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… 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, 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

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!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Binding Night

Here it is, already Thursday.  Boy, did this week fly.  Pictured, is the fine group of rug hookers who made up the Heirloom Rug Class this week.  Not pictured, is Kathleen Salak, who was a wonderful addition to this FANTASTIC group.  I am not sure what we found sooooo funny, but we laughed ourselves till it hurt on many occasions thru out the 3 day class.  Hopefully, they learned a lot about the techniques of making an 'ugly bug rug' and a little history and general hooking knowledge to boot.

I promise to show their rugs as they finish them.  I won't say they were beautiful (they really were) because we laughed a lot about how these rugs need to be old, worm and homely looking.  The rugs are going to be outstanding.

Now….remember, our first BINDING NIGHT will be tomorrow, October 24 until 9pm or whenever Elsie and I drop dead from hooking exhaustion.  Els and I can always be counted on to be the last 2 in the room, so I look forward to getting lots done.  Carl will bring us something for dinner, so we won't have to pause too long for dinner.  Join us, we will hook all afternoon for those who can and then bind late into the evening.  It is free to all.  World problems will be solved and hopefully we can share some more stories about how we damaged our children thru out dubious parenting skills.



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,