Tuesday, November 29, 2011

BJP 2011 November - Connecticut

I've said it before, and I'll say it again (and again, I'm sure!).  Thank Goodness for the Bead Journal Project.  It has given me the kick in the pants to bead.  I think back to a few years ago when that's all I did in every spare second of my day - Bead. 

Morning, Noon and Night.

 Any chance I got, I would bead.  I was addicted. 

 I still am addicted, don't get me wrong.  As soon as I sit down and pick up that needle, I'm sucked right back into the addiction.  Its just that the 'sitting down' part doesn't happen as often as it used to.  But the BJP nags at me and draws me in to just sit a bit and lose (find?) myself in the beading.

This month's State quarter turned out to be Connecticut.  I've only been to Connecticut on business - the Hartford/Glastonbury area.  And it is GORGEOUS!  I mostly remember how green it was and it seemed like every house was surrounded by a low stone wall that seemed to have been there since forever.  Being the rock-hound that I am, I would have loved to have studied those walls and taken pictures, but when you're travelling for business, you just don't do things like that. 

My original thought was to create little walls and fill in around them with green fringe type of stitches.  And as usual, the beads led me somewhere else.

OK, so my walls look more like paths, but to me they are stone walls.  Lots of them, all jumbled together. 

And my grassy patches turned into what looks like a tree - must have been that tree on the quarter influencing my stitches.

Even though my finished piece is far from what I envisioned, it still "works" - for me at least!

Have you registered for the 2012 BJP? 

~ Bead Happy and Often ~

Saturday, November 26, 2011

BJP 2011 October - Vancouver

I love to break my own rules!  Here's another 'State' that wasn't in the original lineup for my Bead Journal Project. 

My cousin Patrick once again treated me to a spontaneous trip by asking me to join him on an awards trip that he won through his employer.
Patrick at the SandBar
Granville Island, Vancouver, BC

Needless to say, he didn't have to ask me twice. So at the end of September, I hopped on a plane and flew across the country and in to Canada to explore a new city - Vancouver, British Columbia! 

At some point on our trip, I was given a Vancouver quarter as part of my change.  NICE! 

Here are the inspirations (in no particular order) for my October piece:

Glorious Sunrises
Glass Galore - every building was just encased in glass!
Stanley Park Beach

Stanley Park Rock Formations

The forest in Stanley Park

Cloud banks that swallowed the mountains

And here's how I interpreted the essence of Vancouver:
Lush Forests and Sherbet Colored Skies
Glass Buildings
Beach meets Rocks
(I actually found that shell with the barnacles on it on the beach in Stanley Park)

Ringed with Clouds

It was truly amazing to see how the clouds would come in and the mountains would completely vanish from view.  We were so lucky to have a few days of sparkling sun before the clouds came in. 

We also headed up north to Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains.  Took an amazing ride on a glass-bottom gondola between the two peaks.    I do have another Vancouver quarter......just might have to break another rule so I can use up some of this inspiration:

Top of Whistler Mountain

On the Peak 2 Peak Gondola
Heading over to Blackcomb Mountain

The view from Blackcomb Mountain
Whistler Village
~ Bead Happy and Often ~

Monday, November 14, 2011

Looking Ahead to the BJP 2012

My silly brand new HP laptop is still not working, so I haven't been able to share my October BJP, but it is complete and I am working on November now.   

No one is more surprised than me that I have been 'keeping up' with the BJP.  I think it is because it really has become a personal journey.  Revisiting places I've been has been enlightening, to say the least.  I never ever expected it to take me where it has and with that in mind, I gave some serious thought on where I wanted the BJP to take me in 2012.

I now know that the BJP is so much more than beading.  I don't know why this is such news to me, since I was already aware of the Power of the Bead.  That magical journey that happens when you just bead and let the process overtake your mind soul  and before you know it - Poof - a little bit of yourself is reflected in beads.  ~sigh~  I get the same feeling when I do yoga.

Anyhow, I was just so excited that I came up with my BJP theme for next year,  that I wanted to share my enthusiasm for the BJP and encourage anyone who has hesitated to join to throw yourself into the project and let the magic begin!   Registration opens soon......

Bead Happy and Often!

Monday, October 10, 2011

BJP - September Virginia

Although I actually finished this piece in August, it has taken me until NOW to post it?  Good golly miss molly what is UP with that???  Hmmm,  I guess I've been busy re-inventing my life.  But more about that later. 

September's trip took me back to being 16 years old and going to Virginia Beach on vacation.  When I was 16 my mother used to tease me that my 'job' was suntanning and growing my fingernails long.  They were long, but I loved them.  And yes I was beyond tan back in the day.  None of that fake 'n bake -- just pure Western New York sunshine.  I couldn't get enough of it back then.  So a trip to the ocean in July - didn't have to ask me twice!

I was in my glory - sun, sand, ocean.   Not Lake - but OCEAN.  With its huge waves and pounding surf.  My dad and I had a blast playing in the waves on this little blow up raft thing.  Timing the waves just right to ride all the way into the shore.  Over and over again.  God that was fun! 

It was at the end of one ride that I literally felt like my arm had broken.  It was the weirdest pain.  I remember the look on my mother's face as she watched me come out of the water.  She knew something wasn't right.  I had no idea what could have happened. 

I looked down at the raft and there was a jellyfish.  I had laid right on top of it and had gotten stung. 

I had never even thought about jellyfish.  We didn't have any of those in Lake Erie!  Of course after that, I was so paranoid that the carefree surf rides were over.    But the memory lives on.......

Bead Happy and Often !

Saturday, August 13, 2011

August BJP - New Hampshire

Another family vacation from my childhood!  I don't remember a whole heck of a lot about New Hampshire, other than there being too much fog to take the cog railway up Mt. Washington and it being drizzly and rainy and buying a stuffed black bear with a red collar and a chain leash as a souvenir. 

click to enlarge any of the pics

Oh joy of joys, I loved that bear!  It was like the dog I never had. 

When I mentioned to my mom that I was working on my New Hampshire piece, even she remembered the black bear and how I dragged him everywhere.  

I was thinking to actually attempt to bead a bear shape and put a little ribbon for the collar, but then I thought "too obvious".  So I went with a more abstract/textural piece instead.  It just so happened I came across the chain from an old necklace and I love the way it looks as the leash. 

 I wonder what ever happened to my little bear?  Maybe I'll find him while cleaning out my attic..........

August 2011
New Hampshire
.....as soon as I get around to doing that hateful project.  But I have to get on it, our house is sold (in less than a week!) and its time to weed through 21 years of stuff.  Ugh.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

BJP July 2011 - Nevada

We interrupt the regularly scheduled State Quarter to announce that a new state has joined the journal--NEVADA......

I didn't even think about the fact that I have been to a new state this year until I was fishing for loose change in the bottom of my purse and I pulled out the Nevada state quarter.  With the inspiration still fresh in my mind, I knew exactly what I would bead.  I know, I know, I promised myself I would pull a quarter from my little jar without prejudice and go with whatever came to mind, but really, I just had to break my own rule.  This piece was just screaming to be made!

Although jetskiing on Lake Mohave in Nevada was one of (many) highlights of my trip, this magnet would not be about that.  Oh no, it could only be about this:

 The Chandelier Lounge in the Cosmopolitan resort in Vegas.  I was (am) in love with this place.  

 Being inside was literally like sitting inside a 3-story chandelier.  It was beyond amazing. 

I don't know who came up with the design, but they should get an award.  Patrick and I stopped in just for one drink, and wound up spending the whole evening there - only left when they told us they were closing for the night.   I could have moved in and lived there.

I don't have any pictures from inside, the night we were there I (surprisingly!) did not have my camera with me.  But trust me, the inside was even more spectacular than the outside.

I hunted my stash and pulled out all the crystal swarovski and clear beads I could find.  I fringed

and looped

and draped my way around the circle.

Looking at this month's piece takes me right back to Vegas  . . . .  and wanting a margarita surrounded by crystals and the company of my favorite cousin.  ~sigh~

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

June BJP 2011 - Kentucky

 June's Journey takes me back to Kentucky and the Mammoth Caves.  I must have been around 12 years old and had no idea what a cave was and why in the world we would be going to see it. 

It was crazy hot during our visit and even as a kid, I didn't like the heat.  I couldn't imagine being in a hot cave!  But then our tour guide explained how the caves were discovered.
A field of Kentucky blue grass
A farmer noticed his cows lingering in this one area out in the field on a hot day and went out to investigate.   There he discovered the cows had congregated around an open hole in the earth from which cold air was pouring.  The farmer went down into the hole and viola - the Mammoth Caves were discovered.  Well, at least that's the story I remember from my youth.    The promise of escaping the heat was all I needed to hear - let's get in that cave already!

Entering the coolness of the cave
Not only was the cave cool and dark, it was beyond amazing.  Unlike anything I had ever seen and I was completely in awe of the formations of the ever changing rocks. (Now that I think of it, this is probably where the rock addiction started.)
Stalagtites or Stalagmites?
Depends on which way you hold it, I guess

A storm rolls in
 While we were there, it was my birthday and a huge violent thunderstorm came through the afternoon of my birthday and knocked out the power in the entire area.   We were supposed to go to dinner for my birthday at a particular restaurant (don't remember the name).  I remember we drove for what seemed like hours to find  another one of that particular restaurant.  We passed all these places with power and I was so annoyed why we just couldn't go to one of those to eat.  But my parents drove on and on and on looking for that specific place to eat.  Finally we found one!  And at the end of the meal when they brought out a cake and everyone in the place sang Happy Birthday to me, I knew then why we had to eat there.  They celebrated birthdays.  
June BJP 2011

So now I'm half way through this little journal/journey project.  I can't believe the emotions and memories I've encountered along the way.  And everytime I look at my journeys displayed along my refrigerator, I smile.    Life is Good.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Long Time No See

Good Golly Miss Molly - time sure does fly!  Have done very little beading these days.  Instead I've been:

Hiking through a bog in New York

Climbing rocks in Arizona

Hiking up a crystal clear creek in Arizona

Traipsing around Vegas

Watching my beautiful daughter and her adorable boyfriend go to prom

and then watch her graduate

Enjoying the beautiful weather

Selling my house (eek)

and yes, a little bit of beading on my June BJP.  More on that soon, I hope.....
and I hope to get some time soon to visit all my blogfriends!  I miss you all (and your fabulous beading) terribly!