My Hanoverian Horse Felt Hat

Once, when I was the Visiting Artisan at The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, I got a special request to embroider a Hanoverian symbol on one of my felt hats.

I was unfamiliar with Hanoverians, but found the symbol online and did my best.

Freehand embroidered Hanoverian Horse symbol on felt hat #10 of 2008.

I can get nervous attempting a new design, especially one conceived by someone else.

Embroidering other people’s ideas can feel more like homework, instead of play, which is how needlework usually feels for me.

Play = fun. Homework = work. Who doesn’t prefer play?

I worked this Hanoverian Horse symbol freehand, as I do all my felt hat embroideries.

In the end, I was quite pleased with the results. Especially because I didn’t have to rip it out (much). It just came together, despite my initial misgivings.

And the customer was delighted! It was win-win, for sure. Nothing to fret about.

What about you? What are your emotions as you work on new projects or designs?

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Back to The Balsams: Winter 2011 Edition

The Balsams Grand Resort is beautiful in winter

The Balsams Grand Resort is beautiful in winter.

It’s my favorite time of year: I’m returning to The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel as Visiting Artisan for the week of February 21 – 28, 2011.

Felt hat embroidery workshop for guests at The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel.

Beautiful any time of year, The Balsams (located in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire) is especially enchanting in winter.

The scenery is gorgeous:
A dusting of snow frosts Dixville Notch & The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel.

The skiing (both downhill and cross-country) is fantastic:

Felt hat fiber artist, Carrie Cahill Mulligan enjoys the xc-skiing at The Balsams.

Guests at The Balsams enjoy access to fantastic wilderness skiing.

And the hotel architecture is always lovely:

Mismatched balusters of the grand staircase in the John Dix Social Room at The Balsams.

One of the many gilded cornices that grace The Balsams' grand dining room.

Winter is the perfect time to showcase my felt hats & demonstrate their construction to hotel guests. I especially enjoy teaching workshops to students of all ages:

Rachel's diary says: "On Tuesday I sewed my hat"!

But, of course, at The Balsams it always comes back to the food!

Mmmm... The Balsams has a fantastic breakfast buffet...


... with a dazzling array of tasty choices...


And an omelette chef, awaiting your special request!

The Balsams gets all the details just right:

Elegant silver service adds a special touch to an already special dining experience.

So if you’re up for a very special winter vacation, consider a trip to The Balsams. I promise, you’ll be glad you did!

Back to The Balsams’ Visiting Artist Series in Dixville Notch, NH

It’s the most exciting phone call of my year: when the Balsams’ Activities Coordinator, John Kennedy, asks if I am able to return for their Visiting Artist Series this summer.

CCM at Table Rock above the Balsams Grand Resort in Dixville Notch, NH

CCM at Table Rock above the Balsams Grand Resort in Dixville Notch, NH

“Yes! Please!” is my unhesitating reply.

As a Visiting Artist, I have the pleasure of conducting knitting & embroidery demonstrations and workshops with resort guests.

Felt Hat Embroidery Demonstration at the Balsams Grand Resort in Dixville Notch, NH

Felt Hat Embroidery Demonstration at the Balsams Grand Resort in Dixville Notch, NH

My first year, I even attempted a felting demonstration, with fascinating results.

The Balsams is a treasure. Luxurious accommodations and to-die-for dining are set in the northern New Hampshire wilds of Dixville Notch (where the first voting in the country happens each election).

Enjoying the bike trails of the Balsams' wilderness in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire

Enjoying the bike trails of the Balsams' wilderness in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire

Hiking, mountain biking, swimming, tennis and golf galore can fill up your days, while fantastic food and dancing to Rick Erwin’s Orchestra in the ballroom complete your nights.

If you’re looking for a fabulous getaway this summer, I highly recommend a stay at The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel.

And if you happen to visit between June 29 and July 6, 2009, I will see you there!