Sunday, July 31, 2011

What you think of the new color?

Just finished a special order dye job for a wonderful customer and talented artist under the name of "Polymerclaybox" on Etsy. She lives in Belgium and for all of us Button Nuts you really have to check out her shop.

The yarn is from my stash of Vintage Wool Chenille Yarn that I then created a dye recipe to make a "Chartreuse" color. Not easy because you can either get too much yellow or too much green - The Dye Gods were with me Saturday afternoon. I made three extra skeins just in case someone else thought they might want some. So they will be up for sale on my Etsy shop by this afternoon. Hope they find loving new homes.

Great New Kitchen Door

Don't look at the mess but here is my new door in the kitchen. I am thrilled with the fact that I can open a window in the door and let the cool night air in the house without worrying about some animal - one of my farm animals or a wild thing - coming into the house. Also, unlike the broken stain glass in the last one there is no whistling in the wind - which since this farm is know for wind it was nice to not have the off key song running on and on through the day and into the night.

I know for some this is no big deal but for this farm it is HUGE!!!
Once the outside framing is done I will begin the painting.. The outside color is a no problem but now my brain goes nuts to decide if I should try and have them match the old paint color (which they never get it right and will have to repaint everything anyway) or go with a different color all together... Oh, Crud!!! There went my Happy Place.. I know this is not a big deal but after all the houses I have painted I am so sick of painting. See another reason why I want a Yurt - NO PAINTING!!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

House Guest for Breakfast

This morning I found this sweet Hummingbird Girl flying around in my living room. I was making French Toast with Organic Maple Syrup drizzled over the top. Maybe she thought I would share the syrup??? Now you know where I get my inspirations for my yarns and batts. All I have to do is walk around my farm or for today around my house and Nature gives me messages...

This is not an odd moment for the Funny Farm but was amazing was she stayed still on a log for me to get the camera and get a couple of snaps...

I really live in a magical place or I guess to some they would think it weird...

Who greeted you this morning??

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hummingbird's Dance

Last night I just needed to center myself and create. I got out the Country Classic Wheel, dusted it off and oiled it up and went to the fiber room and gathered my goodies. I had some soft brown/gray Shetland Lambs wool that was given to me by a dear friend and then a stash of Casper's locks dyed the many colors of springtime. It has been a while since I have spun on this wheel - never seems to be enough hours in the day so the feel was like meeting up with a old dance partner. I had a core yarn of alpaca and off I went. Soon my partner and I where swirling around as if we had never lost touch with each other. As I switched between the wool and mohair I was reminded of the incredible hummingbirds that live with me. I have dozens of nests in the pine trees outside my doors and they dance around me when I am outside as if to share their stories of adventure. The colors of the men are so shocking while the ladies blend into the background. Just like the yarn I was spinning I could see them all dancing around while sharing their tales of adventure.

I hope you enjoy your day and listen to those who have stories to tell. I will finish up this yarn today and soon I will offer it in my Etsy store. I will be calling it "Hummingbird's Dance"

Would love for it to find a great home where it can tell of it's stories and add to yours.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Unwanted House Guests

As I walked upstairs I noticed something strange on the ceiling - what in the WORLD???? Just then a busy insect went buzzing by my head and freaked me out. See I am allergic to stings and so I try not to piss those little things off to save my life. I hate to also be the bringer of death but when it is a matter of entering my home and setting up house - WELL then I get a bit nuts. I admit it I got very still and KILLED the BUGGER!!!

Not feeling guilty but now I need a step stool to clean up the mud house that was being built. Boy was that a mess...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Organic Black Walnuts for Dyeing

Black Walnuts are one of my best ways to get all degrees of Brown that Mother Nature creates. Such a marvel in a small package. It is not only a food source, a herbal medicine but a great dye material. I personally love to dry them and then keep them in a cold place which seems to deepen the rich tones... Only have five bags left from an organic farm so don't delay... Browns are awaiting.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

More Natural Dyes up on my Etsy Shop

Osage Orange Sawdust comes from the heart of the Osage tree and will provide you with yellows, oranges and even greens. I also recommend that you place the sawdust into a pantyhose or cloth tea bag when using it. This is a fine powder so a mask is suggested.

Natural Cochineal is an amazing natural dye that comes from an insect that lives on Prickly Pear Cactus... The color range of this dye is unbelievable and is one of my favorite natural dye to use. Since I am a pink girl it does not take much to make the sweetest of pinks but you can go really bold and dark and hit purplish maroons to almost a red black. All from a tiny insect - Who know???

As I promised there are more to come so I hope I am tempting you to try something new and natural.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Natural Indigo Dye in my Etsy Shop

For many years my shop at the farm carries a large selection of natural dye materials. I also would travel them when I went to shows and events. I have decided to also place some on my Etsy shop this weekend and I thought I would first start with something everyone has heard of - INDIGO.

It dates back to 2500 B.C. This dye material can produce colors ranging from the pales blues to the darkest deep blackish blue on it's own. Then there is the over dyeing on colored fibers and over dyeing on already dyed materials and the combination of plant dyes that will produce wide ranges of colors and patterns. This material is also used to dye fabric, wood, reeds and even clays.

I sell it in a chuck form because it safer to package and transport but if you wish to use it in powder form which I recommend then a simple pestle and mortar will do or a simple hand coffee bean grinder - I use a secondhand electric grinder which makes fast work of it and I only grind what I need. Also make sure that any product you use to grind it up with is only used for plant material and not your morning cup of Joe!!
Natural Indigo does not require a mordant but if you are going to be doing over dyeing with other natural dye materials then please consider your mordant requirements for those....

If you have never mixed a Saxon Blue Indigo Solution I will send instruction with you package. There are some safety requirements like with all dyes so please read up before making your solution - again I can send instruction. This is one dye pot I do not let children mix or really spaced out adults...

I am excited to share some of the goodies with my on line customers who have not been here at the farm. Great ready to PLAY BIG TIME!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hot off the Carder - Chile Peppers

SOLD!! Thanks Heather M - Enjoy and Blessings
Just posted in my Etsy shop this along with some other goodies to make your mouth water. This spicy batt has only the best ingredients inside of it - stop by my Etsy shop and give yourself a great addition to your next fiber project.

Would love to hear what you think of this offering??

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mystery of Opal's Death - Tears will not stop!

At lunchtime when I went to give the bottle kids their bottles I found next to the door of the barn Opal.....

I have no idea what happened...
This morning they kids where all out in the backyard eating having a wonderful morning. In fact, Opal did not want to come into the barn when everyone else was done eating. I had to pick her up and carry her into the barn - snuggling all the way and then was morning nap time for the wee one's. Nothing out of the ordinary..

My heart just broke!! This little girl has come through so much and was such a kind soul. She lived for snugs and was always kind to the bottle kids even when they would gang up on her... She gave her mother a reason to get up on her feet and walk on a broken leg. My God this just is not fair. Olivia is sitting in the barn crying but after sitting with her for a while my heart just could not take it anymore.

I thought maybe putting my heart ache into words would help but now I wonder if I should just hit delete. I have been doing this for too many years and have faced this pain so many times - I thought the next one I would have to bury was Sugar not my sweet Wee One Opal... I think I am done with the heart ache.

Thank you for letting me share this sorrow with you. I know I was blessed to have her in my life for the past four months but no matter how I talk to myself about her passing my heart is still in pieces.

Another House Guest

As I was trying to work on the computer - stupid camera battery is not holding a charge I came downstairs to get a glass of tea and heard the new guest complaining about the accommodations....

I understand that having all the doors and windows open is an invitation to come on in and make yourself at home... However, with all the rain the house is muggy and I needed some air.

After my house guest left he also left me with window ledge cleaning. Dirty Bird!!!!

Wild Weather Night and Morning

This morning I thought my eyesight had failed - This was after an hour of it finally clearing a bit.

Last night the farm was hit with a series of storms - one so bad I went into the basement with my spinning wheel and emergency lights and hand cranked radio and tried to stay calm.. I normally do not spin when I am upset but I knew I had to keep my hands busy. I had spent part of the evening during the storm in front of the carding machine (some great new batts to place on Etsy today) but that is next to a huge french door and I was concerned about breaking glass so I figured it was time to be in the basement. I also took my sweet little portable DVD player (thanks kids) and watched season I of Heroes while waiting out the storm.

So not sure what the weather guessers have to say about today's weather outcome but since they never seem to get it right who really cares. Hope Mother Nature is in a better mood today..

Stay Safe everyone!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lost Island Sea Glass

Another round of batts in the "Sea Glass" series. I have two nice size batts of this combination : Sky Blue Cotswool, White Llama, Yellow Silk, Aqua green Merino and Aqualon Blue Merino - WOW!!!!

I have tried very hard to keep my hands off this and not spin it up. I am hoping they find new homes soon because you will be amazed on the feel and ease of these batts.

Love to hear what you think of these - am I on the right track??

Monday, July 11, 2011

Blessed by my friend Sheri C

I am truly blessed with some of the most fantastic long distant Farm Girl Friends in the world.

Today arrived a packaged brimming with love, inspiration and talent. My Maryjane Farm Girl Friend - Sheri C told me she was sending me a book to help me find a new path. This was more then I had imagined and I am so thankful to hear. There are two books for guidance and inspiration. A hand made book for me to start working 0n placing new thoughts, ideas and saying in to help keep me going when life gets the better of me. A sweet little birdhouse tea pot and matching cup so I can enjoy the two boxes of herbal teas to sip while reading the books. Then there was her amazing herbal soaps from her talented hands along with two ribbon lavender wands which I so love. Sheri is so great with her hands. My Gosh what a way to greet a Monday.

Words can not even touch the other gift she place in the box - her original writings about rediscovery and moving alone the path of life. Such incredible writings that spoke volumes to me. I am so blessed to have such a supportive lady in my life who has never met me but yet I feel we have a connection that time and distance can not touch.

Many Many Thanks Sheri for being such a grand lady in my life. I am here for you as I have learned you are for me.... WOW what a Monday!

Sea Glass Series

I am working on a new line of batts which I will be calling "Sea Glass". The batts will have the best of my hand dyed exotic local fibers - a large part are from the animals who walked this farm..

Some combinations will have several batts that are identical but over all each batt will be as individual as when you find Sea Glass on the beach. The trick here is the series will all have colorways that will work together so you can select a batt here and there and then combine then into your next spinning, felting or altered art project.

I am also working on a new line of "Add In's" which will give you a collection of amazing silks, cocoons, ribbons, fabric, beads, buttons, threads and many other surprises all in one package. That way you do not have to waste creative time hunting for that perfect something to add to your newest project. I don't know about you but I love to have groupings right at hand so when the spirit moves me I can just get to work and not have to leave the studio to go all that way into town and then still not find the right "Add In's"...

I hope you will keep an eye out in my Etsy shop for the new goodies - trust me they are just what you where looking for and could not find.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wild Rose Jelly - YUMMY

Had the most incredible breakfast this morning thanks to a dear long distance farm girl friend named Jenny. She had a give away not too long ago on her blog and the prize was a jar of her fantastic Rose Jelly!!

Now I never seem to win things but I kept my fingers, toes and eyes crossed because I REALLY wanted to taste Jenny's amazing jelly.
To my surprise I WON!!! Can't believe it but when it came in the mail I ran not walked to the kitchen and got out a piece of sourdough bread and toasted it. I could hardly wait for the bread to pop up but once it did I eagerly placed the pretty pink jelly all over it. I did the Happy Dance in the kitchen - it was beyond words...

So this morning I made my special angel biscuits and again could hardly wait for them to come out of the oven so I could spread on some more of that mouth watering delight. I can not tell you how hard it was to have to take these pictures because I just wanted to bite into the biscuits so badly.

Normally Iwould share any food I have in the house with those who stop by but in this case there is no way I am sharing.. Here is what I recommend for you all who did not have the luck to win a jar.

Go to and there you will find some of Jenny's amazing jelly's. She has created some of the best and most interesting jellies along with handmade laundry soap and hand needlework around. Do not wait too long to purchase something wonderful from this lady because trust me her goodies are heavenly and wont last long. She is also a wonderful knitter, gardener and just the sweetest lady you would ever want to know. Like many the money she makes from her Etsy shop goes to support her children both two and four legged - so stop on over and give her shop a look - I know you will love what you see and what you eat....

Many thanks Jenny for your incredible jelly and for your long distant farm girl friendship.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sugar Update along with a few others

I am a bit behind on things - What's New??

Sugar is still going slow but going!!!! Last night we had a thunderstorm come in and in his usual fashion he was the rock for his group of boys that he is in charge of.. They came and sat around him like scared little rabbits and he gave them peace and solid knowledge that they would be just fine.

The little bottle kids are still growing and drinking like pigs. Last night I had them do without their evening bottle to see what they would do. They complained a bit but then settled themselves down and ate more hay and drank a bit more water. Goldie and Max still should have an evening bottle but I wanted to see if they could settle themselves without becoming a nervous wreck. It was Wynonna who came unglued but the other two sat with her and calmed her down.

So what else is new - I guess I forgot to tell you all that there are no more Roo's here at the farm. After months and months of trying to get them to stop attacking the hens and beating the crud out of them I finally had it. Yes, this is the hard part of having a farm - you sometimes have to deal with unpleasant things... Since no one would take them I sent them back to the universe. The girls are now back to normal. The first night without the Roo's they sat on their perches and sang a low song that I had not heard from them since the Roo's became sexually active. They now greet each day with calm and purpose instead of worry and dread. I have apologized to them each morning for waiting so long to end their suffering. Sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do to protect her babies...

As for the repairs to the farm we are finally in hand with the insurance money so the contracts can be signed. It will take about a month before I can have the barn in and the roof in about three weeks I hope. I am just making final changes to the contracts to make sure all the bases are covered.

On a personal note have been working on some new adventures for this gal - will share once I have more things decided - not wanting to let things snowball before they are ready..

Chinese Red for my Lilly

Sweet Sweet Shy Lilly has given of her incredible soft fiber for this eye popping Chinese Red offerings....

Just up on Etsy I have placed this one of a kind fiber. Since Lilly is so quite I thought I would give her fiber and shout out loud color that is sure to turn heads and wake up any project you add it too... I do have more of this fiber then what is just listed in my Etsy shop so just convo me if you need more - I love tempting you with the best...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Great Chance to Get a Jump on the Holidays

Tiding up after the Gnomes - Why do they mess with things??? I have been picking up after them for so long - explaining the procedures for product placement in the shop and yet they still misplaced goodies. I think it will be early bed and no cookies for them. I think I deserve their cookies.
I just placed on my Etsy shop some more Alpaca yarn that was uncovered in the strangest places...

Start thinking about those Holiday presents - you know it is right around the corner. Remember last year when you promised you would start earlier?? Here is your chance. It is Already JULY - scary..

Monday, July 4, 2011

Offering Something Special - SOLD OUT!!

That was fast ! Two of my past customers snatched them right up... MANY THANKS and ENJOY! Blessings and Be WEll

While getting my shop and life in order I came across two more of the incredible Icelandic Sheep Pendant that a group of us designed and commissioned back in 2001 for a Huge Wool Festival. I have one in my collection and I was thrilled to come across two more...

So I have them up on my Etsy store and will gift wrap and include a card with a great Icelandic Sheep on the front and with your words inside.

Hope these incredible brooches find a great home....

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hand Spun Icelandic Wool Yarns - Lopi Style

I am finally getting to list some of my most popular wool yarn into my Etsy Shop. I will be listing some great Hand Spun Organically Raised Icelandic Sheep Wool Lopi Yarn. For those not familiar with the breed they are incredible. They live in Iceland where the winters are so harsh and the mild weather is short. Their dual coats keep the weather out and the warmth in. Sweaters made with this yarn can keep the wind, rain, snow and cold out and the warmth inside - they wear like iron. I have many sweaters that I brought back from Iceland and no matter how cold or bad the weather the sweater is all I need.

Lopi is the traditional way to spin the fiber using both coats and spun in a single. We then felt it ever so slightly so it is stable and without issues that a bulky single yarn might have - pure perfection in a single yarn. I also love it for felting projects.. It felts even and still maintains movement. The uses for this yarn are endless and it is my favorite that is why we raised them here.

I will be offering many skeins of different weights, natural colors and even some great Icelandic Patterns books... Don't wait too long they have a way of going quickly.

Sapling - Alpaca Yarn

I find tiny saplings just amazing. From such a tiny little promise there come a might tree that will see the sands of time pass while we will be long gone. I found a few in the forest on my farm the other day while walking around enjoy the breeze and I just had to place their promise into yarn form... Hope it bring you great and grand ideas for your next project.

Would love your thoughts

I just added to my Etsy shop a new line of yarn - 85% Organic LFF Alpaca and 15% Organic Colorado Merino. I let Mother Nature help set the dye - might as well get his hot Colorado Sun to do something other then drying out my pastures..

Would love to hear what you think of the new yarns... Always hoping to improve my products and who knows more about what they want then those who use it.

Girls Doing Guard Duty

When I tell folks I have trained guard llama's I am not joking.... I told the llama girls this morning to watch closely the little kids who were walking out of the panels I put up. Getting on the wrong side of the panels can mean around here a coyote can run up and get you. The llama girls normally watch the goat boys who have huge horns and do not really need much but another set of eyes. I thought I would give them a change of pace and some more training with those who really need protection...

Opal does not even look up while being sniffed all over - as I have said before Opal is like a big marshmallow - nothing ruffles her..

The heat is too much for us all so the group went back to the barn and I came in the house. I would love to find a place that the highest temp does not go above 75 degrees - any suggestions???

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Growing Goldie

Goldie is smiling the whole time she is in the tall grass... She still is the smallest but what she lacks in size she makes up for in excitement and energy. She runs around chasing butterflies, bumble bees, grass that blows in the breeze but most of all after me. It is hard to race back to the house and shut the door because she is right on my heels all the time. I have to trick her so I can get back into the house, up the stairs and close the door because she knows how to do the stairs and runs into the house before I can grab her.

I am always so amazed how she can hold her own and out of the three she is the bravest. She is last to go in and first to want out in the morning. Goldie is also Llama Boys favorite and he watches over her like a hawk - she does melt your heart but don't they all.

I am so lucky to have the honor to care for her. Her mother Lilly still does not connect with her however, Goldie has been the one to walk out and watch out for Agatha when they first started going out in the backyard. So Goldie does have a good nature and I am sure when it comes her time in life she will be a caring and loving mother. Lilly has been doing babysitting duty for her Mother's set of twins - I just think Lilly was confused and disconnected for the birth of Goldie. No Worries I have loved being the mother in a pinch...

So that is Goldie but just watch her grow - amazing!

Oh - to be young again

The bottle kids last night were having a great time in the tall grass of the backyard. They nibbled and nibbled - such innocent joy with not a care in the world. Knowing that I watch over them so no harm can come to them they just walk around playing and tasting all the goodies. What peace they feel - reminded me to stay in the present and know that I am also watched over. An early night for us all because there is lots of work for me tomorrow while the little one's will enjoy another day of blissful play and tender eats.

Sucks to be always the grown up!!!

Like Mother Like Daughter

Last night as the heat started to cool just a bit I let Miss Marple and Agatha come out to eat with the bottle kids. No matter how I tried to get a cute picture of their faces this is all that they would face towards me.. Still a very cute view and they had such a nice time nibbling.