Showing posts from June, 2008


Oh, I love the lazy days of summer. Okay, so they're not so lazy, but I have been having a great summer so far. I can't believe that the 4th of July is almost here!

I never got a chance to buy flowers this spring, so I was excited to see that an area greenhouse brought plant to the Wednesday morning auction this week. I bought geraniums, vinca vines, a new guinea impatiens, a tuberous begonia, and some lavatara (sp?) plants (they're like small hollyhocks). It's nice to get some flowering annuals planted.

The trees, perennials and shrubs have kept us fascinated so far. The Black Locust trees were in full bloom when I got back from out west. They smelled so sweet for about 10 days, and the bees were humming in the branches. They've finished blooming now and the peonies have picked up where they left off. When the peonies peter out, the lilies are next on the docket.

The sheep are not crazy about our 80 degree days, but they are doing fine. I decided to offe…

Chicks are here!

Our 35 chicks are here. I ordered 30 Jumbo Cornish Crosses and two California Whites (for white eggs), two Gold Sex-links (for brown eggs) and one Ameraucana (for green eggs).

I started them off in the basement in a wading pool for a few days. I had them out in the sunshine this afternoon until it started to sprinkle. And now they are out in the barn in a dog crate. Not coming back in the house, it's amazing how fast those little buggers can stink up the place!

The three adult hens we already had are keeping us nicely stocked with fresh eggs. That makes me very happy. But I think they need a rooster. One of the ladies has started to crow in the morning. ;-)

Home Again!

It's so good to be home again! We lost a tree in the backyard and the BFL rams managed to outwit Stan and munch on all my raspberries while I was gone, but other than that, everything is fine.

I started out by attending Chad Alice Hagen's seminar on dyeing felt scarves with dyes painted on paper. What a fun teacher she is! Immediately afterward, Kim and I got on the road out west.

Kim's friend Susan was such a gracious hostess even though she was grieving over the loss of her beloved dog, Bennie. Here is a photo of Kim on the phone with Susan a few hours before we arrived at her place. We were in Wyoming at that point, it seemed like the middle of nowhere. But the sign at the rest stop said we were on the Oregon Trail and just past the Continental divide. Just imagine people in covered wagons making that trip to settle out west!

Susan's partner, David, came home from Alaska in time to give us a back-roads tour of the Grand Tetons National Forest on a beautiful sunn…

Eight Days on the Road!

I'm so excited - tomorrow morning I am attending the Shibori Symposium at the Textile Center of Minnesota. I signed up for a seminar by Chad Alice Hagen. I love her felt work! Her latest book, "Fabulous Felted Scarves" is full of innovative felting techniques. The seminar will be on transferring dyes on paper to felt. Should be interesting!

Immediately afterward, Kim Nikolai and I are leaving for an 8-day road trip to Wilson, WY (near Jackson). We will be staying with her friend Susan for four days. We're hauling out five Scottish Blackface ewes for Susan from Littledale farm in WI. Kim and Susan want to work with their Border Collies and the sheep. I plan to take photos, sketch, paint the mountain scenery.

We'll be heading down to Estes Park, CO for the Wool Market and BFL Revolution over Father's Day weekend.

I am really looking forward to meeting some of the BFL and Shetland breeders from out west! I can't wait to see all the sheep in the competit…

Needle Felting Project

First, Socks says "Hi". It's always so hard to get a photo of him, because he's so friendly. He's Mabeline's Shetland Mule lamb that has been wethered.

I've been working on this needle felted bust of my friend Mark for his 60th birthday, which was yesterday. I thought I was done, but since his wife didn't pick it up, I'm re-doing the left hand (it was too big and the arm too long) and I'm making some glasses for him. I might even throw together a shirt for him to wear. I stuffed the belly with rocks to add stability and weight. I sewed the head onto the body too. But I left the hat removable so we could enjoy the bald head. Lots of fun to do, but very time consuming!

This is a shot of Jemma's Shetland Mule ram lamb. He's not growing very fast. He's just as cute as a bug's ear and so friendly. I haven't wethered him yet because he's so small, but I think he would make a nice fiber pet.

And here's a shot of Matt and Rh…

Finally Finished Lambing!

I am happy to say we have finally finished the 2008 lambing season as of this morning. Cora gave birth to a moorit smirslet ram lamb during the night. He's such a cutie! I was hoping for twins from her -- maybe a ewe lamb or two-- but I'm very happy with a healthy single. Now I can relax and put the barn cam away. Yes!

I knew Cora was getting close to lambing because she was definitely dropped yesterday and her bag was full. I did a barn check about 10:30 p.m. No sign of labor, but I was suspicious anyway. So I watched on the barn cam around 11:oo p.m. and noticed a couple ram lambs were bugging her. That was enough to get me back out there to put her in a jug. I awoke to the sound of a strange howling dog around 4:30 a.m. and checked the barn cam. Cora was still walking around, back and forth in the jug. I thought I had jumped the gun and shouldn't have jugged her overnight. Then I saw her stick her head through the panel to a dark lump on the ground outside t…