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!
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.
Yesterday I participated as a vendor at the annual Spring Fever Hook-In in Brunswick, Maine, sponsored by Cherylyn Brubaker of Hooked Treasures. It’s always a truly great time, and I see many familiar faces there. Also vending were Toni Philbrick of The Keeping Room in Hampden, Kim Dubay of Primitive Pastimes in Gray, and Marion Brown of the Marion Brown Rug Hooking Studio in Belfast.
This is just going to be a brief post, mostly photos. I want to apologize for the picture quality. Because I needed to be near my table, I was just taking quick cell phone pics!
I also want to say that I do not have attribution for all of the rugs in the rug show. Again, I was not able to take a lot of time away from my table. It goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway (!),the rugs shown here are the intellectual property of their designers and/or hookers and are not to be copied or reproduced without express permission of the pattern designer. If there is a pattern you see here that you feel you must have, please contact me and I will try very hard to track down its original designer for you through our network of hookers here in Maine! Additionally, if you recognize the artists who designed/made these rugs, pop us a note in the comments.
With that out of the way, here are some pics from the event.
This hook-in is held every April (I think occasionally early May) in Brunswick. If you’d like to attend next year keep an eye on our website as I put information for it up every year. Happy hooking! – Beth
It’s time to save the date for the Third Annual Paris Hill Hook-In! We had such a great time the past two years, and especially last year in our new venue, the First Baptist Church of Paris. You can read about last year’s event HERE.
Registration is limited to 60 attendees so please register early. You can find a registration form by clicking HERE and download a flyer HERE.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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…
I took a little climb up to the balcony space to photograph our attendees viewing the rug show…
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!
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
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.
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
It’s that time again! We are a bit over half full for this event already, which we are capping at 60 attendees this year. We have changed the venue to be just as beautiful, but more handicapped accessible, with better, more convenient parking too.
Here are the details and you can download a registration form HERE.
Saturday, November 15th, 2014
10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
First Baptist Church of Paris
Center of the Village Green
Paris Hill Road, Paris, Maine
Registration Deadline: November 8th, 2014
Ticket Price: $28.00
Breakfast & Lunch included
Informal Rug Show: Bring your favorites to share! As many as you like!
Vendors & Door Prizes
Ring the Early 19th Century Paul Revere Foundry Church Bell!