Monday, August 30, 2021

ONLY Happy News Here Tonight

While I am aware of international and hurricane news I'd like to put our mindset on something more calming.  Most recent is an email that Cape May rug camp will actually happen!!!!!!!  Thank you Linda Woodbury and Cyndi Stinson who are the co-directors of the wonderful event which has been confirmed via email today.

Going back in time....the last Anniversary year Norma and Linda provided each guest with a basic foundation and just a sheep drawn.  We were  provided that so each of us could create our own design.  I was in the second week of camp but started posting my progress on my blog WAY before rug camp.  You can read about my journey HERE.

This was my design.  While I cannot give an explanation as to why a sheep was at the shore line I can give testimony that wool happens in Cape May just two block away!!
Oh Happy Days that I'll be at Cape May again this year!!!!!!

It's time for an update on Magdalena's Rooster, Duck and Horse rug.  Yeah I'm almost done and truly thought about waiting until the final corner was hooked before showing it.  But at least I know it will be finished in time for Cape May.
Other good news is that humidity and temperatures will soon be dropping.  Yeah, there's that stuff going on in the ocean but it is a natural phenomenon which occurs annually to change the seasons.  Some I don't like but am looking forward to long sleeve weather 😏

Find something you enjoy, like knitting, hooking, applique, etc. and focus on the positive.  Whatever you enjoy as your 'go to happy place' good for you.


Saturday, August 28, 2021

Get'n Ready

That's right, I'm getting ready because I don't want to cut it too close, after all there's only 21 days and a wake up before Cape May.  I'm sure my friend Lauren (Rugs and Pugs) is laughing her butt off and will hear from her as soon as she reads this.

So I've pulled some wool for the Cape May project with Bev Conway but am sure I don't have the right values or color for the many circles and values in the rug.
This is the rug pattern I fell in love with while perusing my old Cape May photos.  This beauty was hooked by Polly Reinhart and think it was more her color selection than the design which I loved.  So will need to buy more subdued colors for sure.
And.... since I don't want to go thru withdrawal again have drawn a pattern and some wool 'ready to go' when a new pattern is needed on my frame.  
Later today I just might draw a small something else  too, just to have a back-up. 😁

Happy hooking.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Present and Future Plans

Presently I'm whipping the edge of the Thin Blue Line rug and nearing the end of hooking Magdalena's Rooster, Duck and Horse rug.  But in 23 days and a wake-up I'll be on my way to Cape May πŸ™.  

Which means I've got to choose something for my frame next to take me to that place.  One idea is hooking a geometric using selvage edges I  continue to save.  That would be something which could be an on-and-off project at will, until....  

Here are a few hit and miss geometrics I've saved in my "inspirations" file over the years.  This is a rug with great colors from a photo borrowed from Kelley Belfast's stagnant blog.  Just checked the date on my flash drive and it is from 2017.  OMG Kelley I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!
This one below took a lot of concentration me thinks.  It is a Scrappy rug 17.5 x 33 and hooked by Linda Brockheim.
Here is a very cool worm rug hooked by Pamala Gunn.  Good planning as it isn't boring or repetitive and makes the eye move around and enjoy all there is to see.  Pam is the queen of primitive who I aspire to be. 
A hit a miss rug I borrowed from Ali's Blog a few years ago and don't know who hooked it.  A tad more colorful than would work in my house but the design would work IF hooked in my color palate.
Friend Lauren (Rugs and Pugs) drew this long runner using her worms in a hit and miss.  Think she has finished the rug but don't have a photo of it in my file.
Am sure there are other hit and miss rugs I've missed in my quick search so forgive me if I've missed anyone.  AND, if my readers would like to send me photos of their hit and miss rugs I'd LOVE to save and share a photo at some time.

Another idea for my frame is drawing this antique horse rug which I've been avoiding.  I love it but as you can see the photo is askew and IF you've ever tried to do an accurate drawing of a rug like that is exhausting.  So by the time I drew the master pattern, then drew the pattern on linen for Lisa I felt as though I'd already hooked the damn thing.  Yet this beauty still haunts me.
Happy Hooking everyone.  We all need our diversion from reality at the moment and what is better than being creative with hooking a rug?


Tuesday, August 24, 2021


I'm finally catching up with binding and labeling my rugs which have piled up going back to the last one hooked in 2020.  Yeah, way back then so am way overdue but you know I hate binding.  Below is a view of the back with labels.
And a view of the rugs flipped over to see the front.
Oops, I see that Over the moon's lower edge isn't quite laying flat because you can see the foundation.  But I'm not taking another photo. 
Today at 5 p.m. I'll pour myself a glass of wine and begin whipping the edge of The Thin Blue Line.  I'll only be able to work an hour or so then will set it aside until tomorrow at 5 p.m.  After this one is done it will be time to bind the rug on my frame now and I'll be caught up.

Frankly I probably wouldn't be catching up on the labels and binding now were it not for the fact I want to take some of them for the Cape May rug show (IF it truly does take place this year).

Happy hooking everyone.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Rug Show of Oldies

I've turned off the news because I'm sick of the feeling of doom.  So today I'm showing my favorite thing....old rugs. I've had the photo of this early rug with blues and dark background in my files since 2017 so guess it is about time I post it.  Sorry I don't know the actual date or size of rug.
This rug below reminds me that I still want to hook a Sunflower mat.  A House with oversize sunflower and hit and miss border is endearing.  Again have no dimensions or estimated date of hooking.
A very naΓ―ve design of Chicks with a center of more color resembling a quilt pattern.  The rug measures 30 x 35 circa 1880.
Hit and Miss geometric which looks way different hooked this way than the one I hooked (shown below this one).  This antique measures 38 x 42 and was hooked in the 1900s.
Here is mine with the same shape grid but doesn't even look like the same design.  What a difference the direction and shape of hooking makes.
A Central Bird with Flowers and Squirrels for the border.  
From New England and hooked 1920 is a hooked Cottage; I always think of this style hooked rug as a Gnome home 😊.  Speaking of Gnomes, I've noticed for many months a series of rug hooking patterns of Gnomes and wonder if that is the new 'craze'.  It wouldn't be my choice of a pattern to hook but we all have different interests and tastes.
A very well used 
Noah's Ark rug from Levittown, PA was hooked between 1900-20.  It measures 26 x 36.
A vintage Show Horse rug with no date, dimensions or location of origin; and of course I like it.
Another very worn and need of washing is the Whaling Ship and 3 whales.  It was hooked late 19th century but I have no dimensions.
However, I do have a photo of the back for more accurate color of an unsoiled front.
Happy dreary cloudy Saturday but at least it isn't raining here today....yet.  Have had several days and/or evenings of rain with more to come in the next couple days.  Hope Henri doesn't do much harm to you in its wake.

Happy Hooking.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Magdalena's Rooster, Duck and Horse Update

While I'm anxious to get this pattern hooked and bound before Cape May I'll be sad to see it off the frame as I truly enjoy replicating Magdalena's designs.  And other than my planned camp project I have no idea (yet) what will be on my frame next.  After all I will need something to work on before Bev gets to me in class.
Don't forget that USPS will increase their shipping and postage stamps beginning in 10 days.  I've ordered and received my bolt of linen and someone has placed an order for a pattern which I'll draw tomorrow and ship before the increase takes affect.  So if there is wool you want to order or patterns from your favorite vendor I'd suggest you request it now so they can get it shipped to you with today's price.

This is something not rug hooking related but something I'd like to share ~ my new favorite yogurt.  For years I've purchased  Chobani non-fat Greek yogurt on the far right.  I put a couple dollops on my oatmeal in the morning and in the afternoon use it with some fruit, a little honey and cinnamon.  

But the other day I noticed the Chobani Zero Sugar Vanilla in the grocery store and decided to give it a try.  OMG!!!!!  Not only is it 20 calories lower per serving than the non-fat but was better than any ice-cream I've ever had.  Check it out next time you go to the grocery store.  My Walmart doesn't carry it but found it in the Food Lion.  
It has been a feast of information on Barbara Merry and I've even more photos to share at some point but will tuck that away for another time.

Don't know about you readers but I'm struggling to keep a sense of calm in this turbulent time.  I pray for peace, for safety, for our military and police who serve now and served in the past.  Right now and most importantly I think prayers are needed for those Americans and other civilians still in Afghanistan.  God Bless America and God please come to the aide of our upside down flying flag.
For those of you who may not know flying the flag upside down is not a sign of disrespect but a signal of dire distress.  You can read about proper Flag etiquette HERE.

Happy hooking.


Monday, August 16, 2021

More Rugs and Paintings by Barbara E. Merry

As promised, here are some paintings by Barbara.  All of these paintings are owned by Anne, who kindly shared her treasure-trove with me.  This first one is painted on ticking; yup, the fabric.  You can see the slight wrinkles at the top of the frame
A photo of the back of the painting.
Below is a painting of Joyce O'Grady's home where Barbara would buy her quilts and old textiles she'd add to her rugs.  Barbara preferred old textiles with odd colors and textures over bright colors.
These two paintings below are of Sanford Place, Maine where Barbara lived until she was 20.

Another of Anne's precious treasures is this painting of the 'washer woman' by Barbara.  Anne said she believed there were hooked rugs of a washer woman and so I went in search.
Thanks to a couple friends I was able to locate a few more rugs hooked by Barbara and lots of personal history.  And got real lucky in finding a hooked rug of a washer woman.   The dimensions are 22 x 25.  Thanks to Robin for the screen shot.
More discoveries that day were other hooked rugs; it seemed as tho I'd hit the motherlode. 
Barbara was married 3 times; her first marriage was at the age of 20 to Edward Franklin Littlefield, a farmer who was 19 years her senior.  She had 4 children during that 9 1/2 year union.  When Barbara ended the marriage she took the children and 2 shopping bags of clothing and supported her children with odd jobs and on farms.

At the age of 40 Barbara married John Merry, an antique dealer and retail fisherman. Barbara would go out on the fishing boat and perhaps time on the water inspired these rugs.  These are only a few of the many she claims to have hooked.  They had one son and  were married 23 years until John's death.

I've never seen any ship hooked rugs until these.  Perhaps they were never on an auction site as they may have been commissioned.
A couple more boat/ship rugs which I believe are still in the homes of the people who commissioned them.
And a grouping of said rugs.
After the death of her second husband (John Merry) and the age of 67 she wed William Henry Boulter.  After his death Barbara moved from the home in Knox back to Swanville and the home Barbara shared with John Merry.  

Hope you have enjoyed getting to know Barbara E. Merry a little more and who knows, maybe one day a few more rugs or paintings may become available to me.

Happy Hooking.

Friday, August 13, 2021


I'm excited to show you an update on Magdalena's Rooster, Duck Horse rug.  Boy you should see the rats nest I've made around me as I hook.  Actually have shown you that before when working on a rug but think it might be a naturally occurring event for us rug hookers?  Please tell me it's normal. πŸ˜  

Will work on the hit and miss background down to the horse then finish the horse.  In case you're wondering, I haven't decided what to hook next as I'm busy with the occasional binding of Ox Farm and hooking this rug.  And would really like for this one to be hooked and bound before Cape May in September.
Now for the rug hookers Public Service Announcement:  USPS postal rates are going to increase AGAIN August 29th.  

So incase you've been contemplating buying wool, patterns, foundation etc. I'd suggest you get that done soon.  At least you will save a little this month but plan to spend more beginning September.  Oh, and have you heard USPS plans to slow down mail delivery too.  Yup heard that on the news.  Their slow mail delivery was originally blamed on Covid but maybe it was another problem which is continuing.

To take advantage of the present postal costs I've ordered a bolt of linen from Dorr today and wanted to place an order for wool from Rebecca but she is on her way to Sauder to vend.  She will be back in time for me to place an order before priority goes up again.  You're welcome rug hookers.


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Barbara Merry Rugs ...Welcome!

Lucky me to be contacted by Anne who wrote saying she owned some rugs and paintings by Barbara Merry.  Well of course I was over the moon excited to see more of Barbara's wonderful rugs.  Seems Anne and her husband were friends of Barbara and her husband for years.  Here is a photo of Anne with Barbara and a horse rug I've never seen before until now.
I asked Anne if the border was thick as the photo appeared and she said "yes it was shirred".   I recalled having a photo of another BEM rug where the border, rainbow and walkway was shirred, this one not owned by Anne tho.
For you cat lovers Anne also sent a photo of a rug with cats.  Was quite surprised to see the animal rugs hooked by Barbara because most the other rugs I have in her file were landscapes with chickens and the occasional Santa.
Love this Rooster rug hooked by Barbara; note this was hooked before Barbara started signing the rugs with her name or initials.  Frankly, this one appeals to me more than the one below which was shared by another owner of Barbara's rugs.  This first one looks really primitive and I love it.
Here's the other Rooster rug which I acquired a photo of in 2019.  It seems to me that Barbara was trying to develop her hooking style to be more of a painterly appearance.
Anne was kind enough to take photos of correspondence between her and Barbara, including invoices for purchases and status on a sheep rug which was almost done.  In the letter she said the sheep had a red barn and trees and measured 21 x 30.  
This hooked rug must be of her home and husband feeding the chickens.
This is a photo of Barbara's home which Anne was also kind enough to share with me.
I have photos of oil paintings by Barbara also and with documentation of the significance of the place and event.  I'll keep those back for now and let you digest what you've just seen.  It is wonderful to continue to keep  alive the memory of those who were here before us in this art we know as rug hooking.  Hope you have enjoyed the post.

If anyone out there has a BEM rug I'd love for you to share.

Happy hooking.


Monday, August 9, 2021

Enjoy Some Old Rugs (EDITED new info)

I'm not working on a plus one so no sidekick to show you an update on.  But I know you do enjoy looking at the vintage rugs so lets get to it shall we?

Horses and Dogs was hooked early 20th century with dimensions of 34 x 38.  Yeah, you have to stare for a few moments to capture the images.
This is a well worn rug of a landscape with a well water source. It is always the edge of the rug which gets beat up worse so make sure to have the edge of your foundation well protected both with pre-binding stitching but also a covered edge.  As you can see that too can get badly worn so change locations so it isn't in the  most used area of the home.
From the estate of Bob Foley and Nancy Sevatson is Flowers and Stars with hit and miss border.  It measures 15 x 35 and said to be hooked 1900s.  Nice and soft of the eyes.
A hooked 
Spotted Dog, 17 x 31 hooked  in the 1900s.  I find it interesting how the women made good use of available textiles to make it appealing to the eye and no formal artistic training on how the eye travels to pull the rug together.  They did this on their own intrinsic nature.
Have you ever been up close enough to a lion to see the color of its eyes?  If so, bet it wasn't a Blue Eyed Lion.  No date given but it measures 21 x38.
A Brown Dog with primitive scrolls ~ it was hooked in the 19th century and measures 19.5 x 38.
Here is a view of the back and foundation used.  Julia brought up a good question and one I didn't think of.  She noticed the zig zag stitch on the edge of the burlap and wondered when that was invented.   Helen Blanchard is said to have invented and patented the first zig zag stitch sewing machine in 1873.  You can read more about it HERE.
Found this rug which conjured up questions in my mind.  Named Hard Times the rug was hooked July 1874.  It has an hour glass and gamblers wheel, or so the auction house said.  Guess that round part of the rug is a roulette wheel.  You can see a few areas where the rug is down to burlap.  The rug  measures 37 x 72. 
One of the questions in my mind was if the woman hooked this because her gambling husband was causing the hard times for the family?  And wonder if those are Roman Numerals above the upside down 1874 date?

Gail commented that there was a severe financial crisis from 1873 to at least 1879.  Thanks to another follower and contributor!   

A very nice winter landscape (tho I'm not looking forward to winter) is the early 20th century hooked rug on burlap.  According to the auction house there is a label on the back from Cooperative dArts Domestiques du Quebec; the rug measures 20 x 29.5.
Hope you enjoyed the show and maybe some of them gave you insight or maybe more questions on what inspired designs on rugs hooked in days gone by.  I find myself wondering what the person was thinking when they hooked a certain rug, just as with the Hard Times rug.

I love it when people have questions or suggestions!!!!!!  Keep them coming ~ thank you Julia  and Gail for your input and making my blog more informative.

Happy hooking.