Tuesday, December 30, 2008


The big day is over ~ it was hectic to say the least ~ but fun! I thought I would post some more pictures of our decorations ~ the two Santa's on the left of the shelf are hand carved by Mark Glandon ~ I did shows with him years ago and people would line up at the door an hour early to get in there and clean off his shelves in short order. I was lucky enough to purchase a couple before the crowds ascended on him ~ and since I only do two shows a year now, we have not crossed paths in a long time.

This antique turkey feather tree was a bargain purchase from a local flea market many years ago. The Santa on top is old as well as the one in the cupboard directly to the left. The others are reproductions ~ the little glittery houses and the white trees are antique pieces that were all in a box at an auction! Some of these bargains help offset the things that weren't so well priced ~ it all evens out along the way!

The Ligonier sheep still adorns the table ~ on the bread rising board below are pomegranates and boxwood. In the cupboard in the background are some more vintage Santas that we've collected.
Last Tuesday, the friendship bread starter was ready to bake so I baked with a vengeance!! Instead of giving away the starters, I made bread out of each one ~ 8 mini loaves and 6 big ones ~ lots to share with family and friends! The last remaining starter went into the freezer for later in the winter ~ in the last months, I've baked a ton of this bread and thought I needed a break ~ you have to make a commitment to that starter that lasts for 10 days and it goes on and on ~ but it's so good!
These mohair bears came to life, so to speak, on Christmas day ~ after breakfast at my son's, I came home and made these two bears in an hour and a half to have wrapped and under the tree for granddaughters, Jordyn and Luci!! Organization ~ I've just got to get on top of it!! Today, I actually have two more to make and get in the Seattle package. They are at my daugher-in-law's parents for the holidays, so their package arrives after the first of the year ~ I tell them it's something for them to look forward to!!!

On Christmas day, there were about 23 people here all day and a few stragglers who stopped by to see grandson, Nick and great grand-daughter, Blakleigh (pronounced with a long a). There were 19 of our kids and grandkids, my former brother-in-law and sister-in-law (I love to keep everyone close and they are my kids aunt and uncle), a friend of the kids whose mom was real sick and she was alone, another friend of the kids that spends every Christmas with us (Tad thinks he's his cousin!) and on it goes!! We ate, drank and were merry from 2 p.m. till 10:30 at night!! And the only casualty of the day, was a kid's head made a huge dent in a wall in the exercise room ~ the good news is that he didn't get knocked out and Sonny can fix the wall!!

Tonite Luke and Luci are staying all night - their parents have had so much company over the holiday, that I thought they could use a break and the kids haven't stayed over in a long time. I'm using the left over turkey to make turkey strata ~ Luci will like it ~ she says I make 'gooey' food ~ that's short for fattening!! I'm taking Tad to the doctor this afternoon ~ he's getting a bad cold and we need to nip that in the bud before the coming holiday ~ and I need him to be healthy so we can go about our New Years celebration!! We were going to Kelley's Island for New Years ~ our friends who invited us are disappointed ~ but weather is a huge concern ~ if the lake would freeze overnight, we would be stuck there if the ferry can't run ~ and that wouldn't be a good thing!!

So if I don't post until we return, HAPPY NEW YEAR to all ~ a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year wish from Alice & Sonny, here in Ohio!

Thursday, December 25, 2008



Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I thought maybe you would like to see some of our Christmas decorations ~ these are in our kitchen/keeping room. The television is in this reproduction cupboard to the right of the fireplace ~ this is where we sit in the evening and most often eat our supper and watch the news.

When they say the kitchen is the heart of the home, it seems to be so here anyway! Everyone gathers here to eat and visit ~ it's hard to get people to sit in the living room even though it's a very comfortable spot itself. They like to hang around the island and sit at the tables and in the area in front of the fireplace. Saturday night, we had one of the dinners that was auctioned off for our Homebuilders charity auction ~ and eight of us hung around the kitchen all evening ~ I think they didn't want to be far from the food!! We had lots of nibblies but they loved the grilled shrimp (you know who did that!), water chestnuts wrapped in bacon and a garlic-rubbed tenderloin with a sauteed and broiled mushroom dish ~ we wined and dined them all in the name of charity ~ an excuse to have a party!!!!

I hauled this old jelly cupboard with a screened door home after one of my antiquing forays and the Mr. wondered why I thought it was so attractive! I just loved this piece ~ it had no paint or varnish and is pretty rugged but I've never regretted the purchase. It houses my tea things ~ teapots, and those all-in-one individual teapot and cup combination ~ and a variety of other pottery pieces.

Mr. Kitty absolutely loves this tree that sits on the dry sink. Last night while we were watching TV, I heard a faint ringing bell ~ guess who was hiding between the tree and the wall just having a ball swatting at the ornaments!! He's very entertaining but driving me crazy with all the Christmas stuff sitting around!

We have used this Rumford style fireplace to cook in occasionally ~ not me of course ~ but Sonny is pretty skilled at such stuff! We searched and searched for the crane that holds the pots before we built it ~ that kind of thing is easier to come by now than 15 years ago ~ when we asked for something like this, it was like we were from outer space ~ reproduction houses are more popular now so there are a lot more sources out there!

And the handmade cat is for a customer who has bought one every year for 15 or 16 years for her daughter-in-law. Many of them are much smaller than this ~ Sally orders it in November or so and I get inspired the week before Christmas and try to come up with something she doesn't have. Many times, the Christmas cat has been delivered on Christmas Eve just before their gathering! I'm really going to get a handle on this organization thing before I leave this planet!!! Anyway, she's made from gray wool and a hand-dyed wool dress ~ antique buttons for earrings ~ embroidered face ~ antique tintype pin for a brooch ~ and a little hand-crocheted purse. I hope Tinker likes her ~ she's not as dainty as many of the others ~ the cat, not Tinker!! I'll let you know how it goes!

It's been along day ~ I just realized it's after 2 in the morning!! Yikes and good night!!

Monday, December 22, 2008


It arrived!! My Secret Santa box from Annette Myers ~ thank you, Annette! Several pieces of wool, candles, coffee to drink while I hook and a little snowman ornament all in a cute wooden crate!! And it was wrapped ever so well ~ that package was not going to pop open during shipping!!!

It seems that I cannot post to either Wool Snippets site ~ I would love to post a picture and thank you on there ~ but alas, I cannot! Maybe some kind soul will post on there for me that I received Annette's package and that I appreciate it very much!

Happy Holidays to you all ~

Friday, December 19, 2008


The decorating is finally done ~ made a little harder because Mr. Kitty wanted to rest right in the middle of the decorating stuff!! We had 3 couples in Wednesday evening and I finally finished about noon ~ it does look kind of pretty around here ~ I'll get some pix taken and post!

My Mr. is so domesticated!! Tuesday night he made 4 batches of raspberry and blackberry jam to give for Christmas presents!! We had a really good crop of raspberries ~ we don't get a lot of sun in this woodsy gravel pit we call home ~ so getting a good crop of anything is a miracle!! The black ones grow wild right at the edge of the yard and the red ones, Sonny planted at the edge of the drive ~ so every day this summer, he would pick and freeze, pick and freeze and lo and behold there were enough for him to work his magic!!! He also dug up horseradish root and ground that in the Cuisinart (I don't think it will ever smell the same!) and put that in jars to give away!! I don't do any of that stuff ~ and I'm so glad he does!

Last night Miss Luci was here~ her dad (my son), Teddy was working on my printer. I had a paper jam the other night and unhooked everything to get this scrunched up paper out of it and then it wouldn't work anymore!!! Long story but he got it going for me ~ so the family had a little supper with us ~ and Miss Luci posed with Santa for her photo op!! It was a fun evening!

Yesterday, we drove to Amish country to buy one last toy box for the youngest grandson, Logan!~ they all have gotten them when they're about 5 years old. These kids are so much harder to buy for as they get older! We met my former sister-in-law, Gwen, while we in the area and she took us to lunch ~ that was really nice! We always have fun with her ~ she always wears a hat ~ yesterday it was a leopard print cowboy hat ~ needless to say, she got quite a few looks!!!!

Today we're going to Social Security and the old guy is applying for Medicare!! We know how to have fun, don't we??!! Actually, it will be so much cheaper than our own insurance, that it will be a blessing!!! I know they will think he's too young to be there!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a fun weekend ~ there's not much time left to get our Christmas stuff done!!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


This wool applique tree pillow is one of the things that was in the Secret Santa package that I sent off the other day ~ Rita already received and opened it ~ with my blessing ~ I wanted her to be able to use her presents for the holidays! Since rug hooking became my art of choice, I haven't made the things that I sold at shows for years ~ it was kind of nice to see what I could whip up! This is wool felt adorned with rusty bells ~ you know, to put a little jingle in Rita's Christmas ~ and she was very complimentary!

This old cat pillow is one I've had a long time ~ he came all faded and worn from an auction I'm sure ~ they were printed and you cut out, sew and stuff them ~ well, he'd been cut out, sewn and stuffed long ago!!

I'm sure when this worn old fellow started out, he looked just like the guy in the next frame ~ no doubt that's what drew me to buy that pattern in the first place ~ there's something very appealing about both of them, don't you think??

And for lots of years, this guy was down in the depths of my workroom, still in his flat little package ~ waiting for this seamstress to give him life!! When I was putting order to that basement storage area, I found him in the bottom of a box ~ he got moved over into the hooking studio/sewing room and waited a while longer and finally, one day this weekend ~ the guy got cut out, sewn and stuffed into life!! He's a handsome cat, isn't he? I put him in a chair down there and sometimes out of the corner of my eye, I thought it was Mr. Kitty sitting and staring at me!!!! As I've mentioned before, I need a keeper!!

One of the things that I also got done this weekend, was to label those two niece's rugs and get them ready to mail. The rabbit rug for Isabella couldn't be shipped without something in there for big sister Ariana ~ so I made this bear this morning!! In my past craft life, I made mohair bears so there is a nice stock of those materials in my 'warehouse'! I had to dig thru old patterns to find this one that I used to make antique quilt bears ~ it was perfect to make a quickie gift! German string mohair, glass eyes and a little embroidered nose and in about an hour, it was finished!!

And on the back ~ a label ~ a label that came from my mother's sewing things and I still had that little package squirreled away in my sewing drawers, waiting to find the perfect project to attach it to!! This one was it ~ my mom was Grandma to Ariana's daddy and he has fond memories of her ~ so I thought this little label would mean a lot to him, too. Yes, her name was Alice!
Last but not least, this is a rug I'm working on for a friend ~ a commission, no less!! Melody asked me to do a Leicester sheep for her last year ~ they travel to Ireland a lot and like me, she loves the fields with sheep everywhere you look ~ I hooked the hilly fields the same way I did the field border in my England Memory rug with the colors of canola and heather and rolling green moors. I showed it to her yesterday and it seems she really like it! So stay tuned ~ it will be done shortly!!
I hope you all are having a productive week ~ and are also able to enjoy the festivities of the season! I'm up to my ears in office work ~ hooking, sewing and creating take a toll on the real responsibilities of life ~ guess I'll go be responsible now!! Ta Ta !

Friday, December 12, 2008


This really has been a busy week ~ it's Friday already!! Monday was my friend, Carol's annual Christmas tea! I should have gotten there a bit early to get pix of all her decorating ~ it's always beautiful and always has a theme. This year was the Dove of Peace as you can see in her table setting. Carol and her twin sister, Nancy, are masters at tablescapes and staging a room ~ her home is an old farmhouse that's been in the family for generations and Carol has put that house thru some wild transformations!! It used to be ultra-modern, then extremely primitive and now it's kind of shabby chic/French country. They always put together an interesting array of guests ~ old friends, new friends ~ people who are so glad to be together!

Monday was also my daughter-in-law, Miki's, birthday so I had them for dinner. I put a nice pork loin in the over at 5 p.m. and when I checked it at 6:15, the oven was at a nice warm temperature of 250 degrees!!!!! No wonder those muffins last week turned out so crummy ~ my oven was on the fritz!!! Sonny put the roast on the grill and we finally had the Birthday dinner ~ better late than never!

Yesterday was a crazy day ~ range repairman at 8 a.m., took Tad for routine bloodwork at 8:30 a.m., an 11 a.m. meeting to disperse our auction funds to needy families (and believe me there were lots ~ we were so glad to be able to help so many), a drop off at Toy Time, the Hospice thrift store, another stop to pick up something from DIL, Cheryl's office, a 2 p.m. nail appointment (compliments of DIL Miki who owns the salon ~ thank goodness!!), return a pair of jeans, stop at the local Art Center to see the Holiday Fair (someone made such creative hand knit and recycled sweater purses!), drop grandson Luke at jujitsu class and get home in time to put on a new face and go to our friends home for what turned out to be a dinner party! at 5:30. It was a great day of giving and receiving but this kid was pooped by the time we got home at 10 last night!!

Hopefully, the Christmas decorations find their way upstairs this weekend and some elf gets them in their proper places!! I cut boxwood the other day in the rain and spread it out in the garage to dry so it's ready to place! Tonite is Miss Luci's 6th birthday ~ we're going there for dinner ~ no wonder I look like I do !~ our whole world revolves around food!! Okay ~ I'm off!! Have a good day ~

Monday, December 8, 2008


Last week, Sonny was getting in lots of shop time and these are two of the stands and frames that he finished. The one that is entirely walnut is absolutely beautiful, as is the one that is maple. There are two other maple stands that have lots of character in the grain of the wood ~ really works of art! They will make wonderful Christmas gifts for some lucky hooker ~ if we can help you play Santa, just send an email!!
Yesterday, we went to Storybook Alpaca Farm outside of Mansfield ~ Sonny has been doing work for them and they invited us to their holiday open house! Aren't these the cutest?? Mother and baby posed for their picture ~ so sweet ~ they have 11 of them! Reba, the owner, sent home some roving with Sonny the other day and I picked up another bag of it to hook with ~ it might not be for a while, but I'll post my project for sure!

Last night, I got some hooking time in on the American Fish ~ it would come along pretty fast, if I would hook a little everyday. I still have to label the nieces' rugs and get those in the mail and there are more projects waiting in the wings! I'm hooking on both sides of the rug, making sure that if the background wool runs out, that there will be some balance to what I use to fill in ~ it's a little challenge for the old girl!

As usual, the weekend was busy ~ Friday night was our Homebuilders Christmas party and Sonny's son, Brian, was installed as President for the next year. Sonny was president 20 years ago, 1988 ~ and so it goes. My daughter-in-law took a picture of them together ~ pretty darn funny ~ they both had on grey wool jackets and black turtlenecks ~ clones!! If I can get a copy, I'll post it ~ Sonny and his Mini-Me!!!
Saturday afternoon, we attended a memorial service for a 58 year old cousin ~ that was sad. And Saturday night, we were supposed to go to Cleveland to our lake friends' annual holiday party, but we had so much blowing snow all afternoon, that we decided to stay home!! We said that not too many years ago, we wouldn't have been hindered by a little snow but when I read in the Sunday paper that there were 20 accidents in our area the night before, I was very glad we stayed in our hut!!

That's it for today ~ I'm going to my friend, Carol's, annual Christmas Tea this afternoon and fixing my daughter-in-law some birthday dinner tonite! I better get a wiggle on!!! Have a good day!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Last week, the hooking room/studio really got organized ~ I had to take pictures right there and then, because it won't take me long to get it all ajumble (if that's a word)! This six-sided table is built around a post that was in the middle of the room ~ this post was a source of aggravation to me for a long time before it came to me to work with it and not against it! It's a perfect table to hook around or for our grandpeople to color or make crafts or whatever.

This nice long built-in work table houses the sewing machine, serger and embellisher ~ each has it''s own little area and believe me, I know that this whole hooking room is just such a blessing to have!

All of these cubbies hold my personal wool stash and the hand-dyed wool that I sell. I haven't 'dyed' since my last show so I need to find some time to add to my stock. There is plenty of wool there just waiting to be over-dyed ~ but it probably won't happen this week!

I love the wizardly paper border ~ it kind of ties in the fact that children use this room and a childlike person who has her own wizard hat also resides here! This is a sizable space and there's easily room for a dozen or more hookers to work their magic! If you live close by and would like to bring your group here, email me and we'll make a plan!

I'm off to do some shopping for our local homeless shelter ~ when I spoke with the director this morning, she said they need silverware badly, among other things! They have two forks! 70 people all eating with spoons!! Our homebuilders group always donates to the shelter so I'm getting what they need now ~ it seems silly to wait for Christmas. Stories like this that make us so grateful for all that we have in our lives!

In several things I have read this past week, there was a recurring theme of "Be the Change You Want to See" ~ I'm trying! Have a good day, friends!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Yesterday was spent entertaining ~ entertaining Miss Luci (remember my dancing chicken?)!! Her mom asked if I could pick her up from kindergarten and spend the day with her ~ why, of course!! We were busy all day ~ she loves to go to my hooking room because there is a cupboard filled with kid things and she loves to color with all the markers, crayons and colored pencils a girl can use! She shredded papers in my office, had cocktail meatballs for lunch, exercised in the workout room and most importantly ~ we had afternoon tea!! She likes to wear that cute Amish boy's hat for tea ~ it goes well with her bejeweled shirt!! We use a real china tea set and set the little antique table and chairs that I found in the basement of an antique mall ~ someone had tried to remove white paint from the oak set and it turned out perfect ~ at least for my tastes!! So ~ we had banana muffins that I made that were just horrible (Luci loved them ~ even took some home!) and applesauce and Little Debbie cakes and chamomile tea w/ cream ~ and I read to her from a book on friendship that was given to me years ago ~ Miss Luci loved every minute of it ~ we had a great day! My life is often so busy and crazy that I don't make time for such things ~ I need to do it more often.

This new book "Rags to Rugs" by Patricia Herr is really full of good old Pennsylvania rugs and some more contemporary rugs, too. I have two for sale ~ if you're interested, email me and I'll send one off to you. I use books like this for reference as to color and design and inspiration for my own hooking.
The American Fish rug is progressing ~ on Sunday, I hooked all evening and feel like I made some headway! I love the various lime green tree segments but I have a little concern ~ I'm wondering if there will be enough background wool ~ I split what I have and am going to hook on both sides of the rug so that if I have to blend in, it will be evenly dispersed throughout the rug. There actually is a good substitute in my hand-dyed wool so not a problem ~ I hope!!

Sunday afternoon, I spent organizing the basement storage area of the house! This summer, I hauled all manner of good stuff out of there and had a garage sale ~ but I didn't go back and put things away, etc. I could hardly walk thru and since it's time to get out the Christmas stuff, I decided first things first!! For me, that's very progressive thinking!! It looks great down there now ~ even the old guy was shocked!

Today was a nice day in my studio ~ several gals came and bought patterns, wool, etc. I need to work harder at getting my name out there ~ I love it when hookers come to call!!! Ta ta for now!