Monday, September 22, 2008

September's piece is finished, and I'm really looking forward to starting October. I used pale green ultrasuede with a variety of seed beads in my stash. The glass leaf in the bottom left is one of my lamp worked beads, and I think it turned out pretty well. Obviously I'm still a beginner at bead embroidery, but this piece did teach me a lot. It was fun making the outline stitch curve, and the netted bezel for the glass beads. I'm planning to stich the pieces for each month together using some sort of seed bead stich, maybe right angle weave. Still to be determined!

My friend Sylvus photographed this for me. My goal is to read the manual to my camera and see if I can't start to take a few pictures myself. Another challenge!

Friday, September 19, 2008

September Progress

September is rushing by, but at least I've been able to spend a little time each day working on September's piece. I am really enjoying the rhythm of this project. I usually try to work on it early in the morning (7 a.m. at our house) for 30 or 45 minutes, before the day gets busy. This is my meditative time, when I really appreciate the journal part of this project. I think about the themes I'm trying to illustrate and what is going on in my mental landscape.

I've adopted a few strategies. I have several books on bead embroidery and am trying to focus on a few pages each month, really learning the stitches and techniques I might have just glanced at before, thinking 'I get that'. But you don't really GET it until you do it, several times. So I'm really learning at a basic level.

Also, since I like to make lampworked glass beads, I've decided to incorporate at least one bead each month, and am trying different bezeling (sp?) techniques. I'm focusing on netting this month...who knows what I'll try in October. Also, I'm finding I don't won't to fill up my entire square (3.5 inches). I like the negative space, especially since I'm using ultrasuede and the colors are beautiful. This month my color is a light pear green.

Finally, a fun story. I was meeting a friend for lunch yesterday. Coincidentally, Susan, who has an exhibit of her 2007 project at Findings in October was there and stopped by to see what I was working on. I told her that her project had inspired me to sign up for the 2008 project! What a thrill!I'm looking forward to October...theme will be circles.

I'll post a picture next week, when I expect to finish this first piecel.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

BJP 2008 begins

This is my first post. The Bead Journal Project for 2008 was a welcome opportunity for me. I love the idea of journaling without words (so why the blog? lol). The upcoming year will have many personal challenges for me, family and close friends. I'm hoping the time spent letting the beads talk to me on my little 3.5 inch squares will help me sort them out and understand them. I'm about half way finished with my first piece and find the time I spend working on it very meditative.

I'm not an experienced bead embroiderer, though I am experienced with most seed bead stitches and always have several projects underway. I also make glass beads, work with PMC and wire and hope I can incorporate some unusual components as the months go by.

September's theme is leaves, since we start to notice that the leaves are changing and starting to say good-bye to us, just as we have to say good-bye to many of life's best treasures, friends, relatives, youth. The flip side is that this is also a time of beginnings. I'll see how that plays out.