In my studio…and out – Inspiration

Hi everyone!  This weekend we had a great time, both teaching a class and attending a multicultural festival that greatly inspired me.  I didn’t get away unscathed.  I found some inspiration to purchase!

The Buddhist temple paper cut was actually a gift from the ladies at the Chinese booth.  There were some very delicate paper cuts available there.  The watch was $5 and is actually a gorgeous bracelet.  The Pashmina shawl has a wonderful paisley design I just couldn’t pass up.  The bright green and pink fabric is handwoven by the Chakra people from Bangladesh.  It is beautiful cloth!  The lady selling it suggested I make a traditional skirt out of it.  But I am hesitant to cut into it.  It’s just gorgeous!

So that was my inspiration for this month.

In other news…

  • my class on Saturday went really well.  My student and I colour planned a monochromatic grey, black, and white rug.  Lest you think that’s easy, let me remind you that grey has many different coloured undertones.  You have to have a good eye for shades and tints (value) to colour plan a grey rug properly.  Other “colours” have the same issue.  There are warm and cool versions of all colours.  But some have more undertones than usual…black and grey for sure.  At any rate, we got it done and she is off with lots of cut fibre to hook rug the next couple of weeks.
  • The Art Gallery of Regina Salon Show and Sale is coming up.  This week I have to prepare and pack my pieces for the show.  I’ll be taking them “Dancing Tree” and “Blue-Eyed Grass”.
  • I will be preparing for this coming Saturday’s class.
  • I will be hooking on “Moss”.

A reminder that after the end of March my next class will be May 6th and will be a Finishing class.  May 13th is tentatively set as a design class.  The Finishing class is 2 hours long, and the Design class is 3 hours long.  Both Saturday afternoons.  If you can’t make Saturday afternoon class and would like classes, feel free to contact me and we can arrange a mutually beneficial time for a class.

That’s the rug hooking plan so far this week.  Hope everyone has a great week! Thanks for reading! 🙂

Weekly Review – Exhibits & Sales


I’ve had an interesting week. It’s that time of year to be applying for exhibits and sales.  I’ve applied for two so far.  I’m not sure exactly where I stand in the application process on both of these exhibits and sales.  I’ll fill you in when I learn more.

I did manage to upload more product – rug hooks – for sale.

I also chatted with my web developer about more ideas for the website. I look forward to upcoming changes as time goes by.

I was able to prepare my sample pattern and fiber kit for the Curves class next Saturday.   I have also written more on my course outlines.

I pulled two books off my library shelf to help with a revamped business plan.  One is “The Creative Entrepreneur” by Lisa Sonora Beam, and the other is “The Right-Brain Business Plan” by Jennifer Lee.  I’ve used these two books before with considerable success.  So I’m not really starting from scratch.  Just planning what to do this year.

I finished reading “Canadian Folk Art to 1950” by Fleming and Rowan.  Lots of lovely photos of a wide cross section of Canadian folk art.  The text seemed excellent at times, but with long winded sentences at other times, making for a bit of an uneven read.  However, the overall message was there and it was a good read overall.  I enjoyed the few hooked rugs photos that were included as well.

Another book I am currently looking at is “Hooked on Cats” by Joan Moshimer.  The rugs in the photos are beautiful!  She uses Cushing’s Perfection dyes to dye wool for her rugs.  I don’t use Cushing’s, but my Majic Carpet and ProChem will work just fine.  Joan gives basic dyeing instructions in her book for onion skin dyeing, spot dyeing, dip dyeing, and for overdyeing.  An informative book with a lot of patterns in the back and a nice gallery of finished work.

2016 CP Holiday Train

2016 CP Holiday Train

We really enjoyed seeing Dallas Smith and The Odds perform in -19 C weather in Regina…outdoors.  Poor guys.  The drummer’s fingers must have been frozen solid by the time they were done.  He didn’t wear gloves the entire time they performed.

So today I have a video for inspiration and some Christmas spirit. I hope everyone has a great Christmas Season this year.



In my studio…

In my studio…

Wall hangings

Look at what Hubby did for me yesterday?  He hung some more wall hangings on my living room ‘gallery’ walls.  They look good there.  He’s already plotting what else needs to go up on the walls.

It was a busy weekend this past weekend.  Saturday I spent uploading product to the website.  Saturday evening we attended Scenes of Wonder at a local church.  The “scenes” are a variety of nativity sets from across the city that are put on display for three days: Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  We went and I took a lot of photos you’ll be seeing between now and Christmas.

Sunday was International Rug Hooking Day.  I spent the afternoon chatting with Maggie Bathory from Aspen Rug Hooking.  We had a lot to share about setting up and running online businesses.

It’s a busy week this week as well, with company and various Christmas events.  We have two sets of overnight company coming and a Christmas open house at our local library.  We plan to see the Holiday Train as it comes into town, and take company to see Scenes of Wonder.  Hubby wants to attend as many library open houses this year as he can.  It could get busy…there are nine libraries.

I’m hoping to find time to upload more products on the website this week.  I would also like to just relax and do some hooking.

Dancing Tree

WIP Thursday

WIP Thursday


My work corner

Sorry my post is a bit late folks.  Lots of running around doing Christmas stuff.  Trying to get a package in the mail and off to my girls and their men.

I’ve also been working on the some more.  It’s slow going sometimes.  Keep an eye on things!  I plan to run a contest in early January on the new blog.   Today I’m uploading more product to the website.

I’m almost finished reading “Everyone’s An Artist” by Tite, et al.  I really am enjoying this little book.  It has some editing issues (mostly typos), but the content is good stuff.

I’m partly gearing up for International Rug Hooking Day on Sunday, December 4th!  I plan to spend the afternoon hooking along with my online friends.  “Moss” won’t get finished if I just look at it!

Weekly Review


Sorry for the late post folks.  It’s been a busy day.  Unexpected company and some running around town.  I’ve been busy working on my website.  I think I’m done transferring files from the old blog to the new.  Next up is to post a few more items for sale.  We’ll see how it goes next week.

Also been creating draft listings on Etsy and posting items for sale on Etsy in my JLT Studios shop.

I did manage to hook a bit more on “Moss”.  I had a friend hold it up a distance away from me and decided the problem is values again.  Seems if I have color issues it’s usually in the values.

I started knitting swatches for a sweater pattern I want to knit.  A friend helped me wind two skeins into balls of wool yarn.

I had fun this evening at Nouveau Gallery’s 11th Anniversary Celebration!  I love this gallery.  If you’re ever in Regina I highly recommend it.  They represent a variety of local artists working in a wide variety of different media and styles.  Tonight’s work did not disappoint.  It was wonderful!

I’m being featured!



A better title for this post might be News and Views.  I received notice yesterday that my Etsy shop, JLT Studios, will be the featured shop on Etsy’s blog for the month of November.  With that in mind, I will be posting more offerings on my Etsy shop between now and the end of November.

I’ve also been working on my own website, due to be up and running in January 2017.

I was going to post a recipe today, but have been pretty busy.  I keep forgetting to take photos of food!  How about a picture of kale growing on my patio…still!  It’s looking really nice these days.



Quick Update


ArtNow is on in Saskatoon at Prairieland Park folks!  If you haven’t been, go check it out!

As you know, African Dream is done the hooking stage.  I’m hoping to block it this afternoon.

I’ve already started colour planning for my next wall hanging.  It’s a long narrow wall hanging I’m calling Northern Exposure at the moment.  It’s moss growing on the north side of a tree.  Not sure how this is going to turn out.  I’m thinking I need some brighter colours than I have in my stash, but I so don’t want to go to the dye pots right now.  I have so much excess fibre around here.  I might try a funky colour scheme.




It’s finished!


I finished hooking it!  Now for the finishing.  But for today I’m off to Saskatoon to drop off my wall hangings for ArtNow, which is happening this weekend at Prairieland Park in Hall B. Hope you can make it out to see my work. If it’s not on display at that moment, ask about it. They will have business cards and brochures, and if they have time might be able to pull it out for you to look at.

In my studio…

Studio Aug 15 2016 - 1

My Gale courses finish this week.  But I still have finals to write.

This week I want to:

  • Continue hooking on African Dream.
  • Finish sorting business email.
  • Knit on the cellular baby blanket.
  • Determine if I need to take wall hangings to the SK Art & Fine Craft Fair in Saskatoon and back myself mid-September, or if someone else is going up there and can take them and bring them back.  It turns out I have company that weekend.  Plus Hubby’s last day of work is that Friday.

Hope everyone has a great day! 🙂


I’m Back!

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Canola field in bloom!

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Beaver pond gone amuck!  There were seven beavers damming this creek and creating a massive pond, or rather, a small lake!

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Preparations for a Moving Party!  It was difficult to stay gluten free this trip!

Had a great time on vacation in Alberta, Canada.  Spent time with family and shopping.  There is no provincial sales tax in Alberta. 🙂

Stopped by Shuttleworks and picked up some lovely knitting books by Sally Melville, “Hooking on the Wild Side”, and a sweater pattern for knitting.  Also picked up some fiber for spinning.  Everything is 30-50% off!  I highly recommend them.  They are closing their doors soon, so the deals will only be available for a short while, and while supplies last.

This week I’ll be skipping my recipe of the week in order to get back in the swing of things here on the blog.  Today will be my “In my studio…” post and Wednesday I’ll be back to my regular “Inspiration Wednesday”.

So…in my studio this week…

  • work on my website development course
  • work on “African Dream”
  • finish sorting my business email

In good news, all three of the finished pieces I submitted to be juried into the Saskatchewan Art & Fine Craft Fair were accepted!   So if you want to see “Blue-eyed Grass”, “Sprouts”, or “Dancing Tree” in real life, then is your chance!  It will also be the first opportunity to purchase them, as I have yet to post them online for sale.  The Fair is September 15th through 18th in Saskatoon, SK at Prairieland Park.  Looking forward to the event! 🙂


In my studio…


I had a great time at the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair.  I met many friends, neighbors, and new people.  I demonstrated to a lot of people.  However some rain later in the day dampened spirits a bit.  My canopy roof decided it had enough and one of the supports broke.  I will definitely need a new canopy if I do anymore outdoor sales.

Back to my regular work week this week.  I am taking time today to do some planning for the rest of the summer.

I am hoping this week to hook some more on a scrappy floor rug.  Yes, you heard that correctly!  I am hooking my first floor rug in years.  Because of that I’m sticking to silk and wool fibres.  I am just not sure how well the others will clean up if it gets dirty. My plan is to put it in my bedroom…if I don’t chicken out and hang it on the wall.   People wear outdoor shoes indoors in my house, and that, plus the dirt it tracks in, is hard on rugs.

I will also be working more on sorting through my email.  It is multiplying on its own!

In my Studio…

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Our new boarder from China moved in on the weekend.  Today, without warning, he gave his mother an iPad FaceTime tour of our place, including my studio.  I was appalled!  My studio is in its usual state of disarray.  He said he wanted to show him mother what I used to make my work. Moral of story = always leave my studio picked up at the end of the day.  Sigh.

It’s been a busy weekend.  No rug hooking to speak of.  Lots of tutoring though.  And lots of errands.  Hubby is in great angst about whether to retire this year or next, when he turns 65.  He spent yesterday crunching numbers and the evening talking to me about his results.  I told him to do what he wants.  He’s put in over 30 years supporting the family.  I think that’s enough.

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So, back on track this week.  I sorted out the tax mess last week.  So it’s back to rug hooking this week.  I’ll be working on Dancing Tree.

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I removed my work from Traditions Hand Craft Gallery a couple weeks ago, due to a change in commission structure.  So I have all that inventory to reintegrate into my system at home and prepare to post on Etsy.  Ideally I would like it posted by mid-June.  But it’s a lot of prep work as there are close to thirty pieces to add to my Etsy shop.

And I’ll be starting to think about my booth display for the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair the last Saturday of May.

Oh, plus two days tutoring.  A busy week for me.

Weekly Review

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My booth at Makers 2015 makerspace at Regent Place Library, Regina, SK, Canada

Hi everyone.  I accomplished a few things this week…

~ I gathered up receipts and sent my ledger into the accountant.  She mentioned having enough information for the business statement.  I decided to take on preparation of that document myself this year.  I need to base it on last year’s document.  I cannot find last year’s tax statements!  They are not where they’re supposed to be.  Must talk to Hubby and see if he knows where they are.

~ I casually mentioned Friday was International Rug Hooking Day when Hubby and I were out to tea one evening.  He mentioned the local library was hosting a makerspace on Friday.  Well, one thing led to another and next thing I knew I was offered a spot at Makers 2015 for Friday.  I had a great time with great people!  AND I’ve been invited back for today.  I’m slightly more prepared for the onslaught of children and young adults.  I’ll be taking more hoops and smaller patterns for them to hook.

~ I also hooked more on Wascana Creek.  I’d include a photo, but it is at the library right now.

Later… I had many visitors to my booth today, both young and old.  At one point I had five people hooking rug, and I ran out of hoops.  The fifth lady decided to try hooking without a frame!  Mostly though, there were three or four people from 1 PM through to 4 PM.   It was busy!  Lots of demonstrating.  Not a lot was done on Wascana Creek! 🙂

Happy International Rug Hooking Day!

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Getting ready to go the Makers 2015! 🙂

This is a short post before I start preparing to head out to the makerspace at Regent Place Library here in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.  I’m taking Wascana Creek with me for hooking.  I’m also taking a couple of star decoration patterns for the public to try hooking.  And I will set up a display for people to see some finished wall hangings.

I’m only there for this afternoon, so come on by if you’re in the area.  I’ll post some pics later today… 🙂

Later…  My oh my!  What a day!  Rug Hooking Rules folks!  I was only going to stay till 5 PM, but my table was so busy with people – young and old – that I stayed right till 8 PM, when the makerspace closed.  AND I was asked if I would please consider coming back tomorrow.  I agreed.  So I will be at Regent Place Library from 11 AM – 5 PM tomorrow as well. 🙂

My biggest surprise today were the number of young people wanting to learn to hook.  The youngest was five, and it went up from there.  I was surprised by the amount of talent in the children, and some of the adults.  I did not have enough hoops or small patterns to hook.  I’m going to try and prepare some small Christmas tree ornaments for the children to hook tomorrow and, hopefully take home with them.  I have no idea how I’ll have them finish them…yet.

Here are the photos I promised.  Unfortunately none of people.  I’m not kosher about posting photos of kids online without their parents permission. And yes, that is the grass finished on Wascana Creek!


International Rug Hooking Day

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Ready to go!

December 4th is International Rug Hooking Day. 🙂

I will be celebrating by demonstrating, teaching, and displaying rug hooking from 1 – 5 PM on Friday at the Regent Place Public Library during the Regina Public Library’s Maker 2015 event.  🙂

Other organizations involved over the two day event are:

  • Open Field Craft Collective,
  • Otaku Palooza, anime
  • Regina Weavers and Spinners Guild,
  • Saskatchewan Science Centre,
  • Miller Marauders Tech Club,
  • Film Rescue International,
  • Rowan Pantel, Puppet Artist,
  • Sask Polytech Women in Trades & Technology,
  • RPL 3D printer,
  • Society for Creative Anachronism,
  • Regina Amateur Radio Association,
  • Saskatchewan LEGO users group,
  • Creative Technology Makerspace,
  • and more…

So if you are in town, come on over to Regent Place and chat.  Perhaps pick up a hook to try rug hooking for yourself!  I’ll be there having fun with the public all afternoon. 🙂

Our Anniversary

There were thousands of geese on this unnamed lake making an awful racket!

There were thousands of geese on this unnamed lake making an awful racket!

Lots happening now we’re back from vacation!  Sunday was our 35th wedding anniversary.  We had a blast!  We live near the Qu’Appelle River valley.  It’s a big valley that is home to many market gardens and a few quaint towns…one of which is Lumsden.  So we headed out to check out the market gardens and found a treasure trove of autumnal images…

Last Import - 1 of 16Last Import - 3 of 16Then headed to the Chinese restaurant in Lumsden for a very delicious meal, before heading home via the back roads and a small town called Pense.  We arrived home about time for tea and a nap.

We realized there was an art show on, so we hoofed to the Prairie Artist Guild’s Fall Show and Sale.  It was the third day of the sale and most of the good work was already sold.  But we were able to see some fine work, especially by Larry Jackson, a local watercolour artist.

In celebration of our anniversary we watched the first Star Wars movie that came out in the evening.  It was released in 1977, but was one of the first movies Hubby ever took me to when we were dating in 1979/80.

All in all a great day!

Yesterday I was back into the swing of things.  I took my Etsy shop off vacation mode, and posted ten more items for sale.

I also got back to sketching.  No twist crayons here, so I’m using watercolour pencils.  It feels a bit different.  A bit messier to control.  But still, it’s good practice to use different media.

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Week in Review…a bit late. :)

Simply ModernI did finish Simply Modern before I arrived home Friday evening. 🙂  It’s a great book and I highly recommend it to people.  Lots of images, ideas, and project ideas to work on!  I appreciate the detailed instructions for various dyeing methods, and construction of pillows and purses.  I also appreciated the section on style.  Thanks Deanne! 🙂

sketchbook-and-patternLast week can be summed up as my reading week and sketching week.  I took few photos, but did start to go through the copious photos I took out on the coast before, during, and after TIGHR Tri-ennial, translating them into simple sketches for future wall hangings.

Most of my week, which was in Edmonton, was spent visiting family and friends.  I did manage to meet up with another rug hooker from TIGHR.  We had a great time checking over each others work, chatting, and generally having a good time.  I hope to meet her again some day.

This week’s goals:

  • Finish Christmas ornaments,
  • Translate more photos into sketches,
  • Update Etsy shop and take it off vacation mode.

Birds of a Feather

Last Import - 1 of 1More sketching yesterday. Reading more of Simply Modern.

I met up with a rug hooker I met at the TIGHR Tri-ennial.  We had a great time sharing photos, showing each other our work, and chatting each other up about rug hooking.  I am looking forward to meeting her again. 🙂

Planning two more get togethers today with relatives.  Should be fun! 🙂

Simply Modern

More Sketching

Sketching doesn't have to be great art.  It just has to get the basic shapes and colours down.  Sometimes not even that.  I enjoy using my sketches as a base and "mixing it up" in my wall hangings.

Sketching doesn’t have to be great art. It just has to get the basic shapes and colours down. Sometimes not even that. I enjoy using my sketches as a base and “mixing it up” in my wall hangings.

Had a great time sketching more yesterday.  Took photos of interesting designs and shapes in the place we are staying.

I also read more of Simply Modern.  As well as more of Chronic Condition on Canada’s health care system.

We spent the evening visiting family and having a great time.

I am surrounded at Dad’s by lots of visual stimulation.  Lots of ideas for hooked wall art, and just plain art in general.  Lots of colour ideas too!  Really, ideas are all around us everywhere.  We just need to train our eyes to see them.  It helps to have a healthy dose of “what if…?”

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TIGHR – The summary

Collaboration workshop with Michelle Sirois-Silver.

Collaboration workshop with Michelle Sirois-Silver.  This is phase 2 out of 3 of the collaboration.  I gave my finished piece to my partner to take home with her.  I will finish the rest for myself later.

Yesterday was the last day of the TIGHR Tri-ennial conference.  It was a lot of fun and great to be around people who are always learning.

I spent the morning in Michelle Sirois-Silver’s class on collaboration.  It was a great experience for me, the quintessential spontaneous hooker, to actually go through a planning process before picking up a hook!  The process Michelle uses to teach you to see opportunities for rugmaking really gets the creative juices flowing.  I found I wanted to keep going, even though the class was over.

Some of the ladies decided to do just that – send the planning stages to each other through the mail to take turns working on.  I just thought about my lost rug and the hassles of getting my Sauder pieces down to the US and back, and declined to take part.  I will, however, use this process on my own when I run out of ideas for rug making.

Our noon hour speaker yesterday was Kerry Mason from the University of Victoria.  She spoke about the life and art of Emily Carr.  It was fun and informative. Emily Carr was quite a woman, and I have a new found appreciation of her.

My Photo Stream - 21 of 25 My Photo Stream - 19 of 25 My Photo Stream - 18 of 25There was a Fibre Fest in the afternoon – a time to sell things.  I was tired and hungry, so instead of selling my wall hangings Hubby and I walked up to Sam’s Deli again, where I found more gluten free options.  I had a gluten-free Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookie.  It hit the spot and we walked back to the Inn in time to relax a bit before going down to the Gala Dinner.

Robert Bateman

A very grainy photo of Dr. Robert Bateman. Next time I’ll wait for my camera to finish focusing!!!

Our Gala Dinner was excellent.  The companionship at the table was great.  Everyone was tired, but happy.  Our guest speaker was Dr. Robert Bateman.  He spoke on creating your own voice through using nature photography to produce works of art.  It was very helpful for me.

Spent time in the evening after the dinner visiting with other rug hookers and viewing some gorgeous rugs!  🙂


My overall summary of the conference?  It’s a bit early to tell, but here are some of my take aways…

  • I met other rug hookers who think like me,
  • I enjoyed meeting them too,
  • I discovered new ideas,
  • I learned to take a broader look at the field of rug hooking,
  • I can survive a conference.  I’m exhausted, but I can do it, especially with my Hubby along to support me.

TIGHR Tri-ennial – Day 4

Off Ogden Point, Victoria, B.C.

Off Ogden Point, Victoria, B.C.

Our fourth and final day of  TIGHR Tri-ennial! Yesterday was very good.

The morning panel discussion was on how people approach designing a rug. There were 3 panelists who all approach rug hooking differently. After their presentations we broke up into small groups and more learning happened. Lots of good conversation based on the questions given us.

While I was there people noticed I was mind mapping my notes for the sessions. Remember when I talked about using mind mapping to run my business? Well I use it for other things too, like taking notes. So later in the day I was able to share the app I use – SimpleMind+ – and show a couple of people how to use it.

I was also able to share how I use PhotoShop Elements in my rug designing with another conference participant.

I listened to an excellent talk by Michelle Sirois-Silver on her work and what inspires it.

The general meeting for TIGHR was yesterday. It was an interesting affair.

Breakwater Cafe & Bistro, Victoria, B.C.

Breakwater Cafe & Bistro, Victoria, B.C.

Hubby and I walked down to the Breakwater Cafe for supper tonight. It was great, if a tad on the expensive side.  I even remembered to photograph it before diving in! 🙂

Quinoa Salad with grilled salmon.

Quinoa Salad with grilled salmon.

Deluxe Burger with soup.

Deluxe Burger with soup.

We walked back in time to listen to Gene Shepherd give his talk on colour. It, too, was interesting.

I did not get a chance to finish my Christmas ornaments yesterday, but maybe later.  I have a lot of time in the car to kill going home.

More photos..

James Bay Garden Association gardens.

James Bay Garden Association gardens.

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TIGHR Tri-ennial – Day 3

Christmas ornaments

Christmas ornaments

Finished  hooking four more Christmas ornaments yesterday, in-between listening to panel discussions, speakers, and eating.

The first panel discussion was on defining professionalism.  The panel talked about how to land gallery representation, being prepared, networking, dealing with media, applying for grants, and more.  It was very helpful to have the panelists tell their own stories.

In the afternoon there was a panel discussion called “Shaping the Conversation”.  It covered how to introduce our art form to people new to it, promoting our work and ourselves as artists, selling our work through galleries, trends in the rug hooking world, and a good deal more.

Both were excellent discussions.

I met some people I’ve known online for a long time.  That was great!

After another delicious dinner on Fisherman’s Wharf, I came back to hear Sylvia Olsen talk about Cowichan sweaters: their origins and how they saved the Salish people.

The evening found me pressing those ornaments and getting them ready for sale.  Hopefully today I’ll be able to finish them. 🙂

Hubby went on excursions and had a blast.  The last was to a place we went to the other day, so he skipped out early and went to check out a bicycle rental place.  No go.  They are closed for the season.  But he did find another place still open.  He’s thinking maybe he’ll go on bike ride today…if the good weather holds.

Today I hope to enjoy my third panel discussion, listen in on the TIGHR meeting this afternoon, listen to a speaker tonight, and, if I have time, finish my Christmas ornaments. 🙂