Fourth Annual Paris Hill Hook In & Raffle Rug Draw – Want to Know Who Won? Read On!

Yesterday was the day for our Fourth Annual Paris Hill Hook In, but this year we hosted an extra event that I’m sure made it memorable to all in attendance.  As many of you may know, we have been selling rug raffle tickets for over a year to benefit the Maine Medical Center’s Kidney Transplant Family Assistance Program.  This program assists patients and their families in the transplant process with some of the financial hardships that result from travel, lodging, and other miscellaneous expenses that are incurred.

Two women in our Tuesday hooking group know this process all too well.  Irene Adams and Cindy Kimball (Paws & Claws Hooking) both received new kidneys in the past couple of years, and it was our and their desire to help others on this momentous journey.  You can read more about our project and these wonderful women here in an earlier post, but essentially, they and the Tuesday group created this beautiful traditional-but-with-a-twist hiinkitchent or miss hooked rug as the grand prize.   This took many months to complete, and when I say there is love in every loop, I’m not kidding.   This rug is headed to its new home this week, but more on that in a bit.

Much about our Fourth Annual Hook In was like the previous three.  We had our wonderful vendors, Cherylyn Brubaker of Hooked Treasures in Brunswick, Maine and Kim Dubay of Primitive Pastimes in Gray, Maine providing our attendees with gorgeous goodies related to rug hooking and beyond.  The food was once again absolutely amazing, provided by For the Love of Food and Drink from Kittery, Maine.   Imagine this menu…try not to drool on your keyboard or device, ok?

Breakfast:  pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, GF blueberry muffins, blueberry muffins, cranberry scones, coffee, tea

Lunch: creamy parsnip soup, honey lavender chicken, spinach stuff shells, autumn vegetables, fresh garden salad

Dessert: mixed fruit crisp with fresh whipped cream

Yes.  That’s how we eat at the Paris Hill Hook In, thanks to our able and forever smiling catering company, so if you have an event you need help with, by all means give them a shout.

We had Connie Fletcher of Seven Gables Rug Hooking once again greeting everyone, taking registrations, and selling raffle tickets until the very last moment (and I mean the very last moment).  And once again we also had Ellen Marshall of Two Cats and Dog Hooking registering and beautifully arranging our rug show in the church sanctuary.

Speaking of the First Baptist Church of Paris Hill, it was also again our home for the day.  Many thanks are due to Reverend Mary Beth Caffey for being such a gracious host, giving us a history and context talk on the building and the area, and once more allowing us to ring the centuries old Revere Foundry church bell.

We had so many beautiful rugs in the rug show this year.  I regret that I do not have a record of all of the designers and hookers on each one, but it goes without saying that no design may be reproduced without the designer’s consent, so please be respectful of what you are about to see.  (For all galleries, click on the side arrows to move through the pictures.)

Here are a few pictures of our attendees doing what you do at a hook in – hooking away on their gorgeous projects!  I was pretty busy the entire day and was not able to get as many of these pictures as I would have liked, but if you were there and have some also, please feel free to post them and tag yourself and your friends on our Facebook page!

All of this was great fun, but really, the most magical moments, ones that I will remember forever, surround the rug raffle drawing.  For this drawing we had a very special and much loved guest. Many of you are familiar with Ron Adams as the builder of our extremely popular and solidly made Bear Pond Wood Works hooking frames and accessories.   Many of you may also know that he is Tuesday group member Irene Adams’ husband.  What you may not know is that at 81 years of age, Ron gave Irene the gift of life by donating a kidney to her so that she might be with us for a long time to come.  I am at a loss for words for what this means to us and to everyone who loves Irene.  Ron spoke about kidney donation, about his experience as a donor, and about how you or anyone can become one.  Standing with them was Cindy Kimball, whose kidney came from a non-living donor.  Cindy is also a beloved member of our Tuesday group and our gratitude for her life knows no bounds.   So, please, even if it’s just checking that little “donor” box on your driver’s license, do something to support organ donation and transplant.  I am not ashamed to say that I was overcome with emotion in introducing these three at our event, because truly, they would not have been there with us without organ donation and our day would not have held such joy.

Here are some pics of them leading up to the drawing…

AND THE WINNER IS………………..

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Joanne Kalapinski of Harrison, Maine!!!

I called Joanne shortly after her name was drawn and she was SO excited!  Who can blame her!?  She said to me, “I never win anything!”  I said, “You did today!”  Joanne is a fellow rug hooker who hooks with the Wednesday group at the Painted Mermaid Studio just a few miles from us in South Paris, Maine.  I know this rug will be well loved and has gone to a wonderful home.

We raised approximately $3,300 in this effort.  In this month of giving thanks, yesterday was a monumental reminder of all we have to be thankful for.  Ron asked everyone present at the hook in who had worked on the rug to raise their hands. These women have earned special thanks.  Not all of them were present, but a good many were.   As I said before, that rug was made with love in every loop, and to my Tuesday group hookers who poured out that love so generously, thank you.

Happy gratefulness and happy hooking!

Cindy Kimball with her kidney transplant "Tree of Life" logo rug.
Cindy Kimball with her kidney transplant “Tree of Life” logo rug.

We're Trying Again! The Martha Stewart American Made Awards Contest

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Last year we were Wildcard Finalists in the Fiber Art category of this contest, and we were over the moon excited to have made it that far on our first try.  This year we’d really, REALLY like to win!

Every year, the American Made Awards celebrate American makers in the areas of crafts, design, food, and style.  This year we are again nominees in the category Fiber Crafts.

Here’s how it works.  Martha’s staff chooses some finalists, and others are chosen by virtue of how much support they have. When you click on our Nominee Page, you have the opportunity to also click to share on Facebook or Twitter.  That helps spread awareness of our work and shows support for our nomination.  Then, if we are one of 500 entries chosen as finalists, voting begins on September 21st.   Winners of the contest are awarded $10,000 in capital for their businesses, but more importantly, are given national exposure for what they do.  Since we are committed to bringing a renaissance to rug hooking, much like as has taken place in knitting, we would very much appreciate your support.

To see our nominee page, and share it, please click here or on the American Made Nominee badge at the top of this post.

Thank you so very much and happy hooking! – Beth & Jen

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Facebook Contest!

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Would you like to win the bundle shown above?  It’s three of our handcrafted soaps, two wool fat quarters, a beginner Moshimer hook, and 10% off any purchase in our Etsy shop or from our studios!

We are looking to reach 1000 “likes” on Facebook and will pick a name at random of those who newly “like” our page, or who “like” and/or “share” our post there that features this picture.   You can head on over there now by clicking HERE.

Thanks so much and when we reach 1000 “likes” we’ll share who the lucky winner is!

Good luck and happy hooking. – Beth

What’s In Store for 2015? Maine Edition

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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

Thank you for voting for us!

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We want to give our many thanks to everyone who voted for us in the Martha Stewart American Made contest.  We did not win, but we were so happy to be finalists and we’ll be back to try again next year!

We’d like to congratulate the talented and creative winners of this contest.  If you’d like to see who they are, click HERE.

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Voting Has Begun in the Martha Stewart American Made Contest! Please Vote for Us!

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The voting has begun for the Martha Stewart American Made Contest, and as you probably already know, we are finalists in the Fiber Craft division.  We would be so very appreciative if you would vote for us by clicking HERE and then clicking on “VOTE” underneath our picture on the right side of our profile.   You have six votes every day, which you can use all with us, or spread around to other finalists as well.  Here’s why we’d like to win…

Winning this contest would be an amazing dream come true for us.  With the $10,000 prize, we would be able to increase our inventory of great wools for you, buy important pieces of equipment for the studios, start a video instructional and promotion-of-our-craft series, conduct more workshops, stock a wider variety of goods for our customers, and more.  We would also be able to increase our advertising and marketing budget, and focus even harder on our primary mission, which is to keep rug hooking alive for future generations.  So often we hear, “What is that you’re doing?  I’ve never seen that before.”  We want to change that, and help bring a renaissance to hooking as has been seen in the knitting and yarn world.

To that same goal, the exposure for our craft that we would gain through the publicity rewards of winning this contest would go a long way toward enlightening America about the wonderful heritage we all share in rug hooking.

So…please vote for us!  If we win, we promise to do the rug hooking and fiber craft community proud.  Thank you in advance for your support, and once again, you can vote for us by clicking HERE and then clicking on “VOTE” on the right side of our profile underneath our photo and info.  You can also share this post with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, wherever you are on the web.  We thank you.

Sincerely – Beth & Jen

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We're Martha Stewart American Made Wildcard Finalists thanks to YOU! Voting begins September 15th.

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We are wildcard finalists!  This is absolutely because of YOUR help!  Wildcard finalists are chosen, at least in part, by the number of social media shares and fan support for the nominee.  We are so grateful that your support helped earn us a spot among the finalists in the Fiber Craft division of this contest.  

You may click our profile HERE and starting on Monday, September 15th we would be oh so grateful if you would vote for us for the big prize!

Thank you, thank you!  – Beth & Jen