Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

Apifera Farm is a registered 501 [c][3]. #EIN# 82-2236486

All images

©Katherine Dunn.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gifts with spunk from the hand

A dizzying array of unique gift ideas from Apifera. If a link goes to a blank page it most likely means the item sold already. This is a copyrighted image - no usage/copying/tracing allowed.

Love can float

Pillows can believe

Invest in original art and feed an artist

And maybe find  some arty deals

144 pages of art and inspiration 

Tea towels with donkeys...why not?

Prints can help old animals

Put elephants in your closet

Polk a dots and monkeys - who says it's not right?

Blue drawings of bliss

A good boo boo

Donkeys to rest with

A workshop amongst farm and donkey ears

Raggedy messes

Can't have an old goose..or donkey..or goat? Sponsor one.

Deck your halls with lavender

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Breakfast with the Bottomtums

In the morning as they plod out of their Bottomtum hut. They relish the muck, prefer it to the dry straw I place inside. The rain pellets stand on their necks and backs, like little natural punctuation marks, but who needs words for filler?

The neck of Priscilla, so Grace Kelly like, or was Grace Kelly like a goose. I sing to her sometimes, "Beautiful old goose, beautiful old goose, will you swoon for me, twist your neck that way you do, beautiful old goose."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Faces refecting my gratitude

Each day she stares into me, quietly, the matriarch of the flock, waiting for me to start her day with hay and a trip to a pasture carved into a perfect understood boundary by fence.

We have routines changed only by seasons and illness and strung together those moments culminate into a life. It's those minutes, both of us serving each other, that I am most grateful for - the opportunity to live amongst creature and earth worm, and one good man. All the rest is gravy in my boat of paintings.

Thank you too, for reading - your eyes following along on this page make my story telling a circle, not a straight line.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Apifera welcomes....

Post note: The official name is Professor Otis Littleberry, and Aunt Bea.

Well, we're not sure what their names are. However, it appears the little round lady seems like an Aunt Bea.

Saturday the Dirt Farmer and I loaded two crates and some tuna sandwiches in the car and headed up to see the goats at New Moon Farm. The 10 hour round trip was made in sunshine so we enjoyed the beautiful views of the Cascades. I was immediately smitten with a new Pygmy herd that had been confiscated for neglect. We were also so happy to see how New Moon has grown with Ellen's hard work. The place was buzzing with volunteers of all ages and people picking up goats. The last time we were there was to pick up Old Man Guinnias in '08. So these two little creatures are our 7th and 8th goat adoptees from New Moon and we consider her extended family.

I had my heart open to the many other needy goats in Ellen's care - some of the goats I had been drawn to before our trip had found perfect homes, including an old gent that reminded me of a white standard poodle. It was all meant to be.

Aunt Bea was the matriarch to the herd, which at one time was 12, but four had died from mysterious circumstances. The grey gent we brought home was the neighbor goat of the herd, and when Ellen asked what his name was, the response was, "He doesn't have name." I am so delighted with these two. They are in their own area for another week since they were loaded with lice when Ellen rescued them, and their feet aren't so great - but in time I think we will get them fixed up. They are content and very friendly...I am trying out names on the gent - but for now, he is just so happy to be scratched. I wondered how long it's been.

With the holidays coming up, New Moon is a great 501c to consider for gift giving. Like I said, I've known them for awhile and can attest to Ellen's dedication. Apifera is not a 501c, but we are grateful for any sponsorships of our adoptees.

These two have many stories to tell. Just wait.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Head Troll reporting to duty

The Head Troll spent the last day standing guard over the names on the barn wall. It seems the names were written in chalk and kept getting licked off by Old Man Guinnias. This caused quite a dilemma as the names had to be rewritten on the wall, and I guess, from what I was told by Florence, all the names kept getting confused and mixed up. So finally, also according to Florence, The Head Troll ordered everyone out of the barn so she herself could write all the names on the wall, once and for all.

Being a chicken, Florence gets quite excited when procedures don't go exactly as planned. She doesn't roll with the punches well, and begins to talk herself into a series of fast clucks, making it almost impossible to translate into English. I have no idea what she was trying to tell me in the end but I did decipher that she was a bit miffed that Wilbur the Acrobatic Goat accidentally made Saturday plans - so the pillow game had to be decided today which interfered with Fig Newton Friday, a monthly get together of the barnyard to chat, cluck, gossip and eat store bought cookies [considered a rarity on the farm].

Anyway, when she finally calmed down, Florence pulled a piece of paper from under her wing and handed me the name of the person that will be adopting the art pillow. And the name was...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Old man conversation

I took these pictures this morning of my Old Man. He has started going out to the older barn in the morning and resting in a private doorway nook near one of the stalls. It provides him privacy, but with the sounds of nearby sheep and visiting chickens.

I didn't think too much of this in the past couple days, it is after all a place where many of the barnyard will congregate for shelter. It's about a 3"x 2" space and I can understand the temptation to snuggle down in the leftover hay to ponder the taste of chewed cud. Eggs are laid there, old geese have napped there.

But I had a conversation with Old Man Guinnias this morning. The cold rains have come today and he seemed a bit different. I do believe that certain animals hang on longer out of an unwritten code of ethics and I told him he could go anytime he needs to. It is selfish of me at this stage not share that with him. The day after we lost Honey Boy and Granny, I talked to Guinnias and I said, "You just keep on walkin' for me..." It's up to him and his body now, and he might just have a picture of spring in his mind, I don't know. All the animals here are loved and are unique, but Old Man Guinnias has a special place, as first old goat, and hanger on at 18.

When I photographed him today, I couldn't help but wonder if he placed himself in that private nook to entice me over, to take a fitting portrait of him - showing his most dignified, beautiful aged face.

Old Man Guinnias is one of the many old goats Apifera has adopted from New Moon Goat Farm/Rescue.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Art pillows for an old goat

Thank you to everyone for playing along and for your compassion. I maintain and nurture all the adopted rescues through my art and book sales and your support is helping these creatures too. The results?

As some of you know, we had a hard loss last week of two of our adopted old goats, Honey Boy and Granny. I have had some kind donations to help defray the emergency vet bill [thank you so much] but it is still a large one, so, if you want to play along here, you can. We adopted them from New Moon Goat Rescue where most of our other adopted goats hail from.

Deadline to pay is the 11/18.Scroll to bottom of post.
Here's how to play along: Each five dollars gets your name written on the barn wall, so if you pay $10 your name is put on the wall twice. Then The Head Troll, aka Frankie, will lead the other Apifera adoptees to choose name. They will close their eyes, meditate for five minutes, and then open their eyes and point unison. It always works that they point to the same name, I don't know how, but it works. The barnyard works in mysterious ways.

The person the animals choose then gets to pick which art pillow they want of the two shown. Keep in mind the pillow's back might be slightly different. And the fabrics used might be slightly different, but the art panel [all cotton] is as seen here.

Each pillow is 12-14" and stuffed with 100% natural bamboo stuffing [so soft]. Then I also sandwich some of Apifera's lavender bud in between the stuffing [about 1 cup] so it is nice and aromatic. These regularly sell for $144.50.

Friday, November 11, 2011

My red carpet

I'd rather walk through sheep droppings to feel the fog with an orange cat and breakfast with a chocolate goat then wear diamonds on my heels and sit on a velvet cushion amongst people with apps.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Read like a donkey

I suppose Pino the Doll was inspired by Pino the Puppet learning Italian, but the Doll is now learning to read. Like any good little donkey, he is going about it very slowly, and has spent most of the week on this one spread. He's over there right now, struggling with a word. But I shan't interrupt again, he refuses my help,

"I will learn it my own donkey slow self," he told me.

Buy my book and learn to read, or just admire the pictures like Pino.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Sale update

I decided to put the sale items online at my site so you can just purchase them there. I have a few others I am going to ad in the upcoming days.

Some people have asked if there is any way they can help with vet bills incurred this week with our adopted old goats. You can buy art, or you can just outright donate at this link too [some have gift levels]. I am not a 501c [maybe someday] but rely on my art income and helping hands that can share to support the many need animals we adopt here.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Art sale

I've pulled together some older work, some not so old, some little, some big and added sale prices to them.

This is a slide show all 30+ pieces. If you see a piece you want, email me, I will then email you an invoice and you can pay online or by check. If a piece has sold, I don't go back in the slide show and note it as sold, so it's first come, first serve. Don't waddle or dawdle, too long if there is one you really want. I can tell you "Blue Donkey" and Queen Bee" are sold.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Barn speaks woman listens

I was taking pictures this week in the donkey area and turned to see Paco licking the grave of Giacomo, our old donkey who died a year ago and is buried in the main donkey paddock. I have spoken often how it is a gathering point for guests, farmers and donkeys, a quiet place to reflect on life, or the moment by moment sensations of the creature in front of me.

We all have our belief systems and my post today will not try to tackle putting mine into a descriptive narrative. But I've been noticing the electrical "skin charges' in the old barn on a more frequent basis. I call them "skin charges" for lack of a better phrase - a physical sensation accompanied by a sense of something watching, participating, checking in on me as I work in the barn. Often, there is something out of the corner of my eye, but when I turn, it's not visible to me. I have always had experiences like this, but the old barn and a few other places on the farm seem very electrified. From the day we arrived to look at the farm [I write about this in my illustrated memoir that is being pitched], the old barn spoke to me, always in a caring way, or a meloncholy way - "Do you know how many cows I've birthed, and buried?" she asked me. "You must come now, dream deep with me."

With each new arrival, or parting, the energy is shifted slightly - sometimes softened, but it can also feel stronger on a given day or month. Lately my little "skin charges" have been abundant, and while it's comforting to think it is Giacomo - and often I sense it is- I also feel the presence of a man, non threatening, someone who just misses his barn and is checking in on us.

Each animal has his or her own relationship with the living, and the dead. When Paco licked the stone of Giacomo's grave, he might have tasted salt or the appealing scent of something that had rubbed on the stone. Or he might have had a "skin charge".

Elephants warding off moths

Some housekeeping items to post today...

New things popping up on my Etsy store all the time - like Raggedy Elephant Hangings stuffed with Apifera's lavender bud and whimsically sewn by moi, for your closet or linen areas to help ward off moths...and tigers and prowlers of any kind..

I've been making one-of-a-king art pillows incorporating my illustrated fabrics, stuffed with 100% bamboo stuffing and our farm's lavender bud. Each one is sewn all raggedy - you know, I close my eyes and let the wind guide me. They take me forever to make since I sew on scraps of fabric and let it all evolve.