Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Tour of My School House Gallery For the Bedlam Farm Open House

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

For everyone who isn’t  at the Bedlam Farm Open House and would like to see the exhibit of the art in my gallery,  here’s a video.  Thanks and Enjoy!

Atomic Waste

Friday, June 24th, 2016


I was shaking the bed with my sobs.  It was the kind of crying where I  need lots of tissues to soak up the tears and snot or it will just gush down my face.   The birds were just starting to sing, the sky getting light.  It was 4 a.m. and  I just finished reading The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J Church.

It’s the story of my life.  Not in detail (although somehow, strangely, sometimes in exact detail  “at some point Alden said he was done having sex, as if he were above it all”…”I wanted to be wanted. Desired“) but in essence.

I was crying for the wasted part of my life.

The novel takes place in my mother’s generation.   I grew up in the early 70’s, yet somehow with all the changes that  took place between World War II and the Vietnam War, I still lived the life of someone caught in the social confines of my mother’s world.

Like so many women before me,  I  lost my identity, giving up what I wanted for my life, to accommodate what my ex-husband wanted for himself and of me.   I remember being acutely aware that I didn’t want to live my mother’s life.

And I did so many things to avoid what I saw as a trap, including not having children.

But it wasn’t until I was in my forties, that I was able to see that even thought my life looked very different from the outside, on the inside, it was scarily similar to my mothers. Lonely and unfulfilled for so many years,  I finally woke up and was able to find and realize the love and work that I craved.

The Atomic Weight of Love tells the story of Meridian Wallace, who gives up her passion to be an ornithologist  to follow her husband to Los Alamos, where he helps develop the Atomic Bomb.  By the end of the book, her potential never fulfilled, she starts a mentoring program called Wingspan for girls.  To help them do what she was never able to.

If this is how my life ends, I thought, mine would be a worthwhile life.

I straddled Jon’s sleeping body to get more tissues from his night table.  I blew my nose again and through his sleep he mumbled,  “I have my own goose.”

(Growing up in the suburbs Canada Geese were the only obvious wildlife to mark the change of seasons.  They would nest in the small strips of grass on the sides of the highways, and I would slow down to watch their dinosaur-like babies in the spring.  Then I’d feel the loneliness of their honking as they flew south in the fall.)

Skin on skin, I honked away and told Jon if I didn’t blow my nose we would both drown in my snot and tears.

Then he woke up and asked why I was crying.

I don’t have the money that Meridian did to start her Wingspan program,  but in its way that’s what the The Bedlam Farm Open Houses are about.  What my work is about.   Encouraging people to discover and live their creative passion.  Whatever it may be.

How did this book so precisely  capture my life to be able to reach deep inside of me and bring up the pain of a loss I thought I had come to terms with?  I’m so aware of being grateful the for the life I have now, I sometimes actually believe that the past is  behind me.

A wad of tissues in my hand, I rolled off of Jon onto my side of the bed.  I’m so dry, I said, at least I won’t get struck by lightning.  Then I nestled my head into Jon’s shoulder and wrapped my arm around him.

I’ll never sleep again I thought, there’s too much to do and I don’t want to waste anymore time.



School House Gallery…Almost Ready for the Open House

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Gallery 1

I am so close to having my gallery all set up for the Open House.   There are still some things I won’t do till Saturday morning, like hanging my quilt and the Bejosh Farm T-shirts on the barn door, but I got most of the exhibit installed today.

So here’s a little tour.  Tomorrow, after I hang Debbie Glessner’s earrings and I have all the labels up, I’ll take a video of all the art inside and outside my gallery.

gallery 2c

Gallery 2

Gallery 3

“Honor Box” By Rachel Barlow

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Rachel with honor box


Rachel Barlow got to my studio at 8am, with her sons, (who are known on her blog  as “thing 1” and “thing 2”)  and all her work for the Bedlam Farm Open House.

If you watched the  video of Rachel  talking about her paintings, she shows a sketch of a farm stand that she just started.

She finished it to hang at the Bedlam Farm Open House.  It’s called “Honor Box”.  And now it’s hanging in my School House Gallery.

The Artists and Their Work Come to My School House Gallery For The Bedlam Farm Open House

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Kim mcmillan1

Today was a day of artist dropping off their work to my gallery.  Kim McMillan was the first to came by with her felted purses.

jon and carol conklin In the afternoon Carol Law Conklin brought the rest of her scarves, trivets, cutting boards, notecards, mousepads, prints on fabric and original Batiks.

Ed and Mr Blockhead Just as Carol was leaving Ed and Carol Gulley showed up.  Ed installed his Mr Blockheads on in the backyard along with his flowers and some of his other “Junk Art” sculptures.

carol gulley and Mr Blockhead t

Carol Gulley and I folded a bunch of Bejosh Farm T-shirts that feature Mr Blockhead.  Carol did the drawing of Mr Blockhead for the T-shirts.   Then, she and I did a trade, a couple of T-shirts for me and one of my Bedlam Farm Tote Bags for Carol.

gallery 1

Rachel  Barlow  was supposed to come by in the afternoon too, but her son wasn’t feeling well so she’ll drop off her work early tomorrow morning.

After Ed and Carol left I couldn’t help going to my School House Gallery and do what I could with the work I had.   Here’s a tour so far…

gallery 2

gallery 3

That’s inside so far.  And in my outdoor gallery…..

gallery outside 4

Mr Blockhead has taken over.

A Video of Tom Atkins Reading His Poetry, for the Bedlam Farm Open House

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Tom Atkins is one of those creative people who do so many different things.  He writes prose along with poetry, is a painter, photographer and a pastor.

You can see his photography every day on his blog Quarry House, as well as read  at least a poem a day, sometimes two.

Tom brings us into his life through his poetry.  Often making the turn from the ordinary to the profound and universal.  And they are inclusive, it’s easy for me to find a part of myself in  Tom’s poetry.

Tom will be reading his poetry at the Bedlam Farm Open House on Saturday June 25th.  I’ll also be selling his book of poetry and prose,  The Wisdom of Letters. 

Rachel Barlow and her Paintings at the Bedlam Farm Open House

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Rachel Barlow is one of those people I admire.  A couple of years ago she decided to dedicate herself to her creative life.  That’s in between her dedication to her husband and two kids, her full time job and living off the grid in rural Vermont.

At the first Bedlam Farm Open House she was a part of, Rachel made magnets and necklaces from her cartoons.  She also made prints of her watercolors.  She wanted to have something small and inexpensive to sell along with her original  paintings.

But it was Rachel’s  original paintings that were snatched up as quickly as her less expensive work.  People just loved them.  And it’s easy to see why.  I’m a big fan of her trees, and their elegant branches.  There’s a warmth and a love of nature comes through so clearly.

Rachel paints almost every day now.  You can hear all about it in her video.  And she’s showing and selling her paintings all over the place.  We have a few in the farm house.  I’m really looking forward to what she’ll bring to the Bedlam Farm Open House this weekend.

Rachel’s also a wonderfully poignant and funny writer.  You can see more of everything she does on her blog Picking My Battles.

From Studio to Gallery

Monday, June 20th, 2016

studio 1

It’s that time again.  When my studio turns into a gallery.  This is what my studio looked like this morning at 9am.

studio 2

When it came time to vacuum, I decided it was also time to take a lunch break. (Jon brought me a piece of strawberry short cake from the Round House)  But after that I vacuumed  the floor and walls and windows, sucking up seven months of dust and dog hair and  thread and fabric and buttons and pins and on it goes….

studio 3

It’s 5pm now and I’ve got pretty much everything out of the studio that I want out (it’s all piled up in the laundry and dining room) but not everything in.

That won’t happen till Wednesday.  By then all the artists will have dropped off their work.   Then I get to hang it all.

Jon has a different take on what goes on these days before the Open House.  He wrote about it today on his blog.  I guess it’s pretty accurate, although I can’t really be sure.  I’m so into what I’m doing it’s hard to remember from one moment to the next.

Good Monday Morning From Bedlam Farm, Summer Solstice 6/20/16

Monday, June 20th, 2016

The first day of Summer and longest day of the year.  The flies are out, but it’s still cool this early in the morning.  Good for grazing.  By next Monday the sheep will be shorn and looking very different.

Carol Law Conklin Making Batiks, The Final Part

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

This is it, the last step in Batik making.  Carol irons off all the wax and we get to see the finished piece.

Don’t forget to visit Carol’s website Amity Farm Batik.  And meet her in person at the Bedlam Farm Open House, this weekend, where she’ll be selling her batiks.