Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Nov Bead Journal Project ~ Mom & Me ~ Finished!!!

bead journal project, Robin Atkins, detail butterfly
You might want to start by reviewing the pictures in this post... which show the beginning steps to creating my Nov. BJP page.

During the first part of the month, I had a special week with my 91-year-old Mom, who lives in Minnesota, and decided to make November's journal page about her (and a little about me too). The page evolved into a book-like form with a butterfly wing for the cover.

Below is how the wing (plus half of the butterfly's body) looked when I finished beading it.

bead journal project, Robin Atkins, beaded wing
Then the big question was how to assemble the pages and the wing/cover to make it all function as a book and look good. That took a very long time under a thinking cap... and even then it took two tries to get it right.

I began by making the beaded wing into the cover for the book. I clipped away the excess fabric around the wing leaving about 3/4 inch seam allowance. To turn under the seam allowance, I sewed a little running stitch all around the edge and snugged it up evenly. Then, using a toothpick as an applicator and PVA glue (acid-free adhesive used for book binding), I fastened down the seam allowance (below).

bead journal project, Robin Atkins, finishing edges of beaded wing
Then I glued the inside page to the back side of the beaded wing using PVA glue and sitiched the pre-punched edges to the fabric of the wing with buttonhole stitch. There is no additional stiffener between the inside page and the bead embroidery, which I hope will be OK and survive over time. Here's how it looks.

bead journal project, Robin Atkins, inside of beaded wing
All of the pages of the book and the liner for the cover are made the same way. I use Photoshop CS. Starting with a picture of the butterfly wing (dimmed by adding a layer of white at 40% opacity over the top), I added layers of images which I'd previously made into vignettes. After printing my collaged images on enhanced matte paper (the manufacturer of our printer, Epson, guarantees these prints to be good for 80-100 years), I cut them out, poked holes around the edges and embellished the edges with buttonhole stitch using two strands of embroidery floss.

Next, I needed to attach the book pages and cover to my BJP background fabric. I started by attaching the last page of the book to my BJP fabric using the buttonhole stitch. At first I thought I'd stitch the other pages onto the last page and then stitch the wing on top. I left the butterfly's body on each of the pages.

bead journal project, Robin Atkins, attached back page
However, that proved to be too bulky and didn't look right. So I had to go to plan B, which was to cut the body away and stitch the pages to the fabric through the buttonhole edging (which first had to be continued around the part of the wing that attaches to the body. I also had to add more silk fabric to the beaded wing/cover between the liner and the edge so the stitches wouldn't show.

So in the end, here's how it looks, page by page! If you want to see the detail, you can click on any of the pictures to see an enlarged version.

bead journal project, Robin Atkins, butterfly book
bead journal project, Robin Atkins, butterfly book
bead journal project, Robin Atkins, butterfly book
bead journal project, Robin Atkins, butterfly book
Challenging and fun? Yes, indeed!!!

My Mom and I are alike in many ways. We've also had times when our tempers flared and even some screaming matches when I was a teenager. There have been disappointments and failures on both our parts. Yet, all-in-all, she's a wonderful Mom... I am so very fortunate because I love her and totally know that she loves me. Plus we are friends, have interests in common and share an abiding mutual respect. This November BJP is a testament to our cherished relationship!

34 comments:

  1. Oh Robin!!! This is gorgeous and touching and beautiful! WOW you are incredible! (any more adjectives I can use here?)
    So? Did you show this to your mom?
    ;)

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  2. Robin, this page is such a wonderful tribute to your mom. It is also an inspiration to us all and plants a seed of possibilities. Amazingly creative.

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  3. Oh Robyn this is so beautiful with so much meaning. The Butterfly it's self says so much. This is such a beautiful piece. I hope your mother gets to see it.

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  4. Robin, I always look forward to your posts. You are such an inspiration! I am sure your mom will cry when she sees this book! --Kassie

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  5. I look forward to all of your project but this one is so special! What a beautiful tribute to your Mom!

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  6. Hi Robin, I sure do wish I could see this in person, it looks amazing on screen but I do miss the touchy feely part. You are so lucky to still have your mom and be able to honor her and your self with this butterfly "book". It's a great gift to yourself for the future. Love it! Thanks for sharing the how to's.

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  7. That is gorgeous! You have done a wonderful job with this butterfly.

    Pierrette =^..^=

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  8. The butterfly and the photos/writing are wonderful. What a story they tell!

    Susan

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  9. You've outdone yourself this time...beautiful, beautiful piece with such a wonderful story to go with it!

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  10. Just beautiful.
    Your tutorial is wonderful for both understanding the process and the artist.

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  11. Cool and well worth the work and thought required. I like it very much and you know I claim the most unsentimental title of any year. I think it is lovely and I mean that in the best way.

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  12. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Simple.Beautiful. Absolutley perfect!

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  13. This is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Bravo! A brilliant testament to a beautiful relationship! Inspiring!!

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  15. Wow! The butterfly is just beautiful! It makes me happy! :D

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  16. How lovely!
    Marty S
    Crackpot Beader

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  17. what a wonderful concept and great execution.

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  18. Oh Robin, it is spectular! What a wonderful tribute to your mom.

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  19. Thats a wonderful tribute. I especially like the way that you used the whole butterfly theme and the yellow beads are simply amazing :)

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  20. We are so fortunate that your share your process with us...and your heart, too!
    And what an interesting way to construct a book....

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  21. This is really wonderful, Robin! I love your journaling in between the photos. What a lovely and lively tribute to your Mom. I also really appreciated seeing how you incorporated all of the elements into a book. I make books as well and I always enjoy reading about how other book artists work their way through the tricky construction problems that can occur with non traditional bookbinding. Your book artistry is as inspirational as your beadwork, Robin! Thanks for sharing!!

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  22. I love this piece!!! - artistic, loving, beautiful, so creative, so well made
    you continue to amaze me Robin

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  23. Oh my goodness! I am speechless. I am in awe. That must mean AWESOME! Thank you!

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  24. Robin,

    I love what you have done with the butterfly book. It is wonderful seeing a snap shot of your mom's life. You've made something precious - thanks so much for sharing it with us.

    Beadily yours
    Susan Feldkamp
    nightbeaderatlarge.blogspot.com

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  25. Robin, I really feel like words of response and delighted reaction trivialize the emotional and psychic impact I felt looking at these photos. HOW WONDERFUL this is, on so many levels. love everything about it.

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  26. I think you've just gone and outdone yourself here. I hope you get to show this to your mother. What a wonderful memory piece.

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  27. Oh my Robin, this is totally delightful.. I love your story & how the page evolved

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  28. Wow this is truly beautiful and precious, it feels like a luxury piece.

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  29. I believe that the pieces that are built with our hearts are always so much more magnificent than those we create with our head. Your heart has soared in this piece and you don't even need to tell us anything about you and your Mom because the piece says it all. It's absolutely stunning. The fact that you fully beaded the wing really makes it even more so. I hope you are well BBYN Susan

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  30. What a pleasant surprise! I landed on your blog today through many side tracks. I just love this idea and THEN YOUR BLOG!

    I'd very much like to be a part of it.

    With all the best-Dita

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  31. This beaded tribute to your Mom is so beautiful! I know she loves it. Me too. One of my favorite things is writing....I love to include writing on my quilts. Including the her story along with all the beading is so special.

    I'm glad you saw my beaded Crazy quilt...thanks for your KIND words......I have now added you to my Favorites List, so will be reading you all the time! Thanks for your visits today!!!!! Pat

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  32. I am speechless... Your love deserves this fabulous butterfly case

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  33. I am in absolute awe of your talents! Your butterfly is stunning as is the rest of the journal........... incredible beauty.... thank you for sharing it with us.

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  34. Robin, this is absolutely wonderful. I've been enjoying wandering through your blog. It's very inspiring. I've just sighed up for the BJP 2012 and I can't wait to get started!

    Linda
    http://lindakittmer.blogspot.com

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Thanks you for joining the discussion on this post today!