March BJP Springs Forward

I couldn't hold it back....these are three flowers just about to wake up to spring...maybe the butterflies are whispering to them?


Inspiration vs Intimidation

A comment made by a friend (purple girl), got me to thinking about the fine line between inspiration and intimidation, and how much of our own feelings of self worth we bring to that table.
I know I've looked at other artists' work and felt both inspired and intimidated at times, but I also know that sometimes the work that intimidates me today will push me to reach higher in my own work tomorrow.
I've been an artist for a very long time (although I did not have the courage to use that word about myself for many years), and I've been working/playing with beads for almost 20 years now, so I don't often see work that intimidates me with it's fantastic technique or amazing workmanship. What I look for now is a connection between the heart/soul, head/mind and hands in a piece....that's what inspires me and makes me strive to make the work of my hands connect to a deep place in my heart and soul.
And when I see that connection, in my work or others', it makes this world a bit brighter and feels like maybe another tiny dark corner is now lighter.
I also realize that it's been a very long time since I've been intimidated by another artist's work, and that probably has less to do with how much my technique has improved, as much as it has to do with how much deeper connection I feel to my own work.
But having said all that, I also remember (very clearly) my early days and how lacking my own work felt and how magical the work of others' seemed. I often wondered how they did what they did and was so delighted when they were willing to share their process and the steps they took to get to that finished piece.
I think that's one of the biggest benefits for so many of us doing both the bjp and the tif challenge....we get to see the process behind the magic and (I hope) realize that it's a magic we're all capable of making.
One day, one step, one idea at a time, we all learn from each other and we all travel just a little bit further along the creative road we've chosen to take.
And just for fun....here is my first bead embroidered piece and my last finished bjp piece. I look at the little one and see so many mistakes, but I also see the work of a mature artist, since I had been doing beadwork for about 10 years before I felt the need to take up that particular technique. And the reason? Look at the two small carnelian colored art deco cabs in the middle...they have no holes and the only way I could used them, without obscuring their lovely shape, was to glue them down and bead around them. And that sure opened up a whole new world for me!


Basho #31

Burning sun sinking into Mogami River...


Basho 30 Finished

Three more and I'll be 3/4 of the way there...wahoo!


Special Visit

I had the good fortune today to have a visit from robin and thom atkins, and thom's delightful wife, jennifer! It was the most amazing few hours of show-and-tell I've experienced in a very long time and I will treasure this memory of their visit.
I think we all know the vast difference between a photo of an original work of art and the work itself, so you will not be surprised to learn that robin and thom atkins' work is even more stunning in person than it is on your screen. I really, really wished today that you all could have been looking over my shoulder so you could have seen it...
Robin brought her beautiful bjp pieces and a few pieces from her new book, as well the book itself...and yes, I'm definitely hoping to be at the top of the list for a copy as soon as it's printed....I think I can say you will all find it incredibly inspiring and full of great ideas for your bead embroidery!
Thom brought his "large" bjp pieces and a couple of his wall quilts, including a partially beaded, totally over the top piece he calls Fire and Ice...so far he's beaded most of the fire and I'd really love to see it when he's finished beading the ice!
I was pleased to share a bit of our little corner of the universe and I'd love to see them all on their next visit...this one was just too short!
And it went by in such a whirl, none of us got a single photo! Next time for sure!


February BJP Finished

and.....it's done. It's been a busy month and it's not over yet, but I've added elements from some local events, some national celebrations, like valentines (hearts) and black history month (face)...our local seafood and wine festival (fish), my two good doc appts. (hope and goddess figure) and robin & thom's visit (bunny and bear)....and friend gail's visit was celebrated by using my all time favorite tiny bugles which I got from her...thanks, gail!

Goodbye and Hello

It's goodbye to friend gail and our lovely weather these past few days and hello to robin and thom atkins' visit this week. I'm so excited!
I'm almost done with the february bjp but it's still missing a little something...I'm hoping I'll find it this afternoon and be able to finish it tonight.
Also, just a teaser...but these are a few of the wonderful items I was able to barter for this weekend...sooo much inspiration!
And here's the last of our lovely weather going south (or maybe east) along with the gull...


BJP and TIF Update

I had a good couple of days, energy-wise, and almost have my bjp finished and did finish my tif...

The Take It Forward challenge theme for this month was , what are you old enough to remember and I chose black & white TV shows as I can remember a couple from as long ago as when I was 4...so I made a black & white piece, using black and white fabric, black & white beads & nailheads and a little black & white book that says, Fifties TV on the front and has pictures of some of the old TV shows I used to watch like Sky King, Ramar of the Jungle, The Cisco Kid and a few others. It was fun revisiting those old shows and a few of them can even be seen on the web, so I watched a couple of Sky Kings while sewing the piece. And a special thanks to Elizabeth at Quieter Moments for searching out the diagram for the Eskimo edging stitch I've used on the month's piece...I love the look of it, even though it's just my first try and I've learned a few things already that I think will make my second effort a bit better...I thought about doing it again, but decided to leave it as is...then when I do it again I will be able to see how much improvement I've made.

The Bead Journal piece for February is almost finished...my friend gail will be here on friday and I'll add something for her then...I added a HOPE bead to this as my last two doctor appts. have given me more hope for the future than I've had in a long time...


Next Week

I'll be sending my Pay It Forward pins out to Sue, Kathy and Nancy and the pink artist squares to Monica for the breast cancer donation...I won't show the pins, as I'd like to surprise the gals, but these are the 2x2 squares for monica...

And a little more progress on february's bjp...


February BJP

Started....so far I'm just working on it being black history month since I couldn't figure out how to honor martin luther king last month...and my friend gail will be here the 16th and 17, so I'll have to put something in for her and probably a crab for our "world famous" seafood and wine festival in february...yeah, right! The rest will have to wait a while...


Basho #28 Finished...

only 17 more to go...I might make it!

February TIF

Well, I've got the title and the fabric and the concept...now I just have to make it, lol!
Since the topic for this month's TIF is 'What are you old enough to remember?', I flashed back to our first TV when I was about 7, I think...it was black and white but so exciting to us back then. So this month my piece is called, 'When the world was Black and White'....I've also got some old black & white photos of myself with the TV and around that same time, so they'll be in the little accordion book for this month...haven't decided on the beads just yet but I have lots of black and white ones, so I'm sure this month I will be able to do it entirely from within my stash. I'm trying to not buy beads for these projects and challenges, although I do find I "need" the occasional fat quarter.


Basho 28

I just couldn't get a handle on 27, so skipped ahead to 28 which had some wonderful word images to play with, including riding some rapids in a tiny rice boat...I have more to do on this piece, but the general layout is there...