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….

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Diane Stoffel IS COMING

I am showing you the rug I did of my son!  Diane Stoffel helped me with it when she was here in March.  I can assure you, it is not something I would tackle on my own.  The rug shows my son Will after a day of working cattle.  He is sitting on the cattle chute, a beverage in hand (I am sure it was a diet Pepsi, right).  You can see the shadow of his horse next to him, the horse's head is lowered, as is the the head of the tired cowboy.  You can see that they both had a hard day.  Will's friend Heather is a wonderful photographer and snapped this picture at just the right moment.  I knew the minute I saw the photo that I needed to hook it into a rug.

I blew the photo up at Kinko's, then transferred it off on linen, using red dot.  I didn't worry about drawing in  a lot of details, I knew I would add those as I hooked it.  In person, you can see the tiny little silver buckles I added to his spur straps.

With Diane's help, I started on the hat, then worked the shirt, complete with wrinkles and turns to show the bend in his elbow.  That was tricky!  By the time I got to the jeans, I had figured it out and loved working with the blues to show the faded, worn jeans and creases in them.   Diane kept throwing wool at me, saying "Use this for the shadow here, this is the rust on the chute, there."

This is the beauty of a wonderful teacher and Diane Stoffel is one of the BEST you will ever meet.  She gives you such confidence working thru each element, until pretty soon, you are able to move on without her standing at your shoulder.  Remember, there were 16 people in this class and each one got the attention they needed to hook their project, along with mini classes on color, technique tips and more.

I tell you this today…..because Diane is coming to teach a class my store this Friday, Saturday and Sunday July 25,26,27.  The class has been full for a long while, and today…..I got a call from someone who is not going to be able to come.  So, here is a rare opportunity to step into a Diane Stoffel class at the last minute.

Anyone interested, email me at for complete information.  I guarantee it will be 3 of the most productive, educational and FUN days of your life.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Autumn Gobbler Finished

Autumn Gobbler, a Jan Goos design that I started hooking in a class taught by Jan Goos herself, is DONE.  I particularly like the Indian corn  These similar value rugs are particularly challenging, but as Jan says "you have to make your wool work for you and 'love' in a little here and there to make the colors stand out."

Below is my shaded rose from the Newton Teacher's Workshop, complete with a 3 cut shaded rose.  A proud day for sure.  I did the leaves and background in a 5 cut, because I could not bear the thought of a 3 cut background.  But I think it looks fine and I am proud of the result.  Thank you Livily Powers for the fine instruction.

Don't forget, that we hook Friday and Saturday this week, July 11 and 12.  We missed first Saturday because of the holiday weekend, so we are bumping it back to this weekend.  Join us, as always….all are welcome and it is FREE!

Til then…..

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fall Hook-In Weekend Plans

Only slightly behind schedule, here are some pictures from the Jan Goos "Autumn Gobbler" class that we held here at the store on June 21.  Jan designed a wonderful turkey rug, shown a few posts ago, the students could select the rug in one of 3 sizes.  I drew them up and the class was ON.

Nine of us worked on our turkeys, every one in a different color plan.  My turkey is plums and browns, some were turquoise flavored others were rich greys and tans.

Shown above are Suzanne Burgoin and Linda Stortenbecker, very serious about their projects.
Kathy Berkshire, Judy Orendorff work with teacher Jan Goos in the 2nd photo.  In the 3rd photo Jan is going thru some of the stacks of wool here at the store, to select just the right thing for someone's primitive sunflower or pumpkin to accent their turkey.

It was a great class, fantastic people and a good time was had by all.  I am almost done with my project, so I will show a picture later this week.

Jan will be doing another of these 'Single Saturday' classes on October 4th.  The Hook-In in Omaha will be on October 3rd, so I am again planning events here at the store for AFTER the
hook-in.  Friday we will have OPEN hooking from 4 til 10pm.  Carl will make dinner for all, there will be door prizes, of course.  Then Saturday, we will have OPEN HOOKING from 9 to 6pm.  I have hired Jan to teach a "Chalkware Santa" design to anyone interested in taking the class on Saturday.  She will have 4 different Santa color combinations made up ahead of time.  You will get to sign up for the class, select your color scheme, then I will make up the patterns and kits to be ready for October 4th.  The pattern, on linen, and the wool for the hooked project will be only $50.  The class, taught by Jan Goos,  is on me, to thank all my customers for their continued wonderfulness.

Let me know if you would like to be on this class list.  We will be able to have 20 or so working on Santas that day.  You can get your name on the list, then pick out your Santa color (red, blue, white or brown) when the samples are available later this summer.   For those not planning on hooking the Santa, we will have open hooking all day long, lunch, snacks and more prizes to be given out thru out the day.  Plan to attend the Hook-in on October 3 at 120th and Pacific St in Omaha, from 9-3, then come join us for more hooking fun on Friday afternoon and evening and all day Saturday October 4th.

That will be here before we know it!!!!!!
Til next time.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Canine Good Citizen

Well, I could not be more proud to announce that today, Blue and I went down to the Humane Society and took the AKC Canine Good Citizen test.  It is a 10 part test, that tests for basic obedience, people socialization, behavior around other dogs etc.  You have to walk thru a crowd, leave your dog with another handler and leave the room for 3 minutes, walk on a loose leash, sit, down, sit stay, recall, be examined and petted by a stranger and so forth.  This all sounds easy, but with lots of distraction, 9 other dogs, strange people etc., it is slightly challenging.

Blue, of course, was a SUPERSTAR and did everything he was supposed to do with a  lot of style and panache.  Please note we are wearing coordinating outfits, me in black and white and him in his fleur de lis scarf.  Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen, he was snappin'.   Ok, I will admit, I have become that dog person who planned my outfit to match his scarf, but just for special occasions like this test!!!!!!

Here was the only disappointing thing……I thought once you passed, you got the Canine Good Citizen vest for the dog to wear.  WRONG…..if you are a poodle.  You have to be a pit bull or one of the other 7 dog breeds on the dangerous dog list, that must be muzzled in Omaha unless you have passed this test.  So….no vest for Blue.  He and I will find other ways to make our fashion statements.  I think the tester thought I was going to cry when she said we could not get the vest, because we are NOT dangerous, so she told me that I can go to the AKC website and order him a Canine Good Citizen scarf and myself a t-shirt.  I, of course, will call tomorrow to place the order!!!!!!!!

All for now blogging friends.  My little poodle buddy is sacked out at my feet and ready for bed.  It was a trying afternoon for us.  All that sitting and staying and those other dogs barking……yikes.  You could tell Blue was wondering, "what is with all the noise these dogs are making!"  We are exhausted.

'til next time….
Janice and Blue