Friday, August 26, 2011

IT's HeRe!!!!

It's here ~ my new Rigby wool cutter! I ended up ordering the Rigby, as I already had a #6 cutter head. (the cutter head that I ordered new for a used Rigby machine that I purchased on Ebay. The machine was too old and didn't have a notch for the cutter head, so it kept slipping and not cutting. THEN... the machine literally broke in half. So, lesson learned. Only buy a wool cutter that you can try, or from a reputable rug hooker) So, I got a new machine with a #8 cutter head. It clamps to my dining room table, so it's very stable and doesn't move at all during cutting. I do protect the table with some rubber jar opener thingies.

I had to try it out, and here's a small pile of worms ~ all nicely and quickly cut!

The #6 is on the left and the #8 cut is on the right. Since I like primitive rugs, this should be enough to get me started and keep me happy for a long time.

I did start hooking the background earlier in the week. It's a combination of 2 different wools~ oatmeal and beige. It's just enough color difference to give some depth, but without being too overpowering. I had started with 3 colors, the 3rd coloring being white, but I thought it was too much color difference. (there's still a spot of white by the bird legs that I'll have to re-hook) Now that I have my own cutter, I an easily play around with the wing and see what colors I like.

This week was back to school. I started as a kindergarten aide. Yesterday was the first day with the kids. I came home exhausted. Today was a bit better. I'm still getting adjusted to a new routine of having to be out of the house earlier. Plus, getting home later than last year, as the school day was lengthened by an hour. I'm hoping to get settled into a routine next week (and leave time for some hooking).

Have a great weekend, and for those on the east coast, stay safe!

~*~ Laura ~*~

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Decisions, decisions......

I finished hooking the border of this rug. Black overdyed with cranberry corners. But, I'm still stuck on what to do with the wing. I have a grey wool, but it doesn't offer a lot of contrast between the wing and body. I also tried a soft black, but once again, not a lot of contrast. I'm thinking of now trying a darker mill dyed black. Decisions, decisions....

We're having fun with Chuck, our turtle. He loves to climb and walk around our screened deck. He tries to climb the screens to get out. He sees the yard and likes to walk around it. Makes me want to build a safe turtle enclosure for outdoors. But, I'm sure he would still try to climb and escape!
He's quick!

~*~ Laura ~*~

Monday, August 15, 2011

Work in Progress

I got a little further on my rug. I need to go cut more black wool at the local quilt shop, but I also need to "fix" the border on the rug. I try to hook in every 2 squares on monks cloth, but the left border is 1 row wider than the bottom. I might finish hooking the other borders before I decide to remove a row. I might decide to add another row to the bottom instead. I'll see how the other sides look first.

This weekend we got rid of our old van. We tried taking it to Carmax, but they only offered us $50 for it. So, we didn't sell it to Carmax, but called a wrecking yard. The parts are worth more than $50. So we got a few hundred bucks instead. It needed a new motor, and that was just the beginning. It would cost more to repair than the car was worth. The tow truck driver arrived, and then the hail storm hit. Thankfully, it was only small hail.

On Friday, I received a call with a job offer! I'm going to be a kindergarten aide at school! It will be 33.75 hrs per week. I haven't worked a full time job in 16 years, so this will be a change. It's not good money, but it's close by, and I'll still have Thanksgiving week, Christmas break, spring break, and summers off with my kids. I start next week, so this week I'll be trying to finish some of the unfinished projects around here.

~*~ Laura ~*~

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bird Rug

I started hooking my new rug today! I took some of the wools last night to a local quilt shop. I met the rug hooking teacher, who brought her cutter. The shop now has their own cutter, too. So, I was able to try a Bliss cutter. I liked it, but it seemed to move around on the table a lot. I guess you need a really smooth surface for the suction cups to stick. I'm now debating which cutter to buy: Bliss or Rigby.

This is how my mottled wool cut and hooked up. It's still very much black, but has lots of shades of grey in it. It's just the look that I was hoping for! (I did try to "marry" the black and grey wool, but it wasn't black enough. So, I went for the dyes). I'm now debating what color to do the wing. I had a small section of a black and tan plaid, but it just didn't seem to blend well. Maybe a solid black? Or outline the wing with black or grey and then fill it with the same mottled wool. The curvy inside piece will be a barn red and black plaid. Maybe I'll hook that section next and see how it looks before choosing the wing color.

I had started another punch needle project ~ a graphic from Bird in the Hand Primitives.

Only 2 weeks until school begins. Wish the summer was a bit longer, especially now that the weather is perfect here in Chicagoland! But, we went back to school shopping with my mom. I picked up school supplies for my youngest. My high schoolers don't know what they need until they get lists from their teachers. Hopefully I'll still be able to find all their supplies and that the stores aren't too picked over.

~*~ Laura ~*~

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Mottled Wool

Look what I did! Plain black wool is, well... boring. After browsing some mottled wool online, I decided to attempt some myself. I'm not a dyer (yet), but am adventurous in trying new things. So, I took a piece of medium grey wool, rolled it up length-wise. Twisted it, and then tied it with yarn. I put it in a pot with some brown dye, but not enough to cover it. When it was done, I took it out and unrolled it to check the results. It gave just few brown splotches to add some interest in the background. I then re-rolled, twisted and tied it, and put it in a pot of black dye. I liked it, but wanted a little more black. So, I did the process again with the black dye. And this is what I got! I'm hoping this hooks up nicely in a rug. It has enough color variations to add some interest. I could see doing this mottled black with a tan background, too. Maybe add some dark green for a vintage look.

I just started another punch needle project~ a snowman. Something cool after hot, mosquito filled days.

~*~ Laura ~*~

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Trip to the Zoo

This week was my "vacation" week. I didn't have to work at school, as summer school is over. My husband and one teen are in OH for a shooting match/school. So, that leaves me at home with 3 kids. (only 3 kids, yep, that's a vacation!) On Wednesday, we went to Great America. The place was packed, and the lines too long. But, it was only in the 80's and not in the 90's so the temps were good and had to use some free tickets from reading.

Today we went to the Brookfield Zoo. I was fearing it was going to be too crowded, but to my surprise, it wasn't. Got 2 free tickets from a museum pass at the library, and headed on our way. James really liked the snow leopard who was sleeping.

The lions put on a show later in the afternoon.

Matt (who didn't want his photo taken) got another mold-a-rama.

Matt, James and Rachel looking at the mokeys in the rainforest.

James really wanted to go to Stingray Bay. It was feeding time, so we bought a small container of fish and tried to feed the stingrays. We didn't have any luck with them eating our fish, but the stingrays did come close enough to touch. Gotta love this photo!

Tomorrow the guys will be home, so that will mean laundry. After all the walking at the zoo and Great America, I plan to keep my feet up and relax. I planned out my next hooked rug, but need to experiment with a piece of grey wool first.

~*~ Laura ~*~