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 :)

Friday, 6 December 2013

BJP 2013 ~ November Ta-dah

I love the look of  hydrangea flowers as autumn fades into winter. The beautiful shades of blues and pinks turn to the colour of vintage linens and lace. Earlier in the year my Mum moved from her home of 50 years and I unpacked boxes that had been hidden under beds and in cupboards. In one of the boxes were pieces of lace saved by my grandmother and her sisters for one day. I sorted through boxes of beads and broken jewellery also saved for one day. So although I never knew my grandmother and her sisters I do have photos of them and I feel I have a connection with them as I see their handiwork and the pieces they saved and my Mum saved as too precious to throw away.

My grandmother, Muriel, is in the middle with her older sister, Gertrude, on the left and her younger sister, Letty, on the right.

Imagine my delight as I realised I had the perfect place for one piece of lace and some of the beads. One day had come for a piece of lace that was just the right size for my November felt leaf and I had beautiful antique cream lustre beads that could make a pretty border.

I didn't want to cover too much of the lace work and I wanted to develop the circular shape of the large hydrangea heads and have the smaller flowers that make up the larger heads. I added wooden beads to complete the circle of lace flowers and then added cream and pink individual flowers in another circle.

I added a few more flowers with larger beads in the middle.

I hope my grandmother and her sisters would like my finished leaf.

I can't resist showing one of the small boxes of beads I came across for 'good children' and some of the glass bottles I'm filling up as I sort the beads.

I have nearly finished my December leaf and I am collecting together everything I need to display all the leaves together so hope to finish before the New Year :)