Spring time at Coon Hollow Farm

Spring time at Coon Hollow Farm
Our Olde English "Babydoll" Sheep and their lambs

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Preparation!

We spent most of our day today preparing for Hurricane Irene that is expected to hit us through the night. The most important part was getting the animals ready for the storm, making sure they have enough shelter and protection from the storm. We separated the sheep and put them in the lower barn and put the Alpacas in the upper. As you can see in the picture, "Belle" is not at all pleased about her living arrangements, but she'll over look it for some extra grain! The hardest part of a storm like this is the stress it puts on us
because we are very concerned for their safety, so needless to say we probably will be up most of the night checking on everyone.
One thing we did notice throughout the day was the pacing and humming of the alpacas, the sheep seemed to hide more, the bees were unbelieveably busy, almost to the point I thought they were swarming because there was so many at the entrance, the longer I stood there, it was apparent they were frantic to get inside. 
 In addition to preparing, Tim found some scrap wood and covered the top of the greenhouse in the event a branch falls on top and breaks the glass panes. The chickens are housed next to the inside, separated by wire, so we are worried about glass hurting them...
and then the bees! I was busy putting everything in the storage box and put this cinder block on top to prevent the cover from blowing off exposing the bees to the rain and winds. If that were to happen it would chill the brood and kill them, as well as the bees. This is my only hive to make it this year and I want to take every measure I can to make sure they are safe.
So for now, we are ready and prepared for everyone to ride out this storm and hope and pray all is well for everyone, as well as family and friends!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dyeing for Color...

After a wonderful summer and taking a bit of a break it's time to get back to business, so over the past two weeks I broke out the dye pot. With my trusty dye pot and armed with many different colors of dyes I went to town...
 I dyed wool as well as alpaca fiber and got some
interesting results...
On the left is a color I did called "Salmon". It was interesting how the Alpaca fiber on the left took the color the way it should but on the right the wool took on a color of it's own.





Under the watchful eye of my terrier mix, "Autumn",
(who never leaves my side for too long) I
dyed several colors using both alpaca and wool.
I will be attending a "Creative Artisan's Campout" Labor Day weekend and will be 
teaching Needle Felting so I want to have many colors to choose from. I am so looking forward to this trip, re-connecting with old spiritual friends and looking forward to making new ones. Also looking forward to learning some new crafts, enjoy a ladies tea party, drum circles and bon fires. It is going to be the ultimate way to end this awesome summer I have had!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Katy and Jeremy's Wedding Topper

I am finally getting around to sharing a wedding topper that I did for a very special co-worker and her husband-to-be this June. She showed me a picture of what she wanted so I went to work putting my own creative spin on it. She gave me the color swatches of her brides maids dresses and I went to work.
They are made of 100% Alpaca fiber from my boys.
I was really at a loss of what to get them for their wedding so this was perfect. The legs were the hard part since I am not a metal sculpture,  it was quite difficult but I did it. She brought them to her mom who crafted a top hat for the boy and a veil for the girl. I can't seem to get the picture to import to post it of the finished product which is really cute. The eyes are made out of glass beads and I scalloped the tail to give it a better look. It was my pleasure to do this for them on their special day!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Going Native or Bust!


"Mountain Mint"
"Witch Hazel"





              




 Last week my friend Donna and I ventured out to visit a nursery that sells only Connecticut native plants. I never imagined how many plants are actually native to Connecticut,  and the selection was endless. The name of the nursery was called "Earth Tones" and it is owned by Kyle and Lisa Turoczi. I first met them at Ansonia Nature Center where they have done many things there. It is my goal to replace most of the non-native and invasive plants on my property with ones that are of use in our quest for sustainability. The top picture on the left is "Witch Hazel" which is distilled and used as an astrigent. The picture top right is "Mountain Mint". I am researching this plant but know that the Native Americans used it for many things and it's smell when the leaves are rubbed and is like no other mint I have ever smelled. It is just a beautiful plant. The bottom plant is a native Monarda or also known as "Bee Balm" or "Double Mint". This plant also played a big roll first being discovered by the Oswego Indians and used in teas. That's another name for it, Oswego mint, Horse Mint among others. What I find so neat about it is the double and triple flowers it has. So I have decided to go "Native"! Well within reason anyway, so the azaleas and Japanese maple tree must go! I am doing my part to rid my little place in the world of plants that are more ornamental and replace them with native ones that are. My next plants on my wish list are Wintergreen and Winterberry. The website for "Earth Tones" is http://www.earthtonesnatives.com/ If you get a chance venture up to Woodbury and visit this very unique nursery who is making a difference!


"Bee Balm" or "Double Mint"
 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Flea Market finds!

Last week Tim and I were on vacation. We did our best to rest, get some fun time in and get some things done around here. It went by way too fast as they usually do. Our last day was spent going to the flea market and we came across this apothecary box which is really nice. I am going to store buttons and many other small, "where did I put that" kind of stuff in it. The price was good too, the dealer was tired of carrying it around.
I also picked up this book which is like no book I have ever found. It has more stuff in here and is from the early 80's. It will help me in my teachings and open up some new ventures for me I am sure. It is hard cover and very thick and is filled with some much info. I just love the flea market, wish I could go more often!