Thursday, December 24, 2009


Merry Christmas Eve to everyone!

I had to take the time to write this post.  I work in a very small office in a family owned business.  I only have 2 co-workers that are not in the family.  Betsy is quite the southern lady - she was born and raised in Alabama - attended an all girls christian college also in Alabama and she is also blessed to have a home filled with gorgeous antiques she inherited from both sides of her family.  She has one lovely daughter who is the only grandchild in Betsy's family.  Among these family heirlooms - Betsy has 4 or 5 antique hooked rugs but then that is another story - she has quilts too and an amazing little alphabet sampler.  It came down in her mothers family - it is a simple alphabet sampler but is in excellent shape - color still good and was stitched by Rebecca Eliza Weyman aged 7 in 1819.  I had seen the sampler several years ago when Betsy's mother passed away - her father gave Betsy the sampler.  He is in his mid 80's now and lives in a retirement home in FL. 

No words can describe my surprise when Betsy walked in my office this morning and handed me a big gift bag - I said - Oh no - I thought we decided not to exchange this year and she said "Mel I wanted you to have this"  When I pulled this sampler from the bag - I felt rather faint and just burst out in tears - I was so overwhelmed by this gesture - to recieve a gift of this magnitude - something so special to her - a family heirloom with all the provenance in place - I was speechless (imagine that) Betsy was very gracious to just sit there while I boo hoo'd in a tissue for 10 minutes - I just did not even know how to respond to something like this - she said she wanted me to have it - she knew how special it would be to me for the rest of my life - she said her daughter would never appreciate it as much as I would and she wanted me to enjoy it and to always think of her.  OK I'm tearing up again just writing this.  I could not wait to share this with my friends in blog land who I know could appreciate this story and be happy for me.  I hope this does not sound overly dramatic but I am truly astounded with the gift.  I snapped a few quick photos on my IPhone so you could see Elizabeth Few Booth with her ancestors sampler.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I was sitting here in the office this morning looking at other blogs and looked up and my friend and network consultant Eric was standing in the doorway holding the most beautifully wrapped gift.  He said he got saw it in downtown St Augustine and thought of me - WOW - I was so impressed with his thoughtfulness - he said he thought I needed a special gift and not the obligatory chocolate basket (nothing wrong with that either!)

I couldn't wait to open the box and see what was inside - I was so impressed with the elegant gift of a reproduction pen set with a little tray and 2 ink wells and this gorgeous hand blown stylus.  I thought the card even went so well with the gift and the blue and white transferware pattern is so ENGLISH.
Here is a photo of our tree at the office - I can see it from my desk in the library.  It is at the opposite end of the house in the formal parlor which is our conference room.  You can see the size of the tree by looking at the grandfather clock next to it.  It is so beautiful and I have enjoyed it so much.  The owners of the company I work for are such lovely people.  Their youngest son who is my direct boss did most of the decorating - putting up white lights on the palms outside and greenery over the doorway and up the staircase.  What a wonderful place to work and such a great family to work for.  I am so blessed.
I am leaving work early today - DF Karen is stopping by on her way to visit her mom and sister in NC.  It will be nice to have a guest at christmas time if only for one night - we are going to have dinner and start stitching or knitting.  I plan to get her advice on that Maggie Bonanomi Winter White bed cover I want to do and how to approach that project since I am not a quilter - I need some coaching.

Wish I had some needlework photos to show you but I have not been stitching much at all - I did have a new start for christmas - I needed something bright and sparkly and I have had Poinsettias and Pines stashed for 2 years - I ordered some of that lovely sparkly linen from Sugar and Spice in Australia but had misplaced it in the move last summer.  Upon finding it recently - I thought it was a message from the christmas angels that is was OK to start something bright and sparkly this season.  I doubt I will get much done but since it is not necessarily a "christmas" piece but a "winter" piece - I will continue on it for the next couple of winter months. I'll show a photo when I have more to show.  I gave my mom a little stitchy gift for christmas and wanted her to have it now - she only stitches on Aida these days but I wanted something special for the Prairie Schooler Christmas Eve chart so I ordered PTP Crystal Mystic and also glacier - She loved them both but chose the sparkly piece to start stitching on.  So we'll have a good time over the holiday stitching on our bright and sparkly pieces.

I'm knitting a neat scarf for Jody and it's coming along - I'm into the 2nd skein of 3 so I guess I'm about 1/2 finished - I won't have it done for christmas but our coldest weather is yet to come.  So I'll keep at it and soon he'll have it to wear.

I've done all the shopping I intend to do - we decided to go very small this year - only 2 gifts each - of course that doesn't apply to my mom who never adhers to my rules LOL - However I do think she did pare back this year - I sure hope so.

In case I don't make it back to blog land to post again before Christmas - I hope every one finds peace and joy and many happy stitches.  I appreciate and look forward to hearing from each of you with your comments.  I feel like I have met so many wonderful and talented people thru blogging - you are all so special to me -

Monday, December 14, 2009


I'm such a slacker - when yesterday finally got here - I was so exhausted I did not even take one single photo at the luncheon.  I know I promised you a full report but instead I am going to piggyback and send you off to look at DF Jackie's report of the luncheon.  She was a guest of our rug hooking group - she is a wanna be hooker and we are in a couple of other needlework related groups together.  I met her at the LYS when she was a newby knitter and now she is stitching, quilting, knitting and we hope will one day "get hooked".  She has some neat photos you will enjoy seeing including a shot of my mom's queen anne footstool cover she is hooking.

The only photo I have to share today is of the favors I put together for the members of our rug guild.  They are rolls of red and green plaid wool.  I got this lovely wool from another DF Karen - She has a wonderful stash of wool in her studio and she dyed the green plaid for me using another friend and teacher Jean Tynan's formula - I thought it turned out great and what rug hooker can't use more wool !  In the middle of this basket are those little bags of stitch markers that I ordered off Etsy for the 3 guests who all knit but don't hook.

I have to announce that I finished my pomegranate runner on Saturday.  I did not have the time to take photos right now so I'll do that in the next post.  Maybe I'll also have a photo of how I decide to finish the BBD Noel piece I showed in the previous post.

Still not doing much stitching at all - I am doing a lot of knitting - I decided to start a scarf for Jody for Christmas - ha ha - we'll see if I can get it done in 10 days - probably not since it is 74" long but he will enjoy watching it grow - over the years Jody has become slightly more interested in what I am doing - the other night - I caught him rubbing that skein of alpaca all over his face and neck and when  he saw me watching him - he said " oh I was just checking the softness of the fiber"  how's that for osmosis!  Next post I'll try and get a photo of the lovely Berroco Cuzco yarn I'm using for his scarf. 

Thanks for all your comments and Laurie thanks for getting Emma and Owen to explain to me how it is to be "snow dogs" - that was so cute!  Enjoy the season and don't forget the "reason"

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Well - it is 15 days till Christmas and I am feeling a little humbuggy - I took a couple of photos this morning and thought I'd try to do a cheery blog post - BAH HUMBUG - I've had a crappy day on top of a crappy week at work.  I thought I could put that aside today and believe me I'm trying real hard to do so.  So instead of complaining about my lack of christmas spirit - I am going to just move on and show you a few things so that I can try to pull myself out of this funk.

Here is a wonderful hand carved santa clutching a hooked rug that I got a number of years ago from a rug hookers husband that I met along my journey.  It had been wrapped up and put away for so long I forgot about him.  As I am STILL cleaning out my old house - I am still finding treasures that I forgot I had.

The next photo is of a Mark Roberts fairy that my mom got for me the other night - She had the box all wrapped up and left it on my dining room table. I think she can sense that I am not sliding into the christmas spirit very easily this year.  He is a cute little thing - I have him sitting up in the tree on a branch - he was too heavy to hang - I watched one of Martha Stewarts old Christmas programs last night and she called this spot in the tree an "elf shelf" and I got right up out of my chair and positioned this guy on the "elf shef" - my tree is gorgeous this year - about 8 ft tall and very full - It came from Home Depot but was fresh and beautiful and a reasonable price.  I love a live tree - I had not put up a tree for probably 20 years or more at the old house so it is nice to have a live tree again and put up a few decorations.  Gosh doesn't this fairy look realistic sitting in there on that branch!

I wasn't sure if I mentioned that my mom got me another early Christmas present (yep we are in the 12 days of christmas!) it was the Joyeaux Noel book by BBD - lovely book - I am wanting so badly to start Tis the Season - I have seen several wonderful versions on blogs I read - However I opted to do something quick and something that would give me instant (or at least quick) gratification.  Here is Love Letters - I changed all the colors to Belle Soie and I think they came out to be a pretty good match - I am uncertain if I will finish it on the box top as they showed - I'm not very crafty and my finishing skills are even more pitiful so opting to do the box might be the least path of resistance for me.  I used the called for  PTP Dill linen in 32ct which is a bit busy for this design but in person it looks OK.

I have a finish - FINALLY - the lacy hat I was knitting for a friend is finished - WHEEEEEE - it is in Alpaca Sox - nice yarn but I'm not sure how well it would wear if used for socks.  I plan to give it to a friend who is knitting a jacket for me out of yarn I accumulated for this jacket.  She has done several of them and they are beautiful - I will also be doing some other knitting for her when she decides what exactly she wants me to do.  I put it on a bowl for the photo -  it looks pretty tacky but it is actually a very cute hate - it has 8 inches of k2p2 ribbing that you fold back in half so it is a very retro style hat - almost like a snood - don't ask me what a snood is - I just envision hats that have a lot of length to them and sometimes hang down in the back as snoods.  When I showed my Afghan Hounds - they wore snoods all the time to keep their ears out of their food and water.  They were in essence big puffy hats. -

Well - I hope you are all enjoying the season and having loads of fun.  Everyone gets so busy with parties, shopping, deadlines and functions - it sometimes gets overwhelming.  My mom and I are hosting our rug guild christmas luncheon on Sunday.  We are having it at a B&B that has a restaurant in the historic area near where I work.  We will have a plated meal and then have our gift exchange - I can't wait to show you photos from that event next week.  I appreciate your stopping by and reading and commenting on my blog.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 23, 2009


Isn't this beautiful ! I'm so proud but no it's not hooking, stitching or knitting - It's a hand pieced block that "I" did all by myself. Here's the story:

The hooking retreat was great - I was very diligent with the pomegranate runner and I came SO close to finishing it up - However I was distracted by the evil temptress (df Karen) who pulled out some of the most lovely repro fabric on Saturday afternoon and said "we are going to have a little lesson now on hand piecing" She had made me wonderful little templates for the Bonnie Blue quilt pattern we bought this summer called Secondhand Clothes or something like that. It is supposed to be a scrapey quilt. Anyway - here is my block that "I" hand pieced under the watchful eye of DF Karen.

Karen is a great teacher - as you can see my block is pretty dang good - I have not done any hand sewing for many moons but I have threatened from time to time to try hand piecing and hand applique. Karen - evil temptress that she is has led me down the road to ruination. She gets all the credit for creating the darling little pin pillow out of my hand pieced block. She took this beautiful artful photo among the miniature machines at the Olde Green Cupboard. We looked around and found these lovely shell buttons that complimented it perfectly. Oh my - all this bragging over one little pin cushion. All kidding aside - THANK YOU KAREN for taking your time to show me how to pin and sew this block. Thank you also for putting together a wonderful little remembrance of yet another fun weekend of hooking.I decided not to show another WIP of my pomegranate runner but just to wait a few more days and hopefully show a finish photo.

I also did quite a bit of knitting this weekend and started a great new pattern that has been gnawing at me since I bought the book in early October. It is a Debbie Bliss pattern for a cape done in Donegal Tweed Chunky. I had this lovely burnished gold color on hand and decided to repurpose the yarn for this wonderful and versatile cape. It is done on 10 needles which I definitely do not prefer but you get quick results with big needles.

Sorry about the big glare on the pattern but I think you can still see the cape pattern and also the stitch is easy and fun - you k1, p1 on the right side and then you purl back on the wrong side - mindless but a little more interest than plain garter or stockinette.

Absolutely NO stitching progress to report - I have not worked on my samplers in a while but hope to remedy that on my 4 day weekend. My one serious goal is to finish that hooked runner - aside from that I hope to have some relaxing time with my dear family and take many happy stitches and I wish for all of you the same.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Time to finally show another hooked rug project in progress. This is a close up of my pomegranate runner. I started it a couple of years ago in a workshop and then stuffed it away which is typical for me with rug projects. For any rug hooking fans (or wanna be hookers) the rug is in a 6 cut - the teal border is an 8 so I could do just one strand for a beauty line. The wool is by Linda Bell of the Hookery in Hiawassee GA. She brought a huge amount of wool from her studio and I was able to adjust things she had already pulled for this canvas. She uses all new wool and my rug has mostly spot dyes with a few textures for interest. The backround is her antique black but it has a lot of highlights in it and is really nice for this runner.

Of course it is not a realistic pomegranate - more of a folk art interpretation of acorns and pomegranates. I will use it on the dining room table or on a glass sofa table when it is complete. I was just telling a friend today that I have SO many rugs in progress that are fall themed rugs. So NO MORE fall rugs - I am so drawn to the colors of fall and it is probably my favorite season that I just always seem to pick those colors when planning a new rug.

I have another rug hooking retreat this weekend at the Olde Green Cupboard - it is small this time so if you are in the area and want to have a fun weekend of hooking, eating, laughing, shopping, hooking - come on down and get yourself a seat. We have so much fun and the owner and her twin sister sit and hook with us. It's a blast and in July I got a ton of hooking done so I hope to get close to finishing this runner. HA - lofty goal I'm sure but if I keep my seat and keep focused - I can get a lot done - I am saving a tiny little bit of color for when I am going crazy from too much backround. that will be my treat!

I have a knitting WIP that is close to being completed. The easy lace hat from Vogue Knitting Fall 09 - I'm on the 8" of ribbing to finish up the hat - I could finish in one night but I never concentrate on anything that hard LOL - I have way too much fun starting something new all the time. Anyway here is a crummy photo

it doesn't show the wide ribbing at all and it looks more like a beret but it is really more like a snood hopefully I can get a better photo when it's finished.

Stitching progress is limited to just working on Where the Hart Lives - I've been closing in the left side border and will start the fill in grass soon since the reclining stag is complete. I want to get that over one flower in there next to Lady Jane soon.

I hope to make it back to blogland before Thanksgiving. We are having my folks come to our house for the holiday and we'll go down to the lake for Christmas. I will probably be working on Friday after the holiday but things are always quiet at work so it's OK. In case I don't make it back to wish you a grand holiday - please do have a wonderful time and remember your many blessings at this time of Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


My Veterans Day Giveaway winner was chosen yesterday - it was Terri Boog - Terri had requested the BBD Tis Halloween book if she were to be chosen.

Yeah Terri - I'm happy to be mailing this book to you. I know you will enjoy it very much.

I don't have much progress to show this week although I have been stitching and knitting and not hooking this month - yet. That is about to change - our Fall hooking retreat is coming up next weekend at the Olde Green Cupboard. WHEEEEEE - that is time to sit and hook, hook oh and eat and hook and laugh with friends, oh and did I say HOOK. We did this in July and I got a ton of hooking done on Merrie Halloween. Not sure what my focus piece will be this time but I do want to spend some time on my pomegranate runner. If I don't get busy with something - I won't have a rug finish to display at the annual Ocean rug hooking workshop in January. I am so pleased that so many of you commented on the recent Halloween rug hooking retreat and seem to be interested in learning to hook - rug hooking is very big right now and I bet there is a teacher or class in your area. Please let me know if you need any help or guidance in locating a rug hooking source. I'm always happy to get you "hooked up".

Deb can be contributed for starting the frog craze to display your scissor collection. She has so many wonderful ones. She had several I was really coveting so I put my mom on the search for frogs. She was in the mountains last month and found this one in an antique shop.

It is really clear glass but apparently picked up the colors of the fabric in this photo. I have tons more scissors but this is a smallish frog so I'm not sure how many will fit and look nice and not over crowded in this small frog. the darling M scissor fob attached to my favorite pewter Dovo scissors was given to me by DF Henri - I think she stitched this on 40ct over 1 - so darling and such a treasure - just as she is such a treasure to me.

Here is a photo of a beautiful WIP I have in Blue Sky Alpaca hand dyed worsted in the exact color they used in the magazine. This from Knit Scene Fall 09 and is just the perfect garment for Florida and in a spectacular yarn. I was attracted to it immediately because they pictured it on a mature woman and not a size 2 6ft model that was 15 years old. LOL - not to mention I knew I had the yarn stashed.

I got this yarn several years ago at one of my fave yarn shops in Savannah - Wild Fibre - I had started another garment but just didn't gel with it - so my new favorite thing is to "repurpose" the yarn into something I want to do now. So instead of languishing in the UFO yarn wasteland - it is now looking so happy by my chair and getting worked on regularly in my vast knitting rotation. The back is just plain stockinette but I love and need some mindless knitting projects in my life. The front has pretty open cablework which is not too visible from the photo.

Jody's birthday is Saturday - we are going to dinner tonight with my folks - they are off on another trip tomorrow and will not be in town for his birthday on Saturday. I keep pushing a day trip to Gainesville for a b-day activity. There is an awesome bread and cheese shop there we used to love to visit when Jody was in g-ville for work all the time. However he has already realized that my main motive is not to feed him bread and cheese for his birthday but to visit Hanks which is just across the street from the Upper Crust. I guess after almost 30 years - this guy does know my every trick! So you'll soon find out if we take that day trip to Gainesville on Saturday. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend full of fall festivals, football, all the needlework you love and some delicious soups and stews to warm the bones. Wish me luck with the bread and cheese!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


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!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Souvenir de France

Here's my lovely little BBD freebie. I stitched this piece for a dear friends daughter who was married earlier this summer and honeymooned in France. Nancy did the gorgeous finishing for me and the beautiful paisley fabric and the lovely pearl trim was all her idea. She did an extraordinary job on this wonderful little pin pillow. She even put in a hint of lavender in case the bride wants to use it in her lingerie drawer. She also added a delicate little heart on the back of the pillow.

It was stitched on 36ct LL Chantilly Creme with Belle Soie Peacock.

I'm going to make this post short since I am working on a report of the Halloween Rug Hooking workshop I attended this past weekend. Just could not contain my excitement and wanted to share this lovely little pin pillow with all of you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I'm quite sure my mom would be horrified that I am associating her name with this victorian lady on the Scarlet Letter "where the Hart Lives" sampler I am working on for their "big" anniversary in 2010. I promised to show a stitching WIP and here it is:
Their last name is hart so I just fell in love with the idea of stitching this for their anniversary in 2010. It is not hard - but just time consuming because there is so much fill in and I mean A LOT of fill in. The whole 4 sides of the border is completely filled and the whole lower half of the sampler is fill in. Here is a shot of the whole WIP as it stands now.

I know I'm the world's slowest stitcher so believe me - I am proud of this progress - it is on 32ct belfast in antique white with the called for Soie D'Alger - one strand over 2 threads. I am thinking of maybe sub-ing a Belle Soie color for the green grassy area in the lower half of the sampler just so it is not so boring to stitch huge amounts of that color. I am trying to leave the border fill for sampler guild but so often my mom is there too and I can't let her see it. Another guild friend is also doing this sampler and she has been kind enough to make sure she doesn't bring her's along when my mom is going to attend. She is doing the DMC version and has made a few color changes so it is interesting to compare how they look. I think she is ahead of me even though she made a big boo boo and had to pull out half of her victorian lady. She also has the reclining stag in place - that will be my next big motif to start. He is to the left of the lady - then when he's in I can start filling the green backround. I guess I am going to put their initials inside the heart - but I may put their first names if I can figure out a way that it doesn't look too hokey. Any suggestions for personalization from you experts? it will be a long time before I have to worry about that anyway.

I'm trying really hard to stay on track with this sampler and not get caught up starting new things from market. I won't resist too long though - I am interested in starting Jenny Bean and except for the fact that Paradise Lost is so huge - I am really interested in that one too, however I'm sure I'll be seeing frequent updates from our dear Siobhan in the very near future and there are some great photos of Paradise Lost on Nicoles blog - Some of these gals really can crank out the finishes. Other new releases that have really caught my attention are L Haworth - an Ackworth quaker by the Marking Samplar and Sarah Woodham by Shakespeares Peddler. What a gorgeous repro that is - I have not even allowed myself full perusal of these charts for fear of falling under their spell.

Speaking of spells - it's that time again - Can you believe it is almost Halloween??????? I am very excited to be attending a very intimate rug hooking retreat next weekend at my favorite queen of Halloween B&B - The Azalea House Inn in Palatka Fl - we have had so many fun times at Jill's - stitching classes, guild meetings, girls weekends, rug retreats, needlepoint retreats. It is the ultimate in retreat locations and Jill is a perfect host. She works at the Olde Green Cupboard and some of you quilters who attend these huge quilt shows like Houston, Pacaduh, Dallas, Valley Forge - etc etc - might have met her in the booth. She puts up 2 Halloween trees - has tons of stitched items on display and all kinds of memorabilia. Our teacher for the weekend is Dianne Kelly of the Woolen Cottage in Hiram OH - she is a wonderful teacher and I have taken her week long class 2 times at Off the Ocean rug camp and also she was my first "away" camp teacher many years ago at Castle in the Clouds on Lookout Mt in Tenn. - I am doing a wonderful Notforgotten Farm pattern called Peace and Plenty and I will be sure to show you a WIP and some photos from our fun weekend.

Here's one last WIP photo to show - I hear that I am inspiring the masses (ha ha just kiddin') to knit (that means YOU Deb - YGG) - but I know I have at least made a few people wish they could knit with my devilishly delicious yarn photos. Here is a photo of a great little shawl - a freebie pattern called Multnomah named for a county in Oregon. I am doing mine in Dream in Color Classy which is a worsted weight hand dyed yarn - I think the color was Chinatown Autumn.

This is a totally mindless knit and great for the last few minutes before I go to bed at night. I have two local friends who fell in love with it and have already gotten a copy of the pattern and have their been perusing their stash for suitable yarns. It can be done in any yarn from fingering weight to bulky.

Hope you are totally loving fall in your neck of the woods. I know I have been LOVING our cooler weather this week. We have been in the 40's at night and 60's during the day but our temps are creeping back up. At least maybe that stinky humidity is gone for this year. Thank you all for your comments - I look forward to hearing from you all.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Well you would answer NO if you lived in northeast florida. We've had record high temps for over a week however today - the weather seems cooler - it's dreary and cloudy and some much needed rain is predicted.I could not wait for falling temperatures so I went ahead and put out a few things for Halloween that I wanted to share with you.
Here is a photo of my first rug - it is by no means perfect but I love to drag it out every Halloween and remember where I started with rug hooking 10 years ago. It was not my first attempt but was the first thing I finished.
Here is a another shot of how I have it displayed in my living room on a retro glass and chrome table (how 70's) along with a Longaberger basket filled with decorative gourds and minature pumpkins. The little scarecrow gourd ( wish I could remember the name of this awesome family owned company who puts out these gourds) has a light inside but I don't hook it up unless I have company.
I know I've already shown a photo of my wonderful Susannah Goose that DF Henrietta stitched for me as a housewarming gift. It is from the JCS Halloween issue last fall and is stitched on 40ct vintage pear linen with the called for NPS in the frame that was shown in the mag. It is another beautiful design by Kathy Barrick of CHS. I LOVE it and moved it to a more prominent spot for fall enjoyment. The Mirabilia Trick or Treat Fairy was stitched by my dad - I don't think I've shown you that before - it was from the Cross Stitch and Needlecraft mag from last fall and he stitched it on the called for linen with the called for threads. He does lots of Mirabilia pieces and when I asked him about stitching this one for me - he said "piece of cake" and cranked it out in about 5 weeks. Lois at Elegant Stitch did the finishing - I wanted something different besides framing and I did not think the shape of the design was condusive for a cushion or pillow so I suggested the cube - Lois thought it was awfully big for a cube but I think it turned out awesome and I gave her creative freedom with the colors and I think she did an great job with it and I love it every time I look at it. Of course the little box is a Liberty Hill piece - I have SO many - I'm not quite sure which one it is - I was hoping the newest piece would be out by this time so it could be displayed in this spot but I don't think anyone has them yet and I have it pre-ordered but nothing yet.

I am busy stitching - I finished the BBD Souvenir de France - I sent it for finishing and will hopefully show a photo next post. I will (I WILL) also have a WIP photo to show you of the Scarlet Sampler I have been working on. Wanted to get this big motif finished before I take a photo.

I have been knitting a lot but jumping from this to that - whatever catches my fancy - I started an awesome new shawl and I should be able to show a WIP of that one too in my next post. It is simple but very pretty. I am participating in a shawl challenge on the Loopy Ewe - I would encourage any of you who don't have a LYS and don't already know about Sheri and her gang at the Loopy Ewe to check it out - What a fun shop with great customer service and she keeps you so connected with her blog. You can also take a look from the blogs I read section on the sidebar. She suggested this Multnomah shawl in one of her posts and I LOVE it - I am doing a worsted weight hand dyed yarn so mine will be a little bigger than the one pictured. However I also ordered some fabulous fingering weight yarn from Loopy to do another shawl. Shawls are great for Florida - we can actually use them - you put them on in the morning when you leave the house and it's chilly and by 3pm when it is 85 again - you can throw them off and carry them home.

Thanks for all your kind posts and emails about Jody - he is not a fictional character but a real person. He still looks so young even with the touches of gray and I think I am doing all the aging. Hard to believe we've been together almost 30 years. Several of my friends were so inspired by the Savannah post we are already planning another trip in November. WHEEEEE - Thanks again for your comments and for reading my ramblings - I do so enjoy hearing from each of you and reading your blogs keeps us all connected. Hope fall has come to your area and you are able to get out this weekend and enjoy a fall festival or a walk thru the park.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Wanted to tell ya'll about the whirlwind trip to Savannah I had over the weekend. I had an opportunity to go to Savannah on business on Friday. Decided to take Jody with me so I could drive back a new car for my mom. They had what she wanted at my company's sister store up there. Jody needed a chiropractic adjustment so we got up early and went to Waycross to see our friend Dr Ronnie - after the adjustment - we headed northeast for Savannah traveling secondary roads thru little Georgia towns - I had done mapquest to get us there sucessfully. I knew we were going thru a little town called Jesup - oddly enough there was a top notch cafe in the little downtown area and we stopped there and enjoyed a delicious lunch at Stories. I took a photo but it just looked like a parking lot shot - bad angle.

Finally got to Savannah around 2pm and I dropped Jody off at the Marriott and went to work. Jody had never been to Savannah so I wanted him to see the historic district - I decided he would enjoy dinner at the Olde Pink House which is a historic home on one of the squares downtown. I wish I could have taken a photo but my IPhone camera would not get enough light on the subject. Anyway we ate in what was the ballroom of this grand house and had an excellent meal. I am a southern girl born and bred and I have been eating collard greens all my life but honestly - these were the BEST collard greens I have ever had in my life I do believe. I ordered pork tenderloin and it was served with these outstanding collards and a delicious sweet potato with a burbon molasses glaze. Jody had a house specialty - grouper stuffed with crab meat. We rode by Lady and Sons and waved to Paula Deen and her sons - no way to get into that place for a meal without going thru a lot of trouble. I have been there once and while it is good southern cooking - I just can't stand the hassle of trying to get on her book for dinner. So the Pink House was perfect for us - more elegant than Lady & Sons and we love historic homes complete with ghosts.
Saturday morning I got up earlier than I wanted to and headed off to a class at a new yarn shop called Unwind. I had been itching to go there ever since I found out they opened last month. Here is a photo of what I have done so far on the fingerless mitt class using Kollage 1/2 N 1/2 - a fingering weight yarn which is 1/2 wool and 1/2 milk - yep - milk - Not sure I would choose this yarn again but I do like to try new things.

I wish I had taken some photos of the new shop - it was stunning - - beautifully stocked with marvelous brands most of which I was familiar with. Here is my purchase - some beautiful Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed Aran in a dark plum color - I am planning to do a simple jacket out of the new DB fall/winter magazine - I also bought a wonderful new DB book The Big Easy that uses mostly the Donegal Tweed Aran and Chunky weight yarns. I have some chunky weight from last season that needs to be "repurposed" (my new favorite word for recycling stagnant projects) to something more do-able than what I purchased it for. So I barely escaped Unwind alive - I could have dropped a thousand bucks so easily in that place.

So I had to rush back to the Marriott to pick up Jody and check out. I wanted him to see the historic district in the day light so we headed back down town to visit Firefly Cafe. Here are a couple of views taken from the sidewalk seats we snagged at Firefly.
I should have gotten up and taken a photo of the square just down this street but I was too busy eating to be bothered. LOL - It was a lovely day for lunch on the historic streets of Savannah, nice breeze and not too hot. I think Jody enjoyed seeing it but he is not as into historic things as I am so he was pretty much ready to leave the crowded historic area after lunch.I had a hidden agenda for choosing Firefly - I knew it was right around the corner from another favorite yarn shop in Savannah - Wild Fibre - I LOVE this shop - I have been a customer for a number of years now. It is rather ecclectic and at times it's hard to find anything to buy (if you believe that you don't know me very well LOL) however this time Jennifer was well stocked with all the newest fall magazines and some lovely new yarn from Rowan that I just had to have. Pure Wool DK is used in the new fall/winter Rowan mag for a darling moss stitch jacket which is trimmed in kid silk haze - now you friends who don't know knitting won't be too excited about this but Rowan is not all that easy to come by in the deep south. There are more and more shops in Ga carrying Rowan but it's slim pickings in Florida. I have already cast on this jacket and here is my progress in just a few hours. My color is more aqua than what is pictured in the magazine. The KSH is a dreamy accompaniment and I think blends well with the aqua wool.

I'm sure you won't believe me but I have been stitching. I have the BBD freebie Souvenir de France almost finished. I am going to be giving that to a good friends daughter who had a fabulous honeymoon in France earlier this summer. I'll show the completed project before it gets shipped off. I also put in a lot of time on Where the Hart Lives by Scarlet Letter - I will show a WIP photo of that when I finish the motif I am currently working on - hopefully next post. So - I am living up to my mantra these last few posts - I AM living and loving the wool life !