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, April 14, 2017

A Visit With a Couple Beers!

A couple of years ago I met a special lady online who found me through my blog!  She is a rug hooker from Oregon named Marie Beers!  She hooks with a group out there and we email back and forth quite a bit and needless to say we've become very close friends but have never met in person... until yesterday that is!!

Marie and her husband were making a cross country trip from Oregon to Florida and up the east coast to Rhode Island. Their trip was a monumental one as they were carrying precious cargo. Marie's mother passed away in late February and her cremains were to be buried with family on the east coast. So they were on their way home when they decided to make a swing through Wisconsin!

When rug hookers meet we have so much to share and I was excited to see her rendition of my "Tree Birds" pattern she hooked!  She personalized it with their names and the date they married!  I always love the personalization of a rug that can be passed down through the generations.  Isn't this just a lovely rug in all aspects!

Marie is also working on a pattern by Marijo Taylor called River and Raven's Roost    who she happens to live near and both attend the same rug hooking group! I have always adored Marijo's designs and I really need to hook one sometime soon! 

Another thing we found out about each other during their visit was that our husbands are both lovers of specialty beers! Marie's sweet hubby Bob or Bobby as she calls him and my sweet hubby Dave got along famously as they discussed all the local beers around the country and their favorites!
If you are a beer lover you don't have to go far in Wisconsin to find many micro-breweries and sure enough Dave had purchased a few various bottles so we could imbibe with our home-made pizza I made for dinner!
Marie and I both admitted we are not big beer drinkers but on occassion we will enjoy a cold one with pizza!
You may get a kick out of the names of some of these locally brewed beers! 

Marie had a favorite and I might add that Bobby thought it was a pretty great beer too!  Can you guess which one?    LOL!   Yes!!  It was the Totally Naked!  Bob described it as a very smooth and not "hoppy" beer!  
You can imagine how the conversation went and the laughs shared!
Do please notice my go-to beer on the far left... it's a gluten free beer and very good.  I've been eating gluten-free for two and a half years and found a couple of beers that are gluten free!
Well it was a pleasure getting to know "a couple of great Beers" from the state of Oregon!
I hope you had a wonderful time and you can rest assured Dave and I enjoyed your visit very very much!  
We were going to send a few bottles along with you but you were already down the road a good measure before I realized they were still sitting in the fridge! 
Well you'll just have to make a trip back to Wisconsin soon!

Happy Easter Weekend everyone!
Cathy G

Monday, April 10, 2017

Our April Hook-In Cancelled!

I'm sorry to announce our second Tuesday of the month  Hook-in has been cancelled for this month.  It seems it is a busy week for almost all who usually attend.

Some travel quite a distance to come each month and we've gotten a little ice and snow mix here on the roads tonight.  It's possible the roads will be a little slick in the morning as well.

I'm hoping we all can meet again next month so mark your calendars!

I've been very bad at keeping up with my blog too!  I apologize to all my readers who look forward  to my posts!  

Dyeing wool, cleaning and sorting,  still going through my mother's things and I guess you could say still in kind of a mourning situation has kept me preoccupied.
I've been a little better....on occasion I even forget that she isn't just down the street, waiting for me to come take her grocery shopping or to an appointment.
Sigh.... keeping busy is the best remedy I've found.

I  know I'm  not alone  in this sorrowful land of losing a loved one.
So many dear friends have lost someone this past year.

Please keep us in your prayers.

Stitching soothes the soul. Calms the mind and brings peace to the heart.
I finished this little table runner recently.
Still trying to perfect the flystitch... it's a fun stitch when you get the hang of it! 
Pattern and kit by Primitive Gatherings.

The little bird pin-cushion is one I made a few years ago.
Seeing the real birds arriving and setting up "housekeeping" in the trees brings a smile!
 It's a sure sign a new season is beginning.
Sunnier days, warmer and longer will be here.
New projects as well as a few changes on the home front are in store.
I will be sharing some of this soon!

Thank you for stopping by dear friends!
I will be back soon!

Cathy G

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Second Tuesday of the Month March Hook-In at Red House Wool Studio

And what a great day it was!  Lots and lots of projects to share and admire! 
Celeste is having so much fun with her rug she adapted from designs in Rebekah Smith's Wool Applique' Folk Art book! 

Look closer at the wools she used in the background!  Each square different! LOVE the colors in this rug! So warm and inviting!  Great job Celeste!

Nancy is showing her wool applique' blocks while Holly looks on! 

The design is from the new Wool Works magazine.
Love the colors  she chose! This is going to be gorgeous when completed! 

Allow me to introduce a newcomer to our group!  You may remember Rhonda from a few posts back! She took a wool applique' class here when we did the bunny pillow from Rebekah Smiths Wool Applique' Folk art Book.  Rhonda does these wonderful crochet bags and decided to add the wool folk art blocks to the front of them!  Wow!  How awesome they are!  What an eye for color this lady has!  She has hooked a mat from a pattern from Kathy at Red Barn Rugs also.  Rhonda certainly has a gift for handwork and design!  Hairdresser by trade but I think she should consider a career in rug and applique' design don't you!! I am so glad she has decided to join our group!  She's an inspiration to all of us!

More of her work!

She always puts her own touch on a pattern! Love the addition of the flower on the bunny!

It was a very very busy day for me today! I didn't get much of a chance to snap more photos!  The time just flies and soon everyone is heading out the door with their new woolens and supplies!
I am so blessed to have such an enthusiastic and supportive group!

I'm back to the drawing board working on a new rug design.
Put my last effort away and have learned from it I think!
This design stuff is not for the faint hearted... we all have inherited gifts and talents it just takes a lot of practice to bring them out!
So practice I must!
After seeing all the beautiful projects today I just have to get back on that bandwagon and keep trying!
Thank you all for the kind words of encouragement & suggestions! 
 I truly appreciate each and every comment! 

Stay safe and warm if you live near the blizzard in the east and southeast!
I hear you are getting clobbered!! 
Been there haven't we my friends here in WI!

The sun is shining and very little snow on the ground here.... oh and I just spotted a robin hopping in the front yard!

Cathy G

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Trying to be a little kind to myself here.  What I really mean is I'm very disappointed in my latest rug I designed.
I had high hopes.

I struggled with the design, the colors, the wool choices.

  Rug measures 16 by 28.  I hooked it in two days after finally admitting to myself I didn't like it.
Figured I had so much hooked ( over half) that I just wanted to get it over with!
I'll say I did enjoy pulling some loops though as it's been quite some time since I've hooked. 

Debated whether or not to go public with it.  But decided to swallow my pride. 
I know what "they" ( the analysts) have said, you need to make art ( rugs) even if they're bad.
We learn and grow through this experience.
Maybe so... I wouldn't want to make too many rugs I don't like. The backing and wool aren't as cheep as watercolors and paper! 
It's not that I don't have other rugs I've made that don't exactly flip my switch.
We all have made them... right?
It's just that I had this vision... was all excited and just couldn't quite pull it off!

So now what?
I think I will get out my dye pots!
How bad can one screw up dyeing wool?  

There's always a need for antique black background colors.

Cathy G

Friday, March 3, 2017

Hacked on FaceBook!

What a fiasco this past week!   One day ( can't remember which one at this point) I started getting messages on my phone and email that my friends and family were receiving messages from a scammer that was posing as me!   It was apparent that my FaceBook account had been taken over by some low slime somewhere and was being used to try and deceive my friends into getting involved in a money making scheme!
Thank goodness most people are aware of this kind of thing going on as some have had their own accounts hacked.
Changing my password a couple of times didn't seem to remedy the situation.
To make a long story short, I spent a couple of days (grrrrrrr) trying to get it all straightend out.  I ended up closing my accounts and starting over with new ones.
One thing I learned and which isn't a surprising fact at all.... there is not a phone number available on FaceBook that you can just pick up and call for assistance!
Nope,  you're only hope is to click your little fingers off on the keyboard and follow countless instructions and basically end up fixing the problem yourself.
Patience wearing thin... almost came close to closing the damned account for good.... but it just rubbed me the wrong way to let some sleezy hacker win the battle!

If you were friends with me prior on FaceBook and wish to remain so, send me a new friend request.
I've updated the FaceBook link on my side bar here too.
The new name for my Red House Wool Studio account is Red House Wool Studio2

The wool applique' piece I'm working on is a pattern by Cheri Payne called Old Wool Hare!  What fun to piece this one together! 
My days have been busy.. painting the bathroom, cleaning and sorting, customers in the studio, and this weekend I have two lovely ladies 
coming for a beginning rug hooking class!  They are sisters!
It makes my heart glad... to once again be teaching and sharing my love for rug hooking...
even though I haven't pulled one single loop myself for weeks...sigh...
Let's hope that changes real quick!

Cathy G

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Friends Near and Far~ Encourage One Another!

Yesterday was our second Tuesday of the Month Hook-in here at Red House Wool Studio! Our merry band of hookers and stitchers numbered seven of us! The flu and other ailments kept a few home and we wish them full recovery in time for next month's gathering.
A big WELCOME to our newest rug hooker!  Kathy is being taught by Cindy to hook and appliqué! Now can you believe this is her very first rug?!!  Oh my goodness!  She says she LOVES it so far and is already talking about designing her own rug!  That is when you know someone is hooked for ever!
Cindy had the pattern she gave to Kathy and purchased it from Carrie Martin www.onerugtworug.com  
Kathy has finished several wool applique' projects as well! We are excited to see what she will bring for show and tell next month! 

Our most prolific hooker Lisa has finished the hooking on her doves rug ( antique adaptation by Sally Kalin Pine Island Primitives). Don't you just love the colors she chose! She is doing a fabulous job on the antique rugs she loves so much! 

Everyone gathered around to admire and offer advice on another antique adaption of a sheep rug that Lisa is working on!  Oh the colors in this rug are wonderful! She's so close to finishing this one too!  Now the binding Lisa!  We all know you love to bind ( not) LOL!  But they are not really rugs until they are bound as I like to remind ( myself included)! 

Working together and enjoying each other's company!

Cindy helps Kathy with the binding on her rug! It's so encouraging to see the help and encouragement  amongst our group. I believe it is a trait of rug hookers and wool enthusiasts the world over! How we delight in helping our "sisterhood" learn to work with their hands and create. A gift beyond measure as it has a healing quality.  Who wouldn't love to give and recieve such a precious gift! 

Cindy shares a cute wool pincushion she made using wool applique pennies!  We all loved the vintage look and the way it is lightly stuffed with crushed walnut shells to give it weight and that old feel! 

Nancy had her wool applique piece machine quilted and it is really beautiful! She can't wait for Fall to display it in her home!

I received this beautiful Valentines Cyclamen plant from Cindy!  It is just gorgeous!  I have never had a Cylamen plant before.. so I hope it's easy to grow!  Thank you Cindy dear friend!  
As I mentioned in my title that friends near and FAR encourage one another, I recieved this photo of a Santa rug that my online fellow rug hooker and friend Marolyn from Sierra Madre, California designed and hooked!  
We have been emailing and keeping in touch now for a couple of years and she is so encouraging to me and a wonderful lady!   I have this plan to someday travel to all the places that I have online friends to visit them in person!  In the meantime we need to keep sharing our rugs and happenings through emails etc. 
Isn't this rug just as awesome as they come! The design, color planning and that blue bird ( oh how I love it)!  The beard is really great!  
Thank you so much Marolyn for letting me share it! 
It makes me want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! 
But Easter and Spring shall take place first..
and I for one WELCOME them both!

Cathy G

Sunday, February 5, 2017

I Heart My Scarf!

Well.... here it is!  My results from sewing a few pieces of wool together, cutting out some heart shapes from different textures and appliqueing them on with the blanket stitch. Pretty simple and something fun to do with wool besides just hooking rugs or making table mats!
Wish I had more time in a day... I'd try making more wearable items.
I used to sew all my clothes when I was in high school.
More out of necessity than for the sake of sewing.
But it did teach me some basic sewing skills.

So are you watching the Super Bowl tonight?
I may be keeping an eye on it as hubby is glued to the screen.
The half-time show is what keeps me watching... at least until half-time.

Then it will be bed-time for this old gal.

Enjoy the game if you watch!

Cathy G

Friday, February 3, 2017

She Plays with Wool....

Recovering from the flu or something... I was awake all night throwing up with stomach pains.  With all I've had going on lately with my health wasn't sure it was the flu.   I had a Dr.'s appointment this morning which of course I missed.   I'm feeling much better tonight and will have to reschedule that appointment.

I've been playing in some neutral shades of wool.
Not at all sure what I intend to make... there is a vague idea in my head.
It's fun and relaxing to play with scraps not having a definite plan.

It surely is a good thing to give our creative minds that space.

Space to play and dream.

Perhaps something useful will come of it.
Perhaps something beautiful or just something that isn't much of anything.

It's all part of the process of creating.

I'm reveling in that process!

Cathy G

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Looking for Inspiration.... Sophie Digard

Lately I've felt the need to look up from my pile of tax papers and take a deep breath!  To take what's left of January to try and renew my creative juices.  My hope is that this year will be one of many changes. Changes that will allow me to get back to designing, hooking, dyeing and doing the things which I have a deep love and need to do!
About a year ago I happened to come across the work of a french artist who's work just blew me away!  She's a crochet artist who dyes her own threads and fibers used to create her work.
Sophie Digard inspires me.
The way she uses color in such intricate, delicate and interesting ways.

Some of her creations are fun and whimsical like these crochet dog necklaces! I love her use of velvets with the crochet!

When I see the geometric patterns in the scarves she's well known for... I see ideas for hooked rugs!

The use of textured yarns...  with neutrals, and darks!  Isn't it exciting!
Are the wheels in your mind turning yet? 

I study her work with an eye to the interesting and pleasing color combinations she uses!

The details and little surprises of unexpected stitches combined with velvet over crochet!

Wearable art... how lovely!  Would I have the patience to create such intricate things?

Stitching on a linen shawl... so delicate and worthy of studying each shape and design.

I think that is her amidst her work!  I was not able to find a whole lot of information or more photos of her online.
 Do a google search and look on pinterest where I found most of these photos of her work.

So.... tell me.... are you inspired?!  
Is there an artist or two whom you look for inspiration?

What about their work makes you happy, calm or inspired to create your own works of art?

Thinking Spring... looking forward!

Cathy G 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Rug Hookers Brave Winter Storm to Hook Today... 2nd Tuesday Hook-in!

Celeste finished her wool applique by Wooden Spool Designs

Well the weather outside was frightful!
But inside Red House Wool Studio today was delightful!
Our usual band of a dozen or so stitchers and hookers was down to six. 
We shared our finishes, helped plan new ones and there was even a sneak lesson in counted cross stitch!
The chicken dumpling soup that Lisa made really hit the spot today and hubby Dave ( who sneaks home on his lunch break to partake of the lunch) called it DREAM!  

Lisa is working on this antique inspired hit and miss heart!  Oh I really want to hook one like this too! In time for Valentines Day!  She also has her next rug ready to go!  I believe Saundra Porter has drawn this antique adaptation for her.  Correct me if I'm wrong girls!  Saundra does an excellent job drawing up the old antique designs on linen!  If you are new to our blogs Saundra's blog is called Woodland Junction! And is a must to follow if you're new to rug hooking or have been hooking a long time! Learn from the best!  

Had to snap this photo of Debbie as she came through the door with snow on her goodies and all bundled up!  It was snowing and blowing but that doesn't stop a Wisconsin rug hooker from showing up to her favorite event of the month at Red House Wool Studio!  

Lisa is showing Roxy how to do counted cross stitch! Notice the glasses and how they are are trying to see those little itsy bitsy stitches!  A quick lesson and they packed the cross stitch away in favor of trying a little wool appliqué!  Both new to wool applique but I can tell you they totally fell in love with it!  Can't wait to show you what they are working on for next month!

Pat who hasn't been able to join us for awhile was here today and is working on her rug that is adapted from PJ Rankin-Hults and drawn by Kris Miller at Spruce Ridge Studio!  We are blessed to have ladies like Kris and Saundra who are good at drawing the patterns and are so meticulous! 
You always want to start with a good well drawn pattern and your rug will have a good base!  Don't settle for less when you are purchasing a pattern!

Pat is so pleased to show you her lovely finished wool applique mat! The poinsettia design by The Cottage at Cardiff Farms!  On my to do list too!  Pat's turned out so great don't you think! 

So many wonderful projects being worked on and planned for in our group of talented ladies!
All of these gals are such great stitchers and rug hookers!  All so willing to share and help one another.  We appreciate each other and it shows and is felt so warmly on a cold and blustery winters day here in the studio.  We are blessed beyond measure.
To those who couldn't join us ( and had the good sense to stay off the roads today!) we missed you terribly! We look so forward to seeing you all next month when hopefully the weather will be a little less temperamental!  

Cathy G.