Friday, February 5, 2010

The Bead Journal Project 2010


After avidly watching the goings on in The Bead Journal Projects 2008 and 2009, organized and masterfully led by Bead Artist Robin Atkins, I was most excited to join in on The Bead Journal Project 2010. This is a year long project that tasks each member with creating a beaded piece each month that meets our own specifications. This is a journal project including beads for ourselves.
The simple rules are :
-a consistent format (anything that we choose-other members have chosen, beaded dolls, beaded buttons and beaded 2x2 squares)
-inclusion of beads
-posting of work on the Bead Journal Blog to share our process.

The components that I wanted to focus on for my project are:
-creating a body of work for myself
-creating pages for an eventual book of beaded projects
-4x6 portrait size pieces on a page size of 5x7
-reuse, rcycle, repurpose for a collage of media and textures
-inclusion of fiber and fabric techniques
-each month would document personally important themes , events etc

I did not want to tie myself to a very specific theme but keep things more open and less structured to avoid creating a stressful deadline situation.

I knew from the outset of the month that my piece would include my son Matthew's 18th birthday, snow, and the Blue Moon that occured on New Year's Eve. As the month progressed and other events occured, such as the tragedy in Haiti, my resolve to create my page wavered and I almost quit before I had even started!!
Should I change my focus? Should I not even begin? Was I taking on too much and simply overwhelming my art committment load for the year? Yes, the doubts came flooding in.

Then I read Robin Atkin's post about her January project and I realized that these sorts of issues usually build up when faced with starting something. That was indeed my issue. I needed to simply S-T-A-R-T. Blank Canvas Syndrome had set in and if I could FOCUS and get something started, I would be fine.


The very important milestone of my Eldest Child's 18th Birthday is represented by a total of 18 beads on this needle felted, fulled cashmere background. There are three stars in the sky and 13 pearls tucked into the fleece "snow". A vintage gray Mother of Pearl button has become the New Year's Eve Blue Moon.



I have used supplies that I have collected from my overflowing stash and I have repurposed a thrift store cashmere sweater for my background. I have accomplished my first page in the project. The canvas of this project is no longer blank, I have begun!

I am working on collecting my thoughts for my February Page and I am sure that this month will flow much more easily and will include more bead work. For now I am very pleased that I was able to follow through and I am pleased with the simplicity of my first effort. I know that I can create very complicated encrusted beadwork, but to honor this January and the event of Matthew's birthday, this piece is very appropriate.

Stay tuned for my February Journal piece!!!


21 comments:

Kali said...

It's so soft and delicate, and I love the story behind the number of beads. Simplicity is under-rated, I think. Sometimes it's not about figuring out what should go into one's work, but what should stay out of it. :)

Carol said...

Hi Elizabeth
This piece was perfect! Simple, yet perfect. Eighteen beads! Very easy, yet represents what you wanted to incorporate into the piece.

Glad you joined the group.
Carol

Judy said...

brilliant!

xo

abeadlady said...

Absolutely love it! The soft tones and simplicity are wonderful. You are right. Sometimes it's about what you leave out.

a2susan said...

My first piece from last year was called "Blank Slate," because I felt like I was just looking at a blank slate (canvas) and couldn't get past the space. But once you put the first bead on, things start happening. I really like your piece and that it represents your son's age, an age of transition for an 18 year old - and his parents!

Susan

Carol Creech said...

This is beautiful! I love the simplicity of it and especially the meaning behind the piece. And even more important is that you DID it. It's so easy to get stressed about things and not even start a project. Congratulations on making yourself move forward amidst the chaos and creating such a meaningful piece.

Marilyn Rock said...

Love the symbolism with this piece. Beautiful!

Liz said...

Wonderful piece! I'm so glad you stuck with your initial goals because you met them brilliantly. Sometimes we get caught up in doing MORE when the real answer is stop when you are happy.

Sweetpea said...

I love the repurposing of that cashmere sweater and, as others have said, the divine simplicity of it all with only 18 beads...

We are all so lucky to have a *mentor* like Robin, I think, because she is so open about her process that when we read about how she makes her way, we sigh a huge sigh of "YES!" in recognition. And somehow we know that we can make it, too -- just what you are doing!!

Magpie Sue said...

Hurray for you, working through the fear! And you made a lovely piece too. I also love its' simplicity and meeaning for you. You're off to a great start :- )

Anna said...

I really do think getting started is the hardest thing....I absolutely love the "Scatter Joy" piece you used for your banner. The colors....and the sentiment.

Barbara said...

Sometimes simple is best. It's lovely.

Lisa Criswell / Indigo's Beads said...

simple but so much meaning. very nicely done.

Mary K. McGraw said...

Great story and symbolism. I always have a problem getting started, but once you do it always come together.
mk

Trina said...

Wow, Elizabeth, you are really turining out the work! I love, love, love you new banner image at the top of your blog ... that's along the lines of the painted canvas/stitched thing I'm starting to work on. PS - I like Kali's comment about simplicity ... sometimes I think we feel we have to keep adding and layering, but sometimes it's better not to ...

Julie said...

Have fun on your beading journey this year, this is a lovely starting piece and full of memories too. Robin's Bead Journal Project is what started me on my fibre journey, although I never officially joined in.

PS Every time I see your header I want to rush off and play :o)) It's so happy looking!

Robin said...

Turn about, fair play... Now your post and your spirit are inspiring ME. Until today, reading your post, my February piece is a blank canvas (more like a black hole). Thank you for turning me around!!! I vow to walk away from this computer as soon as this comment is sent and START my piece. Besides that, just as the others have said, your January piece is wonderful. I want to touch it, pet it, rub it on my cheek. Isn't that a gift?! Robin A.

The Lone Beader said...

I wrote a post entitled Fear of a Blank Canvas a few years back. I know all about that! Good luck!

Julie said...

I love the symbolism in your piece. The simplicity is great. Julie C

Terri said...

A breath of fresh air! Exquisitely zen in every way. I totally needed to see this! I am slinging beads from the opposite side of the spectrum, and your piece exsudes so much serenity. I just finished my Feb today and seeing your work actually prompted me to exhale, relax, and let go. I didnt realize I was still holding so much tension in my body. Thank you for posting!
Peace T.

Sharon M said...

All I can say is Wow! How can such a simple piece be so stunningly beautiful and hold so much meaning? You just taught me a lesson I need to learn. Sometimes less is more! Thank you for sharing.

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