Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Today, I received this little gathering of materials for our second blog challenge.  Ali Strebel sent us 5 little red beads, a felted heart, a strip of dyed nylon hosiery, a longer strip of cotton lace and a really long strip of sari ribbon ~ kind of a salmon red color.  So, here we go again ~ stretching our creative brains to come up with a fun way to use all these bits and pieces!  I think our deadline is January 20th ~ stay tuned!  And check out the other girls' blogs ~ Maria Barton, Kris Miller and Ali's.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Over the holiday weekend, my followers list hit 100!!!  So, using the 'random number generator' website, Susan Pilotto of Crows Nest Primitive Folk Art was picked to win a quarter yard of my marbleized wool!  Upon checking her blog, it worked out really well that Susan uses wool in her creations ~ email me your address, Susan,  and I will send this off in a hurry!  You have no idea how much we bloggers appreciate our followers and our readers ~ it's wonderful to know that you're out there and interested in what we have to say!  Keep coming back and we love it when you leave comments!  That's how we know you're there!!

Remember my Christmas day post, where I mentioned that an online order for the little girls did not arrive and I said I was headed to the studio to make a couple of scarves so the girls would have a present?  Well, here they are!! I made two of them and the girls seemed to like them a lot!  One of their moms said she would like one, too ~ I haven't made her one yet, but I will!!  I have this stash of felted sweaters that I use for purses and future projects, so I opened the cupboard and spread them all out on the floor and went to work!!  They did turn out cute and I wonder why I don't make more!!  Sometimes, this stuff is only fun to me when I have to crank it out and meet a deadline ~ think there's something a little quirky about that? Yeah ~ me, too!!!  At any rate, you all know I love sparkly things and the hearts are made from some sparkly sweaters that are part of my stash! 

A quick photo of our holiday baking ~ black forest cake for me (I've misplaced  my treasured recipe and had to wing it) and Sonny baked an apple pie that got great raves!  We had a wonderful dinner of turkey and a tenderloin ~ and the kids all brought the rest of the dinner ~ we ate nonstop, it seemed ~ we all were like stuffed turkeys!  The kids had a rousing game of Sequence that Brian brought ~ very fun and Tad even played with them!  Only 20 of us this year, so it seemed a little quiet for this group!

Tad's  46th birthday is today and we all went out for supper last night to celebrate!  I bought him a Levi's jacket since he liked mine so much but all the way over to the gathering, he kept saying it was "too tight on his back"!!  He ditched that jacket the minute we hit the door and wore his sister-in-law's down filled/fur collared jacket home!!!!!!!  Guess that present is going back!!!  Anyone who knows Tad understands exactly what I'm saying!  He's a character ~ he enjoyed Christmas immensely this year ~ spent the whole day downstairs with us and had a great time!  Today, his birthday,  will actually be quieter ~ maybe a little shopping with his gift cards!

Sonny took off last week and this week, too ~ it's been fun ~ today, we're both getting projects done ~ he's building hooking frames and I hope a stand or two.  We sold the last hooking stand yesterday!  I'm trying to catch up in the office so I can close out the year by Friday!  It's nice to not be in a rush like last week ~ whew!  It's a wonder we made it but I always say "we've never missed a Christmas yet".  This year, we really pushed the envelope! 

Have a great restful week ~ today is a beautiful sunshiny day here in Ohio!

Saturday, December 25, 2010


MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone ~ we made it!  Sonny and I  power shopped on Thursday and Friday ~ combined with various stops along the way with friends and family ~ had our famed Fraizer Builder Christmas lunch yesterday (that consists of Sonny and his two employees ~ son, Brian, and me ~ Brian's wife and Tad also joined us) ~ and we went to a holiday party last night at our friends, Margo and Cliff's!!!!  We wrapped gifts yesterday afternoon ~ a little more to do this morning!

I baked another black forest cake yesterday and will assemble it as soon as I write a few more words!  Sonny made a pumpkin pie, an apple pie and a fruitcake yesterday afternoon ~ Dora domestic is at it again!  And at 4 p.m. yesterday, I found out that the online shopping that I did for 2 granddaughters WAS NOT SHIPPED (that was the one that offered free shipping and guaranteed Dec. 24th delivery)!!!!!!!  So along with an apology and a promise of Tuesday delivery,  the girls will get some nice wintery scarves that I'm going to the sewing/hooking room to make as soon as the cake gets put together!!!  I'll show you pictures after they're done ~ out of  felted sweaters and odds and ends ~ hopefully, the old girl can pull this off!!!  Welcome to Alice's world!!!!!!!!  Shopping early may have avoided this little debacle ~ but it would take all the fun out of it!

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My Christmas wish for you is that you're surrounded by lots of people who love you ~ lots of good food to nourish you ~ and lots of fun to make you laugh!  My Seattle son and family are in Montana having Christmas with my daughter-in-law's family and they all attend church together on Christmas Eve.  Both of them sent me the same picture, from their phones, of the beautiful altar ~ one with the caption "Jesus is the reason for the season" and Coni's had a stream of light that beamed down on the altar and hers said "God is watching".  I wondered if each knew the other was sending it ~ it was very beautiful and touching to me to be included in their thoughts.

Enjoy the day!   Alice 

Monday, December 20, 2010

TAA DAA ! ! ! ! ! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 Well, folks ~ this is it!!  This is what I created from the bag of goodies that Maria Barton sent to Ali Strebel, Kris Miller and me! Do you remember from the December 1st post ~ ribbon, pipe cleaners, wire, a star button (I just realized the star connection to Star Rug Company - duh!), a red wool ball and the dangly Christmas tree ornament?  And from that we had to come up with some fun thing?  Twenty days later, this is my fun thing!  And it's been hard ~ a real challenge for sure!

So, a week or so ago, I put this monks cloth on the frame and drew out a little tree.  As I kept looking at this little bag of treats ~ I kept seeing a tree.  But, I also decided that was just too obvious ~ we're probably all thinking trees ~ and I tried to come up with something else ~ but nothing 'else' was coming to mind!  Then I thought, if I get too creative, it will just get outlandish ~ so, here we are!

I gathered fabrics and settled on the red sparkly (which I don't know if you can really see the sparkles), a black confetti for the background and some of my green marbleized wool for the tree.  It all seemed to work pretty well together and I hooked the little mat in one evening or maybe two ~ I kind of forget ~ and then it set until tonite (Sunday evening is when I'm writing this).  I had it figured out but just had to wait till the last minute to see if it would work ~ I love a suspense story!

A couple of hours ago, I decided to try some white fuzzy wool for the snow on the tree ~ you can see the ball of yarn to the upper left.  It appeared to have the desired affect, so I continued on!  I sewed on the star button, the dangly tree ornament, then affixed the wire hanger to the top ~ there are two mini bells attached to the wire where it joins the hooked piece, but I'm not so sure you can see that very well!

Then I took pictures of the thing for probably an hour before I got what I thought were acceptable ones for the blog!  I hung it on a white wall, a pale blue wall, the blue and white checkered wallpaper in the kitchen and finally, the navy star paper in my office!!  Honestly ~ unbelievable ~ that it would take so long!  But the red sparkly border didn't show up until there was the nice contrast with the dark blue paper! 

Maria put these together so you, our readers, can see our projects all together ~ doesn't it look great!  It's definitely been interesting and each one of us had a totally different approach as the embellishments spoke to each of us in our own unique way!  Thanks to Maria for bringing this creative challenge to fruition ~ and now you have to wait another month to see the second installment of  "As the Hookers Turn" !!

Enjoy the hustle bustle of the next few days ~ I'm going to try!  We're having a gathering here tomorrow night for a friend's birthday ~ I baked a black forest cake tonite which I'll assemble in the early morning ~ then off to the grocery ~ then whip some appetizers together ~ lunch with two hooker friends ~ get these scuffed up nails done ~ and back home to put it altogether!! Thanks goodness for my cleaning lady ~ and for Sonny ~ he's a big help when it comes to entertaining!  Tonite, he made three batches of red and black raspberry jam ~ I call him Dora Domestic!!  Nighty night!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Here's part of it anyway!!  This is driving me crazy ~ this could be the best part of it!! Stay tuned ~ tomorrow's the day!!!!

This is what is on my frame now.  I started it last week ~ it is a free pattern from Betty Dekat of Primitive Betty's blog ~ she is the most generous spirit ~ I took this pattern off her blog last winter and it's taken me till now to start it!  I've used lots of sparkly wools and have to figure out the background yet.  Wonder if it will get done by Christmas?

Went to a fabulous wedding this past Saturday ~ I'll have to blog about that later ~ this old girl is tired!!  I'll be back tomorrow with my challenge piece ~ wish me luck!! 


Thursday, December 16, 2010


No pictures today ~ just words ~ words of gratitude for some wonderful things that happened today!

One of Sonny's customers sent us a gift card along with their check!!  That was very unusual, unexpected and much appreciated!!

My dear friend, Melody, sent me a beautiful Christmas arrangement to say thank you for being an uplifting friend to her!  Now, just guess who was uplifted?!  I love fresh flowers and love to send them to people to appreciate while they are living and  I appreciate these Christmas flowers very much, friend!

I went to a meeting this morning to distribute our Homebuilders Auxiliary auction money ~ we were so glad to be able to help numerous, and I mean numerous, families pay electric bills, buy groceries, gas cards to get to out of town doctors, and coats for kids, ~ the list goes on.   It was wonderful to be able to help so many deserving people due to the generosity of our builder and supplier friends ~ all of them showing their gratitude for continuing business by donating to those less fortunate!  It really is a blessing to be a part of that!

Today, I took son, Tad, to the dentist for a cleaning and a filling ~ he really is quite funny and entertaining ~ out in the lobby, I could hear all the girls laughing and carrying on because he was making them laugh ~ he's quite a schmoozer when he wants to be!  They are all so kind and sweet to him ~ and that means so much to both him and me ~ he was definitely a bright spot in their day, today! And I am so happy that he's happy!

And we got a very sweet thank you note today from Sonny's daughter.  Two weeks ago, out of the blue, she lost her job of 14 years.  She handled it with class and grace and is looking at it as an opportunity ~ she thanked us for being so supportive to her in such a stressful time ~ that thank you meant a lot!

This morning on Good Morning America, they interviewed a new author, John Kralik ~ the title of his book which will be out in a week or so is "365 Thank Yous" about  how writing a thank-you note a day, changed his life!  I'm going to buy it when it comes out!

So, this is my thank you today, to the universe, for some really wonderful, uplifting events that made it a really great day!!  Maybe you will think about the things that uplift you! 

Make today a great day ~ Alice

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Today is Miss Luci's 8th birthday ~ she's the little bitty one!  We took Luci and granddaughter, Jordyn (she's also 8) to a local greenhouse for lunch!  It was to be their annual Christmas Tea but it got cancelled it till next week due to weather  ~ we have plans for next weekend so Grandpa said to ask if we could come and have lunch ~ yes, we could!  So, here are the two little cousins, standing in front of one of the loaded trees, all stuffed from their lunch and bubble-gum tea!  We heard some funny stories and shopped around and dropped them back at Luci's house ~ they were going to dance to Michael Jackson music!!   We're going back for soup and cake tonite!  I'll be really stuffed from celebrating Luci's birthday because on top of all this, Grandpa made pancakes and bacon for Luci's birthday breakfast!! 

You might think this is a black and white picture but this is what it looks like in beautiful Ohio today at 3:30 in the afternoon!!!  We really got hit with the snow and sounds like more to come!  I sure hope not ~ I have one busy week ~ and might I add,  no shopping done yet!!!!!  I wonder how IOU's will go over!!!!! 

These are more rugs from the Akron library hooking day ~ this was such a beautiful piece ~ very narrow cut and a very old piece.  Someone had started it many years ago and it is being finished and some of it re-done by a very nice gal, whose name I can't remember!!  If someone can help me, I'll add her name to this post!  Her work was impeccable!

Love this snowman!  I'm thinking it is Rita's rug ~ but if I'm not thinking right, again, let me know!  Cute, isn't it?
Another nice little rug ~ I think it would make a cute pillow!!
This rug looks like lots of work to me!  It was very well done and rightly so, since Betty Young is the creator!!  Betty is a teacher and a very 'fine' hooker!!
Thanks to friend, Donna ~ I found out this is Linda Gustafson's rug ~ I knew that!!  But I did forget ~ great rug, Linda!

Arlene is working on these little angels ~ she really didn't want to take their picture but I didn't know if I'd seen them finished.  They're cute little pieces, don't you think?  Arlene draws a lot of her own patterns ~ never an idle moment for her!

Linda Cook brought in this great sampler rug that she did ~ I love it!  I'd like to do one of these with my own drawings sometime ~ think I will do it before I leave this planet?!  I'm going to try!!
Friday night was our annual Homebuilders Christmas party ~ it was a beautiful night ~ weather was swell and we had our usual good time!  After the dinner and lots of mingling, we went to the Martini bar (again) and there were just lots of people we knew ~ once again, we were the oldest people in there ~ it seems like often we are anymore! We joined our kids there ~ they were also at the party ~ Sonny's son, Brian, is the president and my son, Ted, is on the board ~ and many of their friends, etc.  I have to say everyone is just swell to us ~ they don't make us feel like the oldest people in the place!! 

Saturday, a friend and I had a lengthy breakfast ~ trying to say everything we hadn't got talked over in the last couple of months!  Then Luke and Luci came to spend the night ~ their momma had her 40th birthday this week and they went off for a party with a cast of thousands!!  We played nertz and go fish and ate KFC chicken!!  And Grandpa and Luke got the Christmas tree and got it put up and decorated!!!  Considering the way it looks outside today, that was a stroke of genius!!!  I did some decorating but surely need to do more!!

So ~ a new week lays in front of me ~ a couple of lunch dates with hooker friends ~ appointments for Tad ~ billing to do ~ finish decorating ~ start shopping ~ and I do have my hooking Challenge to finish for the 20th!!  Might be good if I'd start it!!  You should live here ~ you just have to hang on for the ride and hope it all gets done!!!  Have a good snowy evening!

P.S.  I started my Challenge piece tonite!!  YaY for me ~ but ~ I'm worried ~ it seemed like a good idea ~ at the time ~ now it's kind of ~ well ~ you know!

Friday, December 10, 2010


Of course, I meant to post earlier in the week ~ time flies by me ~ but here's a recap of last Sunday. We travelled down to Lancaster to Curry's Antiques to their annual Christmas Open House. We went a couple of years ago to see their shop and tour their primitive home. This year, the feature event was a horse-drawn wagon ride to the nearby Rock Mill gristmill for dinner! We were lucky to  get tickets and off we went on our adventure! There were little slabwood houses that were built around the yard, especially for this event,  that housed traditional crafstmen such as spinners, candlemakers, etc. ~ we followed luminary-lit paths from one to another ~ as you can see from this photo of one the log buildings by the shop, it was snowy and quite picturesque!

We had assigned seating times and I waited inside the shop with an old friend!!  He was rather quiet and as you can see,  he was guarding his drum! One of the girls in the shop thought we made quite a pair and wanted to snap this picture ~ we invited Sonny to join us, but no dice!!  Curry's shop was so beautifully decorated and if you pick up a copy of Simple Life magazine, you'll see photos of their home, decorated in the same way with lots of pine and lights ~ just gorgeous!

Finally, it was our turn to go stand in line outside to board the wagon drawn by teams of Belgian horses, for the ride to the gristmill.  I heard someone say that had just returned that it was not real warm down there and when the ladies in front of us heard me repeat that, they dropped out of line and said bye bye!!  I felt bad that they took my word for it and missed the fun!!  Actually, the ride was pretty darn breezy and it was chilly in the mill ~ kind of a hard building to heat!  This lady was one of the servers ~ we had stew, a cheese plate, a roll  with herb butter and pound cake with lemon curd topping.  The mill was decorated inside and I have to say, if we hadn't gone, I would have always felt like I had missed something ~ it was an experience and despite the cold and windy and snowy conditions, I  enjoyed the evening.  Ginny's shop is beautiful ~ in a rebuilt log cabin ~ with wonderful primitive antiques and lots of charm.  She and her husband, Bill, have several open houses a year and you really should put it on your list of places to visit!

Before we got to Curry's, we made a stop at Miller House   Antiques in Carroll. This is inside their shop ~ another great place for primitives!  There were also Christmas decorating accessories ~ Santas and snowmen ~ and a nice platter of cookies and mulled cider for their customers!!

Linda and Ralph Miller are the owners and when I asked if she did house tours, she offered to take us over to their log home!  This is their kitchen- keeping room furnished with great period pieces ~ of course, Sonny loved the log home part and we just enjoyed our tour immensely!   Since we have a log building to sell, we're always interested to see what people do with theirs! 

The porch on Linda's shop is as interesting as the inside ~ and I wish I had taken a photo of the outside of their log home! There was a big flag on the front door ~ the whole property is just right up our alley ~ there's a small log building on the grounds that came from Curry's ~ just a great way to spend a day visiting two such interesting shops!  I almost forgot to mention, that another couple came in the shop while we were there and when I turned around, it was a rug hooking friend from up by the lake!!  My friend, Diane, always marvels that we know someone almost every where we go!!

On Monday, my friend, Carol (she was the girl with the pink jeep that I posted about this summer) had her annual Christmas tea!  Her tablescapes are always spectacular and the theme this year was Tiffany's ~ can you tell with the signature turquoise color?  Carol lives in a farmhouse down a lane and when you open the door, it's kind of country french decorating and very welcoming!  She and her twin sister, Nancy, are wonderful hostesses ~ I have always told Carol she was 'the hostess with the mostess' ~ that name was given many years ago to Perle Mesta, a famous Washington D. C. hostess!

The rest of this week has been quiet in comparison ~ I'd like to tell you that the house is decorated and the shopping is done ~ I'd like to ~ but I can't!!  I'd like to tell you I've been hooking ~ can't do that either!!  Mostly, I've been trying to get on top of my office work ~ I can tell you that!  Hope you having fun getting ready for the holidays ~ soon I will be doing that, too!
Ta ta for now ~ Alice

Saturday, December 4, 2010


 Two weeks ago, Heidi and I travelled to Akron to the Fairlawn Library  ~ next meeting Dec. 17th ~ 10:30-3 p.m. ~ for the monthly hook-in.  We don't get over every month but it's always fun ~ nice to see everybody and what they're working on.  This is friend, Donna's, HennyPenny from the Woolley Fox.  I LOVE this rug ~ I have the pattern and think I'll do it just like Miss Donna did!!  It would go perfectly in my kitchen in front of the drysink, just like it was made for  there! 

Olde Ducks is Donna's, too ~ she's just got a bit to do and it will be done!!!  Yay, Donna! It's also a Woolley Fox pattern.  Donna's rug are always very antiquey looking ~ she's a very neat rug hooker ~ and if she really liked me, she'd give me HennyPenny!!!!!!

I LOVE the colors in Rita's rug ~ and her little gingerbread guys are cute!  To me, these colors are so dramatic against the black background!  Beautiful! 

 This is Lisa's original design ~ Lisa ~ a brand new hooker!!!  She's well on her way!  Lisa emailed me after one of my posts about this group and since she lives very close,  she joined  us ~ her fist time to ever hook with other people!  She was so nice and had so much fun ~ Lisa has a blog ~ stop by and check in on her, sometime!

Judy is almost finished binding these sweet little rug ~ love her colors!  Judy is a very even hooker ~ really nice work!

Look at Linda's rug!  This is one of the Tipp City variations ~ she used the same bittersweet motif that I did and added her own pumpkin design in the center.  Her background is so interesting ~ lots of soft colors blended together ~ notice the white 'glow' that surrounds the pumpkin!!  Well done, friend!

There are others that I'll post next.  It takes me forever to blog and I need to work in my office today and  thank goodness there is office work to do!!!! 

Last night we went downtown Mansfield to the little art gallery that is associated with our Art Center.  Lots of  smallwork's on display and for sale!  I bought this collection of little stretchy bracelets made from glass beads ~ they'll make nice little gifts ~ and I love supporting artists!  There were lots of people there that we know and then, we went across the street to the Martini bar and more people we know!  We love it when things are all abuzz and lots of fun and laughter!  We ran into Sonny's daughter and her friend and they met us later for a sandwich at Rocky's Pub ~ a nice little place on the square with lots of ambience and 'people we know'!!  It works for us!

Have a happy weekend!  We're headed to Lancaster tomorrow to a fun event at an antique/folkart shop ~ will report on that next week!!  Ta ta for now!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


In an effort to expand our rug hooking creativity,  Maria Barton, Kris Miller, Alice Strebel ~  and me  ~ have joined together to challenge one another to come up with fresh new ideas for rug hooking projects. After Maria dropped me off from our recent Woolley Fox trip, her imagination ran wild on her drive back home and she came up with this fun idea!  Do you all know how honored I am to be included in such good company?!!  This will be more of a 'challenge' for me than you know! I'm hanging with the big girls, now!

This is how the challenge will work ~  over the next few months, one of us will take the lead and will send items to the others to use in our rug hooking project. The only requirements are that the project involve rug hooking and all items received be used in the challenge. The leader of the challenge can designate a theme if she wishes.

We will have deadlines for the projects and will post the deadline along with the items received for the challenge on our blogs,  hopefully on the 20th of the month. The day of the deadline, we will post on our blogs our finished project along with links to the other participants'  finished projects. Our hope in this challenge, is to inspire you to think outside the box, use new materials in your rug hooking projects and to be creative. If you would like to participate in the challenge with us, you can contact the leader of the challenge to purchase the items. Thanks for allowing us to share the works of our hands with you!

Maria was the first to send her packet of goodies ~ here they are ~ pipe cleaners, wire, a button, a felted wool ball, ribbon and a great dangly ornament!!  Let the fun begin!! 

The grande plan is to publish our finished goods on December 20th ~ which in itself is a challenge because we're all busy women ~ but we think we can do it!!  Stay tuned!

Today is our first snow of the season ~ maybe it will help me create a fun little piece for the challenge ~ kind of put me in the spirit of things!!