Our sign in peace

Our sign in peace
Our sign in peace

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fare thee well 2015

2015 was a good year. It started off with some goals that I wanted to reach. One was learning hearth cooking. It's fun and challenging all at the same time. The ladies I work with at the Colonial House like to get together so we can hone our skills and feast too! Above is something called Apple Charolette, an old dish named after King George of the 18th centuries lovely wife.

Another goal was to learn, the Paddle and Tape loom, of for which I quickly realized I did not like at all! All that erect sitting was not for me!

The year brought us one of the snowiest winters we had ever seen.

The ladies of the Humphreys House always make my day fun. There is nothing better than working in an environment that is nurturing and fun. I just love everyone I work with there and to spend the day as a Colonial Woman is just the best!

We had our first litter of English Angora bunnies born on the farm! Tawny was an amazing mother and we kept two of them!

Different textiles and techniques were explored

But one of the most amazing things of the year was finding out we are going to be grandparents for the first time!!!

Here it is! Our little marshmallow who is expected in mid March of 2016! We are so excited, we talk all the time about what the child will be like and how much we are looking to be a part of the life of our Grandchild.

Which led us to the decision to sell our Olde English Babydoll sheep. We decided it was time to let them go and were quite pleased with the buyer who took them. She will continue our legacy with our herd. I miss them terribly and often think about them, they took a piece of my heart with them.

We had the best year yet with our bees. With the bad winter we had to replace every hive but bought strong healthy bees that brought in an amazing harvest!

My fiber interest have changed and have fallen in love with mohair! We had the chance to home these two Angora goats so Maddy and Pru came to live on Coon Hollow Farm! We bred Maddy so hopefully we will be expecting some mohair kids in the Spring!

A wonderful opportunity I got this year was to head up an after school program at my Nature Center! I get to share my passion with Nature and hang out with awesome kids who enjoy exploring and having fun!

I was gifted this awesome loom which will be next on my journey!

Autumn still is on guard and we are hoping next year to add another guardian dog so she can take a break and not work as hard!

So as we bid adu to 2015, we look forward to 2016 and wish everyone a wonderful New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Boot Toppers, Two Toned

One of the biggest requested items I had this year is Boot Toppers or Boot cuffs. It became the knitted Holiday gift to give in my Fiber Arts group.  You can make them in two colors so you have a choice to mix and match according to what you wear.

The ribbing on each end allows them to be flexible and fit well.

I knitted one end and then switched to another color...

and there you go! Easy peasy boot toppers in two colors so you can mix and match! I made my niece a pair so she could be my test subject! She liked them and they fit well too!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Slackers are amoung us!

We haven't had an egg in over a week now! This time of year this happens with darker days, longer darkness but we have 40 hens! Not one egg! Is it you old girl?

or you pretty girl?

How about you big Bertha?

Not even an egg from our  pretty Speckled Sussex! My apologies for being absent from my blog, Work has been plentiful, getting some things done and making some changes. I am back on line and will be bringing some new things I am doing!

Monday, October 5, 2015

The evolution of a concept

A few years back I was making scarves using locks. I was knitting the scarves and pulling the locks through which worked but I wasn't pleased with it. I dyed some mohair locks and decided to knit them in. I did this at our Fiber Arts Group one night and then entered the first one into a Country Fair and got a red ribbon for it!

My second attempt was a thicker collar and thicker locks which came out nice.

My third attempt was an even thicker collar, adding locks at two sticthes instead of three and a variation of color.

I was having some concern about blocking them and mentioned it to my friend Jody who suggested this great idea! I rinsed them in some soapy water and tacked them to my felting board! This project was fun and can't wait to see someone wearing them!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Happy October everyone!

It's officially Fall! With the coming of October, my favorite month of the year, it is officially fall!!! Pumpkin and Apple Pie, apple cider, the beautiful colors of the leaves, the cooler temps, hoodies, jeans, boots, snuggling under the covers, fairs, pumpkin picking, hay rides, wood stoves, halloween parties, hiking, bonfires, my children's birthdays, and so on with the Autumn fun!!! Happy October everyone!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Molting is not just for chickens!

Some of our baby angora rabbits have gone to great homes and for now we are keeping "Chester", the chestnut agouti buck, who is in the picture above His personality is just like his fathers, laid back and sweet.

At 16 weeks today, they are molting their coats. The wool is so soft, fine and beautiful!

...and then we have the diva, little "Miss Peaches" the fawn doe. Fresh, full of attitude and a challenge at every turn. Her beautiful fawn wool is gorgeous though.

I plucked her and got some beautiful wool.

Just look at that face, beautiful but a doe with attitude!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

All it took was...

We have had the angora goats for 6 months now. They were housed with the Alpacas until we sold our sheep and then we moved them down. During this time, we have had a hard time earning their trust. We tried treats here and there but nothing until I was giving the alpacas some banana chips one day and that was our big break through!

They go simply nuts for banana chips. They have become social and trusting, who knew with just some simple dried banana chips!

Maddie goes simply gaga over them!

With Maddie on the left, and Pru on the right it's all I can do to get them in them fast enough! I just love these girls, they have become trusting, loving and follow me around now. Pru is taking a little longer but it's okay. I am afraid we are going to ruin it all, they need worming and with all the trust we have developed, maybe I will put the wormer in a banana chip!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

...and so it begins, the honey harvest...

The bees have done very well this year. We had a great summer, not too much rain, not too too hot, kind of just right. Not being a big fan of summer I can't complain too much. So now it begins, the decapping, the straining, the bottling and the labeling and the worse part, a sticky kitchen!

But in the end it is so worth it, the dark golden honey of this year is amazing! It is rich and flavorful. Thanks to these amazing insects who are the only ones that provide us with such a rich resource.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Rainbow of the Angora

Oh the amazing colors of the angora rabbit! The variations in the color as you part the wool is amazing. This is the little runt, who has turned out to be a small buck and a sweetheart like his dad.

The fawn doe, all I can say is OMG! The camera picked up a lot of the vibrant color she has. So many shades of gorgeous wool.

The chestnut agouti buck is equally gorgeous but the camera was not as willing to pick up the colors.

and then the chocolate doe, nice variations of shade and color. All the babies are off to their first show this weekend to see how they do. I am looking forward to meeting with the judges and learning all about this breed!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

No Dearth here!

Just look at these girls! Working and working from the moment the sun comes up to the moment the sun sets. If you look close you can see the pollen they are bringing in...

and another shot a short time later as I watched them bring in the pollen. All the hives look like this right now. Obviously the pollen dearth is not upon us yet!

I managed to harvest some frames on Sunday when it was cool in the morning. Look at the difference in the capping of these two frames.

This frame is almost saturated in honey, lazy in structure...

while this frame is more neater as if they took time to cap it nicely. Either way it's going to be a bumper year for honey. There is a lot of honey up there but not quite ready yet. We will revisit them in a couple more weeks and see if the honey is ready!

Monday, September 7, 2015

A dyeing day win!

The other day I set out to dye some angora mohair that I had. I was going for some pastels for some baby gifts I need to get started. The picture doesn't give the colors justice. It came out beautiful with lots of variations and blends. For the most part I am quite pleased but this may evolve to something else!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Moving on to a new chapter...

Our Alpacas had one last meal with our Olde English "Babydoll" sheep...

they enjoyed one last meal before they moved on to their new home. We decided to sell them a few months ago and finally found a home we were happy with. We started this herd 8 years ago with 5 generations present.

My Lily was most concerned as I had a good cry but this is a good thing for all of us.

They were all loaded...

and off they went to begin a new chapter where they are going to be in 4H fairs and have some young girls to enjoy them.

And as we prepare to begin a new chapter as grand parents!!!! Our son Timmy and Sarah will soon be parents and we are thrilled! We are counting the days until the little "marshmallow" will be here! I am already knitting and planning a quilt in honor of our next generation!!!