Saturday, October 31, 2009


Remember the pumpkin from the previous post that we grew here on the farm?
Well, here she is in her new life.  We took one of the bridal veils and she looked happier than ever.  The fascinator is an alpaca felted piece with a silk magnolia and white coque feathers.  The lady pumpkin to her left is the flower girl.  She is wearing the "Empress" camellia from my husband's garden.  Looks like this model waited too late to go to the periodontist!
Sergio's boys were here this morning, so we gave them the jack'o lantern.

Wanted you to see the foliage here in north Georgia.  Folks come from miles around to "leaf peep" every year.  The footlhills of the Appalachian Trail is ablaze.  This tree is a Sugar Maple over at my mother's retirement condo in Jefferson, GA.  It has such beautiful seasonal foliage that I could not resist this one for your enjoyment.

Ruthie, the R&D sister and I are talking about doing a series of Mourning Veils.  I have seen in some old movies, also Jacqueline Kennedy, and others wear a veil that covers their face during a funeral.  This type of veil serves many purposes which I will cover in the next post.  I will be enlisting the help of other alpaca sisters in suggestions and designs.  Let me know if you want to be in on this collaboration of designs and ideas.  The reason I am coming to this topic is that tomorrow is All Saints Day.  In the Episcopal church we remember and acknowledge those who have died and gone on in the last year.  All their names are called out in every church, quite a solemn moment. 
Do you remember the cantor singing out every saint's name during the processional from the Pope's section of the  Vatican as the coffin made its way to the piazza of St. Peter's Basilica?  That chant was eerie and mystifying, it had tonality that stirred your soul. Does anyone know this chant?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Considerate Done!

Tomorrow is Hallowe'en.  Watch for the transformation of our homegrown pumpkin!
On top is a fascinator made of alpaca felting, velvet, peacock feathers and precious stones.  Maybe this will be a girl pumpkin

Dr. Del and I picked up a biscuit at our local "southern eating establishment" and saw a pickup truck with a magnetic sign on it.  It was a handyman who did odd jobs and his company name was "Considerate Done".
I got to looking at that and wondered if it was a grammatical error, a play on words or real meaning to the two words rather than the usual  "consider it done" ! This is a phrase that lends itself to accepting confidence in someone else.  Sometimes I ask that a certain thing be done here on the farm that I cannot do or do not have the time and I try to delegate.  When the recipient of the request responds back "Consider it done", I absolutely relax and take it off my mental plate.  Only can you do this when trust is at the core of the ones involved in the discourse.
However, in this case of "Considerate Done", I would like to think that the task would be done with expertise, certainty, correctly, carefully, on time and within expectations, yet, far better than I imagined. It would be quite a promise to name your company in that fashion.  But, maybe that gentleman is one of those rarities in life.  Sorry I did not get his contact information.

Want you to meet another working member of the farm.  His name is Luke and is the main rooster.
He is a bantam and has feathers on his feet.  He has several progeny and has only been mature enough since April.  Anyhow, the other little roosters are bigger and more colorful, but he still maintains the run of the "girls". It is so funny to see him running to gather up his "harem" when they wander off.  A guy just can never rest in that job! He keeps them working all day.  if they are not laying eggs, they are eating bugs, slugs, worms and snails.  Like I said, everyone has a job to do here.  I guess he could walk off if he did not like it here. Cannot imagine why .......
Ruthie sent a white alpaca felted pillbox.  It is similar to the Jacqueline Kennedy style of the 60's.  I have taken some white and silver feathers from the Aracaunas and a pearl and marcosite silver broach that my mother gave me for the fascinator.  I think we need to put a wire in the top to keep the shape, but the prototype might be a keeper.

What I did was to put a crease in the top and it took on a new life as that of a Nehru style.  The bride I have in mind has a going away outfit for this December that has a standup, mandarin style collar, plain light gray alpaca/silk blend fabric with off center hidden buttons to close the top coat which has side slits, over slacks that are full leg matched with 3 inch high leather boots.  This hat will tie together the bride look in a travel ensemble to the Chateau leFrontenac in Quebec City, Quebec.  Sounds like a winter wonderland?
Be safe and remember the Hallowe'en stuff is for kids!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


When you are in the livestock breeding business, you enjoy today what was planned for many months ago. 
The little guy on the right, sitting with his mama, is five month old Cosmopolitan of Crowne.  His being here was planned many months ago.  His sire, Crowne Wellington, succumbed last month and this little guy is a hope of passing on his legacy.  Who would have guessed when Cosmo's mama, who is via Peruvian Mr. President,  born in  2002 that Presidential Charisma would be the mama of this little guy? This breeding was planned in early 2008 and this is the results of the waiting.  My message is that patience and planning are those gifts one prays for.  I knew that the probability of this little guy being stellar came from the expected progeny difference that comes with his  particular sire and dam.
It is so wonderful to predict something and it comes out better than you ever imagined.  The theology here is that you make the best decision with what you have to work with.  You start with the best core available and hope that Mother Nature agrees with the myriad of combinations that are possible.  If you have  an opportunity to blend two great lines or ideas, the probability is good that the extraneous variables are eliminated and success will be yours.
True in life.  If you scrimp on your investment, that is what you will reap.  If you save up and make strong valid choices, the outcome should be better than if you tried to get by on the cheap.  Far better to wait for the right choice than to force an issue into being and pretend that it is quality.  In breeding stock,  you should  use good rules to choose breeding pairs, otherwise, you may have more surprises that do not meet the breed optimums.
Choose well, be well, live well.

P.S.  Got a package from the R&D sister, Ruthie. Hope I have some good templates for our Veils using alpaca felting.  Looks like we might have something neat to develop.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


On Saturday 10/24, Dr. Walter Bravo came to CARODEL FARMS and held a seminar on the management of the alpaca cria.  The group in the photo  is Sergio holding Divine's head in a gentle ear old, with Dr. Walter Bravo teaching Dr. Ken Cato along with Dr. J. D. Mixon the techniques of removing retained incisors. While he was here, he examined several of our females to ascertain pregnancy.  Those who were not, he gave his opinion as to why.  Since productivity is the name of the game, he was very helpful in helping us to assess the herd mix and male retention (or not).
When he presented the seminar, these were his research results that came from LaRayo, Peru.  Each year he goes to this research center east of Cuzco, Peru to draw blood and assay on a herd of about 1500 breeding females. Plus he has discovered how to spin down blood, in large quantities, and give the plasma to the newborns thus helping the village to decrease the mortality.
A lot can be learned when you have a  population of that many, in one place, and limited variables.
What we learned more than anything is that if you are going to help a species do better, thrive and have ultimate production, you must mimic what Mother Nature would do.
To share with you the results of his research, I will give it to you in increments.

Lesson I:   The first day of the cria's life there is a pattern to its feeding.  Dr. Bravo found that the cria nurses every thirty minutes for the first four hours for approximately three-four minutes each visit to the milk bar.  Then, the cria goes to once per hour for the next few hours, in subsequent days they suckle 10 times per day, with very little nursing done after nightfall.
Now that is important information.  If the cria is having a tough time getting started or the mama is not up to the task right away, the human has to intervene and to mimic the pattern.  This research gives us clear marching orders as to frequency and some indication of quantity of colostrum to administer by mouth.
If there is an issue with the cria and it does not suckle, or has a personal issue, trying to stay close to its natural habit will be useful. Make sure the dam is milked out according to that schedule also.  If the cria is orphaned, that is another issue.
The pattern is what matters and requires the mimic. 
Now that is a cool word, agree?
The group, George and Judy Dick, Joe and Gloria Williams, Penny Millar and Nicole Taylor are thanked profusely for the great lunch content, homemade desserts and bread.  Thanks to ChesterFried from Publix for the entree!

Going to go have pizza with my mother this evening at her apartment.  If you can, call your mom.  If you cannot, think of her and  thank her for her sacrifices.......

Friday, October 23, 2009

My favorite icon

In Russia, all the symbols created in silver, paintings, statues that are of Mary (The Mother of God) and the baby Jesus , are called icons.  The photo above is of an oil painting, lacquered with repousse silver cover.  I bought it at the St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church in St. Petersburg, Russia many years ago.  What is so mystifying is that the faces and the hands are openings in the silver.  When the light hits on it, you get a different perspective at all times during the day.
This is how life is. Depends on the light in which you view things that reveals the object of focus. If you are in darkness, nothing is seen, in low light the shadows do a dance, and in full brightness, all colors and textures are very evident.
So maybe we need to get out in the Son!

Dr. Bravo is on his way here to hold a seminar on Saturday for the alpaca breeder friends of ours.  We have had some birthing issues that he will shed light on for us.  We want to get this down to a fine blending of the science and the art of it all.
Will fill you in on the revelations from this great Cria-Don!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sincerely,word for the day.....

Have you read "The Lost Symbol"? It is jam packed with some of those secrets of  the Free Mason brotherhood.  My father was a Free Mason and a Shriner (33rd degree).
I have been taken by a section of the book that talked about being truthful and genuine. When a sculptor has a less than perfect piece of raw material, or lacks the skill to recognize the talent needed, or if the craftsman tries to cover up a flaw, stone dust is applied and then wax is adhered to the surface and painted or glossed over. The flaw is not always revealed or it would loose its value.  Sine in Latin means= without. Cere is the base word for wax= without wax. Sincere is derived from the two Latin words "sine" and "cere"-meaning without wax. It appears that sneakiness and fraud have been with us a long time. The ancient myth tells us that Roman sculptors were not as good at using the strength of stone as their Greek counterparts. Greek statuary was often graceful, but the Romans (who were trying to imitate this art form) carved figures in stone that were not strong enough to support their own weight. Consequently, many of the Roman sculptures cracked. Some sculptors filled these cracks with wax to make their statues appear to be complete and perfect.

Because this practice came to be widespread, the legend "sine cere" (without wax) became a mark of excellence because the statues had no cracks. Hence, we have the word sincere, which has come to mean genuine-without pretension or hidden flaw. (by Marc Maurer)

  Thusly, as an author if one  crafted a message to the reader is truthful and genuine, and you have no flaws hidden from view, covered up, then you have nothing to disclose and the message is genuine.  In your own letters of correspondence, how many times have you signed at the bottom, Sincerely.  You are saying  that in the letter  there are  no falsehoods and is genuinely true. (Just as a failsafe, I use Regards, Caroline: i always know that is safe!)
The symbol in the cartoon above is a characiature  of the one seen on the back of the US One dollar bill.  that pyramid is much more refined but the elements are similar.  The pyramid is of course laid stone by stone and the capstone which is a pyramid itself finishes the design.  The all-seeing eye is another day!
....your word for the day; meaning it's everywhere!

On the base of the aluminum capstone of this obelisk, theWashington Monument in D.C., on the east side is engraved Laus Deo, which in Latin means Praise be to God.  I had no clue that was there, but the documentation is there; that is is not a myth.  Isn't that a great thought that each morning, as day is breaking in the east, the once tallest building in the world is up to the heavens and greets God on our behalf with a statement of praise?  What is also such a great thought that this is to God, whatever form your belief takes you.  My father who was born in 1911 in Mississippi may give you visions of a certain type of white man, but when it came to his Free Mason work, men were men, and worthy of respect.. We would all do well to seek out the ancient mysteries. The foremost:  "Praise God" ; the second  "Love others as you do yourself ". I figure that if you are doing these two things, you are doing the right thing!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Life needs frosting

This is the box top to a cinnamon roll. We had intended this for a breakfast treat.  As I looked at this box on the counter I realize a profound message that was there.  "Life needs frosting".  What a great thought.  However, any of you who know the nature of frosting, there is an art to its application.
There are different kinds of frosting.  As with life, the basics are great and needed but what a treat to have a bit of frosting.  So think about things, add a bit and see how much better things are.

A friend of ours, Frank, Norton, Jr , is an artist who once was a doodler.  He would draw cartoon- like characters and messages for his children on their lunch bags.
He  is now showing his art in Atlanta and SoHo with chickens personified.  This is my portrait; always with a hat!. Not quite the ballgown or low cut little black dress, but speaks volumns.  I guess that the animals in my life qualify for the Mrs. Doolittle title. I love this old gal. She is hanging in my kitchen and she greets me everyday that I fix coffee.  She reminds me of what I need to be focused on and not to be remiss in my purpose in the care of my livestock.
My favorite icon, however, that is near our bed, is an art piece I will share with you on another post. You will love it.

Stay focused..........

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Blue, yes indeed!!

I had one of those rare points in one's life yesterday.  I went with my only child, my daughter, to her doctor's appointment and you guessed it!   A nursery is being set up and it will be decked out in macho colors! If you all know us, UGA is tops ( next to the Tide) so red and black may be the theme, so that makes me think of Mickey Mouse.
What a very special time to see that little being on the ultrasound crossing his legs, waving, and showing off his perfect spine.  Beach boy! Yikes!  I think I am already nervous about his antics!

Speaking of antics, the little crias, Choice and Adam are the pair! Running like the wind and already making plans.  He is nibbling on her fiber at her neck, great place my man, and making plans for future dates.  That would be an awesome blend of the Peruvian Inca and  Tuscano of PVA gene pool.  The lustre in these two little suri alpacas is already flash point!

Those of you who guessed at the orange object in the photo of the last post, only one got it right! It is a persimmon. My new friend at MonteSano Alpacas in Huntsville, AL will get a really cool package next week.  Hope all of you are enjoying your coffee that guessed correctly on the lady in profile; Princess Diana.

We are having Dr. Walter Bravo, who lives in Ohio, but is from the "Andes", to be with us and some fellow farmers on Saturday 10/24 here at Carodel Alpaca Farm.
Can anyone name the lady on his right? This photo was taken in July at our meeting at UT when he spoke to the alpaca breeders. (This correct answer is worth some of Annie's Soap Barn goatmilk soap.)
It is interesting getting ready for one of these scientific seminars.  So much information is needed and so little is really known specifically "on label" for the alpaca.  This veterinarian has a project that he contributes himself to in his native Peru.  He goes high into the mountains and has provided the alpaca farmers with a way to get plasma, spun from whole blood, orally into the new crias.  If the dams do not have enough colostrum, or passive transfer does not happen, a cria's life is compromised and many times cut short.  We have a very low mortality rate here in the USA, quite the contrar in Peru.  This is their livelihood and Dr. Bravo is providing them with a way to preserve their livestock and inventory for breeding and fiber harvesting.  He is such a kind gentleman and we look forward to his coming.

I love blue........

Taking flight and the Frost effect

                                                   Remember that egret from a few posts ago? Here he is again taking flight. Such a piece of artistry and mechanics in motion. Seeing him take off made me wonder if I would ever see him again. But you know, I did not worry too long about that for I had a few moments of that day enjoying his antics, gather his brunch, his balancing talents and beauty. So how much less are your family and friends? Your acquaintances? All have some beauty, talent or memory to leave with you. What you need to do is to focus on the positive parts. I know that is hard to do in many instances, but try. You will be amazed at how your attitude will change when you enjoy whatever few moments you have with someone. Take nothing for granted that it will always be there. I really miss my Daddy.....wish I could just hear his voice one more time. I remember when he took me to the University of Alabama for the first time. He said "well, sister , ( a favorite word in our family) time for you to take off!". I have tried more to follow what he said when I graduated, "well, sister, it is time for you to serve!". What? No more worship for her highness any longer? I had kinda liked that position as the only girl among four......
I took flight. Had some bumpy air pockets to dodge, but for the most part, the duration of the flight has been a pretty good one. One fledging and a mate for life, i think I am a swan.

How much stimulation can a cria have? Rare to see a mama licking! But a pasture mate checking out the other end is very common.  How else do you recognize?

Had a super visit  with the Design majors from Brenau Univeresity,  There were 15 of them along with their professor Dr. Lori Gann-Smith.  These young women, from all over the world, are entering the design competition among hundreds of colleges and universities to get the winner's place in the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association Student Design Competition.  Ruth, the sister, is the chair of this event  and it is bigger than ever.  The students came here to get inspired by the lovely alpaca, their fiber being the focus of their designs. Some are focusing on children's wear and baby layettes. We even showed them how to dress the man in exquisite fabric for suiting.  Of particular interest was the 90% suri alpaca and 10% silk dinner jacket.  This fabric was purchased from Alpaca Jack's Suri Farm,one of our mentors. You saw that jacket in a previous post. will let you know as the girls proceed on their quest for the "runway-worthy" design of the year.

Then, on that same date,  my brother Ted and my mother had a visit here at the farm.  While he was here he got to see blue eggs and help me with a macho that needed the veterinarian.  When Dr. Frost got here and he saw him in action he commented, " I have never seen such compassion as I saw him". That is norm for Dr.
Frost. He is truly a friend of the species! We appreciate him beyond what he may realize.......

Another cute angle; Dr. Frost's office is on Christmas Street, in Bethlehem, GA. His veterinary hospital is open for business and we love it!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What really matters?

In the past few years, a sifting out process has begun.  I think as one gets older you come to grips with what is important and what really matters.  What is left after the distilling? You can worry yourself to death over transient things.  The clothes?  The adornments? The house? The vehicle?  In this moment they all seem so important, but think back. Are these things still problematic? Or have other things taken their place?   What was on your mental payroll 24 months ago? Have they resolved, have other things taken their place? What really does matter?
My husband is taking his son and two grandsons to Namibia this next summer.  It will be winter there; and desert living; quite a reprieve from Georgia heat.  With that on the horizon, it has become frightfully important to make the very best of this event.  This is male bonding at the highest level.  It will be landmark in their lives forever.  Their thoughts of their grandfather will be indelible.  So why expose yourself to a possible calamity?  Because it is worth the risk to get close to these young men at this age.  It is the thing that matters between a grandfather and the grandboys.
There will be moments of decision.  Moments of how one handles sleeplessness; airportitis! adjustment to time zones, changes in food and water and blending of personalities and memorable events.
What matters?  Things of the heart. Things that a lasting.  That is what one has to decipher.  What will not rust? Where is your treasure?

I have had to come to grips with this also in the breeding choices here on the farm.  What matters? What lasts? What will be available for the future of the species?  On this farm every breeding matters.  There is not much left to happenstance, only the luck of the gene pool.  The blending is like a great recipe.  It might produce the results you want.  The big variable is Mother Nature. She may suppress or let things come forward. 
I hope that in your choices, that all things that matter will be foremost on your radar screen.

Identify this item and I will send you some of Bobbie Carol's soap with goat milk in it. It grows wild on our farm and is availabe this time of year......the photo is fuzzy on purpose....
Hope your weekend is spectacular.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Adam is here

I wish you could see this jacket.  I purchased some white suri alpaca fabric and sent it to the tailor and had a dinner jacket made for my husband.  It actually has some sheen to it, not like satin but a dull matte that is quite nice.  It is 10% silk and has such nice body.  If men knew how nice the alpaca fabric is to wear, they would all convert.  It is light weight, so not cumbersome; it is warm, so no need of extra padding.  It is a wonderful all weather fabric that does not wrinkle! Yoila! Travel material.  That reminds me of a story about the alpaca sports jackets.  We had packed and the bell boy had taken all the luggage down stairs and we made one more pass through and hanging in the closet were two jacktes. Yikes! i wadded them up and put them in the carry-on,  not thinking he would need these in a fresh form upon arrival at  our destination.  I was quite concerned about that last part! When we arrived, I flipped them out, put them on hangars and to our surpise all wrinkles fell out in a matter of a few minutes with no steaming or pressing.  Now if Travel Smith knew about this magic fabric, it would be sold out!
Help us welcome a new male suri alpaca cria that arrived on Sunday.  He is a mahogany brown with "got milk"  goatee under the chin and two white socks! He is spunky and has surpassed all milestones for his tender age of 3 days.  We really watch those first 36 hours, they are critical; if all is perfect, then they have a good chance at a great life.

We have a quote around here we admonish:  "a baby never gets over a good birth or a bad one". 
Think about it...

October is such a happy month for us.  It is literally loaded with Mixon and Giles family birthdays.
We have a new little girl to add to the Mixons....such miracles.

I have decided I need business cards for the Veils Creations.
Had a perfect opportunity to approach the subject with a bride last pm. I was a bit reticent without a bunsiness card for I had on farm clothes and did not look the part at all. My husband did not tell me, for it would have created quite a scene, that I had alfalfa leaves all in my hair from the evening feeding.  He just let it ride instead of making me feel self conscious; no one looking anyhow.  But I bet the waitress wondered where I had been rolling with a mane full of leaves that look like the kind folks smoke!
Anyhow, back to my story.  She was having dinner with her fiance', pastor and maid of honor and they were talking "rehearsal strategy".  She had a huge rock on her finger, looked to be about 40 ish....sooo, I thought to myself I bet you are not doing the virgin look, so a veil might not be in the mix.  But how judgmental of me.!!  This could have been her first wedding and though she looked very professional, I know that girls have a soft side even if the "business" girl dominates the scene most of the time.  I will not do that again.  I will approach every bride as if this is her first wedding ; she is a princess and needs to make that wedding gown perfect with the proper head adornment.  I bet she would look good in that white wool suit (long skirt) and the birdcage veil with the Russian netting with chenille buds and white calla lilies.
I love weddings.......

Friday, October 9, 2009

I love Red

                                            Do you recognize the profile of this lady in red?
Tell me who  she is and I will send you 7 rose buds for a cup of rosebud tea or an ounce of Holiday blend coffee for one cup of java.
There was a song written and sung, in person by the artist, to her many years ago that became a top hit.  Red has always been a magic color for some people.  There are some who love it to look at  it but would not dare to wear it.  It takes a very bold, secure in oneself personality to make the red really look great on the person.  Red can pale in a dowdy poor postured individual.  On the other hand, it can announce your coming into the room and therefore acts as your "page".  What you have to remember though is that pink, or rosey lipstick does not go with red, I mean Chinese red or fire engine red.  It takes that color of lip color.  I have friends who are brave to wear red but are not courageous enough to get out of the box of their make up bag to grab Revlon 710.  My "sister", Geraldine duPlessis, who lives in Namibia has a "fall" color palette and she wears Revlon 710 with great courage and zeal.  I have tried that color and I think I do not appear as demure, but at least it is not fuschia over the red.
There is an alpaca cape I have in the studio that is such a magic color of red.  It is almost circular in addition it has self covered buttons and a shawl collar that can be tied or wrapped from side to side.  It is calf length and is a fantastic piece for the holiday season.  It sells for $250 USD. Would be perfect for an attendant to wear in a red theme wedding.
 This cape is also available in white for the bride to cover her delicate shoulders!
What is also cool about this is that we made a whispy veil of Russian netting to go with this cape for special evening events during Christmas. It is very light weight and is secured with combs and has an alpaca felted anchor for stability.

BTW, the coffee came from The Alpaca Bean Roasting Company , the special holiday blend ,has put me in the holiday spirit. Very aromatic and lively, yet not bitter.  Good job to George and Judy Dick

Sad moment for me. One of our very best machos to leave this farm and go do his good work succumbed unexpectedly the other evening. 
Rest in peace Crowne Wellington and peace to the Mays Hill Alpaca Farm family.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tiara and Bravo

This head piece is a tiara. But this is not just any ole piece of jewelry. To me, it is the most magnificent piece because of its origin. I do not know where it really came from, Tiffany's, Macy's or even from the crown jewel collection of Russia. but what i do know is how i came into possession of it. We have a "sister" that has sort of blended into her environs and I have not seen her since her husband's memorial services at Emory. She is Virginia Gunn. Virginia Gunn and husband/author, Bill Diehl (who wrote Primal Fear-Richard Gere movie and many others) and I met because she had purchased some gorgeous alpacas and needed a bit of help getting fencing, feed, care lessons and the game plan. Virginia was great in the ring with her animals for they loved her and she has always loved the "lights". She was really good at her production pieces when she was on Atlanta television in the late 70s. She got an Emmy once upon a time! She also helped save the Loggerhead Turtle nesting grounds at St. Simons, GA. If you ever see her, thank her for she was "earth friendly" before it was vogue!
We were together at an alpaca event and there was joking about being involved in the promotion of our alpaca herds and she brought me a tiara to wear during the festivities. It was mirthful fun, but I still have that lovely piece and it is now in a wedding veil that is matched with cathedral length tulle and is perfect for the Grecian style of wedding dress. I miss my dream weaving conversations with Virginia, I do hope she is well.

Bravo!Bravo! There is a very precocious young lady in our family. She has studied very diligently for many years on the violin both here in the USA and her native country, Venezuela. It has its reward for being tenacious for she just received appointment to the "first chair" in the her high school orchestra of Mt. Pleasant, SC. She is 14! Miranda is our oldest granddaughter on the Mixon side. She is gracious, lovely and a star in the family crown. Even when she was in elementary school she was playing Vivaldi; my heart swells with pride. She is truly a "little sister" to the veil project. I think that Stradivari would love to hear her touch on his masterpieces of wood and string.

Ruth, the R&D lady with Southern Sisters tells me that the prototype of the Juliet Cap is on the felting table and should be here in a few days. This is a Shakespearean era head cover when put with tulle is magical and princess-like. Will be forthcoming. My friend, Becky, wore this style in 1985 at her wedding. More when we finish the project.

**Life lesson we witnessed yesterday. Penny, another alpaca sister, came to view her herd that is agisting here. Being that she is not here full time she misses a lot of the nuances of the alpaca. She witnessed the loving, neck entwining gentle rejection of a dam to her seven month old cria that we are "done with that". The young one wanted to still nurse but the dam had to tell her no in no uncertain terms but still with that innate love one has for its offspring. I saw the young one accept the rejection with poise but immediately walked away to check out her friend's mama to see if the milk bar was still open at her house! Nada, they do not usually share! Sorry Eve, maturity has life lessons that are tough but hopefully lovingly dished out.

Hug an alpaca, it is magic!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


The last visitors of summer are these ruby throated humming birds.  Reminds me of our last airlane flight.  We were all in a line to land.  I guess we all have to take our turn....patience is truly a virtue.
This morning, while on cria watch, I happen to see an old movie with Grace Kelly.  She was a wife candidate for Prince Albert, circa 1910,  the Crown Prince of England.  The movie was called The Swan.  I was intereseted in the lace shawl which was really a mantilla.  She had it over her hair, then it slid onto her shoulders as a wrap.  This was supposed to be a suggestion to the Prince that he choose her to be his Queen.  This would have been easy for him to invision since she already looked like a queen.

That is one lesson my father taught me, dress the part; it will seem you fit the part.  I have had several folks to tell me that if you dress and act as if you are already there, then it will seem a natural when you are a candidate for a new position, job, or assignment.  If an employer has to choose a new member of the team or committee has to choose its chair, would be easy choice if you look like you could step up, serve well without training wheels!

I have such a piece of lace that I will include as a shawl over a white wool suit.   The birdcage veil would dress up this  design for a late fall wedding.  The ostrich feather is from the Namib desert. The base is alpaca felt over a headband lends a nice anchor for the design.

Looking forward to my freshly roasted coffee from The Coffee Bean in Canon, GA......!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sergio and Anna

I told you I would introduce you to Sergio and Anna. Well, here they are on their wedding day some 15 years ago. Her veil is the most unusual I have ever seen. it has about 7 layers of tulle; her dress which is lace and satin has a detachable train that goes almost out the door! What a magnificent bride and groom. The coronet around her head is made of crystals. So wonderful to see skin covered in the church! In Mexico, the groom's family pays for the wedding, so I know it was really a event to go to....... This is a Victorian style gown with a mermaid bottom. I told her that only brides with a great figure could wear that shape. Her sons asked "what is a figure?"....they will figure that one out! Sergio and Anna have been with me on this farm for almost 9 years. He is definitely an alpaca whisperer. He can calm them all. Dr. Frost , our vet, wants his own Sergio! Sergio was naturalized as an American citizen last year. Dr. Mixon gave him an American flag to celebrate the event, which by the way, was a very expensive route for them. That does not come cheaply if any of you were wondering. He has it hanging in his home. You know, it is wonderful to not have to write the script every time. Sergio can read my mind as to what I want done. But as my husband says, I must have "communicated" with him at some point. Mind readers live in gypsy camps so my niece tells me! Speaking of communicators, our own "degreed" communicator, Laura, is having a very Happy Birthday tomorrow! You can count on it! Also, we are proud to announce that Clementine, our bay black suri alpaca, had Count Delano's Choice, a medium fawn and white cria via Peruvian Inca, on Tuesday. She is quite the spectacle. The yearlings love to run with her, but the mama is very protective ; we expect great things of her. So wonderful to look out and they are on the ground! with colostrum! Alpacas are known for their luxurious fiber. The suri, which is one of the breed types, has curly locks with no crimp. the lustre is dazzling and adds character to the fabric made from this type.
We have a dinner jacket made of suri fabric that I will show you next time.....
Rest in peace Gunnery Sergeant E. Ches. Woodley, a man among men......