Running Behind

Running Behind

I’m running a bit behind the last few days. Company on the weekend was great fun! But Monday was time to prepare packages for shipping and prepare for a visit and visit a bank official. Between them and resting up from the weekend my day was shot.

A heads up. I disabled the checkout on my shop. For some reason shipping went wonky and I have no idea how to get it back to normal. Suddenly it was offering free shipping on everything, and I’m certainly NOT getting free shipping from Canada Post!

Anyone who wishes to purchase something can contact me on Facebook at Jean Ottosen Studios or email me at jeanottosenstudios@gmail.com

I did manage to fit in a bit of rug hooking between other activities. I worked on “Autumn” off and on. I’m not sure how well I like it. I’m thinking on it. This week I hope to finish hooking it.

I also have to get back to focusing on sewing. I want the binding added to my hand quilted trip-around-the-world quilt pretty badly. Plus I have jeans to hem, a moose design to appliqué to a cushion cover, and a hanging sleeve for a quilt Hubby wants to hang above our bed. Lots to do! I’ll post my progress Friday!

If you’ve been reading, thanks! Have a great week!

Monday Musings

Monday Musings

This weekend I worked on my hooked mat from Beth Miller‘s class last week.  Here’s how far I’ve come to date.  I changed the way the words sit on the pattern to make them more readable

Friday we had our new TV installed. We’ve been without a TV for over a year now. I took the opportunity to watch Deanne Fitzpatrick’s Thursday Live You Tube video.  I also watched Textile Talks: Kaffe Fassett and Erin Lee Gafil, A Creative Conversation.  It was wonderful!  I found out about the Textile Talks during Workshop Week last week.  My TV and I will be busy the next while.

I have some sewing that needs doing. I am sewing face masks for some relatives this week.

I am also sewing a gift for my one remaining nephew who didn’t get one yet, from his Grandpy’s LL Bean shirts (see the moose appliqué at the top of this post).  Grampy passed away a couple of years ago and somehow this one nephew fell through the cracks. I managed to sew something for the other 27 people, but this young man was difficult to get ahold of during that time. You can find a video of this project under The Shirt Project May-June 2018 on my YouTube channel – Jean Ottosen.

I also have a quilt I started when I was seventeen to work on.  That was a long time ago.  I was up to a friend’s this morning for her help in cutting off a border that just wasn’t working.  It will make the quilt smaller, but it will still be a memory quilt for me.  I hand quilted 2” squares together in the Trip-Around-The-World pattern from sewing remnants of family dresses, shirts, pyjamas, nightees, etc. While at my friend’s we also prepared and cut the binding for the quilt. I am much happier about the quilt now.  This week I hope to attach the binding to the quilt.

As you can see, the bulk of this week will be sewing.  However, in the rug hooking arena I am going to be watching Nadine Flagel’s In The Studio talk on Wednesday afternoon.  I’m looking forward to hearing her approach to rug hooking.  I’m also going to be exploring some art and rug hooking links online.  I’ll let you know what I find of interest.

This afternoon I had a visitor from the Kingfisher Rug Hooking Guild in Halifax.  We had a great time chatting.  She shared where all the hook-ins normally are in our area.  Covid has shut a lot down for now.  She was very encouraging.  It was great visiting with another hooker!

If you’ve been reading, thanks!  Hit the like button and/or leave a comment.  I know you’re out there.  I can see the stats! 🙂  Take care and have a great week!

Studio Makeover

Studio Makeover

Hi everyone!  I thought I’d do an update on the studio makeover. The main part of my studio is ready.  However we are storing stuff in it until the basement guest room cum family room cum classroom is completed.  The paint is drying as I type!

I’ve been working in my new studio, enjoying it for a couple of months now.  It has been a great space to work!  I have projects strewn everywhere. I could wish for improved lighting still.  But the LED overhead lights are a great start.  I wish I had some kind of track lighting to light up my gallery walls.  I have two gallery walls at the moment, and hope to have a third before too long.

Check out my current photos. It’s a bit messy because of all the work going on here, but it functions for me.  That is good!

My current projects are:

  1. an appliquéd moose wall hanging or cushion cover for my nephew, in memory of his grandfather.  I’m not sure which will be better for him.
  2. Fixing a hand quilted quilt I started when I was seventeen.  We won’t say how long ago that was!
  3. Dyeing the border colors for my South Korean roof tile end caps wall hanging,
  4. preparing for Workshop Week next week, and
  5. getting the guest room stuff out of my studio!

Hoping to get considerable movement done on these in the next couple of weeks.

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Happy Friday everyone!  This week was short, but productive. I’ve been busy reading “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. I wrote down everything I had in my mind that needed doing, then created a project list from the things I needed to focus on, and then a next actions list for the list of things to do.  I’m swamped!  I’m also loving it!  But I can’t take on anymore.

I’ve also been working on my South Korean roof tile end cap wall hanging. It’s slow going, but looking better these days. A friend was over to help me pick out fibre for the border. I will be doing some dyeing and overdyeing.

We also went through the poetry wall hangings I want to hook. They are on backing and ready to go.  I just have to finish this South Korean wall hanging and swing back to them for awhile.

I’m still sketching the South Korean designs in my sketchbook. Lots to do yet. Plus I’m still working through Meryl Cook’s “The Creativity Workbook”.   I’m enjoying the inspiration of the fall colours around me.

I’ve been listening to Cindi Gay’s rug hooking podcasts while hooking or afterwards.  She is a very wise lady full of all kinds of knowledge about rug hooking.  I don’t hook the primitive style, but I still learn from her.  Thanks for doing the podcasts Cindi!

The last week of October will be a busy week.  The In My Studio Workshop Week is on then.  I have a Travel class with Karen Miller, a Words and Images class with Elizabeth Miller, and Intuitive Hooking with Meryl Cook.  There will also be a group hook-in and a panel discussion  I’m looking forward to stepping outside my comfort zone to learn more from these talented teachers and others.

If you’re interested in taking classes I believe there are a few openings left.  Contact Karen D. Miller on Facebook and check into the events she is hosting.

If you’ve been reading, thanks!  Have a great weekend!

 

An interesting weekend

An interesting weekend

I had the delightful pleasure of meeting Susan Logue this weekend when she showed up on my doorstep to look at some wool for a friend. I really enjoyed contact with another rug hooker. Susan wrote the “Past & Present Antique Dyes” books, which I have and have used in the past. It was a fun time chatting with her about rug hooking, and it was nice to meet her friend.

One thing the visit made me realize was how starved I am for other artistic people in my life. I’m enjoying the online classes because of that, but somehow they aren’t the same as real live one-to-one encounters. They have their good points too though. I sure am glad to have the online experience too!

Saturday I tuned in to Lucy Richard’s FaceBook LIVE dye workshop. It was an interesting experience for me. I hadn’t microwave dyed before meeting Lucy. To be able to do a spot dye by microwave is great! And the pine tree, ocean, sky colours were great! If you head over to her website or FaceBook page you can find a link to donate to her video making efforts. If you donate $10 or more your name is entered to win a gift box of goodies. This time she is including the wool she dyed, among other things. It’s a half yard of wool folks…just saying. It’s a great deal! And a great gift. And it keeps Lucy doing videos.

I’m so anxious to get my dye studio up and going. Hubby is finishing painting the upstairs hall and then wants to do the guest room. It will be awhile before he gets to the dye studio/laundry room.

I hooked more on my South Korea roof tile end cap wall hanging. It’s slow going. It’s been awhile since I’ve hooked circles. There are a lot of circles in this wall hanging. It’s a challenge.

I started Meryl Cook’s exercises in her book “One Loop At A Time: The Creativity Workbook”. I was surprised how I could pull out one issue that was really bothering me, journal it positively, and create a rug design in under half an hour! I now have at least an 18”x18” design to put on backing and hook! I may have to expand it to 20”x20” or larger to fit in all the lettering, or cut back on the lettering.

They Came!

They Came!

Two new sofa beds are in the house!  That completes the seating for the studio and the guest bedroom cum family room cum classroom.  I do not have room in the studio for my comfy chair and the sofa bed.  So we will be rearranging furniture in the near future.

Karen Miller’s class on Tuesday was a blast!  I had to design a piece on the fly…like a minute or two…and start hooking.  I’m a slow hooker, especially with materials new to me.  The object was to experiment with new materials.  I tried dental floss, pink elastics (off broccoli folks!), fabric strips, parchment paper (yes, the kind you bake on), acrylic eyelash yarn, wool yarn, wool fabric, silk fabric, cotton fabric, sewing with buttonhole thread, some twill weave tweed that shreds like crazy, and more.  It was a fascinating exercise!  Karen is an excellent teacher.  Here’s the results.

The South Korea rug is slowly progressing.  I’m sticking to wool, silk, and nylon for that one…so far.

I spent more time sketching the South Korea photos.  Lots of options for wall hangings.  Lots of elements I might piece together to form one wall hanging.

Branding progress…I think I have what I need now.  I’ll be visiting a local printer eventually for new business cards, hang tags, greeting cards, etc.  I’m hoping to find a local affordable printer who can do an excellent job. I currently use an outfit in the US, but I’d rather use local, if I can keep the quality.

Meryl Cook’s book “One Loop At A Time – The Creativity Workbook” arrived this week.  I’m looking forward to her class during the In My Studio Workshop Week the end of October.  I may sidetrack into some of that workbook before the October class.  I don’t believe it’s required for the class, but it is a good little thought provoking book I hope will get my creative juices flowing along different lines.

I am thoroughly enjoying online learning. I hope once Covid-19 is behind us it will continue. It is just so much easier for me, not just financially (no hotels or air fares), but logistically too.  Three cheers for the rug hooking artists out there putting in the tremendous time and effort it takes to create these online courses.  Know that I, at least, appreciate all you’re doing!

And that’s my review for this week.  I hope everyone has a great weekend  if you’ve been reading, thank-you .

 

Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings

Our sofa beds come today!  That means everything will be in the house to finish the studio.  It’s been a long haul!  I will be so happy to have everything done.   Next up will be the dye kitchen.  Hubby and I are already talking.

This past weekend has been very productive for me.  I was able to select photos from our 2017 trip to South Korea and put them in an inspiration folder on my computer.  This past weekend I’ve been sketching possible compositions.

Sketches of South Korea

I will be taking another Karen Miller class tomorrow on materials and techniques. I’ve also signed up to listen to a talk on In My Studio by Judi Miller on artist residences on Oct. 7th.  Plus I will be taking part in the Workshop Week through In My Studio the end of October.  A busy fall of learning!   So nice to be able to do this online.

I have also been hooking more on the South Korea roof tile end caps wall hanging.  I am going slow, having stopped several times for dyeing and travels this summer.  I am hoping to be finished by Christmas.

I managed to tear my Dorr wool into one yard pieces and wash and dry them in preparation for dyeing.  My front loader really shrank the fabric, but it is still great for dyeing and rug hooking.  It is all stacked neatly, awaiting dyeing.

I listed the fall colours swatches for sale.  There are 15 of them at $3 each + shipping.  They are 3” x 16” and Dorr wool.  If you’re interested, contact me either here, through Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

I also listed the small landscape I hooked using the swatches for sale  It is 8” x 5” and unfinished.  I’m asking $60CAD “as is”, or $80 CAD if you want me to finish it and include the hidden hanging system.  Again, you can either contact me through this website, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

This week I’ll be working more on the South Korea wall hangings.  I also want to get the issues surrounding my rug photos and branding sorted out. I am likely going to order more fabric dye powder.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week everyone!

 

 

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Good morning everyone!  It’s been a busy week.  Monday I heard from my branding expert. She sent an email instructing me what to do with her files.  Unfortunately I didn’t have time to even look at her email till Thursday.

Tuesday it rained and blew and thundered. I spent the morning taking Karen D. Miller’s online design course.  It was excellent!  It motivated me to sort through my over 1000 photos of South Korea and pull out about fifty or so to work on for wall hangings.  Some of those are of the same subject, so in reality I’ve only got about 20 different works of art there…enough to develop a theme.  Thank-you Karen!  I’m looking forward to the “Materials and Techniques” course next week.

Hubby and I also spent some time Tuesday downstairs hanging more wall hangings on the second wall of the studio.  We made the call to put our not yet purchased TV in the guest bedroom, rather than on my studio wall.  We can watch it from the sofa bed we’re going to have in that room.

Wednesday Hurricane Teddy was supposed to blow through town, but it didn’t blow very much.  So instead I phoned a friend and invited her over for dyeing fibre using Lucy Richard’s Woolly Mason Jar System.  We did some spot dyeing and some pot dyeing.  We dyed wool fabric while my friend was here.

Dorr wool dyed with the Woolly Mason Jar Dye System.

Drying fibre after dyeing.

After she left I continued dyeing fabric and yarn for my South Korean wall hanging.  I also used up the rest of the fall colours dye solutions I’d mixed up a week or so ago.  I was rewarded with this beautiful spot dyed piece of wool.

Front of piece.

Back of piece.

Wednesday morning I also received the link to the photos the photographer took of my wall hangings.  I have some editing to do.

I also received my shipment from Dorr Woolen Mill Wednesday.  I have natural wool for the next 3-5 years! I don’t go through it fast, but when I need it, I really need it.  I also purchased some different types of backing to try: bleached linen, monk’s cloth, and rug warp.

Bleached linen, rug warp, and monk’s cloth.

I’ve tried a Walmart version of monk’s cloth before and it was not pleasant to work with. This time I want to try the real stuff for rug hooking.

Likewise I’ve tried rug warp before and found it difficult for my wrist and hand. But I wanted samples for my courses.  Now I’ll have them.

The bleached linen is a novelty for me.  I normally use unbleached primitive linen. But I’m thinking I might  be trying some pieces with exposed backings.  We’ll see. If not, I’ll use it for regular hooking.

Thursday my short shank medium Moshimer hooks arrived.  If anyone wants one I’ll sell one for $20 CAD plus shipping.

I continue to hook on my South Korean roof tile end caps rug, ever so slowly.  I’m going to have to pick up speed.  I’d like to be finished it and onto other wall hangings.

If you have been, thank-you for reading everyone.  I hope each of us has a wonderful weekend.  Take care!

 

Make Moves Monday

Make Moves Monday

This past weekend we were busy cleaning out the house and preparing the yard for an upcoming tropical cyclone heading our way. Typical fall weather for here, but Hubby and I have never experienced one. We are a bit nervous, but we’re inland a bit so hopefully it won’t be bad.

One of the things we did was hang some artwork up on my studio walls. Check out the photos of them so far. We still have more to hang above the straight row on the end wall.

I’m really enjoying working in my studio and looking forward to the arrival of the sofa bed sometime in early October. That should give me seating for 4 or 5 people, should Covid ever end. Plus it will allow extra sleeping space for guests.

I’ve hit a roadblock on the South Korea roof tile end caps rug. I need to dye some wool from Lucy Richard’s dye system. I’m trying to arrange a time to get together with a friend to do some dyeing. First, I need to check and see how many other colours I’m short on. No point pulling out the dye equipment just for one piece of wool if I need to do more!

I’ve been working with a young woman on branding for my studio. It’s been an interesting and educational experience. I’m looking forward to using my new logo!

I’m slowly building up my gallery on ArtPal.com. I’ll be posting a wall hanging for sale once a day for five days of the week. It will automatically post to Twitter, Instagram, and my FaceBook business page – Jean Ottosen Studios. Follow along, and if you see anything you like, contact me through any of those platforms or through my contact button here on this website.

I had the opportunity of taking Karen Miller’s online course, “Getting Inspired” last Tuesday. It was a great shake me up course. I knew most of the concepts, but had never put them together the way Karen did. She gave me a fresh perspective. It worked great for giving me ideas on how to approach a new series or work of art. Thank-you Karen!

This week I’ll be enjoying another Karen Miller course – All About Design! Check it out by searching for Karen D. Miller on FaceBook. It’s hosted on the Zoom platform. Looking forward to class Karen!

As always, thanks for reading and have a great week!

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

There’s been a lot happening this week. I put my website shop on vacation for an extended period of time, maybe for good. I’m debating rebuilding my entire website from scratch. I am frustrated with my inability to navigate WordPress and WooCommerce. I hope to consult with someone in October about the situation.

Highlights of this week were: finding a new platform for selling my wall hangings, selling several wall hangings, and seeing the new logo my branding expert developed.

The new platform is ArtPal. It is free to use, with no commission, but people pay you through PayPal. PayPal still takes their cut – about 3%. Still, it’s good for advertising what you have for sale across various platforms. I can set it to share my listing on FaceBook, InstaGram, and Twitter.

I am delighted I can say that three Prairie Sky pieces, Moss (a.k.a. Northern Exposure), and Sprouts have found new homes. I hope the new owners enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them.

As you know,if you’ve been following my blog, I’ve hired a branding expert to work with me in developing a new look for my business. One of the items she’s working on is a new logo. I’m not ready to divulge my new logo yet, but it’s coming! It’s simple and classy, but not too pretentious. I’m really excited about the change and hope to use it for many years!

Well that’s my update for this week folks. I wish you all a great weekend. Stay safe everyone!

What’s up?

What’s up?

This week will be a bit of redirection in my studio. I have an appointment today to see about having a small wall hanging framed.  I’m not sure how it will go. It’s a new custom framer. I’m hoping it’s not too expensive. I have other work that needs framing.

Tuesday I’m busy taking Karen Miller’s creativity class “Getting Inspired: How to Find Ideas for your Art”. I’m looking forward to it.  If other rug hookers are interested there may be more spaces.  Search for Karen D. Miller rug hooker and contact her.

Tuesday I’m also fielding a call from a client wishing to order some art.  Wednesday I’ll be preparing the order and attending my cardiac gym program.  Thursday I’ll be shipping the order out.

Meanwhile I am continuing my studio makeover.  We are hanging artwork on the walls.  I’m having to make tough decisions on what to hang and what to store away.  It does, however, look a lot more homey down there.

Throughout all this, and in-between it, I will be hooking on my South Korean roof tile end caps rug again.  Hubby and I have decided it will hang above the electric fireplace.   But we shall see.  The colours are not what I had planned for that space.  Still, it’s the right size, we think.  We’ll see.

Have a great week everyone!

 

What’s Up?

What’s Up?

Things are moving along here. I spent this past weekend hooking on the “African Dream Mini” for a friend. I’ve finished the hooking. Now for the binding and hanging sleeve. I hope to finish it this week.

I’m also planning my second and third retreats this year. Nothing like making hay while the sun shines! I have no idea if I’ll be able to take advantage of my friend’s cottage in the future. One of the retreats I’m planning isn’t really a retreat. It’s a visit to see relatives. But while there I’m hoping to fit in some photography, sketching, and painting.

Later this month I’ll be talking to a new web designer/graphic artist about redesigning my website and logo. We’ll be talking branding and marketing.

In the meantime I continue to sell supplies and greeting cards on the Facebook group Buy and Sell – Rug Hooking – Canada. I’m slowly emptying out bins in my studio.

Currently I am editing another video on my studio. It is an almost final peek at it. It is not perfect. The sofa bed won’t arrive till the end of September into October. That means I’ll be short sleeping and seating in the basement till then. I also am using the studio “as is”, so it’s a bit cluttered.

I hope everyone is geared up for a great August! Take care and catch up with you on Friday.

Making time…

Making time…

This weekend I decided to rest and relax and just “be”. Funny thing about that. As soon as I made that decision oodles of possible activities and things to do crowded my mind and I ended up scheduling them in my planner on my ‘to do’ list. So in reality this weekend became a time for planning and doing.

What did I plan? Saturday I rested, tended to my deck garden, and put down everything I could think of to do in regards to my business in another mind map – a six page mind map. I also dried some peppermint.

I also connected with someone who wants to buy all my scrapbooking supplies. My goal is to deliver them before the end of the month. I’ll be truly dependent on digital scrapbooking after that.

What did I plan Sunday? My next retreat! I also finished drying the peppermint – there was a lot of it – and dried some parsley. Plus I made sourdough discard crackers.

I also managed to serge the edges of all the patterns I drew on linen during my retreat. Plus I colour planned a medium sized African Dream wall hanging. It’s about 10” x 16”.

I set up some books for my business. I had officially shut my business down the end of 2018, when we made the decision to move in 2019. Now we’re relocated I’m wanting to keep records for the taxman or woman. Plus, I’d like to know my income and expenses for my own general knowledge…and planning. I’m in the process of starting my business up again now.

After a walk Sunday evening I updated my plan. LOL! So much for sitting and just “being”!

In the Making…

In the Making…

Happy Monday everyone! It’s been a productive weekend and day, primarily thanks to some unpredictable weather. Today has been raining off and on, making it a wonderful day to be in my studio.

I finished the doll clothes for the 16” Briar dolls. Here are the last few items I made. I shipped them all off Friday. I hope they all fit.

I moved onto the knife sheath. I had a chat with a friend who is a more experienced seamstress than I am and determined, after careful thought, that it just wasn’t going to work. The moose hide I have is actually quite soft. It used to be a woman’s suit jacket. I don’t think it will hold its shape well enough to hold a jackknife. I decided to make another gift for my nephew, and possibly include the moose hide in that.

I moved onto printing and cutting out the Ken doll patterns. Today I cut out all the pieces to sew. However…

I received a phone call from someone looking for the face masks this week. So I switched gears and cut out face masks. I’m in the middle of sewing them at the moment. I’m using the Olson pattern still. I use a batik quilting cotton for the front fabric, cotton sheeting for the liner, and a filter of diaper flannelette (single layer).

This weekend I decided to try selling some items on the Facebook Canada Rug Hooking Buy and Sell group. It was quite successful. I’m quite pleased with how it went. I sold several patterns. Time to update my website store to reflect the changes. I will be selling more that way.

My studio update as of Sunday? Hubby and I are slowly getting things sorted out. I went through all my rug hooking and made piles of what to mend, what to hang upstairs, and what to hang in the studio or downstairs. Basically we keep whatever is upstairs and whatever is downstairs is for sale. I sold a bin of old patterns over the weekend. Here’s the current messy, but functional, state of my studio.

Well that’s it for this weekend! I hope everyone has a great week! Take care!

The Painting is Done!

The Painting is Done!

The last coat of paint was finished on the last wall this morning. Tomorrow we can start moving things around again, including furniture. We need to fill the hole in the floor where the pellet stove used to sit. Then I’m placing a chair over it.

It was an interesting weekend. I spent time with Historian and figuring out just where my early photos were stored. Next up is to move everything to the PC laptop. I’ve been transferring fifteen years of photos the hard way due to technical difficulties with the PC and Apple products. I’m using a 4 GB USB stick on over 12,000 photos. It’s slow going. The iMac stopped acknowledging the 64 GB USB stick even existed! Tomorrow I hope to finish the job.

I’m also learning how to develop online courses. So far it’s been a steep learning curve, but enjoyable. I ended up purchasing Screen Flow to help with the editing process. It’s supposed to be an excellent program for developing video courses. We’ll see.

I’m also working on updating my website. At some point in the past my blog posts all had their authorship switched over to my web designer. My web designer has moved onto other things, and I just figured out how to bulk edit the posts. But there are thousands to go through. I can only do 20 at a time. That’s one page worth. I have over 120 pages of posts, old and new. It will take awhile.

Plus my shipping is way out of whack on my website. If you want to buy something, please use the “contact me” form. I will figure out shipping and get back to you.

I’m starting to get excited about my studio. Painting the walls white was a good call. The LED lights are on their halfway point between blue and yellow light. It’s nice and bright down there. I hope my studio will be ready soon for some hooking!

Knitting

Knitting

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend!  Hubby and I were on the road to Prince Albert to visit a friend.  We had a great time poking around town, visiting Shananigan’s Cafe, and hiking in nearby Little Red River Provincial Park. We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner at Smitty’s Restaurant, of all places!  Nice location by the fireplace on a cool windy day.

Lemon Meringue Pie, Shananigan’s, Prince Albert, SK.

I’ve been busy knitting up more hats.  I modified the instructions on the His and Hers Beanie to come out with a hat I like much better.  I wasn’t happy with the top of the hat using the instructions as written, which didn’t seem to match the photo of the top of the hat.  So I improvised and did a regular hat top of one row of decreases, followed by one row of knit stitch the whole way around.  The yarn used is Fleece Artist National Parks yarn – some of the Greenwich Dunes National Park colourway.  It turned out much better than the original pattern, which had you decreasing every single row at the top of the hat.  In fact, it turned out so well I’m knitting another hat from the remains of the Fundy National Park colourway to send down east to my niece instead of the flat topped one.

I had a fun week last week.  Some knitting, some sorting through boxes and culling more books, and a lot of time with friends and family.  I celebrated my birthday with a shrimp pig out at Red Lobster.  Actually, it was too much shrimp.  But that’s okay.  I have shrimp maybe once a year.  Dinner was good and the surprise “party” at a friend’s afterwards was nice too.  I put party in quotation marks because she literally did not find out it was my birthday until 3:30 PM on my birthday, and when we arrived three hours later to spend the evening playing games and watching a movie, she had decorated the place, her daughter had made a card, and they had a gift for me! I feel so blessed to have such friends.

Next up is a knit cowl out of the Greenwich Dunes National Park yarn.  That will go to another niece.  I’m about half finished it now.

I was able to get to the MacKenzie Art Gallery to see the hooked rug exhibit called “Home Economics”.  It was well done and interesting.  I loved the Grenfell rugs and the more modern ones that tell a story.  I was surprised the art gallery shop did not have any hooked wall hangings or rugs from local rug hookers available for sale.

While at the art gallery we also saw an Indigenous Peoples art exhibit called “Boarder X”.  It was all about movement in the landscape.  There was a young lady from the Cree nation there to help with interpretation of the artwork.  I was very thankful for her guidance, as I know little about Indigenous symbolism.  Her explanations helped me greatly.  There were some very moving pieces of artwork in the exhibit.

I am seriously looking at cutting back some of my rug hooking supplies…wool fabric in particular.  Keep an eye on my website store to see if anything pops up that you’d like.  I have a lot of dark colored wool.  If you’re interested in doing background, it might be just the thing.  Let me know and I’ll see what I have.  I’m thinking $1 CAD for each 3″ x 12″ swatch.  My swatches are usually larger than that, but I still will only charge $1 CAD for them.  Shipping and handling will be extra.

If you’re interested, contact me using the form below and we can talk or arrange a visit.

 

Weekly Review…a little late

Weekly Review…a little late

Hi everyone.  We’ve been feeling better this week.  I managed to finish knitting the hat to match my neck warmer.  The hat pattern is the Benefaction Hat, a free pattern by Knit Picks.  I modified it, as always.  No stripes for me.  I’ve started on the fingerless mitts now.

It’s been a busy week with lots of people.  We’ve had a lot of company coming and going.  I spent Tuesday baking and hosting a games night for our young friends.

I’ve been mentoring a young lady who is going to be a vendor in a craft and bake sale this weekend.  She is quite excited.  We spent yesterday here baking…she baked, and I coached her.  Truth be told, she knew how to do it.  She just needed the recipes!  She spent today baking at her home.  We are ready to go.  Due to bad weather her mother is stuck in another city.  We offered to help out in this case.  Should be a fun, but long, day tomorrow.  Hopefully her mom will be home before the end of the sale to see her daughter in action.

I sold a couple of big furniture items this past week, which has made for a busy time here.  We’re taking furniture apart, moving it between floors, and then reassembling it.  Slowly, but surely, we’re whittling down the mess in this house.  Suddenly I realize how crowded this house has been.  I don’t know what I’m going to do in the next home.  I simply have to decrease the amount of hobby stuff I have!

We had an in-depth conversation today about how heavy certain items are and whether to sell them or move them.  The old IKEA bookcases came up.  They are heavy and cost a lot to move.  But the new IKEA bookshelves aren’t as sturdy.  This is a tough call, because sometimes the older ones aren’t strong enough for my needs!  If we had to put them in storage as well as move them, well, it just wouldn’t be worth it.  On the other hand, what would we replace them with?

I changed my Instagram account from private to a business account this week.  If you’re looking for more information on my rug hooked items you can check over there.  Also on my Facebook account.  Search for JLT Studios in both places.

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. 🙂