Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January 2014 Bead Journal Project

Bead Journal Project created by Robin Atkins moved over to Facebook which makes it so much easier for people to share ideas and display their Art.  I hadn't participated if over two years so when I saw the jump to FB, I decided that it was time for me to take some time each month and create something special and meaningful for each month of 2014.  Though members don't have to chose a theme or a format for each month, many do chose both or just one.  Some focus on ATC size portraits of their inner self or special journeys of self discovery.

For 2014, originally I wanted to try my hand at painting pictures with beads.  I had taken two classes from Rena at Byzantium years ago and loved the technique.  I've seem some fabulous pieces done by bead embroidery artist out there that just make my fingers itch.  But then I thought that instead of doing twelve individual pieces each month, bead painting needed more commitment and time.  I'm not throwing this idea out for 2014, but I decided to delay this project for later.  I went down to the Art Cave and started opening draws of beads and supplies.  Then I walked over to my wall of seed beads trying to get some inspiration.  I walked back to my work desk, and randomly started opening draws handling some cabochons that I'd hoarded over the years.  As if a spark bit my finger and coursed up my arm, I had the inspiration to take some of my prized cabochons, lampwork beads, seed beads, and other items I'd bought and lovingly put away for that "rainy day".  How many of us have tons of beads or fabrics or fibers hoarded away locked away in drawer, boxes or closets saving them for a day when our skill level was good enough to justify their use?  I know I am guilty of that.  Cyndy Sieving and I talk about this sometimes about why wait!  Why indeed?  Will our skill levels ever be good enough in our own minds?  We are our worse enemies when it comes to doubting we are good enough.  She always encourages people to open up and use those items you had bought and then hoarded away to use another day.  Use them NOW!  So I decided that for 2014, my theme is NO MORE HOARDING.  Each month, I'm going to take a special item from my hoarded stash and create something from it.

Hoarded gemstone cabochons

Hoarded seed beads I bought at Fusion my first trip to Seattle
For January 2014, I made a bracelet and matching earrings using some of the prize stone cabochon's I'd bought at the first Bead and Button show in Milwaukee I attended.  These colors of the stones just pulled me to the booth, and I wasn't satisfied until I left with at least a few of these clutched in my hands.  I hadn't used any of them until last month when I created a special necklace to wear on my birthday.  Plus, I hadn't realized that I had not made a bracelet in over a year, and I can't recall the last time I even attempted to make earrings.  I just love the colors on these stones.  Every time I picked them up, I would be whisked away to our trip to Canyonland in Utah.  We went on a private trip out of Moab with a guide and four other guys in an old VW bus.  Since I was the only woman in the group, I got to sit up front with the tour guide.  We climbed cliffs, we hiked, we talked, we all had a marvelous 8 hours driving the back roads deep in the canyons carved out by the Colorado River.  I can't forget one snapshot of that day, when all the men decided to go out and hunt for dinosaur fossils.  They left me all alone with the VW bus.  I heard their voices diminish as they climbed down the trail.  Then their voices were gone, and I was all alone with all the spectacular colors washing over me.  I turned my head up to the warming Sun and watch as birds circled over head.  Then a big wind roared through the landscape and throwing my arms I felt as is I was flying over the canyon.  The quiet was filling me with such a sense of peace.  I know it was probably less than an hour before the men all came back, but to me it was a eternity of inner peace and contentment.  After that trip, whenever my life would get stressed or insane, I'd picture myself standing there with my wings unfurled flying like a raptor over the canyon thinking of nothing but the joy of being PRESENT. 

I notice that I do use this color palette in many of my works, and now I realize it is because of that moment in Canyonlands when I was focused on the moment.  Perhaps I try to recreate that image constantly so that I can whisk my way back to that time of inner joy.  You?  Do you have any colors that thrill you and take you to a place or a time that is special?  Please share with me if you have.


Anne Marie - Toronto said...

Dot, I think that you've got a winning idea and your pieces are quite lovely. I've been to the Southwest and I agree the colour, the light and the felling of peace is amazing! As for me, the colours of the sea pull me right in. I grew up by the ocean and the ocean is always my first love.

Liz said...

What a fabulous set! Years ago I drove through southern Utah and northern Arizona. Camped at Zion and Bryce as well as the northern rim of the grand canyon. There is no other place in the world like that. Somehow those red rocks seeped into my soul and I've never forgotten it. Your pieces have such a strong reflection of that area, both the mystery and the beauty. Congratulations on breaking into your special stash.

Robin said...

These are so beautiful and beautifully made, Dot! You are such a multi-talented artist. I like your BJP plan for the year, and think you will learn a lot about yourself in the process, as you have on this one (reason for preference for this color scheme). Bravo!

Evanna said...

I have so enjoyed reading your story behind your January piece. They just resonate with the colours of the canyons. It is twenty years since I was ther but have just enjoyed a programme here in England by Dan Snow who went down the cannon river in old river boats. I was thinking that as well as have my monthly pieces i would
also have one on going piece a bit like April's larger fox head. So you could start on one bead picture for 2014. I think mine is going to be a felt flower meadow with beaded butterflies. Looking forward to seeing your next piece.

Bobbie said...

The bracelet and the earrings are gorgeous -- a wonderful tribute to the memories you treasure of your trip. But even more than the jewelry, I love your mantra for the year, and may have to adopt it for myself. No More Hoarding! Use those beads!