Monday, September 27, 2010

Sweet Success

We now have the 2nd Annual Scotts Bluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair under our belts.  I spent the last week reliving and relishing the entire experience in my mind and with my fellow board members and awesome volunteers.

Here's to a job well done ladies!     

Comments that I heard from our participants were positive, to say the least, and very encouraging:  "Upscale, inspiring, educational, high-class, well-organized, so much fun!"   And most importantly, "Can't wait for next year!"

Our many thanks to all who came out to the fairgrounds!  Your participation was fabulous and your enthusiasm inspiring.  I am already working on some new things for next year's event, so stay tuned.  (Yes, the show must go on and the planning never stops!) 

In the meantime, I thought you might like to see a few highlights from Friday's classes and of course the fair on Saturday.  I will have a complete gallery for the 2010 fair up this week on the website, but this will give you an idea of the incredible talent that was this year's fair!

Donna Friebertshauser teaching Brazilian Embroidery

Stephanie Flynn-Sokolov conducting her beginning wheel spinning class

I love spinners!  Barefoot and comfy while they are working!

Deb Wagonner of Two Windows Dye Co.  She came all the way from Hutchinson, Kansas to teach a knitting class and vend at the fair

Many thanks to Nancy Shroyer for traveling the farthest (North Carolina!) to teach Traditional Fair Isle

Felted Entrelac Tote class

...taught by Mavis Davis of LaPorte, CO.  Mavis is Harlan Brown's daughter

Joan Sheen of Kearney, NE shared her expertise in the Crackle Weaving class

Oh how I love this piece...the colors are gorgeous!

Color Theory class

Vicki Square of Ft. Collins, pleased to have her teach this year
Donna Friebertshauser also taught Silk Ribbon Embroidery in the afternoon session

The very talented Rhonda McClure of Ewe and Us teaching Needle Felting.  Rhonda and her husband also had a booth at the fair.

Here is a wonderful piece that Rhonda shared with her students.

Hand made soaps from Laura Whelchel of Laura's Herbal Apothecary

Couldn't be a Nebraska fiber fair without a few team hats...compliments of Kathy Hartmeister of Op Pa Llandet

Peggy Wells, daughter of Harlan Brown and Vice President of Brown Sheep Co. giving a greeting and thank you to all of our vendors at the Galleria the night before the fair

Getting to know each other and taking a little time out for some great food and drink was a welcome break from all of our hard work!

After a very busy day on Friday, you would think everyone would be dragging the next morning, but no!  The energy was high and smiles were seen all around the show floor.  Below are some highlights of the fabulous demonstrators, vendors, and breeders that made this year's fair such a success.

Creativity and imaginative uses for natural fibers were everywhere that day!

This young lady is so talented!  She was the youngest student the day of classes and everyone was amazed at her talent for fiber art at such a young age.  She will be one to watch for in the future of this industry!

Beautiful, hand crafted drop spindles from Wooly Designs of Crawford, CO

Kim Schiffmacher and Deb Barrett demonstrating weaving and Australian locker hooking

Fair t-shirts and totes for sale featuring the fabulous artwork of Laura Avila, a local artist from Mitchell, NE

And oh yes, a fair favorite last year and this year, the Swedish Tomten!  Each one has a personality of it's own.

Our spinning instructor, Stephanie, posing with Laurie Alkire, one of my fellow fair Board members

Cher Maybee of Barn Anew Bed and Breakfast showing her tomten
 Cher and her husband Allan co-sponsored the fair, along with Brown Sheep Co.  Cher is also on the Board of Directors and planning committee for the fair.    Allan gave an historical presentation of sheep wagons at Barn Anew the day of the fair.

Crochet demonstrators Carmen Sanchez and Brandy Earl along with my good friend and fair volunteer, Jan Johnson

This is Laura Avila (the artist who created our logo) with her mom, Cathy McGrath of Tanglewood Studios who came all the way from Las Vegas to participate in the fair.

Two extremely talented ladies, Darlene Tagler (Prairie Pines Quilt Shop, Gering, NE) and quilting demonstrator for the fair, Deb Aschenbrenner

Phil Switzer ( and wife Chris)  brought Paco Vicunas which was a new addition to the fiber animal lineup this year

Mick Leighton of Loveland, CO brought alpaca again this year

Richard Phillips of Prairie Moon Alpacas taking time out to relax and knit

He and his wife, Ann are such a fun addition to the fair and so knowledgeable on all things fiber art

Debbie Leighton (Deer Valley Alpacas) and Ann Phillips (Prairie Moon Alpacas) share a booth called Fiber Frolics

Sarah Meyer along with her mom, Cheryl of Hidden Valley Ranch showing an angora hat her mom knit out of the fiber obtained from their French Angora rabbits

Tracy Kreie demonstrating drop spindle techniques

Our weaving demonstrators Libby Lundgren and Berni Lewis

Laura Avila, Stacia Phifer, and Christy Strong at the information booth...oh these ladies worked hard that day!

Our door prize gang!  Virginia Garrett, Melissa Robbins (coordinator), Anna Robbins, and Marge Townley
Loretta Haught, one of the hardest working volunteers and fiber art enthusiasts you will find, taking time out to pose with me

Judy Hoxworth, our Silent Auction coordinator (talk about a big job!) along with Christy Strong, co-chair of the Hospitality committee

One of the many beautiful items on the silent auction table

A Little bluegrass music courtesy of Green Valley Homesteaders to set the mood!

Payson Haught with Salty, a French Angora rabbit

Miss Maggie Brunmeier, daughter of Jewel Brunmeier, our Breeder Committee Chairperson (Jewel, why don't I have a pic of you?!?)  She was so busy I guess there was no time to pose! :)

And speaking of posing...llama brought in by Curt and Susan Boyes of Red Barn Wool Station from Minatare, NE

Oh my!  A face only a mother could love?!?  Angora goat....what a ham!  Maggie told me all of their names, but can't remember now!

Alex Becker holding a sweet baby Cashmere goat

Joanna Johnson's book signing at the Brown Sheep booth

These ladies asked me to take a picture, but I don't know their names..totally adorable in those hats though.

Me along with our guest of honor, Mrs. Janet Brown of Brown Sheep Co.  She said she had a wonderful time that day and visited with many, many people!

Last year's fair was so busy that I wasn't able to buy one thing!  This year I did get to sneak a little shopping in with my daughter, Kendall,  and here's a few of the treasures we came home with:

Phil (my husband) won a door prize from Designs by Anna (felted bracelet and pin)...he said it wasn't his color though, so he generously gifted the set to Kendall and I :)

Another Designs by Anna (Walker)  purchase...Kendall picked this one out for herself (quilted/felted bracelet)

My beloved little Swedish Tomte handfelted by Gabriella Cervin (he's a faithful guardian of small things...every home needs a little watching over) 

Sock yarn hand-dyed by Deb Wagonner of Two Windows Dye Co.

Kendall and I each picked our favorite colorway for socks I will be knitting for us--the pictures don't do the color justice!

And the same goes for this lovely little bundle of hand dyed roving from Ingrid Borah of Whysper Mountain Woolens--I hope to get out the drop spindle soon and practice my spinning with this luscious fiber
Then once I get it spun I'm thinking I will knit this:
Deb Wagonner was wearing this cute little knit headpiece the day of the fair and Kendall wanted the pattern

Linda George was selling her Swedish Mittens kits again this year...I so wanted to buy the pattern last year, but missed my opportunity
This year mission accomplished!  I can't wait to dive into the pattern, which Linda told me was written in the late 1700's...that's very cool...they are a combination of Lamb's Pride from Brown Sheep and a beautiful soft mohair...I especially love the detail of the embroidery and buttons and they are so thick and warm!

What an exciting weekend!  Thank you again to everyone who shared their time and incredible talent to the event. 

Sweet success indeed!

Knit on,


ps.  I will try and go back when I have time and add a links to the businesses listed here (there are so many!).  I do have a booklet with all the contact information though.  Leave me a comment and I would be happy to send one to you or give you info. on any one you would like to know more about or order from.


  1. Donna, the pictures are great!!

    Next year, I can demonstrate crochet. :)

  2. Thanks, Virgina! And that sounds great...We are going to miss Brandy Earl and I think it would be fun to have you demonstrate.

  3. I missed it last year and this year, but I'm putting the Fiber Fair on my calendar for next year. It sounds like it was amazing!

  4. Next year's dates are Sept. 16th for the classes and Sept. 17th for the fair itself, Betsy. Sure hope you can make it!