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Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day to everyone! Please take a moment today to thank our service men and women who make daily sacrifices to preserve and protect our country and our freedoms. And please remember and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. All gave some, but some gave all. I love the song by Billy Ray Cyrus - "Some Gave All" and I have shared the YouTube video link in the post below.

Have a safe and relaxing holiday!

Billy Ray Cyrus - Some Gave All

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Foster Kittens Update

It has been touch and go, up and down this week with the foster kittens. Barbie and Kenny are doing great. Barbie is very sociable, affectionate and purrs like crazy when I cuddle her. Kenny is still a bit frightened but will let me cuddle him without laying his ears back now. Krissy, the third kitten in the litter, has turned the corner I believe. She weighed a mere 13.4 ounces when I picked her up on Monday. Barbie and Kenny were 1 pound 2 ounces and 1 pound 3 ounces so they weighed almost half again as much as Krissy did. Krissy went up to 13.8 ounces, then back down to 13 ounces (she wanted to sleep instead of eat she was so weak) and this morning when I weighed her she weighs 14.4 ounces so she's gained a full ounce in 3 days, which is good.

Here are the three kittens: Barbie is in front, Kenny is back left and Krissy is back right.

Krissy is a blue-cream dilute tortoiseshell. Her main color is that blue/gray and she has patches of peachy/cream all over, which you can't see in this photo but I'll get better pics when she's gotten stronger and is looking a bit better. She's still a bit scraggly looking.

And then there is little Jellybean. She is at least 5 weeks old and she should be starting to eat solid foods. The canned KMR she has been drinking is fairly expensive and each little can only lasts two days so it is costing about $2/day to feed her! I found an all species powdered milk replacer at the feed store and decided to switch her over to it. I mixed 25% of the new formula with the KMR for a few days and then had to go to 50/50 because the KMR was almost gone and she refused to eat. She got diarrhea with a tinge of blood which means she wasn't absorbing the food anyway so we went and bought more cans of the KMR for her and she's still upset. I think she's hungry and the formula isn't filling her up so she's getting very frustrated. She's lost a couple of ounces but is still alert and active so I'm hoping she'll start eating the rice baby cereal, milk replacer, meat baby food gruel I've been making for the other kittens. Thank goodness we have these other kittens here now to help her learn how to eat and play and be a normal kitten! 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

We're in Another Etsy Treasury!

Wow - one of my listings is in yet another Treasury on Etsy! This one is curated by Paige at Lenox Knits (plenox on Etsy) and is called "Lenox Knit's Blog Buddies Southwest Theme" and contains gorgeous items with a Southwest theme! These are some great items by some gifted artists and blogging buddies. Please take a look!

My item is the Jewels of the Southwest custom fiber blend batts.

And speaking of Etsy Treasuries, the Somewhere Over the Rainbow Treasury that I blogged about on Sunday May 23rd made it to the FRONT PAGE of Etsy on Monday morning May 24th! And I MISSED IT! I got up early and got my chores done so I could meet somebody in Divide to pick up the third kitten out of the litter that was found at the trailer park. She was so weak and frail that I spent most of the day working to get her to eat and drink and warmed up so she didn't die. I didn't realize until Monday night when I looked at my store stats on and saw that the store had 135 unique visitors and 510 page views that day that something was up. I went to another site where they tell you if your store has been featured on the front page of Etsy and sure enough - it had been on the front page that morning at 8 AM. Unfortunately I didn't get a screen shot of it. Does anyone know how you can get a screen shot?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Barbie, Kenny & Jellybean Update

Last Friday I decided to introduce little Jellybean, the bottle fed foster kitten, to the newest foster kittens, Barbie and Kenny. They hit it off right away and played then slept together off and on throughout the entire day. I put Jellybean back into her crate that night and then back into the bathroom with Barbie and Kenny on Saturday where they played and played and played. Barbie and Kenny even showed Jellybean how to eat out of a bowl, although she still prefers her bottle, but she's eating some beef or chicken baby food along with her formula now.

Jellybean can hold her own against these other kittens - they only outweigh her by a couple of ounces. Here, Jellybean is going in for the kill on Kenny.

The kittens blend right in with the little throw rug in the bathroom. Camo kitties!
And when they're done playing, here's how they like to sleep.
I think it is so sweet how Barbie and Kenny have let little Jellybean into their family. 

Jellybean is finally growing back some hair now so she doesn't look like a Chinese Crested dog or a Sphynx cat.

And last night the people who found Barbie and Kenny called me to let me know they had caught the third kitten of the litter. I picked her up this morning and she is in sad condition. She was so weak and lethargic it was scary but she immediately started eating some of the chicken baby food and lapped up some warm formula and then crawled on top of the cube to sleep with her brother and sister. She is a gorgeous blue-cream dilute tortoiseshell that I named Krissy. She's a beautiful blue/gray with peachy slotches all over her. I'll get pics of her after she's feeling a bit better.

All four of these kittens will need new furever homes in several weeks after they've been socialized, acclimated to the other cats and dogs and spayed/neutered. So if you're in the area and looking for a beautiful kitten companion, please keep these kittens in mind.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Somewhere Over the Rainbow Etsy Treasury

One of my Roving of the Month Club listings made it into this beautiful Etsy Treasury called "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" curated by DreamsFactory. What a gorgeous collection of rainbow colored items!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Meet Barbie & Kenny

Here are the two kittens we just took in to foster. The one up front is a female and the one in back is a male. They are gorgeous little tabby cats! These came from the trailer park near the Wal-Mart in Woodland Park. Their Momma had her kittens underneath one of the trailers and had torn through the insulation on the bottom of the trailer. The kittens had been playing all over under the trailer, driving the owner's dog crazy. They managed to catch two of the three kittens. I haven't heard anything more about the third kitten - a little gray one. I named the little female Barbie and the male is Kenny. If you're in the area and you can give one or both of these little guys a good loving furever home, please let me know. They can be adopted through TCRAS (Teller County Regional Animal Shelter) after they have been spayed and neutered. The adoption fee covers the spay/neuter and all their shots. TCRAS is a no-kill shelter so the cats don't have a short time-line for adoption but they would be so much happier in their own home! We have a wonderful group of staff and volunteers that provide so much time, energy and love to the animals. Go TEAM CAT! ;o)
Barbie and Kenny are so shy and scared right now. They spent the first day inside this little cube hiding behind the little stuffed rabbit inside. This morning I found them on top of their cube cuddled together. They had eaten every last bite of the food I put out for them, drank quite a bit of the water and they didn't budge when I came in to visit them this morning. Yesterday if they were out of their cube they high-tailed it as fast as they could go to "safety". Kenny is hissy but he's pretty much all talk and no action. I've been able to pick him up without problems from the very beginning but he's tried to nail others who attempt to pick him up. I think they'll come around quickly because I can get them to purr when I snuggle them. You can't see it in this pic but Kenny has the most gorgeous blue eyes. Barbie's eyes are a gorgeous hazel and she is a spotted tortoiseshell tabby - she has red in with the gray/brown of her fur and spots along with the stripes, which you can see much better in the photo below.
Little Kenny is a dark gray/brown striped Tabby. His stripes are better defined than Barbie's are and I think he's going to be a gorgeous cat! He sure is a cute little guy now. ;o)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I am Kitten Sitting a Bottle Fed Baby!

Sunday morning we picked up this little orphaned bottle fed kitten to kittensit for a few weeks while her regular foster family is on vacation. I think Jellybean is about 4 weeks old. Her foster family has been wrapping her in a blanket when they feed her and the blanket rubbed most of her hair off so she has that "Yoda" look to her - don't you just love that little mohawk thing she's got going?! And my what big eyes you have!

My two formerly bottle fed boys, Munchkin and Moose, are lavishing Jellybean with attention. 
And yesterday the shelter called and asked if I could take in three more orphaned kittens. I initially said no because I cannot imagine having to bottle feed four kittens every day! I did five in Moose and Munchies litter and that was a real challenge! I told them I would have to talk it over and get back to them. After I hung up I decided that if I cleaned the fibers out of the bathroom I could put the three new kittens in there rather than in a crate and figured if they were big enough to be running around outside this guy's house they were old enough to either eat dry kibble or lap KMR out of a bowl. So, I called the shelter back and told them I would take the kittens. I have to wait for the guy to catch them and call me and then I'll go pick them up and bring them home. I'm hoping he doesn't call today though because we have a board meeting tonight and my time is going to be really tight today as it is.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Another Productive Day at the Carder!

Yesterday I carded up several more Custom Fiber Blend batts to list in our Etsy store. I recently sorted through a ton of boxes and bags of fiber that I had stashed in our soaking tub in the master bath (I know it sounds crazy but the tub is freaking ginormous and the water heater runs out of hot water when the tub is only half full so what's the point?) Anyway, I sorted out fibers that will work well blended together and filled a huge plastic bin with bags of blending fibers. Yesterday I had a blast going through that bin and picking out all kinds of fibers that went well together. Following are three of the batts: The top one is Lilacs, the middle one is Hydrangeas and the bottom one is Bahama Bay

I also made this - Glacier Bay - a blend of custom dyed merino/silk, tussah silk, mohair and bamboo. This reminds me of the colors of a glacier with that eerie seafoam green glow under the white snow and ice.

And while we're on the subject of snow and ice - guess what we got (yet again) last night?!

Yep, more snow! They predicted that snow would start Tuesday night and go into Wednesday but all we got Tuesday night was a fireworks show complete with tons of lightning and thunder but not a drop of moisture. Then yesterday evening I looked out the office window and it was snowing like crazy so I grabbed my handy camera and snapped several shots. Can you see the thermometer on the deck railing? I think it says about 30 degrees F. And it is mid-May. Ahhh, Springtime in the Rockies - you gotta love it! Not really...

I have a ton of flowers I need to get planted but I obviously don't dare put them out just yet. I have Hollyhocks, Columbine, Lupine, Hosta, Iris and Pansies. I uncovered the rose bushes and I think they made it through the winter but there is no new growth on them yet. It appears that the raspberry bush didn't make it through the winter but the lilac bush I planted last Fall is showing new sprouts so I mulched that day before yesterday with an old llama fleece to keep the buds from getting frostbit. The catnip plant is coming up - I already cut that back to the ground last week and I'm hoping it doesn't get frostbit either, except I think it has a much better chance of coming back than most of the other plants since its pretty hardy. I am going to go buy several straw bales and put them together out in the front flower garden where I can't seem to get things to grow very well and I'll fill in the "straw container" with composted llama manure and try making a raised bed this year. I used to garden a lot at our old house in Colorado Springs. We turned most of the front yard into a terraced flower garden and we had people stopping all the time to take pictures of it. It was a real show stopper! The decomposed granite soils, the short growing season (i.e., two whole days of real summer) and the hungry deer make gardening extremely challenging here but I'm struggling each year to get at least one more decent tree, bush, plant or garden area growing.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Back to the Grindstone...I Mean Drum Carder!

This week I dove into my enormous stash of custom dyed fibers and created three new Custom Fiber Blend batts. The first one I made is a recreation of a similar set of batts I created a year ago using some of the same fibers and adding additional fibers.

First up is Butterfly Garden. Blue/greens, golds and rosy pinks carded up in stripes. Very soft custom dyed BFL wool along with uber soft custom dyed tussah silk, mohair top and kid mohair locks with a generous dollop of Angelina to add sparkle and bling to the mix.

Next I carded up some custom dyed merino top with some commercially dyed multi-color merino top and added some custom dyed mohair and tussah silk then added a generous helping of Firestar and Angelina in a variety of rich earthy colors to really spice things up. This first batt I carded up in stripes similar to Butterfly Garden. This one is Canyonlands (stripes).

And finally, because I love these colors sooo much and because I had plenty of fibers, I decided to do Canyonlands again using the same fibers only I used a layered technique of applying the fibers to the drum carder, resulting in a more blended version. This is Canyonlands (layered).
I think I need to make another set of Canyonlands for myself to spin up. I love these colors!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Friday, May 7, 2010

Misty is in an Etsy Treasury!

Wow - This is two days in a row that my work has been included in an Etsy Treasury! Two Treasuries running at the same time - I believe that is a first for Split Rock Ranch. A big thank you to Mandy of beadsme for including Misty in this gorgeous Treasury called "Misty Moments".

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Day at the Beach Art Yarn in an Etsy Treasury!

My "A Day at the Beach" handspun art yarn made it into a Treasury! I love this Treasury - the colors are so cool and serene. Thank you to Wendy of Sand & Sea Designs jewelry for including my work! Wendy makes some gorgeous jewelry. I bought a stunning lampwork and crystal bracelet from her awhile back and it is one of my favorites. Come to think of it, the colors on it are very similar to this Treasury. I'll have to see if I can find a photo of it to post.

If you're an Etsy member, please visit the Treasury, click and comment. Thanks!

I just found the photo of the bracelet I bought from Wendy.
This bracelet is named "Tide Pools". Isn't it gorgeous?!

You can find Sand & Sea Designs website here. Check out the Weekly Specials page for some gorgeous jewelry at discounted prices!