What is your name? Melisa K. Morrison What is your Etsy shop? Does your shop name have a meaning? Alba Ranch (albaranch.etsy.com) Alba is Gaelic for Scotland. Since my husband is born and raised in Scotland and we were living in Scotland when we bought our Colorado homestead, we thought it fitting as it is our Scotland. Besides your Etsy shop, do you sell anywhere else? Do you have a website or blog? www.morrison.uk.net/melisablog I joined our local art council this year and have begun to enter several of the local art shows. During a show, my entries will hang and be for sale. I also do commissioned work for individuals and businesses. How long have you been making art/crafting? What was the first thing you remember making? My mother taught me how to crochet pot holders when I was a young child. My art also extends to music and I have been involved in singing, piano, flute and other instrumental work since I was about 5 years old. What kind of fibre arts do you do? If different from the previous question, what was the first fibre art thing you made? I spin, weave, wet felt, dye, crochet, and raise the critters from the hoof up. I don’t knit and refused to try to learn to the very horror of the Scottish ladies in my fiber group in Turriff. After attempting to learn how to knit this last year, I have decided to retain my original opinion that knitting sucks and stick to crocheting. ahha I do much better with ONE stick!! What’s your favourite thing to make?I enjoy making many different things and don’t think I have a favourite but I do seem to make many scarves all the time! haha
(Here’s the info Melisa sent me about Sammi the angora goat: Sammi the angora goat, is the warp thread for winter white, and some of the weft as well as other kids, but he is all the warp. He is also in the Four Seasons.) What do you think is the strangest or most unusual fiber arts item you have made or been asked to make? I think that most unusual fibre art item that I have made to date is my 4 Seasons. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=28183840(See first photo and these)
Where is the craziest or most interesting place you’ve ever crocheted, knitted, felted, spun yarn, etc? I would say the craziest location for spinning was when I was drop spindling while walking around at an animal swap trying to sell my animals at the same time I was buying more that I did not need. What is your favourite place to work? My favourite place to work is all comfy like on couch with my feet up while watching TV, all my dogs surrounding me on the floor, fire burning in the fireplace and candles lit all over the mantel. What inspires you? Where does your inspiration come from? Texture. most undoubtedly texture first and foremost and than followed by colour, both of which evoke emotions in me which is when I start to create. What is your favourite colour? Do you tend to work with that colour, or do you find yourself working with other colours?My favourite colour is purple followed by white. I work with them both a lot.
Do you prefer a specific type of fibre? Merino is my all time favourite fibre. Is there any other kind of art (fibre-related or not) that you’d like to learn? I would eventually like to learn how to dry felt, needle felt, make goat milk soap and lotions, return to making candles with my essential oils, master the harmonica and the bagpipes. Oh and I would like to get back to my belly dancing as I have been away from that for over a year. Tell us a bit about yourself- where do you live, what’s your job, do you have a spouse/children/pets, any other hobbies, that kind of thing. I currently live in Colorado but am originally from Michigan. I met my husband online and when we got married packed up everything and moved to Scotland. It was in Scotland that I learned how to spin, weave, wet felt, dye and started to return to my crocheting. I am an animal nut. I like them better than people most days. I have so many dogs my brother says I am his crazy older sister with 50 million dogs. haha
Border collies are my babies but have also branched out into Great Pyrenees. I have angora goats, dairy goats, lincoln Long wools, Wensleydale, Teeswater/Cotswold, and Merino sheep. I used to have llamas but got tired of them trying to kill my herding border collies. We also have chickens and some useless cats as evidenced by all the blasted mice around here! I used to work in the mental health care field both in Michigan and Scotland and also as a lifeguard. One of my border collies is deaf. I trained her with sign language and she was a certified therapy dog that worked with learning disabled adults in the UK. I also studied and became a holistic therapist while in the UK. I retired from actively keeping an office in town for holistic treatments to the ranch this January so I can focus on my art. I still do treatments on occasion and use all the essential oils and Bach Flower Remedies on myself, family and all the critters. Tell us one quirky thing about you (or one thing no one knows about you). I live and work on a ranch, can stick my hands inside of a ewe when she is lambing but I can not touch raw meat. I wear gloves to touch raw meat or I stab it with a fork so cut it up with scissors!! Do you have any advice for other fibre artists? Have any craft room, storage, or other tips?Don’t be afraid to try new things, new fibres or new projects.