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

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!