Sunday, October 12, 2014

Do You Love Binding Rugs????

Heirloom Rug Workshop starts a week from today, October 19, so I am honoring some of my heirloom favorites this week.  This is a pattern from Woolley Fox that I made a few years ago.  My goal was to use all darks for the background, but not mix the various wools together.  Instead, I drew in patches and filled in the patches with the same dark wool.  There were blackie greens, blackie browns, some textures, some not.  It made a great black background, but with lots of interest.  I was particular about using the same wool in 3 different areas thru out the rug, so the colors appeared balanced.

OK, the title of this blog is DO YOU LOVE BINDING RUGS?????   Well, I already know the answer to the question.  No, you don't.  Nobody does.  I avoid it at all costs and try talking my buddies Sandy and Dr. Susan into binding for me, whenever possible.  Colleen was lamenting at hooking on Friday that she has 8 projects that need binding.  Well, the conversation lead us to the conclusion that we should have a special rug hooking event just for binding rugs.  Then Kathy Berkshire said "And it should be QUARTERLY!!!!"

So, our first RUG BINDING PARTY will be Friday night October 24.  You can come to hook for open hooking in the afternoon, or come after work…..whenever.  We will plan to work until 9pm.  Carl will bring us dinner and we will bind those darn rugs or else.  Sandy promised to be there to help people who want to make rugs into pillows.  She is a genius and can teach you to finish your rugs into beautiful pillows.

Join us…..of course, it is FREE, FREE, FREE.   We will plan another binding night after Christmas and try to keep up our quarterly schedule.  See you October 24 and feel the sense of accomplishment you too will get, when you get your binding projects done.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pretty Ava Crowder

Tonight it is time for a horse story… rugs or wool or dogs……a HORSE story.

Carl and I love to ride. We are HORSE people.  Of course, you know my beautiful black and white paint gelding, Hairy.  He is the best, most solid, and well mannered horse on the planet.   We have been looking for a new horse for Carl.  His horse Sunnee is 23 years old and starting to be a little arthritic,  he needs a replacement, so he can retire from his riding duties.  

I located this absolutely adorable 15 year old crop out Paint mare near Austin Minnesota.  She has a bunch of western pleasure and horsemanship points and has a heart of gold.  I had her vetted and when she passed the vet exam, Carl and Blue and I drove to Minnesota to try her out.

It was love at first sight and after Carl rode her, we loaded her in the trailer and brought her home.  Her barn name was Lollipop, but Carl could not see himself calling her that, so we are calling her Ava Crowder after the heroine on "Justified".  Our vet calls his calf roping horse Raylon, after the hero on that show.  We all decided she was just as pretty as Ava Crowder, and had a little starch when she needed it.  Perfect, Ava Crowder it is.

So we brought Ava Crowder home and she needed to have her teeth done.   She had only been here for 4 days and had been from the pasture to her stall only 4 times.  Well.....I hate to admit this part of the  story because it makes me look like an idiot.  In 16 years here at the farm, I have only had 2 occasions where a horse snuck past me at the gate and got loose, but this is what happened.  The vet was coming to do her teeth on Monday morning, so I thought I would bring her pasture mate Tooey in also, so Tooey would not stand outside and scream for Ava Crowder.  So, I brought Tooey out of the gate and little Ms Crowder....leaked out behind her.  I mean just slipped out of that gate so slick that she got right past me.  Now I am thinking, OH SHIT, loose horse, new horse, vet will be driving in at any minute and he has been my friend for 40 years and loves nothing more than to give me CRAP!!!!  It could not be worse timing.  At this point, my paint gelding Hairy races up to the gate of his pasture and calls to her and I think, Oh, Good, she will go visit Hairy while I get Tooey put away.  But NOOOOOO, she trots off toward the barn.   Our barn is a little different configuration, it has an 8 stall barn, a connector barn that attaches to the indoor arena.  She trotted into the connector barn, where she could then go into the arena or out the door on the other side of the connector barn to get to the hay barn, pallets, equipment etc.   I could just picture her out picking her way thru the bad stuff as I raced Tooey to the barn into her stall.  I ran toward the arena, expecting to see our little chestnut darling somewhere she should not be, and did a quick double take at her stall.  She had gone into the connector barn, made a right turn into the stall barn and then another right turn and put herself away into the right stall, with all the other stall doors open.   I could have kissed her.  I could not believe that after only 4 days of being here, she put herself away in that manner.  We used to have a Fjord mare that would put herself away, but have never had another horse that would.  She is a sweet genius!!!!!

So Ava Crowder is a big hit around here.  She is sweet and kind to Carl and he is loving riding her.  The other horses all think she is just fine too.  Even Tooey, who usually has a gripe with her pasture mate, thinks Ava is a fine friend.  So far, so good.  There is peace in our horse kingdom.  Bless you, Ava Crowder.

Til next time,

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Weekend a big SUCCESS

 Our weekend of post Hook-In events is over and we had a great time here at The Rug Hooking Store.  We had visitors from a 5 state area and there was much laughter and learning that went on.  Thanks to all who attended.

Jan Goos was here to teach the Chalkware Santa class and they all turned out beautifully.  There were door prizes, a free fat quarter with $100 purchase and a drawing for a $100 gift certificate at the end of the day on Saturday.  You did not have to be present to win, just had to make a purchase thru out the 2 days to be in the drawing.

Colleen Cochrane pulled the name out of the bucket.  She says she has terrible luck, so there was no chance she would pull her own name.  She didn't.  But guess whose name she did draw?

We could NOT BELIEVE IT!!!!!!!!  That lucky Sandy Weller won again this year!!!!  She won last year too.  Obviously she is living a good clean life, to have that much luck.  Congratulations Sandy on winning the $100 gift certificate.  You can use it at the Heirloom class which is coming up in 2 weeks.

Here are some pictures of some of the beautiful wool I dyed for the weekend.  The shelves were packed, so I moved clusters of yards and half yards around the store, to be even more enticing.

The center picture shows some gorgeous fall colors.  The bottom picture shows some of my favorites.  The darks are Spunky Monkey, the blues are Chimney Sweep.  Someone asked me what color Jan Goos used for the sky in her Winter Wonderland rug that was Best in Show at the hook-in on Friday.  It was a combination of Chimney Sweeps and it made for a spectacular winter or night sky.

Blue didn't get to come out on Saturday, there were just too many bodies in the store.  He was pretty miffed that he got left out of the festivities.
So, I thought I would show his picture anyway.  Here he is at TRICKS class at the Nebraska Humane Society in Omaha.  We have a fabulous teacher named Tiffany that is full of knowledge and makes it all so much fun that we laugh for the whole hour.  Blue has learned tons of tricks in the class and we are working on perfecting them.  This was the first night with the hoola hoop.  Tiffany said some dogs are afraid of the hoop, so you should treat them when they touch it, just starting out.  Then when they get more confident you teach  them to go thru the hoop both directions, etc.  Well, Blue did not think there was anything scary about the hoop and when he found out there were treats involved with being near the hoop, he thought it was FABULOUS.  When the exercise was over and I put the hoop down, he wound himself into a ball to lay inside the hoop while waiting for the next lesson.  He is thinking, "This thing is terrific.  Sometimes you get treats just for being near it…..I don't want to miss an opportunity!"  Oh, Blue, you are the best.

Next time,

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hook In Events

I know I have mentioned the Omaha Hook-In coming up this Friday Oct 3.  But have I mentioned all the preparations going on here at the store for our Hook-In Weekend.   As most of you know, I know longer take wool to events.  My motto is "Have Wool, Won't Travel".  It is not that I don't love seeing all my rug hooking friends and customers.  Oh, no…..I love seeing them all.  It is just that it has gotten to be too big a chore to load up the wool, haul to the event, sell all day, load up, return home and unload and put away.

So……I am thrilled that you may be going to the Omaha Hook-In, Oct 3 from 9-4 at St. Robert Bellarmine Church, 120 and Pacific, Omaha Nebraska.  But then, when those activities are over, come visit me at the store for more fun events.  We will hook until 10pm on Friday night.  Carl will bring us pizza for dinner and we will hook until we drop.  There will be door prizes, sign up for a $100 drawing, color planning, fun and friends.  Then Saturday morning we will have the Jan Goos
Chalkware Santa class form 9-3, more open hooking, door prizes, color planning, drawings etc.  We will also have Cameron Mayville come speak to us about cleaning hooked rugs.  It should be a fun and fascinating day.  Oh, yes, Carl promises to bring us many delicious items thru out the day.

My point to this whole story is…..I have been dyeing wool like a crazy person.  I will take pictures of the wool groupings to show in my blog….tomorrow.  I also got in about 60 patterns from Kathy Morton and a ton from The Sampling.  As always there are over 750 patterns here in the store
(who am I kidding, there are over 1000).  Come visit this weekend, all patterns are $5 OFF.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Chalkware Santa

The Omaha Hook-IN is coming October 3 and our special Hook-IN weekend will come right along with it on October 3 and 4.

Saturday the 4th of October, Jan Goos will be giving a special class here at the store.  This is her original Chalkware Santa design and she has hooked it up in 5 different color schemes for you to choose from.

The Santa on the bottom is one that I hooked on Sunday, just so I would know how much wool to pull for the Santa kits.  It turns out, I like the white Santa very much, so you can also order the white Santa kit, if you are signed up for our Oct 4 Chalkware Santa class.

So…here are your choices (top left) green Santa with brown background, (top right) blue and red Santa.  In the middle, left, Red Santa, center, Blue Santa, right Gold Santa

On the bottom, white Santa with chimney sweep background.

If you are signed up for the class, it is time to send your $50 plus 2.75 tax to pay for your kit.  I am paying Jan to teach the class, to thank all my wonderful customers for their business thru out the year.

Join us Oct 3 and 4.  Even if you are not in the Santa class, there will be open hooking, door prizes, a drawing for a $100 gift certificate, snacks, tips and all the color planning help you might need.  It will be a 2 day rug hooking extravaganza.

At 3pm on Saturday we have a special guest Cameron Mayville, who is coming to talk about rug cleaning.  That should be illuminating for all of us.

Mark your calendars and if you are signed up to do the Santa class, make sure you get me your color choice.

Can't wait to see you all on Oct 3 and 4.


Thursday, September 11, 2014


Pris Buttler was here last weekend for our annual
MASTERS CLASS.  A few years ago, we studied the work of Gustav Klimt.  Those rugs were seen in Rug Hooking Magazine in an article in 2010.

Last year we were inspired by the work of Jan Theodore Toorop.  Those are our 'lady' rugs or "Vestal Virgins" as they are officially called.  Those rugs will be in Rug Hooking Magazine next month, in an article I wrote about that class.

This year Pris chose the work of Georgia O'Keefe for our master class.  16 students and Pris Buttler came to the store last Friday, Saturday and Sunday to learn to do this torn strip beauty. I let each student pick their poppy color, then per Pris' instructions, I dyed 6 shades of each color.

The rug on top is Pris' beautiful poppy rug,  the one below is mine.  I finished it on Monday.  Those torn strips let you fly!  And when you are done tearing and hooking those wide monsters, hooking the background in an 8.5 was like butter.

This was a terrific class.  I learned lots about the shading and of course, the higgledy piggledy flowers and leaves were there own sort of challenging.  Each rug is different and beautiful and I can't wait to show you some more as they are finished up.

Next year, Pris came up with a spectacular idea for our MASTER CLASS, it is a bit of a surprise/secret, so I won't talk about it yet. If you are interested in signing up for this wonderful opportunity with a master teacher/artist, Pris Buttler, contact me.  We have a couple of spots open for the class which we will be held September  18,19,20, 2015.

Next time….

Monday, September 8, 2014

Poodles and Poppies

So greatly remiss, am I, in my blogging that I never talked about the Diane Stoffel class and we moved right on to Pris Buttler this weekend.  I will try to catch up.

As usual, Diane Stoffel was her creative self at our three day class in July.  I wanted to hook Blue, so she suggested we make it a little more interesting by not using just Poodle colors.

She went to the bits and pieces bins and gathered up a small arm load of wool pieces.  She put them on the table in front of me and said "Divide those into groups of LIGHT, BRIGHT, DARK, and DULL.  I'll be back."

That went fairly well, but it certainly was a different way of looking at things.  Not blues, blacks, reds, etc……no…..LIGHT BRIGHT DARK DULL.  It became my mantra.

The darks, which were greys, blacks, purples, blues, reds, became the primary dog color.  The little spits of lights were placed inside the the poodle curls to give them movement.  The dulls, make things recede, I learned, and were used beneath the eyes and anywhere you wanted to hollow out the shape.   It was fascinating.  Absolutely fascinating.

The brights were used sparingly, but those chartreuse and neon colors gave his eyes a glow and also gave him tiny little whiskers.  There were bits of bright in his nose too, to give it that wet dog nose look.

If you look close, Blue is smiling, which is a normal Blue look.  He is 9 months old now and thinks everything is smile worthy.  He is in his teen months and is a bouncy little (huge) fellow.  He stands 29in at the shoulder and is a healthy 68 lbs.  He dad is about 30 in and 90 lbs, so our little man may still grow a bit more.  We had to take him off his puppy food, he was growing so fast that he was suffering from pan osteitis, inflammation in the bones from growing so quickly.

He remains the absolutely best dog!!!!  We start a tricks class tomorrow night, so I will update you on that.

Oh, before I finish today, I should mention the upcoming activities here at the store and our local rug hooking world.  The Omaha Hook-In will be October 3rd at St Robert Bellarmine Church, 120th and Pacific  from 9-4.  We encourage all to attend, it should be a great day with vendors, great rugs to see and fun to be had.  Right after the hook in, plan to wander out to Valley to attend our post hook-in activities.  We will hook Friday from 4-10, have food and snacks, door prizes etc.  Then Saturday we will have OPEN HOOKING from 9-6, more food, door prizes, a drawing for a $100 gift certificate and our Jan Goos Chalkware Santa class.

Jan has hooked up three different Santas in RED, BLUE and GOLD.  You get to pick your color, I will work up your kit for $50 for the pattern and wool and I will pay Jan to teach the class.  We are taking 25 for the class and have a full list now, but if you are interested you can call or write to get on the waiting list.  I am sure a few will have a plan change between now and then.

You can go to my website and visit OCT 3&4 to get a full listing of the days activities.  As always, I will be able to help with color planning and problem solving, so bring any rug that needs help!

Hope to see you then….