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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Thursday, December 22, 2016

There's Something in the Air and It's Called...


STRESS!   Oh my... I had a much different blog post planned for today than this one.  But... I think what I have to say many of you can relate to.  It's been going on here a few days.  The feeling of soreness, tightness in my chest.  The uncomfortable pain going around to my upper back and at times deep into my heart muscle.  
Thinking it would just go away... I'd lay with a heating pad and tried resting off and on between wrtiting Christmas cards, dealing with a stack of bills and continuing the daily rituals... insulin shots for my pooch and on and on.  News on FaceBook of friends and family going through major difficulties...  my mind just can't shut out all the problems... let alone those things going on in countries far far from here that I have absolutely NO control of how to fix THAT!  
Except... 
well...  I started feeling pretty bad yesterday morning... I decided to give a triage nurse a call and talk over my symptoms... just to see if I should make an appointment with my Dr.... and well I guess I should say it didn't surprise me.. she was ready to call an ambulance right then and there!!!
I explained that I've been having these symptoms for a few days and didn't think I was in full panic heart attack mode... but she calmly explained that women are different... our symptoms can be way more subtle than men... not like you see on TV where they are grasping their chests and falling to the ground.
We then decided it was okay if Dave drove me to the hospital since we live only a mile or two away.  And if he got me there in the next five minutes.

Soooo..





Dave, home from work in a few minutes... we were in the ER and I was admitted faster than you can say Merry Christmas!  
EKG buttons attached, X-rays ordered, Blood tests, and then a CT scan followed. 
To make this short and sweet.... I wasn't having a heart attack!
Whew... did I dodge a bullet?  What was causing all this distress and pain! 
They did find my esophagus had a little swelling...hence the feeling of fullness when I swallow. And of course my old thyroid problems.  Which are chronic and I am under a Dr.s care sort of.
So I was released with orders to REST for a few days... follow up with my Doc after Christmas.

Well... today is my Birthday.
They saw on my records yesterday in the ER of course..
I told them I decided to make the call and come in and get checked as I didn't necessarily want to die on my Birthday!
Nurse laughs and said "my my, listen to miss negative here"!


Thinking of ways I can try and deSTRESS my life today... on my 63rd birthday.

I think it's time to quit all the nonsense of worrying about things I have absolutely NO control over and maybe UNPLUG from world news,  FaceBook, phones and whatever..
Hard to do.  I love my online friends and the family that seems to be the only way we know what's going on with each other.  
But maybe a little less of it... a little less working round the clock( with a business in your home you don't get much of a break) 

The Winter Solstice ( which is what I had originally planned to write this post on)  is a time to turn inward... maybe make a few of those changes.  Think of precious little things surrounding us that get overlooked in all the RUSH!
The word folks should be "HUSH"....... see the little birds flitting about in the snow and the rabbit who silently hopped across the backyard in the moonlight. 
The great earth is turning on it's axis... ever so slowly in the vastness of space.  
Our days are filled with magical happenings... 
Far removed from the violence and the hatred...
I need and I suspect others reading these words need .. to take note.

So Celebrate the Season,  Sing and Rejoice!

It' good for the heart!
We make the Choice!

Quiet Christmas Blessings Dearest Friends and Family!

Cathy G








Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Happy Stitchers and Hookers at today's Hook-in!


Oh what a time we had today at our second Tuesday of the month hook-in here at Red House Wool Studio!  Please meet Holly ( love her name and the color of her hair!) She is a newcomer here at the studio!  She is a long time quilter and has found her way recently to wool applique and cannot get enough!  Holly fits right in with all of us as we all like antiques and can't you tell by her projects she loves the primitive colors and designs!  I know you'll love it here Holly!  So glad you found us!


Did you think this was a plate of Christmas Cookies!  Well... look closely!  They are adorable wool pins made by Cindy and Shirley from wool strips or worms as we so affectionately call them!  They made one for each person who came today!  Thank you ladies!  What a treat!  We were all feeling so Christmasy and loved wearing our darling pins!!


Celeste is always working on something fantastic!  Look at her newest project!  A wool applique by Wooden Spool Designs!  She's made great progress! And the *Be Warm* block was so appropriate for today as the temperature was well below zero when some of these gals drove a couple of hours to get here this morning!  Brave Wisconsinites! We don't fear a little cold weather when there's wool and good friends awaiting!


Lisa is working on a design by Lori Brechlin of NotforgottenFarm called Glad Tidings!  She's using wools and colors out of her comfort zone.... and loving it!!  We talk about that quite a lot here in the studio!  Yes... we all have our dislikes and likes when it comes to color... and maybe design styles!  But Lisa says she is having so much fun with this rug and is happy she took the leap to try something different!  

Lisa is partial to horse rugs... and has done a fabulous job on this one by American Country Rugs!


Well would you look at this!  All the hooking and trying new things has led Lisa to try her hand at designing!  This is her new design and I think it's totally awesome!  I am trying to talk her into making it into some kits for the studio!  What do you think?  She can do that in her spare time between her full time truck driving job, raising her family and taking care of her horses!  We'll see... but she will "get er done"  if she sets her mind to it!   BELIEVE me! 


Talk about believing... Cindy has stitched this sweet little Santa pin cushion using a pattern by Buttermilk Basin!  I believe in Santa how 'bout you?  Especially when he shows up on a sweet pin cushion!  Santa baby... I could use one of these under the tree!  Just sayin'!!  


Sipping candy cane flavored coffee, stitching, hooking and planning our next projects!  




Everyone was eyeing up this cute little thread basket that Holly had in her sewing basket!  How handy would this be!  She explained a friend made it and used to sell them them at craft shows.  




Welcome another newby wool appliquer to our group today!  Meet Eva! I've known Eva for a few years and have been trying to get her to join our happy, growing group here on the second Tuesday!  Well today she finally was able to make it!  She's had knee replacement surgery not  too long ago.  She does a lot of quilting and boy you should see her quilts!! Maybe she'll bring one to show next time she joins us!  So welcome Eva!  I hope you enjoyed today as much as I did!  After a little lunch...

Everyone headed back out into the cold cold weather!  Some had a little  shopping to do  before they headed home but I'm sure they still felt the warmth that was shared here today!   Good friends, good food and wooly projects had us all in good spirits!  
A Merry Christmas to All!

Cathy G


( For a short video of todays hook-in event head over to FaceBook!) Click on the link in my side bar! 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas in Blue!


There's something about blue Christmas lights... so peaceful and beautiful on a winter's night!  


This house in a neighborhood near us has  the most spectacular lighting  display in town!  Dave and I agree we both love the blue lights! Against the fresh 4 to 5 inches of snow we had today it was picture perfect! 




We stopped this evening while on our way home after a little shopping....   






And will drive past again I'm sure this Christmas season!

I'm getting ready for second Tuesday of the month hooking here this week!  Sounds like we have a couple of new gals joining us!
So stay tuned!
Can't wait to see what everyone is working on!

Peace and Love,


Cathy G

Monday, December 5, 2016

Dear Santa... about that new puppy...


This post is kind of a strange one!  I want to show you my latest hooked rug AND..... I have to show you my friend's new little puppy!!  Oh... be still my heart! But first, the rug...

A few  short weeks ago as I began hooking this Belsnickle rug I knew it was too late to get a pattern out before Christmas.  Well I guess I could have... but made the decision to not rush things and add more chaos to my life!  There has been so much to deal with these past couple of months and I just decided... heck with it. If I don't feel like doing something in a rush or at all for that matter... well... I'm just NOT gonna do it!  
So maybe next year when the Christmas Season rolls around I'll have more ambition and release it as a paper pattern.  
I hardly ever add embellishment to my rugs.  My friend Lisa brought me a little piece of antique tinsel and it fit right on the hem of the Belsnickle's coat. She also had a bit of old flax that she gave me for his beard. I do rather like it on this rug.  
Has a feeling of Christmas of olde.





 So many things in my life this past year have been hard to deal with.  I've made it through all of it by the grace of a higher power.  It has to be, as I don't think I could have lived through it all on my own energies.
I know I'm not the only one this Holiday Season that will be going through  dealing with loss of a family member or friend.  I have been keeping Julia, one of our dear sweet blogging friends ( Of Petals and Wool Blog)  in constant thought and prayer as she has lost her beautiful daughter Nicole in October.  If there are others (blog writers or readers)  who have lost someone dear or going through serious illness or know of someone needing special prayers, please leave a comment so we may all keep you in our hearts and minds during the Holidays and beyond.

For so many, this time of year can be difficult.  As the hustle and bustle of the season keeps us in a hurried state of mind, many may need a few moments to sit in front of the fire and reflect.  Or to just  cozy up in our favorite hooking chair with a rug and a cuppa spiced tea to sip as we hook. 
Please take that time... guilt free. Your inner soul will thank you for it.

On a lighter note.... and don't we need to look for those things that bring laughter and cheer amid the sadness in life? 
I'm sure there is a little girl or boy out there somewhere right this minute penning( or texting LOL!)  a letter to Santa... begging the jolly old elf for what else besides Xbox games... a  new PUPPY of course! 
Yes it's an age old practice... people getting puppies at Christmastime.
Having raised two furry babies myself since they were eight weeks old, I know the drawbacks of choosing this time of year to adopt a little bundle of fur! 
But for others, like my sweet friend Lizzy ( I featured her house a few posts back) it may be the perfect time of year to bring a new puppy home to cherish and spoil!  Lizzy lost her beloved pet Scotties this past year and found the house to be a little too quiet without them. 
So let me introduce SALLY....her new little seven week old Scottish Terrier!  OH for sweet! 
She hasn't even had her first grooming yet!
When I held her she was so wiggly and kept snuggling my neck with doggy kisses!  
I felt the weight of the world just lift off my shoulders!
Who can remain downtrodden at the sight of a sweet little all black puppy with eyes taking in all things new!  She is already learning to ring a bell to be let outside to potty!  
Smart as a whip and cute as the devil... who can resist such sweetness! 
Well, I am so darn happy for Lizzy!  
But I know it's not the time for me to take on the challenge of raising a new puppy.  Mine are 14 years old and needing much TLC. 
They're all I can handle for now! 

But for someone out there who could use a new companion and is situated in life to take care of one or more of these precious little souls... 
it may be the time to write Santa a letter,
Yes dear Santa.... about that new puppy....

❤️❤️❤️❤️!!!!!

Cathy G










Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Special Bouquet This Thanksgiving


Dear Mom,
The first Thanksgiving without you is not easy.  A beautiful bouquet from Dave this morning has brought some cheer.  The smell of fresh roses and cedar mingle with the smell of turkey roasting in the oven.  I made a gluten free pumpkin pie for dessert and thought of your pie crusts...  how did you ever make them so flaky, tender and just perfect? 
I hope so many who've lost loved ones this past year and may be spending the day alone will find comfort in a memory or two.  
And for everyone making new memories I wish them a most joyous and bountiful Thanksgiving!
Missing you mom,

Cathy






Thursday, November 17, 2016

A Hunting Tradition


In our neck of the woods in northern Wisconsin, deer hunting is the official start of the Holiday season.  With opening day this Saturday, I can say with certainty that the lefse,  cheese, rifle shells and orange hunting apparel has disappeared off store shelves this week with a vengeance! 

My earliest recollection of deer hunting is watching my dad and his buddies carve up the deer carcass 
in the basement of the old farmhouse where we lived.  Not a pretty site for a nine year old girl who fainted at the sight of blood!
Pretty much explains why I never felt a desire to take to the woods with a rifle. 
I still don't care for venison, but it seems like we always end up with a little of the meat in the freezer each year.
My hubby  loves to deer hunt.  On both sides of our family we have nieces and nephews who are hunting fanatics!  Now there are GREAT nieces and nephews who are following their parents into the woods,  learning the rules and traditions of the hunt! 

I love the old antique rugs which depict deer hunting! Long before blaze orange was ruled as the color one must wear while in the woods...wool coats, pants and hats would be worn in bright red and plaids of many colors.  Don't you just LOVE the hunter's pants in the  rug shown above? Do you think they were hooked from old hunting pants that had seen better days?

I wasn't able to find too many photos of vintage and antique rugs depicting deer hunting. 
But aren't both of these rugs just great! 

The maker in both instances has captured the spirit and tradition of the hunt!










Just had to share this new deer rug because of the striking colors and design! Dave would love this one for his man-cave!

And this one as well!  Interesting border on this rug!



It's fun looking for photos of deer  and deer hunting rugs online! 
Perhaps one day I will have to hook a "deer hunting" rug of my own.








My niece Anna and her daughters Kaitlyn and Courtney on last years hunt in the photo below.
They were successful and will be hunting in the woods again with their mom and dad!
Yes, deer hunting is a tradition in these parts!
Be safe young ladies and gentlemen!
May the hunt go well with you!

Cathy G






Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November Election Day Hook-In at Red House Wool Studio~ Lots of pics!

Our regularly scheduled Hook-in ( second Tuesday of every month) went off without a hitch today! Everyone voted, then hopped in their cars to gather here again for a wild and wooly day of hooking, stitching, chatting, laughing, eating and sharing our handwork!  Republican or Democrat... it really all washes out in the wool doesn't it!  So sit back and enjoy the labors of love in our handwork! 


Nancy made this oh so awesome covered paper mache' box ( in wool) to resemble a #2 crock!  How fun is this!  Nancy once again shows her creativity and expertise in stitching all things! I could fill this with wooly worms.... hmmmmm.  Decorative and functional! 



Cindy and Shirley model these adorable vests they made from wool!  A couple of posts back you remember Betsy showing us hers she bought in a boutique!  Well the girls got to work and made their own!  They are ready for the colder weather predicted this weekend.... we live in Wisconsin remember?  November 8th and we are still having summer like weather!  It's been wonderful! 



Shirley finished this eye -popping rendition of a Little Bits by Joan pattern!  She's working on  more of these adorable little patterns!  Nice stitching there Shirley!

Cindy finishes two more little wall hangings using the Little Bits by Joan patterns also!  A couple of posts back she shared a Christmas one she finished!  I love seeing how everybody has a little bit different slant on the wools they choose! So fun!



Nancy is our hand stitching perfectionist!  She shared some stitching on toweling that is fantastic! 

This Buttermilk Basin design is done by Nancy as well!  Isn't it awesome... Oh I think I spy some of my hand-dyed wool in there!  It gets me in the mood for some Christmas music.. I made the girls listen to my favorite XM Radio station today that plays continuous Christmas music!  I didn't hear any complaints... 


LOVE love love this stitching and with Bible verse done by Nancy! Love how she changes thread colors in the lettering.... so great!


Oh and Santa shows up every now in then here in the studio.... and today he is being hooked by Lisa! She's using a design in a Needl'Love book and don't you just love his golden coat!  She is using some real Flax for his beard... and did you spy those little rusty bells on a wire?  I can't wait to see how she works those in!  Am loving this rug so much... as a matter of fact I have a santa drawn out ready to hook.  Hope I get some time to start it now!


Betsy is making great progress on her turkey of many colors!  Forgive me I am not recalling the pattern designer name.... someone help me out please!  It's been a long day and I'm listening to election results while trying to type... probably not the best thing to do.. LOL! Anyhoo... I am loving this rug and she wants to finish by Thanksgiving!!  The race is on Betsy!!

Cindy making more progress on her Jack-O-Lantern in gorgeous wools!  Oh what a stunner this is going to be!!  

Debbie is hiding behind this wonderful wool applique quilt she is working on!  I bet you recognize it as one of Maggie Bonanomi's designs!  For sure it is... so lovely as Debbie is another meticulous and expert stitcher!  She gives these quilts as gifts to sons and daughter-in- laws!  Lucky kids! Maybe she will adopt me!  LOL!! 

Saundra is working on whipping her wonderful little oval shaped rug!  She hasn't been hooking that long but would you look at those even and perfect loops!  Saundra is destined to create some very lovely rugs as she is a true artist... as is her husband who is having knee surgery tomorrow!  We wish him well!  


Now please let me introduce our newest rug hooker! Her name is Shirley!  Yes we now have two Shirleys hooking  in our group! And can you believe this is the first rug for this Shirley!! It's good luck I believe to hook a sheep for your first rug ( a Heaven's to Betsy design)! We welcome you Shirley to our merry band of hookers and stitchers!  I think she was overwhelmed today but I did hear her say she will be back next month if we don't have a snow storm!  She has quite a drive to get here.. a couple of hours from Black River Falls.  

Here is the other Shirley working on a log cabin rug for a neighbor. Look at the wools... yum yum..perfect for the roof and logs!  Shirley drew this design from a photograph. Talent abounds here and I think it's marvelous these girls draw some of their own designs!  One of the fun things about rug hooking you can use your artistic gifts!


A very happy day when the studio is filled with dedicated and hard working friends!  The hours fly by and we leave with hugs and inspiration to carry us through til we meet again next month!  Thank you all for making the miles, bringing the nourishment for stomach and soul!
I am blessed indeed! 

Cathy G

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

"Novemberish" Thoughts and Turkey Rug Finishes

(Pattern design by Anne Nichols from the Needl' Love Book Falloween Threads)
Hooked by Lisa Halverson

"Novemberish" is kind of how I've been feeling today.   You know those kind of rich browns, golds and rusty reds you see this time of year in the fallen leaves and foilage. Different than the brighter oranges and fire reds of October. 
 Lisa and I finished our Turkey rugs and the dark and light backgrounds are  equally appealing! Lisa's, in the photo above speaks November all over with that great brown she used in the turkey's body!  I can't get enough of this rug!  Just gorgeous my friend!




I chose neutral wools for the back ground in my rug.
Maybe not quite as "Novemberish" as Lisa's rug...  but the reds, rusts, greens and golds take on a festive kind of feel~ Oh... dare I say.. a "Christmasy" sort of look and feel! 
Nothing wrong with a Turkey for Christmas... or any time of year for that matter!
So there you have our finished rugs!  Yes they both are bound as well!  ( Bells and horns tooting in celebration... LOL!)





Other "Novemberish" thoughts and happenings around here:  Still having some sadness overtake me and missing my Mom terribly... mornings are bad for some reason.  As the day progresses though all the duties and things I must attend to seem to help ease the sadness.  Mom's birthday would have been this month on the 14th.  That will be a hard day I'm sure.  I decided I need to do some things right now to take care of myself and to keep my spirits from sinking into a big black hole.  I went and got my hair cut on Monday!
That was a big deal for me... yes I have been wacking my own hair off for quite a few years ( like 30 years maybe?) I was a beautican once upon a time!  But I've been admiring these new layered shorter cuts on people and knew that my Cathy Sissorhand would probably screw it up looking in the bathroom mirror in reverse and trying to cut the layers!  LOL!
So off to the beauty shop with a cut from Deanna!
( My lovely niece Alicia goes to her and highly recommended her)

So here is the back! 

It is so easy to wash and dry!

I do love it now!











Another little pincushion and needle book I stitched with "Novemberish" colors of wool. Pattern by Primitive Gatherings.


So for now my hook and scissors are resting.  But not for long! 
I have another pattern drawn on Linen... not my design though.  In time I will be designing again. Right now I have many more duties to fulfill as we sold my Mom's house and I have to turn over the keys on Friday.  THAT will be hard. But I need to put the past behind and move on into the future. 
There are plenty of things I want to accomplish in the coming new year.
Plenty of changes  ahead to adjust to ( like a new President.. won't that be a challenge!) LOL!
and still trying to figure out how to manage this new hairstyle..  it doesn't look as good after I blow dry in the morning as it did in the salon!  

Enjoy these "Novemberish" days.

Cathy G