Posts tagged ‘Animals and Icons’

Members in ArtFire Collections

While our Native American Forum Team is an Etsy team, many of our members also sell on Art Fire. Several are featured in this Art Fire Collection curated by cleasbeadwork. Cleasbeadwork also has an Etsy store. Her name is Cynthia Nemeth and she is a member of our team on Etsy.


Cynthia is from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She says, “I am a homemaker and mother of four, I learned beadwork from my grandmother and passed this tradition on to my children. I started selling my beaded creations to help make ends meet. I love to create designs that are patterned after nature and native traditions that came from my grandmother, my favorites are Beaded Butterflies and Butterfly Fairies. I love to mix materials to create one of a kind pieces and to create collections such as Butterflies. I love to create custom pieces. Both of my Grandmothers taught me to stay true to my style of art.
Here is an example of Cynthia’s work:

One Tribal Dream catcher Earring Ear Wrap with Nacozari Turquoise in The Native Inspired Tribal Boho Hippi Hipster Style

To purchase this beautiful earring cuff or to see more of her work, please go to:
Thanks Cynthia for promoting our work on ArtFire!


Wednesday Night Campfire Story: By Bead Lady 61

Raven steals Fire - Silver Framed Reversible Pendant



Illustration by Animals and Icons.  To see more of their work go to


As is our tradition, our  leader and mentor, Kicking Bear, opened the evening with this prayer:


O Great Spirit

we come as many streams flowing
into one mighty river

we come to hear the stories of the past
that their lessons might help us in the present
and give us a better future.

we ask that you allow Beadlady to speak with
a straight tongue that we might know the truths
she speaks …. open our hearts that we may
take these words into our being and give them life.

may we all walk in balance and harmony
It is all good



The story is Raven and Crow’s Potlatch as told by Elderbarry of the Skagit tribe

As Told by Beadlady 61 (Deb)


Raven used to live high up in the upper Skagit River country. He was very lazy.


In the summer when the other animals were busy gathering food for winter, he would be flying

from rock to stump and stump to rock making fun of them.


Raven just laughed when Crow(his cousin) urged him to follow squirrels example-but Raven

never prepared for the cold months, when the snow would drift over the ground and cover

all the remaining food. But now Raven was in trouble. Winter had come and the snows were deep.


He was hungry-and Raven loved to eat. He had to find someone who would share their food with him.


Raven went to see squirrel. Her had a huge supply of pine nuts and seeds and other food hidden all over the place.

Raven poked his head in squirrel’s nest in a old fir tree. Squirrel had lots to eat. Raven politely begged for some food.


Squirrel scolded him-that was always Squirrel’s way- “You refused to work and save for winter- and

you poked much fun at me-you deserve to starve!”


Raven went looking for Bear. But Bear was sound asleep in his cave and could not be wakened.

Raven looked around for some food, but it was all in Bear’s belly.  Bear had already eaten it all and was sleeping till spring.


Illustration by Spirit Bear.  To see more, go to


Raven was now very hungry. He thought: “Who can give me something to eat? Everyone is either stingy like

Squirrel or sleeping like Bear and Marmot, or they have gone South for winter like the snowbirds.”

Then he thought of Crow- he would be easy to fool!


Raven flew to Crow’s nest. “Cousin Crow, we must talk about your coming potlatch!” Crow answered. ”

I have not planned a potlatch” Raven ignored his response. “Crow, everyone is talking about your potlatch-

will you sing at it?” “Sing?”


Crow had not known that anybody really cared for his singing voice- thought in those days,

Crow’s song was much more like that of Wood Thrush than it is today.


Raven continued to talk of Crow’s potlatch. ” You are very talented and possess a beautiful voice-

everyone will be so disappointed if you don’t sing at your potlatch!”


What potlatch?… You really like my singing?”


“We love your singing, Crow,”Raven answered. “The Winter’s cold has chilled the forest and

we’re cold and hungry and singing will help us forget our cold feet and empty stomachs.

Now you get started fixing the food- looks like you have plenty here- and I will go invite the

guests to your potlatch. You can practice your songs as you cook!”


Crow’s hesitation now overcome, he began to prepare all the food he had collected for winter, and as

he prepared it, he practiced his songs. The more he thought the feast and how everyone wanted to hear

him sing, the more excited he got about it.


Meanwhile Raven was offering invitations to all the animals of the forest.

Of course Marmot and Beaver were sleeping like Bear, and Robin and Goose were gone South.

To each he said the same thing: “Come to MY potlatch! I have worked hard to prepare it.

There will be much food at Raven’s potlatch and Crow is helping and will sing for us.


There will be fern roots and wild potatoes, dried berries, fish and meat. Come to MY potlatch!

It will be a great occasion.” Raven did not invite Squirrel however since he had refused to share his

food with Raven. But all the rest of the animals were invited to Raven’s Potlatch.


When he returned to Crow- he was busy singing and cooking. Raven told him-

“Everyone is coming- be sure and fix all your food-they will be hungry after their journey.

and your songs are sounding so good! Crow’s potlatch will be a great feast!”


As the guest arrived, Raven welcomed each one to his potlatch. There was deer and mountain goat and

mouse, rabbit, partridge and jay. The guests were seated and the food was brought out. Crow started to sit

and eat- but Raven asked him for a song first. “It’s not good to sing on a full stomach, Crow”.

So crow began to sing. Every time he would stop to eat- Raven would insist he sing another song.


“You can’t sing with your mouth full, Crow!” Encouraged again and again by the guests- who were busy stuffing

themselves with Crow’s food- Crow sang song after song after song- all day until night- and Crow’s voice

became hoarser and hoarser until all he could do was “Caw- caw”.


As was the custom- the left over food was collected by the guests and taken by them for their homeward journey.


Even Raven had taken his share and left as Crow was cleaning up. Crow had nothing left to eat.

“At least, ” Crow thought, ” I won’t go hungry- I will be invited to their feasts. ” For it was the custom

that having been entertained, each guest was now obliged to return the favor and invite the host for a return potlatch


But Crow, who had been fooled, had been reduced to starving, and never regained his singing voice either.

He was destined to spend his winters begging in the camps of men for scraps of food. And that’s where we find him today-

squabbling over scraps in grocery store parking lots- Caw! Caw! Caw!

Recipe For No Melt Suet

“Some people believe Suet should only be offered in the colder months when birds need more energy, but these Suet cakes are a good year-round food source.  Offer these cakes in the specially designed suet cages or in plastic mesh bags.”


1 cup crunchy peanut butter (cheap store brand)

2 cups “quick cook” oats

2 cups corn meal

1 cup lard (no substitutes)….buy the little 1 pound can, store in refrigerator.

1 cup flour

½ cup sugar

·       You can also add raisins to this mix.  (DO NOT ADD BIRDSEED….makes the cakes crumbly.)

Melt lard and peanut butter, in a pot on low heat… then stir in the rest of the ingredients, mix well. Turn off heat.


I found a better way to form shapes…take the lid of a large size jar of Peanut Butter, line the inside of the lid with Press n’ Seal or Saran Wrap….spoon mixture into the lid until mixture is even with the lid rim. Lift out mixture using the edges of the Press n’ Seal/Saran Wrap….wrap lightly, put the cake into the refrigerator to set up/cool.

Repeat until all the mixture is used up.  Store all the wrapped cakes together in a Ziplock bag in the freezer until needed.

*There is NO NEED to defrost before using the cake…Peanut butter will never fully freeze.*

These round cakes will fit inside a square cage suet holder.

They make excellent treats for Birds and Squirrels (tree rats) alike.

Be aware that Dogs ALSO like the taste of them….lol


**Don’t add birdseed to this mixture…the cakes will be too crumbly. I have another recipe for Birdseed and Peanut Butter.**


 These cakes will not melt in summer or warm winter weather.

They won’t be around long enough to worry about ants or bees getting to them!!!


Lynn  4/11/10


And here is Lynn!


Lynn says, “In this first picture….my Necklace and Earrings were made by **CLOUDBURST NATIVE AMERICAN JEWELRY**.
The longer necklace with the Blue carved pendant was made by…John and Vanessa of **REKAMEPIP = DIGOTLVNV GANVNAWA (MAKES PIPES)**
The lovely seed beaded Bracelet was made by **BEADLADY61, DEB’S VISIONS**
Last but not in the least is my beautiful Belt Pouch made by **NIGHT OWL MARKET**.

I am holding one of the newest Wall Shields that I just made.
The Ribbon Shirt was purchased at the North Bay Clan Pow Wow in 2008


And here she is in another outfit:


My lovely Berry Red Earrings were made by *JULIA GROGAN of POLAR BEAR KISSES*.
My traditional Choker was made by *KICKING BEAR*.
The silver chain with the Pendant, the Great Horned Owl Pendant was designed & made by *ANIMALS AND ICONS*
My beautiful Belt Pendleton Wool Pouch was made by *NIGHT OWL MARKET*.

This Wall Shield I’m holding is an Owl.

All of these **SHOPS** are on

Lynn, thanks for sharing.  You can see more of Lynn’s pine needle art work at