Progress with Oil on Water

I’ll get to Oil on Water shortly….but first, my little project using batik. After an exciting (to me) start….I became discouraged with it and set it aside for a time. But needing something to hook on at Sunshine meetings (I can hardly carry Oil on Water to my frame, let alone haul it across the parking lot and up the elevator to where we meet), I brought the batik along and set to work. With some wise advice from Jean on how to correct the nose, I’ve been enjoying this experience with a new fibre (for me). DSCN0911.jpgWhile Jennifer Manuel ….of Fisheye Sisters (who sells the batik strips) uses the strips as is, I have found them too wide, so I’ve been cutting each one in half, and I find that much more manageable.

Another exciting event happened recently when I received a huge box of wool and various other goodies in an “ugly wool swap”. Just in case you may not know what that is….a box is started out full of one person’s “ugly wool” and is sent in turn to each participant. As it arrives, you take anything that appeals to you and replace it with a like amount of your own “ugly wool”. My goodness, it was like Christmas. I particularly had my eye out for wool which I could overdye for the background of Oil On Water.

dscn0879This huge piece of wool seemed perfect.dscn0883I soaked it (this is just half of the piece which was nearly 2 yards)dscn0887…….used  three pro chem blues…navy, brilliant blue, and national blue. 1/2 of the navy went in the dye bath, the wool was added, then the rest spotted over the top.dscn0922One piece I stirred to create a more consistent colour, the other I left purposely blotchy. (the wool is actually quite a bit darker than it appears in the photo)

Here’s my pile of “soon to be background wool” still awaiting the dye pots.dscn0930Most of it is other wool from the swap box, and the solid blue and green are from the wool Mary Lou Justason was selling from her stash at R..U.G. to raise money for the Hooked Rug Museum of North America.

As for the progress on “Oil On Water”….I’ve spent a lot of time working with the design trying to leave  it asymmetrical  but still making sure it is balanced.dscn0896On the right…I want the “flame” motif to swing down and around in a more or less continuous sweep….so I drew this….dscn0902-1…..but I’m thinking the turn from sideways to vertical is too abrupt….on the other hand I think I can tie them together with a swirling  shape much like the one on the top. The jury is still out on that decision… I’ve moved on to the left side for the moment.dscn0913The left top has long sweeping “stripes in a bit lighter blue than the background.

The bottom looked like this…(sorry for the huge long photo….I couldn’t get it to crop in half)dscn0894-1….so I decided to extend the little “nubbies” and create stripes similar to the top.dscn0903

My first attempt was wobbly at the top, and too fat… I re-drew the sweep smoothly to balance with the top.dscn0912-2….and used a lighter blue once again to create the subtle stripe….dscn0916-1…. (which shows up dark here).

If I can’t make up my mind about the bottom flames I’ll hook plain background for a few days while I ponder a decision.

As you can imagine….this piece has become progressively heavier and heavier. Since my creative juices demand that I have the whole piece available to look at, and clamping it to the top of the closet had become a two man job while I stand teetering on a chair…..Ray has made me a hoist!

He used a piece of 1″ x 4″, put a hook at the top of the closet on the wall , and a cleat further down the wall at the side  to secure it….DSCN0900.jpg

….so that I can attach it with clips at waist level then pull it up…dscn0901…I must admit it makes getting to the clothes in the closet a bit of a nuisance…..but it is oh so much easier to hang and I can dream away about how to progress while looking at the entire rug.DSCN0919.jpgNow off to hook some more background.

Thanks for stopping by.







October 2016 R.U.G.

The twice yearly meetings of R.U.G. (Ruggers United Gathering) at the Simcoe County Museum are always a great opportunity to meet and visit with friends old and new , learn something new or interesting about hooking and get supplies…oh yes, and eat too many goodies.

Saturday was our fall get together day. I was able to be there for a short time in the morning, but  Mathieu was home this week for a brief visit from Calgary and a friend of his was here visiting him from Toronto, so I hurried home after my own supply shopping to have a last visit,  make dinner and say goodbye  as he headed back west.

Sooo…..Here’s what was going on from a pop-in perspective….lots of beautiful wool and hooking supplies from the vendors….

DSCN0856.jpgDSCN0857.jpgDSCN0860.jpgDSCN0861.jpg….lots of people bring scissors to be sharpened and cutters to be repaired….dscn0859…..Mary Lou Justason held a special sale of her own wool as she pared down her stash….all money received is  going to The Hooked Rug Museum of North America. dscn0862She is a tireless worker on their behalf, always coming up with innovative ways to raise money.dscn0863Linda Wilson and some others had helped her sort and label the wool for sale. As you can see by the crowd behind Linda, it was a popular spot to make purchases.

The morning was a hook-in and then Show and Telldscn0864People were just gathering while I was there.dscn0865dscn0866The afternoon program was to be about borders. I didn’t get to see that presentation of course, however, I did sneek a peek at the pile of rugs which I presume were to be a part of the discussion, and thought you would enjoy seeing the wide variety of borders that were evident. DSCN0868.jpgDSCN0877.jpgDSCN0875.jpgDSCN0870.jpgDSCN0867.jpgThey certainly do set off a rug and the variety and options are endless.

Thanks for stopping by.

After the Break….

I can’t believe that it’s been more than a month since my last post! Well actually that’s not true. I can believe it, but I haven’t been totally inactive, just not doing much hooking.

Once I joined the two sections of the rug together, it suddenly became very heavy and hard to manage. I rely heavily on having my work hung when I’m not actually hooking, and spending long periods of looking at it to determine what I like and what needs to be changed and eventually HOW I will change it or move forward. Now it requires a chair and climbing up holding the rug to clip it in place for viewing. As a result I was folding it and leaving it hanging over my frame for a time and I soon realized that I had no idea how I would move forward… it sat for several weeks.

In the meantime, Ray and I went off for a camping holiday once again. I’ve been told that what we do is not ‘camping ‘at all, but ‘glam-ping’, and I guess that’s true….given that here is the site of our version of  rustic ‘cooking over the fire’…..DSCN0785.jpgMany thanks again to my son Scott and his wife, for the use of their 5th wheel, bringing it to the site, and setting it up etc. etc. etc.

We love this location….dscn0781….enjoy the surrounding area….dscn0812….the neighbours…..two retired clydesdales….rscn0843…..and celebrated Ray’s birthday with Baxter on the patio of a restaurant in Fenelon Falls (they even made sure Baxter had his own bowl of water).dscn0829I came home rested and renewed and ready to get back to hooking (and blogging) when my computer crashed and had to go away for a new hard drive.

Now the computer is back….the weather is cool (I love fall) …I’ve figured out a way to hang my rug more easily….and I’m back in hooking mode.dscn0779The bottom right ‘flame’ bothered me and it took awhile to figure out why….it was paler than the others since I had only used one row of the darkest pink,it was  a bit too small…and it lacked the pizazz I wanted…..a simple fix once I figured it out. (I’ve just started adding to it here)dscn0851I’m heading off now to finish that section….dscn0778 I manage the large rug by draping it over the bed…..keeps it off the floor, and it’s easy to manage. The prerequisite hooking mess is conveniently kept on my bedside table.

Here’s the progress to date,

dscn0849…..and a glimpse of the finished Grumpy Owl….now hanging proudly in the hall.DSCN0848.jpg

The colours are once again quite distorted  (it’s pink and grey not orange and brown) . One day  after I figure out this hooking thing….I’ll learn how to be a better photographer.

Thanks for stopping by.

Changing Gears

It had always been my intention to hook my 5′ x 7′ rug “Oil on Water” in two pieces, then join them as late as possible.

My reasons for this were:

1.  Backing available from my usual suppliers wasn’t wide enough to do it in one piece and to have a large single piece shipped from the States was way too expensive for my meagre purse.

2. The only large piece I had seen done before was done this way.

3. Doing most of the work on the two sections would be much easier to handle than manipulating such a large and heavy piece of hooking.

4. I’d never seen much information on hooking a large rug, and none on joining two pieces of backing so I went with what information I had.

Then two things happened that changed my plan of attack.

DSCN0747 (1).jpgI was hooking merrily along and had even finished the blue section farthest to the right when:

1. The pattern at the far right seemed out of kilter….the blue was too big, or too far over or…..something bothered me about it.

2. Gene Shepherd’s Internet Rug Camp had several posts about large rugs and joining them together if using two pieces of backing.

After looking at it for about a week, it hit me that the last blue section needed to come out. I wanted the eye  to be drawn around in a sweep from left over the top and down the right to the bottom centre. I then realized I could only do that if I did the bottom section first then joined the two in a visually interesting way.

SOOOOOO…..I needed to change gears and  join the two sections now. (I admit that having made that decision….I procrastinated several days since I would once again have to face my sewing machine)

Luckily I had plenty of markings on both pieces to match the two sections up exactly, so it was a relatively simple job  (once I got down to it and thanks to the new details on how to do it supplied by the IRC).DSCN0752I began with a widely spaced zigzag stitch just inside the joining and overlap lines of both pieces. Then did a quick pin-together to make sure they still matched. (when I drew the pattern initially, I had drawn lines every 10 ditches to make the matching easier)

DSCN0755Then I did a careful exact pinning together and  basted the two sections together both top and bottom.DSCN0767Just an aside here……and a heartfelt thank you. I received this leather finger shield as a gift not too long ago and it is the most wonderful thimble alternative I could imagine.DSCN0766If you are as useless with a thimble as I am it is a tool you’ll love to have available. If you ever see one buy it! (or have a friend like Isabelle). No sore fingers now for me! Thanks again Isabelle.DSCN0768

I was pleased with how the design matched.

It is already heavy so I will hook the join areas first and I immediately started with the outside edge to give it some stability. I must admit I was both surprised and pleased at how easy it was to hook through the overlap.DSCN0772 (1)I’ll cut the fringe off only as needed to keep it from ravelling.

Whew!   It’s all joined together, and today I’m hitting the dye pots once again. Lots more dark blue background needed, as well as some dark rhodamine red. Thankfully this is the coolest day we’ve had all month!

Thanks for stopping by.



The Case of the Travelling Suit (and Oily Matters)

The internet is a wonderful tool! I, like many…have lots of “internet” friends….people whom I have never met in person, but because of common interests , frequently converse and share ideas via social media. Shirley is the ultimate example of an internet friend.

She was the public school friend of my nephews and nieces and we became internet friends when she became interested in my rug hooking (having seen it on my niece’s internet page.) We chatted a few times on messenger and then a few months ago she told me she had a suit she wanted to send me to recycle in my rug hooking. I really appreciated the offer, but since we lived several thousand miles apart, I explained that the cost of sending it would be prohibitive. Not to be thwarted, she sent it from Victoria BC to Ontario with her brother who had come to visit. He then drove it to Newmarket where he gave it to another niece , who in turn gave it to a second niece who happens to frequently work at a vet’s clinic in my town, where I drove to pick it up. DSCN0723And what a suit it is…..DSCN0726….absolutely gorgeous pure virgin Irish wool. I spent one evening with my trusty seam ripper and carefully took it apart, washed and dried it to ‘full’ the wool, and I have now the most beautiful stack of soft black wool you could imagine. DSCN0729 (1)I haven’t yet taken the jacket apart, that will be more complicated and time consuming, but I am truly grateful to Shirley for her efforts in getting this beautiful gift to me.

In the meantime I have been making some progress on “Oil on Water”.DSCN0713I had stalled for awhile, debating about how I would hook the large blue sections which swept off to the right of the centre part. I finally just grabbed a pen, drew some lines and started hooking. Since I am such a visual learner, that immediately showed me what I liked and what needed to be changed. For instance, I disliked these two “banana” shaped blobs, and altered them to this….DSCN0716I had to pause and dye more of this vivid blue….It is just Pro Chem 990 (brilliant blue) ….DSCN0720…..for 1 yd natural….1/4 tsp in 1CBW in the dye bath then spotted after 20 minutes and adding the vinegar with a further 1/8th tsp in 1CBW. (my sealpoint Akuma appears to approve). I like the highlights this provides.

Then….since I love to jump around when hooking….I realized I needed to centre the prominent ‘blob’ which is near the bottom of the top section of the rug. While freewheeling with various elements, it was now seriously off centre.DSCN0731DSCN0732I played with a variety of colour choices….DSCN0733…and at first I thought I liked this but something just wasn’t right for me..DSCN0736.Then I changed the muted raspberry for the rhodamine red, and immediately liked it  much more.DSCN0738DSCN0739That pops!

At the moment, I am thinking a great deal about the significance of directional hooking. My first idea was to echo hook the blue from the top down, but I soon discovered that the valleys quickly became rounded and the sharp movement was lost.(I had already adjusted the points in this photo). I’ve changed the pure echo into  creating leaf like shapes which preserve the outward movement of the oil as it moves away from the centre of the piece. ….a small detail….but for me it is the accumulation of small details which please me in the overall effect.DSCN0744….and that is the essence of the joy of rug hooking for me….to create something which excites and pleases me. I hope your hooking gives you the same satisfaction.

Thanks again to Shirley… to tackle the jacket…

….and thank YOU for stopping by.

The Kuna and their Molas

This blog has always been primarily about my rug hooking adventures and  while I have not avoided mention of my family, they are not usually the subject of my writing here. Now I find that the current adventure of my youngest son Mathieu and his girl friend Melanie, has a rug hooking connection which I hope others may find interesting. 220px-Cabañas_Guna_Yala I recently had breakfast with them during a layover in Toronto on their way from Calgary to Panama city where they would then make their way to a remote corner of the country.DSCN0711 They are currently spending a month long artist residency living among the Kuna people (originators of the mola designs) in the village of Armila , Panama, near the border of Columbia. (marked B on this map)7ba0604a1cfecd13b04e41f033e085e4“This town of about 600 people is the epitome of remote. There are no roads to Armila. The only way in is via foot or boat. They speak the native language of Dulegaya. Our living space was a grass roof, grass walled house like all the rest of the traditionally built homes. The experience was authentic. Across the street, or rather the sandy path wide enough for a burro and a some side loaded cargo baskets, was our host Luperio and his family. Next door was their corner store, which sold what became one of my favorite indulgences, Brinky cookies… Central American OREOs.”…..from an article by EriksonimagesThey have no wifi connectivity, or even electricity, and will be living in a thatched hut on the ocean, immersed in the Kuna culture.

“The Kuna Indians are a strongly-knit tribal society living on a chain of islands called San Blas Archipelago, on the Atlantic side of the Republic of Panama. Believed to be descendants of the Caribs, the Kuna Indians still live in much the same manner as their ancestors. The San Blas people have cleverly managed to retain their tribal identity and contentedly lead a moral balanced life, free from the complexities of modern, highly-organized societies.
The Kuna have a matriarchal society in which the line of inheritance passes through the women. A young man, after marriage, must live in his mother-in-law’s house and work for several years under apprenticeship to his father-in-law. Divorce is uncommon, although it requires no more than the husband to gather his clothes and move out of the house. The daughters of the Kuna people are prized because they will eventually bring additional manpower into the family.”  …..from an article by Sherry Thorup.


“The Kuna are famous for their bright molas, a colorful textile art form made with the techniques of appliqué and reverse appliqué. Mola panels are used to make the blouses of the Kuna women’s national dress, which is worn daily by many Kuna women. Mola means “clothing” in the Kuna language. The Kuna word for a mola blouse is Tulemola, (or “dulemola”) “Kuna people’s clothing.” ……from wikipedia



The beautiful  mola designs of the Kuna people have been embraced by rug hookers for some time. I have long recognized the style in rug hooking, but knew really nothing about its origin, other than that it came from the Caribbean. When I first began rug hooking, the Sunshine Group had recently had a “mola” workshop and the style popped up on countless pieces. The vivid colours and animal designs make it immediately recognizable.

I just discovered that there are no less than 70 boards on pinterest that are devoted to molas .images-3images-2

While tourists call them  molas and readily buy them as souvenirs, the decorative style  is

still worn on the clothing of the Kuna women.images-1170px-Panama-Kuna_0610a


a-welcome-dance-by-the-local-kuna-tribe-armila-panama-july-2014-edhpxgWhere Mathieu and Melanie are staying there is a 4 km long beach which is one of the world’s largest nesting ground for leatherback turtles. The Kuna people work diligently to preserve this special area and protect the turtles as they come ashore to lay their eggs, and the young when they hatch.p543928560-4

“One girl, who manages the town’s only telephone, was asked why they didn’t touch the turtles. She told me a story about a young girl who went out on the beach and put her hands on the side of a leatherback. Her hands got stuck, “like a magnet,” and the turtle dragged her into the sea. Contact with leatherbacks is also said to cause complications during childbirth, but above all, the Kuna believe that they are distantly related to turtles, and so treat them with the same respect as they would relatives.”……from an article on leatherbacks in Armila

I’m really looking forward to hearing about Mathieu and Melanie’s adventures and seeing their photos when they return to Canada in August . I may even be inspired to hook a “mola” of my own.

Thanks for stopping by.

Summer Send Off

Sunshine Rug Hookers don’t meet during July and August, and today was our final get together until September. We gathered at Couchiching Beach Park for a day of hooking laughter and food. Unlike last year when it was cold and windy, the weather was perfect….a lovely breeze off the water, and a choice of sun or shade to enjoy.DSCN0674This is a special spot in our town, with the band shell and water to one side…..DSCN0694……and Samuel D. Champlain and the beach on  another side.

There was a wide variety of work being done. Lots of hooking of course…..DSCN0676Linda is whipping the edge of her little oriental….DSCN0680I was sewing down the back of my Lunenburg landscape…..DSCN0700Suzanne was beginning the lettering of her little mat….DSCN0699Gail is working on a pot holder….DSCN0678Chris has her sunflowers well under way.DSCN0698….this delightful winter scene is using a variety  of fibres….DSCN0677…a celtic dragon design  (love that colour palette)…DSCN0695Jean is doing a log cabin design using up some of her worms….DSCN0683Kathleen is creating a multi fibre tree. I’m so sorry the wool in the centre isn’t as vibrant in the photo as in person. It was really striking.DSCN0693Woops….sorry about the shadow….Edie is doing this stained glass morning glory pattern from Shiela Klugescheid . DSCN0689Isabelle is finishing her kaleidiscope pattern for her grandson.DSCN0691….and Linda L. is working on a stained glass pattern as well. She came dressed to match her work….DSCN0692….and she wasn’t the only one……Helen was totally colour co-ordinated with her knitting….DSCN0686….with the exception of her red shoes….which she kept hidden under her bag! (We’re obviously a very ‘fashion forward’ group).DSCN0685Kathy was knitting as well ….DSCN0690….and Mary was ‘corking’ this beautiful wool, which she intends to braid.

DSCN0679This exquisite embroidery piece is entitled “Writing on the Wall” and is from a painting of the same name.  Such delicate work!DSCN0688Wendy was just enjoying the day. (sorry Wendy, I couldn’t resist…..she was actually knitting too)DSCN0682.jpgWhile we don’t meet again until September, there are already plans afoot for a project for the group in the fall……Teresa brought her friendship rug done with a group from the Purple Sock in Coldwater, and a similar project is proposed for us. Friends completing one square each in the rug of each participant giving us a lovely memento of those we hook with.DSCN0681I love this idea, and I hope we go ahead with it in the fall.



This was a special treat for dessert to celebrate the day. Thanks  Suzanne.

In the mean time….summer is here!!!DSCN0701





My beloved standard schnauzer Baxter will be fifteen in the fall and he is beginning to show his age.

DSCF7637 (1)

His ability to hold on when he needs to “go” has diminished (much to his horror and shame), and occasionally I’ve discovered a puddle at the back door,or a damp spot where he has been laying. DSCF7414

This geometric rug lies on the floor at the foot of our bed and was long ago claimed by him  as his bed.

With these accidents occurring, I checked the condition of this rug and discovered that indeed it was in a bad way. It was either throw it out, or try and wash it thoroughly.

I’ve never washed one of my wool rugs before, but in this case there was nothing to lose. If I couldn’t get the doggie urine out it would be in the garbage.

I laid it in the bathtub and let it soak in cool water, swished it thoroughly and rinsed it out. I was appalled by the dirt and sand (and yellow water ) that came out. I did this several times, with the same result each time. I headed to the store looking for ‘Zero’….the soap I used to use for wool sweaters back in the olden days when twin sets were still popular, but it has obviously gone the way of the dodo bird. It’s replacement is ‘Woolite’ so home I went with a bottle and high hopes that it would work and the dyes wouldn’t run.

I think I soaked, washed and rinsed it with the soap about 5 times until there was no grit or discolouration coming from it, then did it once more for good measure. Much to my delight, the dye stayed intact.DSCN0671

I hung it up over the grating on the veranda and left it there for several days to dry and be in the fresh air. I am absolutely delighted with the results. It hasn’t looked this good since it was first hooked.DSCN0672

It certainly isn’t going back on the floor though. I have a very washable blanket now folded up at the foot of the bed and Baxter seems to think that is just fine to sleep on.

I’m not saying that every rug would do so well with this treatment, but it worked well in this case.

I’m so glad I gave it a try and didn’t throw it out.

Thanks for stopping by.




Hook a Kaleidoscope

Although I wasn’t able to get to the Spring R.U.G. a couple of weeks ago, Melodie (the incoming president from Huronia Guild) visited our Sunshine group on Tuesday and brought some of the rugs from their programme on hooking a Kaleidoscope. Such  a great way to create a pattern!DSCN0627

I remember as a child the fun of twisting that little kaleidoscope gizmo and watching through one eye as the fantastic patterns changed and evolved . What a terrific idea to hook them.DSCN0618The possibilities are endless.DSCN0623They look complex and difficult to create, but no actually they’re not…..Melodie showed us how it was done…. A circle of tracing paper in the size desired  is folded in half, and then halved again and again to create a pie shape.DSCN0654

The pattern for this segment is drawn.DSCN0655….open the next segment and draw the mirror image of the firstDSCN0657….repeat all the way around…Tadah!! a kaleidoscope pattern.

It can remain as a circle, have the corners squared off or even used in the shape of the pattern.

DSCN0626….to make an elegant pillow…DSCN0648Another popular version was to make a mat using a grandchild’s name….DSCN0643 (1)At first glance all you see is a wonderful pattern, but on closer inspection…..DSCN0619…..the whole pattern is based on Zachery’s name.DSCN0622Olivia chose her own colours…DSCN0621

DSCN0639I saw Isabelle creating hers, and thought it was a super ‘greek key’ style pattern never realizing it was actually all based on her grandson Logan’s name. (she used a ‘corked’ edging….another clever trick I intend to remember)DSCN0620She’s busy now hooking another for …..DSCN0628…..Damon.

Emily’s rug includes a shiny gold chainstitch separating the sections…..

DSCN0659…’s squared off with her last name……DSCN0658…..has a fancy edging…..DSCN0660….a beautiful backingDSCN0661…..complete with a note from Grandma.DSCN0662Sarah is a lucky girl to have this personal keepsake compete with added bling, decorative buttons….DSCN0663….a beautiful corded edge…..DSCN0664an elegant backing, and a loving note. Grandma Wilson (aka Linda Wilson) certainly outdid herself with these beautiful keepsakes for her granddaughters.

A great big thank you to Melodie for bringing and demonstrating the rugs, I don’t feel so badly now for having missed R.U.G. (I’ll bet you liked seeing them too).

Thanks for stopping by.

Inspiration- Another Point of View

As ‘Oil on Water’ gets bigger and heavier (already the hooked part is 42″ x 32″) it is apparent that when I go out to hooking activities,  (or when I need a break from it) I’ll need something smaller to work on. At the annual, I picked up a package of “Ribbon Candy” from Fish Eye Sisters. It’s lengths of cotton batik precut into strips, and it’s beautiful.DSCN0613

I had no idea what I would hook with it, but the two little examples hooked by Jennifer Manuell (one of the two “fish eye sisters”) were delightful little landscapes. My first inclination was to follow suit and hook a landscape. To that end I had chosen a package with a wide variety of colours including blues, greens and browns.DSCN0612

I sorted  the strips according to colour and sat back waiting for it to speak to me. ….silence!  I realized I didn’t want to just hook a version of what Jen had created (and I could never hope to emulate it half as well). I stuffed it all back into the bag and carried on with my day.

For some reason, I later found myself looking at “Emma Sue”, my first hooked face, done at what I consider my ‘watershed’ workshop. It was the first time I realized that I had the potential to create something I was really pleased with and could create with wool much more than I had previously realized. (…and I am eternally grateful to Anne Boissinot for her expertise and encouragement at that event). I love the ‘painterly ‘aspect of hooking.DSCN0615

I’ve also been fascinated by the concept that it is value, not colour , that determines what we perceive. I’ve drooled over wonderful pieces which prove this concept but had never tried it myself…..until now. Last night I made the decision to try this with my ‘candy strips’. A tiny version about 6″ x 10″.DSCN0614 I began by sorting the strips again. This time according to value….light medium and dark  (and a few left overs which were bright) . I may be opening up myself to total failure, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Here goes…..