Sunday, June 22, 2014

Canine Good Citizen

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.

'til next time….
Janice and Blue

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Faux Braiding

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).

Happy faux braiding, one and all….

Monday, June 16, 2014

Colleen's Chair Pad

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.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Autumn Gobbler

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

Join us!!!!!


Friday, June 13, 2014

Hooked Sweatshirts

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!!!!!!!!

'Til then….

Thursday, June 12, 2014

McGown Teacher's Workshop

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."

Next time….

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Blue Turns 6 Months

 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.

Bye until next time…..

Janice and Blue

Monday, June 2, 2014

Diana Geisinger Class

Hello All Blog Followers,

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,