Monday, September 20, 2010

STAY CALM!!! Computer OUT Again!!

Sorry to say if you had been hoping for a update of the sweet chicks or a new fiber fix it will have to wait till my computer gets back from the Computer Geek Guy! Yes, just when I put aside time to really work on the computer and list new products and show the chicks in their new digs - the monitor whet out and I could see only faint shadows of things.... Not the best way to try and work.

So, staying calm, breathing and Yes saying some horrible four letter words that I will not type - I went about finding other work to do.. Now that is not hard around here so I thought what better work to do since it was so hot outside (broke records) was to go to the cool concrete floor of my shop and get it ready to OPEN back up to the public. SHOCKERS - you read that right... I know I have not done that for awhile but I really want folks to have great fiber and yarn and maybe even some one on one classes.. Besides I have folks drop in all the time even when the shop was closed so I might as well have it open when I get to pick the times. Remember when I also would have great goodies to eat when you stopped in - well, if you say Pretty Please I sure will get out the recipes and whip something good to eat as well....

I worked my little flat butt off and it is starting to take shape. I really do have some great things to offer that is not online so it sure will be worth the trip to the farm to get those special items. I also will be adding some great new kits in about two weeks along with some special fabric bundles for all of us who think their stash is needing new friends. So maybe the gods had a great plan by putting my computer off limits - couldn't they do it without having me paying repair costs???

I also moved the sweet chicks out to their new digs and they are just growing by leaps and bounds. I had pictures but that was three days ago and they look completely different so you will just have to wait till the computer is back at the farm.

So that gets you up to date on all the happenings at the Funny Farm and remember - breathe and think happy thoughts!! That is what I am trying to do as I type this with the children's story time going on in the library and the guy next to me sniffing his nose every two seconds. I did offer him a Kleenex but he just gave me a dirty look - guess he does not know what they are for!!

Stay Calm and Carry On!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Crashing Waves - Answers to being Lost

I thought I would share another way in which I dyed "LFF Avery's" lockets. I was so amazed as the different blues came crashing out of the dye pot - it is always magical to me...

I guess I have been watching "Lost" too much this week - wait there is no such thing as TO MUCH! I was re watching Season Four and got caught up in the crashing waves as they tried to get back to the (Not Pennies) freighter and a storm rocked all around them as Frank struggled to land them safely as Desmond's flash's forewords and backwards in time. Doesn't your life feel like sometimes???

What are we doing here? Who are you people? When are we? All great questions and you can find the answers deep inside the blues of the lockets. Good Luck and hope you will no longer be LOST!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chick UpDate - Look at their new feathers

The little girls are just getting to big - O.K. they are still small but look at those tail feathers and wing feathers!!! WOW, my tiny girls are coming into their own. We have a lot more flying and hopping which means soon it will be into their new digs - another EMPTY nest for me but what joy when they can be a bit more independent. I believe that I am a caretaker not an owner so I want all those who share this farm to be able to thrive and enjoy each day like Mother Nature intended.
Besides I am not one of those "Cat Ladies" who feels like the have to be surrounded by loving animals in their home. How about that lady who has three alligators living in her home - now that's NUTS!! Chickens do not belong in the house so the moment I know they are big enough it is out into their huge coop and to not be bothered by this old gal walk past them every two hours to check...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Praying for Rain

If only this was the view from my window today but not a drop to be had anywhere!!

I took this picture during a huge hail and rain storm back in July. Many complained about the daily down pours but I knew all too quickly this could change. Now the pastures crunch when you walk thru them and the pine needles are getting a brown huge to them because Mother Nature has not seen fit to grace us with a single drop of rain in more weeks then I can remember. It is human nature to always want what we do not have but I have learned over the years on this farm to be greatful for what we get when we get it and don't grip because it could be a hell of a lot worse. So, as we move into Fall - give thanks for the small things in life - even a single rain drop.

Makes you want to Shout - "Out Loud"

This Bold Batt will make you want to Shout and put your Hands Up! I could not believe how great this offering turned out. While I was carding these fibers together I had no idea what the final batt would look like but OMG - it will make you want to SHOUT!!!

If you love purple this is the batt for you. British Wensleydale Wool from a sweet little ewe lamb is the base of the bold purple. Then I took Lff Sugar's fiber (17 year old Mohair weather male of mine) and dyed it a softer purple/blue. He may not have tight locks but his softness has never changed. Then came the Angora Bunny from my sweet little LFF Lucy which was dyed a bold deep pink and finishing up the line up is a final different purple in Bombyx Silk. I KNOW - Incredible!! The picture just do not do it justice but trust me when I say if you love Purple these are the batts for you.

How many out there love purple??

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I feel eyes on me!

As I was trying to start my work day at the computer I kept feeling a weird sense of someone watching me. You know when those little hairs on the back of your neck stand straight up and you feel like someone is whispering in your ear - I turned around and out on the window ledge was two beady eyes boaring a hole in the back of my head. This tiny bird had no fear and was going to sit there watching me for as long as he pleased. I think it is amazing that the one person in the world who is not a bird person (Chickens do not count) is always surrounded by them.

I wished I only knew what all these birds mean??? Anyone have a guess?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Autumn Leaves - Ringlets from LFF Avery

Avery is such a shy guy with a heart as big as Texas. He is one of a set - his sister Eva is also very shy but does not show the compassion that Avery gives to his pasture companions. His fleece has several shades (carmel, silver and cream) in his yearling fleece and made this dyeing round one of pure ease and joy...

When looking at the basket of dried dyed lockets it reminds me of a freshly raked bushel of Autumn Leaves.

I have not opened the lockets so you have all the possibilities available to you and your creative spirit. I do hope you try my take on "Autumn Leaves"

Maple Leaves Falling All Around

With the cooler nights almost here I thought it would be wise to share my Autumn colors with you to get you in the mood. I took some of Hansel's mill spun yarn and started the dyeing process with all of the best fall colors to be had - it was a long process but well worth the results... You will find there is no stripping or choppy blocks of color but rather they flow together like a nicely raked pile of fallen leaves.

Trying to get a good picture of this yarn was nearly impossible. The sheen that Hansel has to his fiber makes the light bounce off the yarn and into the camera. I do not think the picture does it justice but you can take my word on this - I really got this yarn right!

Love to hear what you think of it!

Look at ME Mom!!

Again at 3am I went down to check on the chicks and what did I find but that brave and adventuresome little one again up on the water tower!! She outstretched her neck as I came closer to the container but once she realized it was MOMMY she made a loud sound and then sat down on top of the water tower... I waited and waited to see if she would get down but as soon as I put fresh food down she half hopped, half flew down to be first at the feed. As all the others came running I saw a few of them testing their wings by combining a hop and fly at the same time. Oh My! It will be soon to move into the coop. Looks like more work this weekend trying to get the coop just so for my new little guest. I must admit I am a bit worried - it is such a cold, cruel world out there and they are so tiny. Maybe I will first work on making to cover for their tub now and give them a bit more time inside with this worry wart Mommy...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lemon Meringue - A Sweet Treat

I am offering you a sweet treat without any of the calories - What do you think??

The batts from this offering became overwhelming while I carded them - my whole body wanted a slice of cold, tart yet sweet Lemon Meringue Pie. This was torture because I worked on these batts at almost midnight and I live 20 miles from the nearest food store.. With the combination of "LFF Apollo" a sweet kissing Alpaca boy and a whiter then white Merino Lambs Top, along with a generous amount of Lemon Yellow Angelina - I created the perfect lip smacking treat. I carded these batts smooth and even - pure heaven in calorie free form.

I would love to hear what you think of this offering.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Honoring a Proud Protector - "LFF JUNO"

Purple Haze is the name of this offering.. The fiber comes from a Proud, Protective Alpaca Male named "Lff Juno". Juno came to this farm on his way to being put down. His life before the funny farm was full of abuse and fear. The day he arrived was anything but what I had hoped for - he bit, kicked and drug my son Nick around the farm before smashing him into a set of heavy metal gates. Everyone thought I was nuts to pay money for this brutal bully but I knew we had to give it a try. He would charge and you every time you entered the pen. He would bite you if you got too close, and believe you me his kicks could break bones if he caught you just right. With slow steps we worked with him to gain his trust - tiny baby steps for two years before he found his place here at the farm - Guardian of the lamb's. Now this guy had a soft spot for those tiny creatures that needed him. He would allow them to climb on his back, jump on his head and most of all sleep cuddled up to him at night. This terror on four legs give his all to the care and protection of his flock.

Over time he allowed some simple tasks like cutting toenail, clipping off his fleece and such but always we were aware that his fear of humans where still within his cell memory. This showed one day when a ewe was in trouble while giving birth. I did not think about Juno being in the pen as I jumped the gate and ran to her aid. As I tried to get a hold of those tiny feet peeking out of the birth canal I did not see Juno running up behind me. With all his force he plowed me into the side of the metal barn and down I went and hit the side of my face on the large metal bar that held the barn in place. When I woke up there beside me was the ewe with her new baby lamb and Juno. He looked at me as if to say "I am so sorry Mom".. I never was mad at him - I was at fault. I moved to fast, did not watch where he was and so I paid the price - cracked teeth, black and blue face and my jaw in horrible pain but at least the lamb and ewe where all O.K.

Years of faithful service this proud male gave and in the end he gave his life for those in his charge. Juno passed away a couple of years later of a heart attack while running the pasture fence line keeping a Mountain Lion at bay. Even when my son's and I stayed out with him to guard the flock Juno just would not slow down. In the wee hours of the morning it was just all too much for this warrior. Now before we all get too sad just remember this proud male would have been gone many years earlier without ever finding his calling in life. I give thanks for all the hurtful bites, black and blue marks, cracked teeth, jaw injury and tender moments I had with this haunted soul - my life will never be the same because of him. He taught me that no matter what unkindness is shown to an animal they do have the power to give love and give back.

So I hope you might honor this Proud Male Protector by purchasing his fiber and telling his story of overcoming abuse and becoming a great comfort and service to others.

Chick Update

The sweet little girls and exotic mystery chick are growing by leaps and bounds. Can you see their wing feathers?? Yes, they are coming in and some are trying them out. Now mind you this is GREAT but I did find one at 2 am this morning stuck on top of the water container. Frightened out of her wits and no clue how to get down. Once I got her down she ran to the others and told them all about her tale of heights and frights.

They are still eating like there is not tomorrow and I have had to up their water too because a few of them are also making it messy... Just like little ones.

So all my sweet one's are doing well and providing me still with hours of fun.

Life is Grand and Love is in the Air!

Tuesday the stars where just right and the gods where with me.. This is Rasputin and he is the male of the year here at Larkspur Funny Farm. It was not an easy choice this year as to who would be the breeding male but I really wanted to put more color back into the herd and this guy is perfect. Rasputin has perfect body structure, amazing horns but most of all that fleece is to die for - his staple length was on average 9 inches with a handle that makes you just want to pet it for hours. His brother Rafael has a staple length of 12 inches but he is pure white so I went with color...

I have been waiting for him to separate himself from the pack of two year old males for sometime now - much safer to move him out if I do not have all the other males trying to get my affections - you know horns and all. Tuesday was the day! As it happened while doing afternoon chores Rasputin decided to hang back from the guys as they went out for their evening grazing in the back pasture. Before the others could hear I crept into the pasture, closed the gates and then walked Rasputin out. As he cleared the last gate the boys saw what I was up to and came running. I got the gates locked before they could reach me and the crying began. With just my Shepard's hook I gave a tap on the ground and Rasputin started walking forward. Just then Llama Boy came a running - I asked him to assist me in moving Rasputin across the farm and to the goat girls. With such ease Llama Boy and I slowly walked this large, proud billy across the farm and towards his awaiting girls. As we approached the girls the came a running to the fence line and screamed with delight. We all stopped for a moment to let Rasputin have a chance to touch noses with everyone through the fence. He has not been this close to a girl in two years so it was a bit overwhelming - the greetings had stopped and now came the time to get him to go through the gates. We made it through the first set. I locked them behind me. Now comes the hard part - not to get between him and the girls - this is where folks make the mistake and get hurt. With my hook I tapped the second gate to clear the goats away, then opened it and stepped thru and to the side. Rasputin took slow steps forward and thru the gate. I then closed the gate and move into the barn. I put down some hay in all the feeders so to give everyone something to do as they took their time to meet and greet. You see if you give the breeding male something to do other then just jumping the girls the process goes much kinder and all will be safe in the process. No slam, bam, thank you I am out here at this farm. I want the male to take his time, select those who are ready and give the others a chance to come into heat at their own pace. Also, I do not set myself up for the male thinking he has to protect the girls from me - we want this to go by the numbers and in the process not hurt me...

As everyone ate, the girls took their time to greet Rasputin and he slowed down the "Male Dance" to a crawl. By evening time they where laying down and chewing their meal without any chasing and hiding. The girls sat in their family groups and Rasputin was sitting at the top of the hill looking like he had won the lottery. What warmed my heart was to see the two llama girls (who have watched over him since he was little) had their charge back with them - they greeted by nose touches and I found them sitting within 2 feet of him as night graced the farm.

All in all the GREAT DAY at the Funny Farm!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Easy Weekend Custom Batts

I can see you walking along the shoreline, paddling across the waters or just sitting and reading a great book while wearing something you made from this offering. I have used all organically raised fiber from my Alpaca Boy Gambler and my sweet Corriedale Ewe named Peppermint along with Tussah Honey Silk, hand dyed SoySilk and even a bit of Angelina to that sparkle that dances across the water. I have kept the lines of color clear and crisp so you will have endless design possibilities in this offering. I also can see these batts used in a great felting project. So find yourself creating that perfect "Easy Weekend" - life is way too short.


Hansel in Yarn - Lichen Green

When I received back my Mohair Yarn from the mill I was thrilled to say the least!
Hansel donated his fiber for this yarn and all of his fantastic attributes remained in the yarn form. His sheen, easy of handle and softness is all there and the dyeing process did not take any of that away. I must say I crossed my fingers when placing this yarn into the dye pot because getting this shade of lichen green does not always turn out but it sure did this time.

You will enjoy what Hansel produces and there is plenty for that great project. I have two other colors of his yarn to be posted very soon so keep any eye out. This is a winner...

Sunrise at the Farm

I am not always the best at taking pictures around the farm but I sure can translate what I see into my fibers and yarns.

Sunrises around the farm just take my breath away. Each day they look so different and send me on my way with such gratitude. To be able to see such wonder when others might never have the chance. I give thanks for the eyes to see it with, the mind to appreciate the complex combination of colors and the joy of being here one more day.

So I just had to find a way to put that into fiber. I have taken the tuffs of silk fibers that I peel off the silk cocoons that I sell whole. Once I have enough of those tuffs I gently placed them into a steam bath filled with Sunrise colors. Once the silk is dry I tease open the fibers just a bit. I have not taken my picker, cards or combs to the fiber that way you will have complete control over how to use it. I am offering one half ounce packets through my Etsy shop and hope you will try my interruption of "Sunrise at the Funny Farm".

Sea Shell Circus

As I take a mind walk down the board walk along the sea shore I spy something in the water along the shoreline.. I gently reached into the cold water and drew to the surface a sea shell. As the shell slowly opens I see a tiny Sea Monkey Circus. Magical creatures moving from one ride to another. Going into brightly colored tents to watch the death defying acts. Talented tiny creatures performing incredible stunts to the amazement of all. What an sight!!

Once I returned from my magical mind journey I needed to make a yarn that would reflect the magic of that travel. You can find it for sale at my Etsy shop. What will you see in the yarn??

Chick Update!!

I am just in love with these tiny little sweet creatures... They are growing every minute of the day. The girls eat and drink so much you wonder where they put it all. Just like human babies they require continual care, watching and interaction. They go thru a quart of water ever three hours and about a cup of feed in that same time. I change their bed twice a day and keep a heat lamp on them 24 hours a day. I do not handle them at this time because I want them just to feel safe. Once they get older I will interact more with them then just their care because you want to be able to handle them without scaring them to death. When you get older hens it takes much work to gain their trust so now this is the time to start the relationship.

I still have not found the odd one out yet but I am just over the moon that everyone is well, happy and living with each in peace. I love watching them come together to nap. They make a soft sound that seems to sound like a lullaby - very soon I will start playing a CD softly for them so they learn that sounds are not something to be startled by - I do this with all animals that come into the house. Since my home is quite unlike the barns I do not wish the animals to become nervous once they return to their permanent homes outside.

I hope I am not boring you with my chicks? I never tire of watching them.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Typing in the Dark

Well, the computer has decided to do it again. The monitor is black but I thought why let this get me down. For those of us who are old enough, you might remember when we took typing classes and the teacher either turned off the lights or put a blindfold over our eyes. I guess now that might get you fired for somehow hurting their delicate senses of today's teenagers. Anyway, I was very good at that and so I thought why not try it here.

Never fails - when I am up to my ears life throws me something interesting. It was very interesting pulling orders this morning. I would push the monitor button and I would have 3 seconds before the screen went dark. Sure makes you work those gray cells. The really hard part was when I had to do the invoice for an order that was going to Cyprus.. No words I knew so that took some time and a ton of button pushing. I got them done and ready to go out - YAH!!!

Now, I am just trying to get things done without losoing my sense of humor. I think it is also interesting the one person (ME) who does not have any techno things but this computer for business seems to get all the really interesting problems. So this week I will wrap up all the computer parts, monitor, printer (Yes, it has issues to) and drive into town and hope that it is something really easy to fix and not cost me much to put this computer back into working order.

So everyone if you would - say a prayer for my computer. If you get a chance try typing without your monitor - really makes you work those gray cells.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I am in a Treasury - Oh Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!

I have been so lucky as to be included in a Treasury selection on Etsy. If you would be so kind as to take a look and maybe leave a comment at the Treasury it sure would be grand!!

Many thanks Prancing Pixel...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chicks are Here - Chicks are Here!

I am doing the Snoopy Happy Dance!!!

At 10:15 am this morning my sweet tiny day old chicks arrived at the country post office. Of coarse the moment I go outside to work on projects the phone rings. Could not run fast enough to get there before it went to voice mail. Had to wait till the person got done talking to hear the message and it was to tell me that my precious cargo has landed. Getting into the truck and down the dirt road I go with my heart beating a bit faster. Now most folks can not understand why in the world this gal would be so excited - to most I may come across as someone who is removed from most things, covered in armor and does not show much emotions but I am anything but that - especially when it comes to little things... By the time I got to our small post office my heart was pounding. As I opened the first set of doors you could hear the voices through the glass doors in the lobby. Everyone in the post office was staring at the box with my tiny chicks. As I waited in line to take possession of my new wards my insides where doing that Happy Dance.

Once in the truck and down the road their song was getting louder and louder. The bumpy dirt road could shake your filling out so I could imagine that the poor little girls where really feeling like they where on a amusement ride that never ends. It is about 13 miles to my farm from the post office so it was not a quick ride. Just as I reached the turn in to my driveway without saying a word they all become silent - not a peep! As we reached the front gates and I got out of the truck all the goats came running to the fence line. "What you got MOM"? As I gently lifted them out of the back seat and their voices started up again while all ears on the farm stood up as I carried them in.

Slowly I put each chicks beak into the water and started them drinking - it was a long trip to get here and they sure needed to restart their bodies. After everyone had their drink it was now time for food. I placed chick feed on the newspaper and all started pecking away. Then they ran back to the water, then the feed, then water and you get it pattern. All look very healthy and happy.

I have order 30 Ameraucana hens - for those who do not know this breed they are the ones who lay the green and blue eggs. They are a sweet bird with more brains then any other breed I have had - I am a lover of this breed. I purchased them from McMurry and they had a special where they added a Exotic Breed Chick in for free! You know what that means - they had left over Roosters and needed to get them to go away... Oh Well I will love it no matter what...

So they have been repeating their food and water pattern none stop since they got here and I am still watching them closely. I get it - I am weird! But I must say "I LOVE MY CHICKS"

Do you have a favorite Chicken Breed or story - Please share I know there are others out there who love their chickens as much as I do.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back on the Farm - YouTube OverLoad

I have returned to the farm after watching my Grandson in town!! We had a wonderful time together with tons of giggles, pinches, tickles and cuddles.. I think he is understanding that this gal is nothing to fear and has found a safe place with me and my ways.

My DIL was so kind to leave me her IPad while she was at work to see if it might be something that would work for me. I think we both agree that the typing on this machine is not something that works for either of us and that it is more like a big phone - O.K. I do not have a cell phone so I am taking her word on that part. I did get a chance to catch up on all the YouTube entries for PhatFiber, Spinning, Carding and Felting - so now I know what has been posted. Brooke (My DIL) and I talked about the possibility of posting a few instructional video's in hopes of assisting the advancement of Fiber Arts. Oh My, I would have to do my hair, buy a couple a size smaller clothing (Yes, I have lost weight and things are a bit baggy) and then I would have to get these hard working farm hands to not look like I have been digging the back forty by hand but then after seeing some of the video's I guess most do not concern themselves with presentation. Is it just me or do folks not consider things like where they are sitting (one video had a cat box in plain view and what did the cat do but go in the box, do it's business and then come out shaking it's paws and licking it's rear end) Really!! Then another lady could not get the yarn to ply and she kept messing up but instead of stopping and re filming she just said - "Oh Well, I guess I am not very good at this but good luck" Really!! Then there is the dogs continually barking, kids running in between the camera and wheel shots, even better is the use of the words "things, stuff and Like" instead of the words that a person might need inorder to follow the process. I admit I am a perfectionist but I am not getting why folks do not take a bit of care in what they put out there. Like clean off your counters of all clutter and food if you are going to show dyeing... If you are showing how to make a speciality yarn could you not have the camera close enough to see any of the yarn and the process. O.K. I am ranting but really am I that off the mark here???

So after watching all these YouTube video's maybe you can share with me what has been a helpful YouTube entry in the Fiber Arts so next time I can view it I might see something worth the time...