Wednesday, March 16, 2011

IFS Team Challenge


**This piece is inspired by the Indie Free Spirit Team challenge, "Who do you think you are?" This is an ode to my heritage.** CLICK HERE TO VOTE

INTRO: I have learned so much more than I thought I would during this challenge. It's been a lot of fun! I'll share with you the process, the meaning behind my piece and some cool facts I've learned along the way.



*I would like to begin with the star significance that this piece has.
Scientific research has shown that we all originated form stardust, that's just awesome! So a proper beginning would be to start with where we all spawned from: a star!
Not only that, but it signifies that we all have the potential to be a super star in our own lives. We have the ability to reach and impact others, and to shine brightly.
So, fallow the star in your heart and use your talents to impact those close and far!


*Next I would like to talk about the inner web of this piece. To me it signifies how we are all intertwined in a DNA web, connecting us. It's mind blowing how far back you can search and will find ancestors from all over the globe. It's a web that connects the human race.



*I decided to make a dream catcher for this project, as in conjunction to other meaningful things, it shows a part of my Native American heritage.
My great grandfather was half Cherokee Indian, unfortunately he died the same year I was born. However, I've learned some native traditions through other family members.
It was one particular summer, 15 years ago (I was 13) when I was very interested in our native heritage and I began making dream catchers.
That summer I visited my great aunt in Arkansas. One day she saw me sitting on the porch making a small dream catcher.
"That will never work you know" she said.
"Well, why not?" I asked, returning the sass.
"You need to infuse your intent, you need to clear your mind. You can't think bad things or the person you give it to will have nightmares. You cant just think about anything, you have to meditate and do it right" she said.
And that's when I learned how to "really" make dream catchers and I've been making them that way ever since.
She showed me a huge 5 or 6 foot tall dream catcher that a medicine woman had made for her. It was non traditional, in the way that it did not use leather and sinew and all that typical "Native" stuff. It was made from willow branches, they were not covered and it was beautiful. That same dream catcher has inspired me ever since.
I've always felt very close to nature and the earth. I hope that shines through in this piece.


*The butterfly in the dream catcher signifies birth, life, change and growth. The skeleton signifies death at the end of our earth cycle.

*The rosebud is an ode to my grandmother's side of the family, true gardeners and farmers with a love of plants and natural healing. They have taught me so much about plant life, it's not even funny!

*The shell signifies my love of water and how many of my ancestors lived by the water i.e: Scottish, English and Danish.
My grandmother loves to tell me the story of how water would always calm me down. When I would start crying as a wee-one, she would fill the sink with water and put my little feet in there. I would instantly stop crying. She said it worked like magic.


*Hanging from the dream catcher are more charms:

*An English crest, for my English Heritage.

*A wagon for my Euro-American ancestry, for the settlers which called this great country their home.

*I hand painted a viking ship on drift wood for my Danish heritage - they happened to be incredible craftsmen, making ornate ships, tools and jewelry.

*A shell which looks like a horn from a unicorn to represent my Scottish heritage - I found out that the unicorn is their national animal and almost did a back flip! That's so cool! By the way, Scotland has 787 Islands - wow!

*And a cowboy boot for my Southern roots.

THE PROCESS: This piece is very eco friendly. The wood is from a repurposed wreath.
To weave the web I used hemp cord in undyed and naturally dyed (black) hemp.
I also used many clear glass and stone beads!
For binding the wood together I used natural twine.
The beads are made of glass, wood and stone.
The rose is a natural, dried rosebud.
The Skeleton charm is made of clay.
The other charms are made of metal.
I hung feathers from the dream catcher and sprinkled some glitter in the middle of the web (a little faux star dust!).
This project took me 10 days to complete.
*It measures about 20" inches in width.

Thank you for looking, and reading the story which merely scratches the surface of my heritage.
Let this inspire you on your journey!

CUSTOMS: I'm taking custom orders on Dream Catchers. If you would like to place an order, please convo me, and take a look at my custom dream catcher listing in my shop for more details.