As someone asked about the status of the “arch” just the other day, I thought it might be a good idea to give an upadate.  


New readers should know that my wife found this lovely arch when we were at Cambria.  (Actually, I was teaching – she was shopping.)  It was the perfect thing to make possible her long standing desire for a arch element in her garden, to be located in the side yard of our pre-civil war era home.  Given the location – the back garden path that nearly all visitors and rug hookers trod when trekking between house and studio – we decided that we could justify a few extra $s as it would create a more artistic setting.  Obviously, we are all about artistic settings and I even predict that when done, such an arch element could be hooked for posterity!  It was also a perfect buy as all we needed to do was bring it home and anchor it into the ground.  

However, as it was rusty and, really, the wrong color, I took it to a guy who sand blasted and painted it for me.  It came back in the condition you see here.  

We would have put it up right then were it not for the fact that it did not fit over the side walk correctly in the space where we wanted it installed.   An additional problem came up because, at that spot, roots from a nearby tree also came up.  Not only was our exisiting side walk the wrong size, it was uneven because of the roots and getting more so all the time.    You can’t have uneven ground at the spot where rug  hookers routinely walk and you can’t put an arch there if a new pad will just get more uneven down the road.  Hence, we did a faux “reverse hooking” on those two trees a couple of weeks ago.  Now all we needed was a little concrete pad to sit the arch on.   But given the old walk and the new needs, there was a little more tweaking yet to be done.  i.e. If we had to go to all the trouble to work over the beginning of the path, we might as well put in the kind of path we have wanted all along and that means a path that runs the whole length of the yard.  


Thankfully, Gabriel (local worker, not the angel) got the ball rolling on this part of the project yesterday.  It too, is a little like reverse hooking.  (Boy, am I glad I have a heart condition!)  Once this is all done, it will be smooth sailing to the end game.


Of course, before he came, we had to remove several big rose bushes as they will no longer work in their previous settings, as well as a lot of other vegetation that has to make room for new improvements.  It was no big deal (I had help) to turn 6 foot high rose bushes into root balls that can easiy be planted in another spot.  Again, sort of like reverse hooking.


And, I forgot to mention that the old sprinkler heads are now all in the wrong places requiring something in that field akin to reverse hooking.  

All this leads me to say, as Gabriel continues to bust concrete and wheel barrow it out of the yard to make way for the guys who will come on Wednesday to form the new paths so the walk can be poured on Thursday – I am sure glad this arch is not going to be a big deal.  Still, regardless of the effort and expense it will, as my wife says, make the garden much more charming, thereby creating a much more artistic paths for rug hookers to leisurely walk as they make their way from studio to rest room … and back.  

Oh, and I forgot to mention this other tid bit because I have not got the bid yet, it does look like an iron monger IS going to be able to match the gate with reproduction fencing on either side of the arch which will give us two things for the price of one –  more charm and a Cocker Spaniel barrier.  

Maybe, instead of a Giveaway, I need to consider a fund raiser?  

On another note -

This great side by side photo just came in.


Gene:  Catherine and I were comparing our projects and thought we would send you a photo. Catherine says “hello.”  Jerry D.  

Jerry – Thanks so much for sending in this progress report from Yellow Rose.  They both look picture perfect.  

Here is a late Hooker Hill photo sent in from Carla -


It shows an older rug hooker teaching a young rug hooker a few other kinds of rug camp tricks.  

Finally, lest you think I am just sitting around, I have been dyeing  while the concret flies.


Actually, I have been dyeing a lot.  These stacks are two deep and I don’t even have the stacks of green wool dried and folded.  All told, I think I have dyed about 47 yards in the last two days.  This real dyeing … not faux dyeing.  

Posted in Studio | 1 Comment


Everyone was on the lookout for good rugs at the Hooker Hill Rug Retreat.


I brought my camera along to the final “show and tell” exspressly for the purpose of getting shots of all the projects being worked on in the class that Brigitta Phy taught.  


She had 11 students.  


Although I already showed Grant’s Hooker Hill project in yesterday’s post, I do have a shot of another piece he hooked before camp.  

Here are the projects that the rest of the class worked on.


The black outline, along with the anti-godlin hooking in the chicken, really make this bird pop out.  


A quilly sun, surrounded by 2 sizes of cuts also bring a bit of pop to this piece … but not as much pop as the roof of the little house!


While I usually opt for lots of color, I really like the white on white/mixed technique take on this sheep. It is going to be stunning when done.  


What a wonderful pattern for scraps!


 The very best kind of leaves to have laying around the house. 


We had Christmas in July at Hooker Hill. 


It is a little hard to figure out the top and the bottom on this rug!


Tess designed a rug to commemorate her new (circa 1930) camper.  


We could compare it to the real thing by just walking out to the parking lot.


This lovely little piece makes me want to hook a pig.  (I have a vintage shot of me sitting on a Landrace sow when I was about 5.  However, this porker is a lot more attractive.)


A study in values, color and motion.


Both classes at Hooker Hill had a great time.  How could you not have a great time with lovely people, lovely scenery, a well run camp and great rugs to hook?

Posted in Hooker Hill | 3 Comments

Although I am still in the midst of my report from Hooker Hill, I want to start today’s post by reminding you about 2 other road trips I have planned in September.  If you stay seated in your arm chair, you will, of course, be able to follow allong as I will make a full report.  However, as both have some slots available, why not consider joining me at one or both? 

Maine: Road Trip 1, September 4

From Mizt:  

Come to scenic coastal Maine on Sunday September 14  for a day of relaxation and learning with Gene Shepherd. The hook-in will be held 10:00-3:30 at the Regatta Conference Center in Eliot, Maine.  Besides open hooking, Gene will make two presentations.  There will silent auctions, door prizes and much much more.  Reservation includes lunch.  The cost is $40.  For more information or to make reservations, contact Laure at

It is very rare that you can spend the day visiting with me and my wife, shop in my store, hear me speak twice, hook with a large pack of rug hookers from the North East AND attend an optional non-denominational worship service lead by me – all within a 7 hour time period!  

If you are close enough to attend, I would love to see you there.  (I will have plenty of IRgC pins with me for those who do not have one.)  For more information, contact Laure at

Prince Edward Island: Road Trip 2, September 21-24



Our 1st annual Hook-in Getaway is sure to please your artistic senses. With beautiful views from your luxurious room, of our scenic waterfront, mouth watering meals provided with your package, you’ll be ready to put your hands to work creating a one of a kind piece of art. With the direction of Gene Shepherd, author of “The Rug Hookers Bible,” you will be guided in some of the technical areas of rug-hooking helping you to perfect what you already know and master the things you don’t! Register now for this one of a kind hooking event as availability is limited.   Call 1 800 268 7532 for more information.  

This event will be hosted by our own IRgC “Sue-Anne” and held at her PEI resort.  If I can provide you with an excuse to go to Prince Edward Island, please use me!  I know this is going to be a lot of fun.  

Back to Hooker Hill – One of our registrants at the Hooker Hill Retreat stood out from the usual rug retreat crowd. 


He was a 12 and 1/2 year old young man!  While I run into men at hook-ins all the time, I can’t ever remember running into one at a full blown retreat that was under 30.  Still, Hooker Hill had Grant and we were all glad he was there.  


This is a photo of Grant’s original design that I took Wednesday afternoon.  By Thursday morning, however, he not only had it completely hooked, he was well into having it whipped. I was a little shocked at his prowess as it was not only impressive for a 12.5 year old to make such a piece – I think he was the only registrant at Hooker Hill that got their project completely hooked at camp.  

On retrospection, he may have had a bit of an advantage as there seems to be hooking in his genetic background.  As it turns out, his mother also hooks.  


In fact, some say that he looks a little bit like his mother, Brigitta Phy.  If that were not enough, he has a grand mother (Susan) who also hooks.  


I even understand that his great grandmother, Jane Olson, hooked a few rugs in her day, having learned the art form from her mother (Lucy), who would be Grant’s great great grandmother.  Lucy, of course, learned to hook from her local teacher, a lady named Pearl McGown.  That gives Grant a rather singular 5 generation rug hooking pedigree … which is a pretty good pedigree to have!  

Of course, he is his own man and, literally, “rolls” as he chooses.  


Not only do I never ever remember seeing Brigitta, Susan or Jane  riding a skate board at a rug hooking event (no info if Pearl did) – I have never ever seen any other rug hookers doing that … except for, maybe


His great great aunt Norma.  She rolls too … but that is another blog post.  


Here is one more shot of the big trees in Yosemite – The Batchelor and Three Graces.  It doesn’t really have anything to do with this post other than the fact Grant and I hung out on the tram ride through the Mariposa Grove … and who doesn’t like big beautiful trees?


Posted in Hooker Hill, Maine, PEI | 3 Comments

At first, we thought we would sit under a tree to eat a little lunch …



But, under this giant Sequoia, there were  just too many needles.  So, we changed plans and started looking for a rock.


This one looked good until we decided it was just too small to host our group.  


Then, we considered this one but the top was not too even.  Finally


We found a rock that was just right …  


However, we decided it might be a little too hard to get to.  So, we decided to just sit back and








We even found places to wash our hands when we were through!

y40Thanks to Tess (left), our Hooker Hill hostess, Gretchen and I got not only lunch, but a great tour of the magestic Yosemite National Park – just a half an hour away from Hooker Hill.  

After a great day in the park, Gretchen drove me and all my supplies back to Anaheim.  She, too, deserves a very big Thank You!

Even though I am back from Hooker Hill, I still will have a couple more posts to share about that camp.  

Now, for the winner of the wool yarn Giveaway  

Congratulations to jerilaskowski!  

Send me your address so I can send you your yarn.


Posted in Hooker Hill | 6 Comments

Wednesday was the last day of class at Hooker Hill.  


I had 13 great students in my open class. Since I wait until the last possible moment to take photos, I get the best possible shot of their camp project to share with you.  Here they are with a few comments about what we concentrated on for each piece. 


Although this project was started at Cambria, the artist and I did a major amount of design editing, at her request, which means we re-drew much of the pattern.  As you can probably tell, she is using dump dyes for the big tree sections.  We determined which ones she would use and where she would use them.


I also spent time reworking the raven motif, giving it a new shape and eventually making it about 33% bigger than originally planned.  The tail feathers will be tipped with gold, black and white.


We worked on this project to lighten up the vegetation in this design, find and define a section of “light” that is coming into the water, lighten the tail to make it more translucent and hook the face of the mermaid.  


As it has been a while since I worked with any one on this project, I enjoyed rethinking this pattern.  We did a total re-do.  When done, there will be 3 sunflowers 3 dahlias and 3 carnations, plus all the little hooked flowers.


Even though two students wanted to work on this Pierce pattern, they each came out completely different.  


Although we spent the first half day setting the tone of each piece by concentrating on the look of the doves, once set, we quickly got down to business getting all the flowers planned and prodded.  


As this student told me:  Now that we have the colors established for half of the piece, I will flip them over to the other side … unless I change my mind.  


 This student came with the goal of finding some “lights” to augment her stash of “medium valued” wool.  We found those lights and a few hotter colors, then planned where they would go.  She hooked nearly all of this at camp. 


These wonderful little faces showed up to camp with no hair.  To make matters worse, the girl had no neck and no clothes! Consequently, we worked on the hair, neck and clothes.  If we would have had one more day, I think she would have gotten these completely done.  This artist also worked on an abstract piece, usually at night, but I did not get a shot of that piece.   


When I had my original consultation with this artist, she asked for advice on improving her hooking technique and color choices for each of the 6 dogs in the piece.  The main advice I could give her on her technique was to put in an extra loop or two when hooking an arc or an important solitary line that will be noticable.  An extra loop here and there just makes for a smoother, fuller line.  We did discuss color nuances but this artist mainly needs to go with her intuitive senses.  


Sometimes you won’t make yourself work on certain projects unless you have a deadline!  This was just such a project and I think the artist will make her deadline after working on this at Hooker Hill.  


This is an original design that we tweaked … almost every day.  After moving design elements around, refining vegetation placement and figuring out the distant horizon, we got down to work picking wool and hooking elements.  This charming design is being hooked as a gift for a dog owner … with a golden Labradoodle.  We got a curly coat by hooking two strands of #3 cut for the body of the dog.


This is another piece that demands quite a lot of precision.  Therefore, we spent a lot of time working out a fine point process and other technique bits that will produce a very crisp line.  My poor camera skills don’t do the colors justice.  Of course, you can only see just a few pieces of the marvelous rainbow of wool she has picked out for this unusual color wheel.  


It is a little hard to know which side of this photo is the top and which is the bottom.  I finally just picked one that let our last hooked element – the rooster – sit upright.  I predict you will see a lot more of this piece as it is hooked in up coming first Saturdays.

Even I have shown you my class projects, there are still lots of things to  report from Hooker Hill.  

Posted in Hooker Hill | 10 Comments

Long before we even get to the hooking room at Hooker Hill, all attendees are inspired because of the morning Show and Tell.  On Tuesday, my class brought in some of their finished projects to show.   Here are most of them.  



























Posted in Hooker Hill, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

I am blogging all this week from the Hooker Hill Rug Retreat.

mon25Sponsored by the Wool Poppies, this yearly retreat is located not too far from Yosemite.  


Even though it is not in the park, the main view from my class room is this lovely little lake.  I find it very therapeutic  to teach and hook in the midst of this kind of scenery.  


There are even lots of wild life to look at on the camp grounds.  Some are on the tops of everyone’s list


Others are maybe not quite so popular.  Still, wildlife abounds all over the camp as evidenced by these photos.  



mon36One of the unusual things about this camp is that it starts, every morning, with a show and tell time.  


Campers show projects that they have made since the last Hooker Hill retreat.  (I think great grandma Jane Olson would be particularly proud of this young camper and his work.)  

Here are a few more shots of finsihed projects the campers brought to show and tell on Monday morning.  










And I thought I take a lot to rug camp –  Believe it or not, this camper brought her studio -


An early 1930′s camper.  One of only 4 known to exist.  


It has all the comforts of a great studio -


A hooking home for road trips.  


Posted in Hooker Hill | Comments Off

Saturday morning, bright and early, Gretchen, one of the local hooking pack, picked me up for a road trip to Clovis, CA – the first stop on our way to the Hooker Hill Rug Camp.


We went straight to the home of Carla Jensen (right) who lives in country outside of Clovis.  


In case you remember rug hookers by their rugs, you surely remember this Celebrations rug Carla made of her husband Jack.  I reported, some time ago, on a collaboration we had about this rug in my Anaheim studio – her ending up getting some of the hot blue, yellow and greens that she needed to finish it.  


She also got wool from me for this well known rug – most of the sky blues and all the reds.  (Which is amazing as her sister Trudy, another local, usually takes most of my good reds before anyone else can buy them!)  I forgot, until she reminded me, that  I had suggested she put in a red border to finish this rug.  


As luck would have it, we got to Clovis just as she was finishing up her newest rug.  Gretchen was particularly interested in seeing it as she is also hooking this rug.  


In fact, Carla was on the final stages of whipping it for the rug show at Hooker Hill. 


Besides being a great rug hooker, Carla is also a fabulous spinner.  As you might guess, she not only dyed the whipping wool she is using to finish the rug – she also spun it.  


I grabbed a selection of her yarns for this photo as I thought you would like to see them.  As we talked about her spinning, she did something else -


She sorted out these 5 twists and asked me if I could tell what they all had in common.  Although I studied them carefully, I could not tell the common link … until she told me - I used the bleeding method you taught me in your dye class!   In other words, she bleed out different colors of found wool, then dyed her new natural yarn (twists 2-5) with those “found” baths.  Even if the found wool is too thick or lousy to hook, if it is a good color and a bleeder, it can be used to dye up either fabric or yarn.  The first twist (yellow) was also a bleed out dye but one from the dye book that is a little different.  For this, she twisted a long piece of yellow wool (much as one would for a marbelized batch) with a hank of natural yarn.  The end result is a very mottled yellow yarn.  


Before our yarn discussion was over, Carla donated one of her lovely pumpkin colored twists for an IRgC Giveaway.  So, if you would like a chance to win this great wool, just make a comment.  I will pick a winner Thursday night when I return from Hooker Hill.  

Although it was tempting to spend all our time hanging out at Carla’s house


We did do a run to old town Clovis for a bit of antique shopping.  Although I did not buy anything, I did take photos of some things that I think will interest you.  


I always make a photographic record of any hooked rug I find in an antique store.  I don’t know who made it, or when, but I do appreciate all their hard work.  


I particularly liked this hand made Turkish rug because the artist changed both the border design and colors.  That “hot blue” in the geometric section really makes this rug pop.   


At one store, I found a treasure trove of beautiful hand made California tiles – all of which would do as inspiration for a hooked rug.  


Whether looking at colors or design, these tiles certainly inspired me.  

**Editors note: I wrote this post on Saturday night so it would be ready to put up on the IRgC late Sunday night.  Acutally, I would have written more but Jack was bringing the steak in from the grill and it just seemed like there were more important things to do than write.  


Please know, however, it was almost like you were with us  as we talked about you, enjoyed the food, the company and the beautiful Clovis area scenery.  

Posted in Hooker Hill | 42 Comments

***Anyone know where to get rug patterns by Bett McLean?  Specifically, bear patterns?  An IRgC member needs to know.  If you can help, comment in with the answer.  Thanks.  

***  Also – I just got this note about the 2015 ATHA Biennial in San Antonio, Texas and am passing it on to you.

Gene:  I am hoping you can help us get the word out about room accommodations for the 2015 Biennial.  The Westin has now been booked and the block has been increased to all the rooms that the Westin will allow us to have at $149 per night.  Both hotels are next door to the Westin and each hotel has greatly discounted the room rates for us. 

We have two overflow hotels for ATHA memebers to make reservation for the Biennial.  Hotel Contessa Luxury Suites on the Riverwalk, a 4-star hotel, located at 306 W. Market St., 866-435-0900 for a special rate of  $199.00 per night, and the Homewood Suites by Hilton San Antonio Riverwalk, a 3-star hotel located at 432 W. Market Street, 210-222-1515.  Reservations may be made beginning September 8, 2014 for the special rate of $149.00 per night at Homewood Suites.  Always mention ATHA Biennial for those special rates!  I will be getting out this information to the Region Representatives to send to their base.  We are looking forward to a wonderful Biennial! 

Thank you -Tricia


Since I am busy working on my Victoria Scroll - 


It only seems logical that I am on, what could be called, a Victorian roll.  Apparently, I am not the only one as some of my locals are doing the same thing.  


Gretchen just completed a one block version of the VS pattern.  She opted to keep her scroll fill simple, by using a single wool for that section.  


Jean also completed a single block version of the same design as a cover for her David Mikoryak foot stool.  Although equally simple – an outline and fill approach – it ended up looking a little more complicated because she filled with more colors of wool.


Barbara also made a footstool cover.  However, she used the sister Victorian Grill pattern.  Instead of a solid scroll design, as with the first pattern, this one utilizes the same basic shape of the scroll without bringing the design lines together  to form a single scroll unit.  When designing this, I figured many people would simply hook the scrolly line with a bold dark color, then fill in, as Barbara did.    


Beth has also chosen to do the grill design – this one a 15 block version the same size as mine.  She opted to do all the outlining with a graduated dump dye, the other wool I envisioned as being popular with this design.  This scrolly line, of course, changes color as it moves along.  While it does not form a single solid scroll, like the V Scroll pattern does, the lines end up forming additional spots that need backgroud fill.  Beth has chosen 3 backgrounds to use – raspberry, a collection of orange sherbet transitional pieces and a deep russet brown collection of antique black wool.  I think it has turned out very nice.  


It is going to be interesting to see how they will all turn out.  Since everyone was at the 3rd Thursday hook-in, I was able to get a photo of them all together.  I also got an update on some other patterns.  


This one, by Pam, is finally hooked and will soon be whipped.  


In the meantime, Pam has also started a Scotland themed rug.  


Shirley is still busy on her multi-fiber sea scape.  


Gretchen did not hook … but she did stay busy.

It has been a while since I reported on Maisy.  I am not sure if we are training her or if she is training us.  However, she goes every week to dog obedience class.  She can now sit up, lay down and wait … for a while. Still, she is a puppy and we don’t trust her very far.  We have learned to put up things that are too tempting for her to chew on and she is still banished from the studio, unless she comes in a on leash.  Fortunately, we have learned how to cope.  Actually, a lot of it is just learning how to put things that are off limits out of the way.  For example, yesterday morning, I bought a box of doughnuts for my grand daughter and the 3rd Thursday Hooking group.  All I had to do was put them out of reach, high up on the patio table, where Maisy can not get to them. 


I think this is the last time we will use this out of the way spot.  

Posted in Victorian Scroll/Grill | 12 Comments

Carol recently sent me a photo and a question.  This started a back and forth conversatioin.


Originally, she wanted to know if I thought the lime green would work for the background sky on this small rug she is making.  She liked the bold choice but wanted a second opinion.  As Van Gough used a similar family of colors for the sky in at least one of his paintings, I can’t see why it would not work fine for any of us.  Besides, even if I did not like it (although I do) the only really person Carol needs to worry about pleasing is herself.  Sure, it is bold.  But, it really makes the tree pop and, I think, gives the whole piece a lot of punch.  In fact, I think it kind of needed that punch as the rest of her colors are a little tame.  Even so, those tamer colors will ramp up in intensity when surrounded by the lime green.  

Once assured, she was ready to proceed but did not have enough lime green to do the rest of the sky. I asked for, and got, a tiny piece of the green, then went to work trying to figure out the recipe.  Nothing in my bag of tricks was completely right, so I had to do so experimentation.  I dyed 4 closely related batches with the hopes that one of them would match.  I was low on lime green in my stash so did not mind the session.  As she only needed a half a yard, each batch was for a half a yard.  This was a good thing as I ONLY HAD 2 YARDS OF NATURAL WOOL LEFT IN THE STUDIO.  That means, I used every bit I had for her test cases.  Do you know how often that happens?   Almost never.  (I still had 17 partial bolts of wool but they were all colors or textures,)

While I stirred each pot a little more than I usually do, each still came out a little mottled … but I think that is a good thing, especially since I think her sky can use a little variation.  When every thing was done, rinsed, dried and folded, I found 2 pieces that I thought were about as perfect a match as one could get.  That is when I got the other note from her suggesting that she might need a little more than 1/2  a yard and could I send a little more.  As a half a yard will only hook a space about 13″ by 16,” she is probably right.  That left me with a dilemma as I had no way to make more wool.  

From my perspective, this was not too big a dilemma.  Remember, I said that all 4 batches were related as I used the same dyes in varying amounts and combinations.     In fact, there were 2 batches where I could hardly tell the pieces a part – especially since  there was a little bit of mottling to help confuse the situation.  Mottling, of course, creates  light and dark variation within a single piece.  I picked out the 3 closest pieces and sent them along with the note that she did not have to take all the wool.  

Here is her response, along with another question.  

Gene:  Love the lime green background wool I received today.  Thanks so much!  I would love to know what you think about the piece.  I do have a question, however.   I was planning to do echo hooking around everything, but with the light to dark wool, would it cause a striped effect?   How is the best way to use the dark/medium/light wools?  Sad to say, I’ve always used just one color for backgrounds…some have been textured and plaids, but never varied much in color. I’m about to go to my frame and hook in as much background as I can.  If you have more, I’d be happy to have another ½ yard as I love this color! Carol

Dear Carol – I am glad you like the wool.  I think it will be perfect for your piece.  I am a bit surprised when you talk about light to dark variation because I did not think it had much variation.  I do remember one piece having a section that was a little darker than other spots but it was there as the natural result of not being overly moved in the later stages of the dye process.  Of course, I was basing my evaluation on a single cut strip of wool, so readily admit I don’t know what your original piece looked like in its entirity.  

From my perspective, the wool I sent you ought not create huge variations when hooked.   So,

1.) If you wanted to do echo hooking, I don’t see why that would not work.  You are correct that echo hooking can be distracting if the variations are too great.  However, I would not think that was the case with this wool.    In this case, I think “close” is better than exactly the same.  In fact, slight variations ought to be more interesting thana flat, solid color.   

However, if your “boots on the ground” assessment thinks it is not quite right, try seperating out the wool a bit to use in one of these ways:

2.)In places where you think there ought to be shadows in the piece – the space between the sheep and the house and the house and the cat or the underside of some dark leaves – use some of the darker lime pieces.  You don’t have to use an entire piece – just the darkest sections.  Use the lightest lime in places where you need a little extra light – background against the top of leaves or the bending arc of the tree or top of the roof where the sun might be hitting.  This segregation of values will give you a little extra dark in naturally dark spots and a little more light in places that need to be the lightest.  

3.)  Did you ever think about maybe doing a sky with some swirls or other such movement?  I would begin by outling everything, but after that I might put in the swirls or, using the lighter and darker pieces, some cumulus cloud shapes.   It would not have to be much – just a suggestion of a clouod or a swirl.

Again, Carol, you are the one with the boots (or hook) on the ground and you have to make the final choice.  I hope this helps.  

This has been my week to answer lots of these types of questions as I have had a private pay student (my grand daughter) in the studio.  I call her a “paying” student because this class was part of her birthday gift from me … and, for the record, I wanted her to know that it was no small gift.    


Right off the bat, because she came with absolutely nothing, she needed something to hold her supplies.  That means we started the lesson with a $25 bowl “sale.”


I explained to her that all my wool is hand dyed … by a well known dyer/author, I might add, which is code for “it doesn’t come cheap” particularly since everything she picked out was pre-cut.  I figured just the wool strips were worth a good $15.  (I did not charge anything for the advice offered on what were the best colors.)


Of course, she needed a hook ($40), silk, nylon and bulky yarn – another $5 easy.  As she wanted to use my personal scissors and Orbiter frame over a 5 day period, I had to work out a week-long leasing agreement for those – $15 per day, or $75 was a real bargain.  (If she had removed them from the studio, that would have required a substantial deposit.)


When it came to patterns, she chose a hand drawn one on primitive bleached linen – $40.


Actually, since this was a double pattern (one that also had another pattern on the backside), I thought 2 for the price of one ought to up the pattern value to $75 easy.  

Then, there was my teaching fee.  As this was no simple “group class,” it is only reasonable to expect her to pay a premium teacher fee. My undivided attention every day for 5 days + Dr. Peppers + ginger snaps + morning tea + mixed nuts + unlimited Netlflix, not to mention breakfast, lunch and dinner cooked by the elderly lady (by my grand daughter’s perspective, not mine) I live with.  At $500 total, most people would consider this a bargain … and I have not even included the benefits of cocker spaniel companionship for which other teachers, no doubt, would charge extra.  


As I explained it to her, she ought to figure that my birthday gift was worth at least $735 and that she was the luckiest 12 year old in CA.  

Although she politely smiled at this, I do not think she bought it.  

Maybe I should ask for the deposit after all?  



Posted in Q & A | 6 Comments