Life is short.... Occasionally bend the rules.... Forgive quickly.... Kiss slowly.... Love truly.... Laugh uncontrollably.... And, never regret anything that made you smile....

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Our Beautiful Girl.

Twenty seven years old today, our beautiful daughter, mother of our special grandson..

Having you for a daughter
Has been one of life's greatest gifts.
For all you've been,
for all you are,
and for all you're yet to be...
you're loved so very much.

Happy Birthday
x o x o


This was the message on her birthday card, so appropriate..


 


I could finally give her the log cabin patchwork quilt which she has known about since she was a teenager..




It was made in a mix of rich red, yellows and purple hues.. So long in the making I wasn't sure she would even like the colors she chose so long ago..

May today be the start of another wonderful year for you Muff, with our love always...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Shearing 101.

A day in the life of a farm-hand...

1. Get sheep out of the paddock.
Make sure that you haven't left any behind, and remember to shut the gate..

2. Drove sheep into the yards and draft off any lambs, or silly sheep who have got into the wrong paddock.
( Drafting is sorting the sheep out as they run through a narrow passageway in the yards using a gate at the end to direct the sheep into a yard on either side . Another term for this passageway is 'race'.)

3.' Shoo' the sheep into the shed to be penned up for the night. Hope that they run in well and follow behind each other, especially if it looks like rain. This exercise, and it is exercise, usually ensures that no-one attends  gym the next day, you get plenty just doing this!


4. The next day. Pen up the sheep into the little pens where your friendly local shearer 'Jeff' will be able to drag them out on to the shearing board to remove their fleece.

5. Keep this pen topped up all day or you will hear your friendly local shearer call 'sheepo'. (as opposed to 'sheep poo' which is a whole other thing!)

6. Your friendly local shearer will first shear off the belly of the sheep. That is the wool off the belly. This gets put aside and then the whole fleece is shorn off in one piece, with the friendly local shearer twisting the sheep around and turning himself this way and that until the sheep is done.







The sheep come out of the wool a lovely snowy white color. It must feel so good to get rid of the weight of the wool, as they are always so quick on their feet once they are shorn. Before the fleece comes off they can be very cantankerous, not wanting to move, and certainly not wanting to go where you would like them to.

7. The wool is gathered up in a bundle off the shearing board and thrown onto the wool table where the 'scraggy' bits are removed and thrown into a bin for the 'pieces'. The little bits of wool which fall off the fleece are called locks. These usually fall straight through the bars on the wool table onto the floor.






8. Once the fleece has been skirted, it is rolled into a ball and the friendly local wool-classer 'Wes', comes along and decides which bin it goes into. If you look at a piece of wool you see the fibres whether they are course or fine, what the color is, if it has a break in the wool. These signs indicate what 'class' the wool is, or what type it is. Once this is decided, the wool is pressed up in the wool press, and turned into bales.

9. The sheep are counted outside the shearing shed once they are shorn for the 'tally'. This indicates how many sheep the local friendly shearer has shorn and we pay him per sheep for the pleasure of shearing!

10. The sheep then have to have the equivalent of our hair lice treatment applied to their backs. You only have to have someone else's sheep get into your paddock carrying little nasties and soon your flock carries them too. This happened this year, so we are diligently applying blue stripes of treatment to the 'girls' backs.

11. This is the stage where you pray for warm weather for the sheep to go out into. We usually try and save  lush feed and sheltered paddocks for the 'girls' when they are bare shorn.





Jeff and 'Charlie' the ram, modelling the latest in shearing shed clobber,  the ram 'burqa'.

Jeff, our friendly local shearer, has invented a unique piece of shearing equipment, which helps in the shearing of the flock rams.
Rams are usually very big and strong, and often need two to help shear them. Jeff has a mask, which he applies to the ram's head in the pen before he shears them. This mask calms the ram enabling Jeff to shear the 'big-one'  with less stress to both shearer and ram.. Just ingenious..
This endeth Shearing 101.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Eight Weeks Old.

Just a quick post of our beautiful baby boy, now eight weeks old...







Just a beautiful bundle of gorgeousness....

We will have to mix our cuddles with shearing time this week... but, where there is a will there is a way....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Huggles in a Huggle.

We have had a week of cold windy weather.. I was lucky enough to have a couple of days inside...



Two lovely days of making Huggles..

These little guys were from a Japanese craft book,  'Joyful Stuffed Dolls and Animals'  by Ondori.. They are soft and squishy, made from towelling and felt..



The little penguin on the right is a 'freebie' from an Australian Designer Jodie from RicRac. Jodie calls the pattern Little Birds, but I think he looks like a cute little penguin.. A very easy pattern to make up..
The bunny on the left is from a collection of free softie patterns found in the following links...

http://www.softiemaking.com
http://whipup.net/2008/11/12/uber-collection-of-sewing-tutorial/

I had so much fun looking through these links and have many projects book marked for later..



The little lemon teddy can be found at http://bevscountrycottage.com/bear.html
The little pink teddy has been an old favorite from a craft book... so old I can't remember which one...
These have both been made from a soft stretchy material which I found lovely to work with and very forgiving...hides stitches well..



Gingerbread man  lives at  http://www.aokcorral.com/projects/gingerpat.gif  and his little friend the Chibi Rabbit has a pal the Chibi Kitty at  http://mylittlemochi.typepad.com

So much fun to make, so easy and a great project when you get them to the stuffing and facial features stage, to do at night watching tv.. Hopefully, soon these little guys will be travelling to visit Amanda and then will be winging their way to Ethiopia..

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday Blogging Treasures.

Today I have joined up with Melody to share with you my Tuesday Treasures.

I am fairly new to blogging, having only started earlier this year, but I have to say how much I enjoy reading every one's blogs. There is always something to learn, free patterns given so generously, links to other sites, hints and encouragement..

So,  today my Tuesday Treasures are my blogging friends.... In particular Fiona from BubzRugz.
Fiona is getting close to 200 posts on her lovely blog, and so ran  a give-away. I was lucky enough to have my name drawn out, and won this book....


So, thank you so much Fiona, you have really put me in 'my happy place'!!  Go on over to Fiona, and let her put you in your happy place!!

To everyone I visit, I love reading what you are all getting up to....you are all truly amazing...to all the lurkers out there- like I used to be for many years, take the plunge and start a blog, it's so much fun and there is so much support for you from all these wonderful people...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Huggles for Cuddles.

Where did that week go? I can't believe that it's been that long since I posted.. The sun has been shining so we have been outside once again, getting lots done, more on that later..

I have found a lovely blog written by a lady with a very generous heart, who is collecting Huggles to send to kids in Ethiopia. Now I love making soft toys when I can, and this sounds like a great project...I can even stop 'finishing' my old projects with a clear conscience, can't I???
Amanda is collecting Huggles to send with missionaries when they return to Ethiopia. For those who are not sure, a Huggle is a soft toy made with love. These Huggles  need to be sent to Amanda by the end of August. They need to be not much bigger than 8 inches by 8 inches and be filled with fibre fill. Use bright colors, and embroider or draw the eyes on. No little piggies as Ethiopia is predominantly a Muslim country..


This is Dudley the Dodo. I made him early in the year and he now resides in baby Max's nursery.. Muff loved the colors of Dudley, even if she didn't know what he was!! Is that a reflection of my toy making abilities?? He will not be going to Ethiopia, he's way too big, and Max saw him first!!
Amanda has a list of patterns on her web site as well...


Now on to what's been happening on the farm....
For the last couple of days we have been crutching our young sheep and lambs.. Crutching is taking the dags off their behinds so that they are nice and clean. This keeps their wool clean and in the warm weather helps prevent fly strike..
We have been doing this in our sheep handler....

Note the nice clean lines....... on the sheep people!..... and the handsome young man! Not even on our property! Picture courtesy of peakhillindustries.com.au  Just to show you what a crutched sheep's behind looks like... and a sheep handler in action...

Now the real story.... ours! Note the rusty edges, through many years of use and age, a bit like us really!! No action pictures with this one! We were too busy trying to catch the big lambs as they flew out the top! There was no way some of them were going to go through this contraption! Lambs are very much like teenagers...all hormones, very little common-sense, and great strength! However, quite a few re-runs later and we were all done..

A lot of sheep handlers were invented from the 1970's onwards when the wool market collapsed, as a way of saving money. Farmers could crutch their own sheep instead of employing someone to do it for them. There are many versions of handlers on the market, with varying price tags also.. Now if only we had lots of money, we would most certainly up-grade.. But that's another story..