Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My New Friend

Well folks, my wonderful husband bought me a new computer for my birthday, so I am back to blogging!  Yay!  I almost had a cow when my photos loaded quickly and without distortion onto blogger.  Hallelujah.

So back in the fall of '11 (I know, it's been such a long time), I picked up this little baby at a local thrift store.  Isn't she cute?

As you can see, she is missing the screw that holds the presser foot in place.  Other than that, she runs great.  Whoever owned this machine before took really good care of her.

This is one of those posts that I have been wanting to do for about 4 months.  Better late than never, right? 

In other news, the goats are getting closer to their due dates and I am getting a little bit nervous!  My mother bought me an awesome kidding kit from Hoegger goat supply for Christmas, so if I do have to reach in there and pull a baby out, I'll be ready.  At least materially, anyway...

See Irma's baby bump on the right? :)

One thing that I have really loved throughout this kidding experience has been this breeding/kidding spread sheet by Molly at Fias Co Farm.  If you have goats and breed them, you should check this out!  It is extremely helpful.  I am also about to purchase an herbal pregnancy tonic for the girls from Molly's Herbals.  Whoop!

I hope you all have had a lovely holiday!  I'll be posting soon about some cool vintage finds my husband and I stumbled across while thrifting last week (ever heard of Alfred Shaheen?), so check back soon!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Plaid Dress

A little somthin' somthin' I've been working on (s-l-o-w-l-y but surely):

Version 1 (in the foreground) w/short sleeves

I had a bunch of this cotton plaid left over from my wedding and thought, "Gee, that would make a cute dress!"  

I was lazy and pinked the seams. :D  I love pinking.

The sleeves turned out nicely.  I haven't attached them yet.

An inside view of the bodice, pre-lining.

An inside view of the bodice, w/ lining pinned in place.

This is about as far as I have gotten.  I've stitched the skirt together, but still need to attach the sleeves, attach the bodice to the skirt, and finish the lining.  

I think it will be a cute one! :D

P.S. I'm pretty sure Irma is pregnant!  AH!  That means we'll have at least two baby goaties this spring...

Have a lovely December day,


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Winter Doings

I'm so sorry.  I cannot tell you how many posts I have backed up in my brain that I have not been able to actually POST because my camera and our computer seem to be incompatible.  ARGGHHH!!!

That said, I am going to try and upload a few pictures of what we've been up to at the Miller place this past month or so.  My apologies in advance for any wacky photo distortions.  Sigh.

Yep...Buttercream likes attention.

Buttercup carries our first Christmas tree!

I was finally able to use all those wonderful vintage ornaments I've been collecting for years!

Don't you just love that rubbed off, oxidized paint look?  :D

I've been working on a very cute little dress...(view 1 w/short sleeves)

It is not very cold here in north Georgia, and doesn't really feel like winter yet.  Ah well--we usually have late winters.  Maybe it will snow again in January 2012. :)

Buttercream looks more and more pregnant every day.  I'm pretty sure she will have multiples, as she has a history of twins and has given birth many times before.  Irma on the other hand, if she is pregnant, will probably only have one kid.  Angoras usually have 1-2 kids, and young/first time mothers usually only have 1.  I guess we'll see come February!

I hope you are all enjoying a lovely December so far.  Remember to sit back and enjoy the moments of your Christmas season this year.  


Saturday, November 19, 2011


Today I planted garlic.  

First I dug a 3" deep trench...

Then I pulled apart a couple heads of garlic...

Next I nestled the individual cloves into the trench, pointy side up, 6" apart.

And then I tucked the little guys in under 2" of soil for a nice, cozy winter sleep.

Hopefully they will wake up in the spring and grow nice and big for me!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Favorite Photo From Our Wedding

I going through wedding photos today, trying to pick the perfect set for our wedding photo book.  It has been awhile since I looked through all of the pictures. I forgot how beautiful they all are. :)

Out of all the photos, though, I think this one is my favorite.  Our friend Austin took this photo as we were headed to the "getaway" car after our reception.  I remember that moment--that feeling of wow, we're married!  All of the hooplah was over and done with, we were off to the North Carolina mountains for our honeymoon--off to begin our life together.  


Now that I have all of the wedding pics loaded on the computer, perhaps I will actually get to those posts about the process of our very DIY wedding. :D 

The loveliest of weekends to you!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wool Washin'

How to Wash A Fleece (using a washing machine)

Prep: Skirt your fleece and carry into the laundry room.  Lay a towel down on top of the dryer (or counter, if you have one).  You will place the fleece on this towel in-between washing/rinsing.

Step 1: Fill your washer with hot water.  Oh yeah, hot n' steamy!

Step 2: Turn off the washer.  Now add enough Dawn soap (or other detergent--I've read that Dawn is preferable) to make the water feel slippery (about 1 Cup).  Use your hand (or a spoon, if you don't want to put your hands in the hot water) to gently incorporate the soap into the water.  Don't make any suds!

Step 3: Gently place fleece into the hot, soapy water.  It is very important NOT to agitate the fleece--resist the temptation to mix or swish it around!  Agitation will cause the fibers of your fleece to weave together, making felt.  We don't want felt right now, just clean wool. ;)

Step 4: Close the washer lid and let the fleece soak for 45 minutes.

Step 5: Set your washer on the spin cycle and turn it back on.  Make sure that you don't put it on the rinse cycle or anything--JUST SPIN.  When the spin cycle is through, your fleece will look like this:

Step 6: Now take the fleece out and set on the towel.   

Step 7: Fill the washer with hot water again.  This is the rinse, so don't add any soap.  Gently place fleece back into the washer; let soak for 30 minutes.  Spin.  

Step 8: Remove fleece from washer and set on towel.
Look how clean it is!

This is my fleece after the first wash (above).  Mohair (wool that comes from Angora goats) is very fine, and often needs more than one wash.  I ended up washing/rinsing my fleece three times in all. :)  

After the first wash, you can begin separating the pieces of wool that are clean enough to dry from the wool that needs another trip through the wash.  Repeat the wash/rinse cycles as many times as needed for a lovely, clean fleece! 

This is my fleece after the second wash.  You can tell it is a little bit whiter.  Believe it or not, Irma's fleece is a true white underneath all of that dirt!

Step 9: Add 1/2 Cup white vinegar to your last rinse.  Spin. 

Step 10: Lay wool out to dry on a clean towel or drying rack.  Ta-da!

Next Step: Combing or Carding!  This is a bit of Irma's mohair that has been carded.  Isn't it beautiful?  This is just so exciting. :)

So there you have it!  My first foray into the wonderful world of wool washing.  I think it went pretty well!

Many thanks to The Joy of Handspinning for their helpful directions and advice in all areas of the spinning process. :)


Saturday, November 5, 2011


The result of a great thrifting trip--two Santa mugs, two lovely (and very old) silhouettes, and five boxes (only one pictured) of really adorable old fashioned Easter ornaments. :D  Yay!

This is so idiotic.  Will my computer and camera problems never cease?!  So I can now upload pictures from my camera to my husband's computer, which is great, as long as the stupid computer doesn't distort the stupid pictures and make them stupidly rainbow-colored.  This is extremely vexing.

I was not going to post at all until I figured out what the problem was, but then I thought it would be better to post something with slightly strange-looking pictures than to keep putting it off.  I'm already so backed up on post ideas from early fall that I still need to write!  So here is my post, and please excuse the camera issues.

Day before yesterday I began the long process of skirting Irma's wool.  In case you are wondering, skirting does not have anything to do with a familiar article of women's clothing (except, I suppose, in a very distant, circle-of-life sort of way).  To skirt wool is to pick all of the large pieces of dirt and debris from the fiber.  It is important to do this prior to washing the fleece, as pieces of leaves and moss get a bit more difficult to remove once they've been washed in. :)

After skirting wool for at least an hour, I had only gotten about 50% of the job done.  In fact, I still have only 50% of the job done.  I decided to go ahead and wash the fleece that I had skirted, and then finish the rest later.  My patience was waning--I really wanted to try my hand at wool washing! 

After reading several different versions of "How to wash a fleece 101", I decided to go with the washing machine method.  It seemed to me that this would be a bit easier to handle, and I like the idea of being able to extract water from the wool via the spin cycle rather than by hand squeezing (during which it is possible to agitate and felt the fleece).   I will do a post on the washing process later.  For now here are some pictures of the skirting process.  Enjoy!


This little strand of fleece is called a staple.  Fleece that has a long staple is very desirable, as it is easier and smoother to spin.  The fleece that grows around the neck and shoulders of an animal typically has the longest staple, and is therefore the most valuable. 

See this little booger?  This piece of moss is an example of the sort of thing that needs to be skirted.  The smaller bits of dirt and dust will typically fall out during the combing process, so they don't matter as much.

I think this is the most distorted image, but you can still see the result of a small bit of skirting--lots of little leaves and twigs. 

That's a lot of wool!

Did you know that one sheep's fleece can typically make about 3-4 sweaters?  

Alright--I've got to go give my fleece its final rinse.  Have a great weekend!


Thursday, November 3, 2011


I finally figured out how to load pictures from my camera onto my husband's mac.  HALLELUJAH!




Isn't she adorable?

Alright, more to come!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Seriously, I am about to let the goats eat my computer.  It has officially gone berserk, and won't even let me upload photos of Irma's first hair cut to share with you!!!  ARG!

I finally got my beloved sewing machine back, and have been working on several sewing projects which I would like to share with you as well.  As soon as I figure out how to load my photos onto my huband's mac I promise I will post.

Until then, imagine Irma with half of a hair cut.  Oh, and imagine two lovely regency era dresses--one navy blue, and the other a beige-ish color with little pink flowers.  Imagine me finishing my red corduroy coat (yay!), and helping my sister Susanna with her first sewing project--a camel coat of her own design.  Fun stuff!

I hope you all are having a lovely October!  Are the colors changing as vividly where you are as they are here in the Georgia mountains?


Monday, October 3, 2011

Knit A Dress A Day

So fast it's truly incredible
Make a dress in only 6 hours
A complete wardrobe in a week!

Knit-A-Dress-A-Day was published in 1968, and was meant to be used with the "revelutionary" new Jumbo Jet needles, which look to be about an inch in diameter, judging by the photo in the introduction.  It is quite a novel idea--who doesn't want a complete wardrobe of giant-knit mini dresses???  You could make one in every color!

Here are some of my favorite selections.  Enjoy!

 The Demure Miss


 Rich Boy Sweater 

 Miss Liberty

Short Sleeve Irish Fisherman

Triple Monique

 Metallic A-Line (I really just like her hair)

 Triple Treat

 Between Seasons

Sugar and Spice

What do you think?  Are you inspired? :)


In other news, I harvested some sunflower seeds today for the first time!  

Aaannnndddd, I made some bread yesterday that turned out quite well, if I do say so myself.  

I do not have a mixer, so I kneaded the dough by hand.  This usually results in a denser loaf of bread, so I was pleasantly surprised when mine came out relatively light and with a pretty nice crumb!

You can tell that the crumb is a bit denser on the bottom than at the top.  Ah well, hopefully I can perfect this lovely art of hand-kneading.  I would really love to get better at it so that I can make delicious, healthy bread on a regular basis.  Plus, it'll probably buff-up my arms...

Well, that's all for now.  Sewing machine should be up and running soon, so keep an eye out for fall sewing projects!

God bless,