The Old Tattered Flag

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A design for you........

I know several of you who read my blog also follow me on facebook but then some of you don't, so I thought I'd share a free design that I posted a couple days ago.  Feel free to save this, resize and print out to hook, punch or use for applique.  

I have chosen a color palette that matches nicely my coloring.  Valdani JP2 for the background, O178 for the pumpkin.  O1901 and JP9 for the grass, stems and leaves, O510 for the house and O501 for the windows, door and roof.  Of course these colors are available on our website, though we are adding new Valdani colors often. 

Have fun with this one and send me a picture when you are done!
Until next time......

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Natures bounty...

I was at my Sister's house in Vermont last week.  We had a wonderful couple of days shopping and relaxing.  I always come home inspired.  She says the same thing when she comes to my place.  I think as women/sisters we always like to go all out when each other come to visit but the fact of the matter is that my sister always cooks great meals for her family.  She always has the best recipes using fresh vegetables.  I think I talked about those delicious golden beets we had last year at her house.  Oven roasted with a bit of salt.....delicious!!
When we moved into our house, the first home we ever owned I said I was going to have a garden.  I know nothing about fact I have a brown thumb.  But to my surprise, stuff grew.....and what a sense of satisfaction it was to go out pick vegetables that I had planted myself.  It is so gratifying to go out and pick lettuce for the nights salad.  
When my Mother moved in with us our garden expanded.....Mom really knows her way around a garden (the manure "tea" she concocted was a bit much for me but seemed to do wonders)!!  But, soon with the growth of our business we realized we did not have time for a large garden so we downsized to small raised beds.  We only plant 1 or 2 zucchini plants, some tomatoes and some herbs and a row of swiss chard.  Things we use the most.  Oh and cherry tomatoes in pots.  

  The cherry tomatoes always appear first.  You can't help but just go out and have a snack right then and there!
But the big tomatoes, they always tease us....making us wait just a bit longer.

I love this time of year! The veggie stands around us explode with fresh corn, turnips, herbs tomatoes.  It's impossible to not want to channel your inner gourmet cook.

So, back to my Sister's visit.  She roasted some yellow squash with tomatoes and cheese and served it as a side dish.  I knew we had some waiting to be picked at home so when I got home I whipped up this dish that was so good I thought I'd share it with you.  

Following my sister's lead I roasted some yellow squash, cherry tomatoes, oranges peppers, garlic and drizzled it with good seasons garlic and herb dressing (the one you make in the cruet).  I then sprinkled it with some shredded cheese (mom bought a delicious sage cheese while we were in Vermont).  I roasted everything for about 20-30 minutes at 400, then turned it to a broil for the last few minutes so things would brown up a bit.  There was a lot of liquid from the squash and tomatoes but that was what I wanted because when it mixed with the dressing and cheese it created a nice "sauce".  I tossed all the veggies and sauce with some cooked tortellini.  I had forgotten to add some fresh basil to the veggies so just added some on top before serving.  It was delicious and even better the second day as leftovers.  

So thanks to my Sister for her inspiration.  Wonder what we'll be having for dinner on the next visit :) 
Until next time......

Saturday, August 12, 2017

What makes your heart sing?

What makes your heart sing?  What is that one thing that when you see it you just stop dead in your tracks?  I have many things that make my heart sing, in fact, while antiquing in New Hampshire last week I had one of those know.....where there is a ray of light shining down on that one thing.  It was a very old hooked rug.  I digress....I'll talk about that later.    I have to say that for me and many of my customers one of those things that make our heart sing is thread!  I love it.  One of my favorite ladies, JoAnn, came in the shop yesterday and when she saw my new rack filled with Valdani she stopped short.  I knew she could relate....she felt it.....her heart was singing.   

Thread!!  I love it!!!!

Valdani thread........I am an addict.  I want them all, every color.  Ok, maybe not the brights, after all I am still a primitive gal, but many of our customers enjoy the brights and I think they are pretty too, so, the more the merrier, lol.   For Mom her thing is wool, and don't get me wrong, I love it too, but thread.....oh boy.  Every time I walk by this rack and these colors I have to run my fingers over it.

 I fought the urge to bring in some solid Valdani but soon it got me.  Look at those colors!

...and then a little bit of whimsy.  After all, for me thread is eye candy, so what better display than an old gum ball dispenser?  Fun!!

As you know, I'm a puncher.  That is craft of choice for my threads.  I mean, just look at those tiny little loops.  

This one below shows a mix of different styles and sizes of Valdani (3 strand, #8 Perle and #5 Perle).  You really would never know.  It's really kind of like a symphony of thread.....the harmonies are perfect!

Even solid skeins tug at my heart.  Is there anything more comforting than having a pretty antique wooden sewing chest, box or basket filled with skeins of thread?

Then there are the hand dyeds.  Oh, just look at the color.  This is my own hand dyed brown/blacks thread.  I started dyeing threads years ago and though when I brought Valdani in to the shop I would retire it, but I just can't let it go.  It also yields a different look when punched, more spotty.  It's own individuality!

Then there is the new kid on the block.....100% wool Moire thread.  This thread is equally fabulous but just a little bit different.  Not for the faint of heart.  Because of the fact that it is 100% wool this thread requires a soft hand.  We are willing to be a bit more gentle with this beauty because of it's purity and beauty.  

Thread has become such an omni-present part of my life in my everyday work that it is now a big part of our booth when we travel to hook-ins.  Ladies who attend hook-ins love texture and color and are immediately drawn in by the eye candy as I am.  

So, that's just one thing that makes my heart sing.  What is yours?

Until next time......

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The 3rd Annual Gathering of Friends at The Old Tattered Flag

Well, all I can say is "get ready".  I believe I just uploaded close to 200 photos.  

What an absolutely wonderful weekend we had.  Mom, my family and I hosted 147 hookers last Saturday.  They came from near and far to be with us for our 3rd annual Gathering of Friends Hook-in and luncheon.  We are always so flattered to think that people will actually be willing to drive long distances to join us. But, we hope it was worthwhile....we think it was!  We had lined up classes on Friday with Ali Strebel, Kris Miller and Jan Cole.  Friday morning was met with clouds and torrential downpours.  I had a sick feeling in my stomach but told myself to buck up and figure it out. So, we would have cozy classes with Ali and her 9 ladies in our dining room and Kris and her 15 students on the porch.......during the rain. Jan was the lucky one over in the dye kitchen of our Wool House.  Everyone was full of smiles and just so happy to be there soaking in the knowledge our three teachers were sharing.  No one seemed to mind the rain!

Ali's class meets in our dining room...

Mike and Ken Miller, a HUGE thank you to my husband for carrying out our crazy notions.  He's always right there to lend a helping hand.  I believe him and my son and his friends parked over 100 cars over the weekend.

Kris Millers class starts on the porch.  It was cozy and probably not as ideal as we would have hoped but Kris spent 3 hours demonstrating several finished techniques.  One student told me her head was stuffed with so many ideas.  

I feel bad because I didn't get over to the Wool House to photograph Jan's Marbleizing Class, but was so happy when one student rushed home and tried some techniques then sent me pictures of her beautiful wool.  Thanks to all 3 teachers for adapting to the soggy situation.
While the classes were happening we were swamped in the shop.  Lots of ladies wanted to come a day early to partake in the goodies.  We had a nice full shop full of hooking and punching goodness as you will see in the next photos.

After a busy day, the teachers had planned to set up their booths for the next day and we had planned to set up tables and other outside stations, but Mother nature had other ideas.  So, we grilled some chicken and sat on the porch and just talked, something that we rarely get to do at a hook-in set up as we are always in such a hurry to set up and get out.  
But, that meant that Saturday morning was going to be dicey, getting everything set up and ready for a 10:00 gate opening.  We were outside at 5:30 am setting up tables and by gosh, everything came together.  As the vendors pulled in and looked toward the sky with apprehension I promised them that I had the weather channel radar on my phone open and there was no rain in sight.  It was gray and dreary though and I was worried.  Then as if on cue, a little spot of blue peeked through the gray and almost started pushing it aside and we had an absolutely gorgeous day.....all day and not a rain drop.

At about 8:30, eager hookers started lining up by the gate.  

..and then the gates opened....
 Mom, are you cutting flowers??

Speaking of flowers.....Mom did a fantastic job with the flower gardens.  She's truly the master with this.  I have a brown thumb but can take direction, and between her, me and hubby and his muscle, we did get the garden beds in good order.

Our guests sit in large tents

 ...and now the eye candy....our vendors.....

My Sister, Lisa Evans of Folk For All Seasons

 Jan and Fred Cole from the Wool-n-Gardener

Ali Strebel Designs

I'm happy to say that we raised $1046 for USO Fort Drum.

Rugs along the fence line...

A gift for our Guests


Stacy Kate Designs

 Ooops, more Folk For All Seasons

 Our Home

My son Jeremy waiting to greet guests

Rugs on the porch

 Wow, look at that line..

Our shop entrance

Hubby and Jeremy

Silver Jewelry by Denise

Spruce Ridge Studios

 Here's my son Josh (who was a great emcee receiving our check to the USO, he is the programs director)

The rug and punch needle show

So, as you can see, it was a beautiful day.  We like to do things a little different here at The Old Tattered Flag.  It is risky having an outside hook-in, but when I talk of doing anything different everyone says "NO".  So, we will persevere and hope mother nature cooperates in the future.  I hope one day you make it up to our neck of the woods and to all our Vendors, guests, Mom and my family a HUGE thank you!

Until next time....

About Me

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my blog. I am married and just entering the second phase of my life as a Army retiree's wife. My husband and I did 25+ years in the Army. He is now officially a retired Colonel and has just entered the civilian workforce and I am happily settled in our 1830 Stone house. I (along with my Mom) operate www.theoldtatteredflag and currently we are building a small shop in the back part of the house. We live in Northern NY, right near the Canadian border. I have two handsome sons and 2 puggles. Life is busy for us, but I wouldn't have it any other way.