Saturday, March 31, 2012

Gatherings on the Blue

Left to right: Jayne (instuctor), Jan (hostess), Judy (hostess)

I just got home after spending 3 fabulous days at a teaching workshop in Milford, NE. (west of Lincoln). The setting was a country home and the instructor, Jayne Hester of NY, was wonderful. Enjoying the company of others can energize and encourage you. It is always exciting to see what others are working on and the sharing of ideas and techniques is priceless. Those relationships are more important to me than any outward accomplishment will ever be. I have come to realize that when I am relaxed and calm my energy is well focused, I can think clearly (for the most part!) and the creative juices flow. Watching and listening to Jayne color plan rugs was very rewarding and I love her style. Judy and Jan were such gracious hostessess that one did not want to leave. Food and lodging were wonderful and some great recipes were shared. I stayed up hooking way past my normal bedtime hours and last night I "crashed"! I"ll post my rug later. I was able to hook it during the workshop but now will bind and block it. The two girls are hosting a rug hookin in Lincoln in just a couple weeks and I plan on attending. Always some great vendors and lots of wonderful rugs to enjoy. I'm thankful when I can take in workshops and hook ins as I am pretty isolated from other hookers in my area. Can't wait to plan a new rug and use some of the things I learned. Make time to enjoy the company of others. Sit back. Relax.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Thankful Tree

I am working on this right now for 2012. Saw this online and they were going to call it the "Blessing Branches". Every Christmas day before any presents are opened revisit all the specific blessings you've hung on the tree throughout the year and praise God for His many gifts. Truly the best gifts of all! They used card stock (recycled of course). This is such a good thing.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Weather rock

Our local weather person reported that today would be sunny with a high of 79. Hmmm I'm missing the sunny part. This is not a good thing because I started the oven early, the gas oven since I assumed it was going to be too warm to fire up the wood cook stove. LaVern likes me to wash clothes, vacumn or bake early and then the batteries will have all day to fully charge again. I have a gas stove BUT it has an electronic ignite and that drains electricity. We were really surprised at how much it uses, ALOT. We are watching for an old style gas stove (one I will light with a match) and will replace this new one with that. Anyway, no sun and the meter is ticking down! The positive side is LaVern will have Cinnamon Scones and Range cookies for his lunch the rest of the week!! In the mean time, I am going to put up a weather rock.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Four rugs finished!

Hard to see in the picture but the little round circles are quillies (I think that is what they call them!). They are little rolled circles of wool strips, the two orange ones are antique paisleys.

Small mat, design by my friend, Betsy. That's my foot at the bottom of the photo! lol

You have some new wool and can't wait to wash it to felt it. Things get busy at home and you forgot to check the wool in the washer. felted WAY too much and is very thick. What to do? Either cut it in small strips (I am a wide strip hooker) or use it for the binding which I love doing.

Okay, this is an eagle. He is just primitive. When I designed the rug I wanted something to depict the 13 colonies, hence the 13 stars. Then since we were a new country I made the eagle new or young. Young eagles do not have the white on them hence the dark eagle! This is a wide strip rug.

Lastly a penny runner. These look great on a primitive table. Mine is there right now with a primitive rabbit keeping watch over the eggs! More rugs in the works and some needing finished so I best get moving. I am actually upstairs spring cleaning the grandchildren's bedroom as school will be out before I know it and then busy, busy summer! Take joy.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I am sitting upstairs in my wool room looking at a piece of background and hoping a simple design comes to mind. What did come to my mind is that I need to "draw outside the lines". I look at my grandchildren's drawings and think, simple. How difficult can that be? hmm It must be tougher than I thought because right now I seem to be "drawing a blank".

Arithmetic or mathematics?

I stopped over to Amish Ervin's two nights ago and one of the girls was working on homework. She had 30 problems of division and had asked her mother, Rachel, for help. Rachel looked at me and asked if I was good with numbers. I looked at the problem: 239.68290000 divided by 999. Now it has been a looooooong time since I worked a problem like that. Do they even do this kind of long division in school now? I said something to Ida (the scholar) about math and she looked at me funny and that is when I realized she'd never heard of mathematics, just the word arithmetic. That got me to thinking, what is the difference? I have been out of school long enough that I'd forgotten. Had to look that one up! Basically arithmetic is all about numbers and mathematics is all about theory. I gave her alittle help and she was workin away. Saw her yesterday and she came up to tell me she had gotten all 30 right! She learned arithmetic and I learned something also!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Solar Flare

According to NOAA's Weather Prediction Center we are currently having a massive solar flare that should interact with Earth's magnetic field throughout the day. Certain applications might be interruped. Wouldn't hurt my feelings to lose the cell phone for a day!

It's garden time

I am going to buy some pea seed and plant. My Amish neighbors are all getting theirs in the ground now. A couple of them are also sowing oats. The season sure snuck up on us! After today we can start tomatoe seeds. Suppose to do that in a waning moon and today is full moon. Sap slowed down yesterday and the nights were too warm. Hoping today, since it is 28 this morning, that it will get to flowing again. Did you step outside last night or this morning and enjoy the moon and night air? There was a purple halo around the moon last night just briefly. This morning there is no wind and it is quiet. The air is crisp and with the moon and stars shining brightly I have no words. A plain simple yet priceless thing.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sap duty

I can see one of the milk jug containers on the maple tree from a kitchen window. Thank goodness!! LaVern's comment to me as he was leaving the house for work this morning, "Watch those jugs, they will need to be emptied several times today and I don't want to lose a drop of that sap". When we started the maple syrup making process, I assumed we would make a tiny batch just to say that we had done it. One should NOT assume anything! Late last evening our first batch (about one cup) of syrup was finished. LaVern had a spoon in the jar every time he went in to the kitchen and I'm not sure why he was going in the kitchen so often. Now I know he will be on the internet looking for our own tree taps and bottles for the syrup. "We could give these as Christmas gifts". (hmmm, if he lets any go) So this morning I am cooking down sap again. Next couple days are to be warm so the sap will be coming on fast. We have a small "trash" wood stove that is going to be set up tonight, down by the tree. A wood fire will be much hotter and the whole process hopefully will go faster. We both assumed that maple syruping was only done on the east coast. Maine, right? One should not assume anything. Home maple syrup is a good thing!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


A pumpkin I drew to finish some backing up

Hannah's Rooster: My 5 yr old granddaughter, Hannah, drew this rooster! Kids' drawings are wonderful for patterns to hook. Coloring didn't show up very well in the picture. I am thinking about adding a braided border to this one.

I call this one Rocky Roo. He actually is black/white but again color isn't true on PC. I put a wool cording edge on the mat. This pattern is by a wonderful artist, Robin and her blog is: From her blog you can get to the places to buy her patterns and finished projects. Her patterns are SO REASONABLE and can be used for punch needle, hooking or whatever. Be sure to check her out!!

Another one of Robin's patterns. I had to change it a little to work for rughooking but love how it turned out. Colors are muted. I enlarged this one quite a bit so I could hook with 8.5 strips.

Yet another of Robin's patterns! Don't you love her creative spirit? Looks like I need to press this again and maybe straighten up the lower edge. Looks crooked in the picture! lol

I have 5 more to put bindings on. Will try to post them maybe tomorrow if I get them completed. I shouldn't let so many get piled up but I really do love hooking! One is a fairly big piece of a primitive eagle and stars to represent the 13 colonies. Not sure on the binding for that one yet. Okay.............back to work. Hope you enjoyed my UFOs.......unfinished projects!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Maple sugaring time

My Amish neighbors let me know that the sap is running from the maple trees if we wanted to make syrup. Ervyn loaned us four tree taps and today at noon we went out and put them in. I told LaVern that I had read somewhere that it takes 10 gallons of sap to make a quart of maple syrup. If I got 5 gallons I would be happy. He just came in the house (2 1/2 hrs later) and reported I had 2 gallons already. Yup. The sap is running! Lizzie Ann Miller and Mariam Shetler cook their sap outdoors, usually near the trees they have tapped. It is a long, slow process and the first cooking results in lots of humidity as the water evaporates from the sap. This is my first year so I am sure I will be running over to Lillian's for advice. She did all of hers indoors last year on her wood cook stove and I remember syrup cooking for days. She said she wasn't going to put up any this year as she did 3 gallons of syrup last year!!!!! I had to chuckle as both our Countryside and Mother Earth News magazines came this past week and they each had an article about home maple sugaring. Just in time for the running of the sap!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Weather folklore update

Lillian (my closest Amish neighbor) told me today that the sun shining through the fruit trees on Palm Sunday means abundant fruit!! Something to look forward to!

In like a lion or a lamb?

Today is March 1st. What is the weather like in your area? Here we are going to definitely have a "lamb" kind of day. The wind has stopped blowing 50 mph and the sun is shining. According to weather folklore if today is a lamb kind of day then we will go out with a "lion" day. You have to admit that weather folklore is, if nothing else, humorous and colorful. But, I will be the first to admit that sometimes it is very accurate! The other day we had a sundog. I must ask my Amish neighbor what that means for it rains in March so it rains in May.....March winds and April showers.................a dry March and a wet May? Fill your barns with corn and hay. Ahhh, I love weather folklore. My friend John, in western Kansas, has a rock hanging on a string outdoors and it sounds like it is a pretty good weather indicator. I wonder if that rocks has anything to say about the lion. Peace and joy wherever you are and hope you are having a lamb kind of day.