Friday, July 23, 2010

Almost finished with Livvie's Birthday rug. A Better Look without Kirby :)

It is more than 6 months to Livvie's 3rd birthday, and I've finished most of the hooking for her first rug from me. This is a rug design by Karen Kahle, "Waterlilies" I fell in love with at first sight. Livvie's birthday was the Leap Day in 2008. So frogs have become something we connected with her design wise.  In Grandpaparazzi's mind and wasn't that much of a stretch. :)

I added a small strip to the bottom of the design that reads Grandma Loves YOU so that she will remember who made it for her. We've had wonderful times together in these early years of her life, but I really don't expect to be around by the time she is 30 or so. No one but the Good Lord knows the number of our days, but my years are piling up.  Trouble is, Grandma has some values problems. Not values like personal beliefs, my own are fairly apparent if you are a regular reader. If your's are way different, like the creep that keeps leaving comments in some oriental alphabet that will never be approved(link to a girlie site) you probably aren't returning.

Not as obvious to the eye when you are working on it as in the top picture, but I've learned that a picture often reveals surprises. And check it out in grayscale! So reverse hooking will take place this evening or at least sometime this weekend. After the pizza (a Friday night tradition) is cleaned up, I plan to do the new green. This will be completely different as Hill Country Herb Garden, as the reformulated blue and yellow are very different from my first tries. In addition, I plan to majorly increase my unifying color. I love these clear colors, but do want some primmer colors. So after asking advice at AAPG (An American Primitive Gathering) I'm going to increase my "secret ingredient" :) Not a secret to Merrie, Debbie, or anyone who reads that forum. from 1/32 to 1/2 tsp....should make a dramatic difference.

Happy that Green Woman Rugs has reopened!

Just today, I got an email saying that Green Woman Rugs has reopened their website. :) I have a permanent link over in the blogs column to the right. The style of rugs at the website I'd think of as similar to stained glass, or Tiffany lamps. Complex designs that would be fun to hook. If you need a gift for someone who is a Mason, they have a wonderful rug called Masonic Allegory and that isn't something you find every day. In addition, a couple of Southwestern Pottery Designs for rugs. Some great stuff!

Friends for a short time, but moving to another state in this century doesn't have to mean losing touch.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Grateful to have finished my Tyler Star rug camp project!

Back in May I attended my first rug camp at Tyler, TX. Texas Star was a wonderful experience on so many different levels. First and foremost was getting to meet three ladies I've known online for years. Maria Barton of Star Rug Company is a great teacher!, designer of this rug called "Toppling Down"  She helped us color plan our rugs, brought lots of wonderful wool pieces that we could shop from, and supported us throughout the time we began work on our rugs. Special stitches like using a knot, herringbone hooking, beading, and a "chicken eye" were other special lessons. These will all reappear in my rugs from here on out, but with this group of jack o lanterns it was easy to find a spot to use them all! Using them right away was a help to remembering them. :)  Also my own idea to add eyelashes to the third pumpkin added some whimsey to the rug as well.

Maria has been one of the most formative people/teachers of my rug hooking style, first with a challenge in PRHG to hook a sheep design. That challenge provided me with 400 woolstrips in 40 different colors. Eyeopening to say the least! Up until that point, I'd been doing kits or using upcycled wool from local thrift stores, and strips from ebay. These were handdyed, as is in wonderful weaves, and the challenge of using them all in a design. Maria complimented my rug in the group, after receiving my picture showing it finished. I was delighted! It was the beginning of my hope that I had the makings of a real rug hooker in me.

Within the last year, she again offered a challenge. This time to our group in An American Primitive Gathering. I truly love these ladies! With the exception of my family it is the most powerful and positive force in my life. This challenge was to use a background color we'd never tried before. Antique black is a fairly common background for primitive rugs, but one I hadn't tried. Many of my rugs tell a story, and thankfully those backgrounds have been filled with light and color.

We again had an exchange of wool strips, and the ones I received in dark shades of color really helped me to get excited with this background. This rug tells an imaginary story of a cat regaling a sheep it is barn-cat to with "Hair-raising Tales From the Other Side of the Fence".  I made only a few changes to the basic design~basically adding the moon, fence, and a scarf on the cat. The sheep's forehead and body have some raw wool worked into the curls that projects above the loops, my intention was to resemble the way one's hairs stand up in goosebumps when cold or frightened. :) It was possible to suggest the moon's real shape, a pinetree in the background and just have lots of fun with the background. I may never rise to the level of success I aspire to, but it is not as important as the enjoyment and learning that can continue as my skills grow.  Thank you a million times over, Maria!

Friday, July 16, 2010

A sneek peek into my hooking basket :)

 I'm currently working on a Karen Kahle design called Waterlilies for our granddaughter's 3 rd birthday. I absolutely fell in love with this design at first sight. The pattern was available at a wonderful shop in Tyler, TX called THE NIMBLE THIMBLE. 
Maria helped me to color plan, but I've combined some of the new hand dyes in my personal palette. The waterlilies are in shades of my orange called Ruby Red, because it is a rather unexpected series of shades that reminded be of our(TX) delicious grapefruits..
The rug is coming along nicely to me, but then it's my own work, and like a child, it generally does. :) I am using a technique I admired that Carol used in her Santa rug. The froggies are hooked organically with movement, but the water is basically hooked in straight lines, except where it touches a frog... 

Although it is as hot as can be, KirbyKat has given this rug his blessing and approved it! Not every rug is worthy of a nap! :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

Red River turned out to be more like Pink Grapefruit, so Ruby Red! :)

Well, it isn't the orange I was hoping for.... but Ruby Red/Pink Grapefruit. I'll be photographing them soon, but they were really a surprise! Was hoping for a nice burnt orange with those deep golds and dark reds.  A mottled red orange from lightest blush to a dark shade. This dyeing adventure is really fun, but this isn't an orange for just any project. Oh well. Guess it was bound to happen... Definitely will have to tone the red down for this to be a great pumpkin or utilitarian orange.  Believe it or not, I've already been using some of these in a rug for our granddaughter's 3rd birthday. The Karen Kahle "Waterlilies" It might be too bright for many folks, but these tones make a gorgeous waterlilly to me. I'll try to get a pic of the rug so far later today...

 After thinking about it for a short while, I decided to reformulate the yellow. I have the recipe for the original batch which had lots more deep gold tones than the one in the pot at the moment :) seems to have. After they cool down and I finish rinsing, drying them I'll add a new post.

Here is a picture of my reformulated yellow dye. I'm calling this one Yellow Rose in my official TX Palette. One of the light shades is the exact color of lemon ice box pie! The second picture is my new orange, the change is subtle, and really not at all obvious in the picture, but the oranges combining the red chilies and new yellow rose formula has a warmer more yellow quality to it. The Orange is called Red River in my official TX Palette. A friend said that some of the shades are exactly the shade of the red dirt in East TX, which I was privileged to see as I drove to Tyler for Star of TX rug camp. I'm much happier with this orange. One of the shades reminds me very much of orange pop! As a girl, that was one of my favorite flavors ~ especially if it came out of one of the old time pop coolers, where the bottles hung down from a metal rack into a gigantic pool of crushed ice and water. They were especially good and cold after riding in a car with no air conditioning other than the rolled down window.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

One of the Blessings from which others flow!

 Proud to be American

Music and Lyrics by Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life,
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky stars to be living here today,
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away.
And I’m proud to be an American where as least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.
From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee,
across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea,
From Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA,
Well, there’s pride in every American heart,
and it’s time to stand and say:

I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A

Wave a flag, eat some of your favorite foods of the fourth and remember that when we start to count our blessings that being American is one of the basics. Our country isn't perfect, but we have the freedoms of worship, free speech, and the right to vote for our leaders. I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My first creation using my own palette wools. and Challenge Rugs

Last Saturday was the first Annual Hook in for the Kirby Hooking Circle. Our challenge theme was to design a rug with celestial elements. We were encouraged to explore a shape other than a true square. My entry is called "The Spiral Dance" and depicts the waxing and waning of day and night at the solstices. The summer solstice is the longest day in the year, which means the photo period (hours of sunlight are waning now. The hours of darkness are gaining ground and will be equal more or less to daylight when Fall begins.)

 The winner of the challenge was Martha Lowery with a super rug.(I voted for this one myself).  Sorry, the upload is turning photos and I'm not quite sure how to fix that.  Glad the one below didn't have Martha on her head. The large mum on her left lapel is actually her ribbon for the Challenge. :) Isn't it a wonderful design? The title is "Once in a TX moon, longhorns can fly"

There were 2 other rugs in the challenge display. A couple of other wonderful rugs were still works in progress. Sorry Lurie and TJ the program is turning them sidewise. Mine was upside down!