Cynthia Rutledge - Contemporary Designs of Timeless Elegance
Alaskan Spring Collar
©2012 by Cynthia Rutledge

Alaskan Spring Collar ©2012 by Cynthia RutledgeThe sound of Spring begins with what is called "breakup". The ice is breaking up in the inlet, the snow is showing signs of dissipating, with little puddles here and there, and the days are getting longer by about 7 minutes a day. Being one of the shortest seasons, Spring, comes on slow but sure. The snow berms gradually disappear and the walkers are bundled up and ready to spend time out of doors. The long winter months have been hard on the wild animals and they, too, welcome the change. A new season is here and it means a great bounty for all.

Peaking out of the last remaining layers of snow, the first green growth begins and it is the brightest green that you can imagine. Small vines, new leaves, and flower buds work their way to the surface and burst out of the ground in riotous color. They know that this glorious moment is fleeting, but for now, they have up to 13 hours of daylight each day to grow. Spring is here!

Alaskan Spring Collar is a small sampling of the amazing flora of a spring in Alaska. Our backpacking trips to Alaska have taken us on so many wonderful adventures, each one filling our days with amazing views: The Wrangell St.-Elias mountain range; stark scenery mixed with carpets of flowers in Polychrome Pass, in Denali National Park; and also in myriad flower beds and baskets in frontier towns like Chitna and McCarthy. Anchorage is no exception, as it is called the "City of Flowers".

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A three dimensional trumpet flower and Bull thistle take center stage on two vines of tubular Peyote stitch, ending in beaded cones and a flower bud clasp. Vines and leaves wander the surface of the main vines, intertwined with thin wire mesh. The trumpet flower is created using unusual lacing techniques to create a delicate look. The Bull thistle begins with a Peyote stitch body that gets a topknot of riotous fringes and an encrusted base. The thistle bud is shaped using Peyote Stitch and embellishing techniques. Leaves are sprouting, twisting and turning, made using Peyote stitch and fringing techniques.

Skill level: Advanced. Must be comfortable with Peyote stitch.

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