Saturday, February 28, 2009

grenfell prices

I was wasting time, in between interviews, and happened upon this....and though some of you might find it interesting to know what Grenfell rugs have been selling for in the last year or two. There's also one on the list that's currently for sale - if you have some spare pocket change!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

up to my eyeballs... work. Not the fun, rug-hooking work....but the stuff that actually keeps me in clothes and well-fed. Rather than bore you with the details (since I've been doing little else but work, since Sunday), I thought that I'd share this with you instead. It's so much more entertaining than telling you all about how I'm interviewing 52 people (and counting!) over the next five days - in four different cities!

I can't wait to get home to finish my purse and start hooking all of the new ones I've been planning in my head (while I've been driving). Back soon!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why didn't I listen?

Sometimes a little voice in your head says "I don't think this is
going to work...". But you ignore it. Sometimes on purpose, because
you're pretty sure that you planned accordingly and that, in the end,
it will be okay. Other times, you just trudge ahead, because you're
afraid that it might be true, and you don't want to switch to Plan B
-- or you don't have one!
When I was sewing the pom purse together on the weekend, this little
voice started as a quiet whisper...but it soon became a terrified
screech. Sadly, not soon enough.
In short, my flap wasn't long enough. Much ripping out of both hooking
and even whipping (that's what you call true denial), re-hooking
(without a frame), more sewing, and further trimming....resulted in
the surgical removal of the flap. The pom purse is now flapless, but I
think it will survive.
...Just a bit of final finishing is left to be done. Part of another
evening should do it...and then (once all of the bandages have been
removed) the grand reveal will soon follow.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Getting closer...

The poms are hooked and pressed, the whipping yarn is dyed and dried,
the lining has been chosen...and now I just need a chunk of time to
figure out how it's all going to come together and make a purse. I'm
keeping my fingers crossed that happens this weekend...and I'll be
back soon with a report on how I make out. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

busy bee

Life is busy, work is busier....and I have had the unfortunate experience of staying late too many times this week (and with more to come, I'm afraid). The only thing I have to look forward to is the return of Dr. Carter tonight...and hoping that this insanely busy period passes swiftly. Back soon with lots of fun posts and exciting news....promise!

Monday, February 16, 2009

mock up

I'm over at my parents today, visiting in honour of family day...and my mum expressed her disappointment in my lack of new posts - so here is a new one, just for you, Mum ;-) (Ever since they got high-speed a few weeks ago, she's been stalking me....)

I haven't got a whole lot to say, other than that I'm really happy with the way my pom purse is progressing. The design was inspired by a desire to use the leather purse closure that I bought last summer. My initial plan was to use it on a clutch, but the impracticality of such an item finally convinced me that it wouldn't be the best plan. I saw a pair of great handles at Karen's a couple of months ago, and decided a single one might just work...

With the first side of my purse hooked, I still needed to plan for the flap before I could draw the second side onto my backing. I was having a hard time trying to visualize the finished purse, so yesterday I broke out my binder clips and started "sewing" it together. Then I took my photo and played around in Photoshop to approximate the flap. Here's what it looked like....

I've now got the second side drawn, on the backing and almost half hooked. In case you're thinking I'm a speedy hooker - I'm not. Yesterday was pretty much an "all about me" kind of a day....or at least all about my purse! ;-)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

cool tool

While strolling through Sherway the other day, just wasting time...I popped into Pottery Barn Kids to see if they had anything exciting on sale for Sienna's new room. Instead I found this...

They were super on sale $7.95 instead of almost $30....and there were two of them! I quickly snatched them both up and gave one to my fabulous hostess. The other one will take up residence with my other colour wheels and colour tools.

There are 6 discs (two of each of the primary colours)...and they swing around to stack on top of one another. You can choose how much overlap they have and which colours you want to place where.

It's a great way to show people who don't really get the whole colour mixing thing...and something fun to play with at the same time. Well worth the $8! ;-)

(I don't know if they have more at any of their other stores - I checked on-line store and could not find them listed....but I did find a really cool puzzle!)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Joan's Pillow...

It was just a few short weeks ago that I sent Joan my unfinished needlepoint. After it sat collecting dust at my place for over ten years, she certainly mananged to finish it off quickly.

I asked Joan to describe how she finished the pillow, and this is what she wrote....

First, I had to make my own cording because I could not find anything close to the colours I was searching for. Then I sewed the cording onto your needle work by hand to get close enough to the edge of your work. I was able to round the corners and come very close to your sewing by pushing my cording down with my fingers and then with the point of my needle I was able to insert in right into the corners. My stitches were quite close together and small so this allowed me to round the corners. Wool stretches too so that helps. I then put the backing on; right sides together sewing not only into my backing but again into the cording stitch line. This gave it strength and ensured that I was on the very same stitching line. I then trimmed the fabric and corners, steam pressed the seam allowances to one side and then turned the pillow to the right side through the 8 inch opening that I had left for this purpose. Because the pillow was not an exact square (this was my fault - sorry Joan!), I decided to stuff it using some quilt batting. I then closed the opening using a blindstitch. Because the pillow was so beautiful on it's own I didn't want to add tassels but I did want to do something special to it so I asked Cathy (Henning, of Towers and Turrets fame) what she thought about me adding some type of beading to one corner and she thought it would be an excellent idea and showed me a piece she had done adding beads. I invited her to come with me to Michael's and help me find something appropriate. It was there that she mentioned to me that Jean (AJ) had done this to one of her pillows and it was very effective. It took us a while but together we found some beads I was going to experiment with. It took me most of the evening to work out how I was going to arrange them so they would look nice and not spoil or detract from all of your needlework.

I asked Joan how she made the corners rounded....and this is what she said: I forgot to mention that because my finished cording was quite thick it would not make a pointed corner no matter how I tried so I really think that was why they turned out rounded. When the pillow was finished I really didn't mind the rounded corners. I told myself this gave it character. I was hoping you wouldn't notice them. My neighbour was over for coffee today and she admired our pillow. She's a knitter and she actually said it reminded her of Kaffe Fasset's work. When I told her that the idea and colors did come from an early book he publish we both laughed. How cool is that!!!!!

I cannot tell you how happy I feel now that this project is finally finished. Thank you Joan for making it happen - and so nicely, too! ;-)

Monday, February 09, 2009

blog list face-lift and a few other changes

I don't know about you, but I was beginning to find the blog list was getting a little long. So long that I had trouble getting through it all in one sitting...only to lose track of where I'd been. So I've changed with the times and now the 25 most recently updated blogs will appear in the list. (I tried to carefully transfer everyone over to the new list, but if I've missed you and/or if you'd like to be added, all it takes is a comment ;-) )

I'm pretty excited about this new feature, since I will now be able to tell at a glance which of my my friends has a new post...without having to go to their blog to see. Of course, I could always subscribe to Bloglines or another notification service...but then I'd just end up with even more e-mail in my already over-flowing box.

But if you're getting tired of coming here, only to find out that I've not written anything new since your last visit (and you don't mind getting mail), Bloglines is always an option. There's now a simple link over on the left, just before the list of blogs....

One last new thing. I've been having a bit of trouble lately when trying to find what I'm looking for in old posts...and although I'm seriously regretting my decision to not add labels, there is no time like the present to start. I can't promise to go back through all 267 previous posts thoroughly...but I will try to catch most of the highlights in the coming days...

Pom purse progress...

I'm feeling a little bit behind in my posting from the past week or so. Both life and work have been busy and although I've had lots of ideas and things I'd like to have posted about, I've either lacked time or an internet connection - or both. (tonight's sleep will be on my fifth bed in six nights...) I'm hoping to get all caught up in the next few days - on both my blog and my e-mail.

I did get the drawing finished for my new pomegranate purse the other night...and although I didn't actually start hooking on it until after I'd arrived at Saturday's hook-in, all was well. I'm very happy with the way it's turning out so far...

Lots of little pieces of wool (I knew this was time well spent and that the bins would be put to many good uses), some slub yarn and some sari selvedges are all coming together for a party in this purse! I will have to tweak the greens a bit, so that they look a little more yellow and a little less blue - although I like the way it looks, the leather handle I'll be attaching doesn't quite "go" yet. Soon, I hope.

Saturday's Surprise

Well, it was another busy weekend. I arrived at Wendie's early on Friday evening and, as she wrote here, until I left on Sunday just before noon, we only stopped talking, eating, hooking and dyeing long enough for a little bit of beauty rest. The rest of the time we were just too busy having fun...

Shortly after my arrival at the Upper Toronto Branch hook-in, Barb D'Arcy told me that she and Sandra Marshall had a surprise for me. I was curious to find out what it was...and not-so-patiently waited for it to be revealed....

Not only was it a surprise, it was a delightful surprise! Both ladies had decided to hook the Holly & Berries pattern I had put in my final edition of the R.U.G. sack...

Barb's is the one with the darker background and Sandra's has the lighter one. I think they both look super - and looking at these versions of my pattern makes me want to get hooking on my own Holly & Berries. How many months is there until next Christmas?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

before and after

A little late is better than never...

A while back, I promised to share with you the after effects of my tweaking....and here it is. Even though the lighting is different in the pictures, it is still very easy to see what a difference the darker line makes on the finished piece -- not so much in the sky, but definitely through the water and along the bottom edge and up the sides through the land section.

I might be wrong, but I think that AJ credits Marjorie Judson with this little gem.

P.S. I am still working on the whipping post. It's a doozy! ;-)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Time will tell. I've been busy drawing and designing a new purse over
the last few days. I'd been wanting to get to it for a while now, but
it was always getting pushed down the to-do list.
Just like my mum, I work best with a deadline...and since I'm going
down to visit Wendie this weekend, and we're going to a hook-in, and
I'm not currently hooking on anything, and I've got these gorgeous
olive leather handles that are begging to be used, and I'm getting
bored with the tote, and....and...I just wanna, I finally have a
pomenagranate pattern drawn on a piece of rug warp.
....and before you start thinking that I'm a few days ahead of
schedule, you should know that I'm actually leaving tomorrow for a
business trip (and stopping at Wendie's on the way home. So, I really
should be hooking right now instead of typing -- it would be helpful
to have an idea if my planned wool is going to do the trick
(preferably before I pack)
Back soon with an update...

Sunday, February 01, 2009


I don't know where the weekend went, but I'm sorry to see it come to an end. It wasn't nearly as productive as the last one (that was a little insane--productive, but insane), but it was fun. Most of the fun was a result of hanging with one of my favourite girls, my niece Sienna...when she came for a sleepover. We snacked, shopped, visited with AJ, watched "kid shows", played with her tutu book (a Christmas gift from me)...

...and then she made me my first Valentine. Nieces are special.