Friday, July 31, 2009


Three days this week, I managed to get some dying time in ~ dying takes me a long time ~ don't know why ~ it seems when I read Gene Shepherd's blog that he gets 10 yards dyed before his breakfast!!! Me, it's an all day process but of course, I'm doing office work, laundry, reading email, etc. Here are the fruits of my fragmented labors!!
If you remember from an earlier post, I was washing fleece for a sheep class. Well, I decided that I should try dying the fleece as well ~ I'm thinking it turned out pretty swell!! The colors are beautiful and can be used for flowers, landscaping, crazy hair colors ~ all kinds of things!! I'm pretty happy with the results!!

On the sidebar to the left, I have posted two shows that I'm doing in September ~ Quailcrest Herb Fair and In the Spirit of Friends. Since those shows are back to back, I decided I better hop on the dying bandwagon and get started so I have some nice things to sell. When we were in England, I purchased dyed fleece from Heather Ritchie and have used it sparingly ~ now, I will have it to offer my customers ~ just something a little different!! I spread out these two pieces of blue so you could see the variation of color that came out during the dying process ~ I love a marbled look and these are two good examples!

Fortunately, we have had some nice rains this week ~ the gardens are looking pretty good! Black-eyed susans are everywhere ~ I'm sure you all know how they spread ~ and the Rose of Sharon bush is in full bloom! There's a bit of white obedient plant showing at the left.

With almost everything I've planted in past years being pretty aggressive ~ this garden is looking pretty wild! The stone paths that Sonny worked so hard to install can almost be seen in all this profusion of plant life ~ he would love an orderly garden but this gardener just can't quite get a handle on that!! So what we have is a cottage garden ~ wild and spontaneous ~ maybe a reflection of it's designer!!!!!

This little bouquet greets guests on the garden gate ~ I hope it says 'welcome' to all who enter! One of Sonny's customers says it reminded her of going to her grandmothers house ~ since she was 40ish and I'm not, I tried to take that as a compliment! On Monday, there will be fresh flowers in the little pottery pocket as I am having a group for lunch and a house tour. Some have been here before but others are new ~ mostly hookers, I think ~ so that will be fun! I have to get groceries yet this morning and then we'll come home Sunday afternoon from the lake so I can start preparing the food ~ and now I have to go down and try to make some sense out of the wool room ~ when I'm in dying mode, there is wool and dyes and stuff everywhere!! You wouldn't even believe it!!!

The rain is going to let up soon so it should be a nice weekend! My son and family live in Seattle and when I talked to him on Wednesday, he said at that precise moment, his car thermometer said 111 degrees!!!! They were really suffering as no one has air conditioning out there since they don't usually need it! He said you couldn't buy a fan or a window AC anywhere ~ they were living in their basement family room and opening the door to the wine cellar to get some cooler air!!!! Today it looks like it will be around 85 there ~ they should be a lot happier with that!

Have a good weekend ~ see you next week!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


First of all, this is the little mat that I designed and hooked for my friend's daughter!! They were at the lake this weekend so she finally got her shower gift a month later than the shower but it was BEFORE the baby!!! Pretty good for me! The lighting probably wasn't the best but you get the idea ~ they don't know if baby is a boy or a girl, so a rabbit will suit either ~ I used a some lambs fleece for the tail ~ I hope they like it!!

This is our motley crew riding in Dapper Dan's decorated bus from the ferry landing into the town of Put-in-Bay!! He was quite a character and made the ride fun! Everybody was looking at him taking our picture but me ~ I was looking at his ~ parrot!!!!

Scarlet rides shotgun on top of her cage in the front of the van ~ she talks a little but we are all so loud we barely heard her ~ she whistled and said 'cockatoo' and took the tips in her beak at the end of the ride!! Pretty entertaining way to start our travels on the island! We did have a fun day ~ went to two wineries, a couple of pool bars (bystanders only-oh, the sights we see!), the Boardwalk for food and libations, and then danced at the Beer Barrel to Wally and the Beavs!! And we were on the 8 p.m. ferry back home!!!!!! The only crisis of the day was that our friend lost his BlackBerry (of all things) and that caused a little chaos ~ for him ~ we all drank wine until he felt calm ~ or maybe he just looked calm to us!! We decided we might be getting old ~ no one was nominated for the Village Idiot Award and we were home before dark!!! I guess it could have been worse!!

The last two days, I have been dying wool and curly fleece!! I've not done the fleece before and it's turning out pretty good ~ I like to use dyed fleece as accents in a rug ~ maybe flowers, or grass or hair ~ I did that on my England Memory Rug. In September, I have two shows back to back so I thought maybe I should get on the band wagon and get started so I'm not so rushed!!! The colors are really nice ~ I'll show pictures later this week!!

It's 7:30 and we haven't had supper yet ~ all vegetarian tonite ~ broccoli from my stepson's garden, cucumber-tomato salad and corn on the cob!! Sounds healthy ~ wish it would make me skinny!! Guess I need to eat this way more than a few days a week!! Have a good evening and I'll post in a day or two!

Friday, July 24, 2009


Just a quick post today ~ these pictures were taken a week or so ago ~ despite the fact that it's been bone dry, most of the garden still looks pretty good. We did get an all day rain,yesterday ~ praise the rain gods!!! This old stone bench surrounded by hostas, is one we purchased a few years ago ~ my former sister-in-law, Gwen, has an antique/odd things store in the heart of Amish country and this was sitting there just waiting for us to buy it!! I love this old bench and think of Gwen every time I look at it!

I absolutely love hydrangeas! This hedgerow got planted a little at a time from pieces of hydrangea that I would pull out of the ground and scratch out a little divot in the dirt, stick the stick with a little root system on it in there and voila! A hydrangea hedgerow!

The white flowers here are goose-neck loosestrife ~ the blossom kind of swoops down and looks like a gooses neck ~ they spread like crazy ~ would anybody like some? The hydrangea at the right of the picture is the mother plant for that long beautiful hedgerow of white!

Another shot from the back deck ~ more goose-necks and some hostas in between! I actually went out and worked in the garden last evening ~ the first time for a while ~ we had such a nice rain that it was definitely time for some weed pulling. And this morning, I walked out to Sonny's shop to get the newspaper (the old guy usually brings it in to me but he forgot this morning - maybe he thought I could use the exercise?) and ended up working outside for an hour. We have a lot of May apples and they have turned so brown that I needed to clean that area up ~ so I've been on a little roll in the garden (that sounds good) and now we'll be gone for the weekend, so that's the end of that!!!

I did do some hooking this week ~ I hooked a little mat for my friend's daughter who is having a baby ~ it's kind of cute ~ I'll post the picture next week! Her shower was several weeks ago and since I didn't go, I had the gift here at home to take to the lake and give to the new grandma ~I kept forgetting to take it and then I read Dulcy's blog and she hooked a little rug for an expected baby so I decided I would do the same!! So the gift changed but I think it was a better choice!! I hope they like it ~ I don't often give hooking as a gift because ~ well, you never know!! We'll hope for the best!!

Have a good weekend ~ ours is jam-packed ~ hopefully, the weather cooperates ~ tomorrow sounds pretty wet ~ and we're headed to Put-in-Bay with our lake friends ~ it's Christmas in July over there tomorrow ~ should be lots of fun!! See you next week!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


What a great day we had!! We wandered over to Marblehead to listen to Delicate Balance Collective play on the front porch of the Jodie McCallum & Company art gallery. DBC, as they refer to themselves, played some great jazz and blues ~ they played guitars and sang to an ever changing audience that sat in chairs and stood on the sidewalk ~ cars honking in approval as they passed! Jodie and her husband, Grant, hosted this entertaining afternoon in conjunction with showcasing the various artists that they represent in their gallery. There is pottery, paintings, jewelry, handmade tile, photography ~ something for everybody! And to top it off, they plied their visitors with wine and appetizers ~ a very generous and well-received gesture! If you're in the Marblehead area, stop by and visit Jodie's gallery ~ she'll be happy to see you! Check out Jodie's blog ~ her photos show it much better than mine!! I don't have any vested interest in this but I just like to promote art and artists ~ we want to see these small galleries thrive!

This is SUNDAY AFTERNOON IN LAKESIDE! Lakeside is just a wonderfully peaceful place - one of the old time Chautauqua's - and there was a wooden boat show on the hotel lawn and in the water. Restored Lyman boats and Cris Crafts were on display for close inspection ~ the oldest one dating back to 1901. Sonny was particularly interested since he built a bar for the condo out of an old discarded Lyman - I'll post pictures sometime soon!!

Along with the boats, there were 52 artists from the Plein Air Society painting various scenes around the grounds. They had been painting in the area since Friday and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, they had a 'wet paint' sale of all the paintings the artists had done in that 3 day time frame! Really quite beautiful things and some of the artists created several in that amount of time and had them framed and ready to go at the appointed hour - we hope they did well! It was just a great relaxing day ~ surround by artistic paintings and artistically crafted wooden boats ~ and lots and lots of people there to appreciate them! We ended our day at Mon Ami winery listening to the music of Collin Dussault on the lawn, accompanied by a little adult beverage and a nice little hand-tossed gourmet pizza!! A good time was had by all!

Finally, I got some hooking time in ~ I started this M. Shaw pattern the week before and on Monday morning before Tad and I came home, I hooked a little more. This will be for our room up at the condo ~ I have an M. Shaw cat painting in that room and a folk art rabbit so somehow I think it all works!!

Monday morning, this beautiful sunrise was the view out of the patio door ~ such great color ~ I always try to wake up to see the sunrise ~ not that I get up then but it's definitely worth the effort! I am really appreciating the peace and quiet of the lake ~ it gets harder and harder to pack up and come home, even though home is a nice place to be. This was a really nice weekend - just Sonny & I bumming around enjoying what the area has to offer. Next weekend will be a party weekend ~ our annual trip to Put-in-Bay with all our lake friends ~ don't know if I'll be posting pictures of all that hilarity!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


We had the last of the dinners that we auctioned off for our Homebuilders charity! Our friends from home, Janet and Tom, were the lucky bidders and chose to have their dinner at our condo on Lake Erie. Of course, with all the hilarity, I didn't get any pictures of our guests ~ but maybe you would like to see pictures of the condo!! This is a corner of the living room ~ in the lower right of the photo is an extra table we set up so that all seven of us could dine together! The wicker chairs are old ones that have followed me around for many years ~ Sonny painted them a nice Martha Stewart color and I made the cushion covers ~ lots of things get re-painted in my life!! Over the mantel is one of my little hooked rugs ~ I had hooked it to sell but since the colors were just right, it came to the condo!

The dining table is set for dinner ~ kind of dining under the palms!! I love this tree and love using little pieces of antique fencing to accent artwork ~ this is a watercolor done by an area artist. Since we're at the table, I'll tell you the evening's menu ~ we started with Sonny's grilled shrimp marinated in garlic butter (yummy!) and bacon-wrapped chestnuts in a little barbecue sauce that I make ~ they're baked in the oven until the sauce is almost caramelized ~ also pretty darned yummy!
For dinner we did mushrooms that I saute in butter, then move to a broiler pan and cover with crumbled bleu cheese and crumbled bacon (real bacon!) and broil till the cheese is browned a bit! A zucchini dish with fire-roasted tomatoes, peppers and onions made into a sauce! And filet mignon that were out of this world!! My friend, Margo, gave us this recipe and it can't be beat!
Ask your butcher to cut 10 oz. filets for you ~ season them to your liking ~ and sear the filet on one side in butter in a very hot frying pan for 5 minutes ~ turn the filets over and then move the filets in that same pan to a pre-heated 425 degree oven for 8 minutes ~ and let them rest in that pan on top of the stove for another 5 minutes!!!!!! They were the best! Our guests raved about them and since one of the couples run the food service at a college, I was pretty concerned about cooking for them!! They were very complimentary!! You might want to experiment a bit ~ ovens will vary and the steaks will be rare to medium rare ~ adjust your times to suit your tastes ~ but give it a try!! For dessert, I made my Black Forest Cake ~ they loved every morsel!! Of course, the adult beverages flowed ~ maybe that's why they enjoyed dinner so much!! After being wined and dined, our guests had to leave to catch the ferry to Kelley's Island ~ we had a great time with them and so appreciated their generosity in donating to the children's fund ~ a good excuse to get together with friends!

These are just little vignettes that fill empty spaces around the condo ~ these are birdhouses that I'm shelling in stages ~ it keeps me off the streets!

This is at the top of the stairs ~ an old oar, more fencing, another birdhouse and an artist's photo of beach chairs! I hope you liked the condo pictures ~ I'll show more another time ~ it's vastly different from our home ~ lighter and more airy ~ relaxing and uplifting!

Another fun thing last weekend, was a wedding up here on Catawba Island! A fellow we built a home for several years ago and a sweet gal tied the knot in a little church ~ blue hydrangeas decorated each pew and she wore the more gorgeous classic wedding dress that was reminiscent of the 30's. The reception was held at a private club they belong to ~ the food was great and table decorations were more of the blue hydrangea and other gorgeous flowers surrounding cream colored lanterns! Then we were invited for cake and the after party at their new lake home that is on a little gated island just steps away from reception ~ it's on the channel to the lake ~ fabulous marina and lake views and their boat on the channel in their back yard!! It was a fun afternoon of mingling with their family and friends and we wish for them a very happy life together!!

Hope you enjoyed your visit here ~ come by any time!! As I looked at this post, I notice white blotches in some of the photos ~ don't know what they are ~ looks kind of weird ~ an entity, maybe? Diane will know what I'm talking about!!

We're getting ready to take a walk ~ with all this talk of food, I may have to eat some breakfast first!! I'm posting this on Sunday morning ~ but since I put the pictures up on Thursday, that's the date it shows ~ somehow I should be able to change that but haven't figured it out yet!! Have a good day!

TODAY ~ ~ ~

We had a great proddy class in my studio!!! Five gals (two left before I remembered to get the camera out) who are all friends came to spend the day learning to proddy (some already knew how!)and laugh and eat and share their 'stories' (everybody has one, you know)!! Diana was a proddy machine ~ she got her entire sheep done and hooked his head and ears and a bit of background!!! Ann and RosaLee are showing off their progress too ~ Ann and I had some fun ~ are you still talking to me?? RosaLee is a long time hooker ~ I enjoy her outlook on life ~ someday, we're going to take a trip and let her be our tour guide!! Thanks girls for coming to spend the day ~ wish you could have seen Ruth's yellow sheep and Sharon (who is a traditional rug hooker) really stepped out of her comfort zone! When they're finished, I'll post pictures!

Since I knew some would be using fleece, I washed up a big pile the two days before!! If you've never washed a stinky sheep fleece, it's a treat!! My grandson, Luke, was over and thought it was pretty scary stuff!! There's a little bit of everything in the wool (this was sheared right from the sheep) and from all the lanolin, my hands are soft like a baby!!!

This is the nice clean fleece ~ Lincolnshire, I believe ~ when we went to a fiber show in the spring, Heidi and I split two different fleece ~ this is from the darker one. The other is silver grey and also very beautiful. I'm going to dye some of that ~ dyed curls make great little flowers or rainbows or accents in a proddied sheep!

Dirty fleece ~ that's what's in this bag!!!! Such an aroma ~ not something you run across every day!! My friend, Carol, who will be reading this, thinks we are very 'rural' and this will confirm it for her, for sure!!!!!!!!!!!! It takes a special kind of person to wallow around in this!! But the results are beautiful and these girls are really going to love the sheep they hook with their Lincolnshire fleece!!

After the girls left and the kitchen was cleaned and the hooking room put back in order a little bit ~ I packed up some clothes and my son, Tad ~ and we headed for the lake! Sonny has a golf outing today and it's rainy (this is Friday but since I posted the pictures before I left home, it's dated yesterday) so I am going to get some quiet time in hooking and resting. And since none of our lake friends will be here this weekend, it will definitely be a quiet one! It's actually supposed to be in the 60's ~ yuk ~ I was going to get some sun ~ that means more hooking time!! That's a win-win situation, isn't it?

Have a good weekend wherever you are!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Debbie of Woolensails asked about Cilla Cameron and her publication The Rugmaker (the little booklets that I won in a drawing, posted July 2). Here is the link to Cilla's website and if you click on books, it tells the price of a subscription in pounds ~ you could go together with some friends and share a subscription then more people could have access to it! She has a new website from the last time I looked ~ very nice!!

I have various pictures to share but hard to get the time to post them ~ I'll do that soon!!!!


P.S. Cilla just emailed me this picture of her and her dark bay horse, Bally!! Cilla competes in dressage and she and Bally look quite regal here, don't they?

Friday, July 10, 2009


Just checking in ~ a busy week behind me and a busy weekend ahead! Tonite, we are hosting one of the dinners we auction off for needy kids and we're doing it at the lake! The people who bought the dinner have a house on Kelley's Island, so they're stopping off at our place for wining and dining and then off to their weekend paradise!! The kicker is that one of the couples is the head of food services for a college in Michigan and have worked their whole life in the restaurant industry!!!! This is a little nerve wracking people!! I'll let you know how it goes!!

So, I'm packing the car and getting ready to drive to the North Coast and cook up a storm today! I baked the cakes for my black forest cake last night and will assemble them up there! We have all the basics up there but it's more convenient to cook here at home where I have all the stuff I might possibly need and lots of serving pieces, etc. ~ so we'll see how well I've planned!!

Tomorrow, we are going to a wedding up there for a fellow we built a home for here in town, several years ago! So that will be fun ~ reception at a private club that we've never been to ~ we'll get to see how the other half lives!!

Well, I better start packing the food up ~ hopefully I've got all the right clothes packed ~ the wedding gift is already at the lake ~ I think I'm outta here!! Have a good weekend!!


P.S. I think this blog looks naked without a picture ~

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I WON ~ ~ ~

These three little magazines edited by Cilla Cameron in England! Jennifer Manuell of Fish Eye Rugs had this giveaway a couple of weeks ago! I was happy to have a chance to read Cilla's publications since we met her and took class from her while we were in Reeth, England three years ago. When I am finished, I'll pass them around to my hooking friends on this side of the pond! Thank you, Jennifer!

This little baby deer went by my office window last week with her mama ~ by the time I got the camera and found a window to take the photo, the mama deer was down in the woods. Isn't that little baby cute? If you double click the picture, you can see him close-up.

This morning, we will be attending the funeral of the 42 year old son of a dear friend of mine ~ we all lived in the same neighborhood and he went to school and graduated with my middle son. I love my friend dearly and just feel so sad for their family. I usually only post about happy things but this one is weighing on my heart today. Life is fleeting ~ we must all count our blessings!

After the holiday weekend, I will get the hook-in rug pictures posted. Have a good Fourth of July and light a sparkler for me!