Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rugs Shown at July Meeting of Peninsula Rugmakers Guild

Annie's Flower Power - Hooked by Betty Montang - Designer:  Cindi Gay

Hampden - Hooked by Susan Kleindon - Designer:  Jane Flynn

Cathy's Tulips - Hooked by Ardis Deane - Designer:  Laura Pierce

Cathy's Tulips - Hooked by Gerri Shaw - designer:  Laura Pierce

Punch Hooked Roses - Hooked by Lisa Wagner

Antique Rose Rug - Owned by Betty Montang

Holly/Birdie - Hooked by Jodi Steenstrup - Original Design

Fandango - Hooked by Ardis Deane - Designed by Jane Olson
Maggie - Hooked by Gerri Shaw - Original Design

Betty Montang gets an opinion from Pat McRoberts

Wendy Brannon checking out everyone's projects

Gerri Shaw, Susan Kleindon, Ruth Ellen Saarinen and Jann Dessling contemplating the finer points of a piece.

Reflections (going to two separate homes) hooked by Roland Nunn

Reflections (closeup) hooked by Roland Nunn
I was sorry I was leaving for an appointment and couldn't wait when Roland arrived to share his rugs.  I would have liked to get better photos, but had already lingered longer than I should have.

To see the photos in their original size, double click on photo.  One click will make it large -- a second click will make it even larger.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

2011-07-31 - McGown Teachers Workshop - Pillow Progress

I started this piece at Western McGown Teachers Workshop in Eugene, Oregon on June 24, 2011. The class was taught by Shelley Flannery.  She stepped in at the last minute to teach the class.  It was great spending the day with her and seeing some of her beautiful hooked pieces.

This pillow top was a stretch from my comfort zone.  I pushed myself (with some help from my mentor Nancy Miller Quigley) to use a variety of wool in each element.  I am so excited about the end result.

I feel pretty confident when I'm hooking, but when I'm ready to bind off or sew a piece together.  Cutting that linen down to a reasonable seam allowance is nerve wracking.  I usually put it off as long as possible because of the fear of totally screwing the whole piece up at the finishing stage.  I'm quite excited to get this one on the sofa though, so maybe I will be doing some sewing this weekend.

Floral Fantasy - S (PR1301)
Available from The House of Price, Inc.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

2011-07-03 - Clearlake

2011-07-03 - Sharlene, originally uploaded by Sharlene W.
This is what a 59-year old who is fool enough to let her kids talk her into getting pulled around a lake on a tube looks like!

They told me it would be fun....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

2011-06-30 - My projects from McGown Western Teachers' Workshop

At McGown Teachers' Workshop, you have a lesson from a different teacher every day. The focus is on teaching skills. It is an opportunity to observe experienced teachers firsthand. In five days, I started five new projects!

I also volunteered to be the photographer for the next two years. No one volunteered to be the historian, so at the end of the meeting I volunteered to do that as well. I'm keeper of 20+ years of photos from Workshop for a while--three boxes full.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Crewel - Hooked by Vivily Powers

I haven't seen very many of this style of hooked pieces until this week at teachers' workshop. I'm definitely in love!! This pillow was displayed in the rug show and Vivily taught the 2nd year students the second piece. They were both fabulous.

I love the bright, crisp and jewel colors of crewel.

Hampton - Designed by Jane McGown Flynn and Hooked by Vivily Powers

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy Hookers - Hooked on Rugs

Me with my Art Deco Peacock Rug

Mary Gottschalk did an article for the paper on our guild (The Peninsula Rugmakers' Guild).  She and a photographer (Jacqueline Ramseyer) visited our monthly meeting several weeks ago.  The article finally came out and we were all thrilled with the great job they did.  There were several photos of members with our rugs.

The article that appeared online in The Mercury News and in print in the Rose Garden Resident explained that we meet the 3rd Thursday of every month at the Rose Garden Library in San Jose.  The next meeting we had two visitors that found us from the article!  That's what it's all about.  We are always happy to share this art form with others.

Shelley's Garden - Designed and Hooked by Shelley Flannery

Just returned from Western McGown Teachers' Workshop held in Eugene, Oregon. It was a fabulous week with a new project each day led by wonderful teachers.

This rug was done by Shelley Flannery, my teacher for Friday's class on wide cuts.  You might know Shelley from Rug Art Supply.   I think it was my favorite rug from the whole week. I love the colors, the style, etc. I'd love to make this rug myself!  The class was so inspiring.

I'm going to finish the project from the class and then I want to try my hand at designing a wide cut rug of my own.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I'm still around and still hooking....

Haven't posted in awhile...  I'm at McGown Western Teacher's Workshop in Eugene, Oregon this week.  My first year here.  I'll tell you all about it.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Rugs Shown at March Meeting of Peninsula Rug Makers Guild

Beautiful runner hooked by Betty Montang.  Rug is "Wintergreen" designed by Martina Lesar (Ontario Canada).

 Jaynie Kind - Daughter with Pumpkin - Drawn from a photograph

 Janie Kind - Our Family Adventures - Original Design

Bernice Herman - Mandarin Duck - Adaptation of commercial pattern

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Rugs from Peninsula Rugmakers Guild–February 2011

Pillowtop hooked by Wendy Brannan.  She started this piece at Western Teacher’s Workshop last year.  I believe it is a McGown pattern called “Marie”.

Rug braided by Jeanine Speckman. 

This purse is was hooked by a visitor to our guild from another state.  It looks like Deanne Fitzpatrick was her inspiration. *

Lena Krinard brought wool she dyed recently with natural dyes—mostly eucalyptus leaves.  It was beautiful!

As usual—lots of inspiration from all of the projects in process.

*My Thursday night hooking group had a discussion regarding the Deanne Fitzpatrick pattern used on the purse brought to guild.  The woman who made it indicated she got the pattern from a photo in a magazine.  I think many times people think it is OK to get a pattern this way if it is for your own use.  Myself, I never really thought much of it myself when I started hooking.  I have, in fact, have made use of an unauthorized copy of a pattern myself a couple of times.   As Maya Angelou says, "When you know better, do better".  The reason why I am even mentioning this now is because we should all learn the rules so we can all do better.

The rule to follow is whether your use is depriving the designer of a sale.  I myself have used a leaflet pattern that someone else purchased.  The original purchaser used a different motif in the pattern, so we decided that in that instance it was probably OK for us to share the pattern.  I, however, passed the pattern on to someone else.  Ethically, we should have not done that.  It should have stopped with me.  I made another rug with a hit-and-miss pattern that was traced on pellon.  I thought it was some random drawing someone did, but later I recognized that it was actually the McGown cat's paw pattern.  So... bottom line, now that I know better I plan to do better.  I hope you will too.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Morning Glories for Rapture

Over the weekend, I decided it was time I dyed more wool for my Rapture rug.  Although I have been loving working on the hydrangeas, it is time to get started on another flower.  The easiest seemed to be the Morning Glory.  I did a search on Google for images so I could see a wide variety of Morning Glory blooms and decide what dyes I should use to achieve the colors I liked the best.

I decided I liked the ones that were blue/purple with white centers.  It seemed to me a casserole dye job was in order.  I folded the wool in 4ths across the narrow edge, to see how long a piece of wool I would need to go from the center of the bloom to the outer edge.  I think I will be able to get across the flower twice, so I decided to dye the center of the wool the color I wanted at the edge (Pro Chem Sky Blue), with the color I wanted moving toward the middle on either side (Violet), and then leaving both edges undyed for the white centers.

After soaking the wool and dissolving the desired dyes in boiling water, I spread about 1/4 of a quarter-yard piece of natural wool in the tray (leaving 3/4 of the wet piece sitting on the counter.  I poured a little water mixed with vinegar over the wool because I wanted the colors to start drawing up into the wool right away.  I spooned color over the flattened piece of wool in the bottom the tray and then  I used the back of the spoon to spread the color over the wool as far as I wanted it to go.  As I added the Violet color, I purposely mixed the edges where the colors met as well as sloshing a bit of color over the Sky Blue.  


When I was satisfied with the color I got, I folded over another bit of wool, adding a little more dye and spreading the colors around with the spoon.  I repeated this two more times until the whole quarter-yard of wool was dyed.  Some of the layers got more dye than others.  This will work out great because I will want a variety of values to work with as I move from bloom to bloom.  


I thought I might want some more solid pieces to use around the edges of the flowers, so I dyed another piece of wool with that in mind.  Again, I made an effort to make different values, but with the same value running in vertical bands. 

I only dyed 2 quarter-yard pieces because I have no clue whether I will like them until I start working with the wool on my rug.  I can’t wait for it to dry so I can see how it works up!

Pro Chem Sky Blue – 1/8 tsp. in 1/2 CBW
Pro Chem Violet – 1/8 tsp. in 1/2 CBW
(I also used some Pro Chem Brilliant Blue I had left over from another project on the edge piece—just adding what I thought it needed.  Why?  Just to make my life more difficult if I want to replicate it in the future).

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sorry everyone can't live in California

Photo taken with my new GoPro HD camera (a Christmas gift from my family) on a handlebar mount.  (They got it for me because they wanted me to be safe on my rides--not distracted taking photos).

Today I did a twenty two mile ride on Coyote Creek Trail with a couple of friends. We had absolutely perfect weather--in the low 70s. My friend recently moved to that side of town and had discovered Coyote Creek Trail and was excited to share it with me.  I have never ridden this trail before, but I have seen people on it as I whizzed by on the freeway.  For a long time I have wondered where the trail head was and where the trail went, so I was pretty excited to finally check it out.  The weather couldn't have been better--sunny and beautiful.  Everything is beginning to turn green again and the blossoms are blooming. 

It was all good except for a brief moment when I got distracted by a sign.  I glanced over to see what it said.  It was foolish of me because I was going fast downhill and nearing a curve in the trail.  I had a chance to read "Trail Narrows".  As I processed those words,  I returned my attention to the trail just in time to see a curved rail fence looming in front of me.  The sign was clearly put there to distract bicyclists.  The railing was clearly put there to keep distracted cyclists out of the creek.  I fell victim to target fixation.

I had to make a split second decision--bail with my bike trying to avoid the railing or hit the rail and make the best of it.  I've never been a fan of broken bones or skinned body parts, so I flung my right arm over the railing hoping I would glide along it to a perfect stop with the rail under my arm and my bike firmly underneath me.  Unfortunately, my bike had other ideas--it kept going.  My feet were clipped in but miraculously broke free.  I made some kind of not-so-graceful tumble,  whacking my ribcage on the lower rail, but I came to a stop and found myself not too bad off all things considered. 

The bike survived without any visible damage (phew!--I love my bike!).  Myself--I have a skinned knee (bike pants survived--another phew!  I paid $80 for them!), sore ribs and a very bruised ego.

ps to my family:  You will be glad to know I hadn't put the camera on my handlebars yet--it rode out the crash safely zipped in the bag on the back of my bike  :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Am I crazy or are my chickens playing tricks on me?

I have 7 hens, three laying boxes (kitty litter boxes filled with bedding).  The girls all seem to prefer the box on the right, although occasionally someone lays an egg in the center. Between them, they lay between 2 and 6 eggs a day.  You can see the set-up below in a photo of the coop before the walls were put on.

Yesterday I went out before I went to work as usual and found 1 egg in the right box.  I thought I'd move it to the center and see if anyone got the hint and maybe lay an egg next to it in the center box.  When I came home from work, I found two eggs in the right box--NO eggs in the center.  I quizzed all family members and no one brought in eggs or moved anything.  Puzzling...

This morning there was another egg (right side box of course).  Again I moved it to the center box.  When I came home, guess what... Six eggs--in the right side box.  NO eggs in the center box.  Can a chicken move an egg like that?  It was lifted at least 3-4 inches and across the gap between the boxes 1-2 inches wide. 

I wish I had a webcam!  Is it really possible that one of my chickens (or maybe more working as a team) are moving eggs like this?

Thursday, January 27, 2011


My spaghetti sauce recipe was named one of the top 10 recipes of 2010 out of over 400,000 recipes on Food.com (formerly Recipezaar.com).

The JoMama in JoMama's World Famous Spaghetti has a story behind it.  Several years ago my daughter was renting a house with a couple of roommates (pre cell phone).  I called the house to talk to her and one of the roommates answered.  She handed the phone off to my daughter who asked, "Who is it?"  "Your mama" was the reply.  My daughter heard "JoMama".  Who is JoMama? she thought.  She didn't know anyone named JoMama.  Anyway, it was funny and I ended up getting tagged with that nickname.

The recipe has been a family favorite for many years.  It also makes a great sauce for lasagna!  You can find the recipe by clicking this link!

My kids pointed out to me that if you do a Google search for "spaghetti" my recipe is the first result you will get.  I'm pretty proud!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

More from January Guild Meeting

Aldiva Buran and Vera Parker shared some of their memories from earlier days of the guild and brought a few of the rugs they have made over the years. 

Here are my favorites of the pieces Vera brought.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Peninsula Rug Makers Guild–January Meeting


We got off to a great start for the year with 29 members in attendance.

The highlight of the meeting was a lovely visit from Aldiva Buran and Vera Parker.  They both brought a few of the rugs they have made over the years and shared with us some memories from the early days of the guild.

My favorite rug of Aldiva's was this sampler-type piece that incorporated a variety of stitches.

I'll share more later and spotlight some of Vera's work.