BJP 2012

This is my first time joining the 2012 Bead Journal Project ... a collection of 12 pieces created over a 12 month period. I still haven't finalised my design for the whole piece, but had several ideas for the theme and layout.
I will post pics as I work on each months element... newest at the bottom of the page.

18th Jan
Okay, so it's mid January, but I've been busy...and researching. I spent some time roughing up ideas for a complete textile project, some I liked more than others... but this is the one I'm going to run with. It will be half quilt, half applique and any other method that I find suits along the way.
I imagine it laid out on a faux suede or similar, because I want to be able to embroider text, which I couldn't if I had the velvet that I'd prefered.

pics not too great, will try for a better one, but it shows the idea
The beaded element will be the circles around the edge. These will predominantly refer to the 12 zodiac signs, and be worked in the associated colours for each. Each zodiac also has an associated statement, eg "I Feel", I shall incorporate this into the design. I haven't quite finalized the designs for these, but shall get January's done so that I can get with on beading it- I don't want to be late on my first one... even though most of the month has been dedicated to the whole layout, I can take my time for the others.

29th January
I started drawing out my 12 zodiac blocks, 3" circles with stylised symbols, and got round to beading Aquarius (being Jan-Feb)... but I wasn't happy with it so redesigned it and tried again. I'm still not happy with it- I can't get beads to be as detailed as I'd like, but until I can come up with an alternative set of designs I'm stuck with these- hopefully the others may turn out better.
Felt background, delicas, tear drops, bugles, hex seeds and huge pink centred seeds.

Aquarius, 2nd try- still not much better- so much easier to draw...
Aquarius, 1st try. Not happy with it at all

14th March
Well, I seem to be having a hard time with this project... I have done February's block, BUT- 1, it's turned out awful, and 2, it's the wrong zodiac sign as well! Can't have been concentrating. I will post pic when I've done the correct sign, nicely!

22nd March
I gave up with the beaded blocks in the end- they just weren't looking good enough. I'd been working alot making textile collage bases so I decided to use these in the Elements colours- green, yellow, red and blue. I spent Saturday redsigning the blocks, and making a green base, cutting out the symbols in white felt. I'd thought that a plain white symbol would show much better. Since Sunday I've been cutting, sewing and appliqueing the star sections in cotton and overlaid with organza. Once that was complete I edged it with a narrow purple ribbon...

Now on to redoing the blocks...

January- Aquarius, two wavy symbols, on yellow- Air

February- Pisces (not Gemini! why I beaded that one  I'll never know)
Two curves with disecting bar, on blue- Water

March- Aries, an ornate "V", on red- Fire

Next month is Taurus, on green which I've prepped ready to bead....

This is how it looks now.... but I've only beaded the first 3, the rest have the felt cutout in place. I need to work on the various elements of the centre now, but I'm happier with it now.

25th March
Following on I added the first stage of internal sections, in coloured batiks... which I edged with coloured thread on my machine. I then cut and added the second segments using the same coloured organza bonded onto the blue satin for extra depth in colour.

Having tacked and sewn the darker colour segments on, I overstitched in the same thread as before but with a different stitch. I then beaded clear rainbow bugles zig-zagged onto the ribbon border.

26th March
The centre section will be quilted so I needed to do the applique sections first. The pentacle is coloured in accordance with the elements to match the zodiac symbols, with the addition of purple- for spirit.

 I edged the panels with complimentary beads. As spirals are "my thing" I added one in the centre and embroidered some accenting patterns, then added the moon phases in felt, overbeaded in white. This is now ready to be quilted in the centre and the festivals ring placed over.
I still have 9 months beading to do, one for each symbol, and as I add it to the outer ring I will also bead around each circle to finish it off, probably using appropriately coloured beads and semi-precious crystals as they are part of my reference needs. I will catch up with the first 3 when I have completed the centre and festivals ring.
I still haven't decided on the texts to embroider around the outer stars, but that will be the last thing to add anyway, along with the equinox texts, the rune symbols and all the zodiac dates... so still lots to do really... so happy it's coming on now though. I almost can't wait a year to have it hanging complete with backing and rods... but at least I can use it in the meantime as my reference table....

30th March

I quilted the centre panel and attached it, then painted a bronze circle for the festival divisions.

I penned the sabbats around the ring and attached it, then beaded around it to emphasize the divisions. I also added the runes at this point, but I may go over them with white thread to make them stand out more.

I still have lots to do... much of it texts, but now I can remove the unfinished zodiac symbols ready to bead them for the Bead Journal Project months.I also want to bead around the symbols with associated crystals and colours... loving it so far!

5th April

Time for Taurus... and my first earth sign of the year, so out comes the green fabrics and materials...

7th May

Time for Twins- Gemini... and so we are back to the air element

 7th June
My sign- Cancer, wet and wild...

6th July
I got this one done early- Leo, and back round to fire...

6th August
My mum's sign, Virgo,done while I was in the groove!

I've yet to start beading around the blocks, but will get to it when the weather actually starts behaving like it should- namely summery... I can get out in the garden and bead away for a change.

6th September
My next block is Libra, my dad's sign. It is a horizontal line covered with another that has a central loop in it. Back round to air again...

 6 October
In some sets this symbol looks very much like the Virgo symbol being based on a calligraphic "M". The tail is the distinguishing mark for Scorpio, rather than the sweeping arm of Virgo. Scorpio is aligned with water.

Next comes Sagittarius and lastly Capricorn, both of which I have already beaded as it's better to work in groups, so I've been doing 3 at a time. Over the last 2 months I shall get them all sewn onto the base, and then begin sewing the crystals and beads around each symbol.

 2 December
With only two more blocks to go to complete the challenge, here are the remaining pics;
 Oops! I seem to have lost my pic for Sagittarius, so I'll have to search it out on my backup... but here's December's Capricorn to complete the set.

I've attached them to the main piece now, and have begun working round them. As it's a reference piece eacg sign has associated colours and semi-precious crystals, which is what I am working round them with. A few will cause problems- I cannot source diamond chips! so I'll have to choose alternatives in places, but this is how it looks now... oh- including Sagittarius on the left... 6 more to do...

Once this section is complete I'll add the border blocks with text and more symbols; Winter, Summer, dates for the signs etc. I'd like to have it completed by the end of January, but we'll see, what with lots of Xmas creating going on and getting ready for friends staying over for the holiday it's not likely I'll touch it at all in December. Oh well...


  1. This is a stunning project and I look forward to seeing your progress.
    diane, New Zealand

  2. Thankyou Diane,
    This is the first applique/quilty thing I have attempted as a wall- hanging so it's a bit of a learning curve..used to little things like bags,pencil cases etc, so I'll have to scale

  3. You are amazing Kalona! This is so gorgeous! I really admire your talent, and your patience to sew all these beads!

  4. Well, it gets me off the pc in the evening,lol!!

  5. Yours artworks are wondeful, Kalona! I love them. What interesting ideas you have...and patience, talent to do this. Congrats!

  6. Kalona, this is a stunning piece. I look forward to seeing the whole thing done. So glad you've signed up for BJP 2013!

  7. Where have I been?! I've just read through your whole blog and looked at all the pictures enlarged. What an awesome project! In every way I love it... colors, stitching, beading, design... everything compelling and pleasing. I am so looking forward to seeing it finished! You are creating a lasting piece of art that hopefully will be shown!

    1. Thankyou all! I hope to get it done for the new Year, although I am without some of the appropriate crystals so I'm not sure what I'll do there to be authenic- it is my teaching aid so needs to be accurate!
      Yes it will be shown, mainly on my wall at home, but I'll put it in the Gallery too for a while. I might even see if I can get it in a show or two...
      Still very undecided on 2013 project...don't know where to start yet... oh well.. abit of time to go.x


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