Monday, February 06, 2017

FICKLE FEBRUARY!

Yes February has been fickle in many ways.  The weather has definitely been fickle.  We are expecting another record high day tomorrow.  Snowbirds and vacationers in our fair state love this type of thing, however this fickle fair weather friend likes the weather to be correct to the season.  Oh yes we've had a little cold weather this year but NOT much !  I'd say we have about another month of opportunities for cold weather so I'm still praying for some freezes.

Most of this post will be pertaining to Off the Ocean rug camp which I attended almost a month ago - A MONTH AGO !  it was my 18th consecutive rug camp and my teacher Diane Stoffel has also been there all 18 years.  Only one other attendee Annie T has been there all 18 years so it's become a select group.

I came back to Diane's class again this year with a rug I started with her over 10 years ago.  Why do rugs get shoved back in the archives - well in my case - It had to do with a move and the fact that I lost, misplaced, got stolen or whatever happened to the wool for this rug.  It's a big rug, I don't remember the exact measurements.  The original color plan was developed to be a companion piece to my beloved Mermaid rug that Diane also color planned for me.  So once I decided to do this rug at camp this year - I looked high and low for that wool.  I looked in every closet, I looked everywhere in my wool room, under beds, in bins and bags - never did find that dang wool SOOOOOO.........
Diane had to try and piece together a color plan on a rug that was already started.  Of course she did a marvelous job with the challenge and it was just the best rug camp I can remember in many years.  Not just because I was so happy with her ability to piece together a cohesive color plan but I was sitting with a group of dear friends, just lots of things came together.  This photo of the Oliver Cromwell by Edyth O'Neill was taken on about day 3 of camp.  I did get something hooked into every paisley wave segment. 

Here is a close up to show some of the colors.  One amazing thing - I have hooked on this rug twice since camp - I can say that I have NEVER done that before.  When I get home from camp - I promptly put away the camp project and go back to other WIP's.  I have since finished Sail 2 and I also have to admit that the ship hull was completely hooked 10+ years ago - thank goodness because there was no matching issue on the ship.  So the Oliver sails again !  thanks to Diane - I am so thrilled to have this rug going again after such a long period of time.  Never thought it would sail again.

 Next is rugs being worked in my class or in Kris Miller of Spruce Ridge Studios who was teaching next to me and some of my friends were in this class.  I have to say - I enjoyed meeting Kris so very much, what a doll and such a sweet person.  This rug is one from her design catalog. 

Another from Kris' class - a Not Forgotten Farm canvas.
DF Karen's Rev Squashbottom - also in Kris' class.  She had a lot more done on it by the time class was over.  I just love her color choices!

This rug was being worked in my class and yes it was all done in class.

 I think this rug was an original design and no it was not started in class.
Another beautiful rug from my class.  This was a Susan Quicksall pattern.

This was a finish from another class - Sheila Arborgast was here teaching - her first time teaching at OTO.  Some of my friends were in this class too. 


Sheila specializes in these 3 D animals - look at this darling reindeer and goat which was completely finished in class by dear Eleanor, this was her first time at OTO and we hope we see her again.
 Here are a few rugs from the rug exhibit.  No I didn't have a single finish in 2016 to put in the show!
This beauty is a Blackbird Design rug by DF Donna.  We were in class together many years ago, obviously Donna finished hers and I didn't ever finish mine.  It was lovely!
Friend Robin was working on this rug in my class with Diane last year.  Glad to see it finished and in the exhibit.  It was a special beach location in NJ thru the seasons.

 another Blackbird design turned into a rug.  Very cool rendition of this design - I LOVE IT !
 DF Suzy is so creative !  Look at her precious kitty kat!  she is just the sweetest thing on earth, both the kitty and Suzy!
I'm not sure whose rug this was.

 Ladye from St Simons Island did this rug.  What an awesome job on the piper.
This is the rug that won Best In Show - this gal was in my class.  I heard her say this is her house.
the photo doesn't show but this rug was huge.  About 4 x 4 I would say.

This is another magnificent rug hooked by Sybil Osika.  It was truly breathtaking.

 A prim pretty by DF Susan.  bigger than it looks and all blues and creams.
 loved this rug - it reminded me of a Susan Gervais With Thy Needle design but not sure - it could be a commercial rug pattern.  Love the proddy flowers in the cart.

Another beautiful sailing ship. 
 DF Karen Ulysses - what a cute guy!  another Not Forgotten Farm design.
There were many more rugs in the exhibit.  It was in a long narrow hallway and very hard to get photos.  If I missed your rug - I apologize.  I didnt' have the time or energy to photograph every lovely entry in the show.  It is meant to be a small glimpse of what fun we had at Off the Ocean 2017.  If you are a rug hooker, save your pennies and come to Florida next winter.  It's the least expensive camp I know of and we have a great time.
 
I'll try to get back for another visit before Feb. flies away.  Thanks as always for visiting and commenting on my blog.  I appreciate and read every one !

Thursday, January 12, 2017

FIRST FINISHES OF 2017

New Years Greetings !

I'm just floating aimlessly into the new year in regards to my needlework projects.  I've done some stitching, knitting and NO hooking but that is about to change.

Tomorrow starts my annual outing to Off the Ocean rug hooking workshop.  This will be my 18th consecutive year of attending this rug camp.  My teacher this time is the incomparable Diane Stoffel and I've had her a number of times over the 18 years.  She and one other teacher and myself and one other "camper" are the only ones besides director and friend Katie Puckett who have attended all 18 years.  WOW - where have the years gone.  Anyway - I'm excited about that and next post I'll be showing some rug hooking FINALLY!  Sad to say another year is passing and I don't have a rug or finish to exhibit in their rug show.  BOOOOO  !  I simply must remedy that in 2017 and get something finished up.

I only have a couple of photos for you this post.  First is a not so great photo of a Janina Kallio design called Herald.  The yarn is Louisa Harding and I don't remember the name of it but a wool from Italy.  It's a lovely springy color and the light openness of the pattern will make it a wearable garment here in the deep south.

 Second up is Sailing by Meg Gadsbey from Australia - Atelier is the name of her design and hand dyeing company.  I ordered this White Gum wool from her and she also did the hand dyeing - gorgeous isn't it .  In AU they call this DK weight but here its worsted - My DH is already eyeballing it because he likes "thick" yarn not that wimpy stringy yarn I usually knit with.  WOW - I think he knows too much !  He also likes "tight" knitting - that's what he calls something in Stockinette or garter stitch not a lace or openwork design like the Herald.  He is too funny giving his commentary about my knitting.  I read on someone's blog some very good advice about involving your husband in your needlework in whatever way you could and it really has worked for me.  I ask him for color advice all the time in rugs, needlepoint, knitting whatever and now if I'm just sitting and vegging and not working on anything - he says "Why don't you have your crafting out"  HUH!  now I created a monster.  No seriously it is nicer for him to be pleasantly interested than complaining about my always "crafting".
well - short post today - I just wanted to pop in and show my 2 first finishes for 2017.  More to come I hope.  Cheers and "Happy Crafting " 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

CHRISTMAS IS COMING !

I figured if I didn't make a blog post today - it might not get done and I actually have quite a few finishes to show you today and some WIP's of course.  Not to mention a new start !

First up is my exchange gift for our duClay EGA chapter annual Christmas luncheon.  This is Basket of Cherries by BBD.  I did the finishing myself although I'll admit it is minimal finishing - still people!  Give me a break - I am SUCH a non-finisher.  However I really worked myself and stretched myself the past couple of months by finishing a few things.  The was a treenware board I bought at Dixie Darlin in Tenn.  It worked perfect for this piece.

 Next up is the exchange gift my mom stitched.  It is finished exactly like it was in the BBD - My Friendships or something like that.  My apologies to any BBD experts - It is my mom's book and I don't remember the exact name.  Anyway  - I did all the finishing, YEP - I ordered the paint, the Briwax , the trim and I used Vonna's excellent tutorials for flat finish mounting to accomplish this feat.  Please visit The Twisted Stitcher and give Vonna's floss tube instructional videos a try.  They are immensely helpful.  She doesn't leave out a single detail.  VONNA ROCKS!
You can't see the lining of the box very well but I used rug hooking plaid wool that matched perfectly.  Guess what,  guess who got this box?   ME ME ME !!!!!!!!!  I was so excited that no one chose my mom's gift and once it came my turn to pick - it was still there so I snatched it up pronto.  My thoughts were to give it to my mom but she said she wanted me to have it since I worked so hard on it.  I didn't argue much because I don't think I have anything in my house that my mom has stitched.  I have loads of stuff my dad has stitched, oh yes I have a HO HO HO piece by Lizzie Kate my mom did many years ago in a treasured Hog River frame.  Can't say I don't have a thing but I will have to task her for a sampler of hers.  Maybe even a loan.
 
So - the Santa next to the box - yes he is holding a hooked rug!  This lovely Santa is signed and dated and I'm quite sure the gentleman who carved him by hand is no longer with us. I met his wife at a rug camp in Sebring many years ago.  She was taking orders for him and of course I ordered one.  I never heard from her again until one day about 2 years later, I got an email from this woman and she said her husband had come down with a rare form of Parkinsons and was struggling to get thru the list of people who wanted this Santa.  She said - you may not want him because his work has suffered and he doesn't feel it's nearly as good as before.  I said - I'm thrilled to hear from you and YES I do want him.  I should have taken a photo of just him - he is so perfect and amazing and I treasure him.  There is a little hand woven basket next to him that also came from that area of Florida near Sebring.  All treasures in my mind.

Next is the beautiful Christmas ornament that Kathy Rees taught to duClay EGA back in November.  I'm sorry it's not "finished" yet but I'm gathering up my courage to do this one.  I've only finished two prior canvas pieces, both of them done in finishing classes at the now closed French Knot np shop in Savannah Ga.  I sure miss that lovely shop.  So I'll show it when it gets "finished"  It was sure fun, Kathy encouraged us to raid our stash and find fibers to use.  I used 4 fibers, Gloriana floss, Fyre Works, Watercolors and a hand dyed boucle type stuff from Color Complements in Canada.


Another finish by MEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!   It was pretty easy to finish except I sliced a big gash in my wrist with the rotary cutter on this one.  I am not that familiar with a rotary cutter, have avoided buying one for years but with all this fancy finishing and watching Vonna's tutorials - I figured I had to have all the "stuff" or I couldn't be successful.  Lesson learned - I've bought a bigger wider ruler and hopefully won't run the cutter into my body parts.  This is LHN Merry Christmas 2016.  I used PTP Crystal Earthen, all from Dixie Darlin in Tenn.  It is mounted on yep you guessed it - rug hooking wool.  This wool is actually used in my rug Santa and Ewe - it was perfect for this ornament.
Simple but sweet and it's hanging on my tree!
Once my exchange and EGA challenge obligations were done a couple of weeks ago, it's like a bird out of a cage.  What fun rummaging thru new charts and old WIP's looking for what I want to add to  my challenge next year and what I want to work on right now.  It's completely guilt free for about a month or so until reality sets in and I have to get back to work on my assigned projects for 2017.
 
Here is an ornament canvas I found in my stash,  like a long forgotten friend - Santa came riding into my hands on Rudolph.  This canvas was purchased from the Bristly Thistle which is about an hour north of me. This is Onward Ho by Mile High Princess and it came with a stitch guide.  I have gathered most of the threads suggested by the guide.  A few of them were new to me like Entice, Kreinik Hot Wire and Gloriana Duchess Silk. There's sequins, beads oh my !  I'll change a few things but this is going to be fun!
 


I'm sorry to say that 2016 was another bummer year for rug hooking around my house.  Sad that another Off the Ocean rug camp exhibit will come up next month and I won't have a finish to show.
This rug could have been finished so easily but as you can see - it's languishing - not finished at yet another Christmastide.  So sad - he is so fun.  One thing that has kept me from plowing thru is that big space under the house.  There is two snowflake thingys drawn there and I don't want to hook them because they won't show on this background.  I wish I could draw another deer there but even another pine tree would be better than a big blank space.  This is a combination of two With Thy Needle and Thread designs, yes I do have the charts and no I have not stitched them and probably won't stitch them.  Maybe next Christmas he'll be done.  The color plan was done by my DF Dianne Kelly of the Woolen Cottage in Ohio.
Oh yes there's knitting - there is always knitting !  This is a special Christmas colorway offered by The Loopy Ewe last season.  I started it and worked on it until Christmas and then put it away and never looked at it again till I uncovered the bag a few weeks ago and thought AWWWW - another forgotten toy.  So I pulled it out and have been enjoying the pattern Fractal Danger by Martina Behm , a designer in Germany.  The yarn dyer is Blue Moon and it's just gorgeous yarn to work with.

Another WIP I've been working on is Jujuy by Joji.  It uses 3 colors and I chose Madeline Tosh Merino Light.  I've never used MT ML before, it's a very popular fingering single ply yarn.  The first colorway is a very drab grayish brownish tanish color called Kitten - finally the 2nd color Well Water is appearing and then one more color will be added for the border.  It's a fun easy relaxing pattern that I can work on when I am tired, brain dead and can't see to stitch.

Oh , last up is a finish I also forgot to show you.  This is tree #2 in the Fanciful Forest club which I participated in year before last with The Needlepointer in WA.  I'm going to start another tree and then I am going to tackle finishing the 2 I already have done.  I have some finishing ideas - it's just putting them into production that is the problem.  I'm determined to try and do some things myself, after all - I have a big birthday coming up in 2017 and I figured I have to pull up my big girl panties some time in my life right !
 
Fibers and stitches all by The Needlepointer.  This tree was fun and easy to pick up and put down.


Well friends - that concludes my Christmas tour, I hope you have your halls decked and your bells a jingling because Christmas is almost upon us.  I love the music and the special treats, I miss how things used to be.  I miss the fact that friends have fallen away, some have passed and some have just moved on, I miss my dear grandmother and my husbands dear grandmother and mother, we try to cling to things we've always done at holiday time but you can't ignore that things have changed and I guess will keep on changing.  I'm very thankful I have my dear folks to cling to at holiday time, I love them so much and they make everything we do so special.  I'm grateful for friends both near and far, those who are so dear to me and those I've never met but are still dear and special just the same.

I wish you and yours all the joy this season has to offer, I give thanks to the Lord our God for this season and for sending this son.  It's HIS birth we celebrate - don't forget the reason for the season !
MERRY CHRISTMAS , God bless us every one ! 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

NOVEMBER NIBBLES

November has been full of wonderful little nibbles of pleasure all thru the month so far.

First it's my DH birth month and while we did do a lot - it was a day to celebrate him.  Sorry no photos, just a quiet dinner or two for just the 2 of us.

The next big event was a full week of exciting duClay EGA events.  First our friend Kathy Rees of Needle Delights rolled into town on a Friday afternoon for 5 days of fun in our area.  She did a wonderful "taste of " Christmas ornament for us.  I can't believe I didn't get any photos with my own phone but hopefully someone did and will post to the duClay blog in the near future.

Kathy was also here in NE FL to see Merrilyn Heazlewood who was on an International Teaching Tour and had just taught at the recent EGA National in DC.  Sun Region had engaged Merrilyn to come and teach for us thru the ITT program sponsored by EGA National.  What a fantastic opportunity for the members of Sun Region to have someone from the land down under - Tasmania to come and learn from. 

Our local chapter duClay EGA was selected by the SR board to be the host chapter for this class.  We had an awesome time with Merrilyn.  We did her Tudor Garden project - a counted canvas project in a 3 day class.

The class was well attended with 18 members from Miami to Pensacola. 

 Many members from the duClay chapter took advantage of the class.  two were already gone home when this photo was taken, my apologies for not including our President Linda and our Secretary Becky in the photo.  Merrilyn was so much fun, we went to dinner every night and learned a lot about her work and her life in Tasmania.  To me - it was just a perfect class and just what the ITT is all about.  Learning, sharing and giving her a glimpse into our lives and she into hers.  AWESOME!
There's been some finishing along the way.  My dear mom stitched this Prairie Schooler ornament out of the 2014 JCS ornament issue.  I used plaid wool for the backing.  Let me just say it's not as easy to do triangles as one would think.  it's not perfect but I am learning and mom was pleased.

Another finish is this baby afghan for a DF's first grandson.  I'm a little late as he was born in the summer time but it's just now getting cold enough for this worsted weight blanket.  For any interested knitters out there - I used Dream in Color Classy in the Beach Fog colorway.

 This garter stitch placket was included in the pattern - it looked like it was begging for some personalization so I used wool applique to put the child's nickname in that spot.  I've heard his mom and dad were both so pleased.
Last up today is the first ornament in the Hats Bats and Boots Halloween canvas club by The Needlepointer in WA.  This is the 2nd club I've done with them.  These are exclusive designs by Pippin Studios in Canada.  This shop is the distributor for her canvases and they are all so fun!
OH here's the shocker - I did the finishing on this ornament too!  Yes the beaded edge was put on 1 bead at a time with a needle.  YEP - it took hours and hours but I am so pleased with the results.  I cheaped out on the hanger and used ribbon because once I got going with the finishing - I wasn't stopping to run to the store to buy a better choice.  I figure it will only be seen maybe a month out of the year so who cares - it's all about the ornament anyway not the hanger. right?


Here's the back - I just used a piece of quilting material out of a charm pack.  Don't even remember the designer but I think it was a Moda fabric.  I have a bunch more of these babies to stitch, not sure I will keep up the beading theme but who knows I may change the color of the beads and keep using them.  The beads are 6/0 Japanese seed beads.  The threads and stitch guide was provided in the kit.
Simple but adorable.
Who among us can even believe Thanksgiving is ONE WEEK from today?????  I know I sure can't.
Seems like we just got thru with hurricane clean up and BOOM it's Christmas.  Our chapter's Christmas Tea is 3 weeks from Saturday and I'm woefully behind on my challenge list and have a whole bunch of stuff that is close to being finished but NO WAY I can finish it all in 3 weeks along with my exchange gift and my dear mom's finishing is waiting too.  Gees - how did I get appointed to be the chief finisher.

Oh yes I'm still knitting too.  Love my knitting.  I have one shawlette almost finished and of course many in various stages of completion.  It's my rug hooking that has suffered most in 2016 - I bet I haven't hooked 3 or 4 times since the two camps I attended in the first quarter of 2016.  Sad I know - another Christmas will go by and no Santa and Ewe will be completed.  I think we are going to get a little cool weather this weekend - maybe I'll get Santa and Ewe out and pull a few loops.

Whatever you do and where ever you go or don't go for Thanksgiving - I hope you have a little quiet time to do a few stitches or pull a few loops.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours ~ ~ ~

Monday, October 31, 2016

HAPPY HALLOWEEN !

From way down in the deep south where record high temps abound - I bid you a very Happy Halloween !  I hope you are planning a wonderful evening whether it's being out and about with your kids and grands or whether it's eating candy and watching an old scary movie - I hope you have a wonderful All Hallows Eve.
 
 
Here is one of my fall displays with a little of this and that.  2 pottery pumpkins from my favorite pottery shop in Pigeon Forge Tenn. an exquisite work of art original pumpkin in the center made by DF Becky, the Button Eyed cat by Scarlett House, the Scarecrow in the pumpkin patch rug color planned and hooked by me, design by Bev Conway.
Miss Merrie Halloween is here to greet you -
 
 I never tire of seeing the beautiful Miss Merrie - Color plan and wool by the incomparable Diane Stoffel, hooked by me and now residing in a private collection.

Enjoy and have a little Monster Mash on me !



Sunday, October 16, 2016

MATTHEW AND BEYOND

Hello blog friends, many of you commented on my FB photos taken during Hurricane Matthew last week.  It was a harrowing experience, we haven't had a brush so close to our coast in many years.  We had a direct hit in 1964 with Dora when I was a small child.  I remember being in the dark so much and not understanding why there was water in the tub but I couldn't get in.  Same thing this year - water in the tub, water in the washing machine - yep - that was for flushing the commode and washing a few dishes and washing hands etc.  We decided at the last minute to evacuate to my folks house which is about 30 miles more inland than our house and I'm sure as heck glad we did.  Their power was only out about 24 hours and ours was out 4 days.

Here is our view from my folks porch during the storm.  Surfable waves on the lake and just a bit down from them  - waves were crashing over the bulkheads.  Trees bending and yep - my dad forgot to take down the bird feeders but they came thru just fine.

This photo was take from mom's dining room on Friday afternoon at the height of the storm.
I am so thankful for all our safety.

We did have a near miss at our house.  Just look how close this 60 ft Laurel oak tree came to hitting our house and it scraped that other 60ft oak all the way down but didn't seem to hurt it.  It was too big for my DH and DD to try and remove so I had to pay a tree surgeon to come and saw it up and haul to the curb.  That's my DH in the background surveying the damage on Saturday when we headed into town to see what damage we might have had.  I am just so thankful we left - it would have been horrifying to be there when that tree fell.  Our neighbors all around us said it shook the ground and rattled their windows when it fell.  Part of the appeal of our area was the beautiful old oaks but they can be so very dangerous.  There is utter devastation all our NE FL from these trees falling on houses.  We were very blessed that day to not be affected in any way.

Most of the time at the lake I was too nervous to stitch and there wasn't enough light after the power went out so I just mostly knitted.  This is a beautiful beaded shawlette called Knit Night.  My first time using beads in knitting and it's fun !  I'm doing a KAL on this one with DF Henri.  The yarn is Vivacious 4py by Fyberspates in the UK and I loved it so much I've ordered more from England.

 Here's a parting shot of what the lake looked like two days after Matthew's departure.  Lovely and tranquil like we like it.  I feel for all the people who were affected by Matthew and whose lives have changed forever thru their loss of property and loss of lives.  God be with them all.  We were very blessed to be spared and life is pretty much back to normal for us just one week later.
 
I'll be back again soon with some fall and Halloween decorating around my house.  I hope you are all having fun with Fall .  Thanks for coming and visiting and please do leave a comment, I sometimes wonder if people are reading blogs any more.