Whimsical and Homespun Art Creations with a Little Rural Living Thrown In

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Halloween Chicken??

As you all may have guessed by the title of my blog and the colors of my layout, Fall is my favorite time of year.  During the season, I feel so at peace with the world and my artistic mojo is at an all time high.  (Twenty-two years ago, I was even lucky enough to be blessed with the arrival of Farmerboy in October... double bonus! :)  ) It is no surprise with the impending arrival of September, that the old familiar smell and feel of Fall is making itself known in Northern Illinois.  Of course, it has limited itself to only a few days here and there, but the trees have taken notice and patches of crimson are showing up in town.   Soon, we will be making our annual trek to our favorite apple orchard in Wisconsin.  Yay!!  

So to celebrate the arrival of my favorite season, I had to share a few pictures of one of our chicks that is quickly becoming my favorite hen to marvel over... Believe it or not this is Coal... My jet black little chick that is growing up to be the most handsome bird that I have ever seen.  She was being raised for another farm, but I am not sure that I will be able to let her go.  She is the most amazing shade of black and orange!    Her plumage just hinting at the colors until the last few weeks. 

Here she is without the camera flash.  Her feathers are such a wonderful deep shade of burnt orange with black tips.  *Sigh*

She fits into my life and my blog perfectly!  ;)


Sunday, August 19, 2012

2012 Badger Steam and Gas Engine Show Baraboo, WI

Time is flying by so fast.  Where has the summer gone?  My family has enjoyed another year on the 127 Yard Sale and its 500 miles of fun (Promise to post my finds soon!), and we spent this Saturday enjoying the sights at the Steam and Gas Engine Show in Baraboo, WI.  As always, it offered a HUGE flea market, an antique chainsaw exhibition, loads of vintage engines, a tractor show, great food, and several buildings housing wares and occupations from days gone by.  A person could spend the whole weekend enjoying the sites! :)

Here is a view into the large building that houses the Blacksmith Shop.  It is open from each side, so that spectators can watch the Smithies at work. (If you enter from the front of the building, there are chairs set up for the visitors.)  They have a table next to their work space with newly crafted items for sale.  It was amazing to see these skilled Artisans at their trade.  :)

Onward to another building housing the Print Shop.  There was beautiful old printing presses and loads of gorgeous type on display.  Here is one of the machines in progress.  The gentlemen were busy working and full of information about the beginnings of the printing press.  I was told that there are some of these machines still in use today in specialty shops that deal with ornate printing.  This press in motion makes such a rhythmic sound.  The printer can print a copy every 1 1/2 seconds, when he gets his timing down.  And remember... he is placing the paper by hand!   I thoroughly enjoyed this machine and would love to have one of my own... *sigh*  Could you just imagine the gorgeous cards one could create?? ;)

A little memento from the guys in the print shop.  :) 

The women's center is another one of my favorite haunts. (That is where I learned the process of doing beeswax candles last year.)  This wool spinner caught my attention.  Here he is applying his trade.  The table displays all the various tools involved in processing various forms of wool.  Isn't the yarn lovely?  Like the rhythmic hum that draws me to the printing press, the pedals moving to the spinning wheel gives me the same sense of peace to my soul.  And unlike the expense that will never see me owning a press, this little wooden dandy is more likely to be in my budget! ;)

Here is a close up of some of the tools of the trade.  I have not decided how to process our sheep's wool yet.  Farmerboy has decided to do his shearing in early Spring, so I have a while longer to decide.  I had thought of getting a set of carders like the one in the upper left corner of the picture. 

**NOTE** While walking the flea market, I was able to watch Larraine Bertrang from Long Lane Farm carding some of her Alpaca wool.  She was using the hand carders (resting one on her leg and brushing with the other hand).   The results from her work were for sale in bags on her table, along with some raw wool in need of carding.  It was a fascinating process to witness, and I am so glad that she shared her wares and talent at the show.

Here is a closeup of wool yarn that was available for purchase.  Behind the yarn, you can see a drum carder.  I cannot remember if this one was electric.  An electric drum carder would be ideal to own.  It would be a lot pricier but would save a lot of wear on my arms!

Have you ever felt roving that was a mix of baby Camel hair and sheep wool.  It is BABY SOFT!  What an amazing combo... :)

It is hard to believe that this event has passed for another year.  There are so many other buildings that did not make it into this post... *sigh*  It will be something to look forward to sharing next year!  :)