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Dog babies.

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Cor blimey! This has turned into nothing but puppy palace.

Ah well, if you can’t beat them, join them.

p.s. I still very much love the puppies, and it’s sad but also incredibly relieving to see them finding homes already. Living with thirteen dogs is getting somewhat challenging…

Slugs and snails and puppy dog’s tails

Hello there.

It’s been a while since you heard from me. I’ve undergone a massive career change, and to say that it’s kept me busy is somewhat of an understatement.

I’ve had a quick look over the past few entries, and it would seem that you guys have been overrun with puppy portraits, but nevertheless on their week birthday, I thought that it was high time I waded in and shared a few pictures, too:

They’re unbelievably small and delightful.

At the moment I want to keep them all, but I’m sure that in a week’s time I’ll be playing a different tune.

When they were being born, this time last week, it was disgusting and amazing in equal part. On the whole, I’m not completely sold on the whole birth/miracle of life thing. It all seems a little bit yucky. Lace didn’t seem to be too sold on it either…

All change!

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Well, the season’s are a changing and so is everything here at JBHQ.

Today has been one of those days where anything seemed possible. We began the day with torrential downpours, and ended it with beautiful blue skies.

Some people were not too impressed with the former:

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 Britain eh? Who can beat it.

Mum has also decided to go for a change and get a full fringe which looks great.

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New season =  new hair!

We’ve also been busy putting the Etsy shop back online, so do head over for a butcher’s.

We’ve uploaded all the Jacob/Shetland/Alpaca that was launched at the shows this year, so that lovely shawl/jumper/cardigan/hat that’s been in your queue for yonks can get underway!

As ever, we’ve got limited stocks, so get your skates on, and remember, we post anywhere in the world!

Adios lovely readers, you’ll no doubt be hearing from Mother shortly!

Peace,

MJx

Autumn Activities

What a stunning start to Autumn! Unfortunately after a fabulous show at Yarndale I have been poorly. Really hit for six. Sniffling and dribbling and unable to swallow, totally miserable in fact. AND totally drained of energy or motivation.

However, today I took the dogs for a lovely stroll round the valley. We picked Sloes for gin and Blackberries for crumbles. We came back with 2 gorgeous bags full.

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I then picked the Crabapples from my tree plus the Rowan berries along with some herbs I have in the garden. I collected some Quince from my neighbour and started some fruit jellies. The colours are gorgeous and are equally matched with the glorious smells coming from my kitchen. Warm Autumn comforting smells………..

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I always love making jellies and make some each year. I have learnt that the hedgerow ones are the richest in colour and taste. I experiment with the brewing up stage and add all sorts of things to give the jellies a depth in taste and colour which reflects the time of year in which the fruits were collected.

Tomorrow the jellies will be drained and set and I hope for a row of fabulous coloured jars and a cottage full of Autumn smells.

Yarndale was an amazing show. Yorkshire is stunningly beautiful and the folk up there are so incredibly friendly and warm. I was inspired. Three of the dogs came too and had beautiful walks with brand new smells and LOTS of water!!

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 Of course I have also been spinning – my friend’s Wensleydale cross Kerry:

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Everyone is glad to be home, some more than others!

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How green is green?

My walk this evening with the dogs. I love green. Is it any wonder? To me it is obvious why I hand paint yarn! Nothing in nature is a flat single colour. These are my surroundings, just out of my back gate. These beautiful myriad of colours change every day and every season all of the time. This is my influence. This is my visual inspiration. These are the colours I choose, sometimes in the details, sometimes in the shadows, sometimes in the full sun and sometimes just because they are there.

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Dad and pup off exploring in the stream. Pup and mum walk home. Pup has adventures in the long grass. All the dogs enjoying the cooler evening, beautiful light and long cool grasses.

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Perfect way to spend an evening.

Five Minutes Peace.

Lull after the storm? These pups are robust healthy bouncing terrorists now. They devise ways to get out and explore everything. They are the cutest, most gorgeous babies ever (well in my book), but starting the day is a challenge. Looking on the bright side, I have two starts to my day now. The first start involves lots of noise and madness. The pups all yelling at the top pitch of their voices demanding everything NOW, and the other dogs wanting to rush out to the garden to get away from the chaos and noise. Just trying to put out 6 pups, two at a time without letting them back in takes skill and strategy which is not always present at 6 in the morning. Then they need mucking out (always a delightful task) and their food preparing and cooling. You would have thought that once in the garden the noise would disperse to a degree, but absolutely not!

 

After the clean bed and warm yummy breakfast they have a bit of mummy and finally peace is restored. The older dogs and I just flop on my newly clean kitchen floor and take a note of silence. Silence is indeed golden I have to tell you! Maybe it needs a bit of contrast (like a full on hurrican of activity and noise) to be appreciated to the extent that I am coming to appreciate it. The big dog (father of this litter) usually gives a huge sigh followed by a long low groan while stretching out (this activity covers half the kitchen floor) and he then shuts his eyes and sleeps. Mum is resigned and both delighted and appalled by her ever growing offspring. She just curls up (not an option with the babies) and waits for me to grab a coffee and then take them out for a walk in the valley.

 

Yesterday I took them down by the stream and let them mooch around in the water enjoying the smells and puppy free zone. The noise is different and not our problem so the birds filling the sky with celebration and sex seems quite nice really. A sort of symphony to spring and new life.

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The banks are full of primroses and violets . The cowslips are bursting out too and I even saw Stitchwort in bloom yesterday. Wood anemones are in flowering and wont last long in this spring rush. Its almost as if the doors were shut for ages and then when they opened everything wanted to get out and be seen first! Catkins came and went, the new leaves pushing them out of the way. The Hawthorne is out and the May is rivalling for position in the hedges . There has been a silent explosion in the valley which astonishes me everyday with its intensity. The dogs are somewhat less impressed I have to say.

 

 

Meanwhile back at the ranch so to speak, the labelling is going at full pelt now for the show. My world is full of dogs and wool (cant think of anything better really). Skeining up my new creations and doing the final dry. Then the labelling (endlessly) and finishing off of samples. Remembering everything I need to take to the show without the wrench of leaving the puppies in capable hands takes some concentration.

 

Then here comes my big sigh……………………………. Five minutes peace………………………….. And then my second start to the day………………….