Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween giveaway!   But you have to hurry, the sign up period ends tomorrow night at Midnight! Hope the winner is someone who needs it most! :)

Final Finishes :)

 Any of you with kats know that as soon as you put something down to get a picture, kats will come from the other side of the house to get into the picture, and examine the new item. :) Here Kirbykat gives you a sneak peek of my sampler finished as a pillow. This design, by Prairie Schooler  (link to all of their available designs) is called Sweeping  Cobwebs, available in latest designs.

 Here you have a better view of the finished pillow which is currently available on Etsy.  It is so close to Halloween, will probably be there for awhile, since Halloween is just two days away. But if you don't care whether it is October or not for witches, black cats, jack-o-lanterns to be on display. Check it out!

The second finish today is my Wizard adaptation of the "2009 Santa" by April Deconick. I've used quotes, but that may not be quite the actual title. April taught a class at our Kirby Hooking Circle, on hooking by value. My wool selection really didn't lend itself to a Santa, so she gave me permission to adapt the pattern to make a wizard. I thought about the wizard, Radagast, from LOTR as I designed my version. It has a number of added features from her Santa, but I'll design my own wizard before offering a pattern. It is currently under development. :) Sounds very professional, huh?

Chose to finish it as a pillow, with rectangular dimensions, before checking out the available pillow forms. Did you know that the majority of forms are now square? There are a few rectangular ones, and the one I selected was wide enough, but not tall enough. So although it isn't obvious in this picture, the upper part of the pillow isn't supported by a form. This pillow contains both as is and hand dyed wools, The colors in his cap were hand dyed by April. The remaining hand dyes are my own, from my Texas palette. I still have a few colors that need to be dyed, and then the formulas will be available, including swatches.

This design is supposed to suggest both a wizard and an owl... He is turned looking back toward the viewer, and I hope you can feel his piercing gaze. The luna moth is an homage to the LOTR movies, where they used a luna moth to take a message that Gandalf needed assistance. Luna moths live in TX, and have always been one of my favorites!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween is just one week away!

Halloween was always one of my favorite holidays as a kid. Costumes to imagine and make, special treats to eat, and a party or at least a costume parade at school.

Soon after becoming a teacher, I discovered a wonderful sort of scary story that was called The Red Room Riddle , by Scott Corbett. It was a dark and storm night, the first time I read it, and just like many adult books it was a book hard to put down. It was a great book for reader response's and it had two boys as it's lead characters. So I could always count on keeping the attention of all the kids in the room, as I read it aloud ~ usually after recess.

I  googled it today and found that there was a weekend program back in 1983, right during the time we were relocating to TX. I watched three videos on YouTube, and while they were well done for their time, they had to change up the story a bit for tv. I guarantee the book is a great book. I especially liked that at the end the author, let the reader decide whether it was a real event or the lively imaginations of two boys on a special Halloween adventure. Ordered a copy on Amazon today, so that Livvie can know the fun of the story when she is old enough to enjoy it. Right now Tinkerbell is scary, so the hair raising tale in this story wouldn't be appropriate. It is a chapter book, with lots of good stopping points. when kids groaned and wanted more that meant sometimes we'd work a bit harder so we could finish earlier for a bit more story before the buses came and the bell rang. :)

  After watching this and the two other clips, I want to read the real story again. As a matter of fact, I'd love to read it to a group of kids again!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Grateful for a wonderful Circle of Friends!

Today was our regular meeting for the Kirby Hooking Circle, and although Halloween is not this weekend, we planned some activities to have a party for all of us. We brought salads to share or other foods. I made a "spider web pizza" Wish I'd left enough time for myself this morning to take a picture. Here's a quick description, pizza crust bottom, sauce in the middle, and string cheese torn apart to make the spokes and connecting threads that looked like a spider web. Pepperonis added here and there to look like a few spiders on the web. If I were serving this at home, I'd thought about cutting some short piece of onion into 4 legs and sticking one side under the pepperoni while fanning out the other side.

A few of us brought some "costuming" mostly witches hats.  Lurie's hat has black and purple stripes on the crown. She is holding a piece she recently finished. It has a giant Jack-o-Lantern rising behind a little cottage. A great mat for this time of year, when big ole Harvest Moons hang in the sky.

April is the  one wearing a witch's hat and a jack-o-lantern t-shirt . She worked on ATC cards for our group exchanging on Rug Hooking Daily. These use "leftovers" from her Got Wool? rug, where she hooked and evaluated different materials. She is doing a column/series of short articles? in the ATHA newsletter telling about each of the alternative materials, how it was to cut, hook, and general appearance in the rug.

Pat is holding some hooked Indian corn she brought for our show and tell. The colors seemed really perfect to me. Louise has a make do black cat with wire whiskers that doesn't really show up well against her shirt. It was super cute!

I'm the old crone on the right wearing the hat with a veil and cats eye glasses. You can't really see how great a hat this is from this angle. I may add a pic tomorrow to show the wonderful features it has.  My almost finished Brown Wizard rug is an adaptation of April's Santa design from last year. She gave us a class on hooking by value in February or March. I didn't have very many shades suitable for a Santa(a brown Santa seemed sad to me) hadn't started dyeing yet at that point in time, so April gave me permission to transform her design into a wizard that combined features of a man and an owl. Cindy , Barbara ,  and another Barbara  (holding the wonderful sheep rug), and Toni are the other ladies between Lurie and Pat.

I'm hoping to construct a pillow from the Wizard mat, that will be for sale at our Artisan's of Houston show next Saturday, October 23rd,  at Bethany Church of Christ, 3223 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX. Open to the public from 10 am ~ 3 pm with free entry.  If you are in the Houston area, hope you'll drop by!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Gift of the Spirit

Was touching to hear about the rescue of the Chilean miners in general, but especially touching to me was a comment I heard on the news that one of the men who was rescued gave rocks as a gift of remembrance to onlookers after being pulled to the surface. This article on Yahoo gives sounds and sights to  5   touching moments.

Next time that you or I have a gift to give, and wonder how we'll manage, lets remember that it isn't the gift that matters. It is the loving spirit of gratitude, celebration, humility, or whatever was in that miner's heart or our own. The most magnificient gift in the world, won't satisfy if the person receiving it, knows it was done merely because of a had to do it spirit. But I imagine all of those who received or even heard of the rocks as gifts will remember how a simple gift can speak volumes.

I wish for you the feeling that you have enough, and the knowledge that for most of us, we have all we need right here in any moment.

Friday, October 8, 2010

One of my best birthdays ever!

Last Saturday, was my birthday and I'm way older than 29 so not telling how old. But I did learn how to use a phone when they were all black and had rotary dials. Or at least the standard phones installed were like that, and that's all my family ever had. Even years after my sis and I were married and came home, the same paint spattered phones were right where they always had been. That was a good thing.

My parents have been gone for years now, and died within less than a year of each other. Our family is small, and wanting to have more family has been a lifelong wish of mine. When our daughter wed, her husband has two brothers, his mother is a wonderful warm hearted hostess who seems to want all the cooking and mess of all the families combined. And my wish began to come true. When his younger brother married, it just got better!

Now, they are living away from TX in Alaska, for a time, not long I hope, but since TX is so large, they lived far enough away we only got to see them occasionally. I am going to learn how to use Skype, so that I can stay in touch with them.  They were back to be in a wedding, so all of the parts of our families got together for a baby shower. We only contributed 4 to the gathering. By coincidence the shower and my birthday were on the same day, we got to help prepare food the day before, and just a little bit on the actual day of the shower. The day was a swirl of conversations, hugs, watching babies, toddlers, and teens. Seeing baby pictures and well just a great day in general. You can see me behind the trio posing for a picture. Not too clearly, which is just as well.  A 4 or 5 story cake sat on the table...but not a candle in sight. :) So right now, I feel like a wish made long ago on some birthday or other came true, and my family has grown in ways unexpected but delightful.

I also wish to thank Kim of My Field of Dreams the giving me an award on her blog, which I appreciated, but don't participate in awards any longer since it was weeks before passing on the honor...