Saturday, January 30, 2010
A New Year--January 2010 Bead Journal Project
My January Bead Journal page has been completed. And, yes, I did edit my improvisation. If you look two posts below, you can see what the page looked like before I edited it. I'm pleased with the changes.
I had decided to do a page about the new year. I started with the assumption that I would use white beads--clean, fresh and pure. A new start. But then I realized that none of us start a new year without bringing our pasts along. The new year is colored and shaded and toned by the previous years, even before it starts. While we may not be able to erase those previous years, we can use our crayons and markers and paints to change the appearance of the past years.
What I mean exactly is that by the way we think about and talk to ourselves about the past, we can change the way we see it. We can change the way the past affects us. In fact, we can actually change our brains--physically--by the way we talk to ourselves.
And so if we can change our brains, it was fitting that I change or edit my improvisation.
Since I would be entering the new year with both the richness and the detritus of the past, white would not do. Ecru was my color of choice. Included with the ecru is a tiny bit of grey and some not-quite-pink. Not-quite-pink has a great deal of meaning for me. If you want to know more about it, read this post and this post, which contains the entire rant.
The foundation is Lacy's Stiff Stuff painted with titian buff acrylic paint.
The beads are 6/0s, 8/0s, 11/0s and 15/0s. There are some drop beads, bugles, triangles, hexes, and three larger beads.
It's almost entirely sewn with the backstitch, but there some beads sewn on with the stop stitch. There are three rows of a twisty stitch, two tight and one taller. I don't know the name of this stitch, as I saw it in a Japanese beading book.
The beaded page is 2.5 inches high and 3.5 inches wide.
I'm not exactly sure what kind of thread I used. It looks and feels and sews like Nymo, but the tiny print on the bobbin says Belding Corticelli. I got several bobbins of it at The Dumpster Diving Place for 10 cents each. They were dirty, so I had to throw out the first layer of thread.
What I Was Thinking:
I found ecru to be a very pleasant color to work with. It's tranquil and relaxing, and there are a surprising number of variations. About halfway through the page, I found myself thinking, "This is pretty. 2010 will be a pretty year." I was a happy beader, and I could embrace and cherish the things that make my new year ecru instead of pure white.
And now for the editing business: First, thanks to everyone who offered feedback, encouragement, and suggestions in response to my question about editing improvisational work. As the page neared completion, I felt the diagonal lines on the left side weighing the page down. Weighing my year down. I decided I could take action to prevent that. So I edited my page the same way I try to remember to edit my thoughts. I didn't erase it; I edited it.
Issues that Came Up:
I had a terrible time deciding what size to make my pages this year, so I decided to go with a 2.75 inch square, the same as last year. I cut the Stiff Stuff, painted it, and basted the outline on the Stuff. When it came time to stitch, I couldn't do it. I needed a new size for a new year. A rectangle 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches fit on the already cut piece of Stuff. So that was it.
Every time I use acrylic paint on fabric or Stiff Stuff, I am reminded that it makes the fabric or Stiff Stuff harder to needle. You'd think I could remember that.
Thread Update: According to this website, Belding Corticelli makes Nymo thread.
I'm excited about starting my February page next week. I've already picked out the colors, and this afternoon I'll paint the Stiff Stuff. But this time, I'll dilute the paint first.