Archives for category: Native activities

a blue a lavender

When I was little there was always a hankie in my pocket.  My mother put them there.  And on the days I got to buy lunch in school she tied 15 cents into the corner.  I remember struggling to get the knot out so I could pay for my lunch.  Another memory from 4th grade was going to the “lavatory” and washing our hankies and taking them back to the classroom to dry them on the radiators.  It didn’t take much to entertain us in those days.

Yesterday Ted and I stopped at a garage sale and on the way in I ran into a friend who knows I love fabric and textiles.  She told me there was a pile of hankies inside, for sale for ten cents each.  I enjoyed going through them and picking out a few to add to my collection.  Some are really beautiful and I marvel at the tiny stitches and the patience it took to create them. Even those made by machine are charming.   It make me sad that they are only valued at “ten cents.”

a pink  a yellow

a tatteda pink print

a red

I also bought some hand crocheted and stitched pillow cases.  I love to sleep on old cotton pillow cases.   They were 25 cents each.   Our house is full of treasures like these.   I love and use old things.

a pillow 2

Pillow cases

a pillow

Life has just shifted for me.  I have taken a job with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe as the ”Elder and Youth Healthy Relationship Mentoring Program Coordinator.”  That is a hefty title, but what I do is plan activates for elders and youth with the goal of helping them develop relationships that will help both groups in overcoming abuse and abusive situations.  We will be starting with Native crafts, beading, basket making and so forth.  I think it will be interesting and fun and I am enjoying the people I am working with.

I am not sure what this will mean for my blogging.  For now I’ll keep my spot on the internet just blog less often.  I know readership drops off when blogging becomes irregular, so I’ll see if I can keep up!!

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weaving

 

When I heard that Heather Johnson-Bork, a talented artist and weaver from the neighboring Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, was going to be teaching weaving at the Lower Elwha I knew I wanted to attend. I took a weaving class a few months ago and really enjoyed it. But Heather was going to be teaching a four evening “advanced” class. I wasn’t exactly advanced and as always, Elwha Klallam people had first preference, but I signed up and kept my fingers crossed.

The day the class was to begin, I called, and was told that the class was full, but if I wanted to come down and see if someone didn’t show up, I could do that. It is a 30 mile trip, but one I make often and I was excited as I drove down. Sure enough, there was a spot left for me.

wool

A pile of soft wool

wool heather

Heather separates the wool into useful sized pieces

spinning

Heather spins the wool into yarn using a whorl, as was done by the ancestors

 

winding yarn

Heather winds the wool into balls

We each started with a pile of soft brown wool. She showed us how to separate it into smaller piles suitable for spinning. Then she demonstrated how to spin, using a whorl, in the traditional Native way. Not easy! Fortunately she had some wool that had already been spun and we were able to begin the weaving without spinning enough for our entire projects.

With looms the size available she told us we could make a small blanket, about 20 x 40 inches, or we could make something smaller. I decided to go for it, and make a small blanket. With help, I set up a loom.

at the loom

Setting up the loom

 

harmony

Harmony at work

 

ashley

Ashley setting up her loom

My aching back

My back is aching already!

The weaving style, called Coast Salish, and involves going over and under two threads at a time,then  alternating them, so a diagonal design is created. You can alternate which way the diagonal faces but I opted to keep it simple.

It seems so simple, two over, two under, but somehow I got confused a lot, especially in the beginning. But finally the design became clear.

weave

Now you can see the pattern

When the class finished, four days later, I had about six inches of weaving done, 34 to go. We were given the looms to take home, so it is now in our family room, where I can sit for a minute and do a row or two.   I have now finished 23 inches, past the half way point.

loom home

Loom set up at home

weaving for blog

Hard at work

weaving

I love the feeling of accomplishment

I am so grateful for this experience. It is fun and relaxing and I love the feel of the soft wool. It makes me appreciate the patience and dedication it takes to create even a small simple project.

Here are some images I found.

Image result for coast salish weavingImage result for coast salish weavingImage result for coast salish weavingImage result for coast salish weavingImage result for coast salish weavingImage result for coast salish weaving

all star

 

We were pleased when Seneca and Raven were asked to participate on the Lower Elwha Tribe’s teams at an inter-tribal basketball tournament. Held annually, seven tribes sent teams and the play took place at Squaxin Island near Shelton, over the weekend.

Raven was one of the taller boys in his division and did well especially on defense. He has been playing JV basketball for Stevens Middle School, so was in practice.

raven guardingraven running

It was Seneca though, who amazed us. Lower Elwha is a small tribe and they had only six kids to send, two girls. And since the rules say that there must be two girls on the floor at all times, she played the entire tournament.

runningmore playinstructions

 

They lost the first game in a good fight and Ted and I weren’t there for the second day’s games. However they won both of those games so we went back for the finals.   We were pleased to see how much the team had improved after having played a few games together.   And Seneca had become a little fighter, with a very strong defense. They won the first game and then went on to play the very team they had played the first round.

They led from the beginning with Seneca getting rebound after rebound and passing the ball to the boys who were better shooters.

the winning team

And so the Lower Elwha’s won the championship for their age group.

And to top it off, Seneca was given the “All Star” award, given to only one girl and one boy player.

happy seneca

We are grateful to the Lower Elwha Tribe for making this opportunity possible and we are very proud of Seneca. And Raven too!!

 

harmoney

Harmony’s Baby

We are taking some time off from foster parenting and I have had time to do some sewing recently.  I made quilts for three new babys whose Moms I have gotten to knew at the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.  It is such fun to make a quilt for a baby!  And these are real cuties.

Karleigh

Karleigh Rose

Anika

Anika and her baby boy.

I also finished quilts for our daughters, Holly and Heather, which I delivered when we visited them in Arizona a couple of weeks ago.

Heather with Dad

Heather with Dad

Holly

Holly with her quilt

I made a Halloween quilt, just for fun and finally finished the quilt for our bed at the house in Ocean Shores.

halloween

Halloween quilt

Tumbler

New quilt for our bed at Ocean Shores

Now I am working on  some new projects, the tulips are made from completed blocks I was given.

tulip

Tulip quilt in process

In other projects, the little 4-H sewing club we started three years ago has grown to 11 members.  Here Marilyn, my helper, is helping the kids make “burp pads” for moms in the First Step program.  This is the kid’s community service project.

4-H sewing 2015

4-H Club

basketsFullSizeRender (11)_edited

Cedar Baskets

This weekend I took a basket weaving class.  I have always admired cedar baskets made in the Native style.  With lots of help and support I completed these four projects.  My favorite, the one in the center, is made with cherry bark and cat tail as well as cedar.

I miss the foster kids but have to admit I am enjoying having time to be creative!!