Progress and pumpkins.

I started hooking my Barn Owl with Moon-take 2 rug at Fort Hunter Day in Harrisburg PA a week ago. Good progress has been made thanks to using wide #8.5 cut wool strips for the background. The design elements are being hooked in #8 cut.  A border might be added, but I will wait to see how it looks when I finish what is drawn on the linen.

This past week, a friend asked me to design a pattern for her with pumpkins, a full moon, an owl, and vines and leaves - pretty much what I’m hooking now, but in a different size and no mice.  I worked up a design for her, which I’ve titled, Harvest Moon.  I’ll be hooking the same rug, too, so it’ll be fun to see how we each interpret it.  Although the pattern is not yet listed on the Shop page of my website, it is available for purchase by contacting me through the Contact page.

I don’t want to jinx anything, but the weather seems more autumnal recently. I am ready for cool days, pumpkins, fall leaves, apple cider, and earlier dark nights. Oh, and Halloween!

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in hooking fall rug patterns.

Barn Owl with Moon- take2 in progress.

Barn Owl with Moon- take2 in progress.

Cinco de Mayo.

Today’s blog is a bit brief as I returned very late last night from a trip to Oregon to visit my son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter Lucy.  I had such a wonderful time!  I only see them once or twice a year, but knowing that they live in such a beautiful place with outdoor nature-focused activities available year-round makes me happy that their life out there is a good one.

Oregon is incredibly beautiful with many diverse ecosystems.  I’ve been to the Columbia River Gorge, which has a major waterfall and a rainforest feel to it.  There are many vineyards, which produce excellent pinot noir, my personal favorite wine. There is a rugged coast with beaches and also a desert area, which I have not seen yet.  I will share some photos next week. 

Before my trip, I finished and delivered the Cinco de Mayo rug, which was a wedding gift for friends of my daughter.  I really went bright and happy with it, including gift-wrapping it with a piece of thin, brightly dyed wool and tying it with rainbow ribbon.

There’s a lot of beauty out there in Oregon and also in a gift for a happy occasion. 

I chose a happy design with lots of color.  I don't know about you, but I think anything Mexican needs sugar skulls!

I chose a happy design with lots of color.  I don't know about you, but I think anything Mexican needs sugar skulls!

I did my favorite binding method with cord whipped in place with wool yarn.  I used one strand each of dark blue and purple for interest and even more eye-candy!

I did my favorite binding method with cord whipped in place with wool yarn.  I used one strand each of dark blue and purple for interest and even more eye-candy!

Here it is all ready to go carrying much love and happiness to the wedding couple.

Here it is all ready to go carrying much love and happiness to the wedding couple.

Time to fly.

My Tombstone Angel rug is finished.  After the hooking was completed, I steam blocked her and bound the edge my favorite way with cord.  I had some charcoal grey wool for whipping around the edges, which was just right.  To see some photos of a previous rug bound this way, click here.

I still need to buy some Velcro® for attaching the angel ‘s head.  I will hand-sew strips vertically on the linen and horizontally on the back of her head.  This way I can roll up the rug to store it if needed and keep her head separately in a box.  That sounds a bit weird, doesn’t it?

I hurried to finish this rug so that I could spend time with an old friend, who was going to visit from Connecticut.  Unfortunately, her plans fell through and she was unable to come.  So, I spent a lot of time this past weekend beginning a gift rug.   The design has evolved and it should be a fun one to hook.  I’ll share the progress next time.  I hope the progress will include some hooking and not just the pattern drawn on linen.  I have picked out some very colorful wool to use, which will be quite a change from this angel rug.

We have had a couple of nice days recently, so perhaps Mother Nature is warming up to the idea of springtime.  Let’s hope so!

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in planning a colorful new rug.

Tombstone Angel is ready to fly!

Tombstone Angel is ready to fly!

This is my Snow Angel rug that I also designed and hooked for the Magdalena Rug Hookers rug show in August.

This is my Snow Angel rug that I also designed and hooked for the Magdalena Rug Hookers rug show in August.

Every time a bell rings.

I’ve been thinking about angel wings this past week.  I thought I was all set to hook the wings on my Tombstone Angel rug.  Apparently, I was wrong.  I tried three different combinations of dusty lavenders and greens, which just didn’t work.  I love those colors together, so this was a bit disappointing.

Delving into my rather extensive wool stash, I came up with a series of mossy greens.  I hooked the lightest hue at the top of the wing and worked my way down. I looked at this for a few days to see if I liked it.  I do. Then the final tweak was to “reverse hook” the brown over-dyed wool that I had used between the feathers and replace it with some leftover off-white wool that I had spot-dyed with dark khaki for the German Shorthaired Pointer rug that I finished recently.  This echoes the pale marbled look of the angel’s face.

This past week, I was also aware of angel wings when our beagle-mix rescue, Benji, grew his wings and flew to the Rainbow Bridge.  This is always a painful thing to go through.  I have had many dogs in my life and it never gets any easier.  But he was sick for a long time and he told me he was ready to go.  I’ve put a photo below of him when he modeled for my Hutchinson-esque rug that I designed and hooked a few years ago.  Fly high, Benji.

This week I will finish hooking the Tombstone Angel rug and hopefully start the gift rug I want to hook. I’m not even settled on a design for that one, so I’d better get a move on.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the angels that fly around all us.

I think she likes her wing.  One more to go!

I think she likes her wing.  One more to go!

Benji is immortalized in my Hutchinson-esque rug.

Benji is immortalized in my Hutchinson-esque rug.

Benji in his favorite pose.  

Benji in his favorite pose.  

Topsy-turvy.

Winter arrived on the first day of spring.  The clocks sprang forward and I don’t know what time it is.  I get up at 4:30 a.m., which is really 3:30. “They” can’t fool me! Things are feeling topsy-turvy right now.

So, as long as that’s how it’s going to be until Standard Time returns, I decided to start my Tombstone Angel rug by hooking the background.  I’m using the over-dyed grey wools that I bought from Jan Cole, The Wool ‘n’ Gardener, for the background instead of the tan over-dyes that I planned on using there.  Switcheroo.  The tans I’ll use for the feather outlines.  I have some yummy lavender, moss green, and spotty cream wool for the feathers.  I wonder how that will turn out?  It will be a surprise as I hook along.

I’m also designing another rug that I will show as I hook it, although it’s a gift for someone.  That one will be filled with lots of color.  I think.  But like all of my rugs, they color plan themselves. 

Who knows what will happen in my topsy-turvy world?

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the surprises that occur every day in my rug hooking studio.

The background is hooked with #8.5 wool cloth strips.  The rest will be in an 8 cut.

The background is hooked with #8.5 wool cloth strips.  The rest will be in an 8 cut.

How rug hookers have fun.

The Woolwrights’ annual hook-in was on Saturday.  They always do a spectacular job organizing the day with excellent vendors, snacks galore [hookers get hungry!], and lots of opportunity to network and catch up with friends old and new.

I spent the past ten days being a bird nanny for seventeen very spoiled hens and eight guineas, so I was a little late getting to the hook-in. I took my tombstone angel to work on.  I knew I had to make a beeline to Jan Cole, The Wool ‘n Gardener, to buy some of her fabulous spot-dyed wool for the tombstone background behind the angel. 

I must confess that I did not do any hooking!  I was much too busy shopping, talking, looking at others’ hooking projects and the excellent rug show.  Although I didn’t pull one loop, it was a great day and was good for my hooking soul.

I will get busy hooking my tombstone angel this week.  I should have all the wool I need [and more].

Look below for photos of a few of the many beautiful rugs in the rug show.  

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in a huge room full of rug hookers.

A collection of stoney wool for my tombstone angel rug.

A collection of stoney wool for my tombstone angel rug.

There were over 250 rug hookers gathered in Lancaster, PA for a day of fun.

There were over 250 rug hookers gathered in Lancaster, PA for a day of fun.

Mrs. Rabbit x2 designed by Sharon Smith and hooked by Jeri Livingston

Mrs. Rabbit x2 designed by Sharon Smith and hooked by Jeri Livingston

Wistful Angel designed by David Galchuck and hooked by Debra Smith.

Wistful Angel designed by David Galchuck and hooked by Debra Smith.

Mr. Bones designed by Ruth Hennessey and hooked by Jean Barr.

Mr. Bones designed by Ruth Hennessey and hooked by Jean Barr.

This beautiful LARGE rug designed by Pearl McGown and hooked by Helen B. Lynch.

This beautiful LARGE rug designed by Pearl McGown and hooked by Helen B. Lynch.

Angels all around.

The Magdalena Rug Hookers are busy designing and hooking angel rugs for an upcoming rug exhibit at the Landis House in Newport, PA.  The exhibit will be hung in early August with a main theme of angels. 

So far, I’ve seen angel cats, an angel with a cat, a mediaeval angel, a snow angel, a tombstone angel, and a garden angel.  I’m sure I’m forgetting some, but you get the idea.  An angel can be depicted in many diverse ways.

I had previously hooked a snow angel rug and now I’m working on an angel from a primitive tombstone.  This one will be done with a separate trapunto face with embroidered features.

How do you get your design ideas?  Like angels, there are many ways for a design idea to develop.  A few years ago, I was struggling a bit with a rug design for my granddaughter when a rug hooking friend suggested I make the rug circular.  That suggestion instantly created a fully formed design in my mind’s eye.

With my newest angel rug, it was a piece of wool that I received when I took a dye class with Nancy Z. Parcels at Sauder Village last August.  This piece [see below] was part of a white wool garment that Nancy had deconstructed and spot-dyed with some khaki dye.  To me it looks like moss and lichen-covered stone and therefore I’ll be using it for the angel’s face.  Just this small piece of dyed wool created an entire design in my mind.  I love when that happens!

There’s a lot of beauty out there and sometimes where you don’t expect it.

My angel design with the dyed wool for the face and some for the wings.

My angel design with the dyed wool for the face and some for the wings.

The angel's face with a moss and lichen "halo".  

The angel's face with a moss and lichen "halo".  

The Year of the Dog.

This past Friday began the Chinese lunar New Year of the Brown Earth Dog.  I was born in a Dog year [many years ago], so I hope this will be an auspicious year for me and all of the other Dogs.

According to the Chinese Horoscope, this year will be a busy one for Dogs and an exhausting one.  It goes on to say that we Dogs need to take care of our health, get more exercise [ugh!] and drop bad habits [double ugh!].  I will do my best to make it a great year. 

Do you know your Chinese astrological animal sign?  You can google it and look for your year listed with one of the twelve animal signs.  Your animal year will repeat every twelve years.

Now that I have completed the auction dog rug and have mailed it off to its rightful owner, I am busily finishing up a super secret rug, which I cannot show you.  So, this week I will share a few hooked dog rugs that I have done.

Do stop back next Monday when I will be doing a BOOK GIVEAWAY!  I love doing them and you seem to like them, too.  I know you will want to win this latest book from Ampry Publishing LLC and Rug Hooking Magazine.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in being a Dog, whether an astrological sign or an actual one.

This is Ikey. He's 13 now and has diabetes, but he's doing great!

This is Ikey. He's 13 now and has diabetes, but he's doing great!

This is Benji, who modeled for my Hutchinson-style rug a few years ago.

This is Benji, who modeled for my Hutchinson-style rug a few years ago.

This is Thumper [l.] and Beans [r.].  This is a topper for an antique trunk at the foot of our bed.  It provides a launching pad for the doggies to get onto the bed.

This is Thumper [l.] and Beans [r.].  This is a topper for an antique trunk at the foot of our bed.  It provides a launching pad for the doggies to get onto the bed.

This is my recently completed auction donation rug.  It now lives on Cape Cod. [photo by Impact Xpozures]

This is my recently completed auction donation rug.  It now lives on Cape Cod. [photo by Impact Xpozures]

I think this is the only photo of all four of our dogs in one spot.

I think this is the only photo of all four of our dogs in one spot.

Two dogs ready to run.

Sydney and Whiskey are ready to go home to their owner.  I worked like crazy to finish up the hooking and binding this week.  Not without some changes in my plans, however.

I had dyed some wool for the background using the Blue-Red-Yellow dye plan.  I enjoy doing this kind of dyeing, because it’s done in one pot.  First add the blue dye with citric acid, stir twice and leave it alone until the dye is taken up by the wool.  Then add the red dye with a bit more citric acid, stir twice and leave alone until that dye is taken up. Then do the same process with the yellow dye.  The end result is wool with a beautiful spotty richness showing primary and secondary colors. 

I was pleased with the dyed wool, but when I held it up to the dogs, it was much too distracting.  I put so much blood, sweat and tears into hooking the dogs that I did not want to make them vie for attention.  I decided that I liked the dogs against the natural color of the linen, so I found a beautiful neutral herringbone wool, named Winter Wheat, from The Wool Studio’s most recent swatch mailing.  While I was at it, I also ordered some similar wool with very subtle color stripes in it, named Fruit of the Loom, which I used for the border.

Another change in plans was that I had thought I would use the antigodlin, or higgledy-piggledy, kind of hooking for the background to give interest.  [Nancy Parcels wrote an informative article on this method in the Sept/Oct 2016 issue of Rug Hooking Magazine].  I found the neutral background wool was so soft and blended so well, that the antigodlin loops would have gotten lost.  So, I did my usual method for doing a background- hook a shape, fill it in, hook another shape, fill it in, etc.

All that is left to do is to have the rug photographed and then mail it on its way.

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

Sydney and Whiskey all set to go home.

Sydney and Whiskey all set to go home.

Seeing spots.

I have admitted in the past to being a reluctant wool dyer, and that’s the truth.  Now that I have hooked the dogs’ heads, necks, and collars, it’s on to their spotted chests.  That will require some spot dyed wool.

I pre-soaked some natural wool and accordion-folded it in a casserole pan.  I put citric acid into the hot water in the pan, so the dye would go into the wool quickly and not spread out too much. I made up some chestnut dye and sprinkled it here and there on the wool.  Into the oven it went for half an hour, then a cool down and a rinse and dry.  It looked promising, but the test will be when I cut a few strips and hook some loops.  Fingers crossed!

The spot dyed dog-spot wool works.  I am using a wider #8 cut, so the spots will appear larger, and I’m happy with the look it gives. As soon as I hook Whiskey’s chest and all four paws, it’s on to the background and the hooked frame border.  Colors to be determined.  I like to see a piece evolve and emerge as I hook along.  One thing leads to another.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the unfolding of one’s artistic vision.

Spot dyed wool makes dog spots.

Spot dyed wool makes dog spots.

It takes a village.

My work in progress [WIP] is a work in progress. 

Judy Carter’s book, Hooking Animals [© 2014 Stackpole Books], is bookmarked and often referred to as I go along. Judy mostly hooks with narrow #3 and #4 wool strips, but I am hooking these dogs with wider #7 wool strips.  That’s as narrow as I like to go, so I have used Judy’s book as an inspirational jumping-off point. 

It has taken me years to realize and accept that I hook the way I hook.  Although I have learned and incorporated many helpful hooking tips through the years, I must have confidence in my own abilities.  I plan to look to my friend, Nancy Parcels, for inspiration as I do the background. 

It does indeed take a village!

Another lesson that has been obvious as I hook, unhook, and re-hook this dog rug, is that I need to employ a bit of good old, Artistic License.  I have certainly done that in the past.  In this case I tried many colors for the eyes and although the eyes of these dogs are usually brown, in the photo there is a definite yellow/gold cast.  I settled on a rusty-orange wool, which gives the eyes more definition and helps them stand out.

 I shall be jumping over to do Whiskey’s head next.  After that, the rest of the rug should be less stressful.  Don’t quote me on that.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in channeling the hooking tips of expert rug hookers.

Sydney, the German Shorthaired Pointer, is a work in progress.  I'll do Whiskey before making any more changes.

Sydney, the German Shorthaired Pointer, is a work in progress.  I'll do Whiskey before making any more changes.

Weather delay.

As in many parts of the US, our area of Pennsylvania has been in the deep freeze with no letup in sight.  For that reason, I have not spent any time in my rug hooking studio.  Yes, there is a heater in there, but in this extreme cold, it doesn’t keep the room warm enough for my fingers to work.

I always say that I prefer to be cold than hot and that’s the truth.  Actually, I prefer to deal with being cold than hot.

Before this bitter cold hit, I managed to do the preliminary drawing for the dog rug.  [My blog from last Monday explains this project.] Next will come putting it on linen and then the fun part of hooking.  Stay with me as I go along. 

I hope you’re managing to keep warm.  Bundle up!

There’s a lot of beauty out there, but I’ll enjoy it from inside for now.

Sydney and Whiskey are ready to go on linen.

Sydney and Whiskey are ready to go on linen.

A New Year and new beginnings.

Back in October I attended the Brandywine Hook-in with my fellow Magdalena Rug Hookers.  It was a fun day filled with networking, shopping, reconnecting with rug hooking friends from near and far, and the winning of a door prize! 

I won a very substantial amount of wool, which was donated from a retired rug hooker’s stash.  It is all wonderful plaids and other as-is wool in mostly quarter-yard pieces.  I didn’t immediately undo the package containing all of this wooly goodness, but enjoyed looking at it and waiting for the perfect opportunity to use it.  That opportunity arrived last month.

I donated a future hooked rug to an auction for the MSPCA-Angell animal adoption center on Cape Cod.  The excited winner emailed me with a photo of her two beautiful German Shorthaired Pointers, which will be the subject of her hooked rug.

The photo excited me and got my creative juices running and I ran for the package of the wool I had won.  I got busy washing and drying the wool and much of it will be perfect for hooking these dogs.  I love the idea that I won the wool and it will be used to hook a rug that someone else won.  Synergy at its best!

I will share my progress with the auction rug of Sydney and Whiskey [the dogs’ names] as I go along.  I know I’ll be consulting Judy Carter’s Hooking Animals book for tips.

Our son arrives today for a visit.  He lives on the west coast, so we don’t get to see him very often.  I hope he likes pork and sauerkraut, because here in PA Dutch country, we always eat that meal on New Year’s Day for good luck in the coming year.  I could use some good luck, how about you?

Happy New Year to you all and thank you for spending a bit of each Monday with me.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the pairing of the right wool with the right rug.

Just some of the wool I came home with.  Can't wait to see how it comes together in this rug.

Just some of the wool I came home with.  Can't wait to see how it comes together in this rug.

Hooked rug subjects, Sydney [l.] and Whiskey [r.].   [photo courtesy of L. Gulliver]

Hooked rug subjects, Sydney [l.] and Whiskey [r.].   [photo courtesy of L. Gulliver]

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.

Binding a Resistance Rug.

I finally finished hooking my rug titled, Women’s March 01-21-17.  It is a tessellation of pussycat hats in various shades of pink to honor the Women‘s March last January.  I knitted at least seven of these hats last year and some made it to the march in Washington DC.  It was a small way for me to participate in what was the largest and most peaceful march in US history.  It was also a march around the entire globe!

This rug has a couple of feminist buttons pinned on it and I will be looking for a few more to add to it.  It also has some velvet, sari silk, and strips of other colors that were donated by rug hooking friends, who wanted to contribute to my effort.

I wanted to do a different binding combining a cord edge with a crocheted outer edge using some bright pink yarn left over from one of the knitted hats I made.  After steaming the rug, I laid it right side up and arranged the cord [I use cotton clothes line] next to the outermost row of hooking and whipped it in place with dark red-violet wool yarn [I give a nod to Nancy Parcels' multi-cord edging technique here].  I then trimmed the excess linen to 1 ½” all around, folded it in towards the cord two times and then started to crochet.  This didn’t create the coverage I wanted, so I decided to whip around the rug with the yarn using a blanket [or buttonhole] stitch.  This created a nice beaded edge. 

Now I will continue hooking my Down to Earth2 round meditation mat and begin a super secret rug for a group project.  So much to do!

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in details that make a hooked rug special.

A whipped cord and a buttonhole stitch whipping make a special finish on this rug.

A whipped cord and a buttonhole stitch whipping make a special finish on this rug.

The finished rug and a great book filled with Women's March images from around the world.

The finished rug and a great book filled with Women's March images from around the world.

Winter beckons.

This past week was devoted entirely to the annual multi-day Thanksgiving happenings here at Crow's Foot Farm.  Although there were fewer of us in attendance this year, the preparations remained the same.  It’s always a pleasure, but I’m looking forward to getting back to normal [whatever that is]. 

My rug hooking studio had become a bedroom, so no hooking was done.  No time for that anyway.  On Saturday the guests were gone, so I got busy putting the house back to rights.  I even put away the autumnal decorations and have started to bring out the more winter-y ones.  My holiday decorating has become “minimalist” and I like it that way.

Next Monday is December!  It is really true, that the older one gets, the faster time seems to fly.  I cannot delay the passing of time, but I can remember to take time to be aware each day of the natural beauty around me, both dazzling and subtle. 

As I walk out to open up the hen house each morning, I look to the east to witness the sunrise, noticing the subtle colors in the lightening sky and the shapes of the clouds.  I also listen for the sounds in this rural setting - Great Horned Owls, Screech Owls, roosters, squirrels, wild turkeys, Canada geese, to name just some of them.. 

I will now get back to my rug hooking projects and I can’t wait to share them with you.  Winter months are the perfect time to manifest creativity.  I’m ready!

Below are a few of my winter-y patterns available on the Shop page of my website.

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

M Northern Lights à la Emily Carr.

MNorthern Lights à la Emily Carr.

The Night Visitor.

The Night Visitor.

Not Quite White.

Not Quite White.

Snow Angel, not yet on the Shop page, but available as a pattern.

Snow Angel, not yet on the Shop page, but available as a pattern.

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,

Creative focus.

This past Friday I hosted my annual Halloween breakfast for my fellow Breakfast Club ladies.  I love doing this and look forward to it all year.  My creative focus was on this during the past week, except for making a Down to Earth rug pattern for a customer.

I chose my breakfast menu carefully, weaving together dietary restrictions, the ability to prepare most dishes the day before, and adhering to the holiday theme.  Making an interesting table is also of upmost importance.  I would love to have a job making party favors, because I love details!  I’ve shared photos below.

After we finished breakfast and drank up our Bloody Elviras [mine was a virgin Elvira, because I was the designated driver], we all headed out to Campbell’s Broom Shoppe in Loysville, PA.  Well, it’s not exactly in Loysville, but that’s what their address says.  One can never have enough brooms, so I did come home with a few. 

What is next?  I’m not sure, but I do have several things that need to be started.  Time will tell.

Today I am a year older.  I am always amazed that I got to be this old so quickly.  Several years ago, I decided to spend my birthdays honoring those whom I used to know, who didn’t live to be this old.  I am feeling grateful and humbled.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in remembering those who now walk among the stars.

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A few of the creative hand-made brooms at Campbell's Broom Shoppe.

A few of the creative hand-made brooms at Campbell's Broom Shoppe.

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.