Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I found some treasures

The conference is going well. But luckily there was a small break this afternoon for a couple of hours. I could have taken a boat tour OR I could drive 10 minutes to Mahone Bay and visit a rug hooking store. Guess which one I picked??

The drive was beautiful. The trees are turning those great colors and as you approach the village limits of Mahone Bay you see the two churches over-looking the Bay. Seriously a stunning image today with clear sky and sunlight. Still kicking myself for forgetting the camera. And the village was having a scarecrow festival, so these incredibly creative "scare-people" are everywhere.

I discovered the treasure of the "Encompassing Design" Rug Hooking Studio on Main Street. And yes, my eyes glazed over once inside and I lost all sense of time. Now I know what some of my readers are thinking........yes, i did say a few days ago that I wasn't going to buy any more wool for at least 2 weeks.........but that doesn't count when you are on vacation......does it??? I think not! LOL

I did buy a couple of pieces - Autumn Leaves. Absolutely gorgeous splotchy dye with rust, reds, golds and auburn tints. And then I spotted a hooked piece on the wall of an angel. I HAD to have the pattern. I have a special "angel" thing at Christmas with one of my friend's mother's - but that story I will share in another post during the holidays. So needless to say I will be hooking this angel to have her completed before Christmas.

I really wish I could show you some photos. Its funny - I forgot the camera yet I remembered to pack a corkscrew........Corinne was quick to point out my priorities! LOL

Kim (from my patio overlooking the bay!)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

On a treasure hunt

OK, not really, but I am spending the rest of the week at the Oak Island Resort and Spa. Not exactly a holiday trip - I am attending the Nova Scotia Association of Municipal Administrators Conference until Friday.

Oak Island has quite a legendary past. Legend has it that Captain Kidd buried a treasure on the island. For over 200 years there have been numerous excavations and missions to discover the treasure. Just Google the Oak Island Legend - lots of fun facts.

I arrived a few hours ago and am settling in. The resort is just outside Mahone Bay, a beautiful little seaside community. Very picturesque, however I packed in a hurry and forgot my camera. DUH! Sorry but you will have to take my word about the beauty.

A few miles from the resort I thought I should find a little store to pick up some hotel munchies. WELL - what an experience! I found this little store and as soon as I pulled up to the front it reminded me of a scene from a CSI episode. You know when they arrive at a little shop in the middle of nowhere and the clerk is laying behind the counter in a pool of blood.........

So as I walked in - this place could be scouted for a future episode. I gathered up the obligatory potato chips and chocolate and went to the counter. OK - this is where it gets wierd...... There was a strange little man there and he wouldn't make eye contact with me. And trust me - I don't have the kind of figure where men look about 12 inches below your eyes!! It started getting creepy - he was looking about a foot and a half to my right and talking to me - like there was an invisible person standing there. AND THEN I started thinking - maybe he can't look in my eyes because he feels guilty because his psychopathic son is behind me with a rusty butcher knife waiting to hack me to pieces!!!!!

OK seriously - he was creepy and it was wierd and I really did have these thoughts. But you all know by now I'm a little twisty! LOL Or maybe I watch too much CSI??

Now I'm off to socialize with the rest of the group. Be back tomorrow with more fun news.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Piling up

It seems like everything is piling up at once - and its driving me a little crazy.

First, my rug hooking projects are piling up - physically and mentally. I still haven't whipped the edges of the Sand Dreams rug, the Monthly Reflections square is in progress, I started a mug rug a week or so ago, and I have a purse project to get moving on.

The purse is creeping up the list of priorities as it is for a class I am taking from Jennifer Manuell from Fish Eye Rugs in mid October. We are supposed to have started some of the hooking before the workshop so we can focus on the construction. I have the wool all selected for it but the kit is still sitting on the floor at work beside my desk - exactly where it was delivered.

Another great plan I had was to do a small to medium size rug for a new 2nd cousin who is due to arrive in early November. And then the winter rug I have in my head - that I designed around some beautiful stained glass dyed wool I purchased months ago. And before I know it, April DeConick will reveal the October theme. Whew, I tired out just thinking about it. So many ideas - so little time. I think its the "Gemini" factor. Scattered and of two-minds. LOL

The housework has also been piling up. Its been a very busy month and we have ALOT of company. Which means after I get home from work I am stuck entertaining and I am not the kind of person who can do housework after 10pm. But today (knock on wood) was a free day. Nobody arrived. (Or as I like to say "Grand Central Station was closed") It was a treat. I worked all day uninterrupted. Laundy, vacuuming, changed all the beds, even cleaned out a few drawers and a section of a closet. I am away for a few days this week so I really needed to get caught up.

Now its time for my 10 minutes (or more).


Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm a Wool-aholic

There.....I've said it out loud. I am a wool-aholic. They say that's the first step in dealing with an addiction. I CAN'T stop buying wool. Hmmm, I wonder if there is a 12 step program for that??

Today I told my friend Corinne I didn't think I could visit her for awhile. She just dyed some new colors and I can't look at them.
You see, I was at her house last week to buy 1 small piece of wool. (ONE) But I walk in and I see the large shelves on the wall, with ALL the pretty colors all lined up. I get all flustered, my eyes gloss over and I keep grabbing another piece and then another. Before I knew it I had 5 piles and I couldn't put any of them back. I should note here that I seem to have the same reaction at the car dealership. I go in with the plan to buy a sensible, reasonably priced car and then I spy some hot little number across the lot and its over!

And, god forbid if Sherri at Shabby Sheep posts that she is having a wool sale on etsy! I can't log in fast enough to see if she has anymore of that beautiful stained glass dye.

Whew! It feels good to come clean as an addict. I am NOT going to buy any more wool for awhile.....OK I can definately go 2 weeks. Thats the goal.

As you can probably tell, today was a better day!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I should have stayed in bed

Today was one of those days. It was a VERY crappy day at my day job. I just now got home from work and I am going to try and relax and let some wool strips run through my fingers. A little hooking is what I need.
Then I'm going to sprawl out in front of the TV and watch mindless Dancing with the Stars and Cougartown until bedtime.

Lets hope tomorrow is better and today is not a preview of what the rest of the week has in store for me.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

In the words of Nike, sometimes you gotta "Just Do It"

I can't put it off any longer. This is one of those cases where thinking about it and worrying about it is just a pointless exercise.

What I am referring to is the first square of the Monthly Reflections Rug. Its been almost a month, I think. I have the concept - I bought the wool - I planned (sort of) the square - I drew the the grids - and for weeks I have just been staring at the blank space.

Its so much pressure. Will this square relate to the others?? Will I be able to express the other 11 months with the color choices I have made?? What will next month's theme be?? Will I smother under this giant piece of burlap?? So many un-answered questions.

JUST DO IT!!! So I did. Yee haw!!!! Today I started hooking it. It felt like a giant relief. It seemed like a simple little task last month - 12 squares - 12 inches x 12 inches. Seriously - a 12 inch square seems really big to me right now! But the truth is - you just have to push away the fear and start with a few pieces of wool. It soon starts to take shape.

I am facing my fear of textures too - this square has felted wool, yarn, some beautiful ruby colored slub, and amazing silk ribbon. Deanne was right - I love it! Now before you all think I've gotten carried away with this texture thing - I'm still not going to put lettuce on a sandwich or come face to face with a clown anytime soon.......but a little silk ribbon is OK. Baby steps eh!! LOL

Here is a little sneak peek. Remember - this is a work in progress at a very, very early stage.........
Now, I'm guessing that nobody can figure out what its going to be yet. Unless you are very familiar with my local geographic area.......(thats a hint)! Don't worry, hopefully soon it may take on a recognizable image.
More to come soon!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Nothing smells better than homemade bread. Shhhh.....I have a connection! (hehe sounds like a secret dealer!)

There is a retired lady who I discovered this summer at the beach. Her and her husband are retired and they spend their summer here at a beautiful waterfront property and then they go south for the winter to sail on an enormous sailboat! I know - rough life eh!

They are leaving for the winter at the end of October, so I am ordering up all the good stuff while I can. Today was delivery day. Wonderful molasses brown bread, plum loaf, and an amazing mushroom mozzarella foccacia. The foccacia didn't make it past 6pm. It was supper! And for the icing on the cake she makes to-die-for chocolate chip cookies.

Next week I think I might try the Greek foccacia and brown bread pans rolls...... or maybe the sun dried tomato and oregano......and more cookies of course.

Tomorrow's breakfast - toasted plum loaf with peanut butter. Ohhh, what am I going to do come November???

Monday, September 14, 2009

Nothing is ever easy here!

Every simple little project in this house always ends up being a huge hassle. I didn't blog all weekend because I was so fed up that I thought I might scare you all away with my lunatic ravings!!

I had a leaky faucet in my bathtub for awhile now. Then soon it went from a drip to a stream. OK, time for new taps. Not a big deal. Huh! Right! I called our plumber and he picked up some new taps and arrived early Saturday morning. He said he would have the water turned off for about and hour. So, I filled up the coffee pot (I can live without water for awhile in the morning, but not coffee). Within 10 minutes, he was back downstairs informing me that he had to KNOCK OUT A WALL!!! Now (so I'm told) most contractor/plumbers install a little trap door for such occurances, but apparently our last guy didn't get that memo!!

OK, now the wall is down. Then he tells me that our pipes are so old that the new taps won't fit and he's going to try and modify the pipes to make it work. Come on............But wait - it gets better..........

Now its hour 3 and I go upstairs to check things out and he is packing up his gear. BUT the wall is still DOWN. "Well, ya know, this took longer than expected", so he thinks he will come back and fix the wall later. NOOOOOOOOOOOO WAY! Nobody is leaving this house until the wall is back up - unless they are in an ambulance!! (This might explain why I am sometimes referred to as "Little Hitler" in my house) HAHA I won that one - the wall was back by supper! I bet he hopes he doesn't have to come back here for awhile!

For those of you living in an old house, I'm sure you understand. Every little job creates a couple of bigger ones. But at least I can start the week drip-free!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hen Night

Tonight, as every Thursday night at my house, is Hen Night. This is the night that all the "old dolls" (AKA my mothers friends) come over to get their hair done. Mom can't get out to the hair dresser anymore so a lady comes to the house and makes her all pretty. So it seemed like a good idea to invite a few others over to get pretty too. And that has been the case for the past few years. Some weeks its 3 of them, some weeks its 6.

I scurry around with tea and cookies while they gab and cluck about all the town gossip and what's on sale and where etc. Its quite a scene! Curlers and hair nets everywhere. And look at this old dinosaur......
This old commercial hair dryer has to be about 50 years old! And we use it every Thursday. Can you imagine buying an electric appliance today and having it last 50 years??? Not likely! My Grandmother used to have a small beauty parlour in our house and this is a remnant of that time. The shop was gone long before I arrived so I know it about 50 or so years old. Someday I bet this would fetch a nice price on ebay.....

Goodness, I'm exhausted when they finally leave but they really enjoy getting together so I guess I can handle it. My only rule is "NO blue rinses". I can't condone that! lol

Today was one of those days when things didn't go totally smoothly. I woke up and dressed for work - thinking I looked good. (hehe) Sat in the kitchen, ate breakfast, and read the newspaper before work. So far so good. Walked out to my car and looked black pants were navy and my shoes were brown. DUH! Guess the lighting wasn't so great in my room this morning. Tomorrow I'm definately turning on the lights! And of course I hadn't left myself alot of extra time, so I flew back into the house and did a quick change. Always safe with beige! I told my story to a co-worker after lunch and she said she did the same thing. She snuck home on her morning break to change her top. It must have been really dark this morning!

So while the hens fluttered around tonight I bit the bullet and finished binding this little frog. He's done. My projects are starting to stack up in various states of less-than-finished so it felt good to remove one from the pile.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A New Beginning

The arrival of Labor Day has always been the sign of new beginnings for me. I guess it goes waaaay back to those school days.
Unlike most kids, I always looked forward to the first day of school. It was a new beginning - new teachers, new friends, new routines, new knowledge and a chance to make a new start. Any mistakes or bad habits seemed to be erased after Labor Day. You had a fresh slate. I always like that idea and I guess I still do.
Even tonight as I prepare to return to work tomorrow, I have plans to be better organized and productive. (fingers crossed!)
This weekend as I drove around looking at the trees just beginning to turn to those beautiful colors of reds, golds and oranges I wondered if they looked forward to a new beginning too. They have the opportunity each year to shed themselves and start fresh in the spring. Any imperfections of the past year are raked away and next Spring holds the possibility of a better self.
Ahhhhh, I love Autumn.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Full Moon, Flat Tire and Talking Cars

And the full moon strikes again! I know we all joke about the full moon making some people a "little off" but I believe it. Just spend a day at the reception desk at my office during a full moon and you will be convinced too! It even affected my car.
I decided to take a few days off (Thursday and Friday) to extend my long weekend. I had a list of things to do and a few short afternoon trips with the family. Mid afternoon Thursday my "talking car" told me that I had low tire pressure in the "FRONT" left tire. I immediatley headed to a local service station and had the attendant check my tire pressure. "Its PERFECT" he says. I showed him the warning screen on the front dash and asked him to check both front tires again. And again - both were perfect! We thought that it must be just a glitch in the computer and the next time I re-started my car it would probably re-set itself. But, since I like to play with my talking car, I pushed the OnStar button. The nice lady checked my system remotely and said everything seemed fine. OK - I'll chalk it up to the moon - either that or my car was a liar.

So I awoke Friday with big plans for the day. As I took Millie out for her morning pee, there was my car with the REAR tire completely flat!!! So my car was wasn't lying - it was just dyslexic. Well, roadside assistance and my local dealership had me back on the road in short time.

I gathered up the girls and headed for Moncton for supper and a little shopping. I really just intended to window shop..........but that never works for me. I ended up with a new black pantsuit - which really is more of an investment than a frivilous purchase - RIGHT....... At least it wasn't more shoes or purses.
I wonder what will happen next month???


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mixing textures

I have to admit I am not a big fan of mixing textures. As I mentioned in a previous posting, incorporating the fancy yarns into my rugs makes me break out in a cold sweat. Don't get me wrong, I love the look of all the different types of materials but I never really know what to do with them.

And this texture "issue" is broader than fabric. The same theory applies to food. I'm sorry but lettuce does NOT belong on a sandwich! Crunchy and mushy one mouthful.......LUNACY!! Raw onions on a hamburger - Never! And don't even get me started on celery! (OK thats enough sharing of my wierdness for one post. LOL)

However, today I was off work and decided to pop into Deanne Fitzpatrick's studio for a visit and some inspiration. You may have heard about RedJack Rugs - April DeConick's idea to create a Monthly Reflections Rug based on the monthly theme at her church. I (foolishly) jumped on the bandwagon thinking it would be a really fun challenge. But now I'm nervous. Its not as easy as it sounds. September's theme is "turning". Now the first thought that comes to mind is the leaves turning in the Fall.

But I have never been one to take the simple route. Ooooh noooo, I have to complicate everything. So I am thinking of a depiction of "turning" that is a little different. I remembered seeing a rug Deanne had done several years ago, which was similar to what I was thinking. Perfect opportunity to pick her brain. We had a great visit and I explained my concept.

She immediately sprang to her feet gathering up material. Wool, yarns and silks. A pile of different textures. I looked at the pile pictured below, with total fear, like I thought it might bite me or something. Deanne took one look at my face and burst out laughing! "Trust me" she says. "You'll love it".
OK, I'll give it a whirl. They really are beautiful and I admit I am kind of curious to see what happens. However I am not yet prepared to commit to revealing my idea for the square. Just in case it turns into a pretty colored mess!

Wish me luck!