Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words...

The local Sheep Breeders Association... yup, you read that right... held their annual Fleece and Fiber Show this past weekend. You all know I just HAD to go and see what it was all about. The weather was gloomy, over cast with a hint of drizzle. I felt as bad as the weather... but that didn't keep me from driving out to Hunterdon County Fairgrounds... no sir... not me. My intentions were to do a 'drive by' and decide if this was an event to go to next year.  Apparently there is no such thing as a 'look see' in the country.

First of all you couldn't see anything from the road. You had no choice but to drive in. Once I paid the $5 parking fee then I just HAD to get out of the car and take a peek. The event was held inside 4 gigantic barns. I told myself I would just go poke my head in the first barn... and a goat stared back at me. He was so cute. I stepped inside and saw more goats, tons of sheep, alpacas, angora rabbits, llamas and more. The baby alpaca was the most adorable thing I have ever seen!!! Ahhh.... this is the country. I inhaled the fresh scent of sweet hay, sheep lanolin, and... manure!

In the next barn animals were looking at me, women were offering spinning lessons, men were talking to everyone about raising their animals, kids were hauling pails of water. Bags of fleece were judged and up for sale. Some animals were being prepped for competitions, others were being led around stretching their legs. Demonstrations of dogs herding... fascinating! Two little naked sheep were just sheared and looked cold. I wandered in to the next barn without even knowing it. This world is so foreign to me I felt I was floating in a dream. People really do this for a LIVING?

Whoa! Pay dirt! This barn is filled with vendors!! (Thank you for visiting the USA... please exit through the gift shop). Every where I turn I see fleece, yarn both in its natural state and technicolor, handmade soap, spinning wheels, felting needles, knitted scarves and hats... you name it! Some of the yarn even had the picture of the animal it came from... and you knew you just saw him/her in the first barn. Speak about giving your yarn a face!!! Lucky for me I didn't bring my wallet... I would have been in Trouble... with a capital T.

I found out why angora sweaters are sooooooo expensive. It would have cost me $35 just to buy enough angora yarn to make a thin scarf... but oh how soft and elegant it would feel against my skin. Perhaps next year I'll bring enough money to buy some... just for me. A teddy bear made from Alpaca was another thing I drooled over. If you haven't had the pleasure of feeling how soft and silky an alpaca is, you just haven't lived. The 'button lady' taught me how to tell a bakelite button from a regular plastic, celluoid, or lucite button and why they are so prized by collectors... and I topped it all off with a glass of fresh squeezed lemonade. Imagine if I decided to really go to this show? Remember, I was only going to do a quick 'run through'.

The bad part of this whole thing, was that I didn't have a camera. So many wonderful photo ops passed me by. I even left my cell phone in the car, so I didn't even have THAT to snap pictures with. I guess I really have to go back next year after all... and bring some money for the angora yarn :-)

I had the day off today and spent it cleaning and organizing for a move in the not too distant future... and photographing some items to upload on to Etsy. I concentrated on BUTTONS... now that I'm a pro at detecting bakelite ones. I got a lot of buttons from an Estate sale a few weeks back, plus I already had some that I was DESTASHING, in addition to a few more I found at a thrift store. Put them altogether and move them out the door!

One button I particularly am attached to photographed so well. I stuck it in some sand (that I took from the beach a few weeks ago) and snapped away. The angle I used makes it look like I was actually at the beach. I was really on my back deck... no where near a beach.  Take a look for yourself...

And since I don't have any photos of the animals at the Fleece and Fiber show to share... I will leave you with a picture of my mother's fig tree... and a pretty sunflower patch I saw growing by the side of the road. That's about as 'country' as I get.

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