Hooking Gifts in a Poor Economy

It’s coming, like it or not! I am talking about the season of giving gifts. You look at the stack of bills and straight into the empty bottom of your wallet, and wonder “how am I going to pull this off again this year?” The economy and job market hasn’t gotten a lot better over the last year and it remains difficult for so many people to stay on top of bills

Yep, it's coming fast!

and finances, and have any funds left over for hobbies or fun. Luckily for us, thrift store wool and a little linen can keep us hooking if it comes down to that! But think of how much money you can save by creating holiday gifts yourself — and the joy it would bring to a friend to receive them! A stack of hooked mug mats tied up with pretty ribbons would melt my heart, for sure! To receive an actual rug created by a special family member just for me would make me feel so special. I know the retailers want us to buy, buy, buy throughout November and December (and I know we still will do that) but we can save on those post-holiday bills a little by giving rug hooked gifts to a few very special folks this year. I received and order for my Barn Star Mug Mat kit this week with a note from the customer saying, “please send this order asap – I want to get these hooked for a Christmas gift.” It got me wondering how many rug hookers give special, hand-hooked presents every year? Think about that . . .

I am presenting a new series of designs in Create and Decorate this coming year called Celebration Rugs. The designs are for rugs that you would give as special gifts to mark an occasion, like a wedding, a special birthday, or a housewarming. The first design will appear in the January/February issue – it’s a Wedding Rug. At any given wedding, how many of the couples’ closest guests might be rug hookers? Not many right? Probably only one – you! So how special would it be for that couple to receive a gift that would last all the years they are married? You couldn’t say that about the old standby gifts, like a toaster, or roasting pan, or even sheets. Our craft is one that is sustainable and one that creates finished products that are intended to last several lifetimes. That in itself is a gift.

Have you created gift rugs in the past? Will you give one this holiday season? Tell me about it!

Happy Fall Hooking, my friends! Stay warm, stay well, and hook on . . . .



Red Dot Tracer Pattern – the Winner Is . . .

Doris Taylor!! Congrats to Doris! We need to email and get your pattern chosen so I can pop it in the mail to you!!

Thanks to everyone for entering . . . remember I do offer patterns on Red Dot at my web site (only some of them right now.) I will be adding that option to many more in the coming weeks. If you see a pattern you would like to have on Red Dot but it’s not available as an option, just email me — it’s not a problem. I think it’s a better choice and value to have it on Red Dot than on paper. If the Paper Pattern is offered, it can be purchased on Red Dot – just let me know!

Hook On, my dear friends – Spring Is Here! (I know this because the squirrels ate all of the tulips that were blooming in my yard! All they left me were the stems! :*}


The Song Remains the Same (Somewhat)

Yeah, sorry, this isn’t a post about Led Zepplin. But you’ll like it, I promise. You know how we are always talking about the cool old rugs and wondering how rug hookers from years ago worked on their rugs and shared their love of hooking? Today while noodling around the blogs, I came across this wonderful resource from Life magazine, posted by Brenda Beerhorst over on Kinship in Color and Wool in March of last year.  Look at these great 1950s photos of a rug hooking bee held at Dearborn Village in MI.

It doesn’t look so different than how we lug our frames and wool and rugs to camps and workshop, does it? Of course, our frames are easier to carry and use, and not all of us are hooking ginormous rugs, but here they were, doing the same things we do today. I am a baby of the 1950s, so all the dresses and hats really take me back to my childhood – as well as the black and white photos. This hooking bee actually took place when I was 5 months old (go ahead, do the math.)  Wouldn’t it have been fun to see these rugs in color? I especially admire the lone man in these photos — I am sure he took some grief from the guys about making rugs!Copyright LIFE magazine, photo credit, Silk, 1951

And the sweet little girl in her peter pan collar dress and Mary Janes (feet resting on the stretcher bar of the frame) as she works on her part of her Mama’s rug; she’s having fun with the worms in several photos.

Copyright LIFE magazine; photo credit : Silk, July 1951It was a beautiful setting for this hooking bee wasn’t it? And they sure had a good turnout. I hope you enjoy perusing all the photos . . . it was a fun sidetrack for me today — thanks  for sharing Brenda!!

Do you have a source of old rug hooking-relating photos? Please share yours!

Hook on dear friends,


First Glitch of the New Year

Hi readers! Thanks for being here and Happy New Year. The new year started out just fine for me, but in my efforts to stay resolved to clean up and clear out computer junk, I decided my Outlook program was getting quite clogged with archived messages and unnecessary information. So, following instructions to create a new .pst file for what I wanted to keep and convert the file from 2003 to 2007 version of Outlook, I ended up losing my e-Newsletter subscriber email addresses. Well over 1500 emails – all gone. Ouch! I immediately tried to access my backup file, but I get error messages when I try to retrieve that file of email addresses. After hours of trial and error, I am resigned to be back to square one and I am apologetically asking any of you who were subscribed, to please go to my web site and subscribe again.

I am sorry if you have not received an eNewsletter recently – re-subscribing will get you back in the loop so you can be notified of the latest news and Subscriber Specials from Folk ‘n’ Fiber.

I am on the lookout for an antique rug to use as my inspiration for a new Hook-a-Month project to be released in February. If you’ve seen a great one that you’d like to suggest, please let me know! Watch my Home page in February for details and how to sign up for this project.

Time to get outside and shovel the snow off my porches and steps – we are in for another round of the flakey stuff tonight. Stay warm my friends and hook on!


A Simple Life

That’s what I have been striving to live these last couple of years. I work a lot, play a little, and just really enjoy my life. Good friends and family are a blessing. Finding lost friends from long ago are doubly so. Spring has finally arrived with a week of 80’s in our forecast – time for yard work and poking in the dirt. Gardens are in need of tending – the weeds are winning. Life is pretty simple here.

Speaking of simple, have you all seen the new magazine called A Simple Life? If you are familiar with the books of Jill Peterson, you will love the new publication. Primitive homes, historical accounts, places to go,  and so much more. I am honored to contribute a project to their winter issue, so be sure to check it out. www.asimplelifemagazine.com I promise it is well worth a subscription!

I am finishing my project for Create and Decorate’s December issue (yep, deadlines for projects run that far in advance.) It does seem odd to work on winter projects in Spring, but that’s how it works.

If you haven’t checked out my web site recently, you’ll find some new pages: Antiques & Vintage, New Offerings, and Close Outs. I am trying my best to downsize some of the things I have collected over the years. I hope some of you will find treasures you can’t live without. I am trying my best to keep up with adding new things – it’s hard. Too much going on, but I am trying. Please visit and if you are searching or collect something, email me – I have a little bit of everything to pass along to someone.

Monarch visits a coneflower - last summer's garden photos

Monarch visits a coneflower - last summer's garden photos

The gardens are calling, so I will leave you with this thought:

The best things in life are nearest:  Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you.  Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Moving On . . .

If you follow my web newsletter, you know that I have inherited my mother’s home where I grew up. I have spent the last 6 months trying to re-decorate the house and get moved in. Lots of obstacles have jumped in front of me, but I am getting there slowly. The house is much smaller than my present house, so I am picking and choosing from among my possessions – that’s the easy part. What to do with everything that doesn’t fit is the hard part.

Rug hooking has been an absent element of my life these past few months. I hook my designs for Create and Decorate and that has been about it. I really miss my “pleasure hooking!”  When I finally get settled, I am going to put the biggest rug I’ve ever hooked on my frame and just go to town — I sorely need a hooking fix!

Meantime, I can’t wait for sprint to fully arrive here on the northcoast of Ohio . . . we’ve had record snow and cold this year. You really cannot get muich moving done when you have 3 inches of ice in your driveways! So warm weather will definitely be a welcome thing. Of course, having 2 yards to maintain for a while is not going to be fun either.

So, that’s where my life has been and why you have not heard from me lately – it’s always something with me! Here is a pic of my new living room . . .



Now I have to get out from under this house in Amherst. Anyone want to buy a 2-story colonial in a sleepy little town with great schools? Just 30 minutes from downtown Cleveland and easily accessible to everywhere by highway and turnpike interchanges only 3 minuts or less away. Close to park and public pool, too. Great buy — in a  beautiful old neighborhood.