Thursday, December 28, 2023

Calendar Sale

I'd first like to say THANK YOU for all the calendars, cards and other farm shop items purchased this fall and winter.  Those sales go directly to the care of all the animals here and while no one will ever go without, I am quite sure everyone is happy to feel like they are all equally important to helping keep the hay loft and grain bins full, the lights on, their vet bills paid and the cookie larder loaded.  Well, Archie might not be covering all of his vet expenses, but he's trying ;-).

There are 11 2024 calendars left and several sets of companion note cards. They are now on sale if anyone is still needing a fun calendar for the new year.  While they last...

Calendars $20

Note Cards $10

Sets $25

If you are interested, just drop me an email to let me know what you'd like and where to ship it and I'll get it sent out right away!

Thank you so very much!

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

A Hoppy Christmas!

Back in the summer I had one lonely frog living behind the Wool House.  I guess he was lonely, but maybe he was happy back there by himself.  Regardless, he hung out all through the summer and fall, eating bugs, hopping into the water collection tubs if I startled him. 

I assumed he would go burrow down in one of the gardens when it got cold and all the bugs disappeared, but it really hasn't gotten that cold and the bugs really haven't all disappeared so I wasn't completely surprised to see him scrambling around in the bottom of his tub when I startled him the other day.

He did have some leaf cover and a small clay pot in the bottom of his "pond", but if we do ever get a cold snap, those tubs will freeze solid.  Out in the ponds I believe he would just burrow deeper into the unfrozen mud at the bottom.  In a plastic tub he'd have nowhere to go.  Even though he'd chosen to be there, I felt I needed to intervene.

So, back in the summer that was December 24th, when it was going to be in the upper 60s, I decided that would be warm enough to move him without too much stress.  Miss B's mom was coming over in the afternoon so I told her to wear mud boots and that we were going to do something fun.  And then I said "You'll never guess what we are going to do!"  That was the only clue I gave her.

When she got here I again said, gleefully, that she'd never be able to guess what we were getting ready to go do.  

"I'm assuming something with the sheep."  


"Are we going to go catch frogs in the pond?"

Who on earth guesses something to do with frogs?!?  In December?!?  Don't play guessing games with her ;-D.

We tried to just scoop him out with our hands, but he was too quick for us so we ended up dumping him into a bucket.

And we carried him back to the Frog Pond. This is the small pond just before you get to the big pond.  There were other frogs out moving around when we got there.  Crazy weather.

Ready for release.

He sat motionless for a bit, but then scooted off into the deeper water.  I hope we did the right thing and he's happy back there.  And I hope he finds his way back to the Wool House in the spring.  I enjoyed his good company.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Christmas Eve Cookie Party Tonight!

"We are going to have our annual Christmas Eve cookie party tonight at 9:30 eastern time.  Mom says I'll probably have to wear my lights again.  I guess that's long as there are lots of cookies!"

We'll be live on Instagram if you'd like to join us.  I'll also save and post it afterwards so you can watch later.

Merry Christmas :-)

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

A Little Christmas Cheer

I think 20 misses going out to all the festivals and events (except probably the part where all the little kids want to stick their fingers up his nose ;-).  When I saw that the vet clinic was offering pictures with Santa I knew he'd be excited to get out and go visit with his old friend.

You may not know that 20 is one of Santa's helpers.  When Santa gets too busy to keep an eye on everything that goes on around here, he relies on 20 to be his eyes and ears.  Usually 20 just reports in with a letter telling Santa who's been naughty or nice.  Being able to tell him in person this year was much more fun.  

20 always sees the good in everyone so he's really hasn't fibbed when Maisie gets a good present each year ;-).

This was the year he got recruited, 2011.  Look how young 20 looked back then!  

Bea went along, too.  She was concerned that because her full name is Naughty Bea that Santa might be confused and that she ought to go put in a good word plead her case.  He assured her that he knew how hard she was trying and that her stocking would be full on Christmas morning.

"Ho Ho Ho!"

Friday, December 15, 2023

Merry Christmas

I originally thought I'd stop painting the farm cards after the tenth year.  That was a nice round number and I was having trouble thinking of new "scenes" for upcoming years.  I shared that with some folks, probably at the Kentucky Wool Festival, and new ideas started coming in from all I kept going.

I've enjoyed painting all of these cards.  It's been fun watching them progress over the years.  I invented the scenes and Tim came up with all of my favorite clever titles.  I'm not sure if we started adding text to the backs to explain the titles or maybe the design itself, but that became almost as much of the card as the fronts.

I'm so flattered when people tell me they save the cards each year and some even set them out as part of their holiday decorations.  Back in 2011 I was incredibly honored to be featured in an episode of one of our favorite tv shows, KET's Kentucky Life.  

I just went back and rewatched the story and am so grateful to have that sweet time capsule of Hank and all those good old sheep and horse friends.  I kept expecting to see Maisie and realized that she hasn't actually been here forever.  

I've made a lot of friends with these silly paintings, one in particular, a retired art teacher who I met through blogging and got up the courage to email to ask if she could help me figure out something I was struggling with. I know longer remember which year that was, but it was long ago at this point.  

I didn't have to call her for help with this year's card and I was sort of sad about that, but proud that I've learned enough from her over the years that I was able to pull it off mostly on my own. Thank you, Lori.  It's been a privilege to talk art and horses and life in general all these years.

Thank you also to another good artist and friend, Robin, who always helps bounce ideas around, especially when another artist friend who lives in Texas just laughs when I ask her a question about painting snow ;-).  It's always been a team effort, even down to the proof reading.  Thank you!

Going forward, I'm sure I'm still going to create a Christmas card each year, but I'm looking forward to trying some new ideas and techniques.  I can't imagine not sending out at least a few cards.  I sure enjoy receiving them.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Christmas Card Reveal Eve


If you'd like a sneak peek or just a really fun puzzle, here you go!  I put the puzzle pieces a bit higher than normal and it's a fun, but completely do-able size.  If you really want to make it less pieces, that's okay, but spoiler alert...if you keep it as it's set, Maisie's tail is it's own puzzle piece :-D.  


Saturday, December 9, 2023

Find You A Sheep...

 ...who looks at your artwork the way Big J does :-).

While I would like to talk to Maisie, even though I feel like I know mostly what she'd have to say, who I'd really like to talk to is Big J.  What a great old sheep.  I'd love to know what he thinks about and understands.  He was very interested in the painting last year as well. 

I've had to wait a couple of days for an overcast sky to take a digital picture of the painting, but I'm sure not going to complain about a couple of warm, sunny days in December :-).  I got the picture taken this morning and it's headed off to "the printer" and if all goes well, we'll be ready to start mailing on Monday.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Solstice Advent

The holidays can be so stressful and are frequently not nearly as fun as I wish they would be.  I always manage to get my tree put up, but there have been some years it's only because I don't want to hurt the tree's feelings and all the ornaments who I know are looking forward to their time to shine.  Once it's up I'm always glad I did it :-).

Last year Wing and a Prayer Farm offered a beautiful Solstice Advent calendar and I decided to treat myself as a challenge to be more deliberate in looking for joy throughout the season.  Every day I had to do something, even just something small, a glimmer, and if I did so, I got to open my solstice treat that night.  I'm good at challenges like this.  I didn't miss a day...and I ended up enjoying every day.

The year has not been an easy one and even though early on I had formulated a plan to refill the solstice calendar pockets this year, I was finding it hard to garner any enthusiasm as it approached.  Still, I knew if I didn't make the effort, I'd end up disappointed so I started scouring eBay for my calendar pocket fillers.  And in doing so...finally started to get a little excited.

By the time all the little boxes arrived and I handed them off to Auntie Reg so she could to open them all up and tuck something into each pocket, I was actually looking forward to December first and thinking about all the little things I could do so I could have a miniature solstice party each evening.

December 1st

Oh!  A new sheep and she has a lamb by her side!

* * * * *

I'll share my solstice prize each night on IG and FB.  If you'd like to play along virtually, please join me!  Try to do something every day that brings you some holiday cheer.  It could be something as big as baking cookies or as small as sitting down to drink a cup of tea with your cat and thinking about a happy memory.  

This is going to be fun :-)


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