Monday, December 08, 2008


I know I say this every year but HOW can the year be almost over ???

I am pleased to say I have finished ONE rug hooking project this year. It wasn't the biggest one in my WIP pile but it is a nice one. My Desert Rose miniature oriental is complete. What no photos you say? Not yet - I still can't find my camera - not even sure it got moved from the old house to the new house. If I can't locate it soon I will have to beg one of my friends to take a finish photo for me. It came out quite nice and I was very pleased. Next year I hope to have my big 3 X 5 rug finished and maybe a smaller rug too. Considering I got a ton done on Merrie Halloween at the Halloween Hooking workshop at the Azalea House with Diane Stoffel - I might can get that one finished in 09.

I'm not close enough with any stitching or knitting WIP's that I will have a photo finish before the EOY. AWWWWWW - If I only applied myself and stuck to one or two projects instead of 10 or 20 - I would probably not be having this EOY Woe is Me conversation with myself! But as I always say - it's the journey thru my needlework life that counts - not how many finishes I have in a year. However an occasional finish is certainly good for the soul !

Christmas is just a little over 3 weeks from now - We have decided not to do too much exchanging in my household this year. Having all the added expenses of moving in July - adjusting to new and bigger bills including keeping up a pool AND still having to support my old house until it sells (if it ever sells) is just about all I can handle right now. I participated in a couple of guild group exchanges and that is about it for exchanging with friends. Sadly - I just can't do it this year.

Hopefully I'll be back soon with a photo of the mini oriental - until then - happy stitching

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I am so ready for fall! We actually had record lows last night which is very unusual for NE FL in October. I am usually knee deep in knitting projects in October but this year I am in a knitting slump - not to say that I have not added lovely fall yarns to my stash this month - the long awaited Rowan Colorscapes for the Fall VK Fassett jacket and also the luscious Cocoon - too gorgeous to escape my clutches. I swatched up the Coocoon but that was as far as it went - the VK design - AACCCKK - not even that much - oh I did get a nice start on a beautiful jacket from the new Debbie Bliss mag - the Drop Collar jacket done in a beautiful rustic gold chunky donegal tweed.

I am trying hard to finish a mini oriental hooked rug called Desert Rose - I am down to the final two borders and just can't seem to get over the hump. This coming weekend is our long awaited rug hooking workshop at the Azalea House with national teacher Diane Stoffel from Cape Cod. Diane did the color plan on my beloved mermaid and also is responsible for the reasonably decent job I did on Shakespeare the marmoset monkey! I am doing a cool folky type design by NotForgotten Farm called Merrie Halloween. I can't WAIT to see what gorgeous colors Diane has cooked up for that project. My dear mother and I are sharing a room and we are both looking forward to getting away from the guys for the weekend and having some fun with our friends who are coming from all over FL for this intimate workshop.

On the stitching report - EEEKKKKK - that is almost worse than the knitting report - what have I done - NOTHING - absolutely NOTHING - have not touched any of my WIP's in soooo long - have taken a few stitches on a little halloween ornament but that is the extent of my efforts. Now I have to admit - I have been doing a good bit of canvas work lately - I have been keeping up to date with a guild group project with my local ANG chapter and that has been fun so far. I also finished a Lee tote insert which I started a couple of years ago - Yeah I know -I know - it could have been finished in a few months but give me a break - at least it is done now and DF Nancy has already mounted it in the bag and made sure I was able to use it this weekend for the retreat to carry a small knitting project or maybe a small stitching project since a good many of the attendees at this workshop are also stitchers.

Hopefully I can put up some photos soon of the finished tote and the finished oriental.

Until then - Happy Halloween - don't eat too much chocolate and make good use of the coming LONG nights on the sofa!

Friday, August 08, 2008


WOW has it ever been hot here in NE FL - I was in Savannah last Friday and also again on Wednesday and they were having 100+ temps up there - EGADS - that is REALLY hot -

Tomorrow I am hosting a little party at my new house for my dear friends who have August birthdays. There are 5 of them and one of them is my dear mom - she is part of our stitching and hooking guilds so she will be there too. After relaxing with some snacks and stitching we will go to a high tea at a local establishment. Should be a memorable day for my friends. This is be my first attempt at entertaining in my new home. I don't have everything exactly like I want it since I have only been in the house for one month but things are at least presentable. The room I am going to use as my studio is a grand mess - there are bags and boxes everywhere but I do have my primitive cabinet set up with my rug hooking stash and projects. So at least one thing is complete in that disaster area. Maybe one of my friends will bring a camera and I can post some photos of the festivities.

Until then . . . . . happy stitches!

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Here are some more photos from our New England trip -

A replica of Carols ancestor who came over on the Mayflowers house in Plimoth Plantation - Frances Cook.

the interior of the Cook house

The Wilbur house - A quaker family in Little Compton Island, RI and a photo of an unbelievable wool penny rug or table covering which was in great shape.

Some awesome scrimshaw work boxes in the collection of the New Bedford Whaling Musuem

Thursday, July 03, 2008


My long awaited trip to New England and the Needlework and the Sea symposium at the Whaling Musuem in New Bedford has come and gone.What a GREAT time we had. I met Carol in Boston - her flight was moved up and mine was moved back so Carol was kind enough to pick up the rental car and acquaint herself with the historic area of Boston. She picked up me right on the curb and whisked me off to the Freedom Trail - Bear in mind that this was the hottest day this area has seen in a long time - Bostonians were sweltering and while we Floridians are accustomed to extreme heat - I am NOT accustomed to tromping around in it! So we only walked around the historic area for a couple of hours - we saw the Old North Church where the famous "one if by land and two if by sea" scene was envisioned and immortalized in books, historical accounts and movies. We saw Paul Revere's house - and guess what - THERE WAS A SAMPLER! It was stitched by Paul's granddaughter - Carol thought for sure she had seen it repro'd by DMC or something jogged in her memory about this sampler. So after the tour - off we stalked in search of the gift shop - hummm - no gift shop - just a little tiny ticket booth - we skirted around the back side of the ticket booth to avoid hundreds of squirming yelling running school children and THERE - taped to the back side of the ticket booth was the chart of Paul Revere's GD's sampler - We tapped on the glass to get the kind young man's attention and asked for two copies - he said $8 each ma'am and I'm sorry but that doesn't include the thread - LOL - (snicker -giggle) we scoffed and scurried off with charts in hand and laughed all the way to the car about paying $8 for a chart! Our next quest in Boston was to find the Old Oyster House - purported to be the oldest restaurant in Boston - we FINALLY found it after walking all around - I was so hot and tired - eating just didn't seem so appealing so I opted for a cup of their famous clam chowder and some fried calamari - thus ensued the "great chowder quest" I became obsessed with clam chowder - I ordered a cup or bowl every single restaurant I went to on the whole trip - Even ordered one final bowl of Rhode Island Red Clam Chowder in the Boston airport on my way home! I'll have to say - I had some awesome clam chowder while in New England!

Boston traffic is world renown - we knew we were leaving at a precarious time - 5:30pm on a Tuesday! EGADS - How hard could it be to find I-93 south - apparently it was pretty hard because we ended up going north and ending up almost in NH - OK - I have to give a real big virtual hug to Carol - she was such a trooper and darted in and out of those angry honking Bostonians like a pro - she picked her way up and down the highway until we managed to get on the road to New Bedford. We ended up getting off the main highway and traveling thru a lot of little scenic new england villages. They are so quaint - I could have lived in any of them.

Finally - the sign for New Bedford - our hotel was actually across the river in Fairhaven. It was almost dark when we arrived but safe and sound and ready for new adventures we trudged up to our room with all luggage.

Wednesday morning - Carol was up early - hummm about 5:30am I think - for some reason the sun comes up earlier there in New England and our room faced east - so by 6 I was also up and at it. This pattern of early rising continued thru our entire trip -most unusual for me! We strolled down to the breakfast bar where we met up with our cohort Patsy - she was also attending the jacket lecture at Plimoth Plantation and she had also done some research into what else we should see while in the Plymouth area. We arrived at Plimoth Plantation about 30 min early so we perused around and watched a film before meeting up with the balance of the symposium participants who were interested in seeing the jacket project. What an undertaking - this is gorgeous - I would encourage everyone to visit the PP website and start monitoring the progress on the jacket. They are having the exhibit in the fall of 2009 - hope I can be there. After seeing 3 awesome samplers in the archives we walked down to the recreation of the original settlement of Plymouth. Here is a super photo that Patsy shot. Oh well - I can't figure out how to get the photo down here .

Next up was Plymouth Hall to visit Mercy Otis Warren's unbelievable game table and Loara Standish sampler. The museum was small but they had a large amount of pilgrim artifacts and it was enjoyable being there. We also happened upon the Sampler - a small needlework shop which was right across the street from Plymouth Hall. Then it was off to try and find a small historic home the Winslow House in Marshfield. We zipped along up country roads and here it was - what a neat house and there was samplers in several rooms - no a/c - probably no heat and here they were still hanging in pretty good condition after about 300 years - amazing! Ok - still in the wrong spot - I am probably not going to post any more photos :(
We tried to get in the Alden House but they were closing up - it is the oldest property in the US still owned by descendants of the original Mayflower settlers. Dinner was with a group of friends at a local seafood favorite spot - it was right on the river and very picturesque. Didn't we do a lot on our first day!
Thursday was Ellen Chester's Ditty box class at the Whaling Museum. We gathered in the breakfast room again and saw lots of friends from near and far. All were cackling excitedly about the upcoming events. We gathered our stitching bags and off we headed for downtown New Bedford. Ellen had prepared a wonderful slide show showing lots of scrimshaw works of art - apparently the NB Whaling Museum has the largest collection of scrimshaw in the world and an expert on the subject on staff - we were to hear his lecture later in the week. The pieces Ellen designed for the ditty box are really neat - we worked in class on the little fish scissor keep and needleminder. It was a most enjoyable day with Ellen and the other attendees. We ended up walking over to a nearby cafe for dinner - another test run of the local chowder for me - it was awesome. We had to attend the opening lecture on Thursday evening and while it ran pretty late we enjoyed being in the lovely auditorium with most all the event participants.
Friday morning lectures were scheduled - one on the lost art of sailmaking. The speaker was quite the expert and while it was interesting for a while - I think I heard more about sailmaking that I needed to know. I waited too long to write this trip journal because all the lectures and lecturers are running together now. After lunch Carol Patsy and I along with about 15 other participants boarded a bus heading for Little Compton Island in Rhode Island. It was a lovely ride thru more scenic little new england villages. The Wilbur House was our destination - built in the late 1600's by a quaker man I believe it was said that he and his wife bore 11 children. The house had been added onto several times but was in original condition for the most part and YEP - they had samplers - loads of them - most done by descendants of the Wilburs and other people in the local area. It was a lovely day and there was a gentle sea breeze - there was a lovely garden and I loved seeing the peonies. We don't have them or Florida or if we do - I am not aware of it. The bus trip back was quiet and uneventful. We had a Portuguese buffet at the museum - I am sad to say it was not memorable. Another lecture by a textile expert from the Peabody-Essex in Salem was after dinner. Another long but exciting day - I don't think I even remember falling into bed.
I must say sleeping thru the night and sleeping like a log on this trip was a real blessing.
Saturday there were more lectures scheduled in the morning - I skipped a couple of them and sat in the courtyard and stitched and chatted with other friends who ducked out of the lectures. I had grown tired of box lunches so after Carol got out of the lecture - we walked to some of the local shops and I found a nice antique carved piece of whale bone - it was probably an awl but it will be a nice accessory for my ditty box and I will probably use it as a laying tool. Carol wanted to walk and look and I wanted to get something for lunch so I hiked back to the cafe in the next block and had another bowl of clam chowder before heading back to the museum for my afternoon class with Kathleen Staples. Kathy reproduced the Lydia Ricketson sampler which is in the collection of the museum. It is lovely but has a lot of filled satin stitch flowers - Kathy was kind enough to draw the basket with flowers and spray of flowers at the top and bottom for us. It was sad news that this will be her last reproduction - I have enjoyed taking many classes with Kathy - she is one of the most knowledgable people I have met in the sampler world. Part of our class included a tour of samplers in the archived collection that did not make it into the exhibit - it was very interesting. After the class we sat in the open air courtyard and just took in the lovely sea air and waited for Patsy to come back from her Duxbury tour. Carol told us of her lovely walk thru the surrounding area and off we went to tour the area by car. Patsy was awesome at getting us around the area. We crossed the river and decided to explore the riverfront in Fairhaven. Lots of gorgeous homes lined the river and what views could be seen. We passed several interesting restaurants near the marina but kept driving - wanting to see all we could of the area before darkness fell. We ended up back at the hotel and decided to make a pit stop and freshen up a bit - we asked the clerk for dinner recommendations and he pointed us to Margaret's which is the quaint little cafe we had seen earlier. Driving up to Margarets we were dismayed at the number of cars and people waiting in line - it was a good sign however that a great meal was in our future. I am always looking for memorable meals - this was one - I started with their version of clam chowder which was decidedly different than anything I had experienced on this trip or any trip for that matter - after seeing my chowder both Pats and Carol ordered a bowl as well. I was dying for meat - after 5 days of seafood - I was dying for meat - I had a great steak and I think both my friends had fish. What an awesome final meal we had in the picturesque little village of Fairhaven. What a beautiful little town - I could live there - of course I would need a translater - they don't speak Southern or understand it either! However the owner I presume was cordial and mentioned that they opened the next morning for breakfast a 7am - Hummm- my mind was already processing how we could work in breakfast at Margarets and still get to Boston on time. Patsy wanted to sleep in so when we got back from dinner we bid farewell to our travel companion extraordinare - our friend and oh what a wonderful time we had with our dear Patsy! Carol and I felt if we got up on time - we could run over to margarets and have a nice breakfast to send us home to Florida. Needless to say it was enjoyable and I got to experience one more new england dish linguiuse or something like that - a portuguese sausage in my omelet oh and norwegian pancakes with lingonberry jam - WOW - I was determined to finish my trip with another food memory!
The weather all week was lovely - seems new england was crying that we were leaving - it started to rain just as we left Margarets and rained on us all the way to Boston - heavy at times but we arrived in plenty of time to turn in the rental car. Carol's flight was hours earlier than mine so it was sad saying good bye to my good friend and travel companion. I headed to the Delta gate area and proceeded to peruse Borders and buy a book I had seen reviewed on the B&N website - Garden Spells - I still have not finished it but it is a fun easy read. I found a quiet place to sit and I started the page for Carol's Ackworth friendship book. I was honored she asked me to do a page for her book and I eagerly started my favorite page while I sat and pondered the past week and tucked away all my memories in that secret place we hold so dear.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day is a time to remember everyone who has served our country and fought for the freedoms we enjoy today. Lots of people just enjoy a day off from work to cook out or shop the sales or spend time with family and friends. How many people actually remember to thank God and our service men and women for laying their life on the line every day to protect our liberty. What about the veterans and those who have fought on foreign soil and died fighting for our freedom.

I also give thanks to our police and firemen - they fight the fight in every city, town and village in the US every day - protecting us from what seems like a war right here in our midst. The city where I live seems to have murders every day - children being hit by stray bullets - teens killing teens in street wars - So I give all the praise and credit in the world to police officers who step out of their cars into danger every single day.

Wow - need to lighten up a bit but I just needed to say that!!!!!!! Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Memorial Day!

Now on to the fun stuff - I have been having a little fun lately - earlier in May - I took a class with the Blackbird Design gals at a local quilt shop. They taught 3 classes but I only took the cross stitch class which was a paper covered box which had a little pin pillow in it and a scissor fob. It was great being with Barb and Alma - they are so creative - I would definitely take a class from them again.

The following day I went down to Treasure Island Fl with a guild friend and took the Sampler Huswif class from Ellen Chester of With My Needle. I have had a class with Ellen before and she is always a pleasure to take a class from. I had the good fortune to be invited to stay with a friend on Treasure Island and her lovely home was filled with antique and reproduction samplers. She hosted a small group including Ellen and Tom Chester for dinner on Fri night and what a great time we all had. Saturday after class Beth opened her home to the class participants if they wanted to come and see her sampler collection. It was a great weekend and a most memorable time on Treasure Island.

Not much rug hooking going on but that is pretty typical of me in the summer - I cut way back on my hooking when hot weather arrives. Our rug guild had it annual hook in the end of April at the TPC Senior Center in Ponte Vedra Beach Fl and that was a great day - Got quite a bit of hooking done that day on the Antique Blue Basket - An older WIP of mine - something that needs to be finished up but probably won't get finished this year - it is a very large rug - about 3' X 5' - I took a round of classes from our local rug hooking teacher earlier this year and continued to work on my Adam & Eve cube stool cover - it is completely done now - revision wise and Katie did an awesome job mimicing the elements of an antique sampler that I love called Jane Atkinson. I'll try to show a WIP photo of that piece soon.

Knitting - oh my - I am so dysfunctional - I hop from this to that and just don't get much done. I took a class in May at a LNS - actually she called it a Knit A Long and the pattern was for the cover of the spring/summer Vogue Knitting. Mine is in a lovely chocolate brown and I have not knitted a lick on it since the weekend I started it. Last weekend we were at St Augustine beach and I visited the local shop down there - she had some lovely summer yarn from Filatura called Dusk and I started a cute summer top - it is easy 12 row pattern and I am having a great time with it. Already have about 10 in. done in 8 days.

Needlepoint has been slow too - however I do want to show photos of a lovely needlecase from a class I took last year with Carole Lake and our local ANG guild. I have to admit that my friend Nancy did most of the stitching on this case - All I did was the double fan double stitch on the back of the case and the border around it - Nancy did the rest - it was her generous and wonderful suggestion that we give this to my mom for mothers day as a joint gift. I had the case professionally finished and bought a lovely pair of Dovo scissors to compliment the case.

So - have a great Memorial Day friends! Hope you are spending the day doing whatever you love to do!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Shakespeare the marmoset

Here is my big finish for 2007!
This rug is about 24" X 30" - it is done in a mix of cuts 3,4,5 and 6. I have to give credit to 3 teachers who helped with the color plan and dyeing of the wool for this rug. Vivily Powers did the copper compote and the fruit, Diane Stoffel was the creative genius on the monkey and provided the border and Katie Puckett was the designer of the rug and also provided the backround and the awesome addition of the carpet mat which was not in the original design.
This rug was awarded 3rd place at the Ocean rug exhibit in Jan 08 in the fine cut division. I was very pleased with this recognition.
I don't know why I even have a blog - I promised myself I would learn to use my digital camera and make WIP photos and keep my blog updated more often. Ha - if anything I am worse than I was before not better!
I like to read my friends blogs and see their projects in progress - It is a way to keep up with them when you are not able to see or talk to them that frequently. It is also a good way to show your finishes to friends and acquaintances that may not live in your area of the country or world for that matter. I hope to do better.
2008 has been very busy for me - I'll recap the highlights so far
January was "off the Ocean" rug camp - I took Diane Stoffel again and started a very unique canvas that I purchased at the ATHA national in New Orleans in the fall from a well known Texas designer Bea Brock. It is her Angel Sampler and is full of 6 angels and all sorts of motifs - it is a very busy canvas with very little backround. Diane did a spectacular job on the color plan altho' initially I thought there was too much blue/purple in there for me - My goal was to get all the angel faces done in camp and I accomplished that goal and more. I have worked on it a time or 2 and have 1 large angel complete and a 2nd large angel almost complete.
Also in January was our ANG chapter workshop with David McCaskill - I was smart on this one - I worked on an existing WIP - a design called "Bottles" - several others in our group took this class and others worked on his halloween house and his patrotic candle. He was a very good teacher with a relaxed attitude and fun to be around. I understand he had some health issues just after our class so I hope he is doing well.
February was the long awaited ANG chapter retreat that I chaired for the group. The retreat was attended by 9 members including myself and it was held at the Azalea House B&B in Palatka Fl - owned by a good friend Jill de Leeuw. Jill has a small needlework shop in the inn and specializes in repro samplers. She stocks wonderful linens, threads, kits and charts but she also has needlepoint canvases from Melissa Shirley Designs. Jill was kind enough to arrange for several trunk shows for our shopping pleasure. MSD sent in a great show along with Drawn Thread and Holly Hill which are primarily sampler makers who have released their designs to canvas. She also had a wonderful trunk show from Gloriana Threads showcasing her new line of hand dyed wool Lorikeet. A wonderful time was had by all - we spent hours stitching on the porch - staying up late, laughing , eating and oh - SHOPPING - SHOPPING AND MORE SHOPPING!
March was another rug camp - this time Scrub Hooking in Sebring - this is a camp that I have attended every spring for about 7 years. My mom started rug hooking a few years ago and now the March rug hooking camp is something we enjoy doing together and look forward to. Our good friend and certified teacher Katie Puckett was invited to teach this year in March and we really enjoyed being in her class. Mother continued on her fish rug that she started with Diane Stoffel in January but I started an Adam & Eve cube stool that Katie and I had been collaborating on - it is loosely based on an antique sampler that I have a chart for. The designer was Kim Nixon but we pretty much threw out everything in her design except Eve - the tree and the snake. So . . . . . that project is really coming together very well - I used some wool I had on hand and got some lovely additions to the color plan from Katie. She is doing a round of classes in her studio and I will continue to work on that this spring.
Easter weekend Mom and I always go and visit our ancestral home in Eastman Ga - we clean and put fresh spring flowers out on my grand and great grand parents and g aunt/uncles graves. It is a bittersweet journey - as I have traveled those highways all my life - now it is just mom and I to make the journey and one day there will be just one and then none. That seems so sad to me that one day no one will care about my dear loved ones graves. Oh well - I guess that's life. Wonder why one always starts thinking of these things when a birthday rolls around - another year older and what have we done - I think that was a song!
Signing out now and hoping I come back sooner to show more photos and updates on what is going on in my life.