Tuesday, May 26, 2015

JUST ANOTHER BAND OUT OF BOSTON

Memorial Day has come and gone, like someone said yesterday on Facebook - it's not all about BBQ's and boating.  I hope you remembered all those who gave everything for our freedom and said a prayer for those today - in our time who are still trying to protect our country and our liberties that so many sacrificed so much to preserve in generations past.

I have a few shots from our hook in last weekend to show.  I did plenty of socializing - I don't know why I didn't take more photos than I did.   However if you pop over to my friend Karen's blog over at Shady Hill Rug Hooking , she did a great post with photos of our hook in and she even got a good shot of my Antique Blue Basket rug. For some reason there wasn't much of a display of finishes this time.  As always we had a great time and we had a big crowd this time from all over north and central florida which is the way it should be at an annual event.

This is a beautiful little design that my mom hooked.  It was color planned by Vivily Powers and it hooked mostly with a 6cut.  It is a Susan Feller design but I don't remember the name of it.  I love the simplistic stylized look and my mom did a great job.  It is going to be made into a pillow so once that happens - I will show how it finished out.


This is probably the last photo you will see of the tangled bunny tote for a long time.   At least I got the bunny finished at the hook in and started putting in some of the dark maroon backround, you can see that under the bunny's belly.  Now it's time to put bunnies away and get out my patriotic rug for summer.  I have a ton left to do on my Polly Uncle Sam piece so it won't be finished in 2015 but I'll show you a progress shot in June.
I'd like to introduce you to my Bee Eyes - my buds who I knit with among many other things, we're all "hookers" too. Fortunately we were all at the hook in with our choices in hand for the upcoming Camp Loopy summer season of knitting.  In my last post I gave you a link to the Loopy Ewe - the shop who puts this event on every year.  There's still time to get your yarn from Loopy Ewe and get started on a project by June 1st.  From left to right - DF Karen, me, DF Starr and last but certainly not least on the far right is DF Henri.  As you can see - we are very happy to BEE again this summer.

DH and I were very excited to be seeing one of our favorite bands right in our area this past weekend.
Yes I'm talking about Boston !

Fans of Boston will recognize this as their long time logo - the bands name in the shape of a spaceship.  A number of their album (showing my age) covers used this logo. I'm glad they still honor it although it is updated from the 70's.

Here is the great Tom Scholz.  Founder, front man and creative genius behind Boston.
Brad Delp singer and co-founder died a few years back, so that is a sad loss but the new singer does an admirable job.  Here is what google says about Tom Scholz:
"Tom" Scholz is an American rock musician, inventor, engineer, and philanthropist, best known as the founder of the band Boston. He is also the inventor of the Rockman guitar amplifier.
That is Tom pictured on the big screen.

 One of the many amazing shots during one of their songs.  can't believe my little I phone did so well
We don't go to many concerts any more - ticket prices are mostly outrageous and most of our faves, we've seen before.  Going to this little small amphitheater over on the coast in St Augustine FL is one of our favorite venues.  It's small and intimate you can see that we had dead center seats.  There really isn't a bad seat in the house.  It was a beautiful night for the end of May, cool breezes blowing and after a lovely shrimp dinner at our favorite seafood restaurants - it was a rockin' good time with Boston.  At our age and the age of the bands we love - we enjoy every show like it might be the last.
Not much else to show but I hope to have more in the next post.  I just started a patriotic SAL on the Little House Needlework Facebook group led by Vonna of the Twisted Stitcher blog.  Vonna is a great cheerleader and I jumped right in on Old Glory.  Had the chart and linen and most of the threads I needed to get started.  I should be able to juggle that small piece along with Camp Loopy.  Hope you all enjoy the last week of May to the fullest.  Thanks as always for visiting my blog and for commenting.  I enjoy reading them all and hearing from you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

MOTHERS AND MAY

I hope all my blog friends had a wonderful Mothers Day, celebrating with family and/or friends who might be mothers.  I'm not a mom but I had a wonderful weekend with my own dear mom.  We attended the EGA meeting and stitch in on Saturday and went to brunch with my DH prior. 

Sunday my folks and I went to the beautiful picturesque Club Continental on the St Johns River for brunch.  It is a private club, an old estate home that the Palmolive Soap family built back in the early 1920's.  We love going there for special occasions and Mothers Day with my dear mom is certainly a special occasion.
I wish my dad had gotten more of the lovely fountain but I got it in my shot of them.  My DH was sick and didn't make it for brunch.

 I'm schlepping along on the Laura J Perrin np piece.  I had a counting error but am back on track - just hadn't had much time to work on it.
I had bigger fish to fry so to speak.  I found out my DF Linda's daughter and only grandbaby were coming to Florida to visit.  The sweet little baby girl and I share the same birthday so I wanted to make her something special for her birthday.  The little dress is a Knitbot pattern called Sweet Pleats.  You can't see my pleats (shoot I might have the taken the back of the dress) but I'll have to say they were sure fussy to make.  The dress is made out of worsted weight linen from Quince and Co. - Kestrel in the color sand.  I presented the gift today and both mom and grandmother were so pleased.  Now I am praying it fits over the baby's head (sigh) !  What I know about babies - you could store in a thimble.

Guess what time it is ??????  It's almost Camp Loopy time.  Yes that annual mad knitting scramble to complete a designated project in a 1 month time period.  Three projects in the good ole summertime.
A local group of friends - we call ourselves the Bee Eyes (you know BI - bad influence) and we have been knitting together for Camp Loopy for a few summers now.  Here is my first choice for June.
Sheri the owner of the Loopy Ewe  sets the parameters for each month.  This year we are all going on a virtual safari and the projects will all have something to do with, the first project has to have a minimum of 400 yards of any type, weight yarn.  It has to be something that invokes visions of a safari to you.  My choice is Fable Fibers Story, I have some in stash but have never knit with this yarn before.  If at all possible - I try to use a new-to-me yarn for Camp Loopy every summer.  Sheri give s nice discount if you order yarn for camp and if you complete all 3 projects she gives a nice bonus skein of yarn in the fall.

 
So - there is not really much new in my world.  I have been stitching some but not enough to show any progress photos.  I am close to being done with LHN Queen of Hearts but decided to just wait and show a finish photo.
 
Hope everything is right in your world and you are looking ahead to living easy in the good ole summertime!

Friday, April 10, 2015

APRIL ALREADY !

 
 
Seems like I am always bemoaning how fast time flies by.  Here it is April 10th already and my birthday is looming in the not too distant future.  You know what they say "Another year older and what have you done"?  I actually think that is a line from a John Lennon song I always found to be sad.  Well - here is one thing done!  the first in the LHN Sampler tree ornament series expertly and creatively finished by Faye over at Carolina Stitcher.  Faye can work magic with anything you send her.  I just gave her free rein to do anything she wanted on finishing this ornament and she did a beautiful job.  Sorry about the lack of detail but all the designers say not to show big photos where their work can be copied and plagiarized.  The ornament is sitting on a new prim project bag Faye also made me with fabric I provided - a Moda line but I don't remember the name.  Beautifully done Faye, I can't wait to get more ornaments done to send to her. 
 
 
 Here is the back of the ornament - look at the sweet little wool heart she appliqued on the back.  Such lovely special touches from Faye's imagination.
 Can't remember if I showed this Laura J Perrin needlepoint piece before or not.  It is a SAL in our duClay EGA chapter.  I am farther along than this but didn't have a recent photo and needed more blog fodder for this post.  This is a freebie on the Rainbow Gallery website and uses only 4 of their threads.  I had never used Neon Rays + before and I have to say I like it very much.  It' is finished with some bead accents as well.
Here is another photo of my oldest rug WIP - Bunnies at Play -  A heavily altered Warren Kimble design.  Check my previous blog post if you want more detail.  I am still working on the "dirt" border and digging up some carrots.  I am still thrilled at how amazing this wool is for the "dirt" and carrots.  Dianne Kelly really did a super job on this color plan and I think I said before this was her very first camp teaching assignment and my very first "away" camp.  We have enjoyed each other many times since then and I am delighted to call Dianne my friend.  I have moved on to the other side of the rug and my 3rd and final bunny.  Who knows - 2015 just might be the year it is finally finished!
In the springtime - I love to get out all my bunnies and spring things.  Here is another canvas that my friend Katie Puckett drew for me and Dianne Kelly color planned.  It is a tangled bunny tote - that is my name for the canvas - it doesn't have a name but he is running thru a tangle of wonderful paisley vines, I have some green put in on the other end - too bad my photo just focuses on the bunny but isn't he sweet.  I think I can finish up the bunny in another sitting.  He can stay out and play for a while longer but soon - all the patriotic things will come out and the bunnies will go to sleep for the hot summer season.
I can't believe I didn't get a WIP photo of my LHN Queen of Hearts - The queen finally has a head, I am back on the checkerboard and I am seriously thinking of cutting it off there.  I'm not sure I need the wording to make my world complete.  http://www.classiccolorworks.com/patterns.html
Here's the photo - what do you think ?  I guess without the wording - it might not be apparent who this lovely queen is so maybe I better include the wording and the bottom border.  I've already been collaborating with Faye about finishing for this one too so I'm anxious to finish.  I see this as a seasonal piece for February so I am just not interested in spending the money for that lovely frame.
 
Hope to come back here to see you all again soon.  Just have to give a welcome to my new followers - I appreciate you one and all and I love hearing your comments too !

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.