Friday, August 22, 2014


W.I.P. = Work in progress.  Does everyone know what that means or is it just at term for crazy people like me who have far too many projects going on at one time?  Yes, I have a lot of WIP's going right now....always - they are food for my soul.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to show my "work in progress" on the Cape Ann rug that I am making to gift to my dear friend Sandy.  I've started it late last Friday afternoon.  And, while I have had a few other things going on - my actual paid job, some running of children, etc., I really thought I'd gotten a lot done.  That is until I pulled it off my frame this afternoon and realized I've only finished 2 flowers, 2 leaves and a wee bit of background.  Eek!
Part of what is taking so long here at the beginning of the project is deciding where certain colors go and what accent colors to use in what spots.  I re-hooked the top of the "pointy" flower twice, first in the reddish-pink (hated that!) and then in the yellow spotted wool (called Maple).  The Maple wool looked fabulous next to the flower but just died out next to the light background.  Next, I tried outlining it with the Cocoa wool and that was just plain ugly, but the solid gold does the trick - at least I think - ?

I also had to experiment with 1 or 2 lines of dark chocolate border - and I think 2 lines are best.  Next, I played around with the brown accents in the leaves and flowers.  This is a must since the rug will be bordered with this dark chocolate to match Sandy's couch - it must come in to play in at least a few other places in the rug.  Happy so far, but lots of work to do.

I do have a reveal today as well.  "Owl" was one of those random, spontaneous purchases for myself.  Saw the pattern, had to have it.  I love owls and had been looking for something to hang in my front entry that could mostly stay up year around.  Keep in mind, Owl has not been pressed, blocked or bound, so you might see some lumps and bumps.

I'm most proud of the fact that the ONLY wool I purchased for this piece is the background.  The rest of the wool was in my stash or already cut into noodles.  I looked at hundreds of photographs of owls to get some idea of how to hook him.  The best compliment I've received in a long time was from my son.  He  asked me if we "get to keep the owl?"  When I told him yes, he said, "Good, because I think he's really cool and you did a really nice job!"  Wow!  Sometimes, I'm not sure my family even realizes I actually hook rugs!  It feels nice when your (almost) 16 year old son actually LIKES something you've worked so hard on.

I have to admit that I also purchased another pattern this week and the wool to hook it as well.  Our family has been going to the same lovely piano teacher for almost 8 years.  Four of the five of us (all but dad) have gone to her for piano lessons at one time or another and she has also given my eldest and my middle child, trumpet lessons.  She is a FABULOUS teacher!  Through the years of lessons, we've become friends and I've had the privilege of making a few little things for her two darling girls.  Anyway.  I've been thinking for a long time now that I wanted to get back to piano lessons, so Rebecca and I have been deciding on days and times to meet up.  The thing is, I am really, how shall I put this?  Musically non-gifted.  Well, that's a nice way to say that I am actually pretty horrid, I have very little ear for music and no sense of timing.  I couldn't keep a tune or "clap along" if my life depended on it, but I love, love, love music and I really enjoy playing the piano.  So, my dear friend asked if rather than me paying for lessons, we could exchange goods and services and in so doing, we decided I would make a rug for her to gift or keep.  Now, if I take lessons for a year, I'll have to make her several rugs and that will be such fun!

Here is Rebecca's choice for Rug #1.  It's a looonnng runner (I think it would look fabulous on a table) measuring 12.5"x52".

And these are the colors I chose to get started.  I based these colors on Rebecca's desire to have a rug with a light background (that lovely pale, off-white is called Ecru). 
It's Friday and we have a busy weekend planned.  Our eldest is flying home tomorrow for a week.  Kaitlyn is going to be doing training with the Matthew 28 Mission Program in preparation for her year in Hong Kong which starts in January.  Such an exciting time - and just a teensy bit scary for mom.  Looking forward to spending some time with my girl and making plans for her next adventure.  Maybe I'll get just a bit of hooking done or maybe even a bit of crochet - who knows?  It's suppose to be blistering hot and muggy all weekend.  After church on Sunday, we have plans to take my youngest shopping for a Homecoming dress.  Ugh.  How can she already be a Freshman??!  Here come the tears.  I. MUST. STOP!  Here's to a blessed weekend for one and all.

Until next time,

Monday, August 18, 2014

Back in the Saddle

I'm getting back in the blogger land, that is.  Summer came and went with a flurry of activities that left me exhausted and behind on everything.  With two kiddos in High School but neither one quite to the point of driving, I spent my summer behind the wheel of the mini-van. I had to remind myself many times "this is only a season."   I know one day soon, I won't have kiddos to tote around and I will find myself bored and lonely.  Okay, maybe not bored, but lonely for sure! 

Kathleen Salazar-Salak's photo.Kathleen Salazar-Salak's photo.None of this is to say I didn't get any projects completed over the summer.  I worked on small knitted and crocheted items for a dear friend who is expecting any day now.  Those were fun!  At momma's request, I knitted an apple cap and crocheted a baby cocoon and a puppy hat and diaper cover. It's amazing how quickly those little items can be finished up.  I also finished a small summer-sampler cross-stitch that I get to pick up from the framer's today and began a tiny Halloween necklace cross-stitch. 

I crocheted this afghan for a friend's birthday .
Kathleen Salazar-Salak's photo.

Kathleen Salazar-Salak's photo.
And two of these sweet little jumper dresses for another dear friends darling little girls. 

I also finished a small Owl rug for my front entryway - reveal on that later this week.

But now school is officially back in session and so last week, I spent several hours at The Rug Hooking Store color planning two rug patterns for myself, as well as two wool applique quilts.  These two quilts will be in different color-ways and while one is for me, the other will be gifted to a friend who has her very own classroom and office this year!

Over the summer, a very dear friend celebrated her 80th Birthday.  This is quite a milestone, especially because she doesn't look or act a day over 50!  Wanting to do something really special for this DF, I kidnapped her one morning and we took a drive out to The Rug Hooking Store.  We spent several hours choosing the perfect rug pattern.  Next, we went back to her home in Omaha and took pictures of her family room so that I could color plan a rug that would be the perfect fit.  Sandy wanted a rug for the mantel so it had to be fairly sizable.  Here is the final pattern she chose, a Woolly Fox pattern called "Cape Ann" drawn by Barbara Carroll based on original artwork by Edyth O'Neil. 

Pardon Bentley the Cat, photo-bomber.  He is in LOVE with all things wool and anything that lies on the floor and promptly claims them as his own.

Based on colors from Sandy's living room, Janice helped me with the color planning.
Greens and golds and cocoa are the predominant colors in Sandy's house and we threw in some lovely peachy-reds and mahoganies.

Janice saw a need for a bit of blue-green and some olive for sure.  I'm never sure about greens but these are just lovely as I hook.

The pale peachy-reds are going to be perfect in the flowers.
We chose off-white for the background, to match Sandy's carpet.  These off-whites are named Dusty Peach and have loads of color in them.
Check out this piece of wool.  Delectable, isn't it?  It's called Maple and works so well with the other golds we chose.

So today, I have an entire day ahead of me in which to hook or stitch and this is a rare occurrence, what joy!  So, I am off!  The weather is heating up for the first time all summer; this will be the perfect day to stay in and hook and enjoy the A/C.  Blessings on your day with hopes you find the time to do something that brings you joy.

Until next time,