Friday, January 10, 2020

Getting Ready For The Ice Storm

We don't get a lot of ice storms in our neck of the woods so when the weatherman says it's going to be a bad one tomorrow, I sit up and take notice.  Of course they make it sound like it's going to come down in Biblical proportions and sometimes they are wrong.  But I'm going to be prepared anyway, just in case they are right.
I'm going to fill water buckets and charge batteries and get out candles.  I bought a rechargeable light for my frame last year so that's getting charged too.  If the lights go out, I'm bundling up and rug hooking!
I have had Notforgotten Farm's Give Ye Thanks pattern on my bucket list for several years so now is the time to hook it!  I can't tell you how excited I am to finally start color planning it for ME!  The linen is stretched over my light table and my sharpies are ready to draw out all the lovely details.  I couldn't help but pull a few textures that were calling to me.

The top four woolens are for the cabin...just dreaming here...a red striped roof, the cabin of rustic brown plaid (sorry-not for sale. This is all I have!) with light taupe chinking.  I have color planned Give Ye Thanks many times and it is really essential that the cabin chinking remains much lighter than the "logs."
Isn't the bottom dotted plaid fabulous???  It might be used for either part of the hills or the oak leaves in the trees.  When I first laid eyes on this texture, I immediately thought it would look good in Give Ye Thanks so I can't wait to figure out where it should go.

I know I'll have a light/taupe background but I haven't planned much more than that.  Once I get the cabin started, I think my brain will be flooded with ideas.

One of the reasons I think this pattern is so great is because I have seen it hooked in many variations and color plans and they all look wonderful.  I know I have shared some of these images before here on my blog but it's fun and inspiring to look at them again.

 Kathy Simmons
 Lori Rippey
 Sue Clark
Kathy Keithley
 Cora Maldonado
Picture taken at the Cream City Hook-in.  Maker unknown.

There is another fabulous version with a barn that just warms my heart but I can't find it in the mess of pictures on my computer.

Stay warm and safe, my friends, and hook something you love!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Welcome 2020!

Hello dear blog friends!  

I have to admit that 2019 wasn't my favorite year and I was happy to see it end.  There wasn't anything catastrophic but lots of little sadnesses and disappointments and just plain bad juju that kept turning up in my life.  People that I thought I had trusted let me down, people I had thought were friends turned out to be less than that.  Social Media was not a kind place, in my opinion.  I sort of pulled back from there to save my sanity.  I admire all the people and businesses who make it work for them....because sometimes it just fueled my sadness and I felt better when I was away from there. 
I lost 3 of my beloved goats this year.  It brings tears to my eyes just to type this.  They were all around 13 years old and lived a happy and pampered life here.  It seems strange to go out to the goat pen and not have them there, looking for treats or asking for a head scratch.  
I had to say goodbye to my beloved dog, Jack.  He was the love of my life too.  We rescued him when he was 6 years old and we ended up getting 9 more years of dog love, much more than I had ever anticipated.  As he got sicker and and more debilitated, I prayed that he would just die in his sleep.  But it seemed that he was hanging on with no joy left and I had to make the decision to send him over the rainbow bridge.  I know I did the right thing but it tore me up.

So, you see, the year was difficult for me.  If I have not answered a message, an email, a phone call, I hope you understand.  There were a lot of thank-you notes and Christmas cards that never got written but it doesn't mean I didn't appreciate you or I wasn't thinking about you or I wasn't thankful for your kindness.  

  I traveled a lot in 2019.   It was not ALL such a bad thing!  I met some really wonderful new friends, reconnected with old ones.  I got to see parts of the USA that I had never seen before, ate some really great regional dishes, shared stories with other rug hookers.  I am truly blessed...but being away for so long can make you long for your bed and normal routine at home. I hardly had time to hook. Sometimes I only had time to swap out a pair of jeans or socks in my suitcase and then throw the suitcase back in my car again.  Which DOES makes me laugh because on my drive to Cape May, I realized that I did not remember to replace the underwear that was taken out of my suitcase and I had to stop at Costco to buy some more. 

On December 31st, I was ruminating about all these sad things and I had gotten myself worked into a funk.  Then I got an unexpected phone call from a friend.  She was bubbly and happy and full of cheer.  I finally had to admit to her that I was feeling a little blue.  After talking to her for 1/2 hour, my whole attitude had changed.  She made me remember the good things that had happened in 2019...but she was even more optimistic about 2020.  It's a nice round number, she said.  I couldn't agree with her more.  

Thanks to my happy friend, I'm going to celebrate the good things in 2019 because that wonderful goodness is being carried over to 2020:  
  • I added a new Finn ewe to my flock.  She has a sweet disposition and a personality bigger than the sky.  We named her Kulta, which means "darling" in Finnish.  There is no better name for her!

  • I hosted my first ever rug camp, Historic Franklin Rug Hooking Retreat, in Franklin, Tennessee and everybody had fun and went home happy!

  • And the best news of all is that I became a first-time grandma to a beautiful and sweet little girl!  So many people told me that there is nothing better than being a grandma but I don't think I could fully understand it until I became one.  Quite unexpected but I think the best surprises come in small packages!

I am already happier in 2020.  I have decided that reevaluation is always necessary.  Many people choose a key word for the New Year instead of resolutions so I am going to try that.  I always resolve to walk more and I'm still going to work on that in 2020.  But my word for my journey into the New Year is 
I am going to BALANCE my days and weeks so I make more personal time for myself (something that was lacking in 2019).  More time for my granddaughter.  More time for living in the moment and enjoying what is around me.  The birds singing.  The sheep baaing.  The color of snow.  The smell of my barn.  The feel of the sun on my face. BALANCE.  So I have more time to write and spend less time lurking on Social Media.  BALANCE.  To make me a happier person in 2020.
My friend was so right.  2020 is a beautifully round number.   
And it is balanced.