Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Back in the dye pots


Yesterday I took some time out to dye this sweet bittersweet wool for my friend Angie’s moose pillow.

I tried taking the picture like 4 times and it just looks SO INTENSE!!

Well, it is intense, but not quite like this shows.

I used to dye wool by the bolt loads, but it’s been a year or so since I’ve ventured into the dye pots.


I went back through my dye books and notes and found two recipes that I thought would be just right.

One is called BITTERSWEET and it is from the dye book of Dick LaBarge, the other is from a dye book

from Laurice Heath.


Of course, when I went to my dye cabinet, I didn’t have all of the dyes that they called for in the recipes.


Back in the day, I would have found myself frustrated and on the phone with ProChem ordering up

what I didn’t have, but now that I’m a casual home dyer. I just got in my ProChem swatch book and

thought to myself, what could I mix together from what I have to get what I want?


This is what I came up with…….

1tsp bright orange

1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp bright red

Mixed this in 1.5 cups boiling water with citric acid

Added 1 cup of the solution to the dye pot and then added (4) 1/4 yard pieces of pre-soaked wool.

2 of the pieces of wool were plaids and 1/2 yard was a light solid

The plaids got to the color I needed right away, so I pulled them out and then drizzled spoonfuls

of the remaining 1/2 cup of dye onto the solid pieces, so they would be even more mottled.

I spooned and flipped, spooned and flipped.  When those solid pieces got to the intense mottled color I wanted,

I added the 2 plaid pieces back in and let them simmer until all the dye was taken up.


I’ll share pictures of the hooking tomorrow.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Finding the Mojo

After months of marinating

or frittering

or just a downright

creative rut…….

I think I’ve found my

creative mojo again!


I’ve finished hooking my monarch pillow…..

I’ll share that with you once it is actually

made into a pillow Smile


Yesterday I pulled out more of my hooking supplies

to make a moose rug for my good friend Angie….

she wants her moose to be a deep orange/red!



That happens to be a color I love, but I don’t seem to have quite the right color in my

stash, so that will give me a chance to get out my dye pots……

something I haven’t done in a long, long time….

can’t tell you how excited I am about that….

I’ve already got the wool soaking!!!


I also took time out yesterday to work on a project that has been marinating in my mind for quite some time.


We have a quilt, just a pretty quilt from TJ Maxx, that we’ve had for several years, but it’s taken quite a bit

of abuse from Buzzbee….he likes to “dig” and “nest” before he settles in.



So now, it has several tears in it.  I could just donate the whole big king size quilt to a thrift

store or animal shelter, but I like how soft it’s gotten over the years, and a bit faded….I’m embracing

it’s age!  Maybe this is something we do more often the older we get.


I’ve had a vision of covering all of these tears (there are quite a few) with silhouettes of swallows.


I “googled” swallow silhouette and just freely drew this on freezer paper and then fused

it to some dark blue wool.


I then cut around it and pinned it over the tear, then proceeded to whip-stitch it down with

embroidery floss.


Part way through the stitching I ran out of the color I was using, so I switched from a blue

floss to a gray.


This will be a bit of a “make-do” / “re-do” project. I’m going to try to stay with the colors

of the quilt, so by the time it’s finished I will have all different colors of swallows stitched with

all different colors of floss.

Of course doing just this one bird took me about an hour, but it’s not about the time,

this time it’s about the journey.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Iced Coffee and Friends


Had a lovely time on Monday sketching with friends over iced coffee and smoothies.

Great way to wind up the day.

If you get a chance to stop by

in Springfield, Missouri……DO!

This little place has a great vibe, wonderful coffees, great staff,

and they are always displaying local art work.


It’s kind of a no-brainer for my sketching group.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Greens

I know I haven’t posted a recipe in quite some time.

This isn’t exactly a RECIPE per say, it’s just a great, easy way

to get your greens!

When I was growing up, the only vegetables I ate were corn, potatoes and green beans.




My parents weren’t big vegetable eaters, so they didn’t really push veggies at my

brother and me.


Yeah, I was one lucky kid…..no liver,  no icky veggies I didn’t like.


I didn’t really experiment with any other vegetables until I got married.

My husband’s mom and dad put out a garden, so she was always cooking up some sort of vegetable,

so I would always give it a go and try what she had cooked (I learned the “trying” from my

grandfather…..he got me to try shrimp, oysters on the half shell and he is the reason why I’m a total

seafood lover….he also got me to like fried okra.  I still like pretty much anything fried)


Thanks to my MIL I now love all kinds of vegetables…..the only one I really still dislike is brussel sprouts and raw celery.

I’ve tried brussel sprouts roasted, steamed, sauteed, sauced, you name it, I’ve tried it and still can’t tolerate them!!


Tonight I made kale chips.


I’ve made them before, but just wanted to share how much I love them and how awesome they are

(well, awesome for a snacky veggy)……


All you have to do is remove the tough stem from the kale, then toss them with some olive oil

or grapeseed oil,


then I like to sprinkle a little salt or parmesan cheese on them.  Tonight I just

used salt.


Put them on a foil lined cooking sheet and cook them at 300 degrees for about 15-20 minutes

or until they get crisp.






Sunday, March 15, 2015


Here lately I feel as if I’ve been frittering my time away.

You know how easy it is, you sit down to watch a tv program after work,

get on Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

Before you know it, the afternoon is gone and you’ve accomplished nothing.


Sometimes nothing can be good, we all need a chance to unwind, but days

on end of nothing, is well,




I’ve been stuck in this rut for a while.

Today I made better use of my time…..still relaxing and unwinding, but

taking time to hook on the rug I’m working on,


and finish a book I started yesterday.


Do you have favorite ways of unwinding?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

From Paper to Linen


I’ve been trying to sketch and work on coming up with my own designs for making rugs.

I was inspired by the story of the monarch butterflies and how they migrate.

If you want to learn more about them you can watch this documentary.

A few weeks ago, I started the rug…..it’s been slow going, but fun.



I hope to get back in the blogging groove soon.

So happy that we’ve had a sunny weekend, FINALLY!!

I’ve got a fresh manicure, pedicure and a clean car….I feel like I’m sloughing off winter and

ready to emerge for spring!