Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hayden's Rug Complete!

This is Hayden Moss, one of Leah's voice students that I taught to hook over Christmas break.  Here is Hayden with his finished rug, a great little star with an very nice coral and turquoise background.  Hayden left it with me to bind, maybe as a Mother's Day present for his mom.  (I am actually going to try to talk Sandy into binding this one…..it is so winky, Sandy could do it in a flash)

Hayden spent quite a bit of time with me here in the store in the last few weeks.  He was a member of our cast of MUSIC MAN at The Elkhorn Valley Community Theatre.  He played the part of Tommy Dijlas, his favorite voice teacher (my daughter Leah) played Marian the Librarian, and I played Mrs. Paroo……therefore playing my own daughter's mother in the show.  We had a wonderful time on stage and during the rehearsal process, but also had some fun on the nights that Leah and Hayden stayed over at my house, between shows.  On Sunday afternoons, Hayden had plenty of time to work on his rug….and VOILA…..it is done.  Congratulations Hayden!!

Till next time….

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Hooking Faces

I have not been blogging lately, but I certainly have been doing a lot of hooking.  These two rugs are from 2 classes we had here at the store.  Please excuse the slight distortion, I photoed them on the floor and it always monkey's with the top of the rug.

The little dancing girl is my daughter Leah, age 5 at the time.  I tackled this project in Pat Shafer's face class in January.  Leah loved wearing make up for recital, so I wanted to emphasize the blush and mascara on this little doll.  The face was a breeze with Pat's excellent tutelage.  The tough part was the ruffles.  Who knew.  I particularly enjoyed the tile floor and striped wallpaper.  I drew in lots of straight lines before hooking, so I could keep my stripes straight.

The picture above shows my son Will, at about age 5 with his little red rope.  He got that rope at age 2 and it was rarely out of his hands for the next many years.  He was dangerous, for sure.  If you moved, he roped you.  Even if you didn't move, he roped you.  I got used to having skinned shins and bruises on my legs.  Of course I threatened him within an inch of his life, to get him to stop, but after a brief reprieve, he was always back at it again.  He roped the dogs, the cats, his sister, dad and the various customers at his dad's training stable.  One of the customers, Sandy Weller is the person who took this picture.  Sandy is also the one who talked me into taking my first rug hooking lesson with her in 2001.  I didn't want to learn to rug hook at the time, but am certainly glad I went along for the lesson.  I loved it with my very first loop.

The little roper rug I tackled in the Diane Stoffel class we had here last weekend.  I blew up the photo, and transferred it onto the linen with red dot.  Will's face was fun to do, because not only did we have to get the shading right, we had to make it look dirty as well.  Diane is the master and she lead me thru the process without too much whining on my part.  In the background of the picture, you see Will's dad and another roper, heading and heeling a steer.  These were little tiny figures, but with the 3 cut, it was fun to do.  Diane helped me with the sky process before she left and I tackled the dirt by myself. She pulled the colors during class and we decided to make the dirt in short strips.  No hooked line is more than 4 or 5 inches.  It really help give the variegated look.   Dirt should be easy to do, but as I found in last year's cowboy rug "The End of the Day"  dirt can present it's own hooking dilemma's.  

The little roper's face is a 3 cut, the rest of the rug is 4 and 5 cuts.  Little Leah's face is 3 cut and the rest is 5,6 and 8 cuts.  I have to admit after all the wide cut rugs I have made, I am enjoying these narrower cuts too.

I have more rugs and more pics, but I better wait till tomorrow.
Bye for now.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Santa Face Class

We have had Santa Face Classes for the last two Saturdays, here at the store.  Pat Shafer teaches them for us every January.  Here is my Santa face from yesterday.  It is a Spruce Ridge pattern.  Most of the ladies hook those beautiful Santa faces from Kathy Morton Mullvain at Oak Ridge Cottage Designs.  Since this is my 4th Santa face class and I have already done 4 of Kathy's designs, I picked this one from Kris Miller's studio.  Kris is coming to teach a workshop in June and we are all excited to work with her for the first time.

Pat Shafer is a wonderful rug hooker, who just happens to be a former china painter and artist.  She breaks doing these faces down into easy to understand steps, complete with visual aids and take home extras.
I must say, that each time I do a face, it becomes easier to accomplish and less intimidating.  I love this beautiful Santa and will enjoy completing the rug.

When will I be completing the rug????  Well on Downton Abbey Day of course.  Tomorrow, because it is MLK Day and many people have the day off, we decided to spend the day with our favorite things…….rug hooking, rug hookers, Downton Abbey and FOOD.  We will start at 9am and watch until we are thru with the whole season….we think around 6pm.  Fortunately, Jeanette got this season and is bringing it out for all to watch.   Carl and I bought a new, bigger, TV for the store at Christmas time, for this very reason.  I can't wait to see what will happen with Mary and her suitors, and that darn sister of hers with the disappearing baby daddy.  Of course, we know Thomas will be making trouble somewhere, but will they finally catch up with Bates for the unfortunate accident involving Anna's rapist.  My head is spinning……I just can't wait.

If you happen to be available tomorrow and would like to come watch with us…..you are welcome.  We have 13 coming and I am sure we could squeeze in a few more.  Just remember, we will all be speaking with a British accent by the end of the day.  Even Blue will bark in Cockney.

Can't wait…..


Friday, January 2, 2015

Brand New Rug Hookers

 Happy New Year!  I hope you all had wonderful holidays.  We had a terrific time this Christmas.  Carl hates the holidays, but my daughter Leah and I make up for it because WE LOVE CHRISTMAS!

Leah borrows some costumes from me, or actually, The Elkhorn Valley Community Theatre, here in Valley.  She often brings her students along to help load or unload or just to have company on the drive.  They stop at the store to get the key to the theatre, so I know many of her students from their performances at Leah's theatre in Lincoln, Theatre Arts for Kids, as well as their visits to our theatre and the store.

Several of her students expressed interest in rug hooking, so Leah asked if I would teach them over the holiday break.  I said SURE…..as long as Leah learned too.  This was very funny to me, because Leah has longed expressed NO DESIRE to be a rug hooker.

So here they are….8 kids, Leah and Shelley, a mom who came along to drive.  Little did she know that she was going to learn to rug hook too.  I drew simple stars on linen, cut up bright colors of wool and let them pick their colors.  They were 5 to 14 in age, and all did a fine job.  Peggy, above with Claire, is a foreign exchange student from China.  I am not sure she understood why she had been kidnapped and drug off to learn rug hooking, but she was a champ and did a fine job.  Our only boy student, Hayden was the one most interested in rug hooking and he did a great job too.  He is a leftie, so I had Ken Petersen, another leftie, come show him how he holds his hook etc.

Because I have the best rug hooking group of ladies EVER…..I asked several to come out to help….you know, more eyes, more hands.  Well, Pat Shafer, shown right with Ken and the kids came out, as did the mother/ daughter team of Jackie Brown and Jeanette O"Brien.   Sandy Weller, (a real lover of small children haha) came too, always game to help.  I noticed she stayed close to Leah the whole time for protection. They were all wonderful, patient teachers and we all enjoyed it as much as the kids.

I had to include this picture below, right.  This is Maddie and we should all look so happy while we hook!!!!!!!

Of course, no trip to the farm would be complete without a visit to the barn.  It was a miserably cold day, so the horses didn't get turned out that morning.
Perfect….so they were inside and happy to be visited and petted by this rug hooking gang.  Hairy, always the gentleman, was first and stood patiently for all to pet.    Next we went to Ava Crowder's stall.  Ava took one look at all those kids and must have decided that her life of leisure being Carl's personal mount was all over.  She was a lesson horse for a while in the last few years.  One look at all those kids and she went and stood in the corner.  I think she was happy when they left and she was unscathed.

Last but never least, was Tooey, pictured on the bottom.  Tooey is a girl who knows what she wants.  When it is dinner time, she bangs the stall door til dinner arrives.  When those kids walked in the barn, she started in.  Banging the door, while we paid attention to Hairy.  Banging the door, while we took our passing glance at Ava.  Then it was her turn.
She fairly oohed and aahed at those children.  She would have
stood for days for their attention.  You can see her at the bottom with little Maya.  Tooey is just soaking it up.  Fortunately Tooey missed the comment, when one little girl said "Oh, she looks like a mule".   Hmmmmm…..well in the winter her chocolate buckskin self, does get light around the muzzle.  We didn't mention it again, so as not to hurt Princess Charming's feelings.

If you need to brighten your day….I recommend teaching children to rug hook.  Or at least teach THESE children to rug hook.  It made for a marvelous time for MAN, WOMAN, CHILD AND BEAST!

Remember, 1st Saturday hooking is tomorrow January 3rd from noon to 5.

Auditions for Music Man are Sunday, January 4th at The EVCT at 6pm.

Pat Shafer's Santa face classes are on Saturday Jan. 10th AND another one on Jan. 17th.  Write me for more info.

Pat Shafer is teaching 2 weekends of REAL FACE classes in Feb, the 7th and 8th and the 14th and 15th. Bring a picture of any face and she will teach you to hook it.

Wayne Kalal is going to teach an ART and COLOR class on January 24th.  This is $50, lunch included.  Wayne will talk about everything color, value, perspective etc.  This is a wonderful class for all rug hookers, to incorporate what painters know that we should know.  Great class, wonderful teacher.  Bring a problem rug along for problem solving.  Contact me at 402-359-2699 or janicelee@me for more information.

Whew…that is is for now.

PS  Leah turned out to be the most perfect and meticulous rug hooker you have ever seen.  Far more persnickety than her mother.  See Leah….I knew you would be a GREAT rug hooker.  What do you want to do for your next project?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Party

Saturday December 13 has arrived!  It is time for our Christmas party at The Rug Hooking Store.  We will be hooking from 10-5.  All are welcome.  Bring a Christmas treat to share if you wish.

With Christmas almost upon us, it has been time for Christmas preparations at the theatre, too.  Voice recital is Dec 21st and it was the first time on stage rehearsing this week.  Lauren, my darling student, said "It certainly feels different when you go from the studio to the stage, it is kind of scary."  At which point Blue, the theatre dog, raced to the stage and threw himself on her feet.  He either speaks English or reads minds, he knew his help was needed.  He loves Lauren and the kids at the theatre.  Not all of them appreciate his big furry help, but Lauren and her sister Halle are dog lovers and make him feel very needed, indeed.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

It is time to start thinking about Christmas!  We will have our final production of 'Scrooge, the Musical' tonight at The Elkhorn Valley Community Theatre in Valley.  We were delighted to be sponsored this year by Methodist Health System.  Opening night, we hosted the great doctors, nurses and staff of our own Methodist Physicians Clinic of Valley.  They have kept many members of our cast, alive and well over the years and we were thrilled to have them there, to help us kick off our Christmas season.  Thank you Methodist Health!  We played to sell out crowds and although we are always relieved when the show is done and everything is put away, it is my favorite time at the theatre.  We do 'Scrooge' every other year and I will take about 3 days off before I start thinking about our next show, Music Man, which will audition on January 4 at 6pm.  It requires a large cast of adults, teens and kids.  Join us!

I have been feeling so Christmasy, that I started this Glad Tidings rug last week.  Yes, Beate, I finished it in a week, but it was a lot of fun and went quickly.  I did it in a 6 cut, because of that wreath.  My horse Hairy was the model for Santa's horse.  This pattern is from Spruce Ridge Studio and is a Lori Brechlin design.  I love it and am going to take it in to Leonardo's Framing tomorrow.  They think they can have it done for Christmas!

Below, you see my 'Quinn' rug.  This rug is for a very special young lady who has been in my theatre world since she was 6 years old.  Maggie, grew up at the theatre, sang in Youth Choir, did summer theatre every year and then played leads in our shows as she grew up.  She went to medical school and is now a resident in pediatrics.  I could not be more proud of her!  Maggie married a wonderful guy last year and now is a brand new mom.  Quinn was not due for another week or so, but she surprised everyone by arriving on Thursday…..OPENING NIGHT!   I contend she was born to be a theatre girl, born on an opening night, how could she not.  Give me 6 years with her and she will be ready to be Tiny Tim in 2020.  This is Quinn's rug and I am glad I got it finished in time for her arrival.  Pris Buttler designed this pattern especially for her and I started it at this year's retreat.  As you can see, she will always have an angel watching over her.  I hid her parents initials under her name.  I hope baby Quinn will love it, it was certainly made with love by her theatre nana.

DO NOT FORGET we are having the store Christmas Party next Saturday, Dec. 13 from 10-5.  It will be an all day hooking and everyone is invited.  You can bring something to share and we will eat and hook and solve world problems all day long.  Hope you can make it!

See you soon,

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Blue's First Birthday

Happy Birthday Blue!  My poodley friend is one year old today and I can't remember what life was like without him.   On top is a picture I took of Mr. Gorgeous 2 weeks ago.  The second picture is him eating his birthday cake, off a fork.  Yea…..it is sideways, hmmmmm, can't figure out how to fix that once it is on the blog.  Sorry.  The third picture is of one of his birthday presents, this one from Pat Shafer.

I am admitting to you, that I have become THAT dog lady and planned a birthday party for him during rug hooking on Friday.  He has so many friends among the great rug hookers who regularly come here that I thought it was the perfect time for some birthday cake.  Little did I know, they would, each and every one, bring him a birthday present.  Colleen started it off, with a moose toy in a bag.  He knew immediately it was for him.  Then came Jeanette and Jackie with a fab blue dog toy and a black bird that makes the most amazing noise.  He thinks it is just crazy and likes to carry it around with him.  Then came Ken with a pull toy for him to play tug of war with his Blue Heeler old lady friend Torrey.

He quickly figured out that this whole day was for
him and he thought it was FANTASTIC.  He was just beside himself with joy.  He ate cake off the fork until he decided to expedite matters and just grab the whole piece off the plate with one big gulp.  He politely licked all the chocolatey stuff off the doggy dessert Pat brought and then snarfed it down.

The bottom picture shows Blue at his station in the store.  He is looking for customers (and cats).  Now he thinks everyone that comes in should bring him a toy or a treat…..and well……he is right!

Thanks to everyone who made his birthday special.  There is no doubt that dogs get the message that something special is going on,  he really picked up on the spirit of the festivities!!!

Now to business…..the RETREAT in Nebraska City is over and it went wonderfully.  The teachers were great, the rug hookers were all wonderful and their projects are fantastic.

Some are a little sad that it is the last time we will be at NE City, next year the retreat will be in 2 sections and be held here at the store.  But do not despair rug hookers, it will be it's own kind of fun with it's own charm, I guarantee.  The space is great here, the light is 1 million times better and Carl is every bit the chef.  I suppose I should learn how to make scones, because I will admit they were a highlight of the event for me!

So next year, on Oct. 31, Nov 1 and 2 (that is a Sat Sun Mon)  Diane Stoffel and Pris Buttler will teach at the first retreat weekend here at the store.  They both are open classes, so you can bring a pattern, draw or buy one here at the store.  But Pris is doing something new and wonderful too.  She has drawn stool patterns, to hook a 16x16x6in stool.  I will show the sample this week sometime.  So you can opt to do the stool or do a rug of your choice.

Then 2 weeks later on Nov 13,14,15 Donna Hrkman and Ali Strebel will be here to teach on a Fri Sat Sun.  If you don't know these teachers visit my newsletter at www.janicelee.biz, I wrote about all of them in my newsletter that went out yesterday.  They are all fabulous and knowledgeable.   Class is 295. with lunch and dinner included.  A $100 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your spot, the balance is due May 1, 2015.  As with all classes at the store, the teachers will color plan from my wool, no outside wool please.

Call or write to get more info, 402-359-2699 or janicelee@me.com.

Here are some events coming up that I should remind you about:

The day after Thanksgiving we will have all day hooking from 10-5, for those of you who do not want to go shopping!

First Saturday hooking will be Dec. 6 from 12-5.  All are welcome, it is FREE and fun!

Our all day CHRISTMAS HOOKING PARTY will be Dec 13 from 10-5.  Carl will make us something for lunch and everyone is invited to bring a Christmas treat to share, if they wish.

Of course, we have open hooking every Friday, without fail from 12-5.  Join us.

I also have the Beeline Trunk Show here, with the new travel frame, both size cutters, long and short, the 14in orbiter frame and blades.  There is no shipping from Beeline on this, so it is a good time to save a little on these items.  I am also putting together a blade list for those needing blade sizes I don't have on hand.  Please let me know if you would like me to order any sizes you need.

All for now.  The birthday boy is looking droopy, so it is time to head off to bed.  He will have sweet dreams about his fantastic birthday party and his amazing rug hooking friends!