I'm just about finished with my 12th and last BJP (Bead Journal Project) piece for this year and wondering... what shall I do with them? Maybe if I review some of the finishing solutions from the first year of the BJP, an idea will come to me. And, if you're in the same boat, you might want to join me for a look-see!
Books and Journals
Terri A (Pirate Poem) knew from the start she would assemble her pages into a book, placing them back to back and binding them with cloth.
Denise D (Farewell) stitched her 12 beaded butterfly-wings to a strip of stiffened felt which she had pre-folded accordion-style. She then joined the inward folds to make a wheel book, each page representing a spoke of the wheel.
Heidi T (A Year of Beading) finished each of her pages by whip stitching the beading to stiff felt. She added grommets to the left side so that she could bind her pages into a book.
Jann B (Encrusted Pages) attached her finished pieces to stiff, hand-made paper which she had pre-folded into an accordion-style book. She made two of these, each with 6 of her pieces.
Sandy J also made an accordion-style book featuring half of her pieces on one side and the other half on the other side. She stitched her beadwork to felt and put a stiffener between the two sides so it can be shown standing.
Lisa B (Hope) gave her beading a quilt-like fabric background and then framed each piece individually.
Lisa was invited to have a show show (Fabricated Realms) of her framed pieces and sold several of them. Don't they look wonderful hung together like this?
Ellen C (Fish) also framed each of her pieces individually.
Karen C (Spiral) designed her pieces to be in the shape of a spiral. She folded back the fabric edges on each of the pieces and stitched them to black upholstery fabric using the picot edge stitch. Then she framed them all together as one piece.
Christy H stitched her pieces to fabric-covered foam-core board (see directions here) and framed them all together. She decided to arrange her pieces in chronological order.
I grouped my pieces into three groups (not in chronological order, but in groups that looked good together) and glued them to heavy book-board that I had covered with papers I painted with acrylics. This is one group of 4 pieces.
Lunnette HH (Priceless) made one beaded button per month and grouped them chronologically in four groups of three, one group for each season of the year. She then made button cards (featuring her own calligraphy), attached the buttons and hung the cards in a frame-case. The frame can be opened and the buttons removed easily should she wish to fasten one to her hat, jacket or purse.
Tapestries and Wall Hangings
Jann B (Silk Fusion) made two BJP pieces per month. You saw one set (accordion book) above. The second set is less heavily beaded. These she attached to a wide piece of satin ribbon (6 on one side, 6 on the other) to make a two-sided room-divider wall hanging. (For the above image, a picture of one side is placed right next to a picture of the other side so you can see both sides at the same time.)
Angela P backed her pieces with stiffener and hung them from chains.
Carol L (Midday 4) made post-card sized pieces (4" x 6") in the "landscape" format. She used three different color schemes, making four pieces in each scheme.
Carol then made three tapestries (Shimmering Gardens), one in each color scheme. This one is Midday.
Trish L (Casey) used 8 of her finished squares to make a long, narrow banner. You can see more of this piece here.
Krispi S, being a quilter, hand-stitched rails between her 12 squares creating a single wall-hanging with all of them.
Thom A (In the Beginning) made each of his pieces as a beaded quilt. Hung grouped together, they make quite a show.
Morwyn Dow (Elementals) finished each of her pieces with a leather binding and grommets at the top. She bound the pieces together with large metal rings.
Morwyn also constructed a leather box to hold the journals with a 13th beaded piece mounted on the top.
Anytime she wishes, Morwyn can remove one of her pieces from the rings and attach it to a leather purse, which she also made.
Trish L (you saw her banner above) used two of her other pieces to embellish a store-purchased box to hold the finished banner.
Bobbi K (Triptychs) fashioned four standing sculptures, each with three of her postcard-sized journal pages. If you click to enlarge, you can see that she made fabric tabs on the sides of her pieces and passed the "legs" through the tabs to form the sculptures. Like Lisa, she was invited to show her work in an exhibition.
Becky L decided at the start of the year to make one hair barrette each month.
Jean U decided at the start to make flower pins and to stitch a background for each of them. Each can be removed from the background and worn.
OK, we've had a look at some possibilities. But you know what?
We do not have to do anything with our journal pieces.
The greatest benefit we will ever have from them is the creative process of making them! We don't have to keep them all together. We don't have to exhibit them. We can simply feel good that we have realized our commitment and have learned more about beading, more about art, more about technique and more about ourselves.
I'm going to take the pressure off my shoulders to do something fabulous with my pieces. Well, I already did something with two of them... You'll see that in my next post. But the other 10 can hang out in a box indefinitely. Maybe I'll get inspired and think of something for them... maybe I won't.
One of our members emailed me a while back in more-or-less panic mode because she had sold a couple of her BJP pieces. She wondered if she should make new ones to replace the ones she sold. My answer to her is this: "You could replace them if you feel you need a full set of 12 pieces for some reason. However, you already fulfilled your commitment and experienced the benefits of making them, so good for you that you sold some! Congratulations!"
My hope is that each BJP member will be gentle with themselves about this. If you have a plan for doing something with your pieces, great. If not, that's OK too.
One More Thing...
Last year, using My Publisher.com, I self-published a printed, hard-bound book with pictures and stories about my BJP pieces. There are several on-line publishing firms that offer this service for a fairly reasonable price. I bought 3 copies of my book and gave two of them away. I think it was about $40 per book , including shipping. You can see my book (virtually flip the pages!) on line, here.
It was challenging and fun to download the publishing program and follow the instructions to layout my book and the dust jacket. And it's really fun to have the book as a physical journal of my first year in the BJP! I'll probably do it again this year.
BJP Begins Again in January, 2010!
Registration for the next (third!) year of the Bead Journal Project begins October 1 and closes on December 15th. We will begin our 12-month commitment in January, 2010 and continue throughout the year.
Registration is open to both returning members from either of the previous years and to new members. This is not a competition. Beginners at beading are welcome. There are no BJP police... It's a self-commitment with nothing to turn in to anybody and no reports are required.
We will have a group blog (similar to this year's blog) and members are welcome to post pictures of their work on the BJP blog or our Flickr page. For more information, see the BJP website.
Past and current members who complete the project say it's a life-changing experience with amazing benefits. That's certainly true for me!
Is Your Piece Pictured Above?
If I've made any mistakes in what I wrote about your piece and you'd like to make a correction or if you have a link you'd like me to add, please contact me and I'll do it! And thanks for being such an inspiration!