Friday, March 30, 2012


Well friends - the Sebring rug hooking camp has come and gone.  Last weekend my mom and I spent 4 lovely days of blissful hooking with old friends and new friends in a marvelous class with Polly Minick of Minick and Simpson fame.

I just can't say what a wonderful relaxing camp it was this year.  I've been to Sebring in March for the past 7 or 8 years but this year was probably the absolute best.  Not sure why - it just was.

I have SOOOO many great photos to share with you of the rug exhibit, the beautiful lake front gardens and of our class projects I have to break this down into at least 2 posts and maybe 3.

Before we get started with the fun stuff - I have a finish to show you - Elinor is a wonderful Shibui scarf - I participated in a First Quarter Challenge to create something with yarn which has a silk content in it.  This challenge was sponsored by The Loopy Ewe - a super shop located in Colorado which has wonderful customer service, a great owner and a not to be believed selection of beautiful yarns.  While there is no substitute for visiting a real brick and mortar shop - being able to just order up anything you want really is a benefit especially for those who don't have a LYS.  Elinor is knit with one strand of Shibui Silk Cloud - a laceweight kid mohair/silk blend and a strand of 100% baby alpaca.  The color is seaweed and it is oh so touchable.  Polly fell in love with Elinor so some time in the future - she will be getting her own Elinor in the blackest Abyss colorway.

 A little closer shot of the cable rib pattern but a tad too much light on the subject
 Here is Polly showing a beautiful WIP that I believe she said will be featured in her upcoming book. Below her is all her class WIP's - these are after 4 days of work.  Some people got an amazing amount of hooking done.  Several of us were burning the midnight oils and what fun we had - laughing and sharing stories.
 here is classmate Sandy's rug - Sandy is a Canadian but spends a few months in nearby Lake Placid.  her scrappy border was so cool.
Next is my mom's (Jane) WIP - sorry it got turned on it's side before I saved the photo urghhh - anyway I was quite proud of this since I did the colorplan myself using some of Polly's wool and lots of wool from my little red cupboard.  Mom got a lot done and the colors were warm and wonderful.  My mom is a lovely hooker - she spends a lot of time getting her loops just perfect - Way to go Mom!

Next up is my WIP - it features the same turned up Uncle Sam hat as my mom's rug - this rug is pictured on the cover of Polly's book Americana Collection.  My color plan will be similar to hers with the muted grays on the hat. I did the colorplan on this one also but of course I had some input from Polly.  Wish I had gotten more done but I did finish the hat yeah!  The backround is 3 lovely dark navy textures.  I started putting a little in around the hat and first flower.

Next is Barbara's whale - WHAT a cool canvas this is.  Just by looking at the canvas on day 1 - I thought EGADS - what a boring thing to hook !  NOT - Barbara really made Moby Dick come alive and look at the tremendous amount of progress she made.

Next is DF Susan's blue and white cat canvas.  Talk about amazing amounts of progress - OMGosh!  Susan just cranked on this canvas.  The cats are awesome - too bad I did not get a closer shot so you could see all the colors and textures in this rug.

Polly is so very generous - she did a drawing for this lovely little star runner that she hooked and classmate Marg from Canada won it - lucky gal and a second prize of an antique pickle barrel was won by Nancy.
Speaking of generosity - I have to say that Polly donates a lot or maybe ALL of her profit to Semper Fi - it you don't know what Semper Fi is or how it benefits our military please do look it up.  How humbling it was to hear everything Polly does to benefit others.  She is definitely a class act not to mention a super talented artisan.  Her work has been featured in many magazines such as Southern Living, Coastal Living, Country Home and the many books she and her quilting sister Laurie Simpson co-author.  If you ever get the chance to do a workshop with this dynamic duo I suggest you RUN don't walk to get in a class with them.

You can see my mom in the foreground on the left and Polly giving a lecture.  Some of our other classmates are on the far side of the room.

Here is Nancy's purple chickens !  Aren't they amazing - can't wait to see this rugs lambs tongue border in place.  Next year in the exhibit right Nance!

Lou's sailing ship is also from the new American Summer book - oh maybe I forgot to say Barbara's whale is also from that book.  Yep - I had to bring that beautiful book home with me.  It is full of wonderful photos - so inspiring.  This America canvas is huge - but so dramatic with the sailing ship and red and white border.

Somehow I messed up on Marg's rug - she was doing a beautiful prim red flower and it was looking so nice.  My apologies Marg - photos with the IPhone are just not perfect.

So - that is a wrap on Sebring 2012 - the class portion - next post will feature the rugs in the exhibit and maybe the beautiful lakefront gardens.

Until then - I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and are enjoying wonderful Spring weather.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Well - what a wonderful day I had today.  I had the opportunity to take a needlepoint class today with national teacher Brenda Hart.  AWESOME is one of the first words that come to mind.  The class was at a not-so-LNS Bristly Thistle in lovely downtown Fernandina Beach.  What fun we had - a St Patricks Day parade went right down the street in front of the shop - now mind you it was small but still a parade with shriners and so forth none the less.

Brenda was sporting her Irish top hat complete with shamrocks and shopowner Michele gave everyone a lucky shamrock necklace to wear.  It was a really festive day in Fernandina Beach.

Here is a photo of Brenda with a friend who threatened me with excommunication if I showed a close up of her so I edited out by putting something silly over her face and trying to write I'm Irish LOL - I never said I was an expert with this stuff.
I was lucky enough to be sitting this close to Brenda all day so I got the benefit of listening to her planning fun stitches for all the participants canvases. 

Here is a shot of the wall of fibers in the backround.  This shop has the best selection of fibers in all of NE FL.  I was pleased to get to meet KB of Stitcherie fame.  So that was a lot of fun  putting a face to those initials.  All the participants had interesting and varied projects.  I wish I asked if I could take a photo of each but it was very crowded around the table and hard to get by so I opted to just stay seated and get as much stitching done as possible since I was only there for the one day.  This was a 3 day opportunity and several did all 3 days and several more did 2 days and a few of us only did one day but the Saturday class was sold out.

Since I was only there for 1 day of class - I decided not to do a huge canvas but instead take these 2 darling little halloween people.  I got them out of a Kelly Clark trunk show that Bristly Thistle had in the fall and I had not touched them since so it was perfect.  These are actually Di Paolo canvases and they are precious I think.

Glitz, beads and silk - what more could a girl want !  note to self - I simply must  get a nicer camera that takes close up photos.  This IPhone ain't gettin it !!!!!!!!
Here is the two little witches ( I think they are witches - they have witch hats eh?)together - They just make me smile.  I am going to do the borders the same on both and share what colors can be shared to make then a pair but they have their own unique qualities and colors.

How about this cutie - sooooo darling

I hope all of you had as wonderful a St Patricks Day celebration as I did.  What could be better than learning from a great teacher like Brenda and being in a class with lots of wonderful stitchers.

I've had a few new followers lately - so welcome to you all and thanks for dropping by my blog for a visit.  I read and appreciate every one of your comments.  May the luck of the Irish be with you always!

Monday, March 05, 2012


Here's small proof that I do still stitch ! Finally a finish - This is Garden of Love by  Citrouille's DesignsI had not heard of this designer before - I think they are from Canada.

I am participating in a fun blog 2012 Year of Smalls - every month a new "small" is announced and that's how I was introduced to this lovely designer.  I had such a fun time stitching the garden - the Belle Soie colors used are so fresh and bright and it was a much needed break coming out of winter.  I'm not sure what I will do with the design but I am thinking maybe a cube or some type of flat finish.  I'll be sure and show you what I do with it.  So if you need a break from time to time from stitching your large sampler projects - think about joining this "smalls" blog.  A nice group of stitchers over there and Cathy of Inspired Needle provides kits or supplies needed for all the "smalls" blog projects.  Cathy is a pleasure to deal with if you've never tried her shop before - I would highly recommend her.

My local sampler guild (Azalea Sampler Guild) is doing Ann Dale as a SAL.  here is a close up shot of my Ann - I changed the color of the linen to a treasured piece of BOAF Barn Owl I had stashed away for a special project.  I have also changed some of the colors.

Here is my progress so far - it doesn't look like much but considering Ann is on a full 1/2 yard piece of linen - I am about 1/2 way across the top border.  If you check our guild blog - you will see the other WIP's and see that some have more done than I do and some have less - it's not a race after all - I am glad to be participating but it has to be at my own pace.  Some people are dedicated to one project - one craft and some don't work so I never feel bad about my seeming lack of progress.  At best I have maybe 2 hours a night to stitch and if I am too tired from work then I get -0- done. 

another sweet project that has captured my attention lately is the With my Needle hornbook project.  I only have one of the half medallions left to go and the initial to personalize and of course the affixing to the wooden hornbook.

I am using Belle Soie Rosebud for the fiber.

While it is not much progress - that is about all I have in the stitching dept.

Is everyone excited about market releases?  I tried to keep steady on the course and my nose off the trail of new market purchases.  I have ordered a few things - a must have for me was Jane Pattison by Theresa Venette - Theresa has been keeping us all in the poorhouse lately with very good designs.  Another one that caught my eye was Mary Roe by Tanya over at the Scarlett House.  Tanya is also putting out some great designs.  Had to have me of of them bunnies from Brenda Gervais - With Thy Needle and Thread - they were precious!  The April word play and Peter and Peep - just darling.  So what did you bring home from market?

March roared into NE FL like a lion over the weekend.  I feel so bad for the people whose lives were affected forever by the devastating tornados and storms.  Thankfully we did not have a lot of damage in our area just strong winds and some rain.