Friday, January 28, 2011


Today is an awesome day!

Since becoming an alpaca owner and learning to spin the gorgeous fleece into yarn, I have been amazed at the talents of the people I have come into contact with.  Spinning, weaving, seems there is an endless list of uses for alpaca fleece. 

So today, a typical Friday, I came home looking forward to visiting with our boys during chores and then spending the evening trying my second attempt at dying some yarn I had hand spun earlier this week.  Our King, Windsor, has supplied us with such gorgeous fleece and I have been thoroughly enjoying spinning and dying the yarn I have created.

Mom's Beautiful Boy

Windsor, at first glance, appears to have beautiful white fleece....but no.  His wonderful crimpy fleece is actually a lovely, soft light fawn.  Absolutely gorgeous all on its own.

Yes it is as soft as it looks

So, this evening, while my second attempt at dying lay soaking in a pot absorbing all that wonderful cherry Kool Aid...

I sat opening my mail....specifically the large envelope that arrived from Kentucky.  And here I sit, with my toes snug and cozy in my new alpaca socks, writing my blog and trying to narrow the endless online supply of knitting patterns to just one item to make with my newly acquired alpaca yarn that I won recently.

Lindy's Beautiful Yarn

Now if you will excuse me, I will be spending the rest of the weekend creating with this wonderful yarn.  As for Lindy, thank you so very much for choosing me as the winner of your giveaway.  Since starting to follow your blog, I have been impressed by your photos, your creations and your ability to tell the story of life on your farm.  Now that I actually have these two skeins of your gorgeous dyed yarn I am even more impressed and wish I could spend a weekend with you learning even more about this art.

Now...what to create????

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It May Be Freezing Outside...But It's Kool Inside

The original plans for today were some of the usual.  Chores, art class for the girls, groceries, I said, the usual.  I even thought I would spend some time outside playing with my camera and getting some shots around our property.  However, with temperatures hovering somewhere in the 28 below range it didn't take long for those plans to change.  Children who have been sniffling and coughing lately were relieved of chore duty and art class was not attended. 

Today is one of those days that is so cold you can actually see the air.  Honestly, there is almost a faint fog hanging in the air.  So cold that even the critters are giving looks this morning that screamed "SHUT THE DOOR" when we walked into the barn and rabbit hutch.  So Andy and I finished chores, came in to warm up and agreed that it would definitely be an "indoor activity only" day.

We are a family that loves history, old family tales and all things antique.  Andy long ago told me the story of how his Grandpa made his own meat pies and sold them to take care of his family.  Recently, we found out that his Grandpa started making these pies in his tiny local grocery store and how he had people lined up waiting for his pies.  Unfortunately, like so many family tales of the past, the famous family recipe was never written down.  So after talking with his aunt and borrowing some of his Grandpa's original mini pie pans from his dad, Andy got to work today trying to duplicate the secret family recipe.

Trust me, this first attempt tastes every bit as good as it looks.  So with my tummy full, I turned my attention back to my fabulous stock of fleece.  This fall I found myself constantly noticing all the beautiful autumn colours and thinking how I would love to try my hand at dying some of the fleece that our boys gave us.  Then, just when these thoughts were being replaced with thoughts of what cozy things I could make from all the fleece I have been friend, and fellow alpaca owner, who lives in Kentucky posted pictures of her first attempt at dying fleece with Kool Aid.  I found myself feeling inspired....and at the grocery store stocking up on Kool Aid.  Today seemed like the perfect day to hang out in the kitchen over a simmering pot of Kool Aid and try my hand.

We are very fortunate to have our Windsor.  As self-proclaimed "King" of JADA Farms, Windsor has supplied us with the most wonderful fleece.  His fleece is so luxurious, that I found myself feeling almost guilty.  What if I messed this up?  So for my first attempt I used only a small amount of the yarn I had recently spun.

After a bit of indecision, Sydney and I finally chose cherry Kool Aid.  I was still feeling a bit unsure due to the fact that Windsor is not a white alpaca, he in fact has beautiful light fawn fleece.  We diluted the Kool Aid into the pot of water as per Kaylen's link and in went my yarn.

I don't think I have ever followed instructions so closely.

This final rinse was the worse part.  What if the water wasn't the right temperature?  What if I ended up with a felted mess?  But after all was said and done, what was once my king's natural light fawn fleece had been transformed.

Who knew this...

Could be turned into this!
 Now that it has started to dry, I have a beautiful faded pinky coral colour yarn and I can't wait to make some more.   Hmmmm maybe some purple?  Thank you Kaylen for this link and all the other wonderful information and photos on your blog.  Click here to see Kaylen's wonderful creations.

As for those plans to get some shots with my camera....well I did get manage to get one or two from the warmth of our little farmhouse.

Well I guess the icicles are loving these temperatures!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Great Day!!!

Today is a great day!!!

What I thought was an uneventful Monday, just kept getting better and better.  I found out this afternoon that my daughter Sydney, who has been working very hard this year to make the school volleyball team, has been asked to play an exhibition game on Wednesday so that the coach can make the final decision.  She has worked very hard and dedicated a lot of free time to working toward this all I can ask is for everyone to send best wishes her way.

Then, while browsing through my usual blogs that I follow, I discovered that I had actually won a giveaway I had entered last week.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lindy for her wonderful giveaway.  If anyone who follows my blog is interested in checking out a truly creative artist and photographer check out the Loco Life of Lindy ( )  And look what I won!!!!

I can hardly wait to curl up with these cozy alpaca socks on my feet and play with that absolutely gorgeous yarn...thanks again Lindy.

And finally, after two weeks of cloudy skies, our Sydney finally got a clear sky tonight.   Trust me, it didn't take long for that telescope to get taken outside.  Everyone got a chance to brave the cold (and trust me, it is cold here tonight) and check out the skies.  I think we all have a brand new appreciation for this world we live in.  How anyway could not be amazed once they see the moon the way we did this evening is just beyond me.

Well off to spend the rest of this great day with my wonderful family, good night all!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

And Let the New Year Begin...

Well the hustle and bustle of the holidays are done, gifts have all been opened, way too much food has been consumed, the decorations are all tucked safely away and once again I have vowed that I will start earlier to avoid that crazy desperate rush next December...I'll let you know how that works out for me.

As I said before, we decided to do an old-fashioned "homemade" Christmas this year on our little farm and I am proud to say it was a complete success!  The kids got right into the swing of it and we had so much fun opening new knitting bags, 2 very gorgeous oil paintings, hand knit socks, sweaters, mitts and bookmarks, plaques, little decorative pillows, Christmas decorations, hand painted treasure boxes, handcrafted notepads, and one "Stress Kit for the Toronto Maple Leaf Fan".

The first pair of hunting socks I made were a success!!

And you can always count on Grandma for cozy mitts!!

Of course, there were those few store bought gifts and a few items from Santa.  Poor Sydney has been asking for a telescope...and when I say asking, I mean begging....for about five years now.  This year, we were thrilled to finally fill that request...and we think it took her about ten minutes to have it out of the box and assembled...this must be a new record somewhere in the world...

And another 20 minutes to convince Andy to load up the astronomy software that came with it.....

However, this is where the poor kid lost the battle and had to wait until daylight before she could drag Andy outside to brave the -21 windchill and get him to sight it for her...

Did I mention, the telescope we purchased has these little, itsy, bitsy, tiny screws that need to be adjusted in order to sight it?  You know, the ones that are so small that there is no way physically possible to wear winter gloves while doing it.  Did I also mention that Andy is a wonderful, patient man and we love him very much?  Of course, after waiting five years for this gift, we have had nothing but cloudy skies every night since.  But being the ingenious little trooper she is, she has gotten a lot of use of it and we now know what every neighbour on the next concession road keep in their backyards.

There were also those....well....unusual Christmas gifts.  For anyone who knows our kids, they love their meat!!  One of their absolute favourites is bacon....yes that's right...B-A-C-O-N.  Now at this point I know you are all sitting staring at your monitors, trying to figure out what bacon has to do with Christmas presents.  Forget the obvious, yes we live on a farm, NO....none of us got a pig for Christmas.  My youngest, Logan, is no different than the rest of the kids, she loves her bacon....only difference is, she asks for it a little more often than the rest of the kids.  By often, I mean pretty much constantly!  So, after a few weeks of consuming Grandma's bacon supply and pretty much making it impossible for the poor woman to keep up with the demand....yep, you guessed it....our Logie Bear got a pound of bacon for Christmas from Grandma...of course along with cozy mitts and other more traditional gifts.   But between you and me, I could be wrong but I think the bacon was her favourite!!!

I have to say, Christmas was a complete success this year and one of the most enjoyable ones I have ever had.  We had tons of family time, playing outside, relaxing and just plain being together!

Logan & Sydney playing outside with their Snowart Paint
Even Smokey, our little barn cat made it up to the house to get her you can see, she even got to meet Levi.

Well, off to start the new year....Happy 2011 to all!!