Knitting IS Knotty

hat_vikingSo says the sticker that my awesome son-in-law, Ben, found for me. When he gave it to me I thought it was very cute though, from a technical point of view, slightly inaccurate. Knitting is actually more loopy than knotty. And up until last winter, I was more loopy than knotty too.

HOWEVER …and of course the hard way … I discovered that there IS a level of accuracy to the “knotty” bit that I hadn’t recognized at first. In the course of knitting an insane number of Viking hats mostly for the Christmas season last year, I actually tied my left shoulder into a solid and excruciatingly urgent knot. It got so bad that I had to curtail the number of things I made for Fairie Festival and as soon as I’d finished commissions from that weekend, I closed down my Etsy store so I could give my shoulder a rest. Unheard of! But, thank Goodness, I was also able to treat myself to the incredible TLC of Susan Chalker’s massage therapy skills and now my shoulder is the best it’s been in 4 years! Yay! F you, F’ing old age!

So now, my Etsy store is re-opened! You can, once again, order a Viking Hat … in August! I know you’ve been waiting for that. Avoid the rush! (The first two Viking Hats of the season have actually just gone out the door today!) … And if you don’t want to order one now because you’re afraid you’ll do what you always do: lose it or give it to them early … let me know and I can postpone mailing til whatever date you specify. I can even remind you in the fall that you already ordered it so you don’t forget and buy them something else. But I’m not begging. I don’t beg. Do whatever you want.

But, y’know the “fearful purchase” … how we’re willing to spend money on things like doctors,  insurance, car repairs, etc. because we’re afraid of the consequences of not making that purchase?  I’m introducing that here.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid!  If you don’t buy a Viking Hat today, you or your loved ones could go Viking Hatless for another entire winter.  And who knows what all evil will come of THAT!!

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ORIGIN: Late 17th century: from Latin solus ‘alone.’
noun – 
a thing done by one person unaccompanied
adjective or adverb – for or done by one person alone: [as adj.]: a solo exhibit
verb – (soloes, soloing, soloed) to perform something unaccompanied

Ok … so you already knew all that.  I’m sure you use that word all the time …
everyday even. It’s an everyday kind of word.

But let me tell you this, when you’re actually doing it?  Soloing … yourself … all by yourself? There’s nothing everyday about it. It’s the tight fist that grips your windpipe. It paralyzes and catatonifies … dries up every drop of saliva you ever had in your whole life. It’s terrifying. Gut wrenching. Spinal tapping. You feel like you’ve jumped off a city building without wings or parachute or even clothing; unprotected, undefended, unsupported by anything save whatever gumption you begged, borrowed, stole or convinced yourself you possessed … which is how you got into this soloing fix to begin with.

For me, it’s usually flattery that’s gets me in trouble. “Oh, Bim, you’re so good at this! You can do it! You’ll be great! …” What’s the saying? Pride goeth before a complete and total bare-assed mortification?

So here I stand … before the fall … ass in hand, so to speak. The paintings have been painted and dried and framed and logged. They’ve been on Facebook and Instagram and People have seen them and been incrediby supportive and appreciative. Many even expressed a wish to attend the opening and you first 10 (to which this private venue limits me) are now officially on my guest list; duly confirmed and apprised of location, date, time and dress code (aye yayay!). Now all that’s left is to hang the show and ATTEND THE OPENING.

And, as quoth Shakespeare, “there’s the rub” … the exposed and vulnerable scary rub. Sure, I’ve been nose to the grindstone, painting my heart out for months and am very jazzed and happy about this body of work. Sure, Facebook and Instagram have flashed my work all over the world wide web-iverse already. BUT I didn’t have to see the people’s reactions. I don’t have to know that even though oooo-gobs of lovely people “liked” and “loved” my paintings online, that there were oooo-gobbier gobs more people that were not impressed at all; or, god forbid, were repelled by my efforts. I don’t have to know about them. And I don’t have to make small talk. I am soooo not good at that.

Here’s me making small talk:
Hi. How are you? I’m fine, thanks. Yes, this is my work. I did it on … some days. It was fun. It keeps me out of jail. Yeah. Excuse me. I have to go to the Ladies Room now.

At a solo show, you see it all: if anyone is interested enough to attend; who will look,  who won’t look and all the reactions. It’s all on you. You can’t even pretend that any distasteful faces and hand-hid whispers are about someone else’s work because all the work is yours.  … All THIS work is MINE.

There it is: my fear … my awkward, childish, unprofessional, completely human fear: naked and afraid. (… my brother’s favorite reality show… HE should come to the opening.)

Awkward silence.

Still … that said … my ever faithful Mom will be there! … And my husband/agent /biggest fan (who is a saint!) … And one of my 5 favorite sisters! … And some of my most dear and treasured friends, no few of whom are driving a good distance to attend.

So I guess, really, I won’t be solo. I won’t be alone. I’ll be bolstered and buttressed and beatified. I’ll be shored up and shining. They’ll refer to me as “the artist” not in its usual connotation as a synonym for “not-making-minimum-wage,” but rather as an honorific. And I’ll bask in that for exactly half an hour. Then I have to get up and “say a few words.”

Yikes! Naked again … with black socks and bed-head.

Disclaimer: Any utterance I might make at such times of duress and doleful duty is totally not my fault.

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I’m Not Sad … Am I?


So, you probably know, this is the last year that Fairie Festival will be held at Spoutwood Farm.

I’m old-ish. I don’t like change that much. The uncertainty of the future is … well … uncertain. Still, I’m going through the motions. The same motions as always, hoping that the motions, themselves, will start to generate the happy rhythm that we always dance to this time of year. I even got juiced up enough to make awesome new things that I’m truly excited about. But I think a lot of me is feeling … not exactly excited? Mostly, just sad.

I can’t go to Fairie Festival feeling SAD! It just isn’t done! Fairie Festival is fun! And bright and shiny! It’s makes my birthday last longer! I cheat on my diet! I wear goofy clothes. Hell, I MAKE goofy things! And people like them! People come to fairy festival to BE goofy! Or at least to watch other people be goofy. Right? And just because it’s the last year at Spoutwood doesn’t mean any of that has to change, does it? Does it? Maybe you’d better come and convince me! Or I’m just going to be sad …


Wild Hawthorn
in the Fairie Garden (nearside of the farmhouse) Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm May 4th, 5th, & 6th.


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Magic Potion While Supplies Last


While my stash of Magic Potion was depleted over Christmas, and plants for the next batch are not yet grown enough, there is still a fair bit left.

The poison ivies and oaks are juicing up for you now and the mosquitoes are too. So getcha some magic potion while supplies last and be ready for them.

Also, if you bring an empty potion bottle from last year, I’ll give you a discount on a new bottle full.

The woods are greening fast and I’ll be making another big batch of potion this summer, as well as a batch of super comfrey balm. So, let me know if you’re interested and we can make sure you get some.


WildHawthornBannerDotsnberriestranspWild Hawthorn in the Fairie Garden (nearside of the farmhouse) Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm May 4th, 5th, & 6th.


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Wanted: Preferably Alive

WantedMadHatterWanted: these three individuals, who were spied in the year 2014, letting their Fairy Freak Flags Fly.  Their likenesses were captuired but, sadly, never discovered. If you’ve seen (or think you’ve seen) these individuals, please notify the authorities (namely them) that these portraits exist in case they’d like to get them off the streets to protect their reputations … or the opposite …  As this is the last year at Spoutwood, they also might like to come anyway and relive some memories from 2014.  Their costumes were stellar! Sharing is good.

Wild Hawthorn
in the Fairie Garden (nearside of the farmhouse) Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm May 4th, 5th, & 6th.

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Weather or Not

Long-red-vest-hood-upSMSoooo … I just looked at the weather forecast for Fairie Festival Weekend, (which, as you may know, is now close enough to show up on the 15 day outlook) and it looks terr …. wait, no, it looks wonderful for wearing warm clothes!

That said, you should know that we’ll have new knits including, new hats, more Viking Hats, new hoods, an amazing long hooded vest that made it’s debut at Ramblewood and other shawls, mitties and sundries which you may actually need. (Including handwarmers for your pockets @ $1 a pair). If, by some miraculous chance, it does get hot, I also have lovely hats knit in cotton. Something for everyone, in every weather.


Wild Hawthorn in the Fairie Garden (nearside of the farmhouse) Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm May 4th, 5th, & 6th.

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Making Like a Tree

MakingLikeATreeAs ever, there are new paintings this year!

There are 5 little mushrooms, 2 wee flower paintings and a tree that lives along the creek at Spoutwood.

There is also a new calendar for this Fairy Year (from May 2018 to April 2019).

And of course, there’s a new painting of one of you. But I’m not going to tell you who. You’ll just have to come and see!


Wild Hawthorn
in the Fairie Garden (nearside of the farmhouse) Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm May 4th, 5th, & 6th.

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