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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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Featured Artists at the Red Barn Theatre!

One of the things I am most proud of here in our little town of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, is the Red  Barn Theatre!   It is a most loved and favorite summertime activity of locals and tourists alike!  An old dairy barn was renovated back in the late 60's and serves as the theatre to a lively and talented group of thespians who entertain throughout the summer (as the barn has no heat... or air conditioning).
The former haymow of the old barn serves as the theatre. The lower level is the art gallery and popcorn and coke bar where guests go during intermission for refreshments and to view the artwork of featured local artists.  And I am very proud to announce that my hubby Dave and I are the featured artists for the opening play which starts tomorrow evening!

Dave, as many of you know is a super talented outdoor and wildlife photographer!  He has never displayed his work before so the last few weeks we've been busy framing and organizing some of his best work.  We used mostly old barn board for frames as it fits in nicely with the rustic aspect of the old barn.
My rugs, displayed as art, add the softness and textural feeling to the display.

I had to show you the steps coming down in the former silo!  You can still see the round shape of the cement wall where the silo once was.

The set for this play entitled "The Spitfire Grill" ( a musical)  was designed and painted by our friend and artist Nancy Dutmer.  Nancy sings and acts in many of the plays at the barn, too. Dave and I have complimentary tickets to see the play Saturday night!  I can hardly wait!  It's our anniversary this weekend too!  What better way to spend it than at the Red Barn on a nice summer evening! 

More shots inside the old barn...

Dave and Don Ruedy (left) standing in the silo stairwell!  Don is a fabulous artist and often displays his artwork here in the gallery.  He is the art director for the Barn and was an art teacher at the local college campus here for many years.  I actually had him for a teacher back in the day when I attended college. 

A shot of the dressing rooms for the players!  

Lots of work goes into the upkeep of the barn and the grounds. 

So wish us luck for our first show here at the Red Barn Theatre!  

Thank you for all the nice comments on my last post and the debut of my newest rug and pattern~
Tree Birds is part of the display at the Barn... 
I will answer your questions about the wools I used in the next post!  Thank you to all who ordered the pattern!  I think you'll enjoy hooking it!  
Talk to you soon!
Cathy G

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

My Newest Rug Hooking Pattern Release! ~Tree Birds~ 18 by 28 1/2

Well it's been a long time coming!  But I finally have a new design to add to my pattern selections! I am happy to present to you "Tree Birds"!  I went days trying to come up with a name for this rug... nothing felt just right...but the song Free Bird ( a favorite old rock song of mine..tee hee) kept popping into my head.  Hence... Tree Birds!  LOL!  I guess you just never know where inspiration may come from. 

But seriously... the birds are inspired by those I've seen on antique fractur art. The tree is patterned after the tree of life that is often seen on antique textiles and artwork, with my own spin on it of course!  The heart at the base of the tree signifies the love which nourishes and holds family and friends together and keeps the tree strong.    There is plenty of opportunity for you to personalize this pattern... perhaps adding initials to the heart for a newly married couple or older couple celebrating a milestone anniversary.  The date can be changed appropriately if you so desire. 
It's an overall antique inspired design that I hope will add warmth and meaning to a special area in  your home.

I have the paper pattern listed in my Etsy shop HERE.  

The pattern is 18 by 28 1/2 inches and ready for you to transfer without having to enlarge it. 

I thank you for being patient with me and also for your continued support of me and my little pattern business!  Life for me right now has been pretty stressful dealing with my Mom's congestive heart failure and keeping my studio and shop going as well.
Maybe one day I'll be free as a bird!  

Until then I'll try to find contentment in the present.
It's not always easy....but 
hooking and designing and teaching others the love for this craft keeps me 
thinking positive!
It's all good!

Cathy G

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Snowbirds Return to Second Tuesday Hook-In!

Nancy is not one of the snowbirds... but then neither am I!  LOL!  We only dream about heading south for the winter and returning home to northern Wisconsin in the Spring!  Today we welcomed our "snowbird" friends back to our monthly gathering here at Red House Wool Studio! More on them in a minute.  First you must feast your eyes on this marvelous finish by Nancy for her wool and velvet applique piece ( pattern by Rebekah Smith)! She attached it to an old wooden shelf given to her years ago by her mother! She painted the shelf with chalk paint to compliment the colors in her appliqué! Very well done Nancy... I love the creativity and the repurposing of an old piece!  Nancy tells us there used to be a mirror in the opening where she mounted the appliqué piece and a door that covered the little cubby space.  Quite the transformation of this old shaving mirror don't you think! 

We also welcomed a new face to our group today!  Meet Eileen! She's working on a beautiful kitty hooked piece that will be stuffed when finished!  It is a project I have to learn more about from the Wool Street Journal.  Isn't her hooking and use of color just great! Eileen has been hooking for 3 or more years and can't get enough!  I sure am glad she found us here in the north woods!  She is such a sweet lady and may have felt a bit timid meeting us wild hookers for the first time!  But I think she had a great time and we welcome her back next month!

Any body recognize this darling "Snowbird"?  LOL! It's BETSY!  Joining us again for the summer and working on a fun, colorful rug that I didn't get time to find out who the designer was! Betsy when you read this maybe leave a comment about the design for our readers! It's as if she brought all that Florida sunshine right back with her! Welcome back dear lady!

And Betsy's SIL who's name is Betsy is back too! ( below)  A "Snowbird" as well but if I heard correctly may be staying longer than the summer!  Wouldn't that be MAHvelous!!  
And... oh my... you won't believe this fun sheep rug she is working on! It's her design based on a photo!  She's cutting a piece of beautiful artisan dyed spot dyed wool ( of which I didn't get a photo of and could kick myself) and using it to hook the background. It's going to be a gorgeous background!  She plans to proddy hook the sheep's body and you can see one  she's already done!  This will be a fun one to watch as she progresses!  It's sooooo good to have both of our Betsy girls back in town!! 

Had to share a recent find that our second Betsy was able to snap up at an antique shop.... a wonderful vintage rug hooked with nylons!  In great shape and get this.... for only 12.00!   The colors have faded to that wonderful old softness I love in antique rugs!  What a buy!  Thank you for sharing it Betsy... it sure looked good on my old worn wood floors!  

Sharon our gal who survived a ruptured appendics last month and surgery is now doing great!  She looks younger than ever without those appendics doesn't she!!  And look at her going to town on a her latest rug, a design by Emma Lou Lais!  Wonderful  and classic.  Love the weeping willows! 
And it's VERY large!  We LOVE big rugs here don't we ladies!  Seems like everyone's working on a big rug except me!  LOL!

A  close-up of the house... using a big #10 cut I believe makes the hooking go so much faster!  Sharon is an expert with the wider cuts and does it with ease!  What a beauty this rug will be!! 

Celeste is not a "Snowbird"!  We won't let her go to Florida or any other place! LOL!  She is the most outstanding wool appliquer and rug hooker and always brings her latest creations to show and tell!
Her "Broken Arrow Alpaca" rug is hooked for neighbors who have Alpaca's and of course she used the wool yarn and roving from their animals to  hook into this piece!  I just LOVE those eyebrows!  What a wonderful gift Celeste!  And did you see her latest wool appliqué... a pattern by Buttermilk Basin!  It was started in the class she took when Stacy West attended our quilt show here in April!  Nice nice work!  

Remember Lorena and Saundra?!  Well they have returned as well from travels and winters in Fla. Hooking flowers and bringing more of that sunshine and warm spirit to the studio we welcome them back! I didn't get much of a chance to talk with them today... but I'm sure we'll see more of them this summer! I NEED to hear all the latest happenings in the hooking world down south!  

                                                           Every one concentrating so hard and waiting for lunch to be served!  How did I NOT  get a picture of all the goodies everyone brought to share.... let me say there was rhubarb in some of the baked things!!  And Gluten Free peanut butter cookies to die for... I could eat them... as I'm now living a Grain Free life... more on that in the future! Don't forget Celeste... I NEED that recipe!!

Wow.... look at the sweet rug MYA is almost done with!  A pattern by The Old Tattered Flag that she has adapted for a wedding gift for a young couple in her family! She's added the family name and date on the bottom to personalize it! 
Fun, lighthearted colors will be perfect for this couple she tells me! Mya has been hooking for such a short time and was lucky enough some friends of hers were able to snatch a townsend cutter second hand!  Almost unheard of to find one used!  But now she will be able to cut wool and hook to her hearts content!   Congrats on that cutter Mya!  It's every rug hookers dream to own one!!

A close-up of Mya's rug!  Great hooking and wonderful colors!

So there you have it! Some of the things going on here in the studio!  Did you happen to notice my new header photo?  Well... it's a sneak peek of a new design I've been working on!  Don't fall over!
I plan to release it as a paper pattern.... it's a bit larger than all my patterns I've released to date so need to work on the specifics a bit more!  
So stay tuned for a better look of the entire pattern!  I do like it myself! Quite an accomplish for me and long overdue!

Cathy G

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Old Photos & Mother's Day

While going through some of Mom's old photographs.... she has boxes of them.... sigh...
I came across a couple of old black and white snapshots that I think really capture the essense of Mother's Day for me.  Of course my Grandma and Great Grandma are no longer living. 

In December of 1953, my Great Grandmother looks a little skeptical, perhaps because I was my Mom's firstborn!  She was probably thinking that Mom was going to have her hands full before too long! LOL! 
I loved my Grandmas dearly!

Here is a photo I cherish of my Mother when she was very young. I will have to ask her how old she is here because I'm not sure.  For a time, they lived in the log house you see behind her.  Can  you spot that little wooden rocking chair in the photo?   It was made by a neighbor for Mom.  She still has that little chair.  My mom is 85 now.  Can't believe that chair has survived 5 kids and countless grandkids!
Mom is doing fairly well these days... dealing with congestive heart failure.  We take each day as it comes.  She tried to go down and pull some weeds out of the peonies the other day and got so out of breath and heart pumping so fast she had to lay down when she came in the house.  She loves her flowers and yard work. Sadly she just isn't going to be able to do much of that anymore.
We are trying to get her unsafe deck replaced this spring so she can container garden a little easier and safely as the deck has seen better days. 
She deserves it so much... but the carpenters who came by to do the work last fall still haven't returned to start the work.  Frustrating, but I hear this story more often than not from others who are wating to get work done.

And another old photo that just makes me laugh.  Mom and I and our dog Zippy. I remember Zippy as if it were yesterday!  I think he must have been one good little Boston Terrier to have put up with that head strong little Cathy!
Hoping you all have a beautiful Mother's day this Sunday... and remember... even though you may not BE a mother, we all have a mother to celebrate!  
Cathy G