House Of Hearts Potholder Order From India, Almost Filled

March 19th, 2017

A pile of potholders from House Of Hearts

Look at those colors!  100 potholders will soon be on their way from the women who work at House Of Hearts in India.

Soma Seal, who created House Of Hearts, posted on  facebook  that the women love making them.

These are the same women I went to India to teach how to make potholders.

So it’s all coming together.  Soon I’ll have them and be selling them right here on my website.  The profits will go back to Soma and the women who work at House of Hearts.  Helping them to earn a living and keep their families healthy and safe.

Soma started House of Hearts, which is in a couple of rooms in her house, to make sure some of the women in her neighborhood have work and can help support their families.

I loved working with them.  Even though we didn’t speak the same language, we spoke the language of sewing.  It didn’t take long at all for the women to figure out how to make the potholders.   And now they’re coming to America!

I’ll keep you all updated and let you know when I get them.

The Women at House of Hearts working hard, making potholders.

“Talking To Animals” Bedlam Farm Open House June 10th and 11th

March 19th, 2017

Jon with his new book “Talking to Animals” in his study where he wrote it.

The sun was high in the window, blinding me as well as warming my face.  Yesterday Jon let me sleep while he feed the animals.  Today I did the same for him, then crawled back into bed.

The dogs were chewing on rawhide and Jon was dozing when it came to me.

Hey! I said, Jon’s eyes springing open,  your book is coming out in May so we’ll have it for the June Open House.

We’ll call it the “Talking To Animals” Open House.   I’ll get books from Connie and sell them in my Gallery.  You can sign them and do a reading.

It all began to fall into place.  Once again I was thinking the June Open House would be a quiet event.

We won’t be shearing the sheep like we did last year because the shearing really needs to be spaced six months apart for the wool to grow the proper length.  So well do shearing at the October Open House and in April, not at the June Open House.

And I haven’t even asked most of the artists that I want in my Gallery yet.  So I’m a little behind in the details.

But having Jon’s new book so hot off the press (it comes out May 5th, just a month earlier) gives a special focus to the Open House.

So join us on Saturday and Sunday, June 10th and 11th  from 11am-4pm at Bedlam Farm.  Meet Jon and some of the animals you’ll read about in “Talking To Animals”.  Have your book signed.  And enjoy an outdoor reading.

For more information on the Bedlam Farm Open House go to my Events Page or click here.

A Walk In the Snow, A Video

March 17th, 2017

I couldn’t get enough of the shadows on the snow.

The Everyday Ritual of “This is Me”

March 17th, 2017

 

I didn’t get a good photo of the trees or walls  with the manure hand prints on them. But they looked just like my snow hand prints on this tree, only in varying shade of brown.

I picked up a handful of snow and pressed it to the tree.  Then another and another.  It felt satisfying to do.

This is what the people in the village of Bolpur in India did with cow manure.

The pressed handfuls onto the trees and on the low walls surrounding their houses.  So when you walked around the village you saw people’s hand prints  in drying manure.

Once it’s completely dry, the manure is used for fuel.

When I first saw the hand prints  I thought they were some kind of art.  Many of the people in Bolpur are artisans.  They sell their crafts in markets throughout India.

But even when I found out their purpose, I still couldn’t help seeing the beauty in this everyday ritual.

To me the hand prints were like the signatures of the people who lived there.  Like graffiti saying “This is me” again and again.

There seemed something so primal about the act.  So close to the earth.  So sustainable.  So natural.

So natural, that I wanted to try it.

I noticed the large pile of  manure when we were taking a walk around the village.  It was right in front of  a four-foot wall almost covered with round drying hand prints of manure.

I knew it was unusual  and it wasn’t something most people would want to try .  And I did wonder if  the other women I was with would think me strange, but I couldn’t help myself.

I think part of it is the sculptor in me.  I wanted to know what the manure felt like in my hand as I pressed it to the wall.  I had a sense it would somehow connect me to all the  people, over the ages, who had done the same.

And I wanted to see my hand print on the wall.

As we walked past the wall, on the way back to the hotel, I reached down and scooped up a handful of cow manure.  When I first pressed it to the wall it started to peel away, so I pressed harder and held it for a few seconds till it stayed.

I stepped back and looked at it.  Mine was the hand print of an amateur.   Without confidence or experience.  And it wouldn’t last long, by the next day it would fall off the wall.

But none of that mattered.

That I had such a strong urge to try it and I acted on that urge, was a part of it for me.  In a way, adding my hand print to the wall with the others, was like looking in the mirror and at the same time, announcing to the world,  This is Me.

The architecture in Bulpor is very organic.  It’s as if the houses  are growing out of the ground.  You can see some of the round dried “hand prints” of manure on the ground under the clothes line.

 

 

 

 

 

Thirty Second Meditation

March 17th, 2017

This was the only bit of our stream in the woods  that was showing through the snow today.

Giving Change Space

March 16th, 2017

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt the kind of anxiety I’m feeling today.  I haven’t been completely myself since coming home from India.

I really thought it was just about getting over the physical stuff.  The jet lag, the aches and pains that come from sitting on a plane for 48 hours.  The change in diet, the effects of the malaria pills, the disruption from the familiarity and  comforts of everyday life.

After two weeks I was sleeping regular hours again without taking naps and feeling like myself.

Or so I thought.

I am the kind of person who always wants everything to be okay.  Sometimes to a fault. I like to move on. But sometimes I move on to quickly and leave parts of myself behind.

I think my anxiety is telling me to slow down.

I did so many things on my trip that I’ve never done before.  From traveling  alone overseas to spending  a lot of time with people I didn’t know at all or barely knew, to seeing and experiencing a world I’ve  never even imagined.  It was also very emotional.

And I felt like I handled it all really well.  Not that I didn’t have any difficulties, but that I dealt well with what came my way.  My ability to be honest  and my confidence surged.

But now that I’m home I’ve been feeling a very old and familiar anxiety.

My confidence, when I’m working in my studio, has slipped.  It feels like when I first started my business almost 10 years ago.  I’m actually reluctant to post my work on my blog.  I’m uncomfortable putting up a picture of the quilt I’m working on.

I’m not used to feeling this way anymore.  I feel like I’ve gone back in time.  And not to a good place.

When I think of my trip, a part of me wants to just be able to forget it and go back to the way things were before I left.

I guess that’s most telling.  Because I’m not the same as I was then.  The trip has changed me.  And even if I can’t articulate or know yet how, it’s working on me.

The anxiety is a sign that I’m not ready to move on and I can’t go back.  I want to rush passed it and just get back to work, but my body is telling me something else.

There’s a process taking place inside of me, and I have to give it the space to happen.

I think this means being more conscious of what I’m feeling.  It means, taking the time to meditate, do yoga, tapping and take walks when I start to feel anxious.  And it means not dismissing what I’m feeling as being over indulgent or weak.

Before I left for India, I had a dream that made me think of the trip as in initiation.  If that’s true, then I wonder what happens after the initiation is over.  Maybe there’s  an adjustment period.  Perhaps a time of reflecting on what occurred and how to move forward.

Whatever happens next, I need the space to allow for the changes within me.

 

 

A Video About My “Show Your Soul” Posters

March 15th, 2017

I’m spending my days processing orders for my Show Your Soul Posters.   I love that they’re  going all over the country.  I’ve never made my art into a poster before, but it looks like this is just the right image, and message.

If you’d like to order a poster, you can email me here at maria@fullmoonfiberart.com.  The posters are $10 each + $6 shipping for 1-2.  So that’s $16 for one poster and $26 for two.  (shipping is a bit more outside the US)

Just let me know how you’d like to pay.  I can email you a paypal invoice or you can send a check to:

Full Moon Fiber Art
2502 State Route 22
Cambridge NY 12816

Studio in the Snow

March 15th, 2017

After The Snow Storm

March 15th, 2017

Too much snow to shovel before breakfast.

So we took a break after digging out the animals and feeding them.  Now we’ll go back out and shovel some more.

It’s still cold, about 10 degrees, but the sun is shinning and  Vince is plowing our driveway as I write this.

It’s been a long time since we had this kind of snow and wind.  (I can’t speak of the storm that came through when I was in India, there was no snow left by the time I got home).  But it’s also almost spring.  Different than having a storm like this in January, where it could stay on the ground for months.

 

In The Snow Storm

March 14th, 2017

While the animals were waiting out the storm in the shelter of the pole barn, I spent most of the afternoon and evening (when we weren’t shoveling) processing orders for my Show Your Soul Poster.

I’ve already sold twice as many posters as I have.   I put another order in for more today.

I’m surprised and delighted at how quickly they’re selling.  My shipping tubes have been  delayed because of the storm, but they should be here tomorrow or the next day.  Then I can start mailing the posters out.

It never warmed in the guest room/office where I was working today.  The electric heater couldn’t compete with the cold and the wind.

So I’m looking forward to spending a warm and cozy evening in front of the wood stove reading with a cup of tea.