I picked up beading when I was ten years old while growing up in Fort McPherson. I just started by making necklaces on the loom or by stringing beads. If I had a problem with a specific piece, I would ask my grandmother or my cousins for help. Sometimes they would teach me, but most of the time they would just finish it for me! I lost my beading in a house fire and I didn’t pick it back up for years. But somehow, beading has always been on my mind; it has always pulled me to the table. Eventually I went back to it again and now I bead everyday if I can.
I am drawn to beadwork because I find it relaxing. If I don’t bead for one day, I feel like I am missing out. A few years ago, after a long day at work, my co-worker asked what I was going to do in the evening and I told her I was going to work on some beading projects. Today, I can still picture her looking so stunned at my answer, because beading sounded like such a big job to her! But to me, it’s something I love to do to feel calm.
I prefer to make beaded earrings, because I get to try different things, just to see how they will look. I get inspired from looking around and finding patterns. If I see a flower or pattern that I like, I will draw them out and see what I can make from them. I also really enjoy completing a beading or crochet project, just to see what comes out of it.
I also think it’s important to pass on traditional knowledge. If somebody needs to or wants to watch me bead or ask questions, I don’t mind. I would love to have sessions where I could show people what I do. It’s important to keep the traditions going!