Hi there, I'm Shirley from the San Francisco Bay Area. I've been aware of the BJP for quite awhile but this is my first time participating. I signed up for the project with a bit of trepidation. My days and evenings are very full - I am a glass bead maker and fiber artisan who sells both online and at shows. I also teach bead making locally on some evenings and weekends. I take care of my 86-year-old mom who has Alzheimer's and lives with me and my husband. Oh, and I just took a part-time contract job in the world of software development. Yikes!
My romance with beads began in 1996 when a co-worker taught a small group of us how to make earrings with beads. I became obsessed with beads and in January of 2000 I learned how to make them with glass in a torch. Becoming a lampworker really changed my life - brought me to places I never would have dreamed of going, put me in touch with folks who have become such an important part of my life, enabled me to have an alternate career when my work in high-tech came to a sudden halt in 2003.
I hadn't done much with seed beads until about 3 years ago when I taught myself how to do peyote stitch. I believe that 2010 will be the year that I expand my knowledge of bead stitches, mainly due to the BJP!
Last year just by happenstance, I "got involved" with some wool roving. This prompted me to purchase a few books and teach myself how to do wet felting. I find much joy in combining my fiber art with beads - this has been a whole new creative outlet for me.
Since felting, beading, and bead making compete for equal time in my busy days, I will incorporate all three in my bead "journal". I haven't decided on any theme - I may just let my thoughts and feelings guide each monthly project. But I have definitely decided on a format. I love making felted vessels. I always do some kind of beading on my vessels and I've decided that each journal will be a small vessel. If I make it through this year-long project (I have every confidence that I will!!), I will probably try to find - or have someone build - a shelf with 12 "windows" so that I can hang my journal on the wall. Gosh, just talking about it has me excited!
Thank you Gerry for sharing your source of tins for storing beads. And thank you Robin for creating this wonderful project!