Let your soul stand ajar, always ready to welcome the ecstatic experience. ~ Emily Dickinson

Monday, May 21, 2018

~Show and Tell~

Hello and Happy Monday, dear friends!!

Hope you are all enjoying some lovely weather in your "neck of the woods!"

**********

It is hard to believe that it has been almost 2 months since my last post!!!

What in the world have I been doing all this time????





This!!!

Yes, I have been working on hooking a rug!!!!!

It is a wonderful antique adaptation by my sweet friend Lori Rippey, of Homespunprims and I  have wanted to hook it for a very long time!!

Unfortunately, back in 2016, I tripped over some plugs in my front yard and fell over backwards!  It really hurt but I honestly didn't think I did any real damage!!  
Little did I know that that fall would lead to arm pain and then shoulder AND arm pain and finally
after x rays and the dreaded MRI, I was diagnosed with Frozen Shoulder!!!

Let me just say that if I could describe it with one word, I would say EXCRUCIATING!!!!
Thankfully, it was my left arm and so it still allowed me to do things, but I had many limitations and the pain was just constant!!!  I know that many advocate PT for it, but after doing lots of reading about it and talking to some friends who had dealt with it themselves and realizing it could take up to 18 or more months to go away whether I did PT or not, I opted to just use heat, Ibuprofen, and rest!
It was the right choice for me! 

During this time I could still do hand stitching and Punch Needle, and it just seemed to take me FOREVER to get projects done, but I was so grateful I could still do some of the things I loved!   
There were so many things I could no longer do and one of them was rug hooking!!!  

It certainly was a LONG WAIT!!!!

I'm was so happy for the day I could actually raise my arm over my head and knew then that rug hooking would again be in my future!!!
It took 16 months for me to heal and I can't tell you how good it finally feels!!!!  

Fast forward to this year!!!  I joined a new group here in Phoenix, lead by Janet Carruth, that meets one Wed. each month and have not missed a meeting!!!  It is SO NICE to be able to get together with other women who share my love of creating and I have so enjoyed making new friends, too!!

Then in March, I attended a Hook In in the area and actually started working on the antique adaptation!!!

I had so much fun color planning this one and was so excited to begin pulling loops!!



Here is some of my early progress!


This old measure sure is handy for holding lots of different black worms!!



Love this divided holder for keeping my worms separated!



More lovely red worms for the hearts and flowers!!

I admit once I started hooking, it almost became an obsession with me!!  I pretty much did only those things I had to do and just spent the rest of the time hooking this rug!!



I finally pulled the last loop about a week ago and then needed to
steam and bind it!! 



 I actually used 2 inch torn wool strips and attached them to the front folded linen,



 and then folded it over to the back and stitched it in place!!!



  I LOVE the wool binding so much!!



Finally finished!!!!  Hooray!!!!!



I even made a label for the back!!



Here it is hanging on the wall in my living room!!!
  It truly was labor of love and  I am so happy to have it all done!!!  

****************


It is so good to have a pain free shoulder and arm again and now I can get back to more of a normal routine!!!  I think it just felt so good to be able to hook again that I just got lost in it!!!!  

Many thanks to those of you who asked about me and wondered where I was!! I am doing GREAT and it was nice to be missed!!!!  Now to get back to the business of creating some new things and hoping to post again soon!!!  

Thank you for following along and being part of my journey, dear friends!!!

Wishing you JOY in doing what you LOVE~

Julie

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

~A Little Bit of Decorating~

Hello, dear friends and Happy Tuesday!!
Hope the sun is shining and the birdies are singing, where you are!!!

Many, many thanks to all of you who made my Spring Update such a success!!
I am so very humbled and deeply grateful
for your continued love and support
of what I love to do.....CREATE!!!

THANK YOU for all of the visits, kind emails, words of encouragement and purchases!
My heart is just bursting with gratitude and I can't stop smiling!!

**************

Each year I bring out some special things that I like to display during this time of year!

I know I have shared them before, so hopefully you won't get tired of seeing them again!!!



Woodley and Winslow Rabbit are once again showing off their prize carrots!!  
I made all of them a number of years ago
using a wonderful Netty Lacroix design!
Love them!!!


These three pieces were found during my Birthday trip to Prescott! 
I just love molds and cookie cutters!!!


This is such a sweet bunny mold, don't you think?  



Another bunny with the old sifter and carrots I made,
still available on my Picture Trail Selling Shoppe!


Here is another very big prize carrot that I made and love to display
with my big bowl of cookie cutters!!!



Speaking of cookie cutters,
here are three new ones I also got for my Birthday, while visiting Prescott!
I just love old cookie cutters!!! 
Do you like to collect them, too?



A sweet rabbit with an old book that has such great colors!!
I also added the other sifter I still have available and loves how it looks with him!!


I made this rabbit a number of years ago and added some new cloth eggs I made this year!!
He was made using the Velveteen Rabbit pattern I have by Stacy Nash
but he is made from linen instead!! 


Sweet little bunny pincushion,
made by my sweet friend Mona, of My Old Crow Primitives,
that I nestled in some flax in my old rye basket!  
Isn't he sweet?
Mona makes wonderful primitives that you can find each month on Primitive Handmades Mercantile!



Another wonderful rabbit, also made by Mona,
that I bring out each year! I just love his carrots bag, don't you?



These two characters ALWAYS make me smile
and I love bringing them out each year!!
They are Mama and Baby Hare, a wonderful set I made a number of years ago
by Pineberry Lane!! 
Their sweet baskets are a special design by Netty Lacoix and I had so much fun making them
for Mama and Baby!! The basket can actually hang from the wire hanger
but I made them to be able to sit alone and love them that way!!



I had a wonderful piece of upholstery fabric from Johnston Benchworks and added a wool rabbit
to make this pillow that I just love to display!
I always add it to my bowl filled with old coverlet strawberries, since the colors all go together perfectly! I love old pieces of coverlet and treasure them!!



This sweet little plate with linen ornaments is actually still available on my Picture Trail,
but I decided to enjoy it so I displayed it on my favorite old blue chair with my trencher,
old butter stamps and other treen ware!!  Love the blues together!!



A Velveteen Rabbit and Bunny in a Basket, also both still available on my Picture Trail,
are displayed on my old white dresser in my dining room!!
I am not normally a big fan of white furniture, and will eventually paint it black,
 but will leave it for now!!
This piece was actually in my Sewing room, but decided to move it here and I really like it,
but will like it even better when it is black!!!! lol



Velveteen Rabbit on one corner!



Bunny in a Basket on the other!




It also goes well with my Black Pincushion cupboard that was also moved here!!
Now I can see it every day and actually enjoy it more!!!



I love being able to see all those wonderful old red tomato pincushions, too!!
They just make me happy!!!


What special things make YOU happy?

*************

Spring is in full bloom here in AZ and each day on our walks we enjoy the beauty of nature!!

I saw this the other day and thought it was so beautiful and wanted to share it,
Especially since I DON'T have a green thumb
but admire all those who do!!!



I believe this is Bouganvillea, and it grows everywhere here!!!

It truly says, SPRING HAS SPRUNG!!!!

Wishing you all the Beauty and the Joy of SPRING, my friends~

Julie xo

Monday, March 19, 2018

~Spring Update!~

Happy Monday, dear friends!!

Many, many thanks for all the lovely Birthday wishes!!  It certainly made my day, week, and month
very special, indeed!!! 
I'm looking forward to what this coming year has to offer!!

***********

Can you believe tomorrow is the FIRST DAY OF SPRING???

I really hope that many of you who have had a rough winter are seeing the signs and feeling the changes this new season has to offer!!!

In honor of this time of year, I am going to be having a Spring Update,
on my Picture Trail Selling Shoppe, 
Tuesday, March 20th, at 8 PM, EST!

You can find my Picture Trail on my side bar, on the right side of my blog and if you click on that 
picture, it will take you there!  The album will be closed for now to get everything ready,
but will be open promptly at 8 PM!  I have Paypal buttons available for your convenience, too!!

Here is a little "sneak peek" for you!!



I hope you can join me then!!!

Wishing you Warm Sunshine, Sweet Birdsong, and the Fragrance of Spring, my friends~

Julie xo

Thursday, March 15, 2018

~ The BIG 6-0!!!~

Yes, on March 2nd, I officially left the 50's behind and entered the new world of the 60's!! 
How does it feel?  Not any different than 59, and to be perfectly honest, I feel the best I have in a very long time!!  After all, 60 is really JUST a number, right??

I also share that special day with Dr. Seuss, the author of so many wonderful books that I grew up with, as I'm sure many of you did, too!!  Who doesn't love The Cat in the Hat, or Horton Hears a Who?  Or how about Green Eggs and Ham?  

Speaking of that particular book, in honor of my special day, my hubby Jeff decided to surprise me with a very special breakfast and I told him this was my version of Green Eggs and Ham!!


Scrambled Eggs and Donuts!!!  It was THE PERFECT WAY TO CELEBRATE, plus, it made me SMILE!!!  I'll just bet it is having the same affect on YOU!!!!



We decided to go to our favorite getaway spot here in Arizona  and spent several days in Prescott, about 1 1/2 hours north of us! It is a fun town with lots of antique shops and other fun spots!!


We found out that the temps had dropped and there would actually be some snow there, which we just don't see here!!!  I know many of you reading this have seen more snow than you care to, but it was a nice change for us and didn't last very long!!  Just the way I like it!!!



Our first stop was MOB Burgers and it is set up as an old diner style with an ice cream/ gelato counter!  All the burgers are named after famous gangsters and we chose the Bugsy Burger!
Swiss cheese, and grilled onions and mushrooms!!!



It was so yummy and the first burger I have had in quite a while!!! The hand cut fries tasted like the ones you get at the shore, too!!  This was a split and Jeff had the other half!!!
Now it was time to do some shopping!!


One of my favorite shops is Keystone Antiques because they actually DO have antiques and this is my favorite room!



I just loved the table and wanted to take it home with me,
as well as the chairs and everything else sitting on it!!!



So many wonderful pieces!!!
Do you see anything you might like?


Beautiful chaos of old linens!!!


Baskets, anyone??

I did come home with a few little treasures but forgot to take pictures of them and will  have to share them another time!!  It was a fun visit and the snow was pretty much in the mountains and didn't really cause us any problems!!!  I'm sure we will go back for another sometime soon!!

**************

We have a local restaurant here in Peoria that we discovered and they send you special coupons for your Birthday so of course we went there for our dinner!!

It is called Firebirds Wood Fired Grill and has THE BEST FOOD!!!



Amazing Spinach Salad!



Sesame Crusted Salmon with mashed parmesan garlic potatoes and fried spinach!!  If you have never had it, it is just FANTATIC!!



My cake of choice was their Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting!!!  I can't even begin to describe how good it is!!!!!

My daughter and her hubby Austin met us for another Birthday dinner on Sunday at another favorite place we found called Oreganos, and they have the most wonderful pizza and salads!!!

We had Oreganos favorite salad and a small pizza and for some reason I could not find a picture of either of them, but trust me, they were WONDERFUL!!!!



No Birthday would be complete without their special Pizza Cookie, and I know you can tell this was really wonderful, too!!!  We enjoyed it, believe me!!!!


My son Jeffry sent me the most wonderful gift, too, and I wanted to share it with you!!


He had this specially made for me and even included Charlotte, our grand dog!!!  
Something I will always treasure!!!

All in all, it really was not painful to reach the Big 6-0, and I am looking forward to what this next season of my life holds!!! 
Thank you for sharing this journey with me, my friends!! 


"You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So.....get on your way!"  ~ Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Wishing you A Spring in your step and Joy in your Heart, no matter where you are on your journey~

Julie  xo

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

~My First Dye Day~

Hello and Happy Wednesday, dear friends!!

This is the time of year when it is just perfect here in Arizona
with a bit of a breeze,
temperatures in the high 70's to low 80's, and of course,
sunshine!! 
Doesn't it make you want to come for a visit??

With the weather being so nice, it was the perfect time to have
Dye Day!!!

We met at Janet Carruth's beautiful studio last Saturday, 
bright and early, and got ready to do some serious dyeing!!

Janet hosts a rug hooking group the third Wednesday evening of each month
and I am so happy I can be a part of this wonderful group of ladies!

I have always wanted to see this done and be a part of it and was so happy 
I was able to attend!

Janet is a teacher and is very organized and knowledgeable, 
and did a great job of explaining everything to all of us newbies!


Here is her table with all the wool booklets and cards to write out the recipes!
I felt a bit like I was in chemistry class!!  

Here are all the dye choices!!  


We all picked out a favorite and got those pots ready!



Lovely purple wool!!



Beautiful peacock blue!



Long john red!  I wanted to put a piece of wool in this pot but it was full!!
Maybe next time!!



Cheddar! Notice all the different shades!  My piece of wool is in the middle!



Maggie's red!  I actually mixed this one up myself and have several pieces in this pot!
Love the color of this one!!



Don't I look like I know what I am doing??
How can anyone NOT have fun when they are wearing an apron advertising chocolate,
AND
playing with wool??



This is Janiece (on the left) and Janet, our host and teacher, 
taking a break on the beautiful patio and chatting while the wool was cooking!



Wonderful pieces of dyed wool, drying on the brick fence!!
Aren't they pretty??



Another view of the wool from a different angle!  
The peacock blue wool is on the right and notice how some of it
actually looks teal even though it was all in the same pot!!
Amazing!!



Mimi, Ginger, and Chris are admiring our handiwork!
Isn't this the perfect place to dye wool??



Ginger was also taking a picture of the cheddar wool
as she had several pieces in there, too!!



Here is the cheddar wool with my piece being the lightest one of the group!!
Amazing how they all were in the same pot but all dyed differently!!!



This is what it looked like drying!
Again, all this wool was in the same pot but look at all the different color results!
Mine is the lightest one in the middle!



Somehow in the hustle and bustle of the day, I forgot to take a pictures of my red wool drying.
Here it is, all folded and ready to use! Sadly, the cheddar and the color next to it were very hard to photograph! They are both darker and warmer in person! 
 It is SO HARD to get the TRUE COLOR!!



I decided to take a picture on an old white bench with my 
old books in the background, hoping that might help
to show the difference from the last picture!!

I am so happy with each piece I dyed and really feel like I learned a lot!!

If you have not dyed wool before and get the opportunity, I hope you will give it a try!!
It really helps to have someone who can show you the process!!!

My thanks to Janet, Chris, Ginger, Mimi, Janiece, and Sophan,
for all helping me and making the day extra special!!!

This was one of the things I had really hoped to be able to learn and do this year and I am so happy I can check it off my list!!!

Have you been able to accomplish something you have wanted to do this year?

Would love to have you share it!!


Wishing you Many Opportunities To Try Something New, my friends~


Julie