Friday, January 30, 2009


It's getting close ~ to being done!!! One more evening of hooking in the fleece body and head and Mr. Leicester will be ready to bind and go to his new home!!! After this picture was taken, I gave it a preliminary steaming ~ I don't like to steam fleece or roving (it mats it down) so it was easier to do now before I set in the final fleece hooking. After it's finished, it will probably get another pressing but not both sides like I just did! I'm pretty happy with the results thus far ~ and I think Miss Melody is, too!!!

The other day, one of my rug hooking/blogger friends, Jane, 'tagged' several of her fellow blog buddies to write 6 random things about ourselves ~ so here are mine ~

1. As a kid, my mom and I traveled all over the country by car ~ we were very poor really, but I had the opportunity to travel almost the entire United States by the time I graduated high school!

2. My mom was a nurse. My dad, 30 years older than my mother, was in vaudeville!

3. Both my parents were born in Canada ~ I was born here in Ohio.

4. When I was little, my friends, Nancy and Carol (sisters) could draw like crazy! I tried but the results were not good ~ I had no artistic talent! But as I got older, and tried different things, I found that maybe I do! Hence, my theory that everyone has artistic ability ~ we just have to keep trying until something really speaks to us and resonates within! I wish everyone would open themselves to try something creative ~ you would be amazed at what you might find!!

5. Two times during my growing up years, I went to school in California ~ once when I was in 5th grade and then, my entire sophomore year! I went from a class of 25 to a 10th grade class of over 800!!!! Culture shock ~ YES!!!!

6. Key West is one of my favorite places to vacation!!

So there ~ six random things about me ~ and I mean random ~ I gave no thought to it until I set down here to write!! I'm not passing on the 'tag' ~ if it's something you would like to write about in your blog ~ feel free!! I'm not sure how I feel about awards and tagging ~ I think it's nice that others want to share that, but to follow thru and name others and insert links, etc. is really time consuming ~ for the most part, I acknowledge the accolade but don't pass it on. What do you think?? I actually saw on another one, that she had a little 'blog free and tag free' sign on hers!!!!!!!!

That's it for today ~ two more year end reports to put in the mail and I'll have that task marked off my list!! Then, on to organize this office before next week! And I have to pick up Miss Luci from kindergarten this morning ~ thank goodness her mom called and reminded me!! I get so caught up in what's going on in my little world, that I forget really important jobs ~ I suggested to Miki that she call me and it's a good thing she did!!! Some days, I feel like I need a keeper!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


For the last two evenings, I have actually hooked a while ~ so the Leicester sheep rug is coming along! This rug is for my friend, Melody, who travels to Ireland as often as she can ~ the white circles in the sky are from a sweater that came from one of her travels and needed repurposed into something meaningful! It really became quite thick after felting and was quite a challenge to pull into loops ~ but I think it gives the sky great texture and also guided me as to where this sky was going! I have to mention, too, those blobs of black are his ears ~ hooked with a black velour-type wool ~ the loops are pretty high ~ I might clip them for a proddy look ~ I'll see when it's finished!

In one of our conversations as to what Melody might like in this rug, she mentioned outstanding Irish rainbows ~ so last night I went through my handspun yarns and dyed rovings and came up with this rainbow ~ I hope you like it Miss Melody!!! I'm leaving the sheep till last because the fleece I will use for his body gets caught on the grippers of the frame and can make quite a mess ~ all the wool hooking around it will be done when it gets centered on the frame for the final hooking of the fleece body and head ~ and that should be in the next couple of days!!

Ohio is under a winter storm warning all day and this is what it looks like on our deck!! We've had a bunch of snow just today and more on the way!! I love it that I can stay inside where it's warm and safe ~ actually, I am very grateful for that!! A big shipment of wool came the other day, so I'm washing wool on the second floor (that's where the laundry area is) and running it to the basement to dry (we moved the old dryer down there just for the wool) ~ so once again, I say "wouldn't you think I'd be skinny from all these stairs?!" No ~ they just hang on for dear life ~ the pounds, that is! I am back on the exercise everyday/hook every day plan that I committed to ~ I fell off the wagon a little last week ~ but I'm back on task now!! CHANGE ~ remember my 'one little word' ~ well, I tell you it's hard to put it into practice ~ but I'm trying ~ what more can one girl do????? Have a good day ~ doing something you like!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

This is a progress picture of the Leicester sheep rug I'm working on ~ I took a little break to finish the hands rug ~ and I hooked a little bit last week on this. It won't take long if I stick to it ~ I'm floundering on my 'hook some every day' resolution that I made ~ and it shows!!!

My friend and customer, Lauren, sent me this photo of her rug that she recently finished!! I think it's great and she said it's her biggest rug so far! Some of the wool came from me and I really appreciate her letting me see her finished product ~ very antiquey looking! Okay, Lauren ~ what's next??

One snowy day last week, grandchildren, Jordyn and Logan, came for the afternoon with their dad. Jordyn came in from the Grandpa's shop with this unpainted finial and said she wanted to paint it but she said "I'm not a very good painter" and she thought it would look good with a face on it!! I told her I thought I could paint a face on it so we went to my hooking studio ~ where I have all kinds art supplies that aren't hooking related ~ I've done lots of different things thru the years! So, this is how her unpainted finial came to life and Jordyn wants to put it on a shelf in her room and hang her necklaces from it!! Pretty darned clever of her ~ she's a first grader!! And Logan got a painted pumpkin face to take home ~ I forgot to take a picture but he was sooo happy!! He's almost five and he made such a sad face last week when he saw the hands rug ~ he said "BoBo (that's my grandma name) why did you draw my hand so little??!!" He was too young to remember that I drew his little hand when he was not quite two years old!! They went up to see the rug again last night ~ I can see that it really interests the little kids to see their hands and names hooked into a rug ~ good call, Grandma!!!

Last week, Sonny turned the big 65!! Holy crow ~ I never thought I would be married to a 65 year old~ of course, I'm not far behind!! We celebrated by going to a 4th grade strings concert for grandson, Luke (very nice by the way!) and then Luke's parents (my son Ted and Miki) took us out for dinner ~ that was a nice bonus ~ and the Mexican waiters sang a lovely rendition of Happy Birthday to the old guy while he wore a big sombrero!! A good time was had by all!! Friday night, we had dinner at The Garden up at the lake with friends and last night, Sonny's son Chris and family brought chocolate cheesecake for his dad's birthday!! The celebrating goes on and on ~ and we're glad!!

It's really cold here in Ohio again ~ 7 degrees this morning! I hope you're all warm and toasty wherever you are!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


It's a great day because, finally, my 'Christmas Hands' rug is finished!!!! I drew the ten grandchildren's hands at Christmas 2005 and started it right after the holidays were over! And then, it ceased to be fun ~ hooking with basically two colors wasn't very challenging, I guess. Or maybe it was too much of a challenge ~ but not until someone on the Wool Snippets forum started a challenge for unfinished rugs (UFO Challenge), did I get interested in finishing this project!!

Last year on the Minick and Simpson blog, Polly Minick had a little contest to which I had the correct answer ~ and the prize was all this wonderful red, white and blue binding!! Since my colors were based on her blue and white star rug, I thought using her binding for this rug was perfect!! This close up shows lots of hooking 'holidays' ~ I guess they don't concern me a lot as I look at the how the rug lays from the front ~ if there isn't a low place in the way the rug lays, it works for me! How do you handle 'holidays'??

And this is the room that I hooked this rug for ~ a guest room predominately blue and white ~ perfect! The quilts are all antique except for the two on the foot of the bed on the right ~ they are Amish pieces that I purchased quite a few years ago. The washstand was from my mother's things and the bowl and pitcher were from my former mother-in-law. There are also an authentic Amish child's cape & bonnet hanging on an old shelf ~ but it didn't get in the picture!! Above the beds are pieces from my cross stitch days ~ that's the year my eyes went to pot and I had to get glasses!!

This is the room where Miss Luci and I have our tea parties ~ the small quilted pieces are Amish, too ~ as well as the painting above the table. As you can see, the Christmas Hands rug fits right in with the simple decor in this room.

I have to say that finishing a rug that was started three years ago really pointed out to me how much I've learned in those years! My hooking is higher! And I never would use now the light weight white wool that is used to separate the various blocks! As I started the rug, I left spaces unhooked in each block so that other blues could be used to fill in. A solid blue was not going to have much interest and as I picked this up again, that was very apparent to me. I even picked out other blues from my strip basket to fill in ~ in some of the blocks, I thought maybe I even got to carried away with trying to create 'interest'!! All in all, I'm happy with the result and more than happy to have it finished. I have two rugs I'm working on now ~ one is the sheep rug commissioned (I love to say that!) by my friend, Melody ~ and the other is the American Fish that I started in November ~ new things to post about!!!

And it's a GREAT DAY TODAY in our country because we have a new President!!!! I was glued to the TV most of the day watching history in the making for our country and no doubt, for the world!! President Obama is a commanding presence ~ we trust that he will guide the United States back into a place of prosperity and respect that we deserve!! Today was a very uplifting day!!! Tonite I'm going to hook and watch the inaugural parties on TV ~ sounds like fun!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


This is kind of an interesting challenge! The other day, I was reading Jacque's blog "Doodles of My Mind" and she had a Pay It Forward challenge that she, too, had found on someone else's blog. I was one of her lucky winners (I'm gonna get a free gift!!) and so I'm offering the following to three of my readers:

The first three people who comment on this post and let me know that they want to be part of this, will get a handmade gift from me! Each of them in turn, will post about the Pay It Forward challenge on their blog and give a handmade gift to their first three commenters ~ and on it goes! It works best, of course, that you have a blog so you can participate and that it's something you really want to do! And ~ one more good thing is that you have 365 days to make and ship your gift ~ it doesn't have to be done today ~ and it can be anything and any price range of your choosing!! I love the idea of paying it forward ~ love the idea of giving ~ and giving a handmade gift! It may be just the thing that perks up someone's day and opens us all to an opportunity to give for giving's sake!!

So ~ I'll be waiting ~ who will be the lucky winners??!!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Just thought I would check in ~ we had a quiet weekend ~ I didn't leave the house from Thursday until today!!! For those that know me ~ that's like a miracle! I think I'm resting up for all the fun we're going to have this year ~ or from running myself ragged last year ~ that sounds more like it.

Regarding my 'one little word' that I chose as my mantra for the coming year ~ I think it has value!! The word is "change" and as I go about my day and am tempted to say or do some of those really unhealthy or annoying things that are so much a part of me ~ that word goes marching thru my mind! Not every time that it should, but it's helping! Of the first 12 days of this year, I have hooked every day but one (making great progress on that 'hands' rug). With a nice exercise room like this ~ wouldn't you think I'd use it faithfully ~ I'm trying ~ I've exercised every day since the 4th (that was the day I determined that I can't ignore the benefit of exercise any longer) except for Sunday ~ I've eaten oat cereal every morning but one to help lower my cholesterol ~ I'm making changes ~ so far so good!!

All the Christmas stuff is put away ~ my friend, Vivian, wants to come see our organized basement so she can get motivated to work on theirs ~ and I can actually say "Come on over!". That truly is a good feeling! My office is another matter ~ I have considered whether this was a good idea ~ to show you a picture of the mess I work in every day ~ or use it as a tool for motivation to get it organized ~ to 'change' my work environment! So here it is ~ in all it's glory ~ it will be a couple of weeks before the transformation will be finished ~ this is tax prep time, time to get the year-end reports done, get the w-2's and 1099's out ~ but as I'm doing this, I'm going to work on putting this place in order!! CHANGE ~ it's a good thing!

Another good thing is that my England Memory Rug is going to be in a book on pictorial rugs that is coming out this fall! Last week, I had a photographer come and take professional photos that are required by Rug Hooking Magazine, the publisher of Jane Halliwell Greene's new book! I'm very excited to have my rug accepted ~ that rug was definitely a labor of love and tells a story. I happened on Jane's blog one day in the fall when she put out a request for pictures of rugs that might be suitable for her book ~ I emailed ~ she emailed ~ and she liked what she saw!! You can check out Jane's blog here. Jane is a painter and a rug hooker ~ her blog and website are very eye catching! Sheri, who writes the Shabby Sheep blog, is also going to have a rug in the book ~ I know she is thrilled, too!

One more good thing is that all by myself ~ I installed a new counter on the blog. The other hit counter that my son put on for me, all of a sudden quit counting this past week!! I was absolutely elated and had just told my husband that there were over 12,000 hits and I couldn't believe that many people had looked at these ramblings since August. And it was like the universe heard me bragging and said well, guess what honey ~ we're done now!! There are all sorts of policies and rules and I don't know if I broke one, but it wasn't counting anymore. So after a couple days of waiting to see if it would come back online, I found another site and after more time than I want to admit ~ I figured it out and those nice purple balls at the end of the left-hand column, give me the info that lets me know someone out there is interested in what I have to say! And the blessing is, it gives me even more info like how many are new, how many are returning readers ~ so that malfunction turned into another good thing!

Those two new rug hooking forums that I wrote about in my last post, have taken off like wildfire!! So many interesting rug hookers have joined and both sites have informative forums and one has an online class ~ they are addicting ~ I can hardly keep from checking them hourly to see who I know that has joined and what they have to say! They're both great additions to our rug hooking world!

That's it for today ~ more snow and bitter cold in our weather forecast ~ if you're somewhere warm, be so grateful!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Since yesterday, I have been invited to join two new rug hooking forums ~ both started by Canadian rug hookers! I can't tell you how easy they are to manage ~ easy to register and easy to sign in! You can check them out at "The Welcome Mat" and "Rug Hooking Daily" . They both look interesting and will offer exposure to new people interested in rug hooking and other forms of fiber arts ~ let me know what you think!!


The tree ~ because we took it down on Sunday. Actually, there is no 'we' ~ Sonny took it down ~ he buys, decorates and dismantles the tree ~ I don't like to do any of that ~ it used to be the kids and him ~ how it's just him!! I took all the other decorations to the basement yesterday ~ 17 trips down those stairs (you would think I'd be skinny!) ~ and now today, I have to pack it all in the Christmas containers. I think the house looks so naked after all the greenery and adornments are packed away ~ I really love the house dressed in it's Christmas attire!

And say goodbye to ~ 2008! It was quite a year ~ quite a challenge for the building business ~ which I prefer to look at as a learning experience. Learning to be more conservative ~ learning that no matter what, I can't will that phone to ring with another great job! ~ learning patience. We were so grateful that it was a year of good health for us all ~ you can't put a price on that! So I thank the universe for the lessons and look forward to this new year of health and abundance for all!

This was the view from our lake condo this weekend ~ we love to watch the ice form over the lake ~ very peaceful. We are so blessed to be able to be there ~ I will never take that for granted! We went up on New Years Eve day ~ got Tad settled (who, by the way, had strep throat~ugh!) ~ met our friends for an afternoon libation ~ and then met for dinner in the evening.
And this, dear friends, is the famous 'Walleye Drop' in Port Clinton, Ohio ~ it's almost like the ball dropping in NYC ~ but not quite! They drop this fiberglass walleye (whose name is Wally) ~ P.C. is the walleye capital of the world! ~ from a crane at midnight in the middle of town. We try to enjoy this event every year, as long as it's not below zero ~ it was cold last week but lots of people jammed together helped keep us warm! It doesn't take a lot to entertain old folks!!

This past week, two of the blogs that I read ~ THE THING I DO & THE DOODLES OF MY MIND ~ mentioned Ali Edwards blog and her idea of choosing 'one little word' as your focus or mantra for the coming year. After checking out Ali's post, it seemed like a good idea and my word for this year is 'change'. There are a lot of things about me that require 'change' and as I go about my day the word actually creeps into my thoughts ~ that's a good thing! One aspect of me that needs 'change' is my exercise habits ~ I have exercised in our workout room for 3 days straight! That's like a miracle! I also want to hook every day ~ I've hooked every day this year on my 'hands' rug that has to be finished for the UFO challenge by January 20th ~ a small amount of time spent hooking every day, will show great accomplishments ~ I like this change!! Certainly, there are others ~ changes that I have to put into practice quietly ~ that will make me a nicer person ~ a healthier person ~ a more productive person, etc. ~ we'll see how that goes!!!

Let me know if you check out Ali's blog postings dated Dec. 31 and Jan. 3 and if you decide to choose 'one little word'. I'm guessing it can make a difference ~ I'm anxious to find out! Have a good day wherever you are!