Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hi everyone!

I'm Connie and I live in Washington state. This is my first year with BJP. I've done a some beading and a little bead embroidery, though not much.

I'm still trying to decide on a size. I need to keep it fairly small or I will never get anything finished. Tomorrow is Jan. 1, so I better decide!

Connie M.

Hello and Happy New Year

I'm new to the BJP; I kept an eye on things last year, and this year I'm signed up and mostly ready . . . I'm a dollmaker, not a beader per se (I've never made any strung or woven jewelry). I just sew beads onto dolls and pins. I've decided on a size—2 1/2 x 3 1/2, ATC size—that should give me enough room to do something, but not so much as to be overwhelming. I haven't chosen a subject yet; I'll be considering that in the next few days.

I'm very glad to be here, and looking forward to seeing what everyone does!

anita (kirbanita)

How to list my blog?

I started a blog so I can share what I am doing with the Journal Project and other artistic ventures. I am not sure how to add my blog to the list on the left side of our page. Or is that done by an administrator? My blog Beth Handley: Art and Life.
Thanks for looking and for your help.
My name is Rae a.k.a Trinisunshine and I live in Toronto, Canada. I'm originally from Trinidad and Tobago and my pieces usually reflect some aspect of life in the tropics. The Bead Journal Project is an excellent way to use some of my beads in a different way. My thing is that I only have one neck so how many necklaces can I wear? Yeah I know more than one but I want to do more than that. So BJP here I come.

2010 BJP Member Pic

I made up this BJP member pic for 2010 and thought I'd put it up in case anyone else would like to use it. I did it on Photoshop without really knowing what I was doing, but I think it turned out okay...

Also, I noticed that the sidebar link to my blog (Lois Buhalis) leads to... nowhere. That probably isn't right, but it does preserve my air of mystery. Is it possible for it to be changed to read Lois2037 instead? If not, that's okay. I don't want to make extra work for our heroic Web Site General.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hello Everyone

Hi, I'm from Australia. This is my first time doing the BJP. I've done some beading before. I'm really looking forward to doing the BJP to challenge myself and connect with new friends.

For the BJP I'm thinking that I will do a small artquilt with beading on it which will depict something that is going on in my life or influencing me during the month. I will probably incorporate other things like collage and embroidery into the pieces too. I'm not sure of the size yet but will keep it smallish so I can keep up.


Question About Backing

Hi All,

I'm planning my project and have been wondering about backing, Peltex, interleaving paper. How and when should I use it?

My experience with beading so far has been beading on felt, which I thought worked really well, but I'm thinking I might try something else for my BJP. I'm so new at this I thought I would ask.

If you use ultrasuede would you use backing?

Thanks for your help!


Was feelin a little lacking in the creative department and thus feeling kinda blue all day the other day. Then I thought of a book I have on my shelf that I actually have never read yet 'Women Who Run Witn the Wolves' by Clarissa Estes. BANG! POP! YERRRR! PUSCHHHH! BOOM! Does that read like fireworks? Chuckle.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Ideas for backing?

I have a question. I see most people gravitate towards embroidering beads rather than weaving or looming or ?. I plan on embroidering as well and will most likely do a 4x6 or 6x6. What is the best substrate to use? I couldn't find any Lacy's Stiff Stuff so I got that stiff felt type stuff. I also bought a 28 count cross stitch fabric and a hoop. Any suggestions or advice?



Am a newbie to BJP with some experience in beading, mostly years ago using structured kits. Am a newbie to "freedom of creativity" having made only one art quilt and it with a bit of beading. Have not chosen a shape or size yet. Am looking forward to stretching my brain, learning more about beading, and getting to know kindred spirits.

Double Infinity - a decision has been made!

I can relate to all the entries where people are trying to decide what method to their madness they intend to follow this year!

Last year i did 4x4 squares and can remember not knowing how to back them or do the picot stitch to edge them! But by time the year was halfway through I was really looking forward to the finishing of my squares. The edging really acts to bring the piece to completion for me.

For this year, i have been back and forth trying to decide what shape. At first i was going to cover 1 1/2 inch buttons i have in my stash (!), but felt their size wouldn't allow 'journaling' to be expressed. I'll save them for when i want to do some pretty beading only:) Then i moved onto 4" circles, but that seemed a bit too large, and the 'what to do with them when they're done' phobia crept in. (My panels from last year are on my wall and i just love looking at them, but i have no more wall space left and i just redid my craft room...oh how the mind rambles sometimes!) Then i though a half circle would be great since i really don't feel whole (and hence the need to journal.) The idea of being able to create fringe on the curve gave this idea a big 'wow factor', but then the whole idea of orientation - can i have the flat side on top one month, but on the side the next - brought it to an end. Next, the idea of jar lids where i could put little notes in the jars seemed a possibility which then morphed into little 'mushroom caps' which would allow for some cool fringe work (which i have no idea how to do!!)

So...i have decide to use size 100 (2 1/2") half-dome button covers. I really don't know where they will end up, but i kindof see a little garden sprouting?? But we will have to wait and see! Perhaps they'll have fringe, but maybe not. Perhaps i'll make 12 smiley faces. Have I ever used a button cover - nope. I'm used to beading on stiff stuff but think i might need to move on to interleaving paper so i can get the proper curve.

Can't wait until the kiddos go back to school so i can revisit by bead stash and get started...

Thanks for having me.

Hi Everyone,
I'm new to BJP and very happy to be here. I have only done one free form bead embroidery in my beading life so this will be an interesting journey for me. I joined based on two phrases; the words "it just has to have some beads on it" and "expressing feelings". Not a direct quote, but what I got from it (or wanted to get from it). Thank you for the opportunity and looking forward to this BJP year! -Marlene Brady of It's All About Creating

Sunday, December 27, 2009

"Wirth Beading" Checking In!

Hi there!
I am Debi and live in Sun City West, AZ.
This is my first year with the BJP, and I'm a
bit nervous/excited.  I guess it's the unknown
that's got me.  Anyway, I have been beading for almost
10 years.  Beading on fabric has grabbed my curiosity
for some time now, yet I hadn't any real push to try it
until I came across Robin Atkins' site and read about the Project!
There are no coincidences, so here I go!

I look forward to reading about all of you and hope to
become bead buddies with some if possible.

Until next time...
Debi W.

My blog address isn't coming up correctly
when I click my name on the list of BJP artists...
Here it is again:

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy to be back

Hello, "old" Participants and Newcomers,

I am so glad that I slipped into the BJP 2010 at almost the last second and thus am with you again.

Unfortunately, my Journal Darling Dolls of BJP 08 are not complete yet, but eventually they will all be in existence. (For that matter, I haven't even improved my rather sketchy blog yet, but never mind that for the time being.) This year I am going to do something less work-intensive than the dolls, but apart from that my heart will be in it again, and I am very much looking forward to joining the extraordinary BJP community once more.

See you, and my best wishes to all of you for the coming year.

Sabine from Germany

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I feel like I am in front of a blank canvas and not quite sure where to start. I have a fear that I will try to do or say too much with and get all gaudy and convoluted, then frusterated... or the opposite - it's boring and here I have invested all this time into something that's boring. Does this sound like a fear of taking risks? Funny since I have always been such a risk taker in other areas of my life. How have others dealt with fears of taking risks in their art? Any exercises or affirmations or quotes come to mind?
lisa owens-hoy

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I'm very inspired to be a part of the Bead Journal Project and also to be in such pleasant company as the others posting on this blog. I'm an artist with a passion for beading and I'm looking forward to creating the journal pieces, learning all I can from the experience and from the other participants, and growing as a bead artist. This is the first time I have participated, and I would call myself an experienced bead artist but not an expert, always learning.

Above is the most ambitious bead embroidery project I have done, which was an entry in the 2008 Bra Dazzler art show here in Juneau Alaska. I absolutely loved creating it. The beaded imagery is 7 x 7.5 and has some collage elements. There are a few things I would do differently if I did it over again, but it was so satisfying to do it.

I'm looking forward to getting started and doing the work.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I am jumping in to this project with much anticipation. Still have no idea where I am going to start but that is the beauty of art. Yikes. I look forward to this. I am an experienced beader. Mostly weaving such as peyote, right-angle weave, celini spiral, cabachons. I have never embroidered with beads. I am happy to be here!
lisa owens-hoy

Monday, December 21, 2009

Hello everyone!

I'm new to the BJP and new to beading on fabric. I've made jewelry and have done net beading on to glass ornaments/objects. I just recently finished my very first bead embroidery for a Christmas present and I have to say I am hooked! I've bounced around teaching myself all kinds of crafts over the years, so I am really looking forward to learning about different beading techniques.
Looking forward to the new year getting to know everyone and seeing all the creativity!

I haven't decided if I'm going to try a theme for the year or just see what each month brings or what size/shape to go with even. Still trying to figure out the visual journaling thing, how to change words in to images is going to be a challenge for me I think. I do want to be able to display them in groups at the end of the year in shallow shadow boxes, it's the first time I've really wanted to be able to display art I've made on my own walls.
Stacie B.

Mod note: Could I get my blog site address changed to ""? Thank you!
Hi. I am a first time BJPer, but not new to beading. My passion is crazy quilting. I am also a beadaholic, I have more than I will ever know what to do with. But then is it really possible to have TOO many beads?
For the last couple of years my husband Tommy and I have been following the BPJs. He is my number one supporter, my rock, my creative muse, and my souldmate all rolled into one. He encouraged me to do this year's project. He was even planning on designing some of the blocks for me to bead. He passed away very unexpectedly on October 29th. I am not sure I will ever recover from that. I am going to use the BPJ to work through my grief (or try to). My project is going to highlight our lives together and our love.
I look forward to following everyone's progress and watching as your creativity takes wing.

Mary L.

Hi Everyone

I'm so excited to be here. I'm new to the Bead Journal Project and new to beading. I can't wait to get started. I have no idea what I'm doing yet, but I can't wait to learn.

I'm looking forward to getting to know you, making new friends and learn about beading. All of the previous Bead Journal entries are wonderfully creative and inspiring. I'm so happy to be part of this new year!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hi Everyone

I am back! Going to do one more year. Welcome to everyone new here and hi to everyone returning. I haven't settled on a size or anything else yet. I've got ideas. We'll see how it goes.

2010 Here I come!

Hello all- I am new to this project and am really looking forward to the new inspiration that the BJP will bring to my creative work. I am a textile artist who works in a variety of techniques. I have added beads to knitting projects (my wedding dress), to free-motion machine and hand embroidery work, felting projects, jewelry and more. I'm still mulling over my format for the project, but I think I would like to continue to explore the use of beads in a variety of techniques, within the parameters of a set dimension. I look forward to the challenge of blogging about my progress and adding this topic to my current blog. I also can't wait to learn more about the other BJP artists and to be inspired by their talent and creativity!

Pam P.

Hello from Canada!

Hi everyone!

I am a newcomer to this project and I am very excited to be part of it!

I am a recent beader. I have attended a 2 day beading workshop last november and I fell in love with beading. Yesterday, I have completed the last of the 3 samples started at the workshop.

I am very happy to start this adventure and get to know all of you. I have discovered this project very very recently (meaning a few days!), so I have not decided yet what I will be working on.

Talk to you soon!


Val-des-Monts, Québec - Canada



I'm new to beading and to the Bead Journal Project. I am totally entranced by seed beads and am really looking forward to participating in the project. I love the style of encrusting a whole piece, so I may try a very small format this year to see how it goes. I'm already inspired by what I saw from previous Bead Journal Projects and look forward to seeing how everyone else approaches it as the year goes by!
Carol Creech

A Lover of Beads

Hi, I'm new to the project but not new to beading. I've made lots of necklaces, six strands are my favorite type. I've also added beads to smocking and a piece of crazy quilting. My latest project was to bead the Alencon lace skirt of my daughter's wedding gown and bolero with over 2,000 Swarovski crystals. To improve my skills with quilting and beading, I am taking a seminar with Thom Atkins from March 7-12 in California. I'm looking forward to participating in this project to further explore beading. Gita/Gigi

Here goes!

Hi, I'm a newbie here, finally moving from observing to participating. I jumped on board at the last minute and am hoping I didn't bite off more than I can chew. I have been a beader for about 5 years, starting out as embellishments for quilts and on to weaving and stringing jewelry. The past 6 months I've been watching and drooling over the many beautiful pieces displayed and wishing I were a part of such creativity. So-----here I am. I look forward to learning new technics and stretching my creativity.
Vickie A-Morgan

Ready to begin again - Double Infinity

Hi there. This is Double Infinity / angiemerie/ Lynn Lytle from Katy Texas. Somehow i just got in for the next round and am feeling a little apprehensive. Last year was my first BJP and i did all 12 4x4 which are now hanging on my wall. When i look at them i can't believe i made them myself with no instructions! Learning to listen to and work with your internal muse can be difficult with an 8 and 9 year old, 2 dogs, and 1 cat - not to mention a husband! But i so enjoyed the process last year - i need to get back in that groove again! I haven't done any beading since my August panel, but i've got a few ideas. Can't wait to see what happens. TTYL...

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Hi Everyone,
I am a newbie this year too and super excited! I have found and follow a few participants from last year and I decided to take the plunge and join in this time. I have been beading for over 5 years but have never really done bead embroidery. I am looking forward to expanding my skill set and I have a few ideas in mind for what I want to do. Can't wait to get started and to see all the cool new journals this year!
Jax in CA :)

Hello all!

I am new to the Bead journal Project. I've been beading for about 10 years. Bead embroidery is something I've done bits of here and there. This looks to me to be a great way to stretch my skills in beading, design, color, etc. I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you through your posts, learning about your growth (and mine) and the hurdles we must overcome as we grow, and most of all seeing all the beautiful and amazing bewdwork that will be created.

To the Moderator

I made a few changes since registering. Could you please change the link to my blog to be:

And I would prefer that you display my online name: Seonaid, rather than my full name.

Thank you.

I'm Baaaaak...!

2009... could have been better. I can't think of a finer way to welcome 2010 than rejoining this wonderful project. I'll be working in the ever-popular (with me, anyway) 3" X 3" square size, which I will mount in some interesting way and/or frame at the end of the year. My progress will be posted on my blog and our Flickr page.

This is going to be fun. I can't wait to see what comes next!

Lois2037 (formerly LoisB)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Welcome Everyone to the 2010 Bead Journal Project

We begin the third year of the BJP with 287 members, many of whom are returning to the project after participating in either or both of the previous years! A special warm welcome to our new members! For you, it may seem bewildering or even a little scary. Not to worry, you’ll soon find your groove. The BJP blogs will help, as you can post questions here any time.

To both returning and new members, please read the following guidelines! I believe they will help us all to stick with our commitment to this one-year project!

Relax and have fun with it! Bend the rules a little if you need to. The commitment you’ve made is 100% for YOU, for your own benefit and enjoyment. So, each month, as you begin your piece, try to please yourself… not me, not the other members, not your beady friends… YOU!

There are only three basic rules… A. Make one piece a month. B. Include some beads on each piece. C. Make all 12 of your pieces the same size/shape.

If your initial plan/idea doesn’t work for you, change it! In the past two years, I notice some members dropping out because their plan/idea was too ambitious or sometimes because it suited the first few months but didn’t fit well after that. You are free to make changes anytime during the year.

You don’t have to apply a theme to your work, although some find working with a theme very compelling. But, if you start with a theme and later get tired of it, feel free to let it go at any time.
Consistency will naturally happen. You do not have to strive for it. Actually, it’s not a problem at all if your work seems inconsistent!

The BJP is non-competitive! Each and every piece is valid. Each and every piece has merit. Each and every piece is an important step in your personal development as an artist and craftsperson. Each and every piece is an accomplishment! We are a supportive group, encouraging each member to do what works for them in the best way they can. Try to look at your own work with the same non-judgmental eyes that you would use for the work of others in the project.

There are no BJP police! You don’t have to post pictures. You do not have to report to anybody that you finished your piece each month. You can bend the size rule (that all 12 pieces should be the same size and shape) if it will keep you active in the project. Although we encourage you to do one piece per month, you can start a month’s piece early, do two in one month, skip a month… again, whatever it takes to keep yourself active.

There are many possibilities to explore each month! You might try visual journaling or telling the story of your life during this month in a visual way. You might set yourself a learning goal, such as to try one new technique each month. You might consider using your BJP pieces to “get out of the box” and experiment with colors, design and/or style. You are free to set your own goals for the year’s work, if you wish.

If you’re looking for inspiration, I suggest looking at the member pages on the BJP website, here and here. You are eligible to have your own member page when you have completed 8 pieces for this year. Also, I posted pictures of 42 of my favorite pieces from last year’s BJP on my blog, here.

Don’t stress about finishing… about how you will finish each month’s piece or what you will do with the year’s work. Some members have a clear idea of what they want to make with their pieces at the end of the year; many do not know at all. Some will create a wall hanging or a book-like assemblage, while others may not make anything at all with their pieces. Either way is fine. Remember, the real payoff of this work is doing it each month!

You are not required to have a personal blog or website. You don’t even have to take pictures of your finished pieces. All of that is voluntary. However, it’s my impression that those who do post about their BJP experiences and progress on a personal blog seem to develop a wonderful sense of support and community with other BJP members. So, although it’s not required, I do encourage you to give blogging a try.

The BJP blogs are your link to the group! We do have a few guidelines about the blogs as follows:

1. We have three BJP blogs because Blogger limits every group-blog to a maximum of 100 authors. To accommodate all of us, we have divided the group into three equal sub-groups. You are assigned to one sub-group and are able to write a post on that blog only. However, I encourage you to follow and read all three blogs!

2. All posts must be relevant to the BJP. In other words, please don’t post text or pictures about other beadwork you are doing on the BJP blogs. However, when you believe it would be of interest to most BJP members, you may post a sentence or two about a non-BJP topic and a link to a post about that topic on your own personal blog.

3. Please do not post pictures of your monthly pieces on the BJP blogs until after April 1st. The reason for this is that some members prefer not to be influenced by other member’s work until after their own style is set a little. You are welcome to post pictures on your own blog (if you have one) or on our Flickr page at any time. During the first three months, you are welcome to post a link on the BJP blogs to pictures posted elsewhere so that those members who are non concerned about being influenced can take a look. After April l, you may post pictures of your BJP pieces here on the BJP blogs.

4. Please, no movies or sound on the BJP blogs! We want to keep it easy and fast to download. Also, since we’ll have well over 1,000 posts by the end of the year, we have to be mindful of Bloggers “space limits.”

That’s about it, folks! Thanks for taking the time to read through these guidelines. If you have any questions, feel free to post them on the BJP blog or email them to me. Now it’s time to pick up some beads and get started!

Again, welcome everyone! I am in awe of you all for making this commitment and I totally look forward to getting to know you and seeing your BJP pieces!

Beadily yours,

Robin Atkins
Founder of the BJP