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.