The Latest Scoop
10/19/1992 - 1/18/2017
13 January 2017 - This morning I was surprised to see M-O-Lee and Barbi kushed down next to each other. The girls have never gotten along. See my blog entries for May 2010 ---- it goes back that far. Really, back to the time when Barbi first came to our farm in spring of 2008.
M-O-Lee has always considered herself the Queen Bee of the barn. When Barbi first arrived, she marched into the pasture as though a new Queen Bee had arrived. She walked right up to the fence and touched noses with Prince, our horse. The look on M-O-Lee's face was priceless---she had always shied away from Prince---and here was this newcomer making herself right at home. So the two girls did not get off to a good start and it has never gotten better between the two of them.
They fight over many things---such as position in front of the fan and who gets to kush in front of the favored water bucket. When coming in from pasture in the evening, one or the other will often turn sideways across the lane, blocking the lane from the other girl as well as all others behind them.
Once one of the two, I think it was Barbi, turned sideways in the doorway of the barn stall, blocking M-O-Lee in. M-O-Lee did not hesitate----she simply crawled over Barbi and went on her merry way.
One of our new boarders seems to have Queen Bee tendencies so we will soon have three girls vying for the position.
Endless Mountain Fiber Festival
September 10 & 11
Harford Fair Grounds
New Milford, PA
Hummelstown Arts Festival
Downtown Hummelstown, PA
Fall Harvest of the Arts
Downtown Carlisle, PA
Holiday Artisans Craft Show
Carlisle Expo Center ~ 100 K St.
Christkindlmarkt ~ Holiday Crafts Bazaar
Cavelry Rd. Armory
???? - April 21, 2016
"Now cracks a noble heart.---Good night, sweet prince,
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."
29 August 2015 – It’s way beyond time for an update; however, life has been fairly uneventful here at Shadowberry Farm. All the animals are doing well and summer has not been too stressful for them.
Our old llama girl Ella continues to do well without any special care except getting frequent extra snacks in an effort to keep weight on her. Our old rescue horse Prince also continues to do well and grazes during the day with the boy alpacas and our boy llama. Like the alpacas, he enjoys the usual summer round of visitors but gets upset that the camelids get much more attention than he does and will kick loudly at the side of his stall in order to attract the visitors to him.
I have been busy getting ready for the round of fall and winter craft shows. Last year was very successful but the downside to selling out of almost everything is that I have had to start from scratch.
My first show will be the Endless Mountain Fiber Festival, September 12 and 13, at the Harford Fair Grounds, located near New Milford, PA. This will be my 6th year at this show and one that I look forward to each year---it is always good to get together with my fiber friends and as this show has many repeat customers, I see lots of familiar faces there.
I will be at a new location this year. I have always been the last stall on the right in the main barn---this year I am moving across the aisle to the last stall on the left. I’ll have much more room, and the former occupants of that stall, the ladies from HeartEase Icelandic Sheep, will still be next to me, the second from last stall on the left, so I look forward to seeing them again as they are great fiber show neighbors to have.
One special event of the summer---our boy Petey has sired a cria! A little fawn girl. Yes, this cria is fawn despite her dam and sire being white---quite a little cutie --- she lives at Celtic Knot Alpacas.
21 October 2014 – Last winter I needed a warm hat to wear when doing my barn chores. I wanted something that would cover, and fit snugly, around my ears - - yet be loose enough on top not to leave me with “hat hair”. I came up with this:
This year I have been knitting up this hat for sale. I make the hats from Belle and Petey”s white fiber which I kettle dye in a variety of colors. Kettle dyeing gives a variegated tone which I think is more interesting than a solid color.
I also have for sale dyed skeins of yarn, sufficient to knit this hat, along with a copy of the pattern that I use.
This weekend’s show is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen which guarantees that all offerings will be of the highest quality.
The show is being held this weekend, October 25 & 26, at the Carlisle Expo Center ~ 100 K Street in Carlisle, PA. Show hours are 10-5 both days. Look for our signs - Fall Into Fine Craft - all over the Carlisle area.
And look for me at Booth No. 30.
5 October 2014 - The fall craft show season is in full swing.
This weekend I will be at the Vista School in Hershey, PA.
Address ~ The Vista School ~ 1021 Springboard Dr., Hershey, PA ~ 717-583-5102
Hours ~ 9 Am – 3 PM
Food Stand on premises
In preparation for the show I have been busy making dryer balls.
Due to repeated requests, I began making these a year ago and have been using them with my own laundry ever since. I have not bought dryer sheets since I first threw a few of these felted balls into my dryer. They work well to replace the chemical-loaded commercial dryer sheets.
This is a good use for “seconds” – that fiber which is not soft enough to be made into yarn. As I am always looking for a use for my seconds, I am glad that I gave these a try.
Like most alpaca farmers who make these handy and economical little balls, I find that I sell them as fast as I can make them.
18 September 2014 – The fall craft show season is here and I am off and running. I have had successful shows the past two weekends and now will have my first local show this Saturday.
Look for me this weekend at The Harvest of the Arts in downtown Carlisle. The show runs from 10 – 5 on High St. My booth is No. 16 and will be located in the first block off the square.
The alpacas are all fine and have had a nice summer as the weather was mild so overheating was not a concern. Some of my alpacas had a little bit of fame when they appeared in the local newspaper.
The girls are definitely having a bad hair day here. They had been out in the rain the day before. Usually they avoid being caught out in the rain, so I did not think to keep them inside when it rained the day before the photographer was due. So the result was flattened topknots --- and being wet had bits of hay stuck all over.
21 May 2014 - It is definitely not to bee when there is a swarm 50 feet from the girls' side of my barn!
I first noticed the swarm the evening before when bringing in the girls from pasture. After Googling "bee swarm" and learning that a swarm can contain as many as 40,000 bees I was definitely uneasy having them so close to the barn. Much to their displeasure, the girls were confined to their paddocks closest to the barn rather than their dry lot area where they like to sleep on nice nights. The tree with the swarm is just adjacent to the dry lot.
This called for some expert help from a bee keeper. The process of removal was fascinating to watch. The bee keeper brushes part of the swarm into a box which contains honey and a one-way door. Hopefully the queen is part of this group.
Ella watches from a safe distance.
Apparently the queen is in the box as the other bees follow her in.
The girls are fascinated as well -- as they always are by anything different happening in their world.
All ends well as the bee keeper gets a new supply of bees for his hive and my girls can go out to a safe pasture.
There are varied products produced in farming. I am happy with my product -- fiber -- and I am really happy that there are those whose product is honey.
16 February 2014 -Being confined to the barn for the past couple of weeks, the alpacas all have cabin fever – Acer and Alder – whose hut is separate from the barn and away from the other alpacas - appear especially affected.
As the snow piled higher and higher, we noticed that there were no footprints in their paddock area aside from a well-worn path to their poop pile. With layers of snow and freezing rain, the footing is precarious and the boys have pretty much stayed inside their little 8 x 8 hut for the past several days.
What they needed was a man with a snow blower:
Curious about this machine, they soon saw what it could do:
Now the boys have room to run around a bit and they are happy.
Speaking of cabin fever, yesterday I took part in the Centre County Knitters Guild’s solution to cabin fever as a vendor at their Love of Fiber event.
This is the third year I have attended this mid-winter fiber festival and I am thankful to have been invited to participate. This year’s event took place in a beautifully restored old barn in Spring Mills, PA.
Designed as a day out for fiber enthusiasts, it was the perfect place to spend a snowy winter’s day as lovers of the various fiber arts gathered together. Despite lowered attendance this year due to the on-going snow and poor road conditions, I had my best-ever day for yarn sales so I am happy.