Sunday, August 31, 2008

Getting Started!

Hola, all!

For those who've known me a while, hi again - I admit I've been lax on the international beading community in the past 2 years - I admit I've had quite a few distractions. For those who don't know me, hello! My name is Mary LeMieux-Ruibal but I'm also known as Celticat.

I've been getting all my ducks in a row to participate in this year's Bead Journal Project. I'm sticking to what Robin said - small is beautiful. I've decided on a 4 x 4 format to keep it 'real' and am using actual images from my sketchbook that I keep daily. Anyhow, I've posted my humble beginnings out on my blog.... Questions, comments & complaints are appreciated! I actually keep two blogs - one for bead art, and the other for life in NYC. If I am seeming a little quiet on one, it's most likely because the other grabbed all my attention. (Beads? Life? Hahahaha!) I'm going to be lurking among the blogs and keeping an eye on everyone - any blog links would be appreciated for mine so I can hook up quickly!

Happy beading!!
-That Celticat Chick

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Thoughts about Size...

As some of you know, my inspiration for our BJP came from the Quilt Journal Project which has been going on for several years now. For the first few years, the participants all worked their journal quilts the size of a sheet of computer paper... 8.5 x 11. Unlike us, the size was a given.

Quilt Journal Project, 2007 Chicago Quilt Festival
This July, I taught at the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach, CA. Among other fabulous quilt exhibits (miles of them it seemed!), there were two separate exhibits of journal quilts. One was from the earlier years and the second was from 2007, at which time the required size was doubled to 17 x 22 inches.

I spent all of my free time at the Festival examining the journal quilts in both exhibits. Sorry, I didn't take a camera, so no comparison pictures... However, my general impression is this... the smaller-sized quilts seemed more expressive, spontaneous, precious, compelling and journal-like. The larger-sized quilts seemed to be more about planning, techniques and showing off quilting skills; they were somewhat impersonal and more like quilts you might see in any exhibit. I didn't spend as much time with them as I did with the smaller quilts, even though I'd seen the smaller ones in previous exhibits and the book.

I came away with the conclusion that for journaling purposes, small is good! And, by the way, I put a picture of the smallest 07 BJP pieces (buttons) here on my blog yesterday... in their finished form.

Robin A.

Intro from Ohio

Hello all. Finally, I've gotten a day off from work to just relax & think about this new exciting project for next year. I do have a plan in mind, but I have to admit that it is all going to be a secret until all finished & put together. I intend on doing one project which will have smaller pieces completed each month. I've decided to post the individual pieces but to not show the whole project completely done until next August. I'm excited about it. One hint...ecology. So I guess every piece will be different from the other. I want to experiment with more bead weaving techniques & naturally my love for bead embroidery will be foremost.


Friday, August 29, 2008


Last year I thought and thought about what shape to use and ended up tracing around a coaster that was under the glass that I was drinking out of - how simple! It was right under my nose.

This year, my co-worker helped me out with the puzzle shape - which I shared with Linda, Madeline and Sue S, who are in my Loomatics beading group (we meet in Dearborn Hgts and sometimes in Ypsilanti, MI). They approved of my choice. I know that the pieces are not going to fit together exactly, but it works with my theme. Square one is almost completed.

"Life is a puzzle, and it's up to each one of us to solve it."

I'll be working on this projects and a few others over the holiday weekend since I'll be camping with the dogs and husband.

I am thinking about this

Does it have to be a rectilinear page? I am musing upon other shapes, a bird shape, or a circle ....

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Is anyone else having this problem? I have changed my mind on the size of my page at least twice a day for the last week. Do I want a square or a rectangle? It's driving me crazy. Determining the size is such a huge first step. The size chosen now will be the size for all of the pages. I don't want it to be too big, but then it needs to be big enough. Right now I think I have it narrowed to either 3 by 5 inches or 4 by 4 inches. Maybe I should flip a coin.
my blog Life with Nologic

Beading Backing?

What is everyone using for stabilizer or backing for their beading?

I've used cotton fabric backed with paper, non-woven sew-in interfacing, or thin cotton quilt batting. I've also used an embroidery hoop to hold the cotton fabric taut. I also tried Lacy's Stiff Stuff a couple of times. Each of those has advantages and disadvantages.

What works best for you? I'd like to hear what the more experienced beaders have learned about backing for beading.

Marty S
Crackpot Beader

New Hampshire Hi

Hi--I'm Jann from Etna, New Hampshire (part of Hanover, home of Dartmouth College) and Sunapee, New Hampshire. We live on an island on Lake Sunapee in the summer.

I enjoy weaving, quilting, and beading. In fact, beading has taken over my life. I am now having fun beading rivolis for a bracelet, pendants, and lots of Christmas tree ornaments. I've also tried Robin's finger weaving this summer and made two tassels. When my 15 year old grand daughter was visiting in July she made three mini-tassels for herself and friends to put on their backpacks for school.

I am a returning bead journal member. I'm planning to bead pins this year. My goal is to add more dimension to my work. Of course, it isn't yet September so I might change my focus. Once we move back to Etna in a couple weeks I will again have my bead stash to inspire me.

Happy beading!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hello from the Pacific Northwest! name is Lisa Rauch from Pursuing Art...Life and Dreams and I live in Milwaukie, Oregon. First, I'd like to say Thank you to Robin for spearheading such a wonderful project and continuing again this year! I was so relieved when I saw there would be another year. I feel fortunate and honored to be a part of this group of talented artists that include the most friendly and supportive people. My biggest regret last year was not signing up for the 2007 BJP. I considered to the last day (minute actually) and decided against it because I was still working on my first (large) piece. I felt that if I committed myself to one more thing, I would feel too overwhelmed. Well, I was so sorry for not doing it because I know I would have grown with each piece, each journaling, and even learning how to have a blog. However, I have been a devoted fan to the BJP and have admired everyone's work, the growth they have all shown, and the friendships that were made. I have learned so much this past year just in watching and listening and even 'on the seat of my pants' I learned how to start a blog and do most of the things that come with it!

I think I was born with a needle in my hand. I have always loved sewing, embroidery, needlepoint, knitting, beading, etc. In the fall of 2005, I really discovered bead embroidery. After doing lots of research, perusing the internet, buying some books and supplies, I began to teach myself in the winter of 2006. I am loving it and still learning! I've decided on a theme this year which will be 'fragments of my life' although I am still deciding on the actual size to see what will work best. My pages won't be totally encrusted because I don't trust myself to complete that every thirty days. I've learned from watching and know that I don't want to be overwhelmed in completing each month.

To those that are returning, I'm glad you chose to be here again and without many of you have been an inspiration to me! To those of us that are new, I know it will be a great year and a wonderful journey!

~Lisa ;-)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Greetings Fellow Beaders

I'm so happy to be part of this monumental endeavor. My name is Z'anne, like Suzanne without the Sue. I live in the wonderful, wet and green foothills of Mt. Hood in Northern Oregon. I've been beading for 15 years now, (wow is it the long?) and missed out last year because I didn't hear about the BJP until after sign ups. Glad I paid attention this year.

I decided to start small for the pages of my journal this year. My father-in-law was the kind of man to save everything, and I mean everything. After his passing we had to clean out all the various outbuildings and shops he had on his property and I came across this bag of filters. They were used respirator mask filters. Some had been washed, some were unused and some had been used and not washed. I went through the bag, found 12 of the cleanest and unused ones, washed and dried them and now have a "page" each month, ready to go. They are all about 3.25" to 3.50" in diameter. I'm glad I didn't throw out that bag.


It's Great To Be Back!!

Wow 260 members, what a spectacular turn out!!! I'm happy to be returning for another year, last year was an awesome experience. I want to encourage all the newbies not to feel intimidated or shy, check out everyone's blog or website and leave comments or ask questions. Everyone loves to get comments and everyone loves to answer questions about their page. Last year we had several participants that actually posted tutorials on their creative process and what a learning experience that was for everyone. Have fun and enjoy, the journey.

Last year my pages were 4X6, this year I' thinking of trying 4X4, can't wait to see how the year unfolds.



Hi all
My name is Cindy and I live in Suffolk Virginia. My blog-name is Loomgirl and I'm new to blogging! We'll see if this works!!
I love almost anything dealing with fibers and beads - and am so excited to be participating in the bead journal project. I'm planning to do a 4 by 6 inch format using tapestry weaving, bead weaving, quilting - and I have to do some bead embroidery. I'm not sure about the finishing of the project, I haven't decided about making a book or a quilt, I'm still pondering....

I've been warming up for the bjp the past few weeks by making beaded buttons - using the directions in the lovely Beaded Embellishment Book by Amy Clarke and Robin Atkins. I've just fallen in love with bead embroidery and if I don't have a button going at all times - I get cranky. I'm going to have to make some clothes now to go with all the buttons.

I'm so thrilled to be participating in this year's bjp - just doing my warm-up buttons has made me look at design and color and shape and see what works, and what doesn't. I'm starting to plan September's page and may not be able to wait until September to start it!

Bead with joy!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tennessee, Represent! (or Mea Culpa)

This is Cynjon from Tennessee saying hello! My friend Enchy (ummm, I mean "Diane") convinced me to join in on this project (okay, it didn't take much convincing, really)...which I'm looking forward to with a small bit of anxiety.

See, I'm not really a beader. All I know about beading is that the string goes through the hole, after 15 minutes, my eyeballs start bugging out, and my fingers dexterity (or lack thereof) gives evidence to my coffee addiction.

But I'm still looking forward to the project...even being a non-beader, I've still managed to amass quite a good collection of beads...I've always enjoyed the look and feel of them, and have never allowed my lack of use of them to stop me from buying them!

Looking forward to seeing what folks do and getting to know y'all!

Hello from South Carolina

I started the BJP last year and learned a great deal. I learned that trying to bead a 7 by 7 inch page each month was over whelming. I learned to color outside of the lines. And I learned that the beads really do talk to you and show you what they want to do if you listen. I didn't finish the year, but I am far richer for the experience.

I have been beading for about 6 years, but I have worked with needle and thread all of my life. I'm looking forward to this year and meeting all the other participants. Can you believe that we have grown to needing 3 blogs just to hold all of us?! WOW I am going to be busy reading.

Be gentle with Your Self

Hello From A Newbie

Hello Everyone,

My name is Paula and this is my first time participating in any kind of project like this one. I'm very excited to be in the midst of such talent as displayed in the photos from the 2007 PJB.

I've been beading for about 8 years now and I'm mostly self-taught. I have attended some bead classes but for the most part I've learned from bead magazines and books. I do stringing, a little wire work, and off-loom bead weaving. I can't say what I love best; each project I do, no matter what the vehicle, is my favorite at the time.

I've read all the posts and have been mulling over what I might like to do this year. I'm thinking something small. Maybe something that would include my own photos of flowers, or maybe something with birds being the focal. I envision something that would all fit together at the end of the year and maybe look like a stained glass window. I'm still working out what to use as a backing and what I might use that would look like the black metal used between the glass in a stained glass window. Did all that make sense?

I've never done any bead embroidery before, does anyone have a favorite book or website that I could use as reference? I'll walk upstairs and check my own books in a minute, maybe there's something up there that I can use.

I look forward to reading each post and watching as all the pages are posted. Thanks to everyone who make this work!



Welcome everyone to the 08/09 Bead Journal Project. I am Diane Moore, the moderator of the blogs (or blog angel however many who know me personally might question the angel part). If you have any questions or problems with the blog, feel free to email me and I'll try my best to help.

In the next few days I'll be adding a sidebar to the blog with a list of labels for your posts. Robin developed these so there would be some consistency within the blog especially for people who wanted to see a specific thing, say everyone's page for a certain month, or people who are asking for technical help.

I am a returning Bead Journal Project participant and am anxious to get started on the coming year. Last year I did heart shapes but I'm thinking of rectangles this year. If you are interested in seeing some of the work people did last year, there is a group on flickr with lots of great photos.

Again, welcome to the BJP - I'm certain you'll have an amazing year!

Hello from Northern NM

Hi! Sarah (aka Beadnik) signing in for a new year of BJP. I loved last year's project, and managed to keep up fairly well. This year I'm going to work on a smaller size 'canvas', the 6x6 inch format last year left me a lot of room to work, but this year I think I'll work on 'saying' as much in a smaller area. I'm going to do the ATC size (2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches). I'm looking forward to seeing all the great work the journalists will come up with this year. I'll be keeping my 2007 blog.
Cheers all,

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Time flies when one is having fun . . .

Greetings from the high desert country of southern New Mexico! Our state motto -- the Land of Enchantment -- really says it all when it comes to living in a place with constant creative inspiration.

Can't believe it is time for the next BJP already. Spent the entire summer beading up a storm on many other projects and now it is nearly time to solidify thoughts and plans for my 2008 BJP pages. Last year I used a 6 x 8 inch format which was ambitious and there were many months when I had wished I began with a smaller format. So, this year's efforts will go a teeny bit smaller -- 4 3/4 x 6 3/4 inches.

Welcome to all the new folks joining in the project. You will find we have become a family of sorts and this will be the best online group experience you can hope to have anywhere! Lots of encouragement and love gets spread around liberally.

Looking forward to this year and all the creativity and inspiration I am sure will be generated in abundance . . .

Kathy V in NM


Hi Ya'll

Hi everyone, I'm Sue. I live in the beautiful state of Missouri. I'm new to the whole blogging thing. I'm pretty new to beading too. Oh I've piddled around with it for a while, but now I'm a confirmed beadaholic, and proud of it!
I'm really excited about joining this project, I looked at last year's pics and I think I will be doing something totally different. I hope so anyway. I love being unique, I think that's why I like making my own jewelry and clothes etc.
Looking forward to getting to know you all better in the months to come.

Hello from rainy Washington...

Hi all,

Thought I'd take a moment to introduce myself. I'm Andrea Adams from Seattle, WA.
This will be my second year doing the BJP, and I'm really looking forward to it. The first year helped me to reconnect with beading after a long hiatus. It was a wonderful way to bring my favorite media back into my daily life, and I'm so grateful for the experience. So grateful, that I'm eager to commit to another year!

Last year I was pretty solitary in my work, as I wanted to explore my ideas without too much influence from other artists. This year, I hope to be a bit less of a hermit ... no promises tho, it's kind of my nature ;o)

I look forward to meeting you all, and to the journey ahead,
~Andrea (aka "Drea")

Hello from really green Oregon

Hi there...I'm bobbi kirk aka beadbabe49 from Beading at the Beach and this is my second year doing the bead journal project. The project itself was a wonderful challenge for me but the community of beaders that formed around the bjp is what brought me back this year. And a special thank you to robin and the cadre of volunteers whose hard work is making this year possible for all the rest of us!
I have several ideas for this year, but since we won't be posting photos here until december, I feel like I might be able to cheat a bit and try out a couple before declaring my final choice, lol!
My motto this year is, "No Pressure"!
(For the folks new to blogging, if you click on the "Beading at the Beach" up above, it will take you to my blog...)

Hello From New Hampshire

Hello there! I'm a newbie to beading, but not to blogging. I started quilting four years ago. Earlier this summer I started to take an interest in adding embellishments to my designs. I've been writing a quilt blog for over two years and this summer I started an At Home blog.

I have a two foot by three foot piece I made this summer of Shadowplay fabrics from Maywood Studio. My journal project will be exploring the interplay of colors between the fabric and the beads.

I live in Dover, NH with my DH of seven years. My children are grown and on their own. One son is married and lives in a nearby town. My other son lives in NY with his girlfriend. I worked with my DH in a family business until earlier this year when I went on medical leave. Now I'm at stay-at-home wife and loving every minute of it.

I'm excited to be a part of this project and can't wait to read about everyone's project.


I'm a returning member from last year. I loved working on the project - and enjoyed the fact that it really made me think of what I wanted to do. I originally planned to do a certain thing each month, wrote down my basic idea, and then when the month came, I thought of something else, couldn't find my scribblings, or just plain out changed my mind.

I am from the metro Detroit area (Dearborn Heights), I've been beading for about 15 years now. I have had two pieces in Bead and Button's "Your Work" gallery and was published in "Flatwork" by Nicole Campanella (Page 46, in case you are looking at a copy of it). I also have several pieces in this years "Bead a Day" calendar.

Linda D and I are members of the same bead guild in the area - the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild.

Looking forward to a very creative year - I want to really push myself this year.

Liz - the Bad Liz


I'd like to introduce myself. I'm Linda from Metro-Detroit area...and I'm a recovering bead addict. Ooh! That was a bad dream!!!
I wanted to join last year, but I was a day late. So I made sure that I did it this time and I'm glad.
I know "The BadLiz" and I won't comment if the name suits her!! lol I hope to get to know some of my fellow bead artist.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

What a blessing!

It is such a blessing to be one of the 260 people who are a part of this endeavor. To have a project unite us on a very personal journey to discover a bit about ourselves through bead journaling is a very touching experience that I am very excited to embark on. I have not decided a format for my "page" but I have a few that I have done that I may draw up upon for inspiration and/ or direction. As always I hope that what ever I create it will be beaded to bless someone whether it is through inspiration or imparting a higher hope of things to come.

I am so looking forward to this...

This year, I am going to pick smaller size projects to do each month... and I will do all I can to make one each month.... Thank you Pam for getting us going!

Another Year -- YAY!

While I'm still finishing up on the 2007 BJP, I'm overjoyed to be beginning for 2008-09.  This last year was ... interesting for me, to say the least.  I don't expect so much to be happening over the next year, so I should be able to keep reasonably current.  The previous BJP brought in such wonderful things to my life and my art.  I can't help but think that this next one will be even better!  -- Lois B


I'm delighted to be part of the Bead Journal for the coming year.

I enjoy sewing, quilting and all sorts of needlework. For the past couple of years, I have been playing with bead embroidery. I find it very relaxing to sit with my feet up and my hands on little beads and a needle.

I'm ready to get started on my first month's project, and I'm looking forward to hearing from other participants.

Marty S

Welcome Everyone!!!!!

Wow… there are about 260 of us starting this thing. The thought of us, scattered around the whole world, taking up our beads, fabrics, needles, ephemera, photos, buttons, etc. … and starting to stitch the month of September just thrills me to pieces!!!!

We are separated geographically, yet together in purpose and united here in our blog. May your individual beaded pathway and our collective journey be rich in friendship, growth, healing and fun.

A few details…

1. You may have a plan and/or a theme for the year… or not. It’s totally up to you. Personally, I like to take each month as it comes, without a preconceived plan or theme.

2. Just a reminder. You do not have to make a book or journal. The word journal for our purposes refers to the concept of visually showing what’s going on in your life or your thoughts/feelings at a given time. The word page refers to your piece, but it doesn’t have to be literally a page of a book/journal.

3. For the first three months (Sept-Dec), please do not post pictures of your BJP pieces on this blog. You are welcome to post them on your personal blog or website and then post a link to them here. Starting in January, you’re welcome to post your BJP pictures here.

4. Please do not post movies or sound clips on this blog. They take up too much digital space on a team blog that may have thousands of posts by the end of the year.

5. Remember to sign your posts (with a link to your blog/website if you have one) as I have below.

A Big Ol’ Snaffoo…

Blogger has recently changed the blogspot rules. They no longer allow unlimited authors on a blog. At this time they only allow 100 authors on a team blog such as ours. Ooooops… We have 260 members… what to do?????

Your coordinators gnashed our teeth and deliberated about this, considering various solutions. For now, we decided to have three blogs for this year. They are:


You will be invited to be an author on only one of them. Please make a note (somewhere you can find it!) of your sign in information (email address and password) and which of the three you can post to.

Please visit, read and comment on all three blogs! Together the three of them will be our support and unifying system.

Some of you may have more experience with blogging than we do… if so, we welcome any suggestion you may have for a “better” solution (contact Diane).

Happy September BJP and beady blessings to you all...

Robin A. (your leader in this great adventure)