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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!

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!

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!