Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The To Done (Mostly) List

Busy, busy weekend. One bobcat and 27 tons of rock later, Lila's lost her bestest toy ever.

After dealing with inches and inches of snow and then so much rain all spring, we decided to double the gravel the size of the barn lot - behind the barn. Maybe it's just me, but doesn't this picture just reek of heat and humidity?

Farm sitter extraordinaire Barbara came out and we gave Hank a much needed bath.

The dye garden was weeded and mulched.

The new doors have been fitted and hung.

Some open work space in the wash room.

And the carpet has been found (and vacuumed) in the wool room.

Of course the to done list is just temporarily done and the to do list just keeps growing, but still, it's nice to feel like I could go in and start weaving on the Punkin throw...

I should put that on my list.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Great American Back [Porch] Camp Out

Lila thought that was the greatest thing ever - even better than her rock pile. She slept on my bed the whole night. She'd get up to get something to eat or drink and right back she'd come. I woke up at one point and she was sleeping with her head on my stomach. This morning she was sleeping in the crook of my arm.

Not sure we made any progress on sleeping out there by herself, but it was pretty sweet.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Poor Lil Lila

One day you are sleeping on a cushy bed in the house and the next you are lucky to get a pile of rocks.

What? I'm not sleeping in the house anymore???

We're finally moving outside. It's hard being a single lamb, not having anyone to buddy up with on the porch. Iris is afraid of the dark and Weaslie's, well, Weaslie... I've got my bedroll set up and we are looking forward to a camp out for this first night.

It's going to be hard to keep Lila from wanting to sleep out on the rock pile though. This is her new favorite toy.

Up and down and back up...until it's nap time.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Show And Tell

Monday (yes, five days ago - you gotta give me a break, blogger and the latest Firefox upgrade were having issues) the wool house porch was abuzz with color and talent.

Several years ago a neighbor (we're all neighbors in Cynthiana/Harrison County) called to ask if she could set up a farm visit while her sister from NH was in town. Of course. And from that visit I made some more new, fun and interesting friends.

If you've seen/tried to steal my gorgeous felted laptop bag, this is the artist. She is never allowed to visit without show and tell! Grab a cup of coffee and spend a few minutes. This should really be a 40 picture post.

A nuno felted scarf she made for the "local" sister. Could the colors be any more perfect?

She brought so many beautiful projects, but this was my favorite. Felted from an heirloom wool scarf and (insert something exotic that I can't remember) wool batts. Can you see the scarf showing through?

She picked up a set of beautiful leather handles from Homestead Heirlooms at the festival. The perfect finishing touch.

And she knits too. Yet another first lace project. BOOOO!!!!!

Even more interestingly, my connection to this fun group of sisters could have begun years ago. I took a (required) college art history class from the sister in the top photo. Who's also a felter. Look how the colors in her painting match the colors in the back yard.

And a weaver.

So colorful. If I'd known "x" years ago that I had any interest in art...

And they can make derby hats too :-D.

Stella thought she didn't have any show and tell, but her lovely knitted lace afghan lives in the wool house and one of my most treasured gifts.

And the grand finale - Miss Renny! Remember Cathy's painting of Hank? Just amazing. And it's even more amazing than it looks. Due to my negligent photography you are missing that it's three dimensional. Looks like she'll need to come back for another visit!

So everyone had some show and tell. And then they turned to me.

"I got nothing."

It's probably not a good sign when you can summarize things with yet another famous City Boy quote ;-).

I don't have the Punkin throw finished, Janbaby's KAL scarf, the striped knit shawl. I have "x" fleeces stashed in the loft. I didn't get my yarn spun for the skein competition. I haven't painted anything since Christmas. The list is endless...and depressing.

However - and I'm not exactly sure what I'm trying to say - we have a nice, friendly, peaceful farm where the work isn't horribly behind (okay, it's behind, but not horribly - come on, it's springtime and it won't stop raining ;-). We all lived through the 2nd Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival and while I'm never completely happy, for the most part everything went really well and we were proud to be a part of it.

I'm pretty good at teaching people how to take care of/work with wool. I have a darling bottle baby who's delighted so many people this spring. I take decent photos and enjoy sharing as many stories as I can, time permitting, and I can put together a heck of a porch party - well, except for food, beverages, basic vacuuming... Sigh.

For now, at this point in my life, I think that's my show and tell. A little bit of everything, all jumbled together, like the colors in Jinney's rugs, the wisps of magic in June's scarves, the pieces of tin foil (I kid you not) adorning Beth's derby hat, the steadiness of Stella's knitting and the light in Renny's eye.

And maybe that's okay.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

More Festival Fun

One of the best things about fiber festivals (or dog trials) is the new friends I always make.

Dr. Wendy Schmaltz, a veterinarian and stock dog competitor from Alberta, Canada, kindly came up to the fiber festival with her dogs Floss and Gin and did a couple wonderful demonstrations over the weekend.

Her somewhat willing participants, three rams from the University of Kentucky.

"We're gonna do what?!?"

"You're going to do whatever I tell you!"

"Fffpppppttttt!" (Click to biggify. Doesn't it look like that sheep is giving Gin a big raspberry ;-)

"Okay, okay. Lighten up. We were just kidding!"

The best part of the demonstration was when she pulled three kids from the crowd and let them try to herd the sheep around a small course. I was holding the camera. You know, the one with the video function. Sadly...

Thank you Dr. Wendy! I enjoyed meeting you and we are all looking forward to seeing you again next year. Congratulations on making the double lift and finishing 17th overall!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The All Lila Blog

Well, of course it is!

Much to Iris and Weaslie's dismay.

Resting up after the festival.

We had a good weekend. The weather was hot and we had a couple storm problems, but knowing the weather that weekend in Kentucky, we might all be wearing parkas next year and wishing for 83 and humid. Well, not me of course! ;-)

A huge thank you to Alice and Cathy for basically running my entire booth for me. I got to visit with only a tiny handful of people over the whole weekend and that was a real bummer. I will definitely be making some time management changes for next year. I can't do everything - repeat to self...over and over.

Thanks to Auntie Reg, Lila had an enjoyable, stress-free weekend. And as the weekend went on and Lila became more confident/pretty sure the festival was all for her, everyone got a chance to do a little Lila sitting. It apparently doesn't take a village, but an entire livestock pavilion...

Back home with her dollies. Lila does not have much interest in the real sheep in the barn, but she does love her stuffed sheep. Much to their dismay as well I'd have to guess. I wouldn't be surprised if these two sheep and the dogs don't have a big party when Lila moves out to the barn.

Somehow I again managed to take no pictures of my booth this year. I'm glad Jim (we'll have to hire you to be our official festival photographer!) took this one. Don't the two little girls look like they could be sisters with that red hair and red spots!

All Lila, all the time.

Well, of course it is ;-).

For more festival pictures, stories and comments, check out the Festival Facebook Page.

Friday, May 20, 2011


At this particular moment I was talking to one person about custom spinning, talking to another person about some fleeces they wanted to sell in the Kentucky Producers Fleece Sale, giving directions to someone on the phone and some attention to Lila, who was such a good girl all day long.

Setting up a booth at a festival can be hectic. Trying to do it along with helping organize a big event is almost nuts. Holding a sweet baby for a few minutes makes everything just a little bit better.

The festival weather forecast is looking good for the weekend, well for everyone except me. If sunny and 80's sounds good to you, fine. Give me 65 and overcast any day ;-).

Come see us! And don't forget the Punkin's Patch meet up tomorrow evening 6:00.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Little Helper

Or (sniffle sniffle) should I say Big Helper. I know it's what these cute babies are supposed to do, but why does it have to happen so fast :-(.

Lovely Lila. Waiting so patiently on the wool house steps for me to finish working and come do something fun with her...or give her a ba-ba ;-). Such a good baby.

Things are looking good over at the festival grounds. I didn't get everything ready that I'd hoped to (No skein competition yarn again? Really?), but we'll have a fun weekend regardless.

Lila's looking forward to seeing all the sights. Also the Punkin's Patch meet up on Saturday evening at 6:00. She loves parties...if I'm holding her (she's very, very shy).

Holding her was much easier a couple weeks ago.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


My favorite time of day.

Beautiful light and some incoming weather - a win/win.

Hank resting up for a long night's work. Click to biggify. What a sweet face.

Comby perched between the hummingbird feeder and a nest in the wool house porch. One way or the other....he didn't catch a bird ;-). He's faking his sweet face.

Lila - house trained (mostly), stays out of trouble (mostly) AND pulls weeds in the driveway. No need to fake a sweet face here.

The old man. Handy hit a rough patch (we think he slipped in the mud) coming out of winter, but he's back to normal...which is why there's a plank down in the first picture. The three boys like to rough house over the fence.

Unbelievably I hit my own rough patch again. I thought once I lived through winter I'd be good to go. Nope - laid out by the crud. Again. Give me a break! At least it was this past weekend though. The fiber festival is this weekend!

Punkin's Patch/Equinox Farm will be there. B. Willard (the black sheep), Woolliam (the curly sheep), Marcel (the huggable brown sheep), Heidi (the spotted sheep) and Beanie Baby (the big horned sheep) will be there too. Oh, and of course Lila (the cutest sheep ;-).

Last year Saturday was insanely busy. Hopefully it will be again this year. At the end of the day favorite time of things start to slow down...and we all can take a deep breath...and exhale...please come (back) by the booth at 6:00 for a special Punkin's Patch meet up.

Renny herself can't be there (she doesn't have a numbered ear tag), but she's sending over a couple little gifts for everyone.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Momma's Brag Book

No matter how dorky you look, if your kid makes the front page of the local paper, you gotta show it off ;-).

Lila may be one of the most well traveled sheep around. This particular day she was doing a meet and greet to promote the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival at the annual Harrison County Homemakers Day downtown.

Lila's been to church, been out to visit a big sheep farm, been to the vet's office, ridden back and forth on the ferry across the Ohio River, toured the wool mill (so she'd be able to come back and tell everyone about their wool being carded ;-).

She's watched us pick up bee swarms, helped install a package of bees at a friend's house (she's sure she knows all about bees now), stopped by various places for lunch or snacks (nothing funnier than going through a drive thru with a sheep :-) and is a mean asparagus harvester.

The other night several of the punks (aka Sherman, Marcel, B. Willard, Keebler, Graham and Blizzard) jimmied the gate and took off running through the barn. I stopped them, got them turned around (not a small feat) and clapped my hands to send them back down the aisleway.

Lila, having lived with a Border Collie, apparently knew all about herding sheep and she helped chase them back out. As the last one cleared the gate, she stopped and looked back at me and I think I heard her say "That'll do."

She's the one that needs to write a book!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Very Pretty Thing

Disclaimer: I did not knit this.

Janbaby's first lace knitting project.

Perfectly matched to our weigela.

Okay, did you get that?

Her first lace.

Can we all get together here?

For a collective "BOOOO!!!! We hate you, Janbaby!"

It's easier to keep the envy at bay that way ;-).


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