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Thursday, December 29, 2011

My latest great find

While shopping a couple of weeks, I came across this amazing cloth. It is the bomb! Seriously, this cloth makes washing windows and mirrors an ease. Whenever I would clean windows or mirrors, I always had streaks....not anymore. All you do is lightly wet the cloth (actually, the less water the Better) and wipe down the surface. The cloth does the rest. I'll be honest, the lady who sold it to me said it was great but I was a little dubious. Not anymore! It makes the Task of cleaning mirrors and windows a breeze. If you can't find them online, let me know and I'll pick up one and send it your way! Maria

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Brown Bag Popcorn

This is my new favorite "go to" snack. It is easy to make and good for you as well. All you need is a brown paper lunch bag, 1/4 cup of un-popped popcorn kernels and scotch tape. Put the kernels in the bag, fold the bag over twice and seal with tape. Place the bag in the microwave on high, laying the bag down or upright either way works fine, and cook for two to three minutes or until there is 3-5 seconds between pops.
To keep the popcorn as fat free as possible, I spray the popcorn (after it is popped) with fat-free spray butter (not butter but tastes like it and it has no calories) and sprinkle with salt. It is kind of like air popper without the hassle.

We have a new saying at work....is it "popcorn-thirty yet?". Everyday around 3:30 someone makes a bag. Yum. Just writing about it makes me hungry.
The perfect snack for all of you thinking about diet and exercise for your New Years resolutions. Maria

Monday, December 26, 2011

"Another finish" this one is from Debra

I'm going to start posting finished rugs from customers and students more frequently. When I do so the title of the post will be "ANOTHER FINISH"   This one is from Debra Inglis from the 2011 Star of Texas workshop and she worked on my winter walk pattern. She wanted to proddy the trees so we had some fun with it.

 We started out proddy the whole tree and it was way to bushy! So we took out most of the proddy and scattered it around the tree. Didn't it turn out wonderful? Debra has a good color sense and this rug is very primitive. I just love it. Debra added the snow to the background and I think it is just terrific!  Also check out the right tree. Can you see the red bird in it? We needle felted a bird and added it to the rug. Just another example of different techniques you can use to embellish your rug! Hope everyone had a peaceful and joyous Christmas. I sure did spending time with family. Maria

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Do you have snow yet?

Normally this time of year we have a good ground covering of snow.  Not this year, sniff, sniff.  Right now we have a light dusting of snow which is in danger of melting with one warm sunny day. Not that I enjoy the cold weather that comes with snow, but I do like a white Christmas.
In the meantime, I'll keep hooking snowmen rugs.  This one is a Kelley Belfast design and I just love it. Kelley has a special knack with snowmen! I'm giving this guy as a gift and I'm contemplating making it into a pillow. I used my Oxford punch on this rug and hooked it entirely with yarn.  The colors just make me smile!

Here is Kelley's original hooked rug
I have to give a shout out to a few people with this rug.  First, obviously,  Kelley for the great design.  Second, is Ali Strebel of Kindred Spirits for her wonderful yarn selection.  I used her yarn in the scarve and the yarn looks like hooked wool.  The rest of the rug was hooked with bits and pieces I have gathered over the years. Believe it or not much of the yarn used was not wool!   Lastly, I steamed the rug with one of the irons Kris Miller sells.  Her irons are the bomb. There is no need to wet a cloth and steam the rug.  With this iron, you just place the iron on the rug and steam away.  Literally, within minutes the whole rug is done.  I wish I would have told you all this secret before Christmas so you could have put one on your Christmas list. Enjoy the holidays and have Merry Christmas! Maria  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Christmas Rug

I have wanted to hook an elf rug for a long time.  One of my favorite Christmas ornaments from childhood was an elf.  I'm sure you all have seen the ornament.  It's the one where the elf is sitting and his arms are wrapped around his legs.  Lately, I've been seeing a lot of elves and thought now is the perfect time to hook this pattern.
So let me introduce you to my latest pattern, ELF BOY, who is spreading Christmas Joy.

 

A closeup of the face......

Check out those feet!


The pattern size is 11 x 18 and is $35.  I'm putting together five kits for $70.00.
Below is the inspiration for this rug. 
 Thanks for stopping by.  Maria

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thank You, Thank You

To everyone who participated in the Cyber Sale.  I'm humbled by your patronage and friendship! Maria

Sunday, November 27, 2011

CYBER MONDAY SALE at Star Rug Company

Hello all you Cyber Shoppers!  I'll be offering 20% of all my patterns for Cyber Monday. You can check out my website for patterns. Below are a few patterns that have not yet made it to the website.  This first pattern, Kelley's Snowman, was part of a challenge that I offered to an ebay group, PRHG. Kelley Belfast wonderfully tweaked my Mister Snowman pattern and this is the result.  I just love it.  It is 14 x 20 and retails for $38.00.  I'll also be offering 5 kits of this pattern for $80.  The 20% cyber sale also applies to the kits.

  
Santa and sheep is 22.5 x 22.5 and retails for $52.00.  I'll have three kits available of this pattern for $125.00
  
Snowgirl is 8 x13 and sells for $22.00. I''ll also have three kits available of this rug for $55.00. I'm going to make this rug into a pillow. It will be a new way to finish a rug for me and I am kind of excited about it.  I'll show you the results in a later post.   

ATHA Pumpkin is 11x14 and retails for $30.00

And last but not least is Halloween Quartet which retails for $58.00.  

Sale ends Monday night at midnight. In your email message to me, put Cyber sale in the subject line.  Maria

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving.....

 I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with family and reflecting on everything for which you have to be thankful.  I'm blessed to have a wonderful family and friends and am thankful for their love and support! 
Old antique rug. Fabulous isn't it?

Katrina recently finished Mister Iggy and sent me a picture of it.  Isn't he cute?  


She has a great blog about quilting. You can check it out here.  www.sunshowerquilts.blogspot.com
Enjoy your day, Maria

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Just a Polka Dotted Horse

I know that is not the technical name of this beauty so don't shoot me for being horse ignorant.  But I go weak in the knees when I see such wonderful creatures.  This guy is on my way to work and every once in a while I catch a glimpse of him in the pasture.  Today he was grazing at the fence so I could get a picture of him. Inspiration is striking...... I see a polka dotted folky horse hooked rug in my future.    Maria

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Braiding.... Have you tried it?

I did at the Atha Biennial.  Kris McDermitt was my teacher and she did a fantastic job.  We had to come to class with a finished 6 inch circle hooked mat. Of course, I hooked a star in Halloween colors.  Kris taught us how to braid around the hooked mat.  I need to finish mine but I love the look of it.  It is definitely a technique that I will use for some rugs.  
 Here is a close up of my braiding.  I chose orange, black and purple for my three colors.
 TJ was in our class and she does amazing work.  She had hooked this little elf and came up with the idea to attach hands.  Her intention was to make the braiding look like a wreath and for the elf to peeking out the wreath. Very clever!  
 Here is a close up of the hands. Look how she even colored the fingernails. Darling!
She used to colors of green wool and the tan for her wool. I also met Debra from Illinois in this class and she her mats, yes mats (she was an overachiever!), turned out great as well.  Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of her work so Debra if you are reading this post, please send pictures of both your rugs and I'll add them to the post.  Enjoy Thanksgiving.   Maria

Monday, November 21, 2011

More pictures from the Star of Texas Camp in September

Are you getting tired of seeing these pictures yet? I'm down to my second to last post of pictures from Star of Texas. These two rugs were hooked by a mother daughter duo. Judy, mom, hooked Halloween Quartet and did such a great job with all the characters. Love the eyes on the cat. She quilled them to perfection!
Closeup of the owl.....
Every time I see this guy, I smile.
Carol, daughter, was hooking what she called the Grandmother rug. Well let me tell you, Carol jazzed this rug up 100% from the pictures she showed me. Carol's vibrant personality shined through in this rug.
To make the rug more interesting, she varied the hooking in each of the little squares. She even beaded in some of the squares. This rug is going to be a beauty when it is done.
Have a great Thanksgiving! Maria

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

ATHA Membership winners!

Yes I said winners. I had my husband pick 4 numbers between 1 and 12 and he chose 3, 4,8 and 9. So the lucky winners are Linda, Laura, Gayle and Mary. Send me your mailing information to davemariab@sbcglobal.net and I'll submit it to ATHA. Thanks to all the participated!
Here are a few more pictures from the Star of Texas Camp. Debra was hooking my winterwalk pattern and did a great job with the colors in the rug.
Debra wanted to proddy the trees so rather than proddy the whole tree we did it spordically throughout the tree. We used a different technique to achieve the proddy in the trees. Since these trees are pine trees, we wanted them to have that feathery look that pines trees have. So Debra took a normal width of wool for proddy and after she proddy it into the foundation, she cut the strips fringing them to make it look like pine branches. It turned out great. Did you see the little red bird in the tree/ That is a needle felted bird. Too cool!
The next picture is of Charlotte's Guilford Runner, available through Woolley Fox. Charlotte had just had shoulder surgery and was such a trooper and hooked away on the rug. It turned out beautifully. The background wool, Heavens to Betsy, was my favorite. It instantly aged this rug. Charlotte made this rug as a wedding gift for her son who is getting married this week.
Linda Gartner hooked the next rug and did a great job. The colors she chose for this rug are Halloween colors but on the muted side. Just lovely. Check out the eyes of the pumpkin. She rolled circles for the eyes and added square buttons for more interest. Perfect!
Look for more pictures from camp in the next day or two. Maria

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Big Thank You

To Lauren of Pugs and Rugs. She was in my class at ATHA and is such a sweet gal. About a week ago a package arrived from Lauren and it contained a darling necklace made out of a spoon.
She stamped it Star Rug Company. Can you see that sweet little sheep charm attached to the necklace?
Isn't it great? I just love it! Thank you Lauren!
Lauren makes and sells these necklaces and will custom make them for you. Check out her blog for more information at Rugs and Pugs
Don't forget to sign up for my GIVEAWAY!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Time for a Giveaway

I just returned from class at Barb Carroll's house. It was so much fun! I go with a great group of gals and the instruction from Miss Barb was top notch as usual. I'll share photos from the class in another post but I wanted to show you a couple of fun "almost completed" pictures from Cathy. Cathy works at Woolley Fox and brought some rugs to show us. The first one is a new pattern called Peeps.
Aren't those purple peeps the best?
Look at all the different wools used in the bodies. Cathy explained that she had chosen all the wool for the peeps and when she met with Barb, they changed it up a bit. The wool she had chosen for the peeps' bodies now were the feet. Love all those purple peeps with their colorful feet! The background wool is wonderful too. The pictures simply do not do it justice!
And have you ever seen a turquoise chicken? Who cares????? It rocks the rug. Thanks for sharing the rug with everyone Cathy.

OK on to the giveaway.........

I had planned on sending an item for the auction at the ATHA Biennial and totally forgot. So instead what I have decided to do is give a one year membership to ATHA to a lucky someone.

Now for those of you who are not members of ATHA let me give you some reasons that you may want to join:

1. The newsletter is terrific. I just received mine today and it is full of articles, ads and wonderful color pictures. The newsletters are published bimonthly.

2. Every newsletter contains events and list all the ATHA groups throughout the country.

3. The Biennial Convention is awesome as you can see from all the pictures posted over the blog.

4. Two Regional Rug Schools and global workshops.

5. Regional Rug Shows

6. Regional Rug Challenges

7. Over 70 Local ATHA chapters

8. Largest Lending Library of Hooking Related Resources

9. The ATHA community is very talented.

Now for the details on how to register for the giveaway.........

You have several options for registering to win!

1.) Simply become a Star Rug Company blog "Follower" by clicking on the "Follow" button at the upper right column of this page....and also enter your name in the comment section to let me know you became a follower.

OR

2.) You could enter a comment for me here at the bottom of this post by clicking on the "Comment" button ( and if you don't have a Blogger Account no problems....you can simply click the "Anonymous" feature to leave the message). Keep in mind though that I'll need to identify you if you are chosen! If you are unable to leave a comment just email me, and I'll add your comment to the list below.

And Finally,

3.) If you have a Blog and help spread the word about my Giveaway on your Blog, you can leave a 2nd comment here for a second entry!

So you have three different ways to enter and if you do all three, your name can be submitted three times.

I'll be announcing the winner of the giveaway on November 8, 2011 at 8:00 pm. So sign up and check back to see if you have won the mixed media piece.

Again, thank you all who read my blog, offer support and friendship.

This post is for you Judy!
~Maria~

Sunday, October 30, 2011

TOP 10 Reasons to Attend Atha Biennial

Top 10 reasons to attend an ATHA BIENNIAL

drumroll please…………………………………

10. It is an incredible opportunity to gather with people who share your same passion.

9. Where else can you go to hang out with so many of your rug hooking friends?

8. The Rug Hooking Auction where all kinds of wonderful treasures are up for bidding.

7. All the new friends you make at the biennial.

6. The Rug Show is phenomenal!

5. Vendors, vendors and more vendors!

4. Location, Location, Location….the next one in Sept of 2013 is in Long Beach, CA.

3. Diversity of classes offered at ATHA. From hooking, felting, needle punching, embellishing to braiding, the class schedule offers something for everyone.

2. The quality of the teachers all under one roof for four days of non-stop hooking!

AND THE NUMBER ONE REASON FOR ATTENDING THE ATHA BIENNIAL is …………………………….

1. The energy, inspiration and creativity that you gain from attending the Biennial is priceless!

Seriously, Dave Letterman’s top 10 aside, the ATHA Biennial was wonderful. I was blown away by the incredible amount of thought and preparation that went into making the ATHA Biennial such a grand experience. I left the Biennial with renewed energy for rug hooking and many new ideas for craft. If you are reading this post wondering and considering if you should attend the next Biennial, don’t hesitate as it is worth it.
Check out this link to see many pictures from the PA Biennial. I'm having trouble with the link showing up so if you go to Woolwrights website, there will be a link at the top of the page for the ATHA Biennial.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Star of Texas pictures

This is the first of many pictures from my class at Star of Texas. I managed to take pictures of most of my students rugs at camp but missed two as the gals left a day early. Again, I took pictures with my Iphone and they are not the best. I'm using my canon from this point forward. This rug was wonderful in person but the pictures are not showing it at its best. Marguerite did a fantastic job on this rug and was so willing to try my suggestions.

Check out the collar and the beaded hair on the witch. Her collar is fringed and oh so cute! I'm trying to remember how we did that and of course I can't remember. I'll figure it out and do a post on it for you. We used the same technique for a tree on Debra's Winter Walk rug. (picture of that tomorrow)
Love the striped hat on the skelton guy!
The wool for the pumpkin guy's jacket rocked!
Marguerite's cat makes me smile. Love the wool for the cat!
Stay tuned for more rugs from camp. Maria

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pictures from 2011 Ghoultide gathering

First of all, I apologize for the poor quality of my pictures. They were taken with my Iphone and while the Iphone is usually great, it wasn't great for taking pictures on a rainy day. Even so, you can get an idea of what it looked like at the show. The first few pictures were of my booth. I have a few small canvas pieces left that I will offer for sale in another post.


Lori Corelis was next to me at the show and what a talented artist she is. The items she made were truly amazing. I couldn't resist purchasing one of her wonderful creations. Across and to my right, was Debra Schooch from Hop Hop Jingle Boo and a fellow Michigander. She is uber talented when it comes to paper mache. Her ideas are amazing and very clever.

On the other side of me was the talented duo of Steph and Vaughn Rawson. Their carved creations are whimsical and bring a smile to your face.
Aaron Lowe was directly across from me and her felted needlework is incredible. Just look at those details.
I'll be posting some pictures from the Star of Texas camp so stop by tomorrow to see some inspiration. Maria