Sunday, 30 May 2010

Halter Training !!....Hang On !!

Zeto ... he is lovely natured
Duke, he is a lovely pest ! at times

Zullulah, she is a feisty little girl !

Zienna, she is calm and sweet natured, like her dad

What is going on with the weather...lately ! It has been torrential rain this morning ! So much so that I thought I'd need a life raft !!
As the weather was horrible, the babies were not put out until this afternoon. So I decided to do a little halter training. This is the first time we have done this, but I think that its is a worth while thing to do. If you ever need to take your animals any where, it is lovely to be able to lead them with you happily. I have a couple of girls who are not halter trained and can be a bit of a handful to say the least. So in my opinion it is a very worth while experience.

As guessed, Zienna was a sweetie, she has had more contact with me than the others, some may remember that she had to be bottle fed for the first week, as she did not bond with her mum ! for some unknown reason, and I had my hands full with Minstrel who was not a happy mother at the time, I was regularly covered in spit and the chore to feed her was a right ordeal at the time. But I persevered and we made it !! Zienna accepted the halter and she was happy to wear this without any she was left untied to get used to the idea.

I then moved onto Zeto, my grey boy. He is a little bit of a handful at times, but he is a real sweetie and in fact really does not mind any hands on contact. He was a little concerned at the over the nose idea, but once he was wearing it, he accepted it without any problem.

I did not halter Duke as he has already been acquainted with the halter, so he is a little bit in front of my babies for the moment. Mind you he is a pest...when it comes to Zullulah, my black and white girl. He loves her and would not leave us alone. I was trimming Zeto's toe nails on Friday and he was almost lying on top of me as I tried to trim Zeto's feet, he is a real pest at times, I think there was a little bit of jealousy going on, as he was not getting the attention.

Meanwhile, onto Zullulah, she is a little bit of a mardy madam, at times, she is also a bit of a flighty pants. I knew that she would be the one to put up a struggle. Firstly she protested as the halter was being fitted and then we managed to get over that hurdle, then came the bronco jumps, as she tried in vein to fight the halter off.....she was not very happy that this strange thing was still there. She calmed down a little and then she sulked and was refusing to move ! After a little while, I managed to coax her to walk forward, just a little introduction to this, as I believe, lots of little and positive is the best method.

So that was the haltering experience....for now. I shall be doing it all again, tomorrow !!
No doubt !

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Zeto has a secret Fan Club !...and so has Zullulah !!

New creation...felt brooches !
Just for you !....Zeto's secret fan club !

Zullulah is fed up of club !!

They're like a pair of negatives !!....

My team....on their holidays ! But they have their work cut out !

It has been rather muggy the past couple of days....Norris is getting used to his new look ! and has been snoozing in the shade.

I have been busy crafting my next project, I have been doing a bit of felting, I have made some brooches, I decided to give it a try and see how I got on...I actually enjoyed the whole process....after Shirley had visited...I decided to have a go at felting some....balls !.....just little ones..that were left overs off other things that I had been making. I managed to make them and made a couple more, as you do !

So...I was in a bit of a creative mood today and I decided to see it I could create some brooches.....just as a trial, I was quite pleased at the end result. I hope to be making more soon..

On the alpaca front.....Duke has got a new girlfriend, when he was with Debbie he was glued to Star's side. Well he seems to have adopted Zullulah.....he is like her shadow, every where she goes...he follows. In fact she is fed up of him being so close...and has given him his marching orders.....several times today ! He is also wearing a new 'Scruffy' look.......just in time no doubt for the shearer.......especially when you want nice chance !

Can you guess what I'm..doing tomorrow.......I have a date with Norris's fleece !!....I can't wait to give it a spin !!

I have some new woodland to do a bit of woodland management .....!! Well.. ok eat the grass...they're on their summer holidays.... can you spot them.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Norris has turned into Sponge Bob !!

Zerquo is not amused with Norris's new look !! thinking....Im not having that hair do !

Norris, must feel better with all that fleece off....

Zanubis has had a shower....

Norris....waiting for the hair dresser ..... 'what do you mean...they have been !

Well if you hadn't guessed it......Norris has a new look !!

Today, as it was so hot, I thought that I'd give Norris a new look. He has been struggling with the hot weather for the last couple of days...and I decided it was shearing time.
I have some electric clippers, I thought that I would use them, however when I went to change the blades over to clip him, I realised that they were the wrong ones !

So, I knew that I had some old hand shears...mind you they were all rusty and at one stage destined for the bin....but I decided that I might need them and hung them up in the shed....just as well I did because after I had sharpened them and give them a good wire brush...we went to fetch Norris.

By this time I had a helper, Anna had turned up to see me so she was roped in...we caught Norris and he was lead down to the building...where he grew he knew where he was and he was happy there.

At first Anna held him...and I began the task.....after a while, apparently a couple of hours we had a new look. Anna left for a smoke !! halfway through, whilst she was away. I decided to continue, Norris just stood like the perfectly behaved sheep in the whole wide world !!

He is a real star and I love him loads, when Anna came back she could not believe that Norris was standing untied and completely fantastic was that....and he has never been sheared before.

Mind you....I'm not advertising my shearing services just yet !!.....I don't care what he looks like, the whole purpose was to remove his fleece to cool him down.

As a plus....I have a whole bag of Norris's doubt I shall be spinning this...just for the love of it....I might make a lovely Norris Hat !!....

I know he was grateful.......But the Alpacas..........were not amused at his new hair dooooo !!

Typical of the has monsooned.......with thunder storms....ever since !!


Monday, 17 May 2010

From that !!

Zerquo and Zanubis are fascinated with the shawl..
Anna.... came round to do a bit of modelling !

Hand crafted by little old me ! ... with a little help from my Electric Spinning Wheel

As usual...DIY photo shoot, its the only place I can rest the camera !

Slinky...sitting on the gate..watching the world go by....

I decided to have a little photo shoot, I was tempted to do another blog yesterday, but managed to hold it off, as I had already done one !

As usual I had a little audience with my animal friends.....I have been working on another Luxury Alpaca Wrap. Well I managed to get it finished yesterday, so it was a lovely sunny day and I decided to take a couple of pictures.

I even managed to have a model turn up for the afternoon session !

I have been putting my....extreme spinning wheel into good use ! It is fantastic, and really does speed up the whole process. I have used a mixture of Zerquo, medium brown and Zanubis, rose grey to create this wrap.

After I had taken a few photos...both boys came over to me and were fascinated with the shawl, they spent ages sniffing it and were really taken by it, I think that they knew that it was them...who had donated their fleece for was marvellous how interested they were in it !

I couldn't believe it......these animals are very intelligent and have a fantastic sense of smell.

So, now that I have knitted up my doubt it will be time to get creative with the idea !
I just need to think of one ................
Meanwhile.....back to the wellies !!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Furry Bums ....

Evening Stroll......

We still have our coat on up here !
Zanubis....out for an evening stroll....

Diesel and Zonda....are also out.....for an evening stroll

Zaninni....he just looks...good and can you spot Norris !!

Tremona and Trienza...enjoying the view

Last night I decided to go for an evening stroll around the wood with the dogs. It was a lovely evening and the wood is now 4 years old. Back in 2006 we planted up just under 6 acres of mixed broad leaf trees. It is fantastic to see just how this is starting to take shape. As it was such a severe winter everything appears to be behind for the time of year. The grass is just turning the corner...and remember the muck-spreading...well that has virtually all gone !

The trees are just starting to sprout into life and although some have been damaged by the winds, most of them are doing fine, there was approx 4500 trees planted to create this new woodland. So it was inevitable that some would not make it.

It is a fantastic feeling to be able to walk around your own little woodland, hopefully in years to come, I shall still be able to enjoy it, I want to be able to look back and say....'I remember when....this was planted ....' It might be little for now..but everything has to 'grow and great things take time ' .... as we all know.

After my lovely stroll....obviously it was time to take some alpaca photos.....I'm determined to enjoy my furry its getting nearer to shearing time once again..

I always have mixed emotions about shearing, I know the alpacas must feel relieved to get rid of all that fleece, especially in the hot weather, but I do love to see them in full fleece, then I have the delight of all that lovely fleece, my imagination just runs away with the thought of what I can create with all this....and the sight of freshly sheared alpacas.........Well that just takes a bit of getting used to !

But for now.......we are still under a big blanket of fleece, so we are enjoying it all the same.

Lets face it..its hardly a heatwave !


Saturday, 15 May 2010

Tigh Mhor Visit !....

Smile for the camera....can you get much closer...Zerquo !!
The girls are looking glamorous ! usual....unlike the on-lookers!!

Minstrel is having a word with Shirley !!

Boys and Babies !!

Marquette and Me !

It might have taken a couple of days...but I usually get there in the end !

I have managed to transfer the photos, that Robbie and Shirley took of their visit to us on Monday ! I have never done this before and it was a bit of trial and error.

I forgot to take my camera out with me, so unfortunately I had no pictures of the day. Thankfully, Robbie and Shirley had remembered theirs.

So I just thought that I would share a few photos with you of our little day with the alpacas, I will have to admit to Shirley, that I had a lovely cuddle with minstrel on Friday, we had a wonderful alpaca moment and it lasted....about 15 mins !! What a way to lift your spirits, I just love her, she is a real character !.... When Shirley and Robbie was here she played had to get and would not let us cuddle her. We tried but to no avail !!

I have read that Debbie is being brave at Barnacre Alpacas..and has decided to have her animals sheared !!!......well I hope that all goes well for your shearing day. But I think under the current weather, we are going to hang on to our fleece for as long as possible......its definitely not Summer Just Yet !
In fact.....its more like.....Autumn.....Roll on the Summer .......

What's the saying.....'Don't cast a clout 'till May is out !! ;-)

They're Right !!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Designer Soap !!... & Delicious Shortbread !

Hand crafted soaps.....
Its a hard life !

My little present from Robbie and Shirley ....thank-you !

Today I have had visitors...Shirley and Robbie from Tigh Mhor Alpacas.

The time has just flew by ! It was lovely of them to come and visit us here at Zanzibah, I have often wondered about meeting them, as my shearer James Dixon always goes to shear for them after me ! Well today was that day and we had a lovely little chit-chat.

Needless, to say, Alpacas were on the agenda...we had a look at the babies....Duke was on his best behaviour and made them very welcome ! Then it was off to see the boys...we had a close inspection of them and it was over to see the girls. Minstrel was not having a cuddle today !...she was teasing us...but every time we went to stroke her, she just played hard to get !...mind you she does like to creep up on you...when you are not looking !!

We compared....spinning, yarns....bored Robbie with various knitted items....and you could hardly get a word in.....we had a private little fashion you do !!....and then before they left.....we polished off some home-made soup....and of course, there was a cake ! Robbie even managed to sneak a second piece !! it must have been nice.

We nosed at various fleeces and Shirley even had a go of my Electric Spinning Wheel !!....there's just not enough hours in the day !...for all this Alpaca-ing About !!

The weather is like winter...and we have had all the one today....starting with Sleet and Hail Showers...then Rain.....and a little bit of Sun......The wind is freezing..if I didn't know better I'd say it was January !!

Before Shirley and Robbie left, they gave me a little present...some lovely home-made short-bread and some Designer Soap.....all had crafted by Shirley !

Now, unlike me...I forgot to take my camera out...with me so I got no photos, but I have managed to take some of my little lovely soap...

I packed them off....home-ward bound, with some more cake ! especially for Robbie, I could see him eyeing it I hope you enjoyed your much as me...and the extra cake with a cuppa tea tonight.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Time to Enjoy !!

The weanlings...... enjoying their new paddock
Is it time for Bed ?


As the title would suggest, after my hectic days......its time to wind down a little !

So I have been taking it easy, over the last couple of days. I have been turning my time to doing a bit of spinning. I really enjoy this, and for some reason, its quite therapeutic. Also my electric spinning wheel is fantastic ! Gives the old knees a rest.

The alpacas are all ok, there is definite improvement with Zeuss's leg and I have only heard one cough from Zanubis ! Socks also appears to be doing what he should, so I think its safe to say, he is ok !

The babies are getting the hang of being on their own, Duke has settled in really well and they have formed a nice little group. I have wormed my weanlings last night as they were due. Today we have a little rain, so that will wash in the muck preparation for the hay crop !

Well, now we are in May, I can't believe that it will be only just a few weeks till the alpacas will be sheared again. I still have a little bit of fleece from last year's shearing batch...but I'm sure that this will be used up quickly ........ thankfully to my little electric wheel !

Oh....I thought that I would just mention...I planted 200 Daffodil Bulbs in Feb....that was late due to all the snow....we had. Well I would just like to say.....that they are all starting to grow !

I know its late....but still they are a welcome sight !

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Its a Dirty Old Job.......but someone's gota do it !!

What a Day.....ladies that lunch !.......maybe one day !!
I did have an audience......

Daisy is doing a great job...the muck heap is disappearing !!

Now, who's that handsome fella !.....he's even smiling for the camera...if you look closely.

How does the saying go .....All the gear,........and you might as well use it !!

I shall firstly start with the some may be wondering how we are getting on with one or two health issues....that I was having. Well, Socks appears to be back to normal....after my scare the other day with him, whether or not he was injured I will never know. But so far as to say he is walking, eating and behaving just as he should, I am still keeping an eye on him.

Zanubis's coughing appears to have gone ! I have him on antibiotics and cough medicine. I have not heard him cough for a couple of days, now I have said this...I bet he coughs today !

Zeuss's leg is still under treatment and I shall be re-dressing it see what it is doing, he also is on antibiotics. I shall persevere with doubt.

Now to say I have been slightly busy is an understatement......they say a picture paints a thousand no doubt you will make your own mind up !!

I have been getting my hands....dirty ! No painted a good sturdy pair of gloves required ! I have been waiting for the come and do a bit of muck-spreading !....waiting..... and, there was no other thing for it ! as the grass is just beginning to turn......its important it gets done....sooner rather than later....and I just couldn't wait any longer.....'Where there's a will'............and so on !!

Mind you, I did have a bit of a scary moment.....I shall admit to......I'm not too proud ! I drove to the top of the field..and turned the tractor round in order to go down hill......picture the scene, at this point I have about 4 ton of 'Shite' on board....!! The tractor was in four wheel drive and it just managed to pull the whole thing up the incline to the top of the field, so I decided...rather than straining it up hill, I would go down and work with gravity.........TOO WELL IN FACT.........I was having a blonde !.....moment !! I THOUGHT I WAS IN GEAR......!! I WASN'T............GRAVITY WAS WORKING A BIT TOO WELL !! ........ especially when you have all that weight...pushing you down the hill......I managed to get it under control, there are some......rather large skid the field....!! ( where else !) I'll have you know !!!!!

So....that was my only......brief encounter with....danger !! and yes Debbie, I have a safety knot in the tractor !!

I shall dust off the life insurance policy at this rate !!! :-)
As Rob would say......'To Infinity and Beyond !!' ....... Im off to find a new pair of pants !!

Get me a Whisky ! ....somebody