Maria Wulf Full Moon Fiber Art

Asher And Socks

Asher and Socks don’t spend a lot of time together.  The older ewes tend to hang out together.  I’m more likely to see Socks with Suzy, Kim and Biddy.

There may be some head-butting now and then, but all the sheep get along with each other.

Making Eagle Potholders

 

All my Hen Potholders sold our quickly.  Thanks to everyone who bought them.  I may make a few more for those of you who didn’t get them.

But today I decided to make some potholders using the eagle fabric that Karen sent me.  It was a small piece of fabric and took some cutting to get the eagles separated from each other since they were flying at odd angles.

But I love the way their wings are outstretched and their feet ready for what comes next.

These are slow going, lots of odd shapes, but I feel like I have a rhythm going now.

Jon Making Us Bouquets From His Garden

Jon put on long pants, suspenders, and his sneakers this morning.  Normally so normal.  Yesterday he wore shorts and went barefoot all day.  The first time I’ve ever seen him do that.

So I knew he was feeling a little better.  That’s what we say to each other, a little better every day.

And for those days that Jon didn’t get out of the house, the zinnia’s in his garden just kept growing.  This morning he made us a bouquet for the house and one for my studio.

The Ravens And The Rabbit

The barnyard and woods beyond. On the hill behind the gate is where I left the rabbit.

I woke at 6 am.  Back in bed after three nights of me on the couch and Jon sitting up in his stuffed chair to ease his coughing.  My first thought was that I lost my curiosity, my sense of wonder. My brain is a tightly tied knot and I can’t see beyond myself.

Then, the raven’s throaty caw again and again outside my window.

As I drift back to sleep, images of a raven woman flow in and out with my consciousness. Nothing concrete, just flashes, bits, and pieces.

An hour later I walked into the pole barn to get the shovel and rake and there in the barnyard were six or seven ravens. They hopped on the ground and circled low, landing and lifting when they saw me. Their black bodies turning silver in the light as they turned their backs on me.

I watched all of them disappear into the woods, remembering my visions from when I lay in bed earlier.

It was only when I had cleaned up and was going to close the gate that I saw the dead rabbit not twenty feet from the barn.

Not a whole rabbit, only the hind quarters. It looked like someone had ripped it in half.   The long legs were stretched out as if in a full leap, a pile of gray innards where the rest of the body should have been.

This had been a big rabbit, not something the cats would have left on the back porch.  I wondered if it was the same one that came out to watch Fate circle the sheep a few days ago.

Who had done this?  What animal sat so close to the barn, and devoured a rabbit?  The donkeys wouldn’t tolerate a coyote, fox or fisher. So maybe it was a bird.  The rabbit seemed too big for the Redtail hawks who spend the summer here. Maybe it was an eagle or osprey.

I tried to picture it.

A few years ago I’d seen a bald eagle on the dirt road where I walk with the dogs.  He sat in front of our neighbor’s barn, picking at something in his claws.  It looked huge, at least three feet tall from where I stood, but flew away before I got too close, leaving the remains of the animal behind.

I imagined the sheep and donkeys watching as that same eagle devoured the rabbit.  But why had he left half of it behind?  Maybe it was a coyote or fox and the donkeys chased it away when they came in from grazing.

I searched for tracks, some disturbance in the ground around the rabbit, but it looked to me as if the rabbit dropped out of the sky. I might have thought it did if its intestines weren’t laying neatly next to it.

It made me think about how our domesticated animals live on the edge of the woods, on the edge of the wild. Who knows what goes on at night, what they see, who they chase away or run from, and who they let share their gated space.

I scooped up the rabbit legs and intestines and tossed them over the fence into the tall grasses. But as I walked back to the barn, I realized that it was the dead rabbit that had attracted the ravens to the barnyard this morning.

They were scavenging the remains of someone else’s kill.

It didn’t seem right to me that the rabbit, already dead, shouldn’t be eaten. That I had disturbed the ravens’ breakfast.

So I went back and sifted through the tall grasses till I found the remains of the rabbit.  This time I put it on the highest point in the back pasture.  In plain sight for the ravens or anyone else to see.

As I sit on the back porch writing this, a raven is high in the trees that border the farm. It’s making that “clunking” sound like tapping on hollow wood, round and empty.

The knot in my brain loosens a little as I listen.   I feel like the ravens have woken me up.  Sparked my sleeping curiosity and wonder.  I’m glad I returned the rabbit to them.

I think of the raven woman who came to me early in the morning. I think it’s time to bring her to life.

More Imperious Hens. Potholders From Life, For Sale

My Hen Potholders for sale in my Etsy Shop. $30 each + $5 shipping for one or more.

It was like a life-drawing class. As I was starting to draw the hens from memory using my free-motion sewing machine, all three of them settled outside my studio window.

They didn’t sit still for too long. Soon they were pecking at the ground, cleaning their feathers, and strutting around.

I made seven drawings of the hens on one piece of fabric then cut them up, signed them and made each into a potholder.

My Hen Potholders are $30 each + $5 shipping for one or more.  You can see them all close-up and buy them in my Etsy Shop.  Just click here. 

Sitting Hen Potholder
Hen and Cherries Potholder
Strolling Hen Potholder

Putting Together Some Chicken Potholders

My Chicken Potholders

I didn’t get into my studio till about 5pm.  But I did get there.

I was able to get out today, wearing a mask to do some food shopping at the Co-op.  I made a big bowl of pea soup then I took a long nap.  I woke up just in time to feed the animals.

Our shearer and poet, Ian McRae left a box of food for us on the back porch.  Soup, cheese, bread, honey, tea, wine, and a book of poetry.

All the essentials.

I finished putting together the potholders that I designed yesterday.  As I wrote last week, the hens came to my studio window so I was able to draw them from life on my sewing machine.

I haven’t put them in my Etsy Shop yet.   That will have to wait for tomorrow.

Covid Is Not The Flu. Listen To Your Body

One of the cards I made over the weekend

I woke up tired.  After letting the dogs out at 6:30 I fell back to sleep and didn’t wake up for another two hours.

I stumbled around picking up the dog bowls from the kitchen floor and trying to remember what I had to do next.  My mind numb.  As I mucked out the barn I felt my energy draining.  Inside me  an interior tremor hummed through my body as if it were working overtime, straining to keep up.

Yesterday Jon had a virtual call with our doctor and she talked about eating food that’s easy to digest because our bodies are busy fighting the virus. Listen to your body she said.

I’ve been eating soup and bread mostly.  I don’t have an appetite for anything that isn’t soft or warm.  I’d been craving a piece of soft sweet cake but all we had was a chocolate-dipped peanut butter cookie, usually a favorite of mine from a local baker.

The chocolate tasted like wax, the cookie was just a texture and one I wasn’t craving.

After that, I added a hot pepper from the garden to the soup I made with broth and cooked vegetables.  I doused a pound of green beans in onion, also from the garden, added some soy sauce, and ate all of it except a handful that I gave to Jon.

I made pancakes from scratch (my first time), digging out an old bag of baking powder from the back of the spice draw and adding a peach I cooked the day before. I didn’t expect them to taste good, but they were soft and warm and I doused them in maple syrup.  I did taste the syrup.

I’m fine I tell everyone, I’m getting better every day.  And it’s true.

I know how lucky I am.  Even just listening to Jon cough uncontrollably, I know.  It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even pay attention when he coughs, his whole body shaking.  There’s nothing I can do except keep him in ginger tea and honey.

It’s true that I’m better, but it’s not the whole truth.

Jon is so good about writing about what he is feeling when he feels it.  I’m not. I keep the hard stuff inside until I feel like I’ll explode if I don’t say it out loud.

On Friday I wasn’t feeling lucky.   And a part of me still feels strange in a way I haven’t before. As if this virus is messing with my brain.

But on Friday all my stoicism was lost.

I spiraled from one imagined crisis to another, my self-esteem draining in big emotional waves.  Not being able to work always puts a dent in my sense of self.  I wish my identity wasn’t so tied to my art, but it is.  I tell myself that if for some reason I can’t sew, there are other ways to be creative and I’ll always be an artist.

But my creative brain wasn’t working and that scared me.

Not being able to work means I’m not making money.  A phone call with my mother brought up the old guilt that I hadn’t experienced in a long time. I burst into tears throughout the day, not even knowing why.

“You’re a hot mess,” Jon said to me as we sat at the dining room table.  That made us both laugh.

I tried to sleep, something I’ve always done to anesthetize myself, but I couldn’t even do that.  It was like my brain was on speed.  Every time I laid down I thought of something I should do and got up again.  It didn’t seem to matter how tired I was.

Through it all at least I did have the awareness that I’d most likely feel better the next day.  That my being sick and probably the illness itself was a part of why I was so desperate.

And I did feel better the next day.

Maybe in part because it was Saturday, my usual day of rest.  I allowed myself to lay on the couch and read.  To sit outside and do nothing.  To do very little beyond what was necessary.  I got my own thinking back about my family issues (something I learned to do in therapy) and a few people sent me blog donations (thank you) which eased my money worries.

Yesterday I was back in my studio.  I pieced together potholders with the drawings of the single hens I made on Wednesday.  That felt good, but I may have done too much.

As much as it feels to me like the flu, Covid is not the flu.  It works on us in ways we don’t even know about yet.

I’ll sew some of those potholders together today, but I’ll rest too.  I’m fortunate that I can make my own schedule, that I don’t have to be at work 8 or 9 hours a day without resting in between, like so many people.

And if sewing takes too much out of me, I can do other things.  I started making some cards that I might sell, and I can always blog.  At least I can do both sitting down.

Tomorrow morning we’ll have hay delivered and I won’t help stack it as I usually do.  I will miss belly dancing class again even though our performance is only a week away. (It’s improv, Julz texted me, don’t worry, just get better).

I will try to listen to my body when it comes to food and resting.  And I will trust that it will all work out.  Because I really am doing better every day.

Full Moon Fiber Art