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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Feels Like An Old Friend



Cynthia's post with the stacked bracelet sent me out into the workshop to give it a go. I was trying it with some small trade-looking beads she gave me once.  I thought it would look cool.  And it would if someone more competent was making it. For me, it was a colossal fail.
I wanted to keep beading but was at a loss as to what to do next.  Then I had a moment : all I could think about was some leather Cynthia gave me that was left over from a chair she upholstered.  She has been working with leathers a lot and I guess it seeped into my brain.  So I pulled out her leather, cut a swatch, and instantly pulled out these matte cream beads and red beads Liz gave me and started brick stitching.  I doubled my thread and used the thickest needle I had ~ a size 12 ~ that barely got the job done.  I wanted to use a rock for a closure but in the end opted for this mother-of-pearl button from my Gram's stash.  It was the first time I tried beading on leather.  I know it is only edging but I am proud of it anyway.

A few visits ago, Cynthia pulled out a book she wanted me to look through ~ Beading in the Native American Tradition by David Dean.  When I finally looked through it, my jaw hit the floor.  Most of the book is about the beadwork collection owned by Charles Eagle Plume, whose store/museum I had gone to a few times in my Colorado days.  It is located on Route 7 in Allenspark, Colorado.  Charles Eagle Plum was there to greet us and give us ghost beads and show us each item we laid our eyes on.  The beadwork, inlay jewelry, dresses, blankets, pipes were all there for us to gently hold, and a fair amount of it was for sale.  My friend got me a gorgeous turquoise bolo tie there.  It was a magical place, mostly due to Charles Eagle Plume himself.  Cynthia had no idea about my connection to Charles Eagle Plume...she just thought I would enjoy the Native American beadwork and maybe play with some of the stitches.  I ordered the book for myself and have gone cover to cover several times.  It is intimidating to start some of those stitches...even  more so to try them on leather.  So I started small for a change.  I love the results!



If I sew onto leather more, I need thicker needles (if they will go through the beads) and a thimble.  The eye side of the needle went through my finger a few times, mixing my DNA with the cow's, I suppose.
Moo.
And I will need to figure out what my problem is with the camera/computer sudden incompatibility, because these cell phone photos are not good.  The table cloth doesn't help either.  But I wanted to get this up before I have to bake and shovel snow.  We are all friends here ~ I know you will forgive my crappy photos.


 The more I look at this on my wrist as I type, the more it looks like chair leather.  The creases and give and softness...it is the corner chair I would surely claim as my own if it were in my house.  It is the one I would kick people out of if they were sitting in "my chair" and I was ready to rest my weary bones.  It is a warm embrace and a comfort.
It is Cynthia and Liz, Colorado and Charles Eagle Plume, Gram and Beads.

13 comments:

Maryanne said...

Fantastic, Christine!! I just love it! The leather is beautiful, not stiff but soft and comfy looking. And, your beading doesn't look like it's the first time. What a fantastic bracelet!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I hope you don't get too much snow. One of the things I'm thankful for is having you as a friend! Happy Thanksgiving, Christine!

BackstoryBeads said...

I woke up with a to-do-list a mile long, with pies still needing to be baked, linens washed, and family due to pull up the driveway later this afternoon. But a post from you cannot wait to be read, and what a beautiful story to start my morning! Happy, happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

windrock studio said...

You know how much I love this! And I love how much you enjoyed creating it even when that big needle jabs your finger. What a wonderful path for you, especially with your memories of that little town in Colorado and the special meeting that you had. It is such a beautiful, warm piece with so much heart & soul!

Therese's Treasures said...

Awesome cuff Christine, I love the comparison to your favorite comfortable chair. The book sounds interesting Natve American beadwork is so fascinating to me and to think back to the tools they used to make the beads and to sew with before modern needles and thread. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

This is purty, Christine ;)

AntiquityTravelers said...

Oh My God I love this!!!!!!! I can totally feel that leather (as I sit in the chair it is from :) Totally agree with Maryanne that you look like a pro with this style - I think leather beading is going to be a go-to style for you my friend! what a happy coincidence to share the book with you and to find it has such meaning to you. I look forward to seeing how it inspires your beading!

Liz E said...

What a beautiful post Christine. I absolutely despise sewing through leather. You did a GREAT job. Supple, soft, warm and welcoming! How can a bracelet be all that? I don't know, but you managed it.

Miss Val's Creations said...

This came out beautifully! I love the beaded edges and that fantastic closure. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. :)

Linda said...

How beautiful!

kimmykats said...

what a beautiful bracelet....goodness another thing to try.....and I live surrounded by cows....

Doug van Dyke said...

Before I started reading I could see all those Native American influences. It's a great piece. Gram's stash is still going strong? How cool is that! "Moo." LOL!

CraftyHope said...

I don't think I would have guessed 'chair leather' had you not said that's what it is. I think it's lovely, the whole thing! And what a coincidence about the recommendation. Sorry I'm so late getting over here but I've been so distracted lately. :)

Skylar Bre'z said...

The felt bracelets I've been playing with remind me of this. I back them with ultra suede, so no itching. They've been selling like hotcakes! And are so much fun to make!

I'm betting this isn't the last cuff you make, either. :)