Who is Orange Sink?

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My home town is Rice Lake, a small town in northern Wisconsin. I own Red House Wool Studio~ an in-home wool and rug hooking business. I enjoy collecting and decorating with antiques and primitives. Orange Sink Blog is a journal of my interests and ramblings about life. Cathy Greschner

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

"The Better to See You With My Dear"


You might wonder what the title of this post today is referring too!  LOL!  You'll have to read to the end to "see"!! 
 After my last post you must be wondering what kinds of things I keep in my sewing baskets.
Some contain jumbles of this and that and change on a regular basis.
But this one... my most favorite and workhorse of them all, pretty much always has the same contents. Every now and then I straighen and take out balls of thread, bits of fabric, and maybe a pattern or two of the current project I'm working on... but the basics pretty much stay the same.



The basket itself is one I found several years ago for $5 at a thrift store. It's very sturdily made by a craftsman in the USA.  Found in it's natural color ( a light oak) but then I stained it a dark walnut.  That HUGE god's eye where the handle is attached has always intrigued me.  It makes me think God must really have an eye on things around here... I'd like to think so anyway!

The handle on your sewing basket ( yes, in my opinion it MUST have a handle!) should be very sturdy. 



Your basket should be medium sized... not too small or too big. Every stitcher probably has a feel for what size she prefers.  Mine has to be big enough to hold at least 3 or 4 pincushions!
Yep... pincushions are my love and my greatest needful item in my basket!
I love keeping my pins and needles seperated and in different pincushions. I made all of these from wool and stuffed them with the wool lint ( from the dryer after I wash my wool) and walnut shells.
The one with the sewing machine applique'  is a quilted piece with wool applique' done from a kit by Primitive Gatherings.



I try to keep my other sewing supplies to a minimum in this particular basket.  Embroidery scissors, a needle threader, a couple of spools of thread in neutral colors, a couple of hand wipes, a pocket sized package of Kleenex ( for which I made a cute fabric cover from a sparkly acorn fabric), a piece of chalk for marking on wool, a retractable tape measure.....



an air erasable fabric marking pen, some little plastic Clover wonder clips, and my newest found sewing item I can't stitch without a thread conditioner called Thread Heaven!  Waaaaayyyy better than wax!  It's very cool stuff! Their website is www.Threadheaven.com   I carry it here in the studio for you local gals who might like to give it a whirl! 

So there you have it.... a little run down and glimpse of items in my personal sewing basket.  

Now for the title of my post..... if you're still with me... I had to buy some new specs this past week.  My prescription had changed from a couple of years ago....seems my arm wasn't long enough when holding a book or my phone anymore to read...lol!  So I decided to get some new frames.  In the past I've always picked something kind of wild, red ones, vintage frames with rhinestones, etc.  So I picked the wildest ones I could find at my eye Dr.s!  Still getting used to the prescription change however and I take them off when reading... I thought that I wasn't going to have to do that! ?? 
Any how... the better to see you with my dears!!

Cathy G

 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Handwork to Sooth the Soul


I swear.... I haven't quit blogging!  But sometimes I feel like I'm hanging on by the skin of my teeth! The days turn into weeks and then MONTHS! 
So much of life seems like it's passing by in a blur...
A blog post is in order...  
but of what shall I speak?
Perhaps the subject doesn't matter as much as that I am here
I am alive... and able to type a thought or two
and keep in touch with a much loved audience. 
Thank you for reading and listening.

~~~~~~


I do try to keep my thinking on the positive.... with world events swirling about 
the mind tends to try and follow the madness.
Handwork helps immensely... soothing the soul, quieting the mind with each stitch and cut of the scissor.
This lovely wool Red Geranium mat I'm working on is by Primitive Gatherings.
There are lots of tiny red petals to cut out (80 to be exact!)  
When I first sit down and start cutting it seems at first like an overwhelming task. The petals are sooooo small. 
Then as the cutting begins... a little soft music playing in the background... each little flower pot 
starts to take shape.
Before I know it I'm half-way around the mat.
I keep thinking about the stitching now... which thread will I use?  How am I going to stitch these tiny little things and which needle would work the best?
Oh... not to get ahead of myself... as there will be some steam pressing 
of all the little pieces to the background  before any stitching can commense!

The preparation before the stitching can be therapeutic as well... but give this some thought...

Keeping supplies organized and at hand,  perhaps in a medium to large sized basket can make
preparation more enjoyable.
Putting together a basket of supplies and sewing necessities can be fun and soothing to the soul as well.
I have many such baskets about the studio.
One can never have too many you know.
Maybe a post is in order about the contents of one of these baskets...what do you think?

Keep on stitching and making beautiful things....
soothing your heart and soul.

Cathy G



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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Is It That Time Again?!! Our Second Tuesday Hook-In at the Red House Wool Studio!


How can it be another month already?!!  I was so happy today was our second Tuesday hook-in here at the Studio...  I needed to see all my friends and feast my eyes on all the beautiful projects! 
Remember Tammi who has just started hooking a few months ago!  Well I was pleased to see she finished her projects since we last met!  Today she learned how to bind the Feather Tree rug.... can you see how beautiful her hooking is already? She pays attention to detail and it shows in her work! The wheels were turning today as now she wants to use up those left over wooly worms from these projects.... can't wait to see what she comes up with!




Shirley is another meticulous hooker! Just look at these adorable mats she hooked for Sherry ( that cute red head on the left ;) who is the owner of the Bernese Mountain Dogs in the photo.  Sadly these adorable doggies have gone over the rainbow bridge but Shirley has brought them to life  with her wool and hook! Rose and Hobo are memorialized perfectly in these sweet mats!  Beautiful!


Sherry has just started hooking also!  And look at the progress she is making on her rug.... you'll have to stay tuned as she works more gorgeous colors of wool into this one!


Shirley is almost done with her rug she drew and designed based on an old family photo. Sweet donkeys and a log cabin are hooked to perfection in this wonderful mat!  More photos to come as she finishes this one!


Lisa needed a little guidance on how to hook the bird in her Maggie B cornucopia rug!  Isn't it wonderful! You know I'm a big fan of Maggie Bonanomi designs and have hooked a few myself!   Wish you could see this rug in real life.... oh the wools are to dye for!!  


How did I get so lucky to be surrounded by the most talented rug hookers in the country? I swear... they are all here in Wisconsin and make their way to my little studio!  To hook with these ladies is pure delight! Pat is working on this rug with sheep.... Sheep!!!  I want to hook a sheep rug so bad.... and Lisa does too!  What an inspiration for us today!  


Another beauty hooked by Pat!  She drew this based on an antique rug and used wools to make it look old old old!!! Didn't she nail it!? I Love LOve love this rug!!

So we hooked, stitched, chowed, shopped and shared!
So good for the soul and heart!

 We are looking forward to a few "snowbird hookers" returning from Florida next month 
to join us.... a word of warning.....

Don't put away your winter clothes just yet.... it's snowing as I write... really... April 12!!
Still good hooking weather here and a new shipment of wool arrives in a couple of days!

So lots of work and fun ahead!

Cathy G




Saturday, April 2, 2016

St. Joseph's 2016 Quilt Event Show Photos!

Another successful Quilt Event at the St. Joseph's School is behind us!!  OH My Gosh!  It was such a crazy ride these past few weeks getting ready for it this year!  I had just begun to dye wool and my mom ended up in the hospital twice! Then...  last week I came down with what I thought was a bad sinus infection so a trip to the Dr. for antibiotics and then after it didn't completely clear up a trip to the dentist showed I need a root canal on a lower tooth!  Feeling pretty lousy I carried on and with help from my good friends and hooking buddies we pulled this show off and it turned out quite 
MARVELOUS!
I will let the photos speak for themselves!
I'm off to take a nice bubbly soak in the tub and put on my jammies!!!
Tomorrow will be putting the shop back together and possibly a little rearranging for Spring!!









Sold every last spec of that Black and White dotted wool!!  




My friend Barb the Felted Soap lady drove up again from Oconomowoc, WI  and stayed overnight at my Mom's. It's a good thing she did as we got a nasty little snow storm here overnight and the roads were horrific this morning! 


Lisa and Cindy my hooking buddies braved icy and snowy roads this morning and drove 1/2 and one hour to help me out!!  They demonstated and talked to interested people while I waited on customers!
Such a blessing these two.... and Sharon wanted to come also and help but.... can you believe.... she ended up in the hospital with a burst appendics! She is still in the hospital with complications so please keep her in your prayers!
We missed you Sharon.... get to feeling better soon!!!


Barb is going to kill me when she sees this photo!!  LOL!!  She was just beginning to eat the wonderful lunch they serve at the show and I came with the camera!!  But she is a good sport I think!!  Thank you Thank you dear friend!!  We have so much fun!!  
I think the smell of her lovely wool wrapped goats milk soap lured people right to our booth!!  
It smells good enough to eat!!




And the kids who put on the show as their fund raiser found their way to the hooking frames to give it a whirl!!  They were hooked after they pulled their first few loops and kept on hooking despite a group of boys who came by to see what had gotten their interest!  The boys left after asking their own questions and seeing the girls weren't going to stop hooking to give them attention...hmmmm... a sign of the future perhaps!!   LOL!!!
Well it was wonderful to see these young gals showing interest in an age old craft!!




Hope springs eternal that rug hooking will keep on growing here in northern WI!  
I aim to be a part of  it as long as I can!

Thanks to all who came out in the cold Spring snow storm today and supported our show!
The kids and I appreciate it very much!!

Cathy G




Thursday, March 10, 2016

Our March Hook-In at Red House Wool Studio!


Our usual group of 10 or twelve was down to 5 this past Tuesday for our monthly hook-in!  We still had some gorgeous projects in the making to inspire and share with each other!  Celeste is working on her runner from Rebekah Smith's new wool applique book!  Isn't it a beauty! 


 Nancy is working on another design from the book and has implemented some hand dyed velvet!!  Oh my goodness! I have to get busy and get me some velvet!  It is gorgeous worked in with the wool!



And Mya has finished every rug except the binding on the scalloped one.... but since this photo she has finished that too!!  She says she's never going to hook one with that kind of edge again as the binding was sooooo tricky!  But she texted me a photo and it turned out really really sweet!! 
So never say never!
I think a good challenge is good for every rug hooker and fiber artist!
It stretches us to try things and gives us the confidence that we can do whatever we set our minds to!

As for me.... well the challenge at hand is getting all this wool dyed for the upcoming Quilt Event I'm vending at on April 2nd.
Each day finds me waking up with feet on the floor and running!
Then the days... like today when I took Mom to the eye doctor, pharmacy, and then to Walmart for groceries... arriving home after 6:00.  The lines were long at Walmart.  In fact the guy behind us in line at the checkout actually sat right down on the floor.  I asked if he was alright... said he just got off a 15 hour shift and his back was killing him.
Just when I thought I had it bad... I counted my blessings and got mom and her groceries in the car and home.
Blessings to you all and Thank you for sticking with my blog while I work on this show!
Hope to be back soon with photos of some things I'm working on too!

Cathy G