Create Beauty Everyday Pendant Give Away

Dear Diary, Roberta Hancock is a rug hooker but she used to be a felted. She has a cottage near here and she came to my studio one day looking for felting supplies and I showed her how to hook. Yesssss! Another one converted. Since then she has made many mats and even sold some.

Last year a woman came from Texas to two of my workshops. Patty Parish Pitts had a few days in between workshops and she toured around. When she was touring around Pugwash she ran into Roberta and they had a great visit together. Roberta even brought her to her house. They hit it off and Patti arranged for Roberta to go to Texas and teach rug hooking this spring. Roberta just arrived home.

Roberta is something else too. I mean she really is something else, she designs our line of hook pendants with the cbe on the back, a reminder to create beauty everyday,

And she has sent us a pendant to give away to our readers. Thank you Roberta. You are very kind.

Here is the pendant you will win, and here is the neat picture Roberta sent us of herself…..

So if you want to win here is how you enter……

Make a Comment on this Post telling us how you “create beauty everyday”….not just rug hooking, think about it and tell us what else you do to create beauty everyday

We’ll just do this for a few days and then we will randomly pick an entry and mail you your Pendant from Roberta Hancock

www.hookingrugs.comroberta hancock

Catherine Bussiere: Easter Eggs

A few years ago as I was visiting Louisiana I came upon this workshop on decorating eggs for Easter.

It is simple and the results are simply stunning.

Here are the things you will need:

– Thin colorful 100% silk with pattern (or not). Ties are often made of silk and can be found at second hand store and or in your husband’s closet.

– Eggs previously emptied and well rinsed

– Plain cotton squares big enough to cover the eggs

– Twist ties or thread and needle

– A bowl of water

– Flower petals or small leaves (optional)

First cut a silk square large enough to cover the egg, put in in water, squeeze excess water. Cover the egg placing the brighter side of material towards the egg

Using a twist tie secure the material as tight as possible to the egg

If you wish you may place some petals or small leaves on the egg before placing the material

Like this

Instead of using twist ties you can sew the material around the egg.

Cover each egg again with a piece of cotton and secure with a twist tie (this will prevent the dyes from the silk to bleed into one another). Place in a pot, cover with water.

Since the eggs are filled with air they will float. Place something that will fit in your pot over the eggs (like an aluminum pie plate) and place something heavy on it to keep the eggs immerse in water (don’t worry, they will not break). Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove eggs, cool down, remove cotton cover…

Remove silk cover…

et voila!

This can be done with kids and is incredibly satisfying.

Have fun.

New Homepage. And the Winner is….

Thank you for all your tips, and your interest in the contest. This morning Brenda and I did a random pick and the winner is:

So please get in touch with us at to claim your prize. Congratulations!

and remember you are all welcome to come to the studio on Thursdays from 10 am to 3 pm to hook with The Studio Fibre Arts Group.


Dennie Hoffman

I love the new website, it’s very easy to navigate. My rug hooking tip is to open yourself up to new ideas, to try new ways to do things, to read as much as you can by taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge that is so readily available. Deanne’s books and videos are a must read/watch!

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Okay so I have been thinking it is time for a nice prize. We just posted our new home page at Peter., who creates the webpage did a great job for me so I want to celebrate a bit.

We’ll call it a blog party. It is a give a way.

Here’s what I am thinking…


A Day at the Studio with us where we’ll welcome you to spend the day, you can ask us any questions, we’ll take you out to eat, or bring lunch in. You can spend it with us learning or creating, whatever you like.

If you want you can bring a few friends and take over the back studio for the day and have your own private hook in.

You can shop away with your $200 gift certificate that comes with the give a way.

And we’ll give you a small rug of mine as a souvenir of your visit.

If you are from far away and cannot get here, we’ll skpe you  if you like and you can ask us your questions and you can shop online and we’ll send you a small rug as well. We’ll make it fun, and mail you your rug and your $200 worth of goodies.

We’ll make a blog post about our visit so everyone can see who wins.

So you have to comment. And let me see what do we want the conversation to be about….

How about rug hooking tips…..

Leave your rug hooking tip in the comment section and you will

automatically be entered to win in a random draw in about two to three weeks.giveaway5 giveaway6 giveaway7 giveaway2 giveaway3 giveaway4


keep reading, I am planning something special

Dear Diary, Yesterday my son tweeted “People can bash New Years all they want, but it’s not a bad thing to try and be a better person.#goodluckeveryone” . I found it interesting that we were both talking about resolutions online. I also liked his sentiment that it is always good to try and be a better person. Apparently, among the younger crowd, there is a lot of bashing about New Years Resolutions.  The truth is I have only made a few that I kept but they have been good ones.

When I was twenty I made a resolution to quit smoking and I did. Three or four years ago I made a resolution to try and blog daily and I did. Both have changed my life for the better. I agree that if New Years is your time to make big changes then do it. Transform yourself. I just think that if it does not work out, then February or March, are good times too.

So back to my resolution of three years ago to blog daily.Well it has lead to some interesting things. I  usually sit here once a day and touch base with you. I blogged before there was a word for it on an old netscape site that I kept for years.  My Dear Diary entries have been around nearly ten years now. At first it was slow and sporadic. I was always surprised that someone read it. Fact is, I am still surprised when some one tells me they read my blog. It is always a pleasant surprise.

The fact is , this is a busy little blog. Google tells me that we have had a big event in the last year, my site had over a million page views in 2012.

Over 85,000 people visited nearly 250,000 times and viewed over 1 million pages on the site.

That I think calls for a little party. A party on this blog is a big give away , a special prize for a reader. I was thinking about what to give away. We did the red blundstones for a few years but this calls for something different I think, something a bit more special. I am thinking… needs to be special. Stay tuned I’ll put something special up this week and you can join in the fun.

blog01 blog02 studio6 studio4


Last week end I made jelly
I love making it
Picking apples from different trees
I wash them, I quarter them
I put it all in a big pot
Covered with water they simmer for a while
It becomes mushy
I collect the juice
For that much juice that much sugar goes in
In the big pot it boils
Cinnamon sticks are added
Such a nice taste
Boil and boil until it gels
In a jar it goes
Clear, pink, sweet



Clare’s Boots

Dear Diary, Giving away a prize is such good fun. I just got a note from Clare Booker who won the red bloodstones with her boots sitting on her mat. I am glad they fit and she feels good in them.

I am thinking of another little prize idea….it is in the works. I like to give away a treat or two here. It is such fun. Here is Clare’s rug….



As comfy as bedroom slippers. The weather has been fabulous here, warm, sun and no snow so the shoes have been getting a work out along our country roads. And, I just finished reading “Half Blood Blues” and it’s a fantastic story. I’m recommending it to everyone.

Thank you Deanne. Clare

And the winner of the blundstones is…it’s time to win red blundstones

Dear Diary,

So today is the day, the votes are counted, we are around 268 , and I reached in the bag and the winner was pulled. The last two mornings I wore my red blundstones on my walk, and i hope theses  new boots comfort and cozy up a set of toes as much as mine do.

So the next step is, she has to email us and let us know her size…she can try them on somewhere and check them to be sure if she likes because we order them in special for the winner, we can only do it once.

She should contact me at and tell us her size, and we should be able to get them to her shortly after …..

The completely randomly chosen winner of the boots, the very merry, beautifully comfortable red boots is

Clare Booker

Submitted on 2011/11/22 at 9:55 am

I’m with Donna….”Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”. Barbara Kingsolver takes her family (husband, teenage daughter and university bound daughter) back to her roots in rural Arkansas. As a family they have resolved to eat local and seasonal food for a year. Although I read it several years ago I still remember their wait for the first fruit of the spring and the relief to go to the Farmer’s Market and find…rhubarb! The anxiety of having to give up favourite packaged cereals. Will there be enough to feed their extended family on festive occasions. It’s an easy relaxed read, lots of recipes and a few facts about the economic impact of eating locally. She gently leads you through the decision making processes they made throughout the year.

And then for something completely different, “Late Nights on Air” by Elizabeth Hay. A fabulous story about a radio station in northern Canada, living in the north and in a small community.

it’s time to win red blundstones….

Dear Diary, When the light snow fell last week, I pulled out me red blundstones to go out for my morning walk and I thought that it is time to post a prize of them on the blog again. I thought about coming up with something new but last year over 500 of you entered and that was really fun so 499 still want a pair. It is worth doing again.So let’s start fresh this winter season. You can win a pair of red blundstones just by commenting on this post about a book that changed you.

So here is how you win……

You comment on this post by telling us about a book that changed your life, or at least a book that changed the way you saw things, a book you loved


in a couple of weeks I will randomly select a winner…the draw is not based on the book you select , but it does help me to get to know you a little better, also it will be fun for all the readers to read some of the books suggested over the winter.

I’ll buy the boots from Robert at Mansour’s Men’s Wearin your size and mail them to you.

So think about a book that made you see things differently, a book you think we should all read, and tell us and your name will be entered.

Only enter once….Only one comment on this post per person

Giving things away is such fun.

they make me happy


the tips of my toes


you just pull them on


love that light


a long time favorite, read again and again




love that elastic on the sides




the winner of the grill…

my handy well used grill

her family might not know it but they are going to be eating a lot of sandwiches….

Picked Randomly, by myself and Lorna, the winner is…..


Thank you so much participating. I now keep avocado as a staple in my fridge. Guess I’ll have to get some chutney to. The readers of this blog are all like my friend Joanne, good to go, whenever you call on them. I appreciate your reading so much. Thanks for playing with me……

Donna Gass Submitted on 2011/04/28 at 4:30 am 

Simple sandwich, but once tried you will crave it.

Two slices of thick really good whole grain bread.
Butter it lightly on the out sides.
One thick wonderful slice of OLD sharp chedder.
and the secret ingreditant PEACH CHUTNEY, spread it
over the cheese.

Put in the grill YUMMMMMMMM you will love this one. Donna

Donna, please contact us with instructions on getting the grill to you. Congratulations.

We’ll make the big draw for the grill on Wednesday May 18

Dear Diary, I decided to stay home this morning and work on my rug of the Maccan River. Around eleven I called my friend Carol to come over for lunch, just a sandwich but good ingredients, fresh spinach from the Masstown Market, good hand made feta from the Sackville Farmers Market, and rosemary jelly from the Tangled Garden. It almost has to be good. I haven’t made it yet but you can see the vegetables on the grill.

This little grill is one of my favorite kitchen tools. A few years ago my son and I were out and I was looking at grills  and about to buy an inexpensive version and he said, “Get the good one.”  Then he said something to the effect that eventually I’d be gone and he’d have my money if I don’t spend it so I bought the good Cuisinart Grill. As Margaret Lawrence once said, “You’re young, you know things now you won’t know when you’re older.”  I listened to his wisdom.

I bought the lovely little Cuisinart Griddler Grill in May, two years ago, and I barely turned on my oven that summer. I have a small kitchen with just a bit of counter space but the griddle got to stay because it is so great. It does everything from grilling a great sandwich to cooking a chicken breast without heating up the kitchen.

So in celebration of food….and to have some fun this spring on the blog I am trotting off to the our lovely local privately owned downtown department store  this afternoon to buy a Cuisinart Griddle to give away to a blog reader…might be you…

…. Cuisinart does not know about me or is not sponsoring this. Cuisinart has no idea about this thing I am just doing it cause I like my grill. I decided to do this contest as I was making the sandwiches…..that’s what I’m like.

Just like the red bloodstone boots, I buy it for you. I pack it ( well someone in the studio does) and mail it to you…..

We’ll pick the winner randomly from the entries after May 18 when my spring workshops are finished…

Summer’s coming and the cooking has got to be easy. Lets inspire each other in the sandwich department…..

Her’s how you enter….you just make a comment on the blog telling me the ingredients for a great sandwich… your favorite combo , or recipe. Tell me about the spread, the bread…the necessary ingredients… make a most beautiful sandwich….only one entry per person

Thanks for playing with me. I’ll make some of your sandwich suggestions. I’m looking forward to it.

Right now I’m off to clean my grill, make it “sparkle and shine…sparkle and shine” because  I just looked at my pictures and I’m thinking my friends might stop coming over for lunch when they see this. I just wanted you to know the truth about me, I’m a messy housekeeper. I’d take a picture of the shined grill when I am finished but I am afraid you’ll say you can’t tell what is before and what’s after…..

If you want to , you can add this notice to your facebook feed so your friends can enter their favorite sandwich to win the grill by clicking the Like button in the corner.

steam rising as I grill green pepper and zuchini
fresh spinach with feta and grilled vegetables
Really good ingredients like local farm feta
I added a pitch of rosemary from my kitchen window to the sandwich
I love the grill marks my griddler earthy
my well used griddler....ignore the water you really know me.


tell us about the really good condiments like this one from the Tangled Garden that you use on your sandwiches
quince rosemary jelly on one slice of bread, a bit of mayo on the other
whew! I remembered to take a picture before I ate it...well actually my friend Carol Oram who came for lunch had to remind me




the winner of the red bloodstone boots is….

they make me happy

Dear Diary, Thank you for playing with me. For all your quotes. I learned things and was reminded of some good advice that I tend to forget. Every day I looked forward to reading your quotes. It was so much fun to see what struck a chord with you. Thank you for participating, for sharing what you know and believe to be important.It has been a lot of fun, lots of learning, lots of interest. Please keep commenting, it is good to have participation in the blog. Many people read your comments not just me……


So the lucky winner is (drumroll here…)

Dolly Pollard
Submitted on 2011/02/11 at 2:16 pm

“Consider the tides; they come and they go, and man cannot change the ebb and the flow.” C. Harrison

My,Dad, an “Old Salt of the Sea” referred to this quote many times in my life.


Dolly, email me at and we’ll arrange for you to get your boots.

It feels  great to give away a prize.
I really had fun with this so as soon as I think of something I’ll do it again…..

It has to be foolish, or fun, or interesting, or inventive or quirky like the boots.

You know me I’ll think of something….

Don’t get too excited……

it won’t be a car

Now I am off to start a new rug. I feel like a woman on a mission

Thanks Again and Congratulations to Dolly Pollard!

Here was the Contest it finished on the morning of February 25…

Dear Diary, I told you earlier there would be fun and games and prizes like a birthday party….so here it is

You can win a pair of red blundstone boots like the ones I got for Christmas. I love mine so much, they are so nice, and make me feel like doing a little jump when I look down at my feet…..

I know I am a simple soul…

but there are good things about that.

These boots are comfortable, durable and they could be on your feet…

Scroll down to see how to win your own pair….

love that light
the tips of my toes
love that elastic on the sides
you just pull them on

okay here’s the deal.

To win a pair of  these Blundstones (I’ll order them  special in your size, you could have black or brown if you prefer) you have to comment on this post, telling me one of your favorite quotes and who said it…..

I buy the boots. I pay for the boots. I mail you the boots.
Blundstone doesn’t know I exist…they should cause I have  —– pairs. I can’t say. A woman and her shoes are a private matter. If I start talking about that here next thing I’ll be telling you everything.

but know that the boots come from me. I’ll try to get a deal on them though cause I’ll buy them from Robert at Mansour’s Men’s Wear and he really likes me.

In a couple of weeks, let’s say, February 25, I’ll get someone to randomly select a quote (we won’t be judging entries on the quote…no worries) and I’ll announce the winner

So that’s it….the rules are…comment once, tell me a great quote,

(remember only comment once, one entry per person)

It will be fun to read the quotes….and fun to see who wins the boots

p.s. that nice fireplace in the background is not mine…some nice though….my friend Nancy just built it