Monday, April 30, 2012

Report from Fairfield

What may be the last Fairfield-Grace Rug Show -- after 52 years - has come and gone.  Its sad to see it end.  This was the very first rug show I ever attended, back when I first started hooking 22 years ago.  I met a wonderful woman on Saturday named Joan who has attended 51 of the 52 rug shows sponsored by the church!  My pins were a big hit this year, so I gave one to Joan to commemorate all her years of service to the church and to the rug show. 

As I was saying goodbye to everyone, I heard a rumor that the ever enthusiastic Michele Micarelli (who's looking really great these days!) is going to try to come up with a way to save the show from extinction.  If anyone can do that, its Michele.

I was a bit too busy to take many photographs, but I did get a few.  Nancy Gallagher hooked many of these.  I'd like to meet her -- she is perhaps the most prolific hooker ever.  I am partial to the black, white, gray and red rug below.

I loved this trout and the striped bass hooked by Brenda Andersen of Black Bear Primitives.  She also hooked a large and fabulous Halloween rug featuring a skeleton that I didn't get a pic of.

Here's a few photos of our booth -- which was actually a whole room, so we were rather spread out.

And here's a yard of wool I bought from Nancy Jewett of Fluff and Peachy Bean, who loves color even more than I do!  This is called Teal Forest, but it makes me think of the Caribbean.  I don't often buy wool from other people, because I dye my own, or have my sister Barb dye it for me, but this piece was calling to me across the hallway.

This runner was hooked by Nancy de Michele, one of our favorite customers.  She hooked two of my patterns -- Juggling Jack and Juggling Cat -- added a center piece and turned it into a runner! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Piles of Patterns

This is what my dining room table looks like right now -- piles of patterns.  I've been drawing out lots of new designs for this year's show.  Come visit us on Saturday if you're in the area!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Just Around the Corner . . .

The Fairfield Grace 52st Annual Rug Exhibit
Saturday, April 28th 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

We will be in the same room as the last few years.
Please stop in to see us!
Rumor has it that this is the last year --
but we shall see --
we've heard that before!

And don't forget:
Long Island Guild of Rugcrafting Artists Rug Show
Saturday, May 5, 2012
9:30 AM - 4 PM
Presbyterian Church of Sewwt Hollow
95 Old Country Road
Melville NY
for more info: 631-254-3930

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A New Version of Mary's Runner

I love to see people's interpretations of my designs.  It's always nice to know someone likes my patterns enough to hook them, but its thrilling to see them hooked up and bound and ready for the floor.

Rona bought my pattern Mary's Runner several months ago and brought the finished rug to our guild meeting Tuesday night.  Isn't it stunning?

I love that she hooked crosses into the circles and I love her color choices.  The red yarn she chose to whip it with is the perfect frame for the rug.  Well done, Rona!

If you would like to see what other members of our guild, the Peconic Ruggers, have been working on, click on over to the website here: The Peconic Ruggers.  You may be tired of hearing me say it, but this is a great group of women.  The group is a stand alone guild -- we don't belong to a national organization -- which allows us a great amount of freedom in how we work.  We are very relaxed -- no Robert's Rules of Order here!  We do manage to get through business each month.  We produce a rug to raffle each year and have a rug show every other year.  Hook ins are always fun and we have them in the winter and in the summer.  Sometimes our coffers are full enough to sponsor a class or a guest speaker.  Most of us don't see each other outside of guild functions, but we really enjoy each others' company when we do get together.  I was a founding member of the guild about 15 years ago, and the past couple of years have been the best.  If you don't belong to a guild yet, I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It's That Time if Year Again

Even though it's two weeks early, the cherry trees are blooming!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring Awakening, Brooklyn Style

We spent the lovely Easter weekend in Brooklyn, visiting out daughter.  The weather was spectacular, as my photos will attest.  (I forgot my camera again -- so I had to resort to my trusty iPhone.  Sorry.)

Clara and I headed to the Brooklyn Flea on Saturday morning, while Pete went into Soho to see a show at a gallery.  I was disappointed with the Flea -- I am older than just about everything anybody was selling.  There were lots of Coach bags, back from when they were really well made of heavy leather that lasted forever and didn't have logos stamped all over them, just that discreet little keychain hanging off the strap. I still use the Coach bags I bought in the early 1980s -- when I can wrestle them out of Clara's hands.  Several vendors sold simple, industrial style furniture made from reclaimed wood and steel. Costume jewelry was popular, too.   The really great thing about the Flea -- the food!  Clara and I had delicious little sandwiches from Porchetta -- nothing but a crusty roll and the porchetta.  Yum.  There were lots of other food stalls -- fish tacos, wursts, ice cream, coffee.  It was fun to be in Fort Greene again -- I lived there way back when.

Saturday afternoon found the three of us at Sahadi's -- a fabulous Middle Eastern food importer we've been going to for 30 years.  We buy all our spices there, as well as dried fruits and nuts, cheeses, olives and olive oil. Charlie Sahadi still presides over the shop.  It's a wonderful store -- the smells of the spices make me dream of Morocco.  Next door is the Damascus Bakery, where we loaded up on whole wheat pita bread.  They sell falafel sandwiches, too, as well as baklava and hummus.

We made a stop at the nicest Trader Joe's I've ever seen.  It is in a land-marked bank building with soaring ceilings and huge windows.  We went to Dumbo Hardware so Pete could buy supplies to make a few repairs to light fixtures and smoke alarms in Clara's studio.  

Saturday evening found us at Vinegar Hill House, a sweet little restaurant in a sweet little neighborhood, near the Brooklyn Navy Yards.  Clara and I had duck, Pete had chicken two ways.  We retrieved Cairo from Clara's apartment and strolled through Brooklyn Bridge Park before heading home for the night.

We visited Green-Wood Cemetery on Sunday morning.  It is a designated National Historic Landmark.  A Revolutionary War battle was fought there long before the cemetery opened in 1838.  Several famous people are buried there, including Boss Tweed and Leonard Bernstein.  It's grand Gothic gates were designed by Upjohn and lead to 478 acres of chapels, mausoleums and gorgeous gravestones.  The most remarkable thing, though, is the flock of parrots -- yes, parrots! -- that live in the spires of the gate.  Someone's pets must have escaped years ago, and now a whole community of bright green birds squawk and sing and circle the graveyard.

Before Pete and I headed home we picked up lunch at Mile End, a Montreal-style Jewish delicatessen that makes the best smoked brisket sandwiches in the world.  Yes, we ate too much last weekend, but in New York, its hard not to!

Hope you had a lovely weekend, too.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter, Happy Passover, Happy Spring

Some new needle punch designs. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Whole Nine Yards

I dyed nine yards of fabric yesterday, plus one hank of Medici wool thread for needle punch. Whew! If you wonder why hand dyed wool is so expensive, I can tell you from experience that it's the labor involved!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Perfect Day to Dye

I have the dye pots out today, cooking up a big batch of my favorite light background. It's so lovely out that I'm drying the wool on the line.

I'm also cutting up a bunch of old woolen clothing that arrived from my mother-in-law Betty yesterday. (Thank you, Betty!) There's a lovely brown tweedy suit and some of my father-in-law's sport coats that I hope wash up well. One of them has a lovely citron colored lining that I hope to repurpose, perhaps as a lining for a purse. There's an amazingly soft black cashmere coat too thick to hook with, but I may try making a proddy mat with it for my husband's side of the bed. Can you imagine how wonderful it would feel to step on that with bare feet every morning? We shall see . . . I'm going to sit at the picnic table in the sun to disassemble it all and watch the wool wave in the wind.