Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy BJP 2009 New Years Eve

This is my first time posting to BJP Blog. I've been busy and just hadn't taken the time! But when Robin sends you an email then you know its time to get on the blog! So I've been posting to Flickr and also you can see my first 3 pieces on my Blog . So here's a taste of my first 3 pieces! Enjoy!

Stuck? Don't Like Your BJP Page?

In the post just below, Theresa H. writes that suddenly she doesn't like her background fabric at all. She's stuck.... in a pickle... In the comments she adds that her piece feels like it is an island of misfit toys.

This happens to me too. I'm pretty darn sure it happens to most of us. What is going on? Here's what I suggested to Theresa and what I would do myself in this situation:

Theresa... pay attention to what is happening here! The island of misfit toys has some special meaning or heart's message for you. Your fabric and beading are trying to tell you something important.

I suggest this: take a few moments to study your beading, fabric and beads. Quickly write a list of all the words and/or phrases that come into your mind as you observe your beading-in-progress and work space. Try not to censor your list. Then, on a different sheet of paper, write this:

"I am an island of misfit toys."

That is the first line of a poem... about YOU! Using some or all of the words/phrases on your list, complete the poem about yourself. The poem does not have to rhyme or be good in a literary sense because it's not about writing poetry.

This will help you to discover what is your heart's message in your beading. You might even want to write your poem on the back side of your work, or perhaps make a pocket for it right on your piece, so it will always be with your work.

When we feel critical of our work, it's time to stop and pay attention to it... listen and hear how it calls us into a genuine sense of what is most important to us. This poem thing really helps!

Happy new year and beady blessings,

Robin A.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Uh Oh

  Has anyone done quite a bit of beading on their journal page only to discover they don't like the background fabric after all?
  Sigh.  I am in a pickle here.....

Monday, December 29, 2008

November Page is Done!!

Well, I finished my November page and moving on to December. Please visit my blog to see it.
Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and can start the New Year off in peace and calm.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

December Finished!

Here's a peek:

BJP by Robin Atkins, detail
You can see more at my blog here.

Happy new year, everyone!!!!

Robin A.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

October Done!

I'm getting caught up and quickly! You can see my October piece at

I hope Santa was good to all of you & that you had lots of time for beading over the holidays!

Chicago/Hong Kong

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pam T Is Doing OK

Most of you have had some correspondence with our BJP Registration Angel, Pam T. If you've been following her blog, you know that she had a double mastectomy and lymph node removal surgery on the 19th. Her December BJP is a visual journal of her unexpected diagnosis and rush into surgery and next chemo followed by radiation.

I'm writing today to let you know that she's home from the hospital and doing reasonably well. She even sent a "group email report" today in which she joked a bit... "I still have drains in (ugh) and I am really quite sore and stiff and I feel like I am walking around like a robot or something trying not to move too much, but I guess the positive here is that I am moving, right?"

She is extremely appreciative of the support, prayers, healing thoughts, etc that she has received from BJP members. She hopes you'll all be diligent about getting regular checks/mamograms.

I'll post a progress report again in a week or so. In the meantime, if you wish, you can leave comments here or on her blog.

Monday, December 22, 2008

My December BJP is done

I finally finished my BJP ahead of my self-imposed deadline of Christmas. It still needs the backing put on, but I can still enjoy looking at the finished picture until then.

To view the finished picture and read about the meaning, go to my site

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It is done at last.  My December piece for the The Eyes Have It! can be viewed at if you wish to go there!  Let me know what you think if you can!

Popping the Question

Thanks for your suggestions on the cause of my popping beads. I laughed when I read Robin's statement that "you can try couching down the popped up places, although generally that will make the beads pop up somewhere else," for that is exactly what happened with my circles! After finishing that area, I held the piece up to admire my work. "Wait!" I exclaimed, "what's that bead doing popping up there - and there! I'd better fix those right away!"

I started carefully couching the popping beads, only to find new poppers. After going round and round (and using more thread to couch than I had on the entire piece!), I flung the piece down in disgust. Seeking to reassure me, my husband cheerfully examined the piece: "Oh, you mean theses straight ones? They don't look too bad. Most people wouldn't really notice them."

"What straight beads?" I gasped. I'd never noticed the cockeyed bugle beads! At that point, I put the piece on the table and looked at it every now and then. I continued to play with beads and fiber making little dotee-like dolls. I ordered some beads I thought might go well with the piece. I dug out the camera and recharged the batteries. I went out and took pictures of the few trees that were still colorful and brought some beautiful leaves home and scanned them. I compared the colors to the ones in my project. Finally (almost four weeks later), I did what I knew I needed to do all along: seek expert advice...

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! Marty's suggestion about the backing shrinking as you stitch is probably the culprit! Having a needlepoint background (no quilting), I'd never thought of that. Also, I used a relatively lightweight interfacing on the back, rather that Lacy's or Timtex - much easier to distort. I can also see how I crowded the beads between the bugle beads and the oval bead. I will probably rip that area out and try again.

Thanks again everyone! And Happy Holidays to all!


September continued!

OK, once I got started, I couldn't stop. I have now finished the quilt part of my BJP project for the month of September. You can see it at by blog. I just wish that the photo would look a little more like the colour of the fabric. But I have a Nikon D60 so I'm working on improving my photos.

Chicago/Hong Kong

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Advice, please?

Hi everyone! I'm a bit behind and was working on my November piece. For the first time, I was putting beads I like on the piece and adding as I go. I'm learning a lot - the hard way :-) !! -- and I have a few questions.

1. when I put the line of bugle beads down, they were nice and flat. Now that I've added beads around them, some of them have started popping up. What has happened? How do I avoid that?

2. in the upper right corner, I used some donut oval-shaped beads. I put them on first and then beaded around them, which was tricky! Should I bead the background circles first and then add the donut beads on top?

3. for the background circles (under the oval donut shaped beads), I started from the inside and worked my way out in a spiral -- but in doing so, some of the inside beads popped up from the surface a bit. Should I have started at the outside and worked in - or were my beads not secured well enough?

Thanks for any advice and tips! Everyone's work looks so great!


September finally done!

Well, for those that think they are behind, I'm right there with you! But hopefully now I will be able to catch up a bit. I have finally finished my September piece & I'm thrilled with how it turned out. Now, hopefully, I will be on a roll. You can see my process & piece at

Chicago/Hong Kong

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December's Page

  Here it is, December 16th and I haven't even STARTED my project.  In my defense, I just moved to Colorado two weeks ago.  I am kicking myself that I didn't pack or hand carry a beading project.  But all is not lost---this means I MUST check out the Hobby Lobby that is just 7 miles from where I now live.  Oh the sacrifices we artists must endure!
  I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and that you are gifted with lots and lots of shiny things.
  Best wishes, 
Theresa Hall

December Done

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! December is done and I have time to make a few ornaments before all the festivities begine. I've just posted my December BJP on Hope you can stop by for a visit. Heidi

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Slacking already

Well, I completed at least the beading part of my october project in October :) still haven't finished the fiber art part of it--and well, i haven't even started november or december's yet--bad bad beader me...I have finally posted my WIP photos and the completed border in my blog so please take a peek and let me know what you think so far :) Hope everyone is doing well this holiday season!

Maria in Chicagoland

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Finished November's page!

This one was quite challenging, because it's a page that also functions as a book. I'm pretty pleased with how it came out! Here's a peek...

You can see all of it here on my blog.

Robin A.