Monday, March 29, 2010

Sewing while visiting family in the lower 48

Hello, yes, still on the road. Decided not to put up any pictures of the family visit, at the beach, bike riding , birthdays and such, and stick with the at the bead table theme. It's been raining and hailing with lots of thunder and lighting thrown in, so I have been getting some sewing done. Heres a picture  of the eagles piece I'm working on.

You can see it in it's half done stage. Two thickness of wool felt stretched on a hoop. Then the picture I've drawn is rubber cemented to the felt. Using the couching method ( One needle is double threaded and the beads are strung on that. Then you use a second needle to lock down every two or three beads, going over the double thread. ) I bead right over the paper to make the beaded picture. Of course the better your design, the better the beadwork. There are always some changes you make and things like you can't find a bead color to do what you were thinking of, but those all pan out in the end.

The canyon will really pop ( I hope ) when the black beads are in, and give the piece some good depth. Turquoise sky and wala! Another done deal...Will post it when its a finished purse.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

away from the bead table

Well, I'm traveling. Brought some beadwork with me but as usual, it's hard to bead on the road. Not an excuse, just is.  I moved the table where I'm staying closer to the window, and there is a very nifty sky light right over me, so that should help with the lighting. But tomorrow is a day for cooking corn beef and cabbage  for my Dad. Happy Saint Patrick's Day all! This computer I'm using has this photo booth feature which is a really fun waste of time. This is me wasting time...

Sunday, March 7, 2010


  Well, this is the end of the story. I'll be gone for awhile and when I come back I'll have "The Blue Bead" as a full color, paperback book (size 8 1/2 by 11) for sale. Hope you enjoyed the preview, thanks for coming to the blog and all your lovely comments!

Maggie sat at the table, drinking a cold glass of milk, watching the moose in her yard. Her journal was open in front of her.
"Had a great day. Grandma really liked her purse. She saw the blue bead and got caught up in telling stories from when she was a girl. She said Raven stole a bead just like the one I gave her, and then maybe a fish ate it! I don't think so! I read in my history books that those beads were made in Bohemia in the 1700s. So how did it get here, it's a mystery."
Yawning, starting to feel sleeply, she closed her journal and shut off the lights. Under the covers her mind wandered, and she started to plan her next piece of beadwork. A raven came to mind.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Getting close to the end of the tale of the blue bead. Let's see what happens...
At Grandmother's potlatch birthday celebration, people crowded around with food and presents. Her eyes lit up with pride when she opened the plain brown box from Maggie and held up the purse. "the sewing is good," she said, nodding, taking note of the even stitching. She saw the large cobalt bead dangling from the leather fringe.
"Reminds me of a story," she said. Everyone loved Grandmother's stories, and they crowded around to hear. "When I was a girl, we were having a potlatch just like this one. Everyone brought food and gifts. I had my eye on a deerskin bag with blue beads, just like this one. Just as we were giving gifts, Raven came down from the sky and snatched a blue bead right off  the bag!"
Everyone gasped."And then what happened?" someone asked Grandmother."And then nothing. That trickster Raven took the bead for his own. For all I know he flew around the world with it seven times and dropped it in my granddaughter's hand! For all I know, he dropped it into the sea and a fish ate it!" That made everyone laugh to think that one bead could travel the water, earth, and sky.

Friday, March 5, 2010

another choice

For page 13, do we like this illusration, or the girl in front of the brick wall?


Present day, Alaska
Maggie rapped at the door of the junk shop. Mrs. Waters studied the blue bead and led Maggie to an old steamer trunk.
"This is where your mother found it, thats all I can tell you." she said with a sly smile.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Rain tapped at the tiny attic window. Huddled in front of a warm cup of tea, the bride packed her steamer trunk. Her thoughts returned to the wedding.
The "something old" was her mothers wedding dress, plain but beautiful. The "something new" was her raw gold nugget wedding ring. The "something borrowed lay on the table in front of her,  a large magnificent feather from the head of the Raven clan.  And the"something blue"was a rather intriguing bead made from glass.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Honk-tonk piano music music and smoky gold light lured the prospector into the saloon, where a wedding was under way. His friend, and the proprietress of the establishment, was marrying her long-time sweetheart. Low on most everything but good wishes, the miner gave her the blue bead.