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!

Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings

The hooking on the Boucherouite is finished!  It is in my pile set aside for finishing.

I washed the fisherman’s rope for framing the Parker’s Cove fishing shacks series.  It is a great deal more pliable and, I believe, will work for my purposes.

I had a great time participating in Beth Miller’s Beginner Dyeing Demonstration in her Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  While I am not a beginner dyer, I do think I can learn something new from everyone I meet.  Beth demonstrated electric skillet dyeing and microwave dyeing, which I’ve never done before.  I was curious about her methodology.  Now I’m on the lookout for an electric skillet!  I guess it’s time for another trip to the thrift store…

I had great fun showing the ladies at the Sunday FiFi Zoom meeting through Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks how to do the herringbone edge on a piece of hooking.  I hooked a quick hit and miss hot pad in order to show how to do it. My only criteria for the hot pad was that I had enough of a particular colour of wool to do a full row in the squares.  I used leftover worms/noodles from other projects. I used 100% wool and it is on a primitive linen backing.

The edge is made from a hand spun, hand dyed wool yarn.   It is worked over a core of 100% cotton cording from Michaels craft store, which I pre-washed in hot soapy water.  The cording and yarn are quite large for the piece in order to show up more clearly on the camera when I was demonstrating.  As a result, rather than rip it all out and redo a smaller size, I made it a design feature.  I brought the hot pad up to the level of the whipping by padding the back with quilt batting, before lining it with a piece of wool fabric.

in other news…I am practicing hosting Zoom meetings…because…

Upcoming workshop…

I am preparing to teach a live beginner onion skin dyeing workshop in Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  It will be Wednesday, March 30th, from 7 – 9 PM EST.

In that Zoom workshop I’ll be teaching immersion dyeing, casserole spot dyeing and marrying wool while simultaneously overdyeing it with onion skin dye solution. I have created an introduction presentation, a presentation on record keeping and one on experimenting with different agents to set the dye.  If I have time, I’ll also show samples of different fibres dyed with onion skin and different setting agents.  It’s a lot to pack into a two hour workshop, but I’m game to try!  I am limiting the class to 5-10 participants, so I can meet everyone’s needs.

In order to take this class you must be a member of Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  It costs just $10 USD per month.  The cost for the workshop is discounted for Beth’s community to $40 USD per person.  When it is offered off that platform, it will be a tad more expensive.

I recommend signing up soon, so you have plenty of time to gather up onion skins!  You will need 6 – 8 large handfuls of dry yellow onion skins.  You can score these from family and friends, or your friendly produce manager at your local grocery store.  Ask if you can clean out their onion bins at the end of the day, or whenever they need it done.

You will also need an enamel roasting pan with lid for stovetop use (or an old enamel refrigerator bin and tin foil for a lid) and a long handled wooden or white plastic spoon.  These will be dedicated dye equipment and can be found at thrift stores, yard sales, etc.  There is a more extensive supplies list on Beth’s Mighty Networks site.

This workshop promises to be very informative and great fun!  If you’re interested check it out on Mighty Networks!

That is what is coming up on my schedule so far this month.  As for this week…I will continue preparing for the workshop, hook more on the Parker’s Cove series, and work on “The Farm”.

If you have been, thanks for reading!  I hope you all have a great week!

Monday Ramblings

Monday Ramblings

Good morning everyone!  This will be my one and only blog post this week.  I have several projects on the go.

  • the Boucherouite is almost finished hooking.  I need to decide on a finish and do it.
  • “The Farm” is waiting in the wings. I have ideas in my mind for how I want to accomplish it. It will definitely be a mixed media piece.
  • the Parker’s Cove series is partly on backing.  I think I will need a dye day to create more fabric of the right colours.
  • I am preparing to teach the herringbone edge to a group on Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community network on Mighty Networks.
  • I also have another rug hooking project I’m working on behind the scenes for now.
  • I have several Zoom meetings to attend and one to run this week.  I plan on playing around with how Zoom works, so I can offer a seamless workshop experience in the future. Stay tuned!…

I hope everyone has a great week!

 

Blog Review & Changes Afoot

Blog Review & Changes Afoot

Good evening everyone. I have been working on a lot of projects around here, so am backing off my blog for a bit.  I’ll be going to a once a week post on Mondays.  Most of my readers check-in on Tuesdays, so that should give them something to read throughout the week.

One of the projects I’m focusing on right now is the Boucherouite of course. It is almost finished hooking. While I enjoyed it, it’s definitely time to move on.

To that end I’ll be working on “The Farm” simultaneously with more Parker’s Cove pieces. I am still wanting to do the Parker’s Cove series and have some creative ideas for framing them.  We’ll see what transpires.

Aside from that, I’ve been laying low as far as online hook-ins have gone this week.  I’m busy learning new things here. I am looking forward to showing some progress on projects Monday.

Make It Happen Monday

Make It Happen Monday

Almost there!  The Boucherouite rug is moving along.  I hope to finish it this week.

Saturday I attended a Zoom seminar on “Women Artisans of Morocco”, sponsored by the Textile Museum Associates of Southern California.  Over 1000 people were in attendance!  Some via Zoom and some via YouTube Live. The speaker was Dr. Susan Schaefer Davis.  She was very knowledgeable about introducing the women and their work.  Her presentation included discussion of rugs, embroideries and handmade buttons of the High and Middle Atlas Mountains. I came away with a new knowledge and appreciation for Moroccan textiles.

I finished reading ”Color Choices” by Stephen Quiller.  I have not studied the colour wheel to that depth before.  I have informally learned it, but not the theory behind it and how to use it to create a cohesive colour scheme.  My use of colour is largely intuitive.  This was a good read for me.

”The Farm” is slow going.  I’m still selecting fibre and embellishments to explore techniques.  Plus I continue to research techniques in an effort to decide which ones I’m going to use.  I have a choice of painting the sky, reverse hooking it, or using canvas embroidery techniques on it.   I need to experiment a bit to see which will suit the piece better.

I am not sure what this week holds, but it promises to be busy.  If you have been, thanks for reading!  Have a productive week everyone!

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Good day everyone!  The Boucherouite rug is progressing.

I worked on ”The Farm” this week.  I embroidered leaf veins to hold background leaves in place.  I used a technique called proddy to create 3D leaves of different shapes and sizes.  I purchased some beads to use as berries.  I’ve done a lot of research on techniques for this piece.

Four more Parker’s Cove patterns are ready to be hooked.  I was looking for fishing rope to devise a unique finishing technique…possibly using knots.  A friend came through in spades.  I am using an old book that predates 1918 for knot ideas.  It’s titled “Knots, Ties and Splices” by J. Tom Burgess.

I had good intentions of repairing “The Wedding (?) Rug”. However, my Fraser 500 wool stripper (strip cutter) broke.  I’m waiting for better weather to connect with someone who might be able to repair it.  We’re supposed to have another winter storm this weekend.  Meanwhile a friend has the right size cutter wheel and will cut the necessary strips for me.

Charlie Dalton, guest speaker on the In The Studio seminar series this month, gave a great talk!  He talked about his journey to becoming a rug hooker and how he drew his inspiration from past and present artists.  Then he gave us a grand overview of his work.  It was a very interesting and inspiring story!  Thank-you Charlie and In The Studio!

I’m almost finished reading “Color Choices” by Stephen Quiller.  I actually borrowed this book for the last two or three chapters in it, but found the first chapter so fascinating I kept reading from the beginning!  It’s a new way of looking at the colour wheel for me.

I’ve been busy working my way through Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” with a group of ladies in Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  It’s been very good so far.

I am really enjoying the supportive community Beth Miller is developing on Mighty Networks.  Beth has demonstrations and Crafternoons planned every month, and finishing days quarterly.  There are over ten boards on a diverse range of topics – rug hooking is only one of them.  Soon she will be adding member only classes to the roster of happenings.  Membership is only $9.99 USD per month…well worth it for me so far.  I encourage you to check it out.  There’s a free three day trial.

Well, that’s my review for the week!   If you have been, thanks for reading!

 

FOR SALE FEATURE: Prairie Sunset Large

FOR SALE FEATURE: Prairie Sunset Large

I grew up on the Canadian prairies and spent most of my adult life there. The one thing about the prairies that stood out to me was the vivid sunsets.  This scene is of such a sunset hovering over a field of ripe canola.   The wispy clouds were truly red on the bottom!  It was a gorgeous sunset, and if I had pure gold to hook into it, I would! 

“Prairie Sunset Large” is actually 12” x 24”. Most of my prairie sky pieces are small 6” square pieces. By comparison this is large. It is hooked using the traditional rug hooking technique of pulling loops up from below the piece using a hand hook.  All ends or tails are pulled to the top and clipped even with the hooking.

It is made of wool, silk and nylon, on primitive linen. Some of it is yarn and some fabric. Some is hand spun and some commercial yarn. Most everything is hand dyed.  Though some fibre may be commercially dyed. 

“Prairie Sunset Large” is $300 CAD. It includes free shipping in Canada.  It comes with an artist’s certificate of authenticity, and a museum quality hanging system.

The hanging system consists of a shellacked oak board and hook and loop tape stapled to the board and sewn to the back of the wall hanging. 

Contact me at: jeanottosenstudios@gmail.com for more information or to purchase. 

Snow Day!

Snow Day!

We woke up to a fresh blanket of snow covering the ground this morning, and more snow falling. It was quiet and beautiful!

A snow day for us means an at home day. So today I’ve been doing “errands”  and paying bills online.  I’ve also been transferring files from my iMac to my Lenovo laptop.  My iMac is on its last legs and I will not be replacing it.

I managed to copy four more Parker’s Cove fishing shack wall hangings onto backing. I have at least one more long one to transfer to backing, and several smaller ones yet.

I have not worked on the Boucherouite rug since Friday.  Nor have I worked on “The Farm”.  

I have finished spinning and plying some dark green Corriedale wool for rug hooking.

Plus I attended a Zoom lecture by Tom Hannihar, sponsored by the Textile Museum Associates of Southern California, on the molas of Panama and Columbia. A mola is a type of handwork created using reverse appliqué, appliqué and embroidery.  It is often made by girls and women, and sewn to their blouses. It was a fascinating lecture.

This weekend they have one on the women artists of Morocco.  I plan to attend that Zoom lecture too.  

I am currently reading “Color Choices” by Stephen Quiller. This book is aimed at artists and uses manufactured paint names for the various colours on the colour wheel.  The concepts are good for all media though. I am enjoying it. I hope to finish it by the end of the month.

I am also embarking on a re-reading of Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way”. I am doing it with a group of people on Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.   I learned a lot about myself the first time through this book over 20 years ago, and I’m thinking it might be time to revisit it now.

Mighty Networks is a paid platform, and Beth is just getting started there. However she already has some demos, a crafting afternoon, and a finishing afternoon once a month in the works. There are plans to offer courses through the site as well.  Plus there are boards on a wide variety of topics.  You can check out her site on a free 3 day trial.  After that it’s $9.99 USD per month.

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

Weekly Review: sidetracked

Weekly Review: sidetracked

Hi everyone!  I had one of those weeks this week. I was sidetracked by computer issues and different exciting happenings I can’t tell you about yet. It’s a project still in the planning stages.

However, I did accomplish some of what I set out to do this week!  The Boucherouite rug I am working on is half finished.  It’s great fun to work on.  I am enjoying playing with pattern and colour.

I changed up “The Farm” a bit.  I’m thinking of possible techniques I could use to create 3D flowers and plants around the edges.  I’m considering felting flowers, silk embroidery, beadwork, stumpwork embroidery, Brazilian embroidery… There are a lot of options.  I’ve spent a lot of time on YouTube watching tutorials.

I have more Parker’s Cove fishing shacks in my sketchbook and some ready to go on backing.  I’m hoping to work on those tonight and tomorrow.

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

 

FOR SALE FEATURE:  African Dream

FOR SALE FEATURE: African Dream

Good afternoon everyone!  It’s a beautiful winter day today.  The bright blue sky and brilliant sun, though cold here, reminds me of much warmer climes. Today’s feature rug is “African Dream”!

“African Dream” started as a curiosity piece.  We had purchased a cheap grey and grey-blue mudroom rug to protect our hardwood floors.  It was an ugly colour, but I found the design intriguing.  It was striped, but there was pattern within each stripe. I wondered…”What if…?”

Colour…it needed colour.  It also needed to be enlarged and to have contrast added.  It needed some variation in the pattern.  In short, it needed a makeover!  I grabbed my sketchbook and made a quick small sketch.  I later enlarged the sketch and transferred it to linen backing. 

I pulled from the colours I had seen in African cloth to hook this wall hanging.  Composed of many different colour values of silk, wool and nylon, it contains a lot of movement.  

I used yarn, fabric and upcycled pantyhose (nylons) for this project. Some of the yarn is homespun and dyed by me, some indie dyed and spun, and some is commercial. The pantyhose have been stripped of their original colour and dyed by me.

Measuring  28 3/4” x 24”, “African Dream” is a large rug for me.  It has a cotton hanging sleeve attached, and is hung from a dowel supported by two cup hooks.

It comes with an Artist’s Certificate of Authenticity.

It is on sale for $700 CAD, shipping included in Canada.  If you are interested, contact me, Jean Ottosen, at: jeanottosenstudios@gmail.com 

The Week Ahead

The Week Ahead

Good morning!  How’s everyone doing?  I hope all is well with my readers.   I had a great weekend and am looking forward to more this coming week.

Last night was The Gathering, the last event of Workshop Week 4.  It went quite well I thought.  There was a lot of very interesting discussion. I worked on my Boucherouite rug during that time and accomplished quite a bit.

I also spent time on my The Farm piece.  I mostly cut and tacked in place key appliqué pieces. I did hook the shutters on the windows and the porch roof.  I’m working on hooking the porch supports. Then I’ll take a break to sew down those appliqué parts.

I finished the braided edge on the chair pad and it is in situ.  Hubby says it’s more comfortable and a lot warmer to sit on.

This week will see more hooking on the Boucherouite, and work on “The Farm”.  I also have all the supplies and equipment to repair the edge of the big antique rug, nicknamed “The Wedding Rug”, that I recently acquired.

In looking at the antique green floral rug I have determined it needs to be fixed with the same type of backing it was hooked on.  I’m on the hunt for about a yard of high quality burlap for fine shaded #3 cut rugs.

Aside from that, I have some Parker’s Cove patterns to put on backing, and three Zoom hook-ins this week.  It will be a busy week for rug hooking!

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

Workshop Week 4 is Almost Over!

Workshop Week 4 is Almost Over!

I am going to miss the stimulation to learn. It’s been a busy week for me. Sunday I took Laura Salamy’s Baby Boucherouite class. I’ve been having great fun playing with my not so “baby” pattern!  It’s 10” x 32”.  It is pictured above.  I’m not fixed on the colours yet, but I’m trying to stick to the traditional red, blue, yellow, green and orange.

Then Tuesday I took Yvonne Iten-Scott’s Braided Edge class. My supplies for the class actually arrived Wednesday. Thanks, Canada Post! They held them up in Halifax since January 16th.  I live 15 minutes away. They arrived Feb. 3rd!  Regardless, I am pleased with my braid. I just have to match my ends and sew them together.  Then finish lacing and adjust them. I’m hoping to get to that tomorrow.

Tuesday evening I took Beth Miller’s class on Developing Personal Landscapes.  Beth took a very broad view of landscape, and I am glad she did. I chose to create a pattern of images of the landscape, in particular the plants, from my childhood on The Farm. In the centre is the old farmhouse in its heyday. It is framed by plants, shrubs and trees planted by my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.

This pattern is going to take a while to complete. I plan on using quite a few alternative materials and techniques with it. It could be a success, or a dismal failure. I’m thinking of visiting Michaels craft store for some embellishments for it.

I had a break from Workshop Week 4 on Wednesday. So I took advantage of a Zoom hook-in and worked more on my boucherouite.

Thursday I also attended an online hook-in, this time through Google Meets.  Then I joined the second braided edge class with Yvonne Iten-Scott.  I worked for an hour trying to butt the ends of my braid correctly. I’ve pulled it out five times so far. I dislike butting.  I put it aside to try later. I know what needs to be done, I just have to get the braid pattern to work out right!

Today’s class was Jane Mason’s “Watercolour for the Textile Artist”.  It was a fast paced class with lots of information.  It acted as a good refresher for me.  Jane is very knowledgeable on her subject.  The class was very diverse.

New Online Community

In-between all those classes I took time to explore Mighty Networks and Beth Miller’s site – “Parris House Creative Community”.  It’s a great little site just getting up and running.  There are many topic areas where you can add to discussions, kind of like Facebook groups.  Topics include: gardening, rug hooking, punch hooking, beekeeping, soap making, running a small business, creativity, cooking/recipe swap, canning and preserving, knitting and crochet, reading, chicken keeping, etc.  There is plenty there to occupy me and I don’t have to deal with FB algorithms, which have made the Internet basically useless for me. Beth eventually plans to run classes and seminars through this site – some free and some paid.

Parris House Creative Community has a free three day trial that you can access by contacting Beth at: info@ParrisHouseWoolWorks.com.  After that it is $9.99 USD per month for access.  I encourage you to at least check it out.

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

 

 

FOR SALE FEATURE: Blue-eyed Grass

FOR SALE FEATURE: Blue-eyed Grass

One of the unique plants where I grew up was Blue-eyed Grass. It wasn’t very common, and when we found some there was always a bit of excitement from my mother, who studied botany. I loved the straightness of it.  Other plants kind of lazily drifted towards the sun, but Blue-eyed grass shot up like a rocket.  It is not a tall plant, being maybe a foot tall at best. But the single showy deep blue flower on top of the stalk made up for its diminutive stature. 

This stylized version of Blue-eyed Grass was created using wool, silk and nylon on linen backing. There is yarn and cut fabric strips in it. It is hooked using the traditional rug hooking technique of pulling up loops from the bottom of the piece. These loops are packed so tight they stay in place.

Blue-eyed Grass is 7” x 30” and comes with a hanging system. That system consists of an attached hanging sleeve and a dowel rod that hangs invisibly behind the piece.  All you need are two cup hooks to hang it.  It also comes with an artist’s certificate of authenticity.

At $275 CAD, shipping included in Canada, Blue-eyed Grass is on sale.

If interested contact me at: jeanottosenstudios@gmail.com  

 

Permission to Play

Permission to Play

Good morning everyone!  Workshop Week 4 started yesterday. I spent Saturday cleaning up my studio for it and yesterday morning pulling out all my alternative fibres – that is, anything that wasn’t wool – and laying them in colour groups on the floor!  I have a lot.

Why was I doing that?  I was taking a class called Baby Boucherouite by Laura Salamy on Sunday afternoon. I decided I’d do a little Research before class.  I googled boucherouite – a word I’d never heard before Laura Salamy and her rug hooking.

Boucherouite rugs are a type of woven Berber rug created by tribes in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.  They use symbols specific to those tribes. The meaning of the symbols has been lost over the years. Most commonly  Boucherouite rugs contain diamonds, stripes, squares, equilateral triangles, chevrons and similar style shapes in them.

Boucherouites are made from used clothing and are used to protect better quality wool rugs.  They lay the boucherouite overtop.  They are also used as a covering for warmth and as a soft surface for babies to play on.

Laura’s class was fun.  She not only gave us permission to play with fibre and rug hooking, but she actively encouraged using a mixture of material to get “the look”.

I had a relaxing three hours hooking away. I had drawn my pattern on backing Saturday and only needed minor revisions yesterday.  So far I’m pretty pleased with how my boucherouite is turning out.  Thank-you Laura!

Last evening there was a very informative and interesting Panel Discussion on how we’ve continued learning the last 2 years, how we’ve stayed inspired, and how we can improve and promote the craft of rug hooking as individuals and groups.

Today I’m preparing for Yvonne Iten-Scott’s Braided Edge class and Beth Miller’s Personal Landscape class. I have to round up alternative supplies for the braided edge class, as Canada Post is holding my package of supplies hostage less than half an hour away from me, and finish designing and putting on backing my pattern for the Personal Landscape rug.

I am so looking forward to the rest of Workshop Week!  Thank-you to all the instructors!

If you have been, thanks for reading!  Enjoy the rest of your week!

Finishing and Preparations

Finishing and Preparations

Hi everyone!  As my regulars will have noticed I didn’t post a For Sale Feature post on Wednesday.  I was busy this week working on my Parker’s Cove wall hanging. I am trying to finish it before Workshop Week 4 begins .

I ran into problems with the antique rugs I’m trying to repair.  Not the least of which is I have misplaced my needle case!  So I put them aside.  

Workshop Week 4 starts Sunday and runs until next Sunday. I went from not signing up for any classes, to signing up for four!  I was going to take a break from classes this year and just focus on my current series.  But I saw Jane Mason’s watercolour for fibre artists class.  I do watercolour…badly.  And I rug hook.  The siren call of learning the 10 rules of watercolour sealed the deal for me.  I signed up.

Then I looked at Yvonne Iten-Scott’s braided edge class and thought it would be just the thing to finish off a project and make it big enough to use as a chair pad. So I signed up.  

I thought I might take Susan Feller’s finishing class, but it was full.  I’m on the waiting list.  I hear there might be a second class sometime in late February or early March.  

Well, by then I was rethinking the whole thing.  I looked at Beth Miller’s Personal Landscapes class  I love Beth’s teaching style.  I signed up.  

Then there was Laura Salamy, who is teaching a class on creating a Baby Boucherouite rug.  This is a rug made from scraps of all types of fibre.  I’ve been wanting to take this class for some time.  So I’m glad to finally have the opportunity.

So the rest of this week has been spent preparing for Workshop Week 4. My Baby Boucherouite isn’t such a baby anymore. It’s about 10” x 36”. I am finalizing a design for Beth Miller’s class and want to get it on backing before the class on Tuesday. I’m waiting for braiding tools to arrive for Yvonne’s class. They are stuck in the Halifax postal sorting station with an indefinite delivery time!  Thankfully I have all the supplies for Jane’s class.

I wish I had enough energy to take more classes, but this way I have the opportunity to rest  between classes.  I have free days on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.   I wish all the students a wonderful week of learning, and the instructors a positive teaching experience.

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

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