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.
 Image result for time for winter to go away meme

Come on by to the Twitchell-Rowland Homestead at 60 Towner Lane, Oxford, CT 096478.  

Rug Hooking, Etsy, and Fiber Festivals

My Etsy shop is a bit bare, but I'm looking to fix that this weekend.  I have quite a lot of dyed wool as well as new patterns to offer.  Here's a few new pieces that will be offered as patterns.

 Not quite sure how I'm going to finish this Ohm, but it was great fun hooking it

 This little Goddess figure will be finished as a stuffed doll.  I'm really loving her.

My lotus blossom.  This was super fun to hook, and adding the beads came as an afterthought.  I think they fit right in.  

I ordered a photo box, so the Etsy pictures will be much better!  Photography is definitely not a strong suite for me.  I am working on kits for my first two shows, which are both fiber festivals, in April.  I've been so preoccupied with our new addition, Jackson, that I've slacked a bit on the hooking.  That's going to have to stop!  I have a goal of being able to quit my current job and just focus on building a rug hooking/fiber business online, with the next step of opening my own store.  I really feel as though this is the direction I should be going in, so I'm going to just do it!  

Before I sign off, if you're in the area, come visit!!

April 14, 10am-4pm April 15, 12pm-4pm - Oxford Fiber Festival - Twitchell Rowland Homestead, 60 Towner Ln., Oxford, CT

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


An update on Winston.

So, Spring is being a bit elusive this year, but I can see her peeking up through the daffodil shoots in the yard, and a few brave bees flying out from our one surviving hive to get some sun and check out what's going on.  I love all the seasons, but Spring is always a favorite.

I wanted to do a separate post on this next subject, but it's been pretty tough to really type it out.  I just need to do it.  Last Thanksgiving, we lost Winston.  We were celebrating with our son and daughter-in-law, and her family, and it just happened.  One minute he was playing with the other dogs, the next minute, he was having a seizure and his heart stopped.  I did CPR for almost half an hour while we found, then drove to an emergency vet, but nothing helped.  We will never know why it happened, it was just "one of those things".  We were gutted.  I know he loved me, but he was Aaron's best pal.  They went everywhere together, and were always hanging out together in the house or going for long walks.  It was a quiet ten hour drive home the day after Thanksgiving, and it was a long time before we could even look at pictures of Winston.
 This is Winston with our daughter's dog, Zen.
 Offering a trade...a toy for a rug. 
And his handsome face while relaxing with some evening tv.

We kind of muddled along for a few months, then started talking about getting another dog.  Then the looking at rescues online, and finally I just told Aaron that I'd love any dog he brought home.  On March 11th, he brought home Jackson.  We were told he's an 11 week old Lab/Jack Russell mix.  Not sure how spot on the age is, but our vet says he looks like a Great Dane puppy!

Meet Jackson!
 This is how he sleeps!
 He hates to be told no!
And the modeling of the dreaded "puppy eyes"!  (he does them so well)

I had forgotten what a challenge having a puppy in the house is!  The downstairs is gated all over the place, I'm having a hard time finding time to get any hooking done, and, well, house training!  He is adorable, and pretty smart, so I'm sure we'll get past the puppy shenanigans soon.  That biting though!  My hands are chewed up pretty well.  His feet, legs, and how he holds his head really say Great Dane, and we were definitely not prepared to hear that! lol  But that's ok.  We love dogs, and he'll start to fit in soon.  Right now, he's the center of attention, as it should be.

Whew, now that's over, I'm going to do another post, just on hooking. 

Happy 2018 and my show schedule.....so far! (Update - 2/20/2018)

I am so excited to be vending at a few fairs and fiber festivals this year!  This seems to be my year of creativity because my brain is constantly finding new and fun designs to draw out!  Lately, I've been working on putting kits together, which includes a pattern, cut wool (#8), a rug hook, and a frame.  Hooking the models are the most fun part because I can actually see how much wool is used in each pattern.  I'm also offering just patterns as well as my own dyed wool and finished items.  These will also be in my Etsy shop along with some off the bolt wool that I have listed at pretty good prices.  This off the bolt wool came from a now closed rug braiding shop, so it's really best used for #6 and up rug hooking strips, wool applique, and, of course, rug braiding.

Here's my schedule for 2018....always subject to additions/changes, so check back often!

April 14 - Oxford Fiber Festival - 10am-4pm April 15, 12pm-4pm

Twitchell Rowland Homestead, 60 Towner Ln., Oxford, CT

April 28th - 109th CT Sheep and Wool Festival

 Route 30, Vernon/Rockville, CT
GPS  - 24 Hyde Avenue, Vernon, CT

This is my third year vending at this show, and it's always a lot of fun.  My friend, Dawn from Coon Hollow Farm is also vending there and will be one booth down from me this year. 

June 16th - Quiet Corner Hook-in  - 9:00am to 3:00pm

Woodstock Fairgrounds
RT 169 & 171
So. Woodstock, CT

This hook in is hosted by a group of ladies that are just the nicest around.  (hubbies, sons, grands, etc also pitch in to help set up and break down).  Truly a beautiful place with gorgeous views, generous parking and wonderful people.

July 21st and 22nd & July 28th and 29th - Massachusetts Renaissance Faire

Cummington Fairgrounds
97 Fairgrounds Road
Cummington, MA 01026

This is a new one for me, and I am so excited about being asked to be a vendor!  Each weekend is themed, so July 21-22 is a Pirate Weekend and July 28-29 is a Time Traveler Weekend.  If you've never been to a Renaissance Faire, come on out and check it out!!

Nov. 3, 9am-5pm & Nov. 4, 9am-3pm - The Fiber Festival of New England

Mallary complex at Eastern States Exposition 

This is a great festival that, for me, kind of wraps up the season.  It grows by leaps and bounds every year!  My friend, Dawn at Coon Hollow Farm  shares her booth with me, and we have a blast!

Fiber Peeps are the best people!!

Last weekend was the New England Fiber Festival in West Springfield, MA, and I had the best time!  Before I go into how much fun it was, I need to thank my pal, Dawn at Coon Hollow Farm.  She has had her booth for a while, and invited me to share it with her for the past three years.  We make a pretty good team all the way around!

So, on to the festival details!  My booth has finally been tweaked so much that I am super happy with it!  Every fair/festival I do, I come home and pour over pictures of my booth, finding things I need to change as well as things that just don't work.  This year, I'm really happy.

We were so busy, I didn't get a chance to take pictures of everything else.  Please visit Dawn's blog, Coon Hollow Farm to see her wanderings. 

As with every other year I've been a vendor at this show, I met the nicest people.  Rug hookers, knitters, crocheters, spinners, quilters, wool appliquers, you name it, the fiber people were there.  Just being in that happy place for the whole weekend has really fueled the muse for me.  I was chatting with a couple I had met last year (I am horrible with names, so apologies), and the told me about an arts initiative in Southington, CT,  SoCCA.   It seems to be somewhere I might be able to have rug hooking classes, kind of a central place.  There was many requests for "refresher" rug hooking classes for people that have all the "stuff", but put it down years ago and now want to pick it up again.  I will be working on a schedule for classes over the holidays and hopefully will have lots of stuff to report after the new year!

I'm going to add a few pictures of some my most recent rugs and will have some new listings in my Etsy shop this weekend! Thanks for reading!

Fibery gooodness this weekend!

The 2017 Connecticut Sheep, Wool, and Fiber Festival is here!  Aaron and I drove up to Vernon this afternoon/evening and set up the booth, and it looks pretty good!  I have to admit to feeling like the small fish in a big pond, but you've got to start somewhere, right?!

So it's up early tomorrow morning to get on the road and to the festival no later than 8:00am for some last minute booth tweaking and a wee bit of relaxing before the crowds.  I'll have pics galore to share once I get back.

Wish me luck!!  And if anybody's interested in going, I'll put the info below.  I'm in the Green Building and my pal Dawn of Coon Hollow Farm is in the White Barn. 

Connecticut Sheep, Wool, and Fiber Festival



2017 Connecticut Sheep, Wool & Fiber Festival
Saturday, April 29, 2017 - 9 AM to 4 PM - Rain or Shine
 Route 30, Vernon/Rockville, CT
GPS  - 24 Hyde Avenue, Vernon, CT

Hooking Bunnies and Ravens

I tend to draw larger designs.  Really, I try to do smaller rugs, mats, mug rugs, etc, but it just doesn't seem to work out...lol.  The runner I'm currently working on is pretty long, and while I don't have the measurements with me, the background in this picture took me almost two hours!  Luckily, Easter is quite a ways away!

Here's a few more pictures of the same runner so you can get an idea of what it's going to look like.  I think I'm going to offer this as a pattern in my Etsy store.  My first one!

Above is the other side, and below is a picture of my hooking the border.  I'll have to take a couple of better pictures tonight after I get home.

I also finished binding my Raven and Sunflower mat.  This one isn't so big, but I did try a new way to bind a rug called a show binding. You have to be more careful while sewing the strip of wool to the edge so that the stitches won't show, but it's much easier on your fingers than whip stitching with yarn.

 This is the front of the rug.  I do like hooking the background in straight lines for some rugs, but still like the look of motion when hooking around the objects on the rug.

Now showing a part of the binding.  

This weekend, I will do another dye run.  Haven't picked the color yet, but it's going to be great fun!  I'll definitely post pictures!!