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Monthly Archives: January 2014


Ahhhhh, the minute cooler temperatures set in in the fall we start dealing with the rotating mouse door. Every morning I empty the live trap (although these days the little mousies do not go willingly into the cold and dark) and reset them only to hear within about 5 minutes the drrrrrrrrr… of mouse paws banging away inside the trap. Out they go again and within minutes they are back. Which leads me to think that there is a HONKIN BIG HOLE SOMEWHERE in my house that these little “darlings” are squeezing through. And I say “squeezing” because they are FAT. We load the trap with expensive peanut butter with the hope that they will become so chubby they will no longer be able to wangle their way through whatever opening they (and noone else – not contractor, husband etc.) have found. It has been so cold we don’t even bother taking them to the garage – a longer trip back to the house for the mouse but a really cold trip through 3 foot drifts of snow for us – but just open the trap on the front porch. Mr. Mouse scampers through the snow drifts on the porch and down the steps and then performs a nosedive into the 2 foot snow bank. He/She/They have scooped out a tunnel that drills through the snow bank presumably right to the mouse door! Taking them on a trip to Australia for a little walkabout this winter has been impossible – the snow is tooooo deep for them to dig through!!!! although having seen the tunnel they have built (a la Stalag LUFT for those of you who are old enough to remember The Great Escape!) maybeeeeee it would not be inhumane but SMART to take them on that half mile drive to the end of the driveway!

In between emptying traps I have been playing with dyeing up some dirty brights. My brights are never reallllly bright because I rarely use only natural off-white wool – instead I dye over a mix of light and medium tans, greys, plaids and textures so that I end up with a wonderful mix of related colour but with variance in tones and textures.

My friend F(who is so shy she shall remain nameless!) just finished hooking her big beautiful leaf rug for her living room. A few years ago she came to see me with her husband and friends and asked if I would hook 6 chair pads for her dining room. Hmmmmmmm, I thought and replied – how would YOU like to hook them. Come to my beginner class and learn to hook and then you can do them yourself!!! Well she did (and her friend joined her) and 6 months later all 6 chair pads were done and adorning her dining room chairs and her husband had designed the next challenge – the rug for the living room floor. Well it has been 2 years in the making (in between many other smaller pieces) and is now ready to be edged – with a braided finish. So the other day we played and pulled out some wool for the braiding and soon this lovely rug will be resting on her living room floor for all to enjoy!HPIM5090


And just in time for Valentines Day Wendy (ever creative and inspiring) filled this antique wooden bowl with wonderful hearts made of wool, vintage lace and buttons and lots of fun embellishing!



I rarely post pictures of my cats – usually because they are always asleep. But caught Mr. Fleatwo this morning in this not very elegant pose – what can he be thinking!!!!

Not nearly as cute as the cats in Elizabeth’s finished rug (started in our class with teacher Kathy Clark)…Image

And yes I got out of my funk – must be that Swiss/German heritage that says pull up your socks and stop whining! Do some work! So I hooked a fish (oh that’s pretty punny!). I have suitcases!!! full of fibers that I love to use bits and pieces of in my rugs – well the ones that are not primitive or headed for a floor. I love the texture and little bit of funkiness they add so decided that I would do a colourful, fibrous fish! He is not huge so hooked up really quickly and was fun to do. HPIM5089

Today I am going to work on that Canadiana Challenge!!! Well, I am going to think about it anyway…


The constant snow on top of ice I believe is weighing me down – spiritually. Hence the creative juices are not flowing the way they should – well not in my house anyway… Others seem to be moving along though so here are some pix from last weeks guild meeting show and tell. Please excuse me if I cannot remember who is hiding behind those rugs! …

A Christmas gift from a veryyyyy smart husband!!!…HPIM5084

one of a number of trivets … HPIM5083

Lori’s sailing ship (a la Bluenose)…HPIM5082

Ellen’s rug from the stained glass class with Carol…HPIM5081

Marg’s Karla rug coming along…HPIM5080

Love Marie’s border on her NFF Turkey Shoot rug – all done using one plaid…fussy hooked…
Cheryl’s rug from the Karen Kaiser wide cut class…
Elizabeth finishing a rug she bought half finished… HPIM5076Caroline’s rug all done in doubled Briggs and Little yarns…


Okay so who was hiding behind that rug???…

HPIM5074 And that one???…
Lou’s hex sign…
Another design from the wide cut class…HPIM5071

Bonus (the dog) done by Bernice many many years ago in blankets and coats …
and yes I did finish the chicken rug so here it is in it’s full 51 inch width…



Okay I know I am supposed to wait until April’s Camp Iawah retreat to unveil my Foul Fowl challenge piece but I cannot. I had sooooo much fun hooking and colour planning this piece – my new fave colour plan is dirty old navy, brick red, mustard yellow and olive green. It is a much more vibrant rug than most of my rugs buttttt it will (well would have!) look soooo good in my kitchen area which is mustard, red and green. Of course I had planned to hang it on the small wall area above the arch into the living room but have I ever mentioned how hmmm I don’t plan very well. I thought! it looked the right size but turns out the area where I wanted to hang it is 12 inches and the finished rug  will be 13 once I finish show binding it. So I will have to move things around and find a new spot. Andddd I guess I will be doing another fowl for April!!!

The rug is wide!!!! Until I finish the show binding and can hang it up I can only post the 2 halves – the house is in the middle.  This is one of the MShaw Folkart designs that I carry and I love it!



Soooo have I ever mentioned I am a garbage picker? Besides being a junker? In the woods near where we live was a former fishing lodge – we used to call it the No Tell Motel. It was hidden away on the shoreline and had been abandoned for about 50 years. The only inhabitants were the rat snakes, mice and porcupines! It belonged to a friend of ours and was falling down and rotting. BUTTTTT it was filled with old furniture!!! Of course the porkys had eaten much of it, mice had nested in most of it and it was stinky and mouldy. Well  bad smell and the rotting floor boards never deterred a determined junker! I managed to make it inside about a year and a half ago and rescued a wonderful drawer. It needs some fixing but has wonderful teal (yes Donna – the coveted teal) chippy peely paint on the front and beautiful old brass pulls. I had been using it to store kits at Stitch by Stitch but now have finally brought it home. It will be fixed, drawer pull repaired, sanded and sealed (inside only – Gord mentioned sanding down all my beautiful paint to the bare wood!!!! is he nuts!) and then hung on the wall with a rug inside of it.  Probably in the bathroom as I can then use it as a shelf as well… Ohhhh so exciting!!!! The sad part is that THE NO TELL MOTEL  IS NO MORE! IT WAS BULLDOZED into the ground last summer.  Soooo disappointing that the owner did not tell me before hand – there were still treasures to be salvaged!!!! but I am happy that at least I got this one!!!HPIM5066



Well RUG hookers that is!!!  Have had a couple of emails in the last few days with pictures of rugs in progress or completed. Must be these cold icy days that are keeping everyone indoors working feverishly at their rugs:

Chris’ pear runner – awaiting a wonderful plaid show binding orrrr hmmm would a braided edge be good?Image 1

Bev’s sunflowers to cheer up a grey day…Image 4Christine’s first big rug – it is wonderful!!!

Image 2
and Rebecca’s cow – love that face! This is all punched with various yarns and fibers…Image 2


The Maud is done – bound, labelled and casing attached for hanging!!!! Now back to Foul Fowl…HPIM5062

And in case I did not post this picture – this was Helens completed pillow with prodded fringe. Isn’t it glorious!!!! HPIM4962


It is such a lovely mild day (compared to the deep freeze we have been going through for the last few weeks) that Gord suggested we have a little outdoor hookin. The armchairs are set up with a wonderful view of the lake ready for anyone who might want to brave the slippery roads and drop by to hook for a while:


Image 1(Gord has SUCH a weird sense of humour!!!)

But seriously this is a great day for hooking – I am finishing off the Maud cats today. Here is a picture of the painting and a picture of part of the rug. The Maud Lewis patterns are available from Highland Heart Hookery in Halifax and are fun to hook (well hmmm except for all those darn trees!!!). I decided that the look I was going for in this rug was not the usual loop after loop look but more of the Deanne Fitzpatrick higgledy piggledy look. I call this technique the Nova Scotia pull where loops do not line up one after another like neat little soldiers (my usual hooking style) but are more hmmm all over the place. Done in a mix of 6 and 7 cuts it has a wonderful texturey look but holy cow – do NOT look at the back!!!!


HPIM5061More to come when it is done.

On Thursday Lisa dropped by to learn how to hook. Well she slipped right into that hooking as if she had been doing it all her life! But she also brought along show and tell – her wonderful little needlefelted critters. Can I confess that I was hoping she would leave that little rabbit here!


HPIM5058Hope you all are having a great day doing something you love and enjoy!


Our company left saturday but oh did we have fun. Went junkin’, ate too much, watched some good movies and HOOKED LIKE CRAZY.

SOOOOO what did I buy. Well I was being really good until I descended into the grimy, spider web covered bowels of the Fleamarket in Perth. Noone but me ever goes there. It has a wonderful earthy smell to it reminding me of the basement in the old houses I spent a number of years in as a child. And what did I spy but the most wonderful mini rocker. It may have been an old old chair that was cut down and made into a rocker. It is sturdy (holds my ever increasing weight) and very primitive and has the most wonderful patina on it. You can see where it has been sat on with feet up on the rungs (probably before it became a rocker) and where it has been carried and the wood and stain worn off. I immediately fell in love but had decided not to spend any more money. Welllllll upstairs I went to drag Gord down to look at it. He liked it – but not as much as me! Well I knew I would get a better reaction out of Helen – YES YES YES YOU MUST BUY IT. And so – I did!!! It is now cleaned and sitting in my living room and awaiting a hooked chair pad in old vintage colours. Isn’t it beautiful? Wellllll maybe not to everyone :-). 


Of course I had to look up primitive antique rocking chairs and found a “nursing” rocker very similar to mine (maybe slightly better condition but nottttt as pretty) for about 750!!!! hmmmmm ….

And what have I been hooking you ask – wellllll FOUL FOWL. For those who have no idea what I am talking about – every spring at our Camp Iawah retreat we set a new challenge for those who WANT to take part. The challenge piece can be hooked, punched, carved, painted etc. Last spring I tried to pawn off my Riverus Otterus Canadiensis as my challenge (Canadiana) piece even though I no longer had it. This year I will hang onto Fowl – since it is a challenge piece I cannot share the full rug with you (well it is not finished in any event) but I can share bits and pieces so here we go…

HPIM5056 HPIM5057

And what is Gord up to today – welllllll he has been “commissioned” to gut and sand my silverware chest which we bought in Cambridge – the “lining” has been removed, the glue soaked and scraped off and then the entire box sanded. Next to paint and fill it with my many packages of Cushing dyes.

Wednesday I will be at Stitch by Stitch in Kingston from 10 – 12. Hope to see you and your rug(s) there…


A number of people have asked me about the designs that I used for my Celtic pieces. When I first started looking for Celtic rughooking patterns I found a few but nothing that was really what I was looking for – something designed for WIDE CUT. So I searched for clipart that could be used as inspiration and one day discovered a wonderful website. This site offers free clipart in both colour and black and white versions that you can enlarge to the size you need. I used this site for a number of pieces – I printed off, made the changes I needed to and then enlarged and transferred the designs onto linen. I wanted to use 8.5 cut and found the designs were simple enough or could be simplified to accommodate this size cut. Check out – there are dozens of different designs. Here are some of the pieces I have hooked that were inspired by designs from this website:




HPIM4423I added different borders and corner medallions customizing the designs.