Last Day of Suzy’s Blue Shawl Auction to Benefit Blue Star Equiculture

June 12th, 2015
Suzy's friend Jen, modeling Suzy's Shawl

Suzy’s friend Jen, modeling Suzy’s Shawl

Today is the last day to bid on Suzy’s Blue Shawl to benefit Blue Star Equictulture.

The lastest bid is $500!

Suzy hand spun and knit the shawl using mohair and llama wool.  If you’d like to make a bid just leave it on my comments.  I’ll be announcing the winner Tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone who’s bid already.  The Blue Star family of people and horses thank you!

Suzy's Blue Shawl

Suzy’s Blue Shawl

Riding Chloe, How it begins

June 11th, 2015
I'm telling Chloe what a good job she did.

I’m telling Chloe what a good job she did.

So, back on Chloe.  Yesterday I decided to keep it simple and  fun and go for a walk with Chloe.  No saddle, no bridal, just a lead rope on her halter.  I was back in a good place, feeling strong and in a good mood.  I was hoping Chloe was feeling the same.  I told her it would be like a picnic.  We’d walk in the (dreaded) back pasture, have a bit to eat then walk around the rest of the farm.  We stuck to the well worn donkey paths, I was hoping they’d feel comfortable if not familiar.  And it worked, the donkeys and sheep followed us keeping the herd together.  There we were, just a bunch of different species hanging out in the pasture. Chloe was easy and willing, we just had a good time together.

Today, I felt like going for a ride again.  Instead of using the cross ties in the barn, I  tied Chloe up outside.  The donkeys hung around as I groomed and saddled her.  Yesterday I saw how she really enjoyed have her tail combed, so I too some extra time grooming her.   It felt less fraught, more comfortable and Chloe took the bit without a problem.

Again I walked her into the back pasture.  This time, on the way back I let her go to the gate that leads to the woods behind the house. She seemed curious and stood still staring out at the woods as if she heard or saw something I didn’t.   Then I got in the saddle and it went great for a while.  Until we came around to the barn for the second time and she wanted to go back.

This time I knew what to expect and was ready and determined.   I thought to use my legs (along with my body and reins)  to get her going where I wanted.  And I talked to her, letting her know I was ready to do this all day if we had to.   She kept backing up and I kept stopping her and trying to redirect her. We did this until she gave in to me and walked away from the barn and around the pasture again.  We did this two or three times, each time she eventually did as I asked.

Until I tried to get her to go in the back pasture. We had been at it a while so on this I decided to compromise.  Instead of riding her, I got off and we walked, which she was willing to do.  At the far fence I got back on and we rode back  to the barn.

Although in some ways it was similar to the last time we rode.  It felt completely different to me.  I guess because I was feeling strong and determined.  But I was also having fun, I was really enjoying trying to figure out what to do next and  was enjoying riding and being with Chloe even though it didn’t go smoothly.  And Chloe wasn’t agitated like the last time. I think maybe she enjoyed it a little more too.

This is new for both of us but I have that feeling about Chloe like we’re going to be together for a long time. Like when you meet someone for the first time and they’re so familiar and you feel so comfortable with them it’s as if you’ve always known them.  That’s how it feels to me with Chloe and with riding.  Like we’ve done it all before and this is just how it begins.

 

 

How To Dance, Mary Kellogg’s New Book of Poetry

June 10th, 2015
Mary Kellogg

Mary Kellogg proof reading her new book in my studio

The Bedlam Farm Open House is happening in just a few weeks.  The weekend of June 27th and 28th. So I’m starting to get my work together for it and thinking about all the other artists who will be exhibiting their work in my School House Gallery.

But it’s not just art.  We’re going to have five poets there too, reading their work and selling their books.  One of the poets is our friend Mary Kellogg who has been at every one of our Bedlam Farm Open Houses and whose poetry Jon and I have published.  Now we’re working on publishing  Mary’s third book “How to Dance” in time for the Open House.

So today Mary came over to proof read the first proofs of her book.  Like her other books this one has some of Jon’s photos in it.  She read over all her poems, made corrections, and even made some last minute changes.  There are 44 new poems in her book.  And as Jon writes in his introduction:  Mary is naturally poignant and penetrating, her poems evoke a lace curtain lifting in an afternoon breeze.

We’ll be selling Mary’s new book “How to Dance” along with her other two books  “My Place on Earth” and “Whistling Woman” at the Open House.  The other poets are Doug Anderson, Tom Atkins and Kate Rantilla.  Each will do a reading and will be selling their latest books.

Here’s one of Mary’s new poems that’s in How to Dance

My Neighbors

Simply seeing the mountains
In their sure footed existence
Framed within my kitchen window
Gives me strength every day of my life

I ask them to never change
As I need their folded blanket of warmth

There is one stalwart tree
Standing proudly on the crest
I muse as to its origin
Is it a rugged pine or a mighty oak
Roots bound into the forest or single meadow

How could I reach you
To climb among your graceful arms
Swing from the tip of your spire
Frighten the jays and crows
Into a raucous concert
Perhaps spy a porcupine

I yearn to find you
Discover your commanding view
Of brother mountains
And secret valleys.

By Mary Kellogg

 

 

 

Riding Chloe, a reflection of myself

June 9th, 2015
Lulu, Fanny and Chloe

Lulu, Fanny and Chloe

Two days ago I took Chloe out for our second time riding. I was expecting it to be something like the first time and was happily surprised when she let me put the bridal on with no trouble.  But once we got out in the pasture, everything was different.  She didn’t want to go into the back pasture at all, even though I was just walking with her.  Then once I got on her she  gave me a hard time with almost everything I wanted her to do.  She was also whinnying loudly and I thought maybe she was calling to the donkeys, who stayed in the pole barn.    At one point she started tossing her head.  Now I knew she was really unhappy, but I wasn’t sure what to do about it.  So I got off her and checked her saddle.  I thought I had put it on right, but now  it seemed  too tight, so I loosened it.

By now I wasn’t having any more fun than she was.  And I know I  was relying too much on the reins.  We weren’t in sync at all.  After loosening her saddle all she wanted to do was go back in the barn.  I was able to stop her, but it was a struggle to get her to go where I wanted her to.

At one point, feeling defeated,  I was ready to give up.  I was starting to think that it was a mistake for me to get Chloe at all.  But I knew if I gave up it would just be harder the next time. I thought of training Fate, the persistence and patience it took.  And Jon was there too, encouraging me to keep at it.

So I did.  I got Chloe to walk around the pasture again, along the edge of the fence, kept her from going back to the barn when she wanted to and brought her back the long way.

I was so annoyed with Chloe, it took me a while to remember something that so many people have told me about horses.  That they are our mirror, reflecting ourselves back to us.   So even if Chloe was just being a headstrong pony, or a moody mare, my reaction to her was a  part of the problem.

I think next time before I ride, I have to be in or get myself in a better place.  I have to be more focused and clear.  And project what I want from the ride.  I wasn’t feeling my interior strength when I rode Chloe two days ago.  And I think that was reflected in our ride.

I also had an idea in my head about who Chloe was.  I was seeing her as an older mare who kids rode.  Someone easy going who I would have to coax to move faster than a slow walk. Now I’m seeing   a strong willed pony who loves to run and be with the donkeys.  A pony who would rather be grazing and doing what she feels like than having me on her back.  But then I’m sure that’s not the whole story either.  From now on I’m going to try and let her tell me who she is instead of me telling her.

One thing I do know is that there’s so much I don’t know.  And although I felt like giving up when I got off Chloe two days ago, I know that’s part of why Chloe’s here.   We’re going to be learning some stuff together and I don’t want to give that up.

Today I Need Wings, A New Wallhanging For Sale

June 9th, 2015
Today I need wings

Today I need Wings

After emerging, my I’m Alive Goddess crawled right back into the hidden place where she was living inside of me all these years.  But that seems to be the way it goes.  I’ve found that epiphanies are shocking when they happen, but they don’t automatically change my life.  It takes time and work to change my mind and the body, where  beliefs live.   And I like the idea of change as a spiral.  We spiral up and down (picture a spiral on its side) but are ever expanding.

So after my Goddess emerged and I was feeling a strength like never before, I started to sink.  Because the goddess also brought out all those old dark feelings that had settled in me.  The Goddess emerging is like dredging, she stirred everything up.

Yesterday, I woke up thinking “Today I need wings”.   I needed some help to bring me back to a better place.  So I gave my goddess wings.  Then I found some other women in my studio that looked like they could use a lift and gave them wings too.

I stitched this piece on a  vintage linen that had a green pepper in a chefs had embroidered on it.  (She seemed to me to need some wings for sure).   Then sewed  a couple of different fabrics on it and stitched or used maker on the rest.

wings pepper

So she’s back and I’m happy to say, now that she’s emerged, my I’m Alive Goddess is here to stay.

Today I need Wings is  Sold for sale. It is 22″x34″ and is $175 + $10 shipping.  If you’re interested you can email  me here at maria@fullmoonfiberart.com

Detail

Detail of women with marker drawn wings.

 

Today I need Wings

June 8th, 2015
"Today I need wings"

“Today I need wings”

I started this piece today.  It’s called “Today I Need Wings”.  I’ll finish the edge tomorrow.  Not sure what I’ll do with it yet.

"Today I need wings" detail

“Today I need wings” detail

Another detail

Another detail

Suzy’s Blue Shawl Auction to Benefit Blue Star Equiculture Continues….

June 8th, 2015
Suzy's Blue Shawl

Suzy’s Blue Shawl

The Blue Shawl Auction to benefit Blue Star Equiculture is going strong.  My friend Suzy Fatzinger (who my sheep Suzy is named after) hand spun and knit the Blue Shawl to help the Blue Star family of people and horses.

Right now, the highest bid is $500 ! (thank you all for bidding so far)   But it keeps changing so check my comments for the latest.

The auction will end on Friday night so there’s still plenty of time to support Pamela and Blue Star Equiculture.  If you’d like to bid on Suzy’s mohair and llama shawl, just leave your bid on my comments page.

Suzy Spinning at one of the Bedlam Farm Exhbiits

Suzy Spinning at one of the Bedlam Farm Exhibits

Josie and Remix at Blue Star

June 7th, 2015
Josie driving her horse Remix

Josie driving her horse Remix who’s pulling a stoneboat

“Luna doesn’t like things on her butt” Josie told me.  I pulled the blanket off from behind me that was on Luna’s back.  Josie was riding next to me, in the horse procession for Paul last week at Blue Star Equiculture.  I haven’t talked to Josie, a lot although I’ve worked beside her with the horses.    She’s shy, one of those people who doesn’t talk much but when they do, you listen to what they’re saying.  And I heard her when she told me that about Luna, because when the blanket fell off the horse in front of me and someone on the ground draped it over Luna’s butt, she suddenly wasn’t very happy and I had no idea why.

But then Josie knows about all the horses at Blue Star.  She started volunteering there when she was nine years old.  Now she’s sixteen and she both rides and drives her horse Remix. She’s at Blue Star at least every weekend helping to feed the horses, muck the stables, working with Remix and do whatever else needs doing.  She has a quiet strength and confidence and sweetness.

When I asked her how she learned to ride, she said,”By watching and doing.” Then added, that she wasn’t a really good rider and she liked driving better.  I’ve noticed that most of the people at Blue Star say they’re not good riders.  But there they are riding, often bareback on those giant horses.  I’m not sure what they mean by good or who they’re comparing themselves too.

Pamela gave Remix to Josie when he first came to Blue Star.  It’s beautiful to see the two of them together, the ease and love that flows between them.   And it was really impressive to see Josie driving Remix, who was pulling her on a stoneboat, this afternoon.  (Stoneboats were used to move rocks to build stone walls.)

This is one of the many wonderful things that happens at Blue Star Equiculture.  And there are so many people like Josie, who come to Blue Star to learn and grow with the horses and the people.   And it changes their lives for the better.  I know, because I’ve met so many of them and because I’m one of them.

Suzy’s Hand Spun and Knit Blue Shawl Auction to Benefit Blue Star Equiculture

June 5th, 2015
Suzy's friend Jen, modeling Suzy's Shawl

Suzy’s friend Jen, modeling Suzy’s  Blue Shawl

When my friend Suzy Fatzinger heard about Paul Moshimer’s death, she wanted to do something to help Pamela and Blue Star Equiculture.  Suzy raises Angora goats and an Angora bunny and is a hand spinner and knitter.  She won a Blue Ribbon for spinning my sheep Socks’ wool into yarn last year.  And I’ve had her work in more than one of the Bedlam Farm Open Houses.

So, Suzy made a  Blue Shawl and decided she wanted to donate it to Blue Star Equiculture.   She asked me if I would help her auction the shawl to raise money.   So that’s what we’re doing.

Suzy hand spun and hand knit the mohair, llama and wool fiber.  So you know it’s soft and lovingly made.

We have a starting price of $125.  And hope to raise as much  money as possible for Pamela and the  horses at Blue Star Equiculture.

The latest bid is $500!

So, here’s how it works.  Starting at $125 you can leave a bid  at the bottom of this page on my comments.    This way everyone can see the latest bid.  The auction will last one week and Suzy’s Blue Shawl will go to the highest bidder.  I’ll announce the winner on Saturday morning.

Thanks in advance to everyone who participates.  I think the shawl is a beautiful symbol of the love and warmth that Pamela brings to the people and horses at Blue Star.  The kind of feeling you want to wrap yourself in.

Suzy's Blue Shawl

Suzy’s Blue Shawl

Chloe and Me, First Ride

June 4th, 2015
Chloe

Chloe

I rode Chloe at the farm for the first time today.  I was expecting that she would behave the same way she did when I would tack and ride her at Eli’s when I was taking lessons.  But it was different.   And now that I think about it, it makes sense.  She’s in a completely new place, a whole new life.

We had some lead ropes that were in the barn when we bought the house. And there are rings in the stall in the barn.  So I was able to cross tie Chloe in the stall.  She did a lot of moving around and was having a hard time settling as I brushed her.  I talked to her quietly and reassuringly.  I told her we were going riding.  She was okay with the saddle, but gave me a hard time when I tried to put the bridle on her.  Once on she didn’t want me to buckle the chin and throat straps.  At first I was thinking I was doing something wrong.  But it didn’t look wrong to me and I realized that I had to let her know that I wasn’t giving up and we were going to do this.  I think it  was a test of wills.  She was trying.  So I just kept at it till I got them buckled.

After that I knew she was nervous and decided to just walk her around the pastures instead of riding her.  She’d never been in two of the pastures before.    Also, the sheep were grazing not too far away.  I didn’t want to upset Chloe any more than she already was, so I moved the sheep into the side pasture and closed the gate.

Then I unhooked the cross ties, took off her halter and off we went.  First I walked her around the pasture that she’s been grazing in since she came to the farm.  Then we went into the back pasture.  When we got back to the barn I felt like we were ready for a ride.

We stayed in the pasture Chloe was familiar with and walked the edge.  I didn’t let her trot although a few times she wanted to.  I was really conscious of the fact that this was our first ride in her new home together and I wanted it to be an example of how things would be between us.  I was the one in charge and she had to do what I asked.  She wasn’t always so willing, but I kept reminding her.  If she went to far in the wrong direction, I made her stop and back up three times then pointed her where I wanted to go.  But most of the time we were in sync.

I stopped when it was still going good.  When I got off of Chloe, Fanny and Lulu were looking at us quizzically, like they were trying to figure it all out.

I think Chloe and me did pretty good for our first time.   I understand now that I need to be more patient and sensitive to how new it all is for her.   I also think it’s important for us to ride regularly, especially in the beginning, so it becomes routine.  I remembered Eli telling me first I have to be the leader then we can be partners. I’m seeing the same thing applies to training Fate.  I told Chloe we’re going to learn from each other.  And I tried to listen to her to see what she needed and figure out the best way to respond to that. And I felt like I could deal with whatever came along.

Some things just feel right. Even with the mistakes I made, or maybe because I was able to see them, it just felt good.   But having Chloe and riding her, well, it’s hard for me to say why it’s good.  I can’t even explain why I want to do it.    It’s like my body is drawn to it, and my head has little to say about it.  I guess I’m trusting my body, but even if I didn’t , I’d be doing it anyway.