WHEEEEEEEE - what a great time we had at the Azalea House for the Halloween rug hooking workshop. Jill brought in national teacher Dianne Kelly of the Woolen Cottage in Hiram OH. I have had 3 week long classes with Dianne at different camps and she is a great teacher who really excels in wide cuts. She hooked a little Jack-O-Lantern in a 12 cut in just a few hours time - it was darling - dang it - I should have gotten a photo. I have tons of photos to show you so get a cup of tea and I'll talk a little about each one. The Azalea House was built in 1878 - it is 3 stories and has 6 guest rooms. It is typical Queen Anne architecture with a wrap around porch downstairs and what was probably a sleeping porch on the 2nd floor. It is built entirely of wood and most likely is cypress and heart pine with some native oak. It is located on the banks of the St Johns River in sleepy Palatka Florida. Palatka used to be a prominent stop on the river when northerners would come south for the winter by riverboat. There were stops all along the St Johns from Cowford (Jacksonville in the 1800's) to Sanford (near Orlando) and spend winter months in grand hotels or family cottages. In a recent post - I showed the wonderful historic home I work in which is also located on the St Johns River in the historic Riverside area near downtown Jacksonville.
We have had many retreats there and it is always fun to be there surrounded by all Jill's wonderful collections PLUS she has a small stitching shop inside which specializes in samplers. Let's go inside and have a look around.
This is the main stairway just off the foyer. See all those stair risers - they were hooked by members of our No Fl Rug Hooking guild several years ago and gifted to Jill. I won't go into naming which ones each member hooked but mine is the mummy and since I hooked most of mom's - I'll mention her's is the witches broom on the bottom stair. Wish I had gotten a better photo of all the samplers on the wall on this stairway. Jill's parents have a lovely B&B in Eufaula AL and JoAnn also has hundreds of stitched pieces - mostly samplers adorning her walls so if you are ever in Southeastern AL - you must visit the Candlelight Inn. Back in the 80's Jill had a darling cross stitch shop in Romeo Mich. so she has been involved with stitching for many years and has a vast collection of stitched items.
Proceeding down the long hallway past the stair case - Look at this fantastic quilt that Jill's friends and co-workers at the Olde Green Cupboard made for her. Too cool huh and what about that quaker wall - just wonderful - Sarah Tatum and Sarah Moon are the big ones.
Let's round the corner and you'll see the mantle in the dining room all decked out. Wish my photo would have shown all the glimmer and glitz but - trust me it is soooo cool.
Also in the dining room is the Halloween tree with the awesome tree skirt that our friend and mentor Katie Puckett designed and Jill hooked. I'll include a close up of the tree skirt - too bad I could not get the whole thing but there was not much clearance for another photo of the rest of the sections of the tree skirt. There are many stitched and hand crafted ornaments on this tree and one can stand and look for hours and marvel at the wonderful treasures to be seen.
Oh look - isn't this an eerie photo of Dianne giving a lesson to the 4 students who were hooking in the dining room on Halloween afternoon. WHOOOOOO - Spooky isn't it !
Come thru the huge doorway into the formal parlor and see some of my bestest friends hooking so industriously on their rugs. Katie Puckett, designer and dyer extraordinaire is on the phone on the far left, Nancy BFF and current Prez of the needlepoint guild I belong to that I refer to often in ramblings, in front of her is madame de Leeuw (Jill) and in the foreground is BFF Henrietta who stitched my wonderful Susannah Goose that I showed in my Halloween post a couple of weeks ago. Aren't these bay windows wonderful - they just don't build houses like this any more. If you are wondering what sampler that is on the wall behind Jill - Yep it's And They Sinned - beautifully framed in a Primitive Traditions frame - Jill must have been obsessed or maybe she was possessed when she stitched this one in 3 months !!!!!!!!!!
On the opposite wall above the mantle - is my favorite haunt of the house - Isn't this just the most debonair portrait of Mr Putnam - the county was named for this gentleman back in the 1800's or was it his father - oh well - I wouldn't mind a visit from him to my room LOL - Another beautifully decorated mantle - a great hooked witch on the left Jill won in the ATHA auction in New Orleans in 2007 and a neat witch on the other end made by another OGC associate. With her head down trying to look busy is BFF Karen of The Spinning Monkey design company. I met Karen a number of years ago on some of my first camps down in Sebring Fl - we used to go several times a year before prices got so outrageous - now I'm lucky to get to go once a year.
Another wonderful Halloween tree in the formal parlor.
To wrap things up - here is a photo of my new rug - Peace and Plenty by Not Forgotten Farms - I am hooking with lots of textures (plaids and checks) in this rug - Dianne came up with a nifty and interesting option for the backround of using 3 different textures in shades of a taupey-gray. I love it and it was exactly what I was looking for. The close up shot is of my turkey - OK OK - I was informed by my two buddies who know a lot about PA-German symbolism that this is a distelfink (sp?) - a mythical bird used in hex symbols and frakturs. I thought that was much cooler and more interesting than my bizarre turkey bird. I love my color plan and while it is rather hard to see in this lighting - I think once I get more hooking in place - you will be able to see why I love this color plan so much.
If you made it thru to the end of my tour of the Azalea House - I have a give away opportunity for you. If you are a stitcher and would like a chance to win a brand new copy of the BBD 13 halloween stocking book - please request that option and if you are a hooker, quilter, or penny rug enthusiast - I am going to put together a little package of wool fabric. I'll draw a winner next week on Veterans Day - Nov 11th - If you want a 2nd chance - please mention my blog contest on your blog and create a link to my blog and let me know in a 2nd post and you'll be entered twice for this drawing. Please post your comment and request in this blog entry so I don't miss it.
Hope you enjoyed the tour - I have some great friends to share these events with and I am so blessed to have them in my life. Wish my mom would have been there long enough to appear in the photos but she is a hard one to nail to the seat. ENJOY!