Saturday, October 11, 2008

Meeting 2 Wonderful BJPers in Baltimore

I have a bunch of posts to write and pictures to show, hopefully in the next couple of days!!!

Today, I'm thrilled to write about meeting Angela Plager, BJP member for both years, and Susan Elliott, new BJP member this year! Both live in MD but not in the same area. The three of us met for the first time while I was in Baltimore teaching Improvisational Bead Embroidery and Beaded Button workshops for the Baltimore Needlework Guild.

Bead Journal Project members in Baltimore
Angela (on the right) has been beading for a long time. She teaches various weaving and jewelry techniques for local bead shops. She also enters her work and has won awards in various beading competitions. She came (and stayed in a hotel) for the whole week I was in Baltimore and took my classes, but also helped me a great deal by managing my little "shop" area and by displaying her BJP work for both years!

I am totally in LOVE with her ideas and work for this year's BJP!!! It is so amazing, I don't even have words for it. You can read about it and see pictures on her blog, but they only begin to give you an idea of how fab her work is!!!! She also had her BJP pieces from last year with her, and it was grand to see/meet them in person.... way wonderful to see and touch the real things!!! The pictures especially do not show all the thread embroidery details she works into her pieces.

Because Angela has been stitching beads for a long time, I was worried that she would drive to Baltimore and sustain the hotel expense only to find that she already knew everything I had to teach. Fortunately for both of us, she learned some new-to-her techniques, including her favorites the bugle bead pathway and using tall stacks to make a beaded bezel. Also, the improvisational approach was new and fun for her to try.

Since her husband, Wayne, will be returning home in a few days after a second deployment to Iraq, she decided to spend her time in Baltimore working on a vessel/box for him. She used her new techniques and practiced working improvisationally on this piece... saying it was really freeing and fun to work this way!! Here are two views of Wayne's Box in progress. I'm sure you will see it finished on her blog soon.

bead embroidery by Angela Plager, Wayne's Box
bead embroidery by Angela Plager, Wayne's Box
Besides beading in the classroom, I had two days off while I was there. Naturally Angela, my wonderful hostess, Carolyn Everly, and I spent both days beading... except when we took time to drive into the Baltimore city center and visit Beadazzled. I finished my September BJP and got a good start on Oct. You'll see them in my next post.

The Baltimore classes were a blast! I love teaching needleworkers, who are used to slow, meditative progress, detail and stitching in general. They were ALL quick studies! Some of them are totally excited about bead embroidery... One even decided to be an un-official BJP participant! I feel a tad guilty for being paid to have so much fun!

Susan Elliott, top picture on the left, was responsible for their interest in getting me all the way across the country to teach... and it took almost 2 years from their first contact to make it happen. We were very blessed in class because Susan brought her September BJP piece, Returning Home, shown below, so we could all see it in person. It is such a touchingly beautiful piece. If you haven't read about it on her blog, please go here.

bead journal project, Returning Home, by Susan Elliott
Susan and other Guild movers and shakers took Angela and me to dinner one night at a fabulous French restaurant in the little historical town of Ellicott City. Other than the fact that I was on the second day of a nasty head cold, it was really fun to be pampered and fed as only the French can, to spend a couple of hours entertained by Susan's travel stories and to be in the good company of such impressively talented women!

Meeting, beading and being with Angela and Susan was a great pleasure, a gift! We connect on the internet, realize how much we have in common, get to know and like each other... That's a very special part of the BJP. Then, later, to meet in person is so easy. It's like we already know each other... the shyness and formalities of meeting evaporate into instant bonds. I love it!!!


  1. Robin, what a delight to read today's post. You sound like the Robin of old and I devoured every word -- am so happy for your great trip and visit with Angela and Susan especially -- and loved seeing all the photos you included today too.


  2. I agree with Jackie, it was great to stop by your blog and find a new post, we miss you!!
    It sounds like your class was just the right combination of work, fun and friends. I nearly fell off my chair when I read the part about the French Restaurant in Ellicott City.....I've been there!!!
    Can't wait to see more pictures and your Sept BJP.

  3. I am so glad you had a wonderful time in Baltimore! Reading Angela's blog, I think she was as excited about assisting you as she was to meet you in person, too.

    The BJP has certainly made a family of all of us . . .

    Kathy V in NM

  4. I think it's really nice when bloggers get to meet someone in person. That means blogging is really part of the real world! Sounds like you all had a great time. That is so good.

  5. It's nice to meet internet friends.

    I love Angela's work, and I was pleased to discover Susan's work. Can't wait to see your september and october pages !

  6. What a great post, robin! I agree with jackie, you sound like your enthusiastic self again...reenergized after a somewhat difficult summer!

  7. I bet you all had a wonderful time beading and talking and getting to know each other better. This was such a nice post Robin - thanks for sharing and I'm looking forward to seeing your Sept. BJP. Maybe we can get you back to the east coast again - only up north. Hugs to you!

  8. How wonderful for you to meet up with some BJP'ers! Their work is wonderful and inspiring. Can't wait to see additional posts regarding your trip and your pages.

    I responded to a question you asked on my blog - thanks for stopping by!


  9. Hi Robin! Very inspiring post! The BJP is really quite something! I am always amazed at how many people do it! Also looks like you are doing well! :D

    Also, thanks for your comments on Einstein! Turns out he is loved around the world! :D And, to answer your question about micro-blogging - it is like one-line blogging! Like status updates on Facebook! It is just another way to promote who you are on the web.

  10. Hi Robin - does sound like you had a great time, and you do sound more like your old self! Am looking forward to seeing your BJP pages!

  11. I'm so glad you enjoyed your trip to Baltimore. I for one greatly enjoyed your workshop. I was so psyched I finished my Emese pouch in a week. There are pictures on my Flickr page:
    Thanks again.
    Bobbi Pohl

  12. Wonderful to see such a cheerful post again, and thank you for sharing the great time you had. I expect that your October BJP piece will reflect a lot of the joy you experienced.

  13. Hi, Robin!
    How fun to meet e-pals!! I loved this post! Beautiful work! And you're right...I think the bar has been raised this year. There's so much beautiful work out there! Can't wait to see yours too!
    Warmest aloha,

  14. Robin beautiful to visit here today to see you are still loving bead work as much as I love visiting your beautiful blog.

    best wishes Lee-ann

  15. I enjoyed reading your blog. I'm just now getting into beading. I'm using it in crazy quilts.

    Susan (Lila)

  16. I am enjoying your wonderful blog!!!

    Camilla in Boulder

  17. I can't wait to see your other posts ! ;o)

  18. Robin,
    Thanks for all of the wonderful comments. I really had a great time and loved being able to meet and spend time with you, you are even more wonderful, sweet, and giving in person.
    I haven't gotten much beading done since Wayne got home but as we settle back in to real life I will get back to work on my October BJP and my box for Wayne.

    Love, Angie


Thanks you for joining the discussion on this post today!