Todd Morrison Jan 2002 – August, 30, 2014

Todd Morrison Jan 2002 – August, 30, 2014

August 30, 2014 was a sad day for Charlie and I.

Another of our furry family members passed.  It has taken me some time to be able to write a post about Todd’s passing. Todd came to us when he was about 8 years old.  I had started herding lessons with Kathy in Ft. Lupton, CO for Abbey, my red tri color border collie.  During the time that I was taking a few lessons with Abbey, I met Todd and we bought Todd.

Todd

Todd wouldn’t always work for everyone.  He did like to work for me.  He occasionally worked for Charlie but most times he would not work for him.  Todd needed a firm but patient handler and if anyone shouted at him, he shut down and would refuse to work.  He and Kathy had a difference of opinion.  He wanted to gather up the sheep and bring them to her, she wanted to train him to go further and drive and do other things.  If the sheep or goats were moving away from the human, Todd was NOT happy.  Well for us and our minimal needs, Todd’s style worked well.  He could gather up the sheep and goats and bring them to us all day long so I didn’t have to go down that big steep hill on the Colorado mountain side.  He understood that he wasn’t required to work every day, that when we walked even without any critters to herd I would run through his commands for practice, and that this was his retirement home.  We had about 6.5 years with Todd.  He adored my husband Charlie, me too, but there was a special bond with Charlie.  Charlie was his playmate.

Todd moving Michelle, one of our angora goats

Todd started going downhill dramatically about 2 weeks prior to our decision to let him go.  We did run numerous tests and our best guess was that he had a bone cancer in his back hip and some sort of spinal injury as no messages from the back end were reaching the brain.  He was staggering, struggling to use the bathroom, didn’t want to eat, and in pain.  It was the correct thing to do for him, even though it sucked for us.  I waited a little bit and tried a few pain medications and he had some initial improvements but not any significant increase in the quality of his life.

Todd and his mate, Charlie

I had hoped the medication would turn the tide and was going to give him a few days to look for improvements, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.  Charlie was offshore at the time but the extra few days making him a bit more comfortable with the pain medications allowed Charlie to get home to be with Todd that last evening before going to the vet the next day.

 

 

Todd working the training sheep

Our Todd would gather up the sheep, but he really enjoyed the belligerent stubborn goats.  Those were his favorite to herd and bend to his will.  He had a great eye and barely made a sound when doing any herding.  It was a joy to watch him work.

Todd will be missed.

 

Dr. Bj Ferrell

Dr. Bj Ferrell

Monday, December 3, 2012, Dr. Bj Ferrell passed away unexpectedly.  Words do not express how broken my heart is.  I have never experienced a loss so profound or difficult as this as I have been fortunate in my life to almost never experience death.  I am at a loss to know what to do or feel.

Bj to me was a mother, mentor, teacher, best friend, my student, joy and buddy, holistic doctor, and the first person that ever truly saw me for who I was next to my husband Charlie.  It is very rare to find a friend that will give as much as I give back.  She was that and more.  She allowed me to give to her just as much as she did to me.  That is a real friend.  She knew the real me….all of me and still loved me fiercely.   She was trustworthy to know the real me and I don’t know if I will ever find another friend like her.  She means more to me than anyone else other than my husband, Charlie.

She never judged and always encouraged.  I had never met anyone like that before other than my mother in law, Grace Morrison who passed on 2 years ago.  To a person who was criticized, judged and found wanting her entire life…Bj was a breath of fresh air to me because she was so different from my previous life experiences.  It took me time when we first met to really trust her love because it was so foreign to anything I had ever known.

Dr. Bj Ferrell, an ordained minister, officiating at her Grandson’s wedding.

Oddly enough, we both recognized a deep connection the moment that we first met.  We may have only known each other 8 years (6 of which we were living in Colorado) but we were soul sisters from way back.  Had we met 25 years ago, that connection would have been the same.  It just took our coming to Colorado to put our souls in proximity with each other so that we could meet in body….finally.

I am not the same person that I was prior to meeting BJ.  I am a better person for knowing her.  I am alive because of her holistic knowledge and help with my health.  I have no doubts that had I not met her when I did that I would not be alive and here now.

She has been a constant source of encouragement and interest in all the crazy things that I do.  Animals from all walks of life.  Making, baking, creating and canning all sorts of foods.  She was always willing to be my experiment and try whatever I had created. She was brave that way.  She knew the old ways and understood them better than I hope to ever know.  Her fascination with all my fiber creations was a great joy to me even though she was allergic to wool and couldn’t wear most of them.

Her interest and joy in speaking with my husband, Charlie, on so many different topics was always a constant pleasure to me.  Charlie knows so many different things on so many different topics and some of those I haven’t a clue about.  Bj knew those things and they could converse in a comptuer programming language that made my eyes bleed.  But they were having fun!  They both loved photography and painting, and although I dabble in both, they are not my first loves.  It was fun to see how animated both would get discussing a new topic or technique and there you go…my eyes would glaze again and I was lost.  I could however enjoy watching the two of them yacking away.

Dr. Bj Ferrell

Bj had so many degrees, so much learning, so much knowledge and so many life experiences that she is a great loss to all of us that knew her.  Her obituary is here at the Daily Record in Canon City, Colorado.

My Scot Born husband does not always express how he feels to the world.  He posted his thoughts about BJ on Facebook and this is what he said:

I had some very sad news when I was travelling this week.
Dr. Bj Ferrell , our first and best friend in Colorado, suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. I am still trying to get to grips with her loss.
BJ touched the lives of Melisa and I, deeply, and in so many ways.
BJ was a superb mentor to Melisa, continually encouraging her and furthering her knowledge in health, wellness and alternative medicine and therapies in addition to being the best friend that anyone could hope to have.

For me, I will cherish the memories of all the discussions that BJ and I had on such an eclectic range of subjects. We talked about so many different things; Colorado places and wildlife, American history, world politics, music, art, photography, food and cooking, computer programming and webpage design, and even our cars. (I think she was as excited about our two new VW additions as we were ourselves!)
I will miss her candour and honesty, her sincerity and compassion and, most of all, her deep, deep, friendship.

My heart goes out to all her family and myriad of friends who will all, like us, miss her so much.

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I will miss you Bj…more than either of us ever knew could be possible!

Artful Women’s Exhibition with Zonta in Canon City, CO

The international organization, Zonta, has an annual fund raiser.  This fundraiser is for their scholarship fun and local and international service projects.  It is called the Artful Women’s Exhibition.  An Art Show that has 3 categories.  Drawing/Painting, Photography, 3D and Fiber.  I have 3 pieces that will be in the Fiber category.

Pastels

We will be having one or two fiber artists from Ft Collins, Colorado judging the 3D and Fiber category.  I believe this is the first Art Show that I have entered any Fiber Entries that will be judged by actual Fiber Artists.  Most times, the judges are NOT fiber Artists so I have never been able to understand how they could JUDGE Fiber.  I am looking forward to this.

The opening night is October 5, 2012 from 5:30-7:30pm.  The show will also be open October 6 and 7, 13 and 14th, and the 20th.  It will be at the old Sunflower Bank Building at 531 Main Street, Canon City, Colorado.  Admission is $5.00.

I plan on getting to know more about the Zonta Organization and the local chapter.  Their mission statement is:  To empower women to improve their status through education, economic stability, health and wellness, to serve our community through local and international projects and through contributions, and to further the mission of Zonta International.

Bits and Bobs

This is a good thing and I hope to find out more about them.

The 3 pieces that I am entering will show hand spinning, hand painting and dyeing, spinning from carded art batts, spinning from locks, crochet, weaving on a rigid heddle loom and free form crochet.

Beehive Art Yarn Shawl

My three entries are Pastels, Bits and Bobs, and Beehive Art Yarn Shawl.

Pastels is an 8 ft triangle shawl.  It was woven in continuous warp method on an 8 ft triangle loom from yarn that I hand painted.

Bits and Bobs was hand spun from art batts, rovings, and various other bits and bobs of fiber received over the years.  It has alpaca, merino, wool, angora rabbit, angelina for sparkle and glitz, and other assorted fibers that I have no clue about as they came in art batts.  I hand wove panels on my rigid heddle loom and free form constructed this jacket.  I also wove a bag that I later felted for extra durability and wove a panel to be used as a wrap skirt to complete the outfit.  This outfit has not been exhibited in Fremont County.  It was my entry into the Art Prize Competition in Grand Rapids, Mi in 2011.

Beehive Art Yarn Shawl was spun from locks and hand painted in vibrant colors.  The yarn is extreme chunky and bulky.  I used a crochet hook that is much bigger than my thumb and free form crocheted this into a unique OOAK shawl.  Ribbon was added for a nice touch and to close the front of the shawl.

I am looking forward to this exhibition and hope to see you there.  Come Look for me 🙂

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Update:  “Bits and Bobs” won Third Place in the 3D and Fiber Category at the Artful Women’s Exhibition.  The judge particularly liked the different textures, colors, and seeing the “hand” of the artist in the weave and spinning.

Hand Painted and Dyed Yarns for the Store

 

All 57 hand painted skeins drying in garden

I have over 60 new skeins of yarn for the online store. I did a massive dye project and hand painted 57  200 yd skeins in less than 24 hours.  They were at the Salida Fiber Festival and are now going into the Alba Shop to get ready for the Holiday Shopping.

Here is a shot of them all hanging on the line to dry in my garden.

Most are in colorways of about 6 skeins, with each skein being 200 yds.  One 200 yd skein will make a lacy scarf and 2 skeins making a lovely shawl.

Purple Mint 60/40 merino mohair

I have 21 skeins of 100% pure Angora Rabbit lace weight 2 ply yarn.  This yarn is a stunning 28 wpi!  Such a delicate fine 2 ply lace yarn.

 

 

Pure Angora Rabbit Yarn in Pastel

I have 36 skeins of a blend of 60% merino and 40% mohair.  This yarn is dyed in about 8 different color ways.  This fiber was grown here on Alba Ranch in the Colorado Mountains.  It came from 2 white merino sheep, White Mama and Crazy 208.  The 3 white angora goats were Michelle (grandma), Lucy (mom), and Sami (wethered grandson).

I also have a six skeins of Baby Woo Boo.  This yarn is 35% baby alpaca, 30% merino, 30% bamboo and 5% nylon binder.  It is a wonderful soft, stretchy boucle with lots of bounce and is still very lightweight.

WooBoo Green

I hand painted all these skeins myself and love the colorways.  I am just starting to photograph them and will be uploading them to the shop here shortly over the next week.

Red Fall 60/40 merino mohair

I have taken over 100 photographs of the yarns and all the Lincoln Long Wool Locks.  Now they are all edited and I will be uploading them in the shop as I get them done.

I have decided to include a few photos of the yarns just to tease you.  Keep an eye out here as they come your way.