Peaceable Bedlam

April 8th, 2014

donkey and hensWay back last fall, after Susan and her husband came to our Open House, she asked me if I would make her a quilt with some of the animals from Bedlam Farm on it.  I said yes and she sent me a bunch of fabric to use in the quilt.   Susan’s quilt is one of the commissions that I took on before I decided not to do anymore commissions.  It took me a while to get to it, but I finally started it last week.   I really had to wait for this one to come around.  Because of all the “drawing” I was doing for it, my head had to be in the right place.

I made four panels thinking of Bedlam Farm as the Peaceable Kingdom, which is what Susan experienced when she visited at the Open House.  I can see why she did too. Except for those incidents now and again (that mostly have to do with the male animals and the cats keeping the farm clear of mice and voles) the farm is pretty peaceable on a day to day basis.  And during the open houses, when everyone is getting lots of food and attention, it’s especially peaceable.

Now that I have the panels done, I’ll start designing the quilt.

flo and hen

hens on sheep

red and sheep

Scrambling to Cincinnati

April 8th, 2014
Minnie and Flo getting along, for the moment anyway.

Minnie and Flo getting along, for the moment anyway.

It was a mad rush to the airport.  Somehow, dates and times got mixed up and at 12:45 Jon and I found ourselves scrambling around so he could catch a 2:45 plane to Cincinnati.  I threw some of Jon’s clothes in a suitcase (luckily Jon’s wardrobe is limited to jeans, khaki pants and a bunch of the same blue shirts, makes packing real easy) and made him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (lunch was cooking on the stove and the chickens would have pasta for dinner) for him to eat on the way, while he got the rest of his stuff together.  I drove a bit faster than usual and we got to the airport in just over an hour.   As I drove home, Jon called and let me know he was on the plane, despite the  long lines at security.   I relaxed knowing he was on his way.

Jon’s speaking at the Animals for Life Foundation in Ohio.  We marveled at the timing of the talk.  Last year when he agreed to be the Keynote Speaker he wasn’t even thinking about the Horses and Carriage Drivers in Central Park.  But tonight, at a private dinner he’ll be reading his poem  First They Came For The Horses.   The Animals for Life Foundation is dedicated to treating animals with dignity and respect and the benefits of the relationship between humans and animals working and living together.  Just what Jon been focusing on with the Central Park Horses.

Jon will be back late Wednesday night.  So when you go on his blog later or tomorrow and see the same thing you saw at  12 noon  today, that why.   But I’m sure you’ll hear all about it on Thursday.

And I’ll be home taking care of things here and hoping Zelda doesn’t choose tonight to give birth.  But if she does, I’ll be ready.  Jon and I went over what needs to be done and our neighbors Kim and Jack are on 24 hour call to help if I need them.

You would think with all the animals we have the house wouldn’t seem so quiet.  Guess I’m missing Jon already.

Subscribe To My Blog, Now It’s Easy

April 7th, 2014


From now on when you subscribe to my blog this is what you’ll see.  If you don’t, please let me know.  Because I just had this new  easy subscription request system installed on my blog.  I know, it’s probably not that exciting to you, but it feels big to me.  I wish I had done it years ago.  I really don’t know how many people tried to subscribe in the past and weren’t able to.  I just know about the ones who contacted me about it and they were enough to get me to do something about it. (finally)

So if you’ve tried to subscribe to my blog and couldn’t please go ahead and try again.  I promise this time it will be so easy it will almost be fun.  And if you haven’t subscribed yet, well, now’s a good time to do it if you’d like to get my blog automatically.

Now I have to get up and dance around my studio, this just makes me so happy.

Grazing going on,out my studio window

April 7th, 2014

grazing out my winodn

I’ve been getting such pleasure at once again seeing the animals grazing out my studio window.   I don’t think I realized how barren the pastures were all winter until the sheep and donkeys came back.  I wonder when I’ll start taking it for granted, just expecting them to be there. For now, whether it out my studio, kitchen or living room window,  it’s still always a delight.

The Common Thread Give-a-way, Win “Easter Bunny”

April 7th, 2014
Easter Bunny by Kim Gifford

Easter Bunny by Kim Gifford

It’s April’s Common Thread Give-a-way and Kim Gifford is our artist this month.  In honor of Easter she’s giving away her print called Easter Bunny.  Kim’s love of children and animals comes together in this photo collage. The putti-like children have all the mischievous power and magic  of those Renaissance angels.  The eggs and chicks speak of rebirth and  peeking out from behind the scenes, like the wizard himself, is Kim’s signature pug.

Easter Bunny is an 8 x 10 Print on Watercolor Paper. (Collage image is approximately 5  x 7 in center of white border) and is ready to frame.

If you’d like a chance to win Kim Giffords “Easter Bunny”  just leave a comment here on Kim’s Blog Pugs and Pics.   The winner will be announced on Thursday.   Good Luck!

“Tree Woman” and Other Drawings For Sale

April 6th, 2014
Tree Woman

Tree Woman (Sold)

The idea for Tree Woman came to me when I went for a walk with Lenore in the woods.  I came across a giant hollowed out tree with just two branches coming from it’s trunk.  I was able to sit comfortably inside it and lean my back against it’s insides.  As I sat there I imagined that I was seeing what the tree sees.  There was a calm that came with sitting in that tree, as if there was nothing to do but be there and see.


Floating on Flowers

Floating on Flowers

Floating On Flowers is about the feeling that the change of seasons from Winter to Spring brings me.  It’s about leaving my interior  place of comfort and gravitating towards the unknown.  The feeling of freedom  that comes with shedding the layers of cumbersome winter clothes and heading out on a walk whose destination is uncertain.

Cradling My Love

Cradling My Love (Sold)

 Cradling My Love is about self-love.  Understanding the power that comes when we can truly love ourselves.  The power to share that love which is like no other love.  It comes with knowing and trusting and believing in ourselves.

These three drawings are for sale.   Tree Woman and Cradling My Love are sold, but Floating On Flowers is still available. They are pencil on archival paper,  12″x 9″.    They are $25 + $7 shipping.  If you see one that speaks to you and would like it, you can contact me here or at  I take checks or paypal.

Freida Out My Window

April 4th, 2014

freida out my window

Today was the first day since the Fall that it was warm enough and dry enough for Frieda to lay down on the grass in the yard and watched the cars go by.  Now I know Spring is really here.

Raven And Vortex

April 4th, 2014
Raven and Vortex

Raven and Vortex

Although different parts of my body often ache from all the sewing I do and from life in general, when I get a massage it is rarely focused on my physical body.  Mandy (who I meet for lunch along with our friend Athena every Wednesday) is a Massage Therapist and Energy Worker.   I rarely go to see her and say my back hurts or my wrists hurt, I’m more likely to say I have a bad brain.  Which is just what I said to her this week, as you can imagine.  I also felt like I had a hang over, not because I was drinking the night before, but because I had been up since 2am.  I honestly don’t remember everything we talked about, but I do remember laying on my back while Mandy rang chimes and lit sage and passed it over my body (I think it was sage, my eyes were closed, but it smelled like sage) and then seeing the girl with the raven on one hand and a vortex coming from the palm of her other hand.   It as dusk or dawn and she stood on top of Fajada Butte in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. The moon over her left shoulder.  And even though it was the desert, her breasts were flowers and the stems reached down her legs and out the bottom of her feet into the earth.   It felt like powerful like magic.  I remember thinking at first the raven was a crow then somehow seeing it was Raven.

I’m not really sure what this piece means.  I can see looking at it after making it that there is lots of up-down movement.  A connection between the earth and sky.  When I looked up the meaning of Raven, I found again and again it was trickster and messenger.

The vortex has been a symbol of magical power for me since I dreamed of one years ago.  In that dream me and two other women (who were my mother and sister in my dream) held hands on the front porch of my house  just outside the front door, which was open.  We circled around (like playing Ring Around the Rosie) creating a vortex in the middle of our circle.   It felt like we were witches casting a spell or performing a ritual. Although I didn’t know the meaning of it, it felt really powerful.    When I woke up the front door to my house was wide open.

I’ve since read that a vortex can be seen as a portal between worlds.  Not unlike the tornado in the Wizard of Oz.  I’m still not sure about the meaning of my Raven and Vortex vision, but it feels like something outside of myself and connected to me at the same time.  Mystical and mysterious for sure.  Something I’ll always remember and one day might even understand.

This wall hanging is sold.

raven and vortex done detail

Raven and Vortex

April 3rd, 2014

rav or

I saw this during a massage today.  The girl has a raven sitting on one hand and there will be a vortex coming from her other hand.  I saw her flower breasts and their stems going down her legs into the earth.

I’d write more about it, but I want to get some of it sewn together before I have to leave to pick Jon up from the train station.  He’s in NYC today talking to the Carriage Drivers.

Zelda’s been resting a lot while the other sheep graze.  She’s always close by them, and still watching, just not on her feet as much.

rav or detail

Ironing Hankies

April 2nd, 2014


One of the many hankies I washed and ironed today

One of the many hankies I washed and ironed today

I spent the day washing and  ironing hankies and I still have a bunch more to do.  I couldn’t help thinking of the book The Painted Girls by Cathy Buchanan.  It’s a historical novel about the girl who modeled for Degas’ sculpture The Little Dancer, Aged 14.  (It’s the famous bronze of the ballerina with the real tulle skirt).  One of the many jobs she had besides modeling was working in a laundry ironing.

My back hurts, and an iron warmed up all day gives off more heat than I would have guessed.  I thought of 14-year-old Marie, slaving away in an  1870′s  Paris laundry, hiding the shirt she burned when she was learning how to  iron.  I guess I always relate to characters like Marie in novels.  Few options by tedious, physically demanding, unsatisfying work, the model, instead of the artist.   What my life could so easily have been.

Ironing hankies all day, keeps me humble and grateful for my life and work.

Little Dancer, age 14 by Degas

Little Dancer, age 14, by Degas