Who is Orange Sink?

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She lives in a small town in northern Wisconsin with her husband and two dogs. She enjoys primitive wool rug hooking,teaching rug hooking classes, collecting and decorating with antiques and primitives. Orange Sink Blog is a journal of her interests and ramblings about life.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Wool and Easy Beef Stew in the Crock Pot

So here is a photo of the wools before I cut them all up and hook them into my Maggie B. "Tulip and Peony" rug!  Man this rug is taking a lot of wool!  I'm hooking mostly in a 8.5 cut so it is hooking up quite quickly!  The difference between the 8 and 8.5 cut strip for speeding up the hooking is quite remarkable!  Anyone else notice this?

The progress so far.  I'm hooking on the very outside edge to see if it will help me to determine how I want to hook this border.  I'm leaning towards a simple wavy line and using all the wools in a hit-n-miss fashion.  Any ideas out there for me?  Mz. rug hasn't voiced any ideas as of yet.

Now for that easy Beef Stew in the Crock pot....
I took an arm chuck roast that was on sale this week at the market and browned the heck out of it using olive oil in a dutch oven on my little hot plate ( no stovetop yet).

While it was browning I chopped some onion, celery,  peeled a few ( 4-5) potatoes and cut in cubes, got out a package of baby carrots and washed them.

Then I tossed all the vegetables into the crock pot.  Added a little Wylers Beef Granules (about 1 heaping tsp.) Added about 1/4 cup of water and a  Tbsp. of Minute Tapioca.

Now take that browned Roast and plop it on top of the veggies in the crock pot and snuggle it down a little by scooping a few of the veggies up around the sides of the meat.

Now pour about half a can of Campbell's HomeStyle Zesty Tomatoe Bisque soup on top of the roast.

Turn on high an let cook for 4 hours.  If you want  it to cook all day (perhaps you need to go to work)  just put the crock pot on med.  

It was crazy delicious and I did not add any salt or other seasoning!  The soup has enough salt in it as far I'm concerned to warrant drinking a bottle of wine to cure the thirst!  LOL!

The wine of choice was this Gnarly Head Authentic Red from California. 

Feeling gnarly headed in Wisconsin. So I think I'll go hook on my rug!

Cathy G

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Anatomy of a Rug

I love looking at other people's rugs.  Getting close up to the hooking.  Looking at the back of the rug... examining each loop.   What intrigues me the most  is looking at the colors of the wool they used. 
When I'm hooking on my own rugs I often wonder what someone, perhaps a hundred years from now will think of my color choices.  Not that it makes one iota  of a difference what colors I choose now because I use what I like. 

I use what makes sense to me... my eye.  

That being said...  I think there has to be some sense of what colors look good next to each other.  That may be what keeps me so passionate about rug hooking.  With each rug there are new discoveries. Being surprised, delighted and downright flabbergasted at how a certain wool looks hooked and how it can change the look and color of the wool next to it! 

So far I have used 17 different wools in this rug. I have to remember to stack them all up tomorrow and take a photo in the daylight. 

There are browns, solids, plaids, eggplant, corals, antique rose.  Dirty sheep, creams, taupes, silver gray.  A gorgeous rusty, orangey, pumpkin plaid that I wish I had a bolt of!!

( rug design by Maggie Bonanomi~ Tulips and Peonies)

All along I am thinking about the outside border that I've added to make this rug larger.  My  drawings,  of which you can see around the outside edge will probably not make the cut. I have a couple of different ideas brewing. One is a simple wavy line in the Dirty Sheep wool and filling in with all the wools I've used in the rug. Hmmmmm.... I'm waiting for the rug to speak.  I will hear it... no matter where I am.  Sometimes I hear them call to me when I am in the shower... "Hey you... I would like the horizontal stripes in corals, browns and rusts for my border!  Are you listening?"
Oh I hear you rug... just hold your peonies... time will tell.   Let me get the rest of those funky leaves and stems hooked tonight and we shall talk!

Cathy G.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Midnight Hooker

Sounds like the title to a raunchy novel doesn't it?!!  LOL!   I may just have to get on that.  My opening paragraph could be something like "It was a full moon. The old hooker had one on the frame and one on the floor she was keeping an eye on. A box of colorful wool was within reach and she wasted no time stripping..."     Then again maybe a novel isn't such a good idea right this moment! LOL!

Seriously I did do a little midnight hooking on my Maggie B. rug.  In fact it was after 2:00 am when I finally put down the hook and crawled under the covers.  

I do think I am loving the wool choices so far. My background wool is taken from a box that must have 30 different pieces of dark brown wool, some plaids, stripes, solids, over-dyed tweeds etc. I am planning on using all that I can from this box so this may be the craziest background you've ever seen on a rug in your life! 

In this photo you can see the extra border I drew around the original border and where I added the additional linen.  Jacqueline had a question in the comments on my last post about adding additional material around the border of a rug after it has been zig zagged and prepared for hooking.  This is what I emailed her:

Hi Jacqueline,
Having the zig zag stitches around the perimeter of the pattern might present a problem to add additional linen. I have never tried hooking through those zig zag stitches although one could remove them ( ugh!  Would be very tedious and you take a chance you are going to cut the threads in the linen which would not be a good thing…).  I hadn’t stitched around the pattern yet on this one but had zig zagged around the outside edge to keep the linen from fraying.  I had enough linen to add about 4 inches to my pattern.  Which was just enough.  So we shall see how binding goes as where I attached the extra piece is pretty close to where I will be sewing on the binding. Don’t you just love a good challenge?!!  LOL!!

If any one has ever added additional material to a rug ( to make it larger)  after you already zig zagged around it we would love to hear from you!

Of course my tip for the day would be to never zig zag around the pattern until you are absolutely sure that is the size you want the rug to be.  I usually forget to zig zag stitch until after I have hooked the whole rug anyway!  That is always fun sewing on the machine especially a larger rug. 

I know some people like to sew the binding on too before they start to hook.   I never do. I am always afraid I may want to add a little more border to my rugs and very often do. 

More to come.... but just wanted to show you my progress so far.  

Cathy G

Monday, September 8, 2014

It's been too long....

That's right... way too long since I've posted!  I apologize and hope to get back into the swing of things here on the blog!

 I'm working on another commissioned rug which I almost have done so I've decided to start a new rug just for me!  Me and my bathroom! It is a Maggie Bonanomi pattern from her book "A Day At Sunny Brook". 
 I actually drew the pattern out some time ago and never got around to starting it.  I really didn't know for sure where I would display it but I recently took a shelf down in the bathroom which held towels and the big blank wall just begged for a rug!  I've decided too that I needed to make the rug a little bigger than what I originally drew it. Which meant that I had to sew some material around the entire rug to fit over my frame when working on the edges of the rug.  Yes you can do that! 

So here is the hooking I started today. I am using some wool that I hand-dyed called "Dirty Sheep"! In this case it is used to hook dirty ironstone.  Did you notice my collection of old ironstone pitchers on the shelf in the bathroom?  Well they are my inspiration for the color.  As well as the color of my hair.... which is white and kinda dirty sheep looking I guess!  

Here is a selfie.... It looks like I have a black eye... well I don't... can't figure out why the photo turned out that way!  Anyway... the hair color is natural.  My hair is getting thinner as I get older.  Too bad that doesn't apply to the old body as well.... LOL!

I've been doing some wool appliqué lately also.  Have a few nice finishes to share with you as well but will wait for the next post.  I have to ease back into this blogging thing.... 

Cathy G.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Another Before and After

Greetings dear friends on this fine late afternoon in August!  We are finally getting some summer weather here in the north land of Wisconsin!  The AC is running as I type.  Even with the air on I have been working up a sweat the last few days redoing some areas in my studio. One area that has always bugged me is the little nook where I have my cash register and check out counter.  It  seems dark and kind of blah. The cork board I put up is handy there but always gives me the feeling I'm in a poorly designed office space.  
My studio may seem spacious to some, especially those of you who would give your eye teeth for such a space to create and do hand-work. But anyone who is in the rug hooking/wool business will tell you that any size space tends to fill up quickly with supplies and the  hoards of wool we need to create our rugs. 
Clutter and darkness are my two worst enemies when it comes to the decor around here. So here's what I did to lighten up that corner a bit and add some storage space.

I painted an older taller cupboard  that was located just around the corner from this area, and swapped out the smaller cupboard for the taller one.  I also gave the cork board on the wall a coat of the same off white paint I used on the cupboard. I applied some antique toner to the cupboard to make it appear older and fit in with the chippy white of the other cabinet. The addition of a lamp on top of the cupboard gave much needed light in that dark corner. I still like the primitive look but sometimes the all dark wood and primitive colors are not doing it for me. 
So what do you think?  Should I hang out a shingle and become an interior designer?  LOL!  Just kidding!  I need to get back to my design work as a rug hooker!  I can hear Lisa and others in the background saying "YES Cathy G!  We are waiting for a new design to hook!"
Well, I need my area around me to be neat and organized so new designs have space to take root! And sometimes while doing other projects a design will all of a sudden pop into my head. 
There may be a small hint of a design in there somewhere, but now I have to get ready for a class I'm teaching here next week. There are 5 lovely ladies and possibly a couple more who are waiting in the wings to learn our fine craft! I am super excited to have them come and get those hooks in their hands!
I will be back to share some projects with you soon!

Have a lovely week and enjoy every moment of this fast moving month!

Cathy G