Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spin, eat and rug

Last week's spinning!
 From Afar

Close Up 

Monday's supper starter World's Sexiest Salad! 
Really that's it's name, it is divine.
I used thick bacon.
The dressing, oy, it is wonderfully simple and so great!

And look what I
 quietly finished on it's 2nd anniversary! September Vogue!
You have seen it so many times by now you probably thing this is a haunting.
 Nope it's real. I tried to put my hand through it and I couldn't.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Recipes For Snow with Translations

Dirty Sheep

 White Bark
Here continues the saga of advice for the snowlorn, she is making snowmen!

Thanks Snowlorn, are you a subscriber to RHM?
I wrote an article called It's all white with many white spot dyes.
I used pro chem dyes but the brand doesn't matter.
The idea is to use very little dye and have alternating temperatures or values in each of your snow spot dyes for use in 
each snow man part to help it show up! Or outline in a darker one and fill in with a lighter one.
To determine what values these will be add up the amount of dye! The more dye added, the darker they will be. I've already explained the temperature beside the title.

Here are some of the recipes spot dyed over 1/2 yd of natural wool with approx majic carpet translations beside them:
White Pepper  ( cool white)
1/256 tsp. Aljo  Military Green  moss green
1/256 tsp. Prochem Navy 413  half blue , half black
1/256 tsp. prochem Mint 723   toothpick of brilliant green

Iceberg - (cool white)
1/128 tsp. Prochem Sky blue 407     Blue
1/128 tsp. Prochem Slate blue 441   Blue + black
1/256 tsp. Prochem Iris 816   Blue Violet + blue

Moon Glow ( Warm)
1/256 tsp. Prochem Yellow 135   Yellow
1/256 tsp. Prochem Caramel 130  Orange + Seal Brown
1/256 tsp. Prochem Clay 561        Seal brown+black

Cheese Soufflé ( Warm White) 
1/256 tsp. Prochem Brown 503    Chocolate brown + moss green
1/256 tsp. Prochem Yellow 135   yellow
1/256 tsp. Prochem Caramel 130 orange + seal brown

Dirty Sheep ( Neutral)
1/128 tsp. Prochem Maple Sugar 121   Yellow + Seal Brown
1/128 tsp. Prochem Golden Pear 120    Yellow + speck of Brilliant green + speck of seal brown
1/128 tsp. Prochem Charcoal Gray 670   Black but cut the measurement in half

White Bark (Cool)
1/128 tsp. Prochem Slate Blue 441  Blue + Black
1/128 tsp. Prochem Clay 561          Seal Brown + Black
1/256 tsp. Prochem Violet 818        Blue Violet + Black + Blue
1/256 tsp. Prochem Evergreen 729  Bottle Green + Black

Filthy  Collars ( Neutral)
1/128 tsp. Prochem Brown 503   Chocolate Brown +  Moss Green
1/128 tsp. Prochem Mocha Chino 501  Chocolate Brown measure cut in half.
1/128 tsp. Prochem Charcoal Gray 670  Black measure cut in half

Sugar Bush Snow (Neutral)
2/64 tsp. Prochem Maple Sugar 121   Yellow + Seal Brown
1/64 tsp. Prochem Slate Blue 441        Blue + Black
1/64 tsp. Prochem Golden Pear 120     Yellow + speck of Brilliant green + speck of seal brown

Monday, September 26, 2011

Advice for the snowlorn - what do you think?

I got a little letter asking me what makes good snow. Here it is:

"What would you suggest to dye over white or neutral wool for different shades of snow? I think it would be to stark to just use plain white. Do I use small amounts of black, blue or even brown? I have Majic dyes that I love but also have some Cushing. Not quite sure what to do"

Here is what I said back:

Hi !
I need more info, is the snow shadowed in some places or just meeting pieces of snow like with a snowman? Is this a simple or complex project?

 Generally you want to think about what your snow needs. 

Is it a sharp cold day?
 I suggest blue with blue green too.

Is it in shadow ? I suggest blue violet with blue added and black added.

Is it spring? I suggest adding a small amount of seal brown.

There are many variables here and I can't advise you without more info!
 Write me back!!!

Now I want you all to tell me, seriously, am I too complex?
Now take a look at this photo and tell me I think too much!

This snow is everything from bright yellow white to violet!
And it is coming no matter the colour. So get spinning and knitting up your new gear.
Miss it? or want to study it?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Everybody going out and having fun!

Yesterday I traveled to Back to Basic Farms and joined a spin in from 2 to 4.
This will be held each Monday with a bigger meeting the last Monday of the month, with a show and tell etc. I think we could call ourselves the Barefoot Contessas, we all kicked off our shoes!
Here is the store's proprietress and the spin in's hostess - Joanne Evans
Now that's some bobbin she's got!!

Here is our fellow spinner Marion, she has a beautiful antique spinning wheel!
We were all laughing so much....
Isn't Joanne's store the best! She sells special teas, preserves she does herself and antiques as well as all that wool you can see, we had beautiful tea and baking too. If you want to join us some Monday please let me know and I'll pass Back to Basics number to you!
All spinners are welcome in the Owen Sound and surrounds!

 When I got home I had this wonderful pkg. waiting for me. Weird looking isn't it? A to Z Alpacas sends out their fibre vacuum packed.

 Here is the side view.

Here Mary realizes I cut open the bag because she smells the unwashed alpaca, it is very clean though, no dirt, no veg matter,  just not washed hence very "farmy" and all alpaca sweat and fumes. 
Ambrosia to some.
She dug out the whole pile to pussy foot in and then threw her head back in the bag.

Seems my precious little Mary is a huffer.

 Sad isn't it? This went on for eons.
The Addiction to Alpacas Treatment Center is calling me back today.

And now for some sunshine and light- what I spun at spin in and then plyed last night.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dyed Hodgepodge

Gander upon this big ol' vat of happiness. I dyed locks and knops, icicle and mohair bits. And now I'm tearing downstair to make a batt. I used dyes, Aljo Indian Yellow, Military Green ( I love it) Prochem Boysenberry, Country Blue, Iris and that's what you get, used the point method. You can see how to do that cool method in a video on the Mat.

I just posted the the Mat's colour of the week, calling it Bive oh Free... do you get it? It is a very subtle  joke ....

The cooler weather is making me want to dye and dye. Not great drying weather though.

Look what Eartha Kitt said!
Dr. Einstein was not successful in school, but he found something in the air from his own imagination and his own brain power, and look what he did.

Do you think she is trying to steal my boyfriend?

Here the vat of happiness and fountain of youth as it dries, Ponce deLeon eat my dust!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Letter about Skies and Water

 Invented Landscape

Inspired by a photo
"When you hook a piece that have water and sky, do you hook the sky first because the water reflects the sky? Where on your welcome mat do I find information on how you've hooked some of your pieces??    Looking forward to hearing from you Wanda.

I love to hook landscapes. After much frustration in my earlier hooking I now like to rely on visual aides. 
My imagination is either too broad or too fine to make up the details or vaguaries that Mother Nature supplies us on a daily basis. Neither upon seeing these wonders does my brain allow for remembrance of important key factors of specific reflection details and colour notes. Like was that a warm yellow or a cool one? Was it warm at the top and cool at the bottom? Was the reflection brighter, lighter, duller? 
So I use a visual aid and it doesn't matter one whit where I start or finish, I'm just plugging the right colours into the shapes that exist, and while doing that a sense a accuracy develops and leaves the viewer feeling, "that looks right" 
I use dozens of variations of my key colours. For instance if I need pink, I will have one warm, cool, bright, dull and in a whatever of values are needed.
So I don't pay any head to rules, like always have a straight horizon, the sun reflects in a triangle on water, make your horizon line darker or light or have the water reflect the sky at all, the sky is alwayslighter, brighter whatever.... 
I've seen a thousand examples of those common wisdoms being thumbed at by Mother Nature.

I just put in what I see. I don't try to say anything by implication just lay down what I see where I see it.
An imagined landscape is one that looks invented, it might not look true nor have depth due to my lacks.

Inspired by a photo

Oh I also don't give a fig for direction of my hooking.
I might hook every way while doing either sky or water depending on what's transpiring weather wise.

I hope this helps you out Linda.
PS To find out exactly how I hook some things you can go to Free Online Classroom, or join a class when I give them. I have some lessons in I'm a new Hooker, and I frequently chronicle my rugging in Works in Progress.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A new gentleman caller

Yes, after yesterday's little episode I thought I might play the field.
Here is what my new dreamboat said in my ear last night:

"Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else." 
 Leonardo da Vinci

"It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things." 
 Leonardo da Vinci

He seems more my type... for now. Here is what I made him for dinner.

A Southwestern Ontario Salad
sweet tomatoes
green pepper 
sweet onion
1 cob of corn with kernals removed for salad
7 crumbled tortillas ( lime and habanero)
4tbsp ranch dressing
4 tbsp tzatiki
1tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp salsa

It was humdinger time, wow it was good. I like to go all out on first dates.

Then we followed it with a pepper bacon and tomato sandwich on spelt and sunflower bread. These stupendous tomatoes were grown by my friends Erin Gundy and Peter Allemang. They made our eyes roll back in our heads. You cannot imagine. The best I've ever had, bar none.
And while Leo wasn't looking I found this in his pocket.

I think he's working for Mercedes Benz now.
 Click it to make it bigger!

Seems he liked my cats too.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Twist on Creativity

Just look at all these leftovers from my recent hookings, what a splendid bunch of unclaimed happiness.
Do they make you want to get all juicy and creative? Me too.
wait a minute... 
Listen to what my dastard of a boyfriend just said....
"The secret of creativity is knowing how to hide your sources." ~ Albert Einstein ~

Makes you rethink some one saying "aren't you creative" as complimentary.
 "Aren't you a thieving conniver?"
Sometimes having a boyfriend can really be a pain.

Oh do you miss me doing "let's look a this"
I'm doing it on the Welcome Mat now 
in my new Editorial section.
Join us if you want, you can try it out if you never have before for one month without charge.
Look to the right for the icon to join.

Did I tell you about the new colour lab too?
There are is lots of revitalization taking place at The Mat, it is wonderful to be so blessed with so many dedicated subscribers. Makes up for my boyfriend.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dyeing/Hooking Faces/ Suzannitza

I'm spending some time today getting new dye colours ready for publication on The Welcome Mat. I'm starting a column there somewhat like I write for RHM but with special bonuses and more in depth conversation about the methods or formulas. The best thing is, you can ask me questions and I'm right there.
This month's column is September Skies and they are all lovely. You can see some of them pictured here. I'll be posting two colours a week for 5 weeks with this particular theme and then we will move onto the next one.
It is so much fun to dye when it is cool outside.
For even more fun and exercise I'm making pro chem dye colours out of majic carpet dyes, but only as the spirit moves me. I will not be making a book on this. Just in case you wondered. See Tiger Lilly, named Cheryll Lilly to the right.
I love doing that kind of eyeball detective work. It is good to try to stump yourself this way to keep your chops up. I just wish this kind of work would keep my cheek sag up too.

Yesterday I pulled out a rug I'd started a LONG TIME AGO, ok I started it about 3 years ago.
That's a long time to me.
Unfortunately I had to put it away mid face. duhhhhh.
I do not recommend that.
I've spent a few hours now just looking at where to jump back in.
I know from experience I'll just have to put something in to know what to take out. And I also know my method of hooking faces has developed from what I was doing back then. So it feels really weird but I ready to jump in I think.

Yesterday Man started back to school with the rest of the working men and women who educate our young. I thought I would fix something special for dinner.
I made a white pizza inspired by Claude and Suzanne, wonderful visitors we had a few weeks ago.
Claude was, as always, the wonderful entertainment and Suzanne whom we just met was our chef and hostess.
Yes, you read right. Suzanne said why don't I make the meals? I said Wonderful. I didn't know her but she is Claude's and that is a ticket to ride for any person here.
I was not raised stupid. If somebody says I'll cook, say yes!!!
Suzanne made ont one but two amazing feasts for us. The hidden blessing? While I was in high and hard hookdom we grazed off her labour for 3 days. That was a big deal to me. And it was so good to have that break from my rugs with great conversation to see things with fresh eyes.

So back to what to make man:
Suzanne had made a white pizza but I couldn't remember exactly what to put on it. But her's included dates and chicken and I cannot tell you how amazing that was!!!!
Here is what I did.
 Made the pizza dough as usual.
spread a very thin coating of olive oil on it
poured over 1/3 cup of apple butter bbq sauce
chunks of bbq chicken the grocery stores have
artichoke hearts
precooked onion slices, thickly sliced mushrooms and zucchini in a thin layer with balsamic vinegar on them
fresh dates that were quartered
pizza was sprinkled lightly with real parmesan

Yes is all I can say. Yes indeedy. It was past good. Not as good as Suzanne's but mighty fine in a pinch.
 I call it the Suzannitza. Even pictured stone cold straight from a sleepover in the fridge it still looks delicious.

Loretta would approve of my new word I believe.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

well, well ,well

I'm off to the hair dresser today ( not a moment too soon I'd say) and as I was getting ready look what I found on my dresser where I looked dozens of times. Oh for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.
Choice of finger posed is for demonstration purposes only. Go ahead try this at home.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Thimbleless and Galore

I'm luckier than ducks to have a wonderful friend, Loretta, who is wildly creative plus inventive who makes up the best words, as well as millions of other amazing things she creates. Here is one she made up today:
And I'm not just saying that because it has my name in it. Really I'm not.

We are still defining it  but I think one of the meanings needs to be EXCESS beyond call.
Here's why.
You know I was hinting about a thimble in my last pointless blog post?
I would have killed to have this collection in my house about this time last week...

Look at them all!!

I think my skin, my real skin not my metaphorical skin is getting thin. My real skin seems to be less thick than it used to be. I can still pick up frying bacon and flip over french toast bare handed and stop the rain from falling but sharp things really get dug in without effort. It's like the sharp things are thinking, let's make a hole there and I don't even need to pick them up.
Someday I'll tell you about my gripperstrippedforearms, yup that's all one word.

Ok....As I was finishing my rug(s) ( OH MY GUARD DOG I HATE FINISHING RUGS, have I ever said that before?) I began a rhythmic habit of puncturing the edge of my swear finger with the eye of the needle about every 50 stitches or so. I couldn't or didn't stop sewing though, I had to keep on keeping on and on and on. Deadlines and all that.

Consequently I had two crevasses in my finger and I eventually joined them together the next day for a 1/2 long slice.

THROB - STING - BURN - Think Fred Flintstone hits one of his three fingers at the quarry.
Desperate searches for one of my two thimbles. And again. And yet again to no avail.
No luck for me.

Off to a wonderful quilting store Mother's  just a few blocks away.
Man swept me there in his white stallion, Forester, just so I could keep sewing those few minutes.

Only one thimble there. It was thin rubber with a metal cap.
It was about 14.00 after tax.

Nothing but the best for the customer's at Mother's and I'm so glad to be one of them.
I thought I might end up puncturing it in three seconds flat, but the tightness of it soothed my 
Madame Swearfinger so much it was worth it any price, my blessed only thimble for sale in the whole dang town.

I was very careful to only use the metal tip and did not puncture it.
BUT I'm a retro kind of girl I want a metal thimble, I also never want to be thimbleless again. Not ever. I want a thimble for every occasion and room and drawer and not those fancy pants ones, the prom dresses of the thimble world, no siree I want a workhorse.

I hopped rolled Etsy today and got not 1, 2, 3 or 4 thimbles but a total of about 10 winging their way to me as I type.

to crave and exceed more than what is possibly necessary

Do you thimble?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

When a hooker needs a corner

Last week as I hooked hard ( you know I was in hooker heaven right?) I hooked up to edges but not over. I constrained my usual proclivities to pack, pack and pack some more ( you know I do this with suitcases and drawers too? Interesting...)
But still I had a problem when it came time to sew on my piping.

Oh can I take an aside?
Man and I wanted to make a video of me sewing on this piping but even though I did sew on piping for over 6 hours in two days we did not do it. I suspect we were brain dead by then or suffering the effects of starvation. The cats were forced to lick my ankles for sustenance.
Shortly I'm going to be finishing another rug ( don't worry dear readers I did not pull this one from thin air as others .... it is an older one waiting in a queue of patient rugs who want finished) so we will try to make the video then.

Now back to corners.
You know it is futile to make a square corner right? At least that's how I feel and I don't even try to make it square with a erect point at the apex. I'm not too sharp myself and feel no compunction with presenting the rounded corner. If that's all people are looking at or for I've missed the boat and how with the rug's insides. Want to insult me? All you need to say is nice corners.... Don't tell man as I've kept this soft spot from him for over 30 years.
A girl must have secrets, at least Helen Gurley Brown says so, which brings me back to hookers on corners.

I sewed my piping binding on and stumbled to bed tired, tired, tired but happy to have one down one to go.
When I got up the next morning I saw the rug edge on the left hand side was like Alfred Hitchcock's outline. Even though I did not pack I did have certain parts of my rugs that were hooked in one direction and then suddenly the direction changed like my Peace by Water trees.
And this created a bump out much like you see below.

I called for the doctor, I called for the nurse said oh my freaking fubar cafoodling. Then I called for Straight Man, my resident framer. He put me on the straight and wide.
I had to buy a framing square. We have three but they were suffering from dark tarry residue.
So now I have my very own. Here is it's photo: I love it like my children.
It doesn't talk back. But it will sever your toe if you are careless. Same as children or lawnmowers.
I had to do some plucking as I call it, drawing a straight line right over my loops with a sharpie and cutting off the tops of those loops out of line and then plucking out what doesn't belong.
A cull of sorts.
The most lucky stroke of all ? The Hitchcock was right at my seam join. Somebody loves me dearly....
On my Laughter by Water, newly christened Loon by Water I had a concavity.
Why did I not think to fit them together and call them a puzzle?
Of course I'm older now and I know better, it is just this type of wisdom that make an artist famous or committed to an asylum, I believe this is the outcome. I've really missed out.
I also had to buy a thimble but that's another pointless blog story ( there are so many) for another day!

Friday, September 2, 2011