Friday, November 4, 2016

Fiber Festival of New England

Please join us at the Fiber Festival of New England this weekend, November 5 and 6, 2016 at the Big E in Springfield, Massachusetts.  We are once again in booth 457 East.

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.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Quiet Corner Hook-In

The Quiet Corner Guild in Connecticut is having a hook-in on Saturday, June 18, from 9 to 3 at the South Woodstock, CT Fairgrounds.  The cost is $15, which includes door prizes, a raffle ticket, snacks and beverages all day. $5 for walk-in vendor shopping only.  

Vendors: Benita Raleigh, Margaret Arraj, Sandy Mariecki, Yankee Peddler, Paisley Studio, Fluff & Peachy Bean, Donna Swanson, Joyce DiGregorio Design, Seaside Rug Hooking, and Raven's Gate Primitives.

Woodstock FairgroundRte. 169 & 171Woodstock, CT 062819:00am-3:00pm

The Peconic Ruggers will meet on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 at the Cutchogue Presbyterian Church from 7 to 9.  Bring a project to work on and something for show and tell.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Going to the Fair . . .

The Country Living Fair, that is!

Barb and I are headed up to Rhinebeck today to set up our booth.  The Fair opens bright and early tomorrow morning.  The fairgrounds are a sight to behold once Stella Shows get their hands on it, so come and see for yourself!  I've got 2 new cow mats to show you!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Long Time, No Write

I fell off the blog wagon.  I was lured away to other social media -- I love Instagram, and was very fond of Pinterest, though lately I am really tired of all the stupid "What to Shop for at Trader Joe's" type postings and the links to a bunch of blogs that were created using the same "Use Pinterest to Earn $1000 a Month" website.  They all feature the exact same layout, with a photo of a young woman with some pithy comments describing her life and LOTS of ads that float across your computer screen as you scroll through thousands of photographs and inane stories trying to get to the actual recipe you want.  I have to admit to sending a lot of time on Facebook, too, with all its stupid tests -- "Can You Spell These Words Correctly?" and, even worse, silly animal videos.  I skip over all that and look at the hooked rugs, and news from relatives, thank you very much.

When my students told me this morning that reading my bimonthly email was like reading a story, I realized I had better get back to real writing on my blog and leave the other stuff -- except for Instagram -- to people who have a lot of time to waste.  Writing has always been where my heart is and I miss it.  So here I am, climbing back on the wagon.

Barb and I started our spring season of vending a week and a half ago at the Connecticut Sheep & Wool Festival.  It was lovely and warm this year -- in the past we have had to take turns sitting in the car with the motor running to warm up.  It is a small festival, but sweet, and we were happy to see lots of our friends and fellow fiber enthusiasts.  Several members of the Quiet Corner Rug Guild stopped in.  They are getting ready for their Hook In at the Woodstock, Connecticut Fairgrounds in June. (See the sidebar for more information.)  Barb and I will be there vending again. 

We will also be at the Long Island Fleece and Fiber Fair this coming weekend.  LIFFF is close to my heart and a close to my home.  It is held at Hallockville Museum Farm in Riverhead, New York.  I have been a member there for many years.  It is where I first demonstrated rug hooking almost 25 years ago.  The museum is a big supporter of all the local guilds.  I will be teaching a needle punch embroidery class there as well, on June 11.

The Country Living Fair at the Duchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, New York is the first weekend of June.  It's a big show, very well run by Stella Management, and brings the pages of the magazine to life.  This will be our second year there.  Be sure to come visit us!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Another Sad Day

Thinking about the people of Brussels this morning.  Wishing the world wasn't so evil.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Mourning Doves

I woke early on Sunday morning and sat on the sofa with the dog. We watched the sun rise over the tiny sliver of Peconic Bay that I can see from my front windows during the winter months.  The two mourning doves that nest in our wisteria-covered pergola every year were cooing loudly at six o'clock in the morning.  They lifted my spirit -- spring must be on its way.

I'm sad to say that Pete's father, Joe, passed away just days after we returned from our vacation.  He would have been 99 on the Fourth of July this year.  He was taking his morning walk at the nursing home and slowly collapsed to the floor.  Although his body wore out over his long life, his mind was still sharp.  Being in the nursing home was difficult for him, but his physical ailments made it a necessity.  Pete's mother, Betty, who is 95, visited him daily.  

We scrambled to find flights to the midwest, and had to drive through a snowstorm to get to Kennedy airport.  Planes were delayed and we were late meeting Clara in Minneapolis and getting to the family viewing on Friday night.  The funeral home stayed open so we could say goodbye, and the entire family -- 24 all together -- waited for us.  Saturday was -- needless to say -- emotional and moving.  Joe, a physician by trade, was a woodsman at heart, and Betty ordered a beautiful blanket made of pine boughs, cedar, pinecones, fungus and lotus for the coffin.  The cemetery was covered in snow, and as the coffin was lowered, Betty made a snowball and placed it on the coffin -- a sweet gesture.

We returned to the church for a luncheon and visits with family and friends.  When our funeral party returned to the hotel, we met a wedding party and discovered that Joe had delivered the bride and her 8 siblings many years before.  An ending and a new beginning.  The circle of life.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Paradise Lost

We are home again, after ten lovely days of sun in the Caribbean.   Actually, paradise is not lost -- our little village is just another sort of paradise, and, although we love St. John dearly,  we are happy to be home again and sleeping in our own bed.  We are glad to have Cairo home.  His leg has healed up a bit.  Although he will always limp, he can go for a walk now.  we made it almost all the way to the beach today, for the first time in a month.

Caribbean Cosmo on the balcony of Asolare, my favorite restaurant in Cruz Bay
I'm still getting back into our routine after doing several loads of laundry, paying bills, grocery shopping.  I took yesterday afternoon off.  I sat in the sun with the dog under a duvet and finished a book.  It was great.  Today, however, I am diving back into work.  I have lots of ideas for new patterns, and I am preparing for a class on sculpted hooking with my students and for a beginner needle punch embroidery class to be held at Hallockville Museum Farm.  And it will just be a blink of the eye before our shows start up again.

It won't be long before the forsythia blooms and the daffodils bloom.  I'm looking forward to that!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Slow Start to the New Year

I've been dawdling since Christmas.  We had a lovely and exhausting holiday season.  Clara came home with her significant other for 10 days.  We took a day trip to Connecticut for Christmas dinner with my extended family -- the first time in a long time.  Our almost 14-year-old dog Cairo tore a ligament in his hind leg running around like a crazy man after a bath.  He can't have surgery, so I've bee administering anti-inflammatory and pain pills twice a day, and carrying him just about everywhere. I had one class gathering, and our guild's holiday party, but I haven't done much work.  And now we're jetting off to sun and fun for a few days.  What a life, huh?

I'm actually writing this on the airplane.  It's been quite a morning. We woke at 3:45 and were out of the house by 4:20.  We made it to JFK in plenty of time, but getting from the car to the plane was brutal in the 20 degree air.  We dressed lightly so we wouldn't be over-encumbered when we arrived in St. John.  We checked our bag and were sent on a shuttle to another terminal, where I overhead an attendant say our flight was actually leaving from the terminal we had just come from.  We got back on the bus and walked a mile or two and found our gate.

Our seats on the plane were occupied by a woman and her very young daughter who wanted to sit together, so Pete gallantly moved to the rear.  An attendant said we could move forward once boarding was completed if there were any empty seats.  But another attendant moved me to the back, because the other open seats were "extended comfort" seats and cost $49 more and she would have to charge us.  Meanwhile, my 6 foot 3 inch husband is accordion-ed into a seat next to a couple and their 6-month old baby boy.  The head attendant came by told my husband to move to the extended comfort seat, so we high-tailed it forward to the emergency exit row.  We were told that this was a gift, usually we would be charged, and if we sat here, we had to agree to help during an emergency.  So a traveler not only has to pay more for these seats, but they also have to work for them if the plane crashes.  Not much of a bargain.  This is our third airlplane flight in the last 6 months, all on different airlines, and I have to say, Delta is the worst.  The seats are smooshed together so even short people feel like sardines.  I miss the old days when travelers actually checked bags and received a choice of hot meals on real plates.  But I guess that dates me.

We've been trying to sleep, but the obligatory offer of a drink and peanuts keeps waking us up.  The woman in the row in front of us just ordered vodka on the rocks and its 11 AM.  It's hard not to be in everybody's business when sitting so close.  But maybe she has a good idea . . . I think a straight vodka would knock me out -- if I could manage to swallow it.

I'm going to close my eyes again, at least to rest.  I'm looking forward to sunshine and trade winds and lots of snorkeling.  I'm a lucky girl.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year!

I'm back in the saddle again, after weeks of prepping for and celebrating the holidays.  I've been filling out applications, buying insurance and booking hotel rooms for our shows this year, which I've listed in the side bar on the right side of the blog.  I will post them to Facebook as well.  

My resolution this year is to get through the pile of UFOs in my studio.  They include the big bird rug I started in August and put aside, the sheep mat I started in September, the proddy I call the Rug in the Grey Flannel suit that I started several years ago, and the large basket weave hit-or-miss that is also several years old.  There are many smaller things that need finishing, too, but I won't bore you with that list.  I'm thinking if I commit to posting some sort of finish every Friday I'll feel obligated to get to them.  We'll see.

I've been tending to my poor little old Jack Russell Terrier Cairo, who tore a ligament in one of his hind legs last week.  He has to lose a pound, and stay quiet for several weeks.  No surgery -- he is 14 and the anesthesia would probably kill him -- just rest for the inflammation and to let scar tissue form and stabilize the leg.  It is like having a baby again.  My biceps are getting a work out because I carry him everywhere.

We have our first below freezing weather today -- even a few flurries -- but the temps are ring up again in a day or so.  Such a mild winter -- much needed after last year's cold and snowy one.  It's a good time to get hooking.