Thursday, February 28, 2013

My Soap Love

I have been using handmade cold-processed soap for a few years now.  I discovered handmade soap when I first fell head over heads for a website called Etsy.  It was around 2006 when I came across Etsy and fell in love with the Handmade Movement.  I also became really interested in trying to go more natural in the products I was using in my home.  I kept coming across some scary facts about the different chemicals found in the products we are constantly exposing ourselves too.  One thing that I found was easy to try and turned out to be a very beneficial change was body soap.  Something about knowing that the product I use was created from scratch from simple ingrediants by an actual individual who I can email by name gives me a sense of comfort.  Also, having tried MANY bath and body products throughout life, I honestly can say cold-processed soap is the BEST soap I have ever used.  I would like to highlight two handmade soap makers who I have bought many bars of soap from and have never had a bad experience.  One of these is a local Virginia soap maker: Old Dominion Soap Company.  The soap sold by this shop is simple, inexpensive, but at the same time, FABULOUS!   The SimplyPom soap is my favorite, but the olive oil soaps and specialty soaps are just as lovely.  And, my favorite product of their's is the hemp oil lotion, which has been a miracle worker for my eczema ridden skin.  The second shop is an etsy shop called KBShimmer.  This shop is full of lots of fun and wonderful products, all that I have tried have been awesome.  But the soap is so fun and full of scent and color, great as a gift, and so fun in your own shower.  Give handmade soap a chance.  Know where your money is going, know what less packaging and simple ingrediants can mean for our Earth.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Visions of Rovings Dancing in My Head

Spindle Looms... Drum Carders.... FeltLooms... Rovings..... Oh, how I am dreaming of all the wonderful things that can be done with fiber.  Right now I am wishing for a Drum Carder.  Shearing day is fast approaching and I am really catching the fiber bug.  I have had fun at shows playing with the Drum Carders on display and I think it would be fabulous to have one of my own.  I enjoy needle felting and wet felting, and I have taken quite a long break from crafting, while I have been managing the alpaca farm.  But, the itch to stitch and felt is coming back even stronger now that I actually own my own alpacas and will have some lovely fleeces to play with.  I am contemplating the relatively inexpensive Brother Drum Carder.  I think it may be just the thing to get me started.

Monday, February 25, 2013

An Ultrasounder's Must Have

If you do your own ultrasounds, it is really easy to go through a lot of ultrasound gel.  Also, the quality of the ultrasound gel can directly impact your results.  I have found this ultrasound gel on Amazon that works amazingly well and is sooo inexpensive.  I highly recommend it.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Affliction Highlight: Ulcerative Pododermatitis

So, we had a little cria present with some very unusual foot symptoms this week.  This poor little guy has had a rough go of it recently and it has not helped that he only weighed about nine and a half pounds on day two of his life.  He has recently had a major weight gain slow down and has been laying around a lot.  Fecals on him were not good, showing a heavy load of emac so he has been treated and cleared of those nasties.  Well, we were a little concerned about his gait.  Seemed like he was walking on eggshells which is a classic sign of Rickets, even though that has never been a problem on our farm and he had been receiving doses of jumpstart with careful consideration that Vitamin D can be overdosed.  So we took a look at his little feet and lo and behold, we saw something we did not expect.

His little feet had a layer of skin stuck to the bottom that was peeling and leathery.  He is two months old so his booties should be long gone.  The best guess I can come up with so far is:

Llamas and alpacas kept in moist conditions develop “immersion foot,” characterized by footpad blistering and sloughing, with variations depending on infection by anaerobic bacteria. Debridement, antiseptics, and foot protection may be required for prolonged periods to facilitate resolution. Treatment with penicillin is always indicated unless unique bacterial isolates are involved. These cases require a relatively long healing period.
He has been treated with Naxcel for five days so my continued treatment will be betadine washes, thorough drying, and a treatment with a anti-fungal topical meds to counteract in fungal infections that may try to set in.  Fingers are crossed that this little guy can come out ahead of this mess.