:(

I just turned on my lil point and shoot camera so I could take some pictures of the pillows I just finished sewing and I discovered that the screen was cracked and broken. 😦 I’m SOOOOOO BUMMED! And I feel like a horrible sister because my brother gave me that camera and now it’s broken. 😦

Despite this incredibly depressing discovery I am still in good spirits because of sheep. (I think I’m obsessed….hhaaaaaa…..) Ummm and I’m enjoying the thunderstorms because they aren’t knocking out my power and forcing me to go to the basement right now.

How can you feel depressed and yet completely ecstatic at the same time?
~JoAnna
PS: So in case you didn’t catch that, I won’t be able to update with any pictures anytime soon. 😦

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Excitement on the farm!

We made an important decision this weekend about another farming venture to begin. Ben and I already raise cattle for grass fed beef and my in-laws have goats for milk and dairy. But we have been looking to add to our all natural meat business. We have decided to get sheep! Lamb meat prices are on the rise so now is the time for sheep!!

We will most likely be getting Suffolk and Hampshire breeds and crossing them. They do very well on grass and gain weight quickly. This is good because you get your profit quicker but also I’ll have less time to get attached to them. We will only be using the males for meat. The cool thing about these breeds is that they are duel purpose…Meat and…wool!! Yay!!! Since we will be building up a herd of ewes and two rams and they have to be sheared once a year, I’ll be getting my very own wool from my own sheep!

So yes, they will be primarily meat sheep, but I still have a flock to tend and will get SOME form of wool! I’ve read that Suffolks and Hampshires produce medium wool. I’ve not done a ton of research on what that means exactly but I assume it will be more coarse than soft. It may end up being used in rugs rather than scarves but we’ll see. Either way I’m excited that I’m getting my own wool!

Here’s a picture of what Suffolks look like:

Suffolks! SO cute!!

Can’t wait to get them! Hopefully sometime this week!! I’ll take pictures of them when we actually get them so you can see what our girls look like. 🙂
~JoAnna

What’s left?!

AHH! I have 2 weeks left! What am I supposed to be doing now?

I have to:
Finish my booth design
Buy supplies for my booth design
Price everything
sew 10 more pillows
Finish up a headband warp (may not happen)
Find closures for all of the clutch bags
Sew closures to all of the clutch bags
Find something cute to wear (Yes, this is extremely important)
…I know there’s about a million more things to do, but I can’t think of anymore right now.

I’m ready to be all done now. Here’s the other thing though: even when I’m done with this big show, life still won’t slow down. I have to go straight back to the farm and finish the walls at the house so Ben can start the electric and plumbing. I really hope that goes quickly and we can be moved out there soon. I’m just so ready to have my own house. I get so overwhelmed when I’m working on the house completely by myself. I mean it took me two weeks to put ONE coat of mud on everything by myself! The house NEEDS to be done! I’m really hoping we can maybe have it done by June 18, which is the open house/farm day for all our customers.

In other news I’ve been weaving these absolutely lovely scarves this week. They’re 18″ wide (on the loom…somewhere around 16″ after washing) and they’re all Tencel. I’ve been doing a 4 color repeat in the warp. The first one was: Navy, aqua, lime and yellow, the second one was olive, yellow, lime, gold. Both are absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I want to steal them and keep them for myself. (Steal them from my own inventory) But I know I have to sell them. So I’m trying to be strong. haha. I do plan on making one for myself soon after the fair though.

Okay. This is getting kinda long and I need to start working on something…But I’m not really sure what…
~JoAnna

Gray day = slow day

I’m not really sure what happened, but I have no energy today to do anything. Part of it is probably because I was up til nearly 1am last night (extremely late for me) and then I attempted to compensate for staying up late by sleeping in which NEVER works well and almost always makes me feel horrible. I should have just gotten up at 6am like normal.

I have been working none stop (as always…) I’m getting to the point where I just really want the whole thing to be over. I’ve only felted 100ish bars of soap and I have 148 left to go but I feel like I never want to felt another bar of soap in my life again EVER.

I’ve been trying to keep weaving because I want to keep building up more inventory for this show and other shows but I want to make sure I really need the things I’m making.

I have no idea what this post is about. RANDOM! My brain is going all ADD on me. I also can’t type today. Sorry if there are any typos left in this.

This week at the farm we had some big, exciting things happen! Tuesday was a big day! At 9am, a woman from the Cookeville farmer’s market that we know came to do our Certified All Natural inspection. It was pretty much a formality and she said we should receive our certification in about two weeks! SO exciting! If you’re unfamiliar with what that means, it’s basically the same thing as certified organic, but there are fewer hoops to jump through and it’s much easier to get certified. It basically means that we are certified and confirmed by someone that we don’t spray or use any pesticides or herbicides that aren’t all natural.

Okay so that was phase one of the day. Phase two consisted of two exciting things: first we knew already that someone from the Chattanooga farmer’s market was coming to do another farm inspection to get into that farmer’s market. They do this so that they can be sure that you produce enough food/product to actually be contributing to the farmer’s market. What we didn’t know until just before the person came is that we also got into Gaining Ground which is a publication pertaining to organic/all natural farms. I don’t know a lot about it, but it’s exciting to be in it! More advertising for the farm!

So the people came out and inspected the farm (the lady from Gaining Ground publication actually ended up being one of the inspectors! Crazy.) and they said they aren’t allowed to give a yes or no on the day of the inspection, but that we’re basically in. Wooo!

Okay…Why am I excited about getting into a farmer’s market besides being happy for my in-laws? Because it’s also a business opportunity for me. Since we are a family farm, Ben and I are included in the list of “farmers” on the farm. They also accept handmade crafts in this particular farmer’s market so I will be able to sell my work on a weekly basis in Chattanooga which is where I have been trying to figure out how to market my stuff anyway! I am SO excited! Also, I LOVE farmer’s markets. They’re so fun. 🙂 Can’t wait for it to start up! Assuming I’m able to sell work there, I will have to continue to produce work so I can keep my inventory stocked. This whole having a business thing might actually be working….WEIRD!

I am going to make some chicken noodle soup for lunch. Hopefully that will make my throat feel a bit better. Really it’s just allergies. I never get sick. …Blah….
~JoAnna

Tuckered out

I am SO worn out! I’ve been working really hard on everything this week. Monday was fairly chill, but I still got an entire guitar strap sample woven. (something like 120″ in three hours…oh that includes winding off and tying on)

Tuesday we spent at the farm. I wove up 5 napkins to see if I want to make more. I haven’t even had time to think about it yet. That probably only took about two hours or so. I started putting on another warp and Ben reminded me that I really needed to be working on felting soap. I SOO didn’t want to do that but he was totally right so I spent the rest of the day felting soap. I got like 8 or 9 bars done. UGH! It takes forever!

We stayed over at the farm last night and this morning we moved our 4 cows over to the land we rented. It’s pretty exciting because those cows needed some proper pasture. There are still potential problems ahead and issues we need to watch out for such as bloating, worms, etc. But overall, the move will be really good for the cows. It was a bit of a hassle getting them to stay in the fence. We had to turn the electric fencer off for a while to move them and we figured they’d just stay put. They, of course, did not. They walked straight through the wire and broke it and we had to herd them back in to the fenced area. That took a while. We did finally get them in and got the fence zapping. They are still getting trained to the electric fence, but they were figuring out where the boarders were and will be quite happy soon.

For now I’m going to go. I think I need a nap because I feel like I’m going to pass out… haaaaa….

~JoAnna

Up next!

I’ve wound off three more warps: two more pillow warps (5 pillows each) and my first napkin warp.

I decided to make MORE pillows since I bought 30 down pillow inserts (at a steal) and only have 19 pillow fronts. But instead of dyed pima cotton, I’ve decided to use  silk and tencel. and I’m SOOO excited! Silk and Tencel are absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to make pillows with them. 🙂

The napkins will be from 5/2 cotton (again…Well I have to use it up!) in a beautiful color sequence of yellow, pink, red and magenta. It ends up looking a bit like some form of candy. I. Can’t. Wait. I had been thinking I wasn’t going to weave any napkins after all, but then I decided I should at least try one warp of them and if they end up not being worth it, well I guess I get to keep a set of napkins. (which I would love…but I’m sure that probably won’t happen…I never get to keep anything. haha) I AM going to make at least ONE pillow for us to have in our house though. I’ve already decided. That’s. Happening. Apparently I’m liking one word sentences today.

Well I suppose I’d better go sew up some more pillows. Oy….30 pillows! That will take up the most space of my inventory BY FAR. Just the boxes containing the pillow forms are quite large! A bunch of this stuff had better sell so I don’t have to bring as much home with me!
~JoAnna

Clutch bags and place mats

Two things that I’m never sure if they are one word or two… haha. kidding. I do still think that place mats should be one word, but I get the red squiggly line when I try that so I guess it’s two.

I finished up the 7 yard place mat warp this morning. I ended up getting 9 place mats out of it instead of just 8 so that was a good surprise! (Well…9 and a half. But the half doesn’t count. I’m planning on using that little bit of fabric for something fun in the future. What you ask? Don’t know yet…)

I have had a serious fear of starting the sewing part of the pillows I wove/dyed. I don’t know what’s wrong with me! How do pillows stress someone out?! They’re soft and fluffy and they are absolutely terrifying me.

Anyway, here are some pictures of what I’ve been working on today:

I took my break a little late today, but it’s been an hour so I gotta get back to work!
~JoAnna