Thursday, January 22, 2015

January Thaw

The feeling of needing to get some spring cleaning done hit early this year. More and more, I feel the need to simplify the "things" around me. It started with cleaning out the studio and kitchen areas upon returning from our shop adventure. This week, I tackled the family room. Poor Sean. Every time he leaves, his house changes before he returns.

Before the changes...

Besides being in dire need of a thorough cleaning, my biggest challenges in the family room are the large picture window placement, the lack of room for the recliner that Meaghan dearly loves, and the need to keep the twin bed/day bed available. Sunlight streams through the window, which should be good in theory. Unfortunately, it puts a glare on the family room television, so watching programs for much of the day is inconvenient to impossible. I have lovely, decorative curtains hung, but they do not close all the way, so are of little use.
Acadia and Roamer basking in the sun before I move their warm and comfy perch.  
My solution? I switched the daybed and the television console and stands. Using "stitch witch", which I love, I hemmed a couple curtain panels I already owned to fit the window and can close to remove the problems of glare and privacy.

I am not completely in love with the other side of the room, which now hosts the love seat and Meaghan's recliner, but I can live with it- for the moment and maybe it will grow on me. I think I will be on the lookout for a second recliner and find a new home for the love seat in the near future. But, for now, our family room is clean and cozy.

The temperature stayed in the high 20's-mid 30's for several days. We took full advantage of the warm snap, spending extra time with the animals. It was a nice change to be able to visit without fear of freezing fingers falling off! Since Sean has been in charge of all the animal care on his own for quite a while, I reintroduced myself with treats- these in the form of oranges, pumpkins, and acorn squash for the goats. I have never been above using sweets to gain the affection of animals or small children. Go with what works, right?

Judah is one of our 2 year old bucklings. He was born to Jedi and Leah in 2013. He takes after his Mom's smaller stature and sweet nature. He was very interested in seeing what treats I had with me. 

Keren Happuch is looking healthy and well. At nearly 2 years of age, this is her first breeding season. She hasn't come back into heat, so we are hopeful that she is bred. Keren has been reserved by a friend wanting to begin keeping goats. Keren and her kid(s) and one of this year's bucks, Jesse, will be leaving the farm together this spring to begin their own herd.  
The fencing between the two goat pastures was no impediment to sharing some squash pieces with family. Rachel ate from one side with the help of her youngest daughter, Keziah. While her oldest daughter, Keren ate squash pieces from the other side of the gate. 

Cassie, Jemimah, and Ellie are often together. They eat their hay and grain together and sleep near one another. Off to one side, they had their own squash pieces to eat in peace. They made short work of them! 

Salome (left) and Haddassah (right) were less taken with their treat. They gave them a solid sniff-about and picked at the flesh delicately.  These gentle sisters are the last of our does turning 2 years old this spring. We hope that they are both bred with Asher's kids and that their first kidding goes without a hitch. :)

Our wandering chickens were quite interested in the treats being offered in the goat pastures. This pretty girl sat patiently until an opportune moment and then, swooped in for her share.

We do not feed citrus fruits to the birds because I have read stories suggesting that citrus fruits can lead to them laying less frequently. At this time of the year, when our girls are naturally laying less, it is better to be canny. Whether that is true or not, doesn't matter. Better to be safe, than sorry. We do feed other treats. Today, all the birds enjoyed their share of whole, raw pumpkin and acorn squash. Happy does not begin to describe their enthusiasm. Warning: this video is LOUD! :)

The weather was warm enough that the flooded area of our lawn, thawed into a mini-pond about 6 inches deep. While it was not deep enough to afford a real bath, it did allow for some splash-time for our geese. Justin, our male, was very concerned where his mate, Caitlin was until Sean retrieved her, too. Then, they were quite pleased to splash about and preen for about a half an hour.

Both the geese and duck populations will be moved to live in this area full-time this year. They will be happy to be able to make things as wet and messy as they like. I am sure the chickens will appreciate the change, too.

The last task accomplished this week was creating 15 new pieces of mosaic eggshell jewelry. I planned on trying to make more than that, but other people, pets, and things took up some of my time. Still, I am very pleased with this week's creations. Here are some of my favorites. You can view the entire assortment in my "For Sale" album on our FACEBOOK PAGE, Full description and prices are listed there.

 In response to some requests for bracelets, I have begun creating some new designs. I plan to work on the designs through the rest of the winter, but I am really pleased with the initial creations. These thistles are particular favorites. I love the soft green backdrop next to the deeper emerald green of the thistle itself combined with the violet of the thistle and Swarovski crystal elements. Sterling silver findngs.

My heart is definitely set on spring's arrival. From the flowing blossoms on the tree on the left to the budding birch on the right, it all seems to be pointing to the coming of new life. These pendants are suspended from a sterling silver rope style chain and are pictured without an ornate bale. I am not sure yet whether I will add that or leave them simple. I do love how they turned out. I promise you, the images do not do justice to the colors captured in the backgrounds, nor in the details of the subjects in the foreground. Excuse the conceit, but I really do love them and am very pleased with the results.

So that is what is going on in our little world. I hope this post finds you happy and healthy in yours. Thank you for visiting with us today, friends. We're glad you came.

~Sonja ♥


  1. I so enjoyed this post. So happy to see the goats and birds enjoying their treats! Your jewelry is simply stunning.

  2. My heart jumped in my throat when I saw lovely Keren! Thanks for the photo update (who is up at 11:20pm looking at goat pictures? This girl!) :-)