Weekly Review

Happy Lunar New Year!

Hi all.  Not much creative happening this week.  We’ve been visiting a lot with friends.  We’re still busy packing and selling stuff.  Hubby is repairing the walls and ceiling in the bathroom.  When we had our kitchen renovated in 2014 we had the house leveled.  The result has been the development of cracks in our plaster walls and ceilings.  We want everything fixed for painting and sale of the house.  Current deadline has been shifted to May 21st, when we have a major festival in our neighborhood.  Lots of foot traffic to see a ”For Sale” sign.

I did get out and buy a new waterproof down jacket for myself this week.  It was on sale and the zipper on my previous one bit the dust.  I may have the zipper replaced come spring.  We’ll see.  My previous jacket is light colored and I can’t get some of the dirt out of it, despite three washings in special down wash.  It just may become my ‘about the yard’ jacket for winter.

Today we are preparing to celebrate Lunar New Year with some Asian friends.  Our Chinese boarder is taking me shopping for Chinese ingredients.  Then one of his friends and some Korean friends of ours are coming over to celebrate. I hope everyone has a great weekend!  Talk to you all later… 🙂

Weekly Review – Happenings

Weekly Review – Happenings

Hi everyone!  It’s been a busy week.  We’ve had three rounds of company that we thoroughly enjoyed for three days of the week.  We are getting very good at playing card and board games with people.

I’ve been baking and cleaning.  Plus we’ve been decluttering, listing items online, and selling them.

I’ve also been preparing my bullet journal for the next few months.  I don’t think I’ll have much time in April or May, so I’m setting it up ahead of time.  I also am setting up March now.  I’m keeping it very simple.  The one exception I made was to color the heart design above from an adult coloring book, to tape over a major mistake in my journal.  It’s my one soul creative endeavor this past week.

We revised our plan for moving to extend our time preparing for the move by a month.  We decided that our weather was just too cold to do work in March on the house, and particularly the outside of the house.  So we are currently planning to have the house up for sale by May 21st.  We’ll see if we meet the revised deadline.

Why May 21st?  It’s the beginning of a week long festival that draws thousands of people to our neighborhood on foot and by car.  It would be nice to have a “For Sale” sign on the front lawn during that time.

Hubby is busy patching walls at the moment.  The walls were fine until we had the house leveled before we had the kitchen renovated in 2014.  Since then fine cracks have appeared in the plaster walls in different places.  So there is need for some repair work and painting.  Hubby thinks he can do it all.  I’m a bit nervous about him doing it in a timely fashion, but I know he’ll do an excellent job of it.  If push comes to shove, we’ll call in help to finish up.

We also have a front entry to finish off, and floors to refinish.  That’s the inside.  Not sure what to do about the outside.  We’d like to replace one fence, and redo 75 year old parging on the outside of the foundation, but don’t know if there will be time.

Our weekend plans are to go to a party, and check out the church annual meeting. And sell more stuff. 🙂  Talk to you all next week! 🙂

 

A Typical Week

A Typical Week

NOTE:  Prices on my online website have been reduced.  Hope you enjoy what you see and Happy Shopping!

Hi everyone.  It’s been over a week since I last posted.  Things have been busy.  There’s been a lot of decluttering, cleaning, and packing…not necessarily in that order.  I’ve also been selling a lot of items online.

We’ve been grocery shopping, banking, and buying more boxes.  I don’t like shopping, so we keep that to a minimum.  The liquor stores are stingy about giving out boxes here.  My big decision once everything is decluttered and packed, is whether to keep the storage it came out of, or to sell it and buy new on the other side.  Right now I’m leaning towards keeping it.  A lot of our IKEA furniture is older, with thicker shelves than the newer furniture.

Once a week I have a baking day.  This week I made whole grain bread by hand.  We don’t have a bread machine, nor do we want one.  I also made crepes in the afternoon, after doing some packing.  Late last week I made a Rhubarb Upside-down Cake as well.  We’re well fed around here. 🙂

We also designate one day a week as cleaning and laundry day.  It’s full tilt on decluttering and doing housework with Hubby’s help.  We split the house into zones and deep clean a zone a week.  We vacuum throughout and mop bath and kitchen every week.  Sometimes the bath and kitchen get extra treatment throughout the week.  Our home is split up into six zones.  So over the course of six weeks everything gets deep cleaned, meaning we don’t need to do a spring or fall deep clean.

Then I have a “Me” day every week.  I spend time on an artist date (a la Julie Cameron) and visiting with friends.

I reserve a couple of days each week as crafting days for me, but lately they’ve been more decluttering and packing than anything.  Plus those are active days for online sales.

Sunday is family and friends day.  Meaning I spend time phoning or otherwise catching up with family and friends.  I also  usually go to church that day.

I’m busy, as usual, and I hope everyone else is keeping healthy and doing well too.  Be sure to check out my shop and order before we pack it all away the beginning of March!  At that point the shop will be closed until after we move…

Selling Maven

Selling Maven

Hi everyone!  It’s been a busy week or so.  I’ve been selling items we don’t want to move and things are going fast and furious out the door!  Hubby and I are lightening the load after 23 years in our house.  It’s amazing how much you accumulate in 23 years!

I’ve packed part of the sewing room and called a halt to it because I ran out of smaller boxes for books and magazines.  I know, why move books and magazines?  I gave some away and sold some, but, truth be told, these are my inspiration material – the cream of the crop so to speak.  Plus I tutor on the side and have book material for that.  I want it all packed in small boxes to make it easier on the person who does the actual moving.

Instead we focused on packing up my sunroom rug hooking studio, which is by the front door.  We need the space for the over 200 items we have for sale online.  I’ll keep the product listed on this website for sale accessible, in case there’s an order.  But the rest will be packed away.  Hubby went to U-Haul and bought some large moving boxes for my wool.  I packed it all in clear plastic bags to protect it.  I weighed one box and did some calculations. We figure I have 200 lbs. of fibre in that sunroom!  I don’t think I’ll be buying wool fabric or yarn for some time.  I foresee a lot of hooking in my future, and the sale of more fibre!

Today is my baking day.  I have bread in the oven.  Next up is making yogurt.  And then onto a Rhubarb Coffee Cake.  If I have time I’ll bake some Double Ginger Cookies.  I’m trying to empty out my freezer and cupboards before we put the house up for sale.

Have a great week everyone!

This and That

This and That

As you can see from the photo, my sewing room/studio is slowly being packed into boxes.  I have a long ways to go, but it’s a start.  I sold my large sewing storage unit on the weekend.  It freed up a lot of space in my room, but only because what was on it is now in those boxes!

I haven’t done a single fibre related activity this week.  I may have to break down and just do something!  I can’t go for months without a fibre fix.  Hmm…I think I have some fibre for spinning still unpacked and handy.

I’ve been focusing on people and my bullet journal at the moment.  We’ve had company, and some family members are not well.  I’ve been selling items from the house online every day…meaning I am transacting quite a few sales throughout the course of a week.

A good friend and her teenage daughter brought over half a carrot cake on Saturday.  That was my downfall diet wise for the new year.  Five pieces in about seven hours!  I was feeling a little green around the gills the next morning.  I skipped breakfast and let Hubby have the last piece.

I set up my bullet journal for February already.  I did that because I need to move things forward in my schedule, and because I have February events popping up in my calendar already.

My Dad was in hospital overnight on the weekend.  He’s 87 and fairly fragile health wise.  However they fixed him up and sent him home.  His wife is not in the best health either.  I don’t know how they’re managing.  They are over 9 hours drive away from us.  I’m phoning to check in in a little bit.

That’s my update for now.  Hope everyone is having a good week!

 

 

Progress is Being Made

We worked a lot on decluttering the house last week.  Two carloads of stuff went to the charity shops.  I’ve been selling our old stuff like crazy online.  I’ve had friends come pick through my stuff too.  It feels good to see others get excited about my cast offs and to know they will give them new life.

Saturday we drove up to Saskatoon to pick up my wall hangings and cards from the Saskatchewan Craft Council Fine Craft Boutique.  I am no longer a member of the Craft Council, nor sell my work through them.  From now on anyone wanting a piece of my work will have to purchase through this website.

I’ve been contemplating what to do for creative work these days.  I can’t get into my rug hooking studio, let alone pull a project out to work on.   I am unhappy with a knitting project I worked on last fall, and am procrastinating finishing it as a result.  I do have a needlepoint project I’m thinking of pulling out.  I need a bigger frame than I have to put it on.  Hmm…time to get creative.  I really don’t want to buy anything more specifically for this project.

As well as pondering my creative life at the moment and decluttering for the move ahead, I have been busy trying out Ryder Carroll’s bullet journal system.  So far I’m impressed.  It is meeting my needs.  Thanks for sharing Ryder!  I am specifically figuring out how to tailor the system to a retirement lifestyle and our move.

This week will be more decluttering, as well as company for awhile. Hope everyone has a great week!

Happy New Year!

I’m a little late on the New Year’s thing by about four or five days, but we’ve been busy here.  We had company New Year’s Eve and had great fun.  However, with the holidays over, we went full tilt into seriously decluttering for our upcoming move.

Yes, you read that right!  JLT Studios is moving to the east coast sometime this summer hopefully…depending when the house sells.  I have shut down the business in Saskatchewan as of the end of December.  I will still sell through the website and from the house for now, but expect some disruption of service the closer to the move date we get.

Hubby and I have been decluttering and making trips to charity shops to drop off items.  We’ve also been selling items online.  It all takes time.  On top of that we have been collecting boxes to pack and calling in movers for estimates.  It costs a lot.

Hubby is hoping we can move ourselves.  I think we have way too much stuff.  But we’ll see.  We have issued a challenge to ourselves.  To fit everything we’re going to take comfortably in the top two floors of the house, which amounts to approximately 1450 square feet.  That’s the size a three bedroom townhouse condo might be. It’s also roughly the size of a large three bedroom apartment.

We haven’t decided what type of living accommodations we want yet.  The area we want to move to is currently under a storm warning and has lots of snow.  I’m thinking Hubby isn’t getting any younger and won’t want to shovel all that snow.  Plus, I don’t want to be put in a position where we have to move if anything happens to him.  We’re keeping all options open at this point though.

This may seem like a bit early to pack up for a summer move.  It is.  We need to sell some large pieces of furniture here.  We also need to prepare the house for painting (old plaster walls), refinishing of hardwood floors, and relaying of carpet in the basement.  After 22 years things are looking a little worn and ragged.  It would be nice to put a new fence up too, but we shall see.  Depends on time and expense.  We’ve thought about staging the house, but aren’t sure that might be a bit of overkill.  After all, it is a 1928 house.  I’m not sure staging will help much.  We are hoping to have the house on the market sometime this spring.

Why are we moving?  Well it’s like this folks, we aren’t getting any younger and both our children are down east.  They are quite excited about us moving there.  I also have extended family in the area, as I was originally from the Maritimes.  And what rug hooker can resist the lure of living in Nova Scotia, only a few minutes drive from the Rug Hooking Museum of North America?!

I’m looking forward to meeting new friends, connecting with old friends, and reconnecting with family!

You will probably hear a lot about The Move on the blog for awhile.  My rug hooking is going to be packed up soon, for an extended period of time.  I will miss it terribly, but my main goal for 2018 is to get settled in a new place we absolutely love, that meets all our needs.  I think if I focus on that, and some knitting and smaller handwork (keep an eye on Instagram and Facebook), I will be okay.

 

 

Dyeing – Resources

Dyeing – Resources

There are resources out there to help you in choosing a dye powder and mordant, and that tell you how much to use.  I highly recommend checking them out.  The following are my suggestions and opinions based on what I’ve used in the past 33 years of dying.

One resource is Karen Casselman’s “Craft of the Dyer”, which goes through various mordants for wool and has a handy chart that shows you how much of a mordant to use for one pound of wool.  She focuses on dyeing with lichen, which can be difficult to find in parts of the country.

Another is “Dyeing Wool and Other Protein Fibers: an introduction to acid dyes” by Susan Rex.  The author provides a comparison between the more common dyes and provides formulas for figuring out how much you need of each type to get the color you need.  This is a difficult to find resource and you are more likely to find it on a used book site like Abes Books.

Note:  neither of these books is for the faint of heart or the beginner.  These are detailed dye books for the intermediate to advanced dyer.

For beginner dyers, I recommend Majic Carpet dyes.  These are food grade dyes, but don’t be fooled.  From the distributor of Majic Carpet dyes “My dyes are professional grade acid reactive dyes…Majic Carpet Dyes are for master dyers and beginners and everyone in between.” (please see comment section below for further comments about the dyes from Wanda Kerr).  You still need a mask everyone!  And separate utensils and pots.

While I enjoy using Majic Carpet dyes, and have used them for years, I also have found them to not be as lightfast as other dyes.  However, lightfastness can also be affected by the dyeing process and the mordant you use.  I used to use vinegar, but now use citric acid.

Books using Majic Carpet dyes are: Barbie Baker-Dykens dye books (“Formation of New Formulae” and “Basic Color Theory”), or Susan Logue’s “Past & Present Antique Colors & Spots”, Christine Little and Susan Logue’s “Antique Colors and Spots – Book II”, Christine Little’s “SkyBluePink With a Green Smell – Book I”, and “Seeing Spots Before Your Eyes – Book 1”, available from Encompassing Designs in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia.

If you want to use ProChem dyes there are a multitude of dye books out there too.  I like Gene Shepherd’s “Prepared to Dye”, but I also bought the DVDs for the book to clarify some issues.  If I had to choose between one or the other, I’d buy the DVDs first.

There are a lot of dyeing resources available.  Many more new ones since I started dyeing.  Plus if you search the Internet you can find detailed instructions on different dyeing methods.  Just make sure they are suited to the fibre you are dyeing.

Silk and wool are animal fibers and take up dye differently and use different dyes than cotton or synthetics.  Nylon will dye with the same dyes used on silk and wool, but all three will take up color differently.  I find silk to be the lightest, then wool, and then nylon the darkest.  Also some colors are made up of more than one color pigment, and different fibers prefer to take up different colors.  Meaning you could put nylon, silk, and wool in a medium green dye bath and get a blue green nylon, a light yellow green silk, and a wool closer to the desired green color.  Of course, this also depends on the dye used.

So there’s a few resources for you to work with to get started.  If you have any favorite resources, post them below.  We’d like to know.

Dyeing Tips – General

Dyeing Tips – General

Hi all!  Time for another edition of Dyeing Tips. 🙂  Bear in mind these tips are ones I go by when dyeing the bright colors I prefer to use in my wall hangings.  Whether your color is lightfast or not (lasts a long time) depends a lot on the type of dye and chemical used to set the dye, as well as the methodology used for dyeing.  I hope this helps people.

Depending on the wool, pre-wash it before dyeing.  Because my yarns are not pre-washed, I don’t pre-wash a lot of my fabric.  However, I simmer both yarn and fabric in the dyeing process, so they are ‘fulled’, or partially felted, when they dry out.  Any undyed fabric or commercial fabric is pre-washed (for example, up cycled fabric or fabric I want to use off the bolt).  It should be noted here that I am creating wall hangings, not rugs for the floor.  You may feel more comfortable running everything through the washing machine and dryer before hooking, especially if it is a floor rug made completely from wool fabric.

Soak fibre in water with Synthrapol or DAWN original dishwashing liquid soap overnight before dyeing.  Not doing this can cause the dye to absorb unevenly on wool fabric, leaving the inner part of the wool white and the surface blotched.  When the inner part is left white after dyeing we call it “white core”.  It is not good as the color doesn’t stay on the surface of the wool fabric as long as it normally would.

Squeeze out the soaked wool and rinse before putting in the dye bath.  Some people dye with the Synthrapol in the dye bath.  I find it bothersome as the foam or suds get in the way of seeing how well the color has absorbed.  Plus the dye bath seems to have a greater tendency to boil over.

Never ‘shock’ the wool.  If it’s been sitting in cold water overnight, put it in cold water on the stove and heat up gradually.  It usually takes 15 minutes on my stove to go from cold to simmering.

Dyeing wool should be simmered, not boiled to death!  We’re fulling the wool, not boiling it for a coat.  Also, dyes absorb best at a certain temperature…simmering or just below simmering.

A word about mordants.  A mordant is the agent used to set the dye.  Rug hookers often use vinegar or citric acid, but you can also use dyer’s alum and other chemicals.  Add the mordant according to directions.  You can pre-mordant, simultaneous mordant, and add mordant after the dye stuff is added.  I prefer to add the mordant once the fibre has been in the dye bath and comes to a simmer (approximately 15 minutes on the stovetop).  Be careful not to add too much mordant.  It will make the fabric stiff in some cases (alum) and cause it to disintegrate prematurely.

Vinegar acts as a mordant, but is really a ‘modifier’.  It does not hold color for very long compared to other mordants.  I prefer Citric Acid for this.  Though dyer’s alum is good too.  There are many different types of mordants and before use one needs to research the safety requirements and suitability for the fibres they are dyeing.  A word about alum:  be sure you have dyer’s alum and not regular alum.  Dyer’s alum is a different chemical that gives different colors.

Leave the fibre in the dye bath until all the color has been absorbed.  This usually takes 45 minutes to an hour on my stove.  I suggest ‘cooking’ the fibre for one hour after it comes to a simmer.  Not leaving the wool in the water long enough can also result in white core.  It can also result in the color fading more quickly than it would otherwise.

And last, but not least, keep a record of everything you do.  That way if you have to go back and dye more, at least you have a guideline to go by.  Better to have something in writing than counting on your memory or trying to color match a swatch or stripette (worm) by eye.  Ask me how I know!

There you go!  Those are my general tips for dyeing fibre.  I’ll post another final post on dyeing resources next week.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Christmas Ideas!

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There’s snow on the ground here.  Temperatures are unseasonably warm and the snow is melting, but as of right now, today, we still have snow!  That brings Christmas to the forefront of my mind.  That, and the query by Maggie Bathory of Aspen Rug Hooking about what Christmas themed ideas I might have have for rug hooking!

It’s not too late to embark on quick little projects for the house or the tree.  How about a candle mat?  A tree decoration?  Is your tree already up?  How about a small decoration for around the home? A seasonal themed hot pad for the table?

What kind of patterns might you hook for Christmas?

  • ivy
  • holly
  • reindeer
  • birds
  • toques
  • stars
  • santa
  • sleigh
  • bells
  • nativity scenes
  • wise men
  • baby Jesus
  • evergreen trees
  • Christmas trees, stylized and not
  • ribbons and bows
  • gifts
  • snowy landscapes
  • Frosty, the Snowman
  • snowmen in general
  • chimneys with stockings
  • toys

What types of items can you hook?

  • stockings
  • hot pad for the table
  • tree skirts
  • candle mats
  • home decor
  • table runners
  • table mats
  • coasters
  • seasonal door stopper
  • wall hangings
  • ornaments
  • chair pads

Ideally I start in February thinking about hooking for Christmas…especially when selling in shops or online.  I like to have a variety of items ready for the season and send them off in August or September.

I am only selling at the Saskatchewan Crafts Council Fine Craft Boutique this holiday season, and from my webpage shop.  However, it might be time to revisit some seasonal hooking for myself, my loved ones, and the house.

What kind of Christmas projects are you working on or have you made?

 

Dyeing Tips – Safety

Dyeing Tips – Safety

Someone suggested they would like to hear more about dyeing on my blog.  Often you see I will share photos of dyeing in progress and the finished fibre.  But I rarely share dye formulas or methodology.  There’s a reason for that: there are a lot of variables in dyeing.

Different brands of dye react differently to fibre.  Different fibre respond differently to the dyes. Different chemicals in the water can cause a color to come out differently.  Depending whether you’re in the city on municipal treated water, or country on well water, you can get different colors.  Sometimes in the city different chemicals will be added to the water different times of year, resulting in different results in the dye bath.  Also there’s the question of mordant – what you use to set the dye.  Different mordants give different colors too.  And there are more variables yet.

While dyeing can be a fun experiment, to actually dye a specific color twice can be a challenge.  That is why commercial yarn dyers use dye lots on their balls of yarn.  The best advice I can give in the dye business is to dye more than you think you’ll need for a project.  Better too much than too little.

As for safety in dyeing?  Always wear a mask to protect your airways from breathing in dry dye powder when you mix the dye powder with water before adding it to the dye bath.

Wear rubber/latex gloves to handle the dye powders. Dye powders can make a person very sick, so be cautious!

When mixing the fibre in the dye bath there are special dye gloves you can use that insulate you against simmering water.  These are nice for just picking up fibre and transferring it between pots, sink, etc.  They come in different sizes, like regular rubber gloves and the latex gloves.

Always work in a well ventilated room.  When I dye in winter it is only on warm days when I can open the windows and doors and get a cross breeze flowing through the house.  I keep the fan on in the kitchen at all times.

Protect the surfaces you are working on with newsprint or an old cookie sheet with sides that you are designating specifically for dyeing, or both.  I actually have an old metal cookie sheet with sides that I line with newsprint flyers to set my dyes on and mix them.

It goes without saying whatever touches dye does not touch your mouth or get used for food consumption in any way, shape, or form.  Keep a separate measuring cup and measuring spoons for dyeing.  As well as a separate large wooden spoon, tongs, and dye pot.

Akin to the above rule is “Do NOT eat while you are dyeing fibre”.  There are too many chances for things to go wrong.  If you must eat, do it in another room.  Do not prepare food around the dyeing process either.  You would be surprised how easy it is for dye to spatter or loose powder to get on the countertop without you knowing.  I just don’t risk it.

Have a roll of paper towels/some old dishcloths designated as dye cloths to wipe up spills.   Comet will wipe up stains on laminate countertops.  Not sure about granite and the like.  Wash the dishcloths separately from your other laundry and store them with the dye equipment.

Never leave the dye pot unattended.  It boils over easily in my experience.  Nothing like a dye bath mess to clean up on your stove!

That’s about it for the first post on dyeing.  Catch up with you later for more!

 

A Brief Distraction

A Brief Distraction

While I’ve been sick with this cold I decided to take a break from dyeing fibre and focus on planning next year. I’m a planner. Anyone who knows me know I like to plan…well in advance…often to the extreme.  I love researching options and alternatives. I like to challenge myself.

Having said that, my big challenge in life is learning to pace myself. I also suffer from periodic bouts of depression. Anyone who has this knows it can be challenging to deal with. On top of that I am an out-of-shape middle-aged woman. So my goal for the rest of this year and next year is to refocus my energies, such as they are, to becoming a healthier me. And I want to enjoy smelling the roses as life goes by.

I have tried many types of planners and day timers in the past. They all worked to a certain degree, but seemed like an awful waste of paper to me. There were a lot of blank spots that didn’t pertain to me, and places I needed spots to write that didn’t exist, which necessitated buying an extra journal or scribbler to find space.

For a long while I was on the journal kick.  I had a journal for everything:  a giving journal, a gratitude journal, a spiritual journal, a daily journal, a work journal…  It was too much.  I ended up not using any of them because, well, I had no time!

So I embarked on a Google search.  I found YouTube bullet journal videos. I wish I could say I was smitten right away, but I wasn’t.  The videos I was watching were more like scrapbooking.  I didn’t have time for that.  Still don’t most days.  I tried it anyways, and lasted one month.  I liked the idea, but it was expensive.  I decided to cut costs and create my own Midori style planner.  It didn’t work as well as I’d hoped.  I let the whole bullet journaling thing rest a year or so.

Then, not long ago someone online mentioned bullet journals again.  Hmmm.  I thought I’d revisit it and checked with my eldest daughter, who is into organised living.  She suggested checking out Ryder Carroll’s bullet journal website.  If you haven’t seen this system before I highly recommend it.

I did away with the fancy scrapbooking style and started with a simple Dollar Store 5″ X 7″ scribbler. I’ve been trialing the system since September.  I’m impressed by the versatility of it. I can combine several journals into one using the collections feature of Carroll’s bullet journaling system. I am not wasting as much paper as my old system of journaling.  I like it.

To give you an idea of how the system might work, check out Ryder Carroll’s website.  Here are a few sample pages from my bullet journal setup in the slide show below.  These are not perfect pages.  They are a first attempt.

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I hope to become better later on.  I sure hope this system continues to work for me, because not much else has in my many years of planning!

Dye Days are Here Again!

Dye Days are Here Again!

Hi everyone.  This week I’ve been busy dyeing fibre in-between being sick with a cold.  I must admit, the humidity from the dye pot is soothing on my system.  I’ve been opening the window a bit to air out the place.  Right now our temperatures are well above freezing.  Hopefully tomorrow I can do some more dyeing.

I’ve embarked on a hooked wall hanging project based on our South Korean trip that uses different colors and a different palette than I’m used to using.  I don’t have those colors in my stash.  Consequently there is a lot of dyeing to do.  I am only about half done.  So far I have dyed silk, wool, and nylon.  Also yarn and fabric in both silk and wool, and some old nylons.  I am getting some lovely mid-tone colors.

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

Friday Review

Friday Review

Absolutely no rug hooking done this week.  However I did work on the website. Or rather my web developer did with my input.  It should be fully operational now. If you encounter a problem please email me under the “contact” button.

I designed a pattern based on our travels in South Korea this spring, and put it on backing today.  It is large – 36″ X 25″ – for me.  I will have to do some dyeing for it.  Probably tomorrow or next week sometime.  I find my days getting busy now I’m back home and well again!

It’s come to my attention that my photos could use a bit more organization. To that end I spent considerable time today organizing them.  I have them in three places, supposedly. Unfortunately, due to technological and human failure, I have some only in one place.  I need to organize and rectify the situation.

How do you organize your digital photos?

I have thousands.  Right now I set up a file system that starts with ‘Photos 2006’ and has folders up to this year.  Inside each folder I have the year and month folders (eg. 2017 August).  After that I tend to fall apart.  Right now key events get their own folder in the year folder, among the month folders.  For example, “2017 Sauder Village”.

This seems to be a good way to keep photos from getting lost.  Unfortunately, I still have to use the search engine more than I’d like to find images.  I need to get these labelled properly and under control.

I have close to 16,000 photos (including duplicates and edited versions).  I’m looking for a good way to organize these so I’m not panicking whenever someone needs a photo of my work.

I plan on a working Saturday and taking a break Sunday. I hope everyone else has a great weekend!

Sick Day!

Sick Day!

I’ve been busy catching up from our trip a week or so ago.  I’ve been reviewing my photos from the South Korea trip and have plans to sketch a wall hanging using roof tile end caps at the inspiration.

However, I managed to pick up a weird cold that is on again off again, or has been for over a week now.  BUT I have also been busy restocking our freezer and pantry for the remainder of the year.  Lots of baking and cooking happening.  Our boarder is happy.  Or at least will be until I present him with some vegetarian dishes.  They are now added to our rotation in the interests of me losing some weight and improving my overall health.

While in British Columbia, I stopped by Granville Island in Vancouver.  Had a great time chatting with shop proprietors and purchased some lovely silk yarn and ribbon, and some wonderful wool yarn.  I’ve already sold one of the skeins of silk ribbon.  I look forward to trying the others out before putting them up for sale.

Silk yarn and ribbon.

Here’s to feeling better and hope to soon be able to do something around here!  Have a good week!  Talk to you later.

 

Home Again!

Home Again!

We had a great time on our trip to B.C.  A beautiful drive down the Fraser Canyon led us to a very busy lower mainland. Spent time visiting with family and checked out 10th Ave. Found the lovely Figaro’s for a real cup of tea and dessert.

Saturday we headed out to Granville Island. We checked out the Market. I had great fun poking around, and picked up yarn for hooking at SanJo Silk and the Fibre Art Studio.  Also checked out Maiwa and Paper-Ya.  Picked up a quality notebook for next year’s household bullet journal.

Sunday we went on a very informative walking tour of Chinatown.  It was a free tour, which meant you tipped for it.  The lady who gave the tour was excellent.  She talked and walked us for 1 1/2 – 2 hours!  We finished at a Chinese pharmacy that had dried geckos in it, to treat asthma and back problems.  I’m curious how they’d use it…

We had a late lunch, and then walked back to my sister-in-law’s condo.  Checked out some design features in the cityscape on the way.

Monday we checked out the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Museum and the Britannia Museum. It was a day of lots of walking.  We had a beautiful walk down by the shore in Steveston.

Tuesday we headed to Vancouver Island to visit friends.

Brentwood Bay, B.C.

We spent Wednesday in Sidney shopping thrift stores and bookstores for anything rug hooking related.  I found a book on Celtic knotwork and calligraphy I plan to make use of.  I found a rug hooking book for my friend who is learning to hook now.

Thursday we headed up Island to Chemainus in the rain to visit Val Galvin of Renditions in Rugs in her home studio.  We took the Brentwood Bay to Mill Bay ferry.  Quaint and small, but got the job done.  A fun ride, even in the rain!

View from ferry heading to Mill Bay from Brentwood Bay, BC.

Val is very friendly and helpful.  I was able to purchase some pencil hooks from her, so if you’re looking, keep an eye on my page or contact me to have a look and a try.  Thanks Val!

Jean Ottosen and Val Galvin

Friday we took the ferry back to Vancouver to be with family.

Ferry to Vancouver (Tsawwassen), B.C.

My sister-in-law and I had a great time checking out Michelle Sirois-Silver’s studio on her Open Studio Saturday.  It was nice to see her again and chat.  I loved seeing her work with zippers in it!  While there I took a quick photo of the books on the counter.  I’m always on the lookout for a good book!  I’m curious to know which of these Michelle found most helpful.  Guess I’ll have to interlibrary loan them and check them out. 🙂

My sister-in-law and I checked out the Artisan Market in the West Vancouver Community Centre.  I dropped a fair bit of change on homemade jams and jellies, chocolates, etc. It was deadly on the pocketbook because everyone was using Square, meaning they all took credit cards!

We also attended the Vancouver Institute’s lecture Saturday evening on the global arms trade.  It was very interesting.  Mr. Andrew Feinstein from South Africa (well now from London) spoke.  I had no idea how widespread it was and how bad it was.

Sunday we were at the Vancouver Art Guild Show and Sale.  Lots of good work there, but the artists who stuck out for me were Beatrice Watson and Robert Kitt.  Margaret Stott had some whimsical work that was excellent as well.

Monday and Tuesday we spent the days driving home.

Evening in the Rockies.

Dawn in the Rockies.

It’s a long haul from Vancouver to Regina!  But Hubby was eager and I was glad to arrive before another snow storm.  Yes, Regina was covered in a blanket of beautiful white snow when we arrived, and more followed.  Hubby has been out shoveling and I’ve been busy with laundry and making a grocery list. And so life goes on!  A wonderful trip and a great big thank-you to everyone who made it possible!

 

On The Road Again

On The Road Again

Hi everyone!  I’m back on the road again!  Hubby and I are heading to the west coast to Vancouver and Vancouver Island.  I’m hoping to check in with Val Galvin in Chemainus for a fibre fix.  Possibly I’ll be able to check in with a rug hooking retreat at Yellow Point on the Island too.  We’ll see about our timeline.  We are visiting friends for the most part.

In Vancouver I hope to check in with a fibre gallery I discovered. Hopefully we’ll get to Granville Island to check out the Craft Council of BC’s gallery and a few other galleries there.  I would like to check Michelle Sirois-Silver’s studio out on Nov. 4th as well.  Once again, family comes first.

We’ve spent the last week in Edmonton reconnecting with family and friends.  Had a good visit with an artist friend from long ago.  I brought my sketchbook and laptop so I could sketch some rug designs from our South Korea trip.  I managed about four drawings so far.  These are going to be much larger wall hangings than I’m used to doing.

I’ve also been knitting on the Baby Cardi from “60 Quick Baby Knits”.  I’m almost done the second sleeve.

I also took part in the Facebook Black & White Photography Challenge.  I didn’t do as well as I’d wished to, but considering my distractions, I did well.

I’m off to enjoy a breakfast here at the hotel.  Hoping to make Vancouver by nightfall.  Take care everyone and have a great weekend!

 

A New Look!

A New Look!

Welcome to my new website everyone!  Take a look around and tell me how you’re liking the new look by posting a comment below.  I welcome feedback.  🙂

The last month’s posts are missing on this blog, but that’s okay.  I’ll update you here.

Since the middle of September I’ve finished “Escapees”.

I’ve also been out plein air hooking at Echo Lake Provincial Park here in Saskatchewan.  It’s beautiful in the fall with golden yellow leaves on the trees against the bright blue prairie sky.  Here’s what I was hooking in.

The other side of the lake looked a bit barren though.  The leaves had already fallen and the golden brown of the grassy hills was showing through the bare dark branches.

The end result was a small approximately 5″ x 9″ piece I call simply “Echo Lake”.

I attended Art Now! in Regina this fall.  It was an inspiring event for me.  I was able to spend Saturday listening to presentations, and enjoy the artwork in-between sessions.

I’ve also been spelling off my hooking with knitting.  I’ve finished my Painted Desert Shawl by Karen Klein (available free on Ravelry) from Sea Turtle yarn.

I’ve been knitting some baby items… a hat and some mitts with an i-cord string attaching them.  I am currently working on this baby sweater, which requires I pick up stitches around the neck and down the front to knit a collar and button band.  I am knitting to learn new techniques.  I’m finding baby items ideal for this.  They are small and quick to knit…when I’m not distracted by other things… The patterns for these come from “60 Quick Baby Knits”.

I’ve also been spinning.  It’s come to my attention that I have a lot of fibre that needs to be spun.  I just had my wheel serviced and will be working, when I have time, to spin it up.  Here’s a couple of small skeins of old singles that I plied together to make yarn.  I will overdye these to make them usable.

And, now that Canadian Thanksgiving is over, my eye is turned towards the upcoming Christmas season.  To that end I diverted myself to scrapbooking last week.  My daughter was married about twelve years ago and I promised her a wedding scrapbook.  I think twelve years is a long enough wait!  I had the tools, the time, and the money to finish it off.  Traditional scrapbooking is not cheap! It is my daughter’s Christmas gift this year.

On September 23rd I took part in Sunrise Library’s Old Fashioned Fair.  Sunrise Library is a branch of the local Regina Public Library.  I had a blast!  So much so I forgot to have photos taken of me there!  I was with a group of weavers and spinners and we had a great time chatting and demonstrating to the public.  Definitely on my repeat list if asked next year.

As a result of the Old Fashioned Fair I ended up at the local Weavers and Spinners Guild one evening.  Had a blast spinning away while listening to the meeting.  Lots of people doing interesting things there.

I’ve also been approached for information to include on myself and my hooking in a book to possibly be published in 2019.  Writing everything down about my en plein air hooking was a bit of a novelty.  I didn’t realize it was such a process, or that I knew as much as I did.  It was good for me.

And in-between all that I’ve been helping my web designer with the new website, including the new videos for my classes that help explain what they are about. Please feel free to provide constructive feedback.

 

 

 

Updates

Updates

Hi everyone!  It’s been a while since I posted on the blog.  I’m here to let you know ART NOW was a huge success from attendance point of view.  I was there Friday at noon and most of Saturday.  There seemed to be plenty of people milling about.  I also noticed a fair number of red dots beside art on the walls.

I listened to three presentations: Technology and the Future of Art Commerce, The Artist’s Right to Resale Royalty, and On Collecting Art.  All three were well done and very interesting.

The first presentation, Technology and the Future of Art Commerce, focused on Internet and digital art, as well as 3D printing and virtual reality art.  It covered what constitutes original art and how to market it.  Very interesting to hear where things are going.

The second, Artist’s Resale Royalty, was a subject I had heard a bit about through being a member of CARFAC, but didn’t know quite what to think.  Artist’s resale royalties seems like a no-brainer to me, but the actual implementation of a system for it seems like a bit of a minefield.  I’d hate to see a large chunk of the artist’s proceeds going to a middleman collection agency.  However, I was horrified to learn the galleries are buying Inuit art for a few hundred dollars, and then taking it to big centers like Vancouver and Toronto to sell for thousands of dollars!  The Inuit deserve better than that!

The third talk, On Collecting Art, reinforced what I thought already – buy art you love.  I found it interesting that all three panelists had run out of room in their homes for their art.  I can relate.  Only in my case it’s art I created.

Aside from ART NOW, which I really enjoyed this past weekend, I’ve picked up hooking “Escapees” again.  I only have the grass in the background to do.

Today I’m working on updating and creating price tags and hang tags for some wall hangings, as well as catching up with Certificates of Authenticity.  I also plan to work more on the South Korea photos, narrowing them down to the ones I want to use for creating future wall hangings.

This week I’ll be meeting with my web developer and we will start creating a new website.

Talk to you all later! 🙂

Checking Out Website Platforms

Checking Out Website Platforms

Hi all.  It’s been a busy couple of weeks.  I’ve been busy checking out alternative website platforms for my website.  Working on having a new site set up by Oct. 1st, but am not sure that will happen.

In the meantime, I’ve been hooking on “Escapees” and finishing a couple of smaller wall hangings.

You can follow my progress more frequently if you visit JLT Studios on Facebook. 🙂

Playing catch up!

Playing catch up!

I’m busy trying to work on a new website on a different platform.  Will let you know when it’s ready for viewing.  In the meantime…you can keep track of what I’m up to on my Facebook page – JLT Studios.

The Introductory Rug Hooking class I taught on the weekend went well.  The students were naturals and were able to hook quite a bit on their stars.  I look forward to seeing them again and wish them well in their future rug hooking endeavors.

“Escapees” is about to get sidelined for a while.  I am designing a new pattern for my Curves class, where I teach circles, curves, backgrounds, and lettering.  I’ve simplified it considerably.  Now I want to hook a sample and see how it goes.  I transferred two patterns to backing last night – one for myself and one for a potential student.  I’ll hook a bit and then post a photo on my Facebook page – JLT Studios.

Hope everyone has a great Sunday!  I’ll write more later.

Back Home Again!

Had a great time in Winnipeg.  My niece beat her personal best times in swimming in all her races.  So proud of her!

While in Winnipeg we saw the Picasso exhibit in the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the more traditional art exhibit.  Also saw The Manitoba Museum and The Museum of Human Rights.  Stopped in at the Assiniboine Park and down at The Forks.  There was free entertainment every night at The Forks.  We made it down a couple of nights.  Checked into several really good restaurants in town – Kiwa Korean Cuisine and Tuxedo Village Family Restaurant (Greek food) stand out at the moment.

Came home and Monday we had a gas insert installed in our fireplace.  Tuesday we had window cleaners here to clean all the windows in the house.  Today we had a painter come finish the paint job on the house.

Yesterday I went with a friend to a nearby beach town to drop something off and have dinner out.  Today Hubby and I went to Assiniboia to see the Shurniak Art Gallery, have lunch, and check out the library.  We drove home through Ogema and stopped for ice-cream.  Cute little town.

Now I have no excuses.  I have to figure out my website situation.  I can’t post photos and I can’t renew any of the plugins on it.  I will talk with my website developer this week about it.  Apparently my theme is no longer being supported by WooCommerce. 🙁

Have a great week everyone!

Week in Review

I’ve been having difficulties with my website this past week and weekend.  Please bear with me till we figure out what is going on.  Until then there will be no photos on the blog.

I have, however, managed to finish knitting my Painted Desert Shawl.  I need to weave in ends and block it.  Then it will be ready for a photo.

I have also worked a bit on “Escapees”.  Not as much as I’d like, but quite a bit none-the-less.

Plus we’ve had painters come and paint the exterior of the house.  They will have to come back and do some touch ups in a couple of weeks, but basically it’s done.

Next week there will be no blog posts.  I’ll be off in Winnipeg watching my niece swim in the Canada Games.  It will be a fun family time.  I hope everyone has a great week! 🙂