Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hee Haw count down to Christmas

After the Carolina Designer Craftsmen show ended I crashed.  I got a nasty cold and had no energy for anything.  After the cold subsided I had to finish up my second commission.  I had started it prior to the show but just didn't have enough time to get it done.  I finished it up and sent it on its way.  It is a gift from daughter to parents. A portrait of one of their adorable donkeys.  Hee Haw!

A cute little fella...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Time for the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Show

It has been a busy past couple of weeks.  In the middle of November I exhibited at the Piedmont Craftsmen Show In Winston-Salem.  There was a good crowd and it was good to catch up with some old friends and make some new ones.  Sales were good and I  received 2 commissions to top it off.

I was able to get one of the commissions done since the show.  This client had purchased a small still life piece from me previously and wanted another, this time an apple.  She collects pear and apple art/craft.  I had some Cortland apples in my fridge waiting to become pie.  (My mother always made pie with Cortlands and I have to agree with her on this one, they make the best pies.)  Back to the point... I set my apple out and went to work.  The finished piece...

I've started the other commission and I'll talk about that in a future post.

Now to the get to the titled subject of this post.  The Carolina Designer Craftsmen Show opens this weekend in Raleigh.  For more info click here and watch a youtube segment of the show and get all the info.  If you're able to go be sure to stop by and see my newest work. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Yet another bird...

I'm having a great time with these feathery creatures.  I just finished up the latest.  Here he is all framed and matted.  I again, as with the previous birds, struggled with the eye.  They are just SO tiny.  I am happy with the way it turned out.  He looks so knowing.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Dye workshop

A week ago I taught a color class. I did a thorough walk through of the Color Wheel Company's color wheel.  Have you ever read ALL the information it contains?  It is a whole lot of good stuff packed into one handy little tool. Every artist, no matter their medium, needs to have a color wheel!  We discussed primary, secondary and tertiary colors as well as tint, tone and shade.  Also discussed were color harmonies and value.  After my students had been totally overwhelmed I sent them home to absorb and rest.

Color Wheel Company colorwheel

 Yesterday I did a follow on class.  Using what we learned the previous week and applying it in the dye pot.  First we did a simple color wheel, primary and secondary colors only.  In doing this we had to decide what primaries we would use.  Because  we were trying to imitate the Color Wheel Company's color wheel we chose Prochem 351 (bright red), Prochem 119 (sun yellow) and Prochem 490  (brilliant blue).  We then had to decide what amounts of yellow to add to red to make orange.  It ended up being a 4:1 ratio of yellow to red.  With the green we used a 4:1 ratio as well, yellow to blue.  For the violet we did a 1:1 ratio.  The only secondary that I felt was not quite right was the orange.  It needs a tad more yellow.  It leans towards the red-orange side.  Here's our results in a photo.

They look a lot brighter and truer to color in real life.

We then did some toning of colors using the colors complement.  Here we have the mixing of Prochem 808 (raspberry), a red-violet with Prochem 719 (grasshopper), a yellow-green. This is the grouping on the bottom row.  In mixing various amounts one gets a beautiful array of complex colors.

The top row is a combination of 228 (saffron), a yellow-orange and 401 (colonial blue), a blue-violet.

We then just did some playing to make some beautiful things...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

For the birds

I enjoyed hooking theTitmouse so much I decided to try another bird.

This time I went with a chickadee.  It has been so cold here the last week I decided to put him on a snow covered branch.

I fussed and fussed with the eye.  It is so small I was hooking in threads of wool so as not to make it too big. 

I like doing the backgrounds in spot dyes, hooking them in order as they come through the cutter.  It is more tedious but I like the blurred watercolor wash effect it gives.

Enjoy the day.  Thanks for reading.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sanford Quilt Show Report

Last weekend I was a vendor at the Hearts and hands quilt guild in Sanford, NC.  There were beautiful quilts to see as well as a good group of vendors.  I met a lot of new folks and caught up with some old friends.  I did a good amount of wool and kit sales and got a rather lengthy list of people interested in rug hooking lessons.  It was exciting, fun, exhausting and fabulous.  It took me several days to pack and several days to unpack.

my booth at the Sanford quilt show

Friday, October 11, 2013


I finally finished up my Beltie piece, with the exception of some minor tweaks and framing.  I haven't had a lot of time for hooking as I have been dyeing wool like a mad woman.  I will be a vendor at the Hearts and Hands Quilt Show this next week.  Stop on by if you're in the area.  I'm sure there will be a lot of really great quilts and great vendors.

For now, here's the Beltie.

Friday, September 27, 2013

More progress on the beltie and another little piece...

Here I am playing catch up again.  I was out of town playing hookie (literally) with my friends.  I managed to get more done on the Beltie and to mix it up I hooked a small bird piece, a Titmouse to be precise.

Here's the Beltie... Getting closer to done than undone.

And here's the Titmouse...

Thanks for reading...

Thursday, September 5, 2013


I was asked recently by my mother-in-law to attach a sleeve to a rug I had hooked for her back in 1997.  She has recently moved and has no place in the new house to place the rug on the floor.  She does however have an expansive wall in the living room and she had nothing large enough to fill it.  Last week I put a sleeve on the back and yesterday we got it hung.  I realized I never did get a picture of it way back when I hooked it so I took one.

When I began rug hooking (back in the late 70's) this was typical of the types of rugs people were hooking.  Finely shaded flowers and scrolls were the norm and not too many people did original works.  This is a pattern designed by Jane McGown Flynn called Palace Scroll.  When my mother-in-law asked for the rug I was hoping she just wanted something small and/or wide cut.  No dice.  She wanted "a rug large enough to put in the guest bedroom in front of the dresser and with shaded flowers and scrolls."  This rug measures approximately 3" x 5' and is done with 3/32" strips.  It took me a good 6 months to complete.  The nice thing, she thoroughly enjoys it and appreciates the amount of time and effort that was put into it. 

Though I do love these types of designs, I enjoy doing animals much more and that's where I am some 30+ years later.

Thanks for reading...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dyeing and a bit more progress on the Beltie

I was busy dyeing wool for Knit One Smock Too in Winston-Salem this past week.  They are participating in Quilt Carolina! , the annual Shop Hop for Quilt-a-holics.  I'm joining in by having my hand-dyed woolens for sale at their shop.  Here's a sampling of what will be available.

There will be "Fat Eighths" of textures and mottles.  Also there will be 6 value Gradation bundles and Texture bundles available.  I will also have larger pieces of mottled off-whites and Antique Blacks for use as backgrounds. Shop Hop begins September 18th!  May your life be colorful!

Because of all the dyeing I was not able to get a lot of hooking done but I did manage to get the background in the upper right corner done. This picture is a bit washed out.  The light wasn't very good when I took it, but you get the idea.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Background, a change of pace...

We've had quite a bit of rain in the past few days so I've been stuck inside.  I got some dyeing and hooking done.  I needed a break from the beltie so I did some background.  I popped in the Downton Abbey DVD and got to work.  It's nice to see some color behind the calf.  It seems to add some life to him. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A bit more progress on the beltie

I was able to get a bit more done on the Beltie calf.  I'm working my way down the backside.  I think I'll take a break in the next few days and work on some background.  I hate to get the subject all hooked and just be working on background.  It becomes monotonous to me after a while.  I'm happy with how he's looking so far.  I know I'll be making some tweaks here and there when I get done.  But all in all I'm pleased.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Baby Beltie

This past Spring I was out snapping pictures of the new Galloway (Beltie) calves at Fearrington Village.  I really liked the pose of this one as he looked back at his mom as if to say, "Hey, mom let's go."  They had just come in for breakfast. He was done with his meal and ready to head back out into the pasture.

I drew my design. I decided on 20" x 20" so he was large enough such that I could get the necessary details hooked in.  I am using primitive linen.  It is my go to backing as it has a nice weave and doesn't stretch.  I'm hooking him in a #4 cut.  It is my favorite cut for hooking animals.
The progress so far...

Check back later for further progress.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Along the way

It has been a very up and down year.  Just in the past few months we had 2 births, 1 wedding, 1 death, 1 injury, and another birth in the family.  We've been busy traveling about the country dealing with all of it.  Hence, I haven't been keeping up with my blog. I hope things have finally settled down.

 We did manage to stop by the Woolrich mill and mill store in, where else, Woolrich PA.  A small town in the center of PA situated beside the mighty Susquehanna river.  The mill has been in continuous operation since 1830!  Because they are still manufacturing in the USA I continue to purchase my wool from them.  I was able to meet the people I've been dealing with for the past several years and get a few pictures...  It was great to finally put a face to the voice.  I picked up some wool and did some shopping at the mill store.  The store is large, well stocked and just a great place to roam, shop and pick up some really great stuff.  I was able to pick up a wool blanket that will keep me nice and toasty this coming winter.

Here's some of the pictures I took...
Getting close...

Getting closer...

In the shipping area with Karen.

That's Leon working on the paperwork.

The mill store! Yes, you can spend some serious time and money in there!  It was great.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Going in a different dimension

This spring our local rug guild decided to add some dimensionality to our lives.  We took on a purse project.  It was designed by Susan Quicksall of Holly Hill Designs.   She has some really great designs.  I chose to hook my purse with a red background. I had a bunch of leftover reds from another project that I wanted to use up.  The motifs were also leftovers.  Here's my finished bag, front and back.

I did make a few modifications to her pattern.  I did not whip the pieces together with yarn but hand stitched the seams with upholstery thread.  I also used purchased handles rather than making them from wool.  I was very happy with the results.

Friday, June 21, 2013

A newly revamped website

So it's been a spring that has just flown by.  In and out of town, a new baby, 3 moves to help with etc.
I can't believe June is almost over with.

On to the news....

After having much frustration with not being easily able to update my website, I have transferred  it to another provider that is so much easier to deal with.  I had two minor problems getting it setup but with a simple dial of the 800 number I was connected with a very pleasant young man, a native English speaker, who was SO polite and helpful.  So check it out here.

I have gotten some new things done in the past month and will make a concerted effort to post at least once a week from herein out.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Till the cows come home...

I don't know why I named this post what I did.  I guess it was the only thing that came to mind when I thought of what I was going to talk about. 

It's been a long, long time since I posted last.  Things have been busy.  Most importantly I became a Grandmother.  Lilly came into this world on March 20th.  Kristen, our daughter and Lilly's mom, had a hard time of it.  Long story short, the birth ended in an unplanned c-section with lingering issues.  Everybody is doing just fine now but I was called in to help out for a while.  I didn't mind a bit.  Kristen and Lilly are doing wonderfully!

I did get some rug hooking done!  I would like to introduce Indiana.  I took the picture of this cow several years ago in Indiana while visiting relatives.  She's been "on the list" of  to-dos for quite a long while.  Needless to say she's done except for the framing.

Introducing Indiana...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A change of pace...

I spent yesterday inside. It's unusually cold for March here in NC.  We even had a few snow flurries in the air.  Not typical March weather for us.  I'm glad to see the extended forecast has us going up into the 60's for next week.  

Back to my inside story.

I'm going to be a Grandmother any day now. Our daughter is having a baby girl and we couldn't be more excited!  To the point... I was in one of the local quilt shops a few weeks back and saw a really cute Moda charm pack.  Perfect colors that match the color scheme our daughter had done in the nursery.  I snatched it up and came home to figure out how I was going to use it.  I did some research on baby quilts (Google is awesome). I decided I really liked the looks of the pinwheel quilts.  Again, google is awesome, I found a youtube video on how to make pinwheel blocks.  Amazingly simple. 
Needless to say I pinwheeled away yesterday.  Did I tell you I used to sew. 

Lily's quilt

My very first quilt that I quilted for our daughter circa 1984

And yes, I will eventually hook a rug for her.  That's going to take a bit more thought.

Friday, February 1, 2013

To border or not to border...

I've decided to border.

At last post I was deciding whether or not to add a border to the current rug I was working on.  Well, I decided, it needs it.  I just felt it 'floated' without it.  I've got two sides done and it shouldn't take me much more time to finished the other two sides.  Straight line hooking goes pretty fast.

I'm not sure what I'll be working on next.  I'd like to get back to some animals so I'll have to pull out some of my reference photos and see what strikes my fancy.

Dad is back to about 95% now.  Much better but still gets tired easy.  At least we're not having to stay with him 24/7 anymore.  I call 2 times a day and stop over once a day. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Good progress on the rug and a bit of bird watching

Dad's getting better but in baby steps.  Still very tired and napping a lot.  While he's been napping I've been hooking away and watching the birds outside the kitchen window. 

The rug I'm working on is a project from teacher's workshop I acquired some years ago.  I pulled it out because it is very straight forward to hook.  I had gotten the horse hooked way back but hadn't decided what to do with the rest of it.  I had a lot of leftovers from other projects laying around and I wanted to get them used up.  I threw a bunch of medium to medium/dark values of blues and blue-greens into a pot and overdyed them with Prochem 401 to "marry" them together.  I've gotten a lot done in the past week.  It  helps that I'm using a #8 cut.  I'm thinking I may add a simple border. To me, it needs it to "set the rug down".  It seem to float a bit for me as it is.  I'll make a final judgement when I get the rest of the background hooked. 

I managed to get a picture of the male bluebird as well.  I guess I'm in my blue period. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Stressful Winter

It's been a long time since I've posted.  Things have been better.  We moved into our new house in mid November. Stress number one.  My dad became ill and ended up in the hospital the day before we closed. He was in for 6 days and they never did figure out what caused his problem.  After he got out I was traveling back and forth to his house twice a day to tend to him, a 40 mile round trip. Stress number two.  He eventually got better. Christmas was coming and I hadn't even thought about shopping.  Stress number three.  Last week dad started feeling lousy.  We got him to the doctor's who sent him for some tests.  The diagnosis is pneumonia.  He's on mega antibiotics and we pray he'll bounce back soon.  I'm staying with him to keep watch and make sure he eats and drinks something.  Stress number four.

 Enough of my problems.  The sun is shining today and the outlook is for some warmer weather.  The bluebirds are starting to nest in my dad's birdhouse.

 I did manage to design and put together a new applique pattern between Christmas and New Years.  Here it is... 

I also pulled out a rug I started a few years back and am working on that as dad sleeps.  It is a good stress relief to pull some loops.  I don't have a picture right now but will post one when I do.