Monday, October 31, 2011

Sincerely Jane Update

It is that time when we participants post an updated picture of our Sincerely Jane Challenge rug on and thought I'd post it here first.  For those who are following my blog you saw the post where I wanted to change a border rectangle at the top of the rug.  Well, I sure am glad that was done because it seems to flow better now.

When taking on the challenge I wondered if I would do a darker background, do a vaariety of different colors in each square to replace the natural or just how to go about color planning.  My decision was to try and follow Jane Stickle with the natural background and sashing throughout.  Yes, it isn't very creative on my part as for a 'challenge' but I sure did like what Jane originally did so decided to follow her lead.

When first joining the challenge I was concerned that maybe it wouldn't be completed in time and I'd look like a slacker ~ I tend to hook on my camp rugs first.  But just because they are only 4 1/2" squares, once one is completed you feel as though there has been a great accomplishment and one more step to the end.  Plus the fact that the rug was designed by me (using Jane's square designs) but was up to me to select the number of squares I wanted in the rug to determine size and shape.  So what's not to like about this great challenge.

Be looking for the official give away post of Heavens to Betsy wool .... coming up in a day or so.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sneak Peak at Betsy's wool samples

For those of you who may not have yet received the wool mailer from  Heavens to Betsy, here is a photo of the samples being sent out.    I have already ordered my wool because a lot of times if you don't get the amount you need right away it is sold out.  And it is terrible to have just one yard of something you know you will use for backgrounds or your special color and then run out before the rug is finished and they have none left in stock.  Yes, they do have wools re-milled to accommodate us but heavens-to-Betsy...., when we hookers want the wool, we want it now not 6 months when it might be re-milled again.  So be sure to order enough of your favs when you do order so you know you are safe for a while.

And, yes, I will be hosting the next give-away but this is not the official announcement as I'm waiting until closer to the date when I leave for rug camp.  That way it will allow several days for people to become followers and post and my rantings and ravings on my blog won't be missed.  But I will soon make the announcement and post a picture of the wools the winner will get.

Betsy and Erica are very generous in giving us hooking bloggers a hand-picked selection of wool from their upcoming mailers to host these give-aways.  So keep an eye to my blog to watch for the official start of the giveaway.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Log Cabin Rug and Bev's signing technique

I have mostly background and border left to do on the log cabin rug, plus the small sheep.  But since the sheep is hooked using Icelandic Lopi I'll wait until I get more of the background and border done on the top right before hooking it.

There is just a week left before going to a rug camp with Lucille Festa so I'll be scrambling to finish the hooking on this one this week.  Will take it to work on the night before class at the hotel and it will also provide something for me to do until Lucille makes her way to me for color planning my camp rug.  It is always nice to have something to do while waiting for a teacher as we hookers cannot be idle ya know... must keep those hooks moving.

Here is what has been hooked up to now.

And, just could be that I have enough of the background color after all.  The background wool is folded with 5 layers so is looking like a real close fit. 

The  mystery was solved about the background wool purchase.  Was informed by Erica at Heavens to Betsy that it was a wool they carried before starting to send out flyers.  So it was wool that I purchased from Barb during her sale-a-thon last May when I was at Woolley Fox.  So Betsy has no more of it and Barb was having a sale to make room for new wool so am sure she has no more of it either.  But if I do run out I'll just pull out random strips and put in something that would blend in ~ no problem since I have experience doing that little trick in other rugs.

When I knew that I wanted to hook a log cabin and saw Betsy's same Mr. Ed it just spoke log cabin to me so ordered some and that was what is used for the cabin, the roof is Jinx and as you can see there is a difference between that and the dark background; well yes, that thin grayish line does help divide the two as well, but I did want a dark roof since it is night time.  So, yesterday I wrote to Heavens to Betsy to find out if they have any more of the "Jinx" and "Mr. Ed" wools before I mentioned them.  Didn't want you to write and order some only to find out they had no more left.  Erica did say the yardage was limited on Mr. Ed tho.

Remember when I told you of the signing technique that Bev Conway developed?  Well if you look at the front of my rugs you do not see any date or my initials at all.  But when it is flipped over you can see the date and initials clearly.  After it is all hooked and steamed flat it will show up much better I'm sure.

Yes, it does take a little more effort and don't think I'll make a practice of signing my rugs this way, but it was fun to experiment so that when I see Bev at Cape May next September can tell her I got it to work just fine.

Oh, in case you're wondering, I drew the design twice.  Since I didn't like the way I drew the trees and leaves the first time I flipped the linen over and drew it all over again.  I did try changing the drawing by using a different color Sharpie but it just got looking too sloppy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sincerely Jane changes

Yesterday I posted a picture of the rug and spoke of wanting to change one of the triangles in the border at the top.  It just didn't have a good rhythm due to a bump in the road.  I pointed out that on the left side I needed to remove the one blue angled piece and make it a diamond to match the right side.  So took care of that and hooked another block on the bottom row. 

Here is the before which I posted in yesterday's blog:

This is the way the rug looks now:
So I've still got 6 months to finish this and it will be done by April 2012 with time to spare, that is if I don't lose my focus.  In the meantime I'm still working on my log cabin rug, and in less than 2 weeks will start yet ANOTHER rug at a short rug camp in Ocean City, MD with Lucille Festa. 

OY!  another potential UFO, oh well, cold weather is coming and having lots of rugs to work on will be a nice cold weather project.  Yes, I could always clean, but hey..... why clean when you can hook?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sincerely Jane on the Frame

Each month about this same time, I hurriedly pull out the challenge rug to pull some more loops to show some progress.  In order to decide what color to hook next thought perhaps I should take a picture of it to assist in my decision. 

Here is how she looks now.  And, I see something I want to change now that I've looked at the photo.
If you look at the top border and at the 3rd light colored triangle hooked in blue, that is what I want to remove and make it a diamond.  That way it will be more rhythmic in d e sign (for lack of another word).  And on the short ends will have a star and diamond in the center with angled hooking in the ends.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sadly Missing ATHA

All of my close hooking buddies are attending ATHA in Lancaster and I'm not there, sadly.  Since I was at Cape May in September and going to another camp in November there was no way I could afford to have someone care for Ben and me spend money on camps three months in a row.  Wish I had the financial resources to do that but don't.

Anyway, my gal pals are keeping me informed on what happens during the day and what they buy.  And Deb (my friend) who I will see in November has purchased some wool for me and a tee shirt!!!!!!!!!  She even commented when she sent these pictures, that she knew I'd kill her if she didn't pick up one for me too.  And she is right!  So my dear gurlfren picked up one for me and I'll get it early November and wear it with pride. 

This is the front.

This is the back.

Here we go again with the photo thing.  Both of these pictures were straight up and perfect when I retrieved them from my photo file.  So now I have no way of correcting the positioning that I am aware of.  But, guess you can get the drift of what the shirt looks like.

Woolley Fox is selling these tee shirts and has a booth which also has Evelyn Lawrence showing the Magdalena rugs.  Man-O-man.... wish I'd seen Evelyn's rugs in person all at once.  I've seen them when on display at Cape May each time she accomplished one but to see them all together at one time must be mind boggling.

I'm envious of all who visited, participated in classes and enjoyed this wonderful event.  And, cannot wait to read every one's blog with pictures and stories.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My log cabin rug

The rush for patterns to be drawn and dolls to be made and shipped has eased up a little so can sit and relax and hook.  I should be cleaning but hey, that dust and dog hair will still be there tomorrow, right?

Decided to move my rug on the frame so decided to take a picture.  Actually took two pictures with two different settings. 

And, while it was off the frame thought I'd better find out if I have enough of the background wool and see if I needed to order more. Oh no, say it isn't so.  Since I'm hooking in #8.5 folded the wool over 5 layers and it doesn't look like I'll have enough to do the entire background. 

Okay, then I went back 3 years worth of Betsy wool samples and 3 years of Rebecca samples so that I could order more.  Oh no, say it isn't so...... I couldn't find that wool in their samples whatsoever.  Now I'm wondering if it was a yard I'd purchased on sale at Woolley Fox when I was there... and it could have been.  It's a dark dark navy texture with little lines of a grey and tan in places.So what I plan to do is keep hooking and if I do run out then I'll just have to pull out wool in various places and fill in with something close.

Dont'cha just hate it when that happens?

What in the world is wrong with BLOGGER????????

For days I have been unable to post because it says my browser won't work and to download the Google one.  Well I did but then was unable to get access to the tool bar as it was half covered up with the text box area.  But, I was unable to type any text even with I clicked on the top part of the tool bar that I could see.

Then I opted out and wanted the old interface back and try as I may to provide them feedback on what was wrong, after I sent the message I got an OOPS, error message so even that doesn't work.

AND, I see (as of right this minute) it says I have NO followers.  There aren't just missing on the page, it says I have NO followers and "you can be the first"  Say what??????

I recently pondered buying Apple stock or Google stock.... I went for Apple stock and am thinking that was a smart decision.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hooked Halloween Witch

A few days ago I enjoyed seeing some hooking projects others were doing and one happened to be a hooked witch.  So I've decided to share a picture of my hooked face witch.

Well okay...... we've got a problem Houston.  This picture was right side up before I posted it here on my blog.  Now, perhaps my camera was originally turned sideways to capture the picture, then I opened it up with the Paint program, cropped it and put it right side up.  But when I saved it to the flash drive in a file folder it was fine.  Not so when I post it here tho. 

Since I'm fairly new at this blogging thing, perhaps there is a way for me to change direction of the photo.  Someone tried to help me before and she thought it was because I didn't click 'save' before publishing the post.  But I can't even get it turned upright in order to click the save now feature.

I'd love to hook some seasonal mats for the November and December season but since there is already a few UFOs going on plus in November I'll be taking a class with Lucille Festa and will start yet another new rug.  So with the numbers climbing on UFOs think I've plenty to keep me busy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Repeat Buyer

Luckily I have a following at the two shows I do per year which are at the same venue, once in July and again October.  To prepare for each show I know that I'd better have some primitive black dolls for my best customer.  It's becoming a challenge to come up with different ideas that she doesn't already have so try to make two different ones for each show in hopes something will pique her interest.

Just the other day she sent me a picture of her collection and wanted to share it with me.  She did say they are all displayed on her fireplace mantle as she loves looking at the whole family together.  This is the picture she sent.

When I saw her in July and she purchased two dolls, she said she wanted a baby, it had to have toes and of course had to be black.  She also requested that I send her a picture of the available for adoption.  So before October show I diligently created a baby black doll with toes.  Since I wasn't sure if she wanted a girl or a boy baby decided to make one of each....tee hee, knowing full well she would buy both anyway. 

So just one week before the show I sent her a picture of a boy and girl and asked if she wanted me to hold one back until she arrived at the show. Or, if she had no interest I would put them out on my table.  I mean, neither of them might have pulled at her heartstrings or perhaps she wasn't able to attend the show.  After she sent me the delightful picture above I asked permission to post that on my primitive page of my web site and promised to not mention her name.  Her reply was, "Wait until I send you an updated picture with the babies in it"

And, believe it or not she does own one white doll of mine.  And since I know what it was plan to make a black version of it as I'm sure it is a 'made' sale.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Rug Camp just one month away

In November I'll be attending Maryland Shores rug camp and taking my second class with Lucille Festa.  She is best known for her primitive designs and wide cuts.  Previously I had a class with Lucille at Cape May (Rugs by the Sea) when she taught the first week.  Since that time Lucille has had class the second week which isn't good for me since my show would be just one week after getting home and wouldn't be enough time for me to recover from the fun, and finish things for my show.  So I jumped at the chance to take a class with her in November when the class is only 1 hour from my home.

The year me and my friend Deb had a class with her at Cape May, this is the rug that Deb hooked ~ The Tree of Life.  As is usually the case, the picture does not do the rug justice.  Frankly I'd not had an interest in hooking the Tree of Life until Deb's came to life and the colors were really rich and nice.

The rug I did in her class was a design which was in a publication by Needl'love called "Falloween", pictured below.

Interesting to take note that I must have finished my rug the same year as the class was taken since it says '07'.  Whereas Deb, who works full time, didn't get hers completed until after January the next year of 08. 

Happily I'll have to start getting ready pulling woolens and design together as time gets closer to camp.  But before I do that will have to finish the Belindy I've started.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Beloved Belindy

For those of you who didn't know about Beloved Belindy or that she was a friend of Raggedy Annie, here is a little information I copied and pasted for your reading pleasure. 
Readers of Johnny Gruelle's Raggedy Ann Stories are familiar with Raggedy Ann's chubby black friend Beloved Belindy, who had a separate Beloved Belindy storybook about her own adventures with the dolls in Marcella's nursery. (P.F. Volland 1926, M.A. Donohue & Co., 1930s)
In an April 1941 advertisement for Gilberts Quality Paper that appeared in Fortune magazine, Beloved Belindy is shown with Raggedy Ann and Cleety the Clown pouring sawdust back into the Percy the Policeman doll. The ad was drawn by Worth Gruelle, Johnny Gruelle's artist son (father of Joni). A framed print of this 11"x14" color ad runs about $25.
Beloved Belindy cloth dolls were made as early as 1918 by "Grandmother Gruelle," then by P.F. Volland, Mollye Goldman, Georgene Novelties, Knickerbocker Toy Co., Hallmark and the latest by Toy Works.
The Volland Belindys, produced from 1918-1934, have mother-of-pearl button eyes, painted facial features, red sideways pointing feet and eyelet-trimmed collars and aprons over pale floral skirts. The $15" size is most common, with current price of about $3,000 in original outfit.
Scarest of the Beloved Belindys were those manufactured by Mollye Goldman's firm, Mollye's Doll Outfitters from 1935-1938. Only one Belindy was made for every 50 pairs of Ann and Andy.
Georgene Novelties' Belindys, 1938-1963, had painted facial features and pearl or black button eyes. Their body shape was unusual; the heart-shaped torso had comparatively small waist, large hips and a tummy.
They wore red kerchiefs, red tops and bold, floral-print skirts similar to those that appear in the cover picture on the Beloved Belindy book. Apron, collar and cuffs were usually trimmed with eyelet. Feet were solid red or a red print. Some had light print kerchiefs and wore sewn-on-earrings.
Most common were 15" and 18" sizes. A stamped marking on the head read, "Johnny Gruelle's Own Beloved Belindy/Georgene Novelties." Occasionally the mark appeared on the hips. Their current price is about $1,500.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Patterns, sewing and drawing

Yesterday I shipped out a Domestic Zoo pattern and need to draw out another to have on hand in case of another order. And, I have yet another type of pattern to draw for someone but also have an order for a doll from someone in Washington State.  Seems she wants a Beloved Belindy (for those of you who may not know, she was the best friend of Raggady Ann) and really wanted a vintage one but they are much more than she wanted to pay.  So thru a Google search she stumbled upon my web site where I have two versions shown

Since I'm a one-woman operation  and really don't do a lot of business as I only do two shows per year, I don't keep an inventory of everything but do like to show what I've done and then people can order.  Such is the case here.  So yesterday I started cutting out the pieces from the vintage pattern I have and need to start sewing later today.

This morning I did a search on e-bay and found two vintage Belindys to show you.  One was dressed and either lost some of the buttons on the shirt or this one was made with just the button at the top.  Also the one below has it's apron and pantaloons but skirt was missing.  This one is priced at $485 for the buy it now.

The other was without clothing and had even lost it's kerchief, the numerous pictures in the offering only showed the body and obviously that is what you will get for the buy it now price of $479.99.
So for sure the lady in Washington State should be pleased with the purchase of mine and she did ask that I beat it up a little so it shows a little age. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Avocado Dye Results

Ah, I've learned that it was on Alice's Folk Art Primitives Blog where I originally saw the avocado dying.  Guess I didn't go back far enough into the archives of the blogs I went looking in.  And, Alice told me she used vinegar as the mordant whereas I used alum which was in the google search I did.  Alice said hers turned out nicely.

There was still color in the pot after a long simmer with the alum, perhaps I should have done what Alice said she did ~ which was to let the wool soak overnight.  Well, I didn't, so after the water cooled the wool was rinsed and spun dry.

These are the results of the dye with avocado pit experiment.  The thinner strips of wool were white white and the other is the color of the wool under the dye experiment.

So you ask, would I ever do it again?  Well, maybe; but I've got to start collecting avocado pts again and next time I'll do what Alice did.  And, next time maybe I'll try vinegar instead of alum.  I was looking for a flesh and flesh is what I got. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Avocado Pit Dyeing

I have been saving my avocado pits to try my hand at dying using natural products. I cannot remember on which Blog I read about someone success and the flesh color was really nice so thought I'd try it.  Try tho I may, I have not stumbled upon the person's blog so I could read how she did hers.  So I did a Google and found a link which I took notes on.

I'm using a half yard of the texture and just a strip of the white.  This is how it looks with some soaking and the other quarter yard not in the pot yet.

The pits have been soaking in water for approximately a week and daily I would bring the liquid to a boil and let it sit on the warm burner until the pot cooled. 
I put the pot on this morning about 8 a.m.  on a light simmer and put approx 5 or 6 cups of the liquid which has been soaking and intermittent boil and set on heat for maybe a week.  The link said that the mordant for avocado pit dying is alum.  So after the wool had been simmering for about an hour I put 1 teaspoon of alum in the pot. 

This might well be an exercise in futility afterall.  It is now after 11 a.m. and  the liquid is now cloudy and the wool only marginally pinkish.  I won't give up yet, and after I get a good start on a pattern I need to draw, I'll do some more Google search to see what else I can do to get the color to catch.  For sure I don't want to put vinegar or citric acid in there with the alum like a crazy scientist with an experiment gone bad.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Yesterday's Show

Sure glad the show is over.  It was damp, windy and chilly with temps not even quite touching 60 degrees ~ but, at least it didn't rain as it had the night before.  I did see sprinkles on my windshield as I was driving there at 6 a.m. to set up and hoped it would at least let me get my canopy up before a full fledged rain happened.  Luckily when I pulled into the show lot there was no rain and had none during the day.

The show was about $50 in sales down from last year and I heard the same scenario about low sales from the other vendors with whom I spoke.  Since the economy is poor and people concerned about jobs guess they are careful with the spending.

Much to my surprise no one purchased either the Candy Corn Cats or the Pumpkins on candlesticks. 

But did sell the cute hooked piece with the cat in a shoe which is a design of NotForgottenFarm, one of the witches and a few other items. 

Also sold a couple dolls and a few small odds and ends as people were buying the 'smalls' (as we call them), which are in the $10 to $15 range.   Thank goodness that was the last show for the year for me.