Thursday, September 3, 2009

Finding My Way

No journey ever taken can be attempted without the help of a map, a guide, a guru -- well I guess it could, but that's a good way to get lost. And so, as I began my exploration of encrusted beading, just last fall, I turned to those who were already following this path.

My first map came in the form of this book. Before seeing "Beaded Embellishment" I had no idea the various forms that encrusted beading could take, in fact I will admit I hadn't even known there was such a thing as 'encrusted' beading. I quickly discovered those oh so creative bead artists fashioning intricate pictures and then went on to discover the possibility of beaded purses and jewelry and sculptured items... well the list goes on and on.

My first encrusted beading project was this picture, aptly named "Autumn Journey". It was a good 'first' because it allowed me to practice all sorts of stitches on a flat surface. Thanks to Amy C. Clarke's and Robin Atkin's directions I began to explore (and stretch myself I might add). I won't even tell you how many beads I put on and took off in an attempt to finish this piece. Not only was I learning beading stitches but I was learning color and placement of the beads -- and probably the most important lesson learned was 'patience'!

I found out that Robin Atkins had other books and quickly ordered those too. By this time my head was swimming with possible beading projects -- all of this without really knowing a thing about beading itself. My dreams were definitely outpacing my skill. But isn't learning, exploring and dreaming what life is all about?

"Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind." - James Russell Lowell


  1. I'm so glad that Amy and I were successful, through our book, at getting you started... and what a marvelous start it is!!! You are ambitious to have made such a complex and large piece as your first. Great job... it's lovely... I love the flow of the design, as if the autumn breeze is blowing through the whole piece. And I love how you attached the large cab! You are indeed making art one bead at a time! Are you going to join the Bead Journal Project for 2010? I HOPE so!

    The purple beads in your header photo... OMG, that's a lovely assortment of shapes and sizes... they make my heart go pitter-patter!

  2. hello sweet friend! welcome to the blogging world (like you weren't there already!)....
    this is beautiful....xxx

  3. Thanks Robin. I've darkened the text color a bit - hope that helps. Yes, yes, yes to the 2010 BJP - I can hardly wait.

  4. So glad you sent me this link to your blog, Penny. Denise and I had seen this piece at the show in Brevard and were blown away by your change in direction. So lovely!! BEAD ON!!!

  5. Hi again, Penny.. Thanks for your comment on my post today! I'd like to be able to contact you other than through blog comments. Are you on Facebook? Or, you could list an email contact on your blogspot profile. Or, you could email me: robin [at] robinatkins [dot] com.



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