Friday, August 28, 2015

I Need Your Help

Last year I designed a rather larger rug called Birds and Branches.  My vision of it was to have fanciful and colorful birds -- as opposed to realistic birds.  Barb and I decided to feature birds in our booth at shows this fall, so I the night before Pete and I left for vacation, I drew the pattern out and grabbed a variety of colorful wool from my stash and packed it in the car.  I figured the rug would be a good exercise in using what I had at hand, instead of dyeing or buying my wool.

I made a good start while on vacation.  I hooked several birds and sets of leaves and I liked them -- individually.  Not necessarily together. The more I hook, the less pleased I am.  I'm forcing myself to stick with the colors I chose, and they just don't work.  I re-hooked the biggest of leaves pictured here yesterday, so they are completely different -- darker.  Now I think they are too big as well as being too light.  My two favorite birds, the ones  think are the most successful, are the two done in pink and green.  This morning I am thinking I will rip out all the others and do all the birds pink and green . . . and the blue bird with the pink wing in the lower left hand corner.  He's just flat out ugly.  I hate ripping stuff out.  And I have a deadline.  Oy. What do you guys think?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Thinking Pumpkins

I was going to post about upcoming classes at the quilt shop today, but they have been put on hold for a bit.  The first class was to be my BOO garland.  I'm going to go ahead and put kits together anyway, and will sell them in my etsy shop and at my fall shows if the class doesn't happen.  So if you are interested, look for them in the next week or so.

September is less than a week away, and that means Barb and I will be vending at our favorite shows again.  Sadly, we will be missing the Hallockville Fall Festival this year because our nephew is getting married that weekend.  We will be having a great time with family and friends, but this will be the first time in 20 years that I have missed this Festival -- and this is the Farm's 250th anniversary year!  You will find my guild, the Peconic Ruggers, at Hallockville both days, and they will have a few of my patterns for sale.

Here is our schedule.  We hope to see many of you on our travels this fall.

The Paisley Studio Fall 2015 Show Schedule
September 26 & 27, 2015
Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival
Washington County Fairgrounds
392 Old Schuylerville Road
Greenwich, NY 12834

October 17 & 18, 2015
New York Sheep & Wool Festival
Dutchess County Fairgrounds
6550 Spring Brook Avenue
Rhinebeck, NY 12572

November 7 & 8, 2015
Fiber Festival of New England
The Big E
1305 Memorial Avenue
West Springfield, MA

November 27, 28, & 29, 2015
Country Parlor Holiday Folk Art & Gift Show
Hallockville Museum Farm
6038 Sound Avenue
Riverhead, NY 11901

Monday, August 17, 2015

Ten Loads of Laundry Later . . .

Pete and I are back from a ten day trip to the family cabin in Northern Wisconsin -- hence the huge number of sheets and towels and clothes that smell of campfires that I have washed this past week.  While I laundered, Pete cleaned up the yard and picked the overabundant and oversized vegetables that overtook the garden.  Think zucchini the size of pumpkins or a small dog.  Lots of work, but lots of good eating and low grocery bills.

Clara, her boyfriend Josh, and their large dog Lucy met us at the cabin, after an epic 28 hour drive from Seattle.  The cabin is Clara's "happy place," a constant in her 27 year life, and she wanted to share everything about it with Josh.  She took him kayaking to the caves of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, and treated him to the parade and fish-on-stick at Cornucopia Days.  We all went to Tetzner's Dairy Farm for homemade ice cream, Trinko's for brats, and Sweet Sailing in Bayfield for her favorite salt water taffy.  We had a fine dining experience at an architectural wonder of a restaurant called Wild Rice. The food was more beautiful than the building and even more delicious.  There were walks on the beach, and trips to Ehler's store, and long tennis matches between uncles and cousins. Some of Pete's siblings, nieces and one nephew joined us for part of the weekend.  When we weren't baking pies and cleaning out the shed and rug hooking (that would be me), We enjoyed gazing at the stars by big bonfires, reminiscing about the family home that was sold this year after his parents moved into assisted living.


We went en masse to visit Pete's mom and dad -- 98 and 95 respectively -- about five hours south of the cabin -- a long ride.  We woke up early that day to pick raspberries and blueberries to bring to them.  Grandpa loves his raspberries.  Along the way we stopped to check out the new sugar bush operation Pete and his brothers started in March, then it was on to Country Sausage in Phillips so Clara could load up on her favorite beef jerky to take camping.   We had a great visit at the rehab center Grandpa calls home right now and feasted on berries.  Pete's mother declared Josh "darling," and Clara was happy he had passed the "grandma test."

It was a full and happy week, with a very long drive on either end of it.  I was glad to get home to our old dog and our comfy bed and my messy studio.  It's time to start thinking about the shows coming up this fall.  Sadly, the days are already noticeably shorter.  While I don't want to wish time away, I am looking forward to cooler days and the colors of fall.  Pumpkins, anyone?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Time Off

I am taking a couple of weeks off to refresh and rejuvenate myself and my etsy shop.  I will be dyeing lots of wool, designing and drawing out new patterns, filling special orders, learning how to take better photographs, and reading up on how to be a better teacher.  I will not be answering the phone, but I will check my email periodically.  Orders will have to wait until mid-August.  If I'm not back here by the end of the month, call in the Mounties.

Friday, July 17, 2015


I am working on getting my etsy shop back in order.  I've been posting a listing or two each day, and will try to continue to do so, so my patterns are available to anyone who wants them.  I'm trying to enjoy the summer and get some house projects done at the same time, so things are going slowly.  Pete's father, who turned 98 on the 4th of July, was hospitalized last week, so we have been keeping up with family and planning a our trip out to Wisconsin to visit.  He has rallied and is now in a nursing home.  He was playing cards yesterday, so that is a good sign.  

I bought a rug for my daughter at an estate sale yesterday.  I spotted a couple of copper pots in the kitchen and the fellow running the sale threw them in for free.  That was quite a score!  28 years ago I bought a small Mauviel oval stew pot in Paris which I love dearly.  I always wanted a big one, but when I priced them out at Williams-Sonoma five years ago or so, it was priced at over $1000 and even if I had millions of dollars, I wouldn't pay that much for a pot.  I think copper has come down in price a bit, but these pots are still quite costly, so I am pleased at punch to have these two.  We are going to have them re-tinned and then I will polish them up.

Friday, July 10, 2015

I Need a Vacation from My Vacation

Pete and I are back home again after a week in Seattle helping our daughter and her partner renovate their new condo.  We spent a week working all day, every day, often into the night -- painting, tiling, going to the dump, shopping at Home Depot, painting some more.  We weren't able to do it all -- they are working on the flooring this weekend -- but we made a big dent in it.  It was fun, but exhausting.  We aren't as young as we used to be.

The Sagres on the right, the Kalmer Nyckle center, taken from the deck of the Hermione
Seattle was hot and sunny -- we could see Mount Ranier every day.  We took one day trip down to Olympia to have lunch with Pete's oldest brother and went to a berry farm and a place that smokes salmon.  We walked Lucy, Clara and Josh's rescue dog, ate in a few really great restaurants, and did I mention that we painted . . .  a lot?

We got home at 1:30 last Thursday morning, slept a little bit, then prepared for house guests for the 4th of July weekend, which was also the weekend the Tall Ships came to our little village of Greenport.  There were six in all: the Kalmer Nyckle, the Sagres, the Lynx, the Picton Castle, the A.J. Meerwald, and the Hermione, a replica of Lafayette's ship.  It was a pretty spectacular site, these six ships in our harbor.  The village closed off the streets.  There was music and food and fireworks for four days straight.  Pete and I were still struggling with jet lag, but pushed our way through it.
Lafayette checking his cell phone

The guests and the boats left Monday and on Tuesday I led open hooking at the Farmhouse Quilt Company.  Are you surprised that I fell asleep in a chair when I arrived home?  Luckily, we had lots of left overs and I didn't have to cook.
The Hermione

We are getting back to our normal routine now.  I am hoping for a weekend full of sun and swimming.