Monday, December 15, 2008


We have too much stuff! It's easy to point fingers and accuse one of being the greater contributer, but really, it's all ours and it's too much! Clutter! It hurts my brain. The massive piles have become so great, they have their own gravitational force; a dark planet complete with alien species around which we revolve like brainless moons.

There is no easy solution. It is not purgable without great pain and loss. But I have faith! I search the universe for wisdom regarding our stock-piling situation. I WILL reach the answer that makes beautiful and perfect sense and can be conveyed with kindness to all parties involved.

"The creator has filled moment of every year with gladness. And in His thought there is no room for His Beloved Child to feel torment from sadness." - Anastasia

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I love these ladies

Funky yarns
Making scarves
It's our night out
Wine and food,
Apricot ale
Laughing and jibing
Tangles and tying.
This group of girls
from so many places
it all works with harmony
and flow
and with rhythm.
We nuture without words.
We love in our creating.
Looking forward
To next month.
My house

Thursday, December 04, 2008


We had our first -20 night last night. The kids slept like little logs, they didn't even wake up to crawl into mom and dad's bed this morning (our NEW king sized bed yay!). The wood burning stove is roaring hot and it feels like a good day to sit inside and spin a yarn. BUT the goats need milking, and bunnies feeding, and we have to make our biweekly trip into town today. I'm glad I planned this year to dry the goats off for Jan and Feb, the coldest months of the year. Then they can put all their energy into growing their babies that are due in March and April, and then I can spend the mornings in my housecoat and slippers (yes, spinning yarns) :)

Even with the cold I can't help loving this time of year and the challenges it can bring. Thinking up inventive ways to keep ourselves and the animals warm, thinking up beautiful handwoven cloths to keep my appreciative customers warm, and spending days camped out in the house waiting for a cold spell to pass. It's really the only time of year when I can sit in the house all day and not feel guilty about putting off all that work outdoors. There's just not a whole lot you can do with the ground frozen, a thick layer of snow, and kids losing mittens in their valiant attempt to get frostbite!

Through all the fall months we scurry around in a self-inflicted mode of panic, preparing and building and stock-piling for the winter, making sure the animals will be secure, storing away bales of hay, dusting off all the heated water dishes, and reinforcing cozy nests for each of them, and now that winter is here, it sort of feels like "whew, we made it"!

I also like to teach classes in the winter and my first set of beginner and intermediate classes are set up for January. I still have to weave a sample for the intermediates and make sure my notes don't have errors. And I'm determined to finish scrapbooking Rowans baby book. And then there's Christmas! Next week we'll be pulling out all the Christmas decorations for both my house and our grandma's house. Between the two places, my kids and I decorate about 7 Christmas trees :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mircobiology, It never really left me

I can't quite remember why I chose to study microbiology. I think it had something to do with the movie "Medicine Man" but in any case, at some point in my first two years at GMCC I decided to specialize in Microbiology. It was a bit of a journey for someone like me who tends to absorb information readily but bombs tests. In the long run (6 years later) I ended up with a degree in Microbiology minus an arts course and two Chemistry courses that I dropped out of (so really it's just a pretend degree). side note: Perhaps someday I will expound upon how DepoProvera can cause temporary insanity and personality mutations as I now look back and view a long string of erratic desicions rooted in the year I was on that drug. But I will save those rants for later.
Now, years later, the desire to grow aromatically fascinating things is still there.

I'd like to do more research into Kombucha. I heard a few things about it and decided to order a mushroom through Richters We have had a steady supply of this delicious Komucha drink since May and the mushroom is still going strong. Kombucha originates in Russia and is made using black tea, white sugar, and the Kombucha mushroom which magically transforms the glucose, and tea and turns them into a whole host of things including carbon dioxide (makes it fizzy, yum) and glucuronic acid, a chemical made by the liver to eliminate toxins from the body. It is the best hangover cure I know, and is also good for anyone who's ever had liver disease, or who has a highly toxic diet (eating lots of ready made foods).

Recently I have started a wonderful journey into the making of cheese. I ordered a kit from and I've been having so much fun. I tried at first to make mozerella and ended up with pure rubber. It was truely inedible. But then again, I was following an online recipe which can never be trusted. I am now making couloumier using a recipe the kit provided. It is still young, only 1 week, and my first taste test makes me think of chevre with a brie rind. An unusual combination but defenitely palatable. I think I will store half the cheeses at this stage and let the other half age longer to the soft and gooey cheese stage.

Now for a news flash from the studio: WE HAVE BLANKETS! I have woven 12 full ones and about 4 half blankets and I have four more on the loom patiently awaiting completion. In this weather (snow, sleet, and rain) it may take awhile as the most time I spend weaving is when my children are happily frolicking outdoors by my studio.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weaving frenzy!

It doesn't feel like Christmas at all! But really, it's coming up fast and I am enjoying my Christams weaving frenzy! For the last week and a half I have tried to weave a blanket or scarf a day! Except when I'm away from home, which seems rather often.

Between Etsy (new listings uploading while I type!), Solstice Studios, Glad Tidings Doula Service, and Incredi-Mom, I am a very happy and busy girl. The weather has been awesome so the kids can play outside my log cabin for quite a while every day while I weave away inside and listen to their happy noise and try to ignore the sounds of them punching each other.

I haven't had a chance to blog as much as I like with all the studio work going on. I never had a chance to share about the goats breaking into the house and wreaking havoc while I was in town the ohter day. Something that I can finally laugh about (now that I have most of the mess cleaned up). They got in through the back door that was left ajar and ate all the cold storage food, all the fruit, a couple house plants, got up on the stove, chewed the toaster, peed on the carpet, peed on the futon, pooped EVERYWHERE, then stood at the window bleating loudly when I drove up to the house a few hours later. The sight of goat inside one's house can really make the stomach quake (haha, but it does).

Like I said, it's mostly all cleaned up but now my kittens have decided to destroy the remaining houseplants and I'm not really laughing over that. Some of my plants are like members of the family. These adorable little kittens have GOT to go, and no one in Rocky has responded to any of my ads. Seriously, kittens anyone?

Friday, October 24, 2008



Yes, I'm unravelling. It's a choice, albeit frightening. I wonder if I will like myself when there's nothing left to unravel. Rebirth? Reconnection? Returning? Hmmmmm.... This time I will not shy away, it is for my own good. (I'm talking metaphysically here, but lets get back down to earth)

I've had great fun in the last little while (not at all related to unravelling) visiting family, woofers, and wool! We've been dyeing and dyeing and dyeing. I just love to dye. So easy, and so rewarding! I had some talented woofers dye a bit of beautiful roving which has since been made into scarves (eep! no pics yet!) And we were blessed by the presence of the beautiful and industrious Annica who dyed some super funky yarn which she will soon convert into crocheted hats. I also loved what she did with her tie-dyed shirts! (Small promo to anyone who has a desire to visit us, you will most certainly go home with your very own tie-dyed shirt!) (*wink wink* Hero and Shari)

Break through in the realm of scarves! I can't wait to get these beauties online. Also blankets, though still waiting for the "a-ha" moment on those ones.

PS. my apologies for whining in the "random bloggings" blog, I'm over it and feeling MUCH more mature and giving (though I'm still working on being a wee bit territorial, silly I know)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Birth into Being

I recently saw an amazing birthing video called "Birth into Being" Here is what the publishers say about it:
"Russian Spiritual Midwife Tatyana Sargunas and her filmmaker Husband, Alexi, recorded five totally natural, incredible Waterbirths. Their orginal footage takes you on a breathtaking expedition to witness two families birthing in the Black Sea, and into their home to see two of their daughters being born in a handmade clear birthing pool. Scenes of children and babiues swimming with dolphins will delight and amaze audiences of all ages."

Not only did it have surreal music and videography but there were so many other messages pertaining to living without fear, finding alternatives solutions to a difficult problem, as well as some great swimming lessons.

This video is the ONLY thing to date that has ever made me want to have more children. The beauty of these births and these empowered, joyfilled lives was magnificent.

For more info go to

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Random Blooggings with Anastasia

Hafiz, the Sufi poet, is someone I feel I can relate to. (see previous posts) Passionate, spiritual, grounded. Anastasia, however, Is "upsetting". That's the only term that I can seem to find for my new literary obession. My course is set and now it's up? I'm upset about my course? I'm feeling up but now I'm course and not at all set.

Anyway, for those of you who of heard of Anastasia (seek and you shall find), you cannot read a book without being moved in some fashion, and my particular movement has been into chaos and ponderousness (I love creating new words) and I'm feeling a bit selfish about all the things that I thought were strictly my own little quirks and are now being somewhat outline and majorified by some obscure Russian book.

Like spirit songs. MIne. Or rays of knowledge. Mine. Or communication with "them". Mine. ALL MINE! I want the whole world to go away and leave me alone. I like my aloneness, like Hafiz. But now I feel challenged towards community and *gasp* goodness. I'm having second thoughts about ever reading again. Why read, after all, when one can weave.

I will continue my weaving, and I do have many more articles completed, yet somehow my camera has vanished (again) so you will have to be entertained by my photos of Gods and Godesses (laughter, I love this combo).

About spirituality: In everything, set an example by doing what it good. (And then move to the woods where no one can find you)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Hafiz 2

"My Eyes So Soft"

Your lonliness so quickly
Let it cut more
Let it ferment and season you
As few human
Or even divine ingredients can.

Something missing in my heart tonight
Has made my eyes so soft.
My voice so

My need of God


"The God Who Only Knows Four Words"

Has known God,
Not the God of names,
Not the God of don'ts,
Not the God who ever does
Anything weird,
But the God who only knows four words
And keeps repeating them, saying:

"Come dance with me."


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Gone Fishin'

What pleasure there is in difting on a glassy lake in the last days of summer while lazily attempting to fish. It's hard to believe that we have lived for 4 years very close to a stocked fishing lake yet have never fished. I had forgotten how therapeutic water is to me. I grew up with a fishless lake in our back yard and I would often take out the canoe and paddle about, thinking deep teenaged thoughts and reveling in the isolation. I remember going out once with the wind blowing to the opposite shore and having to paddle like a wild banshee (luckily I come by that naturally) to finally reach home. It was after that experience that I learned to sit in the front of the canoe when paddling into the wind. Most of my experiences, though, were filled with uninterrupted peacefulness, a commodity I prize highly.

Special thanks to Jason and family for your inspiration and for finally dragging us out fishing (true to your word!). I have since bought a fishing license and a couple other lures for the rods you gave us but we have YET to catch our first fish. Lucas did manage to tangle the lines pretty good a couple times, and we are still having fun trying though really, I wouldn't have much of an idea what to do with a floppy thrashing fish if we did catch one on our own. In fact, the thought kinda scares me.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Wakefield - Sept 6, 2008

My friend, you are gone.
I must learn, and move on.

washing washing washing washing
Dying washing washing washing
Crying washing washing washing
Hating washing washing washing
Despairing washing washing washing
Fearing washing washing washing
Dreading washing washing washing
washing Feeling washing washing
washing Knowing washing washing
washing washing Waiting washing
washing washing washing Lightning
washing washing washing Seeing
washing washing Hoping washing
washing washing Grieving washing
washing washing Wasting washing
washing washing Waiting washing
washing washing Waiting washing
Praying washing Knowing washing
Opening washing Breathing *sigh*

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Spinning a fantasy

I dug out some alpaca cria sliver that I've been saving for a special moment of spinning and here it is! I dyed it red (though it may look orange onscreen it is very red) and softness, lustre, and smoothness of the yarn was amazing, like spinning an erotic dream...

I suppose I could sell some of the handdyed sliver (finely combed roving) but to be honest, I really want to keep it all for my spinning self and it was expensive! $4/oz! but really worth it. I will, however, be selling some final products such as the scarf on the loom that is waiting to be finished, and possibly a matching hat... we'll see what my imagination unfurls.

Really, if I could weave lingirie, that's what this yarn should be. Impossibly light and soft and colorful! I love getting beautiful white wool cause I really do live to dye. Which is funny cause I'm a very natural colors kind of girl myself with a large portion of my wardrobe dedicated to browns and black but that's were accessories can be fun. Accents! Sometimes less is more.

Anyway, I have some fantastic projects on the go and I am very encouraged by the results so far. I've had a new wave of inspiration after having taken a bit of time away from the studio. I'll keep you in suspense to see what they are but they involve childrens clothing, oceans, felt, quiviut, and of course dye (not all together though).

Monday, August 25, 2008

Correlations Between Owning Llamas and Burning Calories

Forget the gym. Try llamas. The llamas have done it again! Having escaped three days ago, I assumed they were grazing the rich forested area on the southern part of our land. Not so! I found them today, by chance, across the road, behind the fence of a huge section of land that I have yet to explore. I have no idea how they got there, there must be a hole in that fence somewhere and now I've created another one trying to get them out. (with apologies to the landowner, I'll fix it as soon as I get them out!)

I managed to coax the two young geldings back home with a lot of running and dodging on my part and a big bucket of rolled oats, but my mama and her baby are still being stubborn and I'm afraid they're going to be coyote bait if I don't get them out of there soon!

I attempted a second rescue mission just two minutes ago in the pouring rain but the mission was thwarted and I have resigned myself to leaving them in the great wild beyond for one more night.

In moments like these, I really wish I had my own horse, just throw on a halter and gii-up! It would sure beat trying to outrun them on foot. I'll take it as a sign and maybe check the papers tomorrow (ha ha David just kidding).

Llamas are supposed to be good gaurd animals, however, a mother by herself and her baby don't make a great team in my opinion and I think one of the reasons they are being to flighty is because they have met some wildlife already and are all freaked out.

I've been learning here in my life on the farm true practice of the Serenity Prayer. Accept the things I cannot change. Change the things I cannot accept. And the wisdom to know the difference.

Despite the fact that I truely believe I am doing the best I can, many, many, many things go wrong, I make many mistakes, and fall short in many ways. But here in the midst of it all, (somewhere) lies Serenity. (Bringiton!)

P.S. Number of days living in mud hut (my endearing name for trashy trailer) with no hot water: 82

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I dream, I dare, I wish, I recieve

I can't seem to escape an unreachable star
It's beyond my life's journey,
Fathoms away, Yet it's there, perhaps
Even dreaming of me.

Just cannot escape from this bright distant star.
It's beauty is wild and ruthless, untamed,
I imagine beholding it, savouring flavours,
Dark passions reach my aspiring brain.

Be part of me star!
Cease the torment of my mind,
You are too far to reach,
Unattainable dream.

Be part of me star!
You forbidden obssesion
You faceless opponent
Desired misdirection.

Be part of me star!
Time wastes for your presence
Unproductive imaginings
I speak your existance.

Your distance is lessening,
Your havoc and brightness
The morning is coming
I inhale our oneness.

Can you influence me,
And leave my heart be?
Please, be part of me star,
Let me be what I"ll be.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mandala Garden

A mandala garden is a circluar garden incorporating keyholes and zoning ideas outlined in the Permaculture work of Bill Mollison I was somewhat rushed while creating my garden this year, in fact, I had sworn to not garden at all and save myself the heartache and frustration, but sure enough, as the end of May sparkled and shone, I had a compulsive urge to plant, not just any kind of plant, but a beautiful mandala garden. I had been stewing over where to put it and what kind of soil to create all winter without coming up with any real plan. Our bales of bedding straw had to be moved cause the goats were climbing up on them and jumping the fence, but when I moved them, they all fell apart and left a big mountain of straw and my puny mind went, aha! the garden shall be here, in this mountain of straw. I set to work and had some help making an interesting looking fence from what appears to be giant garage door sections (read heavy) and basically worked way to hard into the night to make this garden plantable for the first week of June. I mixed about of tonne of llama manure into the straw and was going to use potting soil for planting into but ran out of time so I just planted directly into the straw/manure and hoped for the best. Enemy #1: Ants. The anthill that I was kindhearted enough to ignore in the corner of the garden became the first fatal flaw. The ants meticulously collected all my seeds and stored them in a pile that I found a week later when all my salad greens sprouted in the same spot close to the anthill. Enemy #2: Dry June. My subconscious (and my neighbour) repeatedly warned me that I was planting too far from a water source. I figured with all that sponge-like straw I wouldn't need to water. The water that I did pack up there was too little too late. Enemy #3: Chickens. It was a couple weeks before I realized the chickens had made a hole under the fence and were eating the tender young shoots (and not the ants). Enemy #4: everything else on my list that is prioritized before working on the garden which was the whole reason I promised myself in Feb. that I wouldn't plant a garden this year! *sigh*

Well, now that I've got that out of my system, I'd love to share with y'all a bit about my morning and all the delights that rose up with the sun. The kids slept late cause we finally got around to changing out our broken hot water heater last night, which had to come out through the bedroom and we were all up late (don't even ask how long I've been without hot water *hint* that's one of the reasons why I've been feeling so pissy lately). I took the opportunity to do chores while they slept and was greeted by a goat hanging upside-down from the fence by one leg. She must have got it in her mind to have an early breakfast and she had seen me fixing that section of fence a couple days ago so what better reason to go and try and demolish it by jumping over and getting all tangled up. Luckily she was not hurt, but is limping around a bit and looks rather humbled. While I was cutting the fence to free her leg, I managed to leave the gate open and the llamas (who can smell an open gate from a mile away) came charging down the hill and two escaped before I noticed my folly. About that time the kids woke up and started howling so I finished freeing the goat, sat the kids down with breakfast then ran out to milk the other goat whose incessant bawling was scraping at my nerves. Back at the house to strain the milk, there was yogurt everywhere and Rowan needed a change of clothes. I brought him out with me half naked but happy, to feed and water the rabbits and one of my new males was moping. I think he was stressed out by the other male next to him who was being all territorial and intimidating so I moved him to another hutch and noticed the two llama escapees where no longer peacefully grazing the front lawn. Got the kids packed in the wagon and we started down the road cause for some reason, the llamas love to go high-tailing it over to my neighbours horses and hang out and eat their hay. Rounded'em up, back to the ranch, locked up in recorded time, the kids were shipped off next door cause today is my studio day but what I really need is a neat whiskey and a long walk.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


We have finally mostly finished the deluxe condo angora house, it still needs some furnishings but it's functional and so far the bunnies are giving us two thumbs up! The hutch is designed to accomodate up to 7 rabbits and the walls can be removed to provide larger living quarters for mommies and babies or whatever. Each hutch has its own nest box (you can see the one on the floor before it was mounted onto the ceiling) which provides a second floor in the hutch. My two English anorgas, Ebony and Wakefield, love jumping up to their second story and the nest box gives them a place to feel safe. My newest additions to Solsitce Farm are Daisy and her three kits, Violet, Lavalyn, and Morgan. They are all so friendly (although I think Daisy still misses her mommy) and the babies are so beautiful! They have blue eyes and are soooo soft and cuddly. Lavalyn is the most friendly, she comes when I call and loves to eat out of my hand. She also loves the exercise pen and I try to give each of the bunnies a turn in the pen at least every other day, depending on the weather.

I'm allowing myself a break to write this blog when if fact I should be racing around trying to get the last few things ready for my studio tour. It starts Friday and I wish I had some more weavings available, I had planned to have many more done and new warps tied on, but c'est la vie, non? My latest weaving style, as shown on the loom, is something that happened rather spontaneously and I am very excited with the results. I think I will be playing around with the hand-dyed warp with stripes for a while, it is very satisfying to weave and has somewhat satiated my artistic longings.

Be sure to come by and see my studio if you are free this weekend. The map is available at

Rocky Studio Tour

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Fibre Girl!

I'm warped and I'm twisted,
A true spinny broad,
Hair short of a micron,
A bit niddy nod.

I can't seem to stop,
All my spinning and roving.
My neighbours complain,
Of the woofing and warping.

A little short stapled,
I'm quite loosely crimped.
Though small varigations,
Have nubbed me and slipped.

I draw and I treadle,
And it's not surprising,
That adding a heddle,
Can leave me undressing.

Too late for me now,
I'm teasled and flicked,
My fastness is fading,
My selvedges slipped.

Don't mourn for my beating,
I'm leased and drawn down.
I'm just going to pedal,
My way out of town.

-Anna Williamson

A heartfelt thanks to the Nanton Weavers and Spinners Guild for all of their inspiration. I know you'll find this as funny as I do!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Mastitis, Enemas, and General Goat Craziness!

I can finally write about my goats now that we're getting back to a less frantic pace. The weekend I was gone to NCF my 2 mama goats had their babies, turns out I had miscalculated their due dates. Although "the book" assured me that goat births are 95% uncomplicated, I was not sufficiently prepared for post-natal complications. The babies were 3 days old by the time I got home, and I came back to my first time mom, Lisa, rejecting both of her twins and getting a mild mastitis and serious engorgement as a result. We lost one of the twins trying to bottle-feed her that night and the second one is still on the skinny side. I have to put Lisa in the stanchon every morning to let the baby nurse, then after that they seem fine.

My 2nd time mom, Champagne was not cleaning her babies bums the way a good mother should and both her twins were completely bunged up. I thought I was going to loose one cause it was so sad and sick, it's little bum was oozing pus and other disgusting yellow stuff for days but it seems to have pulled through. Both babies got soapy enemas with tea tree as soon as I could get their little bum holes cleared (extremely nasty job) and now they are jumping around and playing like crazy. Don't you love their airplane ears? So precious!

Mr. Billy Bob, the father of these young creatures, has been moved to the neighbours' dog run. I've had endless problems with him trashing fences and eating my other neighbours flowers so we have finally resorted to tieing him up. Not something I like to do to any of my animals, but really, enough is enough. What I need is a 6ft high wooden fenced pen where I can feed him hay year round. I hate to feed hay in the summer, especially since I have more pasture that my animals can graze, but the alternatives for him are the auction or the bbq. Ugh, I've invested in him and it was such a huge pain to find a dairy breed billy at a price we could afford on our small scale farm. We wanted a dairy breed so we could get some more good milkers, but as it turns out, the three kids are all boys! So, I still need billy and I really don't want to have to build ANOTHER pen, and where would I put it anyway? Descisions like this can be so hard but if I meditate on it long enough, the right solution will come to me.

So in the next two days my job is to dehorn the babies with caustic acid and perform the small surgery of taking their nuts out. Mmmmmh mini prairie oysters anyone?

Truth be told, I've been too hard on myself for missing the births of my goats. Here I am training to become a birth attendant doula, and when my own animals needed me, I wasn't available. There were things I could have done to encourage bonding for the mom who rejected her kids, and helping the moms clean the babies off would have prevented alot of mess. I feel like it was a hard lesson especially cause I'm so wrapped up in birth and labour and bonding right now. I have to allow myself this failure and grow into greater awareness, intuition, and precaution.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

North Country Fair

I was a craft vendor at NCF and was it ever INTENSE!! I made lots of sales, talked to many cool people, learned alot about tie-dye, and worked my ass off with a little bit of crazy dancing thrown into the mix. I would never have survived without my helpers, Colin, Jasmine, Christy, and Ben, who deserve thousands of thanks. Honestly, I haven't worked so hard since my days as a highballer treeplanter and camp cook.

I had my weavings set up on one side of the tent and a tie-dye station on the other side. A few things to change for next year are to have some sort of awning so the shy customers don't have to come right inside the tent but can view from a safe distance. I'm so scary, I know. Also, I don't know if I would do tie-dye and weavings together again, it was too distracting to have all these options. I'm hoping for next year to arrange with the big fair bosses and have a tie-dye station set up for volunteer shirts. Have one big tie-dye workshop and that's it.

Of course, the things I thought would really sell, such as my Grateful Dead mini tapestries, didn't sell at ALL! It just confirms that it's so impossible to predict. The theory, however that you sell 10-15% of what you bring was somewhat true and I need to stock pile a HUGE selection if I do this next year. And not have so much variety, streamline baby.

Anyway, lots to learn and I'm no longer a fair virgin, though a long way from being a fair crone, ha ha, wouldn't that be great. I did meet a few and they are pretty wild, these ladies, especially the psycic ones. Shouldn't laugh, it'll probably be me someday.

The tie-dye boys had a blast. When Lucas wasn't busy kissing the girls he was wandering off and scaring the life out of us. Both the boys were so independant and free, they played hard, cried hard, slept hard, my little festival troopers, they were awesome.

Friday, June 13, 2008

This One's for you Daddy

Happy Father's Day!

We love you and miss you more than we could ever express. We can't wait for you to get back, it's just not "happy home" without you. With love, hugs, and kisses, from your boys and mama.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Cairo!

Cairo was born today at around noon. I could tell something was happening cause all the llamas were gathered around at the top of the hill. Llamas have expessive body language and as soon as I saw them I knew there was a baby. He must have been born just moments before, as you can see he was still wet when I found him with bits of embryonic sac still stuck to him. I had the priveldge of "imprinting" him in the first moments of his life which will hopefully make him a very easy animal to work with. Imprinting is done by handling the baby thoroughly, but with no communication, so the animal will be unafraid of handling but will not become overly bonded to the wrong species.

Rowan was a great helper. He is so good with animals and the ones that I have a hard time approaching (like Cairo's mom, Loretta in pic 3) trust Rowan easily, and will eat oats from his pail while I handle the baby. Cairo's dad, Everest, is white (off in the corner of pic 2) and his half brother, Sambuca, is brown (checking him out in pic 2).

Loretta was a great mother to Sambuca, her first, and Cairo has had no trouble nursing or bonding to mom. He was up and walking withing minutes after being born and the beautiful sunny day dried him off in good time. I had such a wonderful glowing feeling in my heart, sitting in the meadow watching the amazing new life that had just come into existence. All the animals were so peacefilled and calm. The beautiful aura of love and life they created reminded me of why I feel so passionately about birth and helping women to make it a wonderful, empowering experience.

Only 6 hrs later, Cairo was running around, sticking close to his mom, but willing to stand still to let me handle him, and Rowan easily walked up and petted his soft silky fur. I am so happy he is white. He has a bit of ligth brown on his back which makes me think he may turn a light caramel color. I would like to increase the light colors in my herd so that I can dye the fibre. That's why we kept Everest as our stud, even though his fibre quality could be improved upon, and we castrate all our other males. I'm hoping to buy a couple more white females in the near future and then maintain the herd to a small size of 10-12. Right now we have 7 llamas and Marley is due to deliver any day. She is fairly old and was bred by accident so I will be glad when her baby finally comes and I can stop worrying.

I'm supposed to be at a Studio Tour in High River on the weekend but with these babies happening, I think I may have to make it a day trip. Champagne and Lisa (dairy goats) are also due in the next 2 weeks. I think I may try to stagger the births a bit more for next year!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Blizzard, Bellydancing, and Boys

After driving through the worst blizzard April has ever seen (see previous post) I was happy to quietly wait out the worst snowfall May has ever seen in my warm and comfy trailer, despite having no power for 13 hrs. We had approx 40 cm of snow and I guess I can feel fortunate that the only casualty was my newly set-up barn tent that was supposed to be a dry shearing area for my llamas. Actually, I was anticipating our trailer roof to cave it, the snow was so wet and heavy and just kept coming and coming. I got this picture of my new wheels the next day, which was supposed to be a studio day for me but even with my new 4x4, I didn't dare attempt the slushy mud bog our road had become, so the kids and I relaxed at home with our new friends and WWOOFers, Julie and Christelle.

We did manage to drive to my weaving demonstation at the guild on Saturday. The Rocky Learning Council hosted a great arts and crafts day at the guild complete with free childcare and I did a lunch-time demonstation of weaving and spinning. I even snuck in on a workshop and learned to knit! My needles and been clickity-clacking ever since, I love it! Christelle also won a Mother's Day bouquet doorprize and was happy that she could leave it with me (when's the last time I got flowers? they are so beautiful) There was also a bellydancing demonstration that was amazing. I think it is such an incredible artform and I was happy to discover some classes that are being offered in Sylvan and Red Deer.

We couldn't resist seeing of some of my new scarves could pass as bellydancing belts. Julie and Christelle were kind enough to model a whole bunch of new stuff for me that will soon be appearing at my Etsy store. Be sure to check out the store soon!
  • Soltice Studios Store
  • Tuesday, May 06, 2008

    Feast Your Eyes

    It really doesn't take as much time as I always expect it will to downsize the pictures on my labtop, then transfer to my internet Mac, and upload using dial-up. It seems arduous at the time but truely is worth the effort.

    I've been wanting to show off my student's work for a long time. Can you believe that these beautiful works came out of a beginners weaving course, made by people who didn't know warp from woof? There is a blue, girls poncho made by Heather, a brown alpaca scarf made by Linda, and a pink varigated table runner made by Shirley. I also had another student make a lace weave alpaca scarf (not shown). These were made in addition to a cotton twill weave sampler during the 8 week course that I taught at the Rocky Arts and Crafts Guild. The Guild classes are advertised on Red Deer Kijiji for anyone who is interested in taking a course.

    I have to thank my wonderful friends Hero and Hannah for their spontaneous visit to the farm, which just happened to be on the day that I really needed help moving the future playhouse frame. Since then, the frame has evolved into this one-of-a-kind backyard sandbox, playhouse, fort, and get-away. Every day I try to add one more board, which gives me a whole 24 hrs to conjure up where the next board should be placed and how the over all structure is evolving. Ideally, it will become an enclosed sandbox to keep the cats out, as well as an observatory, hiding place, and camper. I will try to post more photos as it continues to evolve.

    Hanging laundry under a dark and threatening sky seemed poetic and optomistic. Actually, I thought my dish towels could use an extra rinse which they are getting even now as I type.

    100% Yak fibre scarf. I was so excited to work with this yak fibre and this scarf is defenitely unique. It is thin and fine but the fibres, though soft, are dense so it has a nice weight to it. The warp is made from yak fibre that was sent to a local mill and spun into yarn (processed) while the weft was spun by me out of downy, delicious yak roving, I just want to wrap my whole body in the stuff. This fibre is COMBED from live yaks, each yak yeilding approximately 1 lb of fibre per year. It is very rare and very fine, however, because the yarn in the warp was "processed" it is a bit more scratchy than I think it should be and I am working on finding a suitable blend that will maximize the softness. Mind you, this is coming from someone who is extremely scratch sensitive, and to be honest, I'm wearing the scarf right now and I can hardly notice it.

    I'm still planning on getting some pics of Alska (new car) but she's a little dirty right now and I'd rather have her pose all pretty and new.

    Also, I just finished my 3 day doula workshop in Calgary and I'm now one huge step closer to becoming a DONA certified doula. The class, taught by Elaine Montgomery, was fantastic and I feel much more confident, though still a bit apprehensive about working with women and childbirth. I feel like now I'll have a little time of rest from the subject to let it all sink in while I await guidance toward the next step. When inspiration strikes, I will be rested and ready.
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