Our sign in peace

Our sign in peace
Our sign in peace

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Biding ado to 2016

2016 brought us the most amazing miracle, our 1st grand child, Scarlets Willow Sotir. Her birth was very eventful with an emergency contact section which scared us to death but they were both okay and that was what mattered.

She is an amazing child and fills our hearts with joy

The gang stayed the same, all are healthy and happy

I was able to share Scarlett with special people in my life

Our dear friend Kenny had a 4 organ transplant but is doing great wonderful now  
Our chickens over preformed keeping the farm going good as we focused much of our time on family

We added some new feathered friends 

Our bees started out fast and furious but that quickly turned to us having our worse season yet between fighting mold, varroe, hive beetles and the final straw was being wiped out by a bear for the first time in 8 years. This year was not a Charm! We will be back to it next year with a bear fence to start!

I got back to my soap making and teaching it

Tim and I took time out for family

Me and my daughter Brynn pumpkin picking before her and her brothers surprise party!

I channeled my colonial woman more often and explored my skills I  hearth cooking
(Photo credit: John Poole)

One of my goals this year was learning get the Great Wheel. Thanks to a wonderful woman I met named Fiona, I am on my way to learning It! However a few more lessons would be great!

Autumn the Wonder Dog continued to work hard at protecting the farm. We found out she can tree a bear in 5 seconds, run off a hawk and chase a fox down to retrieve a Chicken! We need to clone this girl!

We learned what a bear can do...

We added this sweet little blue eyed English Angora buck named "Frankie"

I found so much peace right here in  the woods. My job has me here a lot teaching kids about nature, kindness and how important the environment is. With the election it is now more important than ever to teach them, they are our future!!! 

      As we say farewell to 2016, we look forward to the new year as 2017 will have our family growing yet again with the birth of my nieces baby, a boy that I can't wait to spoil! Happy New Year to Everyone! Next year will be filled with new items, more yarns and new babies of all kinds so stay tuned!

Friday, December 30, 2016

All was not lost!

All was not lost to that pesky bear. As I was realizing we were going to loose to the bear, I pulled as many frames of honey as I could into a decaping tank, set it aside in the pantry and somewhat had forgotten about them until today.

This frame was taken after the bear had made the hive abscond. Sadly they had lots of capped honey as well as pollen stores as seen here in the picture above.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Curing soap with time

After many months of curing, 4 batches are ready to go! 8 pounds times 4 puts it in the park at around 32 pounds minus 2 pounds for evaporation so 30 pounds all together.
Four different scents which makes the whole house smell amazing!

Onto tagging and packaging.
As I posted this in realized how absent I have been on this blog. The holidays took hold this year and I am quite glad they are behind us now. They were wonderful as we spent them with our new granddaughter! Looking forward to the coming year and all it will have to offer!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Oh the pain of molting

Oh the pain, the nakedness of molting. My yard is full of half naked chickens in some extreme molt. Egg laying is down as they use their energy to bring in those new feathers. This poor girl has but one tail feather left!

This poor girl looks better in the picture than she really is, she has but only outer feathers with her new feathers erupting...

and this girl looks like she borrowed a small feather to look like a tail feather!

Big Bertha here is not looking so big these days! Her tail feathers are gone and she is but a fraction of herself.

A rooster without tail feathers is just terrible. I am finding my roosters not as manly as usual lately!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

New England Fiber Festival 2016

This weekend was the New England Fiber Festival and we had an amazing time! I share my booth each year with my wonderful friend Naomi Allen. We laughed and had such a good time meeting new people, chatting with fellow fiber artists and spending time with each other.

Some of my booth area, set up and ready to go. By the end of the show many of these shelves were near empty.

My beautiful vintage body form with a hand knitted mohair scarf.

"Frankie" our new English Angora buck got a lot of attention this weekend. I think he was the most photographed animal at the Festival. He loved every minute of it.

This was part of Naomi's booth. She has some amazing wool for rug hooking. Her pieces are amazing! She was the only one there that does it like she does. Her booth was always busy with wonderful people!

My pillows were fondled often!

This was our neighbor's Wendsleydale ram. A woman was talking to him and he was quite attentive. He even tried to steal my banana! I miss my sheep and he was a pleasure having him next to us.

I didn't get a chance to see much this year, but I did happen to pass this woman doing some old world weaving.

She was using these amazing counter balances which were stone. so as I reflect on this year, how hard I worked towards this show, I must thank everyone who bought from me this year, who I talked to and who I may have inspired. I sure do get inspired by the many kind people I meet at this show!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Just by chance, a helpful discovery!!!

While getting ready for the New England Fiber Festival I had some last minute things to package and price. I had a few mohair fleeces that were taking their time drying. I pulled out my blow dryer and it died! I got to thinking and decided to try the dryer. What harm would it be for just a few minutes? Would it felt? Would it work? Would it get ruined? Well the chance was worth it so I threw in a small black dyed fleece I had done.

It came out amazing!!! It was fluffy, opened the locks, separated any remaining dirt and was amazingly soft too!!!

I tried another fleece, the same results! Soft and open locks and ready to be spun!

This is my Victorian inspired mohair fleece and this too came out wonderful! Open locks and soft! I love when you try something for chance and it works out!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Vicorian inspiration...

Last weekend I went on a lantern tour of a historical district that was primarily on Victorian homes. I just love living in New England because the history is so rich and each area tells a tale of old. Sometimes you can just stand there and imagine the times. We even toured an old Opera House that had my imagination in over drive.  I was busy all day preparing for my biggest show of the year. I zipped down for the tour and came home, I had my dye pot prepared but had no idea what I would do when I got back. I later returned and grabbed my dye box. I pulled out 4 colors and got busy dyeing the mohair that was sheared from my girls recently.

It wasn't until I began rinsing it that I realized I had dyed some beautiful colors that took me back to the Victorian times. Rich greens that were closer to olives (the pictures do not give it justice!) and beautiful mauves. It was as if my Victorian experience was channeled straight into my subconscious! I was amazed at the beauty!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Getting ready for the big show!

With just one week to go, we are getting ready for the New England Sheep and Wool Festival at the Big E Grounds in Springfield, MA! I have been busy dyeing, spinning, packaging and getting ready for the fun!

I have handspun mohair drying in various places around the house.

Bags of handmade items I have been busy all year making.

Bins are all around the house filled to the gills of many things too!

And "Frankie" is all ready to make his debut too! So if you are coming, look for us in the animal barn. We are the last booth at the exit door on the right. I will be there with my friend Naomi and we are hoping to have as much fun as we did last year! See you at the Fair!!!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Not all is lost when dyeing

While on my dyeing mission lately I made the ultimate mistake and this is my story!!! A few weeks ago we had our angora goats sheared so I had sometime to dye one morning before work. I grabbed one of the fleeces, popped it into a pot with some hot water to soak.

Got the water going and added the dyes. I was going for a chartreuse and deep lavender dye mix. Placed my dyes on the mohair and got busy doing some other things which I am always multi tasking because life gets crazy right?!

I did my usual skerer poking to get my color through...

and then I noticed this which was not good, my colors blending together. Then I realized I had forgot the most important thing, the mordant!!! I forgot to add the vinegar!!!!

I quickly rinsed it and got this, oh my!

I pulled some of the mohair, put it in the pot with a mordant this time and some dye. I now have seafoam green and a pretty dark lavender! All is not lost, when you have lemons make lemonade and in this case you can rescue a dyeing mistake if you try!