Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Progress of the Sincerely Jane Challenge Rug

Since it is that time again to post an update of my progress on the Sincerely Jane Challenge (adapted from a quilt made by Jane Stickle) on the Rughookers group thought I'd better pull it out and actually make some progress on it.  At least one of the gals has completed her humongous rug already, so since mine is small in comparison there's really no excuse for me to dilly dally around.  But of course I have still been hooking but on other things.  It is  getting close to completion with still a few months left before it is to be finished so am doing okay in the progress department I guess.

I've tried to use some of the same wools throughout even tho it would have been easier to introduce new colors.  And who knows, it still isn't too late for me to pull a new color into the rug just so the same colors don't repeat themselves too close to each other.

Although I'm not really fond of geometric designs this one has grown on me.  I'd fully intended to offer it for sale in my booth when I do my next show and also list it on my web site.  But will see how I feel once it is all done.  One thing I knew was that JoAnne made this challenge seem so fun and interesting that I just had to participate in it. 

It will be loads of fun to see the final rugs posted on the Rughookers group and hopefully they will be in an upcoming issue of Rug Hooking Magazine since an article written by JoAnne was in a former issue in the Across the Borders segment of the magazine.
Now that I've finished my daughter-in-love's Snowman Mat and have worked more on the challenge piece guess I can now put my Frost Sheep rug back on the frame and work on it.  Heck, I still haven't finished my Log Cabin rug yet but I know exactly what I'm doing on that one so thought I'd better 'keep the flow' of the sheep rug going before I forget what I need to do.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Snowman Mat

This is the snowman mat design I was hooking when my dear daughter-in-love saw me hooking it.  Since she is so spoiled she thought she'd snuck a glimpse of a Christmas gift in the process for her.  So when I explained it was for a winter swap there was a disappointed look on her face.  If it looks familiar it is because I drew the design out and it was part of the give away that Cathy of Orange Sink won.

For some reason the pictures turned out yellowish and guess it was the setting I used on the camera.  Sorry.

Thought I'd use pillow ticking as the binding so I can write a note, "to the Princess Christmas 2011 from the Queen". Well, yes, spoiled she is (and unfortunately I have contributed to that spoil) decided she would have one too. Additionally she will receive her very favorite perfume gift set for Christmas because I didn't give it to her last year and she is too frugal to treat herself so got her that for this year, plus the snowman mat. Did I mention she LOVES all things snowman?

I've made her a Kindred Spirits Snowo-man doll and other snowmen in the past so I can understand why she may have thought it was for her.  So she really will be surprised when she gets it I think, particularly since she saw the winter mat I received in return.  I went looking for a picture of the Snow-woman I made for her and can't find it, oh well.  Now to stitch the binding down.

So now I can pull some loops on my Sincerely Jane rug because it is just about update time on Rughookers group, and can continue on my Edward Sands Frost Sheep rug again.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is not only a time to share a bounty of food but is also a time to reflect on the things we are thankful for which may otherwise be taken for granted. 

May you all have a happy Thanksgiving with family and friends. 

P.S.  This is a design from Falloween publication of Needl'love.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ah..... youth

My 8 year old grandson is here today, actually was here yesterday too since his mom had to work and school is out for Thanksgiving holiday this week.  So he and I have had fun riding bikes, walking Ben, watching movies (Cars is so cute) and chatting.

And he was having fun with some new things I bought for his visit.  Yesterday he played with his Matchbox cars and a smallish garage accessory, did some coloring and briefly looked at the lego type set I picked up for him. 

So today he was determined to make something out of the lego type pieces and was successful in making a helicopter, a car and a fire truck.  He was quite patient and very pleased with his accomplishments ~ so was granma.

The first one assembled was the helicopter.

Then he decided to finish two more things so he could play with his new vehicles.  And of course I had to forward all the pictures to his mom's and dad's computer but I've reduced it to 3 for the benefit of my blog readers.

And here he has them all lined up in a row.

Guess I will go back in the living room, hook and chat with Zachary a while longer until his mom comes to get him. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Let me introduce you to my boy Ben

I know that a few months ago I posted pictures of a rescue that I adopted.  Unfortunately that did not work out because after 3 weeks and her having gained weight, gained strength and confidence from being near emaciation, she bit me.  There was no way I could have that behavior around my grandson or me, for that matter, so back to the rescue she went. 

So the end of September my vet's office called asking if I was still interested in adopting a Rottweiler because they knew someone who had a great 3 year old neutered Rottie and needed to find him a good home.  Well of course I was interested.  But this time, since he lived in my town of Seaford, I went to visit with him 3 different times before bringing him home.  Just wanted to be sure it would work for both of us.  Home with me Ben came on October 3rd.  Since I wanted to be sure that we were definitely past the 3 week honeymoon (so to speak) didn't really post about the new adoption. 

Now it is time for me to introduce you to the new boy (only boy, tee hee) in my life...... Ben.
Just so you know, I was outside trimming my lirope today and tethered him to the tree next to me so we could spend time together outside in the mild temperatures.  Ben isn't totally perfect, I cannot let him off the leash like I could have my precious Shadow or my two other Rottweilers I owned previous.  Ben hates vehicles and he would definitely take off chasing them if left to his own devices. 

And, in case you're wondering.....NO, I do not keep him tethered outside, he lives in the house with me and the only time I've ever tethered him is when I'm outside working in the yard and we can be near each other and he can enjoy the out-of-doors without risking injury or death due to car chasing.  I'm trying to get him to stop the aggressive behavior toward vehicles because I'm afraid he may break loose, chase a car and get injured.  But so far he doesn't seem to have diminished behavior in that respect.  So if anyone has any suggestions I'm all ears and eyes.

He is very affectionate, loves kids and even with 4 kids next door converged on the porch, Ben was happy as a clam and couldn't wait to be with them.  My grandson Zack loves him and it is mutual from Ben.  Zach will be here tomorrow and Tuesday.

Matter of fact, twice now I've had to stick my hand in his mouth to retrieve something and he passed that test with flying colors.  I could do that with my other Rotties and with Shadow.  That is good because if they seem to be choking on something I want to safely remove it without being bitten.

And, I know that the Memorial to Shadow is still on my blog.  The love for her is still too close to my heart and cannot remove her picture yet.

Now it's time to feed the boy.....  later.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sensational Seasonal Swap

I am participating in the fun and rewarding Sensational Seasonal Swap on .  The rules were that the pieces had to be exactly 8" x 8".  The purpose of that was so if anyone wished to participate in all four seasons they could choose to display just one season at a time, attach all four in a row, or two seasons at the top and two seasons on the bottom. 

In addition to being a quick mat to hook because of it's size, we were also asked to just trim the excess backing off (finish the edges so it wouldn't fray)  and gently tack it to the back so that the recipient could decide later how they wished to display their mats.  So for those who don't like the binding aspect, this was a relatively fun and simple project with great rewards at the end.

Today I received my swap mat from my partner Marci Braun.  Oh wow, am I ever happy happy with my mat.  I know women like her who hook so evenly that the project looks steamed when it is still in the process of being hooked.  I've a friend Bonnie who goes to Woolley Fox who is just like that.  Well, I think Marci's hooking is just the same way.

I know, I know you all want to see the mat and I'll get to that.  But, in addition to the mat she sent some delicious over dyed wool, some Ghiradelli dark chocolate and a very nice hard cover journal which I will take to write special things in when I go to rug camps.  But, my first entry will be for the first of the four seasonal swaps and friends I make along the way.  It will be nice to journal my hooker friendships and special moments.  Okay, here is the mat.

Isn't this cute as the dickens?  There are so many things it says to me.... first, I live in the woods and there are trees in the foreground and background.  There is the comfort of a home where someone is probably hooking in the lighted room, and the Snowman is decorated in Christmas lights and hat to keep him warm in the chill of winter.

I plan to do all 4 seasonal swaps and Marci has set the standard for me to try and achieve for the next 3.  In the event you are considering joining I want to mention it was not a requirement to sign up for all 4 seasons.  And, the swap partners will change so that I won't get Marci for any of the other 3 seasons.  But I definitely plan to participate in the others as this was fun.  So, if you would like to join check out , join and inquire about the seasonal swap because our next one will be due sometime in March I think.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Must Move On, but first.......

I just had to start hooking some on the border and take one last picture of the rug before putting it aside so the other projects can get worked on, or at least started.  As I mentioned previously, there is a Santa waiting to be finished and must start the Santa mat for my daughter-in-love.  Must say that my son couldn't have a nicer, sweeter wife even if I'd been doing the interviewing myself.  Anyway.....

In the process of hooking this border I learned that since the dimensions of my rug are a smidgen smaller than the original rug it will require me to cornrow a more narrow strip of wool in the triangles in order to get the colors I want, since I want it somewhat similar to the original in color but am still taking some creative license here and there. 

Both triangles will be re-worked so that the one on the left has a more narrow light strip which will match the one to it's right.  However, the right triangle will need to come out too so that the light strip doesn't look so packed in.  But at least I know what the plan will be when I get back to hooking this. 

But before I can even start hooking on my DIL's snowman mat I'll need to clean up my hooking area around the sofa.  OMG, what a mess.  There's strips on the sofa arm, wool strips in baggies to the left and right of me, wool stuffed in the sections of the woven basket.  I just hate switching from one project to the other.  It is bad enough when one rug is done and you can put away all the wool, but when you have more than one project going on at the same time it is total chaos in my house.

Well, guess I better just grab the bull by the horns and go for it.  Ta ta for now.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Frost Sheep once again

Okay, I did something a little differently.  First thing I did was remove the echo line under the chin which was there yesterday and have since redirected my hooking.  I think that with two lines hooked in the same direction gave the appearance of a chin and mouth.  Here is the way it looked yesterday.

Then I pulled out the eye color which was the same value as the newer dark face outline features.  Since I was undecided whether to go dark with eyes or lighter with eyes I have hooked one of each for yet another opinion from my readers.   And here is the way it looks right now.  For sure the under chin looks better.

Of course since this is an adaptation of antique rug we do know the colors would have faded.  But it is that worn and faded look of antique rugs that appeals to us, or at least to me.  Sure I could try to second guess what the original colors were but what I've fallen in love with is the faded look so that is what I'd want to hook.  And even the variance in background color which may have all been dyed using black walnuts by the original hooker in the beginning but that some of the wools may have faded more than others.  Yup, just love that blotchy background appearance in the antique rugs and that is what I will try to achieve in this rug.

As much as I want to keep pushing on with this rug there is a Santa which I started about a month ago and my dear daughter-in-love saw me hooking a snowman mat for a swap, she thought it was going to be hers and can't disappoint her at Christmas so must start hers soon.  I did buy her a gift but she usually likes the things I make for her.  I'm quite lucky in that respect, my dear DIL appreciates the things I handcraft.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Opinions Please

I'm sure you've heard to statement, "don't ask the question if you don't want to hear the answer".  Well I am going to ask a question and I truly DO want to hear the answers and opinions.

Notice the light outlines of the facial features on the sheep in this photo.  Every time I would look at it my gut told me to pull it out and put in darker wool for the outline.  So I did.  I've never had a problem reverse hooking before and won't have a problem pulling out this newly hooked darker value wool either.

Here is what it looks like right now.  But I'm not sure if it is a dark enough value or not.  Or, for that matter if the lighter color really is what should be on the sheep. 

So I would really appreciate your opinions and am open to any and all suggestions.  Should I go back to the light outlines?  Do I go darker value even than what I just hooked in the face or is this value okay.  And...... perhaps it would mean that the blue eye color should change as well.  Decisions, decisions. decisions.  I'm waffling here so am looking forward to your your comments.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Workshop rug show

There was an impromptu rug show at the Delmarva Workshop; some were rugs teachers brought and others were from some of the students' finished works.  There were no names on them so it is hard to tell.  And, must confess that I didn't take pictures of all of them (my bad).

This rabbit is totally adorable with it's wool applique purse.

I do know this eagle was hooked by Peg, the same woman who was hooking the fish in class.  She mentioned that she asked her husband what he wanted her to hook and he wanted her to do this eagle and flag.  She did but said that she thought to herself, "Oh no, a boring brown eagle".  So she decided to give it a little color.  It looks like it is hooked separately and then placed on top of the flag.

This bear was really neat and looked like it may have been hooked in #10 cut with brown and white herringbone.  And with the fru fru and proddy flowers this may have been a piece that Diane Kelley hooked.

Take a look at the woven basket; that is too cool!

And like the proddy rooster tail on this one. 

It is always fun to see what other people do and get inspiration.  And of course there were rugs from Lucille Festa which you saw on the post two days ago. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Works in Progress

Lucille's class was a small class with only 8 students.  Of course that is a perfect recipe for each of the students to get a lot of attention to color planning and then throw in a couple tablespoons of fun and laughter.

My pal Deb hooked almost the entire Kinderhook Basket rug in 2 1/2 days.  Unfortunately I didn't get a picture just before we left but this picture was taken midway thru the class on the 2nd of the 3 day class.  She sure was the over achiever in my class, that is for sure.

One gal in the class (Stella) designed a folk art piece from family photos and her life in Virginia.  Yes, she exagerated the details to give it a folk art look rather than a narrow cut realistic approach.  This is the third in the series she has hooked and it is based on the black family who was considered a part of Stella's family during her youth.  Stella had lots of wonderful stories to tell of the woman who is the focus of this piece.  And there is yet another rug being designed to follow this one which, I believe was the husband sitting on a porch; can't wait to see all of them. 

I have not seen pictures of the other two rugs Stella hooked but think they are all going to have wording on the side from the song Zippity Do Dah.  This the the right hand side of the rug.

Another gal (Pam) is hooking this sunflower rug for her son and daughter-in-law as a gift (hope they aren't reading this blog).

Someone else who was quite hesitant about doing primitive (Peg) but did want to stretch herself, seemed unhappy with her piece when she first started pulling loops.  But later when she got more of her design covered and a bit more color in, she became happy with her piece.  And so she should, I think it is a wonderful looking fish.

Some other students in the classroom were working on these other pieces.  Just love the detail Grace was getting in her eagle.

And another rugs but forget who was doing this one.

I didn't achieve nearly as much on my rug as my gal pal Deb and haven't really had all that much time to work on it since being home from camp.  The day I returned home from camp I had an order for a Domestic Zoo pattern and the very next day received yet another order.  So as I'm typing this blog I have another linen upstairs on the table waiting to be drawn out.  But here is what I've accomplished thus far on my piece.

You see the '?' at the bottom of the sheep?  That is where my piece of "dirty muddy" will go.

There was also a mini rug show which I took pictures of and will post those pictures tomorrow.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Delmarva Workshop

Oh my did I have fun those 3 days at a workshop in Ocean City, MD.  The workshop and accommodations were held at The Dunes Hotel right on the Atlantic Ocean.  Each of the rooms have a balcony and it is delightful to fall asleep to the sound of rolling waves gently cascading onto the shore.

No, that speck in the water to the right is not a shark, it is a surfer waiting for the perfect wave.  Lucille thought that the 'boys' were crazy to be out there in November even if they were in a wet suit.

I had Lucille in a class at Cape May a few years ago when she taught the first week.  Now she teaches the second week but that week isn't good for me as it is too close to when I have a show.  So once I learned that she was teaching in Ocean City, MD my registration was in the mail the next day.  Not only do I love Lucille's primitive style and color choices but love her sense of humor; to say she is a hoot is an under statement.

At one point we were looking for the right color in my rug, and since I wanted it to have blotches of different darks for the background (as you see in antique rugs) she said, "what you need is a dirty muddy".  So that is one of my favorite names for an aged piece of wool.  She sure is a lot of fun to be around.

Some of the gals in the class had never taken a primitive class and they usually hook with lots of color, so this was a stretch for some as they tried working outside their comfort zone.  But they did a remarkable job.  I'll eventually post more pictures of some of the pieces the students were working on, but for now, here are some of the hooked pieces that Lucille brought to demonstrate different aspects of primitive hooking.  This one is an adaptation of a Magdalena rug and I love it.

This was a very interesting piece that Lucille spoke of, the whys and hows she designed it.

She also brought some hooked door people to be used as decorations during the holidays.  I bought this design in pattern form on linen but my roomie and friend Deb noticed there was a price in the back and grabbed it up, all hooked by Lucille.... lucky duck.

This is a cute cat rug and the colors are rich and yummy.
And what is not to like about this adorable chicken.  Maybelle will be on my list of rugs to hook one day.  And oh but that list is growing.

It was certainly a fun camp and hope Lucille will be invited back to the workshop to teach next November.  But I understand that they try to bring in different teachers each year but I'm keeping my fingers cross.  If she does go back..... Lucille, here I come.  If you want to check out Lucille's web site, here is a link:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

And the Winner is....... (drum roll)

There is a winner.  I did the random number select method (ticket posted further down) and the 27th person to enter in the drawing by posting was ........... Cathy of Orange Sink!!!!!  To refresh your memory, these were the delicious wools that were very generously provided by Heavens to Betsy for the drawing.  Again, thank you Betsy and Erica.

So Cathy, write me at and provide your mailing address so I can get your wool off to you.  Congratulations Cathy.
Well I'll be danged!!!  I did a copy and paste of the pink ticket with the data and when I posted it on my site the blocks were empty.  Anyway, guess you'll just have to take my word for it.  I was trying to achieve the same affect that Alice did when she did her give away but must have done something wrong or missed a step. 
And, just this afternoon I reached my goal of 100 followers so we are both winners.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

TA DA! Wool Giveaway

Hear Ye Hear Ye…… this is the official announcement of the Wool Giveaway.  Thanks to the generosity of Betsy and Erica of Heavens to Betsy, I am able to share these wonderful wools with one of you lucky hookers!   If you have gotten their samples in the mail  you will notice that one is my namesake “Woodland Junction”.  How honored I am they named the wool after my blog and web site, and am very proud of that beautifully milled piece of wool too. 
Since I will be attending rug camp from November 6th until the afternoon of the 9th, figured that would be the ideal time for me to host the giveaway.  That way my absence from my blog wouldn’t be missed and will allow time for word of the giveaway to spread and people to enter the drawing.   So on Thursday November 10th I’ll choose the winner via Random Number Generator and ship out to the lucky winner on Friday the 11th.  Sorry to say this giveaway will be only for the U.S. due to the excessive shipping costs out of the country!!
I am hoping to reach at least a total of 100 FOLLOWERS during this giveaway so if you aren’t already a ‘follower’ please do join, also leave a comment and tell me what brought you to be a hooker or why you love being a rug hooker.  Those are the only two requirements to enter the giveaway ~ be a follower and make a post.
The winner will win these wools (doesn’t include the black background wool tho, since I still need that).  There is a yard and a half (a quarter yard of each) of Betsy’s wool to a lucky winner!  And, I will throw in something additional from me.

I'm looking forward to reading all the comments and find out out how many new followers I have obtained when I return home.  Thank you Betsy and Erica!!