Dye Days are Here Again!

Dye Days are Here Again!

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

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

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

Friday Review

Friday Review

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

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

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

How do you organize your digital photos?

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

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

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

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

Sick Day!

Sick Day!

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

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

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

Silk yarn and ribbon.

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

 

Home Again!

Home Again!

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday we headed to Vancouver Island to visit friends.

Brentwood Bay, B.C.

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

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

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

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

Jean Ottosen and Val Galvin

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

Ferry to Vancouver (Tsawwassen), B.C.

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

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

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

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

Monday and Tuesday we spent the days driving home.

Evening in the Rockies.

Dawn in the Rockies.

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

 

A New Look!

A New Look!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Updates

Updates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talk to you all later! 🙂

Checking Out Website Platforms

Checking Out Website Platforms

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

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

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

Playing catch up!

Playing catch up!

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

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

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

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

Back Home Again!

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great week everyone!

Exciting Happenings!

Hi folks!  My exciting news is that Monday I will be on CTV Morning Live locally, in four different two minute segments teaching and talking about rug hooking!  Could be interesting!  I’m taking my supplies to the studio to be filmed talking to Alexandra Brown about rug hooking and teaching her how to hook.  In honour of the occasion I stopped by the hair salon for a ‘touch up’ with my hair.  Not much helps in that department, but it’s worth a try.

I am also hooking more on “Escapees”.  Next up is to work on the fence and the nasturtiums behind it.  Could be interesting.  I’ve never tried to depict a metal fence in my rug hooking before.

I sold those hooked rugs Monday and spent time Tuesday trying to balance the business books.  Hubby took sympathy on me and treated me to ice-cream at the local Dairy Queen.  The business side of rug hooking is not my strong suit!

I’m looking forward to a weekend of hooking and preparing for the show on Monday morning.  Talk to you all later!

 

Home Again!

Dancing Sheep – CASA art gallery – “Ganglamb Style”

For those of you following me on social media, you know I’ve been busy buying supplies, touring art facilities, and visiting art galleries.  I’ve also been researching artist retreats and residencies.  Unfortunately my iPad and iPhone would not let me post to my blog.  That will have to be remedied somehow.  Not sure how.  That’s the quick recap, now for the details.

We headed to Edmonton to check in with family and relax.  My stepmother is a prolific knitter and I spent a good hour or so one day going through part of her book collection, taking photos of ones that might interest me.  I’ll check them out at the library first.

Elk Island National Park – beaver lodge

While visiting Edmonton we went to Elk Island National Park for an inspirational (?) outing.  We went on a walk by Astotin Lake with tons of mosquitoes and frogs!  I think I managed to take some good beaver lodge photos.  Plus later we were able to catch a bison photo or two in the bison paddock.  Three cheers for Parks Canada and their free pass for Canada’s 150th birthday!

After a few days in Edmonton we headed south on the old highway – Hwy. 2A – through Wetaskiwin, Ponoka, to Lacombe.  Hubby and I like to find local places to eat – places with homemade meals and unusual items on the menu.  On the way to Edmonton it was Lionel’s Place in Vegreville, where we had the Ukrainian platter, with perogies, cabbage rolls, and kobassa.  It was delicious!  It also came with a tossed salad with olives and pickled beets! And how could we turn down home baked lemon meringue pie and a cup of tea?  So when we were closing in on Lacombe I pulled out my cell phone, did a trusty Google search, and turned up the Morrison House Cafe.  It is a lovely older home where the main floor was turned into a cafe and the upstairs is where the owners live.  It was very busy and I was glad I called ahead to reserve a table.  We had a wonderful meal there.  However, because it was so busy it was an hour before we were on the road again.

Legacy Studio – wool, linen, “Primary Fusion” kit, bent handled scissors, and ProChem sample cards.

That made us a bit late for meeting up with Laura Johnson at her home studio – Legacy Studio – in Cochrane, Alberta.  But Laura is very kind and accommodating.  We arrived an hour after we thought we would and I spent another hour in her studio shopping and purchasing supplies for this coming year.  I am now supplied with wool and linen.  Laura also solved my problem with cleaning my drum carder.  I purchased her flick carder out from under her.  It works like a charm Laura!  I was also able to pick up two rug hooking books – “Scrappy Hooked Rugs” and Deanne Fitzpatrick’s new book,”Rug Hooking with Deanne Fitzpatrick” – and a “Primary Fusion” kit on how to use ProChem dyes.

We raced from Laura’s studio to relatives in Okotoks via Bragg Creek.  Originally we were going to stop in Bragg Creek, but we just didn’t have time.  We were already an hour late arriving at Okotoks.  We are glad we arrived when we did, because not long after our niece arrived with a birthday cake for her mom.  I had no idea it was my sister-in-law’s birthday!  To say we were unprepared is putting it mildly.  I went out with my sister-in-law in the evening and was glad to see her friends, where we went, celebrated her birthday too.

Unwind Wool – yarn and book

While in Okotoks I had the pleasure of visiting the new knitting shop downtown, Unwind Wool.  It just opened in February and is quite small, but packs quite a bit into a small space!  I walked out with a lot of yarn, and a new knitting book.

“Prairie Sky – Altocumulus 13”

My sister-in-law also took me to a spin-in at a friend’s place.  I took some rug hooking with me and finished a “Prairie Sky – Altocumulus” wall hanging there.  I was fascinated by what I was seeing at Robin’s house.  Robin had a weaving studio too.  We wandered upstairs to see her Canada 150 project – a large blanket she had spun and dyed warp for that was on the floor loom awaiting her weft.  It was the most beautiful warp I’ve ever seen!  Every colour of the rainbow!  And I didn’t get a picture of it.  Sigh…too caught up in her studio and how she did things.  I quizzed her up about her dyeing methods. I noticed a sketchbook being used to record weaving patterns and asked about that as well.  I need to use my sketchbook more.

Which brings me to our next stop – Michaels.  There was a Buy One Get 50% Off the second deal on large sketchbooks.  I bought.  I now have two large sketchbooks to work in this year.

Later that day Hubby and I headed off to Lethbridge.  It was quite funny because it turned out my sister-in-law was heading to Lethbridge the day after with a group of weavers.  They were going to have lunch, visit the Lethbridge weavers, and tour CASA – the art center there.  My sister-in-law wanted to know if I wanted to join them for lunch and the tour.  You bet I did!  So we had a wonderful time of it.  The weavers took us up to their studio in CASA and we spent time looking at warp and chatting with them.

CASA – Weaving studio

One of the ladies had just come back from a residency in Iceland.  That got me thinking.  It never occurred to me there would be residencies for fibre artists.  I chatted her up a bit and noted the link for where she found the residency.  I spent considerable time later in the evening and during our visit researching art residencies.  There really is nothing out there for rug hookers.  The more I thought about it, the more problematic it became.  In discussing it with other relatives we were visiting the question came up “What is your goal for the retreat/residency?” and “Why not design your own?”.  Both very good points.  I sat down and designed one on the spot.  I think I will be giving the idea a dry run at home though.  I may have some quiet time in July for it.  We’ll see.

After spending time at CASA in the weaving studio a young man showed up to give us a tour of the facility.  We asked a lot of questions I’m afraid, and he ran over his allotted time, but it was fascinating!  An artist can become a member for $200 per year, and rent a cupboard space that is about 3′ x 8′ with a locked door for another $200 per year.  That gives you access to a shared studio space for 24/7.  I could go for that.  Just over $1/day for studio space!  What a deal!

CASA – 3D studio

CASA – Pottery classroom. They have a gas fired kiln too.

 

My sister-in-law and I parted at CASA and I met up with Hubby at the public library.  We didn’t spend time looking around however.  Instead we headed right out to the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens.  We had a relaxing time walking the gardens and taking photos.  I have lots to work with for awhile.

In the morning, before I went to lunch with the weavers and to CASA, my husband’s cousin took me to the CCWG (Canadian Wool Growers) shop.  I picked up some roving to spin.  Then we went to Knitting Time, the local yarn shop, and I picked up yarn to hook and knit.  Then it was off to Marshall’s – the local fabric store – to check it out and pick up a few sundry items.

Lopi destined for wall hangings or rugs.

A word about Knitting Time…I was fascinated by this small shop.  The proprietor not only carries yarn for knitting, but also fibre for crocheting, thread for tatting, rayon thread for Brazilian embroidery, cross-stitch supplies, felting supplies, and spinning supplies.  Plus she has pattern books too.  For a small shop she packs a lot in there!

The next day found us at SAAG (the Southern Alberta Art Gallery) checking out exhibits we did not understand.  I wish I could have talked to one artist in particular.  I liked her exhibit.  I think I understand what it’s about, but when my very logical and practical Hubby started asking questions, I was at a loss for words.

We also went to the University of Lethbridge to check out their gallery, only to find it closed.  But they did have the hallway exhibit – “Habits and Habitats” – up for viewing.  That was good.

Habits and Habitats

On Monday, yesterday, we headed home.  We stopped in Medicine Hat and Swift Current.  Tried to get into the art gallery in Swift Current, only to find it closed and them taking down the exhibit we wanted to see.  Oh well.  They did have a few pieces of the artist’s work in a display case in the library in the same building as the art gallery.  So we ended up checking out the library.

I found a book, “Where Women Create” by Jo Packham, which I took out and read on the way home.  There are a few good ideas in the book that I will implement.  I was reading the description of some of the studio spaces to Hubby.  He was floored to think some people have more space than I do. lol.  I must admit, my crafting takes up two rooms in the house – one for rug hooking, and one for everything else.  I keep trying to get it in order, but it seems as fast as I empty a space, it fills with something else.

We had supper in Moose Jaw at the Mitsu Cafe.  There is a sushi bar in the back of the cafe, and you can order dessert from the cafe out front.  We shared a Caramel Apple Crepe.  It was huge!  And delicious!

Mitsu Cafe – Caramel Apple Crepe

 

In my studio

I have a short week in my studio this week.   No orders will be filled from June 15 – 27th.   We will be on the road again.

For this week I hope to:

  • post more old patterns on the website,
  • hook more of “Prairie Sky – Altocumulus”,
  • price some wall hangings and post them on the website.

Weekly Review

I had a great week and managed to complete almost everything on my list.

  • I hooked more on “Prairie Sky – Altocumulus”.  I hope to work more on it today.
  • I posted the remaining old patterns for sale on my Facebook page – JLT Studios.
  • I added some 6″ square Prairie Sky wall hangings for sale to my website. They sell for $60 each + shipping.
  • I finished cutting up plaids and checks into #6 wide strips for sale for rug hookers.  They are sold in 1/2 pound bags for $20 each bag + shipping. I will be posting them on the website soon.
  • I am working on my mini-portfolio book today.
  • I am sewing on the hanging sleeve for “Wascana Creek – Study” today.
  • And finally, yes, I found my file folders for my classes!

 

Plaid and check wool strips cut to #6 width, packed in half pound bags and ready for sale.

 

Some of these patterns are available on the website now, and some have yet to be listed.  Look for these patterns to be available on the website soon.  They are old patterns purchased long ago (about 20 years ago) and on old burlap.  It is suggested people trace them on Red Dot and re-draw them on new backing before hooking them.  These are not my own original patterns, but the patterns of a few very talented rug hooking artists from the past.

 

 

Be sure to check out the website for new product this coming week!

Look where I am!!!

Look where I am folks!!!  I’m in Canadian Living magazine’s July issue – Canada’s 150th Birthday issue!  So pleased and happy with Canadian Living staff.  They did a great job.  Short but sweet.  I’ve been tracking the response to the mention this weekend.  It’s looking good so far.  Subscribers to my blog have doubled already.  And views of my website are up.

On top of that we were celebrating Mosaic – Regina’s multicultural festival – and hosting company.  Company was very agreeable to attending Mosaic with us, which was good.  We managed to see 15 out of 20 pavilions this year, along with watching at least part of the show in each pavilion.  It was fun again, as usual.

I’ve also been posting old burlap patterns I bought from my old rug hooking teacher online to sell on my Facebook page – JLT Studios.  Check them out!  Some Bluenose patterns (also posted for sale here under “Patterns”), an old Jane Olson pattern, and a Mildred Sprout pattern.  Also a couple of small stained glass patterns.  I have a couple more patterns to photograph and upload this week.

And I’ve been busy organizing my work for the summer.  I am hooking a small “Prairie Sky – Altocumulus” wall hanging at the moment.  Using up scrap pieces of backing in my rug hooking studio.  That will be my fun for the next few days.

Anyone interested in summer classes, now is the time to contact me.  Use the form on my Classes page.  Due to family issues I have had to change the class schedule for the summer and fall.  Please check the current schedule to make sure the class you want is being offered.  If you want a specific class and the time is not working for you, please contact me and we will see what we can do to accommodate you.

This week will see me

  • hooking more,
  • posting more patterns online,
  • adding more product to the website,
  • adding hanging sleeves to some smaller wall hangings,
  • cutting up some wool strips for sale,
  • finishing up my mini-portfolio photo book, and
  • hopefully finding my file folders for my classes!  I’ve managed to lose those…

I hope everyone has a great week!  I’ll check back in with everyone on Friday. 🙂

 

Friday Finale

Hi everyone!  I’m up early this morning, for a wonder.  I wasn’t in bed till after midnight.  I suspect an afternoon rest will be in order!  Mosaic was great though!  Both for fun and inspiration. The food was excellent too.

I finished my little “Prairie Sky – Cirrus” wall hanging and am onto a “Prairie Sky – Altocumulus” one. I have a lot of bits and pieces of linen backing that need to be used up.  They will most likely become ornaments and small wall hangings.

I’ve also managed to take photos of all the old patterns I have and will post those on my website and Facebook page for sale.

I made a list of things that need to be done in my little studio to finish up loose ends.  I’ll be working on those gradually.

I’ve also been working on creating a mini-portfolio photo book of my work to take to shows and show galleries.  It’s finally reached the point where I can’t take all my work with me.  So this serves as a detailed look at my development as an artist and shows potential patrons the width and depth of my style.

Today I’m looking forward to listing items online for sale, resting, enjoying company, and another evening at Mosaic.  Have a great weekend everyone! 🙂

WIP Prairie Sky – Cirrus 12

 

In my studio…

I’m back in my studio after sale day at the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair.   I actually sold well and had lots of inquiries, but the wind was gusting so badly in the afternoon we had to close up shop early.  Product was hitting the ground.  That was not cool.  So we packed it in and came home.

I’ll have to rethink my plans for next year.  I’m thinking of doing another sale later in the year, after all the inclement weather we seem to get at the CVAF Street Fair.  But we shall see.  The cost of the other sales are quite high…over $200 for a small booth 10’x10’…  I don’t know…  Hubby and I are thinking of alternatives.

Meanwhile, if you were at the sale and planning to pick something up the last hour or so of it, you can contact me through email <jo6865@gmail.com> or phone: 306-737-9950.  If you’re from outside of Canada it’s best to contact me by email.  We can arrange appointments for viewing rug hooking, and purchasing supplies, and materials.  If you are interested in signing up for classes you can check out my classes page here on the website and send me a note through the contact form at the bottom.

I managed to start “Escapees”, my nasturtium wall hanging, at the Street Fair, but honestly the wind was so bad I spent most of my time holding up the display, especially in the afternoon.  Still, I have some of it picked out and ready to go.  I’m nailing down more colours right now.

After coming home and putting away sale stuff, I decided a good cleaning out of the studio was in order.  I’ve spent the last two days on that.  I have a huge garbage bag of stuff to get rid of either by selling or donating, but the bulk of it is done.  I don’t know.  I use a lot of fibre and sell a fair bit, but it seems like the stuff multiplies!  My shelves are full to bursting!

This week I’ll be cleaning more, and finishing up some odds and ends in the studio.  I have a few wall hangings that need hanging sleeves, price tags, and to be uploaded to the website.  I have some narrow strips that need to be cut and put into my extra stripettes bin for future hooking or sale.

I have company arriving the end of the week, and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are the annual multicultural festival days in town – Mosaic.  I hope to enjoy both. 🙂

Ready to go!

I’m all ready to go to the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair  on 13th Ave. tomorrow.  I’ll be with my friend, Anne, between Athol and Montague Streets in the shade on the south side.

I will be starting my wall hanging called “Escapees”.  Come see the pattern and fibres! I’ll be selling greeting cards for $5 each and ornaments and wall hangings from $25 up.

If anyone is interested in buying supplies or fibre for hooking you can either do so on this website in the shop area, or stop by the booth and we’ll make an appointment for you to come by the house, or take an order and mail it out to you.

I am currently charging $20/half pound of wool (approximately a half yard of wool yardage).  It will be irregular shapes. If you want it cut, it will be another $5 on top of that.  I only cut #6 width.

If you want silk and wool yarns and fibre it will be $25 uncut, and $30 cut. Again these are half pound bags.

Hope to see people at the Fair. It’s supposed to rain, so bring your umbrellas and rain coats!

Dye Day

 

I knuckled down yesterday and dyed some fibre for “Escapees”.  I needed a variety of lighter greens.  My stash is mostly blue greens at this point, and I have a lot of them.  Might need to colour plan a wall hanging to use some of those up.  I also need oranges and grays for “Escapees”, but I have the grays from a long time ago, and the oranges were dyed earlier this year.

My website has been up and down this past week.  There seems to be irregularities with it.  I have my web developer working on it.

I’m thinking of sorting through my leftover worms and offering some for sale in the near future.  I’ve been thinking of doing a scrappy rug for some time, but now “Escapees” has come up and it will probably be a while before I start something else.  I seem to produce leftover worms at an amazing rate!

I’ve finished designing the photo book for our South Korea trip.  Hubby and I are “letting it sit” for a few days before we send it in to be printed.  He may have extra photos and text to add.  I’ve been impressed enough with the program from this company that I’ve decided to create a mini portfolio through them.  It would be more like a look book – just a taste of my work.  It’s much smaller than the large book we’re doing for our trip.  The trip book is 12″ x 12″ and 145 pages long.  The portfolio book will be 5″x7″ and 100 pages long…or thereabouts.  Not entirely sure yet.  First we’ll see if the trip book turns out okay.

In big news:  I will be off August 7th – 12th to watch my niece swim in the Canada Games.  This is a great achievement for her and we are extremely proud of her.

Below are some of the results of Dye Day in more detail.  I’m loving the casserole dye jobs.   The photos are showing more white than there really is on the fabric.  That’s wool on the left and silk on the right.

 

New Gadgets!

New Gadgets!

We’re trying to figure out new solutions to old problems here.  My seven year old MacBook Pro laptop is about to go.  The battery is taking longer to recharge, is quicker to discharge, and is not always recharging the full amount.  On top of that my hard drive is full.

I’ve tried to alleviate the hard drive issue by purchasing a 4 TB external hard drive.  That has worked semi okay.  I am in the process of transferring files to it and taking them off my laptop.  Not sure what the total result will be there.  I am debating whether to replace my laptop with a desktop iMac or another smaller and simpler version of a MacBook.  I have several issues.  I need to be able to:

  • Read an SD card from a DSLR camera,
  • Do sophisticated photo editing,
  • Be able to connect to a DVD drive (portable or otherwise),
  • Afford it,
  • Consider portability.

The current MacBooks, while light, are expensive and do not have SD card readers attached to them, or DVD drives anymore.  But they are portable, unless you need to attach those peripherals to them.  Then they have to be on a desk somewhere.  Kills the portability.  However, the iPad I’m currently typing this post on is just as portable, if not more so.

I am not a Cloud fan and will not knowingly store data on the Cloud for photo editing or other purposes.  I just think Apple and other computer companies have no need to have access to my data or store it. I prefer to do that myself thank-you.  So, I am left with some cumbersome options, or expensive options.  An iMac or another MacBook Pro with peripherals.

So I’m thinking of buying an iMac.   It’s not portable, but it’s more affordable than the MacBook Pro.  Honestly, I cannot justify spending over $3000 on a laptop that doesn’t have all the features I need built in.  Having a dedicated desktop setup  and using this iPad for portability might be my ticket.  I just have to make sure I can post a blog post, complete with photo from my  iPad.

So above is the new keyboard for my iPad that is making this post possible.  Let’s try another.  A photo of the Legislature on a recent walk.


Hmm…a cursory glance at it tells me it’s okay.

So my question for the day is:

Have any of you encountered these kinds of technology issues and how did you solve them?

Weekly Review – Moss

I finished hooking “Moss” late tonight.  I purposely put off typing this blog post till it was finished!  There is no excuse for it not being finished long before this.  But there you go.  I started it in September of 2016 and finished it in April 2017.  That is pretty slow going for me.  Though I did manage to get this website up and running in there.

“Moss” is, like “Dancing Tree”, an actual tree along the shoreline of Victoria, BC, this time down in the Oak Bay area.  We stopped at a viewpoint nearby to gaze out at the ocean under leaden gray skies.  It did rain eventually, as it is wont to do on Vancouver Island in the Fall.  But my, I do love Vancouver Island!

I’m taking a break from hooking rug until we are back from South Korea.  Who knows what kind of inspiration I’ll find there and what direction it will take my work.

I notice while I am very interested in nature, I am often more interested in man’s interaction with nature.  My prairie canola fields under the bright blue skies, the children in a quinzhee or playing in a mud puddle, parks here in the city, a tree in full autumn foliage with a garage roof poking into the frame, a planted garden sprouting.  Hmm…something to think about.  I may end up re-writing my artist statement.

On the business side of things, I dropped off my business books this week so the accountant could do my taxes for me.

I’ve also had a magazine express an interest in writing about my work.  But we shall see.  The last time this did not pan out, so no more information unless it does!  They did send a few questions to ask me.  I’m hoping they rewrite my answers and don’t publish them verbatim!

 

Weekly Review

I am doing fine trying to make a pre-trip time change.  I’m up till 3 AM these days and not awake till about 10 or 11 AM.  Halfway to Korean time.

I’ve been hooking on “Moss” this week.  It’s coming along fine.  I’m planning to be finished the hooking in a week’s time.

And I’m still working on a business plan.  I’m actually more of a visual person, so I suspect this plan will take the form of a vision board.

Weekly Review – Loose Ends

I am busy preparing for our trip to South Korea in April.  Looking forward to new scenery and meeting friends and new people.  As a result I am tying up loose ends.  I am busy hooking more on “Moss” and hope to finish the hooking before I go.  I’m two thirds finished.

This week I finished preparing for the final From Start to Finish class tomorrow. I have to hook one more sample for me to demonstrate to my student, but that should not take long.

I spent this morning filling an ETSY order.  Just to let people know, I’ll be shutting down my ETSY shop gradually this spring and summer.  People will have to order from here on my website if they want my work, visit the SCC Fine Craft Boutique in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, or visit me in person at my studio (please contact me for an appointment).  I will maintain my presence on LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.  But my main focus will be Facebook and here on www.jeanottosen.ca .  I have nothing against Etsy.  I am just trying to streamline my online business.

I will be changing things around on my blog for awhile to see what works for my readers.  I have had a drop in readership since switching to the new blog.  Not sure what the issue is, but it is a significant drop, so I will be messing with things to see if I can get it back up there.

Hubby and I walked over to the Art Gallery of Regina Salon Show and Sale opening night Wednesday evening.  It was filled with people!  The exhibit is really good this year.  I encourage people to head over to the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre to take a look.  Afterwards we went to a nearby restaurant, La Bodega, for a decadent chocolate fondue for two and a cup of tea.

In my studio…From Start to Finish

Hi everyone!  This past weekend I had a blast with a lady who took my Curves class.  My pattern didn’t quite work out the way I’d hoped, so I’ll be changing it.  The lettering was too small to hook.  I suggested switching from cursive to block lettering, as that might be more readable.  That’s what I’ll be doing with the future version of this pattern.  Plus, the pattern will simply be made larger, making it easier to hook.  Both my student and I agreed this pattern is good practice for lettering.  If you can hook it this size, any other size will be easy!

Meanwhile, this same student took my Introductory Rug Hooking class two weeks ago and finished the star above.  Didn’t she do a great job for a beginner?!  It still has to be clipped properly.

This coming weekend is the beginning of the Start to Finish class.  It’s a four week long class running Saturday afternoons from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM.  Cost is $300CAD and includes supplies.  For further information contact me and I’ll send out an information email.  This week I’ll be putting the final touches on the course syllabus, picking up supplies, and creating the handouts.

Other than that, I plan to hook more on “Moss”, upload more product to the website, and design more courses.  Oh, and then there’s the business plan.  That will take a lot of work.  I’ve been putting it off.

Weekly Review – Exhibits & Sales

 

I’ve had an interesting week. It’s that time of year to be applying for exhibits and sales.  I’ve applied for two so far.  I’m not sure exactly where I stand in the application process on both of these exhibits and sales.  I’ll fill you in when I learn more.

I did manage to upload more product – rug hooks – for sale.

I also chatted with my web developer about more ideas for the website. I look forward to upcoming changes as time goes by.

I was able to prepare my sample pattern and fiber kit for the Curves class next Saturday.   I have also written more on my course outlines.

I pulled two books off my library shelf to help with a revamped business plan.  One is “The Creative Entrepreneur” by Lisa Sonora Beam, and the other is “The Right-Brain Business Plan” by Jennifer Lee.  I’ve used these two books before with considerable success.  So I’m not really starting from scratch.  Just planning what to do this year.

I finished reading “Canadian Folk Art to 1950” by Fleming and Rowan.  Lots of lovely photos of a wide cross section of Canadian folk art.  The text seemed excellent at times, but with long winded sentences at other times, making for a bit of an uneven read.  However, the overall message was there and it was a good read overall.  I enjoyed the few hooked rugs photos that were included as well.

Another book I am currently looking at is “Hooked on Cats” by Joan Moshimer.  The rugs in the photos are beautiful!  She uses Cushing’s Perfection dyes to dye wool for her rugs.  I don’t use Cushing’s, but my Majic Carpet and ProChem will work just fine.  Joan gives basic dyeing instructions in her book for onion skin dyeing, spot dyeing, dip dyeing, and for overdyeing.  An informative book with a lot of patterns in the back and a nice gallery of finished work.