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!

Save That Rug! Review & Update

Save That Rug! Review & Update

This week I am wanting to work on repairing old rugs and hooking on my second Parker’s Cove rug.  I also want to design and put on backing another Parker’s Cove rug.

I ran into trouble repairing the first old rug. The edge was bent back with no whipping on it. As a result, after years of use on the floor, the burlap backing has broken between these pins.

I’m not sure how I’m going to approach repairing it yet. I thought I’d look in this book by Judy Taylor for ideas.  It is full of detailed step-by-step repair techniques to use on old rugs. There are a lot of photos showing various steps in repair and before and after photos. Thank-you for such a detailed book, Judy!

The second old rug has been neglected for the first, at the moment.  I managed to find some wool yarn in my stash to repair the whipping. That’s a start.

Well, that’s what’s on my plate this week folks!  If you have been reading, thanks!  Have a great week everyone!

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Good morning everyone!  It’s been a busy, but fun week here.  I’m immersed in my favourite activities – cooking, quilting and rug hooking.  I had two new cookbooks arrive from the US, about five months after ordering them. I found it somewhat amusing (and frustrating) to track their progress as they travelled south, then north, then east, finally spiralling out on my location.

In rug hooking I have worked more on the Parker’s Cove fishing shacks.  I have two of the three shacks hooked and am working on the third.

I also had an informative conversation with Susan McCuish Logue about repairing a couple of old rugs I purchased recently.  I took the twill tape off the back of the green floral, only to find a very narrow, raw and fraying, burlap edge underneath.  I’m going to try and serge the edge before attempting further repairs.  Right now I’m working up the courage to do that!

I also went through my yarn stash and found a nice wool that is a perfect match for fixing the whipping on the bigger “wedding rug” on linen.  I’m looking forward to finishing that.

I’ve been allowing myself to be sidetracked by watching past episodes of Quilting Arts TV.  Lots of inspiration and ideas flowing.  There is not enough time in a day for me!

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

FOR SALE FEATURE: Hearts

FOR SALE FEATURE: Hearts

Hearts was a pre-pandemic project that was waylaid by the arrival of Covid-19 in Canada in March 2020. It gave me something to do with my hands while wrestling with the changes in our world and in my life.

Hooked with wool, silk and nylon on primitive linen backing. Some hand spun yarn and some hand dyed fibre is included in these pieces.

On sale for $150 for all of them.  Or, if I split them up, $120 for the wall hanging and $20 each for the coasters. Shipping included for Canadian addresses.

Those interested in purchasing can contact me through email at jeanottosenstudios@gmail.com  or through my Facebook page – Jean Ottosen Studios – or through Instagram (Jean Ottosen Studios).  Or you can contact me through the contact form under the contact tab on this website.

So…What Can I Do With It?

So…What Can I Do With It?

Hello everyone!  I hope you all had a good weekend.  We had a strong nor’easter blow through our part of the world, bringing rain, snow, sleet, ice pellets and thunder!  I tell you, the weather here is weird!

I took the opportunity to stay indoors and hook on my Parker’s Cove fishing shacks series. Here’s the progress on the second piece so far.  I’m loving hooking these bright colours on these cold wintry days!

In a different vein…a few times lately the subject has come up about hooking for something other than the floor or the wall.  It’s a good thought.  Many people have reached the point where their walls are covered with art. There’s no room for a hooked rug there, nor on the floor!

There are many projects that can be made with the traditional rug hooking technique.  I have hooked cushion covers before, as well as table runners.  For a beginning list, check out these items that people have hooked in the past. 

  • cushion covers,
  • doorstoppers (over a brick),
  • sculpture,
  • clothing (vests, cloaks, skirt motif, coat),
  • accessories (hats, belts, brooches, necklaces),
  • chair pads,
  • hot pads,
  • tea cozies,
  • table runners,
  • fireboard (for hiding the fireplace when not in use),
  • footstool covers,
  • window valance,
  • curtain tiebacks,
  • tree skirt for Christmas Tree,
  • purse,
  • upholstery for a chair,
  • coasters,
  • slippers,
  • wallet,
  • toys,
  • Christmas Tree ornaments,
  • tote bags,
  • bench cover, and
  • stair riser decor.

Have I forgotten anything?  Add to the list in the comments below.  What have you made using the traditional rug hooking technique?  What have you seen made using that technique?

If you have been reading, thanks!  I hope you all have a good week!  Talk to you later.

 

Hit & Miss

Hit & Miss

“Huh?”, you ask?  To rug hookers “hit and miss” is a particular type of rug hooking pattern.  It’s great for rug hookers who want to use up scraps.  The procedure is to reach into a bin or bag of mixed colour and texture scrap strips of fibre (also known as worms or noodles) and pull out whatever your hand touches first and hook it. Then repeat, without regard to colour or texture. No planning. That is a hit and miss rug in its purist form.  At least that’s it in theory. I’ve never done that.

Usually most rug hookers put some degree of decision making into a hit and miss project. The closest I’ve ever come is the centre of this welcome mat I made for a family member. It looks like pure hit and miss, but originally I made a conscious decision to intersperse light with dark and, because I didn’t have enough yellow, there was judicious placement of it on the diagonal. This rug is closing in on 35 years old and parts of it have faded.  It’s hard to tell I had such a design problem.

The next hit and miss piece I hooked was a wedding gift for my nephew and his new wife.  He married in Alberta, Canada, so I hooked a rug with pink wild Alberta roses floating above alternating blue and green squares in a controlled hit and miss background. I hooked the blue squares in one direction and the green at right angles.  This style of hit and miss is called basket weave.  The results were striking. To add to the charm of this rug was the Canada tartan kilt border with Hudson’s Bay Company blanket lettering.

The last hit and miss piece I hooked was a hot pad in greens, burgundies and yellows that is featured in the opening photo of this blog post.  It is my Christmas themed hot pad. It has varying widths of fibre. To add interest to the piece I divided the backing into four parts and hooked each part at right angles to the other.

There are many variations of hit and miss rugs.  Charlie Dalton, a contemporary rug hooking artist (google The Hooking Colonel), and instructor at the upcoming In The Studio Workshop Week 4, uses them as backgrounds to his pet portraits.  Google “hit and miss hooked rug” and check out some eye candy!

For further study on such rugs I direct you to William C. Ketchum’s book “Hooked Rugs”, in the chapter on geometrics, and Bea Brock’s “Scrappy Hooked Rugs”, in the gallery section on hit and miss rugs.

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

Parker’s Cove

Parker’s Cove

Good morning everyone!  By now, if you’ve been reading my blog, you know a bit about Parker’s Cove in Nova Scotia and how it has inspired me.  To give you an idea of the true colours of the fishing shacks of Parker’s Cove check out the gallery below…

I usually start all my pieces with photographs…lots of photographs. Then narrow things down from there.  I try to get just the perfect angle in the photos, but in this case the wharf and the ocean were in the way, so in some cases I had to fudge things.

I spent some time sketching the architecture of the fishing shacks, only to realize it is really the colours and shapes I’m after, not so much the lines.  So I experimented this past weekend with semi-abstract colour blocking.  I say semi-abstract because they really look like my line drawings, if you were to strip away all the lines and add shapes and colour.

I’m having a lot of fun playing with this series so far.  I have no idea where it’s going to lead me and what the end product will be, but I’m enjoying the ride so far!

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

Moving On…

Moving On…

Good morning everyone!  This week my copy of Rug Hooking Magazine arrived.  I was very pleased with the look of the article I submitted for publication.  I would like to publicly thank…again…the editor, copy editor and photographers of my work.  You all were amazing!

I started on my next series and am already half finished the first mat, but it’s smallish…about 8” x 10”.  This series pays homage to the hard work and creativity of Nova Scotia’s fishermen and women.  It is a series centred around the humble fishing shack.

The inspiration for this series came from our drives around the Nova Scotia coastline, visiting small villages and their wharves as we went. I initially thought I would do a series on wharves, and I might yet. The wharves all seem different to me, with their own character, depending on the season and time of day.

But when we drove past Parker’s Cove it was “Whoa Nelly!”   Our driver stopped on our way back from Delaps Cove, where we had checked out the wharf.

In Parker’s Cove the brightly coloured fishing shacks smiled in the sun, beckoning us for a closer look.  Smiled?  More like danced for joy!  They are a brightly coloured group of buildings encircling the wharf area.  I was truly grateful for a modern cell phone camera to use instead of those old film ones. My companions were having a good chuckle at my expense over the number of photos I was taking. But, even with all the photos, I still didn’t have the angle I wanted for this first design.  I fudged it a bit.

Earlier this week I transferred two designs to backing I wanted to reuse, and started hooking.  Here it is so far.

To be honest, there are some things I don’t like still, and this is definitely not all going to stay “as is”.  But it’s a good start.

In other news…

For those who don’t know, Workshop Week 4 is coming up the end of this month and into February. I have participated in the last three, and, having finished the poetry series, wasn’t sure if I’d have pieces to work on for Workshop Week 4.  It seemed to have classes that required a fair number of works in progress, which I just don’t have. However, I looked more closely.  Always read the fine print carefully!  I ended up signing up for four classes.  Not all of them required WIPs. If you’re interested I would suggest contacting Laura Salamy at High on Hooking on Instagram.

While cruising the Net I found In The Studio is offering another seminar/artist talk mid-January – this time by Sarah Leighton.  I am very interested. I found this information on Instagram as well.

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  I’m off to prepare for classes and a Zoom hook-in today. Have a great weekend everyone.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2022!  While I had a good year last year, I’m pleased to be moving on this year.  I finished many projects in 2021, including a series of hooked rugs, and a very old quilt. I also finished knitting not one toque, but two, for Christmas gifts. And I started knitting a pair of socks.

I was delighted to be able to help a young lady learn rug hooking this holiday season.  She was gifted a kit and I created a video specially for her.  I hope she continues to rug hook and enjoys it.

While I did not post to my blog over the holidays, followers on my social media accounts (Facebook in particular) will notice I have been posting new work from the last few years in my shop on this website.  I have had such trouble with my checkout that I’ve neglected posting new work. I’ve currently disabled the cart and checkout process by placing my shop on vacation.

However, if you want to purchase anything, feel free to email me at jeanottosenstudios@gmail.com.  I am still here and will ship to you.

This year’s plans are to move forward with a new series of hooked mats I hope to put on backing this week.  Hubby and I have driven around Nova Scotia, our new home province, a lot, and have discovered some wonderful places full of beauty and character.  I hope to create visual memories of these places for my home and others.

And now for the big news!  I have finished the series of wall hangings based on my children’s poetry!  The inspiration poetry was written or spoken from ages five to seventeen.  I hooked ten wall hangings inspired by the poems.  Most of the wall hangings have the poem that inspired it on the back on a label.  Eight of these pieces are for sale.  Contact me for more information.

And in even bigger news…!  I have had an article published in the January 2022 issue of Rug Hooking Magazine!  It is about the poetry series.  I was very pleased to be able to work with the editor and a photographer on this article.   A big thank-you to all involved!

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

 

Season’s Greetings!

Season’s Greetings!

Good morning everyone!   I hope everyone is trying to take some time to themselves to just enjoy this time of year.  It’s hard when you have children in your life to take some time for yourself any time of year, let alone during the holiday season.  But the dividends of doing so far outweigh the costs.  The same goes for the childless people picking up extra shifts this time of year so those with children can spend time with theirs.  I hope you find some time to just enjoy the season.

Friday I hosted a cookie exchange.  We had a great time chatting, eating and playing games.  The cookies were great too!

We went to a friend’s for a Christmas dinner Saturday, where I re-learned how to darn my good hand knit wool socks.  I’ve been busy mending socks ever since.   I have a lot with holes I’m afraid!  We had a wonderful Christmas dinner, opened some gifts early, and played games.

Sunday I went for a walk with a friend in the snow, as it came lazily drifting down from the sky.  We visited family to drop off gifts.  We are slowly preparing for Christmas.

My future creative plans?  I’m busy preparing to knit a beanie hat (or a toque as we call it in Canada) for my last Christmas gift.  After that I want to knit myself another pair of wool socks.  Plus, now I’ve finished the Trip-Around-The-World quilt, it’s time to finish the South Korean appliqué quilt.  I have nine blocks stitched.  I need at least 27 more.

For those of you having a lonely Christmas – whether due to Covid or other factors – I encourage you to reach out to others online or by writing letters or email, or Zoom/Skype/FaceTime…whatever works for you.  Give a bit of yourself to others, or take some time to heal.  That is what I’ll be doing the next two weeks.  I’m taking some time off to spend time with family and friends, and to enjoy Christmas.  I’ll spend time knitting and quilting for a change.

This will be my last blog post until after New Year’s.

If you have been, thanks for reading, and…

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! 

 

I Did A Thing!

I Did A Thing!

I finished it!

Good morning everyone!   The Trip-Around-The-World quilt is finished!  This quilt was 45 years in the making.  It is the longest project I’ve ever had on my plate.

This is a memory scrap quilt, and that spurred me on to complete it. The fabrics in the top are leftover scraps from my Grandmother’s sewing, my mother’s sewing, my sisters’ and my Home Ec. projects, and old cotton sheets. Most of the fabric holds a memory of a person, place or time.

This was the first quilt I ever started.  It is made of 2 1/2” squares set on point.  I had grand visions of hand piecing and hand quilting the entire thing.  In the end I gave up on hand piecing partway through, but I did finish the hand quilting, which is what has taken me so long.

It originally had wide borders on it to make it big enough for our queen size bed.  But I did not like the fabric, so cut the borders off and used the fabric for binding.

I had problems sewing on the binding as well.   I took too wide a seam allowance, therefore making it very difficult to turn the binding and stitch it firmly over the edge of the quilt.

If anything could go wrong with this project it did.  I learned on it.  I made a lot of mistakes on it.  Not the least of which is the all cotton top with a polyester cotton backing!  It will look interesting if it’s ever washed!

The main thing is it’s done.  It won’t win any awards, but it will keep us warm in our TV room.  And it will make me smile every time I look at it.

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

Holiday Preparations

Holiday Preparations

Good evening everyone!  I’m a bit late with this post because I really haven’t done anything crafty this past weekend.  At this point I’m organizing Christmas.  I did finish baking the Raspberry Ribbon Cookies.  They are very good, according to Hubby, my taste tester. I concur. I put them in the freezer quickly, so there would be some left for Christmas.

I’ve been writing cards and organizing gifts. I have a large extended family and, while we normally don’t exchange much with each other, I singled out a couple of families for all the help they’ve been to us since we moved.  I’ve also singled out a few close friends for cards and gifts.

I love giving gifts, but I realize not everyone likes to receive. They feel an obligation to exchange gifts. Or they just aren’t “into” gifts. Or there’s financial reasons.  Or time constraints. Or…

That’s okay.  There are many types of gifts other than physical objects. I gift my time, or fulfill a need or want that comes up throughout the year. I will gift my experience and expertise to people who really need it and ask for it.  There are, of course, limits on that. I don’t like to be used any more  than the next person!  By taking a broad view of gift giving I am able to help more people and spread happiness throughout the year, not just at Christmas time.

I hope, wherever you are, that you find time to slow down during this holiday season (no matter what holiday you celebrate) and soak up some peace, and wonder at the marvellous world around you.

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

 

 

 

Weekly Review: The New and The Old

Weekly Review: The New and The Old

Or maybe that title should read “the old and the older”!  Good afternoon everyone!  It’s been a busy week.  This has been my Christmas baking week.  I have one more batch of cookies to go – Danish butter cookies called Raspberry Ribbons. Everything else is in the freezer, awaiting a cookie exchange later this week.

About the post title…I’ve been enjoying old things this week.  I posted Monday about working on my Trip-Around-The-World quilt that I started when I was seventeen.  Not to get into details, but that was quite a few  decades ago!  I started out hand piecing it and hand quilting it.  I ended up finishing the piecing by machine and I’m just finishing up the hand quilting now.

I learned a lot with that quilt.

I originally wanted it to be queen size, but I didn’t like the border fabric once it was attached, so I cut it off. Now I  have a 60” square quilt.  It’s really a lap quilt.  That’s okay. It’s almost finished!

I also discovered I don’t like hand piecing or hand quilting.  As the years have gone by I’ve had increasing difficulty seeing to thread needles, which doesn’t help.

This was my first quilt and I picked small 2.5 inch squares to make a big quilt. My patience was not up to the task!  I had long stretches of time, when life got in the way, where I did not work on it at all.  But it’s been sitting in a bag in my living room for two years now.  It’s time to get it out of there!  I won’t move it until it is finished.

What’s left to do?  I have about 2 inches of hand quilting from the end of my last hand quilting to the binding (yes, I’m aware it’s being done out of order) all the way around the entire quilt. Maybe 120 rows of 2 inches of quilting to finish.  I’m hoping to be done by Christmas.

That’s the “New” of “The Old and The New”!   What’s “The Old” you might ask?  Well, I bit the bullet and purchased two older rugs this week.  They were posted on Facebook and I fell in love with one in particular, the moment I saw the photo. I have no idea how old it is, but I was told it once belonged to Carol Harvey Clark and is loosely referred to as “The Wedding Rug”, though the seller didn’t know for sure if it is one.

It has a very unusual asymmetrical geometric design.  The colour combination of greys (faded blues), greens, yellows and pinks is striking. If I look at the base of the loops and the back of the rug, I can see it was once much brighter and more intense. I thought at first it was on burlap, but the whipping is starting to wear on the edge, revealing a white backing that is very supple. I’m guessing it’s linen.  I’m thinking about replacing the whipping where it’s worn, and placing the rug on the floor of an infrequently walked in part of the house.

That led me to Judy Taylor’s Facebook group on repairing hooked rugs, and ultimately to her website, where I ordered her book on repairing hooked rugs – “Save That Rug!”.

The other rug I bought is “about 70 years old” according to the seller.  A fine cut, fine shaded floral with a green background.  It’s gorgeous!  I almost didn’t buy this one. It has edge issues and is on burlap.  But I think it can be repaired.

Yesterday, after the foot or so of wet snow we had, I took both rugs out to clean.  I was being extra careful with them.  It did brighten them up some. Next up is to repair them before shopping for a proper underlay for them and putting them permanently in place. That may not happen until the new year.

This has been a long blog post!  If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great weekend everyone!

FOR SALE FEATURE: Star Rug

FOR SALE FEATURE: Star Rug

“Star Rug” was one of the first pieces I hooked for the Saskatchewan Crafts Council in 2012.  It was hooked at various venues across Saskatchewan and used to demonstrate rug hooking to people at craft fairs and shows.

“Star Rug” is hooked with silk and wool on primitive linen.  The design consists of a series of stars, freehanded onto backing and floating in six inch squares.  The entire piece is a take off of the traditional hit and miss rug, with both stars and their respective six inch backgrounds being hooked in deep, rich vibrant colours.

“Star Rug” was accepted into the travelling exhibit, “Dimensions“, of the Saskatchewan Crafts Council in 2013. It toured across Canada before coming home to rest.

I have always had a soft spot for “Star Rug”, as it was my first piece to tour extensively.  I’ve kept the price high over the years to reflect the quality of material, the work and the history of the piece. However, now I am ready to let it go.  The $500 CAD price tag represents a more than 30% price reduction.

“Star Rug” is 28.5” x 17 inches.  It comes with a museum quality hanging system of a finished oak board and hook and loop tape attached to the back of the rug and the board.  All you need are two screws to hold the board to your wall!  “Star Rug” also comes with an artist’s Certificate of Authenticity and care instructions.

If you are interested in purchasing “Star Rug”, contact me through the Contact button on this page or email me at jeanottosenstudios@gmail.com. I accept payment by e-transfer or PayPal. Shipping in the the southern part of Canada is free. I’m afraid I have to charge extra for remote places, the USA and international.

 

Quilting Time!

Quilting Time!

Good evening everyone!  It’s raining and blowing outside, with the occasional rumble of thunder.  What weird December weather!  Hopefully it settles down by tomorrow.

I finished attaching labels to the back of “The Weave” and “Where Are We Going?”, effectively ending the poetry series.  Now it’s time for a break before moving onto another series.

My break is going to be spent finishing some projects I’ve already started. Top of the list is the Trip-Around-The-World quilt I started when I was seventeen.  That was a long time ago and takes the record for the longest WIP (Work In Progress) I have.  I just need to fix some hand quilting by the binding.  Then it will be done.

After the quilt I’m not sure what’s on my plate.  I have other quilting projects, a crewel embroidery project (or two), a needlepoint project, some small hardanger embroidery projects…  We’ll see how far I get.  Come January I want to go back to rug hooking.

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

 

Weekly Review: Christmas Decorating

Weekly Review: Christmas Decorating

Good morning everyone!  This week has been one of preparing for the upcoming holiday season.  I hosted a tree decorating party yesterday.  I invited a few friends to help.  Our house is small and with Covid doing its thing again (still) I decided to err on the side of caution.

We had a potluck buffet and it was great! One of my friends surprised me with a home baked bread Advent wreath!  I’d seen one at her place before  and commented on the uniqueness of it. She decorated it before she left last night.

We had a young lady come who helped decorate the tree, the front window and arrange some Christmas florals in a floor vase.  It was great to have her energy and enthusiasm in the room.  I think I still need more ornaments on the tree, but we were running out of them. I just didn’t buy enough. Something to think about next year.

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Then there were the garland ladies!  They did a magnificent job of making two cheap Michaels garlands look good. Trust me, that was a job!

One lady took on the mantel and went all out.  It looks gorgeous!

I am so happy for the help of my friends.  They did a wonderful job and we had great fun doing it. The food was good too.  I made some mulled apple cider as well.  It was a great time, and lots of fun. Thank-you to all involved!

In other news…I am still in the process of printing out labels for “The Weave” and “Where Are We Going?”.  Once those are done I’ll be taking a month long break from hooking. I want to focus on finishing up some other projects around here.  I have some quilts and other projects to finish up.

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

 

FOR SALE FEATURE: Star Wall Hangings

FOR SALE FEATURE: Star Wall Hangings

Good afternoon all!  Today’s feature are these larger versions of the bright star ornaments.  These are 6 inches square. Once again, no two stars are the same.  They are lined with coordinating cotton quilting fabric.  The hanging loops are made of silk ribbon. They are wool, velvet and silk hand hooked on linen.  Some yarn and fabric.  The yarn is often hand spun. Fibre is a mix of hand dyed, “as is” and indie dyed by other artists.

I often hang these in the top corners of archways in my house during the holiday season.  They can hang “as is”, or from a garland.  I have also hung them on the wall as regular decor.

Each wall hanging is $50 CAD, plus shipping and handling. Contact me through my contact form if interested.

 

Weekend Happenings

Weekend Happenings

Good afternoon everyone!  It’s been a good weekend. Lots of Christmas preparations happening.  Mostly cooking and baking for the freezer.  But I also put up a small tree in my studio.

I decided to go with a traditional Christmas theme of red, green, gold and cream for the main floor.  We’ll see how that pans out.  I made a list of surfaces I’d like to decorate.  Unfortunately I still think we’re a bit light on decorations.  I also cannot find the candles…which is really bugging me.  I had a good sized stash of them.  They were with other decor in a clear bin…somewhere…

I finished hemming, making hanging sleeves, and attaching them to both “The Weave” and “Where Are We Going?”  I created labels for them, but am waiting for paint to dry before printing them out…literally.  Hubby painted the entryway and stairwell with primer today.  I’m waiting for it to dry before I attempt to go to my studio for my fabric sheets to run through the printer!

If you have been, thanks for reading.  Take care and have a great week!

Weekly Review – It’s Finished!

Weekly Review – It’s Finished!

Good evening everyone!  I finished hooking “Where Are We Going?”, and with it the poetry series of hooked wall hangings. This weekend I will be hemming and attaching hanging sleeves to it and “The Weave”.

I am pleased with this series, and also happy to be moving on.  I’ve been working on it for far longer than I anticipated, due to hooking for other reasons, and moving cross country.  The full series took me eight *years* to complete!  I am a slow hooker who packs a lot of life into her days.  Hooking is only one of my areas of interest.

This week I have been busy transferring files from an old external hard drive that is being retired because the company that made it is no longer going to support it.  I still have more files to go.  The hard drive stopped recognizing all my Apple devices.  However it still recognizes Hubby’s PC, so he transferred everything to flash drives and we’ve been transferring files that way.  I’ve had to go through every file to make sure there were none missing and no duplicates. Time consuming to say the least. We won’t be buying that type of hard drive again.

We are still busy preparing for Christmas. There’s been a flurry of activity and plans surrounding the occasion. I unpacked the pre-lit pencil Christmas tree to make sure all the lights were in working order. They are!   I’m trying to decide how I want to decorate this year – casual or glam?  Hmmm…I think casual.

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

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