Sunday, May 30, 2010

Some lamb photos..

Lanora's ram lamb, I'm thinking of naming him Gwynfor. He's got good blue coloring.  He's for sale since we have retained three of his sisters, $250.

Leonie's ram lamb at three weeks has horns coming in already. He's for sale too since he's related to all of our young ewes...

And this is Ebony, Lana's daughter...she's very heavy in the Roban Dillon and Holly lines as well as being an F3 Minder.

Even though she's the oldest of our Shetland lambs, she remains a compact little package. I think she's a nice looking lamb, still quite shy of people though.

And this is Hannah's ewe lamb, Rosie. She's the friendliest of our Shetland lambs. She looks exactly like her mother did as a lamb. But she reminds me of my all time favorite ewe, Cocoa.

And here is Hattie's grey ewe lamb.  I'm thinking of naming her Heddy after her grandmother.
I am so happy to get an Ag grey ewe!  Her twin sister is behind her on the left in the photo below.  She's a dainty little solid moorit. I'm thinking of naming her Ally after her grandmother's twin sister. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

For Garrett -

I thought this was a cute video - and knowing a Corgi lover here in MN, I thought I'd share it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rained Out - I need a new tent!

I should have known Saturday wasn't going to turn out quite as expected when I stopped at Burger King in Rush City for a quick breakfast on my way down to the Swede Hollow Plein Air Art Fest.  I ordered two $1 items and the bill was only $1.70. When I asked the 16 yr old clerk why it was so low, she perkily replied that she gave me the SENIOR DISCOUNT.  I know she thought she was doing me a favor so I thanked her, but it was a little disconcerting to be told in not so many words that I look like a senior citizen.  It's not that I think I look especially YOUNG, but I didn't think I looked that OLD either (she wouldn't tell me what age a person has to be to qualify for the Sr. discount - okay I'll admit that I do qualify for the discount here in Mora where it's 55).  Oh well, time to get used to looking like a granny!  For the record, when I cashiered in the deli, I never gave anyone a senior discount unless they asked for it. I don't care how old they looked.

Okay, so I saved 30 cents or whatever and I'm driving down 35 to St. Paul, it's an hour and a half drive and the forecast was for very hot sunny weather.  I noticed the overnight fog didn't seem to be burning off very quickly.  Oh well, cloudy is better than sunny if it's going to be hot out.

I brought the EZ Up tent along for shade.  The EZ Up is quite heavy and the artists were not allowed to drive into the park to unload. The path to the park included a very steep hill with a tunnel. I had not planned on bringing the tent because of having to haul all my stuff down that steep hill in the morning - not to mention having to PULL it all back up at the end of the day. But if it was going to be that hot and sunny, and my spot was in full sun, I figured I'd need the tent for shade.

I got to the festival at 8:15 and with the help of the fabulous volunteers on hand, I had all my stuff down to my site in only two trips!  They even helped me set up the tent.  That was so great!  I got things unpacked and noticed the sky was even darker now.  Oh great, regular readers of this blog know that my EZ Up tent leaks like a sieve, it's totally worthless in anything but a very light drizzle of short duration.  It seems like whenever I do a show it rains.  All week long I had watched the weather and Saturday always was forecast for sun, so I was confident the tent was just for shade this time.

As I set up, a few artists stopped in to see the felt pieces and I found the perfect home for that gray felted fedora I made last year.  Lisa Mathieson, a wonderful glass artist whom I first met while picking out my spot the week before, traded me a stunning necklace and pair of earrings for it. Woo-hoo!

I started spinning and sold a soap and lip balm and a couple skeins of handspun Shetland yarn before the rain started in earnest.  Then the lightning and thunder kicked in and I knew it was all over for me -- at only 11 a.m.  So I, along with several others, started packing up my things before they got too wet.  Unfortunately, the helpers from the morning were not scheduled to come back until 4 p.m. so I had to make about 6 or 7 trips UP that hill dragging my stuff and did I mention that tent is heavy? So is soap. I took my time between trips and eventually the rain stopped the sun came out. It is a beautiful park, the artists were all very friendly and supportive.  I hung around talking to them and had a great time!

But now my mission is to get a new waterproof tent. It would be nice if it was light weight yet sturdy and I want something easy to put up by myself.  Anyone have suggestions for a good quality tent?

I have to say I love my drying rack and got lots of comments on it.  Not only can I use it for display in my booth, it comes in handy for drying my felt pieces, bubble wrap and towels when I make the felt.  Plus, I can hang framed pieces on the ends!
 Here are the things that got wet drying at home on Sunday.  The felt painting didn't get wet, I just put that on there to show how I can hang 2-D work on the ends.  I love that!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Flea Market & Auction Buys

I'm supposed to be getting ready to do The First Annual Swede Hollow Plein Air Arts Fest in St. Paul, MN this weekend, but I keep finding other things to do.

Look what I got at the auction today for $5!  It started with the basket for $1, I figured my wool goods would look nice in it.

But then I went for the counter stool and the two kitchen chairs, and I jumped at the chance to get the rattan chair too.  $1 each!  I had to take two VCRs that were on the counter stool but fortunately, someone else took them off my hands. And I agreed to take the matching backless counter stool. 

At Shepherd's Harvest I realized I needed an old fashioned wooden clothes drying rack to display my washable pelts, I remembered that a guy who makes them often comes to the Pine City Flea Market. So I made it a point to head over there this morning and he was there.  So I bought the biggest one he had, in this photo it's not fully extended.

They are very sturdy, yet lightweight and they fold up for storage.  Just what I need for when I do shows!

It was a warm afternoon so I filled up the goose pool...
Notice that someone is missing here?  The little white headed goose is setting on eggs!
No, the eggs are not fertile.  Just like the books say, the ganders aren't fertile their first year.  I found that out when I put several eggs in the incubator (including a double yolker).  I'll just pick up some large breed ducklings to tuck under her in a couple weeks and she'll be happy.

Here are a couple of my favorite hens...The independent California White who comes running to follow me when I go outside.
And the old Salmon Faverolle. I got her and her daughter at the auction last year, they are good layers and I was hoping they'd go broody for me sometime. 
Speaking of the auction, remember these cool hay feeders I got last year? 
Above is the small version and below is the wider version.  I like the wider version because it doesn't tip over.  I've tied the small one to the T-post to be safe.
I love them! I talked to the guy who makes them and he said it would be okay if I posted his contact info here on the blog.  His name is Steve and his phone number is 320-496-0931.  These are VERY reasonably priced.  But they are not sealed so I wouldn't leave them outside.

And here's a shot of the pond we had dug a few weeks ago.  It's not very attractive yet, and it's got a long way to go, but already the water is starting to collect in it.
Okay, now off to see how my garden tilling is coming along...so many distractions this time of year!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Third Tier Market Lambs

Some of you may recall that last fall I sold my Ile de France cross ram and traded six Shetland Mule ewes to a new shepherdess in exchange for one market lamb from each of them plus their 2010 fleeces. Well, the last set of lambs was born three days ago, so I went over to see what the lambs looked like.
Oh my gosh, they are just BEAUTIFUL lambs! 
LeeAnne did a great job managing the breeding pens last fall, the pregnant ewe flock and the lambing this spring.  She has great crop of lambs to show for it.
The biggest one is Butler, he was a single.  He's 3 weeks old now. 

I took a video of the lambs having fun on a hay bale. LeeAnne got 10 lambs from the six mules and 5 lambs from her three Dorset cross ewes.  She's willing to sell some of Shetland Mule ewes after weaning if anyone is interested in some great production ewes with excellent fleece.

I have to confess, seeing all those cute white lambs running around made me kind of sad I traded them away, if only we could utilize all the pasture we have in Ogilvie. I may use the IDF ram directly on some Shetland ewes this fall...

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Shepherd's Harvest this Weekend!


I can't believe it's already Shepherd's Harvest weekend!  My booth is in Building D on the north end in the middle isle on the east side, third booth from the end.  I'll have a helper watching my booth until noon on Saturday due to a scheduling conflict with a presentation I have to make for my latest grant application. How come everything always happens at the same time?

I dug out several sheepskins I had done over the winter.  They are washable 3/4 BFL pelts in full fleece and they are SO soft.  Three are white and one is charcoal black. I also have a beautiful Moorit Shetland pelt and some shearling pelts in white and English Blue grey (BFL).

I made several batches of lotion the other day while keeping an eye on Leonie's labor. Their scents match my homemade milk soaps. 
And of course, I have Shetland and BFL roving and top in white and natural colors, washed BFL locks, white Shetland Mule combed top and some large 45 x 72" felting/quilting batts made from Shetland Mule fiber.

I set up last evening and had to drive home in the rain which turned to SNOW as I got further north.  The ground is covered with snow this morning, but the lambs don't mind a bit. The good news is the sun will be out for the weekend.  Stop by my booth if you're at the festival!


Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Lambing is done!

Oh how nice to only lamb out six ewes! 


Leonie had a big beautiful moorit ram lamb around 7 last night. His fleece looks like it will be really nice. He has leathery patches at the horn sites, so I suppose he will be scurred at the very least.  And now we are done for the year. Final numbers are six ewe lambs, two ram lambs.

Six Shetland lambs:  5 ewes and 1 ram lamb; 3 moorit, 2 black and a grey.
Two Bluefaced Leicester lambs: one white ram and a natural colored ewe.

I should have 8 market lambs coming from my Ile de France ram and the Mule ewe trades I made last fall.  So there should be meat for the freezer too.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Hattie's Lambs

Well, it's shaping up to be a ewe lamb year for us this year!  Hattie had a nice set of twin ewe lambs this afternoon. A little moorit and an Ag grey with a krunet.

The sugar lips on the black lamb aren't showing real well in the photo. But I knew as soon as she got licked off a little that she got her dad's Ag gene and will lighten to gray in adulthood - just like her grandma, Bramble Hetty.

She was such a chunk I was worried that she was a single...her tummy seemed like it was already full.
Fortunately the little moorit came along without much fanfare.  She was born fully enclosed in the sack with the water and all. Hattie didn't even seem to notice her as she was preoccupied with the firstborn.. I quickly wriggled the second one out of the sack, wiped off her face and waited for mom to do the rest.
This little moorit lamb was pretty active right from the start, getting to her feet and looking for the teat while still mostly covered in fluids.

So Greyson has sired five lambs so far, all ewes. With the two BFL lambs, our lamb count is six ewes and only one ram lamb.  One more ewe left to deliver.  That's Leonie, Hattie's daughter.  Last year she lambed while I was at Shepherd's Harvest. I hope she doesn't plan a repeat performance of that!

I put four Shetland goose eggs in the incubator this morning. I should know within a week if any are fertile or not.  It was a good day!