Saturday, January 12, 2013


This felted and embroidered wool brooch is on the way to me:

The fiber artist is Aileen Clarke, and I found her on Etsy....dangerous place, Etsy.   Aileen lives in Scotland and makes a variety of things using fiber and woven felted wool from her region.  (you have of course heard of the famous Harris Tweed)   This piece has fiber (or fibre, as Aileen spells it) from Orkney incorporated into it.  She was nice enough to agree to use a brooch base I also found on Etsy  - Marco Suarez - Artbase.  Is represents a small flock of sheep on the heather moors, with hills rising in the background and blue sky above. 

Aileen couldn't have been nicer, and in the "small world" catagory. she knows Nicola Brown  fiber artist, whom we are in negotiations with, to be an instructor again at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival  in May.  Through Aileen, I have hooked up on-line with all kinds of artists  - in Scotland especially.   I would love to be able to get them over here for KSFF!  

It's hardly buying local, but I couldn't resist.  I often troll Etsy looking for inspiration - never to copy directly,  but to get ideas for new and different ways to incorporate my interests in fiber and also jewelry making.  In this case, both.   

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Garden in Winter

I ventured outside today since it was so nice (sunny and nearly 60 degrees).   We have had some bitter cold lately, so I was surprised to find so much green in the garden.   A nice bunch of chickweed was growing on one of the compost heaps, and a chard in a protected place still had some green leaves, so the chickens got some vitamin-packed treats.   The Yarrow is putting out some green shoots, (so have to divide it and re-pot   1/4 of it when Spring comes) anyone local want some red-flowering Yarrow?   Brussels sprouts are growing, but the plants are still small.  It will probably be Spring before they produce anything!  

I finally put the compost bucket outdoors so I will stop keeping those scraps.  Yes, I know compost still 'cooks' in the winter, but so slowly that I still have a lot of un-broken-down big stuff when I want the compost to spread on the garden.

The 'girls' stopped laying sometime in December.   I had kept lights on them through November so I could get a few more eggs, but they need a break.   I had them out of the coop this afternoon so they could get pedicures, and it seems Emilie ( what I ended up naming my new dog) is a little afraid of them.  After all, when they get close-up-and personal they are as big as she is, and from her perspective those faces are a little weird looking.   Much less intimidating when they are behind 'bars!'

Sorry for no photos.  I'll try to do better next time.