Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Another Felted Fleece class and exciting news!

I've got openings for 3 or 4 people  for a felted fleece class on Wednesday, August 10th in my outdoor studio in Ogilvie, MN. This was going to be a private session, but we decided to open it up. Contact me if you're interested.

I did this Karakul fleece yesterday, it's 6 feet long. It still needs some trimming done around the edges, but I love those beautiful long locks!  Karakul fleece is great for a rug or wall hanging, felts very fast. A big thanks to my shearer for passing this beautiful fleece on to me.

I had a great time in Grand Marais teaching the raw felted fleece class at North House Folk School. We were blessed with beautiful weather and not too much wind. The students did a great job on their fleeces. The fleeces left to right in the photo above are: a Cotswold, Karakul cross, Shetland/BFL cross, Jacob and a Border Leicester/Bluefaced Leicester cross.

And most exciting news! 

I am going to Shetland for a felting retreat with Fiona Duthie next May! Ever since I got into raising and breeding Shetland sheep 15 years ago, I've wanted to go to Shetland to see the sheep and the landscape. When Fiona announced she was having this retreat in 2017 I didn't hesitate to sign up. So now I'm resolved to sell some sheep and wool and felt art to finance my trip. Oh and I'll need a passport -- so excited! :-)

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Flock Reduction

I've decided to cut back my flock and try to quit breeding (my shepherd friends will understand) so that I can focus more on fiber and my art.
I've listed all of my sheep on the sale page, except for a few that will retire here, but even they could be placed in the right home.  I'm sorry I don't have many photos yet, I'll get some up asap.
I can haul up to 10 sheep to Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival in September, but my preference is to move them out sooner if possible. I don't have any pasture here, but they have been clearing away the forest floor as fast as I can put up the electronet.
Click on the Sheep for Sale page to see a listing of what I have available. So many beautiful fleeces in this group and they're pretty friendly too!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Felted Pelt Class this Saturday!

There are still two openings in this weekend's raw felted fleece class here in Ogilvie.
Call me if you would like to register. I do have a couple fleeces available for purchase if you don't have one of your own. The one in the photo is a moorit Shetland fleece that weighed about 2.5 lbs raw.

Thanks to everyone who came to my booth at Shepherd's Harvest this year. It's always nice to reconnect with all friends and make new ones. I sold out of felt pelts! It's a good thing I have several more fleeces on hand and the weather is perfect for felting outdoors.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Classes coming up!

It's been a while since I last posted. Lambing is over for the year and I have lots of 47% Teeswater ram lambs to sell.
I will post current photos and prices in the coming weeks. They area all growing so fast! They will be available after weaning at the end of May. Such beautiful fleeces on these crosses.
Shepherd's Harvest was held in Lake Elmo, MN this past weekend. It was so nice to see many old friends and make some new ones. I want to thank everyone who bought fiber, pelts, and soap. It really was a good weekend despite the cool, windy weather. I wish I had more time to stop in my friends' booths, so much to do and so little time!

Sid and I are hosting a couple classes in our outdoor classroom over the next two weekends.

Coming up this Sunday, May 22, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon is "Herbal First Aid" taught by Rachel and Patrick Nudd of Willheal Farm in Cedar, MN.  The cost is $20 and there will be wood-fired pizza after class. Click on the link above for more information or to sign up.

The following Saturday, May 28th I will be teaching a raw felted fleece class. I've got room for two more students. The cost is $125 which includes all materials (except the fleece), refreshments, and lunch. Contact me to sign up or for more details.  If you can't make it to this one, I will be teaching it at North House Folk School in Grand Marias, MN on July 9-10 and at Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival September 11, 2016.
Here are some photos from last year's classes here at our place.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Things have Changed

It's been a busy winter! I signed a purchase agreement on my house at the end of October and closed on December 1st. After 28 years living in that house, there was an unbelievable amount of stuff to move, toss, or give away. Thanks to the people who helped me (Sid, Robbie, Mike, Paul, Kerry, and my sons, Matt and Alex).  It was a huge task and I'm still not all unpacked. But what a relief it is to have all my things here in Ogilvie now!
Had to get a photo of my son's "Club House rules" sign in the loft of little red barn at my old house: no stealing, no bullies, no name calling, no swearing, no kicking, etc., etc.

My new studio space is filled with boxes of my paintings, wax resist eggs, empty frames, matboard, art supplies, spinning wheels, and tons of WOOL.  I have high hopes of hosting monthly fiber days and lots of classes in that space.

Sid and I are completely remodeling the lower level of the house.  We put in a new bathroom, laundry room, and pantry last fall.  Now it's the entry, kitchen, living room, and office/guest room. Ceilings, drywall, and some lights went in last week.
Hopefully this week we will get the ceilings and walls primed and install the new kitchen cabinets.  They've been out in my studio all summer -- I can't wait to have them in place!
Sid and I took a nomadic felt rug class at the Textile Center this past weekend. It was good to get away since the house is all disrupted. I haven't had time to make much felt with all the housing issues, so it was a welcome relieve to get my hands wet and soapy again. Mary Riechert did a great job teaching the class and we had more than enough time to finish our small rugs. Mine turned out to be a  birch tree landscape so it will probably be a wall hanging. I plan to needlefelt a few details.  Sid did our cat, Richard Parker, laying on his rug.  He's going to bring out some more details with needlefelting on his too.
Lambing will begin in about 6 weeks, I exposed 10 ewes to Jester, the Teeswater ram. Roxie (BFL/Finn) is due on March 15th. She had beautiful triplet ewe lambs last year (her first lambing), so I expect we'll see some ram lambs out of her this year.
These are Wanda's twin ewe lambs from 2015. They are Teeswater/Wensleydale and a little BFL. I clipped the wool from their faces so they could see.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Spiral Staircase -- first step completed!

Sid and I had a busy weekend!
I did the Fall Fiber Festival in Hopkins, MN on Saturday. Thanks to all who came and purchased fiber and felt! It was my first time vending there, thanks for the warm welcome!
We came home to house guests, Jake and Marie, who had brought a delicious crock pot lamb dinner. Yumm!
Sunday was the big day to install the 25' white oak tree trunk.  This will become the center pole for a three level spiral staircase in the house. The tree was cut early last spring by our good friend, Randy, on his land.  Last June, Sid, along with Randy and his brother, debarked the trunk and it's been drying all summer in our pole barn. It weighed 830 lbs.

After much discussion, plans were made to cut a hole in the north side of the house and slide the tree trunk in; hoist it up to the top beam of the house and then cut a hole in the floor and lower it to it's intended position in the basement. Three guys and 4 hours later, it was done. What a relief!
View from the outside the house...
View from the inside...

Let the hoisting begin! Sid and Randy guide the big end while Jake pulled the chains on top.

It's getting there...the tip eventually was all the way up against the top beam at the peak with the windows.
A short espresso break before cutting the hole in the floor...

Then to lower the upright trunk down to the basement through the hole in the floor..

With the trunk finally in place, Sid gave Randy a big hug. After all the years of thinking and talking about it, the pole is in!

What a great work group, Randy, Jake, and Sid!

And here is the upper portion in the master bedroom upstairs.  Eventually there will be railing and the risers will be installed so we can quit climbing that ladder!

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Fall Fiber Festival this Saturday!

I am going through my fiber and finding lots to sell this Saturday at the Fall Fiber Festival in Hopkins, MN.  I really haven't been up to speed on selling my fiber for a couple years and I have so many beautiful natural colors of Shetland combed top and roving!

I'll also have Bluefaced Leicester combed top and roving; some raw fleeces to sell; raw and washed Cotswold, BFL, and BFL/Teeswater locks; felt pelts; tanned sheepskins; Bluefaced LeicesterX, Wensleydale/BFL, FinnX, Karakul, Lincoln, Icelandic, Cheviot, Suffolk, and English Leicester roving and cloud.

Hopefully there will be room in my van for all the fiber, pelts, and some felted hats. It's going to be a fun day, hope you can stop by if you're in the area. Hours are from 10-4 p.m.
In other news, I have a purchase agreement on my house! If all goes as planned, we'll close before Christmas. I'm going to be busy these next few weeks getting everything moved out. Things really accumulate in 28 years of living in a house. I've been working on downsizing all summer, but I think a roll-off might come in handy.

The weather this past week was incredible. I took advantage of the warm temps to get three fleeces felted in 24 hours. My body is feeling it now.

The beautiful fall leaves are history, but it's still so nice and peaceful to work outside by the wood-fired oven.

Sid hatched out 35 baby quail last week. They are SO tiny! We're planning to use them for meat and eggs. I thought it would be fun to make pickled quail eggs to sell at the Farmers Market next summer.

 The breeding pen is set up and my Teeswater ram, Jester has been busy. I'll be breaking them up next week.  He will be available for purchase anytime after November 15th. He's the sweetest ram and his fleece is absolutely amazing.  I hope to get a bunch of ewe lambs from him again this year. I am keeping 5 of his daughters in my flock.