Monday, June 23, 2014

Really Hooked

I was lucky enough to attend a 3 day rug camp taught by Sharon Smith.  Sponsored by Utah Rug and Fiber Guild.  She is a master as far as I am concerned and has only been hooking 5 years and had hooked over 70 rugs!!  Her website, Off The Hook Rugs is here.  She was a wonderful teacher and not only did I learn a LOT, I was very inspired to start hooking again.  I loved my time with all of the fun ladies.  I have a few photos to share.

This is Sharon and she is delightful! And so talented.

I chose to do this rug of her design.  I just love the way the Poppies pop off that dark background.
My colors are quite bright! 

I wish I had taken photos of all of her rugs, 
but it was easy to get distracted in a room full of busy hookers!

 This is the large rug that is behind Sharon in the photo above it.

 I loved these and have so many bits and bobs of my own that I could probably make several!

 We were snug as bugs but sure had a great time chatting up a storm!

 Carol stopped by to say hi and found a friend she hadn't seen in over 30 years!  So sweet!

The fabulous Pat made these adorable birds!  Each day there was a new surprise for everyone.
 The other Sharon demonstrated how to crochet around the edge to finish off a rug.  Pretty cool!!

If you haven't tried hooking, you really should!!

Here is my progress.  I'm loving it and I'm already of dreaming of the next one to start :)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Flower Power!

 A heartfelt thanks to everyone that came to our Open House and to everyone who helped make it a success!  {You know who you are !}  It was great to catch up with you fun ladies and see what you have been up to.  I should have a summer schedule of classes on the blog here soon!  Here are a few photos that my sister shared from her phone and a couple I snapped Saturday night.  Sorry I didn't do better in the photography area this time.  Too busy!!

One of our hot items were these books and kits from Kathy Cardiff from Cottage at Cardiff Farms.  She is a wonderful designer and so great to work with!  We made up several kits for her darling pincushions.  The secret to these projects is all in the stuffing!  She suggests to use a ground walnut and wood shavings combination and the results are wonderful!!  It just so happens that I have a cute hubby who had an ample amount of walnut shavings so he concocted up this wonderful to mix to sell at our open house.  Now, if we can just convince him to sell some of his amazing spoons!!
{Many thanks to Lisa for stitching up the samples}

 We had a great collection of wool in all shapes and forms.  Some beautiful bright colors!

 My sister and my daughters were so very helpful!  Everything seemed to run like clock work once things got going.  I always have this panic that we just won't make it and magically it just all works out....because we put a lot of  love and work into it and you ladies come with such contagious enthusiasm!  I love you all!!

 Snacks for energy!

I've had a few requests for this recipe, here you go!

Black Bean Salsa
1 can white corn
1 can black beans
1 avocado diced
2-3 T diced purple onion (to your taste)
4-5 Roma tomatoes diced
handful of cilantro, snipped
2-3 T white balsamic vinegar  (any type will work)
juice of one lime
S & P

Drain corn and beans.  Combine everything and enjoy with chips or as a side salad!

  What could be more fun that die cut kits for a darling spring project! 
It just makes you smile to think about the possibilities for embellishing...

 We highlighted Wild Blooms and Colorful Creatures
It is a beautiful book full of bright, cheery, colorful 
projects with modern flair.  Sooo much fun!!

We featured wool kits for the project on the front.  
It is a beautiful quilt with wool applique done on
red linen.  I can hardly wait to start on mine!

 This was our "thank you for coming" prize.  A fun little chalkboard art inspired kit!

 In the theme of May Day we had pretty flowers all around.

 Blueberry Hill Series debut!  Darling projects for the little ones in your life.  
I have an owl and a little girls purse that will be added this summer!  I really enjoyed creating these!

Some new ribbon showed up just in time!

We had several kits from the popular Wooly Lady projects that were in our
trunk show last fall.  They are the happiest little projects ever!

The one in the center is my fav!  
These are borrowed from the interwebs and not the greatest quality ;)

And thanks to Jolene for sharing her completed table runner, Garden Row.
I love this! These kits were definitely favorites!

{Wondering how it would look on a gray background?}

So there you have it!  Thanks again from the bottom of my heart
for all of your love and support!  See you soon.

Happy Stitching...

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Open House

Black Sheep Woolens 
Spring Open House

May 2 - 3, 2014

Friday Evening 6 ~ 8
Saturday Morning 10 ~ 12

It has been a bit of a puzzle to find a date but we think this one will perfect!  

A May Day Celebration!

I have such fond memories as a young girl enjoying our elementary school's May Day celebration.  It involved all kinds of athletic events and the creme de la creme was when the 6th graders put on their best dress and wound the May Pole.  Parents attended with the younger siblings and there were always treats for everyone!  I also remember making little paper baskets and placing them on neighbors doorsteps, ringing the door bell and running!  Ah Spring, such a lovely time of year.

We encourage everyone to share some May Day goodness with your family, friends and 
neighbors.  It doesn't take much to bring a smile to someone you love.
These photos are some inspiration I gleaned from Pinterest.

The studio will be full of flowers and gorgeous springtime color!
We are busily preparing some new patterns and kits.
Watch for some teasers to show up soon.

20% off one item of your choosing
20% off specialty threads, silk ribbon, ribbons, patterns and books.
{Our wool is always priced 15% off retail prices}

As we anxiously await the season of Spring and the new growth and birth it
symbolizes, finish up some of your old projects and make room for a new one or two!

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Inspiring Teacher

We have been looking into designing a headstone for our son.  It has been an interesting education as we have been searching for options that would might be a little more unique for him.  I came upon this video when some image searches of beautifully carved headstones linked to his website.  I like his style!  He seems to be a gifted craftsman as well as an incredible teacher.  It is worth a listen if you have six and a half minutes. His name is Ieuan Rees.  This video didn't imbed so you can make it larger, not sure why.  You could link to you tube here and watch it in a larger format.

His teaching style gives students confidence and faith in their work.  He doesn't believe in "rules" in teaching his craft to give students opportunities to explore new options.  My favorite statement he made was, "There's no such thing as mistakes, only solutions." I love that he teaches that we should learn from our mistakes,  that when we make a mistake it is actually a time to celebrate because what we have in our mind is better than what we see in front of us and how wonderful it is that we can then move forward and figure out the problem.  I think this is one of the most profound thoughts and ways of looking at learning from our mistakes I have ever come across.  I believe it flows over into many aspects of our lives.  Certainly something to think about.

A few of his beautiful headstones.  I think they are exquisite!

We are hoping to settle on a date for an open house in the next few days.  One of our daughters has recently moved her family into a new home and  I get to go back to DC to watch our son's children while they take a house hunting trip to Iowa.  Our youngest daughter graduates in May There are really no free weekends over the next few months. Finding a window where I will be here with enough time to prepare is tricky!  Life can be complicated at times!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Winterfest 2014

 Last fall when Amy approached me about teaching at Winterfest, 
we talked about doing a Valentine project.  
Something cheerful to work on during the cold of winter.  
I came up with this idea in my head and made a paper sample up. 

 Next I picked a palette to work with - that was the hardest part! 
And it morphed over time as I started creating.  
The brighter jewel tones really spoke to me.

 It was a delightful mess of colorful wool and threads.  I wanted to incorporate some vintage buttons and bits and bob of lace I have collected over time.  I also wanted a project that could be up year round, not just for Valentine's Day.  My heart is full of love for my family as this time and so this led me to the final product!

 The envelope is what we spent a good amount of time.  It is lined with peltex and has a sweet little crocheted edge.  You could tuck away some photos or love notes inside.  The tree has 6 hearts representing each of our 6 children.  Two velvet heart for my husband  and me.  For colorful hearts for our parents.  I had fun painting and doing a simple embroidery on an old postcard I found at a flea market inn Vienna this past spring.  On the large heart I included some special scouting pins from my sons, my husbands Air Force pin, and few other little things that needed to have a better life out of a dark drawer!  I thought it was kind of fun to clip two photos of our parents wedding day.   I joked that the button filled heart was representative of all of the adorable grandchildren I will have one day :)  I hope the ladies will fill their project with love and happy memories.

I still need to add a few dangles and get my backing on, 
but it has been such a fun project o create.  
Many thanks to all of you adorable ladies for your patience and love!

Some of the cute ladies in class!  
I know I didn't get photos of everyone - I am easily distracted when teaching!  
I loved being with each and every one you!

Riverwoods Conference Center in our hometown, Logan, was a beautiful venue for Winterfest.  It's always so rewarding to see what becomes of everyone's work.  Such creativity!  Hope I'll get to see some of the finished projects one day!  Happy Stitching :)

PS.  I also taught a hand stitched journal class and left my camera home :(  
Here is a peek at what I taught.  
They are so much fun to do and they make wonderful gifts!