Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Overdue Update........

Life has been extremely full since my last post. I have only been staying in touch with people via Facebook and finally realized today how much I miss my blog.

So, quick update of the past few months:
My husband & I celebrated 25 years of marriage in March so we went to Hawaii in April for 10 WONDERFUL days!!!
This photo was taken from our balcony.
I have many, many more photos that I may be sharing in the future.
 And I'm sure I'll be playing with some of them in photoshop.

In May our daughter graduated from college!!!
Another huge & happy event in our household.
She was also accepted into several Vet schools.
Which is a major accomplishment as there are so few vet schools in the country.  
She has chosen to go to Florida for the next four years to get her DVM. We couldn't be more proud!
(Can you hear me tap dancing?)

And because she's going to be in sunny Florida means I get to leave the cold & snow of Chicago to go visit her on a VERY regular basis (I hope).
(Again, can you hear me doing the Snoopy dance of joy?)

In between planning, packing and luxuriating in Hawaii; and planning, shopping and preparing for the
graduation party, I have been as busy as one of Santa's elves.  I was hoping to stock my etsy store with LOADS of bracelets and necklaces to get me through the summer as I have a major project that is due on August 1st.

These are just a few examples of some of my bracelets.  Many more in my etsy shop. I also have a few more to add sometime this week.
There are single wrap, double wrap & triple wrap.
Lots of greens, blues & corals for summer!

I am very fortunate to have some old friends in the VA/NC area that have an abundance of beach glass.
They were kind enough to share some with me and this is the first necklace I made with a piece of beach glass that is fairly large.
I am also doing a custom design necklace and earrings for my friend's wife.

I plan to devote an entire blog post to the creation of this necklace so that you can see it's evolution, along with a brief tutorial.
I have made a couple more necklaces in shades of pale green with beach glass as well. Just haven't photographed them yet!

And last but certainly not least..... The major project that is due on August 1st is  a 'footwear' project. I joined a group of women last winter called Women's Journeys In Fiber and they do an annual project. A topic or theme is given and everyone in the group interprets it however they want. Obviously there has to be some sort of fiber involved.
I immediately decided I wanted to make a pair of cowboy boots. Major undertaking!! As I researched women to attempt to tell a story of women of the old west in the boot design, I came up with another brilliant (??) idea. Instead of Cowboys & Indians, why not a play on the words and do Cowgirls & Comanches???  SO.......I went back to google and my research and began to research Comanche footwear and Comanche women.  I had already decided that my Cowgirl boots would be themed around Annie Oakley and/or Cattle Kate.  When I tried to find a famous Comanche woman I found Cynthia Ann Parker. She was a white girl kidnapped by the Comanches when she was 9 yrs old.
She ended up staying with them, marrying a chief and having 3 children. Her oldest son is the only child to survive into adulthood and he became one of the greatest Comanche warriors ever. And one of the last to surrender.  As I read about Cynthia Ann and her son I became obsessed with her story.
The fact that she assimilated into Comanche life and 'became' one of them was fascinating to me.
She, along with her infant daughter was recaptured by her family 25 years after she was taken by the Comanches and she died within 4 years. It is said she died of a broken heart because she was taken away from her husband and children.

Anyway, in an attempt to shorten my story-I am now making ONLY a pair of high top plains moccasins like the ones worn by Comanche women.  I am trying to make them as similar as possible in construction but am taking some artistic license with the designs in an attempt to 'tell' Cynthia Ann's story in the footwear.

These moccasins above are authentic, vintage footwear of plains Indians. I found these on a website.
I have a pattern and have been making graphs for bead designs and stressing about the project for way too long. SO today, I did it! I actually cut out my patterns and cut my deerskin.  That was the hardest part. I was so afraid I was going to screw something up and deerskin is not inexpensive. I was so afraid of making a mistake that I've been putting it off for months now.
You have to do the beading around the foot before you construct it. So that's where I'm at. Took TWO HOURS to bead a 5 inch section.  Again, so afraid I'm going to mess up, that I'm going SLOW.
But I took that first step. And that's what counts!
I can show snipets of the moccasin in progress but cannot show the finished piece because our group will be published as well as exhibited in several locations over the next year. 

I'm excited that I overcame my fear and actually started. It's really not quite as hard as I thought.
The deerskin is a buggar when it comes to beading if you go all the way through like you normally would. But I'm taking the Native American approach and just going through the top layer of leather which is much softer and easier and quicker.

My attempt at a quick update got a bit long winded!
So I must get back to my beading.  
Will post the beach glass necklace evolution ASAP.
Until then....live your life creatively & fearlessly!

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