taking a risk…..

notforgotten farm “home” click here for her blog

 

i miss hooking.  really, really miss it.  so, today i stepped way outside my comfort zone and spent money i don’t have to invest in a future i really want to pursue.

bee line townsend 14″ rug hooking frame

i purchased this rug hooking frame….

bee line townsend #10 long cutter kit

… and this cutter from The Merry Hooker ~ click here for her shop.

 

this is an investment, a big one, and i’m somewhat terrified.  why?  well, for three reasons:

ellis, otis and lilly on the track of “something” (i don’t even want to know what).

 

my 3 best friends are also my worst enemies when it comes to hooking.  they want to lounge, languish and lie on my rugs… not just the finished ones, which they love to pull apart, but more importantly the ones that i’m working on… while i’m working on them.  i’m hoping, hoping, hoping, that now that they’re a little older they’ll allow me to hook without playing with my wool strips, napping on my lap, biting my hook, and generally making themselves PRESENT….

 

wish me luck!

 

rebecca

rug specs…

Thank you, each of you, who commented here or emailed me yesterday ~ I was humbled by your kindness and generosity!

A few of your emails asked for specifics about the rug I’m working on….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The projected dimensions of the finished rug are:  45″ wide x 65″ long…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…each square measures approximately 12″ x 12″.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m using, mostly, torn strips up to 3/4 wide, so somewhere between a #8 cut and a #11 or #12 cut (do cutters go up to that width?  I don’t have a clue! :~>)  There are one or two “as-is” wools in the mix, otherwise they are my hand-dyed pieces.

What am I going to do with this rug once it’s finally finished?  It’s going to live by our front door, probably with at least one cat on top of it and one burrowed underneath ~ fun, fun, fun!  Or, maybe I’ll put it on our bed.  On a day like today, with temps in the single digits that extra weight and warmth would be mighty welcome!

 

cuddle up, my friends…

 

rebecca

 

 

weekend hooking….

I’ve been remiss….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI started this rug two whole years ago, when the cats were kittens and hooking was a solitary activity.

the oatsy-toatsy

the oatsy-toatsy

My, how things change.

the elly~belly

the elly~belly

Hooking has become a group activity.

lilly-lou-who

lilly-lou-who

Before the advent of the kittens, I was a hooker through and through.  I did some punch needle, but my true love was wool.

wool, oh so soft... almost as soft as ellis's coat

wool, oh so soft… almost as soft as ellis’ coat

This rug hasn’t seen the light of day in those two years.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hooking a rug is like planting a garden ~ one seed, one stitch, and time… lots and lots of time.  Just as a garden grows, so do my rugs….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…one quiet row after another….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…the whisper of wool against linen, it seems that those single stitches, those tiny seeds, will never amount to anything.

three best friends forever

three best friends forever

But, like gardens and hooked rugs, like friendships, the more time one gives to a thing, the more that thing will grow.

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So, this is where you’ll find me, nearly every weekend.  Cultivating my long neglected rugs…

ellis and lilly

ellis and lilly

…and keeping good friends near and dear.

 

May you always find the time to give the time to the things you love!

rebecca

 

updates…

Thank you to all of you who commented on my ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas project!  I loved hearing your opinions and ideas ~ whether they jived with my own or not!

french butter pear

french butter pear

I’ve received a few emails asking if I am planning to sell any wool pears like the one from my giveaway.  Yes!  I’ve just updated my etsy shop with three different varieties of pear.  You can click here if you’d like to take a look.

Primitive Handmades Mercantile (PHM) is having its update this Friday ~ yippee!  Here’s a peek at a couple of the things I’m working on to list…

notforgotten farm

notforgotten farm

rabbits, rabbits…

my design ~ future push toy?

my design ~ future push toy?

…and more rabbits!

You can visit my PHM shop, and anyone else’s, any time by clicking here.

Hopefully, I’ll have my projects done by Thursday so that I can share them with you before the update.

 

In the meantime…

otis

otis

…snuggle up and keep warm!

 

rebecca

 

an idea and a giveaway…

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” has been on my mind.  Pestering me and keeping me awake nights ~ how was I going to finish it?  Some of you gave me really good ideas!  Myra’s suggestion of a tray-type finish started the wheels turning.  Finally, today inspiration struck!

a frame? pretty commonplace isn't it?

a frame? pretty commonplace isn’t it?

You may be thinking that framing ‘Twas the Night… is not only an obvious idea, but it’s a stale one to boot.  But, this is an exciting frame…

old is lovely!

old is lovely!

This is an antique frame, gold leafed and with a rich, time-worn patina.

ellis gives it the sniff test

ellis gives it the sniff test

This frame has just been waiting in the wings for its turn at stardom.  Ellis, the producer and director, has the final say…

"ok by me!"

“ok by me!”

…and gives two thumbs up.  I love all the crackling and other signs of age, not to mention all the beautiful detailing!

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i wish i could replicate all that gorgeous distressing!

Beautiful!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the things that attracted me to this frame for ‘Twas the Night, is that it’s opening is much larger than the embroidery.  What a host of possibilities this creates!  I could use a piece of foam core covered in fabric on which to mount the embroidery, or a painted and distressed board as backing, but what I really want to use is nothing at all except a wire or piece of twine.  I want to figure out a way to suspend ‘Twas the Night… in the middle of the opening, in a way in which the embroidery could be removed and used as a mat, if desired.  This will involve some sort of clips or a sleeve or something, in addition to all my brain cells firing at once!

Now, on to the giveaway!

a simple quiet pear

a simple quiet pear made of wool and stuffed with walnut shells

If you’d like to win this giveaway pear, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me if you like my idea for finishing ‘Twas the Night…, or if you don’t like my idea!  My random generator will choose a winner this coming Saturday, February 9, in the afternoon sometime and I’ll post the winner Saturday evening!

 

In the meantime, think happy thoughts and thank you for being with me!

 

rebecca

 

 

 

a pat on the back…

I just wanted to share this rare event with you…

It happened….

I can hardly believe it…

I finished a rug!

ta da!

“home” design by notforgotten farm

It only took me a year to complete, but that’s because I had so much help.  Even right up to stitching on the binding, my friends were beside me, pitching in.

ellis lends his moral support

ellis lends his moral support

I’ve listed Home on etsy (click here if you’d like to take a gander), but until Home finds a new home, I will enjoy having Home at home!

Hoping you had a pleasant weekend and wishing you a delightful week!

 

rebecca

 

coffee, cats and updates…

Some time ago, in fact I think it was back in May, I started an experiment with coffee. Would coffee-stain age hooked wool as well as it ages perle cotton and other flosses.  The short answer is, no.  However, I was surprisingly pleased with the results ~ what do you think?

hooking the mat with invaluable assistance from otis

First, I hooked a small mat using un-dyed and dyed neutral wools.  Otis was a really big help here, I’m not sure I would have made it through without him (that’s it for the “cats” part of this post).

Then,…

soaking the wool

I submerged the hooked mat in coffee and left it alone for several hours.  When I remembered that the mat was still soaking, I removed it from the coffee, wrung it out, laid it on a waxed-paper-covered cookie sheet and baked it for a while.  (I put the mat on the cookie sheet in a cold oven, turned it on to 250*, and shut the oven off as soon as it reached temperature.)  Because the wool didn’t dry completely in the oven, I hung the mat up over night.  Now dry, the mat went into the washing machine and the dryer with some other laundry.  It emerged wrinkled with the linen backing frayed, but in good, aged condition.

aged mat

I steamed it flat, and was excited to see that, not only had the colors softened a bit, but the wool itself appeared softer and older, and the loops themselves appeared to be happier with their neighboring loops.  I’m hoping to try this method on a larger rug, some day, though baking one in the oven would be out of the question!

As for updates, it’s the third Friday of the month (tomorrow) which is when Primitive Handmades Mercantile artisans add new items to their shops.  I have updated mine, already, so if you’d like to see what I’m offering or if you’d like to visit any of the fabulous stores on PHM, click here and then click on “Our Artists”.  My shop is The Simple Quiet.  I was hoping to have Magdalena’s Horses on the site this month, but no, so perhaps September. 🙂

until next time, enjoy some simple quiet today…

rebecca

magdalena horses finished…

Here, at last, is Magdalena Horses.  What a fun, educational project this has been!  I finished this one just as I would a pillow without the stuffing.  First, I stitched the right side of the punch needle to the right side of the wool I chose.

stitching right sides together

Then, I cut along both short edges of the wool, close to the stitches.

cutting short sides

Next, I cut through the middle of the wool, length-wise.

cutting long through middle of wool

I’m left with two flaps, one on the top edge of the punch needle and one on the bottom edge.

two flaps

These flaps will become my lamb’s tongue edging, eventually.  Before I steam the flaps open with my iron, I add another piece of wool over the wool that I just stitched in place.  I place my stitches just inside those of the flap-wool stitches.

second piece of wool stitched in place

This second piece of wool will become the backing of the finished punch needle.  Now, I cut a slit in the middle  of the back of the wool and turn the whole piece, so that the flaps are sticking out and the right side of Magdalena Horses is facing front.

front

Front with the flaps open.

back

Back with the slit I cut for turning purposes.

Now I snip the flaps using pinking shears, fairly close to the edge of the stitching.  Then, using a sharp pair of little scissors, I snip between each pinking, cutting a bit of wool away from each pinking so that they are separate lamb’s tongues.

tiny lamb’s tongues

The back gets a weavers cloth label stitched over the slit in the wool.

back view with label

The entire piece gets a good, hard steam/press with my steam iron, and my Magdalena Horses is complete!

ta da!

I think I will be including Magdalena Horses in my Primitive Handmades Mercantile update this coming Friday.  🙂

Thank you to all of you for your kind comments and encouragement! If you have done or are planning to do Magdalena Horses, I would love to share your pictures!

Enjoy your week!

rebecca