Linda’s Quilts, A Creative Journey

December 16th, 2016


I put the last quilt for Linda in the mail this week.    Five quilts in all, they’re gifts for her family.  I’ve never had a commission to make so many quilts, but Linda was great to work with.  She gave me complete creative freedom and is happy with the quilts I made for her.

For me, it gave me the freedom to make five quilts and know that they were sold and that I would have a steady, known cash flow for a couple of months.

Creatively, because I made so many in such a short period of time, each quilt informed the next.  Sometimes it was by using a piece of  the same fabric, sometimes it was by doing something completely different.

Some of them came together easily and others I struggled with.

For me, looking at them all together is like seeing them hanging together in a gallery.   Each their own piece, but together they tell a story of a creative journey.




Icy Cold

December 15th, 2016


It’s icy cold outside and the animals are gobbling up their hay.  I’m sure the hay on Biddy’s head didn’t last long.  One of the other sheep would have surely eaten it off of her.  Not a scrap of hay is left by the time the animals are done eating  this time of year.

The Moon Will Not Be Ignored

December 15th, 2016

It’s 2:30 Am and I just came in from visiting with the moon.

I had little choice. She tugged at me as I lay in bed.  Not able to sleep, but too tired to get up.  Finally I gave in.  Pulled on my leggins under jeans,  took yesterdays socks from the laundry basket.  I layered my clothes like a homeless person.

I knew it was in the single digits outside, if not below zero.

But the moon insisted.  Her light filled the windows like an eerie daytime, or the strange half light of an eclipse.

And the snow just made it all brighter.

I heard Fate whine from her crate in the bedroom as I lifted the chain on the gate to the barn yard.

Chloe peered around the wall of the polebarn, the new guard animal.

She followed me like a dog, down the hill to the back pasture.

Quiet, so quiet, except for the crunch of snow under our feet.

I looked behind me,  after Chloe the donkeys came next, then a line of sheep.

But they weren’t following me, we were one winding thread.    The big dipper standing straight up and down on its handle if front of us, Orion barely visible next to the full moon behind us.

The sheep  stopped at the pine tree, trying to reach the lowest branches and the donkeys pulled at the tall weeds sticking out of the snow.  Chloe pawed  at the snow, getting down to the earth, finding little to eat.

She was the first to head back.  Tossing her head and snorting, the sheep followed.

Lulu and Fanny, being the donkeys they are, hung back till they were ready to go.   I waited for them watching the big red star twinkle above the tree line.

I don’t know why I’m so drawn to the moonlight.  On nights like tonight, I find her irresistible. Something ancient no doubt.  A connection that demands attention.

Like our mother earth, every once in  a while she does something to get our attention.  You’ve forgotten all about me she says.  But I will not be ignored.


Functional Art- My Intuitive Potholders For Sale

December 14th, 2016



I started making potholders because they were the closest thing to a small quilt that was functional that I could think of to make.  I had just started my business and it was during the first year of the Recession, so I thought I had a better chance of selling small functional art in the form of potholders than $300 quilts.

And I was right.  That fall and winter I sold about 100 potholders a month.  It gave me the confidence to stay part time at my job working with Developmentally Disabled Adults and keep working at my business.

I don’t know how many potholders I’ve sold since then.  I just know I keep making them and keep on selling them.

I’ve always believed in Functional Art, even when I was in Art School and it was looked down on.  But for me it makes sense to be surrounded by beauty as much as possible.

There’s still time to get my potholders for Christmas.  As long as we act quickly.  I have a bunch for sale, so if you see any you like you can let me know by emailing me at

My Intuitive Potholders are $15 each + $5 shipping or 1-2 and $7 shipping for three or more. (shipping is a bit more outside the US) . 

Here’s what I have….








Icicles On The Sun

December 14th, 2016

It was the icicle hanging off the “sun” of Ed Gulley’s sculpture (which is hanging from my studio) that caught my eye.  I didn’t see the donkeys till after I took the picture.  I love the way the “crescent moon” holds the donkeys in its curve.

White Hen At The Bird Feeder

December 14th, 2016

All the hens will venture out into the snow to get the bird seed that fall from the feeder.  White hen was out by herself this morning, the early hen and all that…..

Jackie Thorne Reads Her Latest Poem “Sleepwalking”

December 13th, 2016

It always feels like something special is happening when Jackie and I visit Mary Kellogg.  The two generations separated by age and technology come together with their words, dedication to their work and respect for each other.

Mary still hand writes her poems with pen and paper.    Jackie keeps her iphone next to her bed so when she wakes up with ideas for a poem she has a place to type them.

After Mary read one of her poems I asked Jackie to read one of hers.  She published “Sleepwalking” on her blog Creative Journey Woman.  Jackie’s been practicing reading her poems out loud and has been recording them on her blog for a few months now.    So you and both read them and hear them.  As with many of Jackie’s poems, I found this one haunting.

You can hear Mary Kellogg read her poem here.

Mary Kellogg Reads Her Latest Poem

December 13th, 2016

The last time Mary and Jackie and I got together, Mary talked about writing poems about what it’s like to be her at this point in her life, what it’s like to be an 86 year old woman.

This afternoon, as we once again sat around her dining room table, she showed us a piece of paper covered back and front with her handwritten words.  They were her thoughts and ideas for new poems.  But she told us, she decided not to write those poems because, she said, they were too depressing.  They just brought her down.

Then she read us three new poems.  The last one spoke so eloquently  about aging in a way that was moving but not depressing.  I don’t think Mary was even aware that she had written a poem about just the thing she said she didn’t want to write about.

Jackie and I were both  so moved by the poem,  I asked Mary if I could video her reading it.  Mary never passes up an opportunity to read and share her work anymore although for years she never showed it to anyone.

This is something all three of us share, that desire to have our work known.  To put it out into the world and let it do it’s work.

Afterwards, Jackie read her latest poem.  You can see that here.


Mary Kellogg’s China Teacups

December 13th, 2016

The Teacups that Mary gave me.     Photo by Jon Katz

“There’s something I want you to help me with” Mary said as we walked into her kitchen.

My friend Jackie Thorne and I were visiting Mary Kellogg.  I brought cookies from the Round House Cafe and Jackie brought her latest poem.

Mary and Jackie are two poets from different generations (Mary in her mid eighties and Jackie in her mid forties)   who connect naturally through their poetry.  Both writing since they were children and only publishing their work later in life.

They met at our Bedlam Farm Open House a year ago.  Since then Jackie and I have visited Mary in her old farm house at the top of a dirt road.  We sit in her dining room, where light pours in through the bow window overlooking a view of the mountains and trees.  (Inspiration for many of Mary’s poems.)   The window sill is covered with flowering plants even in the dead of winter and the many birdfeeders are in constant  flux with visiting  chickadees, nuthatches, sparrows, finches and this afternoon a red squirrel.

But today, before going into the dining room for tea and poetry, Mary pointed to the dozen or so china teacups  drying upside down on a towel and their matching saucers in the dish drain.  “If you would please match up the cups and saucers” Mary said, “then each of you choose two cups  that you’d like to have. ”

Open, on the  kitchen counter, on the other side of the room, was an old book.   Hand written on the first page was a description of each china cup and saucer, where Mary got them, for what occasion and when.

“I used to  use these to have tea with the ladies, Mary told us.  Back then I had them displayed in a cabinet where I could see them all the time.  Now  they’re in a closet and the mice get to use them more than I do. “But don’t worry” she said,  “I’ve washed them all out.”  “I might as well give them away now since I don’t use them anymore.”

My eye went immediately to the cup with the pink flower with brown and green leaves.  Then I turned over a green cup and saw the playing cards painted on the inside of it.  The words ” The Cup of Knowledge” written along the rim.

Who doesn’t want to drink for the cup of knowledge?   My choice was easy.

Jackie chose a cup with delicate flowers inside the cup and another one with birds on it.   We wrapped them in bubble wrap that Mary gave us and put them into two small boxes that she had saved for just this purpose.

Mary would give the rest of the cups to her children and grandchildren.

After that we sat around the dining room table drinking tea, eating cookies and talking poetry.   I took a video of both Mary and Jackie reading their latest poems.

As we were leaving, I imagined me and Jackie visiting each other and sipping tea from our china cups.  And how even if Mary wasn’t there, she’d always be with us.


Sleeping Cats

December 12th, 2016

It got  cold last night.  We stoked the fires in the wood stoves and dressed in layers getting ready for the snow that had already started.  Minnie and Flo found warmth in each other on the couch.

This morning, with a some snow on the ground and the temperature rising,  Minnie chose the basement and Flo was back outside.