Monday, July 24, 2017

JUMPING THRU JULY

Jumping thru puddles should be a more likely title for this blog post.  We've had a LOT of rain but then it's been so hot - it makes sense we've had the rain too and OH the humidity.  All the usual signs summer is here in the deep south.  It's shocking once again that there is only 1 week left in this month however I spent a lot of time knitting this past weekend and I am feeling caught up on my Camp Loopy 2 project.  This photo is actually upside down but you start knitting at the back top of the neck. It is SOOOOO heavy and hot now.  I'm using a sport weight yarn instead of fingering.  I'm finished with the striping section and on to the border - I'm in the home stretch.  The pattern is Crescendo by Woolberry (Janina Kallio) -  I love the colors but I can't say how much wear I would get out of item.  They are not winter type colors to me but "beachy" colors. The yarn is Blue Moon Socks that Rock medium weight for any interested knitters out there. Anyway - I always find a use for my Camp projects - some become gifts and some are just waiting their turn for a cool day.

 Camp Loopy 1 in June is this lovely shawl - it is Fractal Danger by Martina.  The yarn is something new to me Knerd String - it was nice quality and I loved the "creature" colorway - a nice "mel" green !
 It probably needs to be blocked out to get a little more size out of it but ...........  for now I'm done and moving on.  I have already ordered yarn for Camp Loopy 3 in August - that will be the toughest challenge - with a vacation in there and other busy-ness - and 200 more yards in the challenge requirement - August is always a big challenge.  I'm doing the Janesville jacket - a blocky jacket out of Blue Sky yarn - Woolstok - a nice wool yarn from Peru - they say it's a worsted but it's a light worsted IMO.
 Here's Uncle Sam making his summer appearance lounging on a cute little basket I made in an EGA workshop a few months ago.  The sheep is hooked  by my friend  Katie.  Uncle Sam was purchased from a folk artist on Early Work Mercantile last summer.  I need to add to my patriotic display.

I can brag on these next two things because the Holly Fairy was stitched by my dad.  Expertly and creatively finished by Vonna !  I just love the whimsy of the piece she captured in the cube finishing.  My mom is very pleased.
 Next is the adorable April Word Play by With Thy Needle stitched by my mom on pale green aida. Again Vonna did a super job on the finishing making this little pillow/door hanger just perfect for spring displays.  I hope it was OK that I snagged these lovely photos off Vonna's FB finishing page.  If you don't know her - check out Twisted Stitcher.  She has a floss tube channel, finishing tutorials, a blog, posts on FB has 4 kids and a husband and a cottage business to care for.  WOW - she is one busy chick and funny too.  I don't really have time for all the floss tube watching but I am going thru Vonna's starting in January and I think I'm up to April now.  she is just so amusing and fun to watch.
Our EGA chapter just had Kathy Rees do a 2 day class on her newest teaching piece Highland Circle.  It was an awesome class - 2 days spent with great stitchers in our chapter and Kathy is a delight - (no pun intended - her design business is Needle Delights).  I tried to get a photo of my canvas but it just didn't show up well.  if you google it  - you will see images of the piece on line.
 
Not much else going on in my world.  Looking forward to Camp Blanding retreat with Olde Green Cupboard and friends this weekend.  A full 3 days of hooking which is much needed around my house.  It's so fun to be in that National guard facility with 100 quilters, crafters and probably 1 rug hooker !  I appreciate all your comments and read them all.  Hope your summer is going your way and you are getting lots of things accomplished - I would love to hear what you are doing. 

Friday, June 09, 2017

IN THE MERRY MONTH OF MAY

WELL !  I did it , I let the whole month of May slip by without making a blog post, for shame for shame.  I have no excuse except things were a bit busy. 

I guess the big event was a trip to Hiawassee Ga for a rug hooking workshop at the fabulous studio of Linda Bell, certified rug hooking teacher and owner of The Hookery.  She is on the banks of Lake Chatuge - the most picturesque and tranquil place I know of.  We had been there once before about 8 years ago and my folks wanted to go again.  It was my dear dads birthday weekend so off we went.

First stop Swainsboro Ga - The painted lady - the Coleman House which is over 100 years old and on the national Queen Ann registry of historic homes.  Years and years ago - a bunch of my stitching and rug hooking friends went up to this B&B for a retreat and it was a wonderful time.  They have a great  lunch buffet with the best fried chicken and fresh veggies 6 days a week if you are ever in the area.

Here is my dad and my DH standing in the side garden.  You can see the paint and gingerbread trim pretty good on the house.  That brick structure on the right is the old smokehouse.

Here is my dear mom taking one last look back at the expansive wrap around porch.
 So the workshop at Linda Bell's was taught by Karen Poetzinger from the Raleigh NC area.  I'm so sorry but all the photos I took of Linda, Karen and the other students were accidentally taken in "live" mode and can not be captured to the blog - RATS!  Check out her website, she had wonderful wool and some designs of her own.  Many of the class were working on her Rabbit in a hole stool - awesome !

Our goal was to have a stool cover ready to finish so you could get help with the finishing from Karen.  This was Becky's stool, she sat right next to me and worked so hard on sewing up the sides of her stool and pulling the seams like crazy to allow no canvas to show thru.  Hard work !  Isn't her stool beautiful !
Here is our view from Linda's studio every day.  BIG SIGH - I wish I was there now. This was after an evening of rain.  See the  rain clouds hanging low in the mountains which surround this heavenly place.

 For 3 days - I worked on my A&E stool cover - For my long term blog friends I'm sure you must think this project will outlive me.  I sure hope not.  I did make progress but with a 4 cut - it is pretty slow going.  It was also slow going because once I saw the process DUH - I realized how important it was going to be that all of the subject matter lined up correctly when you meet the seams.  So I had to do some pulling out because I had the ecru background starting too high on some of the panels.  The other thing that was important was constantly turning the canvas to make sure the blue sky was extending evenly down the 4 sides.
I did get some important hints from Karen on my rug - first of all - it was enlightening to realize once I saw the actual construction of the cube footstool that it was going to be hard if not impossible to make that zig zag border match up correctly on all 4 sides - not only in the hooking process but also in the sewing process.  SHOOT!  so that is going to have to all come out and will be replaced hopefully by a lovely green spot dye which will mimic a grassy knoll under the tree.  As I've said several times - the motifs and inspiration for his cube stool came from the antique sampler Jane Atkinson -yes I do have Jane in my chart collection - I even have 2 of them because I thought I lost her and bought another.  This design is actually by the wonderful designer Kim Nixon who passed away about 8 years ago.  The only thing left of her stool design is the lovely Eve, everything else was adapted to canvas for me by the very creative Katie Puckett of KISS rug studio.  Much of the wool was dyed by Katie and some came from my stash.  After seeing those stools being finished - I do so want my stool to be done.  Better pick up that hook and get to pulling loops.


Well my friends - the first week of June is already gone and I'm still living in May.  June 1st - you know what that means - Another summer of Camp Loopy !  Yes - my "bee eye" friends and I will be knitting the summer away - as hard and fast as our fingers can fly.  Next post I'll have my first camp project to show you.  Until we meet again - may summer be sweet and your needles busy.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

SHORT POST B I G BIRTHDAY!

April is 1/2 over today - 1 day past a milestone birthday.  Many of my friends sent FB wishes and I thank you all ! I wanted to show you a couple of pretty photos of a lovely luncheon my mom and our dear friend Brenda hosted for my birthday.

The table is set for 12 using my mom's collection of pink depression glass.  She had 4 boxes full and it took her 2 weeks to wash and pack it up for safe transport.  Our DF Brenda also brought serving pieces in pink depression glass that were inherited from great aunts and grandmothers.  It was a special day and will be treasured always.

 It was so wonderful to have 9 special friends attend my birthday luncheon.  I should have taken a photo of the lovely tea fare and all my friends having such a great time.  We had finger sandwiches, chilled asparagus soup served in the cream soup bowls, cheese tarts, strawberry , chocolate and lemon cake balls, coconut macaroons, meringue cookies, mimosas, curried fruit in my nanny's bowl, chocolate Dove eggs, Gallons of hot tea - stitching, laughing oh my what a day !

Here is a photo of my mom and I yesterday in the garden at Club Continental.  it's always a treat to go there for a special occasion.  Right near my home on the banks of the St Johns River - this grand old estate home turned into a private club is mostly used for weddings and functions.  Just one more for the memory books - my birthday is gone but the celebrating and gifts will live on.  Thanks to everyone who made it so special.
Another fun blast from the past concert - Little River Band.  They rocked the house at the historic Florida Theatre last Friday night.

 I wanted to put this on FB and my DH wouldn't let me soooooo - here it is immortalized on my blog which he doesn't read LOL !
Hope all my dear blog friends are having a blessed Holy Week and enjoy Easter with family and friends tomorrow.  Hope to be back again before May to report on our trip to the Sun Region EGA retreat next week.  Hoppy Easter to you all !

Thursday, March 30, 2017

MARCH MADNESS

I'm quite sure March Madness means basketball playoffs to most people but to me it means an incredibly insanely busy month which is now almost gone !

I just can't believe Saturday is April 1st .  however put on your seatbelt - summer is coming, blink your eyes and it will be Christmas again!

Many people have asked about our home repairs - NOTHING has been even started yet.  I see tons of tarps in our area so I guess we aren't alone.  We are dry and safe and we are OK.  I think maybe they will be starting in April, soon it will be 2 mos.

On to the fun stuff !

This is the 1st Snow Place like Home piece stitched on PTP Crystal linen in Pink Sorbet.  It was suggested by Cathy - owner of Inspired Needle.  She has awesome taste and helps me change out suggested linens and I always love what she picks.  Her model stitcher has already finished this series by Country Cottage Needleworks on the same linen - we shared the piece.  I'm SO jealous!
It was a fun stitch but I have to move on.  There are many things to stitch on my EGA chapter's challenge this year.
 Very little rug hooking going on at my house but I am determined to finish the A&E cube stool cover this year!  Here is a good shot of Adam AKA Bon Jovi under the tree of life that took my whole life to hook.  Each leaf is outlined in a 3 cut and filled with a 4.  I'm about to skip up to a 5 cut on that background.  that is all I have left - the background and zig zag border at the bottom.
 Here is lovely Eve, grabbing for that apple.  This rug was adapted for me by Katie Puckett of KISS rug hooking studio.  She adapted it from an antique sampler and of course updated A&E and the whole feel of the rug.  She did some of the dyeing for me but a lot of the wool is from my stash.
 Had lots of fun in an embellishment class down at Needle Orts with Julia Snyder.  There was also a really wonderful and fun beading workshop.  I chose two small Whimsey and Grace ornaments for the class from her newly released William Morris collection.  I'm sure you can recognize the Strawberry Thief.  Too bad you can't really see my wonderful beaded strawberries and stacked lazy daisies.  I needed a closer shot but you'll be seeing more of this guy.  Debbie at Needle Orts has walls of threads - tons!  so it was easy for Julia to find neat things to use.  She pulled a lot of her new fiber called Fine Kid which is YEP - you guessed it a 100% kid mohair.  I'm using it on both the birds - the other canvas is similar but has a different color bird.  Being the "woolwoman" - the more "wooley" goodness , the better for me.  I will also get to use more of my new found beading knowledge on this canvas.  What a great weekend in Altamonte Springs.
 And there was basketmaking with duClay Chapter EGA.  DF Suzy led this basket making experience.  Let's just say Suzy did a lot of hand holding thru this project.  She was awesome.  I love my little basket but I think this will be my one and only foray into basketmaking.  I have too many irons in the fire anyway to branch out into something else.  I will always treasure it and the great times we have with our friends in EGA.  Our chapter does a lot of things just to experience them in "taste of " workshops.  Some things you love and want more and some things UMMMM - not so much!  it's a good way to try things out like Crewel and not have to take an expensive class.
Speaking of EGA - we are having a class with a great teacher in April.  Janeann Sleeman is teaching this darling Blue Bunny canvas by Melissa Prince Designs.  Janeann designed the stitch guide just for us.  Gotta love that ! We feel very special. However the stitch guide will be available from MPD thru your LNS.  The kit supplies were carefully collected by our friend Cathy at Inspired Needle.  We can't wait to see what the Easter Bunny is bringing us.

Not much knitting going on at my house.  Can't say why - guess I'm saving myself for Camp Loopy 2017 which will begin on June 1st.  This is Winter Solace - I showed the lovely Blue Sky yarn in my previous post.  It is two colors but so faint a difference it looks like a shadow but there is a silver gray and an ecru.  Wish now I'd have gotten more distinct colors but oh well - it really is pretty in person.

I could have shown market purchases like so many other bloggers did.  I really didn't buy a lot and not many "specials" or limited items.  I kept my promise and didn't buy any large samplers not that there weren't plenty of lovely ones out there.  There is just not enough time or dedication in my world for me to get them done.  I really think I am lucky to get the small stuff accomplished these days.
 
I knew I better hurry and put together a post or March would be hopping away.  I've done a whole post and not complained about the weather but here goes,  IT"S HOT !  upper 80's all week this week - WAY too hot for spring.  Easter is late this year and by the time mid April comes along I guess it will be cracking 90 in the deep south. 
 
I hope you are all enjoying Spring in your own sweet way.  I love hearing your comments, thanks for
popping in and saying Hi !

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

FRIGHTFUL FEBRUARY

On this last day of February - I have to recount our many blessings.

On the night of February 7th - a quiet Tuesday evening - we were sitting in our sun room watching TV and I noticed on the radar that a storm front was about to hit us.  It was long stretching from north to south but moving in from the west.

I mentioned to my DH that he better go and get the flashlight because if it even rains hard sometimes our lights go out.  BOOM !  we were in the dark before he could even think about moving from his chair.

Another second later - something hit us with the force of a freight train - then there was all this sound and crashing of trees hitting our roof.  I honestly thought our house was falling in and my husband was trying to grab me and I was trying to grab my phone in the dark.  I leave it in the same spot all the time, maybe for times like this.  The crashing and noise seemed to go on forever but it was actually probably just a minute or two.  We just stood in the kitchen area clutching each other not knowing where to run.  We have huge 60-70ft Laurel oak trees in our yard and some live oaks too but it's the Laurel oaks that scare us the most.  They are aging out and falling during violent storms.  You may recall we had a near miss of our house during Hurricane Matthew of the same type of oak.

It sounded like a train was rolling over our roof but we knew it was a tree - we just didn't know which tree and where it hit.  Once the sounds stopped - we got the flashlight and started moving thru our darkened house looking up at the many glass walls and panels we have in our bedrooms and it was then apparent that a forked tree on the front corner of our house must have fallen - we had no idea how bad things were because the lightning was furious.  We were certainly petrified that we'd have another tree come down so we just rejoiced in the fact that we didn't have any gapping holes in our roof and not one panel of glass was broken.  After a while - we could see a fire truck cruising our street, I put on my raincoat and went out.  Then I could see - OMG -  this huge 1/2 a tree cracked off and apparently hit our roof and rolled across it and landed in our side yard.

The fireman came inside our house and looked around and wanted to see the panel box - he pulled our main breaker for us.  Good thing because I had not thought of that.  What we couldn't see that night was the tree had just rolled over our masthead and sheared it off.  It caused an arc in the panel box and all the wiring shorted out and burned up.  The electrician said if we didn't have a brick exterior - our home would have probably caught on fire.  Blessings again.

 Here is the tree where the tornado snapped it off.  It skipped over our next door neighbors house and brought down a very similar tree onto the 3rd house on the block.  Our whole area looked like a warzone - nothing like poor Albany Ga. but still many many trees down on houses and some houses are a total loss.
 Here is where part of the tree landed and took out our neighbors fence and narrowly missed their house.  Blessed again!  All in all we are so blessed to be spared and we are able to live in our house while it is being fixed.  There is extensive structural damage to the front corner.  A crack running from floor to ceiling in that guest room.  The windows are bowed and the main support beam was cracked off with the eave system and what's remaining has a huge crack about 5 ft.  So that will have to be removed and replaced - a big job indeed.  We have a contractor that will handle all the work that has to be done.  Blessed again.    We are safe and no one was hurt or killed.  Biggest blessing of all !
It took about a week to come out of the fog.  We were out of power for 2.5 days - we lost all our food. The electricians worked for a day and a 1/2 as hard as they could go to rebuild our electrical service on that side of the house.  We were out 4 days with Matthew but I was never so glad to see the electrical company come driving up late in the day to reconnect our house to the pole.  The following week was filled with worry about the insurance adjuster and how we would handle things like a huge deductible and a $3000 tree bill.  God provides - blessed again.
 
I had an email about cheap tickets to see STYX lead singer Dennis De Young with the Jacksonville Rock Symphony at the historic Florida Theatre.  HUmmmm - sounds interesting and the price was right and I thought we needed a lift and something to look forward to. 
 
OMG - they were so amazing.  I couldn't believe Dennis De Young just turned 70 - he was always a showman and still is and his voice was amazing.  He did all the greatest and best STYX songs including the seldom heard Sweet Madam Blue, Castle Walls and of course Grand Illusion, Come Sail away and many more.  He played two long sets with an intermission and our "cheapy" seats were fantastic !


Here he is with his hired guns - a great guitar duo.  The young guy August was from Alaska and you could tell he spent his youth in a basement pounding out the STYX songs - he was amazing and did all Tommy Shaw's parts including amazing dueling lead guitars.  We've seen STYX several times in the last decade and the last time was at the St Augustine Amphitheatre  a favorite venue of ours.  They were horrible !  Their sound was messed up and no one did anything about it.  That was the last time I spend money to see STYX but if EVER you get a chance to see Dennis De Young - RUN to get those tickets.  What a highlight to an otherwise frightful month.
 Sorry there isn't much needlework to show.  I am close to having a finish on a cross stitch piece but it's been slow getting back in the groove after my 10 days of fog.  I bought this gorgeous yarn before the tree disaster.  It is Blue Sky Fibers Metallico from the local Yarn Cow.  This is for yet another Janina Kallio design called Winter Solace.  these are two different colors but very very close.  Had I realized it wasn't going to show up that well - I would have picked a slightly darker shade or two grays instead of the cream.  Oh well ! 

Hope all my friends in blog land have had a super February - many have had snow and typical winter weather - sadly we have had HEAT and storms which were not welcome in the least.  Hopefully March roared in February and we'll be having spring lamb weather to come. 

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 !