Hola and stamps!

Hi readers! I haven’t been posting here too often, have I? Indeed I am posting a lot over at the farm’s blog.

But here is a special post with some pictures of crafts I’ve done recently.

Stamp Swap received package 1

I participated in a stamp swap with two other Canadians. One partner sent me this quartet of stamps. She did a great job on my logo stamp and it’s so hefty that it stamps wonderfully and authoritatively. I will get a lot of use out of it! In fact I used all but the sewing machine stamp when I replied to a friend’s wedding invitation. Yup, I stamped the heck out of the return envelope 😀

Veggie Bunch Stamps

This is  a set I made for one of my partners. It’s The Veggie Bunch. They were super fun to carve. I’ll make up a set for myself eventually.

I am waiting for the second partner to post pictures of my stamps before I post the picture here. Her theme was tattoos, so those stamps were things I had never really carved before and were a lot of fun to carve as well.

Oh, and what’s that secret stamp on the letter? It’s a sneak preview of one stamp in my first series of Farm Sketches prints! I’ve been casually sketching and carving stamps based on living here on the farm. In the near future I will be making some prints involving these stamps for people to purchase. Since most of the proceeds go right back into the farm and animals, it’s a great way to support the farm and get something of value in return. These prints will range in size from business card individual prints to 8.5×11 montages, and as with most of my creations, will be available in the best of colors: rainbow!

To My Yarnie Friends

As many people know, I love fiber arts. For the past months my fiber time has been occupied with a large exchange project for a fellow shepherd, which I am going to deliver and receive this very weekend.

Meanwhile, I have been thinking about how I will approach selling my own hand dyed yarns. I am glad to announce that I have gone from the “wildly speculating” phase to the “tangible progress” phase!

The month of August will be dedicated to producing a limited stock of special yarns. These yarns will include a lot of lighter weight yarns, such as laceweight and fingering weight, as well as some bulkier weight yarns perfect for hats. Most of the yarn will be 100% wool. I am hoping to offer a range of yarns: reused yarns (taken from sweaters and re-dyed/re-plyed), professionally milled yarns, and of course my very own handprocessed handspun yarns, many of which come from the animals here on the farm. Most of them will be dyed with a variety of unique colorways. There will be lots of rainbows for sure!

I will be posting updates here on the blog about how the project goes. I am thinking of letting my blog readers have first dibs on the yarns, what do you think? Also, if any blog reader wants to reserve a skein or two, and wants them dyed a certain way or theme, let me know via a comment or an email! Otherwise, August will be a month of color explosion, as all months should really be.

Quick July thoughts

Everything and everyone is growing like crazy. The tomatoes have long since expanded past their racks, next year we will need to make a super support for them! We even have one baby cauliflower growing!

Cleaning out the barn by hand is probably the most hellish task I’ve ever had to do in my life, especially when the weather is 40 degrees C. And that’s with a ton of help. Being a farmer without any type of heavy implement seriously impedes your ability to do anything. As a farmer, you need to spend money to make money, else you’re spending time to get a fraction of the benefit.

One of the spotted hens hatched her eggs yesterday. We moved her inside just to be safe. There’s 4 so far and 3 eggs yet to be hatched – two gold ones, one black and gold one, and one black one. How cute 🙂

Jane and her duckies are doing great. The duckies grow bigger every day. They still have little tiny wings, and when they get wet they stand up high on their duck feet and flap their little nubs around, just like a T-Rex would. It’s so adorable!  Jane has gone back to cooing instead of squeaking, and is willing to fly up to the deck for food again.

The turkeys are doing great, but as they get bigger it becomes so apparent how dumb they are. We will be letting them outside soon, clipping a wing to make sure they don’t fly away.

Rabbits are enjoying the outside weather, though I think I’ll be bringing Riker inside with this hot weather.

I am participating in a stamp swap with two other Canadian gals. I have completed carving a set of stamps for one partner and am getting inspiration to carve up the other partner’s stamp(s). The completed ones are so cute I wish I could keep them, but it’s good knowing they’ll be off to a home where they’ll be appreciated!

New Stamps

Yarn Tag

I’ve been in a stamping mood recently. At the same time I was finding I wanted a better, more consistent and organized way to remember my yarn details. So I decided to combine the two loves and make a yarn tag stamp.

I love stamp making. It is meticulously fun in the same way eating a pomegranate is. There’s something so rewarding about making a sketch, transferring it onto the rubber, and making it come to life. The stamp always takes on a bit of a personality of its own, and at least at this stage with my skills, my stamps always come out with that extra homemade touch to them.

Since I intend to use these tags for my yarn I will sell from the farm, I wanted to see if I could make it into a rainbow tag. It took a few tries to find the right colors but finally a nice rainbow appeared. A nice black and white yarn cord highlights the prettiness of the rainbow. Best of all, the tags are made with 100% recycled cardboard, aka my cereal boxes.

I am working on a set of other stamps based on my animal sketches. Hopefully I will be able to make prints to sell in the near future.

AWY: Processing Frankie’s Fleece

Frankie Yarn #1

Check it out! It’s the first skein of 100% home processed Frankie yarn, and another two are working their way down the pipeline. I took the opportunity to document the experience on my Adventures with Yarn blog.

Farm life continues to go on uneventfully. We are still waiting for the lambs to make their appearance. I have half a mind to bet that Ginger Rogers is producing twins, given how long we’ve seen her baby bulge for.

Shearing Frankie

Let’s let the pictures do the talking for a second:

Before:

Frankie pre-shearing

After:

Frankie post-shearing

Can you tell it’s my first time ever shearing a sheep? Let alone a ram who doesn’t really want to be doing this at all. Even though it took us over an hour, using those old fashioned blades, and I still have his butt to trim, not even one scratch was made by anyone. I’ll take that over the professional result of someone who actually knows what they’re doing. I mean, everyone’s had a funny haircut once in their lives, right?

Beyond the aesthetics, he seemed to really enjoy the trimming for the most part. His little tail was wagging  just like a puppy. He wanted to stretch when we did, and got grumpy near the end as we did too, so I don’t blame him for that. When we put him back in the pen he chased the girls for a bit, then did some leaps and jumps, including a new move of shaking himself off just like a wet dog would. I think he’ll enjoy being without his heavy coat, and I know I’ll enjoy working on his fleece, even if it is a dirty mess and more of a heap than a fleece:

Frankie's fleece

For the details on the shearing, I’ve made a blog  entry over at Adventures with Yarn, please take a look if it interests you.