Sunday, November 28, 2021

Norwegian Skinnfell Traps

 

I got to use my new wood blocks from fjellform  Norway this week. They are such beautiful blocks!

I made this  chair cover (trap) using six of the eight blocks I bought. 

The printing is the fun part, the measuring, cutting and stitching is the work part. But the result is so worth the effort!

I'm making some large traps and some small chair pad sets this week. I will put some in my Square shop soon.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Felted Rugs!

 

I took an online class taught by Flora Carlile-Kovacs on rug making with pre-felts in traditional motifs. Thanks to the Minnesota Feltmakers Guild for hosting this class.

I learned some new things that I will definitely use again. I can't wait to make some natural colored rugs for the house!

Making the prefelt. I used Shetland Mule fiber I had dyed years ago. And some dark Indigo Ashford fiber given to me by a friend when she could no longer felt.


 
Deciding on the design placement

 
More design decisions after cutting out the motifs. I liked both sides so I had to make two versions, a positive and a negative.


Layout for the second rug



Second rug, love the edges on this one!

First rug, I intentionally wrapped the backing fibers around to the front, I thought it gave it the look of being singed by fire. Maybe the recent fire we had influenced this decision.

Pretty comparable in size and thickness. Can't wait to make some bigger rugs!


Thursday, November 11, 2021

Sheep Fat or Mutton Tallow (from Fat Sheep)

Here is my first ever batch of mutton tallow soap. It's sparkling white and leaves your hands feeling SO good. I've been making soap for about 17 years but never tried using mutton tallow in it.

 

I guess I have overfed my sheep for a couple years now. Who knew Frankie, my 3.5 year old wether was so fat! I knew he was bossy at the feeder, but never have I seen so much fat on a sheep. 

 I was thinking of making suet feeders for the birds, but then I read about the wonders of mutton tallow for your skin.

I'll be rendering lots more of Frankie's fat and trying different blends and scents in soaps and lotions. The batch above is 100% mutton tallow with Lavender and Rosemary essential oils added for scent. 

I'm cooling down some Mutton tallow/olive oil balm now. I'll whip it up and put it in jars. I've read that mutton tallow is really beneficial for your skin. We'll see. There's always more to learn! 


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Icelandic Lambs!

 

I used an Icelandic ram on my ewes last fall and was blessed with 25 lambs this year. 13 female and 12 male. Their fleeces are fantastic! 

But I can't keep them all, so if you're interested in a ram lamb or two, let me know. I do have two ewe lambs left also. Thanks to the beautiful ladies who purchased sheep from me this summer. I'm always happy to see my sheep go to good homes. 

Minnesota is in a drought this summer and the hay crop is much lower than usual. I was able to buy 25 big rounds which should be enough to get me through to next summer if I keep my flock down to 10 or 15 sheep this winter. I'm at 23 now, so some will be moving out one way or another. 

Sid and I did an art festival at our favorite winery this past weekend. It's always fun to see old friends and make new ones. 

I am not teaching as much this year or doing many sales events -- other than the monthly Art & Farmer's Market at Fraconia Sculpture Park in Shafer, MN and the Minnesota Fiber Festival in Cambridge, MN on Saturday, Oct 16th. 


I cashed in my 401k so we could buy a used RV. We love it! We took it up to North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN when I taught the felted fleece class in July.

It was so nice to just drive and not have to worry about hooking and unhooking a trailer. The motor home is not as spacious as our travel trailer, but it sure is convenient! I love having everything we need in a compact package. We're hoping to take it on the road this fall.

And now we find ourselves in August with the garden producing like crazy and lots of projects to finish up before the snow flies again. There's never a dull moment when you live on a farm! 

I hope everyone is having a good summer and staying safe and healthy as the pandemic continues to ravage the US.


 

 



Monday, March 22, 2021

Spring 2021 - it's here!

 

I think it's actually spring time. The crocuses are up already and most of the snow is gone. 

The sheep are getting sheared this week and then lambs will be on the way in a few more weeks. 

Sid and I celebrated our birthdays with our first dinner out in almost a year -- Taco Tuesday, or should I say Margarita Tuesday. :-)


And at home with the delicious cheesecakes Sid made. My boys were here to have a traditional boiled dinner with us, so nice! 

 

We started watching Outlander on Netflix. It's stressful, but addicting. I'm spinning up a pound of sari silk in Blue Lagoon colorway as I watch. It's my favorite color.

And we put some Legbar eggs in the incubator for Easter Sunday chicks. That feels like spring to me!

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Pandemic Holiday Hygge

No in-person Christmas market this year due to the pandemic. The Covid-19 cases in our county have been skyrocketing. Sid and I try to stick close to home with only trips into town for groceries, feed, and shipping at the post office. 

I've been busy getting ready for the outdoor Julmarknad at the American Swedish Institute. I set up a square shop and have been getting orders. Yesterday morning I was part of a virtual studio tour on Zoom with six other participating artists. 

The fun thing about being part of Julmarknad is thinking of different Christmas items to sell. 

This year I did more of my snowball candles (in soy wax and locally sourced beeswax).

And I used small pieces of imported Gotland skins in my Skinnfell stash to make the cute tomte at the top of this post. They have sold well so far. 

 

I also made some felted tomte from pieces of my felt pelts. I love the pure white one with the red bell nose.

I put a triplet Icelandic ram lamb in with my ewes this fall. He's been a busy boy. Looking forward to April lambs!


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays