I know I've been a bad blogger this past week! No great excuse other than life gets in the way sometimes.
I have, of course, continued to bead. When things get hairy, beading just kind of relaxes me. Lately I've been feeling like working with simple colors and simple patterns. I've been wanting to make some beaded fringe earrings, and finally pulled out some rusty reds with white for accent.
I spent a fair amount of time reading about Native American beading this summer. One of my favorite books is by David Dean Beading in the Native American Tradition.
In looking through lots, and lots of traditional Native American designs I've noticed there are some basic color pallets. David Dean notes that traditional beads were made from shells and natural dyes and pigments. So colors were earth tones like reds, yellows, oranges, purples and greens. He says that while tribal people were impressed with all the colors of glass (the Europeans brought over to trade with) the one that they were most fascinated with was blue because they had difficulty producing it from natural dyes and pigments. In addition, many considered having beads in light shades of blue was like "owning a piece of the sky." Therefore blue was most valuable for trading.
I've been playing with color in my patterns. Looking for that tribal feel. I do like an earthy, rustic red as it feels authentic to the colors available to native people.