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

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Faux Braiding

I have had several people ask me about faux braiding and how to accomplish it.  Let me make it clear, that I did not invent faux braiding or think it up in any way.  I learned it first from the incomparable Anita White in a class years ago.  Then I revisited it with Diana Geisinger here in a class a few weeks ago.  It clicked in my brain in the Geisinger class and now I feel more confident in the art of faux braiding.

I asked Diana if she cared if I shared a few of her tips and she was game.  I want to also thank Anita for introducing me to faux braiding years ago.

This is how I would approach it.  For a average to small size rug, a 1 and 1/2 inch border would be appropriate.  Measure 1 and 1/2 inches from your background and draw your outer edge all round.  Then draw the 1 and 1/2 border into 3 equal pieces, approximately 1/2 inch each (see figure on left).  You don't have to draw the lines all the way around your edge, you will only need enough to get started.

Then, draw a 45% angle from the right edge to the 3rd line in, as seen in figure on the left.  That is how you start your hooking.  Now, starting on the right side, hook a tail, then 4 loops, turn and hook 3 loops back and a tail, as seen in the figure on the right.  That is the beginning of the faux braid.  Now, do the left section, a tail, 4 loops, turn around and hook 3 loops and a tail.  That is your 2nd faux section.  Make sure you have 3 colors and keep track of their order.  For instance, in the rug I hooked above……black-gold-blue-black-gold-blue.  It is important to keep the order correct.

Now, if you are hooking a round rug, your problems are over.  There are no tricky corners to deal with.  But if your rug is square, here is the trick for accomplishing the corner.  Take 3 strips of wool and braid them.  When you get to the corner, remember to make the turn, you repeat a color.  For instance….black, gold, blue, blue, black, gold, blue making the turn to the left or the right…..just repeat one color to make the turn.  Then….this is the genius part, lay the braided piece on the border of your rug and it gives you a template to follow, when hooking the corner.  It doesn't have to be perfect, and mine certainly isn't, but it does make a nice turn in a reasonable manner.

I hope this helps you with the faux border.  If you have questions, write me on the blog or email me or better yet call me at 402-359-2699.  I will be more than happy to talk you thru this.  I found the key to the whole thing, was to be consistent with my loop count, a tail and 4 down, then 3 up and tail.  Do that on every braided sequence and you cannot fail (she says with a great deal of confidence).

Happy faux braiding, one and all….

Monday, June 16, 2014

Colleen's Chair Pad

Here is another project from the Diana Geisinger class.  This chair pad was hooked by Colleen Cochrane and shows another of the great faux borders we learned to hook in that class.

Diana walked us thru the steps and altho it is slightly tricky, once you get your rhythm they are fun and easy to do.

Good job Colleen!  Great class Diana!

I have a true confession for Merlene Paul.  I was delighted that she came to visit the shop last Friday.  She is almost finished with a wonderful primitive rug that she drew as a gift for her mom.  It is the family farm and is beautifully done.  She allowed me to take pictures of her and the rug so I could blog about them.  It was about 8pm when I discovered that I forgot to put the card in the camera, when I took the pictures.  I hope she will take some snaps and send them to me, so I can share her beautiful family heirloom.

The weather outside appears to be preparing for our nightly storm, so I suppose Blue and I should go in the house. That is all for now.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Autumn Gobbler

We are doing something new here at The Rug Hooking Store at Black Horse Antiques.  We are calling them "Single Saturdays" and it is a one day class for those of you who want to take on a new hooking challenge, but don't have 3 days to invest in a workshop.  This Saturday, June 21st will be our first Single Saturday class and it will feature the work of Jan Goos in this original design she calls  "Autumn Gobbler".

The pattern comes in three sizes,  34 in wide, 28 in wide and 22 in wide.  You get to pick your size.   The class is $100 and includes the class taught by Jan Goos, herself, lunch and the pattern size of your choice on linen.  Jan will color plan from wool here at the store.  Your rug can look like hers, or maybe have a lovely white butterball turkey instead.   Jan is the master of these primitive colors and it will be fun to see how they all turn out.

There are 2 spots left.  If you are interested in hooking the Autumn Gobbler, contact me.  I drew them up today and they are ready to go.  I can't wait!!!!  I don't know if mine will have traditional pumpkins and a wild turkey or if I will go with a primitive dirty white turkey.  I know we will toss all the options around and decide on Saturday

Join us!!!!!