I live in the woods in the wilds of the Kawartha
Over the years I have been a mother, farmer, weaver and helpmate, I hope. At Niagara College I learned a bit about welding, machine shop, and woodworking and had my first brush with computers.
Another course, on First Nations opened other doors. The Kumik, a meeting place and place of learning as well as the Ottawa Native Women's Place taught me the meaning of dreamcatchers and how to make them. I have taught workshops and sold dreamcatchers at pow wows, craft shows and gift shops.
Whenever possible I attend workshops given by elders to learn the legends and wisdom that so many of them possess and are willing to share.
My dwelling is built of spider webs and feathers with sinew to hold things together.
I make dreamcatchers. These are circles of wood or metal covered in buckskin and woven with sinew. I add beads from all over the world creating an effect not unlike dewdrops in a spider's web. Then, feathers are added on small thongs of leather and colourful pony beads to hold them.
For as long as Native Americans can remember, each nation has made dreamcatchers. They incorporate the sacred circle with the mysticism of the elders with the faith of the old ones. Using sinew, feathers, beads and other decorative objects, a web akin to the spider's web is formed.
While no one knows which tribal unit began
to make them, all native peoples have created them for as long
as memory exists. The legend teaches that a dreamcatcher placed
above the sleeping place will catch all the dreams of the sleeper.
The bad dreams are captured in the center of the web and evaporate in the morning sun. The good dreams trickle down through the feathers into the dreamtime and give pleasant visions and peaceful rest.
Most dreamcatcher makers make medicine
wheels as well and I make them also but I have incorporated them
into a dreamcatcher.
They are often very large and very pretty. For some of my creations I use deer antlers that are found in the woods.
In the spring when the snow is melting and the ground is starting to show the antlers that are dropped from the bucks after mating season is over, begin to poke up.
Sandy and I will go walking through the bush and find these antlers before the porcupines nibble them all away. Some of the antlers have been gnawed and often I will choose one of these to place my dreamcatcher in.