November BJP Finished

I finished the november journal this morning and have framed it...later today I'll hang it on the wall with the other 10 pieces....and start looking for the fabric for the last piece for this year.
I'm working with a new photo editing program and a newer version of one I've used before but I obviously don't quite have them mastered, lol!
The original piece is probably closer to the photo on the left...or not, depending on the light they were shot in...



KISS stands for keep it simple, silly and that's what I'm going to be doing in next year's bead journals.

The first year I did some pretty heavy bead embroidery on my pieces, the next year I was into fabric manipulation for 3-D effects and this year I beaded the tiny hand in the center of my pieces with very little beading on the two larger fabric hands that framed the smallest hand.

It gave the pieces more impact but with fabric instead of with beads, so each piece took less than 6 hours of actual work. And the second year pieces (the 3-D fabric ones) took as little as 1 hour to bead and another hour to add the backing, as I finished them all with fabric sleeves to hang by.

Look closely at the photos and you will see very few beads and most of them are larger beads or nailheads or sew ons that are quite large compared to the seed beads.

So...if you're worried that the BJP is too major a committment of time or energy, then just design it simpler...after all, you're in charge and this is for fun and inspiration....if there's stress and shame involved, it's something you're putting on yourself and certainly not something inherent in the project!


Two Weeks

We're down to the last two weeks to register for the bead journal project for 2011....click here if you're interested...would be lovely if we could spread the registration out a bit and not leave it for the last couple of days since we just have a single registration angel, not a whole choir of them, lol!

I think we're approaching the 100 mark so will be opening the second blog next week some time...if you have friends you think might be interested now would be a great time to send them a little reminder!

Thanks so much for your patience...and listening...and reading....I'm thankful every day for you and your wonderful presence here in my little online world.


Snow Day

I don't think I can remember a year in the past 20 here at the coast where it's snowed so early (or late in the year). Usually it's later in december or more often, january, but here we are and it's not even thanksgiving yet!
I wonder if this means it will be a hard winter? Last year we had a very cold period at the beginning of december but it didn't get that cold again until late in january...so it's anyone's guess!

(yea, I know you folks in the less temperate places are laughing to think that 33 degrees is cold, but hey....we love our moderate temps and we do "pay" for them with abundant rain, lol!)


Up the River

In between rain showers we took a drive up the river to toledo and back. I wanted to see what was left of the train tracks (nothing but the trestle supports) that used to go from toledo to yaquina city, which was 4 miles upriver from newport.
And then the sun was shining ahead of us and hitting some trees ahead...not sure the photo captured that, but it was a nice drive and just what I felt in the mood to do.
I've been messing around learning more about windows 7 and not doing much beadwork this week...maybe next week my inspiration will return



For anyone new to the Bead Journal Project who is unsure about linking from your post to your blog or website, I've posted a short tutorial on the 2011 BJP first blog HERE.


BJP on Facebook

The Bead Journal Project now has a facebook page too...just in case we missed anyone on the web, lol! I do love that our group is getting more and more web savvy!


November Slowly

My november bjp is coming along, albeit it slowly....this is just a busy time and other things have taken precedence, but I think I'll be able to finish it by the end of the month. I also have to confess I've been spending time thinking about what I want to do next year.



There are a number of folks who call themselves artists but few who are actual masters of a medium that they worked many years to achieve. In my twenty years of beading, I've learned from many artists but only a couple of masters, Joyce Scott and David Chatt who were major influences from the early days.

When I first started beading I was inspired by the beaded necklaces with peyote stitched crystals as pendants. I was living in the central willamette valley at the time and eugene was the largest town around so I went looking for an instruction book and some beads to make collars for crystal pendants. I found Horace Goodhue's, Indian Bead-Weaving Patterns that had tubuler peyote which taught me how to bead around a cystal and flat peyote with both an even and odd number of beads. I beaded around a few crystals and then decided I'd like to bead around tiny perfume bottles so I did a few dozen of them until I could bead around odd shaped objects pretty well. Around that time, I discovered the japanese tube beads (delicas) and absolutely loved the flat sinuous fabric I could make using them in flat peyote. I got another book by Michael White Own called Flat Peyote Stitch and tried for the first (and close to the last) to follow someone else's pattern. I then got some graph paper and began designing my own patterns. Eventually, I was able to show and sell my work through a local gallery and I felt I was really on my way!

After I had been doing this for a while, someone mentioned Joyce Scott and Ornament magazine did an article on her and I was amazed at what she was doing with 3D peyote that was self supporting (nothing inside to hold it) and the social commentary of her bead work. Here was someone who was using beads as a fine art medium and I was intrigued. I eventually was able to meet her and attend an opening of her exhibit at a gallery in Salem but I never took a class from her....still, I consider her a main inspiration because I began to see the endless possibilities of beads.

A few years later (around 1995) I decided I needed a new challenge and decided to try the right angle weave, made popular, and taught by, David Chatt. David had found an old Russian piece made using 2-needle RAW and had developed it into the single needle RAW and was doing wonderful 3D objects with it. Since David was in Seattle, I was able to contact him and organized a 4-day series of classes to be taught at our visual arts center. It was a great experience and taught me dimensional RAW before there were any how-to books about it except the small pamphlet that david included with his classes.

I began making jewelry using the technique of RAW using vintage charlottes (tiny size 13 Czech beads) and nailheads, which hadn't been made since before WWII. I found more galleries to carry my work and began selling larger pieces and felt I was doing well. But I still kept my "day job", LOL!

So that's the beginning of the story of how I was drawn, step by step, into the fabulous world of beading.



There were some huge waves coming in from the ocean....these folks were surfing almost under the bridge, in the entrance to the bay!

edited to add: Sadly, a young couple went walking to the end of the south jetty and were swept into the ocean around 1 pm. Too many folks seem to have no idea of the power of the waves and lose their lives because of it.


Changed My Mind

I just couldn't seem to get started on the nov. bjp, so I switched the fabric and am getting ideas like crazy...inspiration strikes but it can also leave and then working on something is like walking through mud up to your knees! My theory is always to lay it aside if the muse has abandoned it and sometimes it returns later and sometimes it sits there until I put it aside permanently.


Registration Begins for the 2011 Bead Journal Project

I've been so excited about doing another year of the bead journal project that I've already registered....but you still have time! Registration lasts a month, until december 8, so if you know of anyone who might like to join please send them to the link HERE.

Over the years (2011 is the 4th year of the BJP) we've found that the best advertisement is through word of mouth, so please spread the info around.

Hope to see you in january!


Birthday Wishes

I was stunned when I came home from the valley last week and went to meet with a few friends and found a surprise party instead! I can honestly say I had absolutely no idea that was going to happen...what a wonderful community of friends around me! And boy, can they keep a secret!
I'll never be able to adequately thank everyone who contributed to my amazing gift (a lightweight laptop, so I can still stay connected!)
I am just overflowing with all the love and sweetness of you all...


Another Gift of a Day

Yesterday was just a wonderful surprise, as it was supposed to be wet and windy....instead we got warm and sunny (with really BIG waves!) and today is supposed to be the same....ah, bliss!


Day of the Dead

I didn't have time this year to make a Day of the Dead altar or large piece, so I just made a pair of earrings. Not sure how much I'll be beading in the next couple of days as today I have my hair cut and tomorrow we go to lunch with an old friend in the valley.
Does one say, "Have a happy Day of the Dead"? If so, consider it said, and if not, not, lol!


Hello November

I like november....it has my birthday, thanksgiving, my oma's birthday and the day of the dead in it....what's not to like, lol!
So the new header is a rock on a beach at Seal Rock which is south of Newport and in this photo the rock you see (which isn't seal rock itself) has about 2 dozen pelicans on it. We seem to have some pelicans who winter with us and I like to think these are a few of them.
I've also finished my leaf fairy pin...I think this will be the last pink one for a while. It's a difficult color for me and I've just begun to make friends with it, but there's no need to go overboard!
I am working on gathering pieces for the november bjp. My lab results weren't good (some tumor markers are up) but we are trying another drug now and when it kicks in, I should be pain free again for a while, so that's very hopeful.
I think it's going to be an interesting month.

I'm also reminded of my favorite wendell berry poem this morning....

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life
and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water,
and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world,
and am free.