Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Shetland, Shepherd's Harvest and New Sheep!

It's already mid-July and I am so behind! The garden didn't even get planted until July 1st. I hope we have a late frost again this year.
I had a wonderful 11 days in Scotland in May, including 9 days in Shetland at a felting retreat with Fiona Duthie! It was an amazing trip -- such a beautiful, peaceful place.

Fiona had our days all planned out and we had plenty of time for felting in some fabulous places.
We ate so well, learned about the history of Shetland, the land, the art, the sheep, and the people. Each day was better than the one before. I would love to go back!
Colorful door at the Voxner Outdoor Center opens to the beautiful scene above.

Scalloway castle

A Shetland ewe and lamb on the island of Mousa.

Heading back to the ferry after visiting the broche on Mousa. This place felt like heaven to me.


Finishing up our felt sculptures at the Sumburgh Head lighthouse.

Some of the sculptures.

I managed to photograph these two puffins before they flew off. The cliffs at Sumburgh Head are home to thousands of birds.


Uradale farm Shetlands

I was able to purchase four natural colored Shetland fleeces from Uradale Farm. I shipped them home and I've finished one so far. The color is stunning on it. I will felt them all this summer.


Thanks to everyone who stopped by my booth at Shepherd's Harvest and/or took my Cobweb Felt Floor lamp class. It's always so much fun reconnecting with people at Shepherd's Harvest!

As you may know, I didn't breed any of my ewes last fall since I was going to Shetland. Instead, I picked out the sweetest little 87.5% Gotland ram lamb from Heidi Quist, of Prairie Willows Farm. He was such a stunner, I couldn't resist. But when Heidi mentioned how great his fleece is turning out I decided I should let her keep him so he could be registered and used to his full potential. I will lease him or his dad this fall. That way I won't have a ram pen to deal with all winter.

So, to get my Gotland lamb fix I picked out Anna, a Gotland/Shetland ewe and her wethered twin brother.  They are both so friendly and well traveled already. They made the trip to Grand Marais and North House Folk School along with their mother during June.

Sid had his knee replaced June 5th. He's doing very well. He still has pain, but he's done with physical therapy and he's getting around better than he has in the past two years.


Oh,and I can't forget to mention the ducklings and turkeys. Our old Kahki Campbell duck hatched out a clutch of 10 ducklings in June. They have grown so fast. Then the Saxony duck hatched out a single duckling two weeks ago. It's so cute to see the little one trekking around with its older brothers and sisters. Thankfully their father is fine with them (some drakes will kill ducklings) and the whole family can be seen strolling about the yard.


Sid ordered 18 heritage breed turkey poults last winter. They arrived the first week of May. We sold 8 of them and kept ten -- five Naragansett and five Bourbon Reds. But when the weather got hot, we lost 4 of them within about 10 days. The surviving six are free ranging with the rest of the poultry now. I love their voices and their cautious ways. 

Next time, more about the felted fleece classes I taught in Grand Marais and here at my studio in July. I'll leave you with this selfie of Sid and I camping in Lake Superior National Forest.