Maria Wulf Full Moon Fiber Art

Notes From the Blossoming Woods

 

Hawthorn Blossom and leaves

A collage of new green speckled white with the petals of apple and hawthorn blossoms.  The soft sweetness of Japanese Honeysuckle.  So much bird song even my Merlin App can’t keep up with it.

I breathe deep and walk purposely one footstep at a time. I step where the deer have walked, I know because I can see their footprints in the mud.

Now I part the honeysuckle bush like a curtain and arrive at the waterfall.  It’s small, only a few feet high,  but loud enough to blur the birdsong.

Frog jumps into the steam and becomes a rock.

I pass the little pine as tall as my boot.  It has many arms, each one holding a thick, pale green tassel.  It looks like it’s celebrating, glad to be alive.

As we turn for home, Fate, like a horse,  just wants to get back.

She runs ahead, but Zinnia waits for me.  There is always something for her to sniff or eat, while I squat to look at what I think is a centipede on a rock and nod to the hawthorn who is as tall as me.

In From Grazing

When the animals come in from grazing they’re ready to relax in the shade of the pole barn.

Tomorrow after they are shorn I will let the sheep into the back pasture again.  I didn’t want them there because there are lots of tall plants that can get stuck in their wool.  I was trying to keep their wool as clean as possible the month before shearing.

Issachar and Asher’s wool still have some remnants of the the hay they ate over the winter, but it’s not as much as it would be if I had them shorn while still eating hay.  Their wool is the hardest to skirt, it’s thick and moist with lanolin, which is part of what makes it good for spinning and knitting.

After the sheep are shorn I will skirt their wool,  cleaning it of the large organic debris.  I have a few bags of wool from the fall shearing too, so even though I only have seven sheep now, I’ll have eleven bags of wool for the mill.

Getting Ready For Sheep Shearing On Saturday

Robin

When the rest of the sheep went back to the barn Robin was still grazing.  He bit off a dandelion in his last mouthful before I chased him out of the pasture.

There were so many little wildflowers where he was grazing, I was inspired to pick Jon a tiny bouquet.

I’ll put the sheep in the barn Friday night.  This way if it rains or there is a lot of dew, their wool won’t be wet for shearing on Saturday morning.

Sheep through the window in Jon’s study.

Sweet Dreams Quilt, In The Details

 

“Sweet Dreams” at the end of the day. Tomorrow I’ll add a border around the edge.

I got right to my studio when we got home from Jon’s foot surgeon.  I couldn’t’ wait to sew on the squares I’d made a few days ago.

The most fun, when I’m working on something that has a lot of repetition, is filling in the places where I run out of fabric.   And the little surprise that come with using a fabric that’s already been sewn together.

Because there are always things that don’t match up or aren’t long enough.

That little piece of rusty brown calico at the top left is two pieces of fabric that I only had to tweak to make  line up. From a distance they look like one thin line.

When a piece of fabric is too short,  I get to decide how to extend it.

Do I use the same fabric or some thing different. I usually look for a scrap on my work table that is the right size.  It’s like leaving it up to the Fates. 

But I chose that bit of red on the top of the orange line.  I liked how it worked with the rectangle of red that I patched onto the rusty brown calico.  Which was a scrap on my table.

I wasn’t conscious of matching the small patchwork square at the top left corner of the quilt the tomato batik.  I only noticed it when I had sewn it all together.  Once again, I was just using the scraps on my work table to fill in the space.

It’s the small details the quirks that say, I’m not necessarily who you think I am.

Waiting…Toe Again…

Today’s “Waiting” drawing

When Jon said that he thought there was something wrong with his foot last night we both knew we’d be going to see his foot surgeon, Dr Daly in the morning.

We’re careful about getting to her when anything is even a little off with Jon’s foot. We weren’t sure exactly what the problem was, we just knew something was wrong.

We got an early appointment and were home by lunch time.

We actually didn’t have to wait long once we got there.  There was just enough time for me to do a “Waiting” drawing in the little sketch pad I carry in my bag.

Jon wrote about his foot on his blog.  He has an appointment next week in Albany to get his brace adjusted.  It’s good we went when we did, he’ll have to walk around his surgical boot for a week, but at least they will be able to help his foot.

Me and Lulu….Happy Again

 

Me and Lulu

Lulu and I had a fight.  I guess you’d call it that.  We were mad at each other for a few days.

It began when Lulu walked through the gate from the barnyard into the backyard.

I can’t really blame her, the grass in the yard is so long and green.  A different quality from the grass in the pastures that’s been grazed for so many years.  The first year we were here we put up a temporary fence and let the donkeys graze in the yard.  I thought of doing it again, but I didn’t want them getting used to going through the gate.

It was my fault really, I didn’t make sure the gate was closed.

Ever since I fixed it, it swings shut so easily, I don’t even look at it.  I think it has something to do with the warmer weather too.  All the doors and gates behave differently depending on the season.

The back door of the farmhouse automatically swings shut in the winter.  But in the summer, it prefers to stay open.

After both Lulu and Fanny walked through the gate a few days later, I figured out that if I push the gate a little too hard, instead of the latch closing, it lifts up and doesn’t catch.   Then the gate swings open again.

The first time Lulu came back pretty quickly with a little coaxing and an alfalfa treat.  “I know you don’t want to be out here without Fanny,” I said quietly to Lulu as she pulled up mouthfuls of grass.  She took a sniff of the alfalfa and followed me back into the barnyard.

The second time Fanny followed Lulu and I was in a hurry so I wasn’t as patient.  But I knew I had to be calm or they would give me a hard time.  This time I got Fanny to follow the alfalfa treat and Lulu followed her.

But I was pissed and I could tell that Lulu was too.

Fanny doesn’t hold a grudge, but for the next few days Lulu would walk away if I tried to brush her or scratch her ears (which she loves) and would avoid me when we walked to the pasture.  And when it was time to come in, she would linger so long I had to get behind her, and clap my hands to get her moving.

But yesterday we made up.

I knew it would have to me who made the first move.  I slowly approached her in the pasture with an open heart and loving thoughts.  “Sorry Lulu,” I said out loud.  “It’s my fault for leaving the gate open, I can’t blame you one bit for wanting that grass.”

I gently reached out and laid the back of my fingers on the side of her neck.  When she leaned into them, I moved to her ear and started scratching it.  She lifted her head and then I leaned the side of my face against her soft neck and scratched her under her chin.

We stayed that way awhile, and have been good together ever since.

I’m still taking extra care to make sure the gate is closed.  And after we had the grass mowed on Monday, I raked up some of the clippings and tossed them over the fence.

There’s plenty of good grass to eat in the pastures, but I also understand that thing about wanting what we can’t have.  Especially if it just on the other side of the fence.

My “Sweet Dreams” Quilt, A Video

I figured it out. Everything I didn’t know about my quilt yesterday came to me clearly today.

And when I looked at it, even unfinished, the words Josie’s wrote in a comment on my blog came back to me. “What a happy quilt! You can’t help having sweet dreams when covered with such joy!

So now I know it’s name too.  It’s my Sweet Dreams quilt.

Picking Flowers For Jon

The flowers I picked for Jon this morning

It’s a rainy morning, but the spring flowers thrive in it as much as they do the sun.

A branch from the deep purple lilac bush hangs over the pasture and I think they’d be good in a bouquet for Jon.  There are more buttercups too.  The sheep and donkeys aren’t eating them.  I pick some with the longest stems.

There were never many violets in the south pasture, but I have enough purple anyway.

I call the dogs and head for the white lilac that grows at the corner of the woodshed.  I just need a small one.  Then on my way into the house,  I pick the pink geranium from the plant I kept in the bedroom over the winter, which is now on the back porch.

Jon is as delighted to receive the flowers as I was to pick them for him.

He takes them outside his Lica hanging from his shoulder.  He puts the on the table on the back porch and begins taking their portrait.

Later, when it stops raining and the sun comes out, he’ll bring the bouquet to his raised flower bed and take more pictures.

I know I will be surprised at the photos when he shows me on his camera at the breakfast table.  There is always something new. Some touch me more than others and I let him know.

I’m drawn to the thin elegantly curved stem, the sharp edge of a delicate petal against the muted background, how a buttercup glows like the sun in a blur of color.

I always wanted someone to bring flowers too.  The ones that grow wild (I only pick the wildflowers that there are plenty of) and the ones I have planted.  Someone who would appreciate them the way I do.

But Jon gets something out of the flowers that I never did.

He originally got his raised flower beds because he wanted to be able to cut the flowers and bring bouquets to people.  Last year he found that he’s more interested in taking pictures of the flowers than gardening.

Now he makes bouquets of flowers into art, sees them his own unique way and shares with thousands of people every day.

Flowers have become a part of our everyday life, like feeding the animals or taking a shower.   There are always three or four vases of flowers of all sizes on our dining room table.  They are beginning to crowd out the piles of books and papers.

I know something worthwhile and inspiring will come of the them all.  And when they die, we feed them to the donkeys and sheep, or put them in the compost.

Jon taking pictures of  bouquets of flowers on his raised flower beds when the sun is out.  I took this picture through the old wavy glass of my studio window.
Full Moon Fiber Art