More Potholders For Sale In My Etsy Shop

September 19th, 2018

1950’s Kitchen Potholders for sale in my Etsy Shop.

These potholders were inspired by a small piece of fabric that Karen Heenan sent me a few years ago.  It’s  a  reproduction of a fabric from the 1950’s.  The red  flannel with the the stars on it came from a pair of home-made pajama’s that someone gave me years ago too.  All those years they were sitting on my shelf, destined to be together and now they are.

Cat and Mouse Potholders for sale in my Etsy Shop.  The Cat and mouse fabric is probably from the 1970’s.

I’ve been making potholders like crazy.  Just today I sewed these ten together and put them in my Etsy Shop for sale.  Many of the others I’ve been making I’ll save for the Bedlam Farm Open House, which is just a few weeks away.

Hedgehog Potholders

All these potholders are $17 each + shipping.  I do have some more Hedgehog fabric, but I don’t have anymore of all the others.

To read more about them and buy them click here.  Or click on the big orange Etsy Icon on the top of my blog.

Boy and Elephant. Made from a Vintage Hankie.

Susan and Her Flying Vulva Pillow

September 19th, 2018

Susan and her Flying Vulva Pillow

Susan and I have become friends over the past couple of years.  And just a month or so ago, she moved Upstate and is now our neighbor.

I was helping Susan hang the art in her house when she first moved in and I saw the pretty nice sized collection she had of my work.  I knew she bought some pieces from me, but seeing some of my older work,  reminded me of how long I actually knew her, even if not in person.

I told Susan she had enough of my work and couldn’t buy anymore.  (Since I was helping her hang the art she already owned, I could see she had little space left in her new house for art.  I was being a bossy curator.)

Yesterday when I put my Flying Vulva Pillow up for sale in my Etsy Shop, Susan sent me a text message saying “…that pillow is going to be so happy on my couch”.

I texted back that if she put another pillow on her couch there would be no room left to sit.  (She has one of my pillows and two of Carol Law Conklin’s pillows, which do look perfect on her couch.)

But I was too late, Susan had already bought the pillow.  She told me that the Flying Vulva has a lot of meaning for her, especially at this point in her life.

I gave in and thanked her.

Last night I delivered the pillow to Susan.  I have to say her smile on seeing it was enough to make me believe it was meant for her.

She hugged the pillow and I took a picture.  The pillow was upside down, but it’s the smile on Susan’s face I was really after anyway.

Kim’s Needle Punch Rugs at The Bedlam Farm Open House

September 19th, 2018

Kim McMillan has some new Needle Punch rugs for the Bedlam Farm Open House.

Last year she made two pillows and this year she has three pieces that can be used as rugs (they are very durable and can be washed) or wall hangings.  Each one is an original design that comes directly from Kim’s life and her love of animals and nature.

The shop where Kim took lessons on Needle Punch Rug liked her work so much they asked her to work for them making rugs.  But Kim prefers to make her own designs.

Usually Kim helps me in my gallery, so you probably remember seeing her there.  But this year, Carol Gulley is going to be helping out along with reading some of her and Ed’s poems at the poetry readings which will be around 2pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Kim will have three pieces for sale in my School House Gallery.  The Bluebird below is one of them.

For more information on the Bedlam Farm Open House click here. 

Bluebird 16×22, by Kim McMillan  $150


Flying Vulva Pillow

September 18th, 2018

Flying Vulva Pillow for  Sale in my Etsy Shop.  $85 + $10 shipping.  is Sold.

This vintage hankie has been whispering to me since I got it, that it wanted something special drawn in its center.

When I came up with my Flying Vulva image I knew it would work perfectly on the many vintage hand embroidered hankies and doilies that people had sent me.

I feel a connection to the hankies and doilies and the women who made them so long ago.

My image of the Flying Vulva speaks to the constraints that society put on women at the time they were embroidering hankies and crocheting doilies. Sometimes the only creative outlet available to some women.

I often think that I could have been one of those women, looking for an outlet for my creativity.

I’m grateful for the freedom I have to create and I feel like working with these vintage materials pays homage to the creative women who came before me.

I stitched the Flying Vulva on this pillow using my sewing machine.  I used some regular thread and some metallic thread.  The border fabric comes from quilt designer,  Kenna Ogg and the corduroy is from a pair of women’s pants that I got in a thrift store.

My Flying Vulva Pillow is 19″ x 22″ and is $85 + $10 shipping Sold.  It’s for sale in my Etsy Shop.  You can get there by clicking here or by clicking on the big orange Etsy icon on the top of my blog. 


Making A Flying Vulva Pillow, Keeping an Idea Alive

September 18th, 2018

The Last Harvest, My Three Sisters Garden

September 18th, 2018

Beans climbing up a corn stalk in my Three Sister’s Garden

In the three years that I’ve planted a Three Sister’s Garden, I haven’t been able to get the corn to grow into anything that tastes good enough for us to eat.

This year the bean did climb up the corn stalks and are still producing.

We had so much rain, and everything grew and grew before I had a chance to do any weeding.  I got a few small watermelons, some zucchini, and squash and beets.  I also had basil though out the summer and dill and cilantro.  The tomato plants took over, mostly cherry tomatoes, which I’m still picking.

Every year I make the garden a little different.  Next year I think I’ll plant even more corn and see if that works.  The morning glories love the fence so I’ll plant them again.  I’ll cut down on the tomato plants and leave out the melon for squash.

Latest harvest

I cleaned out most of the garden over the weekend, picking everything I could and feeding the corn and other plants and weeds to the donkeys and sheep.  They enjoyed all that we didn’t.


What We See

September 18th, 2018

Jon taking a picture in the garden

It was a few days ago, that I looked out the living room window and saw Jon taking pictures in the back porch garden.  As usual, I didn’t know exactly what he was taking a picture of, what he was seeing that I wasn’t.

It was only when he came in the house and showed me the photo of the blue flower pot in the birdbath, that I knew he had gotten a picture he would use on his blog post October Light .

The photo Jon was taking when I took the above photo of him.

Dinner At Ali’s

September 17th, 2018


Some of night’s potholders

I watched Ali stir two heaping teaspoons of sugar into the tiny demitasse cup of coffee.  I haven’t had a cup of coffee in over ten years.  I  drink only decaffeinated tea without sugar.

Kids and adults filled the two front rooms in Ali’s house.  We sat on sofa’s, chairs and the floor.  Three or four different languages were being spoken.   The table at the end of the room wasn’t big enough to hold all the food.

Ali, who coaches the soccer team of refugee kids that Jon and the Army of Good support, invited us to dinner at his house.  His mother cooked trays of Sudanese food for us, the rest of Ali’s family and the families of a few of the kids on the soccer team.

I felt like I was back in India, at Soma’s house.  It had the same welcoming feeling.  There, we were surrounded by the women who worked at House of Hearts and their children.  Everyone finding a spot on the floor or couch, talking and eating all the delicious home made Indian food.

As when I was in India, I was determined to try every kind of food Ali’s mother offered and I did.

There was grilled lamb chops, Chicken Briyani, rice,  eggplant with some kind of meat, stuffed grape leaves, dough balls stuffed with more meat, fried chicken, chicken soup, two whole trout, salad and all with it’s own unique flavor.

I never imagined the coffee would actually taste good.  But it was like the most delicious dessert.  I sipped it slowly, holding the tiny cup delicately with two fingers.

Ali’s sister learned English mostly at her job working at a Albany Medical Center.  We talked about Belly dancing and she showed me a video of her friend who was recently married.  In Sudan, a woman learns to bellydance before her wedding.  She dances for her husband at the wedding, but only other women and her husband are allowed to see her.

Ali’s mother, who speaks little English, invited me and Jon to come to the party that they’ll have before Ali is married next year.  Using more gestures than words, she asked me if I liked to paint my hands with henna.  I smiled and nodded my head vigorously at the idea of going to the  party to celebrate Ali’s wedding, where women dance together and paint their hands with henna.

We were only an hour away from home, but for a little while it felt like we were in another country.  In those two room were people of four different religions, that often have not gotten along, from four different countries.

But then, that’s really  what America is about, isn’t it?

I was warmed by the experience, how different the people in Ail’s house were from me and how much the same.

Once we got home I put the tray of food Ali and his mother gave us in the fridge and Jon and I watched a an hour and a half long British Murder Mystery.  Usually I’d fall asleep in the first ten minutes, but at 12:30 I was wide awake and couldn’t stop talking.

Jon, whose eyes were closing, while I spoke suggested I go to my studio.  It was a brilliant idea.  I designed ten potholders and at 3:30am I looked at the fabric on my desk and the caffeine high was gone. I woke up Fate, who was sleeping in my studio and we went back to the house and back to bed.

(You can see pictures of our dinner at Ali’s house, here, on Jon’s Blog.)



Through The Spiders Web

September 17th, 2018

Maybe the warm weather  brought out the insects which have brought out the spiders.  Whatever the reason, it’s a good year for spiders.

Every window in my studio is filled with webs.

I can’t get rid of them, because the spiders all have egg sacks and those hundreds of babies taking off in their parachutes.   Yesterday, for the first time, I saw spider webs filling the spaces between the electrical lines on Route 22.  The webs were touching making one long continuous barricade no insect could breach.

Good Monday Morning From Bedlam Farm 9/17/18

September 17th, 2018