Monday, February 23, 2015

BJP Jan and Feb

Once again this year I have joined the Bead Journal Project (BJP)(and the Crazy Quilt Journal Project, CQJP). I had done so a few years back and decided to join in the fun and creativity again this year as well. I think these groups are a wonderful way to push yourself to complete projects and share in the creative process with others.

This year for the BJP I decided to do my beaded rocks again. I decided to choose a theme this year of doing endangered species. It always saddens me when I hear that there are creature that have been here for thousands of years and then along comes people and wipes them off the face of the Earth. Hopefully some of my pieces will just bring a little more awareness of their plight. I am not sure exactly which species will be done and I will probably include insects and plant life within this theme.

I often get asked how I  do these rocks. The procedure is fairly simple. Although it is time consuming and requires a steady hand and getting use to how to handle and place the beads. I am going to start with my February rock to give you a basic how I do this. First I use a somewhat flat rock. I got mine from along the shores of Lake Superior. There was a great place that had slate like rocks and I collected a bunch and brought them home to my old place in northern WI. I have since moved to FL and moved my rocks with me. My father thought I was a bit goofy for bringing my rocks but I knew I wanted to make more beaded rocks at some time and I would need those rocks.

To start with I would wash the rocks just to be sure they didn't have any dirt or lose pieces on them. I then paint the rock. This you probably don't have to do that but I feel that the beads/glue will stick better to the painted surface.

Then I researched what type of photo I want to put on the rock. I did most of this by simply googling images of my tiger. With my tiger I knew I wanted a close up of the one side of the face. I took a basic photo of a live tiger and traced with tissue paper the basic outline. I then looked at several photos to see where the patches of color were on the cat.

From there I used a sharpie marker and retraced the outline from the tissue paper on to the rock. The sharpie goes thru the tissue paper on to the rock.

Once the pattern is on the rock I begin to glue the beads on the rock. Depending on the pattern you might want to consider how you want the beads to lie on the rock. This rock I started with the lines around the eyes and nose. The first rows are the most difficult to lie down. You need to be sure they are straight  and the beads lie up and down. It's not as easy as it seems. To place the beads I will load  3 to 4 beads on a beading needle and dip the beads slightly into the glue. I do not completely submerse the beads in the glue, only one side.

I then just go about gluing the rest of the beads on the surface. The beads only go to the edges of the rock. I do not put them on the bottom of the rock. I usually just leave the bottom of the rock plain but I suppose one could place some felt or something of that nature so the rock wouldn't scratch surface.

Here is the completed tiger rock. I was very happy with how this rock turned out.

Here is my January rock. Last month I did the rhino. Another critically endangered species

Here are a few edge on views of that rock.

If you have any questions regarding these rocks please feel free to ask.  And I hope you will check back through the course of the year for more rocks and some of my CQJP as well.


  1. So interesting to see how the finished result is achieved. Perhaps I can have a go on a tiny rock to start with.

  2. Evanna, Yes I would start with a smaller rock. Pick a simple pattern. It takes a little getting use to handling the beads and placing them. Also a helpful hint is let the first row of beads that you place dry. Then when you add more they have a solid edge to lean them against.

  3. Thank you for sharing this. Beautiful work.

  4. I have just found your blog and am very impressed. Love the rock idea and how special the beads.