"From the earth & the heart"

The home of Maia's Forest Friends and other gifts from the woods


Forest Friend (for-ist frend) n. Elfin being of Ontario woodlands, known for environmental consciousness and earth-based spirituality

Since ancient times the Forest Friends have recognized the interdependence of all lifeforms, thus they understand that to live in Harmony with the Earth, with the Others, and within their own community is essential for their survival, balance, and joy of living.  Their nature-based wisdom has important messages for our fast-paced technological age.


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Yesterday I posted pictures of a number of details in the Forest Friend diorama based on the piece of wood found on a beaver dam and brought to me with a request from The Unconventional Moose gift shop. I promised a couple more details....
Whether for business or home, everyone needs a storage area. This one is more hinted at than fully stocked. Since it seemed a bit lofty, I added a rope ladder. The rope part of it is twisted from fiber of the bark of the moosewood, aka leatherbark, bush. (Another appropriate moose touch!)
Back to the dreamcatcher: I felt quite strongly about adding it above the sleeping quarters. Dreamcatchers have three meanings for me: 1. the traditional one of filtering out bad dreams, 2. a representation of the web of life, and 3. encouragement to dream dreams and pursue them. All of these fit for this special diorama. AND I personally had a different understanding as I was writing the story for this piece: the better care we take of the web of life, the better the dreamcatcher will work. It all goes hand in hand.
Check in tomorrow for a view of the full finished diorama and story.
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1 day ago  ·  

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Generally when I am asked to create a Forest Friend diorama for someone, I ask a few questions, just enough to give my imagination a direction. In the case of the beaver dam find, this step was unnecessary, and I have permission to share... The folks who handed me the piece of wood (see posts of the past few days) own an amazing gift shop -- The Unconventional Moose -- on Hwy 7 just north and a smidgen west of Tweed, Ontario. Since they have been displaying my Forest Friend dioramas for a number of years, I have some sense of who they are, but I still had to go through a few steps before I really knew to what extent the diorama would be a reflection of their life. Here are some of the details: Even though Paul and Tracey operate a popular gift store, they still take time to enjoy Nature, hence one side devoted to the handiwork of creative souls, the other to the loveliness of Mother Nature. The picnic table reflects their love of the open air; the canoe hints at quiet evenings on the river that runs behind their premises. They are crazy about unconventional anything and especially moose presence, so I added it with moose tracks on their blanket and pillows. They are gentle with the Earth: the wasp's nest is welcome at the top of the piece....
A couple more details to come, and then full piece and story. Check back in tomorrow and Monday!
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2 days ago  ·  

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