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

Almost there.

It was a busy week and try as I may, I wasn’t able to complete the hooking on my Down to Earth meditation mat.  Just one more kundalini snake to go and then on to the binding.  I will take pictures of my binding technique to share with you when I get to that point.  I’ve shown photos of the cord binding before, but I get asked about it every once in a while, so a repeat is coming.

I will be in my Happy Place for most of this week.  Where is that?  Cape Cod!  I’m hoping for cool, sunny days, seafood, and fewer than normal tourists.  I will share some photos next Monday.

I am trying to think up a hooking project to take with me to work on at the Brandywine hook-in happening in a couple of weeks.  That is always a wonderful day filled with enthusiastic rug hookers and excellent venders. I’ve missed it for the past two years, but I will be there this year along with some of the other Magdalena Rug Hookers.

My next project will definitely be smaller than my meditation mat.  This weighs a ton and is so awkward to deal with on my frame.  Maybe I pumped up my biceps.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and on my favorite place, Cape Cod!

Down to Earth almost there.....

Down to Earth almost there.....

Toppers.

Having worked on my Down to Earth meditation mat for weeks now, I decided to hook some toppers for a few stools that were waiting in my studio closet.  Small projects are fun, quick to complete, and give a sense of accomplishment.

I decided to spray paint the stools.  A couple of them are newly made and the others are older ones. None of them is a rare antique, so painting them was fine by me. In the photo below, the stool with the Celtic heart design is a very nice antique stool that my hubby bought a couple of years ago and I hooked a new topper for it at that time.  That one I did not paint, as it already has a very nice paint job.

I always wait for fall to arrive with such anticipation.  This year fall is officially here, but Mother Nature forgot to tell the weatherman!  Hot and humid.  Not my favorite, but there still are signs of autumn all around.  I took a photo tour of Crow’s Foot Farm and the results are below.

I will be hooking on my meditation mat this week and maybe, just maybe, I will finish the hooking.  Then on to the binding.  Unlike many rug hookers, I like to bind.  I’ll share my progress with you next week.

I hope it is autumnal where you live.  It is a season that teaches us to see the beauty and then let it go.  Nothing is forever.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the rich colors of fall all around us.

Fun footstool projects.

Fun footstool projects.

Asters = Autumn

Asters = Autumn

I love this Beauty Berry that I transplanted here from Cape Cod.

I love this Beauty Berry that I transplanted here from Cape Cod.

We live on open farmland, but there is a bit of a woods area out back. 

We live on open farmland, but there is a bit of a woods area out back. 

7...6...5...4...3...

With the arrival of some early fall-like weather, I seem to be emerging from my annual summer heat coma.  This past week has been a whirlwind of hooking, crocheting, painting, and animal husbandry.

My Down to Earth meditation mat is coming along pretty well.  I only have two more petroglyph-inspired chakras to do. Hooking with a wide 8.5 cut of wool strips makes quick work of my hooking sessions.  I’m anxious to complete this mat and take it when I go to guided meditation.  Lying down while meditating is just about perfect for me.

Yesterday a group of Magdalena Rug Hookers spent a beautiful day at Fort Hunter in Harrisburg, PA.  Fort Hunter Day is when a variety of groups demonstrate their old-time crafts.  We enjoy showing interested folks how to pull loops.  It’s mostly the kids, who like to sit a spell and learn how to make a picture with wool, but we even had a man, Al!  He loved it.  This event also has great music, vendors, food, etc.  We always have a wonderful time.

I have been hooking toppers for a few small footstools.  I’m pleased with the results and I’ll share them with you soon.  I’ll see if I can put the finished hooked rugs and these footstools on the Shop page of my website.  I am still feeling the urge to purge!

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in sharing rug hooking with the public.

P.S.  I have added three finished hooked pieces to the Shop page of my website.

Down to Earth meditation mat is approximately 3' x 6'

Down to Earth meditation mat is approximately 3' x 6'

The purge begins.

I know I’m not the only person who is feeling the urge to purge.  I wonder what the impetus is?  Is it the new season of autumn, which is in the air?  As the leaves turn color and begin to fall, we are reminded that beauty doesn’t last. It fades away, but lays the groundwork for future new growth.

This need to lighten the load is encouraging me to sell off some of our smaller antique items.  We have been collecting primitive antiques since the 80s and love what has come to surround us in our home.  But how much do we really need?  There are certainly many pieces that we truly love and use daily and those will remain, but the smaller items that fill in the visual gaps can be thinned out.

I have also decided to sell a few of my smaller hooked pieces.  I’m sure I will add more as I go through things.  I am also finally hooking toppers for some small stools, which have been waiting, naked, for much too long.  I’d love to sell them, too.  If you are not in the purge stage of life [and I do think this is partially age-related] and are interested in any of these hooked mats, please inquire through the Contact page of my website. 

I’m still hooking on my rather large Down to Earth meditation mat.  I will share that with you next time. 

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in releasing and letting go.

Star Barn 1872 - finished rug 24 1/2" x 28"  price upon request

Star Barn 1872 - finished rug 24 1/2" x 28"  price upon request

Frogger - finished rug 15 1/2" x 22 1/2" -  price upon request

Frogger - finished rug 15 1/2" x 22 1/2" -  price upon request

Five Fish -  finished rug 18 1/2" x 24"  - price upon request

Five Fish -  finished rug 18 1/2" x 24"  - price upon request

Large Pizza - finished mat 18" diameter -  price upon request

Large Pizza - finished mat 18" diameter -  price upon request

A winner revealed and a new season begins.

Thank you for all of the entries and comments in this book giveaway.  The lucky winner of Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs 27 [© 2017 Ampry Publications LLC / Rug Hooking] is Debbie Bryant, who said, “Hookin’ my way to Sauder”. Congratulations, Debbie!  I will contact you for your mailing address, so you can start enjoying this book filled with this year’s winning rug entries.

Although the month of August was still hanging on, I was in the mood for autumn.  I traditionally start with the fall decorations at the beginning of September, so this was pretty much on track this year.  I admit to having a bit of a glass bottle and jar fetish and use my large collection [hoard] of these to decorate around the house.  I just swapped out the beautiful “Mason jar blue” bottles for my beloved collection of brown glass.  I don’t know what it is about brown glass, but I love it!

A fellow autumn lover just ordered my Stack o’ Jacks pattern, which reminded me to rearrange the pattern photos on the Shop page of my website.  The most fall-like ones are shown below. 

I mentioned recently that I am in a major PURGE of things here at Crow's Foot Farm.  I do love my belongings, but it’s time to lighten the load.  It feels good. I will be selling a few of my finished rugs and will post them in my blog in a week or so.  I’m also busily hooking toppers for a few small stools that have been waiting way too long. 

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in living simply.  Less is more.

Stack o' Jacks 36" x 18"

Stack o' Jacks 36" x 18"

La Hora del Te  26" x 21"

La Hora del Te  26" x 21"

The Recipe  24" x 18"

The Recipe  24" x 18"

Fall Fields  22" x 19"

Fall Fields  22" x 19"

Barn Owl With Moon  28" x 38"

Barn Owl With Moon  28" x 38"

Creative Energy  28" x 12"

Creative Energy  28" x 12"

Celebrating Celebration.

Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week is over for another year.  I hope you were fortunate enough to be there, but if not, put it on your bucket list.  I spent the week volunteering at the Rug Hooking Magazine booth with Deb Smith, editor, and fellow volunteer, Nancy Parcels.  It is such a great week filled with all things rug hooking.

While there, I went to Nancy Parcels’ dyeing demonstration on Thursday.  Nancy demonstrated about five different ways to dye wool with and without dye.  It was an inspirational workshop.  Nancy and I also took a workshop on Saturday taught by Capri Boyle Jones.  It was called, Small Works of Art.  Fun class!

The focus of the week, besides all of the retreats and workshops, is the incredible rug exhibit.  At the center of the exhibit is the collection of this year’s winning rugs that are now published in Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs 27 [© 2017 Ampry Publishing LLC and presented by Rug Hooking].  I am delighted to have a copy of this book to give away!

Here’s how to have a chance to win this book:

BOOK GIVEAWAY--   To get your name in the drawing, please leave a comment on this blog post on my website.  NOTE: 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, September 3rd at Noon [EDT].  I will announce the lucky winner in my blog on Monday, September 4, 2017.  Good luck!

Be sure to get your name in the dye pot for a chance to win this book!

Be sure to get your name in the dye pot for a chance to win this book!

Entering the rug exhibit at Sauder Village.

Entering the rug exhibit at Sauder Village.

Back to normal..... almost.

After a whirlwind trip to Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week in Ohio, which came on the heels of a visit from our son and his family, I’m ready to get back to “normal”.  Normal for me is a quiet life surrounded by dogs and chickens and plenty of time to hover over the rug hooking frame.

In the meantime, while waiting for normalcy to return, I’ll share a photo of my until-now super secret rug that was in the Sauder rug show.  The title of the rug is Fickle Finger of Fate, and it was designed and hooked by me for a group project spearheaded by Lisanne Miller.  The theme of this group project is, “a door closes - a window opens”.

I must confess that this theme really threw me for a loop.  Luckily, I had a lot of time in which to complete my rug, because it took me a lot of time to decide on a design. My interpretation of the theme is that when you come to a roadblock in your life, you may want to consult someone who is in touch with his or her sixth sense.  So, why not visit a palm reader to get some guidance for your future?

Another excellent Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week is in the books and I’m already looking forward to next year. 

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the convergence of rug hookers from all points on the map.

Fickle Finger of Fate, 16" diameter. Wool cloth strips, embroidery, trapunto, silk and button embellishment on linen foundation.  Photo by Impact Expozures.

Fickle Finger of Fate, 16" diameter. Wool cloth strips, embroidery, trapunto, silk and button embellishment on linen foundation.  Photo by Impact Expozures.

On the road to Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week.

I'm on the road today as I travel to Archbold, Ohio for one of my favorite events of the year. I look forward to this week all year long.  If you’ve never gone to Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week,  put it on your bucket list or better yet, find your way there this week [August 15 - 19].

This is the biggest and best rug hooking show.  Last year there were more than 700 rugs on display.  With many retreats and workshops for rug hookers of all levels of experience., the sense of excitement and camaraderie is palpable.

As we have done for several years now, Nancy Parcels and I will be volunteering our spare time with Deb Smith at the Rug Hooking Magazine booth. It’s such a fun way to see old rug hooking friends and make new ones.

I will be taking Nancy Parcels’ dye demonstration on Thursday and a workshop with Capri Jones on Saturday.  The rest of my time will be at the booth, or looking, mingling, and shopping.  Oh yes, there’s always time for shopping!

Please stop by and say hello.  I’ll be wearing one of my Rug Hooker name tags made by the talented husband of Janine Broscious.  If you don’t have one of these colorful name tags yet, you can order one here or I’m pretty sure Janine and her hubby will be at Sauder Village with their 3-D printer.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the company of enthusiastic rug hookers.

You might see me in my Wanda Kerr apron with my green name tag......

You might see me in my Wanda Kerr apron with my green name tag......

....or wearing my Magdalena Rug Hookers shirt with my purple name tag.  I'd love to see you there!

....or wearing my Magdalena Rug Hookers shirt with my purple name tag.  I'd love to see you there!

Summertime in full swing.

August is truly a summer month in every sense of the word.  The weather is hot, the gardens are bursting and we are enjoying a visit from our son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, Lucy.  They live far away, so their visits are treasured.

Perry County, PA is a quiet place full of country vistas, Amish buggies, and a slower pace of life.  Our plans may include a trip to the safari park, swimming at the big pool at Buffalo State Park, a proper luncheon at a tea shop, possibly a visit to an amusement park, and definitely hosting our annual corn hole party. 

So, with summer in mind, I’ll share some of my Cape Cod inspired rug designs.  I’m excited that I will be going to the Cape once again at the beginning of October.  That’s my favorite time of the year when there are fewer vacationers and a more laid back pace.

These designs are available as patterns on the Shop page of my website.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the special times with family.

Smoked Bass, a whimsical rug I designed for my brother and sister-in-law.

Smoked Bass, a whimsical rug I designed for my brother and sister-in-law.

Ship in a Bottle, one of my favorite designs.  

Ship in a Bottle, one of my favorite designs.  

Cape Cod Tidal Pool, a rug I donated to a fundraiser.

Cape Cod Tidal Pool, a rug I donated to a fundraiser.

Wedding Day, a rug designed for a friend's son.

Wedding Day, a rug designed for a friend's son.

MJ's Tidal Pool, a rug hooked for a friend.

MJ's Tidal Pool, a rug hooked for a friend.

Warp speed.

Tomorrow ushers in the month of August. Things are moving along at warp speed here at Crow's Foot Farm!  Next on the agenda is the upcoming visit from our son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter, Lucy.  They’ll be here before we know it and we can't wait to see them! 

Living in rural Perry County, PA has many advantages, but also some challenges. They roll up the sidewalks pretty early around here.  That makes entertaining people very home-centric [is that a word?] We will have lots of quality time "down on the farm" with our wonderful family.

After the family departs, I leave to go to Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio [August 15-19].  I’ll be spending lots of time at the Rug Hooking Magazine booth, so if you’re going to be there, do stop and say hello.

Because things will be busy around here, my blogs for the next few weeks will share some rug designs that have a summertime feeling.  It’s fun to highlight and revisit rugs that have been put aside for newer ones.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the activity of the summer season.

Sunflowers for Sarah, hooked a few years ago for our daughter-in-law.  Grizzly Peak in Ashland, OR is in the background.

Sunflowers for Sarah, hooked a few years ago for our daughter-in-law.  Grizzly Peak in Ashland, OR is in the background.

My adaptation [with permission] of the photograph, Barn Meadow Flowers, by Debra and Dave Vanderlaan.

My adaptation [with permission] of the photograph, Barn Meadow Flowers, by Debra and Dave Vanderlaan.

No sunflowers here, but this is my adaptation of Van Gogh's, Crows Over the Wheat Field. Photo by Impact Expozures.

No sunflowers here, but this is my adaptation of Van Gogh's, Crows Over the Wheat Field. Photo by Impact Expozures.

Friend Pat helped me make these Breakfast Club table gifts when she visited recently.  I tend to hoard bottles and jars, so this was a fun way to use some of them up.

Friend Pat helped me make these Breakfast Club table gifts when she visited recently.  I tend to hoard bottles and jars, so this was a fun way to use some of them up.

Hazy, lazy, hot and humid.

Ah, summertime when the living is easy.  I didn’t do much hooking this past week, because I had my friend Pat here for several days.  Since she moved away and we don’t get to spend as much time together, when we do get together we are on the move!

One of our usual haunts, Family Heirloom Weavers in Red Lion, PA, is no longer in business.  They made such beautiful woven blankets, coverlets, etc., but the cheap foreign knock-offs put them out of business.  So sad.  I understand the lure of cheaper prices, but the trade-off is loss of a local business that made quality items.

We did manage a trip to Miss Morgan’s Milkweed Antiques in Bethel, PA.  We love that place!  Not only do they have the prim antiques that we crave, they also have funky clothes and accessories.  It is such a fun place to shop.  Check them out on Facebook, where they post photos of their treasures.  I saw a photo of a pie safe that I knew I had to have, so we got there on Thursday when the shop opened and bought it.  I love it as an addition to our prim look.  It holds my Johnson Bros. brown transferware dishes.

I’ve been working on the afghan for the guest room, which I can easily pick up and crochet as I watch the news.  The next three weeks are going to be very busy with hosting my breakfast club, having my son and his family visiting [can’t wait!], and then off to Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week in Ohio.  Phew!  I don’t think I’ll get lots of time to hook, but we shall see.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the accelerated fun of summertime.

My afghan in progress on the left and a pillow from Family Heirloom Weavers on the right.  They had added a more contemporary line of designs and I couldn't resist this pillow in orange.  I'm sorry they are no longer in business.

My afghan in progress on the left and a pillow from Family Heirloom Weavers on the right.  They had added a more contemporary line of designs and I couldn't resist this pillow in orange.  I'm sorry they are no longer in business.

I just love this prim pie safe in original green finish.  It has the screening on all four sides.  My dishes have never been so happy!

I just love this prim pie safe in original green finish.  It has the screening on all four sides.  My dishes have never been so happy!

For whom the bell tolls.

It tolled for us at 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday, when our smoke alarms gave off one loud blast, which jolted us out of bed in a hurry.  As the dogs cowered under the bed, we searched the house and basement for smoke and fire and thankfully found none.  Another reason for an alarm to sound off is dust in the smoke detectors.  Hmmm….dust.  I made a beeline to my rug hooking studio, and sure enough, that smoke detector was flashing a red light.  Wool dust was the culprit!

I am not shy about saying that I have OCD. It’s the “good” kind, not the kind that makes me return to the house over and over to check that I locked the door.  I have the kind that makes me want to put things in order.  Tidy.  I can overlook some dust and dog hair, but things must be in their place.  I was planning on doing a studio cleaning, dusting and tidying after finishing my Down to Earth meditation mat, but I had to put the mat aside and get busy cleaning. This process took me two days and I do hope it will fix the alarm problem.

I mentioned my Frog Spirit Animal last time and this week, I dusted off one of my frogs and set him by the hen house door.  The hens avoided him at first, but they seem to have gotten used to him now.  I hope the frog mojo will keep them safe.

The hooking of my meditation mat will be back on track this week.  I am enjoying the process and look forward to using it.  It will be soft and cushion-y.  It would also make a nice yoga mat, but my yoga days are behind me. 

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in having a place for everything and everything in its place.

My studio is all clean and ready to be made wool-dusty once again.

My studio is all clean and ready to be made wool-dusty once again.

Spirit Frog bring good mojo to the hen pen.

Spirit Frog bring good mojo to the hen pen.

7...6...5...

I made a good start on my meditation mat this past week.  The motifs are hooked with a #8 cut and the background is done with #8.5 for a cushion-y feel.  Those wider cuts of wool also make the hooking go faster.  I’m not in a rush to finish this, but I am looking forward to taking it to a local wellness center when I go there for guided meditation.  Serenity now… and then.

I mentioned last time that I’m combining petroglyph-inspired chakra designs.  If you are unfamiliar with what the seven chakras are, and what each of them means, you can follow this link for an explanation.  The frog that I have in the fifth (throat) chakra area is one of my spirit animals.  Frogs warn of danger or interference.  If you come to my home, you will find a frog of some sort near every entrance.

The wool that I dyed for the background simulates stone.  I will be using lighter wool at the top of the mat and down along the sides.  The two-headed snakes will be hooked from the bottom up in the chakra colors.  Kundalini rising.  But that is a discussion for another time.

As always, this project will evolve as I go along.  I never make definite decisions on color or design beforehand.  I enjoy the journey and how a rug determines its own look.  Even these petroglyphs are not written in stone.

Hot and humid days here in south central Pennsylvania are making for some sticky weather.  But the tomato, pepper, and squash plants are going gangbusters.  The chicken population is holding steady for now with no further encroachment from predators.  I think I will put a frog out there today, just in case.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the balance of nature.

Working from the top down on the petroglyph-inspired chakra designs.

Working from the top down on the petroglyph-inspired chakra designs.

Down to Earth.

This past week, I did lots of dyeing for my next project.  I want to use up a lot of my wool, if that makes any sense. Many of us wool lovers seem to collect wool, but I want to use it, too.  Like many of you, I’ve done projects to use up those leftover noodles/worms that we all have.  In every case, the noodle bin looked exactly as full as it did before starting those projects.

My project this time will be about 30” by 72”.  I dyed five yards of wool for the background, using four different light, natural-colored wools and one darker olive green wool, which I married with onion skins and some khaki dye.  I had to do this in four batches.  I love the splotchy areas of dark rust from the onion skins and some green from the khaki dye.

From my extensive wool collection I also ferreted out pre-dyed and as-is wool in the colors of the chakras.  Petroglyphs? Chakras? What could this design be, you might ask?  It will be a meditation mat.  A mat for lying-down guided meditation.  I will also have to make a pillow to go with, but that will come later.

The chakra designs that I’m incorporating are personal to me and are in the style of petroglyphs. A couple of the design elements are spirit animals, which came to me when I did shamanic work, while living in Maine.  I will share my design next week. This will probably be a slow project, which I will share with you as I hook along on it.  Slow hooking.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in creating something personal and meaningful.

I can't wait to see how this wool will work together in my newest design, Down to Earth.

I can't wait to see how this wool will work together in my newest design, Down to Earth.

Different loops, different hook.

This past week I made a decision to spend more time in my daily life doing self-healing activities.  I have felt that I need to take care of myself, a concept that many women ignore.  Women are busy being caregivers, wage earners, and household organizers.  We often forget that to be able to give our energy, we must first create and store energy.  One cannot give what one does not have.

I started taking tai chi class again after a ten-year hiatus.  This is a very centering and calming form of exercise.  I also downloaded an app on my iPad called, Calm.  I bought the one-year contract, which enables me to use all of the many features it contains: guided meditation; breath work; sleep stories; nature sounds; ambient music; and more.  And I spent time with small groups of women on two occasions this week.  This is always healing and energizing. 

Very quickly after making this conscious decision to care for myself, I had a great idea for a hooked project.  I have been struggling for ideas, which I have mentioned in previous blogs, but maybe by the simple act of relaxing and looking within, I have unblocked my creativity.  Time will tell, of course, but this is encouraging.  When I flesh out this hooking idea, I will share it.

This past week I used a different hook as I continued to crochet an afghan for the guest room.  I just felt like making one and it’s going to be pretty. The guest room is the one room in the house with lots of intermixed colors and patterns.  I sometimes call it Lucy’s room [our granddaughter] or Pat’s room [my friend who likes to come and visit]. 

There’s a lot of beauty out there when one stops to look within.  Calm. Serene. Healing. Energizing. Restorative.

The afghan is coming along.

The afghan is coming along.

I found this on Facebook and have adopted it as my new mantra.

I found this on Facebook and have adopted it as my new mantra.

This 'n' that.

This past week had three consecutive days over ninety degrees, which is called a heat wave in these parts.  It’s not even summer yet, so there will be many more of these hot days to come.  Hot days require more attention to my hens, who need lots of cool water to drink.  That means lugging pails of water out there everyday.  It's good exercise.

I also have a hen, who was attacked by a predator [the same one, I suspect, who flew away with two of my other hens and killed a third one in the pen].  She is doing well, but I need to keep an eye on her and keep her separated from the rest of the hens until she has completely healed.  I am also keeping an eye on the sky for the winged predator. Once a predator is successful, he will return.  

I’ve been seeing several deer out by the cemetery behind our house, where the original German landowner and farmer is laid to rest.  I realized that the big mulberry tree that shades that area has already ripened its berries, which are now covering the ground.  I don’t blame the deer.  Mulberries are delicious!  Speaking of our little cemetery, a great-granddaughter of Daniel Peifer [the resident of said cemetery] visited with her husband to pay her respects. I love when Daniel's kin come calling.

As for artistic projects, I did a little of this and a little of that during the week.  I worked a bit on my super secret project, which included some dyeing; I began crocheting a granny square afghan for the guest bed [just had a hankering to do granny squares]; and I started planning my “Welcome” wall hanging, which will include at least one hen in the design.

There’s a lot of beauty out there in these hot, last days of spring!

Tillie struck such a nice pose that I had to take her picture.

Tillie struck such a nice pose that I had to take her picture.

Elphaba and Lucinda enjoying a sunny day.

Elphaba and Lucinda enjoying a sunny day.

The mulberries are ripening quickly in the heat.

The mulberries are ripening quickly in the heat.

I love the delicate pink of the Evening Primrose.

I love the delicate pink of the Evening Primrose.

For a dog, who is 99% blind, Ikey gets around very well.

For a dog, who is 99% blind, Ikey gets around very well.

My Zen Pizza in situ.

My Zen Pizza in situ.

A book winner and a pizza finish.

It was a fun week reading comments on the book giveaway and tossing names into the dye pot.  This book, Designed by You: Ideas and Inspiration for Rug Hookers, by Tamara Pavich [© 2017 Ampry Publishing LLC /presented by Rug Hooking] is so full of ideas and colorful rugs by many hooking artists.  I received my RHM Book Club copy of the book, and I’m happy to also have a giveaway copy to send to lucky winner, Naomi Duval. Naomi’s comment reads, “I hope I can get this post to work.  Great blog. Great pictures. Like your designs very much.”  Thanks, Naomi!  I’ll contact you for your mailing address and send this book on its way.

I completed my large pizza with a variety of toppings.  I finished the piece by trimming the excess linen to three inches and steaming two and a half inches of it to the back of the piece, leaving one-half inch showing all around.  I then spot dyed a piece of speckled wool, which wasn’t quite brown enough.  I laid the pizza [face up] onto the backing wool, which I trimmed in a circle about one inch bigger than the pizza . I brought the wool over the edge of the linen and folded it neatly against the row of loops on the front.  Basting it in place held it nicely until I could use two strands of wool yarn [one brown and one beige] to crisscross the edge.  The beige yarn was too light, so I used a brown marker to color it a bit here and there.  I wanted it to be spotty.

Now to decide on my next project.  I do want to hook a wall hanging for the back hallway.  And I have my super secret project that I have begun. Our weather is very hot and humid, but that doesn’t seem to deter me from working with wool.  How about you? I hope you are all hooking and having fun.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in all of our wooly artistic projects.

The Zen Pizza is finished!

The Zen Pizza is finished!

An inspirational book to give away.

The good news is that I have a great book to give away.  The not-so-good news is that I don’t know how to tell you about it.  The book is, Designed By You: Ideas and Inspiration for Rug Hookers, by Tamara Pavich [© 2017 Ampry Publishing LLC / presented by Rug Hooking].

There are so many wonderful and colorful examples of how to go about planning and designing your own rug that I’m wondering where to begin.  Tamara Pavich, the book’s author, has her inspirational designs alongside those of rug hookers she admires.  Every page has color photos of rugs from the minds and hands of many talented artists.

Tamara and the other rug designers share the inspiration for their designs and give details about the nuts and bolts of getting the design from their head and onto the rug backing.  Wouldn’t you want to follow along?  Ideas – Drawing – Style – Color – Art - Materials – Story – Yourself.  Don’t you want to take the journey?  Keep reading for the how-to-enter directions.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the imaginations of rug hookers everywhere.

BOOK GIVEAWAY:  I am excited to have a give-away copy of Designed By You: Ideas and Inspiration for Rug Hookers, by Tamara Pavich [© 2017 Ampry Publishing LLC and presented by Rug Hooking].  To get your name in the drawing, please leave a comment on this blog post on my website.  Below this post is the teeny tiny word "comment".  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, June 11th at Noon [EDT].  I will announce the lucky winner in my blog on Monday, June 12th , 2017.  Good luck!

Enter to win a copy of this great new book!

Enter to win a copy of this great new book!