Thursday, February 26, 2009

First baby of the season

For those of you who are squeamish, skip the first picture! Ajo was born about 6:45 this evening. This was within moments of his popping out. I had to carry him to the shed with Mouseketeer following, because it was too cold for him to make it outside.
Below is the picture of Ajo that I took at 10 tonight. I am pretty sure that he found his mother's teats, because he was on them when I went out. I don't know if he is actually drinking, so I will go back out one more time before going to bed. He looks healthy and seems to have all of the required parts!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday evening

After all of the funky thick and thin coiled, I decided to spin some lace weight mohair/Merino. I did not realize how fuzzy it was until I looked at a close up photo. The colors are subtle. I actually spun 2 ounces and had 246 yards. I was hoping for more yardage, so I could make another green crochet shawl. Guess I have to use two batts to get enough.

I spent today weaving in hopes of finishing the 12 yard warp. I am getting close but did not make it today. I got distracted by my landscape.I took off the saguaro and moved a mesquite, and spun a lot more yarn to embellish. I have come up with a whole series of yarns that emulate desert plants. I will photograph tomorrow in better light. I created poppies today and hope they look right.If not, another fun looking yarn will go in the shop and I will go back to the wheel.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Nuno felting

I have been dyeing silk every time I dye a batch of wool or mohair in order to have a variety of colors available for nuno felting. Almost all but the red/pinks are gone, so I am hitting the dye pot again tomorrow.
I was talking to the felters on Saturday about mistakes and how they can turn out to be useful or modified to work in other ways. I made a felted bowl over a ball a long time ago. It ended up having a hole that I did not want to fix, so I finally gave it to the ferret last summer. He wore it out, so I took a clutch purse that was too stiff to close properly and gave it to him a few days ago. I happened to see him in it yesterday, so I took a photo. He was totally inside it at one point. He is probably feeling the cold.
I had three ladies drive down to do nuno felting on Saturday. Their shawls all turned out beautifully. I do want to point out that all three of them picked colors that they were wearing. It is most obvious in the one on the far right. They are all much more colorful than they appear in the photo. Arizona sunlight is very harsh!
If you have read this far, I also wanted to say that I lost Latte yesterday. I used to think that it was great to have animals that gave triplets. Since I have lost two to ketosis now, I have revised my opinion.I would be happier with single or twin births that are healthier. I talked to the vet and know that I did what could be done reasonably, but it does not make it any easier. Latte was five years old and pretty laid back. She had become very friendly, so it is hard to see her go. Her daughter, Almond Joy, must know and understand, because she is staying away from the rest of the herd.
Barbara is due any time now. She has full udders and is not giving any signs of stress,, so I am praying that all will go well. So far, it has not been a very good baby season.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Photo Journal

Above are two of the bunnies. They are growing quickly and putting away the food!
A few photos of the yarns currently hanging in my shop. The shop looks very bright with the lighter colors.
My favorite yarns always are hung at the front.
This is the background for an abstract landscape that I felted last Thursday.
Above is the background for the southwestern landscape that I felted on Friday.
The above vegetation is going to be my inspiration for the southwestern landscape.
This yarn is going to be part of the abstract landscape. I love how it turned out.
Eggs galore: The largest egg was the first goose egg of the season and it was laid today. The egg directly to its left is a duck egg. The rest are chicken eggs.
Above is the southwestern shawl. I plan to crochet a cowboy hat and a bolo tie to add to a section that turned out rather plain. Otherwise, I am happy to say that it is done!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Moving on

I went to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show today and picked up enough beads to get me through the next two years. They will be my color inspiration for a while. The multicolored strings were the most interesting this year. I have learned that the weight of the beads makes a big difference in spinning and the final look of the yarn, so I went lighter and looked for different styles. There was a definite shortage of purple beads. The attendance at the show was a lot less than last year. It was nice not to have to fight the crowds.
I discovered that none of my white does were bred by No Size's Father, so he got replaced by younger bucks. I am not sure, if they will breed. They will have babies in July, so I will have to watch to be sure that they don't wilt in the heat. The young does, that were moved to a regular pen, have yet to figure out that putting their heads through the fence means they can't get them back out. I removed three from the fence yesterday and had to help three others tonight.
This is the laid out version of an abstract landscape that I lay out and then wet felted on Thursday. I will photograph the felted piece before I start embellishing it. It looks nothing like the picture above. My southwestern landscape sold on Friday, so I lay out and wet felted the base for another one. My goal is to make sure that it looks like the Tucson area and nothing like the previous ones. I don't want to get in a rut. I have already spun a few yarns for its surface design.

A friend caught this hummingbird that flew into the studio to check out my yarns. My friend, Stacy, is teaching a class here on needlefelting a hummingbird on the 21st of February. How can you resist?
This is Lindt with one of her babies. I have not named them yet. They will be named after cities in Arizona, since that is my theme for the year.
I am sad to report that Garnet and her lambs did not make it. I had to deal with it myself before I could write about it. My breeder friends told me that I did all of the right things. Unfortunately, once they get it, is is usually too late to do anything. She would have been the first to deliver, so I am going to be antsy, until one of the does or ewes delivers safely. Several ewes and one doe are fairly soon. I hope they wait till after Thursday, when the weather will return to being nice.
I know that losing an animal is part of the farm circle of life, but that does not make it any easier. Each of the animal's that I keep has some characteristic that makes it special. Garnet was friendly and had really cool looking horns. She is already missed.