Whaaa Happened to November?

It's the end of November...and no I haven't even finished my bjp for November. I feel like I've been neglecting my bjp duties... My goal was to finish each bjp tag within the month...and that goal is now out the door...Oh well. I have been busy making kits and jewelry for a show on Tuesday. Here's a picture of one of the kits for angels. My friend who owns a bead store is sharing a table with me, and she will have tons of kits and beads to sell. Let's hope with this economy that we can at least sell some small things. I made up lots and lots of little charms in addition to kits, thinking that people are more willing to spend 2.50 or 3.00 for those than a pair of earrings for $8 or a kit for $10 to $13. I managed to make a small beaded turquoise cabachon last night that put me back into my beading mode. Tonight I'll get out my bjp stuff.


Happy Thanksgiving

A little birdie told me send a wish
View as we were leaving my hometown , last year after the holidays
Just wanted to wish everyone who reads my ramblings and posts, good health, good eats, and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.


Carols Challenge

Well CAROL OF BEADS AND BIRDS challenged us to snap pictures of our scenery of the day, on the way to work. In my case I have snapped from the time I get up and beyond..Hope you enjoy..I put up all of the pictures on my Gypsy Travels Blog HERE , only so I can keep it separate from the bead journal project and here are a few as well. Hope you enjoy my piece of the world. My first vision of the day is usually Bella, my sweet baby girl, licking and nudging that it's time to get up and out!!! Mommy get up NOW!!! One eye opened, hair glued in the upright position, and fuzzy robe on, we head downstairs to the door. Bellas hair doesn't look all that great either..she's a wild child! In the early, early morning before the sun is all the way up, fog fills the trails that we walk on, and sometimes we'll see a stray coyote on this trail. Not today however. At night we hear them howling and howling. I wonder why people let their cats out to roam at night...but it is beautiful in the morning! As I walk and the sun is now up I'm with my faithful companion and sweet love, Bella!! On my walks everyday, but only on the fall mornings, we see a common sight. The geese hang out on the grass by the little waterfalls over the rocks. I try to leave them be, but when people get to close they uplift together into the air and honk and honk, it is just so cool! Great way to begin the day and thank god for my many blessings. These are the simple pleasures I live for. At night we see them all huddled together under the docks. In the late evenings we have been seeing tiny minnows in abundance!
See more of carols challenge daily scenes on my gypsy travels blog



Penny and Stephanie of Bead Artistry
Just got back from Babe in Oakland and my head is full of creative juice. That's all it takes sometimes to get me in high gear for my next projects. Boy there is a lot of talent out there!!! I met up with many of my favorite designers. My first stop was Bead Artistry 'cause I teach at their store and this was their first bead show to sell their kits. I wanted to lend my support and wore my bracelet which I had made with one of their kits. I loved loved loved that BABE actually had demonstrations this time. I was able to get great tips from felt bead artists and wire working teachers who teach across the country. See more pictures and a little more about the show and who I saw HERE. I tried to restrain myself in the spending dept. I was pretty good but I couldn't get my friend Maria out of the place. This was her first BABE show and originally she had said lets leave at 2pm...I thought ok, no problem that way I won't spend as much money, but after she got into the show it was another story. We left at 4:30 and could have easily spent another hour or so there, my feet hurt so bad!! We didn't even stop to eat..Anyway I thought about my November BJP the whole time I was shopping picking up little things here and there which I could add to my project. I'm only in the beginning stage of this months piece and hope to work on it this week



This week my mind has been going in 10 different directions. Between CLASSES and thinking a lot about how my November project is going to come together and the holidays coming up, and I am trying to do each project within the month it is intended to keep it an actual monthly project. That is challenging in itself. This is the way I work. I think and think and think and then one morning it all comes together for me. I dream about projects and work them out in my dreams. It has always worked for me. It's like I process all the things I want to do in my brain and somehow it all comes out in the end like a smoothie or something. All the different items put together and Voila! I know that is weird, but I usually start with a 'feeling' I want to convey or a subject, and although I may not plan it out, I let it flow out using my beads. Well this morning it hit me what I should do and I hope I can make it come across in my tag. Not surprising is that today is the 2 year anniversary of my mother-in-laws passing and funny how it all came together this week, because my theme will be THANKFUL. Thankful that I had such a wonderful mother-in-law who was one of my biggest supporters. I can't tell you how many home-made things I made her that were less than flattering in my artistic learning stages and she always supported me giving me positive reinforcement. I'm THANKFUL that if it weren't for her I would never have my wonderful husband who is also one of my biggest suppporters. Without him I would be a lost soul I think. In general I simply have a wonderful family and network of people around me who are very supportive. Marjorie was a single parent in the 50's raising 3 boys and going to nursing school. She was an inspiration! She worked as a psychiatric nurse, treating the criminally insane, altzeimer patients etc., for many years and grew the most fantastic orange trees I've ever seen. I don't honestly know how she did it. I really miss her.


Ding Ding Ding Ding!

Ok, so finally the little light bulb over my head went on with a loud dinging noise too! You have been reading my ramblings and complaining about how I'm not happy about the hole of my tags being kind of rough and unfinished. I don't know why I hadn't thought of it sooner, since I taught scrapbooking for a few years and have about a bazillion of these little things in my embellishments stash. Can you say GROMMET? I have teeny ones, square ones, round ones, star ones, (ok you get the idea) in an array of colors and I've been scratching my head about this for months...Soooo Novembers piece will have the almighty grommet in it's little special place. So, I'm glad I got that out of my system and maybe next month I'll think of something entirely different... ;o) jEEEZ lOuIsE! I'm getting "oaf" (old and forgetful)



Well today Matthew left. One week in the life of a 12 yr. old. I did hardly any beadwork this week either. We took care of him while his grandparents (our neighbors) left for NY. While we didn't know him very well, we got quite attached to him. His mom died last year, and dad is not around. We tried our best to give him a week of fun. His obsession is making Nerf guns..( I had no idea) My husband and he went to the local home depot and bought some things to "modify" his current gun. I jokingly told him he was a bit obsessed with these nerf guns" and we share an obsession, mine being beading. We have been having a fun time. My big contribution was trying to come up with a very simple project that a non beader can make and enjoy. He did enjoy making the bracelet and matching up the beads with the words in the Footprint story. This way he could tell the story to his grandmother personally. While it looks like a hodgepodge of beads, it is a simple story bracelet based on the story Footprints. I'm not all that religious, but I am spiritual I like to think, and I think this poem has great meaning to anyone who may be having a rough time in life. Knowing that his grandparents are very religious we thought it would be a nice gift. Each bead represented a certain word in the story. He was so excited to wrap it up in a nice box and pretty organza bag. Can't wait to see how she likes it. My life will be back to normal today, and hubby out of town for a looong week. I will have more time to work on my November BJP. If I'm lucky I will finish November early...


Bad Habit

My other bad habit spoiling "BELLA" our fur baby
I have a bad habit, it is the habit of comparing myself to others. My family all tell me that I shouldn't do it because I am my worst critic. That is just what I do though. I know I'm not alone in this habit. My habit has pushed me however, to go on and do better things with my life. In some instances it has stifled me to just quit and give up. The mantra in my head goes like this: "they are so much more talented, creative, (insert word)". I knew when I joined the BJP that I would have a tendency to do either of the two, challenge myself or be stifled. So far I have noticed how easily some can open up and talk about the most intimate details of their painful days and it is released in their beautiful beadwork. That to me is truly art, if you can convey your feelings through a piece of your beadwork or whatever medium you are using. I don't feel I have reached that point yet. Even in my beadwork, I try to stay on the 'lighter' side. I have my share of challenges in life and so far my pieces have been about the seasons and how the seasons feel to me. Am I trying to cover up negative feelings by doing just positive things like the seasons? I'm an honest person and I should be able share easily. My goal is to look deeper and try to convey some of my inner thoughts and translate that to at least one of my monthly tags. That is hard for me to do and it will certainly come out when I least expect it. Scrolling through everyones blogs I have felt joy, inspiration, sadness, envy, annoyance and most of all an even bigger hunger for beading than ever before. The holidays are coming up and that always has a way of bringing out the emotions in me. Novembers piece will be about family.


October BJP

First let me say THANK YOU TRACEY N. for the freebie friday gift! What a nice surprise to actually win something, I look forward to wearing that cute pumpkin pin and earring set!!! If you haven't visited her blog, check it out, she's very talented.
I finished up last night in the wee hours. I decided to make a small spiral rope for the hanger of the famous hole, (boy does that sound weird).. and left the center beads of it just as is so that I could pull it through the hole in the tag. I made a different version of spiral this time which I had never done. Instead of working up the spiral with the beads and adding base beads as you go, I put on all the base beads first and then did the spiral beads through the base. It looks exactly the same, but you don't have to remember to put on the base bead. Anyway, I enjoyed working on this piece mainly because I love fall, the colors of fall, and encasing cabochons (the crow) is relaxing to me. The hole continues to be a challenge. This time I just left the center hole without beading around it and the edge is raw. Last months I beaded a medallion around it. In any case once the ribbons, or hanging things are put through it, it is pretty much hidden, but I know it's not as finished as I'd like and it continues to kinda bug me. I also did a very very simple whip stitched (I guess that's what you could call it) 3 bead black edging around the entire piece. My canvas is small so I am feeling kind of limited with what I can do on my tags, however I'm still happy I did not go bigger because honestly I don't know if I could finish a larger one each month. My plans for November and December are ambitious, I hope I can follow through with them...


Another full day of Matthew! He's fun! However I only got a small amount of beadwork done today. 12 year olds do a lot of talking!! I have a class to teach on Saturday and I'm determined to get my tag finished by next week, so I can concentrate on Novembers tag and BABE! The Bay area Bead Extravaganza. I am planning on staying a few days out there in the Oakland/San Fran area to take in all it has to offer. Last year we took the train and it was fun and I'm looking forward to another great bead trip to inspire me. On another note, today a box arrived which had two copies of BEAD TRENDS magazine and a check in it. Why? Because finally, finally a design of mine has been published. I'm not real happy about the photo of it, but oh well, at least my name is in there. Here's my PHOTO of another color version of the same design.


Until Next Week

Well, I thought I could finish up my tag in the next few days, but I have a visitor this week. My neighbors grandson who is 12, is staying with us and is he a bundle of energy. Our house is quiet with just my hubby and I and our baby Bella (fur baby) so Matthew is an adjustment to our usually un-eventful days. Matthew is however, intrigued by my beads and told me now that he wants to come to my bead class on Saturday...He's also interested in making nerf guns and we MUST go to the hardware store for parts this weekend...soooo here we go. Beading will have to wait a few days. My husband is wondering how long it will be before I bead a Nerf Gun.


I love Fall

"Crow Season"
My October Tag is almost done. This one went much easier 'cause Fall is my favorite season! You might ask why I chose a crow as my center piece. I always remember that when I would start seeing crows it was in the fall and winter and it was cold outside. I have always associated crows with the coming cold months. I actually took quite a lot of photographs of crows on white snow one year for a college photography class project. Because they are so black, they are the perfect contrast to color and white. Crows like sparkly things as do I, and this piece has bits of sparkles on it. I used olive green swarovski crystals although the pic kind of looks yellowish. The brown foliage leaves that are starting to show up as the nights get colder and leaves are changing I picked up by the yard. The pumpkins are also a favorite of mine as I see everyones homes lined up in anticipation for Halloween . I hope to give a feel of the fall season. All I have left to do is put on the back, decide on the tag hanger, and possibly do beading on the edges.


Fall in the Air

Today we plan to go to the fair, I'm expecting tons of inspiration! I always always head to the gem and mineral building to see all the pretty sparkly rocks, gems etc. A few artists have their beadwork on display there too. I worked on my piece last night, and it just looks too simple and I wish I had gone bigger with my shape. I find I run out of room for things I want to put in. I guess my mind works in a bigger format than I thought it did. Most of the time one central piece is used as my focus and then I build and bead around it, which is what I'm doing this time. Doing collages and trading cards with found objects so much my thing, that I find my beads are the last thing I put on a piece and then there's no room. Today I see that the new issue of Bead Trends is about to come's the one I've been waiting for 'cause I'm in it! Yippee! Just a simple pair of earrings being featured, nothing fancy, but the rewards for me are great!

Oh What to do...

It is the middle of the month and although I have begun my project for October I am not thrilled about it. When I work, I just go for it and see what flows seems a lot of people on the bjp plan and really think things out resulting in amazing pieces of works. Lots of depth and thoughts going on. That will be my challenge for next month since Octobers piece was another let's see what flows out month. For October I chose an orange/brown background of batik once again with little curly olive green designs on it. I love Halloween but thought the idea of jack o lanterns and witches was a little too I chose a crow as my center design and built on that...PHOTOS TO COME...


September BJP

My September BJP is done, I wanted to leave a lot of space for the fabric to show because I like the batik look. Since I messed it up in the very beginning and put on the fabric back before I beaded the tag, it was a tough one to bead and hide the thread so it didn't show on the back. What was I thinking??? Just a little too anxious to get it started maybe? I certainly know better!!! Progress PHOTOS and daily thoughts are on a separate page if you'd like to see those too. This tag began as simply a dark blue background to represent the sapphire birthstone of September, my birth month. It progressed just a teeny bit into a small statement of love since my niece was married this month as well. Dark green and olive are the colors representing the beautiful pine trees in Colorado. I have a small Durango charm attached above the center beaded heart and way down below I put in two white hearts to represent each of them and their dreams for the future. I had big plans for the tags hole and had wanted to bead some strands to thread throught it, but oh well...I have 11 more months to do something different like that for another tag. I beaded a teeny leaf to hang from the ribbon and fabric strands which you can't see. It's not too complicated, but since it is my first month with BJP I'm still evolving and testing out new techniques.

Finishing Up!

This weekend I had some time to work a little more on my tag. My mind is not on this project this month, because I have a wedding to go to in a few days!! Cannot wait to see my niece walk down the aisle. I've been making little beaded hair pins for her hair and some beaded pearl earrings. I beaded up teeny flower cups with swarovski crystal centers and attached them to hair pick/pins. The actual beadwork didn't take that long, it was the planning, and "how is this going to work" ideas with testing along the way, that took up my time. I finished up her rosary, and now had some time to work on 'the bjp project'. I will be finished up this week. PHOTOS. The challenge for me has been filling a small space with something that makes sense together. I checked out some more bjp peoples' blogs and they have already shared their finished works...lots of talent out there!


Tag Along With Me

My shape for my project is a tag shape. I love tags. Since there is a hole in the top, it is perfect to hang a beaded rope or whatever from it. I have done so much scrapbooking in the past that I think that shape is permanently engraved on a brain cell. Today I got quite a lot done on my September Tag. I outlined the entire thing with brick stitch after using wonder under to iron on the fabric front and back to my center felt piece. I needed an iron on fusible which wouldn't be too thick or give my needle problems getting through it, and so far the wonder under has been perfectly easy to sew through. The fabric has a batik sapphire and olive/brown pattern to it which I'm sort of following, and that is a bit limiting. Now I wonder if I should have gone bigger, but I wanted to start small since this is the first year with the BJP and I wanted to make sure the size would allow me to finish each one by the end of the month. Now the challenge is how much do I want to cover on it?

SePTeMbEr Progress

I love tags. They are versatile, tell mini-stories, and are fun. The hole in the top is perfect for hanging, or to make into a book, or pin up in a frame. And the hole lends itself to another design element; the actual beaded strand or ribbon that slides through it. I can bead in a circle around a space, or put a round element with a hole in that spot too. I have been taking Photos, but I think I will post them at the end of the month for the anticipation factor. (I guess that's assuming anyone wants to sneak peek at them. It has been challenging in that I kind of messed up right off the bat because I was so anxious to iron on the fabric to the tag and get it started! I should have left the fabric on the back side off, until I beaded the whole thing first, and then added the back fabric and done the edging beads. Oh well, I have a secondary plan now for that. Stay tuned! I haven't decided what I'm going to do with all 12 of my tags at the end of the year, but I have a year to think about it!! I am not a big bead embroidery person, but I am a huuuge beader of jewelry and components. Whatever I am working on within the month will most certainly become a piece of my journaling project. This is my first year with all the talented designers of this project so I feel more than a little intimidated with all their awesome work.



Well here I am again, it is in the early morning hours and I can hear the coyotes howling again...and my mind is on what else, BEADS! SOON I will have photos to share. I am more than intimidated by all the awesome work I have seen while browsing around all the BJP members last year and this year. The fact that some already have theirs done is giving me a 'boot' to get going. I know there's no one pushing me, but that's the challenge I guess for me.


Cut and Plan

Today I finally cut up all my planned pieces to get them ready for my 'bead impression' of the month. Since September is my birth month, it will be birthstone color inspired. Sapphires. I have my nieces wedding on the brain right now, so I'll fit a bit of that thought in with it as well. Since this is my first ever BJP, I am not getting too adventurous and picked out lots of batik fabrics to use as inspiration colors for my monthly thoughts. This way I have somewhat of a pattern or outline to roughly go with. I don't do a lot of bead embroidery, but decided to use a stiff felt background for behind my fabric. I like to just go with the feel and flow as I bead, so there will be no real plan. Hopefully this week I will post photos of my beginnings.



I can't seem to get going on my project, which I new would be a challenge because I'm getting ready for a trunk show, however today I am determined to get this darn thing going. I see some people are already done, and here it is Sept. 3rd. I really didn't want to start until September to make it more challenging for myself. My size format is a bit different judging from all the comments I see on the main bjp pages of others. Hopefully it all works out in the end. There are so many talented people on the bjp, I just hope I stack up! Photos are coming!!!


BJP Tag PhOtOs

Small peek at my tag, before I finish it up and show the final photo. Some pieces like the large medallions I beaded separately and then attached them. The dreams piece I glued directly to the fabric and beaded around it as a cabachon. I just did a small heart of beadwork embroidery to represent the love of this month for my family. The blue crystal represents the Sapphire stone which is the birthstone of the month. I will add it to the tag later. It reminds me of a pretty blue eye! Here is a closeup of just a little sentiment that reminded me of my niece Brianne, who is getting married this month and has lots of dreams for her future. The 'dreams' piece is actually a scrapbooking embellishment. The hearts represent Brianne and David her fiancee. Ready, Set, I purchased some stiff felt and used it as my base tag shape. Then I cut two pieces of fabric a teeny bit bigger, and wonder under the same tag size and ironed them together. After the fabric was ironed on I punched a hole in the top for my ribbons, bead strands or whatever I decide to hang from it.


3 days to go!!

Today, I finally decided on my size, format for my bead journal project. I don't want to say what it is until I work on it and finish a little bit. (The surprise element!) I did purchase some graphite paper and some pretty fabrics and a clip art book, which I will need for each piece. Here I go....



I'm going crazy trying to decide how big, little I want my projects to be. I want it to be big enough for a good size finished project, but not too big that I can't finish it each month. September is my birthday month and I have a niece getting married so you can count on one of those themes for the first month project...Here I go...



Today I received my first letter regarding the 2008 BEAD JOURNAL PROJECT. I had wanted to do it last year, but missed the deadline. EXCITING! Since I'm a 'newbie' here's hoping I don't screw a whole lot up...On these pages I will be posting twelve pieces of bead artwork. Each month I will make a piece which will include beads. All pieces will reflect my feelings of the month. Each months piece will be the same size. I'm excited to begin this project and only hope I can make time to do my pieces in a timely fashion. Beginning September I'll try to post my progress! September is going to be crazy for me with classes, a wedding, and a trunk show, so I hope, I hope I fit everything in!!