Thursday, October 29, 2009

Spindles and Soap

This past month I've been making goats milk soap with lard from our neighbors hog they butchered and our lovely goats milk. The oatmeal/almond/ylang ylang helps exfoliate helping make hands soft and smooth for spinning. The lavender/clary sage is anticeptic for those dirty gardening(or barn) hands. I've also been painting more folk art spindles to sell with my Lunch Bag Spindle Kits. Check out the leaping lambs and what about that border collie herding them around, literally. These kits have been a big hit at the farmers market. Priced right and portable.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Natural Tanning

Last week we butchered a lamb and instead of using a commmercial tanning solution, I decided to try my hand at brain tanning like the indians did. As the photo's show, I first scraped the hide and then washed it. After spinning the hide in the washer, I applied the brain (which had been mashed and mixed with 1/2 cup water) to the skin side working it in with a flat stone. I then folded it over skin to skin and placed it in a plastic bag for 6-7 hours. When I removed the hide from the bag, I let it begin to dry and as it dried I streatched and pulled the hide to make it soft. I like the result better than the commercial tan. The finished product show the lock formation and more of the true color of the fleece. I'm happy!

Putting to bed

Today I planted my pink daffodil bulbs. I have also dug the madder and dried it in the loft of the barn. The last of the veggies, brussel sprouts, broccoli, fennel, carrots and cabbage occupy their corner of the garden and the rest of the garden has been sowed with wheat. I will mulch the garlic bed with shredded leaves or put it to bed as they say. In the cold frame, I will sow lettuce and dig a hole for the rosemary pot and mulch it with straw to winter over. The border collie dogs are getting some work taking the sheep to the pasture on the hill in the morning and bringing them home at night, keeping the pasture close to home for later this winter.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Best Tess

On Wednesday Oct. 7 I said goodby to my faithful and loyal corgi Tess. She died in her sleep while I was away. I wasn't expecting this of course, because I thought she would live forever, after all she was a corgi and only 11 years old. I guess that is old in dog years. I still find myself looking for her when I go outside or come home or rattle the milk bucket. She lived in true corgi style and died that way, being the boss(or Welsh as we say). This post is in memory of Tess, truely this farmers friend. I'll post a picture as soon as I am able.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


My husband's Aunt Johnie is an avid collector of all things nostalgic. She has a collection of anything imaginable.... and unimgainable. She always brings out her latest collection at our family reunion, which this year, was an array of old aprons celebrating textiles from by-gone years. Looking amoung her collections of odds and ends, my daugher photographed a few interesting items that brought back memories, and a few laughs.
This particular photo (above) remineded me of my cheerleading days at Talawanda Highschool in Oxford.
This car looks so 70's.
This is the nostalgic part I was talking about....

Family reunion

On Friday Oct. 2nd we went back to Indiana for a family reunion. Our trip took us past Ohio Valley Natural Fibers, so I was able to pick up my roving. Now, I have almost 5 lbs. of soft BFL roving to spin. Even though we arrived at non-business hours, Kent Ferguson opened shop and gave us a grand tour of the mill. These people love what they are doing and it shows in the end product. Corn fields and soybean fields were ready to harvest and those Indiana sunsets are always a treat.
Being able to see my husband's mother, aunts and uncles, cousins, brothers and sister-in-laws took away any homesickness I had recently acquired. As we headed toward home and into those beautiful SE Ohio hills, the fall colors were abundant. I needed to take that fall road trip, and it left me more than satisfied.