Short Break

I'm taking a short break in my bead embroidery to make myself a right angle weave (RAW) bracelet. I never used to either wear or use much of these colors, especially together, but now I'v got enough clothes in the red/orange/yellow/green ranges to "need" a bracelet to work with all of them.
I'll post this when it's done...and then we're on to the september bjp....wow...this summer has flown by!


To The River

Yesterday we were invited out to a friend's place in the county to help celebrate her birthday....the weather was gorgeous and reminded us again why we live in this beautiful part of the world.
Here's a couple of photos of the small river that runs through their land and a view of the hills behind their house. I even got a bit of beading done in the lull between our walk down to the river and the arrival of more guests...great day!



I'm finding that with the larger pieces (these are 4x12 inches) I do more planning/designing than I do with the more intuitive smaller pieces, where I usually start with a larger focal piece (that usually sets the direction of the piece) and work improvisationally from it. With the larger pieces, I'm finding it more difficult to keep it from just looking like I dumped a bunch of beads and fibers onto the fabric and nailed them down. I want the top to contribute as much to the overall idea as the bottom and both of them have to work with the middle. More of a challenge...more fun too when I can pull it off to my satisfaction!
So here the bottom hand and fish are set, along with the flower girl in the middle. Now I'm deciding if the hand, bird and sun (or moon maybe) are what I want for the top of this piece. And if I do, then what do I add to connect them all in a way that's natural and organic and not cobbled together looking...


Beginning Verano

I've been collecting bits & pieces for her all summer but just now getting to the actual bead work...I don't think she will be as heavily beaded as the spring piece, Primavera, but we'll see. They always surprise me in some way...



I've decided to call this one, Fish Dance since they look to me like they're dancing out of the way of the seal. I don't often have names for the pieces, but now and then one arrives, as it were.
I still have to frame it but that's the easiest part of the process!


The Hours

Yesterday I spent my two hours at the gallery adding a few more pearls and charlottes to my seal piece. I had thought it was almost finished, but as I worked, I saw I was going to be beading a few more hours yet.
Sometimes I wonder why this particular process and these particular materials are what I was led to work with, but I've never found an answer. I guess it's like asking why you fall in love with a certain person and not someone else...you just do it.


August BJP

Finished. The two silver birds represent two friends who died last week...two more sweet souls gone from us.

And my dad would have been 94 today...he died at 66.


Washed Ashore Peeks

We did a little tour of the Washed Ashore exhibit on sunday with our friends....here are a few photos...including "henry" who is outside and getting lots of attention!


The Bead Journal Project or BJP

A lot of my work is done for the Bead Journal Project (which I often shorten to BJP or bjp) and it's been a while since I've explained what that is. I'll let Robin Atkins speak for it....the following text is the info given on the BJP's blogs and each site has many links to other year's participants too.

"The brain child of Robin Atkins, the first Bead Journal Project, which began in June of 2007, included 241 women and 1 man who were dedicated and committed to creating 12 bead journal pages, one per month, for a year.

The BJP is all about visual journaling using any media and techniques, providing it includes some beading. We are free to structure our bead journal pages any way we want, as long as all 12 are the same size.

The current years' Bead Journal Project runs from January 2010 through December 2010. This blog is a means by which we may support each other in process, techniques and design. Participants (many with links to their personal blogs or websites) are listed below."

I've been doing the BJP since the beginning, so if you go back to my blog for June of 2007, you'll see my first one and if you don't want to wade through the whole blog, my Flickr link (on the left side of this blog) has photos of all my journals to date.

For me, each piece relates in some way, simple or sometimes profound, to what's been happening in my life that particular month. When I post each piece, I try to tell a story about it and what I was thinking as I made it, but sometimes I don't see the significance until long after I've finished a piece. It's a wonderfully meditative process and can give me access to parts of my unconscious that I can get to by no other method. That's one reason I work intuitively as I go along instead of planning out the design ahead of time.

So, I hope this hasn't been more than you wanted to know, lol....but when I mention my next bjp, you'll have some idea of what the heck I'm talking about!


Moving Along

I was able to finish the beading on my august bjp yesterday, and get my seal piece moving again after a long period of waiting for it to 'speak' to me....so now the seal has some abalone fish to chase. I'm thinking more pearl bubbles are going to be added before it's done.
Today we're taking our friends on a little trip down the coast to do some agate hunting and a farmers market to visit...this afternoon we'll go to the gallery and see henry, the big fish made from washed ashore (and cleaned) plastics, as well as the other pieces in the show.



Finally got our summer heat yesterday, although we had to go inland to the pow wow to find it!

I went out with some friends on our annual bead buying, indian taco eating, booth strolling trip to our yearlyl pow wow, the Nesika Illahee in siletz. We always go around noon, as that is when the vendors (beads and abalone especially!) open their booths and before any of the crowds arrive for the drumming and dancing which starts in the evening. This year I just got some more of the new metallic finish charlottes and topped up my stash of beading needles before having a great lunch of an indian taco...basicly a tostado on delicious indian fry bread...yum!
When I got home that afternoon, it was much cooler (whew!), so I sat outside and finished one of my pin/pendant pieces before heading off to the opening reception for the Washed Ashore exhibit. It was so crowded I didn't take any photos....the show is up through october, so I thought I'd take some photos when the gallery wasn't so crowded and you could actually see all the artwork. It's amazing and deserves a post all it's own soon!
Today is another annual event (pow wow weekend is always busy, but this year has outdone itself in busy-ness!)...a gathering of oregon beaders that a friend of ours hosts each year. It's a great day of greeting beading friends we rarely see, show & tells to amaze, communal beading and the best luncheon I eat all year! If I get permission, I'll see if I can get a few photos, but this is a private event, so may not happen. (edited to add: I got everyone's okay, so here's a quick photo of the first table with 5 of the beading buddies...there were 14 of us all together and it was great fun to bead with such talented and dedicated fellow beaders!)
And then tonight, it's dinner with a couple I have known since before my DH and I met, and who have been friends ever since. We all met in bellingham, washington and then we moved to oregon in the early 70's and they moved to california in the early 80's, I think. It's always so good to visit with them and catch up on what we've all been doing since our last visit.
So that's today....tomorrow we'll wing it with our friends and see what we all feel like doing. I think I may need a nap on monday, LOL!


Creeping Fog

The coastal fog came creeping upriver yesterday afternoon...but at least I got a little sun!


Mid-week Update

A little background on this week....I can't go too far out of town for various health & financial reasons, so I decided to take a daily vacation around our county. Each morning I load our van up with my portable bead studio, a picnic lunch, my camera, phone & walkman and head out to one or more of my favorite spots to sit & bead.
It hasn't been particularly sunny, but it's been mostly dry and warm, so I'm happy.
On friday, I join some friends to pick up beads at our local pow wow, then that evening I'll catch the opening reception for our big exhibit at our visual arts center and then dinner with friends.
Saturday is the show & tell with portland friends (I'll talk about that when it's done) and sunday we have a visit from some friends from our early days together (40+ years, woohoo!).
Anyway, here's a photo of one of my favorite views to bead by, another one right in town (watching a very large NOAA ship dock) and a couple of the pieces I've been working on....both are in progress, and I hope to show more when they're finished...
Hope you're all having as good a week as I am...big hugs to you all!


This Week

I'll be working on these two pieces...hoping to get both of them finished before the weekend so I can take them to a show & tell with some beading friends we only see once a year.


Wonderful Day

Yesterday was an art and joy filled day...I started out the day at the annual show put on by our local quilt guild, bought a few plants at the farmers market, beaded with a dear friend while gallery sitting and ended the day going up the river to have dinner with friends and watch the river traffic (several rafts, an inflatable catamaran and a beaver) as the fog slowly moved in at dusk. Perfect!
I bought a few scraps of eylet fabric for a song and a strand of the new chinese crystals, and finished the flowered piece. Oh, and froze the 12 lbs. of blueberries we picked on friday from our local (inland) blueberry farm...yum!
Oh...and here's a link to the wonderful image by dennis mcgregor that the quilt guild purchased. The ship's sails are all different quilt patterns and I' ve never seen a more compelling image for a quilt show on the coast!


August BJP

I'm a little late getting a start on this month's bead journal but I like what I've ended up with. It's very green in the garden right now, plus some of the flowers are still blooming and growing....the nasturtiums and the sweet peas especially, so I have some orange/yellow for the nasties and lavender/pink for the sweet peas. I'm still pondering the focal piece...maybe a mermaid or a newt-like critter...
I've got a couple of other piece to finish, so maybe I'll hold off for a few more days, or maybe I'll work on all three at once...


New Stuff

It's a new month so I put in a new header and was surprised to find how large it was...another blogger change that I like.
I went to a street fair yesterday...a yearly event that features antiques and vintage cars....the antiques are for sale, most of the cars aren't, but if they were and I'd won the lottery this little yellow 1939 Ford would have come home with me. Don't know if I'd ever had the nerve to drive it, but it sure looks fantastic!
What I could afford was a handful of MOP buttons, mostly tiny with one beautiful large one that I can see using soon and a lightweight tin necklace with water creatures that I may cannibalize into a series featuring each one. At least that's the plan this morning, lol!