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 Now that dry sink has been replaced by an antique pie safe, which I love a lot.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.

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.

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,

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.