Monday, November 29, 2010

Week 17: 29.3 square feet

Any progress is better than no progress, right? That's what I told myself last night, after adding up my week's worth of hooking (3 short nights in reality). Hopefully this week is a lot more productive -- it will have to be if I'm going to reach my goal of finishing the centre section by the end of the year. There are about 17 square feet left to go....

Back soon with a report from the retreat. In the meantime, you can probably get some news on Wendie's blog....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Better late than never....

I was looking for a photo of Jumbo unrolled the other day, when I stumbled across these photos -- and immediately realized that I forgot to post them. These great coin purses are from a class I taught a couple of weeks ago at RHF. I'm missing a few pictures, but here is a sampling....

I'm heading off to a fibre retreat this weekend. Wendie and I are heading out on a road trip....and will no doubt have some adventures along the way. I was going to bring some CPs of my own to work on, but waited until the last minute to organize everything and just ran out of time. Instead I am going to bring some knitting and my bra to finish (hopefully).

I'm looking forward to having a whole weekend of fun and relaxation -- with a chauffeur! I've packed my camera....and will be back next week to share some snaps documenting our activities.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


When I was in Manistee last fall, Joanne got me hooked on MetroMint chocolate water. I know it sounds strange -- I was skeptical, too.....but it's really quite delicious if it's cold (infact they recommend you enjoy it at -2º). During each trip to the US since, I've looked for it everywhere I go, buy as much as I can get my hands on....and enjoy it while it lasts. The sad part is that it doesn't last long, since it's so delicious. (This is the only bottle remaining from my recent trip.)

The good news is that I've recently discovered a close (and much cheaper!) substitute - minus the cocoa flavour. I punctured a small hole in the foil seal of a bottle of "Pure Mint & Peppermint Extract" and add 4-5 drops to a large glass of cold tap water. Subtle, yet yummy....and a nice change to just plain water. Try it sometime....

Monday, November 22, 2010

Week 16: 27.8 square feet

I did it! While it's a measly 55 square inches closer to being done, just the fact that I am started back is huge. Now that it is getting dark so early -- and light so late -- I am really going to have to find some time to colour plan ahead a bit, since most of my hooking is done after hours.

P.S. While it's been many more weeks since I started hooking this rug and tracking it's progress, I am only keeping track by the active weeks -- not counting those weeks where I consciously took a break. I do count the weeks where I hook very little -- and sometimes none at all -- in the middle of a hooking spell.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

playing catch up....

After a busy few weeks, I finally put the brakes on and had a break last week -- in the form of a few nights in the row of just lying on the couch and the occasional nap. Towards the end of the week, I resumed playing around with my sewing machine and started work on a few Christmas gifts....

I have been learning a lot -- and there is still a lot to learn. Today I started playing around with the free-motion quilting....and had to force myself to stop and get to work on my job list. I can see lots of experimenting with that in my future. Instead, I tidied up and got caught up on my e-mail. I can relax now that my inbox is empty....but know that it will be short-lived.

I still haven't gotten back to work on Jumbo......but I am really hoping to start tonight (maybe typing it will make it true?). With the arrival of my new sewing machine....and re-discovery of a few bins of pretty yarns in my closet, I am feeling drawn in too many directions. I decided I am going to try to work on Jumbo in the evenings, during the week, since it's easy to start and stop and doesn't really require a whole lot of figuring and experimenting at the moment. Then I will will fill my weekends with savouring new discoveries, sewing and knitting, for the next while....

Pretty sad when you need to 'schedule' your hobbies.....I know. But I also know I will regret not working on Jumbo -- it's not going to hook itself, and I'm a little afraid of losing momentum. I really need to get on it again -- it's been almost 3 months since I last hooked on it....

P.S. If you are in Canada and looking for something to watch on TV tonight (Sunday), there is a 1-hour documentary on Cape Dorset on Bravo at 8pm that sounds interesting:
Kinngait: Riding Light Into the World (E)
This one-hour documentary profiles the artists of Cape Dorset’s famed co-operative arts-workshop on Baffin Island in Nunavut. This film introduces some of the finest artists working in this isolated community of 485 that has the largest per captia concentration of artists in Canada.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

the goods...

Have I told you lately how much I love batiks? Well, just in case you forgot, here are some new beauties I picked up in New England....

I know it might look like I went a little overboard, but considering they were almost half of the price they are here at home....I'm surprised I didn't buy more! ;-)

My yarn stash was only a little enhanced with these guys...and I've already started some knitting with two of them, so obviously they were needed, right?

Here are the places we hit on our travels....and we bought something(s) at every one!

Yarns for Your Soul • Manchester, VT
HodgePodge (yarn store) • Newport, NH
The Quilter's Workshop • Newport, NH
New England Fabrics • Keene, NH
Garden of Stitches (quilt store) • Bethel, VT
Vermont Yarn Company • Middlebury, VT
Middlebury Sew-n-Vac • Middlebury, VT
Knits & Bolts • New Haven, VT
Northeast Fibre Arts Center • Williston, VT

P.S. Thanks for all of the comment love lately -- it's been wonderful! ;-)

Friday, November 12, 2010

wonky trees

These photos have been sitting on my desktop for the last month, patiently waiting to be posted. I saw this rug at R.U.G. at the beginning of October and was immediately in love with all of the texture found within it. As its creator, Gail Mueller said, "it's hooked with everything". T-shirts, sweaters, ribbons, many different yarns, you name it - it's in there! Despite all of the texture, it still has a fairly clean look to the surface -- not super shaggy (as sometimes happens...)

Hopefully some of these close-ups show off some of theses different materials....and encourage some experimenting! ;-)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

MP by OP • Matrix Mats

Remember Jill's first AMM? She's back with another one -- and I think it's even better!

In her own words....
I found it was a very real challenge to choose each colour. I had no idea that would be so difficult, but it was a valuable exercise. I used some of your Crazy 8s that I had left from my Zippers mat and then used wools from my own stash, as well. It surprised me that I made such a bright, happy rug. I'm naming it "Happy" in memory of a friend who had that name.
Something else I learned to do when I finished this rug was to make and print a label which includes a photo of the mat itself. I'm attaching a photo so you can see how cool this is. I don't know if you know of this product but here's the info on it, in case you're ever interested in trying this: It's called "InkJet Printing for use with Inkjet Printers & Injet Copiers by Jacquard". It's cotton on backing paper. I got it at Michael's. The package contains ten (10) 8-l/2" x 11" cotton sheets. It is not adhesive backed, but once you print the label, you peel off the cotton and affix it to your rug. As you can see, I used a very amateurish blanket stitch. This produce is not cheap--the package costs about $25 or so--but I figured the rug was worth it. I had heard of taking a photo to attach to one's label so that there will never be any mistaking what rug the label belongs to so I decided to try that and I'm quite pleased with the result.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Finished CPs from Class

I spent a delightful few days teaching a group of 13 ladies -- from 10 year old granddaughter to grandmother, and everything in between -- how to make their very own coin purses. It was a very fun three days, and we all learned a lot.

I'm pleased to report that everyone left with a finished project......

Shelley's Poppy

Lisa's Bloom, Lexi's Hoot, Ellie's Bubbles and Sammy's one-of-a-kind creation

Cynthia's one-of-a-kind creation

Sue's Hoot

Martha's Fleurs

June's Hoot

Eleanor's Hoot

Melinda's Dippers

Sharon's Hooters

Sue's Hoot

As with all things hooked, the photos don't really do them justice -- they are even better live, and in person. Thanks everyone for a wonderful weekend.

P.S. the thread you see sewn on the tops of many of them is not's just temporary until the glue dries :-)

P.P.S. At the present time, coin purse patterns and instructions are only available to students enrolled in one of my CP workshops. They are a little fiddly to put together, so I'd rather be there to walk you though the steps the first time around...then you can make more at home.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

christmas came early....

I'm home from a wonderful holiday in Vermont.....and while I do have lots to share from my week there -- and I will in the coming days -- I want to report on my new toy. It's a little more here and now, and demanding most of my excitement today.

I've wanted and needed a new sewing machine for a very long time. After working my way through several "antiques" over the last decade or so, I was finally ready to take the plunge -- and put down the dough for a new one. It arrived when I was away, and I was thrilled to run out and pick up my new baby at lunchtime today -- and very anxious to play with it when I got home tonight.

After a couple of minor glitches, I was in business....and in the process of discovery, I even managed to fully complete my first project already.....

My new machine comes with a couple hundred stitches....and basically does everything except for the dishes! (which was no problem tonight, since I was far too busy sewing to make supper ;-) ) I am eager to explore it some more.....and I just know that I will be using it for many, many years to come. It's truly going to make sewing a joy for me again -- just as soon as I manage to block out the cha-ching, cha-ching price tag......

P.S. In case you're curious, it's a Pfaff -- and currently on sale BTW.

P.P.S. The Gingher rotary cutter shown above is one of the souvenirs from my trip -- and I am already in love, after just a handful of cuts. Like butter.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

a river runs alongside

Is it just me, or does it seem like almost everywhere you drive in Vermont (and parts of New Hampshire, too), there is some sort or river or stream that runs alongside the road. Maybe not on the main interstate, but just about everywhere else. It's become a little bit of a joke in the car....but finally today we had a new theory: maybe it's because the rain and other water needs a pathway to run off each of the mountains. Is there any truth to this?

Regardless, we had another lovely drive through the mountains today. I still haven't managed to find the route my sister and I took a few years ago....but now I'm wondering if the problem is that my memory is warped. Maybe I've grown more accustomed to the mountains....and so I haven't felt like we've climbed up into the sky yet?

We hit a few more wonderful quilt shops and yarn stores along the way...and filled up on more eye candy. I will post a full listing soon.

Eventually we made it to Burlington, where we had a lovely supper at our favourite Pauline's. Mmmmm! Tomorrow will be a relaxing day.....until we get to Stowe and the fun begins!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

openings in coin purse class at RHF

There have been a couple of last-minute cancellations for my coin purse class at Rittermere-Hurst-Field on November 12th and 13th. It's a 2-day class, and everyone should go home with a fully finished coin purse or clutch. For more information or to reserve a spot, please contact RHF. It would be great to see you there... ;-)

having fun....

....and suffering from stimulation overload. We've been to several yarn and fabric stores over the last two days and we are overflowing with ideas of projects to come. So far we've both been quite noble and exercised a fair amount of restraint, but still we seem to leave every store with a bag in hand. I keep chanting "sewing machine" over and over in my head, to remind myself of my extravagant purchase just before I left home....and I think it's saved me from going overboard more than once.

I don't think I've taken any pictures over the last couple of days....and my camera is in the car, so I can't really check Sorry. We have a few shops to hit in the morning, before we head back to Vermont and embark on another scenic mountain drive....I will make more of an effort to snap a few tomorrow.