Saturday, January 30, 2016

Rug Of The Day - Holly & Ewe

Holly & Ewe - hooked by Kris Miller
Pattern (c) 2010 Kris Miller/Spruce Ridge Studios
Monks:  $40.00  
Linen:  $50.00
Dimensions:  20" x 27"

To continue on the theme of Santa, here is another favorite Santa rug that I have hooked.  I designed this for a workshop a few years ago and it had several different techniques for the participants to try.  They learned how to hook the eyes on Santa and the sheep - I call them "realistic primitive eyes."  Also hooking with roving (the sheep), Waldoboro style sculpting with wool strips (the holly berries), sculpting roving (pom-pom on Santa's hat) and crochet edge finish with wool strips.  It was fun to see how everyone hooked variations in their Santa project.  
Judy was one of the participants and hooked this stunning white Santa, using sheep curls for the beard.  It was a challenge to color plan and hook this rug in all pale neutrals but Judy did a great job.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Rug Of The Day - Midnight Clear

Midnight Clear - hooked by Kris Miller
Adapted from Lori Brechlin Folk Art by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2009
Monks:  $64.00
Linen:  $79.00
Dimensions: 30" x 38"
(also available in a smaller size: 24.5" x 31")

I just told someone the other day that I could hook Santa rugs 365 days of the year.  It's true!  I love the old-timey, belsnickle, old world Santas!
This was one of my all-time favorite rugs to hook.  It even appeared as an honorable mention in one of the past issues of Celebration of Hand Hooked Rugs.  It was a joy to hook and everything seemed to fall into place and work out perfectly.  Here are a few facts about my rug:

1.  I love the snowman in Santa's pocket!  I used a striped wool, cut with the stripe and hooked vertically.  I wanted it to look like Santa had tacked on a patchwork pocket just for that cute little snowman.
2.  I wanted to hook snow on the ground but didn't want it to look too white because, after all, it is supposed to be midnight.  I used a light khaki plaid which makes the best snow.
3.  The background is a dark plaid called Valentino.  It was from Heaven's To Betsy from many years ago and I am trying to get her to make it again because it is soooo fabulous!
4.  I hooked the little tabs on the sides with left over "noodles,"  alternating with red and green.  Unless you get up close, you don't see much variation but it gives the tabs a lovely glow.
5.  I had to do a little "pop-out" line around the boots to make them stand out from the background.  I'll bet you didn't notice until I pointed it out! 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Rug Of The Day - Old Tom

Old Tom - hooked by Kris Miller
Adapted from Lori Brechlin Folk Art by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2014
Monks:  32.00
Linen:  $40.00
Dimensions: 15" x 19.25"

This is such a simple and delightful turkey pattern!  I decided that when I hooked this design, I was only going to use up scraps of wool I had laying around.  Not "noodles" or left-over strips - I'm talking about the 3" or 4" or 5" pieces that are left over from other projects. It seems like I have a huge bag of those! So my plan was that I would not cut into any new wool, except for the background.  The background is my favorite, Reversible Black Stripe.  Grayish on one side, and antique black on the other, this one wool will give you an aged look instantly.  
We have a group of turkeys who visit us quite regularly so I decided to use the gray-blue wool for Tom's head, just like a real turkey.  I blended it down into a brown plaid for the body and used a pebbly black and beige texture for the feathers.  I used another left-over orange/red plaid for the wing and used thin strips of the same down the center of the tail feathers.  The letters are really a soft burnished yellow, although they show up brighter in the photo.
I love this wonderful little rug.  I hooked nearly all of it in an 8.5 cut and it didn't take long to finish.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Rug Of The Day - Floral Tangle

Floral Tangle - hooked by Karen Sundstrom
Pattern (c) Cindi Gay and offered through Spruce Ridge Studios
Monks: $72.00
Linen:  $90.00
Dimensions: 44.25" x 29.5"
Karen hooked this at a workshop I taught last May in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. 
 I think her color plan is so pretty with the reds, greens, golds, and (my favorite) turquoise.  The dark background is perfect to show off these lovely colors.  And again, she pulled colors from the flowers and leaves and used them in the border.  She added a few other textures too, just to mix it up a bit.  This is such a joyful rug and it makes me happy.  I'm sure it makes Karen happy too.  Good job, Karen!

This pattern is fairly large and is perfect for all you wide-cut rug hookers out there!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Rug Of The Day - All Seasons

All Seasons hooked by Rebecca Erb
Design adapted from the folk art of PJ Rankin-Hults by 
Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2005
Monks:  $54.00
Linen:  $70.00
47 1/2" x 18"

This charming rug design really does cover it all!  I love the way the whimsical characters flow from one season to the next so effortlessly.  Rebecca hooked a great dark background with lots of subtle movement and the colorful triangular border on this rug ties everything all together.  

Monday, January 25, 2016

Rug Of The Day-The Rev

The Reverend Gourdin Squashbotton, hooked by Louise Tietjen
Pattern adapted from Lori Brechlin folk art by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2013
Monks:  $52.00
Linen:  $66.00
32.25" x 26.5"
Such a great rug design with a delightfully funny name!  I like to call it "The Rev" for short.  Every time I see this pattern, it makes me smile.  The Rev is taking a walk with his cane in one hand and his candle in the other, but he looks a little worried.  I wonder what his concern might be.  Maybe the cat has scampered by and startled him, or maybe he's just afraid to walk in the dark.  Since The Rev has a pumpkin head (or squash head-you decide!), this could be displayed at Halloween or just a nice seasonal piece to leave out during the Fall months.
Louise chose some really beautiful primitive colors for her rug.  Lots of neutrals with a few pops of rust and blue. The background suggests nighttime without being too dark.  I love the way she marched the colors around the edge of the rug in the triangles.  It's just enough variation to tie everything all together. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Rug Of The Day - Charlotte Swine

Charlotte Swine - Hooked by Kris Miller
Pattern adapted from Lori Brechlin Folk Art by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2015
Monks cloth:  $28.00
Linen:  36.00

The Rug Of The Day is a Notforgotten Farm pattern that I adapted late last year. It didn't appear on my old website but it will certainly be included on the new website.  Charlotte Swine is such an adorable little piggy!  This is a simple pattern that only requires a few color choices and it hooks up quickly too.  I think it took me 1-1/2 days of hooking in the evening but if you are a fast rug hooker, you could probably do it in a day. I decided to make a pillow because I had an 11 x 16 pillow form and it fit nicely.  I sewed the backing fabric around three sides with my sewing machine, leaving a scant 1/4 inch gap of linen between my hooking and the backing fabric (sew with right sides together).  Then I turned the pillow right side out and used a spring proddy tool to pull the proddy fringe around the edge.  I actually used two dark textured wools that were similar in value and went around the entire perimeter of the pillow.  Once the proddy was completed, I stuffed in the pillow form and sewed together the final side.  I love how fun and playful the proddy fringe looks!

Of course, Charlotte Swine would also make a great small mat for your table too.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Rug Of The Day - Boy Scout

Designed and Hooked by Kris Miller/Spruce Ridge Studios (c)2008
Monks cloth:  $42.00
Linen: $ 52.00

A snowy rug for a snowy day.  If you are in the path of the blizzard, I hope you are staying home, keeping warm, and using your home-bound time to get some hooking done!  I embrace those types of snow often feels like an unofficial holiday!

This was a Rug Of The Day a few years ago so you may be familiar with the story.  Years ago, my husband and I were shopping at an antique market in the Adirondacks and we saw this antique rug.  I could not afford to buy the real thing so I asked the dealer if I could take a picture.  I decided I could hook the design to resemble the old rug so I chose my colors as closely to the original rug as I could.  

What do I love about this rug?  I love that the maker used all types of neutral colors to create the feeling of snow.  Calm. Tranquil.  Cozy.  Quiet.  I love that the only color in the whole rug is the red letters.  I love the bare trees.  I love the fence and the road, the cabin and the smoke.  It makes me wish I could be there, or at least I want to know who lives in the cabin.  Sometimes the simplest of designs speaks volumes.  

Friday, January 22, 2016

Rug Of The Day - Little Fox

Little Fox - hooked by Kris Miller
Pattern adapted from Ann Willey Designs by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2011
Monks cloth:  $50.00
Linen:  $64.00

The reason why I wanted to hook this rug was because I was inspired by Jamie Fox.  Well, no, not Jamie Fox, the actor....I mean Jamie Fox, the real fox.

We have a fox that has adopted us and taken up residence here on our farm.  We named it Jamie Fox.  One day, we realized that Jamie Fox was a female when she brought her kits out to play in the grass.  She has done us the favor of reducing our rodent population and she is very respectful of our livestock.  We know she lives under a pile of brush in the back of our property because last summer when my husband was mowing grass, he noticed a small opening in the pile and he could see little glowing eyes looking back at him.

The first year Jamie Fox was here, I would often see her sitting out in my goat pen.  I was alarmed at first, not knowing if she would chase or (heaven forbid) bite my goats.  I called my dad and talked to him about it.  He told me that I had nothing to worry about and then added "you know, Kris, baby foxes make good pets....but I wouldn't try to take one away from its mother."  I could hear the smile in his voice and imagined the twinkle in his eyes when he said it.  It was such a sweet conversation and one of the last lengthy talks I had with him before he passed away.  

So now I feel honored that Jamie Fox has chosen to live with us and even though she drives my dogs to distraction, I am always glad to see her.

I kept the background colors in this rug soft and muted so the fox is the star of the show.  The little owl in the tree would have disappeared if it was hooked with grays or brown so I used muted purple colors. I hooked a light yellow strip for the owl eyes and then hand-stitched a small black dot with thread in the center.  

Deb Nees hooked her version of this rug in my class in Cape May this past September.  She changed the fox to a dog.  It is a tribute to her daughter's dog Camden, and gave it to her as a gift.  I think you'll agree that it is very special!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Rug Of The Day - Daisy

Daisy - hooked by Kris Miller
Pattern adapted from Lori Brechlin Folk Art by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2012
Monks Cloth:  $48.00
Linen:  $62.00

Daisy is a perfect design for wide cut rug hooking and textures because the design is so simple.  Daisy has a large body area to hook so I decided to "puddle" a few areas.  I chose two textured wools that were "friends" - they shared similar colors and values - and hooked them in random yet distinct areas.  I tried to think about the old antique rugs we all love, how they have random spots that fade in and out, or discolored spots where the fabric wore a little bit.  

The original pattern does not have the word "daisy" on it, but I added it because I wanted to fill the spot beneath the donkey.  The word shows up much more distinct in the photograph.  When I look at it in person, I don't think it shows up as much.  My goal was to have the word become a subtle part of the background. 

I hooked this rug in #8.5 and #9 cuts.  Some of the daisy petals had to be hooked in a #8 cut so they would keep their shapes and not look like blobs.  I finished my rug by using some of the background wool strips to crochet around the edges.

This was another rug that I enjoyed every minute of hooking!  

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Rug Of The Day-Welcomed Guests

Welcomed Guests-hooked by Kris Miller
Pattern adapted from Ann Willey artwork by Spruce Ridge Studios (2011)
Monks cloth: $50.00
Linen:  $64.00

Ann Willey is a Michigan artist (and also a rug hooker) and I have been adapting her artwork into rug hooking patterns since 2011. I like her designs because they have a serene and dreamlike quality. Many times while I am drawing up patterns, I start color planning them in my head, so that is why I decided to hook Welcomed Guests. I started to feel like I knew these two characters and they needed to be brought to life!
  It was fun to "dress them up" in some fun textured wools, a few of which I had purchased from Barb Carroll.  A striped off-white wool was cut along the stripe and hooked directionally to give dimension to the table cloth.  The textures for the clothing were also hooked directionally to create shape.  Faces can be intimidating but if you hook them first, you get the hardest part of the rug out of the way and then you have a happy little face looking back at you while you complete the rest of the rug!

Sometimes it is utter joy to hook a rug.  Everything falls into place and your color choices sing in harmony.  There is not much ripping out or starting with a different wool.  It all seems to come together.  I am almost sad sometimes to see the completion because the journey was so satisfying.  And so, for me,  it was that way with this rug.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Rug Of The Day-Nantucket Broom Ride

Nantucket Broom Ride, hooked by Saundra Porter
Pattern adapted from Lori Brechlin Folk Art by Spruce Ridge Studios (c) 2012
monks cloth:  52.00
linen:  $66.00

My first rug of the day is Nantucket Broom Ride.  What a truly wonderful and whimsical pattern this is!  Saundra signed up for my class in Cape May last fall and wanted to work with me on a color plan.  The whale's body is such a vast area to hook so we did not want to use just one wool to fill him.  We "puddled" the whale by dividing his body into sections and then Saundra used textured wools that were close in value to hook each section.  The look is vintage and charming.

The greatest challenge to color planning this rug was a night sky vs. the dark clothing that a witch would wear.  We solved that problem by dressing the witch in purple.  She still faded into the background a just little, so Saundra added a halo of lighter purple around the witch.  Voila! 

Saundra also wanted a house that looked like it had chippy white boards, so we used a striped wool, cut with the stripes, and hooked it directionally.  The variations of the stripes made the perfect weathered boards.

The icing on the cake was a suggestion that Barb Carroll gave to Saundra:  put a fashionable scarf on the witch!  Genius!  

I've got this pattern put away for myself.  I have the perfect gray and purple textured wool for the whale.  Now just to steal some time to hook it!

Here is another color plan of Nantucket Broom Ride, hooked by Michelle Petit.  A different color plan but just as fun.  I love to see the variations!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Under Construction...

Starting January 19th, my website will be under construction for a rebuild.  You will not be able to access the pattern pages, products, or accessories until the new website is up and running.  I will still be taking orders and running my business as usual but if you would like to view any of the patterns, you may want to take the opportunity to do so now.

I will be bringing you a fresh, updated website with a whole new look!  It should be fast, easy to navigate, and {BONUS!} it will have a shopping cart added for your shopping convenience.  You will be able to shop day or night, in your pajamas, with a cup of tea and a cookie in hand!

I appreciate your patience and understanding during the construction process.  Please know that I will accommodate you in any way I can.  I am toying with the idea of posting "Rug Of The Day" again, so you can see the wonderful patterns I offer and the creative people who hooked them. 

Also, check the tabs at the top of my blog page frequently, where I will add featured patterns and products for sale during the construction period.