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 Now that dry sink has been replaced by an antique pie safe, which I love a lot.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

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.

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.....

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'

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.