Who is Orange Sink?

My photo
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

Email Me Here

Friday, January 29, 2010

My Guest Blogger Today Is:

Smokey/blog 1

My Name is Smokey. Mom's busy today and said I could write the blog post for her. My brother Max got all the attention the other day with his blue sweater. Mom put my sweater on me today. Mostly because I kept scratching my owies and licking them. This morning Dad took me to see Dr. Woods again. I got to touch noses with the cat that lives there. She doesn't have claws which is a good thing!

I got some more medicine there. I like medicine. I get a little piece of chicken each time I get a pill. I think the pills are making me feel better. I have diabetes so it's taking longer to get rid of my skin infection.
This winter has been very cold but I like to poke around in the snow. Sometimes when Mom's not looking I eat a frozen poopsickle. Boy does Mom get mad. She calls me in the house and smells my mouth. I never really get a spankin'. She just says she is gonna do it!

Mom pets me a lot. I think she's pretty worried about me.

I can hardly wait for Spring! My back yard where Max and I play is all icy now. We have paths that Dad shoveled for us so we can run down to the trees where we go potty. It's too hard to run across the snow to catch my ball which is all I really care about doing. I hope the snow starts going away pretty soon! I heard Mom say the other day we should pack up everything and move to someplace warm. I don't think Dad wants to move though. He likes winter!

I have to rest up now. Dad will probably be home soon and take us for a walk. Mom hasn't gone for a walk with us all winter. She says it makes her knees hurt and she gets headaches from the cold. She likes to stay home and work on the rugs she makes. I think she is just about done with one she has been working on. I saw her taking pictures of the edge of the rug so maybe she'll show you in a couple of days. She has to go take care of our Grandma today. I really wish she'd take me along. I love to go see Grandma! It's a new place to sniff around and we get treats there sometimes! Well, bye for now! XXOlick lick Smokey

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I Won A Lisa Leonard Designer Necklace!

Something amazing happened yesterday! After my usual morning routine of feeding dogs, Smokey's insulin shot and making sure things were set to go for the day, I sat down at the computer with my morning cup of tea. I usually have a couple dozen emails to open and delete. One email caught my attention. "Good News!" it said in the subject line. Yay, a little good news would be nice this cold and sunless Tuesday morning I thought to myself. The email was from Colleen Allison who has a blog called Freshvintage.
She also has another blog called FreshBlogTips. I clicked open the email. It read: "Guess What! You Won!" Holy Moly! How could it be? Me? Win? Yep! Right there in black and white! Click on her blog FreshBlogTips to read about the giveaway that I won.

Both of these talented ladies are making gigantic strides in the blogging and business world! Proving themselves caring, sharing individuals who are helping and empowering women to become successful at  blogging and promoting their businesses online.

Be sure and check out Lisa Leonard's blog and her online shop with her fantastic jewelry and hand made creations. It looks like she could use a little help on your prayer chains and healing energy thoughts right now too. Her little son David is undergoing some difficulties.

I'll be anxiously awaiting for my Lisa Leonard designer piece to arrive in the mail. It is perhaps the first piece of designer jewelry by a contemporary artist that I've owned. I intend to wear it close to my heart as a reminder of the opportunities yet to come. Had I not been involved in the blogging world and come across these ladies blogs, I wouldn't have won this necklace. In fact Colleen's FreshBlogTips blog was the first one I read that gave me the courage to start my own blog. Her candid approach and easily understood instruction gave me the boost I needed as a new blogger with no clue what to do.

Thank-you both Lisa and Colleen for your generosity and your leadership. With your help and others like you, women like myself can take blogging to wherever it is we want to go. If you haven't already taken the plunge into blogging and have been thinking about it, come on in! A wonderful world awaits you!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Is Winter Over Yet?

Max got a haircut yesterday. Today he is a little pouty but I think he feels much better. His fur gets like sheeps wool all matted together if he isn't groomed regularly. Smokey, our other furry guy, lucked out and didn't get a grooming yesterday. He has a skin infection and is on antibiotics. Yes, he's our diabetic dog so this is worrisome. The vet did a blood test for thyroid and that came back okay. Thank goodness, we don't need two of us in the family on thyroid medication. So we're not quite sure what's causing Smokey's infection. Let's hope it clears up soon. He get's a little Benedryl to help with the itching.
Speaking of itching, I'm sure itching for a change in this gloomy weather. We are all going a little nutty around here waiting for Spring. This is no easy time of year with taxes due, bills coming in, the wood pile nearly gone.......oh well. It's time for a little comfort food! This afternoon I threw together a nice scalloped potato and ham (left over and frozen from New Years Day) casserole. I added celery, onions, sour cream, a can of Crm. mushroom soup. It's baking right now. Dave has a couple of sporting events to cover tonight(he's the sports and outdoor editor for our local newspaper) so that should give him some fuel to keep going.
I've finished hooking and steaming the penny circle rug.
penny circle rug  done/before binding
I think I am going to try a different type of binding than I've used before. Wool strips cut on the bias with a cording. I plan to use the wool jacket in the foreground for the wool strips. I have to dismantle the jacket first. I may change my mind and use a cotton twill tape which is how I usually bind my rugs. I've never whipped the edges on any of my rugs. For some reason I prefer the look of rugs that don't have the whipped edge. It's another one of my odd personal doohickies! I can't explain it!
I want to tell you about a new hook I just got. It's pretty darn nice. It has a sponge type handle. Very comfortable to use. It took a little while to get used to it because it feels so different in my hand. It's soft compared to the wooden handled ones I have been using. I've developed a knot on the end of one of my fingers from hooking and it's becoming really uncomfortable to hook. So I thought I'd give one of these babies a try. So far I really like it. And the best part is the price. Only 3.99 plus shipping! Here is the link to the company if you'd like to order one for yourself.http://www.mcgtextiles.com/detail.cfm?ID=15
new sponge hook close I think it's always nice to pass on information about a product or something that I have found useful to my fellow rug hookers and bloggers. Hope you find it helpful.
Well, I have to run and get supper on for DH. Max is on the alert and waiting for him to come home. Daddy has to leave again Max to cover the wrestling and hockey teams tonight! So we better get that hot dish out of the oven!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Comin' Down The Homestretch On The Straight Of Grain

hooked penny circle rug
January 19th, 2010
For the record I am coming down the homestretch on my penny circle rug. I want this rug to be one that I'm very proud of the nice straight edges. It looks pretty good in that regard so far. When I was drawing this pattern onto the linen I took a lot of extra care to make sure I drew the lines on the straight of grain. In fact I pulled threads on the linen both ways and in the valley along the line of the pulled threads was where I drew the lines for the outside edge of the rug. The reason I take extra time doing this and measure a lot while drawing the pattern in the first place is this rug:

hooked rug
A rug I designed and hooked in 2006. I had only been hooking for about a year. Look at the awful uneven edges on this rug. I am embarrassed to show you a picture of it. To this day I like the design of the rug very much. But every time I look at it all I see are the uneven edges. Rather ruined what could have been a great rug in my opinion. So a little advice to new hookers and as a constant reminder to myself...Slow down, take extra care when you are drawing your lines for the outside edges of your rug. It wouldn't hurt to measure and check that any new pattern you buy from someone else has been drawn on the linen with nice straight edges and following the grain of the linen. That way you will always end up with a rug you can be proud of.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Little Something to Make You Smile

Once in a while I get one of those forwarded email things that I actually forward. I got this one today from my sister.

A first grade girl handed in the drawing above for a homework assignment…

 After it was graded and the child brought it home, she returned to school the next day with the following note:

Dear Ms. Davis,

I want to be very clear on my child's illustration. It is NOT of me on a dance pole on a stage in a strip joint.
 I work at Home Depot and had commented to my daughter how much money we made in the recent snowstorm. This drawing is of me selling a shovel.

Mrs. Harrington

Sometimes it's the little things that add up to a pretty decent day. Sharing a smile, sending a thank-you note, being thankful for each and every moment we can share with a loved one.
My cold is much better, I'm off to help my Mom with a few things. I'm making a little more progress on the penny circle rug. Blessings to you today! Cathy G

Monday, January 11, 2010

To Pay Or Not To Pay~~The Welcome Mat!

Suffering from a horrific head cold the last few days, I've been forced to lay down the hook and needle. I get restless just resting. So with two boxes of Kleenex and a few sizzling glasses of Alka-Seltzer Plus by my side, I've spent a few hours online reading and watching the discussion's on The Welcome Mat, my favorite online social networking site. As my luck would have it, the Alka-Seltser Plus wasn't the only thing sizzling!
In case you haven't heard the latest, this is what has the rug hooking community over on the Mat swirling and twirling. Wanda Kerr is the Mat's originator. She has been the sites sole operator for seven years or more. The site was originally a paid site meaning you paid a fee (of which I'm told was 55.00 per year) to gain access and be a member. Then I believe it was about a year ago(correct me if I'm wrong here) that Wanda decided to recreate the site making it free to anyone wishing to sign up. That was when I found out about the site myself and decided to jump on board. At that time if I remember correctly, there were about 300 to 400 members. Photos could be posted of your rugs and other fiber arts you were inclined to share. The number of photos posted started to grow dramatically as did the members. Now the members number 2675 and the photos posted are 9677. This took place in less than a year and people were still joining daily. The woman at the helm, Wanda Kerr, found herself with a runaway train. People jumping on faster than she could imagine. Being the sole engineer, designer, ticket master and master mind behind this great freighter, Wanda threw a rug hook on the track.
She wondered if people wouldn't mind paying a fee to jump on board and keep this magnificent freighter steaming along and perhaps enhance it with a bar car or two. Maybe even add a sky observation deck to view the stars as we roll along the back roads and highroads of places we've never seen. If by chance people would be willing to pay 20 bucks for a ticket, she could hire some help to shovel the coal to keep the engines running while she actually drove the train.
Well........this is what happened.
Much controversy in the community arose over the idea of charging for a ticket to ride. Many ideas and suggestions swirled and twirled for a couple of days. The discussion board buzzed with excitement, concern, worry, and encouragement for the engineer to go forth and make the decision. Should The Welcome Mat remain free of charge to the thousands of ticketless riders?
Well, no more free rides.  But wait.......no need to be dumped off the train in some back alley in Chicago! For now there is another train you can catch! Yes, no ticket required! Keep your 20 bucks! Go buy a Rug Hooking Magazine! We can all catch this new freighter as it is speeding through Union Station at the speed of wool being pulled through Michele Micarelli Linen!  I jumped on board yesterday when the new members numbered about 15. Last I checked this new train with a new name "The Front Porch" has 266 members and 153 photos posted already!  You can socialize on this train to your hearts content. Wanda will be driving this train too. She will have help she can hire with the fee's from the first trains riders. So now with two trains to ride I still have to decide which train looks the most exciting! Will I have time to socialize on the bar cars on both trains? Can I take a dye class and observe out the newly installed skylights on the old train? If I don't pay my 20 bucks I won't know what's going on on the old train! That wouldn't be nice! I really need to know what neat stuff is going on in that old train! Knowing Wanda, she'll have the bar cars hoppin'! I want to be there for sure! So I'll probably ride the new train for awhile and just jump off when the old train gets going good! So I'll need to pay my 20 bucks to make sure I still have that option. So I think I've decided. Now if I can just dig up that twenty and hop on over to The Welcome Mat..I think I can be assured of a fairly decent ride. After all, there are two trains on the track. That doubles my odds doesn't it?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Hooker's Hearts Desire

penny circle rug progress2010
Thought I'd show you the progress on my hooked penny circle rug. It's been a struggle to find the time to pull a few loops everyday, but I persist. A faulty thyroid (mine)is causing some strange symptoms. I don't quite know what's going on but need to give the ol' or should I say the young Doc a call. She's younger than me I'm quite sure. I'm on the medicine for an underactive thyroid(hypothyroidism). For a while there I thought I was going down the tubes with aches, fatigue, memory problems, a screwed up metabolism etc. We are still trying to get the proper strength of the medicine figured out. For awhile I felt half way decent. The last few weeks... not so much.
It's always sumpthin' it seems!
Lately I've been thinking alot about hearts. Those that read my blog regularly (bless your hearts) know that my Mom had heart surgery this last October. She is doing quite well considering. I do have to keep pretty close tabs on her though and help her with lots of daily concerns. She will be undergoing a difficult cataract surgery very soon. Our hearts and minds will be tested once again. Strong women? Well,I should say the kinds of serious health and medical things we've faced as a family this last year were not for the faint of heart. I remember not too long ago, I always felt a little queasy upon entering a hospital while visiting someone. In fact once I actually threw up in a friends room while visiting her shortly after she had surgery. Talk about embarrassed! That seems like eons ago. Having spent the better part of last year in hospitals and nursing homes it felt at times like I was part of the staff. When Mom was the most critical I packed my bags and rented a room a few blocks from the hospital. I stayed with her all day, catching a few hours of sleep at night. Looking back it's hard to believe we were there for almost a month and that I actually spent that much time in a hospital without losing my lunch!
I've learned a few things about hearts this past year. I've been fascinated by the medical technology and the Doctors we've met and dealt with through all of this.
I've read somewhere that the heart is the source of all knowledge. Think about that for a minute. I have and I think it's true. We each have in us the source of all knowledge! We just need to look into our hearts or maybe let our hearts tell us what's in there. Listen to your heart. Whatever our hearts desire. What does your heart desire?
After taking a deep breath..... I think mine desires a good nights rest. I'll sleep on these thoughts and tomorrow............I can think about it some more!
wool heart/painted benches

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Time To Rethink~ Chocolate and Pink~

I've been keeping my hands busy and warm these last few days. The temp. here today was 10 degrees ABOVE zero. When we grocery shop here it's best not to leave the lettuce, eggs, fresh fruits and veggies in the trunk or too far away from the car heater on the trip home. You could probably leave ice cream in your trunk though for a few days and it would stay frozen!! The forecast for tonight is 20 degrees Below zero again. Remind me again why I live here?
I have been working on these little wool needle keeps for my selling blog. I'm using up some felted coat weight wool that's been overdyed with chocolate and pink. Now I'm thinking Valentine's but they are useful little things for all year. Go check them out on my selling blog by clicking here Cathy's Country Goods
They are fun to make and I really LOVE the way the hand dyed pins turned out! They look so old and primitive! Check them out up there in my new header. I needed a break from hooking on the penny circle rug(my neck and shoulders are suffering) so the little sewies are what's keeping me busy for the moment. Hope you like them!

Friday, January 1, 2010