Thursday, March 23, 2017

Olde Rugs and Fresh Coffee

Am enjoying the first of many cups of coffee this morning and thought I'd peruse antique rug sites.
Two cats with doves and flowers with background hooked in a ripple effect.

Interesting, as I'm looking thru my collection of antique rug photos I come across a similar color scheme below.
That rug above is attributed to Magdalena and sold for $24,000 by 1stdibs.  In the booklet about Magdalena rugs the owner said she loved the rug so much she had it on her apartment wall for 20 years before deciding to sell it.
The rug above is a room size rug hooked with a Canadian and American theme.  The Garrison family of Greenwich CT used it at their Adirondack Camp.  It commemorates the year Canada entered WWI, the same year Garrison's son joined the war effort enlisting in the Canadian armed forces.
Above is a horse and cat with hit and miss border, circa 1930.

Coffee time is over as my boy Ben wants to go for his morning walk-about.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

That Rug on my Frame

It's finally time to show an update of the Magdalena Goat.  Wanted to keep on hooking tonight but at least the whole goat is hooked....for now.  The wool from The Wool Studio (army green) is on it's way so not sure if I'll change the back legs or not.  Will have to wait and see.
Just checked thru my blog posts to learn I didn't start my Magdalena Goat until February 15th and it is now March 21st.  OMG, my friend Evelyn started hers and had it hooked and bound in less than a month. Obviously I'm quite the slacker.

Today I had an inquiry about the availability of a doll which shows up on my web site.  As I'm no longer doing shows wasn't sure what was available so sorted thru my plastic containers.  Sure enough it was still there.  

In FULL DISCLOSURE.... I'm unable to update my web site to show 'sold' or delete items nor can I change prices.  Reason is that when I built the web site using a certain software it was good for a few years.  THEN, my web server no longer offered service for that product.

That meant that I either buy another software and learn how it works, make intricate changes inside the pages of the web site or drop the service.  I chose the ladder.  That said, I did keep my domain name and pay for that but am no longer able to make changes to my web site.

Which gave me a thought.  While sorting thru my forgotten 'doll treasures' saw some that warmed my heart and just might decide to keep and change thru the seasons like I do my rugs.  

However, tomorrow I'll post some of my primitive dolls on my blog which will be up for adoption.  I have  some wonderful primitive black dolls, some 'arty' style dolls and some Americana.  I'll save the Americana dolls as we get closer to the end of May.

Here are two teasers for now; below is Cecelia, a Nettie LaCroix design holding a pin keep with wool roving for hair.
And below is Ophelia, my design, who has her life savings in her vintage coin purse.
It was such fun to look thru the dolls I'd made and remember as how they became alive to me in the moment.

Have a great evening everyone.  Today was a wonderful spring-like day and tomorrow will be fall/winter again with a hard freeze at night. WTF is going to happen to all our buds and flowers????


Monday, March 20, 2017

First Day of Spring

So nice to say it is Spring just wish the temps would behave a little more like they are supposed to be this time of year.  Yeah, t'was nice when temperatures were way above normal just a few weeks ago, but now we're paying the piper.
The small hooked mat was designed and hooked by me for a Spring Swap thru the Yahoo Rug Hookers group a few years ago. 
This is just one of over a dozen stitchery pieces I did with the intentions of making them into a quilt.  Well that still  hasn't happened yet and did these stitcheries back around 1997. 

Happy Spring everyone.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

My Magdalena Rugs

As you regular readers know, In early January I discovered a new Magdalena rug which I've aptly named Magdalena's Goat.  

Immediately notified my friend Evelyn who has done the research and hooked all of Magdalena's rugs.  We contacted the auction house where the item was sold just to verify it was a Magdalena and Evelyn asked if she could please hook it first before sharing information on my blog.  Out of respect for that sweet woman I did just that and she hooked and bound the 29 x 35 design in less than a month.  Wow, what a hooking machine she is.

Above is the original and will share Evelyn's rug after mine is all hooked.
The first Magdalena rug I hooked was in 2009 when I decided to tackle Domestic Zoo, the runner.  Since Barb Carroll didn't offer the design (she had Bills Buddies instead) Evelyn suggested I offer it and have sold dozens of the patterns since then.
In 2010 I hooked two Magdalena rugs, Dog and Crows above and McCue Eagle below.  
Since I switch out my rugs the McCue Eagle is at my front door at the moment.  It is nice to enjoy the designs of Magdalena and my efforts.
The following year, 2011 decided to hook a small version of Magdalena's Dog.  This is used to decorate my sofa table or harvest table when I want something different to display but not for the floor.

Then there was a Magdalena dry spell until 2014 when I went bonkers hooking Magdalena designs.
Above is Lollipop Bouquet which was a LOT of fun.  Frankly I was dreading all those circles and seems to me there were 66 of them (going to memory) because I counted every dang one of them wondered what the hell I was thinking.  It was a fun fun rug to hook.
Next hooked was Magdalena's Folk Art Horse;
Then Magdalena's Farm;

And Old Ducks above;  
And Harvey's Magdalena was hooked 2015, above.  So guess it was about time for me to hook another one of Magdalena Briner Eby's rugs.  There are a couple other designs of hers I'd like to hook one day and should make that an annual event for me.
If you would like to read about Magdalena and the research done by my friend Evelyn, you can purchase the booklet HERE.

Should you want either Domestic Zoo or Magdalena's Goat pattern drawn on Dorr natural primitive linen please contact me HERE and I'll give you what information you wish.

Have a great Sunday.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Wishing all of you a happy St. Paddy's day.  
Cute St. Patrick's Day card:
Celebrate safely and have a designated driver if you go out to celebrate as there WILL be stop points I'm sure.  Me?  I won't go out but will enjoy my red wine at home and no green beer.  Heck, don't even care for regular colored beer.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Look at Magdalena's Goat

Here is what it looks like now.  But who knows how many more tweaks will occur before it is completed.  
Below is what it looked like Tuesday.  Yeah, I know not a whole look of hooking going on eh?  Have been guilty of reverse hooking.  One area reversed was the second front leg.  In the picture below noticed the direction of the light and dark wool leading toward the leg was wrong compared to the original.  So before continuing I needed to correct that.
My colors aren't exactly like Magdalena used as she and I have different textile colors at our disposal.  As to the horns... I tried to define the horns of the goat because Magdalena had limited textiles.  Therefore the background was too close in value as was used in the horns.  Had she more options MAYBE Magdalena would have hooked the horns differently.

For those of you just visiting, here is the original Magdalena Goat which is relatively newly discovered.  The original and the pattern I will offer once mine is hooked, measures 29 x 35.
Unfortunately I don't have any army blanket green wool.  BUT.... just ordered some from Rebecca Erb so maybe, just maybe the legs will all be reverse hooked and use the army green wool instead.  OMG, it will be summer before this is finished at this rate.  Oh well, am still enjoying the process.

Have a great evening.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Little Something To Show

Nope, not my Magdalena rug as I would like a little more time to hook more on it before the next showing.  However, everyone loves antique rugs so here we go.
A tabby cat, as described by the auction house....  You're welcome Kelley, lol.
And for you dog lovers.
I thought this was a cute and primitive little mat.
And for the horse lovers amongst us...including me.  I love horses and had one as a teen so this is a reminder of my past hooked by someone else years ago.

Happy Wednesday.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Sorry, but it's Just Me

Who or what could follow such warm sharing from our rug hooker friends on their journey.  What I found interesting is that only one person had a family member who hooked to show her the basics of rug hooking.  The rest of us learned on our own.  Would also like to thank all of the volunteers who shared their story and their photos.

Also noticed no males participated even tho there are male followers on my blog.  Geez, you guys didn't share.  Would love to hear from you and certainly shouldn't be embarrassed because there are great male hookers out there and I can name three male teachers.

SO, if anyone else would like to volunteer I always welcome each of you to share your journey.  This also helps wanna be rug hookers get out of the closet.  

Okay, now I'm in a corner and must show my Magdalena Goat progress (or lack of).   
Above is what my Magdalena looks like now.  As a reminder the pattern measures 29 x 35.  I'm guilty again of pulling loops and re-hooking, then pulling those out and using yet another color.  I've been told previously that I over think things.

When starting the rug the goat was my task and worked on the head. My mistake was to not finish the whole goat FIRST.  Silly me wanted to work the left hand top corner and work my way to the right side and then go back to the goat.  

Well hell, I'd lost my rhythm (mojo) by then.  Another lesson learned.  

Getting ready to snuggle down and get ready for the weather missed when it was winter.  Tonight will be a wintery mix of snow, rain, and to add salt to the injury.... a nor'easter and flood warnings for my area. 

Yeah, compared to other areas I'll be lucky.

Happy Monday.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Recently Retired Lauren

Lauren lives in Ohio and worked for the city.  When it snowed she had to get to work ~ even thru the drifts and hip high snow ~ to handle calls from city folk wanting to know when their street would be plowed.  Oh there's more but it's her story so will leave you with that.

Needless to say I'm sure that gal is doing the 'happy dance' every time she sees a snow flake now.  Anyhoo, onto her rug hooking journey......
Lauren (Rugs and Pugs) likes to say she is a self-taught hooker but that’s not entirely true.  She said about 30 years she took a hooking class ~ and HATED every loop.  She recalls it as a 4 or 6 cut using a push-pin frame.  She finished an area perhaps 4” x 4”.  When the class was over she put all the supplies in a closet, never to pull another loop on it.
Fast forward to 2004 she stumbled upon primitive hooking.  In the meantime, she downsized and probably threw out all the supplies because she tore the attic apart looking for them but never did.   Lauren found a class to take from a wonderful primitive hooker.  Sadly, the class was cancelled; think she was the only one signed up.  

Then Lauren turned to eBay for supplies.  She purchased 8 cut worms since she had no cutter.  As most of us just starting out she had no idea what bad wool was.  And Lauren says, "but let me tell you, I spent a fortune buying bad wool.  I wasn’t hooking, just buying wool."
Lauren continues:  "When I finally got brave enough to start a little mat, I drew up a diamond mat and I chose THE UGLIEST colors, flat red, black and yellow.  I knew they were ugly, not sure why I chose them, but that didn’t stop me."
Above is Lauren's first effort which was hooked 2005 and measures 6 x 9 1/2.  She still has it displayed in her hooking room as reminder to how far she's come.  

Lauren  wrote, "Initially everything I hooked was small.  I mean really small.  In 2006 first time I hooked a mat which was about 12” x 12”, you’d think I’d hooked a room sized rug I was so proud."
This would be that 'room size rug Lauren spoke of.  It is definitely an accomplishment over her first.  Yet her first still looks better than my first.
Lauren said, "The first three years I hooked alone.  The only other hooker I knew was the teacher and you’d think the next time she had a class she would have contacted me but she did not.  I knew of one group that met but I hate to enter a room full of people I don’t know, so it took me a long time to finally put on my big girl panties and go.  Too bad it took me so long to be brave.  I was made to feel so welcome and they are friends to this day.

Lauren has come a long way since then and the hooking never stops; well, maybe a pause on occasion.
Above is a collage of hooked items she has hooked, bottom left is a chicken on a spring from a class with Annette Shaffer.  The chicken design above that is offered by Maria Barton.  Top right chicken pattern is named Henny Penny and is a design by Woolley Fox (I also hooked that pattern, it was fun and quick). Below that is Cat and Mouse, a design by Betsy Reed.  I have that pattern too and still haven't hooked it ~ one day when something is needed between rugs I'll do mine.

Now we're talking ROOM SIZE rug here for Lauren now.  This is a bit bigger than her 12 x 12 she once thought was huge.  It is called 1885 Horses, it is an antique adaptation and copyright free and is also offered by Woolley Fox.  It comes in two sizes and bet money that Lauren hooked the small one which measures 16 x 47.
Would like to thank Lauren and all others who have kindly volunteered to share their journey of hooking rugs.

Happy Saturday even tho the temperatures are frigid.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Here's a Robin....

...not a bird, but a female person.  Robin Nourgat's inspiration came from her love of primitives and after seeing the beautiful rugs her elder sister had hooked.  Her sister showed her the basics of rug hooking about 27 years ago.  After that first and only lesson she was on her own to learn by herself.  That was a few years before internet so she says many of her first rugs were very primitive looking.

As Robin grew up on a dairy farm animals and nature have always been part of her life.  So any design with animals, nature and primitive is a must for her. 

The first rug Robin hooked she gave to her mother and since her mother's passing has not seen it.  
The Crow and Pumpkin is a Lori Brechlin design Robin hooked.  But the last few years she has designed her own patterns adding bits & pieces from her life. 
Above is a cat on a dummy board designed and hooked by Robin.
Wish Upon A Star is another design by Robin, as is Summer Dream below.
Robin's  likes muted soft primitive colors and loves dyeing her own wool.  She usually over dyes repurposed wool she finds to make it have a primitive look.

The biggest hurdle when she started hooking was finding foundation material or even kits.  She couldn't  afford to go to any hook-in’s or retreats; plus there weren’t shops which carried rug hooking supplies. It’s much easier now with internet to order what is needed.

And the internet is a great way to see everyone’s rug photos, people sharing about their trips to rug camps and hook-in’s.  Everyone looks so happy and having fun.  

Robin loves hooking outside when the weather permits, if she can’t get outside she has a chair in front of windows so she can watch nature and listen to classical music.  She admits sometimes she also hooks when watching television.

You can see other designs by Robin at Black Crow Cottage.

Happy Friday everyone.  Thanks Robin for joining in the fun.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Sweet Kelley Shares her Journey

In Kelley's words.....

"I first started noticing hooking rugs in Country Living Magazine in the early 1990's...then found instructions in Early American Life.  Without a clue on where to find the needed supplies, I ordered a kit from Hooked on Rugs, it was a Santa.  I think the backing was burlap and the strips of wool all solid colors.  I practiced a little on my own, packing those strips as tights as can be.

A friend asked if I was interested in a rug hooking retreat, she had recently started hooking too.  I was lucky enough to go to Barb Carroll's Woolley Fox and have a class with Kathy Morton.  My first rug was an Emma Lou Lais triple snowman.  From the moment I descended into the wool heaven of Barb's basement I have never looked back.

Over the next year or so I attended a dye workshop with Barb and Emma Lou and a few random hooking days at Barb's.  By then I had found the joy of the Miller pencil hook...purchasing as many as I could afford for backup. Although I use 8, 8.5 and 9 strips I use a fine perfect for me.  Last year I purchased the large Talon floor frame and couldn't be happier with it.

I was in my early 30's when I started hooking.  The worse part back then was finding the wool.  Everything from the thrift store, then over dyed.  Beginning hookers today have it made.  I cannot paint with a brush, but give me a hook and a strip of wool though.  From Emma Lou I learned "more is less".  But for me, more is more, why use one red when you can mix a dozen different wools for more interest?

Green is my favorite color, Army blanket green, drab olive, khaki green...not Kelly green, not crayon green but maybe a little lime these days.
I love to hook scrappy rugs and the above was hooked with lots of scraps.

I hook in the living room with my feet up when possible, either sitting on the couch or a sewing chair and always with an Ott light or two by my side.  I listen to audio books or TV shows...I don't own a TV, I listen through Amazon Prime and rarely do I look up when hooking.

Some of my older rugs...I draw up my own designs, love patterns by Lori Brechlin, Woolen Memories, Cheri Payne, Woolley Fox.  
The crow and Old Glory designs were drawn by me, the Crow Alphabet is by Lori Brechlin.  
My latest finish (above) is based on the applique patterns of Cheri Payne.  And my hooking companion is Chester....
Above is Chester on his namesake rug called "Chester"."

Thanks Kelley for joining in, I was looking forward to reading about your journey.  

If others would like to participate you have a general idea of what we rug hookers are wanting to know about you. Must say that I'm somewhat surprised that of the nine participants, none of them had a family member who taught them to hook.  Perhaps that is because we are not of the generations which hooked out of necessity so the tradition/craft was not handed down. 

Hope everyone has a great evening.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Meet My Friend Shari

Shari always loved putting color together either with scrappy quilts she made in her 20's to her Santa and primitive doll business from her 40's to her 60's.  Her love of anything antique led her to discover hooked rugs. 

Shari continues....."I met Saundra at this time and coincidentally she was intrigued with hooking as well."  Like me, she struggled on her own at home teaching herself to hook.  Finally in 2003 we decided we could use the help and expertise of a teacher, to take just ONE class to get us on our way. Years later we are STILL taking classes and enjoying every moment." 
The above rug was Shari's first camp rug where we attended together. It is a pattern purchased from House of Price, neither she nor I can remember the name of the pattern but was either a Charco or a Primco design.  

Shari has been influenced by such people as Barb Carroll, Lucille Festa and Karen Kahle's rugs.  Shari likes the way Karen is able to pull soft colors together and her goal is to one day take a class with Karen. Meanwhile she will strive to perfect her color choices of soft old colors on her own.
Above is a design by Karen Kahle called Small Flowerbox which Shari hooked.  She likes to hook florals most of all so will choose soft old colors for them.  Shari likes old teal, mustards, yellow green, and soft purples can be found in many of her rugs.

Shari will often change the design to suit herself; an example of that is her rug below where she is using teal in the triangle border.
It is an adaptation of a rug (Old Chatham) she purchased from Hook Nook who carried Lib Callaway designs.
Now Lib Callaway designs are offered by New Earth Designs.  Above is the original pattern and the banana shapped basket Shari changed.

Shari said her biggest hurdle was trying to keep her business going, responsibilites of husband/home life and finding time to hook. Then since retiring from her business she can enjoy her great love of rughooking freely! 
Sadly, while keeping the business going Shari had to sell some of her precious rugs but is thankful to have had a venue to sell them to make ends meet at the time.  The General George Washington is a rug which was commissioned.
Another cherished rug she sold was an adaptation of an E.S. Frost rug. That design is offered by Woodland Junction.

Now Shari can spend her day playing in the wool to her heart's content.
Above is a foot stool she hooked last year in a Barb Carroll class.  
Last September at Cape May Shari designed and hooked the design above.  You can see the inspiration she is channeling from Karen Kahle in it's design.  

Shari's light bulb moment came when she realized an 8 and 8.5 cut enabled her to keep to the primitive style yet small enough to give the slight detail she likes her rugs to have. 

Want to thank Shari for the idea of this segment and for sharing.  If any of you wish to participate and share your rug hooking journey, you can get the questions on a previous post HERE.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Let's Drop By Cathy's for Coffee......

Another familiar name is Cathy Greschner of Orange Sink.  Cathy's journey began when she and her friend Irene were both selling antiques.  Irene was a rug hooker and Cathy fell in love with her rugs. Having just moved to Rice Lake Irene announced she was going to teach a beginning hooking class. Cathy took the class and had a couple years hooking together until Irene moved back to Minnesota ~ that was 2006.

On a humorous note, Cathy confided at the first class... she asked Irene, "how in the world is that big piece of wool going to fit through that tiny little hole?"  To which Irene chuckled and said, "it just does".  Cathy said that shows just how very little she understood the concept of rug hooking.
After learning the basics of hooking rugs Cathy knew she wanted to design her own.  Above was her first own designed rug.

Her choice of pattern design depends on a spot in the house and if she plans to keep the rug.  Her favorite colors are reds, golds, mustards, muted blue.  Lately she has been eyeing and appreciating the softer faded colors and neutrals.  She says it is rather tricky hooking with neutrals and feels she needs more practice to perfect that style.

Cathy has admired several rug hookers: Deanne Fitzpatrick, Lori Brechlin, Polly Minick, Barb Carroll, Karen Kahle and Maggie Bonanomi. She admits to have hooked about 4 designs of Maggie already.

When first hooking Cathy said the biggest hurdle was finding wool colors she wanted.  She purchased every piece of wool clothing in thrift stores within a hundred mile radius but they were all the same colors and textures.  That is when she decided to try her hand at dyeing wool. Cathy hopes to have a designated 'dye kitchen' in her future.
The rug above is called "Tree Birds" and is a rework or her original first design previously shown.  If you would like to purchase a "Tree Birds" pattern visit her shop on ETSY.

Cathy hooks in her studio most of the time listening to XM talk radio and will switch to music sometimes. But when she has a deadline will listen to old rock and roll from the 60s' and 70's as well as hard rock. Yup Cathy, that will get the adrenalin and hands moving quicker to meet a deadline. When doing wool applique' she will spend time with hubby and the dogs watching TV rather than in the studio.

Thanks, Cathy, for joining in on the fun of this 'getting to know us'.  It is a warm fuzzy feeling to realize that most of us have traveled the same road to this wooly goodness we love.