we offer a range of items painted by our goats , matt board paintings in different sizes , jewelry , clothing , we also have other farm theme items and art by humans ! this is something that has been accomplished by using an animals natural instincts , not all goats are interested in painting , but some just love it ! this is a fun , unusual and interesting gift to give , or just to have for yourself !
Please check out our web store to buy items , we are adding new inventory every day , our site is still under construction
ABOUT US :
We are a pair of sisters homesteading , we have our goats for milk , but they are also just really fun animals to keep as you can see!
the first goat that ever painted for us is named Cow Poppit she is a mini Nubian goat , her mama was sick and we had to supplement her with a bottle ,
she often followed us around and she would paw the ground when she saw us raking when we cleaned the pen , when you would rake , she would "rake" too ... :) she would soon do this on command , so we decided to see if we could change "rake" to "paint" and put a canvas and some
paint under her hoof , she did it ! later we realized that we could give a goat a paintbrush and they could paint with it in their mouth ...
our primary goal in having our little homestead is serving the Lord , we have learned a lot about the shepherd / sheep and the shepherd / goat experience from keeping animals , and the connections to the things we read in the bible become much clearer in light of such experience ,we share our experiences and the things we have learned with people who come .
Check out our goat & sheep stories tab at the top of the page
here is more about our sheep :
Thinking about it now, the way that our sheep came to be with us is nothing less than remarkable, and the journey that the Lord has taken us on with our sheep is nothing less than wonderful... it is hard to remind myself at times how little time it has really been that they have lived here with us , our little wooly kids . our names are Latresha and Sumer Starling, we are sisters in our 30's we live on the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington state on a small piece of acreage. and our lives as shepherds started out with a small herd of goats . Long ago as a kid I thought about what fun it would be to raise a lamb for a pet, but I never really thought much about it after I became an adult. After we had the goats we knew we were learning a lot from the Lord, but that was nothing compared to what was about to happen to us...
One day some gentlemen came to look at a goat we had for sale , and after talking to us for a bit they mentioned that they had sheep. we were new spinners, and Sumer asked them , what do you do with your wool ? They didn't know much english, but they asked if we wanted them to bring the sheep to us ... no no... no do not bring the sheep , definitely not... she was quite clear with them on this point. .. they said they would go home and talk about the goat they were supposed to buy, they would be back to get him. several days passed, they weren't coming back it looked like. Then one day their little truck appeared in the driveway , and Dad went out to talk to them, he wasn't quite sure what they were up to, but they took him out to their truck, and when they opened the canopy door, he was shocked to see three sheep tied up in a bundle in the back ! He yelled back to the house to Mom that there were three sheep they wanted to sell
us . Mom couldn't hear him from there and she thought he said... a three speed (bike) she yelled back, "we'll only pay $30 !" haha, what a misunderstanding that was...
Sumer went up to see what was going on, and it became clear very quickly that these men wanted us to buy the sheep that they had brought to our door... had there been some kind of miscommunication ? After a long while haggling they kept going down on the price thinking this must be the problem , but the problem was we did not want sheep ! Finally they say that they need to get rid of these sheep and that they will take $30 apiece, and they know the sheep will be taken care of here ... they are good pets they told her ... Sumer didn't know what to do, but she felt the Lord say ... take the sheep , I'm going to show you something be patient, I'm going to show you something. She came down to get me, I was in shock when she told me what had happened... and yet I found myself going to our little can where we kept some money , and I took out $100 . When we were coming up the driveway we see that the men now have the sheep out of the truck and running on the end of a rope around the yard. We were nearly terrified at this point, we did not want the sheep, but I somehow knew in my heart we would take them, and after talking to the guys some more, Sumer looked at Dad, and Dad said something no one ever would have expected... It's up to you ... I'm thinking ... what in the world ? Dad would never not have an opinion on something like this ... I handed the man the money, they drove away, and there we were holding 3 sheep ... who were not "pets" they were half wild.
A black ram named Bear with BIG horns , a pregnant ewe named Annie, and a yearling ewe with no name... we weren't even sure where we were going to put them. We did remember then that we did actually have one small pen until we could get something together for them, and at this point we couldn't help but notice that we already had everything a mini herd of sheep would need right there in our barn... it seemed the Lord had dropped His sheep off in the right place. We decided that the ram , named Bear needed a new name, we renamed him Ramsey, when I researched I identified him as a black welsh mountain sheep , he was purebred we knew this much from what the former owners had said of him that he had been a very expensive special breed ram. The ewe Annie would keep her name as we thought she may know her name and it suited her well, I identified her breed as a Shropshire. The yearling ewe who was a cross breed between the two, we named Lil' Bit .
Ramsey we soon found out would panic and go crazy if he was separated from the ewes, he just could not be consoled... Sumer asked the Lord about this behavior , and He told her that Ramsey had never had a shepherd... and having not had a shepherd, he looks to Annie for his comfort. if a person does not look to the Lord for comfort, they will look other places to find it... people look to many places for comfort and fulfillment other than to God. And my conclusion is that if you are looking to other sources, you're going to act like Ramsey if that source is taken away. In just the first little while we realized that our sheep , or the Lord's sheep which is what they really were, were in need of a lot of care, they were underweight, badly in need of shearing, and we knew absolutely nothing about sheep. A friend came and brought us a pair of hand shears, and along with the addition of some kitchen scissors, we would just have to do our best.
Shearing ended up to be a monumental task, not to mention quite comical with people that don't know what they are doing , but they looked and felt much better when it was done. and the Lord showed us afterward that now the sheep trusted us ... something about having them on their back in that vulnerable position and them seeing that we didn't hurt them made them look to us now as their shepherds ! Then the Lord said to me ... " Sometimes I have to put you on your back to make you trust me ... this position causes forced trust. " Which was exactly right, as a Christian, when you are down and the Lord takes care of you it causes you to trust him more as your shepherd ! We'd had them only a little while when Dad decided to do some work in the new pen with Ramsey in there... He knew not to go in there alone,he felt he shouldn't , but needing to get it done, he went in anyway... and you guessed it, the very untrustworthy Ramsey saw the opportunity to live up to his name, He rammed Dad a good one when he wasn't looking. Dad knew it immediately it was the Lord who had done this... He said Lord why did you ram me? and the Lord answered simply... I want you to listen to me when I tell you something!
After shearing the sheep and worming them, and after they'd had some time to settle in and get used to a new bigger pen, they began to gain weight and look better.... and then the lambs came...
Twin ram lambs Ezekiel and Israel ... it was very strange ... Ezekiel the first one born was the ugliest thing we had ever seen .. this was not the pristine beautiful lamb we might have imagined... he was bright yellow when he came out, and he had a rug like tuft of hair on his face... he looked a lot like the wolf man from the old movies!!This was not what we had in mind , plus he was huge ... the second one was born , and he was the cutest sweetest little thing... this was Israel... that was more like it!! Watching our sheep with lambs was interesting, they were so much different than the goats ... one of our first realizations in all of it is that sheep are definitely not goats !! it seems quite obvious now, but we just assumed they would be very similar and they were not at all. At this point we realized that Ramsey would not be able to live with the ewes and the lambs, he was ramming them and knocking them down, it seemed there was a lesson here as well, Perhaps this was to teach the lambs to stay close to Annie where they could be protected just like us, staying closer to the Lord keeps us much safer, but wandering away is sure to cause trouble. Every time the lambs fell they got up again. For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief . Proverbs 24:16
Ramsey had to be moved out... strangely, the only animal we had that was suitable to put with him for companionship was the large wethered goat that the original owners of the sheep had been looking at to buy. his name was Brat, and after a bit of tussle, Ramsey and Brat became best friends. We realized after a time that we did not know if it was possible Lil Bit was pregnant as well, we saw no sign of it though, and we forgot all about it, until one day when she had a lamb when she was out grazing, we were quite surprised at that, but we jumped in and delivered it , the poor little thing was stuck, one leg pinned behind her, but Sumer managed to maneuver her free , and there she was, our little darling Zion, a ewe lamb ... we were in love !! Lil Bit was still a little skiddish , and when we realized she was teaching the lamb to be shy of us, we pulled Zion and bottle raised her . We have thought since that perhaps that had been a mistake, because we didn't realize it that all lambs seem to be naturally shy of people and even though Zion did seem to be attached to us, she was still quite wild at times. when we pulled Zion , having nowhere else to put her, we put her in with some baby goats we were weaning... now she was not sure whether she was a baby sheep, or a baby goat ... and then she became attached to our three English Setter dogs , and she thought maybe she was a dog ...
One day Zion was following me on my rounds doing chores, and I had a little drainage dug next to my buck got pen for runoff when there was too much rain, I looked out of the buck house to check on her, and she was in that little pit right up to her underarms. She had said absolutely nothing , she was just there waiting for me to come and find her. I lifted her out and she was very calm. It came to me at once then " What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep and if it shall fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold of it and lift it out ? Matt 12:11 Why was it that I so often doubted the Lord when I already knew that He always come when I had fallen into a pit and he always gently lifted me out as my shepherd ? I needed the faith that this little lamb had in me as her shepherd.
On the subject of pits , we were reading a book that mentioned that sheep will often dig a pit to lay in, which we had seen by now quite a bit, but that they would sometimes get "cast" in the pit they had dug for themselves ... This also was just like what we do. We had never heard of being "cast" we knew from shearing that if they were turned over they were vulnerable, but if the shepherd didn't find it in time, a cast sheep could actually die because it couldn't get up, this was especially dangerous if it happened on a warm day... The very next day after we had read about this, I came to check on the sheep out grazing, and there was Annie , turned over in the sun and unable to get up this was a cast sheep!! Lil Bit had apparently led a rather inadvisable trip under the fence and when Annie had tried to follow, she had become cast . I came over and picked her up and she was rather calm about the whole thing, almost as if she had known we would come ! The idea of being cast was very thought provoking. Why are thou cast down o my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God : for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance and my God. Psalm 43:5
This year the Lord told Sumer that Lil Bit was going to have a black lamb and we are to keep this lamb. Annie had twins Rachel and Ezra both white lambs, and Lil Bit had triplet lambs, one of them , which was black, had another lamb who did not survive tied with her around her umbilical cord , this was Jordan . Jordan had also another sister that was white who we named Moriah.
In this first year and a half with our sheep, all along the way, the Lord was teaching us daily through the shepherd sheep relationship , what the nature of His love for us really is, he was teaching us about trust and about obedience , and about our own failings as sheep. He had been working on making us see the importance of putting the sheep first . It seemed that the more you give a sheep, the more they still need, it is unending. Sumer as the primary caregiver of the sheep including cleaning feeding and milking... yes milking! Sheep milk makes the best ice-cream in the world! She has had a lot of instruction from the Lord on this idea of putting the sheep first , and the Lord told her, "do you know why I ask you to put the sheep first ? Because I do.
Honestly trials and hard times in our lives lately had been leading up to this, and getting the sheep was the catalyst for the culmination of all he had been trying to tell us coming into focus at last ... our whole Christian lives we had never been so close to the Lord or heard his voice more often. We are currently writing a book about our experiences , and we are keeping a diary of what we call "sheepisms" which are our lessons from the Lord through the sheep that he gave to us.
please note that all rights are reserved and retained by Sumer and Latresha Starling
copyright 2014 , for future publication for parts or all of this story and use of our " Entwined " yarn brand is also reserved.