Thursday, June 28, 2007

New stuff and lots going on!

Hello everyone! Hope it is cooling off for you too--it is finally no humid today so the sheep are happy, that means everyone is happy--ha! Just added some new items to the website and our etsy shop so be sure to take a look!

The purse is my creation from Homestead sheep wool, spun by me, knit, felted and then embellished with a perfect matching vintage applique and some pretty glass beads. My sewing is not 'perfect' but I love the look of this one! It would be a great knitting bag, has enough room for some fiber and a drop spindle or a sheepy chic purse! You can find the info about the purse on the 3 Chic Knit page on our site....

The little sewing basket is cute as can be--would keep it for selfish me but I have several already and it just encourages my 'collections'! ha! SO, check it out in our Etsy shop--and all the other goodies there too!

My parents and my 'other parents' Dennis and Barbara are coming up on Saturday to enclose our back porch--for--drum roll-- a work room for my carder, picker and triangle loom! Yippeee! I will post before and after pictures for sure so keep an eye out. I am also working on a web update today, lots of unwashed wool, dyed fiber and yarn. If you like to receive our updates, remember to sign up on the website for the sheep fan club list! Happy fiber art!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Happy Wednesday!

Hooray for being 'back on track' I say! The dyepots are full, the drying nets are full and I am getting back to our routine! Yey! I just added a bunch of new roving to the site , with plenty more dyed and washed wool to follow--hoping by the weekend.

Been spinning LOTS so have a yarn update in the works, more alternative fiber handspun, lash yarn and almost lash yarn too! Wheee!

The sheep are watching over the first cutting of hay of the year--and wishing they could belly up and gallop through the field! Not! We have two loads of small bales in the loft so far and a big round bale was delivered when our friend's tractor ran over a deer antler (they shed them in the fall each year) and his tire popped like a balloon! We will have to take the gator up and pick rocks (landscaping material!) and any other stray antlers we find so the field is a little safer for farm equipment.

My wonderful mom and dad are coming to visit briefly tomorrow to measure our back porch--which will soon become a new fiber 'work' room! It will house our picker, mechanical carder and maybe even my tri-loom-- how fun is that? AND to have your own dad and his friend Dennis working on it? Just too special. AND if that was not enough, we are using almost all recycled building supplies. Lots of windows too--yey!

SO, the sheep survived balloon rally weekend and are busy watching the goings on--- and enjoying a few cooler days. We could really use some rain but we are crossing our fingers that it waits a few more days so we can bale up the last of our first cutting hay!! Hope all is well with everyone and that you are enjoying lots of fiber fun!!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Bear with us--again! Please!

If you think Bobbi & Andrew look worried, me too! We are sorry for any inconvenience our website posed the past two nights--all I can say is CRAP! We are working the bugs out of the 'bandwith' issue and hope you will all stop back soon, our web guru is working on this problem as we speak! Thanks for your patience and more soon!! Sandy & some very unhappy sheep--and dogs! ha!

Updates and felted fiber????

Good morning all!! Just wanted to thank you for letting us know our site went over on bandwidth last night--not sure what that means but it is fixed so be sure to watch the website this weekend! I have more roving, dyed fiber and more to update--a little behind on that but chugging away!

Didn't remember if I ever formally 'introduced' our Etsy shop? We have been posting some fun items there, from wool to handknit items from 3 Chic Knits AND lots of other sundries for plying, drop spindles, etc... Have a look when you get a few minutes, we are adding to the shop often with the oddlot items I have been collecting for sale--another reasonably priced place to shop with our sheep (and we happily combine shipping with Etsy and website purchases!)!

Also, I am almost ready to send out the raffle winner packages (Monday!), just have to get my carder outside tomorrow for a day of fun in the shade, and carding galore! Crazy batts on the way and thank you for your patience!!

Last but not least, ever wondered what you could do with a fleece that was accidentally felted during washing??? A friend (who will remain nameless, even though we have all done this at least once!) sent me a pound or so of fleece that met that situation in the washer--I went ahead and dyed it up and now that it is dry, I am working on some incredibly crazy, cool yarn! Stay tuned for more as I get the skeins off the bobbins!! bwwwaaaahahahahaha!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Monsters in the sky--and cows are FLYING???

I was getting ready to go outside and feed the masses this morning--only to hear chaos outside my windows! Monte & Casper (the horse and donkey--don't let their picture fool you!) were screeching around their pasture, snorting like an old steam engine.

The sheep groups were each huddled in a circle, fussing and while Dalai Llama and Chaquita tried to keep them that way, Bobbi and Andrew (the Great Pyrenees) were barking and tearing at the fences, eager to 'get the monsters'.

I kept hearing noises that were not familiar--until I looked out and here is what I saw! Of course I raced out to take pictures--cows flew today! haha! One of the balloons landed in the field at the end of our road, and the spotters (people riding along in vehicles) were right there to scoop the balloon and people up and take them back to town.

Welcome to Monroe's world famous Balloon Rally! We are located as a crow flies about 10 miles or so from the airport, I am looking forward to a clear weekend and the night flying they do--but hope by then my critters 'remember' that this is the weekend for monsters in the sky!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A day in a sassy critter's life.....

Yes, this is our 'sweet' Dalai Llama, who is the caretaker and protector of our group of boy sheep. He and his sheep live on the largest pasture we have--a good guess would be 10 undivided acres? (next year they split it and share with the girls!) Sounds pretty great huh? Apparently NOT. The face Dalai is so aptly portraying in the picture is what he must have looked like when the neighbors found him, and his 33 sheep, in the fencerows next to their newly growing cornfield? Ugh. Thankfully our neighbor called and by the time I grabbed shoes, ran out (cussing mightily I might add), they were magically back in the BARN giving me that oh so innocent look that sheepily says-- hey, nice to see ya. Arrrrggghhhh!

SO, as a result of that incident, a check of the fence (while we so carefully mowed the thistles and burrs for them that night), indicates this is not the first time they have ventured out of their friendly confines. Now we are beyond sass. They are now a very unhappily grounded bunch, having to live on the smaller pasture (with plenty of grass mind you) til we get the fencing together to get the hillside done. Ugh. They are not happy and let me know it every time I show my face. Dalai's face is going to freeze that way I swear! ha! Wait til he hears haircuts are coming soon for him and Chaquita! bwaahahahahaha!

More on this fact soon, sassy dogs this time! Our live is never dull! If you are looking for new fiber, be sure to look through the website this week, have major new fleeces AND dyed selections to post soon. In the mean time, check out my friend Carolyn's wonderful site and see all the great selections there too!! She offers great spinning fiber, doll hair options and be sure to take a look at her doll reroot options--she is amazingly talented! More soon!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Flashback AND alternative fiber handspun!

Well, I finally got the sheep's new line of yarn onto the site!! You see here the 'flashback' to a previous entry to the journal--picture number one is a pretty cotton shirt, complete with raised polka dots, and silk scarves I found at the thrift store--they are now shredded, most into yarn (some waiting in the wings!). I also added ribbon, ribbon/beaded flowers and some pretty cotton novelty yarn--all in one ply. The second ply is dyed Corn Fiber--so--wa-la-- just one of our new alternative fiber handspun yarns! THe second picture is the result of my shirt/scarf shredding, the third is a completely corn fiber (both roving AND crimps!) two ply. Wheee! We have had lots of requests for alternative fiber handspun so the sheep got busy and went shopping for fiber and I am working on lots of fun yarn! More in the works including Linen/Viscose blend, Ramie and more! Keep an eye on the site for sure....

I will be adding some new spinning fiber this weekend including Merino/Viscose blend mill ends (recycle!) dyed by yours truly and lots of wool--even some from our little Goliath sheep!

Hope all is well and happy fiber art!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A thank you from my beautiful mom....

Attending the Avon Walk Against Breast Cancer was a deeply moving experience for my husband and me. To see such a large number of people (more than 3,600) gathered together for one cause was awesome. All those walkers were backed by wonderful people like you, who gave of their time and money to help defeat breast cancer. $8.3 million was raised on the walk.

I am so proud of you Sandy. And I am grateful to all of your friends who participated in the raffles and helped you reach such a phenomenal goal. You all were there Saturday and Sunday, encouraging Kristie and Jenny and all the walkers.

Thank you all so much. Maybe someday breast cancer will be a disease of the past and you all will have helped.

My thanks and love to all of you,

Sandy's Mom - Nancy

Monday, June 04, 2007

They made it!!!!

And we never doubted you for a minute! These are my wonderful sisters Kristie (left) and Jenny (right) who (along with all of you) were responsible for keeping our naughty sheep home at the farm this weekend! They walked over 39 miles with 3700 other walkers through Chicago. They walked half the walk, camped over Saturday night and got right back up Sunday to complete the walk--amazing women they are for sure! Thank you!

And thank you to Jenny's hubby Kevin's friends at Orbitz who got together to reserve an executive suite right downtown for our Mom and Dad to stay the weekend. They drove the walk route down Lake Shore Drive--completed the walk too--cheering on the walkers all the way! Dad even wore a pink polo shirt--woot woot! Mom managed her chemo treatment to allow her to be there when the walkers arrived at Soldier's Field--it was an overwhelming moment for her to see all the people, volunteers, walkers AND hear that the Chicago walk had helped raise $8.8 million toward BC research! Amazing!

Thank you also for wrapping all your good thoughts around Jim's mom Claire--we miss her to bits and she was honored to be included in your walk...

Everyone is back home now--nursing their poor feet--and taking a day to sleep off the soreness. Under neath it all though, they should be so proud of their accomplishments--it was not an easy two days for either of them and they made it through--so so wonderful and we are so proud! Love you both and thank you again Friends of the Homestead for your support!!!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Thank you from us all!

You are all wonderful! Friends of the Homestead just donated $706 to support my sisters Jen and Kris in the Avon walk--TOMORROW! I hope they have comfy shoes--and maybe some special 'drinks' to get them through those 30 miles! Jenny told me she will get to the finish if she has to crawl--we are so proud of both our girls! They are walking for our mom Nancy, who is bravely battling BC (and doing quite well I should mention-we are proud of her too!!) and in memory of our Claire (Jim's mom who passed away last week after her battle with cancer). There are also several other people close to our family who have recently been diagnosed so they will be with the girls every step of the walk in spirit. As we will--and thanks to all of YOU, the sheep have finally agreed to STAY HOME and not participate in the walk! Yey! I am still going to keep an eagle eye on them though--I was not born yesterday!!!!

We will continue to fund raise for BC research this summer and to support the hospice center in Madison that helped us take such good care of Claire in her final weeks. We will offer different items all summer and the entire proceeds will be donated to the cause--in the purchaser's name.

I am working on spinning 'Kindred Spirit' yarn (to benefit hospice)--from beautiful Merino and Blue Face Leicester roving that my good friend Martie (of sent me to 'play with--which of course means SPIN!!! Watch for that yarn--I am done with the first ply and plan to get the second ply finished this weekend.... Bwaaahahahahaha!

Again, we could not have done this with out all of you and we are so grateful! The winners of this month's drawings are: Andrea Dejarlais, Heather Spellman, Rachel Johnston and Pat Retlick--congrats and fun packages coming your way next week!!!! Adore you all- The sheep, the Ryans and family