A week of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a week-long sharing of family time here at Crow’s Foot Farm. Our son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter, Lucy arrived on Saturday to share in the holiday happenings. There was a bit of melting snow for them to see when they arrived. They don’t get many snowfalls in southern Oregon.

No rug hooking this week as we spend time cooking, baking, doing jigsaw puzzles, running the turkey trot, and relaxing in the rustic countryside of Perry County, PA.

I’m sharing a photograph that our neighbor, Britta Schatz, took four years ago when we had a big beautiful snowstorm at Thanksgiving. I love this photo.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the time spent with family during holiday time.

Thanks to Britta Schatz for this photo taken in 2014. I love the blue snow/purkinje effect.

Thanks to Britta Schatz for this photo taken in 2014. I love the blue snow/purkinje effect.

A winning name is drawn and other happenings.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Benji sniffs out the winner.

Benji sniffs out the winner.

An iconic sight in Salem, Massachusetts.

An iconic sight in Salem, Massachusetts.

We found this alleyway intriguing, but off-limits.

We found this alleyway intriguing, but off-limits.

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

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

A few of my favorite things.

Winter scenes. Hooking a sunset or sunrise sky.  Hooking snow. 

I have begun hooking my Snow Angel piece for the Magdalena Rug Hookers group project.  I might not be the only one doing a snow angel design and, if so, it will be fun to see how we each interpret it.

I think the best pieces of wool in my stash are the spot-dyed ones that I have dyed or bought.  The random splashes of color make any hooked rug interesting to look at.  I’ve used many spot-dyed noodles in this sky.  As we all know, it doesn’t matter how many noodles/worms we use, it doesn’t make a dent in the supply on hand.  It’s one of the great mysteries of rug hooking.

This Snow Angel piece isn’t very big, just 16” x 22”, so I should be finished in a week or so.  At that point I will explain how I block and finish my rugs and what a big difference a good blocking can make.  This was a suggested topic by Lucy Richard of Wooly Mason Jar fame and I’m happy to do it. 

I’ve written about how I bind the edges of most of my rugs.  If you’re interested, you can read that blog here.

I’ll be starting on my next super secret rug any day now.  I feel the deadline looming.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in hooking a few of my favorite things.

A sunset sky and snow wool for the Snow Angel mat.

A sunset sky and snow wool for the Snow Angel mat.

Background check.

Well, plaid, actually.  I’ve been hooking on my New Years Underfoot rug and I’m more than halfway finished.  This rug is 99.5% background.  Do you like doing backgrounds?  I don’t mind it, although I usually have “things” in the background, which make it more interesting.

I’m using a muted plaid here and cutting it in a wide #8.5 cut.  I love this cut for showing off the colors in the wool.  In this plaid, the strips are a muted yellow, blue, tan or orange, which add lots of interest and movement.  My usual background technique is to outline random odd shapes and then fill them in.  The shapes look best if they’re not too small and fussy.  There is also a sense of accomplishment as each shape is filled in.  Small goals, I know, but I’ll take what I can get.

I did manage to dye several shades of blue-green wool for snow and a nice piece of flesh-colored wool using Lucy Richards’ Wooly Mason Jar dye system.  Her system is all thought out for me, which is a huge help.  Thanks, Lucy!  The snow wool is for my Snow Angel mat and the flesh colored wool is for a super secret project. 

Speaking of snow, I have an article in the current Jan/Feb 2017 issue of Rug Hooking Magazine about the color of snow at night and the Purkinje effect.  If you don’t get the magazine (I recommend it highly!), you can go to Rug Hooking Magazine’s website and find my article there.  It’s titled, The Night Visitor.

Yes, the Muse has arrived and has goosed me into action.  I have several rugs to hook that have deadlines, so I’d better get busy!

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in hooking a useful rug for those snowy shoes and boots by the back door.

The background wool before and after hooking.

The background wool before and after hooking.

The Night Visitor  pattern is now available on the Shop page of my website.

The Night Visitor pattern is now available on the Shop page of my website.

A star, an angel, and the colors of snow.

I finished the small piece called, Primitive Star, to top an antique box belonging to my hubby.  The photo below makes the box look greener than it does in person.  This small project filled some of my time while I awaited a visit from the Muse.

Ms. Muse took her sweet time, but she has shown herself and offered a bit of inspiration for the Magdalena Rug Hookers group angel project that I want to do.  I love winter and snow scenes, so I opted to do a snow angel.  I have another idea for an angel rug that I might also hook.  I need hooking projects to keep me busy and out of trouble!  Because I’ve been busily preparing for the holidays, I will share the angel design with you next time.  It’s on linen, but that’s all I’ve done so far.  I will need to dye some wool for the snow.  Snow isn’t just white, but has shadows and reflections in many tints. 

I have an article and a hooked project in the Jan/Feb 2017 issue of Rug Hooking Magazine.  It’s a winter design depicting the Swedish Tomte trudging through a snowy field at night.  Does the snow look blue to you at night under the light of the moon?  My article describes why.  The Night Visitor has been mailed to my sweet granddaughter, Lucy, in Oregon. I hope she likes it!

I’m enjoying a visit from a friend, who recently moved out of state.  We have many fun plans to fill the days she is here.  I hope you all are having a happy and busy holiday season.  I’m looking forward to 2017 with some trepidation, but will hope for the best.

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

The Night Visitor, 18" x 24"  © Crow's Foot Farm Designs, LLC  This pattern is now available on the Shop page!

The Night Visitor, 18" x 24"  © Crow's Foot Farm Designs, LLC  This pattern is now available on the Shop page!

Primitive Star in situ.

Primitive Star in situ.