The Old Tattered Flag

Monday, July 6, 2015

Our "Gathering of Friends" hook-in, June 27, 2015

Grab a beverage and get a comfy chair because I think I have just uploaded the most pictures I've ever uploaded to a blog before.  I couldn't leave one out!! 
As you may know we held a "Gathering of Friends" here at our home/shop on June 27, 2015.  Betsy Reed of Heavens to Betsy had inquired if we would ever host a hook in a year or so ago and the thought was so daunting to me, but I'm kind of "flighty" to say the least and one day I said to my Mother and my assistant Marcky, "let's do it", but let's not commit fully to a hook in.  Let's call it a "gathering" and let's invite some artisan vendors.  Well, quickly I realized that this indeed was a full out Hook-in.  The first day I put the tickets online we sold several.  It seems that this area was in need of this kind of event and many would even travel quite a distance for it..
So, we dug in, made preparations, rented tents, porta pottys (we knew we wanted to have it outside in our backyard, risky but it's what we wanted).  I got with a caterer to make box lunches, it all came together nicely.
I will say, it's not easy to host a big event, we had 72 guests show up our first year, I was over the moon happy when the guests started arriving, meeting people that they may have followed on facebook, shopping with the artists, sitting with their friends, snapping pictures of rugs that they admired.  A great day it was!!  I'm going to shut up now and let the pictures speak for themselves.......

Before the guests started arriving.....

Each guest received a little gift at their seat, a poem, a piece of wool to use in a future project so that they will hopefully look at it and remember the day and the wool was wrapped with a necklace that read "Create".

Heavens To Betsy's booth

Wind chimes by Sandi ~ wonderful antique silver tea pots and silverware made into neat wind chimes...

Silver jewelry by Denise ~ I could get in trouble here, I have several of her pieces...

Photography by Jeremy Thomas ~ my son

Folk for All Seasons ~ my Sister Lisa Evan's booth

A demonstration by Betsy Reed.......awesome!!!

The entrance into the gathering.  Each guest had a name tag with where they came from.  It was nice to see people link up, perhaps they will get together to hook in the future if they live near each other.....

I love the picture above and below.  Joan taking a stroll to look at the rugs hanging on the fence line and Fran, Lillith and Robin admiring the rugs.  

Mom is our resident gardener.  I do not have a green thumb.  I tried to help when I could but under her watchful eye so I did not pull up any flowers.  She did an amazing job with the yard...

Here's the water feature in front of the shop.  As I've mentioned before, I like to do something different every year.  This year sap buckets did the job!!  And yes, there are fish in there!

Window boxes on the shop..

T'maters, yup that's right.....and herbs!

A huge thank you to Marcky, my assistant and her cutey patooty husband Clancy!  Clancy and my husband managed parking without a hiccup and then dug in to serve the lady's lunch.  I only now just noticed that they wore matching you think they planned that?

Blanca shopping....she traveled the furthest....from New Jersey to join us!  Hope you had a good time Blanca.....I think she did!!

My son Jeremy and his girlfriend Meghan.  Thanks to both for all the help setting up and taking down tents and helping put the lunch boxes together.  
                                         Here's some of my Sister's work....

This cupboard stayed home with me.......

I'm just going to say it......I have a problem with porta potty's.  Who doesn't, right?  Well, the company pulled up with two, a tan one and a god awful, bright Jack O' lantern orange one.  Guess which one we got....yup, the orange one.  Well, I had already planned on making an OUTHOUSE area, but now it was a must to cover that hideous thing.  Here's what I came up with!

We had water trickling from the watering can, a bar of felted soap and hand cute!!

And, now the rugs.......oh the beautiful rugs!!  I wanted them hung on the fence line, among nature exactly for this reason...the pretty pictures.  We hung numbers on them and our guests voted on their favorites....

...and the winner was Carol Lama's Cow in the pasture.  It won favorite overall and Mom chose it as "Mom's choice" for the color and depth.  She said she was immediately drawn to it, but she does not want to have to choose again as she really had a very difficult time with it.  

Funny story about this one.  One day Lilith came to the shop with her crow with sunflowers rug.  Annette said to me, can you draw me one just like that, but I don't want a crow I want a chicken and I don't want sunflowers I want poppies............ok?!  Love her Georgette!!

I have received so many nice cards and emails from the attendees but really we must thank YOU.  Mom and I pinch ourselves every day.  Our shop is located in the back of our house.  Most days, except when the shop is open, we work in our PJ's or sweats.  I can leave what I am doing and throw laundry in, make dinner, and then come back and continue drawing or filling orders.  We love what we do and are so blown away at how well received our work is.  We could do none of this without our customers/friends.  I got a little emotional as I was speaking at the Gathering, because really I am so grateful for the life I have.  My husband always told me that when he retired from the Army I would be able to open my shop and he was right.  It is a dream and one I am so lucky to have and I know it.  So, I must say thank you to him first and foremost.......and Mom, what would I do without you!?  Special thanks to Robin for providing the shutters and sink for our outhouse, Lynn for canopies and chairs, Marcky and Clancy again, Jeremy and Meghan, Helen and my Mother in law for receiving and hanging the rugs and several other things that needed to be done throughout the day.  Everyone just dove in and did what needed to be done.  
Our home/shop

So, without hesitation we are on to a 2nd annual Gathering of Friends.  It will be held on June 25, tentatively.  We hope you can join us!  

Until the next time......


  1. Such a great post. almost like being there ... I said ALMOST. I sooo wanted to come and meet you girls (seeing it's first on my bucket list) but life seems to get in the way. However .... there is always next year. God bless!

  2. Wonderful Post. Would love to visit you someday!

  3. Julie, you and your mom are just amazing! I am planning to visit you for your next hook in next June.
    My hubby and I had a huge 25 th anniversary party at a shelter in the park the same day as your hook in and it poured all day.( thank God we were inside) but anyway I worried about how your day was going because on the radar the clouds seemed to be heading your way! I'm glad it all worked out beautifully!
    I also have a blog but it's very boring compared to your blog! I only have a few followers and they are my daughters! Lol
    If you are interested it
    You were the inspiration and teacher for me to learn punchneedle from your hilarious and very informative videos!
    God bless you and your lovely family.....Patti

  4. Thank you for sharing your day with all of us that couldn't be there! It looked like a perfect day! It's wonderful (and contagious!) to see you love what you do! It's reflected in your creativity and business. Hope I can come for A Gathering of Friends someday!

  5. Thanks for sharing. Looked like great FUN!
    So glad it didn't rain.

  6. Congratulations! Looks to be a perfect success! Sure wish I could have attended... maybe next year... An autumn "Harvest Gathering" of sorts might be something to think about too? ;-) I hope to visit your shop the end of this month...

  7. Thanks for all the pictures and enjoyed seeing all the beautiful hooked rugs. Didn't know there was that many hookers! I think there are a handful in NM.

  8. Oh what fun it would be to come to one of your Gatherings!! And so many beautiful pieces to show. Thanks for the pictures, they were wonderful too.

  9. Good morning. I will DEFINITELY plan on coming next year. Your gathering looks WONDERFUL!!!! Everything looks perfect.

    wishing you a great day, doreen

  10. Oh my, Julie,
    Sure wish I had been there. Looks like a wonderful time.
    Thank you for sharing it all with us.
    Hugs :)


About Me

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my blog. I am married and just entering the second phase of my life as a Army retiree's wife. My husband and I did 25+ years in the Army. He is now officially a retired Colonel and has just entered the civilian workforce and I am happily settled in our 1830 Stone house. I (along with my Mom) operate www.theoldtatteredflag and currently we are building a small shop in the back part of the house. We live in Northern NY, right near the Canadian border. I have two handsome sons and 2 puggles. Life is busy for us, but I wouldn't have it any other way.