Saturday, January 21, 2012

Kitty! Kitty!

I am in the middle of dyeing some salt box red wool and some old tin roof wool threads, and realized I have not posted for a couple of days. Decided today would be pictures of kitties. I usually post dogs but cats deserve their fair share. So from Pinterest - my new fave app...

Source: via Joni on Pinterest

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Crochet a Japanese Flower Shawl

This is a beautiful shawl that I want to crochet. It has been making the blog rounds. The pattern is the Japanese Flower pattern. It's hard to find in English (next to impossible) so I sourced out the book on ETSY and purchased it in Japanese. I did crochet quite a bit when I was younger and the stitches are not complicated so I think by the diagrams I can figure out how to do this one.

Source: via Joni on Pinterest

The quandary is finding the wool I want to use. The picture above (from a very talented French designer) used Holst Garn yarn - which has an array of 121 colours.

Source: via Joni on Pinterest

Then there is a Debbie Bliss Andes (pricey) but a mix of Mulberry Silk and Baby Alpaca. It is beautifully soft with a slight sheen. ----hmmmm

Attic 24 blogger used the Debbie Bliss wool to make this shawl.. absolutely gorgeous too. I'll probably end up making both in the long run and give one away as a gift. Great as a pick up activity when watching TV....have a great afternoon.. off to some rug hooking...

Friday, January 13, 2012

More Cute Fur Babies

just some puppy pictures to brighten up ones day!

                         Source: via Joni on Pinterest

so cute! !!Source: via Joni on Pinterest

Source: via Joni on Pinterest
Look Ma I caught 4 or is that 5!
   Are you looking at me....awwwww!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Can't Decide?

I can't decide which pattern to put on my rug hooking frame. I love this one by Sharon Smith. These women just being swept away by the wind. There is so much movement in the rug. But this one I think might be a long project. I just received some of her patterns and have more coming in for the website and I know there are others there that I want to do. Sometimes I wish I was 20 again and just discovering rug hooking so maybe I could get all these rugs in my head hooked!  Then again this one from Karla Gerard is a beaut and I could really get this one done quickly.

 I just dyed some antique pink posey wool so might do that colour scheme with a brown background. Also use up some of that robin's egg blue wool

add to that some of the this hand dyed yarn, pink sand, for some added dimension... hmm I think the Bird on the Bloom pattern is going to win out. I've never worked in browns and pinks/blues so that will be a challenge. Besides this one is slotted for a gift for Christmas 2012 so I better get it done now. Who knows what the year will bring!

Have a great evening.. it's a snowy one here. Time to break out the frame and get my cup of hot chocolate..Joni

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Yummy yarns

Spring Bouquet


All That Glitters

Island Hopping

Sophisticated Lady

Yummy yarns to add to your rug hooking materials! I plan on using some of these in my rugs, They are spun from 4-5 different fibers and are just beautiful. I think they will add a little something different to a rug - it's that theme of mine this year - Think outside the box.

I have 34 different ones to post on my website in the coming days. I love my job (no not job - passion) We are hunkering down for a snowstorm tomorrow. I know I have lots to keep me busy.....smiles.. have a great evening. Joni

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Snow Man

The Snow Man 

One must have a mind of winter

To regard the frost and the boughs

Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time

To behold the junipers shagged with ice,

The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think 

Of any misery in the sound of the wind,

In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land

Full of the same wind

That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,

And, nothing himself, beholds

Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is. 

Wallace Stevens

Pictures courtesy of members of Pinterest

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Winter Days

If you have read some of my blogs in the past you know that I am a fall/winter person. On that theme I came across this blog Island Sweet who recommended this book. She lives on The Rock (Newfoundland) and their winters are long and can be pretty severe. First off, the cover caught my eye - looks like it could be a rug! Then I went in search of the book on Amazon, downloaded the first few pages and was hooked. Now I don't usually read much non-fiction, (except art books and cookbooks) but I must say this one is thoroughly enjoyable. Makes me appreciate winter all the more! You can find the book by Adam Gopnik on Amazon. The book consists of five essays - romantic winter, radical winter, recuperative winter, recreational winter and remembering winter.

" A mind of winter, a mind for winter, not sensing the season as a loss of warmth and light, and with them hope of life and divinity, but ready to respond to it as a positive, and even purifying, presence of something else - the beautiful and the peaceful, yes, but also the mysterious, the strange , the sublime- is a modern taste."  Adam Gopnik - Winter 

 I am not a sporty outdoor person in the winter. I do like my walks and sitting outside in the sun on a beautiful afternoon but I prefer my creature comforts and I am all for hibernating. That means I cruise the internet more and hence my new found love - Pinterest. It is a great tool for cataloging ideas, inspirations or anything that has a photograph attached to it. I joined about a month ago and have boards dedicated to rug hooking, knitting, crochet, cupcakes, fur babies - let's just say there are 39 of them and they keep growing. All your followers, get to enjoy your photos and vice versa for those you follow. There is a wealth of information on this site. Here are examples of some of the photographs I have collected in my fur babies board. Too cute to pass up. Now these are snow babies!

If anyone is interested in joining PINTEREST I can send you an invite. Just e-mail me.
Winter beauty.....

and.... since it was snowing today - well a few snowflakes - I got the baking pans out and whipped up this yummy golden vanilla pound cake which is a King Arthur Flour recipe. I added a raspberry coulis. I like baking on a Sunday. Have a great evening ... Joni

Friday, January 6, 2012


I thought it would be interesting to wander around the world and see how other countries celebrate January 6th. In our house, it is when the Christmas decorations come down and all the festive lights are turned off. It marks the end of the holiday season. This year I also decided to bake a Galette (courtesy of KAF). You can find the recipe here. But there were no hidden surprises!

Definition of epiphany: a Christian festival held on Jan. 6, commemorating, in the Western Church, the manifestation of Christ to the Magi and, in the Eastern Church, the baptism of Christ.

Traditions in different countries:

Belgium (my heritage): The Dutch and Flemish call this day Driekoningen, children in groups of three (symbolising the three kings) proceed in costume from house to house while singing songs typical for the occasion, and receiving a coin or some sweets at each door. Koningentaart(Kings' tart),a puff pastry with almond filling, is prepared with a bean or coin hidden inside. Whoever finds the bean in his or her piece is king or queen for the day. 

England: The celebration is also known as Twelfth Night and was a traditional time for mumming and the wassail. The yule log was left burning until this day.  A traditional dish for Epiphany was Twelfth Cake. As in Europe, whoever found the baked-in bean was king for a day, but unique to English tradition other items were sometimes included in the cake. Anything spicy or hot, like ginger snaps and spiced ale, was considered proper Twelfth Night fare, recalling the costly spices brought by the Wise Men. Another English Epiphany dessert was the jam tart, but made into a six-point star for the occasion to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and thus called Epiphany tart. 

FRANCE: In France people eat gâteau des Rois in Provence (made of brioche) or the galette des Rois (puff pastry with almond cream) in the northern half of France and Belgium. This is a kind of king cake, with a trinket (usually a porcelain figurine) or a bean hidden inside. The person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket becomes "king" for a day.

Ireland: The Irish call Epiphany Little Christmas or "Women's Christmas" (Irish: Nollaig na mBan). On the feast of the Three Kings the women of Ireland in times gone by had a bit of rest and celebration for themselves, after the cooking and work of the Christmas holidays. It has long been a custom for women to gather this day for a special high tea, but on the occasion of Epiphany accompanied by wine, to honor the Miracle at the Wedding at Cana. Today Irish women may spend the day shopping, take a meal at a restaurant or spend the evening at gathering in a pub. 

United States: In Colorado around Manitou Springs, Epiphany is marked by the Great Fruitcake Toss. Fruitcakes are thrown, participants dress as kings, fools, etc., and competitions are held for the farthest throw, the most creative projectile device, etc. As with customs in other countries, the fruitcake toss is a sort of festive symbolic leave-taking of the Christmas holidays until next year, but with humorous twist, since fruitcake (although the traditional Christmas bread of America, England and other English speaking nations) is considered in the United States with a certain degree of derision, and is the source of many jokes.
In Louisiana, Epiphany is the beginning of the Carnival season, during which it is customary to bake King Cakes. The person who finds the doll (or bean) must provide the next king cake. The Carnival season begins on King's Day (Epiphany).

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Settling in for the Winter

Roby loved the snow - look at that fur - no wonder!
Time to settle into the winter activities and no it is not skiing or trekking on skis through powdery snow (although very pretty). Done all that! Nowadays I am rug hooking, reading, dyeing wool and baking.  Our winter so far is not looking like the above picture. I can actually see green grass. Now we were hoping for a white Christmas which we got - very pretty large flakes. It has mostly melted and we are having a bit of a deep freeze. I am ok with cold though. I prefer cold to heat any day. I have come to the inevitable conclusion - I am a winter person. Perhaps I am a winter person because I can get out of the cold and seek shelter in my warm snug house. Maybe if I did not have that escape I would not be a winter person. But I am...I love the calm and peace of winter, the quiet, the light and the sparkle of snowflakes. I like that everything looks clean and is sleeping to be reborn in the spring. Yes - I am a winter person.

 One of my favourite rugs by Deanne Fitzpatrick. I love the winter clothes the people are wearing (so typical in our cold climate) and the gently falling snow. I would be the lady in the red coat and the pink hat. Ok so I don't wear pink as a rule but I love a good dull looking pink, which is what I had in the dye pots yesterday. Oh so pretty - Antique Pink Posey! Threw in some textures to overdye and yes maybe I will use them in the rug I am going to do next.. 

Oh yes a pretty pink skirt with a matching pink hat.......

Karla Gerard - available at Fully Wooly Primitives

or maybe I will do the sky a mottled pink and grey - who says we need realism. Be creative - Think outside the box. I think that will be my credo this year.. take it one step further and then another.....and then oh my you will have something that says "This is me"....