Textile Sale Treasures!

This past weekend, the Monroe Historical Society had their annual Textile Sale, and of course, I was there before 10am, ready to shop! Now I usually don’t find much related to rug hooking as far as hooks, cutters, books, etc, but I do find some wonderful wool yardage. The wool is usually $2.00 a yard, so a definite bargain. I started looking around, and right by the book table, I spotted my friend Dawn from Coon Hollow Farm, and we started chatting. While chatting, I was scanning the books, and lo and behold, there were several rug hooking books! Well, if it had “rug hooking” in the title, I grabbed it. Didn’t look through it, just grabbed it.

 Such interesting books!

Such interesting books!

 Two Pearl McGown Books….with treasure inside!

Two Pearl McGown Books….with treasure inside!

 This one has Pearl McGown’s signature and pictures of the previous owner’s rugs and where they are.

This one has Pearl McGown’s signature and pictures of the previous owner’s rugs and where they are.

 More examples of the previous owner’s work

More examples of the previous owner’s work

 This woman was a prolific hooker!

This woman was a prolific hooker!

After that, I wandered over to a lidded plastic box, opened it, and there were a ton of different types of rug hooking/punching tools. There was even a Pearl Mcgown hook!! Yep, grabbed that and others…lol.

 Pearl McGown Hook

Pearl McGown Hook

 I am planning on using some of these tools and making videos! Stay Tuned!

I am planning on using some of these tools and making videos! Stay Tuned!

 Gorgeous wool and a sturdy yarn winder.

Gorgeous wool and a sturdy yarn winder.

Of course, arms full, I headed into the textile barn and found two bundles of beautiful wool that will be going into the dye pots some time this week.

Just the history in the two Pearl McGown books are amazing. A rug hooker recording her projects, and how they are used in her house, is wonderful to read. I might just do a little research to see if I can find this rug artist. I feel like I have a part of her history in my studio.



Busy Weekends

Fall is finally on her way, and that brings the start of fair/show season!  I spent my last two Saturdays vending at two different shows, and they were a blast!  I met some pretty cool people that are really interested in learning how to hook rugs, dye wool, how to create with punch needle, and even make their own goose feather trees!  So today I'm making a schedule and creating my first newsletter.  It's a bit daunting, but I'm pretty excited about this next level of my business.

 A view in my booth

A view in my booth

 A child's beach chair with a star mat

A child's beach chair with a star mat

 Some kits, hooked rugs, and a few punch needle pieces

Some kits, hooked rugs, and a few punch needle pieces

 More hooked pieces and my dyed wool

More hooked pieces and my dyed wool

While talking to people, I like to show that you can create whatever kind of rug you'd like.  When I teach a rug hooking class, I bring books, magazines, and show pictures from other rug hooking artists.  This way, any style can be incorporated into a rug for the floor, a table runner for a holiday, a set of mug rugs for your tea or coffee, or what have you!  A hooked piece can be incorporated into any decor, it just involves finding the right pattern and colors. 

 Hand of Hamsa - made by myself for a Bat Mitzvah gift.

Hand of Hamsa - made by myself for a Bat Mitzvah gift.

 A beautiful rug by Rachelle LeBlanc.  A great example of hooking figures as well as using a picture.  https://rachelleleblanc.wordpress.com/

A beautiful rug by Rachelle LeBlanc.  A great example of hooking figures as well as using a picture.  https://rachelleleblanc.wordpress.com/

 A primitive little crow checking out the sunflowers.  Hooked by me.

A primitive little crow checking out the sunflowers.  Hooked by me.

 This was hooked from a child's drawing. I'm afraid I can't find the artist's name (hooker or child...lol)  But it shows that you can hook anything!

This was hooked from a child's drawing. I'm afraid I can't find the artist's name (hooker or child...lol)  But it shows that you can hook anything!

I am now off to create my very first newsletter!  If you'd like to receive this newsletter, you can sign up on my contact page.  I would love to hear from you!

 

Rain, rain, go away!

So, lots of rain, lots of high humidity, but we're still walking every morning!  When I left my job to start my rug hooking business full-time, one of my goals was to make sure our giant puppy Jackson, went on walks every morning.  There's no way I can handle the energy level of a 60 lb puppy stuck inside all day, so we walk for about an hour every morning at a beautiful park near our house.  He didn't dig the walks at the beginning, but now I think he loves them. 

Jackson Walkies

 

Along with all the rain, I've noticed a big increase in fungi, toadstools, mushrooms, etc all over.  Some are really beautiful.  Also, the whole forest is just so lush and green.  I'm taking pictures now so I can remember this when the snow flies!

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I've been working on a fairly big rug lately, and am almost finished.  Then it's back to working on smalls and my feather trees.  My most recent tree is about two feet tall and as soon as I get it in it's stand and decorated, there's be pictures!

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A LIttle Catch-Up






Yesterday I saw down and watched the documentary,  Mister Rogers and Me.  It was, in a word, wonderful.  I honestly don't remember watching Mister Rogers Neighborhood as a child, probably because we lived in Germany (Rhein Main AFB), and didn't get much American television.  This was 1970-1975, so no internet folks!  But watching this film really showed that Fred Rogers was exactly who we all thought he was.  Kind, gentle, in the moment, and if he was interacting with you, or an audience, you were the most important person to him.  There's so many lessons we need to still learn from him, or if you watched Mister Roger's Neighborhood, remember them.  I think some Fred Rogers reading needs to happen this weekend.

I spent last week in Arkansas with my parents, and it was a wonderful vacation.  Catching up with all the goings-on, swimming, and visiting.  It was too long between visits, but that won't happen again.  

Once I got back, I dove straight into creating.  I've found that I need a project with me at all times to stay sane! lol  

But first, I took a kind of inventory.....here's the results.




I may need to start paring down a bit.    Today it's computer work, then back upstairs to work on my tallest goosefeather tree yet.  I did a quick vid of creating a branch, and will do a separate post on goosefeather trees and their history. 




  Lastly, needlepunch.








So, it's been a month.....

Looking for his girlfriend Ruby.  Ruby is a Vizsla that is out for walk/runs every morning.


....since leaving my office job, and life is wonderful!  Yes, the paycheck is much smaller, but so are my expenses, and my stress level is at an all time low.  I knew it would be different, but I am so enjoying being home!  I've been selling wool online, designing and hooking new rugs, doing a bit of punchneedle, and taking daily walks with this handsome boy.


Pretty little flowers alongside the trail. 
 
A little throwback Thursday....here's Jackson the day we brought him home.

Coming home at four months

This morning hanging on the couch after our walk.  He's about eight months old.
We were told by the rescue he is a Lab/Jack Russell.  The vet informed us that he is a Great Dane and probably lab!  But no matter, we love him even when he's eating like a horse and trying to chew everything in sight!  Training will begin in August!

I have a couple of new designs, one completely finished and ready to be fixed to a vintage picnic basket.
A close up of the flower


A top view

Front view


A little pumpkin.  She's a little wonky, but another steam should fix that right up
A needle punch piece mounted on a vintage lunch box

A close up

And currently on my frame.  I hooked all day yesterday and it was just so much fun!  I'm going to work on the background today after a trip to the post office to mail out some wool.

My version of  a yin yang

The sun.  The rays are hooked using sari silk

A little luna moth.  I'm definitely doing more butterflies, moths, and dragonflies. The color planning on this one was fun!
Have a great day!!


Quiet Corner Hook-In


This past Saturday, I was a vendor at the Quiet Corner Hook-In in Woodstock, Connecticut.  This is their third or fourth year, and I've vended since year one.  This group of ladies are some of the most welcoming and helpful people I've met.  The hook-in is held at the Woodstock Fairgrounds, and it's surrounded by beautiful countryside, farms, and little shops and restaurants.  The other vendors are make it alot of fun, and there's time to catch up with friends as well.  I'll just start with the pictures because words can't really convey how much talent and fun there was inside this building!

Vendor pics first...
Mill River Rugs - Margaret Arraj   
Diana Nylen - Punch Needle Artist

More of Diana Nylen's beautiful punch needle artistry

Nancy D.Jewett - Fluff & Peachy Bean Designs

More Fluff & Peachy Bean Designs

And more Fluff & Peachy Bean Designs
Benita W. Raleigh  Fancy Work Rug Barn
More of Fancy Work Rug Barn


The Paisley Studio ( I see you Barb)!

More of The Paisley Studio - Sarah was wandering around somewhere!
Yankee Peddler Rugs


Tonya Azzaro - Yankee Peddler Rugs

Woolen Memories

The Glass Action Studio

More of The Glass Action Studio



And lastly, me!  Raven's Gate Primitives - Naomi Allen
Next, pictures of the rugs on display.  The talent in this building was amazing!



















This rug was brought in by a young woman and it brought quite a lot of attention!  Her mom is a rug hooker as well as an art teacher, so the talent was definitely inherited!

Her plan is to draw up a companion piece from the same french tapestry showing a lion and another unicorn, I think.  I really hope she brings it in to the next hook in!

A Leap of Faith


I have always worked a full-time, outside the home job.  I enjoyed earning my own money, contributing to the household, and have pretty much always had wonderful, positive work environments.  Well, on June 1st, I left my job of eight and a half years!  Truly, I was burnt out.  It was tougher and tougher to go into that office every day and do the same thing over and over without going out of my mind.  So, on May 21st, I gave my boss my two weeks notice and began clearing out eight years of stuff out of my office.


 Last box

Empty walls










It felt....well, right.  Almost liberating, actually.  Now, I didn't do this on a whim.  Hubby and I talked about it, and I began planning almost six months in advance.  Getting our budget in order, getting rid of extra debt, and most importantly, researching healthcare costs and options.  (that last one was a doozy)! My last day was bittersweet because I really loved most of my coworkers, but a few of us will definitely still hang out on occasion.  And of course, I Skype a couple of them every few days so they won't miss me, and know how wonderful it is to be at home. 😄

My plans now are to concentrate on my rug hooking business.  It's always been stressful to try to keep our household together, take care of the fur babies, work an eight hour day, AND hook rugs and dye wool for the many shows I vend at and stock my Etsy shop.  Now I'm at it full time.  I've already been selling quite a bit of wool because I have the time to network better, and I've signed up for more shows this year.  Keep an eye out on my blog for show announcements and my new website!

You will be seeing more pictures of Jackson, aka Chupacabra, my gardens, and daily morning walks with Jackson.  I am so grateful to be able to begin each and every day walking in the woods with Jackson.  We are up early and out with the birds and deer.  It's just a wonderful way to start a day and set the mood.

I will end this post with a tree we pass every morning.  I see a heart...what do you see?

Tree Heart



Fiber Festival Saturday!

Working a full time job and prepping for multiple fiber festivals, shows, and my Etsy shop is exhausting!  But, I love it, so onward I go!

This Saturday, April 28th is the Connecticut Sheep and Wool Festival in Tolland, CT.  This is my third year (I think) vending at this show, and it is super fun!  My booth is right next to the door in the Green Building, which is good for ventilation and sunshine.  My pal Dawn, from Coon Hollow Farm will be a couple of booths down from me, so just close enough to get into a bit of trouble!  ;o)  You can find info on the fiber festival this weekend, but I'll put it here as well.  Hope to see you there!!

April 28th, 9am-4pm - 109th CT Sheep and Wool Festival - Rte 30, Vernon/Rockville, CT

And lastly, I'll leave you with a few pictures of what's been keeping me busy.
This is a kit model called Coneflowers

 Another kit model and now mounted on a basket I purchased at Camp Wool in Maine.
 My little Goddess doll.  My sewing skills are lacking, but I love how she turned out.
 My Ohm mat.  I need to make more of these in different colors.
And one more kit model, Sunflower and Tulips.  

First Fiber Festival of 2018 and the year Winter wouldn't leave

This Saturday and Sunday is the Third Oxford Historical Society Fiber Festival.  www.oxford-historical-society.org,  and I'm lucky enough to be able to do a rug hooking demo!  I will also have a booth with patterns, finished rugs, and hand-dyed wool for sale.  While Saturday looks gorgeous and in the 70's, Sunday's temps won't get above 35 and it will be raining and sleeting...ugh.
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Come on by to the Twitchell-Rowland Homestead at 60 Towner Lane, Oxford, CT 096478.