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Monthly Archives: June 2012

NOT AN OTTER…

Wellllll it appears my knowledge of wildlife is somewhat lacking!!! What I thought was a lone otter in fact turns out to be a MUSKRAT! Did you know that a muskrat is actually (and I quote) “a giant field mouse that has traded meadows for marshes.” Given my experiences with MICE how appropriate that the little guy in the water with the nice long tail turned out to be a darn big water loving mouse! As we sat on the dock yesterday morning I was soooooo excited to see Mr. Otter swimming rapidly towards us – of course when my eyes adjusted to the sunlight glaring off the water (can I blame that for my wrong impression of what this was!) it turned out it was  a short stumpy muskrat! After doing a bit of research on the internet I found that that tail sticks up out of the water when they float to eat! Hope at least he is eating all the weeds in the water!!!!

On another note our deer (have I told you how much I love my deer!!!) have been making the rounds of their salad bar – i.e. my GARDENS! Hostas are disappearing overnight – one that was about 3 feet across is now only stems – not a leaf in sight! Every bud on my daylilies is gone! The tops of all my rudbeckia – gone! The tips of all the cannas – gone!

AND THE MICE ARE BACK!!!!!!

Ahhhhh country life! Monday I spent a day at my friend France’s beautiful log home hooking with her and Trish – thought you might enjoy pix of the progress on their rugs. Today it is off to Desert Lake to Anne’s for more hooking (however this morning I WILLLLL do windows – cannot have TOO many days of fun and no work!).

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A BEAUTIFUL DAY…

on the lake. Sat on the dock this morning drinking my coffee, reading the last article in RHM, reading my newest book Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and finishing off the showbinding on my latest Karla Gerard. And of course being entertained by our resident otter who has been hanging about our shoreline for weeks now (was not sure until today whether it was a beaver or otter but that long skinny tail and whiskery face chewing on fish answered the question!!!). So now that Bird in a Blooming Tree is finished I can move on to finishing my sheep (mini) rug and starting (or rather restarting since I totally changed the colour plan) my geometric. This is the start of my little sheep landscape:

A few days ago I attended a wonderful hookin at Linda Heatherington’s beautiful home. Last summer I posted pix of her gardens – this year they were crowded with 40 hookers! It was a hot day but there was a nice breeze and when things got too warm outside we could escape indoors for some relief (or as in my case – goodies!!!!). Some of the ladies who attended were from the Limestone Loopers and Harrowsmith group and then there were a few random additions! On the way to Linda’s Gord and I rescued 2 baby racoons from certain death on the highway. Had to wrap them in our beachtowel and carry them up into the woods where hopefully Momma racoon would find them. They were snarly little devils but so cute.

Yesterday I taught at Rosehaven Farm Store in Picton. My class – appropriately – was adding texture to your hooked rugs (visual and tactile) and what better place than an amazing fiber arts store full of gorgeous wools and yarns for knitting or hooking along with other fibers. My next class there will be in September – Hooking for the Holidays!

Well off to the dock to resume my wonderful relaxing (husband free!) day – no guilt feelings about not cleaning windows or house! Just hooking and reading … ahhhhh life is good!!!!

A BRIGHT RUG JUST FINISHED…

Well for me it IS bright!!!! I spent a good part of last week dyeing bright Karla Gerard colours for a friend who is hooking 3 Karla rugs. If you have ever been to my studio you would realise that brights are usually not on my shelves! I love old and dirty. So the brights were a challenge – but a lot of fun. Not sure if I can ever replicate them again exactly as I eyeball dyed them and did not keep records – kind of hard when you are adding a touch of this or a touch of that to get exactly the colour you are looking for. How does TOUCH translate into a dyeing formula. Once the colours were all done and piled on the rugs to be I realised they looked lovely and hmmm I needed to try a brighter rug. So pulled out a Karla pattern that I thought would be fun – Bird in a Blooming Tree – and colours for the rug. I was going to use hot pinks, chartreuse, bright yellows, bright blues. I had GOOD intentions! Until I started actually hooking… all the really brights came out and the dirtier brights went in! Even blue!!! For a change though instead of black I used a new dark teal stripe background I have in stock and I love the way it works with the teals in the sky and makes my dirtier brights pop. So I tried!!!! but hmmm may have fallen off that bright track a bit.  Because I hooked it in an 8.5 I had to cut out some of the details. But it was a fun piece to hook and I consider it my BRIGHT rug!

Hooked most of the rug this weekend at Upper Canada Village Fantastic Fibers weekend. It was a slower weekend than anticipated for the vendors because everyone of course was coming for the village. But I had fun – hooked all weekend (had I stayed home I would have been doing windows and staining the house so…), talked a lot about rughooking and hmmm may have converted a few people!!! Plus I realised that it had been over 30 years since I was last at UCV and it is a WONDERFUL venue. Gord got to visit the village on Sunday (I drew the line at the biplane ride but did let him golf and play tourist) and we will go back towards fall when it is cooler and I can spend the entire day enjoying the displays. They do have a lot of different events going on so may have to plan our visit for one of those weekends.

I thought I would include a picture of our newest addition to the house! We have a Phoebe (type of bird I think possibly in the swallow family) who is on her second batch of eggs! She built one house above a bedroom window and then about a week ago decided to move onto the front porch but could not decide on which window ledge to build her nest. So she tried out 3 and made a BIG MESS! Finally she decided on this window and built her nest – with an attached porch (or Gord is hoping it is the outhouse cause those babies do a lot of pooping!). She made her nest out of moss – FROM MY MOSS GARDEN which is no longer a moss garden as that is 2 times she has found her building supplies there!

LAC SAM HOOKERS RETREAT…

Ahhhhh a weekend on the lake spent hooking with friends, eating tooooo much, sleeping tooo little (there was a robin who kept flying into the window over and over and over – I think it had knocked a few cells loose!), laughing till we almost … will let your imagination wander there!!!  What happens at Lac Sam stays at Lac Sam became the motto of the weekend so no secrets divulged. We calculated that this was our hmmm 4th or 5th visit to Louise’s cottage and the weekends just fly by so quickly. Weather was wonderful – not that we would have noticed! Although Linda did immerse herself fully clothed in the lake which was very brave because the water was FREEZING! (ohhh was that a secret?). Here are pix of some of the pieces being worked on this weekend – I actually FINISHED my Maud Lewis rug – well it still needs pressing and clean up and embellishing!)…

On the way a few of us were sidetracked to the antique store outside Smith’s Falls – Butchers – where we hmmm spent a few hours and a few dollars after kicking the owner in the shins a few times – or so he put it every time we would complain about the high price on items and ask for a “deal”. I asked him to roll up his pant legs and show us his bruises cause we were not getting much of a reduction! However!!!! we did leave with a few treasures – bases for pinkeeps, wonderful hook rack and egg crate andddd I got a vintage thread holder – has wonderful colour if you can see below all the dust and dead bugs (there is a little mummified body in the bottom of the box that I will have to get Gord to vac out!). Plus I got some old porcelain ceiling fixtures which will make WONDERFUL heavy funky bases for 3D Christmas trees and Santas!

Came home and hadn’t Gord (who warned me prior to my leaving on Friday to NOT BUY ANYMORE JUNK – needless to say I did not buy JUNK!) gone to the fleamarket in Crosby and bought me an old picture frame that is wonderful! He was sooooo proud of his purchase – ahhhh he TOO is now a confirmed junker! although he did blame his purchase on Vince who DRAGGED HIM TO THE FLEAMARKET! Yeahhhhh Vince!

On the way home Sandi and I did our good deed for the weekend – stopped and rescued a baby turtle that was trying to cross the highway! There were a bunch of others that had not made it! and that would also have been this little guys fate. But hmmmm where to let him/her go – no water! just tall grasses and a bit of swampland. So held him over a plastic bag (which was good cause he peed copiously!!!!!!) until we got to our lake where we stopped and at the swampy end popped him into the water where he swam off without a backward glance!

Well off to work – this coming weekend I will be part of the fiberarts/quilt show at Upper Canada Village (http://www.uppercanadavillage.com/index.cfm/en/activities/special-events/fantastic-fibres-and-quilt-show-weekend/). So lots to do to prepare for the show…

SUMMER IS HERE!!!!…

Had our first boat ride last night – that always makes me feel like summer has arrived (although it was a tad chilly even wrapped up in Gord’s sweatshirt!). We finally got the dock fully in last week – lake was too high this year with all the rain! – and got our new old fogies boat last night (pontoon – not speed – no more wakeboarding! and waterskiing! – just maybe a little slow tubing!). It is wonderful – bright yellow and black with lots of room to move about, big lounging chairs and a bar fridge – make that portable cooler! 🙂  We took her out for a 1 1/2 hour tour! It was super. I think all the animals on the lake came out to check out this bigggg yellow thing that floats almost on the surface.  Seems to be much less intimidating for them than the old speed boat. We had 2 otters gambolling (isn’t that a great word!) about 15 feet away from the boat; had to stop and listen to what sounded like hundreds of song birds by the big cliff; watched the bald eagle momma and her baby in the nest; had a butterfly the size of a swallow come visit us (must have thought we were some honkin big yellow flower – we are BRIGHT!); played with a loon – have never ever been that close to a loon. We stopped the motor and it dove under the boat about 3 times and came up right beside the boat. I always knew these were beautiful water birds but oh when you are that close they are even more amazing and HUGE! Watched the fish jumping right out of the water! And finally came home to a mallard sitting on the dock waiting for us! So do I need to hook a rug called Wolfe Lake Vignettes? Can I do it wide cut and primitive? I did do a small rug of our cottage years ago with all the critters – raccoon and water snake and fish and snapping turtle and deer eating hostas. It was a small piece – not exactly a piece of art !!! – but fun.

So on Monday I had a dye class with Deb and she brought her beautiful bigggggg rug to dye wool for. It is only her second piece and Gord thought it was a bed rug – it really is huge for a second piece but well on its way. While she was here Deb showed me how she sorts her wools for her rug and I thought this was just ingenious. Linda H. had shown her how to do it. I do remember years ago reading about this on Padula but hmmm never actually saw one in action. It is made out of our Canadian milk bags – cleaned and stapled together and folded in so that they can be filled with wool and flatten down like an accordion for transport and storage! It is brilliant – now if I only liked milk I could make one of these up but hmmm takes us 2 weeks to get through 3 bags! But I will start saving up because it is definitely a winner!

FINAL PIX FROM THE RUG SHOW…

These are the last of the pictures I was able to take. As I went around I quickly snapped pix thinking I would come back later to take a few more but hmmm those Made in C batteries just do not last more than about 3 pix. There were so many more wonderful rugs but I know there are other bloggers who were at the show who will be posting pictures so if you check them out you will probably see the ones I missed!

Alana has been working hard on hooking up all her designs. Here is the latest one she finished – this pattern is available in 15 x 15 on primitive linen for $30.00.

MORE PIX OF THE RUGS FROM THE NORTH BAY ANNUAL…

Whew this past week has been such fun – I got to hook, create and GO JUNKING 3 times! Found some more amazing pieces in the last few days that I will share another day but yesterday’s trip to the junk store in the states started off a little scary when we were pulled aside going INTO the states and told to report inside! Oh God – what did we do? why were we being targeted… Was this going to be a strip search 😦 Anyway once we got inside the border guards were very nice and actually joked about the green fuzzy muffin that Gord supposedly had forgotten in his golf bag in the trunk – only to realise once we went to put groceries in the trunk that there was no golf bag! it was at home! They must have thought he was a bit daft! Anyway turns out it was a day they were randomly pulling people over for a check of documents etc. and car! Amazing though what starts to run through your mind and how the heart starts racing …

So here are a few more pix of the rugs from the show last weekend: