Maria Wulf Full Moon Fiber Art

Monthly Donations, Parrot Pillow and Being Honest About Money

Working on my Parrot Pillow

I was working on my latest pillow, this one with silk embroidered parrots,  when the idea came to me.

When I first decided to take donations on my blog a few people asked me if I would have a way for them to make monthly payments.  At the time I was just getting used to the idea of asking to be paid for the work I do on my blog and was a bit overwhelmed by the idea of monthly donations.

So I put it off, thinking someday…..

Now it seems like someday has come.  In the past week I had three people ask me if there was a way to make monthly donations to my blog.  This time I emailed Chris at Mannix Marketing, my web designer,  to see if it was possible.

It took him a day longer than usual to get back to me, but when he did, he said they could set up monthly payments through PayPal.

He gave me a price  and I only hesitated for a moment, wondering if it would be worth it, then reminded myself to think big, not small and sent back an email giving him the go ahead.

The idea that came to me as I was working on my Parrot Pillow, was that if I could make and sell four more pillows, that would pay for the new monthly payment option on my blog.

I was planning on making more of the pillows anyway, but somehow, thinking of the next four in this way lifted my spirits.  Maybe because it created a specific goal.  Not that I don’t have a specific goal every month to pay my bills, but this was up and above the usual.

Lately Jon’s been talking about managing money creatively.  How it makes him feel more confident about money when he thinks of it that way.

I’m not sure if my plan really makes a difference or not, since I’d be making and hopefully selling the pillows anyway.  But it does make me feel like I have a solution, a way of paying  that extra this month.

I never wrote much about the financial side of being an artist before.  But I’m finding its freeing to be able to.  Freeing to be honest about it.

And since I’m being honest, I’ve actually been hiding it by not writing about it.  Hiding it because it made me too anxious to admit.  As if it meant my business wasn’t successful and I was a failure.  But, of course, hiding anything only make it worse.  Makes me believe  as if I have a real reason to hide it.

As much as I don’t want money to be the focus of my life, art or business, it is a reality and a constant balancing act.  One that, if I open myself up to, can be as creative as any other part of my life.

 

 

 

 

Grazing At Night

 

On these hot days the sheep and donkeys stay in and around the pole barn all day.   Between the heat and bugs, they won’t venture out to the pastures even if we left the gates open.

But we don’t, we close them in the morning and open them at night.

I know there’s some good grass out there and they’re feasting at night from their bellies.    I also know  that last night Fanny ate a lot of clover from the bubbles dripping from her mouth this morning.

I like how this photo shows how the sheeps wool is growing in and highlights the different textures and colors.

 

My “Loon Pillow” For Sale

My Loon Pillow  is for sale in my Etsy Shop.  It’s $90 including shipping.

It’s the motorcycles and campers that drive by our house this time of year that made me choose the silk embroidered Loons to create my latest pillow around.   Because when I see and hear them go by, I always assume they’re headed up Route 22 to vacation in the Adirondacks, that’s when I think of Loons.

My Loon Pillow is $90 including shipping and is about 25″ square including the edging.   You can buy it in my Etsy Shop, just click here, or you can email me at [email protected]

This embroidery is a little more delicate than some of the others, so I won’t recommend using it to lay your head on.

 

Emily’s Dish Towels

Emily’s dish towels hanging in our kitchen

Over 10 years ago, when I got divorced and moved into my own apartment, my sister gave me a pack of dish towels, all with burnt oranges in them, all different designs.  I’ve been using them ever since.

But a few weeks ago, when I was Bellydancing at the Bennington Farmers Market, Jon bought two hand painted dish towels, from Emily who has a booth there.

Emily is in my Bellydancing class but couldn’t dance that day because she was selling her baked goods and art, as she has every Saturday at the Farmers Market for the past 11 years.  (Jon also bought  me one of her small handprinted purses and some of her pastries, which I enjoyed as soon as I got home)

Emily’s dish towels work the same way my potholders do.

They’re functional and beautiful, so every time I use them, or just see them hanging in my kitchen, I get to delight in those joyful flowers.  (And like my potholders, they really work well are really absorbent)

It’s about time my old dish towels got a break,  now they mostly lay folded in the kitchen drawer, only coming out when Emily’s dish towels are in the wash or on the line drying.

You can see more of Emily’s work in her Etsy Shop Papercakescrissors, just click here.

Emily also makes wonderful cards, each one an original collage/drawing. I bought a couple of them, but like them too much to give away, so then a got a couple more….

Our Latest Podcast, “Staying Grounded In The Trump Years”

 

From my How To Keep Your Husband quilt. You can Listen to our latest Podcast here.

Jon and I both reacted, in similar, but different ways to the 2016 election.

We both decided we didn’t wanted to spend our time being angry and arguing our beliefs, so we decided to act on our beliefs instead and turn our anger to good.

Jon found good work to do supporting Refugees and older people who would be hurt by the new government policies.  He started the Army of Good, so many of you, who have given money to support people in need.

My art has become a vehicle for my actions.  I began voicing my ideas and beliefs on women’s issues even more than I had in the past.  Spreading the word of women voice,  freedom and strength though my Flying Vulva’s and other works.

Both of us went to issues that were personal to us.  And we support each others work in different ways.

Jon and I talk about our choices to act instead of argue in our latest podcast, Staying Grounded In The Trump Years.  You can listen to it here.

And you and listen to any of our Katz and Wulf On Bedlam Farm, podcasts anytime by clicking on the Podcast buttons on my blog.  It does take time and money for us to create our podcasts, so if you like them, want to and are able to,  you can donate to them by clicking on the Support my Blog  button.

Thanks for listening!

 

Humans and Donkeys, Timeless Connection

Jon and the donkeys

I didn’t see it when I took the picture, but when I posted it yesterday, I noticed the body language between Jon and the donkeys, how they were mirroring each other.  But then Elizabeth left this comment on my blog…

“Wow Maria, this is a powerful photo. The weirdest thing is I don’t recognize Jon in it, he looks like a 40-something man to me. I keep trying to see him but I just see this younger but weary “everyman”.   Thank you for the donkey wisdom.”

I thought it interesting, but then forgot about it, until I saw Barbara and Barb’s comments on my blog this morning.

They both agreed with Elizabeth that Jon looked years younger and Barbara wondered if it had anything to do with Jon’s recent encounter with, who he thought might be an angel. (He wrote about it on his blog you can read it here).

So I looked at the picture again, and weirdly, I can see just what they mean.  Jon looks in the photo like he did in some of the pictures I’ve seen of him at old Bedlam Farm before I knew him.

The thought that came to me was that at that moment, Jon and the donkeys had formed a timeless connection.  A connection that transcends time.   Humans and donkeys have been living and working together for thousands of years.  Maybe that’s what we’re seeing in the photo.

As for the angel, I think of angels as being moments more than beings.  Even if they seems to appear that way to us a people.  For me angels are enchanted moments.

So Jon’s experience, in the store buying water,  makes sense to me in that way.  And so does the moment I captured in this photo.

 

Front Porch Cats

 

Flo and Minnie on the back porch

I looked up from my computer to see Minnie hopping up the stairs to the front porch.  She walked straight to me, meowing as if announcing her arrival.

I’ve never seen Minnie on the front porch.  It’s Flo’s domain.  Minnie spends her days on the back porch or high on the hay bales in the barn.

Flo was already sleeping next to me on the wicker bench, so picked Minnie up and put her on the cushion on the low table in front of me.

Now they’re both curled up next to me, as if we do this every night.

Talking With Our Bodies

“Mirroring body language is a non-verbal way to say ‘I am like you, I feel the same’.

That’s just what I saw in this photo, Jon and the donkeys mirroring each others posture.  Often unconscious  for humans, but  more natural than words for animals.  This is what can  happen when we allow our bodies to do the  talking and the listening.

Communication flows unbounded.

My Best Vegetable Garden So Far

I still have to chop down the bolted lettuce, bitter as it is, I think the donkeys and sheep might like it.  Or not.  There’s plenty of clover growing in the pastures.

It was Sue Silverstein from the Bishop Maginn school that got me thinking I should check the garden for zucchini.   Last Wednesday, when Jon and I visited the school, Sue told me how she and some of the students, just that morning, brought over a bushel of  the vegetables they grew to the Food Pantry.

When she mentioned they had zucchini already, I imagined all the giant zucchini hiding under the big leaves in my own garden.

My Zucchini plants are still kind of small, but when I looked, there was the first Zucchini of the season.  And not too big either, I got it in time.

But the beans were plenty.

We had some for dinner and Jon is planning on putting more in a Spatzle lunch he’s making on Monday when our friend Jackie comes to visit.  (Julz, my Bellydancing teacher makes the Spatzle.   She and her husband stated their business after Julz spent 7 years perfecting her gluten-free Spatzle recipe.)

I harvested our sweet peas last week and I see there are more beginning to grow.  Some of the beets are popping out of the ground, but they’re still small, so I think I’ll leave them in the ground a little longer, but  I’m open to suggestions about that.

There are small green tomatoes on the two tall plants and my friend Kitty told me not to expect the Brussel Sprouts till the fall.   Once again, the cucumbers didn’t seem to take.  I don’t know why I keep trying with them, but the thought of fresh cucumbers always gives me hope every spring.

I think this is my best vegetable garden ever.   And by best I mean that I’m growing and  we’re eating more vegetable than ever before.

Maybe I am learning something after four years of practice.

 

Full Moon Fiber Art