I love this demonstration of values.  Most probems with rugs is not the color but the value.  Sometimes students do not have practice in seeing the value of colors.  If you want to make an impact in your rug, then use sharp changes in values.  It does get confusing when deciding between values and intensity.  It just takes practice.



I am so looking forward to 2015 being a great year.  I have 2 more radiation treatments left to go and then some procedures.   I will only have to get checkups every three months.  I am getting my energy back and wanting to get back into the studio.  Spent time with my family over the holidays and that is what it is all about.



One of the things I miss more than my head of hair, or eyelashes. is my eyebrows.  They were not famous; no one ever said to me, "Nice eyebrows"; but they were mine and they make a big difference in the face appearance.  I do not want to try and learn how to put them on the right way--I WANT MINE BACK, NOW.




I did have enough energy to make my grand daughter an outfit for Halloween out of wool.  She looked great in it and had fun trick or treating.



In May of 2014, being post menopausal, I discovered some spots of blood on my underwear.  A  friend had just gone through  a hysterectomy to take cae of her endometrial cancer so I made an appointment with my GP doctor.  On Monday I had a pap smear, an ultrasound and the appointments began.  


The ultrasound discovered a thickening of the uterine wall, which is not a good sign.  It is suppose to be getting thinner.  Being overweight does cause more estrogen to be produced so that also does not help with preventing cancer.  

I was scheduled for a biopsy and knew I would at the very least, need a hysterectomy. The next day the call came in that I had grade 2 endometrial cancer and would be hearing from them about operations.

I did research and decided after awhile that it was too much.  I had a CT scan where they saw a tumor and also that one of my kidneys had a stone which had blocked the kidney completely.  My kidney had shrunk to half its size.


I had the hysterectomy at Overlake Hospital in Seattle.  After the operation my family was told that it all looked good-she got the tumor.  I went back a week later and she told me I had Stage 3A endometrial cancer.  I am pretty sure that is all I heard.   She said it had traveled to the fallopian tubes and there was positive (not good) signs from the saline washing they do at the end of the operation.  The good news is it did not go too far into the uterine lining and the lymph nodes were clear.

I had the kidney stone removed next and they placed a stent between the bad kidney to the bladder.  It is a geen coated wire to keep things open until everything dealing with the cancer is done.  It looks like a wire hanger coated with plastic.

I had a port placed in my chest for the chemo treatments.  When I talked to the chemo doctor he discussed the possibility of Stage 4 cancer.  That was not what I wanted to hear.  We called my surgeon and she called him and said that the stage never changes and he was wrong.  It was not a good day for me.


A week after my first treatment in Tacoma, Washington, I lost my hair.  It does feel weird but it is just hair!


Six treatments from July 3rd to October 17.  Each one was harder and took a longer time to recover.  My body was able to take the treatments so I never had to cancel any or get any shots.  At times it was harder than I thought.  The lack of breath and energy was surprising but you are having poison put into your body so it will react.  I did get mouth sores and bone aches as well.  

The next treatment will be pelvic radiation every day for 6 weeks.  I was not prepared for this as I had discussed with the doctor I wanted less invasive radiation as that is what my second opinion doctor suggested.  I used some choice words and cried a little hearing the news. 





Radiation treatments start with a CT scan where they line up your body and tatoo your skin.  There are some other gross things they do but I leave it to your imagination.



I washed this rug in the washer, cold water, no spin, and this is what it looked like after I pulled out the wool in the bad part of the rug.  It is a mystery to me what happened.  I am now washing my other rugs by hand.  This will be good practice to repair the rug.  I will update this blog and let you know how it goes.



I have many purse patterns so I chose this one.  Anna wanted a bag lined in plastic for the grand daughter's wet things.  I made the plastic insert and then the bag out of wool, adding the pennie circles to the outside.  Grommets and leather straps completed the bag.  I notice that Anna uses it all the time.  That is good.



Here is the project I am teaching at Western McGown in Oregon this year.  One of our teachers could not attend this year so I took it on.  The pattern is new and it is called Zendoddle.  I love zentangles and have several books on them, all the pens and sketch books but do not take the time to mess with them as much as I would like.  I thought on this pattern I would color plan it and dye the wool and away I would go.  I ended up pulling colors out and re-dyeing.  It was hard for me to color plan.  I wanted to use embellishments on it so I have beads, shisha mirrors, yarns, plumbers chain, mtallic threads and buttons,  I would change a few things on it but needed to finish it and get on with the other projects.



In May on Hood Canal there are four to five special days.  Those days are when the state of Washington allows the public to spend lots of money on gas licenses lines, traps, bait, etc. to catch the world's best tasting shrimp.  The first day of shrimping was raining so hard it hurt.  There were many lost pots as the current took those traps and lines to all areas of the canal.  You catch shrimp between 200 to 400 feet.  Easy going down but the you have to turn around and pull that trap up all 400+ feet hoping there are shrimp in the trap. I made chili and hot chocolate and all the shrimpers were able to get their limit of 80  day.  Here is the smallest shrimper we had with use this year.



My first class in the new studio was a dye class.  It went from 9:30 - 4:30 and they dyed lots of wool.  They learned casserole, spot, values, overdyeing, marbelizing, stewing and pot dyeing.  The new fan husband installed in the studio, worked wonderfully and we had a good time.  The students were able to make up their own recipes and left with some beautiful wool.



This wall hanging I did of my dad as I remember him.  He has been gone for almost 35 years.  We did many things together.  I was like his son.  We fished, rode horses, wrestled and boxed.  We played in the water in front of our house and generally shared the same sense of humor.  Dry.  I did receive my big smile from him.


The water is in front of our house at the resort called, Holly Beach.  Across the water you see the cabins for rent at Mike's Place.  The old motor I made into a Johnson motor as that is my maiden name.  He was (or so he said)) a deputized sheriff out here in the rural areas of Kitsap County.  I never did see anything except his handcuffs that would verify this fact.  I did put a star on his cap to indicate the deputy sheriff claim

I wish he could have met and hung out with my children but he died shortly after I had my second baby.  The eldest child just remembers wrestling with my dad, but Ryan was only three years old at the time of dad's death.  I know my children would have loved him and dad would have loved showing them all the adventures and misadventures he wandered into during his life. He was always thinking up some new idea.   





Jane was a student in my first hooked jpurnal class.  She did an awesome job on her book and executed it so well.  I love her quotes and all her hooking.  The way she put it together is very elegant.  Here are some pictures, which give you just an idea.  It needs to be seen in person







This year's school was great.  The teachers were well received and we all learned a tremendous amount.  We were able to create and indulge ourselves in the art form of rug hooking.  Nola was back; Donna Hrkman came and Liz Alpert Fay was also there inspiring us along the way.

Some pictures of our teachers:


We also had Mary Watson give two art night classes which were well received.



I always look forward to the week long retreat in January.  We had 45 people there hooking away.  I could not get my hooking mojo going so I played with three different patterns I had brought.  Here are some pictures of the the ladies and their rugs. 

Sara Judith's punched rug for her daughter.  Gorgeous and shows such perspective.

Eda Lee's beautiful rug she has been working on for some time but when it is done, it will be perfect.

Judi's rug which is almost completed.  See how the light diamonds show up on the photo.

Katie's finished McGown Workshop rug.  

Rose finsihed her big rug.  There are four of them developing this rug designed by Diane and Julie.  Rose went more primitive.

This is a three part headboard Rose is working on and includes embellishments.

Diane's January Welcome Mat challenge.

Cannot remember who did this one.



Gee's Bend rugs made by 7 ladies inspired by he quilts.



Patti's sheep.

Darlene's rug for her grandson.  Large cut.Kelsie's kitchen rug she punched.

An amazing rug with so much detail.  Emily is working on this masterpiece using very small cuts.


April finished this little piece at retreat.


Yvonne is working on this beautiful rug and almost done.

I think this is Lisa's rug which is almost done.




My latest little mat I designed and practiced the finishing edges.  The words were suppose to be more subtle and I practiced punching the background with wool strips.  Ity is a fun little mat with which you can do fun things.



Celebration - pattern

I redesigned this pattern from teacher's workshop but went with the original colors I had picked.  I redrew the middle portion.  The original had the Chrysler Building drawn on it.  I did not want the rug to have a direction so that is why I changed it.  I also went with brighter colors.  I added borders as I had lots of wool left over.  It was a quick rug to hook and was done in a 3-8 cut.


New Pattern

I finished the  chick-o-evil rug.  It is one I have been wanting to do and I started it at the October retreat.  I put funky feet on the chickens and changed the pattern as I hooked it.  I wanted to do the old fashioned scrolls and found a striped orange wool to use.  It sure makes a difference in how it looks depending on which way you cut the striped wool.   I had just enough of it to finish the scrolls.  I like the pattern.  It is a good size as well.  The background is a mix of three different green textures.


New Studio 

This is the other side of the new studio.   I will have propane heat eventually.  The lights in the ceiling are the best part of this studio as they are day-lights and really are the best lights ever.  I will soon show the dye area.


We have redone our garage and in the process I made a studio and Jay made his own studio.  Here are some pictures of my studio.  I am so excited having most of my stuff in one room.

This is the side view.  I have collected and repainted the pieces of furniture and we got everything in the studio from garage sales, craigslist and thrift stores.  We adapted them to fit the space.  This includes the sink, floor and front window and doors.  I did buy the 4'x4' windows as I could never find them at Habitat for Humanity or craigslist.

I painted the furniture I had various colors of turquoise and then reupholstered what I could in an wild oil cloth.  The barn wood walls were made from a garage of the neighbor's which had been taken down for a new garage.  The table with glass on top has the same barn wood under it and a stainless steel shelf.  It was at a thrift store buy for $50.  The green lights had been bought for my kitchen over 20 years ago.  That dye cabinet I have on the wall is french and is a metal Diamond Dyes, bought on ebay quite awhile ago.



Two student rugs.

This rug is from Debbie Clemons who wanted a five foot roundish rug for her husband, who was in the Airforce Reserve. I designed it and this is what she finished.  Great work.  She is one of those who hooks perfect loops.  This was started at Hooker Hill in 2012.  I will be back in 2014 and cannot wait.

Patty Tyrell did this rug when I taught at Prairie Rose in August, 2013.

We worked on "glow" around the moon.  She definietly got it.


Reiter Retreat 2013 Fall

There was a good time had by all at Goldbar, Washington, this year at the retreat.  It was casual and inspiring.  

This rug is one from Lorraine Owens with messages sewn on from her new dog.  What fun!

This rug is from Maureen Towner who found a similar one in a magazine. Love the horse.

This rug was popular and from Joy Anderson who got it from Primitive Quilts and Rugs magazine.  There will be more of these coming to the next retreat I think.

This was a pillow finished by Suzi Jones and hooked by Pattit Chapman.  The pumpkin looks so real.

Rug show walk at the end of the retreat.  They all do a great job.



I had a wonderful time with friends at the biennial.  Jay and I stayed at my cousin's house and I was dropped off everyday at the conference.  I helped with hanging rugs and then attended the annual meeting.  I was able to reconnect with my friends from Australia and we had dinner together at the TIGHR gathering.  It was fun seeing everyone and chatting. I took the braiding class from Diane Tobias and Kris McDermet.  I have put a braid on a hooked piece before but was not sure how to do it properly.  There was a video I watched to learn how to do it.  This time it was nice to have expert help. It is a work in progress.  I decided to make chair seats that match the material I used to recover my chairs in the new studio.  

I also gave a tour at the rug show and  only had two people but had fun discussing the rugs.  Here are some of the rugs I saw at the show.

Amazed at Nola Heidbreder's president project.  These are simply amazing and done in such a short time.

Love Gail Becker's dog.



















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Jay was able to visit with Bonifacia who we met in Mexico.  She is the leader of the Augustine Gonzales group which hooks rugs to help their families in the village and sell them in town.  The colonial town is San Miguel de Allende.  A beautiful city which has many expats living there.  She was teaching a class on how to hook without using a frame.  Jay got to practice his Spanish.  Bonie said Jay needed to come back to Mexico as his Spanish was rusty.  Charlotte Bell was the interpreter for her. Charlotte has been helping the ladies for many years now and has been their advocate.  This was such a great experience for Bonifacia.  It was her first plane ride, first shower, first elevator, first bath, etc.  The rug in the picture Boni made says 100% Mexican, which is a joke because no one is 100% anything according to Bonifacia.

  After we returned Jo and Judy from Australia came for a day to our house on Hood Canal for a visit.  It was a nice, sunny day and they took the tour of our house and studio.  Good friends and lots of laughing.