Friday, August 19, 2011

All Caught Up!

I am officially up to date on my bead journal projects for this year. Hurray!

There never really was one idea or thought that stood out for the month of April so I just used the idea of Spring as a starting point and this was the result:

May was actually the last ATC I made during this marathon. I had pulled some word charms and already had a couple of pieces of fabric cut for potential foundations but none of that ended up in the final product. I put on the audio book version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (courtesy of my friend C~) and this is what I ended up with:

I've decided to call it "Let the Magic Happen"

Finally, my BJP for August:

This is the one that started the recent beadwork marathon. It was my response to a challenge my little art group set for ourselves back in June. We called it "The Bob Project." The idea was to use our husbands as inspiration and make anything we wanted, any size, any medium. I knew I was behind on my ATC's for the bead journal project and thought this might be a really good way to get back into it. Obviously it worked!

My husband enjoys the macabre just as much as I do, his favorite color is black (if you can call that a color!), he loves the overcast skies we have around here so often and he loves the mountains and trees as well. Normally I use a cotton fabric for my foundations but this one is wool felt because he loves wearing wool sweaters. I think the buttons up each side might represent the suspenders he has taken to wearing lately. They just seemed to need be there.

I''m loving the way these little works of art look on their easels. One day soon I plan to create a separate page on this blog for this year's BJP and you'll be able to see them altogether. But I also have to turn my attention back to a couple of quilting projects to meet deadlines so don't hold your breath!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Two More ATC's for the BJP

I don't think I ever shared my finished bead journal project for February. This one documents the hours I spend reading and journaling, my little dog never very far away.

My original idea for this year's Bead journal Project was to make a series of card cases, which turned out to be the same size as ATC's. The first hurdle is always coming up with a design to execute. That wasn't nearly as big a challenge as finishing the cases turned out to be. I was less than satisfied with the results of my January BJP so I tried something a little different this time around.

I like the feather stitching up the two sides better than the blind ladder stitching I did on the first one.

I brought Mr. Bingley home in March so he became the inspiration for that month's BJP. (I still can't get a good picture of him!)

By this time I realized that the finishing process was keeping me from even starting new BJP's. I decided to bow to reason and finish them the same way I do postcards or the ornaments I made for last year's BJP. But with this one I had the opportunity to try another approach because the fabric foundation was still double the length it needed to be. I trimmed it down but left enough to wrap around the piece of Peltex I use to stiffen my fabric cards. It was tricky to keep everything in place while I topstitched it all together.

It also looked kind of naked when I was done. That's partly due to the lack of beading or stitching but in this case I wanted the foundation fabric to really be part of the final design. It's a music print. This whole card is meant to represent Mr. Bingley in his cage, singing to "his buddy" in the mirror. I used a few green beads to create a shamrock in honor of the month of March.

After I sat with this a few days it occurred to me that I might be able to use the blanket stitch on my sewing machine around the perimeter of the card to suggest the bars of Mr. Bingley's cage.

I set the stitch for as wide as it would go and used a contrasting thread. It turned out pretty well, all things considered. The card still looks a little naked when you see it with the others I've made but that frame of stitching really helps. I like it better now.

You can see my Bead Journal Project for January here. These two are for February and March respectively. I've also shown you June and July. I've been working on April during the unplanned blogging break I just took. I have an idea for May but haven't been able to find the right focal element. I may have to resort to Plan B for that one. I have a strong feeling I'm going to have to do something, anything, soon because I don't think I'll be able to move on to another type of project until I finally get myself all caught up on this one!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Catching Up on the Bead Journal Project

I've been busy stitching this week. I cut a 2.5" x 3.5" piece out of one of the scraps Quiltdivajulie sent me and sewed an eye bead to it.

One thing led to another... black bugle beads, orange bugle beads, sequins and seed beads... and this is what I ended up with:

I'm pretty happy with it. Here's a close-up:

I got the black sequins and beads a little close to the top and bottom edges; that made it a bit of a challenge when I was blanket stitching the perimeter. ;- )

I made another ATC this week too. This one came out of what happened to the house around the corner.

The oval charms are embossed with the words love, laugh, and inspire (left to right). Hopefully this will help me remember to do what I love, laugh while I'm doing it, and be inspiring. Someone has to take over where my neighbor left off!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lining the Nest

One of the reasons I named my blog From the Magpie's Nest is because I tend to collect things before I really know what I'm going to do with them. Most often it's stuff I'll eventually use in my artwork. A lot of times it's sparkly; I'm given to understand magpies like to collect shiny stuff. Just for the record, it's my husband who's the pack rat. ;- )

If you've been reading this blog for very long you know I also have a thing for birds in general. So you can imagine how delighted I was to find my recent order from Delta Patchwork wrapped in this tissue paper:

I was thinking of the text quilt I want to make when I ordered these prints.

I'm still not sure what form that quilt is going to take.

The original reason for placing the order was to get yardage of the colorful dotty print below. Quiltdivajulie was so kind as to send me scraps of that print when they didn't make it into her Gotta Love It! quilt.

Apparently sitting in the very room where your stash is kept, right out in plain sight, is no guarantee that you won't accidently order a fabric you already own. I checked to make sure I had used up the spotted yellow print so I knew I wanted more of that. But I didn't realize I still had an untouched piece of the white with black circles on my shelves. Oh well. Now I have almost a full yard of it. Considering that I keep buying black and white prints it's a pretty sure bet I'll be making at least one more quilt using them someday!