Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Beaded Journal Project

The Beaded Journal Project was the impetus to begin this blog, but I've been thinking about blogging for a long time. My involvment with the Beaded Journal Project began with a post that I stumbled on by accident about a month ago on Robin Atkins' blog. What a perfect way for me to combine two of my favorite things - beads and journaling!

I've signed up to do one beaded journal page per month (size yet to be determined but I'm leaning towards 6" x 6" so I don't have to bead too much) for the next year. I hope it makes me think outside the box and push my limits creatively. I don't intend to use much text, so this won't be a literal journal, rather a series of pieces done once a month.

I've done little bead embroidery, so this will be a new skill for me to develop. I have purchased some fabric and have ideas for the first few months, but will wait until Bead and Button is over to begin. Sometimes the planning is the best part! Now if I can find my iron and where did I put that ironing board when I moved in 5 years ago?

There are a lot of participants on many different skill levels. Lots of posts and lots of examples. This should be fun! Here's the link: http://beadjournalproject.blogspot.com/

Monday, May 28, 2007

Preparing for Bead and Button

Bead and Button is quickly approaching. I'm looking forward to it very much - taking two classes - one on how to use resins from Susan Lenart Kazmer and the other is learning how to make right angle weave beaded beads from Carol DeCoster. I'm lucky - I live in Milwaukee, so I don't have to travel and get a hotel room in order to attend. (That means I can spend more money on beads, right?)

The upper photo is a tubular peyote piece that I made to honor New Orleans after Katrina - it's called Lagniappe. The bottom photo is of a freeform peyote necklace I made in a class that Bethany Barry taught at Bead and Button a couple of years back.

I'm preparing myself for the classes (boning up on my RAW and saving bottle caps and other items to use in resin) as well as the shopping. I've been looking through old magazines for patterns I'd like to try and thinking about future projects. (I won't mention all of the projects that are in progress already...)

The first time I went to the exhibition floor I was awestruck. I don't think I even got through the whole exhibitors floor the first couple of years I went to the show. How can I explain the impact that seeing that much space filled with beads and artists had on me? If you haven't been to the Bead and Button Show, the exhibitor space is where the Milwaukee Auto Show is held. That's a BIG space. You've got to have a plan when you go to the show.

I need to get my head in the right space. It's easy to spend money on things you never intended to buy. Don't I know it. But I'm also prepared to buy beads that I cannot resist.

I'm participating in the Beaded Journal Pages project, so I'll have my eyes open for things to go on journal pages.

seed beads (I'm a bead weaver, so they're always on my list) all sizes and colors
charlottes (all sizes and colors)
drop beads (hard to find colored ones here)
good thread snips (although I could get those at Jo Ann's)
flush cut pliers
Thai silver
pearls (especially coin pearls and black pearls)
labradorite (always on my list)
iolite or tanzanite
nymo for bead embroidery
clasps and other findings

Sunday, May 27, 2007

And So It Begins

Let me start by explaining my somewhat odd nom de plume... Any J Smith. Somehow my name was entered into my employer's human resources database as Any J Smith. When I asked why my name was printed on my paychecks incorrectly, the clerk said, " It looked like an n." That's how I got my nickname and the name I've used as an artist.