We had such a horrible winter that I feel like we are just bursting, wanting to take full advantage of this Summer. We have all been working from sun up till sun down, literally, getting the yard, shop, everything in order for our Gathering of Friends next week. In addition to getting the yard ready we've been trying to get some new products done to share with our friends.
I have admired the rugs of yesteryear for a long time now and have taken the leap and created an Antique Adaptations category on my website. The first one Mom tackled (she practically wrestled me to the ground to get it as I was drawing it) was the Antique Rooster. You can see the original in the third picture. I changed it up a bit as Mom wanted to do it in a faded red, white and blue palette. Well, red is hard to get as a faded color, it just turns pink. So, as she was hooking it we were worried. It was just too PINK and bright for our color scheme. She was afraid when she was done that it had all been hooked for nothing...But then I said, "well, how about if you let me spray it with walnut crystals?"
and....voila!! If you are not familiar with walnut crystals, they are a powder crystal, actually not from walnut shells as we thought. They have been used for hundreds of years as a natural dye, mainly for wood. I have been using them for years to stain everything, but of late, primarily my punch needle pieces. A quick spray makes your pieces look very vintage. And sure enough, though I was afraid to spray a wool rug, they gave us just the look we were going for. The color is still pinky, but the walnut crystals toned it down considerably. This pattern and kit are available at the website, here is the link to the pattern (check out our Antique Adaptations Kits section for the kit): Antique Rooster Rug Hooking Kit
....and "Four Leaves". These last two are pictures of the original antique rugs and the patterns drawn on linen from us. Kits are not yet available but the patterns will come with pictures of the antique rugs.
So, now the ideas for my own designs are also competing with wonderful antique designs in my brain. Oh how will I ever get them all done?? One of my own latest designs is an addition to my Skinny Series. The skinnys are all 10 x 24 and are basic designs, but perfect for that hard to fill space and also great for beginners or just an easy project for you to do while you are working on that big rug. Skinny Sheep is fabulous. The colors are a departure from our normal colors. He was hooked for us by Paula Russell who is helping us to get some of our samples hooked up. Here's the link to Skinny Sheep and the other Skinnys:
Skinny Series Rug Patterns and Kits
Skinny Series Rug Patterns and Kits
And next is "Keegan's Bear". My younger brother is about to become a first time Dad so Mom wanted to do a baby rug for them. Sweet and simple, this will look so pretty hanging in the nursery. Here's the link:
....and one of my Doodles has now become part of our regular pattern line. Antique Star can be made into a pillow as we have done, or a chair pad or just a cute table rug. It is 14 x 14 inches.
Now onto punch.....I have been working on my Baxter's Star design. What normally would not have been a big deal is a challenge for me because I am trying to phase in Valdani flosses to my punch needle designs. This is turning out to be an issue because they just have so many pretty colors that I am having a hard time deciding. The other thing is that I punch with six strands......
Most punchers use Valdani's 3 strand floss for punching, but in all honesty, though it is beautiful and delicate (see the outer circles), I just prefer the bigger, chunkier look of 6 strand (see the black/brown background around the star), so I have narrowed my thread of choice down to Valdani's #5 pearl cotton. It is giving me just the look I want and it is available in all the same colors as all of the 3 strand options. I am going to talk about this more in my next blog so...stay tuned!
In between everything, I have also been working on some chunky hooking, hooking with torn strips. I just LOVE the look. I'll talk more about that later too!
So, speaking of punching and Valdani, the reason for my shift and fixation with this beautiful thread is because one of my customers, Linda Heller, sent me a picture of her AMAZING........did I say that exaggerated enough........AMAZING..... Stars and Flowers punch needle piece. This is one I designed in 2012 and did with a completely different color scheme. Well, Linda punched it with all Valdani floss and oh my gosh! I'm still speechless. So, it got me to rethinking everything. Like I said, more on that later, but I wanted to show you her work and the amount of Valdani it too to punch this piece of art. These wonderful threads are now on their way to Pat in Massachusetts who wants to do that same color scheme. A big thanks to Linda for allowing me to share her work of art and opening my eyes to just how amazing Valdani is. (and how you can save money too, like I said, I'll talk more about this later)
So, as you can see, we are keeping busy. I hope you are all enjoying summer where you are. I haven't seen much of the news lately, but I do know there has been some crazy weather and heat in other parts of the country. Stay safe and go inside if it gets too hot.....and work on your favorite project. :)
Until next time.....