Niki.Tasha – Lesson 11 – Sides and Bottom

Hiya, Niki.   This lesson brings your personal sense of style into this peyote tube amulet bag.  You have finished with the graph for a short time.  Don’t get rid of it:  it has your notes about the pattern on it.  Just tuck it away in a safe place where you can easily find it again.  Right now it’s time to simply look at the tube you have created. 

In photography and the different software packages you can ‘crop’ an image by moving the borders in and out.  You can manipulate the size of the photo and you can focus on just a section of the picture, too.  That’s what we are doing now but in our hands, not on the computer.

Gently squeeze the tube to see what one side might look like.  Then make the tube round again and squeeze it in a different place.  What you are looking for is the most attractive design, in your opinion.  At this stage , you don’t have to stick to the design as graphed.  Perhaps you like the design to wrap around the side of the amulet bag.  You might like the side to cut the image by 3/4’s:  3/4s of the image on one side, and only 1/4 of the image on the other side.

Flip the tube upside down:  you may prefer the design that way.  

Keep in mind that you will be making the bottom of the amulet bag, a flap, a strap, and fringe, too. 

Keep in mind, also, that there are 2 bottoms and 3 tops you can apply to your design.  This Step 11, will give you one alternative bottom. 

Youhave chosen the part of the design that will show on the front and back.  Gently squeeze the tube flat, paying attention to 1 detail.  The teeth that were formed when you started this tubular peyote glass bead amulet bag need to be lined up at the bottom like teeth of a zipper.  ZigZag. 

With the long tail kept at the very beginning of this project, remove the stop bead, and thread your needle.  The working thread needs to be at 1 side, decided by you when you were tube squeezing.  Run the needle through the next ‘tooth’, pick up a bead, run the working thread through the next ‘tooth.’  Continue in this fashion until you reach to other side. Run through the last ‘tooth’, pick up a bead and put the needle through the first ‘tooth’ of the next row.  Return to my diagrams of starting Peyote Technique My Way.  Go back and forth for a couple of rows. 

Now,run your needle through the teeth alternating from side to side.  After every 3 or so ‘teeth,’ pull up the thread and the zipper will begin to close.  It is easier to obtain a nicely closed zipper if you pull up your thread firmly every 2 – 3 zigs. 

When the zipper is closed, neatly tie off the thread by running it back and forth through nearby beads.


Without doing another thing to this item of glass bead  artisan jewelry, you can tell people you have completed an amulet bag. 

Pick a bead or charm that represents you.  In our First Nations each family and person has a totem.  A person may be of the bear clan and that person is a water bear:  s/he might add a bear paw charm to his/her amulet bag.  This token is a ‘totem’ by which s/he can be identified and it brings him/her good luck.

Thissame idea can be used by all races and religions:  Christians might wear a cross or crucifix, Jews may wear a Star of David, the Star and Crescent belong to Muslims, a Kirpan for the Sikhs.  Individuals may identify strongly with  something in the animal world:  dragons, bears, parrots for example, and that would be their personal totem.  A charm indicating this personal totem might be slipped into an amulet bag.  Have you such a totem, Niki?

If you add lucky charms to your amulet bag it is a good idea to tie them in:  use a piece of thread knotted and tucked inside, or run a thread of beads through the charms and loop it neatly inside to secure your totem.

You can also finish the bottom with a round flat piece of peyote and for that technique see the next lesson.

Copyright © 2008 Helene Turnbull All rights reserved.  No part of this work covered by the copyrights hereon may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means – graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or information storage and retrieval systems – without written permission of the author.


Fashion vs Costume Jewelry

Thanks for the vote of confidence:  I always like to hear I’ve done well.  I struggle with these 2 words: fashion, costume.  Does my e-jewelry store offer 1 or the other?  I think maybe I sell both:  the simple glass bead jewelry would be the fashion jewelry – not as expensive and certainly not as GORGEOUS as the pieces with special lampwork and glass beads or more complicated designs. 

I have been buying my very special glass beads from local artists and going from there.  It certainly is more costly to make glass jewelry with them but I think it is worth the extra expense.  I support them and their work supports me.  Seems like a good idea!

Now, how would you define ‘artisan jewelry?’  Is it fashion or costume jewelry?  It often is more expensive than the basic glass bead jewelry because the glass bead components are unique.  One of a kind glass jewelry fits within the costume jewelry definition.

Sometimes I feel like I have a split personality because my glass beaded jewelry embodies both definitions.  How do I market?  Do I concentrate to the high end trade or stick to the off the rack trade.

Any opinions?