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Monthly Archives: August 2013


What did I do or do I envisage for all my wonderful purchases of the other day. Welllllll, first of all the carpenters cabinet (found similar ones on ebay and I think mine is the most beautiful!) will get legs and a rug and become a side table. The grinder – turns out it is a vintage or antique poppy grinder from Hungary – probably early 1900’s based on the ones I saw on ebay. I attached it to the side of a table and inserted a candle et voila vintage funky lighting! Now this was my sister Diana’s idea – when she saw the grinder she thought it was a light! And the bulb went on!HPIM4829

The blueberry picker – ahhhhh that cleaned up well (yes I was shamed into cleaning some of my pieces by the other girls who cleaned theirs – I always thought that extra dirt and dust was patina!!!). A little lemon oil and it became the home for a small punch needle that my friend Diane finished off for me. It was the perfect size – I had been waiting for just the piece for this punch needle. I stuck it in with clear kitchen and bathroom silicone so that if I ever decide to remove it it won’t damage the punch needle piece or the picker (which could be worth THOUSANDS!!! 🙂 – all I know is that a different antique dealer that we stopped at wanted to buy it from me for more than I paid – was I letting it go – NOPE!

HPIM4832Then I bought an antique wood and metal ironing board from friend Karen the other day. Wellllll didn’t Gord come up with a wonderful idea. Clean it up (remove cobwebs and dust but not chippy peely paint), either paint and antique or oil the wooden boards (cause they really are not special), add a rug and a lamp and voila a sofa or wall table!

And the drawer – wellllll drawers are always wonderful frames for small hooked rugs!

Ho ho ho – it feels like Christmas I am so excited!


What a fabulous day we had yesterday. I left home around 8:15 to meet a couple of the gang members only to find that the spot were hubbie had said I should leave the car for the day was a muddy rutted road off in the woods. Hmmmmm not feeling good about that so off I went across the highway to an old ramshackled home/barn/outbuilding where I asked the owner if I could park while the hookers and I went antiquing. WEEEEELLLL turns out the owner, Rick, just bought the place, is fixing it up and refurbishes antique cars and YEAHHHH collects antiques so of course he let me leave the car and wanted to hear alllll about our adventures when we returned. Unfortunately he thought we were real hookers! and blushed a bit when we set him straight at the end of the day. I guess I really do need to include the “rug” before the “hookers”!!!

So off we went to meet up with the rest of the girls – 6 women with cash ready to spend! We arrived at Jillian’s and holy cow! I could have spent the day there – well we did spend the entire morning! and hmmm a ton of $ – certainly not because things are overpriced but because there is sooooooo much to look at and buy! I got to most amazing little carpenters tool box – Rick, my parking lot owner! – advised me that probably it was the piece that the carpenter would have had to make to get his apprenticeship. It has a wonderful hidden mechanism to open the front door and inside are amazing little drawers. This will probably get legs made by my friend (and studio tour guest artist) Steve and serve as a side table in the living room (of course with a hooked rug on the top!). Also a carved wooden blueberry picking comb which I found out later because it is wooden is quite rare and worth a LOT more than what I paid for it and another lovely drawer. The other girls bought old wooden bowls, shelves, antique candle boxes, salt boxes and hmmm a lot more (and almost walked off with the beautiful bigggg bench in Jillian’s kitchen!). You can visit Jillian’s facebook page at to see more of her wonderful prim antiques.

Then we headed off to Madoc for lunch at The Hidden Goldmine Bakery where hmmm there were more antiques. Bought a lovely vintage grinder – have noooo idea what I will do with it – but the colour – turquoise, rust and green enamel – was so beautiful I bought it for the colour! Then off to Stirling to The Vintage Junction… another lovely primitive store owned by Lisa and stocked with antiques and primitives where hmmm we all bought more! I got a wonderful carrier with a leather strap to fill with all my hooking worms, the new issue of A Primitive Place and some fillers to put in with my hooked sunflowers. Visit Lisa and Judy at

All in all an amazing day of shopping, laughing, being inspired by wonderful friends and their visions for all our purchases and THE BEST DARNED PIECE OF PIE at the bakery.

Thanks to wonderful friends and Jillian and Lisa and the Bakery in Madoc for a fabulous day!!! and here are pix of my purchases!!!!





So having taught sunflowers a few times and having made hmmm how many dozens for the annual centerpieces I do have a bit of a handle on how to make these and since a lot of people asked here are instructions:

Sunflowers are easy peasey especially if you have a proddy tool (kind of like a spring loaded needlenose plier). If not you can do it with a big fat primitive hook… You will need about a fat 8th of wool for the center in various colours and about a fat 8th for the prodding plus a scrap for the back (approximately 1/2 of a 16th…

1.  Draw circles  on linen – I did 2 different sizes – one about saucer sized and one a bit smaller as I wanted bigggg sunflowers – you can draw a bunch on one piece of scrap linen but you need to leave about 4 inches between them because the proddy takes an inch and you need about half an inch of linen around the sunflower to turn under.

2.  Hook your centers – use scraps or yarns or thready stuff that you would usually not want to hook a rug with – thready or thick or yarn will give it wonderful texture.

3.  Once the centers are done PRESS THEM now because you don’t want to do what I did and press them AFTER you have prodded – flattens the prodding! but do not cut out!!!

4.  Prod around each center – make the petals as long or as short as you want.  I made my pieces about 1 inch wide by 3 1/2 inches long and tapered the ends.  Mix them up – they don’t all have to be the same colour but should relate to the center.  To prod you push your proddy tool down one hole and up about 3 holes over and clamp your strip in the jaws of life (proddy tool) and pull it through so that the center of the petal is centered in the holes. If you don’t have a proddy tool  push your hook down one hole and pull up one end of your proddy strip and then move over a few holes (say 2 – 3) and pull up the other end – you will now have “petals”. I leave about 2 holes between the last row of hooking and where I start to prod and about 2 holes between prodded petals.

5.  Once the prodding is done cut out each sunflower leaving a good 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch of linen around each prodded sunflower and then finger fold this to the back. I used to press at this point but again that flattens down the proddy so you really don’t need to press. If it bugs you having the linen loose then do a really long basting stitch to hold the linen to the back of the sunflower in a circle. So from the front your flower looks finished – from the back it looks pretty darn ugly!

6.  Cut out a piece of scrap backing that is about half an inch wider than your center (thready or too thick stuff is good) – I actually draw a circle on freezer paper using the original template for the center of the sunflower made a tad wider and cut it out and then iron it to my wool backing and cut out around it adding half an inch  all the way around. I then press the seam allowance over the edge of the freezer paper with my steam iron giving me a perfect circle – then remove the freezer paper.

7.  Pin the circle backing to back of sunflower and stitch it on using the same technique as a show binding i.e. stitch down in between the loops and tug as this will totally cover the backing – leave about 2 inches open at the bottom.

8.  Stuff with fiberfill and then take a walk! Find a good gnarly stick, stuff it all the way up to the top inside the sunflower and stuff in some more fiberfill and then finish stitching the bottom together around the stick – et voila you have your sunflower!!!! You can add fabric leaves if you want at this point.

If my instructions are not clear – email me!!!!


These days it feels like summer is almost over. Labour day weekend coming up, trees are already starting to sport their wonderful fall colours, air is getting cooler (well this week maybe not – hot and humid and wet!) and I am feeling the urge to hook sunflowers, punkins, oak leaves…

Last week I hooked and finished off 6 sunflowers – had a ton of strips left over from other projects and decided to use those up in the centres. I have them stuck in a vintage maple syrup bucket until I can find something a bit more rusty!!!! Hooked and prodded sunflowers are so easy to make and so much fun and a great way of using up scraps of backing and leftover worms as they don’t NEED to be realistic colours! Mine are a combo of yellows, reds, plaids, greens, burnt oranges – whatever I felt like throwing into the mix.

HPIM4821Tomorrow a bunch of the girls and I are heading off to Marmora to check out Jillian’s Antiques & Things. Wellllll Wendy already went and spent but is going back again – now I know Wendy and her penchant for antiques and junk and I also know how much she is willing to spend and if she is going back AGAIN then OH MY IT MUST BE GOOD!!!!!  I think we are all way tooooo excited about this trip…  Jillian, get ready for carloads of wild and crazy hookers coming for goodies!!!


It has been a week of gardening, dyeing and visiting with company (oh with a little bit of junking thrown in!).

Last week Bill and Peggoty came for a visit. Peggoty wanted to pick up a kit and Bill brought along his most recent finished rug for show and tell… This was a rug he designed and hooked while taking Deanne Fitzpatrick’s online rughooking course and it is such fun. You might remember that Bill appeared in print here a few months ago when he brought his completed rug of longjohns on a clothesline for show and tell. It was fabulous but almost did not get hooked because he almost!!! gave up hooking. I am soooo glad he did not! here is Bill’s most recent rug…

HPIM4807Saturday we went with friends to the Crosby flea market and OHHHH WHAT A HAUL. We discovered a lovely woman with wonderful primitive carriers and hmmm bought almost all of them! We dickered and got freebies thrown in and came home with big smiles on our faces. Our new treasure trove:


The carrier on the right that is soooo primitive – leather straps that hold the handle – and the lovely old box are mine; the big sectioned carrier on the left belongs to Helen but Chris has appropriated it for the weekend to hold all her worms as she hooks her border on her rug and the one at the bottom left belongs to Chris. I am hoping that hmmm they FORGET THEM when they leave here and that I get to keep them all!

So the last few days filled with hooking on the porch and on the dock and on the boat have been fun. Chris finished off a little pillow and is working on the border of her floor mat and Helen is working on her flying angel and cats paws pillow:







Wednesday I will be back at Stitch by Stitch from 10 – 12 – hope to see some of you there…


NOTHING!!!! Not that there was not a carving day but hmmmm I did not make it. Got up at about 4:30 and had lots of time. Donna had stayed overnight so we had our coffee and tea and scones on the dock and I was dressed, packed and ready to leave when we heard what sounded like a jet engine starting up noise coming from the pantry – what could THAT BE? WELLLLLL, I rushed into the pantry to discover a huge puddle of water under the upright freezer and AN OPEN DOOR. Seems someone (would that be me?) had left the door open the night before and now ugh thawed food, compressor kicking the bucket, messssss. So after trying to reboot the freezer (unplugging and replugging) the noise continued and I convinced Donna to leave (she was the teacher) while I stayed home – emptied out what had to be thrown out, salvaged what could be and moved it to the tiny freezer compartment on the fridge and cooked the thawed food. Gord of course (another catastrophe) is away so Di and I will eat reallllly well this week but cooking (except wool) is not on my list of things I love to do so it was not a great day especially when I thought of all my friends carving away. So to ease the frustration somewhat I ripped the heck out of a garden, hooked a pillow and ate chocolate! Felt somewhat better…

This is my effort for the day – geometric pillow:


and the efforts of the carving girls:

Image 4

Image 3

Image 2

Image 1(oh and I mayyyy have fixed the freezer – at least temporarily!)…



Ohhhhh I have a passion for sunflowers! I just love them – they fill me with joy. Probably because I have never been able to grow a sunflower. I would buy potted sunflowers (well usually one!) and plant it in my garden when I lived in Montreal and invariably some darn little grey squirrel would come along just as the flower was starting to expand and nip the head off, drag it half way across the yard and then leave it! I was discouraged – my father always had sunflowers in his garden. They would grow 8 feet high and have heads the size of dinner plates – I got saucers before the squirrels got them. So I gave up.

This year one of my chipmunks must have planted a seed for me. Before I ripped it out as a potential weed I realised it was a sunflower! so let it grow and ohhhh it is 4 feet high with a big head on it and is droopy and wonderful. I am thrilled with my one flower! But on Saturday I stopped at our local farmer where we buy all our fresh veg in the summer and bought some sunflowers that they had cut from their garden. A wonderful yellow sunflower and a wonderful mahogany and yellow flower. They are so beautiful and came with a ton of buds which are opening! Years ago one of the local people living on Lee Road (the gravel road coming into our place) seeded an entire field with sunflowers. I thought I had died and gone to heaven – I would sneak into the field and cut one or 2 for my vase. But that only lasted one year. So I am resigned to buying my flowers as I WILL NOT CUT MY ONE PLANT IN THE GARDEN!

I looked closely at my sunflowers yesterday morning and was inspired to dye! beautiful Melted Butter from the dyebook by Mad Hen Primitives and just plain old mahogany (Cushings) over a ton of wool. I want to hook a few sunflowers (hmmmm earlier this year I do remember saying I would not hook another darn sunflower but oh I need to have them in my house all the time). Here are my starter piles of wool:

oops nope that is not wool – it may however become a rug  – our turtles love to sunbathe!!!… HPIM4796

my inspiration…HPIM4802

my wool…(the mahogany actually looks less pinky in real life)

HPIM4803and today we are off to carve chickens with Donna!!! so stay tuned for pix and posts (assuming I come home with all my fingers!)…


Yesterday I quickly zipped up to Perth as Marie had told me that the 3H hookers from Perth had mounted a display of their rugs at the quilt show. Although not huge it was a lovely display of rugs by Marie, Cheryl, Marjorie, Carol and Helen. Some very innovative staging of rugs (and the quilt show was lovely too). Here are some pix of the rug show…























About a year ago I got a call from Evelyn. We had not met but she was calling to ask if I could dye wool for her for an oriental!!!! ME DYE FOR AN ORIENTAL! Holy Cow – I dye primitive! Mixed up wool! All together in the same pot! mostly only good for wide cut! But I said – sure I can do that – and then afterwards I thought – am I nuts!!!! So Evelyn and Lois came for a visit and picked out some wools that they thought would be good in the oriental and looked at some samples and then told me that this was a bigggggg rug (73 x 39 I think) and that it had to be Dorr wool because it was going to be number 3 cut. Wellll at that point I started to doubt myself again but we came to a decision on colours (reallllly well abashed) and quantities and as Evelyn departed she popped in the last little zinger – I’m 88, she says, and I want to get this done fast because I am not sure I will be around long enough!!!! Well not much pressure there! So I started with the outline and sent that off to her – it was perfect she said. And we went on from there. Every so often I would hear from Evelyn about the progress or lack thereof!!!! Seems the burlap would not stick to her gripper strips – what to do! She called the designer of the pattern, the fellow who imports the grippers to Canada and Moshimers – all to no avail. So she worked with it on her frame but not tight – it was loose and if you have ever seen an oriental it has to be perfectly even as it is supposed to look woven – very difficult to do if your rug pattern will not stick and is not tight on the frame!!! Second problem – the wool that she had already had for the field in the center shredded in a number 3 cut and she had to switch to number 4 (well not a problem for me moving up a cut but for Evelyn it was frustrating). THEN the burlap strands broke 3 times! and had to be fixed by weaving in another strand – again one broken strand on a wide cut is not the end of the world but number 3 and 4 will not hold if the strands break! Then Evelyn ran out of wool and sent me a small piece – this is what I need another piece of! ohhhhhh THANK GOODNESS I KEPT THE FORMULA AND ALLLLLL ITS VARIATIONS! cause I was able to dye the perfect match. Finally Evelyn emailed me and said it is done!!!! And yesterday she and daughter Lois came to show me the rug. It is so beautiful!!!! And I am so proud to have been involved in a small way in the making of this rug. Congratulations Evelyn!!!! so now on to the next BIGGGG rug!…

Evelyn’s lovely rug…HPIM4745

Lovely Evelyn…HPIM4747


So our weather had been beautiful – cooler and dry – Yeah as I was having a hookin and hmmm there were a lot of hookers coming. I thought – yes… leave the porch doors open and people can sit on the porch and enjoy the breezes from the lake. Well the weather once again did not cooperate! When I checked the weather report it was supposed to be 77 feels like 91 with 78% humidity! Whew! meltdown. Thank goodness it was cool enough in the morning that with fans blowing all that heat and humidity around we did not totally turn into puddles but wow by mid afternoon it was getting rather sticky. That combined with a lot of inspirational hookers working with wool!!!! created a warm atmosphere 🙂 But it was such fun and the rugs were wonderful so here are some pix (people threatened to buy me a new camera until Linda reminded them nope it is the photographer and yup she is right!  Sorry if these are not great pix but you get the idea – lots of exciting rugs being worked on…)

Barb’s scrappy rug – using all her scraps up but I think she said 1/10 are gone! That means a lot more rugs to do…


Barb’s Sharon Smith Audubon pattern including some batiks and what a wonderful border!!!…HPIM4743

Barb is one prolific hooker – this is her Yankee Peddlar pattern with the corded showbinding that got me started…HPIM4742

Margie’s Kapell Frog and Fishes… the colours are glorious!…HPIM4741

Elizabeth’s Briarwood Folkart which will now have a soft hit and miss border…HPIM4740

Alana with her Buzz Off (which she brought along in the morning with no hooking even started!!!!)…


Alana’s chicken placemat – love the wonderful use of funky fabrics – the grass is not even wool!!!…


Linda’s tree – sculpted in a WIDE CUT!!!!…HPIM4736

The other Linda’s Sharon Smith Mountain Village – love the wonky houses…HPIM4735

Sandi’s 3 foot sunflower…


Gail’s finished Pat Cross cat…


Peri working on her Martina Lesar…HPIM4731

Elizabeth (the other Elizabeth!)’s beautiful biggggggg rug…HPIM4730

Anne’s Old Tattered Flag 2 colour rug – love how this looks…HPIM4729

Sheila’s Klimt Inspiration – only 5 colours but with variations in texture and tone…HPIM4728

Shauna’s 3 Wise men – the colours are so beautiful…HPIM4726

Karen’s Bunny for her grandson – her second hooked piece – no small stuff for Karen!…HPIM4725

Linda’s almost finished Antique Rabbit… HPIM4724

Sue’s Sheep rug – what an eye he has!… HPIM4723

Suzanne’s Father Christmas…HPIM4722

And her hooked pieces for her chairs – alllllll hand cut!!!



and her little house chair pad…


Liz’ Bev Conway Pears – absolutely beautiful …HPIM4718

and her Fowl …HPIM4717

Nancy with her next rug (a little bigger!!! 🙂 (a Kapell pattern)HPIM4716

The other Nancy with her Karla pattern…HPIM4715

Joan (yup Gord in the background oggling the goodies) with a few of the pieces she did with the Oxford Punch needle…HPIM4714

These have such a beautiful background…HPIM4713

Julie’s rug from her Deanne Fitzpatrick workshop…HPIM4712

and Janet’s Bev Conway pattern – such a fun design…HPIM4711