Niki.Tasha – Follow Up

 
Black n Silver Amulet Bag Backside
Black n Silver Amulet Bag Backside

Well. I did promise to add pictures of the finished amulet bags and I have been remiss in not doing so.

I’ve received a slap up the side of m’ head, figuratively speaking, so here they are.

You will note, I hope, that these pictures don’t quite match the graphs offered in Niki Tasha’s Apprenticeship. Read on and you will see why.

(See the wee speckles in the silver section on the left? Some of my silvers look so much alike that it isn’t until you’ve got a bit further that they show themselves. I am of the mind that these speak to the imperfections of Artisan Jewellery that make them truly unique or one of a kind.)

 

Black n Silver Amulet Bag Frontside

Black n Silver Amulet Bag Frontside

This is one of the patterns for Tubular Even Count Peyote Technique. It does look different from what was graphed: that’s the artistic licence we all have. I copied the graph for the back and the front sides. Once the tube had reached what I considered a  pleasing size (approx 2″ x 2.25″in or 5 x 6cm) I squished it until I hit upon the configuration you can see here. The lesson in this step is to try a pattern different ways: you can be a slave and do the pattern as written, or you can adapt the pattern to your taste. Add a bit of yourself to each pattern or technique and you will have something unique; something that will look different than all the others using this same pattern. I sewed up the bottom side by adding a couple more rows on only 1 side. Then I ran my thread through the ‘teeth’ back and forward and pulled: it’s just like pulling up on a zipper.

Then on to the top or ‘lid’ of the bag. I decided to fiddle with the lengths of the rows and came up with something that looks a bit like a pair of boots.
 
Then the strap step followed. I began the strap by adding beads to a row several below the lip of the bag. Several rows of that with a pattern I use often, a wee flower in pewter colour glass beads with a silver centre held between an edge row of silver on both sides. I stitched 18 rows which seems a lot until you remember in Peyote each row is only half a step up.  Then I continued on only 6 beads on one side of that back tab and worked back and forth until I had a strap that would slip neatly over my head.  When I reached that length, I connected the 6 bead strap back to the back tab.
 
Blue n Silver Peyote Amulet Bag Frontside

Blue n Silver Peyote Amulet Bag Frontside

 
Blue n Silver Amulet Bag

Blue n Silver Amulet Bag

The Blue n Silver Peyote Amulet Bag is from the other graph offered in the Niki Tasha Apprenticeship. It, too, does not quite resemble the graph. Again, I have exercised my artistic licence and ‘smooshed’ the finished tube to find what I liked. In this case I chose not to repeat the pattern on the backside: it cuts down on having to concentrate on the pattern on both sides. I love things asymmetrical so I  chose to have the pattern wrap around one side. A few rows of beads added to only 1 side of the tube and ‘zipping’ up the bottom and there you have it: an amulet bag.

 
The strap starts at one side by weaving 6 beads to the tube. With those 6 beads I used a Flat Herringbone technique: it’s a technique I love and offers an opportunity to experiment. When I reached the magic ‘slip over the head’ length, I attached it to the other side of the amulet bag by weaving the beads of the strap with the beads on the side of the amulet bag.
 
When you don’t know what to add when cooking, it needs a ‘soupçon’ of something but you don’t know what you add either some cheese or some sugar. In design work you add a snippet of black. If I had used yet another silver or pewter, the pattern would have a very washed out look.
 
I have no ‘lid’ for this bag. I couldn’t decide what to do with it, so I left it open to the skies. Maybe some good luck will fall into it.
 
 
Blue n Silver Peyote Amulet Bag Side

Blue n Silver Peyote Amulet Bag Side

No you aren’t seeing things: I’ve smooshed the tube to better show that this is really one of the patterns from Niki Tasha’s Apprenticeship.

 
There it is. I have posted my pictures for Niki Tasha’s Apprenticeship.
 
Has anybody got questions for me? Something I didn’t explain well enough? Comments of all sorts, except the spamming sort, are welcomed; nay, looked for. I can only get better and that happens a whole lot faster when there are other ‘slaps’ (figuratively speaking).
 

 

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Niki.Tasha – Lesson 14 – Amulet Bag Strap

Hiya, Niki. We’re almost done with the peyote technique.

A decision must be made how you intend to use this small amulet bag. Will you wear it attached to your belt? or around your neck? or as a cell phone strap?

If you choose to wear it around your neck, you must decide how long you want the strap. Will you require a clasp to get it on?

If you choose to make it a part of your cell phone, you need to use wire to make the strap. And the findings will be different, too.

A – Attached to your belt: decide how far down you want the wee bag to hang. Double that measurement and that is how long your need your strap to be.

B – Around your neck: A short necklace requiring a clasp to get around your neck needs different findings than a long necklace that can easily be slipped over your head.

C – A cell phone strap: A loop will be made that fits comfortably over your hand but that is not so big that it slips easily. The idea is to keep the cell phone close but without having to hang on to it. If the strap is too loose, the cell phone will likely land on the pavement more than once.

A – A reasonable width of an Even Count Peyote strap would be 6 glass beads wide. Keep within the colour scheme you chose for the pouch itself. It works quickly back and forth and really can be made any length as long as the glass beads are in supply. Don’t get too carried away, though. The essence of grace is that the person seems unaware of herself while she is interested in you. If you are constantly tugging at your clothes or the belt adornment is being fiddled with, then you lose that grace. A belt ornament of this style really shouldn’t hang lower than your knee. You can draw out the pattern on paper before stitching or randomly pick up each glass bead in any order: this last works because you will be using the same beads that you used in the body of the Tubular Peyote.

B – An Even Count Peyote strap can work as a necklace. You will embed the thread at the side of the tube and come up in the groove between two zipper teeth. The side of the tube was established when you worked on the flap. Start the strap as any other Even Count Peyote, such as the flap and one version of the bottom. Work back and forth until you have reached the desired length. Embed the thread in the other side of the Peyote tube. If you run out of thread before the strap is its decided length, run the needle through several rows of the strap and add a couple of discreet knots along the way. Don’t cut off the tail until you have started the new thread: run the needle and thread as you did to tie off the old thread, ….. only in reverse. After several rows stitched with the new thread, go back and trim the tails left from the tying on and off of threads.

If your strap requires a clasp, decide which one you want. You will also need: jump rings for each strand hole in the clasp, bead tips to tie off the threads and you will need them in quantities to complete the job – both parts of the clasp. Check out the How-To category – so far I have the title but not the substance. It is a WIP (Work In Progress).

If the clasp is for a single strand, life just got easier. You will be working from each side of the Peyote tube towards the middle back of your neck – a little less than half the length each. Make a pyramid at the end of each strap by using only the middle 4 beads and then the middle 2 beads. Get yourself some crimps and some bead tips – I prefer the clamshell bead tip. This site can provide you with what you need: http://www.firemountaingems.com/search.asp?skw=bead+tips.

Run the thread through the bottom hole in the bead tip. Now run the thread through a small bead and make a discreet knot.  Add a small dab of glue. Close the bead tip. Add a jump ring to the bead tip and to the clasp.  Do exactly the same thing on the other half of the necklace.

You can make a completely different style of necklace; something other than the peyote technique. I would suggest using stringing wire: it’s strong and flexible. Back to the side of the peyote tube: start the even peyote strap as above. Make it very short and attach it to the edge of the wee amulet bag. This is a casing for the beaded wire to attach to. You will require crimp beads and jump rings and a clasp if the wee pouch is to sit high on the chest. You will require only crimp beads if there is no clasp. Thread the wire through the crimp bead, a bead and a 2nd crimp bead. Add your beads, run them through the casings made earlier and finish by running the wire through the crimp bead, the glass bead, and the 2nd crimp bead. Tighten up the string and use your crimping pliers on the crimp beads. When I say ‘tighten’ I don’t mean strong arm the strand – you want the strand to hang gracefully, not all bunched up on itself.

 

 

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.

Niki.Tasha – Lesson 13 – Flap

Hiya, Niki. This lesson is in Flat Peyote: if you used the simple bottom instructions and didn’t choose the round bottom to close up one end of the tube, then you already know how to do the flat peyote technique.

If you chose the round bottom technique, then good on you. You are learning all kinds of things about the peyote stitch technique.

Now, for the flap, we have 2 choices: a flap with a smooth and straight edge on which to add a fringe, and the uneven edged flap.

FIRST, the even edge:

1. Continue in the tubular manner BUT stop when you are half way around. ensuring you have an even number count.

2. Add a glass bead and turn back, adding a glass bead between each zipper tooth, until you are back to the beginning of the flap.

3. Add a glass bead and turn back. Continue until you have reached a length you like.

DESIGN NOTE: On a piece of paper draw the dimensions of the amulet bag. Draw the bottom edge of the flap. The space measurement between the bottom of the flap and the bottom of the amulet bag is the length of the fringe. If you ignore this measurement, your amulet bag will be out of proportion. And that takes away from the aesthetic balance of your work. Fiddle to your heart’s content with the design of the fringe. Make an inexpensive design board with a remnant of wide wale corduroy and lay out your fringe beads in the wales. Here is your chance to vary the lengths of the strands, the choice of beads, and even a pattern seen in the fringe.

4. From each ‘zipper tooth’ of the flap you will hang a strand of the fringe. Pick up the beads from one string of your corduroy design board. The bottom bead is the turning bead and it is best to be a small bead (but not so small that it slips through the next bead). Then run your needle through the whole string again. 

5. Anchor the thread in the peyote flap and come out at the next zipper tooth. Repeat Step 4 and 5 until all the beads have been added to the fringe. Anchor the thread in the flap and ensure the fringe won’t work its way out. That would really be too bad.

Variation on the Fringe:

a) Each strand of the fringe is double in length. You are going to make many loops instead of single fringe elements. This variation is best when the beads are glass seed beads. Having loops all across the flap makes for a thick fringe, and it will not have the same movement as the single strand variation.

b) A variation of a), string the loop of beads. Before you slip your needle through the beads of the flap, twist and twist and twist and twist and tw… until you have the twisted loop you desire. Once the loop has been twisted, slip the needle and thread through the flap to the next zipper tooth. Repeat until you reach the other side of the flap.

There are other variations and lots of scope for you to experiment.

NEXT, the uneven edged flap:

1. Slip your needle through a zipper tooth and add the number of beads for the longest point of the edge. Make sure it is an even number of beads.

2. Work back to the beginning, at the flap edge.

3. Run another 2 rows of even count peyote. When you get back to the flap edge again, slip your needle through the next zipper tooth.

4. Continue in this manner until your flap is as wide as half way around the tube. Varying the jaggedness of this flap by stopping before you reach the furthest edge: or, by adding beads as you did at the beginning of this flap, gives your flap interest.

Variation: Make several flaps of differing widths that overlap one another. Ensure the total measurement of the flap from side to side is not greater than half the diameter of the tube. Find this spot by flattening the tube sideways (not from end to end).

Now you are ready for the strap of the amulet bag.

 

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.

Niki.Tasha – Lesson 12 – Circular Peyote – Inside and Outside

Hiya, Niki.  This lesson is about putting a round bottom on your amulet bag.  Later you may decide to make a round top as well.  Regardless whether or not you make a round top, it’s a good idea to learn the circular technique from the inside out and the outside in.  I have taken some beading classes, taught some beading classes, read many articles and followed many instructions by other beading artists and I have never seen instructions for working the circular Peyote from the outside edge to the centre.  Once again, then, I am adding my own interpretation to the Peyote Techniques.

Remove the stop bead from the long tail kept from the beginning of this class.  Thread your needle and follow the steps below.

Circular Peyote From the Outside IN

 

Now you will be working with every bead and not fitting beads into the gaps between the ‘teeth.’ 

 

Row 1:  Pick up 2 beads, skip 1 ‘tooth’ and run the working thread through the next ‘tooth’.  Continue until you return to where you started.  Slip the working thread through the last bead from the previous round and the 1st pair of the current row.  It is the step up needed to start the next row.

 

Row 2:  Pick up 1 bead and run the working thread through the next 2 beads from Row 1.  Continue putting 1 bead between each group of 2 from the previous row until you reach the beginning.  Perform the step up:  the last bead from the previous row and the first bead of the current row.

 

Row 3:  Pick up 1 bead and run the working thread through the 1st  bead of the previous round.  Continue until you reach the beginning.  Perform the step up.

 

Row 4:  Pick up 1 bead and run the working thread through the 1st 2 beads of the previous round.  Perform the step up.

 

Repeat Rows 3 and 4, curling around and decreasing in size until you have only 3 beads on your thread.  Run the working thread through these 3 remaining beads a couple of times then tie off the thread with a discreet knot and work the thread through several beads and rows until you feel sure the thread will not work its way free. 

 You will probably need to add thread to this bottom bit.  Tying off and starting a new thread in Circular Peyote is no different than for Flat Even Count Peyote or Even Count Tubular Peyote.  Pull the thread through several beads, switch back several times until you are confident the thread will not work itself loose.  You may put discreet knots in the tying off and tying on processes. 

 

It is usual to work Circular Peyote from the inside out.  The beads coil around a central 3 or 5 beads.

 Circular Peyote From the Inside OuT

 Row 1:  String 3 beads and tie in a discreet knot.  The tail should be about 6 inches long.  The working thread goes through the bead closest to the knot. 

 

Row 2: Add 2 beads, pick up the next bead of the 3 original beads.  Add 2 beads and pick up the next bead on the original row.  Add 2 beads and slip the working thread through the next bead of the original 3 bead row.  You should be back where you started.  Slip your needle through the 1st bead of the 2nd row.  You are now ready to work the 3rd row.

 

Row 3:  Pick up 1 bead on your working thread and run your needle through the next bead on the 2nd row.  Add 1 bead and run the needle through the next bead on the 2nd row.  Continue until you reach the last bead on row 2.  The needle goes through it and through the 1st bead on row 3.

 

Row 4:  The same as Row 2:  placing 2 beads between each bead of the previous row.

 

Row 5:  As for row 3:  placing a single bead between each bead of the previous row.

 

Rows 4 and 5 continue to be repeated until the size for the piece of beadwork is reached. 

 

As you continue going around there will be gaps that are rather too large between the beads.  Add 3 beads between the previous row’s bead, instead of 2, to correct this. 

 

 If this piece is the bottom of a vessel of some sort, when you reach the desired size of the bottom, stop adding beads and continue upward either with the even count tubular peyote, the odd count tubular peyote, or some other technique altogether.

 You will probably need to add thread to this bottom bit.  Tying off and starting a new thread in Circular Peyote is no different than for Flat Even Count Peyote or Even Count Tubular Peyote.  Pull the thread through several beads, switch back several times until you are confident the thread will not work itself loose.  You may put discreet knots in the tying off and tying on processes. 

peyote-circular-diagrams

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.

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.

peyote-even-flat

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.