Tuesday, January 4, 2011

January BJP

I decided to make my Bead Journal Project pieces 2 3/4" circles.  Ok.  Great. 

Now time to choose a "theme."  Not that choosing a theme is a requirement of the Project, I just thought it might help keep me on track.  I happened to be digging for change one day and pulled out the Montana state quarter.  Hmm,  I wonder how many states I've been to.  Well, looky there--I've been to 12 states.  Sweet.  There's my theme!  Ok. Great.

Now what would I do with 12 circles at the end of the year?  Hang them like a banner?  Sew them together like a quilt ? No I didn't like either of those ideas.  And then it hit me -- I'll make them into magnets and stick them on my fridge.  Functional beadwork.  You know I'm all about that.  Ok. Great.  Let's get started.

I put all the quarters into a little jar and chose one at random.  Florida.  Ah, nice to think about being in Florida when it's winter in Western New York.

Although I've been to Disney World twice and to Sarasota with my parents, that's not what I think about when I think of Florida.  Instead I think about when I 'worked' in Miami for a summer as the adminstrative trainer for the company I worked for at the time.  I find that to be really weird; but for whatever reason, Miami is what came to mind when I looked at that quarter.  Not the family vacations, but work.  Really?  Gosh, that's weird.

It was in the early 1990s right at the time when South Beach was just beginning its rebirth.  So many boarded up huge hotels, with a few reclaimed places scattered about.  It was a neat place to be.  I have great memories of the people I traveled with and those that I got to know who worked in the office.  I remember the week after I finished up down there, Hurricane Andrew came to town and destroyed our office.  It was hard to believe. 

Oh for heaven's sake, girl, show the beads already!  Sorry about all that blabbering on......

I thought I was going to peyote stitch the coin on, but I realized the beads would cover up too much of the coin, so I just glued it down. 
As usual, you will see elements of 3 and 5 throughout the piece (symbolic of my 3 daughters and myself being 1 of 3 sisters and coming from a family of 5 and now being a family of 5).

Most obvious are the 3 leaves and the 3 waves, but let's take a closer look:
a stack of 3 flower sequins

3 little turqouise rounds
a little net of 3 triangles

3 Swarovski Bicones along the base of the coin
  Just a small bit with 5 elements:
5 sequin bugle stacks surrounded by 5 pink and orange bugle paths
and if you look really close, 5 baby stacks in front of the bugle stacks
Here's a side view to get an idea of the texture. 

And here's the back.

I split the edge colors to represent the sunset over the ocean.  I stuffed it with just a bit of polyfill to try and fill out the edges (you can see the impressions of the 2 round magnets).  My biggest concern would be if the magnets would be strong enough to keep it from sliding down the fridge - they are :)

I'm really looking foward to this year long journey of reflecting on where my life has taken me and I want to thank you for coming along for the ride!

Bead Happy and Often.


NEDbeads said...

It's so lovely!!! What a wonderful theme - both the circles, the magnets and the coins!! And I LOVE your waves and the way you make the beads undulate - in fact, I love every bit of it!!!

Roberta said...

What a great idea! It really does look like south Florida. I lived in Key West for many years. Miami was "up north".
I love the way you have used so many different beads. I am still in the stage of one size so I am always impressed by multiple sizes!
Very nice work.

Beadwright said...

WoWWWW! I love this post. I was so drawn into the entire story. I absolutely love every aspect of this piece. Thanks so much for sharing.

Tracey N. said...

Gorgeous Lynn, as I knew it would be. How you fit so many special touches into such a small space is amazing. All that symbolism is great. I love your colors and the textures in your piece. I am so glad you are finally joining in with us on the BJP. I am so proud of you for already being done when its only the 4th of january! Huge hugs my friend!

Robin said...

What an absolutely fun fabulous idea!!!!! I'm a tad green about this one... a great theme! Love the closer inspection of 3s and 5s; love everything about your trip to Florida in beads. Glad to hear the magnates hold the weight! Bravo on finishing January's piece already. I've not started yet (maybe tomorrow).

Robin A.

Anonymous said...

I love your state/quarters theme and your plan to make magnets! So clever and original! That's an option for a lot of us who chose to create smaller sized pieces. I love how your piece incorporates meaning into every element, and your actual beading is impeccably magnificent! So glad to have found your blog, thanks for visiting mine!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

OMG that it absolutely stunning and amazing and all the other superlatives that one can think of. I love the symbolism of the 3s. Way to go!

Carol said...

Hey Lynn!! By Gosh, you got it. Just what BJP is all about. I loved reading the commentary on what you thought about when you picked the FL quarter!! But of course, your beading is amazing and the thoughtfully incorporated references to 3 and 5 make it even more special.

Happy New Year!!

Robbie said...

What a cool idea! And your Jan. piece/magnet turned out beautiful! Never thought of a quarter being beautiful but you did it! Very nice!!!

Marty S said...

Wonderful! So much texture! Refrigerator magnets are a fun and unique idea. Your "in process" photos are great. Actually, all your photos are great. Any tips for the photos?
Marty S
Crackpot Beader

Lois2037 said...

What a great idea, and executed so very very well! I think the colors you chose are very "Florida," and the citrus leaves are a perfect addition.

beadbabe49 said...

Great idea...I'm still searching for a size and theme....thanks for the inspiration!

Raphaela said...

An absolutely beautiful piece. Great texture.

Tanya said...

Very nicely turned out! Great idea!

Eva Maria Keiser said...

Lovely outcome, thank you for sharing the process!

Magpie Sue said...

Wow, what a great piece! I especially love all the heights and textures you managed to incorporate. That's someting I'd like to get better at.