Sunday, January 22, 2012

Rug of the day-Jaunary 22nd

Thank you for all your kind comments about "Rug of the Day."  I am humbled knowing that I had many readers coming back each day to see what was next.  I am happy that I have inspired you!  Now (sadly) I have to take a break, since I will be on the road teaching for the next two weeks and will have limited computer use.
The rug of the day is Give Ye Thanks, adapted from Lori Brechlin folk art by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2007.
This rug is hooked by Susan Pilotto.   Wow!  What a great autumn look!  I love how Susan swirled those yummy colors into the hill/ground. And who wouldn't want to live in that wonderful rustic cabin?  Great job, Susan!
I took this picture at Sauder Village last summer.  This rug is hooked by Barbara Hoffman.  I love the addition of blue...very unexpected and very whimsical.  I also love the red roof and door on the cabin.  The background gives the rug an overall old "antique" feeling.
The third rug is hooked by Jan Adler. Her rug was on display at Sauder Village last year but this is the rug she worked on when she was in my workshop that I taught in Indianapolis in 2010.  The dark background sets off the red and orange colors perfectly.  I love the two-toned leaves!
Again, these three rugs show the wonderful variety that can be executed with the same pattern...all have the same feeling of autumn and cozy-home-cabin, but still they are all different and contain the personality of the rug maker.
I'll be back in two weeks with new rugs and new stories!
PS:  Forgot to post what my secret was (mentioned a few days ago):  My Midnight Clear rug won an honorable mention spot in Celebrations XXII!  WooHoo!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rug of the Day-January 21st-something different

I taught a great beginner class today!  There were 8 eager learners and they are now on their way to becoming accomplished rug hooking artists.  I talked a little about the history of rug hooking  and the way old rugs were hooked.  It made me a little nostalgic, so I looked up my pictures from the Magdalena rugs that were on display at the Sauder Village rug exhibit last summer.  I'm sure many of you have seen pictures already but I took some close-ups and I think they are worth sharing.
I like to think that Magdalena had a wonderful, whimsical, and very creative imagination.  I think this rug is terrific.  If you want the pattern, Barb Carroll from the Woolley Fox does an adaptation of this rug.  Look at these close-ups:
You can see all types of cool fabrics in there-stripes and dots and prints!  Maybe Grandpa's pants or Grandma's old Sunday dress. Not all of it was wool. The colors are vibrant still, even though more than a hundred years of wear has taken its toll.
I don't think anyone should ever worry about if their hooking is even or not...Magdalena just worked her magic and we love it!
I love this little dog rug too.  The colors are so simple and yet it just speaks to my heart.
PS:  Just in case you haven't noticed, I have posted my 2012 schedule.  Just click on the words at the top of this page and it will take you to a new page with my schedule.  There may be a few more additions, so make sure you check  back occasionally to see what's new.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Rug of the Day-January 20th

The snow is coming down and swirling all around tonight! 
Today's rug is The Stocking Was Hung, a design by Lori Brechlin, adapted by Spruce Ridge Studios (c)2007
This rug was hooked by Rebecca Erb.  As you might expect, I love the turquoise stocking.  Her little doll has such a sweet face!
This work in progress is Janet Kersh's rug.  She was a student of mine at the Star of Texas Rug Camp in Fredericksburg last September.  What a beautiful job she is doing on this rug!  I love the gold dress with the "lace" trim and the multicolored wings.  Her doll has a sweet face too.
This rug was on display at Sauder Village last August and it was hooked by Alicia McLeod.  She used brighter colors and says she "gave the angel the wistful look of a child's porcelain doll."  I think the face is indeed lovely and I think it is wonderful that one pattern can be hooked up in so many different ways.  I think this is another pattern that will be added to my bucket list!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rug of the Day-January 19th is so cold and blustery outside tonight!
Today's rug is Midnight Clear, adapted from Lori Brechlin folk art by Spruce Ridge Studios.
This rug was on display at Sauder Village last summer and was hooked by Ann Corazzi.  I love how Ann used sheep curls for Santa's beard.  I also love the tweed that she used for the trim on the's a great texture!
This is my Midnight Clear of my favorites!  I have some news to share about this rug later...but here's a hint for now:  you will probably be seeing it at Sauder Village this summer.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rug of the Day-January 18th

Another Halloween rug!  
This is Olde Hallow's Eve, a Lori Brechlin design adapted by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2010
This sweet little mat was hooked by Ginny Westover.  She purchased the pattern and wool kit from me and mounted it on a black board that was cut out in the same shape as the hooked piece.  Ginny has it displayed perfectly!
Here is my hooked version on display in my booth at the ATHA Biennial in October.  My husband is a professional picture framer by trade and he always comes up with creative framing ideas.  He made the gravestone out of wood and painted it with some type of textural paint to make it look like stonework. Throw in some leaves, moss, and a black crow...instant spooky grave!
(I still have a few of these kits available...if you are interested, shoot me an e-mail).

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rug of the Day-January 17th

For all you Halloween fans out there, today's rug is
Adapted from Lori Brechlin folk art by Spruce Ridge Studios
Pat Cross hooked this wonderful witch, whom she affectionately calls Agatha.  I love the purple hat and dress, and the sunflowers are divine! She used a real skeleton key for Agatha's necklace.
Dawn Walczak hooked this Witch. Love, love, love the light purple background!
Lauren Haisley is hiding behind her Sunflower Witch.  I taught a workshop for her group in Libertyville, IL last June and this was her project.  Lauren also used a real skeleton key for the necklace.  I believe she called her witch Wilhelmina.  All I know is that Wilhelmina has a very pretty face!
Great job and beautiful rugs, ladies!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Rug of the Day-january 16th

Today's rug is Merrie Hallowe'en, a design adapted from Lori Brechlin folk art by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2006
This beautiful little Merrie is hooked by Melody Bryan.  I love her pumpkin face and the way Melody used purple as an accent color.  Here's a closer look at the face:
The second Merrie Hallowe'en rug is hooked by Diane Lestina.
Diane hooked her Merrie as a white pumpkin.  The gold background is unusual and just terrific for this rug!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rug of the Day-January 15th

I have to be quick with my post husband is down in my studio installing some new shelves for more wool.  He is a gem of a guy!
Today's rug of the day is Lion and Lamb, adapted from Lori Brechlin folk art by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2008
This is my hooked sample.  Notice that the leaves on the trees start out darker and graduate into a lighter color at the ends of the branches.  I used a golden striped wool for the lion's mane.  So simple to do...just cut the wool, separate the stripes, and hook them in.  The background is one of my favorites:  I took 3 light textured wools and mixed them together in a plastic bag.  I randomly pulled out the strips and hooked them as I pulled them out.  This was a very fun rug to hook!
This Lion and Lamb rug was hooked by Margaret Pittman.  She took a class from me a couple years ago and followed many of my hints for hooking the rug.  I love her addition of quillie circles to the lamb.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Rug of the Day-January 14th

Today's rug is Bittersweet Pumpkin, a design adapted from Lori Brechlin Folk Art by 
Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2007
This was hooked by Susan Pilotto.  I love the green pumpkin and how the eyes, nose and mouth glow with orange, almost like there's a light from within.  This is a fun little fall mat!  Great job, Susan!
Here's an update to yesterday's rug:  Maureen saw my post with her Goat Hill rug and sent me a picture of the completed rug.
Bravo, Maureen, it is beautiful!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Rug of the Day-January 13th

Today's rug of the day is Goat Hill, a design adapted from Lori Brechlin Folk Art by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2009
Even though this rug is not completed, I could not resist showing it.
This rug was being hooked by Maureen Lowrey.  She was my student at the Star of Texas rug camp in Fredericksburg this past September.  Maureen has a good color sense and brought some fabulous wool to work with.  First of all, I love the turquoise house!  And I especially love the soft coral pomegranates  at the top.  I think the combination of turquoise and coral are the best ever.  Don't you think the little goat is sweet?
Here's a closer look at the house.
And a closer look at one of the pomegranates.
I have to admit, this is another pattern on my bucket list...maybe I'll have to move it up to the top of the list!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Rug of the Day-January 12th

Today's rug of the day was hooked by Janet Reid.  It is another wonderful fraktur design adapted from PJ Rankin-Hults folk art by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2005.  The name of the design is Tulip Bouquet.
I love the colors in this rug, especially how Janet used the blue.  I would not have considered it but it makes a huge impact in the overall color plan of this rug.  I also think the dark background is stunning and the colors just glow against it  (another surprise for me, since I tend to lean toward light backgrounds).  The use of the plaid in the pot is like the icing on the cake.  Wonderful!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Rug of the Day-January 11th

Today's rug of the day is Tulips & Acorns, a pattern adapted from PJ Rankin-Hults folk art by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2005
This beautiful rug was hooked by Liz Marino, and I believe she gave it as a wedding gift.  I love Liz's jewel-toned colors which make this rug just glow.  This pattern is another one of my favorites since I am a fan of any kind of motif with an oak leaf and acorn.  The fraktur birds are so graceful in this pattern and I love the whimsy of having acorns growing on the same stem as the tulips.
And speaking of Fraktur birds....
My friend Marlene Dusbiber is a very talented woodcarver who carves the most wonderful folky creations ever!  I recently purchased some of her fraktur birds and they are sitting on my desk.  I feel inspired every time I look at them.
If you want to see some of her other pieces of work, you can go to her blog and take a peek.  She has recently done a wonderful paisley heart for Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rug of the Day-January 10th

Today's rug of the day: A few more beautiful examples of My House Sampler.  This is a great pattern that you can personalize to make it more meaningful.
The rug was hooked by Diane Eaton.  She attended a workshop I taught in Arizona about 3 years ago (oh my, how time flies!). Isn't it wonderful?  I love the addition of her family name in place of the "my house" words.  And I love the way she varied the colors in the alphabet.
Kathy Simmons hooked this great version (above)....

...and Rebecca Erb hooked this beauty!
All of these talented ladies hooked a red house and a light background...and I would probably do the same...I love, love, love to hook light backgrounds and I live in a red brick house (and my house is on a hill)!  Ooh!  I've got to hook this pattern!!!
PS:  For my dear readers who would like to learn to rug hook or are very basic beginners and live in this area,  I will be teaching a beginner's class at Washtenaw Community College beginning Saturday January 21st.  There are still openings available.  Click on the "classes" link below for information. Primitive Rug Hooking 1 - Classes.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rug of the Day-January 9, 2012

My House Sampler is the rug of the day.
(Adapted from the folk art of Lori Brechlin by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2006
The first rug is hooked by Linda Long.
No surprise here...I love Linda's use of turquoise!
The next rug is hooked by Linda Thraen.  She changed it up a little so the rug says "Our House."  I love the red up against the dark background...and again a gorgeous turquoise bird!
Often times on a summer's evening when I am down at the barn feeding my animals, I have turned around to look at our house and have seen a lone mourning dove perched right on the top of our roof.  As the dusky light emphasizes the bird's silhouette, it reminds me so much of this pattern and I just have to smile to myself.  This is definitely another rug that is on my bucket list.
I have a couple more great examples of My House Sampler to show you tomorrow!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Rug of the Day - January 8th

The rug of the day is Kissin' Wears Out!
Adapted from Lori Brechlin folk art by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2009
This design is perfect for personalizing for weddings or anniversaries and the next two rugs are great examples of hooking it for a special day:
This version is hooked by Vicki Monroe.  She was in my class at the Heirlooms Rug School in Holland, MI in 2010 and we worked on her color plan.  She gave this to her brother and new sister-in-law as a wedding gift.  How wonderful!  Of course I love the turquoise dress and also the addition of beading to the bottom of the apron.
The second version is hooked by Marie McDonald.  She had this on display in the rug exhibit at the Heirlooms Rug School in July 2011 (the photo quality is a little washed out because it was displayed in a very sunny room!).  Marie hooked this to commemorate her anniversary.  I love how she added the saying at the bottom of the rug "United are we for life"....and is that a golf club in the gent's hand!?!  Perfect!
I also love the fraktur colors both these ladies have used.  Since this pattern has a fraktur feel to it anyway, their color choices enhance the whole effect of the rug.  Bravo!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Rug of the Day-January 7th

Another unusual spring-like day here in Michigan!  Today's rug is 
Mr. MacGregor (adapted from Lori Brechlin folk art by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2006
This rug is hooked by Deb Wilson.  As many of you know, I have mad-crazy-love  for the colors turquoise and aqua.  I use it a lot in my own rugs.  Have you ever heard anyone say that if you are having trouble with a color plan, just add a little purple?  Well, to me it's "just add a little turquoise!"  It is my "go-to" color and it makes me happy.  So, of course, I love Deb's use of the turquoise in this rug.
Here is my version of the pattern.  As you can see, I used a wonderful turquoise and purple plaid for the background.  The rabbit was hooked with a Harris tweed that I picked up at Sauder Village years ago.  It was a small piece of plaid but oh, was it spectacular!  I loved the way this rug turned out.
Sadly, I sold my rug about 2 years ago to someone who made me an offer that I couldn't refuse.  However, I used the money on a fabulous overstuffed chair and matching ottoman for my office so, in a way, the rug is still making me happy  (just in a different way).  I still dream of hooking another MacGregor for myself....
Oops!  I found one more unfinished version of Mr. MacGregor:
This was being hooked by Becky Marshall who was my student at Star of Texas, Fredericksburg last September.  Becky has an extraordinary sense of color and her rug is going to be spectacular.  I love those turquoise flowers!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Rug of the Day-January 6th

I was going to post more Halloween rugs but I will save them for another day.  The reason?  The weather today is so mild that you would swear that it is the 6th of April instead of January.  A Spring rug seems a little more suitable.  I hope my poor daffodils don't get confused and decide to poke their little heads through the soil too soon!
Today's rug is Bunny Trail, adapted from Lori Brechlin folk art by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2010.
Yvonne Meriam hooked this cute little mat.  Her spring colors make this such a happy rug.  I find this design especially unique, with the rounded top and the division of the night sky above the bunnies.  Such a naive and child-like simplicity that we primitive folk artists and fans love!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Rug of the Day-January 5th

Today's rug is Smell My Feet (adapted from Lori Brechlin Folk Art by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2008
This little rug design always makes me smile when I see it!  It is the perfect pattern to try all kinds of embellishments and fun techniques.  Susan Walsdorf hooked the rug pictured above.  I love the glittery yarn used as a lush collar for the dress.  The skull and cross-bones buttons Susan added are just THE best!
Here is my version of the pattern, with sheep curls for hair, proddy accents, beading, and old black glass buttons  for the dress .
This rug pattern also has a companion piece called Trick or Treat.  I started hooking it at the end of October, but had to put it away due to other obligations.  Another UFO that I need to finish!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Rug of the Day-January 4th

The sun is shining brightly today and my sheep are basking in its warmth.  It is a nice day, finally!
Let's celebrate the sunshine with Wool Garden!
(Adapted from Lori Brechlin folk art by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2008
This beautiful rug was hooked by Phyllis Monjar last June when I taught a workshop for her group in Libertyville, IL.  I had fun with this great group of ladies.  I love, love, love how the turquoise blue background and border work with each other.  And the beautiful sunflowers.  And the gorgeous red tulips.  And the very calm and gentle sheep.  Phyllis hooked the big sheep with roving.
She says this rug will be hanging in her own Wool Garden room.
Thanks for sharing, Phyllis!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Rug of the Day-January 3rd

The rug of the day was hooked by Marsha Albrecht and it is Herb Angel, a pattern adapted from Lori Brechlin folk art by Spruce Ridge Studios (c)2007
Marsha often does fun, adventurous things with her rug hooking.  When she hooked the lavender, she made little knots with her wool strips to form the buds.  She also added bees to the rug which was a very creative idea all on its own, but take a look at the detail of a bee:

It looks like she did a little sculpting (or could it be yarn?) and added some fabric and a touch of netting to the wings.  Another genius idea!  It makes the  bees look soft and very, very cool.    Brilliant technique, Marsha!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Rug of the Day-January 2nd

Today's rug is a design that is probably one of my all-time favorites. 
Tropical Leopard (designed by Kris Miller/Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2005).
This rug is hooked by Linda Woodbury.  It was on display at the Chalfonte Hotel in Cape May during the 2010 Rugs By The Sea rug camp.  I had actually helped Linda with her color plan when I was teaching at the Ohio Rug Camp the year before.  I love Linda's color sense and she had some definite ideas about how she wanted to hook it.  Her night sky is amazing and so are her purple stars and blue-hued leaves.
Here is my original version:
Barb Carroll had color planned this for me some years ago when I attended a three-day class at the Woolly Fox.  It was one of the rare times that I did not bring much wool.  In fact, maybe two pieces of overdyed wool and a piece of paisley (used in the palm fronds).  All the rest of the textures were from Barb's wonderful treasury of wool.  I think this is still my favorite rug of all time.  I loved pulling up every loop!
A couple of people have told me that my leopard reminds them of the creatures in the Edward Hicks painting Peaceable Kingdom.  A high compliment indeed!
PS:  The Antique Hearts will be available as a pattern ... stay tuned for details!