Sunday, 21 December 2014

BJP 2014 Beach Huts 7 & 8

I knew my last two beach huts were for two more groups of friends. Hut 7 was going to be for my crafting friends and although I knew it would include a bit of knitting or crochet, some felting and of course beading I wasn't sure where to start so I decided to do the other hut first. This hut is for a group of friends I made whilst teaching so an owl charm was chosen and some blue/green beads the colour of the college logo. The owls sits on a branch which I tried to continue with beads and set him on a silvery moon background. I have good memories of working with my friends and students but don't miss having a timetable and all the paperwork. Now when we meet up or go away for a few days life is much more relaxed.

At my felting group I was needle felting a small Christmas tree for a Christmas decoration and it sparked the idea of decorating the final beach hut for Christmas for my crafting friends. That decision made it was so enjoyable beading a wreath for the door, hanging lights around the roof, decorating the tree and finally wrapping a present.

to all my friends at the' knit & knatter' groups at Stash and M&S, the felting group and everyone at The Stables Gallery, the Cheshire Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers  and of course everyone in the Beading Journal Project of 2014. Thanks for all the help, encouragement and inspiration over the year.

Friday, 5 December 2014

BJP 2014 Beach Hut 6

Having created five beach huts associated with family the next three are for my friends. This beach hut is my 'Happy Birthday Hut'. These are my friends I have known the longest and we always celebrate each others birthdays and  meet up every two weeks altogether for tea and cake and to catch up. In the summer we will be outside sitting in the sunshine and  sharing plants from our gardens, for our birthdays we will go to pubs, restaurants, visit gardens or galleries and in the winter on a dull day there will be much laughter as we share life's ups and downs and talk about everything under the sun. The beach hut needed to be bright and cheerful and flowers, a butterfly and a beaded birthday cake seemed just right. Cheers Happy Birthday Girls.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

BJP 2014 Beach Hut Five

Beach Hut Five is all about my wider family who have been part of my life. The snaps in my photograph albums show the faces of my mum, dad, sister, in-laws, godmother, aunts, uncles and cousins who have shared in my everyday life, celebrations and holidays but how do you capture that in a beaded beach hut? Most were with me on my wedding day and the beach hut definitely has a feeling of something old, something borrowed and something blue. I didn't set out with this intent but I collected some bits and pieces from mum's sewing boxes which is what my sister and I did when she made my wedding dress and I made my mum's dress for the wedding as she had shingles.
The stripes of the beach hut are made from old tiny mother of pearl buttons

 and lace borrowed from my mum's sewing boxes

 and new blue buttons and beads.

I also scrapbook my family history and wanted to include something of my past ancestors so I love the antique feel the older bits give. A loving family anchors and supports you so a lovely little silver anchor charm sits on the roof

 and a flag made from scraps of my going away dress are held up by a heart flag pole.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

BJP 2014 March and April ~Ta dah

Beach huts for my boys. There always seems to be a song, a poem or a phrase that whirls around my head unbidden and as soon as I thought about my son's beach huts two things sprang to mind. The song  'You are my sunshine' and the rhyme 'Star light, star bright'. The song title has been used as a scrapbook page title, sung out loud to my sons and quietly to myself, chuckled over when I realised that Marge Simpson sings it to Bart ( my younger son was an avid watcher of the Simpsons) and just sums up how I feel about them. They make me smile and it is always a joy to see them whether on Skype or in person. I wonder how much they remember of the made up stories, bedtime books, short poems and nursery rhymes that were part of bedtime. The poem is the last in a very dog-eared, stuck with tape nursery rhyme book that I used to read to them and haven't the heart to throw out. At bedtime it was said before the curtains were drawn and now I still find myself saying it when I look out the kitchen window before bed.

Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.
My eldest has been the other side of the world for two years and my youngest lives the other side of the country but we are all under the same sun and stars which is a thought that pleases me.
My eldest has a colourful sun for his sunny nature, snowy mountains of Queenstown, New Zealand as it was here he started off snowboarding, a 'Peace/ Love' camper van as he is now travelling around and a moustache flag. I wasn't sure what to do for his flag but when his brother suggested a moustache it seemed just right, quirky, fun and very much part of him.
My youngest has a Van Gogh 'Starry Night' sky for his creative side, with chemical constellations as he is a Chemist, a Durham Cathedral skyline inspired by one of his photos and a Liverpool Football Club flag which stands for his sporty side playing football, climbing and tennis.
Both have always supported Liverpool and enjoyed going to music festivals and concerts so a Liver Bird festival flag stands between their huts which I shall finish when doing the background.  
Their huts reflect where they are at the moment.
My family of beach huts so far.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

BJP 2014 February Ta-dah

My second beach hut is for my husband. I am lucky. I know I am loved every day. There had to be hearts somewhere and the roof seemed the right place. When sad things happen such as illness and loss he has always been there with a hug giving shelter from the storm. Some elements were deliberately placed whist others bits just happened. He is a gardener and birdwatcher so naturally a flower and a bird were needed. I was so unsure how to create a bird but a leaf bead made the perfect wing and so a  gull ended sitting at the top.

 We are parents and our two boys are in there twenties now but when they were younger we went on holiday to Suffolk and we bought giant rubber rings from the beach huts in Southwold which were great fun so a beaded rubber ring leans against the door. These are all placed on a background of stripes. There were always going to be stripes I never thought of anything else. We are fundamentally different I tend to be messy and struggle to be organised whereas he is amazingly organised and tidy so the beaded stripes are all in a row as neat as I could make them.

 That just leaves that funny bit under the roof. I wasn't sure why I chose black beads to begin with. To me they signify sadness  and we are happy, we have fun, we laugh and we are good together. So what does it represent? He sees pitfalls and problems which is sometimes a positive when planning projects but he worries about the what ifs and uncertainties, often things that don't occur to me, so that black cloud that appeared is the part of him that will always make him worry about this and that. I am an optimist, he is a pessimist, I am messy, he is tidy but over the years we have rubbed off on each other and I couldn't be happier that he is by my side, almost forty years on since our first kiss when I was fifteen. So here are our beach huts side by side.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

BJP 2014 January Ta-dah

Happy New Year to Everyone.
Should I bead butterflies or beach huts? I decided that if the butterflies were going to be as they are in nature there would not be many surprises as to how they were going to look so beach huts seemed an more interesting option.

I am going to bead a beach hut for each of my family and friends. January is for me and I am very surprised by how it turned out. I decided to bead and leave the thinking about what different elements might mean till the end. My first reaction was ~ what on earth is going on! You see if you had asked me to draw a beach hut it would have been very traditional probably with blue and white stripes.

Now as you can see no blue and white stripes in sight.
I knew I wanted bunting and the heart shaped beads were the first choice I made. The square stitch needle woven flag was the last.
I am kind of intrigued by the colour choices and by the different patterns I have ended up with. Some areas are quite neat and precise especially around the edges whilst at the centre is a very random blue door and I love my red windows. On reflection I can see it reflecting my personality. As much as I like a bit of order in my life and things to be fairly neat and tidy I am probably the happiest at home sitting in a creative jumble making something or on the spur of the moment taking off to do something unexpected on a blue sky, sunshine day. And those red windows are the colour of my birthstone garnet and how I feel about my home. Having started the year being ill there was no other place I would have been so cosy, warm and well looked after by my loved ones.

Monday, 30 December 2013

BJP 2013 ~ December Ta-dah

When I joined the BJP for 2013 I really had no idea whether I could successfully start a blog or what I would create over the year. My initial sketch appeared on my new blog on the 16th December 2012 after a few practice posts and I waited patiently for January to start. Each month a new leaf was beaded and a blog post written and always someone wrote a comment. It was lovely to know someone somewhere was looking so a big thank you to those who left me a comment and encouraged me along the way.
December's leaf is based on the Christmas Rose otherwise known as Lenten Rose or Hellebore. Ours don't come into flower until about February so I have a little while to wait to see them in the garden.

Most of my leaves develop as they go but this time I knew I wanted to make a brick stitch rosette to represent a Christmas bauble. So I picked out all my christmassy coloured beads and round and round I went.

It is the first time I have used the cube beads in a rosette and I really like the effect. What do you think?
Finally the whole leaf.
Bits and bobs had been collected for displaying the leaves together so I started by making labels on woven ribbon with back stitch. I then made a cross stitch title, sewed on ribbon for the stem and as a border and beaded a couple of felt hearts for decoration before finally sewing all twelve leaves in place.

 A few tacking stitches still need to be removed but here they are altogether just in time.

One of the things I like best is that friends and family that visit all have their favourite leaf and each leaf is the favourite of someone. Me, I just love the fact that over the year, step by step, I made twelve leaves and they are so colourful and each leaf looks better because of the others round it.

On to the next challenge of trying to write a post and put photos onto Facebook. I have a few ideas for 2014. I really liked beading the Red Admiral for the August leaf and would like to do more and perhaps a felt picture with beaded beach huts would be good. We shall see what the New Year brings. Wishing you all health and happiness in the New Year :)