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.

Friday, September 30, 2022

 OK, A WHOLE MONTH HAS GONE BY WITHOUT A POST.


A little splash of color from my phlox

 Why has posting on my blog become worst than going to the dentist? I have no idea. I feel that even though I've been busy, busy, busy, I have nothing for my blog. I haven't taken any pictures because I've kept my nose to the grind. Julia is a very dull girl... lol

I've bottled almost 300 bottles of pickles, veggies, and jams yet it feels like it's not interesting enough to share so I didn't take any photos. We made $3200.00 with our Farmers Market in only 3 hours.  It was a lot of work to prepare but also a lot of fun too. No pictures...

I usually can keep my gardens reasonably free of weeds but not this summer. Now I'm cleaning out the large daylily bed which has become weedy in places and looked like a jungle. I'm three-quarters done. No pictures...

My hip continues to give me a bit of a problem but I'm managing quite well just the same. I'm Ok if I don't overdo it.

 My son Vaughan, has mowed my lawn for most of August and September with the large sit-on mower but is too wide for certain spots in my yard.  My lawnmower cord has become stuck and I need to bring it to the repair shop but need some help to load it up in the trunk of my vehicle.  In the meantime, I've been using my weed wacker to cut the tall grass. One big branch fell on my shed and I'm waiting for it to be taken down and cut for firewood. The branch fell after Fiona had passed. No pictures...

We were very lucky that Fiona was kind to us and I feel bad about all those who have lost property and lives. So much destruction over a wide area. Our diocese is collecting money for the Red Cross appeal to help in the relief efforts for Hurricane Fiona in Canada for victims. The government of Canada will match the amount collected by our diocese. 

That's all for now. Take care and stay well and safe.


Sunday, August 28, 2022

SUMMER BEAUTIES SOON TO BE JUST MEMORIES.

 

It's been a very busy summer for me so far and I didn't blog very much lately as usual. Between working in the gardens and working in the house, I also kept busy preserving our bounty. 

 My hip has been hurting so bad, enough to make me limp quite badly. Weeds continue to take over in grandiose ways because I can no longer do it all. 

 For some reason, we had lots of rain and the grass has grown so fast this summer. We are at the end of August, and it has not slowed down, everything is lush and green this year.  The lawn should be mowed every other day to keep it tidy. My son is mowing with the big lawnmower but there are places he can't get by with it. 

I had promised some flower garden photos in my next post instead of preserves and pickles but because my iPhone had too many photos, the last batch didn't curate and they vanished. 


Rudbeckias and a patch of creeping Charlies 


Coleus of normal size that I propagated from last year's sole surviving plant started from seed this year.  


I started these Rainbow coleuses and they look like Coleus on steroids. lol...


One of my hydrangeas that survived deer attacks in the spring.


A young hydrangea and daylilies.




Arthur Moore daylilies which by now have all spent their flowers




Toltec Sundial daylilies


One of my many Asiatic lilies


I think these are Saloam Button Box Daylilies. I have way too many to post on this blog and you have all seen them in past posts anyway.


I had a question from Robin the Cranky Crow about what kind of electric stove I was using for canning vegetables with my large All American  Pressure Canner. It's a Samsung electric glass top stove with a very large burner. It has worked fantastically so far.


I hope it answers your question, Robin. I had taken a photo of the Large All American pressure canner on that burner but because I had too many photos on my iPhone, it did not curate and I lost it along with many other flower photos I had taken for this post. 

On a sadder note, my brother Leo, lost his battle with brain cancer this past week. I'm glad I got to see him before he died.  I hadn't seen him since before the pandemic. He was extremely emaciated and in a lot of pain lately. He had been paralyzed, and couldn't see in one eye and everything was blurred in the other since his brain operation in December 2021. Also, he had lost his hearing in one ear and needed help to sit and eat, and couldn't do anything for himself.  He was admitted to Palliative care and the next day, he passed away with his family at his side.

Thanks for visiting and please leave a comment if you care to. 
Julia

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

TRUDEAU GREATEST HITS

   

I came in for a wee break, sat at my computer and saw this and thought I'd share it

Sunday, August 14, 2022

THE GARDENS HAVE BEEN PRODUCING IN ABUNDANCE THIS YEAR

 

Here's George with our first batch of cucumbers, a big Laundry basket full. It was so heavy that we couldn't carry it very far and he got the skid steer to carry it to the house.

The cucumbers came with a vengeance and I had to pick every other day and I've been pickling non-stop for days. I made Bread n' Butter Pickles, lots of Dill pickles, some Million Dollar Relish, some Pickled Beets, and Lady Ashburnham Pickles. I've made extra for our Church Vegetable and Pickle Market for this fall as a fundraiser. 

Just a sample of my pickles. I didn't bother to take pictures of all my pickles and preserves this time but I processed 104 jars of pickles, 15 jars of green beans, and 13 jars of pork loins so far. 

I froze an amazing amount of broccoli and cauliflower.   I  also froze some chopped-up cabbage for soup in small portions. I still have lots of assorted cabbages in the garden.  We are giving cabbages away. I'll have to learn to make sauerkraut for George. lol...   My new 7sq ft. freezer is almost full already.

Last September, we had an overabundance of beans and I ordered an All-American pressure canner but it only arrived in late September so I didn't use it last year.  I had to freeze the beans and I made Dilly spicy green beans pickles with the rest. This year, the deers ate most of the beans but I still have some in my son, Vaughan's garden.

Already, I canned some pork loins and several batches of green beans in my new pressure canner.  I love my big new canner. I was a little worried about using it the first time but after watching a Youtube video, it was easy and a joy to use.  It sure has been fun preserving all that food but an amazing amount of work too.


The pork loins were on special and this is my first batch. I went back and got some more and made another 6 bottles. 

I had to work at another funeral reception on Tuesday so I did get a break from preserving food. Wednesday I weeded my flowerbeds that were being invaded by weeds full of seeds that I couldn't ignore.  Some vine weeds came up in the straw and I suspect the seeds were in the straw mulch. The war on weeds continues and that'd normal, even with mulch. I'll continue using straw mulch anyway. Not all my beds were mulched as I just didn't have time because of adverse weather.

There is a feeling of Autumn in the air already and my Hydrangea is already changing color. I have lots of flower pictures but this post is already long enough.



What the heck, a picture of one of my Asiatic Lily that was eaten by the deers last year, survived this year by using some wire-fanned supports that were bought at the dollar store. Not a great picture to show the fanned wire support but Lauren wanted to know what kind of support I used.

Thanks for reading my blog and leaving a comment.

Hugs, Julia


Saturday, July 23, 2022

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

 Holy cow! I haven't posted since June 17th. I've had my knees to the ground, weeding and that's nothing new. I think I'm growing stubby roots on my feet.  No, actually those are my toes. Seriously, the time has flown by so fast for me. It seems that I was just planting and we have been eating from the garden for several weeks or more already.

Thank goodness for my son helping to cut my lawn with the big lawnmower but there are places that he cannot go with the big lawnmower and I haven't used the small lawnmower to mow those areas so my lawn is not looking the best but it's green this year. Because I didn't have time, I didn't plant as many flowers this year and concentrated more on vegetables.  The deers are being a nuisance as they have chewed all the top of my beans again this year in the big garden at the farm. 



 I have weeded most of my flowerbeds but the weeds grew back wherever there was no mulch. I can't be in two places at the same time. I've spent a lot of time weeding at the farm and there are many rows and the rows are long, unlike my small garden at the house, and my back is giving out on me. A little rest from weeding has been very welcome. 


I've had two sets of visitors this week and it was wonderful. Needless to say, it was hot and muggy and it felt good not to have to weed. A young man who used to work on the farm stopped in with his wife and 4 very polite little kids on their way to PEI. Then on Monday, my daughter Christine and her two very polite boys that I hadn't seen since way before the pandemic arrived and left yesterday. It's been like having a blood transfusion. It really brought life to this house and removed the stigma of not having visitors for so long. 






Christine and her boys working on a  fun puzzle.


I pulled very few loops on my rug although it's on the frame, waiting for attention. I'm afraid, it will just have to wait longer. The garden is bursting with all sorts of veggies ready to pick. 

We've been eating red potatoes, peas, onions, dill weed, cucumbers, beets, cabbage, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, kale, Chinese cabbage,  spinach, and green onions and I picked beans this evening. I have banana peppers that are ready and also Jalapenos peppers. The corn is higher than the electric fence now but no cobs yet. It's been so hot this week but you all know that. Potted plants dry up quickly so I've had to carry buckets of water for my potted plants around the Gazebo and the steps. 



 I love these for making pickled beets. One beet goes a long way and takes less room in the garden.


The peas are now finished, only very few left on the vines.


Jalapenos  peppers for making Salsa


Again this year, my Norland red potatoes are big. These were picked several weeks ago. They are getting even bigger now. 


Chinese cabbage I use in stirfry

I didn't take photos of all my harvest but you get the idea. 

Why go through all this work?  I know where my food comes from and it's farm fresh, and I enjoy the magic of seeing things grow from the dirt and from a tiny seed.  It's a good workout, and I enjoy the bounty and beauty of it all, even when things are not  Martha Stewart perfect. lol... I'm learning all the time and life isn't supposed to be perfect anyway.  Every year, I do things differently.  Do you suppose I could learn to clone myself so I wouldn't need to work so hard? lol...



I thought that I would show you one of the gardens at the farm. I'll show some of the others next time maybe. 

We used some old chopped-up hay to mulch after the weeding was done. This is the first time we use old hay to mulch. It's a lot more pleasant to walk in the garden with no mud on our boots.


In the next section, lots of tomatoes, and some peppers and I can't remember what's at the end. 


And in this next section, broad beans, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflowers, and assorted cabbages.

These photos were taken last week so things have grown even more since then. 

In the next post, I will show some flowers. Hopefully, I won't wait so long to post. 


Thanks for your patience Kimm, I'll try to post as I go from now on. No promise though. 

Thanks, everyone, for visiting and leaving your comments.

Julia


Friday, June 17, 2022

I LOVE GARDENING BUT IT CAN BE A CHORE

Again, since it has been so long between posts, I have difficulty knowing where to start so I'll show you what I've been up to from the photos on my phone.


Yes, that's little old me in a weedy neglected vegetable garden.  It was all going to seed and had to be rescued. One year of seeding makes 7 years of weeding so the saying goes... My son took this picture of me before my husband weeded this patch.  Now this garden is all weeded and planted. 




These are my two long rows of potatoes, approximately 180 feet long each row. Not a very good picture.  I did an experiment this year by planting some potatoes in 4-inch pots before it was time to plant outside. They all did well and I got my son Vaughan to plant them in 8-inch deep trenches. They have been hoed twice and are much taller than those I planted directly in the soil on the same date. 



As you can see they are being attacked by Colorado potato beetles who lay their eggs on the undersides of the leaves and as they grow they can decimate a plant in no time if left unattended they will soon get out of control.




This is what the eggs look like. They are easy to crush with your thumb. I prefer to use vinyl gloves. Checking for eggs and beetles is a time-consuming job since I don't like to use poison unless it was out of control.



My red Norland potatoes are blooming.


I harvested my spinach from a small raised bed in the backyard. I got 2 pounds  4 oz.




A before picture of weeds in my flowerbed where I had annuals growing last year.  It's been raining so often that in no time the bed is overrun by weeds. I've always mixed annuals in my perianal beds but I find it produces lots of weeds.



I had to remove many pails of soil next to the brick border so the straw would stay in place This is what it looks like after weeding and mulching with premium straw. 



I had such a hard time this spring with my onions as they were out of the soil and I had to replant them every morning.  I covered them with a black fine mesh fabric weighed down with bricks as I thought the birds were pulling them out but the next day they were pulled out of the ground and the mesh was undisturbed.  I  looked it up online only to find that night crawler earthworms were pushing them out of the soil. After years of mystery, I finally know who the culprits are. 


So I decided to try an experiment with rooting onion sets before planting them. 
I use styrofoam containers and use a small kitchen tool with serrated edges that I use to cut the core of tomatoes to poke little circles in the styrofoam and place them in a glass pan and add water until it touches the under  top of the plate and in two days, the onions are rooted enough to plant. A few take longer. I forgot to mention that I cut the tops of the onion as in the picture.




These onions were the same ones that the earthworms were pushing out of the ground. They finally rooted but it was very frustrating.




Another experiment I tried this year to speed up the sprouting of carrots is to fill a Chinet paper plate with potting soil and sprinkle the carrot seeds on top I placed the plate in a large used Ziplock and I put them in the freezer for 24 hours and then I put them in bright light but out of the sun as it would get too hot.  I check them every day and in no time they start to sprout.  When most of them are sprouted, I gently pick up a handful and sprinkle them on fluffy soil and then sprinkle some soil on top and that's it. I water them well and make sure they don't dry up. It can take from 14  to 21 days to sprout when direct-seeded but with this method, I think it took about 5 days to sprout.  The ones on the left were sprouted in the Ziplock bag and the ones on the right were direct-seeded. I took the picture in the evening sun so they look yellow. 



My beets are doing well. This picture was taken earlier in the week. The 8-inch brick is to give a bit of perspective.


I planted two trays of sweet corn that were given to us by Scott's Nursery.  I have some that I direct planted, that are also growing, but not shown here.




Now, time to share some flowers. This is a weigela bush.



If I remember well, this iris is called Rare Edition.




This one is called Supreme Sultan



Sugar Candy Clematis



This one is called Royal Velvet and was having difficulty but has made a comeback.



One of my many Peonies is starting to bloom



This tall bearded iris is called Cherub Smile



My Alliums are having to compete with the Lady Kim lilac that has grown so large and they are leaning to get some sun. The tips got frostbit early this spring.




Remember the deers ate my Hostas right down to the ground this spring and I worried for nothing.



Look at them now, you can't even tell that there was damage.  Did you know that the young shoots of Hosta are edible for humans and are reportedly delicious when cooked as a vegetable?

I think I better stop here as my blog is getting to be photo heavy. I hope you enjoyed my gardening experiments. I have still so much weeding to do, probably until harvest time. lol.
Thanks for coming for a visit, I really enjoy seeing that you visited and your comments are much appreciated. 
 

Sunday, May 29, 2022

RUG HOOKERS UNITED FOR A HAPPY HOOK-IN IN FREDERICTON NEW BRUNSWICK.

 It was a perfect day for a rug Hook-In, in our beautiful capital city of  Fredericton, New Brunswick. The large room was filled with happy rug hookers from the surrounding areas of N.B. and there was a buzzing sound of conversation and laughter as everyone was happy to share with their friends around their tables. 

There were lots and lots of great prizes, big baskets overfilled to capacity with tempting goodies, a silent auction, muffins, and refreshments, take-out pizza and salad, and even a big cake. Krista had a vending room choke-full of wool and other supplies upstairs which I had planned to visit but decided to visit her at home later since I found out she lives only a few minutes from my home. It's a small world... What was so great about this hook-in, was that it was so close to home. No need to pack anything for overnight.

Kimm was very helpful and made me feel very welcome. I'm now a member of the Heritage Rug Hooking Guild and look forward to meeting with them in September.

Rugs were put on display but about an hour before the hook-in was supposed to close, I decided to take some pictures of the display. Not a good idea because no sooner had I started to take pictures than they announced for members to remove their rugs off the display as some of the rug hookers were leaving early and they didn't want them to forget their rugs behind. I'll take pictures earlier next time...

 I was scrambling to take as many pictures as I could but didn't get them all, and some of my pictures are not great but the rugs were all beautiful.

Please forgive me if I misspelled the names as sometimes it was difficult to read the script.


Windswept, was designed and hooked by Debbie Lassord  


No Name , designer unknowned, hooked by Heather Langille. 


Fine Shaded Flowers designed by Mary Grant, hooked by Caroilne Simpson



Two Crows Joy, designed by Ewenique Boutique, hooked by Linda Leslie



Cherry Picker designed by Michelle Palmer, Rug Hooking Magazine,  hooked by Shelley Lipscombe



Jacob Bean was designed by Christine Little, hooked by Caroline Munro



It looks like a Deanne Fitzpatrick but don't know who hooked it as I didn't see a name.



Squares  designed by Deanne Fitzpatrick, hooked by Heather Langille



Echinacea, designed by Caroline Simpson and hooked by Caroline Sympson


Unfortunately, I couldn't read the blurry label on either of these pieces. An amazing puffin sculpture.



                         I couldn't read the label on this one either as it's blurry.



                             The same story here. I just love that stool. What a magnificent job.


Garden, designed by Patti McGowen, hooked by Mary Grant

This amazing rug is so beautiful unfortunately, it was not fully visible as it was sitting on top of a bookcase. The display area was not equipped with an adequate display surface to take decent photographs but it was a beautiful display, nonetheless.




This blind lady is showing off her penguin's rug and next to it, Kimm is showing the unicorn that this lady was working on with Kimm's guidance. I can identify Krista on the left, our wool vender.


I didn't have time to identify the hookers and designers of all the rugs so I apologize. Maybe next year, I'll be more prepared and do better. The rugs were being removed from the display as I was trying to take the photos. My grandfather in the army suit. An other of the same rug taken from my files below.



Harvest Picnic was designed by All About Ewe, hooked by Linda Leslie


A lovely portrait rug, unfortunately, the label was blurried. 



The picture of my grandmother came out blurry so I had to dig this one from my files. Designed and hooked by me 


My grandfather in his army outfit. I couldn't get the three dimensions of his face from the over-exposed black and white photo and one of his eyes are bothering me but I never fixed it.


George Rooster was designed and hooked by me.



                         Julia Hen,  designed and hooked by me




Most of you must remember my Childhood Memories rug from a while back, designed and hooked by me. The uneven ribbon border to represent the bumps in the journey of life.


Oops, I had forgotten to include an update on Madonna of the street for Saundra. I only dyed the wool the night before and had to go and run with it. It will stay as is.  That's all I could hook on Saturday. 
# 3 cut is slow going.

There, you have it folks.  I hope you enjoyed coming along to view some fabulous rugs. Happy Memorial Day long weekend to my American friends. Thanks for visiting and leaving comments. 

Julia