First Belfast Hook In Sponsored by 207 Creatives – Our Heartfelt Thanks to All

 

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.

We have so many people to thank for a successful day.  Shops in Belfast, Heavenly Socks Yarns and Fiddlehead Artisan Supply offered discounts to our attendees.   Local lodging establishments offering special packages to our guests were the Yankee Clipper Motel, Belfast Bay Inn, and Loons Call Maine.

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!

 

Save the Date! New Hook In Event in Belfast, Maine – April 22nd, 2017!

Beautiful downtown Belfast, Maine.

Looking for a new event to ring in the arrival of spring this year?  Get your calendar or digital device out and save this info!

When:  Saturday, April 22nd, 2017, 9 am to 3 pm

Where: The First Church in Belfast, UCC, 8 Court Street, Belfast, Maine

Featured Speaker: Rose Ann Hunter!

Sponsored by:  207 Creatives

OK, so you probably have questions…

Who is/are 207 Creatives?

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 parrishousewoolworks@gmail.com 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

 

 

 

 

 

Maine Craft Weekend & Registration for the 2016 Paris Hill Hook In Happening Now!

exterior1 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.  

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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.

Happy hooking, and see you soon! – Beth

Just a reminder…Works Wednesday! And other news.

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Our ongoing feature, Works Wednesday, continues over on our Facebook page.   Join us, or feel free to post your current project in the comments here!

In other news, Jen and I are in the beginning stages of developing interactive webinars where you can join us for chats and demonstrations on a variety of topics relating to hooking and homesteading.  Stay tuned for more info and a schedule.

This Saturday’s dye class in Maine may well not happen, as I do not have sufficient sign ups.  If you are still interested, please contact me at 207-890-8490 by the end of the day tomorrow.  Otherwise, we’ll shoot for another time in April.

Happy Wednesday and happy hooking! –  Beth

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!

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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:

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Happy shopping and happy hooking!

The Second Annual Paris Hill Hook-In, Paris Hill, Maine – November 15th, 2014

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Our second annual Paris Hill Hook-In seems to have been a great success, thanks to both the attendees and all of the people who helped bring it together!  I am very grateful to everyone who was a part of this event.  I think it’s generally agreed that although our first hook-in last year was also great fun, this one was even better.

My husband, youngest son, and I worked with Reverend Mary Beth Caffey of the First Baptist Church of Paris to set up the venue.  This is a new venue for us.  Last year we used the 1853 Paris Hill Academy Building, but because of handicapped accessibility issues, we thought we’d try the church this year.  The church is situated at the very center of historic Paris Hill village, and commands fantastic views of the village “loop” and the White Mountains in the distance.  It’s beloved by us, and we think by the time Saturday was over, it was beloved by many more.

Our beautiful historic venue.  Some of the beams were left exposed in a recent restoration, and that rope to the far right of the bottom photo?  Well, that's the pull rope for the approximately 200 year old church bell that we had a little fun with.
Our beautiful historic venue. Some of the beams were left exposed in a recent restoration, and that rope to the far right of the bottom photo? Well, that’s the pull rope for the approximately 200 year old Paul Revere foundry church bell that we had a little fun with…
At what other hook-in do you find hookers ringing a historic church bell?  These are a couple of Parris House Hookers giving it their best.  On the left, Cindy Mitchell.  On the right, Irene Adams.
At what other hook-in do you find hookers ringing a historic church bell? These are a couple of Parris House Hookers giving it their best. On the left, Cindy Mitchell. On the right, Irene Adams.

Reverend Caffey gave the group a nice presentation on the history of this building.  If you are interested in a brief history, please click here.  This building requires a great deal of tender loving care to keep it as beautiful and intact as it is.  I would be remiss if I did not mention that there is a stewardship organization called Friends of the First Baptist Church.  If you, or anyone you know, would like to make a donation to its care, please contact the church on its contact page.

When we first set up the spaces the looked like this...this is Friday afternoon...
When we first set up the spaces they looked like this…this is Friday afternoon…
Connie Fletcher of Seven Gables Rug Hooking cheerfully greeted our guests and provided the pretty fall themed nametags.  Connie is also my teacher, mentor, guru, and her assistance is incalculable.
but on Saturday morning…Connie Fletcher of Seven Gables Rug Hooking cheerfully greeted our guests and provided the pretty fall themed nametags. Connie is also my teacher, mentor, guru, and the value of her assistance is incalculable.
The church hall is divided in to two sunny rooms.  I confess that when I first signed on with this venue I was concerned about the split, but it turned out to be a non-issue.  Here is the main hall at the entrance area filled with hookers!
The church hall is divided in to two sunny rooms. I confess that when I first signed on with this venue I was concerned about the split, but it turned out to be a non-issue. Here is the main hall at the entrance area filled with hookers!
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The Parris House Hookers took up one of the long tables and then some!
These are the ladies in the second room, with some of their handiwork laid out on the round table.
These are the ladies in the second room, with some of their handiwork laid out on the round table.

We were so happy to have the same two wonderful vendors return this year for our hook-in.  Cherylyn Brubaker of Hooked Treasures in Brunswick and Kim Dubay of Primitive Pastimes in Gray.  So talented, so nice.  It is always a joy to work with them.

Cherylyn of Hooked Treasures on the left, Kim Dubay (far left of the photo) of Primitive Pastimes on the right.
Cherylyn of Hooked Treasures on the left, Kim (far left of the photo) of Primitive Pastimes on the right.

So, aside from beautiful scenery and tempting vendors, what else is important to (hungry) hookers?  The food!  This year we had Jennicakes Bake Shop of Norway cater our hook-in and wow…well deserved rave reviews all around.  Jennifer and her staff created and served wonderful pastries for breakfast and dessert, including gluten free options, and a savory lunch of pumpkin soup, vegetarian baked beans, turkey pot pie, salad, and fresh breads.  There was so much left over of the sweets that we donated some to the church’s coffee hour for Sunday morning!

The food!
YUM!

And, of course, we had our annual rug show.  So much talent in one space.  Ellen Marshall off Two Cats and Dog Hooking kindly and ably coordinated our rug show, which was held in the upstairs sanctuary of the church.  Here is your virtual tour of our rug show…

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Left: hooked by Edna Olmstead, designed by Brenda Sauro of the Painted Mermaid Studio. Center: hooked by Edna Olmstead, traditional scottie dog design. Right: hooked by Bob Galloup, designed by the Moshimer studio.
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Top left: hooked and designed by Cindy Mitchell. Top right: hooked by Donna Lowe, must ask for designer’s name! Bottom left: left rug hooked by Kelly Hasselbach, right rug hooked by Connie Fletcher of Seven Gables Rug Hooking, who also designed it. Bottom right: hooked by Edna Olmstead, designed by Maine Hooked Rugs.
Top left: hooked and designed by Ellen Marshall of Two Cats and Dog Hooking.  Top right: hooked and design adapted by Cindy Mitchell.  Bottom left: hooked by Linda Rokowski, designed by Brenda Sauro of the Painted Mermaid Studio.  Bottom right:  hooked and designed by Cindy Mitchell.
Top left: hooked and designed by Ellen Marshall of Two Cats and Dog Hooking. Top right: hooked and design adapted by Cindy Mitchell. Bottom left: hooked by Linda Rokowski, designed by Brenda Sauro of the Painted Mermaid Studio. Bottom right: hooked byCindy Mitchell and designed by Sally Van Nuys.
Top left: hooked and designed by Kim Dubay of Primitive Pastimes.  Top right and Bottom left: hooked and designed by Ellen Marshall of Two Cats and Dog Hooking. Bottom right: hooked by Irene Adams, designed by Wooly Red Rug.
Top left: hooked and designed by Kim Dubay of Primitive Pastimes. Top right and Bottom left: hooked and designed by Ellen Marshall of Two Cats and Dog Hooking. Bottom right: hooked by Irene Adams, designed by Wooly Red Rug.
Top left, Top right, and Bottom left:  hooked and designed by Beth Miller of Parris House Wool Works.  Bottom right: hooked and designed by Kim Dubay of Primitive Pastimes.
Top left, Top right, and Bottom left: hooked and designed by Beth Miller of Parris House Wool Works. Bottom right: hooked and designed by Kim Dubay of Primitive Pastimes.

I took a little climb up to the balcony space to photograph our attendees viewing the rug show…

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One little surprise discovered by one of our rug show attendees…a hooked foot stool beneath a pew toward the front of the church.  It is very old, hooked on burlap and affixed with the kind of hand wrought hardware that is also displayed, albeit in much larger form, in a glass case from when the church was renovated.  Any guesses as to the age of this foot stool?  Insight welcome!

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If you would like to view all of the photos in larger format, click here. 

Thanks again to all of our attendees and helpers!  We will definitely be doing this again next year.  Please watch our website and our Facebook page for details once I am able to come up with a date for next year.  Also, do come see us at the Maine studio on December 6th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for our annual Holiday Open House.  We’ll have refreshments, a prize drawing, open hooking, and 10% off all wool purchases.  Hope to see you then and happy hooking!  – Beth

Mark Your Calendars for the 2014 Holiday Open House at the Maine Studio of Parris House Wool Works!

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Please join us for our second annual Holiday Open House at the Maine Studio, 546 Paris Hill Road, Paris, Maine on December 6th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Welcome to the Parris House!
Welcome to the Parris House!

We will have a cookie swap, delicious refreshments, goodies baked from the Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook, a prize drawing, and a 10% off sale on all wools!

Some of our delicious heirloom desserts from last year’s open house!
We had samples of our handcrafted soaps last year and will have some this year as well.
Hope to see you on December 6th!  Happy hooking!
Hope to see you on December 6th! Happy hooking!

Hampden, Maine Hook-In, Sponsored by The Keeping Room – 2014

Once again, I was invited to be a vendor at Toni Philbrick’s beautiful hook-in in Hampden, Maine yesterday.  Toni is the owner of The Keeping Room, a gorgeous studio in the historic Hannibal Hamlin building in Hampden.  Toni always goes all out for this hook-in, providing a really nice light breakfast and a hearty lunch.  She adds a theme based swap, goody bags, coupons, and many, many door prizes to the mix, leaving everyone with great memories.  She also provides a short instructional period in which she shares her considerable knowledge and talent.  Last year it was about penny rugs.  This year she spoke a bit about finishing coasters.

To visit Toni’s shop, or take her classes, go to 56C Main Road North in Hampden. For her business hours, fiber art class schedule, or to express interest in attending next year’s hook-in, give her a call at 207-862-3181. Toni has wonderful hooking supplies, penny rug supplies & kits, artisanal lamp shades, and much more.

I was able to sneak a few pics from the hook-in yesterday in between a busy time selling goodies to the wonderful attendees.  It goes without saying that the rug designs are the intellectual property of their designers, and may not be copied without the express permission of the artist.  I was not able to take the time to write down the designers and hookers for all of these, but anyone who has that information may feel free to leave it on our comments.

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Here is a view of the brightly lit space as the attendees were just getting ready to have a nice lunch of corn chowder, sandwiches, salad, and homemade carrot cake.
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A customer peruses the booth of Al Jenkins of Wool & Ewe. Al’s hand dyes are really beautiful.
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Toni assists a customer at her vending booth filled with all things wool.
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My table. The most popular item of the day was the wool, and especially, to my delight, brightly colored hand dyes. Also seen in this photo are our popular Bear Pond Wood Works frames bedecked with Edna Olmstead’s super duper frame covers.
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Loved the braided binding on this one, and the painstakingly shaded fruits and leaves.
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Look at that wool on the sheep. Love, love, love.
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The array of styles at hook-in rug shows is always so much fun to see. These fish were just stunning – I have no idea how many different wools are in that rug, and the two home scenes that flank it were beautifully done too.
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The snowman rug at the center of this photo was voted “favorite” by the attendees, but as you can see, it was tough to choose just one! They were ALL gorgeous.
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True confessions – although I loved them all, I voted for the two cats with the bunny border. It was hooked by Martha Whitehouse, who is one of the Hampden Hookers, based on a design on a quilt square.
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I loved the colors, patterns, and asymmetrical buildings in this one!
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This one reminded me of 18th century crewel work. I loved the warmth of the color combination in this.

I know I will see many of the ladies who were at Hampden at our 2nd Annual Paris Hill Hook-In in two weeks.  Can’t wait!  Til then, happy hooking!  🙂    – Beth

The Fryeburg Fair, 2014, Fryeburg, Maine – by Beth

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In Maine, the Fryeburg Fair is the biggest and grandest of fairs.  People come from all over the country.  In fact, it’s estimated that 300,000 people come annually to attend the Fryeburg Fair, which began in 1851.  It is very common for Mainers to take a weekday off from work to go, because the crowds on the weekends are so intense that both parking and navigating the fair can be problematic.  My husband took last Thursday as a vacation day, and off we went.  Disclaimer:  It is absolutely impossible to capture the breadth of the Fryeburg Fair in a short blog, but what follows is a photo introduction.

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First things first.  Edna Olmstead, who hooks with us on Tuesdays, and who makes our super popular flannel frame covers and felt snip containers, won two blue ribbons in the hooked rug category at the fair.  I had the privilege of seeing Edna working on both of these pieces, and photos can not do them justice.  Additionally, I had to shoot them through a glass case, but you get the idea.

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Vintage style Scottie dog, hooked by Edna Olmstead. Traditional pattern.
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Cows and ivy, hooked by Edna Olmstead, designed by Brenda Sauro of the Painted Mermaid Studio.

There were so many skills, handcrafts and trades represented at the fair it was mind boggling.  Here are some of the examples I found particularly interesting.

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Top: Spinning and weaving. It turned out that the lady spinning was a good friend of a former neighbor of mine on Paris Hill, and we had a nice conversation about that. Bottom: Endless fleeces in the fiber building. I am not yet a spinner. Probably just as well right now!
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Clockwise: 1) This is sea scene made via eggshell mosaic. I’ve never ever seen such a thing before. 2) The wall of quilts went on forever. 3) This is extremely fine cross stitch. You had to get right up on to it to determine that it was cross stitch at all. 4) Christening outfit in lace crochet/tatting.
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Clockwise: 1) Peeling apples in the old fashioned kitchen 2) Blacksmithing demonstration 3) Making rice pudding on the wood fired cook stove 4) Sorting cranberries old school
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Clockwise: 1) Making apple cider using an antique press 2) Getting corn off the husk with 19th century machine 3) Evaporating sap for maple syrup 4) Beekeeping
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As the owner of a 200 year old home that has both antique clapboards on the house and had antique shingles (which regrettably we are now forced to replace) on the barn, this equipment fascinated me. The shingle making machinery is from the 1860s. Top: Jig and saw for carving tapered clapboards from a round log. Bottom left: Shingle cutter and finisher. Bottom right: Pile of finished clapboards.
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Call me crazy, but I find color and pattern in almost anything, and I loved the variety of each in these tools of the trades displays. Top: vintage oil cans Bottom: chainsaws through the ages
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The making of beanhole beans is an important New England skill. You dig a deep hole, and via either wood or hot coals build a fire in the bottom. A crock or Dutch oven of New England baked beans is then lowered in and slow cooked until they are done. My husband Bill enjoyed a sampling.

There are so many animals at the Fryeburg Fair.  The Wikipedia entry on this fair says that it may have the largest number of oxen, for example.  I did not photograph the oxen, I’m sorry to say.  Had I known of their claim to fame at this fair I might have.  However, I did photograph many of the other animals.

First, the cows…

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I regard this as a practice cow…
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Top: the milking parlor Bottom: my favorites, Belted Galloways
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There were animals on the move everywhere, going to shows and events.

Sheep.  I love sheep.  After all, they are where our wool comes from.

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The bottom left photo is actually of a “sheep show” that was going on. I have no idea why that one guy has his hand over the sheep’s tail area. Anyone else know?

Poultry.  Although we have twenty-one hens at the Parris House, I find that I am only partial to my own.  Not that crazy about a building full of others for some reason.

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Top: cute chickens Bottom: not nearly as cute chickens; don’t even get me started about roosters

I know there are some of you who came to our page via also being fans of Beekman 1802.  Here are your goat pics.

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Fair warning.
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Goats seem to be like puppies that never grow up.

Let’s not forget the cool old vehicles…

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Clockwise: 1) Stanley Steamer 2) this is how mail was delivered in winter in Lovell, Maine in the 1830s 3) an original military type Jeep – I coveted this 4) antique wagon belonging to the agricultural society

Before I end, I want to just throw a trivia question out here.  What are these two things, what do they have in common, and what are they each used for?  The Mainers will all know.

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This is my last country fair post of the season.  I did not make the Common Ground Fair in September because we were at Harvest Festival in Sharon Springs, NY instead.  Common Ground would be the other contender for grandest fair in Maine, although with a decidedly different (and wonderful) character.

Foliage is at or near peak in many places in Maine right now, the air is crisp, and the scents of the outdoors are pretty intoxicating.  I hope if you haven’t already, some of you will share in fall and fair season in Maine.

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Isn’t this what everyone does with their round bales?