Monday, May 25, 2009

Varied Topics

Two Hooking Books for Sale

Recently acquired two older hooking books, both of which I already own. So, I'm offering these two up for sale. The first is called Color in Hooked Rugs by Pearl McGown. Book Description: 1954 first edition hardcover. Book Condition: Very good. No dust jacket. 304 pages. 16 color plates + over 100 in B&W. Author McGown explains the law and order of color, in accordance with the Munsell system. Clean and tight. Red cloth. Owner name written on first page. Price is $10.00 plus s/h.

The second is called American Hooked and Sewn Rugs (Folk Art Underfoot) by Joel and Kate Kopp. It is a softcover edition and is worn on the edges with some fading on the cover. The binding is tight. 141 pages with nearly all photos in color. Cost is $12.00 plus s/h.

If you are interested in either book, please email me at


I owe this part of my post to Mary Rita Leyva. Mary Rita wrote to tell me that she had received a shipment of wool from me and said that she planned to incorporate it into a rug based on a "mola" design. Of course, that sent me to google where I was able to find out some information about molas.

From Wikipedia:

"The mola forms part of the traditional costume of a Kuna woman, two mola panels being incorporated as front and back panels in a blouse.

Molas are hand-made using a reverse appliqué technique. Several layers (usually two to seven) of different-coloured cloth (usually cotton) are sewn together; the design is then formed by cutting parts of each layer away. The edges of the layers are then sewn down; the finest molas have extremely fine stitching, made using tiny needles.

The largest pattern is typically cut from the top layer, and progressively smaller patterns from each subsequent layer, thus revealing the colours beneath in successive layers. This basic scheme can be varied by cutting through multiple layers at once, hence varying the sequence of colours; some molas also incorporate patches of contrasting colours, included in the design at certain points to introduce additional variations of colour."

Here are some samples of molas that I found on the Web.

New Hooking Books

Recently got Anne Marie Littenberg's book Hooked Rug Landscapes
part of the Framework Series put out by Rug Hooking Magazine. I have seen some of Anne Marie's work at the Hooked in the Mountains Rug Show at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, VT. To see her work in person is a wonderful sight. But if you are unable to attend, then get this book. The pictures are wonderful and the lessons on hooking landscapes are invaluable.

While browsing on, I found another new bookRags to Rugs, Hooked and Handsewn Rugs of Pennsylvania.The links for both of these books can be found below.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Well, I tried punchneedle yesterday, and discovered that I'm totally uncoordinated for this craft! I would probably fair better if I had someone who is experienced give me a lesson. But alas, I've decided this is not for me.

A couple of years ago, my husband and I were visiting my sister-in-law and brother-in-law in Melvin Village, NH. Given its proximity to Center Harbor, I made the short trip to Keepsake Quilting. While I was looking around, I found the punchneedle set. I purchased the set along with a cute sheep pattern. With all good intentions, I brought it home where it sat on a shelf for the next few years. And now, it's going up for sale on!!! I think I'll stick to hooking and knitting.

Here is a photo of my latest knitting project. When complete it will be a sweater for a 6-8-year-old. Made from cotton, it will be donated to my Prayer Shawl group for a Christmas project we work on throughout the year.

I think you finally get to the point where you realize that you cannot successfully work on all crafts! I do have to laugh when I think of some of the projects I've undertaken through the years. Paper maché pumpkins seemed like such a good idea...!

Don't forget to send some photos of your projects that I can post on my blog. If you have your own blog, please send me a link.

My friend, Mary Rita Leyva sent me this link to her rug hooking group: Check it out; there are some beautiful rugs to see!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of you with children! I'm looking forward to a nice brunch with my son and future daughter-in-law, and my daughter and her boyfriend who are home visiting from Boston. I'm hoping it will be a beautiful day.

My own mother passed away a number of years ago, but she will certainly be in my thoughts. She was a terrific mom who put all of her kids first no matter what was going on. She led a very active life; she was Election Commissioner for Saratoga County for 26 years and was very involved with local and state politics in New York. I'd also like to credit it her with being a loving and caring grandmother to my children. It was her greatest regret that she would not see them grow up.

(The photo shows me [far left, in younger days!], and my two sisters, along with my mom.)

My mother developed lung cancer, even though she was never a smoker. She lived for two years with the disease before dyeing in 1996. While she was ill, we encouraged her to keep up with her hobbies. She loved to knit and crochet and read. Not long before she died, I had my rug hooking teacher put together the materials necessary for her to hook a chair pad. She was unable to complete it, but I did, and here is a photo of the pad.

I think that if she had lived, she would have become quite a hooker!! So, here's a tip of the hat to all the mothers out there, and special thank you to my mom.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


First of all, I finished my rug for the challenge on Gene Shepard's blog. Here is a photo of my completed project. I'm very pleased with the results!

Now, I'm back to working on my garden rug. I'm nearly finished, having just the sky and flowers to finish up. I've mentioned this rug before and noted that this rug was begun in 1995! While working on the sky, I've noticed that the blue has faded. I'm going to pull out all of the sky and redo. Here are the choices for the sky:

Doesn't really look like much of a color difference, but the first (Heavenly Illusion) has bits of purple. The second is my favorite so far (Endless Sky). The third is made with teal, and I'm not sure I'll like it with the rest of the rug.

My other news is a wonderful flea market find. A nearby fair grounds hosts a flea market and antique show twice a year. We went this past weekend, and I found this great frame for hooking, with a rug attached! I wasn't sure I wanted to get it as I wondered where it was going to be stored, but in the end, I said what the heck and brought it home with me! Here's a photo of it.

It was a fun day at the show. Got some Saratoga postcards, racetrack souvenir glasses, some old jigsaw puzzles from the thirties, and an old TV guide with a cover story about Jackie Gleason for my husband.

Speaking of jigsaw puzzles (I'm a puzzle fanatic) ... I just ordered this great puzzle of a woman hooking a rug as a wedding gift. Here is a photo of it.

It caught my eye immediately, and I love the fact that even the binding tape is already on the rug! It is called the Wedding Gift, and I ordered it from 500 pieces ... can't wait to get it!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Skeptic

Big excitement in our neighborhood. In 2005, a movie was filmed in Saratoga Springs called The Skeptic. The majority of the movie was shot in an old house known as the Batcheller Mansion which sits directly in front of our home. Also, my husband is a funeral director and provided the flowers and hearse for the cemetery scenes!!

Finally, after four years the movie is going to be released in a limited engagement. The movie stars Tim Daly, Tom Arnold, Edward Herrmann, and Robert Prosky. Yahoo movies describes the movie as follows:

Following the mysterious death of his aunt, power lawyer Bryan Becket moves into the elderly woman's purportedly haunted Victorian mansion. A die hard skeptic, he dismisses one eerie incident after another, until the haunting turns so personal and vicious, Becket's cool, unemotional veneer begins to unravel. Whispers in the night, things he sees in the darkness, clues of a horrible secret, turn our rationalist into a terrified and reluctant seeker. A seeker of a truth so unspeakable it could destroy him. And the mystery, always just out of reach down the darkened hall, is not fully revealed until the film's final moments. And even then, it leaves a tantalizing question.

Since we saw many of the outside scenes shot in the neighborhood, we are looking forward to seeing the movie which premieres in Albany, New York on May 8th. Not exactly a Hollywood opening, but big doings around here!

Here is the link to the trailer for this movie: