Sunday, April 29, 2012

The eyes have it


I always have my best luck when I hook in the eyes

of an animal first….I think it sets the tone for the

rest of the piece.


Cleopatra is coming along nicely….this is one of those

pieces where I have to be in the right frame of mind

to tediously pick colors and place them in just the

right spot.

I’m trying to work from my current “stash” of wool,

so I’m going more for value than absolute color



I’ve had several people ask me what “cut” I’m

using…..well, that would be hand-cut….yes, I’ve

gotten to where I love custom cutting each piece

of wool… that crazy?!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Yin & Yang of recipes

I tried a few new recipes this weekend and I’m happy to say

they were all winners!

The first one is “Cha-Cha’s White Chicken Chili” that I found HERE.


It’s a bit on the spicy side, but I like spicy, so it was a hit here at the house.

I’ll definitely be making it again! I did make one change and subbed a can

of corn for one of the cans of white beans….I doubled the recipe, because

having left-overs and having a night where you can just reheat something

is aces in my book!

To go with it, I also tried these “Cornbread Tamale Bites with Jalapeno Cheese and Bacon”


Here are mine before going into the oven….can’t you just see all the

cream cheese goodness?


Here they are, coming out of the oven….


Yes Virginia, bacon really DOES make everything better!

These are basically cornbread muffins, topped

with cream cheese, cheese, green onions, jalapeno and bacon.

Serious YUM factor! Now I’m a girl who likes spicy

and when I make them again, I would cut the amount

of jalapenos in half, or if you don’t like spicy, you could

just leave them out altogether….you really have

to try these!

*Note, the muffins stuck to the paper cupcake liners, but not the

foil ones….in the original recipe she uses corn husks which make

them super cute!

So that is the yin and yang of recipes….healthy chicken chili

paired with a decadent muffin…balance my friends!

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Walk in the Woods

Basically, we live right in the middle of town.

However, there is a little wooded area off the main

road that has not been developed.

We try to take the dogs through there once a week on

their walk.


We have to climb over logs and make

our way through vines….


It’s quite an adventure for all of us!


The dogs are always on the lookout for



It’s especially challenging for Cleopatra, with her

short little legs, but she loves it!


When we come out of the woods, we come into a

large clearing…if you look straight ahead, just beyond

the trees you would see the main road and the fire



I was excited to see some redbud pods when we

went through the woods this weekend.  Even though

I have the redbud pods featured in my last rug

HERE, I have never seen them hanging on a redbud

tree until Sunday.


Now, my funny for the day….on the way to the woods we

saw this on a street sign….


Do you think that was intentional?

Well, it did make us laugh and take

a picture!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Let the hooking begin

The hardest part of this for me is trying

not to over think my color choices….trying

to go more for value than color….

trying to keep a chunky feel….


I hooked the eye first….trying to get that mournful

look of Cleopatra’s eye in this picture.


Oh yeah, what I’m obsessed with today….

“You Gotta Love Her”
painting by artist Pam Holnback

I hope this inspires me today to keep on with the

chunky look and not overthink things.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Transferring a pattern….continued

Before we get on with transferring a drawing or pattern.

Here is what I’m obsessed with today….

Now, on with the transferring……

So, you have your drawing enlarged….


Now you need red dot tracing fabric.

Here in Springfield, MO you can pick this up

at Hancock Fabrics.  (If you are NOT in Springfield,

you can order it from my friend Renee at

Skip To My Ewe on eBay. She has FREE SHIPPING

on all of her items, so be sure and check out what

else she has for sale there.)


I taped the red dot over my drawing and then started to trace

over it with a Sharpie marker.


Now that I have my design on the Red Dot, I can

transfer it to my linen backing.  First, I like to draw

the border dimensions on my linen.  I find this

is easiest to do with a charcoal pencil, it’s a bit

softer than a regular #2 pencil.

My rug is going to be 16 x 16, so I measure this out

and then put my pencil in the groove of the linen and drag

the pencil to keep it on the straight grain.


Once, I have the border drawn, I go over it with

a Sharpie marker, so it doesn’t rub off.


Yes, I mis-measured one side, so I have an extra

line.  Hey, I’m definitely NOT perfect, but just keep

on going.

Now I tape the traced red dot over the linen.


Get out my trusty Sharpie marker, this time I’m

using red….makes it easier to see what parts I

haven’t marked yet.



Beware, the Sharpie can rub off on your hands

while you are marking….


You can now peel back your tracing paper and make

sure all your marks came through onto the linen….





Now you are ready to hook! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What I’m obsessed with right now

“Maddie the Coonhound”

She’s traveling around the country with her

owner and every day she is in a new town

and “on” something new……I think she’s a hoot!

Speaking of hounds, I’m getting ready to start a new

rug….well, it’s going to be a pillow….it’s

from a picture that Kenny took of Cleopatra

several years ago.


I then used some software to enhance

it a bit….or would this be DE-hanced?

Anyway….I’ve always wanted to hook

a piece that looked a bit like knife

palette painting….those big chunky strokes!

Next, I blew that up to a size that I could

print out on my printer and then drew over

the obvious parts where the colors



Next, I took it to Kinko’s and had them

enlarge it to a 16 x 16 size……


I’ll take pictures of the rest of the process

this evening and share them with you soon.

ANYTHING to get folks to start hooking more

original work….I wanna see NEW, I wanna see

original! If this will help just one person make the

jump, it will be worth it!

Just wondering if anyone else is tired of seeing the

same patterns hooked over and over or is it just me?

Am I getting a bit jaded after hooking 10+ years?

I started by hooking other people’s patterns as well, but

now that just doesn’t satisfy me…..what are your thoughts?