Thursday, November 16, 2017

Visit to Salem

Just got back from a quick trip to Salem, MA. Because Halloween is over and the streets less busy, we ventured downtown to visit the Witches Memorial Wall and the adjoining cemetery. It was the perfect day to visit a cemetery -- cold and dreary.

Quite moving to view the memorial wall with the names of those hung during that awful year of 1692. I didn't know too much about the witch trials and was surprised to see that several men were hung also. One poor soul was pressed to death.

As we ventured into the cemetery, I knew that the stones would reveal lots of young people's death and many children. I also expected to see lots of interesting gravestone art. However, I was surprised to see so many stones with depictions of skulls. Here are some photos of the type of art I am referencing.

This was a particularly sad stone. A piece is missing to the left, but the two hearts that are visible depict the deaths of two 16-month olds who died four years apart. How sad.

Kind of a depressing post, but history isn't always pleasant.

Hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving.

Be a blessing to somebody.
                       -- Maya Angelou

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Catch Up

As usual, it's been awhile. It is not for lack of topics to talk about; more about the time to post and take pictures.

Since I last posted, I've been to Salem, MA twice visiting the ocean and birding. A lovely spot in the world. Halloween is in full swing in the downtown area, but we are in a quiet part of town, and just get to relax when visiting.

The beach on the Nahant causeway. Paradise.

Some of the things I've been up to:

Alcohol Ink Dyeing
Our rug hooking group that meets once a week at a local Senior Center often branches out into other areas. One week we explored the use of alcohol inks. What fun! A member of the group had a friend who was well-versed in the use of these dyes, and she brought supplies and know-how for a four-hour workshop. We worked on ceramic tiles, glass vases and bulbs, metal sheets, and even a clam shell.

The first two photos show finished pieces by the teacher whose name, sadly, I cannot remember.

The following photo shows a group photo of the student pieces.

I have two pieces going right now. I am working on a "Big, Bold, and Beautiful" project for my class with Julie Smith. I chose to do a large variegated mushroom based on a photo I found on Pinterest. I love the results, and the best part is using up lots of worms!! I will show a photo of the rug in a later post.

I am also working on a large Polly Minnick pattern of a whale. Although the whale is coming out well, my choice for the sky may prove to be a challenge. I'm trying hard to pull it off.

My fall beginner rug hooking class is in full swing. I have five wonderful students who are very enthusiastic about hooking and open to learning to use just about any fiber. Here are some of the rugs they are working on.

This rug was hooked by Tracey Allen. She has mainly just the binding to finish up. For a first rug, I think it is fantastic!

Sue Vial hooked these two rugs. I love that she hooked her whale in red, and the shorebird is something I would proudly display in my own home.

Embroidery with Sue Spargo
My block of the month club project with Sue Spargo continues on. I am still plugging away on my March block, but I made a lot of progress this week and hope to finish it in the next two weeks. Fingers crossed!

I am trying to get lots of reading accomplished. As I've said, I love to read, and I'm trying to tuck in time here and there to read. Currently, our book club is reading News of the World. I finished it up over the weekend and just loved it. Captain Jefferson Kidd travels the remote Texas towns in the 1870s reading from current newspapers to the citizens of these small towns who don't have access to a lot of recent news. During his travels, he takes on the responsibility of a returning a child captured by the Kiowa Indians to her family. A fascinating look at the life of a captive child and the reintroduction of that child in to American society.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

3-D Rug Hooked House

Today, I finished my 3-D hooked house! I am so happy with how it came out.

This project was started over the winter in a class I take with Julie Smith. Because of the birth of my grandson in March, I was unable to work on it until the spring. The house measures 11.5" x 4" x 6". It was hooked mostly with a four-cut, but there are also some 5- and 6-cuts. A few bits of yarn here and there also. The cat in the upstairs window was glued on. I used a sock weight wool yarn to sew it together.

Here are the completed pieces before construction began.

I started by sewing the side panels to each side. It proved to be fairly easy. Here is the first side panel sewn to the main house.

Once the house was sewn together, I whipped yarn around the bottom of the whole house to finish.

Here are the three other sides:

To photograph the standing house, I placed it over the light I use to hook by.

Great project. I would certainly try more 3-D patterns.