Weekly Review

Weekly Review

I finished reading “Making a Life” by Deanne Fitzpatrick this week. It was an excellent quick read.

I am also reading “Mary Oliver – New and Selected Poem” volume one.  I don’t normally read poetry.  I picked this book up because I was told she wrote nature poems.   Well some are, and some aren’t.  Some start out that way and end out in dark places related to the human condition.  So depending what you’re after, some may appeal to you while others leave you wanting.

I also purchased ”Yum and Yummer” by Greta Podleski.  I have a cookbook addiction.  I sold fully two thirds of my cookbooks before we moved…or more.  I’m down to four linear feet of cookbooks.  But when my doctor relative suggested “Yum and Yummer” I sat up and took notice.  I found the cookbook in the Truro, NS Coles bookstore on my way through town Monday.  It’s great!

This cookbook has everything a great cookbook needs – thorough ingredient lists and easy to read instructions, a kitchen wisdom section at the bottom of the page, gorgeous full page photos, and QR codes you can scan for 1 minute videos on how to prepare the recipes.  We tried Cauliflower, Chickpea & Sweet Potato Curry.  It really was “Yum and Yummer”!

I was away this week and did nothing creative.  I did share my work with my relatives and one of them shared her work with me.  It was a fun time, but too short.

I am looking forward to planning a day retreat this September.  Hubby wants to do some cycling with friends  I’m going along for the ride and fun. While they’re cycling, I’ll be sketching and rug hooking.

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

 

“The Weave” and Other Works

“The Weave” and Other Works

Good morning everyone! So you may be wondering which project I’ve decided to work on next.  I looked at my project mind map and updated it. I want to move onto some Nova Scotia themed mats, but I have three small poetry mats left from my children’s poetry to complete.  All three are on backing.  All three present different challenges. So I decided to finish those up.

I decided to hook “The Weave” next.  It is based on a poem my youngest daughter wrote around 17 years of age on the fabric of life.  I already put it on backing last summer. This weekend I colour planned it.  I am using a hexad colour scheme, which is new to me.  So I sent a series of texts, including photos, to my weaving relative with excellent colour sense to get her opinion.  I am eagerly awaiting her reply.  In the meantime, I’ve actually started hooking it.

While I am finishing the poetry series up, I am preparing for my next series of wall hangings focusing on the wharves of Nova Scotia.  Hubby and I went on a day trip with my walking buddy to her cabin/trailer on Digby Neck this spring before lockdown. I had a lovely time stopping in at the various wharves in the area, taking oodles of photos!

This weekend I started the preliminary sketching for a new series.   I am not sure how I am going to represent some of these wharves.  I may end up going slightly abstract…or not.  We shall see.

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

Weekly Review – “Making a Life”

Weekly Review – “Making a Life”

Yay!  I had some time to prepare a couple of hooked pieces for the wall. I created and attached labels and hanging sleeves to “Time” and “Autumn”.  They are ready to hang!

I started reading ”Making a Life” by Deanne Fitzpatrick the other day.  It is a great little read with lots of wonderful photography of her work.  I think it’s her most readable book yet.  It’s interesting how, over the years, you can see a writer’s skill progress.  This is true of other authors as well as Deanne.  In this book Deanne writes about her life as an artist the past twenty-five years.  She talks about her initial views on art and artists, and how she grew into thinking of herself as an artist and being an artist. A lovely read.

Next up?!  Colour planning my next project!

 

Weird Weekend

Weird Weekend

Hi everyone!  A late post today. No rug hooking related work done on the weekend. Instead I chose to be outside and managed to get heat exhaustion two days in a row. Today was my second covid vaccine shot. Except for my morning and evening walks I stayed indoors…drinking lots of water.

I’ve been browsing and reading library books. I have Deanne Fitzpatrick’s “Making a Life” in front of me. I want to start that next.

I also have some poetry books on the go, and a natural history book for Nova Scotia. I’ve been using the “Book of Nature Poetry” edited by J. Patrick Lewis to find poems to add to my nature journal pages.  Sunday we were up to Cape Blomidon and I painted a very poor quality watercolour of the cliffs and ocean. I just accepted it for what it was. Some days my art works and some days it doesn’t. Today I added a poem about the sea by Lillian Moore and felt a bit better about the page.

On our way to the Cape we stopped at The Naked Crepe in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.  It’s a cute restaurant with patio on Main Street.  We ate indoors, out of the sun, and were rewarded by an excellent view of the chefs making the crepes.  It was fascinating to watch!

There were a considerable number of options on the menu.  The servings were quite large.  Still, we found room for dessert crepes.  We had the Thai spicy chicken crepe, the donair crepe, the lemon curd crepe and the berry fruit medley crepe.  My favourite was the berry fruit medley crepe.  It came with sweetened yogurt in a crepe shaped like a cup, surrounded by a mixture of berries and fruit drizzled with maple syrup.  We waddled out of there and headed back to the car to continue our trip to the Cape.

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading.  Hopefully I’ll have something related to rug hooking to post the end of this week.  Have a great week everyone!

Weekly Review – What’s Next?!

Weekly Review – What’s Next?!

This week was productive.  “Gyeongju “ is finished and up on the wall!  “Time” is also finished. I have to put hanging sleeves on it and “Autumn”. My serger is back from having maintenance done on it, so I’m good to go!

I’m checking my Someday/Maybe list and crossing these projects off.  Time to decide what’s next. I’m tempted to work on “The Weave”. Or maybe “Where are we Going?”. Or “The Bubble”. Or something totally different.

Some people have a shortage of ideas to hook. I’m not one of them!  I have sketchbooks full of ideas.  I think I’ll pick smallish projects I can carry with me this summer – projects I can work on out on the deck, or at the cottage, or at my sisters’.

I have three smallish to medium sized poetry pieces on backing left to complete.  I will pick one and colour plan it.  I’m narrowing things down this weekend…hoping to have made a decision by Monday.

I have been busy since Covid began.  Enjoy this slide show of some of my finished work.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Road Trip and Ramblings…

Road Trip and Ramblings…

Good morning everyone!  I had an delightful weekend this past weekend. The border between Nova Scotia and the other Atlantic provinces opened last Wednesday. One of my sisters lost no time coming our way to visit with friends and family – us included. So Friday we hosted a dinner for seven people in our tiny home. I had fun setting it up and cooking. I love to cook.  I took no photos of the event.  I totally forgot about my camera this weekend!  We had a delightful time catching up.

Saturday Hubby and I headed out to Lunenburg for a late lunch and to look around. We browsed the bookstores and I picked up a poetry book that looked good at first glance, but turned later to be a so-so poetry book.  Actually a kind of depressing poetry book.  I’m reading it, but it’s already on the chopping block to be given away.

Afterwards we headed out to Second Peninsula Provincial Park. It is a beautiful park with a few picnic tables. Unfortunately it was raining by the time we arrived, so we didn’t get out to check it out further.  We took a leisurely drive home instead.

Sunday I decided to watch some of the videos for International Nature Journaling Week. I finished all of Day 1 and half of Day 2. There are a lot of extra links to blog posts, websites and podcasts, not to mention YouTube videos related to the day’s theme.  I’m checking those out as I go.

Sunday I was also able to settle down and stitch the loop portion of hook and loop tape onto the back of “Gyeongju”.  I’m waiting for my shellacked oak hanging board to cure before stapling the hook side of the tape to it, mounting it on the wall, and hanging “Gyeongju”.

I’m going so slow it seems. Lots to preoccupy me these days. The kitchen countertop is being cut and we are negotiating pick up, hopefully later this week.  Our kitchen flooring will arrive later this week.  I need to clear out the utility room as it will be our makeshift kitchen.

The landscapers are here working on our front and side yards.  Today they are ripping out what’s there.  They say they’ll be finished in three days.  It’s a busy time.

Well that’s it for now!  If you have been, thanks for reading!  Take care and have a good week.

Wild Wonder 2021 & Beyond

Wild Wonder 2021 & Beyond

Wild Wonder 2021 is over for the year. Kudos to the organizers, volunteers and tech people who kept the ball rolling. It was a huge success from my viewpoint as a student.  Wild Wonder was actually a 7 day conference, but I only attended the last 5 days.  I didn’t realize I could go to the teacher conference as well.  Oh well.  Next year!

I really enjoyed the variety of approaches taken and taught by the various teachers this year – whether they were artists, scientists, writers, or real life teachers. They had an incredible wealth of knowledge to share, and they did.  I’m sure we only scratched the surface on many topics, and I look forward to following the posted links in the days and weeks ahead. Thanks everyone!  The classes were fabulous!

I enjoyed the keynote speakers, the virtual field trips, and the presentations. The event kicked off with John Muir Laws interviewing Tony Foster of The Foster.  Tony Foster is an interesting man who has painted in some of the roughest terrain on Earth. It was an excellent interview.

Keynote speakers included: Dr. Nooshin Razani, Fiona Gillogly and John Muir Laws, Richard Louv, Dr. Drew Lanham and Jane Kim.  I had to back out of one and couldn’t finish another due to being overtired.  The ones I heard were fascinating talks.  Dr. Razani spoke about the impact of nature on our health and accessibility as it relates to socio-economic factors.

My key take-away from Fiona and John Nuir Laws’ joint keynote address was how to ask questions in your nature journal.  Fiona’s Question Chains are phenomenal! I only watched part of this talk as I was too tired to finish it.  John Muir Laws talked about the difference between ecosystem, community and habitat.  He suggested we add ecology, or relationships to our nature journals.

I had to skip Richard Louv because this tired old body needed rest!   I’ll watch the video later.

Dr. Drew Lanham was an excellent speaker!  Very personable, and quotable.  He spoke about how he came to love nature, his mentors along the way, and paying attention to the details in life.  He talked about journals as a release, for healing and helping you sort your place in things and events out.

When John Muir Laws asked how the nature journaling community could be more inclusive, he talked about “the first protest of the day” – “when you wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and decide to do something different to make things different.”  He said if you see an injustice, don’t just look – speak up and say something.  Do something to change it.

His definition of conservation? “Conservation is caring enough about something intensely, other than yourself, that you will save it in abundance for someone you don’t know

The last keynote speaker, Jane Kim, spearheads InkDwell.  She is a large scale nature journaler, painting nature murals on walls and sides of buildings in public and private hands.  Her work is amazing!

I must admit I was really taken by the virtual field trips to Death Valley with Ryan Petterson and Coastal Alaska with Kim McNett.  I will be rewatching those and doing some nature journaling.

I had to back out of a lot of the social times I’d originally signed up for simply because of the time difference (I had to eat!) and my lack of stamina (I had to sleep!).  The conference emanates from California, USA.  That made for late nights for me on the East Coast.  At first I wasn’t sure if I had access to the class videos after the conference, but it turns out all attendees do.  I’ll be making use of them in the future.

The quality of my drawings went down significantly during this conference because I was trying to make notes and draw at the same time. I also had very limited time to draw. At first I was frustrated, but then I realized if I were out in nature there wouldn’t be much time to get images down on paper either!  After that I simply considered it good practice.  Here are some of my scribblings.  Forgive bad composition and very rough drawings. There were a lot of 10 second contour drawings!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

More Day Tripping!

More Day Tripping!

It’s that time of year again!  We were out and about for Father’s Day.  Hubby and I drove to the Noel Shore along the Minas Basin of Nova Scotia.  It was a beautiful warm day. We stopped at the Walton Lighthouse and walked up to the Lookout.

The plan was for me to nature journal, but I just wasn’t feeling it.  Instead I went through my new pens and pencil crayons and made swatches on my sketchbook page so I know what they look like on paper. It was a useful exercise and needed preparation for the Wild Wonder conference coming up.

Today I did actual nature journaling. I sat on the deck and drew/painted one of my pots of strawberries. Our neighbour was out doing yard work and I was feeling incredibly slothful.  I got up and did some yard work as well.  This afternoon Hubby went on another bicycle ride, so I took the opportunity to watch a Marley Peifer YouTube video on nature journaling and journal alongside him.  The subject was a Pink Tarantula molt.

This week will be taken up by the Wild Wonder conference. I do not expect to have time to post Friday. I will catch up with everyone on Monday or Tuesday of next week.

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

Day Trip Time!

Day Trip Time!

Yesterday we were on the road most of the day. In the morning we dealt with gardening supplies, plants and coordinating someone to come look at the property.  In the afternoon we had fun.

We decided to drive the South Shore as far as Queensland Beach yesterday. We stopped in at the Red Wagon Art Studio in Hammonds Plains. They had a lot of excellent quality art supplies for a reasonable price, and Amy, one of the proprietors, was more than willing to show me around. They offer curbside shopping as well as shipping. I am keeping them in mind.

We also stopped at the Bike & Bean Café in French Village. Mind you, we actually trotted next door to Cavicchi’s for ice-cream!  The Bike & Bean Café is in front of the Rumrunner’s Trail. The trail literally runs behind their back door. Hubby is an avid cyclist and wants to bike that trail soon.

Next stop was the Hooked Rug Museum of North America.  I was there the day before they opened again, having closed it due to Covid. However, the marketplace was open for business!  I had a look around and purchased some lovely recycled plaids.  Then chatted up Sharon and Taylor out front.

Sharon was busy creating the new email about the finishing class coming up mid-September. There is a limit of fifteen spaces.  I hope to be one of them, but it depends on a lot of things.   I also heard about the “Rid the Winter Blues Hooking Retreat” in Rothesay, N.B.  It’s an interesting idea and, depending on our home situation, I might take part.

Taylor was showing me her hooking and we chatted about the AirBnB she rents out. It’s full for most of the summer, but into the fall there are longer openings.  It’s a reasonable price at $100CAD/night and two bedrooms – one with a queen bed and one a double. It’s on the coast near Blandford, N.S.  It looks like an ideal spot for an artist retreat!

I reluctantly left the museum to head for the beach. The beach was a bit of a disappointment. The tide was in, it was crowded, and no one seemed to be following the keep six feet away rule.  So we headed to a picnic table nearby, had a bite to eat, took photos of the ocean, and headed home.

Despite the disappointment of the beach it was a beautiful day!   In the evening we set to work in our yard, weeding a flower bed, turning up the dirt, tidying up.  Next up is to plant the annuals we bought and add mulch. Today’s job. Hopefully it will be finished by the time the rain comes this evening.

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

Better Late Than Never!

Better Late Than Never!

I missed writing a blog post for yesterday! Sorry to leave my readers hanging for a day or so.  My blog writing was delayed. More details below.

In the rug hooking arena, “Dancing Tree” found a new home!  I sincerely hope it gives joy and puts a smile on the face of the new owner for many years to come.

I haven’t progressed any further on “Gyeongju” or “Time” due to upcoming renovations.  We picked up the last of the kitchen cabinets last week.  This weekend and Monday we shopped for flooring and countertops.  Mission accomplished!  Everything should be on site in two weeks.  The guy removing our old kitchen and installing the new is thinking it will be four weeks before he gets to us.  However, we have a planning meeting with him coming up.

But before the kitchen renovation we have a front and side yard overhaul happening!  So if I’m a little scarce on here and don’t have much rug hooking to talk about, forgive me!

We are also talking about culling trees on the property.  We have a lot of mature trees between us and the neighbours.  But that and planting a new perennial bed between us and them won’t happen until late August into early September.

While I’ve been negligent on the rug hooking front, I’ve been busy preparing for the nature journaling conference, Wild Wonder.  It takes place next weekend.  It starts at noon Atlantic Time on the 23rd and continues through to 1:30 AM Atlantic Time on Monday, the 28th.  It will be 13 1/2 hour days.  Friends and family are taking bets how long I’ll last.  That’s a lot of Zoom time for me and a lot of sitting.  I will definitely be talking advantage of breaks to stretch and exercise.

I am also planning to squeeze an artist retreat in between the lawn renewal and the kitchen renovation.  So June and July will be busy.

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  I’ll keep you posted on the renovations AND any rug hooking. Have a great week everyone!

Finish It Up Friday!

Finish It Up Friday!

Good morning everyone!  I had a successful week in the rug hooking department this week.  I finally steamed, blocked and hemmed “Gyeongju”. I still have to create a hanging system for it.  I have all the stuff to do it. I just have to make the time to do it.

I’m also finishing up “Time”. I’m currently embroidering rust coloured flowers up vines on the hourglass. I would like to be finished by next Friday.

In other news The rest of our kitchen cabinets finally came from IKEA. It’s been a long haul, taking four months to receive it all.  Now we are shopping for countertop and flooring.

The landscaper emailed to let me know they’re coming next week mid-week to rip out our old lawn before putting in new. The City has yet to raise the height of the water shutoff valve. I’m putting off the kitchen until the yard is finished.

I’ve been busy preparing for the Wild Wonder conference on nature journaling.  It runs from June 23 – 27.  It will be 14 hour days for me. From noon our time to 2:30 AM.  That is going to be tough. I may not make the midnight to 2:30 AM session.  The sessions all sound wonderful, so I signed up for every single one. I am going to be tired, busy and hopefully happy. At the very least, satisfied!  The cost for me was $95US.

This weekend I’m looking forward to yard work. We need to do more weeding. I’m also looking forward to at least one evening of company for supper and games, if they are available.

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

Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings

I have to start this post out with a correction. Apparently the driving force behind International Nature Journaling Week is Bethan Burton – a nature journalist from Australia. The week was made possible by numerous volunteers. Today is the last day of Zoom classes.  It was such a wonderful experience it motivated me to sign up for Wild Wonder.  Wild Wonder is a nature journaling conference that runs between June 23rd and 27th. It will be twelve hour days for me, so I will, in all probability, not be posting to my blog until it’s over.

I am planning an artist retreat for a few days in July, and another for September – both by the ocean.  When the Atlantic Bubble opens up again, I hope to spend some time in Prince Edward Island and maybe New Brunswick as well.

I finished hooking “Gyeongju”!  I have one circle I want to fiddle with a bit, but otherwise it’s ready for pressing and blocking. I am waiting for lockdown to lift one step further before heading into a lumber store for the piece of trim needed to hang it.  Next up is finishing the embellishments on “Time”.  I have a bit of embroidery to do and that should be it.

I received an email about In The Studio’s Workshop Week 3 this past week. I am only taking one class this time.  I took too many last time.  They were all good, but I just found it overwhelming. I really only have time for one class. Workshop Week 3 happens the end of October.  You can access more information on karendmiller.com .

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

 

Weekly Review – International Nature Journalling Week

Weekly Review – International Nature Journalling Week

Good morning everyone!  I’m right in the middle of International Nature Journalling Week put on by Bethan Burton and friends. It’s quite good. It’s free, but there has been a request for donations. It’s seven days long with two sessions per day. I’ll have to miss a couple of sessions due to previous commitments, but overall I’ll be able to get the flavour of the week.

In other news, we spent the week in the yard. It’s been the first decent week of weather for planting since last spring. I took advantage of the situation.  All our seedlings are in the ground, and a good deal of seeds.

I’m having incredible luck with growing from seeds down here!  Everything seems to grow!  I gave a third of my tomato plants to one friend, and another third to another friend. Same with pepper and oregano plants. I still had twelve tomato plants of three different varieties to plant!  I had six  or seven pepper plants of three different varieties. Plus, leeks, onions, peas, Swiss chard, kale, two kinds of beets, radishes, lettuce, squash, zucchini, cucumber, turnip, carrots, and much more.

My pots and raised beds are going to be overflowing. We had too many tomato plants, so we planted them and the remaining marigolds in the perennial bed.  We’ll see how they do in the part shade.

The weather has been gorgeous, for the most part. I’m spending a fair bit of time on the deck, relaxing.  When I’m not pulling weeds. We have a severe goutweed problem here. So we’re busy dealing with that. We back onto a Municipal green space that has become infested. It’s spreading into our flower beds.

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

Misty Monday Morning

Misty Monday Morning

This weekend I pulled weeds, finished preparing the alpaca yarn for sale, and pulled more weeds. Hubby and I had several serious conversations about the yard. Something has to be done sooner rather than later.  We have a major goutweed (aka Bishop’s weed) infestation happening.

Our new mat for the deck gazebo came Saturday.  It’s gorgeous and it’s from Costco.  It was a very good deal.  We are pleased to have a nice place to read, rug hook and spin on the deck out of the sun.

Plans for this week include more weed pulling.  But also more creative work.  I want to get “Gyeongju” finished and off my frame.  I also want it steamed and blocked.  I’m stuck on hemming until I can either have my serger repaired or get to someone else’s serger to do the job. Right now no one is going anywhere due to Covid lockdown.

I’ve been playing around with the project management app, Trello, and one thing it shows me clearly is how many of my projects are stuck because of lockdown.  We aren’t supposed to go out except for essentials, and even then only one person is to go.  That’s Hubby. I can’t call repairing a serger or buying supplies for a hanging system essential.  And I certainly wouldn’t want Hubby to handle those transactions on his own.  So…I can go so far with “Gyeongju” and then I wait…

I am also hoping to enter all my projects into Trello to see how many years of work I have ahead of me.  I need to break it down into a reasonable workload.

Well, if you have been reading, thanks!  I hope you have a good week.  Take care everyone, and stay safe.

Weekly Review – This and That

Weekly Review – This and That

I’m trying out Trello project management app due to a reader’s comment not long ago. I have mixed feelings. I like it for breaking big projects down into smaller steps and creating a daily to do list.  But I find it difficult to get a good global overview. I haven’t decided if that’s good or bad. Sometimes a global overview can be overwhelming and freeze you up.  Other times it can show you where duplication is happening.

I’ve used mind maps since 1993. I’m used to them.  But I think that’s part of the problem with me assessing Trello – I’m biased.  So I’m going to keep experimenting with both and see if one works better than the other.  I’m using SimpleMind for mind mapping…the paid version. It may be they complement each other.  I don’t know.  I have to play with Trello more.

~~~~~

In other news, I discovered a new website this week for budding artists and experienced alike. Check out Jeanne Oliver’s website.  There are free courses, self study courses and actual paid classes  I notice Deanne Fitzpatrick has a class being offered there as well.  Lots to work with.  I plan on exploring some.

~~~~~

I’ve been reading a new-to-me book called “Desire to Inspire” by Christine Mason Miller.  It is a book on various artists with creative exercises in it to help you use your “creative passion to transform the world “.  I’m on chapter two. I’ll let you know how it goes.

~~~~~

I’m still hooking on the border of “Gyeongju”.  It’s a lot bigger than I thought, but it’s looking good!   I figure I have two more hours of hooking to do and it will be finished!

~~~~~

I processed (or finished) some hand spun alpaca yarn for knitting.  It’s hanging to dry as I write.

~~~~~

I attended a free nature journaling lecture via Zoom yesterday afternoon.  It was hosted by John Muir Laws.  It was about flower and leaf configurations.  In it I found out the first week of June is International Nature Journalling Week.  John’s website offers a series of Zoom workshops for free or donation (as you are able) during the week.  I’m debating taking some.  It depends on my time.

There is also a nature journaling conference called Wild Wonder June 23-27th. That is a paid event.  More information can be found on John’s website.

If you have been, thanks for reading!  Enjoy your weekend!

 

 

Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings

This weekend was spent rug hooking, talking with family, sewing a doll outfit and gardening.

I also sent an email to the photographer whose photos I am using as a base for some of my nature journaling. I wanted to make sure he knew I was using his photos and how. He was okay with it. His name is John Phillips. He’s a Nova Scotia photographer. Check out his website here!

I hooked more on “Gyeongju”.  I have one quarter of the border left to do – about four to five hours work.  I’m looking forward to finishing.

My doll now has a new sailor dress outfit.  This is my childhood doll and I’ve been meaning to sew her a new outfit for years.  I never really prioritized it though. But Saturday was the day. I sewed the hat, dress and panties.  The hat looks big, but actually just fits the back of the head.

My niece looked at it and commented the doll looked scary. Lol!  Poor doll is over 55 years old and missing a few eyelashes and a pinkie finger.  The missing lashes and discoloured face from age definitely give  it a different look! Lol!

This week I am pushing to finish hooking “Gyeongju” and blocking it.  I am also transplanting plants into pots for the deck garden.  I have extra plants to unload on friends.  I have a couple friends lined up already.

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

 

Weekly Review – Museum Hanging System

Weekly Review – Museum Hanging System

This week was a week of moving forward on various projects.

I finished spinning an alpaca fibre I acquired from a lady out in Regina, Saskatchewan many years ago (thank-you Sharon!).  It’s a beautiful soft yarn, and I haven’t processed it yet!  This yarn will be used for knitting.

In the process of cleaning up my studio last week I found my old doll.  It’s over 50 years old!   It needs new clothes.  I believe the last time I sewed for her was in the 1980s, and it was just a pajama top and panties set.  This time she’s going to sport a coordinating sailor dress, panties and bonnet in various patterns of hot pink!  The sewing pattern is decided and cut.  Today I plan to do some sewing.

In the rug hooking arena I dyed more purple wool fabric to finish hooking the border on “Gyeongju”.  I figure I have 6-8 hours of hooking left to do.  Then it’s onto blocking and hemming the edges.  I have to decide what kind of hanging system to use with it.  It’s a pretty heavy piece, so I may take the time to make a full museum quality hanging system.

What’s that? You ask?

Well, I take a strip of thin wood (check out the trim section of your lumber store), cut it to length, and shellac it.  Then I staple hook and loop tape to it – the hook side.   I sew the loop side to the top of the rug.  I drill a couple of holes either end of the trim…right through the hook and loop tape.  I screw it to the wall where I want to hang the piece, making sure it’s level.  Then I just push the loop part of the tape onto the hook part, making fine adjustments as I go to make sure the rug is hanging level.

It is a time consuming way to hang a rug, and is not cheap.   But it’s the best system I’ve seen for big heavy rugs like mine in the long run.

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

Summer Oasis

Summer Oasis

Good morning everyone!  The weather was lovely this past weekend.  I confess I didn’t do much creative.  Instead Hubby and I spent it in the yard preparing for summer.

We had garden soil delivered on Friday. In our marriage I have the know how, having taken some courses and had some experience with gardening, and Hubby is the brawn, having a strong heart and back.  He also has experience in the gardening arena.  So I was able to look over the four different types of soil we had, give him directions for mixing them appropriately, and help fill containers.

The first container he filled was a long, narrow raised bed we built a couple weekends ago.  We built it with lumber we traded for with a neighbour.  The neighbour had some lovely 2x8s and 4x4s. We had fresh cedar from a tree we had to have cut down because it was growing in power lines.  Fair trade!  The planter was filled Friday and planted.

Saturday was another nice day. Hubby put together the second Adirondack chair.

Sunday we were busy.  We put up the gazebo in the morning, and put the deck furniture in it.  Then, in the afternoon, we took all the soil out of the 12+ pots, loosened up root balls of various plants that were growing, and added soil to top up and refresh the pots. I’m surprised and happy to report that mint, strawberries, oregano, tarragon, and lavender, and more have all come back up this year!

Hubby rewarded himself for a job well done by going on a bicycle ride. I enjoyed the deck with a cup of tea. Aaaah!  I can feel summer coming now!  Next weekend I hope to plant the rest of the containers.  For now, I feel the urge to set up my rug hooking on the deck!

If you have been, thanks for reading!  Talk to you all later.  Have a great week everyone!

 

Studio Organization

Studio Organization

Hi everyone!  This past week has been a busy week spent trying to get my studio in order. It was much worse than I thought!  We had initially bought furniture to fit the space as measured by a laser measure.  Well the laser measure was wrong – it was out by 1-2 feet. So I had furniture positioned at right angles going into the room.  But this week I took another look. I measured the room again and drew up an “as is” plan.


Then I took some photos to post online for some of my friends and see what could be done. Here’s the job half done on Wednesday.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I posted a video for some online friends to give input on the situation and decided to measure up furniture to see what could be done.

In the end Hubby came down and  moved some boxes of scrapbook memorabilia and old journals upstairs for me to sort through later.  I still have wall hangings I’d like to hang on the wall, mending to do, a project box to sort, and a doll to dress!  But first I have to sew her clothes!  Here is a video of where I’m currently at with the studio.

Studio Update

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

Lockdown Plans

Lockdown Plans

So for those of you who don’t know, all of Nova Scotia (where we live) has been placed in lockdown. We’re talking a super tight, don’t go out of your house unless you have to, lockdown. One person per household is allowed out to buy essentials – food, gas and medications – and it has to be the same individual throughout lockdown. We are allowed to walk, masked and socially distanced. If we’re a 1-2 person household, we can team up with another 1-2 person household and keep them in our bubble. When we do go shopping for groceries, gas or meds, we are not supposed to leave our community. It’s a bit stressful here right now.

So…our soil delivery for our newly made raised bed was canceled.  The greenhouse staff called and said maybe next week, maybe not until the end of May.  So much for my early spring crop. But it is what it is, and people need to stay safe!

Instead of focusing on the outdoors, which is hard to do anyways with all the rain forecast, I decided to focus on indoors.  Saturday I spent all day picking up my studio.  It was a mess!  It still has a lot of extra stuff in it that needs culling and putting away, but it’s better than before.  I made an eight minute video of the current state of my studio here.  It’s middling.   There’s still a lot to do in there.  However there is progress.  Last year this time we were dealing with this.

I also took time to do a quick two minute video of my nature journal.  It can be found here.  I hope to work on sketching some flowers I received for Mother’s Day.  I’m also contemplating a Great Blue Heron page for my nature journal.

Today I’m sitting down with my hook and working on “Gyeongju”.  I am also doing paperwork for my business.

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

 

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

It’s been a busy week for me. In between rug hooking, yard cleanup, sewing and gardening, there’s also been nature journaling. I’m really enjoying learning more about observing and recording nature, even though I struggle with the scientific end of it…primarily thinking of questions to ask about my observations. But, the drawing practice is invaluable!

I spent some time watching YouTube videos by John Muir Laws on nature journaling.  He uses coloured pencils outdoors.  Because I’ve been working from photographs indoors, I’ve been using watercolours.  You can use either in either location.  But I’m thinking I could use a greater variety of journals, at a more affordable price, if I learned to use coloured pencils properly.  So I put an order into Michaels craft store for curbside pickup of a few pencils and a case to hold them.

Here are more watercolour pages in my nature journal.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In other news, I finally finished the last project for the L.L. Bean shirts that belonged to my dad when he passed away three years ago.  Dad loved L.L. Bean clothes – their shirts in particular.  He had white hair and blue eyes. He could wear just about any colour, and did!  The bright orange nylon one became a cushion cover for his widow. The rest I took and sewed into various projects – one for each descendant.  You can find “The Shirt Project” video here .

While all of the projects but one were finished within a few months of Dad’s death, one project in particular was vexing. One of my nephews wanted a knife sheath for a jackknife. The shirts just aren’t built for that. But I happened to have some tanned moose hide, so thought I’d try. Then we had to focus on moving. It wasn’t till last fall that I picked up the project again. I broke many needles and couldn’t sew the moose hide on my home machine, even with leather needles. So, after consultation with my nephew, I sewed this alternative gift. Here’s the final project for my last nephew.

Hubby and I also put together a raised garden bed to run along the side of our raised deck.  We traded our deformed cedar we had to have cut down (it was growing in power lines) for some milled lumber leftover from a neighbour.


We also put together a Muskoka Bear chair, which is really a type of Adirondack chair.  Hubby is working on the matching chair now.  It came in pieces.  Hubby sanded it, painted it and assembled it.  The colour is Aruba Blue by Benjamin Moore, and I just love it!

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  I hope you all have a wonderful, productive weekend.  Take care.

Someday Maybe

Someday Maybe

So after Friday’s post on “How do you decide what to do next?”, I decided it was time to review my Someday Maybe list. The Someday Maybe list is actually the brain child of David Allen – author of “Getting Things Done”.   My list is actually two mind maps.  One is for just rug hooking and business related activities, and the other is for the rest of my life.

I’ve written about mind maps before. Invented by Tony Buzan, they are basically a visual representation of ideas linked together by lines emanating from a central theme or topic.  Google “mind maps” and you’ll find lots of examples.

I like to use mind maps for my Someday Maybe projects/ideas because sometimes things intertwine and you can do two things at once…if you see the connection ahead of time. You can plan your time and materials more efficiently.  A mind map also allows you to see an overview of your plan at a glance.

I like to update my Someday Maybe mind maps after each retreat and at the beginning of the year.  So that’s at least twice a year.   Last year I was blessed with being able to have three retreats!  That is very uncommon for me.  I updated my Someday Maybe mind map after each retreat.

You know though, I have to take the space here to say, you can over-plan your time too.  A mind map or list is fine for helping you focus and stay on track, but you don’t want it to be a straight jacket!  You want to build in time for play and exploration.

I’m way behind in my initial plan, but you know what?  I don’t care!  Why not?  Well, during those times when I “should” have been rug hooking or promoting my business, I was busy learning new things.  I took time out for Karen Miller’s Workshop Weeks, and Karen Abend’s Sketchbook Revival, and to learn nature journaling.  I trust that these experiences and explorations will expand on and improve my technique and inform me as an artist.  I trust the emphasis on learning will pay rewards in the long term.  Plus, everyone just needs down time to relax and have fun.  If rug hooking becomes just another chore, you won’t want to do it.  Build in time to play.

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

 

Nature Journaling

Nature Journaling

Good morning everyone!  Today I am talking about nature journaling.  I am a wildlife biologist’s daughter. I spent most of my childhood and early adult life outdoors and enjoying camping. My mother loved birds and plants and instilled her love of those to me. My father took us all out “into the field” from June through the end of August.

“The field”, for those not related to a wildlife biologist, means we lived in tents all summer long in the great outdoors, wherever it may be. For my growing up years that meant a place called Streeter Basin, followed by Gregg Lake, and then Kananaskis Research Centre, where we graduated to living in a trailer.  At Streeter there was no-one around for miles. Just my family, Dad’s grad students (“Don’t bother them!”) and nature. We learned to love nature.

Was this scary?  A bit.  I could tell you stories. But that’s getting off topic.  Streeter Basin was where I became interested in birds.  It was also where I started drawing plants.

By the time I was in high school we started going to Kananaskis.  There a kind botany professor let me tag along on field trips.  My mother was in his class. He would talk about the plants. I would go off nearby and draw them.

I did try and paint a few plants as an adult, upon taking painting courses.  But that was the extent of my nature drawing.  Until Sketchbook Revival 2021 and John Muir Laws’ class.

After drawing the Black-throated Blue Warbler in under two hours, I was excited again!  Here is a more or less cleaned up version of the original drawing, which had a lot of mistakes.

Enter my Internet search for resources. I found John Muir Laws has written, not one, but two books on nature journaling.  I also found Clare Walker Leslie had a book out on nature journaling that she co-authored with Charles Roth. Hmmm… I ordered both books.  (Clare Walker Leslie has a new edition of her book published this year!)

While waiting I decided to try my hand at it a second time.  This time I asked a nature loving friend if she had any photos I could use as a base for my drawings – as reference.  She did!  I received several shots with images of birds.  I decided to try again…this time I made a page for the Black-capped Chickadee.

I see several areas where I could improve my work, composition wise, artistically and with the text.  However, as a starting point these are okay. I need a record to see how I progress.

The books arrived Thursday and I have been immersed ever since. They are both excellent books. Clare’s and Charles’s book, “Keeping a Nature Journal”, is good for someone who has no clue about drawing and thinks they can’t do it. John’s book, “The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling”, is more detailed and in-depth.  Both excellent stuff!  Both are aimed at nature lovers everywhere who want to record what they see.

I was so excited by the books I powered through most of “Keeping a Nature Journal” this weekend.  I also watched a video on YouTube called “How to Build a Journal Page with Kristin Meuser.  On Kristin’s advice I decided to pick a smaller watercolour sketchbook to start.

I found a red journal half the size of the large sketchbook I had been using, and redrew the first two drawings, adjusting for composition.  I also tried some drawing from life, which is what nature journaling is all about.  It looks pretty rough folks, but it’s a start.  Practice makes perfect!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So if I appear to be neglecting my rug hooking for a while, don’t be alarmed!  I am merely honing observation and drawing skills which will, eventually, show up in my wall hangings.

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