Saturday, December 31, 2005

Last Day of the Year

This morning I decided to use up some Cushing dyes and dyed some rather dull medium blue wool. I threw in some American Beauty and Violet. Here's a pic of the results - nothing outstanding but definitely better than the original. I'll be able to use this wool for the punch needle rughooking workshop on the 7th with Amy Oxford. She's going to teach my rug hooking group punch needle with everything from rug wool to wool strips to exotic yarns. What a great way to start the new year!
I also did another little embroidery punch needle. This one's done with 2 strands DMC cotton embroidery floss. I like the colors and the cotton flows more smoothly than the linen strands. Oh, I did rip out that ugly background from the first project.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Something New

The other day I decided to try some punch needle embroidery (also called Russian punch needle embroidery or Igolochkoy ). Last year I found a set of needles at a yard sale. This is done with 2 strands DMC linen embroidery floss. It's about 1.5 by 3 inches. The colors are brighter than in the photo but I don't really like the background color. This is a practice piece so I'll leave it be. A nicer needle would be worthwhile and then the pile could be shorter. I'll have to practice alot more. A woman I rug hook with does unbelievably beautiful pn embroidery.
I'm still working on the second Johnny Cash rug and will post an update soon. I changed the blue and green stripes stool to vines and flowers. And I decided to start it over. I purchased a different type of linen to try out and found I really dislike working with it. I keep avoiding working on this piece because of the linen so it looks like it's time to go back to my preferred linens.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Almost Blue

Came home from work today, saw the light flashing on my answering machine, and learned that the indigo class was cancelled due to low enrollment. How disappointing! Jenny, I guess I will have to take you up on your offer to visit Missouri to do some indigo dying!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Anniversary Rug

My mom just sent me this photo of the anniversary rug I made for my parents in 2003. She recently hung it in their bedroom. Nice hanging job, Tom and Mom! My favorite parts are the side "fence" borders, the "kids in the nest" and the strawberry because my Dad liked to say that "Anita's kisses are sweeter than all the strawberries in the world."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Mood Indigo

I received the supply list for the Indigo workshop I'm taking on Dec. 3 & 4. I was very excited to read that we'll learn some shibori techniques also. It looks like I have all of the needed supplies but I'm going to get some silk and linen to dye. I've been reading "Indigo Textiles: Technique and History" by Gosta Sandberg. It has a good amount of historical info and overviews of the different indigo dye techniques used around the world(with some nice photos too). I just picked up from inter-library loan "Indigo, Madder and Marigold" by Trudy van Stralen. I can't comment on it yet - haven't turned a page of it! The other fiber related book I'm reading is "The Root of Wild Madder: Chasing the History, Mystery, and Lore of the Persian Carpet" by Brian Murphy. So far it's an interesting and entertaining page turner. I'm learning alot about present-day Iran and Afghanistan and just as much about the Persian Empire.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I Walk the Line

Finally, a photo of the finished Johnny Cash #1 rug (and just in time for the movie!). Well, I still have to finish/bind the edge but I consider that close enough to say it's done. It's done in all blacks and grays for "the man in black", but the blacks are a mixture of black, and dark/dark bright blues, greens, and purples wools so it would have some depth and movement. I'm still working on the Johnny Cash #2 rug and gotta get my hooking hands moving faster - or find more time.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Some Benefits of Snow

It was actually snowing enough today to wear a winter hat - so I had a chance for the first time to wear a beautiful hat knitted by my brother-in-law, Pfef. Not only did he knit me the hat, but also matching socks and sweater, a Levold Herod design. How lucky am I?! In the background of the photo is one of my sister Jenny's luscious hand woven towels.

The dismal afternoon weather allowed me to drink alot of coffee and almost finish hooking the Johnny Cash #1 rug. I'll post a photo when it's done.

A couple of weeks ago I dropped off the oak & acorn stool at the Fiber Art Center and was fortunate to see the Bamboo Show, a show of interesting and diverse pieces using bamboo. I also had the opportunity to see a trunk show of Afghanistan war rugs. The rugs have really stuck with me. Some a bit difficult to view but really interesting designs. You can learn more about them at

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Bag Lady

I've been using my new hooked bag and it's a great size to carry all the usual essentials but still big enough to include a book. It's about 9x10x2 inches. It's been especially nice to use these past few gloomy, rainy days.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Blue Building for a Rainy Day

I finished sewing up my handbag last Saturday. It was easy, not the hassle I was expecting. I'll take some pictures soon. In the meantime here's a pic of one of my favorite buildings along Storrow Drive between Harvard Square and Western Ave. I like how the sky and clouds are reflected in the windows and the uneven window pattern. I think it would make a nice rug design. I don't know the name of the building or the architect.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

the whirlwind is in the thorn tree

After a long day at work Thursday I was too nackered to go to my rug hooking group - so the group didn't get to see this rug yet. Anyway, this is the beginnings of my Johnny Cash #2 rug. The inspiration for this rug comes from the liner notes to Cash's last album. He wrote that the idea for "When the Man Comes Around" came from a dream he had in Nottingham about the Queen. She tells him he's like a whirlwind in a thorn tree (read the liner notes for the full story). I'm going to add the words to the lower portion of the sky. If I'm happy with how this turns out, I'll enter it in The American Folk Art Museum's "Icons of America" rug contest.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Half way done!

Half way done! I used a wool blend for the lining. The handles and lining have been sewn in. Now I just need to sew up the sides - with a gusset bottom. I'm looking forward to using this as a fun fall bag! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Flower Handbag

I needed a colorful break from working on my black, gray, white, and charcoal Johnny Cash #1 rug . This is going to be a handbag. The narrow ends will be the top opening. I have some nice wood U-shaped handles to add. I'll post another photo as it's sewn.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Oak and Acorn Stool

Here's a hand hooked stool I recently finished. The wools are hand dyed and mill dyed. The design is adapted from a Medieval English pavement tile. I originally was going to use the red for the background , but I'm glad I decided on the gold instead. And, in fact, the original tiles were produced in gold or black.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Postcard from Waterloo

Here it is, my first blog entry. The name of my blog is in memory of my father, Harry, who passed away on May 26, 2005. He, along with my mother, Anita, grew up in Waterloo, Illinois. "Postcard from Waterloo" is also a great Tom Verlaine tune.

"Now, we must say adieu
I'll send a postcard from Waterloo
You always said that I'd really like the view."