We’re Gonna Let Love Rule…and Other News

 

Since I’m going to be blogging at least once a week, you’re going to learn random facts about me.   Here’s one now:  I’m a major Lenny Kravitz fan.  I fell hard for Lenny Kravitz’s music in 1999 not long after “Fly Away” came out.  At that time in my life my husband and I were figuring out how to make a major life change by leaving urban/suburban NJ to start a new life for ourselves and our four young sons in rural Maine.   “Fly Away” was on the radio all the time back then.  I’d hear it at home, at the gym, in the supermarket, and it kind of became my anthem for leaving a life that wasn’t right for me or for my young family.  It’s still near the top of my list of favorite songs in that genre.

After “Fly Away,” I think the song that comes back to me most from Kravitz’s catalog is “Let Love Rule.”  It seems particularly appropriate as we go in to the Valentine’s Day holiday in a few weeks to take apart that title:  “Let Love Rule.”  What does that mean?  Is that some kind of hippy dippy nonsense completely impossible in the modern world, and in a nation that’s more stressed than I ever recall in my lifetime?  (I’m 51, for the record.)

I’m not going to expound too much here.  Were this my personal blog, I might, but at the same time, I don’t think I need to.  I did write on this topic a little more extensively almost a year ago and you can read that here.  We all know what it means, though.  “Let Love Rule” means that every decision we make, every word we say, every action we take, every position we support, has to be run through that filter, that criteria.  Is what I’m about to decide, say, do, letting love rule?  Or is something else at work here?  I fail at this on a regular basis, but maybe just this month, as a celebration of Valentine’s Day, I’ll give it an especially conscious try.  That’s my intention for the month, anyway.  Feel free to share your thoughts on the subject in the comment thread.

All right.  On to the other news…

Have you hooked anything for Valentine’s Day?  It’s not too late, and our shop is filled with hearts of one kind of another.   Some are patterns, all can be kitted, some are pillows, some are sachets.  Some are even finished – no hooking necessary – just have me ship it to you in time for Valentine’s Day.   Take a peek at the shop, navigating using the section clicks on the left sidebar, HERE.

Not specifically related to Valentine’s Day, but new to the shop this past week is a new digital download section for patterns.  I’ve been asked to provide this for a long time and you can see the first seven of them HERE.  They are designed for you to download, print in sections, put together, and transfer on to your own foundation.  They come with a full instruction sheet on how to properly draw a pattern on the grain with helpful hints for making the process as easy as possible.  An example is below.  In this case, “Tesla’s First Snow” will download in four sheets so that the pattern is actual size upon assembly.

 

Finally, this week I’m going to be introducing all of the particulars and sign up instructions for our new pattern/kit subscription service.  Last year I did an online survey and those of you who responded told me that a quarterly service would most interest you, with a mix of genres (seasonal, primitive, contemporary, etc).  You were pretty evenly split on patterns vs. kits, so I’m going to offer an option for each.   These will ship in March, June, September, and December of this year.  We’ll evaluate the program at the end of the year for popularity, participation, and any tweaking it needs in response to your feedback.   Patterns available through the subscription service will *only* be available to subscribers – not to any other customers – in the year they are shipped.

For those of you who have read the blog all the way to this point, here’s a special coupon code good through Valentine’s Day in the Etsy shop:  LETLOVERULE2017.   Use this coupon code for 10% off on any purchase of $25 or more in the Etsy shop.  I’ve just noticed that I’ve listed my 200th item in the shop, so hopefully you’ll find something  just right for you.

Happy hooking and let love rule.

 

 

Be Cool or Warm Up with Buckwheat Pillows and Sachets

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Lavender buckwheat sachets, 4″ x 4″, available in our Etsy shop.

Have you discovered buckwheat pillows and sachets?  Jen and I are starting to make a line of them for our shop and also exclusive editions for Beekman 1802.

Here’s what’s so great about buckwheat seeds:  used to stuff pillows, they can either be put in the freezer to make cold packs or popped in the microwave (please be careful – do NOT overheat!) for warm packs.  These are wonderful for boo boos, headaches, muscle aches, stress relief, or just enjoyment of the scent.

We add essential oils and botanicals to our buckwheat seed pillow interiors to create lovely fragrances to soothe the senses.

Keep an eye on our Etsy shop and in the pillow section of home decor at Beekman 1802 for more offerings as they become available.

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Autumn leaf cinnamon orange spice buckwheat pillow, 6″ x 8″, available exclusively at http://www.beekman1802.com

Happy hooking! – Beth

Getting Our Vintage On…

HairReceiverCollage

Do you know what this is?  It’s an antique hair receiver.  Ladies used to keep these on their vanities to hold the hair from their brushes and combs.  Back in the day, hair was kept and recycled for a variety of purposes, and these lovely containers were commonplace.  Today they can be repurposed for holding jewelry, potpourri, candy, what have you.

Jen and I are completely fascinated with things from the past, and enjoy antique and vintage picking both separately and on the rare occasion we can be together.  When Jen visited Maine in January, in spite of the blizzard, we had to go antiquing.  As usual, we scored some great finds.

But we can’t keep all of them.  We just…you know…CAN’T.  So, we are starting to stock the vintage section of our Etsy shop.  We have some items up already, but there will be many more.  They are mostly what antique dealers call “smalls” for ease of shipping, but should we come across something fabulous of the larger kind, we’re apt to list it too (and figure out how to ship it later!).  You can view our beginning selection by clicking HERE.  

Here are a few more things currently in the vintage section of the shop…

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1882 Autograph Book – Virtually Unused
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Post World War II U.S. Occupied Germany Rosenthale Bowls
We have, and will always have, an assortment of antique and vintage photos.
We have, and will always have, an assortment of antique and vintage photos.  These are all currently for sale.
Mid century ice cream party!  Dessert dishes in an iridescent amber.
Mid century ice cream party! Dessert dishes in an iridescent amber.

There’s more in the shop, and more will be coming on a regular basis, so check in often!

Happy antiquing and happy hooking! – Beth

New Soap in the Etsy Shop! Winter Peppermint Potpourri…on a subzero day in Maine, no less.

I woke up this morning to a temperature of -15F, with -33 wind chill here in Paris, Maine.  Seems like the perfect day to launch my new Winter Peppermint Potpourri soap!

WinterMintPotpourri
Photo taken in front of the Maine studio when the temperature had actually warmed up to a balmy – 2.

This soap is refreshingly scented with a variety of winter-appropriate essential oils:  peppermint, cinnamon, orange, eucalyptus, and for a touch of warmth, vanilla.  I really like the way it came out, and a hot shower or bath releases the scent very nicely.

To shop for this, and all of our soaps, just visit the soap section of our Etsy shop here.

Have a wonderful winter’s day, and happy hooking! – Beth

WinterPeppermintLabel

What’s In Store for 2015? Maine Edition

designed by Freepik.com
designed by Freepik.com

It’s been an exciting 2014 for Parris House Wool Works.  2014 was the first full year that the Maine studio was open.  This year we firmly established the best.hooking.group.ever meeting every Tuesday in Maine, we were welcomed in to the Beekman 1802 Rural Artist Collective (thank you Josh, Brent, staff, and every living thing at Beekman 1802!), we were finalists in the Martha Stewart American Made contest, and we had an even better 2nd Annual Paris Hill Hook-In.  We redesigned our website, made many new friends and customers, and introduced our soap line and other new products and patterns.   I continued my participation in The Keeping Room’s fall Harvest Hook-In and Hooked Treasures’ Spring Fling Hook-In (thank you Toni and Cherylyn!).  Thanks to Cathy at the Oxford Mill End Store I taught quite a crop of beginning hooking students there this year.  I also got to teach a wonderful group at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village last summer (thank you, Michael and everyone at SDL!) and participate in Open Farm Day there.

So what’s on tap for 2015?  Well, here are just a few of the ideas I plan to bring to fruition.

MORE CLASSES

I’ve been asked to teach a beginner dye class for a very long time now.  Our first beginner dye class in Maine will be held in January, with beginner dye classes held quarterly thereafter in April, August, and November.  I will also start beginning hooking workshops quarterly, in February, May, September, and December.  In addition, I will try to schedule more classes by other teachers, including Connie Fletcher for her popular Tips & Tricks class again if possible.   Watch the “Classes & Workshops” section of the website for specific date announcements!

The incomparable Connie Fletcher of Seven Gables Rug Hooking teaching her Tips & Tricks class to the Maine studio hookers.

MORE HAND DYES

Our hand dyed wool is becoming more and more popular and in demand.  I will be setting aside more time to bring you beautiful hand dyes.  I will continue custom dyeing services as possible, but hope to increase the variety of hand dyes on the shelf so as to bring more options in any case.

PARRIS HOUSE PUBLICATIONS

There’s been banter in the Maine studio about creating a cook book based on the recipes and hooking experiences of our Tuesday group.  I would like to make that a reality this year, as well as a Parris House Wool Works calendar (obviously a priority given that it’s almost January!), and possibly hooking themed note cards and other paper goods to celebrate our love of the craft.  And, of course, our quarterly email newsletter will continue.  Stay tuned for news on this.

Vegetable latke recipe made by Beth, but given to her by Maine hooker Libby Armstrong.

EXPANSION OF OUR SOAP AND SPA PRODUCT LINE

We are working on new all natural scents all the time.  In Maine, our newest soap scent is Winter Peppermint Potpourri.  These new soaps will be available in January at the Maine studio, at the McLaughlin Garden gift shop, and in our Etsy shop.  Also in development are lotions, cream perfumes, and candles.  We hope to eventually offer “spa sets” for gift giving or just for personal pampering.

SEPTEMBER MAINE LAKE HOOKING & HIKING RETREAT

This is the year we do this thing, the Hooking & Hiking Weekend Retreat at Sunset Haven on Little Sebago Lake in Gray, Maine.  As a Registered Maine Guide, I have been looking forward to combining two of my passions, hiking and hooking, and sharing them with hookers at a special, restful retreat.  We’ll keep the hiking at a level everyone can do (or if that part of the program is not your thing, you can hang out at Sunset Haven on the lakeside deck with a glass of wine) and bring the warm and relaxed ambiance we have at Tuesday group in Paris to the lake.  Space will be limited.  I will have detailed information and registration materials up on our web page and social media by March, so keep an eye out.

MAINE STUDIO HIT AND MISS RUG FOR CHARITY

Again, acting on an idea that came from the Tuesday hooking group, I will provide a large hit and miss pattern on a single piece of linen for our hookers – or anyone who comes in to the studio – to work on at their leisure.  We still have a BIG basket of random worms bequeathed to us by Artful Hands, and we ALL have our not-so-secret stashes of leftover worms from other projects.  Two of our Tuesday group hookers have been affected by kidney disease, and so, when the rug is finished we will raffle it off to benefit a charity relating to that disease in 2015.

Rug by kidney transplant recipient and Maine studio hooker Irene Adams as a gift to her transplant team this year.

TEACHING AT SQUAM

Honestly, I am so bowled over by the opportunity to teach at the Squam Art Workshops in June, I don’t even know what to say.  Thank you, thank you to director Elizabeth Duvivier for this opportunity, and dear friend and poet Sarah Sousa who brought my art to Elizabeth’s attention.   Join us for a wonderful hooking workshop!

Those are just some of the highlights, but also on the goal sheet are:

  • the addition of many new patterns to our offerings, including more abstracts and contemporaries to go with our traditional fare
  • get a pattern featured in Rug Hooking Magazine!
  • be a featured maker on the Etsy blog!
  • enter the Martha Stewart American Made contest again
  • enter rugs for exhibit to Hooked in the Mountains
  • our 3rd Annual Paris Hill Hook-In – be there!
  • teaching again at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village
  • possibly do a hooking retreat at the American Hotel in Sharon Springs, NY – TBD
  • attend the Sharon Springs Harvest Festival as vendors this year
  • the development of a line of both more hooked and non-hooked scented and warming pillows for the Etsy shop

Running a small business that is your dream and passion can be serendipitous, so in spite of all the careful planning and goal setting, I know there will be surprises along the way.  Goals set may happen slightly differently, and opportunities I can not dream of at this moment may present themselves.  In any case, none of this would be possible without you, dear reader, and so I thank you and wish you the happiest and most prosperous of New Years!  Happy New Year and happy hooking!  – Beth

Holiday Shop Announcements: Shipping and Studio Schedules

Christmas is ten days away!  Here is some important information regarding the Etsy shop and the Maine studio.

Shipping deadline for Christmas delivery:  For items that are in stock, I believe we can ship through Thursday, December 18th, and still be pretty sure of delivery by Christmas.   It is highly recommended, therefore, that if there is something in our shop you would like by Christmas, ordering in the next few days is your best bet.

On the Bear Pond Wood Works frames, we currently have in stock unspoken for:  2 small and 2 large.  While these are continually being made, these four currently in stock could be delivered by Christmas if ordered before the 18th.  They are also available for pick up in our Maine studio.

Anything custom made or sold as a finished, hooked piece can probably not make it in time for Christmas at this point.

Studio Hours in Maine:  The Maine studio will be closed from December 21st through January 4th for the holidays and inventory.  (Yes, we have to count inventory here now.  Blarg.)  If you have a “hooking emergency” and need supplies during this time, please call Beth at 207-890-8490 for an appointment.

Studio Hours in Tennessee:  Check with Jen at the Tennessee studio at 615-339-6496 should you need local assistance.  

Happy Holidays and Happy Hooking!

We Have Been Featured in In Season Magazine – Take a Peek!

Photograph is the property of Jennifer Burcke and In Season Magazine.
Photograph is the property of Jennifer Burcke and In Season Magazine.

We’d like to thank Jennifer Burcke of both 1840 Farm and In Season Magazine for featuring our 100% natural, hand crafted soaps in the stocking stuffer section of her holiday gift guide!

In Season Magazine is a beautiful lifestyle magazine that you can subscribe to on-line covering food, recreation, product reviews, natural and healthy living, homesteading skills, and more.  The photographs are lovely and inspiring, and the accompanying articles are interesting and helpful.

So, take a look!  Supplies of our soap are currently limited because of the nature of our small batch production method, however, we are always making more, and will be increasing the number of batches in 2015.  If you’d like some of what we have on hand, in a wonderful variety of natural scents, please follow the link in the In Season article to our Etsy shop and order before Christmas!

Beth Will Be Teaching at the Squam Art Workshops, and Is She Ever Excited!

For those of you who have not heard of the Squam Art Workshops, directed by Elizabeth Duvivier and held both on Squam Lake in New Hampshire and in Providence, Rhode Island, I recommend you click HERE and watch the video, less than a minute long.

I’ll wait…

Did you watch it?  When I first watched that video earlier this year, my first thought was, “This is me.  This is who I am.”  My New England soul immediately connected with the lake, with the women lost in creative endeavor, with the natural surroundings, and I thought, “I have to go there some day.”

Imagine my delight and surprise when I was presented with an opportunity to teach there!  And that is just what I’ll be doing for the Spring Retreat, held June 3rd through the 7th, 2015.

I will be teaching a class, suitable for beginner hookers, called Modern Heirloom.  The pattern shown at the top of the page will be our foundation, but you can bet not a single one of them will look exactly like that finished, and if I’ve achieved my teaching goal, each one will reflect the inner heart and creativity of the individual student.  I will provide a wide variety of hand dyed and as-is wools, as well as a plethora of more unconventional materials for experimentation and expression.

If you’d like to know a little bit more about me, my teacher profile is here.  But be sure to read about all of the other wonderful teachers too, including my amazing friend Sarah Sousa who will be teaching a workshop called Found Poetry.

I will be teaching two classes of ten students each, so if you’d like to join us, please sign up soon!  Students come from all over the country and many describe the retreats as life changing.  Registration information may be found here for the Spring Retreat.  I hope to see some of you there!

Happy Monday, Happy December, and Happy Hooking! – Beth

10% off at Parris House Wool Works – Etsy Maine Team Cash Mob Event Friday – Lots of Holiday Shopping Options!

EMTCashMob

It’s that time again!  For the third year, the Etsy Maine Team is sponsoring its holiday season cash mob event, and we are participating!  If you go on to our shop, and use coupon code:  MAINETEAM2014 you will receive 10% off of your order.

We have some great items for holiday gifts in the shop this year, for hookers, non-hookers, and supplies for making gifts.  There’s still time to make holiday gifts for your friends and family!  Here are a few…

Wool Collector sign for hookers, knitters, crochet-ers, rug braiders, penny rug artists, etc.
Our super popular beginner/travel frame, available in two sizes and very affordable, starting at just $65! We have sold over 100 of these to hookers all over the country, with rave reviews.
Crawford Purdy pencil hooks, all the way from Truro, Nova Scotia! Crawford says he is the only male member of the Nova Scotia Rug Hooking Guild. 🙂
The classic. The Hartman hook.
Want to paint or otherwise decorate a little foot stool as a gift, or better yet, put a hooked top on one? We offer the foot stool and custom patterns for the tops of these, and one stock in the shop. Contact us FMI.
Debbie Howe craft bag, made in Waterford, Maine! We have these in four different styles. Check them out in our “Tools & Accessories” shop section. I use mine for knitting.
Need a stocking stuffer? We have a variety of hand crafted soaps, all natural, nothing artificial, made right here in our studios!
Is there someone you’d like to get started in the craft? We have a variety of easy 12″ x 12″ beginner kits with everything they need.
Or maybe you’d like to gift a more advanced hooker with a beautiful project for the new year?
Or maybe this easy snowman ornament kit, which can be completed in just a couple of hours.
Edna Olmstead’s double thickness super soft frame covers keep your favorite hooker’s hands and arms scratch free.

We also have a variety of patterns appropriate for the holidays and the winter season.  Here is a sampling…

Emerson’s Redbird. 12″ x 12″
Let Us Sing Winter table runner.
Castine Cardinal 6″ x 8″ kit or pattern alone. Great for making balsam pillows.
Tesla’s First Snow pattern 16″ x 22″
Winter Chair Pad offerings – 12″ round

In 2015, we will be setting up the antique & vintage area of our shop because Jen and I are both “pickers.”  We do have our first item in the section, though…

Post WWII Occupied Germany Rosenthale Bowls

And, of course, you will find a variety of wools and other patterns in the shop for your hooking and crafting needs.  Again, to view our entire inventory, click HERE, and to view the other wonderful offerings from the rest of the Etsy Maine Team, follow the directions below:

EMTCashMob2
Happy shopping and happy hooking!

Halloween Coupon Code on Etsy Today!

Happy Halloween!  We have a coupon code up on Etsy for the following patterns, today only, 10% off!  The coupon code is BOO2014 and you can access our Etsy shop here.

Southern Elegy
Candy Corn Season
A Murder Among the Magnolias
Parris House Pumpkin
Candy Corn Season Trivet

Happy Halloween and happy hooking!