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, December 27, 2013

Doing a little wool appliqué and thinking....

When I came across this cute appliqué pattern on Etsy (seller Stitchintimepatterns) I thought to myself it's time to get on the treadmill!  But do I do it?  Not so much... but I did throw some left over Christmas cookies in the garbage today!

The wool applique' above is one I've been working on the past few weeks. The pattern is by Cheri's Quilts called Country Seasons.  It's a block from a quilt that has all the seasons but I am only making the winter block and plan to make it into a pillow.   I've added some snowflakes to the border and did some square wool pennies on the top. It's done with all wool except for a couple of strips of cotton fabric. The cream colored wool has gold sparkles in it!   Sooooo much fun!!

I've been hooking on a new rug this week too!
Will share that with you soon I hope!

With the new year only a few days away...
are you making plans for a few new projects?

Perhaps redoing a room or two in your home?
Or gathering ideas for your next rug hooking project?
Maybe your goal is to get on that treadmill and start cooking healthy meals!

Whatever your heart desires...
May you accomplish.

Cathy G

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Greetings!

Stay Safe and Warm over the Holidays my Friends!
May your Christmas be Merry and Bright!

Cathy G.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Stills

My camera is on it's last leg... I wonder if Santa reads blogs!  Ho Ho Ho! I wonder if he knows a good blogger cannot be without a good camera?  
Oh and Santa... about that orange sink.....

Cathy G

Monday, December 9, 2013

Twas Two Weeks Before Christmas....

...and all through the house
The wool sits in bundles
the patterns en route

The stockings are flung on the back of the chair 
in hopes that St. Nicholas
can still find them there!

The doggies are nestled all snug in their bed
while visions of a nap for me
dance in my head

Me in my nightgown
my laptop plugged in
had just settled down
with a tonic and gin

When out on the drive
there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my chair to see
what the heck was the matter!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear
the UPS truck roaring up in high gear!

With a young handsome driver 
so lively and quick
I knew in a moment 
I was about to get sick!

A shipment of wool piled high on my deck
The work of unpacking and washing was next

So away to the studio
I flew like a flash
tore open the package and
tore up the stash

The names of the wools I can barely recall
But what does it matter
I ordered them all!

I spoke not a word
but went straight to my work
filled up the washer
then turned with a jerk

laying a finger aside of my nose
I thought OMG those orders on FaceBook
I can't forget those!

So I sprang to my studio
and wished for a team
who would work while they whistle
now that is a dream!

I looked in the mirror and 
swore to myself
I'm looking like Santa
that plump jolly old elf

With a wink of my eye
and a twist of my jaw
I'm thinking of New Year's
and new patterns to draw

So to all who have ordered
and emailed and called
Merry Christmas my friends!
To one and to all!!

Cathy G

p.s. Merry Christmas patterns still available for limited time... look in the upper left corner of this blog 
for the paypal button to order
or email me at antcathy@charter.net for address to send a check or money order...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Got Those Merry Christmas Rugs Hooked Yet?

OH My Glory Stars!!!   That Rhonda Thomas  is one fast hooker!  That sounds a bit naughty but there is a good naughty too don't you know!  Santa knows the difference!   LOL!!

I have been working feverishly day and night to get all the orders for the Merry Christmas rug mailed to you as fast as they come in!  That has required the elves' ( dogs Smokey and Max) help as well as jolly old hubby's hand around here to keep the patterns cranked out!
Many many Thanks to all who have ordered the Merry Christmas pattern so far.... and there are LOTS of you!

Your patterns are on their way and if you are finding it hard to believe that Rhonda has hers all hooked already you may also be shocked to know she has already SOLD the rug!!  Wow!  But that doesn't surprise me one bit!  For when you look at her gorgeous hooking and rendition of my pattern it's no wonder it was snatched up faster than you can say Merry Christmas!!

The patterns are still available and will be for a bit longer... so if you would like to get your hook moving on this merry design look in the upper left corner of this blog and you will see the Paypal button to purchase online.  You can mail a check snail mail too just email me for my address!

So Congrats to Rhonda on her swift rug sale and may she have time to hook another for herself for Christmas!

Me... I've got lists to check... patterns to print... and logs to throw on the wood fire... 

To all a good night!!
Cathy G

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Merry New Rug Design~~

I just couldn't help myself... today I turned on the Christmas Music!  Just a little and very softly to ease into the Holiday Season.
A few weeks ago I finished hooking this Merry Christmas rug. I was inspired by the lettering on vintage Christmas cards and greetings.
It's a small table runner that measures about 8 by 25 inches.  It looks wonderful everywhere I've displayed it in my home!  On the wall, on the work harvest table in the kitchen and over the fireplace.  How about over a doorway greeting visitors this Merry Season!
I've used a dark green plaid wool for the letters and a couple of soft sprucy looking antique greens for the background.  I've outlined the rug in a very deep and rich antique red and a row of hand-dyed gold. I went for an antique look and I really love the way it turned out!
So I've decided to offer my pattern for a limited time this Holiday season so you can hook your own.  Check on my sidebar over there on the left and you will see the button to purchase.
It will be mailed to you via snail mail ( because I haven't figured out yet how to do epatterns. That's on my list of new things to learn this coming year!
The pattern is a full sized paper pattern ready for you to trace to your own backing material. 

Well... hope you like it!  I'm off to finish folding a few patterns and listen to a few carols!
Fa la la la la!
Cathy G

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Thankful For.....

.... the many good friends I've made through my journey as a blogger!  I cannot imagine my life now without the connections we've made and the daily pleasure of reading your posts and keeping up with what everyone is doing and the happenings in your lives!
When I opened my "snail mail" box yesterday I could hardly contain my excitement as the package had arrived that I was expecting from one of my good blogging friends Lauren of RUGS and PUGS blog!  She had one of her many generous give-aways a few days ago and the stars and moon and sun must have all been  lined up perfectly as I was the lucky winner!  
YaY!!!  One of her gorgeous wide strip ( I believe they may be hand-torn ?  Lauren.... or do you have a cutter blade that wide?   OH my Goodness it is so plush and beautiful!  A few of the girls were over Sat. when I took it out of the package and eyes and fingers were eagerly checking it out!!!

The back was of great interest to everyone!  What a wonderful way to finish the back of these wonderful pumpkin mats!  It is like a patchwork quilt!  I love flipping the rug over and finding something wonderful on the back as well!

Thank-you so much Lauren!  You are a very generous soul and having one of your hand-made lovely rugs to admire and touch each day and your friendship is indeed a reason for thankfulness!
It brings you closer and even though our lives take place hundreds of miles apart we share the bond of hooking rugs and the crazy wool addiction that only a sister hooker can understand!!
Big hugs to you Lauren!

Here is a photo of our Christmas tree out in the studio in the process of being decorated.  It has all handmade wool ornaments made by Jill and myself and is looking quite lovely!  The tree is fake however!  I found it at my neighbor's moving sale this summer for $5.00!  It is perfect for these larger ornaments don't you think?  

I had a string of those LED lights on it originally and for some reason those type of lights don't seem to sparkle enough for my liking.... anyone else experience that with LED?  I know they are supposed to be energy efficient and all that but if they don't twinkle then what's the use?  I'm thankful you can still find the Non LED for now.

( I'm still holding out and not playing the Christmas music yet.... don't know what my problem is this year... 
maybe the twinkling lights will help!!
Cathy G

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Paper Wasp Nest

When all the leaves fell from the tall sugar maple trees in our front yard a few days ago we looked waaaaaayyy up to see a nice paper wasp's nest hanging from a very thin branch in one of them.  Knowing these nests are very fragile and the wasps don't use them again, nor are they holed up inside for the winter as many  believe... Dave decided to see if he could retrieve it from the tree.
When he decides to do these things I always get a little nervous picturing the big extension ladder and a 60 year old guy ( who is in great shape mind you) losing his balance and.... you get the picture don't you?

He appeared a few moments later proudly showing me his prize and calling his buddy who evidently knows how to put some type of preservative on these things so they don't fall apart. His buddy was pretty excited too and said to Dave..."Cathy will really like that to hang in her studio.... it will look real nice with the decor out there!"  
Yep, it doesn't take much to excite these lumberjack fellows here in the north woods!  LOL!  But to tell the truth as much as I'm fascinated by these jewels of nature I'm a little creeped out by them too.  I'm not particularly fond of wasps.  I think there's been a few too many bee stings in my recent past to appreciate it's beauty hanging in my studio.

Here is a close-up of the layer upon layer of very thin delicate paper the wasps have made. They use bark from trees and leaves and chew it to create their masterpiece in beautiful grays, silvers, browns and taupe. There are little bits of green perhaps grass.  How can one not be fascinated by the finished product these wasps call home for the summer.  And to think it held up through a few storms and an early gusty fall snowstorm a couple of weeks ago.

So yes we shall admire it and marvel at nature and her mysterious ways.  It will be preserved and handled gently.  For now it hangs in the garage from the handle bars of a bike that has been stored hanging from the rafters for the winter.  Where it will end up is anybody's guess.  But I'm fairly certain it will not be gracing a corner of my wool studio.

November Blessings!!
Cathy G

Friday, November 8, 2013

My Latest Class of Beginning Rug Hookers!

"Simply Sweet Sunflower"
designed by Cathy Greschner for
Beginning Rug Hooking Class November 7th 2013

Yesterday we had seven lovely ladies here in the studio for another beginning rug hooking class!  What an awesome group of ladies!  We laughed, chatted, drank some spiced caramel apple cider, ate pumpkin muffins and yes we hooked!  They are all off to a wonderful start on their little sunflower mats I designed especially for this class!  
Everyone is thrilled to be learning how to hook rugs! These gals are talented quilters and wool appliqué artists already and want to learn yet another craft! 
Next week they come back to learn the art of binding their sweet little mats!  
I am a stickler for making sure they learn to bind their rugs... the part of rug hooking we all love so much.... right Lauren?  LOL!! 
It's not a rug until it's bound!

Speaking of finishing... Jill and I just completed a couple of wool appliqué  models for the studio shop.... here is Jill's...

Didn't she do a beautiful job?  Of course everything Jill does is finished and stitched to perfection!
I just LOVE this bag!  Oh my goodness the studio is REALLY starting to feel like the Holidays!!

I have  a finish to show too.... this 18 inch wool applique mat with Holly and Berries!  It was SOOOOO much fun to stitch!!  The more I do this wool appliqué  the more I'm lovin' it!!

Well off to work a little more in the studio today and get things ready for tomorrow! 
We are open on Saturdays from 10:00 to 4:00 so if you live in this neck of the woods PLEASE stop on by... the coffee and cider will be brewing!  Warm up between snowflakes and come fondle our newly dyed wool and browse all the new patterns!  

Cathy G

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Trouble Adjusting!

Someone's having trouble adjusting to daylight savings time!  Yep... my diabetic pooch Smokey!  Here he is following me and peeking in the bathroom door!  He is on the old time clock that says it's time to eat right now MOM!!  I am trying to get him to hold off for at least another half-hour so everything works out with his insulin schedule.  He gets shots every twelve hours. When daylight savings time comes around each Fall and Spring we have to adjust things a little.
Anyone else having trouble adjusting?   I wish they would just leave the time alone and let us live our lives on one schedule.  
What did they do in days before electric and battery powered clocks?  Oh yea.... just thought of it now... better go in the dresser drawer and switch all my wrist watches to the correct time! 
And don't forget the clocks in the vehicles!  
What a pain!!

Happy Daylight Savings Time!!

Cathy G

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Smokey and Max will be going to the groomers today....  not their favorite thing to do but they still want to wish everyone a safe and Happy Halloween!

Cathy G

Friday, October 25, 2013

Christmas A Little Early!

The light dusting of snow we had here a few days ago kind of got me thinking more along the lines of Christmas greenery and twinkling lights mode than Fall Harvest and pumpkins!  Yikes! Flurries and cold winds with below freezing temps brought out the ear muffs and scarves!  We've finished cleaning out the gardens and putting away hoses, water fountains and the last of the garden ornaments.  
 Indoors here at the Red House Wool Studio things are beginning to look a little like Christmas!

I'm not one to rush the seasons but in the retail business we are always pushing it earlier each year it seems.  The weather here certainly is!

I've been working on my little wool appliqué quilt which is going better than I anticipated!  I found some fabric that coordinates with the squares with the penny circles appliquéd onto them and I actually think it looks pretty nice!  What do ya think?  Did I make a good choice?

I've sewn all the squares together and put some batting and a homespun back on and now I'm in the process of hand quilting it all together!  Jill and some of my rug hooking students have had to give me some advice on the quilting part as I have never really done much of this piecing and quilting work before.   I am really loving it though!  Have to remind myself to get back to my rug hooking a little bit too.... I haven't neglected it completely....  you may have caught a  glimpse in the photo above of something I've hooked recently for the Christmas Season ahead!  More to come later on that!

I've had some inquiries about purchasing the pattern for the "Squared Up" wool appliqué mat in my last post.  If you left a comment on my last post and I didn't answer it's because there is no way to contact you if you don't have your email address listed on your blogger identification page.  Please think about adding this information so it's easy to contact you! 
I've decided to offer a few of  the patterns here on the sidebar for a limited time.  The cost of the pattern is $7.50 USA only please... plus .50 shipping.
Just use the Paypal button below the pattern on the sidebar!

Oh and don't worry... I haven't started playing the Christmas music yet!  For it isn't even Halloween until next Thursday!  

Cathy G

Friday, October 18, 2013

Squared Up and Squared Away!

Greetings on this sunshiny chilly October day!   I wanted to share my finished wool applique candle  mat... the pattern is by Primitive Gatherings called "Squared Up"  as well as some things I've been trying to get squared away!

There have been so many things calling for my attention here in the studio lately.   It's been a little less stressful since I decided last month to opt out of the Primitive Handmades Mercantile Group!  Oh I fretted over that decision as they are such a wonderful group of ladies!  Their October Update is in full swing with fabulous hand made goodies! If you haven't been... hop over and see!  

With a few less deadlines I am able to concentrate more on my upcoming rug hooking classes here in the studio.  AND try my hand at some new things I've been wanting to learn!

I've had desires to cut up some wonderful fabrics in little chunks and sew them together!  I believe they call it quilting!  LOL!   There were a few things holding me back like not having ANY equipment like cutting mats, rotary cutters, quilting rulers etc.   Ahhh ... and the quilting fabric.... do you think that might come in handy when a girl decides to make a quilt?!!  So desires led to action and over the last couple of months with coupons from Joanne's and trips to a couple of fine quilt shops I now have at least the basics to get started!

Now let me say that my quilting attempts probably will not yield any full size beauties for the bed at the present time!  I have in mind some smaller projects.  In fact I have one started....

It involves some wool of course....  surprised?  LOL!   Living with a shop full of wool stirs up all kinds of inspired ideas for things I want to create!  But lo and behold...    I've already run straight ahead into a wall with this project!!.  Oh why do I do these things!  Yep... didn't calculate how much of that cotton background print I would need and I have 13 more squares to make and I'm out of that particular fabric!  So this first project will be a make-do.. as in make-do with what I have on hand.  Still not squared away when it comes to quilting fabric!!  But I do have an idea...so 

Stay tuned... 
Will she have what it takes to become the quilter she dreams of?

Cathy G

Sunday, October 13, 2013

An October's Day

  I tried not to let thoughts of approaching cold weather interrupt the sunshine and warmth, sights and smells on this gorgeous October day.

The pungent smell of burning leaves, fresh cut firewood and Windex fill the air as the final outside chores are checked off the to-do list .

Beautiful birch branches lay on the lawn as Dave surveys his wood pile.  Is he thinking about how many more trips to the woods he needs to make before the stockpile is enough to get through the winter?

I hope he is also thinking about the project I mentioned to him earlier that involves those birch branches!

Wood neatly stacked in the backyard after it is split.

Pointing the camera up through the maple leaves captures what it must feel like to be a squirrel!

Our maples in the front yard are some of the last in the neighborhood to show off their golden orange and yellows.  

Look at that blue October sky!!

I've added some twinkly lights to a potted shrub in the backyard.

I see Dave didn't forget about the project I mentioned earlier!  Since the Green Bay Packers won today he was in a pretty good mood.  
It's nice getting a little head start on a Christmas decoration!

Hope your October Day was filled with sunshine and wins!

Cathy G

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pears and Squares

Howdy!  Oh gosh I know it's been awhile!  I'll be amazed if I actually have any readers left out there! Blogging is hard work you know.  There have been days lately where I just couldn't bring myself to sit down and write a word... I'd think about it then instead of coming up with a post  I'd just go immerse myself  in Pinterest!  I deserve a good spank!  LOL!

Of course a lot of things have been going on!   I've been teaching rug hooking classes here in the studio.  I've had a half-dozen lovely new students over the past few weeks.  And come the first week in November there are a group of TEN who would like to come take my class!  Whew!  That's quite a few in one class but this group of friends would like to take it together!  So... I hope I can keep everything straight!  Lots of learning, laughs and loops are anticipated!

That lovely pear in the photo is a real pear!  I know it almost looks like an artificial one doesn't it?   A couple of weeks ago while Dave and I were on a short trip up north to Bayfield, WI,   we visited an apple orchard and amongst all the varieties of apples I spotted these great looking pears.  They were not quite ripe when we purchased them but after a few days on the kitchen counter in a wooden bowl  they turned from green to a beautiful peachy glow!  They were the sweetest pears I've ever tasted!

I sliced a few of them up today and popped them in the food dehydrator to make pear chips!  Like potato chips except made from pears!  Sprinkled with a bit of cinnamon they are absolutely delicious!
And the house smells  of cinnamon and pears...  so Fall like and cozy.
Speaking of cozy...

A few days ago I drew up some little acorn shaped coasters on linen and hooked them using some new wools we got in the studio!  This little corner in the studio is quite comfy to sit and hook or work on some wool applique. The little acorn coasters are nice to set a cup of tea on while stitching or hooking.   I have been working on some models for the studio.

I have only recently been working with wool applique.  It's a nice break from hooking and I still get to play with wool!  There are so many cute patterns out there that I would like to stitch.  I thought this one from Primitive Gatherings would be easy and quick!

Well it turns out nothing with hand sewing is really ever quick for me!  It was fun though to cut out all the little squares.  I am using a product called Heat-N-Bond lite and it sure makes the work easier and keeps the wool looking tidy on the edges. 
We will be carrying this pattern in the shop now too.

So much more to tell you about but I think I need to go work on this project for a little while before hitting the hay!

I'll be back soon if all goes well!
Happy leaf watching and Fall merry making!!

Cathy G

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Autumn at Red House Wool Studio~A Photo Tour!

I think we're ready!  Autumn has arrived at the Red House Wool Studio!
Tell me this is your favorite time of year to
add some scrumptious Fall colors to your wool stash!
Here we go.... 
Enjoy the tour !!

We hope you will stop by the Studio soon to see our selection of new hand-dyed wools, patterns, and everything for your rug hooking and wool applique needs! 
We're adding things daily and Fall classes for rug hooking are in progress!
Email me Here for more information on my beginning rug hooking classes!
Happy Fall Y'all!!

Cathy G