Sunday, August 24, 2014

Making progress, a little at a time.

Yesterday, I got up wanting to do something. Didn't really have a plan. I just grabbed a bag of wool out of the cat room. Took it to the studio and started washing it. It was Annabelle's wool. Some was really good but most was 2nds. Which is fine, because I need to make lots more dryer balls. So did this most of the day. It rained off and on all day too, so had to bring the drying racks inside. I had both of them filled with clean pretty wool.

This is Annabelle. She's probably 95% Finn. Her mother, Lucinda, was full Finn and so beautiful. I miss that ewe. Had the prettiest black wool. Annabelle was a single lamb. And she has only had one ewe lamb, Buttercup. Buttercup was sheared this year and has some really nice wool.

The finished wool, drying. I also had another full one like this when I was done. I started carding it today. I'll be doing that for a long time. And this was just 1 paper grocery bag full. I still have big garbage bags full of sheep and alpaca to wash.

This is the soap I made a few weeks ago. On the left is ginger-coconut. With fresh grated ginger and ginger EO, with coconut on top. In the middle is the lemongrass made with lard. I love this lard soap. I used a yellow vegetable dyt for some color. Smells so good. On the left is the lavender-oatmeal I found in an on-line magazine, I think. I need to make some more because I only got 8 bars.

Also yesterday, in between washing wool, I made 4 batches of soap. In the blanket is my pumpkin spice soap. I had gotten a small pumpkin from one of the farmers at the market last week. Cut it up, put it in the food processor and added cinnamon, fresh grated nutmeg and some pure maple syrup and pureed it. This recipe has castor oil in it too. Then I sprinkled cinnamon and fresh nutmeg on top. Also used cinnamon and clove EO. The uncovered soap is Patchouli. I love this one. And also made a chamomile soap. I used Roman chamomile and Bergamot EO plus paprika for color.  Got these all cut today and are drying on the racks.

I also re milled some soap I had made last fall that just didn't smell. Grated 3 pounds and added Spiced Mahogany FO. Tried to make some swirls too. But I don't know if it's going to get hard. It was still soft today.

It's been quite hot here this month. The alpacas do not like this heat and humidity at all. I try to go out every day and spray them with the hose. They LOVE it! But apparently Misha was a little impatient and got in the water trough to cool off. I have a small kiddie pool in this yard, but it's a tadpole nursery right now. Plus my honey bees use it to drink from too. So I hate to move it. Might have to get another one just for the alpacas.

Today, I went to the studio and made calendula lip balm. I had ordered 30 lip balm tubes a few weeks ago. And I had gotten some flowers from my garden and dried them. Then infused them in olive oil for several weeks. Also had some bees wax from my garden hive that I had to take out. It was burr comb. And really clean. So got 25 tubes of calendula lip balm. Plus made 11 small jars of calendula salve. That's a pretty good seller at markets.

So I feel like I was pretty productive this weekend. It feels good to know I actually made some progress in the studio. I'll be making wool dryer balls this week. Plus some needle felting too. And probably more soap too.

I also have had a run-in with a snake in my chicken nesters this weekend. D*** snake! Caught it in the act too. Eating my eggs. That's just not going to happen here! I got a shovel and take it with me when I check. I saw it yesterday with an egg in it's mouth. I got as close as I could make myself get to it and tried my darnedest to kill it. It got away.It's staying behind the wire nester, under all that hay. It was in the far right nest box when I saw it with the eggs. So I took a green feeder box and shoved it in the nest box to keep hens out. And while the snake was in that one, eating eggs, a hen was in the nest box at the other end. So I guess the hens don't mind snakes?

So I have been going out every hour or so to check on the eggs. I saw the snake a few times today, too. It was going to the nest box on the other side. I saw it's head sticking out. It went back behind the nester when it saw me. I saw it later, but it didn't come all the way out. It got all the eggs. There's a dog crate that's been on the side of the driveway for awhile now. A hen lays an eggs every day in it. Well, today, there were 3 eggs! I guess maybe the hens were not liking the snake after all. Smart girls! My husband went out this afternoon with his rifle. He waited about a half hour and never saw it. Darn snake. We will get it. One way or another, we will get it. I still hate snakes. Especially snakes that eat my eggs.

So what's been going on at your house lately? Care to share?


Betty Ann said...

Sounds like your slacking days are over! Pretty soaps.

Kristin said...

Busy busy! Your soaps look amazing. I won't lie, I borrow some of your ideas.

I hope you get that snake! Eggs have gotten a bit scarce around here with all the broody hens and I'd hate to lose any to reptiles.

I've just been trying to get everything done each week while teaching 5th grade, going out of town, and hosting 2 sets of houseguests in two weeks.

Somehow I'm holding onto sanity.

Su Ba said...

Sounds like you got out of you "lazy" phase! Congrads! What kind if snake eats eggs? We don't have them here, thank heaven.

Kris said...

It's some kind of blackish snake. I don't know. But it eats chicken eggs so I hate it. I hate every snake though. I hooked the nester up to the lawn mower and dragged it out of the soop while the husband stood watching for it with his gun. Never saw it. There's one piece of plywood at the back of the coop where it could be underneath living. But haven't seen it since. And I have been gone all day every day this week, so haven't been able to go get eggs during the day. But have gotten 4 eggs from the other nesters in the coop and 2 in the crate. Then 1 hen lays an egg by the water buckets. So maybe the snake went on down the road.