Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wonderful Cape May

 I love September for many reasons.  One reason is because the weather starts cooling down.  But one other big reason is because once September rolls around, it's time to go to Cape May!
Look at this charming hotel!  It's the Chalfonte and it's where we stay for the week and also where the classes take place.
Many rug hookers choose to hook right out on the porch.  The weather was gorgeous this year and the porch and rocking chairs were a popular spot.
I am usually too busy teaching to take many photographs.  On Wednesday, Norma and Linda (camp directors) set up a wonderful rug show.  I must have been so enthralled with the gorgeous rugs that when I got home, I discovered I had hardly taken any photos of the rugs in the show.  Here are a few of the ones that I did take a picture:
 This incredible piece is hooked by Char Lough. She was in my class last year and when she said she wanted to hook moss, I really wasn't sure how I could help her or what the end result would look like.  We did talk a lot about sculpting wool strips and hooking with alternate materials like Ultrasuede and yarns.  I had nothing to do with how magnificent this turned out since it was all Char's ideas and hand work, but I am still mighty proud to see the end result of Char's vision.  PS:  the leaves were Char's afterthought and dropped on the piece after it was on display.  They really add to making the moss look realistic.  Bravo, Char!!!
 This rug was hooked by Kimberly Maggion and depicts her dogs.  I love this charming rug.
Jo Ann Hendrix hooked this lovely pictorial of the Chalfonte Hotel.  I love this rug because it so closely depicts the rug camp.  This rug also appears in the current issue of Celebrations (XXII).
We always do a rug "throw-down" on Thursday afternoon. This is another favorite activity that I look forward to.  It's fun to see all the lovely rugs in progress!  The sun was really bright so there are a few pesky shadows and some of the colors might not be exactly what you would see in person.
This is Tom (Lori Brechlin adaptation through Spruce Ridge Studios) and he is being hooked by Betty Ann.  She was actually hooking a custom (larger) size and got quite a bit of hooking completed.
 Brenda Henry is hooking this mermaid rug.  You might not be able to see how soft and lovely the colors were turning out.  Very watercolor and sea-like.  Brenda also wanted a white-haired mermaid and I like how she looks.
Janet Reid is hooking this very whimsical Vermont Folk Rugs pattern.  I love the grinning orange cat!  The smile was done with "beading" which is hooking with two colors at the same time.
Here is another Tom rug, being hooked by Joanne Delaney.  It is a gift to her son who lives in Texas.  She has modified the pattern because he is a "crazy-fun" person.  I love the cowboy hat and the bright colorful feathers.  After all, everything is bigger and brighter in Texas, right???
Here is Pear Tree, a Lori Brechlin adaptation, available through Spruce Ridge Studios.  Kimberly Maggion is working on this wonderful rug.  She's using one of my favorite colors: teal!  I love to mix orange with teal.  The pears were sinking somewhat into the background, but we opted to put a pop-out line around the pears and now they look great.
Nancy Norton is hooking this antique adaptation.  I love the way her flower pot is coming out.  She used soft pink and a purple/brown texture.  The overall feeling of the rug is soft and old.
Polly Reinhart is hooking a Keith Kemmer pattern, Pineapple Scrolls.  Her colors are very old and soft.  The pineapple is spectacular in person.  She added tabs to the end of the pattern and added quillie circles inside the tabs.
Rebecca Erb was hooking Cindi Gay's Annie's Flower Power foot stool.  Wow! I love the blue green/rose/brown color combo!  Rebecca sat out on the porch and got a lot of hooking done.
Here is dapper Mr. Pumpkin Thyme, being hooked by Susan Thomas.  Great colors, and I love his cute little face!  What an expression!
Here is a picture of the rug throw-down.  There were a couple of student rugs that I did not get pictures of (much to my dismay) but you can see them at the far right of this picture.  Phyllis was working on Blue Basket Antique, which is quite a large rug, but she had gotten a good start.  Pat was working on a floral design with a colorful bird.  We were using brighter colors for both flowers and bird and it was turning out to be a very happy rug.
Here is one last picture to tantalize you...sun rise over the ocean on the beach at Cape May!  I am not an early riser but I will make an exception to get down to the beach to see this!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Houdini Lives Here

There is never a dull moment around here.  Never.  Ever.  Between the goats, sheep, dogs, cat, and alpacas, there's always some sort of surprise going on. Most of the time, it's something that makes me laugh.  Imagine waking up in the morning and discovering that Quinn, the alpaca, was on the wrong side of the fence!
I can't even explain how it happened.  All the gates were closed and locked.  No breech in the fencing.  My only guess is that he jumped the fence.  What a scary thought.  That means he could probably jump the fence any time he wanted to and just leave.  However, I do believe I know his motive.
He LOVES the sheep.
 Quinn has decided that he is a sheep guardian.  Now, alpacas are not known for their guardian abilities but Quinn doesn't know that.  He really thinks that the sheep are his own responsibility and he is serious about that.  How else can he perform his guard duties except to get right in there with his flock.  The sheep look pretty comfortable with him too. I considered mixing them all together except that the gate on the alpaca pen is not sheep-proof.  We'd have sheep running all over the neighborhood.
So poor Quinn had to go back to his side of the fencing.  I saw him laying out there today, with the sheep directly across from him on the other side of the fence. 
 Looks like we'll have to ask Farmer Ken to work his magic and come up with a way to make the gate sheep-proof.  Otherwise, I have a feeling that Houdini will strike again!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Meet Hope!

 Here is my newest fur baby, Hope.  We adopted her from a wonderful lady who also happens to be a rug hooker.  She rescued Hope from a kill shelter and fostered her for 2 months.  My son drove down to North Carolina to pick her up for me.  She has been adapting nicely to our family and gets along perfectly with our lab, Jack and our cat, Reilly.  Hope is a one year old Great Pyrenees/Husky mix with THE most beautiful ice blue eyes you have ever seen. She is not very sure about all of our farm animals yet.
Two large dogs means double the dog hair on my floor...but it also means I get a double dose of love.  Jack and Hope give me kisses in the morning when I wake up!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wool Ewe Be Mine (and a secret!)

I have finished Wool Ewe Be Mine!  I love the way it came out, especially the quillie circles in the fleece.  Sometimes the simplest color plan turns out to be the best.  There's just 6 different textured wools used in this sweet little mat but I think it makes a big impact.  A perfect example of "less is more."
I actually need to give this little guy a good steaming and then I have to decide what type of finish to use for the edges.  Whipped with yarn?  Crocheted edge?  
 Shhh, it's a secret!  Don't tell Lori Brechlin but this is one of the models I will be sending for display at her 4th Annual Gathering Of Primitive Friends show on September 15th.  You can pick up this pattern or choose from a selection of others I will be sending for her show.  Act surprised like you didn't know it was going to be there...*wink, wink*