Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Lots of Updates

My goodness, there have been so many changes and happenings, its hard to know where to begin.
There are a lot of areas I wish I was doing a lot better, parenting for example. I suppose I'll just jump right in.

I know its a little early but it always makes me feel hopeful when I plan our garden. The goal is to save some money and eat better as a family. We now have 8 square foot boxes and 2 patches where I try and grow potatoes. So far 1-2 dinners worth of sugar snap peas, beets and potatoes grow in spite of me. This year i'd like to grow a bit more then that. Its also a good plan to rake up any leftover hay and crud from the sheep pens and use it as fertilizer around the fruit trees. It helps the grass come back in the sheep pen and helps the trees. 

Here is where I feel like i'm failing the most. I yell way too much. I get wrapped up in my own stuff and need to pay more attention to my 2 wonderful children. My goals are to start and keep up with family fun/game night. To read a lot more books to/with my kids. Spend a half hour of quality one on one time with them every day. And finally, not yell so much.

I'm starting finally get some where as a professional artist. My Etsy shop,, has been picking up in views and a few sales. I've been trying to increase my exposure through events and using sites like Tumbler and Facebook. I'm going to be selling at several craft/art shows locally. I have 2 major ones lined up so far and a few small ones. I'm hoping to add a couple more larger ones towards the end of the year. I'm also going to try adding a countdown for each one, here on the blog. I've started teaching felting at a local craft store on Wed. nights, both needle and wet felting. Though i'm waiting for warmer weather for the wet felting. 

We've had a rough couple of years. We're down to 3 full time ewes, 1 ram and 2 weathers. That being said last years lambs are still here, so we have a total of 15 sheep at the moment. Lambing season will be interesting to say the least. We have 4 horses, 4 dogs and numerous cats. Want a cat? Yes, i'm being serious. There are also several major projects that need to be addressed this year. Adequate access to water for winter. Several of our tank heaters are not working. The pasture the sheep are on needs a rest. We're hoping to move the sheep to another area this spring.  The door fell off the hose cabinet and consequently does not keep the hose from freezing. There are at least 2 gates that need to be fixed/replaced. The chicken and turkey pens need cleaned out and fixed up, as well as the outside dog pen. We're planning on raising meat chickens and a few turkeys this spring. The barn in general needs a good thorough cleaning. The more we get done this spring/summer the easier it will be next winter. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Yes I smell of elderberries, no my mother is not a hamster. . .

On a whim yesterday morning I decided to check the elderberries. We have a small patch behind the barn and it was loaded!!! 

I spent next half an hour - 45 minutes picking / climbing in and out of those bushes . . . 

And the amount that I got from that little patch was AMAZING!!!

A whole 5gal bucket plus a smaller 6qrt bucket!!!!

When I finally got the berries off the fronds, and got them washed and clean, I had 3 quarts of berries! Add them to the peaches we have ripening on the trees and I've got at least 2 batches of jam to make! I'll be checking the patch again today for more ^.^

Friday, August 2, 2013

Fall crops

So, I found some seeds from 2 years ago, when i was crazy into gardening. I have no idea if they're still viable but I'm going to plant them anyway. I had already bought some beets, carrots and sugar snap peas, they're mostly planted, though I still have some carrots and peas left to plant. I'm going to plant them in containers on the front porch this weekend. I'll also be putting in a rain water collector and planting some other fall veggies that I will pick up at my local greenhouse. 

The peas and carrots I planted at the beginning of the week are starting to sprout YA!

I have them planted among the tomatoes. There are still a bunch left to poke their heads up and I will have to thin them when they get bigger but I'm hoping for a bumper crop :) 

My mint and lemon balm on the other hand are trying to take over the world! I've already harvested pounds of each. Pictured above is my pineapple mint and below is the lemon balm.

That's all for now tootles!  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Whatcha doin?

Hi again, long time in between posts I know. I wish I could say it won't happen again, but I try to be honest with you guys :)

Ok so here's what I've been up to lately, or at least fairly recently :)


Here are a few pics of some slippers I made for myself:

These are wet felted and then needle felted. Unfortunately they don't fit . . . "frown" The width is great but they rub my toes just enough to be irritating.  

However there is a silver linning; I will be posting a tutorial very soon on how I made the second set, & these beauties will be going into my Etsy shop for sale


Next up is a sweater I'm knitting for my daughter. I had been eyeballing this book "Lovely Little Knits for Little Girls" at my local yarn shop Fiberworks, for a long time.

I really like the look of 99% of the patterns in the book and when my daughter found this wonderful yarn with sparkles (universal yarns classic shades sequins lite - color 405 primrose) its so soft!

  Well, I could no longer resist. I looked at the yardage needed and got 4 skiens. I should have read the pattern too, but having 2 extra skiens is not something I'm going to complain about. I've done the back, both front pieces, and one sleeve.

I have a couple major issues with this pattern:

First - The way its written you have to keep track of what row your on for the garment itself and the wave/cable has row repeats you have to keep track of. In and of itself this one's not too bad until you add in the increases and decreases. Now you have to figure out which stitch your on in a wave/cable row because it may not be the first one. I've taken to writing each and every row down on a note in my phone, along with any increases and/or decreases. Even doing this my counts are almost never right.

 Second - There is something very wrong with the sleeve pattern. Even if you follow the pattern exactly the stitch counts don't add up. And if you continue on for the 12 more rows it takes to get to the right stitch count, and then continue for 6 more rows just in case, the sleeve is still too short. I'm making the 7-8 yr old size and the sleeve doesn't fit my 5 yr old! They will be more like half sleeves. Which is ok, I guess, but I'm still miffed about it. Which is why its taking me so long to finish the other one.

Experimental spinning

I took a class on Craftsy called: Spinning Dyed Fibers. I love Craftsy classes and I really enjoyed this one too. It also made me think about how you can have a bit of control over how your yarn turns out. Something I never knew before, I just thought you grabbed your roving/fibers and spun however you felt like that day.

This is the roving I started out with:
4oz Hand-dyed Blue Faced Leicester from Frabjous Fibers
the color is #251 Chipotle
First I split it into 5ths and re-braided one slipping it back into its packaging.

This 5th I pre-drafted and then Navajo plied it onto itself.

For this 5th I split it into 3rds and spun each one to a bobbin, then I plied them together.

This one I spun with a modified fractal spinning technique. I split the fibers in half vertically. I spun one half attempting a thick and thin texture. The other half I split into 3rds. One I pre-drafted and plied with my first half. The other two I pre-drafted, spun to 2 different bobbins and then plied them together. Then I cabled the two yarns together.

For some reason I didn't write down or take a picture of the last 5th, ? ? ?    Ooops!

There are more projects but I'm having trouble coordinating how to get my pictures uploaded from my phone, camera and iPad, there has to be a better way . . . .

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hello again!

Sorry its been a while, life has been kicking my butt lately. 
Here are some of the things I've been up to;

Thank you cards for all of the cub scout leaders:
I used my cricut campin' critters cartridge, cuttle bug embossing folders 
and tim holtz distress ink pads to create these thank you cards.

Signs for our first aid kit, for our first camping trip:
Again I used my cricut campin' critters cartridge to make both of these cuts.

Random masculine card
I used scrap papers, bakers twine, the guitar is a sticker die cut
I popped up on foam pop dots, and you rock is a digital stamp.

I did do a mother's day card but the picture did not turn out right:
I used scrap papers, cricut a child's year cartridge, a digital stamp, and a die cut chip board frame covered in white glitter. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring Lambs!!

Oh my gosh!! They're SOOOOOO CUTE, and I am so pleased to introduce you to them!

This is Marilyn she was born to our ewe Lizzy. She was the smallest in a set of triplets, unfortunately the other 2 lambs didn't make it. She's small and sleeps a lot more then the other lambs, even though she was born first. Here I'm trying to give her a little extra nutrition. For those of you who are wondering, yes I did try a bottle first. I even tried a rubber glove (goats seem to like them better then a bottle) She drank this way for me once but I haven't been able to get her to do it again.

Please meet Coco and Elvis. Coco is a the colored lamb and Elvis is white, though he has one or two spots of color. Their momma Tilly, she's a Tunis, is a bit of a nut.Even though we've had her for month's now and I go in their pen and try to interact with her, you know show her we're not going to hurt her / get her used to people, she's still a nut.

Our newest Finnesheep Phoebe had 2 little girls; Hippie and Rita. Hippie is very interesting, her wool is twice as long as any of the other lambs. Rita is a mountain climber. When her mom lays down to rest, she likes to climb on top of her and bounce around.

And last but not least, we have Squirrel. He has some definite spunk! His momma was our black ewe Trouble. I'm not sure if you can tell but those are skids being used as the sides of the pen. Squirrel is instigator and will slip behind the skid to visit Gretta. When Elvis and Coco see him they do the same.

Gretta's pen is in the corner between Tilly and Trouble. I don't believe we will be seeing any lambs from her this year. I believe she may have had one but it was stillborn or she failed to care for it.

I have some more sadness to write now. . . Our Blue Faced Leicester, Lisa, recently passed. She was carrying triplets. The vet, my husband and I tried but we were unable to save either the momma or the lambs. The vet said there was nothing we could have done differently. Sheep are really good at hiding when they don't feel well. Anything I might have questioned I contributed to her pregnancy and the multiple's she was carrying. I will be talking extensively with our vet to prevent future problems.