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!

 

 

 

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!

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!

 

Retreat Time!

Artist Retreat, that is. This week I had a lovely time at a friend’s cottage on the Bay of Fundy with my husband and my creative gear.

I took far too much stuff. We could barely fit it all in the car! But we did! Aside from gear we had to take clothes, bedding, food, and water for five days. Hubby took his bicycle to fit in some riding. We both took technology to work on various projects. It was forecast to rain.

I took work to finish. I took my camera for inspiration photos. And the tripod, just in case. I took my rug hooking frame and South Korea rug. I took my sketchbook and watercolour pencils. I took reading material and watching material. Also I downloaded some podcasts. I took linen and Red Dot interfacing to transfer those patterns I enlarged last weekend.

Our destination had no internet, so I used my cell phone to create a hot spot every day in order to finish an Udemy course on composition.

I organized for this retreat using an app called Simple Mind. It is a mind mapping app that allows me to see a lot of information in point form at one glance, and how it’s all interrelated. I was able to adjust my retreat plans as it happened, to accommodate for finishing things early. Not being distracted can really be a big boon to productivity.

We went on a lot of walks, with and without camera. Some to the beach, some not. Some with sketchbook, some without.

I read “The Art of Botanical Painting” by Margaret Stevens. It’s a great book if you want to be a botanical painter. I am not that detail oriented. I did garner quite a few colour and composition ideas for an upcoming series of wallhangings I plan to develop.

I also took Keith West’s “How to Draw Plants”, “Nature Drawing “ by Clare Walker Leslie, and “Drawing Scenery: landscapes and Seascapes” by Jack Hamm. These were more for reference. I haven’t drawn a seashore close up before.

I did manage some watercolour sketching for future design ideas. Lus I finished the Hearts wall hanging and coasters.

It was very productive.

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!

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.

In my studio…

In my studio…

This week is a week of preparation for Christmas for us.  I have yet to do any Christmas baking or cooking.  I will do a bit, but not a lot.  We are not in great need of a lot of fat and sugar! 🙂

I am focused on cleaning up the sunroom studio.  I am halfway there.

I am also focusing on uploading the end of the wall hangings on the website.

Plus I am focused on finishing my online courses.

Wishing everyone a fun and productive week this week!  Don’t forget to enjoy the season amidst all the preparations. 🙂

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

I am late posting again.  It’s been a wild day.  My final lessons and final exams came in for my online courses.  I had Christmas presents to finish buying this morning and afternoon.  We ended up dealing with more health insurance stuff this morning.  It was unplanned for, but necessary.

However, despite all that…this week I have been accomplishing a lot of behind the scenes work on my website and old blog.  I finally have the old blog where it’s going to be for the next while.  I’ll slowly be deleting old posts off it.  If you are looking for something in particular, the old posts are here now.  Use the search feature to find it.

I’ve also managed to upload a fair bit of product to the website shop.  I still have more to go.

I did finish reading/browsing through “Create Your Own Website the Easy Way” by Alannah Moore.  It is a good outline and framework for creating a website, but I’ve come to the conclusion there is no “Easy Way” when it comes to creating websites.

I did not have a chance to work on “Moss”, and I certainly did not have time or space to work on designing new wall hangings.  There will definitely be changes in the new year…

WIP Thursday

WIP Thursday

I am still working on “Moss”.

Mainly I am learning my way around my website still.

We have enjoyed a lot of company this week.

Plus I continue to work on my online courses.

I have one chapter to finish in “Everyone’s an Artist” by Tite, Kavanagh, and Novais before returning it to the library.

 

Rest and rejuvenate

Yesterday we were on the road again.  Today we’re resting, doing laundry, and visiting with relatives.

I’ve been interested in what’s been happening while we’ve been gone.  Seems it’s snowed every place but where we currently are.  I am hoping to have clear roads all the way home.

In the meantime, here are some rug hooking videos to check out on YouTube:

Cindi Gay – rug hooking channel – An entire channel on rug hooking I’ve yet to explore! 🙂

Deanne Fitzpatrick – hooking smooth curves – Deanne has an entire YouTube video on rug hooking.

Wanda Kerr – Dye fixes for ugly wool – Wanda has an entire YouTube channel on dyeing.

 

In my studio…

unnamed

This week I am preparing for the upcoming Art Now, Saskatchewan Fine Art & Craft Fair.  I’m a tad early, but I do need to  purchase shipping supplies for my rugs, make sure everything is tagged properly, and the certificates of authenticity are filled out.

Looking forward to a couple lovely drives to Saskatoon come mid-September to deliver and, possibly, pickup.  Thanks to our new vehicle being so cheap on gas, it’s cheaper to drive them there and back than it is to actually ship them!

I will also continue working on African Dream.  I am very close to finishing the hooking.

Plus the knit baby blanket.

I’ve finished and passed both Gale courses, and would like to start working on a website now.  So I’ll be seeing what I can do about that.

Weekly Review

Hi everyone!  It’s been a fun and challenging week, both at the same time.  I’ve had difficulties getting onto WordPress today and so my blog post is a tad late.  I was able to work more on African Dream and the knit cellular baby blanket.  As I noted yesterday, I am not happy with the latter and am glad it was a freebie – free yarn, free pattern.

On the other hand I am happy with African Dream.  It’s bright cheery colors keep me going on these dull rainy days we’ve been having lately.

Today we’re supposed to head out for a wiener roast and outdoor movie night with friends, but it’s raining right now.  I’ll have to contact her and find out their alternative plans, if they have any.  Hopefully by this afternoon it will stop raining and be nice and dry out for the event.

This week also saw me catch up as much as possible in the Gale courses I’m taking.  Unfortunately the website development course is having problems.  Not with me and getting work done, but the course itself is missing material such as crucial coding and links in it.  The instructor has apologized, and I feel sorry for him.  But I’m a bit miffed.  On the other hand, it is a free course for me, so I’m not complaining too loudly.  I’ll just try it on my own later.

WIP Thursday

WIP African Dream - 1

I am working on the same three projects as last week – the knit cellular baby blanket, African Dream, and my Gale courses.

The Gale courses have been taking up a great deal of my time.  There is a lot more work involved in these last two compared to the earlier two.  However the last lessons are tomorrow, and the exams will be next week.  Then it’s onto other things.  I’ve decided to give the courses a break for the next while.

I can see the end of the knit cellular baby blanket.  I am not happy with that pattern and am resigning the blanket, with its many mistakes, to the goodwill.  The yarn was a freebie and had a kink in it that made it difficult to knit.  It was too hard to see where I was in the lace pattern while knitting.  But now I’m almost finished I can see all my mistakes.  I am beyond frustrated.  I’ve decided I will not knit lace for awhile.  Back to good old garter and stocking stitch.  I have some homespun to knit next anyway, and I think that shows off better in plainer stitches.

African Dream is coming along fine.  A little slow, but it’s happening.  I am enjoying it – both the pattern and the hooking.  If I didn’t have to spend so much time on my courses it would be done by now.  I am looking forward to finishing the edge and deciding where to put it.  It’s almost too pretty to put on the floor.  But my bedroom floor…maybe…

 

In my studio…

Studio Aug 15 2016 - 1

My Gale courses finish this week.  But I still have finals to write.

This week I want to:

  • Continue hooking on African Dream.
  • Finish sorting business email.
  • Knit on the cellular baby blanket.
  • Determine if I need to take wall hangings to the SK Art & Fine Craft Fair in Saskatoon and back myself mid-September, or if someone else is going up there and can take them and bring them back.  It turns out I have company that weekend.  Plus Hubby’s last day of work is that Friday.

Hope everyone has a great day! 🙂

 

WIP Thursday

WIP African Dream  - 1

WIP African Dream

Lots happening.  I knit another 3″ on the baby blanket. It’s almost finished.  Three more repeats and it’s on to the ribbing and binding off.

I am three quarters done African Dream. It’s looking good.  I’m already contemplating my next project.

I picked up my studio yesterday as well.

Today’s project is the website development course and hooking more on African Dream. 

Hope everyone has a great day!

In my studio…

In my studio Aug 8 2016

I’ve finally caught up on my Gale courses from vacation!  Whew!  Now it’s time to focus more on hooking African Dream.  I can smell the end and I’m excited.

I’m trying a new way of hooking.  My frame holds the backing taut with gripper strips – strips of rubber with fine sharp tack like protrusions all over them.  They grab at my shirts and put holes in them.  The frame did come with a ‘sleeve’ to put over them, but I find it awkward to hook that way.  The sleeve covers too much of the design for my liking.  I could sew another one that leaves more space for hooking, but I’m thinking a simpler fix might be to wear a canvas apron when I hook.  The ‘tacks’ on the gripper strip don’t catch so easily on canvas.  But it sure does a number to my fine knit t-shirts!  Here’s to happy hooking and not having to buy an entire new wardrobe of t-shirts every season! 🙂

My goals this week?

  • Hook on African Dream,
  • Work on my website development course,
  • Sort through work email (I’m down from over 1000 to just around 250),
  • Knit on the cellular baby blanket,
  • see what else I can do to shake me out of my artistic rut!

WIP Thursday

Aug 4 2016 - 3

Good morning!  Today I thought I’d give you an update on my various projects.

I have knit a bit on the baby blanket.  I have less than 12″ to go now.

Aug 4 2016 - 4

I bought some Sally Melville books at Shuttleworks in Alberta.  I plan on knitting something out of them next, but I need to check my yarn stash to see what I have that I can use.

Aug 4 2016 - 1

I hooked a bit on African Dream before vacation, and will pick that up again soon.

Aug 4 2016 - 5

As soon as I catch up in my Gale course on website development.  I’m only two lessons behind now.  I am learning a lot.  I recently changed the menu bar here on my website to better reflect what goes on here.  Look forward to future changes on my blog. 🙂

Hope everyone has a great day!  Cheers!

I’m Back!

AB vacation 2016 - 33

Canola field in bloom!

AB vacation 2016 - 3

Beaver pond gone amuck!  There were seven beavers damming this creek and creating a massive pond, or rather, a small lake!

AB vacation 2016 - 7

Preparations for a Moving Party!  It was difficult to stay gluten free this trip!

Had a great time on vacation in Alberta, Canada.  Spent time with family and shopping.  There is no provincial sales tax in Alberta. 🙂

Stopped by Shuttleworks and picked up some lovely knitting books by Sally Melville, “Hooking on the Wild Side”, and a sweater pattern for knitting.  Also picked up some fiber for spinning.  Everything is 30-50% off!  I highly recommend them.  They are closing their doors soon, so the deals will only be available for a short while, and while supplies last.

This week I’ll be skipping my recipe of the week in order to get back in the swing of things here on the blog.  Today will be my “In my studio…” post and Wednesday I’ll be back to my regular “Inspiration Wednesday”.

So…in my studio this week…

  • work on my website development course
  • work on “African Dream”
  • finish sorting my business email

In good news, all three of the finished pieces I submitted to be juried into the Saskatchewan Art & Fine Craft Fair were accepted!   So if you want to see “Blue-eyed Grass”, “Sprouts”, or “Dancing Tree” in real life, then is your chance!  It will also be the first opportunity to purchase them, as I have yet to post them online for sale.  The Fair is September 15th through 18th in Saskatoon, SK at Prairieland Park.  Looking forward to the event! 🙂

 

Weekly Review

Good morning everyone!  It’s been a busy week here.  I’ve had company since Tuesday.  They leave Sunday.  It’s been fun showing them around and doing things with them.  I love sharing our city with visitors!

I’ve started two more online Gale courses: one in communications and one in building a website with a shopping cart.  So far so good.

I managed some hooking on African Dream, but not a lot. I do have the strips cut for most of the finishing though.  Actually, I’m still pulling heavily from my pile of leftover worms from other projects.

A friend broke her foot and today I am going to be cooking some meals for her and her hubby.

I have a long list of things to do today, so I better get at it!  Have a great weekend everyone! 🙂

In My Studio…

Tea-tray

I finished my online Gale courses in communication and teaching writing: K-3 with flying colors on Friday.  They were fun courses to take to shake up my brain again and bring out the appropriate knowledge for teaching.  I think I’ll take a few more of these courses in the future.

I haven’t done a lick of work on African Dream or my g-mail account this weekend.  A true weekend off!  I was at a meeting on growth principles, and helping prepare food, serve it, and clean up for the church’s graduation luncheon.  By Sunday afternoon, when it was all over, I was wiped and took a good long nap!  Spent some time weeding the yard/garden.

This week’s plans definitely include African Dream and sorting through email.  I’m not sure what else I’ll do.  Depending on the weather I may spin a bit or do some plein air hooking in the backyard.  I’m feeling a bit of a need for a change.  Maybe some dyeing.

Friday is Canada Day and we are hosting a small gathering of friends.  So some time will be spent planning and preparing for that.  I’m looking forward to a week with a relatively clean slate.

Weekly Review

I did manage to work more on my business email, but did not get it totally under control.  Tough to know what to keep and what to toss.

Hooking more on African Dream.  To all those people at the Street Fair the end of May, I have to apologize.  This is going to take a lot longer than a month to finish.  However, I willingly admit I am not working on it four hours a day.  There is just too much going on this time of year!  I am liking the look of it so far though.

Other things accomplished…done lesson 11 of my Gale courses.  One more lesson and then finals to go.

The knit baby blanket is coming along…

In my studio…

WIP African Dream 5 - 1

I feel like I should just press “rerun”.  I’ll be working on African Dream, sorting and organizing the end of the email, and knitting on the baby blanket.

I will also be working on my online courses.  I’ve dropped another one – the e-book publishing one – as it requires a PC with Word on it, and, while our house laptop is a PC, it would be awkward for me to work from that particular machine because of its location, lack of speed, and my unfamiliarity with it.  I’m going to wait until I buy a new laptop, which will probably be a PC, and sign up again for the course.

 

 

Weekly Review

WIP African Dream 4 - 1

I managed to sort through most of my business email account.   Only 300 emails left to go! 🙂

I hooked a bit on African Dream.  And knit on the cellular baby blanket.

I did not post any wall hangings to Etsy.  I decided to wait. One of the courses I want to take is an intermediate WordPress website development course.  It will teach me how to create a shopping cart for a new WordPress.org website.  To post on Etsy costs 20 cents for each item for a 3 month listing.  Plus they charge a fee when you sell an item.

I’ve cut the online courses from four to three.  I switched from the beginner website development course to the intermediate website development course, based on the advice of the instructor.  It won’t start until July.  Meanwhile I am taking a course on publishing e-books, a course on communication, and a course on teaching writing to the K-3 crowd.

I’ve also been visiting with friends and chatting with family via phone.  We have an upcoming vacation to plan. 🙂