Sunday, September 13, 2009

Walk the talk

The first work I made was just a trial. I had become intrigued by bead embroidery by surfing the WWW. After I first stumbled upon the Bead Journal Project homepage I felt drawn into a whole new world. I had been beading for a short time then - I started in the summer of 2008 - but had focused on beaded jewelry. Fun to do and still one of my a favorite ways to spend spare time, but I cannot possibly wear all that jewelry and have no ambition to start a shop. The BJP showed me a whole new meaning and means to beads.
It was the flow that seemed to embody all these different works and my inner self didn't seem to stop with ooohs and aaaahs.
The next I knew, I felt torn between a strong want to give bead embroidery a try and a little demon voice inside me that kept on telling me I would never be as good as they were. At first I won: I did start a little project of my own that didn't turn out so bad. I called it "teardrop", because the shape reminded me of a tear. Unfortunately my work then stalled: I simply did not know what to do with my piece and still haven't found out either.
It was when I started to really follow blogs like for example Robin Atkins' Beadlust  or Susan Elliot's Plays with needles' that I realized that they too struggled with their inner critics.  After I read Susans blogpost on  Mini Me I realized I did the same. Always telling my children that you never learn untill you try and try again, and that all good work (artistic or not) is not achieved at once. Teaching them that failure is not a bad thing at all, because it is through failure that we learn important and invaluable lessons that help us grow. And here I was, allowing myself to be put aside by my own fear of failure. I love the phrase Susan used as she wrote she needed to "walk the talk...". It might be a common way of saying, but to me (being Dutch and not having English as my mother tongue) it was new and compelled me to push myself to start overcoming that hurdle.
As I am writing this down I am well on my road to victory. I have started this blog as a first step into starting my own BJP next year. I am decided to embark on that voyage that will lead me to discoveries of new worlds where no one has gone before... - as captain Picard would say - not even me. I will no doubt find myself struggling with my inner critic who will sent me countless little demons as I go along... But if they can, why wouldn't I be able to?


  1. Oh HELLO Dees and welcome to the bead journal project!!! I am so excited for you at this, the beginning of your new journey...into blogging, into beading...and the fact that you quoted Jean Luc-Picard! Well, we'll be fast friends for life!

    I am very pleased that you found inspiration from my blog...that makes it all worthwhile, in the end. I hope that you will be kind to yourself...that you will show up with your beads and yourself and just stitch what is within you. I have learned a tremendous amount from Robin and from participating this year and I hope you will discover just as many joys and sorrows along your journey.

    Your teardrop is a beautiful beginning and so meaningful since water sustains life and you chose to use beads...perhaps your beads will help you sustain part of you in this life too??

    It's a beginning, Dees. And beginnings should be honored and cherished -- so don't judge yourself too harshly, don't expect too much for yourself in your first steps...just let yourself "be" and embrace yourself...your voice will come to you and it will be your own...and that, my dear Dees, is the greatest gift you can ask for in participating next year. That you find your voice through your beads...and you become aware enough to listen to it...

    Best of luck my dear new Netherlands friend. I'm glad you've joined the journey! Susan Elliott

  2. Hello Dees!!! In her comment above, Susan has already said everything I want to say and better than I could say it. She's right that gaining your own voice is the greatest gift you can ask of participating. And like a mother with a baby learning to talk, you will honor and encourage every attempt, including your first beautiful tear drop. You might be interested to know that first I saw a womb with an almost ready-to-be-born child when I looked at your piece. Both being black, I saw it as being born out of a fire. Now, after reading your post, the tear also comes forward.

    Your English language skills are remarkable, Dees! I admire you and Soe very much for that!

    I tried to respond to your email to me... twice I tried to respond, but the messages were returned. This is what I said:
    Hi and welcome (in advance) to the 2010 BJP!!! Yes, your idea is fine. You may do anything you wish with your pieces. The important thing is doing them. We don't have any BJP police... even the few rules we have are not cut in stone. For example, the first year one member made barrettes. They were more or less similar in size, but not exactly. I have no problem at all with that. I hope that answers your question.

    Thanks so much for following my blog!
    I'm glad Susan told me about your blog so I could send it again! Your new blog is really great...I will enjoy visiting you across the seas!


  3. Dear Susan and Robin,

    thank you so much for your inspiring words and support. Yes, I do intend to discover my own voice as you both point out. The past 18 months have for various reasons already passed with that theme and I hope I will find a way to turn my search into journals.

    BTW, I don't know why your message didn't come through but I am glad it reached me this way. (Maybe it's our new computer that did it.) My questions are answered so I rest reassured as I go along.

    As JLP (Jean-Luc Picard) would say:
    "Make it so!"



Thank you for reading my blog and joining me on my voyage into life with and without beads. I hope it brings you new thoughts and inspiration.
Love to see you back!


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