Friday, November 13, 2015

Dream Catchers at the Bellefonte Art Museum in December - Holiday Show and Sale

12" Rainbow Dream Catcher
I've been making Dream Catchers for the Holiday Show and Sale at the Bellefonte Art Museum through the month of December. Wow are they fun! I'm up to my elbows in irresistible textiles, yarns, hoops, feathers, and beads. 

The Native American tradition of the Dream Catcher began hundreds of years ago with the Ojibwe/Chippewa people and spread to other tribes as time progressed. There are several variations of it. Some believe the good dreams are caught in the web and the bad dreams drift away through the hole in the center, and others believe the good dreams float down the feathers into our minds and the bad dreams are caught in the web, to disappear with the light of the new day. Many versions of the story are acceptable, according to

I'm inspired to bring this lovely tradition into the 21st Century by adding gorgeous colorful yarns and textiles along with brightly colored feathers, beads, and sometimes, special charms.

Oh yeah, it's all about the feathers!
I studied a bunch of different patterns and videos for making Dream Catchers, from traditional methods to contemporary ones. One of the design challenges I set for myself was to find a way to attach the feathers without using wire or sticking them up an oversized bead with glue. My feathers are beautifully bundled and wrapped and tied with yarns complementary to the overall design. And I've added some sparkly beads to the yarns here and there for fun.

Fluffy feather bundle
5" Dream Catcher with long textile tails and fluffy feather bundles
My favorite so far - the Rainbow Dream Catcher
Too fun!
Soft colors
Luxurious textures
I'll have six Dream Catchers available at the museum, and if they sell out I'll bring in some more : ) Will also be selling a selection of them at the Green Drake Gallery - no two exactly alike! Makes for a wonderful and unique gift!

I'm also happy to make a DreamCatcher in your choice of size and colors, with personal embellishments that are meaningful to you. 5", 8", or 12" hoop sizes available. Yarn embellishment ranges from 14" to 24" in length. My standard Dream Catchers are priced from $25 to $45. Please feel free to e-mail me at if you'd like a custom Dream Catcher made especially for you. Turnaround time is about a week plus shipping if out of town.

We have 56 artists participating in the Bellefonte Art Museum Holiday Show and Sale, and there will be lots of other goodies to choose from--handmade, one-of-a-kind artwork, and greeting cards. Come see us! Meet the artists on Sunday, November 6th from noon to 4:30 p.m.

Sweet dreams!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My Tree Book Chapter 10 -The Tall Pine and the Tire Swing In Which I Learn What Lost Dignity Feels Like

At the new house in Madison, the back yard was divided into a couple of sections with two wide swaths of grass bordered in-between by a row of pines, yews, and birch trees. One of these pines was old, tall, and stately, and from its branches, my father generously rigged up a tire swing for us "children" to play on--part of his plan to help acclimate us to the new house and neighborhood, I'm sure. 

The branches of this lovely tree draped down from above in fragrant swoops of soft green boughs, creating a dark, shady oasis above soft needles, fallen leaves, and rabbit holes. It was a private place, where we could swing to our hearts' content in the afternoons, entering the worlds in our heads while surrounded by Nature's soothing sounds. Soft breezes singing through the trees, dappled sunshine just out of reach of the shady oasis, little songbirds flitting about, and the rich smell of dirt and leaves punctuated by a few purple irises popping up in the spring were my companions.

I was a sophomore in high school at the time, that awkward age when appearances matter and coolness is everything.

It was rare that my friends came to visit, but one evening I had a few people over, and we went out into the backyard to have some privacy from the parents and hang out smoking forbidden cigarettes under the trees. It was a mixed group, but mostly boys, so my attempts at coolness factor were cranked way up. We gravitated towards the tire swing, and when my turn came, I climbed in, hanging my legs through the middle and folding my arms across the top of the tire and around the rope.

My friends took turns pushing and I loved the feeling of spinning and flying through the air, laughing, and having a great time, until all of a sudden the tree branch broke and I was dumped to earth with a great crack and crash of wood, flailing rope, non-bouncing tire and me, limbs akimbo and all dignity quite vanquished as I tried to extricate myself from the downed rubber donut.

That did not feel glamorous. In fact it wiped the smile right off my face, in contrast to the jaw dropping, knee slapping, belly bending guffaws of my friends. It was one of those times, you know, when you have to sort of fake it, so I started grinning around my clenched teeth, rubbing my backside, and scuffing my toes around in the leaves once I regained an upright position.


Most times trees were my allies, but sometimes, not. This tall, old, stately pine was too fragile for our shenanigans, and though I loved her even though she thwumped me in front of my friends, I think it had more to do with our misunderstanding of her capabilities as the rope for the tire swing was set up and tied than any failure on her part. Or maybe she was suggesting I spend my time in other pursuits and leave her to her inherent dignity.... Perhaps, in a way, she was guarding me.