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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Over the Top Award!

I was blessed with this award by Jennifer at Oils for Wellness. My mission is to answer the following questions with just one word. I thought this would be a fun opportunity for you all to get to know the Llama lady at Split Rock Ranch a little better. Thanks, Jennifer!

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse
2. Your hair? Messy
3. Your mother? Loving
4. Your father? Awesome
5. Your favorite food? Pizza
6. Your dream last night? Weird
7. Your favorite drink? Coke
8. Your dream/goal? Wealth
9. What room are you in? Office/bedroom
10. Your hobby? Horses
11. Your fear? Alone
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Debt-free
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something you aren't? Extrovert
15. Muffins? Yummy!
16. Wish list item? Jeep
17. Where did you grow up? Colorado
18. Last thing you did? Blogged
19. What are you wearing? Robe
20. Your tv? Sony
21. Your pets? Many
22. Friends? Blessings
23. Your life? Fulfilled
24. Your mood? Tired
25. Missing someone? Daughter
26. Vehicle? Truck
27. Something you're not wearing? Shoes
28. Your favorite store? Etsy
29. Your favorite color? Purple
30. When was the last time you laughed? Yesterday
31. Last time you cried? Recently
32. Your best friend? Husband
33. One place I go to over and over? Outside
34. One person who emails me regularly? Marsha
35. Favorite place to eat? Chili's

The nominees for this award are:

Karen at Will Oaks Studio
PJ at PJ's Prose
Patti at The Maaaa of Pricilla

I hope everyone has a safe and fun filled day today - Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009


Tonight I looked outside and realized that the entire sky was bathed in Alpenglow. I quickly grabbed my camera and went out on the deck on the north end of the house. Above is Pikes Peak - note the almost full moon in the upper right.

And, of course, I had to get a better shot of the moon bathed in Alpenglow.

And then I needed a closer view of Pikes Peak - note how much snow is already on it!

I came into my office on the west side of the house and then looked out the window and saw that the western skies were glowing orange, so I grabbed the camera again and headed out to the front deck.

And I had to take more photos - I love the big tree - I have so many photos of this tree over the years.

I hope you enjoyed the sunset tonight as much as I did!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy National Cat Day!

October 29th is National Cat Day! Check out the National Cat Day website here.
We submitted photos of our kitties Lalo and Precious to Your Daily Cute blog. They have an adorable collection of cat photos on their blog today; check them out here.

And, the day wouldn't be complete without pics of our Cat Crew here at Split Rock Ranch!



The Three Amigos
Boots, Smoky & Ruff

Munchkin, Boots & Precious
We were putting new bedroom furniture in our master bedroom and took the drawers out of the chest of drawers to make it easier to move. We came out of the bedroom and saw that the cat's had turned it into a Cat Condo and had to take a picture!

And, even though it is National Cat Day, I have to share a photo with you to show you what our YorkiePoo, Pippin, likes to do when it is cold and snowy.

Nothing like the wood stove to keep you warm!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The weather outside is frightful.....let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

We are under a Winter Storm Warning here until 6 PM MDT Thursday and they are predicting 8 to 15 inches of snow for our area. Last night we hauled in a big load of firewood and topped off all the water tanks for the animals.

I just got back in from feeding the llamas and horses. I fed extra and put the blanket on our 29 year old POA Mare, Puff. She's now enjoying a hot mash for breakfast and will belly up to the hay bale when she's done, I'm sure.

The wood stove is cranked up and we're nice and toasty, enjoying a freshly brewed pot of spiced coffee. I might even bake a cake or something to have an excuse to turn the oven on and warm things up just a bit more.

Just for grins, here is a link to the cams in Woodland Park, which is 23 miles to the northeast of us:

Ute Pass Cams

There are two cams in town. The one that says Woodland Park is on the northwest end of town and is frequently not the best viewing because of the snow. The Pikes Peak cam is on the southeast side of town and will give you a better idea of what is actually going on. Woodland Park isn't that big - maybe a mile and a half to two miles from one end of town to the other and the highway runs through it like a big horseshoe; when you get to the west end and are leaving town you can look down at where you came from to get into town at the east end.

I'll try to get photos of the snow later. Right now we only have about an inch but it is snowing and blowing pretty hard out. I got too chilled this morning to go back out to take photos.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tweaking Picasa collages

Today Deb at Storybeader suggested that I thicken the lines between the photos I posted yesterday. So tonight I did just that and I think she made an excellent suggestion - what do you think?

I also changed the background grid coloring on both to more closely match the dominant color in the photos - I didn't realize how much sand was in the photos of Kemui!

You can click on the images to view them full screen.

See yesterday's post for the original collages - I saved these new ones in place of the original ones so couldn't post them side by side for viewing.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Playing with Picasa

Last night I played more with the Picasa photo software and created a couple of collages of our llama photos. Above is Tempis Fugit and his offspring at various stages of their life. After doing this collage I looked at the two top middle photos of Tempis (left) and Belle (right) and realized that they look so similar in their stature and their markings. While Tempis is gray/silver/cream and Belle is chocolate brown/black, their white markings are very similar!

Then I did a photo collage of our most recent Grand Champion, Kemui Yama, and put in photos of him as a cria, a weanling and an adult. That collage is shown above.

I'm thinking of doing one of these for each of our studs and each of our females with their photo in the center and their offspring surrounding them. Then I'll post these collages on our ranch website on the animal's individual pages. I have individual photos posted on each page but I think the collage where you can view all of them at once shows the similarities so clearly.

Oh yeah, I can see me spending a lot more time working with Picasa, my new favorite computer toy!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fresh off the spinning wheel.

Both of these yarns are spun from superwash wool rovings dyed by CJ Kopec Creations for the CJKC Ravelry Spin Along. For a Spin Along everyone gets the same fibers and then puts their own twist on it and posts photos of the resulting yarn, then everyone votes on their favorite yarn that month and the winner gets a gift certificate to CJ's etsy store. FUN! I couldn't choose between the rovings so I got one of each - one cool roving called "Take a Leap" and one warm roving called "Trust Me".

Both yarns are available in my Etsy store. I renamed them. "Take a Leap" became "Poseidon" and "Trust Me" because "Pumpkin Spice". I'm wishing I would have bought two of each roving so I could have enough yarn to make a pair of socks. Maybe I'll mix these two skeins (if they don't sell) and alternate stripes to make a cool/warm pair of socks.

I used Picasa photo software (a Google free software!) and created the awesome collages. I want to play with the Picasa software and llama's another time gobbler, I can see it now!

UPDATE: Coby is going to dye up another 4 oz roving in each colorway so I can spin another skein of yarn in each color - these will be perfect sock yarns!!!! I only wish I could get the nerve to finish up the heel of my first sock, which has been on the needles for a year now!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hot off the Drum Carder - New Custom Fiber Blend Batts!

I've been busy today! I have had all of these fiber blends in mind for weeks but haven't been able to get them carded up. Today was finally the day. First is my Bountiful Harvest (above) made from wool, tussah silk, mohair top and alpaca - the wool, silk and mohair I dyed in different colors and the alpaca is a natural red/brown. I like how it turned out - it reminds me of harvest time, for sure!

Next is a blend from Superwash Wool top and Cultivated Mulberry Silk - in a base of jet black with blue, teal, burgundy, purple and copper as accents. I named this one Galaxy (above) because it reminds me of pictures I've seen of space and galaxies, stars, planets, etc..

And, last but not least, comes Cotton Candy in blues, pinks and white - just like cotton candy at the County Fair!! This one is also Superwash Wool but also has some coral bamboo carded in.

Because the last two blends are superwash wools, they would be perfect for spinning into sock yarns - you can then machine wash them!

If you like any of these but don't spin, I also offer spinning services. Just leave me a note in the comments section and I'll get back to you.

Today I also sat and watched a movie and spun up the second half of my BFL superwash roving and plyed it. Tomorrow I will get it off the wheel, steamed to set the twist and hopefully get photos taken (unless it is rainy like the forecast says it is going to be, in which case I'll probably wait to take photos.) My indoor photos leave a lot to be desired - all the photos in this post were taken indoors today with natural light from the skylight and some incandescent lighting. I don't like how they turned out but the wind was howling today so if I would have put these on the deck, they'd be in Kansas by now!

Thank you for stopping by!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy Caturday!

Lalo is finally a "big boy". He can now jump up on the counter and then the refrigerator to get to the cat food. We have to put the cat food on top of the fridge because if our dogs eat it they get the runs and OMG the mess is horrific! There is a small space on the countertop next to the fridge between the microwave and the bread machine where the cats can fit but the YorkiePoo (who also like to jump on the counters) cannot. Last night Lalo spent his first night out in the Great Room rather than by himself in the bathroom and he did fine. Although there was quite a bit of romping around right after we went to bed, things settled down and when I got up at 1 AM to let Courtney cat in, everyone was sound asleep.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mums The Word - October Roving of the Month Club colorway

A sneak peak at the Split Rock Ranch October Roving of the Month Club colorway - Mum's The Word. Rich Autumn colors of Burgundy, Golden yellow, Crimson, Yellow Sun and Burnt Orange combine to create these awesome rovings. I planted some Mums in my garden in these colors and just had to reproduce it on fibers!

I sent a sneak peak of the New Zealand Wool yarn dyed in Mum's the Word colorway to one of the club members and she thought it looked just like a Tequila Sunrise - she has never actually seen Autumn leaves before (she lives in Florida). And it certainly does look like a Tequila Sunrise (although it has been eons since I've had one of those!)

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Colorways - Hand Dyed Yarns

Last week I decided to try a couple of new colorways (and one of my favorite established colorways - Sedona) on some New Zealand Wool yarns. These yarns are coarser than most of my other yarns but they soften as you work with them and they are perfect for knitting or crocheting items and then machine felting them (like the Peacock felted bowl I featured not long ago).

First up in the new colorways is Mum's The Word (above). Burgundy, Golden Yellow, Crimson, Yellow Sun and Burnt Orange colors are perfect for Fall knitting or crocheting!

And next is another new colorway - Atlantis (above). Rich and soothing watery colors of Sapphire Blue, Teal, Royal Blue, Emerald and Turquoise make me think of an underwater treasure - Atlantis!

And last but certainly not least is Sedona (above) one of my favorite established colorways. Rich colors of Aztec Gold, Burgundy, Chestnut, Spruce and Gun Metal remind me of the magical and mystical Southwest - perfect for Fall knitting or crocheting! The colors are washed out in the photo - it is much richer and darker than my photos could possibly depict.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Look what we woke up to this morning! Obviously we had very high humidity last night, coming from the south, which is rare, but that always brings the monsoonal moisture from the Gulf Coast. The trees, and everything else, are heavily coated with white frost. Above is the tree growing out of the split rock.

And here's Baby Dee (above) sporting some outrageous frosty fringe on those beautiful ears. And then we have Dazzle (below, left) and her momma Winona (below, right) also modeling some frosty fringe, too.

And below we have Jazz (left) and Maggie (right) with a bit of frosty on their manes and tails.

And Handel, ever the smart boy, has the perfect solution to a cold day - lay down and eat your hay! Ah, wisdom does come with age.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them - the frost is amazing!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

1,000 Sales reached today!

Today my etsy store hit 1,000 sales! Congratulations to Esther of Jazzturtle for buying the 1,000th item, the Alpaca roving in Bronzed Burgundy, shown below. Esther is a fabulous customer and a very talented Fiber Artist. Be sure to check out her Etsy store here. Esther wins a 25% off certificate to use in my Etsy store!

And, as promised, I used Random Generator to choose the winner of a $25 Gift Certificate to be used in my Etsy store. #960 was selected and that item was purchased by a long-time wonderful customer Ellen Lindow. Congratulations Ellen!
Ellen purchased this beautiful superwash wool ro
ving in my new Remington colorway. I think a pair of socks is currently in the works.

Thank you to all of my wonderful customers for your purchases, your feedback and your friendship. I cherish all of you!

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Giveaway in my Etsy Store!

I am having a GIVEAWAY to Celebrate 1,000 sales on our Split Rock Ranch Etsy store! Whoever purchases item #1,000 from the store will receive a 25% off gift certificate, good on any products in the store except the Fiber of the Month Club memberships. Applies to products only, not shipping and handling. Everyone who purchases items #951 through #999 will be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift certificate good in my etsy store and can be used for any product, including the Fiber of the Month Club memberships. I will use Random Generator to select the winner and will post the winner here in my Etsy store, on Split Rock Ranch's Facebook page, on Twitter AND on this blog.

Each item purchased = one entry in the giveaway so the more you buy, the better your chances are of winning! Sales are now at 988 so there are only 12 more chances to get an entry.

And, you know I hate doing posts without photos so I'm putting up a gratuitous photo of a crocheted and felted bowl I made last week. Of course, you could get this beautiful bowl if your number is chosen!