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Saw this link and I had to share it. Some crocheting ladies in Ireland recreated their village by crocheting the buildings in the town. Crocheting has never been my forte, but I admire them for their beautiful handiwork in wool! Enjoy!

Crocheted Village
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Since we purchased a home in Salem, MA to make it more convenient to visit my daughter and her family, I've been thinking about rugs to put in the new house. I added my sea village to the dining room, and am now working on a Polly Minick rug of a whale found in her book American Summer: Seaside Inspired Rugs and Quilts. Click on the image of the book below to go to Amazon. Surprisingly, the book is only $4.40!



Getting close to the finish, and I thought I'd post a photo. I'm working on the border and getting the sky done. I find myself taking it off the frame, putting it on the floor, giving it a critical eye, and ripping out some sections that don't work for me. Slowly, it's coming together. The eye still needs to be added. I'm going to use the same technique I used for the flag. The black area of the eye will be coiled around the yellow. The flag was a bit tough. I sewed the strips together and then attached to rug. Once the hooking surrounded the flag, the strips puffed up, and I had to steam it to get it to lay flat before the rug was even finished.


Here is a photo of the Sea Village rug that hangs in the house in Salem. It is a Karla Gerard design. I thought I had a finished photo, but this is close enough. What a fun rug this was to hook.



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Today is definitely a snow day as Winter Storm Grayson barrels up the east coast. Luckily, in upstate New York, we are on the edge of the storm expecting 3-5 inches followed by frigid temperatures. My daughter is in Boston, where they will bear the brunt of the storm.

Because of the snow, I decided it would be a good day to hunker in and dye wool. Light shades were the colors calling me, so I got out the natural wool and some other lighter wool and dyed up about 10 yards. Here is some of what I got out of a morning of dyeing. And then, a few closeups.




Summer Moon

Winter Tracks 
Ice and Snow
This wool will be available on Ebay and Etsy (links to the right side).

Hope you are having a wonderful start to the new year and that you are starting work on some new fiber projects. I'm finishing up my whale rug, a pattern by Polly Minick. Looking forward to lots of creativity this year. 
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Just got back from a quick trip to Salem, MA. Because Halloween is over and the streets less busy, we ventured downtown to visit the Witches Memorial Wall and the adjoining cemetery. It was the perfect day to visit a cemetery -- cold and dreary.

Quite moving to view the memorial wall with the names of those hung during that awful year of 1692. I didn't know too much about the witch trials and was surprised to see that several men were hung also. One poor soul was pressed to death.




As we ventured into the cemetery, I knew that the stones would reveal lots of young people's death and many children. I also expected to see lots of interesting gravestone art. However, I was surprised to see so many stones with depictions of skulls. Here are some photos of the type of art I am referencing.







This was a particularly sad stone. A piece is missing to the left, but the two hearts that are visible depict the deaths of two 16-month olds who died four years apart. How sad.


Kind of a depressing post, but history isn't always pleasant.

Hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving.

Be a blessing to somebody.
                       -- Maya Angelou
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As usual, it's been awhile. It is not for lack of topics to talk about; more about the time to post and take pictures.

Since I last posted, I've been to Salem, MA twice visiting the ocean and birding. A lovely spot in the world. Halloween is in full swing in the downtown area, but we are in a quiet part of town, and just get to relax when visiting.


The beach on the Nahant causeway. Paradise.


Some of the things I've been up to:

Alcohol Ink Dyeing
Our rug hooking group that meets once a week at a local Senior Center often branches out into other areas. One week we explored the use of alcohol inks. What fun! A member of the group had a friend who was well-versed in the use of these dyes, and she brought supplies and know-how for a four-hour workshop. We worked on ceramic tiles, glass vases and bulbs, metal sheets, and even a clam shell.

The first two photos show finished pieces by the teacher whose name, sadly, I cannot remember.



The following photo shows a group photo of the student pieces.



Hooking
I have two pieces going right now. I am working on a "Big, Bold, and Beautiful" project for my class with Julie Smith. I chose to do a large variegated mushroom based on a photo I found on Pinterest. I love the results, and the best part is using up lots of worms!! I will show a photo of the rug in a later post.

I am also working on a large Polly Minnick pattern of a whale. Although the whale is coming out well, my choice for the sky may prove to be a challenge. I'm trying hard to pull it off.



Teaching
My fall beginner rug hooking class is in full swing. I have five wonderful students who are very enthusiastic about hooking and open to learning to use just about any fiber. Here are some of the rugs they are working on.


This rug was hooked by Tracey Allen. She has mainly just the binding to finish up. For a first rug, I think it is fantastic!

Sue Vial hooked these two rugs. I love that she hooked her whale in red, and the shorebird is something I would proudly display in my own home.




Embroidery with Sue Spargo
My block of the month club project with Sue Spargo continues on. I am still plugging away on my March block, but I made a lot of progress this week and hope to finish it in the next two weeks. Fingers crossed!

Reading
I am trying to get lots of reading accomplished. As I've said, I love to read, and I'm trying to tuck in time here and there to read. Currently, our book club is reading News of the World. I finished it up over the weekend and just loved it. Captain Jefferson Kidd travels the remote Texas towns in the 1870s reading from current newspapers to the citizens of these small towns who don't have access to a lot of recent news. During his travels, he takes on the responsibility of a returning a child captured by the Kiowa Indians to her family. A fascinating look at the life of a captive child and the reintroduction of that child in to American society.


Please be sure to check out my
Ebay and Etsy listings for new wool.
My Ebay listings are fixed price, so there is no need to bid.
Links are on the right side of my blog.
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Today, I finished my 3-D hooked house! I am so happy with how it came out.


This project was started over the winter in a class I take with Julie Smith. Because of the birth of my grandson in March, I was unable to work on it until the spring. The house measures 11.5" x 4" x 6". It was hooked mostly with a four-cut, but there are also some 5- and 6-cuts. A few bits of yarn here and there also. The cat in the upstairs window was glued on. I used a sock weight wool yarn to sew it together.

Here are the completed pieces before construction began.



I started by sewing the side panels to each side. It proved to be fairly easy. Here is the first side panel sewn to the main house.


Once the house was sewn together, I whipped yarn around the bottom of the whole house to finish.

Here are the three other sides:




To photograph the standing house, I placed it over the light I use to hook by.
Great project. I would certainly try more 3-D patterns.
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Here's my little slice of heaven:



One of many bookshelves scattered throughout the house. (The hooked rug on the floor was part of a Gene Shepard blog challenge several years ago.)

And outside, we enjoy the garden and pool for a few short summer months.



Hope your summer is going well. I see some hints of color on the maple trees. You know what that means!!


Shameless plug!
Check out my Etsy and Ebay wool items. Links to the left.



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Here is a quick post to recommend a collection of short stories that I just finished. The Last Animalby Abby Geni is a fabulous collection of stories centered around nature and how people cope with everyday life by interacting with the natural world around us. (Click on the title if you are interested in finding out more about it on amazon.)

There was not a bad story in the lot. Each one kept me wanting more, and as I finished a story, I was wondering how could the next story be any better.

Check out this cover. It's amazing!


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Summer is slipping past quicker than I hoped. I've spent some time in Salem, MA at a home we own there. Had the pleasure of watching the fireworks off Nahant Island on the fourth of July, spent some time on the beach, and had a great time birding on the North Shore.

There are some great wildlife refuges and sanctuaries in Massachusetts. I am a regular visitor to the Parker River Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island near Newburyport and found another great spot in Ipswich (the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary) on my last trip. That sanctuary is part of Massachusetts Audubon whose mission is "To protect the nature of Massachusetts for people and for wildlife."




Snowy egret (photo taken in Parker River Wildlife Sanctuary)

I've been so busy traveling lately that I've just recently gotten back to my hooking, embroidery, and other projects. I finished a heart pillow that was part of a project in one of Julie's Smith's classes (shown in a previous post), and am working on a second project from another of her classes. That project, when complete, will be a 3-D hooked house. Here is a photo of the front of the house and the roof.




I'm also working on a Sue Spargo block of the month embroidery project. Each month a lovely kit arrives with thread, material, and instructions. Okay, this is July. I'm just finishing up February! I really don't mind being behind, because I'm learning so many wonderful embroidery stitches and learning new ways to incorporate them into other embroidered items I am working on. Very enjoyable.




I finished up a table runner that I've had on my loom for quite a while. Came out great. As part of the weaving process, I worked up a small sampler of the pattern before beginning the actual runner. I wasn't sure what to do with it, but decided to embroider some flowers/plants into the rectangular shapes that were crying out for some kind of stitching! I'm eventually going to turn this into a pillow of some kind.





So, I feel like I'm back in the groove of crafting. It feels so great to be back! What are you working on?

New color wool available on Ebay called Mulberry. A bit lighter than photos show, it is a nice prim color. You may purchase directly from me for $10.00 per 1/4 yard plus $3.00 s/h. Let me know if you are interested. 4 sets available. Nice prim color!





Remember, always make time for yourself!
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Here is part of my latest book haul. I buy way too many books, but I just love to read. I also love watching booktube, a part of YouTube where people discuss the books they read, buy, love and hate. Lots of great discussion and easy to listen to while rug hooking.

So, my latest acquisitions:



This bunch was mostly recommended by booktubers, although East of Eden was on my radar for a long time. I have read that, but the others pictured above are still waiting.



Had to have Baking with Mary Berry I'm a big fan of the "Great British Baking Show," and I also watch the American version. Who doesn't need another baking book?!?!?


The Natural World was a Christmas gift from my daughter. She selected it from my Amazon wish list. An absolutely beautiful book with amazing illustrations. My grandson loves this one and is trying to get me to give him the dust jacket as the inside of it is a full length poster. So far, I've kept it! The other book, the classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a book I got my grandson for Christmas. We are reading it together. It's been many years since I read this book, and I am enjoying it as much as he is.



These are the first two illustrated versions of the Harry Potter seriesI do have the hardcovers, but these were too special not to have. I want to reread all seven books, and hope to do so using the illustrated copies.

I have purchased other books in the last month. Will try to mention those in a future post. I also purchased another new rug hooking book, which I plan on doing a separate review of.

Please check out booktube! It's wonderful. If you need recommendations of some good channels, feel free to ask.
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