Monday, March 31, 2014

Bow Hunting Creations

A Collaboration between Freeborne Bows and Fair Ophelia Designs
(creations especially designed for the Primitive Archer/Hunter)

Various weights for hunting in all seasons and environments
heavy-weight wool   $60 
 light-weight wool    $40
 light-weight linen    $40

heavy-weight wool   $120
light-weight wool     $80
light-weight linen     $80
made with standard rounded hood -- $10 extra for "tailed" hood 
                                           (as pictured)


Wool Hand/Arm Warmers for the Primitive Archer/Hunter
Wool Vests
Bow Socks
REQUEST CUSTOM WORK!!!!  I will work with you to make what you need.
Look at my etsy shop for other hand-made creations:

O-JAM 2014

The week before we left Missouri we found out that Oklahoma has a Self Bow gathering, O-JAM, at the end of March.  This was perfect timing for us to go on our way to Arizona to visit Michael's family.  Michael, or Wylden Freeborne, has been making bows for the last two years.  Our daughter Fair made her first bow earlier in January of this year.  So the two of them were really excited about going.  I was happy to share in the experience and found out I could set up a booth to vend.  Whitman was glad to be running amok with other kids and eventually started expressing his joy when shooting a bow and arrow... it was pretty sweet! 

Arriving a day before the event started, we pitched our lodge right next to the pond...early birds get the worm!!
Making a ladder so I can lace up the tipi.
Over the next few days six more tipis popped up.

It was refreshing to be back in our tipi living on the ground, around the fire.  I was feeling more and more present in my body as the days went by.

I had very few things already made to sell at a Bow Gathering, so I hauled out the treadle machine and worked on bow socks, hunting hoods and a man brought me his tipi to repair as well.  The old-timers thought it was great that I was sewing on a foot-powered machine and it reminded them of their mothers and grandmothers.  I think a few people were inspired to get their treadle machines up and running! I sold almost everything that I made while I was there.  A lot of suggestions on future creations were made and I think I may have launched Fair Ophelia Designs into the Bow Hunter Marketplace.

Got a custom order for a little person hood
I couldn't help but put a little applique on it.

This is the land of Osage... hundreds of staves, but we had a surprise bit of Yew for them!
Fair was gifted a kids Osage stave and learned how to work the new wood, in the flat bow style.

She worked hard and I had to remind her to take breaks and play with her friends.  Many people helped her started her own tool kit: a rasp, files, a draw knife and a scraper.  Starting at nine years old, she will grow into an amazing bowyer.
There were multiple work areas for people to get mentored on bow making.
Jerry, one of the locals I meet, at his work station.
The gathering ended with the Clout Shoot, a long-distance target...this one happens to be across the pond!
Everyone lines up and shoots as many arrows they's a Robin Hood moment.

 Through out the gathering people were very curious about us...tattooed, using a treadle machine, our son with longer hair than any of the girls... but everyone was so kind!  We had many in depth conversations, shared our family's stories and learned a bit about Osage wood working.  We look forward to making our way east again next year!  Hopefully Carson, from Echo Archery, will come out with us and show off his amazing bowyer work and arrow-making skills.  Maybe a whole Oregon caravan...

Our time in the Ozarks

 Our family decided to spend a few months living in the south eastern part of the Missouri Ozarks, outside of Doniphan.  My husband had met a father and two boys years earlier at a homeschool group in St. Louis.  Their family eventually invited us to come visit them at their new woodland home... five years later we made it!

Their family of four lives in this one room cabin (with a loft for sleeping), next to a pond.

We built a sweat lodge out of River Cane.  We had a sweat every full and new moon... sending love up and out to our tipi family back in Oregon.
Watched the pond change with the weather

Our family lodge was pitched, but the ground froze before we could finish our mound...the inevitable flooding moved us into our bus for the remainder of our stay.

Michael and I had fun showing the family how we live, taking them out wooding to find dead trees for fuel and using bow saws instead of chainsaws.  So many people do not realize the benefit of removing dead trees, walking through the woods everyday and the exercise from this daily act.  Going out wooding has become my form of meditation.
The Flowering Dogwood was the choice wood for our open fire.  

We welcomed the snow and the kids played on the frozen pond daily.

Our closest neighbor was Mr. Dickson. We walk the path over to his house almost everyday.  Both his family and his wife's had been in the area for four generations and he shared a lot of his knowledge about plants and Ozark living.

We shared as much as we could with Mr. Dickson and his wife Vera. Michael helped his grandson build his first bow, out of Eastern Red Cedar, I gave him one of my St. John's Wort Healing Salves and for his birthday we gave him one of Michael's bow drill sets.  We will miss our time with him the most.  Elders like him have so much to share and sadly many of their children are not willing to continue the traditional ways.

This is Toph, one of the coolest dogs we have met... sadly a few days before we left we found her lifeless on the side of the road, not far from the driveway.  This was the first time our kids had experience an unforeseen death of an animal close to them.  It was hard, but we buried her and said our goodbyes. 
It was both sad and exciting  to leave the Ozarks and start on our journey back home to Oregon.  The librarians at the Doniphan library were great.  Fair joined a teen writing class, facilitated by Katie Jane, and it sparked her to write a book.  So far it is AMAZING and I will post the first chapter.  I will keep posting more on our Ozark time, including:  Sassafras harvesting and tree identifications. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hand-dyed Pillowcase dresses

 This is the second super fancy pillowcase dress that I have made.  The first was sold to a mother at an Alberta Street Fair in Portland Oregon. Most of the other pillowcase dress have been bought by petite women and worn as more of a shirt dress.  One of my favorite things to do with old linens is hand-dye them and embellish dresses and skirts.  This is one of the easiest ways to make a bustle.  I use two different sized linen napkins and added lace.  I have been saving these materials for over three years and finally pulled them out on one of those days you just want to make something pretty.