Thursday, March 26, 2009


To me!! Yesterday was my 64th birthday ~ I hate to admit the number, but it's hard to hide!! It was a great day! More than a dozen cards came in the mail (and a really nice one from Sonny was waiting for me when I came downstairs in the morning!) ~ the phone rang all day with birthday wishes from our kids and friends ~ happy birthday song sung many times by grandkids and friends (some lovely tunes, might I add)~ text messages from kids who were traveling and friends of our kids!! And this beautiful bouquet from my Seattle son and family (his wife and I share the same birthday)!! I couldn't have asked for more!! I received a beautiful pottery pitcher, hand delivered by my friend, Gwen and her daughter, Wendy, from Indiana! They came Monday and were here till last evening! Gwen and I have been friends since we were 13 years old ~ that's a long time, Girlfriend!!

Gwen ~ pictured here ~ and Wendy announced they would like to hook ~ we didn't start till Tuesday at dinner time ~ had I realized how serious they were, we would have definitely started earlier in their visit!! Monday we spent the afternoon lunching, catching up and drinking wine until it was time to eat dinner, catch up some more and drink some more wine! Tuesday afternoon, we went to Holmes County Pottery, where they had a great time looking over Cary's handmade wares and then a nice lunch on the way home!

When we arrived home, we headed for the hooking studio ~ I drew a couple of patterns for them, helped them pick out wool and try out hooks and away they went!!!! Wendy really got into it quickly ~ Gwen says she's a slow learner but that's not true ~ Gwen is very artistic and will do just great!! Wendy wanted a chair pad with some funky swirls ~ most of the patterns I have or draw are more primitive so I had to come up with something that appealed to them.

Here they are ~ my two students and their very first rug hooking projects!! Gwen has a little bench she wanted a mat for (she called home and hubby measured it for her!) and Wendy with her chair pad!! I think they will both be very nice pieces and I hope they will be proud of their first efforts!! Before they left, they bought frames, hooks and wool for two more patterns that I drew for them! Wish they were closer so they could come for the finishing class here on Monday!! I may have to travel to help them with that!! When they send finished pictures, I'll be sure to post them ~ we really had a wonderful time and I value their friendship so much ~ they made it a great birthday for me!

Not only was this a busy week, but last Friday and Saturday, I attended wholesale markets in Columbus. I just love going to those things and gathering merchandise to sell at shows in the fall. It was very encouraging because shop owners were really buying a lot ~ they seem to be anticipating a good selling season ~ the wholesalers had to be pretty happy!! I don't really buy a lot of Spring items but I always find an interesting item or two to add to my stock! And I found some nice heavy wool that will be great for purses and a square of paisley for hooking ~ oh, happy day!!

Last evening after our friends left, Sonny asked if I wanted to go out for dinner but I just couldn't face getting dressed to go out ~ so he picked up Chinese take-out and we opened a bottle of the wine that Gwen and Wendy left with us, and had a quiet dinner in front of the television ~ "TV dinners" maybe?!! Birthdays are not about presents for me ~ but all the phone calls, emails, cards, flowers and spending this time with my friends meant the world to me!!! Thanks everybody for making my day!!!!

I hope somebody makes your day today ~ Alice

Monday, March 23, 2009


At the request of a couple of my customers, I will be giving a class on finishing your rugs next Monday, March 30th! I finish with rug tape or wool made into binding, but will include a couple of other ways that I know of and of course, we'll have some fun, too!! If you're in the area of Mansfield and are interested, email me at for the details ~ would love to have you!! It will begin at 10 A.M. and will include lunch ~ we can't have a gathering without lunch!!! Looking forward to hearing from you!

Spring is here ~ hope there's a little spring in your step!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Here it is ~ American Fish ~ finally! For those of you who haven't read about it before ~ the head, tail and outline of the fish are all done in a sparkly wool ~ I love glittery wool!! The fish body is done in a variety of antique paisleys that I've acquired along the way ~ as well as one of the blocks at the top of the rug. Glittery wool was used in various other places in the rug in several different colors ~ it definitely gives a 'spark' to a rug! Since it seemed that I would run out of background wool, I hooked around the rug to leave places to fill in with an alternative, rather than have the substitute wool end up all in one place. There was a teal in my hand-dyeds that worked out really well and I think it gave great movement to the background and also helps the rug to have that look of 'making do' with whatever was available. I'll probably take this rug to our lake place along with Mr. Catfish ~ now to find just the right place to display them ~ it won't be on the floor for sure!! I'll take a picture to post when that happy day happens!!

Another of Sonny's creations!! Now, he's making handmade spoons to go with the spatula's he made a couple of weeks ago! Several years ago, at a craft show, he bought tools to scoop out the bowl area and now he got to use them!! I told him he should sell them ~ he actually said he might!! Wonder what else he's got up his sleeve??!!

My rug hooking friend, Heidi and I just got back from a nice walk on our local bike trail ~ now that Heidi's retired, she's going to walk with me!!! Yippee!!! It's always nicer to have someone to walk along with you ~ this is my third week in a row that I've walked almost every day!! Don't they say 21 days and it becomes a habit? This is a habit I need ~ unlike most of my others!

Yesterday, some friends and I went to Columbus and met a couple of other gals for lunch at The Pub at Polaris ~ we thought we would celebrate St. Patty's day together! They had live Irish music that was soooo loud we couldn't even talk ~ that's bad!! But we did manage to eat ~ and had fun talking about the waiters in their kilts!!! Then last night, Sonny and I went to a restaurant here in town and had a bite and a beverage ~ the entertainment there was perfect ~ a couple playing Irish tunes on a violin and mandolin ~ background music ~ it was great!!! I was Irish for a day and it was pretty fun!!!

Now, I have to start a new hooking project ~ I should get to work on the one for Gene Shepherd's online blog class!! I have two choices of patterns ~ now to decide and pick the wool! I have to have something to post here ~ that in itself will keep me hooking!! And there is a challenge piece for a local hook-in in June that I need to start on ~ it's a stair tread, so it shouldn't take too long ~ again, it's just choosing the colors!! There are three hook-ins coming up and I don't think I can attend any of them ~ but I might slip in for a while to a couple. We have several weddings to attend this year and they are on the same days as some of these important things I want to do ~ poor little me. Oh, well ~ ta ta for now!

Monday, March 16, 2009


We can certainly hope so!! At any rate, today the last of the winter decorations are heading to the basement!! This is our family photo from three years ago now ~ it hangs over an antique coffee storage box in the hall that leads to the kitchen. The snowman is an antique papier mache mold ~ and nestled in boxwood from the garden is a trio of porcelain snowmen done by Ohio artist, Pat Warthen ~ which makes me think, I have not seen Pat in a long time!

I love this stack of old benches in the hall ~ across from the little guest bath tucked under the stairs ~ in fact, I was standing in the little room to get this picture! I buy little old benches with the thought of hooking rug toppers for them ~ it never seems to happen ~ until then ~ they make a nice collection!!

Friday, we were invited to stay with our lake friends, Karen & John, at the home near Cleveland ~ then they took us downtown ~ where we never go ~ to Ohio City and Little Italy. What a fun afternoon ~ lunch at Great Lakes Brewing Co. in a really old restaurant ~ touring the little bistros in an old Italian neighborhood that has great little galleries and bakeries ~ and a trip to the famed WestSide Market. On Saturday, I attended a wedding shower for the girl that will marry their son this summer. What a lovely affair ~ luncheon at a hotel ~ beautiful centerpieces (a beach theme as they live in Florida) ~ delectable lunch (choice of four entrees) ~ and a set of glass coasters embossed with shells to take home! The bride-to-be is a beautiful girl and she received such nice gifts to begin their new life!

We spent Sunday working outside ~ cleaning out the flower beds ~ adding to the compost pile! It was a gorgeous day! Grandson, Luke, rode his bike over (he's getting so big - he's 10) and helped me for a while ~ that was great ~ I told him I would give him something for helping ~ and I forgot to do that before he left!!! Gotta pay my debts today!!! So, we had another really nice weekend ~ and now to work!

Have a good day wherever you are!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Busy weekend ~ and we love it that way ~ it's been way too quiet for me! Friday night was the monthly Shop Hop in Mansfield but there are barely any shops to hop anymore except for the little art gallery! We hadn't been for a while so were happy to go and see some familiar faces. They had a collection of door prizes donated by the artists and I was sooo happy to win this lovely wooden feather!!!!!! All the other gifts that people were opening seemed to be just fun things like chocolate rabbits ~ Sonny won a whoopie cushion! ~ and odd things like that! I picked a white bag that a child had drawn on and inside was this beautiful work of art made of exotic woods. I was so happy to be able to thank the artist in person ~ a nice man named Forest! Then we went across the street to the martini bar and had a little supper of asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and a wonderful grilled mozzarella,tomato, and basil pesto sanduiche (that's how they spelled it - the chef is from Brazil!) ~ it was a fun Friday night!

On Saturday, I took a class at our local art center ~ the week before I received in the mail my new membership card and a welcome letter!! That was great except I didn't remember joining ~ I hadn't belonged for many years ~ so I called and they informed me it was a gift!!!! Wow! It was my niece, Cheri ~ for my upcoming birthday ~ but they sent it early!!!! The good news is that they were having a polymer clay class on Saturday and I thought I should take advantage of this new membership immediately! So these are my creations from an afternoon class ~ well, the three pairs of earrings and the beads are my creations! ~ the scarab pin I bought from the teacher/artist, Lori Wilkes. She makes gorgeous things and many of us purchased that afternoon! Anyway ~ the class was fun ~ I would like to learn to make 'canes' next ~ that's the little circles of color that are used to create the millefiore style of jewelry. I'm not interested in doing jewelry but want to make my own buttons ~ that's where this is all headed ~ I hope!

Sunday, as I was printing out a quote for Sonny, my charming Mr. Kitty shoved his paw into the printer (he loves the printer!) and knocked it out all out of whack ~ seriously out of whack ~ it wouldn't print at all and made a grinding noise!! So, off we trekked to the office supply store and bought a new one ~ it didn't seem prudent to repair a 6 year old printer when new ones are not that much. It's really a fax, scanner, copier, printer combo ~ and I was so happy that without calling my son, I got the thing up and running all by myself!!! Big Girl!!! Good thing we had a fun weekend prior to that ~ damned cat!!! But I like him.

One more thing ~ I sure can ramble, can't I ~ last week I joined Facebook!! I didn't want to ~ I thought it was for young people ~ but after four invitations from various people, I joined!! I'm sure I'm one of the oldest people on there! But the wonderful thing is that after four days, it occurred to me to put in the name of a nephew I had lost track of over 15 years ago ~ and voila! ~ there he was! I contacted him thru Facebook and we had a nice IM chat yesterday and he's now in contact with a step-brother and step-sister that he hadn't seen in more years than that. So now this old girl is a big fan of Facebook ~ imagine finding this kid after so many years ~ finding out he's very successful ~ and finding out his sister lives only an hour from us. Technology is a wonderful thing!!

On that note ~ I will close ~ have a good day ~ and thanks for reading!!

Friday, March 6, 2009


Isn't this the most beautiful array of colors? I just got in two shipments of wool ~ it was a couple of weeks ago, really ~ and finally, they're all washed and ready to go!! If you see something that interests you, I'll be happy to package it up and ship it off to wherever you are! I sell the as-is wool for $14 a half yard ~ all ready to hook!

Early this week, I spent several hours working on setting up a website ~ what a job!! I still don't have it ready to go ~ they make it sound so easy and it probably is for somebody more computer savvy than I ~ but it was a challenge!! I would type what I thought sounded good ~ then add a picture ~ the pictures were all so BIG (I don't know how to make them smaller) ~ then I would delete the picture and the writing would disappear!! I'm telling you, it was a little nightmare!!

The neutrals at the right are great for dying ~ on Wanda Kerr's blog, she says she does not pre-wash the wool that she dyes, so I'm going to give that a try ~ kind of makes sense, don't you think? The wool on the left ~ great backgrounds! The wools that came in are just so nice and lots of variety ~ love the striped ones ~ you can do a lot with the various colors in a stripe!

Regarding the website building ~ I'm not giving up! There is a certain satisfaction in mastering something that is so obscure to this mind! But if I can set up this blog, I surely can do a website! I have put it off far too long, but I know that I really need one ~ to enlarge my scope! I know there are lots of hookers out there who would love Sonny's frames and all the wool choices ~ hand-dyed and as-is ~ so stay tuned ~ a website in is our future!!!

Miss Melody and her Leicester sheep ~ finally, the two are together!! I was so happy to create this for her and she is such an appreciative audience!! Melody is such a great gal ~ she is one of Santa's elves that helps our local builders group at Christmas with the families we adopt. As school librarian, she knows who needs help ~ we give her the cash and she shops and wraps and delivers Christmas to kids and families who need a hand up! And then she writes us beautiful thank you notes for giving her the opportunity to share. Melody is a very special person in this topsy turvy world we live in!! And double click her picture to check out those rhinestone spectacles ~ they are a riot!!

The weather has been great this week ~ I've walked every day ~ a 2.7 mile trek according to the mileage thing on my car ~ do I hear applause??!! It's so sad when I need a pat on the back for getting this old self out of the house everyday but that's the way it is!! Walking, yes ~ hooking, no ~ one focus at a time I guess!

Well, I'm off ~ a great day awaits!! Hope you're going to have a great day, too!

Monday, March 2, 2009


Sonny's brother, Mike, has a small farm with sheep and goats! When he told us they had 50 babies out there ~ 22 kids and 38 lambs ~ we decided we would gather all our little people and head to the farm on Sunday afternoon. Grandpa called ahead and told them to dress warm, picked up all 6 in our small car, brought them here and then in two cars, we went to Uncle Mike's!!

Camden is holding a baby lamb ~ they put that in with the goat kids because it's mother had no milk ~ so some of the mother goats let it nurse so it wouldn't starve! It was so hungry ~ it absolutely attacked one of it's substitute mothers while the kids were in the pen!

Luci, Jakob, Luke & Jordyn all were so happy to hold those baby goats!! Logan, who is 4, didn't want to hold or touch them ~ he was a little intimidated by all those critters!

Jordyn was really happy with her little black goat ~ they already have little horns sprouting out of their heads!! I didn't get a shot of all the sheep and their lambs ~ they were at the back of the barn and there was bunch of them all baa-ing and carrying on. Mike didn't think it was wise to put all the kids in the sheep pens!!! All the lambs have numbers painted on their backs to match their mother's numbers so Mike knows who belongs to who!!

And the really BIG DEAL was that all the kids (except for Logan ~ he wasn't touching those things!) got to milk a goat!! They were pretty interested in that process!! Uncle Mike then fed the milk to the barn cats ~ one of which scratched my wrist because I thought it would be such a nice kitty to hold!! Yeah, right!! I hope I don't get cat-scratch fever now ~ when Sonny's brother seemed concerned because of all the "bacteria in the barn" ~ then I began to worry!! I came home and used my favorite home remedies ~ peroxide and Neosporin!! And I am keeping an eye on it!!

This nice big guy is the father of ALL the lambs ~ you would think he'd look happier!!!!!!!!!
Our afternoon at the farm over ~ everyone was frozen ~ it's cold here in Ohio again ~ we packed the little duffers back in the vehicles and came back to our house. Some of them tramped around the woods, the girls came in and made their own paper dolls ~ 6 year old Jordyn suggested that ~ she drew a doll on paper, we cut them out and they 'dressed' them with colored markers and stickers and my very favorite ~ glitter paint!! Wish I had taken a picture ~ they did a really nice job!! They played Blokus with Grandpa and then we ordered pizza and subs!! A good time was had by all and by 8 p.m. they were back in their homes!! It was fun ~ I wish the Seattle kids could be here to share in that kind of hilarity!! Back to reality this week and hopefully some hooking! Have a good week!