Sunday, October 30, 2011

Break from Crafting

Even crafting fun has to come to a (temporary) end I can do other things like BUILD!  (My other favorite activity.)  Today I cut apart the privacy fence that separates the back yard from the front, and built a little double gate out of two crib ends.  I don't have any hinges, and will have to wait til I get some money to buy some; I will also buy some kind of paint to help weather proof it. 

Even though it's not done, I like it!

This is what it looked like before.

That's our Border Collie, Mary Jane.  She's a real scaredy cat.  She's not scared of Timmy at all though.  We got her from the pound nearly a year ago.

And this is me. I get pretty hot and sweaty and covered in sawdust when I build. It's not my favorite condition, but it sure gets things done!

Love to all!  <3

Monday, October 24, 2011

Felting for Orphans

Some days I feel like the Little Red Hen!  I bought some Angora goats for the fiber (of course), learned to shear them (thank you Denise!), figured out how to wash the fleece, experimented with the dyeing process, and began felting, a skill new to me.

Here's what I've done so far... it's not much.  :D
The general idea is that I am going to try and sell these (or rather, trade them for a $10 tax deductible donation to Elias' adoption fund).  What do you think?  Would YOU buy one?  I'm not asking you to, just to say whether you would.  :D

When you see the picture of the little guy would it make you more likely to donate? Look:
How can you resist such darlingness?!
:D  I'm off to school.  (College for grown ups is exhausting!)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Me and My Blue Bucket

Yesterday I washed most of my remaining Angora fiber, nearly the entire fleece, in the washing machine.  It worked well to get it sort of creamy colored, but it didn't remove the vegetation from the hairs.  I am really struggling with that portion of the process.  Help!

This is what it looked like after washing it. Nice and clean looking...except for all the pine needles and leaves and such!
 Then me and my blue bucket mixed up some dye (ok the bucket was for the soda ash soak before dyeing.)
Look at that pretty burgundy color!  I was really hoping if I mixed the lime with the red I'd get a more orange look as I'm going for felting pumpkins first.  But if it stayed this color, I'd be very happy with it!

Placing it on the paper towel (with plastic under it to prevent counter stains) is kinda gross.
 I started rinsing it but ewww! It really looks like... brains. Until I got it done!  And now look!  Too bad I didn't want PINK and a very light limey color!
Ok, now what.  Hmm.  Well, off to dry it, and then maybe on my NEXT day off, I can card some of it.  I hope people will buy pink and lime pumpkins to support special needs orphans in Russia!  <3

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A lot going on

Happy Weekend Y'all!

Feels a little more and more like fall every week here. This week our highs are in the eighties, but I hear that by along about Thursday the highs will be only in the 60's. That ought to usher in the "Giving Season" quite nicely and maybe help me get a jump start into making things to sell.

I've been pondering for some time on what I could make to sell that would bring in income not just for Ruby Lane Farm but also for my little orphan, Elias. There is a little boy in Russia that I would just about give anything to be able to bring home and live with us. He is four years old, has Down's Syndrome, and I swear he looks just like Timmy at that age.

Baby Elias
Handsome nearly grown up Timmy.

So I'm trying to figure out what kind of craft I can make to sell that will bring in some money towards Elias' adoption fund.  This is not my fund, mind you, just monies that go straight to Reeces Rainbow, the agency that handles the adoptions for the Down's Syndrome Russian babies.  I am leaning toward felted animals to give away for a 100% tax deductible gift of $10. 

Any thoughts?  Course, I have to learn to felt first, but I've completed all the other steps on this journey so far...
  1. buy an Angora goat 
  2. learn to shear
  3. wash the resulting fiber
  4. and card it.... now I'm up to 
  • Learn to Dye Angora fiber (mohair)
  • Learn to Felt
  • Find a way to market said product
  • and make a WHOLE BUNCH of felted animals!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Me and My Blue Bucket

Some of the fun things I've done since we moved here to the new and improved Ruby Lane Farm World Headquarters are repairs.  I had a very wobbly mailbox, and it was set into some sort of metal spike which really was not doing the trick.  To fix it, I pulled out the post and spike, dug a hole with my trusty post-hole diggers and dropped in some cement.  I reset the post, and voila!  No more wobble and shake.  I bet the post man loves it.

I wonder if he likes the new (ahem) much lower height... something I didn't think of when resetting the post INTO the ground as opposed to atop the stake.

Heh heh.
Well, he hasn't said anything YET.

Then I decided we needed a rabbit pen because Nellie was all squished in that little wee cage in which we moved her.  Since the fellows who were helping me move sort of fell down on the job and did not get but one load of stuff, we lost out on a lot of the outdoor structures I had built previously for both chickens and rabbits. I looked around to see what we had on hand, as I didn't want to have to buy anything from the hardware/lumber stores. Here's what I came up with.

The plants were set in front of the door because I didn't have it hinged yet.  And this worked well - til it rained.  Then I added inside a little box to go under the ineffective tin roof. How cute!
But as it turned out, the little shelter was not nearly so cute as it was a stepping stone to freedom for Nellie. 
Little twit.

I'll show you more projects either completed or in process next blog.
Thanks for listening!
Love love.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Shame On Me!

It's been nearly a YEAR since I hit up my blog?  I'm blushing in shame.

In my defense, a LOT has happened this year!  Let me outline the highlights.

  • We moved in December of 2010 (to a place that turned out not to be great.)
  • We got two dogs from the shelter (they're still happy!)
  • We bartered for a goat in milk (she's still in milk)
  • We bartered for a mess of chickens (they are JUST starting to lay for me) AND we hatched some from our original three that were given to us when we moved in
  • I did a lot of building around the place (fences, shelters, movable pens, milking stanchions)
  • We had a huge garden/labor of love which all died in the drought (oh so sad!)
  • I stayed sick at that house a LOT (combination of putrid cat urine permeating the house and tension due to the owner's daughter who lived across the street and made my life tense)
  • I bought two goats for fiber and was given a rabbit for the same
  • I moved again (to a place that is turning out to be absolutely lovely)
  • I started school (more pre-reqs toward a degree, some of it online, some on campus)
  • I got a job outside the home (care-taking)
  • And I started getting counseling.
Now, am I forgiven?  Because that is  A LOT of goings-on!

I promise to update you more as to specifics on nearly all of it if you're interested... just now I have to go do chores!