Saturday, November 26, 2011

July BJP Finished + New Book

Robin Atkins bead embroidery, Ocean, BJP, detail
Above is a detail picture from my July BJP. I'm "journaling" this year about how I intersect with important people, places and things in my life. The one that came to mind for July was The Ocean. I grew up in California, living near San Jose until I was 7. My grandparents had a little cottage in Santa Cruz on West Cliff Drive, a few miles north of town, where in those days, many of the lots were brussels sprout fields. Can you imagine, prime real estate like that, high on the cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, used to grow artichokes and brussels sprouts? Shows my age, doesn't it!?!

Robin Atkins bead embroidery, Ocean, BJP, detail
You can easily see which line represents me and which is the ocean. I've always loved the ocean, adored it, mesmerized by the sound of breaking waves, frightened by its immense power, awed by its beauty. As a young child, I used to cross the street and clamber down the steep cliff to the rocky ledges below, exploring tide pools, just sitting and watching the waves break below me. Once a rogue wave almost took me away. I saw it just in time and practically levitated myself up two ledges, watching it growl over the place I'd been seconds before.

Living on an island, I'm surrounded by ocean. When it storms, my husband and I like to go to South Beach and Cattle Point, where we watch and photograph waves so big they pick up and toss around whole driftwood logs like toothpicks. Ah, it's in my blood!

Robin Atkins bead embroidery, ocean, bead journal project
Here's the whole piece. These "blocks" are designed to go "on point" and will be joined together and hand quilted to make a wall hanging. Looking at all 8 of my finished blocks (each 7 inches square), I am thrilled with them! They tell such a personal story about me... I thought they would be a journal of 2011, and in some ways they are. But, even more, I seem to have chosen to illustrate intersections that have been important to me for a long time, like the ocean on this piece.

Although I've been focused entirely on writing a new book since the end of June, I've managed to get two more BJP pieces finished (July and August). September's piece is started. I will finish the year, although probably not on time. I'll post August's piece tomorrow.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
New book! I'm not at liberty to say much yet about the new book, but will soon. I can say it will be about 350 pages, loaded with photographs, and have 40+ projects in it. The projects are designed to teach techniques. Small groups of projects build on each other, resulting in both easy and complex pieces. While the book emphasizes technique, it also covers process and design. Nine guest artists are contributing projects to give it a wider-scale appeal. It's about 2/3 complete and looking mighty special! As soon as the publisher allows me to spill more of the beans, I'll publish a post with more details. Oh, I can say, it will be available on Amazon and in bookstores next fall.


  1. Magnifique ce travail de broderies de perles sur ce tissus et merci de tes explications, de tes souvenirs. Bisous et très bon dimanche.

  2. Gorgeous work. The corals and blues instantly take me to the beach!

  3. It's a wonderful piece and will be a great hanging. A new book!-I can't wait.

  4. Just amazing like always Robin, you are so talented :)

  5. Robin, there's something about this journal page that makes me want to look at it for hours (can't wait to really see it!)...maybe it's the way all those blue ripples crash over the barnacles and wash over the beach pebbles on the other side...? I am completely projecting my own interpretation here but WOWZER, have you captured the ocean!!!! Really glorious and I love to know this about you, this importance of the sea.
    Bravo...just exquisite.

    Your new book is going to ROCK the world of bead lovers and convert others who didn't know they were, I'm sure of it!! Can't wait!!!!!!!!

  6. This piece really feels like the ocean. Since I moved to Portland, I rarely get to see the ocean any more. In fact, I only see it when I visit my friends in San Francisco who live right by the beach. It's delightful how you've used barnacles and all the bits and pieces that would be found in the sea and on a beach. LOVE this!

  7. I am totally awed by how you can say so much about the ocean in two lines of beads.

    The ocean line is the pure essence of the sea. When I look at it I can hear the rattle of the shingle as the wave is sucked back to the ocean.

    In your line it is as if you are one with the sea. You are the coral, the seaweed, the anemones, dancing and swaying in the waves.

    Give my on-line name, bet you can't guess how much I love this BJP :-)

  8. Congrats on the new book. Love this year's work you have been doing with fabric. The two just work so well together.

    waiting & waiting for more info on that book!!!!!

  9. what a wonderful representation of the ocean and you intersecting it. the colors a calm and yet the piece seems so full of energy to me. beautiful!

  10. Utterly beautiful, your intersections. It's hard to tear away from the pictures.
    And thank you for the mouth-watering appetizer of the book to come. It must be your most voluminous book so far.

  11. It feels to me like the wave has come up to sweep the shore and is now drawing back toward the sea...and what beauty was left behind. The ocean is the universal eraser isn't it? The pieces you chose for this piece are exquisite...and when I get a moment, I'm going to have to go back and really study the progression of each one.

    And a book!! Well, if I had to pick one person that SHOULD be writing a book. It would be you.

    I hope your Thanksgiving was beautiful and that you felt your Mom even though she wasn't here. I think of you often and send you love...

    And now I'll send you fortitude!! That is going to be one hell of a great book!!! Congratulations. I already know it's fabulous. xo Susan

  12. Anonymous8:16 AM

    A wonderful evocation of the sea. I love the way the wave seems about to break over the barnacled rock and the background fabric is perfectly chosen to enhance the pinks and the blues. Thank you!

  13. Thanks for your comments everybody! I'm always so surprised after I haven't posted for ages, that people still come take a look. Makes me so happy! This ocean piece is one of my all-time favorites... It's such a true reflection of my feelings about the oceans of the world. Thanks again for visiting!

    Robin A.

  14. Wow, congrats Robin! Looking forward to seeing your new book! I am thinking about writing a book soon. I started to write a few tutorials, but they in no way compare to yours! Thanks for the inspiration!


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