Steaming Pile of Inspiration

No. 24: Bead Porn.

This photo from clayspirits is just one example of nearly 1500! If you've got a good-sized chunk of free time, click on the slideshow for this group pool - I did this morning and now I'm running late for a breakfast meeting - but am I worried? Heck, no! I just filled about a dozen pages of my notebook with ideas - as if I need more right now - everything beady is represented in the pool - along with some great ideas for photographing your own stuff - like this amazing shot from P8 Accessories & Button Art:

Now I have a new favorite way to lose track of time!!


Displaying the Pages/The End of the Road

Here is what really should be my final entry for the '07-'08 Bead Journal Project; Displaying the Pages.

First, the purse front -

and the purse back.

Now, a slightly skewed view of the box -

and a detail photo of the box lid, which incorporates elements from all the pages which have gone before. The corners, clockwise from the upper right, are the elementals of fire, water, earth and air. The wheel surrounding the central figure (beginning with the slice containing the silver moon/star bead) and moving clockwise are The Summer Solstice, Lughnasadh, Mabon, Samhain, Yule (the black and white slice), Imbolc, Ostara and Beltane.

As I come to the end of this very special road, I'd like to look back for a moment.

Our brief was simple, with the sparest of structures - we were free to design our bead journal pages any way we want, as long as all 12 were the same size. Our primary goal during this process was to stretch our creative and technical limits. The project was about visual journaling using any media and techniques, as long as it included beading, and each of us (almost 250 of us!) were free to interpret this in any way we chose.

I chose to use beads and only beads, densely packed. My journal is a visual representation of my "memories, dreams and reflections" that each month inspired in me. I developed and refined a way of working, including my ability to plan and organize while leaving room for the spontaneous. My personal goal was to meet the challenge of making a long-term commitment and seeing it through to the end.

When the prospect of doing this for another year arose, I gave it a lot of thought in this post - Indecision.

I read over what I wrote then and find I have not changed my mind or feelings in any respect. I had a great time, but for me the party's over and it's time for me to head in another direction.

I will enjoy the next Bead Journal Project vicariously, back here in the cheap seats, through all the posts and blogs of those who decide to take the ride for the first time, and those who choose to go for it again.

Robin Atkins, our fierce and fearless leader through this process of self-discovery by way of art, has given me one final inspiration/kick in the butt at the end of it all in this post at the BJP blog. I get the feeling this project is NOT finished, and may never be. After seeing her virtual book, I determined to finish all the poems I set aside with each page, polish up all the page descriptions and get my pages professionally photographed so that I, too, could make a book for myself.

It seems my ending has not yet been written.


Remakes and Reworks

If you've followed these adventures, you've seen this pendant before. She began life suspended from a copper coil bail on a fiber-wrapped cord. She was remade as a pin, then as a pin/pendant combination. Now the hardware has been removed, a leather bail has been attached to the back, and here she is on a crocheted rope with a magnetic clasp. I swore to myself this is her FINAL incarnation. HA. We'll see.

As I was rooting through my "WhatWasIThinking" bag, I found two beaded beads - one from a pattern in the Beadwork publication "Beaded Beads," and the other of my own invention. I made them into key chain fobs.

My to-do list:
1. Finish the BJP box (hand-sewing leather . . . ouch)
2. Finish repairs to the Houses quilt (every time I patch one place, a new one crops up . . .grr)

On the drawing board:
1. Tree of Life necklace and bracelet
2. Tres Osos embroidered cuff
3. The Desert Sunset/Sunrise collection

What am I doing blogging? I gotta get back to work!!


Inspiration #23: Eni Oken

Thanks to this woman, I've dug out all my wire-wrapping gear after some six or seven years - I had shoveled it all out of sight in frustration, having run dry on ideas.

Then came Eni Oken.

Everything and anything by and about her is inspirational. Love her design sense, great tutorials and a wonderful web presence (I'm addicted to her Journal). 'Nuff said.


A Year In Beads

The following is my year-in-review wrap up with links to all BJP related posts, but not to worry. At the end of this post is a list of links to just the finished works. A beader's digest version, if you will.

ONE wherein I launch into the odyssey in earnest.

TWO wherein I begin work on my first page.

THREE wherein the work continues for the June page.

FOUR wherein the first page nears completion.

FIVE wherein the June page is complete.

SIX in which the July page is begun.

in which the July page continues.

EIGHT in which I discover underpainting and the July page is near completion.

NINE in which I chronicle the run-up to the finish for July.

TEN in which I display the finished piece, titled Fire/Self-Portrait 1

ELEVEN which illustrates the early stages of my August page.

TWELVE which shows the finished August page, titled Lughnasadh

THIRTEEN which shows the first steps for the September page.

FOURTEEN which shows the continuation of September's project.

FIFTEEN which shows the September project nearing completion.

SIXTEEN which shows the final stages and completed page for September, entitled Mabon/Sensei

SEVENTEEN, the post about October's beginnings.

EIGHTEEN, the post about October's progress.

, the rather hurried post with my not-quite finished page for October.

TWENTY, the post which shows the finished October page, entitled Water/The Undine

wherein we see the completed page for November, entitled Samhain/Day of the Dead.

TWENTY-TWO wherein, if one scrolls to the bottom of the post, one will find the beginning of the page for December.

TWENTY-THREE, wherein we find the first update for the December page.

TWENTY-FOUR wherein we see the next update for December.

TWENTY-FIVE wherein we have the completed page for December, entitled Winter Solstice

TWENTY-SIX in which the January page makes a bit of a false start.

TWENTY-SEVEN wherein we chart the second stage of the January page.

TWENTY-EIGHT wherein we see the third stage of January's progress.

TWENTY-NINE wherein we see the completed January page, entitled Earth/Self-Portrait 2.

THIRTY, the post where I charted my progress by making a little movie. At the end of the post is the completed page for February, entitled Imbolc.

THIRTY-ONE, the post that shows the completed page for March, entitled Ostara.

THIRTY-TWO, in which the April page is shown completed. It is titled Air/The Sylph.

THIRTY-THREE, in which we see the finished page for May, entitled Beltane.

Now we come to it. How will the pages be displayed? As I mentioned, they are all interchangeable flaps for my "extra pocket" purse.

The link for the project itself is now defunct.

Oh. One last thing. That box I was working on to house the pages? Well, there was a bit of a kerfuffle there and the lunchbox had to be scrapped. The upshot is this: we're going on to Plan B. I used to make padded boxes, so with the remaining black leather, some mat board and an afternoon at my sewing machine, Something Other will be produced. And will be the subject, along with my final thoughts on the BJP, for another day.

EDIT: Here's a little shout-out to the nice folks at Jewelry & Beading, as well as Needlework/Craft Gossip.


Inspiration #22

This week's inspiration is a great website/blog called COLOURlovers - it's a supersized chunk of inspiration - I've avoided a whole pile of paperwork today by spending a few hours exploring this site with sketchbook in hand. Now, once again, I've got more ideas than time.

Work on finishing the BJP display bits continues apace. The lunchbox gets its shiny coat today, the purse WAS finished until I decided I didn't like the hardware I'd chosen - but that's a relatively simple matter to change out. The cover art has about 15% left to bead so I should wrap that up tonight. Looks like I'll be ahead of my deadline if nothing too horrid jumps up to derail me.

I finished the choker for my friend G - actually it's for her daughter who just graduated high school.

I loved the rhythm in the mix of matte and shiny black size 8s, so I put them together in a bangle bracelet I call
The Three Amigos:

I have a little bit of repair work to do on my old quilt (I made this quilt 35+ years ago) before I send it off to my son's family, then the decks are clear for the first time in over a year. These photos are a bit blurry, but you get the idea.

At last! I can get into the design process for a themed collection I've been stashing for - desert sunset color schemes - I can't wait!!


But Wait!! There's MORE!!

The final page in my bead journal is Beltane, the May celebration of life bursting out. I used the symbolism of the scarab (self-creation), the spiraling shell (growth), and the butterfly (the soul) as emblems of the spring festival. The central figure is surrounded by the ribbons and flowers of the May pole.

And just when I thought I was actually finished with the BJP, I had this dream. I hate that, when I dream up more work for myself. I realized I still need to make a box to hold the pages. This would, of course, require "cover art".

This is one of my lunchboxes. This is the first stage with the base coat painted on. I'll be giving it another coat in a different color, then I'll be lining the box with black felt.

After I painted on the base coat, I thought - jeez, I hope they all fit in there - and they do!

So this will be the absolutely-positively-finally final page I do for the BJP 2007.

I think.

Also, I still need to make the purse for which all these pages are to be interchangeable flaps. I'm shooting for a done-and-done date of 15 June.