Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fashionable Farmer/Runway Rancher Episode 1, Nautical Cowgirl

Hey there friends! I am just getting back on top of things here on "Patch-A-Heaven!" I attended the SNAP Conference (if you aren't familiar with SNAP, it's a 3 day conference here in Utah for the creative/diy blogging community, where we can network, and learn from great classes.) and lets just say things got a little behind without mama to clean up and take care! So I've spent the past 2 days cleaning and reorganizing the homestead. It's looking much better now. Wish I could say I was on top of the laundry though (the washer decided to die, really die this time, while I was gone!) Looks like I'll be making another trip to the laundry mat this week. JOY! (insert sarcasm here!)  But I really enjoyed my time at SNAP! I learned so much (my head is still spinning!) and met lots of fun and creative people. Today's post is part of my new theme "Fashionable Farmer/Runway Rancher" (this is a theme where I like to mix farming and ranching with fashion) To read more on what inspired this theme you can read my blog post here:
  Fashionable Farmer/Runway Rancher is born    
In this post I wanted to share some of the fun things I found while at SNAP. Today I am wearing what I call the "Nautical Cowgirl" look. I love the latest as much as the next trendsetter, but my "cowgirl style" also has to be very functional. I know some absolutely drop dead gorgeous cowgirls, but the best thing about a true cowgirl is that we aren't just another pretty face or outfit. We've got those mad horse training, lamb wrangling, cow chasing skills! We aren't "all hat and no cattle!" Pretty and functional, now that's my kind of girl! So today I am wearing a super trendy tee I bought at the Queen B Market at SNAP, it's from the Printed Palette. It has an anchor and says "Live Life Anchored" (if cowgirls are anything, we are anchored! We have roots that run deep and always stay firmly anchored to where we come from and what we stand for.) I'm sporting a new necklace from rhousecouture, which they so generously gave to all the SNAP attendees (thanks ladies!) it has a pretty bead and is stamped with this year's theme "Create Joy" I paired this comfy tee with my cobalt colored skinnies, and to add the cowgirl element, my black Lucchese Sting Ray Boots!
 So what's your style? Are you straight up cowgirl or do you do a little mixin' like me? Or maybe you are straight trendy. There are plenty of fashion blogs out there, great ones! Ones that I love to follow. What I'm hoping to add to this area is fashion with farmer function! I'm headed to Sanpete today to pick up show lambs so my outfit's got to be functional, but can't live without a little trendy style too!

Close up of the "Live Life Anchored" Tee from the Printed Palette. (I'm pretty much in love with this shirt!)

Here's the pretty necklace from rhousecouture!

And here are the newest members of our lamb family! My girls are going to show lambs this year in 4-H. (Mama has got to get these wild little guys tamed!)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Shirred, Asymmetrical, Maxi, Summer Dress, DIY Tutorial, wow that was a mouthful!

Hey guys!
I am definitely "shir" crazy!! I just can't help myself, I love shirring/smocking and hope you don't mind all the projects featuring this technique. Today I made a super easy dress for my daughter that is spot on trend too! Maxi dresses...IN, Asymmetrical hemlines...IN, Neon Colors...IN, then add the shirring technique and it's over the top cute!!  There are just so many fun things you can do to change this look and it's very simple and can be done in a few hours.I changed the sleeves a little on this dress from the first one I made. You could also make it not have sleeves at all or do a thin tie around the neck (halter style) if you wanted this to be more of a swim cover-up dress. Just so many choices!! I may be making lots of these.

What you will need:

Fabric of your choice, (I used a light weight cotton broadcloth in Neon Pink) I cut a 42"x34" piece for the body of the dress, 2- 4x22" strips for the ruffle, and 2- 6x22" strips for the sleeves.
Thread that matches perfectly (that's one way to make it look more professional and less home-made)
Elastic thread, (for the shirring/smocking part only) All other sewing should be done with regular thread.
Sewing Machine and Serger (if you have one) If you don't have a Serger, just finish your raw edges as you normally would, by a zig-zag or with pinking shears.
I used the narrow rolled edge hemming foot and the ruffling foot. (You don't have to have these, I have them, so I use them.) Instead you can just turn ends, press, turn, press and sew to hem. And baste and gather stitches to ruffle.

First thing you will do is measure the person you are making this darling frock for. I measured around the chest, just under the arms. (I got a measurement of 24" on my 7 year old) I took that measurement and doubled it (getting 48") then I subtracted 6" and that's the width I used for this dress. Then I measured from where the dress sat at the chest/under arm area to where I wanted the dress to hit at the leg. (I got 34" long.) After taking the measurements cut your fabric piece to those measurements. So mine was 42" wide and 34" long. The wide top edge is the edge you will shir. The bottom wide edge is the bottom hem. The other edges are the sides of the dress.

Shirring Formula: for this dress measure underarm/chest area all the way around, double that number, then subtract 6" and that is how wide your piece needs to be.

Next you will serge (or finish however you normally do so it doesn't fray) the bottom raw edge of the fabric. And then I used my narrow rolled edge hemmer foot to do a nice narrow hem at the top edge of the fabric. (If you don't have one of these feet, just hem by turning edge over, pressing, turning over, press again and then sew down, making it as narrow as you can.

This picture shows me using the narrow rolled edge hemming foot to make a narrow hem.

Once you have the bottom finished and the top in a narrow hem. Then you begin the shirring process. So you need to change your bobbin thread to the elastic thread. (To do this just wind it by hand around the bobbin and insert as normal) Then change your stitch length to the longest one you have. Now using the 5/8" mark on my machine I sewed a straight line down the length of the fabric. (Make sure to back stitch when you start and stop.)

When I got close to the bottom edge, I put the needle down, lifted the presser foot and turned the fabric so the edge of the presser foot is now along the side of the dress. And I stitched only two stitches down the side. (This is the way I figured out to not have to start and stop for each line of shirring you make. I felt like it wastes too much thread and time to start and stop.) 2 stitches gives the perfect room (on my machine) so it lines up with the previous stitch when you turn it.  After making those 2 stitches on the side, you will then put needle down again, and lift presser foot again and turn so that you are going to go down the length of the fabric again.

Here the picture shows the needle down, presser foot up, I've already turned it again and am ready to make the 2nd shirring row. I use the previous stitch as my guide, keeping the left edge of the presser foot lined up with the previous stitch and stitch all the way to the bottom. Then you repeat the above process of needle down, presser foot up and turn, 2 stitches and turn again, and continue stitching down the side. You repeat this as many times as you want lines of shirring. (I did a total of 10 rows of shirred stitching.) So you will either use the right or left side of your presser foot (depending what side your stitch is on) as your guide to make a straight line.

This shows me proceeding to stitch down the length of the fabric using the previous stitch as my guide. (See how the left side of the presser foot is lined up with my previous stitch?)

It's important to keep the fabric pulled smooth and tight (the more rows you make, the more the fabric will begin to ruffle and that's what we want, but only after we have sewn it.) You don't want to sew it while it's ruffled or scrunched together. Keep it smooth using your hands.

After you have done as many rows as you would like, make sure to back stitch at the end.
This is what the top of the dress looks like when I did 10 rows of shirring.
Then I sprayed the shirred area with water and pressed lightly to allow it to shrink up. (It's almost like magic!)
This is what the dress looks like from the wrong side. You can see the turn arounds with the elastic threads. (That's from the turning at the ends.) Now you will fold the dress in half, with right sides together to match the sides up and pin.
Then I sewed down the side of the dress using the 5/8" seam marker on my machine as my guide. Removing pins as I got to them.
Now the dress looks like a skirt. Put it on your model so you can see where you want to make the asymmetrical hem on the bottom. (Make sure before you make the cut that you have the seam in the back or the side wherever you like it. I liked mine at the side.) I used my scissors and started cutting on my right side and worked to my left making a cut up, around and down again. This part is up to you how much you take off. If in doubt, start small and get bigger, you can always take off more, but it's hard to put back on!)
Here I am making it more even, now that I got the length where I wanted it. (See how in the pic below that it isn't square in the front? That's what I'm fixing.)
Then I folded the dress in half to make the cuts the same. See how I'm trimming off the excess of one of them so it matches the other?
Then just one more cut to make a more rounded flow to the bottom hem.
Then I serged the round cut I just made so it wouldn't fray.
Now the body of the dress is ready for the hem ruffle. To make the ruffle take the two 4x22" pieces and sew them together at the small ends. (As shown below)
This is the two 4x22" pieces serged (sewn) together to make the ruffled hem at the bottom.
Then finish one of the long edges of this piece with the serger and use a narrow hem on the other long edge. The serged edge will be attached to the dress body and the narrow will become the new hem at the bottom of the dress. Once you have those edges finished you can make the ruffle one of 2 ways: I use the ruffle foot (as shown below) to make ruffles. I set it to the 12 setting. Or you could do it the old fashioned way by baste stitching and gathering it by hand until it fits your dress.
Now that you have your ruffle ready, with right sides together, line up ruffle and dress bottom and pin as shown below.
Once you have it pinned down you will need to stitch the ruffle ends together before you stitch the ruffle to the dress. (So pin down and where you need to sew the ruffle to itself put a pin right where you need the stitch to be so the ruffle will line up with the bottom of the dress perfectly.) In the pic below I am marking the place where I need to stitch the ruffle ends together.
Once you have sewn the ruffle ends together then you can stitch the ruffle down to the bottom of the dress as shown here. (Removing pins as you come to them.) I used the 5/8" seam allowance again.
Now the ruffle is sewn to the bottom of the dress. Put the seams to the left and top stitch all the way around the dress using the 1/4" seam allowance as shown below.
This is what the dress would look like so far:
Now we need to make the sleeves. I used the 2-6x22" pieces for sleeves. I finished one of the long ends with a serged edge an one with a narrow hem. (I did this to both) Then I switched to elastic bobbin thread and long stitches to do 2 shirred rows as seen below on the narrow hem edge, using the 5/8" marker as a guide. And just as you did before, when you get to the end of the first shirred row, put needle down, lift foot, turn, make 2 stitches and then turn again to make the second row. Always back stitching when you start and stop. (Sorry about the over exposure on the next pics!)
Then I used my ruffling foot again to gather the other side of the sleeve. I set it to one (or a lot of gathers!) and went down the side.
Now that you have the ruffles made, turn the ruffled edge over and top stitch as shown below.
Next you need to put the dress back on your model to see where you need to attach the sleeves to the dress, pin, then sew them to the dress keeping your stitches matching up with your shirred stitches.
I have included photos of 2 different dresses made this way. I did the sleeves different on each of them showing a couple of the different options you have for sleeves. (The first one I made I used the same size of sleeve strips and instead shirred rows all the way down leaving 5/8" in each side. And then attached them to the dress. As seen below.)
On this one, I am sewing the sleeve to the dress, notice I am following one of the shirred row stitches so as to put the new stitch right on top of the shirred stitch.
Here I am removing the excess length of sleeve with the serger.
And da, da, da, da, da, da, daaaaaa!!! Here it is all finished! Hope you have enjoyed these shirring tutorials, I "shir" love this technique. Hopefully you find them easy to follow and have made lots of cute things! Happy Monday from "Patch-A-Heaven!"

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Throwback Snack! Graham Cracker/Frosting Sandwich Cookies, "Redneck Oreos"

Happy Sunday everyone! It's been a super day here on "Patch-A-Heaven!" We haven't lost anymore lambs and they are all eating well. We had a great day at church and are home relaxing. My daughter asked me to make one of her favorite treats and it's one that brings back sweet memories! Did anyone else's mom make these when you were a kid? My mom sure did! They are a fast and simple treat that I thought I'd share today. Kind of like a "Redneck Oreo!"

If this is not a nostalgic snack from your childhood and you want to try them, this is what we do:

You need:
Box of Graham Crackers
Your favorite frosting, the recipe I use is below. I was given this recipe by my good friend Natalie who said it was the same recipe as the "big sugar cookies" don't know who originally came up with this recipe, but I like it.

 Frosting Recipe:
1/2 Cup Butter, softened
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons Milk
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
And food coloring if you so desire. (I let the 5 year old choose, so we got a pretty pink!)

Directions: Beat softened butter in mixer until smooth , then add the other ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy.
Then smear a gob over a graham cracker and top with another cracker and wa-la, instant sweetness!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Shirred Asymmetrical Maxi Dress, DIY Tutorial, Should I?

I am definitely "shir" crazy!! I just can't help myself, I love shirring/smocking and hope you don't
mind all the projects featuring this technique. Today I made a super easy dress for my daughter that is spot on trend too! Maxi dresses...IN, Asymmetrical hemlines...IN, Neon Colors...IN, then add the shirring technique and it's over the top cute!! Here is a glimpse of this project that I will do a full tutorial on if you love it like I do! (The one in this picture was my first attempt and it's not a pattern, I designed and created this fun little frock.) If you want a tutorial, leave me a comment here and it will motivate me to get it out soon! If there's lots of interest I will try to get this out before I go to SNAP next week. (In between feeding bummer lambs and making PB&J's!)

We think Neons look great paired with denim!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Adventures of a Stay-at-Home Mom, Raising Bummer Lambs, Day 4

The new lamb saving device I bought this year.
 (Beats the home-made version I'd been using!
"Another one bites the dust" (Yeah, you know the song) That's what played in my head as I walked into the garage (barn) to begin my "morning rounds." I wasn't planning on blogging today about lambs because I didn't feel I had a lot of new information to share. (As of yesterday) But that's how fast things can change around here! I last reported "All was well" at our 48 hour mark, but between 48-72 hours (yesterday) things went south for a couple of my babies. Just when I think my mad lamb saving skills are pretty stellar, I get humbled once again! There is no longer a "Coco" to my "Chanel." About 7:00PM I did my rounds before mixing milk (which consists of a quick assessment of whether I see any of them in immediate distress so I know if I need to start with a particular problem first) I noticed that "Coco" was at the bottom of a lamb dog pile. These little guys love to cuddle together and sometimes they can squish each other and I think that's what happened in "Coco's" case. I immediately rescued her from the corner pile and did what I could, but it was too late, the little thing passed right there in my hands. (I don't care who you are and how tough you think you are, that is hard!) And as soon as I handled little "Coco" I saw that another one of my flock was in immediate danger. (There is a certain look they get when I know they need immediate nourishment, beyond just a bottle feeding.) I have seen this look enough to know that if I don't intervene immediately there will be more disappointment coming. They look something like this: ears in a downward (almost like they are sad), they crunch their little bodies up in a hunched position, they shake or quiver, are weak and show no desire to eat even though it's what they need most. I saw this look in another of my babies just after losing "Coco" and I jumped to immediate action. I grabbed the stomach tube, syringe and milk and went to work. I got the tube in and did a good feeding. Then put "Oreo" in his own stall with a heat lamp real close and within 5 minutes he jumped up and ran around. (I almost wish I had a video of what it looked like from where he was before my intervention to after, I promise you would not believe it.) It was just what he needed, right then and there. This is where experience is on your side. I've seen this "look" a lot and have learned to intervene without hesitation. As of my morning feeding "Oreo" appears to have made a complete recovery. And now to the last report. I had another black and white speckled lamb "Spots" that was giving me slight signs of the look last night. Not to the extent that "Oreo" did, but enough that I put him in his own stall with light and he had a good middle of the night feeding, but this morning he had passed as well. Darn! Even though I tried my best and did everything I could for all of them, it's still a real bummer when they pass on my watch!! So out of the 19 I started with, I have lost 2. Losses are just part of the deal. They aren't fun, they're really disappointing, but it's something you have to learn to handle. You are always lucky if you can get past the 72 hour mark and not have lost a single one! I must say I'm still a little heart broken over my little "Coco" but will keep up the fight to not lose anymore. Here's wishing you a fantastic day from the lamb pen!

Here's a look at "Coco" and "Chanel" on their ride in my pick-up (otherwise known as the "lambulance") This was the day they were born and I picked them up. ( I had 6 more in the backseat!) It's a good thing "Handy Husband" really loves me, and has plastic floor mats! (This is his "nice truck") RIP little "Coco"

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Adventures of a Stay-at-Home Mom, Raising Bummer Lambs, Day 3

The "machine"
Hi everyone! Today is the last play by play I will give for the lambs because they are ALL doing superb! (Even Little Miss Stubborn has given up her defiant attitude towards the bottle, so proud of her!)  The 2 weakest ones that were born the day I arrived to pick them up are proving to be quite the little fighters! (I was a little worried for them at first because they were so small and weak, but they have perked right up and are kind of my favorites!) I have officially named them "Coco" and "Chanel" they are twins and very determined! (I love that in a lamb, a strong will to survive is essential.) I figured naming them after "Coco Chanel" was very fitting. She was, and forever will be a fashion icon because of her lifelong determination, ambition and energy! (And these little ones are pretty like she was too!) Here I am mixing farming and fashion again. Weird... I know!
 I fed for the last time at midnight and then not again until 5 this morning and they are all strong and nursing well! My next task will be to train them to nurse from my "machine" it really isn't a machine, (it's a nursing system my "Handy Husband" built so I can feed 7 lambs at a time) but it makes my life so much easier now that they are starting to get competitive for the bottle! (Picture me with a bottle in each hand, and one between my knees with the lambs that don't have a bottle in their mouths all bumping the ones that do! It's pure chaos!!) And since I'm not an octopus with eight arms, the "machine" was one of the best inventions he has ever created! I will continue feeding them milk about 3 times a day for a while then as the weather warms up and they are strong enough they will venture into the green pasture and then they will slowly be weaned off milk completely. I will post pics and follow ups later or as things change. But so far, the most labor intensive and critical 24-48 hour period has passed (Yay!) and I'm ecstatic that they have all made it through!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Adventures of a Stay-at-Home Mom, Raising Bummer Lambs, Day 2

Here I am giving some extra attention to the 2 weakest ones. (Back stretches and a warm bath at the end of the day are a must with this much bending over!)
Hello my faithful followers! I'm really happy to report that we are about 20 hours into raising this and so far so good! It's still early and early is usually the worst for casualties.
years batch of bummer lambs here on "Patch-A-Heaven"
 Today's Report:
My head hit the pillow this morning at 2:25AM. ( Had to make sure those weak ones were going to last the few hours  while I slept before I could go down.)
I woke at 5:30AM for the next feeding. I only had one of the 2 week old ones that was still defiantly fighting the bottle. She's kind of like me, a little stubborn, just a little! (Keep in mind this poor little ewe had a real mommy for 2 weeks and she's not ready to give in to my bottle feeding yet.) And that's okay, she was strong enough that I was okay to let her slip by with getting just the milk that dripped into her mouth that she reluctantly swallowed. So I know she got a little bit, but she's not ready to actively suck yet. I have learned in my experience with these new lambs in the early stages (first 24-48 hours I have them) that there are usually 3 scenarios for them not sucking, either the lamb is too weak and can't suck, it has literally given up and doesn't care to live or the third, which is the case of the ewe above, that they are strong physically and also strong willed. They are basically in their own way letting me know that this is not what they had in mind. (Rebellious youth!) And the ones that are strong like that will eventually learn to love the bottle because their hunger will set in and they will usually give in and try it. So I'm being patient and kind to her and I think she will come around. (I will keep a close eye on her though because I don't want her to weaken to the next scenario.)
In the case of the other 2, where you may have ones that are too weak to suck, those are the ones who need an intervention immediately (feeding by way of stomach tube) or they will be unable to be rescued. Yes, I know how to perform this feeding through stomach tube. No, I was not formally trained and am not a Veterinarian, though most of the time I wish I was! (I actually learned how to insert a feeding tube on the internet!) What did we ever do before the internet?! This was learned in a moment of desperation early on when I first started raising these little guys and was losing them because they refused to eat, I didn't have anywhere else to turn and was open to trying anything! I figured it was going to die if I didn't do something so why not try to save it.(It was a little scary at first, but it gets easier.)  I was that lamb's last hope, I was able to do it and have saved many since then. I have also learned that it is far better to give extra feedings and attention in the first 3 days than to have to tube! Since I have been giving extra feedings and attention in those early hours, (the past 3 years,) I have only had to tube one lamb and have only lost one in about 35 lambs, that is great odds!

The 3 small weak ones from this year are getting a lot stronger and are learning to love me and the bottle. (Yep, I'm their mommy now!) So far I would say they are going to make it.
And all the rest in between had a good 5AM feeding.

Fed them bottles again at about 9AM (after getting the kiddos off to school)
They (except Little Miss Stubborn) are all nursing the bottle well.

Fed again at 1PM (after getting my kiddos off bus and lunch in them as well)
Happy to report that all (even Little Miss Stubborn) have eaten this round. I think Little Miss Stubborn is coming around to me and the bottle. (Hunger has finally gotten the best of her!)

I will continue these feedings of 2-4 ounces every 4 hours or so until I am comfortable that they are all going to make it, then I will increase the amounts of milk at a time and decrease the feedings to 3 times a day, then decreasing to 2 times a day and then total weaning later when they are on pasture and grain.

My outfit of choice lately is a pair of brown cover-alls! And thank goodness for them, because all the close up feeding and holding makes for messiness! I can wear my regular clothes, slip the cover-alls on, get the job done and slip out and onto my next task. Now I just need a pair that's not so tan! (I'm a fashion designer, you would think I would have a more "fashionable" pair of cover-alls! How embarrassing!) I'm working in it!!

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Adventures of a Stay-at-home Mom: Raising Bummer Lambs, Day 1 of 2013 Season

One of my best helpers trying to entice a weak one to drink.
Well Hello there! I'm happy you are here! It's Spring here in Utah and along with Spring comes one of my favorite things: baby lambs! They are just so darling!! If you have been around for a while you know that every year I raise "bummer" (orphan) lambs. (If you are new to the "Fancy Ewe Blog" you can find out more background, if you'd like on my "Experiences of a Stay at home Mom, Episode 3: Raising Lambs")
Link to this post here

My little family and I took a much needed mini vacation this last week for Spring Break. The kids were off school and we just needed some "fun" time. So we got a room in sunny St. George, Utah and hopped in the truck. (I think I hear Jeff Foxworthy saying "You might be a Redneck if" the nicest, going to town vehicle is a Dodge Ram/Flat Bed!) But, that's how it is! So we loaded up for some family time. (Which by the way was enjoyed by all!) On our way home I got a phone call from my dad (the sheep rancher) asking me if I could stop by the ranch to pick up my lambs. He has been "lambing" for about 2 weeks now and had some orphan lambs for me. We were so loaded down with vacation luggage, bikes and such that we couldn't get them in that trip. But I know from experience the sooner you can get these little guys going...THE BETTER! So first chance I got, I headed out for Sanpete to get the lambs (which was this afternoon about 4:00.) When I left I debated whether to take the horse trailer or just the truck. I had settled on the trailer just because I didn't know how many dad had for me, but my Handy Husband (bless his heart) suggested I just take the truck. When I got there dad had 18 lambs ready to go. Well....18 lambs don't fit in the tool box of the truck (which sounds weird I know, but it actually works well when there are just a few.) So what did dad and I do? Gasp, we put them inside the cab of the  "Redneck Going to Town Truck" otherwise known as Handy Husband's other baby! I'm thinking as I'm putting little stinky lambs on the floors of the front and back seats that he is going to kill me!! (Not really, but I'm sure that he won't be happy!) So let's just say I made a beeline straight for home to keep the damage to a minimum. (When I say damage of course I mean stinky excrement all over.) When I got home I got them out as quickly as possible, they did a pretty good job of keeping the truck clean. And Handy Husband did not "kill me", LOL! (Good thing he really loves me!) So begins this years attempt to get 18 lambs to market!
I have a pretty good mixture of lambs this year. About half of them are about 2 weeks old, the other half are a few days old and then there are two that were born just before I got there today. This business (I mean this in the literal sense of the word, I do this to make money, but I also really enjoy it!) of trying to raise lambs is not what nature intended and by all means if the lambs can stay with their moms, it is best. But these guys are orphans by some circumstance that caused it to be necessary. Yesterday when I knew I would be picking them up I prepared the "barn" otherwise known as my garage, I know, crazy that I don't have a barn, but I don't...yet! So I set up their living quarters which consist of pallets made into little stalls, equipped with heat lamps and fresh straw bedding.  Now that I am their mommy. This is what has happened:
The lambs that are 2 weeks old were born to mom's who had triplets, but that as they got bigger the moms didn't have enough milk for 3, so the smallest lambs were taken off the moms and here they are. Of course they are having a hard time adjusting to this. They are used to their mom's milk, delivered at perfect temperature, at any time they felt like eating and in nature's way. So I have to give them extra attention in these first few days to make sure they learn how to suck from the bottle and that they feel loved. (Lots of feeding and rubbing going on!) I'm happy to say that they have all eaten tonight!
I have fed them 3 times since getting home at about 6:00PM. (This is just training mostly, they don't eat huge amounts that close together, but it's important to get them nursing as quickly as possible)
The ones who are a few days old are probably doing the best so far. They have all eaten well.
Then I have 3 weak ones. 2 were born today and didn't get a great start and one was just really small and weak, but I'm happy to say that with much love and attention they have all eaten! It is now 12:35AM and I'm blogging to keep myself awake! I need to go out and feed again, but I didn't want to sleep yet. Then I will wake early and feed again in the morning. (Probably at 5 AM) I know this may sound like a lot of work and crazy time spent, but they are newborns and they need intensive care for the first 24-48 hours just to make sure they know how to eat and have had enough nourishment and strength to survive! I have been doing this for many years now and have learned that great care in those early hours/days makes all the difference!
In this picture my daughter is holding the bottle (she loves to help) and I am helping the lamb to keep his mouth on the nipple while rubbing his little bummy! (Sounds weird I know but it stimulates them to drink, like if their real mom were to reach around and nuzzle them.) You know you've got it right when their little tails start ringing!
Here's a full stall, (I don't let them stay crowded like this for long!) I keep up to 4 max in each small stall. But I needed them to be in here while I sorted them into their stalls. I like to sort them according to strength, size and overall health. (If you put weak ones in with strong ones the weak ones tend to get jumped on and smothered.) At this tender age they seek warmth so weak ones tend to be warming mats and they get smothered. So it's really important to sort well. I got all of them sorted tonight where I feel they are safe! Each stall has a heat lamp for comfort.

Here is one of the babies that was born today. He's getting some "mommy loving" I just fed him and now am gently rubbing him so he knows he's loved.

Well, it's now 1:00AM and I will be saying good night to you because I can hear my babies crying (or baaing) and they want to be fed. I will update you on all of them in the morning. Night, night!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Kacey's Dresses Update: Introducing the next 3!

As fast as time passes by these days, it seemed to me as if April 1st was never going to come. Like it was an "April Fool's" joke! But, today has finally arrived and a few more of the dresses I designed are available for sale. (Pardon me while I do a little dance!) I am really excited to see these come out!! They are available exclusively through Shabby Apple (this link takes you to and are in their Fete Des Fleurs Collection. And here they are:

This one is called Belle De Jour and she's probably my favorite one so far!  This dress was actually inspired by another dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in the "The Seven Year Itch" movie. I'm sure you know the subway scene when the white dress she was wearing flies up as she stands over the subway grate! This is my "Mormon Version" of that iconic dress. (I wore it to church on Sunday and I love it! It's chiffon so it's light and "flowy" yet it covers all the important stuff! I got lots of compliments and am excited to move this piece into my Spring/Summer wardrobe.) I think this is the perfect "wedding dress." (Oh, and she will be available in two other colors (a soft, mint green and beautiful purple) later this Spring/Summer. If you want to see these colors look in Shabby Apple's  "Coming Soon!" Collection)
Image Credit Shabby Apple.
Here is one we like to call "Bouquet" she is a high quality 100% cotton floral number. I love all the bright florals out this season. This dress is definitely on trend in a pretty sort of way. This dress has pleats at the bottom hem and one at the neckline. And floral simplicity in the middle.
Image Credit: Shabby Apple
Here is "Hydrangea" she is a beautiful, very subtle Sky Blue, cotton voile. Very light and airy, perfect for summer! This one won't weigh you down!
Image Credit: Shabby Apple
And last, but not least there is one more coming out in a later collection. So keep your eyes peeled!

A special thanks to Shabby Apple for all their help in making my dreams come true!! Shabby Apple makes beautiful things (I've been a customer for years.) You should check them out. In my best french accent I welcome you to browse the  "Fete Des Fleurs" Collection on

And have a wonderful day!