Monday, June 9, 2014

~*Fabulous Finishes and Wonderful Fun!*~

Hello Dear Friends!

Oh this past weekend was such a BLAST!  I'm still reeling with glee!

Before I tell you about the ~*Happy Trails Rug Camp*~ ... let me first share some wonderful stitches...

These are all done by others using my freebie patterns.  (You can easily get to all the freebies by clicking the link on the left side of the screen.)

~*Young Girl Sampler*~ stitched and made into a darling bag by Becky...
 ~*Liberty*~ wonderfully worked by Rita...
 ~*Liberty*~ stitched into a sweet pillow by Rosemary...
Ladies, all are perfect!  You have all done excellent work.  Thank you for stitching and sharing!

My sweet SIL, Robin, and I headed for Oklahoma on Thursday.  Driving through big cities and long distances makes me nervous as all get out... but we made it there and back safely.  Ginger greeted us happily and graciously... and, I'm sure you all know, she is a very dear friend!  She was an amazing hostess!  Frank Bielec is such an inspiration and a charming man & teacher!  The Happy Trails Rug Camp was so much fun and so informative!  We loved spending time with old & new friends... and we learned so much!  I have returned home with fire in my shoes and inspirations beyond belief!

Most of us finished... or came very close to finishing... our class project.  Oxford Punch is a QUICK craft!  It works in reverse like needle punch ~ so the image created is on the underside of the backing.  Using yarn... makes a finished hooked (punched) piece FAST!  Frank told us we can use ANYTHING to work with... yarns of ANY KIND, wool strips (cut 6-8), double knit polyester (WOW!), or any fiber that will fit comfortably through the punch.  With traditional wool hooking, there seems to be a desire to always hook with wool... 100% wool.  Well, really there shouldn't be.  Rugs in history have been made with anything available.  Including old clothes, rags, panty hose, and plastic bags.  These materials have all made beautiful, very interesting rugs.  So... we should feel comfortable using materials that fit our needs... and budgets!
(I am on the far right with the cheesy grin and goofy tilted head!)

When Frank talked about backing... he again told us we can use what we have available.  (linen, monks cloth ~ good or cheap, or even dime store burlap)  For the camp, I used very inexpensive, CHEAP, monks cloth.  It is the really cheap stuff you cannot find at the good stores!  It is that bad!  Frank said it is great for glued finishes.  Punch the piece... glue it to a box, in a frame, on a piece of wood... etc.  If the finished piece is to be a floor rug... then it would be better to use a quality monks cloth or linen. 

This is Frank's model... a punched sheep mounted to a screen.  (A painted piece of wood with a bracket on the back to stand it up.)  The ornaments in front are made to be replaced for the seasons.  Isn't it charming?
 Frank also set up a display of his awesome artwork.  It was available for purchase too.  *SMILE*  (Yes, I am a happy owner of a sweet painting by Frank Bielec!)
 Robin worked the fasted on her sheep.  Frank kept referring to her as a Super Hero! 
 She even had a second lovely punched by the end of the second day of class!
 Ginger was busy smiling, mingling, cooking, cleaning, selling, teaching, running to the store, rocking & feeding sweet Baby Betty Ray, introducing everyone to her LOVING LOVING LOVING family  (I totally LOVED meeting so many of her family members that I already felt like I knew so well from her blog posts and our friendly chatting.), and giving grand-babies kisses & treats... and still was able to work on a needle punch!  I've always thought Robin is a Super Hero... but geesh... can you imagine how the world could be fixed and run with the work of Ginger and Robin working together?!?
 After my sheep was punched... I started punching this heart.  My sheep was punched with a mix of yarns and wool strips.  This heart will be punched only with wool strips so I can 'test the waters' so to speak... (it is also being punched on that cheap monks cloth)
 The weather was great for our travels and stay.  It was sunny & not too hot... but there was a little rain.  I was intrigued by Danny's (Ginger's husband) Ranger tire.  The mud around it made me think only of Red Velvet Cake!
Well... I better wrap up this LLLOOONNNGGG post.  

Before I do, I would like to thank Ginger for her friendship & hospitality, Frank for his kindness & sharing, Robin for her sisterly love & patience with my driving, and all my new and old friends for the kindred spirit filled weekend!

Wishing you all warm smiles...



  1. That looks like a fun camp to go to and I love the sheep rugs, they are so cute.


  2. I can tell you had a lot of fun. Definitely worth the long trip.
    Blessings, Sandra

  3. Betty~ What a fun time we all had and I am the blessed one to have you and Robin and the rest of the gals here. Everyone here did such a wonderful job on all their projects! Thanks for coming to the workshop and I will treasure all the memories :) Ginger

  4. Looks & sounds like a great trip and another skill learned enjoy! Will look forward to seeing posts...

  5. Wow! This looks like an awesome and fun retreat! A great group of gals! So much creativity.... love those sheep boards! What a clever idea!

  6. Looks like a good time was had by all. I've done the small needle punch but not the oxford type. It appears that would go a lot faster than the tradition rug hooking like I do. Maybe one day I'll buy an oxford punch and give it a go. I'm sure it will feel awkward to me tho, working from the back.


  7. How fun! Glad you enjoyed your ladies sure did make some wonderful items!

  8. Enjoyed the post! But now I'm hankering for red velvet cupcakes.

  9. It looks like everyone had a great time at camp. I love the sheepies y'all made. So cute!!

    Thanks for posting my finish of your freebie. And even more, thanks for the freebies you share with us.


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