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 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 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.