Saturday, May 31, 2008

One Week Until Spruce Ridge Studios Open House and Tent Sale!

Here's what part of my studio looked like a couple of weeks ago as I was cleaning out cabinets and closets for the Tent Sale. The dark green cabinet on the right stores my private stash of wool, a "no-share zone" as my friend Wendy Miller calls it! Here's proof to my friends that I do occasionally clean out my stash and offer it for sale. The Tent Sale will have lots of clearance-priced rug hooking wool and a selection of rug hooking patterns that are 25% to 50% off the regular retail price.

I wonder if anyone still sews. I have been away from the sewing world for such a long time. I have cleaned out all of my nice dress-making fabric, literally more than 200 yards of fabric and most of it is priced at $1.00 per yard, nothing over $3.50/yard. There's all sorts of cottons, batik, velvet, broadcloth, georgette, denims, rayons, wool blends, knits, polar fleece, linen, a few pieces of silk, and more. Tell your sewing friends about this!

I'll also be parting with a few vintage/antique pieces of collectible things ... you'll have to come by to see what they are. And I'm still digging around to find a huge box of recycled wool garments. Each piece will be priced at $1.50. There's so many other fiber items that are too numerous to list (roving, buttons, yarn, etc).

I do hope you'll stop by and find a treasure to take home! The sale goes on, rain or shine (but we're praying for sunshine)...and my studio will be open all day for your regular rug hooking needs as well.

See you next Saturday!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Name That Fungus

OK, so I'm sure you were up all night, wondering what type of fungus I have growing on a tree in my backyard (see yesterday's post). I won't keep you in suspense any longer:

The name of the fungus is Dryad's Saddle or also known as Pheasant's Back Mushroom. This type of bracket fungus grows mostly on dead trees but may also be found on trees with injuries, which is probably what is going on with my tree. It is not poisonous.

I'm sure you'll agree that it does look like the back of a pheasant with its feathery pattern and soft brown colors. But what, you ask, is a dryad? In Greek mythology, a dryad is a wood nymph. Could it be that forest faeries have been frolicking in the trees and watching us from afar?

(Emma and her mom - picture taken at the end of April)

I have been told that Emma will be ready to come home to our farm in about 2 weeks! I have not been out to Neil's farm to see her recently but he tells me that she's getting big and she has lots of curls.

Have a great week-end!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Can you guess what this is?

Take a look at this photo and guess what this is.....

It looks soft...
beautiful taupey-brown colors...

Almost looks like a bird's wing....
Have you guessed what it is?????
I'll bet you don't know!
Look at the picture below!

It's a bracket fungus that is growing on a tree in my backyard! Beautiful!
For a fiber artist, color and texture inspirations are everywhere!

Now, can you guess what kind of bracket fungus this is? Leave me a comment if you know. I'll post the answer tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Go Red Wings!

Everyone in this family is a BIG hockey fan so there's lots of excitement over the Stanley Cup finals! We have been big-time "Wing Nuts" for years. My son Kevin went to the Red Wings game on Monday night and took these pictures:
Pittsburgh Penquins and Detroit Red Wings

Wouldn't be a hockey game without a little pushing and shoving!

The end of the game and the players are celebrating win #2.
We are merely two wins away from Lord Stanley's Cup!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day

Home Sweet Home, an adaptation of a design by Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm,
available at Spruce Ridge Studios
A tribute to all the men and women who have proudly served to make our country "land of the free and home of the brave". Thank you for your sacrifices.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Last photos

It was a busy week...and here are the photos to prove it!
Saturday May 24, 2008
It was a beautiful, warm sunny day so we finished shearing the last four goats. Ken accidentally broke a big branch off of a tree so it became a feast for all the goats. Here's the feeding frenzy:
Sunday May 18th - Thursday May 22nd
Another rug camp! I went back to Ligonier, PA for a workshop at the Woolley Fox with Barb Carroll. Lots and lots and lots of hooking was done! Here are some of my friends... such busy little hookers! (L to R: Polly, Connie, Janet)

And here is Janet, proudly displaying her rug in progress, Oh Glorious Day. This rug will automatically make you smile!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Congratulations to my brother, Erik Johnson, on his graduation (summa cum laude) and business degree from Northwood University. Way to go, Bro!

The happy graduate and his proud sister

Friday, May 16, 2008

Goat Shearing Day

Mom! We need a haircut!!!
this is Sampson, a very hairy fellow!
Today was goat shearing day. We have learned to shear the goats ourselves. Sheep shearers generally don't like to shear goats because their skin is much more wrinkled and has many more folds than a sheep does. Consequently, goats are easier to nick with the shears. We shear our angora goats twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. The fleece from angora goats is called mohair (not angora, which is what you get from rabbits). We have to wait for a nice warm dry day.
Here is Zion before he was sheared. He and Sampson are half-brothers and they both get quite a bit of hair hanging over their eyes.

Ken is the "master goat shearer" here at Spruce Ridge Studios. He has a good method for getting the job done without nicking or cutting anyone. And I'm the "assistant goat shearer" as you can see from the photo below:

My job is to hold the goats and make sure they don't wiggle or jump up....umm....Zion sure looks traumatized, doesn't he??? Tee Hee! If he got any more relaxed, he'd fall asleep! Lots of petting and pampering going on here.

Here's Zion after shearing.

Sequoia, before shearing.....

Sequoia, after shearing! (see those wrinkles?)
The goats usually itch and scratch after they get their hair sheared but they are so happy to lose that heavy winter fleece! We do a lot of itching and scratching too because all those little cut hairs get into your clothing and stick to your skin!
We like to take our time so it takes us about an hour to shear each goat (remember, we didn't nick or cut anyone!). We also trim all of their hooves and give them medicine for parasites. We got three done today...four more to go! Our record is shearing 7 goats in one day but we could barely stand up after that! Not a pretty sight.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New Patterns

American Sheep notecard (c) Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm

If you haven't been to my website lately, you may want to take a stroll over there to see the newest rug hooking patterns adapted from the artwork of Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm. There are three very patriotic patterns that are perfect for your summer hooking projects. American Sheep is adapted from the notecard above. Someone recently told me that this pattern has all the things that rug hookers love....sheep, flowers, and flags....what more could you ask for? My Country is another wonderful pattern that brings a smile to my face...he is the PERFECT companion to Lady Liberty. I can invision this American pair hanging together on the wall in my studio. Where Liberty Dwells rounds out the trio of patriotic patterns and it's a great addition to anyone's collection (the perfect project if you have a loved one in the military service). There is one other new pattern that is the MUST-HAVE for anyone who loves sheep, wool or flowers....and that is Wool Garden! I was going to pick a favorite pattern but I can't! Choosing a favorite pattern is like choosing your favorite love them all for many different reasons!

Besides finishing up my Hex & Frex pattern, I'm working on Lion and Lamb. I'm having great fun hooking all those leaves in the willow tree (really!~ the leaves hook up quickly~just takes one strip for each leaf)! And I wanted to point out that the original pattern had the word "March" at the bottom, but I changed my pattern to say "Peace" at the bottom. I liked it so much that now the pattern is available with your choice of either word.

If you are a fan of Cindi Gay's "Queen Anne" series, you'll love the three new patterns that coordinate: Field of Queens stair runner, Kentucky Rose Queen stair runner, and Annie's Wandering Scroll.

Also new this spring is Bonnie Smith's collection of patterns that she wrote about and were featured in the April 2008 issue of The Wool Street Journal: Three For The Show, Baby Shoes, Narcissus, and Bunny Lane.

I hope you'll find your favorite summer hooking project at Spruce Ridge Studios!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Oh My, What A Time We Had!

I just got back tonight from the Laurel Mountain Rug Hooking School in Ligonier, PA. My teacher was Jayne Hester. Words simply cannot describe the WONDERFUL time I had there! It was fun to see so many of my dear and favorite friends...and I met lots and lots of new friends too!!! I feel like my "rug hooking spirit" has been super-energized and my feet just haven't touched the ground yet since I've gotten home. (If you're a rug hooker, you know what I mean!) I couldn't wait to post a few pictures.

Jayne Hester and me

Barb Carroll and Jayne Hester

I was hooking Hex & Frex, a Notforgotten Farm adaptation. I wanted to hook a "dirty primitive" which is a rug with dark and grayed out colors...makes this rug look like an antique! This is what I got done at camp. I'll post a picture of the completed rug as soon as I get it done.
(Picture was taken in the hotel hallway so pardon the darkness of the photo)

Here's Barb Carroll giving a little lecture about the wools and colors in one of her newest pattern designs. The rug is being hooked by Elaine Cathcart, on the left.
I LOVED this rug camp!!! Hey everyone, thanks for the memories !!!! And thanks for sharing your knowledge and beautiful color planning, are one of the best!!!