31 05 2016


We are having such hot weather but some rain overnight and maybe some more tonight will help and slightly cooler temps.  Gardens will be popping up.


The Seamus rug was a hit at the show.  SO much so that I will be offering a class in Proddy at Sheep and Shawl over the summer.  A smaller version though.  It was so much fun working on it





It was  a great success lots of people came on Saturday.  Sunday is always a slow day at the fair and was this year too .  It was great seeing old friends and my spinning students but I missed by friend Lisa who was unable to come.  The show wasn’t the same without her.  Susan and I are now next to each other again so it was great fun visiting.  Of course I wish I could bring every sheep home  I just love sheep so.  

The lead line was Sunday and I wanted to share some of the contestants with you.


This woman and her sheep were so darn cute.  The sheep was very well behaved and the woman said that she was always like that.  Only the best of sheep would allow a woodsman hat to be  kept on!IMG_6750




Barb Giguere

Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you have a wonderful day.  Carole  This wonderful Tunis sheep below wanted to come home with me. Isn’t she a beauty.



25 05 2016


Gentle rain at last, its so needed.  Lilacs and Violets still blooming.    The fence is holding for the sheep.  A little tricky to open and close but it gets easier every day.


Hope you will come and visit the show this coming Saturday and Sunday.  The only cost is the for parking.  It will be a day of wool and sheep.  Lead Line is Sunday, dog trail  ongoing,  Visit the barn and see the sheep.  Fleeces will be available for sale in the afternoon on Saturday.  Visit the vendor booths, and say hi to me I will be in Barn One.  There will be all sorts of demo’s all around the grounds. I will be demonstrating rug hooking doing a English style of hooking called Proddy with wool material and some yarn and locker hooking with roving.   New food vendors will be onsite.  Spend the day and enjoy.

Are you growing flax this year?  Or thinking about it  I will have these for sale in my booth at the fair.

$50. a piece


Many years ago I took a workshop in  Vermont with Heather Ritchie from England.  It was the most delightful class I have ever taken.  We had so much fun and laughed through the whole two days.  She had done this wonderful rug  with a sheep and stone wall.  While I am not up to a stone wall I am up to doing a sheep in the proddy style.  I bought the material more than 5 years ago.  Every once in a while when I am cleaning out I come across it.  This year i decided I would blow up a picture of Seamus which I had used in a smaller rug and do him in proddy with a yarn face and legs.


   I plan to work on it during the show  By the way Heather has a wonderful book out on proddy  and her rugs and life in the Yorkshire Dales.  I have always wanted to take a class from her there.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful.


The other project I started in the early 90’s.  I have 3 rugs to finish from those days and I hope to get this done this summer.  Locker hooking is done with roving and some string and a hook.  Its fun and easy and a good way to use up roving.  I have a rug from the 80’s by my bed  they just don’t wear out and are so comfy on a cold winters night.

IMG_6741ewhere along the line it got wet and the color bled a little and it looks like there is a tea stain on it which will come out when its done.  Its half way done now.

Many thanks for reading my blog of this hot summery day, hope to see you at the fair.  Carole









22 05 2016


Another beautiful day with some rain coming in tomorrow.


I have unknowingly been practicing Permaculture here since the year after I moved.   It all started with mowing grass.  Since the house is located near the bottom of a mountain the land is hilly.  Mowing the front lawn was a challenge and after the first year of struggling I decided to plant it with flowers and shrubs.  

I have now lived here over 18 years and feel satisfied with the changes.  I still have lots more work to do but the hardest part is done.

The barn cleanings both from the chickens and the sheep are spread around the yard and in the pathways.  Large plantings of Bleeding Hearts made spring a delight.  I have also planted two more Lilac bushes, Eventually the front will be full of shrubs, bleeding hearts  and Lilies.  I have plantings of trees and bushes where the birds can hide and feed in winter and hope to get another group like this going in the back this simmer.  This year there has been a record number of birds visiting and building their nests here.


I plan on putting in a red raspberry bed in this spring and already have a blackberry bed started. In the fall I will prepare an area for strawberries.  This year my poor little heirloom MacIntosh tree had three blossoms on it.  This was the tree tat the cement workers broke and patched together with electrical tape!  

This all can be done on small acreage.  I have a little over 1/2 an acre





All was well after this morning’s feeding or so I thought.  I heard a lot of commotion in the barn and went to check.  The fencing was down the other 3 sheep were in the hay area and Maude had her head stuck in the fence.  What a predicament.  I was so upset.  It seems like something is happening often with the fence.  I really didn’t want to go to the expense of putting up a permanent fence there.  Luckily Lauren and the boys came over and fixed it up.  Now the fence is stronger and I think it will last till the end of summer when they all can be together.  

Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you have a wonderful day.



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20 05 2016


Beautiful weather temps me to garden instead of getting ready for The Mass Sheep and Woolcraft Fest .The Lilacs are in bloom and the smell permeates the air.  Baby Robins are peeking out of their nest at the barn door while Mama screams for me to leave. This is my favorite part of Spring.

Congratulations UTE

Board News: Coverlet Museum Adds New Board Members
The National Museum of the American Coverlet is pleased to introduce three new members of the Board of Directors.  The new members bring extensive talent and knowledge of technical and historic aspects of weaving and conservation.  These folks are most exciting additions to the Board.  We are thrilled to welcome them to the NMAC family.
Inline image 1
Ute Bargmann (Massachusetts) – Ute grew up in the German Bavari- an Alps and studied in
Switzerland, Germany and at the Language Institute in Munich where she graduated as a translator.  She met her American-German husband, Robert Bargmann and they moved to the United States in 1965. She bought a loom in 1972 and began studying weaving at the Hill Institute in Florence, MA, three years later, receiving her Master Weaver diploma in 1979.
Ute was an early member of the Early Weaving Books and Manuscripts Group for Complex Weavers and applied her considerable knowledge of German manuscript paleography as well as her lifelong interest in world history to her continuing research and study.  She has translated late medieval German manuscripts from as early as the 1420s on the technical aspects of tablet weaving and has delivered papers on subjects as diverse as “the Journey of Cotton into Germany and Slovakia” to “Counterpanes” at the Handweaving Museum annual conferences in Clayton, NY.
For several decades she has been researching her special interest in the European origins of what became known as ‘colonial’ coverlets. Ute has been a member of the Weavers Guilds of Boston, New Hampshire and Vermont as well as local chapters in western Massachusetts and has spent more than forty years demonstrating
Ute is a dear friend and a terrific and prolific weaver.


Finally the chickens  and Maude are out.  The only one left int he house is Helen and I can’t bring her out till all the grass and weeds are eaten.  What a job it was to get this all done.  Thanks to David for bringing down the dangerous limb that had been hanging in Maude’s pasture. And also thanks to the Boys, Charlie and Tyler for  helping with the chicken yard.  Everyone  is happy.

Maude has gone out in the separate pasture with Carol Kinnivan.  I went well although it is a pain to let them out.  I still have to separate them and watch them as Carol has pushed Maude.  I can’t trust her yet.




Tuesday I picked  up Olive   The only remaining hen from a hawk attack.  She is bubbly and talkative.  She was separated from the group by a small fence , she made such a fuss I put her in with the others on Wednesday.  All went well and she even laid an egg.

 The rescue where I got Sammy sent and message out to all their face book readers a few weeks ago warning that there were more predatory birds around this year.  And all small animals such as cats and dogs should be watched carefully when outside.  Last week a small dog got attacked by an Eagle but the Eagle couldn’t lift him.  He was battered but alive.  I have notice just in my small area many more hawks and I heard there was an osprey nest close by.

Hope you have a wonderful day and many thanks for reading my blog.  Carole


16 05 2016



Yesterday my Son and his family and I went  to the Confirmation of Chris.  It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed the gathering of families after the service. Cindy made the cake

 We stopped to pick up their family cat Lilly Pad and were on our way home  we saw an accident that had happened  a few minutes  before.  It was a horrific accident with 2 people injured.  My son who is a fire fighter and First Responder immediately got out to help. We all sat in the car hoping for good outcomes for the two people injured.  It made me think of how we take things for granted in  life.  There were many people there who were EMT’s, First Responders and people directing traffic  who just stopped to help.  It took the police and other emergency personal time to get there after the first 911 call.  It was teamwork in action, everyone working to keep these people comfortable. I am grateful for all the people who give their time and energy to help others in need.


Its time for the chicken s to all be out.  Charlie and I have been working on the side area.  The hawks and birds of prey are abundant this year.  With warning going out to all  with chickens, cats and dogs to carefully watch them.  In face book today there was a smaller dog who was grabbed by and eagle but the eagle couldn’t lift it.  The dog survived but will carry the scares both emotionally and physically.  I have the area almost covered just a few more places to be secured.  I hope to get them in the yard tomorrow.  Today we will finish up and get the water and food dishes ready.




These four items I have found useful in the coop. A small spray bottle, a long handled kitty litter scoop  a small covered trash can and a mirror.  The spray bottle can be used here to stop roosters from attacking .  It works well for Eddie, now all I have to do is show him the bottle and he goes on with his business.  I have also used it to break up small arguments between hens.  I use the kitty litter scoop to clean up  the coop every morning.  A 5 minute clean up keeps the coop fresh and saves on bedding.   The mirror has served them well and is useful when a chicken has to be separated from the group.    When Eddie was separated from the  group he spent most of the day preening himself and talking to the big man in the mirror. I use the trash can to Collect the clean up .  All four have proven their use and hang right inside the coop door.


A new hen will be arriving at the farm on Tuesday.  She will have a few weeks in the side yarn pen and live in the dog house till she is acclimated to the other chickens.  She is coming from a farm in Belchertown where she is alone.  She is 4 and lays every other day in the summer.  I am looking forward to the new addition.

Hope you have a wonderful day and many thanks for reading my blog.  Carole






9 05 2016



Sammy on his favorite spot on top of the radiator on those cold rainy days.

Sammy on his favorite spot on top of the radiator on those cold rainy days.


  After many days of cold, damp, rain today the sun is out and flowers are popping into bloom.  We will have sunny weather for the next few days so I will try to catch up on my gardening. 


week or so ago i was visiting Lil and looked up in the pasture to see Carol Kinnivan and Maude.  The I saw Sally and Lucy chasing them.  A quick run to the barn and I found that they had knocked over Maude’s fencing and were doing the spring ritual ramming.   Maude was frightened and ducking.  I got the fence put back and made sure Maude was fine.  I changed the fencing  and all was well.

On my weekly call to Dr. Stephanie we came o the conclusion that although Maude and Carol will work together , Sally and Lucky will still have to be separated.  It’s a doable thing.  They are large sheep and Maude needs time to heal.  The end of the summer will be the best time to put them all together.  SO in the next week or so I will be putting up separate fencing for Carol and Maude  They will spend their summer on the hill.  It shouldn’t take long to do and I will start the supervised visits with Carol when that is up.

Maude continues to do well.  The operation was a success and her stitches will be coming out soon.






I have a love-hate relationship with jewel weed.  As you can see in the picture my yard is over run with it.  I am trying to tackle a small section each day but the rain and damp have slowed me down.  I plan to make a couple of batches of poison ivy salve this summer.



Bleeding Hearts and Tulips

Many thanks for reading my blog on this sunny day.  Hope you have a wonderful day.  Carole

Brimfield starts tomorrow.  If you go be sure to look up my friend Susan on Quaker Acres.







1 05 2016


Finally rain today and tomorrow with showers off and on the rest of the week.  It’s badly needed.


The surgery was very successful .  Almost immediately the results were seen.  We did try everything we could think of  but nothing worked.  The eye was removed and Maude is her old self again.  She still has a way to go.  The stitches need to be in at least a week and we are on day 4-1/2.  It would be better if they stayed in 10 days..  She is rubbing and I am putting antibiotic meds underneath where the stitches.are.  She is eating well and so much more with it..




 In another week or so she can have supervised visits with Carol K. Then in three weeks if all goes well she can return with the group.  My sincere thanks to Dr. Stephanie and Dr. Amy who did a wonderful job and are the most kind and considerate Vets.  Dr. Stephanie brought Maude dandelion greens yesterday when she came to give her a booster shot.    I am getting back to my old self too.  The past weeks have been hard on all at the farm.  Many things left undone and need to get done and now they can be tended too.  Many thanks to all of you that have sent good wishes and thoughts, they have helped me in so many ways.


Now is the time of year you see advertisements for two-year old chickens for sale.  They go cheaply.  People want new birds for more eggs.  I keep all my hens.  They range in age from 1 to 14.  All still laying!!!!  I get at least 5 eggs a day and will get more in the summer.  My philosophy is to keep all hens and get two new ones each August.  It has worked.  My 14-year-old hen Francis lays an egg every other day all summer long.  Another hen, Gladys who is up there in age has been laying a couple of eggs a week all during the winter, she was given to me and her owners said she hardly lays. The following is a picture of her beautiful blue egg.


So if you want to start a flock now might be the time to get a few hens who are already laying.   If they were going to have a problems with laying it would have shown up by now.The price is right and sometimes they are free.  Look on your local poultry site and have fun.  Chickens are delightful creatures and teach one all kinds of life lessons.


i have lots of old parts of spinning wheels lying around.  Just couldn’t find  a product that would put some life back into them permanently.  I had read an article somewhere  about beeswax being the best thing for wood.  I have a wonderful supplier of the best bees-wax.  He lives in Florida and I have visited his operation many times when visiting my Mom in Florida.  The wax comes from the orange groves and is very fragrant.  I love it and love supporting this small business even though it’s not local.

Beeswax Furniture Polish and Restorer

1/4 cup beeswax

3/4 cup olive oil



Buy the best bees-wax and olive oil you can.  When buying olive oil make sure its pure olive oil and not a combination of other oils too.  Check the label and make sure its got a long shelf life.

Melt the beeswax in a double boiler, after its melted  pour in the olive oil and heat thoroughly, stirring occasionally to make sure its blended well.  At this point if you desire you could add a few drops of essential oils.  I feel that the beeswax is fragrant enough so I don’t add anything.  Pour into a jar and let set overnight before you use it.

It’s not as quick as a spray can of furniture polish but what it does for your wood is remarkable.  And to top it off there are not petroleum products in this and you made it yourself in 10 minutes.  

Remember when melted the bees-wax and olive oil  care should be given  Both are flammable.  An old sock is a great way to apply and polish.

Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you have a wonderful day.   Carole. Read the rest of this entry »