It’s been five years since Kathy Lavallee of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band picked up a sewing needle to start a new hobby and she’s spent time beading almost every day since.
“I was introduced to it when I was 12 or 13, but I didn’t take much interest,” she said. “About five years ago, I joined a group in La Ronge run by the Piwapan Women’s Centre sub-office called the Little Kokums Club and I’ve been beading since then.”
Lavallee decided to join the club because she liked the idea of grandmothers passing down the tradition of bead work to children and others wanting to learn. Throughout the years, Lavallee said older women in the community who bead have been an inspiration to her as they provide advice on how she can do better. Other places Lavallee goes to find ideas for her work include Pinterest, as well as video tutorials on YouTube.
In recent months, Lavallee made an array of items including keychain lanyards, coin purses, cellphone covers, beaded poppies, broaches, a guitar strap and a belt. She said the secret for those starting to bead is to find out what they enjoy doing the most, adding those who bead also have different techniques as she tacks down every second bead and uses two needles.
“I got hooked to it right away and I really enjoy it,” Lavallee said. “Now, I’ve gone to other communities and the schools to help teach beadwork with kids.”
Other reasons Lavallee continues to bead is because she finds it relaxing and it makes her happy to see when people are pleased with her work. She also called beading an artwork and said she tries to bead whenever she’s not managing housework and taking care of her family. Some of her work can be seen on her Facebook page Kathy's Creations.
“There’s so much I want to bead, but there’s not enough time,” Lavallee said.
The Little Kokum’s Club also focuses on traditional activities aside from beading and the public is invited to group meetings every Tuesday and Thursday between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. at the Piwapan sub-office.
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