Monday, July 30, 2012


One of my best friends and her husband recently bought a house, so I wanted to get them a housewarming gift.  I saw this idea on Pinterest, and thought I could do something similar.  I bought canvases from Walmart, and some Valspar paint samples from Lowe's. 

I painted three canvases each a different color.

Then I went outside and found three different types of plants to paint over.  I used Queen Anne's Lace, some sort of grass (a big weed), and some other broadleaf weed I couldn't ID.  Then I pressed the leaves so they'd lay flat over the canvases. 

Then I put the plants over the canvases, and used a beige spraypaint to paint over.  It's supposed to leave a pretty silhouette of the plant, but unfortunately my spray paint was pretty powerful and the air from the can caused the plants to move a little. 

I ended up with these very faint, very blurry images and it wasn't exactly what I was aiming for.  So I got out my paintbrushes and decided to fill in by hand. 

I ended up with the above canvases.  They're much easier to see, and stand out better. I think I may do some for my house, though I'm not sure where to hang them.  Maybe the bathroom? 

Anyways, I hope she likes them!  Isn't gift giving nerve-wracking sometimes?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Goodbye, Pig

Yesterday morning we loaded up the pig and took her to the processor's.  It was bittersweet, and even though I was sad to see her go, I am happy that she'll feed our family for a long time.  It's great to know that we got her as a tiny pig, and in just barely 6 short months we raised her to be such a big girl. 

Here I am with her on Tuesday evening, giving her some scratches and loving.  She loved when I brushed her with a scrub brush!

We don't have a livestock trailer, and the one we were going to borrow was in use, so we had to make our own!   We put a dog kennel on top of David's flatbed trailer, and secured it with ratchet straps.  It wasn't going anywhere!   To load her, we backed the trailer inside her pen and dropped the ramp of the trailer.  We covered the ramp (made of expanded steel) with a black moving blanket so it looked like solid ground, because she may not have wanted to walk up the ramp if she could see through it. 
I was a little nervous that she'd be difficult to load in the trailer, but she followed a bucket of feed right up the ramp like she had been doing it every day!  I'm glad it was so calm and easy, because I wanted to make sure the whole process was as stress free for her as possible. 

Here we are all loaded up and ready to go.  No, I didn't ride back there with her, but I would have liked to!
I gave her some treats (a cantaloupe and some corn) to keep her happy and busy.
And there she goes....

The ride to the butcher's was fairly easy. I'm sure we got some weird looks going down the road!  We had to wait a bit at the butcher's because someone else's was there blocking the unloading dock, and the pig started to get a little nervous, so I had to eventually go inside to ask him to move the truck.  We got her unloaded very easily, and the worker there was very patient as I walked her back to her pen, gave her a bit of feed, and said goodbye to her.  I'm sure to the workers this is so routine and boring, but I wanted to make sure she was calm.  This was the hardest part for me, because I couldn't control what was happening to her.  My first choice would have been for us to dispatch (a nice way to say kill) her at our house, then take her to the butcher for processing.  Unfortunately (for us), since the butcher we used is USDA inspected, they can only accept live animals.  We just made sure to choose a reputable butcher and trust that she would be treated as calmly and humanely as possible.  I spoke with the butcher when I made the appointment, and he was very nice and said 99% of the time it goes very smoothly.  Maybe next time we raise a pig we'll make sure it's at market weight in the winter, and try to process it ourselves. 

So all in all, raising her was a very good experience and I really did enjoy it.  Pigs are very smart and entertaining animals, and I'll definitely miss her around here.   I still have the 2 small boys, and they'll raised a little longer for a pig pickin'

We pick up the meat in about 3 weeks (it needs time for the hams and bacon to cure), and I'll write another post then!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Kylee is 7!

 Kylee turned 7 on Saturday, so to celebrate, we went to a neighboring county fair.  It's a teeny little fair, but we still saw lots of cool things. 

These little mini horses were so cute! 

And we saw lots of pigs!  They were sleepy things!                                                                                                              


This pig was so cute sticking its tongue out!     


And there were just a few lambs there.


And a few goats.  I wanted to buy this pretty girl.


The kids liked petting this beef steer (or cow, I couldn't see).


And there were lots of elegant dairy cows.


And we saw some neat entries in the home arts building. 

We got rained out of the fair after a little while, so we went home and had a pizza party, then cake and ice cream!

I think Kylee was excited!

She LOVES her new doll, named "Sophia".  She spent the rest of the weekend changing Sophia's outfits! 

Time sure flies, and next year I feel like I'll be posting that she got her driver's license!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Baby Knits

My friend and coworker just had an adorable baby boy a few weeks ago.  I knitted a cute little baby wrap for the little guy.  The pattern is the Baby Snuggle Wrap, and I knitted it out of cotton yarn in a bright, happy green.  I could not for the life of me take a decent picture of it.  Either it looked sloppy or the color was way off. This is the best I could get!  I think mine came out a little big, but it's ok because the baby's big brother loves this as a blanket. 

Now I'm off to go knit more baby items.  I've got 4 more babies to knit for!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wordless (Almost) Wednesday

Big Pig's left side.

Big Pig's right side.

Little Pigs

Friday, July 6, 2012

Post Shearing Pics

I managed to shear my 3 ewes in a reasonable amount of time this year. I've got a bit of a herniated disc, so I had to be really careful how I bent and moved.  I ended up shearing them with them mostly standing up, which I normally don't do.  It worked out really well!

It's always a little bit like Christmas morning, seeing how your sheep look after they're sheared. Wool can hide a lot!  Are they too thin or too fat?  My sheep had been on pasture only for most of the spring and early summer, so I was curious to see how they looked.  Darla, my Southdown ewe, raised her twin ram lambs on pasture alone, no grain supplement.  I have to say I'm very happy with what I found!  Here's a post showing some pre-shearing woolies.

In the above pic, the sheep from left to right are Bean, ram lamb, Barley, ram lamb, and Darla.  Bean and Barley are Darla's two Romney cross yearling ewes born in 2011.  I am so happy with Barley. She's got great conformation.  Her sister, Bean, has nice conformation too, but her stature is smaller than I'd like. She's always been smaller though.  I can't wait to breed the girls this fall and see how they do.  I think I'll breed them to a Southdown ram. 

The ram lambs are growing well too.  At least one will be for our freezer this fall/winter, and we may sell one.

Ida is turning into a beautiful goat.  She's also a yearling, and will be bred this fall.  I'm so excited, because I think Ida is an improvement over June.  I love June too, but Ida is just gorgeous.  I can't wait to see how her udder turns out! 

June is still doing well, but she's a bit thin for my liking. I've been feeding her well, but I think she won't gain any weight until I dry her off (stop milking).  The pigs have been getting just about every drop of milk for the past 2 months (stay tuned for an updated pig post).  I wish I had 2 does in milk, because it's a great pig feed.  I think after the pigs go and after we show June in the county fair, I'll keep her in milk just long enough to stock the freezer with milk for soaping, and then go ahead and dry her off. I'd like her to gain weight before breeding season. 

It will be an exciting breeding season! I'll have 2 does kidding and 3 ewes lambing next spring!

Monday, July 2, 2012

New Listings

I am recovering from a fun filled week (our "staycation), but I wanted to blog about a few new shop updates! 

The Goat Milk and Honey soap has a new look!  It's listed again, after a brief hiatus.

And I've made a few hand-knit and felted bowls.  They're a great way to keep your little things contained!
There are three sizes, and the bowls nest together when empty.   I can't wait to make bowls in new colors!

Here's the small:

The medium:

And the large:

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