Sunday, March 31, 2013

Baby Kaya

After thinking about several different projects I finally settled on making a beaded blanket strip for baby Kaya. I made one a few years ago for a friend's retirement gift and really liked how it turned out; it was traditional in design but that fits Kaya is something new, so its my first effort into a more contemporary direction. Her mom works with Inupiat people in Barrow Alaska understanding the impact of climate change on their culture. "Eskimo" people have long hunted and fished and mom Chie often comes home with a cooler full of whale meat. Baby Kaya was so adorably plump and given the Inupiat nickname for a baby whale: a whale design is perfect.
Here is the larger central medallion (about 5" across); there will be 2 smaller ones and all linked together by a beaded strip.
Not sure what the strip will be attached the past they decorated hide robes as well as wool blankets. I've considered a plain wool blanket, a smaller one made from salvage edge woolen fabric that is so lovely, or possibly even a Pendleton sea wolf crib blanket:
although the images may be too competitive. But it will take ages to get all the beading done and parts assembled so there is no hurry to decide. I'm glad to have started and look forward to working on the smaller medallions next and then the long process of the strip (not hard, just lots of beading!). I'll need to decide on an overall length and place a bead order with enough so I don't run out...bead colors can change from order to order so its best to order more than actually needed.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Spring 2013

Time to start thinking about a project...need something even if I only poke around on it a bit. Would like to start working on a beaded doctor's bag; a friend found a nice small sized one for me and I've decided to make a new cover in honor of a friend's baby (not enough time now to make a cradle or a bonnet). I will need to measure the bag, plan a design, buy thin hide (either a deer hide split or chamois) and order beads. I can't remember ever placing a Crazy Crow order last year so I may not get their new catalog!
These bags were lovingly decorated in the 1890s and new ones are winning prizes at Native art shows in Santa Fe. Mine will be decidedly less impressive but I'm looking forward to the challenge!! There are excellent instructions in Whispering Wind and plenty of examples on the web.

Since its a modern piece I don't feel bound by conventional designs (geometric or ledger art) or even color (usually a white or light blue background favored by the Lakota). Was thinking of putting a whale on one side but am a bit puzzled for the other. Mom works up in Barrow and the baby is affectionately called Ingutuq, a plump baby whale. Baby has lots of plush whale toys and so I was happy to find a whale medallion on line for inspiration. To get back into practice of beading I am working on making something along the same lines; made good progress on it today and I like the scattered randomness of the beads simulating light on the whale and the surrounding water. Not sure what to add it to, maybe a hide cover for a photo/memory journal book.

The nice thing about making a doctors bag cover is the luxury of time....I can poke along as time and other projects permit. Baby won't outgrow it and it's going to take quite a while to complete! But it will be a good project when it eventually gets underway.