In case you are wondering, I have not forgotten that I am supposed to be getting up the storefront for those lovely sea goddesses and mermaids that are sitting in a box underneath my work table. I have several new designs and I must say they are looking great! It’s a bit of an addiction sometimes, sitting with needle in hand, poking wool and bits of beautiful fabric, adding beads and jewels, and having a personality come to life in my hands. But no trip down the addiction turnpike is complete without spending hundreds of hours researching the best places to buy supplies. So with that in mind, today I took a field trip out to Stargazer Alpacas in Spanaway, Washington. What fun!
Stargazer Alpacas, owned by my friend Tina Bars and her husband Gvido, is in the business of breeding these cute and cuddly animals to the highest standard, and in sheering them. Thus: Wool! And not just any wool. Bags and bags of soft and silky, unrefined wool in a range of beautiful colors from cream to black. I came away with two bags of this lovely stuff, just waiting at the work table until I get back from my Utah vacation. I’m going to experiment with using it for stuffing the dolls, and maybe even dyeing it with vegetable dyes. It’s a whole world of playing with ‘stuff’! I can’t wait. (Yes, I know I am supposed to be getting rid of ‘stuff’. Don’t hassle me about this, okay? I’m filled with creative fervor here.)
In addition to being able to meet and greet the alpacas, I was pleasantly surprised to find some honest to goodness goings-on going on at the ranch! Tina and Gvido had Gina Martin and Kelly Cronn there working with the alpacas, checking to see if a few of the females were pregnant. And they were using ultrasound! Now, ladies, if you’ve ever had an ‘annual’ exam, you might want to sit down before looking at a couple of these photos. Suffice to say, I am glad not to be an alpaca, although the animals accepted this with more grace than I would have. It was fascinating to watch, and I got to see a baby alpaca on the ultrasound screen! Now, many people might not be excited about this, but I totally was. I’m not a farm or ranch girl, so these things are fascinating to me. Also, who knew there was such thing as pink camo overalls? They are cute as can be!
I just love being able to go right to the source for the wool I’m using for my dolls. It’s cool to meet the actual animals who grew the wool and to know the people who care for and love those animals. Tina and Gvido know each and every animal of their herd by name and you can see how much affection they have for these sweet beings. I have wool from Kandace and from Santiago. So to them I say, ‘Thanks cute little alpacas! Keep up the good growing! I’ll be back for more, I’m sure.’ If you know people who are into fiber arts and use wool in their crafts, I can give you the contact information for Stargazer Alpacas. They don’t yet have a website, but when they do, I’ll be posting it here! Thanks for letting my come and explore, Tina and Gvido!
Now, to get ready for the Utah trip! Woo hoo!! Desert hiking here we come!