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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"Thinking Day"

I was under the impression that this was an everyday thing but whatever....

Lila's Girl Scout group, along with ~20 other troops, had an event this past weekend called "Thinking Day", which consisted of each troop setting up a table or two that was themed to a particular country. Each country needed to display the basics for each country; culture, food and a craft of some sort.

Lila's troop chose New Zealand' which was a happy coincidence since Uncle Johnny and Auntie Syl live there.

Here is what their table looked like. On the far left, you will see some skeins of Stansborough grey (a sheep breed only found in NZ) yarn that I spun, an Ashford drop spindle (made in NZ), a SwanDri pullover (we have he and she versions that were a delightful wedding gift from Johnny and Syl), and in front my Ashford Joy spinning wheel. I went along for the ride and did a spinning demo. Further along the table were some chocolate chip biscuits, kiwi fruit, candy from NZ and an art activity that was primitive ferns drawn in chalk.

The girls dressed in summery clothes and had Maori "tattoos" painted on their faces. It was a fun day. I only had one altercation with a snotty little girls scout who kept putting her foot on top of mine and pushing down hard on the treadle while her mother looked on, smiling.... But the funniest happening was that one of the girls in our troop went and visited the Egypt table and brought back a little sample of couscous in a plastic cup. I asked her what it was and she shrugged her shoulders and said "I don't know, they told me it was goose poop!"


Kids growing up in the U.P. live a culturally sheltered life, unless you count Finlanders, so this was a good experience.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Foggy Winter Morning

We have had such an interesting winter this year.  I can't think of any other polite way to describe it.

I do like the foggy days best though,when it is hard to distinguish where the ground ends and the sky begins.
We've had a couple of those this year and I captured a bit of one when out doing chores one morning.
Though it is hard to see the landscape due to all the camelids occupying it!

A few of the nameless alpacas have names now....Night Skye is the larger black suri, and the small white one in the front is Paja Rita (little bird).  She is a sweet thing!  
Pikachu, the white llama likes hanging out with them.

This little one, Fiona's cria, still needs a name.  We are open to suggestions!
Her fiber looks brown on the surface but is black at the base.

She has a sweet little face and is quite friendly.
Her mother is bred to the same sire so we are hoping for another dark baby from her.

 The weather warmed up a bit so I was able to shear a few bunnies too!  Everyone outside was blowing their coat but we had so many sub-zero temps I was afraid to cut them down.
This is Daisy; she is an English angora that I took is as a rescue bunny.  She has a nice dense coat and is easy to shear and pluck.  She is one of the two indoor bunnies we have currently. 
She was quite pleased to get rid of all that fiber!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ste.Valentine's Day Mishap

One of the side effects of middle age is that a bottle of Champagne, purchased to celebrate the rebirth of a New Year, can sit unopened in the refrigerator since the turn of said year.  We had intended to imbibe but one of us had a cold, and then we thought we'd open it to celebrate the coming of the alpacas and one of us was tired.  So, Valentines Day rolled around and I had brought home a fruit of the beloved Pomegranate and it seemed like fate....

The clothes are in the washing machine.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Visitor to the Barn

Actually, I'm thinking she is/was not so much a visitor but a resident.

Two days ago this little sweetie was in the bottom of a five gallon bucket that had a few odds and ends of grain, wood shavings and hay.  After taking her photo, I tipped the bucket and she scampered off.
Unfortunately, when I went out to the barn this morning, there was a frozen mouse in the bucket.  
It was twenty two degrees below zero (Fahrenheit) last evening.
I don't know if it was the same mouse or not.  I learned my lesson, and will leave the bucket tipped on its side from now on.  I have a soft spot for outside rodents!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Fiber related goodies

This is not your dietary type of fiber.

I've been working on the Kickstarter rewards for those folks that are backers and chose to accept a reward. The project ends tomorrow!

The cards are stamped using stamps that I hand carved using Moo-carve (cuts like butter is the slogan) based on wooly animals we have here. Upper left is the new stylized Suri alpaca. I'm going to try for a more realistic rendition next time. In the box are various "flavors" of felted wool soap (lavender, oatmeal and almond, sandalwood, and goats milk soap).The wool is wrapped around the bar of soap, heat and friction applied and voila, a nice scrubby wash cloth permanently wrapped around your soap. Tis a fun project that the kids have been able to help with.

Here are some skeins of wool I've been working on. They include Gotland, Shetland, alpaca, alpaca & polwarth, Romney and blue-faced Leicester. I think I have 12 or 13 done so far. I got tired of spinning alpaca and switched to Shetland top for a slightly bulkier lofty yarn. Variety is nice!


Friday, February 1, 2013

Sunshine In a Box

This came in yesterday's mail!
A box of citrus from sunny warm Louisiana from Will's brother Danny. A much needed vitamin C boost in the midst of winter colds.
These were grown on trees that he planted from seed. The box was (was being the operative word) full of juicy sweet tangerines and there are four lemons in the upper left corner of the photo. I haven't ever seen lemons that color before! Most of the tangerines have already been consumed, a few sent off in the kiddy lunches today. We are saving the peels to make marmalade out of and I think I might try my hand at a lemon curd with those lovelies.....
Thank you so much Uncle Dan! Even more than the yummy taste and the vitamin C we needed to be reminded that it is warm and sunny somewhere.