Saturday, October 30, 2010

I am in love with this place!

* Mute or pause the music to the right when watching this video or it will drive you insane!
I sure wish I lived by this "store".  I would shop here and take every class I could!  It is just a beautiful place...I am just so in love with it.   Someday...perhaps I will have a store like I mentioned before.  Not sure about actually raising the sheep however!  Now..thats a brand new thought in my head.  I do love sheep...always have.   Anyway, I can just appreciate this place so much.!!  It is wonderful all the fiber art in her store displayed....very nice!

I have new hair! Anyone like these cowboy boots?

My daughter Amanda, shown here with me, colored my hair for me today!  I was just sick of being blonde and needed a change.  I kind of like how it worked out!  When I re do it in 6-8 weeks I think I will add a bit more auburn color to it...I was afraid it would turn out really I picked one without any red...

This is something I found on another blog I follow about creative boot camp---- I thought this could be used to get more rug hooking and other creative endeavors done....
I think the Boot Camp approach helps the creative process for several reasons, and it helps with all kinds of projects: finishing a photo album, a gardening project, a wood-working project.

  • Because you have to get so much done, you don’t have time to listen to your internal critic. You just get something done and keep moving, instead of sitting, paralyzed.
  • Progress itself is reassuring and inspiring. Panic tends to set in when you find yourself getting nothing done, day after day.
  • Because you’re so focused on your project, you begin to make deeper connections and to see more possibilities, instead of being constantly distracted by outside concerns.
  • Because of the intensity, you can hop in and out of the project, without having to take time to acclimate yourself. I have a writer friend who’s married to a painter, and she says their test for working well is when they can sit down and work if they have a spare ten minutes.
  • You lower your standards. If you’re producing a page a week, or one blog post a week, or one sketch a week, you expect it to be pretty darned good, and you fret about quality. Often, however, folks achieve their best work from grinding out the product.
  • Practice, practice, practice. My novel was terrible, but I think the sheer doing of it helped my writing, just the way practicing scales helps a pianist. The more you practice, the better you’ll become.
  • Because you have a voracious need for material, you become hyper-aware of everything happening around you -- and ideas begin to flood your mind.
  • You can use this approach even if you're working on a creative project on the side, with all the pressing obligations of a job, family, etc. Instead of feeling perpetually frustrated that you don't have any time for your project, you make yourself make time -- for a specific period.
  • It’s fun! I don’t have the urge to climb mountains or run marathons, but I got the same thrill of exertion from writing a novel in a month.
When I'm having trouble getting work done on a big project, my impulse sometimes is to take smaller, easier steps. Sometimes that helps, but sometimes it helps more to take bigger, more ambitious steps instead. By doing more instead of less, I get a boost of energy and focus. How about you? Have you found a boot-camp approach helpful?


I bought these awesome used leather cowboy boots on e-bay...they were supposed to be a different size and they do not fit small.  They are a womens size 8 1/2.  I will sell them for 40.00 which is what I paid for them...and they will fit in a priority mail box...USPS...not too much for shipping.  Let me know if you would like them.  You can respond through this site I think...or just e-mail me at
They are really nice...shit kickers...I would have worn them ALL the time...I think they are perfect.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Contemplate the heavens

“Contemplate the heavens.” It comes from one of my favorite quotations, from Boethius: “Contemplate the extent and stability of the heavens, and then at last cease to admire worthless things.”

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Halloween 2010

This is my family casted in this Emmy award winning video!  Enjoy- from my family to yours! ( I am the Vampire by the way....)
*Put the music to the right on pause...otherwise it conflicts with the music from the video---ahhh technology!

I know this is a rug hooking blog....but....Yummm

As I write this my totally bugging me...I don't know about you, but my cat has to be right in my face/lap whenever I read (which is often).  Its of no use to get her off my lap ...she will come right back and insists on being right between my book and me.  Yes, I feel loved but Geeeez its irritating as well!  Now that I have moved the computer from work to home...she has found a new way to irritate/love me!  As soon as I start typing away at the computer there she is right in my way...butt in my face..typing on the keyboard with her paws...down I put her...up she comes!  Same when I hook my rugs!  (There I got rug hooking in my blog...somehow...tricky huh? ) is another fattening recipe!  Cant help  but post it looks so wonder I cant lose any weight...!!! Although I DID just walk for 45 min.....yea for me!  Cant rid of the tire around my middle.  Anyone have any really good EASY exercise for this area...that isnt too hard...I am kind of whimpy...if its too hard or agonizing I wont do it....basically I am looking for the MIRACLE love handle move....if you have it youve GOT to share!
Oatmeal Raisin Cheesecake Crumble
Convenient refrigerated cookies form the delicious crust for rich and creamy dessert squares.
Prep Time: 20 Min
Total Time: 3 Hr 15 Min
Makes: 16
package (16 oz) Pillsbury® Big Deluxe™ refrigerated oatmeal raisin cookies (12 cookies)
cups Fisher® Chef's Naturals® Chopped Pecans
packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
can (14 oz) Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
teaspoon vanilla
cup Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
cup packed light brown sugar
cup cold LAND O LAKES® Unsalted or Salted Butter
cup Hershey’s® cinnamon chips
cup raisins
cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
User Rating: full starfull starfull starfull starempty star
  • Heat oven to 350°F. In bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch pan, press cookie dough rounds evenly for crust. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the pecans; press firmly into dough. Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add milk, vanilla and eggs; beat until well blended. On low speed, beat in 1/2 cup of the flour. Pour over crust; spread evenly.
  • In medium bowl, mix brown sugar and remaining 1/2 cup flour. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in cinnamon chips, raisins, oats and remaining 1 cup pecans. Sprinkle over cheese mixture.
  • Bake 35 to 45 minutes longer or until set. Cool completely, about 2 hours. To serve, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows. Store in refrigerator.
This is a great book that I just started is soooo funny.  I didnt expect for it to funny...I thought it would be like Debbie MacCombers Bloom Street Book series..but Gil McNeil is from England..and she has a very dry very funny English sense of humor....I laugh outloud reading every page.  If you need a pick me up and also like knitting...what a good fall read this will be for you!
Look at these really cool knee warmers!  Sorry I dont know where I got this picture...I have had it saved for awhile...but I would love to make these...If I showed this to my children they would roll their eyes and say "Oh Mom  REALLY!  I wouldnt be caught dead being seen with you wearing those!"  But I LOVE THEM!!! Is there something wrong with me?  Perhaps...but I love color...I love fiber art...I love being warm...and I love being funky I guess and artistic...that how I SEE IT??!!!  I say to them..."I WOULD NEVER TAKE THEM OFF! 
This is also a really cool site....she makes awesome jewelry!  Tell her you heard from her by me!  I plan on owning many of these beautiful creations...they are so me!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thank you all again and again for all the kind words, prayers and love!

                                               Ralph Bradley Rest in Peace- We will miss you

We had a death in the family this week.  My husband Tim's Dad passed away yesterday at 4:30 am.  For us, we know other friends are starting to lose their parents...we were fully aware that they were aging.  But it is our first parent to die.  It is hard. We know they (and we) cant live forever...and you think that age will make it better to adjust to their being gone...I mean, he had a fairly nice long life (83)....but it doesn't matter...they are our parents...and to lose a parent makes it feels like the ground beneath your feet suddenly is not so strong anymore to hold your weight...such a huge void...and makes you feel unsteady in the world.   We still cant believe he is gone...  Dorothy, his wife of 66 years has Alzheimers so she really is not fully aware of his passing...which is sad ...but also sort of mixed blessing I guess.  Although she is still alive- Alzheimers really robbed us of her as well this past year in a different way.  She is so sweet though and still such a pleasure just as she always has been. Well, I slept 12 hours last night.!  I couldnt believe it!  Unless I am sick I never sleep that long...I must have really needed it!  Its a beautiful day.  I am going to hook my rug and take a long walk.  I want to thank you all again for all your kind words and thoughts and ideas for all have been amazingly loving.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I am hooking 30 minutes everyday!

I came across this site called habit  It helps you keep track of creating new habits.  I have it for stopping smoking, exercising everyday and hooking or doing some form of artwork everyday for at least 30 min.  It is really helping me be accountable.  Its funny, I did MORE when I was busier and working 6 days a week.  Now that I am home and not busy...I do LESS.  I am lazier for sure.  My mom says (Im 45 years old and she's still my MOM and helps me!--I guess you never get too old heh?) that I should schedule my days...make lists and create a "work schedule" so to speak for myself that I must stick to.  It is helping.  I do allow myself the ability to change times..for instance if it is icky weather..I wait till its nicer out...etc...but I really do try to stick to the schedule and it helps.  I even put the oven timer on when I start to hook.  Usually I hook a bit longer...cause I get into it.  But my goal is to do it for at least 30 min. a day.  Check out free...and it is based on studies that say it takes 21 days at least to create a new habit.
Today is all messed up because Tim's (my husband) dad is passing away.  We were called into the hospital at 2:00 in the morning and his last rights were read by the Father....the whole family was gathered.  He rallied through the night and is still with us....but I came home and slept for another 5 hours.  Besides, I think I am coming down with something.  Just do not feel good at all today.  Perhaps its just the stress of losing Ralph (Tim's Dad).  He is 83 but has just had it pretty bad the last few years with many heart attacks, strokes and problems with his diabetes.  He has said for quite some time now that he wishes to go....but it still very very hard for the family.  Tims mom has Alzheimers so she will have to go into a nursing home now as Ralph was pretty much taking care of things at home with a nurse that came by every once in awhile.  Luckily Tim has many siblings and some that love to take charge.....and while this bothers the heck out of me most of the time...with this I will be happy to step aside and allow them to take care of things.  My own parents are going to need my help in the not so far away future and I am the only child still in the my time will come then to do the work with my aging parents.  The circle of life..................................

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce

  Thinking about Thanksgiving! The dessert is easily the most anticipated part of the Thanksgiving meal and I like to go all out for it. I could not believe that I did not have any pumpkin in my Thanksgiving dinner yet so a pumpkin pie cheesecake seemed like the perfect choice. I could not resist using a gingersnap snap crust as the ginger and pumpkin flavour combo is an amazing one. I then took things a step further and covered the cheesecake with some home made caramel sauce. One of the things that I like about a cheesecake is that you can easily make it the day before so you can lighten the load for an already large meal. In fact it is best to let the cheesecake cool completely and then let it chill out in the fridge overnight so it really should be made a day ahead. This pumpkin pie cheesecake was the perfect end to my Thanksgiving dinner!  This recipe is from Closet

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

(makes 6+ servings)
Printable Recipe

2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons butter (melted)
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (room temperature)
3 eggs (slightly beaten)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1. Mix the gingersnap cookie crumbs, ginger and butter and press into the bottom and up 1 inch along the sides of a 9 inch spring form pan.
2. Bake the crust in a preheated 350F oven for 5 minuters and set aside.
3. Cream the cream cheese.
4. Mix in the eggs one at a time followed by the sugar, pumpkin puree, vanilla and then the spices.
5. Pour the mixture into the spring form pans.
6. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until it is set, about 60-70 minutes.
7. Let it cool completely.
8. Chill the cheesecake in the fridge overnight.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!

With tears in my eyes I thank you for all your loving support and kindness!  I love you all!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Today is my birthday! 45!

This has been a hard year for me ...I lost my beloved art gallery due to the economy recently.  This has been a horrid death for me...and one that I had seen coming for months before it actually happened.  For a long time I dragged my heels hard saying NO WAY I am going to lose it....then it became inevitable or we would also lose our home.  This was the turning point...and very scary...we were looking at being homeless as well as losing my gallery/business I loved...I have 2 children at home still!  Where would we go?  Where would we put our things?--we had no money for even a storage unit.  How could I lose my home AND my business....I was not dealing well with this stress and seemed insurmountable... still does most times!  At the worst point my family was worried about mom called the police who checked up on me to make sure I wasnt hanging by the got that bad.  I lay in bed and finally made the decision that I would close the gallery fast...and siphon all monies we do have towards the house payment from that moment on.  I called my landlord...we came to an agreement.  I was able to pay 2 months that I was behind..and now we are only 1 month behind...he seems appeased....for now...and I feel such relief that it looks like we wont be homeless.  Still, now I am behind in payments to my artists and bills from the gallery.  It is horrid to have this hanging over my head when I have strived so hard at being timely with all payments and very responsible.  I hate how my artists see me now...they think I am not a good business woman.  I prided myself in my business sense and how well I treated those I worked with.  I was extremely organized and efficient when things were running right....and then when the shit hit the fan...I couldn't keep up with this anymore...not because I wasn't a good business woman...but because I had limited psychological strength for one.  I was down to my very last raw nerve....and 2 , I had (have) no money at this time and cant pull it out of my rump or pick it from a tree...and 3, at the very worst time it could ever happen, my computer crashed with a virus a month ago...right when I was trying to close the books and dismantle the gallery....I absolutely could not believe the timing of that ...if it would have happened just a few weeks would have been not so bad....but it was devastating.  I now have artists that are saying they are missing work and I cannot look it up in my Quick Books and tell them whats up....I am at a loss...and will just have to pay what they ask for...someday, when I have the money!  On top of all this....I am so at loss without my gallery.  It was my life....I looked forward to every day going to work.  I loved it.  I loved everything about it.  It was something to be proud of.  It was beautiful and vibrant and magical.  Its the best thing I have ever done( besides being a good mother to my kids) in my life.  Now, I am sitting home so bored...I dont know what to do with myself.  I  have no energy (depression).  We also have no money...(thus I cant shop or buy a new bra I need or go buy yarn so I can learn to's endless)  When you have no money its bizarre how profoundly this effects you in ways you couldn't even imagine when you had it.  I cant even go swim laps for exercise at the local high school because I don't have 3 dollars.  I also am completely isolated with no car to use.  Although I do have a cant carrry much on a bike...and soon it will be getting cold to ride a bike...and snowy...
I have never been much of a TV watcher...and yesterday I watched two movies in the middle of the day!  UGHHh how boring....and what a bore I have become.  The only good thing about this is I have been taking a long walk everyday...and the weather has been nice..I keep telling myself to notice all the things I wouldn't be doing that are good if I were working 6 days a week like normal.  I keep telling myself not to wallow in self pity and to be gracious. I need to learn to be grateful for all the blessings I do have each and every day.

So, today is my 45th birthday.  I will be making a turkey dinner since I had a turkey in the freezer.  I will start it at around 2:00.  I will try to smile and find the silver lining in things.  Happy Birthday to me!  I included the card my Mom sent me...I think it is perfect for me this year...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fall color in Wisconsin

Took these photos on my walk yesterday....its been a glorious fall this year...Indian summer for sure...warm..almost too hot!  I am getting way too used to this weather for walking...pretty soon it will be very chilly and slippery...time to change shoes to hiking boots for snow walking....but we wont talk about that anymore!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Been baking !

I made homemade New England Clam Chowder in the crock was yummy!  My first attempt at it!  Also, I got the book "Artisan Bread in five Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.  It is a great book...and for the first time in my life my bread worked!  All other times turned out like a brick!  And it is so easy to have fresh bread every day.  The dough lasts 14 days in the fridge and it makes about 5 loafs and then you just keep remaking the dough.  It is so easy...I am amazed it works so family loves this bread.  I recommend the can also make many different types of bread as just change the base recipe a bit.
On a different note...I got my flu shot today...and my arm just started really hurting so I am going to stop blogging and get off the computer and get in my jammies early and read. 

Art is Magic!

Art is magic... But how is it magic? In its
metaphysical development? Or does some final transformation culminate
in a magic reality? In truth, the latter is impossible without the
former. If creation is not magic, the outcome cannot be magic.

Now I hook at home

Well...I have not been on my blog very much.  My art gallery closed...and I have been busy mourning and dismantling my wonderful gallery.  So sad.....well, now I have my little corner in my dining room to hook in.  Now that I am not working 6 days a week I will have more time to do my own artwork!  Always a silver lining.  I am looking forward to doing more hooking and being more creative again.