Melisa Morrison is excited so come and see why!

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Sofia, Satin Angora Rabbit

I am so excited I could burst.  I plan on entering an International Art Contest. Pssttt..it involves lots of hand spun merino wool blended with French Angora Rabbit fur and Satin Angora Rabbit fur.

Melisa Morrison of Alba Ranch plans to enter ArtPrize, and International Art competition held in Grand Rapids, MI.  The show is September 21 through October 9, 2011.  Charlie Morrison of Alba Ranch is considering entering the same contest.

Artist registration opens on April 18, 2011.  Melisa and Charlie are both already registered as you need to register on line to be an artist and you can vote in the competition from that same registration.  The other way to vote for the competition is to go to Grand Rapids, MI during the ArtPrize

This competition is different than any other competition in that is held in Grand Rapids at many different venues all over the city which are mostly within walking distance or shuttle bus rides of each other.  The ArtPrize contest is determined by popular vote through online voting, text messages and voting at the show.  2011 will be the third ArtPrize show sponsored by Richard DeVos.  It is part Art Festival and part social experiment.  This event brings community and art together as the city is swarmed by artists and enthusiasts everywhere.

Melisa, a 1996 Grand Valley State University Alumni, is looking forward to visiting her home town where she lived on Cherry St. and College in the Heritage Hill District before marrying Charlie in 1999 and moving to Scotland.  Currently the couple live in Canon City, Colorado on a 55 acre parcel in the Rocky Mountains.  Melisa is the Fiber Artist and Animal Guru of Alba Ranch, while Charlie works offshore and is the Scottish International flavour of the couple.

Melisa raises dairy goats and French Angora Rabbits.  Up until about a year ago, Melisa also raised Angora and Cashmere goats, Merino Sheep, Long Wool sheep (Lincoln, Wensleydale, Teeswater and Cotswold), llamas, and Dorper sheep for meat.  Since focusing more on her Fiber Art, Melisa has cut down on the animals greatly into specializing more in the exotic fiber of French Angora Rabbits.  She has a huge supply of wool that she raised herself including some that she also sheared.

Charlie oil paints and is a shutter bug photographer.  Charlie works in both digital and film medium for photography.  Currently he is working in Oils for his painting medium but is starting into water colors as his next adventure.  HIs forte in oils is Landscapes specializing in REAL locations of his Beloved Scotland.  His photography tends to be of a lot of oil rig installations offshore, exotic locations, and all the critters on Alba Ranch with a fair amount of Scotland Castles thrown in for good measure.

Melisa is currently encouraging Charlie to enter the ArtPrize competition with her in 2011.  Go to the Alba Ranch – Art by Melisa and Charlie Morrison face book page and fan the page.  Put your comments in the Survey postings and be heard about whether you think he should enter or not.  If you have not seen much of his work, please view and comment on Charlie’s Oil Paintings and tell us what you think. competition and register at one of the registration booths.

ALBA RANCH has MOVED!! www.albaranch.artfire.com

Alba Ranch has moved.  We are now located here at www.albaranch.artfire.com.

What do you think of the new lay out of blog.  I plan to be using it more and it is linked with my artfire shop, which is linked to this blog, www.morrison.uk.net, my face book fan page and my twitter account.  You can find me at all these locations by clicking on my fancy new buttons, banners, badges and widgets located up and down the sides of this blog.

I didn’t even know what a widget was?? any relation to a Giget?  oh I am dating myself, aren’t I?

Will check in more later but wanted to get this notice up quickly so that no one lost Alba Ranch.  There is a lot of snow and I did tie a rope to the door handle but you never know. 🙂  So for all those spinners, weavers, knitters, crocheters, and felters out there, have no fear.  Alba Ranch is HERE!

Shearing and Truffle Making….

Shearing an angora goat today, along with cleaning the rabbit cages. Than inside to spin while DH makes more Cherry Brandy Truffles!!

I thought I could shear the goat by hand. Guess that is what I get for thinking. I used to shear him by hand. However his fleece was matted, his penis was infected and his feet were so over grown they didn’t look like feet and they were deforrmed. I feel bad for him.

Charlie said that things are looking up for him! After the worst haircut in Christendom, having his toenails cut until he bled, and having acid poured on his willie (peroxide) things have GOT to get better!!

I stink like lanolin. haha I have to go clean all the rabbit cages. Afterward, EVERYTHNG on me is going in the washer..yuk!!

One hot shower later, all new clean clothes and fuzzy sweats, veggie lasagna and cabin back up to 75 degrees and rising. gotta love that oven. going to watch some tv and spin if I can lift my arms.

“Bunny White” Art Yarn

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Bunny White Handspun Yarn

I just listed a new Art yarn in the shop.  “Bunny White” is a merino angora 2 ply art yarn that I hand spun.  If you want to see the entire listing with more pictures from various angles go see it here.

I also listed 3 hand dyed bunches of Wensleydale locks in pink, purple, and a blue that is sort of aqua and sort of columbine.  Listed 2 purses, 1 crocheted basket that could be a yarn basket, a fuzzy trivet, and another art yarn called European Yarn as it is the Angora Merino Art yarn that I made the European Scarf and Purse of Many countries from.  I still have a large amount left and decided to sell it as a skein instead of making something else from it.  You might like to visit the shop and see all the updated and new listed items for sale.  The shop is here.  Happy Spinning!!

Europe-Scarf of Many Countries…

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European Handspun Yarn

I have just listed Europe-Scarf of Many Countries!  You can see the listing with even more pictures HERE.   What do you think of it?  Leave me your comments below as this was a total experiment and is the first ever scarf that I 100% hand spun, than hand wove as well as it was the first time I had spun Angora.  There is English Angora, French Angora, and German Angora in the scarf as well as Merino.  Europe-Scarf of Many Countries!!

I also listed my lovely Christmas RED tonight.  This was so much fun to spin, than to ply and than to hand dye with Kool Aid to get this SMACK in your face RED!!!  I love this colour and can’t stop looking at the photos.  What do you think of this one?

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Christmas Red Handspun Yarn

I think the colour is just vivid and really have enjoyed this yarn.  I think that I may be going to do even more hand dying of yarns in vibrant wild colours.  What fun!

If you want to see the listing with even more photos, you can see it HERE.

I also listed another of the 2ply chunky merino yarns like I did last week.  That listing is HERE.

so what do you think of my new listings?

French Angora Bunnies…

I have 3 new French angora bunnies.  This is my first with with rabbits of any kind but I have spun the fibre and adore it.

I got 2 does and a buck and if I am comfortable with them and their care, than at the beginning of the year I will try my hand at breeding them.

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Eve, Blue French Angora Rabbit

Eve is a Blue French angora doe.

She is least nervous of all the rabbits around me, and she is absolutely huge.  A very big girl.

I have to pluck her here in a few days as she is starting to blow her coat.  I did some of it a few days ago to hold her till this weekend, but now have to finish her coat.

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Brigett, Lilace French Angora Rabbit

I also got Bridgett who is a Lilac French doe. She is a little nervous around me, but is starting to settle.

She also is starting to blow her coat and I will have to pluck her this weekend as well.  Doing that should help her settle a bit more with me as it takes some time to do.

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Fairbanks, REW French Angora Rabbit

This is Fairbanks, the white French Buck.  He has been used to breed a few times already to some other coloured does and he throws wild and wondrous colours.  He has colour on both sides.

I have to do a bit of grooming on him as I see some tangels wanting to start and hopefully with that he will settle as he is the most scared of me of all 3 rabbits.  He is the youngest as well at only 9 months old.

I can’t wait to start spinning their fibre and making lovely yarns.  These are my new bunnies, what do you think of them?

Little Bo Peep Dress-Lincoln Long Wool

I saw the most amazing article today off the daily mail in the UK.  see the article here

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I will include a picture of the bride and groom. Her dress is made from Lincoln Long wool as is his waistcoat. This is the sort of weaving and creating that has been percolating in the back of my mind now for some time, but on a smaller scale of course as I hate to sew so it must be something I can weave entirely on my own loom.

Since I do spin, weave and raise Long Wool Sheep, I have this very type of fibre and can do this work.  I just think this dress is an inspiration and can not wait to get busy on my next project.

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I love the detail on her dress bodice.  The bead work and how it just shimmers.  I think the skirt is glorious with all those long flowing locks. I remember the first piece that I did with weaving the long locks into my wall hanging (4 Seasons you can see here) and how excited I was to see it come together and how I had to constantly run my hands through the locks as they were just textile and so inviting.  I am guessing it was hard to keep her hands off that dress as it was just so stunning.

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I generally shear my Lincoln and other long wools twice a year.  In order to achieve that length of lock, she must have only sheared them once a year.  However with the horrid heat that we have in Colorado, I have to shear mine as they would just melt under all that wool.  As it is, every six months I worry may not be enough sometimes.  My sheep seem to grow about 1 inch per month of fleece so their locks are still long enough to work with.

I also enjoyed the portion of her article on how she respects their life and utilizes the animal in its entirety.  Having Lamb on the menu at the wedding reception, honors the animal and gives it the respect that it deserves.  So many think eating lamb is wrong, but to a shepherd or shepherdess it is a way of life.  I congratulate her and her new husband and wish them the best in their new life together!

Berry Confetti made an Etsy Treasury!!

I have been included in my first Treasury on Esty. Charlie had his first inclusion a few weeks ago but this is mine and it is for Berry Confetti!!!

Berry Confetti in my First Treasury!!
Berry Confetti in my First Treasury!!

A Treasury on Etsy.com is a neat way to show your appreciation and admiration for another artist’s work.  You get to pick 12 items only one can be yours, and most times they follow a specific theme.  This Treasury is named …with Altitude! in Honor of it being in Colorado and our elevation.  It is really wonderful when another artist admires your work enough to include it into a treasury they create!

Berry Confetti is a hand woven rug that I did from Shetland Rovings on a Peg loom that my Father in law made for me in Scotland.  I than dyed it with numerous packages of Kool Aid to get the colour that you see and lightly wet felted it for more strength.

I got the Shetland fleece from my friend Roger, in Pueblo CO, and it was my first time using Shetland fleece.  I decided that I do not like working with Shetland fleece in rovings and weaving as it is very soft and falls apart.  It would be necessary to hand spin it first and than use it in a rug, or felt it like I did with this rug.  I still prefer Merino Fleece for just about everything from rovings to hand spun yarns to mill spun yarns.  I do like my long wools though for working with lock formations in my weaving.

August 8, 2009 is the opening reception for the Wearable Treasures Art show at the Fremont Art Center in Canon City, CO.  I dropped off my entries for the show yesterday so at least I can breathe and that is done.

Now I plan on getting into some heavy duty spinning and creating some things from that once I make some novelty yarns.  I am a bit torn in doing it on my spinning wheel which is faster and my brand new drop spindles, top and bottom, that Christie made for me.  Christie’s shop on Etsy is at this link:  http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5594913 She does not have anything currently listed in her shop, but she has been working on my custom order and you can convo her and get her to make you YOUR spindles as well.  look at her solds and see some of her designs.  She burned our logo into the spindles and we designed the shading and textures ect together.  she was the brains and creative, I was only the director. haah

Drop Spindle 1
Drop Spindle 2

these are a couple of shots of the spindles when she was almost done and ready for the lacquer.  aren’t they just lovely?

It has been a very drizzly cold wet rainy day that reminds me of Scotland.  Makes me homesick for it.  Silly huh?  but I am wearing 2 shirts and a sweater, and fluffy slippers..so that must tell you something. After all the hot weather we have had of over 90 degrees heat by 9 or 10 am, this is a bit odd.  I do so hope the goaties do not get sick as these huge fluctuations in temperatures are very hard on their bodies, particularly the baby goaties!