Yarn-ing For Your Love

Did you know that bits of sheep can also be found in tennis rackets, candles, soap, and most cosmetics and skincare products? Arguably, the coolest part of sheep is their fluffy, beautiful, and versatile coat of wool.

While all of the final projects proved to be interesting, we (Kandace Yazzie and Christine Miller) took a different turn. When Kandace brought up the possibility of creating yarn, it was almost too good to be true. The ability to see a product be made from literally start to finish was too valuable to give up, so the idea became a plan.

It began with Kandace sheering the wool from her sheep Jack and Jill. While this practice is common and taught down by family members, it still proves to require much resilience and knowledge. Kandace brought the wool back to Flagstaff, split it into two garbage bags, and we both started cleaning the haul.

The cleaning process is extensive: it is not for the faint of heart. The first step is to separate the wool to take the dirt, fecal matter, sticks, and random sheep accessories out. Second, the carting process begins. A carting tool does a more precise job of filing the stubborn dirt out of the finely sheered wool. Lastly in the carting steps, it is to be washed and soaked in soap and water.

59d0a589b9884ee0ade84d7fbf704edccc4cc6c3aa9245208a4b3fa3b67626aa9c3b1d88a241475fb181ff47ee28c4b8Here is Christine’s new buddy Esa helping card!

From the cleaned wool, the spinning process can start, and Kandace is the master of all things this area. She expertly twirls the wool around a tool to create the effect of yarn that is commonly recognized. 908cc2824e184d689c48909f3f61658d.jpegWe wanted to dye the yarn with berries and seeds from the Colton Garden, but unfortunately could not fit that into our timeline. Furthermore, this means that selling our product could not happen in time for the Holiday Marketplace. We were disappointed, but we gladly continued working and explaining our practice during the event.

While we weren’t able to financially reap the benefits of our labor and sell our product to someone who could create something with it, not all was for lost. Actually, nothing was. Through this project, Kandace and I grew a unique and irreplaceable friendship. Kandace was able to teach the class and our teachers about the process of creating something from the ground up. Lastly, we got to experience real community through the production of something we were both invested in and the growth of something beautiful.



Holiday Soaps

Kaitlynn Cooper, Eshed Ozeri, Emma Tilton

Throughout the course of this semester, we were tasked with creating a value-added product for our final project, Holiday Soaps, that we would then sell at our Final Showcase at The Museum of Northern Arizona University on December 6th. 
We had wanted to make holiday bar soap because Eshed is jewish and we wanted to include multiple holidays, rather than just the social norm of Christmas. So, we ordered a Christmas mold with a reindeer, Santa, reef, star, Christmas tree, and a snowman and then we also ordered a Hanukkah mold that consisted of dreidels. IMG_2089Our initial goal was to create all of our holiday soap by using a lye (sodium hydroxide), goats milk, and lavender mixture so it would be 100% natural and good for the skin. However, not everything had turned out as planned.IMG_2224In an attempt to create our holiday soaps, we had all gone to Rosemary's house on Friday, November 17th for our ALTs hours, where she was going to help us make our soap using the lye process. We used a simple recipe for the lye. However, we had made the mistake of measuring out our ingredients in the form of a volume, rather than weighing each ingredient in ounces, like we should have done. Therefore, this caused a reaction within the lye to heat up more than it was supposed to; in which it then started to solidify before we could pour it into our molds. As a result, our dreidel molds did not turn out, but we did create some great regularly shaped bar soap that we did end up selling as well!IMG_2093Recipe: 20 oz of coconut oil, 22.5 oz of olive oil, 5 oz of avocado oil, 6.5 oz of castor oil, 5 oz of shea butter, 5 oz of sweet almond oil, 9 oz of fresh goats milk, 4 tablespoons of oatmeal, 4 tablespoons of honey, 9 oz of sodium hydroxide, 9.5 oz of water
Note: We had completely forgotten to add our locally grown ingredient of lavender that was hand picked from the Colton Community Garden. IMG_2206Since this lye process did not work out as planned, we had to go to our plan B, which was to buy two things of goats milk-glycerine soap base to make the remainder of our holiday soap. This led us to the melt and pour method.
For our Christmas molds, we made 12 bar soaps which included; all had the goats milk-glycerine base and 30 drops of red dye, 4 had only 3 drops of peppermint essential oil, 4 had a pinch of peppermint leaves, and the remaining 4 had 1 drop of peppermint essential oil and a pinch of peppermint leaves, further letting them rest for 40 minutes before popping them out of the molds. Once again, we forgot the lavender leaves. IMG_2432For our dreidel molds, we made a total of 16 bar soaps, but because they were smaller than expected, we paired them up to sell a total of 8 baggies. This soap included; the goats milk-glycerine base, 30 drops of blue dye, 5 drops of jasmine essential oil (since Hanukkah doesn't have a certain scent associated with it), and a pinch of lavender leaves (because we finally remembered), further letting them rest for 40 minutes before popping them out of the molds.IMG_2505 Suddenly, it was December 6th and we were selling our homemade holiday soaps at our showcase! All of the lye bar soaps were a big hit and sold out completely! However, we did not sell all of our Christmas and Hanukkah soaps for some reason. Maybe the reason we did not sell all of our other soaps because they were not made through the lye process, like the bar soaps were? Either way, we are very proud of our creation of soaps for the very first time. We all had so much fun throughout the whole process and we wouldn't change it for anything!IMG_2504


Bath Bombs

Ashley Kritzstein, Daniel Herger, Sierra Gleason

Closing the Bath Bomb Mold

Throughout this last semester we have worked hard in the local Colton Community Garden, whether that be weeding, spreading mulch, or just cleaning up the garden beds. Meanwhile, in class, we have taken the time to learn more about holistic living and how to make mindful choices in everyday life. It only makes sense that our final project would join both of these pursuits.

Continue reading “Bath Bombs”

Rosemary’s Goats

It was an extremely windy day. Everybody met up outside of Rosemary’s house where she gave us a brief tour of her front yard. She pointed out different types of beds that we had discussed in class. This was a good example so we could have a visual to go along with the set ups we had learned about in the previous class. The wind really started to pick up so we went inside. Rosemary and her husband built their house with a Passive Solar design. The idea is that most of the windows are to the south of the house where the sun will shine in. This heats her house almost entirely in itself. Theres a wood burning stove in the living room that is the only other heat source in the house. For insulation the walls are built with apex block. This keeps most of the heat inside. The tile floors keep it cooler in the summer. After a tour of the house and everything they’d built into it, we went to the back yard to see the goats!IMG_8092Pickles and Petra are miniature goats that Rosemary had to get approved by the city. She tried for many years to get these goats approved to live in her yard. They’re now a part of the family. IMG_8095IMG_8094

We took the goats on a walk out to the field behind her house. We only got a little ways away when the goats stopped walking to feed on the brush. They feed for around 30 minutes and then continue to walk. It got very chilly so we headed inside. We had a brief meeting to discuss what we were going to do about advertising the holiday fair. From the window we saw tons of deer in the back. It was an awesome experience to see all the effort that Rosemary has put into her house to live a more sustainable life and reduce her carbon footprint.



By: Lira Bekiri and Mary Jenkins



Learning About Soils

By Chris Ignace and Hunter Wood

October 25, 2017

Weather: A nice in-room temperature of 68 Degrees Fahrenheit

During regular class on Wednesday the students were able to learn about soils from Hunter, Shyla, Ashley, Daniel, and Ciera.


Here we see some of students from the class learning about the composition of soil and how to tell if it is good soil or bad soil. The students were able to test the soil by placing the soil in their hand then squeezing it and seeing how well it clumped together, an indication that it is rich, healthy soil. They were also able to test it by sniffing it and seeing if had a prominent earthy smell, another good indication. Finally, they could observe the soil and see if it has a rich dark brown color. The dark color indicates that it is rich in humus which is the part of soil made up of organic matter. If the soil was able to pass all three test then the soil is fertile for gardening.


Here we have the samples of soil from the Colton Community Garden being tested. Additionally, starting from the left, we have the worst sample of soil. This soil is high in sand, therefore it makes it really gritty causing the color to be a light brown which lacks moisture and hummus. As we go up the line we can see the samples of soil increasing in quality because of the darkening of the soils due to an increase in hummus and clay which traps moisture.


Here we have the highest quality of topsoil! This sample came from the Colton Community Garden compost pile. It has a rich dark brown color indicating it has a lot of moisture, and is full of nutrients that are needed for a plant to thrive. This jar also contains the helpful workers of the garden, worms!


Here we see student Hunter Wood teaching the class how they can improve the quality of their soil by using a method of double digging. Initially, double digging is when someone spreads manure through out their planned garden area, and then digs multiple trenches. Soil from the first trench, goes into a wheel-barrel. Soil from the second trench, goes into the first trench. Ultimately, this process is repeated until you get to the last trench where the soil from the first trench will go. 

Everyday in this class, is a new experience and adventure! For one, the class gets to learn about permaculture and sustainable living which will benefit anyone.  


Working Hard At Boundaryless

By: Kandace Yazzie and Eshed Ozeri

Oct. 20, 2017( Friday Alts 1-3 pm)

Weather:  70 degrees Fahrenheit

During Friday, the ALTs team had began working on pitch ideas to present in the Wednesday upcoming class. At Boundaryless the students had worked with Kim Fessenden and the head director of Boundaryless.

Boundaryless is a place where innovative thinking happens and this is the perfect space for college students who are creating a product from scratch. It allows students to generate creative ideas with many places to brainstorm. For example, the picture below shows brainstormed ideas from a group developing yarn.

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The head of Boundaryless is super involved and interested in the students thinking. For instance, the picture above demonstrates how he participates and engages with the students in assisting them succeed to create their final product. The feedback from the director helped improve student pitches and made the process so much easier.

On that Friday Afternoon he showed us a template and a few videos about what a good pitch looks like. He even gave us the opportunity to practice our pitch with him in the room.

IMG_5396It is not your typical classroom space. There are comfy movable chairs, circular tables that have poster paper so that it is easily accessible to anyone in the group for the brainstorming process. If sofas are not your cup of tea, there are bar chairs that roll. With the big space available that offers different ways to engage with your group, everyone feels comfortable.

This was a fun and productive day for the students there. On Wednesday we had the opportunity to hear everyone’s pitches that were created in Boundaryless. The pitches were innovative, entertaining, and clearly showed the groups’ thoughts.

The final products will be sold at the Museum of Northern Arizona during their winter showcase.

We would definitely recommend working in Boundaryless if you want to generate creative, effective and productive ideas.