Wednesday, June 29, 2016


I ended up on looking for something else today and found this gem.

Everyone is creative, but be we are only as creative as we allow ourselves to be.
- Martellus Bennett

I didn't realize that had a quote of the day and certainly don't think of Forbes as an authority on creativity.

The reality is... or at least my reality has been: humans are creative beings and many companies work to stifle that creativity.  Whether it's on purpose, a result of corporate culture, or the fear that others won't appreciate our ideas, we absolutely limit ourselves and each other.

Few situations in my past have afforded the opportunity to truly be creative as well as foster or enable creativity as part of my day job.  I am in such a role now and feel exceptionally grateful.

This was an important quote for me to read today and something I need to keep in the forefront of my mind.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Things That Work: Petal & Twig Organics

Flies are a fact of summer.  We had issues with them in Albuquerque and we have issues with them here in Colorado.

The flies really like Porkchop's ears and Gunnar's nose.

We initially used Neosporin on Porkchop's ears with little benefit.  Then when Gunnar's nose was being affected we started using Swat for both which helped a lot.

However, Gunnar does not like having ointment on his nose.  No matter how much we rub it in, he wipes it off .... with his foot, the ground, the side of the loafing shed, the fence or even the side of his food bowl... basically anything he can use to get ointment off his nose he does.  Which ultimately causes a gash that the flies like even more than his sweet, soft, velvety nose.

So last weekend I asked one of the Farmer's Market vendors if she had anything that might help.  She suggested that we try her bug spray and said that she uses it on her Great Dane.  I have bought other products from her over the years, so I decided to give the bug spray a try.

Well, just a week into it so far, I am happy to say that it appears to be working.
  • First, and foremost: Gunnar doesn't hate it!  It might help that I spray it on myself before I put it on him.  As I mentioned, he's not crazy about me rubbing stuff on his nose, but he does not run from me like he did with the Neosporin and Swat.
  • Secondly: It smells good. It's made with all kinds of lovely essential oils.  It has a pleasant, subtle smell which I like, a lot.
  • Finally, as a wonderful side-effect of using the dogs' bug spray, I also have fewer bug bites.  ;-)
Gunnar's nose looking much better than last week

I plan to get another bottle to take to the day job, so I can apply it before our lunch time walks near the marsh.  I also think we'll be using it on all of the dogs and alpacas.

Porkchop's ears looking great

Petal & Twig Organic Bug Spray is definitely worth a try.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Fiber Arts Friday: A Little

The last several weeks in my fiber world have been focused on collection, not creation.

Everyone's shedding has been delayed and the wet spring has caused half of my shearing days to be rescheduled, including ours. I'm not shearing as much as in previous years, so it's not as challenging as it could be, but for a busy person with a lot of responsibilities, it takes work to make everything happen. 

All that being said, we have crossed the half-way mark for "dogs done shedding."  I am hopeful that we'll get to the the two-thirds mark this weekend. ;-)

The new day job is going well. I like it, the team and the work. The learning curve has my brain tired but it feels good to be accomplishing, growing and adding value in this capacity again. 

As a result, the arts part of Fiber Arts Friday has been on the back burner. Which is why this brain has been quiet for a while. ;-)

I did finally sit at my wheel on Tuesday for about 30 minutes.  I started thinking about this year's Tour de Fleece and I'm shocked to realize is starting soon. Apparently, it's almost July!

spinning Suri Alpaca

I have a new work friend who I really enjoy.

Well, to tell the truth I really enjoy all of my new work friends, but this particular work friend has dogs... Border Collies... and thinks making yarn from them is cool. :-)

I had shown her some of my Tibetan Mastiff Yarn a few weeks ago.  She decided to bring in some sheddings this week. So I made yarn for her.  :-)

Behold: the tiniest skein! 96 inches of Border Collie Boy Britches. :-)

I also started some yarn, from her girl.  I have a small amount left to spin.

I find it interesting.  Just as Suri and Huacaya are both alpacas, but have very different fiber characteristics, these two samples are both Border Collies with very different characteristics.

The black, has much more crimp like Huacaya and therefore a loftier yarn.  Where the white is longer and silkier, more like Suri with a denser, more twiny yarn.  Of course, you never know the full character of a yarn until it's been washed and worked into something.  ;-)

It was really fun watching her while I was making the first yarn.  She was almost in awe... Is it's fair to say that someone was in awe of something you were doing?  That seems grandiose.  It is fair to say she was quiet and watching with wide eyes and wonder.  It made me very happy. :-)

All of this only adds up to less than two hours worth of spinning... but that's a lot more than I've spun in a while.

Please take a look at my new work friend's blog.  Outside of her day job, she's an author, great story teller, and about as obsessed with her dogs as I am with mine.  ;-)

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!