Shop at Spinner's End Farm

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I am a Schacht Dealer!

I am VERY pleased to say, that we will be carrying Schacht spinning wheels and accessories
 here at the farm!  We will also be able to supply weavers and order looms and accessories for weaving!

Jane Patrick had called and left a message on our phone and the soonest I could call her was on a fifth grade trip to Mackinac Island (in Lake Huron in the Straits of Mackinac).  I called her after lunch while sitting across from the fountain on the lawns of the Grand idealic spot to recieve such exciting news!  I will have a post soon with some Lila Photos from the Island.

Now I have to decide what to order....

In other news....on the last day of school, Duncan (sitting on the edge of the slide and looking over) fell off the slide at school and fractured his arm.  He has a torus fracture across both bones just above the wrist and was rushed to the emergency room for x-rays and a temporary cast.  He goes today to the orthopedic surgeon for a permanent cast.  He is most excited about getting to choose the color.  He isn't excited about us hollering at him to slow down, quit running, stop fooling around, all our parental paranoia about him hurting his arm more.  This one is helping to speed up the graying process.
We shall receive instructions from the Doctor I'm sure about what he can and cannot do.  Soccer starts next week,and of course, Grandma Marilyn brought up a trampoline for summer fun.

...and...David Keir is coming to shear our sheep this week!  Thursday I think.... 
They are SO ready.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Jewell and Smore

Before this past Christmas/Yule holiday I posted about Duncan's hearts desire from Olde St. Nick: a pet that would live longer than a year (he inherited a couple of used hamsters that didn't live long and a couple of mice which biologically have short life spans and all this death was evidently taking a toll on puir wee Duncan's psyche).

Enter, Jewell.

Jewell was only six weeks old when she came.
Two weeks into pet ownership, Jewell developed an abcess that required a visit to the vet, where it was lanced and squeezed and cleaned out with peroxide.  It was a stressful event for her (and me!) and she nearly died of shock in my hands at the vet (imagine trying to describe to the child whose only present request from Santa was for a pet because his keep dying what happened to his new sweet Guinea Pig two weeks after she arrived...).  But, all turned out well.

However, Guinea's are herd animals and generally live longer more healthy lives in groups.

Last week, This little squirt came to live with us.

Her name is Smore.  You know, because she is marshmallow, dark chocolate, and caramel colored!

Smore is tiny compared to Miss Jewell, and is likely 6-7 weeks old.

They seem to be getting along famously, and Smore enjoys chin scratches and ear rubs like her big buddy.

If you haven't had a guinea pig before, I suggest visiting with one.  They are adorable wee things and very appreciative of your company (if they aren't terrified of you that is).  They fit well into our household and part of my early morning routine includes giving out some chin rubs...and getting affection in return.
If Duncan wants to move them into his room I'll be sad!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Carving Stamps for the Farm

Sometime in the past year, I came up with a design/logo for the farm.

I wanted it to have a celtic feel, hence the triskeles, swirls, and the intertwined border, and have representation of the animals here at the farm.  The FIBER portion of the farm.  Not that the chickens and other assorted sundry animals aren't important, I was just looking for a logo for the fiber end of the business.

It isn't perfect, but I like it enough.
The drawback of this particular design is that I did it by hand and then scanned it to bring it into the digital world which works for most things, but I don't have access to any really great drawing softwear so I can't make the background of the image clear so it can be overlaid onto other things, or wrap text around it.
But, I digress.

One of the things I wanted to do with the logo, was to incorporate it, or elements of it, onto bags, stickers, envelopes etc...A challenge to do without an image I can manipulate.
Then, I ordered a hand carved stamp from a fellow Etsian.


I can make my own!
No, not the intricate border.  I still want a stamp with it all on it.  I'm not that talented a carver however.

But, I thought I could probably carve the individual animals.
First, you trace your design on a piece of tracing paper.

Then, you rub the tracing paper on the Moo-Carve. 
(I imagine it got its name from the fact that you can carve it like a soft cheese.)
This way of transferring the design ensures that you have your image the right way round.

Next, I carved out the pencil marks.  With the detail it would have been harder to carve away most of the white, so the design will be in color instead of in relief.

Carving away all the extra white was the fun part!  It is easy to get too carried away...

One thing I found was that it is easier to make adjustments to your fine detail BEFORE you carve away too much of the white along the outside of the stamp.  The Moo-carve is more stable that way and you have less danger of making a big mistake.

Finally, you get out your ink pad and give it a whirl. 
Then you can make any needed adjustements to your carving based on your impression.

This is fun.
This is NOT hard.
I am hooked.

Unfortunately, I ran out of Moo-carve!
The last post of Sam's Birthday had giftwrap that I stamped all over using another stamp that I made from the "Sam's Monsters " series.  I am going to carve more of his monster designs and stamp some cards with them.  They are just too cute not to share.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Nine, Sam I am!

Some Pictures of the Big Guy on his Big Day.

Duncan made him the hat; I made the gift wrap with a rubber stamp I carved...more on that later!

Looker On-ers

Intent on the wind chime from Aunt Bonnie

Good title for a book!

He was saying "Awesome!" about the Playmobil dragon inside the box.

 This one was hard to open!

Can you figure out what this is supposed to be?  I thought it looked like a cross between a guinea pig and Gollum from the Hobbit.  (It is supposed to be a guinea named "Smore"...more on that later too!)

 Fervent birthday wishes.  I wonder what it was for?!?

Duncan looks like he is ready to help!
It was a good day.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Etsy Treasury for Sam

Our Farm CSA listing was included in a lovely Etsy Treasury entitled "Sunrise on the Farm".
While this in itself is an honor, what makes it extra special is that it was chosen today, on the day the little boy in the photo turns Nine.  Hard to believe...

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Bathroom Rules

This appeared suddenly next to the toilet in the kids upstairs bathroom...

In case you don't know what "potions" are...they can be anything that you can combine together in a water base and fit into some sort of vessel.  The often include bathsalts, lotions, shampoo, glitter, plants from outside, herbs from the get the idea.  Impromptu bathroom chemistry.

Evidently, things were getting out of hand and Lila needed to put her foot down.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

May Day Puppet Parade

This year to celebrate May Day, our dear friend Ruthette decided to put on a May Day Puppet Parade with the children from the Three Lakes Academy (TLA).  This was done through another MCACA grant that the Erickson Center for the Arts wrote.

Ruthette, and many helpers (including Will) dedicated much time starting in November assembling materials, coming up with ideas, and working with the kids on puppets, masks, scripts and songs.  Their efforts culminated in the May Day parade which started at the school and ended up just a mile down the road at the Erickson Center.  I was also able to be in the parade as a banner bearer.  The theme for the parade was "Water"; which is also the theme for TLA's 2012 school year.  We are a town surrounded by water (the Manistique Lakes), on a peninsula surrounded by the Great Lakes so it is a fitting tribute.

I was not in a great photo taking spot so I apologize in advance! 
 There were two blue wavy banners that emulated water and all of the K-1st Graders were dressed as water loving animals.  There were also trees and flowers that were acted out by the 2nd and 3rd graders.  Everyone was happy so the story goes, until humans induced threats to the ecosystem (dirty factories, garbage and pollution) that were also acted out by the kids.  The animals left and the plants died.
Enter Michu Pichu, the great water spirit of Lake Superior and guardian of the Lake, who warned the humans of their ignorance and disdain for the environment
(I didn't get a photo of this awesome three person puppet!). 

Now, as this story is being acted out, our friend Kathy (Master of Ceremonies) is narrating the story.  She did an awesome job of moving the story along.  There was a two man band in the background playing some awesome tunes to go along with the performance.  They did a great job tying it all together.

The story ends with humanity cleaning up their factories, picking up the garbage, and cleaning up their act altogether.  The animals and plants return, and mother earth is raised up upon her nest on the May pole.

This was challenging because the earth was a huge blow up gym ball which had to be put up with poles and a hula hoop and the wind was pretty lively!

The seventh graders saved the day however...

and the performace ended with the entire school circling the May Pole to the band playing/singing
 "This Pretty Planet".
It was awesome.

Four months of work was over in about thirty minutes!  They had a great community turn out as well.

You can't have a parade without at least one bunny.  This young lady is a student at MTU in Houghton- She was home for the weekend and brought "Jingle" with her.  Jingle is an agouti colored English Angora that came from one of our litters two years ago.  She is a spoiled house rabbit that gets dressed in doll clothes.  If you look closely, you'll see she has a wee ponytail on top of her head.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

200th post Winner!

After eliminating the relatives* and taking the comments in the order that they were submitted I ended up with four people in the drawing.  Using the True Random Number Generator at, Comment number four was the winner!  So,


Give me a shout so we can arrange to send your goody package!

* about eliminating the relatives....You were only eliminated from this drawing.  However, if you want me to bring you any knitting needles or spinning fiber this summer let me know!  :)  I'd be happy to oblige.