Another Ornament

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I thought this came out cute. It's a Mill Hill beaded kit that I found in my stash. I decided not to try & stitch it to look like my cats - the only concession I made was to give him green eyes and a pink nose like both my cats!

Eyeglass case

Monday, December 7, 2009

Well I guess being sick can be productive. I don't feel like doing much so I've been stitching today. I started this eyeglass case about 3 years ago . . . it's nice to finally finish it! The original picture had a different looking cat but I changed the colors so it looked like my cat Mellifera. If I don't feel better soon, I may empty my half-finished project bag! This was actually an easy project. It's a stitch & zip kit and uses floss on a preprinted canvas. It really should have gone much faster than it did!

Eeyore Ornament

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I had plans to finish my BJP pieces into a small quilt and work on a number of ornaments before the end of the year. Between moving and job hunting and being sick I haven't gotten much of anything done though! Friday night I went through some almost finished projects and pulled out this Eeyore ornament to finish. I thought it came out pretty cute. It's my first Christmas ornament in my new place!

I'm Done!! August BJP Finished!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I've finished the whole year! I'm very excited about this. One of my bad habits is that I'm an awful procrastinator. Now admittedly I've finished a little late but I did the whole year and I'm very proud of myself. I've really enjoyed doing the bead projects and am excited about participating next year. Anyway on to August!

I have two cats, Pippin & Mellifera. Pippin was named by me for Peregrin Took from The Lord of the Rings. Mellifera was named by my daughter Jill and her name means bearing honey. They are littermates born on August 22, 2004 and they came to live with me in October 2004. I somehow have become very attached to these cats and just can't imagine my life without them. Since they were born in August, this month's heart and poem are dedicated to them. Actually it isn't strictly a poem but it fit better for cats than any of the poems about cats that I found. They can seem so domesticated and tame and then they'll do something & you realize they are still wild animals at heart. Yet they stay with us and allow us the pleasure of their company. Pretty amazing I think!

August's "poem" is from The Cat Who Walked By Himself by Rudyard Kipling:

"He will kill mice, and he will be kind to babies when he is in the house, just as long as they do not pull his tail too hard. But when he has done that, and between times, and when the moon gets up and night comes, he is the Cat that walks by himself, and all places are alike to him. Then he goes out to the Wet Wild Woods or up the Wet Wild Trees or on the Wet Wild Roofs, waving his wild tail and walking by his wild lone."

Here's a picture of my cats: Pippin is the top one, mostly black and Mellifera on the bottom, mostly white.

August update

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Here's a picture of my progress so far on August. It's actually almost complete. I need to find 2 cat beads to put on and then it will be done. Unfortunately I'm having a hard time finding what I had in mind. I want a black cat & white cat and they should be in a walking pose. I've seen some beads that came close but nothing is exactly what I'm looking for. I have a couple more places to check before I give up though! Anyway I'm feeling pretty good because this is the last month! Once I get those beads that will be it & I'll post a new picture with the poem and explanation.

July BJP Done!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wow I'm really getting excited! I've finished July and now all I have left is August! The picture on this is a little dark. I tried fooling with it but I'm not much of a photo editor! My Mom died on July 14, 1999 and I wanted to do this month's poem for her. What Came to Me by Jane Kenyon makes me cry every time I read it. For me, it's all the little things that are the hardest after someone dies. I couldn't figure out how to interpret this poem in beads but knew that I wanted to use yellow fabric as a background because yellow was her favorite color. When I found this fabric in my stash I decided to just bead the outlines of the flower. I think it came out really pretty! The picture doesn't really do it justice - the beaded outline that looks brown is actually a pretty light purple color. So now it's onto August and then I'm officially finished!

What Came to Me

I took the last
dusty piece of china
out of the barrel.
It was your gravy boat,
with a hard, brown
drop of gravy still
on the porcelain lip.
I grieved for you then
as I never had before.

~Jane Kenyon

Bead Journal Project 2010

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Probably if you're reading this you are already a BJP participant and already know this stuff! Just in case you aren't and inadvertently stumbled on this blog, I'm going to repost what I shared on my other blog!

* * * * * * * * * *

This past year I've been participating in the Bead Journal Project. It's a 12-month project where you create a beaded journal piece each month. When I started my beading experience was very limited and I was really worried because I didn't feel like I was creative enough to do something every month. I was also worried because I'm a horrid procrastinator and tend to give up on things. Happily, while I did procrastinate, I haven't given up and I've found that I love working with beads and I'm a little more creative than I thought. All very positive things!

August was the last month for 2008 and the next project year will begin in January 2010. If you're interested, check out the links below and consider joining next year. I'm definitely going to and my daughter has enjoyed watching me do this so much that she got interested and will be joining also. If you'd like to look at what I've been working on for this year you can check my stitching blog. The links below will guide you to pages of other BJP participants. Look at the work and hopefully you'll be inspired to join!

The Bead Journal Project starts in January, 2010.

Registration starts October 15, 2009 at

No experience is necessary! The goal is to create one visual journal piece a month for a year that includes beads.

Participants work can be seen at

June BJP

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I'm getting close - just two more to finish! June's project is dedicated to my daughter Jill as she was born in June. The following poem by Robert Duncan is one of her favorites. I was trying to figure out how to interpret it and asked Jill for her thoughts. It took her about 2 seconds to sketch something that I really liked so I went with that!

Often I Am Permitted To Return To A Meadow

as if it were a scene made-up by the mind,
that is not mine, but is a made place,

that is mine, it is so near to the heart,

an eternal pasture folded in all thought

so that there is a hall therein

that is a made place, created by light

wherefrom the shadows that are forms fall.

Wherefrom fall all architectures I am
I say are likenesses of the First Beloved

whose flowers are flames lit to the Lady.

She it is Queen Under The Hill

whose hosts are a disturbance of words within words

that is a field folded.

It is only a dream of the grass blowing

east against the source of the sun
in an hour before the sun's going down

whose secret we see in a children's game

of ring a round of roses told.

Often I am permitted to return to a meadow

as if it were a given property of the mind
that certain bounds hold against chaos,

that is a place of first permission,
everlasting omen of what is.

~Robert Duncan


Friday, August 28, 2009

Finally I finished May! I'm a great fan of British history and specifically Tudor history. May's BJP is dedicated to Anne Boleyn and is based on a poem written about her by Sir Thomas Wyatt. It's loosely based on this picture of Anne. Anne was the 2nd wife of Henry VIII. I won't detail her story here as it's pretty easy to find online if you don't know it! On May 29, 1533 Anne was crowned Queen of England. Three years later, on the 19th of May 1536, she was executed. She paid a high price for those three years.

Whoso List To Hunt
Sir Thomas Wyatt

Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,
But as for me, alas, I may no more.
The vain travail hath wearied me so sore,
I am of them that farthest cometh behind.
Yet may I by no means my wearied mind
Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore
Fainting I follow. I leave off therefore,
Since in a net I seek to hold the wind.
Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,
As well as I may spend his time in vain.
And graven with diamonds in letters plain
There is written, her fair neck round about:
Noli me tangere, for Caesar's I am,
And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.

Hearts for Anna

Saturday, July 11, 2009

This is a wonderful fund-raising project. Artful Home is soliciting donated work by artists to raise money for Anna Millea, an artist who is fighting an aggressive return of breast cancer. She has no insurance due to being considered "uninsurable" because of her pre-existing condition.

Take a look at the Subversive Stitchers blog and if you can possibly contribute some art for auction, please do!

Note that time is short for this. The deadline is August 7th so work fast!

Pink Artist Block Party

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I just signed-up for the Pink Artist Block Party. This is a very cool project on the girl gone thread wild blog by Monica Magness. It's pretty straightforward: you create a piece of art by July 31st & submit a picture. Creations are auctioned through Sept 1st to raise money for Susan G Komen for the cure. All the details and sign-up sheet are in the 5/29 post on her blog.

I've been reading Monica's blog for quite awhile and love the work that she & other's have done for this. It's a worthwhile project that hopefully you'll be able to join! Meanwhile I'd better get busy & decide what to make!


Sunday, May 24, 2009

This is the Wordle I made from this blog. I've been doing them for all my blogs - it's kind of fun!

Unicorn WIP

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I decided to finish up some things I've been working on for a long time before I start a new project. I started this Unicorn picture many, many years ago. It's been so long I can't even remember when! Anyway I've been working on it on and off this week and am pretty close to finishing. Many things I've started and abandoned I find I don't like anymore but I still like this one. I was considering using it as birth sampler for one of my nieces but I think with Unicorn written so many times it might distract from the birth information. I don't know - I'll have to think a little more. Anyway I'm very pleased to be so close to finishing! Now do I have to finish something else after this or can I start something new? I think I should get to start something new!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

I finally finished Jasper. The reason I'm calling this picture Jasper is because I think he looks like my nephew. My nephew Jasper the cat, that is, not the human one! You can see the real Jasper in the 2nd picture. He looks a little sulky but it's because he is shy and I was housesitting with him & I think he missed his Mom & Dad. He's actually a very sweet little cat and (don't tell the others) but kind of my favorite cat nephew.

The picture I stitched is supposed to be a British Shorthair cat so I've decided that Jasper is part British Shorthair. Now that he's finished I can go onto May BJP and find something else to stitch!

Beaded Rings

Sunday, May 3, 2009

We are having a party at the end of June for my daughter's 33rd birthday & we are making assorted things as kind of party favors. I found the pattern for these beaded rings in Getting Started with Seed Beads by Dustin Wedekind. I've made 21 so far (probably more than I need) and I'm not sure I can stop - making them is quite addictive! Hopefully my nieces will find them as cute as I do!

April BJP

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April's project is based on the poem What Do Women Want by Kim Addonizio. I've been thinking a lot this month about what I want. I'm not sure I've come to any definite conclusion but I know one thing for sure - I want a red dress!

What Do Women Want?

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.

I want it sleeveless and backless,

this dress, so no one has to guess
what's underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty's and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I'm the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.

I want it to confirm your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you

or anything except what

I want. When I find it, I'll pull that garment
from its hanger like I'm choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I'll wear it like bones, like skin,
it'll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.

March BJP

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I think I'm actually caught up now! I've already started April and plan to have it finished by the end of this week.

A short explanation for March: Over the last year I've lost 45 pounds and am still working to lose more weight. I love the Venus of Willendorf figure and she is kind of a symbol for me of, among other things, learning to accept myself as I am even while wanting to change. The following poem is part of Transcendental Etude by Adrienne Rich. It expresses how I feel about a lot of changes taking place in my life right now. I really liked doing this one although it was a little difficult to work on sometimes. I'm not sure the pink outline really goes with the other colors but I couldn't decide what to use so I went with pink since it's my favorite color!

But there come times –perhaps this is one of them—
when we have to take ourselves more seriously or die;
when we have to pull back from the incantations,
rhythms we’ve moved to thoughtlessly,
and disenthrall ourselves, bestow
ourselves to silence, or a severer listening, cleansed
of oratory, formulas, choruses, laments, static
crowding the wires. We cut the wires,
find ourselves in free-fall, as if
our true home were the undimensional
solitudes, the rift
in the Great Nebula.
No one who survives to speak
new language, has avoided this:
the cutting-away of an old force that held her
rooted to an old ground
the pitch of utter loneliness
where she herself and all creation
seem equally dispersed, weightless, her being a cry
to which no echo comes or can ever come.

February BJP

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

February's BJP is inspired by the following poem from Rumi:

When you’re broken open.
If you’ve torn the bandage off.
In the middle of fighting.
In your blood.
When you’re perfectly free.

January BJP

Monday, March 16, 2009

Since January is traditionally associated with new beginnings, it seemed an appropriate month for this poem by William Stafford. Also an appropriate poem for creative beading!

When I started this I had a general idea of what I was going to do but it came out somewhat different. I had originally planned for the hand charm but then I found the muse-like figure & she seemed to fit. I was beading away happily and stopped to look and realized it felt done to me. I'm still not sure why I stopped where I did - I had planned to bead the entire heart. But it feels right to me like this. I think this is my favorite so far! I'm actually still a little perplexed as to how I feel about this one & how it ended up this way.

I've been reading Robin Atkins book, One Bead at a Time, and am feeling very inspired by the improvisational beading idea. I think some of that is showing up in this one. Anyway I'm really happy with this one. It moves me in a different way than anything I've done so far.

When I Met My Muse

I glanced at her and took my glasses
off—they were still singing. They buzzed
like a locust on the coffee table and then
ceased. Her voice belled forth, and the
sunlight bent. I felt the ceiling arch, and
knew that nails up there took a new grip
on whatever they touched. "I am your own
way of looking at things," she said. "When
you allow me to live with you, every
glance at the world around you will be
a sort of salvation." And I took her hand.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Jill made a bracelet for herself - the green one at the top - and I liked it so much she had to make me one. Mine is in pinks & purples.

The bracelets are from a pattern in the Oct/Nov 2006 issue of Beadwork. She made some changes with the beads and added an extra color to give them great contrast. They are even prettier than the picture!

December BJP

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Since the release of the Lord of the Rings movies, beginning in 2001, December has been LOTR month for me. For a few years I was re-reading the trilogy every December. The last couple of years I haven't so I have some catching up to do!

Anyway, it seemed appropriate to base December's BJP on something from LOTR. This is one of my (many) favorite poems from the books:

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

November BJP

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Here is my November BJP. This is based on the following poem by ee cummings:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Stitching Break

Friday, February 27, 2009

In between beading I've been working on what I thought would be a quick little cross stitch picture. It's taking a little longer than I'd thought but it is pretty cute. The picture is of a British Shorthair cat. Below you can see one of my cats. In between monitoring my beading & stitching progress, he likes to sit on my keyboard & check out the neighborhood!

November Update & Question

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm working on November but it's going kind of slow. This goes with an ee cummings poem.

I realized today that I wasn't explaining the tie to each month so far! September's poem/project didn't really have a strong meaning for September. It's just one of my favorite poems & I wanted to begin with it. I love fall and October especially and it always makes me think of the poem Fire & Ice so I did that for October. November's poem is special and the heart has a special, pretty personal meaning for me.

A question: I'm having difficulty getting the edging beads to lie flat and smooth. If anyone has tips I'd appreciate hearing them!

October Done!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Here is my October bead journal project. It is based on the poem Fire & Ice by Robert Frost. I had originally planned to completely fill in the fire side & then my daughter suggested leaving it unstitched at the top to give more of a sense of flames. I like the way it came out!

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
~Robert Frost

October Progress

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Progress so far on my October BJP. I'm having way too much fun with this! I hate to stop beading and do "real" work. This one is based on a poem by Robert Frost but I won't post the poem until I finish the piece.

September BJP Done!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I finished my first one! I'm really excited about this and pleased with the way it came out. I'm anxious now to start on October which I plan to do tomorrow. Aside from small bead kits, this is my first ever beaded project and I love it! Maybe I'll start October tonight . . .

A short explanation: Each month's heart will be based on a poem that I like. This month is from Emily Dickinson.

After great pain, a formal feeling comes -
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs -
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round -
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought -
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone -

This is the Hour of Lead -
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow -
First--Chill--then Stupor--then the letting go -

Bead journal project

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm way, way behind on my bead journal project. I hope not the behindest person but I'm a little worried. The project started in September & I'm currently finishing September - - -

Anyway I had hoped to post a finished picture today but it is taking longer than I'd planned so I thought I'd post my progress so far. I'm hoping to finish by tomorrow night and then I'll be able to start on October. I have drawings and poems for each month through February. My goal right now is to finish through December by the end of this month and catch up by the end of March.

I'm using heart shapes and each month's project is designed around a poem. September is a poem from Emily Dickinson which I'll post when I post the completed project.

Convent's Herbal Garden - Finished!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

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