Monday, August 27, 2007

Beaded Journal Project -- First Quarter

My pages for the Beaded Journal Project will feature some of my favorite literary themes combined with the birth stone for each month. I had a late start with these pages due to several tough deadlines in June and August -- both the June and August pages were completed in July and the July page was finished in August!

June BJP Page

Pearls & Lace and a Gibson Girl's Face

It was to have been her wedding day. It became a day of utter treachery and madness. Lily's life changes drastically when she finds herself entangled in a web of deceit, corruption, and murder -- and learns that her father and her fiance are part of a criminal conspiracy. Suddenly the unwilling guardian of encrypted documents and a stolen fortune, Lily engages in a dangerous game of unmasking the men behind the crimes. But solving the mystery is not enough -- Lily and her newfound true love must survive the consequences of learning the truth.

This Gibson Girl face resided next to my computer screen for seven years, urging me on through five rewrites and four edits of the novel Tierra Red. She simply had to be the theme of my June page since the novel was finished in June, 2007. The ivory lace piece is a remnant from my oldest daughter's wedding gown that I made in 1986. The pearls are a mixture of those used to embellish that wedding gown and from a necklace worn by a relative in the late 1900's. Since both the pearl and the alexandrite are gemstones for the month of June, I added the pink glass pieces and beads.

The irony of the clear glass seed beads that were used for the "webbing" is that their purchase had been a mistake when I bought them a year ago. They were relegated to the bottom of one of my bead boxes in disgust. Wow, did they ever come in handy when mixed with the rainbow clear and other beads for this 6x8" page!

Lily's face was printed on ecru patterned cotton with an inkjet printer and an overlay of ivory lace was placed over it.

July BJP Page

Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

Alice never could quite make out, in thinking it over afterwards, how it was that they began; all she remembers is, that they were running hand in hand, and the Queen went so fast that it was all she could do to keep up with her; and still the Queen kept crying "Faster! Faster!" but Alice felt she could not go faster, though she had no breath left to say so.

The most curious part of the thing was, that the trees and other things round them never changed their places at all; however fast they went, they never seemed to pass anything. 'I wonder if all the things move along with us?' thought poor puzzled Alice.

And the Queen seemed to guess her thoughts, for she cried, "Faster! Don't try to talk!"

Not that Alice had any idea of doing that. She felt as if she would never be able to talk again, she was getting so much out of breath; and still the Queen cried "Faster! Faster!" and dragged her along. "Are we nearly there?" Alice managed to pant out at last.

"Nearly there?" the Queen repeated. "Why, we passed it ten minutes ago! Faster!" And they ran on for a time in silence, with the wind whistling in Alice's ears, and almost blowing her hair off her head, she fancied.

"Now! Now!" cried the Queen, "Faster! Faster!" And they went so fast that at last they seemed to skim through the air, hardly touching the ground with their feet, till suddenly, just as Alice was getting quite exhausted, they stopped, and she found herself sitting on the ground, breathless and giddy.

The Queen propped her up against a tree and said kindly, "You may rest a little now."

Alice looked around her in great surprise. "Why, I do believe we've been under this tree the whole time! Everything's just as it was!"

"Of course it is," said the Queen, "what would you have it?"

And that is exactly how our month of July went here in sunny, southern New Mexico.

After three tries, my July page finally morphed into its present form. First try was to make a red and white chess board in perspective in the foreground out of peyote stitch -- hated it. Second try was another chess board in black and white in the foreground in backstitch -- didn't like this one any better! Reprinted the illustration on the fabric in red ink, turned the illustration 90 degrees and said the heck with the chess board, then added the challis print border.

Found the red and clear mirror tiles a week later and said, hmmm -- maybe this would work for a chess board pattern of sorts. Hence the stylistic approach to the chess board. Since the birth stone for July is a ruby, I used ruby colored glass stones on the Queen's crown and scepter. The secondary stone for July is the black onyx and black charlotte beads were used for the border trim.

I had always assumed that Alice Through the Looking Glass was written in Victorian times -- it was actually written in 1871. I tried to make the border trim reflect the jet jewelry that was worn from Civil War times through the turn of the century.

Alice and the Red Queen was printed on white cotton fabric with an inkjet printer.

August BJP Page

Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

If we shadows have offended,

Think but this, and all is mended,

That you have but slumber'd here

While these visions appear.

Anyone who has visited my blog in the past will recognize the painting by James C. Christensen from the Voyage of the Bassett. Christensen takes his voyagers to an island where Queen Titania, Oberon, and the fairies live. They encounter most magical things and learn important values. This is an exquisitely illustrated book and this particular painting is my favorite.

The painting was printed on canvas fabric on an inkjet printer. The peridot is the birth stone for August and the top border of the page was done in peyote stitch with peridot beads. The bottom border was also done in peyote stitch following the painting's design edge. I used 3mm and 4mm peridot and topaz crystals, 3mm clear Austrian flatback crystals, and 4mm Swarovski crystals in combination with the seed beads and glass pieces. The largest glass piece is from an antique earring.