Hazy, hot and humid.

My rug hooking studio has been transformed into a guest room for the next three weeks.  I’m happy to have my son and his family visiting and it’s much too hot to be working with wool. 

There’s not a lot to do here in rural Perry County, PA.  I always tell visitors to think of this as a time to relax.  We do have Little Buffalo State Park nearby with a big swimming pool for cooling off.  I’m sure the crew will take advantage of it several times. 

When the days are not quite so hazy, hot and humid, I think we will venture a bit farther off to Lake Tobias Safari Park.  We’ve been there many times, but our granddaughter always requests to go there.  It is a fun day that isn’t geared just toward children. 

Hershey Park is also not too far away and if they want to go there, I’ll stay home.  Crowds and rides are not for me.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the hazy, hot and humid days of summer.

Yes, it’s true.

Yes, it’s true.

A simple bouquet of hydrangeas and Russian sage in a Ball jar.

A simple bouquet of hydrangeas and Russian sage in a Ball jar.

Living on PA farmland, we only have one tree near our house.  German farmer, Daniel Peifer has been resting under its shade since Friday, the 13th of May,  1814.

Living on PA farmland, we only have one tree near our house. German farmer, Daniel Peifer has been resting under its shade since Friday, the 13th of May, 1814.

The blackberries out by the hen house are beginning to ripen.  After I took this photo, I ate the ripe ones. They are not sweet, but I love them anyway.

The blackberries out by the hen house are beginning to ripen. After I took this photo, I ate the ripe ones. They are not sweet, but I love them anyway.

After Father’s Day we let the asparagus go to seed.  I love the soft, feathery leaves and the seeds.

After Father’s Day we let the asparagus go to seed. I love the soft, feathery leaves and the seeds.

Have you ever made a rug toupé?

My new, very large puppy, Leo loves rugs.  He loves to unhook the hooked rugs and he loves to chew the nap out of regular rugs.  I’m so glad that we don’t have any valuable antique orientals. 

I suppose I’m a perfect owner of such a naughty pup, since I am a rug hooker/maker.  One of the hooked rugs was just a narrow one for shoes by the back door.  That one wasn’t worth saving.  I may or may not make another one for that spot.  He also started un-hooking another rug on top of the antique trunk at the foot of our bed.  This trunk serves as a launching pad for the pups [we have three] to get up onto the bed.  I was able to fix that one and will wait until Leo is a bit more mature to put it back on the trunk.

Then there’s the regular rug where Leo has a bed and a bunch of toys.  He somehow nibbled the nap out of a very noticeable area.  I decided to make a toupé for that area.  I mean, it can’t look much worse! 

I had some Alafosslopi heavy wool yarn in a deep red that is fairly close in color to the rug, so I knotted it onto a piece of linen foundation.  I made the knots close together and it looked encouraging.  I then trimmed the linen and folded it to the underside and glued it down. 

The final steps were to glue the toupé in place and trim it down to match the height of the rug nap.  I must admit that the area is obvious, but I think it’s better than a bald spot.

There’s a lot of beauty out there, but not so much when your dog chews the household rugs.

Leo eyeballing his filled-in spot. It’s obvious, but aren’t all toupes obvious?

Leo eyeballing his filled-in spot. It’s obvious, but aren’t all toupes obvious?

Leo’s handiwork before being filled in.

Leo’s handiwork before being filled in.

Toupe in progress.

Toupe in progress.

Trunk topper before the minor unhooking and repairing.

Trunk topper before the minor unhooking and repairing.

Summer staycation.

I’m not sure how to label the next two months.  Much of the time will be filled with activities other than rug hooking.  But in the middle of it all, I’ll be going to Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village.  I’ll call that an “oasis” of rug hooking.  More on that in August.

In the meantime, I’ll be sharing photos of things around Crow's Foot Farm.  There are always perennials and animals and all things green and beautiful.  Summer isn’t my favorite season, but I do appreciate many aspects of it. 

I hope you love summer and that yours is happening just as you like it.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the hustle and bustle of life all around!

I love red hot pokers. We seem to have two varieties that bloom at different times.

I love red hot pokers. We seem to have two varieties that bloom at different times.

Another of my favorite perennials is Russian sage. It’s beautiful to look at and it smells so good! The big fat bees love it, too.

Another of my favorite perennials is Russian sage. It’s beautiful to look at and it smells so good! The big fat bees love it, too.

We used to have a large area of purple coneflowers, but the heliopsis has taken over.

We used to have a large area of purple coneflowers, but the heliopsis has taken over.

The tomato plants weren’t put in until late, so we are anxiously awaiting our first tomatoes. These are cherry tomatoes.

The tomato plants weren’t put in until late, so we are anxiously awaiting our first tomatoes. These are cherry tomatoes.

Rug binding 101.

There are many ways to bind hooked rugs and I’ve tried a number of them. But once I ditched the twill tape and starting using cotton clothesline cord, I found the technique that suits me best.

I love the weight of the cord around the edges.  It gives the rug a good “plop” when thrown down on the floor.  I use cord for all my rugs, even those that hang on the wall.

Another plus for this technique is that the bound edge looks the same on the front and the back.

After steam blocking the rug I lay it right side up and trim the excess linen to 1 ½”.  I then fold the cut edge in to the outer row of loops and iron it down.  Then the following steps are shown in the photos below.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in a neatly bound rug.

The completed rug in situ.

The completed rug in situ.

After pressing the excess linen toward the loops, I lay the cord on it and begin basting it in place.

After pressing the excess linen toward the loops, I lay the cord on it and begin basting it in place.

This rug has a curvy border.  On the inward curves I had to clip the linen and add some Fray-stop to the cut.  This allows the rug to lay flat.  If I didn’t use the cord, this area would be almost impossible to whip with yarn.

This rug has a curvy border. On the inward curves I had to clip the linen and add some Fray-stop to the cut. This allows the rug to lay flat. If I didn’t use the cord, this area would be almost impossible to whip with yarn.

I like to use Alafosslopi yarn, which is a heavy yarn with a loose twist.  There are many kinds of wool yarn that can be used for whipping.  I used two different purples together to add interest.

I like to use Alafosslopi yarn, which is a heavy yarn with a loose twist. There are many kinds of wool yarn that can be used for whipping. I used two different purples together to add interest.

I used two different purples for the purple areas.  One is a red-purple and the other is a blue-purple, so I used a strand of red-purple yarn with a strand of blue-purple yarn for whipping.

I used two different purples for the purple areas. One is a red-purple and the other is a blue-purple, so I used a strand of red-purple yarn with a strand of blue-purple yarn for whipping.

Ready to bind.

Somehow I managed to finish hooking my I Love My OCD rug.  The dog population was pretty good most of the past week, allowing me time in the studio.  Some days are better than others and I’m looking forward to taking Leo to his Manners Class, which begins in a couple of weeks. 

The photo below of my latest rug doesn’t show the irregular curvy border.  I can’t wait to start binding this [yes, I actually do love to bind rugs!]  The rug is about 32” x 39”, so I’ll have to stand on a chair to get a full photo of it.  In the meantime, I’ll take photos as I bind it to show my process.  I have one favorite way to bind and I’m sticking to it! 

I’m still pondering how to design the next piece in my Mother Earth Speaks series.  It will depict the ocean with plastic flotsam.  Such a sad state of affairs for the Earth’s oceans. 

As some of you know, I’m in the Magdalena Rug Hookers here in Perry County PA.  I’m also in a three-woman splinter group called, Maggie’s Meyvns.  We Meyvns are each planning on hooking a rug about one of our strong woman heroes, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  I just planned my rug out on paper and I hope to get it on linen soon.  Unfortunately, I can’t show it until all Meyvns have completed their RBG rugs and we have our reveal.  Our reveals usually contain a meal.  We shall see.

The months of July and August will be filled with activities, which will make summer fly by.  I’m already looking forward to autumn.

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

The center area of I Love My OCD  32” x 39”.  Hooked with #8 and #8.5 cuts of wool cloth on linen.

The center area of I Love My OCD 32” x 39”. Hooked with #8 and #8.5 cuts of wool cloth on linen.

Here’s the tub of noodles after finishing the rug.  I didn’t use them all up, but I made a good dent.

Here’s the tub of noodles after finishing the rug. I didn’t use them all up, but I made a good dent.

I re-sorted the leftover noodles by color and put them back in their 2 gallon bags. This only took me 15-20 minutes, for those of you who think I’m crazy!

I re-sorted the leftover noodles by color and put them back in their 2 gallon bags. This only took me 15-20 minutes, for those of you who think I’m crazy!

A book winner and a busy week.

Thanks to everyone who put her name in the dye pot for a chance to win the new book, Hooked Rug Designs for Baby & Beyond, by Norma Batastini [© 2019 Ampry Publishing LLC / Rug Hooking].  This is a fun and inspirational book for anyone with a child’s drawing waiting to be turned into a special hooked rug.

The lucky winner is Cathy, who commented, “What a sweet cover!”  Congratulations, Cathy, I’ll contact you for your mailing address.

This past week has been pretty hectic.  With two adult dogs in our household, I decided to adopt a puppy.  Leo is a four-month old Labrador retriever mix, who is full of puppy energy.  I had forgotten what it’s like to have a puppy, and a big one at that.  The two adult dogs are figuring out how to deal with the new one and it’s going fairly well for the most part.  I think we will all be happy when the puppy phase is over.

One great thing about having Leo is that I am now taking a daily walk with him and my Boston terrier, Beans.  Our neighbor on the farm next door was kind enough to mow a path for me and the dogs so we can walk on his “farm road” without going out onto the paved road to get there.  What nice neighbors we have!

I haven’t pulled a loop in over a week, so I must get back to my I Love My OCD rug now, if I can get Leo to sit still long enough for me to do so.  I’m hoping he will become my studio buddy.

 There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the many small parts that make up our lives.

Leo, my studio buddy in training, helps with picking the book winner.

Leo, my studio buddy in training, helps with picking the book winner.

This sweet young deer comes daily to eat the mulberries on the ground.

This sweet young deer comes daily to eat the mulberries on the ground.

Book giveaway!

It’s always fun when I get a newly published book to give away. This time it’s, Hooked Rug Designs for Baby & Beyond by Norma Batastini [© 2019 Ampry Publishing LLC / Rug Hooking].

This book is filled with colorful rugs designed and hooked by many rug hookers for their children and grandchildren of all ages.  Many of the designs are original ones adapted from drawings by their imaginative youngsters. 

Do you have some artwork on your refrigerator that would make a wonderful hooked rug?  Can you imagine how much it would mean to frame the artwork and make a matching hooked rug for some special child?  It would be a family heirloom for years to come.

Norma gives many examples of styles and ideas to create your own rugs.  She also goes over copyright laws concerning familiar and popular cartoon characters and gives practical ways to stay within the rules.

BOOK GIVEAWAY:  I am excited to have a give-away copy of Hooked Rug Designs for Baby & Beyond by Norma Batastini[© 2019 Ampry Publishing LLC / Rug Hooking].  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, June 16th at Noon [EDT].  I will announce the lucky winner in my blog on Monday, June 17th , 2019.  Good luck!

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in creating a rug for a special child.

Be sure to get your name in the dye pot for a chance to win Norma Batastini’s new book!

Be sure to get your name in the dye pot for a chance to win Norma Batastini’s new book!

First chaos, then order.

I’m having fun with my stash-busting, I Love My OCD rug.  I grabbed an empty tub and put huge handfuls of noodles in it.  The variety of cuts and colors should be enough to create an interesting rug.  Every other section is hooked with two purple plaids in a #8.5 cut.  If this doesn’t decrease my stash, I don’t know what will, but I guess I’ll have to wait and see.

There is one little thing that is tickling my OCD, and that is the fact that if I don’t use up most of the noodles in the bin, I’ll have to separate them by color and put them back in their 2-gallon bags.  That task won’t actually be a bad thing.  The next project will be one for my Mother Earth Speaks series, so I will have to clean up my studio before starting that one.

In spite of many on-the-fly changes, this rug is hooking up quickly and I look forward to placing it in front of my studio door.  I’m sure that there will be some questions such as, “Whose initials are those?” 

I just received a brand-new rug hooking book to give away.  It’s a fun one, so be sure to tune in next week when I’ll tell you about it and start the giveaway.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in my latest free-wheeling rug hooking project!

Fun shapes and fun colors make a fun rug!

Fun shapes and fun colors make a fun rug!

A tub full of noodles/worms.  What do you call them?

A tub full of noodles/worms. What do you call them?

Making order out of chaos.

As I was designing my I Love My OCD rug, I had to laugh  I drew it freehand onto the linen, changed my mind about things, drew over the original lines, looked at it again, made more changes, and so on.  This is a metaphor for how I think of my personal OCD.  To me it means “making order out of chaos”, and that is what I’m trying to do with this pattern.

My ultimate plan is to do some stash-busting, hit-or-miss areas radiating out from the center.  How many times have I tried to bust my enormous stash of noodles/worms?  Optimism lingers as I plan to use a lot of these noodles.  I may even over-dye some of them to make them more useful.  Hope springs eternal.

This past week I was reminded that I have several rugs to design, hook. and finish.  These are in the super-secret category, which means I cannot share them yet.  One has been completed, another one needs a bit more hooking done and then the binding [I do love to bind] and the third one I haven’t even designed yet!  I wish design ideas would just come without trying, but that’s not how it works with me.

So, using my personal metaphor, I will try to make order out of chaos this week.  I hope your week will go well and be filled with creativity.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the studio of a busy rug hooker.

My design and some of the many worms stored in 2 gallon bags by color. That’s about to change.

My design and some of the many worms stored in 2 gallon bags by color. That’s about to change.

Trashed.

Creating this Found on Beach project has been interesting and a bit unsettling.  I’m definitely an OCD neatnik type, whose personal motto is, “I love my OCD! “ So, trashing up a perfectly good hooked piece depicting a child’s pail and shovel on a sandy beach, was hard to do. I’m not sure I have added enough trash to it, but it will have to do.  I can only take so much.

Here is the finishing process that I did.  I bound the edges as I do with all of my hooked rugs [see my blog, “Binding the Cat”].  Then after hooking and prodding in most of the trash, I sewed the piece to foam core/board [recycled from another use] that was cut to the same dimensions of 18” x 24”.  I sewed on a few more of the trash elements at that point.

I knew the final stage would be to attach the entire piece to a wood frame that my hubby made me for another project, which I never used.  I wanted to use the colorful variety of buoy/ lobster trap rope that I found on a Cape Cod beach a few years ago.  I nailed the rope to the outer edges of the wood frame and added a child’s flip flop for good measure.  Then I carefully nailed the piece to the top of the frame by lifting the edges of the hooked piece and nailing through the foam board. 

This is the fourth installment in my Mother Earth Speaks series.  The next one will be plastic in the ocean, but first I think I’ll hook myself a rug with my motto “I love my OCD!”  A little respite from the sad state of our Earth Mother.

There’s a lot of beauty out there.  Let’s keep it that way!

Found on Beach 18” x 24”. Designed and created by Karen Larsen, Crow’s Foot Farm Designs, LLC. 2019

Found on Beach 18” x 24”. Designed and created by Karen Larsen, Crow’s Foot Farm Designs, LLC. 2019

Found on Beach before the trashing began.

Found on Beach before the trashing began.

Bits and bobs.

A good start was made on “trashing up” my Found on Beach piece.  I will do more on it before I show it again.  I’m still figuring out how to mount this piece, but I’m sure it will all work out well in the end.

Half of this past week was spent visiting a friend in Connecticut.  We had lots of fun.  Knowing someone for 40+ years makes for many shared laughs as we catch up with each other’s life.  Having friends from many years ago creates a wonderful continuity to one’s life.  Do you have friends from “long ago”?  I have a friend from back when we were both in nappies, another friend I met in pre-school, and many more from all the intervening years between then and now. 

Pennsylvania continues to have a lot of rain.  I wonder if this is the new “normal”?  I like a rainy day, so I don’t mind.  I took a few photos on one of the sunny days this past week and I’m sharing them below.  Just random things that caught my attention. 

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the company of an old friend.

Some natural treasures to save and admire.

Some natural treasures to save and admire.

Hot pepper and tomato plants. Hoping for a better growing season this year!

Hot pepper and tomato plants. Hoping for a better growing season this year!

I find these mud-dauber wasp tubes fascinating.

I find these mud-dauber wasp tubes fascinating.

The girls enjoy the dandelions.

The girls enjoy the dandelions.

A mini hen egg [with peanut for size comparison]. I save all of these tiny treasures.

A mini hen egg [with peanut for size comparison]. I save all of these tiny treasures.

Leave only footprints.

Have you ever seen photos of beaches after a holiday weekend or college spring break? The people are gone, but they have left behind literally tons of trash!  I don’t understand the mindset of humans, who can just walk away and leave trash in their wake.

Now that I have finished hooking Found on Beach, it’s time to figure out how to add the trash.  Of course, the trash I add will have to be a minimal amount and size to fit on this piece, which is only 18” x 24”.  Although I’m known for my “less is more” approach to things, I’ll try to stuff as much of my trash as I can on this piece!  I hope to have a good start on it by next week’s blog.

I have some ideas for the next piece, which will be plastic detritus in the ocean.  I’m feeling more and more as though I need to do multi-media pieces now.  In the past, collage and multi-media artwork was my passion and I’m being pulled back to it. 

Everything old is new again!

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in creating what is in one’s heart.

A variety of trash to choose from for my Found on Beach piece.

A variety of trash to choose from for my Found on Beach piece.

The beach before it’s trashed.

The beach before it’s trashed.

A Shutterstock image of beach litter.  It makes me sad and mad to see this.

A Shutterstock image of beach litter. It makes me sad and mad to see this.

Before the tide comes in.

As I hook along on my Found on Beach piece, I’m still pondering how to attach the beach litter to it.  After I finish the hooking and blocking, I might proddy some junk into the hooking and then back it with a piece of foam-core [reused from another purpose, of course], so there will be something to sew the bigger or heavier items onto.  Time will tell if this will work.

I hooked the pail and shovel in  #8 cut wool strips and the sand in my new-favorite #8.5 strips.  I love combining a number of sandy-colored wools to achieve the look of footprints on the sand.  I rarely hook something in one flat color.

My basket of available litter and trash is overflowing. It is probably too much for the two pollution pieces I’m doing, but I’ll use up as much as I can.

On another topic, yesterday the family of Magdalena Briner Eby donated one of her original hooked rugs to the Historical Society of Perry County [PA], where Magdalena lived.  Some of us Magdalena Rug Hookers were there to witness the donation and offer a small rug show and demonstratio to members of that committee.  I felt a certain pride that so many of us rug hookers from all over the globe, have a connection to this simple country woman, who made rugs to keep her floors warm and decorated them with motifs from her farming ways.  I’m sorry I didn’t take my camera to get a photo of the hand-over.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the art of rug hooking through the centuries.

Found on Beach in progress.  The sand will hook up quickly and then the fun begins!

Found on Beach in progress. The sand will hook up quickly and then the fun begins!

Found on Beach.

My next hooked piece will be titled, Found on Beach.  It will be another in my Mother Earth Speaks series.  This one will depict the litter that we humans create, which ends up on beaches.  I cringe every time I see people release helium balloons, which often end up in water and choke animals.  Beach goers leave behind all sorts of trash, including cigarette butts.  Other litter washes ashore from far off places.

As for the design of this piece, I think I will hook a child’s pail and shovel on a sandy beach. This could be almost any beach in the world.  I will affix different kinds of trash that I have collected.  I haven’t yet figured out how I will do this, but as I get into creating this piece, I’m sure it will all come together.

I’ve designed and hooked a number of Cape Cod beach-inspired pieces and can’t wait to start hooking this one.  I spot-dyed some sand-colored wool and will decide what color to make the pail and shovel.  I prefer to make decisions as I work.  This sometimes makes for “reverse hooking” as I change my mind about things, but that’s not a problem. 

Tree leaves and daffodils have really come out this past week.  Our redbud trees, once tiny twigs, are showing their beautiful magenta blossoms.  Robins are gathering nesting materials.  This new season is in full swing!

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

Gathering inspiration for my next piece.

Gathering inspiration for my next piece.

A beach junk sculpture in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

A beach junk sculpture in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Spring break.

My spring break was a break from rug hooking.  It was a “staycation” filled with caring for the neighbors’ hens and guineas and enjoying a visit from our son, who lives on the other side of the States.

I have many, many eggs from those young and prolific hens and will most likely make another batch of pickled beet eggs.  They keep a long time in the refrigerator.  I love them sliced on a salad or eaten as-is.  The egg yolks from these insect-eating hens are bright orange and oh, so delicious!

This week, I hope to steam the super-secret rug I’m working on.  I need to steam it before I add some yarn and another element to finish the design.  It’s different than my usual rugs and I wish I could show it to you.  I also continue to save plastic bits and bobs for my plastic pollution rugs that are in the planning stages.

Spring has definitely sprung here in south central Pennsylvania.  It’s an exciting time of year filled with the promise of things to come.

There’s a lot of beauty out there in the yellow of daffodils and the orange of freshly laid eggs.

The first of many daffodils in our little cemetery.

The first of many daffodils in our little cemetery.

Some of the neighbors’ hens admiring their early morning work.

Some of the neighbors’ hens admiring their early morning work.

My old girls still lay a few eggs, which I scramble up and feed back to them.

My old girls still lay a few eggs, which I scramble up and feed back to them.

Come on in and visit a while.

Come on in and visit a while.

Channeling a bit of springtime.

Channeling a bit of springtime.

Whatever the season, frogs and crows are part of the display.

Whatever the season, frogs and crows are part of the display.

The three R's.

Back in the day, the three R’s stood for, “Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic”.  Today they are often used for “Reduce, Recycle and Reuse”.  All of these things are important, but I’m glad the new version is gaining popularity on our crowded planet. 

I’ve been pondering what rug to do next that isn’t a super-secret rug and I’ve chosen to do two pieces in my Mother Earth Speaks series.  I switch between depicting a man-made ecological disaster and a natural one.  Since Looming in Greenland was the last one I hooked, and that was a natural near-disaster, it’s time for a man-made one.  There seem to be abundant choices, unfortunately.

Scenes of our beautiful planet choking on plastic waste haunt my thoughts, so I will do one rug with detritus found on just about any beach.  I even saw photos of garbage washed ashore on an uninhabited island!  The other piece, which goes along with this unfortunate theme, will be plastics floating on the ocean. 

A couple of years ago, I gathered some man-made items from beaches on Cape Cod.  I had the kernel of an idea in my head that I would incorporate this into a hooked piece.  The time is now.

I hope you’ll take this journey with me as I decide how to depict this growing problem.  Perhaps you will join me in being aware of the problem and doing your part in picking up litter along a roadside, using cloth grocery bags, saying “no” to one-use plastic.  It’s not easy, but if we each do our part, it can make a difference. 

I’d love it if the rug hooking community would create pieces addressing this issue.  Perhaps you already have.  Please share them on my Crows Foot Farm LLC Facebook page.  I’ll try to figure out how to make an album of them there.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and we can each do our part to protect it.

Some of this detritus is from beaches on Cape Cod.

Some of this detritus is from beaches on Cape Cod.

Some of the collected “stuff” for my projects.

Some of the collected “stuff” for my projects.

UFOs and other sightings.

Happy April Fools Day.  The UFOs I reference are the Un-Finished Objects type, not the Roswell, New Mexico ones.  I seem to have a few knitting projects waiting to be finished.  And somewhere there is an embroidery project begging to see the light of day.   UFOs can feel overwhelming at times, so I will choose one at a time and plug away.

Another amazing sighting is the mosaic, “The Witching Hour”, created by my talented friend, Josephine Alexander.  We had our hooked rug/mosaic exchange at Breakfast Club last Friday and her mosaic is even more impressive in person!  It will be hung in the hallway, so everyone who enters can admire it.  For right now, it’s sitting on the antique cupboard until the hubby can get it hung on the wall.  I will do a bit of redecorating in that area to highlight this masterpiece.  Be sure to check out Jo’s amazing mosaics on Facebook under her business page, Grandmother Moon Mosaics.  Her still lifes, flowers, goddesses, and chubby mermaids are beautiful.

I am making progress on a super-secret hooking project.  And there’s another secret one that I have to design and hook.  They don’t help when I want something to blog about.  I think I will start my next piece in my Mother Earth Speaks series.. It will be a man-made disaster this time.  And what a sad disaster it is!  Stay tuned.

Spring has sprung around Crow's Foot Farm with chirping birds, spring peepers, daffodils, and increased wild animal sightings.  I hope you’re seeing lots of signs of new life where you live.

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

The Witching Hour 24” x 34” mosaic by Josephine Alexander of Grandmother Moon Mosaics.

The Witching Hour 24” x 34” mosaic by Josephine Alexander of Grandmother Moon Mosaics.

The Witching Hour 24” x 34” mosaic by Josephine Alexander of Grandmother Moon Mosaics.

The Witching Hour 24” x 34” mosaic by Josephine Alexander of Grandmother Moon Mosaics.

Ready, set, to go!

My bright and cheerful Harvest Moon rug is ready to be given to my friend, Josephine Alexander, on Friday.  I fixed the back of it so it can be hung on the wall. Jo’s walls are filled with the most beautiful array of paintings, decorative goddess plates, and her mosaics.  I’m guessing she’ll have to do a bit of rearranging to find a spot for this rug.

I will be hosting my Breakfast Club ladies on Friday.  I love this group of women, who are so creative and supportive.  I am always thankful to have them in my life here in Pennsylvania.  Jo will bring the pumpkin mosaic she made for me.  I cannot wait to see it in person! I will post a photo of it in situ next Monday. Jo is an amazing artist and you can check out her mosaics on Facebook under her business name, Grandmother Moon Mosaics.  She is truly amazing!

Speaking of Breakfast Club, although March is almost over, I’m doing an Irish themed meal.  My menu is below.  I love hosting this group, since breakfast is my favorite meal and there are so many variations of foods to make.  We are pretty adventurous and often have things that are not traditionally served at breakfast. We think outside the box!

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in a diverse group of wonderful women.

Harvest Moon  22” x 40”  all bound and ready to go.

Harvest Moon 22” x 40” all bound and ready to go.

I sew nylon webbing onto the back and insert a wood lath or yardstick with a hole drilled in the middle.  It can then be hung on a hanger pushed into the wall and moved side to side to straighten it.

I sew nylon webbing onto the back and insert a wood lath or yardstick with a hole drilled in the middle. It can then be hung on a hanger pushed into the wall and moved side to side to straighten it.

It will be an Irish theme with green and orange colors.  Slainte!

It will be an Irish theme with green and orange colors. Slainte!

Colors of spring.

I know that spring is definitely on the way when I go to the Woolwrights’ hook-in in Lancaster, PA.  Those ladies do a superb job putting on this annual event.  There were many wonderful vendors and lots of rug hookers sharing their beautiful rugs.  The Magdalena Rug Hookers, the group I’m in,  had a nice turnout and did some impressive shopping and hooking!

I took my Harvest Moon rug and whipped most of the border.  I was so happy to find Lopi yarn to match the fuschia wool that I dyed.  I will finish it up this week and fix the back of the rug for hanging.  Then when I host Breakfast Club on March 29th, I will exchange this rug for a fabulous mosaic of pumpkins by Jo Alexander.  I cannot wait!  I will share photos when the exchange takes place.

I have finished my week of animal wifery for the neighbors’ 28 hens and 13 guinea fowl.  I have a refrigerator filled with the most colorful eggs!  They are destined for several quiches and the rest will be made into delicious pickled beet eggs.  What a treat!

I’m still pondering what rug I’ll do next as I work on a super-secret rug for a group project.  There is an idea percolating in the back of my brain.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in a room full of rug hookers and a henhouse filled with egg layers. 

Happy spring!

My favorite way to bind a rug. Roll linen over cotton clothesline, baste in place, and whip with yarn.

My favorite way to bind a rug. Roll linen over cotton clothesline, baste in place, and whip with yarn.

Yummy colors everywhere at the hook-in!

Yummy colors everywhere at the hook-in!

Look at these colors! Rich brown, pale brown, light blue, light green, olive green and white!

Look at these colors! Rich brown, pale brown, light blue, light green, olive green and white!

 

Saving time?

Right now I have three super-secret hooking projects that I can’t share.  That’s always a problem when it comes to writing my blog. I seem to be in a slump without a new rug to design and hook.  I had quite a slump a year or so ago and it took a while to dig myself out of it.  Perhaps the Woolwrights’ hook-in this coming weekend will help to inspire me.  All the wool!  The colors!  The rug show!  See? I’m feeling better already.

I have been looking for signs of spring in spite of the ongoing snowstorms. I’m sure there are daffodils and crocus [croci?] pushing up through the cold earth. It’s just hard to find them under the snow.  I actually did have an egg from my old hens, which always amazes me.  I don’t know who laid it, but of the four hens, the youngest one might be seven years old.  That is optimistic determination and a sure sign of spring.

I seem go through a slump every year when “they” turn the clocks ahead.  Daylight Saving Time.  Does it save time?  I know I’m in a tiny minority of people, who don’t like this time change.  I don’t think I personally know anyone who agrees with me.  I don’t mean to dampen anyone’s excitement for the longer daylight hours and warmer temps.  Go for it!  Get outside and revel in it!

In the meantime, I’ll light some candles and leave offerings to my Muse.  She always comes through for me in her own good time.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and some of it is hiding under the snow.

Who laid this hopeful sign of spring? Elphaba? Tillie? Charlotte? PeepPeep?

Who laid this hopeful sign of spring? Elphaba? Tillie? Charlotte? PeepPeep?

Asking my Muse for inspiration.

Asking my Muse for inspiration.