Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Feed the sheep

Tillie says "Fill the bucket for the pretty goat?"
We still do a few shows every year. I love to weave and spin the fleece from my sheep and angora goats and make beautiful rugs and shawls. Shawn is a fantastic wood carver and world-class broom maker. Lena's talents are across the board, right now she is focusing on making great brooms. All these items will be at our Common Threads studio on our farm in two weeks. Most facets of my life are now involved in getting ready for Off The Beaten Path Studio Tour. At work, I'm trying to make sure all contingencies are covered so I can be away for three days.

Fantasia says, "I'm too elegant to beg for food."
And here on the farm I'm trimming toes, seeing who needs to be sheared this fall and generally making all the critters pretty for company. I'm also mowing the paths (yes, we did get a little rain out of hurricane Isaac), cleaning up the accumulated junk, trying to decide what to do with the garden and prettying up the sights and site.

In the studio, I'm frantically finishing projects and working on getting a new warp on the Newcomb so that I can demo weaving during the tour. I have about 25 rugs finished, as well as about a dozen shawls and a couple dozen skeins of yarn. I've dyed up lots of pretty bright colored mohair locks.

We do Studio Tour for many reasons. I love to share our crafts and critters with people who are interested. I love to make things, and I don't like to accumulate things. I like to share the comfort and happiness of our farm with people through the items I make from the fleeces my critters grow. I enjoy being a part of the circle of the animals on my farm connecting through me to people in the city. And, we need to make money to buy feed for the sheep and goats. My sheep get to live long, productive, comfortable, beloved lives because I use their wool to make things that people buy. I do spin  straw into gold, it just takes a few extra steps and at least a year.
Hocus Pocus, now you love sheep.

 In an average year, we buy 300 bales of hay. This is not an average year. Every penny we make at shows, in the Arkansas Craft Guild Gallery and at Christmas Showcase goes to feed and care for our sheep and goats. This year, with feed prices so very high, we are asking our critters to be ambassadors, as well as growing fleeces. I think they can do both at the same time. They don't mind, as long as the food keeps coming.

I'm thinking of making "Feed the sheep" trading cards and running "Feed the sheep" promotions.
Which of these girls would you like to see on a trading card?
Who is your favorite sheep?
Collect all 30 sheep and goats.... What do you think?

Leave a comment here with your favorite sheep and I'll send you a trading card when I get them printed. Share the information about Off The Beaten Path Studio Tour with your friends. We'd love to see you here at the farm, and I'll say "thank you" for the sheep.

Henna and Harley, the dairy goat twins love their grain

Fritillary says, "Fluffy little butterfly
goats have to eat well to grow good fluff."

At 13 years of age, Thyme eats
special pellets. She doesn't
have any front teeth.

Finesse says, "THBbbbbbt!"

Basil is granddam to most of the flock and a loving mother.

Boo -boo is super serene, perhaps to make
up for her name.

Gobi looks so goofy she makes me laugh. Her fleece is so
soft, I'm currently weaving a shawl on the triloom with
yarn I spun from her first shearing.

Heather likes hay. Heather likes people who feed her hay.

Hanna is quietly growing into a beautiful ewe.

Higgs! Don't forget Higgs! Higgs will give you hugs.

Demi says, "look, my feed pan is empty, again!"

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