Monday, December 31, 2012

No Resolutions






I am not making any resolutions for 2013 because I always fail, but I am setting a few easy goals:

No. 1 goal is to be more organized. I have already started cleaning out closets and will continue to work on the house and eventually our basement, (it’s really called the dungeon!). I want to have less clutter and unwanted  “stuff” in our house and lives.

No. 2 goal is to continue on the path I have set for myself in the studio, which is to work on what makes me happy. I drove myself crazy working on the last studio tour with what I thought people would want or would sell. I was not happy working that way so lesson learned. I am back to making what I am inspired to make at the moment! That’s what makes me want to stay in the studio.

No. 3 goal is to make one small Christmas item each of the next 12 months. I had fun following Kathleen Tracy with her one small quilt a month; so I thought why not do that with Christmas items that are just for me! It can be woven, hooked, quilted or whatever, so at the end of the year I have twelve new items to decorate with at Christmas!

Now that I have told everyone, I’m committed right? Truthfully I only made it through Sept. on Kathleen’s challenge, but I still intend to finish! I may get behind on my Christmas plan, but I do have good intentions!

No. 4 goal is to just take care of me. Walk, eat healthy, take time to rest and enjoy the day.

No. 5 goal is part of number 4 – Cherish family, friends and appreciate the many blessings we have been given.

No resolutions just five clear goals for 2013.

I think Sadie is making fun of me by saying "I hear ya Mom"


Happy New Year to all from Pog, Louise, Monica and Sadie at Shuttle, Hook and Needle!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Days After Christmas



The best time of the season is between Christmas and New Years.
For me it is finally time to be quiet and content at home by the fire.


Christmas is very different now with my parents gone and most of the family in different states.

Pog and I had a nice day with his oldest daughter who came for the afternoon. We made pizza and had Pog’s chocolate silk pie. My son had the flu and couldn’t come so I will spend New Year’s Day with him.


The mountain is frosted over this morn and the wind is fierce. It is a good day to stay by the fire quilting or working on my new jigsaw puzzle.


Pog made cinnamon rolls yesterday so a cup of coffee and a roll is in order for my afternoon snack!


I hope you are warm and cozy where ever you are today!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

 
Wishing you a joyous Christmas filled with many blessings and warm memories!





Bird and Basket Tree

One of two trees filled with ornaments I made.  





Merry Christmas from Pog, Louise, Monica and Sadie, here at Shuttle, Hook and Needle!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Visitor



Since my daughter and son–law are visiting their family in the area, I am dog sitting.


This is my grand-dog Jack! I have never kept him over night but he did great!

He loves the wood stove!
Sadie’s not too happy, but at least this morning they were in the same room.

Sadie was keeping an eye on Jack from behind the stove!

We have had a little snow, enough to make it feel Christmassy, but the wind was terrible last night! Grand Father Mountain recorded the highest ever 3-second gust of wind at 121 miles per hour. Sure glad we didn’t have that here, but there are a lot of limbs down in our yard, 
but no trees.


Kids are coming and going over the next few days, so Pog and I are making some special treats and Chinese food tomorrow!

Hope everyone is enjoying his or her last holiday weekend before Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Character or Perfection



Just recently Tim Latimer posted a great article on his blog – Tim Latimer Quilts. The discussion was about whether there were right and/or wrong ways of hand quilting. My comment to Tim on the article was “Thank you Tim for this post. I do not look for perfection but I do look for character in quilts. My mother once called me a folk art quilter. That was her nice way of saying I was not very good in her eyes. Her stitches were tiny and even. Mine are not tiny and sometimes not even, but I love every stitch I put into my quilts! I am happy being a “folk art” quilter!”

To me that just said it all with any art or craft we make. That is the way I approach my dolls, weaving, rug hooking or any thing I make. I do not strive for perfection, but I do want my things to be well made/constructed to the best of my ability. 
Mostly I want my work to have character and to show my love of what I do. 
That always comes through, and it is why people buy my work. 

I have worked in a gallery with “perfect” work. Even though I appreciate and admire the craftsmanship and skill it takes to create it – it never appealed to me the way folk art or work that was imbued with the character of the maker. I once went to Folk Fest in Atlanta, Ga. Pog didn’t think he was going to get me out of the parking lot into the building because I was running around so excited to see the art cars the artists had driven to the show. When I finally went into the building I was speechless. It was a total assault on the senses. Free, joyous, colorful and awe inspiring. I don’t think I have been the same since then. That is when my characters started emerging. I don’t know whether to call them “art dolls” because they are not dolls but they are creatures with human characteristics. My sketch book is full of them just waiting to be made. I think that going to Folk Fest gave me permission to finally be myself and let my imagination run free. 

Gordo and his Crow

Mr. Needmore Snow

Sir Seamus O'Hare

Mr. Jack Rabbit


Love what you do, everything improves with practice, and let your character come through in what ever you make.  Never think you cannot do something – all it takes is the desire to want to try and the action of just doing it!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Precious Ornaments


Recently I received an unexpected package in the mail. 
Dr. Stewart, our vet, made a paw print impression in clay when we had Kit put to sleep.  


 Now this very special ornament has a place of honor on our tree along with an ornament of my mother’s, which I have always loved and now feel blessed to own. 


Needless to say I had a few tears when they were hung on our tree.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tour Aftermath





The tour has come and gone once again. Seems strange to be in frenzy of cleaning, arranging and finishing last minute projects and then to the quiet aftermath. The tour was moderately successful. No large purchases but sold a lot of smaller items and made some good contacts.  There were so many interesting people to meet and talk to. I miss that from working at Penland Gallery now that I am in the isolation of my own studio.

There is now time to catch up on house chores and decorate our living space for Christmas. I was going to keep it quite and easy for the rest of the month. Instead I started cleaning out closets and decided it was time to let a lot of “stuff” go. Too much clutter and I want everything to feel less crowded and more organized!

I’ve decided to gradually go through the entire house and clean out. By next spring I should be ready for a yard sale! So much for quiet aftermath!  

Friday, November 30, 2012

TRAC Holiday Studio Tour



The studio is open today from 12 to 5, Sat. and Sun. 10 to 5 for the 
TRAC Holiday Studio Tour.

I have two trees full of angels and handwoven ornaments.

I will keep posting pictures when I can!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Studio Tour


Still lots to do to get ready for the Toe River Arts Council Holiday Studio tour.


If you are in the mountains for the weekend please come and visit.
Check out TRAC's website for maps and info.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful



Wild Turkey Gobbler

We have so much to be thankful for: our family and friends, our home, good food on the table, our loving pets, living in the mountains, our health, and the ability to be creative.

My grandmothers Home Comfort wood stove recipe book.  
 We have been blessed. 


Pog, Sadie, Monica and I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Unwelcome Visitor



If you look carefully on the tree branch to the left, you will see my unwelcome visitor to our bird feeder this morning!

Hawk waiting for breakfast

Friday, November 9, 2012

Rug Finish




I am still weaving rugs and making ornaments for the upcoming studio tour. I have three rugs hemmed and ready to tag. I think they turned out nicely. The denim ones are harder 
to make simply because they take more effort to cut the strips, sew them together and 
to beat them into sturdy rugs. The others are simpler and easier to beat and 
the new Toika loom is a dream to work on!



I always hem my rugs. I serge the ends and then use a triple rolled, hand stitched hem using upholstery thread. Fringe is an easier finish but I always thought it made rugs look messy and that is always the first place that starts to wear.

Denim Log Cabin


I still have time to finish a few more rugs; but time is running out, and I am running out of steam. After the tour I am going to take a couple of months off and enjoy the holidays. I have so many projects to work on for myself and the house. I am looking forward to a snowy winter, but if there is not much snow then that will be all right too. The house will still be a warm and cozy haven for Pog, Sadie and me to be together in!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

November



The first day of November dawned here in the mountains,
 looking and feeling like the first day of January!


There is some blue sky appearing! 

I wish everyone especially the ones in the northeast could have
 a warm, cozy day in their homes. So much heartache for them.
Prayers for all who have lost their homes and are suffering so much.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October Snow





Brrr... We do not have a lot of snow but very windy and still flurrying.
Some areas around us especially the TN/NC border has quite a bit of snow.
Thankfully we have had no power loss and only one tree to come down in the woods.

It's a good day to be at home with the warmth of the wood stove, a pot of soup bubbling, cornbread in the oven and  weaving rugs!

Still wishing everyone a safe journey thru this storm.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Flea Market Finds


Our local community center had their annual fund raising flea market last Saturday. I got there early and found a very grungy, dirty, Ashford spinning wheel for fifty dollars.  I debated on whether to buy it, and had walked away to find a few other treasures; but in the end I went back for it.
It's very dirty but in good shape.
I already have an Ashford; but since I have extra spinning heads and spools that fit this wheel, I knew it would clean up to be a great extra wheel until someone else may want it.  I just couldn’t pass it up. They usually sell for six to eight hundred dollars new!
What an odd coincidence that on Friday I bought fleeces to spin this winter, and then to find a wheel at the yard sale! I think the “powers that be” are trying to tell me something!
Cold, very windy and blowing some snow this morning. The wood stove feels very good this morning. Sadie is lying beside it soaking up the heat.
Sadie doesn't like her picture taken. She looks a little grumpy because I disturbed her nap!
Pog made popovers this morning. A treat before possible power outages!  


 
The two bowls are marked "Made in England" for 4 dollars each. 
The Christmas ornaments were 2 dollars each at a junk store.

The bag of old lace collars was five dollars. They will be great for my dolls!
My rug looms do not run on electricity so I am busy weaving more rugs today.
Wishing everyone a safe journey. 
Praying you are safe, warm and cozy this blustery morn.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

SAFF


View of the main arena's sales area.


On Friday, Pog and I went to the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF), which is held in Asheville each year. I love to see the sheep, llamas, alpaca’s and angora rabbits. The amount of yarn, fiber, and equipment can be overwhelming, but I went with one thing in mind. This winter I am going to dust off my unused spinning wheel and start spinning again.

I bought a couple of wool fleeces. One is a Corriedale and the other fleece is a mix of Romeldale/ CVM sheep, which are coarser wools but will spin up very well for what I have in mind.


The two fleeces I bought.

I got the mixed fleece for only eleven dollars, which is a great price. I wish I could have afforded some of the angora, but it was too pricey for me to learn to spin on again. Back in the 80’s, I had my own spinning flock and had taken a class with Persis Grayson at Penland School of Crafts. I haven’t done a whole lot of spinning since then.


Baby Alpaca.      






Angora Goat

Llamas




A lot of beautiful yarns to pick from!


Pog and I were busy yesterday getting things outside put away, flowers brought in and the wood box filled. The mountains are expecting wind, snow flurries and our first frost/freeze at the first of the week. The temp has been dropping this afternoon and the wind picking up. You can feel the chill in the air now. I don’t mind the snow but high winds can be dangerous when you live in the woods.


You can see the clouds and rain coming over the mountains.

Wishing everyone a safe ride thru the coming storm.