Bead Journal Project

Monday, October 25, 2010

Registration for the 4th Bead Journal Project will begin on November 8th. If you aren't currently participating and are at all interested, I'd urge you to sign-up. This is the second year I've been involved and I love it. I am admittedly somewhat behind this year . . . that's ok though! It isn't about how fast you do your projects or keeping up with someone else or comparing your work to other beaders. It's about personal growth through what you are creating, sometimes about working out problems by dumping out a bunch of beads and starting to put them on fabric, sometimes about just plain fun.

I found the BJP in the first year it started and went to different blogs admiring the work beaders were doing. Prior to that the only beading I'd ever done was small Mill Hill ornament kits. I've been doing embroidery, quilting and sewing for as long as I can remember but never beading. Anyway, I sent an email to Robin Atkins, who is the originator of the project, and asked about joining. She explained that they'd probably be doing it a second year and I could sign-up to join then. I am not a joiner nor am I a person who writes emails to total strangers. But I was so fascinated by this idea that my desire to participate overcame my initial shyness. There's something about working with beads that I find soothing and creative. And fun! During the first year (second of the project but my first year) my daughter was admiring all the beading and decided to join this year. It's been a lot of fun seeing her projects and comparing ideas.

You don't have to have any experience or particular skills. It's pretty easy (at my age with a good lamp and magnifying glasses) to put a bead on a needle. And don't feel you have to be "creative." I didn't think I was creative enough to come up with anything original but I have and I've learned a lot in the process. If you have even the slightest interest, just a small thought that maybe it'd be fun, then JOIN!

Oak Pendants

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I forgot to post the photos from our class! My daughter and I took a class together and made wire oak pendants. I saw the class offered at a local bead shop and was going to take it and make one for her as a Christmas gift. Then I started thinking she'd probably enjoy the class so I told her about it. We both had a great time and it was fun going to the class with her. I love wire-wrapping but it takes practice and I know I still need a lot more. It's also hard on your fingers - mine were numb and full of pokes by the end of the class. It was fun though! The top picture with the cord is Jill's, the bottom mine.

October Bay Leaf

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The California Bay Laurel (Umbellularia californica) is an incredible tree which can grow very tall and develop some very twisty and thick trunks.  The leaves are dark green and fragrant.  These trees reach their most impressive proportions in riparian habitats, but also grow in the company of live oak and madrone on the north-facing slopes of my local hills.  Despite being evergreen the laurel drops some of its leaves in Autumn.  Shades of yellow change to orange, umber, and - after rain - deep garnet hues.  In my project the leaves have fallen onto the stones of an Autumn-dry creek - the grayish green color and patterning of this batik fabric suggested a dry creekbed to me.  It seems that every time I go to draw a leaf outline of a fallen bay leaf the leaf is crossed by another leaf.  So I arranged my model leaves (which appear in one of the pictures) to suggest this arrangement, which I then stitched with my beads.  The little snake goddess pendant is there because I've often seen snakes slithering across the dry stones in arroyos.  I decided to give this headless pendant a yak bone skull in observance of Samhain and Dia de los Muertos - times when Death and the dead are celebrated.  My next project will also focus on one of these holidays - as I said before I really enjoy Autumn!
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