Monday, January 26, 2009

It's raining ice again!

When I hear the ice pellets hitting the window it brings back a very bad memory from Jan. 2007. This was our back yard after about an inch of ice lay on our city. We were without electricity for thirteen days. We "camped" in the basement for two days with the heat of the water heater pilot light for our warmth. Then we realized we had to give it up and go to a motel. We took my parents with us. Eleven days and four adults in a motel room! We did go to work during this storm though. The power had managed to stay on there. Figures. Amazingly the ice didn't stick to the streets and they were relatively safe to drive on. My parents house had a huge tree fall on the roof and rip a pretty big hole in it. We were lucky not to suffer any physical damage to our home, but our trees were basically wiped out. We had huge maple, pecan and walnut trees, gone in one night. The sound was eerie...cracking trees and explosions with blue lights flashing around the city. They were the transformers blowing. The sound made us sad. We were silent looking out the back door and opening it occasionally to listen. It is something I hope I never have to experience in my lifetime again. They are predicting up to one inch of ice tonight and into tomorrow. The forecasters have said that one quarter of an inch would be capable of bringing the power lines down. Wish us luck.

I want to mention the photograph I am using as my header. I found it on flickr and asked permission from the photographer to use it. His name is Glen Karlsen. Please check out his work on Flickr. He is an amazing artist with photography and so kind to permit me to use his photo! You know I said I want to hook "outside the box" this year. What better picture could I have found? I still can't figure out this blogger formatting though. You can see the Shabby but not the Sheep. I have read everything I can find about formatting and can't figure out how to move the words around. Any help would be appreciated!!!

And lastly here are some pics from last Wednesday night hooking group. We have alot of fun on our nights out. Such a talented bunch of girls in one small location. It's really amazing to see our different styles.

Tammy with her finished "circles" rug. Beautiful isn't it? She's giving it away!!! As a gift to their dear friend, David. He owns a pilates studio and loves to display her art in it. What a WONDERFUL GIFT!!! She really is an amazing woman.

Next there's Dulcy with her wild woman rug. It's finished now too. Look up her blog on the list on the right and read all about it.

This is Kelly and her adorable doggy rug. You remember her picture with the Huge bag of worms don't you? It was bigger than she is!! I love this rug. If I remember correctly she has adapted it from an antique rug.

JoLynn with her purple purse. It's so bright and cheerful! The pattern is Nola's from JoLynn took a class on embellishing from Nola in St. Louis, MO. earlier in the year. I love the bright colors. Sorry it doesn't show up so well. She's using beading, french knots, stuffed applique edged with the buttonhole stitch, chain stitch and I'm sure I left out something. She's also using all kinds of wool and funky yarns. This will be a great purse! She's going to make braided handles.

This is Rita hooking one of the patterns for our local Valentine's challenge. It's one of primitivebetty's free patterns. Isn't is great? She added an orangie red in the background to break up the color a bit. She and JoLynn are friends and came to hooking as a team!

Visit Betty's blog too.

And this is Marsha. She hooks the most amazing primitive rugs. Big ones!! They live in a saltbox near the center of town in an older beautiful established neighborhood. She is hooking a huge stars rug to go in front of her kitchen sink. She must have a huge kitchen to put it in. She still hasn't bought a wool cutter though. If any of you hear of a great deal on one, let me know and I'll tell her.

And finally, here's me! I don't usually include myself in the group pics, but I thought why not? This is a rug I designed of the fountain in our back yard. It is from a photograph and really looks like our yard! My husband and I built the fountain from a pot I bought at a flea market years ago with the intentions of making a fountain and we actually Did It!! I grow about six or seven different kinds of lavender in our back yard. I absolutely love the smell of it. It's all over our home and in my drawers. I hooked some heart shaped sachets and stuffed them with the blooms. MMmmm.... Since the pic, I have hooked the grass and am starting on the large tree. I am using wool roving for the greens of the tree from Deanne Fitzpatrick. I told her to surprise me with three different "tree greens". I was totally happy with her choices. She also picked out my red, orange and pink rovings for a sunset. Beautiful. Haven't even designed a rug to use it in yet, but I will. Underneath the fountain is pea gravel. I dyed this wool using an eyedropper and four different browns. I think it's a good look for gravel.

Wow, what a LONG post!!! I think the ice pellets are making me nervous. It's almost midnight and I'm wide awake.

Goodnight and



Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Congratulations Mr. President, congratulations USA

Do you think yesterday will be one of those days where we remember exactly where we were for the presidential inauguration? I was at home... recording it for my grand kids for when they get old enough to appreciate what really happened yesterday. Little did I know that my draperies (which were Behind the camera) were being reflected in the TV.

Then we went out to dinner to celebrate with my parents. They're the ones who taught me right from wrong, morals and being kind to others after all. They're 78 years old and honestly Never thought they'd see the day we did yesterday.
It was a GREAT DAY UNTIL... we got home, I got into something comfy and laid down on the couch to watch some TV. Jimmie Dean jumped up on my lap and face and proceeded to bite my ear and take with it the quarter carat diamond stud earring I was wearing!!!!

They were a gift from Mickey many Valentines days ago. I jumped up in panic and put my finger in his mouth (and half way down his throat) just like you do when a kid swallows something. And there was nothing in there. He had swallowed it. Now he is the most expensive puppy I have ever had!!!! I was so sad and felt bad for Mickey, whom I'm sure had saved to buy those earrings for me.

This morning when Mickey came in to wake me and tell me he was leaving for work he said, " I found your earring!!!!! I said where???? In Jimmie Dean's mouth!! He had just dropped in on the quilt last night but found it again this morning!!! What a relief!!! I'm going to go to the jewelers today and get a new screw on back. (I had misplaced the one he bit off) Oh Happy Day... Two Times In One Day!!! A new president to lead us is more important than an earring, I know. But they mean so much to me. They were the very first piece of jewelry he gave to me. We weren't even married yet!! Better marry this one, huh?
Enough excitement for one day. Tonight is hooking night with our group. I'll try to get some pictures.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The light bulb went off!

It's cold outside and I'm cooped up in the house doing my usual soul searching. Oprah has started a new series called Best Life. It involves following your spiritual path. First you have to find out what your particular "spiritual" thing is. She suggests giving yourself one minute every morning when you first awake. Do nothing but breathe. One minute!! Then in February give yourself two minutes, etc. until December you have twelve minutes a day devoted to no one except yourself. What a simple concept. That twelve minutes has become your place you are achieving your spiritual path.
I think I kind of do this anyway. I have told you I sit against the heating pad every morning. Usually for at least an hour before I can get moving. I do alot of thinking during that time. I don't usually even have the tv on, just drinking my coffee and thinking, maybe sketching or playing ball with Jimmie Dean.

Well Monday morning it came to me. I am a rug hooker. I am NOT necessarily a Primitive rug hooker though. The kind of primitive with some stars or a simple motive. In my mind I want to "paint" with the wool. I guess you would call it pictorial. Like Jane Halliwell Green's book. This is what my mind is telling me I'm supposed to be doing. Images like this.

I don't know if I can, if anyone else will like it, or what my expectations even are. But I'm going to give it a shot. I want to be able to hook what I see. I have noticed Sooo much since I began painting and hooking that I look at things differently than I used to. I really see the veins in a leaf or the cracks and crevices on a rock. How can I capture that with my hooking? I'm going to find out!! I will still be hooking with a wide cut (my rugs may have to be five feet long) but all I have is time right now. Trying to beat this fibromyalgia. I don't even hook but maybe a couple of hours a day, but sooner or later I'll have something done to show you!

Speaking of hooking time. Have you seen the youtube video of Deanne Fitzpatrick? Man, that woman hooks like five square inches in a minute!! She never changes the direction of her frame. She just hooks back and forth, up and down. Remarkable! I can go a little ways "sideways" but I usually turn my frame to go with the way I'm hooking. I'm going to practice that too. I'll have to get faster if I'm going to create pictorials!
Jimmie Dean had his first puppy kindergarten class Monday night. There were two other owners there with their pups. One a Burmese, the other a pug looking puppy. Then the owners had a yellow lab service dog and a little dachshund. It was mostly socializing. Poor Jimmy Dean got caught under the huge Burmese and just shook. I finally went over and picked him up and let him out in the middle of the floor. I was waiting for the owner to get her pup to move, but she thought it was very amusing. Poor JD. The lady also started teaching sit and come when they're called. Of course JD will drop his butt to the floor immediately at home when I say sit. Last night he looked at me, like I was an alien!! And when she had us call our dogs. I had EVERY dog at my feet, but Jimmie was sitting in the middle of the floor just looking around. It was so embarrassing. Not really, actually it was hilarious!! Look at his poor little body language trying to get away from the huge puppy. Aaawwwww...

Stay warm,



Saturday, January 10, 2009

Local Valentines challenge

Hope this finds you all well and happy. There's been a bug going around here and people have been sick for three weeks!! Head cold type thing. Mine started with laryngitis on Christmas day but only lasted a week and a half. I count myself lucky!

Tammy has challenged the local hookers with a Valentine project. We had two patterns to choose from. Both are Primitive Betty's patterns and very hard to choose which one to do. I chose the two hearts. I am making it into a pillow to match the Karen Kahle rug I made for the bedroom floor. I'm going to rip out the outlining around the hearts and replace it with the "grenedine" colored wool to make it pop more.

I did remember to take my camera to hooking on Wed. this time. Rita is working on a rug she started over a year ago and has vowed to finish it now. Isn't it beautiful?

And here's Tammy helping a new hooker get started. I'm sorry I don't know her name. They were very involved in getting all of the neccessities. And speaking of Tammy...

She's having a HUGE PATTERN SALE with Free Shipping!!! on her blog. Please check out this sale. Very cool patterns and you can't beat free shipping!!

A few notes on Jimmie Dean. He's doing well with the clicker training. That is until Mickey gets home from work. Then it's one step forward, two steps back. He is just as bad as a four year old, (Mickey my husband, not the dog) This morning I saw him trying to get JD to play with his fingers and flipping his hands all around. I've been trying All Week to get him to stop biting my hands!!! I got him a new sweater and it's really warm. It snowed here a minute ago, for about a minute. I wish we would get some accumulation so I could see how Jimmie reacts to it! He's growing up and changing colors now. The top of his head is about 75% silver with black tips. It's kind of the awkward teenage years I guess.

And one final thing. I'm still organizing!! This time I've moved on to the kitchen. This armoire was a total hodge podge. Couldn't pull out a pan without four or five coming out with it. Now it's so perfect. Maybe I won't cook so I don't have to mess it up. The stereo and a TV are in there. I could just sit at the island and watch Oprah and admire my work. I have seen a rug that says No cookin' just hookin'.

Maybe I'll hook that for in front of the sink. How many of you do have your hooked rugs in front of the kitchen sink? It seems like they would get dirty. But I will probably make one anyway. Get out the old wire beater like they used to do when their rugs got dirty.

Have a great weekend,

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My dirty little secret

My new years wish for you is health, wealth and happiness. I haven't been doing too well on any of the above. I've got to try to get a new attitude about living with chronic pain. It's very hard for me to not go into a depression and not care about anything. I keep reminding myself of all of those who are so much worse off than me. It makes me feel very selfish feeling sorry for myself, but it happens.

Anyway, on a lighter note. On the Wool Snippets group someone started the topic "my craft room is a mess". Boy is she getting responses! I plan on redoing my craft room and making it more or less a hooking room. I have a whole craft store in there. Really! You name it, I can get it for you. Even stuff I don't do. Like Fimo clay. I have all the colors, cute molds, tiny cookie cutters. They've never even been opened!

Never made a thing!!!

And scrapbooking. Tons of cute paper, even more rubber stamps and embossing stuff. Never scrapbooked a page in my life!!

Then there are the photo boxes...Twenty-two of them! All labeled and stacked so pretty on the shelves. The glue guns, soldering iron, ribbon, glass glitter,you get the message. It's all there. Tucked away just IN CASE I need it!!! Alot of it I very seldom need or use, but when I do I'm sure glad I don't have to go to Hobby Lobby or Michaels. There's a shelf for tools. You can cut, swrew, cut wire, scrape, use the pointy thingys, and fleck some paint with the toothbrush!!

Need some glue or jewelry making tools?

Speaking of jewelry making... wire, thread, needles, bead pans, beading trays...

Don't forget the beads. They're in this great wooden cabinet my old boss gave me. It was originally made to keep denture teeth in. In the dental lab. Each drawer has a different colored glass beads in it.

On top of that cabinet are my acrylic paints. Isn't this a cool holder? There is paint on both sides and it spins around. HAD to have this!

Here's some of the ugly. It's actually a trestle dining room table. I have it shoved up against the wall. On it are a TV, two printers and my sewing machine. That's all great except it's also a catch all for any and everything. Ever notice that all the flat surfaces get covered up in a hurry? At least they do at my house. My coffee table is the same way. Always too much stuff on it. Then above the table are shelves that are about ten feet long. On those shelves are office supplies and printer paper, sewing patterns, etc. Paint brushes, old photo albums, etc. How will I ever "downsize" this room?

Even the back of the door is full. Believe it or not, I know what's in each little pocket!

Now for the two oddities in the room.

My bookcases that are brimming full of wool. Each folded precisely and color coded. Solids on the left and prints on the right. I want my whole room to be hooking stuff ONLY. And of course the things I use at least once a week. That's the limit I put on myself. The rest will go into the BIG plastic tubs and to the basement. (Which is already buldging from my garage sale and estate sale "finds").

Looks like I've got my work cut out for me. I've been Trying to knit. That's a whole other long topic! Right before Patti left for Florida, she taught me the "continental" method of knitting. That's going great. It's the following a pattern that's making my head hurt!! I'm trying to make a purse and felt it. I'll let you know if and when it's finished!

Let the beauty we love, be what we do.