Thursday, March 29, 2012

Upcycle Never Looked So Sweet

Several years ago I was looking for a new way to use up woolen, jackets, old sweater and extra yarns - yep, long before up cycling/recycling was very popular I knew it would not be long. I decided to make a sweet little purses that could be used for all sorts of things. They debuted at the Estes Park Wool Market some ten years ago and a local shop owner saw them as I was setting up my booth and she purchase all 6 dozen of them. WOW!!

Fast forward to now and I am still making them - a popular item for those who come to the farm and those local shops who continue to order them for their spring inventory. So I have new one's done and I am placing some up in the Etsy shop -

You can read about the construction of these darlings - trust me they will last and last... I do have many color combinations and will put them up as I can but you can always contact me and we can talk colors.

Their uses are endless - great for weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, birthday gifts and Mother's Day lovelies - I love them for special treats for Easter and even have had many Mom's purchase them as their little girls first purse. What would you use them for??

Boyz to Berries

Night time is spinning time for me lately. The need to center myself and find that inner peace that only comes to me as I spun is overwhelming. This lovely yarn is a great combination of lush fibers. I started out with hand painted Mohair and Merino which I spun at a thin sport weight and then plied with some of my cashmere lace weight yarn. The end result I think is Yummy!!!

I had trouble coming up with a name but one of the talented ladies who is on a fiber FB group came up with the perfect one "Boyz to Berries"....

I just finished placing the two large skeins up in my Etsy Shop

Would love to hear what you think of my latest hand spun yarn...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bugs = Reds

Who would think that the tiny female bodies of the Dactylopius species which lives on the prickly pear cactus could produce the amazing reds that you so on the fibers above. Over the weekend I was needing to get some creative juices flowing and so I turned to my natural dyes and some of my best fibers. In the second picture the darkest red is LFF Smokey Quartz Alpaca fiber which is a silver with a soft rose tone. Next darkest is a 50% Merino 50% Silk roving and then the softest pink is a Sea Cell Roving. All of the fibers took the Cochineal bath at different rates but that is one of the magical sides of dyeing.

Would love to hear what you think of them....
Expand your art supplies - try some of my natural dyes just up on

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

All Things Gold

While still on my path of cleaning out my Fiber Prep Room and finding new homes for the goodies that have become too comfortable living here I came across some great 100% Silk Textured Art Yarn. I just could not let things be so I did dye it in large pot of Golden Rods. Trying not to sneeze my head off during the process I think the end results was well worth the few more extra Kleenex Tissues my nose had to endure... The yarn is not a true boucle but rather the squiggles and turns are delicate yet add interest the moment it is added to a project. Just in time for spring and all the glow that arrives with the warmer weather - Treat Yourself !

Wouldn't this make the most incredible shawl for those tropical gatherings. How about adding a touch of gold to your next weaving project for the home. Even something as simple as creating a necklace by just gathering loops of the yarn in any length you wish and then wrapping it with beads or even sea glass... I could think of dozens more but I am sure you can come up with your own creative ideas. Love to hear what you could do with this yarn...

Monday, March 26, 2012

What do You see??

With another horrible day of winds hitting 67 miles an hour and will be getting worse before sunset I am trying to keep focused but losing the battle. I spent much brain power trying to come up with a name for this new batt but was unable to come up with one for close to a day. Then after asking the talented ladies on a FB sight it hit me while making a loaf of Wheat Bread...

"TWIN PEAKS" - one of my favorite TV series from long ago. I think the first attempt for get our brains thinking weekly outside the box... You know long before "Lost" or most recently "Touched"...

I was thrilled with the name but now I am concerned because about half of the ladies on FB were giving names such as Waves, Tornado Sky, and Night Waves, while the other half called it Piney Woods, or Glen Forest. I keep looking at the pictures I posted of this and I see Greens... The base Alpaca fiber has three shades of Pine Greens with hand painted Merino in blues, purples and reds. The Merino is placed in such away that is it subtle and is not something that shouts at you.

So here is my question - what do you see??? Please let there be no issue with my computer...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What Cooking in my Kitchen

Have a custom order for a wonderful return customer of mine. So while I was in the kitchen getting a jump on my own food cooking for the week I also started the dye pots. This is when you real must keep your head otherwise you will put fiber in the Pizza Sauce Pot, or Burglar Wheat in the silk... Luckily I have been doing this for sometime but I do remind students not to cook while dyeing.

Top row and to the left is a half pound of Merino Roving dyed Sunkiss Orange, to the upper right is 3 ounces of my Icelandic roving dyed Tangerine. Below left is 3 ounces of my Mohair roving dyed Marigold and last to bottom right is Silk that I spaced dyed with all the colors mentioned above with also leaving some it's pure white. They are almost dry and soon I will be at the carding machine creating that special request... Makes my mouth water each time I pass the drying racks.

While this is for someone else I sure would love to know what your favorite color combinations are?? Does not have to be in fiber - I am always on the search for what catches some one's eye and lately I sure could use some suggestions.

Best Medicine

Instead of swallowing pills, pour a stiff drink or crawling into bed I find the best healing medicine for this gal after a hard day of farm work is Spinning! It can't be just any fiber but rather one of my sweet one's - MONK! This boy is the spitting image of is Great Grandfather Thor... Monk is the son of Ebony and when he was born he hated to be touched - even by his four legged mother. Hence the name. He then warmed up to contact but to this day you have to wait till he wants to.

Saturday was a hard working day for me. I had five 10 foot heavy metal gates to repair after all the storms and the play full antics of some of the large billies. This is a large task to do when you have help but it is even more of a challenge when it is done by one person - Yep, me... With this nasty bug I have been battling for more time then I wish to count, it was going require even more thought then muscle. Needless to say that was too is also weak at best. Never fear with trail and error I was able to re drill, hammer in large screws the size of two thumbs and then lift up and hang the gates. I rewired broken fence line and reconfigured new catch pens and stop gaps. With all the repairs done it was time to move the largest and oldest Billies. I opened the gate and all 5 of them walked in single file behind me and across the farm. I was feeling a bit like the Piper with some magical powers. We reached their new digs with the 3 through 5 year old billies. I opened the gate and the walked in nicely and took their turn at the water container. WOW, that was amazing... I closed the gate, latched it and stood in pure joy on how they all touched noses and then sat down. I moved the older boys over because this pasture is next to the forest and with the Mountain Lion back I wanted the older boys to leaned a hand in keep the others safe.

It is now time to come in and get cleaned up. That task proved to be the hardest of the day. My muscles, bones and spirit was drained and in pain. With a clean body and a tummy full of pizza I needed to start the process of healing so to the wheel I sat.

With the first couple treadles my body lifted and my muscles felt joy not pain. My hands which could hardly hold the pizza came alive with the movement of drafting the fiber. My back who was screaming began to rest into the dance that this body knows so well - best medicine for me.

Before I knew it the pain was gone and I had filled two bobbins worth and was starting on a third. I spent the day working with cold hard steel but ended my day in the softest silver cashmere - what could be better???

What is your tonic in life??

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hot from the oven

Trying to tempt my tummy with a home made pizza. A garlic herb crust - thanks to my bread machine, 24 hour slow cooked roasted tomato spicy sauce, finely chopped veggies and just the right amount of five cheeses - I give you my Lunch for today... I hope to have worked up a well deserved appetite as long as my stomach is willing. Still battling this Yuck but luckily this delicious pizza keeps well in the frig. Hope you have a tasty day!

About Time

This was the first time in my 20 years of raising laying hens that egg production stopped completely and that they also molted. I must also say that this is the first time that I have had only one breed of hen in the hen house which I think was most of the issue. With 23 girls say all but one being Americana's I guess this is normal. I also now know that when they molt it is like a water fall - all coming at one time. I have been struggling with my sad looking ladies - it makes me want to "Fix" things but time is the only answer. The other day with another wind storm hitting the farm I did not make it out to close up the hen house doors and by the time the wind stopped it looked like there had been a mass murder out in the yard. Feathers everywhere... Hundreds of feathers. The wind had made it's way into the hen house and blew feathers everywhere. I have given up trying to rake them up - I just have to close my eyes to it right now.

This week the hens started to lay but I would get only two or three if I was lucky. I had a talking to them on Wednesday about the cost of feed and amount of work I was doing for them and how it was only fair that they pull their weight. Imagine my surprise on Friday morning when I went into the Hen house and collected a full dozen... I guess my talk worked... I even found two eggs in little plastic dog house that I put into the Hen house so the wind would not take it to Kansas. The two saddest looking hens are using that little house for their slumber chamber and now their nesting box..


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Creative Memories Destashing - SALE

Starting the task of destashing all the Creative Memories products that have been waiting for talented hands to use them. I was a consultant back in 2000 and have no longer been so since 2003 but I do have an ample supply of what I call "Old School Goodies" that are still wonderful to work and create with even in this fast paced days. Many are also great for card making and journaling...

First up is the limited edition "Celebrate" album that was only offered in 2000 and is harder to find the hens teeth. It is a 5 x 7 inch album with 10 blank pages inside. Normally it sold for $15.00 but I am offering it for $10.00 each plus shipping. I have 10 of them to find new homes.

Next is their "Celebrate Collection" which has everything you need to create that perfect representation of that special day. It contains the following
(1) 10x12 inch sheet of blue with tiny dots background paper
(7) stickers of all things birthday - cake, present, streamers, balloons, hats and much, much more
(2) Paper Die Cut Shapes with Hats, Crowns and Balloons
(2) Paper Die Cut Words (Birthday and Celebrate)
This combination packet sold for $7.00 but I am selling it for $4.00 each - I have 7 of these.

If I have tempted you at all you just need to leave me a comment with your desires and I will set up a PayPal invoice or we can make other arrangements. I will also find the best price on getting it to you and those creative hands.

Keep a watch out - more coming with loads of great deals as well...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Back from OZ

This morning as the sun rose and I pulled the ear plugs out of my ears I looked out the second story bedroom window and saw all the one and two year old goat boys running around the back yard and standing in the pine trees eating all the needles they could reach. So much for a slow greeting to the morning....

I ran downstairs, jumped into my boots and grabbed the Shepard's hook. Out the door I went and I sure gave them a fright... I think they knew they screwed up BIG TIME!!! I looked quickly to see how in the world they got out. It seems that during the night with the horrible winds a large feed bunker managed to leave the ground and smashed into one of the gates and broke it.. Well, smart goats that they are took advantage and out they went. So with the lack of sleep and not being a happy camper, I found myself scream "BACK, NOW" and they took off running for the downed gate. All but one went without an problem... The one left is too smart for his own good and I was not in the mood to run around the farm trying to get him so I asked for my friend, partner and heart - Kasha... Yep, my sweet old gal (12 year old Great Pry)listened to my every word and in a blink of an eye she went round the left side and drove him back into their barn... My Very Great Kasha!!!

So into the house I went to make scrambled eggs and toast for my hard working Kasha.... After breakfast it was a morning of fixing the gate, picking up all the broken things that had been tossed around, moving the huge dog house back under the tree for Sophia and then spending some time hugging my hardworking old gal Kasha... I am so thankful she has spent her life with me. I had to giggle because she would give those goats a big bark every time she saw them. I can't imagine what she was calling them but they sure deserved it.

So we are back from OZ and not finding any flying monkeys only naughty goats boys.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Landing in OZ

The wind started before breakfast and has not stopped at all today. I was surprised to see Sherlock moving in on Sophia and her house under the big pine tree. I think he realized that she never really uses the house and so he was wondering if she might share... I had to giggle because the trick will be in how to get those huge horns inside there. After trying a couple of times he decided to just come back under the front deck outside the shop door. He has been on a walk about for the past three days - he was not feeling well so I let him do what makes him feel best which means sitting in front of the shop door and getting hugs, snugs and kisses everytime I come in and out. However, this wind has even curbed his activities.

I hate to even say the word wind because it just does not do it justice. Wind means blowing or quick moving where what the farm is experiencing is anything but that. At present count I have the door ripped of the tool shed, two wooden bunny hutched smashed, the compost fence broken, all the metal feed tubs somewhere that will require a search. The animals and I are more then worn down and I hope that it slows down through the night or this gal will be without sleep again and pushed beyond my limits.

I did had two "Duck and Cover Events" in the basement today. The wind sounded like a freight train and so running into the basement I went and sat their praying for it to stop. I did try to take a nap today with the headphones on and a movie blasting to drown it all out but I only manage about an hour so that might have to be what I call "sleep" for this Sunday. I know my whining is wasteful time especially when others are facing much worse weather. I do have to say in my defense that Mother Nature has been on a nasty streak here for more time then I wish to count - last year it cost me a barn, the house roof, two doors and three windows and my nerves.

Does any one know of a place where the wind is something like a light breeze or maybe a gentle whisper ?? Oh and did I mention with all this wind has pushed us into High Fire Warnings!! Yep, there has already been three fires around my area... You would think with all the snow we would be safe but not with this wind. So on goes the head phones, I moved the tea pot and yes the pee pot down in the basement just in case I spend the night down there. Checked all the walk ways through the house in case we loss power and have my head lamps and flash lights in all the important places. Candles and matches also at the ready with snacks and spinning awaiting me. Hope you are having a quieter night..

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fragrance of Spring

Wonderful Spring is in the air!!

No, it is not from the lovely flowers blooming or the clean fresh scent of the pine trees swaying in the gentle breeze... ON NO - it is Stink Bugs and Skunks!!!

This week I have had the pleasure of stepping on several stink bugs before I realized they were there - NASTY!!! Luckily it has been warm enough that I opened windows and doors in the house to tried and get this nasty smell out of my nose and what seemed to be everything I touched.

Last night as I almost had that done and was thankful that my stomach could settle down it bit..

I was typing away at the computer with the window open and I just about gagged.. A skunk was under the window and had placed itself on the Welcome mat at the doors of the shop. Just then the dogs started barking and away the smell was sprayed... I ran closing doors and window all the while saying "Your not going to throw up, Grace".. Like a mad women I was shutting things up but it was too late. It was in the house big time. I grab the flood light and went around the house windows seeing if I could see where he ran to. I was so worried that he might head towards where the bottle kids had been lounging outside enjoying the night without everyone else. I calculated my changes of running into the skunk and saving my sweet ones. Well, you know me out the door I went running and gathering the little ones up and placed them in their barn. I then ran to the dogs trying to see if they could tell me where it was - what I got was a real surprise - three big ones running in the direction of the chicken coop. Crap!!!

Well, after shining the flood light on them and make noise at a distance they ran towards the forest. After calming everyone down and me holding my breathe to cross the shop doors I got in the house and took off my clothes for fresher smelling ones and tossed them on the back deck. Then in my silly way I started to burn scented candles (See Boys I do burn them) and hoped for the best. WRONG! I wont even tell you what that smelled like but think of old outhouse with Pine Sol.. Needless to say Grace did not get to bed until past midnight - it is hard to sleep with Peppy La Pew smell heavy in the air.

Just goes to remind us - snow drifts = no skunks!!

What is your favorite good smell of Spring?? A few of mine are the pine trees, the mint that grows all over this farm and the corn chip smell of a llama and the earthy smell while snuggling my bottle goats. O.K. now it is your turn...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Round Two

Round Two of Cream!! Dottie is getting as excited as my Grandson Reese about the cream.. They both love it.

Mira is not going to even look at what is going on - she stick close to her Mother which is O.K. too!.. Before everyone gets the wrong idea - I do not follow after my animals worrying and keeping them from being who they are meant to be. Even with my own human son's I did not follow after them. I always told them unless a bone was sticking out or the bleeding would not stop "Your O.K.". Both of them are fearless in so many ways - while understanding in order to live life you will end up with bumps, bruises and yes even cuts... There was a time with my youngest I worried that the ER doc's would think someone was abusing him because he was always doing things. Like the time he wanted to be He Man and got under the shelving of his metal bunk bed and lifted it off the ground. WOW, Strong Kid I don't think he was even three - that was until the screws stripped and it came crashing down and smashed his nose. What a lot of blood, crying, screaming and broken nose. The doctor stated we where so lucky because the broken bone could have been driven into his brain. Then there was the phase were he swallowed everything he could get his hands on - money, keys, marbles and lego's - almost chocked to death.. Turn blue, stopped breathing and his throat received a small tear when I finally got is dislodged as the Paramedic just arrived. The list could go on but he is not the only one in this family but we wont even go down the story road with my oldest son or worse yet my husband. So I guess over the years with all the drama's and injuries I have learned to be a tad bit hyper aware. Besides do you have any idea how hard it is to set an animals leg by yourself??? Don't want to be doing that again anytime soon.

I must admit the moment her cream was on that sweet soft nose and she received her kisses, off she ran at full speed to join Mari and the birds playing on this sunny day...

Accidents Happen

The Llama babies had been enjoying the sunshine while running as fast as those lovely long legs would allow but like with all good things - too much a of it can lead to issues...

It is just like me to be working away and this "Mother Sense" tells me to look up. Just as I did I saw sweet Dottie running faster then her legs would handle - it is a rookie mistake. I yelled out "SLOW DOWN" and just then she went end over end. I dropped my tools and went running in her direction. Now I can never match their speed but that "Mother Panic" kicks in and our abilities are like a Super Hero without the mask on...

As I was making my way through the gates she came running towards me in a panic. Happy, her four legged mother was watching closely but did not call to her. As we came closer to each other I could hear her little cries that was asking for comfort. I checked out every inch of her and hugged and kissed her while making the soft sounds that Happy would make. Once she was calm I went into the house for my magical cream and camera.

I returned to find Dottie sitting on the highest hill in the pasture and gathering herself. The moment she saw I was coming in the gate so headed towards me - hard to take a picture of something coming quickly towards you. As you can see by the last picture she scraped up her nose. Once I placed some of the cream on the cuts she was calm and thankful. It is the same cream I gave to my two legged grandson Reese to heal his raw nose. It is the same cream that I use for the hundreds of cuts, scraps, jabs and such that I manage to place on this body. It is a miracle cream... I think also the tons of kisses will aid in the healing of this sweet girls nose.

Do you have a special "HEAL ALL" in your bag of tricks???

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Signs of Spring??

While working outside on the Winter Clean Up that is always required after the storms that can hit this farm I took a bit of time to notice the signs of Spring coming. Buds on the Lilac Brushes which never fail to get hit with an ice storm at least once but usually twice before they bloom. The Mint that will withstand all that Mother Nature can throw at it and come back ten fold each year.

Then there are all the tiny pine cones that are growing on the Pinon Pine that stands outside my front deck. Sitting next to the Pinon Pine is a sweet wash tub that houses my clumps of Garlic Chives which each returns despite the hens pecking and digging in the tub...

Then I saw the first Robin hopping around the ground looking for tasty tidbits and enjoying the sunshine. As I was finishing up the clean up for today I reached the shop door and there was my sweet little mink - peeking out from the rock that makes up the ground level of this log house. He ran around the front garden bed and past my feet. Then back again and up on the wall. It was tricky trying to catch a picture of him that was not a blurry - he is really fast but so friendly. I have missed him following me around while doing my chores.

The work outside today was long and tons of bending, hauling and collecting things that Jack Frost had carried ever where but this is what makes this gal happiest.. However, I have lived here all my life and know that Colorado never just gives us these warm sunny days without have a couple big storms up her skirt. So, for at least today the Funny Farm soaked up every minute..

What was you Wednesday weather like?

Yearly Routine

Early in the morning mist I spied this amazing fellow working on the nest that is built every year in the birdhouse that hangs outside my kitchen window on the electrical pole. It is something small that marks the routine that we all follow. I wonder if the birds awake to the thought "I am bored" or "No One Appreciates Me", or even "I think I want to do something different but I have no idea what".. I watch my goats get up every morning to the same routine with slight variations but driven by instinct.. Many of the girls are still not happy they did not give birth this year and tell me about it everyday while others are enjoying the lack of responsibility to a young one.

I am wondering if anyone out there is thinking of new horizons, spreading their wings for new lands, or are you finding that your driven by past routines??

Monday, March 12, 2012

Little Ben in Fiber Form

Now you can have one of my goats even if you live in the city or your mate will not hear of a goat in your yard... I have sweet "Little Ben" up for sale in my Etsy shop and he is ready to go home with you. You will love the softness and personality that this little goat has embodied in those lockets. Stop on over to and make room in your heart and home for this special Little Guy...

Friday, March 9, 2012

New Fiber Batts For Sale

Been at the carding machine during the evenings and hopefully creating some eye catching, hand twitching batts for those looking for some fiber fun.

All of the batts shown here are now up in my Etsy shop and looking for new homes. I had several others but they where snapped up quickly and ready to go into the mailbox for far away lands. Thank you lovely ladies who have supported this small farm.