Thursday, April 26, 2012

Join Me For A Wooly Good Time

This is what I brought back from the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival last year!  She is a Finn sheep and her name is Sukka, which means "sock" in Finnish (you can see one of her little white "socks" in the photo).  She is the sweetest little thing you could ever meet.  She loves to be petted and hugged and I am so happy that she is part of my flock.
Now, I'm not suggesting that you buy a sheep there (!) but I do want to remind you that the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival is coming up in one week...
Saturday May 5th  (9 am to 6 pm) and Sunday May 6th (9 am to 5 pm)
Admission is FREE!
The festival is held at the Howard County Fairground, W. Friendship, MD.
My booth will be located in Barn 5, Space 8.
Last year was the first year I attended and let me say WOWZA!  This is Wool Heaven, folks!   We enjoyed every minute we were there!  There is certainly something for everyone....visit the animals in the barns, shop the well-stocked vendors, and see demonstrations.  There are lots of great food vendors too...even though I would not eat lamb, they do serve it will not be sorry you came!  Personally, I am going to try to stay out of the sheep barn this year.....

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rug of the Day-Hit and Miss

During my travels last week, I saw this little runner in an antique store.
It was in rough shape and a little pricey for the size, otherwise I would have bought it.  The more I looked at it, the more I realized that this little orphan was a wonderful example of hit and miss.  First of all, I love that there are bright colors mixed in with black, navy and dark gray.  There are also a fair amount of light values mixed in (note the off-white, light yellow, and ecru).  All together, they make this rug sing!  Secondly, this little mat seems to be hooked in fairly straight lines.  However, on closer inspection, you will see that some of the rows take a turn and run into another row.  It's just enough to break up the monotony of everything being straight.
 I took a close-up of the back of the rug to remind myself of how some of the rows were hooked.  In my mind, this is the perfect hit or miss!  A wonderful thing for using up left-over strips....I can't wait to try this myself!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Are You A Copy Cat?

By now, you have probably heard the turmoil going on in the needlework world about the illegal downloading of artwork and charts. If you haven't, I will refer you to Lori Brechlin's blog to read more about it, since she explains it so well.
I do not normally get up on my soap box on my blog, but I find this trend of copying quite disturbing.  So I'd like to address something that is going on in the rug hooking world as well.
Illegal pattern sharing.
Yes, that's right. Did you know that when you purchase a pattern that is already drawn out on foundation cloth, you CAN NOT copy or retrace another one of that pattern?  Not for your own use, not for your friend's use.  If you want to have two copies of a particular pattern, you need to BUY two patterns.  It is not my rule, it is COPYRIGHT LAW.  It has been brought to my attention that certain guilds, groups, and even individuals will purchase a pattern or catalog of patterns, and then redraw a pattern again and again to share.  This is illegal and it is stealing!  So many people say, "well, it won't matter, I'm just doing it for myself and no one will find out."
How would you feel if, on payday, part of your check was missing, or your paycheck was stolen?  Pretty outrageous, right?  That's exactly what happens when you copy another designer's work without paying for it.  Many designers (myself included) are self-employed and depend on the sale of patterns to help pay the bills and buy groceries.  When you copy a pattern, you are virtually denying them the sale of a pattern....another words, stealing from that person.
You wouldn't take $40.00 out of my purse, would you?  Then why would you copy my pattern?  In my eyes, it's the same thing.
You can make a difference by becoming the solution and not the problem!  If you know someone who is copying patterns, let them know it is wrong (or let me know!).  Do not involve yourself with guilds and groups who routinely copy other's works.  Educate and inform individuals who don't know the "rules."
Let's all make a difference!
PS:  for more information about copyright, go to the US Copyright Office website

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Rug of the Day-April 12th

I can't promise a rug picture every day but I thought this was worthy of sharing today.  This is September Squirrel, one of my newer rug hooking patterns, adapted from Prairie Schooler Designs and hooked by Emily Leavitt.  Emily says that she made this mat for a squirrel-loving friend.  I love how she made the tail darker than the squirrel body...something I probably would not have thought of but it works beautifully and looks very natural.  I love acorns and oak leaves and Emily's colors are so perfect for creating a fall feeling.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hooking With Maggie Bonanomi

Last week I attended the Ohio Rug Camp at Punderson State Park.  I was excited to be a student of Maggie Bonanomi!  She has written 5 wonderful books of various stitchery techniques which includes a couple of rug hooking projects too.  I am a huge fan of her style and thought how fortunate I was to have her teach at a rug camp close to me. It was also fun for me to be a student and to be able to hook all day and half of the night!  Here are a few classmates who were hooking after dinner.
Here is Maggie, holding up one of the student's rugs and giving a little talk about the lamb tongue's border.
 In her little demo, she was showing us about using soft browns and neutrals in the tongues.
 I love how she has stacked the browns from light to dark value.  Yummy!
 It seems like I am always somewhere without my camera (!) so I snapped this photo of one of her rugs with my smart phone.  It doesn't come close to capturing the beauty of this antique look-alike.  I swear that if I saw this rug in an antique store, I would have thought it was really old.  Seriously.  She talked about how we can hook wonky to make our rugs look old too.  For those of you who know me (I hook w-a-y too even), I'd have to be alone in a dark room with a glass of wine... but, yes, I will definitely struggle practice hooking this way!
 I don't have any pictures of my rug in progress but I think it is coming along beautifully. Since I have so much going on right now, it may take me a while to complete, but I will post pictures when I do finally finish. Instead, I am posting a picture of a Maggie B. design that I helped color plan when I taught a workshop in St. Louis a few years ago.  This was hooked by Deborah Holden.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Have you visited Spruce Ridge lately?

Have you visited the Spruce Ridge Studios website lately?  It's been refreshed and remodeled and easier to navigate!  I've added lots of new patterns...from Keith Kemmer, Ann Willey, Prairie Schooler, Cindi Gay, and my own original patterns...and there's a couple of new products in the Accessories Section.  Oh! And did I mention that there are 5 brand spankin' new patterns by Lori Brechlin/Notforgotten Farm?!?  Take a peek!
In the coming weeks, I'll be adding more inspirational sample rug pictures to the pattern section, so visit often to see what's new!