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!

 

 

Home Happenings

Home Happenings

I am busy sketching, transferring and hooking more of the Parker’s Cove series. It is a big series with a lot of different pieces to it.  Last week the hooking was actually quite slow.  I spent a lot of time planning the series and adding to the mind map for it. I also spent time dyeing wool fabric for it.

I took time to go through my morning pages, looking for ideas for future creative endeavours.  In fact, dealing with my morning pages from “The Artist’s Way” have taken up so much time that I dread them.  It’s nice weather here, and I want to be outside.

Hubby and I picked up a new gazebo last week. Well, Hubby and a friend.  We couldn’t fit the first one in our car to bring it home and Walmart doesn’t deliver.  When a friend found out, they came to our rescue, and her hubby went with mine for a gazebo in their hatchback.  The two men even set it up right away!   We all celebrated with tea and cookies inside it when they were finished.

Other than that there has been a lot of yardwork happening.

  • I removed the tulips the deer keep eating.
  • We dug up an area of goutweed, only to find landscape cloth and what looks like a dry ditch underneath.
  • I weeded and raked our raised beds.
  • I tried to stake our peonies with tomato cages with no success.  They need something bigger and sturdier.
  • Hubby has been busy weeding the front yard and planting beds.
  • A neighbour came over to cut a few trees from the many on our property.
  • We have been emptying the dirt out of the cloth pots I use for the deck garden.  My goal is to clean them and replant them.

There is a lot in the works right now.  I’m in the middle of moving my  website to Shopify.

I apologize to my email subscribers who received multiple blog emails on Saturday.  The blog posts were old ones.  We, my web developer and I, still don’t know what happened, but we understand it has stopped.  Please let me know if it has not.  My blog is not stopping.  It is merely being moved to another platform.

And to the person or entity in Pakistan that accessed over 1170 blog posts in 2 hours yesterday morning…we’re watching what you’re up to…

Well, if you have been reading, thank-you.  Have a great week everyone!

Monday, Monday…

Monday, Monday…

Good morning everyone!  This past week I have been busy hooking more Parker’s Cove fishing shacks.  I have a few colour questions to fine tune them.  My photos were taken late in the day and some of the shacks were in pretty deep shade.  I need to get back up there to confirm the colour choices I’ve made.

To that end I booked a four day artist retreat in the area for myself in June.  Hubby will go with me and spend time on his creative projects as well. I hope to be finishing the wall hangings by then, but we shall see.  There are a lot more to do!

Last week I also enjoyed the company of real live, in person rug hookers!  It sure is nice to feel comfortable getting together with other people again. We shared our work and hooked away.  The time passed very quickly, and I am looking forward to getting together again this week.

I am still working through “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, with a group in the Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  I am finding the chapter I’m on is taking a long time to complete.  I am however, being jolted out of complacency, off my butt to get up and do something about my artistic career.

Two of the areas I am exploring are exhibiting and sales options.  I am teaming up with two other rug hookers.  We are all members of the same rug hooking group.  We are tentatively booked for a museum in July.  I am not convinced this will go ahead.  If not, we will hold an art show and sale in my backyard.  I am also checking out galleries for possible representation, though I am not very confident in this area, having had mixed results where we previously lived.

I am also preparing work to be professionally photographed.  This is a challenge, as I have close to fifty pieces that need photographing. I am starting to think it might be more affordable to buy a subscription to Adobe Photoshop Elements after all!

I created a quick two and a half minute video of my studio on YouTube, for your viewing pleasure.  It is, of necessity, very brief. If people show an interest, I may do a longer, more detailed one later.

Well that’s it for this past week.  If you have been reading, thank-you muchly.  Take care everyone, and have a great week!

Lots Happening!

Lots Happening!

I’ve been working steady on the Parker’s Cove fishing shack series.  I have finished hooking eight, and have five more on backing, ready to go.  I’m currently looking for a venue that will exhibit my work and sell it for me.

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I finished appliquéing all the blocks for the South Korean appliqué quilt top.  I decided to stop at twelve.  I spent time drawing out the quilt top, including the sashing and borders.  There will be white-on-white sashing, a batik border, and a second narrower border of more white-on-white ..if I have enough.  I delved into my tote bins and found batting big enough for  the quilt.  Next up I will have to look for backing.

I attended the Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks Embellishment workshop this past week.  It was fun and informative.  I worked some on “The Farm” during the demonstration.  Some of the other students shared embellishment work they had done.  Very interesting and educational.

I also attended Parris House Creative Community’s monthly Crafternoon.  I managed to hook another fishing shack piece there, as well as exchange a lot of rug hooking related information.

I attended the ASH guild Fibre Day this past weekend via Zoom.  I am still spinning wool and alpaca.  I need to process some skeins of yarn.

That’s been my week as far as fibre is concerned.  If you have been, thanks for  reading!  Have a great week everyone!

 

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