Anatomy of a project, is what I’ve decided to name this blogpost. Why, because it’s a catchy title, but also because it’s something to think about!
I get easily bored, so my solution is to work in series. Oh, my series aren’t all the same, but they do have similar elements. They might be restricted by size, but then again, perhaps defined simply by shapes, themes, or colour.
I’ve been working in series since around 2007, when I first joined the Bead Journal Project. The pieces were both size, shape, and time based, but also over-the-top, on my personal bead encrusted scale There was nothing that I wouldn’t include, yet they all projected a harmonized front. Nothing was sacred, but then again, I was obsessed. My BJP series, for the various years, included triangles, house shapes, leaves, and squares.
Flash to the end of 2018, when I joined the Stitch Meditation group. I used size as my base, then had a ball, dragging out, and stitching fabrics, and technique samples from the past. Shapes included both 2”, and 4” squares, as well as small paper shipping tags. But, if that was not enough, I started working on a scroll format. I completed a small colourful scroll, a large neutral coloured one, yet, if that was not enough, am now working on a large, colourful, mixed media scroll. I decided to work on more 2” x 2” squares, but this time, including beads (my Bead Meditations). Next, my “Doodle Bits”! They’re nothing but paper, fabric, stitch, and a little imagination!
Further to my anatomy of a project, I’ve talked about this before, but my freeform peyote project, actually came to me in a dream. I dreamt of working on a project that would keep me occupied, had no particular purpose, but also, no projected end date. I’ve been working on this during our enforced time off, and am calling it “While the world pauses … I will keep on dancing!”. How long will it take, before it gives me permission to stop?
I snagged beads from many different avenues. Leftovers from packaging seed beads at BeadFX, remains of the day, from other projects, older stash items, then a few new (because how could I resist?) shapes and colours, just because! The shape is evolving, yet there are still many paths to follow! It actually started as a four-inch strip of even count peyote. That’s the beauty of free-form, you never know how it will turn out!
My colourful “Remnants”, mixed media scroll is another project, born out of the pandemic! I needed to keep my hands, and brain occupied, while dealing with isolation, reality, our new world, and all of the depressing media news. It’s turning out to be my drug of choice! The initial stitching is complete, now I’m off on a mixed media journey. This journey will include paint, free-motion machine embroidery, hand embroidery, and applique. But that’s not all, I’m also thinking of including beading, and found objects. I’m in heaven, dreaming up all the techniques that I could apply to this piece! This project may never end!
On the weekend, I started on a new ‘Inspiration’ for the store. It’s a smaller freeform peyote piece, born out of some of the leftover beads from last week’s update. I couldn’t resist the new Miyuki Frosted Glazed Rainbow, seedbead colours! It started out as an idea for a bracelet, but could very well end up as either a brooch, or a small, sculptural piece. This project is just about as undefined, as many of my others!
My anatomy of a project blog post has ended, but my projects have not! They consume me, but are incredibly rewarding! You don’t need to go overboard, but I do encourage you to start thinking about working in series, then defining, and naming your projects. You can do it, if you try!