Friday, December 19, 2008

Elephants - David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

I got the best Christmas gift idea last year during a trip from the Atlantic City Airport to Cape May. Linda told me about the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. We stopped during our drive at Lucy, the Victorian era 3-story elephant on the Jersey shore. I was very excited because my granddaughter, Alaina, loves elephants. I wasn't disappointed. The gift shop had great elephant stuff.

That's when Linda told me about the baby elephant she adopted. It sounded perfect for Alaina. So last year for Christmas, Alaina got her elephant stuff and a printout of the current Sheldrick newsletter. She sat in a corner and poured over it. Soon she was on the computer picking out the baby she wanted to adopt. My daughter said this process took several days.

This year my daughter and her husband are taking the kids to Disneyland over the New Year's holiday. I planned on giving the children cash for the trip. I do not know if Alaina would prefer her elephant adoption this year. I decided to leave it up to her.

Here's a link to a show about the elephants on the CBS website. A new 60 minutes segment is planned for this Sunday. You can get more information at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust website. Fair warning -- you can get lost for hours on this beautiful site.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Day 444 No hooking going on today

Not much rug hooking planned for today. I am about 1/2 done marking the holidays and should be able to finish that this afternoon. Tonight is the last day of puppy school and Jackson will graduate.

I am working on learning a new shopping cart and getting that set up for my website. I think I give up on Ohio. Anyone who lives there will have to call me to place the order because calculating the correct % is impossible. Ohio has 88 counties, each with a different % and even some special areas within those counties with a different %. I don't stand a chance.

So far, all I can say is thank goodness for Carbonite. I messed up a slew of files and just went to my online backup (which happens automatically everytime I am online) and downloaded the files as they were last night. I can send you a link to Carbonite that can give you and me both some free time. Just send me an email and I will send you a link.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Day 442 Center DONE. . . well, almost

I "finished" the center this morning. It is not not completely done because I need to check for holidays. This means that I will inspect the back of the rug and look for larger than normal spaces where I did not hook. They are easy to see on the back but impossible to see on the front.

Some of the early books I read suggested using toothpicks to mark the holes. I found that technique almost impossible. When I marked a bunch of them and then put the rug back on the frame, many of the toothpicks pushed out because they hit the grippers on my frame. Yarn is so much easier. You can roll the rug up, transport it and then get right back to filling in the holidays without any of the markers falling out. Below is the back of my rug with just two spaces marked. You can clearly see the spaces.

On the front, all you see is the yarn. I will find the holes by pushing up with my fingers at the spot marked by the yarn. A loop or two is all that is needed to fill most spaces. I usually do this when the rug is completely done, but I will not be able to reach the center once I hook all the borders.

Now why is all this important? It has to do with wear. As the rug is on the floor and walked on, the loops surrounding the holiday will fall over to fill in the space. Making the surface uniform will ensure even wear.

DID YOU KNOW? I don't usually shrink the pictures I post on this blog. If you want a closer view, you can click on the picture.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Day 441 Wool Sale Status

The wool sale on my website is going well. Thank you to everyone who has placed an order. One of the wools is sold out, but there is plenty. Go to my website for phone and email information. I plan to update the site immediately after each order, so you can see the status of each one right away.

The wool is normally $22.00 a yard, but until January 18 will be only $18.00. Shipping is a standard $6 for all orders less than $100. When you order $100 or more, I will ship it for free.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Day 440 Almost done with center

Yesterday I taught a class at the Black Swamp Quilt Shoppe. I took the room-sized rug with me and took the picture there. After working this morning, I have most of the area to the left of the center finished.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Day 437 What was I thinking?

After several more hours, I have adjusted all the pictures of wool for sale. I changed the numbering system to make it easier to talk about them. Thank you to those of you who have already called and struggled through with me.

I am off to get some hooking done.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wool Sale -- Off the bolt best pricing

I've been sitting at the computer since 7:30 this morning. I finally have all the pictures taken and posted on the web. Visit my website to see the samples. To place an order simply give me a call, send me a check with your list of wools or click on the donate button on the supplies page. Below is one of my favorites from the red page, R9.

Red | Yellow and Orange | Green and Blue | Neutrals

Someday I will have the full shopping cart on the website but because I am doing it myself, the progress is slow. Anyone out there know how to implement Ohio sales tax in Zen Cart? I think I need to move to a new state. Moving looks easier than figuring this out.

The sale pricing is for a limited time only. See the website for details.

Day 436 Organization

Yesterday we heard that my husband will be getting a month long layoff over the holidays. Stress always makes me antsy. The side effect is that my home gets deep cleaned and organized. Creativity goes straight out the window.

When I got the call I was hooking so the table next to me was the first to feel the frenzy. I was frustrated by having to dig to find just the right green I needed to hook the scroll. I emptied the basket, sorted things out and used my Strip Sorter Rings.

These sorters are available on my website. The sorters are near the bottom of the supplies page.

To raise cash, I have decided to have a texture sale. I have been working on getting the programing done for my online store but the state of Ohio has an incredibly confusing sales tax structure. It will take much more time.

I will post a simple page with all the textures (dozens of bolts) and you can order the old fashioned way, by phone or mail. My standard shipping will apply -- $6 Priority for all US orders unless over $100. Once you order $100, the shipping is free. It will take some time to get all the pictures, so keep watching. I will post a notice here and on my homepage.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Day 434 Background

One question that I hear often is about background. What direction do you hook? To answer this question fully I would have to write a full article. But to show you my favorite way to hook a background is easy. The first picture below shows the first step I take. I am using my Antique Background, available on my website.

I am hooking an area that is about 2" wide. I cannot hook the usual puzzle pieces that I teach in my classes because the area is too small. I do not hook to the end of each strip. I start and start whenever it feels right. I hook a little bit in one area and then go somewhere else to use up the rest of the strip. I find that hooking long strips will often give the background a streaky look. I like the background better when it looks more like bubbles.

Now I continue by hooking next to these initial rows, but I often break away to split up the space.

Here I have filled in all the spaces but I have not cut the tails yet. I usually cut only when the tail is surrounded. It helps me to keep track of my progress.

I grab each tail individually and pull slightly upward. I look on all sides for gaps. If the area is completely filled in, then using offset scissors, I cut the tail off. If I need more hooked in that area, I leave the tail to remind me that I am not done in this area.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Day 432 Progress stalled, but I am committed

Yesterday Jack went under the knife to become a responsible member of the pet community. Yes, he was neutered. I was nervous so I concentrated on upgrading my website and learning more about CSS layout. It is a lot like training a dog, three steps forward and two back.

While I made some real progress on the website, I did not hook. I will hook at least an hour today and continue on the 1/2 hour schedule. I am already ahead of schedule because most days last week my 1/2 hour turned into 50 minutes or more.

If you use an older browser, an older computer, or a MAC your feedback is very important to me. Please let me know if you have any problems with the website or if anything looks funny. You can tell which pages are the old ones because they still have clouds at the top. You can drop me an email at

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Day 428 Homework done and ready

For those of you paying attention, the last post was actually Saturday's post, but I cannot figure out how to change the date. Did it once before, but can't find it now. Today is Day 428.

Jack's assignment for puppy school is to do the "down" command without a treat to follow. The movie clip shows his progress. With Thanksgiving last Thursday and missing the week before, he has had three weeks to get this, but I am still tickled.

I hooked for about an hour yesterday, so I am on track also.