Thursday, April 29, 2010

We're Off

on a sort of spur-of-the-moment trip . . .   Will post pics on our return!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Saratoga Springtime

I 'm up in Saratoga Springs for a couple of days to visit my daughter and to enjoy the area one last time before Clara graduates and moves away.  Spring has sprung here and I am enjoying all the flowers and fruit trees and the blue skies.

We dined at Max London's last night.  Clara had a wonderful panzanella with duck confit for starters.  My green salad was drowning in vinegar and I had to send it back -- the first mistake I've ever encountered here.  My mushroom pizza with a baked egg on it made up for the salad mistake and we shared a butterscotch budino for dessert.  Tonight we will go to Hattie's for the fried chicken, which was featured -- and won -- on Throwdown with Bobby Flay.

We parked behind the Adirondack Bank last night and came upon marvelous garden of red tulips.  The temperature had dropped with the sun and they were all closed up and leaning toward the west.  I didn't have a camera, but they were just gorgeous.  I went back today and took a photograph, but they were much more stunning in the dusk last night.  I wanted to pick them all.

While Clara was in a critique this morning, I drove out to the monument at the Saratoga Battleground.  The monument was built for the centennial of the Battle of Saratoga, which we won in 1777.  It's an impressive Victorian monument, built next to the Prospect Hill cemetary. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Blossom Time

Susan drove out for a Kaffee Klatch at Aldo's today.  She was just in time to see the cherry trees that line our block begin to bloom.  What's better better than a sunny day, a scone and good conversation?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fun at Fairfield

Barb and I had a great time at the 50th Annual Fairfield Rug Show on Saturday.  I drove up on Friday and unloaded most of our set up that night, which meant we had a pretty stress free time of it on Saturday morning.  Unloading and setting up in just 2 hours is difficult under the best of circumstances.

We were pleased to see lots of familiar faces and to meet many new ruggers.  Despite the poor economy, we matched our sales of last year -- not a small feat these days.  I am always amazed when people tell me they read my blog.  I wish you guys would comment once in a while so I would know I wasn't talking to myself!  Yes -- that means you, Shirley, who took a picture of your shoes, and your friend Fran with the fabulous Saratoga Springs rug!  (If you are reading this I loved talking to you and will fill your order this week!)

Pat and Darlene, the two sisters who run the show, put us in the same room as last year.  We really like this room -- we can spread out quite nicely.  (That's part of our booth in the first photo.) Nancy of Fluff and Peachy Bean was our across-the-hall neighbor.  I love Nancy's whimsical designs and fanciful color choices.

Jeanine and Karen from Two Old Crows and The Blue Tulip occupied the room to our left with Seaside Rug Hooking from Maine.  (The woman from Seaside forgot her tablecloths and ran to the closest store for a substitute.  She found beach towels -- pretty clever, I thought.)

Big news from Jeanine and Karen.  They have teamed up to create American Color Woolens, milling wool of their own design.  I got to see and touch their samples and am looking forward to placing an order once the shipment arrives.  Contact them here to learn more.

That's Loretta Scena's booth in the picture above, along with the four rugs I entered in the show.  Loretta was part of the discussion panel, along with Michele Micarelli and Vivily Powers.

I'm very happy to report that this was not the last year this show will occur.  Darlene is retiring, but her sister Pat seems to be willing to carry on.  It is hard work to put on the show, and I give the sisters and the Fairfield Grace Church a lot of credit.  All of the money they make on the show goes to a selection of woman's charities.  Pat is looking for a speaker for next year's show, so if you would like to participate or know of a great speaker, please let her know.

Here's the link to an article about the show from a Connecticut paper.  be sure to watch the slide show -- there are some great photos! Click here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Our neighbor brought these tulips by on Saturday.  Pete put them in a turquoise McCoy vase.  The colors make me crazy happy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Getting Ready for Fairfield

I'm finishing up labeling and tagging all my merchandise so I can start packing the car.  I leave for Connecticut on Friday.  Barb and I will be vending once again at the Fairfield-Grace Rug Show.  It is the 50th annual show, can you believe that? I have heard rumors that it may be the last, but I'm hoping that is not true.

I have some new rug patterns this year, as well as new needle punch patterns.  You can see a bit of Mary's Crab there on the right side of the photo, and Paisley Heart in the center.  I'm also working up some kits for people who want a quick and easy project.  Barb will have her hand-dyed wool in all those magnificent colors along with her whimsical woolly creations.  We both hope you'll stop by and see us if you are in the neighborhood.

50th Annual Hooked Rug Exhibit
Fairfield Grace United Methodist Church, 1089 Fairfield Woods Road, Fairfield, CT, from 9 a.m. -2:30 p.m. This event will include an all-day  Hook-In to mark the exhibit’s 50th anniversary. Informative panel discussion with Michelle Micarelli, Vivaly Powers and Loretta Scena and Q&A at 1 p.m. Vendors will have rug designs, hooks, books and more wool than you can imagine. Lots of door prizes!  Don’t miss this event! Contact: Pat Jurgielewicz,,  (203) 445-8896.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

This rug, Spring Has Sprung, was designed by my sister Barb of thimblefolk, and hooked by our friend Kathy Blake Parker.  (I sell the pattern.) I don't know if Barb dyed the wool or not -- I just sent her an email asking about it and will post the answer when I receive it.

The gloomy morning turned into a sunshiny afternoon.  I opened windows for the first time today -- so delightful.  Pete and I just finished our Easter dinner of grilled butterflied leg of lamb, roasted asparagus, roasted Yukon gold potatoes and a salad.  We have buttermilk chocolate cupcakes for dessert.  Life is good.  Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I Am So $#@%@$#$# Mad at the United States Post Office!

Tomorrow is Easter.  Because my daughter and my sister both love chocolate as much as I do,  I decided to send them each an Easter Basket Box via the United States Post Office.  They guarantee two day delivery for Priority Mail, so I filled two small boxes to the lids with jelly beans, chocolate eggs, and chocolate bunnies.  I paid $4.90 each to mail them off on Wednesday afternoon and they both arrived at their respective destinations on Friday as promised.  Clara's was fine.  All Barb received was my note and the jelly beans.  All the chocolate -- her favorite -- was gone. 

I went to the Post Office this morning to complain.  The same woman who waited on me Wednesday was there.  She was useless.  Because I didn't take insurance out on the package (insure a chocolate bunny?) there was nothing she could to do to help me.  I explained to her that the box had obviously been opened -- it arrived taped together at Barb's house and I didn't tape it before I sent it.  She said maybe it popped open and someone taped it up again.  If so, why keep the chocolate and only put the note and the jelly beans back in the box?  And if the Post Office damages a package, they usual affix a note saying so to the box.  I think someone heard me tell the woman it was Easter candy when she asked me if there was anything hazardous, perishable, etc. in the box and then proceeded to open it, eat the chocolate, and then sent it on its way.  Could have been the woman herself for all I know.

This mail fiasco comes on the heels of another.  I mailed a rug pattern purchased from my eBay store to a customer in California.  Once again I sent it priority mail so it would be there in two days.  A week later I get an email: no pattern.  So I draw out a new one, pack it up, take it to the Post Office and mail it priority with delivery confirmation, an extra $1.50.  I sent the customer a nice note and a gift, apologizing for the Post Office and asking that she let me know if the other pattern ever arrives.  They both appeared on her door step on the same day.  I told her to keep it, but she insisted on mailing it back -- so the Post Office made an extra $10 or so off my $20 pattern.

And here's another Post Office story: Two months ago a friend in upstate New York returned some rugs I had on consignment in her shop.  She mailed them to my Post Office box, which I gave up about 6 months ago.  I started to panic after about three weeks, sure my rugs were in some dead letter office somewhere.  My sister told me to go down to the Post Office and ask them to look around.  I did -- the package was sitting on the floor in a corner.  So why didn't they send it back to the person who mailed it?  Why didn't they forward it to me?  My village covers one square mile.  I know everyone in the Post Office to say hello to.  Why didn't someone tell me the package was there?  Why leave it sitting on the floor for three weeks?

No wonder they can't turn a profit.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I Just Sold a Rug for $5000!

Not.  April Fools!

I'm actually doing some spring cleaning today, getting ready for the Fairfield rug show on April 17, and waiting for the sun to come out.  I'm also trying to not eat the Easter candy I bought for Pete's basket.
Yesterday, I looked at all the strips of leftover wool I've collected during the twenty years I've been hooking.  Way back when I would buy whatever wool I found at thrift shops and yard sales.  I've made many hit and miss mats and used bits of various already cut colors here and there, but the strips seem to spontaneously generate when the lights are off.  I have them in baskets and the wool dust sifts through the sides and makes a mess.  I hate mess.  I hate cleaning up mess.  So I sorted through them a bit by color and I am throwing the rest -- a whole garbage bag full -- away.  What a liberating feeling to get the knotted, dusty mess out of my work space.  I'm sorting the remaining strips by color and placing them in their own clear boxes that will sit neatly on a shelf.

Of course, I'll start a new rug soon, cut more wool than I need, and the pile of strips will grow and multiply and turn into a knotted mess and I'll have to clean it up again.  I guess I can manage cleaning ever twenty years or so . . .