Sunday, January 30, 2011

I would like to thank the Academy...

Today I discovered that Pat over at Hook, Hand and Heart gave me the "Stylish Blogger Award".   Imagine.....little old me!  I was tickled pink that she would think of me.  Pat likes to "pretend" she is boring but I can attest that she is far from that.  She is a talented crafter, rug hooker, weaver and probably many other artsy endeavors.  She has a fabulous sense of humor and has a houseful of kitties that provide many adventure filled posts.  Oh, and lets not forget Zip!

I have to confess that several months ago I was given another award from a dear blog friend and although I really appreciated it, I chose not to accept it as I couldn't complete all the rules.  The rules state that you must pass the award on to seven other bloggers.  I had just read several blogger posts the were anti-awards and even post it on their sites.  So I decided not to accept.  Now I wish I had because really - how many times in life do you get an should grab every one! 
It is really difficult to select just a few blogs to honor because there are just so many that I enjoy.  But here goes.

My first award goes to Corinne at Momz Wool.  Not only is she my friend but she also is the person who taught me how to rug hook and encouraged me to start a blog of my own. Plus we work together so that means she has to put up with my crazy ramblings for 40 hours a week.  And she still does it!  lol

My second award goes to Julie at Hookworm.  She was my very first follower. (other than Corinne who I forced to follow me)  So she has been with me since the beginning and she has stuck around through all my foolishness.  She shares her crafts and stories of life in Newfoundland.  One of these days we will meet for a tea at Deanne's shop.

My third choice is Maggie at Just Between Me and You.  Maggie is a sweet Texas gal who is just plain delightfully funny.  Even through a very tough year she still manages to make me and many others laugh so hard I often worry I will spew coffee on the computer monitor. OK, sometimes I have.

Next choice goes to Julia at Of Petals and Wool.  Julia lives just a few hours away and shares a love of rug hooking and tending to her farm animals, while constantly being there for friends and family whenever she is needed.  I secretly think she is the Energizer Bunny because she never stops!  I love how If I don't post for a few days, she emails me to see if I'm OK.

My fifth award goes to Kim at My Field of Dreams.  Kim shares her life on her farm, her spirituality and her love of family in every post.  Her honesty is evident as you read her words and her photography always brightens my day.  Like many of you, sometimes you just click with someone and I am sure that we will maintain our friendship over many more years.

So Ladies, if you would like to accept your award (no pressure if you don't do awards it is OK) you have to pass it on to 7 bloggers (Pat and I cheat and did less than 7), post the badge on your sidebar and then tell everyone 7 things they may not know about you.

Hmmm, so here are 7 things you don't know about me:
1) I love onion rings but break them open and pull out the disgusting onion.  So basically I just like battered rings.
2) I think celery should be illegal.  Gross - crunchy and stringy.
3) I sleep like a corpse - flat on my back with my hands folded across my chest.  Maybe I am just practicing for the "Big Sleep" eventually.
4) In university I broke my foot falling out of a top bunk bed.  (Don't ask)
5) I am allergic to cats and dogs. Millie is a poodle so she is safe.
6) I "need" to save my favorite food on the plate for my last bite.
7) I am terrified of clowns.  Seriously hate them.  Some of my early followers know this story but it is traumatic enough to bear repeating.

Gee this was a long post.  Thank you again Pat for the award.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Ugly and the Very Beautiful

I think its best to start with the ugly part and then soften you up at the end of the post.  So here is the ugly
This is the mountain of snow at the end of my driveway.  As you can see it is getting quite high.   The next photo is what is behind that mound.  If you look just above the word "bench" you will see just the top board at the back of the bench peeking out.

Isn't that pathethic?  There is so much snow back there I think it will be June before it melts enough to see grass again.   Now do you understand why I am so fed up?

Now its time for the beautiful part.  Tonight I had to go to the florist to send a plant to a sick relative.  There was an old guy in front of me.  Well, you know I am chatty so of course I started talking to him.  I guess I have a thing for old guys.  Not in a Anna Nicole Smith kind of way - I just think they are adorable.   Lol

Anyway, he was buying red roses.  And he was being very careful to ensure he had some greenery and baby breath to make sure they looked extra pretty.  I thought it was so cute the attention he was paying to selecting the best flowers.  So I started to tease him and ask him if he was "in trouble".  He had a great laugh and said he was much to old to get into trouble.

I was noticing the florist was making 2 bundles, one with a dozen and another with only 6 roses.  He then pointed to the dozen and said his wife was in the hospital and he was taking them to her.  Awwww, how sweet is that!!  Then with a very straight face he pointed to the smaller bundle and said those were for his girlfriend!   OMG.....I tried not to react too much but I am pretty sure that my mouth flew open and so did the florist.

Then the charming old bugger grinned and told us his wife had a room-mate in the hospital who didn't get alot of visitors so he was giving her the smaller bundle.

AWWWWWW, isn't that the sweetest thing??  I was so touched that he would be so thoughtful.  I think the florist and I both wanted to give him a hug.  He certainly did warm this old, cold, snowy heart today. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My audition for The Mob

It has been quite a day.  Snow, wind, sleet.....yuck.  I patiently waited for my phone to ring this morning announcing work was closed.  Everything else in town was closed.  But the call never came.

I dug my disgusted Butt out and got to work.  After we were all there for an hour, the decision was made to close.  Geez,  but Whatever!!

The snow plow was in our yard twice and the drifts are all back again.  For the 3rd time in a row, we have had a significant snowfall on garbage night.  We have large wheeled compost bins that are collected every two weeks.  After I dug it out of the drift tonight, the friggin wheels were frozen.  Dragging that thing up the driveway was like dragging a dead body.  (or so I would imagine hehehe)  I imagined myself as auditioning for The Mob.  Don't they always make you whack someone before you can join??

OK, OK It is clear I am getting a little squirrelly from this weather.  LOL  This afternoon I did do something productive.  I made these yummy Honey Bran Muffins.
 They were very tasty with a nice Cinnamon Danish coffee.  Just what was needed on a storm day.

I am in between hooking projects so I decided to practice my punching skills.  I still don't have a large selection of chunky wools yet so my options are limitied.   But I was in the mood for thinking Spring so I drew out this little primitive bunny.
Looks like I need a bit more practice on my letters.  There is a yarn sale at Zellers this weekend so maybe I can pick up some more colors.

I really hope I don't have to shovel again tomorrow.  Good night friends.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday Word of the Week

The weeks word is  RELENTLESS

that does not relent; unyieldingly severe, strict, or harsh; unrelenting: a relentless enemy.

Origin:   1585–95; relent + -less

—Related forms

re·lent·less·ly, adverb
re·lent·less·ness, noun

rigid, unbending, obdurate, adamant, unyielding. See inflexible.

January has been "relentless".  The snow and cold has been "relentless".  It snowed last night. 
Another storm is coming tomorrow.
My workload has been "relentless".   My boss is "relentless" with meetings, tasks, deadlines........
My in-basket on my desk has spilled over, yet my out-basket is not keeping up. 

And the diet.......lets not even go there.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I finished the auction rug tonight.  Whipped the edges and everything!!  That almost calls for a drumroll, don't ya think?
It measures 10 x 27 inches.  It is actually prettier in person - the colors don't show up correctly in any of my pictures.  It is a relief to get this finished - and with 3 weeks to spare!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

This and That

I'm back from my little imaginary vacation.  I guess the blast of cold air when I went outside with Millie snapped me back to reality.  Brrrr....

I went back through my photos from this summer to try and remember what it was like to see green grass and real warm sandy beaches.
Ahhhhh, that makes me feel a little better.   I suppose before you know it I will be complaining about the heat instead of the cold.  LOL

Today I am making a pot of "Stoup".  Its a cross between soup and stew.  I think it was Julie over at Hookworm who coined the term stoup.  I love it.

Between weekend chores, I did make some progress on the auction rug.
I love the background.  The wool has shades of burgundy, green, navy, charcoal.  I have also added some wool yarn into it, just to mix it up a bit. Here is another close up of the background.
I hope you are all enjoying your Sunday.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Jamaica me crazy

Oh wouldn't it be nice.  White sands, soft breezes, warm sunshine,
tropical drinks with tiny umbrellas......

Well, not for me.  I'm stuck here while more snow is falling outside.  But I am so
sick of snow and cold and January in general.

It is Jamaican me crazy!!
Since a tropical holiday is out of the question I guess I will just have to settle
for a short 15 minute virtual trip as I sip this coconut coffee and
imagine I'm on a beach with a cute Cabana Boy catering to my every whim.
Hmmmm, somehow the sound of icicles falling off the side of the house is ruining my vibe.


Nothing to do now except settle in for the night and hook.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday Word of the Week

I am going to try and pick a word of the week that sums things up and is reflective of what is going on in my world.   Today's word is "Loopy"

–adjective loop·i·er, loop·i·est.

1. full of loops.

2. Slang . a. eccentric; crazy; dotty.     b. befuddled or confused, esp. due to intoxication.

3. Scot. crafty; sly.
I chose to highlight 2 (b) as the most accurate.  Today I have eaten Advil like M&M's.  Way more than the recommended dosage!   Yesterday I had an appointment at the orthodontist for an adjustment.  He said the next 2 months of treatment will be "hardcore".  He asked if I was ready.
OF COURSE I am hardcore!!!  Plus I didn't want him to think I was a wimp and the faster these darn things come off the better.
He warned me that this would be a major adjustment and I would hate him for the next few days.  He was absolutely correct.  Each time I swallow a handful of Advil I picture this Advil sponsored Race car running him over.....

I was so loopy at work I was at least 1 minute behind everyone else.  We were sitting in a Directors meeting this morning and I was supposed to be controlling the documents on the projector.  Beck kept telling me she posted a specific report.  Then she told me again, and again a minute later.  I thought Geez, who cares......why does she keep telling me this? Does she want a medal or something??   Ummmm, perhaps it was because everyone was waiting for me to put it up on the screen!   Duh! 
And sadly that was not the only example of my over-medicated haze today.  
I bet some of you thought "loopy" would be a rug hooking reference.  LOL

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I have spent a lot of time today thinking about neighbors.  I still live on the same street I grew up in.  It is an older neighborhood and although it has changed somewhat over the years, I am blessed that we have several wonderful families who have lived around us for years.

It is a group of people who still help each other.  I know whenever our family has been touched by serious illness or death, the neighbors have rallied behind us.  A few are always on hand if we have a last minute emergency to come over and watch Mom for a few hours etc.

This morning as I sat down with my morning coffee and the newspaper I read a story that sickened me.  A  66 year old woman from Toronto with dementia wandered outside in the night and eventually was found dead in a driveway.  You can read the story here.

This alone is sad, however reports say that neighbors heard her screams and nobody - not one person - called 911 or even bothered to investigate on their own.   I find this so disturbing.  I cannot imagine the grief that her family is feeling right now.  And also I cannot imagine how these neighbors must be feeling. 

Do you know your neighbors?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

2nd guessing

I have to admire crafters or artists who can take their hobby and turn it into a business.  That will never be me.   I have never attempted to sell anything I have made and I think if I did depend on it I would be very hungry!

This auction donation rug is driving me crazy.  When I finished the sheep rug - which I really enjoyed hooking - I started to look at it in terms of $$.   As soon as that thought popped into my head I should have smacked myself. 

The auction is part of a cancer fundraiser in memory of a friend and is part of an evening of curling, food and entertainment.  It is a fun night and I want to help raise as much money as possible with my donation.   Last year over $5000 was raised.

As I looked at the rug I began to question myself -- Is this a "sheep" crowd?  Maybe it is too primitive and country for these attendees?  Would something different bring in more bids??
The questions just kept rolling around until I became almost paralyzed.   But the clock is ticking so today I drew up a hearts design.  Seems like a good idea just before Valentines Day. 

I can't question it anymore - I just have to get going.  I have the basic form and am now thinking of how to embellish this somewhat plain rug.

The next time I start to think of rugs in terms of money - someone please knock me in the head!!  I can't take the pressure.....

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I'm not sure why I thought I needed another hobby but I suppose I am a glutton for punishment.  Your comments yesterday were awesome - lots of great advice, plus some emails with extra tips and many laughs.

I thought yesterdays post title might get your attention.  I had some great chuckles reading them - especially weaverpat who thought I had finally gone over the edge!!  LOL

I went to Walmart this morning to get some cheap chunky yarn to continue with my practice punching. 

I'm not sure if it is the thicker yarn or just a little more practice but it didn't seem as difficult today.  Don't get me wrong -- I still have a lot more practice to do before I can say I'm a novice puncher.   I struggled last night with the loose ends.  I couldn't seem to get the hang of "poking" them to the right side so I invented my own solution.  It may not be right, but it works.  I'm not going to explain it because you real punchers might laugh! 

So this is what I did after lunch, just a little 4x4 square.  Its not perfect but not too bad for a newbie.  I see a few problem areas but it was a good learning exercise.  

Now I need to start my 2nd option for the cancer auction next month.  Time to draw a new pattern to hook.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tonight I wanna punch something

Well, maybe not like that.........It's more like this

I have been looking at all these great little punched pieces some of you create and
wanted to try it.  My new Oxford Punch Needle
arrived today in the mail!!

So I am practicing a little tonight.  Here is the first few stitches
At first I tried a flower at the left - bad.....   Then I tried letters and after a couple I remembered that when punching it is supposed to be backwards - so again, bad!  

Before giving up I tried a little pink heart - better but I have a loooong way to go.
Sorry the photo is upside down but you get the idea.  It is not as easy as I thought it was going to be.
I did try one #8 wool strip before I packed it in for the night.  I heard that you should
start with yarn first before working up to a wool strip but I found
the wool easier than the yarn. 

I think I need a heavier weight yarn.  I'll try that tomorrow and see if it helps.

In the meantime, any advice from you "punchers" would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, and I had so much fun with yesterdays "Word of the Day" post,
I am considering making it a regular weekly thing.
How does "Wednesday Word of the Week" sound??
We will see.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My word of the day

Today it seemed that the one word that crossed my mind, passed my lips, or was sarcastically muttered under my breath was.....WHATEVER. 

Yes I know, not the most mature of words.  Perhaps it is just the "January Blahs" that has taken over me.   I am tired of winter for one thing.  I don't enjoy the cold or the snow and ice.  And I have never understood winter sports.  Skiing???  Since when is strapping two sticks to your feet and hurling yourself down the side of a mountain a sensible thing to do?    It will sound cliche, but I'm the type who thinks it is more fun to dress up in cool ski outfit, toss some loose snow on yourself and then head into the lodge and take up a chair near the roaring fire with a nice drink! 

I think maybe my tolerance level gets short (OK, shorter) this time of year.  I can't get wrapped up in O.P.M's (other people's moods) either.  I have too much going on at home and work to get  caught up in someone elses mood.  By mid morning I was scared that my "Whatevers" might escape my mouth at the wrong moment so I spent most of the day with my door closed.  I actually got alot of work done that way.  But I find it tends to make people nervous when HR has the door closed.  I could almost hear some of them thinking..."What is she up to in there?"  But today that just added to the entertainment!  (I know, mean!)

Or perhaps it was the early morning shovelling that made me feel like someone peed in my cornflakes this morning.  We did keep our electricity last night but a fair amount of snow fell.  I took these pictures last night around 9pm from my back door.

Just so I end this post on a positive note --  I tried the milk toast.  Not bad at all.  I opted for the sugar version as opposed to the pepper. (Yeah - big surprise I opted for

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mid week report

Not a great week so far.  After going to bed Sunday night, I was visited by "the stomach flu".  Finally started keeping food down yesterday afternoon.  The only positive thing is that I lost 3 pounds but would not recommend this as a diet plan.  

Now we are awaiting another un-welcome visitor - The snow storm that has battered New England for the past 24 hours.  It is already in parts of Nova Scotia and is supposed to arrive here in a few hours.   Did I mention I hate January??

Whenever it starts to snow I think about my Grandmother.  She would always insist someone take her to the store for "Bread and Milk" as soon as she heard a weather report calling for snow.  She always said we would be OK if we had enough bread and milk for a few days.   I always teased her  but it has become imprinted in my brain.  So at lunch time......I went and bought bread and milk!  I'm sure she is looking down and laughing at me.

As I am typing I see a few stray snow flakes falling by the window.  Better dig out the candles just in case.  We have already lost our electricity 3 times this winter, so I think -- better safe than sorry.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Since you asked

A few of you have asked for some more details on the making of the sheep rug.   The dimensions are 14 x 14 inches.   The background was hooked in a green plaid wool.  I think this was the first time I hooked a plaid and I love how it looks hooked.
The body of the sheep was hooked with a combination of wool and natural slubby yarn. I really love working with this yarn.

While we didn't get the storm we were anticipating, it still was messy all weekend.  An almost constant rain/snow mix was just enough to make the roads slippery and make you want to stay home.  Since I was thread-less and couldn't prepare my next piece of rug warp, I needed a quick mindless project.  Whenever this happens I grab the knitting needles and make a few cotton dish cloths.

I did get out to the store later today to get some thread.  I bought extra so I am not caught off guard again.
So now the edges are secure and I am ready to start drawing out another heart rug.  The auction is being held February 11, so I think maybe that design might raise more money than the sheep.  If it works I might try putting the sheep on ebay.  I have never tried to sell anything there before - mainly out of fear that no one will bid!

I hope you were all safe and warm this weekend.  Have a great week.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Another one bites the dust

I can't believe I have finished another rug!  I hope this momentum keeps up.  Two complete finishes in 2011.  I mean complete - bound and everything!  Woohoo
The original pattern was a round chair pad and I was considering making it a square but I got some great advice and ended up just squaring up the bottom.  It is a Deanne Fitzpatrick design.

Now I'm not sure if this will be the donation rug or not.  I might try a larger variation on the hearts rug.  Time will tell.  I have a month until the auction so there is hope.

I have a new yard of rug warp and was ready to sew around the edges so I could start drawing but there is a little glitch.   I ran out of thread........Can you believe it?  Who runs out of thread?  You can tell I am not a seamstress at heart.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Burning calories

I had so much fun reading your comments on my last post.  I'm so happy you were all so amused by the fact that I turned into Shamu the Whale over the holidays!  HAHA Kidding girls!

Actually, I laughed so much I decided to google how many calories you can burn by laughing. I like this particular article that says you can laugh yourself skinny!   So I must have lost at least a pound reading your comments. 

And someone suggested hooking would burn some more calories so I am off to a great start without even breaking a sweat!   So, before you ask --- No, I haven't fired up the Wii yet but there is ANOTHER storm coming this weekend so I will definately try one of those workouts.  Being back to work after 2 weeks off was enough of an effort for the past few days.

Today I had an inspiration for another rug, so now I am really motivated to finish the sheep.  If I can finish both before the fund raiser I might switch the one I donate.  I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

An unpleasant truth

Since I was not really thrilled about the end of vacation and the return to routine, I thought I would dress up in one of my new outfits, to make the first day of work more pleasant.  I had bought several new pairs of dress pants for "Santa" to give me.   I had the outfit all picked out - accessories and all. 

I put on the pants.  Hmmmm, did someone move the button??   That's odd.......  So (still in denial) I put on another new pair.  Same damn button issue!  I could fasten them but there is NO WAY I could sit in them all day.  I had to resort to wearing an old pair of "fat pants".  (Come on girls, we all have them)  This was not helping my back-to-work mood.
I figured I may have gained a pound or two over the holidays but this was waaaaay beyond that.  I don't regularly get on the scales but I do know what I weighed the last time.  And that damn needle went well past that number!!   (OK, since we are friends I will tell you but please keep it a secret....8 pounds!!)

So apparently sitting on your butt for 2-3 weeks eating every known cake, cookie and appetizer has a price.  Sooooo depressing!  So tonight after a "light supper" I went to Walmart and bought the Active Sports Personal Trainer for Wii.   And then, instead of opening the package, I sat down to hook.  LOL

But look at the results.....
I always donate a hooked rug to a cancer fund raiser in February so this curly sheep might be the one.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Snow Angel

No, I didn't go outside today and make a snow angel - but I could have.   We got dumped with more snow this morning.  This is the 5th Monday in a row we have had some kind of nasty weather event.

And my snow plow driver went AWOL.  He is supposed to be here first thing in the morning.   Maybe it is because Mom is sick but I get a little antsey when I think I can't get the car out of the yard.  And shovelling my entire driveway is out of the question.  My friends call it a parking lot.  You can park 3 cars across and 3 deep - without crowding. 

I waited until 1:30pm and decided if I made a few tracks it would melt faster etc.  (You know what's coming next, don't you.....)  In an ironic twist of fate - I got stuck!  Arrrgh..... But then my friend Alan drove by the house with a plow on the front of his truck!  He saw me and pulled in and rescued me.  Yippee, my very own Snow Angel!  Ooooooh, and the best part -- Auntie didn't see me get stuck so it is like it never happened!  Baahaahhaaaa

I started another little rug.  For now all you get is a little peek.

I am desperately trying to stretch out the last few hours of vacation.  It is back to work tomorrow.  Sigh....  Vacation days seem to only have 10 hours and back to work days seem to have 39 hours and January seems to have 110 days.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

First finish of 2011

I know you shouldn't love "things" but I have to say I love my #8 cutter blade.  I might have to save my pennies for a #8.5 next.  (Well not for awhile - the sting of that $60 customs fee just flashed back in my mind)

But I finished this cute little mat today.  And in the spirit of the New Year and breaking old habits, I whipped the edges right away.

  I won't make it a formal resolution but I am going to try and completely finish a project before moving on to the next.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Up with the crows

A new year, a new start - and I didn't want to waste any time.  All I could think of was getting all the Christmas stuff put away.  By 9:00am I had a roast in the oven, the tree un-decorated and all the traces of the holidays packed in boxes and returned to the basement.  YAY!  I have been ready to do that for days, but apparently if you put things away before January 1 - the world will come to an end!  (Well - according to Auntie anyway)  LOL

At 9:15 the phone rang.  It was my former sister in-law from Montreal.  (Yes, if you are scratching your head - I am technically an only child but I have 2 honorary sisters and 4 brothers.  Their parents and my family grew up together.  After moving to Montreal and having 6 kids they continued to spend every summer at the beach with us -- from July 1 to Sept. 1.  We grew up together and are very close. And when the 6 introduce me to their friends they say "our little sister" and I introduce them as my brothers and sisters)

But I digress.....even though big brother Tom traded in Marty for a new model - she is still family to me! The first thing she said was "I bet you have everything put away".  LOL  She knows me so well!!  We had a good long catch-up call. 

Auntie and Mom slept in until about 10 so they had a surprise that all the work was done.  Well, except for vacuuming up the 10 pounds of tree needles left on the floor because I didn't want to wake them.   I had a big laugh when Mom came downstairs.  I was waiting at the bottom of the stairs for her and let out a big, animated Happy New Year!   She took one look at me, and turned around and started back up the stairs!!!  You should have seen the look on her face ---"I'm not going down there with that looney woman."    I actually had to coax her back downstairs.  It was pretty funny.

So, thus far 2011 has been good!  Now that the house is back in order I feel like hooking more.  Maybe I will get a rug finished tonight.

And before I forget, I want to thank everyone for the wonderful comments last night.  I have read them over and over.  They mean so much to me.