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  • beaded doctor's bags

    can anyone offer some ideas on how to make beaded doctor's bags...I'm guessing they beaded directly onto the old bags. Are they taken apart, beaded and then reassembled? any help would be greatly appreciated as I'd like to try one (am finishing a fully beaded southern plains cradleboard and need a new challenge)

  • #2
    I know this sounds stupid but first you need to aquire an actual old doctors bag. The ones fella I know that loves to make them these days does not bead directly to the bag. He cuts out piece of canvas (or hide) for the various sections and beads those. Then they are sewn together and after that they are sewn to the bag. Below are a couple of his bags.
    Attached Files
    PB49

    "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso

    "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why is it called the Present." Master Oogway - KungFu Panda


    My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.

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    • #3
      I saw a quilled doctor's bag (wow) that was the same approach: quill on hide and then attach to the old bag...bags are around, on ebay etc, so that's no problem and I think the handle hardware is also available at Hobby Lobby. Maybe the thing to do is get an old bag, take it apart, make a new cover and then reassemble with the hardware. (Hmmmm, wish there were some instructions somewhere) But in the old days they must have sewn direcly onto the bag itself?? Sad to see a lovely old art form in such decline (but as I finish this cradleboard I understand why) and it would be "fun" to try my hand at making one!

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      • #4
        As I said they are still being made...just not real regularly...of course there aint many of those bags around anymore...now days it is beaded cell phone cases and such that are being made. Another old item I see some folks making again are the old beaded and decorated umbrellas. Kinda keen seeing foloks dance with those again.
        PB49

        "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso

        "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why is it called the Present." Master Oogway - KungFu Panda


        My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.

        Comment


        • #5
          wow those are beautiful-- shadow

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          • #6
            did a bit of looking around...Doctor bags are also called Gladstone bags (listed both ways on ebay if anyone else wants to get one) and there are a few places that make & distribute purse hardware (the big hinge and handle).

            I've seen photos of those umbrellas up north but haven't seen them out in the 'darko area much. They are nifty!

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            • #7
              suggestions

              Originally posted by quilla View Post
              can anyone offer some ideas on how to make beaded doctor's bags...I'm guessing they beaded directly onto the old bags. Are they taken apart, beaded and then reassembled? any help would be greatly appreciated as I'd like to try one (am finishing a fully beaded southern plains cradleboard and need a new challenge)
              I am due in June and would like to start a cradleboard. Usually if I can see and hold an example I can figure out how to make it. Nobody in the family has one and I could use some guidance. My husband can make the frame and we have an idea for that, but I am not sure how to shape and attach the baby wrap (and do you use leather or another kind of material) to the board. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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              • #8
                1st: congrats and good blessings for the little one! It depends on what style you are making...mine is Kiowa style (but there are similarities with Cheyenne and Lakota ones), fortunately there is a dvd with Vanessa Jennings called Kiowa Cradle Maker and she helped alot with the Smithsonain book called Gifts of Pride and Love; another nice book is called Brave Hearts and it has examples from other areas. There is a set of instructions here on the Forum (its a really good place to start) but there is no one place for information. I looked at alot of images found on the internet and cobbled together some ideas. I made a doll size one first to work out some of the kinks (no sharp edges for example). Since the baby is coming soon my advice would be to make a partially beaded cover (either with hide or wool cloth); mine is fully beaded and has taken almost a year as I really only have weekends available. A soft cradle is really just the cover but mine will be attached to wooden boards (made by the baby's grandpa) and will have an internal rawhide frame to hold everything up. I found a set of instrctions on plateau style and will try to post a link when I locate it again. The Crow style cradles are really pretty and they do such nice beadwork in soft colors. I don't know much about woodlands but did find a good link to Chiipewa/Ojibwa style boards. Think the easiest may be Navaho style and people sell those boards already made.

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                • #9
                  2 things:
                  First, the one guy I know that does the bags does make his own bags and yes he beads before assembly, but he does fully beaded work on everything.
                  Second, for those considering making an umbrella, I have been working on one for my wife for 6 months (fits and starts) they are pain- you almost have to take the thing apart to applique, or you have to make a new cover. There is also a lot of lit peyote stitch that needs to be done to make it look good.
                  If we make it down to OK this summer a few folks may see it (she probably won't dance but it will be in here hand).

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                  • #10
                    There might be an old Whispering Wind magazine article on constructing a beaded doctor's bag. (if I am remembering right- I'll have to look....) But yes, you bead on separate canvas or buckskin pieces and then sew those together over the existing bag. No need to take the original cover apart.

                    I bought a doctor's bag a few years ago with the intent to bead it. Haven't got around to it yet. I want to get my second beaded yoke dress done first. So it will be awhile but its on my to-do list. Also on my to-do list is a fully-beaded cradle. I have already made a full-size Plateau cradle but would love to try a different style.

                    Okay, I'll go look through my magazines.....

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                    • #11
                      thanks for all the good words, I now feel confident enough to try a bag (working it out on canvas panels and putting them over the old leather sounds much easier)...I've just learned my nephew will be born tomorrow (I thought I had another 3 weeks!) so who knows if he will ever fit into his cradle now. Sometimes I wish work didn't get in the way of bead time...

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                      • #12
                        If you care to hunt down a back issue (vol. 31, no. 6, 2001) of Whispering Wind magazine, in it is an article on "Beaded Satchels" along with tips on how to make one. Written Heritage often has back issues or you can google Whispering Wind itself.

                        And when you finish your bag, please post pictures!

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                        • #13
                          thanks for the tip...Whispering Wind is a nice magazine, I always mean to get a subscription but never get around to it. They also have an issue with info on how to make a Cheyenne soft cradle but I'm not sure of the number. When I first started making dolls I used their pattern & instructions so they have inspired/encouraged my work.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by quilla View Post
                            A soft cradle is really just the cover but mine will be attached to wooden boards (made by the baby's grandpa) and will have an internal rawhide frame to hold everything up.
                            Not sure if you meant this literally, but a soft cradle was for newborns, before they moved into a full cradleboard, they were constructed and beaded differently.

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                            • #15
                              thanks, yeah I was meaning the soft hand carried bag rather than the larger cradle with wood back boards. The ones I have seen have a fabric (probably calico) body and a beaded or quilled hide head cover...guess in our time we might call them a snuggy sack

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