Friday, January 4, 2013

A Fresh Start

   The new year always presents a multitude of possibilities. It's a clean slate to work with. And I find it exciting.
   I haven't done 'resolutions' in years as I think I never took myself too seriously. But 7 or 8 years ago I started an "On the Agenda for ..." . I listed all the things I hoped to do during the year. That may  be finishing some ongoing project such as a rug that I am hooking, starting new ones like making a Spring wall hanging, learning something new, or just little things that I think of but forget until the next time the subject comes coasters for the coffee table. Anything goes.
   From that list I do a monthly reckoning of what I have done whether it's was on the agenda or not. I list every book I read, every mending thing I have done, every gardening thing, etc. I guess you could say it's an accounting of my time. Sometimes the days and weeks go by and I wonder just what I have spent my time on. My list is a reminder of what I DID do and how those days were spent.
   Anything from the 'agenda' list that gets done gets crossed off and dated just for my reference. Anything that doesn't get done that year gets re-evaluated for next year's list or dropped as not necessary. A good example of something that has moved along yearly for 4 years now is digging a walkway from the driveway to the front steps! Four years you may say but it will be a big project and I have yet to get real clear on how I want the end result to look. So I haven't gotten to it yet. But I do know that eventually it will get done.
   I find this works good for me. I keep all those hand written pages too. I look back on them now and then and smile when I read the reminders.
   One other 'fresh start' is this blogging. I do better in the winter months than I do when the weather is nice and I can spend time in the garden. Hopefully this year I'll do better at keeping this log updated. Last year I was in some kind of funk about lots of things though I remained very busy. I reworked and mended a large quilt, divided perennials and transplanted them, made ornaments for my grands, did a major clean and purge of my kitchen treasures, read 130 books...participating in a summer reading program as well, made myself some new clothes, taught myself to knit and the list goes on.
   Hope you find what works for you for the new year. Just be kind to yourself.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Finished Projects

My little ironing board was a fun project to work on. I bought it from my favorite rug hooking shop, Searsport Rug Hooking. The ironing board came already made and accompanied by the floral design drawn on Primitive linen. I saw it in my mind's eye done in depression greens and pinks. But I couldn't find what I was looking for either in my stash or in the market place. And as I wasn't ready to experiment with dyeing my own colors as a first attempt so used what I had on hand starting with a bit of left over wool roving that had shades of pink, rose and some soft gold. From that I built on it with different greens and working toward darker wines. The background was a mix of oatmeal colored textures. The finished look turned out to be just what I wanted and liked even if the colors turned out to be different from what I thought I wanted. I then trimmed the canvas to an inch away from the outside hooked loops, turned it to the back side, used a thin line of hot glue and attached it to the top of the ironing board. I finished the edge with wine colored rayon upholstery cord. VOILA!
To finish the display, I received an antique iron for my birthday from my daughter. I'll set it up in the entryway near the front door.
My most recently finished project is the penny pillow made for a very good friend of mine. Again from my stash I pulled out wool that are the colors of Autumn. Using a soft gold embroidery thread, I used a button hole stitch to sew the pennies together and to attach to the background fabric that is a dark brown and cream mini check. I machine stitched the from and back pieces together leaving an opening for stuffing. Once turned right side out, I topstitched around the edge using a back stitch. It gave a bit of color to the outside edges. I stuffed it with wool snippets to give it a nice weight and included a bit of grated candle wax in a nice fall scent.
I like how this turned out and think I'll have to do something similar for myself.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

AH_HA! bet you didn't expect me back so soon! But thought I would add a couple of pictures of my wool stripping machine. And I misstated how many strips this cuts at a time. I said 3 but it's actually 2. So much quicker and more accurate that ruler and rotary cutter. And admittedly it's more fun. But maybe that's just because it's a new toy!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Where Does the Time Go

I don't seem to be getting any better at keeping up to date here! Always have good intentions but that doesn't make for any new posts.
We waited so long for the Spring to arrive and it has with lots of rain and all the dandelions to go with it! The ground is sufficiently workable and so I have been tending my runaway garden as much as possible. The weeds have a head start but I am slowly catching up. The flowerbeds are becoming visible as are the rock paths. Color is already coming fast and furious. Lots of things blooming...Oriental poppies, Cranesbill, Irises in several colors, Centuarea, Salvia, Violets, and yes Johnny Jump Ups!
I hooked this small picture earlier in the year before gardening was the priority of the day. It's a design by Sally Van Nuys. I am pleased with the way it turned out. Used wools from my stash, using 1/4" wide strips, a bit of wool roving for the gold stars, and wool yarn for the bound edge.
Speaking of wool strips, I recently bought myself a wool stripper...a hand crank machine that cuts 3 strips at a time. I've been saving my money for a while now and finally had enough to buy it. I'm looking forward to putting it to the test.
Summer is just about here but you wouldn't know it by the cool temperatures of the last few days. I am back to wearing wool socks, sweater and have the windows closed! How's that for the middle of June. Hope June is pleasant where you are. Till later.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring or Winter

Is it winter still or has spring arrived? Here it is the 3rd day of spring and we got 8" of new snow. Just when the lawn and flower beds were visible, the grass was greening up, and I could see about 3" of new green tips of daffodils, we got this. The good news is that the snowblower hadn't been put away yet and it will all melt quickly.
Hope spring is looking better where you are.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Just Finished

I got the idea for this penny rug last year but only did a couple of rounds to see how it would look. Never got back to it till just a couple of weeks ago. Now that it is done, I am already thinking of the next one I would like to make. I am thinking fall colors...I seem to have accumulated many oranges, browns, and golds. The little wheels in my head are turning round and round with ideas!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Done at Last

Finally, this rug is finished. It's been a work in progress since 2006, although I have not been working on it constantly. Usually I work on it for a month or 2 on and off each year. So many other projects come up that need my time and attention.
I hooked the cat using just 2 wool yarns, a natural and a grey. It was my first experience hooking with yarn. I enjoyed it and is certainly different than using wool fabric strips. The coverage is different and is more like random filling in. The eyes gave me alot of difficulty as I had not done them before. I hooked and un-hooked them so many times I lost count. Very frustrating! I finally just quit working on it till I could come back to it with renewed enthusiasm. But once I got the eyes the way I wanted them, it was smooth sailing after that.
The background is a "hit n' miss" using 3 solid grays, 3 textured grays, 2 antiqued creams, 3 blue textures. I have to admit it did get monotonous. But I achieved the look I was after. The border is a blue and white herringbone ... leftovers from a previous project. And finally wool yarn to whip the edge, over wool pencil roving.
The "Pearl" rug was a good leaning tool but am glad to have it finished. And I already have a new rug on the frame although it is a much smaller rug. Let's hope that it won't take 4 pus years to complete!