Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holiday Sale This Week!

I'm enjoying some extended family time after the Thanksgiving save room on your Holiday shopping list for Spruce Ridge Studios' Holiday Sale later this week. 
Thursday December 4th
From 11 am to 6 pm EST
For purchases up to and including $55.00, you will receive 20% off your entire purchase. You'll get 25% off your entire purchase of $55.01 or more!  Buy more and save more!
Discounts will apply to everything on the Spruce Ridge Studios website EXCEPT Eurosteam Irons. Shipping and MI sales tax is extra. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Woolly Little Flash Sale

Today only!  A warm and woolly flash sale on a cold, gray November day!
Here is Wool Ewe Be Mine, a design adapted from Notforgotten Farms and offered by Spruce Ridge Studios.  I hooked this little sweet mat a few years ago, using neutral textures with a lovely red heart. You don't need a lot of different colors to make this look great! I used quillie circles in the sheep's body but you could also just hook little curlicues for the fleece.  I hooked the background in straight rows to simulate boards.  It's a nice contrast to the curves of the heart. The size is 16" x 14" so it hooks up quickly and I think it would make a great Christmas gift for someone special!
Again, I drew up too many of this pattern because I thought it was so adorable, so you get to profit from my exuberance!
This woolly little Flash Sale lasts ONLY today, Thursday November 13th (lucky number 13!) and runs all day (9 pm EST) or until I run out of patterns.  It is only for the Wool Ewe Be Mine pattern.  
This flash sale will offer 4 monks cloth patterns at 30% off (deeper discount for all you monks cloth fans) and 6 linen patterns at 25% off.  First come, first served, in the order that your order is received.  Shipping and sales tax (if you live in Michigan) is extra.
Here is a link to my website in case you need any more information:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

That Time of Year!

Yes, it's that time of year!  Time for Holiday shopping and Christmas shows...and here is my favorite!
All The Trimmings Holiday Show in Chelsea, Michigan
It takes place Saturday December 6th
 from 10 am to 4 pm.  
(I'm giving you lots of time to mark your calendar)
 It's really a lovely, cozy little show with handmade items from Michigan artists, including wood carvings, jewelry, antiques, collectibles, felting, honey, folk paintings, pastels, counted cross stitch, textiles, rug hooking, and fresh greens. I personally do some of my own shopping at this show.  We purchase our Christmas wreaths and greens (they're always SO fresh!) and I've gotten some wonderful gifts too (earrings, fresh roasted coffee, wood carvings, and antiques).  I've heard some first time attendees say "Wow!  This is a GREAT show!"
The town of Chelsea is also having their Hometown Holidays celebration, so you can shop all day in the quaint town of Chelsea...and if you didn't know, the actor Jeff Daniels lives in Chelsea and founded the Purple Rose Theatre there!  The Common Grill is a special and favorite place for those who are looking for a tasty bite to eat!
Did I  mention free parking, free admission, and free refreshments?
If you are planning on attending, send me an email with your address and I will mail you a postcard with a discount when you shop in my booth.
I hope to see you there!

Monday, November 10, 2014

A New Old Friend

I vended at Harvest At The Mill in Holly, Michigan in the beginning of September.  It was the first time for me and as my husband and I walked through the gym on "set-up" day, I knew I was in big trouble.  There were so many wonderful primitive antiques, all of them in the rustic farmhouse kind of style that I love!  It was really hard to contain myself and at the end of the day, I had supported my fellow vendors very well.  I came home with a honey colored old cubby shelf and a wonderful old painted cupboard.  For those of you who know me, I have a uncontrolled love affair with old cupboards.  I always say that I have no more room for them, but somehow they come home with me, just like a good old familiar friend and we manage to find a place to make it work.  I just can't say no!
We finally put the new cupboard in its spot, cleaned it up, and checked it out like a newborn baby.  
I had been originally looking at an old bucket bench but then this caught my eye.  Double doors and double drawers.  The hardware worked great and the doors were straight and strong. The side boards on the top are original (all one piece of wood on the sides) but someone has shaped and modified it.  It sort of looks like a bucket bench but it's not.  And the streaky gray blue paint, all chippy and half worn off.  It made my heart skip a beat!

 When my husband opened the left hand drawer, he said "looks like the mice were chewing in there." Sigh.  I love that.  It gives it more character.  It has a story.  Just as long as they're not in there now, I'm good with it.

The nice thing is that it looks like no one used it as a tool bin or stored greasy stuff in it.  All it needed was a nice brushing out and a little vacuuming.  I said to my husband "Smell this thing...doesn't it smell good?" and he said "just smells like old wood to me."  It's not musty, just a lovely old smell, like sweet warm wood.
Now, can you imagine us bringing this home along with all our other merchandise from our booth?  My van was filled literally to the roof (with some stuff stuck inside the cabinet to make room)!  But where there's a will, there's a way, especially for a fanatical cabinet collector!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Old Tom

After I posted on Monday about Old Tom, I started hooking my own!

I decided to make a few "rules" for myself as I was gathering my wool.  I was only going to use scraps of wool that I had laying around.  Not necessarily from  my worm pile, but I wanted to use up some of my 3-6" pieces that have been accumulating, left over from other recent rugs.  I dug around and it seems I have a lot of those!  I wanted my turkey to have a bluish gray head, just like the real ones I've seen in our yard. I found a scrap of gray/brown pebbly wool that would work perfect for the tail feathers, so that was a "must" to use, too.  I'm using reversible black stripe for the background-it was the only wool I used that wasn't a scrap.

I can only hook about 2-3 hours at a time before my finger starts getting sore and achy.  I've only hooked on Old Tom for about 8 hours so this is a real quick and easy mat to work on.  I think I may ask my hand therapist if I can get a split to wear so I can hook a little longer!

The only thing I would change is that dark red strip at the top of the wing.  It didn't stand out so much in person but the photo makes it look a little out of place.

Monday, November 3, 2014

New Patterns

A big thanks to everyone who participated in the Flash Sale last Friday.  Your packages are in the mail and on their way to you.  If you missed the Halloween Flash Sale, don't despair.  There will be another flash sale on a different pattern in the near future.  So stay tuned!
I recently added two new patterns to the Notforgotten Farm collection. 

Here's Old Tom, a wonderful turkey pattern in a size that will hook up quickly.
I haven't ever hooked any turkey rugs so I think I want to do this fact, the more I look at it, I might just take my Daisy rug off of my frame and start it tonight. I think I can get it done before Thanksgiving!

I do have a little inspiration for a hooking a turkey rug. We have had a group of turkeys hanging around our property all summer long. I think it is a mom and her chicks.  We have watched them grow and now I can't tell the mom from her babies.  They get close to the house sometimes, so I have gotten a few pictures. I love to watch them and see the color of their feathers.  Sometimes they roost in our pine trees in the evening.


The second pattern is called October 31st.
I love this pattern because it is not a typical Halloween pattern and has a very Fraktur-like feel to it.  It's a great design to hook in basic neutral textures...but you can still play with a few colors in the flowers.

Both patterns can be seen on my website and are available for immediate shipping.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick or Treat Flash Sale!

You get the's a Halloween Flash Sale! 

This is such a sweet little Halloween design from Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm.  It's a very do-able size (17" x 21") so it will hook up quickly.  You don't need a lot of different wool colors to work your magic on this pattern: black, orange, a strip or two of green for the eyes, and a nice neutral background.  Use the beading stitch for a toothy grin!  Wow!  
 I got a little crazy again while drawing this pattern.  I adore this little cat and I probably had just the perfect size scrap of linen so I let that Sharpie whirl! But now there is just a bit too many patterns and I have to make way for some new ones. 
 So here's how it works: The Flash Sale just lasts today, October 31st.  It runs all day but please don't call too late, OK?  Late for me is after 9 pm.  And please leave a message on my machine if I don't answer-I might be down in the barn.
The Flash Sale is for the Eke and Zeke pattern only.  These patterns will be 25% off the normal retail price.  First come, first served, orders will be filled according to the time they were received.

I am offering 2 Eke & Zeke patterns on monks cloth and 6 on linen.  Shipping and sales tax (if you live in Michigan) are extra.  The sale ends at the end of the day or whenever I run out of patterns. Here is a link to the pattern on my website, just in case you want to take a peek:

Thursday, October 30, 2014

On My Frame

Here is what is on my frame right now....
It's Daisy!  A really wonderful pattern that is adapted from Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm!  I used two yummy textures and "puddled" them around Daisy's body....she sure has a looong body so I felt it needed some interest.  I'm mixing 3 or 4 different neutral textures for the background and then used yet another one to work in the word "daisy" under the donkey (the word isn't on the pattern but I thought I'd like to fill in some of that negative space down there.  If you like it, I can add it to your pattern too). After I took the photo, I can see a few spots that I'd like to change up a little.  That's the beauty of taking a picture while your work is in progress...little things that you wouldn't notice with the naked eye suddenly pop out.  It's a great tool for evaluating your hooking.

I really love the way my Daisy is looking!

I'm sort of playing around with how I want to hook the stars.  So far, I like how they turned out. The next step is to play around with the blue and see how I can fill in between the star points.

Unfortunately, I dislocated my little finger on my right hand (yes, I am right-handed!) about 3 1/2 weeks ago.  The bone was set back in place but there is a huge amount of swelling, it's a little achey, and I'm probably facing a few months of physical therapy.  I can still hook but it goes much more slowly now.  And of course, now that fall is almost over and the cold winter months are nearly here, I want to get back to my hooking so badly!!!  Lots of designs and colors swirling around in my head and lots of projects begging to be worked on.  I love this time of year!

P.S. Stayed tuned...there might be a spooky kind of flash sale going on tomorrow. A treat for you without the tricks!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Mark Your Calendar!

What are you doing this week-end?  There is a wonderful primitive show being held this Saturday (September 6th) in Holly, Michigan from 10 am to 3 pm and I am so excited to be one of the vendors!  It is Harvest At The Mill, sponsored by Dawn and Dick Rossell.  I will be bringing a bounty of wool and rug hooking patterns, along with books, hooks, kits, and lots of other fun rug hooking accessories. A brand new Fraser 500 cutter with a #8 blade will also be available for purchase at the show.  I'm working on stitching up some sweet little lavender sachets and a bushel basket full of mini wool pumpkins (good for pin cushions or little fall decorating accents). It's going to look like fall has arrived in our booth!
I can't wait to see what the other vendors are bringing...there's wall to wall antique and early primitive goods!  I think this is going to be the show that a lot of people will be talking about for weeks!  Don't miss it!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I belong to the Welcome Mat, an on-line rug hooking group.  It is moderated by Wanda Kerr.  There is a discussion nearly everyday and a wealth of information that is accessible at your finger tips.  Most of the time, I just lurk around there and sometimes I skim over the reading because I am pressed for time.  
Today, Wanda posted a very wise discussion.  Even though I am pressed for time today (setting up at the Michigan Fiber Festival in a few short hours!), the words really spoke to me.  I want to share this discussion with you (she gave permission!) because I think it is important in this day and age of social media and internet sharing.

Alot of rug hooking connectivity takes place online theses days. I thrilled about this because I love my ability to meet and enjoy the heck out of so many like minded people! Thank you so much!
We on the Mat are in a very cozy little enclave. No one who isn't committed like we are is here.
From 15 years of working online with rug hooking I also know who possesses incendiary personalities and frankly I deny them access so that The Welcome Mat is as positive, calm and as loving as you and I can make it.
I grew up in a very negative atmosphere and I revile it, I'm sensitive to negativity and its influence on creating, our hearts and our souls. I think most people have a little well of non edifying waters they take a dip in every once and awhile. But most of shake off the waters, dry ourselves in the sunshine and carry on.
I don't like to be negative and I do like to act professionally at all times online. I have a pretty sturdy moral compass.
Every once in awhile my professional life is blurred by my private one but rarely.
What I'm saying is there are inside voices and outside ones.
I want to caution you about the permanence of your responses online.
Even if removed when read they create a lasting impression of you.
If you are a rug hooking professional, teacher, business person or even a blogger with nothing to sell, you need to conduct yourself with positivity and ethics.
A lot of what happens is simply reactionary. So and so writes a blog post with emotion ( not positive) and that in turn sparks a hussah of comments that both embroider and stumpwork ( build up ) the original words and emotions.
Be careful.
Try not to partake. Write a note but don't post it if you must.
Rarely do you ever see a dissenting opinion to these missives. And frankly they aren't that welcome.
Try to be the voice of reason if you are brave enough.
I have a list of good netiquette which I find even the top bloggers in rug hooking don't ahere to at all.
Please copy and spread this list around liberally. Everyone needs to see it and turn away from those who are not using good online manners.
1. Never denigrate a business or service no matter what happens if you have one yourself. NEVER.
2. Don't troll other services or blogs for good blog fodder without giving credit to the source ALWAYS with links. You would be shocked at the levels at which this is happening. We are having some very popular bloggers setting a very poor examples. In the greater blogosphere rug hooking bloggers are the only people who do not do this. It is very bad manners, akin to eating your snot at the dinner table with Her Majesty. Act more honorably, if the info they found, wrote or researched is good enough to add to your blog then don't they deserve a reference?
3. Always check with yourself before posting by asking would I want this said of me? Could I apply more understanding? Is this the seed I want to plant? What fruit will it bear? Would I want credit for my work?
4. If you have a quick emotional response to something you read ..... don't react by typing. React by thinking or creating. If a day later you still think you have something important to add then have at it. but I think you'll find in 10 hours much of the emotion will have dissipated. Don't feed that negativity.
5. Do not  ever and I mean NEVER take up the case of defense for someone else. Every horrible firestorm I've ever observed or weathered online came about because someone got indignant on another's behalf.
I'll tell you as an added bonus, this is something to look out for.... some people get that stuff going through behind the scenes manipulation and then sit back and actually enjoy the chaos, their hands nicely clean while everybody else is browned up to their ears in crap. Ohhh that stinks!
6. Don't act like spoiled babies when things aren't going the way you think they should. Change is inevitable and it is good. 
I'm going to use this as a blog post today too.
Spread the word on yours please with credit of course. 
Wanda is full of wisdom and I love the way she writes!  
If you want to join the Welcome Mat, click here.  There is a subscription fee to join.
See you this week-end at the Michigan Fiber Festival at the Allegan County Fairgrounds in Allegan, Michigan!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Thank you!

Thanks for participating in yesterday's Flash Sale.  I will be doing more Flash Sales in the future (darn, I wish I wouldn't have drawn up so many of such-and-such pattern!....) so keep checking back because you never know when it might happen!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Flash Sale!

It's a Flash Sale!

Sometimes I get a little crazy when I am drawing patterns and I draw too many of one certain design.  Maybe it's because I have extra backing left over and that pattern fits the scrap.  Maybe I am so smitten with a design that I think it's going to sell a lot.  Maybe it's just the full moon.  Whatever it is, I end up with more patterns than I know what to do with.  My overeagerness is your lucky day!  Today I'm having a flash sale because I have too many Do Goode, Be Nice patterns.  Here's how it works:
The Flash Sale lasts one day.  That's today, Thursday, August 7th, 2014.  It runs all day but please don't call me after 9 pm tonight, OK?  The Flash Sale is good for the Do Goode, Be Nice pattern only.  These patterns will be 25% off the normal retail price.

I am offering 5 Do Goode patterns on monks cloth and 4 on linen. (Linen is sold out - Thanks you!!!)Shipping (and sales tax if you live in Michigan) is extra.  The sale will end at the end of August 7th or whenever I run out of the patterns.
This is just in time for your Autumn and Halloween hooking!
Here's the link to the pattern on my website, just in case you want to take a peek:

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Check back tomorrow after 10:30 am for a little surprise event!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Save the date!

Put a big smile on your face and come on over!

Spruce Ridge Studios
Annual Open House and Tent Sale
Saturday June 28, 2014
10 am to 2 pm
(sale starts at 10 am sharp - no early sales please!)

There will be clearance-priced wool and rug hooking patterns, along with craft-related products at reduced prices.  Also vintage, one of a kind, and collectible treasures!

All Sales Items will be under the tent.

For your regular shopping needs, my studio will be open during the sale

Visa, Master Card & Discover accepted

please contact me for directions

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Ups and Downs of Life ~ ~ ~

This post comes from deep down in my heart and it's a personal one. I know I've been away from my blog for far too long.  Thank you for sticking with me and not giving up.  2014 has been a rocky year and I have not wanted to talk about it up until now.  I'm not looking for sympathy or a pity party, but I do feel like you should know what is going on.

I have to say that many times I felt guilty for not keeping up with my blog and seriously considered just shutting it down because I didn't know if I could keep up with it. It took me a while to decide what to do.  I realized that I will get back to my postings again "some day" so for now, I will write and post pictures when I can.

The good news is that I wrote a book.  That was my BIG project I was talking about!  It is a beginner book for rug hookers with 8 projects to hook.  It starts out with a very basic project and continues with various projects that teach a different technique or method.  It goes from the very simple to a bit more challenging (fine cut!).  I think everyone will learn something from the hooked projects.  I am very excited!  The manuscript is at the publisher now and is still in the very early stages of being edited.  It might be a year before it is published but I'll keep you updated!  Being the procrastinator that I am, I had a lot to do in a very short period of time and I worked from morning until late at night to complete the hooking, drawings, text, and photos.  It consumed a large chunk of my life for a while.

Just about the time I could see the light at the end of the "writing a book" tunnel, my father-in-law passed away.  And one of my goats died unexpectedly the very next day.  I knew that God didn't give you more than you could handle but I felt like I was pretty much on the brink of a big black abyss.    It helped to work on the book to keep my mind off of the grief.  My father-in-law was 90 years old and lived his life in a beautiful way.  His funeral was more of a celebration of life rather than a gathering for his death.  It seemed like we were slowly getting through the dark times.
The book got out the door soon after (yay!), but then 2 weeks after the funeral, my dad became gravely ill. I rushed down to Nashville because things looked grim.  Again, I thought, how much can one person take?  I was away from home for 2 weeks.  Through all the prayers, my dad seemed to slowly get better.  He went to rehab but got sick again and now he is still in the hospital.  Many folks have prayed for him and I know the prayers are what keeps him with us.  There are good days and bad days.  Hopefully the good days will increase and the bad days will slowly disappear.

Throughout all of this, my husband has been my support and a solid rock.  He traveled by himself to vend in Kansas City at the Lenexa Hook-In because I had to leave town so suddenly (thanks to Jan Adams for helping too!!).  He said the Kansas City barbecue was worth every mile of the trip!

Slowly things are getting back to normal.  I am almost caught up with filling orders and I look forward to teaching soon and vending at some great upcoming shows! It is so wonderful to get back to a familiar routine.

So that's what is going on, dear friends.  I appreciate your loyalty to my blog. Thanks again for hanging in there and reading this l-o-n-g story! 

I hate to write and not post some type of picture, so here is a photo of my dad's 87th birthday party that we had on March 22nd.  He really doesn't look like he's 87.  We had a fun day!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Share-it Saturday

I have decided that Saturdays are the perfect day for sharing some beautiful rugs.

This is Majestic, hooked by Rhonda Thistlethwaite. Rhonda was a student in my class at the Holland Rug Camp last July.  I tweaked the pattern a little bit for Rhonda, softening the bird's head and adding tabs all the way around the pattern.  Wow!  Rhonda's hooking is perfection. I love the gold background and the soft colors of the bird.  This is a beautiful primitive rug with a wonderful balance of colors.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Antlers of a Different Kind

My husband took this picture of a mama pronghorn antelope and her two babies.  He crept up in the tall grass and waited until they came for a drink.  However, they were not fooled.  We heard the mom snort at the babies several times, which was her signal to them that we were near. We saw them just outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming near the base of the Tetons. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I've been thinking about antlers since yesterday's post. I have an antique proddy tool that is made from a small antler.  I just love the nubby texture and color.
  Here is another amazing piece of antler art that we came across in Dubois, Wyoming.  This is a life size statue of an elk, made entirely of shed antlers.  I think the artist said that it took him a year to build.  There are only two statues like this in the whole world.  The other one is in the Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


This is a "must-see" if you go to the town of Jackson, Wyoming.  The town square has four of these massive arches, one on each side of the square.  They are made entirely of shed antlers.  It is really an amazing sight to see!

Monday, January 20, 2014


This is such an iconic picture of the Tetons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  I am sure many professional photographers have taken the same shot.  When I close my eyes, I can still hear the wind lightly blowing and I can still feel the peacefulness of a quiet sunny day.  
If I were daring, I'd hook a pictorial rug just like this!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I Know, I Know!

I have been working on a HUGE project that has taken up all of my waking hours every day.  The project won't be done until mid-March. I know I haven't kept up with my blog and I'm sorry.  I'm going to try to take a moment or so every day and post one picture about my travels last fall.  I went to England for 2 weeks and then spent another 2 weeks in California and Western States. The pictures may be in random order but I promise they will be interesting!

Here is a picture of when I was in Jackson Hole, Wyoming near the Tetons.  We came across a herd of wild buffalo near the side of the road.  From the way the grass was worn down, I'd say they come to this spot often.

I guess you could call me a Buffalo Gal!