Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Whole World In a Weekend

Another Rhinebeck has come and gone . . .  What a wild weekend it was!  The weather was exquisite, and the crowds were enormous.  Someone asked me how it was and I replied that it was exhilarating and exhausting. I returned home on Monday, after breakfast with Barb at the Eveready Diner in Hyde Park, during which we recapped the show and squared away plans for the Fiber Festival of New England on November 5 & 6.  I was still tired on Tuesday.

We saw so many of our friends and customers -- it really felt as if we saw the whole world in a weekend.  One long-time customer brought me 2 yards of beautiful wool.  We heard about births and deaths and divorce, surgeries and celebrations, illnesses and ingenuity.  It was a whole year of life encapsulated in these two special days that happen the third weekend of October every year.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

What's New and Exciting?

The rainy, gray days that Hurricane Matthew has provided for the last week or so are not very exciting, but the upcoming New York State Sheep and Wool Festival is!  We are counting down the days -- only 11 more -- and working hard to bring our favorite customers even more folk art, ornaments, rug hooking and needle punch supplies, out-of-print books, buttons, baubles and embellishments -- the list goes on!  We hope to see you there.  We are in Building A, Booth 28, as we have been for the last dozen years!  

I was contacted by Artsy recently -- they somehow discovered that I love the work of George Nakashima --and asked me to add them to my list of interesting blogs over there in the sidebar.  So I have done just that.  It's a great resource for people interested in learning about and collecting art, so go take a look! Maybe I'll find a Nakashima table I can afford.  Not.

Barb and I had a lovely weekend at the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival.  We had two days of jewel-like weather -- brilliant blue skies, sunshine, and crisp air.  I was surprised and pleased to see my Instagram friend, Marilu (@518frenchgirl).  She's a doll, and I can't wait to see how she hooks up my Outstanding in Her Field pattern!  (Follow her on Instagram if you don't already.)

Tammy of Wing and a Prayer Farm
I was extraordinarily pleased to meet another Instagramer I follow:  Tammy of Wing and a Prayer Farm (#wingandaprayerfarm).   I found her through Charlotte Lyons of House Wren Studio, who hosts crafting weekends with her friend Meleen up in Vermont (Meleen and Charlotte's Vermont Getaway).  Tammy's farm is nearby, and the crafters take field trips there to do natural dyeing and to visit the sheep and alpaca and dogs and a miniature donkey named Bilbo among other things.  Tammy shears and spins and nurses lambs and dyes and bakes amazing pies -- sometimes on a live feed.  She's pretty much the Wonder Woman of fiber farm life.  She hosted a natural dye workshop recently that I would have loved to attend.  And -- the cherry on the cake --  Tammy is a gifted writer.  Visit her blog at: Wing and a Prayer Farm.

We ended the weekend with a visit to our friend Martha who lives on a farm in the Adirondack Park.  She raises sheep, chicken, turkeys, and pigs.  We were treated to a delicious dinner of pork cooked with apples and her own maple syrup, and roasted vegetables from her garden.  Martha sent us away with our very own pints of syrup -- a gift worth its weight in gold!

Martha's Farm
Our other big news is: Barb and I will be vending at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week in August 2017.  Sauder is one of the premiere rug shows in the country, and we are honored to have been invited.  I'm going to teach a class, too!  More on this soon.  For now, it's back to the drawing board -- I need to make up some new patterns for Rhinebeck!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Hallockville Fall Festival & the Peconic Ruggers Rug Show

Two weeks and counting to our first show of the year.  We love this one -- Hallockville has always embraced folk art and my guild, the Peconic Ruggers, is honored and thrilled to be able to present our biennial rug show in the beautiful Naugles barn during the annual Fall Festival.  

I am busy working away -- getting my hooked pig finished to enter into the guild's "Pulled Pork" Challenge. In addition, I am hooking up some new pumpkins and dreaming up some new Christmas designs.  That's not an easy feat when it is hot and steamy outside . . . 

Here is the information for the Hallockville Fall Festival.  Please join us for this fun-filled weekend.
                                                                  Hallockville Museum Farm
               Saturday and Sunday,  September 10 & 11, 2016 10am-5pm both days. RAIN OR SHINE!
                                         6038 Sound Avenue, Riverbed, NY 11901 631-298-5292

My sister Barb of thimblefolk has whipped up another bunch of Halloweenies for the show.  If can't come to the Festival, but are interested in purchasing one of her creations, you can email her at

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Blogging the Way It Should Be

I have always had good intentions toward my blog.  I love to write and I love to rug hook, so why not just do it?  Recently I've fallen into the two online holes of Instagram and Pinterest, and I have been ignoring my blog, as well as other people's blogs.   I find I dislike the cookie cutter blogs with lots of ads in between posts and pop up boxes that you have to x out of.  There must be a cheap template out there.  Cookie cutter stuff turns me off.

Last week I once again read a rug hooking blog that I have admired for a long time: Mary Jane's Rugs.   She writes about rug hooking and art and travel so thoughtfully.  She takes the time to research her subjects and illustrates her posts beautifully. She's the blogger I aspire to be.  Imagine my surprise when I received an email from her the other day, asking to feature one of my rugs on her blog!  And then imagine my surprise when she had it written and posted the very next day!  

I hope you will hop on over to Mary Jane's Rugs and read her latest post, as well as all the others.

Many thanks to Mary Jane for the feature.

Monday, August 15, 2016


Hot as Hades. Hot as blazes.  Hot as hell. Hot as the devil's kitchen.  Hot as ten thousand suns in one. Hot as pepper. Hot as love's flaming climate. Huh?  Yes, I've been looking up similes for "hot." It seems to be all we talk about, think about, and swear about. I've had it. I want 72 degrees and a cool breeze off the bay.

My guild, the Peconic Ruggers, had their annual August hook in on Saturday. We were to meet in the basement of a church with no air conditioning. Not. Thanks to our very smart member Sue, we moved across the street to the library and hooked in the frigid air of the children's room.

Of course, I am blaming my lack of productivity on the heat -- its an easy scapegoat. I think I need some sunlight and vitamin D after spending a month in the air conditioning. I have made several 3-D sunflowers, a project I taught my class last week. I'm working on a tutorial for my followers on Instagram.  I've also been working on some new needle punch designs and trying to find a new source of wool thread for them.  

Fall is fast approaching, even though it doesn't feel like it.  My rug designing colleagues are all working on Halloween and Christmas designs . . .  I'm not so sure I will catch up! Our first show of the season is the Hallockville Fall Festival, September 10 and 11, 2016.  My guild, the Peconic Ruggers, will host their biennial rug show in the Naugles Barn during the Festival. I think that deadline will help me get in gear at long last . . . 

Please send some sweet condolences to Cathy at Orange Sink/The Red House Wool Studio. Her mother passed away on Saturday.  She could use some wooly hugs.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Sleepless in Southold Town

I'm calling this The Summer of Exhaustion.  I am almost always tired what with Cairo's constant coughing.  He is doing much better on his medication, and we are heading to the vet on Monday to re-evaluate what he is on. He sleeps about 5 hours straight now, but that isn't enough for me.  Lack of sleep coupled with my daughter and her boyfriend being here for 10 days, friends for dinner, more overnight guests,  plumbing problems, and cancelled flights, I'm pretty bleary-eyed.

The hot weather has been relentless.  The central air is running constantly, and my garden is drying up.  We are having our first real rain in weeks today, so that is good.  The fireflies like the hot, dry weather -- there are hundreds of them overnight.  I love them.

I should be looking toward my autumn shows -- the stores are sticked for back-to-school buying -- but I just can't seem to do it. Something to do with my time management skills, or my perception of time and how much I can get finished within a deadline.  I think its hereditary, since my sister and my daughter suffer from the same thing.  I'm hoping that turning the calendar page to August will jump start some creativity . . .  One can always hope.

My rug hooking guild, the Peconic Ruggers, is hosting a hook in on Saturday, August 13, 2016, 10 am to 3 pm.  It is open to all.  Bring something to work on, something to show, and your lunch.  We'll also be talking about our upcoming rug show to be held in the Naugles Barn during the Hallockville Fall Festival, September 10 & 11.  We will transform the barn into a rug wonderland, and several vendors will be selling rug hooking supplies.  It's a wonderful show and you should come see it!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

I'm Back

I've been distracted the last few months.  We had the spring shows to prepare for, and  Cairo, our 14-year-old Jack Russell has been suffering from chronic rhinitis for a long time.  It is getting worse.  I had more than a month of sleepless nights because of his coughing and panting and sneezing.  The vet and I have finally come up with a concoction of medications to keep him comfortable and to allow me to sleep.  The lack of sleep really threw me off my game.  Writing used to be almost like breathing for me, but the habit disappeared when my foggy brain struggled to stay awake.

Summer is in full swing here in Greenport.  Yesterday I had to reprimand a tourist in the Shelter Island ferry line who wanted to go through a stop sign.  He thought I was going to take his place in line when I was just trying to get home.  The crowds are the difficult part of living in place so lovely that tourists flock to it.  That said, Pete and I took the canoe out to Hallocks Bay the other day for the first clamming expedition of the season.  We grilled some and I made stuffed clams, added some fresh- picked lettuce from Pete's vegetable garden and we ate until we were sated.  This is one of the things I love most about living here -- we can grow or forage for our own food for a large part of the year.  

I am going to do some housekeeping this morning, then set up my hooking on the front porch.  A thunderstorm last night left a clear, bright sky today, and I am going to take advantage of it.