have about 5 grams and no way would it cover. Sooooooooooo, I decided that I'd use gold leaf.

I looked and looked for gold leaf this morning and couldn't find it. Grrrrr. I finally remembered where I last put it, yahooo victory! The gold leaf looks great but it's toooo shiny and overcompensates. I wracked my brain and decided I could use blue ink over the leaf to tone it down and give a skylike appearance. The problem? I don't have any blue ink! I used a gel pen, scribbling over the leaf (carefully) and yahooo, that works. But it tears pretty easily so on Sat I am going to see if I can get a ride to a craft store that carries ink. As soon as I apply it, I'll apply a finish to keep it stable and I'll be done with April! Yay.
I'm pretty happy right now, my April page is really going fast. Hahaha, probably because sitting around recooping from knee surgery makes it so I can't really go anywhere or do anything but sit around.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

January, out of order but completed

I finished my Jan page last night. Lost the original. Arline is probably right it will end up showing up someday.

I'm pretty happy with it. It's title is still being worked, it's all about January being a month where most people think about resolutions. I don't do resolutions but I do give gratitude, thanks and prayers thought every day.

The butterfly represents our thoughts winging it's way out to the universe. Whether you believe in prayer, abundance, wishes, or creating your reality with your thoughts this works. The container contains some beads, and you can write your thoughts down on paper, put it in the container where it will be read by the universe.

I like the texture of the butterfly, the smoothness of the ring that holds the container and the atmospheric look of the blue beads representing air and the wings fluttering.

I'm really thankful that my meniscus surgery was so easy and I'm able to bead so easily since I'm mostly sitting with my leg propped up. A huge difference from last year when I had a right elbow ligament release surgury and couldn't use my fingers, hands or arm because of the surgery and cast on my arm. If you look at my very first piece done in late June (my elbow surgery was April 19, 2007) I was barely able to hold onto the needle & I still couldn't straighten my arm yet. So this surgery is a breeze!

Yay, on to April!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A momentary absence

I'm having meniscus knee surgery tomorrow. I go in at 10:15 am and should be on my way home in the afternoon. I WILL have photos soon and as soon as I do I'll change all of my months posts from drafts to published.

Oh and btw, I'm almost done with my lost Jan page. Hopefully will start April in 3 or 4 days.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

January Update

I'm about done with the main portion of January, just the background to fill in. Undecided so far on how to fill it.

I'm having surgery day after tomorrow so there will be a few days where I won't be beading. Good thing it's knee surgery (as oppsed to my elbow surgery last May). I can bead if with a wonky knee, last year I could barely hold the needle for the beginning of the BJP.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

March update

Today was a good day for beading, too cold to go anywhere. I'm almost finished with March and once I get this done, I start back in recreating Jan.

It's still lost and Murphys Law will kick in and I'll find it when I'm almost done with the replacement.

It's kind of nice I'm using one color and it's repetitive. I stopped adding color pretty early for me. I'll probably finish it tomorrow, will bead some at lunchtime and TTPTB, I only have to carry one tube of beads and some thread. Carrying lots back and forth gets heavy.

March 18th: It's done and I really like it. I'm not big on orange but yowser it looks fab as he background.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

March, the eyes have it

Late Feb and March have been hard for me. A week after I turned 50 I had thie weird bout of double vision. I wasn't worried about it, it was weird but nothing hurt. But my doctor was. I got sent to an Opthomologist and he found something weird. I have a damaged optic nerve in my right eye and they don't know why. Apparently the damage I have isn't usually seen in people my age unless they have had a stroke or many TIA's. As far as I know I have never had a stroke (but maybe that would explain all my typos?)

I'm in the middle of much testing right now. For cat scratch fever, Rhumatism and other connective tissue diseases. I have a ton of posts on it in my regular blog...if you want to read about it go here.

So this month is all about the blind spot in my eye. So far I've had a lot of fear about losing my eyesight (is it glaucoma?), is there a disease process going on? Is it ongoing or what? The double vision is NOT related to the optic nerve damage so what is going on with that?

I don't have a lot of my March page done yet. So far it's not showing any anxiety in the composition but since I'm freeforming it (no pre-drawing my laout) I can't promose it'll be all confident and happy.

I've been dirverting myself from thinking of glaucoma, MS, or eeeeekkkk - brain tumor by keeping busy, by focusing on my beading (a huge help) and jumping in living. I'm also about to schdule meniscuis knee surgery which will take me out of work and I can focus on healing and beading! Good thing I don't kneed (hahaha, I love stupid puns) my knee to bead.

The colors represent the colors I think I'd miss the most (ok, who's kidding who? I'd miss them all), the tear is the sadness and confusion I felt finding out I have some kind of eye issue. I actually love this piece a lot, it gave me a lot of peace.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Feb - It's all about me

I'm 50. Yep, turned 50 on the 8th. I can hardly believe it. The bday itself was awfully easy but I did a lot of reflecting on what I am, what I've moved to since my childhood.

I'm 1/2 japanese and being half has (I think) affected me more than I might have thought when I was younger. The kimono represents my childhod, my parents who came tother in an interracial marriage. It's so odd to me to think how difficult that was for my mother who came here when she was 27, with a 10 month old in 1958. She was shunned by my fathers family (so was he btw). It must have been hard to leave her family. She never went back to Japan and never had any contact with her family after she came to the U.S.

We ate meals that were a mixture of japanese and meat and potqtos that my swede dad grew up on in MN. Every meal we had both potatos and rice with our meat and veggies. Soy sauce was always on the table next to the salt and pepper. Most of my friends (all white) thought we were sort of weird.

The kimono is my childhood, my mom wold dress my sister and I up in little kimonos complete with an ornate obi. Ours were red but I made this one blue, a sort of loose waterfall look signifying the tears my parents shed being away from family and the feelings about the japanese at the time. There is also amythyst studded in there signifying my aquarian birth sign.

The kimino is on the left signifying I've left my childhood behind.

On the right is a compactd version of my story. Turquoise is an alternate for aquarian, febuary people. I used african turquoise. The bottom one is me, at the beginning, not embellished just sort of from the earth. The second set is my marriage with my husband. The gold peyote is in an infinity shape showing our vow of marriage. So far, so good we've been together for 29 yrs. The one above that is the birth of my son. His favorite colors make up the peote bezel. My daugher is next and her favorite colors are her bezel. The top on is my life so far. Purple for royally perfect (even with everything we've all gone thru), it's flashing colors are the flashes of brilliance in my life that each friend & family member brings to me and mine.

My initials are hidden in the form of the piece. This piece has deep meaning for me.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I've lost my Jan journal page

January is missing in action. I haven't worked on it in over a week and I can't find it. I *think* I left it at work but it's not in my desk and it's not on my desk so I don't know where it is. I can't imagine someone took it, it's only a quarter of the way worked.

I'm going to start Feb cuz it's my birthday month and I'm excited to do this one. Maybe I'll find the Jan one and work that between Feb and March.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

December - yeah a behinder!

Decembers page has been hard. Hard to decide what to do, hard to get to beading with my daughters 16th birthday this month and of course, the big holiday. I finally decided upon a rough idea and that changed before I even got beads to fabric.

I have some of that enviontex resin stuff and thought I'd made some cabs using bottle caps and some of my drawings. I made the cabs, and I'm only happy with the bird one. The others kid of suck so I poured more glitter on them. LOL, when in doubt use more stuff!

Again, I sort of departed from what I've been doing for my personal journal. I haven't done the seasonal monthly theme (such as a Halloween theme in Oct, or fireworks in July) but kept it more about what I've felt or what I have done in each of the months.

This time I did a Christmas theme. Mostly because shopping has kicked my butt! I love these dark blue bugles and really wanted to use the silver beads as stars. Soooo, a holiday tree sort of evolved.

I'm ambivalent about the piece. I like the texture against the straight rows...I still fight the symmetry thing. grrrrr.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Because I felt like beading

November is a departure for me. I didn't fill the entire page with beads. But I did felt the three long pink/orange/red tubes and embellished them. It's also somewhat symetrical, somewhat not.

I went to this crafty fair at LACC for the Felt Club event. It was ok, click the link to read my entire review about it. I really wanted roving so I could make some beads; the Nov weather has been dreary enough that I needed the wild hot colors used in this piece.

So this month has been less about what Nov means to me and more about playing for the heck of it. So it's all about the title of this post: Because I felt like beading.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Pink Moment what it is to me

I've been done with my Sept page since the day after posting the post about what I like and dislike about the page. I just haven't photographed it yet.

I started my Oct page a few days ago, I'm beading very abstractly (for me) and I waffle between liking it and not liking it. It's moving along very quickly because I'm filling with #8 beads which really take up alot of room.

For the last 5 yrs I've traveled up to Ojai to attend the Yoga Crib. My fabulous friend Heidi opens her house to me and allows me to stay with her. So October to me means spending a long weekend doing yoga with some of my favorite yoga teachers, having dedicated time with Heidi and getting the total Ojai experience thru her eyes. It's rare that I have total downtime with no responsibilities and Ojai (and Heidi) give me that experience. No kids, no husband, no doggies, no work. The pink moment is the exact color of my experience there. It glows, it's the color of love, ease, femininity and relaxation.

The reference photos I've used is this one which gave me the idea of having a green foreground. That pic is taken from the top of a small hill called Meditation Mount and you drive up thru an avocado grove.

And this one here which shows you the very pink moment.

Like I said, very abstract as compared to the actual pics.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Stinky fishies

I am this -> close to finishing my Sept page. I hate it. LOL, no really I hate it. It's so not what I want, and I know it's the challenge of doing almost straight embroidery on it.

Doing straight embroidery IS a stretch for me. It's fairly straightforward, which for me = boring. Mostly because I do pictorial work and I get bored easily/quickly. So I end up using a jillion colors...which helps break up the monotomy. Then I realize I have a mishmash. And then sometimes I add more (and for me more isn't necessarily better). But since I don't normally rip out, I just let it stay.

I only really rip if I reallllly f'ed it up. and the stitching is really bad with spaces.

What I like about this piece: The red fish. The body of the big fish/mermaid. The idea of the silver labordorite fish and their little silver tails.

What I don't like about the piece: The carved seahorse. I mean I love the seahorse but not in the page. If I bead a good bezel for it, I lose all the spines. I prefer to hide the hole at the top...and by the time I finish it, that will be hidden. I don't like the sea currents.

Things that are ok: The seaweed is ok, not great.

There is no symbology to this piece. It's just an undersea thingy. I didn't get to go on vacation this summer so I thought maybe a bit of summer might make me feel like I at least acknowledged it.

Ok, I should go finish this thing so I can post it in the next day or so. Here it is, all finished and posted.

Saturday, September 1, 2007


I bought a kajillion delica's from a woman who was selling her stash. Wow, getting a gallon baggie of beads is like I up and died and went to heaven.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

August: Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu. "May All Beings Be Happy and Free"

Somewhere on this computer sits a couple of pics showing the progression of my August piece. I do have one progression post of this piece it's here

No matter, you can see the whole piece. It's titled: Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu. "May All Beings Be Happy and Free" I practice meditation and yoga and this chant is one of my favorites for the sound and it's message. Click each pic to see giant detail.

The lotus is pretty stylized, 3 white petals, 3 lavender petals. Mostly this was done because of the size of the center bead (a yellow jade) and the number of beads around it being divisible by 3. I would have liked to have more petals but it would not have worked out in terms of total size. The triad also represents Mind, Body and Soul or Father, Son, Holy Ghost: whatever spiritual triad one can assign to 3's. I used brick stitch to craft the flower, I wanted it to be smooth over textured.

I added a teeny Swarv crystal butterfly, it's light green, faceted and very hard to see in the pic but it's there. It symbolizes flights of fancy, fleeting beauty that comes into our lives.

I wanted to represent the lotus in water, as water is the symbol for life. In dream analysis, spiritual growth, actual life: we must have water to survive. The bead embroidery sewn in circular spirals represent the eddies of life, Each of the colors indicate life is some times clear, sometimes muddied, some times sparkling. Each spiral begins with a sequin, reflecting back that which you look for.

I can't seem to stop crowding my embroidery stitches, I'd love for them to lay down perfectly...like some of the other beaders work I've seen (wowie!). As I finished the first couple I realized that life isn't smooth, the mounded spirals feel like drops of rain? plopping into the water of life, giving rise to important moments in our lives.

The brown ultrasuede is the mud from which we spring. Growing upward from the muck.

This photos shows (somewhat badly) the ability of the flower to curl it's petals upwards if I choose.

I finished my August piece about the second week in Aug (yes, I beaded like a madwoman). And then I found myself with nothing to bead. Sooo, I began thinking about a cover for my journal. I decided that I'd work on a front and back cover in between monthly work. I had an idea for the cover and began working on it. As of today I am almost done with the center section which is 3 12 inches in diameter. So much for taking all year to incredmentally doing it.

Here is a teaser.

I probably won't show the whole pic of it until next year...and maybe by then the cover will be something different. Who knows?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Random beady thoughts

Tomorrow I WILL post pics of my Aug piece. For crying out loud I've been done for weeks. I'm so done I've begun working on a cover piece.

It's been so hot here that on the weekends I'm staying inside and not even venturing outside until evening. Then there is no light to light a piece and the flash is horribly hot so everything washes out.

Saturdays are basically my beading day. I spend a lot of time beading and not doing much else, maybe reading when I need a break and for sure a nap. Usually my 18 yr od and my 15.5 year old are out and about or they're entertaining themselves so they don't need much of my attention. The DH lets me bead unmolested so I'm pretty lucky. Sunday is the day that I realize I have no more time to laze around and I do errands or maybe if I'm really motivated I'll clean something.

Speaking of that cover piece (I guess I'm skipping around here quite a bit eh?) I had to go to the LBS today. I walked in the worker there called out my name with a hearty hello. Made me feel guilty because I don't go in there very much. Mostly it's because they don't carry any seed beads to speak of. They do have some opaque indian seed beads but the quality is so bad there is no way I want to use them. Besides the Michaels has Toho's now so I don't even look at the seed beads at the LBS. But today I needed some orange beads for that cover piece & they are much closer than Michaels.

I rarely use orange. It's just not one of my colors. I bought some 3 mm glass beads, there is about 50 or so beads on the circle of thread and it cost me 4.99! And they aren't crystal.

Which leads me to internet shopping. I prefer to buy transparent and silver-lined beads. Mostly I do not buy Delica's - way too expensive since I don't sell my work. And I like the slighly larger size of Mastumo 11's. But because they are not totally uniform I end up doing brick stitch because it looks more uniform all laid out. Not to mention having only 5 grams to work with vs 30 grams for less money.

Because I'm on a budget I'd rather have the variety of color than going for fewer, more expensive beads. I long for the day when I can do a whole piece with just delica's and hang the price. And I'd better lay out more time since Delica's are smaller.

LOL, this post is so boring I'm about to fall asleep. So good night!

Friday, August 3, 2007

August beginnings

I find myself with an idea and as I play with it I begin to go with a totally different idea. When you look at these 2 pics you'll see glue spots and an inked ring. (Don't worry, the ink & glue is water soluable). My idea was to use 4 face cabs representing each of the 4 directions with a lotus in the middle.

I never even got the beads on it. I used the inked ring to help with placement and then set the faces on the material. No matter how I looked at it, it wasn't hitting me in the gut as right, it was all resistance to it.

I removed the cabs, and began beading the lotus in the middle. These 2 photos are where I was on the 25th of July.

The lotus signifies for me the blooming of life out of the muck (which is nicely represented by the fabric). I've been a yoga teacher and my path to yoga asana and mediation continues to blossom, although often in turbulent waters. That at least is the bare bones of my Aug page.

Now, I have added swirls and currents so I owe some photos for more progress. Hopefully Sat.

Duh, which blog am I posting to?

LOL, what a dork I am. Last night I posted to this blog (I thought) a short progress post. But what I really did was post to the main BJP blog.

Maybe it was the giant headache yesterday that rattled my gray matter so I didn't notice I was posting to the wrong blog. I posted a post to my main blog this morning and after 30 mins realized it was in the wrong blog (still thinking I posted to my main blog and was horrified to realize I'd posted it to the main BJP. I deleted it and posted it to my main blog.

So Aug starts with me not paying attention so it doesn't surprise me that my lotus flower journal page has turbulent waters.

I worked on it last night for about 30 mins but couldn't keep myh attention on it. Hopefully this weekend I will be able to sit down and bead, bead, bead and post pics.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

July ~ My Cup Runneth Over

The 99% completed piece. I'll be mounting this piece onto that brown piece of suede and will add 3 beads onto the suede so it looks like the beads are falling off the piece. I'm pretty happy with it, my cup runneth over with plenty of things and beads just happens to be one of the things in my life. I could have done it with a small barrel but LOL, I thought a cup would read easier. I'm not going to mount my pieces until the 11th or 12th month because I want a whole cohesive piece instead of a mish mash (which for me will surely happen). Please click each pic to get a huge detail. :-)

I like this piece because it's the first attempt at a realistic portrayal of something. I mean I've done at least one other thing but it was still a bit abstract compared to this one. And it really made me think about how I'd show perspective. I also learned that if you use really dark thread (navy) with a really light bead (ivory) the bead has a different depth to it than if you use an ivory thread. The ivory beads on the front of the cup are sewn with navy thread. The very same beads are on the inside of the cup but I used a cream thread and they look much lighter, more ivory. I know I don't always like colored fabric underneath my beads (I use a lot of translucent beads) because it changes the color of the beads and sometimes I don't like what it does (when I have a specific need for a color). So I learned a lot.

This photo is to give you an idea how much height is in the piece. It's got texture because of it, well, and the beads spilling out of the cup give some texture to it too.

This is a pic at 50% so if you don't have the option of zooming back you can see how it might look at a distance. I wanted some perspective and I think I got it with the pointalism in the foreground table and the stuffing of the cup. BUT looking at it now I think I would have added some darker teal beads right above the table to help the teal fade into the back. I'd also bring the lip of the cup up so it is as high as the side of the cup. But overall, I am happy with it.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

July update - virtually done

I decided this morning not to fully complete each page by sewing it to a backing fabric. Oh, I'll do each page as a beaded piece but I'm thinking I need to see the whole of the piece before I bind the pages.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to stick with beading on the ultrasuede, but will I keep the idea of using different colors/patterns as the backside which will end up being the facing page to the next beaded piece. Or will I use a uniform backside that is a single pattern/color for all pages?

The update on the July piece is that it is 98% done. I think I"m keeping the band at the top because the added beads help balance it out so your eye isn't drawn right up to that band. The only thing I have left to do (besides putting it on a backing fabric) is to reinforce the gold front rim of the cup.

I'll do that today and then add the pictures.

And then start thinking about August page. Wheeeeeeeee.

Monday, July 9, 2007

July 3/4 complete

I've got about an inch and 3/4 to go before I finish my July journal page. I cannot find our digital camera either. So I have no photos yet.

So far, I am mostly loving the piece. I'm not sure about the background, I fought myself over it yesterday. I was going to have the beads run vertically to offset the horizontal foreground but I hated how that looked so I ripped it out. Seeing that I have this band of light blue with green accents at the top (brick stitch running horizonally) I might use that as a band at the top and change the brick stitch to vertical for the rest of it in a teal color.

Decisions decisions.

July 11th: I'm farther along than the title suggests, I couldn't find my camera for a few days (really, I still love my 15 1/2 yr old daughter who said she didn't know where it was but it turned out she took it and left it in the trunk of the car!). I had to keep beading so it's still a progression pic just farther along.

Here it is, a very tight piece. I'm probably not going to keep the band at the top, I was going to make a wallpaper type background but it so distracts from the teacup (and the contents that will eventually be added) that I made the background more flat. There is some dimension to this piece, the cup portion is slightly stuffed with batting. I have to build up the front gold edge so it matches the height of the front of the teacup. It looks best from about 6 ft away where the dimension looks pretty good. I just took a look at the post and you can't see the dimension, so note to myself: get pic that shows the dimension when the thing is complete. (isn't it awful that I have to post myself notes? Otherwise I'll forget!)

All of it is glass seedbeads in size 11, 12, and 15. I used brick for the teacup and wallpaper and backstitch for the tabletop. The finished beaded size will be 4 inches square.

Friday, July 6, 2007

July progress

I'm about a third of the way finished with my July page. A cup, some beads, a famous quote.

It's turning out quite dainty, something different for me.

I have the most difficult time beading asymmetrically. It takes real effort for me to do something that isn't equal on all sides.

Sheesh, this must be related to OCD. All things being even (good title for a journal page).

I'm also 100% drawn to beading in brick stitch instead of backstitch. I'm trying hard to incorporate more backstitching in my pieces. I love the look of backstitching but somehow brick sneaks in there in a big way.

I must take a pic tonight so I don't complete it; I want some development pics because lots of times what I plan isn't what turns out. LOL, and thats a good thing.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

June - Totem

I decided to make a Bead Journal Project blog instead of using my Deviant Art page. It's too slow to load and is too unwieldy to upload.

It took me all month to make a decision on what to do for the June page and I started 3 different things. The first two were no-go. This last one stuck when I decided not to have a plan and just let it go where it wanted to go.

This is titled Totem. It's pretty small (the beaded portion) but thats what happened when it came to me that it was finished. It only measures about 2 1/2 inches long so it's pretty small.

A few weeks ago a friend read my medicine cards. I know I got eagle and owl and bat but I can't remember what other animals showed up. As I was beading my piece I planned on covering a 4 inch space beaded on the diagonal. But it didn't want to go there. The more I turned it to see what needed to go where, the more I liked the vertical layout of the beads. And then I saw eagle/owl/bat or maybe frog in it. But you've got to get far enough away to imagine the images on it, they are somewhat abstract. :-)

I cut it out of the square I was beading on (because it was on the diagonal) and plan to mount it vertically.

The title Totem came to me last night.

I used peyote, brick, embroidery stitches on this piece. The beaded fabric is faux ultrasuede. And I will mount it on the same fabric. I used a single pearl, a single hematite, a single plastic glowing bead, size 11 and 15 glass beads.

I finished this on the last day of June but as I look at it, mounted on the 4 1/2 inch sq piece of fabric it looks so solitary...so I am thinking I might add to the fabric. I'm going to leave it alone for now and see if the thoughts of adding more fade.

Also I've had vague ideas of how I will put my journal together but nothing concrete. Today I think I've decided on lining each piece but leaving the toop portion open (but finished) so I can slip a transparency journal page with my notes for each month inside.