Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March BJP - Pennsylvania

When the Pennsylvania state quarter tumbled out of my little jar I keep them in, I immediately thought to do my March Bead Journal Project piece based on the Black Snake Mountain hiking trail in Allegany State Park that runs right along the Pennsylvania border. 

Hannah and Meghan at the trailhead
Meghan and I are now standing in Pennsylvania:

And here's the view back over to the New York side (yeah, we get all dressed up when we go hiking!). 

Pretty cool that this stone marker is there, isn't it? Otherwise, how would you know, right?

The problem with this idea is that I would have to incorporate the hateful scene that lies on the Pennsylvania side of the trail - a hydraulic fracturing well site.  If you aren't familiar with hydro fracking, it is an idiotic method of harvesting natural gas pockets that are trapped beneath the marcellus shale.    Idiotic because it is destroying the forests of the Allegheny (yep different spelling on the Pennsylvania side) Forest, not to mention the hazardous waste water it generates (well, supposedly the jury is still out on that)......ENOUGH!   I will not step onto my soap box, I promise.    If you are interested in learning more about this, just "google"  hydro fracking and you'll be drowning in a sea of information.

Back to the BJP.  I wanted to keep 'happy' thoughts and memories in my journal pieces.  Maybe someday I'll cross over into the dark side of my beading brain, but not now.  So, I thought and I thought and I thought ~ but I just couldn't come up with anything else.

Bink!  I woke up in the middle of the night with a thought - a Pennsylvania Dutch Hex Sign!  I remember as a little girl traveling to Pennsylvania with my parents and grandparents on a 'mission' to find them.  For the life of me, I could not imagine why.  We aren't Dutch, so why would my mom travel all that way to get one?  Well, come to find out, they are actually a German-based tradition!  That explains it - we are of German heritage and at that time, my grandparents had just come back from Germany after visiting my aunt and uncle who were living there.    (click here if you want the full Hex Sign details)

Sweet!  I've got my inspiration!

I chose this pattern simply because it looked easy.  Come to find out, the symbolism behind the pattern was very appropriate to what I had just experienced.   You see, the tulips represent faith and trust in man - remember the incident of the scary looking old man that appeared on my doorstep?  Pretty ironic.  (if you missed that story, you can click here and go to the end of the post to see what I'm talking about)

According to what I read, the eight pointed star is a fairly common hex design. The star is usually blue and symbolizes goodwill and the sheaves of wheat symbolize abundance.   Ok, I think I can bead this up.

I took a little liberty on the 'star' - I made mine more like a star of leaves.

Hmm, I know I had tulip shaped beads somewhere........

oh, darn, I didn't want blue tulips!  What else can I use to make a tulip? 

Perfect - a bicone and some seeds.

Even with the golden 'wheat', it was still looking a bit drab, so I perked it up a bit and chose some sunny colors to make a rope border out of size 15 seeds.

Looks more like candy corn than sun! Oh well.

I don't know why I could picture a black and white edging, but I like the effect.  Reminds me of an old fashioned tile floor.

March BJP - Pennsylvania

February BJP - California
January BJP - Florida
Thanks for coming along on my journal journey - I hope you enjoyed the scenery ! !

~ Bead Happy and Often ~


NEDbeads said...

Absolutely gorgeous!!! I SOOOOO love your theme and your execution is perfection!!!

Carol said...

Very nice interpretation of the hex! The colors are great and the black around the edge really makes the orange, yellow and red pop.

You know, spending time enjoying nature with kids is just the best. We always have such a nice relaxed time, whether its hiking around the county park near us or just sitting along the river that spills a bay at the end of our road.

I'm with you on the soap box too!

Lisa Criswell / Indigo's Beads said...

i think your representation of the hex is awesome! it has great symbolism, and you depicted it very well. this is going to be an amazing collection at the end of the year! hugs!

Dee D said...

I love your PA beaded piece. And, what a wonderful story about Rich.

Robbie said...

Being a Pennsylvania girl and of german heritage, of course i enjoyed your post today!!! Small town south of Pittsburgh (Finleyville!). I just LOVE your BJP's!!!! Terriffic!!

Anonymous said...

Wow this is incredible! I just love your theme, it's the best I've seen, and your interpretations of the states. Your work is amazing and I can't wait to see the next state, Maryland maybe?? lol.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Simply gorgeous! I love reading about your process, too. Your improvised tulips look better than the pressed glass ones!

Roberta said...

It is so beautiful and very different from the others.

Yes, fracking = bad. They had to stop recently somewhere due to the earthquakes it was causing.

Man can never seem to stop harassing the planet....sigh.

Anonymous said...

Good Ideas and great work

Morwyn said...


LissC said...

I LOVE LOVE IT! About a year ago i rolled up all my change to pay some bills, but pulled one of each quarter out. I thought they had such beautiful scenery they would be perfect for using on a jewelry. i never did them though, just another of the million things I wanted to do. so when I saw your projects with the quarters I was just like wow!!! Someone did it. They are amazing!

Plays with Needles said...

Beautiful!! You have a very gorgeous family. And the tulip idea for your hex was briliant! Loved reading the story as much as the beading...Don't worry, bead happy.

Bellesanbeaus said...

Just when I think I have seen it all...your stunning work appears! What a goregous collection this will be/is! Hoping you had a peaceful get-away! Have a wonderful weekend...big hugs

The Blissful Banter of a Creative Crafter said...

That turned out wonderful! And I loved watching your progress!

kaysim said...

What great ideas you have!

A Martin & Co said...

Pretty the colors in the beadwork. Made me look at my quarters and have a little more inspiration.
thanks have a beadiful day...

Barbara said...

Each one of them is so special, and I love them all! It's a unique idea to focus on the quarters, and will make a valuable and lovely display in the end. Awesome!