Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Here's the card my sister sent us... The writing is small..... it says"
Where's your Halloween party at?
Don't end a sentence with a preposition.

This one made me laugh outloud!!! That's exactly how we talk to each other. Nice huh? Sisters....
I've started a new rug. A small one to cover this ugly vinyl ottoman I drug home from a garage sale. My hubby loves it so I have to cover it with something! I took a picture of our house just like I did Patti's in the last post. Then started hooking. I figure I'll finish it this weekend. If I get real gutsy, I'll hook some grass and flowers for the sides of the ottoman. That will be alot of work. We'll see.

And I'm secretly making a rug for DH for Christmas. I have some of it done. Tammy is going to bring me some "bumpy" wool for the gravel bars. That's what the circles on the pattern will be.

It's a pretty good size, 36" by 24". I'd better get busy!!

Joann's had a 50% off wool sale and Tammy had a sale on her wool Wednesday night also. Of course I bought some. The top four are from Tammy. Nice textures. Bottom five from Joanns.

Also the next day I went to the thrift store and scored these five skirts for $2.00 a piece! The black and white has some silver glittery threads in it!!! I'll overdye all of this wool.

And finally wanted to let you know I voted Wednesday. I went to the courthouse here in Springfield and voted absentee. I can't stand in lines for very long and definatly have to use my cane to do so. I get wobbly when I stand for very long. Anyway... I still had to wait about 30 minutes in line!!! I was really surprised and glad to see so many people voting. Here's a pic of our beautiful old courthouse.

Heard on the news this morning that Mr. Obama will be in Springfield tomorrow!! I don't know yet if we'll go see him, but I have already voted for him and that's what counts.

Going to Patti's now to help her load her U-Haul for the sunshine state. She is taking off tomorrow. She says the average temperature in January is about 75 degrees. She said to our hooking group Wednesday, "see ya after the ice storms!" Lucky girl. But I really do LOVE the snow and cold weather. Weird I know. But I welcome cooler temperatures with this perimenopause thing. I'm HOT all of the time!! Too much information? LOL

Have a safe night tonight.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Re-hooked Santa Noel Rug

Hi everyone... well I did it. I pulled the coffee dyed wool out and hooked it with the original natural colored wool. Talk about anal!!! But I like it much better and so does my husband. It's going in our living room so that's what matters.

Here is the coffee stained version...

I don't think it shows in the pic but the red dye in the berries wasn't color fast and it bled onto the white when it was so wet from the coffee. It was a recycled womens suit and I have never even thought about factory dyed wool being color fast. As I said, this has been a very good learning rug!!!

1. Don't try to dye the wool after hooking.

2. Test the wool for color fastness. I guess you would just put it in hot water and see if it bleeds. But pretty much all garment wool is not made to be washed so it probably won't hold the color without bleeding at least a little. Or maybe put it in simmering water and setting the color with vinegar or citric acid.

But I DID learn that you can hook with roving and other unusual wools. I love his beard and hat.

OK here it is re-hooked with the white background...

Here is the wool yarn I used for the beard. I got it at a garage sale! Two big balls of it. Patti said it's called thick and thin.

A friend has asked me to draw her house so she can hook it. It may be too complicated to hook. I tend to get too technical when drawing and lose the primitive aspect of the subject. I should have asked my seven year old niece to draw it for us! But I think if she can hook it, it will look neat.

Then tomorrow I'm going to finish the drawing of a rug for my DH for Christmas. I was going to draw a bass boat in the lake with a guy in a ballcap in the front of the boat. But he sold his boat last summer partly because I just can't ride in a boat anymore. The pounding of the waves and water made my butt and back hurt sooo bad it got to where I couldn't go with him any more. So I've decided to have him standing in the river fishing. He loves to do that and really likes to do it by himself he says. That way he won't have to look at his boat every day. I'm making it to go in front of his chest of drawers. I want to put in the quote, " Not all who wander are lost". by JR Tolken. It seems so appropriate for fishing alone. I know he will love it whatever the subject. He's really into this rug hooking thing too!

I have ordered some wool yarn and roving from Deanne Fitzpatrick. I ordered a tan, medium and light brown I think will work well for the river banks. Then I also ordered orange, pink and red for the sunset but not sure I will use it until I actually see the colors. There just isn't that much color on the river.....alot of greens and tan. In photographs the water looks black so I really don't know what I'll do yet. I just pick my colors as I go. I don't really ever color plan a rug at the beginning. So I may make the sky real subdued or if you know me, I'll have to brighten it up!! I'm sure this will be my most challenging of all the rugs I've done. I'll keep you informed with pictures as I go.

Bye for now.

One wonders what would happen in a society in which there were no rules to break.

Doubtless everyone would quickly die of boredom.

Susan Howatch b. 1940 British writer



Sunday, October 19, 2008

Do Not Try This at Home!

On the forum, Wool Snippets I had been asking everyone if they had ever attempted to dye something after it was hooked. Well, I tried. Actually I did it, but like I said I wouldn't recommend it. I had used off the bolt natural wool for the background for this Santa rug. I thought it was too bright so one of the answers I got was to use tea bags and dab it onto the wool. I pre wet my piece with a sponge BUT the only tea bags I had were green tea....So I used coffee. I made a fresh pot of VERY STRONG coffee and proceeded to use the sponge to apply the hot coffee.

Here's before..... with the bright background on the bottom right...

Applying the coffee stain....

It only soaked half way through the wool even though it was wet and I put ALOT of coffee on it...

So I stained it from the back too... hoping it would meet in the middle...

Then they suggested I lay it in the sun to dry. It was so wet it would've taken days. So I threw it in the clothes dryer on high heat!!!

Here is the final piece. I used raw wool for his beard and roving for the fir on his cap.

First, I hooked in some of the roving where the beard would be. Then I sewed the individual pieces of wool on for the beard.

For his hat I hooked the roving high and clipped it to make it sheared.

But you know what? To tell the truth , in the finished piece I liked the background better the way it was with the brighter natural wool. Live and learn. Also maybe I have helped you guys to see that it isn't easy to dye after hooking. Not a great idea. Also I need to mention that the design is by Brenda Gervais. Love it!!!

And finally, here is a little vignette of summers last blooms from our garden. I believe we've already had a frost, but some things are still blooming. I need to get out and mark my hostas so I can divide them with my neighbor Paula in the spring. I always forget which is which until they're too big to divide.

Bye for now and have a beautiful week.

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable

but more useful

than a life spent doing nothing.

George B. Shaw



Thursday, October 16, 2008

Last nights hooking group

Remember I told you we were having a little party for Patti's going away to Florida? Everyone brought munchies to Simply Fibers last night for our regular hooking group and we ate more than we hooked. Here she is opening the necklace I made for her.A local artist made the ceramic medallion. It's a little bird!

She is an American Idol fanatic and the card I bought said something like, "You're going away at exactly the same time they're starting tryouts for American Idol.....coincidence?"

As usual, Patti kept us laughing with her stories. Sure going to miss her. But she'll be back in six months. Long enough to miss the Missouri ice storms and freezing cold temperatures.

Here are some other girls from last night. Hooking in between bites...

Above all the chattering I heard Tammy laughing really Loud and she said "It's Kelly's worms!!!" We all had to get up and see what was going on. This is little bitty Kelly with her big 'ole bag-o-worms. I'm sure the bag weighed as much as she does!!

She's making a footstool cover with them. She could make ALOT of foot stools with that bag.

Here is my growing collection of footstools to hook covers for. The tallest one I got at a garage sale and the man said his dad made it 50 years ago!

And these baskets look naked without some hooking on them!

My goodness, I didn't realize how many small things I have to hook on. I'd better get busy! I know I'll do at least one of the footstools with a Christmas theme. We really need a bigger house for all my stuff. But I realize I would just fill it up too. I have a feeling that no matter the size, I could fill it with garage sale and thrift shop treasures.

The mail lady was busy at our house this week. I think I received a package every day. I got a book published in 1954 and written by Pearl McGown titled, "Color in Hooked Rugs". It is very interesting. That's one thing that doesn't change with time or styles. Color theory is a very difficult thing for some people to master. The book has 300 pages of very useful information.

Another day I got a package from a cyber friend. An ornie exchange from another board. My gift came from Doris, who said she's 78 years old and not a very accomplished hooker. Well I beg to differ!! These are the cutest ornaments and very well made. Thanks again, Doris. I love them.

Yesterday I got this GREAT Santas pattern called All Through the Night. I ordered it from I am going to make the standing Santas. At least three of them.

And finally today, the UPS guy rang the doorbell and ran. I found a huge box on the stoop. It was the citric acid crystals I had ordered. It was 4.25 lbs of citric acid, but for the price I had to order that much to be thrifty. My hubby, nor I really can stand the smell of vinegar when I'm dyeing. I have never used the citric acid, but I read that you use about 1 Tablespoon per pot of wool. If anyone has used it please let me know if this is right. I sure would hate to ruin a batch of wool. I like the way if you add vinegar at the very beginning of dyeing it sets the color right away and makes it splotchy. I don't know if I can expect the citric acid to have the same effect, though they are both the acid in the acid dye so I would assume them to work the same way. Please let me hear from you if you use it in your dyeing. I would appreciate it alot.

And last, but not least Trudy from has honored me with an award!! Thanks so much Trudy!!!

...that is the best- to laugh with someone because you both think the same things are funny. Gloria Vanderbilt, b. 1924 American designer



Monday, October 13, 2008

Everything BUT hooking and a little tutorial!

The ole ADHD is kicking in again. I want to be working on my Noel rug but...
I've been painting soap for little gifts.

Then I thought I'd try to decoupage on the soap!! Here's how they turned out.

I have tested the painted ones and the paint stays on and you can really use the soap. I have not tried the decoupaged ones in the water yet. But I'm sure they will be OK too.

They are SIMPLE to make:

Supplies: Soap with a flat side (no lettering) I used Dial.

Mod Podge or any other brand decoupage glue.

Pictures on plain paper

Sponge brush 1"

Water based varnish

1. I bought 3 bars of Dial soap at Dollar Tree for one dollar.

2. Brush on 2 coats of Mod Podge. Let dry in between coats.

3. For the painted ones, I used regular acrylic paint and free handed the pics on. For the decoupaged ones, I used pictures from a vintage postcard cd I had purchased. I sized the pics to 2" by 3" and printed them on PLAIN paper (not photo paper)

4. For the deco ones: apply another coat of mod podge and position the paper photo on the soap and burnish it down, making sure there are no air bubbles and the edges are firmly down.

5. Immediately apply another coat of mod podge on top of paper picture. Let dry and applly one more coat.

6. Finally finish with a brush on water based varnish. I used Delta gloss varnish for these.

What great stocking stuffers or secret pal, office gifts, etc. And you can't make anything at three for a dollar!!!

While I was working on these Saturday morning my friend Becky called and wanted to go to lunch and "junking". She has a new project idea and needs supplies. She is going to make a totem for her front porch. Then one for the garden. Here are some pictures of totems I found on Look under forums, then garden junk, and garden accroutrements. Some cool stuff there.

Of course, I bought some glass too. My poor hubby rolled his eyes when he saw us unloading her truck in ther driveway. I have a feeling he thinks our yard may look like this someday...


Here are just a few more cute ideas using glass in the garden. These would be great winter projects. The flowers are plates and little bowls, glued together using GE silicone. And you could use stencils for the letters on the plates.

On a sad note, this Wednesday will be our last night to hook with Patti. She has gone and bought herself a winter place in Florida!We sure will miss her. She is so funny and cheerful all the time. And What a story teller!!! Have a great time Patti, but know you will be missed.

Maybe we could surprise her and show up for our Wednesday hooking some time!!! You know she's such a great gal, it would probably please her to have unexpected company. Don't worry, Patti we'll call first.

I think that wherever your journey takes you,

there are new gods waiting there,

with divine patience-

and laughter.

--Susan M. Watkins b. 1945 American writer--



Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Saturday's garage sale finds

I swore I wasn't going to any more sales this year, but I really can't help myself!! I only went to two and I got some great stuff.
The first is this beautiful black velvet coat for 50 cents!! I thought it was $5.00 and I was still going to buy it. I really was buying it for the fabric but I got home and tried it on and it fits!! I will definitely wear it . It's probably from the 60's. The sleeves are about 3/4 length. I love it!!!

Also at the same sale I got a Pendleton shirt and pink tablecloth and napkins. My hubby always tries on the shirts I bring home before I wash them but this one was too big. Too bad, really. It's a beautiful shirt.

Then at the next sale I got this cast aluminum owl, white Santa, basket and a little Santa picture... all for $10.00. I have two Santas like this one but they are red. I keep them in my china hutch all year. My granddaughter said, "grandma, why do you have Santas in there and it's not Christmas?" I said because I'm grown up and when you're a grown up you can put whatever you want to in your house. I could see it in her eyes....imagining what her house might look like.

I do love the fall garage sales because people pull out their fall and Christmas decorations. The stuff above was from an estate sale. The lady said this was only a smidgen of things from the house. I think she will have another sale this fall. Lucky for me it's right by my house and if I go anywhere on the weekend I'll pass by the signs.

Gotta go now and watch the debate...

It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice. Author unknown.



Monday, October 6, 2008

Let the fall festivals begin!

This is the first big show of the year around here. It's the Ozark, MO crafts festival. I've been going to it for at least 15 years. I went with my sister this year and when I got to her house to pick her up she had a present for me!! That's a great way to start the day!

Isn't she great? (My sister and the witch)

Here are the pictures from the crafts show.

First here's me at the entrance...

Then here are Tammy and Renee' at their hooking booth. Tammy said there was alot of interest and buying going on this year. I wondered if the economy would stop people from buying. (Tammy on the right, Renee' on the left) Cute, aren't they?
Some simple Christmas trees made from sticks!

My sister, Linda posing with the pumpkins...

In one of the big tents...

Another hooking booth.. this is Karen and Nelda. (Nelda is standing)

Isn't this a great idea for the other ironing board I have in the basement?

And what a great idea for an old shovel!

Simple stitchery...

Another darling booth...

And here are my purchases for the day...

These "plant pokes"

And this cane made out of wooden spools... Most of my friends don't actually know I use a cane sometimes. Some days my balance is really off and my legs are so weak I can hardly stand. That's another story though, on another board... not my blog. I try to keep this one upbeat and not complain about how much pain I'm in, etc.

Then there's the food!! There must have been 20 trailers with food vendors. Linda had a hot dog and I had a caramel apple. All sliced up and smothered with caramel. With a diet Pepsi, of course.

When we got back to Linda's neighborhood there were garage sale signs everywhere! It was about noon and I told her all the good stuff would be gone but I got some cool things. I'll show you those tomorrow.

Knit your hearts with an unslipping knot...Shakespear