kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Celebrations are Finally Over

All our Christmas socializing is over. We are home with the woodstove warming our weary bones, enjoying the peace and solitude.

Christmas Even was spent with Brad and Kami and grand-daughter Emily. We had a lovely meal featuring snow crab legs and beef tips. Brad and Kami are both excellent cooks! We opened a few gifts, talked, ate, talked, petted the kitties, talked...

This is their big boy, Ernie checking the dessert selection set up in the sewing area.

The lovely and sophisticated Whisker Woman prefers a soft seat near the fireplace.

Today we went to Mom's for a Christmas lunch. A few days ago Mom was cleaning and arranging the top shelves of her kitchen cabinets...standing on a chair. She admits this was not one of her brightest moments! When she tried to step down, her knee didn't bend properly and she fell to the floor, causing a major scrape along her right shin. She drove herself to the ER where they bandaged her up and told her to keep her leg elevated as much as possible.
She had planned to make a shrimp feast for all of us, but we talked her into postponing it until a later date. Brad, Kami, and I cooked up a big pot of spaghetti, made some garlic bread, and dinner was ready in a jiffy. Zip entertained Mom.
Kami and I did a cleanup and then we all gathered in the living room to sing carols accompanied by Zip on the guitar. Here are Brad, Kami, Emily and Mom.

Mom is a Christmas nut! She has a huge collection, from antique to newer handmade decorations and old postcards. She only put out a small sampling of her ornaments this year. She usually has a huge tree in the living room, but this year she settled for a few favorite feather trees.
This display cabinet is filled with small santas, cotton batting sheep, and reindeer sleighs.

I love this Santa dressed in white cotton batting.

This is the 'bird tree', with old celluloid parrots and a few glass clip on birds.

Here is her collection of Old World and Radcoe santas. I see an angel in there too!

Here's a tree with some of her antique Santas. These are her favorites.

I just had to stick this in. It's a paper cutting, scherenschnitte, that I made for her and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary. I don't often do paper cuttings, but I'm very pleased with this one.
The three eggs in the nest are synbolic of their three daughters.

And here we are at the end of the celebration. You can tell it's time to go home.

Hope you all had a great Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas Gift to Myself...

It's been a long time since I've done any weaving. Over a year, I think. And I've missed it!

I started weaving back in the 70's. I remember purchasing my first loom from California through the Whole Earth Catalog (remember that?) and bringing the huge box home from the freight station sticking out of the trunk of our '52 Chevy. Those were the days!!! I used that loom off and on for about ten years before I decided on an upgrade. I sold it to a good friend of mine and she's still using it.

My next loom was a Schacht Baby Wolf (the one in the pictures). There have been many looms in the meantime, but the Baby Wolf and my big Norwood are my favorites.

A few years ago I was lucky enough to find a used computer dobby for the Baby Wolf. That's the wooden lump on top of the loom.
There are three different things that determine the weaving pattern of the finished fabric.
The order that the threads are drawn through the heddles (those little wire things), How the harnesses (the wooden framses that hold the heddles) are tied to the treadles, and in what order you press the treadles with your feet. With the computer dobby, I program all these things into my computer weaving program and the machine does the selecting. All I then have to do is work the treadles.
The thinking is done beforehand so the weaving is easy!
The dusting off of the loom took some time. It needed a few minor adjustments due to the fact that a lot of the nuts and blots had loosened. And thank goodness the antique computer is still running (chugging) along. The Schacht loom company no longer makes the dobby mechanism so this one has to last for the rest of my lifetime. It still runs on Windows 98.
And here I am happily weaving away!

Even though I love the computer technology, I am a very traditional weaver. One of these days I want to weave an overshot coverlet. I at one time thought that spinning all the wool for it would be a wonderful project. Don't think I'm gonna live THAT long!!! hahaha!

These are some of the Christmasy fabrics I have woven in years past. The red and green striped runner has tiny gold threads running through it that did not show up well in the picture.

I'm heading back to the loom before I have to start cooking for our Christmas Eve party at Brad and Kami's.
Have a very Merry Christmas, everyone!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Horay for the Winter Solstice!

Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and the longest night of the year. Officially the first day of winter. In ancient times this was a celebrated occasion.

When we think about the fact that most of our coldest weather and the bitterest winds happen in January and February, why be happy about this day? Because after the 20th of December, the days will begin to get longer again! Only by a few minutes a day, but still it is progress toward spring.

For people like me who suffer from seasonal depression from lack of sunlight, this is indeed the big turning point in the year. I know that it's still going to be cold and dark out, but the thought of extra daylight brings me hope. The seasons are turning in a positive direction!

This was the scene out my front door early Saturday morning. It's snowing and the weather people were predicting a nice one!

A few seconds later I snapped this picture. I don't know how the snowflakes turned into fat white balls! Isn't that crazy??? I took a few more pictures afterward and none of them turned out like this.

It snowed all day Saturday and into the night. On Sunday morning at dawn our front yard was blanketed in about eight inches of white. You can see the very pale pink where the sun is going to come up.

It looks very stark and wintry out our back window looking toward the mountains. The wind comes rushing down from that direction without much to stop it.

I am not a cold weather person, but I do love sitting inside by the woodstove watching it snow. I hope some of it lasts until Christmas.

Keep warm, friends!
Have a joyous Christmas!!!

Peace and Love from Pat and Zip

Friday, December 18, 2009

And a Good Time was had by All!

Last evening was the Christmas party at Grant Street Woolworks. What a time we had! If you follow my blog, you know that this is the 'rowdy' group of hookers! LOL!!!

It started out fairly quiet with our hostess, Linda, arranging the tables and the rest of us sitting around catching up on the news.

It wasn't easy finding room for all the food. There were only fifteen of us, but somehow there was enough to feed a small army.

There was a little bit of 'show and tell'

May we eat yet???

There are some excellent cooks in this group!

Doris even stopped by earlier in the day and dropped off that lovely chocolate cake. She couldn't stay because she no longer drives after dark. Thank you, Doris for your generosity!!!

A little more show and tell....

OK, we're eating! And a wonderful dinner it is!

We could have our own cookbook with all the tasty recipes. It was above and beyond good! Thanks to everyone for bringing such a wonderful meal to share!

After the meal we played games.
How many Christmas songs can you name? Several rounds of Christmas Bingo....
Sherry's mom is receiving her prize.

Then we proceeded on to the secret gift exchange.
All the gifts had to be somehow fiber related, no mater how far fetched! Like cookies to eat while hooking, candles for aroma therapy while hooking, hand lotion for soft hands while get the picture! And of course, there were some nice pieces of wool!

As you can see, the party is getting a livelier! Lots of laughing and talking! Gift wrap flying around! What on earth is it????

Now that everyone is all excited, there is yet another game! Kathy is explaining the rules...

I decided not to embarrass anyone by showing the 'action' part of the game on the blog. Or offend my more delicate readers! Those of you who wish to may use your imagination...
This is the winning team. They look ready to take on the national competition.

I will be printing out the rest of the pictures. For those who are foolish enough to want to view them, you will have to come in to the shop. Just ask to see the Plain Brown Envelope kept under the counter.
At this point in the evening, Zip and I had to head home to give medication to our kitty, Sophie. I know the party continued on for hours after we were gone. And probably got even crazier!
I hope Kathy has gotten some pictures!
Not much hooking went on, but Hey! we can do that another day!
Thank you, Linda! And Kathy and Barb who helped set it up!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hooking Fun, Fellowship, and Food...

That's what makes a good party! Right???

The Blue and Gray rughookers had their Christmas party yesterday near Gettysburg. What a great group! We had lots of ladies, lovely rugs, food and friendship galore! And Santa (aka Joan) came to visit. Kathy is keeping her back turned, having a serious conversation with Santa. She doesn't want the rest of us to know she's asking for more wool!

Look at all the work going on! Some of these projects need to be done before Christmas!

There were many lovely primitive rugs being hooked.

And a few more traditional ones, too.

I really over did it with pictures this time. I knew I wasn't going to be able to concentrate on hooking with all the activity going on, so I didn't bring a project. I decided that talking, eating and taking pictures would be enough!

Look at the amazing detail in Barb's rug!

Ruth is not only a rughooker, but also an accomplished machine embroiderer. She made this delightful patriotic quilt as a present for her daughter.

Joan is enjoying the results of the wool exchange while Marian works on her barn stars. I tried to take a close-up of Marian's stars to better show the shading but it didn't come out well.

Everyone is in a circle while Ann reads a Christmas story with many 'lefts' and 'rights' in it to indicate the direction in which the gifts are to be passed.

The buffet was filled with goodies galore. Hooking and Cooking just naturally go together!

And here are the finished rugs!

Sorry I don't have the names of the ladies who hooked all of them. I do know that Santa-Joan did this winter scene.

I have one more rug picture that I deleted by accident that I will show in a future post.
I think everyone had a great time at the celebration. I know I did!
Enjoy your holiday preparations. Try not to get too stressed out!
Please take some time to relax and hook!