~ Rug Hooking ~ Penny Rugs ~ Cross Stitch ~ Punchneedle ~ Quilting ~ Crochet ~ Needlepoint ~ Vintage Good Life ~

Thursday, December 31, 2009

I Am So READY...

...for the New Year!!! Sure, I was running around like a crazy person all December getting all the stuff done that I should have done during the year... But, the important thing is that everything is DONE! Or, at least it will be by the time the clock strikes 12 tonight! *wink*

In fact, December was so busy, that I haven't even realized that Christmas was here and gone... yah... no joke about that! We had our Christmas Eve dinner at my Mom's house, and Christmas Day dinner at my brother's house. Enjoyed watching my nephews open their gifts and be silly and giggle the whole time... many smiles for sure! But, I went overboard with making my gifts this year, and totally underestimated the amount of time involved... I still have yet to finish a stitchery that will be gifted to my Mom. I hope to have the stitching part done tonight, framed tomorrow and then add some finishing touches to it on Sunday for a Monday delivery.

I was up early this morning getting a lot of cleaning done. I figured that starting the New Year with a clean home would also mean starting out with a clear mind! So far, it's true as it feels great to have accomplished so much this morning, and there is still so much time left in the day.

So let's talk about those Resolution thingies a lot of people make for the first day of the new year... do you have any? Normally I don't. But, this year I feel it might be a good thing for me... guidelines. 

To start, because December was so hectic and tiring for me... my first resolution is to

Plan Ahead

Not with just the best of intentions though... but, actually do the planning and follow through. Those last minute gifts I was working on? Did not enjoy making any of them. Sad. But, true. Reason being, they were all rushed... the amount of stress put into those items was ridiculous. So, this brings me to my next resolution.

Organize

I've got a good jump on that so far! I gathered up all my patterns and supplies and sat down and made a list of all of it! Yep... I now have six double-sided loose leaf sheets of paper loaded with a list of things I am referring to as

"Things To Do Before you Buy"
*giggle*

I'll try my very best to stick to that one... but with so many fabulous designers out there for needle punch, cross stitch, rug hooking and applique... I might slip once or twice on that one! LOL!

On the top of the list of things to do is a wonderful 3-drawer crate that I bought (actually 2 of them) at a local craft store. After they are sanded and stained, they will neatly hold my patterns so that I know what I have and should be creating... Anybody else "accidentally" buy two of the same pattern?!?!?!? *wink*

The other thing I did was designate one of those big rubbermaid totes as my storage area for the

Gifts I Will Make During The YEAR
(as opposed to the gift making that gets crammed into the month of December)

Another bugger for me is the ability to

Focus

There simply are too many things I would love to create and try and learn, my head is spinning all of the time! Even while working on something, I'm thinking about the next thing I want to do, or thinking about what I should be doing instead of... I've been getting better with that this past week. I just wake up in the morning and say "This is my focus for the day" and just do it... there is a certain peace to that... I hope to continue with it. Living in the moment is the only way to truly experience life.

And, lastly, is what I work towards each and every year

SIMPLIFY

This is a biggie! And so very important! Simplifying brings peace, clear thoughts and less time spent taking care of "stuff" and more time enjoying the life that surrounds you. Remember George Carlin and his skit on "Stuff"? Well, I have a lot LESS stuff than a did when I moved into this home 12 years ago... but I have a lot MORE peace. And that, to me, is PRICELESS!

When was the last time your heart was so light that you laughed with belly shaking and tears streaming down your face?

It feels GREAT!

Reach for it!

Live and breath it each and every day!

I'd very much like to wish everyone a most blessed, healthy, happy, ambitious, fulfilling and peaceful 2010.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Midnight Silhouette Progress 3


Yes.... I hear you... Thanksgiving has passed and this rug should have been finished... LOL! Well, rather than bore you with a whole super duper long list of reasons, explanations, lolly dolly-ing excuses... all I have to say is... It's the Holiday Season! ;-) 

I do hope to have the next couple of days free of "have-to's" to finish this up though... so check back some time around Monday afternoon?

You know... after I posted the picture... it looks as if the windows are the same color as the roof? Two different wools really... the windows are hooked with Rebecca Erbb's favorite dark background... and the roof is actually a brown/black/grey plaid... then I added some plum shingles here and there... hmmmmmm.... maybe I need to play with that roof a bit more? Maybe make the windows gold, like someone is home?

Hope everyone is staying safe and warm during this winter weather! Hugs to ya'!


Monday, November 23, 2009

eBay Listings

I just listed a couple of great deals on rug hooking / rug punch items on eBay. Clicking on the link under the picture will bring you right to the auction.



Have a great day!

I'm making myself soooo dang HUNGRY thinking about Thanksgiving day! LOL! When do you start your cooking?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Midnight Silhouette Progress 2


Funny thing about hooking... I put my radio on, grab a cup of tea, light a candle and start pulling loops... next thing you know 4 hours flies by in what feels like 20 minutes?!?!?! 

Wishing everyone a splendid weekend!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reverse Psychology

Every person I speak with seems to always explain in detail the ever growing list of

"Things To Do"

that they have. Whether it's stuff that needs to be done... job, laundry, food shopping, cooking, painting the house, cleaning the gutters, Holiday preparations, etc... or stuff they want to do... cross stitch, read a book, take a quilting class, go for a long walk on a sunny day... the list just keeps growing and growing!

Here's what I was doing... I would wake up every morning and look at my list of Things To Do, then plan my day accordingly. Then something would happen that changed those plans, and my list would be forgotten.

At the end of each day, I would look at my list. Cross off maybe 2 or 3 things... and sigh. Geeeeeez, I'm never going to get caught up! I then started to rewrite the list of things I "Did Not Do", and proceed to add some more "Things To Do". Yah... I did those 3 things... and then added 6 more.

Well, this got to feeling like a burden of heavy weight that was just zapping all energy and enthusiasm right out of my being. So, yesterday I tried something completely different!


I started a list of

"Things I Accomplished Today"
S*M*I*L*E

Yep... I took a deep breath and off I went to find something to do! After I completed each task, I wrote that task down on my "Things I Accomplished Today" list! When the end of the day came, I sat down and read that list and a big sense of relief and happiness overwhelmed me! Yah...

"I Did ALL Of That Stuff Today"
S*M*I*L*E

So, I put on my pajamas and had a most restful night sleep! This morning, I awoke energized and ready for a new day of accomplishments!

Try it, you just might like it!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Midnight Silhouette Progress

The next few postings are going to be progress pics on my Midnight Silhouette hooked rug! Since I missed my Halloween deadline... I'm promising myself a Thanksgiving finish! Yah... what a turkey I am, right? LOL! 

As you may remember, I had two options... one was to purchase an already drawn out rug hooking pattern on linen... and the other was to purchase the Blackbird Designs quilt pattern... And, that I decided to purchase the quilt pattern? *giggle* As quilters will know, quilt patterns come with elements drawn out that need to be pieced together.

I was familiar with this process as I have done plenty of penny rugs/wool applique pieces. But now to bring the cat, leaves, berries, fence and moon into a rug design? Let's take a deep breath and pull out that red dot tracer and a pencil and see where I can go with this! *grin*


After I laid out the elements on the red dot (in pencil), I then secured the red dot to my linen with quilters pins to help prevent any shifting during the transfer process. Then it was time to pull out the Sharpee permanent marker and carefully trace over the pencil lines on the red dot, so the marker ink would bleed into the backing. *deep breath* There's something about the word permanent that just scares me to death! LOL!


Then, I was ready to color plan... this is the part that I always think and think and think and think about... to the point that I felt I was never going to actually start hooking for fear of choosing the wrong color?!?!? *sigh* So, I picked a strip of wool and just started pulling loops! Had quite a bit of fun doing that actually! Had even more fun pulling out what wasn't "workin' for me" and then rehooking another color in there! Yes, it's a process... but it's FUN! 

So here's the first sneak peak preview...

Be sure and check back in a couple of days for more progress... *smile*

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Brandywine Hook-In!!!!

After 5 years of hooking rugs, this was the FIRST official hook-in I was lucky enough to attend... and it really was worth the wait! So many great people, gorgeous rugs on display, gorgeous rugs being hooked... then there were vendors with awesome WOOL and great patterns, handmade baskets and bowls, hooks, backings and some cute novelties.... so much talent packed into one room... it was totally DREAMY! I sat at a table with Joanne, Kathy, Linda and Sherry... we also had a visit from Pam and her friend Peachie... I will let the following pictures show the day... maybe add in a word or two here and there...




The next 6 pics look like real old antiques, don't they? Nope... recently hooked... amazing, right?





And then I did some shopping...
I did buy one more VERY LARGE rug pattern... but, since that will be my next hooking project... I'll save the reveal as progress is made...

Check in during the week... as I will have some pics to share of "Midnight Silhouette"

Have a cozy autumn evening enjoying what you love!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rag Quilt

Here's a few pics of my first rag quilt! *yay*

Outdoors on the patio...
A close up of the corners, binding and the matching back...

And a quick shot of the entire piece on the living room floor. I had to use a flash, so some of the colors look a little washed out...

I had purchased this as a kit from eBay. The kit consisted of all the homespun squares already cut and sandwiched with flannel! I am very new at quilting, and at the time I did not have my trusty rotary cutter and mat. So, this looked like a great opportunity to try a forgiving quilt style while getting reacquainted with my sewing machine... Another feature of this kit that I liked was that it included the strips and instructions for sewing binding around the edge of the quilt. Binding is not something generally customary for a rag quilt... but I really like the clean edge! Plus, being a newbie to the quilt world, this was a great opportunity to learn how to sew binding on a quilt. So, I quilted my X's on the squares, machine sewed all the squares together, machine stitched the binding on the edge, and then folded back the binding and hand stitched the blind stitching, then snipped, snipped and snipped some more *grin*... next was the washing in the washer and finalizing the whole fluff of it all in the dryer! The finished size is about 46" x 60". Just the right size for napping under on a cool autumn day!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Great Pumpkin Pie Experiment

So yah... I started this last Wednesday and reached a point of success Friday night! LOL! I learned a bunch! For instance, there was some "behind the scenes" steps that I did not know Grandma was taking care of when I was back home asleep! *wink*. Therefore, my first two batches of filling were way wonky... more liquid than water itself actually! LOL! By the time I mixed up the third batch and it seemed "sorta-kinda-like-maybe-it-miiiiiiiiiight" work... I threw it in a store bought pie shell and tossed that one in the oven.

Smelled good...

How did it taste? Well, the ingredients did a separation dance! Ha! I had pumpkin all on the bottom, and all the spices rose to the top and it almost made like a streusel topping... Hmmmmm... what could be the problem? Well, after a quick consultation with youtube *giggle* I learned that after cooking the pumpkin and scooping out the pulp, I needed to puree it in a food processor! (Who knew?) THEN, I had to strain it for a few hours to get the excess water out of it! Then it all mixed up good and made for a great pumpkin pie!

So here goes...


One thing I definitely remembered, was that I needed to get a "Cheese Pumpkin" or a "Sugar Pumpkin"... some folks even call it a Cinderella Pumpkin... They are sort of pale in color and kinda flat. Grandma said these were very sweet and had a nice thick wall so there would be plenty of good pumpkin in them. When I cut this pumpkin open... it was HEAVEN! The aroma was so sweet and fresh!


After you scoop out all the seeds and stringy stuff, you cut the pumpkin into manageable sections, place face down in a roasting pan or cookie sheet, cover real good with foil, and bake at 350* for about an hour, or until a butter knife can easily pierce the pumpkin.


When the pumpkin has cooled enough to handle, grab a spoon and scrape off all that moist and wonderful pumpkin!

Now, by this time it was already Friday morning, so I did not get pictures of this part. Add pumpkin to your food processor and process until consistency of baby food. I did a little bit less than that as I like the larger pieces for better texture. Then, place a colander in a pot and line the collander with cheesecloth. Place your pureed pumpkin in the cheesecloth. When all your pumpkin has been processed, pull up the ends of the cheesecloth and knot. Then, take a few heavy bowls and place it on top of that. The weight of the bowls will help keep pressure on the puree so that more water will be able to be squeezed out. Leave in refrigerator for at least 8 hours.

After your puree has drained some, it is now all prepared and ready to be made into a pie filling. I used most of the recipe that is on the Libby's label, but tweaked it here and there...

Whisk 2 eggs in a small bowl. In another bowl, place 2 cups pumpkin puree. Add (to the puree) 3/4 c sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground ginger, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves, 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. salt. Mix all the spices in good with the puree. Next, stir the eggs into the puree mixture until well blended. Next, add your 1 cup of evaporated milk in small amounts at a time. Blend well after each addition. Pour all your completed mixture into your pie shell. I always place my pies on a cookie sheet for even browning of the crust, and also to catch drips. Bake at 450* for about 15 minutes. Then turn oven down to 350* and continue baking for about another hour. Pie is done when a butter knife inserted in center comes out clean.


So, this is Friday's pie success... and, since it's Monday... and almost gone... I'd say it tastes pretty durn GOOD! LOL!

Happy pie making!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Martha Made Me Do It...


Yep... it was about this time last year Martha Stewart was debuting some of her fall craft items on QVC... So, now a year later, I got out my...

Martha Acorn Boxes

Martha Fine Glass Glitter
(Brownstone and Fire Opal)

and my

Martha Glitter Glue
(nice consistency for projects like this)

...then proceeded to sparkle up an autumn evening. *grin*

Yah... there's something about glue and glitter that just makes me feel like a kid again! *smile*

The "Great Pumpkin Pie Experiment" began yesterday... continued into today... details tomorrow...

Friday, October 2, 2009

This Speed Round...

...was brought to you by...



Yep! A chocolate covered, sugar filled, caffeine enhanced burst of energy helped me to...

Dig up my front lawn and reseed with Pennington's "Fairway Quality" grass seed! LOL! Yep... I bought that brand because it had a golf ball on the bag! When the lawn fills in, I'm looking forward to "Tee-ing One Up"! If the neighbor asks any questions, I'll explain the bag of seed advertised "Fairway Quality Grass"... so how's a girl to resist? LOL!



Plant some MUMS! Six of them actually... two of each color! Mums are dreamy... gots to be my favorite flower!







Finish up some cross stitches I've had around for a couple of months...

This first one is called "Blue Tulip & Bunny Sewie Roll". It's a pattern from Betty Dekat of primitivebettys!



This other one is "Wicked" and is also from Betty. It's a freebie chart that she so generously offered on her blog some time back. I had to rearrange the elements to fit on the tiny piece of linen I had... waste not, want not... and now I have a cute bowl filler for the season! Thanks for the design, Betty! :-)



Start AND finish a penny rug (that I've had the pattern for maybe 3 years (or so?) LOL! Anyways, I belong to a wonderful group called "An American Primitive Gathering". Last month we had our annual "Fall Swap". I was assigned Betty Dekat to send to... so, I stitched this up for her...



The original pattern is called "Fall Harvest" and is a Wool & Whimsies (Karyn Lord) design. I had to make a few adjustments to fit the size piece of wool I wanted to use for the backing.

AND, I still had enough energy left to open a package that was sent to me from my swap partner... Pati Jane Wolf of patijanesprimitives!!!! She sure took a lot of time stitching up this Scarecrow shelf sitter with all his crows all cozied up about him! I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this guy! I have him sitting on the back of my sofa on top of a penny rug I made... THANKS SO MUCH Pati Jane! Yah... I'm STILL smilin'! :-)



Oh... and just one more thing... I had won a contest awhile back... and Kelley Belfast sent me these goodies as a prize...



I just LOVE ALL OF IT!!!! The perfect colors...the perfect items... and the perfect PUMPKINS!!! THANKS SO MUCH KELLEY!!!

Remember the mug in the very first picture? Well, that mug and hooked mat was gifted to me by Joanne! She has an awesome talent for hooking rugs, and always has a kind word to offer and a generous heart! Thanks so much Joanne! I've filled that mug to the brim MORE than once!!! ;-)

Well, I think I have ya'll caught up to date with what's been happening here in Joisey! I have more works in progress... ONE of them is the Midnight Silhouette hooked rug!!! AND, as of today I have 29 more days to Git 'er Done!!!! LOL! Better hop on upstairs and brew another pot of coffee... and open another box of Mallowmars!!!!

Until next time... have a Jumpin' Java kinda weekend!!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunshine, Radios and Fresh Air!

This past Saturday, the DH and I went to Kutztown, PA to attend the bi-annual Radio Show. I have to say, the weather was perfect for anything outdoors, and we enjoyed the event immensely! There were countless beautiful radios both on display and for sale! Some refurbished, and some needing some serious help, but all nice just the same. I like the way the radios look (mostly the wooden ones) and my DH is the one that HAS to make them play again! LOL! The hobby became his passion again about 13 years ago. He spotted a radio on eBay that was the same model as one he remembered playing with at his Grandma's house as a child. Well, he won that auction and when it arrived at the apartment... he had some fixing to do to it! Since then, he has restored over 50 radios. Some we still have, some were gifted to friends and family, and some were sold. Anyways, we did not buy any radios while we were at the show... but I did visit the farmer's market and antiques/flea market areas!



Did not buy a whole lot... but I'm happy with what I came home with! The pumpkins are HUGE and heavy! They are for making some pies. I used to make pumpkin pies with my Grandma when I was a kid. Hopefully I can remember her secret technique, as they were the BEST pies in town! :-) Extra pumpkin will be frozen for future days, as I don't want anybody to be tired of pumpkin pies before Thanksgiving! LOL! The short blue things in the pic are Glass Insulators. These were used in the "Old fashioned" electrical lines that ran along the streets to power peoples homes. I use the term "old fashioned" lightly as some towns still use them today! Anyways, I had received a craft newsletter from Better Homes and Gardens... and they crafted something pretty kewl with these insulators! When I get a few made up, I will post some pics! Wondering what that yellow thing is? It's a yellow watermelon and it is SUPER sweet and tasty! They were handing out samples at the farmer's market, so I just could not pass up trying one! And, lastly is an old bottle. I LOVE GLASS! LOL! This bottle says Kutztown Bottling Co., Kutztown, PA. Yep... HAD to have a souvenir to remember the day!

So, on Friday I just might go back to Kutztown, PA!!! ..... you see, they will be having an Antiques Extravaganza there... and my DH will be busy here at their Fall Swap Meet & Auto Show... Hmmmm... while the cats away, the mice just might play...LOL! *wink*

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September 1st

Although not the official beginning of Autumn... it is for me! I've been spending lots of time and energy getting my home ready for celebrating my favorite time of year. Ya' know... it's starts with the boring stuff like cleaning windows, blind and curtains and lemon oiling the wood furniture, sparkling up all the glass items that I've collected over the years... Then comes the fun stuff of pulling out the garlands with their autumn leaves and acorns, pumpkins, apples, Halloween cross stitches and pinkeeps and samplers... boxes covered in earthy, warm and worn tones... Oh yah... I've been stitching up a storm in the evenings... Plenty of pics to follow in the days ahead!

The floss has been flowing through the needlepunch too!!! I painted some... then drew up some... then starting punching... wait a minute... can't tell you much about that really... when these pieces are finished they will be traveling to a few homes around the states... ;-)

What I CAN and WILL tell you about is this wonderful hand made in Ohio treasure I found!!!!



Yah... every morning, I sit with my cup of coffee and read blogs... I like to get inspired by reading about how people are using their time... Well, I hafta say that Ann from 1803 Ohio Farm Baskets is using her time fabulously!!! I spied this basket on her blog and decided right at that moment (6:00am, I think?) that I absolutely, positively HAD TO HAVE this in my home! The blue and brown stains, the weave of the reeds, the luscious leather handle... Yup! HAD to get that email off to Ann as fast as I could! And within a couple days it arrived at my doorstep... even more beautiful than it looked in the picture!!! I have it in my living room now awaiting some cornstalks and gourds and pumpkins... but decided I had to share a picture of it with everyone right now! LOL! Seriously, every time I look at I smile... and I admire it quite a few times each day! Thanks so much Ann!

This coming weekend is Labor Day weekend... kinda makes me want to run out and buy some school supplies!!! LOL!

Have a GREAT week! And, take the time to do at least ONE thing each day that makes your heart smile! You won't regret it! :-)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Whoooooo's So Ready for Autumn?

ME! That's one thing that is frightfully certain! As much as I LOVE the extended daylight hours, flowers and veggies in the garden, and warm sun on my skin... I hafta it's way too sticky HOT right now!!!! LOL! I spent the last few days out in the yard weeding, trimming, pruning flowers and hedges, and even power washing the house. Ugh! I was a soggy, droopy site by sundown each day. BUT, I will say that I am totally feeling energized by the fact that it all got accomplished and now things are looking pretty neat around here! *smile*

In the evenings, I managed to fit in some stitching time! It was a real pleasure whipping up this little guy called "It's A Hoot"! Created from a pattern by Brenda Gervais of Country Stitches, little hootie helped to cool me down a little each day! Every little stitch brought thoughts of cool air, crisp blue skies, pumpkins, apples and the beautiful colors of autumn leaves swirling in the wind! Ahhhhh... I can feel it now! *goosebumps*

So without further delay, I'd like to introduce Little Hootie!



I have him perched on top of some sweet annie right smack dab in the middle of my cupboard! He waves and winks to everyone that walks by him... such a cute little bugger... thanks Brenda, for a fun pattern!

I have plenty of autumn cross stitches to work up... but right now, I think I had better get my tale into the hooking room!!!! Ya'll know why... *wink*

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thank You!!! It's almost here!

A very BIG thank you goes out to Jan from Texas for helping me find multiple sources for purchasing the Halloween rug pattern!!! Your wool strips were shipped on Monday. They should be arriving on your doorstep today or tomorrow!

If you would like to hook this too, and would like to purchase it already drawn out on a backing you can contact Sandy at Americana Whatever, Corbin Mill, Liberty MO, 816-781-3313

I went ahead and ordered the quilt pamphlet from Colonial Crafts.... it shipped yesterday.... the anticipation is greater than Heinz ketchup, I tell ya'!!!!


To help make the time pass quickly, I'm working on a Halloween cross stitch... just might be finished by the end of today...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thank You & Recognition

Good Monday morning everyone!!! First off, I'd like to thank everyone that welcomed me into blogland! So far, this is pretty durn FUN! Lots of backgrounds and gadgets and little doohickies to add to blogs... I've spent a couple hours a day searching and playing with quite a few of them!

On the sidebar I have added a Slideshow gadget that features some of my past works. It basically links to my Photobucket album... but, the picture title was showing up to large in the Slideshow and nearly covering the image. So, I had to try something different. You see, most of the pieces are from patterns from some very talented designers! And, not only do I enjoy giving credit where it's due... you might want to create one yourself, and would need to know where to get the pattern? That's happened to me quite often. If you see a design you like, just click on that image and it will bring you to my Photobucket album. In the description area will be the name of the designer. If you need more info on how to contact the designer, just leave a comment and I'll get back to you! If there is nothing in the description... well, then it's something of my very own design.

Which brings me to this...


I visit quite a few blogs regularly, and some of those folks are lucky enough to attend rug shows! Well, I've been admiring this rug for some time now.... and would love to hook one of my own, but can't seem to locate where to purchase the pattern, or even the designers name... anybody know?

I'm thinking if you know who designed this rug, or where to purchase the pattern, you've got to be a hooker yourself! So, to sweeten the deal, I am offering a couple few hundred #8 cut strips of wool in primitive shades!!!!! Just post the designers info in a comment along with your email addy...

Another logo in my sidebar is the "10 minute rug hooker challenge"... Yep... I'm going to give that a try... thinking of getting into the mood for Autumn and pull a few elements together for a designed by me rug... we'll see how that one goes....

Have an awesome summer day!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

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