Doing Peyote

What does “Doing Peyote”  have to do with my obsession with the sea?

I know.  It sounds more like an illegal desert activity than something water-related.  I’m not talking about THAT kind of peyote though.  I mean the bead weaving stitch called peyote or gourd stitch.  I am making myself a sea turtle bracelet with peyote stitch.  Well.  I was.

I have trays of seed beads in pretty much every variation of green and blue.  I have brought them back and forth between Florida and Minnesota for 5 years.  I had them for 5 years before that.  Ok maybe 10.  I used to know how to bead weave on a loom.  And a little bit off loom.  So I decided to pick it back up again.  I found some super cool sea turtle beads and got inspired.

I couldn’t remember exactly how the stitch went so, of course, I goggled it.  There were lots of directions… yada, yada, yada.  Too much reading, not enough art.  I sorta got it, so I just dove in.  It’s an artform right? No wrong way.

First my thread kept tangling and breaking.  I started over a few times before Rollo suggested the thread might be disintegrated from sitting so long.  I tried a fishing-line type.  Still tangled.  The beads just seemed so small.  I think they shrunk from sitting so long.   Can that happen?  I went to the local bead store for some answers.   This is Naples, so  it’s a “couture” bead store.  I wasn’t exactly sure what that mean and I wasn’t exactly sure they would let me in.  But they did.  And they suggested a new sort of thread-Fireline-that I don’t think was invented when I beaded before.  They also suggested that, perhaps, it was my eyesight rather than the beads that had changed.  Maybe I would like to try a larger size?  One I could see?  Just till I got my beading mojo back on.  Ok.

So I found some new beads that looked only slightly smaller than the plastic ones I remember from kindergarten, got my Fireline and tried again.  It went ok at first.  I got the rythmn of the peyote stitch back once I could actually see what I was doing.  But then I got fancy.  Maybe not that fancy.  I just tried to add the turtles.  With no idea what I was doing. How hard could it be?

I planned to go Freeform. The turtles are meant to be swimming up through the holes in the work.   I added the lovely ruffled edge to look like waves.  yeah that’s it. They are not mistakes.  The loose threads you see, seriously, just need to be burned off, but I didn’t want to set the thing on fire before I took the picture.

Here are the results.  Now, I have been interested in some form of art or another forever.  Pastel painting, photography, writing…and I have heard the quotes.

There’s no such thing as bad art.

Bad art is better than no art.

You HAVE to make bad art to make good art.

I have never believed them and I still don’t.  But I finished the thing. I might even finish adding the the edging to the rest of it.

If any of you are dumb gullible enough to believe that this is really freeform or that the lovely wave ruffle is not hiding the hideously crooked edge, this thing is yours.  That is, if your wrist is not much larger than a toddler’s.


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