Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Wool Chronicles

Oh my.... I just got my wool order from Heavens to Betsy and I'm in love.  These are the wools I just washed ~ sorry it is showing up so dark, I am not great at photography or lighting.
Okay, starting from the top is the wool which was used in my rug started at Woolley Fox with Barb  Carroll.  While at the color planning table with her she explained her usage of wool with not only the wool I took but the little I purchased from her.  The top one was first purchased from Barb at camp and she said that when hooked it looks like antique rags and is a "must have" in the wool stash ~ obviously this girl bought some from Barb.  Then when arriving home and looking at Betsy's web site realized this was Betsy's "SMOKING JOE".  Well dont'cha know I ordered more from Betsy since Barb said it is a "must have".

The next photo is the rug I'm working on using Smoking Joe and you can see that piece of wool just inside around the border of the rug to the far right and a larger section below the tree on the far right.  It also extends toward the left in the ground and will continue across the bottom and all around.
In the washed wool stack, the middle darker wool is absolutely more beautiful in person than is depicted here or on Betsy's web site but Betsy's web site will give you a better picture of it.  This wool is a wonderful teal but then has some light and spark in it as well.  Lovely wool and am sure I'll use it in lots of rugs because I remember Kris Miller saying that "teal is the new purple".  (Shsssssh, don't say that loud enough for Barb to hear).

Then finally at the bottom is Goose Feathers, also from Betsy's site.  I fell in love with that wool and Shari told me that she bought a piece from Barb to put in her rug but I'm not sure where Shari used it.  All I can say is that it is one fantastic texture and washes up a smidgen darker than the photo on Betsy's web site.

And, ya see the little strip just under my lion?  See the lighter areas in the two trees to the right?  That same wool will also appear in the green areas in the trees to the left.  That is wool that I took to Barbs and was found at an outside community sale; actually I was given my share of a piece of wool by my friend Deb who was kind enough to share it.
So, when Barb was going thru my wool she went bonkers over this piece of wool and wanted me to give her some.  Uh, well, I didn't have much but had an idea in my  mind.  So again, going into the brain of Barb's rug planning she said that she saw this piece of wool as either a very dirty and used wash rag or an old school boy's school britches which had been worn to rags.

I thoroughly enjoy Barb's explaining how she sees wool in rugs to make them look old.  So hearing this about this Scottish wool and the "Smokey Joe" makes you know what needs to be in your stash.

Now, don't go and get your hopes up as I'm not sure this is going to happen.   BUT...when I came home from Woolley Fox I sent Betsy a sample of the Scottish wool ~ enough for her to see the repeat.  Betsy and Erica do a great job on anticipating the needs of the teachers and hookers so don't know where down the line this milling process may or may not take place, OR..... if it ever will.  But can tell you that I will guard what is left of this piece of wool with my life.

Hope you enjoyed the wool chronicles and maybe there will be future posts about wools and how they are used.

Thanks for visiting.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rug on the Frame

This is the rug I started at Woolley Fox with the magnificently talented Barb Carroll. Since coming home there's not been a whole lot more hooked on it since life has a way of interrupting, but frankly I'd rather just be hooking.  Anyway, this is how my present rug on the frame looks now.  As previously mentioned It is an adaptation of a yarn sewn and chenille sheered rug made in 1840 with a braided edge.
I've got a couple other projects which have been started that need my attention to but want to keep working on this rug.  And I also have a show in July which means that more dolls need to be finished, yet again I want to keep hooking on this rug.

I've just written to my other gal pals asking that they send me the pictures they took at camp as well as an update on their rugs so hopefully I'll be able to post more of our journey at this year's camp at Barb's.  So stay tuned to see what is posted next.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tour of Guest House at Woolley Fox

This is the Guest House which my roomie Deb and I stayed in for classes with Barb 2009 and 2010.  This is us in front of the entrance.
And just outside the guest house is a delightfully moss crusted mushroom.

This a little smaller than the Woolley Cottage but still has the gas fireplace and same kitchen amenities except for no dishwasher.  And in the kitchen there is a tea cozy covering the kettle and just love that toy pig and rider.

The Three Bears rug hanging is an antique and the windows look out to a balcony of a delightful wooded area and fish pond ~ delightful scenery as you hook out there.

Here is the rug up closer.
I just loved this Jester sitting on the shelf along with lots of reading materials and radio/CD/tape player for entertainment.  The sideways bandit has hit sorry. 

The bedroom had a double bed in it when Deb and I stayed here, so she slept in this room and I slept in the living room on the sofa bed.  However, this year there are two single beds in this room which would make for much better accommodations.  Isn't the Boston Baked Beans rug wonderful?

This is a proddy sheep which hangs in the bedroom.

And this cute picture of a pig on a cleaver hangs high above the steps as you get to the living quarters above their shipping room.

I thought I had lots more pictures of the inside of the guest house, but this tour is seeming a little skimpy to me.  Thought for sure I had a picture from the balcony.  So next year I'll have to invite myself over to the other gals' place and take those pictures.   And must say that I have numerous wonderful pictures of inside Barb's home but I am going to respect her privacy and personal space and not show those.  

Thanks for visitng.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Woolley Fox mini-Tour

For those of you who have not had the opportunity to visit Woolley Fox, come with me as I show you around Woolley Cottage and the Guest House.  I have had the joy of residing in both buildings and each has it's own special personality.  And as I'm going thru the numerous photos taken of both places guess I should do one cabin at a time.  So I'll do the Woolley Cottage first and that is where my very first stay was 5 years ago and where I stayed the last two years

As you climb the curved steps up to the Cottage this is the welcoming site greeting us.  Just look at the patina and moss growing on the cement bird bath and the fern growing between the deck planks.  My intentions are to hook this one day.....maybe.  And immediate to the left of it is the bird house which is occupied this spring by a nesting Bluebird.
To the right of the birdbath you would walk to a back deck which is completely covered by a large canopy and quaint art work to make the back porch homey and comfortable.  You could see the rattan furniture in yesterday's blog albeit a little dark.  Love this chicken.
And along this same wall are these cute bird houses; both these items and a rattan sofa are backed up against the kitchen's exterior wall.
And then as we go inside we would enter the kitchen first.  Immediately to the right along the wall is this cute display, something about those colors !!!!!  DANG IT!!!!!!!!  I hate when I take a picture with my camera turned and even tho I do the rotate thing on my Paint program it comes out like this.  But guess you can get the idea.  
To the right coming in would be the sink, microwave, dishwasher, etc.  Even the window sill in the kitchen is adorned with cuteness ~ this overlooks the deck and we have seen deer moving about on the hill and wooded area from that location.
The refrigerator would be behind me as I take this picture.  As we leave the kitchen the cozy living area would be to the right of the kitchen door.  The first year staying in the Cottage it was in November and this propane log fireplace was cozy and kept us warm.  The small TV was not there, we brought it down from the closet but discovered it didn't work anyway ~ sorry that it destroys the ambiance of the scene
The mantel above the fireplace was changed around this year and this is what it looks like now.  Check out that sheep with the scarf. 
 Here is a closer look at the sheep with a scarf.  Oh, and there is beauty and antiques galore; see the antique quilt hanging over the door which leads to the kitchen and to the deck to the left.
In that room is a hutch, a dining table, 3 love seats (one of which opens into a bed) and this ornate cabinet with the gorgeous hooked fox rug.  Oh no, not again...... one of the love seats you can see to the left in the picture.
To the right of this cabinet you would enter the two bedroom and bath.  But before that you would see this 'bear sentry'.  What you can't see because it is hidden behind the quilt in this photo, is a chain which is an obvious sign that we are not allowed upstairs.  And, the door upstairs has a lock on it.  Uh huh.....can you guess what is in there?  Wool, wool and more wool storage.

Needless to say it was fun for us to make up stories ~ and these were made up by us and not fact ~  We didn't dare even to climb those stairs to the top because we imagined the Sentry had a hidden camera in the eye and would give the truth about who disobeyed the obvious rule of the cottage....'do not enter'.  And we continued to make up elaborate stories that first night.
Further up the steps hangs this beautifully hooked rug.  Hey, I stood on a chair, to capture this somewhat blurry photo ~ nope, I did not climb the stairs.
Below the stair case is this cute ensemble.  Santa is sitting in a child's rocker.
 And to the right of it is this hand made horse, which I love.
Here is another view of the ensemble.
So heading toward the bathroom this closet had it's door removed and provides a soft light for us as we awake in the middle of the night to guide our way to the rest room.  If standing and looking at the Ark the bathroom would be to your immediate right.  If I were to turn around and put my back toward the Ark, Char's room would be the one on the left and Deb and I sleep in single beds in the bedroom to the right.  
I am sure that I have photos of the rooms but they would be in my archive photos and once I publish the blog will go in search of them.  But for now will post the picture of a rug which Barb hooked with Emma Lou Lais and it hangs on the wall in Char's room.
Well kiddies.  I hope there aren't so many pictures that some or most end up with the dreaded red X.  Hope you enjoyed the tour.  Tomorrow I'll post pictures of the Guest House which is a smidgen closer to Barb's home than the Cottage.

Thanks for visiting.



As you are enjoying your BBQ today and fun with family and friends, please remember to thank the brave veterans who serve to protect our nation's liberties and freedom. 

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and was a day to honor those fallen service men and women ~ those brave veterans that made the ultimate sacrifice.
May you all have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day.

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Woolley Fox Workshop

Back home from a wonderful few days at a workshop with my gal pals and the delightful Barb Carroll.  Having fun is very exhausting and still feel a little sleep deprived.  We stayed up too late, laughed a lot and didn't want the days to end.

Needless to say, Deb and I were honored that Barb thought enough of our last year's gifts to her that they hang in her classroom.  Backing up to last a pick-her-up gift, a bunch of us hookers got together and purchased dozens of rubber duckies for her to float in her fish pond and let her know we were rallying around her in support.  When we arrived at Woolley Fox they were floating proudly.  But before arriving, Deb and I had the bright idea to make her a small mat with a rubber ducky to commemorate that event and to extend the comradeship.  We presented Barb with the mats, Char over dyed yellow rubber ducky socks for all of us (including Barb) and rubber ducky key chains.
This is a picture of Barb color planning my rug, one of my pals took this picture with my camera.  Barb knows each of her student's personalities and draws from that as well as the wool color palate that each of us brings to class to color plan the rug.  Sometimes she has an idea for the perfect extra piece of wool which will enhance the rug and will go in pursuit of that piece of wool in her wool room.  How the heck she knows her wool locations in all the mountains of wool is beyond me.  I'd have to search for hours in my room but she goes right to it.
Just took a picture of my rug after hooking some on it upon returning home from camp.  Since I've had lots to catch up on (unpacking, laundry, drawing out two more Domestic Zoo patterns, and various other chores) there wasn't too much added since getting back.  It is an adaptation of a yarn sewn and chenille sheered rug made in 1840 with a braided edge.
Here are two of my gal pals; Char is to the left and Mary to the right; both are deep in concentration on their rugs for color and loop placement.  Mary is hooking a very colorful fish for her bathroom and Char is hooking the ends of logs.  Logs you say?  Yes, she's very creative.  Char and her husband have a vacation cabin in the Adirondacks and thinks it would be beautiful in the cabin with her other designs.  For her cabin get-away she has made two proddy bear rugs ~ a momma and a baby bear rug; she has also hooked a beautiful green rug of moss, and a rug which she named "Full Beaver Moon" ~ all of which embody nature and earth ~ perfect for the mountain get-away. 
Char has an intense focused look on her face as she is deciding the next color for the ends of the logs.  Funny story about that ~~ evidently Char carries her camera with her at all times not knowing what inspirational pictures she might encounter for future rugs.  So her husband is driving along and Char spies a truck carrying a huge load of logs.  Char tells him to hurry and get behind the truck and encourages him to get as close as she can for a good picture.  She got a dang good picture which she brought to class.
In the background is my other gal pal Deb.  And she must be getting ready for her turn with Barb as she pulls her rug off the frame.... I think she has a little candy nourishment in her mouth ~ sitting and hooking is hard work ya know and we need nourishment.  Deb's pattern is a Woolley Fox design but the name escapes me right now, this is a picture of her rug in progress.
Perhaps I've shown you a picture in an earlier post, but thought I'd show you Char's Full Beaver Moon rug.  Well, don't you know that it wouldn't go in right side up so you'll have to lay on your side to see it.....sorry.
Here is a picture of Mary's fish, which is her design.  So you can see that while Barb might most enjoy the journey of hooking and color planning old looking rugs, she is quite comfortable using brighter colors as well.
This is my other friend Shari as she takes her turn with Barb in the planning stage.  Look at the mounds and mounds of wool.
Shari's rug is her adaptation of a rug which was hooked and dated 1871.  Barb was very excited to see it in progress, liked Shari's take on the antique and it will eventually be on Barb's web site for sale; Shari was proud to have been asked.
Here is a picture of Deb and Char as we three sat on the back porch of the Woolley Cottage in the afternoon hooking after class.  Sorry for the poor picture even with a flash you can barely see the gals.  It was quite cozy there and could see the bluebirds entering a nearby bird house.
Tomorrow I'll post pictures of the Woolley Fox grounds and parts of inside the Woolley Cottage where we three stayed.  A good time was had by all.   If you ever have an opportunity to get in a class taught by Barb, please treat yourself, I promise you that it will be a wonderful learning experience as you go into the brain of Barb and as she explains her reasons for using certain wools.  Even tho this was my 5th class with her she still continues to teach us something new each and every time.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Frost Sheep Finally Hanging

The  E.S. Frost rug has been bound and ready for hanging for weeks but finally got around to putting it over the mantel of the fireplace today.  Guess the limited time has lit a fire under 'me bum' to finish some unfinished tasks before I leave for Barb's.  Tomorrow is the last day here to finish the other items on my 'to do' list.  I can see my edge is a little wavy and guess I must have been guilty of packing a little heavy in some areas.  But hey, this is my rug and not to be juried.  Besides, our foremother's rugs bring in hefty prices and they probably had wavy edges too.  So figure I'm in good company.

I'm hoping to find time or take time to post something tomorrow but this may be my last post until I return home from camp on the evening of the 24th.  Guess time will be the deciding factor in that.

Not to worry animal lovers, my beautiful boy Ben will be well taken care of when Bruce arrives to watch over the house and care for the Ben.  I like it much better when my pets can stay in their own surroundings during my absence.  GAWD, isn't he handsome?  Yes, he is strong but he is one gentle loving boy.

Want to tell you that I am in a frenzy.... a child waiting for Santa... it is almost time to go to Woolley Fox with my other gal pals.  We gals have been friends for years!  Three of us first met thru making dolls in a doll club in Maryland.  Then we met Char at Cape May at a rug camp and she fit right in our group.  So we are a band of hookers travelling together whenever we can.  Matter of fact, here we are at a Delaware  hooking gathering at my place in Delaware in 2011.

On the far left is me and dearly departed Shadow.  I just wish I had a picture of the five of us girls together which wouldn't get me crying.  I miss you Shadow. OMG, how can it be that it can be 10 months after she is gone and am still sobbing when I see her vibrant?

Okay, anyway, moving on....I'm planning on taking lots of pictures at Barbs so plan to entertain you when I return.  So the picture above is us gals who will be at Barbs.  ...... to be continued.........

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

In the Nick of Time

I've been known to be on a path and all of a sudden take a hard right hand turn.  And that is what I did about a week ago when I was happily hooking on the Seaside Swimsuit rug,  (this is how it looks right now).

So I'm hooking along and daydreaming about my upcoming class with Barb at Woolley Fox.  She has been so generous in posting my Domestic Zoo pattern on her Magdalena page that I thought it would be nice to do something nice for her.   Hmmm, but what and would I have time to get it finished in time?  Well, maybe if it were small enough I could.

Part of the daydreaming was visualizing entering the driveway and Woolley Fox sign which greets us and which is Barb's web site logo.  I dropped the swimsuit pattern like a hot potato and ran to pull some linen and sharpie to draw out a design.

Luckily I was able to finish it, get it bound and sew a tag on the back.  It has been rolled and wrapped with ribbon tie.  

All my wool that I'm planning to take to Barb's has been packed OH OH, except for the antique paisley that I might (or Barb might) want to put in my rug.  Hope I don't forget to pack it between the typing of this and when I go to the wool room next.

Lots of things to cross off my today's 'to do' list.  I have two packages to ship, one of this fox for Evelyn to hook it Magdalena style, and without the plaid of course, and to ship an order for a Domestic Zoo pattern.  So I'd better get moving.

Thanks for the visit and have a great day.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Original Artist Pieces I Own

There are several rug hooking artists whom I admire.  One such person is Tonya Robey of Mad Hen.  I am fortunate enough to have purchased some of her original pieces on e-bay ~ well, before being divorced from and when I had more cash flow.  I cannot remember which one I purchased first so will just post pictures of the ones I have in my collection and which are displayed at all times in my  humble home.  This one is in the computer room in front of a chair which has the same color blue.

This hooked heart pillow and foot stool was also offered on e-bay by Tonya and snapped that up too.  This is also in the computer room.  And, in case you are wondering, the hooked face bag holds some rug hooking equipment (hooks, gripper cleaner, sharpie pen, etc.  Since I make dolls the other side has a black face hooked on it and has a zipper closure.  I made two and sold one.

And this one was offered before Halloween one year and wanted a little something to put out for the occasion.

In the same room and to my right is a painting done by Tonya, after my ex left me, moved out, and the tension was no longer there, this painting spoke volumes to me.  Don't know if you can see the words or not, but it says, "Free to be Me".  The picture is hanging straight on my wall, I just didn't take a very good picture.

This is a cute piece which is on the school marm's desk in my kitchen and just may have been the first piece I purchased.

Seems to me that I recall Tonya saying the two crows piece was designed as a beginner kit for a class she was teaching.  Notice how she must have dyed the wool which is used to bind the piece as the colors blend in so nicely.

Was lucky to be able to get this one too, this piece resides in the office on top of a credenza, the office was my ex's office but is now mine.  And hanging on the wall is a design of Mad Hen's called Fat Dog, which I have shown you previously in another post at some point.

Almost forgot about this next one, this one is in the living room beside the love seat.  Dang, not only did the flash wash out the nice colors, but I see there is a piece of my wool on it.

Not only do I have these originals hooked by Tonya, but I was one of the lucky people who was given a design of hers to hook for one of her Inspirations, booklets.  Boy that was wonderful to be given her design for free, she provided the wool, I sent it back to be photographed for her book and she sent it back to me to keep.  Definitely a WIN WIN situation there for sure.  She didn't have any restrictions on color choices except she did say she wanted the dark for the sky.

Tonya presently has one of her originals on e-bay for sale and wish that I could afford to buy yet another original.  And guess it is foolish of me to advertise it to everyone who reads my blog because now it will surely be unaffordable for me to purchase it.  

OOPS, I am editing my post because while walking thru the house noticed one that I'd forgotten to  mention and show a picture of...... also got lucky buying this one on e-bay.  Love this rug a LOT.  

I have one of her kits still to hook (A Day in the Country) and with having the wool all ready don't know why I haven't pulled it out to hook it up ~ no muss, no fuss, but it is still waiting for me.  And, I still have several of her patterns on hairless linen to hook one day.  Too many rugs and not enough time.

Thanks for stopping by.