Friday, June 22, 2007

Still following the path

I really like the way the labyrinth is turning out. I find myself moving my finger along the path. The carpet of beads that cover the path have a nice texture and the walls are still higher than the path so it is easy to stay between them. I have a feeling I may have to finish this in such a way I can keep it on my desk. That way I can “walk” the labyrinth even though I don’t have a full size one. Once the page is finished I will take a proper picture instead of just scanning it.

A mixture of greens, gold and brown seed beads are used in the pathway. I’m not sure what I am going to do with the rest of the square. Everyone says is that their beads tell them what to do. I am hoping mine speak up soon. I do have some flat, round black beads in the stash that will make nice stepping stones leading to the entrance. There is a lot of fabric to cover with beads, but the work goes faster than I thought it would. I do have a small sample square that I have tried various stitches on before working on the actual square. I have never used beads this way and am learning as I go. I am also leaning so much by looking at everyone’s blogs. I am already thinking of the July project and have an idea forming.

A seven circuit labyrinth is not difficult to draw. Begin with a cross in the center. Hmmm actually it would be better to look here for the directions as they are nicely drawn out. Try drawing one of your own, it is easy. There are many other types of labyrinths. This is a good place to see some of them. If you want to read more about the history of labyrinths, check out this page. Want to read more?

I really appreciate all the comments that have been left. I love looking at everyone's work and the different blogs. It's fun how this project has lead many of us to venture into the area of blogging, while others have been doing it for a long time. The blog is another step outside of my comfort zone. Sharing my progress, ideas, and thoughts with others is a bit scary. I am old enough to still think of the world wide web as mysterious, wondrous, and magical. It is a way for me to have friends in places I will never visit.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

From my garden

I love flowers and try to grow them every summer. Over the years I have found the ones I am most successful growing. Below are a few of the ones blooming right now.

I have a huge, old rosemary bush. These are their very small blooms. I love to brush against the rosemary as I walk by to release the wonderful aroma.

These day lilies have been around forever. It is not unusual to see them blooming along the sides of roads.

A beautiful deep lemon color, the petals gentle curve downwards.

The Stokes Aster is another flower that is easy for me to grow. It provided a huge showing of blooms in June. If I am diligent about dead-heading the old blooms I get a few more in July.

Last one for today. This is a gladiolus. I remember them from my father's garden.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Progress of June's Bead Journal Page

This is a scanned picture of the June page of my BJP. A 7 circuit labyrinth is drawn on a 7' by 7' square of heavy Pellon. I used gray and brown crayons to color the area inside of the labyrinth so any background fabric showing through would be blended. I have two different color sets of beads chosen for the inside of the labyrinth. I have always wanted my own labyrinth and have imagined different ways to make on. One type would have the 'walls' made of local rocks stacked on top of each other. The pathway would be covered in soft moss. I love walking barefoot on moss. Another way to make a labyrinth would be to make mounds of earth for the walls. Grass would cover everything. Mowing the path and letting the walls grow would help maintain the labyrinth. I have used black, gray and gunmetal size 8 seed beads to make the walls of the labyrinth. I wanted height and some texture in the walls.

I haven't decided what I will do outside the labyrinth. To be honest this is my first bead embroidery project. I did many embroidery projects when I was younger, but my bead work so far has been done in bead weaving.

Friday, June 08, 2007

7 Circuit Labyrinth

There are many quotes about the journeys in life. One of my favorites is from Ursula K. LeGuin, “ It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters, in the end.“

The year long Bead Journal Project is a type of journey, so I have begun that journey with the path of a labyrinth. A labyrinth is a single pathway that curves upon itself leading to a center and out again. Labyrinths have been around for centuries and examples can be found in relics that date back to the Bronze Age. They have been found scratched into the ground, outlined with mounds of dirt or rock. They are etched into pottery, chiseled into rocks and outlined with mosaics. Labyrinths have been found in the artifacts of most countries including Greece, Middle East, North and South America, South East Asia, and even Australia. Today people use the labyrinth for meditation, religious purposed and more. One of the oldest is the 7 circuit labyrinth.

The 7 Circuit is a rough circular shape with the pathway forming semi-circles inside. Don’t mistake a labyrinth for a maze. They are different. A maze will have passage ways that are a dead end. The labyrinth has no dead ends, but is a continuous pathway that curves upon itself until the center is reached. Once you reach the center you will retrace your steps back out.

I’ve drawn the labyrinth on the fabric and am now waiting for the beads to come in. I went through my stash and didn’t find the color and size I wanted to use, so I had to order some beads. I don’t have a local bead store (LBS), so I get my beads on line or when we go to the Asheville, NC area. It’s more fun to pick the beads out in person than on line. I’m really not sure how the color or finish of the bead is going to look, so I end up getting more beads when ordering online. It’s easier to get something I really don’t like or won’t use when ordering.

As I wait for the beads, I am thinking of July’s page of the journal. Since July has the magic numbers of07/07/07 I want to use the number on the page. I have doodles, but no real plan yet.