Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Happy Holidays One and All!

I confess. I am a very bad blogger. It's not that I don't have ideas to post. It's just the time to sit down and do it. I'm sure one of my resolutions this coming year will be to post more often.

Here is my Santa rug for this holiday. Done in wool strips and yarn, it was part of my rug hooking groups "Santa Challenge." I worked on it over the summer in some very warm temperatures, and now am posting it under very cold temps.

The Santa himself is a design done by my sister years back. I added the other elements when drawing this rug.

Here is another Santa I did that is also a design by my very talented sister. This Santa is called "St. Nick in Slippers." I was very honored to have this rug appear in an issue of Rug Hooking Magazine.

And lastly, I leave you with Silent Night.

Wishing you all a very happy holiday season, and a happy and healthy new year!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Halloween Woolly Mammoth!

Over the past weekend, my daughter took her bulldog puppy to a "Bulldog Halloween Party." While she was there, she snapped some photos of the bulldogs in costumes. Here is the one that caught my eye.

Imagine a bulldog in a woolly mammoth costume. Here goes:

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Just completed a hooked pillow I call "Crows." Obviously!

The background is a wool "thick/thin" yarn that I dyed using a transcolor method. It is very nubbly, and I love the effect.

The blues and purples in the crows themselves used wools I dyed in a layered or pancake method. I used approximately six 1/8 yard pieces and layered them in a pan, applying the three dyes to each piece before layering the next piece on top. I applied the dyes in a horizontal fashion.

Here is the formula using ProChem dyes. Each formula dissolved in 1CBW with vinegar added to each cup.

Cup 1: 1/16  +  3/4 413  +  1/4 672
Cup 2: 1/4  + 1/16  813  +  1/32 672
Cup 3: 1/4  490

Any questions, feel free to contact me.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A bit of stitching

Here is a photo of a felted wool piece that the Loopy Ladies worked on during our September retreat. After the felting was done, we all embroidered some "fancy" stitches on our work. Here's mine:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lovely dye day

This past Monday, I dyed some wool for a customer and decided that since the kitchen was a mess, I'd have some fun.

Here is a photo of the yardage I dyed. Pictured are Lavender Fields, Italian Marble, and Fireball.

After I got those out of the way, I decided to do some pancake dyeing. I used eight 1/8 yard pieces and 3 dyes: a mustard, a green, and an orange-red. Here is what I got. The colors are a bit more vivid and the wool is called Fall Energy. If you are interested in any of this wool, email me.

Next, the real fun began! Again, I took eight 1/8 yard pieces and soaked them for a bit.

Next, I crumpled each one into a little ball and arranged them in a stainless steel pan.

I got four dye formulas ready in individual cups.

Took each dye cup and poured over the little wool balls one at a time. As I poured each dye, I rotated the wool balls, and squeezed and scrunched them. Soon, they were ready to be simmered.

Simmered them for about ten minutes on top of the stove, and then I added vinegar. Let them go another 20 minutes and then into the washer and dryer.

Here is the wool after coming out of the dryer. This is one of my favorite parts of dyeing. I love folding the wool, checking the colors, and enjoying the feel!

Here are the results:

The picture above is the wool that was scrunched into little balls. Spectacular!!

All the wool is available for purchase. Contact me if interested and have a great day!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I've been spending a lot of time drawing lately. I've discovered that with some patience, I can draw! I've been doing some watercolors and also using colored pencils. Here are a few of my latest efforts:

It just goes to show you that you can do anything if you are willing to give it a go!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Using yarn in rug hooking

I've recently finished a challenge rug for my rug hooking group. We were challenged to create a Santa rug—any size, shape, etc. Had to have Santa in it, but Mrs. Claus was excluded!

Although I can't show you the rug, I did want to post a photo of some of the yarns I used in the rug.

The greens which were lovely textures—one kind of furry, and another a bouclĂ© added great interest to the pine tree in the rug. The fluffly white yarn to the right was used for snow as was the Lamb's Pride pictured in the front. The very colorful yarn in the upper left corner is a thick, thin yarn and was used in Santa's coat. The colors were beautiful in this yarn, but it presented some difficulty due to the thickness of some of it. The light blue was used for the sky and is a Lopi bulky weight.

The challenge with using yarn is to keep the gripper strips from pulling it out when moving the rug around on the frame. I finally pinned some pieces of wool to the back of the rug where the yarn was to keep the grippers from "overgripping!!"

I purchased all the yarn from Webs in Massachusetts. They probably wondered what I was going to do with one skein of so many different yarns and colors.

I've also purchased some dyeable yarn from Catnip Yarns and will be using a thick, thin yarn for the background in my next rug. It is dyed in soft pastel shades. I'll show that yarn and pattern when the rug is ready to go.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Creative Space

I'm currently reading The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister. I love her books, and so I was happy to find this waiting for me on the shelf of new books at our public library.

I took it with me this morning to read while waiting for my check-up with our family physician and the following passage really struck me.

"Lillian's love for her kitchen was the radiant gratitude of an artist for a space where imagination moves without obstacles, the small, quiet happiness of finding a home, even if the other people in in are passing through...."

Substitute the word "studio" for "kitchen," and that's how I feel about the space I work in. There is not only a sense of calm, but also a sense of possibilities. I hope you all have a space that you work in where you feel the same way.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hook-in at the Lake

Lucky for the members of the Loopy Ladies, one of our members has a camp at a nearby lake. Sue generously opens her camp to us every June. Although we've been inundated with rain for the last few days, the sun managed to peak out for a bit today, providing us with a lovely view of the lake. Here are just a few snaps of some of the rugs in progress. However, the real star of the day was the lunch buffet!

Martha's chickens

Melinda's new design

Sue's labs

Monday, June 3, 2013

Quiet bike ride through the Oklahoma Track

Across the street from historic Saratoga Race Track is the Oklahoma Training Track. I have no idea why it is called the "Oklahoma" track as we are in upstate New York! Anyway, here are some photos from a recent bike ride in the back stretch area of the training track. What a beautiful day.

And across the street is the entrance to the track itself.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Finished Rug

Here is rug I just finished this afternoon. Hooking, whipping, binding all done!

The inspiration for this rug came from a photo I found a few years ago in Country Living. Here is that photo:

I believe it was in the section of the magazine where antiques are valued. I took this photo, traced it, scanned it into the computer and opened it up in Adobe Illustrator and traced the image. Printed the image, and drew onto a monk's cloth foundation.

The interesting thing about hooking this rug was the use of a sparkly yarn that I pulled up with the wool strips in the diamonds to give it the sparkle it needed. Unfortunately, it isn't visible in this photo. The cuff of the sleeve was hooked with a fine mohair yarn. I used three strands of that as it was so fine.

Here is the finished product:

Saturday, May 25, 2013

African Embroidery

At our last hooking meeting this past Wednesday, one of the hookers had a piece of African embroidery she was working on. It was very colorful and caught my eye and my interest. I looked online and found lots of images related to this topic and also a Web site selling patterns and kits.

Here's what I ordered. Another project that sparks my curiosity. Can't wait to see it!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Latest Rug

Here is the rug I'm working on right now. It is based on this photo my husband took in Italy.

Monday, May 20, 2013

New bird at the feeder

Saw two of these beauties at my feeder on Sunday.

Listen to their song:

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pizza Party Hook-in

Lucky for the hookers of the Saratoga-Capital Region, one of our members has an outdoor bread oven. This past Wednesday she invited several groups to her farm for a hook-in and homemade pizza (dough homemade, too!) Although I failed to get a picture of the immense oven and log cabin lean-to covering, I did get several snaps of the rugs people were working on.

 Mary Jane's floral fine-cut. She is working with teacher Nancy Blood on this rug.

 Pat's finished floral primtive. She hand cuts all her wool!

 Mary Lee's primitive chicken.

 Sharon's four-season houses. She's hiding behind her rug!

 Sad to say, I'm not sure who's rug this is, but it's a beauty.

 Mary O's happy snowman.

Mary's Thomas the Train.

A fun time and a gracious hostess!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Book of the Day

The book of the day has to be Dan Brown's latest:

Another Robert Langdon thriller! Loved Angels and Demons and The DaVinci Code. Check it out.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Way Too Long

It has been a long time since I've blogged. Not sure why. First the holidays, then the winter. Oh, well.

Here is a peak into what I've been up to. I finally have a studio space to call my own!

This last photo shows my Garden of Love rug based on the U.S. Postage stamp called by the same name.