Sunday, June 28, 2009

On the drying Rack

With the great weather we have been washing
fleece like crazy. Right now I have a beautiful
huge fleece from Ginger on the drying Rack.
You can see in the pictures what a great variation in color that can occur in one fleece~I Can't wait to card this fleece

Here are the petunia balls
"in progress. I have pinched them off a few times. I am not sold on the concept yet. I think if I do them again I will start them about a month earlier than I did this year in Dad's green house. Following are some pictures of the garden in progress...my garden helper Scuzz,The tomatoes are going wild, my sitting area, I like to sit and have coffee in the garden in the mornings












































A lot of people have asked me about all the milk jugs that we keep in the garden. They are not for watering. I will share the secret~ They are for warmth. I plant my garden in the first two weeks of May which is two weeks earlier than my area normally allows. We usually get a hard frost just before memorial day. The milk jugs filled with water absorb the heat of the sun and keep my tender little plants warm through out the night. It helps in the regular growing season here too. Our Oregon nights get very cool. Cool enough that we open all the windows uses fans to bring in all the cool air and close up the house during the day and rarely have to turn on the air conditioner. So they keep that warmth and speed the plants on their way. The black plastic helps the soil retain the warmth also. I have an extensive irrigation soaker hose system under that plastic...but that is not the purpose of the plastic ~for me it is weed control. I would love nothing more that to putter and weed every day but our schedule with all that we have going does not permit me the time and Jon does not do weeds...so I call my garden "Lazy man's garden" which as anyone who knows us....that word is the very last word that anyone would use when it comes to describing us~I am off to do some weed eating and get the irrigation going on the lawn.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The first day of Summer


The beginning of summer weekend and it was cold! We started the weekend on Friday and headed up to "the Black Sheep Gathering" As usual it did not disappoint. I did enter My slimfast Santa and my felted cat and took a second and a third place in the class. WOW! It was a big class and the judge had nice things to say about both. They really liked the attention to detail on the Santa. We started the day out by driving past this beautiful scene right near our farm. It was so pretty I had to stop and take a picture~



Then we attended the festival, ran into a ton of people, one of which enabled me into a new drop spindle that I cannot wait to use. So much to see and do! Learned a lot listening to the judging of the spun yarn..interesting.
Saturday, I worked in the gardens half the day, weeding and tying and fixing the inevitable irrigation leaks. Wishing for some hot weather. Our garden is growing nicely but I want to see some more blossoms come on. I picked the first nice zucchini of the year. Then I was off to Marion's baby shower. What a great time! That Chasen is going to be a reader~ Then I cam home and worked in the studio until 9p.m. I have a few projects that I am working on that I need to finish. One was a shirt that I was embroidering for my mom....
Today, after I worked in the studio from 5 am till 11 am we moved our ram lambs away from their momma's. They are not very pleased with the move and keep calling for their mom's. They have plenty of company with the guardian girls. Soon two of the girls will move over with the ewes. I cannot wait I lose sleep every single night and sometime walk over there at two am to make sure everyone is safe. It is that "feed my cubs" time of year when the momma cougars are teaching their young to hunt. Marys black Ram is a very nice Ram. Definitely a keeper.
Ginger's boy and Moon's boy both have beautiful fleece but are not carrying the black rams size. We will see how they grow.
Ran into town to have a meal with my Dad, wish him a very happy Father's day along with the entire family, and pick up some household essentials. A normal Sunday
I decked Ellie and Dave out in their farm logo for the CAGBA (Colored Angora Goat Breeders Association) So that they were showing their goats in style. Billy Goat Mountain Ranch came home with a bunch of ribbons...as usual~ She produces the most awesome fleeces and goats.

Speaking of Ellie and Dave...While we were farm sitting for them this weekend, we discovered that Bobbin one of Ellie's does had had a late night rendezvous and produced two beautiful buck boys that are waiting to meet them when they get home tonight~! Aren't they cute?
Tink is now cashmereless and still the smallest cashmere goat on the planet...She is great as long as she can eat and hang with her dogs.



Monday, June 15, 2009

Sewing Sunday to Dye For


It was a fantastic successful weekend around here. Jon worked on the new fencing in the pastures since the sheep keep going on a walk about. It is proving to be a muddy job because the clay layers is so close to the surface and we have had a bit of rain. He has to pull all of the old t-posts out, put in new gate posts, rework the gates
, bury the irrigation and level the area where the fence is being stung. Not an easy task!~
While he was sweating away at that job we were busy processing fiber. Wash rinse dry pick and card......Some of it had to be washed a couple of times....esp. the ram fleece that I am working on now.
Worked on a little weed control in the gardens-the cabbages are growing beautifully!
Looks like we will have some nice artichokes this year. Strawberries are on in full force we are having to pick and freeze every other day.

I got the pattern drafted for the bag that I created for the Sewing Expo that we attend every year. I just need to make another bag and write out the instructions with how to pictures and it will be ready for download at my etsy site. To read about the contest that I entered click here:


I never dreamed in a million years that I would win! I just wanted something to sit on that I would not lose that would keep my seat warm in the cold seminar chairs. For anyone who has never been to the Expo that is a seamstress, a fiber artist, a knitter, heck-anything it is the greatest event ever! The classes are taught by the cutting edge pros in the industry and the shopping is fabulous~ It is a great place to stock up on supplies and you will always find a new craft or item that you have to have or learn!
You cannot just go for one day. It is girls weekend out and how our Sewing Sunday was born (although that term does not describe all of the talent in our group is is what we are).....we have been trying to come up with a more suitable name but it has eluded us.

So using the expo logo pack I created the Ultimate seminar bag. Pictured below




Here is a shot of the cabbage in the garden-huge ~

I cannot remember who gave me this bulb but is sure a pretty iris~This is some mohair/merino that Ellie brought over to dye-sure took the colors vibrantly!~

This is a whole bunch of lamb fleece roving that we processed on Saturday and dyed on Sunday
Ready for felting or spinning~
Barb dyed her sock block and cannot wait for it to dry, she just finished her socks that she was knitting yesterday and is ready for a new project. I cannot wait to see her socks~

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sunday Wool Party

Glenda gave us some "new wool" in the form of a little black ram yesterday with  the biggest horn bases! He is a nice strong boy.


That was happening while I worked on some embroidery and processed some lamb fleeces.  I had two more fleeces in the wash besides the four that I processed into roving.  I am excited to dye these! I borrowed a picker to help move the process along.  I think I needed a bigger box!

I have a nice pile of batts that I am going to run through the drum carder one more time-after work today. 

I processed the one black and white ram fleece-it has a really short staple-I am thinking only really good for felting. The white is short, though not as short as the grey.  The picker sure helped get a lot of the little tiny dirt specks out that I could not pick out.


The great news is that I finished the embroidery that I was working on. I learned some new techniques and processes with this one.  I listed some new stuff on etsy

      While I was working my fingers off, Jon and the girls were over working on the new pasture fencing.   He started concreting in the new gate posts and corner posts and pulled and reset some of the older t-posts.  Imagine his surprise when he pulled out some posts and they were only three footers.  Those will not do us any good with the new fencing!  It is going to be so great to have the new fences up-and the new (rehung, refortified) gates, we will be able to put the guardian dogs back out there and lock the gates.  I will be able to sleep all night knowing the lambs and ewes are safe. (Last Sunday we found fresh cougar scat in the pasture)  Combined with the outdoor cameras any messing with the fences or the property will be on film.  (it amazes me, that people are still messing with us, opening the barn doors, letting out the sheep, turning off the automatic water systems for the livestock and the pastures and corn when they know we have cameras up.  I will just say, when you are doing this you should smile because it looks better in the pictures when we look at them! )

anyways,
It was a great day!




Sunday, June 7, 2009

I can't felt fast enough!


Lately, I cannot get my fingers working fast enough!  I am working on some felted entries for the blacksheep gathering in three weeks but people keep begging to buy them  before I even get them done!  I really want to enter some of my sculptures this year so here are a few choices that I have not sold on purpose.  
Here is my most recent Tibetan Mastiff:

I call this one Slimfast Santa or Summertime Kris KRingle..he is pretty skinny to be a santa! I still need to fill his bag with a few toys.

This is a cat that I recently completed.  A definite entry.

Well I am off to wash some lamb fleeces, process some that I have already washed into roving and get it ready to dye and list on my etsy site!

Speaking of fleece, leads me to think of my sheep, which, Although we are usually finished lambing by now, Barclay apparently has a new years party with his ewes rather than the OCtober party that we wanted.  We are expecting lambs any time from at least one of our ewes, Glenda.  Will keep you all posted~
Karen


 

Monday, June 1, 2009

Summer Begins


It is my favorite time of year-the garden is in, and growing-I had to stake the tomatoes, peppers and eggplant already.  The artichokes are coming on.  I picked the first strawberries of the season yesterday.  The corn is peeking out of the ground. The clematis is going wild on the front trellis!

I cannot bear to mow the daisy's in the back next to the swing!
The pathway garden nest to the deck is ready to burst open it's with daylillies!
The inpatients are peeking out from under the hostas
The pond lillies have started to bloom.
The wild rose in the rock garden is in full bloom
And Scuzz was relaxing on the patio after a hard night of mousing and gophering!
This is yesterday's sunrise.  We had a freak mountain storm on Saturday night.  1.75 inches of rain in 2 hours, complete with hail, lightning and thunder gave way to a misty sunrise on Sunday.  A perfect accompaniment to biscotti and coffee on the patio before starting all the farm chores!

It is my favorite time of year!  We started the new fencing over in the pastures at the other barn.  Soon we will be able to really utilize the pastures the way that they should be rotated.  It was a busy weekend with a nephew graduating (great job Brett!) and almost finishing a weed eating project along the road.  Working on rejuvenating the pastures-removing star thistle, mowing an overgrowth of fox tails (there are less than lst year) reworking the irrigation system.
Watching the sheep enjoy! Life is a blessing, The country is a blessing. It is such a good feeling to have two days complete a bunch of projects and accomplish something!

I leave you today with some thoughts-ask yourself: what have I accomplished today to improve the environment in which I live my life?  What nice thing have I done to improve the life of another? What will the actions that I have embarked on today bring in the future.  I am a firm believer in Karma.  You get what you give.  If you work hard, live without malice towards others (no matter how awful they behave towards you-they will get theirs in the end-because their attitudes are their own cross to bear and a result of their unhappy  unresolved psychological issues), live with good intentions with meaningful goals-your life will be fulfilling and happy!  I feel great today knowing that we accomplished a bunch of stuff, we are all healthy and happy!