Do you have a passion for making things entirely by hand or appreciate it in other people? In my teens and twenties, I got a thrill out of being my own mechanic on my old '75 Mustang. Yep, I've changed a few water pumps and brake pads. I have sewn every stitch of handmade rag dolls with a needle and thread (no machine stitching), and I prefer to cook from scratch. Isn't it much more rewarding to gather family and friends to put in fence posts, and raise barns? So naturally for me, prepping the fleece, learning to spin, and then making things from the alpacas' luscious fiber is my idea of happiness! -Kaylen

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fingerless Gloves and Yoga Socks

After numerous requests I finally put yoga socks 
and fingerless gloves in the Etsy shop

Now if I could just take a moment to make some for myself!  :)  

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Recently the spinning group I am part of had a Dye-in.  What a great time playing with color with such a fabulous group of people, a beautiful day, and the perfect setting. Here is a link to the group's blog - A Day of Dyeing and Spinning

There was a lot of fancy dying, and I was a bit embarrassed to bring my tiny attempt at color-making with Kool-Aid!  You might remember my first attempts:  Kool! and Valenine Hearts. I should have known that most of the ladies had done it before and would be completely supportive!  

Here is what I started out with.  Teddy's roving. 

This is the mess that came out!

This is after spinning!

Another friend decided to give her yarn a dunk.

Some of the pretty projects. 

Here are a couple of things I've made with Kool-Aid dyed yarn.

Yes, the color is permanent, and yes I need to try something 
other than Black Cherry! 

If you'd like to try it yourself, I used this tutorial:  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

DIY Hackle and Diz

You know how I like to do most things for hand from top to bottom.  Maybe you are just like me!  I wanted a way to make my own roving since I am no closer to getting our fleece to a fiber mill.  I found this tutorial for making a hackle using a piece of lumber, hair picks or combs, and self-tapping screws.  You can do it, too.  It is really easy!  

Here are some pictures of Chris making mine: 

Use clamps to hold hackle steady on the edge of a table, counter, or TV tray.

Now you load on the fiber.  I used lightly carded fleece.  A hackle is really for blending fibers and colors, but it works for my need to have long strips of roving rather than smaller rolags. 

I just used a button for a diz and pulled the fiber through one of the holes while moving across the hackle from right to left.  

I eventually switched to a larger coconut button which I think works better due to it's larger shape and hole.

There are lots of youtube videos showing this process.  Here is one I really like: Blending Fibre with a Hackle I've been able to make beautiful roving.  It works in a pinch.

If you are looking for the real deal, here is a link to one sold by The Woolery and this is what a diz looks like. I am lucky enough to live near this shop and get to stare at all the neat yarn, spinning, weaving, and fiber goodness they stock!

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sweet Sweater Dress for Little Dogs

There is a local event next week to raise money for Holly's Place Animal Rescue.  I was asked if I would contribute a few items for the silent auction.  I love helping out in this way so I sent a set of felted bowls and 2 pet sweaters.  Here is one being modeled by my friend Beth's sweetie, Daisy! 

I used the Little Black Dress pattern by Kay Graves.

Some day I'll have a black alpaca so I can make it in that color just to use the name "Little Black Dress!"  So cute!  

If you are in the area, "Whiskers, Wags, and Wine" information can be found at .

P.S.  I have been informed this would look just as cute on a cat. :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

That Catchy Song

I'm spinning yarn for a friend's order for baby booties and  I caught myself singing a song absentmindedly. know the ones that stick in your head and you can't get rid of them.  Maybe it was the last song you heard, or one that's hung around for years.  

I think it is interesting to listen to what others are whistling or humming...they usually give up some secret feeling they are having.  Like when I'm running around from school to school and store to bank, I tend to belt out "I am Woman Hear Me Roar!"  When I'm cleaning the house or grocery shopping out pops "Stand By Your Man!"  It makes me laugh when I realize what I'm singing standing in the cereal aisle.  I hum "Moon River" a lot and recently discovered it had been the one my Granddad sang throughout his life so that one feels like a little gift.  

The alpacas hum to soothe themselves or comfort each other, or to call their babies.  Sometimes it has more of an anxious tone.  You know I'm leading up to the alpaca ringtone I made recently. :)  Here is the link for your personal use or to just listen to what they sound like: Alpaca Ringtone.

My favorite tune of all time is "Greensleeves".  I can thank my mom for that one. Here is a link to a beautiful version on the Lute: Greensleeves with Luca Pianca .  I bet we could make a ringtone out of that one, too!  

One last note...songs can be used for sibling torture.  My son LOVES to irritate his sister with that Justin Bieber song.  He just has to sing the first few words (Baby, baby, baby, oh) and she is running from the room.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bunny Hop

This is a Chinese Proverb I just love!  Thanks to my friend, Penny, for sharing it with me.  Can you tell in the picture that my bunny is hopping straight up in the air?  Too cute!

Monday, August 1, 2011

DIY Livestock Watering System

In the spirit of re-purposing, recycling, and saving money, here is how we fill two troughs on either side of a fence with one hose.

Chris took two large storage tubs we had on hand and put them on either side of the fence separating the boys and girls.

He cut out half of each lid to make a large opening.  This keeps the water cleaner and cooler.  It also makes a safe place to tuck a water heating element in the winter.

We have a boy who likes to step inside the troughs so Chris set them on top of  overturned tubs to make them higher.     

Chris used PVC plumbing pipe to create a divided water spout, attached it to the fence with hay bale twine, and ran our hose through the top securing  it with a large clamp.  

This cuts down on a lot of bucket filling and fits our budget for the moment.  It also makes me feel good about using what we have instead of always buying more.

I'm sure you can take this basic idea and adjust it to fit your needs.  It doesn't look fancy, but it'll work until you get plumbing out to the barn or pastures.  

Oh, and you'll want to secure the lids or this can happen! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pinterest Addiction

I'm addicting to Pinterest.  Thanks Lindy!  Pinterest is a virtual pinboard.  It lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests. To start your own pinboards you might need an invite.  Let me know if you want one. 

Here are some neat things I'm finding.  Come join us!

So many neat ideas!
Cuties that make me smile.

I love windows.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Beautifully Said

What a wonderful quote from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.  I added it to my butterfly picture.  It was drying its wings having just emerged from the cocoon last spring.  Click on the pic to see a bigger version.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Nuzzle and Scratch

Monday we are introducing youngsters to alpacas at the library.  In preparing for the presentation I came across this cute show in the UK.  It features two alpacas as the lead characters of a children's program.  I wonder...will Nuzzle and Scratch find their way to America?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ringtones Gone Wild

A Gray Treefrog was hiding under a feeder yesterday.  This is the first one I've seen, so I went online to identify it.

Did you know you can download nature ringtones?  The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife have a site for that called Ringtones Gone Wild.  You can get everything from an angry bear to a bluebird, and they have the Gray Treefrog, too.

Now I have a little surprise for you.  Here is an alpaca ringtone I made.  It is Mystery humming!

Listen to the Alpaca Hum Ringtone
(might take a few seconds to load)

Free for your personal use.


iPod or iPhone - DOWNLOAD

Please link back to this site or give credit
if you use these files on your own site.  Thanks! :)

Here is a great website to upload the ringtone from your computer and send it to your phone.  It will also let you convert the mp3 to another format compatible with your phone.   Make Your Own Ringtone

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cooling Down Alpacas

It is super hot here today.  The heat index  makes it feel like 110 degrees this afternoon.  YIKES.  We are keeping the water buckets fresh, fans are blowing, and wetting down underbellies every few hours.  Here is a video of Jolene and Missy enjoying the summer water ritual.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bad Dog

Lucy is not supposed to be in the pastures.

She can't get back out.  Can you hear her deep Basset howl?  

Goofy dog.  How long should I leave her there?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What is it?

 Handsome Hubby found this little guy in the catch pen when we 
were giving the alpacas their monthly shots. 

I think it is a salamander.  I've never seen one before.  Have you?

Thanks to Little Man for taking the pictures.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Shearing Day Pictures 2011

I grabbed one last picture of my FLUFFY alpacas.

We got an early start at 7 a.m. and it was boys first!  
Peruvian Mystery was a squealer!

He has the best fleece on the farm and will be 
standing stud this month for us.

Teddy has been through this before.  
He acted like it was a day at the spa! :)

Our llama, Ringo, is another story.  
Here are the guys remembering him from last year.

Yes, spit happens!

The neighbor's calves wondered WHAT all the fuss was about!

Humpf!  He was only mad for a minute.

The shearing team was absolutely excellent.  They took care of fighting teeth
toenails, and making sure everyone looked their best.  

In under an hour we had bags of fleece and bare naked alpacas in the pastures.
I love this picture of the boys checking out Missy.

My Lovebug (14) took the shearing photos.  I found this one mixed in.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Eggs in Simple Shades

We kept Easter egg dyeing pretty simple this year.  We used what we had in the fridge, which were mostly brown eggs from our friend's farm and a couple of ameracauna blue eggs tossed in as well.


We had simple, familiar techniques.  

The Wire Dipper

The Spoon


Here is a technique that is simple for younger children.

The Wisk

Not all of the brown eggs came out in soft, pretty colors, 
but we like the color of stone.  :)

This one is my favorite!

Simple Stripes

Taking our family portrait was NOT as simple.  
I think this picture says it all.

I hope you are having a wonderful and blessed Easter!