Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hi Everybody - It's me!!!!

I finally got to use my mom's computer. The last time I posted to her blog I had just had my eye operated on. I'm glad to say it is all healed and you can't even see where the vet put the stitch.

I have had several adventures since I last talked with you. About 3 weeks ago I was in my play yard one afternoon and guess who came by? A SNAKE. Well, Traci was here visiting with mom and she was on the deck screaming and screaming at me to get away. My mom got the rake and was going to keep the monster away from me but by the time she got there I had killed it. I know that it is against the law in Maryland to kill snakes but after all I'm a mighty Jack Russell Terrier! I love to sit at the top of the yard and survey my domain. A week after the snake escapde I did a bad thing. I didn't think it was bad - just doing what J.R. terriers do - I presented my mom with a baby rabbit. I put it on the deck near the kitchen door. My mom told me not to do that again and she put it in the yard. Ha, ha, I found it and presented it to her again. Boy Oh Boy! did I get a scolding. She threatened to take me to the pound!!! I guess it was alright to do in the snake but baby rabbits are a no-no. I will try to be good in the future but I can't help myself sometimes.

Richard came today. He is always working in the yard. I must say he sure keeps it nice and keeps my play yard mowed so that I can always have a nice place. Today I heard him and mom talking about how pretty the new red "rhody" is now that it is blooming.
I like to stand at the gate and watch him. He planted a lot of Hosta's today. He has made a new bed under the Maple tree. It is very shady there and I heard him say it was the perfect place.
While I was watching him it began to rain. Darn it all! You know how I feel about rain. It just spoils a girls day. I know it is good for the plants but I just am uncomfortable on a rainy day.

You can see the puddles beginning - just as watching Richard thru the gate was getting interesting.

O! Gosh! It is really coming down now. Guess I better get in the house. Mom doesn't like me to get muddy feet all over the carpet. I have to admit that she never fusses to much with me - just over that rabbit! Well, now that it is raining, I am going to do what any self-respecting girl would do on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Catch you later!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


It's spring - time to think about that spring cleaning. For the closet in my bedroom it was way, way late in happening. When my daughter and I moved into this house six and a half years ago, I was recuperating from a heart operation and was unable to help her move. In the process, many things were left behind and I never looked back or regretted the things that we could not bring. I admit I did often wonder what had happened to some of the things never dreaming that they would one day show up. In addition to my clothes she put a number of bags on the shelf and on the floor of my closet. Over the years I have added to the shelf and the floor. About a month ago, I told my friend Traci that I could not stand the closet any longer and she volunteered to help me clean it out. I had put so much "stuff" on the floor you could hardly shut the doors. This is a large closet - semi walk-in - a real mess. I do periodically go thru my clothes and send those I can no longer use to a women's shelter in Baltimore County. Traci said that her church would like to have the clothes and I was tickled to give them to her. We started by taking out the bag that I keep to put outgrown clothes in and adding a few things to it. Then we started on the floor. Shoved in the back corner we found two bags of hooked pieces that I never expected to see again. The first ones shown here are from 1975-76 and were teacher's workshop projects. A Rosemaling design - the colors in this are beautiful and typical of
Swedish design and color planning.
A sweet small piece of birds and flowers.

A simple geometric that was hooked in inovative wools. The light tan color is onion skin dyeing. The multi colored stripes are odds and ends of leftovers.

The assignment for this piece was to make a beautiful but unusal leaf. This is my interpertation of the assignment.
The next 3 photos are of a 6 foot by 7 foot primitive rug we found way in the back of the closet. I had completely forgotten about this rug. Traci fell in love with it - she loves the colors I used - there is much paisley in this rug - and she insists that I finish it. Well, I'll add it ot the five year list of things to do.

It wasn't possible to photograph the whole rug - I guess you would need a step ladder to do so but perhaps you can get the idea of the rug from these pictures.

A close up of some of the leaves and a large flower. All of the motif's in this rug are very large.

Check out the size of this leaf! I started this rug in 1978 under the supervision of a wonderful teacher named Josephine Parker who lived on Long Island. I first met her at St. Joseph's College in Maine where we struck up a lasting friendship. I spent many happy hours in her home on Long Island hooking with her. This rug is all hand cut. I am very grateful to Jo for teaching me how to hand cut for rugs which I am prone to do to this day in spite of owning a Townsend!
This following rug, is very unfinished as you can see. It is a lovely design - a Currier and Ives piece called the Happy Family. This is the first piece I ever hooked at a hooking camp. A 1976 piece started at the old McGown sponsored camp held at the Garrison School for Girls in Baltimore.

A closeup of mother quail.

A close up of her babies.

All of these pieces need to be vacumned and steamed again. Of course, the ones suitable for pillows need to be mounted and used.
I seem to have been having many trips down memory lane recently. I went to lunch yesterday with old friends - one a special friend of my daughter kristen - more on this in a later blog - and several weeks ago I received a box of my late brothers memory possessions.
It's a rainy day - a good day for remembering the happy moments of your life. I hope you have enjoyed the trip down memory lane of my early hooking endevors. In addition, to these few pieces, we found 4 large envelopes of my rug design ideas, visual aids, and way back in the back corner of the closet 5 of my original designs blown up to 3 x 5 rug size by late husband. What a treasure trove the closet turned out to be.
It pays to clean!!!!


On Saturday I traveled with daughter Joan and Grandson Richard to Southern Maryland to visit Vicki, our daughter, sister, and grand daughter, respectively. It was my first visit to the home that she shares with her husband Paul and their three dogs.

I am so sorry that I didn't take pictures. I was so facinated by the dogs that I completely forgot about pictures. Simon, Shelby, and Sir Stanley are Mastiff's - generally weighing about 250 each and Stanley is just a pup and expected to grow even larger. These are truly the gentle giants of the dog world. They would be lap dogs if you let them.

After the visit, we all piled into the cars and headed to Pope's Creek and Gilligans for an afternoon of crab picking and eating!

We arrived about 2 and the parking lot was full. We wondered if there would be room for us. Good thing Vicki had made a reservation.
On the left is grand daughter Vicki and talking with her hands is daughter Joan as they walk to the restrurant.

This is Gilligans on the water. In addition to the main building, there is an outdoor Tiki Bar, lots and lots of sandy beach, a pier, bandstand, and lots of play area for kids.

A view of the Potomac River from the sandy beach.

Saturday was a beautiful day weather wise and lots of boats were on the river. The Nice Bridge across the Potomac could be seen in the distance. I tried to get a picture of it but it was just to far for the camera.

A platter of those beautiful Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs! It has been years since I have had crabs as sweet and as heavy as these. Crabs are one of my favorite things about summer. A true treasure of Maryland.

Grandson Richard getting ready to dissect this lovely creature.

There were also platters of shrimp, hush puppies and fritters. Yummies for the tummy!
We ate and ate until I thought I would need a derick to get me out of the chair. Gilligans was packed to the rafters. It was noisy with talk and laughter. Everyone was having such a wonderful time in a pleasant way. What a joy it was to be there with good company and a wonderful pleasing crowd.
We left around 4 in the after noon since it is about a 2-2 1/2 hour drive. However we had one more stop to make - the ice cream parlor! After all, what is a day of treats without ice cream?
Daughter Joan ordering an ice cream sunday with cherries and whipped cream after all of those crabs and shrimp!

Show off!!!!
Since I was not driving I couldn't get some of the pictures that I would have liked to share with you. We passed several tobacco fields. As you know, at one time Southern Maryland crops were largely tobacco. Since the cigarette as gone out of fashion, so have the tobacco farms of Maryland gone out of business. However, one of the interesting things about tobacco plants, in addition to their beautiful very large leaves, is their beautiful pink blossoms. We saw only two fields in our travels, but one field was in bloom, so beautiful, so deadly!
The finally of the day was this scene as we came around the Washington Beltway. The sun was shining on the golden stature of Gaberial atop of the Morman Temple.

Picture taken thru the windshield. Hope you have enjoyed this recount of my Saturday. It was a wonderful family day. So often we don't have the time for family. Our family is very small and it is so important to be together. I hope you remember to tell your family how much you love them and need to be with them.
Enjoy the coolness of these few days as we enter August and keep your thoughts positive until we meet again.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Saturday and Sunday the Mason-Dixon Quilt group held their annual show at the Hagerstown Community College. The Rug Hooking group was invited to have a booth showing their rugs and equipment along with many vendors. We took turns manning the booth. My turn was on Sunday afternoon. The "perk" of manning the booth was getting to look at the many lovely quilts. I estimate that there were about 100 quilts on display - each prettier than the next. I took a smattering of pictures - it would have been impossible to photograph all of this beautiful work. Unfortunately, it was impossible to get names of the quilters and the the names of the quilt pattern. The quilts were all labeled but so many people were gathered in front of them it was impossible to read the tags. I hope you enjoy this small review of the quilts shown. Two quilts - same pattern - different interpretation.
A quilt that I can see many tedious hours in the making - but a great use of color.
This next quilt is one of my favorites. Look at the dimension created by the way the blocks are put together!

A closeup of this truly remarkable workmanship.

A beautiful softly colored quilt. I loved the colors in this and the quilting, which doesn't show in the picture, was beautiful.

Another interesting quilt. This seemed to be the year of the brown and beige quilt. I was surprised by so much use of brown in the quilts. Someone remarked that it was an attempted to make the quilts look old.

This next quilt was my favorite. I love the movement of the design,

Another of the brown and beige quilts.

All in all, it was a beautiful show. I hope that many of you got to see this wonderful work.
It was also very gratifying that so many people stopped by the booth and were interested in our rugs and in coming to our once a month meeting. I do hope that we really did recruit some new hookers. It is always fun to talk to the public about the art of rug hooking.
I have had a few extra hours to work on my new project and I am pleased with the way Kris Kringle is coming along. Until I post again, keep the hooks moving, keep warm, and be happy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Late in March, at the request of several members of the Mason-Dixon Chapter of ATHA I gave a dyeing workshop in my home. The ladies that came has such fun and were so happy with what we had dyed in the workshop that they requested another workshop with a different set of dyeing methods. Soooo, on April 6th I held the second in the series of dyeing workshop that I have done in the past.

This picture shows the results of our casserole or spot dyeing and our abrashing dyeing. The colors are beautiful and so useful.This is not a very good picture but it shows dip dyeing over four different colors and is a good way to dye when you are doing scrolls. The results were absolutely beautiful. We dyed over pastels, green, blue, pink and apricot with mahagony dye.
In addition, we also did braided dyeing. It was interesting to all to see what happens when you put one color of dye on one side of the braid and another on the other side. Of course, there are a number of other things you can do with braided dyeing. Sorry, no pics of that.
One of the students in the class, Pat, had purchased a rug in an antique shop for $125.00 and brought it to share her find with us. This rug was designed by Pearl K. McGown and is entitles "Ming." It is approximately 3 x 5 - this rug was hooked in 1988 - sorry I didn't get the hookers name but it was taught to her by Iva Amerhine - a well known teacher living in the Towson area at that time. This rug was beautifully hooked.

This closeup shows the quality of the hooking. What a steal at that price!

A better overall view. Can you imagine a family giving up this precious rug hooked by one of their members??? - It makes me know that we all must make our family members aware of the value of our hard work.
Now on to the end of the week. The Norma Batastini workshop of course. Jill, one of the attendees has posted some wonderful pictures on her blog so I have added just a few views that she may have missed.

Here is Pat, Beth, Jill, and Traci (back to camera) - a truly jolly group of happy hooker

I have no idea what Traci is doing in this picture, unless she is praying for help. I really think that she's in another world. We really had a great time. I have been to many workshops over the years and never have I been in a room with so many people having so much fun.

Jill, Patti, and Lina - part of the really jolly group.
And finally, here is my workshop project. It is Barb Carroll's Kris Kringle pattern. I started it at home before the workshop began. I only did the face and hat to start with. I knew that I would not be able to do that part with lots of people around. I had asked Norma to help me with a swirling snowy background so I wanted to have something done to put background around.

An overall view of the piece.

A closeup of the face, hat, and beard. I have sculpted the beard and hat band. I don't know how you get that to show up in a picture so you just have to take my word for it. I decided on a blue Santa since I want something different. I looked at a lot of antique pictures of Santa and discovered that apparantly Santa wore robes of many different colors.
Well, I think that just about catches me up on what has been happening in the past two weeks. I did go to the Blue and Gray meeting on Monday. It was a beautiful day and not many were in attendance. I think most must have been gardening.
This has been a busy, busy two weeks and I am looking forward to relaxing for a few days. I would like to remind everyone of the Mason/Dixon Quilt show held next weekend at the Hagerstown Community College. Also a reminder that I will be teaching a sculpting class at the Grant Street Woolworks in Chambersburg on June 12th. There are still a few class openings so I hope you will call Linda Keller at (717) 860-4628 and make arrangements to attend.

Friday, April 2, 2010


I had planned to go to the hook-in at Grant Street Wool Works on Thursday. I asked my daughter, Joan, to come on her way home from work and let Eloise out for a run and give her her dinner. I really wanted to stay the whole afternoon because I enjoy the activity so much.

Early on Thursday morning I got an e-mail from my friend Pat asking me if I could come in time to go to lunch with she and Zip. We had talked previously about going to an Indian resturant in Chambersburg since I had never had Indian food before. I met them at noon and off we went. I didn't know that Chambersburg was such a big town. We had quite a scenic tour on the way to the resturant. It turns out that Indian food is very spicy - however - I found it delicious. I must admit that a steady diet of it would corrode my stomach but once in a while it would be very pleasing. From there over we went to Grant Street.

The Thursday hook-ins are becoming ever more popular and by the time I left at 4 pm you would have thought you were in Grand Central Station. So many hookers all working on different projects. So many people talking and laughing - such pleasant sounds - everyone enjoying the company, sharing ideas and helping one another. Just what hookers are known for - good fellowship, caring and sharing with each other.

One of the ladies working in a design and color planning as she goes.

Pat starting a new project. I hope you looked at her blog ( and saw the elf rug that she just finished. It is a really great piece. Such a talented lady.

Here's Joanne with mounds and mounds of woolies. She is working on a series of hit or miss mats. Trying to use up some the these many leftovers.

Kathy helping one of the ladies make a selection. Note the cabinet of beautiful pastel wools in the background. These are bolts of Woolrich wool and are perfect for over dyeing.

Linda and Judith have their heads together discussing Judiths project for the upcoming workshop. She is planning to do a pictorial taken from a picture that she has been carrying around with her for a long time. I only glanced at the picture but it looks like quite a project to me. I know that Judith is up to it.
I would like to remind all of you that the Norma Batastini 3 day workshop starts next Thursday at the Wool Works so there won't be an open hook-in next week. If you have signed up for the workship don't forget the hours are from 9:30 to 3:30 pm. I am really looking forward to working with Norma and have picked out a small project since I have so many large rugs started. Hope to see you there!

When I got home from Grant Street, my grandson Richard was here mowing the lawn. Can you believe it? It really needed mowing already. Today I notice that many more of my spring bulbs are in bloom and the yard is really looking pretty. Pink, yellow and purple all around Mr. Tree makes the yard look so fresh and spring like.
Also daughter Joan had been here and fed and played with Eloise. She made like the Easter Bunny and left me a beautiful center piece on the dining table. Look at these beautiful red tulips. They are really lovely.

AND an assortment of wonderful Easter candy. I will have to ration myself or my jeans won't fit. She got me my favorites - jelly beans and chocolate.
We all know that Easter is about more than candy and colored eggs. I hope that each and every one of you will feel a renewed spirit and that you will be able to enjoy this new season of faith and believing.