The Path of Crafting - part 1
© Dream Dancer
I've mentioned it a few times in posts about myself, I've just not written about it in depth as of yet. So today I thought I'd start an article and see where it goes. In part, I'm testing whether I have the words to convey what I mean yet. And in part, it's been such an enrichment to my life, I feel the desire to share it now that I have some experience with it.
Coming from parents who liked to work with their hands, crafting is something I've always done in one way or another. My mother made everything from centerpieces for tables, and massive quilts to sewing my clothes from scratch. My father took machine parts being throw out at the hospital where he worked and crafted a gem faceter. I've always enjoyed bringing things into a useful existence. People have called me talented, creative etc... but I've never seen it that way. I just like working with my hands and it's an opportunity to create and share what I'd envisioned in a tangible way that others could experience too.
Back in October or November of 2002, I got curious about how to make a dreamcatcher. Around the same time, I was looking for a logo for Spiritlodge that we owned. The one we had before was borrowed and I wanted to create images for what later became the SL shops. It was a step in creating a tangible sense of community for Spiritlodge. I still have my Spiritlodge coffee cup and sometimes think about Minna or Cedar wearing their Spiritlodge shirt or Cinn mousing on her Spiritlodge mousepad. Some of you know this part of the story already, some are just hearing it now for the first time.
An online search provided me with the basic 'how to'. A trip to the craft store and a day or so later, I was gazing at my first dreamcatcher, pretty darn proud of myself. At that point, I'd considered it just another craft, but this time, a craft of my ancestors. I was so tickled with it, I posted it here to show everyone else at the lodge. The bamboo rings came in sets of two so I had plenty of material to make another one. As you may have already guessed, that one became the red one you see in the banner above. The experience with creating the dreamcatcher which would represent SpiritLodge showed me that my involvement with the dreamcatchers wasn't going to be just any crafting experience. Something amazing was about to happen for me. I just didn't know it.
At the same time I was creating all these images for the site, I was meditating on the color scheme. I think we already had the red background, something Cinn was really excited about. She'd wanted one forever. I had to create one of our own, since the one I had up was borrowed so the red background came first. Guidance told me it was representative of the passion of growth, the blood it takes to wade through our lessons and the ties that bind members to one in other. It's evocative of warmth, love and it's embracing. So, I tweaked around on my imaging program until I got the shade guidance wanted for the site. The one problem with a background like this is that it's difficult to find a color to go with it. Red doesn't like to play well with others, especially in text. I'd seen gold with red and tried it. That eventually became our original color scheme. Of course I wanted red and silver - but the site didn't. Red and gold being the color of the site, the dreamcatcher was born to match.
As I was creating the site dreamcatcher, I was being instructed on it's medicine. That was something that didn't happen when I created my own so it was a surprise. At first, I felt I didn't have the right to the information. Though it's a craft of my ancestors, I'd had little formal medicine training and that was in other areas. I knew that typically, you go on a hunt with Creator for items that will assist you in finding your path and those become medicine items. Usually there's a giveaway, meditations etc. None of that happened with my first one but on the second one, I'd done the meditations for the site. At the time I had no idea what was going on. I thought I was just bringing what Creator wanted to the site. But in hindsight, the birth of the site dreamcatcher was done in a very traditional medicine way and that snuck right by me. Under the instruction of guidance, it was gifted to one of the members and they were supplied with the information given to me about it's medicine. The condition of their acceptance of it was that I could use the images for the site, which they agreed to.
A few days after it's birth, I spent some time photographing it. I had to get the pics right so I could make the other images from it that I wanted for the shops. I had to position it were I could photograph it without a shadow so I could make it transparent. Then when I resized it in my program, I had to retrace the web because, in making it smaller, it disappeared. Each thing that was happening with it in my program, guidance was whispering more information about it and I was feeling more and more of it's presence. I don't think though, that it hit me that it was an honest to goodness medicine item till much later, after the distractions of the imaging was long over. Up till then, it was just cool and I was excited to be a part of it all. A few here can fill in some of my blanks because I bent their ear along the way so I invite them to share their side of the story if they like.
Finally, the time came for it to continue on its journey to it's new owner. Placing it gently in it's box for shipment, it finally began to dawn on me what was happening and what I'd been a part of. But the implications didn't till much further along the path.
To Be Continued.
*Edited for indexing.