Friday, November 3, 2017

Fiber Festival of New England

I'm on the ferry, heading up to the Eastern States Exposition for the Fiber Festival of New England.  This is the last away show of the year for me, and I have to say, it will be a relief to stay put in Greenport for awhile. Barb and I will once again be in booth 457 East, with lots of delicious wool for rug hooking and appliqué, as well as miniature needle punch supplies and finished goods.  So come and see us!

This year has been remarkable for me on the rug hooking side: my work was featured in my friend Tracy Jamar's wonderful book Coils, Folds, Twists and Turns: Contemporary Techniques in Fiber (I have a few copies to sell this weekend), and I was invited to teach and vend at Sauder Village Rug Week -- an honor and a delight, to be sure.  My work will also be included in a show at the V.S.O.P. Gallery in Greenport -- more on that to follow.

On the personal side, dealing with Pete's T-PLL (a rare and very aggressive type of Leukemia) has been life-changing, to say the least.  We live with many restrictions, but Pete has sailed through the process of chemo and the stem cell transplant with relative ease -- until a few weeks ago.  The disease has reared its horribly ugly head again, and his white blood cell count is climbing.  He received a boost of donor stem cells that had been frozen back in April on Friday.  Wednesday he began a round of a chemo drug to boost the efficacy of the donor cells.  At the end of a long day at the clinic, he was diagnosed with a blood clot in his left leg and had to be taught to inject himself with a blood thinner.  Thursday morning he faced debilitating nausea.  That's under control now, or I wouldn't have left him for the weekend (some special neighbors are keeping a watchful eye on him for me).  

The coming year will see us continuing the battle for Pete's health, as well as planning our daughter's wedding to be held on the shores of Peconic Bay next September.  It's so good to have something joyous to plan and participate in, in between trips to the clinic. We look forward to having Clara, Josh and their golden retriever puppy, Bernadette, with us at home often in the coming months while we plan and execute the wedding of their dreams.

I started writing this because of all the sickly people on the ferry this morning.  So many people are coughing and sneezing and spreading germs and really should be at home.  I have managed -- with lots of prolonged hand-washing and gallons of Purell and lots of Clorox wipes - to stay healthy for the past year so that Pete can stay healthy, too.  A cold is no longer just a cold to me, now that I know what a catastrophe it can be to a person with a compromised immune system.  All you sickies should be home in bed until you are no longer contagious! Someone's life may depend on it!  I'm going to be royally ticked off if I get sick from a ferry ride . . . 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A New Name, Same Fabulous Fiber Fest

The Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival is now the Adirondack Wool and Arts Festival!  Always the third weekend in September, this fine festival outside of Saratoga Springs, New York, is a delight.  The weather is usually perfect, and the leaves are just starting to change, making for a great weekend out in the open air.
Adults $5, Kids 13 and under free.

Saturday, September 23rd
10 am to 5 pm.

Sunday, September 24th,
10 am to 4 pm.
Barb and I will be heading up on Friday to set up our booth.  We are, once again, in Building 12, Booth 7 -- the building you go through right at the entrance!  We have some beautiful hand-dyed  and mill-dyed wool fabric for rug hookers and quilters, and I have some new pattern designs for you as well as old favorites.  Please come see us!

Here is the website: Adirondack Wool & Arts Festival   There's a $1 off coupon on their home page!  Hope to see you there.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Hallockville Fall Festival

I'll be demonstrating rug hooking in the Peconic Ruggers' tent at Hallockville tomorrow if you'd like to join me.  This Fall Festival is always fun for everyone.  Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Some of the Rugs at Sauder

Octopus, Simone Vojvodin, Parkhill, Ontario

The Conspiracy, Marion Sachs, York, Pennsylvania

Merry Christmas, Norma Batastini, Glen Ridge, NJ

Steampunk Michael, Donna Hrkman, Dayton, Ohio

No Greater Love, Donna Hrkman, Dayton, Ohio

Nick at Night, Donna Hrkman, Dayton, Ohio
Speaking Shakespeare, Marian Hall.  Designed by Marion Hall & Ellen Banker

Sushi Deluxe, Wayne Bressler, NYC, NY

Ancient Egypt, Tatiana Knodel, Sudbury, Ontario

Nagari, Denny Seller, designed by Leonard Freeman

Our Booth

Friday, August 11, 2017

Setting Off for Sauder Soon . . .

I've been a whirling dervish the last few weeks, dyeing and pattern-making and pricing and planning. Barb and I leave for Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week at the crack of dawn on Monday.  I'm excited to present our style to a whole new crew of rug hookers, and really excited to be teaching a class, too.
Some of the hand-dyed wool we will have for sale

Some of the patterns we will have for sale
A nice selection of out-of-print books will be available, too
My etsy shop will be closed while I am away and will reopen at the end of August.  Also, classes are suspended until September, and will then be open to only those who are currently enrolled.  sorry, but I have to keep the class size small because of my husband's medical condition.

Speaking of my husband Pete, he hit his 100 day mark (100 days since transplant) on August 5, and he is continuing to do well.  The doctor has started to wean him off the Cyclosporine, which has been holding his immune system in check.  When I get back from Ohio we can go out to dinner to a "reputable" restaurant!  It's been 10 months or so since we've been out to eat.  We are both looking forward to a change of pace . . . 

Please come and see us if you are in or near Ohio next week!  Here is the information for Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week 2017:

Dates & Hours:

Exhibit:  Wednesday – Saturday, August 16 - 19, 2017,
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Admission:

    Tickets into the Rug Hooking Week and entire Historic Village... Adults - $17.00, Students (6-16) - $11.00 (Senior, Military and AAA discounts apply)
    Tickets into just the Rug Hooking Week  - $11.00 (Must be purchased in Founder's Hall where exhibit is located.)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Did Some Dyeing Last Night

I'm getting ready to head to Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week, August 14 through 19, 2017.  Barb and I will be vending, and I am teach a workshop called Why Whip? Interesting Edges to Enhance Your Hooked Rugs.  The darker blue -- I call it Anthem Blue -- is stock for our booth next month.The lighter blue is the background for the bird rug I started a few years ago while on vacation in Northern Wisconsin.  It's about time to complete it, don't you think?  I'm hoping to have it ready to display in our booth at Sauder.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, July 7, 2017


I was scrolling down my Facebook page a couple of days ago and saw a post entitled "Top 60 Rug Hooking Blogs & Websites for Rug Hookers."  There I was -- number 21.  I laughed so hard I nearly fell off the couch.  I haven't posted since April, before that January.  I have been the least active blogger I know.  Part of the blame goes to Instagram, which I love, and part to Facebook, which I don't love so much, but which can be a great tool for keeping abreast of things.  But most of the blame goes to T-Prolymphocytic Leukemia, a rare and aggressive cancer that my husband Peter has been fighting since late October.

Illness can be all consuming, but when it is rare, and when the only specialist who takes a patient's insurance practices 91 miles away, there is no time left for normal life.  We are lucky to have insurance through the Affordable Care Act, lucky to have found the three amazing women who lead our medical team at North Shore University Hospital, lucky that Pete's brother Bill was a perfect match and donated his stem cells for a transplant -- the only option to keep Pete alive.  And while we sometimes bemoan the fact that we can't travel, can't go out to dinner, can't have houseplants, can't swim or bike ride (the list of don'ts is 12 pages long!), we are so very lucky that Pete is recovering. His hair is even growing back!

We spent our 32nd anniversary last month making a list all the places we will visit when the doctors tell us Pete's immune system is strong enough for travel.  First stop: Wisconsin to see my 97-year-old mother-in-law and spend time at the family cabin on Lake Superior.  Second stop -- maybe the Galapagos or a cooking school in Burgundy or the Retiti Elephant Sanctuary in Kenya.  We're dreaming big, and as soon as we can, we'll be living big, too.

It's taken me a while, but I'm getting used to our new normal.  The first two weeks after Pete's discharge from the hospital were terrifying, knowing I was now responsible for him and an hour and a half drive away from the doctor.  Our little 15-year-old Jack Russell became very ill a few days after Pete returned home and had to be put to sleep.  That was tough, but also a relief.  I was up all night every night taking care of him, and was so exhausted I neared my breaking point.  I have help with the house and the yard now, and Pete has learned to enjoy grocery shopping (wearing a mask and gloves, of course) and cooking.  Since most of his work is computer based, he has been able to work the entire time -- even through two hospital stays totalling more than six weeks. We have wonderful, supportive family and friends who help us in so many ways.   So, all in all, life is limited, but life is good.

I am teaching two rug hooking classes twice a month, and my talented students keep me on my toes and give me some structure, as does my fall schedule of fiber festivals and shows.  Right now I am preparing for vending and teaching at the renowned Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week, August 14 through 19.  I'm hoping this post is the start of more consistant  blogging, since writing is something I love to do . . .  and I need to earn my spot on the list of "Best Rug Hooking Blogs on the Planet."

Friday, April 14, 2017

Spring Has Sprung!

The daffodils are up, the forsythia is in bloom, and the robins are collecting bits and bobs and building their nests.  We have two mourning doves that are setting up shop on our pergola in the twists and turns of the wisteria vine.  Spring is here!  And so are the springtime fiber festivals.
This mug rug will be available at the Connecticut Sheep & Wool Festival

The 108th Connecticut Sheep and Wool Festival is a mere two weeks away.  Sponsored by the Connecticut Sheep Breeders Association, it is located at the Tolland Agricultaral Center on Route 30 in Vernon, Connecticut.  Saturday, April 29, 2017, 9 am to 4 pm.  Barb and I will be in the green building, which is pretty faded unless they've repainted it since last year.  We are listed in the program under Barb's business name, thimblefolk.  For more information and directions go to: CT Sheep & Wool
I may be making up a kit for this little sachet.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Coils, Folds, Twists, and Turns

My friend Tracy Jamar has a new book out and she will be selling and signing copies Saturday, February 4, 2017 at the


in East Hampton

February 4, 2017
Saturday  10:00 AM
70 Springs Fireplace Road
East HamptonNew York 11937

Tracy graciously included a few of my pieces, and it is a thrill to see them in print!