Monday, January 30, 2012

What I'm Working On

This is "Whale of a Tale," designed by Bonnie Smith and Tina Ackerman, from a class our guild sponsored last summer.  I am just getting back to hooking on it. It's going incredibly fast.  In one week, I hooked the sky, most of the whale and the waves on the right.  I rarely (really never, except for this) hook other people's patterns -- I never seem to finish them.  And I couldn't resist making some changes -- I moved the moon and created swirls in the sky that were inspired by Van Gogh's Starry Night (although these look nothing like his swirls . . . . )  I felt that since there was such a large expanse of sky it needed a little something to keep it interesting.  I'm liking it, except for those two parallel racing stripes, which I will change.  There's less of a contrast than the photo indicates . . . 

I hooked Jonah last summer, using some old paisley.  I am thinking his robe is not flashy enough now and I may change it.  I've also thought of giving him a peg leg and calling him Ahab, since the whale is white . . . The whale is hooked with my favorite light background, which is actually a little more yellow than the photographs make it appear.  

I should really set this aside again, and get started on hooking samples of new patterns, but I'm on a roll and its going so quickly.  I'll post my progress periodically.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spring is Here . . .

Yesterday's rain washed all the snow away.  When I let Cairo out into the backyard this morning, it was 45 degrees, the birds were singing, and the sun was shining.  Because it has been such a mild winter, Pete threw some spinach and lettuce seeds into the raised beds and covered them with clear plastic and the seeds have sprouted!  Such weird weather . . .  

The Peconic Ruggers New Year party was a great success.  We had a smorgasbord -- Louise's fabulous vegetarian lasagna, chili, chicken sate, fresh bread, salad, hummus, blueberry pie, assorted Italian pastries, and Judy's incredible homemade eggnog.  We ate a lot and talked a lot and hooked a little.  As usual, I forgot my camera, but I did take a few shots with my phone.

Here's the gang hard at work . . . . 

This is Sally's Uncle Sam, a free pattern from an old issue of Rug Hooking magazine.

Jennifer worked on her Whale of a Tale rug from our class last summer.

Sue brought her version of my Garden Cat pattern, which she hooked for a neighbor with a white cat.

We had a lovely afternoon -- thank you, Louise, for hosting us!  

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow Day

We're having our first real snow of the season.  Its a good day for sitting on the sofa with an Ann Cleeves mystery -- which is just what I've been doing.  That, and playing Word Welder on my iPad.  Finally won after two weeks of trying.  Today was the day for the Peconic Ruggers New Year's party, but the snow forced us to postpone it until tomorrow.  I just finished hooking a brick path hit-or-miss rug yesterday (that's Cairo sitting on it), so I am digging through my UFOs for something to work on tomorrow.  I should really be vacuuming up all the snippets.  I make quite a mess when I hook, which is why I only hook up here in my garret.  It is so nice to leave the mess and shut the door on it.

I have been relying on my smart phone for blogging and taking pictures, which is why my photos have not been great.  Seems like I always leave my camera here in the attic and I am too lazy retrieve it when its time for a walk or some other photo op.  The Blogger app is quite handy, though, in a pinch.  Easy to use, which is making me lazy.

Anyway, I decided to take some picture out the windows of my studio, hoping the bay would be visible.  It's not.  And the pictures are not so hot.  But here you go anyway.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Not Long Until Valentine's Day!

Need a Valentine treat for your sweetie?  zCheck out my sister Barb's  newest creations here: thimblefolk

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fairfield-Grace 52nd Annual Rug Show

                 ****Please note:  The date for the Fairfield Show is now April 28!****

I am extremely happy to announce that the Fairfield-Grace Methodist Church will be hosting its 52nd Annual Rug Show this year!  Here are the details I just received:

We are pleased to announce
the Fairfield Grace 52st Annual  Rug Exhibit.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Fairfield Grace United Methodist Church
1089 Fairfield Woods Road
Fairfield, CT 06825

Guest Speaker: Liz Alpert Fay

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Remembering Helen Connelly

I tried to teach myself to hook using an unfinished rug of my grandmother's, but the decade-old burlap shredded.  Around that time, I saw a sign in Brandi's Shoe Store for the first Long Island Rug School to be held right here in Greenport.  I signed up.  I learned a lot that week and met some wonderful people.  One of them was McGown teacher Helen Connelly, a soft-spoken, gracious woman dressed to the nines who was working on a stunning room-sized floral rug in a #3 cut.  The colors in the rug were amazing -- and she had dyed them all herself. 

Back then the norm was to chose a teacher and stick with her, but the next year I switched to Helen's class.  She was a remarkable teacher, thoughtful and considerate even when confronted by the ugliest hooked flower in history.  She never took the hook out of a student's hand, never ripped strips of wool out of an unsuccessful rug.  She taught with positive energy and encouragement.  After that year's school, she invited me to attend classes in her home and even gave me a couple of private dyeing lessons.  What a treat.

She was an active member of the Long Island Guild of Rug Crafting Artists, who honored her at their show in 2007.  Sadly, I can't find my photos of her rug display, but you can see a couple in A Rug Hooker's Garden published by Rug Hooking Magazine in 2000.

I will remember Helen fondly, poised and ever-encouraging, dressed in a favorite outfit:  denim skirt, cowboy boots, and a fringed vest accented by her beautiful turquoise jewelry -- a color she could -- and often did -- replicate perfectly in her dye pot.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

Cairo and I have been up since before 5. The power is out, maybe due to high winds. We headed out for an early walk to watch the sunrise on Peconic Bay. No one was out and I let Cairo walk off his lead. He kept looking back at me, not believing his good fortune. I thought of Frost's line "My little horse must think it queer . . ." and substituted "dog" for "horse." The light was so beautiful on the bay. Even now the clouds are pink and everything has a rosy glow. Have I told you how much I love where I live? Hmmm, I think so -- maybe once or twice . . .

We have had two weeks of cooking and eating and visiting and eating and celebrating and eating and more visiting and eating. Today it stops. I'm taking the tree down this morning -- mostly because I forgot to water it and the needles are dropping like crazy -- and then it is back to work on new patterns and new plans to help the business grow. And eating a lot less. Here's to a healthy and happy new year for everyone.