Maria Wulf Full Moon Fiber Art

Making “Ugly Christmas Sweaters” At The Mansion

Jane, Claudia, me, June, Kelly and Rachel.  You can see the rack of sweaters people got to choose from behind us.

It was make an Ugly Christmas Sweater Day at The Mansion.

For the past week Jon and I have been visiting the Thrift Store in the Cambridge Senior Center and buying sweaters.  We also got a bag full of Christmas baubles at the Dollar Store to put on the sweaters preparing for the day.

When we arrived Robin, who works with the Activities Director Paryese, was heating up the glue gun.

The rest of us sat at the big round table and chose ribbons, bows, Christmas balls and bells, stickers, beads, felt reindeer, and even Christmas Ties from a basket.

Some of the people knew exactly what they wanted their sweater to look like  and others needed a bit of help.

Once the sweaters were designed, Robin hot glued the decorations onto the sweaters.  I found a needle and thread which I used to sew the decorations on.

When Paryese put Christmas music on June asked Art to dance with her, but he just blushed, so June and I danced a bit together.

Then June started to sing along with the music.

I’d never heard her sing before.  She has a beautiful voice and said she’s been singing since she was a kid. Her mother played piano and taught her to sing.  She was in choruses through out her life in school and church.

June is a lot of fun.  She always shows up for the classes and laughs easily.

There will be a Christmas party at the mansion in a couple of weeks, where everyone will be wearing their Ugly Christmas Sweater.  I think there is even going to be a contest.  Jon and I will be there and I hope if there is music, that June will sing again.

I didn’t take any pictures today, because I was busy, but also because Jon was there with us along with Zinnia of course.  He took lots of photos, (and all the ones on my blog) you can see them here. 

helping Art decorate his sweater

Suzy and Kim

Suzy and Kim

It’s photos like this one that says so much about the different personalities of my sheep.

Suzy has always been unafraid and friendly.  She is one of my first sheep along with Socks.  She’s 11 years old and has slowed down a bit, but other than needing some grain in the winter to keep her healthy she looks really good for her age.

Kim is a few years younger and has always been shy and skittish.  It’s only in the past two or three years that she will take a snack from my hand.  She runs from Zinnia, which only makes Zinnia want to chase her more.

And as she’s doing in this picture, Kim often hide behind the other sheep.  Which is actually a very smart way for a sheep to stay safe.

Zip At The Bird Bath

There are many place for Zip to get a drink on the farm.

He has his own bowl in the barn but I’ve never seen him drink from it.  He prefers to hop up on the cinder block next to the sheep and donkey’s water bucket and drink from that.

This morning Zip was drinking from the bowl of the birdbath that I’ve been meaning to put in the barn for the winter. It had just a trace of water in it from the bit of rain we had overnight.

Many of the animals on the farm drink from the bird bath, except the birds.  They prefer the water bowl by the hen house.

I still have Zip In The Hen House magnets available in my Etsy Shop.  They are $7 each and you can buy them here. 

My “Zip” magnet

So Many Geese

Reflection of the chairs under the apple tree in the living room window.

The bird is no one’s servant.  He is not dapper. Words only obscure him…Even the name, ‘bullfinch’ seems a form of littering, like a sticky label fixed to his feathers….the bird looked at me and I saw the bird and wanted to undo language and let him be.  The bird just was.
From The Wren, The Wren by Anne Enright

Jon and I sit on the chairs under the apple tree.  Zip is snuggled into Jon’s shoulder and the sheep come in from the pasture to see if it’s time for hay. The donkeys know better and continue grazing on the yellow tufts of grass growing in dense clumps.

Then the geese come.

It’s late afternoon and I hear them before I can see them.  The individual barks blend into an undulating chorus. I watch the pale gray sky,  clouds thick enough to conceal the distant mountains,  but not the low flying geese.

Slowly they begin to appear, a blurry, dark, unfocused line that gradually becomes more and more defined.

As it gets closer, I can see that it is in constant motion.  What a moment ago looked like a solid line becomes a dotted one, made of individual geese.

I think of the shapes shallow water takes as it flows over rocks.

I stretch my neck looking up then behind me as they fly over.  Just as quickly as they disappear behind us,  I hear the faint call of more geese coming from the vanished mountains.

Now the lines of geese are closer together, coming in like waves one after the other.

Some are chevrons, one side longer than the other, a few stragglers breaking the rules here and there.  Some lines are like that game you play with a rope, whipping it back and forth so it serpentines while people try to jump over it. Only in slow motion.  They are the white foamy edge of spent waves as they leave their dark mark in the dry ocean sand.

Jon and I watch stunned as the geese continue to come.  We wonder why they are headed north. “Maybe it’s the lake,” I say, “they are going to there to spend the night on the water where it is safe.”

As much as I’m in the moment, I’m also trying to describe to myself what I am experiencing.

If I had my iPhone with me I could take a video.  But it’s Saturday, my sabbath from technology so I purposely left my phone in the house.  Anyway, I know any video I could take wouldn’t be able to capture what I’m seeing and hearing. What I’m feeling.

Just the act of taking the video would remove me a degree from the experience. It would interrupt the feeling and make my thoughts unnecessary.

As all of this goes through my head, I think of Anne Enright’s words about the bullfinch from her book The Wren The Wren.

I want to be so in the moment that I just allow what I’m seeing, hearing and feeling to” be”.  I want my mind to stop pulling up images of what those wavering lines of geese remained me of.  I want to forget that the formation they fly in has a name. I don’t want to think of the word “honk” when they are so close I can hear the sound (that I don’t have a name for) that their wings make.

But I also want to be able to share what I am seeing and hearing.  To tell you about the wonder of so many hundreds of geese blessing  us with their presence as Jon and I  sit outside on a cold afternoon in December.

Blue Bailing Twine Art

My Blue Bailing twine art continues to grow with each bale of hay I use.

This morning as I knotted the blue bailing twine, Zip, in constant motion wove himself between and round my ankles.  Fate stood at the gate watching the sheep and Zinnia foraged for something to eat.

It’s a slow process, but I appreciate that when its very cold out.

I can’t knot with my gloves on, and my hands get cold quickly.  But today it warmed up and tying the two stands of bailing twine was like a morning meditation.

It made me stop moving and slow down for a little while.

Jon took this picture of me last week tying the bailing twine

A Good Day With Good Company In My Studio

Zinnia and Bud sleeping in the crate in my studio

I got some good work done on my second quilt for Linda.  But by the time I was finished for the day it was dark out and I couldn’t get a good photo of it.

Without good lighting the reds popped and the blues turned purple.

I did have some company while I worked.  Both Zinnia and Bud came in when it got a little cold out.  Normally I would have put them in the house, but I was into what I was doing and didn’t want to interrupt the flow.

Fate was already in her bed and Zinnia grabbed the crate.  Bud walked around looking for a place to settle then decided to share with Zinnia.

My studio isn’t big, and the dogs know better than to bother me when I working.  They stay on their beds or by the door and don’t wander onto my work space on the floor.

I don’t need three dogs in my studio, but it was sweet to see Bud and Zinnia share a bed.

Fate in her bed next to the dog crate

Two Pigeons and The Morning Moon

Morning moon high in the sky.  Opposite it a window of orange sun rising through the trees.

I miss walking in the woods.

The summer is uninviting, with the thick brush, broken bridge and thriving ticks.  Now it’s the hunters that keep me away.

But soon, they will be gone, the cold will keep the ticks away and I’ll walk though the bare branches like a ghost.

Full Moon Fiber Art