Your greatness is not what you have, it's what you give.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Hats, Hats, Hats

Twenty-five chemo caps were delivered to the American Cancer Society in Loudonville, New York today. There were toques, berets, and cloches. And the yarns were soft and cuddly. Now it's on to the next project. We'll have to brainstorm to decide what that should be, but we have some good ideas floating around. Check us out later to see what that is.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm ba-aaack! sort of....

I feel like I've been away for so long! I'm sorry but I had this sinus thing that knocked the tar out of me and this is the first day since Saturday that I've felt well enough to sit at the computer. I didn't even feel like knitting! Now you know I was really sick.
Anyway, the long weekend of Dec. 4th through the 8th my Sweetie and I took a few days away for some sunshine to chase away the winter blues. Unlike most people who want to get away at the end of winter, I need the sunshine early when the days get shorter. So I mustered up all my courage and said yes to a trip to Bonita Springs, Florida on the west coast, just above Naples. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Bonita Springs, which is actually in Estero, whatever.... It was so weird to see Christmas decorations hanging from palm trees in 78 degree weather. But hey! I wasn't going to criticize! I soaked up as much sun as I could.

I sat at the poolside each morning by 9AM and listened to Christmas carols being piped through the gardens. It felt great to soak up some rays. Don't worry, I wore my #30 sunblock.
Ron even caught up on some of his reading. He's not a beach or pool person so he didn't even bring swim trunks. Can you imagine that?!
We took a day trip to Sanibel and Captiva Islands and visited the Ding National Wildlife Preserve where I was able to capture Mother Nature at her finest. I never saw so many exotic birds: egrets, pelicans, osprey, kingfishers, red egrets (which by the reaction of the professional photographer standing beside me at the time, was a big honkin' deal!)
Yes, it was a lovely trip and now I'm looking forward to a White Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Time Out

Due to illness, I won't be posting until I can sit up straight without fainting.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Blankets of Gratitude for our Veterans

The Chicks worked very hard on our most recent project which was 11 blankets for the Stratton VA Medical Center in Albany, New York. The varieties were colorful and exciting.
Barbara and I delivered them today to the lovely ladies below. On the left is Karen Covey, the volunteer manager and on the right is Doris Atanasio, volunteer.
Each blanket was made with love and prayers for God's blessing on it's recipient.
Now it's back to the needles for more chemo caps!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Interview with the artist

Here is Kathleen with one of her knitted gems.

And here is the Blue Ribbon Winner!
If you look a couple of posts back you will see the one about Kathleen winning a blue ribbon for her hooked rug at the Newtown Hooked Rug Show in Connecticut. I asked her about the work that went into making one of these beauties and was surprised at the answer. It was quite the undertaking, not at all like going to the craft store and choosing a canvas and the cut pieces of wool in the colors you need.

Kathleen took lessons from Anna Walsh of Delmar, New York back in the 1950's while she was also raising five young children. She took advantage of afternoon nap time to work on at least five different Currier and Ives still life designs. She said someone would draw the design outline in black on burlap and then the canvas had to be tied with old nylon stockings onto a wooden frame, which Kathleen's husband, Tom, made for her. Then the real work began. Kathleen took old clothing and cooked it on the stovetop in Tide detergent to remove all the color. She said the whole house would smell like cooked laundry! Then she had to use a special kind of dye and make the color swatches she knew she would need to color, shade and highlight the subject of her hooked painting. Those swatches became the pallet to which Kathleen referred when dyeing for the actual rug. When she finished dyeing the fabric , she then had to run it through a device with cutting wheels of different widths to get the desired width strips for hooking. It took Kathleen about three months to complete her Blue Ribbon Masterpiece.

Before her husband retired, he had one of her art pieces hanging on the wall of his office. Her children and her sister have some also. One time, Kathleen's daughter, Pat, was browsing through an estate sale and found a print of one of the rugs Kathleen had hooked. So as a surprise gift to her, Pat had it framed and Kathleen still has it with the rug.

We should have known that Kathleen would win a Blue Ribbon. She won first prize for an art project all the way back in 5th grade while growing up in Kansas. Kathleen we would love you even if you didn't win a Blue Ribbon. That just puts the icing on the cake!