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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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Quickie Snowman Ornament!

When Dave came home for lunch today he was looking at the junk mail flyers that came in the mail before taking them out to the recycling.  He noticed the Christmas decorations in one of them and said " I should go buy a little snowman ornament for my desk at work."   I said " I didn't know you wanted anything like that on your desk...."  Hmmmmm   I think he's getting into the Holiday spirit this year do ya think?  
Anyway I asked him if he wanted me to make him one and he said I probably wouldn't have time.  Well.... he sort of got that right!  Between working in my studio, household stuff, making arrangements so that I can sit at the hospital tomorrow while my Mom has cataract surgery I probably didn't need another project right at the moment!  

But I thought to myself...... what if it were to be a real quickie little snowman..... something that wouldn't matter if someone decided to snatch it from his desk at the newspaper office!
Grabbed a piece of natural wool..... one of those cheapie plastic star ornaments for the base..... hand stitched a snowman shape..... stuffed with batting and let some peak out the bottom to look like snow... sewed by hand onto the star base.... tied a wool worm ( strip of wool) around for scarf...stuck straight pins in for buttons..... used an orange marker to color the end of a toothpick and broke it off and stuck it through wool for the nose...... black marker for eyes.... DONE! 
A real quickie for a real sweetie!  
Now.... onto more important matters!!  LOL!

I still have some Red House Feather Tree patterns on linen available for $25.00 which includes the postage to USA and Canada.  You can email me at antcathy@charter.net if you would like one to hook up real quick like for Christmas!  Hmmmm think I'm noticing a theme here..... quick is good though when it turns out better than expected!!

Cathy G

Sunday, November 25, 2012

New Feather Tree Pattern on Linen!

Red House Feather Tree~Designed by Cathy G

Right before our Open House last weekend I finished hooking this little feather tree rug!  I drew the pattern on linen and picked some fun Christmas colored wools and hooked it up in a jiffy!  If you would like to hook one quick before Christmas I have a few drawn up on Dorr quality primitive linen ready to hook.  The mat measures 14 inches tall by 7 inches wide.  It comes with a little photo of the finished rug too. 
The cost is 25.00 which includes the postage to USA or Canada. 
Email me at antcathy@charter.net  if you would like one.
Accepting paypal only
Thanks so much!

These will only be available for a limited time and only available on linen.   Since tomorrow is Cyber Monday I thought I would get it on the act by offering a little something for my online friends to purchase!  Thanks so much!    

(French Urn pattern from Need'l Love French Market Threads Book~Design by Maggie Bonanomi)
The French Urn Rug is coming along too!  I have to watch The Good Wife tonight and hook a little more.  Hope your weekend was filled with good things!

Cathy G

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Tongues Have Spoken!

And I listened!  Do your rugs ever speak to you?  On occasion mine have done so!  I didn't know for sure what wools I was going to use for the tongues in this pattern.  They are such a big visual in this rug!  All the way around the border!  I was worried what ever I did use was going to over power the rest of the rug.

( rug pattern is from the Needl' Love Book French Market Threads~design by Maggie Bonanomi)

So tell me what you think!  I am using the same wools that are in the leaves and the cream color in the berries.  It looks white in the photo but it is a really nice sandy lighter cream. I have already made some slight changes in the body of the rug since I took this photo this morning. I am really making good progress.  The 8.5 cut speeds things up quite a bit.

We got a couple of inches of snow last night and boy the weather forcasters were right!  Cold and windy!  I snapped this photo of my boys out by the wood pile. When Dave put that old wool jacket on I stopped and said...."Hey!... I forgot you had that old thing..... let me see how thick it is......."  He said "Oh no you don't.... this jacket is the warmest thing there is for bringing in the fire wood!"  I had to laugh.... that old jacket belonged to his Dad as a matter of fact! I think it's real cute on him so I promised I wouldn't cut it up for a rug!   Smokey and Max got new fleece jackets this winter.  They love the snow at least til their little feet get cold!

Cathy G

Thursday, November 22, 2012

French Urn Progress and a Blue Formula

Here are the results of my hooking  marathon yesterday and last evening!   I covered a lot of ground in a few hours. I am using an 8.5 cut strip for the most part.  A number 7 cut is working well around the berries and narrow spaces.  

The line-up of wools I'm using is a mix of hand-dyed and off-the-bolt from Rebecca Erb and Heaven's to Betsy.  There's the blue in the middle that I dyed over an oatmeal colored wool.  Would you like the formula?  
Civil War Soldier Blue
1/8th tsp. Cushings Blue
1/8th tsp. Cushings Navy Blue
1/8th tsp. Cushings Silver Gray
1/32 tsp. Cushings Jade Grn.
1 Cup Boiling Water
Use 1/2 cup over 3/4 of a yard of oatmeal colored wool

Just a wonderful Blue!  I like to scrunch it up in an electric fry pan for a nice mottled effect.

Took the dogs on a nice little walk this morning( before our temperature's start to drastically fall! ... oh boy... from the high fifties to the twenties by this evening!)  .. threw the ribs smothered in BBQ sauce and onions in the oven.
( don't you feel sorry for those poor souls who will be waiting in line around here for Blk. Friday deals??.... they are gonna freeze their little tooshes off!  LOL)
Now I'm headed to the studio to try and figure out how I'm gonna hook those tongues around the border. They have been bugging me a little bit..... but I think I know what wools I'm going to use. Now  if it just looks like I have envisioned I'll be all right.

Hope you are having a great Thanksgiving so far!

Cathy G

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Burning the Midnight Oil/Electricity

First and foremost I need to THANK-YOU dear blogging friends for all your wonderful praises and comments on our Open House!   You are such loving and positive ladies and how I wish you all could have been here..... but it sounds like I would have had to double our supply of wool before you came !! LOL!

I will try and keep you updated on our progress here and I welcome all of your thoughts, praise, and cheering on what you think of it all!!  That's what makes blogging so much fun to hear your "voices" from this community that spans miles and miles!  Thank goodness for electricity which makes that all possible!

We have gained a much greater appreciation for that energy flowing so abundantly around us after watching our comrades on the east coast endure life without it for so long.  Have you watched the show on T.V. called Revolution? It depicts a sitcom writer's views of what life would perhaps become were the grid suddenly to become only a memory!  Heaven forbid..... I've only seen bits and pieces of the show and that was enough for me!  Too depressing!

Last night I burned my share of electricity by staying up waaaaaay past the hour when most decent people are sleeping!   It's something I do on occasion as you know if you've followed my blog from it's early days.  The one thing that can keep me up til the wee hours is starting a new rug!

   The pattern is called French Urn by Maggie Bonanomi.  It can be found in the Need'l Love French Market Book.  When I first saw the pattern I thought the urn would be fun to do in blue!  The blue I'm using is the same one I dyed for my "America" rug that I designed.  As I progress I will show you the line-up of wools and a photo.

As most people this week are preparing for Thanksgiving and thinking of getting decorations for Christmas put up..... I'm hoping I can take a little break from preparing much of anything except running some wool through the cutter!  LOL!!  I've done enough preparing this past couple of months to last through the end of the year and then some!

 My Mom is invited to my brother's for Thanksgiving so I think I'm off the hook for cooking anything big.  Dave likes to hunt that day and that's fine by me.  I think I'll throw some bar-b-que ribs in the oven and let them cook all day while I hook all day!!   We'll have mashed potatoes and butter!  Maybe some green beens and a salad.
Let me wish you all the most blessed Thanksgiving.  I have blessings so many that  I need a few days to sit and really   contemplate each one!  As my hook softly guides the wool through the linen my mind is at peace. My heart is satisfied and grateful. No better Thanksgiving than that!
                                                                         Cathy G

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Open House Photos~At Last!

Our Open House and Studio Tour was a success in ways that probably won't be  fully appreciated until the months and days ahead.  People came, enjoyed, stayed and watched while our merry band of hookers pulled loops and stitched appliques!  We drank mulled cider and shared cookies and hot wild rice soup and marveled at the rugs and beautiful wool surrounding us!  All that was missing was the snow...... so I added some to the header photo..... LOL!
Welcome...... come in...... let us show you our studio, rugs and works of our hands! And perhaps entice you to pull a few loops of your own.....
Max could hardly contain himself all morning..... waiting and waiting for the first visitor to arrive!  Little did he know he was to be banned to the kitchen during the festivities....... much to his displeasure I might add!  He is overly friendly when people visit while his brother Smokey is quite shy and stands in the background and barks.  Dave came home early from deer hunting to keep them entertained  for the day! 
The living room was ready with antiques and goodies. A few things sold..... but unfortunately I have most of it left to decide what to do with!

Lisa loaned me her twig tree to decorate the entrance!  It looked so nice she said I could keep it through out the  Holidays  as she wasn't decorating with it this year!  Thank-you Lisa!
The old cook stove came in handy as a wool holder..... anything with a flat surface around here is now fair game for holding wool!
I don't know if I ever told you about the door to the garage.... behind the tree.  I painted it a few years ago  to look like old wood wainscoting. For some reason people are fascinated by it so I have left it that way.  Kind of a rustic charm I guess......

The wool is waiting and inviting!  There's a little bit more too.......
A former window turned into shelving holds more wool.  Hand dyed and  ready for hooking and projects!  Jill is keeping us supplied with a nice selection!  She dyes beautiful wool as some of you know who have purchase it.  Am I spoiled or what to have this all at my fingertips!

My old twig bench and early blue trunk came in handy as extra seating and a place to show off some wool applique! The rug on the back of the bench is Jill's garden rug! I believe she sells the pattern on her website NorthwoodsWool.Com

Jill has done some gorgeous wool applique work!  This is a Wool Crazy pattern. Her stitches are so perfect! I absolutely love this piece!
Another view of the living room and baker's cupboard.  Jill's rug "Got Wool" under the cupboard was sold!  She hooked it quite a few years ago and said she was ready to part with it!  It made me a little sad to see it go!  Loved the sheep!

I wanted to show you a picture of Lisa's second rug she hooked!  My "Wild Horses" pattern. It is a stunning rug!  The colors which I kind of winged when I helped her pick out wool really turned out neat don't you think?  I loved having it here for the open house!  Gosh..... I wanted to keep it!!!

There's more wool in the studio to pick from. I think I had every rug I ever hooked on display!

Here's a little view of my tiny check-out area.....  I always have my samples of Rebecca Erb and Heaven's to Betsy wool hanging on a bulletin board behind the counter.  It helps to me to recall the names of the wool and to know which ones we have!  Am I organized or what!  

Oh yes..... more wool I'm afraid..... Jill's marbeled wool hangs in the door way from a curtain rod. More dyed wool in reds and grays in the cupboard.  And it's kind of funny but we talk about how badly we need even more wool!! LOL!  Well..... we have to work hard to sell more and teach some more hookers so we can justify all this ordering of new wool!  We are just beginning and have high hopes this thing will grow!  
I didn't get photos while we had a full house of people. I was too busy talking and explaining things to everyone!  We were all all very busy helping people so when there was a break in the action the girls all sat down for some hooking and chatting.  
From left to right: Lisa's daughter Callie, Lisa. Jill. Penny. Lorena and Saundra.  Callie is our newest hooker by the way!  She pulled a couple of loops during the open house and she got hooked big time. She came by the studio today to purchase a kit! Her mother's enthusiasm has rubbed off on her! LOL! I had to giggle as they all looked so involved in their projects!  But let me tell you right here and now..... these are some serious hookers!  And the best friends and dearest ladies you will ever find in the world!
Many many many thanks to you all for all the help with the open house!  It was successful because of your help and enthusiasm!  
Good things ahead..... I feel it in my bones!  Hooking has taken a hold in the north woods of Wisconsin!  


Cathy G  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Studio Tour and Open House Sneak Peak!

Studio Tour and Open House
Saturday November 17th
Red House Wool Studio~Rice Lake, WI
9:30 to 5:30

The countdown is on!  One week from tomorrow we will be showing our stuff!
These are a couple of photos I took today but please be assured this is only a sneaky little peak!  I can't give my local friends the entire tour as we want them to come and be surprised!
It's beginning to look a little like all the Holidays around here mixed with a LOT of wool! 

Ohhhhh...... so much more to do!
Lisa is bringing her rugs for me to photograph and I'll be hanging them in the studio as well.  So I'll share them as soon as I can.
I am excited and getting a little nervous.  Our ad came out today in the local weekend paper called the Early Bird.  Then it will be in next week's Chronotype our weekly paper as well.  If nothing else maybe we will get some visitors who are curious as to what all the hookers in town are up to!  LOL!
More to come.......

Cathy G

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Open House and Studio Tour!

It's about time you say!  Why doesn't she update her blog?!!!  I hope you'll forgive my absence from blogging lately and accept an invitation to our first Open House and Studio Tour!

We are in the process of transforming my studio into a shop, gallery and fun place to come and get inspired or pull out a frame and hook a few loops!

Hand-dyed wool is everywhere!
Patterns and kits for hooked rugs and wool applique galore!
( even a few antiques and hand mades thrown in for good measure)
Cookies and mulled cider to keep the chill away and the spirits nourished!
For those who can only join us in thought that day I will be taking many photos to share here before and during the event.

When: Saturday November 17th (Opening Deer Hunting Season here) 

Where: Red House Wool Studio- 1505 Fencl Ave. Rice Lake, WI

Time: 9:30 to 5:30