Welcome to both new and returning participants.
The following are guidelines written by Robin Atkins that will answer some of your questions and concerns. If you need any clarification, please leave a comment and your concern will be addressed by the BJP team.
To both returning and new members, please read the following guidelines! I believe they will help us all to stick with our commitment to this one-year project!
Relax and have fun with it! Bend the rules a little if you need to. The commitment you’ve made is 100% for YOU, for your own benefit and enjoyment. So, each month, as you begin your piece, try to please yourself… not me, not the other members, not your beady friends… YOU!
There are only three basic rules… A. Make one piece a month. B. Include some beads on each piece. C. Make all 12 of your pieces the same size/shape.
If your initial plan/idea doesn’t work for you, change it! In the past two years, I notice some members dropping out because their plan/idea was too ambitious or sometimes because it suited the first few months but didn’t fit well after that. You are free to make changes anytime during the year.
You don’t have to apply a theme to your work, although some find working with a theme very compelling. But, if you start with a theme and later get tired of it, feel free to let it go at any time.
Consistency will naturally happen. You do not have to strive for it. Actually, it’s not a problem at all if your work seems inconsistent!
The BJP is non-competitive! Each and every piece is valid. Each and every piece has merit. Each and every piece is an important step in your personal development as an artist and craftsperson. Each and every piece is an accomplishment! We are a supportive group, encouraging each member to do what works for them in the best way they can. Try to look at your own work with the same non-judgmental eyes that you would use for the work of others in the project.
There are no BJP police! You don’t have to post pictures. You do not have to report to anybody that you finished your piece each month. You can bend the size rule (that all 12 pieces should be the same size and shape) if it will keep you active in the project. Although we encourage you to do one piece per month, you can start a month’s piece early, do two in one month, skip a month… again, whatever it takes to keep yourself active.
There are many possibilities to explore each month! You might try visual journaling or telling the story of your life during this month in a visual way. You might set yourself a learning goal, such as to try one new technique each month. You might consider using your BJP pieces to “get out of the box” and experiment with colors, design and/or style. You are free to set your own goals for the year’s work, if you wish.
If you’re looking for inspiration, I suggest looking at the member pages on the BJP website, here and here. You are eligible to have your own member page when you have completed 8 pieces for this year. Also, I posted pictures of 42 of my favorite pieces from last year’s BJP on my blog, here.
Don’t stress about finishing… about how you will finish each month’s piece or what you will do with the year’s work. Some members have a clear idea of what they want to make with their pieces at the end of the year; many do not know at all. Some will create a wall hanging or a book-like assemblage, while others may not make anything at all with their pieces. Either way is fine. Remember, the real payoff of this work is doing it each month!
You are not required to have a personal blog or website. You don’t even have to take pictures of your finished pieces. All of that is voluntary. However, it’s my impression that those who do post about their BJP experiences and progress on a personal blog seem to develop a wonderful sense of support and community with other BJP members. So, although it’s not required, I do encourage you to give blogging a try.
The BJP blogs are your link to the group! We do have a few guidelines about the blogs as follows:
1. We have three BJP blogs because Blogger limits every group-blog to a maximum of 100 authors. To accommodate all of us, we have divided the group into three equal sub-groups. You are assigned to one sub-group and are able to write a post on that blog only. However, I encourage you to follow and read all three blogs!
2. All posts must be relevant to the BJP. In other words, please don’t post text or pictures about other beadwork you are doing on the BJP blogs. However, when you believe it would be of interest to most BJP members, you may post a sentence or two about a non-BJP topic and a link to a post about that topic on your own personal blog.
3. Please do not post pictures of your monthly pieces on the BJP blogs until after April 1st. The reason for this is that some members prefer not to be influenced by other member’s work until after their own style is set a little. You are welcome to post pictures on your own blog (if you have one) or on our Flickr page at any time. During the first three months, you are welcome to post a link on the BJP blogs to pictures posted elsewhere so that those members who are non concerned about being influenced can take a look. After April l, you may post pictures of your BJP pieces here on the BJP blogs.
4. Please, no movies or sound on the BJP blogs! We want to keep it easy and fast to download. Also, since we’ll have well over 1,000 posts by the end of the year, we have to be mindful of Bloggers “space limits.”