Tuesday, February 11, 2014

BJP 2014 - The Beginning

My real post title should be "off to a slow start".  Back in December I came up with the idea that I wanted to make12 Bead Journal Project (BJP) pieces, each one in the shape of a chain link.  I would then somehow arrange the links together at the end of the year to form one large piece.  This is what the un-beaded links look like.

When I started beading the very first link it felt forced and awkward.  My bead embroidery is best when I have a concept, and that is where I floundered.  I had nothing.  I needed to find an idea that was exciting to me and would also work with the chain shape.  After some rumination I decided on a compass, the glass leaves represent the four directions.  I hope this piece will give me a navigation tool to help steer my remaining 11 links.


My piece is not at all styled in the Native American tradition (as you can obviously see!), but I really like Prayer to the Four Directions and I wanted to include it. It was was once attributed to Chief Seattle, but I'm not really sure of the current thoughts on who authored it. 

Peaceful and happy beading, lovely people.

Prayer to the Four Directions

Great Spirit of Light, come to me out of the East (red) with the power of the rising sun. Let there be light in my words, let there be light on my path that I walk. Let me remember always that you give the gift of a new day. And never let me be burdened with sorrow by not starting over again.

Great Spirit of Love, come to me with the power of the North (white). Make me courageous when the cold wind falls upon me. Give me strength and endurance for everything that is harsh, everything that hurts, everything that makes me squint. Let me move through life ready to take what comes from the north.

Great Life-Giving Spirit, I face the West (black), the direction of sundown. Let me remember everyday that the moment will come when my sun will go down. Never let me forget that I must fade into you. Give me a beautiful color, give me a great sky for setting, so that when it is my time to meet you, I can come with glory.

Great Spirit of Creation, send me the warm and soothing winds from the South (yellow). Comfort me and caress me when I am tired and cold. Unfold me like the gentle breezes that unfold the leaves on the trees. As you give to all the earth your warm, moving wind, give to me, so that I may grow close to you in warmth. Man did not create the web of life, he is but a strand in it. Whatever man does to the web, he does to himself.


  1. I loved reading the Prayer to Four Directions again... It's been a while, and it was the perfect thing for me to read today. Thanks for including it.

    As for your process with the links, I admire your gentle way with yourself, that you allow yourself to feel uncomfortable and keep pushing, gently, until you find a meaning and/or concept that works for you. To begin with a link that can help to steer you through the remaining 11 links is brilliant. You are the first BJP person to come up with the idea of making links... I love it!

  2. I forgot to mention how much I love the balance yet asymmetry of this first link!

  3. oh this is going to be very lovely, can't wait to see it grow! Beautiful!

  4. Wonderful piece and I think prayer is something that I want to embrace each day. I'm wondering how you are going to be combining the chains together.

  5. I was eager to see you start this project. Settling on a strong compass/4 directions image is so soothing and is easy to wrap thoughts around. I cannot wait to see where you take it from this starting point. The colors you picked and the pattern you made are beautiful and fluid, yet structured. I can easily see this as a stand alone piece or part of an ensemble. Gorgeous work, Liz. I love your embroidery!

  6. I love the chain link idea! Awesomely clever. And you're off to a great start with that first beaded link.

  7. Wow this is a fabulous idea and you did a beautiful piece of art.


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