Hi everyone! It’s been an exciting week full of learning, struggle, and fun. I took three very different classes during the In The Studio Workshop Week, and was impressed with all of them. I took Karen Miller’s Travel Design course and came away with more ideas for my South Korean mats.
I was hesitant to take Beth Miller’s Here and Now Words and Fibre course because I don’t really read poetry, much less write it. But she was very flexible and forgiving. I wondered if I could use it with my children’s poetry and after her approval I gave it a try. I found a “here and now” image that means a lot to me. It’s the view out our living room window about a week ago, with trees blazing set off against a bright blue sky, and my favourite cup of tea on the table, waiting for me to sit down to surf the Net on my iPad or read a book. I was surprised by how quickly this piece came together and how fast I was able to hook it.
Yesterday I stretched myself. I took Meryl Cook’s class. It was hard but good for me. I am a very practical person. Meryl’s class caused us to look deep inside ourselves for design ideas. I have Meryl’s book and I’m working more from it after the class. I was not Meryl’s star student I’m afraid. Sorry Meryl. The class was great for getting me thinking though. I love learning about the different approaches people take to rug hooking! It is energizing to be around other rug hookers learning something new.
Wednesday evening was a great hook in with some lovely ladies. Friday night was the final panel discussion. I loved all the links and resources that came from the week.
I understand Karen Miller will be organizing another Workshop Week in the future. I plan on being there. It was a great week ladies! Thank-you to all the teachers and others who made it possible.
Are you ready? Or more accurately, am I ready? Today marks the first class in the In My Studio Workshop Week for me. I’m excited to be in Karen Miller’s Travel class. I have several sketches from my South Korea trip to work with, and several photos otherwise. I’m looking forward to learning her process for taking an idea to pattern to finished piece.
I finally finished the centre of the South Korean wall hanging! Now I’m onto the border. Last Thursday I dyed some fibre with a friend. Last evening I finished off the dye job. Hopefully these colours will work with the rest of the wall hanging.
I also checked in with the local spinning group via Zoom and spent time at my wheel spinning some gorgeous alpaca. This will not be going into a hooked piece. It will be used for knitting. It is spinning up very fine. Just right for some lace knitting.
I hope this finds everyone well and safe, and looking forward to the week. If you have been, thanks for reading. ❤️
Hi everyone! I thought I’d do an update on the studio makeover. The main part of my studio is ready. However we are storing stuff in it until the basement guest room cum family room cum classroom is completed. The paint is drying as I type!
I’ve been working in my new studio, enjoying it for a couple of months now. It has been a great space to work! I have projects strewn everywhere. I could wish for improved lighting still. But the LED overhead lights are a great start. I wish I had some kind of track lighting to light up my gallery walls. I have two gallery walls at the moment, and hope to have a third before too long.
Check out my current photos. It’s a bit messy because of all the work going on here, but it functions for me. That is good!
My current projects are:
an appliquéd moose wall hanging or cushion cover for my nephew, in memory of his grandfather. I’m not sure which will be better for him.
Fixing a hand quilted quilt I started when I was seventeen. We won’t say how long ago that was!
Dyeing the border colors for my South Korean roof tile end caps wall hanging,
preparing for Workshop Week next week, and
getting the guest room stuff out of my studio!
Hoping to get considerable movement done on these in the next couple of weeks.
Happy Friday everyone! This week was short, but productive. I’ve been busy reading “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. I wrote down everything I had in my mind that needed doing, then created a project list from the things I needed to focus on, and then a next actions list for the list of things to do. I’m swamped! I’m also loving it! But I can’t take on anymore.
I’ve also been working on my South Korean roof tile end cap wall hanging. It’s slow going, but looking better these days. A friend was over to help me pick out fibre for the border. I will be doing some dyeing and overdyeing.
We also went through the poetry wall hangings I want to hook. They are on backing and ready to go. I just have to finish this South Korean wall hanging and swing back to them for awhile.
I’m still sketching the South Korean designs in my sketchbook. Lots to do yet. Plus I’m still working through Meryl Cook’s “The Creativity Workbook”. I’m enjoying the inspiration of the fall colours around me.
I’ve been listening to Cindi Gay’s rug hooking podcasts while hooking or afterwards. She is a very wise lady full of all kinds of knowledge about rug hooking. I don’t hook the primitive style, but I still learn from her. Thanks for doing the podcasts Cindi!
The last week of October will be a busy week. The In My Studio Workshop Week is on then. I have a Travel class with Karen Miller, a Words and Images class with Elizabeth Miller, and Intuitive Hooking with Meryl Cook. There will also be a group hook-in and a panel discussion I’m looking forward to stepping outside my comfort zone to learn more from these talented teachers and others.
If you’re interested in taking classes I believe there are a few openings left. Contact Karen D. Miller on Facebook and check into the events she is hosting.
If you’ve been reading, thanks! Have a great weekend!
I found myself really fighting my South Korea roof tile end caps wall hanging this week. I decided to not rush it and just work on it briefly each day. Instead I’ve been busy sketching more designs – both of South Korea and from Meryl Cook’s “The Creativity Workbook”.
Despite spending more time this week drawing designs for South Korea wall hangings, I’m not sure how many will actually make it onto backing. I’m seriously thinking about the viewer, as well as the creative act (by me). There’s a balance that has to be struck there for me. In previous years I hooked too much for the viewer, with the odd exception. Now I’m wanting to get back to the act of just creating. It’s important for me to know what I want to say with my work first though. So I’m thinking.
I’ve been working through Meryl Cook’s “The Creativity Workbook”. I am paused on finding a design that expresses how I feel joy. I did go and experience a couple of things that give me joy – walking in nature amongst the fall foliage. I picked up a variety of shapes and colors of tree leaves and have been busy designing leaf patterns and templates. But to actually draw joy is another matter altogether. I think I know the color/s of joy for me, but not sure of the shape of it…yet.
Wednesday I joined an In My Studio Zoom meeting to listen to Judi Miller talk about artist residencies. It was a very informative talk about the options available, what you need to have a successful one, and her experiences. I thoroughly enjoyed the talk and would like to thank Judi publicly for making the time and effort to do it, and to thank Karen Miller for organizing and facilitating it.
I received my ProChem dye powder shipment this week. I’m looking forward to more dyeing. I’m wanting to dye the pine trees, ocean and skies using Lucy Richard’s spot dye formulas. I’ll be dyeing the old-fashioned way – in the oven – rather than in a microwave I do not have a microwave to dedicate to dyeing, nor a place to put it.
Well that’s my review for this week. If you’ve been reading, thanks! I wish you all a happy Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, wherever you may be. My next blog post will probably be posted Tuesday. Take care everyone!
I had the delightful pleasure of meeting Susan Logue this weekend when she showed up on my doorstep to look at some wool for a friend. I really enjoyed contact with another rug hooker. Susan wrote the “Past & Present Antique Dyes” books, which I have and have used in the past. It was a fun time chatting with her about rug hooking, and it was nice to meet her friend.
One thing the visit made me realize was how starved I am for other artistic people in my life. I’m enjoying the online classes because of that, but somehow they aren’t the same as real live one-to-one encounters. They have their good points too though. I sure am glad to have the online experience too!
Saturday I tuned in to Lucy Richard’s FaceBook LIVE dye workshop. It was an interesting experience for me. I hadn’t microwave dyed before meeting Lucy. To be able to do a spot dye by microwave is great! And the pine tree, ocean, sky colours were great! If you head over to her website or FaceBook page you can find a link to donate to her video making efforts. If you donate $10 or more your name is entered to win a gift box of goodies. This time she is including the wool she dyed, among other things. It’s a half yard of wool folks…just saying. It’s a great deal! And a great gift. And it keeps Lucy doing videos.
I’m so anxious to get my dye studio up and going. Hubby is finishing painting the upstairs hall and then wants to do the guest room. It will be awhile before he gets to the dye studio/laundry room.
I hooked more on my South Korea roof tile end cap wall hanging. It’s slow going. It’s been awhile since I’ve hooked circles. There are a lot of circles in this wall hanging. It’s a challenge.
I started Meryl Cook’s exercises in her book “One Loop At A Time: The Creativity Workbook”. I was surprised how I could pull out one issue that was really bothering me, journal it positively, and create a rug design in under half an hour! I now have at least an 18”x18” design to put on backing and hook! I may have to expand it to 20”x20” or larger to fit in all the lettering, or cut back on the lettering.
Two new sofa beds are in the house! That completes the seating for the studio and the guest bedroom cum family room cum classroom. I do not have room in the studio for my comfy chair and the sofa bed. So we will be rearranging furniture in the near future.
Karen Miller’s class on Tuesday was a blast! I had to design a piece on the fly…like a minute or two…and start hooking. I’m a slow hooker, especially with materials new to me. The object was to experiment with new materials. I tried dental floss, pink elastics (off broccoli folks!), fabric strips, parchment paper (yes, the kind you bake on), acrylic eyelash yarn, wool yarn, wool fabric, silk fabric, cotton fabric, sewing with buttonhole thread, some twill weave tweed that shreds like crazy, and more. It was a fascinating exercise! Karen is an excellent teacher. Here’s the results.
The South Korea rug is slowly progressing. I’m sticking to wool, silk, and nylon for that one…so far.
I spent more time sketching the South Korea photos. Lots of options for wall hangings. Lots of elements I might piece together to form one wall hanging.
Branding progress…I think I have what I need now. I’ll be visiting a local printer eventually for new business cards, hang tags, greeting cards, etc. I’m hoping to find a local affordable printer who can do an excellent job. I currently use an outfit in the US, but I’d rather use local, if I can keep the quality.
Meryl Cook’s book “One Loop At A Time – The Creativity Workbook” arrived this week. I’m looking forward to her class during the In My Studio Workshop Week the end of October. I may sidetrack into some of that workbook before the October class. I don’t believe it’s required for the class, but it is a good little thought provoking book I hope will get my creative juices flowing along different lines.
I am thoroughly enjoying online learning. I hope once Covid-19 is behind us it will continue. It is just so much easier for me, not just financially (no hotels or air fares), but logistically too. Three cheers for the rug hooking artists out there putting in the tremendous time and effort it takes to create these online courses. Know that I, at least, appreciate all you’re doing!
And that’s my review for this week. I hope everyone has a great weekend if you’ve been reading, thank-you .
Our sofa beds come today! That means everything will be in the house to finish the studio. It’s been a long haul! I will be so happy to have everything done. Next up will be the dye kitchen. Hubby and I are already talking.
This past weekend has been very productive for me. I was able to select photos from our 2017 trip to South Korea and put them in an inspiration folder on my computer. This past weekend I’ve been sketching possible compositions.
Sketches of South Korea
I will be taking another Karen Miller class tomorrow on materials and techniques. I’ve also signed up to listen to a talk on In My Studio by Judi Miller on artist residences on Oct. 7th. Plus I will be taking part in the Workshop Week through In My Studio the end of October. A busy fall of learning! So nice to be able to do this online.
I have also been hooking more on the South Korea roof tile end caps wall hanging. I am going slow, having stopped several times for dyeing and travels this summer. I am hoping to be finished by Christmas.
I managed to tear my Dorr wool into one yard pieces and wash and dry them in preparation for dyeing. My front loader really shrank the fabric, but it is still great for dyeing and rug hooking. It is all stacked neatly, awaiting dyeing.
I listed the fall colours swatches for sale. There are 15 of them at $3 each + shipping. They are 3” x 16” and Dorr wool. If you’re interested, contact me either here, through Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
I also listed the small landscape I hooked using the swatches for sale It is 8” x 5” and unfinished. I’m asking $60CAD “as is”, or $80 CAD if you want me to finish it and include the hidden hanging system. Again, you can either contact me through this website, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
This week I’ll be working more on the South Korea wall hangings. I also want to get the issues surrounding my rug photos and branding sorted out. I am likely going to order more fabric dye powder.
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week everyone!
This past weekend we were busy cleaning out the house and preparing the yard for an upcoming tropical cyclone heading our way. Typical fall weather for here, but Hubby and I have never experienced one. We are a bit nervous, but we’re inland a bit so hopefully it won’t be bad.
One of the things we did was hang some artwork up on my studio walls. Check out the photos of them so far. We still have more to hang above the straight row on the end wall.
I’m really enjoying working in my studio and looking forward to the arrival of the sofa bed sometime in early October. That should give me seating for 4 or 5 people, should Covid ever end. Plus it will allow extra sleeping space for guests.
I’ve hit a roadblock on the South Korea roof tile end caps rug. I need to dye some wool from Lucy Richard’s dye system. I’m trying to arrange a time to get together with a friend to do some dyeing. First, I need to check and see how many other colours I’m short on. No point pulling out the dye equipment just for one piece of wool if I need to do more!
I’ve been working with a young woman on branding for my studio. It’s been an interesting and educational experience. I’m looking forward to using my new logo!
I’m slowly building up my gallery on ArtPal.com. I’ll be posting a wall hanging for sale once a day for five days of the week. It will automatically post to Twitter, Instagram, and my FaceBook business page – Jean Ottosen Studios. Follow along, and if you see anything you like, contact me through any of those platforms or through my contact button here on this website.
I had the opportunity of taking Karen Miller’s online course, “Getting Inspired” last Tuesday. It was a great shake me up course. I knew most of the concepts, but had never put them together the way Karen did. She gave me a fresh perspective. It worked great for giving me ideas on how to approach a new series or work of art. Thank-you Karen!
This week I’ll be enjoying another Karen Miller course – All About Design! Check it out by searching for Karen D. Miller on FaceBook. It’s hosted on the Zoom platform. Looking forward to class Karen!
As always, thanks for reading and have a great week!
This week will be a bit of redirection in my studio. I have an appointment today to see about having a small wall hanging framed. I’m not sure how it will go. It’s a new custom framer. I’m hoping it’s not too expensive. I have other work that needs framing.
Tuesday I’m busy taking Karen Miller’s creativity class “Getting Inspired: How to Find Ideas for your Art”. I’m looking forward to it. If other rug hookers are interested there may be more spaces. Search for Karen D. Miller rug hooker and contact her.
Tuesday I’m also fielding a call from a client wishing to order some art. Wednesday I’ll be preparing the order and attending my cardiac gym program. Thursday I’ll be shipping the order out.
Meanwhile I am continuing my studio makeover. We are hanging artwork on the walls. I’m having to make tough decisions on what to hang and what to store away. It does, however, look a lot more homey down there.
Throughout all this, and in-between it, I will be hooking on my South Korean roof tile end caps rug again. Hubby and I have decided it will hang above the electric fireplace. But we shall see. The colours are not what I had planned for that space. Still, it’s the right size, we think. We’ll see.
Artist Retreat, that is. This week I had a lovely time at a friend’s cottage on the Bay of Fundy with my husband and my creative gear.
I took far too much stuff. We could barely fit it all in the car! But we did! Aside from gear we had to take clothes, bedding, food, and water for five days. Hubby took his bicycle to fit in some riding. We both took technology to work on various projects. It was forecast to rain.
I took work to finish. I took my camera for inspiration photos. And the tripod, just in case. I took my rug hooking frame and South Korea rug. I took my sketchbook and watercolour pencils. I took reading material and watching material. Also I downloaded some podcasts. I took linen and Red Dot interfacing to transfer those patterns I enlarged last weekend.
Our destination had no internet, so I used my cell phone to create a hot spot every day in order to finish an Udemy course on composition.
I organized for this retreat using an app called Simple Mind. It is a mind mapping app that allows me to see a lot of information in point form at one glance, and how it’s all interrelated. I was able to adjust my retreat plans as it happened, to accommodate for finishing things early. Not being distracted can really be a big boon to productivity.
We went on a lot of walks, with and without camera. Some to the beach, some not. Some with sketchbook, some without.
I read “The Art of Botanical Painting” by Margaret Stevens. It’s a great book if you want to be a botanical painter. I am not that detail oriented. I did garner quite a few colour and composition ideas for an upcoming series of wallhangings I plan to develop.
I also took Keith West’s “How to Draw Plants”, “Nature Drawing “ by Clare Walker Leslie, and “Drawing Scenery: landscapes and Seascapes” by Jack Hamm. These were more for reference. I haven’t drawn a seashore close up before.
I did manage some watercolour sketching for future design ideas. Lus I finished the Hearts wall hanging and coasters.
The last coat of paint was finished on the last wall this morning. Tomorrow we can start moving things around again, including furniture. We need to fill the hole in the floor where the pellet stove used to sit. Then I’m placing a chair over it.
It was an interesting weekend. I spent time with Historian and figuring out just where my early photos were stored. Next up is to move everything to the PC laptop. I’ve been transferring fifteen years of photos the hard way due to technical difficulties with the PC and Apple products. I’m using a 4 GB USB stick on over 12,000 photos. It’s slow going. The iMac stopped acknowledging the 64 GB USB stick even existed! Tomorrow I hope to finish the job.
I’m also learning how to develop online courses. So far it’s been a steep learning curve, but enjoyable. I ended up purchasing Screen Flow to help with the editing process. It’s supposed to be an excellent program for developing video courses. We’ll see.
I’m also working on updating my website. At some point in the past my blog posts all had their authorship switched over to my web designer. My web designer has moved onto other things, and I just figured out how to bulk edit the posts. But there are thousands to go through. I can only do 20 at a time. That’s one page worth. I have over 120 pages of posts, old and new. It will take awhile.
Plus my shipping is way out of whack on my website. If you want to buy something, please use the “contact me” form. I will figure out shipping and get back to you.
I’m starting to get excited about my studio. Painting the walls white was a good call. The LED lights are on their halfway point between blue and yellow light. It’s nice and bright down there. I hope my studio will be ready soon for some hooking!
I just finished reading Michael Bird’s “Canadian Folk Art: Old Ways in a New Land”. It’s a good brief introduction to Canadian folk art, complete with wonderful glossy paged photos of some nice examples. Now I’ve moved onto a much thicker book “Canadian Folk Art to 1950” by John Fleming and Michael Rowan. I’m really enjoying it too, but taking it a bit slower. There is a lot to digest in this one.
I also found another book at the library entitled “Combining Rug Hooking & Braiding” by Kris McDermet, Christine Manges, and Dianne Tobias. What a feast for the eyes! I had no idea you could do the things with braiding that were done for that book! Some beautiful examples of work. There are also detailed descriptions and explanations as to how to achieve the many different looks. I plan on delving a bit deeper into the book this coming week.
Other than that I continue to work on rewriting my course syllabuses. If you’ve checked the menu at the top of the page you’ll notice there is a tab for classes. If you are interested in a class, but aren’t sure, be sure to contact me for further information. I can give you an idea of the topics covered in each class.
I’ve also been hooking more on “Moss” this week.
For those of you waiting to see if my shipping has been sorted out yet, it has. It is now safe and secure to pay and have items shipped across Canada and the USA, including Hawaii and Alaska.
I am thoroughly enjoying the work of my website developer and delighted she has sorted out my shipping mess for me. Stay tuned for further changes/additions to the website.
I am still working away at “Moss”, and I am still reconstructing my class syllabuses from their loss trying to shift them from one laptop to another. This time I’ve backed them up on our cloud drive AND on flash drive. I finished rewriting my “Introductory Rug Hooking” and “Curves” class, plus their handouts. Next up is to finish the “Start to Finish” class.
I found out I was too eager in decluttering my books last year, and managed to declutter a book I need to redevelop one of my courses. I am checking online sources to see if I can find it fairly cheap. I can find it cheap, but the shipping is horrendous! I haven’t exhausted my possibilities locally yet. I’m hoping to check used bookstores for it this week.
Work continues on this website.
I’ve been very busy with three online courses that are taking up more time than I anticipated. However all is good. They are good courses.
I am late posting again. It’s been a wild day. My final lessons and final exams came in for my online courses. I had Christmas presents to finish buying this morning and afternoon. We ended up dealing with more health insurance stuff this morning. It was unplanned for, but necessary.
However, despite all that…this week I have been accomplishing a lot of behind the scenes work on my website and old blog. I finally have the old blog where it’s going to be for the next while. I’ll slowly be deleting old posts off it. If you are looking for something in particular, the old posts are here now. Use the search feature to find it.
I’ve also managed to upload a fair bit of product to the website shop. I still have more to go.
I did finish reading/browsing through “Create Your Own Website the Easy Way” by Alannah Moore. It is a good outline and framework for creating a website, but I’ve come to the conclusion there is no “Easy Way” when it comes to creating websites.
I did not have a chance to work on “Moss”, and I certainly did not have time or space to work on designing new wall hangings. There will definitely be changes in the new year…
This week I am preparing for the upcoming Art Now, Saskatchewan Fine Art & Craft Fair. I’m a tad early, but I do need to purchase shipping supplies for my rugs, make sure everything is tagged properly, and the certificates of authenticity are filled out.
Looking forward to a couple lovely drives to Saskatoon come mid-September to deliver and, possibly, pickup. Thanks to our new vehicle being so cheap on gas, it’s cheaper to drive them there and back than it is to actually ship them!
I will also continue working on African Dream. I am very close to finishing the hooking.
Plus the knit baby blanket.
I’ve finished and passed both Gale courses, and would like to start working on a website now. So I’ll be seeing what I can do about that.
Hi everyone! It’s been a fun and challenging week, both at the same time. I’ve had difficulties getting onto WordPress today and so my blog post is a tad late. I was able to work more on African Dream and the knit cellular baby blanket. As I noted yesterday, I am not happy with the latter and am glad it was a freebie – free yarn, free pattern.
On the other hand I am happy with African Dream. It’s bright cheery colors keep me going on these dull rainy days we’ve been having lately.
Today we’re supposed to head out for a wiener roast and outdoor movie night with friends, but it’s raining right now. I’ll have to contact her and find out their alternative plans, if they have any. Hopefully by this afternoon it will stop raining and be nice and dry out for the event.
This week also saw me catch up as much as possible in the Gale courses I’m taking. Unfortunately the website development course is having problems. Not with me and getting work done, but the course itself is missing material such as crucial coding and links in it. The instructor has apologized, and I feel sorry for him. But I’m a bit miffed. On the other hand, it is a free course for me, so I’m not complaining too loudly. I’ll just try it on my own later.
I am working on the same three projects as last week – the knit cellular baby blanket, African Dream, and my Gale courses.
The Gale courses have been taking up a great deal of my time. There is a lot more work involved in these last two compared to the earlier two. However the last lessons are tomorrow, and the exams will be next week. Then it’s onto other things. I’ve decided to give the courses a break for the next while.
I can see the end of the knit cellular baby blanket. I am not happy with that pattern and am resigning the blanket, with its many mistakes, to the goodwill. The yarn was a freebie and had a kink in it that made it difficult to knit. It was too hard to see where I was in the lace pattern while knitting. But now I’m almost finished I can see all my mistakes. I am beyond frustrated. I’ve decided I will not knit lace for awhile. Back to good old garter and stocking stitch. I have some homespun to knit next anyway, and I think that shows off better in plainer stitches.
African Dream is coming along fine. A little slow, but it’s happening. I am enjoying it – both the pattern and the hooking. If I didn’t have to spend so much time on my courses it would be done by now. I am looking forward to finishing the edge and deciding where to put it. It’s almost too pretty to put on the floor. But my bedroom floor…maybe…
My Gale courses finish this week. But I still have finals to write.
This week I want to:
Continue hooking on African Dream.
Finish sorting business email.
Knit on the cellular baby blanket.
Determine if I need to take wall hangings to the SK Art & Fine Craft Fair in Saskatoon and back myself mid-September, or if someone else is going up there and can take them and bring them back. It turns out I have company that weekend. Plus Hubby’s last day of work is that Friday.
I’ve finally caught up on my Gale courses from vacation! Whew! Now it’s time to focus more on hooking African Dream. I can smell the end and I’m excited.
I’m trying a new way of hooking. My frame holds the backing taut with gripper strips – strips of rubber with fine sharp tack like protrusions all over them. They grab at my shirts and put holes in them. The frame did come with a ‘sleeve’ to put over them, but I find it awkward to hook that way. The sleeve covers too much of the design for my liking. I could sew another one that leaves more space for hooking, but I’m thinking a simpler fix might be to wear a canvas apron when I hook. The ‘tacks’ on the gripper strip don’t catch so easily on canvas. But it sure does a number to my fine knit t-shirts! Here’s to happy hooking and not having to buy an entire new wardrobe of t-shirts every season! 🙂
My goals this week?
Hook on African Dream,
Work on my website development course,
Sort through work email (I’m down from over 1000 to just around 250),
Knit on the cellular baby blanket,
see what else I can do to shake me out of my artistic rut!