Thursday, March 30, 2017

Mini Rug Show

Tonight's rugs may seem a little more colorful than I usually hook.  But as old rugs appear on pinterest or auction sites they are saved on my flash drive as they are still old rugs and endearing to me. 
Found the rug of two dogs on an auction site but no provenance was provided.  The curles at the top provides framing of the dogs as well as a border of sorts.
The rug above was found on an auction site and was to have been hooked in 1920 on burlap.  With the checkerboard roof, colorful border and fauna this piece reminds me so much of the artwork of Maude Lewis of Nova Scotia. 

Speaking of Maude Lewis, I understand there is a movie coming out about her and am looking forward to seeing it.  For sure I'll admire that little lady for her personal achievements but will also shed tears for those obstacles she had to hurdle in her life.   One day I'd like to hook a rug from her artwork.
The above rug was auctioned off from a horse farm and was to have been hooked late 19th or early 20th century.  It depicts horses running around a track with hit and miss everything..... center as well as border.
Above is definitely an example of the 'outline and fill' for the padula flowers, has the hit and miss going on and using what was available for the rest. Remember, we will use whatever we have to get the job done for necessity or for entertainment.
My oh my.... Mary Follet you did magnificent work.  As you can see she was 12 years of age when she did this needlework in 1802.  It is a stitchery, not a hooked rug but I saved it as there were motifs worthy of using as a template in a future rug.  But hey, beautiful art is to be shared, right.

Can you imagine today's 12 year old girl doing such work?  Just a couple days ago my 13 year old grandson interviewed me for school homework.  There were specific questions asked which were to inform students the differences between youth today and when I grew up.  I think it was a wake up call for my grandson and would have loved to be a fly in the classroom and the bugged eyes of the shocked children.

Have a great evening everyone.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Dyeing Without Dye

I wanted to name the post "Taming the Uglies" but figured if someone wanted to use the search engine on my blog the best would be what I used.

Most of us have wool we don't particularly care for and wonder why we bought it.  Yet wool can always be changed by over dyeing with dye, marrying wool in a pot with soapy water or sandwiching different colors of wool together, twisting and tying before putting in a pot of soapy water.  I've done all those techniques at one time or another and have posted the results on this blog.  So here are the subjects of today's efforts.

Top left above is a plaid which I have never used as the white is too white. Bottom far right is a pinky red and is a reversible and it is too pink for my taste and would have preferred a more barn red.  Although was sure that would not happen in this experiment.

Was hoping by marrying all them together would soften the white in the top left, bleed out some of the red in the other wool and wanted the green, black and blue to dull the pinky red. 

Basic Instructions:  I presoaked the wool with very warm water with Ivory (no bleach) soap.   The pot of wool was then placed on my range with high heat until it was steaming but NOT boiling.  The temp was turned down low so that it would simmer NOT boil for at least an hour. 

From time to time I'd push and turn the wool in the pot to help release some color.  Slowly the color would get a bit darker.  When I was confident there was no more color to be released put in about half cup of white vinegar as the mordant so the wool would absorb and keep the color.  Again I moved the wool about in the pot and let it simmer about 15 minutes more.  

The pot of wool cooled down on the range with NO heat while I ran my errands.  Then rinsed the wool, spun out the remainder of moisture in  my washer and put in the dryer under low temperature with a couple fluffy towels.  Thought about hanging to dry outside but it was rather cloudy outside.

As one would expect there was no significant change in the dark plaids and just subtle changes in the other.
Above you can see the white was tamed as it did absorb some of the red and dark.  So could see me using that in a pinch for something.  The pinky red did absorb some of the dull of the plaid.  It was a fun experiment to show you who have never dyed wool before.  But in all honesty these need some serious 'intervention' before they will be on my good list line up.  Me thinks one day they will be in a pot with some dye as I've more yardage of both those uglies.

Hope you have a great Wednesday evening.  Now back to work on my Goat.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Magdalena's Goat Update

This blog post was planned for yesterday but didn't happen.  So before showing my progress let me yell and scream to get that chip off my shoulder...... 

Was having an issue with my Microsoft software for Office 2013 and Outlook 2013.  In the morning I was able to get my email thru Outlook just fine.  But when going back in the afternoon to check the mail and do the blog post there was a pop-up box saying, "your OS does not support this product".  WHAT?  It was supported in the morning?

My guess was that during that period off line Microsoft must have had an update which screwed up the system.

I tried numerous things...found that both software was listed in the Control Panel so tried to repair them.  Nope, still didn't work.  Then found the product key and after much searching on the web located where I could type the numbers in to refresh my purchased software. Nope, still no email nor did I have Microsoft Word.  To say I was angry is an understatement.

Of course I've a wonderful iPad so could have read and written emails from that.  BUT, as I'm designing a rug for someone had scanned my sketches and wanted to attach them to the email which I couldn't do with my iPad.  Had to go to the Comcast web page and use that as a last resort.  

Couldn't sleep well last night due to over thinking what I'd do today to get it fixed and anticipated a several hour telephone call to Microsoft as they work me thru fixing it.  But when I turned on my computer this morning...guess what?  Yup miraculously I've Outlook email.

Sorry to bore you and bet most of you just scrolled down to look at the honest now, 😊  But at least I feel better having screamed and stomped my feet.
Have errands to do today in a neighboring town but can't wait to get back home and work on my rug some more.  Already have a new rug lined up to hook.  But before starting it will pull a few loops on my grandson's rug.

Hope you have a great day and no computer issues.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Handmade Dolls to Adopt

Up for adoption is Lesly Lou and her dollie.  Lesley Lou is 15 1/2" tall, she is made of cotton as are her bloomers and dress.  Her hair is wool roving which has been braided.  Her facial features have been embroidered on using floss.  She and her dolly are up for adoption for $35 plus traveling fees.
Also up for adoption is Ophelia who is 19" tall, made of osnaburg cloth which has been painted, lightly sanded and stained for an aged look. She holds a vintage coin purse but looks like a hand bag on a small doll. Her lips and nose have been needle sculpted and facial features painted with acrylic paint.  Her hair is natural wool roving.  Ophelia is $45 plus traveling fees.
These dolls were made with my own hands.......Chairs are not included with the purchase of the dolls.  Let me know if you are interested in either or both ~ first come first sold.  Will take a check or can send a PayPal invoice.

Happy Sunday to each of you.  Now I'm going back to hooking my Magdalena Goat so will show progress tomorrow.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Lucky Find Cleaning the Shed

Recently I started cleaning out the shed of 'junk'.  Amazing how much debris was disposed of.  BUT.... amongst the trash I found two treasures.  Two dog collars belonging to my departed Shumba and her son Panzer.  Those tags had the address of Columbia, MD where this photo below was taken which inspired my hooked wall hanging.
Had to take a photo of the tags before attaching to my hooked piece.
Tried to attach with the rings but the tags didn't hang right so removed the rings.  
Above is a photo of 'before'.  And below is what it looks like now.  
As a side note, in V of each dog's neck their own hair is hooked in. When they were alive and groomed I'd save their hair in individual baggies with this intent.  Yes, Rotties have short hair so wouldn't be good for spinning into yarn UNLESS you have a friend who spins and used a very thin piece of wool roving to blend in the spinning process. That friend was Leslie Covney of Florida who has since departed.

When looking at the hooked piece you can see their hair texture and it was hooked where the color changed between the brown and black.  I love this and am proud of my work.  The dogs were hooked in #3 wool strips but learned to hate narrow cut so did the background in #5 cut.

I've willed this piece to my ex but if he is departed it is to go to my local veterinary hospital for the euthanasia room.

Oh, just as soon as that rug was bound and hung on my wall I drew out a PRIMITIVE design depicting my girl and boy and hooked it in kind of cut.  Well it was my cut back then but have since gone larger.
Happy weekend everyone.


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.