Monday, January 31, 2011

Cooling down

Yesterday was another nice balmy 45 degrees. The antelope were out mingling with the horses.

This morning it is 5 degrees with a dusting of snow. We shouldn't get much snow accumulation but this may be our high temperature for the next couple of days as we drop into the negatives. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mud puddles in January?

We have had a few nice mild days this week, even a break in the wind for part of the day. Some of the drifted snow that has been hanging around has melted into big puddles.

Time to take advantage of the nice weather because the next cold snap is right around the corner.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The tub

I found this big tub at Habitat For Humanity. It is likely someone pulled it out of their new house, unused, and put in a jetted tub. It looked good to me so I brought it home. 

Waste not, want not. I also found this bathroom sink at Habitat and it came home too. We spent a while looking around for a piece that was the right size to fit the sink and finally we decided to build a stand for the sink out of some old weathered fence posts we had replaced and an aspen slab. 

Most places you can't have a big picture window next to the tub, here the antelope and horses are the only critters looking back. 

My little sister went to Mexico and brought back some lovely dark blue and white talavera tiles for us that we put around the tub. The tiles she hauled all over for us in a backpack add a special touch. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

How to collect horse hair

How do you collect some horse hair if you want to have jewelry or another keepsake made?

When you collect hair for braiding it does need to be tail hair. If mane hair is long enough it can be used for tassels. Ideally the horse's tail would be clean and brushed out to start with.

Try to find the longest, most consistent (length) hairs from the end of the tail and cut those hairs close to the tail bone. Only about a pinky-sized hank is needed. Hair can be taken from a few different places to make it less conspicuous. The hair needs to be twice as long as the finished project.

The cut ends should be pretty even and a rubber band applied as soon as possible to keep them together. If the hair is not already clean, it can be cleaned with regular shampoo. No need for detangler or conditioner, just shampoo works best. Hang it up to dry, then that "pony tail" can be put into a ziplock baggie for safe keeping and mailed. It should be not braided or wrapped up wet as that can cause the hair to kink.

If your necklace or bracelet develops some stray pokey hairs they can be carefully trimmed flush with fingernail clippers.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

another horsehair project

This is a memorial horsehair project that is almost complete. With a main horseshoe dreamcatcher, two smaller dreamcatchers and some jewelry pieces. 

The smaller dreamcatchers will hang from the larger main horseshoe

Choker above with mixed hair from two horses, and bracelet below.
I hope they honor the memory of the horses that they represent.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Elk visiting

This afternoon a couple of the bull elk that hang around the neighborhood came to visit

Two big bulls out of a group of four have survived hunting season

Here they are hanging around last August when they were still in velvet

Monday, January 24, 2011


Here is a braided horsehair necklace that I just finished up. 

The hair for the round braid came from Jippo who is a younger grulla gelding that was a rescue. 

He started his life on a ranch in 3 Forks, MT and ended up in a local university research program. We don't know what kind of research he was involved in but when the project was finished he was discarded at the local low end auction with 8 of his companions. 

Jippo came over to visit with us in the holding pens prior to the sale and put his head on my shoulder. He was the lucky one, unfortunately all of his healthy young companions sold for meat. 

Even though he was not halter trained, he has willingly taken to anything asked of him. He has a great personality and is very light and soft to handle. 

We're not entirely sure of his mixed breeding but he shows some tennessee walker influence and is maturing into a large horse. We look forward to riding him soon.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Working on stuff

I successfully managed to pry some hay loose that was frozen to the ground today, yesterday it wouldn't budge. I probably could have just turned the horses in to clean the hay up for me but I didn't want to risk loosing any of the feed and water tubs I store in that corral to the Wyoming breeze.

I'm finishing up some jewelry pieces that I hope to share soon. Listening to the sound of the wind singing as it whips past outside, while things rattle and creak inside. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Waiting to garden

I'm waiting patiently for March to start seedlings for the garden. Last year I started them in April but I think they would do a little better if they were further along. The shorter growing season can be a challenge with the occasional cold snap and hail storms.

Last year I started way too many tomatoes, I think I managed to give away around 30-40 starts and still had tons left over. The root veggies need to be directly planted outside, so I'm limited to tomatoes, herbs and maybe melons inside. My previous melon transplants did not fare well, a couple of them took but mostly the direct plantings were more successful (until things froze). 

prepping the garden in April
I plan to start a lot more marigolds this year in hopes they will keep the critters away from the corn. Most of the corn last year was massacred by pocket gophers and ground squirrels.

We had good luck with the lettuce, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, peas, pumpkins and herbs. An early freeze doomed the cucumbers and left us with green tomatoes but they ripened up ok inside. The heartiest plants in the garden turned out to be the garlic and some snapdragons. 

Snapdragons and Tigerella tomatoes

Buttercrunch lettuce, Imperator and Cosmic Purple carrots

Green tomatoes, variety of potatoes


Parsnips and pumpkins