Izzy Meets Her New Flock

July 12th, 2016
Zelda and Izzy getting to know each other.

Zelda and Izzy getting to know each other.

It didn’t take long for Izzy to become a part of the flock.  We kept the sheep separated from Chloe and the donkeys for maybe an hour, so they could meet each other with the fence between them.  Chloe has turned out to be more of a guard pony than I would have thought. She was at the fence with her ears up as soon as Izzy came.

Fanny and Lulu were at the fence too.  Lulu watching then all of them sniffing at each other through the gate.

The equines eventually saw enough and left while the sheep piled into the sheep shed and got to know each other.

I sat with the sheep a while with Fate lying on the other side of the fence so she could get used to Izzy from a distance too and Izzy could get used to me.

Izzy, A Romney Sheep, Comes to Bedlam Farm

July 12th, 2016

Donna dropped off Izzy, our new Romney ewe, this morning.   She jumped out of Donna’s car and into the dog area with Donna holding onto her.  There was a brief struggle where Izzy pulled Donna and then Donna jumped on top of Izzy to keep her from running off.   I came by after the hard work was done and got to feel Izzy’s incredibly lanolin soft wool.

At first Izzy had a hard time getting from the dog area to  the pasture with the sheep.  Then Jon thought to bring the sheep into the dog area where Izzy was and let her follow them out.  (That’s Liam leading the way and Deb jumping over the dog house)

 

Raptor Words II: Vulture, Defying Gravity

July 12th, 2016

raptor words

After finishing writing  the words about alligator under the right eye of my quilt Raptor, I wanted to start working on the words that would go under the left eye.

The raptor eyes were the first thing I drew on this quilt.  And they remained the only thing for weeks.  When I looked at them I knew they were Vulture eyes.  But over time I began to think that Vultures are not really the kind of bird that most people take to.  So I started to play with the idea that they belonged to a more noble bird, an owl or eagle maybe.

I’ve been hearing about the book Animal Speak by Ted Andrews for years.  So many people I know have it and reference it all the time to find out the symbolism of an animal.   But somehow I never thought of getting a copy for myself.  Then,  when the bear died in our pasture, Jon bought the book to see what he might discover about the bear.

I picked it up last night, read some of it before going to sleep  and had the dream about alligator.

I decided to try again.  Before starting the writing under the right eye, I looked up Vulture.  And what I found was a powerful and spiritual, misunderstood bird.

When I think of Vulture, all those cartoon images come to mind.  Ugly and mean, they eat dead things.  I wonder why I don’t see, instead, the way they ride the thermals rarely flapping their wings.  Floating through the sky, looking to do the dirty work of cleaning up the potentially bacteria creating carcasses of animals killed by someone other than them.   As unappreciated as garbage men in a city, until they go on strike.

That’s the practical part of Vulture.  Spiritually, Vultures ability to soar and float with ease,  to seemingly defy gravity,  is a symbol of leaving the mundane, and material behind.  In Animal Speak, Andrews writes:

“One of the mystical secrets believed to be held by the vulture is the ability to levitate.  Levitation is the law of spirituality” 

And this is where the movie, The Fits, that Jon and I went to see on Sunday, comes in.   And if you’re going to see the movie, (which I highly recommend)  stop reading here because I’m going to spoil the ending for you.

In the movie, Toni is an 11 year old girl figuring out who she is and how she fits in with the other girls around her.  As much as she wants to be a part of the dance team in her community center, she also has a strong sense of her individuality.

One by one, the older girls on the dance team being having seizure-like fits. They’re reminiscent of the girls in the play The Crucible.  Soon it becomes apparent that any girl who doesn’t experience a “fit” is becoming an outcast.  While some of the girls are videoing the other girls having “fits”  and gossiping about them, Toni is frightened by them.   She becomes defensive, believing her older brother who says they’re all in the mind.  Just before Toni has her own “fit” we see her outside, standing alone  in a drained community swimming pool, staring up at four or five Turkey Vultures floating above her.

Soon after that we see Toni in the community center.  We’re watching her feet slowly begin to dance,  the accompanying sound track  is a woman  singing about gravity.  Slowly Toni’s feet leave the ground and, as in a flying dream, she starts to literally  float on the air.  She’s levitating.  Like a Yogi, or a Witch or a Vulture, she defies gravity not allowing the mundane experiences of the physical world hold her down.

Suddenly I’m seeing Vulture as a noble, powerful and mystical bird.  One who came to me to lift me up from what I thought I knew.  To show me how to float above my work and see it and myself for who  and what we really are.

Raptor Words I: Alligator and Misguided Strength

July 11th, 2016

raptor words detail

I woke up from my dream trying to clear the dreadful feeling from my body and the images from my head.  In my dream, Fate had jumped into a pond with an alligator in it.  She was swimming around like a seal (she doesn’t like to swim in life) at one point I even mistook her for Lenore,  she was enjoying the water so much.  I was yelling for her to come to me but she wasn’t listening.   I knew the alligator was hungry.

On Friday before I left my studio, I decided I wanted to fill the space under the raptor eyes with words.  Not necessarily words to be read, but using them as  texture and marks.  I wasn’t confident enough about the idea to start it and left my studio unsure about the piece altogether.

On Sunday, Jon and I went to the Williams College Museum in Williamstown MA  and to see the movie The Fits.  At the museum I saw a photo by Lalla Essaydi.  In the photo everything but the woman’s hair and hand is covered in Arabic writing in henna.  A beautiful and emotional photo dealing with identity, tradition and culture, I took it as a sign to use my own writing on my  Raptor piece.

Converging by Lalla Essaydi

Converging Territories  by Lalla Essaydi

Since I wasn’t expecting the words to ever be read by anyone, they’re really  too hard to see because of the surface of the quilt, I just started some stream of consciousness writing.  But  by the time I was done I realized I had analyzed my dream in the writing.

Alligator has come to me before  as a symbol of ancient wisdom and protective mother.   In my writing I came to see that the dream  was about me being afraid of my own strength and how destructive that strength can be if unacknowledged.  Then I looked up alligator in the book  Animal-Speak and read ” The viciousness and destructive power (of alligator) was often symbolized as a mother swallowing her young.”

The alligator was my misguided strength become vicious enough to do great harm to Fate.

I no longer saw the dream as scary, but as a message from my subconscious to accept my strength and not allow it to be misdirected and destructive.

When I finished writing on the quilt,  I stood back and looked at the whole piece.  I was no longer ambiguous about it as I was on Friday.  Suddenly I had my confidence back.  I pulled most of the stitches on the Super Girl patches and straightened her out (I had sewed her on crooked and didn’t have the energy to fix her on Friday).  The piece was starting to come together and I began feeling good about it again.

 

 

Affectionate Lulu

July 11th, 2016

jon and lulu

Lulu was very affectionate this morning.  First she insisted I give her some loving then she presented herself to Jon for his attention.

Good Monday Morning From Bedlam Farm 7/11/16

July 11th, 2016

A cool dry morning on Bedlam Farm after a weekend of much needed rain.

Izzy, A New Sheep Coming To Bedlam Farm

July 10th, 2016
Deb from Vermont Fiber Mill saying hello to Red.

Deb from Vermont Fiber Mill saying hello to Red.  That’s my wool in the plastic bags up front.

Yesterday we made our wool run to Vermont Fiber Mill.  I dropped off 42 lbs of wool.  Most of it will be made into worsted and DK yarn.  Zelda is getting older and her wool doesn’t grow as fast or lush so we’ll be getting bumps of her wool (these are used by handspinners to make into yarn).  On the opposite end, I have so much of Liam’s wool I’ll be getting half of his in yarn and half in bumps.

I’m discovering that the sheep are really beginning to earn their keep.  Selling the wool helps pay for some of  their hay in the winter and covers the twice a year shearing.  And with Zelda getting older, both Jon and I were thinking it might be time to get another sheep.

Then Donna at the hardware store in town told us that she just took in five Romney Sheep that she needs to find homes for.  A friend lost her farm  and the sheep were going to go to slaughter.  But Donna said they were just too beautiful for her to let that happen.  So she took them in hoping to place them in good homes.

Donna asked what color and gender I wanted and then told me about Izzy.  Just under two years old, Izzy has chocolate brown wool with a good crimp (the crimp or kink is the ripples in the wool.  The more crimp, the finer you can spin the wool).   And she’s a nice sheep too.  Donna was most concerned about finding her a good home where her wool would be appreciated.

I haven’t even seen her yet, but with all Donna told me about her and being her name is  Izzy, I know she was meant to come to Bedlam Farm.

So later this week Donna will deliver Izzy.   She already lives with horses and goats and dogs so she should have no trouble fitting in.

I’m thinking in October’s shearing of mixing some of the wools together.  I was just texting with my friend Suzy (who makes the gloves for the Open House and who my sheep Suzy is named after) and she was suggesting mixing Izzy’s wool with Socks’ wool to add a softness to it.  Suzy said there are lots of different combinations to make and I think that could be fun and expand my variety of wool just by adding a sheep.

I’ll be sure to write about Izzy’s arrival.  I can’t wait to see what she looks like.

 

Flo and Turtle

July 8th, 2016

Flo and Eds turtle

Flo found some shade under Ed Gulley’s Turtle on our back porch.

Working On “Raptor” Again

July 8th, 2016

Raptor

It’s been a long time since I worked on my Raptor Wall Hanging, but between yesterday and today I made some progress.   Right now it looks strange even to me, but when I drew the bird on the cat creature, I got the confidence boost I needed.
I let this piece go too long without working on it.  But right now it’s just what I need to focus on.  It’s helping me get back in to my creative head.

Raptor detail

Raptor detail2

More Bedlam Farm Tote Bags For Sale

July 7th, 2016
Goddess With Hens

Goddess With Hens Sold

I’ve been working on some Bedlam Farm Tote Bags this week and I have a few for sale.  Each one is a an original drawing.  No two are exactly alike.

They’re $40 each + $8 shipping.  If you see one you like, you can email me at maria@fullmoonfiberart.com. Just let me know if you want to send a check or I can email you a paypal invoice.

Goddess with Horse and Owl II

Goddess with Horse and Owl II Sold

Two Cats and a Snake

Two Cats and a Snake Sold

Sleeping Tree and Goddess

Sleeping Tree and Goddess Sold

Heart Tree

Heart Tree Sold