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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year Sale!

To usher out the "old year" and ring in the "new year", I'm offering a discount on everything in the ArtFire store starting today and going through Monday, January 2, 2012. Use coupon code HAPPYNEWYEAR2012  to save 12% off everything in the store!
Visit SplitRockRanch's Studio
SAVE 12% Off All Items
Use Coupon Code:
during checkout.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours love, joy and peace this Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Rocky Mountain Sunrise Shawl

I have had a small pile of yarns sitting here on my desk for weeks now, waiting for me to decide what to do with them. I was drawn to yarns in pinks, fuchsias and oranges for awhile and I collected quite a stash of them from Etsy stores, ebay and other sources. I have them in plastic storage drawers, just waiting for the perfect projects. I rarely find a pattern and then buy yarn for it; I buy yarn I love and then let it tell me what it wants to become.

In this stash was a skein of Be Sweet Magic Ball yarn in the Hot Sundae colorway
The Be Sweet Magic Ball yarn is a collection of yarns tied together (commonly called a component yarn) and is described by Be Sweet this way:

A divine arrangement of hand dyed boucle and brushed mohair yarns tied with knobby, ribbon, and metallic goodies.

I intended to make a long skinny scarf with this skein of yarn. I crocheted a long chain and started crocheting rows. I loved watching the scarf take shape as I went through each section of the magic ball of yarn, enjoying the colors and textures of each different section of yarn. After the skein was all crocheted up, I looked over at my pile of coordinating yarns and decided to just grab a skein of yarn, tie it to the end of the Be Sweet skein and keep on crocheting. I ended up using 13 different skeins of yarn with so many different fibers, colors and textures.

What I created was this incredible shawl that I named "Rocky Mountain Sunrise because the vibrant colors remind me of the vibrant sunrises (and sunsets) that we enjoy here in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

This shawl can be worn many different ways. If it hadn't been so cold outside when I did the photo shoot I would have created more looks but I needed to get finished before my fingers froze!

I love the colors and the textures in this shawl!

The yarns I used include boucle, brushed, ladder, ribbon, beaded, flag, two-ply and eyelash yarns. The fibers include mohair, baby mohair, merino, wool, silk, rayon, poly and nylon. This shawl is warm, soft and snuggly.

I have listed this shawl in the ArtFire store for sale. I am including free Priority Mail shipping along with delivery confirmation and insurance (to the US only). If you order by Monday, December 19th, you should have this shawl in time for gift giving at Christmas. Here is the listing in the store: Rocky Mountain Sunrise Shawl

And, of course, I want to share with you some photos of the Rocky Mountain Sunrises that inspired the creation of this shawl.

All of these photos were taken from either our front or our back deck without the use of filters or enhancements.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Emma Lea is growing up!

The little bottle fed kitten, Emma Lea, is now fully weaned and eating solid foods on her own. She's gained a LOT of weighed since we rescued her. She was a tiny 13 ounces when we got her and she now weighs one pound 8 ounces.

I got some photos of her today but they aren't very good because she was running all over my office and I had to use the flash so the camera took too long to take the photos. But, you get the idea.

Her eyes are turning from baby blue to green.

And I love her markings!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Let the Shopping Begin!

Today is Black Friday, officially the start of the holiday shopping season. I know some people love the challenge of standing in line in the cold waiting for the store to open and hoping to score big on some door buster deal. For those of you who would prefer the sanity of shopping from home, please consider shopping from American online sellers, especially small independent sellers and artists.

Visit SplitRockRanch's Studio
SAVE 15% Off All Items
Use Coupon Code:
during checkout.

I am having a 15% off sale in my Split Rock Ranch ArtFire store. I know 15% off isn't much, especially when you consider the huge deals that the big box stores offer today. But, my mark-up and profit isn't nearly what theirs is so I am offering what I can afford to offer. Just use LETTHESHOPPINGBEGIN at checkout to get the 15% discount on your entire purchase. Discount does not apply to shipping. The coupon sale starts today and ends Monday night, November 28th. Happy shopping!

In the store I have handdyed fibers, both loose locks and rovings, fiber blend batts for spinning or felting (blended right here on the ranch with my hand crank drum carder), felting needles and supplies, and felting kits (both beginner and deluxe). I also have a variety of my OOAK original design scarves, cowls, shawls and accessories.

Let the shopping begin!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Namaste Farms Online Radio by Namaste Farms | Blog Talk Radio

Namaste Farms Online Radio by Namaste Farms | Blog Talk Radio

We are so lucky to have Jacey Stringham Boggs available for an interview on Wed. night 6:00 pm. Jacey is a well known spinning teacher, author, video producer and associate editor for Spin-Off Magazine. She is extremely well regarded in the spinning community and is considered one of the most well respected spinning technicians and teachers among her peers. Please join host Natalie Redding, with co-conspirators Jennifer Smith (Foo) and Kimberly Macalindin (the Radio Fairy) for our interview with Jacey Boggs. Jacey will be available live for questions after the interview.

Please check out Jacey's website where you can pre-order her book!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

New Kitten!

We haven't had foster kittens for a couple of months here and I was having kitten withdrawals. A couple of weeks ago our daughter called asking if we could please take this tiny little kitten that had been found at our son's house. My daughter-in-law found this little kitten almost frozen stiff in their yard so she brought her into the house and laid her on towels on zip-lock bags filled with warm water. Our son-in-law went and picked the kitten up from them (my son is allergic to cats so they could not keep her.) We met our daughter and her husband halfway and picked up the kitten. She is adorable. She was maybe four weeks old at the time and I was afraid that she might not make it. But, she took to the bottle right away and is now eating semi-solid foods and growing like crazy. She was 13.1 ounces when we got her and she now weighs 1 pound 2 oz as of tonight. We named her Emma Lea - she has two "M"s on her forehead so I wanted a name with two Ms in it.

Just look at the beautiful mackerel tabby markings on this little girl!
And look at this adorable little tummy!!
I have an old alpaca slipper that our foster kittens always love to snuggle in. Emma loves it, too!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cria Update - They're Growing Like Weeds!

The crias are growing like weeds. Phoenix will be five months old on November 4th - that's only two weeks away! He has been showing interest in the females already and while he cannot get them pregnant, he is "practicing" on a regular basis and really irritating some of them. He can be weaned at five months so I will probably put him in with Spencer (who will be a year old on October 30th) until they have bonded and then I'll turn them out with the small group of younger/calmer males to see if I can integrate them safely into that group.

Here is a recent photo of Phoenix.

Rosie is growing fast, too. She is now four months old so I will be able to wean her in a month but her mother usually weans her babies on her own so I'm hoping Rosie can just stay in with the female herd and the transition will be a smooth one. I notice that her mother is allowing her to nurse less and less so she is probably already starting to dry up.

Here is a photo I took a couple of days ago. I just love Rosie's face! Look at those dark circles around her eyes. And her darker muzzle. And those fuzzy ears!

Autumn has grown a lot. She is four weeks old today and is looking awesome. Her fiber is very lustrous and silky and I hope it stays that way.

And look at her face! Is that not adorable?!

And then I got a really cute photo of Rosie and Autumn together. They were watching Courtney, one of our cats, on the other side of the fence.

And here is the newest little male who is eight days old today. I think we're going to call him Time Traveler because his grandsire is Tempis Fugit (latin for Time Flies) and his sire is Viajero (Spanish for Traveler).

 And we are still waiting for Dazzle to have her cria. And that should be the last one for this year. If Dazzle gets much bigger, she's going to explode!

Monday, October 17, 2011

One More New Cria

During last weekend's snow storm, we were praying that the remaining two female llamas would wait for warmer weather before having their crias. Dazzle still has not given birth but Decorus Domina (aka Baby Dee) gave birth to a little boy on Thursday 10/13. Dee is a first time Mom and she was a bit confused at first as to what was going on but she quickly decided that this baby was hers to love and protect.

Here is the little guy right after being born, making his first attempts at sitting up.

Another black llama!
And here is the little guy finally up and taking his first steps. They love to use their momma as a crutch, leaning against them and going round and round them as they get the hang of walking by themselves.

And here is the little guy leaning against his Momma, who has decided to lay down for awhile and rest. 

And here they are getting to know one another. Dee was licking his face and humming to him. It was such a sweet moment of bonding and I'm glad I was there to see it.

And he decided that being born and learning to walk was hard work so he laid down to rest for a bit. Meanwhile, Dee was still licking him and humming to him.

Here is a close-up of his face - he's jet black with white on his muzzle and a small spot of white on his forehead.

I'm stumped for names for this little guy. His Mom's name is Decorus Domina (Latin for beautiful lady). His Dad's name is Viajero (Spanish for traveler). Any suggestions for a name would be welcome!

And we're still waiting for Dazzle to deliver her cria. She was very interested in this cria so I let her in with Dee and the baby and she stayed with them in their area all night long. Normally Dazzle hates to be penned up but this time she was quite content to be there. She seems to have bonded with the baby, too. Dee's baby was much smaller than we anticipated. Chalcedony's cria turned three weeks old the day after Dee delivered and she was 23 pounds at birth. Dee's cria was only 22 pounds. Chalcedony, Dee and Dazzle were all bred on the same day last year. First time moms frequently deliver smaller babies but with Dee's large size and capacity, I did expect a larger cria, even for her first one.

So, we are still patiently waiting for Dazzle's cria to arrive. She's getting bigger and bigger!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

First Snow of the Season

We were under a Winter Weather Advisory starting last night through tonight at 6 PM. They called for 3 to 8 inches of snow in our area. Usually they are wrong and we get virtually nothing. This time, however, they were actually right for a change! We got at least 6 to 8 inches of the white stuff. I measured the snowfall on a table on the deck this morning and it was at 5 inches but it was a heavy wet snow so I'm sure we got more than that and it snowed more after I measured it. Most of it has already melted because it has been so warm lately.

But I did get photos of River, our new standard poodle puppy, playing in the snow for the first time. At first he was really hesitant to go out in it but once he was in it, he jumped and romped and a puppy!

 Pippin, our YorkiePoo, wasn't all that impressed. He preferred staying on the areas where I shoveled.

Temps are predicted to get back into the mid to upper 60s here this next week so we'll enjoy a little Indian Summer then.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cria update

Our newest little cria is growing stronger every day. We're pretty sure she was born at least a week to 10 days early because she was so weak and her ligaments were so soft when she was born. However, she is running around the pastures now and making new friends. She and Rosie are quickly becoming BFF's.

Here are Rosie and Autumn Shadow - they are about three months apart.

And here is a photo of Phoenix taken today - he is now almost four months old.

We have two more females that are due any time now. Here is Dazzle, who is pretty much taking things in stride, just lounging around eating. It looks like she has swallowed a basketball (or two)

And then there is Dee - who is not the least bit happy about how she feels right now. Her ears are almost always back like this lately.

Dee doesn't look as big as Dazzle does but it is because Dee hasn't been sheared so her wool covers her baby bump. And, Dee is larger and has more capacity than Dazzle so she doesn't show quite as much as Dazzle. Which one will deliver first?

And, another photo of little Autumn

Thank you for visiting Split Rock Ranch!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Another new cria at Split Rock Ranch -

Yesterday was a great day here at Split Rock Ranch. Yesterday morning I discovered the very first freshly laid egg by one of our Rhode Island Red hens! She was soooo proud of that egg!

After doing chores and while I was filling water tanks, I noticed that one of our females, Chalcedony, was laying by herself off in "the birthing corner". I observed her getting up and trying to poop but not much came out. Then she would go lay down and roll to her side for awhile and then back up. Then she would stand and act like she was trying to poop again. I knew she was in labor. I came into the house to get towels and the "birthing bag" that contains iodine for the umbilical cord, etc. I was going to come back in and grab the camera but by the time I got back out to check on her the nose was already presenting so I just got some of the other female llamas moved to another pasture to give Chalcedony some space. Soon the front legs and head were out and I just went up and wrapped a towel around the baby and caught it as she was dropping to the ground. I was thrilled - it is a girl!

 Above: Newborn cria with her Dam

We picked up the cria (baby llama) and moved her over to a small area where we always put the new moms with their babies so they can bond and nobody will step on the new baby that way. We caught Chalcedony and put her in with the baby and gave her a bucket of water, some hay and some grain.

Here is a video of the brand new baby.

And here is a photo of the little girl today.

And a close-up

We haven't decided on a name yet. We are considering Onyx, Obsidian, and Ebony. Onyx and Obsidian are related to Chalcedony and are both black substances.

But since she was born on the first day of Fall, the Autumnal Equinox, we are also considering Autumn.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Another llama for our show string - Wheatfield's Spencer

While we were at the LOCC Fall Classic Llama show and the Rocky Mountain Regional Llama Show over Labor Day weekend, we fell in love with this young male llama. His name is Wheatfield's Spencer. His owners/breeders are retiring and getting out of the llama business so they wanted to get their animals placed into new homes.

Spencer was already entered into the LFA Fall Harvest Show and the LFA Futurity Show on September 16-18 so we agreed to have them show Spencer at these shows and we would figure out how to then get Spencer here to Colorado from his home in Kansas. Spencer came to Colorado yesterday with some friend's who live 20 miles to the west of us; they had also attended the LFA show and sale so they brought him back home with them. We went to pick Spencer up last night.

I fell in love with Spencer's color and his adorable face. His color is a gorgeous rose gray and the fiber is incredibly silky soft.

Just look at his fiber!

Spencer placed first in his class and then took Grand Champion Heavy Wool Male at the LFA Fall Harvest show!

I checked Spencer's other placings that I could find on-line and see that he also placed first and Grand Heavy Wool Male at the Nebraska State Fair this summer.

Stay tuned for more of Spencer as he grows up here at Split Rock Ranch!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rosie is looking awesome!

Split Rock Champagne & Pearls, aka "Rosie" (I was going to name her Roses, Champagne & Pearls because she looked pink when she was born but that name is SO big, we just decided to call her Rosie and shortened the name to C&P) is now almost three months old and is growing up nicely. Her fiber is not as pencil locked as it was when she was born but we're hoping the lock structure tightens up as she ages. And, her fiber is this incredible champagne color now with silver and dark gray points.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Our new puppy - River!

You might remember that I did a post back in April regarding the passing of our little toy poodle, Gigi. I was totally devastated by her passing and have been grieving for months. We wrestled with the idea of getting another puppy but wanted to put some time behind us before doing so. We considered getting a mini Schnauzer puppy and I even found a puppy here in Colorado that I fell in love with - look at the heart on his side!

But, hubby was hesitant to get another small dog for several reasons. We have heard that Schnauzers can be big barkers. Strike one. We have heard that Schnauzers can be snippy with other dogs. Strike two. I don't want to get a little dog with "small dog syndrome". Strike three. So, as much as I adore this little puppy, we decided that he just wouldn't fit our current lifestyle.

Then we went to a llama show over Labor Day weekend and some friends of ours had brought their black standard poodle with them. He is a gem. It really made both of us miss our little Gigi. So, we thought perhaps a standard poodle might be the best choice for us. We really missed the poodle personality - they are so smart and so easy to train. After we got back home from the llama show I started doing an internet search for standard poodle puppies in Colorado and found a breeder who lives less than two hours away from us. She had two dogs listed in her ad - one of them was a black male standard poodle named River, which was exactly what we were looking for. I emailed her and asked if River was still available. He was. Long story short, after being told that River might be sold on Friday, I woke up Saturday morning to an email saying that the breeder refused to sell River to the person who looked at him Friday evening and if we were still interested we were welcome to come visit. We went and saw River and both of his parents, along with his parent's pedigrees and fell in love with him. River is calm, sweet, laid back, fun loving, obedient and a stunning dog with excellent conformation. I haven't been able to get good photos of him since we brought him home because he rarely sits still for more than two seconds when I'm trying to photograph him. So, for now I'm sharing his photos from the breeder.

Here is River's paternal grandsire, JC Pioneer's Kaiser. Kaiser was the #1 standard poodle for 2003/2004 - he was the first silver standard poodle to achieve this!

Saturday morning while we were getting ready to leave to go meet River we got a call from the shelter saying that it was time for our foster kittens to go to the vet for their neuter surgeries on Monday. So, it was good timing because now I don't have to keep track of a puppy and two small kittens!