2010 Bead Journal Project

These diamond shapes were cut from a 4" x 6" rectangle. I used a bit of Warm & Natural batting to interface the fabric. When the beading was complete I stacked the beaded fabric on top of a layer of Pellon Timtex and used a piece of watercolor paper for the back of the ornament. I sewed the layers together with the blanket stitch on my Pfaff. An embroidery needle took perle cotton through the Timtex to create a hanging loop. More beads decorate the loops.

"Hope for the New Year"

As the year was drawing to a close I had Emily Dickinson's words on my mind: "Hope is that thing with feathers..." I have a small collection of feathers that have come to me over the years so I thought I would use one to honor the hope we tend to feel at the dawning of a new year. Star sequins and a pewter bead with the word 'hope' stamped onto it completed the ornament.

November: "Blue Moon"
 In November of this year we had an unusual lunar occurrence, referred to as a blue moon. I had this cool metal charm in my stash and decided to use it to create a blue moon. The little house was already printed on the fabric (it's from a line done by Nancy Crow at least a decade ago). I hand quilted around it and then sprinkled a few more beads over the surface of the ornament just to balance things out.

October: "For the Love of Jack"
 October's ornament was actually made much earlier in the year. I had already finished the ornament for that month but still wanted to do some beading. So I put the Jack Skellington button/pin in the middle of a diamond and worked from there. The spikes are vintage; I'm not really sure what they're made of but they are puffed up like they have air inside them. Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year, and Jack has been one of my favorite guys ever since he first made his appearance in Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas."

Setpember: "Autism?!"

It was around the beginning of the school year that we learned at least one of our four granddaughters has a form of autism. It's quite likely that two of them actually are affected by this malady. It's rare in girls, and even more rare for it to show up in siblings. This ornament depicts the shock of hearing the news. I'd had that clay button face in my collection for many years. Almost used it once or twice. Now I'm glad it didn't work for those earlier projects; it's perfect for this one.

August: "Celebration"
 This was another ornament that was made before the month I assigned it to. I wanted to try out some of the bead embroidery techniques Robin Atkins teaches in her book Heart to Hands. I had a lot of fun playing with these colors. Then, in August, I entered four quilts in our county fair. One was awarded a Best of Class and another was placed Reserve Best of Class. I've never done so well in any event I've entered previously! This was truly cause for celebration!

July: "Remember to Dream"

 I may have discovered Steampunk prior to 2010 but it was on my mind in July as I worked on this ornament. I found a vendor selling watch parts and had a blast figuring out which bits I could use and how to make them fit together. For me this ornament is a reminder to stop thinking analytically and let the realm of fantasy take over.

May: "Climbing the Mountain"

 I was introduced to the concept of personal or creative growth being an upward spiral path by Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way. It's been long enough now since I worked my way through the book that I can see the progress I've made up my particular mountain. I seed stitched the background fabric in bands of color to represent the various emotions I experience on a regular basis. Then I overlaid the stitching with transparent vintage sequins to create a path up the mountain. The white heart bead in the center is the top of my mountain, the center of my soul.

April: "Mother Earth Awakens"
 This started out as my March ornament. It was going to be a dormant Mother Earth with stormy skies overhead. Then I had a better, more compelling idea for March and this one got set aside. I came back to it in April. Spring was well under way in our part of the country, and Earth Day is April 22 so I figured it would still work.

March: "You Don't Need a Crown"
 I am a huge fan of Project Runway. When Anthony L. Williams was kicked off in Season 7 he boldly declared, "Don't cry for me honey! This just proves you don't have to win a crown to be a queen!" That resonated for me on a deeper level than he may have intended. I wanted to make that wisdom my own and beading it seemed the best way to do it.

February: "Mother Love"

 After a stressful and precarious pregnancy my daughter gave birth to twin girls early in February. This is my ode to her specifically as a mother and to all women everywhere who nurture and care for others.

January: "Don't Panic!"

Ah, the beginning of a new year and a new project! It's exciting and frightening at the same time. My goal this year was to have as much fun as possible with the Bead Journal Project. I participated in the first year but allowed myself to get a little overwhelmed by my projects. I chose a smaller format for this year and made the commitment to try not to get so uptight about the outcome. This ornament became my mantra for the year. :- )

1 comment:

  1. What a stunning set of ornaments. Each one is so different yet they are connected because they each have intense meaning (and the same shape hehe). You have taken the spirit of the BJP and made it sing in such a beautiful way. I absolutely love your explanations. I am inspired! How marvelous!! I'm going to look at 2011 now.


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