12 months of beading

I am happy to present a year’s worth of beaded journal pages!

The first row (at the top, l to r) is June – September 2007, the second row October 2007- January 2008 and the third row February – May 2008.

When I finished my last page, I was so excited. When I look at this group shot, I am beyond excited and into jumping up and down ecstatic and really amazed that I actually did this.

I want to send a huge thank you and hug to my beady hero and mentor, the creator of the Beaded Journal Project, Robin Atkins. Her vision and inspiration has changed the lives of many artists through this amazing and wonderful project. I feel like my life has changed in an enormous way as I have learned much about myself through my beadwork and also to my commitment to stick with this project.

To all of my fellow BJP participants, bravo to one and all!

My last beaded journal page is done

Well, talk about getting down to the wire! With the 2008-09 Beaded Journal Project poised to begin tomorrow, I have completed my last page of the 2007-08 year, my November 2007 page. With my annual jewelry show in November, that whole month is dedicated to preparing for my show. Instead of creating my November page in December then, I was inspired to jump right into my December page at that time. So, November never got done until now. However, I always had what I wanted to create, a tribute page to my greyhound Buddy, in my mind. It was just a matter of getting the fabric paper to put in my printer, updating my printer cartridges and getting started on it.

I’m so glad to be finished with all of my pages. I feel a great sense of accomplishment even though I finished late. Now it is time to turn my sights to the new year and start on my first bracelet!

Studio Wednesday

In my studio today, I worked on my last 2007 beaded journal page, my November page. Well, truth be told, it was such a gorgeous day weather-wise that I brought my beadwork out on my deck in the sunshine and enjoyed the fresh air. This is a photo of my greyhound, Buddy, who passed away in August 2001. We adopted him from Greyhound Friends in Hopkinton, MA, a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to rescue greyhounds, take care of them and find forever homes for them. Also, to spread the word about them and their plight.

Greyhounds are such amazing dogs, enduring the hard and challenging life of racing at the track. They are usually “retired” after a couple of years of racing because it is so strenuous on their body. Very sadly, most of them are destroyed after they can’t race anymore. In ancient times, greyhounds were the revered pets and hunting dogs in Greece, Italy and Egypt, not used for how much money they could make for their owner.

Buddy, whose racing name was “Paris Boy”, was retired at age 2 1/2 and soon after came to live with my family. The first week he lived with us, we discovered that he had absolutely no idea what stairs were. We lived in a ranch house and it wasn’t until we visited my in-laws down the street and he got excited and walked up their deck stairs to greet them that we discovered he didn’t know how to get back down. My SIL got his front and I got his back and together we lifted him gently down the stairs. Poor guy was petrified. He also was afraid of rubber balls which we found out when we tried to play catch with him and he ran away in the opposite direction of the ball. One thing that he greatly enjoyed was to go into my daughter’s room and methodically take all of the stuffed animals off her bed back to his “nest” of blankets in the living room. We discovered this upon returning to the house one day to find him in a pile of stuffed animals. He was very happy that day.

I’m not really planning my beadwork ahead of time with this page. I was just going with the flow of the beads in the moment and found myself creating a pair of wings for Buddy’s heart. Well, they’re supposed to be wings. There’s some white space at the top and bottom of the photo so I’ll fill that in with some beads. I’m hoping to be finished with this page in the next day or two as the 2008-2009 BJP starts on September 1st.

For this new BJP year, I’ve decided to create journal bracelets, probably 1-1 1/2 inches wide x 6 inches long. With an ultrasuede backing, I’ll secure each one over a metal bracelet blank. I haven’t chosen a theme other than to make each one into a bracelet. My intention is to create a piece based on whatever I’m feeling at the moment. I’ll sew on one bead at a time and see where it takes me.

Fabulous Batik Fabric

I love the yummy fall colors of the batik fabric I recently purchased at Joann Fabric’s. Originally, I purchased it for my 2008 beaded journal pages but now I’m thinking of creating journal bracelets instead so I won’t need it for that. The one above on the right reminds me of Brian Froud’s fairy world.

Hmmmm, now what can I use all of this fabric for? Cloth art dolls?

Aren’t those seed pods in the fabric on the right just great?

When I was at the cutting station, I had the most interesting conversation with the sales clerk about the colors and patterns in these fabrics. I told her that I loved how your mind and imagination could play with the dots and swirls and see all sorts of interesting things in those patterns. It’s always changing everytime you look at it. She agreed and said that they all reminded her of dreams. That thought positively captivated me. Fabric dreams…

Studio Wednesday

I had to go in to my day job for 3 hours right in the middle of the day so, unfortunately, I didn’t get too much work done in my studio today. I was able to get a little beadwork done around this cabochon though. It’s one of my mokume gane polymer clay pieces. The background is one of 6 different fabulous fall color batiked fabrics I purchased on sale at Joann Fabric’s last week. I wanted to get a start with my 2008 beaded journal pages by purchasing some fabric for them. However, after giving some thought about the shape and size of the pages, I’ve decided to do something entirely different from this past year’s format and make either bead embroidered cuff bracelets or some small dolls. If I decide to go ahead with the bracelets, I won’t need the fabric but I’m sure I’ll find something fun to do with them. Right now I’m getting really inspired by just looking at them!

I’ve decided to keep the beading very simple for this cabochon pendant. For the necklace, I’m thinking of multiple strands of seed beads. I love the color of the framing row of seed beads. The photo doesn’t do it justice. It’s an opaque pale green. There’s something about a very pale green that I find so beautiful and yummy.

On the way home from work, I stopped at Staples to get new printer cartridges. When I did a test print of Buddy’s picture the other day, I discovered that I was almost out of ink. Boy, ink cartridges are super expensive! It’s been awhile since I purchased some. Now that I have them, I’m trying to think of what else I can print and create. When I got home, I printed Buddy’s picture on a sheet of Jacquard Inkjet cotton fabric. I’m thrilled at how clear the photo printed and am so excited to finally get started on my final page for the 2007 BJP.