Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ready to start!

I cut & pasted this from my blog

I've finally decided on the size of my pieces for the Bead Journal Project. My pieces are going to be 6"x9" and will be displayed on a rotating basis on a trifold mini-quilt stand I found at Nancy's Notions. I don't have a theme. I'm thinking that, at the beginning of each month, I'll riffle through my fabric stash until a piece "speaks" to me. Once I have a background fabric, I'll fuse it to Peltex and let my creativity loose...whatever will be, will be. When the piece is finished, I'll cover the back with fabric, add a hanging sleeve, and it'll be ready for display. I have to do my lesson plans tomorrow (nothing like putting off unpleasant tasks until the last minute) but should be able to choose my January fabric base by Sunday. WHOO HOO! I'm excited!


"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." (Dr. Seuss)

All Set for Beading Adventure

Hello! I'm Margaret from Atlanta and can barely contain my enthusiasm to get started and make this a beading adventure. Several friends are participating as well, which makes it even more fun. We'll be able to get together for beading and sharing and visiting -- all of the good stuff.

This is my first year to accept the challenge. I so look forward to watching the year unfold in the myriad of creations from artists all over the globe!

I'll post my work on

Hi and Happy New year!

Hi Everyone! Happy New Year to you all! I am happy to be a returning member of the BJP. The 2008-09 BJP was my first year of being a participant. I had never tried bead embroidery, so by committing myself the the year of projects, I literally jumped in with both feet and loved every minute of it. I hope to learn and grow more as an artist this year. For those who are interested I have a blog where I will share my projects through the year as well as personal information about my life and family. You can view it here. I look forward to seeing everyones contributions as well as making new friends along the way! Take care and good luck!

Members' Blogs

Good morning and Happy New Year's Eve,

Is there a way to compile a database or list of all the members' blogs/websites?  It would be wonderful to be able to click and view.


To encrust or not to encrust?

I'm a first-time BJP-er and I love the look of encrusted pieces. However, from the few pieces I've done and from what others are saying, I'm just starting to realize the large amount of time this takes. I know I will fall behind if I try to do too much.

So here is my question -- what size do all of you recommend for actually finishing a heavily encrusted piece each month?

Barbara in South Jersey
Pinelands Patches and Beadscapes

BJP Prototype finished for December 09

Hi everyone, i have just today finished my prototype for the BJP 2010 by making a December 09 piece. It's up on my blog if you'd like to see it, sorry i don't know how to make this into a single 'cool' short word.

She's called BETII_12/09 and is a Beaded Extra Terrestrial Intelligent Individual.
Happy New Year to all and very Happy Beading for 2010. Kaite from Bathurst, Oz.
"a bead a day keeps the blues at bay"

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2010: Here we come!

Victoria P. here from sunny Arizona. This will be my 2nd year on the journal. The first year was a fun year full of butterflies for each of the months. I turned the butterfly pages into a journal and enjoy the fruits of my labor.

While in Payson, AZ for a bead retreat, I stopped at the local rock shop and saw assorted small cabs. This got my mind working on the theme of BJP 2010. I carefully selected 12 different cabs to represent the colors of the months. Each cab will be incorporated into the monthly project. I have the shape drawn out so that it will be a pleasing result no matter the shape of the cab.

My brain keeps me busy....thankfully. My thanks to Robin and all her fine bead helpers for continuing the bead journal project challenge. I look forward to the outcome.

To view my beady and mixed media blog, visit:

Bead on, friends! Victoria

Checking In

Hi...I'm bobbi kirk aka beadbabe49 on the net and this is my third year doing the's been a great experience and I could hardly wait to get started this year!

I've decided to do a series of hands for the 2010 bjp...the pattern is made from a scan of my hand and you can see the fabric I've chosen for january on my blog here.

I call my blog, Beading at the Beach because I live on the central coast of oregon and I've been beading for about 20 years. You can see some of my older work on my first web site here. After blogs came around, I stopped doing a website since a blog is much easier to do.

If you want to wait until april, I'll post the links to this blog and flickr.

Hello....Getting Ready!

Hello! I'm Kelly M from IL. I'm in my second year of the BJP. I watched from the sidelines the first year since I missed the deadline. I'm a stay at home Mom to 3 girls, I babysit 2 toddlers and by April, a baby. My husband has been home for over a year due to lack of work from his job as a conrete truck driver. Last year presented plenty of challenges for me, and I was so glad I had joined the BJP. It was the best therapy I could have gotten ~ LOL. Thank you Robin!

Last year I chose a 4 x 4 square since it was my first attempt at bead embroidery. I learned SO much! I chose a theme "Reflections of Me" and really learned a lot through that as well. No matter what was going on, I tried to find the positive. When I couldn't, my BJP friends always could, which helped beyond words. You can find that all here in my blog

This year, I thought of challenging myself and going to a bigger piece. But, I think I'll probably stay the same size or go smaller (it's still a challenge to go smaller ~ you have less of an area to put everything you want on there lol). And , I'm thinking of keeping the same theme too, since it was so theraputic for me. Well, obviously, I'm still not sure yet what I'll do. I do know that I'll be cutting ALL my pieces at the same time this year though. Last year I cut them out month to month and was off by just enough (a hair) to not work for my final project.

Well, I'm actually off to make my decisions and get started measuring and cutting. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone is doing, reconnecting with last years friends and meeting new ones!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Back again & raring to go!

Welcome all newbies and all returning BJP-ers!  I am Cathy W in Texas.

I was fortunate to learn about the first BJP days before registration closed & have been a member all three years.  This year is the one I aim to finish one BJP PER MONTH as per the original idea of this group.  I am a frequent behinder, in fact am rushing to get enough of last year's BJPs finished so I can add them to the webpage ... hoping to do so before this third time around gets started .... or maybe will get there during the first month.

Like others, I too have a blog, Winter Wanderings, for my many fiber explorations.  I have been a crafter since childhood days and a quilter since finishing college eons ago.  Now I'm discovering other areas to dabble including felting and beading.

I have learned many things about beading and about myself with BJP -- but I'll not list all the lessons learned here, other than I am not a bead-encruster, though I totally am in love with the look of heavily beaded pieces! 

I am looking forward to this third year around and wonder what new things I will learn this year.
Thank you to Robin and Pam and all the other important helper-bees behind the scenes with BJP.  I love this experience, even if I run a bit behind (this could be the year that my perpetual behinded-ness changes ... at least I hope it is!).

Now let me return to my 2nd year of BJP-UFOs and get those finished .... I'll be in touch again!

A Decision and a Question

I think I've finally decided on a shape for my BJP pieces this year. This would be after considering a minimum of half a dozen options! The first year of the BJP I made journal quilts that measured 8.5" x 11." I discovered that that was too big for the kind of beadwork I really wanted to try. So I've been trying to find a smaller size that feels comfortable... but not too small. I took a 4 x 6" rectangle and made a diamond out of it. My expectation is that I can bead heavily in the center and then let the beads become more sparse as I approach the edges. Ultimately I plan to finish these the same way I would a fiber postcard. I may add a ribbon or cord so they can be hung as an ornament too. I'm finally excited - instead of nervous - about starting on the first one!

I've visited the other two BJP blogs and see that the participants are listed in the sidebar. Is there a blog mistress who will take care of that for this blog?

Round 3

Hello my old and new beading friends! Old not as in age since old only means 3 years old! Yes, it's my 3rd year. I'm excited to see new "faces" and comforted that I recognize some of my previous year's "faces". For you newbies, I'm Heidi and I live in Manchester, CT where right now it's actually snowing. Two days ago it rained so hard that it melted away 6 inches of snow from last week. Anyway, I'm excited to begin a new year. I have yet to decide what I'll be doing, other than beading my little heart away. Size and shape - no clue but I do have a few days to decide, right? I started bead embroidery when I found Robin (God Bless you!) and her website and then the BJP. I started out with 5x7 pages, last year I did 4 inch circles and this year, well we'll find out together. I learned a lot from doing the last few BJPs and the number one thing is to not get overwhelmed, don't feel upset if you get behind or if you're work isn't just right. This isn't a race to the finish line, we have lots of time. This where we get to practice new things, learn from each other and get inspired from everyone's posts. I remind myself to breathe and enjoy the meditation of it all. I love when Robin says, if you get stuck - pick a bead and sew it on, then pick up another one and sew it on - it works. I'm so glad to be on this journey with all of you and I can't wait to see what this year brings. It's gonna be greaaat!

Happy New Year to all! Hugs - Heidi

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Back for 03

Hello old friends, hello new friends and hello soon to be friends. I am returning this year and want to welcome everyone and invite you to follow my blog through the coming year. I am looking forward to visiting yours, or seeing work that is posted here.

Thank you, Robin, and all your assistants, for another year.


Checking In

Hi everyone, I'm Wendy from SE Alabama and wanted to introduce myself and say how much I am looking forward to the coming year. I am so excited to be a part of this years project and am looking forward to making my monthly beading project. I have picked out a theme and size and am getting everything ready to go. I will be using a 4x6 format for my projects so they can later be used in my crazy quilts.

I am looking forward to getting to know all of you and seeing what you accomplish as well.

Happy Stitching Everyone,

Almost forgot to put my blog addy here:

Another Michigander Signs In for 2010

Hi--This is Madeline from Michigan, back for my second year with the Bead Journal Project. Lesson learned from last year--a 4"x4" size is too much beading for me to complete each month. Therefore I have decided to work on a smaller scale this year, probably a 2.5"X2.5" format. Not sure of a theme for this year--I think I will just do more of a true journal and let each month present its own theme. Looking forward to staying on track and not getting behind. This year I am committed to completing at least the 8 pieces so that I can honestly say I completed this year's participation. Welcome to all of those who are joining for the first time and especially to those of you from outside of the North American continent.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I'm back from Calgary, Canada

I'm thrilled to be planning for another year with BJP. Still haven't decided on the format yet but I've got a few days left and next week off work so I should be able to come up with something interesting before the start.

I also need to post pictures for the last months of the last BJP, which I have yet to do. Imagine 5 days off work to plan, to do and to be! Such a treat!

I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens this year!

Cheers to all and Merry Christmas!

I should probably introduce myself . . . .

I got so excited when I got the invitation to the blog, that I didn't even think to introduce myself! LOL.

Hi everyone. I'm Michele, and I live in the High Desert of Southern California, about 70 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. This is my first Bead Journal Project, and, as I said, I'm really excited! I met Robin at the first International Quilt Festival in Long Beach last year, and was so inspired by her work. When I first started following Robin's blog, and found out about BJP, I knew I wanted to be part of this. I anxiously check the BJP website every week! When the announcement came out that there would be a BJP 3, I rushed to sign up. And, here I am!

I wasn't quite sure how I wanted to approach this. I did know that I wanted to do each piece in a way that, once all were completed, could be combined into one large piece. I also knew that each piece would be monochromatic. I want to play with tints and shades of one color in each piece, attempting to create depth and movement with lights and shadow. I also want to work with different techniques. I've been playing with different ideas for colors, shapes and size. This morning I figured it out.

I've always loved the shape of paisleys. (I'm a hippie chick at heart!) My paisley is 4" at its widest point and 7" long. Each of the 12 paisleys will be a different color, and there will be a cabochon prominent within each piece. Once all of pieces are complete, I'll mount them on a frame-mounted canvas to hang on the wall.

I am so excited about this, especially now that I've got my idea solidified. The next couple of weeks I'll get my beads together for the first few pieces. I'm not sure what order I'll do the colors in nor exactly what colors I'll use, but I've decided to start with white. It's winter, it's a new year and a new beginning, and just because I love white!

Thank you Robin, for the inspiration and BJP. Thank you Pam, for putting all this together. And thank you to anyone else involved whose name I don't know. I am so looking forward to this (have I said that before? LOL).


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Cali. Hello...

My name is Angelique and this is my first year. I was inspired by everyones so work I signed up to get myself in gear. I'm using the ATC (2 1/2 x 3 1/2) measurement for size with green as the primary color. Also calling it , "Over the Edge "because there will be at least one cab, rock, or stone placed over the edge of the ATC card measurement. Wish me luck, I need it. I know everyones work will be simply marvelous! I am also a Blogger too! Happy New Year!!!

Happy to be here

I am so happy to be part of the 2010 BJP.  I only began bead art a little over a year ago - and was too new to join the 2008/2009 BJP.  So I've waited patiently (or maybe not so patiently :-) to join the group.  The work I've seen throughout this past year has been amazing - and I can't wait to see the everyone's work as it progresses this year.  Let the beading begin...

Art Journey

Hello from Azerbaijan!

Dear friends, I 'm Konul (Koni) from Azerbaijan.
I'm very happy to be here  for next year. I know there 'll be long, hard working , and  creative year for me here with all of you. I 'm new in bead embroidery, but as I knit and crochet over 15 years, hope to learn much.
Thanks to Robin and organizing group.
My blog and my hand works

My oops

I can quilt but I can't spell! I corrected blog address in my original post but here it is again: I create mainly art quilts and I've always added some beading to my work! We've lived in the small village of Goodrich, Mich (between Flint and Detroit!) since 1996. Looking forward to the BJP as a first timer!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Found my theme ( I think)

Hi everybody,
My name is Pam, I live in Valley Center, Ca. And this is my first bead journal project, and I'm really excited. I think I found a theme that I'm going to do. I'll try my first and see how it goes. I think this is a great art project. I have a tendancy to dream about my art more than actually 'doing' my art, so I think this is going to be a very exciting bead year. Can't wait to see everyones beautiful work.

Introducing myself

Hi Everyone,

My name is Kathleen and I live in Australia, this is my first time participating in the Beaded Journal Project ... so I am really looking forward to the year ahead, both from the projects I will create and interacting and getting to know most of you too!

Btw, my blog is called WhimsiGals

How do I put my name on the sidebar???

Bead Embroidery Group on Flickr

Hi Everyone!

I just started a new group on Flickr called Bead Embroidery. It's here. I'd love for you to join the group and post some of your bead embroidery pictures!

Also I posted a Christmas greeting on my blog, with pictures of last year's December BJP piece, which I call The Light Within. For me, it marked a big change in a long-time, grumpy attitude toward the whole holiday season. You can see what I mean... The piece below is my first year's BJP December piece. The title is Dark Thoughts Pointing at Christmas. It's amazing to me how transformational bead embroidery can be!

bead embroidery, bead journal project, by Robin Atkins
Merry Christmas!!!

Hi from Germany

This is my first time doing a 12 months project and I´m thrilled to be part of this wonderful group of creative people. Thanks to Robin and her co-workers for organizing!
I haven´t yet decided exactly what to do, but tend to combine needlefelting and beading in some way. I definitely want to create flat pieces that can be bound to create a big colourful book at the end of the year.
Can´t wait to start...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hi! I'm new to the Bead Journal Project this year, but not new to beading. My mom is in her third year with BJP and thought I might enjoy it this year. Look for Sandy to see the wonderful things she has done.
I'm planning to make bracelets. Kinda my thing. I've recently been introduced to layering with the Right Angle Weave stitch. I would like to explore more with that, and see what can be done with layering other stitches. This project should be a lot of fun!

Focusing on spirit dolls

Inspired by Robin (I took her class in Denver last year) - I've decided to focus my first year on Spirit dolls for several reasons. First, I've never worked in any dimension and I'm interested in that process, second, I like the idea of taking the same shape and transforming it in very different ways each month.

I have two HUGE goals this year tho. One (and probably my most challenging) is to finish my piece every month. You see, I'm NOT a finisher. I've picked a ton of ambitious projects and only finished a handful. So, I'm very very excited about this.

My other goal is to "focus" my art and my creativity this year and I hope this allows me to explore that!

I look forward to getting to know all of you - and if you want a bit more about me, I've been blogging for six and half years over at

Hello again :-)

Hey folks!  I've spent a fair amount to time thinking about what to do for this year.  The first year, I made postcard sized pieces that reflected each month's full moon.  Last year, I did smaller pieces, very simplistic, based upon heart designs and verses from the Psalms...both because I knew I'd be pressed for time and also because I just felt I needed an easier year.

This year, I'm aiming for middle ground :-)  I spent a few weeks just mulling it over, and then decided upon embroidered cuff-style bracelets.  I've cut out all the pieces for the year, but I may end up changing some of them.

I can't WAIT to really get started.  I asked my daughter to buy me Robin's newest book for Christmas, and I think it arrived the other day.  I swear I didn't peek, but R's return address was on the package ;-)

Best to all ~
Beading Arts

First Timer!

Hi, I'm Robbie from cold, snowy Michigan! This is my first year with the BJP and I'm really excited. I've started on my January journal and will finish up after we arrive in Florida the 1st of the new year! I'm also showing the progress of my work on my own blog. I was so inspired with pictures of the past year or two from the BJP and I'm looking forward to seeing and reading about this years work! oops..forgot to add....I'm going to be creating a journal size (8 1/1" x 11") piece for the BJP and my theme is Art of Nature. I'm also going to include some form of 'doodling/zentangling' in my free motion quilting and/or in my beading. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Speedie here

Hi I'm Dot & this is the third time I'm doing this great project. I got a little side tracked last year as I was doing recycled theme, but it got me into doing things that I really hadn't thought of before. And yes! I still need to get the pictures to the web mistress over at the BJP website from last year!

This year, I'm still working with the recycled theme, but I'm turning my eyes to a group of beautiful blue glass jars that contained face cream. I hated to throw them away as they are so lovely. So I'm doing my 12 months on a project called either Hidden Treasures or Secret Treasures. I've already found a group of things to put in my new treasure boxes. I found the arm bracelet from my birth, a necklace my great grandfather gave me (a little worn with wear), the first ring my spouse gave me, and my class ring & pin from High School. It is fun just to go through boxes of junk finding such things. I have no idea what else I'll find, but the journey will be fun.

I'm back and raring to go!!!

Seasons greetings to all of my old and new friends! Like many of you, I have lots of ideas, but have not yet settled on the perfect one. I'm not worried though, because I did the exact same thing last year. In fact, I dithered around a lot and didn't actually decide on the triangle shape until the end of December (Yikes!! The BJP started 09/08). My wish for you in 2010 is to relax and enjoy the process! As Robin indicated in her earlier post, this is not a competition. Yes there are people with more experience, but that doesn't really matter! Listen to that voice inside of you, open your mind to the possibilities and prepare to amaze yourself! In case you haven't figured it out, this is all about you!

Hello from a snowy Europe

As I look out of my window the world is getting whiter and whiter by the minute. We haven't had this much snow in The Netherlands for about 30 years! Opening my mailbox and finding the invite to joining this BJP blog made me feel like the white outside is somehow a reminder of the 12 blank canvases I will use to bead my story.

Before I even signed up I had a preset idea of what it all had to become after I was done. Those who know me a little from my blog know that letting go is not my strong point. Still, I have let go of my idea and at this point have not the slightest clue as to what is going to happen over the next year. To be honest, this has made me happier than I would ever thought it could have. Even before starting, being a member of the BJP has tought me a life lesson and helped me discover something that I hold dear.

For the past weeks or so I haven't touched a bead, just listened to what thinking of january brought me, looking around for inspiration, and a little pondering about my material. I can't wait to start my journey... ah well, I guess it started already somewhere in september. I wish all of you a very, beady 2010.

Checking in............

and glad to be here!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Excited about Getting Started

Hi all - Ann Rismiller, aka Muselover here.  I am turning 50 this year, so my Bead Journal theme will be geared to that.  As for format, I think I will do 4 inch squares, and will try using some of the numerous patterned and batik cotton fabrics I have. Since I usually work on Ultrasuede, this will be a good way for me to try something new and get out of the rut!

Bead Salad - my bead blog

Happy Holidays

Hi, everyone!  I'm a newbie to the project and am so excited to see what the year brings.  Not only from my own busy fingers but also from everyone else.  All I know is that my pieces are going to be 5x7.  I have no theme or plan...I'm just going to bead what my heart desires at the moment.  Can't wait to see your beautiful work!!!

Lisa in AZ
Indigo's Beads Blog

Signing In

I'm here too, eager to begin even though I still haven't entirely decided what my "pages" are going to look like. I really appreciate Robin's introductory post. I'm sure I will be referring back to it for reassurance and comfort over the course of the coming year.

It's fun and exciting to be part of such a creative group of individuals. I've missed it during the year between the first BJP and this next venture. Here's to a wonderful new year for all of us!

Magpie Sue
From the Magpie's Nest

Winging it

I have no ideas, no themes, no templates, and no plans. But I do have beads -- lots of beads, and they are all begging to be used. I will lovingly pick them up, one at a time, and make them very happy. That will make me happy too. Robin, thank you, you are a peach!
Yeah!!! I'm in! I'm so excited about this. I've narrowed down my ideas, and believe I've decided on one. Now I need to get my materials together, so I can get started. Did I say how excited I am about this?! LOL!


I'm excited!

This is my first time to do a Bead Journal and I can't wait to get started on this project. I need something to get me going and I think this is it. I've got ideas roaming around in my mind but haven't decided which way to go. I just read Robin's post so I feel better if I decide to jump another way it's OK!

Suzanne Cooper

Season's Greetings from Not-So-Warm-and-Sunny Florida

2010 will be my first year participating in the BJP.  I've read many of the 2008-09 blogs and looked through the flickr photos and been inspired, encouraged, motivated, amazed, and intimidated by the creativity, talent, skill, and beauty of the projects.  I'm hoping that one of my numerous vague ideas will "click" over the next week of two so that I have some sort of direction.  I can't wait to get started!


"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." (Dr. Seuss)

Learning from last years mistakes

OK, they're not really mistakes, but I'm going to bite off a little less this my second journal project. I already have a cohesive theme planned, and a much smaller format, since I would like to have each piece completely encrusted with beads. One has to allow for the time necessary to do homework, house work, social life, etc.

I'm really looking forward to this year; last year was a major transition, so hopefully this year will just be the tail end of the changing, with little or no growing pains. Like that's going to happen, but one can always hope!

Happy beading everybody!

Happy Bead Embroidering Season's Greetings

I'll step up to the beading podium next after my friend Pamela and out myself as another dedicated beading enthusiast. I'd like to expore a couple of themes over the year and so i've chosen a template for myself which will allow me to explore several ideas at once, and not get bogged down in the "blank page syndrome". I've already made a start on a December trial run and so far it's working well.

I want to thank the lovely Anne Marie for suggesting that i join up here and also thank Robin for all her enthusiasm and bead mastery which has led her to set up this venture which we can all share. May i wish everyone Happy and Healthy Bead Embroidering in 2010.
cheers, Kaite from Bathurst, Australia

Friday, December 18, 2009

Beading Beginnings....for 2010

I've decided to bite the bullet and join this group. It's a decision not taken lightly as I have promised myself that 2010 is the year where I am more considered about where my creative time goes. Beading is an activity that quietly settles my mind when I get uptight about deadlines - a meditative step to nourish my creativity.

My plan is to make a monthly beaded brooch. Being smallish it should be achievable but also enjoyable. So here goes - 2010 beading fans, here I come!

Pamela, from Sydney, Australia.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Welcome Everyone to the 2010 Bead Journal Project!

We begin the third year of the BJP with 287 members, many of whom are returning to the project after participating in either or both of the previous years! A special warm welcome to our new members! For you, it may seem bewildering or even a little scary. Not to worry, you’ll soon find your groove. The BJP blogs will help, as you can post questions here any time.

To both returning and new members, please read the following guidelines! I believe they will help us all to stick with our commitment to this one-year project!

Relax and have fun with it! Bend the rules a little if you need to. The commitment you’ve made is 100% for YOU, for your own benefit and enjoyment. So, each month, as you begin your piece, try to please yourself… not me, not the other members, not your beady friends… YOU!

There are only three basic rules… A. Make one piece a month. B. Include some beads on each piece. C. Make all 12 of your pieces the same size/shape.

If your initial plan/idea doesn’t work for you, change it! In the past two years, I notice some members dropping out because their plan/idea was too ambitious or sometimes because it suited the first few months but didn’t fit well after that. You are free to make changes anytime during the year.

You don’t have to apply a theme to your work, although some find working with a theme very compelling. But, if you start with a theme and later get tired of it, feel free to let it go at any time.
Consistency will naturally happen. You do not have to strive for it. Actually, it’s not a problem at all if your work seems inconsistent!

The BJP is non-competitive! Each and every piece is valid. Each and every piece has merit. Each and every piece is an important step in your personal development as an artist and craftsperson. Each and every piece is an accomplishment! We are a supportive group, encouraging each member to do what works for them in the best way they can. Try to look at your own work with the same non-judgmental eyes that you would use for the work of others in the project.

There are no BJP police! You don’t have to post pictures. You do not have to report to anybody that you finished your piece each month. You can bend the size rule (that all 12 pieces should be the same size and shape) if it will keep you active in the project. Although we encourage you to do one piece per month, you can start a month’s piece early, do two in one month, skip a month… again, whatever it takes to keep yourself active.

There are many possibilities to explore each month! You might try visual journaling or telling the story of your life during this month in a visual way. You might set yourself a learning goal, such as to try one new technique each month. You might consider using your BJP pieces to “get out of the box” and experiment with colors, design and/or style. You are free to set your own goals for the year’s work, if you wish.

If you’re looking for inspiration, I suggest looking at the member pages on the BJP website, here and here. You are eligible to have your own member page when you have completed 8 pieces for this year. Also, I posted pictures of 42 of my favorite pieces from last year’s BJP on my blog, here.

Don’t stress about finishing… about how you will finish each month’s piece or what you will do with the year’s work. Some members have a clear idea of what they want to make with their pieces at the end of the year; many do not know at all. Some will create a wall hanging or a book-like assemblage, while others may not make anything at all with their pieces. Either way is fine. Remember, the real payoff of this work is doing it each month!

You are not required to have a personal blog or website. You don’t even have to take pictures of your finished pieces. All of that is voluntary. However, it’s my impression that those who do post about their BJP experiences and progress on a personal blog seem to develop a wonderful sense of support and community with other BJP members. So, although it’s not required, I do encourage you to give blogging a try.

The BJP blogs are your link to the group! We do have a few guidelines about the blogs as follows:

1. We have three BJP blogs because Blogger limits every group-blog to a maximum of 100 authors. To accommodate all of us, we have divided the group into three equal sub-groups. You are assigned to one sub-group and are able to write a post on that blog only. However, I encourage you to follow and read all three blogs!

2. All posts must be relevant to the BJP. In other words, please don’t post text or pictures about other beadwork you are doing on the BJP blogs. However, when you believe it would be of interest to most BJP members, you may post a sentence or two about a non-BJP topic and a link to a post about that topic on your own personal blog.

3. Please do not post pictures of your monthly pieces on the BJP blogs until after April 1st. The reason for this is that some members prefer not to be influenced by other member’s work until after their own style is set a little. You are welcome to post pictures on your own blog (if you have one) or on our Flickr page at any time. During the first three months, you are welcome to post a link on the BJP blogs to pictures posted elsewhere so that those members who are non concerned about being influenced can take a look. After April l, you may post pictures of your BJP pieces here on the BJP blogs.

4. Please, no movies or sound on the BJP blogs! We want to keep it easy and fast to download. Also, since we’ll have well over 1,000 posts by the end of the year, we have to be mindful of Bloggers “space limits.”

That’s about it, folks! Thanks for taking the time to read through these guidelines. If you have any questions, feel free to post them on the BJP blog or email them to me. Now it’s time to pick up some beads and get started!

Again, welcome everyone! I am in awe of you all for making this commitment and I totally look forward to getting to know you and seeing your BJP pieces!

Beadily yours,

Robin Atkins
Founder of the BJP