Showing posts from July, 2012

Finishing Up

I finally had a weekend where I wasn't running around like a head-challenged barnyard fowl, so I took some time and finished up some projects I had in the works.  I finished spinning, washing, drying, skeining and labeling yarn from the Heartland Farm animals. The 5 skeins of grey are little Teddy's (miniature Shetland) entire fleece. The white is from Bert (white sheep with black face) and the brown is a combination of Bert and Mick (the brown llama). I would have like to do more, but ran out of time. I turn it over Wednesday night for the gala on Saturday. It took me about 8 hours per skein and I had to work it in around my normal hectic life. I have more roving, so once I get the feeling in my hands and wrists back, there will be more Heartland yarn in the future.
This is Ella Phant. I knit her eleventy hundred pieces right up quick and then realized I had to sew them all together so she sat in my knitting back for a bit while I sucked up my courage. Finally her whimpering …

Dane County Fair 2012

I loves me the County Fair! I haven't missed it once since moving to Madison 22 years ago. I'm not a ride goer-on-er person but I love to visit the show animal barns, all of the kids' 4H displays, the business expo, petting zoo, and to just watch the folks in general.
This year, I fulfilled my dream of becoming a carnie and actually worked at the fair! Heartland Farm had a public awareness booth in the Expo center and I signed up for a couple of shifts; one on Thursday afternoon and one on Saturday afternoon.  The Thursday afternoon one was pretty much a bust, attendance at the fair was pretty low but there were still enough folks around to make the people-watching interesting. Saturday was busy and I made quite a bit in donations to the farm which is always greatly appreciated. My favorite conversation was with a lady who, upon learning that the Heartland takes in farm animals (remember that because it's going to be important in a minute), insisted that we were going…

Negative Space

I am trying my dangest to get out of drawing a square and completely tangling the inside of it. I look at others' designs and love the airy look of the negative space they've used.  I decided to start with baby steps and just draw a string with no border and try that. The result was 'Dragon Wings and Things'.
Well...It's not square, but it's approaching it and it's very densely filled. Still looks clunky to me. Next step, way less square with some areas in the middle not filled in at all....EEEEEKKK!

At Long Last! My Etsy Shop Is Live

I am so excited, you guys! I have been working at getting this shop up for so long! It's still a work is progress.  You know my history as a horrible picture taker.  I'm working on better photos, but for now there are 7 items posted, jewelry and note cards, to get my feet wet in the Etsy pool!

If I see interest, I am planning on adding more types of items to my shop; knit goods, original art, pine needle baskets, handspun yarn...who knows!

You can either click on the link  Molly Bee's Attic Etsy Shop or click on the widget on the left side of this blog to go check it out. I am looking for constructive criticism and ideas for making my shop great, so a comment would be greatly appreciated!

Diva Challenge: GO TEAM USA!

This week's challenge over on the Diva's site was provided by guest challenger, Rho Densmore.  The challenge is to use the Olympic Rings in a design.  For whatever reason, this was a difficult challenge for me so I decided to make it more difficult by using tangles that I have rarely or never used before. In for a penny, in for a pound I say!  The result was a design with more substance than style, I'm afraid, but I still had fun.  All of the patterns I used behind the rings begin with the letter U, S, or A.
 Go Team USA! Bring us home some Olympic Gold!

Gettin' Schooled!

I've learned many new things over the past few days. I learned how to draw 'Auraknot' the new Zentangle pattern and theme of this week's Diva Challenge...
Auraknot is the star in the middle of the design. I like how it looks woven.
I also learned how to make Butterfinger cake.  I made it for friends and it received two thumbs up.
(Photo by the great wonderful, FANTASTIC, couldn't get any better, friend Joseph "The Great" Tremain. Description of photo written by the same.)

Butter Finger Cake Bake a yellow cake (mix or from scratch in a 9x13 pan). When it comes out of the oven, poke holes in it with a straw or a fork. Mix a can of sweetened condensed milk and a jar of Smucker's Caramel Ice Cream Topping together. Pour all over the top (and in the holes) of the still warm cake. Cool completely. Once it's cool, sprinkle two crushed Butter Fingers candy bars over the top. Cover all of that with a container of Cool Whip Sprinkle two more crushed Butterfingers on …

Hallelujah! The Heat Has Broken

The past week or so has been hot here in Wisconsin.  And not just annoyingly so...face-meltingly so. All the grass is dead, the water in our ponds and lakes is at the lowest I've ever seen. The crops are dying. We are in the middle of a drought. On Saturday afternoon the 100°+ temps that we'd endured for days scooted over for a little bit of cool air and I, for one, was ECSTATIC.  One more day of swimming from the air-conditioned car to air-conditioned buildings, and back and I was apt to climb the bell-tower with my sling shot.

Mr. Ben was happy too. We went for several walks Saturday night and Sunday. He'd been cooped up in the house for so long, he had LOTS of news to read on the area trees and hydrants. Consequently, we didn't get very far, distance-wise, but one of us got a lot of reading done!

The crew at the barn was much happier yesterday too. I can't imagine how it was for them last week, sweltering in their furry coats in the blazing meadow and non-air co…

Diva Challenge# 77: UMT Fiore de Pietro

This week's diva challenge was a Use My Tangle one. The tangle is Fiore de Pietro that Rho Densmore designed in honor of her late brother-in-law.  Participants (the challenged? :-)) are asked to use her design in a piece and then allow her to use it in memory books that she will be making for family members. I think that's a beautiful tribute.  She mentions in her request that her BIL's death again reminded her of how everything can change in a heartbeat. I've been thinking a lot about that lately too.  We let our family and loved ones 'get to us' over little (and sometimes big) things, despite all of the wonderful moments we've spent with them. But at the end of the day, if they should happen to no longer be with us, we'd pay money for one more moment with them, even at their most frustrating.  Hold your loved tight and tell them you love them.  Tomorrow isn't a done deal. It can all be done in a blink.
Fiore de Pietro

Spinning 101

Lots of folks have been asking me about the spinning I'm doing right now. Now I know a lot of you are spinners already, so just talk amongst yourselves while I school the newbies!

The farrier that trims the animals hooves at Heartland came this spring and sheared the llamas and sheep. As I understand it, he doesn't usually shear for spinning, he shears just to get the heavy coats off the animals for summer. If you're an official shearer, you cut the wool or fleece(sheep)/ hair (alpacas and llamas) in a certain way to get the very best parts in the longest lengths possible. First it's skirted, which essentially cuts off the poo and other nasty bits that have to be removed before it can be washed. Sometimes you see sheep with coats on. This is done in an effort to keep the fleece clean so you don't have to do so much picking, or lose so much wool, due to all the yuckiness. This wasn't skirted so what I got was 5 trash bags of  fleece/hair with everything under th…