kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Designing and Hooking

The day has finally come for showing the Forest Secrets pieces.  Sunnie Andress on Rug Hooking Daily is the originator of the challenge.  The elements that were to be included were a rock, a ring, and something royal purple.

My first thought was to design something using the small things that go on on the forest floor.  What would be on top of the rock and what might be under the rock.    I liked the idea of the small hidden underground life of the forest.  After trying to draw it in a form that would be a decent rug design, I decided that would not work.

The toad seemed to be the best bet, so I filled in around him with some leaves and acorns.  I wanted to make a rectangular rug with the spray of oak leaves repeated around the border, but it didn't look right.  Then I thought of a circular rug with lizards around the border.  Another not great idea!  Finally I decided on a border of moths.  Toads like to eat moths!  And then I added the salamander for my purple thing.

The lovely golds and rusty browns of the IO moth were just the right colors.  My first wings did not have enough contrast, so I overdyed with a light solution of rust.

LaterI took the light purple out of the body and used it as an accent in the lower wings.

Next I did the toad because I thought he might be difficult and I wanted to get him over with!

Not as scary as I thought.  Later I took out some of the tan on his face and put in some accents of the light purple.

An all purple salamander looked too, well.....purple.  Decided to use some of the rust to tie it in with the moths.

 I had showed the dyed background on an earlier post, but will put the pictures here to show how different it looks before it's cut.  Closeup you can see the blues and greens in the hooking, but from a distance it looks black.

I forgot to mention that this rug was hooked in a #4 cut to get the necessary detail.  My backing is monks cloth.

I saved the really troubling part for last.  I had dip dyed the colors for the leaves and shown the results in an earlier post.  I'm not the greatest at this kind of hooking.  I started with the leaf to the bottom left of the rock.  It worked pretty well.

I had to take out some of the rock hooking and make a darker outline behind the leaf to make it show up better.

The large leaf was more difficult.  When I got in close to the veins, I discovered that another graduation of color was needed.  I don't want to have to dye anything else!!!  So I stuck in some darker green.  Not very effective!

In desperation I tried the light purple and it was just right.

The finished rug is 27 inches across.

Happy Hooking!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rugs and Vegetables...Oh! and cats

Anyone who lives in the northeast and even further west, I guess, knows this has been the hottest summer since who knows when.  I haven't felt like blogging, hooking or sewing.  Unfortunately, the sewing gods started to throw thunderbolts at me this week!  All the orders needed to be done at once!!!  But this afternoon I finished the last of them and now here I sit, happily at the keyboard.

On Monday I did take the time to spend a few hours with the Cumberland Valley hookers who meet in the Falling Spring Presbyterian Church in Chambersburg.  There is a lovely old graveyard behind the church.  It was so cool, green and peaceful looking.  A lovely resting place!

We only had about a dozen ladies attending, a nice small friendly group.  I took pictures but didn't write down names.  So I am not sure who all the rugs belong to.  I'll tell what I remember!

Naomi was doing the pigs.  Isn't the little one cute looking up at it's mom?

I love this red, white and blue one Karin is working on!

 This rose rug is a kit, would you believe!  I wish I could remember who was working on it, but she has been hooking for a long time and said she has never done a shaded rose.  I think the kit was a Joan Moshimer design and a very high quality one.

Marian was working on a big acorn and Sandy was doing the checkerboard.

The lovely calico kitty lives with Joyce's daughter.  She is working from a photo of the cat.

And another adorable kitty piece, this one by Thelma.  What a cutie!!!

With the heat and dry weather, our garden is producing but slowly.  Our very small sweet corn patch yielded several meals of tasty corn.

The green beans are over.  Zip plans to plant another row tomorrow morning before it gets too hot.  The tomatoes are finally producing with great enthusiasm.  Why do they all ripen at once???  If anyone who lives nearby would like some, please let me know!

I just couldn't resist some kitty pictures taken during the heat wave.  Here is Deiter and Penny laying at the back pantry door on the cool concrete.

A cool breeze would be perfect.

Izzy.  It's hard to get a picture of her because she's always in motion.  And I thought she was going to be quiet and shy!!!

While I was sewing, the two little Siamese twins, joined at the tail, lay on the table behind the sewing machine and took a nap.

 And the green-eyed queen, my wonderful Tipper serenely watched it all.  The babies are so much fun and lots of entertainment, but when you want a conpanion to share the quiet times, there is nothing like an adult cat.  They have a way of calming your soul!

Tomorrow is the day we get to post our Forest Secrets rugs on Rug Hooking Daily.  I just can't wait to see what everyone has done!  I will be posting my pictures here in a few days.

I'm thinking about my next project. 
Happy Hooking!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

It's soooo HOT!!!

We had two lovely days in the mid 80's.  A cool breeze made it so pleasant in the early morning.  The house cooled off inside and life was bearable.

Yesterday the heat came back!  I decided to sweat it out (literally!) and go to the hook-in at Grant Street.  Yes, it was a/c'd and the fan was running. 

I haven't been very attentive to taking pictures lately, so went with all good intentions of shooting some good ones.  Doris is working on the most amazing large rug with colorful flowers and leaves.  I wanted to make sure I got some close-ups of the shading.

I forgot to ask Doris, but I think the shading is done with dip dyed strips.  Aren't the colors great?

Just as I finished up taking these picture, my camera gives me the happy little message 'please recharge battery'.  So much for lots of pictures!!!

We had a new young person working on her first hooked project that she designed herself.  Her name (I think) is Jessica and she is in the tenth grade.  She has drawn up a design with seashells and will be doing her background in a lovely mottled blue and white, sky and sea.  Maybe next time I can get a picture of her work.

We also had a visitor from Winchester, VA who came for the first time.  Jane, I hope you come back and join us again!

Darn, this isn't any fun without pictures!  They sure are worth a thousand words!!!

But I do have a few kitty pictures.  (You knew I would)

Penny is climbing the window screen in pursuit of a fly.  By the time these kids are adults the screens will be shredded!

And look!  I just printed out a cute little Isabell.

Deiter is HOT!!!  But why would he be sleeping in the tent instead of in front of the fan???

As I am typing it is starting to thunder. 

Oh, good!  Here comes the rain!  I hope it cools things off.

You can see how thirsty our grass has been getting.

Aaaaah!!!  Water! 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Rural Life

Every year our small community has a Rural Life Festival sponsored by the United Methodist Church.

The focus is to celebrate our farm life heritage through demonstrations of traditional skills.  This is a community unifying event, with people of different faiths and ways of living working together to share their knowledge.  Old time farming methods, sheep shearing, herding with dogs, milking a cow, making butter and homemade bread, spinning, quilting, and woodworking were domonstrated.

So park your buggy in a shady place before the parking lot gets full, and let's see what's going on!

This is the McCormick reaper.  Maybe you remember from school that Cyrus McCormick invented this machine way back when and revolutionized the cutting of grain.  Before the reaper, all grain had to be cut by hand with a scythe.

Making the final adjestments before taking to the field.

The grain then needs to be gathered onto the wagon and hauled in to be threshed.  The men are preparing to hitch the horses to the wagon.

And off to the field we go.

Next is the plowing demonstration.  Three different types of plows were demonstrated:  the horse drawn, the tractor with iron sheels and the tractor with rubber tires.  All were equally effective.

Snazzy machine!!!

While the men are working away in the field, the women are baking bread in the oven of the cookstove, doing the milking and making butter.

The bread table was quite popular. 

No electricity or gas with this stove.  Your fuel is right there in the bucket!  Thank goodness there was a nice breeze blowing.  It gets awfully hot working with a woodstove.

The Amish men and women are preparing chicken to put on their large portable grill.  Zip says it's some of his favorite barbequed chicken.

Zip was my roving reporter for the day.  He didn't get pictures of the milking or sheep shearing. 
He liked the alpaccas!

And the working sheep dogs.  These guys are amazing!!!  They are so intensely focused on their task.

He listens to whistles and watches the body language of the shepherd while keeping his eye on the sheep at the same time!

After the sheep are sheared, the wool is cleaned and the spinners take over.

These women are members of the South Cumberland Fiber Guild which meets at the Shippensburg Public Library the 3rd Saturday of the month.  They are all very good spinners, some are knitters and weavers also.

Check out all the different styles of spinning wheel.  Oh, would anyone like a bottle of water???

This is Jim, a long-time friend and expert traditional cabinetmaker.  He made the lovely child's high chair to the right.

Here is his beautiful table with a few smaller items on display.  The little wooden boxes have tiny carved animals knobs on their lids. 

 Rides in horse drawn and tractor pulled wagons were offered.  There didn't seem to be empty seats!

It's been a long day!  Come on, Zip, hitch up the buggy.  Let's head home.