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!!