Summer Update

Summer Update

Hello everyone!  A lot has been happening here.

The “Summer” exhibit ended and I took more work up to Visual Voice Gallery for the next two group shows this year.  The Gallery now has a good cross section of my smaller works.  If you are interested in anything smaller than 12” x 12”, feel free to contact the gallery.  I have yet to update my website shop.  That will be happening this week.  It was a fun afternoon, chatting with the gallery owner and getting feedback on various pieces and from her and her clients.  If you are interested in my work, just call and ask.  If she doesn’t have it, I’ll have it here in my studio.

We also had company arrive and leave.  We were a pit stop on the way to see their parents. It was fun to meet their children.

We did have a lot of tree pruning and culling done. A crew of 4 or 5 guys came with chainsaws and a bucket truck with mulcher on back. It took them all morning to beat back the jungle.   There is a lot more sun on the garden now. I’m hoping to plant some understory shrubs below the mature oak, maples and poplars.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the garden too.  We’ve been harvesting peas, radishes, lettuce, beet greens and Swiss chard. I planted more peas and beans just last week. We’ll see how the peas do in the heat.  I planted them in a shade garden essentially, so maybe they’ll be alright.

Hubby helped me put down cardboard and wood chips (the mulch from the trees) between and around the raised bed garden.  We’ll see how it does for keeping down weeds.

Of course, to do all this work in the garden we had to remove the garden netting.  And, of course, as far as critters were concerned it was open season on the garden!  The deer have been browsing the beans.  The blue jays are after the snap peas.  The starlings are digging up my bean seeds.

A robin and flicker were out near or on the edge of the garden today.  I don’t know what they were up to, but they both looked awful guilty!  The robin hopped down from the edge of the raised bed and slunk away with the occasional furtive backward glance.  The flicker stayed so still a couple feet from the bed, hoping I wouldn’t notice him no doubt!

I just shook my head and smiled. It’s a good thing critters are so darn cute!  I may have to cover my beds again until the second planting of peas and beans sprouts.

Aside from that I’ve been working on my large Parker’s Cove piece, updating my inventory, transferring files from my iMac to laptop, and adjusting work for the gallery – new hangtags and new hanging systems.

I’ve been reading a lot of gardening and permaculture books, and watching YouTube videos on the subjects.  I’ve also been watching videos on harvesting and preserving produce and herbs.  We are having a bumper crop of herbs this year.

As most of you who follow me on Instagram know by now, I am no longer on that platform.  I cannot delete my business account apparently, but I have removed all my images save one. I can no longer access my personal account, so if you are someone I know in real life, and you are trying to get a hold of me through Instagram, I suggest you try my business page on Facebook, or send me a message through Messenger.  Otherwise email is best.

To be honest, I found the payback for being on social media to not be worth my time and effort. I will retain Facebook, for now, but I am even reconsidering it. All my information is on this website, as well as this blog. I prefer to spend my time creating, rather than on social media.

That’s it for this week!  If you made it this far, thanks for reading!  Have a great week everyone!

Review & Catch Up Week

Review & Catch Up Week

Good morning everyone!  I had a wonderful time at the Show & Sale with The Bonnie Hookers at Scott Manor House this past Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  I managed to share information on rug hooking, demonstrate and even sit someone at a frame to learn. The ladies I worked with were kind, friendly and generous.

I’ve yet to check in with Visual Voice Gallery to see how the “Summer”  exhibit went. I’ll touch base sometime this week.

I did manage to hook a lot on the big Parker’s Cove fishing shacks wall hanging. I may need to pause to dye more blues for the sky.  I also worked on finishing some Parker’s Cove pieces.

I’ve been busy in the garden.  I’m reorganizing my freezers in preparation for this year’s harvest.

This week will be a mix. We have various appointments and a property management crew coming to cut a few trees and prune others.  The trees surrounding our yard are large, producing too much shade, and possibly a hazard during a winter storm.  Now is the time to deal with them.

Well, that’s it for now. If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

Summer Happenings

Summer Happenings

Good afternoon everyone!  It’s been a busy couple of weeks.  Hence the lack of blog post last week.   We had company the last while and we took the time to show them around the Maritimes.  It was our vacation, as well as theirs.

I did not accomplish much rug hooking, but I did manage a bit on my large Parker’s Cove fishing shacks piece. I need to refocus on finishing the edging on the earlier ones and hooking more of them.  I believe I counted 15 shacks in total.

In other news…

The show and sale at Scott Manor House in Bedford, Nova Scotia, starts Thursday at 1 PM and goes until Saturday at 4 PM. Friday we will have the doors open from 10 AM to 4 PM. There is, reportedly, an afternoon tea at the House on Friday as well. There will be a broad range of styles and prices at the show and sale.  If you’re in the area it would be a nice way to spend some time.  I understand Scott Manor House offers guided tours as well.

The exhibit at Village Voice Gallery in Truro is still on.  It ends July 16th. There will be another group show the end of August into September. I will be a part of that as well.

That’s it for my rug hooking news.

I have a lot of company and vacation time coming up.  Extended family and friends coming to visit.  We’ll be heading out sometime in August to connect up with family in New Brunswick.  Lots happening!  Gotta love summer!

My garden is a mixed bag.  Some of it is growing very well, some of it is so-so, and some is not doing well at all.  Still, I am harvesting lettuce, radish, beet greens and Swiss chard to make wonderful salads. Plus I’ve already harvested some basil, cilantro, thyme and parsley. Everything is going as well as can be expected in the garden department.

If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week!

Artist Retreat

Artist Retreat

Last week I had a lovely retreat, so to speak, with Hubby.  It was actually a working vacation for me.  We went up to Annapolis Royal, NS and rented a cottage in the area. The view out the front window was gorgeous!

We decided we didn’t want to cook while there, so I roasted a chicken and cut it up the day before we left.  I also made some hummus and vegetable  sticks for dipping. Plus we took the usual peanut butter and homemade jelly, and boiled eggs.  Plus fruit, bagels and bread.  We survived on that, oatmeal and two grocery store salads for the entire time we were there.

Well, except for our friends’ providing a BBQ supper and a picnic beach lunch!  I tell you…there is nothing better than eating fresh baked homemade bread sandwiches out on the rocks overlooking the ocean!

We were gone for three nights.  My friends are rug hookers too, so we had a great time hooking and finishing while I was there.

I also searched for a suitable gallery to show my Parker’s Cove fishing shack series in Annapolis Royal.  While there are a good many galleries there for the population, many have unfortunately closed since the beginning of Covid.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know I started hooking the large Parker’s Cove piece.  It’s 12” x 36”.  I am currently hooking the last of five fishing shacks. It will be a couple of weeks or more before I finish. We are expecting company.

I had a photographer in to photograph my work. It was a massive job!  He managed to photograph everything in about an hour.  We worked together to finish over 75 pieces during that time!  This is all the work I have in the house that was not previously photographed, excluding the Parker’s Cove series.  I’ll have that photographed when it’s finished.

Other than that, I’ve been enjoying Elizabeth Miller’s site – Parris House Creative Community – on Mighty Networks lately.  There was a lovely Zoom meeting in our gardens, showing each other our yards, but focusing on vegetable gardens.  Elizabeth has a huge garden!  Plus she’s into so many interesting things!  I loved the opportunity to see her space, even if only virtually.  I also took part in her monthly Crafternoon on Sunday.

My first group show with Visual Voice Gallery in Truro started Monday!  The theme is “Summer”.  Check it out, either in person or online!  You can find it online at: Visual Voice or visit 128 King Street, Truro, Nova Scotia.

I am currently busy preparing for a July show and sale at a local museum Stay tuned for more information!

If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

 

Humming along…

Humming along…

I had a lovely afternoon last Monday up in Truro at the Visual Voice Gallery with the proprietress.  We went through my work, I described my process, and she decided which pieces she wanted to keep for various shows.  I also took my notecards on the off chance she might want some of those.  She did!

So now if anyone is looking for my work through a gallery in Nova Scotia, they can contact the gallery owner at: gallery@visual-voice.ca

The first show I’m a part of starts today at Visual Voice in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada.  It’s a group show on the theme of “Summer”.

In other news…

The Visual Voice Gallery owner mentioned two other exhibits I could take part in this year, both group shows.  One is the end of August into September.  The August/September one is called “Offbeat”.  I plan on presenting her with some unusual pieces I’ve hooked over the years to see if anyone is interested in them

She also mentioned the Christmas sale, in which she tries to keep items under $100 CAD.  I have several items I could display in that sale as well. Then there are my Christmas notecards. So if you’re interested in acquiring or seeing my work in person, visit Visual Voice!

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I am organizing hooked pieces for a photography session later this month.   I finally went through the professional photos I’ve had taken in the past and noted them on my main inventory list. I need to be better at figuring out what needs to be photographed professionally and what’s already been done.  Next up is to take the pieces that need photos off the walls for the photographer.

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I am also preparing for an exhibit with The Bonnie Hookers July 14-16th at Scott Manor House in Bedford, Nova Scotia.  I will take a variety of work that is a variety of sizes. I will be there most of those days to help demonstrate rug hooking, answer questions and facilitate sales.  If you are a blog reader and show up at the sale, make yourself known to me and I’ll try to show you around the exhibit.

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I’m working on finishing some of the Parker’s Cove fishing shacks.  I’ve also started the biggest Parker’s Cove piece to date.  It is over 12” x 36” and will take awhile to hook. I’ll be working on it during my upcoming self-designed artist retreat.

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That’s it so far everyone!  If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

 

 

Exhibit Time!

Exhibit Time!

Hi everyone!  Lots happening on the art front these days!

  1. Today I run some work up to Visual Voice Art Gallery in Truro, Nova Scotia for jurying into their Group Spring Show. The show runs from June 20th – July 16th.
  2. I will be part of an exhibit, along with the rest of The Bonnie Hookers, at Scott Manor House in Bedford, Nova Scotia from July 14-16th. A few of us will be taking shifts at the exhibit to demonstrate rug hooking.
  3. I am taking an artist retreat for four days next week to visit Parker’s Cove again, and check out venues that might want to hang my fishing shack series.

Aside from that…

  • I am sewing the cording onto the Parker’s Cove pieces and whipping the ends.
  • I also started hooking my large Parker’s Cove piece.
  • Plus I am transferring more small pieces on backing.

It’s been a busy week in the rug hooking department.

I would be delighted to meet up with any of you at one of the shows!  Make yourself known to me as a blog reader, and I’ll try and spend some time with you going around the gallery.

If you have been, thanks for reading!  Have a great week everyone!

Garden In…Back on Track!

Garden In…Back on Track!

I’m back at the Parker’s Cove fishing shacks series!  Last week I made and sewed on hanging sleeves.  This week I’m attaching the rope around the edges. Hopefully I’ll have some nice finished pieces to show you all next week.

In other news…

Our two raised garden beds we ordered locally arrived Tuesday.  The soil came in the morning.  The beds arrived in the afternoon.  This week has been spent setting things up and planting.

We decided to create a mix of no dig, Hugelkultur and lasagna garden beds. So the raised beds went directly on meadow plants in our backyard.  Then we layered the bottom of the beds with two to three layers of flattened cardboard boxes, stripped of all tape and labels.  On top of that we piled branches from pruning the numerous trees around here.  On top of that we layered about an inch of grass clippings.  On top of that we layered about 4” of dead leaves from last fall.  On top of that we added about  four to six inches of the soil we ordered. Then we added two big bags of seaweed compost and a half bag of sheep manure.  We mixed that into a top layer of more of the garden soil we had ordered.  We left room at the top of the 19” deep raised beds for addition of mulch once the seedlings grow.

We raked the garden smooth and staked out the square foot grids. Then we built the garden structures and installed them.  I had great fun teaching Hubby some old Girl Guide knots and how to lash.  He was interested initially, but the novelty wore off. 😂 We planted the first raised bed on Friday.

I had to sew two garden nets together to make netting big enough to go over the garden structures.  Our yard is surrounded by trees and nesting birds.  There were some very curious robins keeping an eye on us.  Not only do we have birds too contend with, but also deer, racoon, rats and skunk. Oh, and neighbourhood cats that run wild.  So the netting is a good investment of time and money.

Saturday we planted the second raised bed. It went much quicker.  We did companion planting in the beds.  So, while we planted 35 different varieties of seed, we didn’t plant a lot of any one variety.  Now we water and wait.

Friday we also purchased and put together a small tumbling compost bin. It had 56 screws and nuts!  Seems to work well though. The bin was purchased at Canadian Tire.  It sits on a stand up off the ground, keeping it out of reach of rodents. It’s small, but if it works we may buy an additional one next year.  We’re looking for easier ways to do things, now we’re growing older. Turning a compost pile manually is too hard on our backs.

Finishing Up

Finishing Up

Good morning everyone!  This week I finished hooking a couple more small Parker’s Cove fishing shack pieces. I am pausing to finish the ones I’ve hooked.  Then I’ll move on. I’m about at the halfway point with this series. I’m still enjoying them immensely. They are such cheerful buildings to hook.  I have hooked 14 pieces so far.

I also spent time sketching the remaining shacks.  Though I do believe I have a couple more to go.  I have the backing cut and prepared for transferring patterns.  Next up is to transfer them.

I arranged for a photographer to take photos of some of my hooked pieces in late June.  Hopefully that will include some of the Parker’s Cove series. I currently want photos of 50 pieces for my website and portfolio.

I have been busy updating my CV and resumé. Time slips away from me easily.  It’s been five years since I updated it. I also need to work on my artist statement.  Plus, it’s been a long time since I updated my portfolio.

Lots happening!  If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

 

Online Course!

Online Course!

I am teaching a live online class!  June 4th, 10-noon AST.

This course is a Beginner Traditional Rug Hooking class.  It will give the participant an overview of the process of traditional rug hooking. We will have a design on backing and be hooking by the end of the class. We will be hooking a variety of fibres.  There will not be enough time to finish the piece during the class. I will, however, either demonstrate (if we have time), or send out finishing instructions after class.

In order to achieve our goals in this class I will require students to have a six inch square pattern drawn the correct size and okayed by me by May 28th. I will send guidelines on how to do this to students as they enroll.

What you need…

If you are taking this course you will need the course kit.  If it needs to be shipped, you will be charged shipping costs.   We will advise you of the cost before shipping.  There are options for pick up, so let me know and we can see what can be arranged.  

The kit will include: 

    • A specific rug hooking hoop,
    • A specific hook,
    • A piece of backing with the edge already finished,
    • A piece of fabric for transferring pattern to backing,
    • A fibre package with enough fibre for a 6 inch square piece. 

In addition to the kit you will need the following on hand for class:

    • A small pair of sharp pointed scissors that will cut fabric,
    • A ruler,
    • A soft HB, B or 2B pencil.
    • A fine tipped Sharpie industrial black permanent marker (available at Walmart or Staples).  
    • Your design, on paper, already accepted by me as suitable for this class.
    • Long sewing pins (the kind with the flat heads…something about 2” long.

The cost of the class, including supply kit, is $140 CAD.  If you are interested you can contact me through the contact form on this website, and I will direct you in how to pay and access the class.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact me.  I will try to answer as best I can, and I appreciate your feedback!

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In other news…It is definitely spring around here!  The trees are leafing out and flowering, plants are popping through the undergrowth, birds are building nests…under our deck. Ugh!  Yes, a wonderful Robin couple have set up housekeeping right under the seating area of our deck, about four feet from the raised bed garden and six feet from our outside water shutoff valve. We are sneaking in from a different angle where they hopefully can’t see us. Saturday I walked by the raised beds and was dive bombed by the male. I think it was a bit of a surprise for both of us!

We’ve been busy transplanting plants and shrubs from friends and neighbours.  Thank-you everyone!  I still haven’t planted the vegetable garden.  I think I will invest in some bird netting before I do.

Aside from gardening we are looking at the trees on the property and assessing which ones go and which ones stay. They need thinning and pruning.  It’s a big job.

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I have been working more on the Parker’s Cove fishing shacks series.  It is so much fun to hook these cute little shacks!  I spent a couple of days this week dyeing fabric for them.  I am sketching more to hook.  I am almost halfway done the series …I think.  I’m not entirely sure how many there are, and won’t know until I visit the wharf sometime in June. I’m looking forward to our trip up there.

Well, that’s my news for this week!  If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

 

 

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