What a great day! I went with Franciney and Juana to the Fiber Expo at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds near Saline/Ann Arbor. The only reason I was going was to have the opportunity of being close enough to a camel to touch it. I was not allowing myself to buy any fibers or yarn or any sort of supplies...but I was going to treat myself to already made items. I was slightly overwhelmed with the riot of colors (like, too much to take in at once) of the gorgeous yarns and fibers and stuff and with the incredible artistry of the wondrous artwork and crafts. Oh man -- we had a fabulous time!
Juana and Franciney wandered in search of specific things...and I headed straight to the other end of the three buildings to see the camels. I had this idea of how their fur/hair was going to feel -- I was thinking it would be kind of sheepy and coarse -- but NOOOOOO -- it is so soft and so luxurious you just want to sink your hands in and hug them and rub their cheeks and ears. I was nearly in tears I was so happy and -- there is no other word for it -- ecstatic. I met one of the owners/keepers of these marvelous creatures and asked all sorts of questions (when I could put two words together) but I forgot to ask his name. They have an Etsy shop and a Facebook page but I couldn't find a website. You know how much I love goats...well, if I ever had a farm I would HAVE to have a pair of gelded camels now, too. Just utterly delightful.
|Gunther -- I didn't realize that camels have long neck hair (beard?) as well...and it is also very soft.|
|Camel's toes don't need to be trimmed like a horse's hoof. And I was surprised to learn that camel's teeth don't need to be floated very often, unlike horses.|
|And the tail looked nothing like I pictured...long, wavy hair...I was thinking something more like a lion or giraffe tail...short hair with a tuft at the end.|
|Soooooooo soft...just soooooo soft!|
|What a sweety guy! And they are SO tall -- 8 ft!|
|And this is Humphrey. I figured out after about ten thousand photos that both camels will pause briefly when they hear the camera click...so then I was able to get some fairly still shots.|
|Such a handsome guy!|
|And totally not at all jumpy with kids.|
Then I was off to try to find Franciney and/or Juana. I first caught up with Franciney and wandered with her for a bit then she was gone and I found Juana and followed her around. In the meantime I managed to discover some things I could not live without. During the short while between finding/losing Franciney and reuniting with Juana I spotted a vendor who was putting on an incredible felted hat she had just purchased. She graciously agreed to a photo and told me where to find the maker of the hat.
|The vendor with the newly purchased hat who directed me to the artist's booth.|
It wasn't hard to find the booth I was in search of -- wow! I needed just about everything she had! Unfortunately the one hat I decided I needed the most was already spoken for and someone had put down a deposit on it. The artist of these gorgeous items is Jone Rakoski and we talked for a bit -- she is just delightful and I so love her designs. I wanted to be able to buy something right then and there and take it home but Jone (pronounced "Johnny") convinced me to let her do a custom design for me. She said it would be more special because she could put a bit of "me" into it. She will make something with the colors and shapes I like and send me a photo and then I can purchase it. I wrote her as soon as I got home...now the waiting begins! Jone doesn't seem to have a website, either but here is her Facebook page -- Spectral Glass and Artworx. (Jone also sells: felted hats, scarves, clothes, accessories, sheep/wool/yarn, hand dyed merino prefelt, stained glass, soap, and fused buttons.)
|A fabulous (and prize winning) hat.|
|The one I wanted/needed but that was already spoken for...but this is what Jone will base my custom designed hat on.|
|I love the playfulness of Jone's designs.|
|Oooh -- I loved this one, too -- but I don't want to wear bright orange...|
|...and the back of it is pretty great, too!|
My purchases were:
|A lovely little felted house complete with tiny twig perch by Susan K. Pack, artist/educator. Fiberations on FB.|
|And two tiny tiger twins to add to my ever-growing finger puppet collection.|
|They even have tails.|
|This hat was just too blue and too tall to leave behind -- unfortunately, I did not get this artist's card...but I am pretty sure it was Jenny Setser/Winterhaven Fiber Farm.|
And then there was this precious, precious cat doll with mice on her skirt...omg...it is just so wonderful...if I had the cash with me I would have bought it. This was made by Tina Etter, fiber artist. I do not have a website or FB page for her.
|And the mice crack me up -- too perfect!|
|OMG -- this sweet little face with that little mouth!|
Then Juana and I found Franciney and we started to make our way to the exit...but guess what is right in front of the way out -- THE CAMELS!!! So we got one last pet goodbye and a nice photo.
|Franciney and Juana and Gunther.|
After that we went to Thai Basil on Six Mile in Livonia for a most excellent meal after a most excellent day! Thank You Franciney and Juana for letting me come along with you!