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.