Saturday, January 31, 2009

Kindred Spirits in Eliot, Maine

My journey into the realm of rug hooking began several years ago. My friend and I happened upon the Green Mountain Guild rug show in Shelburne Vermont quite by accident. What I saw in that round barn excited some creative spark in my soul that I hadn't known existed. Since then I have spent many hours each week exploring the history of rugs, gathering mentors, learning and exploring, dyeing wool, sketching, creating designs and actually making a few mats and rugs. You should be able to click on any of the photographs in my blog to have a more detailed view.
A large part of the small rug hooking world is the social aspect. It is a craft that is easily done in your own home alone, but when a local gathering (known fondly as "hook-in's) is suggested the eyes of a rug hooker light up. That is where they can gather and have communion with the wool and soulmates who share their pleasure of creating art from threads of fabric.

Today I attended the 25th anniversary of the Eliot, Maine hook-in. It is held in a lovely church that has a large meeting room and kitchen. There were a few vendors, raffles and a wonderful lunch. I had met some attendees before at Tin Pedlars meetings or in Shelburne. Today was special as I met several women whom I have had internet communications with on groups or through this blog. Instant friendship as we had that common thread...wool and a love of rug hooking. Many of you have told me that you enjoy my photographs, so I took many to share. Thanks to all who allowed me to photograph their rugs in process and share with my blog friends. I have not placed names with rugs for I did not know them all, and these pictures are only for the visual pleasure.

The following floral rug was made using the plaids from a Pendleton shirt. The outer rosebuds are made with one shade of stripe, and the inner roses with other shades. The basket was created with yet another stripe that was cut and hooked in the same order as the original strips from the shirt. The beauty of this floral rug just curls my toes. It is an immense project in a 3 & 4 cut, and she is doing beautiful shading.

Recently on the internet group "The Welcome Mat", Wanda Kerr has had a lesson on "Glow" and how to achieve it in your rugs. I saw glow in this sunflower and got to excited I forgot to focus!

The above cat rug is the makers first rug. It was adapted from a photograph in an antique book. I love the pleased look on the cats face! She's doing a great job!
The rug above was adapted from an old "Victory Garden" marketing campaign in the 1940's.
I know my buddies are checking to see that the following picture was put into my blog. But I cropped out my friends faces! Sorry's all about the rugs! I love the mermaids tail and can't wait to see more progress. I'd love to post it and interview the maker for my blog when it's completed!
This pooch is being done with a 9 cut and the picture doesn't do justice to the shading of his face.
The woman who made the proddy bag is Rose Ann Hunter. She creates amazing works of art using the old techniques and I will show more of her work with shirring and proddy in another post. She also made the following rug with a knitted thread assembly. Plush and beautiful!
I will be leaving in the wee hours of the morning for a long overdue visit to see my Dad and family in South Carolina. I am looking forward to their "chilly" sixty degree weather...and grass. I haven't seen grass since mid-November. My better half will keep the home fires burning (our woodstove) and care for our pets while I am away. Perhaps when I return I will take the time to remove the Christmas background from this blog, and be a bit more attentive to it. I found out today...people are watching!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Giveaway Winners!

I apologize for not being able to post for a few days. Life has been good but quite busy, and last night I was finally able to sit at the computer for more than 15 minutes. I wrote a lovely post, and when I hit the button to publish it to was deleted by blogger! I will admit that I have a love-hate relationship with computers and cannot stand inanimate objects that don't cooperate with me!

I was so impressed with the letters that you sent to the President. I wish he could read how you encouraged him and let him know what is important to you. My better half pulled three names from the participants who sent in their letters. And the winners are:
* * * Paula
* * * Rhonda..."The Old Stone House"
* * * Kim..."The Birdwell's Nest"

Woohoo! Congratulations! Paula was the first name chosen, so she will receive the sampler. The others will receive a special surprise. So to Paula, Rhonda and Kim...please send your snail mail address to so I can send out your presents. And to all who entered my first giveaway...thank you so much! I'll post again later this weekend and let you know what I've been up to.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

What I can do I must do...

"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life"
Pablo Picasso

I have been spending some time each day on my crafting. I had pulled out a proddy wreath that I had begun three years ago with the intention of finishing off the interior circle and whipping it to a metal wreath frame for shaping. Then I read Gene Shepherd's wonderful book and realized that my sad wreath looked pretty lame! So I ended up making a little bird out of wool, using a simple pattern and blanket stitching it together. The base is one of the little erasers that you would use to clean off a magic erase board. It was used because it was handy, and has a nice felt bottom. I think it came out rather cute.
I bound off on the "thing" that I have been knitting. At this point it is a wonderful and extremely long scarf (7 feet)...but it is going to morph into something different. I love the wools, and they remind me of my travels. I got some from London Wul in New Brunswick, some from spinning friends in Maine and New Hampshire and Greenland, and some that I just picked up on different trips. We all have something that we bring back from vacations. For souvenier is almost always wool fabric or yarn!
I finally pulled out the Padula rug to work on. I decised on the "KISS" method for completion (meaning Keep It Simple Stupid!"). So I changed the border from the tongues to a simple vine with a couple of leaves on each corner. I dyed more wool for the background since I never found the original wool. (I think I overdyed it with something else!) It really blends much better than it shows on this picture, and without the flash of the camera making it look gray you can barely tell the difference between current work and what I began a long time ago. Now I'm motivated to finish it and am hoping to focus on it until it is complete. (Ha! Me focus???)
I live in a "Hunter-Gatherer" better half is the hunter and I am the gatherer. No surprise there, right? We happen to have some moose and deer racks and antlers in the barn that I have been wanting to do something creative with. Last weekend I began by cutting off part of the moose rack, and then worked on grinding it in order to make a couple of proddy tools. I shaped them the way I wanted them, and felt they were comfortable in my hand and a good length. Then I used a fine drill to make holes in the ends and threaded thin leather with beads for embellishments. For a first effort I don't think they turned out too bad at all. When warm weather arrives in the Spring I will try to focus on my basket making as I have several antlers that will make wonderful basket handles. But yet another storm is approaching tonight, and for the winter I will focus on wool, and rug hooking as it keeps the lap warm on a chilly winter night.
Please check out my Inauguration Giveaway and leave a comment. I will have several prizes that I will be sending off to my internet friends!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Inauguration Giveaway!

The United States is once again looking ahead to a new President of the United States. To pay forward some of the blessings I have received this past year I am having an Inauguration Givaway! If you could speak directly to our President-elect, what would you say to him? What advice would you give him? For a short time this post will be a forum for you to express your thoughts in a brief note to the President. I will award several prizes by lottery shortly after the inauguration ceremonies are held on January 20. I can tell you that one prize will be a large cross stitched sampler (unframed). This is open to all who read this, as I'm sure our neighbors in Canada and other countries have words of wisdom for our President-elect.

This inauguration is dedicated to President Lincoln and some of the words he spoke for his dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetary in Pennsylvania in 1863. Those mere 10 sentences became known as the Gettysburg Address. Two of the most famous quotes are "this nation shall have a new birth of freedom" and "a government of the people, by the people and for the people".

To Enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post beginning with the words "Dear Mr. President". Write a short note of advice, encouragement, your dreams and hopes for the United States. Keep your notes short and positive advice. Negative posts or slams on our current administration will be deleted. Show respect. You will get one entry for that post. Ensure you leave a way for me to contact you if you are not a Blogger in case you should win!

2. Link the giveaway on your site to promote more letters. You will get a second chance to win! Let me know that you have made the link to this post. I will look forward to seeing your posts. And who knows...perhaps Mr. Obama will actually see them! You never know!