The Year of the Dog.

This past Friday began the Chinese lunar New Year of the Brown Earth Dog.  I was born in a Dog year [many years ago], so I hope this will be an auspicious year for me and all of the other Dogs.

According to the Chinese Horoscope, this year will be a busy one for Dogs and an exhausting one.  It goes on to say that we Dogs need to take care of our health, get more exercise [ugh!] and drop bad habits [double ugh!].  I will do my best to make it a great year. 

Do you know your Chinese astrological animal sign?  You can google it and look for your year listed with one of the twelve animal signs.  Your animal year will repeat every twelve years.

Now that I have completed the auction dog rug and have mailed it off to its rightful owner, I am busily finishing up a super secret rug, which I cannot show you.  So, this week I will share a few hooked dog rugs that I have done.

Do stop back next Monday when I will be doing a BOOK GIVEAWAY!  I love doing them and you seem to like them, too.  I know you will want to win this latest book from Ampry Publishing LLC and Rug Hooking Magazine.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in being a Dog, whether an astrological sign or an actual one.

This is Ikey. He's 13 now and has diabetes, but he's doing great!

This is Ikey. He's 13 now and has diabetes, but he's doing great!

This is Benji, who modeled for my Hutchinson-style rug a few years ago.

This is Benji, who modeled for my Hutchinson-style rug a few years ago.

This is Thumper [l.] and Beans [r.].  This is a topper for an antique trunk at the foot of our bed.  It provides a launching pad for the doggies to get onto the bed.

This is Thumper [l.] and Beans [r.].  This is a topper for an antique trunk at the foot of our bed.  It provides a launching pad for the doggies to get onto the bed.

This is my recently completed auction donation rug.  It now lives on Cape Cod. [photo by Impact Xpozures]

This is my recently completed auction donation rug.  It now lives on Cape Cod. [photo by Impact Xpozures]

I think this is the only photo of all four of our dogs in one spot.

I think this is the only photo of all four of our dogs in one spot.

Two dogs ready to run.

Sydney and Whiskey are ready to go home to their owner.  I worked like crazy to finish up the hooking and binding this week.  Not without some changes in my plans, however.

I had dyed some wool for the background using the Blue-Red-Yellow dye plan.  I enjoy doing this kind of dyeing, because it’s done in one pot.  First add the blue dye with citric acid, stir twice and leave it alone until the dye is taken up by the wool.  Then add the red dye with a bit more citric acid, stir twice and leave alone until that dye is taken up. Then do the same process with the yellow dye.  The end result is wool with a beautiful spotty richness showing primary and secondary colors. 

I was pleased with the dyed wool, but when I held it up to the dogs, it was much too distracting.  I put so much blood, sweat and tears into hooking the dogs that I did not want to make them vie for attention.  I decided that I liked the dogs against the natural color of the linen, so I found a beautiful neutral herringbone wool, named Winter Wheat, from The Wool Studio’s most recent swatch mailing.  While I was at it, I also ordered some similar wool with very subtle color stripes in it, named Fruit of the Loom, which I used for the border.

Another change in plans was that I had thought I would use the antigodlin, or higgledy-piggledy, kind of hooking for the background to give interest.  [Nancy Parcels wrote an informative article on this method in the Sept/Oct 2016 issue of Rug Hooking Magazine].  I found the neutral background wool was so soft and blended so well, that the antigodlin loops would have gotten lost.  So, I did my usual method for doing a background- hook a shape, fill it in, hook another shape, fill it in, etc.

All that is left to do is to have the rug photographed and then mail it on its way.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the successful finishing of another hooked rug.

Sydney and Whiskey all set to go home.

Sydney and Whiskey all set to go home.

Down to Earth in Oregon.

Although I am hooking every day on the German Shorthaired Pointer rug, I thought I’d take a break from blogging about it for this week.  That way, there will be a bigger difference when you all see it again.

I finally boxed up the Down to Earth 2 round meditation mat and I will send it off to Oregon today.  It’s going to the Siskiyou School in Ashland, Oregon for their March fundraising auction.  I hope it does well for them.  I love Ashland and it’s quite a “hippie dippy” area, so I’m sure someone will bid on my meditation mat.

I’m planning another trip to Ashland this spring.  I can’t wait!  There are a few photos from previous visits below.  Besides visiting three of my favorite people, there are so many things to see and do.  Or just sitting and looking at the amazing view of Grizzly Peak from my son and daughter-in-law’s deck is worth the trip.

I have added the patterns for both of my Down to Earth meditation mats to the Shop page of my website.

There’s a lot of beauty out there.  Here, there, and everywhere!

Down to Earth 2, designed and hooked by me, is winging its way to Oregon.  This 36" diameter pattern is available on the Shop page, so you can hook one of your own.

Down to Earth 2, designed and hooked by me, is winging its way to Oregon.  This 36" diameter pattern is available on the Shop page, so you can hook one of your own.

Down to Earth 1, 30" x 70" pattern is available on the Shop page.

Down to Earth 1, 30" x 70" pattern is available on the Shop page.

No trip to downtown Ashland is complete without sampling their lithia water.  It's an acquired taste, but I'm looking forward to sipping some of it this spring.

No trip to downtown Ashland is complete without sampling their lithia water.  It's an acquired taste, but I'm looking forward to sipping some of it this spring.

Grizzly Peak, Ashland, Oregon.  What a view!

Grizzly Peak, Ashland, Oregon.  What a view!

There are many vineyards in Oregon.  There pinot noir is excellent!

There are many vineyards in Oregon.  There pinot noir is excellent!

Seeing spots.

I have admitted in the past to being a reluctant wool dyer, and that’s the truth.  Now that I have hooked the dogs’ heads, necks, and collars, it’s on to their spotted chests.  That will require some spot dyed wool.

I pre-soaked some natural wool and accordion-folded it in a casserole pan.  I put citric acid into the hot water in the pan, so the dye would go into the wool quickly and not spread out too much. I made up some chestnut dye and sprinkled it here and there on the wool.  Into the oven it went for half an hour, then a cool down and a rinse and dry.  It looked promising, but the test will be when I cut a few strips and hook some loops.  Fingers crossed!

The spot dyed dog-spot wool works.  I am using a wider #8 cut, so the spots will appear larger, and I’m happy with the look it gives. As soon as I hook Whiskey’s chest and all four paws, it’s on to the background and the hooked frame border.  Colors to be determined.  I like to see a piece evolve and emerge as I hook along.  One thing leads to another.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the unfolding of one’s artistic vision.

Spot dyed wool makes dog spots.

Spot dyed wool makes dog spots.

Making headway.

The weather was a wee bit milder this past week, so I was able to spend many happy hours in my studio.  I made up for the frigid days when I got no hooking done at all.

After hooking Sydney the dog’s head, I jumped right into hooking Whiskey.  Although I didn’t want to make them identical, I did want to use many of the same wools, which I had in small piles marked nose, eyes, ears, face, and chin.  This is not an ideal method of organization, but it worked for me.

The heads are going to stay like this while I begin hooking the brown and white spotted and streaked chests of the dogs.  That will give me a better idea if I am satisfied with their heads.  I’ve learned to not be too quick to unhook areas, unless there is a glaring error.

I put this auction rug aside for this past weekend, so I could work on a super-secret rug at the Magdalena Rug Hookers retreat.  A small group of us spent time at Red Stone Glen Fiber Arts Center in York Haven, PA.  It was so nice to relax with fiber friends and fellow rug hookers at this beautiful place. Although open to all forms of fiber craft, if you’re a weaver, or want to learn how to weave, this is the place for you. 

Now it’s back to working on the dogs.   I think I will have to spot dye some wool for their chests.  And I’m pondering how I’ll do the background. 

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in spending time with fellow Magdalenas in a beautiful setting.

Hello Sydney and Whiskey!

Hello Sydney and Whiskey!

It takes a village.

My work in progress [WIP] is a work in progress. 

Judy Carter’s book, Hooking Animals [© 2014 Stackpole Books], is bookmarked and often referred to as I go along. Judy mostly hooks with narrow #3 and #4 wool strips, but I am hooking these dogs with wider #7 wool strips.  That’s as narrow as I like to go, so I have used Judy’s book as an inspirational jumping-off point. 

It has taken me years to realize and accept that I hook the way I hook.  Although I have learned and incorporated many helpful hooking tips through the years, I must have confidence in my own abilities.  I plan to look to my friend, Nancy Parcels, for inspiration as I do the background. 

It does indeed take a village!

Another lesson that has been obvious as I hook, unhook, and re-hook this dog rug, is that I need to employ a bit of good old, Artistic License.  I have certainly done that in the past.  In this case I tried many colors for the eyes and although the eyes of these dogs are usually brown, in the photo there is a definite yellow/gold cast.  I settled on a rusty-orange wool, which gives the eyes more definition and helps them stand out.

 I shall be jumping over to do Whiskey’s head next.  After that, the rest of the rug should be less stressful.  Don’t quote me on that.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in channeling the hooking tips of expert rug hookers.

Sydney, the German Shorthaired Pointer, is a work in progress.  I'll do Whiskey before making any more changes.

Sydney, the German Shorthaired Pointer, is a work in progress.  I'll do Whiskey before making any more changes.

Weather delay.

As in many parts of the US, our area of Pennsylvania has been in the deep freeze with no letup in sight.  For that reason, I have not spent any time in my rug hooking studio.  Yes, there is a heater in there, but in this extreme cold, it doesn’t keep the room warm enough for my fingers to work.

I always say that I prefer to be cold than hot and that’s the truth.  Actually, I prefer to deal with being cold than hot.

Before this bitter cold hit, I managed to do the preliminary drawing for the dog rug.  [My blog from last Monday explains this project.] Next will come putting it on linen and then the fun part of hooking.  Stay with me as I go along. 

I hope you’re managing to keep warm.  Bundle up!

There’s a lot of beauty out there, but I’ll enjoy it from inside for now.

Sydney and Whiskey are ready to go on linen.

Sydney and Whiskey are ready to go on linen.

A New Year and new beginnings.

Back in October I attended the Brandywine Hook-in with my fellow Magdalena Rug Hookers.  It was a fun day filled with networking, shopping, reconnecting with rug hooking friends from near and far, and the winning of a door prize! 

I won a very substantial amount of wool, which was donated from a retired rug hooker’s stash.  It is all wonderful plaids and other as-is wool in mostly quarter-yard pieces.  I didn’t immediately undo the package containing all of this wooly goodness, but enjoyed looking at it and waiting for the perfect opportunity to use it.  That opportunity arrived last month.

I donated a future hooked rug to an auction for the MSPCA-Angell animal adoption center on Cape Cod.  The excited winner emailed me with a photo of her two beautiful German Shorthaired Pointers, which will be the subject of her hooked rug.

The photo excited me and got my creative juices running and I ran for the package of the wool I had won.  I got busy washing and drying the wool and much of it will be perfect for hooking these dogs.  I love the idea that I won the wool and it will be used to hook a rug that someone else won.  Synergy at its best!

I will share my progress with the auction rug of Sydney and Whiskey [the dogs’ names] as I go along.  I know I’ll be consulting Judy Carter’s Hooking Animals book for tips.

Our son arrives today for a visit.  He lives on the west coast, so we don’t get to see him very often.  I hope he likes pork and sauerkraut, because here in PA Dutch country, we always eat that meal on New Year’s Day for good luck in the coming year.  I could use some good luck, how about you?

Happy New Year to you all and thank you for spending a bit of each Monday with me.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the pairing of the right wool with the right rug.

Just some of the wool I came home with.  Can't wait to see how it comes together in this rug.

Just some of the wool I came home with.  Can't wait to see how it comes together in this rug.

Hooked rug subjects, Sydney [l.] and Whiskey [r.].   [photo courtesy of L. Gulliver]

Hooked rug subjects, Sydney [l.] and Whiskey [r.].   [photo courtesy of L. Gulliver]

Christmas tidings.

Christmas is a quiet affair here at Crow's Foot Farm.  No little ones to bake cookies with and wait expectantly for Santa to arrive.  Christmas is always best when seen through the eyes of a child.

We don’t have a real tree this year.  We used to have a dry sink into which we would stand our fresh cut tree, keeping it out of reach of our four male dogs. Now that dry sink has been replaced by an antique pie safe, which I love a lot.  Times change and one must move along or get run over!

Our tree this year is a feather tree made by Patti Erickson, who also does beautiful chair caning.  Her website is www.thisoldseat.com . She can also be found on Facebook.  She’s a talented woman!

My Down to Earth2 round meditation mat is finished and it will be winging its way to Oregon after the New Year.  It was a lot of fun to hook.  Contact me about buying the pattern, so you can hook one, too.

My next two projects will be one super-secret rug for a group project and another one that I donated to an auction for the MSPCA animal shelter on Cape Cod.  I will be hooking a rug depicting the winner’s two beautiful German Shorthair Pointers.  Stay tuned as I share my process as I go along.

I hope your holiday season brings you peace, happiness and gratitude. 

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the Season of Light.

All finished and ready to sit upon and zen out.

All finished and ready to sit upon and zen out.

Taking it outside.

We had some snow showers on Friday as I drove home with a couple of friends from our monthly Breakfast Club gathering.  I am so blessed to have an amazing group of wise, creative, and caring women friends.  These women keep me sane and happy.

I had lots of hooking time this past week.  That, coupled with using nice wide  8.5 cuts of wool strips for the background, has made my Down to Earth2 rug zoom along.  This will be a donation for the March 2018 auction at the Siskiyou School in Ashland, Oregon.  When it is finished, I’ll have it photographed and put on the Shop page of my website, so the pattern will be available for purchase.  The pattern is actually available now, if you contact me.

I took the rug outside on Saturday to get a photo of it at this stage.  The light was bright and clear.  I love this time of year when things are pared down to their essentials.  The bare branches in the trees reveal bird nests that were used this past summer and the stream out back is revealed once again.  There is much to be seen in the winter, so get out and look for yourself!

Yule is on Thursday.  I love the dichotomy of Yule.  It is the first day of winter, but the daylight will then start to increase.  I will be sharing the longest night of the year with another group of friends.  The holiday season has something for everyone.  Hanukkah is almost over and next Monday is Christmas.  I wish you a happy holiday season however you choose to celebrate.

I hope to keep up this quick pace with my hooking projects.  There are quite a few in the queue, which I look forward to working on. 

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the stark beauty of winter.

More than halfway finished with Down to Earth2.  This is a 36" diameter meditation mat.

More than halfway finished with Down to Earth2.  This is a 36" diameter meditation mat.

Binding a Resistance Rug.

I finally finished hooking my rug titled, Women’s March 01-21-17.  It is a tessellation of pussycat hats in various shades of pink to honor the Women‘s March last January.  I knitted at least seven of these hats last year and some made it to the march in Washington DC.  It was a small way for me to participate in what was the largest and most peaceful march in US history.  It was also a march around the entire globe!

This rug has a couple of feminist buttons pinned on it and I will be looking for a few more to add to it.  It also has some velvet, sari silk, and strips of other colors that were donated by rug hooking friends, who wanted to contribute to my effort.

I wanted to do a different binding combining a cord edge with a crocheted outer edge using some bright pink yarn left over from one of the knitted hats I made.  After steaming the rug, I laid it right side up and arranged the cord [I use cotton clothes line] next to the outermost row of hooking and whipped it in place with dark red-violet wool yarn [I give a nod to Nancy Parcels' multi-cord edging technique here].  I then trimmed the excess linen to 1 ½” all around, folded it in towards the cord two times and then started to crochet.  This didn’t create the coverage I wanted, so I decided to whip around the rug with the yarn using a blanket [or buttonhole] stitch.  This created a nice beaded edge. 

Now I will continue hooking my Down to Earth2 round meditation mat and begin a super secret rug for a group project.  So much to do!

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in details that make a hooked rug special.

A whipped cord and a buttonhole stitch whipping make a special finish on this rug.

A whipped cord and a buttonhole stitch whipping make a special finish on this rug.

The finished rug and a great book filled with Women's March images from around the world.

The finished rug and a great book filled with Women's March images from around the world.

International Rug Hooking Day.

Today is the annual day to take rug hooking to the people! Where will you be rug hooking?  I am hosting my First Monday Crafters today, so I will be rug hooking with this group of knitters, crocheters, cross-stitchers, weavers, jewelry makers, and all around crafty ladies.  I’ll post a photo on the Rug Hooking Magazine Facebook page.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I have been able to do a lot of hooking.  I finished hooking a piece that has been in the works for months.  It shouldn’t have taken me so long, but I kept putting it aside for more urgent projects.  I am doing a different kind of binding on it and will unveil it when it is completed.

I got a good head start on the Down to Earth2 circular meditation mat that I will donate to my granddaughter’s school auction in March.  I had plenty of background wool left over from the original mediation mat that I finished recently.  I also used up some wool that I dyed for a previous project for the snake’s body.  Kundalini is ready to rise!  Do you do seated meditation?  This pattern is for sale, although it’s not on the Shop page of my website yet.  I will substitute two animals that are special to you, if you’d like.  Contact me at hookedrugpatterns@outlook.com for details.

December is here along with the annual holiday hoopla and hi-jinks.  I try to keep away from it and stay grounded and stress free, but I'm not always successful.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the celebration of the art and craft of traditional rug hooking.

A good start on my 36" diameter Down to Earth2 meditation mat.

A good start on my 36" diameter Down to Earth2 meditation mat.

Winter beckons.

This past week was devoted entirely to the annual multi-day Thanksgiving happenings here at Crow's Foot Farm.  Although there were fewer of us in attendance this year, the preparations remained the same.  It’s always a pleasure, but I’m looking forward to getting back to normal [whatever that is]. 

My rug hooking studio had become a bedroom, so no hooking was done.  No time for that anyway.  On Saturday the guests were gone, so I got busy putting the house back to rights.  I even put away the autumnal decorations and have started to bring out the more winter-y ones.  My holiday decorating has become “minimalist” and I like it that way.

Next Monday is December!  It is really true, that the older one gets, the faster time seems to fly.  I cannot delay the passing of time, but I can remember to take time to be aware each day of the natural beauty around me, both dazzling and subtle. 

As I walk out to open up the hen house each morning, I look to the east to witness the sunrise, noticing the subtle colors in the lightening sky and the shapes of the clouds.  I also listen for the sounds in this rural setting - Great Horned Owls, Screech Owls, roosters, squirrels, wild turkeys, Canada geese, to name just some of them.. 

I will now get back to my rug hooking projects and I can’t wait to share them with you.  Winter months are the perfect time to manifest creativity.  I’m ready!

Below are a few of my winter-y patterns available on the Shop page of my website.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the natural wonders all around us.

MNorthern Lights à la Emily Carr.

MNorthern Lights à la Emily Carr.

The Night Visitor.

The Night Visitor.

Not Quite White.

Not Quite White.

Snow Angel, not yet on the Shop page, but available as a pattern.

Snow Angel, not yet on the Shop page, but available as a pattern.

Down to Earth two ways.

Now that my 30” x 70” Down to Earth meditation mat is finished, I’m working up a design for a 36” diameter round mat for seated meditation.  This will actually be an auction donation for my granddaughter’s school.  I will share my progress on it as I go along.

I seem to think that I don’t ever procrastinate, but somehow I’ve managed to accrue a number of rugs and rug designs that are awaiting my attention.  How did that happen?  I made a list of these projects, so I can check them off as they are completed.  Remember the funny saying: “The faster I go, the behind-er I get”?  I’m a good example of this.

I have also said in the past that I don’t have any UFOs [Un Finished Projects].  Wrong.  I apparently need a major reality check.  But those projects will have to remain in the closet until the current list is completed.

With the slowing down of the seasons and the return to early darkness, it’s the perfect time to hunker down and focus inward.  These projects will keep my mind and fingers busy for the winter months ahead.  I love the dark half of the year. 

I signed up for a workshop at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week.  I always love spending the week there in August.  If you're interested, go to the Sauder Village website and sign up now.  Classes and workshops fill up quickly.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the darker months to come.

The new pattern for a round meditation mat is in the cut and paste phase,

The new pattern for a round meditation mat is in the cut and paste phase,

A winning name is drawn and other happenings.

One does not have to be of Scots-Irish descent to be interested in the new book, Hooked on Celtic Rugs by Gail Lambert [© 2017 Ampry Publishing LLC / Rug Hooking], but there were certainly many of you, who claimed that heritage and hence have a special interest in winning this book of Celtic designs.

The dye pot was overflowing with names.  With a bit of help from Benji, one of my furry helpers, the winning card was drawn.  Congratulations to Barbara Personette, who commented, “This looks like an interesting book. I’ve always liked Celtic designs.”  Barbara, I will contact you for your address and send that book on its way to you.

Last weekend I spent some time in Salem, Massachusetts with a friend.  We have been there a few times in the past, but it had been about ten years since our last visit.  Much has changed, but all the important and historic things are still there.  We were there after the Halloween hoopla, so the crowds had thinned out.

The clocks were set back one hour to Standard Time.  This causes great distress to the four canines, who call this place home.  I’m still trying to get them into the new routine.  I would be so happy if we could all just stay with Standard Time and forget messing around with it every year.  Does Daylight Saving Time actually save time?  I don’t think so.  There are still 24 hours in a day.

We had our first snow last Tuesday and Crow's Foot Farm looked so lovely.  Big soft flakes that coated everything in sight.  I do love winter-y weather.  My trips to the hen house become a bit of a slippery slog three times a day, but I’m willing to put up with it.

My Down to Earth meditation mat is finished. I need to have it photographed and listed on the Shop page of my website.  The pattern is available to buy and I will put two of your special spirit animals on it, if you’d like.  I will now start designing a round one for seated meditation. 

Thanks again to Ampry Publishing LLC and Rug Hooking Magazine for the giveaway book. I love doing giveaways and it’s obvious that you all do, too.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the first pristine snow of the season.

Benji sniffs out the winner.

Benji sniffs out the winner.

An iconic sight in Salem, Massachusetts.

An iconic sight in Salem, Massachusetts.

We found this alleyway intriguing, but off-limits.

We found this alleyway intriguing, but off-limits.

The beginning of the beautiful snowfall.  Daniel Peifer, the German farmer who worked this land over 200 years ago, lies beneath his mulberry tree.

The beginning of the beautiful snowfall.  Daniel Peifer, the German farmer who worked this land over 200 years ago, lies beneath his mulberry tree.

Celtic design book giveaway.

I’m not sure if it’s my Scots-Irish genealogy or my love of rug hooking that has me more excited about this book-giveaway book, Hooked on Celtic Rugs by Gail Lambert [© 2017 Ampry Publishing LLC / Rug Hooking Magazine].  I think it’s both and I’m sure this book will appeal to you, too.

Gail Lambert has collaborated with David Rankine to offer a book of Celtic rug designs.  Included is a gallery of Celtic designs of animals, illuminated letters, geometrics, etc.  There are numerous step-by-step instructions and illustrations on how to set up your design, how to choose wool strip size, colors, and the sequence of hooking your loops to produce the best results.

As an added bonus in this book are Celtic recipes!  We all know that rug hookers love to eat, so the illustrated and kitchen tested recipes are sure to whet your appetite.

To enter your name in the dye pot to be eligible to win this new book, read on…

BOOK GIVEAWAY:   To get your name in the drawing, please leave a comment on this blog post on my website.  [Below this blog post is the teeny tiny word “comment/s”. Click on that to open a space to type your comment.] Be sure to sign in to leave your comment, so I will have your email address to contact you if you win.  [Your email address will not be used for any other purpose].  The drawing will be held on Sunday, November 12th at Noon [EST].  I will announce the lucky winner in my blog on Monday, November 13th , 2017.  Good luck!

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the intricacy of Celtic artwork.

Get your name into the dye pot for a chance to win this new book!

Get your name into the dye pot for a chance to win this new book!

A room full of rug hookers.

Q:  What do you get when you combine a gaggle of rug hookers, excellent vendors, and door prizes?

A:  The annual Brandywine Hook-In.

Many thanks to the hard working members of the Brandywine guild for hosting another fun day of rug hooking and camaraderie on a beautiful October day.  It takes a lot of planning and advance preparation to successfully host such an event.

I brought along my Down to Earth meditation mat to bind.  I got a bit done, but there were too many pleasant distractions.  I will finish the whipping with yarn this coming week. This fun day was topped off with my winning of a great door prize!

Tomorrow is Halloween, one of my favorite days of the year. Since moving here to PA, I have attended an annual spooky dinner at the Olde Log Cabin Homestead in Elizabethtown, PA.  It’s a night filled with stories, traditions, and a solemn ceremony to remember our departed loved ones.  I hope tomorrow will be a special day for you, too.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the honoring of our dearly departed.

P.S.  Tune in next week when I will be doing another BOOK GIVEAWAY.

This is a room filled with people focused on rug hooking and having fun.

This is a room filled with people focused on rug hooking and having fun.

LC WoolnSilk's display of eye catching colors and texures.

LC WoolnSilk's display of eye catching colors and texures.

Jan Cole, the Wool 'n Gardener, had a garden of proddy wool flowers on bed springs.

Jan Cole, the Wool 'n Gardener, had a garden of proddy wool flowers on bed springs.

The Wool 'n Gardener's yummy bundles of wool.

The Wool 'n Gardener's yummy bundles of wool.

The Old Tattered Flag was there with all sorts of supplies for wool lovers.

The Old Tattered Flag was there with all sorts of supplies for wool lovers.

Creative focus.

This past Friday I hosted my annual Halloween breakfast for my fellow Breakfast Club ladies.  I love doing this and look forward to it all year.  My creative focus was on this during the past week, except for making a Down to Earth rug pattern for a customer.

I chose my breakfast menu carefully, weaving together dietary restrictions, the ability to prepare most dishes the day before, and adhering to the holiday theme.  Making an interesting table is also of upmost importance.  I would love to have a job making party favors, because I love details!  I’ve shared photos below.

After we finished breakfast and drank up our Bloody Elviras [mine was a virgin Elvira, because I was the designated driver], we all headed out to Campbell’s Broom Shoppe in Loysville, PA.  Well, it’s not exactly in Loysville, but that’s what their address says.  One can never have enough brooms, so I did come home with a few. 

What is next?  I’m not sure, but I do have several things that need to be started.  Time will tell.

Today I am a year older.  I am always amazed that I got to be this old so quickly.  Several years ago, I decided to spend my birthdays honoring those whom I used to know, who didn’t live to be this old.  I am feeling grateful and humbled.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in remembering those who now walk among the stars.

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A few of the creative hand-made brooms at Campbell's Broom Shoppe.

A few of the creative hand-made brooms at Campbell's Broom Shoppe.

In a bind.

Such a fun and busy week this was!  The weather has finally turned autumnal, although I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it stays this way.  I had a nice visit from a friend, who has moved away, so we have less frequent visits.  We enjoyed fall scenery and temps.  The leaves on the trees aren’t very colorful this year, due to previously warmer than normal temps and little rain, but there is still a fall feeling in the air.  We crammed in as much fun as we could during her brief visit.

I’m having fun getting ready to host my annual Halloween Breakfast Club here on Friday.  I love this group of women!  I will share photos of the table decorations, etc, next time.  If I remember to take pictures, that is!

My Down to Earth meditation mat is finished, but for the binding.  I love to bind rugs.  Really!  I‘ve got a lot of it finished, but I decided to hold off and take it to work on at the Brandywine Hook-In on October 28th.  I’m always too busy at a hook-in to actually hook!  There are so many shopping opportunities and catching up with old friends and making new ones.

There is a photo below of a part of the binding that I have done so far. I mentioned previously that I would share my favorite binding technique.  I’ve shared it before and you can see it by following this link.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the excitement of autumn!

P.S.  Although my Down to Earth meditation mat isn’t on the Shop page of my website yet, the pattern is available for purchase.  It is 30” x 70” hand-drawn on unbleached traditional or primitive linen.  My mat has a Frog and a Tiger [two of my spirit animals], but you can choose two animals that are meaningful to you.  The mat is designed with petroglyph-inspired chakra designs. Contact me if you’re interested at hookedrugpatterns@outlook.com

Sunshine and shadows on my Down to Earth mat.

Sunshine and shadows on my Down to Earth mat.

A bit of the edge binding.I always roll the linen over cord and baste in place before whipping with wool yarn.

A bit of the edge binding.I always roll the linen over cord and baste in place before whipping with wool yarn.

My happy place.

This past week I was in my favorite geographical area.  Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Cape, it is shaped like the arm of someone flexing his/her biceps.  The part of the Cape that I like the best is from the elbow to the fist.  That is the wilder, less manicured part, where the sand dunes reign and the plants are scrubby.

October is the best time to be there with fewer vacationers and traffic.  We did some touristy things, ate fresh delicious seafood, went on an eco-tour on a pontoon boat around Sandy Point, and just relaxed.

Since this past week didn’t include any rug hooking, I will share some photos from this trip and from a trip a couple of years ago. 

This week I assume I will get busy designing some new hooking projects.  Just let me shake the sand out of my sneakers.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and on Cape Cod.

Happy colors on these buoys!

Happy colors on these buoys!

More buoys at a lunch stop.

More buoys at a lunch stop.

Well, probably not rug hooking, but I couldn't resist this sign.

Well, probably not rug hooking, but I couldn't resist this sign.

A Provincetown butterfly enjoying lunch.

A Provincetown butterfly enjoying lunch.

Sunset on Race Point at the curved tip of Cape Cod.  Here is where East coast-ers can see the sun set over water.  Someone made artwork from scavenged beach detritus. 

Sunset on Race Point at the curved tip of Cape Cod.  Here is where East coast-ers can see the sun set over water.  Someone made artwork from scavenged beach detritus. 

I love this sculpted edge of the beach at low tide.

I love this sculpted edge of the beach at low tide.

Perhaps this gull is waiting for his meal to wash ashore.

Perhaps this gull is waiting for his meal to wash ashore.

In the distance is Provincetown with its iconic tower.

In the distance is Provincetown with its iconic tower.

The recognizable shape of Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The recognizable shape of Cape Cod, Massachusetts