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!
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.
Hi everyone! I’ve been spinning and knitting away. I managed to finish spinning the red purple and the golden yellow for my current project – the South Korea rug. We’ll see how that hooking project goes. I’ve determined the pattern is too detailed to add my silk fibre strips. The pattern loses definition when I do. This project will definitely be a learning one, but then, what project isn’t? I find I learn something with every project I do.
I’m also knitting more on the silk/alpaca Dropped Stitch Scarf. It’s a free pattern from Ravelry. Almost done. Only about ten inches to go! Looking forward to blocking and wearing it.
Aside from the fibre activity I’ve been to the local rug hooking guild. They are a very talented group of ladies! They are a huge group! I visited on a day when some of them were selling crafts as well. I bought some beautiful small dove Christmas tree ornaments and took the phone number of a knitter. That reminds me, I must call her. I’m thinking I’ll put in an after New Year’s order. She knits wool socks and shawls.
I’m also reading. I finished reading “Hooked Mats of Newfoundland and Labrador” and was struck by the diversity of design within the region. There is a history of the Rug Hooking Guild of Newfoundland and Labrador at the beginning of the book. That is followed by many examples of hooked mats from various parts of the region. I found the history of the mats fascinating.
I’m currently reading “Silk Stocking Mats” by Paula Laverty and enjoying the history in that. I’m not a big history fan, but these two books include a lot of visuals to make it interesting and clarify what happened when.
Two days ago I processed the yarn I spun. I’m already noticing the difference between the humidity here and on the Prairies. It’s taken two days to dry instead of one!
Earlier this week we dug out Christmas decorations and decorated a tree and the main floor of the house where we’re staying.
We baked up a storm and hosted a cookie exchange for our landlady, daughters, and our son-in-laws. I hate to tell them, but our cookies are already gone! That’s probably a good thing, and we probably shouldn’t eat any more! However I know I’ll be making chocolates soon. So there will be lots of goodies yet for Hubby and I to share with others.
Well, it’s time to get going here. Take care everyone. Have a safe holiday season!
I was to the Open Fibre Night for the Regina Weavers and Spinners Guild this week. Had a blast with about nine other people in attendance. There were three of us newcomers. Though truthfully I’m not entirely new. I was there once last year, before my Dad became really sick and I started having health issues. Hopefully I’ll have time to make it from now on. Met one of my followers on Facebook. Always such a surprise and delight to meet someone who takes the time to follow me. Thank-you to everyone who does.
Today I’m off to a local knitting group. I want to work on those wrist warmers. I also want to get into the boxes of rug hooking fibre and see what I can conjure up in the way of fibre bundles to sell on my website. I have lots of fibre, it’s just getting at it right now is problematic. But it sure would be nice to organize and sell some of it before we move.
I’ve been exploring some interesting facets of bullet journaling this week. Ryder Carroll, the originator of the system, released his first book on the subject last Monday. It’s called “The Bullet Journal Method” and it is very good as an introduction to the system. I haven’t finished the book yet, but there is promise of it having material for seasoned bullet journalists too.
Meanwhile I am in the Minimalist Bullet Journal group on Facebook. There another member has posted a video explaining what he refers to as his “Frankinlog”. It really condenses a lot of information into a few pages…well…actually a double page spread with a couple of Dutch doors. Dutch doors are pages where part of the page (top or bottom) has been cut off, giving you a shorter page in-between two full size pages to write more notes. The advantage is you can see the top (or bottom) of a page (say a calendar) and still have oodles of pages below it to write task lists. I’m going to try it starting January. I’ll post a photo then to show you how it works.
I hope everyone enjoys a lovely fall (or spring) weekend. Take care my friends.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend! Hubby and I were on the road to Prince Albert to visit a friend. We had a great time poking around town, visiting Shananigan’s Cafe, and hiking in nearby Little Red River Provincial Park. We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner at Smitty’s Restaurant, of all places! Nice location by the fireplace on a cool windy day.
Lemon Meringue Pie, Shananigan’s, Prince Albert, SK.
I’ve been busy knitting up more hats. I modified the instructions on the His and Hers Beanie to come out with a hat I like much better. I wasn’t happy with the top of the hat using the instructions as written, which didn’t seem to match the photo of the top of the hat. So I improvised and did a regular hat top of one row of decreases, followed by one row of knit stitch the whole way around. The yarn used is Fleece Artist National Parks yarn – some of the Greenwich Dunes National Park colourway. It turned out much better than the original pattern, which had you decreasing every single row at the top of the hat. In fact, it turned out so well I’m knitting another hat from the remains of the Fundy National Park colourway to send down east to my niece instead of the flat topped one.
I had a fun week last week. Some knitting, some sorting through boxes and culling more books, and a lot of time with friends and family. I celebrated my birthday with a shrimp pig out at Red Lobster. Actually, it was too much shrimp. But that’s okay. I have shrimp maybe once a year. Dinner was good and the surprise “party” at a friend’s afterwards was nice too. I put party in quotation marks because she literally did not find out it was my birthday until 3:30 PM on my birthday, and when we arrived three hours later to spend the evening playing games and watching a movie, she had decorated the place, her daughter had made a card, and they had a gift for me! I feel so blessed to have such friends.
Next up is a knit cowl out of the Greenwich Dunes National Park yarn. That will go to another niece. I’m about half finished it now.
I was able to get to the MacKenzie Art Gallery to see the hooked rug exhibit called “Home Economics”. It was well done and interesting. I loved the Grenfell rugs and the more modern ones that tell a story. I was surprised the art gallery shop did not have any hooked wall hangings or rugs from local rug hookers available for sale.
While at the art gallery we also saw an Indigenous Peoples art exhibit called “Boarder X”. It was all about movement in the landscape. There was a young lady from the Cree nation there to help with interpretation of the artwork. I was very thankful for her guidance, as I know little about Indigenous symbolism. Her explanations helped me greatly. There were some very moving pieces of artwork in the exhibit.
I am seriously looking at cutting back some of my rug hooking supplies…wool fabric in particular. Keep an eye on my website store to see if anything pops up that you’d like. I have a lot of dark colored wool. If you’re interested in doing background, it might be just the thing. Let me know and I’ll see what I have. I’m thinking $1 CAD for each 3″ x 12″ swatch. My swatches are usually larger than that, but I still will only charge $1 CAD for them. Shipping and handling will be extra.
If you’re interested, contact me using the form below and we can talk or arrange a visit.
Hi folks! It’s been raining off and on this week. We badly need it. I am happy to see it.
I had a great time at the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair this year. Found some friends selling their wares and chatted them up a bit. I hope they did well.
This weekend is our multicultural festival, Mosaic. Hubby and I were out to the Korean pavilion last night. The food was good and so was the show! Lots of good dancers there. Not sure yet where we’re heading tonight for Mosaic. The weather forecast is for thunderstorms, which can be an issue here on the prairies.
I’ve spent some time fussing over the moose wall hangings made from Dad’s shirts. The binding proved more than I could handle alone, even with YouTube videos to watch! I called in reinforcements. A friend came over and showed me how to do it quickly and, well, almost effortlessly. I have one more to fix and one more to go. Then it’s onto attaching hanging sleeves. I hope to be done the wall hangings by Sunday evening.
After that I have potholders, a table runner, and three baby quilts to sew. I think I’ll be leaving the quilts till last.
Hi everyone! I’ve been busy this week. It is the annual Cathedral Village Arts Festival. Hubby and I have enjoyed some of the performances and plan to go to more. So far this week we’ve seen the Mandolin Orchestra, a jazz band, a ladies choral group (Sisters of Mercy), and a Baroque ensemble. This is the first time in five years I have not been a vendor in the Saturday Street Fair. That’s okay. It was a great time in the past, and I will enjoy it again tomorrow as a spectator.
I’ve also been working on tote bags and wall hangings from Dad’s old L.L. Bean shirts. The tote bags took a lot more fabric than I thought they would, but they are sturdy little 15″ square bags, complete with two pockets inside.
I am still figuring out the moose wall hangings. I’m trying not to buy any fabric for this project. I need to bind 40 linear feet of edge in something…I’m thinking I’ll need 2 meters of dark navy or black fabric. I’ll be going through my stash I’ve already packed to see if I have anything suitable.
Tote bag #4 Side A
Tote bag #4 Side B
Tote bag #3 Side A
Tote bag #3 Side B
Pockets inside tote bags. One for cell phone and one for other.
Tote bag #2 side A
Tote bag #2 side B
Moose wall hanging in progress
Components for moose wall hangings
Backs of cushion covers.
Finished cushion covers.
Tote bag #1 Side A
Tote bag #1 Side B
Tote bags in the making.
I thought I’d tell you about and show you a great little bilingual coloring book on Alberta, Canada. It is by Doris Charest, an artist operating out of St. Albert, Alberta. The coloring pages in this 8″ x 11″ book are moderately detailed, and include cityscapes as well as natural landscapes and wild animals…even insects! If you’re Albertan, or making a trip to Alberta soon, this would be a handy little book to pass away some pleasant hours coloring. It could be colored by children over ten, I’d say, up to adults. It could also be used as a tool by teachers to teach their students about Alberta. The coloring book is available on Amazon.ca for under $12 CAD + shipping. Ms. Charest’s main art website is www.dorischarest.ca She also offers online art classes.
I was busy this weekend and knit up a neck warmer, using short rows and an elastic/stretchy bind off – both new techniques to me. Though I did take a course on Craftsy a long time ago on short rows. I discovered I couldn’t access my Craftsy courses, which is very discouraging. I cannot only not remember my password, but I can’t remember which email I had my account under! Sigh… I’m debating buying the year membership through my new email address…so I have access to everything all year.
In other news…Friday we went to a friend’s place for food and games. Saturday we had company over all day and overnight. I made low fat cinnamon buns in the afternoon. We had a very tough stewing hen for supper, courtesy of me not reading the label. Had I realized it was a stewing hen I would have cooked it longer and slower in the crockpot. Ah well. I cooked it for another four hours after supper, stored it in the fridge overnight, and made a lovely chicken noodle soup for supper Sunday. Company also brought us some cooked farm fresh bacon. Sunday morning we feasted on it, scrambled eggs, and toast/cinnamon buns.
Sunday, after company left, we went to a nearby mini multicultural festival in the city. It’s called Community Connections and happens one afternoon every March. They give away ethnic food and the kids perform (and some adults too). Plus there are tables for different organizations and cultural groups to advertise themselves. It’s all people from that one area of the city. They also have a lot of really cool door prizes, including two kids bikes. This year I won a gift basket of beauty products.
We had a slow evening last evening as Hubby is coming down with a cold. I was plotting my next knitting adventure. I have to measure my circular needles to make sure I have a 9″ one. If I do, then it’s on to fingerless mitts to match my neck warmer. I have lots of yarn left! 🙂
5 teaspoons instant quick rise yeast
1/2 cup hot water
7 cups flour — divided
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree, or fresh
1 cup skim milk, hot
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter — chilled, cut in small pieces
1/2 c. raisins, soaked for 20 minutes
Mix yeast, 6 c. of flour, 2 tbsp. white sugar, and nutmeg.
In separate bowl mix 1/2 c. hot water, pumpkin puree, warm milk, oil, and salt. Mix well to dissolve salt.
Add wet ingredients to dry. Stir. Let sit 10 minutes. Knead approximately 10 minutes till smooth and elastic. Add flour as needed.
Divide dough in half. Roll out to 12″x10″ rectangle.
Combine streusel ingredients: 6 tbsp. white sugar, 6 tbsp. brown sugar, 4 tbsp. flour, 3 tsp. cinnamon and chilled butter pieces. Cut butter in with pastry blender. Sprinkle half of mixture on each rectangle. Sprinkle on the raisins.
Roll tightly, starting with long edge. Press firmly to eliminate air pockets. Cut roll in 1″ slices. Place on greased cooking pan. I line my pans with parchment paper or wax paper to make for easier removal of the buns after cooking.
Let rise till double in size (approximately 45 minutes). Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake 20 minutes until golden.
Cool in pan 15 minutes on wire rack. Remove carefully and enjoy!
Opt.: Mix 1 ½ c. icing sugar, 2 tbsp. hot water and ½ tsp. vanilla extract to make a glaze to drizzle over buns.
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To cut the costs of this, I make my own pumpkin puree every fall at Halloween, when pumpkin is cheap. I cut up the pumpkins – two large ones will give the equivalent of about 20 cans of pumpkin. I cut them up, clean them out, and put them skin side up on a baking sheet with sides in the oven. I bake them in a 325 F oven for up to an hour, maybe more. I scrape the pulp into the food processor and puree it. Then measure it out in can size amounts into ziploc freezer bags and freeze it till needed. Instructions courtesy of “Joy of Cooking” (1980 edition).
Another way to make pumpkin puree is to simply poke the outside of an entire pumpkin with a sharp knife or fork, so that steam can escape, and bake in the oven for half an hour to an hour at 325 F. Take out and let cool. Cut and scrap strings away, saving seeds to make a pumpkin seed snack. Then scrape the flesh off the pumpkin, puree, and freeze like above.
We had a great time on our trip to B.C. A beautiful drive down the Fraser Canyon led us to a very busy lower mainland. Spent time visiting with family and checked out 10th Ave. Found the lovely Figaro’s for a real cup of tea and dessert.
Saturday we headed out to Granville Island. We checked out the Market. I had great fun poking around, and picked up yarn for hooking at SanJo Silk and the Fibre Art Studio. Also checked out Maiwa and Paper-Ya. Picked up a quality notebook for next year’s household bullet journal.
Sunday we went on a very informative walking tour of Chinatown. It was a free tour, which meant you tipped for it. The lady who gave the tour was excellent. She talked and walked us for 1 1/2 – 2 hours! We finished at a Chinese pharmacy that had dried geckos in it, to treat asthma and back problems. I’m curious how they’d use it…
We had a late lunch, and then walked back to my sister-in-law’s condo. Checked out some design features in the cityscape on the way.
Monday we checked out the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Museum and the Britannia Museum. It was a day of lots of walking. We had a beautiful walk down by the shore in Steveston.
Tuesday we headed to Vancouver Island to visit friends.
Brentwood Bay, B.C.
We spent Wednesday in Sidney shopping thrift stores and bookstores for anything rug hooking related. I found a book on Celtic knotwork and calligraphy I plan to make use of. I found a rug hooking book for my friend who is learning to hook now.
Thursday we headed up Island to Chemainus in the rain to visit Val Galvin of Renditions in Rugs in her home studio. We took the Brentwood Bay to Mill Bay ferry. Quaint and small, but got the job done. A fun ride, even in the rain!
View from ferry heading to Mill Bay from Brentwood Bay, BC.
Val is very friendly and helpful. I was able to purchase some pencil hooks from her, so if you’re looking, keep an eye on my page or contact me to have a look and a try. Thanks Val!
Jean Ottosen and Val Galvin
Friday we took the ferry back to Vancouver to be with family.
Ferry to Vancouver (Tsawwassen), B.C.
My sister-in-law and I had a great time checking out Michelle Sirois-Silver’s studio on her Open Studio Saturday. It was nice to see her again and chat. I loved seeing her work with zippers in it! While there I took a quick photo of the books on the counter. I’m always on the lookout for a good book! I’m curious to know which of these Michelle found most helpful. Guess I’ll have to interlibrary loan them and check them out. 🙂
My sister-in-law and I checked out the Artisan Market in the West Vancouver Community Centre. I dropped a fair bit of change on homemade jams and jellies, chocolates, etc. It was deadly on the pocketbook because everyone was using Square, meaning they all took credit cards!
We also attended the Vancouver Institute’s lecture Saturday evening on the global arms trade. It was very interesting. Mr. Andrew Feinstein from South Africa (well now from London) spoke. I had no idea how widespread it was and how bad it was.
Sunday we were at the Vancouver Art Guild Show and Sale. Lots of good work there, but the artists who stuck out for me were Beatrice Watson and Robert Kitt. Margaret Stott had some whimsical work that was excellent as well.
Monday and Tuesday we spent the days driving home.
Evening in the Rockies.
Dawn in the Rockies.
It’s a long haul from Vancouver to Regina! But Hubby was eager and I was glad to arrive before another snow storm. Yes, Regina was covered in a blanket of beautiful white snow when we arrived, and more followed. Hubby has been out shoveling and I’ve been busy with laundry and making a grocery list. And so life goes on! A wonderful trip and a great big thank-you to everyone who made it possible!
Welcome to my new website everyone! Take a look around and tell me how you’re liking the new look by posting a comment below. I welcome feedback. 🙂
The last month’s posts are missing on this blog, but that’s okay. I’ll update you here.
Since the middle of September I’ve finished “Escapees”.
I’ve also been out plein air hooking at Echo Lake Provincial Park here in Saskatchewan. It’s beautiful in the fall with golden yellow leaves on the trees against the bright blue prairie sky. Here’s what I was hooking in.
The other side of the lake looked a bit barren though. The leaves had already fallen and the golden brown of the grassy hills was showing through the bare dark branches.
The end result was a small approximately 5″ x 9″ piece I call simply “Echo Lake”.
I attended Art Now! in Regina this fall. It was an inspiring event for me. I was able to spend Saturday listening to presentations, and enjoy the artwork in-between sessions.
I’ve also been spelling off my hooking with knitting. I’ve finished my Painted Desert Shawl by Karen Klein (available free on Ravelry) from Sea Turtle yarn.
I’ve been knitting some baby items… a hat and some mitts with an i-cord string attaching them. I am currently working on this baby sweater, which requires I pick up stitches around the neck and down the front to knit a collar and button band. I am knitting to learn new techniques. I’m finding baby items ideal for this. They are small and quick to knit…when I’m not distracted by other things… The patterns for these come from “60 Quick Baby Knits”.
I’ve also been spinning. It’s come to my attention that I have a lot of fibre that needs to be spun. I just had my wheel serviced and will be working, when I have time, to spin it up. Here’s a couple of small skeins of old singles that I plied together to make yarn. I will overdye these to make them usable.
And, now that Canadian Thanksgiving is over, my eye is turned towards the upcoming Christmas season. To that end I diverted myself to scrapbooking last week. My daughter was married about twelve years ago and I promised her a wedding scrapbook. I think twelve years is a long enough wait! I had the tools, the time, and the money to finish it off. Traditional scrapbooking is not cheap! It is my daughter’s Christmas gift this year.
On September 23rd I took part in Sunrise Library’s Old Fashioned Fair. Sunrise Library is a branch of the local Regina Public Library. I had a blast! So much so I forgot to have photos taken of me there! I was with a group of weavers and spinners and we had a great time chatting and demonstrating to the public. Definitely on my repeat list if asked next year.
As a result of the Old Fashioned Fair I ended up at the local Weavers and Spinners Guild one evening. Had a blast spinning away while listening to the meeting. Lots of people doing interesting things there.
I’ve also been approached for information to include on myself and my hooking in a book to possibly be published in 2019. Writing everything down about my en plein air hooking was a bit of a novelty. I didn’t realize it was such a process, or that I knew as much as I did. It was good for me.
And in-between all that I’ve been helping my web designer with the new website, including the new videos for my classes that help explain what they are about. Please feel free to provide constructive feedback.
Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I posted on the blog. I’m here to let you know ART NOW was a huge success from attendance point of view. I was there Friday at noon and most of Saturday. There seemed to be plenty of people milling about. I also noticed a fair number of red dots beside art on the walls.
I listened to three presentations: Technology and the Future of Art Commerce, The Artist’s Right to Resale Royalty, and On Collecting Art. All three were well done and very interesting.
The first presentation, Technology and the Future of Art Commerce, focused on Internet and digital art, as well as 3D printing and virtual reality art. It covered what constitutes original art and how to market it. Very interesting to hear where things are going.
The second, Artist’s Resale Royalty, was a subject I had heard a bit about through being a member of CARFAC, but didn’t know quite what to think. Artist’s resale royalties seems like a no-brainer to me, but the actual implementation of a system for it seems like a bit of a minefield. I’d hate to see a large chunk of the artist’s proceeds going to a middleman collection agency. However, I was horrified to learn the galleries are buying Inuit art for a few hundred dollars, and then taking it to big centers like Vancouver and Toronto to sell for thousands of dollars! The Inuit deserve better than that!
The third talk, On Collecting Art, reinforced what I thought already – buy art you love. I found it interesting that all three panelists had run out of room in their homes for their art. I can relate. Only in my case it’s art I created.
Aside from ART NOW, which I really enjoyed this past weekend, I’ve picked up hooking “Escapees” again. I only have the grass in the background to do.
Today I’m working on updating and creating price tags and hang tags for some wall hangings, as well as catching up with Certificates of Authenticity. I also plan to work more on the South Korea photos, narrowing them down to the ones I want to use for creating future wall hangings.
This week I’ll be meeting with my web developer and we will start creating a new website.
Hi folks! My exciting news is that Monday I will be on CTV Morning Live locally, in four different two minute segments teaching and talking about rug hooking! Could be interesting! I’m taking my supplies to the studio to be filmed talking to Alexandra Brown about rug hooking and teaching her how to hook. In honour of the occasion I stopped by the hair salon for a ‘touch up’ with my hair. Not much helps in that department, but it’s worth a try.
I am also hooking more on “Escapees”. Next up is to work on the fence and the nasturtiums behind it. Could be interesting. I’ve never tried to depict a metal fence in my rug hooking before.
I sold those hooked rugs Monday and spent time Tuesday trying to balance the business books. Hubby took sympathy on me and treated me to ice-cream at the local Dairy Queen. The business side of rug hooking is not my strong suit!
I’m looking forward to a weekend of hooking and preparing for the show on Monday morning. Talk to you all later!
In my studio this week I’ll be planning a home retreat.
A lot has been written on retreats and the importance of getting away to develop ideas and themes and accomplish work. Mostly these ideas are based on spending thousands of dollars to ‘get away from it all’, or on artist’s residencies which have their own requirements (and understandably so). But that doesn’t have to be so.
When Hubby was working I often took one day At Home retreats. Now he’s retired it’s a bit more problematic. It can be distracting just having him walk around the house on our creaky hardwood floors. So the plan will be to have him in on the plan from the beginning. A discussion is in order. I may wait till better bike riding weather for the retreat. He loves to ride his bicycle for hours at a time. That would give me ample time to accomplish something.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
How do I structure my retreats?
First, I set a goal. I currently have two goals in mind, but know I have to just focus in on one main goal per retreat. Otherwise it does not go well.
Second,I figure out the schedule. Without a schedule it’s just another day at home. I try to structure my day so I have a centering or calming time to start the day. I follow that with a review of where I’m at and an exploration of a theme or idea. Then I have an activity related to the theme. I follow that with a light lunch that I’ve prepared beforehand. I often take the noon hour break to go for a walk to clear my head. Then more exploration of the theme and a major activity in the afternoon. I follow that with journaling about how things went and what I could do to follow up on the retreat. I finish off the day with another centering exercise.
This isn’t the only way to structure a retreat, but it this is a common way I structure my retreats.
Third, I figure out the cost. With my At Home retreats this is often negligible, as I have everything right in my home studio at my fingertips. If it’s a serious retreat off to someplace else it can become quite expensive. It pays to try and predict every expense you can think of, including travel costs, accommodation, and food.
Ultimately the secret to a successful retreat is to plan ahead and let the significant people in your life know what you’re up to. Turn off the phone, the radio, the TV…anything that gets in the way of your staying focused and on task. Make sure you are prepared by having all your supplies and work space ready. Working in a messy, disorganized space distracts me, so I spend some time beforehand tidying up. Be sure the lunch meal is simple and, if possible, prepare it ahead. I like to eat raw finger foods. Maybe some hummus with crackers and vegetable sticks, nuts, and yogurt.
There are some good general resources out for planning a retreat. One of the first books I used was a sale book at Chapters called “Vacations for the Spirit” by Alan Walker. Short and aimed mostly at spiritual retreats, it still gives a good foundation of what a retreat can be. Chapter four on “Retreats for Every Purpose” is a good place to start your exploration of artistic retreats. Online sources include SparklingRobots.com A Google search turns up more. Some are aimed at writers, some at art journaling, and some at painters, etc. Those of us who do fiber related art have to extrapolate from other artist’s experiences to create our own tailored retreat. That’s the way it is. Every artist is different and different types of retreats will work for you at different times. Feel free to create a retreat that suits your purposes!
Dancing Sheep – CASA art gallery – “Ganglamb Style”
For those of you following me on social media, you know I’ve been busy buying supplies, touring art facilities, and visiting art galleries. I’ve also been researching artist retreats and residencies. Unfortunately my iPad and iPhone would not let me post to my blog. That will have to be remedied somehow. Not sure how. That’s the quick recap, now for the details.
We headed to Edmonton to check in with family and relax. My stepmother is a prolific knitter and I spent a good hour or so one day going through part of her book collection, taking photos of ones that might interest me. I’ll check them out at the library first.
Elk Island National Park – beaver lodge
While visiting Edmonton we went to Elk Island National Park for an inspirational (?) outing. We went on a walk by Astotin Lake with tons of mosquitoes and frogs! I think I managed to take some good beaver lodge photos. Plus later we were able to catch a bison photo or two in the bison paddock. Three cheers for Parks Canada and their free pass for Canada’s 150th birthday!
After a few days in Edmonton we headed south on the old highway – Hwy. 2A – through Wetaskiwin, Ponoka, to Lacombe. Hubby and I like to find local places to eat – places with homemade meals and unusual items on the menu. On the way to Edmonton it was Lionel’s Place in Vegreville, where we had the Ukrainian platter, with perogies, cabbage rolls, and kobassa. It was delicious! It also came with a tossed salad with olives and pickled beets! And how could we turn down home baked lemon meringue pie and a cup of tea? So when we were closing in on Lacombe I pulled out my cell phone, did a trusty Google search, and turned up the Morrison House Cafe. It is a lovely older home where the main floor was turned into a cafe and the upstairs is where the owners live. It was very busy and I was glad I called ahead to reserve a table. We had a wonderful meal there. However, because it was so busy it was an hour before we were on the road again.
Legacy Studio – wool, linen, “Primary Fusion” kit, bent handled scissors, and ProChem sample cards.
That made us a bit late for meeting up with Laura Johnson at her home studio – Legacy Studio – in Cochrane, Alberta. But Laura is very kind and accommodating. We arrived an hour after we thought we would and I spent another hour in her studio shopping and purchasing supplies for this coming year. I am now supplied with wool and linen. Laura also solved my problem with cleaning my drum carder. I purchased her flick carder out from under her. It works like a charm Laura! I was also able to pick up two rug hooking books – “Scrappy Hooked Rugs” and Deanne Fitzpatrick’s new book,”Rug Hooking with Deanne Fitzpatrick” – and a “Primary Fusion” kit on how to use ProChem dyes.
We raced from Laura’s studio to relatives in Okotoks via Bragg Creek. Originally we were going to stop in Bragg Creek, but we just didn’t have time. We were already an hour late arriving at Okotoks. We are glad we arrived when we did, because not long after our niece arrived with a birthday cake for her mom. I had no idea it was my sister-in-law’s birthday! To say we were unprepared is putting it mildly. I went out with my sister-in-law in the evening and was glad to see her friends, where we went, celebrated her birthday too.
Unwind Wool – yarn and book
While in Okotoks I had the pleasure of visiting the new knitting shop downtown, Unwind Wool. It just opened in February and is quite small, but packs quite a bit into a small space! I walked out with a lot of yarn, and a new knitting book.
“Prairie Sky – Altocumulus 13”
My sister-in-law also took me to a spin-in at a friend’s place. I took some rug hooking with me and finished a “Prairie Sky – Altocumulus” wall hanging there. I was fascinated by what I was seeing at Robin’s house. Robin had a weaving studio too. We wandered upstairs to see her Canada 150 project – a large blanket she had spun and dyed warp for that was on the floor loom awaiting her weft. It was the most beautiful warp I’ve ever seen! Every colour of the rainbow! And I didn’t get a picture of it. Sigh…too caught up in her studio and how she did things. I quizzed her up about her dyeing methods. I noticed a sketchbook being used to record weaving patterns and asked about that as well. I need to use my sketchbook more.
Which brings me to our next stop – Michaels. There was a Buy One Get 50% Off the second deal on large sketchbooks. I bought. I now have two large sketchbooks to work in this year.
Later that day Hubby and I headed off to Lethbridge. It was quite funny because it turned out my sister-in-law was heading to Lethbridge the day after with a group of weavers. They were going to have lunch, visit the Lethbridge weavers, and tour CASA – the art center there. My sister-in-law wanted to know if I wanted to join them for lunch and the tour. You bet I did! So we had a wonderful time of it. The weavers took us up to their studio in CASA and we spent time looking at warp and chatting with them.
CASA – Weaving studio
One of the ladies had just come back from a residency in Iceland. That got me thinking. It never occurred to me there would be residencies for fibre artists. I chatted her up a bit and noted the link for where she found the residency. I spent considerable time later in the evening and during our visit researching art residencies. There really is nothing out there for rug hookers. The more I thought about it, the more problematic it became. In discussing it with other relatives we were visiting the question came up “What is your goal for the retreat/residency?” and “Why not design your own?”. Both very good points. I sat down and designed one on the spot. I think I will be giving the idea a dry run at home though. I may have some quiet time in July for it. We’ll see.
After spending time at CASA in the weaving studio a young man showed up to give us a tour of the facility. We asked a lot of questions I’m afraid, and he ran over his allotted time, but it was fascinating! An artist can become a member for $200 per year, and rent a cupboard space that is about 3′ x 8′ with a locked door for another $200 per year. That gives you access to a shared studio space for 24/7. I could go for that. Just over $1/day for studio space! What a deal!
CASA – 3D studio
CASA – Pottery classroom. They have a gas fired kiln too.
My sister-in-law and I parted at CASA and I met up with Hubby at the public library. We didn’t spend time looking around however. Instead we headed right out to the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens. We had a relaxing time walking the gardens and taking photos. I have lots to work with for awhile.
In the morning, before I went to lunch with the weavers and to CASA, my husband’s cousin took me to the CCWG (Canadian Wool Growers) shop. I picked up some roving to spin. Then we went to Knitting Time, the local yarn shop, and I picked up yarn to hook and knit. Then it was off to Marshall’s – the local fabric store – to check it out and pick up a few sundry items.
Lopi destined for wall hangings or rugs.
A word about Knitting Time…I was fascinated by this small shop. The proprietor not only carries yarn for knitting, but also fibre for crocheting, thread for tatting, rayon thread for Brazilian embroidery, cross-stitch supplies, felting supplies, and spinning supplies. Plus she has pattern books too. For a small shop she packs a lot in there!
The next day found us at SAAG (the Southern Alberta Art Gallery) checking out exhibits we did not understand. I wish I could have talked to one artist in particular. I liked her exhibit. I think I understand what it’s about, but when my very logical and practical Hubby started asking questions, I was at a loss for words.
We also went to the University of Lethbridge to check out their gallery, only to find it closed. But they did have the hallway exhibit – “Habits and Habitats” – up for viewing. That was good.
Habits and Habitats
On Monday, yesterday, we headed home. We stopped in Medicine Hat and Swift Current. Tried to get into the art gallery in Swift Current, only to find it closed and them taking down the exhibit we wanted to see. Oh well. They did have a few pieces of the artist’s work in a display case in the library in the same building as the art gallery. So we ended up checking out the library.
I found a book, “Where Women Create” by Jo Packham, which I took out and read on the way home. There are a few good ideas in the book that I will implement. I was reading the description of some of the studio spaces to Hubby. He was floored to think some people have more space than I do. lol. I must admit, my crafting takes up two rooms in the house – one for rug hooking, and one for everything else. I keep trying to get it in order, but it seems as fast as I empty a space, it fills with something else.
We had supper in Moose Jaw at the Mitsu Cafe. There is a sushi bar in the back of the cafe, and you can order dessert from the cafe out front. We shared a Caramel Apple Crepe. It was huge! And delicious!
Look where I am folks!!! I’m in Canadian Living magazine’s July issue – Canada’s 150th Birthday issue! So pleased and happy with Canadian Living staff. They did a great job. Short but sweet. I’ve been tracking the response to the mention this weekend. It’s looking good so far. Subscribers to my blog have doubled already. And views of my website are up.
On top of that we were celebrating Mosaic – Regina’s multicultural festival – and hosting company. Company was very agreeable to attending Mosaic with us, which was good. We managed to see 15 out of 20 pavilions this year, along with watching at least part of the show in each pavilion. It was fun again, as usual.
I’ve also been posting old burlap patterns I bought from my old rug hooking teacher online to sell on my Facebook page – JLT Studios. Check them out! Some Bluenose patterns (also posted for sale here under “Patterns”), an old Jane Olson pattern, and a Mildred Sprout pattern. Also a couple of small stained glass patterns. I have a couple more patterns to photograph and upload this week.
And I’ve been busy organizing my work for the summer. I am hooking a small “Prairie Sky – Altocumulus” wall hanging at the moment. Using up scrap pieces of backing in my rug hooking studio. That will be my fun for the next few days.
Anyone interested in summer classes, now is the time to contact me. Use the form on my Classes page. Due to family issues I have had to change the class schedule for the summer and fall. Please check the current schedule to make sure the class you want is being offered. If you want a specific class and the time is not working for you, please contact me and we will see what we can do to accommodate you.
This week will see me
posting more patterns online,
adding more product to the website,
adding hanging sleeves to some smaller wall hangings,
cutting up some wool strips for sale,
finishing up my mini-portfolio photo book, and
hopefully finding my file folders for my classes! I’ve managed to lose those…
I hope everyone has a great week! I’ll check back in with everyone on Friday. 🙂
Hi everyone! I’m up early this morning, for a wonder. I wasn’t in bed till after midnight. I suspect an afternoon rest will be in order! Mosaic was great though! Both for fun and inspiration. The food was excellent too.
I finished my little “Prairie Sky – Cirrus” wall hanging and am onto a “Prairie Sky – Altocumulus” one. I have a lot of bits and pieces of linen backing that need to be used up. They will most likely become ornaments and small wall hangings.
I’ve also managed to take photos of all the old patterns I have and will post those on my website and Facebook page for sale.
I made a list of things that need to be done in my little studio to finish up loose ends. I’ll be working on those gradually.
I’ve also been working on creating a mini-portfolio photo book of my work to take to shows and show galleries. It’s finally reached the point where I can’t take all my work with me. So this serves as a detailed look at my development as an artist and shows potential patrons the width and depth of my style.
Today I’m looking forward to listing items online for sale, resting, enjoying company, and another evening at Mosaic. Have a great weekend everyone! 🙂
I’m back in my studio after sale day at the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair. I actually sold well and had lots of inquiries, but the wind was gusting so badly in the afternoon we had to close up shop early. Product was hitting the ground. That was not cool. So we packed it in and came home.
I’ll have to rethink my plans for next year. I’m thinking of doing another sale later in the year, after all the inclement weather we seem to get at the CVAF Street Fair. But we shall see. The cost of the other sales are quite high…over $200 for a small booth 10’x10’… I don’t know… Hubby and I are thinking of alternatives.
Meanwhile, if you were at the sale and planning to pick something up the last hour or so of it, you can contact me through email <email@example.com> or phone: 306-737-9950. If you’re from outside of Canada it’s best to contact me by email. We can arrange appointments for viewing rug hooking, and purchasing supplies, and materials. If you are interested in signing up for classes you can check out my classes page here on the website and send me a note through the contact form at the bottom.
I managed to start “Escapees”, my nasturtium wall hanging, at the Street Fair, but honestly the wind was so bad I spent most of my time holding up the display, especially in the afternoon. Still, I have some of it picked out and ready to go. I’m nailing down more colours right now.
After coming home and putting away sale stuff, I decided a good cleaning out of the studio was in order. I’ve spent the last two days on that. I have a huge garbage bag of stuff to get rid of either by selling or donating, but the bulk of it is done. I don’t know. I use a lot of fibre and sell a fair bit, but it seems like the stuff multiplies! My shelves are full to bursting!
This week I’ll be cleaning more, and finishing up some odds and ends in the studio. I have a few wall hangings that need hanging sleeves, price tags, and to be uploaded to the website. I have some narrow strips that need to be cut and put into my extra stripettes bin for future hooking or sale.
I have company arriving the end of the week, and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are the annual multicultural festival days in town – Mosaic. I hope to enjoy both. 🙂
I will be starting my wall hanging called “Escapees”. Come see the pattern and fibres! I’ll be selling greeting cards for $5 each and ornaments and wall hangings from $25 up.
If anyone is interested in buying supplies or fibre for hooking you can either do so on this website in the shop area, or stop by the booth and we’ll make an appointment for you to come by the house, or take an order and mail it out to you.
I am currently charging $20/half pound of wool (approximately a half yard of wool yardage). It will be irregular shapes. If you want it cut, it will be another $5 on top of that. I only cut #6 width.
If you want silk and wool yarns and fibre it will be $25 uncut, and $30 cut. Again these are half pound bags.
Hope to see people at the Fair. It’s supposed to rain, so bring your umbrellas and rain coats!
My new iMac. Still loading updates. Still have to configure mail. I’m making this post off my iPad.
I pulled out a new pattern to start hooking. It’s called “Escapees”. It’s a design of some nasturtiums escaping their fenced in garden and reaching towards the sun. Again, an actual photo and place on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada, where everything grows with wild abandon! Last week I adjusted the pattern. This week I’ll be dyeing fibre for the backgrounds. I need some medium toned Kelly green.
This will be my demonstration piece for the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair on May 27th. I will be between Montague and Athol Streets on the south side in the shade. That’s on 13th Ave. in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. If you’re in the area that day come check out my booth!
What a beautiful May day we have here. It’s overcast, just the way I like it. Don’t get me wrong. I like the sun. But sometimes the prairie sky can be too bright for me. It’s so intense in colour and brightness.
Yesterday Hubby and I had a delightful walk around Wascana Lake in the heart of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. You wouldn’t know that out in the middle of the Canadian prairies lay this jewel of a park that houses the lake. We watched all kinds of ducks and geese coming and going about their business. It was a magical time.
This past week I’ve been focusing on getting back to a normal sleep schedule and organizing 1500+ photos of South Korea. I’m still working on both. I want to get the photos organized so I can get started on my next wall hanging/rug. I’m debating whether this one will be a floor mat or not. I want to use my leftover worms for it. We shall see. It depends how the design works out. So this week is photo week, sketch week, and possibly design week.
Just a few reminders…
My work is currently in a group show at the Art Gallery of Regina until Friday.
Also, I am planning to take part in the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair again this year on May 27th from 10 AM – 4 PM. I received notification of where my booth will be located. For people looking for me, I will be at the far end of the Fair between Montague and Athol streets on the south side of the street. Maybe start walking the Fair from the Elphinstone Street end if you want to still have money and energy by the time you reach my booth!
In other news…I am being published for real this time. The information has gone to press. Stay tuned for further information. I’ll believe it when I see the article in the magazine!
We live near a creek beside which the City has kindly placed a walking and biking path. Every now and then we go out to enjoy it. Yesterday afternoon was one of those times. We went on an hour and twenty minutes long walk. The Creek is a great place to people watch, as well as bird watch. I took plenty of photos and narrowed it down to this slideshow for my readers to view.
I told Hubby we need to go on more walks the next few weeks. I’m trying to get in shape for South Korea. I hear there will be a lot of walking. Lots to see and do! And I could use the exercise.
In the meantime, Saturday was the last From Start to Finish class. I had an excellent student who wasn’t afraid to ask questions and gave quality feedback when I asked. I really appreciated everything she had to say. I have revised some areas of the course based on her experiences, and mine.
I cleaned up the dining room and put everything back where it belongs. My dining room is looking more like a dining room than a rug hooking studio. It will stay that way until May, when a new set of classes will begin. Feel free to check out my classes and contact me if you are interested in taking any.
A friend gifted me this lovely mohair blanket this week. Not entirely sure how I’m going to handle it and prep it for hooking. Any ideas anyone? It’s a very loose weave.
I finished deconstructing my greys and blacks this week. It took six hours total. I have a lot of greys and blacks. I put them back on the shelf today.
Works in Progress
I’m also back at “Moss”. It is taking a long time for a variety of reasons. One has been developing my new website. Then there was the rewriting of course syllabuses lost in the computer switch over that didn’t happen in the end, earlier this year. Another is it is a large wall hanging for me at 1′ x 5′. I am finding it a bit of a challenge staying focused on that large a piece. Then there’s the colour planning of the piece. I like the colours well enough, but I’m not sure I’m conveying the image I want with the piece. But I do plan to finish it. Hopefully in time for the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair on May 27th.
I had a great class again on Saturday and plan to prepare for another one this coming weekend. Sorry, I will not be teaching any classes in April. Instead I will be preparing for, going to, and recovering from a trip to South Korea! Looking forward to the change of scenery for a bit. Classes will resume Saturday, May 6th with a Finishing class. If you want to register contact me by April 24th.
Exhibit at the AGR
I dropped off my wall hangings Friday afternoon for the Art Gallery of Regina Salon Show and Sale. The show starts Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at the Art Gallery of Regina in the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre on Elphinstone Street in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. I will be in attendance at the opening from 7:30 – 8:30 PM. As mentioned Friday, those wanting a studio tour please let me know and I can arrange to open my home studio in the evenings for guests.
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! 🙂
I’ve had an interesting week. It’s that time of year to be applying for exhibits and sales. I’ve applied for two so far. I’m not sure exactly where I stand in the application process on both of these exhibits and sales. I’ll fill you in when I learn more.
I did manage to upload more product – rug hooks – for sale.
I also chatted with my web developer about more ideas for the website. I look forward to upcoming changes as time goes by.
I was able to prepare my sample pattern and fiber kit for the Curves class next Saturday. I have also written more on my course outlines.
I pulled two books off my library shelf to help with a revamped business plan. One is “The Creative Entrepreneur” by Lisa Sonora Beam, and the other is “The Right-Brain Business Plan” by Jennifer Lee. I’ve used these two books before with considerable success. So I’m not really starting from scratch. Just planning what to do this year.
I finished reading “Canadian Folk Art to 1950” by Fleming and Rowan. Lots of lovely photos of a wide cross section of Canadian folk art. The text seemed excellent at times, but with long winded sentences at other times, making for a bit of an uneven read. However, the overall message was there and it was a good read overall. I enjoyed the few hooked rugs photos that were included as well.
Another book I am currently looking at is “Hooked on Cats” by Joan Moshimer. The rugs in the photos are beautiful! She uses Cushing’s Perfection dyes to dye wool for her rugs. I don’t use Cushing’s, but my Majic Carpet and ProChem will work just fine. Joan gives basic dyeing instructions in her book for onion skin dyeing, spot dyeing, dip dyeing, and for overdyeing. An informative book with a lot of patterns in the back and a nice gallery of finished work.