Friday, April 25, 2008

Bead Journal Project - April finished!

bead journal project, April, detail, Robin Atkins
April's BJP (detail above) began as March. I don't know what happened to March... It flew by so quickly and I seemed always to have a staggering "to do list" sitting on my shoulders. So, when April rolled around, I'd only put a few beads on my fabric.

Although that dratted "to do list" is still a weight to be reckoned with, I've managed to carve out some time to bead this month. Gradually, the piece took shape. However, it didn't want to be March anymore. Nope, over and over it announced itself as New Beginnings, as April!

Three days ago, Tuesday, our weather took a nice little turn from being chilly, nasty, windy, rain-hail-sleet-snow to being mild and somewhat sunny. My husband and I, on a rather spur of the moment lark, decided to take the ferry to the mainland (sometimes we call it going to America) to see the Tulip Festival in nearby Skagit Valley (1.5 hours north of Seattle). You can see some of Robert's tulip pictures from previoius festivals here.

Once we got off our island, the weather didn't look quite so wonderful. Plus there was a chilly wind. I didn't really feel like taking tulip pictures (see one of the few I took at the end of this post). Fortunately, I brought my beads and found a sheltered table to work. Voila! Thanks to having that chunk of time, April is finished...

bead journal project, April, Robin Atkins, bead artist
This one was totally improvisational... no theme, no plan, no pre-concieved concept at all. Now that it's finished, it seems to be all about rebirth, spring, a gentle movement toward something new... definitely transitions. What about my life is in transition? I don't know just yet. The bud is not open, yet I feel a wonderful sense of New Beginnings!

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, photo by Robin Atkins


My new book, Heart to Hands Bead Embroidery, is on its way to me! It is shipping out from the printer today.

I feel like I imagine an expecting mother might feel as she's wheeled into the delivery room. Will it look OK? Will the cover flaps be folded correctly? Will people want to buy it? Will the color printing process handle all the color photos satisfactorily? Will I "get along with it?"

There's really quite a lot of angst along with the excitment and pleasurable anticipation... more than with previous books, probably because this one really has my heart and soul in it... it IS my baby.

To those of you who pre-ordered, thank you so much... your orders have kept me from tearing out my hair during this waiting time and helped to raise my positive expectations. The good news is... I should be packing orders and getting them out next week!


  1. Maybe April is being influenced by the Spring, which is finally, reluctantly dragging itself into the Pacific Northwest. I love the colors and the dragonfly, and the beautiful fabric.

    And Oh! The books will soon arrive and be sent out! There's a new beginning, right there, and I just can't wait to get it! Anticipation is such a jittery and sweet emotion, and so hard to deal with! XD

  2. Whatever the unconscious sentiment behind this design was, it has become especially mindful of spring in a very dreamy sort of fashion. And I love the dragonfly, too!

    Need to send my order in for your new book right now . . .

    Kathy V in NM

  3. I love it!! The colors are outrageous! Can't wait for you book! hope you are having a great Spring so far!

  4. I really find your BJP for April inspiring - the colours, the composition and the little elements like the dragonfly.I'm doing the Take it Further Challenge and I'm hoping next month I can explore the use of beads. Good luck with the book, but your work is so fantastic I wouldn't worry, I'm sure the sales will surpass all expectations.

  5. Robin,

    I love the new page. It reminds me of a watercolor picture or looking at a garden through a rainy window. Very cool.

    Can't wait to see the new book. Had my LBS order it for me.


  6. Oh this is so beautiful!! Please Robin can you tell me how you painted the fabric??

  7. Great page, full of zest - you don't usually use this palette, do you ?

    Can't wait to see your book. I'm quite sure it will do well too !

  8. it's gorgeous, Robin! love the colors....

  9. Anonymous7:24 AM

    Robin, your April page is beautiful! New Beginnings, new birth of a New book,New expectations. It sounds so exciting. I'll be waiting by the mailbox ready to learn New things. Congratulations. Heidibeads

  10. Perfect page for spring...and I love what you did with the ribbon...I will have to keep that in mind for next years journal pages!

  11. This looks like a map to me...where to, I wonder?
    Robin, this is exquisite...and I will be ordering that new book! xoxo

  12. Oh I think this page is one of the best "poster children" for improvisational beading that I can imagine. Love everything about it!

  13. Hi Robin~ I love your colors! Hope you have a warm spring day.

  14. Robin, I love this page and the colors and all the individual items, the dragonfly, the rabbit, and if I see it correctly, the nautilus shell? The use of the bugle (I hope I spelled that right, looks wrong!) beads reminds me of a stair, maybe stairs to a castle? Or the new beginnings? The transition of the colors on the ribbon is awesome. All in all, just yummy as Rachel Ray would say.

    And I can't wait to get the book!

  15. It's simply wonderful and clearly is Spring! Love the tulips too, which are hard to grow in hot, humid Houston ... although some gardens do have blooming tulips here, though not the quantity you enjoyed on your day "in America".

    Like others, I too eagerly await the arrival of your new book -- two are coming my way!
    Here's to "New Beginnings" (and to this Behinder catching up before Sept!)

  16. Hi Robin,
    What a gorgeous page! I love the delicate colorway and your symbols of rebirth. I'm glad to hear that Spring is arriving in your part of the country. Here in New England, we have blooming azaleas, forythia, hyacinths, tulips and daffodils. It is a spectacular time to walk around and see everyone's gardens bursting with new growth and color. A time of New Beginnings, for sure. Can't wait to receive my copy of your new book!
    Enjoy your Spring!

  17. Yippee! Yay! The book is coming. I hope you love it. Our weather has been a lot like you describe and yesterday was the RMBS Bead Bazaar. It is on today, also, but I'm not going! Shot my wad with yesterday's shopping. What great news. I'm almost finished with May and learning more new stuff, so that has me newly excited and zestful. Hope you get that weighty load of responability off your shoulders soon.

  18. So beautiful!!!! I just finished reading your book "one bead at a time" and loved it!!! your work is so inspiring as is your april page!!!

  19. Beautiful page. Very delicate like the newest of spring leaves and buds. New beginnings - well BJP is going to go for a new year besides your new book coming out. That's two, maybe more will leaf out.

  20. Robin, I hope you don’t mind me analysising your page. It seems to me to be about you, there is the familiar rabbit and the singing bird that is featuring more in your recent pages. You declared it to be ‘new beginning’ and have included a spiral that you told us stands for change and growth. But the whole composition is so soft, so easy, that I think these are changes that you welcome and are ready to flow with.

    I wish you success with the new book and happiness in you new beginnings


    ps I think this page is exquisitely beautiful

  21. Robin, WOW! It is stunning, It looks like you are ready to start down the path to a new beginning as well. Maybe we can go through my gate together. It feels amazingly potent to me even with the soft colors. Is that a bear on your ribbon or is supposed to represent your tiger? Beyond amazing, Keep the faith

    Love, Angie

  22. I'm not normally drawn to pastels but this piece is really appealing to me. What does it say about a person when they love someone else's work but their own work doesn't look anything like the work they admire?

  23. Your work is just beautiful! Can't wait to see the book! Marva

  24. Ah. Now that I've seen the page for March, I see April in a different light. It's even more moving.


Thanks you for joining the discussion on this post today!