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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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Our Hook-in Today Here at the Studio~ And a mystery rug video!

Mystery Rug Video

Our Hook-in today at the Red House Wool Studio!  Betsy brought some vintage rugs which we all had fun trying to figure out what they used to hook them!   Enjoy the video!  If anyone would like to chime in with what you think the  rug is made from please do so!  My personal opinion is wool... but I'm no expert!

Progress is being made on the garage, the sale and my Mom's deck!  Will try to post pics soon!

Hugs to all!

Cathy G

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Wools I Used in "Tree Birds" Rug... and What is Going ON!

It's been crazy busy around here lately... even more than usual! But I wanted to show you the wools I used in my latest hooked rug design "Tree Birds". You may recognize some if these as most of us rug hookers puchase our wool from the same suppliers!
Speaking of which.... The newest samples from Heaven's To Betsy has nearly bankrupted me... I ordered so much!  LOL!  But you know what they say... the time to buy a wool you love and know will hook up fantastic is when you see it!  Am I right!? 
My customers and friends here are anxiously waiting for the new wools to arrive!
Lisa has started hooking the Tree Birds and wants to use the new neutral wools for her background!
Back to the wools I used in my rug.... I just love how the wool above( middle one) hooked up for the border!  I think it looks like old barn board! It's called Lattice Work from The Wool Studio. 

That lighter plaid in the lower right hand corner is a wool called Favorite Khaki Background  from The Wool Studio and it is just that... I used it in the inner background on my rug!
The blue wool..... OH that gorgeous shade of blue is one I dye here in my kitchen!  Yikes... I have sold out and used the last bit I had in "Tree Birds" for the birds and just a touch of  it in the leaves! So one of these days I have to hit the dye pots ( read on and you will see why it won't be REAL soon however...) 
The other wools pictured are a hand-dyed olive, tan,  and that great brown one is ( Kodiak) from The Wool Studio. I hooked the thin line #6 cut that seperates the inner and outer border using Kodiak.  The wool on the bottom is a wonderful green/brown check called Whistle Stop from Heaven's To Betsy! I used that one in the big flower centers and a bit in the leaves.
I hooked most of the rug in #9.5 cut and #8.5. 
So there you have it... hope this helps for those who've purchased the pattern ( available in my Etsy Shop). Look in the upper left of the blog for the link to Etsy!
Has anyone started to hook theirs yet?  LOVE to see photos if you have... just email me ( button up there in the left as well).

 What else is going on around here?  Well Mom finally found a new guy to build her a deck! My brother's Ron and Tracy with my hubby Dave's help tore down the old one!  Ron said it probably would have fallen down in the next year if they hadn't gotten to it! Very dangerous, as Mom walks under it daily to take her dog out the back patio door.

Just a start here ... and I am so thankful to have found this guy.... 
His name is Ty Skaar!  Last name is pronounced "score"

.... He tells us his Dad and mother were huge baseball fans! Seriously... a name you won't forget!
He has help today with the big timbers they are putting in for the posts!  They are HUGE!  If this deck is as nice as I think it's going to be I am gonna hire him for a couple of things I want done around here that Dave can't tackle! 
So we're happy and thankful to have found Ty to build this deck for Mom! 
It was really hard to find someone. All the contractors and builders are booked solid for the whole summer and some until next year. Ty had a job cancel so this project worked out great for him too. 

What else is going on?
  Well... this is OUR garage! FINALLY after years of me harping  about what a mess it is...Dave has finally agree to let me help get it cleaned and organized!  Now I know why he never started on it himself! What a dirty job it's been!  Thankfully it hasn't been hot here (weather wise  LOL!) ... just comfortably cool and lots of rain.  Perfect garage cleaning weather.
There's also another reason I want the garage all cleaned and prettied up!
Tell me I'm not crazy but my friend Roxy (who did the Christmas Sale with me) are having a Pop-up Vintage Garden Junk Sale here in our garage!  I have plans to fix it up cute as well as organize and clean years of ( bad junk) that has accumulated!  Make way for the GOOD junk! 
Stay posted for more pics as this thing progresses!  Have made lots of headway already.
But now I have a few orders and a rug to hook for someone too... so no rest for this old gal!
Hope your summer is sailing along smooth!
Cathy G

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Featured Artists at the Red Barn Theatre!

One of the things I am most proud of here in our little town of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, is the Red  Barn Theatre!   It is a most loved and favorite summertime activity of locals and tourists alike!  An old dairy barn was renovated back in the late 60's and serves as the theatre to a lively and talented group of thespians who entertain throughout the summer (as the barn has no heat... or air conditioning).
The former haymow of the old barn serves as the theatre. The lower level is the art gallery and popcorn and coke bar where guests go during intermission for refreshments and to view the artwork of featured local artists.  And I am very proud to announce that my hubby Dave and I are the featured artists for the opening play which starts tomorrow evening!

Dave, as many of you know is a super talented outdoor and wildlife photographer!  He has never displayed his work before so the last few weeks we've been busy framing and organizing some of his best work.  We used mostly old barn board for frames as it fits in nicely with the rustic aspect of the old barn.
My rugs, displayed as art, add the softness and textural feeling to the display.

I had to show you the steps coming down in the former silo!  You can still see the round shape of the cement wall where the silo once was.

The set for this play entitled "The Spitfire Grill" ( a musical)  was designed and painted by our friend and artist Nancy Dutmer.  Nancy sings and acts in many of the plays at the barn, too. Dave and I have complimentary tickets to see the play Saturday night!  I can hardly wait!  It's our anniversary this weekend too!  What better way to spend it than at the Red Barn on a nice summer evening! 

More shots inside the old barn...

Dave and Don Ruedy (left) standing in the silo stairwell!  Don is a fabulous artist and often displays his artwork here in the gallery.  He is the art director for the Barn and was an art teacher at the local college campus here for many years.  I actually had him for a teacher back in the day when I attended college. 

A shot of the dressing rooms for the players!  

Lots of work goes into the upkeep of the barn and the grounds. 

So wish us luck for our first show here at the Red Barn Theatre!  

Thank you for all the nice comments on my last post and the debut of my newest rug and pattern~
Tree Birds is part of the display at the Barn... 
I will answer your questions about the wools I used in the next post!  Thank you to all who ordered the pattern!  I think you'll enjoy hooking it!  
Talk to you soon!
Cathy G

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

My Newest Rug Hooking Pattern Release! ~Tree Birds~ 18 by 28 1/2

Well it's been a long time coming!  But I finally have a new design to add to my pattern selections! I am happy to present to you "Tree Birds"!  I went days trying to come up with a name for this rug... nothing felt just right...but the song Free Bird ( a favorite old rock song of mine..tee hee) kept popping into my head.  Hence... Tree Birds!  LOL!  I guess you just never know where inspiration may come from. 

But seriously... the birds are inspired by those I've seen on antique fractur art. The tree is patterned after the tree of life that is often seen on antique textiles and artwork, with my own spin on it of course!  The heart at the base of the tree signifies the love which nourishes and holds family and friends together and keeps the tree strong.    There is plenty of opportunity for you to personalize this pattern... perhaps adding initials to the heart for a newly married couple or older couple celebrating a milestone anniversary.  The date can be changed appropriately if you so desire. 
It's an overall antique inspired design that I hope will add warmth and meaning to a special area in  your home.

I have the paper pattern listed in my Etsy shop HERE.  

The pattern is 18 by 28 1/2 inches and ready for you to transfer without having to enlarge it. 

I thank you for being patient with me and also for your continued support of me and my little pattern business!  Life for me right now has been pretty stressful dealing with my Mom's congestive heart failure and keeping my studio and shop going as well.
Maybe one day I'll be free as a bird!  

Until then I'll try to find contentment in the present.
It's not always easy....but 
hooking and designing and teaching others the love for this craft keeps me 
thinking positive!
It's all good!

Cathy G

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Snowbirds Return to Second Tuesday Hook-In!

Nancy is not one of the snowbirds... but then neither am I!  LOL!  We only dream about heading south for the winter and returning home to northern Wisconsin in the Spring!  Today we welcomed our "snowbird" friends back to our monthly gathering here at Red House Wool Studio! More on them in a minute.  First you must feast your eyes on this marvelous finish by Nancy for her wool and velvet applique piece ( pattern by Rebekah Smith)! She attached it to an old wooden shelf given to her years ago by her mother! She painted the shelf with chalk paint to compliment the colors in her appliqué! Very well done Nancy... I love the creativity and the repurposing of an old piece!  Nancy tells us there used to be a mirror in the opening where she mounted the appliqué piece and a door that covered the little cubby space.  Quite the transformation of this old shaving mirror don't you think! 

We also welcomed a new face to our group today!  Meet Eileen! She's working on a beautiful kitty hooked piece that will be stuffed when finished!  It is a project I have to learn more about from the Wool Street Journal.  Isn't her hooking and use of color just great! Eileen has been hooking for 3 or more years and can't get enough!  I sure am glad she found us here in the north woods!  She is such a sweet lady and may have felt a bit timid meeting us wild hookers for the first time!  But I think she had a great time and we welcome her back next month!

Any body recognize this darling "Snowbird"?  LOL! It's BETSY!  Joining us again for the summer and working on a fun, colorful rug that I didn't get time to find out who the designer was! Betsy when you read this maybe leave a comment about the design for our readers! It's as if she brought all that Florida sunshine right back with her! Welcome back dear lady!

And Betsy's SIL who's name is Betsy is back too! ( below)  A "Snowbird" as well but if I heard correctly may be staying longer than the summer!  Wouldn't that be MAHvelous!!  
And... oh my... you won't believe this fun sheep rug she is working on! It's her design based on a photo!  She's cutting a piece of beautiful artisan dyed spot dyed wool ( of which I didn't get a photo of and could kick myself) and using it to hook the background. It's going to be a gorgeous background!  She plans to proddy hook the sheep's body and you can see one  she's already done!  This will be a fun one to watch as she progresses!  It's sooooo good to have both of our Betsy girls back in town!! 

Had to share a recent find that our second Betsy was able to snap up at an antique shop.... a wonderful vintage rug hooked with nylons!  In great shape and get this.... for only 12.00!   The colors have faded to that wonderful old softness I love in antique rugs!  What a buy!  Thank you for sharing it Betsy... it sure looked good on my old worn wood floors!  

Sharon our gal who survived a ruptured appendics last month and surgery is now doing great!  She looks younger than ever without those appendics doesn't she!!  And look at her going to town on a her latest rug, a design by Emma Lou Lais!  Wonderful  and classic.  Love the weeping willows! 
And it's VERY large!  We LOVE big rugs here don't we ladies!  Seems like everyone's working on a big rug except me!  LOL!

A  close-up of the house... using a big #10 cut I believe makes the hooking go so much faster!  Sharon is an expert with the wider cuts and does it with ease!  What a beauty this rug will be!! 

Celeste is not a "Snowbird"!  We won't let her go to Florida or any other place! LOL!  She is the most outstanding wool appliquer and rug hooker and always brings her latest creations to show and tell!
Her "Broken Arrow Alpaca" rug is hooked for neighbors who have Alpaca's and of course she used the wool yarn and roving from their animals to  hook into this piece!  I just LOVE those eyebrows!  What a wonderful gift Celeste!  And did you see her latest wool appliqué... a pattern by Buttermilk Basin!  It was started in the class she took when Stacy West attended our quilt show here in April!  Nice nice work!  

Remember Lorena and Saundra?!  Well they have returned as well from travels and winters in Fla. Hooking flowers and bringing more of that sunshine and warm spirit to the studio we welcome them back! I didn't get much of a chance to talk with them today... but I'm sure we'll see more of them this summer! I NEED to hear all the latest happenings in the hooking world down south!  

                                                           Every one concentrating so hard and waiting for lunch to be served!  How did I NOT  get a picture of all the goodies everyone brought to share.... let me say there was rhubarb in some of the baked things!!  And Gluten Free peanut butter cookies to die for... I could eat them... as I'm now living a Grain Free life... more on that in the future! Don't forget Celeste... I NEED that recipe!!

Wow.... look at the sweet rug MYA is almost done with!  A pattern by The Old Tattered Flag that she has adapted for a wedding gift for a young couple in her family! She's added the family name and date on the bottom to personalize it! 
Fun, lighthearted colors will be perfect for this couple she tells me! Mya has been hooking for such a short time and was lucky enough some friends of hers were able to snatch a townsend cutter second hand!  Almost unheard of to find one used!  But now she will be able to cut wool and hook to her hearts content!   Congrats on that cutter Mya!  It's every rug hookers dream to own one!!

A close-up of Mya's rug!  Great hooking and wonderful colors!

So there you have it! Some of the things going on here in the studio!  Did you happen to notice my new header photo?  Well... it's a sneak peek of a new design I've been working on!  Don't fall over!
I plan to release it as a paper pattern.... it's a bit larger than all my patterns I've released to date so need to work on the specifics a bit more!  
So stay tuned for a better look of the entire pattern!  I do like it myself! Quite an accomplish for me and long overdue!

Cathy G