Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Grateful to be invited to Samplemakers...

I was delighted to be invited to join a new group being organized by Lori Brechlin of Notforgotten Farm. She was my first love in the Primitive Rugs designs. I chose Lady Liberty as my first actual rug pattern. She sold just this last week, and October was a rug I had so much fun with too. I have several of Lori's punchneedle, cross stitch and other designs. She is a shining star to me.   Anyway, even though samplers are not my main goal in fiber arts, I can certainly grow in that area! :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sneak Peek # 2

Today is Mothers' Day Out, so I'm getting to show my strips a little sooner than I expected. But gotta go in just a couple of minutes. 

This color is going to be called Bluebonnets in my TX palette. I think I shared the recipe in an earlier post yesterday. The first picture shows the 8 values set against each other. Values 1 and 2 are very close to each other, and although 1 looks white in this picture, it has a faint bluish color. The pieces have mottling, but not as much as the wool in the second picture. The graduated strips were dyed over white Dorr wool. The second picture shows the remainder of the dye added to an old gigantic pickle jar that I've used for kool aid dyeing in the past. The wool was Dorr off white, and I only reversed the contents of the jar one time, so much more mottling to that piece. None of the items in the jar were presoaked with detergent, as this is all a big experiment, and so why not try something completely different. Might not be too scientific, but as usual I loved the results! (Not really all that picky). 

Gotta go, will post better picture and the formula for the palette dyeing group on Rug Hooking Daily tonight. As much fun as this is, don't want to be late picking up Livvie! ♥

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Proud I finally took the plunge, and grateful for the results

Today was a big day in my evolution as a rug hooker. Now most of you will probably think I'm making a big deal over something quite commonplace. But this is the first time I've done REAL dyeing wool. Not true exactly, but up till now, I've only overdyed with koolaid mixtures. Glad that was a background experience, as it did give me some training wheels, along with the excellent directions April Deconick shared with the members of the Palette Dyeing Group at http://rughookingdaily.ning.com/  You do have to be a member of this group, but if you are someone I know, and would like an invitation, just let me know.

 I'm not a very neat person, tend to get distracted in the middle of things, and well can definitely be a
"ditz" in general. Not self denigration - know yourself, and the truth will set you free would definitely be more how I'd describe it.

I bought the white enamel pail from a seller on ebay easily 3-4 years ago. I've been getting dyes nearly as long, but never felt confident enough to try. Today I donned a papermask of the best grade called a respirator, pulled on my Bluette gloves, used my little dye spoons and created a dye formula for bluebonnets. In fact that is what I'm calling it. The little notebook, I got for a stovetop formula reminder. For this dye it says:
  • 1 tsp Copenhagen Blue
  • 1/32 tsp Khaki Drab
  • 1/32 tsp Lavender
  • 1/64 tsp Chartreuse
Take a sneak peek inside the pot and you'll be able to see graduation strips 5 and 6 in the pot. 7 and 8 are shown on the counter in the picture at the top. The last picture will give you a sneak peak at values 1 - 4!

Can you see the difference between 5 and 6 in the picture above? 5 is the one nearest the bottom of the picture and a bit lighter. The water bath in the bottom of the pot looks a lot more purple than the finished swatches do. I forgot and left the spoon in the concentrated dye jar, then tried to rinse it out in the water.
Like I said, distractable...

Last peek of the evening, is the first four jars. My stash tends to be pretty lean in the light end of the spectrum. This method looks like it will help me have a better balance in the wools I can select from. Happy Dance.

Once the dye is all absorbed, strips rinsed and dried, I'll post a picture of all the strips together. These were dyed over white wool. Next time, I'll be trying my next color for the palette, which I'm calling Yellow Rose. If it turns out as good as Bluebonnets, well`~ we'll just wait and see. :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Grateful for the suggestion of a friend...and a comment from another :)

Today was an unexpected pleasure! Because I've been sick, had to miss my Kirby Hooking Circle last Saturday. :(  Sooo, today I joined the Stash Sisters at the Olivia Fields library for the morning. Took along a couple of rugs, and sat down next to Pam. I was the lucky winner of her mug mat at Valentines Day.

Almost finished with a rug for Ruth's parents. They moved to the Brenham area recently, and I'm doing an Annetiques rug for their new home. The background is antique black, and only my second really dark background and it just seems flat to me. But both Pam and Sondra liked it, and Sondra analyed the rug as needing a calmer background, because the foreground is done in strong primary colors(spring tulips and a heart).

I was feeling pretty good about the rug I've started for Olivia, but Pam suggested that the plant stems needed more contrast to stand out from the sage green background. At first, I didn't really want to hear that, but came home and pulled out some of one of the branches, rehooking it with a lighter brown strip. It looks great! :) This picture doesn't show the rug with the new color scheme, it was taken a week or so ago. So Thank You, Pam, for a great suggestion.

 I'm blessed to have connected with two hooking circles filled with such talented artists. So although I'm resistant to changing my "vision" I usually give their advice a try. So far they have always had good suggestions.

On the way home, I stopped to get a library card at the new branch. Next Tuesday, Livvie and I will try to arrive to make the cut for the story time... if there are lots of toddlers and we don't get there, there are lots of shelves filled with picture books for us to enjoy. I only checked out 6 today! :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Grateful for a bid on my Lady Liberty Rug!


This is one of the first rugs that I hooked after leaving my status as a beginner. :) I loved how it turned out, and hoped that it would honor the sacrifices of our American service"men" and their families. I've taken it to Discovery Green and it was even filmed and shown on a local TV show with Yolanda Green.

I started it at basically its cost to produce, and it has a bid. If you've seen this rug and liked it, hope you'll consider making a bid. It took me months to hook, but it will be leaving my inventory soon. Thank you to for that opening bid. If it comes to you at the starting bid, I know it will be going to someone who wants it. :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Grateful for antibiotics!

After I retired, it seemed like my bouts with sinus infections might be over. :) Until this week! I had been enduring a drippy nose and itchy ears during this exceptionally bad pollen season, but finally needed to go to the doctor.  Oh no! A sinus infection, fever,  both ears infected, and a mention that a few days later might have included pneumonia in the symptoms. The doctor was great( urgent care doc not my regular doc) and in just a couple of minutes I was on my way to the pharmacy. After a couple of nights sleeping in a chair, I'm almost back to normal. The scary thing was how sick I'd gotten without realizing it. Just running a fever is a rarity for me.

You know I have to be feeling under the weather to miss one of my monthly hooking circles. I still haven't uploaded any pics from Hankermer. Promise to do that, there were some wonderful rugs to share...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Grateful for my husband of 43 years!

Today was our 43rd anniversary. I'd love to say it seems like only yesterday that we were bride and groom, but we are lots older, with a grown daughter, and a grandchild! ;)

We went out to dinner (splurged and ate nachos) other than that a pretty quiet day. There are many blessings in my life, but most of them are related to the man I married. Our years together get all the sweeter as they draw to a close. We may share the next 20, only a few, or maybe only a few more days... we never know, not even as a young couple. He is a good man, and although we don't see eye to eye on many things, we've always been tolerant of our differences.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Grateful to be there for her first sock puppet

How do you help a 2 yr old make sock puppets?  Okay, the kit says 3 and up, but I'll address that at the end of the post. :)

Livvie got a sock puppet kit from her cousins and aunt and uncle in an Easter basket. Cute was the word she used to describe it. She was all over that box from Tuesday until Friday when she did them. :) Grandpaparazzi had the camera ready, and rolled some priceless video! Snapped some pics of the finished items too. It went much smoother than I'd thought.

If you are wondering how to do it, this worked for us. First, the highchair was invaluable, as it kept our artist in one place and comfortable. She ate lunch at her regular time, and then we had about an hour till "rest". Instead of building blocks, or going outside to wading pool...

Grandma opened the box and showed her the contents of the box at a safe distance... Livvie wanted to make the blue sock first, so I had her pick the mouth color, put those pieces in place and donned the sock. Using my finger to make the mouth, we chose wiggle eye color, fake fur pieces for "sideburns", pompoms, and then went to town with one of the sheets of felt stickers. Livvie loves to do stickers on pictures...so she was good to go with that. In all honesty the first one was guided practice, but except for the mouth she chose the placement. How did it turn out?

Before it was time for her nap(shhhh Grandma knows and you do too no doubt if you're reading this that rest relaxes into a nap) we had finished the orange one, that was a "tiger" named Tico before the day was over. Then the green one, who she calls Abbie.

Abbie is green with pink pompom ears and does look a bit like AbbyCadabby. At least to Grandma and Livvie. Then she walked around with Abby on her hand for a little while. While she rested, I got out my needle and thread and sewed down those felt pieces, and was actually able to sew through the wiggle eyes. and fake fur. I felt they were safe enough for her to have after that!

I woke up this morning wondering what seeds of artistic creativity grow from sock puppets? Stay tuned, and before long we'll try making Livvies first quilt. I'll do the sewing, she'll use a Charm pack and a flannel backed tablecloth which makes a great traveling design wall if you haven't tried it! I'm off to Hankemer in just a few minutes, with a Sip & See scheduled for the afternoon. Life is Good! :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Grateful for my Hooker Friends

Tomorrow, I'll be on the road to Hankemer, and helping to set up the room for my first Stash Sisters Hookin. Hope I'll remember everything, and know we'll have lots of fun. I'll add some pics after the day is over... may be a day or so.

Friday will be fun too, Little Bit got a puppet kit from her cousins for Easter. Never made a puppet with a 2 year old before, not even vaguely sure what the experience will be like. Putting stickers on plastic eggs was a hoot, so 3 or 4 eyed puppets, should be fun too. Grandpa is sure to have the Flip camera ready, but we probably won't put that video on line. So you'll just have to imagine the whole thing till I get a chance to write about it.

Saturday will be the 2nd day of the hookin, and a Sip and See to Meet Jen and Shawn's baby girl, with the sweet nickname of Blueberry! So another big day there. I may have to sleep in Sunday morning!

Lots of fun, at the setup, but I forgot the camera! duh.

Tomorrow, I get to meet Blueberry.(child safety for internet) Hope they have some cake! :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Grateful for my Savior, Jesus!

We all have beliefs, so not saying mine are the best. Hope your heart and life is filled with blessings and abundance. Today is the celebration of the miracle of Christ's resurrection after his brutal crucifixion. Last night my dh and I watched a program on the History Channel that showed a process that lead to a computer rendered face of Christ. Extrapolated from the Shroud of Turin, linking the shroud historically, and emphasizing in a very fair handed way, that the face is the face of the shroud, but no way to PROVE it is the face of our Christ. It was a very moving program to us. His face or not?

In the end it is always going to come down to FAITH. He is risen, he died for our sins, he suffered, died, and well, The United Methodist Creed says it better than my ramblings.

Apostles' Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord:
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,[26]
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
 If your beliefs are different, I honor your right to hold them. But his life was a miracle for any who open the door of their heart and accept them. Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's coming together like I imagined it :)

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a first look at my brown wizard rug. Here are a couple of updated pictures. I'm attempting some camouflage (very rudimentary) art in this rug. First the stepped back view of the whole rug.

I'm trying to combine a wizard and owl in this piece to represent the brown wizard in LOTR.  From a distance his face appears to have an oversized nose with a bump. This was a happy surprise to me. Because,
 his broken nose is
really is the tip of his nose, with a moustache beneath. His robe is supposed to emulate shadows on foliage, and kind of be a form of camo... I'll take a pic of the plaid wool that is making this work so well to me.

Of course, I have a mental image that I'm comparing it too. It is coming along great to me. (Rather immodest, but like a child, my work delights me). The proddy eyebrows are just like my old lady eyebrow hairs!  Hope you like it too.

grateful the move is complete

In these times, saving $40. a month for my storage unit was hard to pass up. Yesterday was the final day of March, and after a month of working by myself every spare moment, my dh came in to haul out trash and donations.

For many years I was a fifth grade teacher. It was good to go with him to a store/social service in a nearby city that maintains a variety of services for others. Lots of books, bulletin board materials, and other items that could be used as incentives or awards... :) Nice to think of the leftover notebook paper, pencils, old calendars(used the photos as a reward think of them like a mini poster). Motorcycles, fast cars and puppies or kittens delight kids.

I still have other things that need to be passed along, but I set my goal to move, and met my goal. A very rewarding feeling!