Friday, June 27, 2008

A New Project

A friend of mine has hired me to finish a rug for her. She hurt her rotator cuff and can no longer hook. I've never really wanted to finish someone else's work before -- especially a pattern drawn out on burlap -- but Lucille is one of the sweetest people I know. So when she asked if I knew anyone who could do this rug for her, I offered up my own services.

The pattern is called Kit's Treasure by Patsy Becker. It is very simple and the center motif is already completed. I just have to fill in the background and figure out a border. I started hooking this morning, and it is more difficult than I imagined it would be. I hook much more closely than Lucille does, so I am having to go a little slower than I normally do so I can match her style.

I've been a little scattered lately, so I thought this project might get me back on track. I am keeping a record of the time I spend hooking, something I don;t normally do. Since it feels like a real job and I want to get it done in a timely manner, I need to keep myself on track. One of tricks to keeping myself seated at my frame -- Netflix. I find shows, often British mysteries, that are serialized, and I watch them on my computer out in the studio. The time flies by and so does the hooking.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Remember the 6 Million Dollar Man?

Well, I own the Million Dollar Mutt. Poor Cairo has been suffering with nasal problems since February. He was on 3 round of antibiotics, had xrays and blood tests and was finally sent to a very expensive specialist for a very expensive rhynoscopy and CT scan. After all that -- the diagnosis is: he suffers from allergies. He has been on a puff of Flovent (a human medication that costs over $100) twice a day. It helped for a while, but the last few days he's been miserable. I have to take tissues along when we go for walks, because the green goo coming out of his nose is just disgusting.

So we went to the vet AGAIN this morning and he is now on 3 medications. He had lots of blood drawn for an allergy screening, so I am hoping that by next week I will be able to do something constructive to help the poor little guy so he can breathe easier and I can get a good night's sleep. We also found out that he has Lyme's, so the antibiotic will hopefully take care of that as well.

My biggest worry is that he will be allergic to wool and will have to stay out of my studio. He follows me everywhere -- even to the bathroom -- so it will be traumatic for him if he can't sleep on the couch in my work room while I hook. Of course, I'll be napping there myself this afternoon, seeing as Cairo woke me up at 3 am and I never fell back asleep . . .

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Happy 20th Birthday, Clara!

Today is my lovely daughter's 20th birthday! She is no longer a teenager -- and every mother of a teenager out there knows what that means!

Clara actually got out of bed before noon today, so she has already opened her presents. I'm about to ice her chocolate birthday cake, and we will be having dinner at her favorite restaurant tonight. She is a fantastic kid -- and she deserves every good thing she gets. . .

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pennies from Heaven

I love penny rugs. I especially love the penny rugs made by my friend Jean Witt of Bluejean Primitives. Her pennies are about authentic as you can get outside of a museum. Her handwork is of the highest quality and is always completely original.

I'm lucky enough to own the mat pictured above. You can see how precisely Jean has cut the pennies and the amazing number of stitches she uses around each one. Jean also has a unique aging process that adds to the charm of her rugs. Barb and I brought several of Jean's rugs to our shows last fall and people were awed by them. One woman thought they had been made during the civil war and couldn't understand why they were in such great shape! One of our best and favorite customers bought a long penny rug to make into a purse! So lots of people are inspired by Jean's handiwork -- including me! Here's a rug I hooked as an homage to Jean's pennies -- it pales in comparison to the real thing.

And, yes, Jean's pennies are the real thing. Don't be fooled by cheap imitations! Just click here for her website. Remember, a penny saved is a penny earned!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Strawberry Season

It's strawberry season here on the East End of Long Island. To celebrate Fathers' Day and our 23rd wedding anniversary, Pete, Clara and I went strawberry picking at Mrs. Domaleski's strawberry patch in Mattituck. Mrs. Domaleski is as sweet as her strawberries and we had fun picking 10 quarts of them. We hulled them all when we got home. I made strawberry shortcake using my mom's recipe -- crumbly and not too sweet -- and Pete crushed some berries up with sugar to freeze so he could have them for breakfast in the dead of winter. We also froze some whole because we love to make fruit smoothies for breakfast on hot summer days.

Pete called his dad yesterday for Fathers' Day. He and my mother-in-law live way up in northern Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Superior. They are avid berry pickers -- strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries -- whatever is in season. Their strawberry season won't start for 3 weeks, just about the time ours will end. We may have to go for a visit . . .

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Finished Product

Here's the sheep rug, all finished! It is available on The Eclectic Artisans web show, which will be open until June 23rd.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Eclectic Artisans Webshow

It's time! The Eclectic Artisans are at it again! Tune in on June 9 at 5 pm to see the fabulous works of art our members have come up with!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Something New . . .

I've been neglecting my blog(s) lately, but not neglecting my hooking. This is a piece for the next Eclectic Artisans web show - whenever that may be. (There has been a death in the family of our fearless leader, Wendy, so we are probably postponing the show for now . . . ) This is a new pattern called All-American Sheep and will be available for sale soon.