Monday, July 27, 2009

Midwest Felting Symposium- here I come!*

This has been such a busy summer -- I can't believe it's time for me to head over to Madison, WI for the Midwest Felting Symposium already!

Back on Feb. 1st, I applied for a grant from the East Central Arts Council to help defray the costs of my trip. It seemed like such a long way off. In March the application was approved and now here I go!*

I will be studying with Chad Alice Hagen, Andrea Graham, SINCO, and Annemie Koenen of the Netherlands. I'll be making dyed felt scarves, a wool painting, a needle felted German Shepherd and some embellished felt jewelry. What fun!

I'm bringing my old laptop. I hope to be able to keep up with my email and the blog. But that hasn't always worked out in the past. So if you don't hear from me for a week or so, you'll know why.
I'm bringing two wool paintings for the exhibit, "Portrait of Lena" (above) and "Tranquility"(below).
The portrait of Lena (sorry for the poor quality photos, but at least you get an idea of the piece) was done in wet felting only. Tranquility was a combination of wet felting and needle felting.
When I get on the road tomorrow, my first stop will be to see my oldest son's new house! He bought it on June 26th, but I've been so busy I haven't gotten a chance to stop in and see the inside yet. We drove by a few days before he closed on it and I took this quick photo. Too bad it's so far away from our place. But both our boys wanted to move to the twin cities rather than stay in Mora.

If anyone gets a chance to swing by the Symposium this week, look for me. The symposium is open to the public for shopping, the felting exhibit, and mini make-and-take sessions.

*This activity is funded by a grant from The McKnight Foundation through the East Central Arts Council/East Central Regional Development Commission.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Growing lamb photos

I had a whole day at home yesterday. I spent some time with my flock in the afternoon. It was a beautiful July afternoon, I should have chopped thistles in the pasture or cleaned out the chicken pen, but I chose to take some photos of the lambs and ewes instead. :-)
Above is a photo of River Oaks Sebastian, Ag grey ram lamb at age 12 weeks. He's 50% UK (F2 Minder, F3 and F4 Dillon, and F5 Holly).
Definitely a half poll. I'm hoping his horns stay small like this. I'd like to use him on my Holly ewe line, RO Hannah, RO Leonie, and maybe his older half sister RO Lana.Above is a shot of his great little tail,I hope you can see it, the photo is rather dark. I've included another shot of it below with RO Freida's tail shot.

Here's my favorite ewe lamb, and Sebastian's twin sister, Camille. What a sweetie. Bramble Cordelia really gave me some nice lamb this year. I'm planning to retire her now.

I'm also planning to retire River Oaks Hattie, she gave me these two ewe lambs, Freida in front and Freya in back. Notice the funny coloring on Freida's back leg. At first I thought is was just dust or dirt, but it hasn't gone away. You can see it in the photo below too. I wonder if Freida may be modified.Here's shot of Freya showing how solid sided she is...
This is RO Leonie's black ram lamb - as yet unnamed. His horns are starting to grow at age 10.5 weeks. But I'm pretty sure he's a half poll too.
He's got a bit longer tail that I hope he will grow into...if he does, he will be for sale.
Last but not least, here's a shot of our two BFL ram lambs, Devlyn on the left and Doulan on the right. Devlyn is for sale too.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Shetland Goslings at 7 Weeks - video

I can't believe how the Shetland goslings have grown. They are only seven weeks old. Here they are enjoying the fresh water in their pool this afternoon.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Catching Up again

Whew! It's been a busy few weeks! I got the arts grant submitted on the 15th and did the Majestic Pines Art Festival in Nisswa, MN the 17 & 18th. I was so busy last week trying to get everything in order for both projects. Now I'll just have to wait and see how the grant proposal goes.

And as far as the arts festival, I should have stayed closer to home and done the Pine City Arts Fest instead. The weather was cold with some misty rain (thankfully I had an indoor booth), and sales weren't the best. Oh well, live and learn. Stan and I had a great time meeting the other artists in the festival. There were some really interesting artists up there! I made a few trades which helped too. The sponsoring group had a great reception on Friday evening for the artists with appetizers and wine. I was glad that Stan came with me for this one, those wine glasses were bigger than I realized! It didn't help matters that I was so tired after getting only four hours of sleep the night before.

The lambs have been weaned here - all except the youngest two. This was the first year I took ewe lambs away too. The noise was awful for a couple days and nights, but things eventually died down. The lambs look fat and sassy on the good hay they're getting (I took all the sheep off pasture because of our lack of rain). The ewes seem to be doing fine without the lambs. If I had time, this would be my opportunity to collect milk for sheep milk soap.

We wormed the lambs and weighed a few when we separated them from the ewes. The oldest 3/4 BFL lambs (twins) weighed 62-65 lbs at 93 days. Devlyn, the natural colored BFL ram lamb weighed about the same (89 days). We didn't get a chance to weigh them all, just a few -- using the bathroom scale method. Opal, a Shetland mule twin ewe weighed 40 lbs at 80 days.

The Shetland goslings are out of the garage and into a chain link pen in the back yard. They have a section of the back yard for grazing and their own pool. We had to keep them off the sidewalk.. so far they are pretty quiet compared to other breeds of geese we've had.

And here's a shot of Camille, our Ag gulmoget ewe lamb. She has stolen my heart. What a sweet petite little lamb she is.And I love her fleece...
I will try to get some decent photos of our ram lamb's scurs, they are still quite small. I'm starting to be hopeful about these boys as polled breeding stock.

This photo was taken on July 6th - you can click to biggify it. Their horns are still about the same. The Ag grey lamb (River Oaks Sebastion, out of Bramble Cordelia and Kimberwood Harrison) is on the left and the black one (still thinking on a name) is on the right. The black one's right horn is about 1/2" tall, so his could still take off and grow I suppose.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Fireworks and Hay

We went to see the fireworks in Braham, MN on the 4th of July.
I tried to take some photos, but as usual, didn't read any directions beforehand, I just tried to wing it. I should have changed the settings to a higher resolution.The one below reminds me of a flower...
Toward the end of the display, they started coming two or three at a time...

And here's another familiar July scene:
Last week we unloaded the wagon and loaded our truck and trailer, then unloaded the truck and trailer stacked about 340 bales of hay. It left us both quite stiff and sore, but as usual we were hoping to get it all under cover before any rain came. We hired the neighbor boy to help us out since our own two grown boys were in the cities.
Stan pulled one of the big wagons home from the land (14 miles), but even with it only half full, the it was swaying all over the road. It was pretty scary, so we had to do things the hard way. We got two full wagon loads for our share of the crop. It's been so dry here I'm already feeding it.

The past two years we've had big squares made. They are so much easier, requiring very little of us. We still have 6 big squares left from last year, which I think will still be good. So now I just need to get about 100 bales of good quality hay for lambing next spring and get my flock down to around 20 sheep. Then we should be all set!