Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent

 Hang on to your tiaras.......there was a whole lot of crazy going on this Halloween night.  To prove my point:

Exhibit A:  Mij in her Sleeping Beauty outfit that I bought her, complete with the crown.  Doesn't she look thrilled.

Exhibit B:  My daughter Leah, decked out in her Maleficent costume, the  beautiful, but wicked stepmother of the lovely Sleeping Beauty.

Exhibit C:  Mij.....trick or treating, or is that trying to sneak in the back door to escape the craziness.

Exhibit D:  Long suffering Prince (i.e. Ben) who posed, at the direction of Leah, kissing the lovely Sleeping Beauty, awaking her from her poisoned slumber.

Mij's expression says it all.  Where are the cows, where is Will?  Why am I dressed in pink satin?
Why does the lady I live with suddenly look spooky and evil?  Who is the funny looking straw guy sitting in my back yard?   Where is my bed,  where is my pillow?  Aw.....finally, maybe if I close my eyes this will all be over.  But wait.....what do you suppose she has in mind for me at the next holiday.  Turkey feathers and pilgrim hats or do we move right on into an elf costume or angel wings?

Poor Mij.....what next????  I don't have the heart to tell her that Leah's theatre company is doing ANNIE at Christmas time.  I don't suppose Leah will spray paint her brown, tie a big red bow around her neck and make her jump out of a box as  Little Orphan Annie's dog Sandy.   Oh, why did I have to mention that.  Sorry, Mij!

Happy Halloween to All.....


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cinderella's Pumpkin Patch

With only 2 days left before Halloween, there is still time to show off this cute little pumpkin rug.  This is one of my own designs.  I always think this might be a scene from the very pumpkin patch  that Cinderella's fairy godmother selected that famous pumpkin turned golden carriage.  Yes, I am fairly certain the pumpkin in the center was the lucky orange orb.

The background of this rug is Flow Blue, in 3 values.  The pumpkins are 3 different oranges, 1 and 4 are the same color and 3 and 5 are the same.  I pulled a very blacky green color for the stems and vines, which worked well against the medium sky value.

This is not a very big rug, approximately 10 X 28, it is a perfect size for a table runner.   I am drawing this up for someone as a special order this week.  If anyone else needs a pumpkiny project, let me know! I would be happy to draw one up for YOU!!!!

Happy Halloween....


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pumpkin Fest

More gifty pumpkins!  Jan Goos came to hook on Friday and brought these wonderful wax spiced pumpkins as a present.  The shop smells wonderful, all cinnamon and spice!  Goos worked her magic on these beautiful things.  I have no idea how she does this stuff, but they are gorgeous and terrifically delicious to smell.  Again.....thank goodness for my talented friends.

The little round hooked piece is a pattern by Cabin Creek.  I love the little French pumpkin, done in Earthy.  The soft black background is Spunky Monkey.

Next, the work continues on the addition.  Today they removed the wall between the old shop and the new room.  It was exciting and fun to watch and I got to volunteer my help, cleaning up sawdust and hauling away wood scraps.  Next week the electrician, then in two weeks they will insulate and close in the inside.  After the retreat, the cement will be cured enough for me to paint.  We will definitely celebrate Christmas, on the first Saturday of December with an all day hooking 10-5.  Carl will make lunch and we can revel in the new space.  Join us!!!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Good for YOU

GOOD FOR YOU Barb Burke!!!!   Some of you may remember Barb was in the store a few weeks (or months) ago and picked up this little floral kit.

She finished her project and sent me a picture to prove it!!!  Congratulations.  You did a great job.
Now on to the next rug!

The little pumpkin man is a project of Kathleen Salak's.  This is a pattern from Red Rocket Rugs, that is unfortunately no longer available.  Kathleen and I colored planned this little guy and it is a perfect time of year to show him off.

Happy Halloween,

Monday, October 21, 2013

Bowl of Pumpkins

Tonight I have a bowl of pumpkins and assorted friends.  I have been cleaning out cupboards getting ready to start moving into the new addition in the next few weeks.  The things you find!!!!

Here is a bowl of Halloween (and a Christmas ornament hidden in the middle) decorations that I made a few years ago.  Have you ever made these roving mini's?  They are fun and simple and so easy that a child can enjoy making them too.

Here is what you do:  First, dye roving the colors you want.  I like purples and oranges, but also love the turquoise ghost background.  I use 1/2 ounce strips approximately 36 inches long.  I dye this wool roving with Cushing or Pro Chem dye.

When the dyed roving is dry, roll in to a ball, then covering the woolen ball with your hand, slide it in the toe of an old nylon or knee high nylon.  I take old panty hose, cut  the leg off at knee level, slide the roving ball into the toe and then tie a knot close to the roving. to the washing machine.  Throw the ball in the nylon into the washer with a little detergent, wash it, then throw it into the dryer.
It comes out felted and ready to decorate with more roving.  Don't worry about drying the little balls all the way dry. You can take them out still slightly damp, cut away the nylon with scissors and reshape the ball a little if it has gotten a little out of sorts in the dryer.

Now the decorating......use a barbed felting needle, some scraps of dyed roving and you are only limited by your imagination.  I have one bowl of just baby pumpkins, each with a different jack-o-lantern face.  I like the ghosts and there is a witches face on the back of one of those darlings.  At the time I was making them, people were buying them right out of my hand.  I finally had to say they were not for sale, so I would be able to have some for myself.

Try them....they are great fun.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Festivus Halloweenus

I am enjoying all the wonderful Halloween decorations my friends have made.   This little wooden wheelbarrow on my dining room table, is sporting some pumpkins made by friend, Jan Goos.  These are made of paper mache and there are cat faces, pumpkin faces and ghostly pumpkin faces too.   Where does she come up with these ideas?  They are just wonderful.

Below the wheelbarrow is a little train I bought for Carl when we were visiting Sauder Village.  I found this little toy train in an antique store and thought it would be perfect to go under my snow village when I decorate for Christmas.  Carl is a big lover of trains, so it was his present from the trip.  I think he would have preferred some of the chocolate that never made it home.

Next......the addition is right on track and the carpenters were out today.  They got walls up and are now preparing to reinforce the wall that will be cut away between the building and addition.  They are coming back tomorrow, so things should be moving right along.  I definitely think we will be having our Christmas party in the new addition to the store!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Witchy Poo

Let me introduce you to "Witchy Poo".  Kathleen Salak brought her out to me to grace the store this Halloween season and she is just perfect with the the pumpkin and bat combo to her right.  That Kathleen comes up with the most creative ideas and this little witch is an example.  I love her checkered sox.  She even appears to have a wart on her face.  Thank you Kathleen!

Below is a rug I finished a few weeks ago.  It is 3 Friends from Woolley Fox and it was a cute and quick little rug to whip up.  Those who know me, can attest to the fact that I am a big user-upper of leftover noodles.  For this rug, I took the leftover greens and blacks and off whites from my 'lady' rug and added some Seal Brown for the border.  Voila....a lovely little country rug!  I have the pattern in the store if anyone is inspired to hook their own.

 Till next time.....


PS They are putting in the floor of the addition today.  Carpenters come on Saturday!  Exciting!!!!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mij the Circus Dog

With a blog title like "Mij the Circus Dog" very little is left to the imagination.  Here she is, Her Mijesty,  practicing for her starring role in Leah's upcoming production of "Seussical, the Musical" at Theatre Arts for Kids, in Lincoln Nebraska.

This is my daughter Leah's theatre company and it has been newly formed into a non-profit organization.  Leah and her students do some great theatre and anyone in the Lincoln area should go to her and "like" their facebook page at

Mij, is going to be strutting her stuff in the show which opens next weekend.  We had to have her practice in her tutu today, because she kept stepping on it and stopping to look around, like "can this be altered so I don't have to step on my petticoat?"

Leah says rehearsal has come to a screeching halt a few times, when the princess refused to make her entrance.  I think she is just waiting for a bigger part.  You know, like The Return of Rin Tin Tin or Lassie Come Home.

Poor Mij,  has come along way since she left the ranch.  We sent the picture to Will.  I will not repeat the rather inappropriate message I got back from him.

Tomorrow, I promise I will have some actual rug hooking information to share.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Biscuit and Torrey

The rug is done and Biscuit and Torrey, my 2 old gals have been commemorated.  This Woolley Fox pattern worked out perfectly with a little adjusting.  I had to point the ears on the Torrey dog, for her Blue Heeler look and her feet and tip of her tail had to be changed from the original.  The border is a striped as-is wool combined with a Smudged version of the same wool, to darken it a little.  The blue heeler body was a striped grey wool that also has been smudged to take away that new look that sometimes comes with as-is wool.  The background is a mixture of Earthy and some as-is lights.  The coraly pink color of the flowers is Bubblegum Pink and gives just the right vintage look.  This rug is HOMELY, just the look I like from a "heirloom'  rug.

I even put the girls' initials below them.  Pictured below are the two girls.  Biscuit is on the left, Torrey is on the right.   Torrey looks like she is ready to steal some bananas or a stick of butter, doesn't she.  She still has some of the devil in her, even at her age.   Biscuit, on the other hand looks completely innocent and usually is!

See you tomorrow,

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Poodle in My Future

I am so excited!  This week I put myself on a waiting list for a Standard Poodle puppy, that will be born while we are at the Nebraska Rug Hooking Retreat in Nebraska City.  (There, I officially included rug hooking in this blog)  The pups are due November 13th.  This is the beautiful mother of the pups.  Her name is Bella and she is owned by Jean Miller of Solo Standard Poodles in Seneca, Nebraska.

I grew up around Standard Poodles and they have always been one of my favorite breeds.  For many reasons, this is a good match for me.  They don't shed, are a low allergy dog, one of the most intelligent dog breeds and bond very closely to their owners.  I want a dog that I can take out to the store with me and to the theatre when I give voice lessons.  A Standard Poodle, should be just the ticket.

My two elderly girls are a little territorial, so Jean suggested I get a male dog.  Of course, I will have him neutered when the time comes.  I have not owned a male dog for 30 years,
for whatever reason, our rescue or inherited dogs have all been females.  I am looking forward to getting the little guy sometime after Christmas.  I have already looked into puppy classes and will make sure he is a good citizen for the store and theatre.

Jean sent me these beautiful pictures and I thought I would share them with you.  In the middle photo is Bella, out for her walk with Jean.  Note, the beautiful western Nebraska landscape.  Wouldn't that make a great rug! (Another rug hooking reference)  Bella is pointing, she loves to point.  Poodles, you may know where originally water hunting dogs.  The name Poodle comes from the German word 'pudel'  meaning small body of water.  The often called "French" poodle is really of German origin.   Many people still use these versatile dogs for hunting purposes.  Their great intelligence and playful natures make them well-known as circus performers, agility dogs and service dogs.  In World War II, Standard Poodles were also used in the military.  There are pictures of them working right along German Shepards in war zones.

This dog will of course be greatly spoiled and loved and have very little required of it other than some good walks and lots of pets from the kids at the theatre and customers in the store.

The last picture is of the mother and the father of my future pup.  This is Bella and Reuben.  Note behind them, the chaps and bridles.  The Miller's live on a ranch, so they are 'ranch' dogs too.  Our little guy will fit in just fine here on our horse farm.  Hmmmm.......I wonder if Hairy will be jealous.  I know Carl will be.  He told me that he better get all the attention he can before January when we go get the puppy.  He knows that after that......he will have to wait in line.  Poor Carl, he is right!

I will check back in tomorrow.  There is more exciting stuff going on around here.  The next part of the foundation is going in today for the store addition.  The carpenters will be here in a week.  Whew!!!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Visit With Dale and Ginnie

 Well, I had a good day in the store today.  I had a visit from the loveliest people imaginable.  Dale and Ginnie Kadavy from Omaha came out to inquire about rug hooking for Dale.  Ginnie had hooked a project before, but thought Dale might enjoy learning how to hook.

I told Dale that we have 2 great rug hooking men here at the store.  Larry Walton and Ken Petersen both hook here regularly and I am sure would welcome another fellow hooker.  They will never out number the women, but at least their odds are increasing.

Dale selected a the "Primitive Horse" kit, a frame and then started the process of selecting a hook.  There are so many to chose from and each have their own attributes.  He tried several and decided on a Ritchie that fit him just right.

Dale practiced and Ginnie and I chatted and all and all, it was a wonderful afternoon.  They were a really nice couple and I hope they return to hook with us on a Friday afternoon or first Saturday for open hooking.

We will be hooking tomorrow from 12-5.  Remember, everyone is welcome.  November 2nd will be 1st Saturday hooking from 12-5.  Open hooking is free and open to all.
Join us for a little help or just good conversation.

See you soon,


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rug Hooking Weekend

Our rug hooking weekend was wonderful, fun, relaxing and stimulating all rolled up into one terrific event.  As you know, the Omaha Hook-In took place on Friday October 4th.  Lou Ann and her gang did a great job and all reports were that is was a great hook-in.  Then the fun began out here!!!!  Carl brought us pizza for dinner, there were tons of snacks, desserts and treats and we hooked until 9pm.  Well......maybe a little later than that, but we were having so much fun.  Then off to our respective beds and back again in the morning for more hooking fun.

I gave a mini class on using up leftovers, then Proddy 101.  Jan Goos and I color planned the same rug pattern, talking about how we approach a color planning project.  Then at 2pm Jan showed off our new project.  Jan and I collaborated on these projects, then she made up the samples.  We kitted them up and everyone had a chance to work on one of the appliqué/hooked projects.   Thanks Jan for all your help with the weekend.

We had a really terrific group of rug hookers out here and I have to show off the cookie above, that Kathy Berkshire brought out for the event.  It was adorable and delicious, as well.  The black weather vane horse was a perfect addition to a party at The Rug Hooking Store at BLACK HORSE ANTIQUES!!!!  Thanks, Kathy.

The next photo is a new pattern that I drew in the car on the way home from Sauder Village. Goos and I had a sketch pad and enough chocolate in us to provide the energy for great inspiration.  There was a series of designs, some we used for the appliqué/hooked project.  This one is a hooked project.  I called him "Bad Ass Jack", but because Kathleen Salak
( who I think in another life was my little sister and in this life is my moral barometer)  made that "Janice, I can't believe you said that" face when I announced his name.  So, depending on the company in the room, I sometimes call the pattern "Bad Jack".  This "Bad Jack" was hooked by Colleen Cochrane and I love the way he turned out.  We color planned this with Grenadine for the background, Autumn Fire for the pumpkin and Moon and Stars for the tree.  He has just right grumpy look to make him a "Bad *** Jack", indeed.  Thanks Colleen for the beautiful hooking.  And thank you Kathleen, for trying to keep me on the straight and narrow and OUT OF TROUBLE.  I know it is a full time job.  Love you both.

At the end of the weekend, at 6pm Saturday night we did a drawing to see who won the $100 gift certificate to the store.  You had to make a purchase to be in the drawing and we had quite a few names  in the jar.  We decided to let Ken draw the name, since his name was NOT in the jar.  And guess who won??????   Good old Sandy Weller, my good buddy.  Maybe she can use the gift certificate to buy wool for the really, really homely rug she is going to make in next year's heirloom class!!!!!

And for those of you who were here, Carl is fine and didn't miss a beat, except for our lunch on Saturday.   Carl, in an Italian fit, hurling accusations at his vegetable mandolin, cut the tip of his finger nearly to the bone while making our lunch on Saturday.  I got a call from  a very calm voiced Carl, asking me to come into the house.  I knew something was up, he sounded TOOOOOOOO calm.  I walked in the kitchen and it looked like an episode from a crime scene investigation series.  There was blood everywhere.   He thought I should put a rubber glove on his profusely bleeding hand, so he could finish lunch and then he would drive himself to the hospital.  I trumped his suggestion, called neighbor Mark to come drive him to the hospital and Sandy and I threw lunch together ourselves.  And I mean, THREW lunch together.  I warned everyone that it would not be like Carl's presentation with garnishments and la de da's, but what could we do to wreck a sandwich?????   Anyway, for those of you who were here and concerned......Carl is fine and had to suffer thru a lecture about how his Italian-ness got in the way of his good sense and he should practice deep calming breaths before approaching the mandolin again.  Poor Carl.

Next time,

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

It Begins!!!

Well, since I had nothing to do this week except get ready for the big doins' this weekend, I  thought maybe I should add on to the store.  Sure, why not!!!!!  So here I am officially announcing that I am adding on to the store to give us more room for hooking events just like the one we are having this weekend.  The foundation guys showed up today and poured the footings.  A little block work, a little flat work and the carpenters will be here.  If all goes well, we will be having our annual Christmas party in the new space.  I am adding on almost half again as much as the building is now.  It will be spectacular.   Stay tuned for updates!

Speaking of this weekend, did I mention we will be having free classes all day Saturday?  At 10am I will teach "10 Ways to Use Up Your Leftovers".   At 11am I will teach a "Proddy' class.  I have whipped up a few projects to show various ways to use proddy in your rug hooking.  At 1pm, Jan Goos and I will be doing a "Color Planning Challenge".  We will let someone in the crowd pick a pattern and we will both color plan it, just like we would do for one of our own rugs.  It should be interesting to see how different our color choices will be.  At 2pm, we have a design surprise all kitted up and ready for Jan to teach.  We drew 2 different designs for fall, she put them together and is going to teach the project.  We have kits all ready for anyone who would like to tackle the project with Jan's help.  They should be quick and easy and fun for fall.

Join us Friday from 9-9 and Saturday from 9-6.  Remember the Omaha Hook-In is Friday from 9-3.  Join us for color planning help, or shop thru the over 750 patterns at the store.  All patterns will be $5 OFF on Friday and Saturday.  Visit my website and click on OCT 4&5 in the toolbar for more information.