Search This Blog

Monday, August 31, 2009

Chocolate Chip's Fleece is in a Treasury!

Chocolate Chip's first shearing fleece is in a Treasury! It ends Monday morning - I was going to post this over the weekend and got too busy to do a post. So I won't even bother putting up the link to the Treasury but if you click on the fleece, it will take you directly to the listing in my Etsy store. Thank you to Melisa at Alba Ranch for making this beautiful Treasury and for including Chip's fleece!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Etsy Bloggers Blog Carnival

Today is the day for one of the bi-weekly Etsy Bloggers Blog Carnivals! We have to choose one theme or question to answer for this feature. I chose: 1) Your favorite food. What is it and why? If it's something you make please share the recipe.

My favorite food is pizza. My newest favorite pizza is the take and bake pizza from Papa Murphy's - Chicken, Bacon, Spinach, Artichoke Delight. This pizza is made on a thin crust with garlic white sauce and covered with spinach, grilled white meat chicken, bacon and chopped artichokes. Yum, yum! I tried my hand at making my own version of this pizza from scratch and it turned out really good.

I love to make homemade pizza, too, especially in the winter when I want to heat the house up with the oven and revel in the smell of rising dough. When I'm in a hurry and don't have time to make the dough from scratch I use a packaged dough mix that I buy at Wal-Mart - it costs less than a dollar here and the dough turns out really good. I bake my pizzas on professional pizza pans.

I worked at Peppino's Pizza in southwest Colorado Springs when I was in high school and my older brother was the manager of the restaurant. My parents then bought the restaurant and I worked there part-time while I was in college (along with a second part-time job). We made almost everything from scratch. We ordered pork butts and cut those up and ground them with spices to make the most delicious sausage I've ever tasted. We made dough from scratch in this enormous mixer. You would think that after working for years in a pizza joint I would hate pizza, but I still love a good pizza!

your favorite food?

photo courtesy of

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Featured Etsy Blogger of the Month - Memories for Life Scrapbooks

This month's featured Etsy Blogger is Memories For Life Scrapbooks. She has an etsy store
here. And you can find her blog here. You can click on the photos to go directly to the etsy listing for that item.

Check out these cool scrapbooks. First up is the Custom Destination Word Album where the book spells out the name of your vacation destination.

And how about this great pets photo album scrapbook. I love the saying on the front of this album - how true!

And last but certainly not least is the Flip Flop Scrapbook Albums! These are so creative and unique.

So please click through to Memories for Life Scrapbooks blog and Etsy store and check them out!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'm in another Treasury!

I'm in another Treasury! Thank you to Cordova Studios for selecting my Fabulous Fall Foliage Custom Fiber Blend batts for this beautiful Treasury in gorgeous Fall colors.

If you click on the top half of the Treasury here in this post it will take you directly to the Treasury. If you click on the bottom half of the Treasury here in this post it will take you directly to the Fall Foliage CFB batt listing in my etsy store.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My...Again!

I'm exhausted this morning. We went to bed shortly after 10 last night. I got up again because Courtney kitty wanted in shortly before midnight. Shortly before 2 AM this morning one of our outdoor dogs started barking...incessantly, until JB got up to see what he was barking at. He came back to bed and said he didn't see anything. But Bandit kept barking so JB got up again, went out on the deck to the north of the house with a flood light and came trotting back to the bedroom to get dressed. There was a BIG bear sitting on the split rock near the tractor, acting like he was going to go up the tree there. I got up, got dressed, grabbed my truck keys and JB grabbed the rifle, a flashlight and the flood light. The flood light is BRIGHT but it overheats and quits without warning...not a good thing if you're out there in pitch black with a bear! So, we went out to the truck together and JB headed off for the girl's pasture with rifle and lights in hand and I started up the truck and headed out behind the house and up north to shine the headlights up the hill to the north into the male's pastures. We never did see the bear again so after JB went through every pasture and counted heads we headed back in and went back to bed. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to fall back to sleep when the adrenaline is pumping like crazy through your body?!

This morning when I went out to feed the horses, I discovered the 30 gallon trash bin where I keep all the rabbit food dumped over, ripped open and the food containers were spread all over the ground. I always use a bungee cord to hold down the lids on all the feed bins if I leave them outside so the bears and deer cannot get into them - at least as easily. JB came out and found the carton of oats sitting on the split rock torn open and half eaten. I cleaned up the mess and dragged the bin to the drive so I could figure out where to put it (somewhere inside) so the bear doesn't come back. While I was cleaning this up, Handel kept giving the alarm call and looking up the hill towards the Barn Shed. Puff, the 29 year old POA mare kept rounding up the female llamas and putting them in the interior corner of the pasture. She refused to come down the hill to eat her breakfast in the corner where she normally eats. I had to take her breakfast to her. I was as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rockers! I had Annie, our mini Aussie out with me to do chores and she was sniffing around like crazy but wasn't growling or acting like there was anything close by so that helped calm me a bit. I kept stepping back and looking up into the pine trees before I walked under them, just in case Yogi Bear had shimmied up a tree for the night.

After feeding the horses and llamas I started filling water tanks and as I was going through the pastures checking everyone out I discovered a pile of bear scat right in front of the Barn Shed. Nice...that's always a fun discovery. Thank goodness I didn't step in it...ewwwww! I dragged the rabbit feed bin into the Barn Shed and I hope the bear doesn't decide to attempt to break in to get to it.

I hope Yogi doesn't come back again tonight because I need my beauty rest. When I don't get my full 8 hours of sleep I get up feeling really ugly in the morning. He will not want to mess with me if he wakes me up again tonight!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Another Photo Contest!

UPDATE: Please keep voting through Sunday. Today we moved up from page 5 to page 3 of the entries! Thank you to those of you who have been voting for Gigi!!

Okay, another shameless plea, I mean plug - for your vote in the Animal Rescue Site's Cutest Dog Photo Contest on Facebook. This is our little Gigi as a puppy. She's a toy poodle and still cute as can be! Thank you for voting! You can vote once every 24 hours until the contest ends on Sunday August 23rd.

U-Printing Poster Photo

Remember the giveaway that Broken Teepee was having in July for the 18"x24" poster from U-Printing? I won that giveaway and above is the photo I chose to have made into the poster. I think it shows what we love most about llamas and the llama lifestyle. Softness, elegance, grace and tenderness. And that description also applies to the fibers I sell as a fiber artist. Let me know what you think about it.

UPDATE: The original photo that I posted this morning was not good enough quality or high enough resolution to make a good poster - it was really grainy and I couldn't find the original so I chose this one of Chocolate Chip and his momma, Miss Congeniality, taken about an hour after he was born. I think I like this one just as much as the other one. How about you?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Solar Dyed Bombyx Silk Cocoons

Last week I tried something new. I solar dyed bombyx silk cocoons on the deck! I put 12 to 16 silk cocoons per jar and added some water/vinegar/Basic H then sprinkled dye powder into the jar, screwed the lid on and gently tilted the jar back and forth several times to mix the dye. I then set the jars on black rubber mats on the deck, covered them with a black plastic trash bag and left them for 24 hours. At the end of the 24 hours the dye solution was almost completely exhausted and the cocoons were dyed beautifully! I rinsed the cocoons and set them out on a sweater rack dryer on the deck to dry. I think they came out awesome.

I dyed seven different colors: Turquoise, Gun Metal, Emerald Green, Pumpkin Gold, Purple, Navy Blue and Rusty Red.

For decorative display or degum them and gently pull the silk threads from the end of the cocoon to get a long length of silk thread for spinning, paper making or embellishment.

For a wonderful article on silkworms and degumming them:

Information on the Silkworm:
The silkworm (Bombyx mori, Latin: "silkworm of the mulberry tree") is the larva or caterpillar of a moth in the family Bombycidae, that is very important economically as the producer of silk. It is entirely dependent on humans for its reproduction and no longer occurs in the wild; silk culture has been practised for at least 5,000 years in China (Goldsmith et al., 2004). A silkworm's diet consists solely of mulberry leaves. It is native to northern China.

The cocoon is made of a single continuous thread of raw silk from 300 to 900 meters (1000 to 3000 feet) long. The fibers are very fine and lustrous, about 10 micrometers (1/2500th of an inch) in diameter. About 2,000 to 3,000 cocoons are required to make a pound of silk.

If the larvae is allowed to survive after spinning its cocoon, it will make a hole in the cocoon when it exits as a moth. This would cut short the threads and ruin the silk. Instead, silkworm cocoons are boiled. The heat kills the silkworms and the water makes the cocoons easier to unravel.

These cocoons still have the silkworm larvae inside.

These beautiful solar dyed bombyx silk cocoons are available in my Etsy store. Available in each of the seven colors with six cocoons per bag or a variety pack with one of each of all seven colors and as a bag of six cocoons - three Navy blue and three Emerald Green and as a bag of seven cocoons - four Purple and three Pumpkin Gold.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I've been featured!

Yesterday we went to pick up a load of alfalfa hay in Delta, Colorado from a fellow blogger - but more about that trip later!

Last night I got an email from Jerri at Gems by Jerri telling me that I have been featured on her blog! Please go and check it out. Thank you Jerri for a wonderful feature article!

Jerri is a jewelry artist and she has a shop on Etsy. She has some beautiful pieces that are very reasonably priced. Be sure to check out the Sale Section!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Over 1,000 Hearts on Etsy!

I knew I was approaching having 1,000 etsy users call Split Rock Ranch's etsy store a favorite and when I went to check last Sunday I discovered that there are now 1001 hearts for my store! Sorry for the crummy screen shot but I grabbed it quick and cropped it so I could share it with you here.

And, my sales are slowly approaching 1,000 as well. As of today I have 935 sales. I am going to have a big giveaway and sales to celebrate my 1,000 sale in the store. So please stay tuned and check back to see what I've decided to do in celebration!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cutest Cat Contest

Remember this photo from several months ago? Well, I''m posting it again because we just entered it in another Cutest Cat Contest! This contest is on Facebook and runs until August 16th, that's this Sunday. So, if you're on Facebook, please become a fan of The Animal Rescue Site (there is also a button on my sidebar where you can get to The Animal Rescue Site - click daily to donate food to shelter animals!) And then please VOTE for our entry in the contest. First place winner wins a $250 gift certificate to The Animal Rescue Site store!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Another Lemonade out of Lemons Story

Friday evening I dyed a merino roving in Olive dye - but for some reason the roving took the color weird and had rust colored streaks on it. I wanted a true olive color so I decided I would dye another roving using a different dye and different dyeing technique. But again, I didn't want this roving to go to waste so I took a look at my stash and found a beautiful coordinating olive colored mohair roving, a reddish brown alpaca roving and some tan/rust tussah silk and carded them up today.

Here is the finished Custom Fiber Blend: Forest Floor - available in my etsy store!

Limited Edition Luxury Custom Fiber Blend


This Limited Edition Custom Fiber Blend is so earthy it reminds me of the forest floor - rich loamy earth, soft green moss, pine needles and pine cones. This blend consists of soft custom dyed Merino, custom dyed mohair, custom dyed Tussah Silk, natural reddish brown Alpaca and green Firestar for flash. Very soft and lofty with a dash of sparkle. Will make a beautiful yarn. Or, use this for your next felting project - perfect for nuno felters!

Fiber Content:

25% custom dyed Merino
25% custom dyed Mohair
25% natural reddish brown Alpaca
15% custom dyed Tussah Silk
10% Green Firestar

2.0 oz in one beautiful lofty soft batt.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Foster Kittens - Update

Lily - Doing her best "Diva" pose

The foster kittens are growing now by leaps and bounds. Lily (above) is almost a pound and a half. Axel (below) is two pounds one ounce (as of yesterday). They are gaining almost an ounce a day now. I started feeding them a grain free all life stages cat food moistened with warm water and that is when their weight started to increase.

Out of 30 photos that I took this morning only two were good enough to tweak and post. Julian never did slow down enough for me to get a photo of him! My camera shutter speed is sooooo sloooooow that most of the photos had a blur in them or nothing at all because the kitten had bounced out of the frame before the photo completed.

Axel - King of the Jungle

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

These are some of the pansies I found in Fairplay at the Nursery while we were at the Fairplay Llama Races the last weekend of July. We parked right across the road from the Nursery and at the end of the day as we were getting ready to leave I looked over and saw that she had tons of pansies in a huge array of beautiful colors so of course I had to trot on over and pick some out. I was enchanted by the different colors of purples and needed just a dash of yellow to really perk things up. I walked out on our deck several evenings ago and decided I needed to take some photos of these little beauties. Nothing is staged - I just clicked away. I almost edited out the pinecone - I didn't even realize it was in the photo until I downloaded them. Then I decided it added a bit of the Colorado flare to the photo and I left it in. I'm so glad everyone enjoyed looking at these for Wordless Wednesday! And yes, it has been cooler here. The deck is shaded by several large pine trees and nights are still plenty cool. In fact, once the sun goes down it cools off quickly here. We're at 8400 feet above sea level so the sun feels very intense during the day but the nights are wonderfully cool.