Saturday, June 27, 2009

New Venture

Yeah, yeah, I need a new venture like I need a hole in the head (ever wonder how that saying came to be?? It's mistfied me since I was a kid....rabbit trail, but good scenery.) Anyway, these are something I've been thinking about making for a while. Beads, creativity, simple, fast....perfect. So here's the first set, my muse seems to be taking a holiday so they're pretty standard, nothing unusual really, I do like them though, very summery. :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Kermit and more

As said, I finished plying "Kermit" up last night. Specs: Navajo 3 ply, 239+ yards, 14 wpi. There are another 3 batts waiting in the wings, so there should be a good amount of yardage when I'm finished.

Next that proverbial list comes the dyeing for winter warmness. I'm having the kids help in this process. They're helping to pick, dye and card. I'll do the spinning and knitting. :) I'm still doing the Wilton's and still learning at that. This is Lars's color choice, orange and royal blue. One thing about the food colorings is the blues tend to seperate and this batch has unfortunately. I think I'll move to commercial dyes for some colors.
The orange is a mixed color to gain a deeper hue. Now to see how they turn out.

Dye Ratios 1 part=1/4 tea Wilton's food coloring

Kermit: 2:0 Kelly Green

Orange: 2 no-taste Red: 1 Golden Yellow: 1/2 Brown

Royal Blue: 1 Royal Blue: 1/4 Black

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer has begun

The gardens are growing! This is the first year that I've had decent cucumbers since we've lived here. The tomatoes, watermelons and peppers are all blooming, the berries are forming up nicely. Unfortunately, the corn is turning out to be sporadic. Oh well, it will all come together one of these years! Maybe I should dig up some more lawn for the corn patch since it seems to be working so well for everything else. :)

A sure sign of summer is a tent in the back yard. They've all been sleeping out at night, with a dog or two. :) Of course the night's outside have begun a new pastime for the children, "Night Games". How are they played, well much running, laughing and shrieking are involved. They're great for getting the heart going. A firm must to is to try to raise your siblings fright level above your own, without making them so scared that they don't want to sleep in the tent. That of course would mean that you would have to sleep out there all alone, which is "no fun" and won't be done...even if the dogs are willing. ;)

The highlight of my summer, the stay of the Hummingbirds. I haven't seen the variety this year and I have in the past. My favorite is the Calliope and I haven't had one. This year it's been Roufus and Ruby Throats. There were a couple of others, but I haven't seen them lately. I decided to give Fuscias a go again this year. They were a must for years, but they didn't do so well for a few years and I stopped buying them. The back patio has a nice amount of shade with a little sun. They seem to be doing better, one more so than the other. In years past, the Hummingbirds played with the fuscias, so I hung the feeders on the bottoms of the baskets. There has been a lot more activity with this than previous years! I'll keep doing this, even if it's not fuscias.
So the rest of life? Same kind of crazy! Amy is giving 2 1/2 gallons of milk steady. Now that the chicks are hitting pullet/cockeral stage they are doing a good job of eating up the excess milk. I'm letting it clabber and they really like it. Next on the list is using that clabber to make hard cheese.
I'm starting to dislike my list, never seems to get any shorter. The 80's weather is coming back again so more wool washing is on that dang list too. I have some dyeing ideas for more of this fleece I'm working on (it's on the list too). That California Red fleece is beckoning from the closet as well. I'm thinking a nice thick, comfy sweater is it somewhere. Oh and the filet crochet project that has to make it to the fair this year, I have 17 rows left on that.
The kids, aside from camping in the backyard, are enjoying their break....or so they tell me. ;) Lars has had a break from his irrigation job, 1st cutting just came in off the fields. We're settling into our routine finally, so it's calming just a bit.

Latest Fiber Fun


I've had this dyed for some time, but finished the first bobbin today. There were so many ideas going through my head while I was spinning this! Beading yarn is something that I want to start playing with, in fact I beaded a small portion of this to see. I used light translucent beads, thinking of daffodils. Still, it just wasn't quite right. The thought that it reminded me of something kept running through my head. It hit me yesterday. Kermit the Frog! So, this will stay bead free and Kermit green.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Last Day of School!

They're all mine for the next 2 months. Mine I tell you!....Bwahahahahahah. Oh dear, either the heat is getting to me or 16 yrs with Justin is finally beginning to have an effect.

Yes! The children are officially on summer vacation! So it begins. They've all gotten their teacher assignments for next year and very pleased with who they'll be getting. The 4th grade teacher has gotten Anna, that means so far he's taught/will teach the oldest three....and he keeps asking when the next one through is due. Anna is very excited to have him next year.

Lars recived the Principle's Award again this year. Big doin's. He recieved it his first year at this school and his now his last in Elementary. He's pretty thrilled about that. Needless to say we are very proud of him.

Lars recieving his award

Bruce and Grandpa went boot shopping! He's got his boots. Now, we'll get him fitted for a hat and he'll be set.

There it is, summer begins. This fall we'll have all 5 in school, one in Junior High, another middle schooler making his way through and still have three in elementary. Wow.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Finding a moment

Moments seem to be getting lost in the larger picture lately. I can't believe that June (and with it the end of the school year) has arrived already!! We've been super busy here, so as I sit here in the company of my morning coffee cup I thought I'd take a moment to share what's been going here.

Lars would like to enter Dougall the Duck into the fair this year. However, this means being able to handle...or at least catch said victim. Bruce has become our resident winged creature wrangler. He can round up chickens faster than anyone I know, apparently he's branching out to ducks. ;)
Here we have a clash of wills, can you feel The Force????

"You are no match for me and my brother, Darth Dougallous."

Like so many stories, they all live happily ever some form. In Dougall's case, it was getting a new pool to play in. I think that's the most duckish behavior we've seen in him! Dougall suffers from species confusion, I guess it was bound to happen. The sole duck in a flock of chickens, we really should get a hen or two for him. I'm sensing a summer of trauma for the Dougall.

June has arrived and it heralds it's own kind of insanity. The end of the school year, beginning of summer vacation and a child high that surpasses any sugar known to man. Children and teens across the nation evacuate their houses of learning with shrieks of glee and in the background you can hear the quiet sigh of parental groans.
Okay it's really not that bad. I'm looking forward to having them all home, come the end of August I'll be really happy to have them all back. The timing works out well.
There is one thing, however, that I always seem to block from memory until it's upon me. The last two weeks of school. There are more events, picnics, field trips, just-because-we-don't-want-to-be-here happenings and to dos than the whole year combined....and they're all crammed into a just shy two week time period.
I guess I've started humming the circus music, unaware. Malina asked me the other day if I really liked the circus "Cause you sing circus music all the time!" I guess that must be the case. Life will settle into the summer routine and it will be better.

This house came with all kinds of wonderful little surprises. One of them being a built in ironing board. I don't know why this tickles me so much, but it does. I found that it's a great set up for the drum carder though. A few days ago, while I was getting some wool through and ready to spin, I just let it set up in the kitchen. I'd been cleaning up and discovered Nani, I guess she found the perfect napping spot.

"Don't disturb me, can't you see I'm engaged in highly important research?"

The summer fun has started for the kids. Malina has been busy searching for "Tadapoes" or tadpoles. We don't have as many this year since the pond is dry. Last year I had a couple of 5 gallon buckets filled with them, the kids believe in catch and release, catch and release....much to the chagrin of various life forms here. Leif is awaiting the frog hunting season. Anna has taken up beading and is working towards being able to sell some items at the Farmer's Market.
Lars is contemplating band, drums.........oh dear.
Bruce is looking at Football this season. He's also starting to count down to his driver's permit. *gasp* did that come around so fast????!!!
Justin is still pretty busy at work and the summer celebrations are going to be coming up soon. We'll also need to think about fertilizing the pastures again next month, possibly if Potash has come down in price any. He's finished the lawn system! Yay! It runs twice a day for 15 minutes on each section. No need to worry about it, well unless you're out wandering around checking plants and it happens to come on. There's still the backyard to finish, but the kids talked me into a copper butterly sprinkler when we were out flower shopping. It works, it gets moved around to water back there and the kids and duck play in it.
I'm still engaged in the wool battle. The Cotton Candy yarn is almost finished and I have an interesting green that's sitting next in line. Other than that, it's that wonderful down time between planting and harvest. Putting some finishing touches on the recovering the house. Bruce, Justin and I all worked and finished cleaning out the barn after winter (some wonderful compost in the making there). So the big Springtime jobs are wrapped up finally! Ahh, big deep breath.
It's looking like a windy day here in the valley, good day to catch up on some laundry and get those sheets on the line. Mmmm, gotta love the smell of line dried laundry!