Friday, February 27, 2009

Not exactly my best day

Today I burnt my hand in bacon grease while cooking breakfast. That was around 9 am and I still can't remove my ice pack for more than a few moments. So taday has been alot of sitting on the couch and crying. However it has come to my attention that I needed to work on my international shipping rates so I am planning on spending some of my night doing that.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A day in the life of

Okay, so I am pretty boring. I know it, I've come to accept it.... Lately I have been trying to pick apart my days so that I can figure out a way to get more done, of course, I've been unsuccessful. Maybe I just need stronger coffee. My average day: Wake up between 7:00-8:30 (Phinneas is my alarm clock in the morninings and throughout my day)I Feed phinny and then I make coffee, feed kids, dogs, cats, myself, and check on rabbits. by 9:00 I am seated at me computer with a giant cup of coffee checking emails and planning my day, sometimes if the coffee is especially good I am also spinning on the drop spindle at the same time. Usually by 10-ish I ask the kids to clean up thier dishes and shut the tv off, the radio comes on and I attempt to clean the disaster that we call home, by 11:30 I have at least got the kitchen cleaned up enough to start dying or washing whatever wool I had prepared the night before and I do that for at least 20 min. Next I am on to whatever I did days before and I take what's dry and either put it in a bag for later use or photograph it and package it up for sale, then it's back to the computer to post whatever I just took pictures of and I usually knit or crochet or spin while sitting. Then I finish up whatever wool project was going on in the kitchen and lay it out to dry. We start working on school and go until we are hungry and then it's time for lunch. After lunch phinny gets fed again and takes his nap, on a nice day it is straight outside with the girls and the dogs to change rabbit cages, shovel compost, or otherwise work on the gardens. by 4:00 we are inside and phinnny is waking up, we finish up whatever school stuff we had been doing and get anything that needs to be mailed ready to go, I tend to slow down, get the kids a snack and we play or read or do something together. I also try to groom at least one rabbit a day. sometime between 6:00- 7:30 we have dinner, sometimes the tv comes back on if channel 9 has something interesting on and I get out the beast and try to work on spinning for a bit, the kids pick up thier toys and are supposed to clean up thier rooms. We do baths for the ones that need it and then brush teeth and read stories and tuck in, I sit down to feed phinny and try to get some reading time in for myself, usually I end up reading out loud because he gets upset if I don't. Phinny is in bed by 10:30 and I get whatever wool I want to work with tomorrow in to soak and try to finish up any projects that are almost done. I feed the rabbits and sweep out the shed, I fold the days laundry, and do the other things I didn't get to during the day until I am tired and then I crash. Today I am trying to finish up my phat fiber samples, I have run out of some bags that I had planned on using and I am having trouble with writing up the labels but I have some really neat stuff and I am really excited about sending it in!

Monday, February 23, 2009

It's not me, It's him....

Or rather, it. The other day I got a chance to spin on my friend Anne's wheel. It is a beautiful double treadle and it is the only wheel that I have ever touched besides "The Beast". It was a totally diffferent creature. I only spun on it for a few minutes but it was enough to tell me what I needed to know, the problem is not me, and my ever growing severe dislike for the beast is at least somewhat justified. It is just not the wheel for me. However I am not even near financially able to get a different wheel at this point so I took my experience with "the good wheel" and went home to make some adjustments to the evil one. I realized that other than the horrible noises it makes and the problems with the take up, The thing that made it unusable was that the drive band was popping off every time I would treadly more than two or three times in a row. So I went home and looked at it some more and figured out that the drive band actually has nothing to do with me, it's a design defect. So I started looking around the house for something to try to fix the problem and after looking everywhere and not finding anything usable to stop the bobbin from sliding all over the place, causing the drive band to pop off I decided to wrap some roving arond the empty space to keep it in place. It works, and the pressure on the bobbin not only keeps it in place (and that means that the drive band stays put) but somehow my yarn is now winding on the bobbin like it is supposed to. I know that it is a temporary fix, eventually I will have to find something more permanent to hold the bobbin in place but for now it's usuable, at least on the biggest ratio thingy. See the huge amount of normal looking yarn on that bobbin?!? I spun that! and the damn drive band didn't pop off once while I was doing it! I still plan on saving up to buy a new and decent wheel, but at least I can do more than plying on this one until I do.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Great Camel Adventure!!!

Okay so about a week ago I came across a man
in possesion of a camel and after talking for a while this wonderful, nice man he offered to let me come and attempt to get some fiber off of said camel. So I thought long and hard about who I could possibly tell about this potential adventure, I don't know alot of local handspinners and I was just so excited I had to tell someone, so I told my friend Anne, who lives pretty close to me and we had been emailing for a while but we had never actually gotten to meet and we decided to go on our great camel adventure together.
So as the day was approaching I was starting to worry, I realized that I have never even touched a camel, and I couldn't find any information about how to remove the wool from a camel, not to mention that I had never met Anne in person, so anyway, I was kind of freaking out.
The day comes and I am prepared. I have scissors, and brushes and we meet and head out. Turns out Anne and I have so much in common that we talked non-stop all the way there and back (and it was a four hour round trip). So we get there and The camels owner was nice enough to have caught him and brought him into a trailer to shelter us from the brutal winds blowing that day. As we approached the camel, I was a bit intimidated, trying to figure out how we are going to get this fiber off of him and into our bags without angering the camel, I walked up and started petting and it was SO soft! So I grabbed a small handful and gave it a light tug, and it came right out!! So we started just plucking away, just like he was a giant rabbit! So here's where I am thinking, oh thank god Anne is with me, Because she also has rabbit plucking experience, and we are standing there plucking this camel, practically jumping up and down with joy over how soft and wonderful this fiber is and how amazing it is that we can pluck it off just like a rabbit and how awesome this camel is. So after we were all done and had taken some pictures we thanked Roy and started on our long trip home. When we got back we split the fiber 50/50 and said our goodbyes and agreed to talk again soon. I am so excited to have met Anne and I can't wait for our next adventure. When I got home I weighed my fiber and I had 12 1/2 oz.!!! So that means we got roughly 24 oz. of the softest camel fiber that I have ever felt and all we had to do was drive out and pluck it. Who would have thought it would be so easy?!? It came right off! Just like a rabbit(albeit, a couple hundrend pound rabbit) It was arguably the best day that I have had in a long time and I am still so excited about my fiber! Oh, but what to blend it with?

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Highlight of my day

Today I was sitting on the floor playing with some alpaca and my little one came up and asked
" that 'paca mommy?" and I just had to smile, how many two year olds know the difference between alpaca, angora, and wool.


Tomorrow I am going on an adventure! I am really excited, seeing as I have not left my house for anything other than groceries/necessities and family stuff for more than six months. Yes, I know that it sounds kind of pathetic but I really hadn't thought about it much until just now. I am just so busy with the kids and the buns and stuff that I usually forget to make time to do anything for myself. Either way, tommorrow I am doing stuff and I can't wait.
Today was a lazy do nothing sort of day, I didn't really accomplish much, unless you call yelling profanities at my printer until it knew exactly how I felt about it accomplishment. I am tired and hungry and too lazy to make food......
Oh well, I suppose we all have days like this. On Sunday I plan to get some wool of a bun or two and groom a few others and attempt to clean some of this mess. I think that I have forgotten what my kitchen table looks like underneath all of that wool.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Today has been awesome! I woke up this morning with the kind of motivation that I have not had since...... hmm, the beginning of last spring. Oh well, I got so much done today, I am so proud of myself! First I got out our brand new blower and groomed every bun except the babies, then I updated the Etsy shop in a big way and got everything that I posted packaged up all nice and ready to go. Then I sent messages to some of my previous customers about the mailing list that I am starting, then I finished two yarns that I have been putting off for a while. The best part? The day is not yet done and I've still got enough of a coffee buzz to keep going!A couple of things that I wanted to cover today. First I want to thank Jacksbluejane for telling me how to oil the wheel. I can actuallly treadle slowly now! Before it was so hard to treadle and the instructions said nothing about oiling before use and I would have never known. Also Sara from spiderweb specialties who twisted my drive band around and now it is not popping off! However, because it is suddenly so much easier to treadle I have to learn to treadle this beast all over again because it's a totally different wheel and the take up is once again a major problem. But this time I have a bit of past experience to go on and I confident that I will relearn it and maybe not hate the beast quite so much! Next, If you would like to join the mailing list for my shop and recieve emails about updates and secret sales you can email me at with mailing list in your subject line and I will add you in! and lastly, the picture is of my beautiful Opus, who maggie decided might be cold going outside and somehow managed to get a sweater on him! It just made me smile so I thought that I would share. OH! almost forgot (the horror) I got the best thing that I have EVER spun (except angora and camel) in the mail yesterday. Butterflygirldesigns has these butterfly bits, which are little samples of her full size batts and I ordered some and I cannot say enough good things about them. I LOVE them! Seriously I am using them as a reward, last night after struggling with the beast until I was actually yelling at it and on the verge of tears again I sat down and spun one of them on my drop spindle and the world was right again. I have shown everyone that has passed my way how pretty they are and it has actually inspired my neighbor to want to knit again!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Another Wonderful Day

Today has been another wonderful day! My oldest is spending some time with grandma so I am getting so time with just me and the little ones. The weather is nice and we've had alot of fun. I even got some bonding time in with my new Satin Doe, who has not yet earned a nickname but I really really love her. I think that she likes me too, so let's hope that Mr. (my Satin buck) will think she's nice enough. He is the bunny that just won't do it and I am very fustrated with him. I haven't introduced them yet, I want to get her in better condition and then when I pluck her I'll introduce them and hope for the best! I sold my English Doe Fudge Cake today and she is on her way to her new home to be a house bunny. So I am getting ready to go and order our new tattoo equipment and then maybe some goodies for me too! I am just in the best mood, though the house is kind of scary messy and I don't really feel like doing anything about it. I think I will get my phinny down for a nap and then head out to the shed to love on the buns. I am posting new stuff to the esty shop today too so keep an eye out and We still have one French baby and an English Doe for sale that you can find on our meet the buns page and our for sale page.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What a wonderful day

Today was awesome. I met sara from spiderweb specialties and learned so much in just a few short hours, oh I wish she lived closer! She took home a few buns and I can rest easy knowing that they will have a great home. Yesterday I met Deborah from Mariposa Farm and found a wonderful fiber friend and realized that some of those beautiful alpacas that I met earlier at
Big River Alpacas were hers! AND on Friday Maggie from Robin Ridge Rabbitry came out so we could do some bunny stuff. The most awesome part is that sometimes I feel so isolated out here, with no other fiber people and then, just when I am feeling so all alone I get to meet a whole bunch of really awesome people who share my interests and the world is right again. I am thrilled, life is good and tommorrow I am heading out to buy a new shop vac to use as a blower because I really do need one. Oh, and I had meant to post this yesterday, but I got carried away trying to catch up on rabbit chores and then didn't get time. The picture is from my garden. I HAVE FLOWERS! What an awesome valentines day gift - to walk out side and happen to notice that my crocus are starting to bloom. It just made my day. My garden loves me. I'll have to remember that and see if they bloom on the same day next year, really how cool is that to get the first flowers of the year right on valentines day? Such a beautiful thing. I guess that's it for the day, I have one rabbit halfway sheared and another that I would really like to get to today.

Too cute!

I just had to share some pictures of my girl tigerlily in her little coat! She looks sooo cute! I plucked her the other day and I was just too worried that she would be cold so I made her a little bunny coat out of some sweat pants that didn't fit maggie anymore. She is all warm and snug now and while I don't think that she is altogether pleased about the whole situation I just have to smile everytime I see my pouty little bunny in her little coat.

Looking for

I am in hot pursuit of a used battery operated tattoo gun! If anyone has one for sale or trade please let me know as soon as possible because I am getting ready to take the plunge and buy one and I would rather find it used. More coming shortly.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

So much going on

I have so much going on! All sorts of good things are happening, yesterday I got two beautiful new buns. I really like them both, but my new English buck, willie, has me quite smitten. I may end up doing more than one post today, as I have so many good things to share if I find the time but this one is mostly to brag about my recent dying experiment. I am just about done washing this awesome soft amazing cotswald that I got so I dyed up a batch. Cotswald is one of my favorites because when you get the good stuff it is soft and has a bit of sheen and takes color like nothing else. I don't know what I am going to call this colorway but I will be doing more of it! The husband even noticed it and usually he does his best not to notice all wool related things. I plan to post this in my etsy shop as soon as I get it weighed and of course I will be keeping some for myself. I may even sell some angora dyed to match if I can bear to part with it....

On another note I have started a list for those who are interested in a Satin Angora. I don't have a time frame yet, it will really depend on how fast the list fills up but I have noticed how nearly impossible it is to find a Satin Angora out here, I just need to know who else might be interested.
if you would like to be put on a waiting list for our upcoming litter just send me an email and I will add you.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Quick note New Product Launch!!!

Well I finally did it, everyone has been trying to convince me to sell my homemade laundry detergent and fabric softener forever and today I was feeling so adventurous that I listed my Fabric softener on Etsy! You can see it here . I only have it in three scents because those are the three that I use but if people like it I will definitly be trying out some other scents too! Also to celebrate, if you would like to buy a bottle of fabric softener, just convo me beforehand and let me know that you saw it on my blog and I will take $1.50 off the price just for you!

My favorite Kind of Day

The weather is amazing! Yes, it's rainy and grey but it's a light refreshing kind of rain and the breeze is so fresh and it's not cold. I've got a window at either end of the house open and a mild breeze blowing through the house and I have spent my day dying some wool and working on a new thick and thin yarn. I am trying to pull together a road trip for spring to visit family and maybe get some buns too! Speaking of buns, there are only two babies left! I am is such a wonderful mood. Today we are writing letters to grandma, who we haven't gotten to see in much too long and I've got the radio on and the kids are being wonderful and I have accomplished something, even if my living room looks a bit like a toy box puked all over it. Some days are just good and almost nothing can spoil it. Oh! and I got season two of the tudors to watch this week while the kids are sleeping. I watched an episode last night and it was awesome. Contemplating doing something new and interesting with the hair..... either more red (because I LOVE it) or... hmm, I have a hard time thinking of a color that motivates me in the way that red does. I used to purple but now I think I am truly more of a red kind of girl. Maybe I'll do red with black underneath. I don't think it's considered a rut when you love it so much. If it was just a few degrees warmer I would take the kids out to play in the rain. Spring is coming and I am enthralled. Yes, I know that it will still be a bit of waiting but I am seeing signs, my garden knows it and so do I! Guess I need to start shopping around for a better air conditioner for the buns this summer. I've only got an hour and a half until the husband gets home! It's seriously like the highlight of my day, I think I will cook him chicken picante tonight for dinner.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

Today was rather nice, I met another fiber person who lives pretty close to me, found out that some fiber I had been planning to buy was cheaper than I had thought, the weather was nice if a little rainy and I am in a pretty good mood. The buns are all doing well, Tigerlily is plucked and much more comfortable. The babies are loveable hugable fuzzy balls of cuteness who like to entertain me with thier acrobatics as they hop around my kitchen floor. I am working on a very pretty yarn out of white angora and green sparklies and I am really pleased with how it is coming along. I am reading quite a bit lately, I started colleen mcculloughs rome series again because I liked it so much the first time. The kids are amazing, especially on days like today when I remember that sometimes I just need to sit back and enjoy them. I am really trying to focus more so that I can be more productive, I just have so much that I want to do that sometimes I just end up all over the place and don't get anything accomplished.
Oh well, speaking of accomplishments.... Yesterday I made the most awesome chicken noodle soup from scratch from stuff I had just laying around the house. It is soooo good! It has lots o' chicken to start with and that wild rice stuff and noodles and carrots and potatoes and celery and onions and red sea salt and fresh ground pepper and dried rosemary, thyme, and cilantro from my garden this summer. I did cheat and throw in a few bullion cubes for extra flavor but everything else is totally from scratch! Did I mention how wonderful this soup is? I was especially proud when the husband smelled it and started eating it cold right out of the fridge. That's when I know it's good!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Moderate sucess!

After the encouragement about the wheel I've kept it out in the living room and practised whenever I sat down for a moment and thought about it, Today I had a break through. I was struggling to ply the merino that I had been working on, cursing myself and the beast when the foot pedal thing started squeeking. So I stopped and thought about it and remembered a tube of something that had come with the wheel. After five minutes of digging in my bottomless desk drawer of horrors I found it and it WAS a tube of lubricant! So I squirted some on the hinge thingy and decided to try forr just a little longer. OMG! One of my biggest problems was that I couldn't treadle slowly because there was a spot that it would kind of stick and if I wasn't going super fast then I couldn't get the wheel to keep going no atter how much I tried but as soon as I oiled it all of the sudden treadling got soooo much easier! I can still feel where it wants to stick but all in all it has made things so much easier. I am thrilled! I finished plying the merino and feel rather pleased with myself. The beast has been given permission to stay in the living room for now. I still haven't fixed my biggest problem though, the drive band keeps popping off.... I shortened it multiple times and it got somewhat better but it's still a big problem. It seems to happen the most when I start to feel the wheel stick when I am treadling slowly but there are plenty of times that it will just pop off for no reason that I can find. It is so fustrating and I don't know what's wrong. Besides that I still don't fully understand what the different size things on the bobbin that the drive band sits on are for. I use the middle sized one because it seems like a good choice but really I have no idea. Either way, today I find myself hating the beast quite a bit less than normal and I am actually considering giving it another go with the plying. Oh! and I got Tigerlily halfway plucked last night! I am setting aside her primest prime (the select wonderfulness that she produces that is about 6-7 in. long) and instead of saving it for myself I am going to gift it to some lucky person who orders from the shop! I think I will give it two weeks or so and then just randomly pick someone. Or maybe I should do some kind of contest? There's not a huge amount of it but it is awesome.

Friday, February 6, 2009


First I would like to say how awesome I think it is to get all those supportive comments on yesterdays post! You guys really brightened my day and this morning I pulled the beast back out of the closet to practice some more. I've got another yarn that needs to be plied and plying is easier than spinning from roving. Today I wanted to show off another batt that I really loved spinning and the yarn that it turned into. The batt came from squambo at etsy. I really love her batts, they are tons of fun to spin and have all the sparkly stuff a girl could want. I spun it a bit thinner than usual and plied it with a a soft creamy white wool roving that I had been spinning to practice spinning thinner yarns and it came out so pretty! I could so see something for a little girl made out of this. I posted it for sale in my etsy shop . I am really excited about the yarns that I have been doing lately and I have been washing up fleeces and making some really awesome art yarn rovings and really been getting some stuff done. I set up a gate in my kitchen doorway so that my bunnies can hop around and get some excersize for a few hours a day and now I have to be careful because when I step over the gate I get mobbed by seven little furry monsters. The kids are behaving today and I am on my second cup of coffee, the day is wide open.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Beast

Well, for x-mas I bought myself my first wheel. It's nice enough, I don't really know much about wheel's as this is my first one and I had never spun on a wheel or even touched one before mine came in the mail. I am sure that I am doing multiple somethings wrong and that I will eventually figure it out. Right now I am going through cycles where I get adventurous and pull it out of the closet, then I get angry and banish it back to the closet, behind the clothes where I do not have to look at it. I call her the beast and I'm not sure that we like each other at all. Today I decided to try to ply two singles that I had spun on my drop spindle. I did fix some minor problems, I put a yoga mat underneath of it and that stopped the movement across the floor. But I am having issues with the way it winds onto the bobbin, issues with the drive band, issues with treadling, and issues with those issues. I had really hoped that she would come in the mail and we would be best friends but it's just not happening. I had planned on a pretty paint job but I have a hard time wanting to make the effort when every time I try to mess with it I end up in tears. I finally did get the yarn plied and it came out pretty nicely but that is besides the point. Maybe she just has low self esteem from all the bad names that I call her......

Anyway, it's put me in a rather foul mood today and now I don't want to do anything that I was supposed to do today. Maybe i will just bring Tigerlily in and forget about all the rest.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

So Many Things

So many things have happened I don't know where to start. My babies are getting big and fluffy, they are at an age where it is almost impossible to get a good picture because they never sit still.
My husbands grandmother passed away, which provoked the usual deep introspection on life and death and what I want to be doing. I have gotten alot more done and have really been thinking about what I want to accomplish and how to get there.
My daughters fish had babies today and she is just thrilled. I have finished two new art yarn rovings and am working on the 2nd single to ply for my next yarn. I have washed half of a filthy but now wonderful cotswald fleece and a pound of cheviot. I got some angora dyed up really pretty and will have to go out in the next few days to replenish my dye selection. Tigerlily is ready to pluck again and I am hoping to get her done tonight. Oh, and I almost forgot, my little phinny turned 1 year old on Jan. 23rd!!!