RUG HOOKING BLOG

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I'm a mother of four grandmother of seven and great grandmother of three. I live with my husband in the house that we built with the help of my brothers and will have been married for 55 years this February.

Monday, December 28, 2020

 CHRISTMAS 2020 WAS ONE OF A KIND BUT WE SURVIVED

Just a short post today.

George and I went to church on Christmas Eve and I felt very lucky that our church was allowed to be open. I sang solo without music because of Covid and everything went well.

All the preparations for Christmas dinner have been just like when the family was here. I baked tourtieres (meat pies) fruit cakes, cranberry cookies, pecan snowballs. A small turkey, dressing, mashed garlic potatoes with sour cream,  broccoli, carrots, and gravy. Broken glass torte for dessert and wine.

I shared some of the food with the family, delivered gifts, before dinner, and  George and I sat down to fill our bellies. After dinner, we went to work on a nice puzzle that Jackie, my daughter gave us.  It was a 500 pieces puzzle and George was glad because he could find the pieces easier. It was a nice way to wound down.



It was a really fun puzzle to do and pretty easy. 

I have taken photos of some of my decorations with my cell phone before Christmas but when I came to upload them on my computer, the cell phone did some binging sounds and the device did not want to show on my computer. I may need to do some updating on my computer.  It's the least of my worries right now. 

The tree and decorations will stay up till Epiphany at the feast of the Three Kings. 

Today I vacuum my bedroom and put everything in order and, ordered my garden seeds from Veseys Seeds from PEI. Of course, I wanted to buy more seeds but realized that I'll never be able to manage it all and pared down my order. Last year, I did not order seeds as I had no soil to plant them in because all the plant nurseries were closed to the public because of Covid. I bought some plants that were mislabeled and instead of having 12 broccoli plants I had 12 kale plants. There was something else that was mislabeled and I was very disappointed. 

I hope that you had a lovely Christmas but I know at least three families who had either were alone for Christmas because of losing a loved one, and one was ill and the other is in palliative care. My heart went out to them. Wishing everyone a better year for 2021.

Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

THE TREE IS UP

I finally decided to put up the tree. It feels different this year as we won't have any visitors but this is something we might have to get used to.  One thing I've noticed as I made progress in decorating the tree, I had mixed feelings as I was handling all the decorations that my kids gave me over the years. There are some from many countries from far away places and some they bought with their own money when they were in school. Many are collectors' items now.  It was bittersweet as I hung a little pair of ceramic baby booties with the birth date and name of Nicole written in gold. After Nicole passed away, those little booties came back home all the way from Scotland.

 Lauren my dear blogger friend has been checking to see how I was doing with decorating my tree. It took me longer than usual to put the darn bead garland on. It kept slipping and my shoulder kept getting sore and tired from holding my arms up. I'm glad I had some office work to do so I could take a break. Thanks to Lauren, I'm glad I persevered and finally finished decorating the tree. 



This is before I got the ornaments on.  The angel was given to me by my first little granddaughter Jordyn when she was just a wee little girl. 



Not a good photo but you get the picture. I have fewer ornaments than the last time I decorated the tree, but still, it took me a long time hanging each one of them.  I gave all my little teddy bears to my little great-granddaughter. She filled a whole big grocery bag with the teddy bears and proudly took them home. It was just too cute.




This a gift from Christine that I got in 2000, 20 years ago.  



One of my large poinsettia. It's starting to turn red. It's so big. This is a table that sits four people.  Some of the large leaves are falling off as there are many little new leaves and branches growing. It's really too big and I have two others like that. You can't even see the top but I'm glad for the color.

I have some other decorations put up but it will be for another time. This evening George and decided that we will get a turkey for Christmas even though it's just the two of us. We have to stay positive, it's better that way. I can give the other half to my son Vaughan.

Stay safe and well everyone and thanks for leaving a comment.

Hugs, Julia


Friday, November 13, 2020

LIFE GOES ON AND TIME PASSES SWIFTLY

 I've been a little preoccupied, no, a whole lot preoccupied with the elections in the USA as I know, many of you also have been scared of the outcome...  I've spent a lot of time on the computer waiting for the results. In this time of uncertainty, everything that goes on globally affects us all. After all, we are all together in this human race when democracy is at stake but I'm keeping my faith alive.


Like I promised, I'm showing you my new hobby. These are the tools that I use in making my rosaries. The one with the grey handles is a new tool that makes the job of making the pins for the beads a lot faster than using the traditional looper tool. 

 I use 6 mm glass beads or semiprecious stone beads, 20 gauge wire, chain that I cut, jump rings to attach the medal center and the crucifix. 


For this rosary in progress, I'm using an antique brass medal center and crucifix and also 20  gauge antique brass wire. I work on one bead at a time by making the link to attach to the next bead. I'm getting a little faster in the process but I'm not an expert by a long shot. With these types of Catseye beads, I have to be careful to get them all going in the same direction. 





This was my first rosary that my son Vaughan claimed for himself. The pearl is his birthstone. The second one I made was claimed by our parish priest. 



I have made 12 rosaries so far and I'm almost finished with the green catseyes one. I have requests for two more rosaries. Each one is different. 


This is a  St Michael the Archangel chaplet. It still needs a medal on the end instead of a crucifix. It has a different bead arrangement as the prayers are different than the regular rosary. 



My poinsettias are starting to turn red. These are huge. Each tile measures 10 x10 inches and the table in the corner measures 30 x 30 x 30 inches and the plants are about a foot higher and wider. It's difficult to see the true size but they have taken over my sunroom. I hope they will all be red for Christmas. I'll keep you updated.




I've had to move the wicker chair in front of the door so they could get sunlight. 



In comparison, remember these poinsettias I received last year from the church after Epiphany. They were huge then but now they are monsters measuring over  3 1/2 feet high and wide. 

Take care, everyone, stay safe and well. I appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

I'M NOT DEAD YET AND STILL ENJOYING LIFE DESPITE COVID-19

Like so many people I go incognito every time I go out. I wear a mask and my glasses turn dark in the sun. I'm respecting the social distancing and so far, it has been very manageable. We are lacking of nothing except visitors. I usually get lots of visitors to our house during the summer but not this year. My little granddaughter was crying to come to visit me at my house, the poor little thing. She is too young to understand. It is so sad. All this because of Covid-19. We are in the second wave but so far our area is doing well under the circumstances. Both my husband and I are at high risk so we are not pushing our luck.


Since I didn't take any photos for my blog lately, I thought that I should insert this photo of me taken almost two years ago, at my brother's house before Christmas, 2018.


I guess, now since I'm retired, I no longer take blogging seriously.   It has nothing to do with the new blogger interface as it seems to be as easy as before to post. I haven't encountered too many problems with it but then I hardly posted anything lately... It could be that the new interface is compatible with my MacBook Pro...  I have no idea. I actually love that it's easier to view all my old posts at a glance. I can also view how many views each post had.   I'll admit that when I shared a video from Youtube, I couldn't add any script and had to use the comment section to add something, and that's the only problem I have encountered so far but nobody likes to view those videos anyway so it's not stopping me from posting. Maybe I've just gotten really lazy lately. 

I still love my blogger friends and love to hear from them even though I've slacked a lot on Blogger. I still get emails quite often.    The lack of interest in blogging from everyone probably has something to do with it too. I used to have so many followers leaving lots of comments but most of them have stopped blogging for whatever reason. They moved over to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter but, I'm just not a follower of those Social Media except Blogger.

As I'm getting older, my interests have changed too, I still have hobbies but nothing that would interest anybody but me at the moment. I'm getting ready to turn 74 very shortly. How did this happen? Do you suppose I'll make it to the centenary mark someday? lol... As many of you know, as I get older, my interest has turned to spirituality and away from worldly things.  Each day is zooming by so fast, I can't believe we are already at the end of October. The world has gone bonker... So much unrest and protests.

I'm on Zoom a lot lately with a fantastic prayer group from Ottawa,  and they have become like family and great friends and I'm meeting people from all over Canada, my province of New Brunswick and even in the USA at least three times a week and sometimes more... We do a lot of praying but also a lot of laughing too.

My yard and gardens are still wondering why I don't clean up the dead debris, but just the thought of losing my topsoil is enough to stop me dead in my tracts if we get another big flood in the spring. The dead debris seems to hold down the soil a little better than when I clean up the dead debris in the fall. 

This summer has been so dry and the front lawn has been devastated by chinch bugs. They totally killed the grass in a wide area. The summer before we had a grub infestation throughout the whole city and they ruined my lawn back then too.  Yesterday,  my husband dumped a few loads of topsoil on the front lawn, and he and my grandson, Liam, reseeded it. It's a rough job by my standard but I'm not complaining. Maybe, I'll have some green grass to cut next spring. 

My grandson Liam, is staying with us this fall and helps my husband on the farm.  I'm cooking a little more. It's easier to cook for three than for two. A Blueberry pie doesn't last long. 

This week, the men left the basement window party opened when they brought some wood in the basement and some mice came in. I caught 4. Two fat ones and two smaller ones. No mice are safe around me. I won't rest until I'm 100% sure they are all gone. Yucky little creatures.

Hopefully, in my next post, I'll share my new found hobby. I order most of my supplies online. 

I wish you a Happy Halloween. where you are.  Halloween is dead in our neck of the wood. There are no kids in this part of town. They all grew up and moved away and nobody seems to have kids anymore. 

Stay safe and well. Thanks for your comments. I appreciate them.

Hugs, Julia



Monday, August 31, 2020

CREAMY POTATO KALE SOUP.

 In one of my posts, I had mentioned that I made a yummy Kale soup as we had an abundance of kale and someone wanted the recipe. As nothing was normal this year, I didn't get a bag of soil to start my own seeds because the plant nurseries were all closed. Later on when it was time to plant I went to buy some transplants and thought I had bought broccoli as the label said but instead of 8 broccoli plants, I got 8 kale plants.


The author of this recipe is called Pinch of Yum. It was a printable recipe I found online.

I had a request for the kale soup from Newburyarts who left a comment on my blog.

CREAMY POTATO KALE SOUP

5 Tbsp butter ( I used half butter and half Extra  Virgin Olive oil)

1 large yellow onion roughly chopped

3 large potatoes  (about 3 1/2  cups peeled and  roughly chopped )

8 cups of chicken or vegetable broth  ( I used chicken broth)

2-3 cups of kale, stems removed and chopped ( I added a bit more kale)

2 cups of milk

Salt and pepper to taste


Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and potatoes and saute until golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes, sprinkling with salt and pepper.

Add 6 cups of the broth and the kale, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until the kale softens and becomes a darker green.

Transfer the soup to a heavy-duty blender. Puree for 2 to 3 minutes or until the soup is completely smooth.  (If you use an immersion blender you can puree right in the pot)

 Transfer the pureed soup back into the pot and stir in the milk and the remaining 2 cups of broth depending on how thick you want the soup to be. Season with salt and pepper and serve. 

Notes from the author:

This recipe is very adaptable, add more herbs, use more potatoes, more kale, more broth, etc. Also note, the more kale you add, the more bright green the soup will be. Also, the longer you cook the onions and potatoes, the more it dulls the flavor. You want them to be sauteed and golden but not totally mushy. 

Stay well and safe everyone.

I appreciate your comments very much.





Thursday, August 27, 2020

I THINK I FIXED THE COMMENT THINGIE.

 Sorry to faithful followers who have tried to leave comments on my post. I think that I fixed the problem. We'll see if the moderation of comments works to keep the unwanted comments from appearing on my blog. If this doesn't work. I'll try again.


Have a great day everyone.


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

I'M IN A PICKLE AGAIN

 My Daniel fasting ended on August 21 and although a bit thinner after 21 days of serious fasting, prayers, and penance. There were over 10,000 people from all over the world participating from 55 countries. I have received some amazing graces and would not hesitate to do it again on the next occasion. 

 I have a lot more energy so I've used that time to harvest and do some freezing of excess vegetables and pickling.  I've picked so many green and yellow beans and frozen some and pickled the rest. There are more in the garden to pick. Even my son Vaughan got in on the pickling of Hot Green Beans. He packed the jars and I processed them. In all, I processed over 120 bottles of assorted pickles. I've got some Mustard Pickles, one of my favorites, some Hot Dilled Carrots, some Hot Yellow Beans pickles,  Hot  Green Beans pickles,   some Dilled  Cucumber Pickles, Bread and Butter Pickles, Lady Ashburnham.

 And now, I need to make some Beet Pickles. Of course, we won't be eating all those pickles as I'm planning to sell some to fundraise for our church. It's been a lot of work but because of no family visitors this August, I could spend more time preserving. I froze tonnes of yellow and green beans, some cabbage, carrots, and my husband dehydrated some Kale. I love pickling and August went by so fast for me. 

I didn't take any pictures of my pickles as they are all in boxes in the basement. I thought that I better take a few pictures for my blog this evening while making the last batches of Mustard Pickles, or is it really my last batch???


These were soaking in a brine for 24 hours and then processed


The results were 9 and 3/4 quarts.  Of course, we will eat  the Mustard Pickles in the jar that was 3/4 full.  They are so tasty. My husband is pretty happy about that.

It's been so dry that the front lawn has turned brown. We got a little rain yesterday which was such a relief for the thirsty garden and yard. It's been cold and windy today. Not our usual August weather.  Our hay crop is less than last year but my husband is selling a lot more hay this year since we no longer have to keep some for our own cows since they were sold last December. 

I hope that you are all staying reasonably well and looking forward to the fall colors. As for me, I'm feeling peace and contentment despite the Corona Virus restrictions. I'm making the best of a difficult situation and finding little treasures where I can find them.

Just a note for my followers who leave comments. Because I have received so many naughty comments of inappropriate nature on my old posts, I had to go into my settings and click on only members can leave comments on my blog.  It has taken care of that Unknown Blogger who left inappropriate comments. I hope that members also means followers. We shall see if you can leave comments. If not, I will have to go back and click on comments moderation and fix it.

I appreciate your visit and comments.

Hugs, Julia


Friday, July 31, 2020

NOT ALL IS DOOM AND BLOOM.

The deers have been coming around to nibble on my beet tops the other night but haven't returned to pull my beets since I've been putting the Irish Spring soap around the gardens. I may get some beets after all.
The deers haven't touched any of my brassicas and I have a lot of Kale in my garden.  My husband is dehydrating some and I made some Kale soup today. It was delicious and he expects me to make some more in the near future.

Not everything is doom and gloom and now to share some of my blooms, here are some pictures for you to enjoy for now. I left many other daylilies out as my picture card is full in my camera.



A serendipity miniature sunflower that grew under the bird feeder. I thought of Rick Watson, a blogger friend who passed away just recently. This one is for you Rick. We miss you.


My daylilies are in full blooms now but I will take more photos later. This is enough for now.


These daylilies are called Toltec Dial. A prolific bloomer.


                                           Siloam Fancy Dress


                                         May May
         

                                        Rainbow Gold


 This  daylily, I don't have a name and I think it one that self-propagated,


                                  Absolute Zero Daylily



                                           New Note Daylily


                                         Fountain Tune Daylily



                                          An old fashion one. I don't know the name.


                                         Arthur More Daylily




                                          Gay Cravat Daylily


                                         Siloam Bo Peep


                                           Rudbeckias, ( last year's picture)


                                            Echinacea



                                              Chicago Apache

I'm taking a break from Blogger and social media entertainment until August 21 to take part in the David fasting with the Shalom Media group with special intentions to save humanity from the deadly plague of Covid-19, in reparation for the sins committed by us and our families, to strengthen all the evangelization efforts of bringing Jesus to the ends of the earth, to prepare the Catholic Church to embrace a new Pentecost.
This David fasting is led by Rev. Roy Varghese Palatty, CMI, spiritual director of Salom Media. I will be checking my blog for scam only.
Stay well and safe.
Hugs, Julia

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

2020 HAS BEEN A DIFFERENT YEAR, IN MANY WAYS FOR EVERYONE, INCLUDING ME

First, with Covid-19 that is still creating havoc with people's lives and the economy, education, nursing homes, vacations, policing, the closing of businesses and churches, etc, etc...  Some say it's divine chastisement for the sinfulness of mankind all over the world who have put God aside and are relying more and more on their own inner strength and on worldly things and have forgotten the Word of God and are serving another master, Satan.

 The family unit is disintegrating because of the absence of fathers in the home and generation after generations, it will get worst unless we get divine intervention. It's like in the time of Noah when the world had become so evil. Abortion is the greater evil as respect for life is at an all-time low, especially in China, And making more money is more important.

There has been a dramatic increase in protests,  toppling of historical statues, an increase in burning Catholic churches and crosses, decapitation, and defacing of religious statues, especially of the Blessed Virgin Mary, desecrations of the Holy Eucharist, and persecution of Christians all over the world, especially in China. There are many other things that have happened like the extensive deluge of flooding in China and many other countries, locus infestation in Africa that destroyed crops, etc.  It continues and the world is being shaken to its core.

While I'm observing all this, I'm trying to live my life as normal as possible and the stupid Bambi has been raiding our garden this year, night after night, even eating tomato plants, can you believe?  They have eaten my Hostas, Phlox, Hydrangeas, Asiatic lilies, beans, carrots, peas, and ate all my son in law's beets. They only left me a handful of peas.😭


These were my Hostas last year in full bloom by the gazebo.


And this is what they look like this summer after Bambi and his family came for a garden party.

At first, a fence kept them out but they ventured inside the fence and got bolder and bolder. I've been putting shredded Irish Spring soap at night and it seems to deter them but the damage has been done.  I still managed to pick almost 8 pounds of beans but they have really eaten all the blossoms on the beans.


They chewed all the tips of my phlox in several gardens.




They chewed the tips of two of my Hydrangeas and left only two tips on this one.

Luckily I have lots of daylilies and the deers don't seem to like those.



There is still a lot of beauty amongst the ugly and every day is a gift and we should always be thankful for what we got and count our blessings.


Remember these poinsettias that were given to me in April from the church before Lent? They were losing their red bracts but with good watering,  the bracts lasted for a long time.



They are as high as that card table in the corner.  I put a chair for a comparison of the size. They are huge and they are taken over the room.

August is poking around the corner. It's been hot and very humid and I stayed mostly inside just venturing outside briefly. I just don't do well in hot humid weather.

Thanks for visiting and listening to my rambling. I enjoy reading your lovely comments but lately, I'm getting a lot stupid of x-rated spam which is very annoying. I know they are not from my regular followers.

Stay safe and well.
Hugs, Julia

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

A BLOGGER ART GALLERY POST BY INVITATION FROM KEZZIE

What is art? There are many definitions of art. Kezzie from KezzieAG blog thought it would be fun to see what arts her followers had in their home and so she set up a day to share our art on our blogs.

After digging up some photos from my Photo Library, I came up with more art pieces than I thought I had.

I never thought of my creations as art but the definition of art is broad so I guess it can pass for art.

Taste varies, what is beautiful to some is not necessarily beautiful to others.


I'll start with my rugs. They are all my own designs and I have enjoyed the whole process of acquiring my stash of repurposed 100% wool fabric from thrift stores with only a very small percentage which is not 100% wool.

The wool is washed in hot water and dried. I use a Cushing dye especially for wool to get the colors I wanted and to overdye colors that I want to change. There are many techniques for special effects.  The wool is cut in narrow strips we call worms.



This was my first rug. The grass was a white and grey plaid skirt dyed with yellow and blue dye. All repurposed 100% wool.




This rug was made to remember my friends who supported me during my breast cancer episode. They gave me a huge rooster that noise activated. I was collecting small roosters then. They filled a huge basket with 30 small gifts to open every day for a month.


This was a challenge rug. I had to use a forest, a ring, a stone, and the color purple. Free to interpretation. I didn't have much choice of wool then. This is me when I was young. I was always hanging from a tree upsidedown and wished I was a natural blond. lol...



This is a memory rug of my childhood. Every vignette represents great memories. and the wavy border represents the journey.




Another challenge rug called Grandmother's trunk. The interpretation was my heritage from my grandmother. She didn't left me any tangible objects other than the love of flowers.



Another challenge rug to get rid of all the leftover wool worms after hooking the other rugs.



Again this chair pad was using all leftover wool worms. The green border was wool of many different greens and white all married together by simmering the wool together to get a more uniform color.




This chair pad also was using little bits of leftover wool. We call the different circles, Kittens paws.



This one is a geode landscape. I never finished the border on it yet.


This is from a black and white overexposed photo of my grandfather. I wasn't pleased how his face turned out as I couldn't see the nuances in the shading of his face.



This was a challenge entitled "All around the town", using left only leftovers wool worms. The edging needs to be finished.



This is George the  Rooster chair pad. Making a round chair pad can be challenging.





A mate for George the rooster. Meet Julia hen. I used one piece of plaid that a generous blogger friend gifted me for the body by cutting out the strips of wool and separating the colors




Another challenge using leftover wool worms with a nursery rhyme.



This is a purchased watercolor print of a local covered bridge by artist Daniel Price.




This art piece comes as a gift from an African student who my daughter Christine gave her some raw milk to make some kefir I think. She was so happy with the cow milk. It is made from large fibrous leaves.



This was a self-portrait painted by my late daughter Nicole when she was in High school. I found it in the garage and gave it back to her while she lived in Scotland. She took it with her and had it framed. and it came back to me when she died. I had to take the photo at an angle because of the glare on the glass.


 

These two small applique portraits are collector's items and were given to me by Nicole and came from Scotland. Signed by artist Linda Kerr. They are approximately 4''x4'' or 10.16 cm x 10.16 cm.









A cross stitch I made and changed the thread colors to coordinate with my wall color. I had it professionally mounted at a cost of $150.00. I got it mounted wit a low glare glass to protect it from grease in the dining room.




THis little one I mounted myself but I need to change the frame. I used what I had laying around.


My first applique quilt after my chemo. The applique and quilting is all done by hand.


I got an old pattern from my sister in law for a double bed but I turned it into a King size. All appliqued and quilted by hand.





This is a scribble I made on a tiny piece of line paper when one morning I was sitting at my prayer table in my bedroom while I was doing a two-week review of my spiritual meditation and I saw the face of Jesus in the tree across the road. I looked up and down as I scribbled and when I was done I couldn't see it anymore no matter how hard I tried. I could see it very plainly. I could see a bit of the sky and some leaves and a branch that came down on top of his forehead.




A scrap of paper on my desk on which a coffee spill gave me a doodling idea. lol.

I hope that you enjoyed some of my art and didn't get too bored.
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.
Hugs, Julia