Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wool Parties at Pine Cone Gift Shoppe

Good morning! It's a bit chilly here and we were expecting snow, but nothing when I woke up this morning. That is fine with me! : )  I like the snow as long as I don't have to go out in it.

I wanted to share some pictures from one of the wool parties that Gary puts on. He is the owner of Pine Cone Gift Shoppe in Hartville, Ohio. Marilyn Willmore is there if you need help or are a new hooker wanting to pick up a kit and get started, and then the rest of us just sit around and chat, share tips, and encourage the newbies. Coffee and snacks are always provided too. It's a very casual atmosphere, but we get to sit in the most beautiful chairs and couches at the shoppe! I'm always so worried about spilling something on a $3000 sofa! Eek!

We had a wool party last Saturday and it was also the shoppe's big Christmas sale. The nice thing about hooking in the shoppe is we get to people watch. Sometimes people stop and watch us too. : )

These photos are from the last party we had, not last Saturday's. I don't think I've shared them before. Hmmm.......mind is going. : )

The ladies always bring their rugs to share. This one is designed by Marilyn Willmore and hooked by Nancy. I am in awe of Nancy's technique. Her rugs are so soft because she hooks high and loose. That's what I call it anyway. She uses a hook with a wide shank and uses the shank as her guide for loop height. Genius!

Designed by Marilyn Willmore. Hooked by Nancy.
I also thought it was neat how Nancy signed her rugs. She hand-stitched her name and the date onto the binding tape. 
How Nancy signs her rugs.
 A close-up of a rug she made with her initial.

Nancy's hooking style
Marilyn always sets up a little corner with her supplies. She has baskets of worms for the new gals to pick from. She starts them out with a simple hit and miss mat to practice technique and they pick their worms from the baskets; kind of like designing their own kit.
Marilyn's corner

One of the beautiful sofas in the shop!

One of the beautiful sofas we get to sit on

It's hard to see all of the goodies in the shoppe, but it's packed with beautiful items....and almost all are American made! And Gary does ship so if you see something just give him a call. He is a sweetheart!
People watching at the shoppe

I didn't take any pictures this last time. There was a gal there, Connie I believe, who shared her beautiful rugs! Her color choices were right up my alley and her technique was perfect. Hopefully she will be at the next party and I can get some photos as they are such an inspiration.

There are tentative plans to have another wool party January 26th so if you are near Hartville, Ohio, stop by and hook for a while. Follow the Pine Cone Gift Shoppe on Facebook and Gary will post the info as we get closer to that date. It's always free and loads of fun!

Now back to my own hooking. I'm hooking some ornaments for a giveaway for a Facebook group. Better get to it. : )


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Little Hooking...

I started this little snowflake mat last night while watching TV with the boys. It seems that's the only family time we get anymore due to my work schedule and my son's activities (basketball, church, escouts, tennis), but I'll take it.
I wanted to do something different so I mixed wool strips with wool yarn. I've hooked with yarn before. I find it easier and faster, but still love the look of hooked strips. I do have a a #10 Oxford punch needle on my wish list though. :-)
Not sure what I'm going to do with the mat when I'm done. I have a few swaps coming up. Hmmm.......
Hope you are enjoying your Tuesday. I'm also baking salt dough bowl fillers for the Portage Trail Barn sale this week. It's almost 60 here in NE Ohio. Craziness. :-)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ornament Swap

I participated in an ornament swap hosted by Amy of Bumble Bee Lane. Here is the adorable gingerbread ornament I received from Theresa! He smells soooo good too!

Thank you so much Theresa, and thank you Amy for hosting another swap. :-)


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New Threads, Local Shop

Hi all. Yep, I rolled off the face of the earth again. I never really leave blogland, just my blog. : )

I hope everyone is safe, dry, and warm. We got a bit of the storm Monday evening and Tuesday all of the local schools were closed, mainly due to the wind. I think it got to be about 50 mph, but that is nothing compared to what the coast got. My heart aches for everyone who lost their homes and unfortunately those who have lost a family member.

I haven't been doing much crafting lately. I finished a punch needle ornament for a swap that Amy of Bumble Bee Lane coordinated.

I had talked about using over-dyed floss in a previous post here and I found a local shop, Blueberry Hill Stitchery in Akron, Ohio, that sells Weeks Dye Works, Crescent Colours, and The Gentle Art. Alas, no Valdani there so I ordered a few balls from Snowflake Memories (check them out - free shipping on 3-strand floss!) in two different sizes to see which I liked the best since I've never worked with it - heck, I've never even seen it! I do believe over-dyed floss by any company is simply beautiful and worth every penny.... I just wish I had more pennies. : ) 

So about Blueberry Hill Stitchery shop....you would drive right by if you didn't know it was there. I sure did. It's not in a traditional shop location and I was quite surprised when I walked inside. Full of all of my favorite stitchers, many of whose blogs I follow! It was so neat to see so many familiar names. My goal was to check out the threads. Drawers and drawers. I had no plan and since it was nearing fall I figured I would get some autumn colors to maybe do some kind of a pumpkin. So I chose a few from each of the three companies and wiped the drool from my face. They are gorgeous! For about 20 minutes all you could hear in the shop was the sound of little drawers opening and closing, opening and closing, lol. I could not decide! : )  I behaved myself and walked out with only seven hanks (3 of one to do a pumpkin and 2 of another for the background, with absolutely no pattern in mind).

Aren't they just beautiful!

From L-R: Weeks Dye Works 2238 - Sweet Potato. Crescent Colours Polliwog and German Chocolate. The Gentle Art 7088 - Baked Clay.

And here are the balls from Valdani from Snowflake Memories.

Pearl Cotton Size 12  O 196, 3-strand O 532, 3-strand O 217

I also ordered 2 threaders for my Cameo punch from Snowflake Memories because making my own threaders didn't really work out too well, lol, but it got me through my crisis desire to punch. Do you get that way? I just *had* to punch and nothing could get in my way, lol. A little OCD maybe? Eh, guess there are worse things I could be doing, right?

If you use Valdani in your punching, what is your favorite thread weight? The pearl cotton is definitely a better "buy" I think as it comes in 100m where as the 3-strand is in 27m. I will have to punch something up and see which I like the best as I'm sure they will look a bit different when punched. I also love that I can buy 3-strand from Valdani as I absolutely go crazy trying to separate 6-strand floss. For a while I was punching with 6 strands, but got a little "cheap" I guess. I did find that I had to be careful not to leave any spaces when punching with only 3 strands. Maybe I better go back to 6. Hmm...so many decisions, so little crafting time.

This girl needs to get ready for work. I've rambled on about floss long enough.

Stay safe and warm my friends.


Saturday, September 29, 2012


Proud mom moment! I had to share my son's Homecoming photo with you all. Jacob and Alyssa looked adorable together. I'm told they are just friends, but she is the sweetest thing. I hope they are having fun. They are only Sophomores so I have a few more years to enjoy all of this fun. Plus it's easier with boys. :-)

New Salt Dough

I've been up to my elbows in salt dough again. I participated in a local barn sale at Portage Trail Barn. I've been going to the barn sales for a little while, but this was my first time participating. Mary Beth does all of the hard work so all of the success of the event goes to her. And she does it all with two little ones and a newborn. I bought a few things for myself too. : )

Fall Salt Dough Bowl Fillers
Halloween Salt Dough Bowl Fillers
I made Halloween, Fall, and Button sets. I have a few left over that are available for purchase.
Fall: 2 leaves, 2 red sunflowers, 2 pumpkins, 3 mini stars.
Halloween: 2 ghosts, 2 black cats, 2 pumpkins, 3 mini stars.
Each set is $8 plus shipping.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Favorite Embroidery Floss

Hi all. I feel like I fell off the face of the earth for a few days. I have been rolling, baking, and painting salt dough like a crazy lady, lol. I have them for sale on a Facebook group, Primitives for Sale. I am so thankful for the orders, but I have salt dough coming out of my ears. : )

I have a question regarding embroidery floss.  I've been using DMC for ever, but want to get a more variegated look when doing punch needle. I started researching and it seems Valdani and Weeks Dye Works are the most popular outside of DMC. They are both beautiful, but neither is sold at a shop near me so I would have to order online. Also, the price is higher. While those are both cons, they are completely understandable. Hand-dyed floss is worth the price I'm sure. I also like to use 6 strands when punching and they both offer 6-ply so that's a plus.

Valdani Embroidery Floss

Weeks Dye Works Embroidery Floss

So what is your favorite floss to use? Do you know of an online shop that has good prices? Feel free to email me at info (at) sugarhousecreations (dot) com if you don't want to post here.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012


This was hung on the porch of a hooker who was demonstrating in Zoar, Ohio, during their Harvest Festival. It fits me quite well. :-)


Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I got some wire from Joann's the other day to try and make a threader for my Cameo. For just $2 it was worth it to try and get some punching done since I had the urge. Isn't that always the way? Its not perfect, but it will work. I sat on the couch with hubs and the animals, and did some punching while watching Grimm.

I'm trying a different punching technique. I ran out of one of the orange colors so moved on to the background. I have to pick out colors for the tongues yet. I would have done more, but holding the Cameo really hurts my hand. I think I need to get one of those rubber grip things for pencils. That might help.

Oops, sending pics from my phone is always dangerous. Yes, it's a pumpkin. : )


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Garage Sale Find

I got this old metal baby buggy for $5 at a garage sale. The old man having the sale said he took off all the material and padding, and put on a wooden box to use around the yard as a trolley of sorts. I plan to put it on my porch and decorate it for the seasons. Any other ideas? I'm also wondering how old it is. He was so excited to show me the brake, lol. He also thought I was nuts for wanting it, lol. One man's trash.....

Friday, August 10, 2012

Cameo Punch Needle

I had just gotten started punching this pumpkin when my threader broke. I don't know where to find one locally. The craft stores only seem to carry Clover brand which isn't long enough. Bummer. Has anyone made their own threader? I was looking forward to an evening of punching. *sigh*

Swap Gifts

I was so excited to participate in a ditty bag swap with Amy ~ Bumble Bee Lane. I've done swaps with other bloggers, but never a surprise swap where you don't know what you are getting. Unfortunately the box came while I was at my sister's, but my husband knew how excited I was to get the box so he opened it and took pictures to text me, lol. I couldn't wait to get home and actually take a look at them for myself.

Here is what Amy spoiled me with:


The start quilt runner is the perfect size on the room divider in my front room. That huge thing is a work in progress and I need a lot of things to fill it up. I'm thinking of covering some thrift store books with fabric as that will take up room for one shelf at least. The ditty bag is just the cutest thing! I have the hearts in there now with her sweet card. In the cello bag is a wax bunny.

And here is my favorite:

A bee skep pinkeep with a rusty bell and safety pin. : )

Amy is hosting another swap, this time harvest gatherings, so hop on over if you want to participate. Maybe you will be lucky enough to have Amy as your partner. : )


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Trip To A Horse Farm

Out the kitchen door. You can see how close the horses are. Her dog loves to roam around and visit the horses.

My trip to a horse farm......also known as my sister's new home!  She doesn't own the horse farm, but is renting a cottage on the farm that is just steps away from the horses. The owners, Jim and Carol, had renovated half of a barn into a cottage for her mother when she got ill and now they rent it out. Yes, I said half of a barn. You wouldn't even know it was there, but it's so cute inside! They installed plenty of windows and sliding doors on the sides that overlook the horses so there is a great view all day long. The horses can even get right next to her back deck if they wanted to, and at night they do tend to graze in the weeds that are close. So neat!

My 6-year-old niece off on her riding lesson.

As part of their lease, my 6-year-old niece gets free riding lessons. She is in heaven! She has always been an animal lover and I think she feels quite at home on the farm. She also gets up at 7am to help Carol with her chores. She gets herself dressed and off she goes! Her job is to help clean out the poop from the miniature horses pen. She rides on the four-wheeler with Carol and they go around and feed the animals together. It's really quite cute. Carol has a heart of gold to put up with a 6-year-old tagging along wherever she goes. : )

The view for my morning coffee. Audrey is off to help Carol with her chores. Girls on the right, males on the left. I'm sure there is a proper term for the horses, but I don't know them, lol. Mares are girls, right?

My niece doing chores.

I had a few days off last week so I drove down to see them. My sister and her daughter moved in a few weeks ago as my sister is going through a divorce. It happens and quite frankly she is better for it. I'm not going into details, but it was not a healthy relationship. Needless to say my visit with them was less stressful than in the past, lol.

Of course there are a few cats roaming the farm.
My niece spent part of one day at the Ohio State Fair with her dad and then spent the night at his house, so I get to spend some 'girl time' with my sister. We ate bad things, drank too much wine, and stayed up way too late, but it was great getting time with her all to myself. She has been living with stage 4 breast cancer and is doing very well on a research trial through The James Cancer Center at OSU. I'm so happy she is now in a healthier place mentally too.

Horses waiting for breakfast. In the back is the barn for the mini horses, ducks, and chickens. I learned that miniature horses protect the chickens from coyotes and that is why they are together in the same pen.

Back to the horse farm. Jim and Carol used to breed and break horses, but they are now retired and have a few boarders and their own animals to tend to. They have about 12 horses, 3 miniature horses, 4 roosters, 4 hens, a handful of ducks, four dogs, and now a coonhound out in the barn that just had puppies. Anyone want a puppy? : )

Lucy the coonhound and her puppies. They are staying in the horse barn.

I can't wait to get back and visit as my trip this time was too short. I drove down Wednesday morning and had to come back Friday afternoon. It was my 10th wedding anniversary so I had to come home. : )  We celebrated by going to Zoar, Ohio, for their Harvest Festival. I'll share those pics another day.

And of course I did some hooking while I was there. So neat to sit there with the horses.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Different View

The view for my morning cuppa. More details to follow. :-)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Flourless Chocolate Cake!

I just made this in a coffee mug and it hit the spot. I used dark cocoa and about a teaspoon of sugar. I just had to share because it was so easy and I was skeptical, lol.

Oh Cake: 1 Minute Flourless Chocolate Cupcake ~ Guest Post by Ditch the Wheat

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christmas in July!

Happy July 25th! I'm having a Thirty-One Gifts special and giving you all a gift! I've been crafting a little bit more as I'm getting ready to ship off a swap package to Amy of Bumble Bee Lane, but I'm still having fun with Thirty-One Gifts too.

How do you get your gift? Purchase $31 between now and July 31 and I will pay your personalization fee! With a $31 purchase (before tax and shipping) you will be able to take advantage of the July Customer Special: Purchase the Zipper Pouch, Cinch-It-Up Thermal Tote, (not available for personalization) Thermal Tote, Littles Carry-All Caddy, or Mini Zipper Pouch for $5! These are perfect items for back to school organizing or just sprucing up your office or craft room. I keep stitching projects in the Zipper Pouch so I can just grab and go when I have to sit and wait somewhere.

Email me at michelle31ohio (at) yahoo (dot) com to place your order or if you have a question. You can view the catalog here: www.mythirtyone.com/mmauk/ .

Thanks for checking out my Christmas in July special.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Thrift Store Basket

I found this basket at the thrift store a few weeks ago. It was $5 and I couldn't pass it up. Don't you just love the fabric and lace? :-) I was thinking I could hook something for the top. What do you think?


Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Little Penny Mat

I was editing a photo of this penny rug when I realized something was missing. Ugh, I forgot to stitch the willow trees! LOL! Such a dingbat I am this week. This is what I was stitching for my friend Kimberlee's birthday. I already gave it to her so it looks like I will be stitching up a new one....with willow trees this time. : )  It's a Buttermilk Basin design.

The actual colors are closer to the pattern cover below, but even with natural light they got distorted a bit. I dyed the red and green, my friend Kimberlee dyed the blueish-gray background, and the mustard is from Spruce Ridge. I think the black was a thrift store skirt.

Now I'm off to get a few projects finished. I'm doing a swap with Amy over at Bumble Bee Lane Prims and the deadline is fast approaching. I'm always nervous about making something for other people. Ugh. I tell myself to "just get it done girl and stop worrying!"  : )

It's raining here in NE Ohio and that's a good thing. It's so dry here, just like most of the country. I've been watering my one little flower bed and two tomato plants. So far I've only let the pretty blue flowers in the bed die, lol, but yesterday I saw a blue flower so they are coming back. : )

I went rug hooking last night with a bunch of ladies in a beautiful home. I will post pictures soon. I have lots of pictures on my phone from events over the past few months and I need to get those onto the computer so I can share them. Hopefully soon.

Stay cool.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Few Gifts From A Friend

I stopped by my friend Kimberlee's today. She had borrowed by dye spoons and a wood sander for a thrift store project she was working on, and I stopped by to pick them up. Yesterday was her birthday and I'm working on something for her, but not quite done yet. My oldest sister lost power last week in the storms and was told it would be at least a week to get it back on as she lives in a small town and they are always the last to get power.  They have well water and septic, and things get yucky pretty quick. So my sister and 6-year-old niece came up to spend a few days with my mom and dad and a few days with us, and needless to say I didn't get any stitching done on Kimberlee's gift.

Back to Kimberlee's house.....It seemed like my birthday as she had two gifts for me when I stopped by to pick up my dye spoons and sander.

This adorable snipped bowl that she painted........

.........and this cute flag pin that she picked up at a local gift shop.

I haven't been blogging a lot, but I'm always checking out your blogs. With that heat we have been having in Ohio I've been trying to stay cool. We have two window AC units, one in the living room and one in our son's room since it's on the second floor, and they have been keeping two rooms cool. Ceiling fans have been helping too. I don't know what we would do without the window units. The heat index the last few days was up to 107 and it's been humid. After taking the dog out to go potty I feel like I need to take a shower, lol. Thank goodness today it was sort of cloudy and it cooled off a few degrees. : )

Since my last post I've been to a hook-in and attended a few local hooking days with guilds. I have some pics to share, but will do that next time. I really need to get back into the blogging swing of things.

I still have my rug frame for sale if anyone is interested.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

New Tool!

Two new tools actually! My birthday was June 1st and my in-laws spoiled me with a new hooking frame. I have a lap frame, that is still up for sale as it didn't sell on ebay by the way, but wanted something a little bigger and I fell in love with my friend Kimberlee's frame. Here is the frame I now hook on. Isn't it beautiful?!?!  It is handmade out of beautiful wood. It adjusts in a few different ways and it's even tall enough for me which has been a concern with my lap frame. I'm about 5'9" and find myself hunching over my lap frame.

Solid Oak/Beech Rug Hooking Stand with Frame

With some birthday money from my Aunt I purchased a small gripper frame for doing miniature punch needle. I've been using a hoop, but even the non-slip hoops have to be adjusted constantly it seems. Maybe I'm just not strong enough to get it tight. I bought it from The Bee Skep and they are handmade there by Bob. He did a fantastic job. : )  I can't wait to get punching again!

9" X 9" Punchneedle Gripper Frame


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

For Sale- Rug Hooking Frame

I'm selling my Morton rug hooking frame. I got a new one for my birthday. : )  Please check out my listing on ebay for details.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Portage Trail Barn Sale

It's time for the Portage Trail Barn spring sale! I'm lucky to have Mary Beth living right down the street from me in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. She has a sweet yard for her chickens, dogs, and boys to play in.


Her barn is packed full of handmade goodies from local artists and a few from out of town. She loves to create from items that would normally be thrown out. I went to her holiday sale in December and snagged a few goodies for Christmas presents.

Visit Portage Trail Barn's Facebook page for preview photos of this sale.

Here are a few shots from the holiday sale....

.....and a few from the previous fall sale.

                                                Spring Barn Sale- May 17-19
                                    Thursday 5p-8p
                                    Friday and Saturday 10a-3p

Look for the blue house with the sign out front.....

Then follow the signs on the fence to the barn!

Have fun shopping!