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Monthly Archives: October 2011


Sooooooo IT IS COLLLLLD out there! Yesterday we went to a wedding that was held OUTDOORS in the park. The bride and bridesmaids were in sleeveless dresses and the groom and groomsmen were in black kilts and thin blousey black shirts (achhhh all men should wear skirrrts and pirate shirrrts!!!!!!). The piper piped them in at 4 in the afternoon – lanterns were lit and as I stood thinking about how I could no longer feel my feet I looked at these young men and women turning blue and thought who am I to complain! It was an amazing wedding complete with candy bar (ohhhh tooo much chocolate!) and cupcake tree (Wendy – I never did get one of those??) and a stand up comedian and puppet show (the bride and groom are in the theater). Had a wonderful time after my toes came back to life! But the cold reallllly made me think Christmas and so to start getting in the proper mood I thought a couple of Christmas rugs might be appropriate. Can you feel the snow and cold and hear the Christmas music yet – well soon you will be!  By the time Christmas actually arrives I am almost sick of the music! But hmmm right now I might just have to go and put on one of the CD’s and light the fire and hmmm hook!!!!

My friend Donna designed this rug. It was a challenge piece to be interpreted in our colours and hooking style. Of COURSE mine was very old and dirty looking!

One of the patterns by Woolen Memories that I carry.

Another pattern by Woolen Memories.

And finally the skinny stockings that I make – they are great – easy and fun to hook (and fast!) and since they are lined only about 4 inches down from the top it does not cost much to fill them – well unless you are filling with jewellery or money!!!



On Thursday Alana came to take the finishing class. Alana has been hooking for about 3 years and is self taught and bases many of her rugs on her paintings. I love her rugs – she uses old blankets which she dyes and mostly recycled wools and her rugs have amazing texture. Here are some pictures of her rugs:

If you enlarge this picture you will see the fun textures in the crows body.

This was an amazing piece – 5 panels with the bottom and top panels done in mosaics (glass not hooked) and the center panels hooked. Can you tell Alana is an artist! A few years ago Alana had an exposition at the maritime museum in Kingston in which she displayed an entire wall of 12 x 12 hooked panels dedicated to knots and maritime themes.

Well we had our first frost on Thursday night – gardens are now being cut back and potted plants dumped in the woods – all the millions of water lettuce and hyacinths we had in our pond this year which looked soooooo good are now off in the bush in a massive pile which hopefully the deer will feed on. So now with frost in the air and only hmmm less than two months to Christmas I am thinking Christmas dye colours. Here is one of my favourite olivey greens:

Olive Green (using Magic Carpet dyes)

2/16 Moss Green

2/16 Chocolate Brown

1/16 Brilliant Green

1/16 Orange

over 1/4 yard gives you a medium to dark value.  I would again increase the formula and do a large quantity of wool in various base colours to get many values and textures to mix together.

The background of the Feather Tree runner below is olive greens:

Mixed with old golds and rusty reds it is a wonderful dirty green for Christmas based rugs.


Well I am really getting better at making these mittens – this time I intentionally!! did not read the instructions so that I know if I am ready to teach and YEAHHHHH they worked out! So I will make up one more pair before my first class! Nothing like leaving it to the last minute as my first class is next week! They are fun to make though and definitely getting easier …

AHHHH if you love yarn and like to use it in your hooking here’s a news flash:  Janie H Knits is having a big sale this weekend Friday October 28 to Sunday October 30 at the store.  Janie has a whole new shipment of hookable lovelies from Fleece Artist and Handmaiden! Janie’s shop is located in Glen Tay just outside Perth.

Held a finishing class here today and Wendy from Killaloe brought her beautiful rug totallllllly made from tshirts.  I was amazed at the wonderful colours she had found – my tshirts are just not great colours for hooking probably because most are black! or covered with paint! but she found some great colours for hostas in sagey greens with kind of a tan background. Wendy is self taught and has hooked with everything from flannel pj’s to hmmm anything! I totally forgot to get a picture of her rug which is a shame as it would have been interesting to post so everyone could see how beautiful a rug made from tshirts can be. I love using wool and wool yarns – have never ventured much into alternative fibers (well except for one rug where I used up all my pantyhose – who wears pantyhose!!! anymore)… but have not tried other alternative fibers. After seeing Wendy’s rug though, I might have to try it.

I did, however, get a picture of Norma’s hooking bag which I thought was brilliant. Norma hooked a piece using all her leftover worms from a few projects and then stitched this to the front of a 2.00 bag from the dollar store. These bags are actually quite durable being vinyl coated on the inside (I have used them for my larger kits) and with a hooked piece stitched to the front become quite stylish! and funky. Another fun way of using our smaller hooked pieces.


Was an amazing show!  If you love fiber – yarns, handspun, roving, unspun sheep locks, rughooking, knitting, felting THIS WAS THE SHOW TO GO TO! There were a ton of wonderful vendors, the show was superbly organized with lots of space for every vendor. Annnddd if you were a vendor there were tons of people who came because it was a source for amazing supplies. I spent most of the day (this is a one day show only) working hard and chatting with people but made sure I arrived early so that I could check out the other vendors and see what I should not be spending MORE money on. Well that was not going to happen – did buy some wonderful yarns and could have bought a LOT more but I really am trying to change my reputation. There were 3 vendors of rughooking supplies – myself, Rittermere and Cozy Nook. We each had something different to offer so it worked really well. But if you love to add fiber to your rugs there were tons of other vendors to visit and spend your dollars at. And great demonstrations going on all day. Annndddd DOOR PRIZES I think every hour! Next year Fleece Festival will again be held in Woodstock at the Fairgrounds on October 13 so mark this in your agenda and plan to be there. I think that will also be the last weekend of Oktoberfest in Kitchener-Waterloo so – oh forget that – who wants to spend money on beer when you can spend it on FIBER!!!!

I had thought I would take tons of pictures but 1. it was way too busy and 2. I did not want to step on toes as many people are cautious about letting others take photos of their booths. So unfortunately you will just have to come next  year!

While I was in Knowlton-Sutton last weekend doing the Quoi de Neuf show a former student came with the rug we have been designing and working on together (well she does the hooking I do the design and dyeing).  Ann is doing a wonderful big rug which she wanted to include 6 farm animals – she has hooked 4 of them (2 were my designs and 2 were free patterns from Rughooking Magazine yearrrrrrs ago). She is just in the process of tweaking the highland cow and then we are going to work on a goat and a donkey to complete the blocks. I think this is going to be such a fun wonderful rug:

It is a BIG rug – each block is 18 inches square with 2 inch sashes in between and all the way around.

On the way to Woodstock I met Marg at Country Quarters in Napanee – a wonderful little quilt store. Marg is developing an area that will carry rughooking supplies. We chatted about rughooking and primitives and ohhhh she told me about the junk market (well there are some nice antiques as well that I cannot afford) in Kingston on Princess Street. Sooooo if you love to junk shop check it out. I found a couple of antique sewing machine drawers that I have been looking for – ahhhhh what do I have in mind you ask? Welllll you will just have to wait until they are finished!!! Then I will post a picture.

For those of you who know about my mouse dilemna – THEY’RE BACKKKKKKKK… I have a NEW HOUSE with ICF basement and NO ACCESS HOLES and FOUR CATS and now I have mice again! Last week I woke up in the middle of the night to a strange rattling noise – walked around trying to figure out what it was and wracked my brain alllllll night long and then bingo the light went on! It is our live mouse trap! The rattling is the sound made by a BIG MOUSE trying to get back out! Of course when I checked the trap in the morning EMPTY which means mouse is in the house! I do not kill mice – I know this is crazy but they are such tiny cute creatures – well I don’t kill spiders either! All critters are picked up and put outside – well mouse goes in the garage in a nice warm wool bed with a plate of peanut butter. I figure if I make the garage a welcoming abode they might stay out of the house! Well last night one of the four cats – Mr. Fleatwo – scooted across the TV room and scooped up a mouse. Of course I screamed DROP IT! and he ran up the dark stairs to the main floor – with me and Gord in hot pursuit! Of course my cats do not KILL mice so I should have just left him alone but nope – ran up the dark stairs and ugh stepped on the mouse that the cat had dropped! Not a good way to end the day – had nightmares about mice! BIGGG MICE – seeking revenge!



WELL yesterday was a white knuckler for sure. Drove to our guild meeting in Burritts Rapids and the rain was soooo bad I kept looking for Noah and the Ark! I HATE driving in the rain – snow – dark – bright sun – traffic – city – hmmmm I guess I just hate driving period! Anyway I made it in one piece and was so glad I went. It was great to get together with the group again – we have such fun and there is always an amazing lunch put on by various members. Next meeting it is my turn and I am racking my brain trying to think of what Costco might have that I can pass off as home made!!! I also had to deliver mitten patterns for the class I am teaching in November(working on the third pair and am slowly but surely figuring them out!) and pick up the project the guild was commissioned to hook for the Leeds Grenville community. I am doing the showbinding and casing for hanging the rug. This is AN AMAZING piece of art – designed by a couple of our members and hooked on by almost everyone. Once it is completed and presented I hope to post a picture of it but for now it is a SECRET!

While I was there Pat Reid had a couple of her new hooked cards on display. These will be for sale and I bought one so that I could photograph and post it. They are wonderful little creations and I may(if Pat does not sell out) have them for sale through my online store. This is a picture of one of them – almost too nice to use as cards – would be fun in a little funky frame:

So today we leave for Woodstock and Fleece Festival. We have been away so much that my cats are beginning to forget who I am – thank goodness we have a great house sitter who loves them and takes good care of them while we are gone – although they are getting rather chubby! This is my first time doing Fleece Festival but I have heard that it is a good fiber related show. I hope to take lots of pictures to post when we get back. Final show of the year will be the Ottawa Valley Spinners and Weavers Guild show in the Glebe Community Center the first weekend in November. Again this is a fiber related show and is wonderful. This weekend however both hubby AND I are leaving wallets behind!!! Sure!!!!


This is for miniature punch needle – entire kit with 6, 3 and 1 strand. Used ONCE – originally 55.00 U.S. – for sale for 40.00 Canadian plus shipping.


Well what can I say about the Quoi de Neuf show in Sutton – AMAZINGGGGG ARTISTS! Fun to reconnect with old friends who took a beginner class with me and have gone on to do wonderful rugs since then! Really nice location although when we arrived Gord commented he might have to go out and buy some flashlights for visitors to the show as the lighting was rather dim – well after talking with some of the organizers it appeared MANY of the lights were actually missing and they spent a good part of the set up day getting lights working. But by the time all the lights were fixed, all our booths were set up and our own lights plugged in it was great – well actually by mid afternoon I was stripping off clothing!!!! Now that might be age related! or it might have been the 5000 watts of lighting in the room :-). I had such a fun time though – hopefully a few of the ladies I reconnected with will send me pix of their rugs so that I can post them.

Was I good – yup!!!! Bought a wonderful little primitive kingfisher carved Christmas ornament from Doug Purdy and picked up a cow and chicken for my sister (NOT for me!). Then I got some flattened silver spoons, forks and knives that I want to attach to a frame with a hooked piece. These are made by a couple from Lachute- Roger and Marilyn Jacob – I have loved their work for years and finally bought something. Other than that and some amazing curry sauce (all I have to do to make a meal is add chickpeas! – my kind of cooking!) I bought nothing! It was hard to control myself but… Here is a picture of my silverware – not to be used for eating!

Tomorrow I am holding a primitive dyeclass and Friday I am off to Woodstock for Fleece Festival. That should be a fun one day show. I am going to hold another primitive dye class probably on November 21 from 10 – 4. Please see events listing for confirmation and details. That will be the final one of the year cause once the snow flies either skis or 4 wheel drive are the only way in to our place!!! Well you CAN try – Gord does have his man toy (honkin big John Deere tractor) and he would be happy to help you back out!

I hooked another small piece which I will be making up as a kit – here is the picture. It is approximately 22 x 12.5 – not sure yet how I will finish it (will decide that next week for the finishing class). I hooked it at the show this past weekend but because it was not a huge piece I finished early – what to do for 2 more hours!!!!!! Well I pulled out and rehooked strips!!! When that became tiring I went and ate food samples!!! Next time I will bring along a bigger piece :-).


Check out the online store – I have a used frame for sale.  Email me if you are interested.  It needs a GOOOOOOD cleaning which I may delegate to hubby.


Well this morning we leave for the show in Sutton. But this time I leave my wallet behind!!! Because I have another piece I have ordered from an artist near Brighton. Discovered Anja’s work a few months ago when we took a little daytrip. Anja does mosaics but very different from most. These are meant to be hung on an interior wall rather than in a window and are composed with pieces of pottery, china, beads, etc. They are wonderful. This is my piece that I will be picking up soon (Anja custom made this and can you see my 4 cats?):

You can find her work at
The other day I mentioned my friend Odette who hooked with finer (mostly Briggs and Little) yarns. Her rugs were very fine and tapestry like and just wonderful. This is a picture of one of her rugs – it is amazing the detail that she achieved in her rugs with as is yarns. I love using yarns in my rugs but tend to use more textured and thicker yarns because of the wider cuts of wool I use but Odette’s rugs were wonderful.

I love the way her design encroaches on the border (or would that be border encroaching on design!) – makes the rug look almost 3 dimensional – ever since our class with Jule Marie Smith I have been excited about borders and how they can be made more interesting.

I also love (hmmm I do! love a lot of things) creating vignettes in my home with my rugs, furniture, artwork by others and hmm my junk finds! I have a few of them that I have created – and then once I am tired of a vignette it gets changed. But it is like creating a new design – fun to play with different elements. Here is the one created with some of my finds and rugs and art pieces:

The carvings are all Doug Purdy’s creations, the big beautiful bird house is be Cloud Hidden Workshop (Pete and Bonnie Claude), the rug is based on a punch needle design by Joni Black (with permission to enlarge and hook as a rug), the wonderful wall rack and tinware are from a great little store in Jamesville New York (south of syracuse), the miniature antique oil lamps were collected by my sister in Belgium, the apothecary came from a great primitive shop in Mass that I discovered in a magazine last fall.  The only offshore imports would be the cloth stars and probably the lamp!

Joni’s website is below – she has wonderful punch needle etc. patterns:


Wellll it was a lovely weekend – the weather and leaves certainly cooperated for our studio tour weekend.  Every year though it seems the minute the tour is over the weather changes and we get rain and cooler temperatures and plunk all the leaves fall.  This year no exception!  But after Thanksgiving weekend I am not overly concerned – although I do have a show in Sutton Quebec this weekend – Quoi de Neuf – and it would be nice if the weather cleared up and we had a nice weekend for that.

Sooooo of COURSE I was out there supporting our artists again! I have a reputation for being everyones best customer!!!! For that reason having artists whose work I love is great – hmmm or perhaps not so great! I spent soooo much money – but I dooo have fun. So what did I buy this year:

Isn’t this an amazing piece of folkart by Doug Purdy (he will also be at the show in Sutton this weekend). I had originally picked out a cow with a chicken on its back but when I realised that the presents in the sled could be removed and replaced with seasonal pieces I upgraded! Now I have Doug working on some pumpkins for the sled.

This amazing bowl was turned by Lionel Bedard and I love the very organic nature of the bowl with the missing pieces of wood. I kept telling Lionel though that because half the bowl was missing the price needed to be set accordingly!

And this amazing starburst (6 feet wide) now hangs in the peak of our garage. Gord spent the weekend staining it red and then Monday all the guys got together to hang it.  This piece was made by Steve Henderson. It is absolutely amazing when you come down the laneway and all of a sudden you see the house and this piece.

So hmmm actually I was pretty good and restrained myself – well I did get a few small pieces – a loon screen saver (for screen doors not the computer!!!) by Carmen Allen (yes these REALLY do stop people from walking through the screens!) and a carved woodpecker ornament by Doug for my very primitive Christmas tree. I am also happy to report that most of these artists will be returning next fall and that we will add a couple of new artists to the group. All in all a wonderful weekend with amazing talented artists. Thanks to everyone who came to our tour in person or by email and made this weekend so special.