Sunday, March 30, 2014

This 'n That ~

Winter returned yesterday . . . sigh.  The good thing about a March storm in Ohio is that it usually doesn't stick around for too long.  With today's warmer temps (in the 40's) and lots of sunshine, most of the snow is gone.  

In my front garden the winter aconite and snowdrops are blooming in abundance.  

As soon as my daffodil buds get to be 3-4" tall, I start cutting them and force them to bloom in the house.  It is amazing how much they continue to grow.  Here are the first daffs of the season.  

Isn't this just the greatest idea?  I snagged it from Facebook.  I have a garden bench that I picked off a neighbor's trash pile a couple of years ago and the seat is rotting.  I think I will try this.  

I am on a roll here with binding my rugs.  I am completely caught up.  I know ~ hard to believe :)  Here's the Chicken Challenge rug all bound.  I was only so-so on the pattern when I started hooking this rug, but it has become one of my all time favorites.  It was just fun to hook.

Here's a super easy way to label a rug.  I just took a piece of binding tape and a Sharpie ~ voila ~ super easy and fast.  If you've bound the rug with rug tape, you can write directly on it there.

These weekends pass too quickly, don't they?  I still have several things on my "to-do" list that I want to get done.  The list is just never ending.
Thanks so much for stopping by.
Pug hugs :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Library Hookers ~

I spent a couple hours this evening hooking at the library.  It was a small group but so much talent. Peggy is hooking this delightful Heavens to Betsy pattern.  Her neutral back is absolutely wonderful ~ so much better in person.

I am almost certain this is the wool she is using but cutting it against the selvage.  It is just an old looking background.

Heidi loves her bright colors.  She is leaning towards a background with just a hint of purple in it.

More bright colors in Jane's Karla Gerard pattern using some alternative fibers.  It is going to be stunning upon completion.

Marsha is a relatively new hooker but you'd never know it.  Her footstool is coming along just great :)

And moi.  I've made a bit of progress on What Nots.  I'm not lovin' it yet ~ maybe that's why I haven't hooked on it in the last year and a half. I'm hoping it will grow on me the more I get hooked.

Not that I'm wishing my life away, but I am happy that tomorrow is Friday.  I have a hot date with my favorite little redhead.  Lake Erie perch for dinner (if you've not had Lake Erie perch, you haven't lived) and hopefully the Muppets movie. Life is good.
Thanks so much for stopping by.
Pug hugs :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Fat Lady Sang ~

or . . the Holly Hills Spring Plantings show is now just a good memory :)

As usual, I forgot to take many pictures, but here are a few . . .

There were 3 or 4 ladies that made a variety of wonderful dolls/animals.  

I am not much of a doll person, but I absolutely loved this one.  I was glad when I checked at the end of the show and she was gone!

I'd say putting me next to a wool vendor is like having the fox guard the hen house :)  This gorgeous wool is from the Wool Room of South Lyon, MI.

Teresa Kogut is one of the most talented (and sweetest) people you could ever meet.  A couple of her prints came home with me. She has wonderful punch needle and rug patterns, too.

I am happy to report I had a successful show.  As an afterthought I took a few hooked pieces with me not expecting any to sell.  (At the fall show, I didn't even sell a one.)  I sold two of them ~ woo hoo ~ which really made my day and definitely boosted my profit margin.  I was very conservative in my purchases so actually came home with some cash to put towards my hooking expenses.  As we all know, hooking is not cheap :)

For more pictures, hop on over to Earlene's blog. She was helping Dawn and took some great shots.

I did break down and bought one little bunny . . .

. . . and of course a bit of wool.

Thanks, Dawn, for such a great show.
* * * * *
March is a big birthday month in my family and yesterday we celebrated.  Grandson Jake turned 9 . . .

. . . son J ~ still wearing his "winter face" (with girlfriend Jessica and Loocie) is 33.  How did that happen?

MUCH older brother Bill (2 years and 11 days) also had a birthday, along with yours truly :)

Thanks so much for stopping by.
Pug hugs :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hooky Stuff ~

How I wish I could take better pictures.  I know most people have trouble getting the true colors of the rug, but it gets so frustrating.  The pictures just don't do the rugs justice.

I am happy to have two of my three hooked pieces bound.  I finished this antique adaptation (thank you, Saundra) with wool yarn.  

I really do like this finish.

This is so much better in person.  You must believe me.  Not bright at all.  

I used wool to bind this one.  

What Nots, a pattern by the Woolley Fox, was started at a Heavens to Betsy rug camp the summer of 2012.  I came home and worked on it once or twice and tucked it away.  I hope to work on it until my Susan Feller retreat in April.  I may even be able to get it done.  At 20 1/2" x 38 1/2", it will be the largest rug I've hooked.  How funny that there is also orange in this rug, but it is so subtle in person.

This weekend I am heading to Holly, MI, to vend at Dawn's show.  I did her show in the fall.  Took all kinds of really neat hand made items by friends Sherry and Melinda and almost nothing sold, so this time I am sticking with my spoon necklaces (they sold better than anything else) and I've also made garden markers out of vintage flatware.  I'll share those with you next week.  Wish me luck.

Thank you so much for all your kind comments about my adopting Ellie.  It does my heart good.
Thanks so much for stopping by.
Pug hugs :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Paddy's Day ~

I was recently introduced to Pugs and Kisses.  Oh, my goodness these are the four most adorable middle aged/senior pugs ever.  Grey pug faces just melt my heart.  Their mom is a professional photographer and takes the most beautiful photos.  I am envious of her talent!

Here's Miss Ellie curled up in her favorite spot with her toys.  She love her blankie.  If it falls on the floor, that is where I will find her lying. Definitely not a pug, but mine ~ all mine.  It was a year ago today her mom passed away and I made the decision to honor my friend by keeping her.  Not what I had planned for my furever dog, but it was just the right thing to do.  Ellie and I know that mom Judy is smiling down on us!

Happy St. Paddy's Day to you.  Thanks so much for stopping by.
Pug and Jack O'Russell hugs : )

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Just Saturday ~

What can I say?  It's Saturday ~ got up earlier than I had planned but I still got to sleep in.  5:30 rolls around much too early on weekdays.  I found this on Facebook.  If that isn't the truth.  Fits me to a T.

Do you ever cheat like this?  I'm whipping my rug (sounds kind of kinky to me) with this wonderful wool yarn from Ali Strebel, but no matter how hard I try, the linen backing sometimes peeks through on the corners.  Just barely, but it still bothers me, so I get my trusted black Sharpie and color the corners.  Works like a charm :)

Yesterday after work, DSO and I headed to an antique show about 45 minutes from home. Friday afternoon/evening is a very strange time to start an antique show, don't you think?  I was so disappointed.  Not many dealers and not much quality IMHO.  There was one good dealer there with wonderful stuff, but nothing screamed at me to buy it.  My one purchase was this little rug hook measuring not quite 4" long.  $3.00.  BIG SPENDER :)
It is sitting on a little hooked mat by Bonnie Stahl that was hooked in 2007.  It is numbered and though I can't read it, it is over 1,000.  I bought several of her hooked mats on eBay years ago. Does anyone know if she's still hooking?  I did a Google search and didn't find anything.

I hope your Saturday is wonderful.  The sun has peeked out a few times today.  It is chilly bordering on cold ~ but it's NOT snowing.
Thanks for stopping by.
Pug hugs :)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Better :)

Thank you so much for all your suggestions regarding my oh-so-bright orange.  Many of you said to add the color to border.  This was being hooked totally with worms from my stash and I did not have enough worms to do that ~ plus I just couldn't live with the brightness.

My solution was to try staining the area with walnut ink crystals.  I hadn't used the crystals in years and surprisingly they were right where I thought they might be.  Thankfully they weren't stashed with my proddy tool because that is still MIA :)  Here it is before.  I tried to somewhat contain the area using regular old tape since I was going to be using a spray solution.  

After staining several times.  There is a HUGE difference in color ~ much more to my liking ~ and much more muted in person.

Of course it is not bound - I just turned the edges under to get a picture.

In walking through the living room, I may have found the perfect spot for it.  The little runner is 8" x 24" and would fit nicely atop this bench.  

If you have a free minute or two, I've got a great new site for you to check out  ~  No, she's not a new hooker, but her site is.  I had the privilege of meeting Karen Larsen last year at Susan Feller's retreat and will be seeing her again this April. She has had four rugs and articles in Rug Hooking Magazine including the cover of the November/December 2012 issue.  This most talented lady has designed some wonderful patterns.  I'm sure she'd love it if you stopped by.

Thanks so much for visiting me today.  Yesterday another storm arrived but we only got about half the predicted amount of snow.  YIPPEE!  Today it's sunny and cold and tomorrow the forecast is for cloudy skies and a high of 52*.  Welcome to Ohio.
Pug hugs :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Still Shaking my Head ~

I'm still wondering how I chose the colors for the center section of my rug.  It is a challenge on Rug Hooking Daily, hooking a rug using your worm stash.  The gold and orange didn't look so bad at first, but once I started hooking the hit and miss sides . . . well, what can I say?  Fall?  70's?  Just plain ugly???  I think I am going to try a serious dose of walnut dye and if that doesn't tone it down enough, I'll be doing some reverse hooking. You know me, I almost never reverse hook, but this time I may have to make an exception.

It's been a while since I've posted a picture of Loocie, but isn't this just the cutest?  That gray face just melts my heart.  Poor thing.  Sometimes I think she sees okay, but other times her vision seems to be getting worse.  DSO (aka daddy) takes her to the puppy ophthalmologist and faithfully puts in her eyedrops twice daily.  Such a good puppy daddy :)  (She is his princess.) 

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Isn't this time change wonderful?  It's once again dark on the way to work but still light at 8pm.  Today was very springlike, but they are saying old man winter will be here again Wednesday with 5-8" of snow. The most wonderful thing about March snows is that they usually don't stick around for too long.
Pug hugs :)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Transferring a Pattern ~

This is not necessarily the right way and it's definitely not the only way, but this is the method I use to transfer a pattern to linen.

For quite some time, I've been thinking about hooking a Barbara Carroll pattern found in this book.

Here a Chick just looks like a fun project ~ except for all those little chicks.

I headed to the local office supply store and had it enlarged 325% as the pattern stated.  It came out very close to 22.5" x 26" it was supposed to.  I know there are computer programs you can use, but for me this is the easiest way.

Here is it enlarged.

It's hard to tell, but I've laid a piece of window screen over it.  Just grey fiberglass window screen purchased at Home Depot.  Be sure not to buy black or your tracings won't show up.

Trace over the pattern with a black Sharpie marker and this is how it will look.  Now take this, place it over your backing of choice and retrace with your marker.  You will have a faint tracing that you then can then trace over again.  

I am fortunate that I almost never get sick.  Well, all I have is a cold and it's kickin' my butt.  I left work early yesterday and slept for 3 1/2 hours. This morning I got up long enough to call off and then had to force myself up at 11:30 am.  I almost feel human but not quite.  I don't think I'd be a very good "sick person". 

Does your checkbook need to balance to the penny?  I am so anal when it comes to that. Well, the statement came today and I am off ~ WAY off and it's driving me crazy.  I need to get off this machine and go figure it out.  

Thanks so much for stopping by.
Pug hugs :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Hookin's Done ~

Pulled the last of the loops on the Chicken Challenge rug this evening.  Initially, I wasn't that thrilled with the pattern but thought the challenge sounded like fun since I had never done one before.  I must say, once I started hook it, I fell in love with its naivete.  I did hook the rug from my worm stash except for the antique black/dark background.  The finished size ended up being 15" x 30".  Of course, the black is more subtle in person.

Julia (of Petals and Wool) and Sunnie (Old Crow Farm) have started a new group on Rug Hooking Daily called the Great Stash Deworming Marathon.  It's hooking a project entirely from your worm stash.  Geez, I guess I started my Chicken Challenge rug a bit too soon . . . lol!  If you are interested in joining in on the fun, they will welcome you with open arms (and hook in hand).  I need to assess my worm stash to see what I can come up with.  HHHMMM . . . never did a challenge before and now two within a month.  What's gotten in to me?

Have you seen this video?  I first saw it on Tammy's blog and thought is was a hoot.  It's also making its way around Facebook.  If you need a good laugh, please take a peak.  It's less than a minute long and sure to be worth your while.

Thanks so much for stopping by.
Pug hugs :)