Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My little beaded pouch - Done!



About a year ago I found this cool out-of-print book, Beaded Amulet Purses, (pictured below) while browsing the Strand Bookstore in lower Manhattan.  This week I decided it was time to finally try out one of the projects in the book, with my own design of course.
 
I figured I'd better start out with an easy one, since, while I make jewelry, I had no experience doing something like this.  The easiest project in the book had a heart design, which I did not like, so I re-graphed it to the more abstract geometric pattern you see in the finished purse.

Look closely at the purse and you'll find some mistakes in my pattern.  (Actually these are mistakes I made weaving, not drawing the pattern; the pattern was correct.)  Some of my colors, magenta, dark red, orange, and brown, were so close to each other that I mistakenly used magenta where it should have been red in a couple of places.  I made a mistake with using the wrong green once also (there are two greens in my pattern).  By the time I discovered these mistakes I was too far past them to change them, so I left them in.  Hey, it's handmade, right?
The weaving was done in a tubular fashion, using a compressed toilet paper roll as a support, using a peyote stitch.  (Hey, am I the only one old enough here to wonder where the name of that stitch came from?  I hear 'peyote' and I think of the mind-altering drug made famous in a book about shamanism by Carlos Castenada.)

But anyhow.  The peyote weaving process was not difficult, but was terribly time consuming, because you can only add one bead at a time, in contrast to bead weaving on a loom, where you add a whole row at a time.  With a complicated pattern, I found that I had to cross off each bead on my pattern as I picked it up on my needle.  And when it was done, it was SO much smaller than I anticipated.  Looking ahead in the book, I think most of the other bags are a little bigger.

By the way - forgive me for any strange formatting.  I was trying to rearrange things, and blogger didn't like what I was doing and had another arrangement in mind.  Oh well.  

The bag in the book had a heart charm hanging off the bottom, but I didn't want to do that.  So I gathered what beads I could find to match, and made the strap similar to the instructions and finished it today, sewing on the strap and a little dangle.  Here's everything I was using.

I'm not quite sure what in the world I'll now do with the finished bag.  I was remembering a costume jewelry locket my mother gave me as a young teen, that she had worn in her younger days.  There was not a place for a photo inside the locket; instead, there was room for a couple of coins, what my mother referred to as 'mad money'.  If a date with a boy did not go well, the coins were used for a phone call or subway fare home.  Not much use for a few coins these days though, so I don't know WHAT will fit in this itsy bitsy pouch.  I'm certainly open to your ideas.
 
Speaking of your ideas, I'd love some advice.  As you can see above, my hair is getting LONG and a bit straggly.  You may recall, I was aiming for the old hippie look with my growing hair, with a long silver braid down my back.  But my very low hairline in the back makes braiding difficult and uncomfortable (a braid tugs at the nape of my neck when I turn my head).  Meanwhile, my (former) bangs have been growing and are off my my face for the first time in decades.  I have an appointment tomorrow, supposedly for a trim.  Do I let the bangs keep growing, or what?  How do I keep it from looking so raggedy?  And what about the bottom?  Do I cut off a few inches to even it out?  Or just trim and go with the fact that no two hairs are the same length?  Or should I do something totally different? (Though I'm not cutting it short or with lots of layers right now, because I like to be able to tie it up.  But frankly, it is so thick, there is so MUCH of it, that nothing is easy any more.)  Anyhow, I probably won't get too dramatic, but I could use a set of eyes other than hubby's, since he probably wouldn't notice if I cut off 1/2 foot and dyed it purple.  Seriously.

9 comments:

  1. Wow your hair is really long now! I would just get it trimmed with some layers to frame your face. How is retirement going? How fun to do some jewelry making. I have no patience for those little beads!

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    1. Thanks, Marcia. Retirement is keeping me surprisingly busy. Not sure how I had time to work!

      As for the hair - I've got a day to decide...

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  2. Love the pouch!! Amazing work.

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  3. Great job on the pouch...not suitable for coins? How bout' a $50? LOL

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  4. Nice job on the purse!
    I like your hair by the way. I think the grown out bangs look great. I have thick hair too and when it gets long it just makes me feel overwhelmed by hair. I know you can relate. So if it were me I would trim it up a bit. Hope that helps can't wait to see what you decide. I'm sure the professionals will be able to suggest something.

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  5. I think a cute bob would look great on you. Let the bangs grow out. Super cute pouch!

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  6. Thanks everyone!

    Hair update: I'm letting the bangs continue to grow, and decided I was not ready to commit to a huge change yet. So we lopped off about two inches, so the ends don't so raggedy or straggly. It looks much fuller now, and I look less grungy. And the hair growing out around my face got trimmed and shaped in an angle. My husband didn't even notice it was cut, so I guess the change is subtle. Eventually I'll do something more dramatic, but for now it is still easy to put in a ponytail for the gym or just to get off my face. Thanks for the advice/input!

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  7. Love the beaded pouch! How about wearing it with a penny inside for luck?! :)

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    1. Maybe a penny. Or a love note? Meanwhile, despite the fact that I have NO IDEA really what to do with it, I'm halfway through making a totally different one.

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