Wednesday, April 19, 2017


What better way to spend a spring weekend than to have a FINISH YOUR PROJECTS weekend here at The Rug Hooking Store.  This weekend, April 21,22,23 bring any project you want to complete.  We will start at 9am  each  day and hook until 10pm on Fri and Sat and 4pm on Sunday.   You can come for the whole time, a day, an evening, an afternoon, just drop in and out as you can.  We will potluck lunches and order pizza or burgers out for dinner.  This will be a very laid back, easy going time.  If you need help with a rug, I am always available for problems or a color plan!  This weekend is FREE and all are welcome.

Gail from The Paisley Pansy in Lake City Iowa, will be here at 1pm on Saturday for anyone who has a framing project.  Gail, formerly of Leonardo's in Omaha, is the one who framed all my favorite rugs.  She and her sister, do a fabulous job and it always amazes me how reasonable the framing can be.  We have all noticed that framing sure beats binding a rug, especially if it is to be used as a wall hanging.  It really changes things from rug to ART!  Bring a project, print, needlework, anything you need framed at 1ish on Saturday.  Gail will bring lots of corners and help you pick the perfect combination,  and then take it with her to frame.  She will return our projects in about a month!

I am looking forward to seeing many of you this weekend.  Friends will be coming from all around, so if you have a few hours, or days, join us!  You will be amazed how much you can get done, without the phone or doorbell ringing, the laundry calling your name or the kids yelling "MOM".

See you soon,

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Chalkware Deer

While looking thru some rug photos to find something fun to write about, I ran across this chalkware deer I did in the Pris Buttler class at last year's retreat.  I had finished my footstool design for this class and Pris said "Pick something else to do and we will color plan it."  I have always liked this pattern from Woolley Fox, it is an old Edythe O'Neill design.  I was thinking maybe some primitive browns and predictable colors when Pris said....let's do this up a little different.

So, she went to the lights on the shelf and picked four or five different pieces, a greenish grey, pinkish grey, brownish grey etc.  Those colors became the rug.  We went with a favorite red color of mine, called Buttermilk Paint Red for the background.  It made this simple, lovely rug that I can use at the holidays or any time of the year.

People sometimes ask me "Why should I take a class?  I already know how to rug hook."  Well....this is why.  A good teacher takes you out of your own box, often out of your comfort zone.  We can all color plan a rug with our favorite colors, but Pris helped me look beyond the direction I would normally have gone.  Teachers gently push and prod (sometimes not so gently, but that is OK too) to help us achieve our greatest levels of creativity.  And having a fabulous teacher standing over you for 3 days at a workshop is a great way to find your new confidence.

I am very proud of the top notch teachers I bring here to the store to teach workshops.  Pris Buttler comes twice a year, Diane Stoffel comes 3 times a year, Donna Hrkman comes every November.  Maggie Bonanomi is a regular for a 2 day rug hooking class and 1 day appliqué class every May.  Diana Geisinger teaches here regularly and will be back in June for a great 2 day class called "Art and Noodles".  Pat Shafer teaches a wonderful 'FACES' class in January.   And talk about being coerced....I teach a bang up HEIRLOOM RUG WORKSHOP.   You will be encouraged to make your own vintage look rug with the help of a book I wrote on the subject that offers 15 different techniques to use, to make your own family heirloom, a rug that looks a hundred years old upon completion.

You can visit my website at, then go to the calendar page to see the dates that all these wonderful teachers will be here at the store.  Careful.....they might push you out of YOUR comfort zone!

Talk soon,

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Morning Drive

Not to disrespect the daffodil, but now we are TALKING!  I finished this rug, THE MORNING DRIVE when Diane Stoffel was here teaching class a couple of weeks ago.  The photo on top shows my rug, the one below is the original picture, taken by Heather DePra, of my son Will and his dog Pard, moving cattle a few years ago.

You can see Pard pretty well in the rug, he is just to the right off the rider.  You have to look really close in the original photo, Pard is so deep in the grass he is barely visible.

I really should tell you Pardner's story, it is a good one for sure.  Pard is about 15 years old now, but he came into our lives when he was about a year old or younger.  One of Will's Dad's friends called one day and said someone had tied a young border collie to a tree in his yard, left a bag of dog food and had driven away.  This man had dogs, so the person abandoning the young dog must have figured a dog lover would take care of the poor castoff.  Will's Dad took the dog in and of course, the next thing we knew, Will had taken on "Pard" as he called him, as a project.  Pard lived with us for a few years until Will went off on his own and was never anything but the best dog.  He rode everywhere with Will in his truck, and worked his heart out helping Will with his cattle.  Will says the only thing you could fault Pard on was that he had a soft mouth and nature, and would not be as tough on the cattle as some of his counterparts would be.  He was after all a Border Collie, bred to work sheep, probably a little more gently than was required with cattle.

Last year Pard developed a tumor on his leg.  It grew fast and was huge.  I always explain it to be the size of a dead chicken, hanging down so far it almost touched the ground.  Will was trying to wait till the end of fly season to have it removed, cause Pard lives outside at the ranch and Will is gone so much he couldn't just put him in the house and just leave.  So......of course, I volunteered to take care of Pard after his surgery, keep him at my house and let him recover.   Since we know Pard is at least 15 we were a little concerned about how he would make it thru the surgery, but he bounced back like a young dog.  His crate is in the rug store, and he immediately made friends with all the ladies and Blue, the Poodle.  Biscuit, our old lab did not take to him right away, but they tolerate each other now.  After a few weeks of healing, it was probably time for Pard to go back to the ranch, but winter was coming on and he loved his crate in the store and following Carl around the barn here.  And I hated to think of him living the hard life again at his age, even tho the veterinarian here told me he was in incredible shape for an old dog, great heart, teeth, weight etc.  So much for poor Pard, that hard ranch life will keep him alive longer that us softies.

I do have to report that my son Will was wrong about Pard being the perfect dog.  A few months ago, I was racing out of the house and forgot to lock the door on his crate.  I came back 45 minutes later to find every trash can in the store and house dumped over and trash everywhere.  There was no question who the culprit was....Pard had taken the best trash back to his crate with him and was sitting there smiling at me when I returned.  When I mentioned this to Will he said, "Oh, yeah, he does like the trash."  That my friends, is an understatement.

Talk soon,....


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Spring is here

I got a new computer and everything is working much better for me in the techno world, so I am back to blogging.  I promise to be a better blogger in the future.   Pictured is a rug I just finished a few minutes ago.  You may have noticed this is not my normal 'style'.  Well, let me explain how this came about.  Diane Stoffel was here teaching a class a few weeks ago.  We had a terrific three days, class was over and Diane was ready to fly home to get ready for her next class.  But....Mother Nature intervened and Diane got snowed out of home.  Lucky ME, I got to spend 3 more days with Diane Stoffel, rug hooking, eating and watching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries on Netflix.  Wonderful!  However, I finished my project from class and was pondering what to tackle next.  Any of you who know Diane, know that she gets up at 4:30 every morning, makes coffee and starts hooking.  When I got up a 7am and walked into the store, she said "I planned a rug for you.  It will be good for you to do this, the color plan is a split compliment, you will be mock shading the flowers and leaves.   Well.......OK, I know better than to argue with Diane Stoffel, but I HATE YELLOW, especially bright orangey yellow AND did she have to pick one of the biggest patterns in the store?   No matter, I dove in and really enjoyed hooking the beautiful daffodils.  This is a lovely pattern, from Kathy Morton at Oak Ridge Cottage Rugs.  Kathy's patterns are always beautifully drawn.  Diane suggested drawing puzzle pieces to make the background more fun to hook and I really enjoyed the lattice work.  I think it is very pretty and certainly a sign of spring.  I have yet to steam it, but had to take the photo and blog about it just to rib Diane a little.  She taught me a valuable lesson, never leave Diane alone in the store while I sleep.  She comes up with great ideas for lessons for me to learn.   Later this week, I will show you the rug I did in class.  It is close to my heart and one of my favorite rugs ever.  I think you will know why, when you see it.

Thanks for listening,