Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Temecula - 2015 Fiber Retreat at Namaste Farms

Temecula is southern California's wine country and just 60 miles north of San Diego and 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles.  It is also home to Natalie Redding's Namaste Farms where I was teaching a beginning nuno felting workshop as part of the Fiber Retreat that Natalie and Laura Spinner created for two consecutive weekends - the last one in August and the first in September.

And despite the incredibly hot weather, the retreat was so rewarding and fun complete with farm cooked meals and all the ambience of a true working farm. Students had choices among several classes including my nuno felting, hand-spinning and painting long locks.  

I met some amazingly talented and good hearted women, some of whom traveled to California from out of state and even out of the country.  I so enjoyed teaching the limited sized classes where everyone came away with a beautifully created nuno felted scarf.

While I was teaching, Joe and the dogs relaxed at our VRBO vineyard cottage and also ventured out to delightful Old Town Temecula which has been around since 1882 when the California Railroad came through the valley and local investors created the first Bank.  Joe reported that the dogs throughly enjoyed their lunch from the canine menu at Texas Lil's.

Early Sunday morning, we saw the hot air balloons overhead which is another one of the fun things to do in Temecula.

Natalie Redding and her family stared on the reality show called "Shear Madness" and life at Namaste Farms lovingly lives up to its namesake.  The place is filled with animals of all sorts including numerous cats and dogs and roosters and chickens that freely roam the expanse.  But the main purpose of the farm is to raise superior fiber animals and oh what gorgeous fibers grace the farm. It is outstanding to see Natalie, former model turned shepherdess, live the life and to throughly dedicate herself to what she truly loves.

Laura Spinner is Natalie's BFF who flew in from New Jersey for the co-created Fiber Fest.  Laura is a genius at hand-spinning and if I'm not careful, I may find myself getting into yet another hobby...stop me please!

Life on the farm.

Felters just wanna have fun.

And we got a chance to wine taste and enjoy Temecula before and after Namaste Farm's Fiber Fest.  Our absolute favorite winery, which we got to visit with our good friends, was Lumiere Winery which is a family owned, boutique winery without the hustle and bustle, buses and crowds that accompany the big corporate wineries.  We loved the gracious owner Martha and all that we learned from her.  We'll enjoy what we bought from her and will certainly be back.

And for a super fun evening and a delicious steak dinner, in an authentic looking old time saloon, be sure and try the Gambling Cowboy  which is on the third floor of a old looking wooden structure in Old Town. The food was absolutely delicious and the margueritas were sublime.  Don't remember much after the second one!!