Monday, December 31, 2012

Eve of the New Year

I'd really hoped to be further along on this rug by now yet didn't plan on it being finished by this time.  Guess my pattern drawing, dye pot playing and Christmas holiday time changed my plans.  Oh well.
Tomorrow is a new day for the beginning of a new year.  I'm looking at the picture of the rug and there are still issues I'm having with it.  As previously posted I pulled out some red from the mane of the lion on the left and changed the tail on the lion on the right.  But now am finding other things I'd like changed.

For sure am happy that the muted  faded red was added at the ground.   But there is still something with the faces of the lions.  They are too light.  Maybe they need outline.  Maybe if the red is removed from the mane of the left lion.  But certainly it needs work.

I've work to do, fun to have, hooking to enjoy and wish everyone a very happy, healthy, safe and prosperous new year.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Another Day Another Dye

Since there was more blue dye left in the jar yesterday decided to use it up.  But before I did thought I'd find the real source of the dye recipe.  On top of the jar it said, "Warm Wool #113, Pro-Chem.  Hmmm, should have read the other words beyond Warm Wool and I would have realized it wasn't Cushing dye. 

So this  morning I went to my Beautiful Wool dye book by Laurice Heath and looked at recipe #113 and saw a snippet of wool I'd stapled in the book to record what my last dye job looked like.  Had I originally done that would have known that 2 tablespoons would give me a darker dye result....duh.  I mean, Saundra, what's the sense of keeping dye records if you don't use the process?

These are the results and approximately one yard of wool was dyed using two pots with 1 1/2 tablespoons of dye.  Actually one pot had a smidgen more wool so used just under 2 tablespoons.  Oops, in this picture I almost cut off the wool to the far left.
This is what I started with.  Notice cream colored wool came out greenish because......yup, yellow and blue makes green.  And that stripe wool I've used in other dye jobs and it does not take color well so won't use that in an experiment again but am sure it has a task it can complete one day, like maybe hook thru it.  Besides it is rather thin and not much fun to hook with.
Believe it or not I've still more blue dye left but am over it with that jar and tired of doing the blue.  Yet, having the blue is good because I want to hook the Santa which is a free pattern in the latest RHM and it will be a good sky.  And of course the camera flash is making the wool appear lighter.  I'll probably use a little of this and some of what I dyed yesterday for the sky.

When I returned all my dye equipment to the shelf in the garage, I took account of other left over mixed dyes in my tray.  I have Tawney and Faded Apricot recipes by Karen Kahle, High Meadow Green which was the background for my Wee Folk rug (also from Beautiful Wool), a pinky flesh from Sara Gault's Woolie Gardyn dye recipes and Snow but can't remember the source for that dye ~ then the Warm Sky.... sigh. 

Guess my gusto to get rid of all those pre-mixed dyes has wained somewhat after two days.  But one of my New Year's resolutions is to slowly use them up and I'll bore all of you with the before and after photos.

My original plan was to give you a peak at what hooking I'd accomplished today on the lion rug but think I'll hold that off until tomorrow..... New Year's eve.   

Thanks for stopping by and hope you have a great Sunday evening.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hook'n and Dye'n

This morning I planned my day while making my coffee.  I was definitely going to pull some loops on my Lions in the Woods, draw out a Frost Sheep pattern AND use up some already mixed dyes.  In the past there were a few times there was more liquid left over than the wool required so kept them in jars in the garage with the name of the recipe on top.  There must have been maybe 6 jars but I only used two colors today. 

One color was called Hooker's Gold and is in a Barb Carroll book entitled American Folk Art Rug Hooking.  Sheesh, I can't remember how many years ago I used this recipe but figured it was time to use them up or throw them away.  And mama told me to waste not want not.

These are the wools used and there is approximately 1/2 yard total of all the wool and used approx 8 tablespoons (all there was) of the Hooker's Gold dye.  I started out using 4 tablepoons but when the water was almost clear it was obvious it was not making much of an impression so dumped the other 4 tablespoons in the pot and stirred.
This is the result of the dye job.  And unfortunately they are put out of order but think you can tell which piece of wool relates to the two pictures.  And the flash makes both of these pictures appear brighter but must admit that I will use the bottom wool before I'd use the above wool.
When looking at the names of the dyes on top of the lid also chose one called "Warm Sky", it is from the dye book Beautiful Wool by Laurice Heath.  Much to my surprise when I looked inside the jar everything had dried up.  It even looked like salt in the bottom of the jar.  But when I put water in the jar it came to life again.  I do not know why this happened but when the water was added it came back to it's strong intensity.

This is the wool I started with and there is approximately half a yard there.
This is the result of the dye and OMG, I only used 2 tablespoons of the dye and have more blue left ~ more than 2 tablespoons; so it was a highly concentrated dye for sure.
With the dye left think I'll pull a little more wool like that lighter wool and other light colored wool.  I'd really like to use this up before it crystallizes again and make use of wool which needs color and then I can bind them together with the different textures with a name tag they were in the same family.
Don't know about you guys who dye, but there is something about warm wool and vinegar which I like.  But when I was married to my ex, he would come in the house and ask me, "what stinks?"  And me?  I like that smell.  I do use citric acid sometimes but today just felt like having that nice aroma in the kitchen.
And now for the hook'n part.  Sorry if it is too boring to continually see updates on my Lions in the Woods rug but this is what it looks like now.
One other change I made was in the red tail in the lion on the right.  My teacher suggested using red since I was using it as the border and in the pennies so for that lion the red for the border trim is what was used and I thought it looked too bright.  So pulled it out and put in a little darker wool with red in it.
Hope to post more before the new year and also hope to post more in 2013 than I did this year.
Happy Holidays everyone and please have a safe New Year.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lions in the Woods Update

Thanks for validating my thoughts on the darker corner.  After hooking it in knew it looked better but it is always nice when you know hookers that you respect agree.  So as you can see I pulled out the blue on the bottom corner and made it dark.  While I did pull out some red loops from the mane of the lion on the left, the red still looks a little heavy. 
Something else I've done is put some lighter dark color in some of the triangles and will do some heavier of that color in other parts of the border to make it look aged.

If you enlarge the picture you can see something else that I'm doing for the ground.  In the original antiques there are some hooked spots which I am guessing are to be red leaves.  I drew them on my design but Lucille thought I should leave them out.  Well, I'm hooking some in and it will be very subtle and not as bold as the antique rugs were. You can see the soft faded color in the bottom which is also the same as in the triangles on the right border.

I'm a little antsy to get this finished because I have a new project that I'll start hooking on the beginning of the new year.  That will remain a surprise for a while longer tho.  A girl has to have a few secrets.  But I've been drawing out patterns today, I've drawn 10 and have 2 more larger ones to draw.  Actually 3 to draw but that doesn't have to be done until  closer to the new year and need to send out the 12 other ones tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

HO HO HO December 25th

It has been a very pleasant and relaxed Christmas Day here with me hooking on the Lions In the Woods before going to my son's house to share the holiday with them.  This is where the rug is at this moment. 
You may recall this is a design I adapted from two antique rugs similar but chose elements from both to make it more to my liking.  Must say that I do wish I'd made the rug a little larger because I am using #8 cut on most of it but #8.5 on the background. 

NOW, I need a little help from my friends and would love your input.  Take a look at the top and bottom right corners and tell me which looks best. 

I hooked the bottom corner first and thought the blue might add some color to the mostly dark solid bottom but when I got to the top and started hooking the blue there it seemed to look odd with so much blue with the triangle and the box.  AND, for the top border triangle near the top corner will be a blue.  So I pulled it out and hooked it with the primitive dark.  As I'm looking at it am thinking that it should be the dark for the border but am looking for input from my readers.

Plus I plan to make a change in the male lion's mane and remove the under hooked part of the mane and make it more straight rather than rounded at the bottom. 

Oh, and you probably noticed that I'm using the wide binding, a product I posted about on a previous post.  It really looked fantastic on a Polly Minick rug and I inquired where she purchased it and bought a roll for myself.  The binding comes in different colors and it really makes the rug stable and straight.  Not to say that I'd use this for all my rugs but on this one the hooked border will be dark so it will work great.

Naturally today was time spent with my son, daughter-in-love Cathy and my grandson Zach.  So I snapped a picture of my son and grandson playing with toys and just wonder who likes toys more.... father or son???
Here is Zach assembling a Lego village.  It will be interesting to see what he brings here to entertain himself with from all his new Christmas gifts.  Grandma has things here for him to play with but after all..... he has all these new toys which he will want to have here tomorrow.

My grandson will be spending the next couple days with grandma while school is out and parents work to make money for next year's Christmas and to pay bills for the upcoming year.
Hope you all had a peaceful and loving holiday however you celebrate. 
Happy Birthday Jesus.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Day

'Twas the day before Christmas.........
....and I've met my personal deadlines set on hooking rugs.  I managed to complete the Holiday Ornaments mat and have it displayed on my harvest table before the holiday.  And, more importantly finished hooking Wee Folk and have steamed it.  Binding it wasn't a priority because I'm still unsure as to how I want to bind it.   The two ways I'm considering is the wool covered cord or whip with blue wool strips.
So now the Lions in the Woods design is back on my frame and am happily hooking it during the Christmas holiday.

The Santa above I made a few years ago.  What isn't too visible are the toys in the green sack; there is the cutest handmade moose sticking out a little and all you can see is a piece of the cloth antlers.

Hope all of you have a safe and happy holiday season and New Year. 


Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Cheer

In the last post I mentioned having wine tasting here tonight. It wasn't the whole group of us who attend because as some of us are leaving some others are just arriving.  We all know one another but there are those of us who have really bonded well and end up getting there about the same time.  Therefore tonight's gathering was a small intimate group of great friendship. 

There was a time when I would be extravagant with my holiday decorations outside as well as inside.  But since it is just me here now and just me to clean up after I'm a little more conservative on what I bring out to have to put back.  I like antiques, so one of my favorite things is having long johns hanging.  Just love them hanging on the doors to show a little olde and a little warmth for the holiday season.

Silly me..... earlier today I'd taken pictures of a gorgeous male Cardinal in a tree just outside my window and had my camera set on 'landscape'.  Uh, I never changed the setting when deciding to take pictures of tonight's group.  Sorry it is so blurry and dark.....from left to right is Karla, Paula, Richard, Jon and in the front is Richard's wife Sue.
Funny thing is that after about 1 1/2 hours of snacking and wine with the group, Jon gets a call.  It is his neighbor asking where he is.  Jon says, "I'm at a Friend's house at wine tasting and I'll be there in a few minutes.  After Jon hung up he said, "OMG, guys, 3 days ago my neighbor invited me for dinner tonight and he was asking where I was". 

We were in hysterics because Jon must have had a complete meal with the meatballs, cheese and crackers, humus and crackers and all the other stuff to eat.  And so now he was going to eat a dinner with a neighbor.  Even after Jon left we were laughing about his misery and guess he won't eat anything for at least two days after tonight. 

Ben loves company and I warned everyone that while he is a SWEET boy (a Rottweiler remember),  he just won't leave people alone.  He wants attention, wants to be touched, and is a sociable dog.   Finally after maybe an hour of trying to gain attention from everyone he finally settled down after they left.  I couldn't get him to leave for a walk while they were  here and now that he is semi-comatose, might not be able to get him to walk any time soon. 

And here is just after a semi-clean up.  The dishes and wine glasses will wait until tomorrow because my boy Ben needs to go for his walk ~~ IF I can get him out of the house.  And after a not so great sleep last night I will go to be early tonight myself.
Please be kind to one another, enjoy your friends and family during this joyful holiday season.  Tonight was a fun time with my friends and so glad to have had them here. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Meeting Holiday Deadlines

Yikes.  Monday is Christmas eve!  Tomorrow being Friday is when I and numerous friends attend the Friday wine tasting locally.  Ruth, the manager of store prodded me to go and eventually threatened to come and drag me out after the divorce.  And finally I caved and have found numerous friends so there is a camaraderie and we get a chance to experience wines which we may not otherwise have a chance to drink.

Anyway, tomorrow there is no wine tasting since it will be a very busy day anyway.  So, silly me said that I'd have one here at my humble house.  No, there won't be a lighted driveway with trees lighted and custom parking.  It will be my wooded yard with simple decorations inside.  This is the harvest table where I'll put the cheese and crackers with the Holiday Ornaments rug and some Christmas balls and glitter.

And, as I'm looking at the Holiday Ornaments rug think that I'll change the design to include some lights swirling or hanging over the middle ball.  I do love the way it was designed with the lights at the bottom but the top needs a little more pizazz.
As a side note, those green houses to the left and right are birdhouses which were made using antique parts of the Victorian Chalfonte Hotel in Cape May.  One has an antique glass door knob as the perch and the other an olde electrical something or other.

The various wines and glasses will be in the middle of the kitchen but it will still be simple and don't think that anyone will stay longer than the hour we usually spend at wine tasting chit chatting.  But hey, there's no ABC (Alcholol Beverage Commission) here so maybe it will last longer.

BUT, since I've not cleaned up or decorated and don't know how much I can pull together by tomorrow have no new pictures to show.  Today all day I've been cutting linens, serging and drawing out 16 patterns so I'm somewhat behind..... UH, as usual.

Have a great evening and hope you are further ahead with your schedule than I am.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Gifts for Textile Artists

This is the month of the year that I take spending liberties for myself since it is my birthday month and Christmas month.  One year it was a GPS which was an extravagance for me at that time.  Another year it was a better more portable camera, and then a Townsend Orbiter floor frame, and this year was not only my iPad 2 but these other two must haves for textile hand work.

I already have two floor OTT lights; one stays in my living room and doesn't move from it's spot and there is one which travels with me when I go to rug camps to use in the classroom.  However, since I don't like carrying my floor light to my sleeping room when I hook there decided I needed a more portable OTT for that.

So this past weekend I treated myself to this cordless, rechargeable portable OTT.  I works wonderfully because my roomie Deb had one last year and me, being envious, had to own one as well.  Frankly I didn't know they existed other than the ones with cords, but this is wunnerful.
AND also purchased this handy dandy OTT which is shorter but a wee bit thicker than a cell phone and works on just 3 AAA batteries. Here is a picture of the front, and they had different colors but I chose this.  That white spot is where the flash bounced back and is not a rub off on the cover.
Here is what it looks like opened and you an see the lighting mechanisms.
This will be useful for me to see if I am picking up black or blue wool strips as I sit in the sleeping room with my cordless OTT to my right and my hooking strips on my bed to the left.  I just pick up my handy dandy OTT and see if my strip color is a dark brown, black or navy ~ voila.  It has a clip so it can be attached to a shirt, a tote, etc.  I am sure it has other uses as well.

And it only gets better.  The mini-mini OTT was originally $20 at Michael's but it is NOW on sale at 50% off PLUS I had a computer print out of an additional discount which brought the total cost of it to me for $8.  WOW!  Now that is a deal.

The cordless portable OTT was not to be seen at my local Michael's so maybe they had been bought out of those.  However, my local Hancock Fabrics (a/k/a Minnesota Fabrics) had them at 40% PLUS I had a coupon which brought the price down from $99 to $50.

Sale at Hancock is effective until December 24th.  I'm not sure how long the sale is effective at Michael's.  But you may want to check both stores out and if you don't get the flyers delivered to your home you should sign up when you go to the store to purchase.  AND, do a Google search and bring up each web site to see if you can download a coupon before you go.

Good luck, happy shopping and please remember to be kind to one another. 


p.s.  I want to finish my Wee Folk REALLY BADLY!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wee Folk Deadline

Since the Fleur pins are done and my rug Lions in the Woods is on the sidelines it is time for me to set a deadline for the end of the hooking of my Wee Folk rug.

Actually, the rug really is time on for what it usually takes me to hook a rug.  I started the Wee Folk September 10th and it normally takes me 3 months to hook a rug ..... UH, on my relaxed comfort schedule.  But since then I've started the Lion rug, finished the Edward Tulane Rabbit and hooked the flower pins.  So hey, I'm no sloucher.

Okay, Okay, so you want to see the Wee Folk rug do ya?
I think it is looking pretty good.  There's more for the background and border to do but once the whole rug is hooked the binding is no big deal.  Okay, that's a lie.  It IS a big deal to decide how to bind, plus that is not my most favorite part of hooking.  But ya know, as I'm looking at the picture I'm quite pleased with the way it looks. 

Thanks for dropping by for a visit. And remember to be kind to one another as shopping during the holiday can raise temps and blood pressure.  Just take your time, give a smile and that kindness and smile will spread.

HUGS to all.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I had an order from someone for some flower pins and sent her a picture of the only 3 I had left but told her if those weren't suitable that I'd make more and what colors was she looking for.  These were the only ones I had left at the time.
Susan said she needed two for herself but another friend had seen hers that she'd previously purchased from me and wanted to buy some for her as well as for gifts.  Susan's friend wanted the white one (shown above) but that she wanted something to put on her red winter coat which has black buttons and suggested I make a black flower.   Hmmm, well, there are black Orchids so why not a black flower pin.  Plus, it could also be a Mourning Flower to wear for that unfortunate time of life.

Then I proceeded to hook a primitive black flower with a red center, then another black flower with a black and white texture center.  Oh, hey..... maybe she would like a black and white plaid or black and white herringbone flower with a red center!!!!  Therein became my challenge to make different flowers for her to have a choice.  This is the picture I took to send Susan and she chose row 1 #1 and Row 3 #1.

In addition to the narrow cut white flower above, Susan's friend also chose the flower on row 1 #4.
Prior to Susan's order I'd had a request for earth/fall color flower pins so decided to hook a few of those too as well as other colors to fill the linen.  So in this next picture, Susan's friend also wanted the flowers on row 2 #2 and row 3 #2.
Those were pictures before being put on cards and this is now what I have left which I recently posted on my web site. 
This was a fun break, glad they're done and now I can get back to working on Wee Folk and will update a picture tomorrow.

Have a great evening, hope your holiday shopping goes without a glitch and please be kind to one another.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hooking Project Switch

There has been a run on my flower pins of late and had another order but only had these three left.  One person wanted one white, two red ones, but then decided maybe a black flower to accent her red winter coat with black buttons would be good too.  Plus another person wanted some earth color flowers for her shop.
So out came my small frame (actually it is a gripper size punch needle frame) and hooked these up. 
Of course they are not done because they need leaves, wool backing and pin backs sewn on ~ but at least they are on their way to completion.

Since I wanted to give options for that red wool coat with black buttons decided that a black and white check with red center might be nice too.  And then maybe one with a red center.  Was having so much fun with the black and white that decided to experiment.  No, these aren't colors of real flowers, except I must say there is a black orchid ya know.

Although they aren't needed until the 20th wanted to have them done before that in case I get more last minute stocking stuffer orders. So, needless to say my Wee Folk rug has been lacking attention.  But in these times if I can pick up a couple dollars here and there I'll stop having fun with my personal projects and work.

OH!!!!!   Hey you hooker pals, check this out.  This must be one wonderful and creative guild.  Click on the link provided here:  Maria Romero is the web master who was so creative in the animated links. 

I'm now making a pot of vegetarian chili; no, I'm not vegetarian but have been cheating since my last blood test was so good and my cholesterol increased a smidgen so am going to be a good girl again ~ for a while anyway, since I do not want to go on cholesterol meds.  Thank goodness I was gifted with a VERY high HDL (healthy cholesterol), mine is 100 and you can't buy that good stuff.  However, do want my total and hdl lower, so next year this time it will get a good report again.

Have a great evening and thanks for stopping by on your busy Sunday evening.  Please be kind to one another.


Friday, December 7, 2012

It's Beginning to Look Like.....

.... Christmas?  Well it's getting closer anyway.  This is a dyed goose feather tree I made over 6 years ago and had the goose feathers with instructions a couple years prior to that.    There were instructions to make a short feathered tree with limbs going in each and every direction or the design I chose. 
Sometimes I wish I'd chosen the shorter and multi directional limb design offered but this is what I chose then.  Were I younger I'd search for the person's name from whom I purchased this to make the other design to have as an alternate for my decoration on the sofa table. 

There are some dollar store purchased ornaments on the tree BUT, there are some very special ornaments.  The cloth painted star at the top was made by me.  The heart below that with the Inscriptions "Jesus is the Heart of Christmas" was a gift.  And those two larger embroidered ornaments below were made by a hooker friend Yahna who gifted them to me. 

Now.... that circular base the tree is plugged into was the base of a column from my grandfather's front porch.  Before the house was torn down I just had to capture whatever I could salvage to remember pop pop.  This has not been painted over and is a chipped white paint and it will remain like that. 

Okay, so on the left at the base of the tree is a small Rubber Ducky.  That was something that our Woolley Fox attendees decided to do as a gift to each other one year when we went to a class with Barb and celebrate Barb.  Oh, we also all had yellow rubber ducky dyed socks thanks to our gal pal Char.

And, on the right is a rubbery sheep which was given to me the very first rug camp I ever attended after teaching myself how to hook.  That rug camp was in Ocean City, MD.

Thanks for visiting and I know this is a very busy time of year so drive carefully.  AND, be kind to one another.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Back to a UFO

With my Holiday Ornaments piece all hooked and listed on my web site I can now put the UFO Wee Folk back on my frame.  Still have the Lions to finish also but want to get this big one out of the way since it was started in September while the lions was started in November ~ plus the lions is smaller.
Thank goodness I have the Townsend Orbiter for this one as it is heavy on the one end and plan to hook on the bottom right and then move back in toward the center again.  Must say my least favorite parts to hook on this are the wheel and half wheel sections and try tho I might to make them look equal in size and shape they still don't but not going to fret about it.  Can't believe I just wrote that so guess you know I'm wanting this rug done. 

Normally it only takes me about 3 months to hook a rug and I'm going on 4 now.  Partly because of the size but also took detours drawing patterns and hooking Holiday Ornaments.

My boy Ben is whining and notice that I'm 16 minutes late on making his din-din.  Can't keep my boy waiting any longer. 

Thanks for dropping by. 


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

And the WINNER of the GIVEAWAY

Here's Ben walking over to help make a selection; but in full disclosure all he did was sniff and since there wasn't anything edible in there turned his back on it, oh well.  Will have to train that big boy on how to do a drawing I guess.

So that meant I had to take matters into my own hands.  And the winner is .... (drum roll please)....... Kellie of Indiana!  Woohoo Kellie, and it is your son's birthday and you get a present too.  Congratulations to you; send me an e-mail with your snail mail address and I'll take it to the post office tomorrow.  You can send it to:

Thanks for participating, all of you, and as always so happy you drop by.