Wednesday, February 29, 2012

October BJP Finished - Friend with Big Heart!

Stitching beadwork about my long-long-time friend, Liz, for October's BJP piece (see here) felt really great. It developed easily and was warm and fuzzy throughout the process. I've been best friends with Liz for more than half my life; she knows me better than anybody. She lives in Seattle.

When I married and moved away from Seattle to live on an island, Liz and I suffered deep pangs of proximity removal. We still had the phone and later email, but it's not the same as face to face, spur of the moment, let's TALK, which we had always shared. I was so lonely on the island at first. My husband had two jobs at the time; I worked at home, where I sorely missed female companionship. I joined some groups, found a walking partner, tried to be social and get to know folks. But for several years nothing really clicked.

Then I met Christy! Our husbands both served with the volunteer fire department. At social functions I always gravitated toward Christy, because she was so warm and friendly, so comfortable to talk with. She belonged to a quilting group and one day asked if I'd be interested to teach them some beading. The rest is history. Our friendship blossomed over beads at first, because her passion and talent for beading quickly burst forth into full bloom. She joined the BJP and made some touchingly beautiful pieces (see here).

Our friendship grew, and spread into other areas of interest, including quilting. About three years ago, we started meeting every Tuesday afternoon, three of us as the core group, to do our stitching, beading, and quilting together. Christy and our other Tuesday friend, Lunnette, are now my island safe haven, the two hearts to whom I turn for feminine companionship, understanding and support. I am very blessed!

And so, it's no surprise that my October piece is all about my relationship with Christy.  Because bear and dragonfly are two significant totems in her life, I've put them on her arm of the cross. In the center where our paths meet, you can see a crocheted flower that I've adorned with beads. This represents the full bloom of our friendship. The ring of beads surrounding the flower represents, I think, the way our friendship seems to be a safe place for both of us. Christy has a big heart, as you can see.

On my arm of the cross, I added a kitty charm because I am a kitty-lover and especially loved Christy's beautiful old cat. The heart/bird charm is one I've had since 1965. It's a design by Georg Jensen, one that I've hoarded and not even worn (for fear of losing it) all these years. To me, it represents me, my Chinese name, Peacefulbird. I'm so pleased to have found the freedom to place it here in my relationship with Christy!

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In case you're a new visitor, the Bead Journal Project has been going for 4 years, and we started the 5th year last month. We each make 12 pieces per year. The pieces must have some beads and must all be the same size/shape. The idea is to use beading (and whatever other methods we like) to make a visual journal about the current month.

The piece above is for October of last year. I'm behind because of spending all my time since July writing a book. However, I've also completed November's piece (to be posted soon) and started December's. When I finish them, I'll get started on my 2012 pieces, hopefully catching up by next month.

My pieces for 2011 are intended as quilt blocks; they will be sewn together and quilted to make a wall hanging. The blocks are about 7 inches square. Each represents an important relationship in my life, how my life path intersects with some other path in the universe, how the relationship affects me.


  1. oh my heavens, your piece is so stunning! I love the totem animals! Mine are owl and bat! It is fun to see how different relationships blossom and grow! They sure are a blessing! I can't wait to see all your pieces done and put together! It's going to be stunning!

  2. Robin each quilt piece is just absolutely beautiful. You are such an inspiration to me. When I used to give beading classes, I almost always used your book as a way to inspire the students, thanks for sharing your beading and your inspiration for each piece. Happy Beading

  3. I often wonder how much my perception of your BJP's is influenced by what you have written. When I look at this one, I see a warmth and companionship. The lines fit together beautifully and seem to embrace each other.

    The beading is beautiful, as always.

  4. What a lovely idea Robin. It's inspired me to try to create a meaningful piece to give to special friends - not just yet, but something to be savoured and thought about for the near future.

    Are totem animals ones that have become personally important for some reason? 2 always seem to be mentioned - sorry, more questions! I'll Google 'Totem animals' and find out for myself.

  5. Gorgeous work as always!!

  6. The link to Christi's BJP work doesn't work for me. I get the following message:
    "Your current account (*********) does not have access to view this page.
    Click here to logout and change account."


Thanks you for joining the discussion on this post today!