Thursday, July 30, 2015

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop #10



Welcome to Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop!



Be sure to Grab the new button to share somewhere on your blog or post linking back to the hop.

Lets Get Started....


 Each Host will have their own Featured post, Make sure to visit their blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don't forget to link back to one of our blogs if you'd like to be featured!)


house poor



  My Featured Post

Congratulations!
If you were featured be sure to pick up your, “Our Simple Homestead” button. We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week. 

      
Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop
blog button


You are invited to share your original posts on: Homesteading, Homemaking, and Homeschooling! There are just a few little rules to follow:





  • Family friendly posts only!
  • No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.
  • Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s blog... in your post, side bar, or blog hop page) with the button or a text link!
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.
  • Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
  • Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted


Lets Start Hopping!



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Making Felted Soap & Giveaway




Wool crafts may not be the first thing you think about in summer, but soap felting is a fun, wet project for kids and adults.

What is felted soap?

Soap covered in wool felt. It is like a wash cloth and soap in one.

Why bother felting soap?

The wool felt shrinks down with the bar of soap, so you have less soap waste.
The felt keeps the soap from being slippery.
It exfoliates the skin.
Wool is naturally antibacterial.
You can add some pizazz to your boring soap.
Makes great gifts.
Kids LOVE making it-it is messy!

There are several ways to make felted soap. I read and watched many tutorials on how others have done it. It really is simple and though there are quite a few different techniques that people use, the end result is about the same.



I am sharing what has worked best for me.

I had some goats milk soap on hand, that was a little on the soft side, even after letting it cure, so I decided to felt it. I have used other types of soap and they all work- handmade, purchased, round and rectangular. As long as it suds it should work!




I used Corriedale cross roving that I processed and dyed. Most wool roving will felt, but some does felt quicker than others. The Corriedale works great.

What you need: 
Bar of Soap
Nylon stocking
Wool Roving
A container with  warm/hot water (large bowl, pot, tub, or you can use sink)
(I used very warm/hot water, if you are doing this with children, stick to warm water)

First, pull off a piece of wool roving, and layer the wool. I lay the wool criss cross (thin layers) to set the soap on. Wrap the soap in the thin layers of wool until you can no longer see the soap. You can embellish by adding some different colors of wool.



Carefully, put the wool into the foot of the nylon stocking. At this time, I twist the nylon at the base of the soap and fold the nylon over the soap to keep the wool from shifting around too much.




Next, I wet my hands and dip the ends of the soap in the hot water. Start rubbing the soap gently adding a little water if needed. When you first start you want to be careful that the wool does not shift around too much in the stocking.



Continue rubbing the soap. I like to do two bars at once. The friction from the other bar, seems to help the felting process along.

It will get very sudsy!




Work the soap until the wool has felted. 10 minutes should do it.

Carefully take  the soap out of the stocking (sometimes the wool sticks) -you can continue to felt the wool, if it is not quite done (without the stocking)

Rinse the bar of soap, pat with towel, and let dry.




Simple as that!

My first attempt at felted soap, the wool was not quite felted enough (no patience) I used it anyway. As it was used, it continued to felt.

There really is no way to mess it up! Even the less than perfect bars can be used.

If you want to get creative, you can add flowers, polka dots etc. on the finished bars of soap using needle felting techniques. I have seen some pretty amazing bars of felted soap. I am not much of a needle felter, so I leave them just the way they are.

I have some Felted Soap Kits, that I made for a craft show that include:

A large bar of Lavender Soap (not handmade)
Wool Roving (enough to make several bars)
Nylon Stocking
Simple instructions

I am giving away one kit to three readers, enter below if interested.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hay in the Barn



There is always a sigh of relief when the winter hay is in the barn!

With first cut not being suitable for sheep we were relieved when  second cut went off without a hitch.

I love the smell of fresh cut hay!







Loading up the trailer with hay for the trip to the barn.


Five trips later, job done!

With all of the rain we have had, it was a blessing to have a week of dry weather.

Now we can breathe a little easier, knowing we can get through the winter with enough feed for the animals.




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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Our Simple Homestead #9



Welcome to Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop!


Be sure to Grab the new button to share somewhere on your blog or post linking back to the hop.

Lets Get Started....


 Each Host will have their own Featured post, Make sure to visit their blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don't forget to link back to one of our blogs if you'd like to be featured!)

Most Visited & My Featured Post

Laundry Basket Garden From Lucy's Nashville Nest



ORGANIC

Congratulations!
If you were featured be sure to pick up your, “Our Simple Homestead” button. We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week. 

      
Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop
blog button

Lets Start Hopping!

You are invited to share your original posts on: Homesteading, Homemaking, and Homeschooling! There are just a few little rules to follow:


  • Family friendly posts only!
  • No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.
  • Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s blog... in your post, side bar, or blog hop page) with the button or a text link!
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.
  • Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
  • Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted



 photo number2sig_zps2f1f6501.png

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tour De Fleece 2015-Handspinning



There is one thing I can say about the fiber community-they know how to have fun.

Right now the Tour De Fleece is going on. I jumped on board, with visions of handspinning bobbins and bobbins full of yarn. I am falling a little short of my goal, but have managed to spin a bit of yarn each day.

Ravelry is filled with pictures of bright, colorful, beautiful yarn. My yarn is a little plain in comparison. I have been spinning natural colored wool  with just a little bit of color thrown in there.

My go to roving-Border Leicester.


Border Leicester dyed Silver Gray Green





Some Blue Faced Leicester  roving I purchased at a Fiber Show. It was my first time spinning BFL and I loved it!


Natural Colored Blue Faced Leicester


Some raw Lincoln wool that I purchased at a Fiber Show It took quite a bit to wash it, but once clean it was picked and carded into roving, I loved spinning it! It has quite a bit of luster, and I am looking forward to dyeing the yarn.


Lincoln, before plied


What is on the bobbin now, is some of the Corriedale cross that was dyed with the Horsetail.

Corriedale Cross dyed with Horsetail


4 more days of spinning left....

A fun project! I was grateful for the down time.





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Monday, July 20, 2015

Dyeing with Horsetail



Dyeing with plants is more time consuming and less predictable than dyeing with acid dyes.
 Why do I continue to do it?

There is something intriguing about foraging for a plant on our property, I would normally not give a second thought to and creating something useful with it.

My latest dye experiment was with a plant called Horsetail. I noticed a large patch growing along the corner of one of our fields. I had never noticed Horsetail growing on our property before, funny how much more aware we become of our surroundings when we go into forage mode.

The ratio of plant to wool was 5 to 1. We picked more than enough, without even making a dent in the Horsetail patch.


Extracting the Dye


When I started this project, I was hoping for a pale pink....

I ended up with a shade of green. I guess soil conditions and time of harvesting can affect the color you end up with. Maybe next time...




On a side note-

Horsetail is used in folk medicine to treat urinary and bladder conditions and for healing wounds.



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Friday, July 17, 2015

Pasture Happenings in July



We have had a lot of rain this year, which makes hay season a challenge, but it has made for plenty of pasture.

The lambs are growing like weeds. If you read my Simple Life post, then you know that the lambs decided they didn't like the idea of being weaned so made a jail break. We did go through the trouble of separating them again, but this time I let some of the ewe lambs that we are keeping stay on pasture. It had been over a week of separation so a lot of the ewes finished the weaning process themselves.




We have a couple of die hard moms who are still letting their lambs nurse.

The ewes are in great shape right now, if that changes, I will need to separate the trouble makers.






Speaking of troublemakers....







All of the credit for these photos go to our resident photographer, Delaney. She always provides me with wonderful pictures to share.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!

Enjoy your weekend!



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