Wednesday, June 29, 2011

View of the Antietam Creek
Not only am I a hooker, but I'm also a walker. I was lucky enough to walk to work for years  When I bought my first home I adopted Miss Beezley from the local shelter.  She loved her Bye Byes  / Walkie Walks.  We would walk together mile after mile.  My friend Heather once called Ron and I the walkingest people she knows.  I wouldn't go that far because we only do a couple miles at a time, but I do walk our dogs at the Antietam Battlefield almost everyday.  Walking clears the mind and helps me focus. 

I simply love the trails at the Battlefield.  It's a safe place so I'm not afraid to walk most of them alone, but there are a couple that are too remote for me to walk alone and feel safe.  Call me chicken if you wish, but I'd rather lean towards caution.  I save the remote trails for the weekends when Ron can come along.  Walking is another thing we have in common.

Now, I know I should be in a church on a Sunday morning, but I just love the inner peace I get from walking under old shade trees with the loves of my life.

I spent 25 yrs worth of Sunday mornings in a church, now I just want to be outside come heat or cold.  Maybe I'll find another church until then you can find me at the Battlefield.  I know the Lord understands.

I would like to show you one of my favorite Sunday morning trails.  The name of this trail is Snavley Ford.  It's approx.  2 miles.  Most of the trail is in the shade and hugs the Antietam Creek.  This trail is pretty easy except for the hill at the end, but if I can manage to climb it I think you can too.

Heading down the first hill.  The puppies love the scent of the deer trails.  We get lucky now and then and spot a deer, but the puppies are pretty noisy through this section of trail.

Wild Day Lillies grow along the trail.  They break up all the green with some brilliant orange.  The butterflies are usually close by.

Maryland's state flower offers a bit more color along the trail.

Okay, I have several other photos of this wonderful trail I would like to post, but after several tries I'm giving up.  I tried on the desktop computer and now on the laptop, but no luck posting more photos. 

I guess this means you will just have to walk it to see it.  Early morning is best if you ask me.  Maybe I'll see you one weekend.  Happy trails to you.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Wool and more Wool

Okay Jen and Mary here are some pictures of my wool.  As you will see below I have just a itty bitty amount of wool.  I would say I have a passion for wool.  At least I hope it sounds better than admitting I have a wool obsession.  I do use it!  Okay maybe I will never us all of the wool I have, but I should have what I need when I need it.  

Please remember all of this wool is not my personal stash.  A lot of it is what I have for sale in my in-house shop.  Enjoy and I hope to see you soon.

This is some of my personal stash.  As you can see I favor dark rich textures.

Yes, I have a barrel overflowing with thrift store finds.  That's how my wool stash got it's start.  I would go to the thrift stores searching for anything with a Pendleton tag.  I don't shop thrift stores so much anymore, but I used to love the thrill of the hunt.  Nothing like the rush you get when you find a treasure.  The table behind the barrel is where I keep the fat quarters and 1/2 yd pieces of wool in my shop.

The wool on the back shelf is all mine, but the other wool is for sale in my shop.  I found the old cabinet in Laughlintown PA at one of my favorite antique shops.

Some great wools for over dyeing.

Speaking of over dyeing wool.  Here's what my kitchen looks like after a dyeing marathon.  I was so glad to put everything away yesterday so I could cook a decent meal for my hubby.  We are having a baked turkey breast with glazed carrots and a cucumber (first one from our garden) salad.

Happy Saturday and relax and rest tomorrow.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blast from the Past

I just found this photo buried in a sub file on my laptop.  It shows my wonderful hubby, Ron, but what I really want to show off is what my attic used to look like before he converted it into my wool room.  In my last post I have a photo of my big hooking chair.  This is the same window.  How's this for a before picture?  What a difference!  Thanks to Ron for not giving up on this project.  It was horrible when we first bought the place.  This very window is where the momma buzzard would come and go. 

Jen has asked for some photos of my wool.  I'll post them tomorrow (I hope).  I have been in the kitchen the last two days over dyeing wool.  I have some pictures to post, but  first I have to download them into my computer up in the attic.  I just don't like leaving the pots while they are on the stove.

Have a wonderful Thursday night.  The weekend is coming!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My wool studio

I figured it was time to let you see my wool room.  My dear husband, Ron, took two years to convert our attic into our wool studio.   I'm not complaining (though I did in the process).  He commutes 3.5 to 4 hours a day back and forth to work so he really doesn't have a ton of free time.  Sorry I'm off the subject again.  Gotta love getting older.

Anyway, when we bought our home we discovered a momma turkey buzzard and her baby living in our attic.  It was wide open because he previous owner just stopped working on the house and never bothered to put windows in the holes he cut into the attic walls.  I didn't want to call my wool business Turkey Buzzard Woolens so I named it after the Eagle I saw fly by following the Little Antietam Creek that runs behind our home.  Also, one of my favorite bible verses is Isaiah 40:31 "But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint" 

Here's where I do most of my hooking.  I love my extra wide chair.  I put all my worms right on the chair beside of me and I can hook away.

I find that my wool attic is a very peaceful place and I'm discovering that I almost "need" to spend at least a couple minutes a day up there.  Since I'm no longer working outside of the home I find this to be my safe place where I can dance, sing, hook & create without any interruptions.  It also helps that nobody can see me except the birds in the trees.

Enjoy and stop by sometime to see me.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Big Fish

WooHoo!!  I finished my Big Fish rug.  This is the rug I mentioned a couple posts back...the one that was giving me a fit.  Once I gave into the rug it came with a bit more ease.  I still reversed hooked a couple places more than once, but I got her done. 

The inspiration for this pattern came from a reproduction bone box I own.  I changed it to meet my needs or should I say my wants.  The whale makes me smile.  I think it turned out pretty good for being hooked between 1:00 am  & 4:00 am.  My 13 yr old beagle, Miss Beezley, is afraid of thunder and we were hiding in the wool room so I hooked.  

I guess I'll dig out the sewing machine and zip zag the edges and start whipping it.  Tonight is looking like a good night for a movie and some whipping.

Here's an Irish blessing for you......

A Wish for a Friend
Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fab Five

Let me introduce you to the Fabulous Five.  That's what I jokingly call us.  From the left to the right is Wes, Crystal, Me, Becky & Mary. We met at rug camp and hit it off right away.  One night we stayed up until 3:00 am just talking.  These ladies are fabulous woman who just happen to be fabulous wives, mothers, friends and hookers.  Distance keeps us apart, but when we get together it's a fabulous time.

Do you sense that I just love my friends?  I hope you have girlfriends that you can call fabulous.  They lift me up when I need it and gently correct me when I need that too.   It's kinda funny that 3 of us cross over into the dark side once in a while.  The other two are known as the nice ones.  By crossing over into the dark side I simply mean that sometimes we don't hold back our tongues and just maybe we could be a bit nicer in some situations.

Let me give you an example of crossing over to the dark side for me.  Yesterday I was waiting for a traffic light to change and a car pulled up beside me and then raced to get in front of me when the light changed.  I gassed it so he couldn't but finally let him over.  The two nice ones would never do that.  I choose to cross over into the dark side just for a couple moments, but I didn't have to.  I just sometimes can't help myself though.

Those of us fab five that are the dark ones joke that it just doesn't pay for us to do anything nice.  Today my beloved hubbie asked if I would go to the local community college to get his text book for the class he is taking in the fall.  Okay, so I told him I might or something like that.  I had a few moments to spare before I met some old work buddies for lunch.  I climbed this big hill in 100 degree weather to get his text book.  When I get into the store my cell phone doesn't have reception.  The young kid behind the counter just looked at me and told me the fall text books don't come in until July.  I call my hubbie when I get outside just to get his voice mail.  Back down the big hill I go.  A few feet from the truck the hubbie calls.  I couldn't believe it another example of me trying to be nice and it not working out.

Okay so I'm a slow learner.  After lunch I go back up the big hill in 100 degree weather.  This time I have the class name at least and a guarantee from my hubbie that they should have the book since they are using the same book from last semester.  I get there and yes they have the book, but the book company may have a newer version out by July and the book they have which will cost me over $100.00 may not be the book used by the teacher.  Back down the hill I go shaking my head and wondering why I even try to be nice.  From now on I'll leave that up to my nice fab five sisters.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Who said it's just for doggies

I couldn't help myself so I  had to take this photo.  When we converted our attic into a wool studio we built in a doggie cave as we call it for our beloved beagles.  Well, as you can see Miss Emmeline likes it also.  She climbed into the doggie cave and Otis immediately joined her and fell asleep. 

The puppies had a rough day that day and I guess Otis was just worn out.  He somehow got his mouth caught on Maples collar and was dragging her around the yard by her neck.  I heard this awful noise and I went running.  I can't remember the last time I ran so fast.  When I got there Miss Maple was limp and I wasn't sure she was breathing.  I blew into her little face and held her tight as I prayed.  She is okay, but her eye whites are blood red.  I think all is well, but they are no longer wearing collars only harnesses.  I was scared, but I think they were both in shock.  I held them extra tight for a couple days.  Okay I'm still holding them close.  Over protective....just a little.

Now to a happier note.

Yesterday was our monthly meeting of the With Hand and Hearts Antietam Fiber Artist Rug Hooking Guild.  Yes it's a mouthful,  but it's a name we (almost all) agreed upon.  We are a fairly new ATHA guild and we currently have 30 members.  Most of our hookers are wide cut primitives hookers, but we have some fine hookers also.  Nice mix I would say.

This beauty is a Wooley Fox pattern and was hooked by Susan Harris and colored planned by Barb Carroll.  I love the soft colors.  Susan came to my shop to pick out the yarn she is whipping with and I fell in love with this rug.

These two fabulous rugs were hooked by Jennifer.  I'm not sure about the patterns, but I know the top rug was done in a Cynthia Norwood class she taught at the last McGowan national meeting.  Not sure you can see the details of the finishing, but Jenn used the method taught by Cynthia and it looks spectacular. 

The runner below is also a rug rug colored planned with Cynthia's help at our last guild workshop held in  Sharpsburg MD.  I'm so sorry it's not a good picture.  My flash was not working correctly yesterday.  I know it's most likely me, but I'll blame it on the camera anyway.  The colors in this rug are bright and gorgeous.  Jenn dyed the purple background by using up her worms.  She used the darks in the middle and then pulled all the light worms to the edge.  This rug sparkles.  Love it!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

With Ease

This rug is another Woolley Fox pattern I did at a mini workshop with Barb Carroll way back in 2008.  It was an easy rug for me to hook.  It just came with ease.  Oh how I long for that ease again. 

Alright, I admit to being a bit dramatic.  I'm currently working on a rug that is not coming with ease.  The sad part is I am the designer of the pattern.  It is a whale pattern called Mary's Big Fish.  I hooked the whale very quickly and just love it.  Now I'm struggling with a border which separates one background color from the second color.  I just can't get.  I have hooked it about 5 times so far.  Good thing I reverse hook well. 

Do you ever struggle with a rug?  I'm sure it will come, but right now I just needed to walk away and focus on something different.  I'll post a picture as soon as I get it to where I kinda like it. 

Remember steady least that's what I keep reminding myself.