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!

 

Back in the Groove

Back in the Groove

Good morning everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend.

Last week I spent some time dyeing fibre for the Parker’s Cove series.  I used straight up ProChem Key Lime for the bright neon green, and the other colours were from the Woolly Mason Jar system. Lucy Richard has a great system for matching colours quickly.  If you’re a dyer who is often in a hurry, her system is the way to go!

I’ve been working on the Parker’s Cove fishing shack series. I have finished two small pieces this week and have a larger piece on backing.

“The Farm” is currently languishing on the sidelines.  I have a steep learning curve to learn multiple techniques I want to use for this piece, so am wanting to wait until I have more time and energy to devote to it  That, plus I want to finish my Parker’s Cove series of at least ten pieces by mid-November.

The South Korean appliqué quilt blocks are almost complete.  I decided not to go further than the twelve blocks suggested by the pattern.  However I will also be putting sashing between the blocks and a border all around…neither called for in the pattern. That will make it large enough to be used as a lap quilt. It will be machine quilted by a professional long arm quilter.

I took part in many events this week related to rug hooking.  Wednesday there were two online meetings: one for crafting (where I transferred a pattern to backing), and one for rug hooking (where I  hooked a small piece for the Parker’s Cove series). Thursday I attended an in-person hook-in at a friend’s place. I started another small Parker’s Cove piece. And Thursday evening I attended a Zoom presentation by Susan Feller on Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  Susan talked about what it takes to become a professional artist as a rug hooker. A very interesting presentation with lots to chew on.

I also spent time cleaning up my studio after the whirlwind that was Sketchbook Revival!  I haven’t had it looking that good in ages, so I took photos and immortalized the occasion on Instagram and Facebook. Haha!

It is now a mess again…because I’ve decided to finish a project that’s been percolating a long time in my brain…like five years.  Our trip to South Korea in 2017 needs addressing.  I did create and have a photo book printed, but I had no place for ephemera.  So after Sketchbook Revival I decided it was time to sit down and do it.  I pulled out old bookbinding supplies and created a blank journal with cartridge drawing paper and Waterford cold press watercolour paper.  I’m highly doubtful the journal is big enough to hold everything, but I need to do some serious culling of memorabilia anyways.

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

Studio Clean Up and More…

Studio Clean Up and More…

I finished Sketchbook Revival 2022 and embarked on a clean up and reorganization of my studio this week.  I finally parted with a box of old original artwork.  I hope the thrift stores we donated to recognize the value of what they have and can actually earn some money from it for a good cause.  At any rate things are looking a lot better.  My main objective was to get my art supplies out in the open so I can easily grab them to use them!

I also managed to repair one of the old rugs I purchased in February and placed it on the studio floor.  It was going to go under the tables in the sitting area, but I was very nervous of having it under the coffee table and chair legs.  Plus the design would be hidden.  So I pulled it out into the middle of the floor.

I also worked on my South Korean appliqué quilt this week.  I have eleven blocks finished, and am working on the twelfth.  I’m trying to decide if I want to go any larger.  It’s a lot of work and I really would prefer to rug hook.

To that end,  I decided to buy my own scanner and printer.   I picked up my scanner last week.  My printer has to be brought in from Toronto and won’t arrive until this week at the earliest.  I used the scanner and photo editing software to scan, enlarge and print my largest Parker’s Cove pattern.  I did it the hard way.  A friend later told me the easy way!

I am working my way through “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron for the third time in my life.  I do it, but with a few modifications.  It takes time to do.  The tasks and exercises are often time and energy consuming.  However, it is worthwhile to do it once every five to ten years…to refresh my memory and see where I’m at…how I’ve progressed.

I attended several crafting events last week.  Wednesday I attended three!  In the morning I got together with some crafty family members and friends online to chat and craft.  That’s when I work on my appliqué quilt.

Wednesday afternoon I got together on Zoom with a group of rug hookers.  This week I worked on repairing the large vintage rug I purchased.

Wednesday evening was special.  I was at an online event hosted by Beth Miller on her Mighty Networks site, Paris House Creative Community.  It was a Q&A on book proposals and publishing.  It was very helpful and informative.

I’m really enjoying Beth’s Mighty Networks site, and encourage you to check it out!  It’s an inspiring and encouraging place to be.  Topics are not only about rug hooking, but also soap making, beekeeping, chicken raising, cooking, knitting, etcetera.  There is a lot of variety, especially if you start a thread or sign up to attend a Zoom event.

Thursday I reorganized the studio in the morning and hosted a rug hooking friend there in the afternoon.  She had some good ideas on reorganization.  I finished repairing the large vintage hooked rug and placed it on the floor. Then switched to designing the layout for my appliqué quilt.

Friday I attended a Zoom rug hooking group in the afternoon.  I cleaned my studio more while chatting with the other rug hookers.  Towards the end of the meeting I took them on a virtual studio tour.

Last week was business taxes as well.  I have those finished and in to the accountant. Now I’m just filing receipts.

I am not sure what this week holds.  It may be time for a bit of a slower pace.  I have some other projects to work on that don’t involve rug hooking.  I need to sit down and prioritize.

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

 

My Idea of a Break

My Idea of a Break

Hi everyone!  I have not been rug hooking this past week.  Sketchbook Revival 2022 has been on for the last two weeks and ended Sunday. It was a blast!  I highly encourage Sketchbook Revival for creative people who want try out new tools, techniques and instructors. Check out Karen Abend’s website. I believe you have to pay for past content, but if you join Sketchbook Revival when it happens mid-March to April every year, then it’s free!

Instead of rug hooking I’ve also been back working on the South Korean appliqué quilt.  Ten blocks down.  At least six more to go.   I am undecided how big I want to make it.

In other news…my website address will be changing.  I am switching from WordPress to Shopify.  Hopefully it will be easier to understand and manage.  Plus I have a website developer who will be around to help me when I need it.

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

 

Make It Monday

Make It Monday

Good morning everyone!  This past week I was busy.  I finally mended my rug, “Pennsylvania Dutch”, which has been languishing for about five years in my mending tote.

This rug was the very first rug I designed and hooked after learning to rug hook in 1985.  It is t-shirt and polyester double knit on what I was told was burlap, but must be primitive linen.  I say that because of the hard wear it’s gone through since being made.  It lived on my kitchen floor in front of the sink for about 10 years.  Then spent the next 20 years on a concrete laundry room floor.

Meanwhile I’d wash it *in the washing machine* every 6 months or so when it grew dirty, and hang it to dry before blocking it again.  I DO NOT recommend washing your hand hooked rugs in washing machines folks!!!   Just let me make that clear.  There are much better and kinder ways to clean rugs!

At any rate, I am glad this one is back in usable order, and will be buying a protective pad to put underneath it for future use.

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I finished sewing a hanging sleeve for “Moroccan Dream”, my Boucherouite style rug from Laura Salamy’s class in Workshop Week 4.  Today my hubby and I hung it in my studio.  We had a tough decision whether to hang it vertically or horizontally.  We finally decided on vertical.  It can always be changed.  The beauty of geometrics. 🙂

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I tried to finish the small Parker’s Cove piece, but was one inch too short of the fisherman’s rope needed for the edge.  So disappointed!  Still, a friend says she has access to a lot of it and to just let her know when they are all ready for edging. She’ll get me some.  I have four more on backing to hook.   I need to do some dyeing before I can hook them.  I did sew and attach hanging sleeves to the two finished fishing shack wall hangings.

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I ripped out the diagonal stitches in the sky of “The Farm”.  They just did not look like they belonged.  The sky is the background layer in this piece and doesn’t need anything to give it movement.  There will be plenty of movement elsewhere in the piece!

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We finally hung my loose attempt at an Azeri rug!   “Family Reunion” is up!  We have officially moved in!

An Azeri rug is actually a type of Turkish rug that has images from a person’s life scattered on a background, with an oriental border.  It is originally a woven and knotted rug.  Of course mine doesn’t follow the normal rules…it is hand hooked and, because I had never seen an Azeri rug, I put order to the images in the centre.  The scenes follow the progression of events on a trip to an extended family reunion one year   Hence the name of the wall hanging. Hand hooked Azeri rugs are also mostly hooked in straight lines.

This wall hanging was hooked with wool, but had added wire and beads.  It is lined with cotton batik.  The fringe is wool, silk and cotton, with beads of various kinds.

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Onion skin dyeing continues.  I decided to try marrying wool by throwing it in the pot with a post-mordant of Dyer’s alum. The results are stunning!  The commercial green dye that bled from the first marrying and overdyeing session, continued to bleed and married all the colours into these stunning greens and golds!  I am very happy with the results!

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Sketchbook Revival 2022 started last week.  There is another week to go.  It is a free art summit organized by Karen Abend.  Every day I receive an email with two video links to two lessons by different artists on different topics.

I am a little late starting, so am behind by three days.  The video links are usually kept up after the summit. I’m glad.  This past weekend I devoted to trying to catch up.  It didn’t work.  I suspect I’ll be going past the two week summit.

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Well that’s it for this week. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading.  Have a great week!

What’s Up?

What’s Up?

I’m still working on sewing hanging sleeves on wall hangings.  I was out to pick up some hardwood dowels to hang them.

I’m still thinking about the fishermen’s rope edging on the Parker’s Cove wall hangings.  Alternatively, I saw some black parachute cord I might braid for an edge.  Still thinking.

“The Farm” is coming along.  I am working on the sky.  I am not sure I like it, so it is difficult to motivate myself to work on it.

I have decided to turn the onion skin dyeing workshop into a paid course. I have a lot of video to edit, as well as audio.  Plus I have more to record. This week I have more video filming to do.

I am currently soaking half of my previously dyed onion skin wool in water, in preparation for an after bath of dyer’s alum.  I’m curious to see if it will shift the colour without adding more dye solution.   If not, then I’ll add more dye solution and see what happens.   It could be interesting.

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

 

 

Happenings

Happenings

Good morning everyone!  This past week has been busy and fun.  I enjoyed time spent hemming the two Parker’s Cove wallhangings and the Boucherouite wallhanging.  Next up is hanging sleeves on the backs. Then to add the titles.

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Coming up with titles for pieces has always been a struggle for me.  I try to somehow relate the title to the concept or idea that inspired the piece.  Other times it is based on memories, like “The Farm”.  Sometimes, if I’m really lacking in creative ideas, it’s just a numbering system, like “Parker’s Cove #1”, “Parker’s Cove #2”, etcetera.

I decided to call the Boucherouite wallhanging “Moroccan Dream”.  It was inspired by the Moroccan Boucherouite rugs, but isn’t really a Boucherouite.  From what I can find online, there are no circles in true Boucherouite rugs.  So “Moroccan Dream” is more in the style of a Boucherouite rug, but not a true Boucherouite.

I’m still waiting for inspiration on the Parker’s Cove series of wall hangings.  They deserve better than just a numbering system.  I wanted to name them after the owners of the fishing shacks, but I don’t know who they are or how to find out, short of going there one day and bothering the fishermen and women as they either leave or come back from fishing.  Hmmm…

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In other news…I am still preparing for the onion skin dyeing workshop.  I have also started video taping for an online video course on onion skin dyeing. I’ve had great fun dyeing wool fabric this week, and experimenting with mordants and different dyeing techniques.

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I have also been experimenting with “stories” on Facebook and Instagram. I am hoping to place more content on Instagram in the coming days.  Check out my Jean Ottosen Studios Instagram account for updates.  Next up is to learn how to effectively create and use Reels.

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I attended a great Biz/Studio Q&A on Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks this past week.  A lot of topics were covered and good ideas were discussed.  I have a lot of ideas to work on.

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In other news…after months of struggling with a rug hooking frame that was virtually falling apart, I finally gave it and some Chair Doctor glue to a carpenter friend to fix it for me.  I have had this frame over ten years, and used it heavily.  It owes me nothing.  Still it is my favourite frame.  It’s great to have it back and in working order.

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In yet more news…I have been busy spinning up some alpaca, Corriedale wool and wool roping to make a nice fuzzy yarn for dyeing and hooking into my wallhangings.  The people of the ASH Guild (Atlantic Spinners and Handweavers) have been very helpful.  I attend their Zoom Fibre Days and learn a lot.

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Well, if you have made it this far, thank-you for reading.  I hope everyone has a great week!  Until next time, take care!

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