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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Check out Leanne Wildermuth - Artist by Nature - AWESOME Artist!

Below is a post of my winning entry into Leanne Wildermuth's weekly contest. My story and photo of Maggie Mae won a 5x7 graphite drawing of the photo I submitted. Leanne captured Maggie Mae's essence perfectly! Please take the time to check out Leanne's blog and enter this weeks drawing! There are several links in the post below to take you to Leanne's blog. She is also on Facebook.

Maggie Mae Won!

Leanne Wildermuth : Artist by Nature Blog

Custom Portrait Winner & Call for Entries : Week #14 (3/30-4/3)

Posted: 30 Mar 2009 08:46 AM PDT

horse portrait pencil drawing by Leanne Wildermuth

Today begins Week #14 of my 2009 weekly graphite portrait giveaway! Each week, one winner will be selected to receive one 5×7 graphite drawing from their photograph.

Last week’s winner was Brenda Vance with her submission and touching story of the path that led her to her beautiful horse, Maggie May. You can read her entry here.

A note on framing for portrait winners: I recommend the Nielsen Bainbridge Archival Gallery Frame, available through Dick Blick.

Weekly Contest Announcement!

Each Monday, I post the weekly Call for Entries along with the previous weeks completed portrait (above). I may change the subject theme each week, or leave the theme open, so please pay close attention to the details in each announcement.

Entries will be accepted through Friday afternoon around 5PM CST, at which time I will close comments and select one winner from the entries received. I’ll announce the winner on Saturday and post the completed portrait with the following week’s Giveaway announcement.

Qualified entries will include a valid e-mail address, and the comment should include one link to a photograph owned/taken by the entrant. If you do not have a place to upload photos to link one, you can e-mail it to gallery *at* intricateart dot-com. Your entry, however, should be included in the comment section below, with your story - should you choose to include one.

The Selection Process: In case you’re curious, I’ll share my little artsy process in selecting the winner. First - I do not read any entries at all during the week. I do not read them because I don’t want anyone’s entries to have any more time than any others to settle in my creative brain. At the end of the week, I close comments. When I sit down to go through all of the entries, I read the story first, and open the photo link in a new window. When I finish reading, I flip over to the photo and my initial reaction is what I go by.

If your entry is not chosen, you may enter again. I encourage you to include a short story with your entry.

    Theme: Pets, Animals, People (1 subject only)
    Deadline: Friday, April 3, 2009 (5pm CST)
    To Enter: Leave a comment, include a link to your photo. For e-mail submissions, leave a comment with your story as your entry, attach your photo to an e-mail separately, and send to gallery *at* intricateart dot-com.

    Note: *G* Rating only

Your challenge? To inspire me! Choose your photo wisely - I will select a winner based on how the photo and/or story moves me.

Good luck!!

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Weekly Portrait Giveaway
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This post is from Leanne Wildermuth : Artist by Nature.

Custom Portrait Winner & Call for Entries : Week #14 (3/30-4/3)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Blue Skies - After the Storm

A big thank you to everyone who has expressed their concerns, friendship and prayers during our Big Blizzard. We made it through the storm just fine and all the animals were A-okay this morning, even our 29 year old POA mare. I'm putting up a photo of her that I took last month. Doesn't she look awesome for her age? She has a tendency to cold colic but she made it through this storm with flying colors. I started her on a new diet this past summer since she can no longer chew hay (her teeth are so worn down due to her age). Twice daily she gets shredded beet pulp and alfalfa pellets soaked in hot water (this also helps warm her up on cold days) to which I add senior pellets and a little bit of sweet feed to enhance palatability. And we always try to blanket her on really cold days and nights. Wind chills were well below zero yesterday and last night so I know she really appreciated that blanket! In fact, when she saw me bringing it out of the tack shed yesterday morning she ran to have me put it that's one smart little horse!

I hear our na
sty storm is now headed for the Texas panhandle and Oklahoma. Batten down the hatches and hang tight folks, this was a big one and unless it has weakened since it roared through Colorado, you're in for a ride!

I finally got our taxes entered on-line last night - I have been using TurboTax for several years now and it sure makes it a lot easier to have everything automatically imported from the previous year so all I have to do is enter the previous year's information. E-filed them and can breathe a huge sigh of relief that those are done. I am also going to set up a spreadsheet with all the appropriate categories so I can enter the 2009 year to date information into the spreadsheet and then keep it updated and maintained monthly so come next January all I have to do is print out the summary spreadsheet and enter the figures into TurboTax. I have been wanting to do this for years but I have never had the time nor the energy to do it, especially after slogging through the previous year's receipts, expenses, etc.! However, now that the ranch is my full time job, I finally have the time and the energy to do it this year. Oh, this will be sooo sweet!

Hope everyone has a good weekend. Stay safe, warm and dry. Til next time!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Winter Storm Warning Today into Tomorrow

Our area is under a Winter Storm Warning from 10 AM this morning until Noon tomorrow (Friday). We can expect from 1 to 2 feet of snow! Last night Jim brought in lots of firewood (we heat the house exclusively with a wood stove). Today I fed extra to the weanling llamas and the horses and raked up all the loose hay under the trees and into feeding boxes to reduce the amount of hay that gets covered with snow and gets wet (cuz then, eeewwww, its gross and the llamas don't wanna eat it!) This is what Springtime in the Rockies of Colorado can be like. We can set record breaking high temps one day, followed by record setting blizzard conditions and snowfall the next. Don't like the weather? Wait five'll change. That's a frequent saying around here. We need the moisture though, so we won't complain (much - we were really enjoying those record high temps!) Several years ago we were snowed in for four days because there was so much snow the plows didn't get out to us for that length of time. There were four to six foot drifts in the road in front of the house. At the time, we didn't have a tractor so we just hunkered down and waited for help to arrive. Now we have a big tractor so Jim is all excited about being able to get the tractor out and do some snow plowing this weekend. Boys and their toys!

Hopefully we'll still have power and internet service throughout this storm - or we'll be playing poker and backgammon by firelight. So, til next time, stay warm and dry, wherever you are!


The snow has started and is coming down horizontally. We could have up to 50 mph winds this afternoon and 16 below zero wind chills tonight and tomorrow morning. I dread the thought of going out to feed the horses this afternoon! I put the blanket on Puff, our 29 year old mare, and hope she rides this storm out okay.

Here's a link to the cams in Woodland Park (the closest major town to us - 25 miles away): On one of them you can't even see anything right now because it is snowing so hard.

Monday, March 23, 2009

One more handspun yarn skein - Sagging sales - Tax season, etc.

Here's one more handspun yarn that I forgot to post when I did the last batch of handspuns. This one is 4.0 oz - 128 yards - worsted weight - navajo plyed (3-ply) handspun from a merino/bamboo roving handdyed by Fat Cat Knits on etsy. It is for sale in my etsy store and I have one more 4 oz roving that I can spin up to match this one if you need additional yardage.

Sales from my etsy store have been very slow lately - in fact, no sales for the past week, which is very depressing. However, since I had a killer migraine that started last Wednesday and lasted through Saturday, that wasn't such a bad thing not to have sales to worry about getting ready and shipped. I hear from many sellers that sales have been slow to non-existent lately so I don't feel too bad. I am also still slogging through all the paperwork trying to get my numbers put together so I can file my taxes on-line this week and get that dreaded chore out of the way for this year. I always dread this time of year - doing the taxes. Ugh... does anybody else feel that way? I swear every year for the past several years I promise myself that I am going to do a better job of getting my paperwork organized so come next January I can just open up a spreadsheet and print out my figures and then file our tax return as soon as the W-2's arrive. Ha... and then life kept getting in the way of my good intentions. This year though I have at least started file folders for all my paperwork and have been deligent about filing everything in them. Now all I have to do is set up a spread sheet and enter information weekly or monthly, depending on how much there is to enter. At least this year I'm not working a full time job in town and running a teenager around - which leaves me a lot more time and energy to get organized and stay that way!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New Handspun Yarns Listed in Split Rock Ranch Etsy Store

I finally got some of my handspun yarns listed in my etsy store.

One of them, Zanzibar Gold, (shown above) sold right away but the others are still available.

First is Zanzibar - An energized singles yarn spun from merino, yak and angora batts purchased from Hobbledehoy on etsy. I don't normally spin bulky or singles yarns but this fiber was too gorgeous to ply, even on itself as I wanted the colors to remain true and bold and rich.

Next is Rose Garden - A beautiful two-ply yarn spun from a Rambouillet, silk and angora batt purchased from Crystal Creek Fibers. I got really good yardage from this fiber - it wanted to be spun nice and thin - loads of luster and incredible drape to this yarn!

And finally is Spiced Alpaca - A gorgeous two-ply yarn spun from alpaca rovings purchased from Marathon Fiber Mill on ebay. Very rich colors and incredibly soft - this yarn will make an exceptionally warm accessory.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My computer is finally back!

The computer Gods were smiling on me this week. The guys at the computer place in town managed to find and destroy the nasty Trojan that my computer picked up late last week. They defragged my hard drive, installed new spyware and malware protection and got things running smooooothly. I picked up the computer today, so now I can take photos and get them downloaded and post some photos on the blog - posts without photos seem sooo boring to me.

I spent a lot of time spinning this week - and working on the taxes. So it was probably a good thing that I didn't have my computer here trying to distract me for hours on end...does anybody else have that problem?!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Computer is in the Shop!

Last Friday I had some weird stuff happen on my computer - apparently it was infected with a virus or Trojan or some such thing and popups kept coming up for Spyware 2009 saying my computer was not protected from viruses, etc. - wrong - I have TWO programs in place that update at least daily for new protection. I was running a spyware program at the time the popups started coming up! So, we had to take it into the shop to have it cleaned up. Hopefully I'll have it back today but in the meantime I'm limping along on hubby's laptop computer so I can at least keep up with emails and my etsy store. Unfortunately though I am not able to take photos and get them tweaked and make new listings in my etsy store. All that software, etc. is on the other computer. So later this week I should be back to normal and have some new handspun yarns listed in the store. I am also working on the Fiber of the Month Club spinning batts and will start dyeing the Roving of the Month Club rovings tomorrow or Thursday.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Daylight Savings Time Sale Extended!

I don't know about the rest of you but I always have a hard time with the Spring Forward Daylight Savings Time change! Yesterday I thought we had changed all the clocks in the house and I was trying to figure out what time it really was because the animals are all still on their normal biological clock and they like their normal schedule and routine for feeding, etc. and I went out to feed at what I thought was 4:30 PM MDT which would be 3:30 MST which is when I normally feed the horses. I got back in the house and looked at the time on the microwave which read 4 PM. Oops, did I just feed at 3 PM on the horses' schedule? Nope, the stove said 5 PM - I finally figured out how to set the time on the microwave then went and set the time on the bedroom clock so we could get up at the right time to get to work today. This morning I was all discombobulated (is that a word?!) so I decided that I cannot possibly be the only person struggling with this time change thing and to help make the day a bit brighter and easier I decided to extend my Daylight Savings Time Sale in my etsy store through today. So go to the store at to get 10% off everything in the store, including shipping and handling!!! Go ahead and checkout and I will refund the discount back to your PayPal account when I ship your package.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Daylight Savings Time Sale!

Since we just lost an hour of time today, I'm having a Daylight Savings Time Sale in my etsy store. Take 10% off everything in the store, including shipping and handling fees!!! You can either complete checkout and pay with PayPal and I will refund the 10% discount to your PayPal account when I ship your item or I can send you a revised PayPal invoice with the discount applied.

This sale is in effect until 9 AM MDT on Monday March 9th.

Go to and stock up!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Look What BohoKnitterChic Spun!

This yarn was spun by Brittany of BohoKnitterChic using one of my Monet Water Lilies Custom Fiber Blend batts. Spun into a gorgeous skein of coiled art yarn. And, this was her first attempt at spinning a coiled yarn! She named her yarn “Garden Tea Party” because it reminds me of a set of my great grandmother’s china. Thank you Brittany for sharing these photos - what an awesome job you did!