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
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.
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!
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…..it 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 www.janicelee.biz, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
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.
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.
Tonight it is time for a horse story…..no 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.
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.
I know I have mentioned the Omaha Hook-In coming up this Friday Oct 3. But have I mentioned all the preparations going on here at the store for our Hook-In Weekend. As most of you know, I know longer take wool to events. My motto is "Have Wool, Won't Travel". It is not that I don't love seeing all my rug hooking friends and customers. Oh, no…..I love seeing them all. It is just that it has gotten to be too big a chore to load up the wool, haul to the event, sell all day, load up, return home and unload and put away.
So……I am thrilled that you may be going to the Omaha Hook-In, Oct 3 from 9-4 at St. Robert Bellarmine Church, 120 and Pacific, Omaha Nebraska. But then, when those activities are over, come visit me at the store for more fun events. We will hook until 10pm on Friday night. Carl will bring us pizza for dinner and we will hook until we drop. There will be door prizes, sign up for a $100 drawing, color planning, fun and friends. Then Saturday morning we will have the Jan Goos
Chalkware Santa class form 9-3, more open hooking, door prizes, color planning, drawings etc. We will also have Cameron Mayville come speak to us about cleaning hooked rugs. It should be a fun and fascinating day. Oh, yes, Carl promises to bring us many delicious items thru out the day.
My point to this whole story is…..I have been dyeing wool like a crazy person. I will take pictures of the wool groupings to show in my blog….tomorrow. I also got in about 60 patterns from Kathy Morton and a ton from The Sampling. As always there are over 750 patterns here in the store
(who am I kidding, there are over 1000). Come visit this weekend, all patterns are $5 OFF.
The Omaha Hook-IN is coming October 3 and our special Hook-IN weekend will come right along with it on October 3 and 4.
Saturday the 4th of October, Jan Goos will be giving a special class here at the store. This is her original Chalkware Santa design and she has hooked it up in 5 different color schemes for you to choose from.
The Santa on the bottom is one that I hooked on Sunday, just so I would know how much wool to pull for the Santa kits. It turns out, I like the white Santa very much, so you can also order the white Santa kit, if you are signed up for our Oct 4 Chalkware Santa class.
So…here are your choices (top left) green Santa with brown background, (top right) blue and red Santa. In the middle, left, Red Santa, center, Blue Santa, right Gold Santa
On the bottom, white Santa with chimney sweep background.
If you are signed up for the class, it is time to send your $50 plus 2.75 tax to pay for your kit. I am paying Jan to teach the class, to thank all my wonderful customers for their business thru out the year.
Join us Oct 3 and 4. Even if you are not in the Santa class, there will be open hooking, door prizes, a drawing for a $100 gift certificate, snacks, tips and all the color planning help you might need. It will be a 2 day rug hooking extravaganza.
At 3pm on Saturday we have a special guest Cameron Mayville, who is coming to talk about rug cleaning. That should be illuminating for all of us.
Mark your calendars and if you are signed up to do the Santa class, make sure you get me your color choice.
Pris Buttler was here last weekend for our annual
MASTERS CLASS. A few years ago, we studied the work of Gustav Klimt. Those rugs were seen in Rug Hooking Magazine in an article in 2010.
Last year we were inspired by the work of Jan Theodore Toorop. Those are our 'lady' rugs or "Vestal Virgins" as they are officially called. Those rugs will be in Rug Hooking Magazine next month, in an article I wrote about that class.
This year Pris chose the work of Georgia O'Keefe for our master class. 16 students and Pris Buttler came to the store last Friday, Saturday and Sunday to learn to do this torn strip beauty. I let each student pick their poppy color, then per Pris' instructions, I dyed 6 shades of each color.
The rug on top is Pris' beautiful poppy rug, the one below is mine. I finished it on Monday. Those torn strips let you fly! And when you are done tearing and hooking those wide monsters, hooking the background in an 8.5 was like butter.
This was a terrific class. I learned lots about the shading and of course, the higgledy piggledy flowers and leaves were there own sort of challenging. Each rug is different and beautiful and I can't wait to show you some more as they are finished up.
Next year, Pris came up with a spectacular idea for our MASTER CLASS, it is a bit of a surprise/secret, so I won't talk about it yet. If you are interested in signing up for this wonderful opportunity with a master teacher/artist, Pris Buttler, contact me. We have a couple of spots open for the class which we will be held September 18,19,20, 2015.
So greatly remiss, am I, in my blogging that I never talked about the Diane Stoffel class and we moved right on to Pris Buttler this weekend. I will try to catch up.
As usual, Diane Stoffel was her creative self at our three day class in July. I wanted to hook Blue, so she suggested we make it a little more interesting by not using just Poodle colors.
She went to the bits and pieces bins and gathered up a small arm load of wool pieces. She put them on the table in front of me and said "Divide those into groups of LIGHT, BRIGHT, DARK, and DULL. I'll be back."
That went fairly well, but it certainly was a different way of looking at things. Not blues, blacks, reds, etc……no…..LIGHT BRIGHT DARK DULL. It became my mantra.
The darks, which were greys, blacks, purples, blues, reds, became the primary dog color. The little spits of lights were placed inside the the poodle curls to give them movement. The dulls, make things recede, I learned, and were used beneath the eyes and anywhere you wanted to hollow out the shape. It was fascinating. Absolutely fascinating.
The brights were used sparingly, but those chartreuse and neon colors gave his eyes a glow and also gave him tiny little whiskers. There were bits of bright in his nose too, to give it that wet dog nose look.
If you look close, Blue is smiling, which is a normal Blue look. He is 9 months old now and thinks everything is smile worthy. He is in his teen months and is a bouncy little (huge) fellow. He stands 29in at the shoulder and is a healthy 68 lbs. He dad is about 30 in and 90 lbs, so our little man may still grow a bit more. We had to take him off his puppy food, he was growing so fast that he was suffering from pan osteitis, inflammation in the bones from growing so quickly.
He remains the absolutely best dog!!!! We start a tricks class tomorrow night, so I will update you on that.
Oh, before I finish today, I should mention the upcoming activities here at the store and our local rug hooking world. The Omaha Hook-In will be October 3rd at St Robert Bellarmine Church, 120th and Pacific from 9-4. We encourage all to attend, it should be a great day with vendors, great rugs to see and fun to be had. Right after the hook in, plan to wander out to Valley to attend our post hook-in activities. We will hook Friday from 4-10, have food and snacks, door prizes etc. Then Saturday we will have OPEN HOOKING from 9-6, more food, door prizes, a drawing for a $100 gift certificate and our Jan Goos Chalkware Santa class.
Jan has hooked up three different Santas in RED, BLUE and GOLD. You get to pick your color, I will work up your kit for $50 for the pattern and wool and I will pay Jan to teach the class. We are taking 25 for the class and have a full list now, but if you are interested you can call or write to get on the waiting list. I am sure a few will have a plan change between now and then.
You can go to my website and visit OCT 3&4 to get a full listing of the days activities. As always, I will be able to help with color planning and problem solving, so bring any rug that needs help!
I am showing you the rug I did of my son! Diane Stoffel helped me with it when she was here in March. I can assure you, it is not something I would tackle on my own. The rug shows my son Will after a day of working cattle. He is sitting on the cattle chute, a beverage in hand (I am sure it was a diet Pepsi, right). You can see the shadow of his horse next to him, the horse's head is lowered, as is the the head of the tired cowboy. You can see that they both had a hard day. Will's friend Heather is a wonderful photographer and snapped this picture at just the right moment. I knew the minute I saw the photo that I needed to hook it into a rug.
I blew the photo up at Kinko's, then transferred it off on linen, using red dot. I didn't worry about drawing in a lot of details, I knew I would add those as I hooked it. In person, you can see the tiny little silver buckles I added to his spur straps.
With Diane's help, I started on the hat, then worked the shirt, complete with wrinkles and turns to show the bend in his elbow. That was tricky! By the time I got to the jeans, I had figured it out and loved working with the blues to show the faded, worn jeans and creases in them. Diane kept throwing wool at me, saying "Use this for the shadow here, this is the rust on the chute, there."
This is the beauty of a wonderful teacher and Diane Stoffel is one of the BEST you will ever meet. She gives you such confidence working thru each element, until pretty soon, you are able to move on without her standing at your shoulder. Remember, there were 16 people in this class and each one got the attention they needed to hook their project, along with mini classes on color, technique tips and more.
I tell you this today…..because Diane is coming to teach a class my store this Friday, Saturday and Sunday July 25,26,27. The class has been full for a long while, and today…..I got a call from someone who is not going to be able to come. So, here is a rare opportunity to step into a Diane Stoffel class at the last minute.
Anyone interested, email me at email@example.com for complete information. I guarantee it will be 3 of the most productive, educational and FUN days of your life.
Autumn Gobbler, a Jan Goos design that I started hooking in a class taught by Jan Goos herself, is DONE. I particularly like the Indian corn These similar value rugs are particularly challenging, but as Jan says "you have to make your wool work for you and 'love' in a little here and there to make the colors stand out."
Below is my shaded rose from the Newton Teacher's Workshop, complete with a 3 cut shaded rose. A proud day for sure. I did the leaves and background in a 5 cut, because I could not bear the thought of a 3 cut background. But I think it looks fine and I am proud of the result. Thank you Livily Powers for the fine instruction.
Don't forget, that we hook Friday and Saturday this week, July 11 and 12. We missed first Saturday because of the holiday weekend, so we are bumping it back to this weekend. Join us, as always….all are welcome and it is FREE!
Only slightly behind schedule, here are some pictures from the Jan Goos "Autumn Gobbler" class that we held here at the store on June 21. Jan designed a wonderful turkey rug, shown a few posts ago, the students could select the rug in one of 3 sizes. I drew them up and the class was ON.
Nine of us worked on our turkeys, every one in a different color plan. My turkey is plums and browns, some were turquoise flavored others were rich greys and tans.
Shown above are Suzanne Burgoin and Linda Stortenbecker, very serious about their projects.
Kathy Berkshire, Judy Orendorff work with teacher Jan Goos in the 2nd photo. In the 3rd photo Jan is going thru some of the stacks of wool here at the store, to select just the right thing for someone's primitive sunflower or pumpkin to accent their turkey.
It was a great class, fantastic people and a good time was had by all. I am almost done with my project, so I will show a picture later this week.
Jan will be doing another of these 'Single Saturday' classes on October 4th. The Hook-In in Omaha will be on October 3rd, so I am again planning events here at the store for AFTER the
hook-in. Friday we will have OPEN hooking from 4 til 10pm. Carl will make dinner for all, there will be door prizes, of course. Then Saturday, we will have OPEN HOOKING from 9 to 6pm. I have hired Jan to teach a "Chalkware Santa" design to anyone interested in taking the class on Saturday. She will have 4 different Santa color combinations made up ahead of time. You will get to sign up for the class, select your color scheme, then I will make up the patterns and kits to be ready for October 4th. The pattern, on linen, and the wool for the hooked project will be only $50. The class, taught by Jan Goos, is on me, to thank all my customers for their continued wonderfulness.
Let me know if you would like to be on this class list. We will be able to have 20 or so working on Santas that day. You can get your name on the list, then pick out your Santa color (red, blue, white or brown) when the samples are available later this summer. For those not planning on hooking the Santa, we will have open hooking all day long, lunch, snacks and more prizes to be given out thru out the day. Plan to attend the Hook-in on October 3 at 120th and Pacific St in Omaha, from 9-3, then come join us for more hooking fun on Friday afternoon and evening and all day Saturday October 4th.
That will be here before we know it!!!!!!
Til next time.
Well, I could not be more proud to announce that today, Blue and I went down to the Humane Society and took the AKC Canine Good Citizen test. It is a 10 part test, that tests for basic obedience, people socialization, behavior around other dogs etc. You have to walk thru a crowd, leave your dog with another handler and leave the room for 3 minutes, walk on a loose leash, sit, down, sit stay, recall, be examined and petted by a stranger and so forth. This all sounds easy, but with lots of distraction, 9 other dogs, strange people etc., it is slightly challenging.
Blue, of course, was a SUPERSTAR and did everything he was supposed to do with a lot of style and panache. Please note we are wearing coordinating outfits, me in black and white and him in his fleur de lis scarf. Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen, he was snappin'. Ok, I will admit, I have become that dog person who planned my outfit to match his scarf, but just for special occasions like this test!!!!!!
Here was the only disappointing thing……I thought once you passed, you got the Canine Good Citizen vest for the dog to wear. WRONG…..if you are a poodle. You have to be a pit bull or one of the other 7 dog breeds on the dangerous dog list, that must be muzzled in Omaha unless you have passed this test. So….no vest for Blue. He and I will find other ways to make our fashion statements. I think the tester thought I was going to cry when she said we could not get the vest, because we are NOT dangerous, so she told me that I can go to the AKC website and order him a Canine Good Citizen scarf and myself a t-shirt. I, of course, will call tomorrow to place the order!!!!!!!!
All for now blogging friends. My little poodle buddy is sacked out at my feet and ready for bed. It was a trying afternoon for us. All that sitting and staying and those other dogs barking……yikes. You could tell Blue was wondering, "what is with all the noise these dogs are making!" We are exhausted.
I have had several people ask me about faux braiding and how to accomplish it. Let me make it clear, that I did not invent faux braiding or think it up in any way. I learned it first from the incomparable Anita White in a class years ago. Then I revisited it with Diana Geisinger here in a class a few weeks ago. It clicked in my brain in the Geisinger class and now I feel more confident in the art of faux braiding.
I asked Diana if she cared if I shared a few of her tips and she was game. I want to also thank Anita for introducing me to faux braiding years ago.
This is how I would approach it. For a average to small size rug, a 1 and 1/2 inch border would be appropriate. Measure 1 and 1/2 inches from your background and draw your outer edge all round. Then draw the 1 and 1/2 border into 3 equal pieces, approximately 1/2 inch each (see figure on left). You don't have to draw the lines all the way around your edge, you will only need enough to get started.
Then, draw a 45% angle from the right edge to the 3rd line in, as seen in figure on the left. That is how you start your hooking. Now, starting on the right side, hook a tail, then 4 loops, turn and hook 3 loops back and a tail, as seen in the figure on the right. That is the beginning of the faux braid. Now, do the left section, a tail, 4 loops, turn around and hook 3 loops and a tail. That is your 2nd faux section. Make sure you have 3 colors and keep track of their order. For instance, in the rug I hooked above……black-gold-blue-black-gold-blue. It is important to keep the order correct.
Now, if you are hooking a round rug, your problems are over. There are no tricky corners to deal with. But if your rug is square, here is the trick for accomplishing the corner. Take 3 strips of wool and braid them. When you get to the corner, remember to make the turn, you repeat a color. For instance….black, gold, blue, blue, black, gold, blue making the turn to the left or the right…..just repeat one color to make the turn. Then….this is the genius part, lay the braided piece on the border of your rug and it gives you a template to follow, when hooking the corner. It doesn't have to be perfect, and mine certainly isn't, but it does make a nice turn in a reasonable manner.
I hope this helps you with the faux border. If you have questions, write me on the blog or email me or better yet call me at 402-359-2699. I will be more than happy to talk you thru this. I found the key to the whole thing, was to be consistent with my loop count, a tail and 4 down, then 3 up and tail. Do that on every braided sequence and you cannot fail (she says with a great deal of confidence).
Here is another project from the Diana Geisinger class. This chair pad was hooked by Colleen Cochrane and shows another of the great faux borders we learned to hook in that class.
Diana walked us thru the steps and altho it is slightly tricky, once you get your rhythm they are fun and easy to do.
Good job Colleen! Great class Diana!
I have a true confession for Merlene Paul. I was delighted that she came to visit the shop last Friday. She is almost finished with a wonderful primitive rug that she drew as a gift for her mom. It is the family farm and is beautifully done. She allowed me to take pictures of her and the rug so I could blog about them. It was about 8pm when I discovered that I forgot to put the card in the camera, when I took the pictures. I hope she will take some snaps and send them to me, so I can share her beautiful family heirloom.
The weather outside appears to be preparing for our nightly storm, so I suppose Blue and I should go in the house. That is all for now.
We are doing something new here at The Rug Hooking Store at Black Horse Antiques. We are calling them "Single Saturdays" and it is a one day class for those of you who want to take on a new hooking challenge, but don't have 3 days to invest in a workshop. This Saturday, June 21st will be our first Single Saturday class and it will feature the work of Jan Goos in this original design she calls "Autumn Gobbler".
The pattern comes in three sizes, 34 in wide, 28 in wide and 22 in wide. You get to pick your size. The class is $100 and includes the class taught by Jan Goos, herself, lunch and the pattern size of your choice on linen. Jan will color plan from wool here at the store. Your rug can look like hers, or maybe have a lovely white butterball turkey instead. Jan is the master of these primitive colors and it will be fun to see how they all turn out.
There are 2 spots left. If you are interested in hooking the Autumn Gobbler, contact me. I drew them up today and they are ready to go. I can't wait!!!! I don't know if mine will have traditional pumpkins and a wild turkey or if I will go with a primitive dirty white turkey. I know we will toss all the options around and decide on Saturday
Here is a cheery group of rug hookers. It was Ken's birthday today and we celebrated with Sandy's marvelous orange cake. We also had special guests. Mary Jo Lahners came up for our photo op. We needed a picture of the hookers who made the 'lady' rugs that will be traveling to Sauder Village to be displayed in August. I failed to take a picture at the class, so this group of us will go with some individual shots, as part of the presentation. From left to right: Colleen Cochrane, Pat Shafer, Mary Jo Lahners, Ken Petersen and me, Janice Lee.
As you can see, I am wearing one of my uniform sweatshirts. I wear them year round and have an assortment of colors. Some one asked about the sweatshirt I wore in the picture with Blue….same shirt different color. So I thought I should let you know, I just got a big batch of them in. The photo below shows the logo, I don't know what is going on with the wavy picture, but obviously the shirts don't look like that. I have M, L, XL, 2XL and a 1 blue 3XL. They run roomy and long and never shrink. The new colors are ooh-la-la. I have neon pink (my daughter Leah picked that one), yellow, orange. Then a lovely coral, a hunter green, red, blue, slate, grey, primitive green, some black……so many to choose from .
If you or a friend needs a HOOKED sweatshirt, contact me. I am happy to send them out. The non-hoodies are $34, the hooded ones are $44. Yes, I know it is the wrong time of year for sweatshirts, but I am a serious hoody fan and wear them on cool summer evenings and mornings too.
I finished the shaded rose. Now I am working on the Beshire. I will show off the shaded rose tomorrow. Oh, you will be so impressed!!!!!!!!
You may have heard thru the grapevine that some of us went to the McGown Teacher's Workshop in Newton, Iowa in April. Pat, Colleen and Jan Goos and I decided it would be an interesting opportunity to learn more about fine hooking. So we went and we did. Learn more about fine hooking that is.
Each day you take a different class. As trainees, we did scrolls, an oriental,
a 3 cut shaded rose and then a class of your choice. My fourth class was the rug below. We used a piece of ombre wool, mine was orange, red and gold. I toned it down a bit by adding the solid colors to the flowers and checkered border when I got home. I did this in an 8 cut, so it went quickly.
The scroll above, was the first day of class. We used dip dyed wool for the scrolls and learned some very interesting tips and techniques for dealing with dip dyes. For instance, they never, and I mean NEVER throw away a strip of wool. I was declared a wool waster, and I guess I am. It is no excuse that I have a whole store full. They tell you to save everything and I was glad I did. I got right down to the last scroll and was putting everything I had leftover into it. The photo is not the best, but it gives you the idea, nonetheless.
The large multi colored scroll was fun to do. We were told to leave our strips attached on the top side, so it is easier to see the color and shading. Then when you need that strip, you cut it off. They suggested that a mess of noodles on the table are much harder to judge the color of, than ones already used and attached in your rug. It works very well, but you do have to get used to lots of spaghetti hanging off the front side of your rug.
I am almost done with my shaded rose, so I will show that next time. The Beshire, oriental will be next and then I am done with my McGown projects. I doubt I will ever regularly use anything smaller than a 4 cut, but the 3 cut experience was a good one and now I can say "I am a fine hooker."
I am fairly certain the question that has most been on your mind is, "How is old Blue, doing?" Well, as you can see, he is nearly (absolutely) perfect. He turned 6 months old a few weeks ago and I hired a professional photographer, Ali Frost, to come out and take his picture. It did not occur to me until after the photo shoot, that I am not really sure I had my children's photos taken at 6 months. It is alright, I am currently on the bad mother's list for a number of transgressions anyway. I might as well just own up to it now. I like the dog better than all people. I finally admitted it to Carl and he took it fairly well. My children might be a little poutier about it.
Blue and I finished 8 weeks of obedience training with a private trainer, just yesterday. Sue Torpy is the trainer, of River City Obedience Training in Omaha. She is awesome and I learned tons of dog training skills and theory in our 8 classes. Blue is prepping to take his Canine Good Citizen test in a few weeks. I will let you know how it goes, but he is one fine, obedient fellow for only 6 months.
We started summer theatre on Monday and Blue loved seeing all the kids. We sit in a circle and discuss our goals at the beginning of each class. Blue laid by my side and napped thru most of that, but is up and watching when those kids are dancing and singing. He loves them all and is a devoted theatre dog.
If you look at his ears in the top picture, you can see that his color is changing and he is definitely a 'BLUE' Standard Poodle. The ears and top of his head are a bronzish color. I have no idea what will happen in the next couple of years, but he will be somewhere between smokey black and steely grey. Beautiful, no matter what the color.
I was told that Standard Poodles are particularly devoted to their owners and Blue certainly got that memo. He is happiest when he is collapsed at my feet or resting his head on my arm or leg. He likes other people too, especially Colleen and Pat from the store. Colleen has always been his spare momma and he is not happy until she gives him the attention due him, when she arrives at the store. Pat is another dog lover and will babysit him if I have to leave for a few minutes. He loves his ladies!
Ah, yes, rug hooking. Pictured on the bottom is the rug I did in the Diana Geisinger class. We learned faux braiding, chain stitch, basket weave, beading etc. I love my little rug and really enjoyed the faux braiding. It is a little extra trouble, but worth the effort for the effect.
Yes, Beate, I am back! I promise to try to blog more frequently than I have been. There certainly is enough to blog about!!!!!!
We had a wonderful class this weekend with Diana Geisinger of Ankeny, Iowa. Diana is a McGown certified teacher who brought a full bag of tricks, lessons and ideas to this three day class.
One mini class was on CREATIVITY and we did some very interesting exercises to encourage creative thinking. Another class was on faux braiding and I finally feel like I understand how to accomplish this wonderful look on my own. Diana is a great teacher and a great deal of fun.
She also does MAGIC, the picture on top shows part of her one woman show.
The second picture is Beate Hager from Missouri, who mentioned she missed seeing my blog of late.
So I am promising renewed blogging with renewed vigor.
Below, is a picture of the entire class and a more lovely group of ladies you could not have asked to be locked in a room for 3 days with. We ate Carl's good food, laughed and hooked and the time just flew by.
We have a class here at the store every year about this time. Of course, we have a 3 day class almost every month here at The Rug Hooking Store. Next year on June 5,6,7, Kris Miller of Spruce Ridge Rugs will be here to teach. I have just of couple of spots open for that class, so contact me if you are interested in hooking one of the wonderful designs from her studio.
Also, don't forget we are having a one day SINGLE SATURDAY event here at the store on June 21st. Designer Jan Goos will be teaching this one day class using her brand new design "Autumn Gobbler". This comes in 3 sizes and you can pick the size of your choice. The class is a special bargain, for $100 you get the class, lunch and the pattern in the choice of your size on linen or monks. There are only a couple of spots left in the class, so let me know if you would like to join us. We will be doing more of these single Saturday classes thru out the year for people who can't take time off work, but can squeeze in a little time on the weekend.
All for now, more pics of the workshop soon,
My daughter Leah's birthday is coming up, so it was important that I get this rug of Mij done in time for the birthday party. Please note that Mij has her left ear cocked forward…..that is because a squirrel is hiding behind the flower on the top right hand corner. Mij is a big squirrel fan and only lifts that ear when she sees one. You would not think that lifted ear would present much of a problem, but it did. I hooked it about 10 different ways and finally walked away from the rug in disgust.
Jan Goos was here visiting and I said to her, "I have had it! Do something with that ear, will you????? And left the building. Fortunately when I returned, my clever rug hooking buddy had hooked the ear and I must say she did a marvelous job. Thanks Ms. Goos !!!!!
I hid the letters M I J above the dog's back and apparently did such a good job of hiding them that you cannot see them in this picture. In person, you can pick them out, hidden so nicely in the background.
Of course, Leah has Mij's sister Dolly living with them now. It was a rough couple of weeks as these 2 litter mates played the getting acquainted game, but now they are fast friends. I am sure that now I will be required to hook a rug of Mij AND Dolly, but maybe that can be for Leah's next birthday.
We are having a big weekend here at the store. Jan Goos is coming to teach a 3 day workshop. She designed a wonderful runner called BARNYARD FOLK ART and we will all hook the same rug, but make them distinctly our own. They will be fun for sure.
Stop by when you are in the area. As always the store is full of antiques, hand dyed wool and over 750 rug hooking patterns.
I am in the dog house, for not blogging for the past several weeks, but it has been crazy busy around here. We finished FIDDLER, it went very well, was a nice, tight production. Then I began dyeing day and night preparing for the Diane Stoffel class here last weekend. 17 of us worked under Diane's amazing tutelage and the rugs were absolutely phenomenal. I am working on a photo adaptation of my son. I will show it when I am finished. Lots of people worked on dog rugs, but since I did not, I have to show pictures of Blue.
On top is a picture taken at the groomers a few weeks ago. We are still going to the groomer, Mandy McMenamin at Unleahed Dog Spa, every week. I told Mandy we would come every week until Blue will stand for grooming like a show dog. We are NOT there yet, but he does get better every week. He hates having his feet clipped, but with some treats and Mandy's amazing patience, things have greatly improved.
Blue is 4 months now, weighs 40 lbs and is 22.5 inches at the shoulder. We have been attending a puppy socialization and obedience class every week and he is smart, smart, smart. So smart, that he figured out how to open the back yard gate, how to pop the top on his dog food container to steal his lunch, how to untie his leash from whatever he is tied too. It is great to have such a wizard of a puppy.
The bottom picture shows Blue with me at the theatre. I was working with a student on the stage, Blue is in his normal position. Notice he has blocked me off, so I cannot move without him noticing. That is because he is my absolute shadow. He is everything I wanted in a dog, smart, loving, out going and social. He has also developed a big bark, he definitely sounds like a baby Rottweiler when he does not like the looks of someone. I like that about him too. No wimpy Poodle here!
I will be putting pictures of our rugs from class up soon.
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.