Minnie and the Hen Having Breakfast Potholders

February 11th, 2016
Minnie and the Hen having breakfast

Minnie and the Hen having breakfast

Minnie has been dining with the hens ever since she came to Bedlam Farm.  At Old Bedlam Farm she used to sleep in the roosting boxes and when Winston the rooster was dying, she stayed by his side.  I’ve always thought that she thinks she’s a chicken.

Last week I put up a picture of  Minnie having breakfast with the hens.  Often when I scatter the left overs for the chickens Minnie is right there eating with them.  And our new Red Hen from the Gulleys Farm is always hanging around Minnie on the back porch.

When I first wrote the words, Minnie having breakfast with the hens, a picture other than the one I took came into my mind.  I saw Minnie and the hens sitting around a table eating together.   And I knew it wanted to be a potholder.

So today I got out my sketch pad and started making drawings  for the potholder.  Then I moved onto my sewing machine to see how what I had drawn would translate.

practice

The photo on the top of the page is what I finally came up with.  I did a few of them today and will make a few more tomorrow.  I don’t know how many I’ll make in total,  probably not more than 10 or so.  I  get tired of making them after a while.  And they are all a little different of course, since each is it’s own drawing.  After they’re sewn together, I’ll be selling them for $23 each + shipping.

I start each one by stitching Minnie first then come the hens then the table, chairs and the bowls are last.

The beginning of a potholder

The beginning of a potholder, I stitch Minnie first.

When My Art Goes Home

February 11th, 2016
Carrie's Intuition Doll

Carrie’s Intuition Doll

I get to know the people who buy my art mostly through email and the comments they leave on my blog and facebook.  And I send my work out all over the country and sometimes it even makes its way outside of the US.

So it always feels good when someone sends me a photo of one of my pieces in their home.

Carrie sent me a picture of one of my Intuition Dolls a while back.   I love seeing her dancing in the sunlight surrounded by plants.  The perfect environment.  I hope she’s doing her intuitive work for Carrie.

The potholder I made for James.

The potholder I made for Jim

It wasn’t too long ago that I got an email from Jim asking if he could buy one of my Frieda and Minnie Potholders.  I think it’s been a couple of years since I made one of them and I was ready to tell Jim that I don’t make them anymore.  But then I saw the photo of him and his dog Sugar Ray.  He told me their story and how much Jon’s book The Second Chance Dog,  about my dog Frieda, meant to him.    That got to me and I  made him the potholder above.  He  had a shadow box frame all ready when he received the potholder in the mail and sent me this photo soon after.   It still makes me smile thinking of it all.

 

Miss KItty

Miss Kitty, the mouse, Carols mousepad and my potholder.

And just two days ago Janet sent me this photo of Miss Kitty finding my Goddess Potholder as the perfect place to curl up.   It might have something to do with the computer mouse she’s got her eye on.   And I couldn’t help noticing that the mouse is on one of Carol Law Conklin’s mouse pads.   I  am a bit curious about what Miss Kitty does when Janet starts moving that mouse around.

Breakfast with Mom

February 10th, 2016

tree

I sat across the table from my  87 year old mother in the diner.  Two eggs, homefries,  a slice of cheese cake and  tea for me.  Coffee and four big fluffy pancakes swimming in syrup for her.  The waitress smiled at us sweetly.   I watched my mother try to cut her pancakes with a Parkinson’s hand that no longer works.  She won’t ask for help so I offer, sometimes she lets me, other times she wants to do it herself.

I tell her things about my life I know she wants to hear, leaving out so much of it there’s no way she could possibly know who I really am at this point in my life.  She doesn’t want to know.  I know there are a life time of things  about her I’ll never be able to grasp.

We are deeply different from each other.  And the truth is, sometimes, just being around her makes me anxious, makes me lose sight of the truth about myself.    It’s not intentional, she isn’t even aware of it, doesn’t want to know about it,  but she becomes a trigger.  Transporting me back to a place of shame,  worthlessness,  paranoia and  self doubt.

As I helped my mother get up from the table, the woman in the booth next to us watched and smiled.  A smile similar to the one people give babies.  “God bless you”  she said, as my mother took my arm and we walked past her.

It felt like a dream.  We walked in slow motion, the colors intense and bright, the woman’s big featured face filling my field of vision.  A mix of emotions rose up in me.  It was as if my subconscious was manifest in the real world.  Demanding that I pay attention.

I was annoyed.  Why was she blessing us?  I was only taking my mother out to breakfast.  And I didn’t even pay for it.   I was annoyed because I knew what she was thinking, what she was seeing.    I’m not taking care of my mother, I wanted to tell her.  My sister does that, my brother, her grandchildren, not me.    I only see her once in a while and for only a few hours at a time.   I don’t do half the things for her a good daughter does.  I don’t deserve your blessing.

She was my guilt.

I dropped my mother off at home.  We both said “I love you” to each other.   And I do love her.   We say the right things.  I do what I can.  Sometimes it’s good enough, it’s always at least a little  painful.  I’m still working on it.  Trying to own my feelings.  Knowing I’m not  really a bad person and I don’t have to feel guilty.  That there’s a reason I feel the way I do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waves Of Sheep

February 10th, 2016

fate and red

Fate ran right through the wire fence to our pasture, but Red waited for me.  Then… Away!

Lace Tree Snake Goddess

February 9th, 2016

Snake goddess and treeaa

I finished sewing on the tree branches today.  I’m not sure what else I’ll do with this piece.  I think it needs some kind of border and I was also thinking of something leaf like.   But I’m really not sure.  I need to give it some space.

Snake goddess and treea detail

Snake goddess and tree branches2

Fanny’s Bray

February 9th, 2016

 

Herding the sheep in the back pasture yesterday.  Today it's covered in snow.

Herding the sheep in the back pasture yesterday. Today it’s covered in snow.

Fanny was happy to see us after my walk in the back woods with Red and Fate yesterday.  The dogs ran through our un-electrified five wire fence to get back into our far pasture.  Then I told Red to get the sheep.  I couldn’t see Fanny, she was by the barn, but I sure heard her as she let out a bray that traveled across the field.

Public Bathrooms, Some Things I Noticed This Weekend

February 8th, 2016

 

Wall paper in the Stewart's bathroom

Wallpaper in the Stewart’s bathroom

I spent more time than usual driving long distances this weekend.  Along the way I found myself in different public bathrooms.   Thinking about recording some of the things I notice, I took some pictures.

Stewart’s is like the 7-11 of Upstate NY.  Except  you can usually depend on them for having clean bathrooms.  And their bathrooms actually have wall paper in them.   I couldn’t help noticing the graffiti on this one.  I think it says a lot about an area when the graffiti is about Border collies herding cows.

Sign in the bathroom on I-90 in Massachuttes

Sign in the women’s room on I-90 in Massachusetts

Really?! I thought looking at this sign behind the toilet in the women’s bathroom on the Mass Turnpike,  all those things that can’t be flushed.   Who would imagine the list could be so long.   And what’s up with the “GREASE”.  I mean who carries grease around and dumps it in the toilet at a rest stop.  The “HAIR” got me making up some pretty strange stories too.

Sign in a Chinese Restaurant

Sign in a Chinese Restaurant

Last is the  sign in the restroom of the Chinese Restaurant where we had lunch.  There were actually three or four signs in the bathroom, but this one was my favorite.  Theirs too I think, it was the only one that was framed.  Not only does it feel very personal to me, like they really mean it and really appreciate it.   But it’s in two, or is it three different languages.  There’s something aesthetically appealing to me about this one.

 

 

 

Snake Goddess in a Lace Tree

February 8th, 2016

Snake goddess and tree

Some materials I just find easy to work with.  I always be able to manipulate chicken wire easily.  It has just the right amount of resistance to keep its character and for me to be able to make it do what I want it to.  It was a material I used again and again when I first started making sculpture.

Now I’m  finding that capturing the texture, twists and flow of branches and roots with lace comes easy to me.  It’s as if the lace lends itself to having dimension, it doesn’t really want to lay flat.   It’s different from most fabric because of the dense areas and open spaces.  I have to work with them and sometimes they dictate what direction I take with the lace.

Today I got the roots and trunk sewn down, with the Snake Goddess tucked in side.  Now I’m continuing to work on the branches.

I have no idea what will come after the tree is done.  But that’s part of what keeps me interested in creating, not knowing what I’m working on will look like when I’m done.

Snake goddess and tree2

Good Monday Morning From Bedlam Farm 2/8/16

February 8th, 2016

I know I should be used to it by now, but each morning when I go outside I can’t help but remark on how spring-like it is for February.  The east coast is getting hit by another snow storm and we can still see the grass.  At least the ground is frozen today.   And the warm weather seems to have inspired Jon to do some entertaining this Monday morning.

Minnie having breakfast with the hens

Minnie having breakfast with the hens

Jon, Feather and the Light, at Blue Star Equiculture

February 7th, 2016
Jon and Feather

Jon and Feather

I always come back from our visits to Blue Star Equiculture  feeling better than when I got there. Even if I’m feeling really good to begin with.   I know Pamela would say it’s because of  the horses.  Just being in their presence, she says, will make us feel better.

Jon and I were walking to the far pasture to watch the horses and people practice for next weekend’s Sleigh Rally and Feather, one of the older horses on the other side of the fence, started following us.  We would stop and spend some time with her then when we started walking again she would follow us.  It was as if she was demanding our attention.  At one point I took a couple of photos of her and Jon.   They were talking  silently to each other as horses and humans often do.

It was a bright and sunny day, warm with blue skies so it’s very possible that the cloudy streak  going diagonally through Jon and Feather is the sun.  But I’ve never captured the sun in a photo that looks like this before.  And  of all the pictures I took today, it only occurred in these two.

Years ago, when I was working in an old Grange I took some photos with my digital camera.  I was just trying to get an overall picture of the interior of the building but when I looked at the photo I saw what looked like a white cloud hovering in the space.  I kept snapping photos and in each one, caught the cloud moving towards the wall and through it, till it was gone.

Later I showed the pictures to a writer who collected and documented ghost stories from the North East.   He told me it was ectoplasm, as casually as if he saw it everyday.  I was stunned, to him it was expected.

I don’t know what’s going on in these photos, but I know when I looked at them I got the same feeling as when I was in the old Grange.

Perhaps the communication between Jon and Feather is made visible.    But I also know that Jon was thinking about his friend Paul, Pamela’s husband who died last year.  On the way to Blue Star, he told me he wanted to go to the tree when Paul hanged himself.  To visit the tree and think of Paul.

Even if it is the sun light somehow reflected by my camera, it still seems  unusual that it appeared just at this moment.  Jon writes about and photographs the light all the time.  What better way to communicate with him whether you’re a person or a horse.

Jon and Feather

Jon and Feather