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Monthly Archives: December 2012


We had a true Canadian Christmas this year – cold and lots of snow. We got about a foot of lovely, fluffy snow that started boxing day evening. Much nicer than the wet slushy snow we got just before Christmas. Took Gord 4 hours to plow our driveway (but of course it had to be done PERFECTLY with no little ridges in the middle – have I mentioned how much Gord likes his toys? I wonder if a vacuum cleaner could be adapted in some way that it becomes a power tool?). I even went out and tried to shovel away a 3 foot pile of snow from in front of the garage door – did not get too far. Gord came zooming up in the John Deere and yelled get out of the way – I can PLOW that! 🙂

Our deer are finally back! Every morning we find them out by the feeder staring at the house in anticipation of being fed. Even the turkeys came back on December 26 – just after turkey dinner!

We spent the holidays watching the deer, eating too much (now I remember another reason I don’t bake!!!), playing lots of cribbage (just learned how to play this game and beat Gord the first time round but since then have lost every game – do you think he was being easy on me! – to get me hooked!), watched some fun old movies and YES I hooked! Finished the pad for the ugly stool, reattached it to the wooden seat with all the little upholstery tacks which thank goodness I had saved when we took it apart and yesterday I painted and distressed and waxed the frame et voila – my not so ugly stool is finished. It amazes me sometimes how these old pieces can be upcycled… So now justification for going to the junk man in search of a new piece to work on (or maybe I should dig through the existing stash! 🙂


On an aside, the little kitten that I posted about a few weeks ago that had been lost in the woods and found by my neighbour has been adopted! Our wonderful vet gave the kitten a temporary home and then just before Christmas Pat gave her a permanent home. Thank you so much Pat (and Gord thanks you because otherwise hmmm we would have FIVE CATS!!!!)







And no that would not be from baking (although earlier this week I did bake THE BEST ginger cookies ever – and have been enjoying them ever since – hmmmm they were supposed to be for Christmas guests!). Today I am repairing an antique rug for a lady I met in Ottawa. I believe the rug was hooked either by her mother or grandmother and has great sentimental value. It is a lovely rug and in relatively good shape however the outside edge and last row of hooking were ripped off around 50% of the rug. That could have spelled total disaster except that someone had glued all the way around the outside of the rug about an inch in – either glue or silicone – something reallllly sticky and gooey. That prevented the rug from totally ravelling but is making the repairing really difficult. My fingers are covered with goo and consequently covered with fluff that will not come off (get out the Goof Off), my needles and pins will have to be thrown out as every time I pass the needle through this goo it comes out sticky and has to be cleaned off, I now have a hole in the end of my index finger from pushing the needle through the goo (I finally resorted to using the end of my chapstick container to push the needle because I cannot find my thimble) and my wrist aches! However, I sewed the torn off edge back on so that it was not dangling loose and then tore some wool in 4 inch strips, sewed them together, folded them in half and have stitched them all to the top of the rug about 3/4 of an inch from the edge. I am now wrapping this to the back and folding it in on itself and stitching it to the back (this is where the worst of the glue/silicone/goop is). Once I am done I think this will protect the outside edge of the rug for many years to come and at the same time hide the damage that was repaired and cover the goo! But this is a good example of WHY WE DON’T PUT ANYTHING LIKE LATEX OR GLUE ON THE BACK OF OUR RUGS! makes repairs soooo difficult. Here is a picture of the rug repair in progress:


My next project – I remembered I had bought years ago a reallllllly ugly stool – covered with nasty naugahyde! But the stool is hardwood and really sturdy and a good sitting height with a rounded top. So Gord took it apart and removed the naugahyde and now it is ready for me to paint, distress and hook a cover for. Pictures of the process will follow as I get around to it but here is the stool BEFORE…


Yesterday we had visitors – racoon in the night trying to eat all the birdseed and realising there was nothing left (those chickadees can go through seeds reallllly quickly)…and a kitten rescued from the woods by my neighbour (and needing a good home because my 4 will not allow any more cats in the house!!!).




and having soooo much fun. I just finished hooking A Winter’s Day – a pattern by my friend Joni Black of Fully Wooly Primitives ( This was actually a miniature punch needle pattern but with Joni’s permission I enlarged it and hooked it (much faster than I ever would have been able to punch it). And with Joni’s permission I am offering this pattern and Market Day both 42 x 13 on primitive linen for 50.00. I started A Winter’s Day on Sunday and IT IS DONE! hmmm 5 days – tomorrow showbinding and then up on my living room wall to replace Market Day which is being put away now until next fall. This was such a fun fun pattern to hook – loved every loop of it.


Hmmm see the blue in the skating rink – about 50 of the hundreds of blue strips I pulled out of the 50% finished background of the squirrel rug!!! At least they got used (well partially – I think I need to hook a few more rugs with blue to use up the entire pile!).HPIM1342

In addition, I finished off Squirrel and Nuts last week and finally have a decent photo to post. This rug represents our little red squirrel who is a tad daft! This morning I caught him on the front porch trying to chow down on my WOODEN berry garland! After a few gnaws he gave up and in sympathy, I piled up some craisins for him to eat since the nuts are allllll gone! planted in my gardens, and in plant pots, running shoes… Now – what Wolfe Lake vignette will I hook next?  Well, years ago I drew up a reallllly folkarty version of the end of hunting season. The deer frolicking in the woods as they check out the December 31 on the calendar nailed on a tree. This may be the next WL rug – wonder if that would count as my Iawah Canadiana piece? Verrrrrry Canadian to hunt deer. Personally, I am looking forward to December 31 and being able to FEED them again!


On a more somber note, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims of the shooting yesterday in Newtown Connecticutt. At a time of year when the world is celebrating the joy and peace of the holiday season this horrific event saddens us all.



A little snowman humour!!! Since there is no snow!


About a year ago Gord and I went shopping at Ballycanoe (one of my favourite places to shop for salvaged bits). I wanted an architectural piece above the quilt we had hung in the stairwell (beautiful quilt made by my friend Sylvia). So we bought a lovely old piece of gingerbread trim and John (owner of Ballycanoe) helped us find a piece to add to the top as a shelf. Finally a few months ago Gord got around to attaching the board to the top and I now had a grungy “shelf”. But chippy peely white really did not work in the stairwell so I picked a green, mustard and dirty red out of the quilt, bought the paint and painted my piece (on the front side only of course!). Well it sat around for weeks and weeks before I finally antiqued it and then for a few more weeks before it got moved to the landing above the stairwell where it then sat for another week. Every day Gord would add it to his list of jobs and every day it got carried forward to the next day’s list of jobs! Finally this morning the ladder  made its way in from the garage and we planned our attack ONLY to find once we held it above the quilt that because the inside brackets of the gingerbread are a bit narrower than the quilt it looked awful!!!!!! Alllllll that work and darn it just did not look beautiful. Sooooo where to put it – we tried it in a few places – colour did not stand out from the living room wall so that was not going to happen, too deep to put above the door into the kitchen or living room so hmmm nope and then the light went on!!! What about INSIDE the door opening into the living room. It fit perfectly (well half an inch too wide but that can be cut off and fixed) – yeahhhh but as we were about to screw it into the door frame I realised that OH NO the back is not painted!!!! it is still chippy peely white! So now nothing will happen UNTIL I paint the back AND we have a piece of trim to add to the back to represent a ledge AND we trim it down to the perfect size which means hmm another year???? In the meantime I have come up with a solution to the stairwell dilemma – one antique corbel on either side of the quilt with a shelf screwed into the top of the corbel – not sure why this never occurred to either of us before!!!! But I do have a beautiful piece of architectural salvage sitting out on my porch table!!!!

This is a picture of Joan with her version of Alana’s wonderful frog rug. The pattern is available in 15 x 15 or larger (Joan’s I believe was 30 x 30). It turned out sooooooo beautifully. Contact me if you are interested in a pattern and or wool cut or uncut in similar colours. Also stay tuned because I will shortly have new patterns – new Karla Gerards, more Briarwood Folkart, a few patterns by Joni Black, a selection of Sharon Smith patterns and wow some by our own Canadian Martina Lesar along with Woollen Memories, Alana Kapell oh and my own!



Oh what a fun day we had on Saturday – we could barely wait till everyone was there to get going on the ornament exchange. It was so exciting as we passed around the basket with each persons handmade Christmas decorations. Then after a healthy (well maybe not!) lunch we exchanged the one BIG present that also was hand made. So rather than go on and on I am going to show you want everyone made and received… I can hardly wait till next year to see what we come up with – some of us are starting ornies today! only 363 days till the next party…

Linda brought her own Christmas Tree made out of tomato cage and chicken wire – ready to set up in her living room all decorated…HPIM4041


Hand hooked 2 sided Christmas tree…HPIM4047

Miniature quilt with painted stocking…HPIM4048

Hooked door bag…HPIM4049

Twig tree in an antique pot…HPIM4050

Hand painted plate…HPIM4052

Prim snowman…

You need to click on this one – wire wall hanger…HPIM4056

Painted slate tile…HPIM4060

Hand carved bird on finial…HPIM4061

Prim santa head on a vintage oil can…HPIM4064

Yes I know it looks like Lydia got all the gifts!!!! we had to check her bags when she left… handmade tin house with light…HPIM4067

and my little man!!!! Face was hand sculpted out of clay – Gord is concerned that I have a new man in my life!!!HPIM4073


On Wednesday Ruby and her friends Sandra, Heidi and Dona came to the studio and brought snacks and show and tell. What a wonderful day and what talented hookers! – here are some pix of show and tell.

Dona’s inchmat hooked in yarns…HPIM4006Dona’s Leaf rug – many recycled wools in this one…

HPIM4008Heidi’s rooster done I believe in a class with Judith Dallagret…HPIM4007

Sandra’s Thistle stained glass rug done in a class with Laura Bozormeny…HPIM4011

Ruby’s wonderful rug – love those chickens!…HPIM4012And yesterday was guild Christmas party!!! MOOOORE good food and good fun and PRESENTS! While I was gone Gord made up a few more stars out of cedar branches and a wonderful window frame out of birch branches (all from deadfall – no living trees were hurt during his escapades!) and collected an entire bin of greenery for me to play with.

And Saturday is our primitive Christmas party – even MOOOOOOREEE good food, good fun and WOWWWWWW handmade gifts and ornaments. Laura’s house (over 150 year old former church) will be decorated from bottom to top with wonderful primitive decorations (gotta get a big bag because I am sure she will not miss a few!!! decorations). This is one of my most exciting Christmas events – we exchange handmade presents – amazing, creative presents! I am sooo excited!. So lots of pix will be taken to share with you on Sunday or Monday… have a wonderful weekend… Off to charge up batteries for the camera!!!


Yesterday Gord and I played Martha Stewart and discovered we are not really good MS material!!!   I have a metal basket on the wall outside the front door that I change seasonally – in the summer it is filled with live plants which are replaced for the fall by gourds and oak leaves and branches (gourds and Indian corn all get pulled out and eaten by the squirrels and raccoons!). For the holiday season I filled it with greenery Gord had collected – but hmmm it has not got much shape. I had seen all these wonderful baskets with stuff filling and hanging out of then on Pinterest – mine just looks kind of mashed. We also have an antique sled that was given to us last year by a good friend – well that was not tooooo difficult – clumped a bunch of branches together, added a woollen bow and wired it to the sled – passable but definitely not Martha quality! Finally, we had seen a star made out of twigs at a friends Monday night and I loved it and thought it would be really nice on the front door in place of the traditional wreath. So Gord went hunting for branches armed with his loppers (amazed that he did not take along the chainsaw!). He came back with an armful (we are making ONE STAR Gord!). I did not want to dampen his creative spirit but I personally thought they were a bit thick and had no character.  Anyway, a bit later he comes to the door – come see the star. Hmmm Dear, I think the arms need to be crossed at the joints and maybe up 1 1/2 inches instead of being butt joined (have done enough of that). Not daunted off he went to try again – came back a few minutes later but this time he had forgotten to alternate the overlap so off to take it apart and restart! again! Hmmmm next faux pas was a Star of David instead of a 5 pointed star! No dear, I want 5 points – plus  it was uneven – one point was very tight to the end and the others were more open – now I like wonky and primitive but this was just nottttt what I wanted. At that point we almost gave up and went into town for a wreath! But first we checked out some pix on the computer – THERES THE 5 POINTED STAR I WANT! So off he went into the woods for cedar – thinner and rougher and ahhhhhhh primitive character! Put it together – I found grapevine hanging off one of the trees and wrapped it through the star,  added a rusty wire hanger and some greenery and a primitive handmade cardinal et voila – even Martha would be proud!

I DID IT!!!!…


Yes the braided border worked – and it is attached and if you don’t look tooooooo closely you cannot really see the spot where I had to butt join the two ends of the braiding. The braiding itself was sooooo easy and fun (of course I used to braid my hair as a teenager when it was waist length so needless to say I am realllly good at braiding!). I used 1 1/2 inch wide strips torn across the bolt so they were nice and long and braid aids (little nozzles that you run the strip through so that it is folded in on itself as you braid). Attaching it to the rug also was really easy – I left about 1 1/2 inches of linen around my rug and zigzagged it. Then I folded  in 1/3 to the front and then the balance in on itself so it left me a 1/2 ledge all the way around my rug. I stitched the braid once I had enough to go all the way around the rug with a few inches to spare, to the last row of hooking pulling it tightly so that no linen would show in between the hooking and braided edge (once it was totally stitched on I flipped the rug over and stitched the edge of the “ledge” to the braided edge so nice and clean and flat). However, I don’t remember how I finished the butt joint! I worked at it and dreamt about it last night and woke up this morning and just played until it was done. It is a bit thicker (a tad lumpy) but looks okay and is all nice and tight. I do know that I had to cut off and sew under the braiding strands and then butt them up against each other and sew them together so that it looks like a continuation of the braid. This is NOT something I will ever teach (sorry) because it was sooooo finicky and difficult and much as I love the look probably not something I will do toooo often. I do know that next May it is being taught at our Annaul Rug Show in Kingston so – take a class!!!! Learn to do it from an expert and how to do it properly! I am just happy that mine is done and turned out not tooooo badly.


Ahhhh last show is done – I love doing shows but hmmm some crazy woman overplanned my schedule this fall and I have to admit – I feel old. (oh darn I am!!!! old!). The show was such fun though and wow although we were in the basement there were tons of people visiting us! Now the fact that we had amazing artists in the basement (well throughout the building!) and wonderful work might have contributed – or maybe it was all the laughing and noise from the basement that attracted people down there. In any event it was fun. I even controlled my spending although I did break down and buy some wonderful hand spun hand dyed wool from my neighbour Cindy and traded with Wendo – a rughooking kit and lesson for a darling needle felted owl and chicken for my Charlie Brown tree. You can see more pix (and probably better ones) on Wendo’s blog

Cindy and her hand spun hand dyed yarnsHPIM3999

Who else!!!loretta

Wendo and her wonderful needle felted pieces and kitsHPIM3998

If you look realllllly closely you can spot my little owl top left…owls at Nick of Time

Wendo’s first hooked piece – I think she is a natural!!!!1rst hooked christmas tree 120212

Lots of interest in learning rughooking so some classes are in place for 2013 (check Events for locations and dates – so far Perth and Richmond). For a long time I have wanted to put a sign above my kits saying – YOU TOO CAN BE A HOOKER! Have not had the courage to do that yet – not wanting to offend anyone – but hmmm Saturday I was tempted! So of course the “hooker” jokes were flying around the room most of the day since Wendo and I were both demonstrating.

Today a bit more decorating and this afternoon I hope to finish my squirrel rug – did hook most of the background Saturday (I love doing shows – I actually can hook all day without feeling guilty!). So now just finishing it. At the same time I decided to braid the edge of my Woollen Memories rug – tried braiding this morning and loveeeee the big thick braid! Now I just have to figure out how to join the ends together so that they actually look good. Any suggestions????…

And tonight – Camp Iawah Christmas dinner – an evening of fellowship and TURKEY that I don’t have to cook!!!!!…