Monday, March 31, 2014

The Ups and Downs of Life ~ ~ ~

This post comes from deep down in my heart and it's a personal one. I know I've been away from my blog for far too long.  Thank you for sticking with me and not giving up.  2014 has been a rocky year and I have not wanted to talk about it up until now.  I'm not looking for sympathy or a pity party, but I do feel like you should know what is going on.

I have to say that many times I felt guilty for not keeping up with my blog and seriously considered just shutting it down because I didn't know if I could keep up with it. It took me a while to decide what to do.  I realized that I will get back to my postings again "some day" so for now, I will write and post pictures when I can.

The good news is that I wrote a book.  That was my BIG project I was talking about!  It is a beginner book for rug hookers with 8 projects to hook.  It starts out with a very basic project and continues with various projects that teach a different technique or method.  It goes from the very simple to a bit more challenging (fine cut!).  I think everyone will learn something from the hooked projects.  I am very excited!  The manuscript is at the publisher now and is still in the very early stages of being edited.  It might be a year before it is published but I'll keep you updated!  Being the procrastinator that I am, I had a lot to do in a very short period of time and I worked from morning until late at night to complete the hooking, drawings, text, and photos.  It consumed a large chunk of my life for a while.

Just about the time I could see the light at the end of the "writing a book" tunnel, my father-in-law passed away.  And one of my goats died unexpectedly the very next day.  I knew that God didn't give you more than you could handle but I felt like I was pretty much on the brink of a big black abyss.    It helped to work on the book to keep my mind off of the grief.  My father-in-law was 90 years old and lived his life in a beautiful way.  His funeral was more of a celebration of life rather than a gathering for his death.  It seemed like we were slowly getting through the dark times.
The book got out the door soon after (yay!), but then 2 weeks after the funeral, my dad became gravely ill. I rushed down to Nashville because things looked grim.  Again, I thought, how much can one person take?  I was away from home for 2 weeks.  Through all the prayers, my dad seemed to slowly get better.  He went to rehab but got sick again and now he is still in the hospital.  Many folks have prayed for him and I know the prayers are what keeps him with us.  There are good days and bad days.  Hopefully the good days will increase and the bad days will slowly disappear.

Throughout all of this, my husband has been my support and a solid rock.  He traveled by himself to vend in Kansas City at the Lenexa Hook-In because I had to leave town so suddenly (thanks to Jan Adams for helping too!!).  He said the Kansas City barbecue was worth every mile of the trip!

Slowly things are getting back to normal.  I am almost caught up with filling orders and I look forward to teaching soon and vending at some great upcoming shows! It is so wonderful to get back to a familiar routine.

So that's what is going on, dear friends.  I appreciate your loyalty to my blog. Thanks again for hanging in there and reading this l-o-n-g story! 

I hate to write and not post some type of picture, so here is a photo of my dad's 87th birthday party that we had on March 22nd.  He really doesn't look like he's 87.  We had a fun day!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Share-it Saturday

I have decided that Saturdays are the perfect day for sharing some beautiful rugs.


This is Majestic, hooked by Rhonda Thistlethwaite. Rhonda was a student in my class at the Holland Rug Camp last July.  I tweaked the pattern a little bit for Rhonda, softening the bird's head and adding tabs all the way around the pattern.  Wow!  Rhonda's hooking is perfection. I love the gold background and the soft colors of the bird.  This is a beautiful primitive rug with a wonderful balance of colors.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Antlers of a Different Kind

My husband took this picture of a mama pronghorn antelope and her two babies.  He crept up in the tall grass and waited until they came for a drink.  However, they were not fooled.  We heard the mom snort at the babies several times, which was her signal to them that we were near. We saw them just outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming near the base of the Tetons. 


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Antlers

I've been thinking about antlers since yesterday's post. I have an antique proddy tool that is made from a small antler.  I just love the nubby texture and color.
  Here is another amazing piece of antler art that we came across in Dubois, Wyoming.  This is a life size statue of an elk, made entirely of shed antlers.  I think the artist said that it took him a year to build.  There are only two statues like this in the whole world.  The other one is in the Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Amazing

This is a "must-see" if you go to the town of Jackson, Wyoming.  The town square has four of these massive arches, one on each side of the square.  They are made entirely of shed antlers.  It is really an amazing sight to see!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Iconic

This is such an iconic picture of the Tetons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  I am sure many professional photographers have taken the same shot.  When I close my eyes, I can still hear the wind lightly blowing and I can still feel the peacefulness of a quiet sunny day.  
If I were daring, I'd hook a pictorial rug just like this!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I Know, I Know!

I have been working on a HUGE project that has taken up all of my waking hours every day.  The project won't be done until mid-March. I know I haven't kept up with my blog and I'm sorry.  I'm going to try to take a moment or so every day and post one picture about my travels last fall.  I went to England for 2 weeks and then spent another 2 weeks in California and Western States. The pictures may be in random order but I promise they will be interesting!

Here is a picture of when I was in Jackson Hole, Wyoming near the Tetons.  We came across a herd of wild buffalo near the side of the road.  From the way the grass was worn down, I'd say they come to this spot often.

I guess you could call me a Buffalo Gal!