Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bought the farm

Last week Emma and I moved in to our new farm!  It's in Forrest, Illinois, about 2 hours south of Chicago.  We didn't actually buy it, we're leasing it long-term from a wonderful family who want to see their conventional corn and soybean fields turned back into organic pasture and diversified cropland; just as it was 60 years ago.   We both are sort of in disbelief that our dream is actually becoming a reality.  Earlier this week we found and purchased our future farm truck and a couple days ago our neighbor and fellow organic farmer Marty Travis and his son to deliver our beautiful 1944 Allis Chalmers Model C tractor.  I would be lying if I said we weren't a bit intimidated by everything that lies ahead of us, but already we have so many incredibly generous neighbors around us who want to help us succeed that I feel like we can't possibly fail. Check out our new home below

We may not have the most beautiful scenery around our farm (we're in the middle of a never-ending sea of corn and soybeans) but we do have a wide open view of some beautiful skies.

This week I also managed to complete another needle-felting project: a donkey commissioned by my mom's cousin, Katherine.  As you can see he's kind of like my donkey v2.0

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Red-Tailed Hawk

My newest work is a red-tailed hawk, commissioned by my aunt Grace.  This was my most demanding work yet, taking me a total of about 45 hours to complete.  The most challenging part for me on all my animals is the face, but this time in particular I struggled for many hours to get the expression just right (fierce but not angry).

I was also pretty ambitious with the feathers because I couldn't bear to leave out the beautiful shapes and patterns found on the wings of real red-tailed hawks.

The legs and feet were also a challenge because I decided to experiment with making them out of nothing but wool and it seems to have worked out.