And so it began.......
You might also like to check out the Bead Journal Project website and Robin Atkins' blog. Robin is the founder of this beading revolution. LOL! I promise that you won't be disappointed!
I didn't have a blog at the time and had limited bead embroidery experience, but I was determined! These posts were originally written on the third 2008 BJP blog. If you're interested in beading and storytelling, you should scroll through some of the BJP blogs (they're all listed at the bottom of the website). It's a great way to grab some inspiration!
My first 2008/2009 Bead Journal Project post:
I'm a fibre artist with a yen for beads. I signed up for the BJP and then discovered that I had way too many conflicting deadlines. I considered dropping out, but then decided that I owed this to myself. So, although I didn't start on my BJP until after the holidays, I'm happy to say that I'm now caught up. My original plan was to combine fibre and beads, with a heavier emphasis on the fibre. Much to my surprise, my September piece decided that it wanted to be totally encrusted. I have used some fibre in a couple of the pieces, but they still seem to want to be heavily beaded. This is my first official attempt at journaling, and I'm thoroughly enjoying the process. I don't have a blog yet, but will try to post a couple of pictures a day. I can hardly wait to hear what you think!
September, 2008 - BJP:
Summer in Toronto was wetter than normal, which led to a lush patchwork of green vegetation. This is my impression of that landscape. I used mainly backstitch, with touch of fringe and a freeform fill in stitch (I have no idea what to call it). As for the beads, Japanese seeds and bugles in various sizes. I spent the holidays with my sister in Sault Ste Marie, and was able to raid her stash. Lucky for me, she had a nice stash of "odds & sods" to complement the ones I had purchased. This was the perfect way to wind down after the holidays.
October, 2008 - BJP:
The trees had started to change colour, but the landscape was still showing an awful lot of green. Orange is not one of my favourite colours, but I'm afraid that it was necessary for this piece. Again, Japanese seeds and bugles in various colours, mixed in with various larger beads from my sister's stash. Lucky for me, she works part time in a bead store! Again, I used backstitch and a freeform fill in stitch. BTW the base is a 4 1/4" triangle on Peltex. It holds up quite well and is fairly easy to bead through.
November, 2008 - BJP:
November was just plain crazy! I participated in a quilt guild show, a fibre art show (both with boutiques), volunteered at the Shadow Box Auction at the Textile Museum of Canada (I donated a piece), was involved in a couple of online swaps, The Exquisite Corpse Round Robin and taught my first technique class at a local quilt shop. Whew! On top of that, I work full time. I felt like my head was exploding! I tried to capture that feeling in this autumn coloured piece. I wanted to include fibre, so used some of my machine wrapped braid and hand ruched some lovely orange velvet (given to me by a friend). I used the large stone bead to portray myself, sitting in the middle of all this action. So many avenues, so little time and no way to get out! Please note the metallic fringe, exploding all over the place. I'm glad it's over and I promise not to over commit in the future.
December, 2008 - BJP:
So! What does purple have to do with Christmas, you say? It's my sister's favorite colour, and I spent the holidays at her house in cold & snowy Sault Ste Marie, ON, so I thought that it would be appropriate. My original intent was to use traditional colours, but my muse was just not being cooperative. The small paper clay face was made during a play date with a couple of my friends. Of course, it needed to be used immediately! A shopping trip was in order, and the piece began. The face is encased with a little peyote stitch. I've introduced the stacked stitch, straight out of my copy of Beaded Embellishment (first time doing it, and just love the stitch!). I've included a single star for the top of the tree, but in this case, it's the side of the tree. The windy road of bugles signifies the route between the two cities (at least that's what my friend thinks). You'll notice that this piece is a lot calmer than the November one. I wonder why?
January, 2009 - BJP:
January to me is a time of fridgid temperatures, blue/grey skies, bare trees and snow, snow, snow. I was involved in a crazy quilted 4" X 4" swap on another group, and used a little larger version of this threadpainted tree. I loved the image so much, I decided to use it again. It's free motion machine embroidered on a scrap of upholstery fabric that was layered with gold Angelina Fibre. A rather wobbly, peyote stitched bezel, surrounds it. I wish I could say that I planned the wobble, but no, it's just one of those serendipity things. I think this might be my favourite, so far. Now, on to February!
February, 2009 - BJP:
Yipee! February is a time of celebration. My nephew and his wife (after many years of marriage & doctor's visits) have announced that they're having a baby. While the symbolism in this piece is not obvious, I tried to give it a party atmosphere. Included are painted teabag yo-yo's (Tetley, of course), three shells from an old necklace of my mother's (she's no longer with us, but loved babies so would want to be a part), an acrylic painted washer (for the masculine element), purple pearls (my sister's favourite colour) and a mixture of miscellaneous beads, including hearts and flowers (because I'm rooting for a girl). BTW, the teabags were used, but I did dry and empty them before painting. The picture is a little dark, due to my taking it on a dreary rainy day. I promise to post again when the sun is shining.
Although it's not quite her birthday yet, little Myka (a girl, just like her auntie predicted!) is celebrating her birthday, with family and friends, today. I know you have a few more days to go, but happy first birthday, sweetheart and happy birthday, Michelle (Myka shares a birthday with my niece/her aunt)!
I'll post the rest next weekend......