May 14, 2007

New Journeys

....... or what have I gotten myself into?

At my advanced age, I should be kicking back, staying in one place, slowing down and enjoying my Grandkids. Instead, I've added several layers of new journeys to my life. The literal journey; fun & easy, is packing the beads into the orange Honda box and taking 3 weeks to visit and sightsee, on a 4,000 mile drive from Arizona to spend the summer in NH. The business journey is working on a third Bead Crochet Book; stressful, deadline prone, not easy, but fulfilling. The personal journey is finally deciding to let a casual, long distance relationship with a man slide into the realm of less casual and see where it goes; also fun, but not easy and a bit scary. Then there is a brand new creative journey ......

Bead Journal Project

Robin Adkins has started a year-long Bead Journal Project. Here and here is more information on the project. I signed up as I've been talking about wanting to do a major-type bead project for a couple of years now. This one captured my creative attention, is in a medium that was my first beading love, is in manageable chunks, and gives me some structure to carry it through to the end.

I can do bead embroidery. I like doing bead embroidery, seldom plan a piece, and always like what comes off of my needle. I haven't done much with this technique since bead crochet took over my beading life. It's time to rediscover it and expand my horizons with things I wanted to try out in this medium.

I can free think or free form in beads. For me it is an almost sensual pleasure and an antidote to the rigid planning & structure of bead crochet. I love playing with texture, color and the uninhibited growth of a freeform piece.

Bead crochet is the intellectual part and talks to my high need for planning, organization, and structure in my life. Through books, patterns and workshops, it has provided me with the wherewithal to not have a 9-5 job.

Now, can I translate all of this into a project that will carry through twelve months? This is from a person who has never kept a diary or a journal in her entire life.

OK, I need structure and organization..... I need to have a vision of how the pieces are going to fit together at the end. I have a need for the equivalent of physical blank journal pages. I have decided on an ATC size of 2.5" x 3.5" for the bead embroidery part. I cover my fabric entirely with beads, so I need to keep the work a lot smaller than a breadbox. Each of those base pieces will be that month's comment as well as be an explorations of old and new ways with fabric, needle, thread and beads. Then I need to give the freeform side even more room and further embellish each base piece with bits and pieces of each month's life experiences. I'm thinking of adding a laminated statement or comment to the back of each card - I'll have to see if that works or not over time.

So let's see where this series of journeys finishes or abruptly ends.


  1. Now that's going to be an interesting project, that bead journal. I've gone and subscribed to the group blog so I can see what's up.

    No, no - not going to participate myself! Got too much else going on. In fact, book work is the only beading on my agenda at all...

  2. Judith - it will be interesting to see how the Bead Journal project fans out. I have cut out my 12 "coasters" for working on and have ideas jotted on a piece of paper. Now, I am not a jotting on a piece of paper kindof gal, so this should be interesting. I just had a thought while reading your blog and Bev's and it involves the teeth that the vet removed from my dogs. Which has nothing to do with your blogs, and why it struck me now? Who has a clue.

    It could have been the 8 episodes of "Dark Shadows" I've been watching (I'm up to June 1969).

    Travel safe!