A Family Of Rats In Central Park

September 23rd, 2016

I bought a knish from a street vendor and made my way up 6th Avenue  to Central Park .  Jon was meeting with his editor from Simon and Schuster and  I had an hour and a half to myself.

I chose the park over MOMA because the line there was so long, by the time I got into the museum,  I’d only have thirty minutes or so to look at the art.  First I found a bathroom in the park, then a bench near a pond to sit on.  There was a log with turtles on it in the pond and as people walked by they stopped to look at them.

What they didn’t see was the family of rats scampering around the underbrush right in front of them.

I couldn’t stop watching them.   They’d run up the tall leafy stems, chasing away the birds who sat on the tips.  Then they’d circle around, chasing each other in and out of the holes at the edge of the black top path.   At one point a really big rat ran across the path and into one of the holes.

I thought how rats in a natural environment appear so different then when you see them in the subway or on the street.  And even worse if they’re in a restaurant or home.  But running up the tall plants and chasing each other in the grasses,  they were more like rabbits or squirrels.

Humans have a way of taking away  or messing with an animals environment, then, when they do their best to survive  under the new circumstances we demonize them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d put out a rat trap in my house in a minute if one decided to move in.  I guess that’s the advantage we have over them.  But they’re pretty hardy and don’t give up easy.  And I have to admire them for that.

Going To New York For The Day

September 22nd, 2016


Tomorrow Jon and I are going to New York.  I caught Jon’s cold, but I’m feeling good enough to take the train ride and either go to MOMA or walk around Central Park, maybe so some drawing, while Jon meets with his editor.  I was going to spend time with Jon’s daughter Emma and her new baby Robin, but since  I have a cold I don’t want to take the chance of passing it on to either of them.

Maybe we’ll all have lunch together, at this point our plans are fluid.

I imagine I’ll post a few pictures from our trip on facebook and instagram.  Otherwise, I plan to be back blogging on Sunday.

My Days and Nights Are Full

September 22nd, 2016
The sun shining through some fabric in my studio

The sun shining through some fabric in my studio

My days and nights  are filled with thinking about the Open House, organizing the delivery of work, writing about the weekend.   And getting my own work done.  I’m also preoccupied with the preparations for my trip to India.  Every day there’s something else to do, someone else to call or email.

I need to get a Typhoid Vaccination with a few others for my trip.  To get a Typhoid vaccination I have to go to the County Health Center, have an appointment with Dr Leach ( I squirmed at his being a man and his name).  “An hour”! I exclaimed to the very nice woman on the phone setting up my appointment.  How could  it take an hour for him to give me a vaccination.

It turns out he’ll go through my  trip Itinerary and tell me what the  specific health risks are  depending on where I’m going.  He’ll give me prescriptions for antibiotics to bring with me  in case I get sick.   Then send me off to the nurse down the hall for my typhoid shot.

I haven’t been to a doctor in such a long time I had to call my High School to get my childhood vaccination records  which Dr Leach needs.  Even on the answering machine, the Long Island accent was thick.  Did I used to talk like that?  I’ve been told  it still comes through sometimes when I’m excited or pissed off.

I haven’t been back to my High School since I graduated thirty four years ago.  And the only reason I remember the year I graduated  is because my friend Cindy  had the blue and white tassel with the cheap plastic, gold colored “82” on it, from her cap,  hanging from her rear view mirror.   When I think of her I see the tassel.

But, even though I’m so removed from the place I grew up,  when I called the school,  I saw  the rotary phone in the main office. The not so friendly secretary, who was all business.

I think it’s kind of amazing that they still had my vaccination records.  And  that they sent them to me within a few days.

Then, last night I woke up and started to spin awful stories in my head  about  spending over six hours in Dubai Airport from 7pm to 2am on a layover.   I’ve heard the airport is like a giant mall.  You can even buy a car there.  Still, when I wake up in the night, my mind often goes to dark places.

But Jon was awake too, so instead of continuing my stories, we looked at videos on his ipad of the Dubai Airport.  It was a fear of the unknown.  The stories in my head were soon replaced by the images on Jon’s Ipad and suddenly I was tired again.  Able to go back to sleep.

Little by little  it all gets done.  There’s always something else to think about, something else to worry about.   But not having to think about the money anymore,  not only makes the trip possible, but so much easier.   ( Thank you again to everyone who donated to my trip).

Ultimately,  for me, the excitement of everything that’s going on overshadows the concerns.  There’s so much I can’t  know until I actually experience it.  And  that’s what a trip like this is so much about.  Seeing, doing and learning things so out of my life experience I can’t even imagine them.



Some Good Things Going On In Our Town of Cambridge The Weekend of the Bedlam Farm Open House

September 21st, 2016
Some of my Bedlam Farm Tote Bags That I made for the Open House

Some of my Bedlam Farm Tote Bags That I made for the Open House

The Bedlam Farm Open House is only three weeks away.  (Columbus Day Weekend, October 8th and 9th)    I’ve been busy making potholders and Tote Bags and  arranging things with the other artists who will be showing their work in my School House Gallery that weekend.

We have lots going on at the Farm that weekend  and you can read all about it on my Events page.

But there are things going on outside the farm too.

In the our town of Cambridge The Valley Artisan’s Market will be having art demonstrations on Saturday and workshops on Sunday.  They include a birch bark flower workshop, and collage workshop.  There’ll also be painting, fabric and bird carving demos.  The Artisian’s Market sells art made by local artists.  And you can see Carol Conklin’s work there as well as in my School House Studio.  The Artisan’s Market  is right on Main Street  (In the Hubbard Hall Building) and will  be open 10-5 pm on Saturday and 10-3pm on Sunday.  For more info click here.

Battenkill Books will also be joining in the festivities with refreshments at the book store.

On Saturday night  at 7:30 pm there’s a play at  Hubbard Hall, the Old Opera House in town.  It’s the musical Peter and the Starcatcher and you can see more about it here.  

Hubbard Hall has a special deal for people coming to the Bedlam Farm Open House.  You can get your tickets for $20 by using the code “Katz” when you order your tickets.  And if there’s a group of ten or more people going, tickets are just $10 each.  There are also shows on Sunday at 2pm.  You can order tickets here or by calling 518 677-2495 ext 320. 

Also on Saturday night Lisa and Scott Carrino, owners of the Round House Cafe, are having a  pizza dinner at Pompanuck.  Pompanuck is just 15 minutes from Bedlam Farm.  It’s a beautiful location surrounded by hundreds of acres of state forest.  The dinner is to help Lisa and Scott raise money to buy the building their cafe is in.  Jon and I have Scott’s  delicious wood fired pizza  almost every Friday night for dinner.  I definitely recommend it.  I’ll have more information about the dinner as we get closer to the weekend.

If you have any questions you can email me at maria@fullmoonfiberart.com.





Wild Animal Potholders For Sale

September 21st, 2016
Wild Animal Potholders

Wild Animal Potholders

I’m on this potholder kick.  I can’t seem to stop making them.

Which is good, because I need them for the Bedlam Farm Open House, which is only three weeks away.  But it also means I have more than I need for the Open House.

So I thought I’d offer some for sale online for the people who won’t be  there.

I just finished sewing up my Wild Animal Potholders and so I thought I’d start with them.

I only have two potholders still available.  The Rhino and the Gazelle on the bottom right.

They’re $15 each + $5 shipping for 1-2 and $7 shipping for three or more.  (shipping to Canada is slightly higher) .

If you see any you like, just email me at here at maria@fullmoonfiberart.com.  I take checks and paypal.

Aloka, At The Women’s Interlink Foundation

September 20th, 2016
Aloka and some of the girls at Women"s Interlink Foundation

Aloka and some of the girls at Women”s Interlink Foundation

Aloka is the woman in the blue sari,  surrounded by girls in this photo.    She’s runs the Women’s Interlink Foundation and works with Dahn Gandell who I’m traveling to India with.

This is where I’ll be making potholders when I go to India.  I loved seeing the photo.  It gives me a sense of the people and place.

You can read more about the Women’s Interlink Foundation here.

India Becomes Real

September 20th, 2016


Until yesterday, my trip to India was still an abstract idea.  It didn’t seem quite real.  Even though I’ve collected over $10,000 through the generous support of so many readers, and have already paid for the trip  and my airline tickets, and have so many of the details taken care of, there was still something unreal about the whole thing.

What changed the way I was feeling about it was when I got a facebook message from Dahn Gandell, the minister who I’ll be traveling with.   She sent me a copy of a message from Aloka, who runs the Womens Interlink Foundation, where I’ll be teaching the girls there to make potholders.

Aloka wrote “Yes indeed, it will be a great advantage for the girls to learn pot holders.”   Then she said how the girls “love to do hand work and make creative items so they will enjoy a new skill which is marketable.”

When I read Aloka’s words, I could, for the first time, imagine me being there, working with the girls.  I think it has something to do with hearing that the girls would want to learn how to do what I love to do.   And that  it will benefit them monetarily  and help them on their journey to becoming independent.

It’s not just something that I want.  Because I do want it.  And I’m realizing it’s something I’ve always wanted.  To be able to share what I’ve learned and have it make a real difference in someone’s life.

Aloka wrote that is was kind of me to do this.  But it doesn’t feel like kindness to me.  It feels like a passion that’s been lying dormant in me for a long time.  And it’s just beginning to surface.  How could I not have known that I’ve always wanted this?  When what I feel inside me now is that I’m blessed to have this opportunity.

I know I can  touch people with my work through my blog, but I don’t want to do this from a distance.  I want to see it and smell it and touch it.   I want to feel it with my heart and with my hands.

And look into the eyes and faces of the people who want to learn from me, and free themselves from their own kind of bondage, as I freed myself from my own kind of bondage.

I guess I want this so badly that it feels  almost selfish to me.   But hearing from Aloka that what I know and will teach may help the girls earn a living and be independent, just as it did for me, makes practical sense.

So bringing my potholders to India is no longer just an  abstract idea of the heart.  It’s become a reality.  Just as it has become a reality in my own life.

Grazing in The Back Pasture At Bedlam Farm

September 20th, 2016

Chloe had some gas this morning, other wise it was pretty peaceful.

Good Monday Morning From Bedlam Farm 9/19/16

September 19th, 2016

Jon’s still not feeling well, so Red and Fate and I went out this morning to let the animals out to graze.  All that clanking you hear in the video is me trying to open the gate with one hand as I continuing filming.

Socks, one of our Border Leister’s, was limping badly for a few days.  So we confined her to the barn and gave her penicillian  for a three days.  Yesterday afternoon we let her out with the rest of the sheep again.  She seems all better, running this morning with the flock.

Jon’s Portrait Exhibit, Already A Success

September 18th, 2016
Jon and Kelly

Jon and Kelly, who Jon first started taking portraits of.

It just felt good.  Most of the people from Jon’s photos showed up at the Round House Cafe today for the Opening Reception of Jon’s Portrait Show.   Their families came too and our friends and people from the town.  Scott and Lisa filled the front table with food from the cafe.

Jon’s show is doing just what he meant it to do.  Bringing attention to people in the town and the importance of small town life and business.

It felt  good to witness it and be a part of.    Jon has a bad cold, and was sipping tea the whole time,  but that didn’t stop him from talking to everyone who came.

I  especially liked introducing the  people from the photos to each other.  Even if they didn’t know each other there was an immediate connection between them.  They now had something in common.

The place was buzzing with energy and chatter.  Everyone looking at the photos, talking about their favorites and why.

Some art receptions can be  quiet and somber.  But this had more the feeling of a community picnic.  People coming together with a common purpose.

Jon already sold two photos and yesterday there was an  article in our regional paper The Post Star about the show.  I’d say it’s already a success and it’s only just begun.

Red sat at the door of the Cafe greeting people and Mickey, one of the people in Jon's show sat on the curb across the street.

Red sat at the door of the Cafe greeting people and Mickey, one of the people in Jon’s show, sat on the curb across the street.