Who is Orange Sink?

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Rice Lake, WI, United States
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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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hooking and Stripping! Dyeing and Dreaming!

I guess it's pretty clear where my mind has been lately! With Christmas past, and even before the last Santa laughed, I was out in the Wool Studio doing my hooking dance!
This rug will entertain many firsts for me. The first and most enjoyable being the tearing and stripping of the wool by hand instead of using a cutter! Why have I not tried this before? I think I may just toss out the old Bliss cutter and never look back! I love it because you hook with these gigantic wide strips of color and texture. Speeds the process up and you cover a lot of ground in a hooking session. The look is fabulous! Big plushy loops. Kind of a contained sloppiness if you will. Okay, primitive. Isn't that the look we primitive lovers crave? This rug measures 18 inches by 38 inches long. A bigger rug for me than the mostly smaller projects I've had the time to work on these last few months!
I'm having my hooking fix big time here. My mind wanders to the new year and the plans I'm conjuring up! Lots and lots of plans! I feel I must make up for this last year I lost due to caring for Mom. I'll still be limited for time as my duties are not over concerning her care in the coming months. But maybe, just maybe I can get back on track a little here. There's so much to do. Mounds of wool waiting to be dyed, rugs in my brain waiting to be drawn on paper! So much, so much! Universe, what have you in mind for me this year?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Birthday Tears, Friends With Good Cheers!

Whew! Another birthday gone with the wind and snow! Thanks to all of you great blogger friends for all your heartfelt birthday wishes! Pat,Dulcy,Corinne,Laurie,Katie,Julie,Marilyn,and all who commented! I'm glad you like the blog header of Smokey and Max dashing through the snow. Dave is a sports photographer and captures the most amazing action shots of the dogs. If he lets me I hope to share more of his photography with you this coming year!
My most amazing friends who are my next door neighbors, saved me from sitting in front of the computer all day yesterday with tears and feeling old and blue! Lisa foraged the neighborhood for fresh pine, cedar,sumac and all kinds of dried stuff from the garden for making arrangements. Lisa's dining room table and floor became the creating center! Mary shared a box of vintage ornaments that Lisa and I drooled over! Then the creating began! After much chatter about everything from eating fiddle-head ferns to actually eating some of Mary's amazing meal-in-themselves fruitcake cookies, we had some gorgeous arrangements to carry home! Lisa got so caught up in the creative spirit she went on to create more arrangements for some older people in our neighborhood who live alone! What can I say, blessed are we to live here amongst strangers who have become the closest of friends! Merry Christmas you guys and please when you see Dave shoveling the 15 inches of snow tomorrow send someone over with their snowblower!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Birthday Girl Blues

I'm digging through old family photos today. Today is kinda special. December 22nd, my birthday. My Dad's birthday was Dec. 20th. We always shared one birthday cake. Mom got away with only making one cake for our combined birthdays! Just kind of teary eyed today.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Countdown

May your Christmas be Merry and Bright or Silent as the Night if you prefer it. I snapped this photo of the trees out side of the local hospital. Ya, the one where my Mom will NOT be staying for Christmas. She is back in her apartment and God willing will be able to stay home for Christmas. Just a few more days to go. We will make it.
This is a tree inside the hospital that was decorated by one of the staff. Gorgeous tree with big apple slices on a string.

Dogs Love Santa too!
Smokey and Max are still having fun with Santa, the wood pile is going down, and I've started a new rug!! I'll show you in a few days! Have a Blest and Peaceful Holiday my friends.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

With These Hands~I'm Stitching, Wishing, Hoping the Season is Bright!

I've been putting little tidbits on my sidebar of things I'm working on in between caring for my Mom and umpteen million other things.  Mom is back in the hospital.  I was thinking a few days ago that might happen.  Hopefully it will only be for a few days while they give her fluids to get her intestinal problems straightened out. Thankfully this time they put her in the local hospital which is only a few minutes from our home. We'll see if I get my wish that she not spend Christmas in the hospital.
In the meantime,staying up late to work on it, I  finished a pillow for a gift pictured above. I got the idea from the book With These Hands by Maggie Bonanomi .  Love that book.  There are so many projects in it that I want to make.  I just took two of the projects here and combined them to make this pillow. It is all wool with the pieces cut freehand style for a primitive look.  I hope my friend likes it!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Breathing Deeply This Season

Close your eyes for a moment. Take a deep breath. The kind you can feel to the bottom of your lungs that makes your ribcage expand outward. How does it feel? Now breathe out.....slowly slowly......
I'm doing this on my end today. Trying not to let the seasons thrills, chills, ills, and emotions sweep me away!
If it's not one thing it's been something else around here. Mom has moved, not without issues. A broken elevator in the complex she moved into resulted in a few trips to the Doctor yet again. The most recent being this A.M. Her apartment is on the third floor so four flights of steps can be a lot and evidently too much even though we took them ever so slowly.
Day by day, breath by breath.
I've been thinking that all I want for Christmas this year is Christmas. Christmas at home and not in the hospital. Wouldn't that be grand!
I've decided to share a few photos of things around the house again. Things I take comfort in. Simple things, not too complicated.
Take special note of the old old pincushion with the red calico and childrens pictures that looks like it was probably made by a child. Made for Mom from an old greeting card. I have collected old pincushions for a number of years. This is my most favorite one!
Breathe deeply......exhale slowly........


Friday, December 4, 2009

Green Tea Shortbread Martini's Anybody? How about a Pink Dragon!

There is a movie preview before you get to the drink recipes in the video. Please keep watching for some very interesting drink recipes for your Holiday entertaining or to sip while hooking on that rug! Let me know what you think!!http://www.houseandhome.com/videos/recipes-entertaining/holiday-cocktails

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Finished Mat~A Bittersweet Thanksgiving

These colors make me happy. There is a nostalgic feel about this little mat. It reminds me of old wool mittens, snowpants and those cute little plaid wool coats we all wore as kids in the 50's. Yes, the 1950's. Remember those? I must dig through my Mother's old photos and see if I can come up with some of those cute coat photos!
We are moving my Mom to an apartment in an elderly complex this weekend. I will come across the boxes of old photos. However there won't be much time to browse through them. We have lots to move and a few hours to do it. It is a bittersweet time for our family. Mom knows she has to make this move for her safety and well being. It's very tough. "The apartment's too small" she says. "Where will I put all my stuff?" I take a deep breath and softly say "Maybe this is only temporary." Maybe, but most likely not. "We'll see come spring. Let's just get through the winter and see how you like it. Maybe it will feel more like home."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The first Thanksgiving. The dog is center and front. Gotta love that! Have a blessed Thanksgiving! You have  permission to eat all you want!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Hooking Hangover! It Was An All Nighter!

Every now and then she becomes obsessed. Last night was one of those times. It was raining, yes raining(November 22 in northern Wisconsin). Had it been snowing....yeowzer!, we'd have a foot of it on the ground today. Nope, it rained all night. I know because I was up all night hooking like an obsessed mad woman!

This rug was talking to me. The wool was whispering sweet songs of twinkling lights, pine scents and delicious reds and greens. How could I put it down and go to sleep. Just one more loop, one more row of "comforts of joy!".

Every now and then a rug I'm working on will talk to me. When it starts I best not turn a deaf ear. It doesn't happen that often. So I hook. Into the night and wee hours of the morning.

So today I feel like crap.

I'm looking at my little mat today and wanting to pick up the hook again. I want to fill in all the blank areas with red and stand back for a look. Will it talk to me again? Will it say "There ya go crazy woman! Was it worth it? Hooking all night like a nut!." I'll tell ya tomorrow.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

He Hunts, She Hooks.....At least He Brought Home Some Venison!

I'm out in the studio wondering what in the heck I'm doing! I've had this gorgeous wool laying around for some time now and it never seemed to want to be included in any of my hooking projects. I hated to cut it. It has a nice Christmasy look and feel. Well, yesterday it got the better of me so I cut it. I randomly started to hook  to see what it looked like.  I added a bit of the Yellow/Gold wool. So now what? I'm kind of stuck here. Why do I do these things??!! I have a habit of charging ahead without doing the full color planning thing. In this instance I didn't even have much of a design in mind. I only had in mind pulling some loops, to see what happened. Well, it happened. Here it is in all it's loveliness. Waiting to see what it decides to be. What IS the matter with me??!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hearts, Disks, Ramps and Mittens-Or is it Mice and Kittens?

About the time you think all is well and you can carry on life with a little normalcy, the phone rings. On thursday Mom had what we thought was a routine check-up six weeks after her heart valve replacement surgery.  My younger sister and brother were so kind to drive her to her appointment in Marshfield, a two hour drive from here.  I couldn't believe it when my sister phoned to tell me they heard a funny sound near the valve that was replaced.  One Dr. said it sounded like a kitten mewing.  Another Dr. said he thought it sounded more like mice scratching. Mom quipped that since it was a pig valve she had that shouldn't it be oinking they were hearing?! All righty then....... so much for scientific analysis.  Don't get me wrong, Marshfield Hospital is the biggest and best around these parts for heart problems. To shorten this story,  Mom needed to stay overnight for a TEE test the next morning. That's the scope down the throat test for which she needed to be sedated. They admitted Mom to the hospital and it was decided that my sister and brother would come home and the next day my sister and I would return to Marshfield.  To make another long story short, we didn't make it home til Saturday, my Mom's 79th birthday.  What they found was a leakage near where the heart valve was replaced. To make this less complicated I'll just say they decided since she was showing no signs of heart failure or stress like difficulty breathing, swelling etc., they recommended not to repair it.  They felt Mom was still too vulnerable after recent open heart surgery to go through another difficult surgery.  We all felt somewhat relieved at that news but could be a problem in the future.  For now she is feeling fine and seems to improve with each day. She has gone home for a few days.  We hope to find her housing for the winter in an elderly complex near me. Oh yes, we celebrated her birthday on the way home from Marshfield when we pulled over to put fuel in the car.  At a Hardee's fast food joint with good burgers. Mom was delighted. No birthday cake though. I had planned a little get together here last Fri. for her birthday which didn't pan out. We were glad she didn't have to spend the entire day of her birthday in the hospital.

Now the second chapter of the last few days.   You didn't really think that would be the end of it did you!?   Upon my arrival home, my dearest hubby met me at the door with his story.  It seems Smokey, our diabetic dog was acting sick.  We've been watching him the last few days because he was throwing up in the middle of the night but then seemed okay in the daytime.  But right on cue, as soon as I left Thurs.  he  got much worse so Dave took him to the vet.  To make this long story short(this blog would take two days to read otherwise) the vet diagnosed him with a partially ruptured disk on his upper back. With abrupt movements(this dog is usually just one big abrupt movement ) the pain was causing him to throw up and finally just slow down. Not wanting to eat(his biggest pleasure) and wimpering and putting his head down. Totally not Smokey. Doc even said when examining him that no, this wasn't Smokey. Doc had a treatment he wanted to try but since Smokey is diabetic he couldn't use it. The next best thing was Tramadol twice a day.  And to take it easy and no more jumping off the bed!  Upon my arrival home Sat. afternoon, I was led to our bedroom to see the giant plywood and carpeted ramp Dave built beside the bed.  Not exactly a designer's choice when it comes to bedroom decor, but he did make it so I could fold it down.  He even put little wheels on it to make it easier to slide under the bed for storage. What a handy man I have. Also the best when it comes to caring for our two furry boys.


So we are carrying on here.  Taking it one day at a time.  Oh, I finished those hooked mittens!  That was before the phone rang on Thurs.  I actually had a few days to hook!  LOL  What more could I ask for~!~

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November 14th~International Diabetes Day

I think I mentioned before that my beloved dog Smokey has diabetes. He gets insulin shots twice daily. This
video is probably geared for humans but I think it is interesting. I didn't know there was an international symbol for diabetes.
Lisa, when you see this......it's dedicated to you.
Please click on the link below to watch the video

Monday, November 9, 2009

Santa Rug on My Selling Blog! It's Really Not Too Early!

I thought I'd make a little announcement that I finally have something for sale on my selling blog. I worked all day on it for just one item. I don't know if this is going to work or not, selling on a blog. I could just put my things on Ebay I guess. The hardest part is getting things ready to sell. I kind of lost my job at the gift shop I used to work at. They had to hire someone else to cover for me when my Mom got sick. I thought rather than try and find another part-time job that pays lousy I'd just try and get some type of business going at home and on the internet. The selling blog is seperate from this one. That way I can keep this one for ranting and rambling and whatever. It's just a beginning.....maybe it will actually be successful. I think anything is possible on this WWW. That is if the power grid doesn't fail..Lol it better not! Click here to go to my selling blog or on the permanent button at the top right of this blog! Thanks to everyone!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

More Mitten Progress~November In The Northwoods

I made a little more progress on the hooked mittens.  I steam blocked the hooked part and sewed together the wool palms.  The linings are lime green velour. Velour is not the easiest thing to cut and I wouldn't recommend cutting a double thickness of it like I did.  Trying to save time isn't worth it sometimes. Oh well, the linings won't show when they are done!
The weather was absolutely gorgeous around here this weekend.  Not your typical first week in November weather.  In the 60's and sunny, that is until we decided to take a drive to a remote area known as the Blue Hills.  The sun took a dive under the clouds and stayed there all afternoon.  No matter, it didn't spoil the beautiful scenery and quietness of the wilderness.  I'll leave you with some photos of our little jaunt.(and please please click on the photos for the enlarged view!)