Wednesday, February 2, 2011

California Dreaming on Such a Winter's Day - February BJP

Funny that the second quarter I randomly picked for the Bead Journal Project (BJP) happened to be another state I travelled to for business. 
It was late Fall in 1993.  I was in my first trimester of pregnancy with Meghan and I was so sick.  I hadn't told my office yet that I was expecting.   Little did I know the nauseous-ness would subside in the second trimester only to be replaced by daily migranes that lasted the duration of my pregnancy and beyond.  Ever have to ride an elevator with a migrane - every day- multiple times a day?   Not fun.  Anyhow, let's get back to California.

I remember hating this trip. 
Hating California. 
Hating the person I travelled with. 
Hating the office staff. 

I'm sure it was just because of how I felt physically, but I was tired of travelling and just wanted to go home.

So how to turn all these negative memories into something positive? Time for an attitude adjustment.

Thinking back I do remember some 'fun' out of the trip.  The airport shuttle van ride was an experience I'll never forget.  It was really neat to see the neighborhoods around Los Angeles as we dropped off travellers to their homes.  One guy lived way up high in the hills and I was so nervous the brakes were going to give out when he parked the van and helped the guy unload his bags.  We were right in the front seat facing down the hill and I felt like I was on a roller coaster at the crest of the first drop.  Exhilarating but truly frightening.

It was cool that we could see the Hollywood sign from the office windows.  That was surreal. 

The fact that the entrance ways to the freeways had traffic lights to regulate the cars entering  was new to me.  Holy cow - the freeways were huge and the traffic unlike anything I had ever seen.  Give me sleepy ol' Buffalo any day.  

One night the office manager took us to dinner in a really beautiful restaurant somewhere in the hills outside of Los Angeles.  As night fell and the lights starting twinkling in the hills, it was magical.  I remember I couldn't even eat and the conversation was really really dull, so I just lost myself in the view.   Thinking back to how beautiful that scene was, I found  inspiration for my piece.

Starting with a black piece of Nicole's super-duper how-did-I-ever-bead-without-it beadbacking, I collected an assortment of night time colors. 

After outlining the quarter to make it like a full moon, I made 3 hillsides (gee, what a surprise - 3 hills).  I wanted one to have a very steep incline, to remind me of that shuttle van ride.

When I was filling in the smallest of the hills using the boucle (carpet) stitch, I didn't realize I had used a white center bead on every stitch.  I didn't mean to, and almost ripped it out because I thought it was too much.  But then I thought that it was OK, and it was meant to represent the City of Los Angeles far in the distance from the sparsely populated hillside.  Cool.  I love it when the beads tell the story without me even trying.

As I was filling in the night sky around the 5 stars (gee, what a surprise - 5 stars!), I realized that I didn't like the way it was going to come out.   So rather than continuing working my way to the edge, I started from the top down and filled in the area with shorter rows. 

Even though I used a 2-bead edging around the entire piece, I changed the beads and the placement of the seed beads to give it some variation from the sky to the hillsides.

Seeing this dark piece next to the bright Florida piece on my refrigerator is really neat.  I'm anxious to see what State comes up in March. 

February BJP 2011
January BJP 2011
I know it's only the second month and maybe I'm still in the 'honeymoon' phase, but I love being a part of the Bead Journal Project.  Just the opportunity to reflect on my past has really opened my heart and soul to what it is that has made me into who I am today.  I like to think of this as my personal Bead Journey Project. 

~Bead Happy and Often~


Anonymous said...

I love your quarters idea, and in spite of your CA feelings, it's lovely and turned out to be a healing theme -- bead journaling at it's best!

Lisa Criswell / Indigo's Beads said...

such a stark contrast to the vibrant colors of your first leg of your journey. it's interesting how i can see both sides of your trip...the, oh, i don't know--"dislike" of the trip itself in the dark colors, but at the same time i can see the nighttime sparkle of city lights and stars brightening up the darkness of night around the hills. very well done. i am excited, too, to see another month. you came up with such a clever idea for your bjp, and i'm looking forward to seeing how the year unfolds. hugs to you!

Roberta said...

These are really fantastic you know. I love your stories that go with them. I don't have stories with mine so I really appreciate yours!
It is funny that you hated Cali. I think it depends which parts you go to. I loved the bay area but I would most likely hate LA. Too fake. Too plastic.

Dee D said...

I love both of your pieces. It is going to be fun to see which 12 states get represented.

Tracey N. said...

Love it Lynn! I love how even though you have a stark contrast in color to last months piece, you still have some continuity between them with your use of 3's and 5's. What a great idea you have come up with! When you first told me your plans for the 2011 BJP, I had no idea that it would be so special. Great job my friend!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Your thought process is wonderful--wonderful how you can find the positive in a not so positive situation! Beautiful piece!

Robin said...

It really IS your bead journey project, isn't it! I'm so glad you showed both FL and CA in this post... different times, different experiences, different feelings... both part of your journey. Your idea with the quarters is magical!

Robin A.

Marty S said...

You've done a superb job of telling the story with your beads! Sometimes more comes out in our beading than we expect. This will be one of my favorites.
Marty S
Crackpot Beader

Magpie Sue said...

Cool. Very cool. Right now I'm a little envious of your state quarters for inspiration every month. I'm still waiting to see what February brings for me to bead about!

Margaret Sutherland said...

The pieces are both so different but oh so personal..Both are beautiful! Good work.

Trudi Thorburn said...

I enjoy being able to meet other travelers when riding in an airport shuttle bus! Aside from touring places, I’m always looking forward to meeting new people and making new friends. By the way, your bead works are beautiful!

-Trudi Thorburn