Monday, March 28, 2016

Floor lamp fun

Upcycling this lamp has been so much fun.  My inspiration came from a lamp we bought at an art gallery in Floyd, VA a few weekends ago.  It's way more refined and finished but it gave me something to strive for.  Here's the inspiration lamp by Susan Icove.
This lamp was made from all kinds of interesting things like copper piping, rubber tubing, bread basket, cake tin, fire place tool stand, rubber gasket, topped off by an awesome shade.

After bringing home the cool lamp I remembered we had this very old rusty floor lamp in our basement so I decided to clean it up.  It's probably from the 20s or 30s and no longer worked.  Neither James nor I can remember where it came from.  Originally it had a globe on the top but it's long been missing.

The base was rusted through.
I cleaned and sanded everything and removed all the old cracked wiring then cleaned, repainted and  rewired it.  I replaced the candelabra sockets and had to buy a socket reducer for the upper bulb because it was for a mogul bulb and it's hard to find them anymore.  Now we can use a regular light bulb.  I did a preliminary wiring to see if switches worked.

Above the sanded, repainted base I put some vinyl albums (Urban Cowboy and Mary Poppins).
A little higher is a plumbing hose I found at Home Depot on the sale rack for $3.00.  Atop the hose is a piece of copper, forming the plate beneath an old pewter cream pitcher.
I'm not finished with the candelabras yet but you can see here how I used another small piece of copper to place a cloisenet napkin ring on that James got from his grandparents.  All the candelabras will have them and I'll also place copper tubing over the cardboard that covers the sockets.
Where the old globe used to be now sits a chocolate vodka bottle that I cut the bottom out of.
Resting on the neck of the bottle is the center of an angel food cake pan that I drilled holes in and will eventually rivet the copper shade to.
The lamp shade is made from a piece of leftover roofing copper that I cut, hammered, torched, bent and riveted.  Here it is before forming it into a shade.
And here's the shade almost complete.
It may not be up to artist, Susan Icove's standards but I don't pretend to be an artist.  I just love to create things and see what I can learn in the process.  

Saturday, March 19, 2016


Rudy has gotten way more active these past few days so he's been exploring this fenced in area during the daytime hours when it's nice out.  I put Baxter in with him so he wouldn't be lonely; also to see if Baxter would stay in the fence.  He's been leaving our property lately so we can't let him run loose anymore.  He's a digger so I fully expected him to dig his way out and leave Rudy alone.  Baxter did stay in the fence and he and Rudy looked pretty content.  They were curled up together for a while but then I guess it got too hot so they found their own places to lounge.

Rudy's been staying in the chicken barn but he's got to be bored.   I don't want to leave him in the fence alone at night though so the barn is the only option until he's big enough to be with the goats, cows, donkey and dogs.  I took him down to meet them and all went well.  He'll be happy when he can stay down there with them but I'm not ready for that yet.  He's got some growing to do.  Also, he gets a bottle 5 times a day so this is more convenient.  He gets house privileges every now and then.  It's raining today so he's in the basement napping on a blanket while I make cheese.  Yesterday he was very wound up and tap danced on our floors.

This isn't lamb related but I thought you might enjoy watching a goat kid's fascination with a donkey.

Very soon Willo's tail will be much shorter.  The kids actually chew it off.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Karen has a little lamb

Meet Rudy.

He's 2 days old and already stealing our hearts.  He was a triplet and pulled from his mom so the other two could grow bigger and he could come live with us and be spoiled.  Works for everyone.  Already he's a fan of goat milk.  The rag on him is a diaper, not a bandage.

I'm going to be out of town today but he'll be in good hands.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Luti's girls, Linus and Lucy

I know you're thinking Linus is a boy's name but my niece came up with the names and she and I decided Linus could be a girl's name too.  This is Lucy. Every year it seems Luti has one white kid.
I love the white ones.
Linus is more colorful.
I had said I wasn't keeping any kids this year but I'm so tempted to keep these girls.
Luti was in early stages of labor when we left for Ohio on Friday morning.  It was so hard to leave her.  I could have cried.  Ok, maybe I did a little.  My farm sitter said she had them about 3 hours later.  All went well.  Marilyn has been calling Linus, Stubborn Sally because she would just lick the teat instead of sucking.  I think she may not be quite as bright as Lucy but she does suck and appears to be healthy.  Luti has never had problems kidding and is a good mom.  Usually.

Tonight I had to question how good of a mom she is this time.   We returned home after dark this evening but I just had to see the kids so I drove down to the barn.   I couldn't believe it when I saw these darlings all by themselves.  Lucy was sleeping on the milking stanchion inside the cattle panels where the big animals can't get.  Linus was curled up in another corner.  There were no other goats or guardian dogs anywhere nearby.  They didn't even hear or see me drive up.  They must have been sleeping near the other run in shed.  Why would Luti leave her babies all alone and why would the dogs do the same, I wondered.  Finally I called them and they all ran to see me.  Darla's kids were with her.  Luti let the girls nurse and acted nonplussed when I scolded her.  It's really interesting how some mothers are super attentive and overprotective and then others, like Luti, expect the kids to be more independent.  Pessa would never leave her kids like Luti did tonight.  I have to admit Pessa can be kind of annoying the way she hovers over them for so long and won't go out to graze or let any of the other goats near her kids.  Maybe she'll be different this year.

None of the other girls are due till April so these 4 kids will get lots of cuddles.  I was also pleased to see tonight Darla's kids are doing great.  Hopefully tomorrow I'll get some videos of everyone.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Darla, Dahlia and Delilah

Darla was the first to kid this year with two healthy doelings.    We're calling them Dahlia and Delilah.  I'm thinking all the kids will be named with the first initial of their mom this year.  Delilah is the cutie on the right with the crazy ear.

I had planned to wait for April kiddings but got a little excited and bred Darla and Luti in October.  A goat's gestation period is approximately 150 days.  Today was both Darla and Luti's 150th day.  Luti looks like she'll have her babies either tonight or tomorrow.  All my other does aren't due till April.

I need to check my notes but I think this was Darla's 3rd year to kid.  Each year she's had 2 babies.  She's a pro by now and hardly makes a fuss through labor.  She decided to have the babies in the dirty run-in shelter instead of the milk barn or goat tractor which I had just put nice clean bedding in.  Before the 2nd kid had even nursed James and I scooped up the babies and carried them to the goat tractor so Darla would follow.  Can you imagine having twins and then having to walk/run 100 yards through a field?  I felt kind of bad about it but I really wanted the babies somewhere cleaner and safer.  Goats are amazing though and much tougher than humans when it comes to giving birth. 

Willo was fascinated with either the baby or the birthing process.  She hovered the whole time unless Keri chased her away.  Keri is very protective of her goats during kidding but also wants to be sure she's the one who gets to eat the birthing fluids :) 
Both kids are sturdy and nursing well.  Darla is a great mom - very attentive.
Tomorrow we head to Ohio.  James's mom, Wanda, died this week at age 93.  While I'll hate leaving the farm knowing that Luti is ready to kid, it will be good to be with family celebrating her life.  We have a wonderful farm sitter, Marilyn, who I trust completely.  This is an awesome photo of my mother-in-law.