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, June 25, 2010

How Not To Kill The Chipmunks

Birch Tree Bird House
Lately I've been bonding with our huge and gnarly old birch tree in the back yard. When things in life go out of whack sometimes it's best to grab yourself a tree and experience a little enlightenment.

Birch Tree Bird House 2
I sat intently and listened to the sermon from this peeling and weathered old character in white. "We have the now and that's all there is" he whispered. "Those feelings of hurt and despair are only that. Feelings. You don't have to let them take you to an early grave or let them disrupt your present day. It's your choice".

Birch Tree Bird House close
I felt much better when the last hymn was sung and the big birchy fella dropped his branches to gather the last drop of anxiety and anger from my soul.

Birch Tree Bird House Double
I'm lucky to have such a wise old Birch in my back yard. He's a healer and a giver. A protecter of those less powerful than he. A fine listener that one. It's with utmost respect and thanks that I leave the greatness of the chapel under his leaves today.

There's a couple of furry Chipmunk characters that have been raising cane in the galvanized tub in the lower garden. I have been admiring the beauty of the flowers and how lush and full the tub was looking after these rains and warm days we've had. Yesterday morning I discovered the two striped half-pints had dug to the bottom of the tub and left my beautiful flowers broken and dangling from their tiny stems. They were not entirely disrespectful however. About half of the flowers survived the Chipmunk party in the tub.

So here is my Chipmunk remedy.

Chipmunk remedy
I'm happy to report that no parties were held last evening. It may be that they are waiting for the 4th of July to attack again. Or maybe they got the message!

Coral Bells/Sweet Woodruff/snow mt
Coral bells, Sweet Woodruff, and Snow on the Mountain

Garden Border late June 2010

primitive bird house

primitive garden decor

willow chairs,garden decor
Peaceful and beautiful in the backyard chapel.

primitive garden decor

I am hooking steadily on my "Secret Forest" challenge rug. Here is a little sneak peek again!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Power Hooking A Secret

secret challenge rug
I can't believe I waited this long to buy a new rug hooking hook! Since I started hooking in 2006 I've used the same little $6.00 hook. I've hooked many a rug with that little hook. It never occurred to me that a hook could make that much difference in my hooking pleasure and also the way my hooking looks. Last weekend at the Hooker's Wood and Wool shop grand opening I purchased this Gene Shepherd bent shaft hook. Not an inexpensive purchase in my book. After a little gentle persuasion from Caroline, the shop owner, I opened my pocketbook and shelled out the $45.00 to take it home!
I've been doing a little power hooking on my "Forest Secrets" challenge rug(a little sneak peek in the above photo). The last few days (and a couple of late nights) has given me ample opportunity to put this new hook to the test. At first it felt a little awkward in my hand and the bent hook seemed strange after using a straight one for so many years. I kept hooking and at some point as I was hooking along and not really thinking about the hook it started to feel really comfortable and my loops seemed to improve with each row. Just for the heck of it I went back to using the old straight hook for a few loops. Nope....nada......no way.....no how was I ever going back to that old hook. Gene Shepherd has won me over with this new fangled funny looking bent shaft hook. After hours of hooking I usually end up with a painful bump on my third finger from holding the hook. With this new one the pressure is off that finger and my hand doesn't feel as fatigued.  I will be doing some more power hooking in the next few days as our deadline for finishing our challenge rugs is July 30th. We'll see how the new hook holds out!
So having spent all my "egg money" on this new hook I had to take it easy at the garage sales on the way home from the grand opening. However the bargains I stumbled upon made me think the garage sale fairies were watching over me. I found a gorgeous pair of Ralph Lauren wool slacks in a large size and light tan color and a nice camel hair jacket for $1.00 each. They are already washed and torn apart ready for the dye pot. Also a pair of Waverly cushions in a cute print for my patio chairs for.....are you ready for this.........25 cents each! Now don't tell me the garage sale gods weren't watching over me this time!


The flowers in my gardens are really coming along great with all the rain we've had lately. Today is muggy and hot and some storms are predicted for later. The chocolate mint is lovin' it! It is growing like crazy in the galvanized tub I corralled it in. The other smart thing I did this summer besides buy that new hook!

Choc mint progress

Sunday, June 13, 2010

New Wool Shop Grand Opening!

When I received this lovely invitation in the mail to Caroline Dahlager's grand opening of her new wool shop in Chippewa Falls, WI, I knew I had to be there! Caroline's shop, Hooker's Wood and Wool is 52 minutes from my house! My friend Lisa and I hit the road yesterday with the plan to hit some garage sales as well in the Chippewa area.

shop opening Chippewa

shop opening Chippewa
Here's Caroline (in the Angel Girl T shirt)   showing the new rug pattern she has just finished drawing on the backing. This is going to be a very large rug and has the name of her shop worked into the design. Caroline really is an angel and it was wonderful meeting her. However she was so busy with customers all day that we didn't get to visit nearly enough.

shop opening Chippewa
A cute chicken rug hooked by Caroline that I spotted on the floor!

shop opening Chippewa
The wool selection was fantastic! Lots of as found wool from garments that Caroline had washed and stacked in piles!   She is one of the lucky ones to own a Townsend Cutter!  I was trying not to swoon  and cry too much as the Townsend Co. has closed and getting your hands on one of these babies will be next to impossible!

shop opening Chippewa
Another happy friend and customer admiring the selections of wool.

Gene Shepherd hook
I made some purchases while there. Some wool for my Secret Challenge Rug and a few essential rug hooking supplies. I treated myself to a new bent shaft hook by Gene Shepherd. I've been wanting to try one of these for awhile and Caroline highly recommended it. So I better get that challenge rug going and cut up some wool! I think I'm having a little too much fun running around the country side!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Chocolate Mint and Homespun Delight Winnings!

Chocolate Mint

Chocolate mint as you probably know is very invasive in the garden if you don't contain it somehow. My solution is to dig it up and plant it in an old galvanized tub with handles. I can plop it here and there, wherever I'm in the mood to sit and watch it grow. The scent is heavenly. The dried leaves make a relaxing tea. I like a fresh picked sprig in a glass of sun brewed iced tea.

Pat Towel/soap

A few days ago I was pleasantly surprised that I was a lucky winner in a give-away over on Pat Wenger's blog Hook Hand and Heart. My heart skipped a beat today when I opened the package from her and eyed the fabulous homespun towel she made and the bar of Rose Geranium handmade soap. I have been a collector and lover of antique homespun for a number of years. I have to tell you that this homespun towel she made is pure primitive luxury. The touch is like silk and the workmanship is excellent. Made to use I know, but forgive me because I shall hang it with my prized pieces of antique homespun and enjoy it's simple beauty. I know that others have urged Pat to offer her weaving on her website. What a treat that would be for those primitive lovers like me who would love to own a hand woven piece.

Pat towel/soap close

The Rose Geranium soap happens to be one of my all time favorite scents. Pat you really know just the right things to make a much appreciated give-way package! Thank-you generous friend from the bottom of my heart! If you haven't had the pleasure to check out Pat's blog be sure and click here to be transported to an earlier time through viewing her lovely homestead.

Here are a few more photos of my gardens and some of the old salvaged junk from the farm that we use for garden art.

siberian iris/wheel
Siberian Iris in full bloom.

horse drawn plow
An old rusty horse drawn plow.

coral bells/tub

Coral bells by an old galvanized tub with annuals.

wenger homespun/close
I couldn't resist a couple more photos of your towel Pat. Doesn't it look wonderful hanging with some antique homespun and early calico? Love Love Love it!!

wenger homespun