Sandra Rambler/ Apache Moccasin
On Sept. 25, an Eastern Arizona College accredited beadmaking class taught at the Craft Connections located downtown Safford, Arizona, was visited by Miss San Carlos Apache, Desirae Rambler, who spoke to them about cultural diversity and shared some Apache history and also sang a warrior song for the group.
Pictured are Kristi Brown, Pat Barrett, Sue Toburben, Desirae Rambler, Miss San Carlos Apache, Ebbie Gutierrez, Jane Wyatt, Bonnie Maher, Laura Gutierrez, Judy Gill, Roberta Crandall, Linda Skinner and owner and EAC instructor at Craft Connection, Debbie Bass.
Safford — On Tuesday, Sept. 25, surrounded by students from the Eastern Arizona College beadmaking class offered at the Craft Connections store located downtown Safford, Miss San Carlos Apache Desirae Rambler, provided some Apache history as well as sang an Apache warrior song. She spoke about cultural diversity. She is a member of Graham County and her permanent residence is in Bylas within the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation.
“We have a great and unique history and I am happy to share some of it with you. Our Apache people are unified in prayer and the importance of language retention and education is continuously stressed,” said Miss San Carlos Apache.
“I welcome you to our social gatherings on behalf of our Inter-Tribal Club at Eastern Arizona College. We have students from various tribal nations and you can also learn from their cultures.
“This has been a wonderful year for me in representing our Apache People and currently I am attending Eastern Arizona College with 21 credits towards receiving my Associate Degree,” she concluded.
The Craft Connection store is full of beads, craft items, art supplies, fabric, yarn, leather making supplies, leather tooling, turquoise beads, coral beads, various gem stones, largest variety of beads in the southwestern part the State of Arizona within the three counties of Graham, Gila and Greenlee, buckskin, scrapbooking supplies, cake decorating, candy and cake making supplies, wedding supplies, antiques, flowers, ribbons, to name but a few.
“The doors first opened on Aug. 1, 1998,” says store owner and EAC class instructor, Debbie Bass.
Laurie Gutierrez pointed out, “I’ve taken the class for a year and a half and I’ve learned how to bead rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and so many other different items. I really enjoy this class very much and enjoy the company.”
Linda Skinner, added, “I’m a returning student, it’s been two years that I’ve taken this class. I’ve been beading ornaments for holidays and I also take ceramic classes here. I spend Tuesday and Wednesday mornings here, then Wednesday afternoon and Friday afternoon.”
Pat Barrett said, “I’ve been taking the class for about eight years now. I come in on Tuesdays and Fridays and whenever I can. I really don’t have anything else to do since my husband passed away and I really look forward to this class. I also sew and have a stamp collection. I’ve learned a lot of designs and it’s challenging to weave the beads. I make jewelry for my grandchildren.”
Roberta Crandall says, “Six years ago I walked into this class from Los Angeles, California, and I’ve been taking it ever since. We socialize. We share our ideas. We cry together. We laugh together. I look forward to this class each week. I really enjoy this class.”
Sue Toburben added, “This class is relaxing for me. I’m a retired U.S. Postmaster and I have made great friends through this class.”
Ebbie Gutierrez said, “I’ve been here about a year and I’m still learning. I love the socializing with other students in this class since we talk and visit and share our designs with one another. I’m still learning how to untangle my thread,” she says out loud.
Jane Wyatt also said, “I’ve been taking this class for the past 12 years and a lot of the students have become my friends. We are inspired by one another’s work and there is so much creativity. We share and learn from one another and it’s a great class to take, it’s actually therapeutic.”
Bonnie Maher said, “I could this at home, but it’s more fun here. This is therapy for me. I really enjoy this class, it’s a lot o fun.”
Linda Skinner says, “I bead ornaments for the holidays and give them out as gifts. I design various patterns and my beading projects sometimes takes weeks to months to finish. I enjoy this class very much.”
Judy Gill adds, “I’ve been taking this class for the past 10 years and I make jewelry, ornaments, scarves and most of us here have entered our crafts in the Graham County Fair and won the blue ribbon. There is a lot of talent in this class.”
Debbie Bass then reminds everyone that their paper work has to be turned in to the Graham County Fair Office by next week for their entries.
The classes offered at Craft Connections are Monday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon is knitting; Monday afternoons from 1 to 3 p.m. is tatting/crochet; Tuesday afternoons from 1 to 5 p.m. is beadworking; Tuesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. is airloom nativity; Wednesday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. is doll making; Wednesday afternoons from 1 to 5 p.m. is tole painting and ceramics; Wednesday nights from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. is dollmaking; Thursday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m. is scrap book and card making; and Friday afternoons from 1 to 5 p.m. is beadworking. An additional class will be offered on Thursday mornings from 10 a..m. to 1 p.m. which is quilting/sewing and on Tuesday mornings from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. hand and machine embroidery; and Thursday mornings from 10 a.m. to 1 p..m., a sitting and sewing class. Most of the classes offer 2 credit hours towards the local Eastern Arizona College.
The Craft Connections store was once located on 5th Avenue but now is situated on the Main Street downtown Safford, Arizona.
“My sister got me started on this years ago. He pressured me into this. She lives in Morenci now. She kept encouraging me because I’ve always liked to do this since I was a little girl,” says store owner and EAC instructor, Debbie Bass.
Some of the ladies laughed out loud and yelled, “She’s the jack of all trades!”
Debbie Bass grew up in Thatcher, Arizona and graduated from Thatcher High School and has attended various colleges. She taught a ceramic class at Fort Thomas High School and also at the Safford Juvenile Center. She has three girls and two boys.
“Debbie’s kids are all grown up! And we just love her,” the ladies in her beadmaking class yell out with great enthusiasm.