Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wyoming Flowers Inspire The Dyepot

On the hike up at Happy Jack, were some spectacular blooming cacti and flowers. We tried to name them but, for accuracy's sake, I won't do that here because I am sure we are way off. I was surprised to know that cacti grew so abundantly in Wyoming. I guess they are an adaptable sort of plant that can grow in lots of places. You probably all know this but I had fun being delighted by such a revelation. My simple mind can be delighted fairly fact, the simpler pleasures I enjoy the most as I get older. This must be why the AARP keeps sending me membership applications, cause I'm getting so old and wise?LOLLL.

Okay, onto the flora pics. By the way, I might just have to show you the new roving colorways I was inspired to dye from these flower photos (next post, too many pics today). They will be offered for sale at our booth at the Kittitas Valley Farmers Market this Saturday, June 19th. I'd love to see your shining face there so if you make it, please stop by and say hello!  

Whew! Happy trails...I'm outta here!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Spring Road Trip - photo intensive

Happy Friday! I got the pictures of our road trip to Laramie, Wyoming off of my camera. Thought I'd share some gorgeous shots taken 2 weeks ago. Some are truly out the car window shots and others we actually stopped to shoot. When you drive 2,200 miles in 5 days (including the family visiting time), pretty soon, the hubby says "we've got to keep driving!" The drive to Wyoming from Washington (we take 2 different routes for variety to and fro) is truly a gorgeous one. The west is a fantastic landscape and although I am always saying I want to move to Ireland or some such craziness, I would not live anywhere else than the west. It's the wide open spaces for this girl!

And awayyyyyy we post I'll show you some flora and fauna close ups!

Happy trails.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fresh from the Studio - "Windbreaker" Scarf

I get plenty of inspiration to create from the sheep and the colors of the seasons on the farm. Also, the weather...not sure if it's inspiration or necessity-- is the mother of invention and here in Ellensburg the wind blows A LOT. Not much in the winter but every other season it does blow much of the time.  I don't like wearing a coat so instead I wear scarves and a vest. My arms are free thataway. A girl's gotta be able to move around freely, well this girl anyhow.

Now I see that every clothing catalog coming in the mail lately, yes, even the summer ones, have the models wearing scarves. Linen, viscose...those look pretty and all but they do not keep you warm. They are accessories, not necessities. 

Introducing....drum roll.......the "Windbreaker Scarf". Using wool and fabric in a sewing project makes me happy. Added in some different ric-rac trims and it's extra fun. Here are a couple of designs so far. 
These scarves remind me of a mullett (spelling) know the saying about "business in the front; party in the back"? That's so corny really but makes me giggle nonetheless. Wellllll, these scarves are party on the outside and business on the inside although the wool felt is dyed to coordinate the fabric so they aren't too far from "party" either. Maybe I should have called them Mul.....nevermind. Way too weird.  

I will be listing some soon on the website and on Etsy and they will be for sale at the farmer's market in Ellensburg if we get accepted. I just put in an application. Keep your fingers crossed.
Happy trails until next time. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Meet "Socks", the Border Leicester ram

This post is all about sheep today and dog puke. Prepare thyself accordingly.

I would like to introduce you to my Mother's Day gift to me..."Socks!" No, not a new pair of socks but they are looming in my future! Took a trip across the valley yesterday to Starshire Ranch and picked up this lovely little guy. He's about 2-1/2 months old. He has a twin brother who is equally as cute but had a teensy bit of black on his face and I have a thing about having my flock of all-white sheep, not for any silly prejudicial reason but for common sheep-sense reasons...can't sell meat lambs to Superior Packing with black fleeces. Marks on the face are okay but I like to avoid any possibility of black whenever possible due to that.

So, Socks came alone to the farm and as you know, sheep are not alone kind of critters. They must have companionship to eliminate stress and help them adjust. But, we have a pretty strict health policy around here of a 3-week quarantine time for new sheep on the farm away from our flock. So, we grabbed "Rosebud", a yearling ewe that because of being a bottle lamb is very tame and was easy to catch. Threw her in with Socks and she was not a happy critter! She thinks boys have cooties (I can't say I disagree some days) and his pestering did not help. He's already showing signs of his future job around here...surprised me! DH said...won't THAT be interesting to have fall lambs. Not! I am sure Socks is free of any sheep diseases and in 3 weeks will be put out with the ewes (along with Rosebud) and lambs until we wean in June and then he will go in with the ram lambs. The older rams are WAY too big and ornery for this cute baby. In fact, since being out on pasture they have ballooned into gargantuan rams. My goodness. 

In case you're wondering, I have broken down and bought some sheep coats and begun the process of coating our Coopworth and now BL sheep. Makes cleaning them up for processing a breeze and their value more as well. It's a pain in the brain as the coats have to be changed as their wool grows but hopefully it's going to be worth it. I HATE skirting fleeces! It's boring, back breaking and tedious and BORING. I have a very short attention span for this sort of work. I'd rather be dyeing, spinning, carding, anything but skirting.

Anyhoooo, Socks is going to be bred to all of our old Coopworth ewes this fall in hopes that we will get a nice bunch of BL/Coop replacement ewes next spring. Coops are a breed developed from BL/Romney breeds so this cross is going to be hard to tell from a purebred BL. With our scrapie certification status, it's difficult to find other pure Coopworth ewes to buy. It's nice being certified but it's a pain for bringing in new bloodlines. Hard to always rely on rams to do that for us. Also, BL have wool that is very very nice for sock yarn....can't wait for his first shearing next year and the babies to come!

And now folks, I promised you I would write about dog vomit and I will not let you down. I must go and clean up the dog barf that Daisy just deposited on 2 rugs and put the comforter in the dryer that she proceeded to urp on earlier! This happens always after the farrier visits...because she insists on over-indulging on hoof pieces. Life on the farm....and dogs in the house. On that happy and distasteful I go!

Happy trails. 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Check out this cute "new" sewing machine

Okay, so I'm driving home from town yesterday...see a bright pink "sale" sign on a telephone pole pointing to a dead end road. Wouldn't you know, my truck took the turn automatically so I had no choice but to stop in? There was the usual household stuff. I asked if they had any old sewing machines for sale and the gentleman said, "like an old treadle or something like that?" I told him, "nope, something electric." He said he did have one that they hadn't used in a long time and he hadn't thought of selling it. Went back to a room and came out with this cutie pie, a Sewmor 606, a Singer clone from the 50's, made in Japan. All metal. She's a straight stitch only machine in great condition and the stitch quality is excellent. He made me a deal I couldn't refuse. Just set her up in the old Singer cabinet, a family heirloom/gift from my MIL, Pat. Fits perfectly. Might have to keep her? (meaning the machine...of course I'm keeping my MIL. Ha!) I have a thing for machines as you might know by now. I cleaned her all up, oiled all of the parts that you oil and she purrs like a little kitten. Don't you love the little cubby where the thread sits? There are a few paint chips on the bed but otherwise, perfect condition! And this color! The picture doesn't do it justice...more of a green than this turquoise in the picture. Two-toned green...I could drive an old pickup this color from the 50' come everything from then has the cute factor going for it?  : )
Well, that's my find for the month. I've been sewing a ton lately with the crummo wind cranked up like a banshee, staying inside more than usual. The lambs and ewes are out on pasture full-time and are out the window of my enjoyable sight for sure. I'll get a picture soon and you can see too!

Over and out for now. Happy trails.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When A Man Loves a Farmgirl....

He brings her flowers and she smiles. He takes her on a surprise destination anniversary trip every year and she's happy. He catches her horse for her when she wants to go for a ride and she's pleased. He is up in the night with her lambing and she's comforted. But he makes her swoon when....

after busting her shovel handle off transplanting overgrown bushes, he comes home and says "there's a surprise for you out in the garage." And there leaning against the wall so seductively is a handsome and steely new fiberglass handled gardening partner just for me! Oh be still my heart...he's a keeper...yes, the shovel, but the hubby first and foremost. He gets me like no one else.    

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

More Home Projects

I'm still plugging away at doing some improvements around the home with a fairly tight budget in mind. A while back I was feeling sick of the leather couch syndrome we've got. When hubby and I got married, we brought into the marriage 2 dogs each, 2 horses each, 2 kids for me and 2 leather couches in addition to everything else. Of course, regarding the couches, they didn't exactly match but we are make-do kind of people so no big deal. Well, kids have flown the nest, only have one of the original dogs from that crew left and after we redid the laminate floors this winter, the leather couches just seem so EWWWWW. Getting on my nerves. Leather wears out very slowly and while this is a good quality, you're stuck with it for a verrrrryyyy long time. But with the budget in mind I put my thinking cap on. First off, got a new rug from Costco for $70 on sale. Nice find with their coupon and it's nice and big. Brightened up the dark leather/wood floor thing we've got going on along with the newly painted light colored walls. OK, would make new throw and I can choose just about any bright fun fabric. When I got into the fabric store in town, The Sewing Corral I fell in deep like with this Anna Marie Horner (if I remember right!) decorator fabric and it was on sale so came home and got started on covering the ottoman.  
See the difference in color tones of the leather? It seems more noticeable in this picture than in real life.

After the ottoman cover. Better huh? It's a start. Next are new throw pillows and curtains for that big front window. Got them done, just got to get pics. I had actually given some thought to recovering one of the couches but decided against it. These wipe up so nicely and we live on a farm so wipeable surfaces are pretty important. And I'm not feeling THAT ambitious...

So, here we are with the new pillows in lighter more modern fabrics. I can live with this. That's pretty much my option right now anyhow. : )

 Now...I have to show you a lamp I inherited from my Aunt Betty. You decorating divas will cringe but it's a lamp I love because it's so unique. However, I've had the shade that I found at Goodwill for $1 for about 8 years or so, as long as I've had the lamp! It's so ugly and with the whiter tone I've got going, I did recently replace it. Here's a pic of the lamp. It's a farrier or horseshoer. Ceramic. Don't know anything about it other than that as far as history of it. 

The shade actually fit the lamp pretty well I thought when I bought it years ago, but here's the new improved version, an Ikea shade we found on our trip a couple of weekends ago.  Now I am going to paint the pole part of the lamp black because it's in pretty bad shape. I won't mess with the ceramic parts of the lamp. It's a classic! : ) If Antiques Road Show ever comes close, I really should take this thing in and see what we've got here. Now you've seen it folks, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Happy trails until the next project is done...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Trip to Port Townsend

Enjoyed a weekend away not this weekend but last, for our anniversary trip. Each year we go to the ocean but this year it was actually Puget Sound which isn't actually the ocean but is saltwater!

Anyhow, Port Townsend was lots of fun with its quaint little downtown full of old buildings and fun shops, etc. Of course, we ate seafood (mmmmm) and did some exploring. 

Had coffee at a "beatnik" underground coffee spot that was super unique and fun! We played tourist. Went on a driving tour of all of the historical buildings throughout the neighborhoods including churches, the Post Office, courthouse and just houses too. The hotel had a map of them all with a bit of history written for each one. Some were now bed and breakfast type places. Also visited Fort Hadlock which was really interesting too just about 15 miles from Port Townsend. Not sure if i have pics of that. Sorry about the dark "thing" in the lower portion of the pics. I took these out of the sunroof of the car and the rack on top kept getting in the way.

Here are some of the neat buildings of which all were on some registry for being historical. Again, not sure which registry or if there's only one. They were just cool, okay? : ) At Fort Hadlock we saw these 2 eagles, a male and female (don't ask how I know that...just trust me, chicks are on the way) and they were very tolerant of people and vehicles. 

This is the courthouse, isn't it impressive? Spectacular. Can't remember the year on it, 1800's?

This one was spectacular as the lawn went right down to the water. Most of these were used as homes. Pretty cool huh?

The tour was fun. If you get the chance or need a weekend getaway, try out Port Townsend and area. Lots of fun and history in the area. I did not include all of the pictures. The self-drive tour takes about a half hour or so depending on how long you sit and "lookie-lou."

We had a nice getaway. Start lambing this coming all of the sheep moved today and into the "drop pen" and we bagged up 52 fleeces into the big wool pool bags...and yes, we got 3 bags full! LOL.

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