Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween

Tis fright night, and time for ghosts, goblins, superheros and princesses to appear.  Don't think I'll have any visitors again this year as all the kids in my neighborhood have grown beyond the age of trick or treating.
You may or may not know when I go to Cape May rug camp will go in search of orbs.  People either believe or not they exist.  I do believe they are a spiritual energy.  Could be someone who has passed and attached themselves to the location or just a departed spirit roaming the halls.  
Last year at camp the book above came home with me as there is a chapter on ghosts of the Chalfonte Hotel.  So this year my search for orbs went into a part of the hotel I'd never gone before...the annex just off the restaurant side.

When Craig McManus visited the Chalfonte for ghost activity he found strong energy near room 24 and 25.  Those rooms are locked closed and never used.  Below is a photo of the landing between those two rooms.  Didn't notice any orbs or strange sensations.  Wish I had felt cold or creepy, but didn't.
I visited that area several times during 2 days to see if I could find orbs.  Many times I didn't.  Except this time........
If you tap on the photo to make it larger you can see 2 faint orbs on the stairs.  These are the stairs leading to rooms 24 and 25.  One orb is in the center toward the top and 2 stairs below on the right is another orb.  I'm very tuned into orbs but if you need help noticing, I have put a box around the same two in the photo below.
Those are not light stains on the stairs as they weren't there at other visits but then appear at will.  
Leaving the annex after visiting near rooms 24 and 25 I discovered an orb on the screen to my left. It is along stud and screen.  This is the walkway toward the dining hall.

I find most orb activity if there is a band or music in the King Edward room.  That is when I grab my digital camera and go for a walk-about.
In the photo above there is an orb on the wall just above center of the curtain.  Guess the spirit enjoyed the music because below is another orb photo taken in the King Edward room.
Notice how strong that one is under the foot of the guitar player.  Spirit must really appreciate his music.
Above you can see an orb in front of me on the right side.  
And above another orb a little closer to me on the right.  If you tap on the photos they will enlarge but these are easy to see.
Above is the class room I was in which everyone refers to as 'the dungeon' because lighting is not so good and requires Ott or other lighting to help.  Notice the two orbs on the wall between the two wall hangings.

Some orbs show more brightly than others, as you saw in one of the photos above.  
Another very strong orb in the hallway and was so excited to see it.

No tricks folks, just treats of the spirit world for you to enjoy, Happy Halloween.


Monday, October 30, 2017

Rug Label Time

I feel there are three stages of rug hooking... the fun, the not so fun and the labels.  Fun part is the hooking, the middle part is the dang binding  then comes time for a label.
My grandson's Christmas gift will have two labels.  One of him in his soccer uniform and the other of family when they went to see the Barcelona soccer team this July.  Those should give him fond memories as he gets older. 

You can see how I made these labels by clicking a previous BLOG post.  I've still more labels to stitch on the last few rugs and they will be done in time. 


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sharing Spotlight Time

Just couldn't make up my mind which Halloween rug to display  on my harvest table so decided to have them take turns.  This way I can enjoy them both.  This is a design by Lori Brechlin named "Do Goode be Nice" and can be purchased from Spruce Ridge Studios.  It was hooked in a class with Kris Miller last September at Cape May.
Since I'm not lucky enough to have vintage jack-o-lanterns I made one of paper mache' a few years ago ~ which you see above.  
The mat above I designed and hooked for my love of vintage mache' Jack-O-Lanterns.  It may be a likeness but still not the same as those beauties I remember from my childhood.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Things Are About To Change

The weather will be cooler this weekend with rain, time will change soon and things will begin to get ..creepy ~~  It is almost Hallows Eve after all.  

Did a little cleaning to make this vignette on my harvest table.  Since I couldn't decide which rug to use decided to post another tomorrow.
The pumpkin head doll I named (HallowQeen), as well as the white pumpkin on base were made by me.  The smaller pumpkin on the left was a gift from friend Deb and made with wool sweaters  given by our friend Char.  Deb made one for each of us which we received at Cape May...thanks Deb and Char.

The hooked rug named Nantucket Broom Ride is a design by Lori Brechlin and offered by Spruce Ridge Studios.  This was hooked in a class two years ago with Kris Miller and one of my bestest Halloween rugs.

Have a great evening everyone.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Double Dipping

That would be double-dipping in the walnut dye pot.  As there was much liquid left thought I'd do another round of dying before it went bad.  This time I used only 3/4 yard of fabric thinking the most potent dye had been used in the previous job.  Here is today's achievement.
The top wool is before and bottom is after.  Was a little disappointed in the middle wool results.  It isn't quite as white as the before but not as dark as I'd hoped ~ must be the fiber content of the wool.

The rest of the dye has been poured out, think I'm over the black walnut dyeing this fall.  Besides must clean house and get closer to ready for rug camp in 9 days.....can't wait to see Betsy Reed again.

For those just now visiting my blog I will reiterate my black walnut dye process.  You can see the first of these dye jobs if you scroll down a few posts.

I put 30 whole green/brown nuts in a huge pot (a canning pot actually) with water enough to cover all the nuts.  Brought it to a boil then simmered for maybe half hour.  I let the pot cool on the stove as I wanted all the dye to be released.  Placed the pot in my laundry room sink until the next morning with the nuts still in the liquid.

In the morning took the pot outside as it would be messy.  With a slotted spoon pulled out all the nuts and tossed in the woods for the squirrels.  

Meanwhile my 1½ yards of wool had been soaking, I rung the water out and placed in the dye pot on the stove.  Simmered the wool until wool got to be as dark as I’d liked.  Of course wet wool always shows up darker than when dry.

There is NO NEED to add a mordant to black walnut dye as it will dye EVERYTHING!  Wear gloves if you insist on working with black walnuts.  

Again, the pot and wool went into the laundry room sink to cool and continue to absorb dye.  You can see I'm in no hurry here and don't want to handle hot wool.

I rinsed the wool several times in the sink until rinse water was clear.  Next put the wool in a pot with more clear water and that went in the washer for spin only.  Then into the dryer with a fluffy towel used only for my dye jobs.

Take advantage of the remaining life of the black walnuts as weather is getting colder and they will be gone.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Birthday Lion Update

Actually not much of an update if you compare it to the previous picture a few posts back.  But in my defense I've been doing end-of-season yard work and after last night's storm there is even more to do.  Plus desperately trying to clean up my wool room before the next camp in 10 days.  OY!  What a task.
As mentioned before, Birthday Lion is a design by Bill Laraway.  Isn't it the cutest, least fierce lion you've ever seen?  He almost looks like he's smiling and reminds me of a carousel ride from my youth.  You could probably get any size you want but this one is 20 x 23.5.  I'm sure Bill would accommodate your requests for smaller or larger.  

My boy Ben will visit his recently found friends at the same kennel and am so happy they welcomed him back.  I knew he was a good boy but many people are timid around Rottweilers and Pits.  But Kathleen Marie and I know they are not all bad dogs.  We happen to have lap dogs who like head and body massages.  
BTW, Ben was adopted when he was 3 years 7 months and I feel lucky to have my boy.  Please adopt a dog rather than from a breeder farm.  There are so many homeless and owner released dog which need homes.  Sometimes people don't realize it IS an emotional and financial commitment to care for a dog like it was your family member.  And that is what Ben is to me...he is my child.


Monday, October 23, 2017

Domestic Zoo Personalized

Look at the rich colors in this Domestic Zoo rug which Susie Traughber just finished.  Susie said she personalized the horse to a pinto as "...it was a childhood pet, among others".  
Susie recently hooked Magdalena's Goat as well.  Since both of her kids loved the rug she purchased another pattern to hook again.  Hopefully she will share that one with me as well.
I asked her if the Domestic Zoo was for one of her kids and she said..."it was hers for now".  Enjoy Susie, love how you made the design yours and personalized it....happy hooking.


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Follow the Leader

Also known as 'copy cat'.  Jo Wick posted her dyeing talents on Facebook recently.  It has been years since I dyed using black walnuts so thought it was about time for another.  The nuts are falling now and will soon be rotten or crushed by cars driving thru the development.  Yesterday's gathering provided me with 30 green/brown walnuts.
Above is the wool I started with and almost forgot to take a picture as the wool was being pushed in the pot to soak.  But at the last minute added another small piece of wool which you will see further down.  There was a little over 1 1/2 yards of wool in the pot soaking. 
 I put all 30 whole nuts in a pot of water and simmered.  As dinner time approached decided not to dye then but rather let the pot cool down overnight with the nuts soaking to extract more dye.
Above is what I woke up to and after breakfast took the pot outside to remove the nuts and strain the liquid (below).
There is no  need for a mordant with black walnuts as it will dye EVERYTHING.  I rinsed the wool numerous times until the squeezed wool water came out clear.  Then put the wet wool in my washer to spin out whatever moisture remained.   
Today's results are hanging on the line but tho dry still put them in the dryer with two fluffy towels (used only for wool projects) to fluff up on low. 
I'm not a pink person so have no idea why I purchased that pink wool above.  That is unless it was on sale for $5 per yard and thought I'd find a use for it.  I like the new look better.
Above is a before and after walnut dyeing today.  And yes.......
I also overdyed another piece of that wool using Old Patina.  Above and bottom is the result of the Old Patina recipe so there is just a smidgen of difference.
 Another before and after above.  I liked the pastel yellow/blue plaid thinking it would make a nice soft background and purchased 2 yards.  Just wanted to see how it would turn out with walnut dye.
Above on the left above was dyed with Old Patina and the one on the right from today's walnut dye.  Just a little difference.
That last minute added piece to the pot was the piece of wool on the right.  That piece on the left is the same wool but was from the Old Patina recipe posted on my BLOG.  The reason it is darker is because I was unhappy with the first Old Patina dye job so was dyed twice...thus  it is darker.  But I'm happy with the mellow color of today's walnut dye to the wool on the right so it won't go in a pot later.
 Above left is another 'bargain' just too good to pass up.  But never used it unless it was overdyed ~ too much white showing.  Even after today's walnut dye don't like that light showing thru so would use the darker side.
So the totality of my walnut dyeing for today is above.  OMG, I've still walnut dye in the pot so hopefully I'll get around to using it up soon before it goes bad.  Or perhaps I should freeze some to dab on rugs when hooking and they just need that little bit of ....dirty....for that olden look.

Take advantage of the black walnuts while they are falling.  Happy Sunday and happy hooking.  Weather is about to change.


Friday, October 20, 2017

Bind Two Rugs..... ✔

Yup, finally completed the binding of the two rugs and just two weeks before Ocean City rug camp.  So there are other priorities now... like house cleaning and pulling wool for the next rug.
Above is my grandson's favorite soccer team and he is a great soccer player himself.   I put in a sleeve on the back for hanging it but he can choose to use it however he wishes.  
Soon there will be two labels on the back of this Christmas gift and will bore you again when that part is accomplished.

The other finally bound rug was On the Loose which was started at Cape May camp last month.  It is a design by Bev Conway and I hooked it in a class with Cammie Bruce.
Now to clean a bit (I hope), organize my wool room and get ready for the next camp.  Unfortunately this is only my second camp this year as I missed camp with Barb Carroll in May.  So am definitely ready to have a good time with like minded folks and see Betsy Reed once again.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Birthday Lion

This pattern (designed by Bill Laraway) was started just before leaving for Cape May rug camp last month.  I purchased two patterns and gifted one to Evelyn since she loved it so.
Evelyn finished hers and it appeared in the rug show at Cape May ~ I'm still not done.  Uh, and neither of the other two rugs are completely bound yet either.  Oh MY!

Am now wondering if Birthday Lion will even be done by the time next camp rolls around the beginning of November.  For sure the binding will be done as that is my first priority.  But at least if it isn't finished there will be something for me to work on until Betsy gets to me.

Happy Thursday.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Perception ~ Interpretation

As in literature and music, rug hooking is also left to the individual for interpretation.  The other day I posted a photo of a folky homestead with a patriotic theme.  
A seasoned rug hooker friend of mine interpreted the piece as a bird house. Until she said that I'd interpreted the design as a house with garden in front and the grey strip below the house and "Y" shapes as walkway and driveway.  How do you interpret it?

Below  is a pattern called Gossip by Woolley Fox.  Excuse the red drawing as those were my personal changes to the design.  But you can see the images along the sides and bottom.
Back in June before starting hooking the pattern I asked my readers if they saw the images as leaves or feathers.  Frankly either way would be okay as the birds are on tree limbs so leaves would be quite normal.  I decided they should be feathers to go with the birds and the dark on all four sides would act as an inside border of sorts.
However, my friend Deb perceived those shapes as leaves.  Note she followed the original pattern and didn't change the bird shapes as I did.
Deb was inspired by the leaf shapes in the antique Domestic Zoo design, a section of which is posted below so you can see those leaves.  
This rug was hooked by me and if you wish to purchase a pattern click on the link just above.

Since we are talking about interpretation there are several elements in  Domestic Zoo which had me thinking as I was pulling loops.  That made this big rug even more fun and fast to hook since it didn't take long to hook a motif and hook a row of background around.  
In addition to the cats, horse, donkey, birds and snakes I saw apples, a pear, leaves, hearts, bird house and cherries.  So even a busy runner like that is up for interpretation.

Seems to me I had another design in my head as another example but forget what it was now.  Happy hump day.


Monday, October 16, 2017

More Old Patina

There was more dye solution left in my small jar (6 tablespoons) so decided to use it up in a pot of water with a tad over 1 yard of wool.  
Above, bottom right are two pieces which had previously been dyed with Old Patina but they weren't to my liking so thought another round of dye might do the trick.

While the above wool was already soaking I decided to add a little more which were parts of a woman's pleated skirt (below).
 The results are below.
For a better comparison below you can see the original plaid and the newly dyed plaid.  Maybe I'll use this wool now.  Seems to me this was part of the many various yards of wool purchased one year at Barb Carroll's when selling wool for $5 per yard.
And below for comparison is the small dyed piece which came from a pastel plaid purchased from Betsy Reed a couple years ago.  Since I don't use much pastel think more of it might make its way into a dye pot as well.
HOWEVER.......look at how it hooks up in the rug below hooked by Bonnie at camp with Barb Carroll in 2010.  The flowers at the top were hooked randomly and think sections of the wool was also used for the leaves on the sides and bottom.  Barb even brought us to her table to show us how it can be used.
So see..... every piece of wool has a happy ending.  Happy Monday everyone.