August 15th, 2014
I just got my latest batch of Freedom Potholders back from Kim. These were made with from a bag of scraps from Laura Israel’s fabric collection from the 1970′s. I used up the last of that bag of scraps on these potholders, so you won’t be seeing these colors and patterns again.
Happy Housewife Potholders Sold Out
And this is what I have left of my latest batch of Happy Housewife Potholders. These and I have 3 Freedom Potholders still available. They are $15 each + $5 shipping for 1-2 and $10 shipping for 3 or more. If you’re interested in any potholders, just email me here at firstname.lastname@example.org. I take checks or can email you a paypal invoice.
August 14th, 2014
I have a thing for lamps. I’m drawn to them because I like to use them as a symbol for light and enlightenment and because I enjoy drawing them. So when I thought about making another stitched piece on one of those 6 inch doilies I have (like my piece “Boot”), a lamp seemed most natural. This time I attached the doily to an old white hankie and stitched the lamp with my sewing machine. (I wouldn’t be able to use my machine stitching on something as small as the doily).
Then I colored the lacy edge of the doily yellow with a marker and cut away the hankie.
I hand stitched the cord coming out of the lamp and beaded it with white vintage (some of them made of shell) buttons.
Then I hand stitched another doily on the back to finish it off. Like “Boot”, it’s held onto the wall with six straight pins.
Last week I was listening to an interview with installation artist Ann Hamilton. She spoke about trusting the things we cannot name. This is the part when a person is creating and they have an idea but don’t understand what it means or if it makes any sense. It is something that at the moment can’t be explained with words. But she said it’s important for the artist to thrust the idea and not let anyone talk them out of it, just because they can’t explain it.
This is what I thought of when I was making this piece. I can’t really explain it further than I already have. I don’t know why the buttons. But I’ve decided to trust it.
“Lamp” is for sale. It’s measures 6″ by 16″ long and is $45 + $7 shipping. If it speaks to you, please let me know what it’s saying. And if you’d like to own it you can email me here or at email@example.com. I take checks or can email you a paypal invoice.
August 14th, 2014
“Everyday Goddess” Notecards
Congratulations Becky Wells! You’re the winner of a pack of my Everyday Goddesss Notecards in this month’s Common Thread Give-a-way.
Next Month we’ll have guest artist and Poet Veronica Hallissey give away a copy of one of her books. So come back on Monday, September 1st to enter. Click here to read one of Veronica’s most popular poems “Bless the Experience”
August 13th, 2014
My days have been scattered and stretched and in between I’ve been going to my studio and getting some work in. It feels so good to be there even if it’s just for a couple of hours at a time. Today, around my weekly lunch with Mandy and Athena and Jon’s doctors appointment I was able to finish the wall hanging for Blue Star Equiculture.
Looking at it after it was all done, I saw some things that I wasn’t conscious of when I was making it.
It started the piece by knowing that (as Pamela requested) it needed to have a person (neither male nor female or both) a horse and Blue Star. It took about a week for those three things to roll around in my head before I saw, in my mind, the circle with the person and horse in it. Pamela told me the story of Blue Horse singing the Blue Star Prophecy (a story of new beginnings) and I immediately had an idea of the blue fabric I would use to make the horse. But when I did, it wasn’t right. The pattern was too big, too distracting. In looking for the “right” blue, I found a piece that I didn’t even know I had. Something that came in a box from Kenna and I had somehow missed. It was patterned with leaves and it seemed just right.
I used the reverse of the same fabric for the pants of the person. Their shirt is made from a yellow fabric with spirals on it. I made the Blue Star last, giving it a yellow aura to match that of the person. Then I found the perfect button in my button tin for its center. It was one I had looked at so many times, but couldn’t use because the hole to sew it on with was broken. But it was perfect and this time I was determined to use it. So I heated a needle with a candle and poked a new hole through the back of the button, glad I hadn’t thought of doing that the last time I wanted to use that button.
When I was all done sewing, I tacked the orange circle with orange thread to “quilt” it in place and hold it all together. And when I stepped back to look at it I saw how the piece connected earth and sky. The person, like a tree, grounded and reaching up to the sky. The Blue Star completely of the sky. And Blue Horse connecting them all in its placement between the two and in its mystical and earthly presence.
What a surprise to see this come together and be some much more than the sum of its parts.
Blue Star with button
August 12th, 2014
Jon and Lisa
When Jon was in the hospital I kept thinking how strange it was. And it was strange and I wanted to it stay that way, it wasn’t something I wanted to get used to. But as strange as it was it was not out of my realm of belief. Most people have experienced having someone they love in a hospital and having to deal with it all. As strange as it was, it was not something I was unfamiliar with.
But yesterday, when our friend Lisa Dingle sat on our living room floor and told me and Jon to close our eyes and she held up her iphone to video tape us then started to say words that are now a jumble in my mind except that they added up to the fact that a bunch of people got together and bought me and Jon a trip to Disney….well that was really strange. Strange in the way of aliens landing in my back yard. No, even stranger than that, because I’ve imagined aliens landing in my back yard, but have never, never, ever imagined someone (or in this case many someones) giving us a trip to Disney.
And even though I sat there on the love seat with tears leaking out of my eyes, saying nothing, my first thought was that we couldn’t accept this gift. Then I thought we could give it to someone who really needed it. Then something shifted inside of me and I felt something new, and the word “grace” came to mind. I’ve never really understood what the word means and I still don’t think I do. But I think at that moment I felt it. It was an allowing and acceptance and trust. And I felt the sincerity of the gift and the giving. It came off of Lisa in waves. And later when I thought of what it felt like, I saw my body filled up with a gazillion tiny glittering stars and my torso bursting open and those tiny specks floating out of me and up to the sky. As if each star represented all the good wishes and gifts that have come our way since Jon’s surgery. And I understood the good intentions that went along with the gift and the gift is the manifestation of those intentions.
And I came to see that all those people, some who I don’t even know, didn’t give Jon and me this vacation just because we needed it (who doesn’t need a vacation) but because of all that Jon had given to them, everyday with his words and pictures. It’s something that can’t be measured but is felt and lived.
So Jon and I are graciously accepting this wonderful gift with gratitude. And I already know the gift is bigger that the trip to Disney. Because when I had that feeling of the gazillion stars, something inside of me opened up and expanded and I learned how to trust in a whole new way. And it all felt very magical, like what I imagine it must feel like to be sprinkled with fairy dust.
August 11th, 2014
“Everyday Goddess” Notecards
It’s my turn to give something away in the Common Thread Give-a-way. And this month I’m giving away a pack of my “Everyday Goddess” Notecards. Each pack has four 5×7 signed notecards in it.
All you have to do to enter to win is leave a comment on my blog. I’ll pick a winner using Random.org and announce the winner on Thursday morning. So good luck and thanks for being a part of the Common Thread Give-a-way!
If you don’t know what the Common Thread Give-a-way is it’s something that happens (usually) on the first Monday of each month. There are 5 artists in the give away and we each take a different month to give something that we make away. We also often have guest artists who participate to keep it really interesting. Here are links to all the regular artists blogs in the giveaway:
Rachel Barlow Picking My Battles
Kim Gifford Pugs and Pics
Jon Katz Bedlam Farm
Jane McMillen Little House Home Arts
And if you’d like to see some of the things we’ve given away in the past, click here.
August 10th, 2014
Socks with Zelda, Kim and Pumpkin(his butt anyway) and Liam (in the barn)
Socks, taking over where Tess left off, continues to be my most friendly sheep. Ma will always allow me to scratch her back and Zelda when she feels like it, but it has to be my idea. Socks actually comes up to me and asks for it.
I’m hoping her lamb Pumpkin will be the same someday, but for now, all the lambs are leery of me. The only difference between them is that Pumpkin and Liam will run from me and Deb will stand there and stare at me, until I try to touch her, then she too takes off.
This afternoon Jon and I dropped of our Spring batch of wool at Maple View Fiber Mill in Brandon Vermont. We got it to Debbie late this year, between my trip to Gee’s Bend, Lambing, the Open House and Jon’s surgery, this is the first chance we’ve had to make the trip. So there will be no October Bedlam Farm Wool this year I won’t be getting it back until sometime between March and June 2015.
As I loaded the big, black plastic bags of wool in to the car, I realized how different our flock is since the fall shearing and now. This batch will have Kim’s wool in it for the first time. Debbie will be making it into bumps, she said it was too long to make into yarn. I’ll also have bumps from Socks. Then I’ll have yarn from Suzy, Ma and Zelda. And for this one time only I’ll have yarn from Ted. Ted is he ram we borrowed from the farmer in Vermont, he’s the father of all our lambs. He was at the farm when the sheep were shorn, so for one season, Ted’s wool will be Bedlam Farm Wool.
When we shear the sheep again in October, things will be different again. I’ll be interested to see how much wool we get from the lambs. I’m tempted to say that after that things will become more predictable with the flock and we’ll have our eight fleeces from our eight sheep. But around here, you just never know what will happen.
August 10th, 2014
So Jon and I are walking through Central Park and he, of course has his camera out and is taking pictures and I’m resuming my own personal No-work I’m on vacation policy when we walk past this manhole cover mostly covered by sand and the shadow of a mesh fence delineating where the sand ends and the curved steel of the manhole begins. There’s something about this, that make me break my No-work I’m on vacation policy and pull out my camera. I’m so excited I can barely stand it “Look” I say to Jon “look at this”. When I point it out, he sees it, and even takes a picture (as I’m still struggling to find my iphone in my bag) but isn’t really interested. I’m trying to explain why this manhole, sand and shadow has me salivating and all I can say is “look how the line of the shadow lines up with the line the sand makes.” Honestly, I don’t understand myself why this is so beautiful and fascinating to me. I think part of it has to do with the different textures and soft and hard lines but why it gets me so excited, I can’t begin to say.
And the really interesting part is that Jon and I can walk through the same park right next to each other and each see a different park. And we’re aware of it. I still can’t predict what will capture Jon’s attention enough for him to want to take a picture of it. So often I think I know and am, more often than not, surprised. And, for the most part, the things that hook me are not the things that would catch his eye. So it definitely keeps things fresh. We each get to see not just through our own eyes, but through each others eyes too.
August 7th, 2014
Jon didn’t pick any Sunflowers,(good thing, right?) only took their picture.
Eight-Eight-FortySeven, the day Jon was born. How many times did he say that when he was in the hospital. Everyone asked him, it was how they identified him. It became a joke, someone would say hello and he’d say Eight-Eight-Forty Seven.
Now it’s a little over a month later, (almost Eight-Eight Twenty Fourteen ) and we’re doing something I didn’t think possible when he was greeting everyone with his birth date. I even tried to cancel our reservations but couldn’t because we made them so long ago and it was a “special rate”. So we taking that trip, for Jon’s Birthday, to New York City after all. It won’t be our usual crazy run around the city, filling every moment. This time we’ll walk in Central Park, visit a museum, see a movie and do a lot of resting in between. That’s the plan anyway. So now I’m really glad I wasn’t able to cancel those reservations. Because there’s lots to celebrate, more that I would have imagined when we made the reservations.
Another year, a new heart. We’re coming back on Saturday, but I have a feeling the celebration will continue……