Thursday, December 6, 2018

New focus for the New Year coming up

After much thought about it, I've decided to really change the direction of my little business.  Since there are only so many hours in a day in which to get things done, I am going to simplify and concentrate my efforts in fewer places and perfect what I do.

In 2019 I am going to focus on improving both my spinning and my weaving.  I won't be doing any needle felting, or crocheting, or at least very, very little of each.  Those two crafts are okay, but what I really, really love to do is spin yarn, and now weave.  So those are the two crafts I am going to do from now on. 

I also want to get this farm really looking nice, get my flower gardens re-done and expanded.  The goats are going to get more care next year, and I am going to ride my horse a little!  The last few years I've been trying to do too much and therefore, nothing was done well.  Since my husband is the one working off the farm to pay the household bills, I stay home and keep the place going.   My income only comes from what I can make and sell.  And that has to be enough to buy all the animal's feed and care, plus any supplies I need, etc.  I've been falling a bit short every year, so I really need to concentrate on making things that people want and need, like kitchen towels, wearable accessories, etc..  Kitchen items out of cotton and or linen, and cashmere, silk, and combinations of those for scarves and shawls.  Once in a while there will be something made out of wool or even acrylic for those people allergic to wool or cashmere.

So be watching for changes to come to my website soon!  I have changed up a few things already, but I'm thinking of overhauling the whole thing.  Any ideas for improvements would be appreciated!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Having fun weaving

 Here are some of my weavings.  The top one is a silk cashmere scarf.  I sold that.
 This one is a yak/silk blend scarf, with the warp being commercial silk yarn, and the weft is some yak/silk that I spun up.  I was a bit nervous using this nice handspun yarn in my second scarf made from handspun, but it turned out beautifully and is for sale on my website.
This third one is the first one I wove out of all my handspun cashmere, both warp and weft.  It's a nice dense (translate very warm!) short scarf perfect for tucking into the open collar of a jacket to keep you toasty warm. It too is for sale on my website.  There are a few other items on there also.  All have a holiday discounted price. My website

  We are having a mild winter, compared to last year.  Only a little over an inch of snow on the ground, which came last night and today.  I guess since it's the first of December, a little snow is in order.
  November was quite the month physically, for me.  The first week I slipped and fell flat out on my back.  That actually re-aligned my entire spine, I felt pops and shifts all the way up and down.  The second week I had a metal t-post for fencing fall over and hit me square on the bridge of my nose.  I did not even see it coming.  That hurt!  Thank Heavens it didn't hit either of my eyes or break something!  Third week I pulled a groin muscle reaching with my leg and foot over to let the friction brake on my floor loom loose.  That only lasted a day and a half.  Then I fell asleep at my computer and hyper stretched my neck as my chin went onto my chest, and totally froze everything.  I'm still recovering from that.  I went to an acupuncturist on Thursday, which helped immensely.  I'm almost back to normal.  Except I can't turn my head to the left or right.  I have another appointment on Wednesday coming up, which should get me completely flexible again. December has got to be an easier month on me!
  All but one doe who I'm waiting on, are now bred.  I only bred 7 does this year.  I don't need a bunch of new goats next year, I have too many things going on to take proper care of a big herd now.
  I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday Season this year! 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Almost Thanksgiving already

Man, this year sure has gone by fast!  T-day is next week!  We just have a little bit of snow on the ground in places.  There is a lot of bare ground now.  Sunshine is in the forecast from now until Thursday, when there is a slight chance of a little snow shower.  The forest service road is icy in a couple of places.  I had the studded snow tires put on Wednesday, but when I went down today, the truck still slid a bit in a couple of places, and I was going slowly.  Luckily it's only a couple of short sections that have ice, the rest is pretty bare. 

We got the puddle/pond filled in with gravel!  It is sooo nice to drive through there without having to go through water, which would be there now, if it wasn't filled in.  The neighbors pitched in and helped pay for it, too, which was nice.  Now when we have hipcampers next spring, they can get to our place with no problem, in any kind of vehicle. 

Today I put some plastic up around the top section of the hayshed where the plywood didn't quite reach the top, and also put a couple of tarps over the two openings so when it does snow and blow, the whole shed won't get covered in a layer of snow in there.  That will also keep it from being a wind tunnel in there whenever the wind blows.  My dream is to have a real barn one of these days!   Next project is to rebuild the west wall in the animal part of the shed so there is more room in there for the horse.   Since my husband seems to slide backwards down our driveway every year and take out a portion of the fence, tomorrow we are going to take the whole fence down and move it back behind the line of trees so that doesn't happen any more.  My poor truck is looking pretty beat up. 

My weaving is improving little by little.  For the rest of the month I need to focus on getting 9 Christmas ornament bears needle felted for a couple of orders I have for them.  Then it's back to weaving and spinning cashmere!

My thoughts and prayers go out to the people and animals in the path of the wildfires burning in California.  Seems every year CA either gets mudslides and floods, or more often than not, forest and wild fires!  It makes me think we have to do some more thinning around our place so if/when we get a forest fire out here, we will survive it!  We've done a bunch of thinning, but the trees have grown quite a bit in the 5 years since the first area was thinned, and there are some more trees that need to come out in that area.  Since we are supposed to have a drier, milder winter this year, I think we should be doing that all winter so we are prepared for next summer.  All the surrounding land is thickly forested, so we need to have a good buffer zone around our perimeter to counteract that if we do have a fire up here.

If you would like to see lots of pictures of the goings on around the farm, please check out my Instagram feed @cashmereannie.  I have over 1000 pictures on there now. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all the Americans reading this!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Fall musings

Time to downsize the buck population around here.  Moonshine and his son Thunder are looking for new homes.  They are related too closely to 99% of the does here, so I can't use them.   They need a new batch of girls to go to.  Moonshine is only 3 years old, and Thunder is just a yearling.  He does need his feet trimmed, which I will don my coveralls to do so I don't end up stinking like him.    

 I made 3 of these "farmhouse" towels recently on my rigid heddle loom.  They turned out quite well.  I'm in the process of making a new warp for my floor loom and using the warping board for the first time to do it.  So far it's working out pretty good.  As long as I remember which way to go around the pegs at the cross, I'll be okay.  Once nice thing about having a sectional warp beam is I only have to do 48 threads at a time.  Each section gets wound on separately, so I think I'll be okay with this!  I must say, warping a rigid heddle loom is much faster and easier I think. :-)
We are, after 24 years, finally getting the driveway graveled!!  This year is mainly filling in the big puddle/pond we have to drive through every spring.  No more having to drive through water!  Yay!!  Even though we are supposed to have a warmer and drier winter than last (thank heavens!) I still think we will have enough snow that in the spring there will be standing water, at least for a little while.  But, not in the driveway!  That is going to be so nice!! I will post a picture or two after it's all done.  If you follow me on Instagram @cashmereannie you can see in progress photos, plus about a thousand other pictures of happenings on the place. 

Jimmy, the boer/nubian buck I had went to a new home and batch of girls this week.  It is so much quieter and less smelly around here now that he's gone!  He was the noisiest buck I've ever had.  He makes some pretty strange sounds when in rut. :-)  He is also a very manageable guy.  Even in full rut, with a doe in season, he let me put his collar and leash on, lead him through the pen, down the driveway, and he jumped right in the back of the truck to eat his little grain treat I had for him.  Then when we got to the veterinary to get his blood drawn, he was patiently standing around waiting for over a half hour without making a fuss, and stood perfectly still while the needle poked into his neck and the blood was extracted.  Then when we got to his new place, he jumped out and walked beside the new owner to his new pen, taking in everything calmly and curiously.  Too bad I couldn't use him around here anymore, there aren't too many bucks that calm and easy going out there!  None of my cashmere boys have been, anyway.

I am now the president of our local weavers and spinners guild for next year!  This could be interesting.  I have a really good vice-president, so between her and I it should be a fun year.  The rest of the board is very competent, too, so I will have an easy job, I think.

Well, that's it for this session.  Hope you are having a great autumn and winter won't be too hard on you, wherever you are.  I am seeing the east is supposed to have a bad winter this year, so I hope it isn't overwhelming to anyone!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Bye, Bye Facebook

I feel so good right now!  I've been thinking about leaving facebook for a while now, and today my account got hacked, which was the last straw, so I deleted my accounts.  I'm on Instagram @cashmereannie, I have my website, email, phone/text if anyone wants to contact me.  Now I won't be wasting so much useless time, and will be more productive on what really needs doing around here!  I might even start posting on my Youtube channel and make some useful content on there. :-)  I think I might get serious on Pinterest, too. We'll see.  Anyway, Bye, Bye Facebook!

Autumn is here!

Autumn is here, my favorite time of the year!  The fall colors are pretty, the bugs are disappearing, the temps have cooled off, it's a great time of the year.

                                              Pretty sunsets, which happen all year, actually.
               The last of the flowers in bloom, they make me happy every time I walk by here.
 The onion harvest this year.  Not a bad one at all.  I made an onion pie last night and it was quite tasty!
 And most exciting, I got a floor loom!  A four-shaft older Leclerc Nilus.  I am having fun exploring all the possibilities with it.  This is my first sample.  I got the loom at an estate sale, along with a rather substantial stash of yarn to go with it, plus some other fiber related items and books.  Quite a haul!  The loom hadn't been used in quite a few years, the woman had been dead for a good two years, and she hadn't been able to use it for a while before she died.  It needed a good cleaning, and it was ready to go.  In the yarn stash I found some already chained warps, so I decided to start with one of those, and use the tie-up she had on the treadles as is.  Since I don't know what I'm doing on this yet, I decided that would be a good way to go.  Turns out it was set up as a twill, and I really didn't warp the loom right.  It has a sectional beam, and I didn't know that was done differently than a regular beam, so I didn't get enough of the threads on there to begin with.  I was wondering why there were left over bundles, now I know. :-)  But, by the time I figured that out, I was too far along to unwarp and start over, so I went with it.  It's okay, but I know what to do a bit better for next time.  It's a 15 yard warp, so I have lots of sampling to do with it yet!  I think I will re-tie the treadles in a different way and see what happens.  So much to learn!
This is from a person who said not too long ago, "I will never take up weaving, it doesn't interest me at all, the warping is way too hard".  Ha!  Never say never.  It was strange, I went over to a friend's house that has a floor loom and was helping her tie up her treadles and get it ready for weaving, and the fear seemed to melt away and everything became an interesting challenge to figure out and do.  So, here I am, with both a rigid heddle loom and a floor loom.  Once I get a studio so I have room for everything, I will probably get a table loom, too!  I'm going deep down the rabbit hole with this!  Our little 765 square foot house has been taken over by my fiber things.  We don't have a living room anymore, the looms have claimed that.  Every room is half full of fiber related things.  I think the kitchen is the only room that doesn't have something related to fiber in it at all times.  I do wash fleeces and dye yarn in there, though.  I just get everything cleaned out and up before I do any cooking of food.  Anyway, I really, really need a fiber studio so I can everything in one place and we can have the house back! 

It's looking like we are finally, after 24 years of living up here, going to get the puddle/pond in the driveway filled in and the driveway graveled!!!!  No more lake to drive through in the spring!  It won't be so dusty, either.  The dirt around here turns to talcum powder when it's dry, so everything is thickly coated in dust.  It turns to slime when it's wet, too.  Gravel is way overdue!   The one new neighbor is willing to pitch in to get it done, so away we go.  Before this, nobody else wanted to spend the money to get it fixed, even though all our lives would be much better and easier with it done.  Now finally someone besides us is willing to do it.

Anyway, happy fall to everyone! 

Monday, August 27, 2018

A little rain!

We finally got a little rain overnight!  1/4 of an inch.  It was quite chilly today, one can tell summer is on it's way out.  The air is clean today.  No smoke here for the first time in weeks.  I have the wood stove going.  The heat from it feels good.  It was nice today to be outside with no yellow jackets around!

 A week ago last Saturday, I got stung right in the inner wrist on my blood vein by a yellow jacket.  The venom got main-lined into my bloodstream and I had an interesting reaction to it.  I was in the middle of doing chores, luckily I had finished with most and only had the dairy goats to feed and milk, and the eggs to gather.  After a couple of minutes, I started itching and burning like mad.  I went in the house and looked in the mirror and saw I was getting hives all over me!  I put some of my magic lotion on that, and it took care of the burning and itching.  Then I decided to soak my wrist in some Epsom salts to see if that would draw out the venom a bit.  As I was doing that, I all of a sudden got quite dizzy, the world started to fade around the edges.  I barely made it to the recliner, where I kicked back and either passed out or fell asleep for a bit.  I had a weird whooshing/ringing in my ears, too.  I sent up a prayer for the healing angels to come down and remove the toxin from me.  I checked in with muscle testing to see if I was dying.  It said I wasn't, that I would be better and able to milk the goats at the proper time, and that I would be fine by the time John got home.  Since I wasn't going to die, I decided to just deep dive into the experience and see what happened.  It was an interesting experience, for sure.  When I came to, I felt good enough to go milk, etc.  By the time John got home at 11 pm, I was feeling pretty much back to normal, except for my forearm was very swollen and itching like mad.  The hives were completely gone, couldn't even tell I had had them.  I think I was "out of it" for about 15 to 20 minutes.  The next day my arm was still really swollen, it looked deformed.  By Tuesday, it was back to normal and everything is good again.  I've been stung twice more since then with no reaction at all.  Those yellow jackets are mean little buggers!   All the traps, ammonia water, etc, is finally starting to noticeably thin out their numbers.  They still are plentiful around any water source, but are gradually getting out of the garden area.  The hum isn't nearly as loud as it was a month ago.  I also got stung by a Bald Faced hornet on the back of my neck.  Except for the initial sting, that got no reaction at all.  Not even very painful.  Seems every year we get some kind of pest/plague around here.  Last year it was rodents, this year buzzing beasts.  Deer have been plentiful in past years.  Stink bugs.  Always something.  At least it's only one kind at a time! 

The hay shed is torn down and the new section put up.  It looks so much better.  We have decided to add on one more section again for the ATV and trailers that go with it.  The hay bales need a bit longer space to fit in, so one end won't be out in the weather. 

The Hipcamp thing went well this year.  I think we are done for the year now.  We don't have any more bookings, and it's getting late enough in the year, that I doubt anyone will come now.  It was fun meeting all of them and visiting with them a bit.  All were very nice, and left clean campsites.  The extra income came in very handy, too!  And, if there hadn't been yet another fire in Glacier Park that closed down the west side, we might have had one or two more campers.  Oh well.  Hope next year there aren't any fires anywhere!

Well, back to needle felting 12 little bears for an order I got.  I'm almost done with the 4th one, so I will finish that tonight, and work again on them tomorrow.         

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Some pictures

The poles from the roof of the hay shed.  Going to make some great firewood!

 Almost done tearing things down.  As you can see, things are leaning a bit.  So much clean up to do!  Out of destruction comes a new, nicer set-up.  It just takes a lot of work to get there!
 The porch garden this year.  Flowers are so cheerful.

A couple of the garden beds.  The cabbage is doing well this year!

 The last and my favorite, tree lily to bloom this year.  I love this yellow color!

So Smokey

This seems to be the norm for summers now.  About August we get forest fires going and then get smoked out.  Seems the whole West is on fire again this year.  I really feel for everyone being burned out.  I am so glad we did the major thinning around here that we did.  I feel a bit safer now.   

Despite the heat and dryness, the garden is doing well.  Zucchini is producing quite a lot, after waiting so long for the first one to grow, they are coming on strong now!  We will be getting a second crop of peas this fall.  Did you know that if you don't pull up the pea plants after the first harvest, they will produce more again in about a month or so after the first crop?  Most of the plant dies off, but there is a little new growth that comes on and produces a new crop of peas.  Not the prettiest plants in the garden, but they have food on them!

The yellow jackets are still around in droves.  We found a nest when we tore down the hay shed that was quite large.  Got rid of that, but it didn't seem to make much of a dent.  Then I put out water with ammonia in it, that kills some. I put that up off the ground so the toads don't get into it.   I have 6 of those yellow traps set out, those are catching a lot, but there still are thousands.  I don't know where the nests are, but man, they keep coming!  The hornets have thinned way down.  There was a large nest way up in an Aspen tree down by the hipcamp site that we got rid of.  That seemed to help a lot.  There are still a few, but not nearly as many. 

The major project for this year is tearing down the hay shed that is rotting away.  Every post is rotted, so the whole thing won't survive another winter.  We tore down the majority of it, up to the combing room.  We re-enforced that and kept it up, but everything else came down.  Now I am going to add a smaller addition to house the straw and the one big bale of hay I get at a time these days.   It's amazing how much stuff accumulates around here under roofs.  John made a dump run yesterday with all the stuff that wasn't needed, and was pretty much just junk that was stored in the shed.  Lots of wasted space.  I built it back when I was getting small bales of hay, 780 a year.  Now that I'm getting the big bales, I don't need all that room.  Plus the dehairing room was in there when I had the machine, too.  Now, I'm just adding a 10 foot by 18 foot addition onto the combing room to keep the straw dry, and to hold the bale of hay.  It should work good.  Then we will have a lot more parking room in the driveway, too.  Room for more snow.  Things get a bit tight around here when we have winters with a lot of snow.  I'll post pictures soon of all the changes. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Life in the woods

Life is always interesting when you live in the woods.  Critters of all kinds and incidents of all kinds are always a possibility.  For instance, this little toad was on our freezer one morning.  How it got there, I  have no idea.  The freezer is in our porch, which is fully enclosed.  I put it back outside in the front flower garden where it could hide quite well.   

This bobcat was caught on the game camera the other day.  That would explain all the barking the dogs have been doing lately.  Glad we have the dogs to keep critters like this away from the goats and chickens. 

We are being taken over by Yellow Jackets and hornets this year.  They haven't been this bad in a good 10 years.  There are literally thousands of them in the garden.  They aren't stinging me at all, just going after the moisture in the grass and veggies.  They aren't eating any of the raspberries, or any vegetable, but going out there is a bit nerve-wracking.  I still harvest things, I just don't look too closely at my surroundings, I concentrate on what I'm harvesting. :-)

On Saturday I witnessed an interesting happening.  I heard a ground squirrel squeaking quite loudly and harshly up on the hill behind the house.  I went up to investigate, and here was a weasel killing it!  A raven was watching the whole thing, till I came along, then it flew off.  The weasel ignored me for the most part, I was about 50 feet away and inside the fence.  The squirrel was bigger than the weasel, but the weasel won, eventually.  I left, so I don't know what happened, if the raven came back and got it, or the weasel got to keep his prize.  I hope it sticks around and gets rid of all the ground squirrels!  That would be nice.  It would eat well, and we would be rid of the pests.  They have started getting in the garden a little.  Ate the lettuce, and some of the carrot and radish tops.  The lettuce was past it's prime anyway, we only lost a couple of meals of that.  The roots are still there on the carrots and radishes, so we'll still get those.

We got some excellent heads of cauliflower this year!  The first time in history that we got actual heads that were big enough to do something with.  The variety of broccoli John planted didn't grow well, so that was pretty much a wash.  Got a couple of quarts frozen, but that was it.  Ate a few meals fresh, but didn't get enough to go through winter with. 

We haven't had a decent rain in over a month.  It is quite dry and hot outside.  Everything except the garden is turning brown.  I think we are in stage 1 fire restrictions now.  Parts of the country are getting way more than enough rain, and other parts aren't getting any.  It sure will be nice when the planet balances out and we have moderate weather everywhere again.  That might not happen for many years, but one day it will.
  We also had a little bat get in the house.  Not sure how that happened, either.  John took his little aquarium fish net and put it over it and gently carried it outside and let it crawl out and fly away.  Life is always interesting around here!   

Monday, July 2, 2018

Is it really July already?!

 My new fiber medium!  I've taken up weaving on a rigid heddle loom and I love it!  I like it better than crocheting by a long ways.  I will still do some crocheting, but this is now my main thing. 
  I haven't done any needle felting for a long time, I think I've lost my enthusiasm for that almost entirely.  I still have a lot of cashmere that isn't good for spinning, so I will get back into felting pretty soon.

This table runner (not a very good picture) is made out of 3/2 mercerized cotton.  Trying different pick up stick patterns.  Very fun!

This is a linen washcloth I made.  I made three of them, slightly different patterns with each one.  I'm using this one and I love it!  Linen is a wonderful feeling fabric to use on one's face. 

 This one is the same color as the one above, but for some reason it doesn't show that in this picture.  I think I will be weaving some more of these and maybe making a gift set with a bar of my goat milk soap included.  Or maybe get really fancy and make a face towel, washcloth and bar of soap in a set.  What do you all think?
This is a table runner I made out of 5/2 perle cotton.  I used some lace techniques on this one. 

This is a table runner and 4 placemat set I made.  My table isn't big enough to spread it out properly.  The table runner is 41 inches long.  I need a rectangular table to set it up properly.  This is made out of cotton, too, although I'm not sure of the size.  More pick up stick techniques. 
I'm re-doing my website and changing the pages, etc, to better serve my new direction I'm heading in.  It's a work in progress right now.  I do have a newsletter sign up form on the home page if you'd like to sign up to receive twice monthly updates about happenings on the farm and new creations I'm making, with some behind the scenes photos.  I'll start sending that out the middle of this month.  There will probably be some special deals occasionally for my newsletter subscribers.

I hope you all are having a good start to your summer/winter.  Happy 4th to those in the USA! 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The winter that doesn't want to end

  We got another 2 inches of snow today.  Just when I thought spring might really be here, it was not to be.  The baby goats were not happy.  Speaking of which, there are 13 kids now, with 4 more does due the end of April and into May.  I don't have any pictures on my computer yet, they are all on my phone.  I do have plenty of pictures on my Instagram page @cashmereannie, if you have an Instagram account. 

  I got one box of my dehaired cashmere back.  It is nice!  I've spun up one ounce so far.  Weaving has taken over my interests for the moment.  On a rigid heddle loom, but it sure is fun.  I am taking a beginning weaving workshop next week end to learn how to use a tabletop 4 harness loom.  I don't have room for a tabletop or any other loom in this house.  Acquiring one will have to wait till after my fiber studio is up and running.  Then I'll have room for a few more fiber tools, and, we will have the living room back!  My fibery stuff has pretty much taken over the whole house now.  The husband is finally getting on board with the idea that I really do need a fiber studio so I can move out of the house and get my stuff all in one place, organized and easy to find!

If the snow ever does melt (there is still over a foot of it on the ground), I will be able to get started on clean up and organizing the homestead.  Lots of projects planned for this summer! 

One of these days I really will get some pictures on here of the kids and everything else that's worthy around here! 

Monday, February 12, 2018

New things for the new year!

I haven't had internet service for almost a month.  Now we got it last Friday.  Expensive, but it's working great so far. Way faster than the old internet service we used to have!   I also got a new "refurbished" computer with Windows 10 on it.  I had Windows 7 before, so this is taking some getting used to!  There are all sorts of differences, some of which I haven't figured out yet.

My horse Lark is doing great.  I can hardly wait till the snow is gone and it warms up so I can really start riding her!  She is such a pretty girl.

We keep getting warm spells followed by cold snowy spells.  Our road is pretty narrow as usual for this time of year.  At least this year all the neighbors are working together to keep it open.  Tomorrow I will be going out and clearing out the turnouts again.  We had quite a storm last Thursday with about 8 inches of snow.  Then it got down to the single digits, so I didn't go out on the atv to do any plowing.  It is just too cold for me to do that any more.  Tomorrow it's supposed to be warmer and sunny, so I will be able to go out without freezing to death.  The road is 4 miles long, and by the time I'm heading home, I am really cold, even when it's warmer out.  I put on as many layers as I can and still be able to move, so I'm warm for most of the time, but the last mile I always get quite chilled.  Good thing the house is nice and warm!  I huddle up to the wood stove and warm right up again.

No babies yet.  The first ones are due around the 25th of March.  Hopefully it's warmed up and the snow is gone by then!  It's going to be interesting what comes out this year.  Jimmy the Boer/Nubian buck I have, got out and bred more does than I realized back in October.  So there is going to be an interesting mix of Cashmere, Boer, and Nubian kids out there.  Could be a good thing, or not.  We'll see!  Might end up sending some to the auction as meat goats.

I've taken up weaving!  I got a rigid heddle loom for Christmas.  I am really having fun with it, and am making all sorts of fun things.  I will be launching a Spring Collection in my Etsy shop in March.  All sorts of good things will be available!  Stay tuned!  

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

2018 is a new year for a new me.  I am changing a lot of things in my life and business this year.  Restructuring a lot.  Last year was not the best year I've ever had, it was one of the worst, financially.  The needle felting made me the most money, the crocheting the least, none of which even came close to breaking even, let alone make a profit.

*There were some good things last year.  The goats were healthy all year long.  I got a good cashmere harvest off them, which I just got sent off to be dehaired the week before Christmas.  I'll get that back just about the time I finish combing out this years' harvest. 
*I was/am the winter president of the weavers and spinners guild I belong to.  Not sure how good a job I'm doing, but they wanted me to do it again this year, so I must be okay at it. 
*We had a good pumpkin harvest out of the garden.  There are still 4 left!
*I signed us up for Hip Camp, we have two campsites on our place.  Had a couple of campers a week until the fires and smoke ran all the tourists away in late August and September.  Hopefully we'll have a steady stream of campers this year.  We got a late start on it, I only signed up in July.
*We had some great helpxers last year!  Hope to get some more this year.  Lots of projects to do, as usual.
*I got an Arabian horse again!!  I can hardly wait till spring to start riding her.  I need to sell my old saddle and get one that fits her, first.  I have the saddle at a saddle shop in Kalispell on consignment.  Hope it sells before March!!
*I'm learning how to weave!  My Christmas present this year is a 28" Ashford Knitters Loom, which is a folding rigid heddle loom.  John ordered it the day after Christmas. I have always said I would never ever take up weaving, the warping was too complicated and involved.  Then I found out about rigid heddle looms and I got an urge to check those out.  I borrowed one from a friend for a month, then rented the guild's loom, and now am waiting for mine to arrive sometime between the 4th and 9th of this month.  I can hardly wait!  I got addicted to weaving right away.  I've made 9 projects so far.  Scarves and a little bag to hold my sunglasses.  I don't know if I will ever go beyond a rigid heddle or not.  I want to master that before expanding to anything bigger.  I will need a craft studio before I get anything bigger anyway.  There is barely room in this house for a rigid heddle one!  I am encroaching farther into the living room as it is.  We got rid of the couch a couple of months ago, now there are only two recliners in there. :-)   When I set up the folding table to warp the loom on, it takes up the whole living room area.  Yes, we have a very small house! 

2018 is going to be a year to get things done around here.  I am building a craft studio starting as soon as the snow is gone and the ground has dried out a bit.  That is the first project, and we will expand from there.

May this year be the best year yet, for all of us!!