Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

one winter baby..and a stranger in the barn

We are celebrating a long awaited winter birth.. Demelza the broody hen has been SITTING for 3 months on a nest with no luck at all. It generally takes 28 days for an egg to hatch...she is either very persistent or very silly.
 Her eggs would mysteriously disappear, or she'd knock them onto the floor where they'd splatter like water balloons. Still, being a broody hen, she would not stop sitting. There would be days, when I would find 4 eggs beneath her warm body, and the next day all the eggs had gone missing. 
      It was a real puzzle and I blamed it on a RAT. I could just imagine that sneaky villain climbing the ladder in the night, a burlap bag slung over his shoulder, sliding his bony, grasping fingers under the unsuspecting sleeping  hen, stealing all the "loot"and slinking back down the ladder. Or, worse still, an entire gang of Bandito rats carrying the bootie to their hideout.
 Nevertheless, I continued to  supply her with fertile eggs (from other hens) out of pity, although it seemed so futile. Then alas! She finally did it, she managed to hang onto ONE egg which produced this one little baby, ever so sweet...
  Congratulations Demelza! We have a wee winter baby.
And now, on to our stranger in the barn. This gorgeous cat appeared in our barn about 2 weeks ago. He/she is just stunning. I made him/her a bed in the loft and leave food each day. I can get close but cannot touch. This cat has obviously avoided the wrath of BORIS. Maybe Boris is steering clear because I clipped his sharp claws and he can't cause trouble.
Beside, Boris has become fat and lazy, thank goodness. I think this cat looks like a "Tallulah", if it's a female and a "Toulouse" if it's a boy. Perhaps this pussycat will keep those Bandito rats at bay!

 This kitty has inspired a few more cat "parts" and the latest is
 this little puss who definitely looks to me like a little pickpocket.
 I think I will name him the "Artful Dodger"
  Very mischievous, don't you think?

42 comments:

  1. Oh, is he/she a Maine Coon? The face and ears look like it. Tufted paws and a big bushy tail? Our oldest cat is part Maine Coon---a stray that we found at the Y one night about 12 years ago. Just the best cat. Very good natured and companionable-. And of course gorgeous! We named him Handsome and handsome he is.

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    1. Viv, I love Maine coons, just love them. I think this cat is a bit small and the tail is not real bushy like a Maine, but he/she may have some of the breed.

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  2. I love your Peaceable Kingdom header, Jeri! I was dreaming just today of spring babies--two Ameraucanas this time around, I think. It's too bad that keeping chickens attracts the rodents too (athough I do my best with traps to keep them in check aka zero). I hope you've gotten yourself a heroic mouser with your new acquisition!

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    1. Roxi, that banner is a painted papercutting I did years ago. I sell them as prints.There are so many great chicken breeds, I can't decide where to go next. I am crazy for those Lavender Orpingdons and the Chocolate Orpingdons... then there are the barred Rocks, too many choices!

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  3. Bonjour,

    Adorable ce petit poussin... Les prédateurs l'auront épargné.

    Gros bisous ✺

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  4. Wonderful name (both) for your visiting cat (although, he/she just may decide to stay once he/she finds out just how wonderful it is to be in Hopalong Hollow!). At first glance I thought Artful Dodger was another visitor to your barn! I am truly amazed. Are these totally needlefelted? Or are they a combination of being stuffed, too?

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    1. Cathy, they are a combination of stuffed wool heads, (which I sew on the machine), AND needle-felting .

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  5. Artful Dodger definitely looks like he's up to something! Another lovely creation.

    Glad that Demelza finally had success with a little wee one. How sweet!

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Rainy, I didn't capture it on the photos, but if you see him in person he has a really sneaky expression.

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  6. GOOD GLORY, you've done it again.

    Jeri, I do believe it could be a band of BANDITO RATS that have stolen your eggs. I KNOW RATS and they are sneaky, although Tea Rat, as "refined"as he thinks himself to be, is one cunning rodent who will take a hunk of cheese or box of crackers if left unattended.

    YOUR NEW CAT MODEL! Dang, you are awesome. Like I said, I may be leaving the blog posting world, but I am still on the sidelines, watching your magic. LOVE THIS! And bring out the cigars...we have a new baby!

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    1. Anita, But we know that Tea Rat would NEVA steal an innocent little egg! I am trying to make little mice out of mohair, but they always end up as rats because of their size... try try again.

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    2. teeehee...you are correct. Tea Rat has no interest in eggs, sunny-side, scrambled or waiting to be HATCHED! He has respect for his barnyard friends!

      OH, I bet it takes so much practice to get just the right size going. You are the master of "DO IT 'TIL YA GET IT RIGHT!" Anita

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  7. Sweet little chick! I am so happy for dear Demelza. A baby at last! And a brave guardian to keep her safe. God is good :)
    and p.s. your felt sculptures are incredible! I can't wait to see them in "action".

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    1. Starr, I hope they are in action soon, as I am making arms; legs and bodies today.

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  8. Awww-the baby chick is so beautiful-mama hen has that sweet Madonna look about her!
    Your felted cat is just too amazing Geri! Wow-would love to see you making these creatures!
    Love to all at the Hollow...

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    1. Debra, I've been up to the barn numerous times today, just to check on that little family. One of the roosters has taken on the roll as daddy and is now their constant companion.

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  9. Congrats to sweet Momma Demelza ~ and welcome little chickie stranger! >:
    oh and how nice to have a new kitty-friend in the group as well :)
    ....beautiful work your talented hands do my sweet friend ~ I cherish the cutting you've sent me and have it proudly hanging over my worktable in my sewing room as a reminder of you ~
    keep warm & busy!
    Lori

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  10. Congratulations to sweet Demelza and her new little biddy. You are such am amazing person. Your animals are so, so fortunate to have you as their mom.

    I tell you this - your felted animals are so realistic that I thought you were playing a trick on us with your last post and had sneaked in some live bunnies! I'm chompin' at the bit to see the bunnies and cats once you're finished them. They will become true heirlooms, I'm just sure.

    Diane in North Carolina

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    1. Diane, I hope to get some of these creatures fully intact in the next week so they can strut their stuff!

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  11. Demelza's wee little baby is just lovely. Hope she fare's well. Artful Doger is a handsome cat. I can't wait to see his completion. Have a joyful day!
    Lisa

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    1. Thank you Lisa, I bet I know what you are doing today!

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  12. Oh stars.....Delmeza deserved to have you help her darling self....and look at that sweet baby chick. And the handsome kitty cat is just that. I've always dreamed of having a big ole sweetie like this one, but alas, I get them as stray kittens and they stay smallish. I just giggle so when I see your darling wooly animals. Artful Dodger is adorable and totally giggle worthy. Oma Linda

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    1. Linda, Since I am spoiling this barn kitty with canned food and treats, I think he'll stick around, I hope so.He/she is not that big, but he may be youngish and not fully grown. I love big cats too!

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  13. Replies
    1. Donna, I cannot get into your site, help!

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  14. Jeri, you are such a loving mother to all your creatures big and small. How lovely for Delmeza to be a mama with your help. The Artful Dodger is so life like and adorable with his little cap. I'm looking forward to seeing him in all his glory! ♥

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    1. Martha Ellen, I think the Artful Dodger should have a tattered vest and stuffed pockets.

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  15. Hello, Jeri,
    We are down to one hen now a Buff Orpingdon. but she lays enough eggs for us.. We may get a couple more in the Spring. I wanted to tell you once we thought our hens weren't laying because there were no eggs in the nest but then a who cache was discovered elsewhere. I don't know who was moving them. Anyway, Happy she finally has a wee one. The cat is lovely.
    Mama Bear

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    1. I have found eggs in the oddest places: In a spare tire, in a bin of nails, and a dusty corner. I DO wish those girls would use the nesting box so I could have a poached egg this morning!

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  16. So good to hear of Delmeza's success. Love the cats. I hope you are having a grand week. Bonnie

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  17. Good evening Jeri,
    What a sweet little chick! Congratulations, Demelza.... You are so right Jeri, this cat is gorgeous! I don't think it will ever leave the Hollow.. Has it too good there... Looks quite comfortable.
    Your creation is just stunning! " Artful Dodger" What a great name. I think this is one of my favorites.. Did you use some of Sophia's wool for the face? You really did a beautiful job.
    fondly,
    Penny

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  18. Penny, I carded Sophies wool as you suggested, and it was so nice to work with. The white wool is from Margaret, the Suffolk. I DO like that little pickpocket!

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  19. Your new kitty looks exactly like our Bobby...if I hadn't just seen him this morning, I would swear he packed his bags and moved to the Hollow! That new kitty creation is wonderful...lifelike, yet whimsical. I cannot wait to see him with all of his parts and clothes of course!! Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful creations!! And finally....congratulations Demelza!! Those rats are such hooligans for sure. We had a family of them stealing eggs until just recently....when I believe they may have met their untimely demise at the hand of some Coumadin-soaked-oats.

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    1. BEV<That's a good idea! I think I'll give the barn cat a chance first, and if she doesn't do the deed, I'll be looking for the Coumadin.

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  20. Congrats to the broody momma. How very sweet of you to give her a fertile egg to hatch *ahhhhh* your a good egg *wink*

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  21. And what a good mommy she is, it's darling to watch the 2 of them, scratchin in the dirt of the barn floor.

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  22. oh my goodness, your woolen kitty is amazing to see.

    fun to see your critters too, all of mine are wild, not as personal.

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  23. So grateful Demelza has a chick! Awesome! I am so glad you continue to give her eggs so she could finally be a mom! I wish I could see them out scratching together.

    And I love the cat but then I love all cats it seems. I hope he/she stays there to have a long, happy life with you.

    And the felted kitty is wonderful! I love little tuxedo black and whites especially! I can't wait to see Artful Dodger all finished up!

    Love,
    Lily

    P. S. Please be extra careful with the Coumadin so the kitty or others doesn't get into it. We had a little dog who did and after a long Vet. visit was fine for many more years of life. Sad and scary both. Sometimes what animals will eat is surprising - as I realize you already know.

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  24. Yippeee for the winter peep! So sweet! What a gorgeous cat. Can't wait to see which name it will be. :)

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  25. Ah well done Demelza, how lovely and I love that you kept going and helped her along the way. One of my hens once layed her egg in the nest with all the ducks eggs, Im still not sure to this day how she managed to sneak it in. But when the ducks hatched there was a we chick that used to toddle after the ducklings and stand at the ponds edge cheeping as they all swam about! I love the expression on the artful dodgers face, perfect name!

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