Thursday, December 31, 2015

Well?



"I think it'll fly."

B. Willard's been wanting in on the space ship action for awhile.  He, Murphy and Baaxter gave the "sheep camp" a good check.  And Andy just thought that was a fancy water trough...  He'll learn ;-).

This was my home away from home during the remodel.  The Jeff Foxworthy underpinning was for the couple nights it got in the 20's.  Luckily most of the late fall/into winter was super warm so the living was easy and I was actually sort of sad to move back home.  

Parked next to the barn, I could hear Graham and Petunia's bells chiming any time I woke up during the night.  I'd hear coyotes off in the distance, here Hank's "reply" and go right back to sleep.  Rain on the roof was a treat as well.  It was just like camping, but with a furnace, hot running water, a computer and a coffee pot :-).  

The remodel is basically done.  We are finishing a couple small projects and I have some painting to do.  I've  been waiting for some sunshine (natural light) to take some pictures, but I'm beginning to wonder...  I'll try to get some pictures this afternoon regardless.  It should will all be straightened up before the new year starts.

What are your new year "superstitions"?


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Mr. Popular

I turned Graham and Andy out with the main flock this morning.  I took a bunch of pictures, some pretty, some funny.  These shots of Graham and Ewen McTeagle, however, stole my heart.  I had no idea they were such buddies, the two titans of the flock.  They stood together catching up for several minutes.  



Animals don't have feelings?  Yeah, right...


Monday, December 28, 2015

A River Runs Through It


This is the first time the sheep have been out in at least two days.  I say "at least" like I don't know for sure, because at this point I really don't remember the last time I saw them out.  It feels like it's been raining forever.  Even Hickory's given up at this point and taken to the barn!


Friday, December 25, 2015

Dreaming Of A Wet Christmas

Just doesn't have the same ring to it ;-).  Two big puzzles (one easy-ish and one I think is going to be pretty tough, but fun :-) for today.  From the archives, because I think we'd all rather dream of a white Christmas.  

Remember, there are some buttons you can click on the bottom of the puzzle that might be of some help.  I haven't tried them, but I'm guessing the "image" button probably shows you what the puzzle is going to look like.  No clue on "ghost" or "arrange".  The arrow on the bottom right makes it bigger.

Have fun and Merry Christmas!








Thursday, December 24, 2015

Santa Andy

So the rogue outlaw has turned out to be anything but.  So much so that I've given him the name Andy because he reminds me of my old horse Handy, who also came with an actual bad reputation, not just for being a brat.

The weather has been crazy warm and everyone was out enjoying it today.  Stella came over to help me decorate the sorely neglected Wool House and then we pulled out some Santa hats and introduced Andy to "how things work around here".  He had a blast :-).


First one out the gate.


"Cookies?  Got it!"


"Wear a silly hat and pose for pictures?  No problem!"


"Go out the other door to see if we could get some pictures with all the spring green grass?  I'll be the first one out again!"


"Back in to beg for more cookies?  I think I like this game!"


"He's a quick learner and I'm a good teacher." (See Graham's legs in the reflection?)


"This is the Wool House.  This is where the spinning wheels and looms are."


"Wow!  It's just like I always dreamed about."


He gave 20 a full introduction, but fat Graham was blocking all those pictures ;-).


Lots to check out.


"Well, I'll be..."


"This was as fun as you said it would be!"


Everyone needs a good friend (see T-Bone and Hickory in the background :-).

There will be a Christmas Eve cookie party tonight.  I'm not sure if I'm up for a video, but we'll see.  Don't forget to notice the moon.  It was gorgeous coming up over the front field this evening!

Here is a fun "practice puzzle" for my fellow puzzle junkies. I'm planning a Big Puzzle for tomorrow :-D.



Saturday, December 19, 2015

Turns Out There's Still A Little Room In The Inn

I've been following the story of this lamb, one of Liddy's cousins, all fall.  The Rogue Lamb.  Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.  Or crawl under fences.  Or through fences.  Or slip out a gate or  maybe through the gate. Or teleport maybe?  It's hard to say.  I was there for one escape and I can't say for sure how he did it.

He's been weaned four times.  Each time he's decided he doesn't care to live with the kids his own age and the next thing Kathy knows, he's back in the ewe flock.  Didn't even have to be his mother's group - any groups of ewes would work.  He wasn't interested in "getting to know them better".  He just didn't want to live with the lambs.  I'd love to know why.

Part as a challenge and part because I've enjoyed following his crazy adventures (his pretty fleece didn't hurt either ;-) I decided he needed to join our flock.  "What do you want that outlaw for?!?" Kathy asked.  Well, I'm not thecrazysheeplady for nothing ;-).  I appreciate that he's made a stand.  Let's see where his story leads.  But first he needs a name.  

While he may always end up being called The Rogue Lamb, I think we can do better.  He's super smart.  Very clever and sly.  He's apparently managed to get himself in and out of any number of crazy situations sneaking from field to field without "pitching himself headfirst into a coffee table and knocking himself silly".  I don't really feel like he's a true outlaw, trying to be bad.  Maybe more of a wily trickster, out on the [lamb].  Any thoughts?

In the meantime, here are a few quick snaps from my iPhone this afternoon.  I'll try to get some better pictures tomorrow.  




"If you think that story about me pitching myself head first into the coffee table and knocking myself  silly was amazing, wait til I tell you about some of my other adventures!"


His first friend is Maisie and he's living with Graham - everybody better look out!


"Hi, I'm Hank.  I'm your new guard dog.  Welcome to the farm.  I think you'll like it here."


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Pretty Please?


"Can I have some Old Sheep food?"


"Pleeeeaaasssee?"

No, Woody.  I'm sorry.  You are neither old, nor skinny.  That's a good thing!


"It doesn't feel like a good thing."

Could you resist that face?  Me neither.  I almost always cave ;-).

We're still here.  The end is near...and not in the Far Side cartoon way...yet.




Friday, December 11, 2015

Good Point

While everyone was in agreement that the Orneries were pretty darn cute, it was quickly (and frequently ;-) noted that Maisie would surely not be happy about wearing that [stupid] red bow.  True dat.  I think this tag (which could actually be it's own ornament) will help meet her approval.


While I am very happy to make Maisie Orneries for you, I think having a kit option adds some extra fun.  


Each kit contains a cut out sheep shape, enough Maisie wool to wrap it extra fluffy, a piece of Maisie's yarn leftover from the sweater for her tail, a piece of red Lamb Camp yarn for the [stupid] bow, a tiny brass bell (because you know she'd LOVE that haha), a piece of fishing line I pinched from Saint Tim for a hanger and a Maisie Christmas! tag.


I didn't print out a set of instructions for each kit because I think the tutorial from the other day works pretty well.  It's noted on the back of the tag and I've posted a "blog button" for an easy link.  I also didn't include a felting needle because you really don't need it and leaving it out makes this a fun project for children of all ages ;-).


The kits are $5 each.  A completed Ornerie (also with matching tag) is $7.50.

Here's where it starts to get a little weird.  Shipping...  I tried really hard to stick a Maisie Ornerie in a small padded flat mailer, but I couldn't go through with it.  Yes, I realize it's not a real sheep, but the thought of Maisies running through the rollers at the post office, possibly several times...even though that Does Indeed sound like something that would happen to Maisie....  

Shipping in a Small Flat Rate Box is going to be $5.95.  I hate that, but it keeps Maisie safe (and thecrazysheeplady a little saner - shut up! ;-) and if you wanted, you could stick a bunch of Orneries or some Christmas note cards or something else small in there for no additional shipping cost.  

P.S. I've really stressed over this (shipping cost), but finally realized that the folks who aren't going to understand this...are probably not reading this blog in the first place ;-).


*      *      *      *      * 

Updated - If you'd like to order an Ornerie or kit, just drop me an email thecrazysheepladyATgmailDOTcom and let me know what you'd like and your shipping address and I'll get them right out!

Thank you all for your support!  It really helps :-D.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...

...Maisie Week!

I mentioned the other day that we'd had to re-print all the Christmas cards this year and that it sort of involved Maisie...as most things usually do.  What happened was in setting up the diagram of characters for the back of this year's card, I assigned Maisie the number 1.  Spud was supposed to be number 10. but I cut the 0 off and he ended up number 1. as well.

Now it would have been classic if Maisie had been assigned number 10. and she cut the 0. off so she'd be number 1. but alas it was just an error on my part...as most things usually are.  Sweet Spud could care less what number he was and besides, he was too busy eating gold, frankincense and myrrh Cheerios to notice ;-).

Merry Christmas Everyone!



And if you'd like some puzzle fun :-).





Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Yarn Along - I Thought You Finished That Sweater Months Ago!

 The Maisie sweater is finally really done. It's been missing buttons for almost a year.  


I felt like it needed some wooden buttons, but couldn't find exactly what I wanted.  I tried painting three buttons - one with Hank, one with Maisie and one with a heart.  They were super cute, but didn't look right on the sweater.  


Then, last month, I won a beautiful wooden carved tree necklace.  WoolyMossRoots was sponsoring a giveaway on Ginny's blog - a delightful read every day, not just for the Yarn Along - and I won :-D. 


Possibly it was fate or maybe I just got lucky.  Regardless, in finding their website, I found the perfect buttons for Maisie's sweater.  


I love how the intricately carved Celtic knot so closely mirrors the cables down the sleeve.  And they are wood.  And handmade.  Perfect!  They have many beautiful designs (including chickens!).  I can't wait for my next buttoned project :-).


And then, as with all good knitting photo shoots around here, someone has to volunteer to help.   Eli.


And then when they realize they are actually being helpful (doesn't he look handsome in the first picture?)...they leave.  Eli... ;-)

Sewing buttons on a knitted sweater is as close to knitting as I've come so far this week.  I am listening to a nice story, An Irish Country Christmas by Patrick Taylor.  Some of the voices are a little irritating, but the story is good - might be better on paper ;-).  A short story I thoroughly enjoyed was The Tree Nobody Wanted by Tom McCann.  

I love reading/listening to Christmas stories.  Any suggestions?

Joining in with Ginny...


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Maisie's Christmas "Orneries"

Back in the early fall when we were making plans for the house remodel, I naively thought I'd be getting SO much extra work done at the Wool House because I'd be hiding out up there while the guys worked (go ahead - insert insane laughter ;-).  I made a list of fun projects I wanted to get done - Christmas cards, felted sheep, wool wreaths and Maisie ornies (slang for ornaments).  As I wrote "ornie" I couldn't help but change it to ornerie :-D.

I finally got the Christmas card painted and off to the printer (aka Saint Tim) Saturday...and again Monday (a long story that of course sort of involves Maisie) and decided that maybe it wasn't too late to think about a Maisie Ornerie.  


The first thing I did was dye a skein of Lamb Camp yarn a rich Christmas red.  Well, at first I dyed it a too purple-y red because I added too much black, but Sheepmom suggested over-dyeing it with some yellow and that fixed it.  Well, the really first thing I did was have some white mat board cut into sheep shapes, so the next first thing I did was find where I'd stashed them ;-).  

Want to make a Maisie Ornerie?  

You'll need a small piece of cardboard, some wool roving, yarn or ribbon for the bow, yarn for a tail and a small brass bell.  A tapestry needle would be handy.  A felting needle is helpful, but not necessary.  A hot glue gun...everyone should have a hot glue gun!  Needle nose pliers will help, too. Oh, and some thread or fishing line for a hanger.



Mat board is good and solid, but poster board would work just fine and will be easier to cut by hand. Sheep are a pretty simple shape.  You just need some legs and a head and a hole about halfway back for a hanger.


The next step is to draft out/thin down (if your roving is fat) some of your favorite wool roving.  I'm using actual Maisie wool so it's very fat ;-D.


Start wrapping around the cut out.  I go around the body horizontally and then around the neck and then around the body vertically.  If you don't like how it looks, unwrap it and start over.  


Sheep are a pretty simple shape - round and fluffy ;-).



If you have a felting needle handy, use it to tuck in any loose ends or straggly fibers.  Felting needles are a special type of needle that have barbs (click to biggify) along the pointy end that catch individual wool fibers as you push it in and tangle them with other fibers as you pull it out - over and over.  

Safety disclaimer - yes, you can push them into your fingers and no, you really don't want to do that. But you will, so they say you should make sure you have a current tetanus shot...which you should anyway.  But still, try to not stick yourself...but you will.  You've been warned ;-).


Here's something interesting you might not know.  Or maybe you do know and I was the only one who didn't...but if I was the only one who didn't know, they wouldn't have posted this really interesting TED talk about tying your shoes (and other bows).  It's very short.  Go watch it.  It will change your life.  I promise.  You'll never tie another crooked/sideways bow again!


For my Maisie Ornerie I added a tail.  Most sheep don't have tails so you may not care to add this extra step.  I used some leftover Maisie sweater yarn and threaded it along the top of the ornerie, just out a bit by the head, removed the tapestry needle and pulled back on the tail until the front of the yarn was hidden by wool.


I used my felting needle to tack it a few times (poke, poke, poke), just to be safe, but as long as your cat doesn't get ahold of it, it should stay pretty secure without the needle.


Run a piece of thread or fishing line through the hole in the middle.


Use needle nosed pliers (just trust me on this) to hold the tiny bell and put a small dab of hot glue on the bell and stick it to the bottom of the bow.


A Maisie Ornerie or another favorite sheep ornie :-)


It's starting to look a little like Christmas around here, but it sure doesn't feel like Christmas.  Yes, I was making these outside on the porch watching the sheep graze on the still pretty darn green grass. It was something crazy like 60 some degrees this afternoon.  Gorgeous. 


I realize it's getting a little late in the game, but I do have a small basket of Maisie Orneries ready to sell.  As I was typing out the directions, I thought I could probably put together a kit to make your own as well.  Any interest?

*      *      *      *      * 

Updated - If you'd like to order an Ornerie or kit, just drop me an email thecrazysheepladyATgmailDOTcom and let me know what you'd like and your shipping address and I'll get them right out.

Thank you all for your support!  It really helps :-D.


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