“History” A New Page On My Website

May 1st, 2015
Frieda in my Studio Barn

The photo from my first Full Moon Fiber Art blog post in April 2010

Jon and I are going to Iowa tomorrow,  as part of his Saving Simon Book Tour.  I’m leaving my computer home, so I won’t be blogging again till next Thursday.  But, if you’re interested, I have this new page on my blog.  It’s called History and if you click on it you can see a relatively quick history of my work and life as I wrote about it on my blog.

When Chris at  Mannix, the company who designed and hosts my website, suggested  this  new page I liked the idea.   But I didn’t like the thought of going through all my past blog posts.  I don’t like looking back.  So I decided to think of it as if I were curating an exhibit.  I’d start at the beginning, got through all my posts up to the ever-changing present, pick some out, then edit it down.

Good idea, but it’s taking longer than I thought it would, and if I waited till I was caught up to tell anyone about it, well, I might never end up mentioning it at all.  So, incomplete as it is, (only through December 2011) I’d like to let you know about this new page on my blog.  You can get to it by clicking on the word History on the blue banner between Events and Bedlam Farm, just below and  to the right of the cat on the books.

Now I didn’t read every blog post  ( I mostly looked at the pictures as I tend to do if there are pictures) but I was curious to see how I wrote about Jon and me getting married.  And I have to say, I was surprised.  It was short, really short and it didn’t even have a picture of us or anything to do with getting married.  It was just the facts really, and not many of them.  It’s like I’m holding up my hand and saying ” I don’t want to talk about this, but I feel  obligated mention it.”  I can’t imagine doing that now.  Now I actually love writing about my work and my life.

So I guess what I’m saying is that, going back, no matter how much I don’t like to do it, made be see how much I’ve changed.  And that’s  good, because I like the changes I did see.

Anyway, I will get this up to date soon, especially now that I’ve put it out there.  And if you’re interested, check it out and let me know what you think.

 

“An Ongoing Conversation”

May 1st, 2015
One of my Tree Potholders in Donna's home.

One of my Tree Potholders in Donna’s home.

There’s nothing more satisfying to me than sending out one of my pieces of art into the world and knowing its in a place where its loved.  When I get an email from someone, saying the just received a potholder or wall hanging in the mail and they’re glad to have it, I sit at my computer with a big smile on my face.  It’s a different kind of happy then when I finish a piece and like the way it came out, it’s more like an exhale. Like another part of my life has fallen into place.

When I put a piece of my art in the mail and send it off to its new home, I let go of it completely.  But when someone sends me a picture of it, in its new home, it makes the whole process more real.  There’s that piece of art I created in my studio, in someone’s home on the other side of the country, or maybe a few towns away, but it’s living out it’s life.

Marlene in the UK sent me an email saying my work is “more than fabric and thread. It has a voice and has wonderful ongoing conversations with the people lucky enough to own a piece of it.”   What a wonderful way of thinking of it.  That it’s not static, but an ongoing conversation.  If it’s true, that would keep me smiling for a long time.

My wall hanging, "Piper in the Wind" in it's new home with Maureen (and her dog).

My wall hanging, “Piper in the Wind” in it’s new home with Maureen (and her dog).

 

Some More Bedlam Farm Roving For Sale

April 30th, 2015
Socks, Deb and Pumpkins roving bumps

Socks, Deb and Pumpkins roving bumps

Socks’ wool is a rich deep brown and her lamb Pumpkin’s wool is a soft brown.  Then there’s Deb, Ma’s lamb, with her creamy white wool.  I still have some of their roving available.

For those of you who don’t know, roving is cleaned wool before it’s spun into yarn.  It’s used by hand spinners, felters and even people who hook rugs.

This is what I have:

2 bumps from Socks

2 bumps from Pumpkin

1  bump from Deb

The bumps are all 8oz and they are $25 each + shipping.

If you could use some Bedlam Farm Roving, just email me here at maria@fullmoonfiberart.com.  I take checks and paypal.

 

 

Carol Law Conklin’s Batiks at the Bedlam Farm Open House

April 29th, 2015
Carol with her "Last Unicorn" Batik.

Carol with her “Last Unicorn” Batik  (and her studio cat looking on)

I walked from room to room in Carol’s old farm house as she showed me her work.  Her art was everywhere, hanging on walls, stored in boxes, framed and unframed, upstairs and down, in her car and on her porch.  She has large original batiks that she sells for $1000 and small prints that she sells for $30.  She has scarves and trivets and cards and mouse pads and pillows.  Some of her work is framed and some of it hangs loosely from decorative wooded dowels.  Carol is going to be in three different exhibits before she shows her work in the June Bedlam Farm Open House.  I was fortunate enough to get to see it all before the other shows began.

It was the first time I met Carol, we had only “talked” on facebook. But I had seen pictures of her work and from the way she presented it and wrote about it, I knew she was a professional.  And then I found out she lived only a few towns away from me and I knew having her art in the Open House was going to work out.

Carol and her husband Dick have been Dairy Farmers most of their lives.  When they sold the farm a few years ago, Carol went back to doing what she went to school for, Art.  And specifically, batik.  That was in the 1970’s and she told me that all the time she was farming, she was gathering the images that she now uses in her art.  That might be one reason she’s so prolific,  she has a head and heart full of creative ideas that are finally being released into the world.  Lucky for us.

Carol’s Batiks are paintings really.  She paints with wax and pigment.  From what she told me, the process is a constant flow.  She only has so much control over the hot wax that she drips and brushes on the fabric. I didn’t get to see her work, but from how she described it, it seemed like a dance.  She starts with an idea, maybe just one image that she sketch’s on a piece of paper, but works free hand on the fabric.  Then she lets the piece evolve as she works on it.   So it’s a somewhat spontaneous process.   You can see the motion in her images, they are full of life.

We also talked about patterns in nature and her desire to depict  what goes on under the ground, as well as on the earth and in the sky.  Based in nature, her work  has a mystical quality to it.   It’s filled with her love of the natural world and animals.

So I’m thrilled, not only be selling and showing Carol’s work in my School House Gallery in June, but I’m also  excited that she my neighbor.  We’re already finding out that we have a lot in common, a good beginning for a friendship.

Click here to see more of Carol’s work on her website Amity Farm Batik.

Carol's scarves

Carol’s scarves

Carol with her cow Steppin

Carol, with her cow Steppin,  surrounded by her inspiration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheep, Yarn, Mittens

April 29th, 2015
Candy's Mittens (1)

Mittens that Candy made from Tess’ wool

Candy sent me this photo of a pair of mittens she knitted for herself using my sheep Tess’ wool.  She added the blue Alpaca wool from Haven Hill Alpaca’s to make a really lovely combination.  Candy just bought some of Suzy’s and Zelda’s wool from me.  I’m not sure what she’s going to make, but I do hope she’ll send a photo when she’s finished.  It’s still a thrill for me to see how the wool goes from sheep to yarn to mitten, hat, scarf or sweater.

Bags of Wool and Boxes of Bumps

April 28th, 2015

 

Red in my "office"

Red in my “office” yesterday

Bags of wool and boxes of bumps.  That’s what I’ve been dealing with since yesterday.  I sat down at the desk in my office, aka guest room,  at 9am and with only a few breaks to feed myself and the animals and run to the post office, I was still there at 9pm.  And what fun it’s been.

I put the  Bedlam Farm yarn and roving up for sale on my blog Sunday night.    It was a double batch, a spring and fall shearing and I had about 95 skeins of wool and about 20 bumps for sale.  I still have 5 bumps from Deb, Pumpkin and Socks but the rest of it is sold.  I’m in a bit of shock that it all went so quickly.

And I’ve got a pretty good system for sorting it out and getting it in the mail. It’s amazing what you can do with a computer, a printer, a  dymo label maker and some padded envelopes and boxes.   Good thing I have all that room on the guest bed to spread things out.  And I had Red to keep me company.  A rare thing for sure.  Jon was away all day at Joshua’s hearing so Red stayed home with me.  He laid on his bed for hours never complaining.  As a treat at feeding time, I opened the back gate and let him herd the sheep into the back pasture.  I think we both had a good day.

Skirting the wool last fall was so difficult because of all the burdock and seeds caught in it, I was thinking it might not be worth having the wool made into yarn.  But now I can see there is such a demand for it.  It make me appreciate the sheep and my life with them all the more.

I was surprised by the changes in the wool.  Suzy’s was such a beautiful gray and Socks was a deep rich brown.  The difference in the colors since the last shearing was remarkable.  For some reason I hadn’t expected them to change from year to year.  But Deb from the Vermont Fiber Mill wasn’t surprised.  She said they can change in color, length and softness.

Okay, I have some more orders to fill and some more bags and boxes to pack.  I’m hoping to get back in my studio tomorrow, but I have to say, it’s been an exciting couple of days.

The sheep grazing

The sheep grazing, all their wool in boxes and bags.

Bedlam Farm Roving and Yarn For Sale

April 27th, 2015
Socks, Liam, Pumpkin and Deb

Socks, Liam, Pumpkin and Deb Roving.  I have roving from Kim too.

I got my Roving prices figured out.  And I also have a new list of the yarn I still have available.  So If you’re interested in any, just let me know.  You can email me here at maria@fullmoonfiberart.com. Please let me know whose roving or yarn you’d like and how many.  Also let me know if you’d like to send a check or use paypal.

Okay, here’s what I have:

Roving …..
Kim (a white Karakel)
3- 10oz bumps for $30 each Sold

Socks (a dark brown Border Leicester)
3- 8oz bumps  for $25 each
1- 3.30z bump for $9  Sold
 Pumpkin (Sock’s lamb, a dark brown,  Border Leicester/Cheviot mix)
1- 8oz bumps  for $25 each

Liam (Suzy’s lamb, a white Border Leicester/Cheviot mix)
1- 8oz bumps for $25 each   sold
1- 5.2 oz bump for $15     sold

Deb (Ma’s lamb a white Border Leicester/Cheviot mix)
1- 8oz bumps for $25 each

Ma, Suzy, Socks

Ma, Suzy, Socks

I still have wool available too. I’m Sold Out of Wool .    Here’s what I have (the prices don’t include shipping which depends on how many you buy):

Kim  (white Karakel)
1- 185 yard skein, 3 ply DK                  $21  Sold

Ma (Brown Border Leicester mix)
1- 200 yard skein, 3 ply worsted         $23 Sold
1- 130 yard skein, 3 ply worsted          $16 Sold

Socks (Dark Brown Border Leicester)
1- 200 yard skeins, 3 ply worsted       $23 each 
1- 180 yard skein, 3 ply worsted          $20 Sold

Zelda (white Cheviot)
2- 200 yard skeins of 3 ply DK            $23 each  Sold

Suzy (grey Border Leicester)
6 – 200 yard skeins of 3 ply DK          $23 each

Ted ( white Cheviot)
1- 200 yard skeins of 3 ply Worsted   $23 each
1- 130 yard skein of 3 ply Worsted      $16

Zelda, Kim, Ted

Zelda, Kim, Ted

 

Bedlam Farm Wool For Sale

April 26th, 2015
Ma, Suzy and Socks

Ma, Suzy and Socks’ yarn.  (Photo by Jon)

I picked up my wool today from Vermont Fiber Mill at Maple View Farm.  It’s from last years Spring and Fall shearing, so I have a double batch. And last years wool tells the story of my sheep.  Those who were born, those who are no longer with us.  And how the fall wool was full of seeds and burdock.   I spent hours skirting Ma, Deb and Liam’s wool.  It was loaded with velcro-like seeds.    Deb from the Mill said she got some other wool that also had lots of seeds in it.  She thought maybe it was a good year for burdock.  ( so if you get any of their wool or roving you may find a small piece of bedlam farm plant life in it, straight from the pasture)

I have the last of Ma’s wool and the one an only batch of Ted’s wool.  If you don’t remember, Ted was the Ram we brought to the farm for lambing.  He’s a white Cheviot and the father to our lambs.   I didn’t get any yarn from the lambs, it wasn’t long enough, but I have roving from them. ( Roving is cleaned wool not yet spun into yarn.  It’s used by hand spinners, rug hookers, and felters).  Suzy’s wool is a different color from last year.  It’s a soft gray and really beautiful I think.  And it seems to me that Sock’s wool is richer,  darker brown than usual.  It’s our first batch of Kim’s wool.  She’s a Karkal (often compared in looks to the puppet Lambchop) and her white wool has a buttery look.  Different from the creamy color of Zelda and Ted’s.

Zelda, Kim and Ted's wool

Zelda, Kim and Ted’s wool

Here’s what I have for sale:

Ma’s yarn  3 ply worsted – 10 skiens
Ma’s yarn  3 ply DK  –  8 skeins
Border Leicester Mix

Socks’ yarn  3 ply worsted  – 8 skeins
Border Leicester

Suzy’s yarn  3 ply DK  – 27 skeins
Border Leicester

Ted’s yarn   3ply worsted  – 11 skeins
Cheviot

Zelda’s yarn  3 ply DK    – 18 skiens
Cheviot

Kim’s yarn    3ply DK   – 5 skiens
Karakel

Each skein of yarn is 200 yards  and they are $23 each + shipping, which depends on the amount you buy.  If you’re interested in any yarn, just email me here at maria@fullmoonfiberart.com.  Let me know whose yarn you would like and how many skeins.  Please also let me know if you’d like to send a check or if you’d like to use paypal.

I also have roving for sale. But I’m still figuring our the pricing  so I’ll post that information tomorrow.  But here’s a picture of the roving from Socks, Liam, Pumpkin and Deb.

Socks, Liam, Pumpkin and Deb

Socks, Liam, Pumpkin and Deb

 

“Standing People” Some Tree Potholders Sold Out

April 24th, 2015
You Are Beautiful

I Am  Beautiful Sold

I wasn’t planning on making this tree look like a very confident woman, but that’s just what I saw when I finished it.  Can you see it in her posture? She’s saying,  Here I am and I am beautiful.

Janet wrote to me and said some Native American tribes called trees Standing People.  That’s just how I see trees.  And I think it shows in my Tree Potholders.

Yesterday, Kim finished assembling my Tree Potholders and I have a few for sale.  Sold Out. They are stitched on tea-stained Vintage Hankies and are $23 each + $5 shipping for 1-2 and $7 shipping for 3 or more.( shipping is a bit more outside the US)   If you recognize one of these Standing People and would like to have them in your home, just email me here at maria@fullmoonfiberart.com.

Here’s the rest of my Tree Potholders….

Lovers

Lovers SOLD

You know how sometimes two trees will grow so close to each other they start to grow into each other.  When I see this in the woods, I always think of them as lovers.

Wise Old Tree

Wise Old Tree Sold

In the book, Ancient Trees by Beth Moon, she has may photos of big old oaks with giant trunks and tiny leaves. They’re a bit misshapen by  their life experiences and many of them are hollow.  All the living is in the bark and a thick layer of trunk beneath it.  But, often, the center of the tree creates a cavern big enough for people to walk into.  Looking at them, I know they have something to teach us.

Twin Tree

Giving Trees Sold

Trees are so alive in so many ways.  From what happens inside of them that we don’t see, to the evidence of life in the leaves and growth that happens every year.  But there’s also all the creatures who live in them and the food and oxygen they give to us.

Dancing Trees

Dancing Trees SOLD

Those trees that grow so close to each other sometimes, but are not yet connected, often make a kind of music when the wind blows.  When they rub up against each other, I always stop to listen, to see which trees are singing.  And if they’re singing, they’re dancing too, every time the wind blows.

 

Off With The Wool Coats, Shearing Day

April 23rd, 2015
Jim and Tom shearing Liam and Zelda

Jim and Tom shearing Liam and Zelda

Jim and Tom chose the most difficult sheep first, Liam and Zelda.  But they both settled down pretty quickly once they were on their backs.  I heard Liam, who is usually very quiet,  baa for his mother, Suzy, when she  was being shorn.

I had my labeled plastic bags ready and scooped up the wool as it came off of them.  Trying to keep it as clean as possible.

Tom trimming Kim's feet

Tom trimming Kim’s feet

I think Kim’s been spending time on the manure pile, because the wool under her was really dirty.  But because they were shorn in the fall, there were few brambles for them to get caught in their wool.  And because of the snow,  they couldn’t roam all winter so their wool is mostly free of seeds and burdock.

Deb with Socks and Pumpkin

Deb with Socks and Pumpkin

As difficult as Zelda and Liam are, Deb was even worse.  She gave Jim the run around when he tried to catch her  and was leaping across the Pole Barn.  Making noise the whole time.

Socks with Kim and Zelda sniffing each other.

Socks with Kim and Zelda sniffing each other.

Socks was the last to get shorn.   Behind her, Kim and Zelda are sniffing each other.  Often, after they’re lose their woo,l they don’t recognize each other. So they do a lot of sniffing to get reaquainted.

Red keeping order

Red keeping order

Of course, Red was there to keep the sheep together.

Deb,

That’s Zelda, Suzy, Deb, Lulu and Socks up front.

Deb was the first one out of the pole barn, standing on a rock trying to make herself look bigger.  They were all happy to be outside again and have some hay.

I’ll be cleaning their wool over the next few days and hopefully get it to the mill next week.  Last year’s wool is ready too, so I’ll pick that up.  It’s two batches, one from spring and one from the fall, so I’ll have a lot of yarn and roving to sell.  .  I do have a list of people who have made special requests for certain sheep’s wool.  Once I  figure it all out, I’ll let you all know what I have available for sale.