Archive for September, 2011

I Washed MySelf Clean with the Power of Love

Friday, September 30th, 2011

I had no intention of making another streaming pillow for the show.  I actually started a new quilt thinking I might get it done by next Saturday.   But apparently I have little discipline.  I woke up thinking “I washed myself clean with the power of love.”  I couldn’t resist.  It even got me out of bed before the sun came up.  I couldn’t wait to get to the studio and start sewing.

I knew it had to be pink.   I sat at my machine and the queen of hearts, roses and love flowed out of me.  I couldn’t believe I was stitching hearts.  And yet it felt nothing like the over-used, cliche symbol I had always seen it as.  Suddenly it had it’s original power and I understood it and was using it.

” I washed myself clean with the power of love/float me on rose petals/ truth and roses/ healing waters/ letting go and gifts of plenty”

Diane’s Latest Memory Box

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Diane Swanson finished her second Memory Box, Childhood Memories for the Functional Art Show.  The  combination of the expression of the  future through the computer parts,  with the traditional painting and swing, have a feeling of traveling through time and back again.  It seems a portal or time machine.  I imagine opening it up and placing a  piece of paper in it with a wish for the future or past then closing it and allowing it to work it’s magic.

Although she doesn’t mention it having any magical powers, Diane wrote about Childhood Memories on her blog “This piece gave me the opportunity to learn how to solder, since its design created construction obstacles that would inhibit the use of glue or screws.  I visualized this piece to emulate popsicle stick boxes to go with the context of childhood and memories in the painting; the mountains, lake, flowering ornamental cherry tree and attached swing made of a computer resister and copper wire are combined to provide the setting.  Each element is a single aesthetic memory that overlaps and combines with other meaningful visual memories.  My dreams often involve the jumbling of many memories together; this piece works a little like that.”

Nancy’s Mystical Beads

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Nancy Bariluk-Smith makes many different types of lampwork  jewelry, but her  single beads seem to possess a mystical force.  They appear to have evolved naturally like crystals or pearls.  Or sprung up over night like  mushrooms.  Each containing a universe of it’s own.   Today Mary Muncil wrote on her blog White Feather Farm about a bead that Nancy gave her for her birthday.   She talks about the love that went into  making of the piece.  What a difference it makes when a piece of art reflects the emotions of the artist. Without emotion, it’s just a pretty piece of glass, with emotion, it’s a work of art. 

Nancy is one of the nine artists in the Functional Art Show at the Pig Barn Gallery on Oct 8-9.

Rose’s New Job

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

You won’t usually find Rose posing with Jon’s notecards, but since the sheep are gone, she’s been looking for something to do.  And what better thing than to let everyone know that Jon’s notecards will be for sale at the Functional Art in a couple of weeks.  Of course, Jon will also be there with Simon and Lenore greeting everyone and signing his books.

Jon’s Going Home, Finding Peace When Pets Die book tour officially starts today and I’ll be going with him to Barnes and Noble in Saratoga Springs  to sign books,then to  Albany where he’ll be on WAMC’s Vox Pop at 2pm then to Barnes and Noble at Colonie Center for the first reading of the tour.

Next week he’ll be in the Midwest while I’m setting up the show in the Pig Barn.  These are just some of the cards that we’ll have at the show…

Chung-Ah Listens to the Clay

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Chung-Ah  Park is making new work for the Functional Art show, but these are some of the pieces she’s made in the past year.   Between her forms and glaze, Chung-Ah’s  work seems to have a feeling that is both contemporary and ancient at the same time.

The glaze on this piece is so visceral to me I have no other words for it. Chung-Ah says that she listens to the lump of clay in her hands and to herself and tries creates pieces that can speak to others.  You can meet the Chung-Ah and all the artists at the reception at the Pig Barn Gallery on Saturday October 8th from 1-3pm.

Jon will also be signing copies of his new book Going Home, Finding Peace when Pets Die, which can be purchased at Gardensworks (just 5 minutes from Bedlam Farm) or Battenkill Books in Cambridge NY.

Suzy’s Shawl

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

Suzy Fatzinger  sent me this photo of the shawl she made for the Functional Art show at the Pig Barn Galley. ( I love the photo as well as the shawl ).    This is the wool she used to make the shawl.   The periwinkle is the dyed wool ( called roving) before it was spun and the black is wool she had already spun.     She explained:

“The black that you can see in the yarn is kid mohair and baby alpaca.  The blue is mohair with merino wool blended in to give it a little loft.  Kid mohair is from the first shearing of the baby goat (normally referred to as “kids”).  The babies are born in the Spring and then sheared in the Fall.”  “This is an up close view to help you see the yarn, and the slight “halo” that you get from the mohair.   Mohair has sheen, a glossiness that you don’t regularly see in other fibers.  It shows up even when dyed.  It is more “hair like” than other wool fibers and has a drapey effect to it.  That’s why when I have my fiber processed, I will have wool added to give it some bounce and loft.  Alpaca can do the same.”

Suzy will be bringing her spinning wheel with her from Pennsylvania  to the Pig Barn Gallery  for the show.  She’ll be spinning and selling her hand knitted work, baby hats and shawls. 

Fertility and Abundance

Friday, September 23rd, 2011


My potholders and pillows on the steps of the Pig Barn Gallery

When I first thought of the idea for the Pig Barn Gallery I researched pigs to see what their  symbolic meaning was.

I know pigs have a bad reputation for being dirty and glutinous but I’ve heard many good things about them too.  They’re smart and make good pets (think of Arnold the pig from Green Acres)  and I’ve heard they don’t go quietly to the slaughter house which makes me think they may have some awareness about it.

What I first found was that in ancient cultures (Egyptian, Greek, Celtic, Chinese) the pig was a symbol for fertility and abundance.  I could have stopped there, but it seemed to good to be true, so I decided to look further.   I guess I found what I was looking for when I came across  some cultures and religions who saw the pig less favorably (ignorance, laziness, unclean).  I saw the completing symbols as  a choice and  decided to believe in the more positive view of pigs.  It is my gallery after all.

So fertility and abundance it is.   How perfect for a creative venture such as an art gallery.  When I bless the barn for the Functional Art show I’ll call on the spirit  of  Pig, bringing fertility (in what ever form it takes) and abundance to all who visit the gallery.

Izzy is abundant in Love

(I often forget to credit Jon with the photo’s he takes and I hear about it for days.  So, both these photo’s are Jon’s and beautiful they are and grateful I am.)


Win a Quilt

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Black Lab Star Quilt 68"x68"

The Functional Art Show is just a few weeks away.  The artists are making arrangements to drop off their work and I’m finishing up the pieces I’ll be putting in the show.

Gretchen Pinkel designed and created a quilt for the show called  “Black Lab Star Quilt”.  Instead of selling it we’ll be raffling it off.   The money from the raffle will benefit LABMED a non profit organization which helps provide funds toward the medical expenses of Labradors  that have been rescued.

Gretchen is Lenore’s breeder and feels that donating to LABMED is a way for her to give back to the breed she loves so much.

The raffle tickets are $5 each or 6 or $25.  You can buy tickets at the show or you can send a check or money order (No Cash Please)  made out to LABMED , along with your name address, email and phone # to:

Gretchen Pinkel
284 Coach Road
Argyle NY  12809

We’ll randomly pick the winner from a “hat”  at the Functional Art show  in the Pig Barn Galley on Sunday Oct 9th at 3pm.

The Long Man Offers Hidden Gifts

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

I made this streaming piece about a month ago after dreaming of the long thin white man.    The dream was scary and the  man creepy.  But when I talked about the dream with  Mary Muncil, I came to see what my subconscious was trying to tell me and the dream and the man were no longer scary. Now when I look at this piece I no longer think of the dream or it’s meaning (which I can’t even remember).    I think instead  of what dreams have to offer and that sometimes they are scary to get my attention.  To awaken me to something in my life that isn’t quite right so I can deal with it. I haven’t been visited by the long thin white man again so I guess I got his message.  But even if he came back I don’t think he’d be scary.  I seem to have transformed him into a giver of gifts.


Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I did some sketches of the chickens.  It just seemed like they would be fun to draw.  I thought I might use them in my work, maybe potholders, but I haven’t had the urge yet.
Today our chicken Alice was killed by a hawk.  I was sad, but I’d rather have chickens roam the farm and risk the dangers than keep them in a coop.

This evening, when I went to check on Winston (the rooster) and Meg (the hen) there was a third chicken in the barn.  She was red like Meg but scrawny with a few missing feathers .  Jon had gone to Gardenworks and surprised me by bringing home another chicken.  We named her Fran, after my sister.  Jon thought it was a good chicken name and I figured the chicken would  have no choice but to grow into it.  Tonight the three of them were sitting on the roost.  Winston and Meg huddled together and Fran a bit away from them.  It may take a day or two, but soon Meg and Fran will be clucking together and  scratching around for bugs while Winston follows them around strutting and crowing .