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.
I needed a day away with a friend so badly! After being sick all last week and trying to play catch up I was jumping for joy when my friend Sue called and said she could take the day and go bumming! We love spending a day in a town about a half hour drive north of here called Spooner, WI. There are about five shops in that area filled with treasures but one in particular I will tell you is fantastic! I am going to take you on a tour of Prock's Crocks and Antiques in a minute and introduce you to Bill Prock the shops owner. But first lets stop at a quaint little coffee shop for a grilled chicken and pesto paninni sandwhich and caramel latte'coffee.
The coffee shop is called the Alley Cat and has the neatest artist painted sign on the wall!
Sue never wants her photo taken but when you travel with a friend who has a blog you know sooner or later you're going to end up on there! She's a cutie and I feel bad the photo is of poor quality. Shooting with a window behind a person without using a flash is always a bad idea! ( our lunch was delish btw and the chips were awesome like home made).
Soon we were at our destination and caught Bill the owner outside in front of the old brick school house that houses the shop. It is a huge shop and Bill is in the process of building another building along side the school to house his ever growing inventory of top of the line antiques. Let's go in and take a look!
Winnebago baskets of all sizes and beautiful!! How about a few of these for your wool worm storage!!
This is the most unusual old metal pantry I've ever seen. I Didn't ask Bill the story behind it but I bet there is a good one!
Neat little model log cabin..... look at the old detailed little door....
This piece caught our attention immediately!! What an awesome old advertising lantern! Those are the original old glass panels that are hand painted with advertising and light up when the lantern is on! The red metal is original paint also. I want!!!!
Just a smidgeon of the blue and white enamel ware in the shop.
FABULOUS old Burl bowl with repair dated 1768....
Loved this old chest with eight drawers.....
more crocks and an old flying geese quilt caught my eye.....
take a closer look....mmmmm fabrics to drool over.....
This little early herb or candle drying rack with original pumpkin paint really caught my eye...think it was priced at 195.00 ( not bad I didn't think)
.... had to go back and take another look at that quilt..... loved the blue calico backing.... 795.00
Another adorable small probably walnut chest of drawers.
Early bowls with original paint.
My BIG purchase today..... a tiny basket. It was under 10 dollars and I thought it would work in a craft project down the road. I had to pretty much window shop today as the budget is pretty tight these days. So hard when you see so many wonderful treasures.
So here is Bill Prock the man behind the counter and the guy who makes it all happen at Prock's Crocks and Antiques! He's married to a sweetheart of a gal named Joyce who had the day off today! Bill is known through out the nation for his knowledge of stoneware and has some of the rarest and finest antiques you will ever find anywhere! Please check his website www.prockscrocksantiquestoneware.com and you will see what I mean!
It is really great to have a shop of this caliber in our neck of the woods! Bill and Joyce are long time friends of ours and will treat you right should you ever decide to come visit. Feel free to give Bill a call at 715-635-3655 if you saw something in the photos you love! I believe he ships items upon request.
Hope you enjoyed coming along with Sue and I today!
I'm back in the studio after a brief "vacation" recovering from acute sinusitis which hit me the day after Easter! After four days "languishing" in bed with the heating pad and lights out, a visit to the Doc became unavoidable. Now, armed with my antibiotics and a list of new "rules" to follow I have been trying to catch up from four days of doing nothing..... not even the laundry.
Depressing situation...... you could say..... but the positive side is that I gave my hooking hand a much needed rest that it probably wouldn't have gotten had I not been forced to stay in bed!
SO..... I may be sneaking in a couple late nights this week to finish up my offerings for Friday's update on the Mercantile. My deepest thanks to the person who invented antibiotics..... they don't give them out as freely as they used too.... so I am thankful the Doc agreed I was qualified as sick enough for a prescription. Is that a positive?...... in any event I'm grateful!
Stay tuned as I play catch up while behaving myself and remembering the nasal spray twice a day!!!
This weekend during our Easter Celebration at my Mom's the words to this old Three Dog Night song entered into the conversation. I'll tell you why in a minute!
That handsome young man in the photo up there with his ol' Auntie Cathy is my nephew Adam.
He turned 20 years old on April 1st. There has to be something special about a kid when they're born on April fools day wouldn't you agree?
Let me tell you a little about Adam.
He is currently attending Concordia University in Moorhead MN. He is studying nursing and carries a double major in that and Spanish. He speaks fluent Spanish. He just returned from his second trip to Costa Rica. In a couple of weeks he will be traveling to Spain to live for over a month to earn credits for the Spanish major. While there he will only be speaking Spanish so I hope he doesn't forget how to speak English! LOL!
His Dad( my brother) and I were singing the words to I Never Been to Spain and Adam said he had never heard that song! So there are parts to his journey in life that need to be filled in I guess!
Any way Adam is the recipient of the Spiral hooked mat. I think the spiral is very fitting for him as he journeys through life and experiences all the colorful and exciting things along the way.
He seemed very pleased to have something handmade and loved all the colors in the mat. I have to tell you that Adam is also an accomplished musician and sings in the choir and performed in show choir when he was in high school.
I think it's wonderful that he is going into the medical field and he has told us that he possibly might go into the Peace Corp. What ever you do Adam may all the positive and good energies in the Universe continue to guide your path!
Right after our Easter Dinner Adam hopped right up and did the dishes for Grandma and all of us! Didn't I tell you he is one sweet kid!
( one word of advice for you Adam..... watch out for those insane ladies over in Spain.... they might not be rug hookers!!
Happiness to a rug hooker is completely finishing a rug no matter what the size. Getting them bound and labels sewn on a labor of love. Love for the rug and in this case love for someone special who is going to be receiving this little spiral mat as a gift. I can't tell who at this point as this person reads my blog.
While I hooked this mat and chose each color of wool strip I thought about this person. So you could say their spirit and life energy is hooked into this mat. The spiral represents the journey in life they are on.
I think I mentioned before how hard it is for me to part with my work. One of the things that helps is to keep my mind focused on the person whom the mat is being given, hoping that in days and years ahead they will find enjoyment and think happy thoughts of me when the mat is being looked upon and used.
Of course this little mat had to look fabulous in every place I put it in my home! It could live here in comfort and grace the little tables and warm the hearth where a candle holder sits.
But it will be united with it's new owner shortly! I'll let you know next week who the person is!
Here is the start of a new chair pad that I designed and am making into a kit for two of my students. It is a 14" round pad and has some really gorgeous primitive country colors. It is half way hooked already and I'm counting the strips as I hook!
Happy Easter to all my faithful readers out there! I see my followers are over 200 now! That means I should be having a give-away to celebrate! That may have to wait for a little while but before the sun sets on the last day of May maybe I can rustle up something sweet for you friends! I appreciate all of you and your comments thrill me and keep my spirits high! Your blogs inspire me!
A couple of weeks ago Karen Kahlehad a blog post on her new blog about hooking a spiral chair pad HERE. Have you been reading her blog? It is so full if inspiration and wool eye candy! I eagerly await her new posts which are almost daily. If you haven't checked it out do so today! The creative energy there is flowing!
So today my desire to have some fun after a few weeks of "nose to the grindstone" work got the better of me! I found some of those unruly wool strips some affectionately call worms that lurk about the studio and drew up a spiral on some linen. It always makes me a little crazy that something like this huge pile of chaos......
......can actually be turned into something rather inspiring and organized.
Taking care of all the matters in daily life, trying to start and run a business, teaching others the joys of rug hooking while staying inspired myself has been sort of like this spiral. Whirling around and around sometimes at break-neck speed! Colorful and joyful. A journey that starts as something small and twirls into something bigger.
Sometimes I have to admit it feels a bit like the spiral is twirling out of control. Like being swept up in the tornado wondering where I will end up!
Hooking on this spiral today made my mind focus and helped me to look forward to what lies ahead. New students to inspire..... new designs and patterns to create..... a business with growing pains that needs lot of attention and time.
The key is to find some balance. Much like picking the right blend of neutrals, dark and light values in my spiral.
I'm reminded that the spiral eventually ends with a border that contains the design. Holding it all together. My hope is that the border is gentle, allowing me time for my own creative endeavors as well as keeping the business end of things going.
I'm glad I drew up this little design today. Thank-you Karen Kahle for the inspiration and for sharing your creative energy with all of us! I feel like I may be spiraling a little more in control because of it!