Thursday, September 30, 2010

When I left the hook-in yesterday I decided to stop at my favorite used book store, "Books With A Past," in Glenwood, Maryland. I always find treasures there. This is a shop with something for everyone. It is neat and clean with books filed by author and category. Everything is easy to find and usually in lightly used condition. Since I don't sleep well I often read in
the middle of the night.
Soooo, David Ballacci is my current favorite,
hence three books to read!
Then the treasure of all treasure's the next two books.
The Complete Book of Wizardology
This is one of the most charming books
I have found in a long time.

One of the wizard's pictured. There are several in the book.
The written material is in
a very fine script in sepia so does not show
up in the pictures.

Some of the wizard's friends and
The red square is a pocket containing a
lift out booklet on the care and feeding
of the pets.
The next treasure is "the Complete Book of Dragonology"

This book is truly a treasure. It contains many lift out pockets with information that is priceless if you have a vivid imagination

One of the Dragons and some of his friends.

This page has to do with the evolution of the Dragon. There is even a page with lift out Dragon eggs!

This page has to do with riding dragons and their flight patterns. I didn't know that Dragons could fly - thought they were to big!
The two pockets on this page are lift out instruction for Dragons on the ground. The text of this book is also written in very light script in a sepia color. I do wish that I could have photographed the text so that it could have been read.

This is an especially interesting page. The small whitish box on the right contains the Dragon Alphabet. Did you know that Dragon's could read and write?
This is a close-up of the alphabet. Something new to learn. Wouldn't this fool the kids in the neighborhood?

Rainy day fun, fun, fun, a new alphabet!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stained Glass -

Bet you thought this was a beautiful stained glass window in a
brick wall -
It is a beautiful stained glass
hooked rug!
Mounted above a staircase
Wish I could have gotten a closeup
so you could witness it's true

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


After a visit to the Doctor today I was not feeling particulary upbeat or very well. Then this evening I walked onto the deck with Eloise and this is what I saw.
This beautiful sky
Wonderful clouds
Colors that I wish I could hook into a sky pictorial

Wonderful trees in relief against a pink and blue sky

Layered clouds in various patterns

Tree arms reaching for the heavens
Beautiful colors
Hope for the future
Tomorrow will be better.


Yesterday I joined the Cumberland Valley Rug hookers for their monthly hook-in in Chambersburg. I had not joined them all summer. I had hoped to take the summer off but still seemed to have many things to do in connection with hooking. I did, however, curtail my traveling to some extent this summer.

Yesterday was a rainy, foggy day. Very low visability and lots of traffic. When I was about half way to Chambersburg I really thought I had made a
mistake going out on such a day. Apparently others felt the same way because not as many attended as usually do. However, the rugs were great and really worth the effort to get there. Hope you enjoy this little rug show. This pig rug is being hooked by Thelma. Thelma is in her late 80's or early 90's and is an avid hooker. Her pieces often depict farm animals.
The acorns were hooked by Marion.
She is making them into hot pads and coasters.
Her friend Bonnie was with her and Bonnie is also working on them.

This cat is being hooked by Thelma. It is really a beauty.
The hard part is done - now just the flowers.

The needlework piece is a creation of Ann's.
She had finished her last hooking
project and had just started this piece.

This is Joyce's finished project.
The hooked piece is remarkably like the photograph
of her cat.
A wonderful hooking job.

This lovely rose was hooked by Ann.
She bought this pattern and wool as a kit.
She remarked that it was the first kit that she
had ever seen in such complete form.
A beautiful rose.
This piece is also Ann's.
The colors are lovely in this piece.
It has the Pennsylvania Dutch look about it and is a

This mat is Peg's
A small but well done piece.

I hope you have enjoyed this little rug show. I surely enjoyed my day with these great hooking friends.
I want to thank all of you that telephoned, e-mailed and left messages on my blog concerning our Brandi. I am please to report that she is doing well. She is still in intensive care, receiving antibotics, and the medicines that deter rejection of organs. We hope that she will be moved to a private room in the next day or two. I understand that she has begun to be "sassy." As an experienced mother, I take this as a good sign that she is well on the way to recovery. Saying thank you seems so inadequate, but its all I have to give to each of you. Your prayers and ours are being answered and I know that they made a big different. THANK YOU.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Early in September I was scheduled to teach a sculpting class at the Grant Street Woolworks, however Linda decided to cancel the class due to lack of registration. Several of the ladies contacted me and really wanted the class.

Soooo with very little time to pull it together I decided to give this workshop in my home. I have done a number of workshops here in the past and know that my space allows for 7/8 students at the most. I prefer to have only 6 so that we are not so crowded. In a short time I had 6 registered for the class. This is the finished sample of the piece that we worked on. The strawberries and the leaves are all sculpted. I furnished each person with a folder that included instructions to complete the piece, a color photo of the finished product and a short history of sculpting, as well as all of the materials to do the strawberries and the leaves. Background was up to the individual.

Elinor, Syd and Pat hard at work.

Ellen and Pat working away. On the table is the sample and some of Pat's wool ready to be used. Sculpting is designed to be done with a number 3 cut. In order to save time I cut one strip of each of the three colors used in this piece and included it in the kit.

Pat W. really took to this type of hooking. Here she is working away and smiling at the results.

Ellen was so intent on what she was doing. You can see that she is almost ready to start sculpting this strawberry.
The class was from 10 in the morning till 2 in the afternoon. By lunchtime everyone had finished hooking their strawberry and had it sculpted. I thought that was in record time. By 2 everyone had accomplished the big blue green leaf with turnover, a little tricky to do the turnover, and had sculpted it. A very successful class!
Following are a few examples of items done with the sculpting technique.

I enlarged the strawberry pattern, then put fray check around the edges, cut it out and mounted it on this canvas tote.

A slightly different arrangement of the strawberry and leaves, mounted on stiff felt, and clasp pin added and lo and behold! a nice pin for a lapel.

This is a large wall hanging that I have shown before. I sculpted Kris Kringle's beard, mustache, and the fur on his gown.

This purse sports a sculpted rose with a mottled dark blue background. I find it hard to photograph sculpted work. I never seem to get enough dimension in the photo - but I hope you can get the idea. This piece happens to be a very deep sculpture in order to capture the layers of the rose.
This photo is of the basket of apples that I sculpted in another wall hanging that I hooked.

This picture taken at a different angle gives a little better idea of the depth of the sculpture.
Sculpting is only one facet of rug hooking. It goes by different names in different parts of the world. If you live in Canada you probably call this "hoving." If you live in New England you refer to this as the "Waldaboro Style of hooking." Elsewhere in the U.S. it is simply refered to as sculpting. This style of hooking uses an enormous amount of wool but the final effect is worth not only the effort, but the time and material, also.
Thank you for stopping by my blog. I hope you have enjoyed this tour thru my sculpting class and that you take the time to try this method of hooking.

Friday, September 24, 2010


I am writing this short posting with the tears running down my face. It is about "our Brandi." She is my great grandchild by marriage. I could not love her and her sisters more if they were my own flesh and blood.

Brandi has been a diabetic since early childhood. Altho her mother and Richard have kept a close eye on her as she reached her teen years she was often non -compliant (as all teenagers can be) and of course, would sneak goodies. As a result the diabetis worsened and her troubles began. She has lost part of one toe but more important she has lost most of her eyesight. Her kidney's failed and she has been on dialysis for several months. The solution to the problem was to have a double transplant. Kidney and pancreas. YESTERDAY WAS THE RED LETTER DAY. The call came on Wednesday evening that a donor had been found. So off to the hospital.

The operation took place yesterday afternoon and all went well. It is these next 24 hours that are critical. This family is so grateful that this young woman now has a chance to have a normal life. She is engaged to a wonderful young man with a wedding planned for next June.


Thursday, September 23, 2010


Last week I attended a social hook-in at Barb's house. The group has 12-15 participants - it depends on whose day it is to work or if one has other plans. We meet in homes of the members and try to get together once a month. Sometimes it is sporatic depending on commitments and family matters. One of the nicest things about this group is that it represents Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Really a "quad state" gathering. This is our hostess Barb. She is contemplating a rug pattern that she has just purchased. It is a very large Edith O'Neal pattern of a ship at sea. A general discussion by those present ensued.

Barb, Jack and Marion, hooking and talking.

This piece was hooked by Beth R. and shown to us. It is really cute and very well done. The colors are lovely.

I wish I had gotten a better picture os this rug. It is quite large and is being hooked by Joan. Her colors are wonderful, soft and muted. This one of the prettiest primitive rugs I have ever seen.

Sandy was knitting at this gathering. It is very large and a beautiful blue "something" that I did not get to really look at!

This smiling piece is Marion's latest creation. It looks almost finished.

Altho you can't see her, that is Traci in the plaid shirt. She is still working on her Santa rug. I must say that it is almost finished. She is using a wide variety of blues in the background and it is beautiful with the dark soft reds in the rug.
This is Jack's pictorial. Another 2 or 3 good evening's work and it will be finished. There is a lot of detail in this piece and he has captured it all.

Last but certainly not least, is Jill's small pictorial. She started this piece during the summer while working with Sybil Osecka. It is a true beauty. Jill is a meticulous worker and her work really shows the care that she takes.
I took pictures of Judith's "Uncle Sam' a really cute piece with a sheep's wool beard. I also had pictures of Nada's primitive piece and a few other pieces that were being shown. My computer is doing something crazy this morning and pictures are being lost between the camera and the computer.
In addition to all of the wonderful rugs on view - boy oh boy! you should have seen the food table. It was a WOW! The hostess always makes a main dish and the rest of us bring something to supplement. This time everyone seemed to bring a dessert. Jill brought scones, with clotted cream and jam, Sandy brought a cherry cheese cake, Beth brought wonderful cookies, someone else brought brownies. That's just a sampling of what was offered. Lot's more goodies were on the table. Just goes to prove what I have been saying for years, if you can hook you can cook!
This is a very special day for our hooking group. Our member Linda, who lives in Shepherdstown, W.VA is giving one of her kidney's to her very ill brother. It is a brave and very unselfish act. We are all praying for God to grace and bless her and we hope that all of you who read this blog will join with us in our prayers.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Several readers of my blog have asked me to show the winner's at the Maryland State Fair. Unfortunately I did not get to go to the fair this year, however, I have been told by several members of the Mason/Dixon chapter of ATHA that there were twice as many rugs shown this year as last. I think that really speaks well for the interest in hooked rugs.

I entered 4 rugs and 1 pillow in the fair this year. I try to enter more than one piece each year, depending on my yearly output. I felt that only two of my pieces were possible winners this year. I was in a state of shock when I learned that all 5 pieces had won blue ribbons!! So you asked to see them and here they are: This pillow is a Pearl McGown pattern. It is mounted with a green velvet backing and a gold braid trim.
I took this closeup of the pansy because pansies often are difficult to hook. I am very grateful to my friend, Linda Keller, for mounting this pillow for me since I am not a sewer. Thank you, Linda.

This rug was entered in the Folk Art Category. I am sorry that the color looks faded in this photo. The background is a really rich purple/burgandy color and is made up of 6 different wools.

This is a close up of the center of the rug. The lower set of leaves I put in in place of the heart that was in the original design. I did not want to sign the rug or put a name in the heart so I just repeated the cluster of leaves. I think it is very effective.

This rug is called "Day Flight" and was entered in the Traditional Pictorial category. Those of you that know me know that I love to hook pictorials and this one was really fun.

A close up of some of the town below the horses hoofs. The sheep in the pasture and the cross hatch fences are so small they hardly show in the picture but are very effective when you see the piece in person.

The ladies riding the horse are rather stylized but I think they turned out really cute. The outline of the wings and the streaks in the wings are done with gold thread. I rarely embellish my rugs but these wings seemed to need something special.

This is a large geometric rug, designed by Pearl McGown and called Postcard. I it made entirely from scraps left over from rugs already hooked. Like most hookers I have lots of "broken" swatches and it seemed perfect to use them in this rug. The rugs is slightly larger than 3 x 5. It is also three-dimensional depending on which direction you look at it. Very interesting to hook. I did not start out with a color plan, I just started hooking and this is the result. Don't throw away those scraps, you can make a lovely rug from them.

I took this closeup hoping that you could get a good idea of the dimensional effect.

This is Kris Kringle designed by Barb Carroll. I started this rug in Norma Batastini's class this spring. I'm sorry that I cannot seem to get dimension in my pictures. I sculpted all of the "fur" on his robe and hat as well as his beard. It is a very effective thing to do with pictorials. This piece was entered in the "seasonal Theme" category. I hooked the background in swirls to simulate a snow storm.

The closeup shows the beard and the fur on the hat. Hope you like the effect of the sculpting. It also shows the swirly background.

Last but certainly not least, I just have to show you this charming winner, hooked by my friend and neighbor, Barb Twigg.
There was a special category this year on love and friendship. Barb hooked this charming piece and mounted it as a pillow. What better expression of love and friendship could there be but a boy and his dog. It surely is a blue ribbon winner!

How could you not love that face. Congratulations Barb on this wonderful winning piece.
Hope that all of you have enjoyed this little rug show. Hope to see all of you next year at the fair.