Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wild Child

 A wee bit over four years ago, something really special happened here.
A foal was born.
An adorable, sweet, pinto filly with half a butterfly on her neck.
 Her mother had been gathered from the Paisley Desert in Oregon.
We held a naming contest for the filly, and the winning name was
Paint Me Paisley.
 Paisley was raffled off, via Mustang U, to a young girl who lived here locally.
This year, I was contacted by her mom to say that life was so busy...
and would I like to take Paisley back?
She had been sat on, but nothing more, in terms of being saddle broke,
but was quite easy to get along with, they told me.

I said, of course, YES!
I mean, why wouldn't I?  
She needed a new home, and I wanted to be sure it was the right one.

Paisley was just as sweet as I remembered her
She'd not been in a horse trailer since I'd hauled her over
there at the age of five months.
But she didn't hesitate to follow me back into the trailer.
Okay, she hesitated...but then she climbed right in.

Paisley quickly caught on to being saddled and bridled, 
though I believe it had been done a time or two before.
She had no problem with me climbing on, and while she was VERY lazy,
within a couple of rides we were trotting circles in the round pen.

Paisley is so laid back that I felt she'd be an excellent family horse.

And then I saw Wild Ones Youth Ranch.
Paisley would be, in my opinion, a terrific fit!

So I contacted them, and yes, they said, she would be more than welcome.
I am so very happy that this is happening.  

But I need your help.

We need, somehow, to get Paisley to her new home.
It is a 400 mile journey, one way.  For me to haul, double that.
I will need help covering the cost of fuel, 
or to find drivers willing to help transport her.

If you can help out financially, please click the paypal link provided 
and enter your donation amount.  
Anything is appreciated!


For those who contribute $50 or more, I will send an 8x10 portrait of

Thank you so much for your support!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Hand Spun

It's been a few years, but I used to raise sheep.  Not just any sheep.  I had dairy sheep.  No, not dairy goats.  Dairy Sheep.  Like the kind of animal they milk in Europe to create Roquefort Cheese.  I loved my dairy sheep.  They were super friendly and easy to get along with. 

Flash forward a bit, and again I have sheep.  But not dairy sheep.  Oh, I WISH they were dairy sheep, because dairy sheep were so sweet.  These are Border Leicester Ewes.  Yes, that's right, like in the movie, Babe!  They are a bit more timid than my dairy girls were, but that's okay.  They're still relatively cute, and come spring?  I'll have mounds of soft, luxurious crimps and curls to spin!

 Natasha, a white two year old ewe.

Border Leicester sheep come in two colors; white or black.  In the sheep world, white is typically the more popular among commercial breeders because you can dye the wool to meet the needs of the consumer.  Black sheep (or other colors) are less sought after by the big time outfits, but small, local farms often find a market for what is called 'Naturally Colored' fleeces.  While black cannot be colored over, many breeds have lighter, silvery fleeces that end up with very deep, vibrant colors when dyed. 

Ebony is the black sheep of my flock.  She has a little Romney in her geneology, 
giving her a bit looser curl than Natasha.

Until spring, though, I cannot utilize my home grown wool, so I've been buying some fleeces and roving to keep my spinning wheel and hands happy.  Roving has already been washed and partially processed, and comes in long, well...what would you call it?  A thing.  It's a long thing.  Like a snake.  Okay, that works, it's a long thick snake of wool.  Sometimes I buy white, that I can dye, and sometimes I buy previously colored and carded roving, such as the one shown below.

Merino Roving

The bright stuff above looks like a carnival.  I thought it would make a fun yarn.  Boy, was I surprised when it spun out into these lovely shades of blue!  Who would have guessed?

And I shall call it Ocean Breeze, 
for it reflects the water, sky, and delicate shades of sunrise on the beach.

This yarn and more are available on my Cowgirl Shepherd Etsy Shop.  Please click your way on over to see what other scrumptious yarns I've been spinning up!