With Christmas just around the corner I've been spending some time making gifts with a special concentration on dreamcatchers. From my research I learned that dreamcatchers originated in the Ojibwa Indian nation. Kids love making these unique natural crafts that can be hung over their bed to filter bad dreams out, thus opening up a gateway of happy visions.
I began weaving Indian dreamcatchers 3 or 4 years ago and I use real animal sinew for weaving the "catcher" inside a small wreath of bitter/sweet vine that I twisted into a circular form. I've found that it's much better to form the vines into shape and dry thoroughly for several months before weaving... otherwise the sinew will become loose as the vine dries.
When I began making these unique crafts I knew that I had to find a way to add woodcarving to the project for the perfect accent thus making each dreamcatcher truly a "one of a kind".
In the dreamcatcher pictured here I decided to carve the Boy Scout "Order of the Arrow" into a thin piece of basswood. I then drilled two tiny holes into the wood so that I could weave it securely to the sinew webbing. I applied a tiny amount of hot glue to the tied ends of the sinew to prevent any chance of unraveling. I found the three black crow feathers from my summer walks into the woods. Have fun and be safe!
Living in the mountains of North Carolina I have spent almost 30 very
rewarding years working with at-risk kids in a wilderness camping program as a counselor, outdoor educator, and woodshop teacher. To learn more about what my blog is all about, just scroll down this sidebar to "About my blog..."
1. Woodcarving/Woodwork: Working wood has been a lifetime obsession for me and I enjoy sharing what I know. It is my belief that hands-on and experiential learning has a direct and profound effect on the development of a child's intellect, confidence, and character. Projects of mine (and my students) will be posted as they progress and I will occasionally include a video tutorial. All of my videos can be found here .
2. Bushcraft/Primitive Living Skills: Finding ways to live closer to the land has always fascinated me. Whether it's building a shelter, fire starting, animal tracking, or just making rustic furniture... you'll eventually see some of it here.
3. Long Distance backpacking, canoeing, & bicycling: Some of my long distance adventures include thru-hiking the 2,600 mile Pacific Crest Trail, Mexico to Canada and I solo paddled the 1,800 mile Yukon river across northwest Canada and Alaska to the Bering sea. More detailed accounts of these and many other adventures can be found here
4. Sustainable Living: I'm always looking for better ways to do more by using less. It's not so much an "environmental" thing to me as it is a quest for personal independence from material things and finding a path to more substantive living .
5. Scouting Activity: As a scoutmaster of 6 years (and currently assistant scoutmaster) I'm actively involved with the troop and "Order of the Arrow" where it is a joy to volunteer hundreds of hours each year because investing in the next generation insures a better tomorrow for everyone. In an era when most schools don't value hands-on learning, outdoor education, and the arts... scouting soars in meeting these critical experiences for boys.
6. Profiles: Behind everyone's success you can usually find a trail of some very significant mentors and teachers along the way. And sometimes you don't completely understand how someone affected your life for the better until many years later. You'll find some of those stories here.