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.