Friday, April 18, 2008

Back in 2006 I posted a blog about some of the UFOs I had accumulated. One UFO that I mentioned was a rug I started after one of the Harry Potter books came out - well, I finally finished that rug this year. That's it in the photo. I didn't have the wool that I had planned for the squares in the border, so I finished it (three sides) with textured wools I have accumulated since I've been at my mother's house. Some of the squares make me feel really good because the wool was sent to me by Yahookers ( ). The original background wool was dyed with one of my favorite antique reds, but that wool is gone, so I mixed up all the reds I could find - some left over from my cave horse that looks pink - and just hooked it anyway. It's a lot brighter than it would have been - I know that it almost looks fluorescent in the photo - but I like it anyway. I have put it on the floor and my big dog, George, loves it. George is not well and has been losing tons of hair, which all accumulates on the rug, so I have to vacuum it a lot. I've never vacuumed a rug before but it works really well. I thought I ought to prove that it may take me forever, but I actually do finish some rugs. I'm going to take this to the SE Michigan Hook-In rug show next week.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Two New Books!

I have been waiting since last August for Cynthia Norwood's book, and almost as long for Deanne Fitzpatrick's newest book. Creating an Antique Look in Hand-Hooked Rugs by Cynthia Smesny Norwood is a wonderful photo collection of antique rugs and "imitation" antique rugs. The photos are really inspiring, and then the addition of Cynthia's suggestions for wool and dye and style - makes me want to start hooking this minute. One of the photos reminds me that I have the same pattern - half-hooked and waiting over at my studio. Unfortunately, I sold the wool to finish the background - something I seem to do too often - but with Cynthia's suggestions I think I can just go on and hook it with whatever wool I can find on the front porch. Maybe I'll run over to the studio and get it after Mother goes to sleep tonight.

The other book, Hooking Mats and Rugs, 33 New Designs from an Old Tradition by Deanne Fitzpatrick is a wonderful addition to my collection of Deanne's books. I have loved Deanne's rugs ever since I bought a collection of her kits to sell when I opened up my shop back in 1995. Her rugs have changed, all for the better. I was lucky enough to take a class from Deanne in 2005 and one of the things that stayed with me is a sketch book. Deanne suggests having one along all the time so you can sketch the things you see whenever you have a chance - well, I find I'm really not much of a sketcher, but I use the sketch pads to record ideas and thoughts and information that helps me keep my mind active - it would be too easy otherwise to sink into thinking about being a 24/7 caretaker, about loading the dishwasher, changing Mother's bed, running out for groceries when she's sleeping, putting batteries in her hearing device, keeping her wheelchair nearby, etc. This way, I have the sketch pad and I can flip through it and get right away into a relaxed and purposeful zone. The last few days, I've filled a book with information from the internet about my family. I have been amazed to learn that the internet lets me sit right here in Hamburg, Michigan while my mother's snoring and trace my ancestry back to the 1500s in England and Ireland. I have enjoyed learning about the Great Removal that effected Deanne Fitzpatrick's family back in the 1940s and now I have some real stories about my family, too - like the Indian raid that killed some of the Otis family while others were carried off to Canada. I didn't know that the Pilgrims didn't like the Quakers, even though they all left England for the same reasons, and I didn't know that some of my family members were Quakers. Ever since the peace marches during the Vietnam War, when so many gatherings of thousands of protestors remained peaceful because of Quaker leadership, I have thought the Quakers were a cut above normal people - now I am pleased to know my great-great-great grandparents were Quakers. Now, if you followed that chain of thought, you know why the sketch books are important - I obviously need something to organize my thinking!
Anyway, I need to stop writing and start reading my wonderful new books!