Grazing In The Back Pasture

October 12th, 2016

We left the house at 5am and I drove Jon to the train station.  He was going to visit Emma and Robin in Brooklyn.  All three of them spent a couple of hours at Hillary Clinton’s campaign headquarters making phone calls to supporters.

I found it very symbolic, these three generations, being present and two of them actively supporting  the woman who may be our first female president.

I took this video in the morning when I let the animals out to graze in the back pasture.  We’ve been keeping an eye on Griselle, now that it looks like she pregnant.  We’ll try to get the Vet here early next week to check her out.

There’s still some grass left even after a frost yesterday morning.  Soon we’ll be feeding hay and I’ll start making a new baling twine chair.


Closer To India

October 11th, 2016


Yesterday I waited at the Hoosick Valley Family Health Center for two hours to get some of the vaccinations I need to go to India.

There are no magazines at the Health Center.   I usually look forward to leafing through an National Geographic but the waiting room only has a TV that tells all us  sitting there about the symptoms of many different diseases.

But of course, most people, including me, have a cell phone for more kinds of entertainment than any print magazine can offer.

I started taking pictures of the bleak room I sat in while I listened to the commotion of an emergency that was the reason I was kept waiting. It made me feel grateful not to be the person on the way to the hospital.  And when I thought about it later, I realized I had two hours of relaxing (although it only became relaxing after the first hour when I gave up being nervous)  which wouldn’t have happened if I was at home because I would have been working.

When the nurse finally came into the room she had four vaccinations with her.  Hepatitis A and B, a flu shot and a booster with tetanus, diphtheria and Pertussis (never heard of that one) all in one.  Two shots in each arm, which  took only minutes and I was on my way home.

One more step closer to India.


Thanks For Your Patience!

October 11th, 2016


The guest room/my shipping office is an organized mess.  I just got the money and commissions figured out from the Open House and at the same time I’m working on taking orders and mailing out some of the work that I sold on line from the Open House.

I’m thrilled so many artists sold so much work. It will be a few days before I can start bringing all the stuff from my studio back into it from the house, where I stored it for the Open House  and get to work.

So if you’ve ordered something from me online, I’m getting to it.  It just might take me a little longer than usual.

Thanks for your patience!

Spinning The Bedlam Farm Open House

October 10th, 2016
Sue Smith and Flo

Sue Smith and Flo before the Open House began on Saturday

How I wanted to get a picture, maybe even a video of Suzy Fatzinger and Sue Smith spinning and knitting, under Jane’s tent at the Open House.  It was a beautiful scene.  And even though I didn’t get to spend the time with them I wanted to, I could feel their presence throughout the day.

People would come into my School House Gallery and look at Suzy’s gloves and tell me how they saw her spinning the wool that she makes into the gloves.   Sue and Suzy talked to people and answered their questions all day long.   After the sheep  were shorn,  I brought the bags  of Liam’s and Biddy’s fleeces to the tent so people could see what the wool looked like before it was processed.

Suzy came back on Sunday  and while she finished spinning a skein of Liam’s wool, ( “It’s filled with lots of good mojo” she told me later) her son, Sam, took his sketch pad and pencils out to the pasture to draw.

On Sunday Carol Law Conkin brought over her vats of  dyes and old electric frying pan, her wax and fabrics  and gave a Batik demonstration. It was so windy I had to put the sides up on the tent to keep Carols drawings from blowing away.   It was cold, but people stood around her, hugging their sweaters close to their bodies, and watched with awe and fascination as she dripped hot wax on fabric and her delicate lines became a horse.

The spinning, the knitting, Carol’s batik making, it all shows the slow process of creating.  The labor intensive steps that come from doing by hand.

Doing by hand slows us down.  It’s like reading poetry.  If you rush it, it doesn’t work.  You have to go slow,  which gives us a chance to actually think about what we’re doing.  Instead of pushing or forcing our way through it.

The people who watched Carol’s demonstration or saw Suzy spinning and Sue knitting, came to understand and appreciate the process in a way that’s hard to do otherwise.  Each twist of fiber, each individual stitch picked  up by the knitting needle, each time Carol dipped her fabric in dye and waited for it to dry,  then dipped it again, the continuous rhythm of the work, the satisfaction and fulfillment that comes  from doing.

Each a very personal creative process that is both intense and joyous.

Even though I couldn’t see them from inside my School House Gallery where I was selling art, I could feel their presence.  And knew they were doing the work that goes on all the time at Bedlam Farm one word, one stitch at a time.  Creating and putting it out into the world.  Inclusive and inviting and encouraging.

That’s what our Bedlam Farm Open Houses are about.  And because of the all the good people who showed up, that’s just what happened this weekend.

Carol's demonstration on Sunday

Carol’s Batik demonstration on Sunday

Sam's drawing

Sam’s drawing


Good Monday Morning From Bedlam Farm 10/10/16

October 10th, 2016

A Tour Of My School House Gallery During The Bedlam Farm Open House

October 8th, 2016

Come take a tour of all the art in my School House Studio.  If you see something you like, and it isn’t already sold,  I’ll be happy to ship it to you.  You can  email me at with any questions.

Thanks for coming by.  I hope you enjoy the tour.

Potholder Class

October 7th, 2016


The Creative Conference is something we started doing last year.  The day before the Open House we have some  classes at Pompanuck Farm.

This time I taught a workshop on making potholders intuitively,  the way I make mine.  Without a pattern or even knowing what it will look like until it’s done.

A few of the people who took the class did get their potholders done.  But I have a feeling I learned more than they did.

I’ll have to write more about it another time.  I’m worn out from getting things ready for the Open House, selling a lot of art online and the class today.

One thing was very clear.  I’m different than I used to be.  Anytime in the past, if I had taught a class and seen so much that I did wrong I would have either been defensive about it or never want to teach again.  This time I was glad to see what I needed to do differently.  And I’m eager to try it again and  see how well I can do.

Sue and the potholder she made today.

Sue and the potholder she made today.

Fate’s Back

October 6th, 2016
Fate and Red playing this afternoon

Fate and Red playing this afternoon

“She’s back!” I yelled this morning as Fate, leaped out of her crate and jumped on me.

Usually I don’t let her jump on me.  She usually doesn’t jump on me.   But this morning I was just relieved to have the Fate I know back.

She had taken off the cone that was supposed to keep her from chewing the bandage off her paw.  She started on the bandage, but only got a small piece of it undone.

The anesthesia from her minor surgery yesterday,  made her so lethargic.  When I got up in the night to go to the bathroom and checked on her, she was so dopey,   I started making up horrible stories in my mind.  What if she’s brain-damaged from the anesthesia I thought.  The Fate I love so much, lost forever.  “We’ll put her down” Jon mumbled in his sleep when I posed the question to him.   I spent the next hour, lying awake,  going over all the possibilities in my mind.

One more time in my life I wondered how people have children.  How do they survive?  Fate’s only a dog, but…..

It turned out my nightmareish thoughts were just that, nightmares.

By this afternoon, the bandage was off Fate’s foot, the minor surgery the vet had done the day before was forgotten.  Fate wasn’t even limping.  Whatever they did at the Vets (they don’t even seem to know what was wrong) worked.

I guess I didn’t even realize how worried I was until she jumped on me this morning and I didn’t tell her to “get down”.  I think I was as excited as she was.

Paula Bogden’s Collages at the Bedlam Farm Open House

October 6th, 2016

I had most of my Gallery all set up.  Just waiting for two more artists to deliver their work.  Paula Bogden showed up from Virginia this morning.

And she brought with her the most wonderful collages.

I’d seen her collages in pictures on facebook.  But they were in books.  Her journals are page after page of layered images.  Original photos, painted grounds, found objects, and random words.

I asked her if she could make some for the Bedlam Farm Open House.  She had never made them for anyone but herself.

I told her it was like tearing one of the pages out of her journal, matting and framing it.

Of course, it’s not that simple.  There’s a difference between making something for yourself and making something that you know other people will see and possible want to buy.

So it was really exciting to open the cardboard box that Paula brought to my studio this morning.  Looking at each piece of art.   So much detail, so much color and texture and  feeling.

I’m selling each of Paula’s original matted collages, (they fit into a standard 11×14″ frame) for $60.  If you see one you like, and would like to own it, just let me know.  I’d have to figure out the shipping charge if you’re not coming to the Bedlam Farm Open House, but Wendy at the post office can help me with that.  You can email me at

Buy A Pair Of Colorful Socks, And $2 Will Be Donated To My Trip To India

October 5th, 2016
Jon and Heather

Jon and Heather at Over The Moon Beads

“I got the socks”  It was a message from Heather who owns Over The Moon Beads.  I’ve been waiting for her to get the latest colors in Jon’s size.  She was also stocking up for the Bedlam Farm Open House Weekend.

Jon started buying me the colorful socks from Heather’s shop, and when she recently got  them  in extra-large, I started buying them for Jon.  I think he has more than I do now and our clothes line looks better than ever.

Heather’s doing something special with the socks the weekend of the Bedlam Farm Open House.  For every pair she sells to anyone coming to the Bedlam Farm Open House, she’s donating $2 to my trip to India.  The weekend hasn’t begun, but she’s already collected $20 in donations from people who have come to town early or ordered by phone.

So if you’re in the market for some really colorful and well made socks ( made in the USA) visit Heather at Over The Moon Beads, next to Battenkill Books on Main Street in Cambridge.  And let her know you heard about them through me and Jon and $2 from the sale of your socks will benefit the girls I’ll be working with in India.

Over The Moon Beads will be  open Saturday from 9-4 and Sunday from 10-3.

And if you aren’t coming to the Open House, but still would like a pair you can call Heather at
(518) 677-3005 or visit her at