Monday, August 22, 2011


Finished my blanket strip in good time, need to get ready for the Fall semester (see my academic blog for those details) but I have a few more craft projects that need my attention including finishing a small hide bag promised to a student last spring and a umbilical cord amulet for another student who had a baby this summer.

The Natl Park Service invited me to participate in their Heritage Days event held at an old trade post & farm located near a trail used by Pottawatomie people during the early 1800s. I am to demonstrate bead work, but more likely will just set up tables with porky quills, beads etc and answer questions. Since most of my own work is plains style (and usually given away) I don't have many finished objects to display...but I promised to make baby moccasins for a friend so I will make them in Great Lakes style (center seam with wide beaded velvet cuffs) and perhaps a small hide bag with floral applique design. This weekend event occurs in mid-September so there's not much time, especially since the Fall Semester begins next week...but I think I could get a few small objects together! The NPS kindly paid me an honorarium for the last event (a weekend workshop for area school teachers who wanted to add to their Native American curriculum materials) and then mistakenly sent me a 2nd check! So I'll use this extra money to buy materials; the kids who stop by my table can select a glass crow bead and deer hide lace as a small souvenir of their visit to the park. I don't have the sense that people will stay for a long demonstration of beading techniques or to actually work on their own project but I may set out some embroidery hoops and beads if folks want to try their hand at floral applique...a few stitches may give them a little understanding. I've never done this type of demonstration before and am wondering how Fred Harvey employees felt...but its good incentive to work on baby moccs!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Blanket strip done!

I finished out my blanket strip by sewing on a white deer hide back; finally I attached blue & pink satin ribbons as well as tassels made with white horsehair, silver cones, and blue mini glass grow beads. The pink ribbon may be a bit too soft but the recipient said he liked the pink bead detail. If I had the chance to redo this project I would have selected red beads & ribbon instead of pink, but its all done now!

I also added 2 hide tabs so that it can be easily and safely hung on a wall (or they can be tucked out of sight if it will be displayed on a chair back). Its unlikely that it will be attached to a blanket but that would be nice too.

It was a big project taking nearly 2 months to complete. I learned important things along the way and am generally happy with the results. I wanted to make one for some time and as a first effort I think it turned out ok. I may attempt another one someday but other projects are waiting so off to something else...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Blanket strip 4

beading is all done on my strip; I trimmed away the excess canvas and am almost ready to attach a hide back. I don't have a single piece of hide that is long enough (64") so will have to sew 2 sections together and hope the seam isn't too noticeable (it will be on the back so won't be seen very often). I'm disappointed that some of the white canvas is showing around the medallions so I decided to back the strip with a white split I purchased from Wandering Bull, a supplier back east. It wasn't the color I had intended and I hesitate to use up my wonderful white hide (its hard to get at a good price) but it will look nice and help hide the problem. I also purchased pink and blue ribbons and will make white horsehair tassels to hang from the medallions.
This was my 1st effort and I've learned some valuable lessons but don't know if I'll be making another one any time soon!