Category: Awesome Upcoming Classes

Bringing a Vision to Life — PARADISE!

Tender ones.

Tender little ones.

Visions are evolving things.  As we journey through life we are drawn to things that interest us.  I have often wondered about my vision in life because my view of anything in the future, other than children, has always been vague.  The present always felt intense and exciting or scary depending on what was going on.

Lately, with the freedom to create my reality thanks to all the supporting factors, I am finding things are beginning to come together.  As I have been working on this website, revamping everything about it, I am finding the process to be a vision quest of sorts.  Over and over, as I explore different themes, I find my focus changing, moving toward several facets I am extremely passionate about:  children, animals, plants, art, survival skills, building, writing, and teaching.

If my list seems a bit long, blame it on attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), which my daughter says I have.  You could say I am a Jill of all trades.  Throughout my life I have had so many interests, each of which I have pursued with obsessive intent until I feel I understand and can create within it to my satisfaction, then I find myself drawn to something new.

I will admit, with a bit of embarrassed pride, that I am an explorer.

As my new website design takes shape, so does my vision for the near future:

  • A petting farm for the most wonderful of humans — children — and their adults.
  • Workshops in primitive wilderness survival skills. like friction fire and survival shelters, for older children and adults.  I love to teach friction fire.  Friction fire was, in my opinion, the most important thing to learn when I went to Tom Brown Jr’s trackerschool.  Where else could I learn this.  Before trackerschool I thought friction fire was a myth!
  • Art workshops like felting wool and spinning wool, because I would not be happy if I couldn’t share this skill which brings me so much joy and bliss and peace all at the same time.
  • This blog space because writing is a large part of my vision and I love sharing my stories and perspective with others.  I believe each of our stories essentially belong to all of us because we are all connected.  As we share our stories, all those who hear are changed in some way.  One person’s story becomes another person’s story, and consequently moves them forward along their path.  They progress.  One person’s success is everyone’s success.  Their pain is everyone’s pain.  Their lesson is everyone’s lesson.
  • My store so I can offer my designs and art to others to enjoy.
  • The business that goes along with all these things.  The ability to work with my family, the animals, the plants, and the structures we have built here on our little hobby farm; to create an income to help provide for the costs of living while doing what I love and sharing that with others.

My desire is to offer the many things I have enjoyed learning. To pass on the knowledge that has come to me.  To complete the cycle.  I hope you enjoy what I am creating and that somehow you can benefit from what I have to offer.

Paradise is the name I have chosen for this new venture, and there is a story behind the name.  Maybe a year ago, my grandson was sitting in our back yard with his grandfather, my son in law’s dad.  He looked up at his grandfather and exclaimed with glee, “This is just paradise, isn’t it?”  Looking around at our disheveled process of building and growing this space, his grandfather, who may not have previously described our little bit of heaven that way, looked at his grandson with fresh eyes and said with a twinkle, “Yes!”

Child learning to lead a horse

A child or an adult can feel the connection between themselves and a horse as they learn to communicate though cues such as leading and riding. Very empowering!

Hosted a Felting Workshop Today!


I hosted a one on one workshop with a great artistic lady named Elly from Corvallis.  She made one very fluffy colorful scarf plus a smaller neck warmer scarf.  Here are photos of the large scarf as it is drying on the rack.  I taught Elly my method of felting which is much faster than the rolling on the noodle method.  MUCH faster!

We had fun and she says she will probably come to another workshop and make more felted items.

If my readers are interested in learning to felt, or just want a place to felt where there is instruction and lots of supplies (merino wool in all colors, silk fiber, wool locks, and more) for your project, please call me at 407-766-2588 or email me at and we will schedule a workshop for you.  I can have up to four participants at my workshops.  Workshops are 6 hours for $100, or 3 hours for $50.  In a 6 hour workshop a more complicated item can be made, like the scarf in the photo Elly made using locks of wool as a fringe and decoration, and possibly a second simpler item like a smaller neck warmer scarf.  In a 3 hour workshop a less complicated scarf or other item can be made.  You may notice that each side of the larger scarf Elly made is different.  The scarves you make at my workshops can be made to be reversible.


The flip side of the scarf.

IMG_4856 Elly at the workshop

After the wet felting, Elly applies a little needle felting on some stubborn fibers!

More colorful yarn.

So . . . I made some more colorful yarn. This time I wanted the yarn to be super soft so it is made of fine merino wool, silk, alpaca, rose fiber, and bamboo. 

Sometimes Alpaca and bamboo and Rose fiber are not super soft but this particular fiber is SUPER soft.

Though I haven’t had time to make anything with it yet, I’ve enjoyed envisioning what I’m going to make.

I am not a master spinner by any means but I would be willing to give lessons in what I do know. If anyone is interested please contact me.

Kids Felting

Last Christmas I helped my grandkids felt scarves for their father and grandfather. They had so much fun they were begging me to let them make scarves for themselves. I told them that I would let each of them make a scarf for themselves as their Christmas present. Well, finally I kept that promise.

With a little supervision and help, felting can be a very gratifying craft for children. Melanie and I helped her youngest two put together small scarves and the results were nothing less than wonderful.

For her youngest, Heather, Melanie helped her pull all the “chosen” colors off the shelves and open the bags and help her pull out appropriate amounts of color, and let Heather place the colors where she wanted them. Occasionally Melanie had to help her adjust for thickness. 

Once the colors were laid out and prepared for rolling, we let Heather begin the felting process by rolling the bundle herself for a while. This gave Heather the opportunity to experience the felting process for a little while.  After that Melanie finished it up.

Melanie had to resist the urge of advising on colors and placement to let the project be purely Heathers art, and as you can see from the photos below, the results were truly stunning in Heather’s reversible scarf.

As one of my workshop participants said, after a felting her first scarf, “You can’t ruin these things can you?”

I was helping Michael with his scarf. Michael was much more self-sufficient. All I had to do was show him how to pull the fibers off the roving and place them and he was on his way. He placed every fiber for his scarf himself, as well as picking out his colors and pulling them from the shelf himself. When it was time to roll the bundle for the felting process he did most of that as well.

He was so pleased with his scarf when it was finished that he couldn’t wait for it to dry thoroughly, but put it on and ran outside to play.

Below are photos of Michaels scarf.

After Heather and Michael finished their scarves, Jacob wanted to start his. I told him I was too tired but he said he didn’t need any help so I let him go ahead. He remembered how to do it pretty much, from the time we made the Christmas presents, so he just went to work.

I guided him only a little and when he had finished laying out the scarf, I helped him set up for felting.

He had to go home before he was finished so I finished up his felting easily once he was gone. Below are photos of the result!

They had so much fun it was a real joy to help them.

I would be willing to teach young children’s  workshops if a parent comes along for each child in case they need help.  

Older children, 14 and up, are capable of the entire process themselves.

If you or your children are interested In a felting Workshop please contact me.  I would be happy to set something up.

Another wonderful workshop!


Laura (left) holding the scarf she made at our felting workshop; and Alpacas at Marquam Hill Ranch owner, Jennifer, in matching colors (there are no coincidences).  In the background are the wall of alpaca socks and a scarf I made of merino and alpaca locks.

Yesterday we had our workshop at Alpacas at Marquam Hill Ranch store and it was SOOOO fun!!!

Laura and Jennifer both made felting projects and we had a ladies day of visiting and creating and eating yummy snacks, including some amazing gluten free, dairy free, chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies Jennifer made!

Laura chose plum and bitter chocolate colors as the background for her scarf and added lovely dyed fibers from her own Suri alpaca and from some Wensleydale fleece locks she had.  The reverse side had a combination of brown tones with white silk fiber running through, over a deep plum background.  Gorgeous combination!

Jennifer created a wall hanging of nutmeg and browns, lichen greens, rust, and whites; then on the other half of her project, she used the same colors to create felted fabric to top some throw pillows for her home.

Everyone expressed how much fun they had and I was delighted to share something I enjoy so much!

If you are interested in attending a workshop either at the ranch store or in my home, you can email me at — or call me at 407-766-2588, and we will set up a workshop.


Put together a Valentines confection at Alpacas at Marquam Hill Ranch yesterday.

Scarf confection… A bouquet scarf for Valentine’s Day.

Jennifer and Bill allowed me to sell my scarves at their store at Apacas at Markham Hill Ranch.


I laid out a pretty bouquet scarf as a demonstration at Alpacas at Marquam Hill Ranch today.

I was hoping to sell a few scarves but that didn’t happen.  I did sell one small scarf though and generated some interest in the felting class we will be holding there next month.

New flyer for the workshop at the ranch


Jennifer, the owner of the Alpaca Ranch, suggested a flyer with more color; and my daughter Melanie suggested more photos of workshops on the flyer, so I came up with this.  I like this flyer better with the white background because the lettering is easier to read.  The flyer may not be as “pretty”, but it works.

Jennifer suggested I work on felting a scarf on Feb. 11th, while I am at her store at the ranch during her pre Valentines sale.  She had already invited me to sell my scarves there on that day.  She thought I might like to use my time to make a scarf while also demonstrating to customers what we will be doing at the workshop.  I love the idea!  If anyone wants to stop by to see the store and get in on some Valentine sales, and see my felting process at the same time, come on over to the ranch!

Working with alpaca fleece and I love the results! Workshop coming, see below . . .


Creamy white merino and alpaca.


With touches of alpaca along the edges and in the center of this creamy white scarf, a look of heavenly clouds is created.  The shiny white wavy lines are created with pure silk fibers.


Here I added bits of fleece all over the underlying merino design.  The alpaca felts best when paired with a very feltable fiber like merino.


This scarf is reversable; one side (above) having charcoal, cafe o’ lait, camel, and white underlying the white alpaca fleece.  The other side (below) has a cafe o’ lait, camel and white underlying design with white alpaca on top.


The brooches I sell to go with the scarves.  Sometimes people buy a brooch first then design a scarf to go with the brooch they choose.

I stopped by Alpacas At Marquam Hill Ranch and met the owner, Jennifer.  I visited with her about alpacas and whether their fleeces felt or not.  She let me know that they do felt, but they felt better when mixed with an easy felting fiber such as merino wool.  We chatted and got to know each other and decided we would collaborate on a workshop!

I bought a couple small bags of fleece and she gave me another, and I went to work.  I love the results!  Now we have a workshop planned at her ranch.

Here is the flyer for our workshop together (perhaps some of you can make it):

Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 3.09.18 PM.png

Upcoming : Wet felting workshop – you will make, and take home, a beautiful and textured scarf of fine merino wool and silk.

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Upcoming Workshop Dates in 2017

Jan. 14th    Jan. 28th    Feb. 11th    Feb. 25th    Mar. 11th    Mar. 25th

Time: 12 noon – 6 pm (or until you finish creating your scarf)

Place: 1717 Sonya Dr. SE  Salem, Oregon.

I will consider other dates if these do not work for interested participants.

Since the workshop is in my home, I am able to accommodate 4 workshop participants at a time, so register early to save your place, or places for a small group.  I have approximately 100 merino wool and merino/silk blend colors waiting to be made into gorgeous, soft, artistic scarves.  I also have some yak/silk/merino blends, baby camel/silk blend, pure silk fiber, and tensile fiber, for extra soft and shiny accents. I provide all the tools and tables to accommodate each participants needs.

You will learn basic wet felting techniques and how to place colors to get desired results.  You will make, and take home with you, a two sided scarf with a center core for strength and durability, of your own color choices.

  • There is no knitting or crocheting involved in this technique!

The cost is $85, or $75 when registered at least one week in advance.  Participants must be age 13 or older; however, if desired, a parent and child under 14, can register together as one participant and make one scarf together.

I must have at least one participant registered at least 24 hours in advance, as I rearrange my home to run a workshop.

To register, please email or text me of your interest, or leave your contact information here indicating which workshop you would like to attend.

Contact information

My email is

My phone and text # is 407-766-2588.  I sometimes do not answer the phone so please leave a message with your information, and I will return your call.  Please leave your name, phone number, and email address; as well as which workshop you would like to attend, or if you have a different date you would like to suggest for a workshop.  Once your registration is confirmed and your place is saved, please mail the workshop fee of $75 to 1717 Sonya Dr. SE Salem, Oregon 97317.

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