Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bead Work

At the pow wow this weekend there were some wonderful bead artists. This native lady was beading a dance fan. I never saw this technique done before, in the hoop was a layer of Aida (counted cross stitch) cloth , then felt, and then on top was a piece of paper (old calender) that she drew on the pattern. The design came to her in her dream. After she is done beading she will cut the fan out and put a layer of leather behind it. The picture does not show the true beauty of the bead work. Notice the leaves on the ground. Her mother, Marie is highly respected for her herbal medicine she makes. Everyone swears by salves. This is the lady with her mother in the dancing circle. The women dancing behind them has wonderful applique on her dress.

This is a Mullein plant. These are the leaves that they were drying. In my plant book it states: boil the leaves and apply them to body joint to relieve the aches of rheumatism. to the head to relieve a headache. Smashed leaves were used for respiratory ailments. Marie also had a glass gallon bottle filled with St. John's Wort flowers and water (or some kind of clear liquid). St. John's Wort flowers are suppose to be a fun plant to natural dye with and I want to try it but I have a problem, the description in my dye book says the flower petals have black dots along the edges. I can not find any plants with the black dots on the edges. The plants fit the description in every other way. Does anyone have an answer? Am I finding the wrong species? In my plant book is says, fresh flowers steeped in olive oil or alcohol will yield a bright red lotion for cuts, sores and minor burns.

Some of the dancers bead work.

This was the head dancers, her dress has to be so heavy and warm. When the native lady (I don't know her name) talked about dreaming her designed I was reminded of the quilt design I had dreamt of. It was a full size pieced pear quilt,when I woke up I thought "that was a goofy design idea", but the idea stayed with me and when my bee had a fabric challenge I used the idea for my wall hanging. The pears, corner squares, little boarder, silk ribbon, button and embroidery thread I dyed myself. The outside boarder and leaf fabric was the challenge fabric. I purchased a fabric with a lot of texture for my background. The flowers I picked from my garden and matched so well I photographed them with the quilt.

Close up of the pear and ribbon with the hand dyed buttons.

1 comment:

Deb H said...

I Love your pears! Very cute!

The navtive bead work is amazing.
I loved the bag carried by the dragonfly lady.

Why not just try the St John's Wart plant that you have? It may be the same plant, & if not quite, it'll probably still give you some sort of color. You can always over-dye it it it doesn't turn out good!

  • Deb Hardman
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