Sunday, June 29, 2008

More stone soup!

Yes, more stone soup! But this time we're talking about the "stone soup" of hooking groups. I'm so blessed to have an ever growing hooking group....I mean look at this! So many girls, and they all bring something different and unique that makes our group so awesome! Sharing ideas, sharing wools, sharing talents, and sharing experiences.........I mean...that's what it's all about!

So....get ready for some eye candy!

This is a pattern called "Lodge Signs" from Nola Heidbreder at

This is Kelly's version....she has added the tent, oars and fish that are not part of the original pattern.....Kelly and Joan are both working on this pattern and it will be fun to see how same/different they end up....they are sharing color ideas and even some wools on this one!

Here is Dulcy's rug that she has made for a friend....her own design....

and another one that she has started of her house....another original design! Visit her blog to see more of her original designs. Dulcy's Doorstep.
Joan works with another Tammy and here is a finshed rug that she brought in for us to "ooh and ahhh" over. She hooked this for her son and most of it is made from recycled wools and then she swapped some wools with Joan for the trees.I love the touches of purple around the moon and stars.

I don't know the name of the pattern, but I'm pretty sure the pattern is in the book
and is available from
Of course, I can't seem to locate my copy.....hmmmm...did I loan it to someone or is it still buried under stuff from the kitchen remodeling mess?

Next is a pillow hooked by Debbie....this is her very first project.
Awesome! She has a wonderful color sense and has already jumped right in and started another large piece. The pattern is from Maria Barton at

This is an original design by Sheri, I think this is going to go on her door...she was inspired to do this when another one of our hookers, Patti, made one for her door.
I love the bright child like colors in this!

Go forth and be creative,

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Do you love Folk Art?

Then you might love Lucy....oh yeah, EVERYBODY loves Lucy!!!

Lucy is a Catahoula.....our friend has a Catahoula named Hatalina, that he adopted from a shelter, and she is the sweetest dog.

Anyway, back to the topic of folk art. I was looking on PetFinder this morning and saw this beauty.....irresistable....she looks like a piece of folk art....odd little ears....different colored eyes...spotted nose. She looks like a child's drawing of a dog and I just love her.
Hope someone will find a place in their heart and home for her.
Click on her picture to find out more about her.
Go forth with compassion,

YAY! Sadie found a home!

Just an update that Sadie has found a off to find another cutie that needs one.
Sadie, I wish you and your new family all the best!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Stone Soup Dyeing

As a little Sunday surprise, I've put together "my version" of Stone Soup dyeing.

I read about this technique in the book "Rugs For My Red Cape" by Edyth O'Neill. If you don't have the book, you might contact Edyth and see if she has any copies available. I can't seem to locate any of these on-line....perhaps eBay? I'm telling you....when something this great is published you'd best snap it up while it's there. Not to be a tease, but it has sooooo many great pictures of her rugs and her color sense is just amazing!

First you need to gather together your dyeing essentials. My essentials are:
  • 2 cup measuring cup
  • something to stir the dye with...preferably plastic
  • tongs to move my wool about
  • electric tea kettle for boiling water on the fly
  • citric acid or vinegar to set your colors
  • perhaps some foil or plastic on your countertop in case you get a little messy

For this technique you will also need a packet of dye....I'm using Cushings (they have GOBS of colors) just click on the color card below to go to their website.

and I'm doing several different colors so I've selected:

  • bronze
  • old gold
  • spice brown
  • woodrose
  • royal blue

You'll also need some dishwashing liquid, Jet Dry or synthropol as a wetting agent for your wool. I use a little dishwashing liquid (no bleach please as this will eat away at the fibers of your wool) and a little Jet Dry.
Then of course you need your wool. You'll need about a pound of wool for this. You can use new I'm using 5 different wools, 1/4 yard of each.

This is an awesome way to dye your recycled wools and bits and pieces left over from other projects.....I'm dyeing both ways today.....I have so many recycled wools and scraps that I really should get in there and do this more often!

Then of course you'll need a pot to dye your wool in. I'm not a pot you can see I have stainless steel, white enamel and an old black enamel canning pot. I use the larger pots for the stone soup dyeing.

Now, bring your water up to a simmer

and then empty your ENTIRE packet of dye into your measuring cup.

You know how there is always a bit of "dye dust" left in the can add a little water to get some of that out or save it back and on a day when you just need a wash of color over white you can add a little water to it and use that.....waste not want not!

Add your boiling water to your dye in the measuring cup and stir it around for about a minute until it's completely dissolved......kind of like you do when making Jell-O. Once it's dissolved, add it to your dye bath.

Now you can add your wool that has been soaking in the water (soak in warm water and make sure the wool is completely wet all the way through...if you forget your soaking wool and it gets cold just run it under some warm water before adding it to the dye bath...this will help you avoid those "white core" areas) and wetting agent and give it a gentle stir. I've added the 3 darkest pieces of wool and I'm going to let them "stew" for about 5 minutes. Then I'll add the lighter pieces....this will give me even more variation in my colors....I'm using "bronze" by the way in these tutorial pictures.
Now, if you stir MORE your wool coloring will be more even.

If you stir LESS it will be more mottled.

Same goes for the water.....

more water and more space for the wool to move around....MOVE EVEN

....less water and more wool squished in the pot.....MORE MOTTLED.

More notes on mottleing and dyeing.

If you add your setting agent (citric acid or vinegar) in with the will be MORE MOTTLED...

if you add your setting agent towards the end.....MORE EVEN.

In this batch I'm adding my citric acid towards the end....I use about 1/4 tsp for 1/2 yard, so on this I'm using 1/2 tsp. of citric acid. If you are using vinegar I'd say about 1/2 cup for this be honest I just give it a few "glugs".....this is NOT rocket science...this should be FUN!

Once your water is clear or near clear you can take your wool out and rinse it and let it dry. I prefer to put mine through a quick wash cycle and put it in the dryer with a dryer sheet to really fluff it up.

Here are the results!

Old Gold

Spice Brown


Royal Blue

Go forth and be creative,


*it has been recommended that you wear gloves and a mask when dyeing*

*do not use the tools that you dye with to cook with*

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Woo Hoo!

Kenny was right!

When I saw the backsplash I just about "pee'd my britches"!!!!

I absolutely love it!
Here's a sneak peek......they are grouting it next week, but WOW, what a difference a backsplash makes! We used the same slate that we have on the floor and had them cut it into smaller pieces.....I just kept going back into the kitchen last night to look at it.

I love, Love, LOVE the way it turned out. I think it keeps the kitchen from looking TOO modern and helps it meld into the rest of our house. We also still have a few rounded corner shelves to be installed which will happen sometime after the grouting.
Here is a close-up.

I've also started reading the book, "The Other End of the Leash" and I'm liking what I've read so far. I didn't get too far, because Thursday night, with all the storms, I had "Big L" laying and trembling on my head for most of the night.....yes, he also suffers from "scaredy storm syndrome".

This is where he went to "rest" after he greeted me when I got home. Such a funny boy!

He certainly loves his "pile o' pillows"!

Oh yeah, and the pool motor........quiet as a mouse!!!

I am sooooo happy this morning!!!


Friday, June 20, 2008


Can't wait to get off work today!

I talked to my husband and they started installing our backsplash in our kitchen....he says's it's looking AWESOME! You know what that means? Yes, I'll be having more kitchen pictures posted SOON!

We also got a new pool motor.....yay....peace and quiet in our backyard when the pool is on. It had gotten SO LOUD that our friend, who lives one street over, could hear it when it was on. When we would sit out back to have cocktails we pretty much were having to scream at each other to hear what we were saying.....yes, it was really that loud.

I also just got a notice from the library that the book I've been wanting to read has come in.

Here is the review from Publishers Weekly:

It matters greatly that people who love dogs understand enough about them to provide a good environment, writes McConnell (Feeling Outnumbered? How to Manage Your Multi-dog Household) in her thoughtful exposition on improving human-canine communication. An animal behaviorist and adjunct professor of zoology at the University of Wisconsin Madison, McConnell offers sound advice for dog owners: Pay attention to your own behavior. Believe me, your dog is. Drawing on anecdotes from her professional practice (she specializes in canine behavior problems), research into the work of other dog trainers and personal experiences with her beloved Border collies, the author explains how a dog might be misinterpreting signals from its owner. For example, although humans express affection through hugs, a dog may feel threatened by them. McConnell also provides tips on how to play safely with dogs (she recommends games of fetch rather than rough-and-tumble wrestling) and how to get them to do what you want (the best way to get a dog to stop demanding attention is simply to break off visual contact). She has harsh words for trainers who tell owners to establish dominance over dogs by behaving aggressively to them when they are young, and also for owners of puppy mills. These dog factories, she says, create damaged animals and unsuitable pets. This is a helpful guide for pet owners by a specialist who clearly loves her work.

Can a Friday get any better than this? Or do I just get excited about small things?

Go forth and be creative,


Garden serenity

Just thought you might want to enjoy the morning serenity of my husband's garden. We had a big rain yesterday, last night and more this morning, but when I had my coffee this morning I took it out back with me to enjoy the garden and the chirping birds.

Can you believe we live 5 houses away from one of the busiest streets in the city? You certainly can't tell from this video!

Kenny is what I call a "psycho gardener" or perhaps a speciman gardener....he delights in finding new plants and trees and he just keeps finding more and more places to put them. He collects plants like I collect wool!

So where were the dogs? Inside still asleep of course!

I love the solitude of my mornings. I get up extra early so I can ease into the day with coffee and breakfast and just a little time to myself. It really sets my mood for the rest of the day. I don't know how people can just bolt out of bed, get ready and rush off to work. I'm telling you, you would not want to be around me if I had to do that!

I'm trying to get better at using the video feature on my camera and hope to do some rug hooking and proddying and dyeing tutorials with it at some point.

Enjoy your day,

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I know I've been a little lax (is that a word?) in blogging lately.
I've just felt myself pulled in so many directions.......part of me is feeling soooo content right now. Kind of like a nesting bird....I'm just craving my home life.
I can't even describe how comforting it is having another dog in the house.

I'm so enjoying walking the dogs with Kenny. Something I've really missed since Truvy has been gone. Since she died I just couldn't stand to walk Cleopatra with Kenny. I could walk her by myself or I could walk her with Patti and her dogs, but when Kenny and I walked Cleopatra together all I could think about was how much I missed Big Truvy....not having her leash in my hand just broke my heart.

Now we're back to walking together like a family and it is so great. Of course no dog will ever take Truvy's place,

but I just needed somewhere to direct all of that extra love that I have in my heart....I think Lonnie can feel that. (does that sound dumb?)
Lonnie is definitely his own dog with his own personality.....he's not Truvy....nor do I want him to be or expect him to be. He's finding his place in our home and our hearts. He sleeps in the middle of us (kind of like having a 10 yr old in bed with you I suppose), he sleeps through Kenny's morning alarm (music), but hops right out of bed when mine goes off and the first thing on his mind is FOOD.....he wakes up hungry. He has the most beautiful golden eyes that you can get lost in

, he's protective of his bones, he loves to drag most every toy out of the toy box on a daily basis and he love, Love, LOVES pillows

and anything soft. He loves the soft, plush toys in the toy box. We have 3 lounge chairs by the pool....he will always lay on the one that has a towel on it (yes, that makes it softer).
He prefers to walk down the middle of the street or path rather than walking on the grass, if he sees a cat

he will bay and bark and howl and just throw a fit. Kenny said when I left him at home to take Cleopatra to her play date he cried/screamed like a little girl. So much so that he brought him over to the play date and he joined in and had a blast and thankfully Cleopatra was so happy that he showed up.
So....finally....more to the point....if you check in on a daily basis and you don't see me posting....know that I am most likely just busy enjoying life.
Go forth and be creative,

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A day in the dye pans

Yesterday I spent most of my morning dyeing wool.....mainly spot dyes and some of the new wandering wools.

Here are a few pics of what I came up with.

Melon-Choly Baby Spot Dye

14" x 32" (4 available)Goldenrod Spot Dye 14" x 32" (4 available)Foxglove Wandering Wool 14" x 32" (2 available)Harvest Moon Spot Dye 14" x 32" (4 available)

Sunflower Spot Dye 14" x 32" (4 available)

End of the Day Wandering Wool (I think this is a bit more green than blue....on my monitor it looks more blue, but I think it looks a bit more green) 14" x 32" (2 available)

Russian Sage Wandering Wool 14" x 32" (2 available)

Summer Sun Wandering Wool 14" x 32" (2 available)

Now available in my ebay store

Now I'm off to get ingredients to make my Mexican Potato Salad for this afternoon's meal!


Go forth and be creative,