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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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Strawberry to Go! My New Rug Design!

If you were a bird... perched on a white wire fence in the garden.... on a hot summer day.... you perhaps would be ordering one juicy ripe strawberry to go for lunch!  Oh my gosh!  I LOVE how this rug turned out!  I knew when it was only a figment of my imagination that it would have a hit-n-miss border... I envisioned the bird in brown with the red strawberry's. I just had to pick the right wools to do the job! So what do you think?  

It's 15 inches round. A nice sized chair pad.  ( oh maybe first I should tell you that YES! it is available as a paper pattern  Yay!   It's in my Etsy shop now... but wait...before you head up there I want to tell you a couple more things you should know about hooking this rug.
So.. a round chair pad 15 inches, but you could easily make it smaller to fit a smaller chair or just because you want it smaller by leaving off a couple of rows in the hit and miss border.  I used a #8 cut strip in the border which is 1/4 inch so leaving off two or three rows would chop it down in size nicely ( to perhaps 14 inches if that is your desire).

Now as for the strip sizes I used in the rest of the rug:
The bird in #7
The strawberries, fence, bird legs, flowers and stems I used a #6.

But go ahead and use any size cut you are comfortable with.  The wider the more primitive it looks.

Another thing, if you will allow me to voice my opinion here, is about using white wool in your rugs.  That's right.... evil white wool.  I seldom if ever use white wool in my rugs.  In a case where you need a really light color value, as I did in this rug... the flowers, fence, etc.  please use something that has a little color to it... the wool I used
 is actually a light yellow plaid. You can't really see that in the photos. There was enough color in it to  tone it down and not be so abrupt as a pure white. 

These are the wools I used in the rug.  
I love textures a lot when hooking, most of these are off the bolt or over-dyed like the green.

You may recognize the red stripe as a Heaven's to Betsy wool called Fortune Teller.  I just ordered five more yards of it and plan on hoarding it for myself!  LOL!!  It really made that little bird in this rug sing! 

So here I am blabbering on when I know you want to get up there and order the pattern! Thank you all from the bottom of  my heart for your loyal support of me and my little pattern business! 
Have fun hooking a little  along with your gardening and summer fun!!

Cathy G 

Monday, May 19, 2014

I Had Forgotten....

... how good it feels to hold the hook in my hand.  It's been dare I say..weeks since I've hooked anything.  I've had this little design floating around in my crazy head for a few weeks too. 
At 5:30 a.m. this morning I woke up aching in every joint and bone of my body.  The weather app on my phone said a thunderstorm was approaching and we were in for an all day rain.  I suppose that explains the aches today.  

By 7:00 a.m. I had the design drawn on linen and some of the wool I knew I wanted to use at the ready.
Now who's to say... this could become a pattern I would sell.  It all depends on the final outcome. 
Some designs are like that.... they go from head to hand to heart. 

If you let them....

Cathy G

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Bee Skep of Many Colors!

There's something about bee skeps that I'm drawn too.  Maybe the bee's within working or whatever it is bees do inside them intrigue my imagination.  When I spotted this wool appliqué design in one of Lynda Hall's books "A Little Porch Time" I knew I'd be stitching it!  The skep of many colors... how I love it!

The challenge was to find a piece of wool for the background.  Now who would even think that with a house full of wool that would be a problem? Well... not so easy as picking wools for a hooked rug background where you can use many different wools together.  To find that one perfect piece... with all the right colors and that your design will not only show up but not take away from the design.

So tell me what you think... did I pick the right wool?
I am having fun with the stitching... a simple primitive whip stitch.

I have a copy of this book for sale here in the studio... wonderful book by the way!  Many more wool appliqué things in it I want to make!

I'm off to stitch a little!

Bee Happy and Blessed!

Cathy G

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pelican sighting...

One can't help be amazed and dazzled a bit by the different bird species we see here in the spring. We are a stopping off point for birds migrating to more northern destinations.  Just thought I'd share a photo Dave took of two pelicans who landed for lunch on a marshy end of the lake a couple of days ago.  He came home amazed at how huge they are!  
I'm busy as a cat on a hot tin roof.... dyeing wool, stitching, planning and scheming! Will be back soon with more photos of things in the works!

Cathy G

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Finish and A Start

In my last post I teased you with photos of my latest wool project.  It is completed... to the best of my abilities.  The pattern is called "Pocket Full of Posies" by The Cottage at Cardiff Farms.  I carry the pattern here in the studio. 

All sewn by hand and I love the little gussets on the side....

... and the closure.... well get this... is an old metal tape measure that is cut apart and inserted in the channels at the top to make it "snap" shut after opening!  How fun and it works really slick! 
Now I have a place to keep my hook, scissors and all the little things we need as we sew that tend to get scattered and lost!
Now for the start that was mentioned in my title.

Well.... that would be the yard and garden work!

Yikes! I have only just begun to cut the dead stalks and clean the leaves out of our backyard gardens.  

I have very little help from the pups who keep me company.  One wants to play ball at all times and the other little deaf guy keeps busy exploring and finding little truffles left by the birds who fly over... like dead dried up fish... oh yes... he can still smell and I think his sense of smell is even heightened now by the fact he can't hear.  

The heavy-duty wheelbarrow waits. Although it has seen heavy-duty use already this Spring by Mr. O Sink who used a week of his vacation hauling big branches and tons of debris left in the yard from the severe winter we had.  

For some reason though... I can't figure out why... he never will go into the gardens and cut the old debris and stalks left from last year.  Is it because he considers that my job?  Does he think I will feel hurt if he cleans up and I am left with nothing to do but sit on the porch with a glass of iced tea?
I don't know... I may have to ask him... I'm really curious now! LOL!

Here's a sight that is  very common around this part of the country right now.. most everyone that has shrubbery and trees like pines and evergreens have found them burned and turned to a rust color.  This little shrub was beautiful last summer and now it will have to be pulled out because the gardening experts say they will not come back to being green for many many years. The harsh winter and massive snow covering prevented moisture from reaching the needles they say.   So sad... I guess I will plant something else in that old whiskey barrel. 

And yes... that is Christmas lights you see still on the shrub.... 
yup.... LOTS of work to be done around here..

It's time to start.

The Ball Player!  

Cathy G

Monday, May 5, 2014

Obsessed! And an Early Blue Trunk For Sale!

I've been rearranging and spiffing up the studio the past few days.  It's amazing what a few little changes can do for a small space.  As wool fabric has taken over the place it's important for me  to have it attractively arranged and organized. Besides the obvious benefit of having it easily accessible I find it comforting and therapeutic as well.   

It may appear that I'm overly obsessed with having my wool stacked in colorful, neatly folded piles.  But the truth of the matter is it's good for the wool... moving it around and giving it a shake and a refold can deter those mothy type critters from setting up camp.  
Maybe you noticed the early blue painted trunk in the photo above. It's a nice early one. It has hand-forged hardware and the best early blue paint.  It is for sale. But I do not want to ship it. If you live in the area and are interested please email me.  Asking 175.00

The inside of the trunk.

I am working on a new little wool appliqué project.  Here is a peek of what I've done so far.  I'll show more in a couple of days.  For now I am going out to my studio and... yup... fold some wool I dyed today!  LOL!!   Hey... it helps me sleep!  Doesn't get any more therapeutic than that!!

Good Night!!
Cathy G

Thursday, May 1, 2014

You Never Know Where it Will Turnip!

I've been thinking for awhile now of making these fun stuffed turnips from a design in Maggie Bonanomi's Book "Another Place and Time".  I made mine from a piece of wool that has been marbleized and felted. The leaves are wired and made from wool and a green cotton canvas. 
Between dye pots of wool simmering
and trying to stay warm on this chilly first day of May,  

I thought back to

the year the little neighbor girls left a May basket of fresh picked violets on our front door. 
Those little girls are all grown and living in other areas now.

The color of this turnip kind of reminds me of those violets.

Memories and turnips!  I guess you never know when or where they'll turn up!  

And the wool turnip?    It's making itself useful as a curtain tie-back in the studio!

What fun!

Thanks Maggie B. for the inspiration! 

I have her book available for purchase here in my studio!

Please email or call before you "turnip"!  

Thank you!

Cathy G