It’s hard to believe that this time last year, the Nome Schoolhouse was in the midst of being renovated. The expansion didn’t even exist; it was just the foundation laid, nothing more!
As winter fast approaches, I’m taking some time to reflect on Bear Creek’s journey this year. It was an easier year than 2020, in many ways, although we still faced challenges as did most of the country. Overall, I’m grateful for the passion and curiosity that brought us together. We were blessed with many opportunities to grow our business and collaborate with hardworking individuals.
This was the year we welcome California Variegated Mutant sheep to our flock. They are adorable, strong, and gentle sheep whose wool is excellent for felting and spinning. I have loved observing their social behavior, especially the loving bonds between ewes and lambs.
We also expanded our needle felting courses, lambed some adorable new members of our flock, and hosted the first-ever alumni reunion for Nome Schoolhouse.
Restoring the Schoolhouse was crucial to our mission of sustainable celebration of our community’s heritage and our sheep-rearing and shearing practices. Our goal was to turn this abandoned, century-old building into, once again, a beautiful place to learn and build community.
We faced problems with the roof — there was extensive water damage that affected the insulation. But replacing the roof with something that resembled the Schoolhouse’s actual roof was easier said than done! We couldn’t even find the right stain color to match.
And then of course, there was a blizzard to deal with. It was quite an adventure to continue the restoration with bountiful snow covering everything!
But now, all 27,000 square feet have now been completed, restoring the Schoolhouse to its full glory — plus some beautiful new amenities! We’ve been honored to host alumni reunions, fiber arts classes, and more. Our Snowman felting class is coming up, and the renovated Schoolhouse will be a toasty venue for both aspiring and seasoned felters. What better way to cozy up this winter?
We’re also hosting a big-band Christmas concert, complete with delicious desserts and good ol’ fashioned camaraderie. You can purchase your ticket to this wonderful event here.
If you’re not able to join us physically, I invite you to do so in spirit. My Needle Felting Academy offers many wonderful projects, and perhaps you can gift your crafty loved ones some needle felting kits. Our journey with the Nome Schoolhouse has taught me to cherish our connections with our fellow humans and find common joys. Needle felting has certainly been that for me; I hope that this winter, it proves to be for you as well!