It's all about the plants!

Our Ojibwe florals come from the world we are surrounded by.  They are a reminder of the foods, medicines, and beauty meant for our good life.  When I first started beading I did what a lot of beaders do which is look at beadwork for ideas. But as I began to dig deeper and spend more time outside I could see the whole world is a beader's Pinterest board.  

Drawing and art can be intimidating because like so many other people, I thought I had to be able to draw European portraiture to be an artist. But when we look at our cultural art as representative, as inheritance, and as the beautiful messaging it us we know we can all become more whole.

Many families have designs passed down in them.  But because of the forced assimilation and disruption of our families many of us do not.  Like many of you, my grandma did not bead or sew. She cleaned houses for the nuns and made life work.  I didn't grow up with a strong connection to these plants though I grew up right on the Rez, on Rez road no less. The resilience and strength is passed down from these survivors and we all can tap into that.

Plants are great because they are all shapes.  Either by looking at plants, drawings of plants, or imagining that favorite plant, we can come up with our own designs. We have a lot of power as human beings.  We can completely change the narrative around who we are fairly quickly. If you were to ask my kids, what is your moms designs, they could tell you. One generation! 


So I challenge you to think about, meditate on, hike around, find plants YOU feel reciprocity and relationship with.  Utilize your cultural gifts such as asemaa or tobacco in that relationship! Look at scientific drawings on your phone, botanical ones are particularly beautiful.  Break down that plant into the shape.  What shape is the petal? Can you trace ONE petal?  Cut it out! Trace it again!  Make yourself a little Ziplock with YOUR designs. Don't be afraid of an eraser. You do not have to "be an artist" to develop this relationship.  


At Heart Berry we are deeply connected to that most beloved ode'imin or Heart Berry.  There are Many teachings about the strawberry, and I wouldn't dare to say any are more right than others because it's all in the name. 



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