Friday, July 31, 2015

Loopy Ladies Shine

My rug hooking group is a very talented bunch! Here are some of the rugs they are working on or have finished.

Carolyn's rug is a design she created for a challenge we are doing. You must have two trees, a house, and an animal.

This is Maryann's rug for the challenge. She has worked in the story of her faith. Just beautiful!

Jo is making mug rugs for a future fundraiser at the Senior Center where we hook.

This rug by Mary O. is nearly finished. It was part of a challenge at Jule Marie Smith's class.

This is Jilly's rug. She is fretting about the background, but I love it!

Mary F.'s spectacular rug which will live in her Florida winter home.

The two rugs pictured above are Sharon's. The owl was started in a class featuring specialty hooking techniques.

These two rugs shown above are hooked by Cenzi. Love the whale!

 I am pretty sure that this is Sue's mermaid rug. She hooks flags in to many of her designs.

Mary Lee's rug is amazing! She began hooking it at Green Mountain rug camp. The second photos shows some of the wool she dyed in a workshop there. The piece she is holding is being worked into the rug.

These women are true artists!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Back from the Ocean

Left last Wednesday for a whirlwind trip to Massachusetts to visit colleges, stop at the ocean, and eat lobster!

My niece is going to be a Senior in high school this coming fall, so we accompanied her and her father on three college visits. First stop was Stonehill College south of Boston. Loved the campus, the tour guides and the location.

Left there, and craving lobster, we headed north of Boston to Rockport. The lobster roll was delicious, scenery beautiful, and the weather spot on!

Sadly, we left Rockport, but gladly, our next destination was Newburyport, MA. Newburyport and neighboring Plum Island are two of my favorite places in the world. Plum Island is home to the Parker Wildlife Refuge where we bird every time we visit. The weather was beautiful, and we were able to walk the beach on Plum Island and at nearby Salisbury. Took some time to visit the shops in Newburyport and eat lobster at Bob Lobster.

Parker Wildlife Refuge is a great federal preserve where you can see all kinds of shore birds. We took lots of pictures, walked some trails, got eaten alive by mosquitos (!), and saw some incredible birds. The highlight was watching an osprey circle a pond and then drop down and scoop a fish. We got some great photos.

Just amazing to see!

Lots of other birds in attendance: willets, purple martins, great egret, snowy egret, double-crested cormorant, along with cedar waxwings, tree swallows, gulls, killdeer, and some warblers.

After a lovely day at the ocean, we left the next morning to tour Worcester Polytech and Assumption College. So far, the clear winner is Assumption. Time will tell!

A great trip!!

Hope you are enjoying this start to summer as much as I am. Here is the rug I am working on. Of course, there is a bird on it!

Happy hooking, and be sure to visit my Etsy shop:

Friday, June 19, 2015


An uneventful week this week. Sometimes that is good. Lots of rain, babysitting (my beautiful grandson), rug hooking, weaving, and birding.

My main source of interest this week has been The Goldfinch. I have been unable to put it down at times. I know I've said it already, but read it!

I have begun hooking my new challenge rug for my rug hooking group. I am enjoying using lots of bright colors. Will post my progress next week.

Did not get a lot of birding in this week because of the weather, but I did manage to spot an Eastern Kingbird, a new bird for me. Here is a Web photo of him.

The grackles descended on the feeders, and at times, it felt like they were circling the house.

Off to the ocean for a few days next week. Hope your Father's Day weekend is a good one.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Here comes summer!

The weather is starting to heat up in the Northeast bringing humidity and warmer nights. But after our very long winter, who can complain?!? The peonies in my back yard are just starting to bloom, and already, their weight is pulling them down to earth.

I've started The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and it is wonderful. I like to read at night, and I tell myself just one more page, and then off to sleep. That usually means another ten pages! If you want something long and captivating, try this book.

The binding on my large tree and bird rug is complete. The next step is to add some roving as eyes on the birds. I also want to fill the nest with felted eggs to give it a three-dimensional look. This will be a good project for today, as it looks like it may rain all afternoon. Here is a partial view of the rug laid out on the bed. Once it is hung, I'll take a full shot of it.

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Just a reminder that you can find my wool on Etsy:

Spent yesterday morning at The Wilton Wildlife Preserve. A 2.5-mile hike that was disappointing as far as spotting birds went. Saw only a few common birds, and really didn't see much movement in the trees. However, it was great for daily exercise. I have a fit bit and clocked in 7000 steps on this hike alone.

My bird of the week is the Barn Swallow. My brother and I took a ride through some backroads where you can find several thoroughbred horse farms. Needless to say, the open barns allowed the swallows easy access, and the bird activity in and out was quick-paced! Also saw several Eastern Bluebirds (the state bird of New York). They are so pretty with their bright blue backs and wings and their orange underbellies.

The backyard is humming with activity. Squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, and birds! For the past two days, we've been plagued with Common Grackles. They came in a huge flock and ravaged the feeders, driving the small birds away. Although they are a beautiful bird with their purple and blue iridescence, I finally removed the feeders for the morning. I put them back later in the day, and so far, so good.

Hope you have a lovely weekend. Our huge Flag Day Parade is tomorrow (Saturday). Looking forward to it!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Hello June!

Another busy week has gone by. Spent the days hiking, birding, weaving, and a little bit of rug hooking. It was very rainy this past week, but I still found that I wanted to be outside. The last few days have been lovely, so I've been taking advantage of it.

First for the sedentary activities.

I have finished The Gift by Cecilia Ahern and liked it very much. An easy read that had a message for the stressed and overworked.

I am now starting The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt for my book club. Luckily, we have til September to finish it as we are off for the summer. Quite a long book!

Slow going on the bird/tree binding. Tonight, I am definitely going to put some time into it, so I can finally get it ready for hanging.  I did mention last time that I have a new pattern ready to go. Here is a photo of the pattern.

This is part of a challenge we are doing in our rug hooking group. Looking forward to starting this rug. I will post my progress once I get started.

Spent two hours at the Weaving Studio located in our Arts Center building. Working on placemats in a twill pattern. Two down, four to go!

And now onto the more active parts of my week!

Spent some time at the Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve, approximately ten miles north of Albany, NY. A beautiful set of trails, but the mosquitoes were killer size! Got a new bird - a yellow warbler.

This makes three warblers on my life list. So many more to discover.

I also went to the Saratoga National Historical Park (Saratoga Battlefield) to do some outdoor sketching and painting with friends. While I was there I saw a Bobolink, another bird I had never seen before.

A visit to the small town of Galway, got me a lovely shot of a beautiful butterfly.

This stream was right next to the road where the butterfly was sitting. A gorgeous place.

 Lastly, here are two shots of clematis blooms from my home garden. I wish that they would bloom all season.

To those of you who are kind enough to purchase my wool on Ebay, I wanted to let you know that I've moved most of my listings to Etsy. Wool will still be available on Ebay, but their fee structure is making it harder to list there. So please visit my shop on Etsy. Here is the link:

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The past week has been a busy one! I did get some rest and relaxation in on Sunday. Finished two books and have started a new one today. Reading something a little lighter - The Gift by Cecilia Ahern. I have read many of this Irish writer's books and have always enjoyed them. Seems fitting to be reading a book by an Irish author after having just returned from a trip to Ireland.

Everything you hear about the "greens" in Ireland is true. God must have deposited every green color in the spectrum in this beautiful island nation!

Cliffs of Moher


Near the Torc Waterfall

Sheep at the Kerry Woolen Mills

Bird of the Week

I saw a wonderful bird at my sister's farm in Galway on Friday. I had my trusty bird book with me, so I made fast work in identifying it. Just gorgeous!

The Black-throated Blue Warbler

My brother and I continued our exploration of the Skidmore North Woods trail system today. Hiked for about two hours. Saw a red-bellied woodpecker, red-winged blackbird, a rose-breasted grosbeak along with all the usual suspects. With a slight breeze blowing, the hike wasn't too hot considering the 80° temperatures.

An interesting branch formation seen here from a downed tree. Looks like it has been trimmed a bit.

I call this my Hobbit Hole picture! Don't you just wonder what lives in there?

Crafty Things

I continue the binding on my tree and bird rug. Although I had steamed it before starting the binding, it is curling quite a bit. Will have to steam again!

I am also in the process of drawing a new rug. We are having a challenge in our rug hooking group. Everyone is doing a rug of their own design that has to have the same elements: two trees, an animal, and a house. As soon as I'm doing transferring the design to the monk's cloth, I'll get a picture and post next time.

My loom at the weaving studio is warped and ready to go. Tomorrow is our last class, but I'll be able to go in during the next few weeks to finish my placemats. It's a tough place to hang out in the summer, as there is no AC, but hopefully they won't take too long to weave.

One final project which I hope to continue on this week is my niece's T-shirt quilt. My brother and niece lost their wife/mother this past December. My sister-in-law asked me to put this quilt together for her daughter as a remembrance of the events they both participated in while she was growing up. She is just 17, and I am hoping this will comfort her to remember the special times with her mom and also to know that her mother picked out all the shirts for the quilt.

Have a lovely week ahead.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

This Week


Here is what I have been up to this past week.

Rug Hooking

I am nearly finished with the hooking of a very large tree and bird rug which I plan on hanging on the soffit of my kitchen. I have about an hour of hooking left and then need to check for missed spaces. After that, the binding! The picture shows a portion of the rug.


I'm currently reading The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett, a book I never read as a kid. I remembering seeing a movie version, but the book is so much better.

Also in the middle of Oxygen by Carol Cassella. This is a medical mystery/thriller which I have a hard time putting down.


Took a lovely walk today in the Skidmore College North Woods with my brother. We specifically love looking for birds, but also enjoy the peace and quiet. Woodland flowers were in bloom.


I continue plugging along on my beginner projects. I have a rug on my loom at home, and am working on placemats at the Weaving Studio where I take class. I am not happy with my rug as I am not getting the warp to disappear as the pattern calls for. It's a learning process!

Here's where I'm headed next. I took this picture on a trip to Ireland in April.

Colors are bright and beautiful!

Newest Bird on My Life List

I was visiting the nearby town of Galway, New York, and I spotted a Yellow-Rumped Warbler. A real find, as they are quite small. I just love birds!!

Have a great week!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Some projects are finished!

One of my plans for 2015 has been to work on some lingering projects and get them finished. So here goes.

This pair of socks made with opal yarn has been in the works since the fall. I find socks easy to make and also easy to put down and pick up when the spirit moves me. Some how they got left in a basket for a bit, but now they are finally finished.

Love the colors in this yarn!

Next I got to work on finishing my African Bird embroidery. I purchased this pattern from Leora Raikin at African Folklore Embroidery. This project really got me into different embroidery stitches, choosing thread, and finally, quilting the frame. Love the results.

Now, where to hang it. Running out of wall space!

This next project was actually finished in a short amount of time. I wanted to submit a piece to the plein air hooking group I belong to, so I thought about how to accomplish that in the winter. Too cold to sit outside to hook, so I bundled up, took my sketchpad and sat on my deck steps. The shadows and drifts were beautiful, especially with the sun shining. So, armed with colored pencils, I did some sketches, mapped out a plan, and went back inside. Next, I drew my pattern on a small piece of Scottish burlap that I had left over. I took that, some strips and yarn I picked out and sat next to our patio door. Here is the result.

I have found myself using more and more yarn in my hooking. I love the three-dimensional feel it gives to a piece.

Finally, and I mean finally(!), I finished up my weaving project. I had set up my loom in October with a cotton thread to weave washcloths which I planned on giving away for Christmas. Needless to say, that didn't happen. The weaving was completed last week, and yesterday I got each washcloth hemmed and ready for use. Here is a photo.

These washcloths were woven on a four-shaft loom using 100% cotton.

So, there you have it. Now back to hooking a rather large rug that I'd love to have completed within the next two months. In the meantime, a new knitting pattern is in the works, and I've begun work on a t-shirt quilt for my niece.

Hope you are making progress on all your endeavors!

Monday, March 2, 2015


Just got back from a long weekend in Boston. My niece plays competitive volleyball, so we all packed up to go see her play in the huge convention center by the seaport. Can't even guess at the number of players there. It was a New England regional competition.

Here is the arena before play started. This photo doesn't show the full number of courts!

Took this photo of the Boston skyline at dusk. Just beautiful.

This is a photo of one of the snow farms where the city of Boston is dumping their "excess" snow.  Believe the photos you've seen. The snowbanks in Boston are HIGH!!

Took a quick trip to the New England Aquarium before settling in for a fun evening of volleyball and seafood. What a great place to visit -- even in the winter!

Here are two new colors of wool I listed today on Ebay: Turquoise Jewel and Raking Leaves.