Sunday, December 29, 2013


Ah, rug hooking…..yes, I remember that is what this blog is supposed to be about.  Not puppies, not horses, not theatre….RUG HOOKING!  And tonight, it is.  Here are some not very good photos of my latest project.  It is a KLIMT rug that I started in a Pris Buttler class at the Nebraska City RETREAT.  The photos are a little blurry, but they are the best I have for tonight's blogging.

The purpose of this hooking project was to get me out of my normal 'box'.  I love muted colors, grey tones and a primitive palette.  I also like working in black and white.  Pris suggested that I might be stuck in a rut!!!!!  She suggested I use some brighter colors in a project to test myself a little and this was the result.  Pris threw out a few pieces of wool, a couple of greens, the blue and purple, an orange and magenta and said "Deal with it!"  Well, to be honest, she suggested I pick an area and try putting some of the colors together to get the feel for the project.  She was kind, as always.  She was encouraging, she was, well, Pris.  I whined a little with every loop for the first couple of hours.  Then I hit my stride and feel like I have been dealing with bright colors all along.  I even drew in the horse on the lady's left side.  It was not in the original project.

This is what I learned from this project…..all from Pris' words of wisdom.  Your eye still needs a soft place to land, so the grayish color that looks like the marble horse and is in various places thru out the rug, serves that need.  The soft burgundy color to the left of the lady's hair is also a soft place to land, as is the pinky tan tone of her flesh that is also used thru out the rug.  The balancing act,
using these colors, as well as the black, in  a variety
of places, makes the wild color easier to accept, at
least to someone with my palette preferences.  At the end, I even added in some neon colors, there is a pink, green, and orange all high chroma colors, that I used in very small portions.  They worked….but just in very small amounts.

To the right of the lady is a plant with leaves, that I am very tickled with.  Since I finished this up at Christmas time, it gave me one of those secret pleasures to make the plant look like a string of Christmas lights.  We rug hookers have these moments, don't we.  Just a little somethin' something' that is our little private joke.  I put these little things in many of my rugs.  Ah, simple mind, simple pleasures.

That is all for now.  I am going to start a new project this week and I think it will have a nice big black horse in it.  I need to regain my rug hooking equilibrium.  But I must admit, I enjoyed this rug.  Thank you Pris for gently nudging me in this direction.  It was a good experience and I learned a lot from it.

It is almost time to wish you Happy New Year, dear blogger friends.  I think I will wait, I may have another blog up my sleeve before the New Year.

Don't forget, first Saturday hooking is this Saturday, the 4th.  We will also be hooking on Friday afternoon as always.  Join us, it will be a fun time.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas to All

Merry Christmas blog followers.  I am sorry that I have not been blogging in the last week or so, but you know how busy this time of year can get.

Leah's theatre group, Theatre Arts for Kids, in Lincoln, NE performed ANNIE last weekend.
You can see Mij pictured with 3 orphans in the top photo.  I am proud to say that Mij has really embraced the acting experience.  She used to be a little nervous about the lights and crowd.  This time, she sauntered out on stage, gave it a stretch like she had been taking a little nap, glanced at the audience, and sauntered off.
She was perfect and her human Nana could not have been more proud.

Speaking of proud, we had our youth choir 20 year Christmas concert reunion on Sunday night.  Former members of The Waterloo Youth Choir joined my current voice students, and invited summer theatre kids to perform this Christmas concert.  There were 5 rehearsal opportunities, but they were only required to make it to 2 rehearsals.
Sunday afternoon we all met for 2 hours before the concert.  It was the first time all the performers had been in the room at the same time.  This stellar group of 33 wonderful singers pulled it off without a hitch, including 2 chime choir pieces.  I directed with tears in my eyes for much of the concert, especially when they sang the song I wrote for them 20 years ago
"As Long As Children Sing".  I noticed there were some teary eyed singers as well.  We did this to honor the memory of my long time friend and choir assistant, Mary Jo Harlow.  Mary Jo passed away this summer.  This was the first time since it's beginning in 1992 that Mary Jo was not present for a concert.   Actually, I am fairly certain she made it for the show.

Finally, what would a blog be without a report on the Poodle puppster.  He is 5 and a 1/2 weeks old now and gets to come home with me in 2 short weeks.  I have toys and crates and blankets and collars and leashes and books galore, all preparing me for his arrival.  He is the guy on the left with the green collar.  His sister is on the right.  She is going to stay for potential breeding purposes.  The big news is, Jean Miller, owner of Solo Standards has assured me these little guys are not going to turn silver as previously expected.  She think Tundra (my little guy) will eventually turn blue, sort of a steely grey color.  That will be perfect, since I intended to name him 'Blue'.  If he stays black, I will have to have a back-up plan for his name.  I read online, that a blue poodle will have slight brown overcasting on his coat until he changes to blue.  You will also be able to tell on the face when you clip them at 8-10 weeks, if their clipped hair color is lighter than their body color.  If so……blue it is.
We will have to wait to see.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Everyone,

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mij is Stylin'

Our Christmas Open House was great fun.  We had a terrific turn out and a really enjoyable day.  Thanks to all who attended and to Carl who made us lunch.  Congratulations to Karen Flatley, the winner of the $50 GIFT CERTIFICATE.

Here is a news flash for you.  I just got word from Beeline that their cutter and blade prices are going up as of January 10th.  If you need a Beeline cutter or blades in different sizes, now is the time to buy.  I have a long arm cutter in stock at the old price and long arm blades of all sizes.  Contact me for availability if you have been considering the purchase of a cutter or blade (cartridge) before the price hike.

And AHHHHHH…….Mij is modeling her new outer wear.  Of course she is pretty in her pink princess sweater, a natural for a dog named Her Mijesty.  I think the striped hoodie is just right for a more casual look that will keep the chill away on those brisk winter walks.

Leah contends Mij likes her jackets and sweaters, but who is surprised, the little cow dog turned fashionista never fails to amaze.  You go girl, you are lookin' two snap.   (I fear that was a terribly out-dated attempt at 'cool' jargon)

I wish to apologize for fewer blogs of late.  My computer connection has been disturbed and it has not been reaching the house since we messed with the phone connection during the addition construction.  But….it is working tonight, so HOORAY!  I may be back to my regular blogging schedule.

Good night to all.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Addition Full for Open House

As you can see, my painting is done, the fire marshal has been here and the addition is FULL for the CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE tomorrow.  We will be hooking from 10-5 and are all welcome to join us.  Carl will make us lunch and a good time will be had by all.  Make a purchase tomorrow and put your name in the drawing for a $50 gift certificate!

There is so much new in the store it is hard to  describe it all.  There is a beautiful 8ft solid walnut harvest table, a 1860 museum quality mammy bench, complete with original black paint and gold stenciling.  There are wonderful store boxes with great labels for biscuits, spices etc.  There is an adorable possum belly kitchen cabinet and a doll size kitchen table and chest of drawers. All so cute!

Over 100 patterns have been marked down 20%, an unheard of event here at the store, but all part of our grand opening for the addition.  If you get to come visit the store, PLEASE admire my newly painted floor thru out the store.  It took me all week, moving a section of furniture, painting the floor, moving it back and on to another section. It looks pretty good if I do say so myself. I don't intend to repaint it in my lifetime, so please enjoy and admire it NOW!

Oooooh, and my blog would not be complete without mention of the little poodle puppster that is now 3 weeks old.  I get to pick him up in just 4 more weeks and I can't wait.   The 5 pups in the litter have opened their eyes and are exploring their world.  They are all adorable, but I think mine might be just the most handsome and intelligent of them all.  I won't know his name for sure, until I see him.  But, because he is probably going to be a blue/black or silver Standard Poodle, I am thinking of Blue or Remington Blue.  If I name him Remington I could call him Remi.  Carl suggested Charlie, Donna Hrkman likes Smokey.  I am open to suggestions if any of you are inspired with a name for this little adorableness.

All for now,


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas Open House

Christmas OPEN HOUSE will be next Saturday, December 7 from 10-5.   We will have open hooking all day, Carl will make us all lunch!  Bring a treat to share if you wish.  The new addition is finished and will be loaded with antiques, wool and patterns for browsing. I selected over 100 patterns to put on a CHRISTMAS SPECIAL at 20% OFF.  Patterns from Sharon Smith, M. Shaw and many others are on this fun bargain rack.  Visit or call if you are looking for a special pattern.

Join our regular group for a great day of hooking.
We have plenty of room for all with the new addition.
 As you can see from the pictures, it is a good sized space.  I have begun moving the antiques into it, but have to leave outlets uncovered for the fire marshal to inspect on Thursday.  Then I will be able to fill it up and decorate it for Saturday!

As added incentive….on Saturday….make a purchase and be put in a drawing for a $50 Gift Certificate to the store.  Need not be present to win, just make any size purchase at some point of the day.  Your name will automatically go into the drawing.

If Sandy wins again, we will declare her the "Luckiest Woman Alive" or perhaps she has secret powers she is using.  Some form of hypnotic gaze.  Hmmmm….I will be keeping my eye on her this time.

Hope to see you all on Saturday, Dec. 7, 10-5.

Till then,


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all.  I am sure you are all in the midst of the cooking and cleaning that precedes the big day, but I am writing tonight in case you have a moment for a chuckle.  We have been out and out laughing about this for several hours.

Remember my little grandson Smith?  He is the one I  helped make the scarecrow for his kindergarden project.  Well, today the teacher asked each child to tell about their Thanksgiving turkey.  She wrote down the words and then copied each child's story into a book of all the stories, for the kids to take home.

Smith's mom Rachel, was at work when husband Matt called her.  All he could say is "The kid threw me under the bus" and then read her Smith's work.

In case you can't read the tiny print, this is what it says:

Baked Turkey, From the kitchen of Rachel Cole, as told by Smith Cole

My mom gets the turkey from Hy-Vee, probably.  She adds 2 sprinkles of pepper, and she adds those little green specks, parsley: like 12 or 16 of those.  She puts the turkey in the oven.  She turns the oven to HOT and cooks it for about 12 minutes.  The oven beeps and she takes it out.  My mom cuts up the turkey.  My mom does all the work.  Dad is in the basement playing video games on the X-box.  Mom calls us for dinner and we usually save the turkey for dessert.  It tastes like fried chicken.  It is so good.
My mom is a great cook!

As you can imagine this has caused some mixed feelings in their household.  Rachel can't quit laughing (like us) and Matt is nursing some bruised feelings.  I am sure as a hardworking, stay at home dad, he feels under-appreciated at this moment.  Poor Matt!  I am sure this is extra hard on him knowing that the stories went home to ALL the parents, so now a good portion of central Omaha knows that "Mom does all the work and Dad is in the basement playing video games on the X-Box."

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  I hope you all have a wonderful day with friends and family.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Where Have I Been?

 Where have I been?  That is a good question.  I have been very remiss about my blogging, but I have a very good excuse.  No, it is NOT because all my thoughts are with this puppy.  Although, I would have every reason to forego my regular duties, just to stare at these pictures and think of puppy names.

But NO…..the reason I have not been blogging is because I have been so busy with the addition to the antique/rug hooking store, and I am thrilled to announce that it is DONE.  I need one more gallon of floor paint, and I will guarantee you that I will be completely finished by noon tomorrow.
That will give me time to get the house ready for Thanksgiving.  I, of course, host the holidays for my family.  My grandmother always cooked the holiday meals and when I got married, it sort of passed on to me.  How my mother got out of the loop I have never figured out, but I don't mind and love having people come, one and all.

There has always been a tradition in our house that if someone has no where to go for a holiday, they are welcome here. There is always an empty chair at our table for someone needing a temporary family.   Trust me, this tradition has led to some interesting holidays.  Last year, Leah was working at the Rose Theatre, music directing a show about pirates.  She called 2 days before Thanksgiving and asked if she could invite 6 pirates for Thanksgiving dinner.  Of course, I said they were welcome.

What a fun day we had.  These young people, all in their twenties were actors trying to make their way in the world.  For some this was their first professional gig.  Out of town and away from their families, I think they appreciated the invitation to come to the farm.  I took them on a gator ride thru the frozen fields after dinner, they petted horses and got to see the Scottish Highland cattle at the neighbors next door.  Then……the singing began.  I have a little grand piano in my wool/piano room and one of these kids could play the piano like crazy.  They started by singing Christmas carols and moved on to Broadway songs.  For hours  the house rocked with their music.

This was enjoyed by all, except my cowboy son, Will.  Remember him?  Yeah, well, 6 singing pirates AND his sister all trying to out sing one another was just too much for him.  Really, he has no sense of humor at all.

Tomorrow I will show you pictures of the finished addition, but till then, please enjoy the new pictures I got of the puppies and MY puppy in particular.  My little guy has the green collar on.  They are about 10 days old now and I am counting down the days until I can go pick him up.  Life is about to change for me in a big way.  Don't worry……you will all hear about it!!!!!

Happy Holidays…..

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Puppies! Puppies! Puppies!

 I am not even going to pretend this blog has anything to do with business……this is all about puppies!

Jean Miller of Solo Standards sent me the link to these photos on her website.  This is the beautiful mother, Bella.  The father of the pups is Reuben, a beautiful dark red poodle.

My little guy is the one with the green collar.  He weighed 14 oz at birth, not the biggest, not the smallest.

Jean thinks he, and all the black ones are going to turn silver, like their mother.  She will know for sure when she clips their faces at 5 weeks.

I don't know about you, but I think he already  looks like the perfect store/theatre dog.

All of these puppies are already spoken for.  The breeder is keeping one female for a breeding prospect.  The rest will go to the homes of anxiously awaiting dog lovers like me!

I went last night to purchase my first puppy toys.
So many wonderful and interesting dog toys they make these days.  I haven't had a puppy in the house for 11 years.  I am going to have to start retraining myself to pick up shoes.  I am sure this dog will have me trained to do a number of things differently before we are done.

Can't wait…….

 Talk soon,

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Puppies Are Here

 I could pretend this post is about rug hooking, since I am including two photos pertaining to that subject.  But, really I am writing today to announce that the litter of pups from Solo Standards, that I have been so "patiently" waiting  for is finally here.  Jean Miller just called me to say that Bella's litter of 5 pups arrived last night.  Mother and pups are all doing fine.  The pups are big and healthy.  There are 3 females and 2 males.  Jean is keeping a female for breeding purposes.  I want a male puppy and there was an apricot and a silver  born.  I put my dibs on the silver male.  He is black now, but has white tufts of hair between the pads of his feet, which she says indicates he will probably turn silver or at least be a gun metal grey/black. Perfect for me.

Jean names all her litters with a theme.  This litter's theme is WINTER.  She named the boy pups Yukon and Tundra.  Cute names, but I am still looking for the perfect name for the puppy.   Carl likes Charlie, I like Blue or Clipper.  Donna Hrkman suggested Smokey and now I think the name Smoke might fit the pup fine.  I will have to wait until I see him.

He will not be able to come home until he is 8 weeks old.  We
will be driving to get him in January, so we will be at the mercy of the winter weather, but we will figure it out.  Until then, I will be buying dog toys in preparation of his arrival.

Rug hooking???????   Oh yeah……pictured above are Marie Schropp and Sharon Townsend both working on wonderful portraits in the Donna Hrkman class at the retreat.   The little boy is Pat Shafer's retreat project, also from the Donna Hrkman class.  This is her son Tim and she is doing a beautiful job of capturing his likeness and spirit.

More soon,


Thursday, November 14, 2013

The RETREAT is over

The Nebraska Rug Hooking Retreat at the Lied Lodge in Nebraska City is over and a great time was had by all.  Pictured are the teachers and their classes.  On top is Pris Buttler and her class, then Donna Hrkman and her class, and finally Jan Goos and her group.

These ladies all managed to produce fantastic art in their hooked projects.  There were portraits of people and animals, artistic reproductions and some wonderful warm folk arty rugs as well.

The Lied Lodge did their normal fantastic job of feeding and lodging us for the 4 days.  It was cold outside, but with the fireplaces going in the class room and lobby, we barely noticed the chill in the air.

Ladies came from as far away as Alaska, and there were attendees from Texas, South Carolina,
Minnesota, as well as Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa.

I have some photos of their projects and I will share them with you this week.  I would like to thank our wonderful teachers, Pris Buttler, Donna Hrkman and Jan Goos for making this a productive, informative and fun event.

We are having sign-ups for next year…..starting NOW.  Next year the teachers will be Pris Buttler, Donna Hrkman, Jan Goos and new next year, Ali Strebel of Ohio.  She has many specialties…..  primitives, embellishments and more.

Contact me about teacher availability.  The price will be the same as last year….$410 for the 4 day retreat, you of course pay for your own hotel room, which runs $185 for three nights, double occupancy.  There is more information on my website  Click on retreat in the tool bar.  The schedule for 2014 will be similar to this year, we will be meeting in Nebraska City on November 9,10,11,12.

More pics tomorrow.  And for those who are keeping track… word on the puppies yet!  I will let you know when I hear.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Mij IS a Wonder Dog

Here we are at the retreat in Nebraska City.  Things are going swimmingly and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves.  Our teachers are wonderful, there is so much to learn.  I am going to work on a Pris Buttler pattern with a Klimt theme.  I can't wait to start.

Donna Hrkman is a doll and so knowledgeable.  I dyed lots of sepia tones and flesh tones for her class and the students are doing some wonderful projects.   Jan Goos is color planning up a storm for her group and everyone is busy, busy, busy.

I know I should be writing about rug hooking, but this story is too good to pass up.  Leah called me yesterday with a very interesting Mij story.  It seems that on Saturday night, when Leah was sound asleep, Mij started a new bizarre behavior.  She would jump up on the bed and 'pounce' on Leah.   Leah says that is the word that best described it…..Mij repeatedly 'pounced' on her.   When Leah didn't react right away, Mij repeated it and would jump up and down, sort of like she was playing, but with what seemed like a serious intent.   Finally awake, Leah got up and tried to let Mij out.  This is unusual, because Mij usually doesn't want to go out in the night.  Well, true to form, Mij refused the offer to go out.  Leah went back to bed and immediately Mij started the pouncing again.  Leah got up again, tried to let Mij out and when she refused, this time she picked her up and carried her outside.  Mij, stood and looked at Leah like "this is not it" and went back in the house.

Now fully awake, Leah decided to test her blood sugar.  Leah has had diabetes since she was 11 and wears an insulin pump.  She tested her blood and low and behold her blood sugar was 600.  This is dangerously high blood sugar.  For some reason her pump did not send the correct bolus of insulin.  Leah gave herself a shot of insulin and Mij and Leah went back to bed.  Leah says she remembers thinking "Thank goodness Mij woke me up" as she fell back to sleep.  At 6am, the pouncing began again.  Up and down, Mij bounced on Leah until she was finally awake.  This time Leah went straight for her blood tester.  Now her blood sugar was 60, becoming dangerously low.  She ate something and sat looking at that Mij.  It was obviously no coincidence, Mij knew something was wrong and needed to wake Leah up.  There are therapy dogs that have be trained to recognize and alert their owners about blood sugar fluctuations, but Mij figured this out on her own!

Isn't the world an interesting place.  Where a little shy cow dog comes to live with a city girl theatre director and becomes her protector.  I know I sleep a little sounder knowing Mij and Leah are together, looking out for each other.  They are the ying and yang of girl and dog.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Retreat is Here

The Nebraska Rug Hooking Retreat at the Lied Center in Nebraska City starts tomorrow and I am busily packing up the store and loading it in a big truck to haul all of the wool and patterns to the retreat.  I put the dye pots away about 3 minutes ago, after wrapping up a few last minute dye jobs and now I am off to the store.  Carl and I will load the last cases of wool after the store closes today, in case some shoppers stop by.

The teachers arrive at 1pm and I can't wait to see Pris Buttler and meet Donna Hrkman.  I am going to work with Pris on one of her KLIMT patterns and I promised to go with whatever bright bold colors she suggests.  Can't wait!  Our third retreat teacher, Jan Goos will meet us in Nebraska City tomorrow, for the retreat start time at 4pm.  There are 50 ladies joining us for 4 days of rug hooking, learning and fun.

I will start open sign-ups for next year's retreat on Thursday November 14th.  Our 3 teachers from this year will be joining us again, and a 4th will be announced at the retreat.  So, if you have ever dreamed of working with Pris Buttler, Donna Hrkman, Jan Goos……or that surprise teacher, contact me on Thursday for availability.

And, because retreat season at the Lied is the ultimate autumn experience, coinciding with deer season…..I chose this beautiful deer rug to grace my blog today. The background is ECLIPSE, which can be that greeny tan color or a clearer tan.  It made a perfect fall background for the PECOS SAND and TOASTED ALMOND deer, who is jumping over a BLACK CHESTNUT log.

More from the retreat……

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent

 Hang on to your tiaras.......there was a whole lot of crazy going on this Halloween night.  To prove my point:

Exhibit A:  Mij in her Sleeping Beauty outfit that I bought her, complete with the crown.  Doesn't she look thrilled.

Exhibit B:  My daughter Leah, decked out in her Maleficent costume, the  beautiful, but wicked stepmother of the lovely Sleeping Beauty.

Exhibit C:  Mij.....trick or treating, or is that trying to sneak in the back door to escape the craziness.

Exhibit D:  Long suffering Prince (i.e. Ben) who posed, at the direction of Leah, kissing the lovely Sleeping Beauty, awaking her from her poisoned slumber.

Mij's expression says it all.  Where are the cows, where is Will?  Why am I dressed in pink satin?
Why does the lady I live with suddenly look spooky and evil?  Who is the funny looking straw guy sitting in my back yard?   Where is my bed,  where is my pillow?  Aw.....finally, maybe if I close my eyes this will all be over.  But wait.....what do you suppose she has in mind for me at the next holiday.  Turkey feathers and pilgrim hats or do we move right on into an elf costume or angel wings?

Poor Mij.....what next????  I don't have the heart to tell her that Leah's theatre company is doing ANNIE at Christmas time.  I don't suppose Leah will spray paint her brown, tie a big red bow around her neck and make her jump out of a box as  Little Orphan Annie's dog Sandy.   Oh, why did I have to mention that.  Sorry, Mij!

Happy Halloween to All.....


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cinderella's Pumpkin Patch

With only 2 days left before Halloween, there is still time to show off this cute little pumpkin rug.  This is one of my own designs.  I always think this might be a scene from the very pumpkin patch  that Cinderella's fairy godmother selected that famous pumpkin turned golden carriage.  Yes, I am fairly certain the pumpkin in the center was the lucky orange orb.

The background of this rug is Flow Blue, in 3 values.  The pumpkins are 3 different oranges, 1 and 4 are the same color and 3 and 5 are the same.  I pulled a very blacky green color for the stems and vines, which worked well against the medium sky value.

This is not a very big rug, approximately 10 X 28, it is a perfect size for a table runner.   I am drawing this up for someone as a special order this week.  If anyone else needs a pumpkiny project, let me know! I would be happy to draw one up for YOU!!!!

Happy Halloween....


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pumpkin Fest

More gifty pumpkins!  Jan Goos came to hook on Friday and brought these wonderful wax spiced pumpkins as a present.  The shop smells wonderful, all cinnamon and spice!  Goos worked her magic on these beautiful things.  I have no idea how she does this stuff, but they are gorgeous and terrifically delicious to smell.  Again.....thank goodness for my talented friends.

The little round hooked piece is a pattern by Cabin Creek.  I love the little French pumpkin, done in Earthy.  The soft black background is Spunky Monkey.

Next, the work continues on the addition.  Today they removed the wall between the old shop and the new room.  It was exciting and fun to watch and I got to volunteer my help, cleaning up sawdust and hauling away wood scraps.  Next week the electrician, then in two weeks they will insulate and close in the inside.  After the retreat, the cement will be cured enough for me to paint.  We will definitely celebrate Christmas, on the first Saturday of December with an all day hooking 10-5.  Carl will make lunch and we can revel in the new space.  Join us!!!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Good for YOU

GOOD FOR YOU Barb Burke!!!!   Some of you may remember Barb was in the store a few weeks (or months) ago and picked up this little floral kit.

She finished her project and sent me a picture to prove it!!!  Congratulations.  You did a great job.
Now on to the next rug!

The little pumpkin man is a project of Kathleen Salak's.  This is a pattern from Red Rocket Rugs, that is unfortunately no longer available.  Kathleen and I colored planned this little guy and it is a perfect time of year to show him off.

Happy Halloween,

Monday, October 21, 2013

Bowl of Pumpkins

Tonight I have a bowl of pumpkins and assorted friends.  I have been cleaning out cupboards getting ready to start moving into the new addition in the next few weeks.  The things you find!!!!

Here is a bowl of Halloween (and a Christmas ornament hidden in the middle) decorations that I made a few years ago.  Have you ever made these roving mini's?  They are fun and simple and so easy that a child can enjoy making them too.

Here is what you do:  First, dye roving the colors you want.  I like purples and oranges, but also love the turquoise ghost background.  I use 1/2 ounce strips approximately 36 inches long.  I dye this wool roving with Cushing or Pro Chem dye.

When the dyed roving is dry, roll in to a ball, then covering the woolen ball with your hand, slide it in the toe of an old nylon or knee high nylon.  I take old panty hose, cut  the leg off at knee level, slide the roving ball into the toe and then tie a knot close to the roving. to the washing machine.  Throw the ball in the nylon into the washer with a little detergent, wash it, then throw it into the dryer.
It comes out felted and ready to decorate with more roving.  Don't worry about drying the little balls all the way dry. You can take them out still slightly damp, cut away the nylon with scissors and reshape the ball a little if it has gotten a little out of sorts in the dryer.

Now the decorating......use a barbed felting needle, some scraps of dyed roving and you are only limited by your imagination.  I have one bowl of just baby pumpkins, each with a different jack-o-lantern face.  I like the ghosts and there is a witches face on the back of one of those darlings.  At the time I was making them, people were buying them right out of my hand.  I finally had to say they were not for sale, so I would be able to have some for myself.

Try them....they are great fun.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Festivus Halloweenus

I am enjoying all the wonderful Halloween decorations my friends have made.   This little wooden wheelbarrow on my dining room table, is sporting some pumpkins made by friend, Jan Goos.  These are made of paper mache and there are cat faces, pumpkin faces and ghostly pumpkin faces too.   Where does she come up with these ideas?  They are just wonderful.

Below the wheelbarrow is a little train I bought for Carl when we were visiting Sauder Village.  I found this little toy train in an antique store and thought it would be perfect to go under my snow village when I decorate for Christmas.  Carl is a big lover of trains, so it was his present from the trip.  I think he would have preferred some of the chocolate that never made it home.

Next......the addition is right on track and the carpenters were out today.  They got walls up and are now preparing to reinforce the wall that will be cut away between the building and addition.  They are coming back tomorrow, so things should be moving right along.  I definitely think we will be having our Christmas party in the new addition to the store!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Witchy Poo

Let me introduce you to "Witchy Poo".  Kathleen Salak brought her out to me to grace the store this Halloween season and she is just perfect with the the pumpkin and bat combo to her right.  That Kathleen comes up with the most creative ideas and this little witch is an example.  I love her checkered sox.  She even appears to have a wart on her face.  Thank you Kathleen!

Below is a rug I finished a few weeks ago.  It is 3 Friends from Woolley Fox and it was a cute and quick little rug to whip up.  Those who know me, can attest to the fact that I am a big user-upper of leftover noodles.  For this rug, I took the leftover greens and blacks and off whites from my 'lady' rug and added some Seal Brown for the border.  Voila....a lovely little country rug!  I have the pattern in the store if anyone is inspired to hook their own.

 Till next time.....


PS They are putting in the floor of the addition today.  Carpenters come on Saturday!  Exciting!!!!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mij the Circus Dog

With a blog title like "Mij the Circus Dog" very little is left to the imagination.  Here she is, Her Mijesty,  practicing for her starring role in Leah's upcoming production of "Seussical, the Musical" at Theatre Arts for Kids, in Lincoln Nebraska.

This is my daughter Leah's theatre company and it has been newly formed into a non-profit organization.  Leah and her students do some great theatre and anyone in the Lincoln area should go to her and "like" their facebook page at

Mij, is going to be strutting her stuff in the show which opens next weekend.  We had to have her practice in her tutu today, because she kept stepping on it and stopping to look around, like "can this be altered so I don't have to step on my petticoat?"

Leah says rehearsal has come to a screeching halt a few times, when the princess refused to make her entrance.  I think she is just waiting for a bigger part.  You know, like The Return of Rin Tin Tin or Lassie Come Home.

Poor Mij,  has come along way since she left the ranch.  We sent the picture to Will.  I will not repeat the rather inappropriate message I got back from him.

Tomorrow, I promise I will have some actual rug hooking information to share.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Biscuit and Torrey

The rug is done and Biscuit and Torrey, my 2 old gals have been commemorated.  This Woolley Fox pattern worked out perfectly with a little adjusting.  I had to point the ears on the Torrey dog, for her Blue Heeler look and her feet and tip of her tail had to be changed from the original.  The border is a striped as-is wool combined with a Smudged version of the same wool, to darken it a little.  The blue heeler body was a striped grey wool that also has been smudged to take away that new look that sometimes comes with as-is wool.  The background is a mixture of Earthy and some as-is lights.  The coraly pink color of the flowers is Bubblegum Pink and gives just the right vintage look.  This rug is HOMELY, just the look I like from a "heirloom'  rug.

I even put the girls' initials below them.  Pictured below are the two girls.  Biscuit is on the left, Torrey is on the right.   Torrey looks like she is ready to steal some bananas or a stick of butter, doesn't she.  She still has some of the devil in her, even at her age.   Biscuit, on the other hand looks completely innocent and usually is!

See you tomorrow,

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Poodle in My Future

I am so excited!  This week I put myself on a waiting list for a Standard Poodle puppy, that will be born while we are at the Nebraska Rug Hooking Retreat in Nebraska City.  (There, I officially included rug hooking in this blog)  The pups are due November 13th.  This is the beautiful mother of the pups.  Her name is Bella and she is owned by Jean Miller of Solo Standard Poodles in Seneca, Nebraska.

I grew up around Standard Poodles and they have always been one of my favorite breeds.  For many reasons, this is a good match for me.  They don't shed, are a low allergy dog, one of the most intelligent dog breeds and bond very closely to their owners.  I want a dog that I can take out to the store with me and to the theatre when I give voice lessons.  A Standard Poodle, should be just the ticket.

My two elderly girls are a little territorial, so Jean suggested I get a male dog.  Of course, I will have him neutered when the time comes.  I have not owned a male dog for 30 years,
for whatever reason, our rescue or inherited dogs have all been females.  I am looking forward to getting the little guy sometime after Christmas.  I have already looked into puppy classes and will make sure he is a good citizen for the store and theatre.

Jean sent me these beautiful pictures and I thought I would share them with you.  In the middle photo is Bella, out for her walk with Jean.  Note, the beautiful western Nebraska landscape.  Wouldn't that make a great rug! (Another rug hooking reference)  Bella is pointing, she loves to point.  Poodles, you may know where originally water hunting dogs.  The name Poodle comes from the German word 'pudel'  meaning small body of water.  The often called "French" poodle is really of German origin.   Many people still use these versatile dogs for hunting purposes.  Their great intelligence and playful natures make them well-known as circus performers, agility dogs and service dogs.  In World War II, Standard Poodles were also used in the military.  There are pictures of them working right along German Shepards in war zones.

This dog will of course be greatly spoiled and loved and have very little required of it other than some good walks and lots of pets from the kids at the theatre and customers in the store.

The last picture is of the mother and the father of my future pup.  This is Bella and Reuben.  Note behind them, the chaps and bridles.  The Miller's live on a ranch, so they are 'ranch' dogs too.  Our little guy will fit in just fine here on our horse farm.  Hmmmm.......I wonder if Hairy will be jealous.  I know Carl will be.  He told me that he better get all the attention he can before January when we go get the puppy.  He knows that after that......he will have to wait in line.  Poor Carl, he is right!

I will check back in tomorrow.  There is more exciting stuff going on around here.  The next part of the foundation is going in today for the store addition.  The carpenters will be here in a week.  Whew!!!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Visit With Dale and Ginnie

 Well, I had a good day in the store today.  I had a visit from the loveliest people imaginable.  Dale and Ginnie Kadavy from Omaha came out to inquire about rug hooking for Dale.  Ginnie had hooked a project before, but thought Dale might enjoy learning how to hook.

I told Dale that we have 2 great rug hooking men here at the store.  Larry Walton and Ken Petersen both hook here regularly and I am sure would welcome another fellow hooker.  They will never out number the women, but at least their odds are increasing.

Dale selected a the "Primitive Horse" kit, a frame and then started the process of selecting a hook.  There are so many to chose from and each have their own attributes.  He tried several and decided on a Ritchie that fit him just right.

Dale practiced and Ginnie and I chatted and all and all, it was a wonderful afternoon.  They were a really nice couple and I hope they return to hook with us on a Friday afternoon or first Saturday for open hooking.

We will be hooking tomorrow from 12-5.  Remember, everyone is welcome.  November 2nd will be 1st Saturday hooking from 12-5.  Open hooking is free and open to all.
Join us for a little help or just good conversation.

See you soon,