Monday, November 29, 2010

I think I should complete Thanksgiving before moving on. Every year my daughter and her husband go to his mothers for the Thanksgiving feast. I go to granson Richard's house where I enjoy the feast with Richard's wife, Sheri, her family and their assorted friends. This year was a very special year as far as I was concerned. You will notice that I have only two pictures, I was just to busy enjoying myself.This is not a good picture but it is all I have. The redhead with
her back to the camera is Sheri, the young lady
standing is daughter Lisa and the lady
in pink is Sheri's mother.
The house was full to overload with 22 in all plus
two dogs and two cats!
It made for a lot of food, a lot of chatter, and must fun
and laughter.
The young lady in blue in this picture is my oldest grandchild, Karen,
We rarely get to see Karen, as she is a single mother,
working, and living in Southern Maryland, some
2-1/2 hours away. She brought with her, her two sons.
The youngest, Cameron, I had seen 4 years ago at the age of 12.
At that time he was the ordinary "brat" that most twelve year-olds are
but at 16 is a young gentlemen. It is always amazing to me
what an immature mind with raging harmones is like. It also amazes me that as the young person matures into the harmones and the
brain begins to work how amazingly wonderful
our young people turn out. I often think that at age 30-35 they
revert to the 12 year old again but that
probably is environmental.
The joy of the day for me is that I met her older son, D.J.
short for Darren Jr.
He is now 23 years old and this is the first time I have ever seen my oldest grandson. As they say, "due to circumstances beyond
my control," I had never seen this young man.
He, too, is a fine gentlemanly young man. He is on
the verge of trying his wings and will be leaving the
shelter of his home shortly after the first of the
year to try his wings.
Sorry I don't have pictures but as I said I was just
so busy talking and enjoying myself I totally forgot about the
Just before Thanksgiving and in the few days that have followed I have begun cooking for our Christmas dinner. I always cook ahead, storing whatever I can in the freezer. I really like to enjoy watching the opening of the small gifts on Christmas and do not want to miss everything by being in the kitchen. I consider it "storing my nuts." I thought that now that Richard's three girls all have "very important others" that they would no longer want to come to Gma's for Christmas so I had originally planned on 9 for dinner. However, I have been informed that they wouldn't miss if for the world, so the ranks have risen 15 for dinner. I not sure how the math got that way but it sure did. Soooooooo, some of the things I have already made need to be made again in order to have enough. As a result I have decided to skip several hooking opportunities this month, including the Cumberland Valley hooking group in Chambersburg.
Speaking of hooking. I am still getting in a few hours of hooking on the
new project that I started with Cynthia Norwood. All of my hooking career I have worked with a #3 cut or have done hand cutting if I was working on a primitive design. I am hooking this new project with a #8 cut and loving every monute of it. The pieces is called "Adam and Eve in the Garden Dwelt."

The two upper corners have angels watching over
the procedings. I have only hooked this one and have
used 3 different dark blue wools in the background.

This is a closeup of the angel. She turned out so ugly as I hooked
her that she is delightfully cute and I
wouldn't change a loop for anything!
This is bit of the center of the piece. I am extremely
pleased with the serpent. He is hooked of two
different paisley's and really stands out as he should!
I am disappointed that the background does not
show up in the picture. It probably is to neutral in
color but is hooked of 8 different fabrics and
really is beautiful. I also find that hooking backgrounds
this way, not only enhances the piece, but keeps
the background from being boring and makes
it a joy to hook.
I have decided not to decorate the house until about The 10th of Dcember. I like to leave my decorations up until the 12th day as I am a 12th day child. It seems to me that taking them down just before Epiphany is appropriate,
I'm sure it was an epiphany for my parents to realize on the 12th day that they had a girl child. They had a boy child 5 years earlier and now their family was complete.
Now my "random thoughts" are complete for this entry to my blog. Hoping that everyone had as wonderful a Thanksgiving as I did and the days to come will bring you joy and good tidings.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Sunday, November 21, 2010


Every spring and fall here in the Pleasant Valley the crafters hold an open house event. First, let me explain a bit about the Pleasant Valley. We are located at the foot of South Mountain on the East and just about 30 minutes to the Applachain chain on the West. Located in our valley are the small towns of Sharpsburg, Keedysville, Rohrersville, Brownsville, and several other small towns. Also located here are the Potomac and Shanendoah Rivers, as well at the Antietam Battlefield and Harper's Ferry. This is one of the most scenic and historic areas of Maryland. It is truly a serene area in which to live.

The crafters number among their members ceramic artists, weavers, spinners, artists working with many different fibers, photographers, and many others. Hagerstown, just 10 miles to the West has a very fine museum of the arts that show not only well known artists works but also show the works of the residents of our valley.

While there are about 20 members of the artistic group, my daughter and I only managed to get to two of them on Saturday. Just to many other things to do on Saturday.

Our first stop was at VanGilders pottery. I am very fond of the beautiful pottery that Bill VanGilder produces and have a small collection of his pieces.
I have collected these pieces over the 8 years I have lived here. This is my favorite wine chalice and my favorite food strainer.

I added these two pieces on Saturday. A charming sugar scoop and a very large wine chalice. Can't fill that many times and still operate!

Then on to the next crafter. This collection of hand made items, including some hooked pieces, penny rugs, christmas ornaments, etc. are the work of Barb Twigg and Beth Rockwell. The exhibit is held at the Twigg house. When we arrived the yard was packed with shoppers cars.

Thought that you would like to see the house. It is a log cabin that once resided in the town of Boonsboro and was taken apart, piece by piece, and re-constructed by the Twiggs.

A closer view of the house with customers entering thru the side door.

Close up of the side entrance. Hurry, hurry, lets get in before all of the goodies are gone!

A few goodies displayed on a lovely shelf.

Handmade Christmas Ornaments displayed on a small tree. Very, very nice ornaments. A great addition to any tree.

A little better picture of some of the ornaments and a Santa.

Two customers sampling the good eats table.
This also is a social time in the valley. We meet neighbors that we haven't seen in a while and we sit and chat and partake of the dessert offered.

The fireplace in this lovely log cabin home.

The log cabine dining room.

This lovely wall hanging hooked by Barb graces one wall in the kitchen.
I wish that I had gotten to more of the artists in the valley. The open house is thru today but other duties call me today. Yesterday ended with a trip to Michaels to get some supplies that I needed to complete a Christmas ornament project that I am involved in and a stop at an "all you can eat" buffet restrurant for a late lunch.
I am starting to get my foods stored in the freezer for our Christmas family dinner. So far today I have made 2 quarts of plain gravy and I have the ingredients ready for a like amount of giblet gravy. Just have to get back to the kitchen and get going again. The pause in kitchen work to get my blog updated has given me the respite I needed for my back - so back to work.
Hope all of you are having a productive weekend.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Here are a few more pictures of the
rugs that were worked on during this 3 day
workshop period.
Sorry I don't know whose rug this is - I do know
that this rug caused Cynthia to discuss with all of us
the use of "tongues" in design and how
to handle hooking them. The discussion was very
enlightening. She talked about how designers often
do lovely designs and then when they get to
the border of the design often seem to "rug out of steam."
This is Jill's rug. The was the first time that
Jill had worked with a wide cut strip of wool. She loved it
and truly was having a good time working on this piece. I am anxious to see it finished. Her pineapple was wonderful.

This is Ron's piece. You can see that he

just barely got started. He was working on another

project during the workshop. This rug sparked Cynthia to give

us all hints on how to hook letters.

This is Jennifer's project. It is a very long

piece. Her stars are beautiful color combinations.

This runner, also a very long one, is Anne's project.

The colors in this have a bit higher chroma than

some of the other rugs. She is planning to take the

center green out and make the inner background lighter.

Sorry I don't know whose rug this is nor do I

remember seeing it during the 3 days.

This is Mary's rug. The colors in this rug are very

soft and muted. It is truly a beauty.

As you can see my computer has a mind of its own. When it takes a "mind cramp" it insists on double spacing everying. No matter what I do it still double spaces so please just bear with me.

I know that I have missed several rugs. I will try to get more pictures at our next guild meeting. I do not mean to offend anyone but sometimes all of my pictures do not transfer to the computer. I suspect that I do something dumb when I take the pictures.

In the meantime, I have made some progress on "Adam and Eve" but I have put it aside for the moment. Our guild chapter is having a Christmas ornament swap at our December meeting so I have stopped to make a few ornaments. Also, I have hooked the angel's wings and I am not quite pleased with them. I think they will be all right when I get the background around them but I need to "live" with them a bit to see if they are what I had hoped.

Tomorrow is the open house day of all of the crafters living in the area of the Pleasant Valley. It is an event looked forward to by all of the residents of this area. We have wonderfully talented people living in our valley. Many of them are nationally known. My daughter is coming over and we will make the journey to my favorite potter's studio plus several others. I hope to be allowed to take some pictures and I will report on this later.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone. Enjoy this wonderful fall weather.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In my last entry I told you about this wonderful
workshop held in Sharpsburg, Md. taught by Cynthia Norwood.
In this posting I will show you about half of the rugs from this
class. I did not get names of the rugs or designers
and I don't remember all of the owners of the rugs.
This first rug is the one Beth was working. Everyone
loved her red haired angel.
Sorry I don't know whose rug this is.
It might be Nada's

This is Traci's rug. It is a table runner.
She put it on the linen herself and chose many of
the colors.
This is Barb's quilt tile. She not only completed
the hooking but bound it using Cynthia's method
for binding primitive rugs.
Sorry, I don't know whose rug this is.

I don't know this rug either. I believe that this rug and
the one above were brought in by workshop
participants for show and tell.
This is the beginning of my rug.
It is Adam and Eve in the Garden.
These pictures are about half of what I have. I will be posting the balance in a day or two. I hope that you enjoy this little glimpse into a wonderful workshop experience.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I spent three wonderful days last week taking a rug hooking
workshop with Cynthia Norwood. The workshop was
held in Sharpsburg, Md. overlooking the Antietam
Battlefield. A more picturesque place for a workshop would be hard
to find. This is just fifteen minutes from my home.
As I was driving home on Saturday evening after the workshop
this was the most beautiful sunset.
Just right for reflecting on the three day event.
Here is Cynthia showing the class a hooking technique.
She is looking wonderful and seems to be
greatly recovered from her recent illness. We were so
grateful to have her and in good health!

Needless to say the class was full. This is an overall
view of part of the class room.

This rug is called Kris Kringle and is a Barb Carroll Design.
This piece was hooked by Cynthia and was on the
cover of the ATHA magazine some months ago. She brought
it so that we could all see the different between a picture and
the real thing. There is a great difference.

Another small piece hooked by Cynthia
with another lesson to be learned by all of us.

As I am sure you are aware, all hookers EAT.
Since the class began at 2pm on Thursday and lasted
until 9 that evening we had a pot luck dinner.
This is just part of the food brought in. All of it delicious.
I do not show it here but there was another table
containing all desserts! Calories galore!!!

Another overall view. I never saw so many hookers
intent on their work. I have attended many camps and
workshops in my years of hooking but I have
never seen such attention and concentration in a
class before. We all had the feeling that this might
be our last chance to work with Cynthia since she is
considering retiring to spend more time with her husband.

A lunch time break. We did take breaks from the
long sit. The workshop was held in the meeting room of
the city hall building. It is most kind of the city fathers to
let us use this room. It is spacious and well lighted with
lots of windows and very comfortable upholstered chairs.
Cynthia working on a rug that she brought to show us.
This rug has a very high chroma and for a primitive
rug is a bit "out of the box." The lesson here was the
clever way that the hooker had balanced the
All in all, I would say that this probably was the best workshop that I have attended in the last 10 years. It was my third experience in working with Cynthia and I must say that I learn something new each time. I have many pictures of the beautiful color plans and the rugs being worked on in this workshop so I will call this part one of the workshop. My next entry on the blog will be pictures of all of the rugs and their beautiful color plans.
Stay tuned for the next chapter in this wonderful experience.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

All baskets in this entry are handmade
This is an egg basket
A very utilitarian bowl - natural and brown
Hand sewn large pine needle basket with feather

Pine needle basket with lid. Embellishment on
lid is an ivory rabbit.
The ribbons say it all

A nicer pictures of this basket

The certificate of appreciation for beauty
in Maryland, awarded in 1993 by
Governor D. Schaeffer
A small modern basket with driftwood handle

A very large basket, two color, with lid

A oval Nantucket evening purse with
blue lining - a very usable item

A larger oval Nantucket - all purpose basket

A hand sewn pine needle puzzle basket -
very contemporary

Two more intricate designs

A pair of wall baskets - large and small

Close up of large wall basket
All of the baskets shown in this entry were hand made by my daughter Kristen. There are many more baskets in this collection but this is a reasonable sampling.
Kristen was killed in a head on car accident 4 years ago this
The cause of the accident was a gentleman
reaching for his cell phone!
Please, please give full time and attention to your driving.