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BlueWrenn's Folk Art & Crafting Blog

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8th June 2015

3:12pm: Two and a half years later...

I have been unable to get into this account for a couple of years now.  But I managed to get in today, so I'll be adding entries again! A lot has happened over the past 2 1/2 years...

But I'll have to update you later today or tomorrow... I've got to get some work done and attend a fire dept. meeting this evening.

More soon, I promise.  Plus LOTS of pics!

Current Mood: ecstatic

28th December 2011

10:40am: Year End Update - Happy New Year 2012!
This past summer and fall has been one of extreme heat and drought, only now giving over to the winter bluster and cold.

Work keeps me busy – the Church where I work is an active one and the times I have stepped in to help kept me from the farm a lot of the fall. I enjoy the camaraderie and I enjoy the work, but there are days like today, with its bright sun and mild temperatures, where I feel a longing to be at home instead getting some of the never-ending list of chores done.

And never ending is exactly how it is on the farm – feeding, watering, cleaning, weeding, building, repairing – the list goes on and on.

Anyhow, this past year has been one of challenges and of joys… please read on to see just what I mean.

My last entry was in late July in the midst of the worst summer of heat that I have seen in Texas. We lost a good number of bunnies, many of our bees, and some birds. We lost most, if not all, of our plants – both in the orchard and in the gardens, and the heat continued right on into September.

Somewhere in all that heat, we managed to have a few moments of cool – just long enough for one of our angora bucks to “get busy” with the does. This Christmas will be remembered for the earliest kidding season since we started the farm, beginning on December 9 and just slowing down on the 22nd. There may still be some babies yet, but most are done. Ten in total, but our does were not in great shape this year after the summer heat and the rains that started falling relentlessly around Thanksgiving. Three survived, and only one is being bottle fed. Thank goodness for small miracles! (I’ll post pictures soon.)

The rabbits are doing well this fall and the first kindlings were expected right before Christmas. Nothing has happened yet, so there may not be many babies. I think I waited too long to breed them – it’s been awfully dark with all the rain for weeks now, and the bunnies need lots of daylight hours (like chickens) to breed successfully. This is perhaps a blessing, as I am still working on finishing the bunny barn and new cages for the new barn. I did make a “bunny run” up to Missouri and bought back some French angora babies. I also had some bunnies brought down from Ohio and West Virginia. Many thanks go out to Herbal Maid Fiber Farm, Ben Randolph, Nita Whatley and Lisa Rodenfels.

The turkeys are still with us and doing well. No more babies but First Lady Dolly has been trying. Mr. President (James Madison) is growing more and more protective as the months go by, but he has been well taught by the banty rooster Jimmy Cagney.

Speaking of Jimmy C., he has produced (with the Nazi hens) a pen full of very nice looking banty chickens. Unfortunately, as is the case with most of our animals, most of the surviving babies are MALE. And because the Nazi hens (Ursula, Eva and Hilda) are banty crosses, some of the rooster offspring are bigger than Jimmy. The first grandbaby chicks for Jimmy were born this December… who’s watching the calendar down there?

The other pen of chickens (mostly roosters now) is looking great. Having had the rest of the year now to regrow their feathers after this past summer’s molt, they are all looking quite spiffy. Since we got the variety pack in terms of the birds, we have beautiful colors, of all hues, and quite a few dapper tails – frizzles, silkies, buff orpingtons, reds, partridges, blacks with that beautiful green sheen – the rooster yard is quite magnificent at the moment.

The geese are grown now and very vocal. Spotty is definitely “head goose” – as long as DH is not around. The two females are looking very nice – full bodies, lots of down and gorgeous feathers. They are definitely Emdens. The white males (Spotty and Sweetie) are most likely White Chinese. Nibbles, Handsome and Gorgeous are Brown Chinese. All are fairly social, surprisingly enough, and they are quite demanding in terms of getting time for undivided attention.

The baby ducks from late summer are now adults – beautiful black, blue and one brown. Frankie, the sole surviving Cayuga from the first batch, is in love with the new ducks… Finally after a year he has some of his “own kind” in the pen with him. The crested white ducks and the pekins are doing well, I guess, or as well as can be done in a pen where the geese rule and the banty hens take all the best laying spots. Unfortunately they are a little bit lonely (for some ladies of their own) but it is their own fault. They were too rough with the ladies they had and now there are none. It is hard to feel sad for them – the cute and cuddly ducklings of 2010 are not very nice – nor cuddly at all- as adults. In fact, next the guineas, they are the most vicious of the farm birds we own.

All of the cats except Charlie have given up and moved into the house. Charlie, our resident barn cat, is busy at work in the barns but does venture up every few days for a “home cooked” meal and some loving. He really hates the dogs, I think, and will only venture up if he gets too lonely.

The dogs are – well, they are themselves, only more so… Pretty is slowing down some and prefers to stay inside, asleep on one of the beds. Lucky, while still a great guard dog, is turning over more and more of the night guard duties to Bubbles. Bubbles and Bouncy are very devoted to me right now and are my honor guard now that Red is gone and Lucky is facing retirement. Pauli, the small dog that the others rescued, is still DH’s dog, but is slowly weakening in her resolve to “diss me” at every opportunity. When before she would only grace me with her presence during severe thunderstorms (because quite frankly, I am “meaner than thunder”) she now will sneak into the bed and under the covers to sleep at my knees when it is cold out. And occasionally she will even play with me! (Yes, as obscure as it may be, we are making progress…)

Well, work beckons… so I will finish later. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

12th February 2011

10:37pm: Hiatus
Well, It seems that I haven't written in here in ages... more than six months to be exact. A lot has transpired in that time... new animals, some progress in the house, etc... Over the next few weeks, I'll be updating this blog to reflect the advances we have made, plus any setbacks we have experienced. But not tonight. It's late and I'm exhausted from a full day of taking care of the farm.

8th May 2007

6:45pm: My doll from Carmen!
I got my doll from seven-year old farm girl Carmen today! (Carmen is the one who received the baby doll from me.) I'll post pictures sometime over the next week or so... She deserves a pretty outside setting and I want to wait until it dries up a bit around here to fully show her off!

The doll's name is Forsythia Root and she is a vivid garden girl! She has the cutest clothes made from fabric in hues of every color (like the flowers that she loves) and has dark blue, teal and purple long wavy hair pulled back with bright colored clips and stuffed under a gaily hued crochet beret made by Carmen herself.

She sports a flowery dress, lots of jewelry, rainbow-striped stockings, purple velvet boots, an eyebrow ring and the biggest, softest heart I have ever seen! She carries a small bright purse of orange and yellow, with a sculpey cell phone and even has her own lipstick! And the lipstick matches exactly the shade she is wearing! She also comes with her very own Indiana drivers license, complete with picture.

She came with a huge red bucket of goodies - a kit for making peanut butter birdseed pinecones, a bluebird whistle, lots and lots of duckie stationery, a farm themed puzzle book, and lots more. Carmen also included lots of treats for the kitties and a bone for my dog Brindi!

The box she arrived in is also the biggest brightest package I have ever received - I overheard the mail man say that it was the most impressive package he has ever seen! Anyhow, the box was decorated as a bright green colored flowery school bus, complete with orange butterflies and yellow flowers, and brightly colored tires.

This is so impressive! The care and detail is amazing, esp. for a seven year old! Carmen did not forget any detail and I am sure I will keep discovering more and more wonderful little details over time... Each time I look at her, I find something else! How much fun!!!

There was so much in this package that I know I won't remember everything, but it was totally wonderful! Thank you so much Carmen!!!
Current Mood: enthralled

2nd May 2007

2:42pm: Recent Projects
Recent and current projects include: two dolls for a farm girl swap, handmade books, a Jiffy shawl, dishcloths, hackysacks for a charity and a soft fluffy turquoise  scarf. Upcoming projects include painted clothpins, farm stationery, pincushions, and a clothespin holder.


Here's some pics of the dolls... One wanted a gothic Annie, the other a baby doll...

  

24th March 2007

12:31pm: Update...
Well, things have been really busy here. I've had lots and lots of client work and lots of work doing farm-related stuff...

We got two Angora goats which are currently being boarded at a friend's house. We've gotten a lot of stuff moved down and stored in the barns. We're starting to get some of the trees purchased for the orchard and berry patches. I've got all my seeds ready for the gardens.

On the creative front, I've gotten the two knit hats completed (finally! I had to redo them both.) Now, I just need to dig out the addresses and get them mailed.

I finished one of the two dolls I'm doing for the farm girl doll swap. I've gotten one of the birthday packages done.

Still left to do - the family's birthday gifts, the two other birthday packages for bday_packages, and one more doll. Plus some doll clothes.

Plus some hacky sacks for a mission group to take to Central America.

Good news - I've been haunting the local JoAnn's store that was closing and got a ton of different shelving units. Yesterday was their final day and we went down and finally got some fabric. I ended up with about 7 or 8 bolts of fabric (avg. length 6 yards) and some other items. We ended up spending about $45 for almost $900 worth of fabric!

NEW STORE CLOSING (DFW Area) - the Hancock's Fabrics at Marsh and Josey (or maybe Forest & Josey) is closing now. I haven't been over there to see it or verify the validity of this yet, but I was told that it is in the early days of the closing sale, so the discounts aren't that great yet.

28th February 2007

12:08am: Happy Anniversary to ME!

Okay, technically we were married on Leap Day (February 29th) but on off years we celebrate it on the 28th. So "Happy Anniversary" to us! DH and I have been married for 11 years (if you count the non-leap years or 3.75 if you don't. DH doesn't. I do.)

Did you know that the 11th year anniversary gift is steel? How exciting. (NOT.) I think we are going to get each other watches because we both don't have a working one at the moment. How exciting. (NOT, but it's all we could think of.)

Unfortunately DH has meetings both tonight and tomorrow night. So I don't even know if I will get dinner out. What a crappy deal! And he is working a test (as a proctor) so he's not home at all during the day. *sigh*

 

Current Mood: gloomy
12:04am: stuff to do...
Well, I'm trying to get motivated and get a bunch of client work done, plus some more knitting. I have three gift boxes to finish plus two hats to finish. Plus a cross stitch sampler for my sister and a crochet plant holder.

*sigh*
Current Mood: cranky and depressed

25th February 2007

8:35pm: custom hat order
Here are shots of my latest custom hat order - a striped beanie in olive and sky blue. It looks a bit dark in the pics.

 

15th February 2007

2:17pm: Custom Hat Order

I finished this hat today as a custom order. ($10 plus shipping for a small adult/kids' sized hat.) It's really soft and warm.

  

Other projects include: cotton crocheted dish cloths for my Farm Girl dishcloth swap, a cotton plant hanger or two for my sister, her birthday sampler (cross-stitch) and a few birthday packages I'm working on for my bday_packages group.

8th February 2007

8:41pm: Finally... more hats!
Okay, first of all, let me apologize for how long it took to get these up! Here's the next batch of hats.

7th February 2007

9:55am: More hats coming soon!
I have a meeting this morning but will try to get more of the hats unpacked, photographed and posted here this evening. I have a TON of adult hats that have not been shown yet, plus lots more kids' hats.

5th February 2007

6:19pm: Misc Items for Sale
These items are also for sale... 

5:19pm: Adult and Kids' Hat SALE!!!!
These are only SOME of the hats I have available for sale. Please check back often for more listings in this post.

3:03pm: HAT SALE!!!
Here are the first batches of hats for the HAT SALE - Newborn and Baby Hats (more to come) 


25th January 2007

10:58am: Happy Birthday to ME!
It's my birthday today and I want to thank everyone who sent me gifts and cards. I'm having a great birthday so far. I got two incubators, a pocket knife and a copy of Sims 2 Pets from DH, some fabric, yarn, trims and buttons from some of my internet buddies, some recipes and more from another internet friend, handmade soap from Ellen, a trip to Atlanta from my sister and her family, and money from my dad! Dad, the money is being saved to buy some ducks and chickens!

And I got myself a sweater and a pair of jeans. I also got a ton of cards from friends, family and internet buddies. Thanks!

In other news, I've been busy trying desperately to finish up some of the packages I promised in December and January. I have been making handmade books, scarves, hats, and more and am finishing up on a big batch of packages to go out. So, if I promised you something, hopefully it's one of the ones almost ready to mail.

I also have a package of sewing patterns for Liz, a very. very late package for my buddy Heather Layne, and a pile of Valentines for my farm girl friends at Mary Jane's Farm!!!

19th January 2007

7:57pm: Thank you Nikki (catfever7) for the birthday card! It made my day!

17th January 2007

12:23pm: Snow and Ice for the past week...
Okay, this past weekend and all this week so far, it's been rainy and icy and then last night, we got snow... Not a lot by most standards, but enough to screw up everyone's day. Roads are icy and most places have shut down for the day. This has been the sixth day in a row that the weather has sucked and it is supposed to be like this all the way through this next weekend. Cripes!

Here's a couple of pics -


Current Mood: cold

10th January 2007

9:30am: Pink goodness!

I'm working on a wonderfuly soft hat and fingerless glove set  for a friend of mine who recently had a birthday... 
(I won't say who cuz it's kind of a surprise!) 

Anyhow, I have one glove yet to go...

 

Got lots of stuff in the works - Valentines Day cards for my Farm Girls, birthday gifts for a whole bunch of folks, a romantic shawl for my sister for her birthday, some very late care packages for some overseas pals, etc. etc.

My birthday is January 25th and for the first time in a very LONG LONG time, I am planning on having a party!  Well, at least a small one with some of my old and new friends... probably the last time I'll see them in a party setting before I move to Hillsboro... 

And I am buying myself the BIGGEST birthday cake I can find...

Current Mood: busy

25th December 2006

11:20pm: Recent Projects
Finally finished the Dr. Who scarf late last night - will post pics later this week.

Here are some pics of recent projects: 


9:46pm: Merry Christmas!!!!!
This Christmas has been a very nice one so far and the fun isn't over yet! My presents consisted of mostly (but not all) tools or farm-related stuff for working on the ranch (see toomyvara on LJ...) and some kitchen items. Plus I get to travel to Atlanta for New Year's to see my nephews, sister, and BIL.

Thank you to everyone! Merry Christmas!!!

A big shout out goes to all my Mary Jane Farmgirl buddies - I hope that your Christmas has been a good one and that those of you who are stranded in bad weather are keeping warm and recovering from the cold.
Current Mood: content

24th December 2006

11:38pm: Merry Christmas to Everyone!
This year has been an extremely busy one for me and I haven't been able to post much lately. But I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and warm wishes for the New Year.

26th November 2006

3:39am: This is the llama that someone sent me for xmas! How cute is she????


my pet!
1:22am: Last year I participated in a great community called holiday_wishes. It's back this year, better than ever and here is my wish list...



Happy Holidays!!!!

22nd November 2006

3:00pm: Update
Well, I have been doing lots of little stuff all week - I got some farm stationery done, a couple of felt farm animals sewn and I have almost finished Skip's Dr. Who/SMU scarf.

His scarf is crocheted (hdc) in big blocks of autumn red and blueberry Simply Soft. (His school colors are Harvard red and Yale blue.) It's wide (10 inches) and really long (almost 12 feet) and actually becoming hard to work with - yes, it's THAT LONG! I'll post pics just as soon as it's completely done!

I've scanned the stationery and will probably be trying to sell some of the cards on ETSY next week.

The felt animals are for some of my Farm Girl friends, and I think I'll present them as pin cushions.

Nothing else going on...

I got some new craft books (well, old ones from Half Price Books):

The Step by Step Art of Making Soft Toys by Alan Dart - lots of cute little commercial-looking cloth animals but it has some pretty awesome FOOD toys in it...veggies for you foodies!  (Hey Twinkie - I'll try to scan some of the pics and send them to you!)

Better Homes and Gardens American Christmas Crafts and Foods, 1984 ed. 
This book has the absolute BEST food recipes (the pics make you drool!) and tons of really cute rag doll and soft toy patterns. Plus lots of quilting and other stuff I'm not normally interested in. But the best part is that it has lots projects that my sisters and I did as kids, so it's definitely a  nostalgia trip.  I definitely recommend this book - it's my current favorite.

Current Mood: hungry
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