Wednesday, March 30, 2011


In my last posting I talked about my "stitches" workshop. Several e-mails arrived asking me what that was all about. Guess I really didn't explain the purpose of the workshop. This is a 4 hour session where we learn to use 6 different embellishing stitches and do one element of the design as a "proddy." The proddy element is the sun, the tree trunk is done in chain stitch, and the wall in the brick stitch. There are other stitches involved but I'm sure you get the idea. This is a really fun course and everyone that takes it seems to have a ball. I have taught this on 5 different occasions and have seen the finished product farmed to be hung on the wall, finished as a table mat, and several mounted as pillows. The pillows seems to be very effective. I hope this clears up the mystery of what this workshop is.


Several of you have asked about the design that I use. Several years ago when I first started thinking about this workshop I consulted my friend Pat Wenger. I am no artist, strictly a "stick figure" girl. I showed Pat thru the stick figure process what items I wanted in a pattern, the size of the pattern and the approximate places I wanted the elements. The rest was up to her. She produced this charming pattern and I have used it for the past 2 years. In addition, Pat has done several other patterns for me. She is a wonderful artist and has some very imaginative ideas when it comes to rug designs. If you ever need a design or a design enlarged, I suggest you contact her.


In the past I have told you several times how proud I am of my students so I have decided that from time to time I will feature one of them on my blog. This blogs feature is Syd. Syd is a new hooker, that is, she has been taking lessons from me since last fall. Before that she did not even know about hooking. She saw a demonstration at a fiber artist's meeting and decided to give it a try. The demonstrator told her about me and so she joined my Tuesday class.

Here is Syd going thru part of my stash looking for just the right color for a project. In the past Syd has raised sheep and is very familiar with the feel and usage of wool. She also is used to the feel of burlap since feed bags or made of this. It feels natural for her to work with these two products.
This small piece, featuring a tulip, was her first hooking. Sorry the picture is not of the finished product. Unlike many hookers, Syd has to finish things even if it mean staying up a night! I assure you this piece was finished and is very nice. In addition Syd has done another small piece that I don't have a picture of. Since she wants to hook with a three cut, following all of the old principles of Pearl McGown, I sugggest that her next piece be a rose. She like the idea because she has an antique foot stool that needs a new cover. So working together, we put a very nice full blown rose on a backing for the foot stool. At our next class Syd expressed her concern that her stitches did not look good enough to work on the rose and she would like a "practice" piece" in order to perfect her technique.

I drew up this piece I call "bare bones." The idea of doing this practice piece was not only to improve her technique but to be adept at doing curves, rounds, and to understand what the difference is between hooking vertically and horizontally. as well as making sure straight lines are straight. Syd has a frame that rotates 360 degrees and I asked her not to use it. I wanted her to see how the stitches pull when you have a frame that is stationary. When she started on the piece she had more lumps and bumps on the wrong side than the had on the right side. Also the right side loops were many different heights.


As she and I discussed this project, the other members of her class also get a lesson in hooking techniques. To do this worked out well for all of us. My expectations of Syd were as follows: I expected her to do several of the circles, to do about a half inch of straight hooking, to show us how she could do curves in a few lines of hooking and that her technique would improve somewhat. In addition to the pattern, I furnished her with a few strands of assorted green wool left over from a project. The following pictures are of the finished piece she brought to class two weeks later!

Vastly improved techique. No lumps or bumps on the back and the right side looks vastly better.

The finished product is lovely. She added the browns and the off white background. The picture does not do the piece justice. Up close and personal, as they say, this looks like an American Indian creation. It really is beautiful. There is no substitute for imagination and creativity. These kinds of surprises is what makes teaching so rewarding.


Happy hooking until next time.


Monday, March 28, 2011

About 5 weeks ago I began to have trouble breathing. It was not to bad, I just thought that it was the cold weather. I had no pain. So, being the stubborn person that I am, I just went on my merry way, moving a bit slower. Several weeks later, when one begins to sufficate, seems it's time to go to the dorctor! In all honesty, I had no idea how sick I was. I had no knowledge that bronchittis/pneumonia could make you so ill. It was only when the doctor told me he would give me three days in which to get better or I would be hospitalized that I understood that I was in trouble. I was not going to leave Eloise, so I had better get on the ball, take my medicine, and behave myself. That's just what I did and I am glad to report that I am much better. This seems to be an up and down thing. My lungs are much better and I have days when everything is great. Then the next day I don't have enough energy to get out of my own way. I did not know that anything like this could make you so tired. I have been able to do a few things but my schedule is very curtailed.

My Saturday class sent me these lovely plants.

The minature daffadils and narcissis are just

delightful. I am planning to save the bulbs

and plant them in my round garden.


Several months ago I scheduled a "Stitches" workshop for last Saturday and since I was feeling much better, and the workshop was sold out, I decided to go ahead and teach it.

There was 8 in the class. In the past I have only enrolled

6 when the workshop was in my home, thinking that

I could not accommodate more than that. However, when I

offered registration I immediately had

8 and thought I would give it a try.

It worked! We had a great time and there was certainly enough room..You can see from the messy table that everyone could put their "stuff" on the table.
We managed to get all 7 seven stitches on the

pattern by 2:30. This is what Elinor accomplished.

She is a very neat and tidy hooker and her work

reflects the care she takes.

This is Syd's piece. She is a relatively new hooker.

Her technique is totally different from Elinors.

Look how much bigger her apples are.

I think this is Darleen's piece but I am not sure.

Sorry I didn't get pic's of all 8 pieces but I am sure

you can get the idea from these few.

This is what the finished product should look

like. It incorporates 7 different stitches as well as

the usual type of hookiing for sky and grass.


I taught this class several times last year and have seen a number of these finished. Several were made into pillows and were very effective. I was very proud of this workshop since all 8 members got all of the stitches and accomplished a lot. No only that, but we had a lot of fun. What a great group to teach - lots of repartee among them - a good time was had by all.


I am very proud of my students. I have been accummulating pictures of their work and will post a group of those shortly. Ellen has returned from Texas and will be joining us next week as we continue learning together and enjoying each others company.


I keep hoping that Mother Nature will make up her mind what season this is. I am sure we will all be better if the sun shines and warms us all up. In the meantime, I am going to continue with a curtailed schedule, but keep teaching, and attendiing only 1 or 2 hook-in's a month. I also need time to develop several more workshop's that I have been asked to present. Never enough time, always something to think about, boredom is something I know not about.


There comes a time in every girl/woman's life when she has to do something practical. I hear the washing machine and the vacuum cleaner calling - so until next time - keep the faith!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

IT REALLY HAS SPRUNG . . . . . . .
I saw this scene when I looked out my
kitchen window - a long shot that they would
still be there by the time I got the camera.
A bit closer. I really know that spring has
sprung when I see this years herd in
my pasture.
They seem to have jumped thru one of the
bars of the riding ring. Guess they were anxious
to get to the grass.
This is a scene that makes me very happy. In the herd that frequents my pasture, there are usually 12 deer. I often see several does and their young but I have only seen the buck twice. He is a really big fellow with a nice rack, that stands off from the does and young, always on alert. These deer arrived just before the Lady Moon did her beautiful display. It never ceases to amaze me just how intelligent the animals are. They always seem to know what mother nature is doing and always warn of storms and unusual weather.
Hope you are enjoying this little big of spring that we are having.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Everything is in place . . . . . . . . .
The seed catalogs started coming about
three weeks ago. A wonderful variety of fruits,
flowers and vegetables
The buds on the Magnolia tree look as
tho they are ready to burst - it should be
beautiful this year
Today is a beautifully warm and sunny day.
Just look at that lovely blue sky!

The bird feeders have been cleaned and
repainted, ready for customers.

The double daffy-dills are up and loaded
with buds. Looks like it will be a colorful
In addition, the garage has had a spring cleaning! Oh, my goodness, we are
ready for spring, are You?
Doris and Eloise