Friday, December 30, 2011


I ended up tweaking the bird on the rug. After looking at the photo, the bird seems just a little too fat on the left side. So, I took out a row of black loops, and replaced them with the oatmeal background. The crow now has a sharper beak, and seems a little more appealing. Now onto binding.

Yesterday I was out shopping, and found these Pendleton wool pants. They are a pretty tan/cream color. Can't wait to cut them apart and wash them. It should be nice wool to hook up.

I also found these wood board. The painting won't stay. I could see some type of punch needle or hooked rug attached to it. Yet another piece to put on the pile to do ~ sometime. But for a "whopping" 25 cents, I couldn't pass it up.

Didn't get any crafting done today. Instead, I took one of my teens to the doctor. He had a cold that turned into an infection. Hopefully he'll feel better now that he'll on antibiotics.

~*~ Laura ~*~

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Almost finished

Almost finished! Last night I finished hooking this small rug (approx 14" x 12"). I steamed it, and it just needs some binding. I did end up putting in my initials in the corners for something fun. Maybe I should use some fabric transfer paper and make some rug labels, but that's another project. I even thought I should keep a record of what I used for each rug. I might be a good reminder of colors, and how certain wools/colors change when hooked. I did learn that the green in this rug is darker than the original plaid. I thought more of the lighter values would pop out, but I still like the overall effect.

While my saltbox rug was drying, I started re-hooking the blues in the floral rug. I like this blue a lot more (although the other blue was very pretty, too, but just not the shade I was looking for). I'm still debating on the background and what to do. I have seen some other wools that are a mottles/spot dyed. I wish I could test them out. Hey, that might a whole other concept of selling wool: see the entire wool piece, then see how it looks when hooked in a rug. =)

I'm even thinking ahead to another project that could use the brown/tan wools..... I found an adorable rabbit rug pattern. Not springy or Eastery, just plain folk art. I could get it in either monks cloth or linen. I've only hooked with burlap and monks cloth. Should I go for the linen on this next one? It might be fun to try, especially when I get my Christmas gift that I ordered. I didn't get in in time for Christmas, but I'm waiting for a new lap frame! (been using a Morgan hoop, and need to get an upgrade). I'm hoping the UPS guy brings it to me quickly!

Chuck, our pet turtle, has been getting lots of attention while everyone is home on break. Chuck even got some Christmas gifts: a water mister, new mulch, and some hay. He's one lucky turtle!

~*~ Laura ~*~

Monday, December 26, 2011

Doing "nothing"

Today I did nothing. :) I stayed home, with the exception of driving one kid to a friend's house. Other than that, I watched a movie, and worked on a rug that I started a couple weeks ago. The house and flowers were done with an Oxford rug punch. My hoop isn't big enough to hold the rug tight, so I opted to hook the background. Just need to get some more of the grey plaid wool to finish the border and the binding. The greens are a green plaid, the house was done with 3 different overdyed red plaids, and the flowers were done with 2 of the red plaids. The rood and border are the grey plaid that is under the silver pick in my previous post. The grey plaid really hooks up nicely ~ lots of subtle shading.

This is my youngest and I last evening. We stopped at a local park that gets all decked out in lights and light figures (trains, windmills, ships). One of my teen sons wanted to quickly try his new camera, so James and I posed for photos. No snow on the ground this year, but that's fine with me!
I received my wool for the background of the floral rug. I got a soft black, grey, brown, a brown/green, and khaki. I did try a test strip, and attempted to marry the wools. The before is the lower wools, and the after are the strips on the top of the photo. Not much difference. Not sure if I need to add more black wool when I marry the wools or not. Or if I should just leave them as is and see how it turns out. I'll have to re-work the blues first while I'm debating the next step.

Here are the newer blues for the flowers. A lot more muted/primitive shades. I really like the newer shades of blue!

Then to decide how to attempt the hooking of the background. Do I try one color around all the edges of the flowers and stems? I'm thinking just cut the wool, and randomly pull the strips out of the basket. It's suppose to be primitive, so I just might see what random looks like.

Hope everyone had a blessed Christmas!

~*~ Laura ~*~

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Merry Christmas! I've had the last week off of school/work, along with my youngest. The high school is in a different district, so they had school through this past Wednesday. I enjoyed the quiet of only having one kid at home for a few days. I finally finished all my shopping, wrapping, and Christmas cards. This evening was church, then out to dinner for Christmas Eve. Tomorrow we'll open gifts, then head to my parents for dinner.

More rug photos to follow this week. I've been working on a small saltbox house rug.

~*~ Laura ~*~

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Picks and Parades

I did a little shopping this past weekend at my local quilt shop. I found the wool in the background, which will work for a roof on my next project. I also found this silver nut pick. I'm going to try it out when I'm rug punching. I don't know what tool to use to push the wool ends to the other side. I would think scissors might accidently cut the wool. I don't have any prody tools, so this will do (I think!).
I found these 2 wool skirts at a local thrift store. The black plaid is 50% wool and 50% lambs wool. I can't wait to see how it will wash up! The green has lots of flecks, and will work well for grass. It was almost a long skirt, so lots of wool for cheap.

Today was the annual Merry Cary Parade in our town. I went to see Matt in the marching band.

At the end of parade, Santa always makes an appearance. In the downtown part of town they have sleigh rides, a petting zoo, and a couple kiddie rides. My kids have outgrown the kiddie rides, but I saw a couple kids from school in the parade that must have had a good time.

Hope everyone has had a great weekend!

~*~ Laura ~*~

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I started getting out some of my Christmas decorations. These adorable gingerbreadmen are a new addition for me this year. I found them at a garage sale this past summer. I think I paid a whopping $1.50 for the entire set! The person was downsizing and getting rid of all her craft items/supplies. I really didn't need any of the supplies, but was happy to take these.

I've been hooking on my rug the past few days. I have everything but the background done. I still want to get a more muted blue for the flowers, but will need to decide on where to get the background wool. I'm thinking of an antique black background. I want lots of different variations in it. I'm thinking several different textures/plaids all overdyed the same black. I don't know of anyone who would carry 5 different textures. I've found a couple sellers that sell 3 textures, but I'm not sure if that's enough variation. Anyone have any suggestions for sellers? Something that has black, tan, and hints of possibly green? I'll end up using the wool to bind the edges, too. That way it's guaranteed to match the background.

It's been back to school/work for me after having last week off. I do have to say it's nice going back to a job I enjoy. I really enjoy working with the kids, and we have a great class this year. It's low pay, but the hours are good and it's close to home. =)

~*~ Laura ~*~

Friday, November 25, 2011

Not a Creature Was Stirring, Not Even a Mouse

I just finished a whole bunch of these mouse ornies! Photos don't do them justice, as they are much cuter in person. I might be listing some on Ebay soon, so I'll keep you posted. Now that this project is completed, it's back to the rug I've been working on.

For Thanksgiving, our family went to my parent's for dinner. Today, I stayed home from shopping. (with the exception of a trip to Ace Hardware) I didn't want to deal with crowds and getting up at the crack of dawn. I guess there wasn't anything that I saw on the ads that made me want to deal with the Black Friday chaos.

This past week has flown by too quickly. But, only 3 more weeks of school until I get 2 weeks off for Christmas. I now need to take down the fall decorations, and start putting up the Christmas ones. Guess that's my project for the remainder of the weekend.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

~*~ Laura ~*~

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Turkey Time!

I just finished punching this turkey for Thanksgiving! I love this pattern, as it has SO many different shades of orange in it. The person I'm making this for wanted the date changed, so I used this year, instead of an older date. I just need to paint the hornbook and mail it off to her.

My next big project is going to be a bunch of mouse ornies from this pattern from Country Stitches. I always like to make one, and then see how I want to change the materials. Since I don't have any wool roving, I'm already thinking of using some of that fakey wool stuff. This will keep me busy this week.

I don't have work this week, as it's parent teacher conferences. Aides don't go to them, so I'm off. It means no $, but I'll like the extra time to get these projects completed. Plus, I have to start my Christmas shopping list. I'm really behind, as I was battling colds for the past several weeks. (gotta love working with germy kids!)

I had a neighbor drop off some wool fabric today. It was left over from her neighbor's garage sale, and they knew I'm into wool lately. I'm not sure if all of it is 80-100% wool, but it looks like a couple pieces are. I'll have to wash and dry it to see how it washes up. For free, it's worth a try!

~*~ Laura ~*~

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My new Oxford Punch!

On Saturday, I went to a rug hooking class. The teacher invites back previous students to encourage new students and do a show and tell. While I was there, I started hooking more of my rug. I finished the flowers, and started the leaves. I'm not sure I like the blues that I picked out for the flowers. They are very pretty blues, but I think I might need something a little more toned down/primitive. I'll wait to see how the leaves look before I decide to change anything.

Friday night I went to the football game to see Matt in the marching band. James brought a couple friends so they could hang out at the game. It was cold, but we won and advanced to the next round. Andrew and Rachel went to a Svengoolie appearance. For those not familiar with Svengoole (a Chicago area celebrity), he plays horror films, and makes fun of them. Andrew brought a rubber chicken to be autographed. I think this made his entire year!

Now onto the really cool news ~ I got an Oxford punch needle. It's been sitting in the shop, just waiting for me to purchase it. I figure I know how to punch needle and now rug hook, so this is a combination of the two.

I don't want to use wool yarn, but strips of wool from rug hooking. This is my first attempt without reading any instructions. I just need to work on spacing, and make sure to punch all the way to the handle.

The gold was punched with a #8 cut (1/4" wide). I then wanted to see what a #6 cut looked like. The loops a a bit higher, but I like them higher. This will be fun to play with once I'm done with the couple projects that I'm working on. I just wish there were a few more hours in each day!

~*~ Laura ~*~

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Last evening, I went in search of some candle rings for my dining room chandelier. I didn't realize how difficult it would be to locate them. Guess the stores don't carry them. So, not wanting to wait to order and ship some, I made my own. I found some berry branches at Hobby Lobby, twisted them into a ring, and placed them on the chandelier candles. Since the candles hang high, no one will see the twisted wire ~ only the berries hanging down. Best part ~ they were 40% off!

I started a Thanksgiving turkey punch needle for a special order. I loved punching this pattern last year. This one will be done with 3 strands, and I changed the date to this year.

Today, the mailman brought me my package of wool that I ordered from Ram in the Thicket! Yipee! I found Susan's site while browing for rug hooking wool. Best part is that you can purchase a small amount, as in a 3x18 strip of wool. No need to buy 1/8, or 1/4 yard, when you only need a small amount. It's a great way to get a few shades closely matched. I can't wait to cut and start hooking with this! It's for my floral rug that I started.

Now to see if I can get my photos uploaded. I've tried several times, and blogger won't upload photos for me. Finally got the photos to upload!

*~* Laura ~*~

Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy Monday!

Only 1 more week until we get all the trick or treaters. I've been a scrooge this year, and haven't really decorated for fall. Just a couple door hangers on the front doors and a few bowl fillers. (like my Frankenstein faces above) I don't like to do corn stalks anymore, as it attracts mice, squirrels, and raccoons. We've even had outdoor pumpkins eaten by critters. We certainly don't need more of them around!

I finally got my camera working today. My SD card was stuck on "locked", so I was unable to take photos. Got a new card tonight, and I'm good to go. I realized that there was only 1 choice available for SD cards, as my camera won't accept the HD cards. (yep, I have an older Canon, but it works and I like it. I'll use it until it dies) This is my rug that I've been working on. I didn't get anything accomplished this past week, as cold season hit my household. But, now that we're feeling better, I ordered more wool for the flowers/leaves. Can't wait for it to arrive!

While I'm waiting for my new wool, I also have been re-working the bird rug. I didn't like the background, so I tore out several rows and re-hooked them. I'm still thinking of doing something different with the wing. It just doesn't stand out enough.
I have a pile of worms that I tore out. I would like to re-use them, but will need to iron them to flatten them out. Anyone have any good techniques for doing this?

~*~ Laura ~*~

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Playing hookie

I'm playing hookie from work today. (ok, a personal day) Couldn't ask for more gorgeous weather! I need to spend some time this afternoon working on my rug. I started the flower this week. I LOVE the red flower. It's 2 barn red wools, but different plaids. (click on the photo, and you will enlarge it to see more detail) It really gives nice dimension to the piece.

Last night I looked out our patio doors and saw something crawling out of our neighbor's shed. I had to see what's there now. ( we've had foxes, skunks, and raccoons)

Still a raccoon. A really BIG raccoon. Might make a nice coon skin cap for my son. =)

I'm off to wash the car in the gorgeous weather!

~*~ Laura ~*~

Saturday, September 24, 2011

~*~ Went Shopping ~*~

I decided to head out and do some shopping today. Not the regular grocery/errands shopping, but shopping at the Country Folk Art Festival in St. Charles, IL. I haven't been to this show in many years (too many kids, not enough $ to spend). It's a small show, about 40 vendors. But, it's all good, high quality folk art.

I did try to snap a few photos. (I feel funny taking photos, as it's their booths/items. I don't want to make them think I'm stealing their ideas/patterns. I would rather give a link to their website/blog and hopefully get them some more customers. I just enjoy browsing!) The above photo was from . There were some hooked rugs that I was admiring. He did wonderful work, and I was amazed at how low his loops were, but very even. Gives me something to strive for.

I also admired a booth by The Cooperage (blog at )She had tons of punch needle items, plus patterns.
Here's some more of her items. She also had a couple wool hooked items. My kind of stuff! =)
While I didn't buy any finished items, I did find some hand dyed wool pieces. (in my opinion, it's even better!) A couple pieces of gold and reds for the rug I really need to start. Now that I have the starting colors, I can start cutting and hooking.
~*~ Laura ~*~

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Though I haven't posted this week, I've at least thought about it and took a few photos! I ended up re-working the wing on my bird rug. I switched the color scheme by using red for the wing and grey for the inside. I did a little outlining of the wing and the squiggly inside wing area. I think the contrast in the colors is a bit better now. I've blocked it, and now just need to bind it.

I won a giveaway on Ann's blog !! It's a rug hooking pattern designed by Buttermilk Basin. I can't wait to get to do this project, especially now that I know how to transfer patterns onto monks cloth. Thanks so very much, Ann!

This week I transferred a pattern onto monks cloth for the first time. When I ordered my wool cutter, I asked for some red dot transfer paper. They didn't carry the red dot, but suggested a product called crack stop. I decided to give it a try since I haven't used either product before. When I got it, it reminded me of the drywall repair tape that I've used, but it a large roll. That's exactly what it is! One side has a slight adhesive on it, so that it sticks to the backing and doesn't move. I first put it over the paper pattern that I had and traced using a Sharpie marker.

I lifted the crack stop off the paper, then placed it on the monks cloth. It held with no movement, even when I was tracing.

When finished tracing, I peeled the crack stop off the monks cloth, and viola ~ the pattern was on the backing!

I now have the next pattern ready to go. (don't look at the line on the right side of the backing. The directions said to draw a rectangle a certain size, and once I did, the floral design didn't fit inside of the rectangle. So, I ended up enlarging the rectangle.) Now to zig zag the edges, cut my wool, and start hooking!

Yesterday was Andrew, Matt and Rachel's 16th birthday! Hard to believe it's been 16 years since they were born. There was a home football game, so we went to see Matt in the marching band. He's one of the trumpet players up front.

Today was a family birthday party for my trio. They now have money to spend, so we'll see how quickly they spend it!

~*~ Laura ~*~