bead sketches : month four


April's quartet ...

which felt more like a kind of poem evolving than a
weekly exercise in making;
more like a continuous thought that moved quietly from
one color palette to the next - which I will explain further 
at the bottom of this post.

Without further ado ...

Once again I'll note the source, or the word prompts, or where my inspiration came from
below each photograph (with links, if applicable).    

~ New beads! called 'Rose Petals,' which started as an exploration of mandalas but grew into
a green study revolving around this term  ~

~ I wondered how I might create a different twist on an old tradition ... ~

~ Off-loom bead weaving can be an incredibly meditative activity & a welcomed mental state of
mind it was this month, so I included a short journey with the freeform version of
this stitch in order  to practice mixing bead sizes & shapes  ~

~ In March of 2015, I had rather an amusing *failed* attempt at dyeing with madder and only
achieved apricot colors.  Since then the shade has grown on me & I've wanted to use some of
that cloth in a beaded piece.  A water-inscribed twig of driftwood, some pearls

: : : :

Now, about that evolving thought I mentioned earlier ...
I didn't realize until I took this quartet outside to photograph her that there is a certain
running through this batch that I haven't seen in the others.  This month
feels like one cohesive journey tied together by an invisible equilibrium.  Am I 
making sense?  Its as if I'm starting to work out some triteness, some of those cliches that
crop up when doing improvisational bead work.  There was definitely more of an ease this
month, a kind of level of intention that never left me.  It's hard to explain but let me tell you
what I did at the beginning of the month:
I drew a card ...
a prompt card from my dear friend India's "wander cards for wonderers."
The words were
I kept them in front of me on the beading table for the entire month.

It is where I held my focus.

And from that came a great, soothing calm
along with an unmistakeable affirmation to keep paying attention
to that which is most important.

: : : :

To view all of the  52 weeks : bead sketches  posts, starting with the most recent,


  1. these are lovely...i was particularly engaged by the one that looks like a wee snakeskin. and then i wandered to the bottom and found that nice reference to the wandercards. thank you. makes me so happy that they are being of good use.

    1. May snip that card to bits and add the words to one of the 'littles' sometime soon ... after a bit of ink or other markmaking ... or ... who knows. Only the process knows for sure!
      p.s. snakeskin was one I told you about that curled & twisted with life of its own ;>)

  2. I saw these pics on FB, but preferred to comment here.

    I have never seen those Rose Petal beads before. They are awesome. I like how your design evolved from one thought to the final color choices. I really love this square.

    Freeform beading is wonderfully freeing. I have always loved it. I especially like the flow of this design. For some reason it feels like a wave.

    Thanks for another interesting read. I never really knew the significance of a talisman.

    The wander card has me thinking. Your posts are always good for my soul that way!

    xx, Carol

    1. When I started this project I invested in a few beads (new to the market) that inspired me, knowing I'd use them somewhere along the way. Those rose petals come in a host of pleasing patinas. Do you miss your beading days, Carol? Still, your embroidery work is so lovely & expressive......

      Thanks ever so much for the kind words, my friend xo

  3. Oh my, you've entranced me once again. As I work on pockets these spring months I feel so calm, centered and almost Zen in my mind and with my fingers. No helter skelter but just peace, going through fabric pieces, laying things out and finally the blessed stitching. Your little squares are just so very lovely. I know I'll look at them over and over again.

    1. Penny, I still have your gorgeous punch needle pouch hanging on the lamp above my beading table!! I periodically rearrange the ribbons hanging out of it, just for fun, but it is always with me ;>) It's very interesting to me to watch where our handwork is taking us. Sometimes we are paralleling.

  4. Greetings from Bothell!
    I love the delecate simplicity of your work, never heavy handed oroverwrought and yet very sophisicated.
    What beautiful art youve created!
    Thankyou for sharing them both, your thoughts and the pices.

    1. Greetings to you, Momma Bear!
      I am so happy that you stopped by here and I'm very appreciative of your sweet words. Thank you so much. What have you been up to - life good for you down-sound?

  5. Beautiful...not only in bead arrangement, color choices but in incredible skills. I'm in love with the 'old tradition' piece. Thank you for sharing these beauties and revealing your musings...pure joy here!

    1. That is what I find over on your blog!
      Thank you, Mary Ann.

  6. I love studying these and then pondering the words of process and thought progression...🌻💡✨

    1. Have been keeping track a bit of those thought progressions because although in the moment they might seem droll, I've found that further down the road, reading backwards, I no longer remember those progressions & then find the route to the finished sketch more telling. I love that you come by to ponder with me.

  7. Oh Sweetpea these are so special. India's words have struck a chord with me too.

    1. It was an altogether different month, for sure.
      Haven't "seen" you in ages, LD .... sure hope you are well & thriving!

    2. I moved house and didn't have internet access at home for many months... and then it took me a few more to catch up on all things online-y. Special news - I live in Nimbin now. How exciting is that! About as exciting as you can imagine. (If you haven't heard of Nimbin, just google it, and you'll see...)

  8. I totally get that feeling of cohesiveness.
    I think the more we show up and DO, the stronger the undercurrent of intent. It's kind of a "duh" moment yet so profound when it finally comes.

    (for the record, that 3rd one SO reminds me of waves. just sayin'.)

    1. Funny, that wave you mention waved itself. The weaving was meant to be flat but the more I added odd shaped beads - and the tension changed on the thread - it began to twist & turn on itself of its own accord. I could not repeat it 'on purpose' if I tried. Total serendipity.

      Showing up and DOING has been hugely valuable, even four months into this. My intent is deepening. I see this happening in your work/play, too. Good changes afoot, me thinks, Jen .... onward xo

  9. These little pieces are gorgeous and so inspiring. I've been itching to do something like this for so long but there seems to be so much other stuff clamouring for my attention. Perhaps...perhaps soon!