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Saturday, January 19, 2013

BJP January 2013

After successfully completing (but not successfully blogging, unfortunately) the Bead Journal Project in 2011, and failing at the Bead Journal Project last year (I never even completed one month, as I bit off WAY more than I could chew, both time-wise AND cost-wise), I'm back at it again this year with a third try. My theme this year is sea life, and my goal was to make shaped bead pieces that were all under 3" square...unfortunately I think my first piece may have ended up a bit bigger, whoops! This is my great white shark, air jaws style. It has two jump rings on the back so it can be used as a bracelet - which is my plan for all of my pieces this year - but I didn't want it to be permanently a bracelet so I can create a display case for all 12 pieces at the end of the year.
Bead Journal Project January 2013 - Great White Air Jaws Bracelet
Great White Shark breaching is definitely something I want to see in person the next time we visit South Africa - which may be later this year!
Bead Journal Project January 2013 - Great White Air Jaws back

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

February Bead Journal Project

Well, it's not February anymore, but I did finally finish my Bead Journal Piece for February, and I *might* have enough time to get March's completed by the end of the month now that I am finished with the package I have been working on since we got back. :)

Here is the February Bead Journal Project Piece:
February Bead Journal Project 2011 - South African pink ice protea

This is supposed to be a protea flower. The King Protea is South Africa's national flower, but we didn't get to see any king proteas in bloom while we were there - too late in the season. But we did see a few other protea flowers, mostly pink and orange ones. They grow on very very large bushes, and they were all over Table Mountain in Cape Town and at the Cape of Good Hope nature reserve. It ended up being a lot harder to bead than I imagined (harder than last month's penguins, for sure!).

Here is the original sketch that I made, you can see the finished flower didn't come out quite as I had envisioned it. I hope it actually looks like a protea!
February Bead Journal Proejct 2011 South African protea with concept sketch

Project Notes:
Size 11 delica seed beads in opaque pearl butterscotch yellow, pastel pink, pink, hot pink, watermelon, limeaid, lime green, aloe green, and forest green
3mm swarovski crystals, XILION Bicone Palace Green Opal
4mm swarovski crystals, XILION Bicone Light Emerald
5mm swarovski crystals, XILION Bicone Fern Green
leftover quilter's cotton
size D Nymo thread with size 10 beading needles
backing: dark green ultrasuede
February Bead Journal Project 2011 - South African protea supplies

Eventually I am going to attach a pin back to this, but I didn't have a good-quality pin back on hand and wanted to finish this before too much later in March! I think I am going to give it to my mom, as she has a collection of pins (mostly antiques, but not all) and she loves protea.
February Bead Journal Project 2011 South African protea backside of work

I do have the beads for March's project as well as the sketches completed, so I will get straight to work! Hard to believe that in another week it will be time to order the beads for April! :D

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Trip Tank

When we went on our trip, I of course had to take a knitting project along! Not only were we going to be spending hours on planes, and in airports, we were also going to be driving. I don't really do much knitting just to sit and knit, I have to be watching something on TV/DVD, listening (to a podcast, music, radio, anything!), or stuck somewhere with nothing else to do (riding in the car, sitting at the doctor's office, waiting in line...).

I actually bought a project and yarn specifically for the trip, because I wanted something that would take me several hours to knit but not take up a lot of space *or* take too much concentration (so lace was out). I thought about taking the final sleeve for the project that I wanted to wear on the trip but didn't get finished, but decided against it *just* in case something might happen to it - heck, I've spent so much time on the rest of it I don't want to ruin the whole project because I don't have backup yarn to knit the other sleeve! And I *do* still really want to finish it and be able to wear it...

I have been oogling Army Of Knitters' patterns for a while now, so I decided to buy the pattern for Erquy. I ordered yarn - a bamboo-cotton blend - from Elann. I did get most of the knitting done on the trip, but I didn't quite get it finished. I was really glad to have it along, though.

LauraJosie's Erquy

Back view:

LauraJosie's Erquy from the back

I'll either end up wearing this over a white cami or my swimsuit, but alas, not for months and months as the weather here is still dreadful...

You can see the rest of my notes on Ravelry.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

January Bead Journal Project

My first Bead Journal Project for 2011 is finished! :D It's a little bit late, but then I was away for three weeks and it took me a week to catch up, and I still had to decide on my size and shape for this year and only then did I realize I needed to order beads too! Yikes!

Without further ado, here is the finished January Bead Journal Project piece:

January Bead Journal Project 2011 African Penguins

Penguins! African Penguins, to be exact. These were sketched from pictures taken at Boulder's Beach. I love penguins, and the African penguin is really cute. They make funny sounds, sometimes it sounds like they are really making music! The penguins are just as cute in the wild as they are at the zoo...even cuter! I really love penguins, so seeing them in the wild at Boulder's Beach was amazing. :D

Here it is with the inspiration/project sketch page:

January Bead Journal Project 2011 African Penguins with concept sketch

Project Notes:
Size 11 and 15 Delica seed beads in opaque black, white, blue grey, transparent matte teal green, ceylon beige, and lined light aqua
leftover quilter's cotton
size D Nymo thread with size 10 beading needles
backing: blue costume suede

January Bead Journal Project 2011 African Penguins supplies

I'm really pleased with the way this turned out, as I wasn't really sure how to finish the piece and couldn't find any resources that were very helpful. Eventually I just ended up slip stitching it to some blue costume suede stuff I had lying around, and then stuck a picot edge around it.

January Bead Journal Project 2011 African Penguins - back of the piece

One of the reasons I chose the oval format was because I figured it would be very versatile, and for the penguins I decided to go with a bracelet finish. And of course I didn't think to take a picture of the bracelet on my arm. I will have to do that and create a photo collage, which was my initial plan...and then I decided that was taking too long so I'd better just put something up!

I'm hoping I can get February's finished before too far into March - I actually had January's finished a full week ago, but it took me a week to take and edit pictures and get this post up - I know, I'm such a slacker - and while I did get February's sketches finished and prepared the fabric, I haven't actually started beading yet as I have desperately been trying to finish up items for a package (still not done - this package is consuming my life!). And now wouldn't you know I need to order the beads for March! Maybe I can get February finished before the beads get here. :)

I'd love to hear your feedback, this is my first bead embroidery piece and while I think it turned out pretty well for a first attempt I would love any suggestions you might have!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Christmas Poinsettia

So for Christmas this year I really wanted to make "package ties" to dress up the presents for all of my aunts and uncles. So I decided to make poinsettia tsumami kanzashi pins. These took FOREVER, but I am really please with how well they turned out. I made 10 - and I didn't make one for myself. I have extra fabric but I don't have any more crystals, and poinsettias aren't really my thing anyways.

Christmas Poinsettia Kanzashi

Each flower required six green petals, six large red petals, and six small red petals. I also used six flat-back swarovski crystals, 3 of 4.6-4.8mm light topaz and 3 of 3.8-4.0mm light topaz. The six small red petals were folded more complexly than the bottom petals; all 18 petals were cut in 2" squares from silkessence - the green fabric was textured but the red fabric was smooth.

All ten Christmas Poinsettia Kanzashi

Friday, January 28, 2011

BJP Plans...I'm baaaaaaaaaack :D

Three weeks away...it's hard to come back from nice warm sun and beaches to cold and snow.

I've finally decided on my Bead Journal Project's form for 2011. Each of my pieces will be an 1.5 x 4" oval, which I am going to finish by turning into either a bracelet or a hair clip, depending on the month and what I feel like doing.

Bead Journal Project 2011 Template

I have also decided on my theme for January, although I am very behind (almost a full month!) and I have to order a few beads, so I might go ahead and plan for February at the same time.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

But for a plan...

I've been trying to come up with a plan for my Bead Journal Project for next year (which isn't so very far away!).

Right now I am thinking either of 1" hexagons (I would link 6 into a bracelet, 2 for earrings, and the the last 4 as a necklace center) or a 1" x 3" oval (as either a bracelet or hair clip, depending on the month).

I've also considered themes, but I think the problem is that I have too many good ideas for themes. Ie: video games, fairy tales, sea life, Africa, flowers, ...

So I'm not sure if I will do a theme at all or if I will just do whatever I feel like on a month-by-month basis. Although I do have to admit, it would be super fun to end up with a whole collection based on a theme at the end of the year!