Category Archives: Moccasins

Autumn 2015 Offerings

Children’s Circles:  September 12, October 10 and November 14 – Our gatherings begin at 1pm and generally complete by 6pm.  We gather with respect for one another and our Mother Earth.  All the nations our Mother supports are greeted with gladitude and gratitude.  We come together to learn and to have fun, share a healthy meal, create, explore and vision for ourselves and the future.  Our Circle welcomes all ages and identities with open hearts.  Bring your parents of other adults to share this time. Suggested exchange $40. 

Drum Birthing:  October 18 and November 15, 9am until complete.  The medicine of the Four-legged and the Standing Ones come together in a sacred way when we set our intentions towards birthing a drum.  Each workshop is held in a respectful way, honoring tradition and ourselves in the process.  Drum birthing is ceremony, a time for joyful prayer and a labor of love that lasts a lifetime.   Please RSVP allowing me to properly prepare for your presence and your drum.  Exchange $225.

Fire Circle Drum Birthing:  September 27, 9am until complete – private circle.

Visioning Drum ReUnion: September 19, 7pm-10pm on Echo Lake.  An invitation is extended to all drums that have been birthed at Soul Proprietor over the years.  Migrate back to the waters of your birth to join in a Drumming Circle to Vision for the rebalancing what is needed at this time.  Let’s come together with joy-full hearts, clear intentions, prayers and expansive dreams for the future – our drum beats and voices raising the frequency in a good way with a fire as our company to transmute the challenges of our times.  Bring your friends no matter where their drums were born, they are welcome.

Feeding the Fire Ceremony:  September 26, 4:30pm until complete.  Women and girls of all ages are invited to gather for a Feeding of the Fire Ceremony where we will learn more about honoring the feminine through the natural way.  We’ll light a fire, share stories and songs, we’ll feast afterwards.  RSVP please for further details.

Rattle Crafting:  Turtle Shell Rattles October 11, Rawhide Rattles November 1, noon until complete.  Craft and sew in a good way an ancient instrument to call yourself home to yourself,  move the energies, releasing what may be stuck from this lifetime as well as ancestral times, celebrating your wholeness.  A rattle is a tool for shamanic healing work and personal ritual.  Every voice is unique, every stitch a prayer.  Sit in community, share yourself to whatever degree you feel called to, sing, laugh and create – the possibilities are as limitless as the sky.  Please RSVP your intention to join in allowing for proper preparation.  Exchange $75.

Moccasin Crafting:  October 24 & 25 and November 21 & 22 – our moccasin workshops are taught in two day workshops – 9am to 7pm each day.  Tough yet tender, Buffalo medicine supports your walk in the world and shares with you the abundance of right action.  Buffalo hide moccasin are incredibly comfortable and can be worn daily as well as for ceremony or special occasions.  These moccasin are custom fit to your feet, a measurement and foot tracing is needed in advance allowing for a pattern to be sewn prior to the workshop.  This is easily arranged between us.  Style choices and the adornment possibilities are endless.  Exchange $275.

Medicine Bags:  October 4, noon until complete.  A medicine bag is personal.  What strengths do you wish to support?  What needs to be augmented at this time?  Craft a medicine bag for your connection and protection.  Whatever your needs, medicine is the grounding and underpinning that shelters you in life.  As always, a prayerful protected container holds us in our work together.  These days are community days yet the deeply personal component often makes for times of silence and reflection – it is always the right combination of call and response between each person and the Mystery.   Please RSVP your intentions allowing for proper preparation for you.  Exchange $75.

Talking Sticks:  November 8, noon until complete.  At this time, many are coming together in many ways for the rebalancing of our lives and for our Mother.  Coming together in a Circle is powerful healing medicine.  Using a Talking Stick while in Circle creates greater respect for the person speaking, for their story and the heart behind their words.  Are you leading a Circle at this time?  Perhaps doing so has tugged at you for a long while.  Now is the time.  Now is the time for each of us to step up and step into our power to birth forward the future.  We are here at this time by agreement, by our choosing – let’s come forward in a good, true and beautiful way speaking our truth, allowing others to do the same.  There is healing work to be done.  Crafting a Talking Stick brings powerful medicine and voice into the world.  Please RSVP your intentions allowing for proper preparations.  Exchange $100.

Wing Medicine:  September 13, October 31, November 28, noon until complete.  This is where my work with medicine began.  My Uncle, from many lifetimes ago called, reminding me why I came here at this time.  The joy I feel for the Winged Ones was not the whole story, there is so much more.  The Winged Ones are a powerful ally offering themselves as healing tools.  There is no limit to their healing potential – what is needed?  These ally are here to help.  Feel free to bring your own medicine if you already carry something and receive the guidance for crafting a secure handhold that protects your medicine.  Please RSVP your intentions so I may properly prepare for your presence.  Exchange $75.

With Gratitude

Mitakuye Oyasin  ~  All My Relations


A Handle On It

How am I doing?

My front screen door has never fit well into the frame.  A few days ago, I am pulling hard, it takes an effort to close the door and snap.  In a split second, I’m on my butt with the handle broken off in my hand.  Unharmed and laughing.  I right a stack of books, toss the handle in the trash.  Then toilet won’t flush – the handle mechanism rusted through.  Hmmm.  Two broken handles in one day.  What is this telling me?

How am I doing in the practical?  How am I doing in the mystical?

NTD kitchen – No dairy.  No grains. No broccoli. No shellfish. No sugar.  No problem.  The menu and shopping list and time.  There is such abundance, we will eat well from the bounty of our Mother.  In gratitude, I offer a blessing for the water, the earth and the hands who tended the seeds, the salmon, fisherman and four-legged.  The meadow remembers the patterns of our feet dancing gratefully to give back to our Grand Mother Turtle, for her infinite generosity.  She knows we are coming.  I feel my connection.

Moccasin commission for a dance helper – completed  with the help of Osprey, Eagle, Pileated woodpecker and Dragonfly.

A drum birthing day is scheduled for the day after my return from the Night Turtle Dance ceremony.  I have prayed and prepared, hides and hoops are waiting.

The screen door handle remains broken.  The old toilet handle has been replaced with a “universal” handle.  Oddly this mundane object leaves me feeling a connection to the whole.  I feel the need to test it by reaching out, speaking – connecting the desires of my heart with the want of the mind.  How am I doing?

There’d been a chartreuse green cricket-like bug in my bathroom, I’d seen it on two consecutive nights.  This morning I found it treading water in the toilet (ironic), I scooped him out, set him free.  A juvenile Nuthatch crashed into the slider – there seemed to be a collision between him and a gray squirrel, the squirrel ran off.  I gathered up the little bird, flopping on his back, held him tenderly and singing until he flew away into the Noble fir.  And a Crane fly tangled in an abandon spider’s web, I rescued him from the stickiness and watched him fly free.  Not even noon, already three lives saved.

“…and there was a new voice, which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do – determined to save the only life you could save.”  Mary Oliver, The Journey

There’s an orphan juvenile Wood Duck on the lake, doing the only thing he can, saving himself.  How am I doing?

A’ho Mitakuye Oyasin  ~  All My Relations

Summer 2015 Workshop Schedule


I’ve thought a lot about thick-skin lately.  About having it.  About not having it.

Buffalo hide is very think, making for sturdy moccasin.  Some people who come to make their moccasin lament how difficult it can be to work with.  The tools aren’t adequate they allege.   Is it true the hide is too difficult to work with?  Is it true the tools aren’t sufficient for the job?  It can be quite humbling.  I know.  And many times I’ve been told I have strong hands.  I am able to cut, punch pilot holes and sew multiple layers of the thick hide.  Ultimately they do too.   It’s a matter of determination I think.

Life isn’t always easy, neither is medicine work.  Or the Red Road.   It requires something of me, of us – a determination, a will to step into the hard stuff, gutting it out.  Perseverance.

I’m not sure how many spiders live in my bathroom these days.  Long ago I made an agreement with them – they can have the top half of the room, I’ll take the bottom.  Lately it seems that more and more, we are meeting in the middle.  While they are taking liberties, I allow.  I am reminded of what Eleanor Roosevelt said, and I paraphrase, “…we teach people how to treat us….”.  I guess this goes for spiders too.  It takes thick-skin to be in relationship, to be in the world where it is seldom nice for long.  What am I allowing?  Where do I draw the line?  Pull back?  Retreat?  Internally my skin so thin it tears to shreds even though I wear the toughness of thick hide for the world to see.  How do I stand right in there, stake a claim and assert my will or idea of it?  Truly having thick-skin or at least the back of a duck for it (whatever) to roll off.

What does self-love need today (besides oatmeal with molasses)?What sweetness and salve do I apply to soothe the tears, to bring about the thickening of the scar tissue to become impervious to the harshness of life?  Life still goes on, clashes occur, children are starving, the land raped.  The delta between understanding and being understood can be so wide, too wide to cross.  800lb. gorilla are often in the room or swept under the carpet.  The scars of life and comforting balm of self-love makes me tougher while age will thin my skin.  Interesting how this happens if I allow for it.

It’s a practice and it’s process.  So too is crafting moccasin.  Step by step, stitch by stitch – no matter how thick the hide.  It gets easier.

A’ho Mitakuye Oyasin  ~  All My Relations

August 29 & 30 will be the next moccasin crafting workshop at Soul Proprietor.  Join in, test out the thickness of your skin.  And of course I am happy to sew for you.   A full listing of Summer 2015 workshop offerings can be found here.


The BC fires smoke has me feeling pinned here at the lake.  The sky is matte gray, slightly moist.  The water is flat save for the circles created by dragonflies touching the glass.  The trees that ring Echo Lake are still brilliant green against reflection and sky, yet I feel thirst.  The lake level is quickly receding.

Each day I bless the water.  This has been my practice since the past spring equinox.  There is only one Water.  It flows in all forms.  You. Me.  The big water – Grand Mother Ocean.  Rivers.  Snow.  Blessing the water is blessing myself, blessing us and our Mother. Our unique, as we know it , planet blesses us with fresh water.  Our home, our Mother, gives us life.  Water. Is. Life.

On my circle walks, I find the Timothy grass waving in the breeze, it is taller than I am now.  Some of the Bracken fern are too, a few out stretch the grasses. The look strong like their ancestors the beginning of time.  Why didn’t I pick those fiddleheads?  (missed opportunity) The orchard  grass is chest high, blooming, beautiful.  I find the Horsetail is petering out already, weeks early.  Out my kitchen window are giant fireweed, perhaps 12 feet tall.  They number fewer than a dozen of  plants.  How old I wonder?  It looks as though it will be a banner year for blackberries, the bushes laden with hard green berry buds.  But will it?   I’ve seen a lot of shriveled berries too, petrified ornaments among the withered canes.  Lack of water.  I think of the bears.  What is the high country like?  Down here it is parched.

I was very disappointed Inslee didn’t call for conservation measures NOW when he declared draught in Washington.  I am doing my best now to conserve.  Join me?

I think I was 16 when I had a vision of myself as an old women.  I was in the desert, wind chimes all around (ha!).  Will the patterns persist?  Is the desert coming to me?  What does the future hold for us?  The Polar Pioneer en route.  Bought and paid for politicians.  Stupid Humans.

“Every day brings more news that Shell’s 2012 near-catastrophes weren’t a fluke,” said Travis Nichols of Greenpeace, which organized protests while Polar Pioneer was berthed at Terminal 5 at the Port of Seattle.

“Last week we learned Shell will only be able to drill one well at a time because they deliberately ignored the Obama administration’s regulations to protect walruses.  This week we learn the company can’t keep its fleet in working order even before it reaches the Arctic.” ~

Off my soapbox now but still banging the drum.  I’ve got moccasin patterns to sew, happily.  The blue full moon and ceremony is coming soon.  Wopila Grand Mother Turtle for your generosity!

A mother Northern Flicker is feeding her juvenile son at the suet now as I write.  It’s a good day to be alive.  A good day to be still, be silent, open to the countless gifts that surround me.   I’m breathing and finding balance.  Making an offering.   Over and out.

Mitakuye Oyasin  ~  All My Relations

And Ye shall Receive

Who said, ” Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.”?

In my ties for the Tree the first year I went to the Dance, my overarching prayer was to truly know and integrate self-love.  I’d been dancing around the notion for a several years unable to really connect my head and my heart.  In the year that followed, an unexpected initiation brought an answer to this prayer.  My second dance, how do I multiply abundance was a concern I took to the Tree.  A subtle shift of perception opened the way forward, again answering my pray.

Leading with my heart and managing my mind/ego, among other things, came through the day I left for the Dance.  I’d thought I had procrastinated my ties.  Instead, I realized that unconsciously I had waited.  Waited until I could get out of the way allowing for what was really needed to come though.  I had waited for my ego to get out of the way.

The Dance was a hard one in many ways and still I felt cradled in exactly the best way possible.  Incredible lightning and thunder, a downpour.  Intense heat.  Dust.  Confrontations with myself.  Uninterrupted connectivity to the Tree.  A full moon.  The drum.  Songs.  Opportunities to listen.  Hearing the sound of my flesh being cut from my body, incredibly loud in my ears, like stormy ocean waves crashing to the beach.   The fullness of my prayers.  Babies.  Catching my ego flare.  Ravens on the wing, their voices evoking joy in my body and calling my attention to them over and over.  Raven, who’s medicine supports my going into the darkness of my mind to bring out the light of understanding as loving kindness to illuminate my heart.

I came away from the Dance with more questions than answers.  My landing, or re-entry as some folks call it, was immediate and intense.  Day one, I laid low, oddly baking a peach pie in 90+ degree heat.  I avoided the festivities of the Fourth of July.  I found it a BS celebration.   Freedom and independence really a bore that pissed me off.  Freedom and independence my ass!  Not for the Indigenous Peoples, nor the African Peoples, or even the exploited Chinese.  How can I possible celebrate when this truth lay beneath the colorful noise of fireworks?  Sometime during this day was the first time I got a message about how the prayers in this years ties would be answered.  Then again the next day, the same message and a tool for guidance.  Medicine that has waited for the right time to come forward, augment my work.  I admit, I’m afraid.  I turn in, I laugh in the face of my fear – for on the other side of darkness is light, liberation, a happy heart.   Isn’t this what I prayed for?  Yes, and still, I wasn’t ready for shadow work.  It’s time though.  No more dipping my toes into the dark waters.  Time to dive in.  Having medicine for my personal work, having medicine be my work in the world, I shall receive.  My willing heart will lead me into the scary crevasses of my mind.  The medicine and self-love will illuminate the darkness.  Everything I want is on the other side of fear.

These ways are “not old ways, they are alive and we are living them today”, said an Elder Just like the dust in my moccasin, the Tree and the Dance are alive in me.  Answering my prayers.

Mitakuye Oyasin  ~  All My Relations





The Dance

I’ve felt the tree calling for months.

I’m packed.  I have a lot for one person. The creäture comforts of being human .  The outdoor plants, watered and moved to the shade on the West of the house, to spare the precious water in the predicted heat.  Water. Is. Life.

I procrastinated my prayers until this morning, feeling the importance.

What is before?  What am I moving towards?  Gratitude for where I’ve been.  Who I’ve become.  It’s hard work showing up to myself.  I undertake it gladly.  The past is behind me.

Prayers for my fractured family.  Grosbeak medicine coming early this morning.

Ina Maka.

To move from the heart.  Trusting my head will stay out-of-the-way long enough for grace to move through me.

Prayers for the human family.  Worth.  Healing.  Enough.

The bones of my Ancestors.   My feet dancing patterns in the dust, on the bones of my Ancestors.

In gratitude.  For. All. Who. Will. Dance.  Prayers of blessings and protection.  In. Gratitude.

The Mystery.

All into the ties.  The robe.

From my heart.  For the collective.  For All My Relations.

A’ho Mitakuye Oyasin


Spring 2015 Workshops

The door is always open.  Come in, make yourself at home as you are welcome for the Spring Workshops at Soul Proprietor.

April 4 – Wing Medicine, noon until complete

April 5 – Leather Works, noon until complete, what do you need?

April 11 – The Night Turtle Dance Fund Raiser Auction, 5pm – 8pm

April 12 – Rattle Crafting, 10am until complete

April 25 – Medicine Bag Journey, noon until complete

April 26 – VQ Rattle Crafting (closed)

May 3 – Medicine Repair Day, noon until all repairs are complete

May 9 – Children’s Circle, 1pm – 5pm

May 10 – Drum Birthing Day, 10am until complete

May 16-17 – Moccasin Workshop – Bainbridge Island Bodhi Center

May 23-24 – VQ Moccasin Workshop (closed)

June 6 – Children’s Circle, 1pm – 5pm

June 7 – Turtle Shell Rattle Crafting, noon until complete

June 20-21 – Moccasin Workshop, 10am -7pm each day

Sharing Their Bounty

This is a story about generosity, about receiving a gift from virtual strangers, and about the gift of the deer nation.

It all started with a friend recommending Soul Proprietor moccasin to a client of hers last summer.  I met and measured this woman’s feet.  The easiness with which we talked to one another was lovely – not just business for either of us – instead an exchange from the heart that took up the better part of an afternoon.  Again when she tried on the patterns for proper fit and more so upon delivery.

Out of the blue she called me last fall.  Would I like any deer hides from the hunt her People would be going on?  She is from the Snoqualmie Tribe.  Each autumn the People come together to hunt, to make meat, sustenance for all who’ll need meat throughout the year.  She offered that I could have possibly as many as 20 hides.  I accepted 3, not wanting to take more than I could properly tend to.

Late last year she delivered the hides to me.  And would I like some feet?  I accepted this too.  I put the hides into my freezer until I could dedicate my time to them.  The feet needed immediate tending.  I was presented with a learning curve.  I’ve never taken toes from hooves.  Nor had I ever harvested tendons to make sinew.   This is a time I can say thank goodness for Google.

When I am making moccasin, I am able to be present with feet in a surprising way, it seems so intimate and personal.  Likewise, taking the hide and toes from deer feet, seeing their structure – the muscling, the tendons and blood vessels, the bones – different than an intellectual knowing, now it was personal for me.  And working with these particular deer, knowing they had been prayed for before they were hunted, that these deer had been honored in a good way – they had offered themselves so the People may live.  My own prayers of gratitude and respect accompanied the boiling water that would soften the cartilage allowing for the toes to be removed.  Sage smoke to purify.  Some of the tendons and toes released with ease.  Others took effort.  Metaphor.  What am I holding onto?  How can I let go?  What makes sacred and what makes ordinary?  Is there a difference?

Last week I took the smallest hide from the freezer, let it thaw, then opened the black plastic bag.  I hadn’t seen the hide yet, the bag had been tied closed.  I was taken aback by the thick coat of fur, course yet so soft.  I spent a while praying with the hide, being thankful, honoring the animal’s life and this gift.  I called for help.

Fleshing is very hard work.  Was I scrapping enough of the fat and fascia off?  Was I going too deep?   At first it seemed like I’d never get it done, there was a lot to do.  It made me slow down, be present, learn from the animal.  Medicine is such a teacher.  No single direction accomplished the task, I was circling around the work table in the fresh air with the warmth of the sun – mourning the absence of winter and snowpack, it was nearly 60* on a winter’s day.  Finally, listening, I was able to work with ease, a composure within myself and the gentleness of the deer to guide me.   Once I understood, I found a rhythm and could  be present with both the work and my prayer, and my wondering thoughts.  The Snoqualmie People – how generous to share with a stranger the bounty of their hunt.  Prayers for their good health, happy hearts and all their needs being met in a good way.  Who shot this deer?  How many will eat?  Who took the hide off the animal?  They did a really good job of it, no holes were cut into the skin.  I thought of the landscape that supported this deer, of my prayer for Ina Maka.  I was reminded of the buffalo hunt my own community had the year before.  I helped to take that hide from the animal, it was women’s work just like the old days.  Who fleshed the buffalo hide?  I don’t know.  It must have been a herculean task, I found myself grateful there was a community to do the work.  And deep gratitude for Eileen, gifting me a knife on that day, the knife I was now using, perfect for my work.  I wound up with a blister where it fit into the palm.  I thought of friends long gone from my life and how tender a place still for them in my heart and memory.  Flies.  Was this bounty an unexpected feast for them or did they just take it in stride?  I thought about the food chain.  And enough.  I reflected on the fact that this is my life – buffalo hunt, helping friends to butcher turkey, now this deer – could I kill?  I never have taken an animal’s life.  I thought of my own mortality.

It took longer than I thought it would, not just the work itself, but the time to make ready – teaching me patience and to trust.  I worked on it three separate days just to remove the fur.  Each day more fur came free but not all.  I saw the places I held fear the way the skin held the fur – not wanting to waste or lay to ruin this hide.  How long was too long to soak it waiting for the fur release and be easily removed?  Using a round stone that fit nicely in my hand, I rubbed the fur off the skin.  Soaking it again over night with wood ash.  Then over a weekend, the last of my ash.  Was there a better way?  Was I working in an efficient manner?  I was reminded again and again to breathe and relax my shoulders, release the tension in my neck and thoughts.  To trust in the process.

I never did get all of the fur removed.  There is still a bit around the edges of the hide but nothing that will inhibit good use of the skin which is large enough for two drums to come forward.  I chose to dry the hide so I could learn how to stretch it without stretching too much.  More metaphor.  Deer teaches of the many paths there are to follow to arrive at a single destination.  I am constantly amazed this is my path into the Mystery.

The first drum and the first rattle will be given back to the Snoqualmie People in gratitude for their generosity.   Their kindness gives me hope for us all.  We are all one nation, one tribe, one human family.  And the deer, who made an agreement to give of itself sets an example for me to live by, one which we all can learn from in these times of great need.  There is enough when we share in the bounty.

Pilamaya to the Snoqualmie Nation.  Pilamaya to the Deer Nation.

Mitakuye Oyasin  ~  All My Relations