Monday, February 18, 2008

Bead Embroidery, Quilting by Brother Thom!

As promised, here are pictures of Thom's recent BJP creations! All of the pictures are clickable.

Thom Atkins, beaded quilt, bead journal project, July, Bombs Bursting in Air
July - Bombs Bursting in Air

Thom Atkins, beaded quilt, bead journal project, November, Can of Worms
November - Can of Worms

Thom Atkins, beaded quilt, bead journal project,December, Unconditional Love
December - Unconditional Love

I love the size and textural quality to Thom's embellished quilts. He has quite a thing going with these, don't you think?

Speaking of Thom (my brother)... He and Jennifer (his wife) are driving north from where they live in Santa Cruz (CA) to the Oregon Coast tomorrow. At the same time, Robert and I will be driving south. We'll meet in Reedsport, which is a town located in the heart of the Dunes. We have a vacation rental reserved for a whole week.

Thom and I will be stitching away on our bead and quilt projects for most of the week, while Robert treks through the Dunes with cameras in hand. Jennifer likes to walk on the beaches and read. We're all chomping at the bit to get past the packing stage and on the road.

Another perk for this trip, is that Thom and I will take a day to visit BeadBabe49 (Bobbi Kirk), also a BJP member... We get to visit with her, see her pages and shop at both her local quilt shop and bead shop! Wheee!


New book news! I'm in the final stages of proofreading and expect to go to print on about March 15. Cross your fingers that it will be available April 15th! How 'bout that as a way to celebrate tax day!

The title is...

Heart to Hand Bead Embroidery
Fresh Ideas and Techniques for Creating Art with Beads

Thanks to all of you for all of your helpful suggestions regarding the title. As you can see some of them have found their way into my final decision. I'm beyond excited about how it's looking... Color pictures on every page... it's glorious!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Bead Embroidery – Subject of Jan. BJP Revealed!

Thanks to everyone who gave comments about my January BJP, an abstract portrait of a person. Many of you were right on target with your impressions! I feel good about my work, because it seems I was able to communicate fairly well about the characteristics and personality of this person.

For this piece, I chose four different batik fabrics, each to represent a specific aspect of this person’s character.

fabrics for bead journal project, January, 2008 by Robin Atkins
The pale pink represents her soft side. Most of the time she is a gentle, loving person… not exactly sweet, but kindly and generous with her time, knowledge and affections.

The flowered pink/red represents her playful, almost childlike, nature. She’s eager to discover, to learn, to have adventures and to be surprised. She also loves flowers, especially wildflowers… not to grow them so much, but to pick them and have them around her.

She’s also pretty grounded, especially in her mature years. She has an inner calm and sense of security. She also has faith in the fundamental good of the universe, herself and her husband, her family and her friends. Her creative and artistic expression derive from this source. The red/brown fabric on the right seems to convey these aspects of her personality.

She can be a bit prickly at times and sometimes given to bursts of temper (which generally subside quickly). During the winter months, she gets grumpy when dark days seem never to end. Perhaps she is afraid the sunshine will never return. Under her display of anger, there is always fear. I think the third fabric from the left has that feel to it. (Although you can’t see it, I used it for the pointed thorns at the top of the piece.)

bead embroidery by Robin Atkins, bead journal project, January 2008, thorn detail
The birds (two of them) have two meanings. On an everyday level, she is enchanted by all birds, loves to watch and hear them. On a spiritual level, birds represent freedom and innocence, also strength and resilience beneath apparent fragility. Both birds look inward on this piece because they are singing their song of love and acceptance to her.

The ruffles are the loving and accepting energy that flows from and within her big heart. Yellow bubbles (sequins) are laughter and fun, again offered from her heart to the world around her.

The blue spirals are the source of creativity and the branch fringes represent roots. She is framed in blue, which represents sky, calm and spirituality.

bead embroidery by Robin Atkins, self portrait, bead journal project, January 2008
Who is she? This is a self-portrait. During January of 2008, this is how I saw myself.

What an interesting challenge it was to do this piece. I had to remove my intellect, lock out my thinking (and critical) mind, which wasn't easy. Yet it was really fun to work on it! I'm wondering if any of you are curious to try it?

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HELP!!! I need a good wholesale source for a bulk order of gold-color and silver-color stick pins (hat pins) and clutches. I've been searching online for an hour and can't find anything at all.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Bead embroidery ~ bead journal project ~ January finished

I'm excited to show you this piece! It's an abstract portrait. About 15 years ago, I beaded several abstract portraits of people who are very dear to me. It was fun to try it again for my Bead Journal Project piece for January. Here it is...

bead embroidery by Robin Atkins, bead journal project, January piece
I'm very curious about what might be evident about the subject of this portrait to the viewers of my work. Will you help me out by giving me your impressions?

First of all, is this a male or female? Secondly, is the person a child, young adult or older adult? And, finally, what does the portrait suggest about the character of this person to you?

Please give me your best guesses and don't be concerned about right answers, as all answers will have true relevance. For example, even the eldest among us still has an inner child... and even the most feminine person has masculine elements to her personality. By the way, the image is clickable... click on the picture to see more detail in a slightly larger version.

I will reveal everything about the subject of this portrait in a few days. Thanks soooo much!