Thank you for visiting my blog site. I own The Rug Hooking Store at Black Horse Antiques in Valley Nebraska. I have had the antique store for the last 31 years and the rug hooking portion of the store for the last 12 years. I specialize in hand-dyed wool and all supplies needed for rug hooking. There are over 750 patterns available in the store and online. I particularly love color planning rugs and will be happy to help you select wools for your latest project. Visit my store at www.janicelee.biz
Sorry blog followers, I have been busy, busy with the show at the theatre. Tomorrow night is opening night for FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, so we have been having rehearsals every night this week. I am sure everyone in the cast is pooped, but after the shows Fri Sat Sun this weekend, we have 4 days off from the theatre until we do the 2nd weekend of shows the following weekend.
Blue has been going with me to visit rehearsal a little bit each night. He goes with me to the theatre for voice lessons, but I thought it was good to get him up on stage and under the lights we all the people and sets and activity around. He takes it all in stride. This is a picture of him at his last haircut. Mandy at Unleashed Dog Spa has to be one of the most patient women alive. Blue still does not like have his toenails trimmed or his feet clipped, but he is getting better each time. He looks a little grumpy in this picture, but he had just finished his beautification ordeal.
Below, is a picture of Pat Shafer's beautiful rug that I talked about in the last blog. This rug is a CELEBRATION finalist in the original category. Pat calls this "Lessons From My Son".
It is a gorgeous rug and will be displayed at Sauder Village this August with the other CELEBRATION finalists.
Pat will be teaching a mahogany Santa face class this Tuesday at the store. We have been working on our traditional Santas but thought it might be fun to try something different. Let me know if you are interested in participating in one of our one day Santa face classes. Pat has promised to teach some more in the future.
We also have a date selected for our Wayne Kalal 'Color" class. We will have that one day class on Saturday March 29th. Contact me if you would like to be on that list!
Diane Stoffel will be here to teach another March workshop in just a few weeks. That class is full, but if you would like to be on a waiting list for any of her future workshops, just drop me a note.
Coming soon, April 11. 12, 13 is a three day workshop with Jan Goos. She has designed a rug for this class called "Barnyard Folk Art". We are all going to do the same pattern and see how different we can make them. This should be a lot of fun! I have 2 spots in that class, so contact me if you are interested in doing a Jan Goos original.
Off to the last dress rehearsal. It will be a very good show, with some rug hookers you might know in it, as well. Colleen Cochrane is one of the people of Anatevka and Ken Petersen plays the Rabbi. Pat Shafer, who was supposed to be in it, will now be helping in the box office, since she broke both her ankles a few weeks ago. They are healing well, but she is not up to tripping the lights fantastic….at least yet.
WAYNE KALAL came last Saturday to teach us a class on color and it was a terrific success. Wayne is an Omaha artist, working in oils and pastels, but has a broad background in many art forms. He was at my store before Christmas and we had a fascinating conversation about color and placement and balance that was really helpful with a rug I was hooking. I thought……others would enjoy this and the class was in the works.
Wayne talked about color theory for the first part of the 4 hour class, then we got out our rugs and patterns for help with color planning. I encouraged everyone to bring rugs they were having problems with or completed rugs that had not turned out how they expected. It was really interesting to hear Wayne's suggestions about possible color changes. We spent a great deal of time just throwing wool around, talking about VALUE, HUE and CHROMA. We learned about greyed value markers and how he prepares to paint a piece, by first doing a values sketch of it. All these tips about painting, we found valuable for rug hooking as well.
It reminded us that we are indeed artists! Many of the problems that face painters, designers and other artists, are remarkably similar to the challenges we rug hookers experience.
Wayne enjoyed learning more about rug hooking and meeting the textile artists. We are planning another class with Wayne, later this spring. I will let you know the date when it is set. This is a class that I think every rug hooker could learn from.
Pictured on top was our 'Color' class. There were 6 of us and it was a perfect size. We will keep class size to 6-8 for the next class, as well. Below, is Wayne looking at an unfinished rug, dispensing advice. Look in the middle, who made it to class too. Yes, Blue was there. Although at 26 lbs he is getting a little heavy to carry around for long. Blue enjoyed the class and the activity as well. A great day all round.
Sorry bloggers, so much has been going on, I have not had a chance to log in. We had another great Santa FACE class a week ago Saturday. Several of us took both classes that were offered on Saturdays this month at the store. Pat Shafer did a bang up job of teaching us the shading required for the face and beard of the each Santa. Each one us made an entirely unique look, but they all turned out great.
Taking both classes really helped cement the information into solid application. I feel like I can tackle an eye with much more confidence than before. We will be having more of these classes in the future, so let me know if you would like to get your name on a list. We are going to do a mahogany Santa in an upcoming class. Pat is already completing the sample Santa and it is beautiful. Thanks to Kathy Morton for her beautiful Santa patterns, I try to keep all of them stocked in the store. We have gone thru lots of them in the last few weeks.
Speaking of our good friend and dedicated Friday rug hooker Pat Shafer…..she had exciting news in the last week. Her beautiful rug was selected as a finalist for Celebration this year. Pat worked on this rug in a Pris Buttler class and many of you may remember it. It commemorated the life of her son, it has a piano key board, top hat, theatre faces etc. Remember it? It was a work of love as well as a work of art. It will be going to Sauder this summer for display. We actually will be driving it back with our 'Ladies' rugs that will be displayed there this August. We did those rugs in a Pris Buttler class too. Am I seeing a trend here????
That is a perfect segue……we are having Pris Buttler back in Sept on the 5,6,7. A few years ago, we worked on rugs inspired by Gustav Klimt with Pris, here in a class. Last year we did our lady rugs, inspired by the work of Jan Toorop. This year we will do these beautiful florals inspired by Georgia 0'Keefe. Pris teaches at the RETREAT every year in an open class, there are few spots left for her class this year, if you would like to attend. This floral class had been full, but suddenly I have 3 spots that have opened up. If you are interested in working with Pris on this specialty class, contact me. We are sure to learn lots and tackle a new technique and style.
Of course, I had to include a picture of Mr. Handsome. He got another haircut yesterday at Unleashed Dog Spa in Elkhorn. Mandy was again a patient sweetheart with his less than enthusiastic attitude about his grooming. He was better tho, than the last time, so progress is being made. He got the first clipping of his puppy body hair and is starting to look like a grown up poodle. Oh, they grow up so fast, don't they. Of course the house revolves around him, as it should be. He is one adored pooch.
I spent a few minutes today working on Santa's eyes. If you scroll down to my last post you can see the Santa with the alluring eyes. Too much mascara! Pat suggested I take out the black eye lid and replace with brown. I did and I think it is an improvement. Pat will have some more suggestions for me on Friday, but I am happy with him for now. He looks alert, but not sexy. Much improved!
Blue survived his first professional haircut, but not without protestations. Fortunately for him, we found a gem of a groomer in Mandy McMenamin of Unleashed Dog Spa in Elkhorn Nebraska. This darling young woman could not have been more patient and understanding of this 20 lb mass of wriggling, uncooperative fur.
A friend who owns three poodles recommended Mandy to me. Then at the gym, I brought up my impending need for a dog groomer. I told the other ladies that I had gotten a terrific recommendation. Our trainer spoke up and insisted he knew the BEST dog groomer ever and said I needed to try her. I told him I felt pretty good about the recommendation I got, since this woman works out of her home and will even let you wait and watch your dog being groomed. The trainer said "Well, this one is close by, just in Elkhorn." I said "Well, the name I got is just in Elkhorn too!!!" It was at about this point that we realized we were talking about the same person. We were both right, she is a terrific, super nice, sweetheart of a dog groomer. It turns out Mandy's mom lifts weights at the same gym that I go to!!!!
Even Blue had to agree that Mandy was really swell, even tho she was involved in some puppy torture, like blow drying and toenail clipping. He had forgiven us both within minutes of his hair-do completion.
I decided to make this an every 2 week event until he gets used to the process. I don't think it will be long before he gets the drift. And it is soooooo much better to teach him to like grooming at this age and size instead of as a 60lb 6 month old. Mandy agreed it is a good plan, so in two weeks, we go back for more.
The plus side to this, other than the really terrific smelling, adorable dog……is that Blue preferred to be carried around like a baby all day. I had Carl take the picture below to prove it. Yes, it is true, this spoiled pooch has me soooooo wrapped around his little paw. However, he is getting to be quite an armful. Perhaps he would consider some kind of papoose arrangement. Thank goodness, I lift weights as a past time. It has prepared me for this moment. Sort of like Owen Meany for those of you who have read it!
Pictured above is Blue and Carl and me at Jean Miller's in Seneca Nebraska the day we picked him up. Jean posted this on her website at Solo Standards. It is no wonder this dog thinks I should carry him everywhere……we started out that way!
Next post……Santa is going to be de-mascara-ed. My pretty boy Santa is going to lose some of his eye liner to see if we can make him look like a little tougher, yet still jolly old elf. Stay tuned.
Here is my Santa project from last Saturday's FACE class taught by Pat Shafer. I love my Santa, but we have been laughing that he may be just a little too pretty. Sandy says it is the eyes that Mrs. Santa fell for. Colleen says the eyes definitely have that 'come hither' look. It is definitely a Santa with a certain twinkle in his eye. With those rosy cheeks, I would hate to think he had one too many egg nogs.
The class was great and here are a few things we learned. The bottom of the pupil is a lighter shade of blue or brown than the top. We worked in 3 values for the face. The lightest shade, Pat taught us was in the center of the forehead, alongside the nose and cheek bones. I high-low hooked the eyebrows and mustache at Pat's suggestion and I love the way it came out. I am going to add a wider black border. This Santa will become a pillow, like the one I showed a few weeks ago, that I did in a more primitive style. This is Kathy Morton's Santa of the Mittens. I have all of her Santa patterns on hand. We are doing another of these FACE classes next week with another batch of rug hookers, then…..we decided in February we are going to do a class with black or mahogany Santa faces. I think those will be fun and challenging too. Let me know if you would like to be a part of these great one day classes here at the store. Pat Shafer brought all her talents as a china painter as well as a rug hooker to the table for this one. Everyone in the class learned a lot and each of us made a Santa with a very unique look.
And now to the very important topic of BLUE. Here is a picture of him the day we brought him home. He looks so tiny here with me on a Sandhills road side. He was 7 1/2 weeks old and weighed about 13 lbs then. He is now 9 weeks old and weighs in at about 17.5 lbs. The center picture shows him making friends with our old barn cat Tiger Lily. He wanted her to play….she let him know she considered him an insipid youth. That did not keep him from trying. He is also making progress with his 2 old lady dog friends. He idolizes Biscuit the black lab, but since he is more Torrey, the blue heeler's size, he harasses her more frequently. She has no patience for his nonsense, but her growls have little affect on Blue. His feelings rarely get hurt for more than a few seconds and then he is back at it. I told Carl I was feeling sorry for Torrey until this afternoon, when I saw her go wake Blue up from a sound sleep. Here we were, all peacefully enjoying this respite from his antics…….and she had to go purposely wake him up. Obviously she enjoys the nonsense as much as he does.
Below is a picture of Blue enjoying his bed in my voice studio at the theatre. He slept for over 2 hours of voice lessons on Wednesday. I don't know how he did it, with children coming and going and stepping over him to make copies, piano playing and all the singing and singing and singing. But he did. He is obviously a natural at being a theatre dog and a store dog. The fit for him is like a glove. He has not had an 'accident' anywhere, rides in the car like it is his life and is clearly a genius of a little (soon to be big) dog. Monday we go for our first official haircut. I will post a picture after the new hair-do.
The long wait is over. On Tuesday, Carl and I drove to Seneca, Nebraska to the home of Jean Miller to pick up our new puppy. This is him pictured at age 7 weeks. He was just a few days older when he left for home with us. We were thrilled to visit Jean and her husband Mike at Solo Standards. We enjoyed the 6 hour drive and saw some landscapes that were gorgeous, even in the middle of winter. We met the entire litter and the mom and dad and Jean's other beautiful dogs.
I will admit that the first introduction did not go so well. While his litter mates raced to greet us, Blue took one look at me and turned his face away, like "maybe if I look this way, she won't see me'. He had been to the vet for shots the day before and had a bath and a clip that very morning. I think he sensed that more escapades were in his future. I think Jean felt bad that Blue, VERY OBVIOUSLY dissed me, but I assured her that I am an acquired taste and I was sure he would come around. Well, the 6 hour ride home was all that it took. He now thinks I am the bomb! The vending machine of life and source of all his outings and fun. The two old girls Torrey and Biscuit worried me at first, they very obviously did not want another fur ball around, but Mr. Charisma is wheedling his way into their space too. I won't say he has won them over completely, but he is not very afraid of them for sure. Biscuit growled a warning to him this morning NOT to come onto her bed, so instead he jumped right on top of HER. She constantly looks at me like "Is he staying???", but I would guess she is starting to be as amused by his antics as we are.
All the books say you should give the pup a few days to settle in, but we had lots to do…..so Blue settled in by greeting the customers in the store for 3 days, sleeping in on a workshop we had here on Saturday and today he went for his first voice lesson. He slept thru that and didn't mind the piano at all.
Such a good guy he is!!! Very laid back until about 8pm, when he turns in to a complete raging monkey tearing around the kitchen, rearranging the dog beds and hassling the old ladies. Then, he collapses and is ready for bed. All right, I am going to admit it, right up front. I let him sleep with us from the first night. He wakes me up when he wants to go outside and everyone is sleeping soundly. I suppose I failed the Cesar Milan school of dog training for that, but one of the authors of a poodle book I read said "If you are not going to let your poodle sleep with you……why bother owning one?" I may question this decision when he is a 90lb dog like his gorgeous dad Reuben, but for now,we all fit fine.
I will have more pictures of Blue and the ladies at the FACE class taught by Pat Shafer on Saturday, tomorrow.
It was a wonderful class. Pat is a terrific teacher and we all learned lots about the techniques to hook faces, which are always a challenge. We have another class on January 25, if any of you would like to join us! It was well worth the $75 class fee. Thanks Pat!
Next is a picture of the rug I am working on for daughter Leah. This, of course, is Mij the Wonder Dog, captured in wool. Leah picked out the colors for the flowers. We added a squirrel, cause Mij loves a squirrel. I will show more pictures in the week to come.
I better run for now. We had auditions for Fiddler last Sunday night. We have a great cast, including 2 of our favorite rug hookers, Pat Shafer and Colleen Cochrane. Pat's husband Steve is our sound man…..couldn't do without him. We have practice tonight and I have to make a run to PetSmart for 'you know who'.