Thursday, December 17, 2015

What a Strange Winter in Ohio!

Mango and her two "boys," Dionysus, 3 months, and Mocha, 1 year

I'm pretty sure that when I look at this post at some time in the future I'll ask myself why I put up a picture of the animals in springtime. Actually, this photo was taken just a few days ago when the temperature went up to almost 70 degrees F. This December hasn't felt like winter or Christmas time at all; nor does it look that way. We are very festive on the inside since Rich and I put up the store decorations on the week before Thanksgiving and the house decorations on the following weekend.

Altogether, we have seven Christmas trees, three in the store and four in the house. There are also many more small wooden tree decorations in the store for sale, including the ever popular (with the little kids) lollipop tree. Our farm store is the place to come for those last minute gift items. Mention this blog and I'll take off 10%.

We have some newly created gift items in the store, too. Rich made some new multi-wood cutting boards, including one in the shape of our state that is selling like the proverbial hot cakes. These cutting boards are made from an assortment of solid hardwoods that were milled right here on our property from trees culled in our woods. There is maple, cherry and walnut in various combinations. My favorite is the "slice of swiss" cheese board that I use for parties quite often.

I also have two new bulky alpaca yarns thanks to my friend Andrea who supplied me with a couple of bags of alpaca fleece from her animals. I owe her big time for this because these bulky lopi yarns are one of my best sellers. Last year I sold most of my white to two different people on my Etsy store, and all of it sold out within a few months. This year's white is lovely but the black is my favorite. The black has a beautiful shine to it that makes it fairly glow. All of my yarns are available on Buckeye Star Alpacas on Etsy. I'm definitely saving some of the black to make something for myself!

Again, thanks to Andrea, I have some rug yarn to sell and it's just beautiful. It is 100% alpaca, with an alpaca core which is how my new mill makes it. Carrie and Rob at America's Natural Fiber Works in Somerville, Ohio produce lovely yarns from our fleece. I can hardly wait until shearing time in late April when I can get a wider variety of yarn weights made. This year I think I would like to have some fingering and DK weights made and, of course, more rug yarn. I'll be making some rugs for sale in the store and at the Farmer's Market next summer.

This year I began shopping in October and finished up recently. I have everything wrapped and hidden away until the Big Day. I even finished knitting all of my gift projects and won't be frantically knitting the week before Christmas like last year. I have two pair of socks knitted, one for each of our daughters. It's OK to talk about gifts in this forum because my own family generally doesn't read it! I am just finishing a bonus gift, a soft white alpaca ski cap for my granddaughter, Olivia. Since I was done with everything else and always have to have something to busy my hands with I decided to throw this in at the last minute.

We will be celebrating Christmas three times this year; the first this Sunday with the kids who will be celebrating the actual day with the other grandparents. The second will be on Christmas day with Rich's parents and one of his brothers, Dan. Then the day after will be the big family celebration with the rest of Rich's relations. After that I should be tired enough to just sit back and relax in January when, who knows, we may finally get a snowy winter.

Here's wishing you all a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and just a generally wonderful holiday season from Rich and I and all the critters out here at Buckeye Star Alpacas!

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