Rug Hooking in Florida

When I think of wool, I think of cold nights snuggled under a warm blanket…not Florida! And my latest art form uses a lot of wool. I love rug hooking so much that I’m willing to work with wool in warm temperatures, but I wasn’t sure other people in my RV resort would feel the same way.

Two ladies heard that I hooked rugs last year and approached me about showing them how to do it. Unfortunately, by the time this happened, it was already Spring and time to head home. But I promised to send them information about rug hooking over the course of the year, I signed up for a room in the Rv park, Sun N Fun, to hold our meetings and they said they would order what was needed to begin rug hooking. With that, we parted our ways for nine months.

All summer long, I sent out messages with ideas of where to buy a hook, frame and kit. I kept wondering if they would actually show up and want to learn. And the big question was would I be able to teach them how to do it.

Well, let me tell you that this season in Florida has been the best one for me yet! Here are the two lovely, FUN ladies that urged me to teach them.

Trisha and Sherry love to have fun!

And then another who parked her camper next to mine and saw me hooking my project from her window decided to come and join us.

I loved being Donna’s neighbor!

Donna, Sherry and I were already on the same street in our RV resort and Trisha decided to move over and join us. Our street became lovingly known as hooker alley. (I do at times wish this wonderful art had a different name!) We sure had fun getting together mid week to hook outside by our campers.

Hooking at the campsite

Even though I was still working on my hummingbird piece, I felt the need for a more simple piece to work on while teaching others. Something quick and easy that I could start and finish while showing the ladies each step. I designed the “Love Always” love bird piece. 

Of course, the birds are my sweetie and me. And of course, he had opinions as I designed it. At first I drew the birds to look pretty much the same. But he thought the male bird should be fancier, like in nature. We had a good laugh when he suggested a top knot! Even though he is bald, he thought the bird to represent him should have more feathers on top! So, I drew it out and liked it very much. I was able to start and finish it in a few days. I love my twist on Pennsylvania Dutch folk art. Pattern available here: Love Always

So, then it was time to design something else for me to work on. The hummingbird piece still needs to be finished. I don’t know why I’m dragging my feet on that one…. Anyway, there was one photo from our trip from Maine that I really love. I feel that it captures much of what my life is about: nature, travel and LOVE! Here is Matt and me by Bass Harbor Light.

I love the photo, but thought that the design needed to be tweaked a bit. Wanting us to be the focal point without having the piece huge, I made us a bit larger.

I had not yet hooked a sky, so I decided to follow the advice of Cindi Gay in her book: Pine Trees, Grass and Sky. What a wonderful book! And since I have’t done any dyeing of wool (although I am sorely tempted), I ordered “sky wool” from Cindi. It is just beautiful! My photo had no clouds in the sky, but I added some. Since I started the piece, I have spent quite a bit of time staring at the clouds in the sky. They are so varied and beautiful! Here is how it looks so far. My first hooked sky!

Bass Harbor Kiss by Janine Broscious

My friends and I also went each Monday to participate in hooking time with others an hour away. They were doing some overdyeing with ice. So I took some wool and gave it a try. What gorgeous colors! I really am getting quite interested in the dyeing process.

Well, my RV lady friends actually each finished a piece. Here is Sherry with her beautiful mat. (Notice her AWESOME name tag!? If you don’t have one yet, here is where you can order one: Rug Hooking Name Tag)

Sherry did great with her first hooked mat!

And Trisha finished her version of my “Happy Campers” rug pattern. She put the words, Joy, joy, joy, into it because RVing gives her and her husband such joy. What a joy to see her finished piece!

Happy Campers design hooked by Trisha Senterfitt. Design by Janine Broscious

So, rug hooking in Florida has been an amazing experience. I’ve had a great time seeing others enjoy learning a new art form. And I’ve made some lasting friendships! We are all looking forward to next season with many others promising to join us.

Mainely Done

There is still so much to say about Maine. I don’t want to be done with Maine and instead would love to go back! But I promise this will be the last Maine post. I still want to tell you about New Hampshire and Vermont. So, with this post I will be Mainely done. I say that with a smile. As we drove around we kept seeing signs with the same wording. The first one seemed quite original, “Mainely Art.” I wondered what else they had and groaned at the “Maine”ly pun. But as we stayed on in Maine driving from Boothbay to Bar Harbor, we saw more and more of these, Mainely Lumber, Mainely Seafood, Mainely Autos, etc. Seems these Maine folks had a sense of humor. Soon we came to the Penobscot Narrows BridgeDSC_7797 2

We saw a sign that explained that this bridge has an observatory. It is, in fact, the only bridge observatory in the United States. I love things like this, so we turned down the street towards the parking area. I should say, “I” turned down the street since I was driving. It was a sharp right turn, so I swung really wide. We got part way through the turn and something went wrong. It felt to me that the truck tires had sunk into a deep pothole. But I hadn’t seen any holes! I tried, but the rig would not move. It is quite disconcerting to be in mid turn with a truck and camper that totals 50 feet and not be able to move. Thankfully, Matt was able to figure out that the 5th wheel’s emergency brake cable had been crimped in the hitch which deployed the brake. Seems we have a well working emergency brake on the camper! He had to actually elevate the camper in order to move the cable and when the brake released, the camper lurched. Oh my. It was a bit scary to me. But we got moving again and found the only spot in the parking lot for a rig like ours.DSC_7830 2

The view from the observatory was worth the stop but it was time to move on to Bar Harbor. When we arrived at our campground, we learned another new term: leaf peepers.DSC_8341

Our trip was not timed quite right for being leaf peepers. The leaves were just starting to turn and it made me wish that we had planned it for a later time. Just another reason to go again sometime, right? We were so pleased with our campsite. What a lovely view of the ocean and Cadillac Mountain across the water.DSC_7837

The next day, we were off to explore Mount Desert Island. First stop was Bass Harbor Lighthouse.`

This lighthouse seemed the most difficult to get a good angle for a photo. But such a lovely setting. We continued to drive around the island. Periodically, I would have Matt stop so that I could take another photo. Here is one that I couldn’t resist taking.DSC_7995 2-001

I thought for sure this establishment must have been out of business, but after checking online I found that Nemo’s is indeed still operating!DSC_8285

Every town had at least one pretty little church. I kept looking for the quintessential New England church to photograph. This is easier said than done. I thought this one was lovely, but it was so close to the road and power lines, ladders and parking lot marred the view. Had to keep searching.DSC_8182 2

This little bridge and building were so pretty.DSC_8299 2

Another classic photo that I had in mind was the lobster trap photo. I pictured wooden traps, but I came to understand that those were not what is used anymore. Still, I was happy with this lobster trap photo. As much as I enjoyed the towns and coast, we still needed to go to Acadia National Park.DSC_8008 2-001

Our first stop was Cadillac Mountain. It was a beautiful with a lovely, clear view. DSC_8042

Park Rangers helped people spot migrating hawks. We stayed on the mountain, enjoying the birds, for quite awhile, then it was off to drive the loop around the park.DSC_8070 from nef 3-001

The coastline of Otter Cove was beautiful. I spotted that huge rock and asked Matt to pose on it. He said, “How am I going to get up there?” And then proceeded to do it! Once he got there, some people up above clapped for him. I guess it was quite a feat. Next we were off to Jordan Pond.DSC_8096 2-001

What clear water there was in Jordan Pond. And the mountains behind us are the famous Bubbles. Acadia National Park is so beautiful and we did so much more there. We even went back in the dark for star gazing on the beach led by a park ranger! But, I already said this would be my last Maine post. It’s hard to know what photos to leave out! DSC_8195 from nef 2

The full moon over Cadillac Mountain was a real treat for us. And finally, a kiss good bye for Maine!