Bud And The Raven Pillow

Unlike Fate and Zinnia, Bud gets to sleep anywhere he wants in the Living room.  We will make him move if he’s lying where we want to sit, but there’s plenty of human and dog furniture for him to retreat to.

Last night he cuddled up next to the Raven Pillow I made for Jon.  Bud sees the Ravens in the maple all the time when he’s out in the yard, so why not when he’s in the house too.

Zip’s Barn

I moved Zip’s food bowl from inside his crate onto the hay bales.  The crate is on the floor and it’s too easy for Zinnia or Fate to gobble up his food before Zip can get to it.

This is where I used to feed Minnie.

Anyway, since we let him out this morning I haven’t seen Zip in his crate except to eat.  He has been sitting guard at the barn door for most of the day.  And I imagine he’s found a new place to do his business beside the kitty litter box.

He got out some too.  Jon saw him chase on of the hens.  But when the hen stopped running he lost interest.  He came out to see the donkeys, but when Lulu stomped her foot he ran back in the barn.

At feeding time he walked right up to Zinnia and rubbed his head on Zinnia’s nose.  Zinnia just stood there. I think she’s getting used to him.

Zip, Out Of His Crate And Into His Barn

We opened the door of Zip’s crate this morning and out he came.

Then he went right back in.

It took him a moment to understand that he was allowed to walk around wherever he wanted.  As affectionate as he is, he proved himself as a barn cat almost immediately by finding a hole in the haybales and crawling into it.


I lured him out with some treats then he began exploring the barn.  We watched him for a while then left him to explore his new home.

I came back a half hour later.  He came when I called him, his head covered in dusty cobwebs.

Zip coming out of his hay bale house

A couple of hours later Jon and I both went to the barn but couldn’t find him.

We were just about to give up when he popped his head out of his haybale house.  But it wasn’t until he eyed the pigeon that I knew Zip had made the barn his.

The pigeon, obviously distressed at having a cat in the barn flew to the nest over the door where another brood of pigeons are getting ready to hatch.  She flew around the barn, trying to distract Zip from her nest, then up the hole in the barn ceiling that leads to the loft.

Zip hopped up on my snow tires piled under the hole in the floor, his neck extended, ears and eyes focused.  He sat watching, his black tail flicking back and forth.

Zip abandoned Jon and me without a thought when he saw the pigeon.   As much as he likes getting his ears and back scratched, his hunting instincts took over.

I imagine, like Flo, he will eventually discover the wooden ladder nailed to the barn wall that leads to the loft.  But the pigeons, even the fledglings when learning to fly, stay high off the ground.   They perch on top of the ladders and hanging chairs before graduating to the loft.

By then, Zip will be exploring the whole farm, not just the barn, and hopefully will have plenty of small rodents to hunt.

But I don’t think the pigeons will nest on the first floor of the barn next year.

I do believe the two weeks that Zip spent in the crate in the barn got him used to being here.  I’m no longer worried that he will leave.

It already feels like he’s made the barn his home.

Photo by Jon Katz

The Moth On The Kitchen Wall

“Look,” Jon says and points to the brown moth on the yellow kitchen wall.  It’s wings, an awkward upside-down heart.

They are there every morning these days, most have soft brown wings with blocks of darker brown.

The moths are not always easy to catch.  They flutter away before I can reach my hand around them.  Or, once in my palm, they escape through the space between my curled fingers and thumb.

“I’ll bring a chair over, ” Jon says dragging a chair from the dining room table into the kitchen.

I step up onto the chair and cup my hand around the moth.  I feel the soft patter of wings then it settles inside my hand.

“That was easy,” I say.  I think that maybe I’m getting good at this.  Maybe the moths are beginning to trust me.

I open the front door, step outside, and open my hand.  The moth flies away.

There’s one more.  This one, burnt orange like the leaves in the pasture that grow low to the ground this time of year.

The orange moth also comes easily into my hand.  Now I think that maybe they are so agreeable because they are dying.

This moth doesn’t fly when I take it outside    I get a good look at its wings, and see the pink hue, white spots and gradation of color.

I think of Suzy’s shawls.

The way the colors meld together or are separated by a textured line,  those white spots like the locks that Suzy spins into her yarn.

The moth walks to the tips of my fingers and steps onto the lip of the blue flower pot on the back porch.

I take a picture, zooming in with my iPhone to see even more of its wonder.

Last year Jon would have squished the moth with a fly swatter the way I do flies and mosquitos.

I might not find it so easy to kill these other insects if they had wings like a handspun shawl.  And for all I know they might, since I’ve never taken the time to really see them.

Zip Wants Out

Zip wants out and we want him out.  It’s time for him and me.  I’m getting tired of cleaning out his crate.  He sure can make a mess.

Today he came out of the crate and wrapped himself around my legs then went over to Jon who scratched his back and ears.   I have a feeling Zip with the second cat  in Jon’s life (Flo was the first).

We’re going to spring him a day early.  Tomorrow instead of Thursday.

He’s already made friends with Zinnia and  Fate backed off as soon as Zip looked at her.  Fate was always afraid of Flo.  I think she’ll keep her distance from Zip too.

I made up a new song for Zip this morning.  It just came out and I think it might stick.  Jon took the video below.  You can see how content Zip is and how he and Zinnia get along.

Suzy’s Shawl, “September Sun” Is Sold… Watch A Video of Suzy Spinning Her Yarn And Her Corgi Finn

Suzy’s shawl, September Sun  23″x 75″ .  It is  sold. $175 + $15 shipping you can buy it here.

The sun was shining at Suzy’s house, but it was a gray rainy day here on the farm.

The sunshine came when Suzy sent me a photo of her latest Shawl.   I named it September Sun (with Suzy’s blessing)  because, with all that yummy yellow,  it brought brightness and warmth to my day.

Before I write about it more,  I want to show you the video Suzy sent me of her hand spinning her yarn.  In it, her corgi Finn makes an appearance.  He’s spinning too,  the way a dog might….

Selling Suzy Fatzinger’s  Shawls has become a tradition on my blog this time of year.

She creates them all winter, spring, and summer, first hand spinning the mohair from her goats into yarn (as you can see in the video), then hand knitting them.

Each is a unique combination of color and pattern.  Each one, a wearable piece of art.

I love how one end of September Sun is yellow and the other gray.  I’m also taken with the white locks spun into the yellow yarn.   It’s just the kind of thing that makes Suzy’s shawls even more special.

Suzy washes her shawls in a natural solution which makes them even softer than the natural mohair already is.

September Sun is 23″x 75″ long.    It is $175 + $15 shipping.   You can buy it in my Etsy Shop, just click here.  Or you can email me at [email protected]  I take checks, PayPal, and Venmo. 

White mohair locks spun into the Suzy’s Shawl September Sun

Most of the yarn Suzy spins comes from her goats, April, Alice, Lucy, and Ruth.  She also gets some of the roving that she spins into yarn from other fiber artists that she’s been working with for years.

Below is a photo of Suzy’s goats in their full mohair coats.


The Standing Raven And Mushroom In My “Raven” Quilt

Saturday morning I woke up thinking about my Raven Quilt.  I had done some work on it and at that moment I knew it wasn’t right.

So Saturday afternoon I went to my studio and took apart what I had done the day before.  Then I laid out some fabric that felt good to me.  It all came about quickly, but I didn’t have time to sew it all together.

On Sunday I woke again thinking about my quilt.

This time I saw one of the mushrooms I had made when working on my Raven fabric painting.  It didn’t make it into that piece, but I knew it would be perfect for my quilt.

The mushroom,  ( the color isn’t quite right, I’ll try again tomorrow when the light is better)

I only got to my studio after lunch because I was busy mailing out my Flour Sack Potholders in the morning.  But when I got there, I didn’t have to think about what to do next, the fabric was already laid out on my floor.

Standing Raven

Next, it was time for the standing Raven and the mushroom.  They needed to be grounded on the bottom of this section of the quilt.

I wanted to keep working, but it was time to feed the animals, and I knew I wouldn’t get back to my studio.  So I stayed just long enough to lay out the next step….

My Raven Quilt is sold.

Zip Likes His New Bed

A little over a week ago, when Zip first came to the farm, it was so hot.  So hot I was glad he was in the barn where it was cooler than outside.

On Friday if was as if Fall had come overnight.  So I put one of the cat beds that Minnie and Flo used to sleep in, in Zips crate.  At first he wouldn’t go near it.  But the next morning he was snuggled down in that bed as if it was always his.

“This could do it,” I said to Jon, “that bed could be the thing that makes Zip never want to leave.”  We thought of Zip spending the first year of his life trying to find a soft warm place to sleep outside.  The bed must feel like a little miracle.

Full Moon Fiber Art