Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A sad day...

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Heidi, our beloved german shepherd. We had the great pleasure of being Heidi's family for the past 7 years. I can still remember the excitement and anticipation of the adoption process all those years ago. Heidi was absolutely gorgeous and it was love at first sight for us when we saw her picture on our computer screen. We adopted her from Lost Dog & Cat Rescue out of Northern VA.

Her story brought sadness to all who knew it. For you see, Heidi had been chained to a tree with no shelter, food or water. A utility worker saw her and reported it to the humane society. (If only I could thank that person for saving her.) When she was rescued, she tested positive for heart worms. The tips of her ears were scarred from fly bites. And she was extremely timid. But we loved her and brought her into our home.

Heidi enjoyed life with us to the best of her ability. I can only imagine that she was abused by the dominant male in her household prior to coming to us as she was always timid around Mike. He has the patience of a saint. I think many would have taken her back but Mike loved her and worked with her to show Heidi that she no longer had anything to fear. Heidi loved him the best way she knew how and Mike was always overjoyed to receive a lick on the hand or face.

Although no one knew exactly how old she was, it is our guess that she was 13-14 years old. Last night she failed suddenly and had problems walking, keeping her balance and even drinking water. We knew what needed to be done... Our final gift to Heidi today was letting her go "home." It gives us great joy amidst the tears to know that she is now complete and her sweet spirit is restored, no longer subject to the horrible abuse that she must have endured all those years ago.

So in memory of Heidi, I'm asking that you give your four-legged companions an extra belly rub and an extra helping of sweet whispers in their ears.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

10 Minute Project!!!

OK, so this rug didn't take 10 minutes to complete but I was able to complete it thanks to the 10 Minute Hooking Challenge and the retreat weekend that we had in an online group of wonderful ladies, An American Primitive Gathering! Thanks to Kelley Belfast for the wonderful pattern that was included in her Early Harvest pattern booklet that came out in 2007. She has the most wonderful prim patterns!!!

I hope to do a bit of hooking this evening although I seem to have come down with some type of bug--complete with a cough and fever. I may have to settle for dreaming about hooking tonight! I have enjoyed a visit from my big sis/best friend since Saturday evening. Unfortunately, it looks like they'll be leaving in the morning to head back to GA. Their visits are never long enough. We haven't even gotten to hook together yet! Maybe I'll get some hooking in tonight after all!!!

Hope you are well, my friends! Can't wait to see what you've been up to!

Monday, September 7, 2009

We love PURPLE!

A few months ago, Beth Stitely, aka Purple Beth, presented a PURPLE program at our guild meeting. She drives a purple car, wears purple everyday, uses purple in every project...I think you get the picture! She absolutely adores purple! She brought a sampling of her rugs from her hooking career and they were absolutely gorgeous! (Sorry I don't have pictures to share.) At the end of her presentation, she issued a challenge. We were to hook a small mat to swap at our September meeting. The design could be of our choosing but an autumn theme was suggested. And you guessed it...each mat had to have purple in it!!!

Saturday was our guild meeting and 8 brave souls took Beth up on her challenge! Each mat was beautiful and went home with a proud new owner!

We had so much fun that we are going to do a winter-themed swap for our December meeting! Although the color guidelines have been relaxed, we decided that we would pull at least two purple loops in this project as well. I'll keep you posted!! Wonder what color we'll focus on next year?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Autumn Blessings...

Just wanted to take a minute to wish you a happy fall! The weather this week has been particularly delightful. In fact, I even got to spend some time one afternoon hooking on my porch swing. Hope to have that opportunity again soon. We've been taking lots of walks in the evenings so I'll have some pictures to share with you soon.

On the hooking horizon, I was able to finish my swap mat for our guild meeting tomorrow. I'll try to take some pictures to share with you. Now, I'll have the opportunity to get back to some of my other remember, the ones hanging on my balcony railing? Who could forget!

I'm also getting ready for a visit from my big sister/best friend. I'm so excited!!!! She's coming up from GA tomorrow and we'll have lots of sister time--hooking, talking, walking and frequenting the old fashioned ice cream parlor around the corner.

Hope your days are full of special blessings as well!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Spud Queen!

We went to our first ever Spudfest this weekend sponsored by the Washington County Rural Heritage Museum. It was a wonderful event! The spuds that had been planted earlier in the season were ready to be harvested! A team of horses plowed up the spuds and then the kids did the work!!!

Emmeline was a bit unsure about getting dirty!!! (That's a first!) But she ended up digging in the dirt and coming up with some mighty fine taters! In fact, she picked a whopper!

I have fond memories of digging potatoes at my uncle's farm when I was her age. We used to visit my aunt and uncle on the weekends. I'm afraid when I was young, I didn't appreciate our trips to the farm like I should have. What I'd give to be able to do that again! They retired and sold the farm and those opportunities were lost. I hope that Emmeline will learn to appreciate the role that farming has played in the life of her relatives as well as the early settlers in this area.

Here is the moment of truth. Her spud weighed in at 14.4 ounces--the biggest tater of the day! The harvesters were allowed to take a small bag of spuds home and the rest were donated to the local food banks! What a wonderful day!

This is a shot of the "three sisters." The Native Americans taught the early settlers in the area to plant the three sisters. First they planted the corn. When it had grown to about 12 inches, they then planted the beans to wind around the corn stalks. (Apparently, the beans have already come and gone in this picture!) And lastly, they planted pumpkins to shade the roots of the other plants! Neat bit of folk lore that I had not heard before. Thought it was worth sharing with all you gardeners!

Mike and I hope to be able to volunteer at the museum in the coming months. They have a wonderful museum and are in the process of rebuilding a village on the site. They have several restored log cabins, a church and a few more buildings in the works. I hope to be able to demonstrate rug hooking there with some friends as well.

Hope you all are enjoying this first day of September!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

An amazing sight!

It's been a busy week here. Emmeline started back to school on Wednesday--2nd grade this year. Where does time go! Mike works for a college and their students came back this week as well. I was so looking forward to a weekend where we could all catch our breath again. I was finishing up the dishes and thought the sky was looking kind of strange. As I let the dogs out, I saw the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen! The colors were so intense that it just glowed and it was HUGE! People were pulling their cars over to take pictures. We all just stood outside with our eyes heavenward. It sure was a nice way to end a busy week. Kind of felt like a hug from above. Thanks, God!

Friday, August 21, 2009

I'm coming clean...

Well, I've decided to lay it all out on the table...I'm a closet starter-but-not-finisher of rug hooking projects. That's the main reason that I decided to sign up for April's 10 Minute Rug Hooker Challenge. I'm hoping to get some rugs completed. I've just finished Kelley Belfast's Autumn Sampler pattern and will steam it today and hope to whip it this weekend. I have a small challenge swap mat to complete by September 5th for our guild meeting. And then I'll be working on one of the beauties hanging over the railing. Now which one will it be... Decisions, decisions. Maybe I'll just start a new one!!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The 10 Minute Rug Hooker Challenge!

Greetings from Maryland!

I'm sure most of you have heard about April DeConick's 10 Minute Rug Hooker Challenge by now. If not, you need to check out her blog, Red Jack Rugs, and find out more about what she's doing in the rug hooking community. Great things are happening there!

I decided to sign up for her challenge...hence the blog to track my progress! It's really quite simple and painless. (The challenge that is. Can't say the same for blogging just yet!) You agree to hook, or do something related to hooking like designing, dyeing, etc, for 10 minutes a day, 6 days a week. I can do that! So, I signed up last week and am amazed at the progress that I've made. I wanted to share the rug that I'm working on with you. It's a design by Kelley Belfast and I love it! I think I might actually get it finished by Halloween...this year even! Life is good!

Hope everyone has a delightful day and, as always, HAPPY HOOKING!

Friday, August 7, 2009

I've arrived...

Well, I've finally decided to jump into blogging. And this time, I mean it! My husband, Mike, and I toyed with the idea of doing a joint blog to focus on our hobbies involving wood and wool back in April but it never really got off the ground. So I've decided to go out on my own! (Sorry Mike!) Over the coming days, I plan to introduce you to my family, my friends, my interests and my world!

My name is Mary and I live in Sharpsburg, MD, which is a great place for me as I enjoy history, especially the Civil War period. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband (more about him soon) and a beautiful daughter (more about her to come as well). We live in an early 19th century home in the heart of small town America and life is good!

As you've probably figured out, I enjoy the art of rug hooking. I've been hooking for about 4 years now and it brings me a great deal of joy. I consider myself to be a primitive hooker as I enjoy working with wider strips and more primitive or naive patterns. I am fortunate enough to belong to two ATHA guilds in the area...the Goose Creek Ruggers in Leesburg, VA and the With Hands and Hearts Antietam Fiber Artists guild in Boonsboro, MD. I'll be posting pictures of these wonderful groups from time to time. I'm off to the Mountain State Fiber Artists hook-in tomorrow and hope to have some pictures to share.

Looking forward to sharing with you all!