Friday, January 22, 2016

OFF THE OCEAN RUG HOOKING CAMP 2016

So hard to believe that 1 week ago today I was excitedly looking at my new project at Off the Ocean rug camp.  Also amazing that this was my 17th consecutive camp, I thought it was number 16 but the director and DF Katie Puckett corrected me in a FB post and said no it is number 17 !  WOW, where did those 17 years go.  We've seen her two daughters grow up before our eyes and son literally because he is now 13 and I think was only 2 weeks old during camp #13.  So fun to hear him calling the bingo game with his dad!

There is only 1 other student who has that distinction and 2 teachers who have been invited to teach there for 17 years.  Sibyl Osicka and Diane Stoffel.  I had Sibyl for the past 3 years but it was certainly a pleasure to be back in Diane's class this year after a long absence.  She has color planned some of my very favorite rugs such as my mermaid and my angel runner.  My long time blog followers will know these rugs.

This year she did an absolutely amazing job color planning the William Morris Orange Tree canvas created by Encompassing Designs in Canada.  I should have gotten a photo of my gorgeous pile of wool in traditional William Morris colors.

Here is my progress, doesn't look like much for 4 days of camp.

A closer shot.

Much easier to see the colors on this one.  I was just thrilled to pieces with what Diane did for me on this rug.  Does that mean I will stick to it and keep it going?  Only time will tell - my typical pattern is to put away my new rugs and return to the oldest WIP's I have and continue to try and get them done.  I am so in love with this one - I might just keep going on it while it's all fresh in my mind.
For those rug hookers who might want to know - the wool is all hand dyed by Diane, there are no textures or plaids and it is mostly a 5 cut with some fine detail in a 4 cut.  The canvas is almost square 35 X 36.
 
Bad Mel - I didn't take a single photo of the rug show.  Somehow it just slipped by me.  On the day of the exhibit - there are always lots of visitors from the area - many of whom are rug guild members who don't attend camp or friends of attendees or family members etc.  So lots of happy interruptions on that day, visiting with friends etc.  If you look for Katie Puckett on FB you will see some photos from camp.
 
I did take photos of our class "throw down".  At the end of the last day - everyone throws down their rugs to admire and for classmates to take photos.  I missed a few and I apologize to those who are not represented here for any reason other than either the photo didn't turn out or I just couldn't get the shot.
 
This colorful fun rug was also being worked by a tablemate.  She made great progress.

 This is SaraBeth Black's snazzy flamingo.  He has all kinds of sequins and interesting fibers like hand dyed yarn etc .  She was the peoples choice winner of the rug exhibit this year but sadly I don't have a photo - I know I saw one on FB.  Could have been on Annie Talley's FB.
 This is Annie's owl - it was fun to see this come to life since she sat right across from me. 
 
 Another tablemate Liz was working on this Welcome rug from her stash and had fun planning a new rug as well.
 Amazing job on these Japanese Chins - so lifelike.  Hope I get to see them finished.
Another cute companion and what a great sunflower

This amazing rug is by friend JoAnne in our local rug guild.  I think she started it last year with Diane.  JoAnne was in Celebration of Rugs this past issue with her gorgeous Victorian Garden rug.  She does amazing work and we can always count on her for C O L O R.

 I fell in love with this Santa rug.  I was so shocked it was a pre-cut kit by Tish Murphy.  I see one of these in my future.  What an amazing job on the faces here.
Another rug guild friend and tablemate Robin was working on this 4 seasons beach rug that Diane designed, drew and color planned for her.  It is closing in on a finish and it was so amazing.  I had to take 2 photos to get it all in there.  The first shot starts with winter.


Hope we see this rug in the show next year.  the last shot ends with summer on the beach.  It was Stone Harbor Beach in NJ.  The sky was simply amazing.
 
So much talent in this camp.  Every class had amazing works of fiber art going on.  Like one of my needlework friends who doesn't hook said to me - " I can't believe what can be done with a strip of wool."  that is so true !
 
Well - there is not much stitching going on at my house as winter is really all about the "wool" around my house.  I have a long 2016 challenge list for stitching projects with my EGA chapter so I better nimble up with the stitching.  I even ordered a hexie kit off Etsy because I have been toying with trying English Paper piecing for a while.  One of my hooking friends at rug camp had a whole box of completed hexies and was giving me pointers (evil temptress) and saying how fun and easy it was.  So I thought  sure I can do that !
I am never not knitting - there is something always on the needles.  I started a great KAL with my Bee Eye friends.  Caramel is a free pattern on Ravelry and I have actually found time to cast on. Now I just need to find time to keep knitting on it.  There are always shawls and scarves in progress that need to be finished.
Hope everyone is off to a great start with all their needlework goals for 2016.  In January - the future always seems so bright and there is a wide open year ahead with which to pursue all our dreams.  With that said - I hope all my friends up the east coast are hunkered down with their projects and all stay safe in the winter storm.  The wind is briskly blowing here on the river in NE FL bringing old man winter closer to our area.  With warm and "wooley thoughts" for all I wish you a great weekend !

Thursday, December 31, 2015

10th YEAR BLOGAVERSARY !

Wow - I almost let a big anniversary go unmentioned !  10 years of blogging  as the Woolwoman!

I could do one of those "YEAR(S)" in review things but frankly I'm not sure I want to recount everything I haven't done or completed.

Since this is primarily a needlework related blog - that is mostly what I blog about.

I also promised I'd pop back here and divulge my  New Years starts and focuses.

The first is a SAL being done by our local EGA chapter duClay.  It is Amy Mitten's new Scottish Sampler.  it is the first sampler in her Around the World sampler series.  We have 20 members participating and we are all so excited.  I hope to start mine tonight.  Some people got theirs in October and I am already seeing finishes on FB.  Amy suggests it can be done in 80 days - hummm - I am hoping for 180 days !

I wanted to include a photo but I forgot to take one this morning on my Iphone and I couldn't grab one off her website.  Go take a look.

The other cool SAL duClay is doing is a Kathy Rees canvas SAL.  I am doing Elements - Earth - A club offered by Tomorrow Heirlooms.  I don't know exactly when I will start this because I am waiting for 10" stretcher bars to mount my canvas.  It's smallish so I know I can finish it in a few months - I hope !

I'm going to close now and wish all my blog friends around the world a very Happy New Year.  I wish you health and happiness and many hours to do your chosen hand work.  Please let me know what you are planning for 2016 - I love hearing from everyone - it's what makes blogging important.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE !

Seasons Greetings to everyone !

We are back from our Christmas vacation in Tenn.   In search of cold weather !
A photo of my DH in front of the condo unit.

To prove we did find some cooler weather !

Love the winter landscape at the condo.  The Smoky mountain range in the background.

Spent a day at Dollywood with my folks.  Yes it was C O L D and I was woefully underdressed for the occasion.  I only wore a sweatshirt and didn't even bring a scarf or shawl, no jacket or hat.  By the time darkness fell - I was ready to go back to the warm condo and do some knitting!

It was a first for us to take a vacation at this time of the year.  We enjoyed it a lot,   the days just flew by.  We had 24 degrees and snow flurries on Friday in and around Cherokee NC.  The temps seemed to rise about 10 degrees every day but still better than the record highs we are still having in NE FL right now.  Seems so un-Christmas like to be wearing summer clothes and have the AC blasting.

I did a little stitching on my No Pole Express but not enough to snap a photo.  I mainly knitted on a shawlette in a special edition Christmas color called Peppermint Stick Forest by Blue Moon Fiber Arts purchased at The Loopy Ewe.  It is easy knitting on a design called Fractal Danger.  I'm sure after Christmas I will lose interest in it and put it away till next December but for now - it's holding my attention. 

Are any of you starting a new project on Christmas Day or New Years Eve/Day?  I am hoping to start my Amy Mitten Scottish sampler SAL with our EGA chapter tomorrow.  However with that said - we do have a lot of cooking (and cleaning up) to do in the meantime.  I hope I have the energy to sink a few stitches tomorrow and help get my dear mom started on hers.

I'm  hoping my NYE start will be the canvas SAL with our EGA chapter.  I am doing a special club piece by Kathy Rees/Needle Delights from Tomorrows Heirlooms.  It's called Elements and the first one is Earth.  LOVE the colors ,  next is Water I think and that will come in January but I am just focusing on the one right now !

Wishing all my friends in blog land a most wonderful Christmas - If I don't make it back here before the new year - I wish you peace, happiness and health in the New Year ! 

Monday, December 14, 2015

TIS THE SEASON !

At the rate December is flying by - I figured I better make a post in a hurry or Christmas would be here and gone !

I am seeing so many wonderful blog posts and FB entries on the groups and from stitching friends showing all their beautiful trees and things finished for holiday delights.

I only have 1 finish to show you today and an "almost finished" piece .

This is a shawl called Big Blue - I got about 1/2 done with it last summer and then put it down as I so typically do with any project.  I decided it needed to be off the WIP list.

It is a gorgeous color of Madeline Tosh Sport yarn called Blue Spectrum - I am not typically a "blue" person but I found this yarn in a shop in GA and they only had 2 skeins of several colors and this was the most appealing of what they had.



Here is my "almost" finished tree #1 from the Fanciful Forest club I was doing with The Needlepointer in WA.  Yes the club is over and this is just the first tree but I have lofty goals for more trees in 2016.  Yes its time to start agonizing over those Christmas Day and New Years Day new starts if you are of that school of people who does that type of thing every year.  Next post I'll show you a few things I have planned for those starts.

Have to show you my best friends in the world - my folks.  This was taken recently at brunch at the Club Continental - one of our favorite places to be during the Christmas season.  This lovely estate home turned private club has been mentioned on my blog before.  It is a great wedding venue and special occasion place for my folks and my DH and I.  Go out to their website and read the very interesting history of this lovely estate.

Last year we had Valentines Day dinner in front of this gorgeous fireplace with a roaring fire inside.  I don't think we are going to have anything this year but a fan or AC blasting.  It continues to be record highs here in the deep south.  I hear there might be a tiny cool front coming soon.

Showing how abnormally hot it is here - this was a recent photo of my DH sitting on an outside patio overlooking the water at a favorite seafood restaurant. 
 
Well friends these are a few of my favorite things -  what are a few of your favorite things?
 
I enjoy hearing your comments and I hope you are having a most marvelous holiday time and enjoy all the sounds and sounds of the seasons.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

THANKFUL !

Happy upcoming Thanksgiving to all my US blog friends !  I updated my blog face which I should have done at the beginning of November instead of the end - oh well - I never seem to be on time for anything.

The bird in my blog header is a distelfink not a turkey - but he looks enough like a turkey that he can pose as one this year.

I wanted to show you a few finishes - yep FINISHES ! and for my knitting friends - a shot of the only thing I have been knitting lately.  This is Solace by a Finnish designer Janino - you can find the pattern on Ravelry.  It is knit with two yarns I have never knit with before Rowan Fine Tweed is the barley color and Shibui Pebble is the dark green.  They are lovely together even though the Pebble is quite fine - I would say a very light fingering.  In Janino's pattern - she recommends using a fingering and a lace weight together to make a light wrap.  it is a fun and easy pattern.

This is a darling ornament that my mom stitched from the 2013 JCS Christmas issue.  *I* did the finishing.  I am quite proud of it even though it's not up to a "Faye" quality finish - it was still rewarding to accomplish since I am definitely NOT a finisher. 


This is the back of the ornament.  I put the little bell on his hat and a bigger bell on the back.  The cording is twisted bakers twine which I found at Joann's.  It wasn't exactly what I wanted but it worked out OK.
The big news flash is that I finished my Autumn House.  It's off to the framers in hopes that it will be ready in 2 weeks to display at our EGA chapters Christmas luncheon and annual exhibit of finishes for 2015.  I can't say how proud I am of this piece.  Too bad you can't see much detail.  Maybe when I get it back from the framer I will inundate you with more photos.  I'm sure I can hear a HALLELIUAH !  she's done!  so you don't have to see any more photos of this WIP.  It is a Melissa Shirley design and the thread choices and stitch choices were all my own.  I worked on this piece for years but there were often many months that went by when it went completely untouched.  There was also a period of about 6 mos where I waited for more of the antique black used in the sky.  Ended up ordering from a different shop and got it in a week.  You never know what the hold up is with certain things that never come in. 

One last finish - this is one of those Shepherds Bush pre-made bags.  This one is Busy Bee and so adorable.  It was fun to do and I enjoyed it immensely.

I might have another finish for 2015 - just not sure if I can focus and get something finished or not.  I have about 10 Christmas/snowmen/winter things I'd like to start and I am trying to focus on Gather a Harvest by Hands on Design but that is fall and in my book fall is over when Thanksgiving is over so we'll take bets on how long I can focus on that one.
 
I am wishing for every one of you who celebrate Thanksgiving to really think about what the holidays mean here in the US. Take a moment to be "thankful"  for what is important to you and your families and friends.  How much we have here, the safety we've taken for granted for so many years, how fast you can lose all that and be in fear every day of your life.  My heart goes out to all our friends in France and Belgium and around the world where peace is no longer visible in their lives.
God bless the USA and our military all around the world, be with them during this Thanksgiving and holiday season.  Enjoy and don't forget to spend a few quiet moments with your needles and hooks this holiday if you can. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

HAPPY HALLOWEEN !

Happy Friday to one and all.  I am enjoying the beautiful sun shine here in the deep south where we've had NO/ZERO/NADDA/ZIPPO fall weather.  We've been in the 80's all month long with a few wet and gray, drizzly days sprinkled in there.  Most people would love this weather but I long for cooler weather - 20 degrees cooler would be great with me.  Oh well - I guess we will get there but the 10 day forecast was more of the same.

Before the month is gone - I wanted to show you some of the fall and Halloween decorating around my humble abode.

Here is that cute piece I bought in South Ga. earlier this month.  Isn't he fun ! He is made from a propane tank (see previous post)  We'll put a candle inside tomorrow night to greet our little ghouls at the door.

 
 He sits at the edge of our front garden walkway smiling at all who dare to enter.
 Here is my pumpkin and gourd display this year.  It is in a small child's wheelbarrow a dear friend gave me this summer.  She said "promise me you'll do a pumpkin arrangement in it"  - so here dear Faye is your pumpkin arrangement.
 Speaking of gifts and dear friends - look at the FAB-ulous pumpkin that my DF Becky made for me.
It is so creative and so cool.  I love the real dried pumpkin stem and the way she glammed it up a bit with a few beads and a felted tendril.  You can never imagine how lovely this piece is unless you could see it in person.  It looks great on the pewter tray with my pottery pumpkins from the Old Mill Pottery in Tenn.
Here is my evil looking button eyed cat by Scarlet House.  It is shown for lighting purposes along with my Old Salem box from Liberty Hill.  Faye from Carolina Stitcher did the lovely finishing on it.

Here is the back of the pin pillow which is filled with walnut shells I presume.  Creative finishing as usual by Faye.

Here's where the cat is living currently.  The coloring in this photo is much more accurate than the other two.  Plus there's a good shot of the pottery pumpkins.
Makes a nice little vignette with my Scarecrow in the Pumpkin Patch hooked rug. 

Where's the stitching, knitting, hooking progress you say???  Well - I certainly don't have much to show for the month.  I did finish that pina ghoulada ornament but haven't completed the "finishing" yet.  I did find a suitable backing material last weekend and a rick rack trim so I am making baby steps towards getting that done.
Here is tree #1 in the Fanciful Forest club I was doing with the Needleponter which is in Washington State.  I have enjoyed this one but I changed the stitch on the tree to my own choosing.  I am setting up basketweave in the background using Floche ( my first time) and then I will do Dotted Swiss background.  Mary Corbet did a whole blog post yesterday on Floche by DMC. 
  So I am learning some new things with this club.  This club is an exclusive by Pippin Studios in Canada.  The Needleponter is their US distributor.  They have some great special collaboration pieces exclusive to their shop by Pippin .

Finally - a beautiful double mum in two colors given to me by my dear husband.  I love looking at it every day by my back door. 
 
Hopefully next post I will have some knitting and hooking to show.  Maybe some stitching too.
 
Here's hoping you plan to have a wonderful Halloween even if its only to watch a spooky movie or two and eat some of your favorite candy and take a few happy stitches.
 
 
 

Friday, October 09, 2015

OK IT'S OCTOBER

On a recent jaunt thru south central Georgia - I found a wonderful prim shop called Alice & Jay.
On my way to Auburn on a business trip I spotted all these great Halloween things sitting out on the highway in a little tiny town called Sasser.  I thought to myself - now on the way back I must stop and check these out.  The shop was FULL of prim furniture and all sorts of things they make on site in their metal shop.  They also have another location down near Thomasville Ga.
 

Here is the cute witches that caught my eye.  They are made from old discarded propane tanks.  How clever !  I couldn't decide what I wanted, decisions decisions.

This is not a great photo but I ended up getting the jack-o-lantern with the hat.  I'll have to show the one I got before October is over.  I need to finish some decorating at home and get some photos.

I said I wasn't going to show my Autumn House again until it was finished.   However I am so elated that I finished that hateful black bargello sky that I thought I should show a photo.  All I have left is the borders and I really need to move on with finishing this up.  It's on my EGA Chapter challenge list and I want it done !  If I finished it up this weekend (HA!)  I could actually just sit it out and use it this month and then get it framed in November.  Good idea, get it done !

This is a crummy photo and don't ask me why I was so taken with the ornament from the recent JCS magazine.  It is called Pina Ghoulada - fun !  I just love that eyeball button you put in the bottom of the glass and the little spider dangling from the straw.  I was simply amazed that my buddy Cathy at Inspired Needle had this color linen in stock along with the linen needed another ornament I loved in that same issue, the one with the witch button from Italy.  I have barely started that one and I hope to try and do the finishing myself since all the finishers I work with have closed off their services till 2016 because of the load of holiday requests.
 
Not much else new in my world - I have been knitting but just working on that same Sailing shawlette I showed in the prior post.  I'm itching to start something more fallish in color.  I paid a visit to a great yarn shop in Savannah this week and picked up some beautiful Shibui Pebble which I had never seen in person  for a new shawl I've had my eye on.  Maybe next time I come to visit - It will be started. 
 
Hope you all will stop by and tell me what you've been doing to get ready for fall or what's in your WIP basket.  Enjoy all the sights and sounds of Autumn.