Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘history’ Category


Red Felt Bowl from The Yarn Kitchen on Etsy

Red Felt Bowl from The Yarn Kitchen on Etsy

First of all, no one really knows where the origination of felting began.  Some say that early man discovered felt while wearing skinned animal  hide and having the fur close to his (or her) skin to keep warm. Eventually, from daily wear the combination of friction and sweat the fur became dense aka felted.

Another legend tells us about one of the son’s of King Solomon. This young man was a professional shepherd (not surprising, what son could compete with a father who knows everything?) Anyway, shepherding, not being the most mentally stimulating experience, this young man began to wonder if it was possible to make fabric from wool without having to first spin the wool into yarn. One day legend tells us, he became so frustrated at his inability to figure this out he began pacing back and forth on a sheep skin while crying hot tears. (Yes, real men do cry.)

Eventually, he calmed himself down and discovered to his amazement that the fiber of the sheep skin he had been walking, crying, and perhaps spilling a drink or two on, had worked this liquid into the wool and it had turned into felt!

However it began, felting has been used throughout the ages as tents for nomads, hats, clothes, shoes and many other items.

Several great examples of contemporary felting can be found below.

Small Messenger Bag by RAGZ.NL on Etsy

Small Messenger Bag by RAGZ.NL on Etsy

Felt Cobweb scarf by Felted Pleasure on Etsy

Felt Cobweb scarf by Felted Pleasure on Etsy

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »


dream catchers

Many years ago, I remember seeing my first dream catcher for sale in a cute eclectic gift shop in Seaport Village. I was entranced by the circular shape and the spider web-like (sometimes beaded) strings crossing again and again like the web of some very tame, and not keen on catching any flies, spider. Suspended below the crisscrossed strands of twine were soft grey and white feathers which swayed softly whenever someone opened the gift shop’s door.

dream catchers

Dream Catchers by The Supply Shack on Etsy

I also remember stories told to me by my grandfather. He was a surgeon and in his younger days volunteered his services to provide free medical care to various tribes in the Southwest; but, I digress.

Let’s see. Oh yes, I was about to tell you a bit about dream catchers and their purpose. Among the Ojibwa people a dream catcher is hung above a child’s bed or crib. During this child’s sleep, the night air becomes filled with both good and bad dreams. The dream catcher captures these dreams as they float by. The good dreams who know to pass through the center to escape and fall gently upon the feather. These good dreams slide down the feather and float onto the sleeping child.

However, the bad dreams, not knowing the way to escape the dream catcher, become trapped in the netting and fade away in the morning light.

Dream catchers are made in the form of a spider web which symbolize the web of life woven by Spider woman.

dream catchers

Dream Catcher Earrings by Serenity Jewelry on Etsy

Read Full Post »


Signed Navajo Squash Blossom Necklace Earrings by findtreasures on Etsy.com

You have seen spectacular Native American jewelry. Squash blossom necklaces threaded with rolled silver beads. Delicate silver squash blossom designed in a variety of sizes, adorned with splashes of color deep blue or green turquoise, fire red coral, shells of abalone or oyster which remind the viewer of the earth and sky.

Vintage Squash blossom Necklace, Red Coral and Sterling Silver by keyoinnewolf studio, Etsy.com

Sound magical, doesn’t it. Have you ever wondered about the history of the squash blossom and horseshoe shape that is used so much in Navajo jewelry? Well, I did and here is a bit of info I discovered.

Way back when and long before I was born ((remember, I am vintage, not antique)), any Navajo… (Actually, Navajo’s refer to members of their tribe as Diné, or The People. However, the tribe uses the word Navajo as the official spelling. — Sorry, compulsive moment.)

ANYWAY…. at that time any Navajo who could afford a silver headstall on his horse had one. (insert picture of what a headstall is). Back then, headstalls and all other silver items were made out of US dollars and coins. However, it seemed that the government was not too thrilled in having their silver coins melted and turned into jewelry. So what the US Government did was sent out an order telling the Navajo to stop doing that or else.

From that time on the Navajo obtained silver from Mexico which was a much softer silver than US coins and easier to work with. The horseshoe pendant or raja as it is called by the Navajo, were initially used as horse bridle amulets and later on as necklace pendants.

We should be forever thankful and appreciate the Navajo’s skill and craftsmanship which go into each and every handmade squash blossom necklace. Their history and culture are part of this land and a part of their jewelry as well.

Navajo Sterling Turquoise Squash Blossom Necklace. Kingman,1950 - Mercy Madge! on Etsy

Squash blossom necklace in green from Keyonniewolfstudio on Etsy.com

 

Sterling Turquoise Abalone Squash Blossom Necklace by No Minimalist Here Shop on Etsy.com

Read Full Post »


Irish Lace Wedding Gown, overlet

Irish Lace Wedding Gown, overlet

I love to crochet. Frankly, I am not very good at it, but I find it relaxing.  My specialty are simple long scarves and hats, and though I only use two stitches, single crochet and double crochet, I find that if I use bright vibrant colors, no one really notices that it isn’t really fancy. For me, it works.

Now the other day I was doing research on Irish Lace for an small article I wrote on examiner.com and discovered a whole new world of crocheting.  I never knew that crocheting could be so….light, fanciful and ethereal.

Perhaps, someday I will try my hand at this. But, for right now, I can admire other’s handiwork like this beautiful Irish Lace Wedding overlay wedding dress. (yes, the bride wears a white satin-like shift underneath the lace.)

You can still learn how to make Irish Lace today. Below are two websites which can get your started:

Lionbrandhttp://bit.ly/zZHL3

Free Craft Patterns, a vintage collection – http://bit.ly/hALKkS

— If you have more information about Irish Lace, please comment. You will be helping others learn more and help keep this craft alive. –

Read Full Post »