Saturday, November 21, 2009

Back from Peru

We're back after what sometimes seems like 2 months and at other times just a few days! (It was 2 weeks). I got lots of great alpaca pictures, especially at the Accoyo Ranch and some at Pacomarca- some also just outside of the van's windows as we crossed over the bumpy dirt roads of the altiplano.

Here's a link to my first blog post, a summary of the trip with more to come!

Be on the lookout for details of our upcoming Open Farm Days for holiday shopping! I brought back some unique items, as well as those always in demand such as alpaca gloves, chullo hats, and teddy bears, and don't forget we are always open by appointment as well!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

As is typical with our kids (most kids?), ideas for Halloween costumes come at the very last minute. This morning found me fashioning a beard for Robert's costume for school. He's dressed as a "famous" hobo that used to frequent our small town, I'm told.

The beard is not of alpaca, but some BFL (Blue-faced Leiceister sheep's wool) that I got from my friend, Dianne. It is beautiful fiber and I still plan to do "something" with it... this is the something for now!

I have spent the last while scouring my photo files for a picture of the time that Robert had to dress up as a President- he was George Washington and we made a wig together out of white alpaca rovings, it was a hoot!

I needle-felted these pumpkins out of hand-dyed alpaca fiber.
Everyone have a Happy Halloween, and remember to use what you have on hand!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Felting Class Fun

Things have been going much more smoothly on the farm lately, with the recent felting class being one of the highlights. I didn't get a whole lot of pictures since I was teaching, but here are a few.
The best part was the fun and energetic attendees, which included an artist, an alpaca breeder wanna-be, and some current alpaca breeders with varied backgrounds in working with fiber. Planning the timing for a 4-hour class which included several demos and hands-on was a bit tricky the first time, especially considering what a chatty group we had! All in all, everything worked out fine and I think everyone had a good time. Each participant took home a few small finished projects as well as some door prizes.
One of the husbands had to try it, too, when he came to pick up his wife and I think he enjoyed the needle felting immensely!

You can be sure that I'll be scheduling more classes in the near future- let me know what you'd like to see the most! This was a beginner's overview class (of which I'll offer another) but future topics will include Felting a Hat, Nuno-felting, and a specialized needle felting course.
Thank you very to each person who attended, and I hope to see you at future classes!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Always Learning

Isn't that what life is all about? Sometimes we don't learn things in time (that's called The School of Hard Knocks), but we tuck away those tidbits to apply in future situations.... That's all I can glean from the rather bad experience we went through with Maisy. She's the alpaca dam that we thought was perhaps going to have twins.... I'll write in more detail about it soon, but I'll just say here that we had almost the worst possible outcome. Maisy died and there were no twins, but we do have a male bottle-baby. Again, more details in time because I do have some helpful things to share about prolapsed uterus, bottle-feeding, and working with your vet. It's still a bit raw for me to talk about.

Okay, on a happier note!!!! One of my goals for the year has been to do more felting and subsequently more teaching here. As many of you know, I have lots of fiber interests- knitting, spinning, dyeing, and best of all for me, FELTING! I'd love to have you join me for this upcoming class on Sunday, October 18th! (If anyone can explain to me how I can insert a flyer such as this below so that it can be downloaded and printed, please let me know!) If you'd like for me to send this to you as an attachment, please just email me. Hope to see you there!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Change in the SCENERY

As I've mentioned in other posts, my word of the year is ADAPT, and it's been one of those cases of "Be careful what you wish for." Flexibility and thinking on my feet has been a necessity time and time again this year.
We have chosen NOT to go to Shaker Village this weekend as originally planned, but to have our own Alpaca Farm Day here at Seldom Scene Farm after all. The weather is very iffy for Saturday, and the ground will still be soggy on Sunday. After sitting through rain and trying to keep alpacas and merchandise dry last Sunday at Midway, we have decided it will just be better to invite people HERE, rain or shine.... and it's FREE! Our new barn is comfortable and dry, a lovely spot overlooking the fish pond, and a nice place to come learn more about alpacas and their fiber.
Please come out and see us AND our newest cria (above) on either Saturday, September 26th OR Sunday, September 27th between 12 and 3. I'll have apple cider and cookies available, fiber products, alpacas for sale, and will do a quick felting demo each day at 2:00. You can pet the alpacas, take a farm tour, or buy Christmas presents in our farm store! As a potential bonus, we have an alpaca due right NOW and after examining her, our vet thinks she may be carrying twins. After having over 400 births here in the past 14 years, we've never had twins so this could be a historic occasion! Complications with twins are common, however all we can do is be prepared and hope for the best (the dam, Maisy, is an excellent mother and milker so hopefully all will be well). We are watching her constantly on our barn cams.

Hope to see you on Saturday or Sunday, don't hesitate to call for information or directions at 859-428-8883.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Morning Blog Roll

Although I was looking forward to sleeping in the morning before heading to the Midway Festival, I guess I've been on such a roll that I woke early anyway. I love catching up with my blogs on a Sunday morning, and here are some cool things I found today...

A lovely wedding was held in England yesterday, feast your eyes on wedding festivities and alpacas combined on Rob's Alpaca Blog.

Here's a fun fact I learned regarding whether or not alpacas have more bones in their neck than humans, read about it on Debbie's Alpaca Blog.

This is an awesome photo from the Popham Alpaca Blog. (Beware!)

As always, I enjoy reading AlpacaFarmGirls' blog, and try to participate in each week's Fiber Arts Friday- check it out! The last one included information about raising silkworms to grown your own silk!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Adapting to the Seasons

It's that time of year again that I love (officially starting tomorrow!), the transitional season of fall. I love the fall wildflowers, the hint of color on the trees, the bucks in velvet (the young one above should be quite majestic in the next year or two), and the cool nights.

One of my favorite activities in autumn is the Midway Fall Festival. As always, we'll be there with alpacas, fiber, yarn, and finished products including hand-felted shalwls and scarves, socks, etc! Many of the recent projects I've highlighted on my blogs will be available. Hope you can make it out! (Check out the website for hours, activities, and directions).

It's always fun to follow tradition, and the seasons bring out that feeling of comfortable repetition. BUT, as these current times remind us, we all need to ADAPT! (That's my word of the year, in fact, and it has been extremely timely in many ways!). With that spirit in mind, here's a past and current project I'd like to share.
This is a purse that I knitted and felted from alpaca and wool a few years ago. I was making a lot of these then, and they were literally flying off the shelves. It finally hit me that the colors in this one were just a bit much for most people (including me!) I decided to challenge myself to re-dyeing it, and was pretty pleased when this is what came out of the dyepot!!!! (I soaked it in water, then overdyed it with a greyish and orange mixture). It will be fun to see whether or not it sells this fall!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sales Season!

The Extreme Progeny Auction was a great overall experience, and was super well-run, organized and upbeat. We had a lot of fun and our two girls are both going to great new homes! Congratulations and thank you to Gary and Kay Burtoft of Capture Your Heart Alpacas in Bloomfield, KY for their purchase of SSF Runalong! Congratulations and thank you to Alicia Childers of Luna Bella in Clearwater, FL for her purchase of SSF Peruvian Trina!
One highlight of the weekend was that our partnered herdsire, El Nino's Accoyo Michelangelo won the Extreme Progeny Light Herdsire for the 2nd year!!!! This was earned based on the sales average of two of his progeny- our partner Larry Johnson of Likada Farm had entered two spectacular Michelangelo daughters and they sold for excellent prices! (We also own Michelangelo with Paul Kezdi of North Coast Alpacas.)

SSF Peruvian Bounce

With it being the season for lots of sales activity, we are starting a new weekly SALES SPECIAL. To start things with a BANG and in honor of Michelangelo we are going to offer one of his daughters at a fantastic price! The special will last for one week.

SSF Peruvian Bounce is a beautiful light fawn female that comes from stellar bloodlines on both sides of her pedigree. Her dam, CMR Peruvian Na Tay, was purchased from the acclaimed herd of Rachel Hendrickson of Heartland Ranch in Arizona. Na Tay has produced numerous champion offspring including HRAZ Allegra, a multiple champion who sold for $40,000 at the 2005 AOBA National Auction! Na Tay is a foundation female to whom we are very attached and will likely stay in our program forever!

Bounce's dam- Na Tay

Bounce is a very elegant female, tall in stature and with a gorgeous way of moving. Her fleece is extremely soft and uniform. Don't forget, she holds the genetics of her sire Michelangelo who has one of the highest skin follicle densities ever measured!

To top it off and start things in an exciting way, we will offer TWO free breedings with Bounce! She should be ready to breed in late October- you may choose a complementary breeding to ANY of our sires (see and also keep in mind our Michelangelo sons which we co-own with other farms, SSF Peruvian Cupid and SSF Peruvian Barbaro). In addition, you may have a second complementary breeding to use either for Bounce OR for another of your females.... and it can be Michelangelo (limited to one)!

El Nino's Accoyo Michelangelo

We will provide two months of free board to allow for time for you to prepare and to let the weather become more conducive for an early fall 2010 cria from Bounce! Bounce's dam had a gorgeous black female from Snowmass Nova's Private Reserve this spring, so that might be one to consider.... but then there's also Sinbad, or Maverick... or 7 others to think about!

Oh yeah, that one small detail... the price! Bounce's recently listed price was $8,500 with a partial breeding credit. Act now and you can get her for $8,000 WITH the two breedings! (And, financing is available for up to one year).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Second Job

People sometimes ask, "what do alpacas DO, what are they FOR?" and we politely explain that they are raised for their fine and luxurious fiber which is shorn once per year. We also discuss how they are gentle and interesting animals to have around, easy on the land, etc. We mention that they are routinely eating in S. America, but not routinely here.
Another job that they can and do perform is to act as guardian animals for smaller herd animals. We recently sold a male, Friday, to watch over 4 miniature babydoll sheep. Awwww, they are so adorable!
The owner was thrilled with him, but reported that Friday and the sheep were petrified of each other! She was concerned that he was unhappy without another alpaca, and opted to purchase Jack as well. (Alpacas will bond with other herd animals, but are always happiest with another of their own kind!)
I was glad when I returned to the farm to deliver Jack to see that Friday and the sheep were hanging out closely together. Jack and Friday were happy to be reacquainted but quickly went back to grazing!
Mirian was, of course, more infatuated by the owner's cats though she did think the sheep were pretty cute, too!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Often Seen!

The name of our farm, Seldom Scene, is appropriate in many ways*.... we are a bit off the beaten path (but only 15 minutes from I-64!), have had many unusual animals which aren't common around these parts, and at times I don't get out much. But... this fall we'll be quite visible! Here are some of our plans...

Fall Calendar of Events

September 11 and 12- Extreme Progeny Alpaca Auction, Mountaineer Racetrack and Casino, Chester, WV. Watch here for more information on our two beautiful auction girls, daughters of Accoyo Maverick!

September 18 and 19- Midway Fall Festival in Midway, KY. We'll be there with alpacas and lots of beautiful alpaca products including hand-felted shawls, hats and scarves! Demonstrations of spinning and felting.

September 26 and 27- Alpaca Farm Days and Harvest Weekend at Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, Several local farms will be there with lots of alpacas, yarn, fiber, demos, etc.

October 17- Open Farm Day with Free Demos, Door Prizes, Alpacas for Sale, Special deals, etc.

October 14- Felting Class to be offered in the Seldom Scene Studio!!!! I've had people asking for a class, and since felt has regained it's rightful status as my favorite fiber endeavor, I'm ready to do it! More details forthcoming soon, mark your calendars now!

November 6-19- Medical Mission Trip to Peru with Quechua Benefit. Our daughter and I will be travelling to the altiplano of Peru to assist on a medical mission. Please make donations of over-the-counter medications for us to take along (aspirin, tylenol, advil, etc.) or help the cause through $ donations! (If so, please mention Mirian and I as it will help to offset our costs).

December- Weekend Open Houses at the farm

Always feel free to call us for any information about these events- 859-428-8883.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sorry I haven't posted in a while! What was I thinking, trying to have TWO blogs? It's doable in slower times, but with back-to-school and other stuff I can't keep up.

Please come over to my other blog, Loco Lindy, where I've been posting lots of fiber projects lately! Also, you can follow me on Twitter- @locolindy.

If you're thinking about attending any auctions this fall, I think that theExtreme Progeny Auction will be hard to beat in terms of FUN and EDUCATION! We've got two fantastic daughters of 419 Peruvian Accoyo Maverick consigned to the auction, and they both sell with breedings to the Light Huacaya Extreme Progeny Herdsire, El Nino's Accoyo Michelangelo!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Word about Accoyo Alpacas!

Lindy and Paul with Don Julio Barreda at the Accoyo Ranch, November 2000
Accoyo... schmoyo... that's what some say and what I USED to say... until I visited THE Accoyo Ranch in Macusani, Peru and met Don Julio Barreda in the flesh, saw hundreds of his incredible alpacas, and began to raise huacaya alpacas of Accoyo descent. Hopefully I'll find time to say more about this incredible visit to Accoyo next week.
Here's what I knew about them before that visit in November, 1999. They sold for a lot of money. They were highly touted by some of the more "monied" breeders in the business. I didn't especially like some of their type. Nor did I understand density! When we went to look at Accoyo Augusto at Magical Farms to consider him for breeding, I didn't comprehend what I was seeing and feeling, and instead went away thinking that Augusto had a lot of guard hair (really NOT, it's just that he was soooo dense that his primary follicles were a bit more obvious than on some of the less dense and coarse (mostly unimproved) Chileans that I was accustomed to seeing at that point.
Okay, I'm almost out of time with a plane to catch out to the National Elite Auction. I could write volumes, and others have about Accoyo alpacas. I'll leave you with this simple thought: top selling alpacas of all time.... (not including suris, huacyas only)....

1. Peruvian Accoyo Legacy (sold to Virginia Alpaca Farm, half interest for $750,000 with Crescent Moon Ranch). Broke another record years before at $165,000. Now deceased...
2. Accoyo Royal Fawn- Sold to Maple Brook Farm and Double O Good for $600,000?
3. Accoyo Augusto- Sold to Five Star Alpacas for $220,000?
Accoyo America Auction- always one of the top selling average sales of the year....
The list could go one, get the picture?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

National Elite Auction

Dear Friends,
As active participants in the alpaca industry for nearly 15 years, we have always prepared for a softer market (simple supply and demand), and that time has come with our crazy economy. How have we prepared? By giving generously of our time as industry leaders, learning about fiber, traveling to Peru and conferences nationwide to maximize our education, and partnering and networking with knowledgeable people all over the country and the world. Most of all, we have selected and bred to the BEST, most sought-after bloodlines, promoted them through shows and active participation in auctions, and through solid customer support! Every livestock industry has several levels of animals (show-seed stock, registered and grade), and we have always strived to offer high-end seed stock for our customers.

El Nino's Accoyo Michelangelo and winning Offspring

The National Elite Alpaca Auction is a first-class event which we have participated in for 3 years, and this year we proudly offer two outstanding daughters of El Nino’s Accoyo Michelangelo (above). Michelangelo’s offspring earned him the 2008 Extreme Progeny Herdsire of the Year, as well as the high-selling entry at the 2009 AOBA National Auction! His skin has been tested by Dr. Norm Evans as having one of the densest follicle counts in the country at 105 follicles sq/cm. Michelangelo’s offspring excel in the show ring, auction arena, and are now breeding and producing. Simply put, this Accoyo bloodline is one of the most solid you can find in the alpaca industry today. (Michelangelo is co-owned with North Coast Alpacas and Likada Farm.)
Lot #13, SSF Peruvian Bounce, is from a female (CMR Peruvian Na Tay) that we purchased from Rachel Hendrickson’s herd in AZ a few years ago. Na Tay just gave us an outstanding true black female from our newest black sire, Snowmass Nova’s Private Reserve. Bounce herself is elegant and stretchy with a very fine and soft-handling fleece. We recommend breeding her to Private Reserve (complementary, as is the choice of any of our world-class sires, OR you may use a Michelangelo breeding on another of your females). Lot #50, SSF Accoyo Noel, represents one of the hottest niches in our industry, a FULL ACCOYO FAWN. Quite simply, Accoyo genetics add value!Her dam is MA Accoyo Princess, one of our herd’s foundation females. Noel shows the potential to excel in the show ring, with great “type” and an elite fawn fleece. Another Princess daughter, SSF Accoyo Drama Queen, is our #1 female and has produced offspring that we have sold to some of the top farms in the country! Noel is unrelated to 419 Accoyo Maverick and this combination (Michelangelo and Maverick) is producing some wonderful results! She sells with a complementary breeding to Maverick or ANY of our sires (OR you may use a Michelangelo breeding on another of your females).
We haven’t really yet promoted another exciting fact about Michelangelo- one of his male offspring, SSF Cheshire Cat, is on his way or has just arrived in England! We sold champion brown Cheshire Cat last year to Ben Harford of Ashcroft Alpacas in Cotsold, Great Britain, where he will soon be standing stud!

Anyone who loves the alpaca industry as we do knows that there will be a strong demand for top breeding stock for years to come…. We feel that these Michelangelo daughters can help to infuse your herd with the fiber fineness and density and soundness that you’ll need to excel into the future. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at the farm at 859-873-8352 through July 26 or on my cell at 859-983-8808 after that. Tim Vincent with Celebrity Sales is excellent to work with for phone or proxy bidding, so feel free to call him at 503-704-9229 for assistance!

Thanks for reading about our outstanding consignments to the National Elite. You can learn more about the auction itself by checking out this link- it should be a great time with lots of great alpacas, seminars, food, friends, and fun-ALL FREE!
Lindy and Paul