The Shepherd and The Sheepcote

"When dusk falls, shepherds lead their sheep to a safe place to spend the night, where wolves or other predators cannot prey on the sleeping sheep. Usually the shepherd builds a stone enclosure with a small opening and he calls the sheep one by one into the sheepcote for the night. When all the sheep are safely inside the sheepfold, he will lie down in the opening so that nothing can come in the only door to harm the sheep.

The Shepherd always protects The Sheep!"

Friday, December 21, 2012


Merry Christmas to all family and friends from the Sheepcote!  These cute acolyte/choir boys were something that our mother had years ago and we saw them every Christmas.  I did not decorate for Christmas much this year, how does it creep up on us so fast?  A couple of weeks ago however I cleaned out the pie safe and washed all the pottery and glassware inside it and here were these guys waiting to see another Christmas.  So they have a nice place on top of the pie safe for a couple more weeks.

I feel for everyone getting blasted by the snow, even though we all need the moisture.  This is a small shrub I have outside the kitchen window looking snow covered a couple of weeks ago.  It continued to snow a lot after this picture and we ended up with over 14" of snow at home.

This is a cute little guy I found at a local shop, thinking how I can make guys like this for our sale.  It may be the only snowman around the place this winter, you just never know.

Happy New Year Everybody! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The flock that NEVER gets out!

These are some of the sheep ornaments that I make using pipe cleaners and wire and my sheeps wool.  They are a little time consuming to make but I almost always enjoy how they look, sometimes about as mischievious as the real ones out in the yard!  However the ones in the yard usually have their eyeballs pointing in the same direction, not one up and one down!
This one looks like it might be a little about where to go and if it is lunch time yet.
This one has the same quizzical thing going on, but not as bad. 

I love how fluffy they turn out and I use the colors of all my sheep so there are also grey and black and fawn colored ones. 

We have about (3) more sales happening before the end of the year.  You can catch up with us and get a flock of these cuties at Delano's Old-Fashioned Christmas where we will be located in part of the senior center in downtown Delano on Sat. Dec. 1st.  I am also hoping to take in the Shepherd's Holiday down in Mankato and have a sales table there. 
Happy Thanksgiving all and the sheep whispered to me that you should all enjoy your TURKEY!

Monday, November 19, 2012


These were our "teenagers".  They are the first successful hatch of Royal Palm turkeys that we raised from the breeding pair that I had purchased the year before.  Thankfully someone came to their rescue and they did not have to become Thanksgiving dinner for anyone. 
Happy Thanksgiving to You! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bowling anyone?

I have recently been spinning some really super bulky/chunky wool for some neckwarmers that i would like to make.  I knit a lot with multiple strands to get thickness but this time I am going to try it with chunky two-ply. 

I was using just the natural colors from the sheep.  I put the pop can in the pic so you get the idea of the size of these balls of single ply.  My husband asked what I was going to do with those?  "ply them together, what else?"  I was able to get such a large amount by spinning the singles on my Ashford Country spinner and then I plied them together on that large wheel.

So I finished them off on the niddy noddy, gave them a wash to set the twist and they end up like this.

Color gets kind of washed out because of the flash.  I can hardly wait for them to finish drying to see if I can actually make something attractive from this yarn. 

We have three more shows to do with the one at North Branch, Mn in little more than a week and then the first Sat. in Dec. is the old-fashioned Christmas festival in Delano, Mn and also the annual Shepherds' Holiday meeting for the Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers organization down in Mankato.  Since I cannot be two places at once... tried that the other day and the water that was running in the bathroom sink commenced to run out the sink and all over the floor!.... my sister will be the vendor at Delano.  We had a very nice sale at Dassel-Cokato and this will be her first sale without me along and I know she will do just fine as she knits most of the items anyway and what wonderful things she knits.  Hope to see you soon.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


We had the great opportunity to be a vendor one Saturday at the Mill City Farmers Market which is located down in Minneapolis in the milling area which once made Minneapolis great.

 The day was not real beautiful but all of the foods and products available to consumers was wonderful.  I had attended it one Saturday a few years back and was pretty impressed by it and especially the location and the history of it and it certainly does not hurt to have the Guthrie Theater right next door to it.

We were actually located down in an area where the train cars accessed the milling area years ago.

You can see lots of the other vendors in this picture with the huge mill silos in the background.  There was a Pillsbury mill across the way that I should have gotten a picture of but forgot.  The area we were in was under that lean-to area which you can kind of see behind the blue-topped canopies.
Here my sister sits during a quiet moment before the rain started I think. 
I love the history of this mill and thinking about the farmers that grew all the wheat that came by the traincars full to this building for the making of flour and then of course the flour being shipped out to feed the world.

There is a cool museum and store there that tells the story and some of the old mill ruins are there and it makes for a great place to tour and take some neat pictures.

I think they are hoping to continue the market inside the museum area this late fall/winter.  I am sure you can get the info on the web site.  We had a real nice time there.

Monday, October 22, 2012

been there, done that also

We went to two cranberry (fests) festivals in Wisconsin for vending also.  The first one was to Warrens, Wi. It is a real nice festival and this year was their 40th anniversary I seem to recall so they had special things going on.  They always have a parade and the marching bands that come from around the area are wonderful to see and listen to.  This year I actually saw some of the cranberry bogs. 

The bogs did not seem to be flooded yet but I did not get close enough to take a good look... again pictures from the car...good grief, do we never get out of that car?

Sorry for the poor picture quality.  I did not see the two guys standing in the cranberry bog trying to sell cranberry on tv!

The next cranfest was up at Stone Lake, Wi and it was a cool windy day with a passing snow shower that came down like miniscule hail balls.  It lasted probably a minute total.  There was all kinds of beautiful landscape of colored leaves, so....out comes the camera again.  Thank goodness it survived the punctured coca-cola can in my purse that we had to deal with out at Warrens.  Ugh, everything dripping wet and thank goodness that thiry-one bag was washable and turned out good as new.  I still have to check my camera's battery charger.  Back to the lovely scenery at the blur of travel speed.

I could not get enough of the lovely scenery even though leaves had already started to disappear.

One more for those of us that love fall...

Beautiful. Funny how God has given us this wonderful season of gorgeous colors and lovely weather to boost us as we head into the darkening days of the up-coming winter season.  I like to push fall as long as I can and just keep working on things outside until the snow finally turns us inside to hibernating by the fire in the evenings with the quiet whirl of the spinning wheel.  God has blessed us so, hopefully he is blessing you also.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Been there, done that.....

I have been waiting to do some posting on my blog when I had some pictures to  put with the places we have been to shows.  I am finally ready.  Hurray!  (try not to get too excited)

My sister and I went out to Watertown, S.D. for the North Country Fiber Fair.  It was fun to see how another fiber event is held.  A much smaller venue than Shepherds' Harvest in Minnesota but a very nice event and I have not been to Dakota for a few years and although we were hardly across the border you can see the land change from flat prairies where the combines were already rolling through western Minnesota into the rolling hills of grassland.  Everything looked dry starting about an hour west of home, the corn looking like it had been frosted to death which of course it hadn't.  Probably why they were harvesting already.  This was only the third weekend in Sept. and there was not much combining go on around home yet.

I will apologize for any fuzziness of the pictures as I handed my camera to my sister as we were headed home and said "here, take some pictures".

There is just something about all this wide open prairie that I love.  We are all kind of "close" around home with our neighborhood expanding rapidly the last few years so it is nice to see all this wide open space that probably has not changed much since creation.

You hardly realize that as you head into western Minnesota you slowly start climbing in elevation and on the way back of course we were headed slowly down.

 And of course out in Watertown is the lovely building which is home to Terry Redlin's gallery.  I toured it a few years ago.  A stately building with all of his beautiful paintings inside and lot of other things.  We were able to see the building from our hotel room.

Next year I hope to spend a little more time and go and tour it once again.  So thanks Watertown and North Country Fiber Fair, we had a great time.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I have a real nice louet spinning wheel for sale, either a 70 or 75, I am not sure if I ever knew as I purchased it used.  I have found the louet to be very easy spinning, very nice large bobbins and very light to carry anywhere I need to go.  I really like the brake system and not messing with the fishing line of scotch tension.  It has 3 bobbins.
In fact, I like it so much that I purchased a newer one with double treadle.  Contact me by leaving a comment if you are interested in purchasing the wheel for sale. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Wheels & Wings & Oliver in Osceola

I really wanted to be a vendor at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival this year but it wasn't going to happen so we found a nice one-day event in the lovely town of Osceola, Wisconsin to vend at last Saturday.  Sister brought her labradoodle Oliver along.  You met him in the last post as he was patiently waiting to go to the fiber mill.  Our sales had slowed in the late afternoon but that did not mean that people quit coming into the booth.  They only had to catch a glimpse of that handsome dog and we had all kinds of people stopping in. 
I told sister that she was going to have to knit him something to model if he was going to be attracting so much attention.  The scarf he has here just did nothing for his personna.  Maybe something that would hang down more in the front to catch the dribbles off his mustache!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


The last few years I have had a lot of fiber processed by Blue Hills Fiber Processing out near Bruce, Wi.  Recently the business changed hands and last weekend I had an opportunity to go and see the new location of the business and pick up some fiber that my sister had dropped off there for me.  My sister lives fairly close to this fiber mill so she does a lot of dropping off and picking up for me when we are going to be doing something together or she has just come home from doing something.
Last weekend we were vending out in Eau Claire for their Art in the Pines festival.  It is a lovely location and all that shade helped with the ninety degree weather that we had when we were there.
We took some fiber from friends over to the mill on Friday and my sister's dog made the trip along with us.
Doesn't he look excited?

Monday, August 20, 2012


I am a very fortunate person to have (3) sisters.  It was crazy growing up and I am sure we all drove our parents crazy as we were very close in age and constantly going somewhere and doing something.  One of my sisters helps me TREMENDOUSLY with knitting product and dyeing fibers and felting and packaging and going to shows with me.  I seriously could not do so much without her. 

This is Zoe and ZuZu and when reading before going to sleep last night these two sisters were laying on the end of the bed giving each other baths.  I thought how wonderful that those two sisters have each other and then I thought how wonderful that I have all my sisters even though I do not get to spend time with all of them.  It is always nice to have a sister to lean on... just whenever.  Thanks Sisters!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Our lovely Sven and our Schedule

This was our Svenie boy.  I sat down last night and started spinning some of his lovely clean fleece that I can put up to my skin with no irritation which can be a little different with some Icelandic sheep.  I am thinking that I may have to keep some of it for myself and would love to keep it white but I do like dyeing and my sister and I are going to have a natural dyeing time (for fleece) on labor day weekend.
Thanks to everyone that made purchases at the Garlic Festival in Hutchinson this past Saturday.  It helps me to maintain the flock at home and they sincerely appreciate it.
We are going to be pretty busy at shows on weekends coming up so catch us when we are in your area.  It is always fun to meet new people and see friends and aquaintances.

This Saturday we are at the Arts & Crafts festival in Buffalo from 9-3.
The next weekend you can find us at Arts in the Park in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
The next weekend is Labor Day weekend and we will be working on fiber at the farm.
On Sept. 8th we are in Osceola Wi. for Wings and Wheels event.
The fifteenth is South Dakota's fiber event at Watertown, S.D.
We will be taking in the Cranberry Festival in Warren, Wi on Sept. 29
and another Cranberry Festival on Oct. 6th at Stone Lake, Wi.
Oct. 13th we will be down at Mill City Farmers' Mkt. in Mpls.

Hope one of these events fits into your schedule to come and see us.  God's blessings to all of you.
And thanks Sven for the beautiful fleece....

Thursday, August 9, 2012


The Garlic Festival is this Saturday, the 11th of August!  How did that happen so fast?  It is a wonderful extravaganza of garlic, food, entertainment and beverage tasting.  It takes place at the McLeod County Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, Mn.  I go and do vending at this show with my own look-alike garlic bulb...natural wool dryer balls!  I make them from the wool of my sheep.

Zhu-Zhu is busy helping me rearrange the roving that I use for making the dryer balls, lots of nice white icelandic fiber.
I weigh the fiber and roll it by hand and then the fun of felting begins!  I use them in my own dryer at home and have not used those awful dryer sheets or fabric softener for years.  Love 'em.  So do the cats and the dog when I drop one. 
So remember Garlic lovers!  This Saturday in Hutchinson.  Did I tell you that they usually have garlic ice cream there?  It runs out every year I think.  If you google the web site for the event you may find 2 for 1 coupons!  Come on and enjoy all things garlic and Sustainable.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer Songs

There was a festival in Hutchinson this past weekend and my sister and I were vendors there.  It is always interesting promoting and selling wool items when it is ninety degrees!  I go to get my name out there if nothing else but always enjoy sitting with my sister and spinning yarn or working on projects and visiting with the people that attend the event.
There was a young boy who was the age of ten I believe and he was amazed at the spinning wheel on Friday and when he came back on Sat. he sat down with us for a while and I taught him how to knit.  He was very happy when he left with his little icelandic swatch after about 45 minutes.
One of the items we are selling is a felted wine cozies.  They are a little rough yet but we are working on refining them.  Here is picture of some I made on Sunday while my sister was driving back to Wisconsin.

The festival was called Riversong and they had several bands there playing on different stages.  The weather was hot but the breeze by the river was nice, the food was good and the company was excellent.  It started early Friday evening and resumed Saturday close to noon.  We got there on Saturday and rearranged a few things so that we could get a little more air flow through the pop-up canopy and we got a surprise when we found a musician hanging on the side of our display rack...a very natural musician that we hear everywhere this time of year when we are outside...a Cicada!  After a while he just disappeared, probably went to get a closer view of one of the stages so he could sing along. 
So all of you go out and sing your summer songs....the end of July is coming already!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

"What's for supper tonight?"

The Icelandic lambs are all growing like crazy but in this picture one of the girls is a little short for the taller the $64,000 question, the one that has plagued home makers for years, the eternal dilema, the single thing that can send you into a tail-spin all day...thinking of one thing and suddenly wanting something else...."WHAT IS FOR SUPPER TONIGHT?"   Not that this little gal had much choice.  By the way, I wonder what is for supper tonight, I have about two hours, I suppose I should think of something pretty soon.....

Monday, July 2, 2012

Moms and kids (lambs)

Her is one of the Shetland mamas with her twins.  She is such a good mama.  They all headed down for grass one day and after a few minutes the lamb races were on and all babies came racing back up into the yard where they commenced to hang around and jump in the feeders.  While I was watching the antics, mama came galloping into the yard let out a quick short bleat and those babies fell in line as mama turned on a dime and headed back to grass with the lambs in her wake.  Mamas are the same everywhere!  "You two are out of my sight for a minute and off you come with me and behave yourselves!" 

Those kids are just always horsing  (should be sheeping) around!  Let's all be safe and have fun on the Fourth!

Friday, June 29, 2012

An Old Blessing

 This is my Pepper.  She is one of two Shetland sheep that I purchased from Nancy Ellison's flock down by Zumbrota probably 12-13 years ago.  I started with her and a morrit ewe that I named Sassy and the two of them are/were the grand matriarchs of my flock of Shetlands.  I was not real inventive about names...Pepper because she was black and Sassy because she would stamp her foot at me whenever I got near her.
Sassy starting having some strange seizures a few years back and I would find her laying over on her side kicking or her fleece all full of dirt and dung and hay and I would know she had been on the ground thrashing around.  If I was there and got to her while it was going on I could settle her quickly and get her back on her feet and she would slowly come back to herself and return to normal.  A few months ago Sassy moved on to greener pastures with Our Good Shepherd.  I think Pepper feels a little lonesome for her and she knows that her time is probably getting short also.  The two of them used to be penned up with my big polypay sheep, "Polly"...see not real inventive but it helped me to remember what breed she was.  Anyway whenever those two little shetlands would find a hole in the fence and get out, Polly would sound the alarm as she was too big to fit through the same hole.  Pepper would walk through the garden like it was her own private salad bar... a bite of this, a nibble of that...let's even try the rhubarb!  I was really running for her then.
 Pepper is single coat and Sassy was a very long double-coated ewe.  Her fleece would be dragging by shearing time. 
I think I know how Pepper feels somedays when she sees all the new little lambs running all over the place..."kids"..."feed them sugar and let their moms take care of them!"  Pepper just stands there and watches them all be crazy with that quizzical look on her face. Such a sweet girl.  I hope that I get to be her shepherd for a while longer. God has blessed me with her and hopefully her with me.  May we all be a blessing to someone today.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Our Icelandic Ewes

This is our Muffin with one of her twin lambs.  Muffin is a mouflon Icelandic and don't quote me on this as I sometimes get confused between the Shetland sheep descriptions and the Icelandic sheep ones but I believe that the mouflon is the lighter (or secondary) color that runs under their belly to up under their chin and quite often up the backside of the sheep also... as you see in the lamb that is having some lunch...such a wonderful picture!  I take a lot of ...pardon my language....BUTT SHOTS.. when trying to take pictures of the flock as you can see in the rest of the picture as we see very little of anything else!  They are so funny.  So I am especially grateful to our vocal Muffin who stood nicely for this picture.

This is our Icelandic ewe Ophelia and I love this regal picture of her.  She looks like she could be royalty. She came from a polled mother and a polled father and her twin sister is also polled and yet her she is in all her glory with her beautiful horns.  Her two lambs rest near her in this picture, one is a ram and one is a ewe.  We keep the lambs and mothers in dry lot a good share of the time when they are so little due to coyotes and other predator animals as the babies are able to crawl through the hole pattern in the cattle panels but the hog panels work pretty well in keeping them corralled.
God blesses us so....

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lovely Icelandic Sheep for Sale

I cannot believe how much this bunch has grown in the last week and they are not the oldest ones. The feeder is not a problem for this long legged Icelandic ram.  He is such a "looker" and he is for sale along with a few others.  Much too pretty to be lamb chops!

This is my darling Pansy the youngest of the triplets.  Love the baby curls! She is going to be horned just like her mama.
Stay tuned for more cute lamb pictures in the next few days as we are looking for good homes for several ewes and their lambs. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Our last Jersey cow...

It must be close to a year now that we sold our last Jersey cow and her bull calf.  We milked our almost-all Jersey herd for well over 30 years.  How we loved those girls and how they each had their own quirks.  That same old well-used barn which is leaning more and more every year now houses the sheep and their babies until we get some new shelter for them.  It may be an ark!  God continues to bless us with rain.  You all have a good weekend. I will be doing sheep "stuff"...on the hoof and off! 
Diamond D Shetlands & Icelandics

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Some or our Girls!

I hear the weekend is going to be hot again so the moms will probably be hanging out here again.  It is just a simple shelter i put up with cattle panels and a tarp to give them shade when out in the barn yard.  From left to right we have Muffin, Ophelia, Shetland Morrit way in the back, three white icelandic mamas, Chocolate Chippy Shetland in the back and Opal (Icelandic in the front, as is Muffin).  They are all lovely and give me so many natural colors to do things with and the white girls give me beautiful fleeces to spin, dye and felt with.  I like them all so much and wish I could keep them all but our space is so limited that we will have to at least be selling some of the mamas and babies.
I am thinking that I will have to sell beautiful chocochippy and her little black beauty to someone that is looking for some wonderful fleece, a very nice sheep and her baby ewe.  She has the single coat.

I love the curls and color of these Icelandic babies.  We have a few ewes like this and several ram lambs with the same coloring.  They are seeming to be polled.
One more lamb was born yesterday and I think we have one more ewe to lamb.  The lambs are all so sweet and even the mothers seem more mellow, after all they have to set a good example....but you know how those baby lambs are! God's blessings to all of you....Pam