Snake, Hand, Tree

October 1st, 2015


While making “Goddess Eyes” I started drawing a hand then an arm that turned into a tree.  Then I wrapped a snake around the tree.   When I looked at what I had drawn, it seemed a powerful symbol to me.  I’m not sure of what, but the combination of the three stuck with me.

On Tuesday, I got into my studio not sure what to do.  I thought of a few days before when my friend Mandy called me up and said she had a snake in her washing machine.  I know Mandy has a visceral fear of snakes so I went to her house, got the snake and let it go at the farm.  It was a milk snake, small enough to wrap itself around my finger, it’s tiny tongue flicking madly.  I thought the tight coil of  it’s body beautiful, a perfect upward spiral. The pressure of it around my finger felt the same to me as the few times I’ve experienced a baby hold my finger with her whole hand.

So that morning, the image of the hand, tree, snake, came back to me.  And I did something I’ve never done before.  I started working on two separate pieces, dealing with the same subject matter at the same time.  One on a narrow strip of linen towel and another on an old embroidered table runner.

I stitched the hand, tree, snake on both of them, then they each went in their own direction.

Goddess Shoe, which I posted pictures of last night, has more of my personal imagery in it.  All in red. Then surrounding that is a background of pale blue goddesses and symbols that were inspired by my Language of the Goddess book.  When it was done and I looked at it, I found it interesting that there was a goddess at the top and a shoe at the bottom.  Only one shoe, evoking Cinderella, and yet this is not the shoe of someone looking for Prince Charming.  It’s the shoe of a goddess.

"Goddess Shoe"

“Goddess Shoe”

Today I was working on my other hand/snake/ tree piece.   I knew I needed something to the right of the tree, that empty space wanted to be filled.  So I started looking through my books and shelves of fabric for the right image or print.   When I couldn’t find it, I stopped and just looked a the piece hanging on my wall.  Then I saw what I wanted as if it was already taking up the empty space.

Just a few days ago,  Veronica, sent me an old wallhanging her Nana made.  She said she had it framed for years, but she didn’t like seeing it a frame.  So she sent it to me writing, ” I love the thought that you might cut it up and use it…”

The wall hanging has a Victorian feel to it.   It’s many rectangles sewn together.  Images of the moon and seasons,  fabric rectangles like old luggage stickers from different countries and states, velvety oriental carpets and  butterflies.  It was a butterfly I saw in the space.  Or maybe it’s a moth, but it’s green with a pink aura.  So I cut it out, a border of velvety carpet surrounding it and put it where I “saw” it on my piece.  The butterfly, often depicted as two triangles coming together as wings,  well known in the goddess culture as a symbol of transformation.

I stitched goddesses and their symbols at the root of the tree, grounding it and  colored in the embroidered flowers with bright pink and orange markers.  Then I drew the markings on the hand, which were originally found on carved goddess statues and pottery.

I’m not done with it yet and would love to have it finished for the Open House, but I’m not sure if I have enough time to do that.  Either way I won’t rush it.   I’ll let it tell me what it wants next, when it’s ready.

Goddess Shoe

September 30th, 2015
Detail from "Goddess Shoe"

Detail from “Goddess Shoe”


Goddess Shoe

Goddess Shoe

Goddess Shoe2

It’s 9:30 and my brain has stopped working.  So  here’s some photos of what I did today.  I’ll write about this tomorrow.


Thinking of Snakes

September 29th, 2015

linen hanging

Some pieces I started working on today…. Not sure how either one will end up.   Both are stitched on Vintage Linens.

snake tree

Make A Donation to Blue Star Equiculture and Get a Hand Knit Hat

September 28th, 2015


Hand knit Hats made by

Twelve Beautiful Hand Knit Hats made by Kay Kohe

Make a donation of $25 or more to Blue Star Equictulture and get one of Kay Nohe’s hand knit hats. 

All Kay’s hats are sold!  Thank you:  Susan P., JoAnne, Sheryl, Susan B., Shelby, Lynn, Janel, Viki, Polly, Susan C. and Renate (who got two hats).  And to everyone else asked, even when the hats were all gone.

This is how it works.  I have 12 hats made by Kay Nohe.  Kay, who is in her 80’s, loves to knit. I gave some of my sheep Suzy’s wool (the gray) and Ted’s wool (the white)  and wool from a local mill to Kay and she used it to knit hats to be donated to a good cause.

(Kay Nohe is Kathleen Kohe’s mom.  Kathleen is selling her Wearable Earth Jewelry at the Bedlam Farm Open House)

When I heard  that Blue Star Equitculture   received a $7500 Matching Fund  from the Leo S Walsh Foundation I thought this would be the perfect “good cause” for Kay’s donated hats.

So, if you’d like to make a donation of $25 or more  to Blue Star Equictulture, the Working Horse Sanctuary,   send me an email at  There are 12 hats so we can raise at least $300 for Blue Star and that $300 will be matched by the Leo S Walsh Foundation for a total of $600 raised.

I’ll answer your emails in the order I receive them, the first person getting the first choice of the hats and so on till they’re all gone.

I’ll collect the money for Blue Star (you can use either paypal or send a check) and mail you the hat.




Monday Morning On Bedlam Farm

September 28th, 2015

I realized that for the past few Mondays, I’ve been putting up videos of our mornings with the animals.   I know I do it on Mondays because after the weekend  I’m ready to do something creative again.  And the videos are a good start to that process.

This morning, as I panned across the garden, it made me think how not to long from now, there will be snow on the ground and all the flowers will be gone.  And that made me think how if I kept doing Monday morning videos they would show the landscape changing with the seasons.  I think I like that idea, because it will make me appreciate and be more aware of the changes around me.

So that’s my plan.  A year of Monday Mornings at Bedlam Farm.  September to September.

Fate, My Dog and Jon’s Dog

September 27th, 2015
Fate in the woods

Fate in the woods

“It seems that you didn’t get a dog for yourself after all. Fate is obviously Jon’s dog. Perhaps a Border Collie is not a breed that fits with you. I know that you were considering a Golden Retriever; can you still see one as your personal dog? You deserve a dog that’s yours and yours alone.”

Someone left the above comment on my blog post that had a video of me trying to herd sheep with Red and Fate.  I responded to the comment, but then kept thinking about it.  I mentioned it to Jon and  we talked about it, then he responded to the comment, in his own way, on my blog.  Then he wrote about it on his blog. (You can read Jon’s thoughts on it here).

But I wanted to write about it too, because I found the comment both patronizing and thought-provoking.

First,  I was surprised by the tone of the comment.  It suggested that this person knows me, and what kind of dog I should have, better than I do.  It also suggests that I was somehow wronged in the process of me and Jon getting a dog.  And that Jon is somehow at fault.

Now to me,  these ideas are so off base I can easily dismiss them. (Although I have to admit,  it made me feel a little protective of Jon, even though, god knows, he can take care of himself)  But what really bothers me about this idea is that it makes me appear as someone who can’t speak up for herself.     That I’m someone who needs a stranger, or anyone for that matter,  to tell me what I want and deserve.

I hate to think that I’m somehow putting that out there on my blog. That I don’t know what I want and can’t stand up for myself.    But I honestly don’t think I am.  I do know that when I write something and put it out into the world, it can be interpreted in  many different ways depending on who reads it.

And I could immediately sense the misplaced anger in this comment.  I feel the anger really has little to do with me, Jon and Fate.  But the interesting part of it is that the comment actually got me to think about my relationship with Fate in a way I hadn’t consciously done.  So that makes me wish that instead of leaving an angry and accusatory comment this person would have posed the comment in a different way.  Not telling me what I need, but perhaps telling me her thoughts and asking me mine.

So here’s what I was thinking about Fate and me and Jon.  I love Fate.  She’s a great dog.  She comes with me to my studio in the mornings and takes walks with me in the woods. She never runs off and keeps an eye on me, waiting patiently if I stop for a while.  I love to throw the ball for her  and she loves to chase it.  She lays next to me in the living room when I blog and rides in my car with me when I go to town.

She’s my dog.  But she’s also Jon’s dog.

Jon takes her to the sheep and teaches her what she was bred to do.  He lets her sit on his lap and lick his face and plays with her the way another dog might.  Something I don’t have any desire to do with any dog.  In the afternoons, when I’ve had enough puppy for the day, Jon takes Fate into his office and I am grateful.  He takes Fate to the Battenkill Books  and Moses Farmstand and socializes her in ways I would be uncomfortable doing.

The truth is Fate is our dog.  And I don’t need a dog that’s just mine.  When I got Frieda I did.  But I was a different person then with different needs.   Fate is actually perfect for me and Jon together.   We chose her together, train her together, and live with her together.  And now that we have a dog like Fate, I can see  how well it works, her being our dog.

Bring Your Intuition Doll to the Bedlam Farm Open House

September 27th, 2015
One of my Intuition Goddess Dolls

One of my Intuition Goddess Dolls

Maybe your Intuition Doll is made from sticks and dog hair or a plastic bottle or gingerbread.  Maybe she’s a photograph or a poem or mask or a painting.   Maybe she’s not a she, but a he or an it.  Maybe she’s tiny or really big.

She’s something I’ve never thought of and you know really well.

I don’t know what she looks like, but  you do.  She’s been inside of you all along.  And she’s made of the stuff that’s a part of your life.  Something very familiar to you, or something exotic.  You just have to let yourself see her.

So if you have an Intuition Doll in you who wants to be known, let her out.

And bring her to the Bedlam Farm Open House on October 10th and 11th.  Where she can join the other Intuition Dolls on display for all to see.

Just bring her to me, anytime during the weekend and I’ll find the perfect place for her to be seen.

I can’t wait to meet her!


This Place of Love

September 25th, 2015


Fanny and Lulu

Fanny and Lulu

I still don’t know what to call it.  I refer to it as the experience I had where love was passed from Lenore to me.  (if you didn’t read that post, you can read about it here).   And after it happened, I  remember wondering how it would matter in my day to day life.  It seemed so important as I was experiencing it, and I didn’t want to forget it,  but I couldn’t bring the feeling back with me, so in a way I wondered if it mattered that it happened at all.

But even though I can’t go back to that place and feel what I felt, since then it seems I’m more aware of having an open heart.  And this is actually a physical thing, something I feel in my body.  Since then, whenever I feel myself getting angry or annoyed or irritated, I find myself focusing on my chest, where my heart is and feeling a lightness there.  And it makes me stop and want to be there instead of in that other place of anger and frustration.   Sometimes it happens before I actually get annoyed, but even if I act on the annoyance, I catch myself after that and am able to let it go.

And I’ve discovered it’s so much harder to be in that place of anger than to let it go.  So it’s like each time this happens, that space inside of me where my heart lives, expands a little more.  And I’ve also discovered that the results are better.  Like when I feel this with Chloe or Fate, when they don’t listen to me.  When I let go of the frustration, and speak from that place inside of me, they seem to listen.   Or maybe it’s that they can hear me better.  That I’m able to communicate better.  And it’s the same with people too, not just the animals.

So when I wondered how this experience would work its way into my life, how it would matter. Maybe this is the way.  And it does make a difference to me just know that this other place exists.  This place of love that isn’t of this world.


Trying To Herd The Sheep With Red and Fate

September 25th, 2015

Jon stayed in bed this morning so I knew he really wasn’t feeling well.  Around noon he got up to eat some dry toast and blog.  Then I knew he was  getting better.  When Jon’s sick, whether he blogs or not, is the best way for me to gauge how he’s feeling.

Red and Fate  spent most of the day with Jon in bed.  (something Fate just learned to do today, lay at the bottom of the bed and sleep.  I think it shows her love and dedication to Jon).  But this afternoon, I took them for a walk and tried to do some sheep herding.

As you can see in the video, I’m not so good at it.  I’m actually a bit surprised when they do what I want them to.  Red really carried me and Fate.  Although Fate did what she does which seemed to work because  they ultimately did what I wanted them to do….bring the sheep into the pasture then move them out.

Luckily the donkeys and Chloe pay little attention to the sheep and dogs.  And I discovered, to my relief, that the sheep will do anything to avoid Fate, even if she’s laying down in their path.

I can  sheep herd with Red, I’ve done it before, mostly because he knows what he’s doing, even if I don’t.  But trying to work with Red and Fate is a different story.  Makes me really appreciate what Jon does everyday, teaching Fate and working with them both.

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

September 24th, 2015
"Caught in the Thunderstorm" By Carol Law Conklin

“Caught in the Thunderstorm” By Carol Law Conklin

Carol and her husband Dick were dairy farmers for many years. When they sold the farm a few years ago, Carol picked up where she left off as an artist and started creating her batiks again.   A lover of farm animals,  nature and horses, she said she was storing up images during all her years of farming.

And I believe it, because Carol doesn’t seem to be short of ideas.  Her images deal with farm life, plants and animals and are also based in mythology.  She’s as interested in what’s going on below the ground as on the earth and in the sky.

In her batik, “Caught in the Thunderstorm” Carol draws from her own experience of having her farm house struck by lightening.   She uses horses to depict the turmoil and power of the storm.  The dark horses darting the thunder and lightening in the sky, while the red horse below waits for the storm to pass.  When I read on Carol’s blog about the experience that inspired this piece, I could see how it captured the fear and awe Carol was feeling as she lay in bed with her husband and the storm raged around them.

Caught in the Thunderstorm is one of the many pieces Carol will be showing and selling at the Bedlam Farm Open House, which is just about two short weeks away.  She will have her original batiks and prints on fabric, note cards, trivets and cutting boards.  She’ll also be selling her batik scarves.

Carol Law Conklin Scarves

Carol’s   Batik Scarves

As dedicated to her work as she is, Carol still has the farm in her heart.  Not long after selling her farm Carol bought back one of her favorite cows, Steppin.    Carol has her work in many galleries around the country including in the Valley Artisian’s Market in Cambridge NY.    She was just admitted into The Batik Guild, an international organization.     You can also see more of her work and get to know Carol a little better on her blog Amity Farm Batik. 


Carol and her cow Steppin

Carol and her cow Steppin