Saturday, April 30, 2011

On to the next thing

I tested out the hookers crack stuff today.  It is really a great way to transfer patterns.  I give it two thumbs up.  No more pins or slippage. 

I'm no good at giving tutorials and I can't take pictures with one hand but I'm sure you will figure it out.  (That is code for "it's so wasy even I can do it") 

First I drew out a little doodle on a sketch pad.  Doris sent me a bunny pattern but I seem to have bird houses on the brain so I thought that would be where I start.
I guess you can't really see in the picture.   The crack is a little sticky on one side so I just placed it on the sketch paper, trying to line it up on the ditch.   Then I traced out the pattern.

Then just peel off the paper and place the crack directly on the burlap.  It adheres to the burlap - NO PINS!  Then re-trace through the crack onto the burlap.
Easy Peasy!  While I was doing this today, our handyman stopped in.  (He has been AWOL for awhile)  I showed him the crack and asked him next time he goes to the building supply store to get me some.  He looked at me a little strange, but since he knew he was already on thin ice  he didn't ask too many questions.

Now its time to dig through my wool stash and get hooking.  The PIF  projects are finished and will go in the mail Monday.  Yeah!  

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I'm cracked.   Not a big surprise, I know.  Lol    I wanted to title this post "Crack" but thought some of you might get the wrong idea. 

But I do want to talk about Crack.  It is not about the kind of "crack" you buy in a dark alley from a sketchy looking guy.  And not any other sketchy type of crack.  (PS you have to be careful when you google "crack" for images)  ....ewwww

Do you remember my post a few weeks ago titled "Hookers Crack"?  Well I was mocking my addiction to wool but later that evening I received an email from a fellow hooker informing me that there indeed was a product known as hookers crack that is used to easily transfer patterns onto foundation fabric.

Then she told me she was sending me some.  This sweet, thoughtful blogger was none other than Doris from the blog Moments in Time.   If you are a regular follower of Doris, you already know she is a lovely lady, an extremely talented rug hooker and instructor, and of course Mom to that little doggie Eloise.  If you have never visited her blog, please stop by and say hello.

My package arrived this week.  I couldn't wait to see what this hookers crack was.

It is slightly sticky so it adheres to the backing to allow clean tracing of the pattern.   And as I examined it, I realized it is the same material that builders use to cover holes etc.  It is known at building supply stores by the name Crack Stop.  Who-da-thunk that you could find useful rug hooking supplies at the local Home Depot?

Doris also included a sweet little bunny pattern so I have something on hand to test the crack.  I'm going to test it out this weekend.

I was touched by her thoughtfulness.  I think that is one of the wonderful things about this whole blogging thing.  You get the opportunity to interact with wonderful people you wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to meet.  And it seems there is no shortage of kindness and support amongst us.
Thank you Doris.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday Word of the Week

I think this is an appropriate choice for this edition of the Word of the Week.....

hoop·la    [hoop-lah]
–noun Informal .

1. bustling excitement or activity; commotion; hullabaloo; to-do.

2. sensational publicity; ballyhoo.

The past week has been nothing but HOOPLA over one particular event.........

If you didn't guess the Royal Hoopla Wedding then you must be living under a rock.  It is everywhere.  And I hate to admit it but I am oddly fascinated with it myself.  Not enough to get up at 3am to watch the TV coverage of it though.  I will be content to watch the 4,000 or so highlight clips of it that will run ALL DAY.

I suppose I have a soft spot for William.  We watched him grow up, suffer the devastating loss of his mother, and develop into what appears to be a lovely young man.  I hope he is happy.

But you know it veers into hoopla territory when you see some of the wedding souvenirs being peddled.....
Here is just a sampling....
A mug or a key chain --- relatively tame and respectable
Starting to get a bit more into Hoopla zone - Will and Kate fingernails.......

And you know it is full blown Hoopla when you get your own commemorative underwear.....
(Mildly disturbing)
Our local dollar store has sold out of toy tiara's

So, I ask you....are you all caught up in this Royal Hoopla??  A friend posted an interesting question on facebook yesterday with some very amusing responses, so I will ask you the same question to see what your clever responses might be........

What are you wearing to the Royal Wedding??

Monday, April 25, 2011

Now it's official

Even though the calendar  said that Spring was here several weeks ago, there were very few visible signs around here.

Maybe it's my old fashioned tradition, but it seems like Spring isn't official until Easter arrives.  And the weekend didn't disappoint - beautiful spring weather -- it was no jackets and flip flops.  It wasn't just me either ~ the neighborhood was full of kids of bicycles and the occasional road hockey game broke out.

And the buds have finally finally started to appear.  I know that this may seem like not much to many of you in warmer climates but around here (after the looong winter) this IS a happy sign.

And the tulips in the front yard actually have a flower head now.   So in a few weeks I will see color.

Speaking of color, you know I have mentioned that I want to have a bunch of dwarf sunflowers in my backyard this year.  I should mention that I do not have a green thumb.  I have killed just about everything I have ever tried to grow.  Two years ago I planted a lovely snowball bush.  It was doing great and I thought the curse was over.  All of a sudden for no reason it just died.   My family actually suggested that it committed suicide to avoid my killing it.  Can you imagine??  What a family, eh.......Lol

Anyway, back to the sunflowers.  Today I bought some fiber pots and planted some seeds to get them started inside.
I think I'll post regular updates.  I don't know why I am so optimistic.  It is highly likely that nothing will happen.   And I am ridiculously impatient.  I know that tomorrow morning I will look - hoping to see a sprout.   See.....this is why I don't garden.

One last sign of Spring - Millie went missing for a short while today.  This is where I found her.

She goes to what ever room has the largest sun spot of the floor.  When the sun moves, so does she.  She is a bit annoyed that I temporarily blocked her sun to take the photo.

Thanks for your comments and advice on the bird houses.   My problem is I love them both but I have to gift one of them.  I think I will keep the red one and hope that Donnie makes lots more next winter and I will get myself another one.  (or two)

Back to the grind tomorrow. (sigh)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

For the birds

Yesterday I went to a unique event - a Bird House Sale.  Building these one of a kind bird houses, all from recycled materials, is a hobby of a local minister.  The minister of my church actually.

The event ran for 2 hours ~~ 1pm-3pm.   I arrived promptly at 1:05pm to make sure I was able to get the best selection.
I was one of the first to arrive and Donnie was at the door to greet all the "bird brains", as he called us.  I think he had about 60 different houses for sale.  I looked at maybe 10 and turned around and the room was FULL of people.   I snatched up these 2.    And as you left you were presented with a bag of bird seed with each house. 
I love the tags on each one.  "Not just for Baptist Birds"  cracks me up!   I would be shocked to hear that the sale lasted until 3pm.   Most people, like me, left with more than one house.

My plan is that one of these houses are for me and the other is a gift.  So...which one should I keep??
Please give me your opinion.   But keep in mind, I am leaning towards the red one (not that I want to influence your

I hope you all have a lovely Easter Sunday.  I over-indulged in a large turkey dinner so I have been in a bit of a turkey-coma most of the evening.  

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Good Friday (oh, and don't burn the calamari)

I hope you all had a wonderful Good Friday.  We certainly did.   The sun was shining and it seems that everyone in the house woke up on the right side of the bed.  Nice !

I prepared my World Famous eggs benedict with smoked salmon for brunch.  We had a few visitors pop in, including one of Mom's previous home-care workers.  He hasn't been assigned to us for months, yet he never misses stopping in on special occasions with a little treat for Mom.  He had a little easter bag filled with home-made fudge.

Isn't that sweet??  You can tell the difference between those that just do their job and those that genuinely  care about their patients.

 The evening ended with a great gathering at a friends house.  It's been awhile since I've been out to howl !  LOL
OK, there wasn't really any howling but we did have a great time.  And the bracelet was the star attraction.  I think every girl there wore it for awhile.  So I would say it passed the test as a "statement piece".

My invitation for this party had a notation at the bottom  "Don't burn the calamari".  So I should tell you about the last time I was invited to this house.   When I arrived Teri was just breading a bunch a calamari with cajun spices.  She dropped it in the deep fryer and then took me to see the recent renovations they made made to the hall and bathroom.

We got chatty and completely forgot about the deep fryer until we smelled something......Bad.  We ran to the kitchen (everyone else was completely absorbed in the hockey game on TV and didn't notice - or were too lazy to get up)    So, when you completely BURN spicy calamari ---- the smell is like nothing you have ever experienced.  Think dead decomposing skunk times 100.

We opened a few windows, cleaned up and started again.  It seemed like that was the end of it.......until it was time to go home.  The second we got outside in the air, we could smell it again.  The odor had completely absorbed into the fabric of my shirt. 

It was the dead of winter and I could hardly stand the drive home.  I had all 4 windows of the car down and I was gagging from the smell and my eyes were watering.  Freezing to death in the cold was a more appealing option than being trapped in a car with that smell.  
It was a smell like no other and it seemed to have a life of its own.  So last night the party was calamari-free.  Spending a few hours with good friends was just what I needed and was a perfect way to end a great day and kick off a long weekend.

It is another sunny spring day here and I am going to a Bird House sale.  You can read about it here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Kindness and Arm Candy

Well its no secret to anyone that I like a little bling.  And last week I got a message on facebook that Deanne Fitzpatricks Rug Hooking Studio had just brought in a line of jewellry.  Handcrafted pieces of art from a designer in Montreal, Anne Marie Chagnon.  Of course I had to run right in the next day and look.  Necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets that are truly wearable art.  So unique and special. 

I looked and drooled, especially over a particular bracelet.  Kathryn, who works with Deanne, encouraged (forced heehee) me to put in on my arm.  I resisted at first but then submitted to its sparkly beauty.  It really is a statement piece.  
And guess what......?  NOW IT'S MINE...............

The entire collection is special and it is such a nice addition to the studio.  So, if you happen to be in Amherst this is just one more reason to stop in a visit Deanne and the girls.  Snap up a piece of this bling.    And wouldn't it be great if word spreads about the jewellry and someone stopped into the studio and discovered the art of hooking as well........ 

I am invited to a little party tomorrow night at a friends house.  I am planning my outfit around the cuff bracelet. 

It was quite a day today.  It seemed that kindness was everywhere.   I notice it more than I used to.  I think since Mom got sick I appreciate kind acts more.  Maybe they were always out there but I just didn't see them before?  I noticed today when I picked up Mom at her Alzheimers Day Care, how great the volunteers were with her.  It means a lot to know she is safe and happy there, with people who have good hearts.   Today it was little things and really big things.  I always try to note them now.

Sometimes someone does something for me that is so unexpected or beyond belief, that I really don't know how to process it.  This is what happened today.  I won't go into details but they know who they are.  It was a gesture that will stay with me and I will do whatever I can to pay it forward.  Isn't it nice, especially at Easter time to be able to experience kindness first hand?
Happy Easter to you and yours.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday Word of the Week

The Word of the Week is  Chameleon

cha·me·le·on     [kuh-mee-lee-uhn, -meel-yuhn]

1. any of numerous Old world lizards of the family Chamaeleontidae, characterized by the ability to change the color of their skin, very slow locomotion, and a projectile tongue.

2. any of several American lizards capable of changing the color of the skin, especially Anolis carolinensis (American chameleon), of the southeastern U.S.

3. a changeable, fickle, or inconstant person.

4. ( initial capital letter ) Astronomy . Chamaeleon.
If you recall from my last post - I was attempting to save my sanity by hiding in my office.  Melaine had a great suggestion - to dress in the wall color and blend into the background.  Love it - So next week I'm going beige head to toe.   Do you think it will work??

Also, if you go back to my definition, at the end of #1 it mentions a projectile tongue.   Hmmm, this is what I feel like doing a lot of the time
However, maybe if I kept my tongue in my mouth more and yapped less I could avoid doing this....

But for now I will dig through my closet and look for lots of beige and see if I can pull off the Chameleon thing.   Now that I think about it - this could be useful at home also.   
Oh and no post on Chameleons would be complete with a reminder of this.....
So you remember this song?   Oh Man - the 80's........What were we thinking????

Monday, April 18, 2011

Just another manic Monday

It all started so innocently.  Just another Monday...

I arrived at work early (as usual) and put on the coffee pot in the staff room.

After a quick catch-up with Corinne, who had been away all last week, I went to my office
and turned on the computer, opened up the email and.....

Friggin Land Mines started going off all around me. 

Sucky emails, crappy phone calls, crabby people with nasty issues in my office.....

Sheesh, I hate Mondays!

Things started to quiet down around 11am, so since that time I have been hiding in my office....
Like Elmer Fudd during Wabbit Hunting Season

Shhhhhhhh, be vewy vewy quiet.....

Maybe nobody will know I'm still here.........

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday assembly lines and long distance coffees

There is a saying around these parts that if you don't like the weather, wait an hour and it will change.  

Today it started out grey and extremely windy.  After lunch the rain came and it came in sheets.  Around 4pm it was bright and sunny.  Weird....

I did get back to hooking this weekend.  I didn't get much accomplished last week.  I think part of the reason is that I am bored with my current project.  I have been working on a few of those hooked sachets.  I didn't want to waste any of the excess rug warp by cutting it so I decided to fill the entire piece with them.  But I really want to get to something else so I'm not really motivated to finish.
Instead of a fun project, its starting to feel more like an assembly line.  One after the other - the same old thing.  Yuck.....   Just two left (yippee) and then the tedious task of finishing.  Blah.....   I'm not sure why I'm in such a hurry because I really don't have a specific project in mind.   I am expected my copy of Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine this week so I'm sure I will get inspired.  The reviews have been great so far.

This morning I had a long distance coffee with my friend Kim - via email.  We email back and forth and its just like we are sitting at some kitchen table chatting about nothing and everything.
Its been kind of a joke between us about random ramblings.  And if you read any of our emails you would understand.  We hop from topic to topic with no rhyme or reason.  But I smile everytime I see one pop up in my inbox.

Tonight I'm going to try and finish the last 2 sachets and then get to bed a little early.  Tomorrow is one of my long days at work.  Another reason not to like Mondays!

Ohh, I almost forgot.....Thanks you all so much for the lovely comments and messages for Mom's birthday post.  You are all so sweet and they meant alot to me and I'm sure they would have meant alot to her also.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Party Time

Today is Mom's birthday.  I invited several of her friends to supper
at a small family restaurant in a nearby town.

I wasn't very good at getting pictures of everyone but here are a few
I called ahead and got the little private side room because it is
less confusing for Mom.  She was in a good mood today
so we had a great time.
This is Mom and her best friend Alice (middle).  Alice still takes Mom
out for a little drive every Friday afternoon.  She is an angel.
They brought a cake to the table and sang to her.  I didn't get a picture but it was
a giant chocolate cake with boiled icing. 

I didn't really need to order a 2nd cake but I did get one for home too.  I invited everyone
back to the house for tea.

It was a good night.  Here is a pic of me and Mom with her cake.  As you can see, by this point she was tired and not in the mood for a photo session.  We couldn't coax a smile out of her at all.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hens and Old Fellas

Tonight, as every Thursday night, is Hen Night here.  A friend of Mom's - a retired hair dresser - comes to the house to do her hair and several other "old dolls" come over as well.

So the old gals get to have a visit and they are all clucking and gossiping and of course - expecting tea and a lunch.  My head is usually spinning by the time they all leave later tonight!  Lol   Normally I don't mind but with all the "balderdash" at work this week I don't have the same level of patience tonight.

Its been quite a crazy hectic week so I haven't had much quiet time - or hooking time.  Maybe later tonight I will get to pull a few loops - to wind down.

Now I have to tell you about the old fella.  You know I have mentioned this before, that I have a thing for old guys.  Not in the Anna Nicole Smith kind of way (haha) but I just think they are so adorable, funny and charming.  Those old grandpa's have the greatest stories and sense of humor. 

Yesterday the little church in my neighborhood was having a chowder luncheon.  They do this every few months and it is so good.  They only charge $8 and you get a large bowl of fish chowder, all the buscuits and rolls you want and a piece of dessert.  These desserts are all homemade by the church ladies and the serving size is huge - actually could be cut in two and still be a decent size serving.

Anyway, this old couple sat across from me.  I learned later they were brother and sister who had both lost their spouses.  The old fella had me in stitches the entire time.  You could tell all the church people knew him and that he was well liked.  When it was time for dessert he winked and said he was getting more than one.   There are usually 8 or 10 different choices - pie, pistachio squares, chocolate cake, sex-in-a-pan, blueberry cheesecake etc.     We each took a selection and after he was finished they came by with another tray.  He asked me what looked good so I picked for him and he slid half on my plate.  Then a third time - chocolate cake chunks in whipped cream and choc drizzle - he took it and gave me half again!  

When I went back to work I was stuffed and half sick!  But don't ya just love those sweet old fellas?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday Word of the Week

This week's edition of the Word of the Week features........


bal·der·dash   [bawl-der-dash]


1. senseless, stupid, or exaggerated talk or writing; nonsense.

2. Obsolete . a muddled mixture of liquors.
Origin:   1590–1600; of obscure origin

I think it is fair to say that this word could apply to a majority of my posts.   It is also a word that has popped into my mind several times this week.

I really can't post anything related to my job but if I could you would often be rolling on the floor.

Really, whoever originally said "There is no such thing as a stupid question"......was a MORON.  Because I hear them on a regular basis !  There have been times in the past few days that I have been rendered speechless ---- (which is quite a feat).  

I sat in my office this afternoon,  attempting with all my inner strength to maintain some degree of professionalism and all I could do was utter a string of grunt-like syllables  "Uhmm, ahh,  buttttt, huh"

I'm kind of a "tell it like it is" gal, so it was hard for me not to say "Are you freaking nuts??"  

While I'm listening to all this Balderdash I sometimes hear my grandmothers voice in my head.  She had lots of little "balderdashy" sayings.

- The lights are on but nobody's home.
- That boy's as sharp as a sack of wet mud.
- His/her elevator doesn't go all the way to the top floor.
- ......not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
- ....dumb as a bag of rocks.

How's your week going?