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!

 

Sketchbook Revival 2021

Sketchbook Revival 2021

Good morning everyone!  I’ve written about Sketchbook Revival before. It is a free two week set of classes by different artists, organized by Karen Abend. I discovered it through another rug hooking artist’s blog. I can’t remember whose it was, but I want to say a deep heartfelt thank-you to them.

Sketchbooks are the foundation of any art practice, and that includes textile arts such as rug hooking. It’s where we experiment and explore new ideas. They are foundational for developing your own style.  I cannot emphasize enough that if you want to develop your own style, buy a sketchbook and use it!

That was my big mistake when I started out. I viewed rug hooking as craft, not art. I rarely used my sketchbook and relied too much on other people’s work as a basis for my own. Don’t do that!  I learned the hard way that rug hooking is an art form, a textile art.

I eventually did learn to use my sketchbook more, thanks to Deanne Fitzpatrick’s online courses from 2012-2014.  Thank-you Deanne!  However recently I’m noticing I stop using it when I feel I have “enough” rug designs to keep me busy for years.

But I miss sketching. I decided I don’t need to keep a sketchbook just for rug hooking ideas.  I can keep one, just because.  Sketching in all forms is not only good for idea development. It can also be done just for pleasure.

So when I read about Sketchbook Revival I was ready to do something. I signed up for the two week program which runs the last two weeks of March. However, I had a busy two weeks otherwise and did not get around to the workshops much.

Thankfully Karen Abend has set it up so it’s easy to access and you can go at your own pace. Each day you receive an email with the links to two videos in it. Each video is by a different artist and is a different project. The idea is to get people to use their various art supplies. Each video also has a materials list and title and brief bio on the artist teaching in it.

Karen keeps the videos accessible for two weeks after the last class. Thank-you so much Karen!  I am racing to finish them now. So far I am halfway through the workshops. I am learning a lot, and using tools and techniques I’ve never used before.

So without further ado, here is a peek into my sketchbook for the first half of Sketchbook Revival. Bear in mind the goal in these classes is not finished pieces ready for framing, but rather, pieces for learning to use new tools, techniques, and ideas.

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My Other “Hobby”

My Other “Hobby”

Good morning everyone!  Today I thought I would write about creativity…and my other hobby.

I’ve come to believe that once creativity is unleashed in a person, it’s hard to stop it. It shows up in different aspects and areas of their lives.  I was fortunate – creativity in the form of textiles came at a young age. It was encouraged by my grandmother and mother.  They had scrap fabric, thread and needles from sewing our clothes.  As a child I started out sewing doll clothes by hand.

When I grew older and was enrolled in Brownies (the junior division of Girl Guides at that time).  I discovered embroidery.  Over the years I have learned a variety of embroidery techniques – cross stitch, Brazilian, Hardanger, etc.  I made many beautiful items, and some not so beautiful.  Like everything else, embroidery takes practice.  Not all pieces are destined for greatness.

However some were worth saving. I have several pieces from over the years that I finally had framed. I took a couple of classes from the well known Hardanger teacher, Elsie Mae Quick, of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. It was a great stepping off point. I finally had the intermediate piece framed the other day.

I was a member of the Regina Stitchery Guild for a while.  There were many excellent stitchers and mentors there.  One was Carol Storie of Heartfelt Designs.  I really enjoy her patterns and have stitched a few of them. I finally had one framed.

Hardanger is one of my favourite forms of embroidery. I have used the technique to make Christmas ornaments, for gifts, and for functional items in my own home and others.

I also am enjoying learning Brazilian embroidery.  I haven’t done any for a long time though.  I have been absorbed in rug hooking for over five years. Recently I rediscovered a binder with pattern book, needles and threads. I’m pretty happy.  Someday soon maybe, as a break in rug hooking…or maybe as embellishment on rugs…hmmm…

Then there was online learning.  It opened up a wealth of possibilities. I took some courses from Sharon Boggon of Australia. One was on designing your own embroidery from scratch. It was a fascinating course on using fabric, beads, buttons and various types of threads to create a unique piece. I created “Under the Sea”.  I was able to frame it recently as well.

I am very pleased with the framing of these pieces and have a few more in for framing now.  Many thanks to Karen Haverstock of Haverstock Creative Designs.  They look gorgeous!

If you find yourself stymied or stuck in one area of creating, my advice is to learn something new.  You never know what might break the log jam and start you creating again. Plus, you never know where your new skills might take you!

If you have been reading, thanks!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Finishing Up

Finishing Up

Good evening everyone!  I’ve spent some time working on my pieces from the earlier Workshop Weeks and finishing them up.  I just have the embroidery and beading to do on “Time” now, before finishing it.

The abstract pieces – “Ocean Sunset” and “Poison” are finished, complete with hanging sleeves.


Autumn” needs a good steam pressing and, possibly, some fixing on one edge in the hemming.  Then a hanging sleeve attached.

I also finished the Fraktur chair pad, but feel it’s too small for a chair pad.  It will probably end up on one of my living room tables.

Next it’s onto the South Korean roof tile end caps rug, which I think I will simply call “Gyeongju”.  Gyeongju is the city with the museum where I saw all the ancient designs tile designs.  South Korea was originally an amalgamation of three separate kingdoms.  Gyeongju, historically called Seorabeol, was capital of one of them – the Silla kingdom (57-935 AD).  You can read all about it by googling it.  It’s a fascinating city, nicknamed “The Museum Without Walls” .  It is a National Park filled with reconstructed sites and buildings from the old kingdom.  There are burial mounds of kings and queens, and archeological digs abound.  Plus there is a five building museum.  It’s just fascinating.  We were there one day.  There is no way we had enough time to do it justice.

I have a series of wall hangings I’d like to do on South Korea.  We’ll see if I get to them.  I want to finish some poetry wall hangings first.

Other than that it’s been a busy few days.  I’m trying to at least watch the videos for Sketchbook Revival, which technically ended March 31st. The videos are available until April 16th.  I’m rushing to fit them in, but I doubt I’ll have time to do the projects.

I’m looking forward to spring and summer.  I’m already planning my artist retreats for the year.  IKEA says they’ll email when the kitchen cabinet frames come in.  I’m hoping to work my retreats around the kitchen renovation.

Well that’s it from here.  I hope everyone has a great week!  If you have been, thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

Make Something Monday

Make Something Monday

Good evening everyone!  My post is a bit late today because it is tax season!  I’ve been spending the last two days pulling all the business receipts, etcetera, together for my accountant.  Can I just say “God bless accountants!”?!  I’m nearing the end of Round 1 though.  I have to get Hubby to help me move some furniture in the studio to look for some sizeable missing receipts.  If I can’t find them tonight I’m giving up.

In more cheerful news…this past Saturday I had the opportunity to attend Beth Miller’s Embellishments and New Techniques online Zoom class. It was great fun and I learned a lot! I have used beads and wire before, but in all my 37 years of rug hooking I haven’t tried fancy stitches. I have a multitude of different fibres and embellishments I could add to a wall hanging. I also know how to embroider and quilt. What I needed was encouragement. Beth is great at encouraging her students to relax and just play with the materials. Thank-you for a wonderful workshop Beth!

I’ve been busy working on the border for my South Korean roof tile end caps wall hanging. I can see I will have to dye more fibre for it. so, in an attempt to conserve time and energy, I’ve left my dye equipment and supplies in the kitchen for now. Hopefully I’ll be able to see what needs doing soon and dye some more before the end of the week.

 I would also like to do the embellishments on “Time” and finish it up.  

That’s it for this weekend and week so far. Have a great week everyone! 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Hello everyone!  This week I spent time helping a friend dye fibre a greenish gold spot dye for a particular project.  It worked beautifully

I also spent time tweaking “Autumn”.  I have finally finished the hooking!  That was quite a long haul.  It’s ready for pressing and finishing now. The changes were in the table in the left corner and the text in the bottom border.  I moved “THE” over a bit from “HUMS”.

This week I also started hooking my Fraktur chair mat that I designed in Susan Feller’s course, Folk Art with Flair, during Workshop Week 2.   I managed to get so far and that’s it. Hopefully I’ll be able to work on it today.  I haven’t chosen a background colour yet.  I was going to use parchment, but my dye job did not turn out on the wool.  It was great on the nylons!  But I need enough for four chair pads eventually. So I will be visiting the dye pots again in the near future.

This week I also started an online free Workshop that lasts two weeks.  I heard about it on Laura Salamy’s blog – High on Hooking.  It’s called Sketchbook Revival and it’s offered for free once a year.  You sign up and receive an email every day for two weeks, with links to two sketchbook lessons from different artists.  So far I’ve watched four videos.  Two were the preamble to the course.  The two videos yesterday were on familiarizing yourself with the art supplies you already have, and one line drawing.  So far it’s been interesting.  Check it out!

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Hi everyone! This week has been busy with kitchen renovation stuff. We took delivery of half an IKEA kitchen…the rest being on back order. We had a flooring guy in, who recommended a local plumber. We had the carpenter in to discuss removal, install and countertops. We did not buy an IKEA countertop in the end. It’s been busy on the kitchen front.

As for rug hooking…I finished the hourglass piece three or four times. I’m not sure I’m happy with it yet. I plan to add embellishments come Beth Miller’s embellishment class on March 27th. Hopefully that will lift it from ho-hum to something a bit more lively.  

Here are photos of the last three tries at “Autumn”.  The first attempt had bright orange chains top and bottom on the dark brown border.  Then I tried the greys…too boring.   Then I tried light orange and that just looked weird .  I changed the main link to gold ribbon and added a more rust coloured orange.  I’m happier with it now.  

I also finished “Autumn” finally. I may tweak the letters and the table a bit.  I am not happy with how the shape of the table reads. I had a hard time with the colour of the table in the corner and the placement of the mug of tea. I thinkI finally figured those out  

That leaves the Fraktur chair pad from Susan Feller’s class, Folk Art with Flair, from Workshop Week 2 in February. Plus the design and hooking of three other coordinating chair pads!

There was no fibre dyeing this week, but Monday I will post some blue formulas. So stay tuned for further dye formulas!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Weekly Review – Dyeing Nylons

Weekly Review – Dyeing Nylons

Hi everyone!  This week was about hooking more on my Workshop Week courses, and dyeing nylons.

I am done the abstracts from Donna Mulholland’s class.  I’m finished the tote bag from Beth Miller’s class.  I’m about halfway done the hourglass wall hanging from Nadine Flagel’s class.  I still have the Fraktur chair pad from Susan Feller’s class to hook.

I had a great follow up Zoom session with Nadine Flagel yesterday. She  confirmed some of my thoughts about the hourglass piece.  I made some changes already, but have more to go.  I have to be careful because I don’t want the finished piece to be overdone.   I want to embellish the sand with beads and embroider some orange flowering vines up the brown hourglass supports.

But onto nylons…

Why dye nylons?  How do you use them?  Well I use mine for added texture in my rug hooking.  I think it’s a good way to recycle them and keep them from the landfill.  I also find a pair of nylons goes a long way. If I cut in a spiral down the leg, and pull taut, so it forms a rope, I end up with a small ball of nylon “yarn” I can hook with, and have fewer ends.

Nylons have a long history in rug hooking. The Grenfell Mission rugs were hooked in straight rows with “silk stockings”, the precursor to nylons. Now, imitators of that style of rug hooking use…you guessed it…nylons.

Today I’ve invited a couple of friends over to watch me strip colour out of  nylons and dye them.  I strip the colour out using RIT colour remover following the package directions.  Then I dye them with acid dyes.  My favourite dyeing techniques for nylon are just a solid one colour in the dye pot type dye job, and spot dyeing.  By Monday I’ll have something pretty to show you!

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

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

So after looking at my project mind map Monday, how did I do this week? Well, as you can see from the above photo, I’ve removed some of the hooking on “Autumn” to correct a composition error.  

I also took the second session of Beth Miller’s class on hooking a tote bag and finished my project bag. It was a fun class and it was interesting to do something a bit different with my hooking, rather than making another piece to hang on the wall. I really enjoyed this class.

I also worked more on the hourglass for “Time”, a poem my youngest daughter wrote when she was 11 years old. I plan on adding embellishments to this piece. And I will be attaching the poem, on a label, to the back of the wall hanging. This project is for Nadine Flagel’s class.

I have pressed and pinned my abstract pieces from Donna Mulholland’s class. I plan to hem those today.

That leaves the chair pads from Susan Feller’s class to do. Tomorrow I’ll be dyeing fibre for those. I plan on dip dyeing some coral/pink for carnations. I may need more blues for “Time” as well.

Next up after the first chair pad is to finish my South Korean rug. It’s been sitting around far too long. I started it last January 2020. Then I bought a house and furniture and decorating and well, lots of time with family (when Covid let us) and on artist retreats…it was a great year in a lot of ways, but I didn’t work much on the South Korea rug.

Thankfully, come last October, Karen Miller’s first Workshop Week gave me a bit of a wake up call to get hooking again. It’s been slow over winter. Mostly I’ve been playing with finishing class projects and organizing my studio so I can actually get in there to work! I have entirely too much stuff there still.

I have, however, been sketching new designs. Hopefully this year I’ll get to those. I find large projects bog me down. This South Korean End Cap Tiles rug is large for me.

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Good morning everyone!  It’s been a busy week for me. I’ve been working on Workshop Week 2 projects.

Monday I focused on the market tote bag from Beth Miller’s class. I finished hooking the mandala on the first side. Tuesday I started the second mandala.  By Thursday I finished it.  Now I’m looking forward to the next session to sew the tote bag up.

Monday I also worked on designing my fraktur chair pad. I had a video/text meeting with Susan Feller to help with the design. I was having problems with the placement of one element – a bud. Thankfully she knew just how to fix the problem. Basically it was an issue with balance – there were simply too many elements on one side of the stem of my carnation pattern. I was glad she could make the time to help me.  I quickly sketched the new design properly and put it on backing.  In the process of sketching the design I used colour pencils to determine colour placement. I don’t normally do my colour planning like that, but in this case it helped a lot!

Tuesday morning I worked on a design for Nadine Flagel’s class – Text to Textile.  I decided to use the hourglass shape and focus on the phrase “time to grow” in my daughter’s poem. This wall hanging will have beads on it, and, if my hands can handle it, embroidery.

Thursday I came in late to Beth Miller’s Parris House Zoom hook-in.  I had a good time listening to everyone chat while I finished hooking the mandalas for the tote bag.  I cleaned up from that project and started the hourglass pattern.

Today is Lunar New Year and we will spend time chatting with our Asian friends.  I also hope to make more progress on the hourglass pattern.

I decided this week it was time to get an overview of unfinished projects, or “planned but not started” projects.  So I created a mind map of different types of projects that need finishing.  It’s a bit disconcerting, but also a relief to have them all on paper.  I can see where I’m going with them now.  Most of them have some progress, I just need to focus on them one by one and finish them!  But that discussion is for another blog post.

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

 

Weekly Plans

Weekly Plans

Good morning all!  The first storm is ending and we have a brief reprieve before the second one hits tonight   It’s good weather for staying indoors and working on some projects.

What’s on my plate this week?  In a nutshell…rug hooking.

Today I’m focusing on the market tote bag. I’m just finishing the mandala on the first side. Now to work on the second side.

I’m taking a break in between to finalize a design for my daughter’s poem “Time”. I think I’m going to design an elaborate hourglass. This will be a bit different from my usual projects. I am envisioning some embellishments on the finished piece. However I finish it, I know what direction I’m heading in now.

As for my fraktur class, I think I have a workable pattern now. I’m not entirely happy with the placement of one element, and I may change it. I think the success of the design will be in my colour choices.

Well, that’s the direction my week is heading. I hope everyone is having a great day! We’re still shovelling out…

A Belated Weekly Review

A Belated Weekly Review

Hi everyone. I’ve been very busy with Workshop Week 2 projects and with prepping for a couple of winter storms. I’ve also been prepping for a kitchen renovation.

First, Workshop Week 2 was a great learning experience. I really enjoyed Donna Mulholland’s class on abstracts. I finished two small 6” x 6” pieces based on her provided templates. It was informative and fun


My second class was with Nadine Flagel. It was a Text to Textile class. We were to take a piece of literature or poem and try to create a rug design based on the imagery in the text, without including any text! I had drawn a pattern before class, but it had text in it..a lot of text. So I scrapped that idea. My poem was on time. I drew two more patterns and did not like them. In the end, I think I know what I want to do. I’m just concerned the finished wallhanging will lack interest.

Also, Tuesday was Susan Feller’s fraktur class – Folk Art with Flair. I thought I would make a series of chair cushions (four, to be exact) for my kitchen chairs. I took forever to figure out the first cushion. Thanks for your patience and help Susan! I learned a lot about frakturs in Susan’s class.

Wednesday I took a break from classes and attended the evening hook-in. It was interesting listening to people talk about potential future Workshop Week classes. I managed to accomplish a lot of hooking in one and a half hours.

Thursday I had Beth Miller’s class on how to create a Market Tote Bag. This was just a fun class for me. I was able to draw a mandala on my tote and start hooking. I’ve made many totes, lined and unlined, with box corners, so there really isn’t much new in this class for me. But I really enjoy Beth as a teacher and I was ready for a relaxing class after my double hitter on Tuesday. I will probably use my tote for projects rather than the market.

Friday was the last day and we had the opportunity to listen to a panel discussion in which the instructors for the course talked about what inspired them.

There are a few follow up sessions I think. I have two scheduled for sure. I’m a bit unsure if there’s a third one or not. I may have already missed it. I don’t know. That would be one concern I have. I don’t think I will take as many courses next time as this time. I have so much going on otherwise that I lost track of when various Zoom meetings were. My inbox is very busy. I’m hoping I receive notice the day before the follow up sessions.

Overall impressions? Workshop Week 2 was very well done again! Thank-you for all your hard work Donna, Nadine, Susan, Karen, Beth, Laura, and Meryl! I appreciate your efforts.  I’m looking forward to Workshop Week 3 in the fall!

In other news…

I’ve been designing a kitchen online, and in and out of IKEA fine tuning that design. We had a kitchen installer in today. Basically we’re working as our own general contractor. This is going to consume a fair bit of time at some point. Right now we’re still in the planning phase. I hope to have a new kitchen by summer.

We have a couple of winter storms passing through in succession between now and Wednesday. I put in a grocery order and hope to pick up tomorrow, before the first storm hits.

If you’ve been reading, thanks! Have a good weekend, what’s left of it!

Workshop Week 2!

Workshop Week 2!

It’s Workshop Week again!  I’m so excited. I spent the last few days preparing. Hey! I even cleaned up part of my studio for this event! 😔  I have so much stuff in there.  I really need to go through it and cull more stuff.

In all seriousness though, I was down there today cutting and measuring fabric for workshops, cutting out paper shapes, gathering materials, printing off poems, and generally preparing.  I double checked a pdf I sent to one instructor with answers to questions about my poetry choice.  I was dismayed to discover some of my formatting and text were off.  In one question my answer was totally missing!  😔  I give up!  Adobe and I just don’t get along.

This week I’ve signed up for four classes: Abstract Design with Donna Mulholland, Text & Textiles with Nadine Flagel, Folk Art with Flair by Susan Feller, and Market Tote Bag by Beth Miller. I will also take part in the Wednesday evening hook-in and listen to the Friday panel discussion.

It promises to be a full and fun week, full of new learning and experiences. Plus, as nice as my five person bubble is, it’ll be nice to see other people!  Even if it is only by Zoom.

Workshop Week is hosted by Karen D. Miller of In The Studio.  You can find her on Facebook.  Karen creates fascinating hooked artwork using a variety of materials.  She is the main force behind Workshop Week, and I, for one, am very thankful she had the idea and carried through on it!

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

This week my emphasis was on sewing new blackout curtains for our master bedroom. It faces the street and there is a street light right out front of the house. I finished all but the hemming by Wednesday night. They have to hang a while before I attempt to hem them.

I did start in on fixing the hand quilting on the 44 year old quilt, but the damage is more extensive than I thought. This is going to take some time to fix.

Tuesday we ended up running errands. Thursday I spent preparing for next week’s Workshop Week 2 through In The Studio, and organizing items to be framed. I took all of my needlework to the framer. I only wanted three pieces done at the moment, but I wanted her opinion on the others. She was very generous with her time and expertise. I have a better idea how to handle my items now. I’m going to cull them further to see how much I really want done.

I still want to finish the South Korea sketches, the South Korean rug, and my Autumn wall hanging. I haven’t decided how I’m going to hook the corner yet.

This week we had a number of health checks that took up time. Plus I go walking for an hour every morning with a walking buddy in my Covid bubble. Next week will be rug hooking time! I’m looking forward to Workshop Week 2!

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

Monday Morning

Monday Morning

This week is a red letter week! I finished binding the 44 year old quilt yesterday. All that is left is to fix and finish knotting the hand quilting. It’s mostly done, but needs a bit of touch up. I need daylight to see to thread needles. So it will happen Tuesday, because…

Today I have a friend coming to help me plan, measure, and cut curtains for our master bedroom. We actually have them planned already. This afternoon we’re getting together with the other friend in our five person Covid bubble to play some Scrabble. Come evening I expect to be sewing curtains. I doubt I will finish in one evening, but I should be able to finish all but the hemming in a few days.

Tuesday daylight hours are quilting time.

Wednesday I hope to have curtains hung by the end of the day. They have to hang a while before hemming. I’m leaving them a few days.

Thursday it’s back to hand quilting if I haven’t finished by then. If I have, it’s back to rug hooking. I’ve ripped out the table and mug in the corner of the “Autumn” piece I was hooking. I will be rethinking how to hook that corner.

I also have three photos of South Korea I’d like to make sketches of for some hooked pieces. Plus I have the border to finish hooking on my large South Korea rug.

Thursday I’ll also be taking my three pieces of needle work to be framed.

Friday I will be prepping for Workshop Week next week! Workshop Week is being hosted by Karen D. Miller of In The Studio. There are several teachers offering classes. I’ve signed up for four. I will have a lot of projects to finish when I’m done. I’m keeping them small, if possible. I have a lot of my own projects I want to work on.

Oops!  I’m Late!

Oops! I’m Late!

I promised y’all a post on Friday, and here it is Saturday evening!  I’ve been busy and wiped by turn. This past week has been busy.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook will have seen the cushion covers I finished this week.  I knit the cream coloured ones as the front and back of a pullover sweater for myself. They are from Handcrafter Cotton. I had to resize the sweater to fit, and design my own sleeve pattern. That’s where I stopped many years ago.  So I decided enough is enough. I did not want to finish the sweater and I liked the colour to go in my living room.  Into two cushion covers it went!  A friend gave me some fabric for backing.

What really started me going was the desire to finish the cushion covers from the pieces I knit last January (2020). This yarn is a gorgeous soft bamboo.  I used the same fabric to back these as the previous cushions.

Having finished cushions, I turned my eye towards rug hooking. I watched Tracy Jamar’s retrospective of her work over the last twenty years and really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed my time with Donna Mulholland and the other ladies on Thursday.

I finished “Autumn” while on Zoom with Donna, et al, but I’m not showing it here until I’m satisfied with it. If you want to see it in its current condition you’ll have to check Jean Ottosen Studios on Instagram or Facebook.  I’m not happy with it and plan to change it until I am.

I then turned to home reorganization and decluttering.  A friend came over Friday afternoon and evening to help. She has very good spatial sense. I was impressed. I’ve only had to change a few things since she left.

Today I went for a walk with my walking buddy. We just started walking regularly this week. It’s been very good for me.  I hope it is for her too.

I’ve also been exploring new recipes with my new Instant Pot. It’s been illuminating, and yummy!

Well,, that’s been my week in a nutshell.  I didn’t get everything done I wanted to, but I did finish the cushion project. One baby step at a time!

Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings

Hi everyone!  I have made some moves in planning more crafting this weekend. I definitely took a good long break over the holidays. This week I will be off sewing cushion covers with a friend. Time to change up the cushions in my living room and bedroom. I’m also contemplating seat pads in the eating area of our kitchen. Now if I were smart I’d be hooking all these! But I need these, like yesterday, and have more hooking plans on the horizon.

I’ll also be attending Tracy Jamar’s Zoom talk through In The Studio on how she went from there to here in her hooking. I am curious about her work and her transition when she downsized, as I am in that position myself.

I’ll also be attending a show and tell with another group of rug hookers via Zoom. Donna Mulholland will be demonstrating how she finishes or stretches her pieces over a frame. Should be fun!

I received some homework questions from Nadine Flagel for Workshop Week, which is Feb. 1st – 5th. I’m looking forward to getting in the groove again. I’ve signed up for three classes.

I still have two hooked pieces I want to finish – Autumn and my South Korea rug.

As for my reorganization efforts, I finished the spice cabinet.

Then worked on clearing my counter.  Here is a before picture:

Here is an after photo:

Finally! I can see the back of the counter!

Then I emptied my linen closet and moved all my fibre dyeing equipment and supplies, and most of my dye books, into it. I had about $30 CAD worth of help from Dollarama in the form of portable shelving and lidded bins. I’m going try and get decent photos for you. Here it is from two angles – a dye kitchen in a 24” linen closet!

It is a lot of work settling into a new home.  But it’s also very satisfying when you find a good home for the things that matter.  I had hoped to do my dyeing separate from the food kitchen, in my laundry room.  However someone had other plans for the laundry room.  Thankfully I use fairly safe dyes and follow strict dyeing procedures!

Well that’s my current update.  It’s a busy week and I better get at it!  Have a great week everyone!

 

Just Motoring Along

Just Motoring Along

Hi everyone!  I had lots of rest this past weekend. Guess I needed it. Today I’m back and eager to get back at things.

I finished sewing on hanging sleeves and Hubby hung the Old Tyme Scrappy quilt on the wall.  I hemmed my jeans. I’m done the face mask order. I’m almost finished Autumn. I’m hand sewing the binding on the Trip-Around-The-World quilt.

The cushion cover is a bear I have to face this week. It’s a mess and I have to rip about one quarter of the blanket stitch out.  I also have to fix the rip in the back.  Sigh.  Have you ever had one of those projects where nothing seems to be going right?  Well this is one of mine.

Once all those are done I want to get back to my South Korea roof tile end caps wall hanging. Hubby already has a place he wants to hang it. I’m a bit miffed with myself that it’s taken a whole year to complete one medium sized wall hanging.  But I have done many things besides it, including a major move in April. While I had it on backing and started in January, I was living in someone else’s home and didn’t want to overtake it with exploding boxes of fibre.  I did for a while anyways, the few days I searched for fibre for the piece, but I quickly packed it all away.   I found my accommodations more suited to knitting and quilting small pieces. I worked on a gorgeous appliqué quilt pattern while there! Which reminds me I still have a couple of knitted cushion covers and the appliqué quilt to finish.

Lots of projects to finish!  Looks like I’m going to get some time to do them.  Nova Scotia’s Covid-19 cases are rising again and we’re limited to our five person bubble.  I’m staying home for the most part, and working on my projects.

If you’ve been reading, thanks! And have a productive week everyone!