Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Animal Purse: Five Days Left

I mentioned before that I purchased the Magdelena's Animal Purse, a Wooley Fox pattern, from Janice Lee's store, The Rug Hooking Store and Black Horse Antiques, in Valley Nebraska when I was there for Janice's Hook-In.  My sister lives in Omaha, and she was with me in Janice's store and liked the purse, so I bought the pattern intending to make it for her birthday, which is on Dec. 22.

People who have December birthdays get really irked about getting combo birthday/Christmas presents, so I made sure this purse had no Santa's or reindeer on it.  This is what the finished purse looks like at Janice's store:

Look at the even loops!  The lovely colors!  The finished product!  Janice's purse was more of a black/gray background with some navy and burgundy worked in there.  My sister's purse has a tobacco/mahogany background.  I worked on it some on the way to ATHA Biennial, and a little tiny bit at ATHA, but that show was so busy I didn't really have time to hook.  I took it out at Green Mountain in Vermont, and got some of the animals done.  I really like the fox:

Here is the other side of the purse - I've been able to make some progress at work because I've been test hooking 14" Orbiting frames!  I love days when I get to hook at work!

That rabid-looking Yorkie thing at the bottom will end up being a raccoon - I wish I would have given him bigger eye patches, I think I'm going to have to reverse hook the eyes and make them more raccoon-y.

Here is what I have yet to hook:

So.  I need to get this all hooked, make the liner, and find some handles, and it has to be shipped by Monday to get to her on time.  My in-laws are coming for our first family Christmas this weekend, so not sure how much time I'll have for hooking then, but I feel a hooking marathon night coming.....

In the interim, at Bee Line- Townsend we do have some of the original Townsend 14" Orbiters for sale on eBay.  We only had 19 available for sale, and these are the last of the Townsend models.  We'll be launching our own frames in the spring, but if you need a great frame now, this is the way to go.  I've been hooking on the one we decided to keep for the company this week, and I am SPOILED.  Here is the link to the frames if you are interested:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Rest of Green Mountain

Here are the rest of the photos of some of the amazing rugs I saw at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont.  There isn't enough room on my camera to get  all of them on here, so know that the pics below are just a representation of the rugs at the show.

This was part of a larger rug, hooked almost like a patchwork quilt.  I love this "patch", to Hans Jensen.  I believe her name is Dorothy Jensen, but I was so besotted by the love letter that I forgot to take a picture of her name!

I have such a thing for dogs, and then a friend has a Bernese Mountain Dog, so I love this rug.  This is called "Father and Son", hooked and designed by Barbie Beck-Wilczek.

This is called "Feather Hearth Rug", hooked and designed by Kathleen Harwood.  She says the design is inspired by the classic feather quilting pattern used on antique American quilts.

I thought this was a tranquil scene - don't you just want to be there?  This is hooked and designed by Chris Daley of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

This rug is really interesting in that it has a sculpted element in the blackbird.  It's called "My Favorite Season" and was designed by Joe Luszcz, hooked by Diane Luszcz.   Diane noted that the felted acorns were made by her friend Lynn.

The name on this rug originally caught my eye because we had just sent an order to her the week before the show, but the rug is really outstanding.  It's called "Lincoln Commemorative", and was hooked and designed by Ivi Nelson Collier.  It was a 2009 People's Choice rug, and it's easy to see why.  Not only does it have excellent lettering, which I have tried and know to be tough, but it has that amazing picture of Lincoln hookedin almost as a watermark.  Ivi noted on her card that she likes how "Lincoln stands behind his words." 

More pictures on Friday! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

More From Green Mountain

The rugs at Green Mountain were amazing.  As a Rookie Hooker, I have to say that at times I am completely blown away by rugs, and at other times I can get a little intimidated.  As I tell my husband, rug hooking is like 3-D chess - the more you learn, the more you realize you need to learn, and a lot of thought goes into every move.  When Bee Line first acquired the Townsend line, we had a lot of lovely phone calls of encouragement from the rug hooking community.  One call in particular stands out to me yet today, and at the time I wrote down what the caller said and have it taped to my desk.  A woman named Claire called and was talking about our taking over the Townsend cutting equipment, and I said that we know we have big shoes to fill, and here is what Claire told me:

"Comparison is the theif of joy."

Isn't that so true?  And it applies to many things.  So when I feel intimidated by some of the amazing work out there and think, "I'll never be able to make something like that", I think of Claire and her simple but true statement.

With that in mind, here are some of the amazing sights I enjoyed at the Shelburne Museum.

Doesn't it look like Santa's beard?

LeAnn Hodgson of Camp Wool,
one of our terrific distributors, who had an
amazing booth right across from me.

Our booth - not nearly as pretty as LeAnn's!

Marion Brown, who coordinated the vendors and did a terrific job, accepting our thanks!

Double Paisley by Sharon Townsend - look at those cut-outs!

The view driving into the museum...a rug waiting to happen.

Walking around the front corner....

Lisbon Tiles by Cyney Passavant.

Espalier Pear, hooked by Kathleen Bonilla, designed by Beverly Conway.
I love this bluebird!

Lobster Fantasy, designed and hooked by Melina White.

Crocodile Mola by Norma Batastini - it was so colorful!

Runway Flowers, designed by Davey Degraff, hooked by Janice McKnight.

Since I don't want to crash anyone's computer with too many photos, I'll post the rest of them this week.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Green at Green Mountain

Hello all!

I'm lucky enough to be at "Hooked in the Mountains", the Green Mountian Rug Hooking Guild show in Shelburne, Vermont.  The show is in a stunningly beautiful round barn:

Vermont is beautiful, and lives up to all of the cliches about the Green Mountain State - quaint, bucolic, charming.  The barn has three floors, and this week the top and second floors are full of rugs, and the lowest level is full of vendors.  Here is the second floor before the rugs for the show were installed:

This is the basement before the vendors came in:

The only thing prettier than the scenery and the museum are the rugs inside.  The lovely Katie Lane opened the show for Bee Line - Townsend, and I arrived on Tuesday night after air travel.  We've had a number of cutters adopted at the show, so more happy hookers in the world!

Tomorrow I'm going to get lots of pictures to post on the blog.  The barn is gorgeous and the people here are amazing!

Friday, November 11, 2011

My First ATHA Biennial

I can't believe it's been a month since I attended my first ATHA Biennial!  Where has the time gone?  I will tell you that getting there was a bit of a challenge.  Katie Lane from Townsend Industries and I boarded our flight from Moline to Detroit, then changed planes in Detroit to Baltimore, and then Baltimore to Lancaster.  What a trip!  We had horrible turbulence on the first two flights, the second one was overbooked and they had to check my carry-on, and then the third flight looked like this:

Yes, that's the pilot, washing the windows.

And here is my seat - my knees are on either side of the pilot's chair, and another passenger is riding shotgun with a steering column in her lap. 
How about the compass mounted on the windshield? 
I want to see fuzzy dice.

When we finally arrived in Lancaster, our flight was late and my luggage didn't make the hop in Baltimore, so I was suitcase free, and we were already an hour past the end of setup time for our booth.  Fortunately for us, the fantabulous Norma Batastini was in charge and had all of our boxes at the booth and the security guard was aware of our arrival and let us in to set up.  Three cheers for Norma!

As expected, the rugs were exceptional.  Here are some of my favorite rugs - I am crediting them best I can, but if any of you see any mistakes, please let me know at

"Dad", designed and hooked by Cindy Irwin. 
I attended a three room schoolhouse in Nebraska
from grades 1-6, so this one spoke to me.

This one is called "The Ladies", and I thought I was being so clever
to take the picture WITH the names of the designer and hooker,
and of course, I can't read it.  This is a beautiful rug,
and I love the light background.

This was a fun and spunky rug,
"There's No Place Like Home" by Yvonne Hynes. 
The shoes even glittered!

Absolutely LOVED "Red Haired Woman"
by Churchill McKinney.  Isn't she fabulous!?!

This was the eye candy wall
in front of our booth. 
I felt like every time I looked up
I saw something new.  The reds were fantastic!

I also should admit that I have a major thing for footstools, and there were some I drooled over at the show.

This is the "Square Pocketfull Footstool" by Cindi Gay.  LOVE.

I didn't see a name card on this amazing footstool,
but I love it so much I have to show it anyway. 
My apologies (and appreciation!) to
the designer and hooker of this stool.

The Big 'Un.  This is "Penny Ottoman",
hooked and designed by Lynda Garay. 
It is stunning.  And big.

I'm working on a rug with circles right, wait, I'm LOOKING at a rug with circles and scratching my head because I'm too intimidated by them.  Maybe while I'm in Vermont next week at Green Mountain I will make some headway on that rug.

Here are our booth neighbors, Gail and Deb at RHM.  I get so excited when I get my new issues!

We had three of our amazing distributors vending at the show, and I had dinner with Susan Feller of Ruckman Mill Farm and Martha Reeder of Going Gray (and her sister Liz and brother in law Jerry), and lunch with another distributor, Gene Shepherd.  Terry Dorr, you are on my meal list in Vermont!

Martha and Liz, in a rare moment of quiet in their booth.

Susan Feller works her magic at the Ruckman Mill Farm booth. 

Terry Dorr, selling some of the hombre wool.

The show was just crazy busy, with so many people to meet and things to do.  And the rugs...oh, the rugs.  I wandered into one of Laura Pierce's classes and the portrait rugs people were working on were amazing.  Just a fun get-together of the rug hooking community that of which I am slowly learning.  Names and faces are starting to come together, and I'm starting to recognize people's work without seeing the name.  But no time for hooking while I'm in the booth!  Maybe in Vermont....

Katie and I left the show on Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m., and lo and behold, the airport was shrouded in fog.  Our flight on the tiny plane was delayed by an hour, which made us miss our connecting flight in Baltimore, which put us in airports for the next 14 hours.  Oy.  We finally made it back to the Quad Cities at 11 p.m., happy to be home, but looking forward to the next ATHA Biennial, taking place at Long Beach, CA in 2013!  If you want to support the next Biennial, go to and type in ATHA 2013 and look at the items you can buy - I'm loving Jane Olson's needle case!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fun in Nebraska

Hello all!

I haven't done much hooking lately, as my hooking space is in my basement at home, which currently looks like this:

We are finishing the basement , and there is now an egress window where that dryer vent hose goes through the plywood window, and all the walls and ceiling are down and the mess relatively cleaned up, so there is progress, but my little studio room tucked in the corner that used to look like this:

Is now covered in a layer of dust because the egress window guy came and I didn't shut my door.  All of my lovely wool, which is now filling those cube shelves, is covered in dust as well.  *sigh* 

One of the best things about my job as Marketing Specialist for the Bee Line-Townsend cutters is my chance to travel to hook-ins and shows.  Two weeks ago I was supposed to go to the Autumn Valley Hook-In in Stillwater, Minnesota, but my lovely teen was asked to Homecoming for the first time, so I had to fulfill my role as Annoying Picture Mom.  I certainly did miss seeing everyone in Stillwater, though!

Last weekend I drove to Valley, Nebraska to attend Janice Lee's Eastern Nebraska Hook-In.  It was fun and really informative, as there were terrific presentations throughout the day.  Great talks by Janice about sheared mats, Kathleen Salak's hooked dolls, and Carol Oslage's baskets, all great, but I was really taken by Jan Goos' Halloween pattern:

(Used with permission from

She did this as both a hooked rug and as a wool wall hanging.  It was interesting to see it in both incarnations, and it is so fun and festive!

A rug I stared at a LOT and wish I would've taken a photo of was being hooked by a young woman at the table in front of my booth.  I believe the pattern was called "My Pal" and it was a dog in the middle, which she was hooking in a primitive style and beige and tan wool.  The background was originally drawn with primitive, irregular rectangle shapes in it, but the hooker was hooking the background in large spirals in varying shades of blue, which to me was reminiscient of Van Gogh's "Starry Night".

Picture this without the yellow and white.

The hook-in was a great deal of fun.  Here is the event just as it was opening and people started their rounds around the vendors:

Here is the crowd when Jan Goos started speaking:

Here is a nifty idea for carrying cassettes without damage - this is an old Crystal Light container:

The good times kept rolling when I visited Janice Lee's shop the next day.  It is a really cool place:

It's even better on the inside...

Here's a close-up of that fantastic horse rug on the table - I love the four-leaf clover in the horseshoe in the middle:

And here is the lovely Janice Lee herself, in the middle of her Queendom:

What oh what should I purchase from Janice's candy shop?  When I was at Sauder, I saw all of the amazing Magdelena Briner Eby rugs and Evelyn Lawrence's interpretations of them.  I also bought the book on Magdelena's rugs by Evelyn and Kathy Wright.  So it only made sense that this was the pattern that was to come home with me:

It's called Magdelena's Animal Purse, from Woolley Fox via Janice Lee. 
I can't wait to start it!

This week I'll be traveling to the ATHA Biennial in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  If you're at the show, be sure to come over to the Bee Line - Townsend booth and say hi!