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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Craft Camp (Retreating) - Part 2

Cake Wreaks continues to delight - and if you haven't already seen it, you should go look at the Cupcake mosaic Zilly Rosen put together to honor Presidents Obama and Lincoln for President's day. Entirely spiffy!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!
DH has to work today so after I got home from work yesterday, he treated me to dinner at Venice Restaurant (I'm considering sneaking back tonight to have another serving of the Triplet Ravioli (oy/the Pesto Sauce/sigh)), a visit to Baskin Robbins for a scoop of Ice Cream, and a re-view of Stardust on the DVD at home.
I'm feeling like a VERY lucky woman.

Back to the retreat narration.
As previously noted, last weekend I got to go to a crafting retreat at Bear Cabin Inn.
I got some more crafting done on Friday and Saturday:

I finished stitching this sampler.
It needs to be washed, ironed dry, and the "C", candy cane, stitched on - then it's fitted into a small pillow.

I finished knitting this Moebius Basket and started on a 2nd.
(Recognize the teal yarn?)

And I worked on this bit o'lace...
(Malabrigo - yum!)

The woodpeckers came back to visit:

After treating us to a yummy breakfast on Saturday morning...
Have I mentioned yet that Carol who runs Bear Cabin Inn is a REALLLLLY good cook? That's half the fun of the retreat - no home-chores looming over you and delicious meals that just add to the comfort!...sigh...
Where was I? Did I mention Carol (and Maggie) just published a Cook Book?

Cool, huh?
I wasn't kidding - she's a really good cook.

Where was I....? Oh, yeah... After treating us to a yummy breakfast, we all piled into cars to visit the Gordon Teele Alpaca Farm a little ways up the road.

Pat Dempsey gave us a tour of the barn and animals.

These are the female alpacas in the barn.
(Check out the cooling system he has rigged for the summer - clever!)

I listened to the the interesting and educational comments from Mr. Dempsey (no, really, he appears to know his stuff about alpacas - t'was pretty cool) from a side-stall, next to some of the younger Male Alpacas:

Hmmm - seems I was taking pictures of the 4-legged critters and not so much of the 2-legged crafters.

Then we moved over to hang out with the baby alpacas...and I don't remember much else Mr. Dempsey vocalized as I was smitten with young alpacas nibbling on my jacket and coming up to snuffle me. (Yep, I'd have failed the pop-quiz at the end of the class...)

Martha was of particular interest to the baby alpacas!

(Or maybe it was the carrot-colored camera/ phone?)

These are the Alpaca Dogs.
They are Not people dogs.
They are there to protect the alpaca from coyotes, who are smarter than I gave them credit for. Seems they send down a bitch in heat to distract the guard dogs and then the pack will take out the guard dog chasing the female coyote.
Mr. Dempsey indicated these dogs have been doing an excellent job of keeping the heard safe.
(Coyotes zero, Alpaca dogs rule!)

You get now why I tuned out of the alpaca lecture, right?
Overwhelming cuteness...

This is a female alpaca watching us in the baby pen.

(And the only picture I got of Bob, Carol's nifty husband).

The "ladies" were a'wait'n for us out in the barn-yard.

Then we got to meet "Jericho", the llama. I was still not tuned back into listening to Mr. Dempsey, but I believe he indicated Jericho will "sound the alarm" if coyotes are on the premises - a guard-llama.

Mr. Dempsey did indicate Jericho was fond of women and would snuffle over our hair and face - I was gifted with a snuffling...very soft muzzle.
I missed getting any good pictures of other snufflings 'cause there was a crowd. (wry grin)

Jericho is in with the Male Alpacas:

This one's a handsome fellow!

Pat's popularity with the alpca ladies was only increased by the bucket of alfalfa "candy" under his arm...

And there was a spiffy gift shop!
Did I get pictures of the spiffy gift shop? No.
I was in a bit of a yarn haze. I think pretty much our whole crowd purchased alpaca-based goodies.
They had socks and gloves, fingerless gloves, the fingerless gloves with the mitten-cover, scarves, shawls, throws, rugs, all soft and tempting. Oh yeah, and the yarn. (sigh)
I initially had a huge armful of alpaca yarns in many colors: 3 skeins of a light teal, several collections of varigated browns, cakes of bright white or grey twined with light brown - and Martha had found some lovely blue-black plied with Gray...

Now, the down-side of a bunch of crafters invading a small alpaca farm with a gift shop...it takes a looooong time to check everyone out.
Long enough that some of my common sense reaserted itself and I put a bunch of yarn back.
(Truth be told, too much was put back...sigh).
But I did collect these treasures:

(Yes, and I found some of that beautiful blue-black yarn I'd seen in Martha's hand...)

And there was this hat.
I first saw a lovely brown version of this hat that I was ready to buy.
Until I saw this one.

Oh yes, I'm quite capable of knitting hats - have made several - but I don't have the knack for this embroidery.

I hadn't recognized the decorations on the brown hat were alpacas until I saw this one. (wry grin)
So the gray knit hat with fun embroidery came home with me:

(I wore it for the rest of the day too!)

And...Saturday night...it Snowed. Not enough that I got to call out of work for a Snow Day, but enough to delight.

Maggie displayed her lap-dog qualities as we marveled at the snow Sunday morning.

Carol's lap specifically.

And it continued to snow...

Then it snowed a little harder...

Enough to make the drive home more interesting.

I have to say, folks seemed to be behaving themselves driving-wise on the way down the mountain...

And look what the DH had waiting for me when I got home.
As previously noted, I feel rather lucky...

Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!!

(Respectful nod to Celtic Memory Yarn. Posting a blog of this length with this many pictures takes a Looong while.)

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