Monday, July 30, 2012

Stupid Sheeps

Won't ever do what you want 'em to do (grumble grumble).

Wouldn't this photo be awesome with some sheep grazing amid the early morning sunbeams? picked It's A Small Town Life, In Sheep Clothing and thekitchensgarden as book winners. Please drop me an email and let me know if you are interested in one of the books and, if so, which book you'd like. If you aren't interested, don't worry. We'll draw another number :-).

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sunday Stills - Fade To Black

"...include the color black into either the subject or the background…"

Iris. I had fun playing with different aperture settings with this shot. I think this one has just the right amount of toe blur. When her front feet were less blurry the photo was too busy. When they were more blurry it kind of lost interest.

In honor of Ed's last Sunday Stills challenge, I thought I'd try for a sunset silhouette...and ended up with a power line shot. That was one of the most memorable challenges for me because after Ed pointed out how many times power lines spoil shots, I now see them everywhere!

Blossom's white and her cot is navy blue...but using the Tadaa app on my iPhone, I've faded her into black ;-).

Those eyelashes.

For more Sunday Stills...

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Ravellenic Games

The Ravellenic Games (previously known as The Knitting Olympics) start tonight!

While I think technically you are supposed to cast on a new project during the opening ceremonies (of which I've heard might include sheep and maybe a Border Collie too :-D), I am breaking the "rules", putting on my big girl panties and...wait for it...completing the Fair Isle portion of the Jester sweater. Finally.

I have the requisite cat lined up. Claire Bear's been training hard.

Two of the best Fair Isle books at hand. (Oops - amended to three. Forgot I had Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified at the house. It was part of the barn sale find :-).

And my poor, lonesome, neglected Jester sweater.

Which looks like my first step will be picking up some dropped stitches. Sigh. I deserve them.

I hit a great yard (actually barn) sale last weekend and scored a bunch of new knitting books. I ended up with some at home duplicates because I gobbled them all up just like the lady in front of me grabbed all the spare reins ;-).

Anyone interested in a Ravellenic kick off knitting (or crochet) giveaway? Leave me a comment and I'll draw three winners on Sunday evening.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lamb Notes

"This mulch is yummy!" :-)

I try to give my bottle lambs as "normal" life as possible. Like a real sheep mom, I stay with them or keep them with me as much as I can. I feed lots of little bottles throughout the day. If I need to run to the grocery (yes, on rare occasions I do that ;-) I leave them with a sitter - usually Iris.

When Blossom got sick, her Auntie Reg came to stay with her while Uncle John and I went to Masterson to set up for the fiber festival. Being sick is stressful enough. Being left all alone while you are sick would be that much worse :-(. Honestly, even under ideal situations, just being a bottle lamb is stressful. Lambies need their mommas, so I try my best to be a good replacement.

On the flip side, being a lamb momma is stressful too. Things can go wrong so quickly with those babies. Getting up in the middle of the night is exhausting. Washing bottles turns your hands into sandpaper. However, knowing that in real life much of the time mommas and babies are sitting out in the the warm sun or under a shade tree, and trying to give each lamb as much of that experience as I can, is a great reward.

I use that time to catch up on my stack of magazines that I haven't let myself sit down and read (?!?). I actually read books. Tailchaser's Song was a favorite this spring. I plan spinning, knitting and weaving projects. I take lots of pictures, do some sketching, make story notes for a possible Hank book, think of things to do with all. that. wool. and sometimes just take a nap.

Because there is nothing like a warm spring nap cuddled up with a sweet baby :-).

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Some Blasts From The Past

I had the big girl camera up at the barn the other day...and needed it at the house. Of course. Normally I'd walk up there and get it, but it was the middle of a super hot afternoon and I really didn't feel like it.

I dug out the D40, snapped the picture I needed and pulled the card to download it and found a whole bunch of early spring pictures.

Dear old Miss Ewenice :-/. And sweet Hank. This was when she first got down and couldn't get up by herself. I had helped her out into the warm sun and Hank, knowing something wasn't right, sat out there with her.

The Adventure the BIRD FEEDER. There is nothing romantic about a chickens outside your window in the morning.

"Yeah, um, looks like she hasn't filled the feeders yet."

"What a slacker."

"Those cardinals are going to be hungry this morning."

"Yeah, we're just concerned about the cardinals."

"Oh, of course. It's not that we would ever eat sunflower seeds."

"I'll just sit here and wait for her to come out."

Iris, why the silly face?

"I'm stuck babysitting again." Sigh.

Yep, I found more Blossom pictures :-D.

What on earth are you eating, Baba?!?

Want to see more?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Wishful Thinking

Doesn't this look like a fall picture? B. Willard and Sherman. Still good brothers :-).

Yesterday morning.

Last big crunch day on the barn renovation and clean up. Looking forward to a return to "normalcy".

Friday, July 20, 2012

Off Duty...For A Minute

Hank works hard all night. Not that he doesn't work during the day, but his "busy" schedule is dusk til dawn. He naps off and on for most of the day, especially when it's hot like this, but he also takes one last hard nap in the late afternoon before clocking in and then again in the morning after everything's settled down.

That's Renny's broad as a barn backside by the way. Her face, tail and around her legs stayed dark brown, but the rest of her is medium gray bleached out to tan. What sort of Shetland color pattern might match that?

Hank's looking over at his buddy Marcel.

He loves Marcel. We all do. Just a nice, nice sheep. He never causes any trouble so sometimes he just flies along under the radar. What makes him sad. Seriously. So then he'll walk over to me, look up and say, "Would you please give me a hug?" which of course I do and some kisses too and that's all he wants and he walks off happy. Seriously.

Some sheep like hugs (Ewen is a big hugger) and some don't. I catch Willard on a regular basis and force a hug and kiss on him and then he says "Blech!" and staggers off ;-). Buddy likes to be scratched, as does Henri and Annabelly. Petunia likes her face scritched, as does Blossom. Graham doesn't care what you do to him just so long as you are doing something. Go ahead and paddle him. If you don't know what he's done, he does! Just kidding...sort of ;-).

I always think it's funny to watch what the sheep are doing in the background. Do you see goofy Graham peaking over the back?

And the crowd disperses. Except Renny, who's noticed that the gate to the hay stall isn't latched. Hank's watching her...but decides to "let it slide". I did too. Between the two of us, he's the better employee for sure.

Still hot, but we've gotten a couple rains in the last two days. Maybe a drought breaker? I feel a bit more rejuvenated regardless. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with the barn renovation. The My Favorite Sheep Tour de Fleece team is kicking it. Blossom's getting bigger every day...but she's still a sweet lil lambie who likes to take naps on her cot :-).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lavender Bees

This is actually an established plant near the house, not the new bed. But someday :-).

Our honey bees (this is not a honey bee, but all bees are important) have been quiet.

Our yard full of white clover is brown.

We got some rain last week and things perked up for a couple days. A couple days.

I have the new lavender garden all tucked in. Everyone is doing fine so far. Looking forward to next year. Wait. Just looking forward to fall and winter. It will be awhile before I'm ready (if ever) for next summer.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mr. Handsome

We haven't had any Keebler love in awhile ;-).

Such a poser. He somehow understands the camera and loves to have his picture taken.

I am getting a little Tour de Fleece spinning in, but yeesh... This has been a brutal summer :-/.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

For The Record...

"I have the best trick - keeping your stupid sheep safe."

"I am the cutest mutt (crossbred Great Pyrenees/Maremma)."

"I have the loudest bark."

"And the puffiest, waggliest tail."

"I am the best behaved dog."

"And I smell the most."

"He DOES smell godawful."

Here's a (sorta shaky - sorry) video of the Grand Champion showing some of his winning moves. It's a bit long (two minutes) for dial up folks, but if you can stick it out to the end, that's the best part :-).

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Dog And Pony Show

Well, without the pony... It was too hot on the horse show night to even think about going over.

This is county fair week. Always fun. Our neighborhood (The Mount Vernon Mafia ;-) always works the gate on Monday nights. When it slows down later in the evening, I go check to see how our wares fared and call Stella with the ribbon report.

She got a blue ribbon for her honey and a white for her lace shawl and I got a couple blues for the Fair Isle mittens, the wool wreath and a red for the B. Willard sweater.

Last night they had a dog show with fun classes like Best Trick, Cutest Mutt, Waggliest Tail, Longest Sit and Best Behaved. Miss Tilly/Weaslie doesn't do any tricks, has no tail, only sits if there is food involved and best behaved...? That would be Iris ;-).

Look at these cuties :-).

Waiting patiently.

Longest sit? This beautiful dog has it down pat!

The class should have been Handsomest Mutt. Quite a poser.

An excellent costume.

"How was that? Did I do good?"

Yes, you did good.

Iris ended up Reserve Champion and won a 40 lb bag of dog food from Tractor Supply Company and a grooming certificate for The Animal House. Thanks :-D.

"But...didn't I just get a bath???"

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Little Sigh Of Relief

"Is that a cool(ish) breeze I feel?"

"Yeah, this is much better."

We got about 45 minutes worth of rain yesterday. And the temperature didn't break 90. For the first time since I can no longer remember.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sunday Stills - Winter Pics

Yep ya’ll read right, so this will be an archive challenge. Its too darn hot to go out looking for pics this week so stay in and enjoy the A/C and lets see some pics of winters past and feel the chill..

Jester - one of my all time favorite pictures.

An encore from March 7. Trying not to weep uncontrollably looking at these pictures :'-(.


Elizabeth and her daughter Allie. They aren't tight like Emily and The Bellies so I don't have many shots of them together.

Buddy, Renny, B. Willard

The Snow Dog!

Woolliam and Renny

B. Willard

Petunia and Buddy

This picture reminds me of The Chronicles of Narnia. That's Henrietta, Boudreaux and Petunia.

For more wintery Sunday Stills...


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