Sunday, September 27, 2009


I still laugh inside when I see those plastic naked Indian dolls at Hobby Lobby, waiting for the crochet dresses to be made...2 sisters had a table of those crochet dolls at the craft fair and I wondered who finds them attractive? I am anxious to get back to Beckie's doll but still decompressing from the marathon sessions of making "sellable" merchandise (which in the end didn't sell and didn't even represent something of real creative expression in my mind but they were still fun to make and were good practice of my skills). Have been thinking more about this new doll and how she will ultimately look so its almost time to get back to that project even while I start to explore quill work which has me very excited!
I realized I have a sack full of white quills so I'll start practicing; if it goes ok I'll be encouraged to try it for real...figure it must be hard or people would still be doing it. Can beadwork be that much easier or was it just the "new" fad that caught on until the older art forms fell away? The more I look into this the more examples I am finding so maybe I just didn't see it clearly before...I'm excited to learn a new art form and all that it offers

Saturday, September 26, 2009


now that the craft fair is over I can turn my attention to other projects that had been put on hold...I need to decorate the handle of a turkey wing fan that a friend made for me and also get back to Beckie's doll (she has been very patient with me!)...Ray & I swap out regularly: he made my fan and in return I'll decorate the handle of his fan; he restrung my old Naja necklace for me with some 1930's silver beads I got on ebay and also strung a new Naja necklace with some really nice Sleeping Beauty Mine turquoise beads that I purchased. Now he has asked me to decorate his pipe stem (he has been carving a block of catlinite for nearly a year but is almost done). I'm honored to do this but a bit nervous as it must be done I think I will try to learn quill work and then hopefully wrap it with strips of plaited quills. Have been looking at photos of pipes both old and new to get a better sense of how they should look; also received the new catalog from Sherwoods (an expensive gallery in New Mexico): 19th Century Native American Pipe Stem and Bowl Collection with material from Ron McCoy who regularly contributes to American Indian Art Magazine. The information is nice and the photos are amazing, but almost all the attention is devoted to the bowls and the bags and less to stems. I ordered some craft books that explain quill work techniques; the illustrations seem to make sense so I think with some practice and patience I will be able to do it...nothing fancy, but quill wrapping will be more appropriate (and traditional). Eventually I'll bead some hawk feather quills and add ermine tails as well as brass and glass crow beads so it should look pretty good when its all done. I'm really hoping that old dogs can learn new tricks!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Craft Fairs...

maybe organizing craft fairs isn't for me....or maybe it would be nice to have some help. I started planning an on-campus event last spring with the Student Life office support. I sent out emails over the summer and spread flyers around campus with little response...eventually there were nibbles and things looked better. Then the university assessed us a $300 fee (later negotiated down to $150)...hmm, I almost canceled out of annoyance but we moved ahead. We did little advertising assuming an event with tents & balloons on central campus would naturally draw attention, but then the weather turned rainy and we moved inside; sadly this drew less attention and even fewer shoppers. All the participants had set up nice tables and there was a good variety of jewelry, oil paintings, garden gnomes, knitted scarves, greeting cards and even home made dog treats; we did our best and sold a few things. Several students approached me and said they hope to particpate next time. I made a list of comments, suggestions and new ideas...but not sure I want to try this again. Still it was an interesting experiment...