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Friday, July 31, 2009

GIVEAWAY - Large Format Poster 18" x 24" Print

Patty over at Broken Teepee is having a giveaway! You can win a large format poster 18"x24" print from Large Format I would LOVE to have a poster size print of our Halter Champion Llama, Tempis Fugit to display at the llama shows we attend. So head on over to Broken Teepee to enter for your chance to win!

UPDATE: I WON! Thank you Patty for hosting this great giveaway. Now to see if any of my photos are high enough resolution to be blown up that large. I hope so!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Top Droppers for July - Thank you

Thank you to the top droppers on my blog for the month of July. Each one of these bloggers dropped every single day! Please take the time to visit these great blogs.

MamaFlo's Place
Family Health Avenue
Let's Jump Together
Photography by KML
Take a coffee break...
A Simple Life
Mommy's Little Corner
Grampy and You!
Margie and Edna's Basement

Check out this giveaway on Laketrees!!

Artist Kim Barker of Laketrees is having a fabulous giveaway that ends tomorrow! I would love to win a portrait - I think I would have her paint our daughter using the photos we took at the Miss Colorado/USA pageant.

Here are the contest rules from her blog:


I'm offering my readers the opportunity to win a Free Mini Portrait this month..
# the Mini Portrait is 25cm x 25cm (10" x 10") - acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas..
# free postage
# value: $250 (au)
# one person/subject of the winner's choice
# winner will be selected from a random generator at the end of this month

What you can do:
1. leave a comment here =1 entry per comment
2. post about the competition at your blog with a link back to laketrees = 10 entries
3. RETWEET this post on twitter = 1 entry per tweet
4. Subscribe to laketrees by Email = 5 entries

I will announce the winner on the 1st July 2009 1st August 2009
Good luck everyone!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Etsy Bloggers Street Team Featured Blogger/Seller of the Month - Miesmama

Our Etsy Bloggers Street Team featured seller/blogger of the month is Miesmama. She has a great blog here - and her Etsy store is here.

My favorite items in her shop are the fabulous sweater tote (above). It is made out of a recycled wool sweater - felted and sewn together to make this tote - how cool is that?! Perfect for taking your latest knitting project along - or take it to the Farmer's Market to help carry your goodies. You'll find lots of uses for a bag like this one.

And then I love the felted wool bowl (below). This little bowl was hand knitted and then felted and the leaf applique was then added.

Please go to Miesmama's blog and Etsy store and check them out! If you click on the links for one of the items above and that item is no longer available, it probably means I couldn't resist and bought them!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I've been busy!

The creative Muse has finally popped in to Split Rock Ranch! Yesterday I carded up these beautiful soft batts using uber soft merino and bamboo fibers. I named this blend Rose Garden. The batts are available for sale in my etsy store. I made the two batts so I could see how they turned out and I can make 2 or 3 additional batts with the fiber I have left in my stash.

Limited Edition Custom Fiber Blend


This beautiful soft blend reminds me of a rose garden. Soft pastels = Dainty, delicate and feminine. This Limited Edition Custom Fiber Blend combines soft merino wool roving and custom dyed bamboo in soft shades of peach, cream, pink, minty green, blue, yellow and rose to create this gorgeous blend. Gently blended on our drum carder using a technique we have perfected to assure good color separation.

Next to the skin soft and would be perfect for spinning yarn for making something for baby! Want yarn from this but you don't spin? I offer spinning services, as well. Please convo me for pricing and additional information.

2.0 oz in one beautiful lofty ultra-soft batt.

Fiber Content:

Merino wool 75%
Bamboo 25%

Fast Facts about Bamboo

Bamboo is an environmentally friendly fiber.
Bamboo plants are fast growing - they have been known to grow over 3 feet overnight.
Bamboo has a unique anti-bacteria agent and this agent has been shown to last for many washings.
Bamboo is naturally pest resistant and can be grown without the need for pesticides.
Due to the fiber structure of bamboo with it's micro-holes, it can absorb and evaporate sweat from human skin in a fraction of a second.
And, to add to the appeal, bamboo has the sheen, weight and drape of silk. Bamboo is more alkaline tolerant than silk and is not harmed by the aluminum in antiperspirants like silk is.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Making Lemonade from Lemons - A new Custom Fiber Blend

Recently I received a custom order from a Canadian customer. Two colorways, 8 oz each on merino roving. They use the rovings to make felted soaps. One of the colorways they ordered was my Oahu Sunset which consists of pink, hot fuchsia, yellow sun, vermillion and burnt orange. I generally dye my rovings 4 oz at a time in an enamel coated roasting pan and "bake" them in the over for almost an hour and a half. I use "acid" dyes - the acid that makes them react and set the dye is white vinegar. The vinegar has started to corrode the finish on the dye pots and sometimes I get funny reactions to dye powders on those areas. This time the fuchsia powder drifted on the bottom of the dye pot and combined with the other powders. Sometimes this is okay - the resulting colors blend beautifully with the rest and are just fine. The fuchsia must have some blue in the dye. This time it created purple where it blended with pink and green where it blended with the yellow. This might have been okay but the green was sometimes "muddy" and dark looking and looked brownish.

I took photos (above) and sent them to the client, offering her a discount on those rovings or offering to do them again in a different dyepot. She opted for re-dyeing them. I redyed them in my stainless steel dye pot and eliminated the fuchsia dye powder. Those new rovings turned out absolutely stunning and we were all thrilled. That still left me with 8 oz of merino rovings that I really didn't want to sell as "seconds" in my etsy store. So, I went through my stash of fibers and found some custom dyed mohair roving and tussah silk in coordinating colors and I blended all those fibers together on my hand crank drum carder to make these gorgeous Custom Fiber Blend batts for spinning, felting and fiber art. I emailed some photos to the Canadian customer, just so she knew that those original rovings hadn't gone to waste. She emailed me back saying "Those are soooo beautiful Brenda! Nice lemonade ; - ) Well done!" I have always said there are never dyeing mistakes, only fiber art you didn't plan on.

These Custom Fiber Blend batts are available in my Etsy store. I made and listed two batts, each weighing 2 oz and I have enough fibers left that I can make at least 4 more batts just like these.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Melissas Jewelry and Gems Ring Giveway!

Melissas Jewelry and Gems is a blog I visit daily. Melissa turns 40 on August 8th and is celebrating the big event by giving YOU a present! Check it out and enter to win this beautiful Pink Tourmaline and White Topaz ring.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Foster Kittens - Update

I waited until the kittens were sleeping to get some "non-action shots" of them. Above is Axel (left) Julian (right) and Lily (back). Axel is the coolest steel grey color with black ears, legs and tail and the most beautiful green eyes. Julian is a darker grey color all over with blue/green eyes. Julian is a lover boy - he will climb to my shoulder and purr like crazy. He adores attention. I think they're missing their momma because I gave them one of my alpaca slippers and they lay on it kneading and purring and suckling. Thank goodness they have each other because I think it would be a lot more difficult for them if they were by themselves.

Someone asked if we are responsible for finding homes for the foster kittens. The answer is NO! The shelter takes care of everything: food, litter, vet bills and advertising. My only job is to feed, water and socialize the kittens. So, we get our kitten fix (we forget in between foster kittens how much fun it is to play with them) and the shelter frees up space for cats that are already adoptable. The kittens need to be at least two to three pounds before the vets will spay or neuter them. Several vets in the county offer services to the shelter at a discounted rate and only one vet in the county will spay or neuter them before they are three pounds (our vet, and he's awesome!)

I managed to get another shot of Lily that isn't an "action shot". Here you can see her beautiful blue eyes and her coloring better. She is such a sweetheart. She loves to play with her brothers and the other cats but she also loves to snuggle and lay in your lap. She will roll over on her back and want you to scratch and rub her belly. Our daughter and her boyfriend have fallen in love with Lily and want us to hold her until they get a place of their own. We'll see how it all works out. I'm sure Lily will have a home in a heartbeat as soon as she gets back to the shelter (if she doesn't end up staying here).

Sunday, July 19, 2009

More Llamas Sheared

It was nice and cool here this morning and we didn't have any plans for today so after doing our chores we sheared Kemui Yama (the appy) and Belles Era (the black llama). We plan to show Kemui at the LOCC Fall Classic Llama Show on Labor Day weekend so we wanted to shear him to shorten the grooming time and to make him look taller and more proportional. See how much better he looks compared to the pre-shearing photo?

And we wanted to shear Belle because she is our wooliest female and she looks soooo hot and she has been acting like she is pregnant. After getting all that wool off her we're fairly certain that she is pregnant (her tummy is hard and sounds like a ripe watermelon when you pat her) so she is due the end of September or early October. The gestation period for llamas is approximately 340 days but we have had them go 375 days. So she could deliver a normal healthy cria any time from the end of September to the end of October. This will be her first cria and the first grand-cria for her sire Tempis Fugit (our Halter Champion). She is bred to Rising Starr and it will be his first cria, too, so we are very anxious to see what this little one looks like. A lot of firsts wrapped up in one little cria!

At any rate, both llamas are enjoying their new hairdo's and loving how nice and cool they are now!

So I think that is 11 or 12 llamas that we have sheared this summer! We still have more to shear and we may try to get several more done before the end of July. Nice cool mornings are best but a cool evening works well, too.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Happy Caturday!

As you probably know or remember from past posts, we are a foster family for the local no kill animal shelter. We foster young kittens until they are big enough to be spayed or neutered and then adopted. This morning we picked up three kittens from a litter and this is Lily, the little female. I had a really hard time getting any photos of the kittens because they were soooo active all I could get were "action shots" until Lily climbed up my leg. She looks like a little seal point Himalayan only her fur isn't as long. She has the most incredible blue eyes I've ever seen in a cat. I fell in love with this little girl at first sight and know it is going to be really hard to give her up when the time comes. Lily has two brothers, Axel and Julian. Julian is a dark charcoal and black kitten with green eyes and Axel is a lighter charcoal gray with deep blue eyes. Of course, you'll see more photos and hear more about their antics over the next few weeks!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New Lampwork Beads

These are some new lampwork beads I recently purchased from Kandice Seeber. Purple is my favorite color so I was thrilled to see these available on her Beads for Sale page. I have been trying for months to win one of her auctions on eBay but am always outbid by auction end.

Now I have to go through my enormous bead stash and find some beads that will go well with these. I want to use these lampwork beads as focal beads and fill out the bracelet and necklace with gemstones and crystals. I'm thinking maybe some purple sugalite and charoite along with some hematite would look very nice with these beads and with some dainty 4 or 6 mm Swarovski crystals in violet and black as spacers/accents. Once I finally decide what to do with these, I'll do another post to let you know what I decided.

Kandice also has a blog called Coloraddiction here where you can see more of her work. I would love to learn how to made glass beads and lampwork beads but I think I have my plate full enough right now with spinning, dyeing, carding, knitting, crocheting and ranching! Maybe some day though.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Favorite Things About Summer

The Etsy Blogger theme for July is Top 5 Favorite Things About Summer and Why.

1. Long sunny days with warmer weather so I can spend more time outside, playing with my llamas and horses.
2. Rain = green grass and wildflowers along with flowers in my gardens. The llamas and horses love munching on that lush green grass.
3. Grilling outside on the barbecue grill. I love a fabulous grilled T-bone or how about burgers and hot dogs?
4. Fresh fruits and vegetables, especially from the Farmer's Market. I love bing cherries and corn on the cob.
5. Shearing season - more gorgeous llama fleeces to sell, card, spin, etc.

I truly love summer, especially if it includes regular rains followed by warm sunny days. I love the sound of rain, especially if it is a light rain at night and I can listen to it with the windows cracked open just enough to let in that cool mountain air. I love the long days of summer and the feeling that I can go outside and enjoy the fresh mountain air any time I want. No feeling cooped up indoors because of snow, ice, bitter cold and wind.

What are your 5 favorite things about summer?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Needle Felting Kits on Sale in my Etsy Store

I just put all needle felting kits on sale in my Etsy store. All fiber variety pack refills are on sale as well.

Needle felting is a very popular craft and is becoming more and more popular. You use a barbed felting needle and poke it into fiber (sheep's wool, llama and alpaca fiber, mohair, etc.). The felting needle catches strands of fiber and entangles them, forming felt. The more you poke, the more the fiber felts. You can create 3-D sculptures or flat artwork (like a painting). You can create animals, fantasy creatures, landscapes, etc. Your imagination is the only limit.

My kits contain everything you need to get started...all you add is the imagination! Kits contain felting needles, a foam pad to use as a work space (this prevents the felting needle from breaking), a couple of ounces of fiber (in either bright colors or natural colored fibers - brown, black, gray, etc.) and basic felting instructions along with suggested books and internet links for additional information, patterns, etc.

I offer Basic Needle Felting Kits

Critter Creator Needle Felting Kits and

Small and Medium Deluxe Needle Felting Kits.

So head on over to my Etsy store and check thes
e out! If an item is sold out, I will relist it - or contact me and request a Reserved listing.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I Won!

I entered a giveaway on Oils For Wellness' blog and I won! I chose the Deep Relief roll-on because after a day at work here on the ranch, Deep Relief is exactly what I need. A big Thank You to Jennifer at Oils For Wellness for having the giveaway!

I'm also goi
ng to investigate the Young Living Essential Oils and aromatherapy because I have started collecting essential oils and using them in soaps and lotions that I make for myself and my family and want to learn more about EOs and aromatherapy. Please go to Jennifer's blog Oils For Wellness and check it out!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award!

I'm sorry I've been kind of MIA lately. Our daughter's boyfriend from Florida was here for a three week visit and we spent lots of time touring various areas here in Colorado, showing him the sights and giving him an idea of what life in Colorado is like. In another post I'll list all the places we went to and the things we did while he was here.

Hot Rocks Glass Jewels gave me this award recently - The One Lovely Blog Award! Thank you so much for the honor. And now I have to pay it forward and award this to 7 blogs. It was hard to narrow my choices down to 7 but here is my list:

Will Oaks - Beautiful handmade jewelry and stunning flower and nature photos
Daisy the Curly Cat - The antics of Daisy the Curly Cat and her brofur Harley
The Mare's Tales - Beautiful photographs and Jennifer's stunning art work!
As the Crackerhead Crumbles - Religion and Spirituality
The Maaaaa of Pricilla - Musings of Pricilla the goat
Maria Michelles' Furkids - Great photos of our furry friends
Joyarna Knitblog - Knitting, yarn and fiber

There are several more awards that I have received over the past few weeks that I will need to go back into the comments sections of my posts to relocate and then I'll do additional posts for them.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Wishing everyone a safe, relaxing and fun 4th of July holiday weekend!

Photo by

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Oils for Wellness

Jennifer at Oils for Wellness is having a 100th Post Celebration Giveaway. Jennifer is an aromatherapy consultant/practitioner with Young Living Essential Oils. Being a huge fan of essential oils myself, I was thrilled to discover the Oils for Wellness blog. And when I heard about this contest I was even more thrilled! If I win this giveaway I will select the Deep Relief essential oil blend - after a hard day of work here on the ranch, Deep Relief is exactly what I need!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


This is my friend Shari who just happened to come over for a visit right after little Belles Era was born. Shari had never seen a newborn cria before and this was Geni's first cria, so it was a very special moment that I managed to capture in this photo.