Thursday, October 28, 2010

I SWEAR ~ ~ ~

That's what I'm doing right now ~ swearing!  I was going to have this finished this afternoon ~ hooked all the letters and the purple background ~ and then I really couldn't see the letters!!  Number one ~ I don't like to hook letters ~ number two, if I do, they need to show up!!!  So, I just thought I would share my frustration with my blogger friends because I know the rug hookers who are reading sympathize whole-heartedly with me!!   My friends know that I deplore reverse hooking and that's what I've done ~ not totally, of course ~ but one letter at a time!  I think I'll go get on the treadmill or do some office work and just step away from this for a while!!  Thanks ~ I feel better now!!!  Ta ta!!!

P.S.  I did read once that you should hook your letters in first with junk wool and then pull it out after the background has been hooked around it and then the letters actually look better.  That may be true!!   Alice


This little rug was started a year ago ~ I had done one tree and the windows and then put it aside!  Tuesday night, I made this much progress and last night, I hooked everything but the area where the words are!!  Yay!  I love a little mat that goes fast!  I'll finish it today and post before I leave on my big adventure!

We go to the lake Friday ~ Saturday, we're going over to Put-in-Bay for their big Halloween celebration!  The old guy and I don't dress up (other than I wear my fancy witch hat that I bought at JoAnn Fabric years ago) but we love to watch all the crazy costumes that people put together!  We missed last week's celebration at Kelley's Island because we had Luke and Luci ~ so this weekend will be our time to 'howl'!!!!

We'll stay over Sunday night, so my friend, Maria, can pick me up there and then we'll head to Ligonier after we make one more stop for our friend, Miss Donna!!  This is Donna's group that she puts together for our class at Barbara Carroll's and we do have much fun!  The Laughlintown Antique Shop schedules their annual Christmas Open House on our arrival day  ~ thoughtful, don't you think?  Some of our gals (not me) are very good shoppers and they love to see us darken their door!  They put out a wonderful spread of appetizers and really do have two floors of  antique and folk art to share!  Last year, Maria and I bought wire baskets to display wool in! Then we'll have three days of hooking, eating and shopping!! Woo Hoo!!!

Have a good day ~ seems like our beautiful fall weather is going by the wayside ~ but we'll have a good day anyway!!  Thanks for stopping by ~

Monday, October 25, 2010


Here it is! My Tipp City rug is done ~ except for the binding of course! I'm going to serge it and prepare to bind it this weekend while waiting for my ride to Ligonier! Hopefully, I can finish another little rug that's waiting in the wings and I can have that one ready for binding as well! I do like the way this turned out and have a couple of places in mind to hang it!  I'm going to embellish the crow with some nice beads that used to be an earring!

Just a little p.s. I want to insert here ~ this rug is hooked in a 9 cut ~ my cut of choice.  Karen Kahle's rugs appear to be an 8, maybe 8.5.  When consulting with her on this background, I asked her if I should scale mine down to get the effect that I want and she said "don't change your cut ~ see how it works for you".  As I progressed that day in class, Karen came by and said "well, now we know it can be done in a wide cut"!  I was glad to get her approval as I was concerned whether it would blend as well as the narrower strips of wool!  It seems to work pretty well!

 Last week, I was gifted with this wonderful book!  It has pictures of all the wonderful antique rugs that we saw in an exhibition while in England four years ago.  It is the private collection of the open-air Beamish museum and the rugs we saw first hand are in here plus many more that were not on exhibit!  And on the back pages, there is a picture of some of our fellow travelers/hookers trying their hand at proddy at a reception the hosting rug hookers group had for us ~ my hooking buddy, Heidi, and several others ~ me, I was probably at the tea and crumpet table!!!  I'm thrilled to have this book ~ I had heard about it but didn't expect to have my very own!  Thank you, friend!!!!

This guy gave me quite a lot of pleasure yesterday morning!!  Mr. Fox!!!  We have lived on this property for 17 years and owned it for 20 ~ never have we seen a fox here until now!  Yesterday morning, I was sitting at my desk and a movement out the window caught my eye ~ at first, I thought it was a dog!  Then, I realized it was a fox rushing by!  I grabbed my camera and when he saw me walk to the window, it was ta ta ~ I'm outta here!!  About 20 minutes later, he comes back! I grabbed the camera again and ran to the dining room windows, hoping to catch him as he went by that end of the house ~ and there he was ~ contemplating walking up the deck stairs!  I snapped a couple of pictures but the setting was too dark and he was hard to see.  While I changed the setting, he jumped up on this stump but so rudely turned his little head!  Even so, I was thrilled to get his picture taken through the window ~ then he ran down into the woods and played in the creek for a while and then he was off, as quickly as he came!     
Yesterday was my day for wildlife!  I was out cutting back hostas over by the waterfall and heard this rustling below me on the drive to the gravel pit ~ there were three deer staring up at me ~ two even took a step toward me!!  No camera then ~ I stood really still just like they do to let them make their next move!  They eventually turned and sauntered down the drive ~ not really afraid at all.  About 20 minutes later, I went in the house and came back out and heard rustling again and there they were ~ right up in the area where I had been working!  I guess they were checking out my progress!  I was pretty amazed that they would come there so soon ~ I had a fun day here in the woods!
We kept Luke and Luci for a couple of days while their parents were gone.  Saturday,  we took them on a field trip to Amish country down in Holmes county!  We went to Hershbergers animal farm and bakery ~ a lovely combination of businesses, don't you think?   This place was crawling with cars and people ~ lots of animals for the kids to pet and observe ~ goats on the roof of the barn ~ that was funny ~ by the time I got my phone out to take their picture, the goats had gone back down their little ladder!  The bakery was jam packed with people standing in line to buy fry pies and donuts and other goodies ~ fry pies that melt in your mouth, by the way!!  We left there and headed to Charm to the Keim lumber company ~ that was Grandpa and Luke ~ Luci and I went to Mrs. Miller's fabric store!  Then we all hit the boot store ~ I bought a pair of Born shoes ~ and then to Grandma's Homestead for a nice lunch of comfort food!!  From there to the cheese factory ~ they don't make cheese on Saturday (too bad ~ I wanted the kids to see that) but they do sell it ~ lots of it!! 
 From there, we headed to Trail, where Aunt Gwen (she is my former sister-in-law but I won't go away) has the Vogt Store, which dates back to 1888.  Now, she sells antiques and junque (doesn't that put a different spin on it?) and I bought a little blue twig table for the lake!   Cute, isn't it?  It's painted with a light blue milk paint over white ~ perfect for Tad's room ~ not that he'll think so!
After Aunt Gwen's (which the kids thought was quite interesting), we headed to Troyer's big store on the way back into Berlin.  They were having lots of tastings and we finished off our trip with ice cream cones!  It was a fun day for one and all!
I almost forgot to tell you about our Thursday evening fun!  It was our friend, Cliff's, 80th birthday and his wife hired a limousine to take them and four couples to Columbus to meet their daughter and son-in-law at a steak house for dinner!  As far as Cliff knew, Sonny and I were picking them up to go to dinner here ~ but we all met the limo in a parking lot and showed up in their driveway ~ he was very surprised and we had a great time!!  His wife, Margo, had chilled champagne and a cheese plate squirreled away so that we wouldn't get thirsty on our way to dinner ~ she's so thoughtful!!!  Their daughter was waiting at the door and had a private dining room for us, complete with waiting appetizers ~ so we wouldn't go hungry before  dinner ~ they are the perfect hosts!  We really had a  wonderful evening and I don't know what I said, but one of the gals at the other end of the table said "next time, I want to sit by you"!!!!!!  I really tried to be on my best behavior ~ but I did lose an earring sometime that night!! 
Other than that, it was a pretty quiet week!!  Oh,  I must tell you that Sonny has the cleanest wallet in town!!  I flew thru the bedroom and grabbed his work jeans and threw them in the last load of laundry the other evening!!  When I opened the washer, his wallet was FLOATING ON TOP!!!!!!!!  I nearly croaked!  And I laughed so hard, I'm surprised he didn't hear me!!!  Then, I took everything out and laid it all neatly on the dryer ~ stuffed the wallet compartments with toilet paper to soak up the moisture ~ turned the dryer on and sneaked into bed!!  In the morning, when he was looking for his wallet, I just mentioned that it was on the dryer!!  Let's just say that it's a good thing he doesn't have my disposition!!  He laughed and put it all back together ~ the only thing that didn't survive was his fishing license and fishing season is over!!!!  Now that I think about it, I think that was his lifetime one ~ a one-time purchase cause he's old!  Oh, shit!  Thank goodness, he isn't prone to spousal abuse!!!! 
So that's it here in the gravel pit ~ you do have to have a sense of humor to live here!!  I hope something fun is happening in your life!  Ta ta for now ~

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


So far, this is my progress this week ~ didn't hook a thing over the weekend ~ I was a slug ~ and loved every minute of it!! Tonite, I'm headed back to the hooking room and give it my all!!  I have three other unfinished rugs and I want to get those out of the way, too!  Two of them are small and I should be able to get those done but the bigger one is my class rug from Sauder last year.  In two weeks, we're headed off to the Woolley Fox and that will be another rug to add to the mix!  So, I'm going to be a hooking machine in the next couple of weeks.

Don't these two make a lovely couple? Mr. Sonny and Mr. Kitty ~ two of my favorite animals!! That cat loves him ~ they even eat breakfast together!! 

Last night, I went 'blog crazy' and added quite a few new ones to my blog list.  Mostly rug hooking blogs and a couple of stitching blogs!  I always read them when I'm blog surfing but finally went to the effort to install them on my own.  There are lots of good ones out there ~ informative and fun reading!  That's it for today ~ I'm going out to water the mum plants that Sonny just planted for me.  So many times, I end up throwing away the mums because it's too late in the seaason to plant ~ this year, I'm trying to be conservative and get those posies in the ground!!  When Sonny came home tonite, he took off his work boots just as I asked him to do one more thing ~ he had SMASHED his big toe with a HAMMER today and probably didn't want to do one more thing!  But now,  he's out blowing leaves with this big mamma-jamma blower on wheels!!!  It's never ending here!  
Have a good evening out there!!

P.S.  I was just reading JustGoHookIt's blog and she had a response to me on there with her recipe for Pumpkin Marmalade! It looks and sounds scrumptious ~ drop over to her blog if you get a chance ~ you might want to make it, too!

Friday, October 15, 2010


Here is my progress photo of the yet-to-be-named rug from the Tipp City class.  I'll have to think of something catchy to connect it with that experience!  The photo really points out to me something that needs fixed ~ do you see it??!!  I'll work on that at my next sit-down with this rug!  One thing I see that I do is use longer strips of wool than Karen recommended.  She says 4 or 5 loops and since I always use the loooongest strips I can get from the wool, if I use a third of the strip that feels shorter ~ it is shorter.  But I can see these long lines of color ~ not that I'm going to change it in this piece but  it doesn't blend as well ~ to my eye anyway!  How about "Tipp City Bittersweet"?  Is that a good name?  I don't know!

It's been a quiet week here for me and I've loved it!  For once in my life, I'm not in a rush to do this, that and the other thing.  It feels very good ~ this is probably how normal people live!!!!  One thing I took time to do was go to the book store and pick up a copy of Haute Handbags ~ lots of wonderfully creative purses that are made by various artists.  Two of those artists are Dulcy Stewart and Mary Stanley ~ both of whom have blogs that I love to read! You can click on their names and see what they are all about!  Would love to have those girls in my neighborhood ~ they're very inspiring!

So that's it for today ~ a short post ~ didn't know I could do one, did you?  We haven't decided if this is a lake weekend or not ~ lots to do here and if we go up there, there's nothing to do!!!!  This should be a 'no brainer'!!!  Have a good weekend, one and all!  It's going to be a pretty one here in Ohio!  Ta ta for now ~ Alice

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Here's a progress photo of my class rug ~ actually, there's more done than this now but I didn't want to run down to the hooking room and take another picture.  I like the way it's coming along ~ I'll show you more soon!

I love this quilt ~ it's a block-of-month project that one of the gals from deep in the South was working on.  All wool, it's a Maggie Bonanomi pattern and the colors are so soft and antique looking.  The stitcher hasn't put it all together yet but laid it out on the floor for all to admire! I have Maggie's books ~ wish I'd get one together ~ her work is all so appealing!

 This lovely rug is Linda Gustafson's class rug from last year at Sauder Village.  We were in Jule Marie's class so I was really glad to see her finished rug.  Linda loves color and this is a fine example! She also has a rug in this newest Celebrations book!   I wish I had taken a photo of  the rug she started at Tipp City ~ a really nice pumpkin that is that slate blue that we see now in the pumpkin world!

I don't know who the rug hooker was but I just love the colors  here ~ I do remember that it is a pattern of Rhonda Manley's ~ really antique looking!

 I think these, too, might be Rhonda Manley patterns ~ there were several displayed together on the floor ~ and they all had these great old colors.  I think a group of gals must have been out there taking class from her and brought their work for us to see!  I love looking at rugs ~ we hookers just never tire of see what everybody else is working on!  Elinor, who hooked the yellow house rug, just emailed me that particular pattern is Sally Kallin's pattern from Pine Island Primitives ~ thank you, Elinor!!!

 The rug to the right was done by Alice Strebel, one of our teachers ~ a combination of stitching and hooking ~ kind of a story rug, I believe.  The turkey may have been teacher Nola's and the stitchery box and other little piece look like they were Sue Spargo inspired.  I know some of the gals had been to classes with her, too.

Teacher Karen Kahle's "Bird Party" rug just speaks to me ~ love the colors!  I intended to buy this pattern and totally, forgot!!  I would probably do it just like this one!!  I'm not very original, you know!

 The next two photos are the work of the Nola, Karen and Alice ~ examples of what we could do with the paper patterns given to us in class and how each one of them interpreted those pieces.  You can see on this pillow that Karen Kahle used a proddy edge for the finish.  She showed us how to do that and it sure eliminates trying to stitch the backing right up to the last row of hooking ~ I'm going to try it sometime ~ when I make a pillow ~ which I've never done!!!

Love these chicken pillows!  In the top of the photo, you can see their interpretation of the pattern that I used ~ I think it is supposed to be bittersweet. 

All their work is so unique and individual ~ they brought lots of things to inspire us!

These rugs also belong to some of the students that were there day.  The top one with the ladies surely has to be a Deanne Fitzpatrick pattern! And the rug in the right corner is a pictorial showing rug hookers working in the out of doors ~ hookers need fresh air, too, you know!!!!!

The last rug is one of Karen's, too.  If you click on it, it gives you a good idea of how she mixes colors and does a hit-and-miss style of hooking but not in straight lines like most of us do!  We get very hung up on perfection and matchy matchy colors and having just the right wool. I'm trying to grow in my hooking style ~ we'll see!

Last Saturday, Sonny and I went to Kelley's Island for the day ~ a beautiful fall day with our friends!  We went over early to meet with friends who have a house there ~ Sonny has a project to do for them ~ then we met up with our lake friends and went to the annual Chili Cook-off at one of the local establishments!  I had eight kinds of chili ~ and it ends up that the one I liked best and that won overall, belonged to our friend, Robin!!  I was so glad ~ I wondered what I would say if I didn't like her chili ~ but I wouldn't know that because they had numbers on them ~ not names ~ but hers was absolutely  the BEST!!!  We ran in to people we know from home that Sonny built a house for several years ago ~ so, that was fun!  Our Kelley's Island friends loaned us a golf cart so some of us rode and the really athletic, skinny ones walked until Sonny ran the cart shuttle and picked them up!  It was fun day that ended with a little evening snack at our local Moose Club back in Port Clinton ~ and guess what I had?  Chili cheese fries!!!  Wouldn't you think I'd had enough chili for one day?!

Tad and I are off to get our flu shots ~ after having that cold for three weeks, the last thing I need is the flu!  Have a great week ~ this weather is gorgeous ~  enjoy it while we can!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Last Thursday, Heidi and I traveled south in Ohio to a place we'd never been before ~ Tipp City or as it once was called Tippecanoe! A quaint little town with lots of antique shops and good places to eat ~ we dined on the rooftop patio of the Coldwater Cafe ~ yummy!!  And we had a charming waiter who got a kick out of the hookers ~ a new one for him!

This is the rug that I started there and have worked on a little since I've been home.  We were given a blank piece of linen with a 14 x 20 square drawn on, a package of paper patterns having to do with fall, a few pieces of wool and a marker ~ and instructed to design a pattern!!!  Hm ~ not so much my cup of tea but ~ it all worked out and some really nice designs came out of it!  Karen Kahle, Alice Strebel and Nola Heidbreder team taught and provided lots of their wool and patterns for purchase and lots of ideas.  They brought samples of their rug hooking and design work and taught little tricks of the trade along the way.  My personal mission was to learn the blending technique that Karen Kahle is known for to create my background ~ and in my bittersweet berries, too, apparently!  I don't  know much about values and with a little tutorial from Karen and help in choosing 4 pieces of wool with the same 'values', off I went! I'm thinking the result is not too bad ~ it has kind of a painterly quality ~ to my eye, anyway! I do have a purple crow that I appliqued with ribbon to the top branch but they were offering many other variety of things to do to enhance our rugs ~ needlefelting, quilling, proddy ~ things I already do ~ I really wanted to learn Karen's way of using many wools to paint a picture, so I focused on that!  I'll keep you posted on the progress!!

There was an optional evening class of purse embellishment that I talked Heidi and several other girls into taking with me!  It was a challenge to say the least and the results were okay!  We were given a lime green felted round purse, a brown work glove (new), roving, ribbons, buttons, wool ~ whatever we wanted to enhance our bag.  Each teacher had done their own example ~ they were cute but ~ it was a brain teaser to make something out of those things!  Mine is on the far right ~ I did a hand with orange roving fingernails (mine are always orange ~ never roving) with a boucle yarn that I took along, stitched around the hand and the bag.  I found a pin in the button bucket and attached that to the brown glove ~ I'll use it for hooks and scissors!!!!! It's not great but I made an attempt ~ some of my dear friends went home with a green bag and a brown glove ~ I told them to thank me!!

These are some of my dear friends from Mt. Gilead area ~ Pam, Charisse, and Sue ~ we had fun at dinner and they're just like 3 peas in a pod!!

This is Jackie, our table mate from Pittsburgh ~ a long way to go for a class!  Heidi and I were very lucky to be only two hours away and the same with Sauder, it's very close at hand for us!!  

There are gals who came from Houston, St. Louis, Memphis, Gulfport, Indianapolis ~ far far away!!  Those are true hookers ~ will travel for wool!! 

Jackie brought her nice turkey rug for show and tell ~ his tail was great big loops ~ he looked good ~ good enough to eat!! 

Here's another Ohio group ~ another 3 peas-in-a- pod group!! Heidi is standing and admiring the work of Bev, Jo and dear Evelyn, who is working diligently on her rug!!  We met last year in our class at Sauder Village ~ really nice gals who are lots of fun, too!

Last but not least, my friend, Heidi working on her class design ~ a nice oak leaf tree in the middle and mirror images of squirrels and acorns incorporated into the date 2010.  Heidi's hooking is very neat ~ it will look great!  She used a really nubby yarn for squirrelly's tale ~ he's an eyecatcher, for sure!  Heidi and I drove to the lake direct from class ~ there was much fun to be had up there this weekend and we didn't want to miss it! Sonny and I had a winefest to attend on Put-in-Bay Saturday ~ it was soggy but fun!

One of the benefits of this class was the opportunity to get instruction from three very well-known rug hooking teachers in one spot and that spot close to our homes.  They're all very creative in their own way and very generous in sharing what they know!  Another bonus was to meet such great gals ~ all of us different ~ all creative ~ and very fun!  I hope our paths cross again sometime!  Many brought rugs and projects to show ~ that will be the next post!  Have a good weekend everybody!  I'm off to take Tad to the dentist ~ woo hoo!!!!!