Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bead Embroidery ~ December BJP Finished!

As promised, I'm back again today with another finished Bead Journal Project piece!

December was a challenge for me because I get a little unglued at Christmas time. Thinking about it, the word upside-down comes to mind. I was avoiding working on December's BJP until I read this post by BJP member Acey. It took guts to get by the trepidation of "what people would think" and write about her unpopular attitude toward Christmas. I took courage from her, and decided to attempt to show how it is for me. It's like this...

bead embroidery by Robin Atkins, bead journal project, December 07
And here is the poem I wrote while working on it:

I am darkness
looking at Christmas,
pointing dark thoughts
at Christmas,
especially at all the hype,
the production
and the requirements
at this time of year.
I am supposed to be happy,
merry and bright.
But I am not.
I am darkness.

I want to change.
I want to hear
the sweet songs
of Christmas birds.
Where is my big heart
at Christmas?
Follow the birds.
They will help me.

You can see that the tree is surrounded by darkness and is upside-down. Yet, the tree itself (which represents Christmas) is very bright and cheerful. It seems to repel the darkness. I think the many hearts on the tree represent what I'd like the real meaning of Christmas to be. The birds and the golden star must be hope, spirituality and the possibility of change. Notice that the bird songs and star are not confined by the dark beaded edge.

December darkness has been with me for a long time... probably since my 20s. Mom has it too. Hers is Depression Era related. Her mom died when she was 11 during the Depression years. None of her relatives wanted an extra mouth to feed, so she was shifted from family to family, always with resentment toward her. I don't imagine she had much fun at Christmas. Both of us probably suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, which doesn't help. Other than Mom's influence on me, SAD and my aversion to marketing hype, I don't really know why I get so down. Maybe the birds, making this journal page and realizing that I really want to change my attitude will help next year. I hope so.

Pam Troug, another BJP Member, also used her December piece to work through some dark thoughts. One fabulous thing about being in the BJP and this blogging community is that we find kindred spirits, whether in the light, the dark or the twilight. I am so grateful for the opportunity to stitch my thoughts and feelings in the company of understanding and supportive souls.

Thank you!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bead Embroidery ~ November BJP Finished!

Oh goodness, it's been such a long time with very few posts. My appologies all over the place. I've been missing the whole blog scene so much. Today I read all of the January posts on the BJP blog, and followed many links to blogs showing recent work by members... a totally awesome way to spend the day!!!!!!!

To make amends, I plan to write one post every day for the next 4 or 5 days. First I'll show you Nov, Dec and Jan BJP. Then, I'll post pictures of Thom's (my bro) recent BJP quilts. The last post will be about my new book. Guess I'm sort of an all or nothing kid, eh?

bead embroidery by Robin Atkins, bead journal project, november 07
My November BJP (above) is a bit unusual for me, more representational... fallen leaves of deep red color, rain, snow, harvest moon. At the same time, it was an odd month for me. Although there is much beauty in this season, the encroaching darkness and winter chill got under my skin a bit. Also I felt rather isolated and lonely, perhaps like the way the last leaf on a tree might feel.

Technically, it isn't a big deal. Yet I'm rather fond of it, especially of the sequin snow flakes.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Book About Bead Embroidery + A Little of This & A Little of That!

new bead embroidery book by Robin Atkins, motivation stickers on calender I Work for Stickers!

Amazing what I will do for the pleasure of pasting a sticker on a calendar page! It started with walking two miles... every day I walked, beginning the middle of last August, I gave myself a sticker. You should see my calendar! We won't go into the other benefits, but I will confess to having one perfect month (November) and several months with only one or two un-stickered days. I've just GOT to earn that sticker each day!

Ok, so on Dec. 16th, a little light bulb flashed regarding motivation to work on my new book. More stickers! Another calendar page and more stickers! Every day that I work at least two hours on my book, I earn a sticker. Of course, once I get going, I'm on a roll and can work for many hours. The stickers get me going.

Here's a little secret... shhhhhh..... when I finish the book and get it sent to the printer, there will be a huge sticker reward... I'm going to buy myself.... shhhhhh..... a sticker factory!!!! It's a toy for kids, and the kid in me will just LOVE it!

Book Title Suggestions

Thanks to all of you who voted and made comments about the title for my new book. I agree with so many of the things you said, and appreciate your time and thoughtfulness in responding.

Although the book is progressing very well, I still haven't made a decision about the title. Right now the working title is:

Creating Art With
Bead Embroidery
New Inspirations and Techniques

How does this title grab you? I wish it were a little more snappy. Any ideas? I'm wondering about the words "Creating Art" vs. the words "Making Art." What do you think?

Girl of Fall commented on my previous post about the word "New," suggesting that the techniques may not be new. I want to assure her and you that the 20 techniques in this book are not in any other books as far as I know. So, it should be a very exciting book with lots of fresh ideas. I just wish I could think of a title that would convey that excitement, while still telling what the book is about.

Sabine made these suggestions:
A Fresh Approach to Bead Embroidery
Expressive Bead Embroidery
Surface and Beyond

I like these ideas... Do you have any suggestions that might key off of her ideas?

Happy New Year!!!!

May the year ahead be filled with the blessings of love, friendship, peace, good health, adventure, beads, fibers, creativity and play for each and every one of you! This world is a better place for our shared time through blogging. Thanks and big, beady hugs to all of you! Love, Robin