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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Muse is Dead, Long Live the Muse!

Haven't tackled any craft projects in a donkey's age. My low-key kitchen remodel kept my home - not to mention me - so upended I could not focus on anything else. But with the kitchen done (for now), the air seemed clear, and anyway, I needed to get moving. I keep promising to make things for friends and they are now on Chez Claire back-order. So, last weekend, I decided to start a project, due last Christmas. I was sure I'd screw it up or feel no enthusiasm for the task, but got a happy surprise - projects are still fun! Guess I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed using my hands on something other than computer keyboards.

I decide to whip up a new medicine bag - a present, which requires seed bead decoration of the kind you see on beaded moccasins and such. In the past I did my own seed bead trimming but when I wanted bead rosette,I'd just buy them. But feeling my new-year oats, I decided I'd make my own rosettes this go-round. "After all", I decided, "how hard difficult could that be?"

Infamous last words, I assure you.

Oh dear... The Muse is Dead

So falsely emboldened, I set about teaching myself to sew seed bead rosettes. My first try was a shriveled little mustard blot I abandoned nearly at the onset. My second try was lopsided and let's face it - miserable.

Oh dear...
But I kept at it. I made error after error for my 3rd try, undoing ratty rows and forcing myself to re-sew them. I wold lose focus, look down and see off set rows and the yellow beads where white or turquoise beads were to go. Patiently - an extraordinarily rare attribute of mine - I took apart row after annoying row and re-sew them. Finally, I got some real sense of what I was doing and voila - I had a good rosette!

Long Live the Muse!

The colorful rosette above is not a star, but an Edelweiss flower. It looks a tad off in the photo but actually, when smoothed out & de-bucked, the tiny seed beads lie all squared up and even. When done, I cut the felt around the rosette and sewed it onto a deerskin suede leather medicine bag I made for a friend. The finished bag has tassels of red abalone shell & quartz beads hung at the bottom of pipestem bone. 

Here is the Edelweiss bag and its mate, with a Raven rosette. Both bags have peyote bead tubes on the end of their straps. That was fun re-learning peyote beading. The bags have red abalone tassels at their bottoms and seed bead decorations along their tops. 

Hum.. seems the project Muse is alive and well after all. 

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