Bead Journal Project 2014 – January

So I have decided to take part in a personal challenge and join a group on Facebook – the Bead Journal Project (BJP) who journal the year through beadwork.  There are not any substantial rules to what you have to create, but the main one is to commit to making a beadwork journal throughout the year.

My first piece has been finished already, whilst I have been off work on vacation this week I thought it would be good to bust some stash, get some r&r in the way of beading and also focus my thoughts on the journal idea.

Initially I did struggle with the format of my journal, then I decided that I would work on boxes, so I would bead the lids of the boxes and then decorate the edges and insides of the boxes to match the lids.  I settled on rectangular boxes and managed to find 3 of the same size cardboard boxes at my local craft store.

I am going to be brave and share personal information here, in the hope that it helps explain the beadwork I made and will continue to make throughout this project.

I hate the winter, more so than regular folks who moan about the weather, how cold it is, the rain is horrible etc.  I have suffered with depression on and off for nearly 15 years and after 7 years of being medication free I hit a low point last year in the winter – so much so that since January 2012 I have been on anti-depressant medication.  It took a while to find the right medication and the right amount etc, and to that point I am still taking it.   I do hope that during the spring/summer this year I can get help from my doctor to come off the meds though.

My January BJP is dark in colour and mood, as I am currently not enjoying the winter season, and it hasn’t even snowed here in the UK yet.  The three points of light in my darkness are represented by the pearls on the piece; my husband Steve, my son Sean and my parents (family); the second pearl is for my friends who help keep me sane and put up with me;  and lastly the third pearl is for beading.

BJP January

I find that when things are at their worst in my mind, I seek the quietness of my bead room, chat to friends on fb and google+ and then at the end of the day my family are there to make sure I am OK.

The bugles to me represent the endless stairs that I seem to have to climb everyday, from getting out of bed to go to work, to being motivated to want to work and lastly to even be a teensy bit social.

The circles and whirls throughout the piece are representative of the chaos of my mind, as with most other people who suffer depression, I can find it hard to think about one thing at a time, often my mind keeps me awake when I am trying to rest and sleep by whirling around with the days events, future things to do and sometimes – if I am lucky – with new bead designs and ideas.

I hope that I haven’t scared my family, friends and followers with my openness.  I do feel that mental health issues in the UK and other countries are still treated with a stigma attached, and that only be being brave and sharing how we feel can things get better.

Thanks for reading, listening.



4 responses to “Bead Journal Project 2014 – January

  1. I’m so glad you felt like you could share, Dee. And I really hope that it lifted the darkness for you even if it was just a little. Depression can be so scary (for the person who has it) and it almost seems like it grows when we’re solitary, so my hope is that by sharing a little, the burden eased just a tiny bit. I respect your bravery a lot, and I know how hard it can be to put personal things out there in the world. Bravo YOU, pretty lady. I know you know that I have depression too – if you ever do feel like you want to talk, I hope you can reach out to me. I can see exactly what you were saying about your work this month, and I hope YOU can see that it’s beautiful in spite of (or maybe because of?) the subject matter – I’m so glad you were able to bead it. Hugs and much love to you.

  2. Dee, thank you for sharing. I too absolutely hate the Winter. It makes me feel like a prisoner serving out my time. But I too have decided to shuck those chains & the strength to do that is my loving husband & the friends I’ve made on the internet and through art guilds. It is going to be a long hard Winter for all of us, but we have our beads to explore our world and our passions.

  3. I love that your third Pearl of Light is for beading. I feel that way as well. ❤

  4. Your piece is beautiful, and your reasons for creating it are perfectly described. I also suffer from mental health conditions, and will most likely need medication for life. Your reasons for creating this piece could have been written by me too – seems we are more alike than we realised! I am proud to call you friend. xxx

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