Many of you know that my husband, William Miller, of Sunset Haven Pottery, enjoys making ceramics. After several years of attending the Maine Pottery Tour, this year he decided to open his own pottery studio to the public and be on the tour instead. There are at least forty studios on the tour statewide this year. Make ours one of your stops!
We will be open both days, here at the Parris House, 546 Paris Hill Road, Paris, Maine, from 9 AM to 5 PM. Here’s what we’ll be offering:
Lots of beautiful Sunset Haven Pottery pieces for sale, just in time for Mother’s Day
Pottery studio tours and demonstrations
A chance to try your hand at the pottery wheel if you’d like
A raffle to win a piece of Sunset Haven Pottery
So come on out and join us to see what happens at the Parris House that’s not fiber art, for a change!
Watch the slideshow below for a preview of what we’ll have available.
We’ve been fielding a lot of questions about when this year’s Belfast Hook In would be and about how to sign up. Here are the answers!
This year’s event will take place on Saturday, April 28th, 2018 from 9 am to 3 pm. We will be gathering again at the First Church of Belfast, 8 Court Street, Belfast, Maine.
We are so pleased to announce that this year’s guest speaker is Doreen Frost of Vermont Harvest Folk Art! She will be speaking on The Art of Punch Needle Embroidery.
Doreen’s full bio can be found here, but she is an accomplished folk artist and author from Pawlet, VT who creates marvelous designs and finished pieces in punch needle embroidery. This is a different art than punch needle rug hooking, instead using fine fiber threads and very fine punch needles. We are looking forward to hearing her speak about her inspirations, her art, and her techniques. She will also be available for questions and have materials for sale if you are already a maker in this craft or would like to become one! Please visit her site at http://www.vermontharvestfolkart.com for more information and a look at her beautiful and original artwork.
As before, we will have an informal rug show and our breakfast and lunch will once more be provided by the friendly chefs of For the Love of Food and Drink. We will have vendors and door prizes, and of course, lots of wonderful camaraderie as we gather again to celebrate our heritage craft.
Ready to sign up? You can find and print the registration form here, or, contact us at email@example.com, or, call Beth Miller at 207-890-8490. Need a flyer to rally your friends? Click here. In response to feedback from last year’s event we are capping attendance at 96 this year, so please register soon! Registration is $38 before March 1st, $40 thereafter. Registration deadline is April 21st.
On Saturday, November 4th, we had our Fifth Annual Paris Hill Hook In and I would say it was a great success. We changed things up quite a bit this year. Responding to feedback from hook ins that I’ve been an organizer and/or a vendor for, we reduced the number of guests from 62 to 50 this year in an effort to give everyone more space. We also went from three vendors to four. These are, to be honest, risky steps to take from the business side of conducting a hook-in, however, I would say that a good day was had by all and we plan to continue with these changes in coming years.
I would like to extend a bunch of “thank-yous” to the many people who made the day a success.
Firstly, I’d like to thank our guests for once again supporting this event, supporting our vendors, and being the reason the Paris Hill Hook In exists at all. Thank you, all!
My husband, Bill, and 24 year old son, James, gave a herculean amount of assistance in setting up and then breaking down the hall. They did lots of hauling, moving, and configuring on both ends of the event and I am very grateful for the help.
I’d like to thank the First Baptist Church of Paris and its Pastor Mary Beth Caffey for once again welcoming our event to their beautiful venue. Given the choice between getting a larger venue to make space or scaling down, I chose scaling down because I believe traditional hooking events, in venues with history, character, and grace are becoming rare. Our hooking heritage includes gathering in small, community spaces and supporting our home towns and villages. Because First Baptist Church is willing to have us every year, we can continue that tradition.
For the Love of Food & Drink, our caterers, knocked it out of the park again with an outstandingly delicious breakfast and lunch. Their kindness, conscientiousness, skill, and culinary excellence are a major part of what makes this event successful.
Our vendors are amazing! A huge thank you to Connie Fletcher of Seven Gables Rug Hooking, Ellen Marshall of Two Cats and Dog Hooking, and Cherylyn Brubaker of Hooked Treasures. And, of course, I was vending there too, and am very appreciative of everyone who shopped at my table yesterday. Did you miss the event this year? Click on all of our shop or web pages and shop the wonderful wares, just in time for the holiday season!
I am never able to get really great pictures at an event I’m personally running, so please excuse the lack of precision here. However, you will get a feel for how the event unfolded and hopefully see some faces you are familiar with. (To advance the slideshows, click on the arrows to the sides.)
Here are the pictures from setting up the day before. The church was so silent, in contrast to the busyness that characterizes the actual event.
And here are the pictures from the day, complete with beautiful sunrise over Paris Hill.
Finally, here are the rug show pictures. I was concerned that by scaling this event down the rug show would suffer, but no. Our guests delivered with a great number and variety of rugs. It goes without saying here that any design you see may not be copied without the artist’s/designer’s permission, so if there’s one you just love and want to track down ownership of, send me a message and I can try to get that information. Some of them I know right off because they are either my design and/or hooked by one of the Parris House Hookers/Tuesday Group members, but others I’d need to make a few contacts on.
Were you there at the Fifth Annual Paris Hill Hook In? We’d love to see your pics and hear your comments too. Remember, if you are using social media to post about the event, include the hashtag #parishillhookin so that we can all find one another’s posts.
Thanks to all, again, and keep an eye on the website’s Paris Hill Hook In tab for information about next year’s event.
I haven’t posted anything on the blog since May of this year, after being reasonably consistent about popping something new up for you at least a couple of times a month. May was around the time small and a few big things started to go wrong around here, starting with my Corgi Tru being diagnosed with terminal liver disease and cancer. Tru was my steadfast companion for the past eleven years and the dog our four sons were raised with. To watch her sicken, with one capability after another taken from her by the cancer, was both heartbreaking and demoralizing. On June 13th, it was clear that prolonging her life was not in her best interest, and I had promised, from the day she arrived to our home, that she would know nothing but love and care for all of her days. Our amazing friend and veterinarian came over that evening, and Tru passed away very peacefully outside on the grass with many of her loved ones holding and surrounding her. I didn’t really get off the sofa for about three days – not for any length of time anyway – and from there it’s been a summer of more minor mishaps, from the annoying to the comical. I will spare you most of those, but if you’ve been following the Facebook page you know that it’s included one of my bee hives swarming, having a lot of my inventory damaged in a microburst at a show in Portland, and then coming home that same night to find my favorite witness-tree birch on fire from a lightning strike, necessitating its felling. A friend of mine said, “Girlfriend, burn some sage at your house!”
I feel like I’m starting to recover now. Things are going a bit better and my spirits are always lifted as fall approaches. It’s my favorite season here in Maine by far. For a variety of reasons, summer is my least favorite season, plus, for me, fall is like my new year. Instead of spring, or January, my new beginnings often happen in the fall. This year especially, I am feeling the need to get back to learning, growing, changing, and moving forward.
So, let’s do a little catching up first.
One good thing that happened this summer was that we bottled our first batch of Tovookan’s honey from the Parris House beehives. We had about sixty pounds altogether and while I have sold quite a lot of it, I do still have some jars left. If anyone is interested in a one pound jar, they are $10 and available at the Maine studio, OR they can be shipped. Be aware, however, that shipping is running around $7 – $9, so I leave it to your discretion as to whether or not you’d like a jar from a distance.
I have also had the privilege of working with three publishers who I have long admired. Down East Magazine currently has some of my rug hooking kits and finished pillows in their Summer Pop Up Shop at their headquarters in Rockport, Maine. If you are traveling along the beautiful Maine Midcoast for the remainder of this summer and in to September, please stop in to the shop right on Route 1 to peruse not only my things, but a great selection of Maine Made products.
The holiday issue of Rug Hooking Magazine will also feature my pattern and project article as the centerfold pull out. I remember when I first started hooking thinking it was a really big deal to have that role in an RHM issue, and now here I am. As always, linen patterns and kits will be available for purchase through RHM when the magazine comes out.
Finally, I have a really lovely and fun project coming out in the fall issue of Making Magazine, assembled and edited by the talented and hard working Carrie Hoge, a fellow Mainer. I don’t want to put any spoilers here, but the theme of the magazine this fall is “Lines” and my project was designed accordingly. I loved making it and loved working the Carrie, whose outstanding photography truly captures the beauty of any project she’s shooting.
My work is also on display in the Maine Made kiosk at Bangor International Airport. It’s so fun to know that busy travelers going in and out of the airport can take a moment to see my bee pillow in the kiosk. It’s my hope that it brightens someone’s day.
I also just launched two new hooked pillows for Beekman 1802, a bee and a pink pig, continuing with the theme of animals you might find on the farm. My Instagram post of the bee is the most liked post ever in the history of my IG account, so I’m expecting it to do well in the Mercantile. It was also “liked” by one of my hooking heroines, who I will not name here. 🙂
So, let’s look forward to what’s coming up the last few weeks of the summer and in to the fall…
I have a beginner rug hooking class coming up at The Stitchery in Portsmouth, RI, this Sunday, August 27th that you can still sign up for! We will be doing a double heart scented buckwheat pillow; this is the prototype, to the left. For more information and to sign up, click HERE.
On September 2nd we will have another of our SUPER FUN beginner dye classes here at the Parris House. To sign up, click HERE.
Once again, I will be participating in the Sharon Springs Harvest Festival on September 9th and 10th in beautiful Sharon Springs, NY! I will not be down in the vendor area this year, but rather I will be at Beekman Farm demonstrating and teaching rug hooking for our Beekman Neighbors who come to the farm tours. I hope to have some of my exclusive-to-Beekman 1802 pillows for sale in the Mercantile, however, for any neighbors who want to shop for them on the spot at Harvest Festival. Normally they are made to order and purchased online with a 2 week completion time.
I will also be having a beginner class at Scarborough Adult Ed (Maine) starting at the end of September. Follow the website and FB page for more information on that as it becomes available. We will be doing Maine forest/camp themed projects, so this is not to be missed!
On October 7th, we will have a soap making class again here at the Parris House. To sign up for that, click HERE.
The Hampden Hook-In, sponsored by The Keeping Room, will take place on October 21st this year and I will be there again vending. Hope to see many of you there!
Last, but not least, for events, the Fifth Annual Paris Hill HookIn is set to take place on Saturday, November 4th. If you have not signed up already, please do soon. I have reduced the number of participants this year to fifty. That’s a reduction of about a dozen spots because I am hearing so very many complaints at hook-ins about inadequate space. If the majority of hookers feel that more space is needed at these events but still want to enjoy the more down-home and charming venues, then the sacrifice has to be made in the number of attendees. Therefore, I only have a limited number of spaces left. For all of the information on this event, click HERE.
The Parris House gardens were not their best this season. In speaking to a friend of mine who is literally a professional farmer about how relatively poorly I think my tomatoes are doing, she said right away that the nights have been too cold and the days of high heat too few. I will say, though, that the Parris House apple trees are absolutely loaded, so let’s keep our fingers crossed for those!
And so we move forward. Not every year is our best year, but in looking back over just what I’ve written here, I realize that some very good things have happened. And just about two weeks ago, one other very good thing happened…
Meet Wyeth, our new five month old Rough Collie. (Yes, he’s named for NC, Andrew, and Jamie Wyeth – I’m an art geek.) My husband grew up with Collies and loves them, and since we have had the good fortune to live with my favorite breed for the past eleven years, I thought it was his turn to live with his. Wyeth was born in Georgia right around the time his breeder family (Morris Oaks Farm) was making a move to Maine, and that’s why he came to us so relatively late for a puppy. But this is perfect for me as he is already so well trained and socialized and best of all, housebroken! He already loves the attention of our Tuesday group hookers, although I do my best to keep him both out of their hooking bags and away from their lunches. Dog lovers everywhere will know the complexity of my feelings as I fall in love with this new puppy. I still shed tears for Tru, and at the same time find joy in getting to know Wyeth.
I will be getting back on the regular-blogging wagon. Tell me in the comment thread any topics you would like to see covered on the blog (can be fiber art, travel, gardening, beekeeping, whatever!), and if I choose yours I will give you an online or in person coupon for $5 off any purchase of $25 or more. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter, which I will also be getting back to, by using the sign up box at the bottom of the web page.
After much preparation and anticipation, the first Belfast Hook In sponsored by 207 Creatives went off on Saturday, April 22nd at the First Church of Belfast, Belfast, Maine. We’d like to thank everyone who came out to this first 207 Creatives event and everyone who assisted in what turned out to be a very nice day. I took what photos I could of the day, but since I was an organizer and a vendor, I have to admit the photos I got are limited. (Note to self: assign photography to a helper next time.) I did, however, get quite a few rug show photos by taking a quick block of time to record the amazing work of our attendees.
For those who were not in attendance, 207 Creatives is the collaborative effort of Connie Fletcher of Seven Gables Designs, Ellen Marshall of Two Cats and Dog Hooking, and myself. Here they are at their respective tables at the hook in! (To my knowledge, there is no picture of me from the day…which is ok.)
First and foremost, we want to thank our 120 guests who made the day a success, provided us with useful feedback via their comment cards, provided rugs for truly one of the most impressive hook in rug shows I have ever seen, and who came from as far away as Canada to join us for this special event! The tradition of the hook in is so important to our craft, and our attendees came out to support this new event with enthusiasm, creativity, and good ideas for future events. Thank you, thank you!
Our special guest speaker was artist and teacher Rose Ann Hunter, who was accompanied by her daughter Kristin who helped immensely with the projector for Rose Ann’s presentation. Rose Ann’s table was continually visited by inquisitive guests looking at her work, asking questions, seeking demonstrations, and learning new techniques. We are so thankful and happy that Rose Ann agreed to join us and share her expertise with all.
As an extra service we invited Neill Peterson, a knife and scissors sharpener, to provide sharpening for our well used scissors. I did not get a chance to take mine over to him, but it seems as though he was busy during the entire event helping to keep everyone’s tools in tip top shape.
Our outstanding food was provided by For the Love of Food and Drink, just as it is at the Paris Hill Hook In. These folks prepare the food fresh right there in the venue kitchen and they do it with smiles on the entire time. I’m not this cheerful in my own kitchen when I’m not serving 120 guests.
More helpers included Mike Fletcher and Michelle Silveira, Connie’s husband and daughter respectively, who did anything and everything to help, as well as Roberta McCusker, friend and hooker extraordinaire who came over from New Hampshire. I do not have a picture of Mike, but I do have Michelle and Roberta here.
Very special thanks also to Edna Olmstead, who goes above and beyond in service to everything she commits to. Edna ran our rug show and is also an extremely prolific and accomplished hooker in her own right. Also, those gorgeous fluffy frame covers you buy from Parris House Wool Works and other lovely shops/vendors in the area? Edna makes those. I personally have three or four now, because I can’t stop myself from collecting them.
As I said, the rug show was absolutely stunning. I can not remember the last time I saw a hook in rug show of this quality and again, I thank our attendees for bringing in their beautiful rugs. The variety of styles, techniques, and subject matter was mind boggling. I have assembled my rug show pictures in to a click through gallery below. It goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway: these rugs are the property of their makers, the designs are the property of their designers. No image here may be copied for a “new” design without the express permission of the designer. Time constraints did not permit me to record the makers and designers of each of these rugs, however, IF there is a design that you see and would like to have the pattern for, I will do whatever I can to research the rug to determine its rightful owner and designer for you.
At 207 Creatives we are already brainstorming future events, so stay tuned for more news on those. Additionally, there is still space left at the Fifth Annual Paris Hill Hook In sponsored by Parris House Wool Works, scheduled for November 4th, 2017, but it’s about half full already. If that is an event you are interested in, click HERE for more information and to sign up. If you’d like to stay on top of everything happening here at Parris House Wool Works, by all means also sign up for our newsletter, The Street Corner, using the sign up box at the bottom of this page.
Thank you, happy hooking, and we hope to see you at future celebrations of our craft!
I am a planner junkie. In fact, I have a planner, two workbooks, a wall poster calendar, and several calendars around the Parris House to keep me as organized as possible. That’s not to say it’s always 100% effective, but I’m a writing-it-down kind of woman. The particular organizing and planning system I’m using right now is created by an amazing Australian woman named Leonie Dawson. She’s no nonsense and ethereal simultaneously. Not sure how else to describe her but her work and life planner are highly effective, as is she. To take a peek, click HERE.
Regardless of what kind of time keeper/planners you use, however, I’ve got some dates for you to write down, so grab your planner, rip your calendar off your wall, whatever it takes, and write these down:
January 23rd: Last day to register for the Intro to Hooking class I’m teaching at SAD44 Adult Ed. It’s going to be fun! We’re making cute 8″ x 8″ Valentine themed mats that can then be finished as pillows or table toppers or wall hangings – your choice. Classes will be Monday, January 30th and Monday, February 13th. FMI, click HERE.
January 28th:Beginner Dye Class at the Parris House. This is one of the most fun classes I have here. You learn three different methods of wool dyeing and leave with a full yard of your own hand dyed wool, ready to cut and hook with, or use with any other craft you please. FMI, click HERE.
February 4th: Intro to Cold Process Soap Making at the Parris House. You will learn the art of cold process soap making *and* leave with 2 pounds of freshly made soap, a recipe to use at home, a soap mold, and safety equipment. FMI, click HERE.
March 11th: Yes, You Are & Yes, You Can, beginner rug pattern design class at the Parris House. Another great class that’s super fun! You will learn genres, design tips and tricks, getting your pattern on the grain, and so much more. You will leave with a completely finished linen pattern of your own design, all ready to hook. FMI, click HERE.
April 1st: Soap making again! See earlier description, but for tickets for this date click HERE.
April 22nd: 207 Creatives Belfast Hook In, First Church of Belfast, UCC, Belfast, Maine. Many of you already know about this event and are even signed up for it, but for ALL the information, click HERE.
We are finalizing some summer dates for my classes at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village this year, so follow their page at THIS LINK for updates on my and many other great classes.
September 9th & 10th, Sharon Springs Harvest Festival, Sharon Springs, NY. You know you want to go to one of the premier fall festivals on the east coast and meet the Fabulous Beekman Boys, so why not make this the year? I will be there vending again this year and am hoping to persuade some other New England artisans to join me. FMI, click HERE.
November 4th, Fifth Annual Paris Hill Hook In, Paris Hill, Maine. You read it here first! Pencil (or better, do it in ink) this in on your calendar and I will have all of the information and registration forms coming by April. In fact, I will have registration forms with me at the 207 Creatives Belfast Hook In, so ask for one there.
On the planning table for possible classes to be held at the Parris House are art journaling, ecoprinting/dyeing, a permaculture class, and natural dye techniques, so do stay tuned.
As I add more dates, you can always see what’s happening on our Classes & Workshops tab on the website and on our Events section of the Facebook page.
Plan to join us for some or all of these events and in the meantime, happy hooking!
207 Creatives is a collaboration formed by Connie Fletcher of Seven Gables Designs, Ellen Marshall of Two Cats and Dog Hooking, and me, Beth Miller of Parris House Wool Works. It is our aim together to bring you the very best of fiber art and creative events, rug hooking patterns, supplies, & finished hooked pieces, and more. Together we have three times as many ideas, resources, and experiences to pool than we would have alone, and we plan to use that to help make your creative experiences even better.
Tell us more about the featured speaker…
We are so excited to present accomplished fiber artist Rose Ann Hunter! She will be doing a presentation called, “Enhancing Your Hooking with Historical Techniques.” In her presentation, Rose Ann will share with us how she mixes and incorporates historical techniques in her rug hooking. Her imagination knows no bounds and you, too, will soon be talking about standing wool, quillies, shirring, tambor, and more. Rose Ann’s bio on her webpage reads as follows: “Rose Ann Hunter has been a textile structuralist for the last thirty years. She was chosen in 2005 as craftperson-in-residence at Old Sturbridge Village in traditional rugmaking 1790 to 1850 and lectures at various museums, conferences and guilds throughout New England and the US. She has adapted and developed over 30 techniques of rug making by recycling fabrics that are sewn, knitted or crocheted into folk art.”
Will there be great food?
YES! There will be wonderful food at this hook in, provided by For the Love of Food & Drink. If you have attended the Paris Hill Hook In for the past two years, you will be familiar with this wonderful catering company. A fresh and delicious breakfast, lunch, and dessert, served by the friendliest people in catering, will be provided.
Will there be vendors?
Indeed. There will be vendors, to be announced, who will have everything you need for the craft. Yes, we know you already have stashes bursting down your doors, but hey, we’re hookers. You know how it is.
What is the venue like?
People have been worshiping in this beautiful church in seaside Belfast for over two centuries. The church hall where we will be hooking is spacious and light filled, and we are sure it will become a favorite hook in space.
Is this hook in replacing the Paris Hill Hook In in November?
NO! The Fifth Annual Paris Hill Hook In sponsored by Parris House Wool Works will still be there this fall with bells on (or a bell in the church tower, that some of you have actually rung…). I will be selecting a date for it soon and will get that information out to everyone.
How do we sign up???
We will be providing sign up information very soon, so please watch this page, our Facebook pages, and all of our social media for that. In addition, we will be sending post cards for those whose addresses we have, and I will be putting the info in The Street Corner email newsletter. If you are not sure we have your contact information and you would like a post card or email, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put you on the list!
And there’s more…
We are still working on more fun details for this great new event, and will share more as we finalize those. We hope you are as excited as we are and will come out and spend some time in one of the prettiest towns in midcoast Maine. For more information about Belfast, please visit Our Town Belfast.
Thanks for reading, happy hooking, and we hope to see you in April! – Beth
The Fourth Annual Paris Hill Hook In is not yet filled! Join us on November 5th for a hook in that past participants describe as one of the best (and sometimes they say “the best) hook ins they have ever attended. I chalk this up to our warm, welcoming, and historic venue, our amazing locally catered fresh food, and, of course, the good company of over 60 hookers coming together for a wonderful fall day. We also have an informal rug show, the ringing (by you!) of the historic Revere Foundry church bell, and this year only we will pull the winning ticket for our Maine Medical Center raffle rug. Don’t have a ticket for that yet? No problem. You can buy them now by clicking here or you can even buy them in person the morning of the hook in. Once again we will be welcoming Kim Dubay of Primitive Pastimes and Cherylyn Brubaker of Hooked Treasures as our vendors, along with, of course, Parris House Wool Works. There will be door prizes as well (it’s not a hook in without door prizes).
You can get a hook in registration form HERE, but there’s a doubly fun way to sign up. You can join us this coming weekend for Maine Craft Weekend! We will be participating by having the Maine studio open both days, Saturday and Sunday, October 1st and 2nd, from 10 AM to 4 PM. Here is what you can expect: Parris House Wool Works is located in the beautiful Paris Hill National Historic District of the Western Lakes & Mountains Region of Maine. You can find us at the 200 year old historic Parris House at 546 Paris Hill Road, Paris and we will be open both days to introduce you to the heritage craft of North American wool-on-linen rug hooking! Join us for refreshments, demonstrations, lessons in rug hooking, and a studio filled with everything you need for the craft, including hooks, frames, original patterns, and wool, as well as assorted finished decor pieces to purchase. You will also be able to buy a raffle chance on a 3’x5′ hooked rug to benefit the Maine Medical Center Kidney Transplant Program; drawing November 5th. Feel free to walk the historic village while you’re here! Walking tour maps will be available.
We have recently added a variety of classes and events to our new calendar, and you may notice that the website is completely, beautifully re-imagined. This creative work was done by Jacks McNamara of Root & Blossom Design. Her services were extremely professional, but also warmly collaborative so that the site ended up looking like Parris House Wool Works, not a cookie cutter version of other sites. I highly recommend her!
So, hopefully you will join us for Maine Craft Weekend, the Paris Hill Hook In, or any of the other fun classes and events we have scheduled for the fall and beginning of winter.