Lots Happening!

Lots Happening!

I’ve been working steady on the Parker’s Cove fishing shack series.  I have finished hooking eight, and have five more on backing, ready to go.  I’m currently looking for a venue that will exhibit my work and sell it for me.

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I finished appliquéing all the blocks for the South Korean appliqué quilt top.  I decided to stop at twelve.  I spent time drawing out the quilt top, including the sashing and borders.  There will be white-on-white sashing, a batik border, and a second narrower border of more white-on-white ..if I have enough.  I delved into my tote bins and found batting big enough for  the quilt.  Next up I will have to look for backing.

I attended the Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks Embellishment workshop this past week.  It was fun and informative.  I worked some on “The Farm” during the demonstration.  Some of the other students shared embellishment work they had done.  Very interesting and educational.

I also attended Parris House Creative Community’s monthly Crafternoon.  I managed to hook another fishing shack piece there, as well as exchange a lot of rug hooking related information.

I attended the ASH guild Fibre Day this past weekend via Zoom.  I am still spinning wool and alpaca.  I need to process some skeins of yarn.

That’s been my week as far as fibre is concerned.  If you have been, thanks for  reading!  Have a great week everyone!

 

Back in the Groove

Back in the Groove

Good morning everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend.

Last week I spent some time dyeing fibre for the Parker’s Cove series.  I used straight up ProChem Key Lime for the bright neon green, and the other colours were from the Woolly Mason Jar system. Lucy Richard has a great system for matching colours quickly.  If you’re a dyer who is often in a hurry, her system is the way to go!

I’ve been working on the Parker’s Cove fishing shack series. I have finished two small pieces this week and have a larger piece on backing.

“The Farm” is currently languishing on the sidelines.  I have a steep learning curve to learn multiple techniques I want to use for this piece, so am wanting to wait until I have more time and energy to devote to it  That, plus I want to finish my Parker’s Cove series of at least ten pieces by mid-November.

The South Korean appliqué quilt blocks are almost complete.  I decided not to go further than the twelve blocks suggested by the pattern.  However I will also be putting sashing between the blocks and a border all around…neither called for in the pattern. That will make it large enough to be used as a lap quilt. It will be machine quilted by a professional long arm quilter.

I took part in many events this week related to rug hooking.  Wednesday there were two online meetings: one for crafting (where I transferred a pattern to backing), and one for rug hooking (where I  hooked a small piece for the Parker’s Cove series). Thursday I attended an in-person hook-in at a friend’s place. I started another small Parker’s Cove piece. And Thursday evening I attended a Zoom presentation by Susan Feller on Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  Susan talked about what it takes to become a professional artist as a rug hooker. A very interesting presentation with lots to chew on.

I also spent time cleaning up my studio after the whirlwind that was Sketchbook Revival!  I haven’t had it looking that good in ages, so I took photos and immortalized the occasion on Instagram and Facebook. Haha!

It is now a mess again…because I’ve decided to finish a project that’s been percolating a long time in my brain…like five years.  Our trip to South Korea in 2017 needs addressing.  I did create and have a photo book printed, but I had no place for ephemera.  So after Sketchbook Revival I decided it was time to sit down and do it.  I pulled out old bookbinding supplies and created a blank journal with cartridge drawing paper and Waterford cold press watercolour paper.  I’m highly doubtful the journal is big enough to hold everything, but I need to do some serious culling of memorabilia anyways.

If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

Studio Clean Up and More…

Studio Clean Up and More…

I finished Sketchbook Revival 2022 and embarked on a clean up and reorganization of my studio this week.  I finally parted with a box of old original artwork.  I hope the thrift stores we donated to recognize the value of what they have and can actually earn some money from it for a good cause.  At any rate things are looking a lot better.  My main objective was to get my art supplies out in the open so I can easily grab them to use them!

I also managed to repair one of the old rugs I purchased in February and placed it on the studio floor.  It was going to go under the tables in the sitting area, but I was very nervous of having it under the coffee table and chair legs.  Plus the design would be hidden.  So I pulled it out into the middle of the floor.

I also worked on my South Korean appliqué quilt this week.  I have eleven blocks finished, and am working on the twelfth.  I’m trying to decide if I want to go any larger.  It’s a lot of work and I really would prefer to rug hook.

To that end,  I decided to buy my own scanner and printer.   I picked up my scanner last week.  My printer has to be brought in from Toronto and won’t arrive until this week at the earliest.  I used the scanner and photo editing software to scan, enlarge and print my largest Parker’s Cove pattern.  I did it the hard way.  A friend later told me the easy way!

I am working my way through “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron for the third time in my life.  I do it, but with a few modifications.  It takes time to do.  The tasks and exercises are often time and energy consuming.  However, it is worthwhile to do it once every five to ten years…to refresh my memory and see where I’m at…how I’ve progressed.

I attended several crafting events last week.  Wednesday I attended three!  In the morning I got together with some crafty family members and friends online to chat and craft.  That’s when I work on my appliqué quilt.

Wednesday afternoon I got together on Zoom with a group of rug hookers.  This week I worked on repairing the large vintage rug I purchased.

Wednesday evening was special.  I was at an online event hosted by Beth Miller on her Mighty Networks site, Paris House Creative Community.  It was a Q&A on book proposals and publishing.  It was very helpful and informative.

I’m really enjoying Beth’s Mighty Networks site, and encourage you to check it out!  It’s an inspiring and encouraging place to be.  Topics are not only about rug hooking, but also soap making, beekeeping, chicken raising, cooking, knitting, etcetera.  There is a lot of variety, especially if you start a thread or sign up to attend a Zoom event.

Thursday I reorganized the studio in the morning and hosted a rug hooking friend there in the afternoon.  She had some good ideas on reorganization.  I finished repairing the large vintage hooked rug and placed it on the floor. Then switched to designing the layout for my appliqué quilt.

Friday I attended a Zoom rug hooking group in the afternoon.  I cleaned my studio more while chatting with the other rug hookers.  Towards the end of the meeting I took them on a virtual studio tour.

Last week was business taxes as well.  I have those finished and in to the accountant. Now I’m just filing receipts.

I am not sure what this week holds.  It may be time for a bit of a slower pace.  I have some other projects to work on that don’t involve rug hooking.  I need to sit down and prioritize.

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  Have a great week everyone!

 

Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings

The hooking on the Boucherouite is finished!  It is in my pile set aside for finishing.

I washed the fisherman’s rope for framing the Parker’s Cove fishing shacks series.  It is a great deal more pliable and, I believe, will work for my purposes.

I had a great time participating in Beth Miller’s Beginner Dyeing Demonstration in her Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  While I am not a beginner dyer, I do think I can learn something new from everyone I meet.  Beth demonstrated electric skillet dyeing and microwave dyeing, which I’ve never done before.  I was curious about her methodology.  Now I’m on the lookout for an electric skillet!  I guess it’s time for another trip to the thrift store…

I had great fun showing the ladies at the Sunday FiFi Zoom meeting through Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks how to do the herringbone edge on a piece of hooking.  I hooked a quick hit and miss hot pad in order to show how to do it. My only criteria for the hot pad was that I had enough of a particular colour of wool to do a full row in the squares.  I used leftover worms/noodles from other projects. I used 100% wool and it is on a primitive linen backing.

The edge is made from a hand spun, hand dyed wool yarn.   It is worked over a core of 100% cotton cording from Michaels craft store, which I pre-washed in hot soapy water.  The cording and yarn are quite large for the piece in order to show up more clearly on the camera when I was demonstrating.  As a result, rather than rip it all out and redo a smaller size, I made it a design feature.  I brought the hot pad up to the level of the whipping by padding the back with quilt batting, before lining it with a piece of wool fabric.

in other news…I am practicing hosting Zoom meetings…because…

Upcoming workshop…

I am preparing to teach a live beginner onion skin dyeing workshop in Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  It will be Wednesday, March 30th, from 7 – 9 PM EST.

In that Zoom workshop I’ll be teaching immersion dyeing, casserole spot dyeing and marrying wool while simultaneously overdyeing it with onion skin dye solution. I have created an introduction presentation, a presentation on record keeping and one on experimenting with different agents to set the dye.  If I have time, I’ll also show samples of different fibres dyed with onion skin and different setting agents.  It’s a lot to pack into a two hour workshop, but I’m game to try!  I am limiting the class to 5-10 participants, so I can meet everyone’s needs.

In order to take this class you must be a member of Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  It costs just $10 USD per month.  The cost for the workshop is discounted for Beth’s community to $40 USD per person.  When it is offered off that platform, it will be a tad more expensive.

I recommend signing up soon, so you have plenty of time to gather up onion skins!  You will need 6 – 8 large handfuls of dry yellow onion skins.  You can score these from family and friends, or your friendly produce manager at your local grocery store.  Ask if you can clean out their onion bins at the end of the day, or whenever they need it done.

You will also need an enamel roasting pan with lid for stovetop use (or an old enamel refrigerator bin and tin foil for a lid) and a long handled wooden or white plastic spoon.  These will be dedicated dye equipment and can be found at thrift stores, yard sales, etc.  There is a more extensive supplies list on Beth’s Mighty Networks site.

This workshop promises to be very informative and great fun!  If you’re interested check it out on Mighty Networks!

That is what is coming up on my schedule so far this month.  As for this week…I will continue preparing for the workshop, hook more on the Parker’s Cove series, and work on “The Farm”.

If you have been, thanks for reading!  I hope you all have a great week!

Monday Ramblings

Monday Ramblings

Good morning everyone!  This will be my one and only blog post this week.  I have several projects on the go.

  • the Boucherouite is almost finished hooking.  I need to decide on a finish and do it.
  • “The Farm” is waiting in the wings. I have ideas in my mind for how I want to accomplish it. It will definitely be a mixed media piece.
  • the Parker’s Cove series is partly on backing.  I think I will need a dye day to create more fabric of the right colours.
  • I am preparing to teach the herringbone edge to a group on Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community network on Mighty Networks.
  • I also have another rug hooking project I’m working on behind the scenes for now.
  • I have several Zoom meetings to attend and one to run this week.  I plan on playing around with how Zoom works, so I can offer a seamless workshop experience in the future. Stay tuned!…

I hope everyone has a great week!

 

Make It Happen Monday

Make It Happen Monday

Almost there!  The Boucherouite rug is moving along.  I hope to finish it this week.

Saturday I attended a Zoom seminar on “Women Artisans of Morocco”, sponsored by the Textile Museum Associates of Southern California.  Over 1000 people were in attendance!  Some via Zoom and some via YouTube Live. The speaker was Dr. Susan Schaefer Davis.  She was very knowledgeable about introducing the women and their work.  Her presentation included discussion of rugs, embroideries and handmade buttons of the High and Middle Atlas Mountains. I came away with a new knowledge and appreciation for Moroccan textiles.

I finished reading ”Color Choices” by Stephen Quiller.  I have not studied the colour wheel to that depth before.  I have informally learned it, but not the theory behind it and how to use it to create a cohesive colour scheme.  My use of colour is largely intuitive.  This was a good read for me.

”The Farm” is slow going.  I’m still selecting fibre and embellishments to explore techniques.  Plus I continue to research techniques in an effort to decide which ones I’m going to use.  I have a choice of painting the sky, reverse hooking it, or using canvas embroidery techniques on it.   I need to experiment a bit to see which will suit the piece better.

I am not sure what this week holds, but it promises to be busy.  If you have been, thanks for reading!  Have a productive week everyone!

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Good day everyone!  The Boucherouite rug is progressing.

I worked on ”The Farm” this week.  I embroidered leaf veins to hold background leaves in place.  I used a technique called proddy to create 3D leaves of different shapes and sizes.  I purchased some beads to use as berries.  I’ve done a lot of research on techniques for this piece.

Four more Parker’s Cove patterns are ready to be hooked.  I was looking for fishing rope to devise a unique finishing technique…possibly using knots.  A friend came through in spades.  I am using an old book that predates 1918 for knot ideas.  It’s titled “Knots, Ties and Splices” by J. Tom Burgess.

I had good intentions of repairing “The Wedding (?) Rug”. However, my Fraser 500 wool stripper (strip cutter) broke.  I’m waiting for better weather to connect with someone who might be able to repair it.  We’re supposed to have another winter storm this weekend.  Meanwhile a friend has the right size cutter wheel and will cut the necessary strips for me.

Charlie Dalton, guest speaker on the In The Studio seminar series this month, gave a great talk!  He talked about his journey to becoming a rug hooker and how he drew his inspiration from past and present artists.  Then he gave us a grand overview of his work.  It was a very interesting and inspiring story!  Thank-you Charlie and In The Studio!

I’m almost finished reading “Color Choices” by Stephen Quiller.  I actually borrowed this book for the last two or three chapters in it, but found the first chapter so fascinating I kept reading from the beginning!  It’s a new way of looking at the colour wheel for me.

I’ve been busy working my way through Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” with a group of ladies in Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  It’s been very good so far.

I am really enjoying the supportive community Beth Miller is developing on Mighty Networks.  Beth has demonstrations and Crafternoons planned every month, and finishing days quarterly.  There are over ten boards on a diverse range of topics – rug hooking is only one of them.  Soon she will be adding member only classes to the roster of happenings.  Membership is only $9.99 USD per month…well worth it for me so far.  I encourage you to check it out.  There’s a free three day trial.

Well, that’s my review for the week!   If you have been, thanks for reading!

 

Snow Day!

Snow Day!

We woke up to a fresh blanket of snow covering the ground this morning, and more snow falling. It was quiet and beautiful!

A snow day for us means an at home day. So today I’ve been doing “errands”  and paying bills online.  I’ve also been transferring files from my iMac to my Lenovo laptop.  My iMac is on its last legs and I will not be replacing it.

I managed to copy four more Parker’s Cove fishing shack wall hangings onto backing. I have at least one more long one to transfer to backing, and several smaller ones yet.

I have not worked on the Boucherouite rug since Friday.  Nor have I worked on “The Farm”.  

I have finished spinning and plying some dark green Corriedale wool for rug hooking.

Plus I attended a Zoom lecture by Tom Hannihar, sponsored by the Textile Museum Associates of Southern California, on the molas of Panama and Columbia. A mola is a type of handwork created using reverse appliqué, appliqué and embroidery.  It is often made by girls and women, and sewn to their blouses. It was a fascinating lecture.

This weekend they have one on the women artists of Morocco.  I plan to attend that Zoom lecture too.  

I am currently reading “Color Choices” by Stephen Quiller. This book is aimed at artists and uses manufactured paint names for the various colours on the colour wheel.  The concepts are good for all media though. I am enjoying it. I hope to finish it by the end of the month.

I am also embarking on a re-reading of Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way”. I am doing it with a group of people on Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.   I learned a lot about myself the first time through this book over 20 years ago, and I’m thinking it might be time to revisit it now.

Mighty Networks is a paid platform, and Beth is just getting started there. However she already has some demos, a crafting afternoon, and a finishing afternoon once a month in the works. There are plans to offer courses through the site as well.  Plus there are boards on a wide variety of topics.  You can check out her site on a free 3 day trial.  After that it’s $9.99 USD per month.

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  Have a great week everyone!

The Week Ahead

The Week Ahead

Good morning!  How’s everyone doing?  I hope all is well with my readers.   I had a great weekend and am looking forward to more this coming week.

Last night was The Gathering, the last event of Workshop Week 4.  It went quite well I thought.  There was a lot of very interesting discussion. I worked on my Boucherouite rug during that time and accomplished quite a bit.

I also spent time on my The Farm piece.  I mostly cut and tacked in place key appliqué pieces. I did hook the shutters on the windows and the porch roof.  I’m working on hooking the porch supports. Then I’ll take a break to sew down those appliqué parts.

I finished the braided edge on the chair pad and it is in situ.  Hubby says it’s more comfortable and a lot warmer to sit on.

This week will see more hooking on the Boucherouite, and work on “The Farm”.  I also have all the supplies and equipment to repair the edge of the big antique rug, nicknamed “The Wedding Rug”, that I recently acquired.

In looking at the antique green floral rug I have determined it needs to be fixed with the same type of backing it was hooked on.  I’m on the hunt for about a yard of high quality burlap for fine shaded #3 cut rugs.

Aside from that, I have some Parker’s Cove patterns to put on backing, and three Zoom hook-ins this week.  It will be a busy week for rug hooking!

If you have been, thanks for reading! Have a great week everyone!

Workshop Week 4 is Almost Over!

Workshop Week 4 is Almost Over!

I am going to miss the stimulation to learn. It’s been a busy week for me. Sunday I took Laura Salamy’s Baby Boucherouite class. I’ve been having great fun playing with my not so “baby” pattern!  It’s 10” x 32”.  It is pictured above.  I’m not fixed on the colours yet, but I’m trying to stick to the traditional red, blue, yellow, green and orange.

Then Tuesday I took Yvonne Iten-Scott’s Braided Edge class. My supplies for the class actually arrived Wednesday. Thanks, Canada Post! They held them up in Halifax since January 16th.  I live 15 minutes away. They arrived Feb. 3rd!  Regardless, I am pleased with my braid. I just have to match my ends and sew them together.  Then finish lacing and adjust them. I’m hoping to get to that tomorrow.

Tuesday evening I took Beth Miller’s class on Developing Personal Landscapes.  Beth took a very broad view of landscape, and I am glad she did. I chose to create a pattern of images of the landscape, in particular the plants, from my childhood on The Farm. In the centre is the old farmhouse in its heyday. It is framed by plants, shrubs and trees planted by my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.

This pattern is going to take a while to complete. I plan on using quite a few alternative materials and techniques with it. It could be a success, or a dismal failure. I’m thinking of visiting Michaels craft store for some embellishments for it.

I had a break from Workshop Week 4 on Wednesday. So I took advantage of a Zoom hook-in and worked more on my boucherouite.

Thursday I also attended an online hook-in, this time through Google Meets.  Then I joined the second braided edge class with Yvonne Iten-Scott.  I worked for an hour trying to butt the ends of my braid correctly. I’ve pulled it out five times so far. I dislike butting.  I put it aside to try later. I know what needs to be done, I just have to get the braid pattern to work out right!

Today’s class was Jane Mason’s “Watercolour for the Textile Artist”.  It was a fast paced class with lots of information.  It acted as a good refresher for me.  Jane is very knowledgeable on her subject.  The class was very diverse.

New Online Community

In-between all those classes I took time to explore Mighty Networks and Beth Miller’s site – “Parris House Creative Community”.  It’s a great little site just getting up and running.  There are many topic areas where you can add to discussions, kind of like Facebook groups.  Topics include: gardening, rug hooking, punch hooking, beekeeping, soap making, running a small business, creativity, cooking/recipe swap, canning and preserving, knitting and crochet, reading, chicken keeping, etc.  There is plenty there to occupy me and I don’t have to deal with FB algorithms, which have made the Internet basically useless for me. Beth eventually plans to run classes and seminars through this site – some free and some paid.

Parris House Creative Community has a free three day trial that you can access by contacting Beth at: info@ParrisHouseWoolWorks.com.  After that it is $9.99 USD per month for access.  I encourage you to at least check it out.

If you have been, thanks for reading!  Have a great weekend everyone!

 

 

Permission to Play

Permission to Play

Good morning everyone!  Workshop Week 4 started yesterday. I spent Saturday cleaning up my studio for it and yesterday morning pulling out all my alternative fibres – that is, anything that wasn’t wool – and laying them in colour groups on the floor!  I have a lot.

Why was I doing that?  I was taking a class called Baby Boucherouite by Laura Salamy on Sunday afternoon. I decided I’d do a little Research before class.  I googled boucherouite – a word I’d never heard before Laura Salamy and her rug hooking.

Boucherouite rugs are a type of woven Berber rug created by tribes in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.  They use symbols specific to those tribes. The meaning of the symbols has been lost over the years. Most commonly  Boucherouite rugs contain diamonds, stripes, squares, equilateral triangles, chevrons and similar style shapes in them.

Boucherouites are made from used clothing and are used to protect better quality wool rugs.  They lay the boucherouite overtop.  They are also used as a covering for warmth and as a soft surface for babies to play on.

Laura’s class was fun.  She not only gave us permission to play with fibre and rug hooking, but she actively encouraged using a mixture of material to get “the look”.

I had a relaxing three hours hooking away. I had drawn my pattern on backing Saturday and only needed minor revisions yesterday.  So far I’m pretty pleased with how my boucherouite is turning out.  Thank-you Laura!

Last evening there was a very informative and interesting Panel Discussion on how we’ve continued learning the last 2 years, how we’ve stayed inspired, and how we can improve and promote the craft of rug hooking as individuals and groups.

Today I’m preparing for Yvonne Iten-Scott’s Braided Edge class and Beth Miller’s Personal Landscape class. I have to round up alternative supplies for the braided edge class, as Canada Post is holding my package of supplies hostage less than half an hour away from me, and finish designing and putting on backing my pattern for the Personal Landscape rug.

I am so looking forward to the rest of Workshop Week!  Thank-you to all the instructors!

If you have been, thanks for reading!  Enjoy the rest of your week!

Finishing and Preparations

Finishing and Preparations

Hi everyone!  As my regulars will have noticed I didn’t post a For Sale Feature post on Wednesday.  I was busy this week working on my Parker’s Cove wall hanging. I am trying to finish it before Workshop Week 4 begins .

I ran into problems with the antique rugs I’m trying to repair.  Not the least of which is I have misplaced my needle case!  So I put them aside.  

Workshop Week 4 starts Sunday and runs until next Sunday. I went from not signing up for any classes, to signing up for four!  I was going to take a break from classes this year and just focus on my current series.  But I saw Jane Mason’s watercolour for fibre artists class.  I do watercolour…badly.  And I rug hook.  The siren call of learning the 10 rules of watercolour sealed the deal for me.  I signed up.

Then I looked at Yvonne Iten-Scott’s braided edge class and thought it would be just the thing to finish off a project and make it big enough to use as a chair pad. So I signed up.  

I thought I might take Susan Feller’s finishing class, but it was full.  I’m on the waiting list.  I hear there might be a second class sometime in late February or early March.  

Well, by then I was rethinking the whole thing.  I looked at Beth Miller’s Personal Landscapes class  I love Beth’s teaching style.  I signed up.  

Then there was Laura Salamy, who is teaching a class on creating a Baby Boucherouite rug.  This is a rug made from scraps of all types of fibre.  I’ve been wanting to take this class for some time.  So I’m glad to finally have the opportunity.

So the rest of this week has been spent preparing for Workshop Week 4. My Baby Boucherouite isn’t such a baby anymore. It’s about 10” x 36”. I am finalizing a design for Beth Miller’s class and want to get it on backing before the class on Tuesday. I’m waiting for braiding tools to arrive for Yvonne’s class. They are stuck in the Halifax postal sorting station with an indefinite delivery time!  Thankfully I have all the supplies for Jane’s class.

I wish I had enough energy to take more classes, but this way I have the opportunity to rest  between classes.  I have free days on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.   I wish all the students a wonderful week of learning, and the instructors a positive teaching experience.

If you have been, thanks for reading!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Hit & Miss

Hit & Miss

“Huh?”, you ask?  To rug hookers “hit and miss” is a particular type of rug hooking pattern.  It’s great for rug hookers who want to use up scraps.  The procedure is to reach into a bin or bag of mixed colour and texture scrap strips of fibre (also known as worms or noodles) and pull out whatever your hand touches first and hook it. Then repeat, without regard to colour or texture. No planning. That is a hit and miss rug in its purist form.  At least that’s it in theory. I’ve never done that.

Usually most rug hookers put some degree of decision making into a hit and miss project. The closest I’ve ever come is the centre of this welcome mat I made for a family member. It looks like pure hit and miss, but originally I made a conscious decision to intersperse light with dark and, because I didn’t have enough yellow, there was judicious placement of it on the diagonal. This rug is closing in on 35 years old and parts of it have faded.  It’s hard to tell I had such a design problem.

The next hit and miss piece I hooked was a wedding gift for my nephew and his new wife.  He married in Alberta, Canada, so I hooked a rug with pink wild Alberta roses floating above alternating blue and green squares in a controlled hit and miss background. I hooked the blue squares in one direction and the green at right angles.  This style of hit and miss is called basket weave.  The results were striking. To add to the charm of this rug was the Canada tartan kilt border with Hudson’s Bay Company blanket lettering.

The last hit and miss piece I hooked was a hot pad in greens, burgundies and yellows that is featured in the opening photo of this blog post.  It is my Christmas themed hot pad. It has varying widths of fibre. To add interest to the piece I divided the backing into four parts and hooked each part at right angles to the other.

There are many variations of hit and miss rugs.  Charlie Dalton, a contemporary rug hooking artist (google The Hooking Colonel), and instructor at the upcoming In The Studio Workshop Week 4, uses them as backgrounds to his pet portraits.  Google “hit and miss hooked rug” and check out some eye candy!

For further study on such rugs I direct you to William C. Ketchum’s book “Hooked Rugs”, in the chapter on geometrics, and Bea Brock’s “Scrappy Hooked Rugs”, in the gallery section on hit and miss rugs.

If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Moving On…

Moving On…

Good morning everyone!  This week my copy of Rug Hooking Magazine arrived.  I was very pleased with the look of the article I submitted for publication.  I would like to publicly thank…again…the editor, copy editor and photographers of my work.  You all were amazing!

I started on my next series and am already half finished the first mat, but it’s smallish…about 8” x 10”.  This series pays homage to the hard work and creativity of Nova Scotia’s fishermen and women.  It is a series centred around the humble fishing shack.

The inspiration for this series came from our drives around the Nova Scotia coastline, visiting small villages and their wharves as we went. I initially thought I would do a series on wharves, and I might yet. The wharves all seem different to me, with their own character, depending on the season and time of day.

But when we drove past Parker’s Cove it was “Whoa Nelly!”   Our driver stopped on our way back from Delaps Cove, where we had checked out the wharf.

In Parker’s Cove the brightly coloured fishing shacks smiled in the sun, beckoning us for a closer look.  Smiled?  More like danced for joy!  They are a brightly coloured group of buildings encircling the wharf area.  I was truly grateful for a modern cell phone camera to use instead of those old film ones. My companions were having a good chuckle at my expense over the number of photos I was taking. But, even with all the photos, I still didn’t have the angle I wanted for this first design.  I fudged it a bit.

Earlier this week I transferred two designs to backing I wanted to reuse, and started hooking.  Here it is so far.

To be honest, there are some things I don’t like still, and this is definitely not all going to stay “as is”.  But it’s a good start.

In other news…

For those who don’t know, Workshop Week 4 is coming up the end of this month and into February. I have participated in the last three, and, having finished the poetry series, wasn’t sure if I’d have pieces to work on for Workshop Week 4.  It seemed to have classes that required a fair number of works in progress, which I just don’t have. However, I looked more closely.  Always read the fine print carefully!  I ended up signing up for four classes.  Not all of them required WIPs. If you’re interested I would suggest contacting Laura Salamy at High on Hooking on Instagram.

While cruising the Net I found In The Studio is offering another seminar/artist talk mid-January – this time by Sarah Leighton.  I am very interested. I found this information on Instagram as well.

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  I’m off to prepare for classes and a Zoom hook-in today. Have a great weekend everyone.

On the Road Again!

On the Road Again!

Good afternoon everyone!  We are on another road trip – this time to Moncton, New Brunswick to visit relatives.  We took our company with us.  We have had loads of fun exploring the countryside.

I had a wonderful time yesterday in Susan Feller’s “Mastering Design” Zoom class in Workshop Week 3. By the time it was over I had a new design and unifying elements for a series of fishing shack hooked pieces. I’m very happy with the results of the class.

I am just finishing the knit baby hat for a relative’s new baby. It is hand spun alpaca, hand dyed with cochineal.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and is experiencing a good week. If you have been, thanks for reading.

Weekly Review – Sightseeing

Weekly Review – Sightseeing

Good afternoon everyone!  Hubby and I have been showing a friend around PEI and Nova Scotia. There is nothing like acting as a guide to out-of-province company for learning about your home province and neighbouring province.

We’ve checked out Scots Bay, Halls Harbour, Stirling’s in Wolfville, The Valley, part of the South Shore (including Peggy’s Cove and Queensland Beach), some of Halifax, and then took a side trip to PEI.

We’re staying at a relative’s place near Montague.  One day we travelled the east coast up through Souris to East Point Lighthouse, stopping at Singing Sands Beach on the way.

The next day we headed up through Mount Stewart to Prince Edward Island National Park.  We drove the scenic coastal drive through the Park, and then on to the Anne of Green Gables site.

After a couple of hours, and a lot of walking, at Green Gables we headed into Charlottetown.  We enjoyed a wonderful waterfront walk in Victoria Park. Then headed up to Queen Street to enjoy some Cows ice-cream. We checked a used bookstore  and a game store on our way home.

A quick call to an Island merchant told us one of the best places to buy fresh oysters.  We stopped at the Sobeys in Stratford to pick them up and received a wonderful lesson in oyster shucking and eating!  I highly recommend Sobeys’ staff, Jonathan, at the Seafood counter for going above and beyond!

Today has been a quiet day. We walked the Confederation Trail from Brudenell to Montague, stopping at The Lucky Bean Café for their breakfast board and some games. It was a fun time.  We headed back to the house via the Trail for lunch.

Tomorrow we head home.

In creative news…the baby hat is almost finished.  I neglected to bring my blunt tapestry needle for sewing in the end.  I will finish it up at home.

In rug hooking news…We saw some wonderful hooked rugs at Green Gables House.

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Sunday evening In The Studio’s Workshop Week 3 starts with the hook-in gathering.  Monday I have Susan Feller’s design class. Friday will be the final Panel Discussion. I’m looking forward to a fun and educational time.

If you have been, thanks for reading!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Weekly Review – Travelling Along

Weekly Review – Travelling Along

We are busy having great fun with our company. We spent Thanksgiving Monday exploring Halifax and area.  We walked the pier in DeWolf Park in Bedford.  Then headed to Saint Mary’s University.  Then to Point Pleasant Park.

Tuesday we had a lot of errands to run.


Wednesday we headed up to Scots Bay, Nova Scotia to spend some time relaxing at a friend’s cottage by the Bay of Fundy. It rained while we were there, but it did not dampen our enthusiasm.  We had a great time exploring beaches and walking in the rain.  We also played games and put together a puzzle

I also spent time this week updating my business books and preparing for Workshop Week 3. I have only one class during Workshop Week 3 this fall, and that is a design class with Susan Feller. I am very excited to be taking another class with Susan. I learn so much from her. I sent her photos of what I want to work on next and some of my preliminary sketches. She was prompt and articulate in her responses.  I am looking forward to this class.

If you have been, thanks for reading. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

 

Road Trip and Ramblings…

Road Trip and Ramblings…

Good morning everyone!  I had an delightful weekend this past weekend. The border between Nova Scotia and the other Atlantic provinces opened last Wednesday. One of my sisters lost no time coming our way to visit with friends and family – us included. So Friday we hosted a dinner for seven people in our tiny home. I had fun setting it up and cooking. I love to cook.  I took no photos of the event.  I totally forgot about my camera this weekend!  We had a delightful time catching up.

Saturday Hubby and I headed out to Lunenburg for a late lunch and to look around. We browsed the bookstores and I picked up a poetry book that looked good at first glance, but turned later to be a so-so poetry book.  Actually a kind of depressing poetry book.  I’m reading it, but it’s already on the chopping block to be given away.

Afterwards we headed out to Second Peninsula Provincial Park. It is a beautiful park with a few picnic tables. Unfortunately it was raining by the time we arrived, so we didn’t get out to check it out further.  We took a leisurely drive home instead.

Sunday I decided to watch some of the videos for International Nature Journaling Week. I finished all of Day 1 and half of Day 2. There are a lot of extra links to blog posts, websites and podcasts, not to mention YouTube videos related to the day’s theme.  I’m checking those out as I go.

Sunday I was also able to settle down and stitch the loop portion of hook and loop tape onto the back of “Gyeongju”.  I’m waiting for my shellacked oak hanging board to cure before stapling the hook side of the tape to it, mounting it on the wall, and hanging “Gyeongju”.

I’m going so slow it seems. Lots to preoccupy me these days. The kitchen countertop is being cut and we are negotiating pick up, hopefully later this week.  Our kitchen flooring will arrive later this week.  I need to clear out the utility room as it will be our makeshift kitchen.

The landscapers are here working on our front and side yards.  Today they are ripping out what’s there.  They say they’ll be finished in three days.  It’s a busy time.

Well that’s it for now!  If you have been, thanks for reading!  Take care and have a good week.

Wild Wonder 2021 & Beyond

Wild Wonder 2021 & Beyond

Wild Wonder 2021 is over for the year. Kudos to the organizers, volunteers and tech people who kept the ball rolling. It was a huge success from my viewpoint as a student.  Wild Wonder was actually a 7 day conference, but I only attended the last 5 days.  I didn’t realize I could go to the teacher conference as well.  Oh well.  Next year!

I really enjoyed the variety of approaches taken and taught by the various teachers this year – whether they were artists, scientists, writers, or real life teachers. They had an incredible wealth of knowledge to share, and they did.  I’m sure we only scratched the surface on many topics, and I look forward to following the posted links in the days and weeks ahead. Thanks everyone!  The classes were fabulous!

I enjoyed the keynote speakers, the virtual field trips, and the presentations. The event kicked off with John Muir Laws interviewing Tony Foster of The Foster.  Tony Foster is an interesting man who has painted in some of the roughest terrain on Earth. It was an excellent interview.

Keynote speakers included: Dr. Nooshin Razani, Fiona Gillogly and John Muir Laws, Richard Louv, Dr. Drew Lanham and Jane Kim.  I had to back out of one and couldn’t finish another due to being overtired.  The ones I heard were fascinating talks.  Dr. Razani spoke about the impact of nature on our health and accessibility as it relates to socio-economic factors.

My key take-away from Fiona and John Nuir Laws’ joint keynote address was how to ask questions in your nature journal.  Fiona’s Question Chains are phenomenal! I only watched part of this talk as I was too tired to finish it.  John Muir Laws talked about the difference between ecosystem, community and habitat.  He suggested we add ecology, or relationships to our nature journals.

I had to skip Richard Louv because this tired old body needed rest!   I’ll watch the video later.

Dr. Drew Lanham was an excellent speaker!  Very personable, and quotable.  He spoke about how he came to love nature, his mentors along the way, and paying attention to the details in life.  He talked about journals as a release, for healing and helping you sort your place in things and events out.

When John Muir Laws asked how the nature journaling community could be more inclusive, he talked about “the first protest of the day” – “when you wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and decide to do something different to make things different.”  He said if you see an injustice, don’t just look – speak up and say something.  Do something to change it.

His definition of conservation? “Conservation is caring enough about something intensely, other than yourself, that you will save it in abundance for someone you don’t know

The last keynote speaker, Jane Kim, spearheads InkDwell.  She is a large scale nature journaler, painting nature murals on walls and sides of buildings in public and private hands.  Her work is amazing!

I must admit I was really taken by the virtual field trips to Death Valley with Ryan Petterson and Coastal Alaska with Kim McNett.  I will be rewatching those and doing some nature journaling.

I had to back out of a lot of the social times I’d originally signed up for simply because of the time difference (I had to eat!) and my lack of stamina (I had to sleep!).  The conference emanates from California, USA.  That made for late nights for me on the East Coast.  At first I wasn’t sure if I had access to the class videos after the conference, but it turns out all attendees do.  I’ll be making use of them in the future.

The quality of my drawings went down significantly during this conference because I was trying to make notes and draw at the same time. I also had very limited time to draw. At first I was frustrated, but then I realized if I were out in nature there wouldn’t be much time to get images down on paper either!  After that I simply considered it good practice.  Here are some of my scribblings.  Forgive bad composition and very rough drawings. There were a lot of 10 second contour drawings!

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Better Late Than Never!

Better Late Than Never!

I missed writing a blog post for yesterday! Sorry to leave my readers hanging for a day or so.  My blog writing was delayed. More details below.

In the rug hooking arena, “Dancing Tree” found a new home!  I sincerely hope it gives joy and puts a smile on the face of the new owner for many years to come.

I haven’t progressed any further on “Gyeongju” or “Time” due to upcoming renovations.  We picked up the last of the kitchen cabinets last week.  This weekend and Monday we shopped for flooring and countertops.  Mission accomplished!  Everything should be on site in two weeks.  The guy removing our old kitchen and installing the new is thinking it will be four weeks before he gets to us.  However, we have a planning meeting with him coming up.

But before the kitchen renovation we have a front and side yard overhaul happening!  So if I’m a little scarce on here and don’t have much rug hooking to talk about, forgive me!

We are also talking about culling trees on the property.  We have a lot of mature trees between us and the neighbours.  But that and planting a new perennial bed between us and them won’t happen until late August into early September.

While I’ve been negligent on the rug hooking front, I’ve been busy preparing for the nature journaling conference, Wild Wonder.  It takes place next weekend.  It starts at noon Atlantic Time on the 23rd and continues through to 1:30 AM Atlantic Time on Monday, the 28th.  It will be 13 1/2 hour days.  Friends and family are taking bets how long I’ll last.  That’s a lot of Zoom time for me and a lot of sitting.  I will definitely be talking advantage of breaks to stretch and exercise.

I am also planning to squeeze an artist retreat in between the lawn renewal and the kitchen renovation.  So June and July will be busy.

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  I’ll keep you posted on the renovations AND any rug hooking. Have a great week everyone!

Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings

I have to start this post out with a correction. Apparently the driving force behind International Nature Journaling Week is Bethan Burton – a nature journalist from Australia. The week was made possible by numerous volunteers. Today is the last day of Zoom classes.  It was such a wonderful experience it motivated me to sign up for Wild Wonder.  Wild Wonder is a nature journaling conference that runs between June 23rd and 27th. It will be twelve hour days for me, so I will, in all probability, not be posting to my blog until it’s over.

I am planning an artist retreat for a few days in July, and another for September – both by the ocean.  When the Atlantic Bubble opens up again, I hope to spend some time in Prince Edward Island and maybe New Brunswick as well.

I finished hooking “Gyeongju”!  I have one circle I want to fiddle with a bit, but otherwise it’s ready for pressing and blocking. I am waiting for lockdown to lift one step further before heading into a lumber store for the piece of trim needed to hang it.  Next up is finishing the embellishments on “Time”.  I have a bit of embroidery to do and that should be it.

I received an email about In The Studio’s Workshop Week 3 this past week. I am only taking one class this time.  I took too many last time.  They were all good, but I just found it overwhelming. I really only have time for one class. Workshop Week 3 happens the end of October.  You can access more information on karendmiller.com .

If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

 

Weekly Review – International Nature Journalling Week

Weekly Review – International Nature Journalling Week

Good morning everyone!  I’m right in the middle of International Nature Journalling Week put on by Bethan Burton and friends. It’s quite good. It’s free, but there has been a request for donations. It’s seven days long with two sessions per day. I’ll have to miss a couple of sessions due to previous commitments, but overall I’ll be able to get the flavour of the week.

In other news, we spent the week in the yard. It’s been the first decent week of weather for planting since last spring. I took advantage of the situation.  All our seedlings are in the ground, and a good deal of seeds.

I’m having incredible luck with growing from seeds down here!  Everything seems to grow!  I gave a third of my tomato plants to one friend, and another third to another friend. Same with pepper and oregano plants. I still had twelve tomato plants of three different varieties to plant!  I had six  or seven pepper plants of three different varieties. Plus, leeks, onions, peas, Swiss chard, kale, two kinds of beets, radishes, lettuce, squash, zucchini, cucumber, turnip, carrots, and much more.

My pots and raised beds are going to be overflowing. We had too many tomato plants, so we planted them and the remaining marigolds in the perennial bed.  We’ll see how they do in the part shade.

The weather has been gorgeous, for the most part. I’m spending a fair bit of time on the deck, relaxing.  When I’m not pulling weeds. We have a severe goutweed problem here. So we’re busy dealing with that. We back onto a Municipal green space that has become infested. It’s spreading into our flower beds.

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Weekly Review – This and That

Weekly Review – This and That

I’m trying out Trello project management app due to a reader’s comment not long ago. I have mixed feelings. I like it for breaking big projects down into smaller steps and creating a daily to do list.  But I find it difficult to get a good global overview. I haven’t decided if that’s good or bad. Sometimes a global overview can be overwhelming and freeze you up.  Other times it can show you where duplication is happening.

I’ve used mind maps since 1993. I’m used to them.  But I think that’s part of the problem with me assessing Trello – I’m biased.  So I’m going to keep experimenting with both and see if one works better than the other.  I’m using SimpleMind for mind mapping…the paid version. It may be they complement each other.  I don’t know.  I have to play with Trello more.

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In other news, I discovered a new website this week for budding artists and experienced alike. Check out Jeanne Oliver’s website.  There are free courses, self study courses and actual paid classes  I notice Deanne Fitzpatrick has a class being offered there as well.  Lots to work with.  I plan on exploring some.

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I’ve been reading a new-to-me book called “Desire to Inspire” by Christine Mason Miller.  It is a book on various artists with creative exercises in it to help you use your “creative passion to transform the world “.  I’m on chapter two. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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I’m still hooking on the border of “Gyeongju”.  It’s a lot bigger than I thought, but it’s looking good!   I figure I have two more hours of hooking to do and it will be finished!

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I processed (or finished) some hand spun alpaca yarn for knitting.  It’s hanging to dry as I write.

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I attended a free nature journaling lecture via Zoom yesterday afternoon.  It was hosted by John Muir Laws.  It was about flower and leaf configurations.  In it I found out the first week of June is International Nature Journalling Week.  John’s website offers a series of Zoom workshops for free or donation (as you are able) during the week.  I’m debating taking some.  It depends on my time.

There is also a nature journaling conference called Wild Wonder June 23-27th. That is a paid event.  More information can be found on John’s website.

If you have been, thanks for reading!  Enjoy your weekend!

 

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Good afternoon everyone!  I worked hard this week and finally finished off the Sketchbook Revival 2021 lessons I wanted to do. This week there were classes in printmaking, mark making to loosen up, character design, costume design, collage, watercolour and nature journaling. I was enamoured with the nature journaling and think I’ll do more of that.

To that end I ordered two books: John Muir Law’s “Nature Drawing and Journaling” and Clare Leslie’s and Charles Roth’s “Keeping a Nature Journal”. Our library had multiple holds on both books, so I decided to buy them.

Here’s a slide show of finished work from the second half of Sketchbook Revival 2021.

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In other news…

I hooked quite a bit on the border of “Gyeongju” (the South Korean roof tile end caps rug).  Still have a lot more to go.

Hubby and I also took a day off and went with a friend for a drive out on Digby Neck here in Nova Scotia.  We meandered around, taking the scenic route on the way there.   My imagination wasn’t captured until we got out of the car at the wharf in Delaps Cove.  I was mesmerized by the age of the wharf, how battered it was, the rusty spikes and bolts holding it together, the huge granite boulders that made up the breakwater, and, of course, the fish shacks.  I took a lot of photos and endured quite a bit of teasing for doing so!

But that was just the beginning for me.  I requested we stop at the wharf in Parker’s Cove on the way back.  Once again I took lots of photos.  Our friend, from a fishing family, was having a good chuckle at me taking pictures of rope.  But you know, I’ll say here what I said to her – every good original design starts with a good photo.  I will probably get one or two pieces out of all those photos…and that’s okay.

If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great weekend everyone!

 

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