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.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Apifera yarn now available!

I waited a couple years to process the last batches of wool. Processing is expensive but this year I  committed to making yarn, and all net sales go into the Apifera fund. When all the 175 skeins sell, it is a net gain of about $3500 for the non profit. Because the sale of the yarn goes through my online shop, it is not a tax deduction for the buyer, FYI [but donations are always tax deductible].

The white wool is from Calla and her daughter Little Sylvia Pettini. The brow and grey are from the other few sheep we had on arrival, but I rehomed them to a fiber enthusiast. Their wool is so beautiful and once we committed to being a sanctuary, I wanted them to go and have someone who loved fiber to have them. Calla is an elder we took on and her daughter Sylvia almost didn't make it. Calla had mastitis and Sylvia was nursed by bottle. I love them both and their wool is beautiful, and also great for dying.

Each skein is 125 yards, 2 ply and 3 oz. Visit the shop to buy some. If you are wanting a larger quantity, let me know so I can assure the shipping is accurate [I always refund shipping overages on the shop at shipping time].

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Pickles scathingly brilliant idea, again

{My latest piece for Tails & Tales for LCNME}

Teddy, a Great Pryenees, was recently adopted by Apifera from a rescue in Virginia. He was well suited to make visits into the elder homes, and he is a natural with the elders. His arrival to the farm also helped Mrs. Dunn, who was mourning the recent death of White Dog, the farm’s beloved Maremma.

“What do you do when you’re there, Teddy?” asked little Hannah the goat. Teddy and I had just returned from visiting our elder friends at Cove’s Edge.

“I stand, and they talk to me, and they hold me,” said Teddy.

“Did you know White Dog?” asked Pickles the goat.

“Yes, but we never met. He was working in his current realm to help me find Mrs. Dunn,” said Teddy.

“Mrs. Dunn stopped crying when you came!” said Puddles the goat.

“It’s true, Teddy has helped my heart, he is a gift from White Dog,” I said.

“Mrs. Dunn, what’s it like at the old people’s home? Do they have a barn there?” asked Pickles.

“No, I’m afraid not, they have lots of windows and bird feeders outside the windows, and stuffed toy cats,” I said.

“No goats?!” asked Pickles.

“No chickens?!” asked Marta an old hen.

Earnest the pig sauntered over to the conversation, “It’s sad they can’t have animals, but there isn’t enough staff to care for the people, let alone the animals.”

The animals all sat somberly, except for some cud chewing by the goats.

“Imagine, a home without animals?” said little Hannah the goat.

Suddenly, Pickles leapt up and said, “I have the most scathingly brilliant idea!”

“You were watching old Haley Mills movies again, weren’t you?” I asked.

“Yes! So we can be the animal staff! We’re animals, so of course we know how to take care of animals!” said Pickles.

“I don’t think you’ve thought this through, Pickles,” I said. “First off, you’d have to have a place to put the animals there.”

“Mr. Dunn can help us build a barn,” said Puddles.

“He has too many jobs already,” I said.

“We’ll get him more pizza from Oysterhead,” said Ollie the goat.

“Let’s just say Mr. Dunn could help, you’d still have to drive there to care for the animals,” I said.

“So what?” asked Pickles.

“You don’t drive,” I said calmly.

“Oh, I have that figured out. Harry the llama will use his legs on the pedals and I’ll sit on Harry’s lap and use my front legs on the wheel. Earnest says that’ll work,” said Pickles.

“It’s true, Mrs. Dunn, I saw it in an old Western movie,” said Earnest the pig.

Lord help us, and me, I thought.

I continued with chores, in ear shot of the little masterminds in the barn.

“I think we should get three chickens so they can have eggs, and one goat, and a cat,” said Pickles.

“And some frogs!” said Ollie.

I chimed in, “How about a pony to pull them in their wheelchairs?”

“Mrs. Dunn, that is scathingly brilliant!” said Pickles.

I so wish it could all come true, I thought.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

There's a reason they call it slow stitching

Been working all last week on this 20" piece, which I am really enjoying. Sometimes I stitch in silence, sometimes to music, but I do find it is good for me to slow stich, as it makes me be less patient with outcome. One of the reasons I like acrylic over oil is I can cover up images over and over and don't have to wait. Stitching is not fast, everything about it is slow–threading the needle, stitching, reworking edges.

I am a novice stitcher, and sew raggedy just like I paint and make dolls, but I hope do be doing more. I might work on some 8-10" pieces next. It was rather adventurous to start a 20" piece but I had bought these flour sack cotton towels and they are great to stitch on too. It isn't done yet and I'm learning a lot.

I have not had that much to say here on the blog lately. My daily life with the animals and elders is so on display on IG and FB. I don't want to let the blog go though, it is a piece of history for me, I can look back and see the history of our farms and animals.

I guess I just feel that I have more interest in writing shorter things but when I do have something longer to write I will still come here to do it.

I feel that I am entering this new stage of my life. I guess turning 64 got me to seeing the future more as a chunk of time. When I was 30 or 40 or 50 it didn't feel like that. But I've always thought that living to around 78+ seems about right. I have no desire to live into my 80's or 90's if I'm unable to be outside, with animals or creating. Maybe it feels different when you get there. But my point is that I realized if I did live to 78, that's only14 years away, that is the same amount of time I lived in Yamhill. It is so odd to see it that way but it is a fact.

So I started seeing the next 15 year chunk more like a living creative project. What will I do with it?

I will keep doing my work here. I will keep writing and creating. But what else, what might I want to try or expand, or quit?

I do know I'm quitting certain people. I'm quiting 'yes' to many things and instead am saying, "No, I don't feel comfortable doing that for you anymore." As a pleaser, sometimes I say 'yes' before I think it through, or ask myself, "Do I want this, or is it this other person that wants this and I am capable of giving it to them and that is why they are here, but do I want to engage my energy in this?".


Monday, April 04, 2022

The courage of the sunflower

I've been watching this sunflower all winter. It was a volunteer mammoth that never fell and I let her stand. I can't help but see the symbolism of her - as Ukraine's flower, she is like any Ukranian now-roughened, torn and beat up, but she's still standing. I am not going to plow her down and will let her stand until she falls on her own. But my hope is the other sunflowers will be growing around when she goes down. And my hope is the torn Ukrainians will stand to see their next generation.