Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday! It's a beautiful day here today at the Jersey Shore.
Beautiful weather = happy alpacas, happy bean queen and happy kids.

On Andee's Needles this week:

For today's Yarn Along I want to share another cute teddy bear that Andee made.
This time, she altered the pattern to make it her own. I think they get cuter and cuter!

Here is the Ravelry link for her newest little bear:

Off Leanne's Needles this week:
We were blessed with another little boy last Monday. So needless to say, I have been spending my time caring for this little guy and haven't been able to knit. But I did have time to do a quick little fashion photo shoot of him with the things I have knitted for him while I was pregnant.

So here he is...Chase wearing his new knitted goods.

(couldn't figure out how to turn this get the idea)

Baby Cocoon

Happy knitting!!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Staying Cool at the Jersey Shore

It's a heat wave!!!'s July and apparently the country is under some crazy heat dome. Thankfully we have some handy dandy air conditioner units that have made our house pleasant for the new baby. But outside, the alpacas don't have the pleasure of air conditioners. Their barns are equipped with giant fans that they can lay in front of to help themselves stay cool. But still, it's hot. My mom has been hosing them down daily this week. But this heat has proven to be a challenge.

(Looking like a suri!)

The babies were sheared for the first time this morning and they look so cute! They don't look as alien-like as the adults do when they are sheared. This haircut will give them a nice break in the heat and also provide us with some super soft fuzzy fleece. I'm hoping to get some yarn from that baby fleece. Maybe a little hat for Chase?

(Wea sporting her new haircut and playing in the sprinkler!)

So, in order to keep these animals alive and happy, the fields have turned into a bit of a splash zone water park. The fields have sprinklers going. The girls and babies have a fun one that spins around. It makes me laugh to see them playing in it. I think they should get one of those crazy octopus arms sprinkler for kids. Wouldn't that be funny? I think so.

Stay cool wherever you are!
And it's still fun to run around in a sprinkler...even if you're an adult.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Awan the Teddy Bear and his new owner

Some of you may have seen the post about the teddy bear that Andee made for my baby boy.
If not, here's the link to that posting:

My new little boy, Chase, was the lucky recipient of this fabulous teddy bear. So much care, time and love was put into it and now I'm so excited to show off my little boy with his buddy,
Awan the Teddy Bear.

Thank you again Andee. It's my favorite gift.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A new creature on the farm....the HUMAN kind

Introducing the newest member to the farm...well, you know what I mean.

Chase Rocco Coppola
entered the world on July 18th at 9:40pm.
7lbs. 1oz. 19"
Picture perfect and healthy

We are so happy you are here.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Award Winning Photo

Andee has a huge talent when it comes to taking pictures. She always manages to get a shot that others miss. She can capture a moment that is amazing. And once again, she has struck gold.

Her photo of her two year old, Shea walking Arrow Acre's Sanda won the first place ribbon in the "alpacas interacting" category in the Photo Contest at the 2011 National Conference Alpaca Show held in Colorado. Not only did she win first place in her category, she won Judge's Choice for the entire contest. The award for this honor is the FRONT COVER of AOBA Magazine!!!!! That means, that EVERY alpaca farm in the country will get their copy of AOBA magazine with Andee's picture on the cover. Exciting stuff for our little farm!!!!

Here is the winning picture along with the link to see all the winners:

I also have to mention my dad's picture of Star in the snow. He won the Honorable Mention Award for the Black and White Category. I don't have the photo on my computer, so I can't post it right now. But I will get it from my dad and put it up here at some point.

In other news, today is the last day that I am a mom of two boys. As of tomorrow, I will be the proud mom of THREE boys! I'm heading to the hospital for a scheduled induction. Hopefully all goes as smoothly as it did for Garrett's induction. I am very excited to meet this baby.

The farm continues to grow....

Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pictures from the Farm

Melody and her baby Bing

Bing and Wea having fun

Bing and Wea- look how fuzzy they are!!! So soft.

Big Mama Star

Have a great weekend!
I hope you get to do something relaxing and fun.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday Yarn Along and One Year Later

Last night was knitting group. Held at Liz's house, we sweated it out on the back porch. The air conditioner has decided to take a summer vacation from her house, so we roughed it outside. Honestly, I'm not a fan of air conditioning so it didn't bother me. I would much rather have windows open. But, it was pretty hot and humid. So, the knitting was slow. It's a bit hard to be inspired when it's sticky and hot.

So on a warm summer night, amongst some great girls, chinese food, drinks, music, and a silly little dog, we had a great time.

Here are our pictures.

(Tara RE-wrapping her yarn. She is faking that smile by the way. She has pulled out her cowl about 36 times by now.)

(Quinn's grand ideas for a hat. Once I glanced over at it, I realized that it would fit a two year old...not her. So, that got pulled out too.)

(Ryan working on her pretty blue blanket)

(Lizzie's FIRST sweater!!! Crocheted using Berroco comfort yarn)

(modeling her first sweater/shrug)

(Finn was bored and needed attention so he was running around with Liz's shoe)

(The result of a bored puppy....slobbery Rainbow flip flop and wet dress.)

And One Year Later...

I promised Lizzie that I wouldn't make her cry today. So I'll do my best....

One year ago today MomMom headed up to heaven (along with George Steinbrenner of the NY Yankees..I still think just to annoy PopPop, the Yankee hater) I miss her and think of her alllll the time. Last week a woman said God Bless to me in the library parking lot after seeing my pregnant belly. I cried in my car. (For those of you that didn't know her, she said God Bless A LOT) Crap...sorry Liz. I just cried. I promise I'll try!!!! Ok...regroup.

Anyhoo, She was a wonderful, sweet lady that we all miss. She would have loved the farm and all that we have done in the past year. In the last year, 12 alpacas have joined Arrow Acres and one baby alpaca is named in her honor...she had a new great grandson born and maybe one will be born today (hint, hint baby inside of me!!!!), her family has thrived and continues to be happy and celebrate life. There is no better way to honor her today than show the way we honored her one year ago at her funeral.

(A family celebrating MomMom...this was her funeral last year)

I think I'll have a good chocolate chip cookie today for her and maybe a lemon drop. Yup...sounds like a plan.

Have a great day and enjoy this beautiful summer weather!

Happy Knitting-

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Alpacas In the City

Over the past year, we have had the pleasure of gaining two new friends. Their names are Bill and Elizabeth Johnson. They are the owners of Abenaki Acres Farm in Hunterdon County, NJ.
On a weekend afternoon last summer, my parents drove up to their beautiful farm and a friendship was born.

Bill and Elizabeth have mentored my parents while they prepared their own farm for a new life filled with alpacas. The first 10 alpacas on our farm are from Abenaki.

Among the many alpacas at Abenaki Acres, there is one very special girl. Her name is Gwen. She lost her leg after an injury and thanks to some amazing doctors, lots of care and love, Gwen not only survived the ordeal, but has gone on to inspire everyone. She was fitted with a prosthetic leg which she wears around the farm. The Rachael Ray Show found out about her amazing story and they decided to feature her on the show along with other stories of inspiration.

So....It's an exciting day tomorrow for us alpaca lovers.
Tune into The Rachael Ray Show on Wednesday July 13th to see the whole story!
We are very excited!!!!

(website for Abenaki Acres)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

All Together Now

The gates have been opened...pens have been combined and the herd is getting along just fine!

(The girls and the babies)

Over the past week, the boys were introduced to each other. Our "little" boys are growing up and they were now allowed to play with the big guys. So Kal and Awan were moved into the pen with the other boys. So far, they are all playing very nicely together. They have shown who's boss and the herd order has been determined.
(Kal, Awan and Kigo)

(Melody, Bing and Spicy)

The girls were also put together. Star and her baby, Wea have been with Melody and her baby, Bing now for a few months. This morning, the gate was opened up and the pastures were combined. Wdamo, Spicy and Geneva are now hanging out with the other ladies. It was an easy transition (at least that's what we are seeing). So, that's the news on the pastures these days. Exciting stuff huh? I know...hard to contain your excitement. But honestly, it is exciting. It's nice to know that everyone is getting along. After all, alpacas are herd animals and they feel safe and happy in numbers.

(The new canaries)

In other farm news, we have some new friends. 12 feathered friends to be exact. So now we have 12 alpacas and 12 baby canaries. The aviary that sits near the pool has been empty for years. My dad used to have finches and a pair of canaries. But after a devastating loss, it has been empty. It's nice to see some new friends in there.

The gardens are looking good. Well, my parent's garden looks good. The only crop that is doing well for me are the zucchinis. Other than that, it's a whole bunch of weeds, bugs and a buffet for the deer, rabbits, squirrels and groundhogs. Seriously...why do I bother?

(By golly, there IS a cucumber plant in those weeds!)

The pumpkins look good so far. The plants came up perfectly but I do see a herd of 7 deer out there every evening feasting on something. Better not be the blossoms. Grrrr.

I am still pregnant. Every day seems like the longest day. I have had days of regular contractions, all the signs that labor is near and then it stalls. Leaving me tired and cranky. I know that pregnancy is a wonderful time and IT IS. BUT the end is not. I'm ready to meet this little boy and hold him in my arms. My sister, Andee, was kind enough to fit in a quick photo shoot of my pregnant self and my boys. She did an amazing job. And she managed to fit this in between packing for her vacation and a week of afternoon thunderstorms. Pictures were taken on the farm and I love them. I'm so glad we got the shots.

(38 weeks pregnant)

(Garrett and his little brother-to-be)

I hope you had a great weekend. Enjoy your week!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

How to Make a Teddy Bear

How to make a Teddy Bear.

The Arrow Acres Farm way.

Step 1- You will need an alpaca.

Step 2- in the spring you will need to shear your alpaca.

Now your alpaca will be very happy and have a healthy cooler summer without his heavy coat.

Step 3- Have your kids help carry the fleece out of the barn.

Step 4- now you will have to wash the fiber.

Fill your sink with the hottest water possible. Then add soap, then place the fiber in the soapy water and let rest for 30 minutes.

Then move the fiber to the rinse. You can see the water on the left is so dirty. This batch needed to be washed twice. So a total of 2 washes and 4 rinses. The fiber needs to go into water the same temperature that it is leaving. So you will need a thermometer. Start out with the hottest water possible.

Put washed and rinsed fiber in salad spinner to draw out water. You can also use your washing machine, but I like to keep the dirt out of my washing machine.

Step 5- Lay the fiber out to dry.

Step 6- Card the fiber.

Card until all the fiber is smooth and all the fiber is going in the same direction.

Draw fiber off the drum carder and wrap into birds nets.

Step 7- With a drop spindle make your yarn.

Step 8- Wash your yarn to set the twist and to get any additional dirt out of the yarn. Then let it dry.

Step 9- Knit

Step 10- Assemble your bear and have your son test it out.

Step 11- Enjoy your bear!!!

Happy Knitting, Andee

Ravelry link