Meet Richie and Tommy

Richie & Tommy are 8 weeks old

Richie and Tommy are our new Livestock Guardian Dog puppies.

They are full brothers even though they don’t look like it. Their breed is mixed: 3/4 Great Pyrenees and 1/4 Anatolian Shepherd. Their job on our mini-farm will be to live with, watch over and protect our goats, chickens and kitties from predators. Primarily coyotes. These will be VERY big boys when full grown.

They are wonderful, smart, sweet boys and their training started as soon as they arrived. It was easy. They met the free ranging chickens that roam the barn and yard. Next they met the barn kitties and our in-house German Shepherd, Zeussa. But first…a NAP!

Growing big and strong is hard work & requires lots of nap time!

They even got to star in their very own first youtube video already:

I didn’t really know anything about Livestock Guardian Dogs until we moved to the country and got goats. A livestock guardian dog is a dog type that has been bred (over many generations) for the purpose of protecting livestock from predators. Livestock guardian dogs stay with the group of animals they protect as a full-time member of the flock or herd.

The lady we purchased our first 4 goats from had two beautiful Great Pyrenees on her property and being a dog lover I was naturally curious. We’ve learned a lot about LGDs since then because coyotes and stray dogs are definitely a problem out here. We know that having these boys on the property will keep the predators at bay and our sweet chickens, goats and kitties safe.

Have you heard of Livestock Guardian Dogs before? They are so different in their temperament and behavior–and not just any dog can be trained to do that job.

I welcome any constructive comments and questions below. (NOTE: Each comment must be approved before it will appear, in order to protect the blog and our readers from nasty spam and spambots. It may take a day or so for your comment to appear.)

Vinyl Mesh vs. Soft Polyester Mesh

Mesh material is mesh material, right?

I’ve often been asked if Vinyl Mesh and Soft Polyester Mesh may be used interchangeably.

In MOST cases, the answer to that is NO! That means it’s really important to understand which product you need for your project and why choosing the correct product matters.

OK…sew…what’s the diff, you ask? I made a quick youtube video showing you the differences and why you really can’t use these products interchangeably.

In a nutshell, Vinyl Mesh (sometimes referred to as “Pet Screen Material”) is stiff/firm, has body and can “stand” up. Soft Poly Mesh is has none of those qualities.

Here are some examples of items that may be made using Vinyl Mesh:

Custom Size StandZa Zip Bag by Sew TracyLee makes a
WONDERFUL WonderClip Pincushion and Sewing Table Tool Corral

Psst! Pouches by Sew TracyLee
make great project pouches!

Conversely, Soft Poly Mesh is soft, limp and has no “body” of its own.

Here are some examples of things you can make with Soft Poly Mesh:

I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever used Vinyl Mesh or Soft Poly Mesh? If so, what did you make? (Please note, I have to approve each comment to protect everybody from spam & spambots, and I’m just one extremely busy person with lots of balls in the air so it may take a day or 2 for me to approve and publish your comments.)

Mid-Winter Sowing Seeds & Sprouting Colorful Inspiration

Leaf Amaranth Seedling – February 2021

I know. I know. I’m — perhaps — a little unusual. I prefer seeds and grow lights (or sewing tools & fabric) as favorite gifts over flowers and jewelry any day.

In January, Jeff and I purchased a few little grow lights and I decided to work on some early seed starts as a way to help combat seasonal anxiety/depression and to learn how feasible it might be to start our seedlings inside, earlier in the season.

I have to tell you, I am blown away by how much I have loved growing the seeds as outdoor temperatures plunged to negative double digits last week (factoring wind chill). Featured above is my current most loved plant: Leaf Amaranth. The deep burgundy red fading to pink atop bright, luminous green brings me so much joy on cold and dark days. It also inspires me to think outside my comfort zone for future quilt, sewing and art projects.

This variety of amaranth is grown and used as an alternative to spinach. It may be eaten raw or cooked and is a nutritional power house. What a blessing for the senses! I can hardly wait to harvest some. In the background you can see beet root sprouts that I’m growing mainly for their greens. Again, there’s that spectacular contrast of burgundy red and bright, luminous green has me smitten.

What’s inspiring you these days? I’d LOVE to know. Please drop me a comment below (note, I have to approve comments to protect our blog from unwanted spam so it may take a bit to see your post appear).

Wrapping up a Sweet Valentine

Snack Size — beautifully holds just a few home-baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

For me, it’s all about beautiful, functional simplicity and sharing love from the heart.

I’ve always loved handmade and home-baked gifts. Both giving them and receiving them. That’s how my Sew TracyLee FabMagic Wrap sewing pattern idea was born. Isn’t she pretty!?!!

The pattern offers 4 sizes that are loosely based off of common plastic food storage bag sizes. The snack size is wonderful for making a lot of gifts quick as just one batch of cookies should yield several gifts (depending on the batch and cookie size). For example, the picture above shows 4 cookies (heaping tablespoon of dough per cookie) made from a single batch that nets 3 dozen. That makes a total of 36 cookies and divides out to 9 gifts from just one batch of cookies! And, since you can make 3 snack size wrappers out of just 1/4 yard of fabric (assuming 42″ wide fabric), you’ll be stunned at how economical these pretty and delicious gifts will be to make.

SEW…this Valentine’s Day (which is just a week from today!) I’m wrapping up a bunch of snack size sweet Valentine gifts for family, friends and neighbors.

My oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are shown in the picture above, but you could choose to use almost any cookies you love to make. Voila! With the snack size wrapper, you’ll be able to give delicious home-baked treats that are just the right amount of sweet packaged in beautiful, hand-made, re-usable fabric wraps.

How does it look all wrapped up? I’m so glad you asked. What do you think?

If you could have 2 more hours…what would you do?

Would you spend it with family or friends? Would you get some extra sleep? Would you use it for sewing, quilting or being creative?

Rengar Kitty (left) and I would love to know.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Note: I have to approve comments to prevent nasty spam from appearing so it may take a bit of time for your post to appear.

The above picture of Rengar Kitty was taken when he was just a few weeks old but his first birthday will be creeping up soon. He’s very curious and loves to help me sew and quilt (in his own special way). He does have one blue eye and one green eye (this is known as Heterochromia), but he definitely is NOT deaf as people sometimes suspect.