Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Still plodding along through winter

I'm upset that the carder reader on my computer has gone out again and I can't upload the lastest photos of the sheep.  I replaced the reader a few years ago and had ordered a new one when this same thing happened last fall.  The card was on back order for weeks and then suddenly, mysteriously, mine started working again so I canceled the order.  Well this time I'm thinking a whole NEW computer is in order!

Our shearing is scheduled for March 8th, bright and early.  I'm feeling sorry for the girls already thinking of how shocking it will be for them to lose all that warm wool in only about two weeks. But I've tried lambing in full fleece and there's no doubt in my mind that shearing before lambing is the way to go.  I need to know well in advance of lambing what kind of condition they're in under all that wool.  Our two older BFL ewes look to be making bags already and they aren't due until mid April.  I am crossing my fingers for multiples from them this year, but surely nothing can beat the lambing season Carol Densmore had with her BFLs this year. 

I just can't believe how fast the winter has sped by. We've enjoyed perfect winter weather in February this year. Highs in the 20s and even a couple 30s, lots of sunshine and enough snow cover to keep things like a Christmas card.  Yes, life has been good this winter!  But in true Minnesota style, I have to wonder if we'll pay for the nice weather by enduring the cold nasty stuff in April when the lambs start coming.

With the art show history and the Shepherd's Harvest booklet layout coming up next week, I've enjoyed a bit of respite from my volunteer responsibilities. I got the taxes filed and was presently surprised at how much we are getting back this year as a refund. Paying the big bucks for our youngest son's college has some added benefits after all!  He'll be done with his coursework next month.  I just hope he can find a job. He's been taking Digital and Video Editing and has been interning at Fox9News here in Minnesota.

About a month ago I was talking to my mom on the phone when she mentioned seeing Matt in a commercial. I thought oh no, he's not in a commercial, it must be someone else.  But she swore it was definitely my Matt. Of course, being a guy, he never even mentioned this to his own mother! After weeks of watching for the commercial at the wrong time of day, I finally got to see it last week during a re-run of "The Office".  Yup, it's him all right, walking by in the background carrying a board.  Well, that was pretty cool after all. :-)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Art Show today

Well, it was nip and tuck, but I managed to get my four felt entries framed and wired and to the show on time -- okay, I was 10 minutes late, but it was close enough for all concerned. This year's show has about 150 pieces of work and 42 area artists displaying work. My felted sheep portrait was placed in the best spot of the show with its own spot light even. :-)

I had to race home to make a few last minute title card changes and help frame up a dear old friend's work. With the poor driving conditions this past week, she wasn't able to get her work ready. She was going to stay home, but we begged her to bring in what she had and we took it from there.

Our scurred shaela ram, Sebastian, was returned from his breeding season lease during my little break from the art show. The poor guy was getting pummeled by all three of our boys. In only a matter of minutes of headbutting with his 1/2 brother Greyson, his horn stump was bleeding so I got out the tight pen one more time. They are all snug inside with hay and water now. I'll leave them like that until tomorrow.

The local newspaper came to the art show this afternoon and did a video clip of the show. If you have time to see a quick little ad for the local hospital at the beginning, you can see some of the work in the show. I did a short interview which is at the end of the clip. I'm standing in front of the felt pieces I entered. It's difficult to hear what I'm saying, but at least you can see my work pretty well. Here's a link: http://www.moraminn.com/detail/54172.html

I will head back to the show for the gallery tour at 7 p.m. and this time I won't forget the camera.

This weekend I'm taking a class on making Ojibwe Mittens up in Onamia, MN. I can hardly wait! Better bring the camera for that too. :-)

Monday, February 08, 2010

Back Up and Running

My website is back up again and my regular email is working. Any email that was sent to my regular address between Jan. 29th and this morning is lost forever in cyber space. Oh well, I hope there wasn't anything important in there.

I took several felt pieces down to be professionally photographed on Saturday. The thing is, some of them were my entries for the art show which starts on Friday morning this week. It's a good thing I do the title cards and can change my entries right up until the last minute. :-)

It's so hard to photograph the wool paintings. I hope the photographer can do it successfully.

I was going to enter an acid-etched emu egg in the Foot in the Door exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts on Saturday also. But when I found out there was a TWO HOUR wait just to drop it off, I decided to forget it about it. There will be another exhibit in 10 years and maybe I'll have a felt piece to show then. The stipulation is that the work has to be less than 12" in any direction, so each Minnesota artist gets one cubic foot of space to show their work. The emu egg with stand was only about 9" tall. I would love to do more wax-resist acid etching. I've got rhea, goose, ostrich and lots of home grown goose eggs and dark brown chicken eggs to work on if I ever find the time.

I can't believe how many people brought work to show! From what I heard, they had a two hour wait time Thursday and Friday too. I wonder if Sunday went any faster. Oh well, I'm going to try and get down there to see the show when it opens in a few weeks.

Okay, after I feed the sheep, it's back to work on the title cards for the Vasaloppet Art Show that opens on Friday...

We're getting some snow too, nothing like what the poor people on the east coast had to deal with, but enough to keep our youngest son here another day until the driving conditions improve and get me in the mood to make some homemade pumpkin pies...

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Quick Update

There is so much going on lately, it's hard to keep up. My email and website are still down, it's been 5 days now! I may have to look into a different ISP, because when this one goes down there's no communication, all I can do is leave a message and wait to see when it finally comes back in operation.
I've set up a another blog for our local art association, the Kanabec County Art Association. You'll see the link in my blog list on the right. Our annual art show is coming up next weekend, February 12 to 14th. I take the registrations and do up the show brochures and title cards.  So far we have 36 artists and 128 pieces of work registererd! 
Here's a link to the KCAA blog:
http://kcaaarts.blogspot.com/
I hope to post photos of the show and the results of the viewer's survey that we do each year.
I've got to get in gear and finish up my own felted art pieces and get them matted and framed. So much to do!
The sheep are all doing fine, but I need to get Sebastian home soon. That will likely disrupt the boys for a few days. 
I called the shearer and asked for a mid-March shearing date. Now I need to ship LAST year's washed fleeces in for processing.  A year passes by so quickly!