Catching the Dream

EJ’s normal shift is four 10-hour shifts every week, which means he gets Friday through Sunday off every week. It’s quite nice. We spent our last Friday running errands. I had posted on a local buy/sell group at Facebook that I was in search of empty egg cartons. Usually, EJ’s friend brings us some when he comes to visit, but he forgot last time and I was getting low. One guy responded that he had some cartons to give me. We met at a gas station in a nearby town. I gave him a dozen eggs as thanks.

We completed a few other errands. Our last stop was in another town to drop off a crochet item to my best customer. We debated whether to continue on to Meijers for a few veggies, but decided to stop at the farmer’s market instead. We’ve been driving by this market every summer since we’ve moved into the area, and each time we have commented, “We really need to stop and explore it!” but we never did. Until Friday. We had a lot of fun there. One young man was giving out samples of cantaloupe. We both took a small cup, ate a piece, and then exclaimed to the guy that THIS is what we remember cantaloupes tasting like. I used to love cantaloupes when I was younger–they were tasty, juicy, and almost melted in my mouth. But it’s been many years since we’ve had any like this. The ones at the store are dry and tasteless. Of course, after enjoying the samples, we added a cantaloupe to our cart.

I love putting out the bird feeders in the winter, but I usually put them away in the summer months because bears are attracted to them. Despite the reports we’ve heard of bear sightings in our area, EJ wanted to put out hummingbird feeders this year, and I figured that if we were going to put them out, we might as well put the other feeders out as well. I’m glad we did because we’ve been totally enjoying the summer birds. Among others, we have both male and female Rose-breasted Grosbeaks visiting. Right now I’m watching three males at the feeders. And with Madeline gone, the chipmunks have also come to feast on the seeds. It’s fun watching them scamper about. I didn’t see any activity at the bluebird house for a few days, but then they returned. I think their first babies have left the nest and they are hatching another batch. This morning a couple turkeys wandered through the yard. I love the wildlife activity outside our window!

The remainder of the weekend EJ worked in the garden while I worked at bringing a vision to life.

A few years ago, two friends of mine created a website called His-Israel where they teach about the Hebraic perspective of the Bible. Their logo is a tree of life, which I thought was very beautiful. It inspired me and I’ve wanted to make them a tree of life dreamcatcher, symbolizing their ministry. However, there is almost no crocheted tree of life dreamcatchers available and the few patterns I found on the Internet were not at all what I envisioned. Almost all dreamcatchers are made of full circles that fill a ring, but I wanted the top half of my dreamcatcher to be leaves and the bottom half to be the tree trunk. Over the years, I have looked through many patterns, searching for stitches or techniques that would bring my vision to life. Now and then I would think I found what I wanted and I would try it out, but the results were not what I wanted, so I’d set the dreamcatcher aside for a while until I found something else to try. I found many macrame tree of life dreamcatchers that are so beautiful that I bought books and supplies to teach myself macrame so I could make one. However, I broke my wrist before I could teach myself, and after my wrist healed I was too busy with my crocheting to teach myself the necessary skills needed to make the complicated-looking macrame dreamcatchers.

A few days ago, something just clicked in my mind and I finally figured out how to design the crocheted tree of life dreamcatcher. I spent hours and several days working on it, with a lot of ripping out and starting over. Sunday afternoon I finally finished the leaf part, but Monday morning I woke with an idea of how to make it better so I tore most of it out and began again. This last time, I knew that I had absolutely created exactly what I had envisioned. Next, I had to work on the tree trunk. I worked for hours on Sunday evening trying to design it. I wanted a gnarled-looking trunk with roots spreading out on the bottom. I couldn’t find stitches on the Internet that looked anything like I wanted, and I ripped and crocheted, and ripped and crocheted, trying different techniques. Nothing worked. But Monday morning, in addition to figuring out how to make the leaves better, I woke knowing what stitch and technique to use for the trunk–and it worked! I was able to capture my dream of a beautiful crocheted tree of life.

This is my final result, which I finished yesterday evening:

I was going to send one to my friend whose website logo inspired me as a surprise gift. But after I finished it, I couldn’t keep it a secret so I called her and told her about it. I sent her photos at Facebook so she could see it. She thought it was beautiful. When I finish a second one, I will give it to the other friend who inspired me as well. She lives in Israel. As soon as I can figure out what to charge for it, it will be available at my website. I’d like to make different styles of center, and also make 10- or 12-inch dreamcatchers. I also plan to eventually sell the pattern, but first I have to find someone to make one using my pattern to test that my instructions are clear.

I think designing involves making reality match the image in my mind. I’m so thrilled with the results!


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