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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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

When Hearts Fail

If you have followed my blog these past few years you know that I care for my mother who is 85.  A few years ago she had a valve replaced in her heart after a bout with staph infection.  That was in 2009. She's had her ups and downs these past few years but has been in pretty good health. 
Sunday morning we got a phone call from her and I could tell she was in trouble. She was having difficulty breathing and  to make a long story short I ended up taking her to the ER. After a 5 hour wait ( with care and tests) she was admitted to the hospital. 
The diagnoses was CHF or Congestive Heart Failure.
Two days in the hospital with an IV drip of medicine cleared the fluid build up and her breathing returned to normal.
Yesterday she came home and is doing really well.  We'll have follow up Dr.s appointments and a list of things we've decided not to put off any longer like getting her a Life Line. Even though we live next to her I think of the times when maybe she can't get to the phone or should fall.
So my heart is happy that things turned out so well these past few days, but my heart also tells me there are days ahead for which we must prepare.

Before all this happened I had made good progress on my new heart rug....

.... in fact pretty much got it all hooked.

I love to study the individual hearts that surround the main heart in the middle of the oval shaped rug.

Each wool hooking up so different yet in shades that play off wools in the other hearts.

This one is my favorite.  It's a wool called Jack in the Beanstalk from Heaven's to Betsy.

So sometimes my hooking, designing, caring for things in my business and caring for those in my family as well as caring for my own health ( more to come on that subject) can get a bit overwhelming.  And I know there are many who read my blog that are in the same and even more diffiicult situations. 
I believe we all have good hearts....
and strengths to pull us through each trial and difficulty we may be having.

The heart is tested at times...

Hearts can fail.... but they can heal.

From my heart to yours,

Cathy G

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Queen of Hearts!

Every now and then I hear someone say as they browse the pattern selection here in the studio that they are really not a heart person.
Not that I consider myself a "queen of hearts" except for this time of year.....
suddenly my brain goes all heart wonky and I can't think of anything else!
Anyone else experience this during these bleak and cold wintery days?

Something about the heart, it's curvy and soft outline.... the way you can stretch it and mold it into interesting shapes and form..... the sight of it warms the literal heart!
And... when you pair that with some brand new wool that arrived in the studio...
well... hooks be crazy and loops be loopy!

.... the hearts just popped onto the linen almost as if the Queen of Hearts dropped by and decided to hook herself a rug!

How 'bout you?  Are you a heart person?  
Do tell.... 

Cathy G

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Our January Second Tuesday Hook-in at Red House Wool Studio!

Oh my hooked rug!!  Where does the time go?!!  This past Tuesday was our monthly hook-in here at the studio again!  The day we all look forward to with eager anticipation!  I can tell the moment everyone arrives they start pulling out rugs,  applique pieces, things they've started and are working on for show and tell! I have to grab my iphone quick and start snapping pics before they pack them all up and start working on their projects for the day! 

Remember Mya, one of our newest rug hookers... well here is the Home Sweet Home rug she finished hooking using my design  ( available HERE )  Look at her hooking... oh my gosh.... such sweet loops!  Now here is a gal to look out for!  This is her third rug and with hooking so wonderful... I can't wait to see her next rug!  We did find a pattern in a past issue of Rug Hooking magazine that she liked and she will be starting on that!  So stay tuned!!

Celeste is in a snowman state of mind!  She finished these two mats since our last meeting and aren't they wonderful!  She's adapted them from appliqué patterns I believe from Primitive Gathering.  
She will be framing the smaller piece with a barn board frame! 
Of course she's started on her next rug already!  So more to come! 

Sharon finished the hooking on her Pine Island Primitives design!  I can't get enough of this rug and the colors! Gather round young ladies and feast your eyes on this one! 

Yummy wools and
Sharon has such an expert eye for color!  I want this rug and I have the perfect spot for it!  LOL!!  I think Sharon has the perfect spot for it also.  So I guess I'll have to hook my own!

Now Sharon!  What have you there?! Oh goodness! A wool appliqué piece she has started and has the pieces all cut out and ironed onto the fabric, ready for the stitching to begin!

Each piece more wonderful then the next and all together....

.... they will become this awesome wall quilt by The Cottage at Cardiff Farms! This one is on my long list of wool appliqué I'd love to do someday!  

So... we have much more to look forward to in this new year! 
How is your new year starting off?  
Each day brings it's challenges, duties, and pains ( like the taxes..yuk) to contend with.
But on a cold cold winter day, when rug hookers decide to don boots, parkas and wool scarves...
and hit the road to Red House Wool Studio,
the below zero temps are just a minor thing.
We hook, chat, slurp hot coconut lentil soup and pull big piles of wool for our projects!
Encouraged by one another, our spirits are lifted..
We go home warm and refreshed.
Our minds and hearts fortified to carry on ... now where did I lay my hook.....

Cathy G

Saturday, January 9, 2016

It's Been Awhile~But Now There's Tile!

I was so excited when Jamie called the other day ( he's a professional tile guy) and said he had an opening to come put the subway tile on our kitchen backsplash!  I have been waiting for another person who agreed to do it but never showed up... you know how that goes.  I'm glad we got Jamie and as you can see... ummm... he was well worth the wait.! LOL! 
We talked about his teenage daughters.. one in college and one in high school. And he has a ten year old son... so he's one super busy dad.
Anyway... here is the work in progress....

I chose antique white for the grout and almost had a heart attack when Jamie started to apply it! It looked so dark!  He said it would lighten as it dried... I sure hope so!! 

Shortly after all grout was applied... those grout lines were still a little dark I thought..

Then... the weather outside turned frightful!  A winter storm and overnight the view out my kitchen window turned into a magical and beautiful sight! 

A good night to light the candles and let them glow against that new tile!  Ahhhh.. and still hoping that grout would lighten up a bit before morning.

So the kitchen BEFORE the tile went on.....

And the AFTER....

What do you think?  Was it worth the wait? 

Cathy G

Friday, January 1, 2016

Taking The Plunge Into 2016!

Happy New Year everyone!  
We are home today and doing the usual stuff:
Giving the dogs a bath
Washing wool
Starting the taxes
Hauling firewood into the basement
Filling my Mom's bird feeders
Writing a blog post
Drinking the last of the eggnog ( straight out of the carton so as not to dirty another glass)
Sewing the binding on my challenge rug
Cleaning the studio and planning the changes I want to make in 2016!
It's all good
and there will be time
to clink our glasses together and make a toast
to the brand spankin' New Year

May we be healthy, happy and able to keep our heads above water

Cathy G