Saturday, August 30, 2014

Rug Hooking Magazine

Oh my but what a great issue Rug Hooking Magazine this is.  It is chock full of eye candy.  One day I'd like to do an adaptation of an artists work but not sure yet who I'll do and continually search for the one that special one that speaks to me.
September/October 2014 Issue
While the artists' adaptations were wonderful, this rug on 'human form' made me awestruck and had to stare at the simplicity and beauty of this piece below.  (Sorry for the glare on the page).  It is entitled "The Golden Earring" designed and hooked by Gloria Reynolds of Hinesburg, VT. 

There were a few other great hooked body form rugs in this issue and this one is done by someone I know, Nancy Lee Ross of Hinesburg, VT also.
I first met Nancy Lee when she lived in Maryland and she and I were in our first camp in Ocean City, MD.  I remember that she had been lucky enough to be given all the hooking equipment by an elder man whose wife had been a hooker. 

My friend and I were shocked that Nancy Lee picked up hooking so fast as that was her first learning experience and all her loops looked like they'd been steam pressed after she pulled the loops.  Nancy now lives in Vermont and still pulling those nice loops.

If you don't subscribe to the magazine you might want to check out the issue next time you are at Barnes and Noble or perhaps subscribe on line.

Have a fun filled and safe Labor Day.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Still on the Drawing Table

A couple posts ago I showed you this silk painting I did while on vacation in 1998 (geez how time flies).  It resides on the wall in a section of my bathroom where the shower is.  Ever since then I've wanted to hook a rug like it for in front of my shower.  Finally it might come to fruition.
The area could accommodate a 24 x 36 rug but when I enlarged the design incrementally, it was 24 x 24.  So I cut out a piece of linen that could accommodate a pattern of 24 x 34 and thought I'd add length to it and expand it somehow.  This is how it started and you can see all the open background space on the two sides.  Sorry the wiggles happen when I take pictures of linen foundation and don't know why.  But if you double click on the pictures they enlarge and better to view.
In pondering what to do with the open space had considered putting in an extra cat or two but think it has plenty of busy going on with cats as it is.  So thought of a border on the two ends.  I could do alternate color stripes down each side (picture below).  BTW, that is thin landscape fabric I'm using and it is thinner than red dot which means it doesn't require drawing twice ~ once on the fabric and then again on the linen because it didn't show up clearly.  I purchased mine at Lowes and if you click on the link above that is what it looks like but mine didn't cost that and perhaps it was a smaller quantity.  But even so mine will last me years.
Or I could do rectangular shapes which appears in the some of the cats.
Or another idea is to do the zig zag border on the two ends.  I got a little carried away with drawing lines so tried to paint over them so as not to confuse you.  Not sure it did any good tho.
I wouldn't have a border on top or bottom but would extend one row of the same color which ended on the inside top and bottom, if you know what I mean. 

For the time being I'll leave it blank and see if I come up with any better ideas and perhaps even wait until Cape May to see if Ali has any suggestions and see what my roomie thinks.  Deb is very creative so perhaps she'll give me a little input as well.

Have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Rottweiler named Ben

My handsome Ben had his annual physical yesterday afternoon and he is in perfect health for a 6 year old big dog.  He had all his shots, free of heart worms according to the test (thank GOD) and purchased more Heartguard for my boy's continued health for the next year.  This is a photo from November 2011 while working in the front yard and pre-playground.
This was the first of three visits I made to meet Ben.  I wanted to be sure about him before bringing him to my home since I'd had a disastrous short adoption of Bella previously.  When I pulled up he was tethered to a tree so he wouldn't run off before my arrival.  When I got out of the car I said, "Hi Ben, I know you but you don't know me yet".  The owner let him loose, I petted him and gave the sit command.  Here he is looking very sheepishly which I've since realized is an affectionate look.  Even now he will drop those ears peer into my eyes and slowly and longingly lick his lips.
Here he is in November 2011 before he had a fenced in playground and I wanted him with me while I did yard work.  Look at that handsome boy.
When I adopted Ben he weighed about 120 and when I took him in for his first wellness exam (right after adoption) the vet suggested I get his weight down to about 100.  Ben didn't look over weight and was handsome even then.  Last visit to the vet he weighed 103 and I was quite pleased with that as was the vet.  Yesterday the scales were at 99.6.  Here is a photo of my handsome dude relaxing in his playground.
This was Ben's favorite toy which had 3 different sounds when the noise box was squeezed.  Ben would twist his head from side to side each time the tone changed.  It was his favorite until he killed it.  Once the sounds stopped he lost interest.  I looked everywhere for one just like it but not to be found.
WHAT?  Yes, I do feed my boy well, and yes he does get treats in his Kongs and for good boy deeds and also monitor his intake of calories.  I was concerned he was under 100 pounds but the vet said he was a healthy active Rottie in summer and to keep on doing what I was doing.

When I make a salad Ben will hear me washing the Romaine lettuce and will com running into the kitchen grab his goodies.  He also likes the bottom hard part of celery, the cut off ends of zuchinni, cukes, broccoli, and of course carrots and sweet potatoes.  They are all healty for dogs.  But please remember that the following foods are NOT good for dogs:  onions, chocolate, raisins, grapes, banana peels, and when in doubt do  a search to find out if it is good or bad.

Sorry to bore those of you who are not dog people, but I just had to gloat about my sweet boy Ben.  I got very lucky with him and I think he with me too.  You CAN get a good dog thru pet adoption.  And you CAN get a sociable dog who likes people and other pets even if they are considered a dangerous breed.  I believe the majority of problem dogs come from not getting socialized properly, abuse (mistrust issues), and training or lack of. 

Have a great evening.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Will I be Ready in Time?

Just look at the mess in my wool room.  There's so much going on in there and if I don't have enough of my own 'stuff' going on most of yesterday was spent designing and redesigning a pattern for someone else.  Well, thankfully around 3 p.m. it was decided and drawn.  Now I can deal with my own stuff.

There's wool on the floor, containers with wool still left from the rug camp with Barb in May (yup, May, 3 months later), patterns draped across the back of chair while I was deciding what to hook at Cape May (less than 3 weeks away).
Notice on the photo below there's even more wool plopped wherever it landed that is being used in the commission I'm still working on.  But at least I've started drawing out something for ME to hook at Cape May.  You can see the empty linen on the drawing table.  I've enlarged the design, cut and serged my linen and now need to draw it out.
I've dubbed this design as "Ali Katz".  Get it?  Since my teacher in Cape May is Ali Strebel thought it might be a CATcy name. 
Have a great afternoon everyone. 


Monday, August 25, 2014

A Potential Pattern for Cape May

Ahhh, I think I've found the inspiration for a rug to play with at Cape May in Ali's class.  Way before I was bitten by the hooking bug I was into other crafts, lots of crafts. 

While on vacation at a Club Med took some silk painting classes while my ex was scuba diving.  This is one of the items I painted and it is hanging just outside my shower.  It makes me smile, not because it reminds me of my ex but for the colors and thoughts of happier times.  Those happier times would be the sense of calm... a clueless (dumb and happy) sort of existence.  Anyway, I do like this picture and would like to hook a companion rug for in front of my shower.
Normally I don't do bright colors but think it would be perfect in a class with Ali.  Finally I'd get my companion rug done and in a great venue.  A few years ago I even started collecting fleece just in case I did decide to hook the rug and figured that in front of the shower the fleece would be better than wool.

Oh, my, the visit to my attic to take the picture of the pile of fleece ruined my morning because the attic needs to be purged.  Anyway, continuing......I'm definitely missing a lot of bright colors so would need to purchase more fleece if I go with that fabric. 
Now I've got to decide about textile to use to hook this rug and wonder if any of you have input.  I dry myself off inside the shower and always put a towel down on the floor in front anyway.  So really the rug wouldn't get real wet, and I don't have any boys living here (if you get my drift) so the rug would only get minor damp bottom of feet from exiting the shower.

Have any of you hooked a rug for in front of your shower or tub and if so did you use wool, tee shirts, fleece and do you have any recommendations?  I would use linen as the foundation but also have rug warp if you would recommend that.  However, I'm thinking linen would be better so my concern now is what to use to hook with or work with on the rug.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Just Three Weeks Away

......before Rugs by The Sea in Cape May, NJ and I don't know what I'm going to hook.  Not that I don't have plenty of patterns in my stash that I've purchased, but also some I designed.

If you were a reader last year then you know how stressed I was hooking my departed Shadow girl.  Not this year baby, this year will be less stress and more fun.  This is shadow hooked in #8 strips.
There's always my favorite antique adaptations but I'm quite comfortable hooking those home by myself.  Here are some of the patterns that I've purchased from Woolley Fox and I've been wanting to hook and it would be so easy just to take one or two of these and hook away to my heart's content. 

This is a design called "Have you Any Wool" a design of Carol Endress from Woolley Fox and love how my gal pal Deb hooked hers.
Hannah's Hen has been patiently sitting on the side lines waiting for loops too, also from WF. This one that Barb hooked has a wonderful background that looks old.
Oh, and I've also Barb's Ned, a couple other sheep patterns, I've Rainbow Cabin, and a cat design, but have forgotten the name.  I also have a delightful pattern by Lucille Festa called Moon over Vermont that is calling my name too.
In my stash also is Karen Kahle's Catnip pattern, but again that is something that I could do at home and even between patterns.
 I drew out a rug based on a cute doll I made called "What's Its Name" by Kindred Spirits, here is the doll.  Oops, I chopped off her hair.  I even have more of that yarn left to use in my rug when and if I ever hook it.
And here is the rug design I drew based on the doll.
Another rug I designed is me and my two cousins.  We used to hang out together all summer long when we were kids.  This one I drew out about 9 years or so ago and stopped drawing because I got timid with the face and hands and decided I didn't want a realistic looking piece anyway ~ sorta more like what Deanne Fitzpatrick does with her people.  But I got cold feet, and gave up as I felt inadequate to hook it right.  Besides I'm not a fan of a narrow cut.
This is a close up of us three....Barbara, me, and Rachel.  The two girls are sisters and we still keep in touch, particularly me and Rachel.
The picture was taken in front of my grandfather's house, along his sidewalk.  The house behind us belonged to an elder woman who we, as silly kids, thought was a witch because she wore dark clothing all the time and we hardly ever saw her outside the house.  We would 'imagine' all kinds of evil and mysterious things were going on in the house and when we did hear or see the door open we would scramble.  Oh silly girls we were.  The house has been long gone as is now my grandfather's house.

I am quite sure that I will receive an e-mail from a friend (you know who you are Lynne), prodding me to finish drawing this rug and to hook it.

Anyway, in order to fully take advantage of Ali Strebel's art and creative mind I am also thinking of drawing out a 'paisley' design so that I might try something other than just plain hooking.  I know that my gal pal Deb will come out of her class with a most wonderful and colorful piece as she will use every technique known and demonstrated by Ali.  I've a wonderfully creative friend.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Simply Vintage Quilts and Crafts

This is a new (to me) publication which I was gifted from a very generous friend.  It is a French magazine similar to our American Primitive Quilts and Projects except it is thicker......and tad more costly probably because it is a French magazine.

It is such a wonderful magazine that I just had to share it with my quilting, stitchery and hooking friends.  Here is the cover.  See that cute Quilt hanger to the top left?  The instructions are inside.
America's own Polly Minick even has a rug design inside.  And a wonderful and colorful piece it is.  She done us proud, right?
And the below applique stitchery is so cute that I'd like to live in a house just like it.  If only I could hook a piece to look that cute yet delicate.  Almost wants me to start stitchery again.

This is the cool mini quilt hanger pattern made out of a wire hanger (are they still around?) and with a little cardboard, glue and paint you've got an inexpensive primitive mini quilt hanger.
Love this woolen bluebird pincushion for not only the primitive design but the colors.  I'm thinking of making one and having a make do in something or on something....hmmm.

In this issue the photographers even visited several counties in Ohio, so as I was perusing the magazine wondered where those places were that Lauren visited.  It mentions Walnut Creek Hotel, Lehmans, Kidron, Picket Fence Country shop, One Vintage Lane and more.

Lemme tell you that if I had a granddaughter I'd be making her this pillow.  Actually I think it is cute as the dickens and would use her as an excuse to make it and keep it here for her.  Look at the car and the camper...too cute.  Hey..... hooked piece?
This dresser scarf could easily be made into a cool rug hooking design and I liked the colors but the ruffle, which I like, might be a problem for me to figure out (maybe) in a hooked piece.
Well what a cool bag and needle punch!  The needle punch could easily be adapted into a primitive hooked mat too.
 The very last pages show credits as well as the remainder of the full size pattern inserts.
And since I love this magazine so much if you'd be interested in checking out the possibility of subscribing or buying just one issue, here is the info.  Just click and enlarge the picture for the info or for an email click HERE.  And for the web site click HERE.

Have a great evening everyone and hope you enjoyed previewing the magazine.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rug Hooks Then and Now

These are old rug hooks that I purchased at a local antique store.  They were made with chiseled or bent nails and inserted into a crudely carved piece of wood for the hooker to hold.  When I did shows I carried these with me to show those who had an interest in the process of rug hooking.  Thought it would be nice for them to see the tools the women used back then.
 I also took this latch hook, which I have no idea how to use, because the response from most people when seeing me hooking is...."I used to do that when I was in college".  That is when lesson #1 started ~ by explaining what I was doing was TRADITIONAL rug hooking not latch hook.
Below is the basic hook I first learned to hook with.  The hook is small but it would pull up a #8 strip just fine by holding the hook just right.  The price was right compared to the cost of today's hooks and it served the purpose well.
I had a friend who used a crochet hook and she was an experienced hooker and preferred to use that.  There are pencil hooks available with a more substantial grip on them but for the very new beginner, one could always buy a crochet hook and wrap duck take around the top for a better grip.  That would surely work until you discovered if you like the art/craft.  No way I could use a pencil hook as my old hands would eventually cramp up.
AH, my favorite hook of all is the Hartman hook, I love the ball in the palm of my hand, like the weight and the shank is thick so as to make a nice hole for the wide strips to pull thru the linen easily.  Yes they are costly, particularly for a newbie starting out at $35 plus shipping.  Or at least that is what I paid.  At first I purchased one (the bottom one on the left).  If you look closely you will see indentations.  When my girl Shadow was a pup she thought it was a toy and started chewing on it.  Thankfully the wood stayed intact and didn't splinter.  Immediately I went out too the garage, got myself a piece of very fine sandpaper, smoothed it down and oiled the wood.  It was then I decided to buy another ~ in case something should happen to the first I'd have another as a back up.  

But then I wanted to have a hook in each of the baskets where my different projects were started because goodness if I should go somewhere and not have my hook.  Yes, these are all mine.  The two to the right have an ergonomic thumb hold and as you can see is an elongated grip.  I thought it would be nice and good for my hands to have a change in grip.
And then I was at Cape May camp and my friend Cheri Reid was hooking fast and furious with a hook so of course I just had to have one too.  The one on the far left has a great flat surface and large hook for even a hand torn strip.  The others I purchased 'just because'.
Two other great tools to have are the gripper strip cleaner and loop lifter.  Ya know how when your loop needs to be adjusted and you put your hook in to fix it and the hook gets stuck?  Well the loop lifter works great.  I purchased the strip cleaner at a rug camp and I've had the loop lifter so many years can't remember where that was purchased so don't have a contact for either tool.  But the person from whom I purchased the loop lifter they also had gorgeous pencil type hooks in similar silver designs.
There is also a tool called the burling iron to help straighten out or lift your loops.  Yeah, I know, it doesn't look like an iron but that is its name.  And frankly, for the cost of this vs. just a plain pair of cheap tweezers, as a newbie I'd go for the tweezers.
Burling Iron for Rug Hooking
For you newbies just finding my blog, I've previously done tutorials on frames, foundation cloth as well.  All you need to do is go to the top left of my blog and type in what you are looking for in the search box.

Have a fantastic day and thanks for dropping by.  Comments are always welcome.  And if anyone has a topic which I haven't already covered (and you can't find on my blog) please feel free to write me and I'll see if I can help.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Newbie's First Loops

The experience of a newbies first loops could make or break the desire to continue learning to hook.  Actually when I was the newbie it was this newbie's first hooking nightmare as I learned to hook on my own. 

For over a year it was trial and error with only basic printed instructions from a Rug Hooking Magazine.  Yes, it was a little help and impetus for me to begin hooking but I had no human instruction.  And didn't know anyone (at that time) locally from whom I could learn to hook properly.  The nightmare continued until I discovered what I was doing wrong and almost considered not taking up this wonderful art/craft.

I'm demonstrating on a rug I'm presently hooking so ignore the top rows as it is the single "tail up" which is the focus.  So we know we start with the tail up.
The tail up and first loop were a piece of cake.  Here you can see first loop.
But then the fight began ~ I'd pull up the second loop and the first loop would drop down (aargh).
Then double work as I put my hook back in the first loop and lift it up and the second loop would drop a smidgen.  So I'd adjust that one and finally would have two level even loops.
That is until I pulled the third loop and the second would drop down.  Now, here is the reason why all the problems.  Notice how my hook is pulling the loop FORWARD (toward me) in the picture below?  I've exaggerated the angle to get my point because I didn't really pull my loop that much forward yet it was enough to let the back loop be vulnerable and loose enough to drop down. 
That is when the light bulb went off and realized I needed to press my hook and loop slightly backward and against the previous loop to apply enough pressure so it wouldn't fall down.  It is hard to see here because I've pulled the loop up slightly higher and backward against the loop.  But this simple action made my nightmare into an ongoing dreamy time hooking rugs.
Yes, it does require a slight downward adjustment to make the new loop even with the others pulled but it is far less trouble that the tug of war I had going on the other way.
Oh, and newbie Cheryl, thank you so much for your kind words from the earlier post.  I was going to respond to you that day but you have a 'No-REPLY' blogger problem.  If you'd like to learn how to fix that (something simple to fix) click HERE.  The information is toward the bottom of that post when you click.

Have a great evening everyone.