Sunday, January 31, 2010

January in Progress

I had a "detour" and had to leave town for a week and a half, so my January piece is still in the process. I have worked a lot since I got home and made some strides, I put a progress photo up on my blog today. I hope to get it caught up and I'm thinking about February. I'll probably work on them both simultaneously.

I thought I would ask if anyone uses products or lighting or techniques that help with vision. I've had some vision problems and I purchased an Ott light with a magnifier on it this weekend. I think it is great, there is even more concentrated light in the area where I bead, and I can use the magnifier to look at detail and it make threading these tiny needles so much easier. I'll be curious to hear of any ideas for handling less than perfect vision.


Give me your thoughts please

Ok, I've been working on a beaded doll in between the BJP pages and have posted progress photos etc.

I'd like to get some opinions, thoughts, tips... whatever any one would like to say on it. If you have any hints on how I could be doing this easier, or if there is an easier way to start... i.e. leave the larger beads for last, work from the bottom to the top or vice versa, use a certain type of stitch to get around in certain areas is easier... I'm all ears.

I guess basically I'd like to get some input to find out what tricks or tips more experienced beaders have used on dolls etc for some "food for thought".
Thank you in advance!


I finished my Jan 2010 piece, take a look. Julie C
Well, I'm extremely new at doing this but plucked up the courage to have a go and I couldn't think of a theme but, in the end, I've chosen my theme as "Women of Myth". My January project, which I'm still working on, is entitled 'Sea Siren'. I'll post a pic on my blog when it's finished. Hopefully, it will work out okay!

Friday, January 29, 2010

My January Page is Done

Here's a detail. The entire piece can be seen at my blog. I had a lot of fun with this one, though did a lot of reworking and editing. It's all about setting my energies for this calendar year and bringing in joy and abundance.

-- Lois2037

Photoshop Class...

Hi BJPers and CONGRATS on all the finished pieces!!!!! You are sooooooooo fine!!!! I'm almost there... maybe today.

Thought you might want to know... One of our members, Christi C. (Sweetpea Path) has signed up to take an on-line Photoshop class, here. It still has openings.

Today I spent some time reading about the class, looking at the instuctor's (Susan Tuttle) blog, Susan's Flickr page and some of her students' work on Flickr. It looks to me like her class would offer individual attention, flexibility and basic training in photo editing using either Photoshop Elements or Photoshop CS. She says that a free, current version of Photoshop Elements is available to students to download for the class. It's a trial offer by Photoshop, so you don't get to keep it forever, but it means you could try it for the class and see if you like it.

Maybe one (or more?!) of you wants to join Christi in the class???!!!!

Cheers and have fun with February!

Robin A.

January is finished!

After a lot of thinking and planning, I decided to go with two of my loves, clothes and beads. I combined these two areas and will hopefully make some type of beaded outfit for one of my American Girl Dolls and write a short story to accompany the outfit each month. My doll's name is Samantha and she lives and works in Washington, D.C. She was invited by her boss to a Chinese New Year's Party and chose to wear this outfit.
The top is made of brocade and trimmed in silk charmuse and the pants are made of the silk fabric to match the trim. I beaded the belt with crystals and #11 seed beads to coordinate with the brocade fabric. I'd love for you to check out my blog, and comment on this project or any others on my site. Thank you all.

Found a site for Creative Women!

So, I found this magazine last month and have just now started checking out their website
and Blog.  This is very interesting for all of us who create and I just thought it would possibly inspire some or at least give them a break fro their Journal Pages but staying
in the mode.
Hope you enjoy!

Debi W.  

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tip for Bead Journal Work!

Hello all...
So, I wrote on my Blog that I had some issues the last week or so concerning pain and my working on my January BJP... I have since pretty much recovered and am back to work...Yea!
Now... I have discovered a little ditty that some of you may or may not already know.  I am putting down some of the next color/area of beads that I want to do, and before I actually start sewing on the beads, I just place them where I think I want them and take a photo with my IPhone, then email it to myself on my computer to get a BIGGER picture...te he..I made a funny!!  ;-)
Anyway, this is working out very well for me.   I sure wish I'd know about it earlier because I have pulled out a few different areas where I just could not stand the colors when I finished!
I will post a photo of what I mean on my Blog.
I think I should be finished with my January piece next week, so I can get going on February right away.  I am just loving this experience!
Thank you Robin for such a wonderful gift to all of us out there who are happily beading away every day!

Until later...
Debi W. (Wirthbeading)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January Bead Journal is Done

And I have been remiss with the blogging. One of my New Years resolutions was to blog at least once a week.  Well, I flubbed that one already.

Here is my quickie blog entry about January's Bead project: Blog  I haven't started February's project yet.   I haven't put any thought into it yet, other than RED.

I seem to have too many projects going at once and  I don't seem to be finishing any of them. I'm trying to focus on finishing some things before I start anything else.

The beads seem to know!! Double Infinity

As mentioned previously, I have already started work on February. Gotta work when the muse call, right? Anyway, an issue I have faced in the past is how to incorporate the 'journal' aspect of this project. Last year I spent a lot of time and thought before i started beading and i'm sure than when i'm 100 year old i will still know which piece corresponds to which month :) This year, I am doing encrusted buttons and have been trying to bead improvisationally - as Robin so teaches. Well, I am nearly 80% done when I rotated my Febraury piece in my hand and - wholla - it looked just like a heart!!! Somehow - the beads knew that February and hearts go together and they directed my stitching to produce one! Just had to let everyone know - it was such an ah-ha moment for me!

Feb's Piece is Posted

I was a bit gabby today on the 'ole blog, but I got 5 quick photos posted if you get a chance to take a look. It's a start anyway.-Marlene

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January's beading is finished!!!

I finished January beading almost three weeks ago and started February's around the same time. I haven't done a thing for almost two weeks because other duties keep calling my name.

I've some sewing I want to get out of the way then I'll resume. Got to get cracking though because I still have the Toronto Bead Society's project to do that's due in March. But it's all about creativity and creating so I'm having a great time.

So BJP gang I haven't been blogging but I read your blogs sometimes and enjoy what I read and see. Keep creating and have fun.

January - finished

Hi everyone - I've finished my January piece and posted it to my blog, if you would like to take a peek. It is improvisational beading, encrusted, and about 3.25 X 4.50 inches, so fairly small. I'm pretty pleased with it, but I did have trouble during the process of not liking where it was going, so I kept pulling things out and starting in another spot, etc. Perhaps it wasn't quite as improvisational as I had hoped! Anyway, hope you enjoy it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

January's done - the PERFECT choice - Double Infinity

I finished my January button and am quite pleased with the results. I did have to ask Robin just how she gets the backs on those half-dome buttons. It seems i should have done a running stitch to gather the fabric before i put the back on. As with my last year project, i'm sure things will get easier as i go along!

I am really happy with the format i choose. I wanted something i could hold in my hand, with dimension, that could be encrusted and that i could finish quickly! WHY? Because I have so many other projects just waiting to done, as well as a big house to clean and 20 pounds to lose :)

I already started February last night and can't wait to get back to it SOMETIME today!

No blog - YET... - but i'll post it on FLICKR so you can take a peek if you'd like.

OR - simply CLICK on the FLICKR logo on the left hand side of this blog page, under the IMPORTANT BJP LINKS, and you will go there directly - hope this helps get you there!!

FYI: as previously mentioned I am using size 100 - about 2 1/2, half-dome dritz buttons. They were the largest size i was able to locate when deciding on a form for my project this year :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

making your name your blog link

so how do you go about making your name on the sidebar go to your blog? I love clicking on everyones link but we seem to have a bunch that aren't links yet.

Thank you

There have been a number of very kind comments on bead journal project posted on my blog. 
You are all so kind and I really appreciate it. 
A couple of people asked about the background and I couldn't find a way to communicate with them so I hope its okay to post my answer here.
The background is fabric that has been treated with puff paint and glitter.  I applied the paint and then the glitter and then heated the paint to make it puff up.
warm regards

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I have finished my Jan. journal page

I have to say that I have a lot to learn about beading.  This is the right place to learn then isn't it?  If you want to take a peek at what I did you can see it here

warm regards

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Not a very good start for 2010...

Well, 2010 didn't bring much happy inspirations, so far...
Lots of tragedies and things going wrong at the moment, I can tell you that going to 2 funerals in 2 weeks is not good for creating beadwork.
So, I haven't made anything yet. I am going to, but a little later then January. I am planning on making something to honor the people who passed on this month, but now, it's all a little bit too fresh.

However, I do have a plan in my head how I am going to make my monthly beaded journal! I think it's going to be fun!

I did it....

I have a confession to make.....I finished my BJP 2 weeks ago and havent posted it until are welcome to see in on my blog.

January is Finished

"Sequins and Fringe" is done. If you get time, check it out on my blog. I learned a lot along the way (again, much like life). Now, what to do for February........

Monday, January 18, 2010

Finished for January

I finished my January piece tonight. I love seeing every one's efforts, so much creativity and differing styles.

My first little tootsie...

Here it January "foot"...

as a licensed massage therapist I decided to do feet...I started some hands and decided that they needed feet to here is the first foot to match the hand I'd already done...

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I'm having a lot of fun on my January piece. It is a lace knitted pentagon created with white DMC cotton and silver beads. Please check out my progress at my BLOG! Now I'm off to knit with my Sunday afternoon knitting group....hoping to finish my piece today!

~pam p.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

After I figured out that we post pictures on a separate blog, I finally got mine up and going:
Beth M

Bog is up I have no clue how to do the fancy stuff with the url, but you can see the January pocket and the beginnings of February's. I've loved looking at everyone's progress and successes!

Friday, January 15, 2010

BJP Wednesdays

Hi Everyone,
I settled on a 2x6" piece that I will fold in half. Choosing the smaller size allows me to display them in a mixed media wall mosaic at the end of the year. I've chosen Wednesdays as my BJP posting day on my blog. My January piece is halfway done and includes some polymer clay and resin gloss encasing some sequins--check its progress each Wednesday. I try to post some of my art each day, but Wednesdays are now BJP day! I'm really having fun and love reading everyone's blogs. --Just bead, bead, beadin along--Marlene Brady (Its All About Creating)


Hi, Just a note to explain why I reposted my comments and edited my posts. I decided I wanted to keep my last name out on searchable domains. Nothing huge, I just don't want a future nurse manager or somebody googling my name. thx, lisa

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I've got a plan!

Yes, I know we are half-way through January already! I have decided my format. I am going to create my monthly pieces in a pentagon shape. Approximately 2 1/2 inches across. When I get all 12 finished I hope to assemble them into a dodecahedron! (think soccer ball shape) I hope to use a different beading technique for each of the pieces. I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone's beautiful work! I'll keep you posted on my progress at my blog.

~pam p.

Hi everyone!

Yikes! I am starting with a leap and plunge into some serious personal art journaling. It feels very cathartic and kind of scary... A visitor or two would feel uplifting. thebeadedlife

Started January

Good morning, everyone! I have begun my January piece and have posted a scan of it to my blog. It's so fun following everyone's progress and seeing the different ways people are approaching their work. I'm definitely going with a more spontaneous process -- seeing what color/shape interests me as I go along. Very fun and freeing! Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's for Joshua

I was about to put the last few stitches on January's piece, then an idea popped into my head. Why not dedicate it to Joshua, my two year old son who was born in January 2008 !!! I showed it to him and he said "It's beautiful."

When I mentioned it was for him, he kept saying " Want to hold it." Children are a real blessing and an inspiration, my little guy keeps me busy and fills me with so much joy. So I'll work on my idea ,for January is for Joshua.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Got a Little Sidetracked, but That's a GOOD Thing...

I fell heir to a very battered but perfectly working iPod. I've been spending time figuring out how it works (yay for downloadable manuals) and transferring lots and lots of music onto it. I have about 2,500 songs and spoken word items on it, and have used up maybe 1/16th of its capacity. It's been worth the time, because now I have many old favorites and new favorites close at hand and can work along to a fine supply of music that I like. I'm back working on January now, though, and enjoying it much. Having the music device has made the direction change a little, in ways I really like.

Just realized people are actually reading my blog! I have answered your kind comments there, finally, and I will pay more attention now.


Nothing so far today.

Yeah I'm here again and I haven't done a thing on my piece for the day. I'm the multitasking mama if you please. Yeah as I always say if you look up the definition of the word multitask in the dictionary you'll see the picture of a lady.

Sometime before the day ends I'll get to my piece.

Finally started!

I have really gone for the literal interpretation of winter for January - and it is working for me so far! You can see my tender beginnings on my blog if you like. It is inspiring to read how everyone is doing here. I sincerely do not know what the next move is on my piece.

Monday, January 11, 2010

This project is really exciting. I'm working on January's piece and it's alot of work but it brings great joy with each stitch. One of the greatest things for me is to be given the oportunity to do something creative each day of my life.

I've always believed in doing what I love now and not later because it makes my life more meaningful. Yes I'm doing it while I've the energy. This project is just another medium to facilitate my creativity.

So if I don't blog everyday, it's because I'm creating - I'm in my element.

An Added thought to My Post...

I won't post photos of my work on the More BJP 2010 Blog,
only on my own Blog...not to worry.
I just copy & pasted my post on both Blogs and a hurry
(as you see from the errors).
Sorry everyone! I will be more careful in the future
& take my time with my posts...
Have a safe & warm day!

Debi Wirth

January's bead Journal Finally Started!

So, I have finally started my January BJP, and I must say
I am have fun!  I did not use the color palette that I showed
in pictures in my last blog, I was using those colors in a
practice piece.  I am working in size 6"X9"...
OK, ok.   I know it's big, but I feel bigger is easier
& will give me space to explore. well, it sounds good, anyway.
I just started drawing i my sketchbook, which is 6X9,
and went from there.  Someone remind me
of my Bigger is easier" theory in a few months, PLEASE?
I have decided to take the words of a song I like
as my inspiration for each piece this year.  I love music
& wording is very important in my choices.  I was going through
some of the Blogs last week & found "PLAYLIST" on a couple,
and thrilled to find I could add it to my Blog, too!  I had so much
fun picking songs, that I spent more hours doing that instead of
working on my beading!  It was then I realized I needed to
incorporate the two.
So, this month's inspiration is the words to the song "The Climb",
 by Miley Cyrus...
Yes, she is quite young, but the words to that song can be
for any age, any time in life.
I will post photos when I am a bit further along...
my color choices or where I am at the moment are crucial.

Happy Beading everyone!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My first 3 pages are up on my blog  They are filled with so much love and so many memories of my beloved Tommy.  Each one just seems to demand to be made immediately.  I hope ya'll enjoy them.

First Post, First Project

I'm a first-time BJP participant, and am looking forward to a new challenge each month. I have done the beading on my January project, but the way I plan to finish the project will require a little more bead embroidery. As is so often the case in my designs, my final result looks nothing like my original concept!

My first journal entry

I am so excited to be participating in this project I can't stop beading. January is cold and snowy here so I chose blues and whites. The shapes represent some of the frozen shapes I see looking out the window. You can see it here: I welcome any and all comments.

My first Journal Project

My name is Miri. I live in Israel. I am new in this project. I will be grateful if you will visit my blog, where I introduced my first project. :)). To be honest, I started it in December 2009. I was so excited !!!!
If you visit my blog I will be more than grateful to read your comments.
Thank you all in advance,
Miri A.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Smoothing Out the Wrinkles ~ Blog Woes to be Resolved ASAP!

Hi BJPers!

As some of you know, we're having some wrinkles with the blogs this year. The issue is that we have close to 300 members, which means all three blogs are full to the maximum capacity. Initially we had the four angels and me as authors on all four blogs. We had to take ourselves off in order to make space for everyone.

Still there are wrinkles... we don't have a final "Authors List" for Blog #1 yet. Also there are a few of you who still haven't responded to your invitation to be an author.

Good news... YOU can help!!!

1. If you wish to write posts (be an author) on one of the BJP blogs, but do not yet have authorization, please contact me... robin [at] robinatkins [dot] com. Give me your name (plus any aka names you use for blogging), your email address (the one you want to use for the invitation), your city and state/country. For the subject of your email, use "BJP - blog author problem". I will make sure to re-send your invitation.

2. If you are listed incorrectly on Blog #2 or #3 "Authors List," please contact me... robin [at] robinatkins [dot] com. Give me your name and the correction you wish to have us make. For the subject of your email, use "BJP - blog author listing correction"

3. If you are on Blog #1, please be patient with us a little longer. We'll try to get the "Author List" posted as soon as we can.

4. If you are double listed or even more importantly, if you are authorized to write posts on more that one of the BJP blogs, please contact me... robin [at] robinatkins [dot] com. Give me your name (plus any aka names you use for blogging), and explain the double listing. For the subject of your email, use "BJP - double listing"

Thanks so much!!! We understand how important it is to be able to post! In the meantime, have fun with your January BJP and reading all the fascinating posts here!

Robin A.

Intro and contributor list

Hi all, my name is Andrea Adams. I participated in the 2007-2008 BJP, and it was a great experience for me ...  several years prior to that, my beadwork had somehow slipped to a back burner of my life. I knew that I missed it - maybe even needed it on some level - but I could never seem to make time for it. That said, my beaded journal became a powerful tool for reconnecting with my craft. By making a commitment to bead regularly and without judgment, I began to remember how vital my creativity - and particularly my beadwork practice - is to my growth,  sanity and well being.

I signed up for the 2008-2009 BJP, but the timing ended up being challenging. The project started in fall, which is typically an extremely busy (read: crazy!) time  for me since I'm a mask-maker.  I also returned to school for the first time in 20 years ... annndd like so many other Americans, my partner lost his job and we found ourselves struggling and juggling to get by. It was probably mid-spring before our life settled down and I was able to admit to myself that there was no way that I could "catch up on" or complete my journal pages without totally stressing myself out. Stress is counter to what this project means for me, so I decided let it go.

Things have balanced out over the last year, and I feel like I have the time and energy to commit to this again. I have some general ideas for themes that I want to explore, but I'm also open to seeing where it takes me. I can be a bit of a hermit, but I do enjoy seeing and reading about other BJP-er's process. I'm going to try to post more than I have in the past, but no promises there ;) You're welcome to keep up with my on my whimsically updated blog as well.

Best wishes to all for a creative and enjoyable year ahead

PS. May I please be included on the contributor's list too?

Let Bead Life Begin

I've decided that my BJP will be a puzzle. I took a 11x14 piece of cardstock and cut it into 12 irregular shapes, approx. the same size, for patterns. Then I will bead one piece a month, choosing a color pallet and let the beads show me where to put them. When finished I will have a beaded puzzle showing bits and pieces of my "beading life" for 2010. You can check out my blog for some of my beading practice.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Could I be added to the Contributor List also?

Marlene Brady


Just Getting Started!

I've finally decided on a size for my beaded squares: 2.5" x 3.5". I wanted something fairly small since this is my first year participating. I found a cute picture frame at Target that has 12 small slots for photos of "baby's first year" and thought it was perfect for me. It does have a larger 13th slot in the middle. I'm not sure what to do with it (maybe a title page for the year?), but I'll worry about that later!

Contributor List

Can I also be added to the contributor list at the side.

Barbara Hignett

Barb :)
Me too please! Thanks for everything Robin.

Can My Name Be Posted?

I'd like to request my name be added to the contributor column on the left. Robin suggested I post my request. Thanks so much!

Peggy Musil

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I'm thrilled and honored! My 2010 member logo is on all the More Bead Journal Three blogs. Thank you!

-- Lois2037
I am so sorry...I managed to break what few rules there are. I thought I was posting a picture to my blog, which apparently I'm not supposed to do until later. If I had read all the instructions, (which rarely happens when instructions are written out - I'm a picture) this wouldn't have happened. I guess we've now identified the trouble maker in the crowd. My apologies. Beth

I've Decided and Started

Well my BJP has started and I'm really looking forward to the year. My pieces are 4 x 6 and will be bound (I'm not sure how) into a book when I'm finished.

My theme for the year is One Heart's Journey (which will also be the name of my blog when I get it up and running). I can't tell you how great I feel to be a part of this project and what it's doing for me.


Hi everyone! I'm a new participant and I'm very excited about the bjp process. I took a button class from Robin, which I enjoyed immensely. But I took home more than a finished project; I took to heart her words of encouragement for exploring yourself and experiences through the medium of beads. I have considered myself a good crafter but didn't think of myself as an artist. I was too wrapped up in perfectionism to let go and create from the right brain. So here I am. I've decided to go with the 1 1/4" button and explore with color and texture. I also like to incorporate found objects into my work if I can. Here's my first bjp project: Winter Blues, made with various 11's & 15's, plus beach glass.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New to BJP

But avidly following all the posts and blogs when I have time. I have started my project and will post photos once I figure out how to do that. I am just getting back into beading after years of inactivity. I love Robin's books! Thanks for letting a newbie play.

Oh, I am beading on denim pockets from jeans. Should be a fun experience! I plan to make little purses/bags from them when I am finished. I also started a blog but it doesn't have much on it yet so will post that when I get pics up and running.

With an idea in mind, I really have to get going on January's project. I'm excited about letting myself go with bead embroidery since I haven't done much of it. All the best to everyone else on this journey of creative explosions . Have fun.

Be Sure to Check Comments!

Hi Everybody and thanks for all the introductory posts! Wow!!! What a diverse and lively group we have... on all three blogs!

Two thoughts...

1. Try to make time to read all three BJP blogs. You can leave comments on all of them, but write posts only on your assigned blog.

2. After you write a post to your assigned blog, please check back a few times over the next week to see if anyone has left comments for you!

I notice that on one of our three blogs there are lots of commenters... Bravo!!! Comments are a wonderful way to build community... keep it up!

Hope you're all busy beading and stitching (or painting, pasting, stamping, or....) on your first BJP piece for the year!!! Me? Well, I haven't started yet... However, I have given myself this evening and tomorrow to be in my studio with ONLY my Jan. BJP!!!!!

Have a very beady new year!
Robin A.

Yea - I've started January - Double Infinity

The kiddo's just went off to school today, but I did manage to begin my piece already! I found just enough beige cotton in my mother's stuff which i will use as my foundation. I'm happy I can include a part of her in all my pieces this year. I was a little learry about not using stiff stuff since i am ATTEMPTING to cover #100 buttons. I did add some lightweight 2-sided Pellon and am using the 'paper' for added stability which i can them tear away when i'm done. I found an entry in Robin's blog how she covers her buttons and am using that as my template. I also googled beaded buttons and found an article she contributed to in a 2004 Belle Armoire magazine which i had to order. You can find just about anything on-line! OF course, I had to get it because part of my brain insists of reading up the rules and directions for everything! That is why i love this project - there are no rules! Anyway, I've yet to get the magazine, but am almost half done with my beading. I believe I will encrust the ENTIRE pieces this year - it is alook i've always admired in other's work. I was wanting to put some word charms for journaling, but everything i've got or bought was too big to fit the 'curve' of the button, so i'm still looking for a 'journaling' aspect to add. I'm a little apprehensive about putting the fabric onto the button form, but if it doesn't work, i can always make it into a flat circle pendant! Hope everyone is having a fun time at this...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Introduction, confession, and a plan

Greetings! This is my first year participating in the Bead Journal Project, and I thought hard before deciding to sign up. Don't get me wrong -- I loved the (gorgeous!) beadwork I had seen through Robin Atkin's blog posts about the BJP, and I know that these kinds of journal projects can be wonderful for artistic growth and building community among artisans. But I have a tendency to overcommit myself. There are so many things I want to do that I often take on more than I can realistically complete. I didn't want to have this turn into yet another unfinished project -- yet another failed commitment.

So I waited, and pondered . . . and then I signed up.

There were several reasons I finally decided to join in. I knew that regular beading would increase my skill level and push me to explore new design and new technique. There is nothing like regularly doing the work to foster artistic growth. I also find that hand beading is very meditative for me. I've never been good at quiet contemplation -- I like to always be engaged in productive work. Bead embroidery is pretty much the only activity that keeps me still and focused for hours at a time. This summer, I had a foot injury and was told to keep off my feet as much as possible. I started a new bead project that same day, as I knew that was the only thing that would keep me from getting up every couple of minutes. (Alas, I haven't finished it yet . . . see the above overcommitment issue.) It seemed to me that regular beading would probably have a beneficial effect on my mental health, in the same way meditation does. The project also seemed like the perfect prompt to connect with a series of beaded works I had in mind.

Some years ago, I got involved in our campus V-Day production. Every year, the students put on a production of Eve Ensler's play, The Vagina Monologues, as a fundraiser for organizations working to end violence against women. The play is a series of monologues about women's experiences of their bodies and their sexuality, based on Eve Ensler's interviews with a diverse group of women. In the final monologue, Eve describes her experience of awe and reverence while being at the birth of her granddaughter. She compares the vagina to a heart:

The heart is capable of sacrifice.
So is the vagina.
The heart is able to forgive and repair.
It can change its shape to let us in.
It can expand to let us out.
So can the vagina.
It can ache for us and stretch for us, die for us and bleed and bleed us into this difficult wondrous world.
So can the vagina.
---Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues (2001, p.124-5)

So I began a series of V-hearts, beaded fabric hearts with abstract vulva-like imagery (similar to Georgia O'Keefe's flowers). Some were based on monologues in the play, and some were just explorations of the idea more generally. I gave most of these away to the performers in the show that year, but I have been wanting to get back to this series to explore the idea more fully, and began a few more over the summer. So my plan for the BJP is to have my monthly beaded journal be heart-shaped. The hearts are usually pretty small (large brooch/pendant size), although I don't know exactly what size I'll use. I'll explore and expand my V-Heart series, although I'm also open to seeing what else emerges from the heart shape.

I don't have much of my beadwork on my blog, but you can see my latest bellydance belt and bra and a beaded necklace I made for a friend a few years ago.

I'm excited about the Beaded Journal Project! I'm looking forward to seeing where it takes us.

Oh, and to our hard-working blog administrator: I'm not listed on the authors roll. Can I be added? I go by Deborah C. Stearns, and my blog is: Thanks!

My blog

Happy New Year, everyone! I posted my intro last week, but hadn't mentioned my blog. I just created a new post about the BJP and have a picture of a trial piece I started last month. If anyone is interested, it can be found at

I've decided on a small format for my BJP -- probably 3 X 4 or so. I plan to bind them together at the end of the project into a small book. I'm a librarian by trade, so that seemed appropriate! :) And it will be fun to create some sort of binding once the beaded pages are all finished. Looking forward to getting started!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Hi Everyone
I'm Angela from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.  I have a blog where I will post pictures of my bead journal pages.
You won't find a lot of beading on my blog just yet though.  I have done some beading on my crazy quilts and I love to include beads in my paper arts.  I think I spend more time working with the paper arts because it works up faster than fabric/fibre art. 
I joined the BJP in hopes that it will force me to work more with my fabric/fibres.  Although it is likely that I will incorporate paper into this project as well.
This is the first time that I have participated in this project.  I am totally inspired by what I have seen of others work in past years.  I really hope that I can develop my own voice through this.  I better get stitching!

Friday, January 1, 2010


Hellooooo!!  Another Washington beader here.  I think I am ready to start. I kept changing my mind on what I wanted to do, but I think I have decided now.  And I hope the finished product looks as good as I imagine it in my head.  Being a quilter and a beader I am always looking for some way to add things to wall hangings to make them "pop".  You can follow me at Jennifer's Jouney.  I am excited too see what every one else makes. 

Decisions and questions

I've decided to go with a set size of 4 X 6 inch. Since it's a matter of "having at least some beads" on it, I figured it would work well whether it was lightly or heavily beaded. One of my goals is going to be using things I already have with the fabric, bead, etc., trying not to buy extra unless there is an element of the piece that the piece absolutely needs that I don't already have. Sort of beading on a budget meets repurposing kind of thing.

I have some montage type picture frames that I never got around to putting photos in and thought they would work great for mounting my finished beaded pages in instead of shadow boxes that I would have to buy at some point. The only thing is, some of the slots go 4 X 6 and some go 6 X 4. I was wondering if I needed to keep the same orientation for every sheet of the project or if the direction I beaded was flexible as long as the finished size remained the same? Also, are those completely finished sizes or can I just use that as my maximum size and leave a half an inch box/frame around the edges for when I matte it for putting in the montage frame?

Edited to add: Ok, going with Susan's reminder in the comments I'm going to use fabric or backing at 4 X 6 and the actual beading will be 3 1/2 X 5 inch rectangles. I think that will give me plenty of room, but not so much it'll be overwhelming and leave me enough edge for framing. Got my January idea figured out this evening so off to play with the beads.