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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Apr 26 2010 :  08:51:02 AM  Show Profile
PUPPIES - I LOVE PUPPIES

I feel like a broken record - at about 6:40 we got hail, rain, thunder and then you guessed it snow... About 5 inchs... I am so sick of this, hate to be a party pooper but today I just wanted to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed. No motivation, No desire to do my work in snow shoes again.... I know, whin, whin, whin. I think I will sit my self facing the corner till I can be more cheerfull.

Hope everyone is having a sunny, dry day.

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - Apr 26 2010 :  09:07:59 AM  Show Profile
Right there with you Sarita!!!!

Rae

Farm Girl #647

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31

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lsarah
True Blue Farmgirl

256 Posts

Lori
Greenwood Arkansas
USA
256 Posts

Posted - Apr 26 2010 :  11:44:38 AM  Show Profile
Hey girls ~ I found this link the other day which lists every known fiber festival in the world. Thought you all might be interested!

http://www.knittersreview.com/upcoming_events.asp


Lori


She works with eager hands...Proverbs 31:13
http://www.sarahkatefibers.etsy.com
www.sarahkatefibers.blogspot.com

Edited by - lsarah on Apr 26 2010 11:45:04 AM
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Apr 26 2010 :  4:17:52 PM  Show Profile
Thanks for sharing the site Lori - I have bookmarked it so I can send it to others and take a long look for myself.

Had a big melt down today - both my snow and myself. I am not one to burst into tears but when I went out to the younger boys barn I must admit I just cried like there was no tomorrow - everyone is fine except in this last bizzard night I have no idea how they did it but my top fleece boys got themselves covered in tiny VM... I must admit I have never seen such a mess and I have not a clue where this tiny stuff came from but I LOST IT!!!! I do not think I can get that baby fleece clean. After not being able to catch my breath and undestanding that there are worse things in life - but this is my bread and butter. I went into the house and started cleaning.. My therapy. I will deal with it when I shear but I have a feeling there will be lots going in the compost bins. I have now managed to center myself and understand that in this horrible weather at least no life was lost and I will just have to be much more creative in bringing in some cash....

Monday's Got to LOVE them...

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - Apr 26 2010 :  5:01:18 PM  Show Profile
Grace I am so sorry you've been having such a difficult few days! I know how awful that overwhelmed frustrating feeling can be. I pray that your weather issues subside and that you will be able to clean your fleeces without as much trouble as you anticipate. It is heartbreaking to see vm where you don't expect it and when you know how beautiful the fiber is (or could be). Know that my thoughts are with you and I am sending you calm, peaceful energy. You will find a way to get what you need, you are a strong, resourceful woman. It could be worse as you said and Thank God it wasn't. I have every confidence in you that all will be well in the end. If I were closer, I'd give you a hug but....unfortunately it will have to be a virtual one.....

Blessings, Sheri

"Work is Love made visible" -Kahlil Gibran
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Apr 26 2010 :  5:39:14 PM  Show Profile
Oh Sheri, thank you so much for the kind and wonderful words - it means the world to me. I placed on my blog the mediation quotations that where in my book for today - Spot on and then some. I guess with all the lack of sleep, worry and extra physical work I have had of late it had to come out in someway but for me tears is the farest from my way of responding. I except your long distant hug and send many back to you.

I also felt so bad for the animals because they are not use to me doing that so I think I freaked them out too.

It is also perfect timing because I am listening to a book on CD that is called "How to save your own life" 13 Lessons on Finding Hope in Unexpected Places" by Michael Gates Gill. The universe always provides that certain something to help us thru.

I am so lucky to have you wonderful ladies in my life. Thank you Sheri.

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - Apr 26 2010 :  8:41:54 PM  Show Profile
Grace, I feel for you. It seems no matter how careful or how much prevention we take to keep the fleeces clean...something happens. This year the flock got out and got into some stick tights which I sat on a bucket every evening and picked them out. Then we ran out of our small bales and had to go to the large bales just prior to shearing...but they had to be fed! It is working out OK.
I think back to our pioneer ancestors, think what they did to spin and knit wool necessities for their families. They dried the wool on bushes, can you imagine the vm?
God will guide you....how about vuccuming the boys before shearing? Will they stand for it? One lady told me that she had 10 sheep and every year before they sheared them by hand, she bathed them...I can't even imagine.
Hugs and prayers are coming at you. I am also thankful that you and all your special animals have made it through another snow...is Missouri looking pretty now?????
Sarita
The Coffman Spinning C Fiber Farm
We now have 5 black spotted babies and they are sooooo cute.

www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so.....
'Love the people who treat you right Pray for the ones who don't.
"A happy heart makes the face cheerful..." Proverbs 15:13

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oldfashioned girl
True Blue Farmgirl

2391 Posts

monica
oatman az
USA
2391 Posts

Posted - Apr 26 2010 :  11:37:31 PM  Show Profile
Wow, i have some catching up to do! I have had a few busy days here and you all have been chatting up a storm! I spent 3 days sewing patches on vest and mending things at a motorcycle rally in town! I did not go as well as I had hoped, but I made a little bit of $$!

Sarita, We need pics! I can't imagine washing a sheep!

Grace, I will happily buy all of the boys fleece from you because I know even with the VM, they will be spectacular! They are just like diamonds in the rough!!

Lori, The link is great!

Monica
farmgirls rule!

www.justducky48.etsy.com
www.justducky48.blogspot.com
www.duckystreasurechest.etsy.com
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2010 :  08:04:14 AM  Show Profile
Oh Sarita I know what you mean - you have to feed them but I really have no clue where this tiny stuff appeared from. Oh well, like I said we are all alive and that is the most important thing. Your right that still in some countries the fiber is dried out on limbs and bushes but also they do not have the customers who think that these animals live in a bubble and never see the open pastures. I remember a couple of years ago a lady was ranting at a fiber show at one of my friends that she could not believe there was VM in the US fleeces. My friend who has wonderful fleeces tried to explain that all fleeces with have a bit of VM in it because they live, eat and play in nature. The lady (I use that term very loosely) stated that where she is from there is not a speck of VM in the fiber. I could not resist and I spoke up "Where are you from"? She stated NY City - I said "How many head to you raise"? She said "Oh, I would never raise animals - too much work for no money" I had to bite my lips and walk away because I really did not want to say what I was thinking...

Folks just don't get it. If they wish to have organically raised, loved and then not overprocessed fiber there is going to be some VM but I must admit in all my years this just has not happened. I spent the day getting my ego in check and remembering my health and well being of my sweet animals come first and I will deal with the rest.

I do thank everyone for your support in my melt down. I guess this gal just had one to many things going on last week and it blew. I am treating myself to dyeing silk this morning and believing that all is here for a reason. Have a wonderful day all.... Monica I sent off an email your way this morning.

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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Toots
True Blue Farmgirl

68 Posts

Barb
Brussels Ontario
Canada
68 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2010 :  09:48:02 AM  Show Profile
Grace, I am so glad to hear that other people have melt downs too! we are undergoing quite a stressful time right now also. My husbands brother is in court right now for a terrible thing. He is going trough a very nasty divorce and seems that the whole family gets sucked in.
I wake up thanking the almighty God that I have a wonderful family and loving husband.
Enough with my sob story, I found a lady that lives about 30 minutes from me who raises alpacas and merinos. I am going to visit her tomorrow and she is lending me her carders! So this afternoon I am going to keep washing the fleece so hopefully it will be dry by tomorrow.
I forgot to tell you all that we are expecting puppies next week. I have two golden retrievers and Molly is getting very uncomfortable! I can't wait to see them.
Hope everyone has a great day.
Please send some of your rain our way. Too dry!
Barb
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2010 :  10:38:49 AM  Show Profile
Grace, I just shake my head and walk away when someone goes to ranting about vm in wool. I remember when I first started spinning and would go to area farmers and offer to buy some of their wool. I pulled burrs, stickers, sticks, hay and straw out of that wool but to me that was part of the journey.

www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so.....
'Love the people who treat you right Pray for the ones who don't.
"A happy heart makes the face cheerful..." Proverbs 15:13

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oldfashioned girl
True Blue Farmgirl

2391 Posts

monica
oatman az
USA
2391 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2010 :  12:32:27 PM  Show Profile
Grace, As one of my friends on Ravelry said " Sometimes you just want to smack them with a squishy skein of hand spun!!!!! Some people don't get and won't ever get it at that! I personally am still wanting to buy as many of the boys' fleece as I can because I know that they are incredible, VM or not and as Sarita put it, it's part of the journey! I guess I am different than a lot of folks out there because I would rather process my own wool from raw fleece, paint a house with a brush, make my own bias tape, bake my own breads and sew my own clothes!! Even with all of the baking I do I rarely use my hand mixer, I prefer this old wooden spoon I have! As far as fiber goes, I would much rather have some beautiful fleece with some VM in it than to have processed roving that came from only the Lord knows where!! My mom always says that I should have been born 100 years ago hence the screen name "oldfashioned girl" Sadly enough a lot of people want shiny perfect stuff from the very start and completely miss out on the journey of taking something from rough to finished and beautiful! It will never cease to amaze me to take a raw slightly smelly fleece and end up with clean soft fluff!! I praise God that he lets me see things the way I do!

Barb, I will say a prayer for your brother-in-law and your family!

Monica
farmgirls rule!

www.justducky48.etsy.com
www.justducky48.blogspot.com
www.duckystreasurechest.etsy.com
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2010 :  12:55:59 PM  Show Profile
I agree with you, Monica - I enjoy the process and the journey of learning along the way. However - if you ask me this question in a week or so as I am picking great grunches of VM out of my fleeces, I might argue the point.....!!! I like knowing the source of my supply personally - right down to kissing their noses and scratching their ears. My whole family has always thought I was nuts to want to live as I do but I have always been obsessed with the old ways of doing things so when we moved to the country, built a log home (not from a kit but from this land),no one was surprised in the least. I'm a hands on kinda gal even when that means stinking like a sheep and having thistle stickers in my fingers from picking fleeces. Just another walk in the tulips....(if the moles hadn't eaten the bulbs that is)
Ah - the joys of springtime.

You know, Grace when I was a kid we lived in the mountains - my Dad was a caretaker for summer homes and we were snowed in from Oct to April (in the Sierras near Tahoe) and I always knew we had another late snow because my Dad would be singing (he was tone deaf) "When it's springtime in the Rockies" when he built the fire in the woodstove in the morning. So my question to you is - are you singing this morning???

Have a great day everyone.

Blessings, Sheri

"Work is Love made visible" -Kahlil Gibran
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2010 :  8:25:34 PM  Show Profile
It is so nice to hear that others just love to pick away, comb and handle their fiber as much as I do. It is almost like a sickness - I find myself out in the world and touching animals and finger grooming - it is just part of my DNA. I love hearing others having the same joy going from start to finish with the desire just to touch and work those wonderful strands.... Now I can not do a thing with my own hair on my head and have no real desire but give me a four legged pile of fiber and my fingers go nuts.

Thanks ladies for sharing those urges.

Sheri I better get a singing - those weather guessers are saying I am in for another round. I must admit the wild ducks love that the pond is filling up with all the run off but my driveway looks more like a Rocky Mountain High Jeep Trail. I live in the Wild Wet West!!

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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oldfashioned girl
True Blue Farmgirl

2391 Posts

monica
oatman az
USA
2391 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2010 :  8:41:03 PM  Show Profile
Grace, I don't think it's a sickness at all! I personally think it's the true heart where God would have us! There are so many incredible wonders in nature from the fiber of an animal to the delicate petals and colors of a flower, to the wonderful aroma after a spring rain and yet so many people miss all of these blessings! I think for those of us here we are blessed to see those beautiful simple things that are right out in the natural world! I can't do much with the hair on my own head either!

Monica
farmgirls rule!

www.justducky48.etsy.com
www.justducky48.blogspot.com
www.duckystreasurechest.etsy.com

Edited by - oldfashioned girl on Apr 27 2010 8:41:33 PM
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2010 :  03:26:22 AM  Show Profile
You mean we are supposed to do something with our own hair

Well rain in forecast Thurs through Sun so will see. If we didn't need it so bad I would be kind of bummed out but...in my perfect little world it rains at night only

Ok back to a question, please, my sheep had not been sheared for 2 years maybe even a little longer. Their wool is really grossly dirty, do you think it is worth trying to clean some or better to go with next year like I was thinking. I am a total rookie and there were also many second cuts.

Grace hope you can dry out a bit already!!

Rae

Farm Girl #647

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31

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Toots
True Blue Farmgirl

68 Posts

Barb
Brussels Ontario
Canada
68 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2010 :  03:55:39 AM  Show Profile
Monica, you are like a poet! I think that every spring when the snow has melted and the dirt starts to smell so good. I always think of the poor people who don't see what the Lord almighty has given us. How sad it makes me, can't imagine how He feels!
I am someday going on a field trip and coming to visit you all. I am a hairdresser by trade so I guess I can help you all out in my little way!
Today I am going to the alpaca farm. Can't wait! I am hoping to maybe get my hands on some raw fleece!
As far as VM goes, the people who have an opinion on the VM in a wool have never tried to do it themselves and are not worth the energy you waste on being mad. I think that these people have way too much time on there hands don't you agree?

Many blessings on everyones day.
Barb
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windypines
True Blue Farmgirl

3282 Posts

Michele
Bruce Wisconsin
USA
3282 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2010 :  05:27:56 AM  Show Profile
I just wanted to add, that I too enjoy having my own sheep, shearing, cleaning, spinning, and creating projects from them. It is a heck of alot of work. I know I should not whine about just 2! :). Right now, Jill's wool keeps my feet warm, Jack and Jill keep my hands warm, and working on a sweater from Jack to keep my back warm! That is just so neat to say that!! While my yarn is far from store perfect, it is the best in my eyes!
It is time to get at shearing though. Any helpful hints out there? We always end up with a few nicks, and that makes me feel bad. Also how do you shear those areas that get wet alot of the time?
Michele
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2010 :  05:31:04 AM  Show Profile
Barb, I agree.
Rae, give it a shot, take out as many second cuts as you can shake and pick out, take out the wool that is full of burrs or sticky things, manure. You should be able to get some spinning wool out of the sides of the fleece. Be sure to sample the wool in different spots on the fleece to see that it is a good healthy fleece by taking a stable and tugging on it between your fingers and if it breaks, it is not healthy but if it makes a snaping noise and is strong, it is OK. Most of the dirt will soak off if you will soak it in water before the wash. What can you lose but alittle bit of time? Besides it makes good pin cushion stuffing even if it is defective. Come on...girl...give it a try!

www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so.....
'Love the people who treat you right Pray for the ones who don't.
"A happy heart makes the face cheerful..." Proverbs 15:13

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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2010 :  07:45:13 AM  Show Profile
Barb you will laugh but my sister and mother are hairdressers by trade too and I can hardly get a clip in my hair without taking a clump of it out. I joke with my boys and say I am going to get my head shaved and then tattooed with something Artsy on it so that would be that - besides then all the city folk would think I was a REAL artist. Just joking...

Rae, I would give it a shot on the fleece who knows you might get enought to spin some yarn out of, also it is great to use in the bottom of planters, in garden beds, even great to insulate with. When I broght home a sheep who was badly negelected I took that fleece, washed and washed it then picked out all I could and then sat and thought for a bit. I went down to my fabric stash and took some heavey material and got to sewing. What I made was pet beds for my local vet clinic. That way those sweet one's would have a good bed while healing. I did not do this because I wanted to get the farm name out but rather to help those who where away from home. Well, those who animals slept on the beds where told about it and I made some long time friends and customers out of that horrible fleece. The sheep lived her life here in splendor and with such love. After the first year of horrible fleece I harvested a great coffee fleece each year which went to one of the dog owners who had her bed.

Michele as for shearing - I do all my own but I use Fiskar Teflon Scissors and that way I do not make nicks in the animals - been there when we started and could not take hurting the animal. As for the parts that get wet I sheer those first and make sure they are throwing away so they do not get in with the other fleece. I also found that if I use the scissors I am skirting as I go. I sheer all the bad parts first that includes the top line. When those are all gone I start from what is left at the top line and run the blade from tail to neck. The fleece rolls and then you just keep going. The weight will pull away and so as you slide the blade you have the clear sight so you do not nick the skin. You can also run you fingers between the skin and blade for more protection. This also allows you not to make second cuts. It may sound like more time but trust me I save on second cuts, cut animals, and I do not have to skirt when done. Also the animal and I can stop, gather our breath and also not scare each other. That is worth everything.

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2010 :  08:00:00 AM  Show Profile
Are you singing this morning, Grace? It's windy, rainy and cold here. I have to try to wrestle a cattle panel down to the barn and block off the opening into the sheep pen so I can confine them so they will dry out for shearing on friday as it's supposed to rain today and tomorrow. This should be an adventure all by itself as the wind is howling. Hopefully they will cooperate and go in there with the side door blocked. Usually I get them into the side yard and then close the gate to the barn. I have one who is extra skittish and she gets the other three running with her. Let's hope I can find the "easy button" today. I'm not looking forward to this.

As to doing my own hair - if it's any more involved than a ponytail or braid you might as well forget it. My hair is to my waist and weighs a ton so nothing ever stays put! I gave up on that years ago.

Have a great day everyone.

Blessings, Sheri

"Work is Love made visible" -Kahlil Gibran
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2010 :  09:07:43 AM  Show Profile
Ok you all convinced me Hard wasn't it. Now I will for sure soak the wool but what do I use to wash with when I get that far. But of course first things first, start to clean it some and then...???

Rae

Farm Girl #647

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31

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oldfashioned girl
True Blue Farmgirl

2391 Posts

monica
oatman az
USA
2391 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2010 :  10:40:52 AM  Show Profile
Rae, Personally I would try to clean it, unless it is matted beyond hope or something like that! I have had some really dirty fleece come out so very white and I will also say that I save the second cuts for chunky art batts that I sell! I am much more interested in sheep and goat hair than my own!! I usually put it up in a clip and that's the end of styling!!

Barb, You can come visit me anytime!!! Oh would that be fun!!

Grace, you are too funny! I can't imagine you at a tattoo parlor!!!!

Sheri, I am jealous that you have long hair! A few years back mine was almost down to my elbow, now it just won't grow much past my shoulders!

Oh you all make me want my own animals so bad!!!! If we ever do end up being able to move into the other house I may have enough room for even a couple!!!

Monica
farmgirls rule!

www.justducky48.etsy.com
www.justducky48.blogspot.com
www.duckystreasurechest.etsy.com
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2010 :  11:42:16 AM  Show Profile
What do you mean Monica - I have several friends who own tattoo parlors and I even designed a couple for some fiber friends. My problem is I could never pick a design and I hate wearing something over and over.... Your right!! Besides with all the colors on my hands from the dye pots - I think I am colorful enough...
In my younger days I had hair to the back on my knees but then cut it all off and sold it to wig makers. Most of the time I kept it very short but now my hair is getting thinner and I just can not find a style so it is below my shoulders and most time in a ponytail twisted with a clip. I have a hat on my head so much because of the cold that is what I call my style right now. But I am a wiz with fiber!!

Got the hay into the barn - fun with this wind but now Mother Nature can dump on me and I will not have to be snow shoeing hay in. Picked up all the broken things flying around the farm but I could not get the last metal sheet that is hanging on and off the little barn - wind too bad and I did not want to get hit with it so I will just have to see what happens with that one.

Off to the shower for this stinky gal - first I will try to get all the hay out of my own hair before washing - I am as bad as my goats...




Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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oldfashioned girl
True Blue Farmgirl

2391 Posts

monica
oatman az
USA
2391 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2010 :  12:14:41 PM  Show Profile
Grace, So there is a wild side to you!!! We really are 2 peas in a pod! I have one on my arm and I am really glad that 20 years ago when I got it I had at least enough sense to not get something that I would hate now! It's a fairy sitting on a crescent moon! I still like it, but I have thought about getting it touched up some day! I saw some really nice ones and the motorcycle rally this weekend!

Monica
farmgirls rule!

www.justducky48.etsy.com
www.justducky48.blogspot.com
www.duckystreasurechest.etsy.com
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