Monday, April 30, 2007

Another new project

OH, I must be crazy!! I've started yet another piece. I'm working on this smaller pattern from called "Basketful". I'm hooking this for the Primitive Rug Hookers Group "May Day" launch that started yesterday. Hope to have it finished and bound by Thursday.....we'll see!! Definitely not drab, primitive colors. I'd call these more Carribean.....Maddi from Simply Fibers had a hand in the color planning on this. The colors make me smile!!
Go forth and be creative,

I'm almost organized!

YAY! I'm almost finished organizing!! I decided to hang my "Vintage Turkey" rug on the front of one of my old cabinets. This cabinet is ALMOST organized....there is the bottom shelf that just has gobs of papers and STUFF...I will work on that this week.

I've decided to put some of my rugs on the floor in this that I can actually see the floor.
Trying to decide if I want to leave my sewing machine out and use up this corner space or if I'd rather store it somewhere and put some sort of nice comfy hooking chair in that's a great spot with the windows....lots of that great natural light.

This is my new work table! I'm so excited! I sewed the fabric panels to go around it and now I can store more items like my overhead projector underneath. I can also pull it away from the wall if I have more people over to hook. Getting the panels attached was a real bear. I ended up using velcro.....sewing it onto the panels was easy enough, but getting the other side to stick to metal was a different issue....lots of cursing involved on that end. Tried different glues to no avail.....ended up using duck tape to adhere the velcro to the metal.
I hope to hook some pads to go on this tall stool as well as the little chair.....not sure if I'll keep them, but at least with them out it will remind me to do something with them.

Go forth and be creative,

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Resting.....good for the spirit

I just had to put this picture on here! Big Truvy....she loves to nap!!
Today I washed all the sheets and put on a bedspread in place of the got up in the 80's here today.
She loves a freshly made bed.....who doesn't.'s good for the spirit.

Go forth and rest,

Gift Giving!

Gift giving is a good thing!! This little robin that I call the "Spring Messenger" has hung on my cupboard door for a few years now.....such a happy fellow.
He now has a new home! At my husband's prompting I gave him as a birthday gift today to a great friend's mom.
She was tickled...which tickled me!
Go forth and give,

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Flower Girl Rug

I finished hooking the "Flower Girl" rug today!!! Now for the embellishing! I'm going to cut out red flowers in the shape of the hooked red flowers and attach them in the middle and add beaded stamens as well as more beading to add a touch of whimsey to the rug. My trip to the bead store was quite an experience....oh my gosh....all the stuff they had to pick from......I dropped about $35 for the items pictured below.....can't wait to start attaching things!!!

Go forth and be creative,

The Wild Hearts Purse

Today I'm off to teach a beginning rug hooking class. It's always fun getting ready for it and deciding what finished projects to take for them to look at. This is one of the things I'm taking with me today. It's a purse that I made in a rug hooking class with Nola Heidbreder of she is such an inspiring teacher!!! Here are some close-up pictures....I did go kind of WILD with this purse....wild colors.....

and a sparkly crocheted handle

It just screams WILD!!! Of course I'll have to wear something wild to go with it today.....hope I don't scare these students away....I've also taken a few "traditional and primitive" rugs as well.

Go forth and be creative,

Thursday, April 26, 2007

One thing crossed off of the "to do" list! YAY!

Kind of late posting this evening....10:30.....late for me anyway....I have to crawl out of bed at 5:10am, but I hooked most of the evening and FINALLY finished the binding on this Tax Day Challenge was supposed to be finished ON Tax Day....I had to file an extention! This was a pattern that was e-mailed to us from Kelley from Primitive Rug Hookers Group on eBay. It was based on an antique quilt. It was really fun to see how everyone interpreted it and see what design changes they made as well as all of the different color choices.

I LOVE words, so I decided to put WISH on mine. It sits on top of a little footstool that I use to reach things that are a bit too high up in the hooking room....I guess I was thinking, "I wish I could reach that"!!!

It's turned cool again here....had to put on the coat and glove to walk the dogs least the rain has stopped....the dogs have been cooped up without a walk for the past 2 nights and they just really needed to get outside and walk around the block and sniff. Now they are so much more relaxed!!!

Oh yeah, if you are not familiar with the Primitive Rug Hookers Group....look for us on eBay by typing PRHG in your ebay search engine....lots of delightful items made from wools and threads. We have a May Day launch coming up quickly.....I don't have anything made for it.....perhaps I'll auction off something I already have that fits our theme. Here is an easy link for you to check out
Go forth and be creative,

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The work room is still in progress

I've posted pictures of the room I've been trying to get organized. Here is an update. Most of the outer walls are much more organized. This is the middle of the room where I brought in a 6 foot work table....I need the space underneath of it to store more "stuff" that I can't seem to find room for.

My solution (I hope) is in this fabric I bought the other day. It coordinates with the bedding in this room and I just love it. I've just started making panels to make a skirt around the table. I've got one panel sewn....which is no easy feat for me, since I am just horrible at much thinking and math...but I think I'm getting there.

On a brighter note, here is one of the rugs in the "rug hooking room" This is a pattern from Cammie Bruce at Just a tiny little rug, but I used strips of wool that I got from members of Wool Snippets several years ago, so it has lots of personal meaning and is one of the rugs that I will most likely never part with. It makes me happy to look at it.

Current works in progress

These are my two current "works in progress". This first one is called "Flower Girl and was inspired by the art of Bella Pilar . She does artwork that is inspired by fashion and this is my take on one of her pictures. I just love the bright colors in this NOT primitive....just very girly. I just need to get with it and hook the rest of the background and then I plan on adding beading embellishments to the rug to give it an even more girly feel.

This is the "Big Truvy" rug that I started with teacher Abby Vakay at Mt. Magazine, Arkansas. I actually have hooked more on this rug, but just need to take a picture of it, but this gives you an idea of what I'm currently working on. On this rug I started with her big sad eyes. As it progresses I will keep you updated.

Karen Kahle purse

This is a little purse that I made from a Karen Kahle design. She has such a wonderful color sense and I love the way she mixes little bits and bobs of wools to make her rugs sing!!! I loved making this purse and she has finishing instructions that are SO easy to understand....even for me...a person who is horrible at sewing. I have since sold this purse, but it was so delightful to make. I love the little prodded bits of flower petals ...and the color combinations in this purse just make me smile.

Creative Journey Part 4

This was the next rug that I made....the design came from the cover of a vintage gardening book. I just love the way the roots of the tree entertwine at the base of the rug. Talk about a PAIN to transfer to the backing....all of those little leaves to draw out over, and over, and OVER!!! I was still a pretty new hooker at this time and didn't have a lot of money to spend on resources, so this was hooked on burlap and so far it is holding up very well.

It's home is in our entryway and it has held up gets walked on ALL THE TIME!!! Even with the light background it really doesn't have much soiling....other than where one of my dogs pee'd on it and the red colors of the lettering run when I was trying to get the stain out. I had used recycled wool and even though I had washed the wool before I hooked with it, it still bled. I unhooked that part and tried to dye somewool to match. Here is a picture of the repaired part. The colors don't match exactly, but I think it just adds to the story of the rug.

Here is a picture of the repaired area.

These are NOT the dogs who did the was our old dog, Geairmo, God rest his little soul..he was just old when it happened. These are my girls, Cleopatra and Truvy.....looking out the window last night at the rain.

Oh yeah, as for the saying on the comes from the book "The Little Prince" and says...."And the fox said to the little prince...Men have forgotten this truth, but you must not forget it. You become responsible forever for what you have tamed".
My husband loves this quote and wanted it in a rug....that is a LOT of words to fit into a rug, but I'm glad that I made it for us.
Go forth and be creative,

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Tip of the week

Here's my tip of the week for you:

When trying to decide how much wool that you will need for a rug hooking project...figure you will need 4-6 times the area that you are wanting to hook. If you have an area that is 4" x 4" then you will need 64-96 square inches of wool to hook that area or a piece or pieces that add up to be 16"x16" up to 24" x 24" or something that makes that equivalent.

When I'm hooking a rug I figure on 6 times the area...I tend to hook a bit higher than most...if you are a high hooker you will need closer to 6 times the amount....if you are a "packer"....same thing. Better to have a little bit too much than to run out with a few rows to go!!!

Have you ever had a rug design that had lots of leaves around the border....those things that are hard to "figure" how much wool you will's an idea....get a piece of tracing paper or computer paper and lay it over the leaves...trace ALL of the leaves onto your sheet of paper and then use the size of the paper to decide how much you wool you will need.....trace all of the leaves close together....NOT the way they appear on your pattern.

Go forth and be creative,


Saturday, April 21, 2007

A fun day dyeing wool!

WOW! I had a blast dyeing wool on Saturday....10 yards!!! That's not a gob for me to do in a day, but all of these were spot dyes or painterly dyes, so they took a bit longer to bake in the oven rather than dyeing in pots on the stovetop.

I started out dyeing a couple of recipes from the Prism Spot dye book...I think in the picture above the first wool is called Morning Sky and the second is Delphinium if I remember correctly. I love the way the Morning Sky turned out. After that I thought it would be fun to dye a brown wool that went from light to dark and that is how the third piece came about.....I'm thinking it will make for hooking some really fine animals!!! Here is a picture of it more close up.

As for the three above...I was going for a chartreusy green with some dark green thrown in.....looking at it now that it is dry, I wish I would have splotched on a darker green color to have a bit more contrast, but it's still pretty....very spring-ish The second piece is a "painterly" type of wool that has cool colors and warm colors in the same piece of wool....I learned this technique from Abby Vakay when I was at rug hooking camp. Really a fun way to dye. The third piece I was going for a blue spruce look, but it's a little too blue....guess I should have put in some sort of sage color.....this dyeing by eye is a total learning experience for me. However, I think it would make great water!!

Thse last four are my favorites of the day! The first is a painterly piece using golds and purples. The second goes from red to orange to gold....I'm thinking PUMPKINS!!! The third piece reminds me of rhubarb with the reds and the greens....this was my husband's favorite piece of the day. The last piece has the cool spectrum of colors from purple to blue to green.
Most of these will end up at the store where I teach rug hooking, but a few may find their way to eBay, so if you see one that you just love....give me a shout!!!
Go forth and be creative,

A morning walk in the garden

Today I'm going to be dyeing wool for the store where I teach, Simply Fibers. I know that I need lots of greens and sky blues as those seem to be colors that people always need. I thought what better way to be inspired than to take a morning walk through the back yard while my mind was still way open to receiving thoughts, ideas and colors.

A bit chilly this morning....I think it was about 48 degrees while I was out walking about in my bare feet through the dewy grass. The peonies are almost past their prime, but hopefully as the sun comes out more today they will open up a bit more and put on one more big show. What a wonderful voluptuous yet delicate....just like women!!

While I was out around 7:30 am the squirrels were already up and about starting their day....running back and forth along the ivy covered fence chattering to each other. Lots of people don't like squirrels, but they are very entertaining to bassoon, "Big Truvy", is especially fond of making sure they keep their wits about them and will bark at them and chase them along the fence....if it's not too hot outside and she's in the mood to give them a go!

I also need to dye some browns and oranges and just thought this big urn would be a great color to try to get out of the dye pots today....perhaps a spot dye with a coppery brown and mossy greens together. Also the lambs ear in the foreground is such a pretty soft blue sage green...another great color to work towards today. My husband made the fountain....if you look really close you can see that the water runs off the side of the urn and down into a grate covered hole....when it's really hot outside the dogs love to lick the side of the urn to get their water....kind of a garden dog water fountain of sorts.

This is one of my favorite trees in the least so far this year....I believe my husband said it was called a Golden Himalayan cedar ....a kind of weeping cedar's so beautiful this year and I just love the colors in it! So much that I even took a close up picture. Just look at those chartreuse greens, dark greens and lime greens...all on the same tree....just inspiring!!!

This is another one of my favorite case you haven't noticed I like trees with character....weeping and irregularly shaped....odd colors....I can't remember what this tree is called....we call it a Charlie Brown Christmas is growing really tall and kind of has limbs that stick out with no rhyme or reason....I just love this tree! It is the most magnificent shade of blue!! We planted it about 10 years ago and it was about 6 foot tall at that it's waaaay taller than our house!!!!

Enjoy your day and don't forget to go outside...even if just for a little bit,


Friday, April 20, 2007

Quotes on creativity

I've been reading more on creativity and have found these quotes to remind me of my new journey.

"Some men throw their gifts away on a life of mediocrity, great men throw everything they have into their gifts and achieve a life of success."Greg Werner

"Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun."Mary Lou Cook

"There are two ways of being creative. One can sing and dance. Or one can create an environment in which singers and dancers flourish."Warren G. Bennis

Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way. Edward De Bono

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Little peeks inside my home Part 2

YIKES! I really need some organization in my life!!!

I mean honestly....have you ever seen such chaos?! Now, I know some of you out there are saying....yeah, but creative people are messy....yeah, yeah, whatever....who can be creative in a mess like this....I can't even find things that I NEED to create!!!

I've been working on this project for the last week and here are the pictures of the part of my rug hooking room that ARE finally organized......

This is the bed area.....can't say that myself or anyone else has ever slept here, but I love the sheets on this bed...they just have that yummy cottagy feel to them and I just LOVE them! The big cabbage roses....from one of my favorite places to shop....Target!!! I might as well tell you I have an affinity for old stuffed animals that just look like they have been overly loved and I just can't seem to part with them....I know....I'm 39....what's the deal?! So, on the bed I have a big old patchwork teddy bear who is wearing my Las Vegas sun hat and a big old carnival dog.

Here are some of my pitiful old stuffed animals that needed homes....I really love the little pug dog....I'd like to make one of these using pretty wools one day. I also love the little poodle too! The doll was my great grandfather's when he was a baby and it has 3 faces on the same head....smiling, crying and grandmother gave it to me for Christmas this year. The little stitchery was a gift from my good friend, Reba.
Here are pictures of some of my wool storage....two old cupboards ...the top one my husband found for me for like $5 and the bottom one I bought at one of my favorite antique/flea markets in Ozark, Missouri called the "Seed Box".

The rug on the top cupboard was a piece I hooked....a pattern design from Judith Groff...I learned to braid on this rug and will never part with it! The little cubicles on the right house some of the current projects I'm working on.

This is the inside of the bottom is houseing my "neutral" wools from the lightest on top to the darkest on the bottom.....LOTS of recycled wools which are just so hard to store neatly....I hope to work through them all one day and have them in rugs!!!

This is the bookcase beside my houses scads of rug hooking books, books on fashion and cookbooks....a few buckets of wool worms on the bottom shelf. I'm pretty happy with the bed and the bookshelf!!! As far as my favorite books....for rug hooking it would be "Hooked Rug Treasury" by Jessie Turbayne...if you love primitives this is a great resource to help you color plan rugs and make them have that OLD's a link to it at Amazon

My favorite book on fashion is "What Not To Wear" by Susannah Constantine and Trinny Woodall . This book ROCKS and has saved me tons of money learning to buy the right things for my shape.

As far as cookbooks go....I can't say that I have an absolute favorite...I do however, have a journal type cookbook where you can write down all of your favorite recipes...that way you're not always digging through your cookbooks looking for that one "favorite" recipe...all of your favorites are right in the same book and are easy to find!

This is the inside of the walk-in closet.....okay, one side of the has more recycled wools and odd shaped pieces....the top shelf has blues, greens and purples and the next row is reds, oranges and yellows....tried to do this with cool colors on top and warm colors on the bottom. The third shelf holds off white wool that can be overdyed.

The other side of the closet is still not organized yet.

I guess I'm posting this here on the blog so you can follow my journey of getting organized....I hope to put a skirt around the table and be able to store things underneath it as well as use the top to draw out patterns and have some of my hooking friends over to hook and dye and have all kinds of fun!!!

Stay tuned for more pictures as I make my journey to becoming more organized. For those of you who buy my hand-dyed wools on ebay....I have them in this room too, but that area is still "in-progress". I hope to have more pictures to share with you on Saturday!!!

Go forth and be creative,

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Creative Journey Part 3 can listen to music while you read my blog!
This is the first rug that I hooked from a pattern that I drew myself. I call it "Let's Go For a Walk" and it is supposed to depict our departed basset hound, Geairmo.

I based the design on a pair of vintage salt and pepper shakers that I had and then added a bird house from our backyard and a bee skep to symbolize my husband's love of gardening.

Once again, I used mainly recycled wools on this rug. My favorite part of this rug is the sky.....I used a juice glass and just drew around it with a marker and then used different blues for the sky....very whimsical, I think!

This rug was my first adventure into dyeing wool and on this one I dyed the wool for the bee, beeskep and the orange around the perimeter of the rug....I learned that this was another part of rug hooking that I simply adored!!!
Again, this is a rug that has a place on the floor in our home....I really don't understand the reluctance of people to put their rugs on the floor. This was hooked in 2000 and is still holding up great! It's not in a high traffic area, but the basset hounds that we have now love to lay on the rugs and when Geairmo was with us he adored lounging on his own special rug.
In a future post I'll talk about rugs in high traffic areas....I have a big rug in our entry way and it is walked on ALL the time!!!!

Go forth and be creative,