Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Things I Have Been Working On For YOU With Love!

Since designing my 'HandSpun' pattern, I have been asked over and over to provide hand-spun wool for the little distaff and sheep. Searching high and low, I have found a spinner from California who has spun up just what I wanted! So, on my list of things to do, I will be offering hand-spun wool for sheep. Along with that, I am going to put in a couple strips of wool for the legs,ears and muzzle and a couple templates for sheep so you can add your own to any project you have. I will have both white and a gray.

Also, I have been working on a project that I am very, very exited about. Repeatedly, I hear ladies tell me that they enjoy my stories. To be honest, that sort of surprised me! So I have been working on 'books' to go with my patterns- stories, recipes, photographs and full color and measurement list and more. These books are spiral bound on quality card-stock and the ones that I have sent out, I have received more than the response than I expected. I am going to share with you excepts from the book that I have been working on- just so you can get a taste of it. I have been working on 'Joseph, ' a rug dedicated to my son, Joseph and his lovely fiancee, Abigail who I call a 'dove.' Remember my design 'Joseph?' The following is from the story:

“ Joseph! You’re not going out
in that old tattered shirt! It’s cold. That old thing will soon make a rug for the floor!”
“ Tsh! I have syrup buckets to collect. We'll discuss my old shirt
when I get in, Abigail. I have work yet to do,” he laughed.

“Joseph, remember that shawl I wore when we met? Remember? The gold one? I have had it put away. I want to make a rug with a sky full of stars. I want that old blue rag you insist on wearing for my night sky, sir, and I want to use that gold shawl to fill the sky with stars! “

January 1808

My dearest sister, Lydia,

Today I drew out this little picture. Finally I have what I need to make the rug we discussed when I saw you last. I thought you might like to make one of your own. My dear Joseph presented me with a feed sack along with his old blue shirt! That man! I do love him!

The weather here is cold but we are keeping warm. Joseph has been making some extra money with the syrup from our trees. I do confess we have had our fair share of griddlecakes!

I hope to lay my eyes on you this June. I miss you so. Please say hello to Miles and kiss each of those precious children of yours.

May the Lord bless you!

Your sister,

In this particular book, I will also include the 'actual' design that sweet Abigail sent to her sister, Lydia- free for you to use as you wish.

There is much more as well to bring out your creative and girlish heart!!


If you give a Rug-Hooker a Scrap of Wool...

I told my husband last week that I just need some down time. I really wanted to concentrate on organizing my unorganization. Visions of neat stacks of wool, a cleaned off desk, pattern storage, neatly lined jars of buttons and bells and threads filled my mind. I had every intention of tackling it. But as the children's story goes, 

"If you give a mouse a cookie,
He's going to ask for a glass of milk.
When you give him the milk, he'll probably ask you for a straw.
When he is finished, he'll ask you for a napkin.
Then he will want to look in the mirror to make sure he doesn't have a milk mustache."

So it is with me!

If you give a rug hooker a scrap piece of linen, she might just dig through her patterns to see what would fit. If she finds what will fit, it may force her to organize her wool strips so she can use up what she has on hand!

At least I did get the desk cleared. But then I found a little piece of linen, which sparked an idea. Why not take one of my little figures and just make it? And while I am organizing my strips, I could use some up on this little piece. Well, one little piece turned into three! And you know what? It has been just what I needed- I have enjoyed hooking like this- in a playful, just for fun way. I have been 'doodling' as I clean up. So I have this little piece available in my Etsy store.( 12 1/2" x 6")  She is $40 and shipping. I have two other 'doodles'- larger ones that I will be offering as well in the next week or so.

 Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas Lamont and Lynn!

Guffey, Idaho

Several months ago a woman I know, Brenna, asked me if I would do a rug for her parents. I feel very honored to have done this rug not only as a Christmas gift but as I have learned the history of this property, I have learned that it is very special and a part of Idaho history.

I have always admired homes I have seen in magazines that once used to be a school house or a barn or church. I have always thought that would be wonderful- I envision what was once a place of learning or animals or worship, to be my home- old wood, brick, stone, possibly a steeple- I have always enjoyed that idea.I am sure my imagination would reel with all that once was or stories that had to have unfolded in that place. When Brenna sent me information on Lamont and Lynn's property, I sighed as I wondered what that might be like to live on such a piece of history.

The house you see in the rug belongs to Lamont and Lynn. But on May 27, 1897 another house was built- the first in Guffey and ironically or providentially, also Brenna's birthday.  A year later the town of Guffey had a hundred people and many buildings- a general store, a post office, hotel, saloon, blacksmith shop, stables, and boarding house as well. All of these are gone now. I was amazed to hear that Brenna's husband 'treasure hunts' with the children where the old buildings existed! What wonderful memories for your grandchildren!!

The most challenging part of this rug was the bridge. I admit, for a day or two, I could not see how I could do it. Rug hooking is not like painting. When designing one it takes a lot of problem solving and reworking areas which is very time consuming and no guarantee that be what I want. It was actually my husband that recommended that I only do a partial bridge. I did what he suggested and I love what came of it. 

I have to say that my very favorite part of this rug is the river. I love the way the color came out. I have that color for a while. I get all my wool from a woman in Texas. She is a sixth generation dyer, spinner, rug-hooker and shepardess. (Double M Sheep and Wool, Fort Worth TX) She does just about every piece of my wool. That color is called 'Chambers Creek.' I have decided that that color is THE color for water. Also in the hills in the back -the darker hills- is one of my favorite colors- Vintage Brown- Christy made that color special for me several months ago and I love it!! And I love those hills!!

Lamont and Lynn- Merry Christmas!!! I told Brenna that I want a picture of you and your rug. I am leaving you with more pictures of the rug while it was in progress. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"Little Flowers" and a Book

I inherited my dad's love of writing.The last few months, I have had this little idea brewing that I would create 'books' for my patterns- stories, recipes, hints, photographs, a color list- everything all spiral bound. Currently, I have two of these books complete- "Little Flowers In the Kitchen" and "Hand-Spun." This pattern is ready and listed in my Etsy store. I am leaving you with a bit of my story that will be included in my "Little Flower" book.

"Out to the kitchen at Nana’s house I would come and find myself at my place at the table. My grandfather sitting across from me in dress pants and tie enjoying his fruit and coffee. He would wink and make a playful ‘shh’ sound my way. Nana bustling at the stove almost in cadence to the polka music that brought such cheer to that red brick bungalow style corner house in Denver. She would serve cantaloupe and tea, bacon and blueberry muffins. She would stand over me and want to know if there anything else my heart desired. To this day, these smells bring me right back to that kitchen and the care I felt while there. Do you like Polka music? May I serve you some muffins? I am quite sure that Nana would make enough to serve at your next Hook-In!"

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hit N Miss

'Little Flowers In the Kitchen'
Designed by Yvonne Buus

When I started this rug, my hope was that this could be a simple enough design that even a beginner could feel confident to start and with eagerness work through and with pride display. The border of this design is done in my favorite, ‘Hit N Miss.’ Great practice for a beginner and a great way to incorporate ‘leftovers’ from past projects- wasting nothing!

Although you could certainly use the colors I have used, this is a rug that I hope that you will personalize. I would love to see you make it your own using ‘memories’ of other rugs that you have collected- those leftover strips- other hooking journeys to bring to these’ little flowers in the kitchen.’ Maybe those strips could bring more meaning to your rug. In mine, I put a strip in from a tree that I did in my ‘Joseph’ rug - a very memorable rug to me as it is a rug dedicated to my son, Joseph.  I have strips of the textured Cinnamon Toast that I often use for baskets. Stormy Blue is a color that I used for my ‘Sweet Annie.’ When you hook with your friends, maybe these strips will bring memories back for for you to share or that all of you will remember!

I am now debating on whether to finish my rug with the method I enjoy using- whip-stitching using one inch strips or to finish the back using 'aged' blue ticking, allowing it to peek out in front a bit. Oh my goodness! I do love this little rug!!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Little Blue Flowers in the Kitchen- A Design for Beginners

" Why don't you let me know when something needs fixed?! You never complain when something is not working right."  My husband had to use the shower I use. Months earlier, the faucet stopped working right. Irritating- yes, but by the time I hit the hallway each morning, I had forgotten all about it. When my husband said these words to me, it caused me the think on why half working things seldom phase me.

I am the oldest of fourteen children. Four daughters and ten sons. I grew up on 'learning to share', 'stretching dollars' and making it around the house 'one more time' with a vacuum held together with masking tape. Twenty six years into my marriage and I do think it is true that I continue to be a very 'low maintenance' sort of woman. Could this be a contributing factor in my love for the history and roots of rug hooking? As I think on days in the past when women would create rugs of necessity out of old garments, I see charm and whimsy. That also happens when my brothers and I muse of those days of  mom's sack lunches (Dad's payday always meant pickle loaf), hand-me-downs, and the old station-wagon that got the whole bunch of us around town.

I have had this little design in my drawing book for quite a long while. It has always grabbed my attention while flipping through pages- I've really liked it. So when I traced it onto my linen the other night, I decided I wanted the challenge of using exactly what I have. I have to laugh at myself as I admit that much of what I am using, those "leftovers" are those very precious woolens I have gotten from my friend, Christy, who does just about every stitch of wool I use. As I contemplated using a black background out of Pendleton wool skirts, my eyes fell on a fresh piece of 'Espresso' that I just received. Nix the black. What is that I spot- a bit of 'Moose' - not much, just a scrap - just enough for a dress. Sapphire- well, that's not very 'scrap' like but well...I'll use it. Then as I went looking around I found a piece of 'Stormy.' I draped it over the top of of my frame, and I loved the contrast. Little flowers. Blue little flowers.

I like this design because I think it is a design that I would have felt comfortable with as a beginner. What's more- I would have been eager to work through this as I could visualize it hanging on a wall to call my first rug. There will be rows of 'hit n miss' as well as a simple straightforward design that could be hooked with what you have. Of course, you could also find any of these colors in my friends on-line wool shop, doublemsheepandwool.com.

I do need to mention that Sunday the 15th is the day that Christy and I will do our drawing- one of us will be getting hold of the winner Sunday evening.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Little Flowers in the Kitchen

'Little Flowers in the Kitchen' is a little idea that I have had tucked away in my sketchbook for a long time. Every time I need a creativity boost, I look in my numerous books at all my ideas. It's always fun as I run across little drawings that did indeed become a pattern. The other night, I ran across my 'Lamb and Pumpkins' and 'Miss Pumpkin' and the little spark that my husband pointed out as the sketch he thought would be perfect to submit to Primitive Quilts that actually got in.  I would have never guessed as I was scribbling it out. 

Between it being a holiday month and needing something simple and fun, I have decided to work on this one for right now. As I do that, I will be choosing colors and working and reworking my berry picker pattern. 

On a different note, I have been working on a special pattern 'upgrade.' It's been on my mind for quite some time and I am very much enjoying making it for you. I have shared the idea with three women who all love the idea and think it will be very loved. I think it will be treasured- I know I would love it!

Keep watching as I will post pictures as these little flowers are hooked. Frankly, I can already tell this is one that will be hard for me to part with!! One of my favorite elements in a rug is the use of 'Hit nMiss'- this one has that which I am eager to do.

Happy Holidays!