Sunday, August 24, 2008

Moon Flowers

Ken and I went to a flea market in mid-July. We go to this particular flea market every year and I always find some sort of special antique treasure to drag home. This year, I did not find any antiques that spoke to my heart. But I did buy 4 little Moon Flower plants with the hope that I might nurture them along and enjoy the flowers. God may have given me a talent for raising animals but just about every plant that I touch is doomed. I can not get a plant to thrive unless it's a perennial like hostas or peonies, which come up every year and sort of take care of themselves without any fuss or effort on my part. I am always envious of other people's lush green gardens and colorful flower beds. I am a "green thumb-deficient" person.
Imagine my delight when my Moon Flowers started to bloom last night! They remind me of the big floppy flowers in a Georgia O'Keeffe painting. There are lots of flower buds that are ready to burst open. Maybe the Moon Flowers and I will get along just fine.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Growing Up With Emma

Since I see Emma nearly every day, it's hard for me to tell if she's getting any bigger in size. However, she has lost the "baby wool" that was growing on her nose and she's looking more like an adult Wensleydale ewe. Her nose is the characteristic "blue" now (it is actually a dark gray). It's hard to believe that she's not yet 5 months old!
She seems to act like a "teenager" now...still that silly youthful exuberance! She LOVES to eat and does a funny little bouncy-run all the way to the feeder when I come in the pen with an armload of hay. That makes me laugh which probably encourages her to be even more silly. She is constantly in motion which makes it hard to get a good picture! She's quite a "talker" too, so she gets fed first to minimize all the baa-ing that goes on when she sees the barn door open up. Believe me, she has a loud voice and she makes sure that we hear it!!!
Her fleece is getting quite long and we're arranging to have her sheared this fall (don't worry, we have a little sheep coat that she can wear if she gets cold). I think her locks are at least 6" long!!! She will probably always have to be sheared twice a year.
Emma loves to be petted and scratched...there's no bribery involved anymore. She come right up to the gate for a scratch on the head or shoulders. She even lets me put my arm around her neck to get her chest scratched. Of course, this makes Lumi quite jealous so I am often seen kneeling in between the two of them, scratching both sheep at once!
Gee, do you think they are spoiled?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Wonderful Week of Wool

Every year I look forward to the second full week of August, also known as my "wonderful week of wool." That's when all of us rug hookers converge on Sauder Village in Ohio to shop, visit, and view the best rug show in the Midwest. Then, at the end of the week, I like to attend the Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan, Michigan. That's when all of us fiber enthusiasts gather together to celebrate the wonderful world of fiber...knitting, spinning, weaving, rug hooking, etc. Lots of shopping! It is also one of the best places in Michigan to see beautiful fiber animals such as angora goats, sheep, llamas, alpacas, and angora rabbits.
Here's Rebecca Erb's booth at Sauder Village. Look at all that luscious wool fabric stacked up! That was before the shoppers swooped down to grab what they could for their stash.

Here's a pillow made from Not Forgotten Flowers, a Spruce Ridge Studios pattern adapted from Lori Brechlin folk art. I love the soft blue colors. I also love how this rug hooker hooked the little sunflower. I didn't get the name of the maker so if anyone knows, please leave me a comment and I will certainly give credit.
Here's the gang from Rug Hooking Magazine. They had a beautiful display! We all grabbed a copy of the newest Celebrations issue. What a treat to see some of the winning Celebrations rugs in the exhibit!

OK, now we have to shift our focus to the Michigan Fiber Festival! I was a vendor there this year and had a small booth. Thanks to all who visited and shopped!

Even though we were busy tending the booth, I still took a few moments to walk over to the animal barns to see the beautiful angora goats and sheep. Neil brought 18 Wensleydale sheep this year and won several awards (I'm sorry, I can't remember exactly, but I think he said "best ewe, best ram, best pen of lambs." I ought to check that out). Neil was primping and combing two ram lambs for the sheep show while I was visiting and chatting with him. I was scratching and petting one of the ram lambs and held his little chin in the palm of my hand. "Wow, Neil," I said, "this little guy is really sweet and has such a nice personality" and I looked down at the lamb's farm guessed it! It was Emma's brother!!! I wonder if the little ram knew I had a family connection to him?!?!
While I was at Fiber Fest, I bought a great little book written by Letty Klein and I'm going to teach myself a new craft in my spare time (a little voice in my head is saying "another new craft? what spare time?" Yeah, working with fiber is a true addiction, isn't it??? Never can get enough of it). You make long braids with roving, wash them in the washing machine to felt them, and then you sew them together like a braided rug...well, actually, it is a braided rug but it's made of warm, wonderful roving. I can't wait to get started!
I'll post a little something about Emma tomorrow. She's growing into a lovely little lady.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Pumpkin Eaters!

It didn't take long for those wooly little rascals to figure out that pumpkin plants and tender green pumpkins make a tasty summer treat. Here's Lumi at the scene of the crime and what's left of the evidence....

And here's Emma, caught in the act of taking a bite!

I guess I'm going to have to buy my fall pumpkins at the farmer's market this year!

Here's my honey feeding the goats some leafy treats. Today is our 33rd wedding anniversary. Yes, it's true....if you do the math, I was only 7 years old when I got married. You know, we did things different way back then...we were happy, we hardly had anything to call our own, and we didn't know any better!