Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bits of Spring

While outside this afternoon I could see the new developments of spring all over.  My crocus and daffodils have bloomed and disappeared but now comes the other wave of wonderful spring eye candy.

Many bird houses and bird feeders have a place in my yard.  I thought this one with the string hanging out was cute.  Can you image that little tiny bird flying and carrying that in it's beak.  It's a wonder the bird's flight pattern was screwed up with that string floating behind.
 The pink dogwood tree is beginning to flower.

 So is the white dogwood tree.
A week or so ago while in the garden bath I could hear a returning hummingbird looking for last year's window feeder.  Oops, I hadn't put the feeders out yet....until right after I heard the humming.  It is such fun to hear the hummingbirds come to this feeder as it's like the glass picks up the vibrations of the wings and it resonates inside the bathroom.  There is another feeder at my fish pond right now and later there will be another.  You can see the Bleeding Hearts in the background just before my boy Ben's backyard.
An aromatic lilac bush blooming.  Must learn about how to trim it back  at the best time so it will fill out and be more prolific next year.  Sadly I am not so smart about proper trimming time of year and how much to trim.  Sure don't want to kill anything so sometimes the limbs get long and lanky.
My pretty Bleeding Hearts.  Thankfully they are in the afternoon shade but when it gets warmer those blooms will be gone too.
Periwinkle (aka vinca minor) near a full bloom. 
Oh dear, I've forgotten the name of this ground cover; it will probably come back to me as soon as I publish the blog.
It is sunny today but getting damp now as we are expecting rain.  Time to take my boy for his walk to be sure he and I get in our steps before that happens.

Have a great evening and let's all be kind to one another.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Stewing Wool

Yesterday I noticed Heavens to Betsy had a new post on her blog about stewing wool.  Heck, she used some wool that I purchased from her and thought I'd pull out  some wool and my pot again.

Below is the before photo and you can see that I also have Little Miss Sunshine (yellow).  I had a bright red from a pair of slacks which was always too bright to use but hopefully will be better to use now.  I didn't have Ligonier Purple wool but grabbed this plaid which I've also not used either because of it brightness.
After stewing the wool using the same process Betsy wrote about on her blog, this is the after photo.  It appears the blue plaid is toned down as is the red seems to have changed color.  And ooh I like the mottled Little Miss Sunshine a lot!
There are 3 more panels from those red slacks left to use as a bleeder.  Once I return from Woolley Fox rug camp think I might stew a little bit more using the red but choose 3 other wools. 

Have a great evening.



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Chit Chat about This and That

Can't wait to tell you of yesterday's experience.  But first, I'm back hooking on Harvey's Magdalena and have lost my rhythm....feel out of step, out of sync and need to get my groove back.  Perhaps I worked on my son's rug a day or so too long.  So my plans are to keep hooking this so that during the drive to Woolley Fox in 3 weeks I can bind it.  I'm confident it will be done in time.  Here is it.
You can see that I've already done the protective rows of straight stitching and zig zag already.  When I know for a fact that I'll not want to extend the border it is easier to do the pre-binding stitching before it is all hooked.  This wouldn't have been that bad to do tho since it only measures 17 x 28.  So maneuvering it on the sewing machine would have been doable.  But now the task is already done.

Okay....yesterday!!  Yesterday I had several errands and stopped at different stores.  The next to the last stop was at Walmart.  Normally I carry my bags to the car myself vs. pushing a cart, but this time had too many items.  So had my purse in the child seat, a bag up there too and then some bags in the cart itself.  I unloaded my items and put the food inside the cooler to contain the items and then hung the handles of others on the back of the driver seat.

Next stop was at the drug store across the highway.  Stopped at the red light then proceeded when the light turned.  Pulled into the parking lot of Walgreens and reached for my purse.  WHAT?  Not on the seat beside me.  Hurriedly I got out and opened up the side door since I must have put my hand bag back with the groceries.  NOPE!  Not there!  OMG, OMG, OMG.

Pulled out of the parking lot as fast as I could and don't you know there was a red light out of the shopping area and then another red light at the highway before I could cross.  During the wait my mind is racing trying to think if I left it in the cart , placed it on the ground and didn't put it in the van, or if someone grabbed it out of the cart while placing groceries in the van. 

Parked the car and saw the cart I'd used (there was a flyer in it) but  no purse.  My legs couldn't get me to the office area fast enough.  After the other customer was done I asked if anyone had turned in a purse.  She asked me my name, and she said she thought someone had turned over one. 

An employee came out of the security office and asked me to describe the color and style of my purse, my name and did I have a picture ID.  My ID was in the handbag.  My purse was there!  Quickly I pulled out my driver's license and showed her.  Next I checked to be sure my SS card, credit cards and other pertinent cards were there.....they were.  Looked inside to see if the $60 or so dollars was still there and it was.  Frankly the money was insignificant, I was more worried about credit cards and ID being stolen. 

Guess there still could be damage since the information was right there for someone to copy.  I'll watch my accounts like a hawk and hope nothing damaging happens.  It appears there are some kind honest people in the world and boy was I LUCKY yesterday.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

It's The Small Stuff

It's amazing the difference even the smallest thing can make.  The last time I posted the Man Cave Rug, Kay mentioned what caught her eye was the left side of the mug.  She suggested that perhaps it should be straight up and down vs. curved as I hooked it.  She was so right ~ I hooked it curved thinking it would show the curvature of the mug, but not so.  Here is the NOW and it looks much better.
The below photo is before.  Small stuff makes a big difference.  Thank you Kay!!!!  Your comment was a huge help.  Amazing how someone else can SEE something our eye doesn't notice until someone else mentions it. 
Pictured below close up, it seems the far left bottom base of mug needs to be a little lighter.....I think.  That section of glass is supposed to be a tad darker than the upward part.... the bottom middle needs to be whiter, yada yada.  I need a break.
Also, if you look at the picture above then the one below, I'm thinking of pulling out the white and rehooking with the light blue & white textured wool I've placed on top.

I am happy with the beer color tho, and what wonderful timing with the marbleizing tutorial to achieve that color ~ and totally by accident.
Guess it is time for me to put this aside for a while as I'm getting indecisive and frustrated.  Yup, I need a break.  Am so happy I decided to start this project so early before the Christmas deadline.
Enjoy your Sunday evening.  Will surely enjoy mine since my plans are to  go back hooking Harvey's Magdalena.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Marbelizing Results are In

For those of you who have never done marbleizing, you will be quite surprised by the results and how color can be achieved without dyes.  The picture below shows you what the original light peach color of the wool used in the sandwich looked like before and after the process.  And I've folded the wool so you can see how each side of that wool changed color depending on wools chosen for the outside layer.
On the above photo to the left I used the brighter blue wool and olive green, with peach between.  The wool on the right was the same light peach and on one side of the sandwich was golden brown and the other side was a navy blue.  And, do you remember in yesterday's post there was a narrow strip of a brighter navy at one end?  You can see what that did to the wool, look at the top of the wool on the right (above).

These are the wools which were used for the peach to the left in the above photo.  Notice too, both sides of the olive wool changed colors also.  The darker half was rolled against the blue, also that olive changed rolled against the bright blue as well.  Interesting, eh?
Below shows both sides of the golden brown and both sides of the navy used for the other sandwich.  I put both rolls in the same pot, and yes they were squished in tightly.  You can see how the bleeding collected in certain areas.
Wish I could say this was planned, but it wasn't.  The picture below shows that my beer wool color has been chosen.  Whatever it was that I'd had planned for my son's beer previously, has changed.  This is it. 
If you want to see the wool pre dye pot, just scroll down to yesterday's blog post.  For those of you who want to try this I'd love to see you post results on your blog.  Since I don't have everyone's blog on my side bar sure hope I find out who tried it so I can see pictures. 

If you think of a question while in the process or if I've left questions in your mind feel free to ask.  Remember tho, if you are a NO-REPLY blogger I won't be able to reply to your e-mail if you post the question on my blog.  But will be able to answer if you write me personally.

Have fun playing and Good Luck.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Let's Marbelize Wool

While reading Acorn Hollow's blog with her thrift store wool purchase, decided it was time for me to marbleize some wool.  It has been a while since I did that and thought it might be fun for new followers to learn as an alternative to buying dyes.

No dyes are necessary for this type of dying and you can end up with some varying wool colors which changes flat solid color to something different and 'marbelized' beauty. 

Karen Kahle published a little book several years ago called Marbelized Wool and you can purchase it by clicking on that link.   
Marbleized Wool by Karen Kahle
You will need a pot of course, some clothing detergent without bleach and Jet Dry is always good because it helps the wool to absorb more liquid quickly.  I put about 1 teaspoon Jet Dry and approx. 2 tablespoons of laundry liquid.  Jet dry isn't necessary but I had it so using it.
Each roll uses 3 colors, Karen suggests 1/4 yard pieces measuring 18 x 30.  But since my solid colors are from clothing the size might vary but used what I had and made do.
For the first roll of colors chosen was a golden brown (at the very bottom), light peach, and navy blue on the top.  Actually was short on that color navy so added a piece of another blue.
My second choice of 3 colors was a brighter blue, the same light peach wool and olive drab slacks.  Again I filled in space with pieces from the very bottom of the slacks. 
Now to roll lengthwise and you don't need to be sure to have everything smooth because the wrinkles will just add interest.
Once the wool sandwich is rolled you twist the ends in opposite directions and secure it at the ends.
That next roll I decided to secure at the one end to make the twisting a littler easier and better to control. 
 Here they are rolled, wrapped and tied...both rolls of wool sandwich.
Before I put it on the burner thought I'd let it soak first since the wool was rolled dry. 
Karen recommends 1/2 to 2/3 of the wool roll is covered but I've a little more liquid in my pot.  Now it is time to put on the burner and let it simmer. 

This pot simmered slowly and I did use those huge tweezer things to push and prod easily to release dye from each of the rolls. 

It was easy to watch the color change color in the pot and after the wool simmered for about half an hour I lifted the outside wool to see how the color was coming on the middle peach wool.  Once I was happy with what I saw it was time to pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar in the pot to fix the color.  I let it simmer maybe another 10 minutes, let it cool while I went to wine tasting.  When I came home I rinsed the wool and put the wool in the spin cycle of the washer to really get the water out.

Tomorrow you will see the results of the SANDWICH of 3 wools which make a great marbleized wool.   Stay tuned, and come back. 

Oh, and please be kind to one another.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hooking Man Cave and Binding Tape

Not sure just how little progress was made on the beer mug since loops were pulled and replaced.  Maybe I'll get colors to suit me and/or wish I'd just think about that picture Julia sent and make it more simple. 

In looking at this picture below I see things now that will change.  The right side of the glass part of the foam needs the yellowish wool pulled at the far right side and the brighter white put in for at least one row.  On the same side below the handle need to clean that up some too as mine looks YUCK.

My hat goes off to all you hookers who have successfully hooked glass or mirrors.  Perhaps if I would try harder and reduce the size of cut from #8 to #3 I might achieve that success too....uh...ain't gonna happen...I'll dumb it down and make it simple first.
Today someone inquired about the 3" binding tape that Lauren wrote about on her blog.  I replied to her but others may have wondered where to purchase the 3" BINDING too.  It comes in different colors and yes it is expensive since you need to buy the whole roll.  However, if you have a group who would like to purchase a roll you could each share in the cost to make it more affordable. 

I used that to bind my antique adaptation of Santa and Deer a couple years ago.
However, I didn't want the coffee brown color on my son's rug since the border and lettering will be in black.  So my the Man Cave Rug will be bound with a wide denim since I'm thinking of attaching it to a wooden frame.  Thankfully (or sadly) there is still an over abundance of all types of textiles in my house so had some yardage of denim.  As the background is blues and the outer border black this should work perfectly. 
The denim was ripped straight of grain 4" wide since 1/4" is used as a seam allowance and there should be plenty of extra width for me to staple onto a wooden stretcher frame.  Or at least that is where my thoughts are going now.  Who knows how the final finishing will end up.  But if bound traditionally it will have a nice wide border.
Have a magnificent evening!  Over and out from chilly Delaware.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Man Cave Rug Update

After some lighthearted harassing comments on yesterday's post (you know who you are!) I decided to start working on the first of two beer mugs in my son's Man Cave Rug.  Interesting that the first colors of worms pulled and thought would work...didn't.  Back to looking at other worm colors and wool yardage.  Maybe I have it and maybe not.

I've never tried to replicate glass and while my plans aren't to even attempt realism would like to have the beer mug at least recognizable.   What will give me a little better perspective is when I look at this picture on my blog later.  Many times when seeing it on the computer have chosen to replace loops ~ that just happened on the Harvey's Magdalena after a previous post.

So.. get ready...and here we GO.  Really wanted to put a border outline of blue around the mug but I was under the gun by the beer mug Nazi (you know who you are).
For comparison sake, below is the picture of the mug found free which seemed like a good shape to use for my son's rug.  Here is my hooked mug next to the picture.  And I DO see YET, maybe the top shape would have been okay had I outlined it with the background.  See gals, that is also a lesson about outlining the image.  By outlining it controls the spread of the other colors and shapes your image.
Okay then, so Kim, just for the record I am NOT a Princess!  For your information, in my house I am the QUEEN!  Now let me see what YOU GOT !  I want to see some hit and miss border go'n on!

Have a great evening everyone and enjoy the lighthearted banter between me and my friends. 


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Update on Old Stuff

No beer mug hooking took place last night or today; sorry.  I did, however, separate a bit more yellow, gold and brownish wool worms for the future task.  Frankly I'm really dragging my feet to start the mugs out of total fear of failure. 

Anyway....I did pull out those bright strips in Harvey's Magdalena and replaced them.  So this is looking a little better than the previous post.  And there WILL be MORE changes made on this piece.
Here is a real treat.... below is the ORIGINAL Magdalena rug named Harvey's Magdalena since it was owned by someone by that name at the time of discovery.   Check out those beautiful primitive animals.
Okay, told you in a previous post I thought Magdalena's animals in this piece had red eyes.  Yup, confirmed.  Notice the red eyes, the berry in the bird's beak as well as the eyes, mouth and feet of the other animals.  True Folk Art using 'what SHE (Magdalena) had'. So I'm changing the eyes and mouths on my hooked piece too.  Still unsure about the duck's feet but just might do that too ...just for Magdalena!

Have a great evening everyone.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Magdalena is Back

Harvey's Magdalena is slowly coming together.  Hey y'all, I've hooked a much bigger piece in a month's time so this is taking me a while and not making me happy.  But then I did start my son's rug and have been busy drawing and shipping patterns so have not been a slouch.

This is what it looks like now.  Yes, I see those bright whites/blue whites and two of them must be pulled out.  So next picture will have a bit of a change there.
I'd considered attempting the beer mugs tonight since I've poured myself a glass of wine courage.  Instead think I'll remove those bright whites...two of them anyway, and replace those with something more soothing to the eye in contrast with the rest of the piece.

For any newbies who don't know, Magdalena Briner Eby hooked rugs in and around 1880 in Pennsylvania.  Antique lovers adore her works and hookers love replicating her works.  She was a prolific hooker who would probably be shocked by her popularity today.

Have a great Monday evening.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Design for Your Own Heirloom Rug

This was hooked by me using worms from my baskets.  It is an antique geometric pattern which has been around and duplicated for many years.   I call mine "Granny Geometric" since it reminds me of  the granny square afghans I crocheted in my younger years.
Those  of you who have been following me for a while know this project was stashed away for about 5 years at one point.  I'd just gotten bored.  Then decided to bring it out of hiding.  Eventually my followers and friends encouraged me to continue to finish it.
Happily it is done, bound and my friend Evelyn Lawrence told me to never sell it.  Not sure why she said that other than she must love it and thinks it looks like an antique.

Okay then...  So who would like to make their own hooked afghan piece of history?  This is the line drawing I used to trace out my rug.  You can choose your own dimensions by just using this grid.  You should be able to right click and print this picture, I think.
In the picture below I've placed a measuring tape so you can see the dimensions used for my rug.  BUT...... you could enlarge or reduce these to fit your wishes.  If you wanted to do a needle punch then reduce the size.
Also, If you look at this rug again (below) you could hook those end half-shapes just dark to simulate a saw tooth border, or hook it like I've done with a straight border all around. 
Today was a rough day trying to finish cutting the rest (almost the rest) of my massive yard.  With the riding mower DOA and today the motorized wheels of my push mower dropped dead also.  I'm at a loss for next week when the yard needs mowing again. 

I hear you loud and clear Kim..... "Oh the joys of home ownership". 

Have a great evening everyone.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Another Rug Show

I recently checked my stats and noticed a great more number of visits to my blog when the topic is "rug show".  The second largest number is when there is something new on my frame....interesting.

This first picture is of a stitchery done by a young Polly Bedford as she was about to enter her 12th year of age.  Yes, I realize technology has advanced us by leaps and bounds and I've enjoyed the rewards as well.  But there are basic survival tasks everyone should know.  One is to know how to sew on a button. 

But wonder how many modern day 12 year old girls even know what a needle is and can they sew on a button?  Even the Marine Corp teaches their men how to handle needle and thread.  Oh, AND, by the way, my son, does know.  Mama taught him to be self sufficient.  He doesn't have the time now so I shorten pants, etc.  But he has his own sewing machine and knows how to sew on a button.  Uh, my wonderful sweet DIL doesn't however.  But since she is such a good mother I'll give her slack.

And it would make a cute hooked piece or wool applique.

A Pennsylvania found pot of lowers with a bird atop.
This is cool, an antique and would make a great rug for a grandson.
Nice tribute to a dog in a landscape.
Interesting piece below which has a date of 1831 and wish I knew more about it's origin or replication.  Was this a wedding rug?
According to what I've read this is a hooked rug of a blood hound which was a guard dog at the Confederate Prison of Union captives.
This was someone's special white cat and they made sure the pretty whiskers were noticed.
The one below isn't antique, but is a Kirkland Museum rug by Edward Marecak. He bought wool sweaters from thrift stores and then had his two sons unravel them for the rug. (1958)
Here is a hooked piece which is almost in color book style, really naïve and kinda cute for a baby's room.
Hope you all have a great night and wonderful weekend.  Oh, and let's all play nice with one another.