Tuesday, March 24, 2015

MARCH MAYHEM !!!

It's been exactly one month today since I posted on my blog.  Dear friends are you still with me ?

I hope so - my blog title sounds somewhat ominous but it's just because we had some drama around the old homestead yesterday.  We had two huge 70ft laurel oak trees taken out of our yard.  I hated to do it - they were beautiful and so tall and majestic but one arborist had told us they were at the end of their lifespan and needed to come down.  It was very disconcerting after they took them down to discover they were in very good shape internally.  Made me want to cry actually and while I get annoyed at the squirrels - I did feel sorry for them as they scurried around the yard looking like they had lost their house and home and indeed they have.  Before you think ill of me for deforesting my yard - we have 11 more of these huge oaks on our lot so there is plenty of places for squirrels and birds and other wildlife to hunt, play and so forth.

I updated my blog face with my very oldest rug WIP - it is Bunnies at Play adapted from Warren Kimble and is a Woolly Fox design.  Probably isn't even available any more. 

I included another shot so you can see the border which is black like dirt and has carrots growing in it.  You can see by looking at this bunny that it is a beginners attempt at rug hooking.  I look at it now and somewhat cringe - I would never hook a bunny like that now - what is that black thing?  is that his poor foot - shoot!  I thought about pulling out the bunnies but I knew if I started tearing out - it would surely never ever get done.  It was very long about 72" x 16" and I already had 2 of the 5 bunnies cut out.  I want to finish this rug because it has special sentimental meaning to me.  It was my first "away" rug camp.  Castle in the Clouds which is no more, it was my first class with Dianne Kelly who has done many wonderful rugs for me in the years following this one and it was also significant because it was Dianne's first teaching assignment.
This was a very plain boring rug - Dianne drew every one of those abstract cabbages in the backround and while I am not totally pleased with the bunnies, there are some elements of the rug I really do love.

Here is my dear mom with a sampler she finished for our EGA chapter challenge last year.  It recently came back from the framer and I think it's just wonderful !!!!!!!!!!

It is Forget Me Not by Needlework Press and is a repro sampler. I don't think much was known about the samplermaker.  It is stitched with the called for Belle Soie silks and is done on hand dyed aida - the framing is just lovely.  Our framer did a great job suggesting a frame and the blue inner frame (not sure what that technique is called) really set it off.  Congrats Mom - another beauty for your sampler wall.

Here is that huge tree being cut - notice it is inches from our house - they used a bucket to make the cuts and then a crane - yes a real crane to haul out the humongous pieces.

So sad to see all this beautiful wood piles on our lawn waiting for pickup by the tree company.  That concludes the March mayhem at my house.  Hopeful there will be no more mayhem.
One final shot for this post - these are DF's Carol and Ellen (of With My Needle fame) as we hurried around Eustis FL on the coldest day of the year in NE FL.  Ellen was down in our area last month to deal with a family emergency.  I was so thankful she could take a day of respite to spend with friends that meet weekly in Mt Dora to stitch.  These are the times that are so special - the times you will never forget as our lives change sometimes forever.  I always say - never pass up an opportunity because you may never go that way again.  If I don't make it here again my friends - I hope you all have the blessings and bunnies at Easter time.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

FROSTY FEBRUARY

I know many of my blog friends are about SICK to death of winter conditions in their area.  Things have really not been that bad in my neck of the woods.  Oh we've had cold temps and people here have been moaning and groaning but I actually love winter and don't consider 30's and 40's bad at all.

It's been great knitting weather this winter.  Finished the Sockhead hat for my DH.  He wouldn't model it so I had to put it on the sofa pillow.  It was fun to do and I am doing a Wurm hat now for me.  It's a free pattern on Rav and they say it's unisex so I had to make a girly color so my DH wouldn't steal it from me.  He has already noticed it has a different band than his sockhead.  I think he should just learn to knit - don't you think so ???


There's also been some stitching going on.  I finished this Little House Needlework ornament on Feb 1st - Old Colonial.  Haven't started the Feb one because I was late getting it and while waiting I got another LHN piece I was just enchanted with --  Queen of Hearts.  It is not really a Valentines Day piece but it really did capture my heart - I am still working on it and enjoying every minute of it.  I'll show a progress photo next post or maybe even a finish photo !!!!
This next piece is a Laura J Perrin counted needlepoint piece that my EGA chapter is doing as a SAL to encourage non or novice needlepointers to take a plunge and try canvas work.  Of course I have done a lot of np over the years - I take spells of wanting to do canvaswork.  I have to say this piece is lots of fun and only uses 4 Rainbow Gallery fibers making it a fairly inexpensive and easy entry level piece for budding needlepointers.  I have to give a plug here for EGA - if you have a chapter in your area - you really should go and give them a try.  EGA (Embroiderers Guild of America) is all about education and supporting and promoting anything done with a needle.  Our chapter here in NE FL does little cost/no cost "taste of" workshops throughout the year to introduce our members to interesting types of needlework they may have never had the opportunity to try.  We also bring in a national teacher once a year and sometimes we have 2 teachers a year.  EGA needs the support of every person who has an interest in the needle arts - don't think it isn't for you if you only do cross stitch or you only stitch on aida.  EGA is for everyone and there is also the option to be a MAL (member at large) where you have access to correspondence courses and seminars but don't have a local chapter close enough.  Hey - if you wanted to join our chapter - we provide great support for our "away" members and we have 5 members in the great state of Georgia and 2 in the proud state of PA.
Think about joining EGA and keeping the art of needlework alive.

what a great lead in for a wonderful program we had in February for our duClay EGA chapter with a special friend of our group Lorraine Mootz from Celle Germany.  Lorraine has done many lectures and classes for our group over the years.  We are fortunate that Lorraine has family in NE FL and comes to visit our area.  Here is Lorraine pictured with a grouping of a few antique samplers from her personal collection.  We have permission from Lorraine to show these photos on our blog as they have appeared or will soon be appearing in SANQ magazine.  Lorraine has done the charting of several of them such as the tiny Vierlande she is holding.  It appeared an issue or two ago and is definitely on my "must do" list.  The huge black Vierlande was simply stunning and is very similar to the Permin "Celle" sampler that so many are familiar with.

It was a great day had by all who attended and it is always so special to spend time with Lorraine. Her depth of knowledge always amazes everyone in attendance and we never grow tired of hearing her speak about our favorite subject - samplers and their makers.

Thanks for stopping by and reading and commenting on my blog.  I appreciate each and every one of my readers.  Hope Spring will be "march"-ing into your area soon.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

FIRST FINISHES OF 2015 AND ANOTHER RETREAT

As usual I can't get blogger to cooperate.  So February greetings to all my blog friends !  I wanted that to be my first line - instead you are seeing my first finish for 2015.  It is Outlier by Laura Aylor
It is a cowl/poncho type accessory.  I loved making it !  It was a KAL with Laura's Rav group and it is knit with a new to me yarn - Malabrigo Chunky.  The color is HollyHock and is it a very cheery color to use for winter knitting.

I am trying to participate with the Little House Needlework/Country Cottage Needlework Facebook group Ornament a Month goal that Vonna is cheerleading.  Missed this finish by one day and finished on Feb 1st.  I had a good excuse - I was at a retreat - more later on that.  This ornament is the first in the Sampler Tree series which Vonna is stitching and finishing for LHN.  Old Colonial was fun to do and I am anxiously awaiting the next one Oh Christmas Tree and also the new one from CCN - Oh Come let us Adore Him.  A DF and fellow duClay EGA member asked how I will finish it - oh my - I don't know - I can't decide if I would finish them all the same or each one different or like Vonna is doing 4 the same and then changing it up. 

Look I'm famous !! and I have the tag to prove it .  Just kidding, this lovely gift was made for me and sent by Lauren over at Rugs and Pugs.  What a sweetheart - I was soooo excited when my DF Katie gave me the envelope from Lauren in with some other of her creations she sent to sell at the Off the Ocean rug camp store in January.  I have worn it A LOT and it is sure a treasure. 

This green blob is a Sockhead hat my DH requested I make for him. He saw one this color on the designers page and we set out to find a similar color.  It's a new to me yarn Abstract from Portland I believe.

I spent this past weekend at a retreat that Gloria from Olde Green Cupboard Designs puts on about 4 times a year at Camp Blanding.  It is mostly quilters but we always have a table or two of rug hookers.  Here is a darling design done by DF Denise.  She said this was her first hooking project.  What a sweet chair mat.  She was finished with the hooking but worked on the binding, how clever to use quilting material.

This is my mom's Uncle Sam's hat by Polly Minick.  She put in a little backround but you can't see it, this is going to be a great patriotic mat to display all summer.  Great job Mom !

Next up is DF Henri's chickadees.  This runner is gorgeous - She is in the home stretch with just a little backround left and then a small border.  This is done in a 3 cut and so realistic. 

Another finish for Denise - this was a kit from Polly Minick.  Two Chickens - how darling and it's larger than it looks.  Denise is on a roll with her finishing.

This is my new focus rug for 2015 - It is my Adam and Eve cube stool cover.  I have been working on this a little here and there for years.  It was started in Sebring in a class with DF Katie Puckett.  She adapted it from an antique sampler.  All I did was hook leaves - dozens of them but as you can see - I only have a small patch of leaves left and one motif to finish and then the backround and borders.  It is going to be a real pain to match those borders.  I love this design -


Here is a close up of Eve and the small patch of leaves left.  isn't the snake awesome.
Adam's side is finished except for backround and border.  I love how he came out and the flower.  This rug is hooked in mostly a 4 but there is quite a bit of 3 cut for the smaller details.  Lots of this wool is leftover from other projects.  Katie dyed the blue dip dye for the sky and the backround which will be my favorite aged sampler color.  The tree of life appearing on all 4 sides was something Diane Stoffel dyed.  Hopefully this will be another finish for 2015
 
well friends - that concludes the tour of what I've been up to lately.  I'm hoping all of you in snow country are doing OK and getting lots of work done on your favorite projects.  Hope to be back again in February to check in on what I've been able to accomplish.  Until then I leave you with warm and "wooley thoughts"
 

Friday, January 23, 2015

OFF THE OCEAN RUG CAMP

Off the Ocean 2015 is history.  We had a new venue which was very close to my home, being a commuter has it's benefits.  The drawbacks are that I didn't spend at much time hooking as I would if I was staying in the host hotel.

This was my 16th year being a student at OTO - wow where has the time gone.  For the previous 15 years I have started a new rug but this year I wanted to take Sibyl Osicka again and I wanted to get jump started on a gorgeous crewel pattern I started with her about 4 or 5 years ago.  It is called Cumberland and is by Joan Moshimer.  Here is a photo taken at the end of camp.  I felt I did pretty well on it - 3 cut and fine shading is slow going.  It requires a lot of just sitting and staring at your charting and your subject.  I had done the tropical pigeon and the tree trunk and the turquoise leaf in the prior class along with that clump of fruit by the bird.  Everything else was done in this class.  Even though we had fun - it is a more serious class than some less demanding types of rug hooking.  I did have to pull some things out but I mostly forged onward.  This is not the type of rug I could work on at guild meetings.  It will probably require concentration at home to make acceptable progress.  I do intend to keep it out and keep working on it so the concept of shading doesn't leave me again.  I also want to put in some backround and start working on the rope border which I feel maybe be somewhat tedious since it is the same thing over and over.  This is a pretty big rug - bigger than I remembered - 45" x 33" It might be in the next decade that this beauty is finished but Sibyl did a gorgeous color plan on it and I wanted to show what I did in camp.

We had a lovely exhibit this year with about 70 rugs, pillows, bags and other hooked artwork.  I was pleased my Angel Runner got a 3rd place among so many beautiful works.  That is Diane Stoffel my teacher who did the color plan on the Angel runner.
At some point I will be back with photos from the exhibit.  I don't like any of them, it was very crowded and my Iphone and I didn't do a great job of capturing the beauty of the exhibits.  I also have my first finish of 2015 to show, forgot to take a photo of it.
 
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend doing what you love to do, thanks for visiting my blog and for your comments. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

STARLIGHT STARBRIGHT

For lack of a better blog title - I just went with the first photo for my blog post !  I hope all my blog friends had a wonderful Christmas and are enjoying the holiday season.  New year is looming and I am hearing lots of chatter about NYD new starts on projects of all kinds.  Don't you find that most of us start the BAP's on NYD because we are full of hope about what we can accomplish in the new year.  I'd love to hear about your NYD start or plans for projects.  Our EGA chapter holds an annual challenge every year where you can nominate new or WIP's up to 10 and we find it really is a motivator for most of the members to at least get a few projects done on our challenge list.  Please go out to the duClay EGA Chapter blog and see all the beautiful projects created by our members.


The Starbright Cottage by Liberty Hill was a Christmas present to me!  I love Carolyn's work and have a fairly extensive collection.  Always fun to get a new LH piece in the mail.

The weekend before Christmas my DH and I took a little day trip up to the FL/GA border.  We meandered around on a few back woods county roads we had never traveled before and ended up in the sleepy town of Fernandina Beach.  I've spent a considerable amount of time in my life in FB , it is a coastal town only a few short miles from the beautiful coastal isles of Georgia, St Simons and historic Jekyll Island.  The day was gray, gloomy and chilly here on the Nassau Sound.  We had a delightful late lunch at the Salty Pelican which was recommended by DF Becky and is right across the street from this dock so it had the same great marsh view.

This is a cute little Homespun Elegance ornament that didn't get finished for Christmas because I couldn't locate my bag of finishing supplies and I was too lazy to fight the Christmas traffic and go to the store and get a few things I needed like batting.  I'm not a quilter so I only keep a small amount of batting around and it was in that misplaced bag.  Anyway this is Sampler Woolley and I altered it a bit by putting little rolls of rug hooking wool is his basket instead of roving and I affixed a JABC tiny wreath to the basket.  I changed the fiber to Gloriana silk for the alphabet and Gloriana Lorikeet wool for the sheepy.

Another gift to me - I couldn't resist Jimmy Beans Wool Thanksgiving offering.  This was cleverly packed in a aluminum roasting pan.  It is all hand dyed yarn from some of my favorite dyers like Lornas Laces Shepherds Worsted, Madelinetosh Merino Light and the bright pumpkin pie is Koigu.  Yummy stuff to be sure !

The LL Wild Turkey colorway is becoming a Brickless.  I am loving how this yarn is working up.  It actually reminds me of a turkey wing spread out - in its natural state I mean LOL - not sitting on your dining table.  The colors are captivating and I think this Martina pattern is perfect for this colorway.   BTW - I have never knit a Martina design before and plan to do several more.

This was a pop up project I decided to do right here at the end of the year.  It was a free mystery pattern by Laura Aylor called "just for you" - it was free if you signed up before a certain date and the clues were released 1 per day with the thought that with a little time spent you'd be done with this by Christmas.  Now the pattern has been released for sale under the name Outlier.  It is easy mindless knitting that you just have to keep track of rows.  I used some stashed Malabrigo Chunky in the Holly Hock colorway.  I don't normally knit on big needles or with chunky yarn but I do like how this yarn is working up and the color is stunning.

This is another free pattern on Rav called The Big Blue.  I am using the called for Madeline Tosh Sport in the Spectrum colorway.  It is just a filler project for when I have a few minutes just to knit.  I don't think I have ever shown it before on my blog so I thought since this post was mostly knitting I would snap a shot.
 
Well friends - that concludes what I have been up to this past month since I last posted.  After my TWO big rug finishes - I have done very little rug hooking however I am very much looking forward to my 16th Off the Ocean rug hooking camp which will be held right in my own area.  Then I have an Olde Green Cupboard retreat at the end of January where I will be doing more hooking. 
  With warm and "wooley thoughts" to you for a very Happy New Year !

Friday, November 21, 2014

ANOTHER BIG FINISH !!!!!!!

I honestly thought this day would never come.  The day that I would finish my Antique Blue Basket rug.

I started this rug in a previous decade - yes I admit - it was over 10 years ago that I started this rug.

The rug looks small but it is actually 3ft X 5ft  the color plan is by Joan Reckwerdt and the design is a copy of an old antique rug by Edyth O'Neill.

As the years have rolled by - there are things I see now that I would do differently but a project that lasts this long and spans the years and journey of a rug hooker is just that - a journey and a learning experience.

I have had the center motifs finished for years but got bogged down on the interior backround which was a story in itself. 

I didn't care for the very light backround that Joanie dyed for this rug and a friend who I have lost touch with suggested we tea dye the wool Joanie gave me - OK sounds great so she took the 3 yards of wool home with her.  Well - sadly - her husband had been very sick with cancer and ended up passing away - it took months to get the wool back from her and then I never saw or heard from her again.  About 1/2 way thru the backround - at about year 5 or 7 - it became apparent that I did not have enough wool to finish the rug - EGADS - so my friend and master dyer Katie Puckett tried to duplicate the color - how hard could it be ???  well she tried every tea on the market - used about 5 or more yards of wool and never did get even close to the color I needed.  SO  . . . . . . .

The rug was put away for years.  Somewhere in there I had a major move from my lifelong home to another home and I uncovered some beautiful wool that Katie's mom dyed for a rug that never materialized.  I could use that for the border backround so I had renewed interest in the rug and set about working on finishing the interior backround.  Then I moved on to the border motifs and finally - slowly - very slowly - I worked on the backround border.
 
My mom loves this rug - she is a rug hooker too.  She always refers to it as "her rug" - so now that it is done - it can officially be "her rug" - Hope you get many years of enjoyment out of the Blue Basket Antique Mom !
 
What in the world will be my next focus rug to complete.  OH dear OH dear . . . .  Will it be the bed rug or the Adam & Eve or maybe another wonderful Edyth O'Neill canvas - Oliver Cromwell.  Poor Oliver hasn't seen the light of day in a decade either.  I work on many rugs - I like to work on fall things in the fall - Christmas themes in Nov and Dec., patriotic rugs in the summertime.  I am working on my Santa and Ewe now and it is a little more than 1/2 finished - I will show a photo soon I promise.  My "focus" rug is usually a rug I keep out on my big Townsend frame in my wool room and leave out all the time to work on .  It only gets little snippets of attention - just a few strips of wool hooked in here and there.
 
Thanks for all your encouragement and comments on my angel runner - for me to finish two big rugs within a months time is nothing short of simply amazing.  On to the next  . . . . . .
 
I hope all my friends in blogland that are in the US will have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, be sure and take time to pick up a needle or two during a quiet moment. Pull a few loops on your rugs  - -   Relish all our many blessings.  Sending you wooley thoughts !

Friday, November 14, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!!!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband - He couldn't wait to get into his cake last night.  No I didn't bake it but ordered it from a DF who does catering.  It is lemon raspberry two of his favorite things.

Here area  few shots I love from our wedding reception in 2012.  My how times flies - we just had our 2nd anniversary in Sept.

What a lovely day it was celebrating with family and friends

Here is my handsome bud - he never seems to age.  Here is best wishes for a great birthday and another year of health and happiness in your future.  Love and kisses !!