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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.

In My Studio – Rug Hooking Classes

 

I had a great Introductory Rug Hooking class Saturday with a couple of wonderful women.  It was a good time getting to know each other while getting to know a new craft.

Next class is February 25th and is a Curves class that teaches how to hook curves, circles, letters, and backgrounds. If we have time we’ll learn to hook bubbles too.  I have space for two more students in that class.  Class runs on Saturdays from 1:30 – 3:30 PM at my studio and requires you bring basic equipment and very basic knowledge of rug hooking (ie. how to hook a straight line and points).  I will provide a fibre kit for you to hook – “Beauty”, as seen above.  The pattern will be slightly enlarged at 7.5″ x 8″ to make it easier for beginners to hook.  You will be learning how to transfer a pattern to backing as well.

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I finished scan reading “Combining Rug Hooking & Braiding” by McDermet, Manges, and Tobias.  It has detailed instructions for creating beautiful braided edges and rugs, as well as instructions for rug hooking.  Excellent job ladies!  I highly recommend this book for people interested in adding braiding to their repertoire of techniques.

I also scan read “The Rug Hook Book” by Thom Boswell.  It has a good section on the history, followed by samples of work from well known rug hookers.  He then gives explicit directions on what you need and what to do.  The rest of the book contains patterns you can copy and hook.  This is a good book for beginner to intermediate rug hookers.

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As for this week’s plans…

  • back in my studio hooking on “Moss”,
  • working on more ideas for the website,
  • uploading more product on the website,
  • preparing for the Curves class on the 25th,
  • writing more class outlines, and,
  • now it’s February, it’s time I got a move on and developed my business plan for the year!

Hope everyone is having a great day today! Enjoy your week! 🙂

 

In my studio…

Hi everyone! I’m back at it today.  I’ve been busy creating my Design 101 class.  The maiden voyage of the class will be March 11th.  It’s a 3 hour class with theory and activities.  Lots to organize and do by then.

I’m back at “Moss” this week.  I’m half waiting for the weather to warm up so I can open the windows and start dyeing again.  I think I’m going to need more bright greens.

I’m enjoying “Canadian Folk Art to 1950” by Fleming and Rowan.  It’s a very readable book, once you get past the introduction.  Loving all the photos of folk art too.

I also started reading “Ageless Entrepreneur”.  So far it’s been an interesting read too.  The concept is on being a creative entrepreneur and everyone being their own boss these days.  The author thinks we all need to brand ourselves as a business entity, even if we work for a corporation or government.  He thinks we really work for ourselves, no matter where we work.  It will be interesting to see where the author goes with this line of thinking.

 

I am also looking more in-depth at “The Rug Hook Book” by Thomas Boswell (this is a re-read) and “Combining Rug Hooking and Braiding” by McDermet, Manges, and Tobias.

I am all geared up for the  Introductory Rug Hooking class this coming weekend.  We’ll be hooking a star mat similar to the photo at the top of this post.

Next class is Feb. 25th from 1:30 – 3:30 PM and is my Curves class.  I will teach curves, circles, lettering and backgrounds in that class.  I also have a handout on hooking bubbles for that class.  The Curves class practice piece is Beauty.   I’ve enlarged it a bit to make it easier for beginners to hook.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!  Take care all.  It’s been snowing like crazy here.  Hope the rest of you are having nice weather.

Weekly Review

I just finished reading Michael Bird’s “Canadian Folk Art: Old Ways in a New Land”.  It’s a good brief introduction to Canadian folk art, complete with wonderful glossy paged photos of some nice examples.  Now I’ve moved onto a much thicker book “Canadian Folk Art to 1950” by John Fleming and Michael Rowan.  I’m really enjoying it too, but taking it a bit slower.  There is a lot to digest in this one.

I also found another book at the library entitled “Combining Rug Hooking & Braiding” by Kris McDermet, Christine Manges, and Dianne Tobias.  What a feast for the eyes!  I had no idea you could do the things with braiding that were done for that book!  Some beautiful examples of work. There are also detailed descriptions and explanations as to how to achieve the many different looks.  I plan on delving a bit deeper into the book this coming week.

Other than that I continue to work on rewriting my course syllabuses.  If you’ve checked the menu at the top of the page you’ll notice there is a tab for classes.  If you are interested in a class, but aren’t sure, be sure to contact me for further information.  I can give you an idea of the topics covered in each class.

I’ve also been hooking more on “Moss” this week.

For those of you waiting to see if my shipping has been sorted out yet, it has.  It is now safe and secure to pay and have items shipped across Canada and the USA, including Hawaii and Alaska.

I am thoroughly enjoying the work of my website developer and delighted she has sorted out my shipping mess for me.  Stay tuned for further changes/additions to the website.

Monday Meanderings

WIP – “Moss”

I am still working away at “Moss”, and I am still reconstructing my class syllabuses from their loss trying to shift them from one laptop to another.  This time I’ve backed them up on our cloud drive AND on flash drive.  I finished rewriting my “Introductory Rug Hooking” and “Curves” class, plus their handouts.  Next up is to finish the “Start to Finish” class.

I found out I was too eager in decluttering my books last year, and managed to declutter a book I need to redevelop one of my courses.  I am checking online sources to see if I can find it fairly cheap.  I can find it cheap, but the shipping is horrendous!  I haven’t exhausted my possibilities locally yet.  I’m hoping to check used bookstores for it this week.

Work continues on this website.

I’ve been very busy with three online courses that are taking up more time than I anticipated.  However all is good.  They are good courses.

Weekly Review

I have a copy of Kris Miller’s “Introduction to Rug Hooking” in my hands today.  I found it at our local library.  It’s a great book Kris!  Thank-you for putting the essentials of rug hooking so well in words and photos.  If you’re a beginner I highly encourage you to check out your local library and see if you can find Kris’ book.  If not, check Amazon or her website – Spruce Ridge Studios.  Kris covers history, tools, materials, and techniques in her book.  A very clear description and a great read.  Thanks for writing it Kris!

Had an interesting week business wise.  I wrote up two of the ten courses rather quickly.  But then realized I had given one of my crucial books for developing my Finishing 201 course away!  Hmmm…I’m in the process of re-purchasing that.  I am also halfway done rewriting the From Start to Finish course.

I decided that, what with this situation and taking three online courses at the moment, I needed outside help with my website.  So I hired a website developer to look things over and come at me with ideas.  She did.  We talked for over an hour.  She has some great ideas.  I look forward to seeing the changes that will make my website more functional and appealing.  Please note, the first thing she did was to make the site fully secure.

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UPCOMING CLASS!!!

I am offering an Introductory Rug Hooking class on Feb. 11th, from 1:30-3:30 PM here in Regina, SK, Canada.  I have one space left.  If you’re interested contact me by Monday, Jan. 30th, and I can give you further details.

This two hour class covers a lot of ground.  The primary goal is to teach you simple rug hooking of straight lines and points.  The secondary goal is to give you some time trying out different supplies and materials and seeing what you like to use best before buying.  We’ll also be talking a bit about the history of rug hooking, different tools and materials, where to find them, how to prepare a backing for hooking, and a simple way to finish  your piece.

You use my tools and equipment for the class.  If you want to buy afterwards you can, but you don’t have to purchase from me.  The class costs $75 CAD + the kit costs $25 CAD.  The kit is a 6″ square star mat that can be used as a home decoration item.  You can find samples here.  You have a choice of two of three colors (red, green, and yellow) for the mat – one for the background and one for the star.

These classes are full of learning and fun.  Let me know if you’re interested and come to learn how to rug hook!