Bead Journal Project for January...


Wishing on a Blue Moon

This year, rather than working from a theme, I am journaling about whatever feels important to me in each particular month. The month of January began with the occurrence of a "blue moon" on New Year's Eve. This moon seemed to effect quite a few of us in some sort of profound way or another. An airline pilot friend wrote an amazing story about his flight that night. It seemed I really had no other choice in the matter - I too, must journal about this event.
What does it mean to witness such a phenomenon? Why does it effect us so? I stood in the dark for a long time on that eve.  It was icy cold.  Trees and shrubs had dropped all their leaves and seed pods hung in silhouette from stark, dormant branches. I have always been in love with the dark, never having fear, not even as a child so for me, this night sky was a velvet cloak, a large comfortable mantle of stars.  And I let it cover me while that giant blue moon took all my wishes right up to the heavens...  

The piece is about 7 1/2" square, give or take. I'm going to attach each page to an 8" square backing (as yet to be determined.)  I've chosen a square format this year for a couple of reasons.  One is to purposely break my attachment to rectangles and two, is to force myself to deconstruct the resist dyed Merino felts in order to reassemble them into something entirely different. Some background on the felts I'll be using can be found here. This piece is a combination of two felts cut & sewn together.  You can click on any photo to view it a bit larger.
Aside from figuring out how to combine a mix of textiles, one of my biggest challenges was deciding how much of the felt should show and how much I could cover up with beads & stitches while still maintaining a feeling of balance. I wrestled with that A LOT.  I have decided to hold onto the mantra "it doesn't have to be perfect" while I continue to figure that one out.
New things I'm discovering this time around:
how much I like rough edges, selvages, and my preference for piecing together irregular shapes
while keeping all those uneven edges...
...how much fun it is to try combining different textiles
 and then add stitching...

...how rewarding it is to learn from others,
like how I learned from Jude at Spirit Cloth
about turning down a corner to reveal its better side...
...and then there's just how far sheer determination can take you
when you've got your mind set on using that teal-colored wool vest!

A couple other notes: the piecing together was hugely difficult for me, so constructing the base on which to bead took the most amount of time - oodles of time. I never thought I'd be able to say that the beading was the easy part! In addition, I totally enjoyed learning to needle felt, couching yarn and I really, really loved stitching, way more than I would have imagined.

So there it is - finished at last!


  1. So beautiful! Definitely brings a moonlit night to my mind, even without your description.

    I love how you mixed fabric with beads...

  2. Oh Christi! Oh, oh, oh!!!! OMG!!! I am so thrilled with this piece, every single detail of it, with the materials, with the wonderful look of the whole and with the idea of wishing on a blue moon!!!! I want to touch it, to stroke it gently. I want to smell it. I want to feel the edges of the turned flap (great idea!) and the bumps of beads and fabric over beads. I'm enchanted by your stitches and textures, threads and beads. Ooooo-la-la! To my eyes you fully answered your own question about balance of covered and uncovered fiber!

    Congratulations and may all your wishes come true! Robin A.

  3. before reading anything you wrote, i looked at your piece for a while and i instantly thought of a moonlit night. the mixture of different textures, fibers, beads and stitches is just astounding. this is truly a remarkable piece. i love it!

  4. hi Christi, i can see how much soul you've invested into this one and then how much fun you've had with the beading. I just love the little fabric or paper tubes with beads spilling out of them, but i really think the whole piece is so gorgeous and tactile. I love beads and fibre and stitch so much more than beads alone, and you have everything here. Fantastic!!
    A Koala Stamp for you my dear. Hugz, Aussie Kaite

  5. When I clicked on your page, I caught my breath and let out a soft wowwwwww. I don't think I have ever seen a more beautiful page. The texture and color, even on my computer screen, are amazing. Its abasolutely beautiful and depicts thoughts of Blue Moon perfectly. wooowwww.

  6. I love love love your felt pieces! This is a wonderful idea, and your beadwork is just exquisite :-)

  7. Gorgeous! I agree with everyone - this immediately made me think of the blue moon you describe. I, too, love the little paper tubes covered in beads. I'm fascinated to read about the textiles and how you put the piece together. Wonderful!

  8. Thank you to everyone for you very kind words. They mean so much. I'm thrilled that the feeling of the moon comes across...

    About the tube beads: they are ceramic! I found them by accident while wondering around a local bead store. I agree - they look very much like paper. They have kind of a rough surface so the color on the surface sort of sinks into the cracks, if that makes sense.

    Thanks again to each of you for all your thoughtful comments.

  9. This is a stunning piece of art! I'm in awe of the detail work you've done! LOVE IT!

  10. Wow, let me just echo everything everyone else has already said. And add that I especially like the "zipper" effect you've acheived with beads on the right side of the piece. I bet this is a tactile delight.

  11. What an exciting and beautiful piece. I just love the juxtaposition of all of the kinds of beads you've used. It's wonderful.

  12. This is just beautiful. I love everyone of the colors you have used, each stitch and bead is perfection. Well done, congratulations.

  13. Incredibly lovely, with numerous tactile elements making it even more interesting, definitely a wishful and peaceful blue-moon-ish feeling as I view it. Congratulations!

  14. "this night sky was a velvet cloak, a large comfortable mantle of stars. And I let it cover me while that giant blue moon took all my wishes right up to the heavens..." I adore this bit of prose...and I feel the cloak...the worked cloth the layering and the warmth. I too loved the turned leaf but my favorite of all is the contrast of the purple velvet ribbon with it's lustre over the matte-ness of the ceramic beads. Oh Christi, I can feel you soaring...and you're only just beginning. So glad that you're having fun and learning and that the needle is singing in your hand. We ALL benefit. Bravo!

  15. WOW! Do i need to say anything else!!

  16. I think WOW! just about covers it, Robbie. This is stunning in concept and execution. Brava!

  17. what a lovely piece!
    thanks for the mention, it is good to know i have inspired.

  18. What a wonderful project.
    You know the 'color' of a mood
    so well and always have.

    Each detail is stunning..the balance you were looking for is there, but also instances of the wild bead, exactly where it should 'unexpectedly' be!

    Is there anything better than having time to work on your many loves (including gardening)I must be seeing gardens in these, too.

    thanks for this treat!

  19. WOW!! I love this piece, the colors, the flow, the beading, the spirit behind it is YOU!!
    Very lovely!!!

  20. Just beautiful - swirling and dancing like earth viewed from above, dangling from a twirling parachute...

  21. !!!!!!! AMAZING WORK!!! I'm gonna enjoy following your blog I can just tell! :)So glad I got here... at last!

  22. What a continuing joy to read all of these comments - I always appreciate them, so much, and I'm very happy you've visited my blog. Happy beading & stitching to each of you!

  23. Stunning, beautiful, clever and a real visual treat. And my favorite colours.
    A joy!

  24. i cannot tell uyou hao thrilled I am to find that you ahve started a blog!! I am in this years BJP as well and I must tell you that it was your wonderful work that Robin first featured on her blog , with all fot he shells, that really inspired me to sign up!! your work is wonderful and I lvoe how youa re working on the backgrounds as well as the beading. I adore selvages and irregular shapes and frayed edges! that has taken a lot of retraining on my part! I was always told that all edges MUST be finished and Nothing should be Irregular- so glad that we are breaking down these silly rules!!! iam now following your blog so I will not miss a thing!!!!!

  25. Absolutely beautiful! I could have swore I posted on this one. I love this piece... one of my favorite colors with the greens mixed in to dark, love your beadwork. Just wow. Thank you for sharing your photos!