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, February 27, 2010

Looking Inward

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0S1448lB-4   Please click this link for an inspiring look at the history of the mandala.  

Trying hard  to find some inner peace today.  Looking out the window I see bright sunshine.  Usually a mood lightener but the cold and snow persist here.  No daffodils would dare peak their tiny green heads out from the safe and dark depths of the earth.  Stay put you tender sun loving little shoots.  Be patient you wild and antsy rug hooker.  Draw some mandala's and search your soul.  Spring cannot elude us for too much longer for the mandala circle of the  Sun is moving closer to our hemisphere each day. 

Click this link if you would like to try drawing a Mandala http://www.youtube.com/user/ExpressingtheSelf 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Not Hiding Our Colors Here...Framing A Hooked Mat

I finished binding and mounting my newest hooked rug project today while a cardinal couple ate lunch outside my kitchen window. Mr. cardinal in his bright red feathers and classic black mask sat in the bushes while the Mrs. flitted beneath the feeder on the ground. He watched her every move while she dined on sunflower seeds that little finches and chicadees had scattered about. So wary that I couldn't get a photo of the two of them together. There she is up in the header. Not a very good photo but I tired of waiting for them to cooperate. I had a lot to do in the studio this afternoon.
I decided to try a different way to finish and hang this little birch tree mat. In my usual "do it my way" style, I decided to try mounting it on a pine frame covered in burlap. Dave was kind enough to nail up a simple pine board frame for me. A coat of polyurethane to seal and protect the fabric and rug from future acid damage is probably a good idea. I actually did that step yesterday.
Then things got a little tricky while stapling the burlap to the frame. It was hard to get it pulled tight while stapling and the corners were difficult to get all the burlap wrapped around nice and neat. I persevered.
After I got all the burlap stapled onto the frame I laid the rug on top. It needed a little support underneath so I used a few layers of cotton quilt batting between the frame and the rug. Just enough to poof it out a little and keep the rug from sagging in the middle. From there I hand stitched the rug around the edges to the burlap on the frame. That was a little tricky too but I finally got the hang of it.
I think the burlap lends a kind of organic look and feel. The padding lends a slightly soft and pillowy feel and fluffs out the hooking a little bit.
I decided to hang it in the studio above the primitive yellow cupboard for now. It will provide some needed inspiration for me to try brighter and different colors in my rug hooking. Who says primitive rugs have to be drab and dull in color? I still like the primitive style but give me happy, alive and luxurious color. Right Mr. cardinal? Now if you had the drab green brown feathers and she had the bright red suit, well......you wouldn't have to hide in the bushes while she eats lunch out on the sidewalk!

hooked rug,birch tree mat

Mr Cardinal in Bushes

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Today's Creative Journey....Mandala Love!

My Valentine gift to myself and to you my dear blog readers is this new blog Mandala Oasis I happened across. Please check it out and maybe find something to help spark a creative fire in yourself. I joined the online group and am very excited to learn something new! Perhaps my muse is leading me there! I hope you are enjoying a colorful, warm and loving Valentines Day.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Making of a Wool Binding......My Way!

I wanted to update you on the finished Penny Circle Rug so that you know I actually did finish it. I am so wrapped up in my current Birch Tree Rug project that it's hard to go back now and do a post on the Penny Circle. If you have followed me at all you will remember that I was trying a new type of binding or finishing the edges on this rug. I used wool strips that I cut from the back of a wool blazer. Now this may or may not be an "approved" method and no one told or taught me how to do it this way. I figured I'd try it and see if it would work. What would I be out if it didn't work? Well, the wool in this jacket was fabulous. A perfect weight for hooking. Once I cut the strips on the bias it probably wouldn't work so well for hooking because it would stretch too much. Plus, it was a beautiful plaid texture with blues and dk. browns that would hook a nice background. So after a little hemmimg and hawing I took the Fiskars after it!
Before I actually started cutting though, I took a yardstick and a piece of chalk and drew lines on the bias all across the back(seems ironed flat) as you see in the above photo.
Next I took those strips and sewed them altogether to make one long strip. I found a piece of cording I had in my sewing stuff and using the zipper foot on my machine, encased it, and made a piping like you would sew around the edge of a pillow.

The back of the rug with binding complete

Now I wouldn't say I had a lot of fun sewing the darn thing onto the rug. It was tedious and hard to get it sewn close to the edge of the hooking. There is probably an easier way to do it, but since I am a lone ranger here with no hooking group or teacher to ask for help, I forged ahead on my own. After a few (three) evenings of hand sewing the binding it got much easier. I really like the way it looks. Yes, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I like it that much! It just really gives this rug a beautiful and I hope durable finish. Pretty classy looking if I may say so!

Here is a close-up of the binding the way it looks on the edge and top.

hooked penny circle rug,hooked rug,rug hooking,wool rug hooking

So for now it rests on the bed in my studio. The painting above the bed is one I painted a long long time ago in my college days. The old building has long been torn down. My art teacher used to tell us to get out there and paint all the old buildings we saw in the country side because one day they would all be bulldozed, never to be seen again. This one stood near a wooded area near my parents homestead. We kids used to think it was haunted. Of course we thought all of the old abandoned buildings were haunted. Most of them have long since vanished.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Just Another Manic Monday!

I woke up this morning with a sinus headache. Despite feeling like crap I had to take Mom to her Cardio Rehab. class. Then to pick up her pills at Shopko and then the grocery store. I know I shouldn't complain and I'm glad to take Mom shopping, but Lord have mercy, shopping in slow mo just isn't my thing. My usual style of shopping is grab a cart, grab the goods, race to the shortest line in the check out and hope that the check out lady is the fast one. Yes, I know the fast ones and can spot a slow checker from two isles away. Taking Mom grocery shopping requires a ton of patience now that she walks with a cane, and has trouble seeing and hearing. It tries your patience on a good day. Even more with a nagging headache. I'm getting better at it though.
A quick stop at the Library to pick up the book I ordered(Deepak Chopra's Reinventing The Body, Resurrecting the Soul) Then home to laundry, dishes and reinventing something for dinner. I stuck a turkey breast in the oven.
Finally, I was able to get out to the studio. I started a new rug a couple of days ago. It's a design I've had floating around in my brain for awhile. I've been wanting to hook a mat with birch trees. I love birch trees. I didn't have a clue how I was going to hook a birch tree. So this is my first attempt at it. My choice of colors..... a little tropical perhaps. Why not? Birch trees in the tropics? Does it work for you? BTW, have you all got your driveways shoveled from the big storms this past weekend? For once we were spared, with only a few flurries. Dave got to watch the super bowl in peace and quiet( sort of).

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Feeling a Little Brain Dead? Check out Gudrunsjoden!

Drop whatever it is you're doing at this moment and click on this link! What we don't know about marketing in this country we can learn from the Swedes. This website is so fantastic, the colors are to dye(pun intended)for! The shoes and the "shoe movie" well.....just get over there! Check out the entire website and watch all the little movies. Then come back and tell me what you think! Inspired or what?!!


Textiles Become The Medium For My Creativity
From the Gudrunsjoden Website