Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Marion Hamm's Horses and Hearts Design

It isn't finished yet but needed to see what the rug looks like on my computer monitor.  Since I've changed the red and blue color schemes I'm thinking there may be some reverse hooking needed.  

Won't change out horse colors since the background requires them to be a lighter color.  Would loved to have a sorrel horse but they have dark tails.  Once on the floor I'll never give the horse colors another thought and not worry about the two similar palomino horses.
Interesting seeing this on the monitor as I am thinking of making some changes in the heart colors.  There are only 6 horses and had trouble coming up with color ideas for them.  HA!  there are 14 hearts so try coming up with non-boring or repetitive colors for those!  Ya see my problem?

Ya notice those two most center RED hearts?  The one on the left looks okay and am thinking of making the other near the white horse look the same with a darker perimeter.

THEN.....on the far left plan to remove that blue center in the red heart and make it more mottled red like the one near the white horse.  

Yup, that's my plan for what's left of tonight but think it will only be the reverse hooking and not the replace hooking.

Have a good evening.


Monday, October 29, 2018


....time to show some antique rugs.   First up is a 19th century period rug with stars, diamonds and two deer at the bottom border.  The other three border sides are checkerboard style.
An American hooked rug depicting a house complete with weather vane at the top and stylized trees.  Original measured 22 x 33 and hooked late 19th or early 20th century.
Blue Birds and Pot was part of Harriett Gorman's estate from Pennsylvania.  Original measured 36 x 56 and was hooked 19th century.
A Dog with Block border looks like the color bled after getting wet.  The auction house said it was hooked 1900s and measured 24 x 35.
Chickens and Horse and have no other information.  
Again no information but it is obviously 2 ducks swimming and I'm wondering what the original colors were and if they either faded or the hooker used what she had.  BUT.... if that was the case think I'd use that grey/blue as the water and the golden brown as the ground.  So that's why I'm thinking it was faded.
Kelley, this one is for you.  A mama cat carrying her kitten to a better place.  My imagination is thinking the angle of the directional hooking indicates rain and the owner wanted to capture the protective nature of that mama cat.  The original size was 25 x 34 but no date or location was given.
And finally, a Reclining Lamb which is dated late 19th early 20th c.  The original measures 23 x 41.  
Hope you have enjoyed the show and a perfect pause for me.


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Black Walnut Season

A few years ago I did walnut dyeing and froze some of the dye for future use.  Sometime in the last year I pulled out the last of my concoction to spot dye some rugs to give them the antique look.  

In good weather I walk to my mailbox (1 mile circumference around the meadow) which takes me past black walnut trees.  Within arms reach was able to grab 30 walnuts.  
It doesn't really take that many to dye according to this recipe:

  • Soak 5 hulls in water in container for couple days (I only soaked 1  day)
  • Heat to a simmer for 1 hour (think I simmered mine longer)
  • Put 1/2 yard wet wool in dye bath and simmer covered (I didn't  measure mine but am sure it was more than half yard.
  • Keep wool in pot long enough to achieve the desirable patina.
  • Remove wool and gently wash with 1 teaspoon shampoo or mild detergent (no bleach).
  • Hang to dry or dry in low temp dryer.
  • If you still have color in the pot you can throw in more wool.  
  • Hulls can be removed, frozen and used again.  But I throw them out and freeze the liquid instead.
No mordant is necessary but I put in a glug of white vinegar to expedite the absorption of color.

These are my results.  I have placed a small strip of the original wool on top of the dyed wool.  Am planning on using some of these colors in my camp project and wanted the 'dirty' look.  
And in all honesty, I didn't care for the original colors of all those wools; especially the blue/purple on bottom left.  Don't think I've ever used that wool.

Happy wet Saturday, but at least the nor'easter wasn't a monster.  Had some rain and a little wind but thank gawd no trees were toppled.


Thursday, October 25, 2018


Finally got around to switching out a Halloween rug for my harvest table.  Another Lori Brechlin design purchased from and hooked in a class with Kris Miller, it is called "Do Goode Be Nice".  
That isn't a random piece of wool on the witch's is hair growing from her wart.  Kris and I thought it would be a hoot to do that.  And instead of hooking the key shape in the design I attached a real skeleton Key.
Have a great evening; I'm getting ready to make a pot of chili to keep  me warm for the upcoming nor'easter.


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Horses Again

Still have one more horse to hook and more hearts.  Thought I'd like to look at it on my computer to see it might help me decide what color direction I want to go.
Oh dear, what color to hook that other horse.  As a teen my horse was a sorrel with dark mane and tail so that wouldn't work with a primitive black background.  Matter of fact "Richie" was depicted as the dark brown horse in the rug but without a black tail. 

Could do an Appaloosa but think the Pinto has that covered.  So maybe I'll go with a more 'golden' Palomino horse than the one I hooked already.  

Does anyone remember Sunday papers (early 50's) when they would advertise to win a Palomino horse if you could draw and submit a photo?  That was during the Trigger and Roy years. You have no idea how many times I drew and entered that contest.  Nope, didn't win.  Finally convinced my father to agree that IF I saved up half the money to buy a horse (any horse) that he would match the money.  

I did save up and he did find a horse for me.  Must admit in looking back it must have been a rescue.  He was weak and thin.  But I cared for him, and recovered him to health.  He filled out and was a nice horse for me ~ not fancy, just a horse, that is all I wanted.

Here's me and Richie when I was about 14 or 15.
And here is my baby brother (5 years younger) on his back.  Can't wait to send this to my brother so he can see how brave he was ~ Joey was afraid of a huge horse.
Oh this was cathartic to see my horse once more and remember how I'd walk behind the barn and neigh.  Richie would respond likewise.  


Monday, October 22, 2018

Nantucket Broom Ride

Thought I'd share another of my favorite Halloween hooked pieces as I switch them out every couple days.  This is a design by Lori Brechlin and offered in pattern form by Spruce Ridge Studios.  I hooked it in a class with Kris Miller at Cape May a couple years ago.
Below is a photo of the rug on my harvest table with the paper mache' Jack-O-Lantern I made.  To match the theme of the houses in the rug I added a couple birdhouses made by Jack Riehl.  He uses remnants of the Victorian Chalfonte Hotel to build them.  
Received the new floor lamp already and it is working like a charm.  First thing gathered for rug camp.


Sunday, October 21, 2018

Almost Forgot..... order my floor lamp for rug camp.  Yeah, I already own two Ott floor lamps, one resides at my living room hooking space.  But they are bulky and heavy to carry, the OTT floor lamp weighs 9 pounds.  I also have an Ott portable table lamp but as you camp-goers know, table space is at a premium.

While at Cape May I saw two interesting lights, one clamped to a table and another was a floor lamp.  AH HA!  Went over to Karen to look more closely and ask her the brand name.  
It was a PHIVE LED floor lamp, which only weighs 5 pounds. AND, the price is very reasonable. Click on that link to see more about it.  Glad I remembered to order as it will arrive before November rug camp.

Still haven't started gathering wool for camp but that will change soon.  Today my plans are to vacuum a couple rooms and tomorrow venture into the wool room for a little organizing.


Friday, October 19, 2018

HORSES and HEARTS Rug Update

With just a little over two weeks away from rug camp I've got to start concentrating on pulling wool for the camp rug.  But am having so much fun with this one it is hard to stop hooking.

Since the horses were drawn coloring book style figured they were up for interpretation so made one a pinto.  The pinto reminds me of my friend's horse when we would go riding.  This is what the rug looks like now.
I've redrawn some hearts and another needs to be done.  But this has been fun to hook.  Since I love horses, the smell of them and the beauty as they move, it will be enjoyable to look at somewhere in my home.

For those just catching my blog, this is a design by Marion Hamm which originally had 8 horses.  It was also provided as a free to draw design in  an American Folk Crafts book.  So I'm thinking whoever drew this on linen wanted just 6 horses and drew hearts too close to the horses and some not straight.  But I'm quite happy for my catch!


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

At Least a Day (or more) Late

Yeah, that pretty much describes it.  It's October ~ the month when pumpkins and Halloween festivities are in full bloom.  But I failed to post one of my most favorite original designs in time for people to purchase.

As a child I never owned a paper mache' pumpkin.  Then one year decided to design my own pattern for the hooked version of Mache' Jack-O Lanterns.  The pattern measures 15" x 35" drawn on linen for $38.  
Here it is on my harvest table with a purchased crow and a paper mache' pumpkin I made when living in Columbia, MD and made with a group of friends.  With the cost of the antiques this will be my only paper mache' Jack-O-Lantern.
Today I had my flu shot.  There have already been flu cases reported in our area already.  It normally takes 2 weeks for the vaccine to become effective so hope to be protected when attending rug camp. 


Sunday, October 14, 2018

New Project and Decision Made

 As both previous rugs had been bound I needed a rug to keep the hands busy so pulled something from my stash.  It is Horses and Hearts, a pattern purchased last year at Cape May for a song.  The dimensions are 21 1/2 x 38.
After purchasing the pattern with no accreditation I started inquiring about the design.  Then learned it was a pattern by Marion Hamm and had been published in an American Country Crafts book with a free use photo.  The original design had 8 horses but whoever drew this one out chose to have only 6 horses and I'm quite happy with just those.

This will be something for me to work on from now until rug camp early November.  Am quite sure I'll not be finished hooking this one in 3 weeks as there will be yard and other work to do before camp.  

I made my decision on what to hook at camp.....this is my project and will draw it up this week.  It is the one I'd intended to hook at camp but got wishy-washy.  Then after posting the line-up of victims that was the one that moved me the most.
Not sure my rendition will be as grungy as the one above but will try.  I'm sure the ladies doing #3 cut roses and bright florals will think I'm off my rocker.  That's okay as I hook what makes me happy and it will live in my house.

Welcome to unadulterated FALL Y'all.   I finally broke down and turned on my heat earlier today to raise the temp and then turned it off.  Some folks have reported having an early snow.  Now THAT I don't want to see any of yet!


Friday, October 12, 2018

What to Hook at Camp

Early November there is another rug camp and I haven't quite decided what to hook.  A few weeks ago this antique was my plan.  But now I'm getting wishy-washy about it so will go window shopping my photos and Pinterest again.
So here goes to peruse my photos of antique rugs to see if something inspires me.  Have had this Farm Scene from the 1900s in my files for some time.  It was to have been found in Lancaster County and thought to be hooked by the Mennonites.  You can see I like those dirty drab old rugs.
This 1877 Urn hooked rug has been on my 'to do' list for as long as I've been hooking and still haven't hooked it.  Love those vivid rich colors.
Below is a design I was interested in hooking at one time and even drew it up for someone else to hook  I drew 2 sizes and would go for the smaller one measuring 28 x 40.  Hmm, or maybe I'd make it a tad smaller?
At one time this antique below was the next to be hooked.  Then something happened as I was drawing it out and completely reversed my plan.  That spark hasn't returned but thought I'd post a photo of it anyway.
This rug hooked 1845 caught my eye as I was perusing my photos but don't think it will be one I draw to hook in November.
Actually I'm not passionate about any of those posted.   Perhaps I need to pull out my Kopp book and other older books with antique pictures in them.  Clock is ticking.


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Both Finished

Am happy the last two pieces are all hooked, steamed and bound.  I think Lady the Donkey has the sweetest face, she is an antique adaptation.  Her bridle is hooked with antique paisley.  
Below is the original antique, I hooked Lady in brown instead of the grey to remind me of my grandfather's mini-donkey.
Previously shown when only partly bound, is Nola Heidbreder's Golden in the Garden pattern which I took creative license to make it look like my boy Ben.
Last Saturday there were two dead trees cut and dropped.  Here is what one of them looked like last Saturday.  It doesn't look that bad at this angle but believe me there were a lot of big and small limbs removed from that area.
Before any presence of Michael and expected rains it took several trips to haul as much of the brittle limbs deep into the back of the woods as possible.  Uh, yeah, by myself.  Today this is what it looks like. 
Sorry for anyone hit with the initial surge of the hurricane.  For this area of Delaware Michael is to bring anywhere from 2" to 7" of rain.  Depending on the direction of the wind/rain will determine how much I get.  But since I live in a flood zone can imagine it won't be pretty .....AGAIN.


Sunday, October 7, 2018

Binding Almost done

Well..almost three-quarters done.  The yarn is variegated using all the same colors which are used in the rug.  So thought it would give a nice edge to pull the colors together since there was no border.  Will need another steaming after the whipping to smooth out the wave.
Since I took creative license to the rug design and cropped the tail from a 'Golden in the Garden' (by Nola Heidbreder) to make it a Rottweiler for my Ben, there is an empty space where the long tail would have curled.  Wish now I'd drawn in a padula flower.  I did hook a heart shape using the background wool but that doesn't show up.

Background wool is Irish Eyes from Heavens to Betsy.   The yarn I've had for a while and gave a skein to my gal pal Deb and she used it to bind the edge of this rug.
This is the yarn used.  
My heart skipped a beat when I saw the orb.  Wonder if that is the spirit of my boy Ben looking over me?  Yeah, I know many of you don't believe in orbs or have bad feelings about them.  But I believe they are good spirit guilds or spirits connected in some way to the person or area.

Had two dangerous dead trees cut and dropped yesterday.  They are still in the yard but am putting out feelers for people who may heat with wood as this is already seasoned and is NOT pine.  You can see how tall it was and my concern was that it would fall onto my neighbor's yard or on me during a windy day.  Now it is down.
Another in the back yard and not as tall but it was dead inside and dangerous since I like to use my clothes line.
That's all I got for today.  Hope everyone had a great weekend; weather is about to get more fall-like and I'm looking forward to it.  Even tho it's October the mosquitoes have been insatiable.  Am looking for the cold snap which gets rid of those and the pesky gnats.


Friday, October 5, 2018

Binding, Hooking and Planning

I've steamed Golden (Rottweiler) in the Garden and am whipping the edge with yarn.  Love the yarn since it is variegated and all the colors used in the rug.  Will show you the yarn and the  job when it is done or close to done.

When I get bored doing that during the day then I pull a few loops on Lady the Donkey which will be done soon.  Will show you a photo of her too, when closer to finish line.

I'm attending a rug camp early November and will take an antique adaptation but not sure which one yet.  Whatever I take will need to be drawn so am contemplating which to draw.  

Meantime I will keep myself entertained (after the binding and Lady is done), hooking this 6 Horse and Hearts rug purchased for a great price last year at Cape May.
You can see it's a deal at $38 on linen for this 22 x 38 rug.  Since the purchase I've learned it was a Marion Hamm design which originally had 8 horses.  It was published in a craft book free to draw.  

Whoever drew this one did draw the perimeter lines on the straight of grain (thankfully) but the hearts encroached the backs or necks of the horses.  So I've taken liberty to change the hearts.

Should be fun to make each of the horses a different color from my worm bags and will have a primitive black background.  

Feels like fall will be in the air soon, or at least it is tonight.    TGIF.


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

You've All Been Waiting & Important Message

Many have inquired about my Cape May project and wanting to see it.  There is a story to tell about this camp choice.  First, the pattern was given to me last year at Cape May by my friend Evelyn.  It is a pattern from Nola Heidbreder named "Golden in the Garden".  This is a pic of the rug pattern on Nola's web site.
Close to time for camp thought I'd let Evelyn know I was going to hook her generous gift but letting her know I was changing the dog from a Golden to a Rottweiler, in honor of my boy Ben.  She approved.  It wouldn't be realistic but primitive in keeping with the pattern theme.  

So this is what my version of the design looks like ~ it still needs to be steamed and bound.  OMG, it looks so different in the photo and is so washed out.  The shell on the snail isn't pink at all ~ I hate camera flashes.
Anyway, my boy Ben is in place of the Golden to suit me.  He isn't drawn in perspective as there was only so much space allotted where the Golden was drawn.  I started hooking the face which appears larger than the body.  But ya know what, it was his face and heart which was most important anyway.  So the smallish of the rest of him doesn't matter in this rug.

The rug will lay on the floor beside me where I hook and where he would lay looking thru the window.  This was a very fun rug to hook at Cape May.  Lucille did a great job guiding me to make it more my colors.  Uh, although she did say my reds were too bright.  


Some people (newbie hookers and uninformed) think because I changed the major focus of the design I could say it was my design.  Not so.  It is a pattern design by Nola Heidbreder which I took "creative license" to make the dog my boy Ben.  

I CANNOT sell patterns calling it Rottweiler in the Garden.  BUT, if I use my boy's image and make the background totally different, then could call it my design.  Just a little 'heads up' to keep everyone straight.

Enjoy hooking everyone and THANK YOU Lucille.