Weekend Recovery

My treasure hunters trying out their new cargo-pants-turned-field-bags.

My treasure hunters trying out their new cargo-pants-turned-field-bags.

What better way to recover from a weekend than a creativity binge?

Instead of cleaning my studio and re-shelving all my props from the Powwow this weekend, I’ve been sewing up a storm. At last count I had 2 field bags, 6 bibs and a bunch of cloth napkins.

The Powwow was a good time, despite the weather. Saturday the sun showed up, and therefore, so did the crowds. I demonstrated porcupine quill, wrapping a rawhide medicine wheel with dyed quills.

Sunday saw a stead rain ALL day. Honestly, in the 5 years I’ve done this festival (3 times a year, at that) this is the first time it rained for an entire day. Rather than be miffed by the fact that rain keeps the crowds away, I took it as a vacation day. It’s all in the attitude, right?

I sat under a dry tent, worked on an easy quillwork project and listened to the rain. No kids to entertain, no laundry or cleaning to distract me. Just drinking coffee, listening to the drums and the music of the weather, enjoying my craft. During the especially slow afternoon, my neighbor the flintknapper and I traded secrets; I showed him some quillwork, he let me bang rocks together.

Although the spectators were few, the Native dancers were still out there dancing in the rain. In a day and age where rain equals holing up in front of the TV, it’s great to see people who aren’t scared off by a bit of weather.

Come Monday morning I didn’t record my sales for taxes or put away quills. Instead, I set to work on some treasure-hunting field bags for the kids. I saw this idea on some one’s blog (if it was you, let me know so I can give you credit!) to turn turn old cargo pants into a kid bag with lots of pockets. I cut off the legs, sewed up the bottoms and added new fabric to make the strap and flap. The kids were so excited. A great place to stash all their dandelions and rocks from neighborhood walks. My pockets will be so empty!

Bibs and napkins will keep everyone clean!

Bibs and napkins will keep everyone clean!

The studio is still a mess, maybe even a bigger mess. But the way I look at it, I am cleaning up my studio by using the fabric crowding the space. It’s all in the attitude, right?

The Weekend in the Lehigh Valley

Susan of Heart to Hearth sorting beans at the fall 2008 Powwow.

Susan of Heart to Hearth sorting beans at the fall 2008 Powwow.

It one of those weekends in the Lehigh Valley when everything is happening at once and unfortunately, I can’t be at everywhere at the same time. Damn!

Guess what they were roasting over the fire at the Powwow?

Guess what they were roasting over the fire at the Powwow?

I’m preparing the the Museum of Indian Culture’s May Powwow, the Planting Corn Festival. Look for me demonstrating quillwork in the Lifeways area of the Powwow.  Kids can make drums and rainsticks in the childrens area. Learn more about Native living in the past and present through demonstrations and watching Native American Indians in regalia dancing to the beat of the drum. The Powwow has representatives from Native tribes across North America, dancing, singing and having a good time.

The swearing is because it’s also the opening weekend for the Easton Farmer’s Market. I’ve been craving a good, fresh salad. And this year’s vendors include a winery, cheese monger, soap and salsa, along with the fresh produce. A little vino and cheese with that salad?

Okay, so maybe I should save the swearing because the Farmer’s Market runs until October, so there’s always next Saturday. Check out this interesting article about the new crop of farmers (pun intended) at the Farm Market this year.

May 2 is also the Easton House Tour. That’s where you to go inside the interesting old houses and the historical buildings in the Easton. This tour has been going on for years and I’ve been missing it for years.

One of these days…

When Tradition Meets Technology

When technology meets tradition, you get…

a beaded, fringed leather pouch that holds…

….an iPhone.

Not kidding.

This weekend at the powwow an elderly gentleman asked me to stitch these arrowheads on to the leather pouch. He’d found the arrowheads in Arizona 20 years ago. He never knew what to do with them.

A few weeks ago he purchased this leather bag, which hangs around his neck. He now knew what to do with the arrowheads–add them to his pouch.

Jim loading his iPhone into his newly embellished bag.

Jim loading his iPhone into his newly embellished bag.

At powwows, bags hung around people’s necks are called medicine bags. People keep their “good medicine” in there: lucky charms, special beads, a chard of pottery, a feather, a note from a loved one. I expected him to extract a handful of trinkets from his bag, but instead, he pulled out an iPhone.

For a guy 2 or 3 times my age, he has much more high-tech “medicine” than I do.

This is why I continue to demonstrate at this powwow: You never know what interesting soul you’ll meet who will tickle your funny bone or turn your convictions on their head.

In the weeks to come I will still chuckle when I think of those arrowheads, which could be hundreds, even thousands of years old, protecting, of all things, an iPhone.

Recent Projects

Some projects I’ve been working on:
I shipped this bracelet off to its owner this week. The first project completed from the recent batch of horse hair the mailman brought me.
 
This custom horse hair bracelet includes sterling silver star beads. They really make the bracelet glow.

This custom horse hair bracelet includes sterling silver star beads. They really make the bracelet glow.

 More birds! I finally got a decent picture of the bird mobile. I have about 5 more birds flying around here that I’m going to make into a mobile for me. 

The bird mobile for a baby shower last weekend.

A bird mobile for a baby shower last weekend.

In addition to the mobile, the babies (yes, babies) have some snazzy homemade bibs. The farm and bug flannels mix it up a bit.

Bibs for the babies, too.

Bibs for the babies, too.

The babies’ dad is a big Yankees fan. I cut the Yanks logo out of the main fabric then stitched around it. For the future: a Yankees baseball. 

These bibs were more for the dad than the kids!

These bibs were more for the dad than the kids!

These handwarmers should come in handy (ha!) this weekend at the powwow. The weatherman says it will barely reach the 60s. That’s going to feel cold after these last few sunny days. Next week I plan to post a tutorial on how to make these handsocks out of a felted sweater.

Stripe-edy handwarmers I whipped up this week.

Stripe-edy handwarmers I whipped up this week.

 

 Hope to see you this weekend at the powwow. I’m off to dig some warm sweaters and long johns out of the closet to supplement the handwarmers. Enjoy the fall weather!

Upcoming Events

Fall is looking pretty busy! In addition to my sudden craze to winterize the house, I have some fall events coming up. Some places you can find me:

Oct. 12: Horse Hair Earring Class: Create a pair of horse hair earrings with me at Out of Our Hands in Emmaus, PA. Bring your own horse hair or use what I have on hand. Loads of fun.

Oct. 18-19: Museum of Indian Culture Powwow. The crispness of fall near the Little Lehigh River is delicious. I’ll be demonstrating porcupine quillwork while others are dancing, drumming, singing and flint knapping. Check it out.

Nov. 15 & 16: Lehigh Valley Crafts Guild Holiday Marketplace: Bring your Holiday shopping list and check book and purchase some fine handmade arts and crafts. Not only can you find something for everyone on your list, you’ll support many local artists. I will at the marketplace with Melody and our booth will be filled to overflowing with jewelry, bags and other accessories. Stop by and say hi! Gift Certificates will also be available if just can’t make up your mind.

If you’re thinking about having a custom horse hair piece made for a Christmas gift, get your hair to me early! After November 26 a $20 rush fee will be added to all custom orders needed by Christmas.

Time Keeps on Ticking

Cooling their heels: Moccasins dry on fence posts, readying for another day of dancing.

Cooling their heels: Moccasins dry on fence posts, readying for another day of dancing.

Is it really Friday already? Nearly 11 p.m.? Where did this week go?

Fancy shawl dancers having showing off their steps and regalia in the circle.

Fancy shawl dancers.

I’ve been meaning to post photos from last weekend’s Powwow all week and this is the first moment I had. I’ll keep it short on words, long on photos.

I will say it was a gorgeous weekend. Usually during the August Festival we’re sweating our feathers off but it was sunny, breezy and downright September-like on a wonderful August day.

Susan from Heart to Hearth explains the Roasting Corn Festival traditions.

Susan from Heart to Hearth explains the Roasting Corn Festival traditions.

Dennis scraps a deer hide, readying it for brain tanning.

Dennis scraps a deer hide, readying it for brain tanning.

Powwow Next Weekend

Dancer from the Spring Powwow

Dancer from the Spring Powwow

The August Powwow at the Museum of Indian Culture snuck up on me! It’s next weekend.

Thoughts of quilling turtles and birds got me up the hills on my 4-mile run the other day. Hopefully I’ll have time this week to put those ideas down on leather.

Visit the tipi in the LifeWays area.

Visit the tipi in the LifeWays area.

If you haven’t any plans for these beautiful days of summer, come on by and see Native American Indians show off their regalia and dancing skills. The Powwow runs from 10:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, August 16 and 17. Dancing doesn’t start until after opening ceremonies at noon. Then chow on a buffalo burger or Lakota taco. Yum!

I’ll be in the LifeWays area, demonstrating porcupine quillwork and selling my quill and horse hair jewerly. If you’re thinking of getting horse hair jewelry made, come on by with your tail. I can show you the styles in person.

Speaking of horse hair, I have a new Horse Hair Bracelet class coming up at Out of Our Hands on September 21, 2008. The class will last from noon to 2:30 p.m. and you’ll walk away with a horse hair bracelet you created with your own hands.

Porcupine quill plaiting technique.

Porcupine quill plaiting technique.

On September 20 I’ll be teaching Quillworking at the Museum of Indian Culture. Quillwork Part 1 will go from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Quillworking Part 2 will be 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

See the events page for more details.

Hope to see you next weekend!