Friday, January 9, 2015


So yesterday's conversation about packaging got me thinking about how I wanted this product to look like as I hand my Goat's Milk Paint over for someone to use.  Packaging has been something rolling around in the back of my mind, but because I don't have my product ready, I haven't been too concerned about how to package it.

I love the idea of the mason jar, especially for fluid milk paint, but I wonder if it has it been too over done? Traditional paint can are kind of  'meh".  How about milk cartons?  I wouldn't want to encourage anyone to mistake the paint for food, but with the right labeling maybe that wouldn't be an issue.

Doing some quick research for this post shows me that packaging my product is going to be no small consideration.

Look at how clever this package is for pistachio nuts

I love the udders on this packaging but I'm confused by it's being a soy product with udders? Perhaps it is GMO.

I love this 360 paper bottle.  Perhaps there will be a regular manufacturer when I am ready for it.

Thursday's Inspire Me - Encouragement

What did I find inspirational today?  It was when I shyly told someone about my Goat's Milk Paint idea today and they were excited.  They said things like:  that's a perfect idea!  It's so you!  and asked questions I couldn't yet answer but appreciated that someone was actually thinking about it.  Questions like, how are you going to package it?  What would  it cost?

I know I always try and encourage others  I was really nice to have someone lavish encouragement on me.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

In the goat news....

River the Goat is pregnant!  River is a little over a year old and had not been bred before this year. During the breeding season she was frightened of the buck and I didn't think she let him get near her, but apparently he got near enough.  Without going into all the details, I'll just say I couldn't tell if she was cycling or not and took her in for an ultra-sound.  We saw one bouncing baby goat in the picture! Now I would like her to quit jumping so much.  Try and explain that to a goat!

Here in a couple of weeks I will be drying off the milking nannies to give them a break before the kids are born.  I will miss the milk both for the Goat's Milk Paint and the milk for the house.  Over New Year's I made a full cream feta cheese.  It is not quite traditional because it is so creamy and also I haven't yet dried it out.  It may just be eaten before it dries.   It has such good flavor!

What this means for the Goat's Milk Paint is that I will be entering into the next stage of my research and development.  Specifically I will begin to experiment with dried milk.  Dried Goat's milk is quite expensive and is produced for people with special diet so I'm not sure if I'll be able to use it.  I want to support other milk produces, but the availability may not be there.  Watch this spot to find out how that matter resolves itself.

Goat meets guard bees
OH NO!  I went out to take a picture of River's round belly for this post, and her face was all swollen and all the skin under her tail was red and swollen something awful!  She was trying to hide.  She had gotten out of her enclosure earlier and since the day was warm she may have tangled with the bees at their hive.  I was able to get to the vet and pick up a shot before they closed.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Why do I want to make Goat's Milk Paint into a business?

It's a fair enough question, if one is sincere in being interested in the answer.  Is there a thing in your life that has always tugged at you?  That thing where your special talent lies?  Maybe you are a natural athlete, maybe someone who has always been interested in art, or who can play music by ear, or maybe you decorate, or are good in mathematics...  My thing is that I have always had an affinity with animals.  Now many people who love animals have learned to make an ethical living with them from the beginning, but that's not the course of my life.  While my critters have always had a place in my life, I did other things, studied other things.  Now, after learning many different lessons in life, and now that my children have just recently left home, I am in the process of starting a fresh.

In my last post I talked about tiny/small houses.  In order to move into a tiny house one has to fit into a tiny house.  It's not about cutting back on excess possessions so much as it is finding those 100, 200, 300 important artifacts in your life.  If I am going to find a better career fit, one that is uniquely suited to my talents and allows me to try my hand at being an entrepreneur, than I have to get to that important intersection of where my natural talent meets the world's need.  I have to find what is important.

I'm the sort of person who can't help but grow a garden every place I've ever lived.  Animals seek me out and caring for them is my most natural state.  I have an eye for color and beauty and I love to create with my hands (I would love to learn to be skilled at woodworking).  I have a strong background in theology and my specialty is a theology of place.... belonging to the earth.  In life I have acquired practical and broad skills in management.

When I seek to bring my best to the world, I bring my God given talent, my interest, my skill, practical wisdom and a desire to bring this essence of this to others.  And so I bring you paint that comes from the earth, it comes from well cared for animals, from good soil management, good animal husbandry, an ethos of a stewardship of creation.  It is the essence of place.  I actually hope to buy milk from others so I offer an outlet to other producers and encourage this way of life.

When this paint is used by others on their passion, in their homes and nurseries, and hand crafted furniture, or artwork, a symbiotic relationship is formed.  We forge a relationship based on common values then micro-economies are linked and community is strengthened.

 I always add pictures to my posts, but I can't thing of what one image would be.  It would smell like essential oil, and feel like humus, and look like the Goat's Milk Paint lovingly applied to something valued.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Goat's Milk Paint for the Tiny House Movement

I have been seriously interested in the tiny house movement for the last year or so.  I've watched with fascination as people have hand built all manner of houses - some small enough to be towed behind a truck.  Tiny houses are often portable but not necessarily intended to be driven all over.  They are mostly meant to be lived in full time.  It's not a vacation thing, but a lifestyle kind of thing.  Because of this, people put a lot of thought into every aspect of the space.  This is one of the places I see my Goat's Milk Paint being used.  Someone who has spent time handcrafting their home with care will appreciate using my paint that has also been handcrafted with care.
Zyl Vardos is probably my favorite builder, of movable houses right now.  This is their house called a pinafore:

The word, vardos is commonly associated with the Romanis, or Gypsy of history.  My understanding is that the era of the horse-drawn Gypsy wagon was quite short but the image carries on.

Likely there are more Vardos being made today than at any other time in history.  Here is one made by traveling book artists.  This is not their primary residence.

Many houses are built with salvaged materials and many houses are meant to blend with the surroundings.   Quite often green building practices are paramount in the larger plan.  There houses built into rock, on the water, in a cliff, and parked in friend's back yards.

Maybe one day we will have our own small house with a shop on a plot of land for goats.

The Year of the Goat!

I did not know it was going to be the year of the goat when I choose to launch my goat's milk paint venture in 2015!  Good tidings!

I had to go looking for my Billy Goat this morning.  He didn't come up for hay and water with the horse companions last night and it was 10 below zero.  He must have just been hunkered down because he was fine this morning.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year's Resolutions or No?

It seems everyone has opinions on New Year's resolutions and so here I am to add my $.02. I'm generally "for" resolutions.  I think it's good for folks to stop and take stock of their lives, reflect, and change what needs to be changed or challenge ourselves to be better.  For many, religion offers such a time and place, but somehow people are drawn to seeing out the old year and resolving for better in the new.  I think it's generally healthy.

I'm excited to launch my Milk Paint in the new year, but that isn't really a resolution - it's a goal, a plan.  What I need to get resolve on is healthy lifestyle.  Yes, I have a bit of the Standard American Diet blues combined with a lack of exercise and advancing years. I've been raised with cultural and media expectations about body image and I largely beyond being overly influenced by them.  Of course that makes me a bit of a hermit and one of my resolutions is that I'd like to have a more active social life.

I also probably eat better than most people (in the world) because I have a garden and chickens and dairy goats and I care about what the animals eat too. We have a beef and the last of lambs of which I raised with care and on lots of good pasture.
Buying this book!

What I want to do is to be more intentional still.  Enter the Mediterranean Diet.  The Mediterranean way of eating is holistic, with lots of herbs, lots of garden greens and wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, olives, goat's cheese, olive oil and milk based dishes.  Wine and tea all play a part.   Add to this a robust social way of eating that is part of the Mediterranean lifestyle:  eating with friends and family and having folks stop by regularly.   Eating is social and generous and gregarious and healthy.   This has to be modified somewhat due to where I live - the opposite of the Aegean sea.  Right now I live in winter hell, but I have hope!  So, I may not be walking too many places until the weather improves, but I can do floor exercises.  I did go for a hike in 10 degree weather with a stiff wind today.  I went looking for my horses that didn't want to leave the trees for the warm water I brought them.

 Do I expect to become slender and 25 years old again?  Will I lose my pasty white complexion and become beautifully smooth and olive skinned? Ah, No!  Thee things are not going to happen.

 By paying attention to great food served under hospitable conditions may all our bodies continue to be healthy, strong and efficient well into the future.

Winter Hell is the reason I'm blogging about food and not out sanding furniture projects now, btw. The description of the blog says.. "and more".  That's a little like "other duties as assigned"