Sunday, September 23, 2012

OK, I Have to Say It

Two weeks make a heck of a difference.  It's been a crazy busy two weeks since the last post, packed full of events.

Back then the grass was still green and the goldenrod was in full bloom.
The sheep were happily heading out to fresh pasture.
I was in the throes of preparing to be a vendor at the FLFF.  Besides preparing as much fiber as I could, I felt the booth really needed something to appear more professional and cohesive than in past year.  Rustic is nice, but the look was getting kind of worn.  I decided that new table and shelf coverings were in order.  I made a fast trip over to the Gunlocke Funiture Outlet Store in Wayland.  Because this company makes high end office furniture and has done so for decades they have accumulated a ton of seconds, leftovers, cancelled orders and parts at bargain basement prices.  What I was interested in was their fabric section.  They literally have HUNdreds of rolls of fabric left over from the furniture it was intended for.  Prints, solids, every color imaginable, light weight, heavy tapestry type name it and it's there on industrial size, extra wide rolls.  Everything - yes, every type of material on a bolt - is $3 a yard.  Leather pieces (as in, the sexiest feeling leather office chair your butt has ever touched) are $1 a pound.  It's nirvana if you have lots of projects in mind.  A little daunting if you are only looking for one specific type of thing, as I was.  But...... I found it!
Almost seven yards of a warm beige, faux-leather-texture material, perfect for tabletops and shelves.  Plastic-y enough that you can wipe up spills or dust with a wet cloth, but it doesn't look fake.  I'm pretty sure I could paint designs on it too, but I wasn't quite delusional enough to think I could get that done for this event.  I also scored 3 yards of another neutral color material that I made into a cloth backing for the large shelving unit in my booth.  It all cost a grand total of $30.07.  Woo!
And then the big weekend arrived.  Friday night we had a sharp cold front come through, complete with torrential rain, high wind and a 3-hour power outage.  Except for some vendor tents with mortal injuries everyone weathered the storm and hoped for clearing skies by morning.
Both days were lovely and sunny, breezy and cool - perfect for fiber shopping!
My shelves were full thanks to the great effort from Acorn Works.  Here Julie's checking out the arrangement of roving colors.  Note new table coverings!  :-)

When Andy wasn't busy helping shoppers select lamb for the freezer.......
...... he was happy to debate the merits of one pelt over another with shoppers.  It was a very busy day.
Sunday morning was quite foggy and the trip to the ladies' bathrooms was shiver-inducing to say the least.  I did notice that some spiders had gotten into the spirit of the fiber fest and left webs between each and every hosta in the flower bed there.  My photographic abilities don't do it justice.
After the festival there was unpacking of course, making notes to myself to get more of this or try a different one of those.  We had meetings two different nights, appointments during the day, ran all the ram and ewe lambs over the scale again to check weights, had another farmer's market type event all the regular sheep chores, getting started on firewood for the winter, keeping appointments that were made for "after Fiber Fest, when things are back to normal", getting some orders and samples of wool general, still running but now on a different road.
The passing of the fiber fest says it, the calendar says it, and now the weather and hills say it too.....I can't pretend any's really autumn.


Happy Fall!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Dye Day

Carolyn and I had another two dye days this week.  She is keeping very busy with her rug hooking business and since she was fortunate to get into the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival this year - due to another vendor having to cancel - she needs lot of inventory.

We work off my skirting table and go recipe by recipe to get the colors she needs.  Note that we have at least enough discipline to keep the bag of donuts off the work surface and moderately away from our work.

We had the dye oven, the microwave and the hot plates all going, although not at once.  We found out the circuit they are on really doesn't like that.

We had a lot of fun and dyed 15 yards of material in about 6 hours each time. 
Then she takes the fabric home to rinse again, dry, tear to size (fat quarters), label and put into her inventory list.
There are going to be some happy hookers when they get to her booth!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hey, I Got Lucky!

That line could mean a whole bunch of things, but in this case it means I picked up our new Cotswold ram and his name is Lucky.  He comes from Ewetopia Farm in Whitehall, NY.  It was an overnight trip and Julie made the foray with me, leaving That Andy to hold down the fort.  Lucky's "baa-ography" includes the fact that he's registered with ACRA, is 6 years old, currently weighs 327 pounds and is lookin' for love in the very near future.

He was more interested in nomming some alfalfa hay than smiling for the camera.

He just nicely fit in the crate Red welded for this purpose earlier this summer.
On the way back I just had to get a picture of this great metal sculpture.
This is in honor of the Champlain Canal's Towpath Mules, no doubt a hardy northern breed similar to Sal, the Erie Canal's famous mule.  I love that all the metal parts are bits of old farm machinery.  Now if I could just find someone to weld me up some lawn sheep.  I'll have to speak to Red........
Dexter says,
"Metal, phooey.  Cardboard is my media of choice for interpretive performance art such as this."
Cats.  They're so dramatic.