Friday, December 26, 2008

Hooked some hearts and made a woolly tree!
Is it too soon for hearts??? LOL! I guess not, cause I made some! Christmas come and goes so fast every year!!

Isn't this tree so much fun?? I just love it! My dear friend Joanne teaches classes on how to make these beauties and shows how to make them on her blog. Here is a link for you:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Do you like your mustard's to sing or whisper?

First, let me wish everyone the Happiest of Holiday's and a very Merry Christmas! I hope everyone has a safe and blessed day!!!

Just a rhetorical question here. I think we all love a great shade of mustard. Just wondering how subtle you like yours? These are a couple of shots of some of my favorite mustard's. I use lots of it in my hooking, so some of mine are down to strips.

Some thoughts on dyeing your gold's and yellow's......... Remember the less of your gold/yellow you add the more subtle your shade will be. Old Gold is my favorite "ingredient" for a good mustard. Light Brown or Tan drabs down any of your Cushing's yellow/gold's, or a yellow wool. This would be an as-is wool or one that has gone a bit bright during the dye process. Just grab any yellow or gold and try it with Spice Brown for a nice warm shade of mustard. Bronze brightens up a mustard formula for pizazz, but just use a little.

Say you have a piece you want to dye, why not tear it in half, add one piece at first then your second piece about half way through, right before you add your vinegar. This will give you 2 great pieces to use together with a bit of color variation too. Enjoy & more next time!

Monday, December 22, 2008

New rug listed on ebay "Prairie Rose"

Well enough of this Winter already! LOL! Ice, below zero temps, UGH! My mom has been with us since the weekend due to a power outage at her place. I guess I am thinking flowers! LOL! This is one I just finished to forget the Blah weather. I just listed it on ebay. Based on an early quilt design! I adore old album quilts!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Antique Light Background Continued.......Leaping Deer

Hello! Just finished my new 2008 deer rug and listed it on ebay. The deer below was my 2007 creation. It may be a little hard to tell from the photo's, but this new one has a more subtle background and was hooked using mostly oatmeal that was drabbed down a bit with the Ecru/Old Ivory formula. I do like to mix it up a bit, you can see that a bit of the more dramatic background wool snuck in!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Antique Light Background's - 2 types

My friend Paula was just asking me the other day about a light antique background for a rug she is working on. Then I found I needed a few extra pieces for one I am working on too. My rug is almost done, so I will post photo's in another day or two, it is also a deer rug. I thought I would first post a couple of pictures of the wool I just dyed, different one's in the same color family. Most often what I do is use a favorite formula, then I get my variation by adding different cream textures to my dye bath. You can add some that need the most color at first, then the other's half way through the dyeing process. For example, if you have an off-white wool, add it right away, then add a darker oatmeal half way through.

This photo is a mellow, subtle, off-white, and oatmeal set of wool. The bottom set of wools was stirred very little and will have a lot of variation when hooked. This is perfect to add a bit of wow, interest, and yes prim-bling to a background! I usually prefer a very spotty wool, but I went with the top set of woolens. I already had quite a bit of variation in my motifs, and I didn't want this rug to look "too busy." It is a deer and tree pictorial, can' t wait to finish it! FUN! The top 2 photo's are of a deer rug I hooked last year and it has a pretty varied background, I even mixed some warm's and cool's into this background!

If you would like to create this top set, you will want to stir more for less mottling, and spotting. Oatmeal wool is so wonderful and takes very little dye to get a nice ready to hook shade. I mixed a little bit of Cushings Ecru and Old Ivory to get these colors. Coffee works too, you can even eliminate the Old Ivory if you don't have it on hand as I am not sure it shows up much dyed over Oatmeal. I guess I just feel it warms it up a!!

Now for this set of wools, for 1/4 yard I mixed 1/16 of Light Brown and 1/64 of Silver Gray. I find Light Brown to be warmer than Tan, but you can use Tan if you don't have Light Brown.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The things that inspire our art?

This is my latest hooked creation and offering on ebay.

I think so often about what inspires creation..... What inspires you??? I usually find it in something old in which it's usefulness has past. I find the folks who created the wonderful from so little very fascinating. I love nature, tree's, animals, and flowers. The floral rug here was simply a desire to hook some big flowers from my gathering stack of dyed

Sometimes I will see a picture on a wall, love the colors and think they should somehow come together in a rug. Dyeing always inspires me, I can usually find a use for all colors somewhere. I am planning a deer rug and have a brown that must become this deer. lol! FUN!

I love antique album quilts, they tell such a story. The rich, yet faded colors are truly wonderful. Antique needlework of any kind always makes me smile. My first "needle love" was crewel embroidery which has now been replaced by my love of hooking. I adore needlepoint, and have spent so many hours cross-stitching, etc... I know they have all influenced my hooking in so many ways.

The love of antiques such as pottery, the shape and colors. Old coverlets are such treasures. Old wood and the aged patina on an oldie but goodie, such as a weather vane. Dried's can even inspire with their colors. One of my favorites is old fraktur's. Old folk art of any kind has value to me. The designs in old butter molds and punched tin are so inspirational.

On the more contemporary side of art, I am a fan of O'Keefe, love her flowers and know they are not primitive per se, but love the colors and am amazed by the size of her work. I am a huge fan of Grandma Moses, her painting always make want hook a pictorial. I have had a Moses calendar up all year and will miss it when 2009! I find such great value in all of it, old and new. Here are 2 of Grandma Moses's works, very timely too. Just love them! What a life she had.

Sometimes the inspiring thoughts are almost as fun as the project, well almost that is....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Creme Brulee and Cars...LOL!!

A nice day at home today! We got our tree put up, and had a little snow!, it is about 20 degrees here in Indiana. Tomorrow will be a busy one, a roller-skating b-day party, basketball, a visit from grandma, dinner out, a bit of shopping, etc...

I recently bought some cute little ramekins to make some Creme Brulee, never made it before. I got lucky it came out great, would post pic's but with 5 of us, it disappeared fast...down the hatch. haha! Other than setting the topping on fire under the, luckily it peeled right off with a spoon and I re-did it! My girls don't like eggs, but little do they know, they eat eggs quite!

Can I make an endorsement? Last Summer I bought myself a new car, and we just love it. I wanted a cross-over with a third row seat. It had to have enough space, and it actually seats one more person than my old mini van did. Anyhow, we looked at several models, weighing price, etc.. I bought a Mazda CX-9, it is truly a joy to drive and a great ride! My first import and I am sold! The top pic is mine the bottom is the stock photo, wish I lived near those nice mountains. Hubby being a car man, well he pinstriped it and added some chrome wheels etc... The kids name everything, they named it Mazzie. Men and Kids, too funny!!
Some upcoming dye post's will be what to do if you are out of some colors you need?? No need to wait for an order of dye's to arrive, work with what you have. Also, how to get some good neutrals...
Have a wonderful one~! Cathy

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Back to Limberlost Cabin

I was called back to the Limberlost home of Gene Stratton-Porter yesterday. Ever so often they call on me to repair worn areas on a large rug in her living room. It has been over a year since we last visited. If you are not familiar with the author, you may know her books like "A Girl of the Limberlost," and "Freckles," etc..... Stories about life in the "good old days." This home was built in 1895. It is the first home her and her husband built. The builders were paid a quarter a day, can you imagine??? She has another wonderful home north of us on Sylvan Lake, and I have some nice photos of it as well.

This is the first time I have visited in the Winter, so they happened to have it decorated for the holidays which was nice. It worked out well with my homeschooling too. I have Natalie writing a report about the home, Gene, and her life. They suspect she used the masculine spelling of Jean/Gene because at the time they thought her books would sell better if it looked like they were written by a man. Nice huh?? lol?

I always like to pick up a keepsake in the gift shop, usually a book. A couple of years back they had a birthday celebration tea at the cabin, so I bought the little cookbook from the tea. Wonderful and unique little savories were served with tea like: Cheddar Cheese Scones w/ Ginger Sauce, Stuffed Cucumbers & Apricots, etc... Wish I had been there for

They have a funny cat they call him Cabin Cat, what a character, he runs the show as most cats like to do. He is the greeter. He actually likes to ride home with the site manager every night, especially when it is cold or hot outside. They say he goes over to the manager's truck and waits for him to leave each each day. Then he comes back each morning with him to spend the day. Too funny!! They think he is about 10 years old. We always bring him cat treats when we visit. This photo was taken during one of our Summer visits to the cabin.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Random Dye Thoughts............

Finally, recovering from a bug and catching up from the holiday, so back to the creative

First, something fun I like to do. When I place an order for Cushings, I like to pick up the dye chart and just pick something I have never used. You know a BLING color, those colors that are rarely used in a recipe. It is fun, and I have found some really great colors this way. For example, I love Bright Green, I love it over dark brown texture's. It is also nice to use Bright Green with any red, it works well as a drabber in a red recipe. Another color I like is Orange, I use it often with brown dyes or over a brown wool. Old Rose is very pretty when used with a brown, great for a primitive floral. Burgundy and Maroon are some other's to try for something different, they are very dark, so beware.

Let's talk gray. You know any Cushings gray will act as a drabber for a wool that has gone a bit bright. Do you need a good gray, say for a background?? Or for an animal in a rug?? Don't have a gray? Make your own by mixing a brown and a blue.

Tan will tone down a shade that is too vivid too. I like my colors prim and muted, but I don't like a nowhere color. I like colors that go easy on the eye's, but not one's that say nothing, a color should sing to you, otherwise put it back in the dye pot and try again.

Even though Cushings has some fabulous green's, sometimes I like to make my own by mixing blue and yellow. This is how I come up with new shades, otherwise I find them looking too much alike. Any yellow/gold, brown, and a touch of red dye will give you a nice new orange too. The fun can be what if??? You choose any brown, yellow, and red, as matter of fact try two different recipes using 6 these colors and compare them.

Bronze Green is great alone to dye a wonderful ruch warm green. Oh how I love green, must be all of the tree's I hook! LOL!

If you click on "All those extra wool strips," The poinsettia rug above is one where I used the re-dyed strips in the background. The directions are in the other post. You can click the photo and get a closer look.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I hope everyone had a cornucopia full of joy today!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I am the cook in the family! Saying I love to cook would be a stretch, but I don't mind and do an OK job. I'd much rather be hooking or sewing! Now every year by the time I get to the store, they are always out of poultry seasoning, or they have the mini container that cost about six dollars. So I went on one of those site's for substitutions, etc.. I just love those. Anyhow, I am going to just whip up a little batch of my own and wanted to share the ingredients here. For poultry seasoning a general list of spices and herbs are: Sage, Thyme, Pepper, Majoram, and optional additions are: Parsley and Rosemary. Add or subtract to taste. Enjoy! More Dyealogue, hopefully tomorrow!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tiffany (Tippy) is our seal-point and Muffin (Pookey) is our blue-point. I name them and my hubby re-names!

Pet Thyme!

He was sleeping under the Christmas tree in the last photo. It was a pic from last year, no we don't have the tree put up yet this! I just took this picture of Nibbly tonight, such a character I tell you!!! LOL!! If he looks ornery it is becasue he is! haha! We love him!

We also love our girl's, we have 2 Himalayans, they are older than our kids! Our bunny adores them, but he just kind of aggravates!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Turkey Rugs!!

Have you planned your Thanksgiving meal yet?? Even though I am practically a vegetarian, I do like a "little" meat on the the holiday's. I have kind of evolved into a vegan over the years, just kind of lost my taste for meat for several reasons. Give me a heaping spoon of sweet potatoes, and sweets....oh yeah! To celebrate our upcoming holiday, I am posting photo's of some of my past turkey rugs! The last one is a wonderful design by my friend Angela Jones of Breezy Ridge Rugs. I used some vintage paisley's to hook this one.
If you have never hooked or worked with old or new wool paisley, I recommend it! FUN! I bought a wonderful Talbot's paisley skirt on ebay for less than $10, I always throw a piece of it into my dye baths to have some in every shade. It is just a fun way to add a vintage BLING to your wool handiwork!

The rest of these turkey rugs are my own design's and pattern's, if you would ever like to purchase any of my pattern's you see, just let me know!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Inspiration and Mr. Nibbles.........

Who was the inspiration for this rug?? My love of tree's and..... our bunny- Nibbles, I hope to post a video of him, he does the funniest things sometimes, like run circles around the kitties!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Who is your best friend???

Ok, so I added a music player thingy to my blog. UGH! I know! I have a love/hate thing going on with those! You must hear Mary J Blige "Peace" if you have never heard it!! I love the old song "My Best Friend," makes me think of my husband!! Just wondering who your best friend is and if you have song's that remind you of them?? Gee Whiz, who are those kids in the photo???LOL!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"Oh Penny Tree"

My Latest creation. Just listed on ebay.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

All of those extra wool strips!!

What can we do with all of those extra strips??? Dye them!

Thanks a bunch to everyone who has commented on my blog, etc.. I appreciate it!

There are only so many Hit & Miss projects, and borders to use your "extras" in right?? I always need more antique black for backgrounds. I love a mixed look, not a solid color, but lots of variation. So what I like do is take a mixed bunch of strips. I have some divided by color, but I always have several "strays" of all colors in a bunch.

***You may want to start with a small pot of strips and see if you like the outcome first, then go back and repeat the process if you do.

There will be few casualties, and you will loose a few strips, but you will have several you can use in an upcoming project. I say you will loose a few because some will become overfelted and too thick to hook with. Some wool can be dyed more than once and not end up too thick, others with fatten up too much. You can always use those strips unfit for hooking to stuff pillows, etc...

Use enough strips to almost fill your pot, I throw them in my pot and see how many I can get in, then I remove them. Fill your pot with water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling turn it down and stir in your favorite black dye recipe. A good one to use is one that combines all of the primary colors, this way you won't end up with a pile navy blue or dark green strips, etc..
Since I am not sure how big your pot is, let me give you a general idea on how much and a recipe, but please adjust as you see fit. For a medium pot, let's use equal parts of Cushings, say 1/4 teaspoon of Khaki, Golden Brown, and Black for a total of 3/4 tsp. of dye. Stir these dyes in your pot and turn the heat way back, this will prevent too much over felting of your wool. Now add your strips. Stir a bit and watch them for awhile. Pull your strips up with your spoon, do you need more dye, is one shade showing up more than you would like?? If say the khaki is going too green, add some Mahogany or any red. If they are not dark enough you may need to mix up another batch and add it to your pot. Add vinegar when you are satisfied with the shade in your pot.

You can hand rinse your strips, or I usually go ahead and run them through the warm/cool rinse cycle, and then machine dry them. Hopefully, you will end up with a nice collection of mottled and varied antique black strips you can use. You should have nice deep interesting mix of black.

Another way to do this is........say you have a bunch of dirty white's, but you actually need a nice mix of mustards. Just follow these directions, but use your favorite mustard recipe over your dirty's for a great selection of mustards. A good mustard is a mix of Mummy Brown and Gold. Have fun!!!!!

I am adding a photo of a rug I just finished using strips I re-dyed in the background.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Let's start a dye - dialogue or a dyealogue.

Ok, let's talk color! I think about color, well most of my waking hours! I think most rug hookers are always looking for a good background color. My favorite is a black/brown. One of my favorite ways to get brown is by mixing plum with any yellow or gold. This is Cushings or any dye you choose. If you want it darker use a bit more plum and if you want a very warm shade of brown use a bit more of your yellow or gold. Gold will make it very warm. Try it first by using a 1/16 of a yard of any wool. Get a glass jar, fill it 3/4 full of water and heat it in your microwave for about 3 minutes. Carefully remove it, set it in your sink and mix in your dyes, then add your wool. Let's use 1/64 of Plum and 1/64 of Yellow for a light to medium brown. Use equal parts 1/32 of each for a darker brown. This is good way to use up extra purple dye!!!LOL!!!

I like the basic Cushings brown's but also like unique ways to get to brown. It tends to get rid of the blah...oh no not that color again!!! LOL!! If you don't have purple or plum, just mix a blue and a red together. I would use say Sky Blue and Scarlet. But this is the fun part, just get in that dye box and pick 2, it is only a small piece of wool... Once you have the dye combo that you like, dye larger pieces. I added the picture of my Abe Lincoln to show you his beard. I had a yellow/gold wool texture, I dyed it with plum and came up with his beard color. So you can do this on an undyed piece using yellow and plum or over a previously dyed piece using the missing color. No reason you could not take a piece of purple wool and over dye it with gold to get a brown. More dye-alogue soon!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

New week!

Are we all ready to start a new week??? Just think it is about 2 weeks until Thanksgiving!! We just decided on ham and turkey. I am the cook in the family, so I better start gathering the recipes and ideas quickly. I learned to cook from the very best, my grandma Rose! My hero! The nicest and most giving woman I have ever known. She lived in a very small town here in Indiana, worked full time, raised 5 kids, tended to grandpa, made all of her own drapes and such. A wonderful cook, she managed to win the Pillsbury Bake-Off TWICE!!! The 1st win took her and my grandpa to New York, and the second trip they got to travel to Hawaii. I am still so proud of her and miss her so much! I try to do her recipes justice! Her second bake-off win was for Apple Crisp, her winning idea was that she used coconut cream pudding in the topping. Just the dry mix in with the basic topping ingredients. You should try it, very yummy!!

Burgundy Sweet Annie!

Have you seen this burgundy Sweet Annie?? I just love it!! Got it on ebay, where I get many of my prims and bobbins!haha!


Maybe someday I will get over my bobbin thing!! Well, maybe not! I don't know what it is...just got a new shipment yesterday, fabulous collection of oldies, but goodies! I imagine all kinds of creations displayed on them. Maybe it is my love of antiques, or a recycling thing! LOL!! Watch for more, because if I can get it on a bobbin, I will!!! Peace and Old-time Happiness to all!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Santa on a bobbin-

I have been selling on ebay for a few years now and I love it! I may do a website someday, but ebay keeps me very busy! My latest thing has been turning my hooked creations into patterns. Awhile back I made a scarecrow on a bobbin. Sometimes customers are great about giving me ideas. I had a request for a Santa on a bobbin like the scarecrow. She wanted it green, so I made him up and made a red Santa for ebay, pattern to follow soon. They are quite tedious to sew together and on to the bobbin etc.... But they are worth it!

Welcome to my blog!

I thought it was finally time to start blogging. So welcome to my little creative part of the universe! I am an eclectic person with many interests. I plan to discuss the "creative process" here, but I am sure other things will come up like...our pet bunny, raising kids, why kindness matter's, homeschooling, the love of cats, etc.... I do try to bring imagination to all that I do......hope you will enjoy my blog and be inspired to create and live your passion.