I have plans. Big plans. I sat down and went through some unfinished projects I’d like to finish, and some I’d like to start. It’s going to be a busy year!
Finished over the holidays were the following: ~ a soy silk/alpaca drop stitch scarf, modified free Ravelry pattern, ~ a soy silk/alpaca tuque, my own pattern, ~ an alpaca/Merino/bamboo set of wrist warmers, free Ravelry pattern.
In progress are the following: ~ a trip-around-the-world quilt…yes, I’m still working on that. ~ a South Korean appliquéd quilt pattern. I’m gathering supplies for that. ~ a needlepoint cushion cover. Yes, I’m still working on the hydrangeas. ~ the sandpiper crewel embroidery. ~ a hardanger wall hanging that just needs framing and hanging. ~ hardanger Christmas ornaments.
In the wings, waiting to be started: ~ a gold work wall hanging, ~ a robin needlepointing piece, ~ several sketchbooks of patterns to hook into rugs and wall hangings. ~ various scrapbooks from the last 18 years of photos.
This all sounds like a lot. But I have a partner in crime. Someone who can help me by encouraging me and holding me accountable. Not just my readers my friends, but also our current hostess/landlady. Our hostess is a craftswoman herself, and knows how valuable motivation in the form of accountability to someone else can be. She and I have decided to start a quilting challenge on Monday, January 6th. A block a day. That could be difficult for me as I’m starting with an appliqué South Korea quilt. But we shall see. Any forward progress is good progress in my view.
Today I decided to go through my work basket beside my comfy chair and see what was there that I could work on. I found a lot more than I bargained for! Some of these unfinished projects date back a decade or more ago!!! I’m going to try and work my way through them.
Not much happening these days. We enjoyed the weekend at Wascana Lake watching the Canadian National Championship Dragon Boat Races. We had friends racing in one of the boats.
I’m still attending a cardiac gym three times a week, which wears me out. However I badly need it.
A few weekends ago we drove up to Last Mountain Lake Wildlife Refuge and watched the various birds and waterfowl. The pelicans, black terns, and red-winged blackbirds were out in force!
We noticed a lot of building construction at the headquarters site. Looks like a new observation tower is going up, as well as a new information kiosk.
Two weekends ago we went out to Moose Jaw, SK to walk some of the trails in Wakamow Park, down by the river. Afterwards we stopped in at Grant Hall Hotel Lounge for appetizers, drinks, and dessert. We had a lovely time!
We’ve been enjoying our summer by going to places we’ve never been the entire time we’ve lived in Saskatchewan, or places we’d like to say good-bye to. We’ve been here 24 years now. It’s the longest we’ve ever lived anywhere. Now our children have moved east we have no family here. We are moving closer to family.
If you’ve been reading and made it this far, thank-you. Take care and have a great week!
One of the objectives of my trip to South Korea was to explore the handmade textiles in the area. I had unexpectedly more difficulty with this than I thought I would. The first part of the trip we were in Busan and Gyeongju with friends just acclimatizing. The second part of the trip I was traveling with men. I counted myself lucky to convince them to go through textile museums, galleries, and shops with me at all. Poor Hubby left one shop in a daze after seeing the framed goldwork for 450,000 KRW. That’s roughly $450US for a 12″ x 12″ piece of exquisite goldwork embroidery. Worth every penny in my mind. But I digress…
Our first textile stop was to Dongdaemun Market in Seoul to order silk for rug hooking and pick up burlap for samplers for my students.
To understand Dongdaemun Market you have to think of a large warehouse, three buildings of it, 5 or 6 floors of it, all fabric/yarn/craft vendors. One whole building is fabric. Each vendor has a space about 10’x 10′ to sell their product. So, for the most part they just have small samples out. You check the samples, order what you want, pay for it, and then come pick it up the next day when they bring it in for you.
Dongdaemun Market is one of the largest fabric markets in Asia, and I was thankful to have help getting through it. I have a friend with contacts outside Seoul who were able to tell me exactly where to go. I got in, ordered the silk, and was out in half an hour. Our guide was amazed! It was definitely a lot quicker with him to translate for me.
As we went through various museums I’d stop and take photos of textiles and textile related items. I found some interesting artifacts at the National Folk Museum of Korea, an unscheduled stop we just happened across on the grounds of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Check out the old looms in the National Folk Museum of Korea.
Also the traditional dress of Korea.
We saw a lot of people walking around in traditional dress, especially women, because you have free access to key tourist sites if you wear traditional dress. It was a little weird seeing people of all nationalities in traditional Korean dress, but one got used to it quickly. I opted to not go for traditional attire because of comfort and time constraints. We were really moving through sites at the rate of 10 – 12 kms. per day.
One day was devoted exclusively to my request to see textiles. We stopped first at the Embroidery Museum of Korea. It had piecework or patchwork samples in it, but no embroidery. I was a bit mystified. There were a lot of books for sale. The only one I wanted to purchase actually did have embroidery photos in it and was selling for close to $150US. I regretfully walked out and went onto our next stop…the Chojun Textile and Quilt Museum.
The Chosen Textile and Quilt Museum was a small place, but larger than the Embroidery Museum. And it had displays that included embroidery. There was some lovely goldwork on display. The quilts were not all made by Koreans or in Korea. We were told that the exhibit is actually a partial display of a private collection amassed by a generous lady over the course of 40 years.
After purchasing a sample of Korean piecework and some postcards, we headed off to Gallery 0001010 at the recommendation of the lady at the Textile and Quilt Museum. She told us it was “in the basement” of Myeongdong Cathedral. Hmm…Myeongdong Cathedral has no basement we could discover. What it does have is an underground shopping mall nearby. Sure enough we found Gallery 0001010 in this underground mall!
We were in luck! Not only was the gallery there, but the quilt show was open, AND the artist, Lee Jae Woo, was there as well. I had the opportunity to chat with her and her friend, and to show the guys some quilting. It was a delight to meet her and her friend. These quilts were machine quilted. Lee Jae Woo learned quilting in the USA. The small size of the quilt pieces and blocks just awed me. Look at this one…three different levels of close up…
By the time we were finished Gallery 0001010 it was suppertime and we were ravenous. We had a great bite to eat at a local restaurant and shopped Myeongdong Market before heading back to the hotel for the night.
We also popped into the Hansangsoo Embroidery Museum in Bukchon Hanok Village. No photos were allowed and there was not much happening. I understand you can arrange to take silk embroidery lessons there if you plan in advance. I did not. There were some nice embroideries in there. They appeared to be mostly one particular artist’s work.
Other fibre things of interest? The South Koreans excel at knotwork. They create beautiful tassels and hang them from long strands of silk rope with elaborate knots made in them. Check the sides of this painted panel hanging in the National Museum of Korea in Seoul. This is not a particularly elaborate one. Our guide said it was actually quite easy to make. However I’ve made tassels and they aren’t always ‘easy’, and I have never been brave enough to try knot work this fine.
If you feel so inclined there is a Knot Workshop in Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul where you can go and take a workshop in creating a basic knot. It is best to book in advance though. Interestingly enough, there are a lot of workshops and little classes one can take if they book ahead. I simply did not have time to do them.
When I asked around about the lack of textiles Korean women commented they were too busy working from 8 AM to 10 PM to have time to do handwork. Most Korean women with families are up at 5 or 6 AM to prepare for the day and don’t get to bed till 11 PM or midnight. Most textile work was done by retired women, and women who could afford to do it. However, while that may generally be the case, I do know some South Korean mothers who make time for handwork, and do an excellent job of it. Our guide’s aunt hand painted and made beautiful fans for Hubby and I from scratch…after she finished her day job.
I was disappointed not to get to see the dye garden at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul, or the dye workshop located in or near Bukchon Hanok Village. I was just too tired. Hubby and I both agreed we need to go back again someday and see more of South Korea.
Hi everyone! This weekend we had a great time, both teaching a class and attending a multicultural festival that greatly inspired me. I didn’t get away unscathed. I found some inspiration to purchase!
The Buddhist temple paper cut was actually a gift from the ladies at the Chinese booth. There were some very delicate paper cuts available there. The watch was $5 and is actually a gorgeous bracelet. The Pashmina shawl has a wonderful paisley design I just couldn’t pass up. The bright green and pink fabric is handwoven by the Chakra people from Bangladesh. It is beautiful cloth! The lady selling it suggested I make a traditional skirt out of it. But I am hesitant to cut into it. It’s just gorgeous!
So that was my inspiration for this month.
In other news…
my class on Saturday went really well. My student and I colour planned a monochromatic grey, black, and white rug. Lest you think that’s easy, let me remind you that grey has many different coloured undertones. You have to have a good eye for shades and tints (value) to colour plan a grey rug properly. Other “colours” have the same issue. There are warm and cool versions of all colours. But some have more undertones than usual…black and grey for sure. At any rate, we got it done and she is off with lots of cut fibre to hook rug the next couple of weeks.
The Art Gallery of Regina Salon Show and Sale is coming up. This week I have to prepare and pack my pieces for the show. I’ll be taking them “Dancing Tree” and “Blue-Eyed Grass”.
I will be preparing for this coming Saturday’s class.
I will be hooking on “Moss”.
A reminder that after the end of March my next class will be May 6th and will be a Finishing class. May 13th is tentatively set as a design class. The Finishing class is 2 hours long, and the Design class is 3 hours long. Both Saturday afternoons. If you can’t make Saturday afternoon class and would like classes, feel free to contact me and we can arrange a mutually beneficial time for a class.
That’s the rug hooking plan so far this week. Hope everyone has a great week! Thanks for reading! 🙂
The Barn is coming along. As you can see, it is a very small barn. It is in real life too! Very small, and very red. It’s really a stable. Actually, it’s been renovated into a picnic shelter. But it was a barn I’m assured. 🙂
I’m still working on the Cellular Baby Blanket. I haven’t really progressed enough to take another photo of it. It takes a long time to knit a lace baby blanket I’ve discovered!
I’ve been side tracked with another project I started before Christmas – printing off my blog posts for the last 3 1/2 years. My posts are so photo heavy that I create files for each month and then print them month by month. I’ve only managed to print from Summer 2012 to Spring 2013. It’s going to be a long, tough slog. I am transferring all the posts into Open Office, editing them, saving, and then printing them.
The Granddaughter’s Needle Box and Thimble Box are finished, but that’s for tomorrow’s post. 🙂
Next up I’ll be working on the oval Hardanger Christmas ornaments.
What’s on the go this week? I’ve been having fun playing with different ideas and working on different projects.
The Barn is started and the actual barn is mostly hooked,
I continued knitting the baby blanket. I tried stitch markers for the lace pattern, but it did not work due to the nature of the pattern. So I am back to doing without.
I went through my Hardanger box to file everything away on shelves, and came across a couple of kits, one already started. Both are for Christmas ornaments. I decided to work on the one that was already started. It has some nice cotton, linen, and metallic thread oval ornaments decorated with beads.
I am still working on the Granddaughter’s Needle Box. It requires a lot of gluing and I spend time waiting for it to dry. By the time it’s dry I’m onto another project! I am not going to have enough glue to finish this. I’m thinking I may need to make a trip to Walmart to pick some up.
See these lovely notebooks? Aside from being inspiration themselves, I use them to help organize my days. These have been in use since 2009, when I first read David Allen’s Getting Things Done. I use David Allen’s ideas to keep me on task and productive. Why are they in a WIP post? Because I updated them. 🙂
Work on my portfolio has halted because we are running out of ink. Need to buy new colour ink cartridges for our printer.
I haven’t even looked at my spinning yet. Maybe this weekend.
Well that’s my works in progress everyone. Hope everyone has a great day! 🙂
Inspiration doesn’t only come from photos for me. It also comes from other bloggers…and they don’t have to be rug hooking blogs either. Here are a few blogs and blog posts I’ve been inspired by lately.
Hardanger Bell Pull – a modification of the EAC (Embroiderer’s Association of Canada) Intermediate Hardanger course.
In keeping with the list theme, you notice you see a lot of lists on this blog. I find them easier to navigate and scan as a reader, and very concise as an author. This week I accomplished a few things to put on my “Done” list.
I finished my Hardanger bell pull,
I finished, I mean totally finished, Wascana Creek,
I did the finishing on Wascana Creek – Study, the original plein air piece for Wascana Creek,
I worked on updating my portfolio, and
I continued with my Blogging 101 course.
Today I will continue with my portfolio and color planning The Barn.
Planning next week soon.
“Wascana Creek” and its plein air piece “Wascana Creek – Study”.
It’s not that I don’t have a lot to do. I really do! And when I look around my home and start pulling out all the half finished projects and projects to do around the house, or making a list of them, or…well…in this case, photographing them, I find it’s inspiration to get on and finish a few of them.
If you didn’t guess it, last week’s Inspiration Wednesday theme was Warmth. Can you guess today’s? I gave it away above. It’s my “To Do” list of projects. All except my rug hooking…of which I have sketchbooks full of ideas. Should keep me out of trouble for a while. 🙂
I hope everyone has a busy and productive day. I know I will! 🙂
A baby blanket
The hanging sleeve
A Korean applique quilt pattern.
Plein air “Wascana Creek – Study”.
Yarn! It’s emptier than it was! The rest I’ve already either used, given away, or sold.
busy organizing my receipts from last year to file away for any future use.
finishing the hardanger bellpull.
sewing a hanging sleeve on Wascana Creek.
start to hook The Barn.
I am also considering work on a laptop case and a footstool cover. My footstool cover is sprouting holes.
I have the laptop case drawn on linen backing, but haven’t started hooking it. I am not happy with the actual design of the case itself. I need to do some zipper shopping online and off to see if I can find what I need for it. Local selection is limited.
I am also looking at more sewing. I have everything I need for a camera case except some foam padding. Hmm…
WIP is crafter lingo for Works in Progress, otherwise known as UFOs, or UnFinished Objects. 🙂
Today’s WIP is none other than Wascana Creek!
I am technically finished, as the photo above shows. What I need to do is sew a hanging sleeve on the back to insert a dowel to hang the wall hanging from.
Part of my dallying has been around deciding which hanging system to use – the hook and loop tape or the hanging sleeve. Both have their merits. It’s a question of whether the wall hanging is heavy enough it would bend the dowel that goes through the hanging sleeve system. I think, over time, it would bend a 1/4″ dowel, my standard dowel size. I am going to try a wider diameter dowel.
Hanging sleeves attached to the back of wall hangings, awaiting 1/4″ dowels to be inserted for hanging from cup hooks.
Hook and loop hanging system. Hook attached to shellacked oak and loop attached to the wall hanging backing.
The hook and loop system is failproof. The loop side is attached to the back of the wall hanging. While the hook side is attached to a piece of oak trim that has been shellacked. I put holes at either end of the oak board and screw it to the wall through those holes. Then just pop the wall hanging up on the board. Very sturdy. This system can handle a lot of weight. I have come to the realization that my larger rugs are definitely on the heavy side.
Whenever I speak to patrons about the two systems they invariably prefer the hanging sleeve system because they view it as not damaging the wall as much as the hook and loop system, and as being easier to install. I can’t blame them. My Hubby feels the same way. But if you want to prevent sag in a large heavy hooked wall hanging, you really need to use the hook and loop system. Plus have some reinforcing done on the back of the wall hanging.
Next up? My unfinished project for the remainder of the week is a Hardanger bell pull I started many years ago and never finished. It has a very small section of stitches to fill in to complete. I am hoping to complete it in short order.
I did do a bit of colour planning for the foreground of Wascana Creek. I am leaving the mid-ground and background till a bit later. I managed to hook a fair bit on the wall hanging last evening.
We had a full day yesterday. I mailed a lady some old A.T.H.A. magazines I had been storing and not reading.
And I visited a local stitching group with some books, magazines, embroidery hoops, yarn, stitching supplies, needlepoint frame and canvas, and a stitching stand that holds a hoop, freeing up both hands to stitch. I gave a lot away and sold some. In the end I donated leftover books and magazines to the library to sell at their book sale.
I inquired about a new knitting group that is not far from me. I might go pay a visit. But not before I rip out all the mistakes in the baby blanket I’ve been blithely knitting away on!
Still, right now I want to keep on keeping on with Wascana Creek. I’m at the stage where I’m excited to see how it turns out. 🙂
People sometimes ask me what took me so long to actually sell my work and start a business? The answer, as with most things in life, is complicated.
I’ve been absorbed and immersed in fibre most of my life, from a very young age. Learning sewing, embroidery, and knitting before entering the double digits in age. None of it was very good, mind you, but I had the rudiments taught to me by my paternal grandmother. She was an excellent seamstress and needlewoman, often winning prizes for her work.
As I entered my teen years I drifted away from fibre, encouraged by a school system that felt I was “matriculation” and didn’t need to learn to sew or create art. I balked at the latter. It was in my teen years I took up painting. My interest continued into my 30s.
“North Mountain Lookout” and “Azaleas”
“White Elephant Inn”
But I kept coming back to fibre… My grandmother taught me to tat lace as a teen. My mother bought me needlepoint patterns and supplies. I continued to embroider and sew. I learned cross-stitch. I attempted my first quilt at seventeen. It’s still unfinished! I did finish the quilt for my first baby’s crib though.
When I had my first child I learned to hook rugs. That was 30 years ago now. I hooked rug and painted side-by-side for some time. We moved and the paints were put away. The rug hooking too.
Our new community had a wide variety of fibre craft opportunities. I took up quilting…
Hardanger embroidery from the Hardanger Fjord region of Norway.
And finally settled on rug hooking again about 16 years ago. From the beginning I knew I wanted to design my own work. I also knew I didn’t want to just hook wool fabric. It creates beautiful work, but it just wasn’t me. And so the experimenting began…
“Pennsylvania Dutch” – t-shirts and double knits.
“Cohasset” a free pattern from a magazine. Yarn and wool fabric, sculpted border.
Canola fields art yarn drying for my “Prairie Sky” wall hangings.
I was happily hooking along one day at the annual local fair, demonstrating, when a man came up to me and started asking about my work. By the end of the conversation he wanted to know why I had not become a juried member of the Saskatchewan Crafts Council. It was the first time I’d heard of the Crafts Council.
It took a few years, but finally I decided I was ready to take the plunge. I applied to be juried in and was. That was 2 1/2 years ago. Since then I’ve had a lot of fun learning the ropes of having a craft business. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long!
It seems like yesterday I was in the “upper room” of the Affinity Gallery in Saskatoon having my work juried. I look forward to many more years of fun and learning in this business.
A big shout out to all the people who have helped and encouraged me along the way. Both online and in real life. Without you I would not have had the courage to try and have a craft business. 🙂
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. Hope you have a wonderful day! 🙂
Well it took all morning yesterday to find a mailing tube to fit my rug! We finally found one at Shippers Supply on Park St. in Regina. It was just over $6 and the shipping is free. Big thanks to Shippers Supply, and the people from the Saskatchewan Crafts Council in Saskatoon who come down the highway and pick up for us. 🙂 Thanks to them my shippig costs will be a total of $6 for the shipping tube.
I ended up on several phone calls in the afternoon and did not accomplish much hooking. I did, however, manage to start hooking the sky in the 12″ Prairie Sky wall hanging. I also managed to post some Prairie Sky wall hangings to Etsy and to my For Sale section of this website. I also removed some that sold.
I posted several links on the JLT Studios Facebook page. These are primarily of interest to other artists, but also some for people interested in buying or just looking at art.
Gardenscape is on in Saskatoon this weekend folks. Some juried artists from the Saskatchewan Craft Council will be there with their work. Keep an eye out for Monika Kinner-Whalen and her embroidered photographs.
On the local news front, I missed the opening of Joe Fafard’s show at the Slate Gallery in Regina last night. Very frustrating. But I will make it to the show itself next month.
I will be busy with an ‘at home’ day today. Laundry has piled up to the point of no return! I must do it!
I’m hooking rug today…more Prairie Sky rugettes. I hope to have two finished by the end of the day, but we shall see. I may switch to another project in the afternoon. That hardanger bell pull is almost finished!
It is also my father’s 84th birthday today and I want to call and wish him well.
Plus I have Christmas cards to mail.
That should be enough to keep me out of trouble! 🙂
The tilers come again today, but should be gone by mid-morning. Meaning I hope to make the gym this morning with my friends, and crafting in the afternoon. I am thinking I will take my hardanger. I do not have the time to organize my rug hooking for a road trip today.
Yesterday I almost finished a second wall hanging. I am going slow on these. I may need to do more dyeing of yellows. I am hoping my kitchen is done very soon.
I was up in my sewing room yesterday and decided I needed to cull some items taking up floor space. There are 4 items taking up space: a cross stitch floor stand, a bag full of naturally dyed wool – some hand spun, a big Rubbermaid bin of sale items that haven’t sold at craft fairs (not hooking), and a wicker waste basket with two hooked rugs in it.
Yesterday I listed the floor stand for sale online. I used it once and didn’t like it. It is a very good stand though. Lots of people pay dearly for them and there is a line up to buy them. But I just find the floor frame awkward to use. Plus I will not be doing anymore small counted stitching…other than hardanger…and I already have a scroll frame for that.
Then there was the bag of naturally dyed wool. It was tail ends from another project. So I decided to make winter hats out of it. I will give those as gifts or to charity. Doesn’t much matter. I just want to use up the yarn and get it out of here!
The big Rubbermaid bin is an issue. I might try to list things on Etsy…but I am afraid that will make my shop too diverse. We will see.
The wicker basket with the hooked rugs? One is in need of a whipped edge repair. And one is on burlap and needs to be put up for sale on Etsy.
I think I am close to finished. I have a few things to tweak and double check, but generally I am happy with this now.
What’s up this week in my studio?
I will be working on my hardanger and
Above the Garage next.
Also mind mapping some notes from old International Artist magazines,
reading back issues of Wild Fibers,
and going through old course notes for more rug ideas.
Hoping to soon be able to get into the basement to work on proper hanging systems for Prairie Sky and Lost Soul. Right now there is kitchen trim everywhere! Hubby is almost well enough to pick up work on the trim again. He injured himself on the table saw over a month ago now. So glad it was not any worse than it was!
This week we will have the kitchen installers in again.
Took some much needed time yesterday to pick up before company came. Today I will be focusing on my finales for the week…the hardanger piece and Geraniums.
I made a few changes to Geraniums as per some suggestions on The Welcome Mat. Thanks ladies! 🙂 Still working on tweaking it. More than one person has commented it looks more like poppies than geraniums. Hmm…I was hoping the leaves would be a clue for people.
I cleaned up around my chair today and found a few things…important things…like a letter from the Department of Finance. Hmm…better get on that one!
I also found my daytimer. I am terrible at keeping a good daytimer going. But this time I managed to pull it out and update it for the month. I also noted key dates for inventory delivery from last month so I have a record for next year.
I was excited to find an email from Lori LaBerge of the Plein Air Hooking Artists in my inbox with details of the Sauder Village exhibit next year. Really must make sure I am happy with my work before submitting it for the exhibit. I am eager to finish Geraniums and get onto Above the Garage.
Frustrated with Geraniums. Instead I picked up an old hardanger project to finish. It’s been lying around for a few years. Time to finish it off, get it off the frame, and move on…maybe back to Geraniums.
Also pulling out old course notes to look over. Some interesting ideas and exercises to either redo or do for the first time! I think I need to make a list of things to do. Just putting some more sketches on backing for hooking would be constructive.
I have a busy couple of days coming up. I have company this evening and we have company this weekend. I plan to squeeze in some rug hooking and my blog posts. 🙂
Later… I had someone ask for more information on this piece. This is hardanger embroidery from the Hardanger Fjord region of Norway. This particular piece is a variation of the Intermediate course in hardanger with the Embroidery Association of Canada. I did not like the design of their piece so I modified it considerably for my tastes. When it is all finished I will take it off the scroll frame and show you all a full picture of it. It is done in Caron Watercolour threads, hardanger thread, silk thread, pearls, Swarovski crystals, and glass seed beads.