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Thursday 27 February 2014

Photos: Goat Babies!

Good News: Three lovely babies were born last night!

All three kids are thriving and healthy.

This little girl is a beautiful LaMancha cross with alpine markings. She is the smaller of the twin girls that were born to my black LaMancha, Bessie Mae.

The Bad News: this goat is suck suck sucking on my finger because she isn't nursing on her mama.

This is Bessie Mae, turning away from the camera like a shamed movie star from the paparazzi. Bessie is not accepting her babies, maybe because of my interference. I wish I had known better. I thought I was helping her with her babies, they were born right into the snow and I toweled them off a bit right after they were born.

That was Bessie's job. Licking the babies clean is an important part of bonding. However, ALL THE BOOKS that I have on goat husbandry suggest getting in there to dry the babies off, assuring that it does not interfere with bonding between the mama and her babies.

Well, I beg to differ after last night. Bessie does not want these kids to nurse and she is not licking them because she doesn't recognize them. She is actually confused and looking for her babies, not realizing that they are right there in front of her face, needing her attention and milk.

So, I have been milking Bessie Mae and bottle feeding the little girls. This is a big job and they must be fed throughout the day every few hours. I was up throughout the night checking on them, trying to get the babies to nurse, bottle feeding, and scratching my head.

As if that was not enough excitement, when I went out again this morning I found another baby goat from a different mama! Ken aka Lena Horne (who kidded triplets last year) had one baby, a big healthy billy. She was already licking him and nursing and everything is fine. See? I wasn't even there.

Now I know. 

Stewie is very interested in the babies and was even licking them, but I'm afraid he is a poor substitute for a mama goat with an udder full of milk.

I'm focusing on the good news, three healthy babies and two beautiful does, and mamas with udders full of extra milk that we can use in the kitchen.

Also the chickens are growing like crazy and got to spend some party time in the greenhouse while the snow continues to melt.

I am exhausted. There are still two more pregnant goats due to kid at any time. I'm hoping for the best and forget what my books say, I'm leaving it all to mama next time.

Wednesday 26 February 2014

David's Robot Quilt

I am so thrilled that I finished the fleece brick quilt I made for my son.

It measures about 52" x 48" and is made of 5" x 10" blocks.

Honestly, this was not my favorite project. But then, I'm not a little boy.

All of the pieces are fleece except for the robot print, which is flannel, and those turqoise green squares - which, call me crazy, are knits. I just had to use them because the color matched the robots.

My favorite thing about this quilt is the border. It was made of fabric scraps that I pieced together and I think it really livened up the blanket.

Those polka dots look especially cute next to the robot print.

I sewed the border on with a machine, and then folded it over, ironed again, pinned, and hand stitched it to the back of the quilt.

For some reason I thought this would take forever, but it was really quick! And hand sewing is so meditative and wonderful. I especially got a kick out of hand stitching next to the robots.

Three out of four corners turned out near perfect. By a total coincidence I made the border the exact length of the outside of the quilt and I didn't even have to cut it - I was worried that I wouldn't have enough or that I'd end up a few inches short, but I had just enough room to fold up the end of the border and finish.

That is some quilting magic.

This quilt top sat around for months because I ran out of red squares and I didn't know what to do with it. I added a row to the top and bottom with some blue bricks that look a bit random, but it is for my little boy and he loves it. 

Actually, he is a total blanket hog, truth be told.

The lil stinker!

At least he is a sweet heart with the animals.

Our girls are all looking big and pregnant. Two in particular have big, full udders. That means that babies aren't far away!!

I'm so excited that I keep forgetting about my own pregnancy. David was born two weeks late and during those two weeks, I didn't even want anyone to mention that I was pregnant. Waiting was so hard. There is no controlling birth, no matter how we try.

I'm glad that there are still some mysteries in life.

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Some Bunny Loves Me

Stuffy Bunny came into creation today.

She has button eyes and pipe cleaners in her ears.

Bunny can move her limbs and can even raise her arms up to get a hug.

I sifted through my button stash for some eyes and buttons for the arms and legs. 

Doing this always reminds me of being a little girl at my grandmother's house and looking through her button jar. I would spend hours sorting them and wondering where they came from.

This was the first stuffed animal I have made by sewing, and it was a really calming project. A lot of it was hand sewn and I got to see the bunny take shape as I was making it.

Only one flaw I am not happy with, there is some puckering around the nose. Boo!

But, some one I know doesn't seem to mind.

Some variations I thought of for this project would be to add some lavender or hops to the stuffing for a "Sleepy Bunny" and/or adding some embroidery to the fuzzy belly.

Believe it or not, we got MORE snow!

Then, today, the sun came out and it began to melt.

I can't wait to photograph the quilt that I finished today. 

Until then... thanks for reading!
I always appreciate comments on the blog or through e-mail, they make my day!

Monday 24 February 2014

Winter's Last Gasp

Hello from the snowdrifts on our little island in Canada.

We've been hunkering down, drinking hot bevvies, and I've been sewing away and reading books.

I'm working on my "teddy bear" for the Sewing For Small People Sew-Along.

Atleast, it was supposed to be a teddy bear. I started cutting out the pattern and I realized that bears do not have big feet and floppy ears.

Teddy Bear is going to be a Bunny Rabbit!

 Maybe Bunny can have a Bear friend in the future? I don't mind making a rabbit and I'm glad for the practice making something 3 Dimensional. I added some pieces of cashmere to the feet, belly, and ears. Bunny is almost ready to be stuffed with fiberfill and stitched together.

I skipped ahead and completed the two "Schoolgirl's Puzzle" blocks for March for the Sisters Ten Block of the Month.

They still need to be ironed.

I finally made up some oven mitts for Marti. She wanted them in green, to match her kitchen. She ordered them back at the Christmas Craft Fair and I took so long getting them to her that I made up some scrappy nine-patch potholders as a thank-you to her for being so patient.

Marti is a quilter herself and does all of her work by hand. She mostly makes baby quilts and you can find her at the Saturday market along with vegetables and flowers from her garden.

Love those pink gladiolas! I sure am looking forward to summer and a spread of fresh veggies.

For now, it is peaceful to watch the snow.

The above photo of our house was taken yesterday, as the snow was floating down from the sky.

Today has seen another few inches on the ground and it has been steadily falling all morning.

I am hereby asking all goat babies to please stay put until the snow melts!

Stay warm and stay tuned for some finished projects.

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Work In Progress Wednesday

David loves his fleece quilt. He calls it his "Robot Bankie". I wasn't thrilled with this project when I finished the top, but after I quilted it I liked it a little more. The texture of a quilted blanket is just so nice.

I didn't use batting for this blankie because it is made of fleece. It is plenty warm and is just the right size for a little boy. Another roadblock with this quilt was the border. I just couldn't decide what fabric to use. Somehow it hit me - make a scrappy border! That way I can brighten it up a little bit and throw in some reds and more robots.

My wad of scrap strips is turning into a pressed border and I'm so excited to put it on because then this quilt will be FINISHED! Hooray!

I'm still trucking away on the Sister's Ten blocks. I made a mistake on one of the February Blocks (Susannah's) but I'm going to leave it and pretend like I did it like that on purpose. Just because I can.

The chickens were getting too big for their brooder so we moved the coop to it's new home in the cherry orchard. I'm so grateful to my sweet friend Jennifer who gave me this coop. It has a tile floor inside and the blue color is called "Dream I Can Fly" by Benjamin Moore.

The birds are still spending the night inside for the next few days as they continue to feather out and adjust to colder temperatures.

There are doors on either side and in the front (pictured) for easy access to all that lovely chicken manure that will feed the garden! The rhubarb and onion patch will be so happy!

Did you know that goats have rectangular pupils?

I was curious about this so I researched it and discovered that goats have a panoramic view of up to 340 degrees! No wonder I can never sneak up on them.

My three little silkies are allowed to stay inside. They have each other for company and I think they could use a bit more time in the indoor warmth. Plus they can't fly so they aren't escaping and running around pooping everywhere. BONUS.

Phyllis Diller, anyone?

Hope you are all having a great week.


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