Thursday, November 12, 2015

Here I am!

We've had a busy fall with several shows -- the biggest of which is the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, New York.  I swear 50,000 people went through the barns over the course of the weekend.  It was crazy busy and profitable and full of germs.  I came home with a cold that knocked me for a loop.  I didn't even get to take pictures of the booth until Sunday morning, after we rearranged the whole thing.

Our booth at Rhinebeck, Sunday Morning

You know I love the sheep . . . 
My cold put a damper on preparations for the Fiber Festival of New England, which happened this past weekend at the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, Massachusetts.  But we still did well and got to visit with old and new friends.  We are a little squished in the booth there, so we are trying for a larger one next year.
Our booth at NEFF

My friend Melissa VanSant's  Santa, designed by Mary Ellen Wolff
We have one show left -- the Country Parlor Holiday Sale at Hallockville Museum Farm, the three days after Thanksgiving.  Barb and I don't attend that one -- we deliver our stuff and Barbara Blossey Chuvalas waves her magic wand and turns the Naugles barn into a winter wonderland of handmade gifts.  It is a sight to see and a great place to find special presents for special people.

I hosted my first class here at home -- the ladies I had been teaching at Farmhouse Quilt Company.  It was a joy to have them here.  There's no better way to send a day than hooking, talking and laughing.  Can't wait to have them back.
My delightful students
Judy and her newest rug 
My husband's birthday is tomorrow -- Friday the 13th.  He was born on a Friday the 13th and his 95-year-old mother still says that Friday the 13th is her lucky day.  We will have a festive weekend, then it is back to the work table on Monday.

The Peconic Ruggers will meet this coming Tuesday, November 17 at the Cutchogue Presbyterian Church, 7 to 9 if you would like to join us.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

First Fiber Festival of the Fall Done and Dusted

Barb and I spent the weekend at the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival in Greenwich, NY, just outside of Saratoga Springs.  It's a sweet little festival -- sort of the counterpart and counterpoint to the NewYork Sheep and Wool Festival (coming up soon!) in Rhinebeck.  While there are fewer vendors, there are fewer attendees, too, which means you get to have real conversations without feeling hurried.  We have lots of friends there, both vendors and customers, and it is so great to see them.  People like friends  JoAnne, Dale and Bonnie, and Carol and Debbie, Pat at Mt. Rutson Studio and Jen and Melissa the Going Gnome girls.

As always, there were sheep and goats galore, sheep dog trials, and lots of good food.  Sadly, the nuns with the cashmere goats were just back from Africa and the guy with organic lamb kebabs was at his daughter's wedding, so we missed them this year.

We stayed -- unfortunately -- at the Turf and Spa motel in Saratoga Springs.  It's stuck in the 50s -- and I think the carpet in the room is as old as at least that old.  It has a great sign, but we won't be going back there.

Next up is the big one: the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY.  It's only two weeks from tomorrow, so I have to get back to work!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Still Summer

Except for Monday morning, which was deliciously chilly, it is still hot and steamy here.  I never thought I would say this after last winter, but I am ready for some cold weather.  I am tomatoed and peached out.  Pete had a bumper crop of both this year.  We've canned and frozen a lot for the winter, and we have been eating tomatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner -- no lie.  I'm looking forward to butternut squash.

I am working away on new fall and winter designs, some of which will premier next weekend -- September 26 & 27, 2015 -- at the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival.  The festival is held at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Greenwich, NY, just east of Saratoga Springs.  As always, we hope to see you there!

I'm also battling an end-of-summer cold -- not too bad, but bad enough.  I wore myself out at my nephew's wedding last Saturday.  Too much partying for this aging hooker!  Clara caught the bride's bouquet -- and her long time boyfriend didn't seem to mind at all.  Maybe she will be next . . . 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Goofy Gourd

I put the bird rug aside for awhile, and decided to hook a fall mat.  I designed this pattern for needle punch a few years ago and decided it would work well for a rug.  I love it.  It looks like a wood cut with the thick black outlines.  I'll be listing it in my etsy shop.

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?