Wednesday, May 18, 2011

There's a New Ram in Town, Felted Birdhouse, and Felted Fleece

Deadlines -- I hate them, but I need them so badly! 
Tomorrow is the first day of the watercolor workshop I've been planning for three years. And I find myself with plants dug up from the neighbors' perennial flower bed, chicks hatching in the incubator, a new ram and a bunch of hungry ewes and lambs but a dead battery for the electric fencing.
Ah yes, spring has finally sprung!

So what did I do?  Felted a birdhouse out of Finn and Karakul wool....

And felted another lamb fleece....
This photo shows both of the felted fleeces I've done so far.  The beautiful solid grey color of Heddy's lamb fleece will never happen again (she's Ag) so this is a great way to keep it forever.  And Ginger's sunbleached tips add interest to her dark moorit fleece.
And I finally got to visit Sabrina up in Puposky, MN!  She's really off the beaten path.  What a wonderful bit of paradise she and Clancy have!  I'm so glad Shachah was able to find a home with them.
Shachah warmed up to Stan, but he was nervous about me. I'm sure he equates me with being moved to a new home. I think he's the coolest dog I've ever met.
Sabrina's flock is beautiful and her lambs this year are all stunning. Some very friendly ones in the group, I think I got some hoof prints on my back.  It was nice to see Hannah and Lana again. I'm glad Sabrina got some ewe lambs and a little bit of bling from them this year.

We went to Sabrina's to pick up Little Red Oak Ash, he's a polled moorit Shetland ram originally out of Gail VonBargen's flock.  He's very solidly built and has a very nice fleece.
It's always a bit challenging to introduce a new ram to the group, but within 24 hours, they had worked it all out with minimal bloodshed.  Little did I know as I was felting that birdhouse that they had broken the chain link fencing and were working things out on their own. :-)

Okay, now I've got to get those perennials planted (the neighbors were planning to plow them all under in a couple days!) and then I'll order that new battery for the fencer and this afternoon I'll get the classroom ready for the long-awaited watercolor workshop with JEANNE CARBONETTI!!!! 

Did I mention that I love this time of year?  There are so many possibilities. Hopefully that chirping chick in the incubator will be freed of its shell soon.

11 comments:

  1. omg that birdhouse is GORGEOUS! I still need to tinker with 3D felting....*sigh*

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  2. I love the birdhouse, the tour of Sabrina's place and the new ram. I'm itching for a road trip to one of my sheepy friends right now.

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  3. Thanks Rayna and Kelly, I just checked the birdhouse and it's already occupied! It hasn't even been out there 24 hours yet. I think that demonstrates there is a defnite need for sustainable art bird housing. :-)

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  4. I too think that birdhouse is just the neatest thing!

    Sorry those rams messed up your chain link. I hope everything has settled down now. Enjoy your wonderful workshop tomorrow!

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  5. I'm glad Ash is getting passed around like good genetics should!

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  6. Hi Becky,
    Love those felted fleeces. The things you do with the felt are amazing. Have you blogged about the process of felting the whole fleece? I would love to give that a try but have no idea how to go about it. Thanks for any tips or ideas.
    Tammy

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  7. So glad to know Ash found a home with you. I sent him to Sabrina's when I thought all my sheep were too related, then painfully listened to Sabrina rave about him. No, I was really proud. Ash's twin, LittleRedOak Linden, gave me a little moorit pollie this year who can be my next flock sire, I think... and is less related!

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  8. I love that felted birdhouse! Your felting projects are really amazing, and I really like those felted fleeces. How nice that you got to see Sabrina's place, I have imagined how beautiful it is. Thanks for these great photos.

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  9. Thanks you guys! Little Red Oak Ash has blended in just fine now. He's a friendly fellow. I'm sure he will give us some great lambs next year.
    Tammy, yes I posted process photos of how I felted the raw fleece a couple weeks ago. I'm not sure I'm doing it the most efficient way, but it's a very dirty, stinky job. You know how dirty the water gets when you wash a fleece? That's what's oozing out as you roll and roll until the back gets felted well. Thankfully Shetland felts quickly. I don't turn it over at all, so that way the tips don't get felted together. I think the end result is worth the effort if you have a fairly clean fleece to start with. The best part is there are no processing fees to pay. :)
    The watercolor class is fabulous! I have learned a lot. Our last day is tomorrow. It's been so much fun, but I'm exhausted. :)

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  10. Becky--Your birdhouse and felted fleeces are SO WONDERFUL!! I hope your watercolor class is everything you dreamed of and MORE! XXO-

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  11. Thanks Heather, the watercolor class was everything I dreamed and more. :)
    I just checked your blog and next time I do a felted fleece, I'm going to incorporate some silk or cotton gauze for extra strength. The grey fleece was very well felted, but in my efforts to rid it of vm, I shook it pretty hard for quite a while when it was still wet. That loosened up the felt somewhat. I always have to learn things the hard way. :)

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