and Beaded Dolls
by Kathy Hinkle
Kathy Hinkle doesn't have a website and isn't known in the beading community. She's a PA (physician's assistant) in a small medical clinic in the northern outpost town of Nome, Alaska. Previously she served as the only source of medical help in remote Alaskan Native American villages.
Kathy also happens to be the sister of one of my quilting/beading "sisters" here on San Juan Island, WA. That's how I've gotten to know her. The first time we met, she was instantly curious about my bead embroidery, telling me she has a collection of beaded barrettes made by Native Alaskans, which she loves and frequently wears. She wanted to learn to sew beads on cloth. We only had time for one very brief lesson, but she bought my books, One Bead at a Time and Spirit Dolls, to serve as guides when she returned home.
A year later, visiting her sister over Christmas, Kathy brought some of her work to show me. I'm so proud of her! She made beaded Christmas presents for everyone in her family. Here are some of them:
She made the top doll for her sister, the middle one for her young niece, and the bottom one for her nephew, who favors the color orange above all others.
For her Dad, brother-in-law, and other members of the family, Kathy created a star pattern, which she stuffed and beaded in a similar way as the dolls.
During the long, dark hours of fall and early winter in Nome, Kathy began a piece of improvisational bead embroidery. She told me she started with the flower form in the lower right side of the piece. Without any clear plan for the piece, yet recognizing her emotional state which longed for summer sun and bright colors, she continued to add beads. As the piece increased in size, she was warmed by the garden-like quality she saw in it. Finishing it just before her trip south, she decided to showcase it on black velvet in a shadow box frame. This was Kathy's gift for her lucky Mom!
Be sure to click on the above image of Kathy's bead embroidery, as the details and colors are lovely in the full sized version. The same is true for the dolls.
In case you didn't already figure this out, Kathy is solidly hooked on beading. Before returning to Alaska, she bought many more beads, storage containers, zip-lock bags, needles, and even some beads for a friend. I can't wait to see what she brings to show me next Christmas!
For my next post, you can look forward to pictures of some of the barrettes made by Native Alaskans in Kathy's collection!
Update on Storm Damage
If you have followed my November and December posts, you know that we've had some unusually harsh weather, with lots of trees and branches downed by heavy snow accumulations and high winds. Two days ago we had our third huge burn pile. At 8 AM, our burn area looked like this.
Actually, this is only about a third of what we had to burn, as the piled circled the burn pit and my camera doesn't take 360s. All of it was wet - mighty wet, as we've had record rain fall. Since Robert has nearly 20 years of experience with burn piles, he had no trouble getting it started.
This is how it looked at 5 PM, after constantly adding branches all day long. Today it is snowing again, but I bet there are still glowing embers in the fire pit. Amazing how fire continues to burn once started.