Friday, December 7, 2012

Price Increase in 2013

Hello Fiber Arts Friends!

As we all know, the cost of materials and production continues to climb, and therefore the cost of making our product has increased.  I'm posting this message to inform you of a price increase on our product starting January 1, 2013. 

The new prices will take effect starting January 1, 2013.  Any order placed before Dec. 31, 2012, will be charged current prices.  We are experiencing increased sales volume due to the holiday season, which means there will be times when we are temporarily out of stock on some items.  Complete orders will ship as we get product, and current prices will be honored on any orders placed before Dec. 31, 2012, regardless of ship date.  Check with yourlocal Bee Line distributor first, as many of our distributors have product on hand for shipping.

Below are the 2013 Prices.  Please let us know if you have any questions, and thank you for your continued support.
Cutter Body with one standard cassette will be $540
Cutter Body with one long cassette will be $609
Standard Cassettes will be $156
Long Cassettes will be $225
Tote Tables will be $190
Cutter Caddy will be $60
Dye Spoons will stay at $79
14” Orbiting Frame will stay at $795
Cassette Case will stay at $30

We’re approaching our second year in the rug hooking equipment business.  Part of our plan with Townsend Industries was to eventually drop the Townsend name, so you will start to see some changes in our materials to reflect our new name, Bee Line Art Tools.  This will be a gradual conversion, but we anticipate being fully switched over to Bee Line Art Tools in 2013.

Thanks, and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Bee Line Art Tools

2700 62nd St. Ct., P.O. Box 130 – Bettendorf, IA  52722 – (866)218-1590 – Fax (563)322-6517 – 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Rug Hooking Exhibit at the Airport

For the past month, I've been working with regional rug hookers and the Quad City Arts to put together an exhibit of rug hooking and wood turning.  We're fortunate in the Quad Cities to have a public space, at the Quad City Airport, that is managed by an art organization, Quad City Arts. A few months ago, I started collaborating with Dawn from QC Arts to discuss having a fiber arts show in the airport space. Dawn had also been in contact with the local organization of wood turners, and a partnership was born.

I was able to get some amazing rugs from regional rug hookers, including Sharon Townsend, Nola Heidbreder, Jan Pierce, Annette Boland, Lori Rokusek, Julia Bohl, Beth Anne Smiley, Ella Davison, and the lovely Katie Lane. 

Wool Kaleidoscope from Nola Heidbreder, hooked by Nola and designed by Cactus Needle.

Angel, hooked by Lori Rokusek, designed by DiFranza. Note the halo on the angel is repeated in the wood vessels.

Side view inside the glass enclosure, includes Beth Anne Smiley's "1885 Horses" at the top left, Julia Bohl's "Woodland Deer" in the middle, and Julia's "Ligonier Duo" on the floor.  All three of these rugs were designed by Barbara Carroll of the Woolley Fox.

Here is Jan Pierce's "Frog" pillow, designed by Cathy Morton Mulvaine - this photo doesn't do it any justice at all. The frog is bumpy, and multi-colored and multi-dimensional.  The wool in the dragonfly wings is metallic and gives the impression of iridescence. 

Sharon Townsend's "Joy: A Puzzle in 15 Pieces" - too much window glare from the glass again, but this is truly a rug hooked in 15 pieces, and jigsawed together.  The colors are fantastic.

Ella Davison's "Birds and Berries", designed by Bea Brock, along with a piece I received as a gift from a customer in Canada.

"Santa Fe Crossing", hooked by Beth Anne Smiley of Wheaten Woolens, designed by Barb Carroll of the Woolley Fox.  This rug is HUGE, and is serving as a focal point of sorts for the show.

Here is a table by the wood turners, with a Bee Line cutter on it.  There is a tiny sheep by Lori Rokusek, designed by Diane Kelly, on the table, and my Iowa rug is on the wall (designed by Cactus Needle), and then Lori Rokusek has another piece, "Down on the Farm", designed by Sue Hamer of House of Price, on the floor. Jan Pierce kindly let us use her work-in-progess, which is a gorgeous fox, designed by Jon Ciemiewicz.  It's nice for people who are unfamiliar with hooking to see the pattern drawn on the linen, and then the actual fox popping off of the piece.  The eyes are fantastic.

Another piece by Jan Pierce, called "Starry Harvest", hooked and designed by Jan.  This piece is full of stories - my favorite is about a third of the way up on the left side, only half of Little Miss Muffet shows, with her tuffet and her curds and whey spilled and a big spider hanging out of the tree.  Such a fun rug, and this one is big too.

Katie Lane's "Trout", designed by Keith Kemmer. He looks like he's fresh from the stream!  I was at a couple of shows with Katie while she was hooking this guy, and am so thrilled her husband Ralph gave it up for a couple of months for the show.

On Wednesday, I'll post more photos from the show, including more wood turned pieces.  They dovetailed with the rugs beautifully.


Friday, October 12, 2012

A Corny Experiment

I finally steamed my Iowa Vintage Postcard Rug, and was all set to start my Grannie's Flower Garden, and then....distraction.

I love how my letters in the Iowa rug look like corn kernels. They are a little uneven, with different hues, but in rows.  I thought a little bit more about that corn, and decided to try an experiment.

(Sorry for the darkness of this photo, my phone doesn't have a flash.)

I have a wool that is a maize color with a light charcoal gray box print in it, so it's a nearly perfect corn color, and the gray gives it that little bit of texture. My plan is to hook a rectangle of this in a Bee Line #4 or #5 width strip, and then turn it into an ear of corn to make an ornament for all of my Iowa friends.  I bought a nice dark green piece of velvet and some pipe cleaners, and I'm going to try to make some corn husks peeling back from the ear, and put a loop in the top from some small gold cord.

This is my first hooking experiment without using a pattern, so I'm freestyling here.  I figure if it doesn't end well, at least I haven't used much wool or linen. We'll see how it goes!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

New Rug: Grannie's Flower Garden

What a busy crazy month it's been at Bee Line - Townsend!  We've shipped out EIGHT Trunk Shows in the past three weeks, chock full of wool cutters, cassettes, tote tables, and our new frames, so things are really hopping out there in the hooking world!  That said, it has left me no time to hook. Boo!

Since my Iowa Vintage Postcard rug is done (yay!) and is awaiting steaming, I bought a new pattern from Nola Heidbreder at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week to start.  It's called Grannie's Flower Garden, a Cactus Needle pattern, and is 19 1/2 x 27.  It's just a charming little pattern, full of bright colors and happy shapes, that is do-able in a shortish period of time so I can feel an enormous sense of accomplishment. 

Once again,  I wish I had a color planner in the office!  The background in the picture seems to be some variations on a dark brown/tobacco color.  I used a beautiful chocolate wool on my Magdelena purse, which I would love to use again, but ran out and I can't remember where I bought it.

Having a blank, unhooked pattern is a bit like having a new crayon box at the beginning of the school year - it's a blank sheet of paper, full of possibilities. 

I looked at the colors on the photo above, and then looked in my wool basket, and started pulling a few things out to see what works.  I'm trying to mime what I see....a punchy color in the  middle to center the piece.  Like colors somewhat equidistant from each other, or anchoring either side.  The same wool in the center of every flower for some consistency.

Hmm.  I like how this has started, but I think I want it to be a little more fun.  Maybe a bright red pomegranate background? I think I'll start hooking the middles in that lovely Dorr green plaid, and the non-red flowers, and see where it takes me.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sauder Village, Part 2

Here is the rest of my belated photos from Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village last month.  I wish I had pictures of all of the rugs, they were so diverse and interesting.

Since Bee Line is located in the Quad Cities, home of John Deere Corporate Headquarters, I had to get a picture of this lovely rug. I also enjoyed the description of the rug, hooked by Elizabeth Marino.

There was a definite animal presence at Sauder this year, with Eye See You, and rugs like this majestic "Jonathan the Lion", designed and hooked by April deConick:

Even though I got a terrible picture of it, this rug made me laugh.  Sadly, I didn't get the name of the designer or hooker:

This was a really interesting piece - it was a face hooked on a tree trunk.  Here is the whole piece:

And here is a close-up of the face:

Another piece that I enjoyed the accompanying card:

This was really interesting, and the photo does not do the colors justice at all.  It's another piece by April deConick, called "Palette Constellation Rug".

Here is a close-up of a few of the blocks:

 Here are two very different woman - "Geisha With Lantern", designed by Marty Noble and hooked by Betty Stanley:

And the "Victorian Girl", a freestanding piece, designed and hooked by Barbara Branch:

I'm a big fan of Marimekko fabrics and prints, which usually have large patterns in big colors, so all of these rugs appealed to me on that level - the first three are by Maddy Fraioli:

And this last one is called "Spring Has Sprung", hooked by Elizabeth Costa and designed by Bea Brock.

Last, but not least, is "Lady Liberty Takes Gold" by April deConick:

Lots of variety, lots of color, and loads of inspiration!  This is what makes Rug Hooking Week at Sauder so great!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sauder Village Recap

I'm finally caught up with the paperwork from Sauder Village, so now it's time to post pictures of the rugs.  And Oh, were there a lot of terrific rugs!  Let's get to it!

First, let me say that the amazing Katie Lane from Townsend was unable to make it to Sauder this year, there were some family commitments she had to meet.  I missed you Katie!  Ruth, our Purchasing Manager at Bee Line, came with me instead.  Of course, she left as a hooker.  Ruth bought a kit from Tomorrow's Heirlooms and started hooking.  I warned her it would happen.

Hi Ruth!

I always love being able to meet customers at Sauder - it's great to be able to put a face with a name, and I have a LOT of names.  Shari and I talk to all kinds of people during the year, so when I meet people at the show it's usually a hug-fest.

Aww!  It's Linda Keller from Grant Street Woolworks!  One of our terrific distributors.

And then, there were rugs.  Lots and lots of rugs.

Sometimes I just love the cards with the stories behind the rug on them, like the one for this fox:

Here's another favorite, hooked by Susan Feller of Ruckman Mill Farm - another one of our distributors.

This dog. "Buddy" was hooked by Leslie Cuthbertson and designed by Jon Ciemiwicz from a picture Leslie gave him.

I loved the colors of this beautiful sampler-style piece. called "Heartland Samper".  It was designed by Cactus Needle and hooked by Susan Rand.

This whimsical fortune teller, called "Future Not in the Stars", was designed and hooked by Kathleen R. Helland-Carini.

A whole series of Hippos throughout the year, here is the information:

And of course, the amazing "Eye See You 2", The Big 'Un.  This is from the original rug designed and hooked by Judy Carter, and drawn by the amazing artist, Lenny Feenan (, but then each square was individually hooked by different instructors to make it four times the size of the original.  Love the whole thing, from the concept to the hooking.  What an accomplishment for everyone involved!

My photo feature won't let me download any more pictures, so I'll put the rest of them up this week.

Happy Hooking!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Getting Ready for Sauder!

I was hoping to get the Iowa Postcard Rug done by Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village, but it isn't looking good time-wise.  So much to do before the Big Week!  But what better place to be to finish a rug?  Here is the shipment of Bee Line - Townsend product going to Sauder Village:

Over 1000 pounds of wool cutting equipment and frames in these two pallets.

Pretty excited to go.  If you're going to be at Rug Hooking Week, be sure to stop by the Bee Line table, see our new 14" Orbiting Floor Frames, and grab a Tootsie Roll!

I used my new navy blue wool from Wheaten Woolens on the outline of my letters, and I love how that turned out.  The navy really pops, but it coordinates well with the blue in the sky background.

Plus, I stopped by The Woolen Needle in Williamsburg (one of our fantastic BLT distributors) and Carla helped me pick out some black for the bird wings and some darker gold for the spots on the bird.  Then I stopped in at The Rug Hooking Store to see Janice Lee.  You can maybe see some lines in the sky above the barn - once again, I underestimated how much wool I would need for the sky.  The part under the Iowa is in a pretty marbled light blue, but then I ran out.  Janice found the blue I'm using above the Iowa, and told me to pull some worms out of the lower sky and incorporate them into the upper sky, and vice versa, so they'll blend.  I'm working on that now.

Here it is with worms out....

Here it is with worms in.

I can't believe how close the two blues are, and how well they blend.  Janice was helpful in not only helping me with my sky issue, but also with my "double wool twists" on the back of the rug.  But that is a topic for another post!

Hope everyone is enjoying cooler weather and maybe some RAIN!  The crops are certainly sad around here.  Have a great week!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gimme An "A"!

I'm getting close on finishing the A, and in what is exciting news for me, I finally got an outline color for the letters!  Yay!  No more indecision!  This means I finally have all of the wool I'm using for this rug.  Oh wait...except the bird.  Dang.

Here is the rug so far - I'm loving how it's turning out:

Just a bit more of that Gene Shepherd Roman Sun and I'm done with the letters!  There is a small shadow outside of the letters and on the inside of the O and the A.  The picture that came with the pattern from Nola Heidbreder shows a light brown or burgundy outline for the letters, but I wasn't a big fan of that color.  I thought about taking the ruby red color from the side of the barn and bringing that in, but alas - not only do I not have enough wool to do it, but as much as I love that ruby it seems like it would be a little harsh against the letters and the sky.  Someone suggested the green, but I love the trees and don't want to detract from them.  What do you do when you can't make a decision?  Make someone else do it!

There aren't many rug hookers in the Quad Cities - if there are, I have yet to meet more than four.  So imagine my delight in discovering a new studio opening in Davenport - Wheaton Woolens, by Beth Anne Smiley!

This is a picture of Beth Anne from her website, - here she is actually at The Wooley Fox, enjoying a camp.  Beth is opening her studio in this adorable 1860 stone barn on her property.  The other hooker I know in town, Julie Bohl, was at the studio as well, and she and Beth Anne took a look at my rug and made a number of suggestions as to what color would go well with the rest of the rug.  We finally settled on a beautiful navy blue - I'm hooking it in now, and it is really giving the letters the "pop" they need without overpowering the whole thing.

Beth Anne is holding rug hooking classes in her barn, so be sure to check out her website for more information.  The more the merrier!  I'm going to the Omaha area to see my mom for her birthday, and fortunately I'll be within 10 minutes of Janice Lee's shop, The Rug Hooking Store and Black Horse Antiques, so I think I'm going to finally get some "closure" on that Magdelena Eby purse I hooked last fall.

Only two weeks until Sauder!  Be sure to go to their page on Facebook, "Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village" to stay up-to-date on what's going on!

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Trouble With W

I've been working on my Iowa Postcard rug in hopes that I can get most of it done by Sauder Village, but let me tell you, hooking these letters has been a challenge.  Here is the rug so far:

So maybe....MAYBE...I'm getting toward being 50% done, but these letters?  They just might kill me.  Things that I can hook in a swirl, or a line, or an outline - no problem.  But hooking in a diagonal line on a somewhat horizontal stripe???  Yikes.

It may not look SO bad from this picture.  In pictures of my face from a distance you can't see the wrinkles either! :)  So let's zoom in a bit:

Here is the W a little bit closer.  NOW you can start to see the caddywhompus rows and loops.  I notice the right side looks a little better than the left side.  I think that's because on the right side, I hooked in straight rows, and then filled in later.  On the left side, I just tried to hook row next to row, moving loops over as needed to fill the space.  Overall, I like the look of the right side better, and may end up unhooking some of the left side of the W.  I'll need to get away from the letters for a bit and then re-visit it.  Now for the REALLY honest picture:

Oy.  Here is that left side of the W, warts and moles and all.  I'm using Gene Shepherd's Roman Sun wool, so there are four different shades of this lovely yellow-orange color. 

I'm hooking them in stripes on the letters.  The color is fantastic, but my rows can certainly use some help.

If anyone has any great tips or methods for hooking on a diagonal, I'd love to hear about it!  In the interim, the next section is waiting to be hooked on my Bee Line 14" Orbiting Frame (which I love, and will have at Sauder Village).  I hope I get an "A" on it!