Friday, November 27, 2009


As usual, our Thanksgiving celebration was held at grandson Richard's house. When I arrived all of the gentlemen were in the back yard as the turkeys were being fried. They had set a table up for themselves and you can see what a "neat" job they had done. Also you can see that they were "libating" themselves before dinner. This is the second turkey in the frying pot. We were expecting 16 people so two turkeys were fried and a ham baked.
Here comes the turkey out of the oil. It sure was pretty and boy oh boy did it taste good!

I decided this year not to take a lot of pictures of food and tables but rather to tell you about it. Also, I was so busy listening to many conversations at the same time that I just couldn't take pictures! There was food galore. If you went away hungry your arm must have been broken. In addition to two turkeys, there was ham, shrimp salad, mashed potatoes, two kinds of gravy, corn, a squash dish, macaroni and cheese, miniture sausages in barbeque sauce, several dips, all kinds of condiments and small treats as well as 5 kinds of cookies, peach cobbler, several pumpkin pies and a fruit bread. I'm sure that I skipped something - believe me - there was food a plenty!

This is Madison, the youngest member of the tribe, with Danyel in the background, acting as the official photographer.

Of course, the football game was on, causing many bets to be placed and much joking and good fellowship.

This is my grandaughter, Richard's sister, Victoria. I don't think I have had her on my blog before. She lives in southern Maryland and we do not get to see her as often as we would like. She and her husband Paul are important parts of our family.

And finally, here is Roxie, the newest member of the family. She is an English Bull dog, only 4 months old. She never had so many people to play ball with her before and after an hour or so she just "pooped" out. I think the had the right idea. After I got my stomach full I felt the same way.
My thoughts of this Thanksgiving day are of the many blessings I have had in my life. A wonderful husband, two beautiful daughters and my loving grandchildren and their familys.
To all of you rug hookers out there I want to THANK YOU for being my friends. I don't know what I would do without your many loving kindnesses to me. Thank you all.
I hope you day was a perfect as mine.

Friday, November 20, 2009


It's raining and and who cares if it's morning. It can't be time to get up. I hate the rain - it makes me sick - - - - - No I'm not getting up - 7:30 - who cares?
Just go away - I'm not going out to tinkle - me get wet? Are you nuts?

It's warm and comfy in here - it's not my fault that you have a Dr.'s appointment and have to go out in this stuff.

I'm not listening! I'm not going out to tinkle! And that's that!

Do you know that you are disturbing my peace? I am warm and no I don't want to go out - no puddles on the floor - I promise

Well, if you insist - but I'm not a happy camper!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


This was the week of the Cynthia Norwood three day workshop sponsored by the Mason-Dixon Chapter of ATHA. It was held at the Howard County Center for the Arts in Ellicott City. When I got up Thursday morning and it was raining and foggy I thought that this is a day that under normal circumstances I would not try to go "over the mountain" (South Mountain, that is) but this was a special morning! Sooooo, I took my nerves in hand and off I went. How glad I was that I braved it.

This was a class of 17, most very experienced rug makers. There were three fairly new hookers in the class however, they proved to be very talented as you will see in the pictures that follow. Because of the experience of the class members, Cynthia was able to talk about some things that she normally does not have time to discuss, with a less experienced group. Also, her color plans for this group were spectacular! There were only two small pieces brought for hooking, all of the rest were large rugs with one rug being 72 x 108.
This first picture is Cynthia showing how this particular piece of material can be used.
Joanne and Ellie hard at work - notice the piles of wool.

Just look at the piles of wool to be used in the rugs being hooked by three people. When I said big rugs - I meant big rugs!

Across the room from the last picture also piles of wool for hooking. A discussion going on among the hookers.

Here is Cynthia demonstration the Euro-Steam Iron. This is the iron I call the "majic" iron. When used to steam a rug the rug looks all new and beautiful. Takes out all of the wrinkles and spots hooked to tight and makes a lovely smooth rug. You can also iron clothes with it but who does that these days?
And now for the rug show . . . . . . . .

This is a small portion of a rug hooked by Cynthia that will appear in the ATHA magazine in the next few months. It is part of an article showing this rug hooked by three different hookers and how their skills differ.

Another view of the same rug. I took this picture because I loved the fish in the stream and also while it doesn't show in the picture there was a small amount of silver embellishment in the water. So unlike Cynthia!

This rug is a long runner and impossible to get the whole thing in one picture. It was hooked by Ivi C. This is a truly beautiful rug. The colors are breath taking.

A close up of the leaves and the border that incorporated all of the colors used in the rug. The border really made a difference for this rug.

A close-up of Mr Squirrel eating his nut. Ivi did a wonderful job on hooking him.
This rug sparked an in-depth conversation with Cynthia and all students participating. It is hooked with a #6 cut - so what category does this rug fall into for show purposes? Is it "primitive" or "traditional" is it "folk art" is it "original" is it a "commercial design" is if an "adaptation." What categories do the juried shows in your area recognize? All very interesting thoughts. And last but not least, by any means, keeping in mind that all judging is arbitrary and is judged by the "eye" of the beholder!

This is the beginning of a log cabin type rug using only left overs. It is being hooked by one of the lesser experience hookers - each row a different wool strip and it is quite effective. This is a large piece.

This is a truly beautiful rug. The face is wonderful and is being hooked by a very experienced hooker.

Can you believe - this is a first rug! The perspective on the pumpkins in this rug is wonderful. They really look round. The leaves are all hooked with spot dyed material - each leaf a different spot dye with different shades of purple for veins. Imagine what beautiful rugs this young lady will hook with some experience under her belt!

A closeup of the pumpkin - truly well done.

This last picture is of the rug that I started in the class. I did not get as much done as I had hoped but I was to busy listening to what Cynthia had to say. This rug will have lots of paisley in it as well as many plaids and textured pieces. Can you believe that it will also have some purple areas to go with the reds. I can hardly wait to get hooking on it.
Those of you who know me, know that I have been hooking for many years. I maintain that it doesn't matter how long you have been hooking there is always something new to learn. In the early days of my hooking I had the advantage of taking workshops and attending camps with some of the best teachers that Mrs. McGown had to offer. As I have been told many times I was in the right place at the right time. Just very lucky I think. However, I have never worked with a teacher more sharing of her knowledge and more talented than Cynthia Norwood. I understand that she will be in our area again next November and I certainly suggest that if you can get in her class you do so - BUT be sure to leave room for me!
Until we meet again keep the hooks moving and the mind open to new ideas - be sure to try new things in you rugs - you will be surprised at the beauty that you can create.

Monday, November 9, 2009


As I was driving to Gettysburg today, I could not help but enjoy the beauty of the trees on the mountains. Altho a lot of the leaves have already fallen many of the trees were very colorful. There seemed to be a lot of trees with yellow still in leaf. I wish I had gotten better pictures but it is hard to take pictures with one hand on the steering wheel as you are going down the mountain!
This is the old covered bridge on Jacks Mountain Road. A short cut to avoid the golf course and ski lodges on the way to Gettysburg. The floor of the bridge is plank and rattles as you cross.

Since this was the 20th anniversary of the Blue and Gray group the turnout was quite large. This is an overall shot of some of the attendees.

Another view of the group. As you can see we do hook but we also do a lot of talking and laughing. The ladies of this group turn out some very beautiful rugs and are very congenial.

This next picture is of Ann Nevitt one of the founders of the Blue and Gray along with one of the longest attending members.

Everyone out did themselfs in the food today. There were several types of dips, chips, salads and of course cookies and cakes. Not one cake but 2 cakes. One was an ice cream cake and the other was so rich that I think that we all must have gained much weight!

This cake was very rich and had icing that I think was at least 2 inches deep! So yummy.

This is a picture of the ice cream cake. It held up extremely well for most of the meeting and then began to melt. However, most of us had already had a large piece before the melting began. About a half hour after we had eaten, Joan came around and inspected tongues. All of us had blue lips and tongues from eating blue icing!

Some of the goodies on the table. Also a counter full of goodies that I didn't get a picture of.

In spite of all of the eating we do hook! There were not many rugs for display today but I did get a few pictures. Sorry I don't have names to go with the rugs but as you can see we have been a productive group.

I loved these mats. They are so colorful and obviously made from leftovers. What a wonderful way to use up all of those leftover worms.

Another hit or miss mat.

This is Ellie's rug in progress. Her colors are so soft and warm this is going to be a wonderful piece. Sorry I didn't get the whole rug in the shot so that you could see her lettering at the top of the piece. She is really doing a great job on this piece.
It was wonderful to see such a great turnout for this important occasion. We are all in debt to Ann fo starting such a wonderful group and keeping it going for all of these years. Whenever you get hooked out or need an inspiration to keep hooking this is the group to visit with. So many in the group are willing to help and offer suggestions that get you going again. The ladies of this group truly are the essence of what hooking is all about.
I hope that each of you has such a group to meet with and to draw inspiration from. Until we meet again, happy hooking, take care of yourself and each other and be sure to tell your family that you love them.

Friday, November 6, 2009

When I got up yesterday morning I thought to myself that I have nothing on my agenda today - aah - a nice relaxing and easy day. I worked like a Trogen all day long! I completely GI'ed my kitchen and as a result had to run the dishwasher. Next I went in the bedroom to change the sheets on my bed but instead looked in my closet and got sick! So many clothes that were not being used. Sooooo, I went through all the things hanging there and now have a big bag of clothes for the women's shelter in Baltimore County. My friend Angie helped to start this shelter and is very active in its daily running. It is always a pleasure to give good usable clothing to those less fortunate then we are.

Next to the underware drawer - what a mess - this took a whole hour to straighten out. Why is it that this is the drawer that we tend to just jumble things in? Just separating the summer socklets from the knee high winter socks made a big different. Another hour gone by and still no hooking!

By late afternoon I was getting pretty tired and decided that I would do something fun. Bless WeaverPat for putting a link from her blog to the "Mennonite Girls Can Cook" blog. Several days ago they had posted their receipt for cheese bread. It looked so good I could hardly wait to try it and try it I did! I knew that one loaf would not be enough so I doubled the receipt. So easy to do. The results are yummy. I had it warm from the oven for dinner last evening and lightly toasted this morning with sausage for breakfast. I hope all of you will try it.
These are truly beautiful loaves. The only thing I did that was not in the receipt was give them a wash of egg before baking.

Pat the rest of this blog is for you. I have photographed the 3 spinning wheels just as they came from the barn. I have not attempted to clean them up because I know so little about them that I didn't want to harm them.
The one above is a fold down model and seems to be all in tact. It was used a lot.

I took two pictures of this one. I'm not sure why. However perhaps you can get a better idea of it. It also has some spun yarn on it as you will see in the next picture.

I'm guessing that this was one of Kris' many unfinished projects. As you know I am trying to finished up the rug projects. That will take me several years since most of the rugs were very large. She was a beautiful hooker.

I know this wheel has a broken part. I have the part and think that it will be an easy fix for Zip. I believe this to be an antique - it surely is pretty.
I hope that this gives you some insight to what I was talking about in my e-mail to you. I would appreciate comments from anyone who knows about spinning wheels as I am not knowledgable on this subject.
I had thought that today would be a "do nothing" day but looks like it will also be as busy as yesterday - laundry and errands and such - women's work is never done.
I am almost finished with my black and white rug - only 4 more squares to do and I am hoping that I can get to it today.
Wishing all of you the opportunity to enjoy this beautiful day, the weather is perfect! Have a wonderful week and above all keep smiling!