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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Reconnecting with Old Friends & Best on Blogspot

Yesterday I had a visit from an old high school friend whom I haven't seen in years - I think our 20th reunion was the last time we saw each other and that would have been in 1996! We reconnected recently on Facebook and she wanted to see the llamas and my yarns so yesterday she and a friend came to visit. It was a lot of fun and there wasn't nearly enough time to catch up so we're going to have to meet again soon to talk more! Her friend had spent several years in Peru where llamas are a common sight since they're used as beasts of burden there. She missed seeing llamas and was thrilled to reconnect with them again. And, small world, her husband works for the same company as JB!

I wish we had crias for them to see. But, it appears that all the females we bred last Fall did not get pregnant. I thought for sure Belle was pregnant by the looks of her when we sheared her in July but now we're thinking she is just fat and grouchy. :o( We'll expose several of our top females to our top herd sires this coming weekend in the hopes that we'll have some outstanding crias next year. I think this is only the second year we haven't had even one cria on the ranch! Our last cria was born over a year ago, little Hot Shot. So I'm putting in a couple of gratuitous photos of him because I know everyone loves to see crias. The first photo is when he was a newborn, just learning to stand. The second photo is a couple of weeks later - what a difference a little bit of time makes!

And finally, I'm doing some shameless promotion (okay, begging if you will) for votes on Best on Blogspot. You can click on the link to the right of this post or you can click here to go to the site. You can vote once daily and voting ends tomorrow, so this isn't a long drawn out homework assignment, just an easy click today and tomorrow if you visit my blog again tomorrow. Thanks!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Autumn Splendor

I don't have much time to write much for this post today because I have company coming to visit for the day - an old friend from high school that I haven't seen in years but reconnected with via Facebook recently.

I just wanted to share some photos of my fibers that were inspired by Fall colors. The bottom photo is what Autumn looks like here - we don't have very many of the deep reds and oranges, mostly yellow colors. But the photo above that was sent to me by a friend who lives in the midwest and I was whining about not getting all those colors so she sent the photo to me. I hope you enjoy looking at what inspires me.

Hope you all have a great day!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Etsy Bloggers Street Team Featured Blogger/Seller of the Month - Designs by Vanessa

This month's Etsy Bloggers Street Team featured blogger is Designs by Vanessa. Vanessa's blog "Designs by Vanessa" can be found here. Vanessa also has an Etsy store, also Designs by Vanessa, which can be found here. Vanessa makes handmade jewelry like the Green Heron earrings pictured below. And she makes really cute cards like the Baby Blue Little Birdie Card pictured above.

Please visit Vanessa's blog and Etsy store and check them out!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

And the WINNER is...

This morning I made a list of the commenters on yesterday's post about my Entrecard credits who expressed a desire to have all or some of the credits before I close my Entrecard account. There were ten people who commented prior to the 10 PM MDT deadline so I entered 1 through 10 using the Random Generator on and as you can see from the screen shot I took, number 5 was the lucky winner!

Here is a list of the commenters/bloggers who expressed an interest in the credits:

1. Ann's Snap Edit & Scrap
2. Beaded Tail
3. Creating a Better World
4. Sewing Mom
5. Pricilla
6. TLK Handknits
7. Oils for Wellness
8. My Opinion Counts
9. A Kitty Named Reese
10. Grampy from Grampy & You

So, I decided to award 10,000 of my hard earned Entrecard credits to Pricilla - congratulations Patty from The Maaaaa of Pricilla! I transferred those credits today, and have already received a heartwarming message from Patty thanking me for those credits.

I decided I would award the remaining credits (there were over 18,000 credits before I made the transfer to Pricilla) to the rest of the commenters in equal portion. I even did extra drops to make it an even 900 credits each. However, when I went to transfer the credits, I discovered that (surprise) Entrecard charges a 12.5% credit fee to transfer credits! So, I am going to make additional drops tonight and tomorrow morning in hopes of getting the credits to approximately 670 per commenter after paying the 12.5% credit fee. With the number of credits that I started with, it will cost me over a week's worth of dropping 300 credits a day in transfer credit fees! Just another way that Entrecard slaps us in the face, in my opinion, for what it is worth.

I must say I am thankful that banks don't charge such an outrageous fee to make transfers! I would be broke in no time.

And when did Entrecard decide not to pay for blog posts? How did I miss that?!

This is really difficult for me. I have mixed emotions about leaving Entrecard - but I feel like I need to cut the ties clean and when/if things change at Entrecard and I am comfortable with their rules and their rules don't change on a weekly basis, I may go back to Entrecard and start all over. In the meantime, I'm investigating Project Wonderful, CMF Ads, Adgitize along with SlogBite, Blog Catalog and any other blog communities I can find.

I am extremely grateful for all the wonderful blogs I have discovered in the past eight months. I now have over 100 followers on my blog and over 47,000 visits since I installed the visitor counter in mid January of this year. I cherish all the new friends I have made through blogging over the past eight months. Prior to joining Entrecard I felt like I was just keeping a personal journal - now I feel like I'm sharing important parts of my life with friends and people who enjoy reading what I write and seeing the photos that I post.

Thank you to each and every one of you who has taken the time to stop in, visit, leave a comment now and then. I look forward to continuing to visit my favorite blogs on a regular basis. And I look forward to using the hours a day I spent on dropping cards for spinning, carding fiber blend batts, dyeing fibers or playing with the dogs, cats, horses and llamas.

Happy blogging - thanks for stopping by! Have a great rest of the weekend my friends.

PS - Until I transfer all the credits to the other bloggers on the list, I will still have the Entrecard widget on my blog but it has been moved down the page - scroll down on the right hand side if you'd like to drop for a credit while you're here.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Its time to say goodbye to Entrecard

In early January of this year I stumbled across Entrecard, a site where you can network and advertise your blog for free. You could earn credits by visiting other blogs also displaying the Entrecard widget - one credit for each widget that you clicked on (one per day per blog) up to 300 drops in a day. You also received one credit for each click on the widget displayed on your blog with no limit to the number of credits you could earn daily this way. You use these credits to advertise your blog on other EC blogs and advertising pricing is determined by the number of ads in that blog's EC queue. I worked very hard to drop as many cards as I could daily so I could earn enough credits to start advertising on more popular blogs. I was dropping 300 cards daily without fail for many weeks. I started adding my favorite blogs to my blog roll, whether those blogs reciprocated my drop or not - because I enjoyed visiting their blog. I tried to reciprocate dropping on those who dropped on my blog but some sites I just didn't care to visit or they had numerous blogs and I would then just drop on one of their blogs daily, not all their blogs. Lately I have found that dropping cards has become less and less enjoyable and my daily drop numbers dwindled until it was to the point that I was only dropping several cards a day - those blogs I was advertising on that day and the blog that was advertising on my blog.

On September 1, 2009, Entrecard decided that there were too many credits in EC world and they changed the rules so that now you do not receive any credits for anyone who visits your blog and clicks on the EC widget. You still get credit for up to 300 drops daily for every blog you visit and click. I was okay with this - I was willing to see how this adjusted the pricing on the cost to advertise on blogs.

Awhile back, Entrecard introduced paid advertising - these ads would usurp whatever credit paid ad was currently running on your blog. This I disagreed with because I felt that those people who had faithfully visited my blog, left comments and spent their hard earned credits on advertising space should NOT be bumped by someone who decided to use cash paid ads. So, I declined all paid ads. After a lot of complaints by the Entrecard users, Entrecard decided to phase out paid ads. Now they are going to re-introduce paid ads and I'm told that you won't have any control over which ads run on your blog.

Therefore, I have regretfully made the decision to cancel all the ads in my queue (you should all receive your credits back into your Entrecard account) and I cancelled all the ads I had placed over the next week or so. There are three of my ads running at this time that will end by late today so I won't cancel those ads.

I have almost 18,000 credits in my account on Entrecard that I will gladly give away to anyone who wants them. I would prefer that the blog I give these credits away to is a follower of my blog who makes regular visits and comments at least occasionally. If several people want these credits I will either 1) use Radom Generator to select a "winner" or 2) split the credits up equally amongst the people who leave a comment on this post by 10 PM MDT tonight.

Please leave a comment and let me know whether or not you'd like option 1 or 2 - majority rules. I will try to transfer the credits on Saturday 9/26/09 and will then cancel my Entrecard account.

I am going to investigate Adgitize and Project Wonderful for advertising opportunities on this blog. Anyone with any experience, comments, hints, etc. please leave a comment with your suggestions.

Thank you to all of you who visit frequently and leave comments at least occasionally. I treasure each and every one of my blog buddies and will still visit your blog when I get the chance. If you'd like to be placed on my blog roll, leave a comment to that effect, too.

Parting is such sweet sorrow...but this will give me more time to work with my fibers, take photos, work with the llamas and horses, play with my dogs and cats, etc. I'm looking forward to all of it!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Do you know how to tell it's the last day of Summer in the Rockies?

Do you know how to tell when it is the last day of Summer in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado?

Any guesses?

Okay, I'll give you a hint - it is white.

Okay, another hint - it is cold.

Last hint - if it comes down hard enough it is called a Blizzard.

But since it is the last day of Summer, we're getting thunder with it.

Go figure.

Global warming...yeah....right.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Won! A beautiful fabric bowl

Recently I entered a giveaway on Just a Little Zizzy's blog and I won this beautiful fabric bowl! Isn't it gorgeous? I love it. I have it on my dresser, holding several small skeins of hand dyed loopy mohair that I'm going to use to make a scarf...but that's for another post. Please visit her blog - and if you are an Entrecard user, be sure to drop your card while you're there. She also has an Etsy store where she sells more of these fabulous fabric bowls, fabric coasters and adorable fabric postcards. There is a set of gorgeous nesting fabric bowls in Autumn Leaves colors that I love. And an adorable mini fabric bowl in Indian Corn colors!

So many choices, I couldn't make up my mind. Thank you so much for the beautiful bowl. Once I decide which bowls and coasters to get, I'll be back!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lalo likes to play FarmTown on FaceBook!

I just had to share these pics with you today. This is our newly adopted kitten, Lalo who loves to play FarmTown on FaceBook! He will sit there for the longest time just watching the screen. In the second photo, its like he's saying "What?! I'm busy here, can't you see?!"

And I have a question for all the cat people out there - does anybody have any idea what breed of cat Lalo might be? The vet put "Seal Point Siamese" on the paperwork but I don't think Lalo has the characteristic triangular shaped head that the Siamese has, nor does he have the lanky and stretchy body. His points are getting darker as he ages and he is developing brown stripes on his legs. He is extremely affectionate and follows us around like a little puppy dog. He craves, no DEMANDS attention! I was thinking perhaps he might be Burmese? His littermates were a different color: Axel was a black/charcoal gray cat with green eyes and Julian was a chocolate/black cat with blue/green eyes. All three came from the local shelter and nobody there got to see what the momma cat looked like. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated (not that it really matters because he's well loved no matter what breed he is!)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Had a great time at the llama show!

Midnight Hour's Kemui Yama
LOCC Fall Classic Llama Show Grand Champion Medium Wool Male
Handler: Jim Vance

Midnight Hour's Kemui Yama
LOCC Fall Classic Llama Show - Supreme Reserve Grand Champion

Split Rock Decorus Domina (aka Baby Dee)
LOCC Fall Classic Llama Show Reserve Grand Champion Medium Wool Female

Split Rock Tina Fey
LOCC Fall Classic Llama Show - 3rd Place Medium Wool Yearling Female

We had a great time this weekend at the llama show. Yesterday was performance classes and we just volunteered all day. Today was the halter classes. We showed Tina Fey in the Yearling Medium Wool Female class and she placed 3rd in a class of 6; Decorus Domina was in the Adult Medium Wool Female class and she placed 1st in a class of 3 then took Reserve Grand Champion Medium Wool Female; Kemui Yama was in the Adult Medium Wool Male class and he placed 1st in a class of 3 then took Grand Champion Medium Wool Male and went on to take Supreme Reserve Grand Champion which means that out of all the llamas in the show he placed 2nd overall (this is basically Best in Show)! We were so pleased with how well behaved all the llamas were. I will download and tweak photos tonight and upload them to this post tomorrow.

Hope everyone has a great Labor Day tomorrow! Stay safe and have fun.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

We're at a Llama Show this weekend

Just wanted to let all our visitors know that we are at a llama show this weekend. We are coming back home every evening to do chores but I won't have much time for blogging, emails or entrecard drops. I will try to drop on a few cards in the evening but cannot promise much.

Hope everyone has a relaxing, safe and fun holiday weekend! See you again on Monday.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Surprise! Lily is a BOY!

Remember Lily, the little foster kitten we have had here since mid July? Well, the past week I've been looking at the back of that cat thinking it looked like "she" had the same plumbing in the back end as her two brothers. I took the kittens back to the shelter Wednesday afternoon so they could be spayed and neutered on Thursday. I forgot to tell them that I thought perhaps Lily was a male. Thursday morning the shelter called me to inform me that Lily was a BOY! Ha! I told them I suspected as much. We cracked up because on the bottom of the form for Lily was a section for Comments: "Sex Change: Lily > Lyle" says the vet's office. ;o) It feels very strange now thinking of this kitten as a boy instead of a girl. Our daughter has chosen the name Lalo (pronounced Lay Low) for him. We're trying to remember not to call him Lily. Think maybe we've given him a complex?! The last batch of kittens had one male and two females except Claudia looked like she was packing some testosterone makers and they confirmed it when we took them back. Claudia became Claude, just like that. Why can't cats have their plumbing in different places, like dogs and llamas?