Autumn Oak Leaf, A Quilt

November 21st, 2014
Autumn Oak Leaf

Autumn Oak Leaf

I finished tacking my quilt Autumn Oak Leaf yesterday.  It’s already sold, going to writer and artist,  Rachel Barlow, one of our Common Thread Give-a-way artists. (Click here to see one of Rachel’s really funny cartoons, but only if you want to laugh). She told me if she were to make a quilt for herself, it would look like this one.  That pretty much tells me that it belongs to her. AOL back detail

This is a close up of the back of the quilt.  I had a big piece of the horse fabric and cut it into three pieces to design the back.  I added the two other pieces of fabric picking up the colors and breaking out of the grid on the horse fabric.

AOL detail

This is how the quilt began, with the blue square on the tea-stained hankie which has one of Lenore’s bandana’s under it. (same as the red, brown and white flowers in the bottom left corner).  For just this piece, I tied my tacking yarn in the front to make the knots.  I was thinking of my dream of the small oak tree and the leaves going in the four directions.

Out My Studio Window

November 21st, 2014
The truck and people who hit the deer outside my studio window

The truck and people who hit the deer and the Sheriff  outside my studio window

I know the sound of it now.  First a loud thump!, almost more of a vibration than a sound, then the screech of tires. The deer have a tail that crosses Route 22 just  south of the farm.   And it’s the first week of Hunting Season, when it seems to me the deer are always on the move.  Luckily the times someone has hit a deer in front of our house the only injuries have been to the deer.  And, again luckily,  each time they’ve died instantly.

I grew up in the suburbs and never ran over an animal till I moved upstate.  The first time I killed a chipmunk I was devastated. But driving around upstate is like living on a farm when it comes to animals dying. It happens so often,  I’ve learned to accept it.

The first time I hit a deer, it rolled over my windshield  and ran off into the woods.   There was no damage to the car or me, but I called the police wanting them to look out for the deer, so they could shoot it, if it was injured and suffering.   They all but laughed at me, but  also tried to be kind and reassure me that if the deer ran off it was probably fine.  I had no sense at the time that how often this kind of thing happens whether by cars or hunters.

So this morning when I heard the thump and screech I went out to look for the car and make sure no one was hurt.  The dead deer was in the ditch across the from the house and the people were already on the phone to the police.  I have some bones on the alter in my studio from a deer who was hit last year by the farm.  And sometimes, when I look out my window I see deer grazing in the pasture across the street. Sometimes, Frieda even still barks at them. As I walked back to my studio I said a silent blessing for the deer, wishing it a  gentle passage.  Maybe the coyote will come for it tonight, or the crows in the morning.


My Drawing and Nancy Galimore’s Poem

November 20th, 2014
Nancy's Poem

Nancy’s Poem and my drawing

I was just experimenting using the water-soluble stabilizer.  That’s the stuff that allows me to stitch drawings on a piece of fabric without using batting so the piece isn’t stiff.  I got it so I  could make scarves with drawings on them.  So, I was experimenting with it and put up a picture of this simple drawing I did on a linen napkin,  on instagram.  Almost immediately, I got a message from Nancy Gallimore.  She said she had a picture in her head when she was writing a poem that morning.  Then she saw the photo of my drawing and said it was the same as the picture she saw when writing her poem.

I’m not sure how this happens, but similar things  have happened before.  As I’ve said, I think some ideas are in the air, just waiting to be plucked.  This one seems to have been plucked by both Nancy and myself.  And I should say that Nancy lives in Oklahoma  and we only know each other online (Nancy has the blog Tales You Win ) except for meeting in person, once,  at the last Bedlam Farm Open House.

Nancy wanted to buy my practice piece, not that I was planning on selling it.  I was planning on putting it in a pile of other practice pieces and mistakes in the corner of my studio.  But a story like this is hard to resist.  I mean, here we are thinking of the same thing at the same time and both of us making it real, me in pictures and her in words.  So I asked to read her poem and if there was a part of it that she would like me to write on the piece around the drawing.

I found Nancy’s poem powerful and affirming and  loved the way it went with my drawing.  So I wrote the three sentences from it that she chose, put a backing on the piece and sent it off to her.

I’m not sure what kind of mojo was going on to make this all come together but it seemed so natural and easy, like it was meant to happen.

Out of the Woods By Nancy Gallimore

Determined roots find purchase,
Defying ever-shifting soil and rock.
Branches reaching, constantly reaching
Though brush and thicket strive to thwart.
Not the tallest in the forest,
Perhaps not the most glorious crown,
But I am strong, I am supple.
I am tenacious,
I can bend without breaking.
I will dance in the wind.
I will offer shelter through the storm.
I will find my path to the sun.

The back of the wall hanging

The back of the wall hanging

I Love My Computer

November 20th, 2014
my computer

my computer

It was only for a 24 hours, but boy did I miss my computer.  It was having some issues, so I took it to a local Apple repair shop and they worked their magic on it.  I used Jon’s computer to blog that first night, but it wasn’t the same as working on my computer which is all set up for me.  I don’t have any computer savvy, (never even used a computer until about  six or seven years ago)  I only know what I need to know to do my work.  But I was surprised how dependent I am on having my own computer to work on.  And how lost I felt without it.   So welcome back computer, you are as dear to me as my sewing machine.

More Trees

November 18th, 2014
Weeping Heart

Weeping Heart SOLD

I just can’t stop making these trees.  I have ten now and I know I have more in me.  Now I’m starting to really look at the trees around me.  Noticing not just the feeling I get from them, but how the branches come off the trunk.  This can only help me to capture their feelings even more.  Someone commented that each of my trees seems to have a different personality.  They are all individuals for sure.

I bought a big box of cheap black tea so I can tea stain more hankies.  Many of the hankies frame the trees perfectly.   I’ll drop these off with Kim tomorrow so she can sew them into potholders and have them for sale next week.  They are $20 + $5 shipping.  If you see one you like and want to buy it, just email me at  These are the five I made today….

Sleeping Tree

Sleeping Tree SOLD

Passion Tree

Passion Tree Sold

Oh Joy!

Oh Joy! Sold


Grounded Sold


Tree Spoke To Me

November 17th, 2014
Heart Tree Potholder

Heart Tree Potholder Sold

I sat at my sewing machine knowing I wanted to do something different this morning.  I thought of making some potholders and looked at the pile of tea-stained hankies on my table.  Something about the gray day outside made them appealing to me.  So I cut one to potholder size and placed it on my sewing machine and closed my eyes.  I emptied my mind to see what would come.  Then  I started to sew.

It was the trees that spoke to me.  Each telling a different story…

Autumn Heart Tree

Autumn Heart Tree Sold

Falling Heart Tree

Falling Heart Tree Sold

Star Tree

Star Tree

Moon Tree

Moon Tree Sold

“Restore the Bond” Blankets for Sale

November 16th, 2014
Restore the Bond

“Restore the Bond”  fleece blanket

My heart sunk a little when Pamela told me that we had to postpone the trip to South Dakota,  to bring to the horse supplies to Chief Arvol and the others who will be making the Dakota 38 Healing Ride.  But I also completely trust that whatever happens in connection with the trip, the wall hanging I made for Blue Star Equiculture, and Pamela Richenbach, is happening just the way it’s supposed to happen.  Because for the short time I’ve known Pamela, with all the ups and downs that come with running a Working Horse Sanctuary, some kind of magic seems to swirl around her.  If she says she’s going to do something, the idea may not manifest in the way and time I thought it would, but when it happens, it’s somehow just right.

So I’ve learned to trust Pamela and the magic that surrounds her.   The trip to South Dakota is tentatively set for the spring when the Sunka Wankan Horse Ceremony takes place.   It’s a ceremony that takes place along with World Peace and Prayer Day where horses, which are no longer seen as important to our society, are honored.

But it doesn’t end there.  Actually it’s all just beginning.  Pamela came up with a new idea for using the wall hanging I made for Blue Star Equiculture and having it benefit, not only Blue Star and the Healing Rides, but working horses everywhere.  Pamela  came to see the wall hanging as a symbol of the bond between humans and horses everywhere. Which is just what I was thinking about when I made the piece.  And restoring that bond, making sure that people understand the necessity of it, is the real meaning behind all that Pamela and I are doing together.

So Pamela took the image from the wall hanging and had it reproduced onto  50″ x 60″ fleece Blankets.  Surrounding the image on the blanket,  is the  butterfly material I put on the back of the wall hanging.  The butterflies are a symbol of the freedom to step out of our usual way of thinking of and perceiving the world around us.

Blue Star Equiculture is selling the blankets for $52.  Pamela came to the price by adding the cost ($20) plus one dollar for every horse that lives at Blue Star.  The money will go to  supporting Working Horses everywhere and to Chief Arvol Looking Horse’s work with horses and restoring the bond between humans and horses.

So if you want to support the horses and spread the idea of their importance in our world  and have a cozy blanket to snuggle under this winter,  you can buy a Restore The Bond Blanket and read more about “restoring the bond” here.

Burning Bridges

November 14th, 2014
Burning Bridges

Burning Bridges

It was the last time I did some energy work with Mandy, that I kept seeing images in my head of bridges collapsing.  They were arched and ornate and they broke apart in the middle and fell into the water below them, or they silently exploded, flying into the air.  Half a black bridge came hurling towards me, like in a 3D movie, but before it got to me it turned into a white orb and floated by.

There’s no symbolism here, I thought afterwards, the message is clearly about “burning my bridges.”  As in the old saying “Don’t burn your bridges”.  But my visions weren’t scary.  It didn’t feel like a warning, but an affirmation like,  sometimes it’s good to burn your bridges.

There are these saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” and “One in the hand is worth two in the bush” and “Don’t burn your bridges”.   And while I’m sure there’s some wisdom to them, they’re all fear based. They’re basically saying be careful and don’t take any risks.  And although I don’t think of them a lot.  I realized they are there in the back of my mind, waiting for me to step out of myself, to break out of some old beliefs, so they can pounce.  Even if you’re not afraid now,  they are saying to me, you will regret it later.

But what if, instead of blindly listening to these old sayings that are rattling around in my head, I trust my own instincts instead.  What if I decide, like my visions seem to be saying, that there are some bridges that I want to burn.  What if there are some places and situations I don’t want to return to or some people I no longer want to be friends with.

I guess my epiphany  is not so much about a specific saying, but my idea that these sayings are absolute. Sometimes it’s good to be cautious, but sometimes the only way out is to burn the bridge behind you and run for your life.

The words to my wall hanging Burning Bridges  are:

Coming to a dream
I landed on a star
I burned some bridges
to get this far

Burning Bridges is  Sold for sale.  It’s $125 + $10 shipping. If you’re interested in it just email me at  I take checks and paypal.


Posted Sign in the Snow

November 14th, 2014

posted sign in snow

My Posted Sign in this mornings snow.

Autumn Oak Leaf Quilt

November 13th, 2014


Autumn Oak Leaf

Autumn Oak Leaf

It’s that color of some oak leaves.  Not red, almost pink, with some of that oak leaf brown.  This weekend I felt like hibernating.  It was cloudy and cold.  We had plans to go out both days, but decided to stay in, with a cup of tea and book, a cat on the couch, both wood stoves glowing. But those oak leaves, the softness of their color compared to the blazing oranges, yellows and reds, they speak of  gentle warmth and comfort.

My oak leaf inspirations

My oak leaf inspirations

At the beginning of the winter I decided I was going to try and experience the change in weather as if it were happening for the first.  Without the dread of dreary November and the expectations of being perpetually  cold and craving the sun.  Then I had a dream.  It was of a twig of a tree, about two feet tall.  On it were four oak leaves, representing the four directions. The leaves were velvety soft in texture and color and when I touched the one closest to me, pollen came spilling off it into my hand.

oak leaf dream

That’s what I was thinking about when I designed this quilt.   The other piece that I made with the drawing of the tree, called Hibernation,  which I wrote about earlier this week, will be the beginnings of another quilt.  I found that they didn’t actually work together, but are two separate pieces.

So my new quilt is called  Autumn Oak Leaf.   All the solid reds and tans are corduroy, making it warm in color and fabric.  The icy blues remind me of the cold winter air.  It has pieces of an old patchwork pillow sham in it and tea-stained Vintage Hankies.   Lots of the pattens on the materials I chose just happen to be leaves.

I’m waiting for some batting to come in the mail then I’ll back it and tack it.