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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Friday, December 31, 2010

Where I Will Be Teaching....

Goodness! You all are beautiful kind souls! Thank-you so much for your comments on that last post(it's comforting knowing you all can relate) and your interest in the teaching opportunity that has come my way. I will tell you this. I am excited, a bit overwhelmed and scared out of my red boots! LOL! A couple of months ago I was approached by the adult education supervisor at our Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC) here in Rice Lake. She had heard about my rug hooking through a friend of ours who works with my hubby Dave.
To make a long story short, we came up with a three session evening class that fits into their Leisure Time Activity category. My class is titled Fiber Art Creations. This is an introductory class on the basics of traditional/primitive rug hooking. The classes are two hours each and will be three evening sessions over a three week time period. The classes start the end of Feb. I want to share more of this adventure with you in upcoming posts. Here is a greeting card the college had on their website that will entertain you temporarily.(note: the classes will be held indoors in a fully heated classroom on campus and the only "hooking" will be with wool and not fishing poles!  LOL).

Click on the link below to be transported to an ice fishing hole somewhere near here in AnyTown Northern Wi!  


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Looking Forward!

Leaving a decade behind is almost too much for me to bear.  So, I am looking forward, trying in earnest not to drag the past into the present.  Today's post is foolishness to say the least.  What better way to prepare for the turning of the calendar tomorrow night than to while away a dark winters day taking odd photos of myself!

Horizontal tends to slim a person.  No?  Well, I thought I'd give it a try!

One of the things I've been noticing around here the last few days is crepe neck.  As in crepe paper! Yikes!  Well, the more I look at it, I kind of like it.  Really.  It has a kind of thin, opaque, curious sort of texture. Almost angelic. Maybe I should check for wings sprouting on the backside!

Nope. Nothing yet. 
That's a good thing. 
I am staying grounded for awhile yet.  As a matter of fact I am preparing for a class. Something new for 2011.  I am getting ready. 

And if you can believe it......this goofy, crepe neck, aging, wingless, creature isn't going to be a student.
No sir.  She's gonna be the teacher!

Sweet Blessings in 2011!

Cathy G

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Mashed Potatoes

Our Christmas Day went off without a hitch.  Not counting the mashed potatoes.  I had the brainy idea this year to have both a turkey breast and a ham for dinner.  I have one oven in the kitchen.  And I didn't want to fire-up old Betsy the wood cookstove for fear of guests leaving because the house was 85 degrees!  So I decided to run the ham down to my Moms and use her oven. 
Dave's job was to peel the potatoes for the mashed potatoes.  He did a fine job and put them on the stove in some water.  I went about preparing the green bean casserole etc.  My sister-in- law Kathy and I walked over to Mom's to retrieve the ham.  Everything was done and ready to put on the table and I lifted the lid on the potatoes expecting them to be ready to mash.  Nope, no steam except for the steam coming out of my head.  Potatoes were stone cold and would need at least another half hour to cook and get mashed before dinner would be ready.  Everyone settled back down for a little more egg nog to await the cooking and mashing of the potatoes. 
I guess I thought it was the job of the one who peeled the potatoes to make sure they got boiled as well.   What do you folks think? 

Our dinner was fabulous and the mashed potatoes seemed extra yummy this year.  Go figure.

Dave and I have become very resourceful over the years in making and coming up with gifts that cost little yet are made and given with the recipients needs in mind.  Bundles of kindling wood for the fireplace are carefully hand cut and tied with bright red cord for friends who actually use their fireplaces. Dave gets the nice dry pine from crating from a friends business that  would other wise be destined for the land fill. 

I hooked these coasters for Lisa.  The moon and star motif were simple stencils that I traced onto the background linen.  I decided to pad them with a little quilt batting and quilt the backs.  They turned out nice and have a little cushioning for hot mugs of cocoa!  

More to come......in the meantime I hope you are basking in the after Holiday glow and don't have to return too many of those gifts!

Cathy G 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Another One Bit The Dust!

Another year that is!  Yesterday was my birthday. The fifty-seventh to be exact.   I'm still kind of in the dark as to where all those years went!  But one thing I know for sure is at my age I've decided to live a little more dangerously! LOL  While shopping at the Goodwill store yesterday with a little birthday cash burning a hole in my pocket, I spotted these cute red leather boots.  I tried them on and man were they comfy!  So for 9.99 I decided they were going to be mine!  As a matter of fact they will go nicely with a red wool jacket I bought last year at Goodwill.  It made me wonder what kind of trouble I could get into wearing red leather boots!   

Well, I didn't have to wait long to find out.  After finishing a little shopping (with my Mom and Lisa) Mom needed to stop at the bank.  Upon backing out of the parking stall we heard this awful sounding crunching noise!  Oh   ##&P!  Yep, I had introduced my back side bumper to a utility pole!  Now I could come up with a few good excuses as to why I didn't see a three foot wide giant telephone pole, but nothing really sounds believable. So I'm chalking it up to wanting to live a little a more dangerously and buying a pair of red leather boots!  What else could it be? 

We haven't found out the cost for the repairs, but even though it really doesn't look all that bad I can tell you from past experience the dollar amount will put my checking account in the red!  Hey, at least it will match my boots and coat!

Are you all ready for the Christmas weekend?  I need to make one more trip to the grocery store and then I think I can stay home and clean the house.  
Have a safe and Merry Christmas!

Cathy G

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Milk Hauler

The snow storms of late here in Northern Wisconsin have stirred memories of big red trucks with steel plows and tire chains...... and little red snowsuits with fur collars and tightly knit red mittens. I've drifted back to the early 1950's when the milk hauler was probably the first vehicle many a farmer would see coming down the driveway after a blizzard had dumped five feet of snow. The cow's warm and creamy milk awaited in heavy steel cans for the milk hauler to transport it to the creamery.
The front end buckets on tractors that most farmers used to clear their long driveways would take days to clear all the snow, so milk haulers trucks were usually equipped with big steel plows for the job. Before the sun rose and  well into the dark of night the milk haulers made their rounds picking up the cans of milk. While breaking open the dirt roads and driveways some would take precious time to make a round or two in the farmer's yard between the house and barn.
I know my Dad was appreciated and loved by those farmers back then. He saved them many an hour and cleared the drifting roads besides. Around Christmas time I remember a plate of cookies and maybe  a brand new pair of leather gloves being rushed out the door down to the milk house where Dad was lifting the heavy steel cans dripping and steaming from the cement troughs. Sometimes a farmer would bring out a bottle of home made wine and beg Dad to have a sip to bring a little cheer to help him tough out his long and hard journey to the remaining farms on his route.
The work was grueling and tough but  Dad knew how much those farmers depended on him. The sight of that pretty red truck with the plow throwing snow ten feet high and roaring down the driveway meant they could get their cars and trucks to town for groceries and to the feed mill. There was always a smile and a good solid handshake for the milk hauler. And at Christmas time some candy for his five kids who  were waiting at home.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Snowbank Greeting!

My brother in MN emailed me this photo. His neighbors took advantage of the recent snow storm to use the snowbanks for a Christmas greeting! Creative neighbors indeed! It made me smile!

squirrel proof feeder

And how about this squirrel proof feeder! Dave snapped this photo in the backyard the other day. It's not photoshopped. The squirrel was actually inside the cage! In all fairness it is a red squirrel. Much smaller than the gray squirrel the cage was designed to keep away from the bird seed. That little guy has been busy and can empty the bird seed in no time.

Hope your day is full of smiles!

Cathy G

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Blowing Snow!!!

We could have used a sleigh to go with these bells today!    The weather people were dead on with the forecast. We have a  ton of snow and tonight it's blowing and howling like a wolf out on the frozen tundra.

And tomorrow it's dipping into the single digits with below 0 overnight.  Let's see....who out there in blog land would like me to send some your way?   No?  and I thought everyone wanted a white Christmas?

Poor Dave!  All he did all day was shovel snow and carry firewood into the basement.  

We are the only ones in the neighborhood without a snow blower.  I always have to chuckle a little when the neighbor guys ( who are all younger than Dave)  get out their snow blower's and plows attached to ATV's and Dave's out there givin' er with a shovel.  Check out Al our neighbor up in the right hand corner of the photo above with his snow blower.  
Another neighbor John,  who lives between us and my Mom's was kind enough to snow blow her driveway for her today.  I guess he thought Dave had his work cut out in our driveway.  

Well Hon, don't put the shovel away just yet.  The drifting will start in tonight you know!
This afternoon my brother in MN called and told us he went out and bought a new snow blower today. 
He sounded almost embarrassed to tell us!   However, they did get about two feet of snow there last night and today.  I'm glad he bought one.  He's a truck driver and gone on the road most of the week.  I think when he's home he likes to be doing something other than shoveling the huge banks of snow that the plows leave on the sidewalk by his house.

As for me?  Well, I don't shovel snow with or without a snow blower.  My preferred place is right here in front of the fireplace!  Been hookin'  a little.  Will show you what soon.  

Stay safe where ever you are.  Find your self a good shoveler or maybe invest in one of them thar snowblowers if you're in the path of this storm.  It was a doozy!

Cathy G

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Winter White Tuesday's Delight!

We'll have a white Christmas. I think I can safely assume that on Dec. 25th we will have white on the ground. Temps are predicted to go below the O mark sometime in the next few days.

As for us the wood fire crackling in the basement assures our noses and toes and paws will stay warm this Holiday season.

My photos today are taken as a result of something fun going on the blog  Gable House Musings. Misi has a Tuesday Display Chain going.  Thought I'd try my hand at it.  Winter White is the theme. So after you feast your eyes on my photos, head on over to Gable House Musings and see what everyone else came up with.  You might want to join the fun!  Why not!  The more the Merrier!

(p.s.  my tooth is healing up quite nicely although chewing is still a bit rough.  Pat, I have a can of Hersheys chocolate syrup on my grocery list for this week!  Not kiddin' either!)   

The white stripes in these Chocolate  stoneware bowls make for a nice contrast!   sigh......chocolate

Lace panels in my dining room  ( a secret.....they're plastic......don't tell anybody...:)

The view from my kitchen window this morning.

Hope you can take delight in your Winter White today!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Where's the Dang Tooth Fairy?

All day I've been craving these!  In the worst way!  Well, get over it!  I had a tooth pulled yesterday and one of the rules is NO nuts!   Oh nuts!   I wonder what would happen if I'd put em in the food processor?   Liquid chocolate and nuts?

To keep my sanity while nursing my poor sore jaw I've been playing around on Photobucket.  I tried to make a collage of some photos I took around here today. A little of this and a little of that.    Well, I'm off to the fridge to find some yogurt for supper.  Did I mention that I'm starving??!!!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Almost Moved!

The first snow came a couple of days ago.  Just a dusting though by northern Wisconsin standards. Dave's fake deer he shoots arrows at in the back yard looked kind of pretty with his new coat of snow!

Mom is almost moved in to her house.  Just a few things left at her apartment that we'll be picking up tomorrow.  We had quite a crew of young and old guys (sorry Tracy and Ron, but you're still younger than me LOL) helping with the move this time.  They got a workout hauling things down three flights of stairs and trying to fit things in the elevator at the apartment building.  Many hands made the move quite smooth.  Of course there is always something that gets broken with every move.  This time it was the tote that fell from the top of the stack to the bottom of the trailer.  The masking tape label on the tote said "dishes from the china hutch".  What are the odds of that?!  Quite a few delicate pieces of china were broken including some pieces of thin bone china that my Dad had brought back from Japan when he was in the service in WW2.  I always marveled at how thin that china was and how it survived five kids growing up on a farm.  

My brother's Tracy and Ron.  Ron is one year younger than me and looks so much like my Dad it's scary.  They both drive truck and my Dad was a trucker for a number of years also.  The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree does it!

Here's the younger muscle of the crew.  My nephews Mike and Terry.  You met Terry in the last post.  Mike is currently a roofer.  Boy it was great having those guys do the heavy lifting.  I made a big pot of chili for lunch and I think they were hungry because they didn't even wait for me to set the table!  As soon as they got to my house they started grabbing bowls from the cupboard and started filling them up from the crock pot.  I had to laugh!   They had the fridge open and the food on the table before I could even turn around!  That was fine by me as I was so pooped all I wanted to do was crash on the sofa.  But it wasn't meant to be.  We still had boxes to go and beds to set up and make.  By 7:00 pm. Mom was ready to crawl in bed in her new place.  I'll show you some photos after we get a few more boxes unpacked.

I did manage to get a few boughs from the blue spruce in the backyard tucked into my window box.  I hope to get a few more decorations up but that may just be wishful thinking.
  I do have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Right now I am going to go soak in a nice hot tub of bubbles and think of all the things.  I'll be thinking how it was only one year ago when Mom was recovering from her heart surgery. Who would have thought in a million years she would be moving into her own little house just a short walk from our house.  Tonight she is tucked safely and happily in bed with her little dog Hans at her feet.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

Saying Goodbye!

Yesterday was moving day getting the last of Mom's belongings from the house she's lived in since my Dad passed away in 1991.  It is a cute little cabin that my youngest brother Tracy built for her that year.  She and Dad were wintering south in Arkansas and the gulf coast around Lake Charles, LA.   Three years into his retirement my Dad passed away and Mom found herself without a house to live in.  Their 5th wheel camper was home.  So my brother designed and built this one bedroom cottage for her in a wooded area on land that they owned.  Leaving here is not so easy for her but she is looking forward to moving into the nice little house she is buying next to us.  

The weather was perfect for moving this weekend.  Made it a little harder to leave as it was so quiet and sun shiny yesterday down there.  But one has to visualize the scene any day from here on. Wisconsin winters can be brutal.  So we know how lucky we are that it has held off this year while we move.
My younger brother Tracy, ready to get the last of Mom's stuff out including that ugly MIL tongue plant in the background!

Here's some of the muscle who were helping us with the move. My nephew Terry and his girlfriend Stephanie.  Terry has served a couple of tours in Iraq with the army.  So we're glad he's home now and lending a hand!  Cute kids heh?

Mom's house from the back.

The trailer and truck all loaded.

Cheer up Mom! You are really gonna like your new house in town!  

She's a little bit of a thing but strong willed.  Next Sun. Nov. 14th is her 80th birthday.   We still have to move her things from her apartment where she has lived this past year here in town.  She  is really looking forward to getting out of that apartment.  So as soon as all the papers are signed the truck and trailer will be making another trip from her apartment to the new house.  I sure hope the moving crew are still around!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Just Chillin'


Mr. Chill is just chillin' waitin' to be bound. He measures 19 inches wide and 17 inches tall.

 Hooked in mostly # 8 strips except for the snow. I cut wide strips by hand for that from a fluffy blue and white large scale plaid wool from my stash. 

 I used kind of non traditional colors in a softer palette than some of my other rugs. 

 I think the red hat and mittens really make this rug! It doesn't scream red and green Christmas so you can leave it out long past the Holiday season.

 Mr. Chill  can't sweep that falling snow away fast enough!

I am thinking of maybe drawing up a pattern or two on linen for sale. Any thoughts or opinions?

Cathy G

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rugs and Roses

When life gets the craziest it seems the rug ideas flow the best for me.  Has to be the energy flowing to the brain or at least my desire to make some sense out of all the chaos.  Along with the usual readying the nest for winter we've started a new little remodeling project and we're still in the process of helping my Mom complete her selling and buying of another home.

The rug I'm working on is a snowman pattern I designed that I'm calling simply "CHILL".  It's a reminder to do just that when things are getting rather hectic.  The photo above is a little sneak peek.

Last week a knock on the door sent the dogs barking and racing to see who the visitor was.  My husband's boss stood with a dozen long stem roses for me.  Ah yes, the Rotary Club sells roses each year to people in the work place to raise funds for local projects.  The beautiful blooms look fabulous but aren't known for their deep rose scent that one expects from roses. I found my best heavy crystal vase and arranged them nicely.

The small remodeling project I mentioned above is part of another idea that may transpire here sooner or later.  The project are these windows located between my studio and the breezeway entry to our home.  My studio is an add on to the back of our house which was an enclosed porch when we bought the house.   A while ago we remodeled the studio making it a four season room instead of the summer porch that it once was.  The windows are on a wall separating the studio and breezeway.

My idea was to remake the windows into shelving for wool.  The windows are now removed  and framed for some shelving.  Hubby and his friend Dann are doing this in their "spare" time. LOL. So when they make a little more progress  I'll post some photos.  I'll leave you with the following photos of what it looks like now.

Remember to stop and smell the roses regardless of whether they smell like roses!

Windows before