NEW LOOM, VISITING FRIENDS-GARDENERS BASIL & LIME SOAP-BUS TRIP TO THE 2018 MARYLAND SHEEP AND WOOL FESTIVAL.

15 05 2017

GREETING FRIENDS

MY FAVORITE SPRING FLOWER

Today is the last of the rainy, dreary, damp and cold days.  The sun is suppose to come out this afternoon and the winds are going to pick up and dry it all off.  We are certainly not in a drought situation any more.   There is so much to do this spring I have almost finished manuring and weeding the front yard and need to get to the back this week.  I am transplanting some wild raspberries  near a fence in the front area, hoping to be able to contain them better.  My female elderberry isn’t doing well, does anyone know if they are hard to root.  I would love to start some new ones.  The male plant is flourishing.

NEW LOOM AND A VISIT WITH FRIENDS

I have been looking for a loom for months now and knew that one would come along.  When mentioning it to my friends Ulla and Dick they said they had the perfect one for me.  A 36 inch Leclerc  4 harness loom.  It’s a beauty. And there is a story behind it.  They drove up to Canada to pick it up!  Solid Maple which will be good for rugs.  About a year after I sold my looms I did a workshop at The Springfield Weavers and realized that I missed weaving.  Especially overshot which is my favorite weave.   And  also I needed a way to use up the boxes and boxes of hand-spun yarn in the sewing room.  I have decided to have it in my downstairs bedroom and have taken the room apart and made room. Now I would like to refresh the room with some paint and the loom will have a new home.

I had a wonderful visit with Ulla and Dick on the loom picking up day.  It was shearing day for them and it was wonderful to watch Aaron (my new shearer) get the job done.  He has just gotten back from Australia where he sheared hundreds of sheep.

Ulla in the background and Aaron shearing

  We had a wonderful day remembering old times,  new projects and garden ideas.  I can’t wait to visit again to see the new weathervane that Dick is making.  I was lucky enough to see a picture of it almost done.  Itsa carved turtle.  Next time pictures.  When I next visit them they will have their new chickens.

THEIR SHEEP ALL SHEARED

LYMES

The 90 days on Doxicycline did very little for the Lymes Disease I have.    I did tolerate it well though.  I will now be on another antibiotic as it is summer and with Doxi I could have a severe reaction from the sun.  I will be on it for at least 6 months and there is no guarantee.  I have to try it .  I have already had many ticks on me they say that this year is going to be one of the worst.  I am going to make up a herbal concoction to spray on myself each day.

BASIL-LIME WITH GROUND UP CORN GARDENERS SOAP AND OATMEAL SOAP

 

I made these two soaps a couple of weeks ago and they are now drying on racks.  They will be ready for the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fest.  The kitchen is filled with their smells. It was the first time I used my grinder and I love it.

 

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WINTER STARTS WITH WINDS AND SNOW-NEW HOLIDAY THINGS

22 11 2016

GREETINGS

We have had snow flurries and winds and in Peru, Massachusetts they had 20 inches of snow already.  Skiing season will be early this year.

THE SHEEP AND CHICKENS

The barn door was closed for the first time since last spring and the sheep are always anxious to go out in the morning now.

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Now with the chickens from Patti and the two new ones I bought the coop is cozy.  I have not started the hoop house and am hoping for a few days in the 40’s this coming weekend to get that up.

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MAKING SOME FUN THINGS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

I have been busy making lots of fun things for the holidays.  A batch os Calendula Soap is wrapped and ready to go. Look for them on my etsy shop the end of the week or I will be in Buckland Friday night  at McCusters Market for Moonlight Magic. It runs from 4-9 pm.  Come visit me there.

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Many thanks for reading my blog on this late fall day.    Carole

 

 





SOAP MAKING DAY-SCENES FROM COLRAIN-CHICKEN YARD

28 04 2015

GREETINGS

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Another nice spring day today.  The robins are out digging for worms and the CHipmunks are busy making new tunnels and collecting food.  Lots of people don’t like them, I have had a fondness for them since I was a child.  So I enjoy their antics.

SOAP MAKING DAY

Yesterday I made a double batch of Calendula soap.  I have three more different kinds of soap to make, Oatmeal, Summer Rose,  and the Basil/Lime gardening soap.  The making of soap is a time-consuming process.  Just setting up take about 45 minutes.

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 I started yesterday at 7:30 and finished cleaning up after 1.   It has cooled off overnight and cutting it is the next step, then it will sit and cure for 3 weeks or more.  

I am hoping to sell some on my Facebook page this year.

CHICKEN YARDS

I have raked up and seeded part of the chicken yard in front.  Now all we need is some good rain which is supposed to come at the end of the week.

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I still have manure to get rid of in spite of giving 2 truck loads away.  I will be cleaning the barn during the weekend but there won’t be too much then.

 I want to get the chickens in the house out soon but there is a big clean up from the fallen tree and I need to move some fencing.  I think that I will plan on doing that this coming weekend when the temps are suppose to go to about 70.   

DOOLIN POTTERY

Whenever in Claire, Ireland Cindy and I always went to Doolin Pottery.  The cottage and shop was old  and well taken care of, and samples of the pottery that was available was put out on the old stone wall.  One year we went there and someone else was living there we were so disappointed and found out that she had moved to Australia.  I love this sweet little wall vase and have it in my bathroom always filled with flowers.

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

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MINNIE-SPINNING CLASS AT SHEEP AND SHAWL-SOAP MAKING

3 05 2014

HELLO

MINNIE

The tests came back and the news is good.  Minnie has hyper-thyroid.   Her metabolic rate is super high which is causing undo stress on her heart and kidneys.  She will be on medication like Sam twice a day for the rest of her life.  It might take a little while to get everything straightened out but its an excellent. outcome.  She will put on weight, have more energy and feel good.   SHe will still need some fluids while her body adjusts to the medication.  I am still smiling from Doctor Funk’s call. 

Her first pill with baby food.  SHe ate it all.

Her first pill with baby food. SHe ate it all.

SPINNING CLASS AT SHEEP AND SHAWL

Tomorrow is my second spinning class at SHeep and Shawl.  I have 3 students which is a great number.  I will be bringing my new wheel.  I will have another class in the Fall and one during the Winter months.

I did more wool skirting today, it seems like a never-ending project.  I also made two kinds of soap.  Mint Surprise and bergamot.   Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you had a wonderful day.   Carole

SAM

SAM

 





SOAP WRAPPED-FLEECE IN YOUR HANDS-CLASSES AT SHEEP AND SHAWL

3 04 2014

Hello,

SOAP WRAPPED

I wrapped about 70 bars of soap yesterday.  It took half the day.

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GARDENER’S SOAP (LIME-BASIL)

I still have lots more to make, summertime has not been a good time for me to make soap so it has to be done when the morning temps are cool.  Another batch over the weekend I hope.

FLEECE IN YOUR HANDS by BEVERLY HORNE

There are so many kinds of sheep out there and  if your are buying local yarn or a fleece its good to know the best use for the yarn or fleece.  This book is a tell all in the best way.  I found it very helpful in my quest for a good fleece.

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It was published by Interweave in 1979.  For each sheep breed described, and there are over 15, she gives the characteristics of the wool, preparation and spinning of it, carding hints and recommended uses.  SOmetimes there is a knitting or weaving pattern for you to try.  

This small book is a great book to have even if you are a seasoned spinner.  You can still get it on Amazon. 

CLASSES AT SHEEP AND SHAWL

My class schedule is set for May and June and I will be teaching Drop SPindle in the fall.

Learn to Spin on Your Own Wheel in May

LEARN TO HOOK RUGS 

In this class we will explore rug hooking.  We will use yarns and all sorts of materials and learn to do some proddy hooking too.  This class will be loads of fun and a good way to use up your yarn stash.  Sign up soon at SHeep and Shawl.

Another beautiful day on the farm, sunny and the warm weather will stay through Monday when we will get a cold snap.  The snow will be melted by then.  Many thanks for reading my blog today, have a wonderful evening.   Carole

 





GRISWOLDVILLE-SOAP MAKING-HANGING CLOTHES OUT TO DRY-MORTICIA

2 04 2014

Hello

Griswoldville

I live in the village of Griswoldville in the town of Colrain.  There are many wonderful things about living in a village.  You know most of your neighbors, and in the spring and fall people stoke or start their wood stoves up for the night between 5 and 6 pm.  That wonderful smell of wood smoke permeates the air.  It is very similar to Ireland where people use peat or turf  and that wonderful smell permeates the air there at the same time.  We have swimming holes for kids to swim in and plenty of places to fish.  I consider myself lucky most days.

SOAP MAKING
I made Oatmeal Soap yesterday, a double batch.  It’s really popular and I do love making it. It cooled down overnight and was cut and now is drying, It should be ready May 1st.

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 I spent part of the day cleaning up the Calendula and Lime/Basil Gardner’s Soap today and  will leave it dry a few more days.  I plan to package it up the end of the week.  I want to package up some soap with a jar of salve and a hand knit mitt as a special Gardner’s package.

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Morticia

I scooped up another egg from Morticia, she didn’t seem to mind as long as I was giving her a snack..  They had oatmeal with blueberries today.

Clothes Drying

My clothes dried quickly yesterday  How I like to lay my head on a pillowcase that has been dried outside.  That wonderful fresh smell.  I don’t always dry my clothes outside but do it when I can.  Its something I helped my Mother and Grandmother do.  My Grandmother in Maryland had a wringer washing machine.  As a child I had never seen one before and almost got my arm caught in it while helping her.  My Mom had a wooden clothes line that swung around, my Grandmother and my  Aunt Helen both had  a heavy wire strung with  wooden poles with a notch cut into them  to either put the line up high or lower it for hanging or taking the clothes down.  I loved that idea.  Hanging clothes outside is now popular again with energy prices going up all the time. I have had a clothes line every place I lived.

It was another nice spring day and the barn is drying and I should be finished the winter cleaning by Monday.  I have to decide where they will be safe.  I have the back coop which I am going to clean out and repaint.  They could go in there .  We will see.  I hope you enjoyed the day and many thanks for reading my blog.  Carole

 

 





REMEMBERING HESTER – TREASURES IN BOXES-SOAP FINALLY MADE

5 03 2014

HELLO

REMEMBERING HESTER

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Hester passed away last night.  I will miss her so .  A wonderful hen who show me the wonders of life even though it will filled with hardships.  Her disabilities started young when her top beak was cut way to short.  It must have been a painful experience.  She over came it and had to eat and drink differently than other birds.  She loved to be held and her little head would melt into my shoulder.   She realized that the best place to sleep at night was the nesting box and would make sure she was in there before anyone thought of bedtime.  I have one more Golden Comet, Lucy and will never get anymore unless they are rescues.  They are hybrid birds which lay quantities of larger than normal eggs which shortens their lives.  This is not what Mother Nature intended. 

TREASURES IN BOXES

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I am slowly going through boxes of my Dad’s family things.  Inside one box was this guest towel done long ago by a family member.  It could have been done my Aunt Delia who died before I was born.  The delicate embroidery has faded over the years.  I love the  crocheted GUEST that separate the towels.

SOAP FINALLY MADE

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Well the soap is done and is cooling under a blanket but it was not done without incident.  Some lye splashed on my face which made it necessary for an emergency Eye Doctor’s visit.    David took me down and everything is okay but I will have to get a new pair of safety glasses, my old ones are shot.  I hope the Calendula batch comes out as that is when it happened and I had to leave it and rinse my face.  I also made the Lime/Basil gardeners soap.  It has ground up corn in it to scrub the dirt away.  I love the smell and the last batch I made sold out.  I hope to make 100 bars of that.

Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you had a lovely day.   Carole