Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Wishing all of you a very happy and healthy new year! I'm not buying into all the hoopla of 2012 being a scary year, and instead am looking forward to positive things ahead for me and for the world at large.

Tonight is First Night here in my town. We'll be heading off to dinner with friends, then back home to play cards. The city shoots fireworks off in the park near our home, so we'll step out into the cold, enjoy the colors, say goodnight, and be in bed by 12:30. Gone are the days when we were just getting started at midnight! Hope you all enjoy the evening!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Interesting Rug Hooking Web sites

There are so many blogs and Web sites related to rug hooking. A few years back, I tried to compile a list of all the blogs I could find that dealt with rug hooking. I'm sure by now that number has doubled! So today, although I should be doing other things (!), I surfed the Web a bit and found a few sites I haven't been to before. Check them out! The last one has some very unique patterns.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays to all!

Here's hoping you all have a wonderful holiday season and blessings for a peaceful world this new year!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Good Books 2011

Here are some of favorites from 2011.

The Housekeeper and the Professor
by Yoko Ogawa
We read this in our book club. A wonderful story and quick read.

Loving Frank: A Novel
by Nancy Horan
The very interesting story of Frank Lloyd Wright and his lover Mamah Borthwick Cheney and how their relationship ended in tragedy.

The Return of the Native
by Thomas Hardy
Another book club selection. I remember reading Jude the Obscure in high school and loving it. The Return of the Native, although difficult reading sometimes due to the archaic English, was a great story. 

The Other Side of the Bridge
by Mary Lawson
Our book club selection for March was written by Canadian writer Mary Lawson. Very interesting story that made for lively discussion.

Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana
by Anne Rice
Second book in her Christ the Lord series. Easy reading highlights Christ's journey in life ending at the wedding in Cana. I have really enjoyed the two books in this series and look forward to her third. This, and the first book in the series, are the only books I've read by Anne Rice. These books make me want to read more of her work.

We Need to Talk About Kevin tie-in: A Novel (P.S.)
by Lionel Shriver
Although I wouldn't call this a favorite, it is a notable read for me as the book was riveting, although extremely disturbing. A book that looks at the events leading up to a school massacre.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
by Jamie Ford
A book club selection. Unfortunately, I missed the discussion on this book which I had hoped to participate in. This book looks at the life of a Japanese family taken to an internment camp during WWII told from the perspective of a young Chinese-American boy. I loved it!

The Bookman's Promise
by John Dunning
Part of a series of books about the life of a bookseller. This is the third in the series and did not disappoint. If you are interested in the world of booksellers, you'll enjoy this series.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot
Again, a book club selection. Although the book centers around the world of cells and medical use of cells, it reads like a story. Fascinating.

Olive Kitteridge
by Elizabeth Strout
I loved, loved, loved this book of short stories tied together by the wonderful character Olive Kitteridge! Easy reading that will have you laughing out loud in parts.

The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel
by Diane Setterfield
I thoroughly enjoyed this beautifully written story. When you are looking for something to read on a slow, rainy (or snowy!) afternoon, this is the book to read.

A Patchwork Planet (Fawcett Book)
by Anne Tyler
This was a great little read. Went fast and was a humorous and touching story.

Her Fearful Symmetry
by Audrey Niffenegger
Another book by the author of the Time Traveler's Wife. Although I did not find this book as appealing the Time Traveler's Wife, I did enjoy it and found it hard to put down. A bit weird, but worth the effort.

Room: A Novel
by Emma Donoghue
This book had been on my shelf for a while, and when it became our book club selection, I got right into it. OMG!!! This was a great story. One of those books I couldn't put down. Seemed like I toted it from room to room. Read it!

The Tavern on Maple Street
by Sharon Owens
This is the third book by Irish writer Sharon Owens that I have read. I enjoyed the first two, and this one was just as good. Takes place in a small Northern Ireland town with a great cast of characters. The story takes place in a tavern and kept me smiling as each new customer or employee was introduced.

The School of Essential Ingredients
by Erica Bauermeister
I just finished this book and loved it! Centers around a cooking school and the people who attend the classes. Beautifully written.

There were a lot of others that I read, but these were the best of the bunch.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rugs in 2011

Here's what I got hooked this year.

New York Beauty

My childhood home

This rug is nearly finished.
Frogs and Fiddleheads

It doesn't seem like very much when viewed this way. But I need to remember that in between loops were knitting and crocheting projects and binding of rugs. How did you do this year?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Knitting frenzy

Got the best scarf pattern at our local yarn shop to knit a scarf for my daughter for Christmas. Loved it so much, made another for a grab bag. Next, came a gift for the neighbor, and now it's on to one for my sister. Here is a photo of it in progress.

I love this pattern as it alternates needle size and is never boring. Worked in a worsted weight with size 7 and 9 needles. When you finish you have a scarf with a hole at one end to tuck the scarf into. Cute and ruffly!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I like Pinterest!. If you never been there, give it a go. Search for anything, and you'll find some kind of photo on your topic often with the link to the original place it appeared on the Web.

I've been looking up Christmas decorating, but a while back I did a search on rug hooking. Here is a small sampling of what I found:




Sorry these photos are not arranged well. This is the best  I can do with the Blogger tools.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Not sure if any of you have heard of these, but I came across them yesterday during a trek through Google. Don't even remember what I had googled first, but somehow I landed on a Web site all about zentangles. Since I've been a doodler from way back (my college notebooks were 2/3 notes and 1/3 doodles), I was fascinated by this art form. At least, I think it is an artform.

Here is what says about zentangles with some samples following:

Our Zentangle method is a way of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. It is fun and relaxing. Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. The Zentangle method is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages.
We believe that life is an art form and that our Zentangle method is an elegant metaphor for deliberate artistry in life.

Of course, from this site, I went to to see if there were any books on the subject. And, to my delight there were several. Here's what I got:

Sad to say, I'm a bookaholic. I guess that's not the worst thing. Enjoy the zentange Web site!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Frosty Morning

It was early, and still quite quiet in the neighborhood, when I went outside to take some pictures of a frosty morning. I love when frost settles in on the plants in the gardens and everything glistens. I think that is when the word "glisten" really applies. So, this is a peek at my corner of the world.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

A happy Thanksgiving one and all! Enjoy your family and friends and all that yummy food! Looking forward to that sausage stuffing!!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Great rug hooking book

I recently purchased A Lifetime of Rug-Hooking, a book about the rugs of Doris Eaton of Nova Scotia. I bought it through and wasn't sure what to expect as there was only a cover photo. But the cover photo alone made me want to see more, so I purchased the book. It is an amazing collection of an amazing artist.

At first I thought that Doris Eaton was just like any of us, an ordinary rug hooker. Not so. She is a trained artist, having attended the Massachusetts School of Art. These rugs are anything but ordinary. Each rug is pictured in color along with a description of the rug. What I really like about her rugs, besides the unique nature of them, is that they are different in the sense that they are not just primitive, or not just fine art florals. They are truly unique. She doesn't seem to be afraid to tackle any kind of design.

The introduction is written by Deanne Fitpatrick, who has a way with words and is always worth reading.

Tell your significant other to get you this for Christmas!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fun with pancake dyeing!

I did these pieces a few weeks ago just for fun. Wound up using some of it in my current rug. Here is the formula (all ProChem, except the aqua):

Cup #1:  1/2 Aqua (Cushing)
Cup #2:   1/8 399 + 1/32 370
Cup #3   1/4 813
Cup #4:   1/2 124 + 1/32 106

I have a large rectangular pan that takes an eighth yard piece of wool, so I cut up several pieces using pinks, pink plaids, yellow, natural, goldenrod, light blue, and soaked them in synthrapol. I added a bit of water to the pan—not much as I knew I'd be added approximately four cups of dye. You can always add more water as needed after applying the dye.

I put each piece in one at a time, adding the dyes consecutively across the width of the wool. Each color took up approximately 1/4 of the wool. I used this method each time I added a new piece of wool. I wound up adding six layers, and repeated the process in another pan I had. By the time, I finished the dye was used up. I did add additional water, but not enough to cause the dyes to blend too much. After ten minutes or so I added vinegar to each pan. Simmered the wool for around 40 minutes. Here are the results:

I think if I did this formula again, I'd rethink the aqua. It was overpowered by the other colors, so didn't make a huge impact.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Did You Vote?

Got the latest Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs XXI books recently. A beautiful selection of rugs. Voting takes place in three categories: Original Rug, Commerical Rug, and Adaptations.

The rugs are all so beautiful. I like that each rug features a photo of the whole rug and then a close-up detail.
Here are a few pics from the book.

At left Free Spirits hooked by Mary Beth Westcott.

At right: Jungle Cat hooked by Cathy Sears.

 Below: Mae Morris hooked by Chizuko Hayami (left) and Peace hooked by Grace Collette (right).

These are a few photos I got from's Web site. They are not necessarily the rugs I voted for, but a nice sampling. Here is the link to the book.


And don't forget to vote for real on Tuesday!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Wishful Thinking

I've been looking around my office/hooking studio and have decided that there are too many unfinished projects. I've come to the conclusion that I can't buy any more patterns, draw any more patterns, start anything new until I've finished the projects in progress. Here's what I have to do:
  • Bind two rugs
  • Finish this cute little frog rug, a pattern drawn by my sister, artist Marian Ross (shameless plug!). 

  • Finish a large rug featuring multiple cats that I purchased a year ago from Christine Little. I began work on this rug last week and am hooking with mostly yarns. Slow going. It is set up on a cheticamp-type frame in my sewing room, so I don't work on it that often as that room is in the lower level of the house.  
Those are the hooking projects. (There are few others, but there is no need to mention those!)

Now on to the knitting projects.
  • A prayer shawl for my sister--in-law. This is top priority right now as she is beginning cancer treatments soon.
  • An afghan (in progress) for my Prayer Shawl Ministry group.
  • A sampler afghan begun for my daughter at least four years ago. The knitting is finished, just needs to be sewn together. What am I waiting for????
  • A sweater I began knitting for myself a few years back. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
I can't bring myself to mention anything else, so that's the list I'm working with. I don't want to even think about the fact that the holidays are coming! Perhaps that's why I titled this post "wishful thinking!"

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall Decorating

I had fun decorating for fall this year. I'm late posting these pictures, and now, with snow on the ground(!), it feels even later.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Latest finished rug

I say that this is my latest "finished" rug, but the rug is really not complete as it has not been bound yet. The hooking is done, and I am pleased with the results.

This is a rug of the home I grew up in. I was inspired by Deanne Fitzpatrick to put a small face in one of the windows to depict my mom. I always picture her there in her chair watching out her window for one of us to show up and visit. My mother has been gone a number of years now, but I still see her there waiting.

The rug posed some challenges for me as I had never hooked that many trees before. I avoided hooking them at first, but little by little they were filled in, and I came to believe that they were not that hard after all!

Using yarn for the bushes all some posed some problems. Never having used much yarn before, I found out the most important thing about hooking with yarn is that it pulls out easily when caught on gripper strips. I learned this VERY QUICKLY!!! I finally put a small piece of muslin over the gripper strips where the yarn would sit and lifted my rug carefully when moving it. That helped immensely.

All in all, I liked the way the bushes turned out. The yarn was bulky and puffy and the variation in color gave a nice effect. I liked it so much that I'm planning a new rug using only yarn.

I've been looking at photos of rugs hooked with yarn and other fibers and found an interesting video on the Halcyon Yarn Web site. Here is the link:
She makes it look very easy!! Anyway, check it out if you are interested in hooking with other fibers.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More photos from Rhinebeck, NY

More photos from the Sheep and Wool Festival held in Rhinebeck, New York this past weekend.

A lovely rug that I believe was hooked with yarn.

Pretty little felted objects and ornaments nicely displayed in The Paisley Rug Studio booth.

From the same vendor...I love this heart-shaped rug!

Hooked rug on display. I'd love to own this one!

Not sure whose booth this is, but the holiday decorations are great!

Everything pictured above is crocheted!

And finally, had to show this picture of a vendor selling "Saratoga Chips." Saratoga Springs is the birthplace of the potato chip and is my hometown!!