Monday, April 30, 2012

Harvest time

When you think of harvest, it's usually a late summer to fall activity but for alpaca farmers, we harvest our 'produce' in the spring before the summer heat.
This past weekend I was participating in a two day course on skirting and preparing alpaca fleece...perfect timing to ensure that all the information I acquired was still fresh in my mind. But since this course was hands-on, I've spend two full days on my feet skirting and preparing fleece, drove home last night (a 4.5 hr drive) and got things ready for this morning. Doing all this while our kitchen is torn apart because of renovations happening in there!
My feet and knees are killing me but my heart is so happy.

Today was our havest exciting day for us newbies in the alpaca farming world!

We got a few friends together along with a professionnal shearer and started bright and early this morning.
One by one, the alpacas were brought in.

 Once they were let out, they kept sniffing each other as if to say: Hey, who are you?
In this picture, you can see Ginger sniffing Coco who is sniffing Aurelia, who is sniffing Ginger!

Without their fleece, their coat is like velvet.

Look at baby tiny now.

 And Coco sporting her summer look!

Now the challenge of the day was to shear our llama, Frankie.
Frankie is a huge llama and he's not wimpy by any means.
Llamas are usually sheared every second year.
The shearer told us he would shear him on the ground...that's right...lie Frankie down and shear him!
Hubby was a little skeptical but Tom (the shearer) guided the crew step by step to get Frankie down safely.

Frankie cooperated quite well. But mind you, I was not the one on the ground holding him!
So one side was done.

Then he was flipped over to shear the other side. The towel was put on his head at one point to make him feel a little calmer.

And look at him now!

 Doesn't he look years younger?

And now, look at what is waiting for my attention.
I'll be preparing this fiber to send it to the mill for processing very soon.

All in all, a wonderful day's work.
Now how about someone to rub my feet and make my dinner? Any volunteers?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I dyed this superwash merino top yesterday and the colours mixed and blended to produce something wild and loud!
I doubted anyone would look twice at it and decided I should keep it and spin it for myself to see what it looks like. (well...maybe I liked the colours too much to part with it).
So yesterday afternoon, I sat by the window and spun this wild top. The more I spun, the more excited I got with it. I was worried the colours would look like mud once spun but I'm liking it.

I kept spinning into the evening and spun all of the 4 ounces of merino fleece.

I usually wait at least 24 hours before I ply, to give time for the singles to relax into their twist. But I was eager to see it plied.
So this afternoon, I decided to do a three ply with it and VOILĂ€!

61 meters of Bulky yarn.

I think this yarn wants to become a hat...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Healthy brownies

There are some chocolate lovers in my life (even though I'm not one of them). So a chocolate snack was in order.
I came across a recipe for brownies with a healthy bonus. Don't let the ingredients scare you from trying this recipe because they turned out super delicious...even for the non-chocolate lovers like me!

Sunday, April 8, 2012


I love to paint furniture and transform it from old and ugly to fresh and beautiful. might be a bit of a strong word...what I love is the finished product and in order to get to that I need to do the painting myself.
Sometimes I will put a lot of work into it by doing some decorative painting and other times, I will keep it very simple. The hardware is changed most of the time.
We've had this desk in our kitchen since we built this house in 1995. A simple pine desk that we bought unfinished. At the time, only a coat of varnish was applied.

It has a roll top that opens up to many cubby holes. A pain to paint and varnish...but it need to be done.

So after a week of sanding, painting and it is!

Paint is Paris Grey by ASCP.
I replaced the old brass knobs and pulls for a brushed nickle finish.
Even the cubby holes got a fresh coat of paint as did the roll top...many hours of sanding and painting but well worth the effort.

Gone to the dogs!

A morning walk filled with clear blue skies, cool, crisp air, sunshine...what a great day to be outside.
Today, I took Anouk for a walk around the property.
Frankie was concerned about the 'loose' dog about so he came over to check things out.

Then I spent a little bit of time with the crew.

 A bit of talking and cuddling.

Bjorne is the gold one. He's the one guy with a whole bunch of cream girls.

The dogs are in great need of some serious grooming. They are loosing their winter coats and are shedding all over the place. One by one, they will be bathed and brushed and trimmed this week. By next weekend they should all have been done.

But for now, off I go to prepare food for Easter dinner.
Have a wonderful day!