Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Diary of a Rug --- part 5

The last Dear Diary entry talked about hooking the boards and windows on the house. I was hooking the boards straight across horizontally and simultaneously working the windows vertically. Eventually I worked my way down the front of the house to the the door had to be hooked in next before I could continue.
I had remembered seeing a door/window treatment at Shaker Village in Kentucky that was similar to this drawing. I checked their website and sure enough, that was all the inspiration I needed! Click here and take a look at the beautiful Shaker door. I want my door to be like that!
In order to get a graceful outline for the door and windows, I used some of my roof wool and cut the strips in a #6. I can hear a gasp from the "really-wide-strip" hooking population....yes those strips were tiny but hey, it wasn't that bad! And the window outline looks great, right? It is all about whatever works!
I really toyed with the idea of hooking a blue door on the house but I think the green door has a greater impact. I believe part of the reason is because red and green are complimentary colors on the color wheel. I love the combination for this house.
Once the door was completed, I could finish up with the boards on the house. Notice that I hooked a line of my "ground" at the base of the house. It is serving as a holding line right now. I decided that I did not want green for the ground...too predictable. Besides, in the fall, most everything starts to turn brown and I imagine that the ground in my pumpkin patch has done the same.
Let's take a step back and view the work so far. As you can see, I have been slowly hooking around the outside border and filling in the background. It's time to think about the little outhouse and what kind of wool choices will be next.....
I'm flying out to Missouri Wednesday afternoon so the next Diary entry will be next week!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ciao Bella!

This is Bella and the new stump....
The goats got a new "toy" on Saturday and as you can see (beyond the old rotten stumps), it is simply enormous!
Some time during the summer, we had a pretty bad storm and an old, very large oak tree blew over. It had grown smack-dab on the property line between us and our neighbor, Mr. Richardson. Since the tree fell on his side of the property, he gleefully came around with his chain saw and began hacking away at the debris. I asked him if I might have part of the stump for my goats to climb on since their stumps had gotten old and rotten.
Last Saturday, Mr. Richardson drove his tractor over to deliver the stump....and it was quite an ordeal! The stump got picked up, dropped, dragged, pushed, shoved, flipped and manipulated until it was finally set in place. It took two hours, two tractors (the first tractor wouldn't fit through our gate, so he had to go back home to get a smaller one) and three people to wrangle that thang!
When all was said and done....well, the goats wouldn't even attempt to climb on it. Quite the disappointment for all of us who had made such a grand effort! They milled around to chew on the bark and give it a good sniff. And that was it. Gee, I thought they'd be swarming all over that dang stump! We finally had to bribe Sequoia and Bryce with treats to get them to climb on top, just so we could get some satisfaction out of the experience.
Today, Bella decided to give the stump her stamp of approval. She claimed it for herself and stood on it for a good part of the evening. Goats! They certainly work with their own agenda!
Bella is the youngest goat in my herd. Ken calls her a "firecracker" because she is very feisty and independent. She might be the smallest goat, but she runs the fastest, hollers the loudest, wiggles the most during shearing time, and generally stands up to any kind of challenge. She has dragged me across the dirt and teased the dog unmercifully. She has an under-bite, she's pigeon-toed, and she's built like a little tank. She can make me laugh by running around and hopping sideways at the same time.
Bella is simply a delight.
Thank you, Bella, for making my day!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Come On Over!

You are invited to an
Open House
Saturday November 21, 2009
2 pm to 5 pm
Wooly Woolens
Independence, Missouri
click ~here~ for directions
Janice Johnson will be hosting an open house for all of you out there who are not able to attend camp but would still like to visit. It sounds like a great afternoon! You'll be able to see what the workshop participants have been working on and shop for wool from Janice's astronomical selection (remember...3 huge walls of wool!) I'd love to meet you and you can also pick up some of my patterns (I will have a limited supply with me so if you have your heart set on something in particular, just send me a quick e-mail before November 16th, and I'll bring it along).
The very *newest* patterns adapted from Lori Brechlin's whimsical folk art will make their debut while I am at Wooly Woolens! I'll have He Came Upon A Midnight Clear, Yuletide/Pear Tree, and Sunflower Witch.
It's going to be a really fun Saturday afternoon....I hope to see you there!
I believe the above rug was hooked by Sue Clark at my Wooly Woolens workshop in 2007. If I have given the wrong credit, please let me know).

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Diary of a Rug --- Part 4

In part 3 of the dear rug diary, I gave tips about hooking letters. Now that the words are completed, I've moved forward and started hooking the house.
I decided that I wanted to hook my house in a red plaid that had subtle gold lines and a thin black thread running through it. I wanted to hook my house straight across horizontally. I like this effect because the directional hooking gives the feeling that the house has siding or boards. I did not want to outline my house first, even though this is pretty much the usual thing when you are hooking something as big as this. So I created a "reverse outline" (I'm using this phrase for lack of a better one) by hooking around the walls of the house with my background color. I stayed just outside the line that was drawn. Next I hooked in the dividing line that defines the corner of the house. This definitely needs to show up .... so be careful that you don't choose something too close to the value of the house. However, I didn't want the line SO dark that it jumped out. I went to my basket of red scraps since I only needed a little bit....yes, we all have a growing pile of these pesky strips left over from other projects! I found a few strips of a dark red raspberry color that seemed to be the right value. It was a little to the purple side of red, but once I hooked in that single line, it worked beautifully. Now I began to hook horizontally across the house, using my reverse outline and the corner of the house as starting and stopping points for my red wool strips.
One other point to discuss is the windows. I knew I wanted to hook my windows up and down, the opposite direction that I was hooking the house. I also knew that each window would be two strips of #8.5 cuts. I want the windows to have a place but I don't want them to speak too loudly...they are just quiet little spots, but oh so necessary for the house. I decided that I wanted to use a gray color texture so I dug into my stash and found a small piece of a gray texture that had very subtle orange and red lines running through it. What I really liked about the gray wool was that it appears to have a lot of green tones in it. It's just a dull grungy primitive gray (even though I call it dull and grungy, I still think this is a great wool to keep in one's stash and I'm sort of sad that I don't have more). As you can see, I have been hooking the windows simultaneously while hooking the siding on the house.
A couple of points of interest as you are looking at my picture can see I've hooked the side of the house right down to where the ground is. I will have to hook my "ground" wool next before I proceed with finishing the side of the house. Of course, that is because a line of the "ground" wool will serve as my "reverse outline" and help continue my starting and stopping point for the red wool.
You might also notice that I've been continuing to work on the outside border of the rug as I hook along.
I will soon need to make a final decision of what colors to use for the door. I am almost to that point!

Friday, November 6, 2009

You're Invited!

Psssst!...look at all that GORGEOUS wool!!!
This a picture of Janice Johnson (left) and me (right) in front of just a fraction of wool that Janice has for sale at her Wooly Woolens studio in Independence, MO. I will be teaching there from November 19th through November 21st. There are a few openings left and I wanted to invite you to sign up! It may be at the last minute but you definitely won't be sorry. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Absolutely the most wool I have ever seen...3 huge walls of glorious wool...all waiting to be fondled!
2. A really fun time with other creative, primitive rug hookers.
3. Some of the best food I have ever had at camp. I am serious, girl! The highlight is Jim's barbecued brisket lunch. My mouth waters just thinking about it. Oh, and the pumpkin cake, and the baked beans, and the salads.....
4. Jim and Janice's down-home hospitality. They make you feel like family.
5. Terrific antiquing in near-by Greenwood. One antique mall is home to the booths of Anita White and Maggie Bonanomi.
6. Three days of color-planning and personal attention from me! I'll help you with whatever you need.
7. Lots of laughs and good times!
If you would like to experience all of the above or would like some more information, please click on this link: Wooly Woolens
or contact Janice at
Hurry! The time will be here before you know call in sick to work, get a baby sitter, put some dinner in the freezer for your dear hubby, then grab your hook and frame and go!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A New Kit For Winter 2009

I've had many requests for kits lately. One of the requests was for a winter design, not necessarily for Christmas, but something that could be displayed all winter long. So I designed this little guy last week-end! The dimensions are approximately 13 1/2" X 13 1/2". I'll be assembling complete kits soon (just in time for gift giving!) and they will be available with either cut strips or uncut wool pieces, on your choice of monks cloth or linen. I will also sell the pattern individually for those of you who want to do your own color planning. This is a small, simple design with so many possibilities! I am thinking of sewing mine into a pillow.
If you are interested in purchasing this kit/pattern, send me an e-mail or leave me a comment.
I've also been making progress on my Harvest Goode Things rug, so there will be another diary entry tomorrow!