Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fantastic Meteor Video

Ok, seriously, how many of you would flash to any end of the world disaster movie if you saw this?!!!!


Happy Sunday everybody! Well, I guess winter is here to stay! It's cold and windy here, but the sun is shining, so as long as I can stay home, it's all good! lol

I have finally finished my most recent hooked table runner, and am very happy at how it turned out! This will be a pattern offered at my Etsy shop, but I'm really wanting to keep the original piece. I was lucky enough to win a book on fraktur how-to that had some beautiful pictures and line drawings that are inspiring.

The background looks black, but it's actually an antique black with overtones of brown plaid. I am planning on building some kind of light box for future pictures because I'm having a hard time getting realistic pictures of the colors in my dyed wool and rugs. All the colors are a bit more muted and primitive than shown in the picture, and I'm really happy with it. If I can't find a nice place for it, I might just offer it on my Etsy shop alongside the pattern.

My birthday was November 8, and hubby came through in a HUGE way! I've been asking for a spinning wheel ever since I took spinning lessons from Pam at Dream Come True Farm in Oxford, CT. Well, this was the year! He snuck around in true surprise birthday present fashion, and completely surprised me with my new Ashford Kiwi wheel!! I have spun a few times, but need to stock up with some basic roving to practice on because spinning is all about learning the basics, then practice, practice, How lucky am I, I ask you? Aaron(hubby), our son Andrew went in together on the wheel, and our daughter Jess gave me an iTunes gift card so I can load up my iPod with some cool holiday tunes! November is quite an expensive month for us because we've got at least 10 birthdays, then Jessica's is on December 4. It takes all year to save up for November and December! lol

My Ashford Kiwi spinning wheel!

Next week will be a flurry of getting ready for Thanksgiving and cleaning up enough to get Christmas decorations up. We have 11 of our closest family and friends (lol) coming over for Thanksgiving, and I'm pretty excited! Everyone is bringing a dish, and we'll back up with a ginormous turkey and desserts. Then it will be a day of eating, visiting, napping, then eating again! That's the best!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fun in the dye pots!

I'm finally back into rug hooking! My plans for birthdays and Christmas gifts revolve around knitted gifts, so I've been a mad knitter lately! lol I do enjoy knitting, but had to take a break this week to re-energize my hooking passions! Dyeing wool does just that, let me tell you! I've taken the plunge and listed some of my dyed wools on Ebay, so if you're looking for some great Fall or Christmas colors, take a look. I've only offered a few just to see how it goes, and will probably shift over to Etsy in the end. I'm also working on some patterns and maybe a kit or two for beginners to list in the next week or so.

I have missed rug hooking immensely, and have gotten my brain whirring about thinking up a pattern to work on. I did win a beautiful fraktur book from a fellow PRHG member which I'm hoping will get my creative juices flowing for future patterns and rugs. I've also reorganized my wool studio and had to add another six wire crates for wool storage. I didn't realize how much wool I actually had until it was separated out into more specific color categories. I'm officially overwhelmed! lol If you are a hooker and are looking for specific colors, drop me a line. I am going to start "de-stash" and might just have the exact color you're looking for.

It's off to the studio and some drawing...enjoy a couple of pictures of my crazy

Zeke missing Andrew since he moved out.

Lily laying claim to a shoebox.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Don't Forget!!

Did you??!! Whatever your party, whoever your favorite candidate, get out and vote!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hooking class 101 finished

Tuesday was my last hooking class this year (I've scheduled another one starting in March also for Continuing Ed in our town), and I miss it already! lol The class was full of ladies with all different personalities and crafting abilities, but let me tell you, the stepped up to the plate with rug hooking! I really enjoyed teaching the class, and hope to have a mini hook-in at my house at least once a month, maybe more. At the beginning of the class I told everybody that I had an ulterior motive for teaching this class, and that was to get at least a few people addicted so that they would want to hook with me every once in a while! lol I think I "hooked" everyone...pun intended! Here's pictures of the ladies with their rugs, but I am missing two. One new hooked had to attend a quilting guild meeting, and I was so busy stripping wool for one lady at the end of class, I forgot to take her picture. I'm sending out an e-mail to her tonight to either corral her son or hubby to take a picture of her and her rug, or I'll snap one next time she's over for more wool! Have fun looking at the pictures!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rhinebeck Wool Festival and other things

Ok, seriously, how adorable are these alpaca?! A couple of weekends ago, I persuaded Aaron to go with me to Rhinebeck, NY to their wool festival. Now, I had heard wonderful things about this festival, but nothing could've prepared me for how awesome it was! The drive was about an hour and a half, and we lucked out with some gorgeous weather and beautiful fall colors. After leaving the highway, we would through farmland dotted with barns of all colors and sizes, and animals of all kinds. The traffic closer to the fairgrounds looked pretty backed up, but we got through and parked pretty quickly. The sheer number of people just amazed us!
The first building we went into had all kinds of food and wine booths all from local farms and vineyards. The second building was packed with wool vendors of all types! I lucked out and found Barb and Sarah of Hallowed Hill Primitives after the second or third booth. Those two are so talented, and everytime I see their work, I get so motivated to get home and start hooking! lol After that, all the buildings started to blur together. There were about five or six rug hookers there with booths, all showing amazing work. Of course, there was scads of hand-spun and hand-dyed wool hanging everywhere. I was officially overwhelmed, and only managed to buy some sheep roving in a yummy color called Heritage Tomato, and some alpaca roving in a beautiful soft brown. I also bought a couple of books on using natural dyes and spinning with a hand-spindle. Aaron and I stopped to eat lunch and watch the sheep herding dogs do their work, which always amazes me. It was a wonderful day, and I'm already making plans to attend next year! My knitting teacher and good friend has already said she wants to go also, so I'm thinking a great field trip will be in order!

My hooking class meets for the last time tonight, and all the ladies have really picked up rug hooking pretty quickly! I'm bringing my camera tonight to get some pictures, and will post them (with permission, of course) tomorrow. It really is a great group of ladies, and I'm hoping that they will want to continue hooking. I'm going to collect e-mail addresses, and will start having a hook-in at my house at least once a month. I think it's a great way to get to know people, have time to visit, eat a bit, and really enjoy great conversation. Besides, I like hanging with cool people! lol

Well, it's off to the dye pots to see what kind of trouble I can get into before class tonight!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fun Weekend

Thanks to Aaron (hubby) we got ourselves out of the house on Saturday for a beautiful leaf-peeping drive! When the kids were younger, we did this more often, but have gotten away from taking fun drives. We ended up driving up Rt. 8 through the Berkshires and into Otis, MA. Then we picked up Rt. 7, stopped in Sheffield, MA at Sheffield Pottery, and bought a great crock for mums on our front porch. We also found a great garden place for mums and gourds, and I didn't write down the name..grrr! I hate when I do that because it really is a great place, and pretty near Stockbridge, MA, I'm sure. Stockbridge is a wonderful place to visit, and was mobbed on Saturday! Usually we drive through on off-peak times, and you can see the part of Main Street that Norman Rockwell painted.

I need to look up the lake we first stopped at, then the quarry. The quarry was very cool! It's still got a lot of the equipment that was used at the quarry, and lots of hiking trails. It's called Becket's Quarry, and was just beautiful! I chickened out on hiking all the way around, but Aaron decided to crawl up on a "grout" pile (I learned that at the to prove how beautiful a view it was from there!

We got home a bit late, cooked up a quick dinner, then collapsed! I swear, some days I feel older than Sunday Aaron had to work for a few hours, and I replanted the mums, and decorated the front door. Gotta take a picture tomorrow. I've got my third hooking class to teach tomorrow night, and I think I'm going to backtrack a bit. The next class needs to be more organized on my side, and I'm going to remedy some of what I've glossed over tomorrow night. I really want the gals in my class to enjoy hooking, and want to hook more! Of course, I have to reign myself in a bit! Not everybody loves hooking as much as I do! lol

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Two Posts in One Day!!

I was reading one of my favorite blogs, and her post for today really hit home. Lori at NotForgotten Farm
wrote about how she can really see how the economy "issues" are affecting everybody. I have noticed that our malls, grocery stores, and gas stations are emptier than usual, and people are really thinking over purchases that aren't needs. I know I do! As I said in today's post number one, my gifts this year will be mostly hand made. My garden did really well, and I've got a few things canned for the winter. Of course, there will be NO shortage of zucchini! :o) Plans for next years garden is already in the works, and it will be planted heavily toward canning and freezing. My job hunt is ongoing, but luckily, hubby still has a job, and we can make do, or do our ancestors have always done.

Lori has some great ideas on saving money, and I've thought of a few more.
1. Buy bulk when meat is on sale. You can make double of whatever is for dinner, and freeze the extra for another night.
2. Surf on line for coupons, but only for items you normally buy.
3. If you are lucky enough to live in town, walk, walk, walk! Health benefits and saving gas!

Let me know any tips you have!!

WOOHOO! Hooking again!

Fall is here, and I've finally finished a rug! Ok, well a table runner, but it's all in prim colors, with tulips and bluebirds, and I just love it! I've listed it on Ebay, and a part of me wants to keep it! lol But, I've kept the pattern, and might just start offering patterns on monks cloth on my Etsy.

The rug hooking class I'm teaching has already had two classes, and I really think that everybody is enjoying the learning process. Rug hooking is an art of practice, practice, practice, and as long as you keep that in mind while learning, you will really have fun with it. I like art that you can do to your taste and doesn't have a bunch of rules to follow! Doesn't sound much like a teacher, does it? :o) Oh well, guess I'm a rebel at heart! Since this is my first time at teaching a hooking class, I've already started tweaking the "curriculum" for the next one. More organized, less flying by the seat of my

I've started on birthday/Christmas presents, and it's going pretty well. Our November is full of birthdays, and it just runs into birthdays and Christmas in December, so we have to be quite organized. Since I'm not working yet, it'll be presents on a budget, but most of my family and friends like handmade stuff...lucky for me and my budget! Aaron also pulled out the garden, and set up a little fall vignette with the sleigh as a backdrop and pumpkins and mums. He really is much better at the putting together of items than I am. I just get the stuff, and he decorates! He claims he's "getting in touch with his feminine side" We actually ran the pellet stove for a few nights this week, but it'll be back in the upper 60's and lower 70's for the weekend, so we got a break from using the pellets. I couldn't believe how much more expensive they are this year, and harder to get! We managed to get two tons, but will need two more in the next month to get us through the winter. Last year three tons just didn't quite make it, so we're planning on four this year.

I'm back to making a birthday present. Later today, I'll be posting some beautiful dyed by me wools for rug hooking/penny rugs on my Etsy shop as well as a pattern or two. Take a look if you get a chance!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Falls' Here!

The air at night is crisp, the days shorter, and my poor tomato plants are shivering in their beds! lol I absolutely LOVE this time of year! I've already done one fall rug and have one more on the frame, and we're planning a fun halloween!! This summer was one of a few struggles, one being my certification to teach high school. I had to take one more class plus a very tough certification test. I passed both!! Gotta say it...Yah me! lol Hopefully this new certification will open up more opportunities to teach, and I can finally get on with teaching. Besides needing another paycheck, I feel as though teaching is what I should be doing, and I have alot to offer the kids that will pass through my classroom.

Since that hurdle has been conquered, I am back to rug hooking, and am even going to teach a rug hooking class starting September 30 at the continuing ed classes at the high school. I spoke with the director a couple of weeks ago, and she said my class was practically full!! Now that's exciting! This coming week is going to be a flurry of getting supplies and information packets ready for my class as well as putting items into my new Etsy shop. Ebay is just costing me too much when I actually sell something, and I really feel the need to distance myself from it.

I'm heading back to my rug frame to finish my current rug as well as draw up some patterns for the Etsy shop, so head over by using the link to the right of the posts and check it out!!


Monday, July 28, 2008

A wonderful lesson for everybody!

This link came to me through an e-mail I received tonight. You've probably seen it seeing as that I'm usually a day late and a dollar short when it comes to these neat vids! lol If you've got a few minutes, check out the vid, I'm sure you'll be impressed.

Monday, July 14, 2008

No rug hooking...lotsa studying!

After finishing a commissioned runner.....HI KAREN!! I had to put away the wool and hook for studying. I am really missing hooking, and have about a thousand ideas for rugs running through my head, but since I have to take a teaching certification test on July 26, studying takes a front seat. I am certified to teach kindergarten through sixth grade, but after passing this test, I will be able to teach history, social studies, geography, political science, psychology, sociology, and economics in grades seven through twelve. Hopefully this will mean a permanent classroom this fall...fingers crossed!

Our garden is growing like crazy! Right now zucchini is really in season, and I've canned twelve pints of zucchini relish, and baked four loaves of zucchini bread, and still have zucchini in the kitchen and ripening on the vine. While I loooove all this fresh veggie coming from the garden, it's a touch vegetable to do alot with. Our cucumbers are flowering, and there's lots of green tomatoes on the vine, so it's just a matter of time and we'll have lots more! Hubby has done a great job keeping the weeds down, and hasn't yet complained about the zucchini crowding the kitchen table at dinner time...snicker!

Here's a few veggie garden pics. We also splurged on a new kayak when a local outdoor shop had a great sale on kayak packages, and have already gone out once. I fell in love with kayaking when we went to the Outer Banks on vacation a couple of summers ago, and kayaked with a guide on the Alligator River. No alligators, but our daughter and I sharing a double person kayak was hilarious! We have such similar personalities that both of us kept trying to opposite directions! Going in circles doesn't do much for following the guide and group!

Hubby on the new kayak!

Me and my Dagger (kayak!) Lifejackets don't
do much for the

Monday, June 2, 2008

Finally finished!

I have finally finished my latest rug, and while it's not huge, there's a ton of beautiful muted spring colors all through out it. Color planning isn't one of my strong points, so it takes me a little while longer to get it just right! It was great fun to hook, and is an adaptation of a square from a Boston Album quilt that I just love! If you click on the link above, it will take you to the rug's Ebay page.

I will have another post today after I finish homework from the history class I'm taking to earn a cross-certification in teaching. I do love rug hooking, but teaching is something I feel I need to do, and this new certification will help me widen my job pool!

Friday, May 23, 2008

A new rug

The Trotter

I had completely forgotten to post the in progress pics of my most recent rug! It's on Ebay now, and the auction will end tomorrow, and so far is one of my favorites. I had really been wanting to hook a rug with a trotting horse, but had such a hard time getting the pattern just right. After visiting with a rug hooking friend, she gave me a great idea, and the rug hooked up pretty quickly. She suggested using a template for the horse, something I had never thought of. Anyway, I found a great horse "ornament" for want of a better name, made out of metal, traced around it, and voila! A

My next rug is still on the hooking frame, but I am planning on a marathon session to finish the background and get it up on Ebay. This rug is a huge departure from what I usually do. Flowers, flowers, flowers, and all muted light primitive colors. I will definitely post a pic tomrrow!

The rain has finally stopped here in Connecticut, and we are supposed to have a really great weekend...fingers crossed! Maybe I'll even get out the kayak for a couple of hours on Sunday. First time this year, and I can't wait!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Rain, rain, go away.....

What a gloomy day, and it's looking like we're in for a rainy weekend. While gloomy days are great for crafting of all types, especially rug hooking, my carpal tunnel is still acting up. I hooked for about an hour yesterday, and about an hour today, and can't seem to handle more. I guess the next step will be stepped up ibuprofen dosages and icing down my arm....*sigh* Oh well, it could be worse, and I'm sure I'll be back to hooking soon.

On another 'bout them gas prices?!! It's almost to $4.00 a gallon, and I've really pared down my driving. You don't realize how often everybody jumps in the car at the slightest 'need' to go somewhere until you're filling up the gas tank twice a week! If you are a blog reader, you'll see similar entries all over the place. Lori at Stitches in Tyme had a great entry a couple of days ago talking about the energy crisis, gas prices, and going green. Looking way back to our ancestors and how "made do" with what they had, or did without is a great lesson. I mean, if we didn't have all the extras, what would we do instead? I've already started a veggie garden and plan to buy locally as much as possible. I'm also going to learn how to can so that we can have garden veggies as much into the winter as possible. Hubby built a great fire pit in our backyard, and I would really like to spend more time out there in the evenings instead of being a tv/computer zombie! (yep, I'm a tv/computer Also, we really don't live too far from quite a few stores, and walking would be a good thing as long as I'm not shopping for the month! It's a lot to change, but in the long run, I think it will benefit me, our family, and hopefully lessen our footprint on Mother Earth!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A rug hooking break

Carpal tunnel has reared it's ugly head yet again! Years of a job that involved heavy data input started the flare ups, it kind of "went away", then after a Saturday of planting veggie plants, and a Sunday of rug hooking, my right wrist up to my elbow is killing me! I tried hooking yesterday, but it was a no go, so today was a day of rest....well, if you call making three dozen cupcakes

I've started a prim horse rug, and I'm pretty excited about it! I'll take a picture tonight, and hopefully by tomorrow, I'll be able to start hooking again. I tried to finish a reproduction sampler, but even cross-stitching is a bit painful. grrrrrr!

Tomorrow, I'm going to post a few flyers around town advertising rug hooking workshops by me. I think it would be great to find some hookers....yeah,!.....around that would like to meet a couple of times a month or more to form a hooking group. I do love to hook, and it would be great to find a few people locally that have the same artistic/crafty interest.

If anybody is reading this blog, please leave a comment! Feedback on my rugs, or especially if you're local (central-ish Connecticut) let me know!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Sheep table runner (my current favorite!)

Pomegranate table runner

The chairpad

Here's my most recent hooked projects. I do love the look of table runners, and hooked my first chair pad! The finish isn't exactly what I wanted it to be, but now I know a bit better what to expect for the next one!

Must. Improve. Blogging. Skills.

Yes, I'm not the best blogger in the world, but I am really trying to improve! I've been very busy hooking away, but haven't posted on Ebay for a while. The fees are really going up, and with the economy doing what it is, people just aren't buying like the used to. My plans in the future are to start an on-line business and try to get some workshops going locally. Tomorrow I am going to put up some flyers at the library, grocery store bulletin boards, and possibly the senior center.

My inventory is building slowly, but I had great influx of wool last week. It's all piled on my kitchen table right now, but will be organized by Sunday....I hope! ;o) I used monks cloth for the first time, and will NEVER go back to burlap again! I hooked a really cute chair pad, which my cat Lily loves, and don't really want to part with it. I'm thinking it's time to post some pictures!

A couple of Saturday ago, I went to my first rug show! Fairfield Grace Methodist Church had their 48th Annual rug show, and it was great! I met Sarah and Barbara from Hallowed Hill Primitives/Paisley Studios, and they were quite gracious. I like being able to meet fellow hookers mainly because there's not that many hookers around here. I bought some oatmeal wool, and a couple of yards of light gray, but really had to limit myself. In the next couple of months, I'm going to have an opportunity to build my inventory, so saving money is priority!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dreary Day!

Today is dreary and rainy! I love staying home when it's like this, but had errands to run. I took one of our cats, Lily to the vet to be fixed and declawed, and one of our dogs, Ranger for his check up. I hated leaving Lily, but in the end, she will be a happier cat, and my carpets will be saved!

I'm having a bit of a "brain fart" when it comes to designing rugs and stitchery. Maybe the rain, maybe the change in seasons, maybe I need more chocolate! :o) Anyway, I am in the middle of a rug that is kind of fun to hook, but I really feel the need to start on creating some patterns to sell on Ebay and/or Esty.

Other prim artists are doing some really beautiful pieces, and maybe looking around all the time is a bit intimidating! I do have my fave prim blogs/artists to check out almost every day, and many of them are from a group I am a member of in Ebay. Primitive Rug Hookers Group is a meeting of fiber artists that I'm in awe of! There's also another group on Ebay that have some original items and patterns that are wonderful. I sent in a membership request, so maybe I'll be able to join that group also. They seem to be doing rugs and primitive stitchery that right up my alley.

Wow, this is a dry entry! I've got to start relaxing when I write so it sounds more like me! lol One of these days somebody might actually read my blog, and I wouldn't want them to be bored!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Branching Out!

My first "crafty" love was cross-stitch. While learning primitive rug hooking, it was tough to go from such a precise craft to the free-form art of primitives. I have gone back a bit, incorporating the primitive arts with stitching of a kind. I LOVE old school samplers, and have really gotten into the primitive stitchery that is all over! My latest postings on Ebay are two pockets that for holding tv remotes, game remotes, etc. I have also posted grungy prim easter eggs that sit in a wicked cute trencher I picked up at a local antique mall.

Unfortunately, it looks like these items will go past without selling, but I think I will put them up as my first posts on my Etsy shop. I'm pretty excited about opening an Etsy shop!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day!

Today I did some major cleaning of craft books/supplies. I am putting some books on our local Freecycle(tm) list, and have been slowly moving things upstairs to my rug hooking/craft room. I am going to really streamline my art so that I can get my business up and running. The party idea is still in the works, and tomorrow I will begin stitching again. Reproduction samplers, adaption of old samplers, and more rug hooking.

My newest idea involves getting together a book, but that's all I'm going to say for now. Hopefully it will be something that will take off both on Ebay and Etsy (as soon as I open an Etsy shop!) Having all my supplies and books in one place will really help to get things going and be a bit easier.

On a personal level, my hubby brought me a cute tea rose bush, a card, and chocolate....YUM! Hopefully he won't have to work too late and we can at least have dinner together!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Primitive Decorating

I've been brainstorming since yesterday, and have hit on something that I think will be really great! There are so many of us out there that love primitive decor and crafting, but don't really have the time to find out how to make certain crafts for our home. These crafts are very green and can actually use items you might already have in your home.

Here's my idea: I want to start having small classes on how to make different primitive crafts. I would start this in my home with four to five people at a time. I would charge a fee that would include supplies and everybody would take an item home that they made themselves plus instructions to make more at home. It would be a great way to meet like-minded people, maybe schedule a class with friends, and spend some fun time crafting things together. I'm going to kind of revamp my very new site so that it's the "go-to" place that I'll put on my flyer, and they can contact me by e-mail to begin with.

Today my goal is to get the flyer made, update the website, and figure out what will be offered the first class. I would need to make the items, take pictures and put them on the site to generate a bit of interest. Cross your fingers for me!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

My first post!

Well, here it is, my first post. I guess an introduction is in order. My name is Naomi, and I'm a fiber artist living in Connecticut. My first love is absolutely anything to do with wool. I picked up rug hooking about a year ago, and haven't put it down since. Sketching out a pattern, dying reclaimed wool to the colors I need, then starting the rug is great fun.

I'm hoping that this blog will be a first step to some kind of web presence for my fledgling business. I'm also going to begin stitching primitive pieces again as well as small needfuls for a primitive household.