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
Christmas OPEN HOUSE will be next Saturday, December 7 from 10-5. We will have open hooking all day, Carl will make us all lunch! Bring a treat to share if you wish. The new addition is finished and will be loaded with antiques, wool and patterns for browsing. I selected over 100 patterns to put on a CHRISTMAS SPECIAL at 20% OFF. Patterns from Sharon Smith, M. Shaw and many others are on this fun bargain rack. Visit or call if you are looking for a special pattern.
Join our regular group for a great day of hooking.
We have plenty of room for all with the new addition.
As you can see from the pictures, it is a good sized space. I have begun moving the antiques into it, but have to leave outlets uncovered for the fire marshal to inspect on Thursday. Then I will be able to fill it up and decorate it for Saturday!
As added incentive….on Saturday….make a purchase and be put in a drawing for a $50 Gift Certificate to the store. Need not be present to win, just make any size purchase at some point of the day. Your name will automatically go into the drawing.
If Sandy wins again, we will declare her the "Luckiest Woman Alive" or perhaps she has secret powers she is using. Some form of hypnotic gaze. Hmmmm….I will be keeping my eye on her this time.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. I am sure you are all in the midst of the cooking and cleaning that precedes the big day, but I am writing tonight in case you have a moment for a chuckle. We have been out and out laughing about this for several hours.
Remember my little grandson Smith? He is the one I helped make the scarecrow for his kindergarden project. Well, today the teacher asked each child to tell about their Thanksgiving turkey. She wrote down the words and then copied each child's story into a book of all the stories, for the kids to take home.
Smith's mom Rachel, was at work when husband Matt called her. All he could say is "The kid threw me under the bus" and then read her Smith's work.
In case you can't read the tiny print, this is what it says:
Baked Turkey, From the kitchen of Rachel Cole, as told by Smith Cole
My mom gets the turkey from Hy-Vee, probably. She adds 2 sprinkles of pepper, and she adds those little green specks, parsley: like 12 or 16 of those. She puts the turkey in the oven. She turns the oven to HOT and cooks it for about 12 minutes. The oven beeps and she takes it out. My mom cuts up the turkey. My mom does all the work. Dad is in the basement playing video games on the X-box. Mom calls us for dinner and we usually save the turkey for dessert. It tastes like fried chicken. It is so good.
My mom is a great cook!
As you can imagine this has caused some mixed feelings in their household. Rachel can't quit laughing (like us) and Matt is nursing some bruised feelings. I am sure as a hardworking, stay at home dad, he feels under-appreciated at this moment. Poor Matt! I am sure this is extra hard on him knowing that the stories went home to ALL the parents, so now a good portion of central Omaha knows that "Mom does all the work and Dad is in the basement playing video games on the X-Box."
Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I hope you all have a wonderful day with friends and family.
Where have I been? That is a good question. I have been very remiss about my blogging, but I have a very good excuse. No, it is NOT because all my thoughts are with this puppy. Although, I would have every reason to forego my regular duties, just to stare at these pictures and think of puppy names.
But NO…..the reason I have not been blogging is because I have been so busy with the addition to the antique/rug hooking store, and I am thrilled to announce that it is DONE. I need one more gallon of floor paint, and I will guarantee you that I will be completely finished by noon tomorrow. That will give me time to get the house ready for Thanksgiving. I, of course, host the holidays for my family. My grandmother always cooked the holiday meals and when I got married, it sort of passed on to me. How my mother got out of the loop I have never figured out, but I don't mind and love having people come, one and all.
There has always been a tradition in our house that if someone has no where to go for a holiday, they are welcome here. There is always an empty chair at our table for someone needing a temporary family. Trust me, this tradition has led to some interesting holidays. Last year, Leah was working at the Rose Theatre, music directing a show about pirates. She called 2 days before Thanksgiving and asked if she could invite 6 pirates for Thanksgiving dinner. Of course, I said they were welcome.
. What a fun day we had. These young people, all in their twenties were actors trying to make their way in the world. For some this was their first professional gig. Out of town and away from their families, I think they appreciated the invitation to come to the farm. I took them on a gator ride thru the frozen fields after dinner, they petted horses and got to see the Scottish Highland cattle at the neighbors next door. Then……the singing began. I have a little grand piano in my wool/piano room and one of these kids could play the piano like crazy. They started by singing Christmas carols and moved on to Broadway songs. For hours the house rocked with their music.
This was enjoyed by all, except my cowboy son, Will. Remember him? Yeah, well, 6 singing pirates AND his sister all trying to out sing one another was just too much for him. Really, he has no sense of humor at all.
Tomorrow I will show you pictures of the finished addition, but till then, please enjoy the new pictures I got of the puppies and MY puppy in particular. My little guy has the green collar on. They are about 10 days old now and I am counting down the days until I can go pick him up. Life is about to change for me in a big way. Don't worry……you will all hear about it!!!!!
I am not even going to pretend this blog has anything to do with business……this is all about puppies!
Jean Miller of Solo Standards sent me the link to these photos on her website. This is the beautiful mother, Bella. The father of the pups is Reuben, a beautiful dark red poodle.
My little guy is the one with the green collar. He weighed 14 oz at birth, not the biggest, not the smallest.
Jean thinks he, and all the black ones are going to turn silver, like their mother. She will know for sure when she clips their faces at 5 weeks.
I don't know about you, but I think he already looks like the perfect store/theatre dog.
All of these puppies are already spoken for. The breeder is keeping one female for a breeding prospect. The rest will go to the homes of anxiously awaiting dog lovers like me!
I went last night to purchase my first puppy toys.
So many wonderful and interesting dog toys they make these days. I haven't had a puppy in the house for 11 years. I am going to have to start retraining myself to pick up shoes. I am sure this dog will have me trained to do a number of things differently before we are done.
I could pretend this post is about rug hooking, since I am including two photos pertaining to that subject. But, really I am writing today to announce that the litter of pups from Solo Standards, that I have been so "patiently" waiting for is finally here. Jean Miller just called me to say that Bella's litter of 5 pups arrived last night. Mother and pups are all doing fine. The pups are big and healthy. There are 3 females and 2 males. Jean is keeping a female for breeding purposes. I want a male puppy and there was an apricot and a silver born. I put my dibs on the silver male. He is black now, but has white tufts of hair between the pads of his feet, which she says indicates he will probably turn silver or at least be a gun metal grey/black. Perfect for me.
Jean names all her litters with a theme. This litter's theme is WINTER. She named the boy pups Yukon and Tundra. Cute names, but I am still looking for the perfect name for the puppy. Carl likes Charlie, I like Blue or Clipper. Donna Hrkman suggested Smokey and now I think the name Smoke might fit the pup fine. I will have to wait until I see him.
He will not be able to come home until he is 8 weeks old. We
will be driving to get him in January, so we will be at the mercy of the winter weather, but we will figure it out. Until then, I will be buying dog toys in preparation of his arrival.
Rug hooking??????? Oh yeah……pictured above are Marie Schropp and Sharon Townsend both working on wonderful portraits in the Donna Hrkman class at the retreat. The little boy is Pat Shafer's retreat project, also from the Donna Hrkman class. This is her son Tim and she is doing a beautiful job of capturing his likeness and spirit.
The Nebraska Rug Hooking Retreat at the Lied Lodge in Nebraska City is over and a great time was had by all. Pictured are the teachers and their classes. On top is Pris Buttler and her class, then Donna Hrkman and her class, and finally Jan Goos and her group.
These ladies all managed to produce fantastic art in their hooked projects. There were portraits of people and animals, artistic reproductions and some wonderful warm folk arty rugs as well.
The Lied Lodge did their normal fantastic job of feeding and lodging us for the 4 days. It was cold outside, but with the fireplaces going in the class room and lobby, we barely noticed the chill in the air.
Ladies came from as far away as Alaska, and there were attendees from Texas, South Carolina,
Minnesota, as well as Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa.
I have some photos of their projects and I will share them with you this week. I would like to thank our wonderful teachers, Pris Buttler, Donna Hrkman and Jan Goos for making this a productive, informative and fun event.
We are having sign-ups for next year…..starting NOW. Next year the teachers will be Pris Buttler, Donna Hrkman, Jan Goos and new next year, Ali Strebel of Ohio. She has many specialties….. primitives, embellishments and more.
Contact me about teacher availability. The price will be the same as last year….$410 for the 4 day retreat, you of course pay for your own hotel room, which runs $185 for three nights, double occupancy. There is more information on my website www.janicelee.biz Click on retreat in the tool bar. The schedule for 2014 will be similar to this year, we will be meeting in Nebraska City on November 9,10,11,12.
More pics tomorrow. And for those who are keeping track…..no word on the puppies yet! I will let you know when I hear.
Here we are at the retreat in Nebraska City. Things are going swimmingly and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. Our teachers are wonderful, there is so much to learn. I am going to work on a Pris Buttler pattern with a Klimt theme. I can't wait to start.
Donna Hrkman is a doll and so knowledgeable. I dyed lots of sepia tones and flesh tones for her class and the students are doing some wonderful projects. Jan Goos is color planning up a storm for her group and everyone is busy, busy, busy.
I know I should be writing about rug hooking, but this story is too good to pass up. Leah called me yesterday with a very interesting Mij story. It seems that on Saturday night, when Leah was sound asleep, Mij started a new bizarre behavior. She would jump up on the bed and 'pounce' on Leah. Leah says that is the word that best described it…..Mij repeatedly 'pounced' on her. When Leah didn't react right away, Mij repeated it and would jump up and down, sort of like she was playing, but with what seemed like a serious intent. Finally awake, Leah got up and tried to let Mij out. This is unusual, because Mij usually doesn't want to go out in the night. Well, true to form, Mij refused the offer to go out. Leah went back to bed and immediately Mij started the pouncing again. Leah got up again, tried to let Mij out and when she refused, this time she picked her up and carried her outside. Mij, stood and looked at Leah like "this is not it" and went back in the house.
Now fully awake, Leah decided to test her blood sugar. Leah has had diabetes since she was 11 and wears an insulin pump. She tested her blood and low and behold her blood sugar was 600. This is dangerously high blood sugar. For some reason her pump did not send the correct bolus of insulin. Leah gave herself a shot of insulin and Mij and Leah went back to bed. Leah says she remembers thinking "Thank goodness Mij woke me up" as she fell back to sleep. At 6am, the pouncing began again. Up and down, Mij bounced on Leah until she was finally awake. This time Leah went straight for her blood tester. Now her blood sugar was 60, becoming dangerously low. She ate something and sat looking at that Mij. It was obviously no coincidence, Mij knew something was wrong and needed to wake Leah up. There are therapy dogs that have be trained to recognize and alert their owners about blood sugar fluctuations, but Mij figured this out on her own!
Isn't the world an interesting place. Where a little shy cow dog comes to live with a city girl theatre director and becomes her protector. I know I sleep a little sounder knowing Mij and Leah are together, looking out for each other. They are the ying and yang of girl and dog.
The Nebraska Rug Hooking Retreat at the Lied Center in Nebraska City starts tomorrow and I am busily packing up the store and loading it in a big truck to haul all of the wool and patterns to the retreat. I put the dye pots away about 3 minutes ago, after wrapping up a few last minute dye jobs and now I am off to the store. Carl and I will load the last cases of wool after the store closes today, in case some shoppers stop by.
The teachers arrive at 1pm and I can't wait to see Pris Buttler and meet Donna Hrkman. I am going to work with Pris on one of her KLIMT patterns and I promised to go with whatever bright bold colors she suggests. Can't wait! Our third retreat teacher, Jan Goos will meet us in Nebraska City tomorrow, for the retreat start time at 4pm. There are 50 ladies joining us for 4 days of rug hooking, learning and fun.
I will start open sign-ups for next year's retreat on Thursday November 14th. Our 3 teachers from this year will be joining us again, and a 4th will be announced at the retreat. So, if you have ever dreamed of working with Pris Buttler, Donna Hrkman, Jan Goos……or that surprise teacher, contact me on Thursday for availability.
And, because retreat season at the Lied is the ultimate autumn experience, coinciding with deer season…..I chose this beautiful deer rug to grace my blog today. The background is ECLIPSE, which can be that greeny tan color or a clearer tan. It made a perfect fall background for the PECOS SAND and TOASTED ALMOND deer, who is jumping over a BLACK CHESTNUT log.