Getting Ready For the Open House

June 23rd, 2015
Athena helping me fold my fabric

Athena helping me fold my fabric

Oh I get so bored, I told Athena, when we were having lunch.  Every Open House I plan to neatly fold the fabric in my shelves, I know it would look great, all those colors and patterns would just add to the feeling of the gallery.   But I start folding and after I’m done with one shelf I lose interest and give up.  Athena asked if she could help me prepare for the Open House and I was trying to explain  how much it would mean to me if she helped me fold the fabric, kept me from giving up.  She got it.  So this morning at 8am we were in my studio, with a cup of tea that Jon brought us, folding and folding.

When we were done we went into town to hang some Open House posters in the different businesses.  Athena had some clothes to drop off at NV, the consignment shop, so we went there first.  While the owner, Nikki, was sorting through the things Athena brought in, I did a little shopping.  I always seems to find something there.  This time it was a pink skirt (which I’m planning on wearing on one of the days of the Open House) and a very cool looking, half price, pull over sweat shirt.

But….then we ran out of time, and didn’t get to hang anymore posters.

Heather and Jon at Over The Moon Beads

Heather and Jon at Over The Moon Beads with our poster

So, just after lunch, Jon and I made the rounds hanging our posters, starting at the Round House Cafe and ending on the other end of town (three blocks away) at George Forss’ Gallery.   Then we went to Mary Kellogg’s  to pick up her poetry books.  She showed us her pond and brook, places that inspired her poems.

Mary and Jon

Mary and Jon

Finally we got to Carol’s house and picked up her work for the show.  Carol has so much to choose from.  Along with her original batiks, she has prints on fabric, trivets, mousepads and note cards all with her images printed on them.  It was hard to choose what to take and what to leave behind.

Carol Law Conklin with her latest batiks.

Carol Law Conklin with her latest batiks.

Tomorrow I’ll finish cleaning out my studio and should have the rest of the work that will be in the show by Thursday.  Long busy day.  I wish I wasn’t so tired, I can’t wait to get back into my studio and start hanging the work.

For more information about the Open House, click here.

Dragon Quilt

June 22nd, 2015
Dragon Quilt

Dragon Quilt

I didn’t need to start a quilt last week, but I needed to.  I was planning on making more work for the Open House. But, like I said, I needed to make a quilt.  And I wasn’t thinking of making a quilt for the Open House, I wanted to have a lot of small pieces so I’d have  a lot of  different work available.

But I couldn’t make something happen that didn’t want to and I didn’t want to stop doing something that wanted to happen.  So I created Dragon Quilt.   And I sold it before it was even done.  Tess, the woman who bought my very first quilt, emailed me saying that dragons have always had special meaning for her and she wanted to buy it.  The dragon fabric is a wrap around skirt that I cut apart.  I got it years ago in a thrift store.   I used one of the dragons on a wall hanging ( I think Tess has that too).  I have two dragons left, and know they’ll find a place in my work at some point.

It’s always tricky making art for the Open House, what to sell if someone asks who can’t come and what to hang on to.  So I go by my instincts, and it felt right for Tess to have the quilt, like it already belonged to her.   Like that’s why I had to make it to begin with.   And a quilt is different than a potholder.  I often make potholders that are similar to each other, I’ve even made some pillows or wall hangings that are similar depending on how I make them. But I can’t do that with a quilt. The process is  different.  And I wouldn’t want to make two of the same quilts even if I could.

I signed and titled Dragon Quilt this morning then started working on a new wall hanging.  Something to sell at the Open House. It will be the last thing I make this week.  Tomorrow I’ll start moving my things out of my studio and converting it to my School House Gallery.

Fate with the back of Dragon Quilt

Fate with the back of Dragon Quilt


Red And Fate

June 21st, 2015

Red and fate

One of Fate’s favorite things to do is chew on Red’s face.  Red’s pretty good about it, until he isn’t.   He’s good at letting her know when to leave him alone.

Pony Meditation, A Prayer for Peace

June 21st, 2015
Lulu and Chloe

Lulu and Chloe

I sat  on a bucket in the pole barn.  Everyone was there, the sheep, Fanny and Lulu and Chloe.  I just wanted to be there with them.  Be one of them. Experience what it’s like to just sit with them.  Slowly Fanny then Lulu came and stood behind me.  Just stood there.  Then Chloe came.  She lowered her head next to mine, and we stayed like that.  Not moving except to flick away flies.

After a while I lifted my hand to Chloe’s face and ran it along the muscles of her jaw, then under her jaw to the soft and fleshy part.  I  lightly felt her nose and mouth, her pitted and bulging chin.  I wasn’t petting her or scratching her, I was just getting to know what her face felt like, the hard and soft, curved and flat, muscles and bone.  She didn’t move.  Then  she touched her nose to my hair and face.  Getting to know me in the same way I was getting to know her.

No one demanded anything of anyone, we were just being together.  It was the kind of communication that happens in silence.  With just being present, with the tiniest touch.  It was peaceful and grounding.  My mind was actually quiet.  A pony and donkey meditation.  They do it all the time, I was learning to do it with them.

Later I got a message from my friend Pamela from Blue Star.  She’s at World Peace and Prayer Day and asked everyone to say a prayer for peace when the sun is highest in the sky on this Summer Solstice.  I had forgotten it was the Solstice, the longest day of the year.    I missed the moment, the sun wasn’t at its peak when I sat with the animals in pole barn.  But the prayer was the same.  It’s what I was doing with Fanny and Lulu and Chloe surrounding me although I didn’t realize it at the time.  It was a meditation on being together peacefully.  A prayer for peace.


A Pile of Potholders for the Bedlam Farm Open House

June 19th, 2015

potholders poen house

I picked up my last batch of potholders to sell at the Open House from Kim today.  Kim showed me some of the felted wallets and purses she working on.  I would have taken some pictures, but I left my iphone home.

I have potholders that I made from my box of scarps last week.  For the first time in a very long time, I was having a hard time working.  I couldn’t seem to put two pieces of fabric together that I liked.  I was uninspired.  So I got out my box of scraps and started sewing.  I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I got the potholders back today.  I hardly remember making them.  So it was fun to look through them and try and understand my thinking when I put them together.  But then I realized it was more a lack of thinking that made them work.  Some better than others, but then I’ve found that often the ones I really like are not other people’s  favorites.

I also made some Tree Potholders and I’m Alive Goddess Potholders.  I’m finding that many of these are being framed instead of being used.  My potholders, art that functions in many different ways.

I spoke with Jack Metzger today and will be meeting with him tomorrow at his Gallery and Antique shop “Jacks Out Back” in Cambridge.   Jack’s busy with two show’s this fall in galleries in Albany and Bennington.

Karen Heenan sent out her kids dresses made from recycled fabric in the mail today.  And on Tuesday I’m going to Carol Law Conklin’s to bring back her batiks for the show.

Pamela, from Blue Star Equiculture and her horses Piper and Merlin can’t make it to this Open House, but will be coming for the October Open House.  But Joshua Rockwood, will be here to speak about his farm.

It’s all starting to come together.  By the middle of next week my studio will be the School House Gallery once again.

Frieda’s Ashes and Tiger Strength

June 19th, 2015
Fate waiting for me on the trail in the woods.

Fate waiting for me on the trail in the woods.

I hadn’t been thinking about it at all.  Then suddenly,  I just knew I had to scatter the rest of Frieda’s ashes in the woods.  I got the tin from my alter, and Fate and  headed out into the woods.  Jon was in the middle of making dinner so he couldn’t come with us, but I promised to save some of Frieda’s ashes for him to scatter where and when he wanted.

Frieda had walked on that path with us for a year or so before her legs got so bad she couldn’t get in the car anymore or take long walks. I knew I wanted her ashes to go in the woods, not on the path, but I wasn’t sure where that would be.  I just followed my instincts, that’s was why I was out there on the spur of the moment to begin with.

Fate and I walked for a while.  She was a little more wild than usual, running into the woods then catching up to me.  Or running ahead and waiting for me.  But when I saw the pine tree on the side of the path and stopped she stopped too.  I circled the tree letting go of handfuls of ashes, Fate following behind me.

Then I walked some more and thought of the flat grassy area circled by trees, off the path and up the hill.  Sometimes I sit there quietly, it always feels special, like something important happened there.    It’s the kind of place I would choose to set up my tent if I were hiking in the woods.

I stood in the center of the trees, and spinning around I let go of handfuls of Frieda’s ashes.  Around and around I went, drawing a circle of ashes around me.  And each time I came around I saw Fate watching. When I was done we were both dusted in ashes.

The walk was full of circles.  Circling around the pine tree, then spinning around in the circle of trees.  After scattering Frieda’s ashes we continued on the path and took the loop, which circled around and brought us back home.  I didn’t say any words on our walk, but I felt Frieda’s tiger strength.  I knew with the ceremony of the ashes, I finally was able to incorporate that energy into myself.

And I have no doubt that Fate’s coming to us had something to do with letting Frieda go and feeling my own strength.  Fate has her own tiger energy but it has nothing to do with my fears and need of protection, which is what Frieda’s tiger strength did for me.   I can do that for myself now.

I’m not sure what else Fate will bring me.  Right now she’s becoming a great studio dog and animal companion for my walks in the woods.  And right now, that seems to be enough.





Grooming Chloe

June 18th, 2015
Chloe and Lulu

Chloe and Lulu

Chloe is getting into the morning routine.  Now, she always comes to the gate, with the donkeys for a carrot or apple.  Chloe reminds me of Simon, she can be a bit pushy about food.  But I just put my hand up and tell her no one likes a pushy pony.  We’re working on it.

Then comes the brushing.   Fanny and Lulu love it, they wait their turn, like cars at a car wash.   But Chloe’s not always so eager to be brushed.  I remember this from when we had Rocky.  When I got out the brush he would circle around and walk away from me.  But if I kept at it,  If I just followed him brushing as we walked, he finally settled into it.

Most of the time Chloe seems more interested in grazing than being brushed.  But this morning was different.  I had to follow her like I did Rocky, but then she settled in the pole barn and seemed to be really enjoying it.  I got the comb and did her mane and tail.  Grooming is one of those ancient and instinctual ways of bonding.  Animals do it to each other, people do it to each other and people do it to animals. It’s nurturing and nourishing.  It connects us physically in a gentle and soothing way.  It says “I care” and “you are worthy”.

When I was done combing Chloe’s tail, unlike the other times, she didn’t run off to graze.  She just stood there.  So I draped myself over her back and we stayed like that for a while.   Just being together.  At one point she made some nickering noises.    Fanny and Lulu stood quietly with us.  I knew we were connecting in a new way.  Just enjoying being in the presence of each other.   Learning to trust.

I felt like this was as important as when I last rode her and was able to keep her from running back to the barn.  It was deeper than that for sure.  When she did walk away, before going to graze, she got  on her back and rolled.  I left feeling like something special happened  and thinking I wanted more of it.


Fran’s Mini Gardens At the Bedlam Farm Open House

June 17th, 2015
Fran's Mini Garden

Fran’s Mini Garden

I can get lost in Fran’s mini gardens.  Looking at them, I’m immediately small enough to be in them.   Walking on the stone paths and sitting on the benches.  Frans says she finds them calming to make and I think that peacefulness can be felt when gazing at them.  They’re like little meditations in a way.   But there’s also a romance about them.  The broken pots like ruins in a Baroque painting, the moss covered steps and reflecting balls.

My sister Fran will once again have her mini gardens at the Open House in just a couple of weeks.  For the weekend, they turn the space just outside my School House Gallery into a tiny wonderland.  They sell pretty quickly,usually only a couple left by the second day, but Fran will be here on Saturday to answer your questions and tell you all about her gardens and how she makes them.   These are some of the gardens she’ll have at the Open House and  you can see more here on her facebook page Fran’s Mini Gardens.

mini 2

mini 3

mini 4

Poet Doug Anderson at the Bedlam Farm Open House

June 16th, 2015
Doug reading from his latest book "Horse Medicine"

Doug reading from his latest book “Horse Medicine”

You have to meet Doug Anderson, Pamela told us the first time we visited Blue Star Eqiculture.   He was drawn to  Blue Star when he stopped to take pictures of the horses.  Doug is a writer and photographer, a wise and kind man.  He’s also an award winning poet.

Doug visited us for a couple of days and we all  got to know each other a little better.  While he was here he met our friend Scott Carrino and became a member of Jon’s Fabulous Old Men’s Club.  So I know he’ll be coming back to visit again, and he’s always welcome.  He has lots of interesting ideas and  his conversation is speckled with poetic phrases. He’s a pleasure to be around.

Doug will be reading his poems from his new book “Horse Medicine” at the Bedlam Farm Open House, just two weeks from now.    He’ll also be selling his book.  Before he left this morning,   I asked him to read his poem “Live Myth” one of my favorites, so I could video it.  I was curious to hear Doug read his poetry out loud.   I wasn’t surprised, but was moved when he read it with so much emotion.

You can click here to hear Doug reading “Live Myth”.  And you can read more about Doug and buy his books here.

Or you can meet him and hear him read in person at the Open House the weekend of June 27th and 28th.

Doug's new book Horse Medicine.

Doug’s new book Horse Medicine

Dragon Quilt

June 16th, 2015

dragon quilt

Started making this quilt yesterday, still working on it…

dragon quilt2

dragon quilt4

More tomorrow….