Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mostly Pics

Seems the hint of fall is in the air here.

Misty mornings. It was a month of September that I named my farm. Here's the girls coming in from the back pasture for their breakfast pellets.

My family is taking every advantage of the last days of summer.
It's times like these when I think about the possibility of having to line up another shearing crew for the spring.
In case you were wondering...I had to hold the camera and the dog's leash. Otherwise, I'd be right in there. Honest....really....;)

I'm in denial about the approaching seasons. However, my hubby had a couple loads of wood delivered the other day. Reality approaches.

I'm all packed up for my booth at Rosseau Farmer's Market tomorrow. Market booths are a lot of work for me, but I do enjoy meeting people so much. Even on a slow market day, I get a rare opportunity to sit outside and spin on my wheel. The weather network says it will be fair weather.

I'm looking forward to fall. It's been too humid here this summer. I do look forward to the return of routine that fall brings. Not to mention getting to wear soft, warm alpaca again!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rainy Days

Oh, my yummy shelves! I've been having fun on my dyeing days this summer. These alpaca blend skeins were yet to be labeled as I got ready for the Artist's Garden event last weekend.

The Artist's Garden brings together about 25 artists and artisans from our community onto the gardens of Ash Creek Pottery in Callander, Ontario. For two days, the public comes to see the artists in action. I was there demonstrating hand spinning, not dyeing. The ladies of St. Andrew's Church serve lunch and desserts in a great tea room. Mid-day, a bagpiper plays from across the pond. The resident ducks walk amongst the gardens and glide into the pond. People play a game of trying to count how many frogs reside in the beautiful water garden beside the pottery studio. On a lovely day, you cannot find a more peaceful venue.
Saturday was a perfect day, even with a short 15 minute rain in the morning. I saw many old friends and met many new faces. The artisans are a great, friendly bunch and we have fun while we are there.
Sunday was not a perfect day. The skies turned black, the phone rang with warning from North Bay of high winds and hail. With black, ominous clouds approaching and the winds picking up, we scrambled to cover the tables the best we could. Not even my anti-rain dance in my long skirt and plaid rubber boots could save it. The skies opened up and it rained, and rained, and rained.
I felt quite sick watching from the studio's covered porch and realizing that I had several thousand dollars worth of yarn, hand knit and hand woven articles under the plastic. My poor tent didn't stand up too well. Somebody's market tent completely collapsed.
My fellow artisans thankfully rushed over to help me secure my product as best we could under plastic.
It rained for a very long time.
The best time was had by six year old Sage, who, barefoot and covered with a blue garbage bag ran through the rain and puddles, declaring that 'This is the Best Day Ever"!
When it finally cleared, the hostess found a dry table and tent and people helped me move some of my product to a drier spot.
Like many others, I was soaked to the bone with drip dry hair.
Worse was that when I got home tired, I had to unpack everything to ensure it wasn't wet.
I was happy that I only lost one photo card and some labels.
Sunday night, I was feeling that I might have participated in my last outdoor venue. I was tired and cranky.
But Monday, the emails started flying talking about how next year's event could be even better.
I love this event and the spirit of the people involved in it.
I'm in! (well, assuming I'm invited...)
I just might have to think about a more weather-proof display system.

Here's some fibre blending that I'm working on. White alpaca and a teal blue merino...makes a batt that looks like a waterfall. I'm thinking of adding either some sparkly angelina or some more colourful silk to it....we'll see where it goes.

It hasn't all been work. Lawrence Hill's Book of Negroes has been out on a steady reserved rotation from the library, especially as it has enjoyed such wonderful reviews. I finally got a hold of it when I had time to read it. It's so hard to put this book down. I thoroughly enjoyed Hill's writing style, the story and the character, Aminata Diallo.

You may have been wondering about Lily. She's still doing fine, although she is smaller than she should be. Lily absolutely refuses the bottle, so we are weighing her often to ensure that she is still gaining. So far, so good. She is gaining, ever so slowly. Lily already has a fan base of her own rooting for her continued health.

Thanks for dropping in. I am always pleased to find comments, so please leave one if you feel inclined!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Easy Summer Living

My schedule has been varied a bit over the last 2 weeks, so it seems almost like a holiday.

I had a booth both at the farmers' market in Rosseau and in North Bay on the August long weekend.

The young cria, Lily, started refusing the bottle from us. I guess after tasting the real stuff from her adoptive alpaca mom, the kid replacer just didn't cut it. She's also eating grass now. We need to keep an eye on her weight and make sure she keeps gaining.

Without the regular bottle feeding schedule, we've been able to spend some more time out at the lake. We still have to run home to look after the animals at least twice a day. Still, it seems like a holiday to be swimming, relaxing in the shade with a good book, visiting with family, fishing, etc.

We had a good rain for most of today. Tonight, I went out to take some nice shots of the green fields and perhaps some alpaca pictures.

It's hard to sneak up on the alpacas with a camera. Either they come up to put their noses into the lens, or more often than not, you end up taking a lot of pictures of alpaca butts as they turn and move away.

I was able to take a picture of one back pasture before the girls noticed me and figured they should run in to get some pellets.

We often have deer in our back pastures, sometimes even grazing alongside our alpacas. I counted six there tonight, although I couldn't get them all in one picture.

Do you remember Mr. Lonely?
Uhmm...pretty sure it's a Miss. Isn't she pretty? I think we will call her Miss Lovely from now on.
She's not so lonely anymore. Aren't they getting big?

I've been doing a lot of hand dyeing, both yarn and rovings.

Here's my 3 ply sock yarn in "Feet on Fire" colourway.
and "In The Navy" colourway.
This coming weekend, Aug 14th & 15th, I will have a booth at The Artist's Garden on Hwy 654 in Callander, Ontario. Check out the link. 22 artists and artisans show their wares and demonstrate their craft. I'll be hand spinning....alpaca, of course!

Thanks for stopping in to read my blog. It makes my day when I see that someone has left a comment.