Saturday, November 27, 2010

My First Needle Felted Hat

Here you first hat made from our very own Icelandic fleece! Its so toasty warm.  

Breeding Time and Fleece Sale!!

Wow, two posts in one day! Can I stand it!

Things are now really moving slow since the Thanksgiving calories are settling on our bones ahhh but the extra insulation doesn't hurt with these low temps we are having (gotta put a positive spin on holiday weight gain)!
Finally the time came for our gorgeous Ram Arna, to be reunited with his fabulous gal pals!! I got myself all bundled up in my heavy duty coveralls, wool socks and new wool hat (needle felted by yours truly) and off to the sheep pen I went.
The air was crisp and the anticipation was high both for me and the sheepies.  It seemed they knew what I was about to do.  That their natural instincts were to be satisfied after much separation.  Eliza Jane greeted me first, well, really second she head butted poor little Aniela out of the way.  Her look was curious, as if studying me and my intentions.
Snapping pictures as I entered they followed my every step.  Across the pen the boys stood at the gate with a quick little shuffling of the hooves. I spoke softly to them and asked them to play nice with each other.
As soon as that gate the kept them apart for the last almost three months was swung open, it took no more than half a minute before the choreography began! Arna's neck went down, his regal head went up and so did his top lip.  He set his sights on Ania, our black lamb only she wasn't too thrilled at the advances.  After a quick ring around the rosey round the big maple tree, he decided he'd change the game plan.  Elilza Jane our yearling was more than agreeable to his attempted affections and held her position!  I stood in amazement at the sight of this dance of nature.  Camera in hand and a few video clips later (oh did I mention I wore rubber boots not insulated ones? Yeah, my toes were numb) I knew my presence was not needed nor wanted I am certain.  After trailing them through the pasture for a good 45 minutes, I made like the wind and made my way back to the house.  Reluctantly I might add.

We all continued to watch from the kitchen picture window!! What busy bodies we are ;-)  .
If all goes well, come April we should have some lovely babies gracing our farm! fingers crossed everyone!!!

Changing gears for a moment, lets talk fleece!!! Since our shearing a few weeks ago I have been working hard at skirting and needle felting!! As you know I have felted everything I can get my hands on but truly I think hats are going to be my thing.  I will be posting some pictures a little later when the camera starts acting normal again.  I've already made two and am working on my third.  Meanwhile, I have put up a listing on Ebay and will soon on Etsy, for 2.2 oz of black skirted, unwashed fleece.  Check it out, its under gebjr90 on Ebay.  In the future it will be under BacharFarms.

Here is a sample of the locks...let me know if you'd like any or just your thoughts would be plenty!!

Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend. It is my prayer that health and happiness abound for you and yours!!


Thanksgiving at the farm.

Thanksgiving here at Bachar Farms, was filled with much hustle and bustle.  My mommy and I cooked all day long while my I-pod cranked out my eclectic collection of tunes, from John Denver to Julio Iglesias! Ahhh the sounds of family traditions filling the kitchen with much love. 
My brother drove up from the Jersey Shore to spend two nights with us, he did a fine job keeping the little ones, Emma and Abigale very entertained! And Georgie did a fine job keep the fires burning all through the day and night.
Each dish was prepared to perfection (and if it was shy of one dared to tell me hee hee).  Even though I tried to duplicate my mother in laws ritz cracker stuffing that my dear husband longed for...I'm sure it wasn't quite the same as hers.  Alas, nothing every tastes like mommy's cooking but he always appreciates my attempts and loves me all the more for trying. (big cheesy grin)!  My mommy made her classic Cuban dish of black beans and rice that added a nice touch to the traditional Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and gravy.
I made two pies, pumpkin and a Nantucket cherry pie for desert.  A new recipe for homemade bread fixed on the stove top with no kneading added a yummy bunch of fresh dinner rolls to the festive spread

Let me know if anyone would like me to post one of the recipe's, I'd be glad to share. ;)

We were and are all thankful for all the many blessings in our lives.  Grateful for the abundance of love, health, food and faith!  Thanksgiving was pretty low key yet excitement filled our country kitchen with the many simmering aromas of family and love!

God Bless You ALL,
The Bachar's

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happenings At The Farm

Well, its been a couple of busy weeks since my last post.  Life on the farm is pretty calm.  Had one lamb Ania our pretty little black lamb with a bad cough for a spell.  The vet had come out a few weeks back to give them and our new little set up a once over and heard the cough but didn't think much of it.  She did mention that if it continued to give her a penicillin shot once a day for 7days.  I waited and prayed that that would not be necessary....but know what always happens.  Shots were necessary.  I didn't want her to get worse and since the cough was not going away on its own it needed to be done.  Thankfully, Mr. Doug who cares for our charges when we are not on the farm had a good friend with some experience in the matter of administering medication with a syringe.
Mr. Doug and I watched closely so that we could mimic his actions exactly.  Definitely a two man job until you really know what your doing.  All went well.  And thankfully Mr. Doug did all the subsequent shots. 
Its been well over a week and Ania seems cured of all that ailed her.  She never seem sick or lethargic but certainly not coughing has made her seem all the perkier!

We had the remainder of the fence line run down the length of the east and west side of the farm.  On the west side we ran it down to the barn so that come lambing season, should we be so blessed with little fluffy babies it will be alot easier to scoot mama and babe into the lambing jugs right from their pasture.  Of course we haven't cleaned out the lower barn or set up any jugs just yet but it is all on our to do list at least.  Oh yea, maybe we should get through breeding first!  That happens next week.  Our gorgeous ram Arna is ready to rock and roll with his lovely ladies!! Got his horns stuck in the fence more than once attempting to cop of little whiff of a ewe or two!  So come Thanksgiving weekend "let the games begin"!! Everyone say a prayer that I know what I am doing or better yet...that Arna knows what he is doing ;-).

I have a ton of fresh pictures for you that my friend Teresa took while visiting with us and am waiting on them.  Can't wait to share.  Now I'm off to get ready for my American Heritage Girl troop meeting tomorrow.  Many Miles to travel before I sleep.

God Bless,

Thursday, November 4, 2010

More Icelandic Felted Soap Creations

On such a rainy day the wee one (who is not so wee anymore) is feeling quite content drawing her pictures.  Dinner is cooking and I had about an hour to spare so what else could I do....But Felt some soap!!

I need to learn how to spin soon before I run out of fleece making all kinds of felted things!! :-)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Felting Soap With Icelandic Fleece

Felting soap is a very new idea to me but apparently it has been around for a very long time.  Below is my first attempt at felting soap with fleece from my own Icelandic sheep! Icelandic fleece felts very easily so this process didn't take long at all. They were just shorn about two weeks ago and I have been washing and carding the fibers and this is the result of my handiwork. I think I know what everyone is getting for Christmas.  ;)

First I used about 2oz of fleece that had been carded into rolags and placed a very very inexpensive soap on it. I made sure the width of the rolag was just wider than the soap. I then rolled it. I then took another piece and wrapped the soap across the other way. Then I took a third piece of fleece and wrapped it length wise again to make sure the soap would not be visible after felting.
So here is my soap tucked inside a big ball of fleece!

I then ran it under hot water and began matting the fleece and began the felting process. I did little dribbles of water at a time and kept matting the fleece down until it was sticking together and not opening up. Lots of suds at this time.

(doesnt' it look like a yummy ball of fresh mozzarella)

After I ran it along the ridges for a while I continued to pat it and shape it with my hands. I tried to pull the fleece away from the soap and it would not give and that is how I knew the felting was complete.

Now picture it with a little raffia tied around it! Oooh lovely little homemade gift!
Its a pretty and practical gift, soap and loofah in one!

Have fun felting!!


Carding Wool

I am really enjoying my Ashford curved carders.  At first I was a little intimidated but after a few whirls, it got a lot easier.  Transferring the fiber from the stationary carder to the working carder seemed impossible to me (though it is really really easy) but I found a few great videos on and it became alot clearer.
Like I have said in the past few posts, I just need to find "stuff" to do with this beautiful fiber while I wait and wait for my spinning lessons.  I can't just let it sit there fluffy white and washed waiting!!!!

So I have begun the carding and making rolags.  From what I understand some handspinners will spin right from the rolag.  If any of you can shed some light for me please do, what is the difference between rolags and rovings? I know that rovings seem that it?

For now I am working with my white fleece.  In the future I will play with some natural dye and see what lovelies I come up with.  There is a project I have in mind for today if I have time, Soap Felting!
It looks so pretty and practical! I'll keep you posted as to how it goes.  Meanwhile here is a picture of one of my first rolags.

And just a quick note.....Don't forget to VOTE!!!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Side of Beef!!! Mooooo!

Nothing feels as good as knowing you have enough food to feed your family...and then some! Thanks to some very good friends we all shared a beef cow between four families.  Now all we need is some chicken and some home baked bread, some fresh garden veggies that have been put up (not that we got that many) and we are good for the winter!! Oh and lets not forget some warm woolen socks knit from our very own sheep's wool! Gosh, maybe I am Laura Ingalls.  "Pa!! Please play the fiddle for us!!!" LOL Love it!

Shepherdess and wanna be livin off the land girl!

Needle Felting

George and I had a ball Trick or Treating with the girls last night! Guess what I dressed up as...a SHEPHERD!!! LOL couldn't resist it! Little Bo Peep wasn't an option as most of the costumes were in the "adult" section of the Halloween shop. So instead I tried to pull off a biblical shepherd. Emma our oldest was Wonder Woman and little Abigale was Cinderella.  We had a ball.  Then after sorting candy and waiting for the them to crash from their sugar rush it was time for book and bed! When all was quiet in the house, I realized I had received a package on Saturday and hadn't opened it.  To my joyful surprise it was my new Ashford Carders!!!!
So I grabbed a baggie of freshly washed fleece and began loading up my carders (didn't have a clue what I was doing but just couldn't wait)! On went the fleece and a carding I did go!
Some of the fleece I used wasn't very smooth and if you ask me looked a little felted but I really am not sure how to gage the quality yet, so as I carded I noticed how nice and smooth the fibers became.  The more I carded the smoother and straight they became!
Now I rolled them off the carders as the little instruction sheet told me too and I placed them in a pile.  As I oogled my handiwork...dreamed of spinning (which I can't yet do), I decided I just had to play with this white fluffy stuff!!!
I quietly snuck upstairs tip toed past the sleeping princess and super heroine and found my bag of supplies.  Back down in the breakfast room I unveiled my new felting needles and not knowing one from the other except for what I have learned on YouTube began to felt up some of my very own sheep wool!!!
With no initial idea of what I would make, the inspiration just popped into my head to make a wee little snow man!  Not the greatest but no too shabby for my first "stab" at it!! ( i just crack myself up)! It took me about 30 minutes start to finish.

I guess its part of the addiction to sheep, fiber and fun! If you can't spin it, felt it, if you can't felt it, use it as long as you are having fun with your fleece that's all that matters!! Hope you enjoyed my little snowman!!

Happy All Saints Day!