Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve

I plan to entertain myself this evening at home working on the current project ~ Cherries and Candy Stripe.  Still a way to go so it won't be done in 2014.
If you want to see the original antique from which this was adapted just scroll down to previous posts.  And, yesterday's post has a run down of the rugs I hooked through this past year.

Happy New Year to all my cyber pals and please be safe this evening.  I will welcome in the New Year behind closed eye lids.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Rugs in Review 2014

My but how time flies and will soon have to remember to write 2015 on checks instead of 2014.  Another year older and hard to believe almost 8 years has passed since the divorce.

Something that I like to do now is look back at the rugs I've hooked over the last year.  A few years ago I started keeping a list of the rugs completed during the year as it is fun to reflect back on them and memories associated with the time hooking. 

The first one finished in 2014 was an adaptation of a Harriet Powers quilt block which I named 500 Mile Betts.  I gifted it to my dear friend Evelyn Lawrence since she admired it so much and knew it would have a good home with her.
Next was Magdalena's Lollipop Bouquet and must say this one was on top of the list as one of the most fun.  It was fun trying to replicate Magdalena's colors while using up a lot of my left overs and with some cut wool for consistency in the neutral background and base.
Then was the project which wins 'greatest accomplishment' of several years of hooking..... that would be the completion of the damn Granny Geometric which had been started about 10 years earlier.  I'd pull it out, hook one block and back in the tote it would go for another year or 5.  Happy to say it is done and bound ~ again using up a lot of left over strips.
The Chicken Challenge was offered by Woolwrights Hooking Guild  and I jumped on the chance to get a free antique adaptation pattern.  This too was fun to make mine different from the original and have blotchy background.
When perusing Pinterest I found a wonderful rug hanging on the wall in a cabin.  I knew it appeared to have the age of a copywrite free rug but didn't know who owned it.  And some of the images were hard to decipher so guessed they were birds on the sides.  Once I learned who  owned the rug I wrote for permission to hook it, sell the patterns and received permission.  I named the pattern The Cat's Meow because as I had over dyed wool to give an aged look and as the rug came to be it was THE Cat's meow.
Next was Magdalena's Farm; building up quite number of Magdalena's rugs.  Soon I'll have as many as Evelyn Lawrence who did all the research and who has hooked all her rugs.
Then I wanted to have another antique adaptation pattern to offer for sale so hooked Pot of Flowers.  A picture with a flash and one without.  Makes a huge difference in the way they appear on the monitor.
After that I had two commission pieces to do which were rather large.  I listed them as something I hooked but they weren't mine to keep and received payment for my work.  The names of the patterns and client will remain anonomoyous.

Lucky to win a Duluth Pumpkin kit from generous Maria Barton of Star Rug company I hooked this next; thank you very much Maria.  Love those button eyes that came with.
Okay, so then wishing I owned some of those antique Jack-O-Lanterns I knew growing up, decided I needed to design my own Fall/Halloween pattern and came up with "Mache' Jack-O-Lanterns"
Always needing something else to have on my frame chose to hook Magdalena's Folk Art horse next.  Yup, those Magdalena rugs are mounting up here Evelyn.
OOPS, while going thru my photos realized I hadn't put Ali Katz on my 2014 list (it's there now tho).  Guess that is because still some defining lines need to put in around parts of some of the cats.  But it was hooked and bound in this year.  I have already sold one pattern and can't wait to see she chose to hook it and hope to get a picture.  I understand it won't be worked on until next spring/summer but am still looking forward to it.
Last year just before Christmas I saw what Maria was working on and that little Jolly drove me crazy.  Just had to have him so purchased it from Star Rug Company.  Yeah, did a change or two to make him my boy Jolly.  I love him Maria and he is sitting on my sofa table right now.
And recently last loops were pulled on Magdalena's Olde Ducks.  Even tho it hasn't been bound yet still consider it hooked in 2014.  Perhaps during the start up of 2015 and during the slow time of this remaining holiday the binding will get done.
EEK, I forgot to mention my 'detour' project of hooking arm chair covers for my computer chair.  It wasn't a big project but was hooking nonetheless.
Now all that remains of my hooking in 2014 is Cherries and Candy Stripe which I will show you tomorrow with a bit more of an update.

Have a great evening everyone and may all your loops be perfect.


Monday, December 29, 2014

Antique Rugs

I went antique dealer looking today (on-line) and found some new to me antique rugs.  Well, who knows, maybe I've seen or even posted them on my blog before but they grabbed my attention again.  Don't think I've posted this one tho.  I was intrigued by the colors, the scrolls and that background.  Scrolls intrigue me but was intimidated to hook them. 
Here is an antique Frost Sheep with scrolls which I wanted to hook even with the intimidation.
Then finally biting the bullet hooked this E.S. Frost Sheep rug on this pattern page.. just scroll down.

And those who like mother hens and chicks thought this was cute.
The one below is probably not an antique.  But it is winter after all, I love it, love the colors and the folky look.  If anyone knows who hooked it, who designed it, etc, I'd LOVE to know.
This has been posted before but I still love it.
And found this folk art dog today and I love it.  Strange thing is that with my Rottie Memorial (in #3 cut) and my sweet Shadow Memorial in #8 cut, both which were realistic looking, this dear folk art dog says it all.  He was LOVED!
As I'm typing that realize this is a great future blog post and you just may see this beautiful folk art dog again.

My homemade vegetable soup is done, salad made and time to get of'n this machine, eat, and get back to hooking.

Have a great evening .


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Project Update

Today I've felt like a slug sitting and hooking while watching and enjoying shows recorded on my DVR.  Okay, yesterday I worked outside and was exhausted so deserve today.

This is my update on the antique adaptation "Cherries and Candy Stripe" and I'm really having fun with it.  Not only am I using some of my left over strips (and yeah making more I'm sure) but getting those old looking dirty colors in there to give it age is somewhat of a challenge but also FUN!!!!!
In the original antique (pic in a previous blog post) there was a gold stripe along the border in places but I've chosen to use beige....actually an over dyed wool to replicate dirty wool.

If you double click on the picture you will see dotted lines on the linen.  That is what I've put on my design to know where the off-colored wool goes to give it the antique look in the background for that blotchy look I so love.

This is such a fun and relaxing journey for me and hope you are enjoying it during this calm and peaceful holiday season.  Also wish each of my internet friends a happy and healthy new year as that is coming up next.  Oh my.... already?


Friday, December 26, 2014


Detour hooking project is over, Christmas day was yesterday and now my journey can continue on my antique adaptation of "Cherries and Candy Stripe".  For those of you just checking out my blog this is the antique rug my project was inspired by.  The original antique was 30" x 75" but I wanted something smaller for my harvest table.  My design measures 14 x 35 for my table.
This is what I've accomplished so far.  I chose to use a tan against the light stripes rather than goldish as the original hooker.  But remember the other hooker used what she had. 
Yes, I did all the pre-finish work and even sewed on a stripe cotton binding since it will be on the table and not on the floor.  Besides, I know exactly this is the size I want and finishing will be a lot easier having done this in advance.  That said, IF I was working on a pattern and thought maybe I'd make the border wider I'd have waited to finish at the very last.

I adore antique rugs and it is SO MUCH FUN trying to replicate the antique look using what is in my stash.  Sometimes I don't get close but do keep trying as I love antique rugs and think about the women who came before me who hooked them.

Check back on my progress.  Even tho this is a small piece I'm not sure it will be completed in 2014 since weather tomorrow is good and yard work needs to be done. 

Hope you had a very Merry Christmas with family, friends and furry friends.  Ben is laying by my side snoring with a full belly from goodies and play with his new toys.  This is my exhausted adopted Rottweiler.  He was 3 years 7 months old when adopted.  Please consider adoption.  I've a good, loving, friendly and loyal dog.
Have a great evening everyone.  I'm hoping to get yard work done tomorrow before colder weather comes in BUT plan to hook on my new project so it can be logged into the finished projects of 2014.  Stay tuned.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Wishing a very....... all my on-line blog friends.

Hope all your wishes come true and that you get to relax and hook a bit during the down time after the BIG time of tomorrow's celebration with children, family and friends.

Proud grandma that I am must boast about my 11 year old grandson.  On Sunday he had the lead in his church play which had a Christian message.  Zach memorized his lines, some of which were long, but he had emotion in his words, not monotone like he was reading it off a page.

Naturally grandma took numerous photos but we were in the back of the church since the place was packed before my dear DIL got there to save seats.  Therefore these pics are at a distance and blurry.  Zach is the one in the white shirt.  Yeah, I know he has long hair in this photo.  For years Zach has had either a buzz cut, flat top or normal combed hair. 
And, BTW, Zach is on the honor roll, is only 11 but reading grade 7 level and excels in math.  So his mom and I agree that as long as he walks the straight and narrow with community, school and church he can have long hair for a while.  In case you think he is big for his age..... he is.  His dad is 6' 1" and his mom (my daughter-in-love) is at least 5' 11" so his destiny is to be taller than both I think.

Sorry, I try not to do the gushing grandma thing often but this kid is just awesome and on this Christmas Eve just wanted to share.  Lucky I didn't post all the rest of the photos I took.... just sayin'.

Merry Christmas to all of you.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Hooking Project Detour

Over a week ago I showed you an antique rug that I wanted to hook in a small size for my harvest table.  Everything was ready to go except there was that second thing which was bothering me (the first was the mama duck's beak).

See that worn arm rest?  That is what has been bugging me each time I sit at the computer.  So decided to hook arm rest covers to coordinate with the chair pad I'd hooked a few years earlier.
So, being thrifty (cheap), decided to use up some of my left over linen foundation which I refuse to throw away.  Many times I've used these awkward pieces to hook flower pins, mug rugs, small swap pieces, etc.

To make the pattern I put a piece of paper around the arm rest, pressed it with my hands to get the shape.  Then I drew it out on the long skinny piece of backing.
I knew it wouldn't fit on my Snapdragon frame so pulled out my smaller 'sit-upon' frame.  See, each of my frames has a job and comes in handy.
Oops, it is still too small to fit on this one and hook comfortably so sewed my cotton fabric around the perimeter in order not to fight with the foundation.  That fabric has been used over and over again as the stitch is the longest and easy to pull apart to use again.
The hooking was complete and the edges finished off so the foundation wouldn't ravel.  While hooking considered a couple different ways to finish them ~ maybe make it so that elastic could be inserted and fit over the arm rest.  Decided against that and decided to hand sew each on since there wouldn't be any need to remove them.
Oh, and since I only wanted hooking on top made sure the hooking would curve far enough over the top of the padded part and then used acrylic black paint for under the arm rest.
This is the underside of the arm rest.  I was hoping there would be a plate which screwed into the padded top part so that the unhooked foundation would be hidden between the bottom plate and top.  Nope, so onto plan 2 ~ hand sewing the piece on.
Since it would be an awkward position to sew and with my arthritic knuckles knew it would be painful so pulled out my trusty curved needle.  If you don't own one or two of these do yourself a favor and buy some the next time you go to a place which sells sewing supplies, they come in a couple different sizes.
The first cover is pinned in place and chair ready to be turned on its side for me to sew in place.
The underside isn't so pretty gathered up like that but it works.  And the painted underside was a good idea too even tho the linen probably wouldn't have shown up in normal view.
Another picture of the sewing as I go around the arm rest.
And here it is all done.  You can't see the paint, can't see the underside and mama is happy ~ so glad that I took the time to do this.  It didn't take long and it was a detour from what was planned but all done now.
Have a great evening everyone.  Good grief..... tomorrow is Christmas eve.  Where has this last whole year gone?   Please be kind to one another. 

Monday, December 22, 2014


Was all prepared to start my next project but hooking took a right hand turn.  There were two items which needed attention first and if they weren't taken care of it would bug the heck out of me.  One was working on the Olde Ducks.

Here is what the Mama duck's beak looked like before.
And here is what it looks like now after trying to corn row a thin piece of darker between the beak and the light.
I'd thought about using a thicker piece of wool, even red but wanted to try and maintain the Magdalena look.  Hey, who knows what might happen with mama duck before it is bound; there might be yet another transformation.

My other project which bugged me was my computer chair.  About 3 years ago I hooked this chair pad (an antique adaptation) for my computer chair.  The chair was otherwise boring and wanted something a little more welcoming. 
 Since that time the arm rests have gotten very worn, as you can see by this picture.  Every time I go to the computer I see it wearing and tearing more each day and it was bugging me.
So, my friends, that situation has been remedied and I'll post all about it on my next post.  Stay tuned.
Have a great evening and please be kind to one another.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Olde Ducks and Chow Mein

Quite a contrast of topics, eh?  Well the last loop of Olde Ducks was pulled today ......maybe.  Although I try to stay kinda true to Magdalena's colors in her rugs (using what is in my stash) sometimes I need to make changes to suit me.  This might occur with this rug.  Here is a picture with a flash.
Here is a picture without a flash and it looks somewhat better in this photo.  The area of concern is around the mother duck's beak. 
If you look at the two pictures of Magdalena's original rug you will see there was a lot of light wool around the beak.  At first I did hook darker wool between the beak and chest of the duck but pulled it out to stay truer to Magdalena.  Now I'm second guessing my decision.  I'll look at it again tomorrow and decide later.
Now, to the yummy Chow Mein lunch.  Going to the trouble to make a meal pays off in the long run as I've now lunches or dinners to pop in the microwave for a couple days. 

Before even chopping the onions and celery I started my brown rice since it takes 45 minutes for that to cook.  Could have had Chow Mein noodles but figured brown rice was a healthier choice.  Here is the recipe:

3 cups sliced onions
1 1/2 cups sliced celery
1/2 cup butter (I used less of olive oil)
   SIMMER 10 minutes
1 1/4 cups chicken broth (I used frozen turkey broth from Thanksgiving)
Can of Bean Sprouts (fresh is better and what I used)
1 small can bamboo shoots (drained)
1 small can mushroom pieces (I used fresh)
    SIMMER 5 minutes
You can add left over chicken, pork, turkey, etc.  I added left over turkey from Thanksgiving which I'd frozen. 

2/3 cups chicken broth
4 TBS. corn starch
4 tsp. Soy Sauce (I used lower sodium)
2 tsp. sugar (I used 1 pk Sweet and Low)

If it gets a little thick then just add a little water to make measurements come out to your desired palate.

After cooking it I was too hungry to take a picture of my plate so just chowed it down.  However, before scooping the delicious leftovers into a container this is a picture taken in my electric wok.  Oh, this is a great gift to yourself or someone else.  I love my electric wok.  No, I don't sell them but if you still have gifts to buy it might be a good choice along with a recipe book. 
Tomorrow I'll add a little more turkey since there was some left over but it started getting too thick and I was hungry THEN.  Tomorrow I'll add a little moisture when the turkey is mixed in.

Have a great evening everyone.