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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thank you to my Entrecard Top Droppers for April!

Top droppers on Entrecard - Every one of these bloggers dropped on my blog every single day this past month - Thank you!

Cat Lovers Site

Juliana's World


My Library

Silver Sachet

Let's Jump Together

Photography by KML


Black holes and Astrostuff

Hello Kitty Gifts

Midnight Desire - Handspun Yarn

Here's the latest handspun yarn to come off the spinning wheel. It is Midnight Desire, a 100% Corriedale wool roving that I purchased from CJ Kopec Creations as part of her Ravelry April Spin-A-Long.

155 yards and 3.5 ounces. This is a DK weight yarn at 14 wpi. Use 5-6 needle or F hook.

This yarn has been properly treated to set the twist.

Suitable for knitting, crocheting, felting or whatever your creativity dreams up!

It was easy to spin but a little coarser than I like in fibers. It would make a great felting yarn - knit or crochet it up into a hat or bowl, etc. and felt it. Would make a great hat or mittens. Love the color on this one though. Very rich, deep dark exotic looking color. Available for sale in my Etsy store.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Long Skinny Art Yarn Scarf Finished


I just finished knitting my first art yarn scarf! This yarn is bulky so I used size 15 needles and created my own pattern with a dropped stitch to give it an open look to showcase the beautiful yarn.

This beautiful scarf was hand knit using handspun art yarn purchased on Etsy from Kittygrrlz. Gorgeous bright colors including pink, peach, coral, turquoise, blue, orange, rust, red and yellow. The art yarn is handspun merino wool with novelty yarns and plyed with thread. Very soft with loads of texture and eye catching colors. Scarf measures 3 inches wide and 67 inches long plus 8 inches of fringe on each end for a total of 83 inches long. Plenty long to go around your neck once or twice, loop it, tie it or just drape it. Or, use it as a sash or wide belt.

You can find this scarf in my etsy store here.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fostering Kittens

For the past 18 months we have volunteered as a foster family for kittens from the local no-kill shelter. We foster the kittens who are too small or too young to be spayed or neutered. This frees up room at the shelter for cats that have already been spayed/neutered and are ready for adoption. The shelter provides everything we need - the kittens are vaccinated prior to coming to live with us. The shelter provides food, litter pans and litter and all veterinary care (if needed) while the kittens are in our care. We provide them with a safe place within our home (they usually stay in the bathroom at night and while we are gone.) We allow supervised play times with our cats so that the kittens get used to other cats and dogs. We socialize the kittens so that they are friendly, affectionate and relaxed. Many people ask how we can take these kittens in and then let them go to their new forever homes when the time comes. I had this same worry when we first started fostering. I soon discovered that I was looking forward to the kittens going to their new homes and we could have our bathroom back (so I could give it a good scrub down). It takes a lot of time to feed, water, scoop litter boxes, weigh them daily, play with them, etc. Out of all the kittens we have fostered (about a baker's dozen to date) we have only adopted one - Precious, our calico Maine Coon mix kitty. There have been a few that I got a bit teary eyed when the time came to take them back so they could be adopted, and there have been a few that I was glad to see go so I could see some semblance of peace and quiet at the house for a change! Overall though, it has been a very good experience all the way around. We get to play with these little darlings and watch them grow. They learn to trust and look forward to human interaction and learn to adapt to a busy household with other cats and dogs. So we view it as a win/win situation for everybody. If your local shelter or rescue agencies offer fostering, you might want to consider giving it a try. The worst that could happen is you end up adopting another cat or two - and that's not a bad thing after all, is it?!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Oops - I did it again!

Remember the post recently where Pippin, our YorkiePoo, had his head stuck in a box of dog cookies? Well, yesterday he did it again! Only this time not a box of dog cookies but an empty bag of dog food. We feed NutroMax to our dogs and when you buy ten bags you get a bag free but you have to cut out the Proof of Purchase off each bag and save it, which we did yesterday morning but the bag got left laying there so Pippin had to stick his head in that small hole (maybe 4 inches square) to see if there was any food left and then he couldn't get his head back out again. He stood there rattling it to see if he could shake it off and we could resist, we had to snap this photo to share. Oops, I did it again!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Happy Caturday

This is Rex, one of the foster kittens we recently took in from the local shelter. He was the runt of the litter and it took forever to get his weight up to the point where he could be neutered. I gave Rex lots of extra love and attention and treats. He finally got big enough to be neutered and went to a loving home with children who adore him.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ugly Duckling Carding Services

I recently bid on an Alchemy request on Etsy and my bid was accepted. Someone wanted their fibers carded into batts for spinning. She sent me 8.5 ounces of a variety of fibers, shown in the photo above. When the package arrived Friday, I opened it and pulled the fibers out of the bag and laid them out on our bed. Oh dear, I wondered what in the world I was going to do to put these fibers together and make some of my beautiful fiber blend batts. Not that they were ugly fibers, they just didn't stand out and really inspire me. I set them aside for the night and Saturday I got them out and laid them on the card table and took the photograph. Then I started arranging and re-arranging fibers side by side until I found some combinations that I thought would work well together. I normally make 2 oz batts and decided to make 4 batts each a little over 2 oz each. Following are the four batts I created using these fibers. My personal favorite is the pink/yellow/orange batt.

Here is what the customer had to say when I emailed photos of the finished batts to her (we exchanged several emails back and forth):

I was worried about the randomness of the fibers, but you just wow. WOW. LOL my friend is probably going to contact you too, she was just as amazed at what you created. You really have a talent for it, I know I couldn't do what you did.

OMG I am speechless!!!! You did amazing, I can't believe that is from the roving I sent. WOW. Thank you so so so so so much, you are just awesome!

Once again, you did AMAZINGLY thank you so much, they are perfect!!

Needless to say, her praise and comments made my day. Doing this really helped me to think outside the box. I have never done this before - carded up random fibers that people sent to me. She gave me free rein and told me to just go crazy and have fun. I'm always worried that my intrepretation of what looks good wouldn't match what the customer envisioned. This time it worked out well - we were both pleased with the outcome. I'm thinking of adding another aspect to my business and dub it "Ugly Duckling Carding Services". However, the smaller the amount of fiber, the trickier the job becomes. The more colors and textures you have to choose from, the better your chances at creating something really inspired and beautiful. Any thoughts, comments, suggestions?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Colorado - April Snows Bring May Flowers

We got some heavy wet snow today - almost a foot of the white stuff. It should help the grass grow in the pastures when it melts. We really need the moisture because we haven't gotten much precip all winter long and we were very worried about a high fire danger summer again. This will help raise the levels of water in the lake and give us some badly needed moisture. Above is a picture of the lake. I wish I would have brought the camera out sooner because when I first went out to feed, the lake was a gorgeous teal blue color but by the time I was done with chores it started to cloud up and got darker and the color was this deep dark gray.

Here are the weanling llamas with Uncle Nimbus chowing down on hay that I took out after the snow stopped.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Never EVER Judge a Book by its Cover!

Watch this video from YouTube. It made me weep with joy - this woman, Susan Boyle, has the voice of an angel. Please enjoy it and pass it on. You will bless whomever you share this with.

I am going to attempt to get the video right here on the blog so you can watch it here. It is a bit long but watch the entire thing - you'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gigi - Our Poodle Pup

This was going to be a wordless post but there were so many comments I decided to post a little more about this cute little puppy. This is our toy poodle puppy that was approximately 8 or 9 weeks old when this photo was taken on 4th of July 2000. Gigi is going to be 9 years old on May 4th this year and she is still a cute little dog. We only had poodles when I was growing up. There were so many allergies in our family that a poodle was the only dog the allergist would okay for the family. Poodles are essentially non-shedding but do require frequent grooming to prevent their long curly fur from matting up. They are extremely intelligent and personable little dogs and they come in several sizes - Tea Cup, Toy, Miniature and Standard. They all share pretty much the same traits and are a joy to have as companions. The smaller sizes make great apartment dogs - you can even train them to use a litter box (there is special dog litter) or a wee wee pad when you can't make it outside to let them do their business. They love to be around people and love to go for rides in the car. Gigi used to go to work with me every day and she would sit in the seat until we went to the drive-up window at the bank or a fast food restaurant and then she would run to the window and stare at the person inside, begging for a dog cookie (which she usually would get). Poodles are easy to train and love to learn tricks and will perform them for whomever will watch - especially when cookies are at stake! I searched for months to find a black female toy poodle and the minute I saw Gigi I knew she was "The One" for us. Hubby didn't want a poodle again because I had a toy poodle when we got married and if DH made the dog mad, the dog would pee in his shoes! DH did NOT have a good opinion of poodles and finally told me "fine, you can get her as long as I don't have to have anything to do with her". We picked Gigi up during the day and I was holding her when DH walked in after work and he said "OMG, she is soooo cute!" and I said "Yes, she is, but you don't have to hold her because I know you want nothing to do with her!" Yes, it was love at first sight for DH, too. And Gigi still continues to amuse us and entertain us with her little antics and adorable personality.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Merry Christmas! - No wait, its Happy Easter!

I woke up this morning at shortly after 6 AM to the sound of something being batted around in the kitchen. I decided to get up and check it out - put on my robe and slippers and looked out the sliding glass door and thought, "Oh man, its really foggy out". I opened the front door to put the dogs out and GASP there were several inches of SNOW on the deck and what I thought was fog was SNOW! We had two inches of snow already and it was coming down lightly, almost like a mist. Two hours later we had four inches of snow and it shows no signs of letting up. We are under a Winter Weather Advisory until 6 PM tonight. We were supposed to go down the mountain to my parent's house in Colorado Springs today to celebrate Easter and hubby's birthday but that isn't looking promising. We could most likely make it in the truck - it is 4 wheel drive with good tires on it and very high clearance. But, from listening to the ham radio and scanner this morning traffic accidents in the county are one right after the other. So, we're waiting a bit to see if it would be safe to go or if we should stay home.

After doing chores this morning I got the camera and took some photos to share. The snow is wet and heavy so it is compacting down quickly and you can't really tell how much we actually got. But take a look at the branches on the pine trees and it will give you an idea of how heavy this stuff is. The poor little birdies were chirping on the deck looking for something to eat. Their food dishes were buried in several inches of snow. So, I brushed snow off strategic locations and refilled several more dishes so they'll have plenty to eat so they can stay warm today.

Oh, I got sidetracked, didn't I?! The batting sound was a plastic clamshell container that had strawberries in it. There was one green berry in the batch of strawberries that I just left in the container and left it on the counter last night. The cats had knocked it down and were playing "try to get the berry".
Who needs to spend money on cat toys when everyday household items provide so much entertainment at no additional cost whatsoever!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

May you all have a very blessed Easter.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Please vote for our submission to this contest!

You do have to register to vote on this contest but it is easy and takes only a little bit of time. If you do go to all the trouble to vote for us, we really appreciate it! Also, you can vote once an HOUR until April 30th. So, if you are just looking fora way to kill some time and help out... ;o)

Winner gets a $100 gift certificate from PetsMart. Our cats and dogs thank you profusely for your efforts to win them some snacks, treats and goodies!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

More Cria Photos

This photo was taken in July 2007. These crias are pretty close in age. The first one born was Dusty Rose, the white cria on the right in front. The second one born (two weeks later) was Chocolate Chip (aka Mr. C - for CUTE), the appaloosa cria on the right in back. Then five hours after Mr. C was born came Argentum, the gray cria on the left. I can't believe these little ones will be two in a few months! Time sure does fly. We only had two crias born on the ranch last summer and this summer there will be no crias. We have cut way back on breeding due to the economy, sagging sales, etc. and we want to be sure that all the crias we produce will have wonderful homes (we still have all three of these guys and they are looking so wonderful. I already have the first shearing fleeces from Argentum and Mr. C reserved for a hand spinner in Arizona. She came to visit me last summer and fell in love with the fleeces on these boys. It was too late in the summer to shear them last year so I will shear them for her next month (providing the weather cooperates).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I've Reached The Number One Spot in my Category on Entrecard!

I don't know how they determine the rankings on Entrecard but tonight when I checked my category - Fashion (fibers become Fashion!) - I saw that I have reached the number one spot in my category! I took a screen shot so I can savor the moment - not knowing how long it will last or for sure how I got there! Sorry it is such a crummy photo but that's what came up when I did a screen shot and imported it to my Adobe Photoshop program.

Wordless Wednesday - Are baby llamas cute or what?!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Entrecard - Recent Changes

I found Entrecard a couple of months ago - around the first week of January, and signed up. I have religiously dropped as many cards as I could over the past few months. Recently, after switching to Firefox as my browser, I have dropped my maximum 300 cards daily. I spend several hours every day dropping cards, working on my blog and visiting other bloggers. I have met some awesome people through blogging and have thoroughly enjoyed visiting everyone's blogs and have seen some fabulous creativity and artistic ability, too. Now, Entrecard has decided it needs a way to generate some money to continue. So, they are accepting paid ads. I don't have a problem with that, I understand their need to generate money to cover their expenses. However I DO have a problem with them allowing the paid ads to usurp and replace the ads already in my queue which were paid for with hard earned credits by dropping on Entrecard blogs! So, I accepted a couple of paid ads at first - the one from Entrecard (I do want to be a team player) and one from another group I belong to - Creative Cafe. They were sending me ads that had absolutely nothing to do with my interests at first - until I set some parameters - and even then there would be 20 or more paid ads in the queue awaiting approval and no ads paid for with credits. So, I have rejected all the other paid ads - and haven't had any appear in my box for almost 24 hours now - the calm before the storm perhaps? At any rate, I did send a message to Entrecard powers that be and told them my views on the subject and was just referred to the forum where the subject was being hotly debated - almost 3,000 posts already at the time I first went there. Most people felt the same way I do. So, I am waiting until they sort all this out before making my decision on what to do next as far as Entrecard is concerned. I want to be a team player and I want them to somehow be able to generate money to pay expenses. But I believe somewhere in the middle is a solution that will please the majority of the people. Many people I know have decided not to play and have removed the Entrecard widget from their blog and cancelled their Entrecard account. I'm on the fence...waiting...and watching.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Thank You - Spreading the Linky Love

A big Thank You goes out to Audrey of Audrey's Country Crafts for featuring my products on her blog in yesterday's post! Check out Audrey's blog for some great links to crafty websites and stores.

And another big Thank You to Sweetwater Designs for bestowing me with 1,000 credits on Entrecard in her giveaway on April Fool's Day! What a nice surprise to go to her blog that day and see that I had won. Of course, I turned right around and spent half those credits to advertise on her blog page. ;o) Check out her blog - she makes some beautiful lampwork beads, etc. Her newest listing is a great pair of handmade lampwork earrings - check them out! Click on the photo to go to her etsy store.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Split Rock Ranch in TWO Etsy Treasuries!

Yesterday Split Rock Ranch was in TWO Etsy Treasuries!

The first Treasury has my hand crocheted Peacock Spiral Ruffled Scarf.

The second Treasury has my Sea Breezes Lil Bits handdyed roving.

A big Thank You to therainbowgirl and ilashdesigns for choosing my fibers!

Entrecard Top Droppers for March

A big thank you to the top Entrecard droppers for March! And here's some link love to show my appreciation. Check these blogs out.

Dropper/Blog Number of Drops

Youniquely Chic
A Rose By Name 31
Zero 30
BeadedTail 30
Gems by Jerri 30
My gypsygoods 30
Silver Sachet 29
Theresa's Treasures 29
West of Mars - the Meet and Greet 29
DJ Tammy Squels 29