Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Holidays, One and All!

My daughter and her boyfriend are heading home for the holiday, so I have been cleaning and baking and cooking and wrapping to get ready.  Can't wait!  I hope you all have a marvelous and merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

It's December

I'm sitting at my kitchen island, watching the afternoon light wane in the west and listening to the foghorn lumbering across the bay.  I am grateful to be here in my comfortable home, making plans for the coming holiday when my daughter will be home and I can hold her close.  While we had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends in Massachusetts, we missed Clara, and came home to the news that two dear friends had died.  Both were remarkable woman: one was my age, the other old enough to be my mother.  But no matter how old, or how sick, or how wonderfully they lived their lives, it is hard to say goodbye. 

I am not doing a good job in the blogging department, am I?  I seem to only manage a post or two a month these days -- even though lots of stuff is happening.    Hmmm, I see a New Year's Resolution coming on . . . .

Barb and I have just finished up our busy show season.  We had a great weekend at the Fiber Festival of New England.  The whole thing proceeded smoothly -- from set up to tear down.  We have the most delightful next door neighbors there -- sisters Jenn and Cheryl of June Pryce Fiber -- and we get to see the gang from Wool and Dye Works, and Dan Tracy the woodworker and his wife Lorraine, and our other favorite set of sisters, Jen and Melissa of Going Gnome, and Sandy of Cozy Rabbit Farm. You get the idea: one big, happy fiber family.  We had good sales, too.

Pete and I went to Toronto for a long weekend, where we ate lots of good food and saw the fabulous rug show at the Textile Museum of Canada.  They have a great collection -- which you can view on line here: hooked rugs.  We also went to the Art Gallery of Ontario, which has an amazing room full of Henry Moore's original plasters for many of sculptures.  Saturday morning is market day, so we walked down to the St. Lawrence Market for breakfast.  We did some shopping, too, since the exchange rate is so good.  

Now it is time to get ready for Christmas.  I listened to carols in the car today, and started choosing what cookies I will make this year.  Despite the long nights and the sense of loss lately, life is good.

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?

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.

Monday, June 22, 2015

27 Years Ago Today . . .

. . . my beautiful daughter arrived!

Happy Birthday, Clara Jane!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Southold Rug Show

My friend Marilyn Bottjer is having a rug show this month, opening tonight.  Please come if you can.

Country Lane, Cutchogue

A Hooked rug exhibit featuring works
By fiber artist Marilyn Bottjer

Cosden-price gallery in the reichert family center
Southold Historical society
54127 Main Road, Southold, NY

June 13 – June 27, 2015
Thursday-Saturday, 1-4pm.
Opening reception Friday, June 12, 2015
5:30 – 7 pm

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


I'm back from the whirlwind of the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck.  I've spent the last couple of days cleaning out the car and cleaning up my studio, which looked like a hurricane hit it.  Of course, it was so busy, I didn't take any photographs!  Go to Instagram and use the hashtag #clfair and you will get a good idea of the abundance available this past weekend.  Architectural antiques and collectibles were plentiful.  
Our crowded booth on Saturday

My favorite shops were the ones that sold buttons -- Grandmother's Buttons and The Button Shop.  I also liked the mid-century modern silhouettes of Wendy Schultz Wubbels -- she's completely changed her subject matter from traditional silhouettes to Eames chairs and more.  They were really stunning.  I also loved all the topiaries people were selling -- myrtle and rosemary and something called honeysuckle boxwood -- light green and feathery -- that I had never seen before.  

The best part of the weekend was seeing old friends and customers -- lots of rug hookers came by -- and meeting Instagram and blogger friends. ( Hello to Marilu at 518Frenchgirl!  Marilu just recently started blogging about rug hooking, so you should go visit her.) 

The show is remarkably well-run by Stella Show Management.  They had bag checks in couple of places, lots of food available, and even had a moving and shipping company available for furniture and large items.  There were even vendor stalls in the restrooms so we didn't have to wait in line!  Stella has been doing fairs for a long time and it shows.

I'm already thinking about next year.  Although a very expensive show to do, I think it has a lot of potential.  We'll see how it goes  . . . .

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Heading to the Country . . . . the Country Living Fair!

Barb and I have been working our fingers to the bone getting ready for a really big show -- the Country Living Magazine Fair in Rhinebeck, NY.   We head out tomorrow morning so we will be ready to open at 8:30 AM on Friday morning.  We are in Building 31, Booth 12.  Stop and see us -- we have lots of new stuff for you!

I won't be able to answer the phone or emails until next week.  I'm also closing my easy shop for the duration.  Sorry!  But I will be back on track soon.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Class is Cancelled Tomorrow!

We have to postpone the Bee Happy Needle Punch class scheduled for tomorrow at the Farmhouse Quilt Company.  It will take place next Tuesday, May 26, 10 to 3.  Sorry for the delay!  Call Janet at 631-236-6030 to reserve a spot.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Where Am I?

I am here, just not posting much.  I'm going through one of those lulls.  I'm not writing much, and I'm not reading other peoples' blogs.  Sorry.  It is partly the nice weather and all the yard work and trying to ride my bicycle more often, and it is partly getting ready for classes and shows.  It's all good, but I've been absent.  

I have a couple of new designs ready, which I will have this weekend at the Long Island Fleece and Fiber Fair at Hallockville Museum Farm this weekend.  I love this show -- because it is close to home and I get to see all my friends and neighbors and because I love Hallockville.  It is a sweet, small museum run by the tireless Executive Director Herb Strobel and his trusty sidekick, Assistant Director Beth Motschenbacher and lots of volunteers.  I have been a member for years, and I have demonstrated rug hooking there in one manner or another for the last two decades.  It feels like home.

Here's the information for this year's Fleece and Fiber Fair:


Hallockville Museum Farm  6038 Sound Avenue  Riverhead, NY 11901 631-298-5292
May 16 & 17, 2015 10am- 4pm both days- Rain or Shine!
The Long Island Fleece and Fiber Fair is the first of its kind in the region to bring together the diversity of fiber arts activities! Visitors will see and learn how local artisans craft wool and other animal fiber into beautiful finished pieces of clothing and art. The fair provides two fun-filled days of demonstrations and hands-on learning that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Visit both days for a variety of demonstrations, workshops and local artisans selling their handmade supplies and products in the Naugles Barn Fiber Market! There is something for everyone.
The setting for the Fair is like nowhere else on Long Island- the various activities and demonstrations take place throughout the picturesque Hallockville Museum Farm campus and in the historic buildings that date back to 1765.  Food vendors sell a variety of freshly-prepared lunch items for guests to enjoy while relaxing in the picnic area shaded by apple trees. If you are visiting from New York city, you may purchase tickets to ride on the private charter coach by following the red button at right. Sit back and relax as the bus takes you door-to-door from Manhattan to the Fair!
For the safety of all animals on display at the event, please leave your dogs and pets at home. Thank you for your cooperation.
Admission rate per day:
$6 adults/ $4 ages 5-12, ages 4 & under are free. Family rate of 2 adults+2kids, or 1 adult + 3 kids is $15.
All admission fees directly support the not-for-profit educational mission of Hallockville Museum Farm.

Demonstrations and Activities Include:

Animal Displays- Meet the sheep, llamas, alpacas and angora rabbits that provide the fleece and fiber needed to make fiber goods like yarn!
Basketweaving- Learn how plant fibers are woven into baskets and other functional pieces.
Sheep Herding- Watch expert herders and their trained Border Collies move a flock of sheep across the pasture.
Llama Obstacle Course- The Long Island Livestock Company Youth Showteam will lead the llamas through the paces of various obstacles in a display of fancy footwork!
Sheep & Llama Shearing- Learn how fiber is harvested during informative demonstrations by an expert shearer.
Carding and Spinning- See raw fiber being de-tangled and teased apart to prepare for the next part of the process, spinning. Watch spinners at their wheels turn fiber into spun yarn!
Dyeing- Learn how natural and chemical dyes transform fleece and wool into every color under the rainbow.
Knitting- Watch knitters up close as they work on a variety of wearable pieces. Plus pick up new techniques you can use on your own projects.
Needle Felting- Learn about how you can create sculptures from wool felt with this interesting technique. NEW! this year we are offering a one-hour workshop on May 16 at 11:30 during the Fair. Details and sign up here.
Rug-Hooking- Watch and learn as skilled rug hookers demonstrate this craft.
Weaving- The Hallockville looms will be on display to see how fiber can be woven into cloth, and other pieces such as shawls and tapestries.
Quilting- Quilting artisans will demonstrate this technique and you can even try it out yourself!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Warming Up

The weather is delightful today!  The cherry trees and lilacs are ready to burst -- and it is about time!

I will be at Open Hooking tomorrow, at Farmhouse Quilt Company, 10 Am to 3 PM.  I threatened to bring marguerites for Cinquo de Mayo, but that's a little too early to start drinking . . .   we'll be too busy hooking, anyway.

I am working slowly on my new Bee Happy pattern, which I have available as both a rug pattern and a needle punch pattern.  Of course, my two Judys have made more progress than me.  Here is Judy Warasila's finished piece.

And here are a couple more of Judy's newly finished pieces.  yes, this is a case of the student outperforming the teacher!

Here is my needle punch version of Bee Happy.  I'll be teaching a class on it on Tuesday, May 19, and again on Saturday, May 30 at Farmhouse Quilt Company.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Open Hooking Today!

I will be teaching at the Farmhouse Quilt Company today from 10 to 3.  If you need some color planning assistance, or just some good company, come and spend the day with us!  More information on my Classes page.