Liza Stallsmith

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since Jan 24, 2018
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Recent posts by Liza Stallsmith

Joy Oasis, Sorry about not replying sooner. Everyone came home for Christmas and it became a blessed, busy, and confusing time.  I actually didn't make them. I didn't even know a wool pillow existed until I saw, felt, and hugged  one at a fiber show. I sent my wool to to have them made. Some of my friends were like why don't you make them. I believe that they could be made from wool batting, but knew that it would just be one more thing to get done for me. I tend to never see the end of the list that my family wants me to make them. lol Having someone else do it meant they would actually get it at Christmas! ( This Christmas not two or more yrs in the future. )

Sorry I wasn't much help on the how to end.
1 month ago
This is just a small thing, but I was really excited to give all of my children a pillow for Christmas this year made with the wool of my sheep. It is kind of like a Don't squeeze the Charmin. They are so comfortable and they are renewable for life.  You can always open them, re= fluff, clean, or add more wool to them. Now to make one for me. Some of my family doesn't sleep with pillows, but they are great to have for supporting the back when sitting and a thousand other reason it seems. ; )
1 month ago
I have a mason jar with one of the solar lids on it sitting on my kitchen window seal. It has been there for years. I really like it, and it has held up well.
7 months ago
I kinda of have to agree with the whoah. lol And I have the ability to do most of the things on any level of the lists. I guess the lists kind of both inspires me and put me off at the same time. Not even sure that makes sense. If someone is interested in clothing and furthering their abilities this could be a goal list, however if I saw a list like that when I started I might have run the other way. ; ) Watching a whole group of ladies knitting socks at a dye gathering that I went to inspired my path, but I wasn't sure when if ever I would be making socks. They lovingly guided me to the point where I even went beyond what many of them do. They are still a wonderful support group.

Here where I live there are spinning and weaving guilds that are hidden away but once you find one or a member of one the doors to many swing wide open. The thing I appreciate about them is the low cost. Membership can be anywhere from 5 to 50 dollars a yr depending on the guide. Many things are taught free, but a couple times a yr there are optional classes that cost. Also some guilds have wonderful libraries available to their members. If anyone is interested in learning these types of skills I would encourage you to find a guild near you. They come in different "flavors" so you might want to try a few. Learning directly from the older, skilled craftsman/women is a gift in and of itself.

In truth, the idea of everyone making their own clothing might be a bit idealistic. For example, I've always wanted to make soap. I have been to classes how to do it, and even have my own collection of books on the subject. I am capable of doing it. however, I've met someone who makes wonderful soap and even added my request of sweetgrass to their wares. It wouldn't be profitable for me to collect everything needed to make my own soap when I can just barter with her for it. The friendship/barter relationship helps both of us in the end.

Bartering is often overlooked, but it is an age old tool that I personally believes reaches back to the beginning of mankind. I have four kids. Each has gifts and interest in totally different areas. If I approach one of them about helping me in an area that other one of them is good at I get the 'look". lol I get the best help and best results when I look at the whole picture and plan accordingly. I am trying to learn that I can't do everything, though often you will find me forgetting and still trying to do it. : )

7 months ago
Just want to say the internet is not a place I would normally post a question like this, however after reading all the posts to your question I am amazed at the genuine concern for both sides, the good, carefully well thought out advice given, and only want to add be sure to keep thinking outside the box for a home too. Our home is an older double wide. Not anybody's here first choice, but it turned up through friends of friends. It had been moved off so that they could build. We purchased it at a price even the bank was amazed at and moved it to land and was able to put a full basement under it on our own land. It has issues, but has been a home to our family of six. We slowly have been able to change many things about it. I have even had a person who visited us after dark go tell others that we lived in a cabin in the woods. lol Because the inside feels that way.

I guess my advice is go look at all options then go home and talk about what would work and not work about what you just saw. We looked at a ton of places before finding our solution and being satisfied with it. This will do a couple of things for you. One - Keeps you open and actually looking so you can find your solution. Two- Feels like progress and helps you better understand both the needs and wants of each other. Three- It keeps you humble as you see what you can affort so you are more willing to look at alternatives .

Good luck to you.
7 months ago
I Just sent my sheep's wool to to have wool pillows made for all my kids for Christmas. I know this thread is about mattresses, but pillows go with them. lol I never dream, thought, or even wondered about wool pillows, but after seeing, handling, and even squeezing one of their pillows at a fiber festival I knew that I had to change my wool order from comforter batting to pillows. I plan on getting more made for my husband and me. Yes, these could be made yourself, but I am extra busy right now and running behind which is the reason for sending my wool to them in the first place and not processing it myself. They are willing to make them whatever weight you would like the pillow.  I might have to get their wool mattress pads at some point.  
7 months ago

Amanda Launchbury-Rainey wrote:You have made if look so simple and your  sheep looks calm and happy, which is so important. Have you ever tried rooing? Do you spin your wool? Or your sheep's wool even!

This is taken from here. It is a very interesting article.

But first, it’s time to collect the wool. These double-coated sheep shed their wool naturally in late spring and summer, so they don’t need to be shorn. Instead, the wool is plucked, or “rooed”—a bit like pulling loosened hair from a shedding dog. Rooing is labor intensive. In Viking times and for centuries after, the whole village would join in the roundup and rooing. The captive labor force of Fosen students means rooing is still possible on Utsetøya.

The ewes are removed from the pen one at a time. Two people grab a ewe and straddle it, one holding onto its short, slightly curved horns and the other clinging to the wool of its back. They march the ewe to the edge of a big blue tarp and lay it on its side. Four or five rooers sit in a circle, pulling steadily on handfuls of wool until it comes loose and piling the wool on the tarp. When I try rooing, the wool feels oily and gritty with sand and salt accumulated in the year since the last rooing. I have to pull harder than I expected, but the wool comes loose without a flinch from the ewe.

My daughter had soay sheep which we rooed.  She still has a Finn / Soay cross that we roo.  I actually go video of us rooing him the other day. It is not great quality but you can see what is happening. I will try to get it posted here tomorrow.
10 months ago
Ok. I made a video for fun the other day about how I shear my sheep. Believe it or not there are many different ways to do it. I have tried other ways, but this I the best way for me personally. My sheep are my hobby so I can approach it differently. I usually only shear a couple a day.

Hope it helps someone else. I wish I would of seen something like this when I started learning to shear.


11 months ago
I am in no way a vet. But I will share what little I do know. My understanding is CL attacks the glands.  Here is a chart of glands on a goat.

It looks to me that the location of yours is more of bad tooth or infected hay or something else jabbed through the back of the jaw. Around here some vets will test it for you rather inexpensively if the animal never leaves your truck bed.

Good luck
11 months ago
I have enjoyed this post. I have made baskets, but not out of willow. It has been on my to do wish list.

Here is a site that seems to have a good list of books and tools. I might try getting some of these out through our public library.

Hope this helps. Of course once you see what tools are being used maybe you can make your own.
11 months ago