Thursday, December 10, 2015

Blue Is A Busy Dog

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?  Here is a suggestion for you!  My own Blue dog has been a busy guy.  He is the poster child for our fundraising campaign  "COATS FOR KIDS" which is raising money for coats and warm clothes  for the children of our area.

I wrote this children's book about Blue and all his activities.  As you may know, Blue is a store dog and a theatre dog and a therapy dog and a reading dog…..etc, etc.  I hired a wonderful artist, Jana Sesow of Lincoln to do the illustrations and they are beautiful.  Shown here, right, is a painting showing rug hooker Colleen Cochrane and Blue.  Blue likes to help the rug hookers in the store by hiding his ball in their baskets of wool. He then barks at them until they find it and throw it for him.  Big help, Blue!!!!!!

So this very pretty book with 10 illustrations, is for sale for $20, postage and shipping are included.  Help the children of our area get warm clothes for the winter and see more of Blue's adventures!  All you have to do is send me your address, I will send you the book and then you can send your check for $20.  Absolutely all proceeds go to our "COATS FOR KIDS CAMPAIGN".

Our rug hooking Christmas Party is Saturday Dec 12 from 10-5.  Join us for a fun day of rug hooking and friendship!

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


 Our 2016 Rug Hooking RETREATS are done, and a wonderful time was had by all who attended.  Two weeks ago, we had Diane Stoffel and Pris Buttler here for class.  Diane's students made some beautiful rugs and in Pris' class we did these fabulous footstools.  The one on the left is Pris' footstool, the one on the right is my finished project.

Both Diane and Pris will be back next Oct 28,29,30 2016 and sign ups are in progress NOW.  Diane's class is open and Pris will offer an open class AND the footstool option again.

My little baby rug, shown on top, was completed in
Donna Hrkman's class last weekend.   The baby is my little darling Quinn, of course she is more beautiful in person, but my little rug shows her adorable  personality.  Donna specializes in portraits, both human and animal, and her students did some marvelous rugs.   Donna will back next Nov 11,12,13  along with Kathy Morton of Oak Ridge Cottage Rugs.  Kathy has a wonderful pattern  line and is a terrific colorist.  Sign up now to take class from Diane, Pris, Donna or Kathy.  I guarantee you will have a marvelous time!

I am already reminding people we will have our annual Christmas party (hooking and eating and hooking and eating)  on Saturday Dec 12 from 10-5.  Dec 5 will be first Saturday hooking, from 12-5.  Join us for some holiday fun!


Thursday, October 15, 2015

More Heirloom Rugs

 As promised, here are a couple of rugs from our Heirloom Rug Workshop.  Of course, they are only partially completed, but the ladies all got a lot done is only 3 days.

On top is Erin Schulz' tulip rug, a design from The Sampling.  Erin tore and cut strips and her rug looks marvelously old.

Jeanette O'Brien hooked this Maggie Bonanomi design.  She also tore and cut strips.  Her flowers and flags are terrific and the bronze urn may be my favorite part of all.

These experienced rug hookers really embraced
the idea of making rugs that look 100 years old, a task that is really harder than you may think!

I will show you their projects again when they are completed.

In the meantime, remember Donna Hrkman will be here November 13,14,15 for a retreat weekend.   Contact me if you are interested.  I have a few spots left with this fantastic teacher.  Hook a face or primitive rug, she can tackle it all.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Heirloom Workshop

We just finished a terrific 3 days of rug hooking with a great group of ladies.  This was my Heirloom Rug Workshop and these brave souls came together to make their truly 'ugly bug rugs'.

We have all been hooking some really beautiful projects.  Detailed faces and landscapes, 3 cuts for detailed minutia  have become common place for this group of former 'primitive' rug hookers.

The point of this class is to hook like a prairie hooker.  I wrote a book outlining 15 different techniques you can use to make your rug look 100 years old.  This year we took it a step farther.
These ladies had all taken the class before, a time or two….or many times.  So this year I raised the bar.  Now they could't just make a lovely primitive rug, using their 15 techniques.  NO… they had to make it down right homely.  I told them to hook like their children's feet were cold.  Hook high, hook low, hook like you are 9 yrs old or 90 years old, just get it done.   Commit to a decision, don't pull it out.  That prairie hooker made mistakes, ran out of wool and didn't have time to fuss with every loop.  EMBRACE IMPERFECTION was our mantra.

Well guess what?  They are awesome.  The look old and homely and used.  Each of these fabulous rug hookers did the seemingly impossible and made a wonderfully ugly bug rug.

I will show some partially done projects in my next post, but had to include one more picture.  Blue gets to attend class too, although he slows down progress by insisting every hooker take a turn throwing his toy.  This was one of the best moments of the 3 day class.  Pat Shafer, who is a highly regarded rug hooker, Celebration finalist and teacher of a dynamo face class here in January and February, made a rug for her dog Tucker.  Now, it would not be out of line  for me to tell you that Pat is a beautiful rug hooker.  I mean….her rugs are BEAUTIFUL (and she is beautiful her own self).  This homely rug concept kind of makes her cringe.  She is a game gal, tho, and hooked a great whale rug in last year's class and really grew to like it.  This year she chose the Woolley Fox pattern RAGS and decided to hook it for a rug for her beloved Golden Retriever Tucker to sleep on.  It is a great rug, full of rusts and plums and it was a difficult challenge for Pat to make it homely.  But she kept on course and this rug has many of the elements we attempted to include in the rugs, with great textured wools, no shading, no details, just simple shapes.

At the end of the day, Pat threw her rug down and we all came round to admire it.  Pat said, "My only concern is that Tucker will not know it is for him, how will I convince him it is his to sleep on?'  With that, the big Poodlie Blue dog came and plopped down on the rug.  He snuggled, he curled up into as tiny a ball as his extra large self could accomplish.  He laid out flat, he arranged himself in every possible direction on this rug.  He knew he had an audience of course, we were all laughing at him, which just egged him on further.  It was as if her was going to show Pat that THIS was exactly how her dog was going to like this rug.  Thanks Blue and Pat and Tucker.  It was a great way to end the day.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Fantastic Weekend

We just spent a fantastic 2 days with a great bunch of rug hookers at our 'Hook-in Weekend' event.  We hooked all day yesterday and today, just for the fun of it!  We had perfect fall weather, cool and sunshiny.  Kathleen Salak taught us how to crochet a binding on a rug and Sandy Weller taught us how to make a pillow from our favorite hooked project.  Pillows….ok…sure.  Crocheting, YIKES, that was hard, but Kathleen was a great teacher and with a little practice, I might be able to do it.  Sandy gave us a great hand out with all the details to make our pillows.  Thanks to both Sandy and Kathleen for the classes.

Shown is Hidden House, a pattern I hooked in a Maggie Bonanomi class.  I know I have shown it before, but it is just a nice fall rug, I had to use for my blog tonight!

Oh…and just so you know…..the winner of the $100 gift certificate (all you had to do is make a purchase this weekend to be put in the drawing) was JANICE NAVRATIL.  Congratulations Janice!

Next time I will show you my NEBRASKA rug and tell you all about that project.  Can't wait.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

More Holiday Patterns

 Here they are…the last of the hook-in event HOLIDAY PATTERNS.  On top is CHRISTMAS HOUSE and below is FEATHER TREE.  Both of these patterns will be available at our hook-in weekend event.  You can order ahead to make sure your pattern (or patterns) will be ready for you on Friday Oct 2 after the Omaha hook-in or Saturday Oct 3 for our all day hooking party.  We will hook until 10pm on Friday night and open bright and early at 9am on Saturday and hook until 6;pm.

You can now order:

Long Lean Jack
Bad Ass Jack
I'm Melting
4 Pumpkins 4 Sale
Christmas House
Feather Tree

Each pattern is $48.  Check out the last few blogs to see all the finished projects.  Here comes the fun part… our hooking weekend party on Oct 2 and 3, I will have 1/2 yards of every imaginable color needed for the projects.  Then we can tear off just what you need.  These will make wonderful gifts or holiday projects for your own decorating.

AND…..on Saturday Oct 3, Kathleen Salak will teach us how to crochet the edge of your project, instead of our usual binding.  Kathleen's class will be at 11am.  At 2pm Sandy Weller will teach how to turn these projects into a pillow.  Both classes are free!

Hope to see you at our weekend event Oct 2 and 3.  It is free and fun for all.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Bad Ass Jack

3 Days in a row, blogging!!!!  Beate will be so proud of me.
Here is another in the fall event pattern series.  This guy is one I drew a few years ago.  I call him BAD ASS JACK (can I get in trouble for blogging that word?)  if so, we can just call him BAD JACK.

Bad Jack is 14x14 and hooks up in a skinny instant.  I used Sweet Potato Pie for the pumpkin, Spunky Monkey for the background and  one of my favorites, Moose on the Loose for the tree.  The green were just pulled from my noodles bin.

I think this would make a great pillow and Sandy and I are going to try that tomorrow.  Did I mention that Sandy has agreed to give a little tutorial on making a rug into a pillow at the hook-in event.  She will do a demo at 2pm on Saturday.  Thank you Sandy.  I know how much you hate public speaking.  But you do such a beautiful job we will all appreciate it soooooooo much.

Maybe I will have another done for tomorrow.  Who knows.  I think it is time for a Christmas pillow!