Weekly Review: Christmas Decorating

Weekly Review: Christmas Decorating

Good morning everyone!  This week has been one of preparing for the upcoming holiday season.  I hosted a tree decorating party yesterday.  I invited a few friends to help.  Our house is small and with Covid doing its thing again (still) I decided to err on the side of caution.

We had a potluck buffet and it was great! One of my friends surprised me with a home baked bread Advent wreath!  I’d seen one at her place before  and commented on the uniqueness of it. She decorated it before she left last night.

We had a young lady come who helped decorate the tree, the front window and arrange some Christmas florals in a floor vase.  It was great to have her energy and enthusiasm in the room.  I think I still need more ornaments on the tree, but we were running out of them. I just didn’t buy enough. Something to think about next year.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then there were the garland ladies!  They did a magnificent job of making two cheap Michaels garlands look good. Trust me, that was a job!

One lady took on the mantel and went all out.  It looks gorgeous!

I am so happy for the help of my friends.  They did a wonderful job and we had great fun doing it. The food was good too.  I made some mulled apple cider as well.  It was a great time, and lots of fun. Thank-you to all involved!

In other news…I am still in the process of printing out labels for “The Weave” and “Where Are We Going?”.  Once those are done I’ll be taking a month long break from hooking. I want to focus on finishing up some other projects around here.  I have some quilts and other projects to finish up.

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

 

Weekly Review – It’s Finished!

Weekly Review – It’s Finished!

Good evening everyone!  I finished hooking “Where Are We Going?”, and with it the poetry series of hooked wall hangings. This weekend I will be hemming and attaching hanging sleeves to it and “The Weave”.

I am pleased with this series, and also happy to be moving on.  I’ve been working on it for far longer than I anticipated, due to hooking for other reasons, and moving cross country.  The full series took me eight *years* to complete!  I am a slow hooker who packs a lot of life into her days.  Hooking is only one of my areas of interest.

This week I have been busy transferring files from an old external hard drive that is being retired because the company that made it is no longer going to support it.  I still have more files to go.  The hard drive stopped recognizing all my Apple devices.  However it still recognizes Hubby’s PC, so he transferred everything to flash drives and we’ve been transferring files that way.  I’ve had to go through every file to make sure there were none missing and no duplicates. Time consuming to say the least. We won’t be buying that type of hard drive again.

We are still busy preparing for Christmas. There’s been a flurry of activity and plans surrounding the occasion. I unpacked the pre-lit pencil Christmas tree to make sure all the lights were in working order. They are!   I’m trying to decide how I want to decorate this year – casual or glam?  Hmmm…I think casual.

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

Weekly Review: Almost Finished

Weekly Review: Almost Finished

Good morning everyone!  I’m almost finished “Where Are We Going?”.  I am unsure of the lettering situation in the border, as the letters are not centred in the border, but am not concerned enough to pull it out for a redo…yet.  I’m going to finish it first and then check it out again before I adjust anything.

It’s been a busy week here. We’ve been working on preparing for Christmas, finishing the last two things that need to be done in the kitchen renovation, and working on rug hooking related matters.

We gave away or sold most of our Christmas decor when we moved, thinking we’d be moving into a condo, but we chose a house in the end.  This Pre-Christmas season has been one of finding more decor for the house at a reasonable cost and with an eye to sustainability. In other words, I bought used as much as possible.

As far as the kitchen is concerned, we have two things left to do: install a new overhead dining area light, and the threshold strip between it and the living room.  We are trying to coordinate with a neighbour who has a special nail gun to come do the threshold strip.  Installing the light is a job Hubby can do.  But he is also busy working on our front entry walls, which were damaged when we sold our big old fridge and it was removed through the front door.  I am hoping to have everything done well before Christmas.

In rug hooking you will have noticed a new feature on the blog: the For Sale Feature.  I have decided to make an additional weekly post on Wednesday showcasing some pieces I have for sale.  Not everything I make is listed for sale in my online shop on this website. For the Wednesday For Sale Feature I will let you know how to order the item in the post.

I am also on the home stretch with “Where Are We Going?”  I am hoping to finish hooking this week. Then it will be time to make hanging sleeves for it and “The Weave”.

Well that’s about it for this week.  If you have been, thank-you for reading!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Home Again!

Home Again!

Good afternoon everyone! We had a great time in New Brunswick.  Lovely scenery and lovely people. Company will be leaving soon and I am deep into planning November.

I finished knitting the baby hat. All that’s left is to mail it.

I am making a short list of projects to work on. Mostly it includes WIP’s, or Works In Progress.

  • I have “Doom” sitting beside my chair to finish hooking.
  • I also want to finish the quilt I started at 17 years of age.  I won’t say how long it’s been.  Suffice it to say I have taken my own sweet time hand stitching it.
  • I also have the South Korean appliqué quilt to finish.
  • I want to make some beeswax toppers for bowls.
  • I want to move onto hooking the fishing shack series I have planned.

That’s more than enough for November. Right now I’m just glad to have the baby hat finished.

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

Weekly Review – In Person Hooking!

Weekly Review – In Person Hooking!

Today I hooked in-person for the first time in 18 months!  It was a great time, and nice to see everyone who came.  I worked on “The Weave”.  I’m almost finished the hooking.  I’m trying to decide how to finish it.  I think, in the end, it will be my standard fold over the edges, mitre the corners, and stitch in place.

I am taking advantage of the local situation and reaching out to others interested in learning what I know.  I recognize I do a poor job of marketing myself!  I, like a lot of people, find it difficult to “blow my own horn”!  However, I am interested in connecting up with other artists who rug hook as well as produce work other ways.  I find the work and process of creating art by other artists inspirational.  I am also offering to teach individuals rug hooking on a one-on-one basis.

This week I have been thinking ahead to September.  Hubby and I have booked a cottage for five days for retreat.  I’m looking forward to some time away to work uninterrupted.  Hopefully to start a new series.  To that end I have been busy photographing and sketching local scenes.  I am in the process of trying to decide how to translate them into hooked items.

Also in September we are hoping to go on a bicycle trip.  Hubby likes to bike, while I ride sag wagon (the car).  This time we will have people riding and driving with us, so we won’t be taking our car.  I’m hoping to spend some time rug hooking in Chester, N.S., and possibly Lunenburg, while I wait for cyclists, but we shall see.

Well if you have been, thanks for reading!  Take care everyone!

 

Weekly Review – “Making a Life”

Weekly Review – “Making a Life”

Yay!  I had some time to prepare a couple of hooked pieces for the wall. I created and attached labels and hanging sleeves to “Time” and “Autumn”.  They are ready to hang!

I started reading ”Making a Life” by Deanne Fitzpatrick the other day.  It is a great little read with lots of wonderful photography of her work.  I think it’s her most readable book yet.  It’s interesting how, over the years, you can see a writer’s skill progress.  This is true of other authors as well as Deanne.  In this book Deanne writes about her life as an artist the past twenty-five years.  She talks about her initial views on art and artists, and how she grew into thinking of herself as an artist and being an artist. A lovely read.

Next up?!  Colour planning my next project!

 

Weekly Review – What’s Next?!

Weekly Review – What’s Next?!

This week was productive.  “Gyeongju “ is finished and up on the wall!  “Time” is also finished. I have to put hanging sleeves on it and “Autumn”. My serger is back from having maintenance done on it, so I’m good to go!

I’m checking my Someday/Maybe list and crossing these projects off.  Time to decide what’s next. I’m tempted to work on “The Weave”. Or maybe “Where are we Going?”. Or “The Bubble”. Or something totally different.

Some people have a shortage of ideas to hook. I’m not one of them!  I have sketchbooks full of ideas.  I think I’ll pick smallish projects I can carry with me this summer – projects I can work on out on the deck, or at the cottage, or at my sisters’.

I have three smallish to medium sized poetry pieces on backing left to complete.  I will pick one and colour plan it.  I’m narrowing things down this weekend…hoping to have made a decision by Monday.

I have been busy since Covid began.  Enjoy this slide show of some of my finished work.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Road Trip and Ramblings…

Road Trip and Ramblings…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekly Review – Museum Hanging System

Weekly Review – Museum Hanging System

This week was a week of moving forward on various projects.

I finished spinning an alpaca fibre I acquired from a lady out in Regina, Saskatchewan many years ago (thank-you Sharon!).  It’s a beautiful soft yarn, and I haven’t processed it yet!  This yarn will be used for knitting.

In the process of cleaning up my studio last week I found my old doll.  It’s over 50 years old!   It needs new clothes.  I believe the last time I sewed for her was in the 1980s, and it was just a pajama top and panties set.  This time she’s going to sport a coordinating sailor dress, panties and bonnet in various patterns of hot pink!  The sewing pattern is decided and cut.  Today I plan to do some sewing.

In the rug hooking arena I dyed more purple wool fabric to finish hooking the border on “Gyeongju”.  I figure I have 6-8 hours of hooking left to do.  Then it’s onto blocking and hemming the edges.  I have to decide what kind of hanging system to use with it.  It’s a pretty heavy piece, so I may take the time to make a full museum quality hanging system.

What’s that? You ask?

Well, I take a strip of thin wood (check out the trim section of your lumber store), cut it to length, and shellac it.  Then I staple hook and loop tape to it – the hook side.   I sew the loop side to the top of the rug.  I drill a couple of holes either end of the trim…right through the hook and loop tape.  I screw it to the wall where I want to hang the piece, making sure it’s level.  Then I just push the loop part of the tape onto the hook part, making fine adjustments as I go to make sure the rug is hanging level.

It is a time consuming way to hang a rug, and is not cheap.   But it’s the best system I’ve seen for big heavy rugs like mine in the long run.

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

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

It’s been a busy week for me. In between rug hooking, yard cleanup, sewing and gardening, there’s also been nature journaling. I’m really enjoying learning more about observing and recording nature, even though I struggle with the scientific end of it…primarily thinking of questions to ask about my observations. But, the drawing practice is invaluable!

I spent some time watching YouTube videos by John Muir Laws on nature journaling.  He uses coloured pencils outdoors.  Because I’ve been working from photographs indoors, I’ve been using watercolours.  You can use either in either location.  But I’m thinking I could use a greater variety of journals, at a more affordable price, if I learned to use coloured pencils properly.  So I put an order into Michaels craft store for curbside pickup of a few pencils and a case to hold them.

Here are more watercolour pages in my nature journal.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In other news, I finally finished the last project for the L.L. Bean shirts that belonged to my dad when he passed away three years ago.  Dad loved L.L. Bean clothes – their shirts in particular.  He had white hair and blue eyes. He could wear just about any colour, and did!  The bright orange nylon one became a cushion cover for his widow. The rest I took and sewed into various projects – one for each descendant.  You can find “The Shirt Project” video here .

While all of the projects but one were finished within a few months of Dad’s death, one project in particular was vexing. One of my nephews wanted a knife sheath for a jackknife. The shirts just aren’t built for that. But I happened to have some tanned moose hide, so thought I’d try. Then we had to focus on moving. It wasn’t till last fall that I picked up the project again. I broke many needles and couldn’t sew the moose hide on my home machine, even with leather needles. So, after consultation with my nephew, I sewed this alternative gift. Here’s the final project for my last nephew.

Hubby and I also put together a raised garden bed to run along the side of our raised deck.  We traded our deformed cedar we had to have cut down (it was growing in power lines) for some milled lumber leftover from a neighbour.


We also put together a Muskoka Bear chair, which is really a type of Adirondack chair.  Hubby is working on the matching chair now.  It came in pieces.  Hubby sanded it, painted it and assembled it.  The colour is Aruba Blue by Benjamin Moore, and I just love it!

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  I hope you all have a wonderful, productive weekend.  Take care.

My Other “Hobby”

My Other “Hobby”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finishing Up

Finishing Up

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Well this week was nothing but rounding up numbers for taxes.  They are finally off to the accountant.  Now I am looking forward to some finishing.

I have a lot to work on yet!  I am rounding up thread, needles and embellishments to finish off “Time” and ”Autumn”.  The Fraktur carnation chair pad needs a decision.  I’m not sure whether I will put cording in the edge and whip it, or just turn it and stitch it down.  The two small abstracts just need a bit of sewing and a hanging sleeve attached.

I have family time planned for this weekend. So we’ll see what actually is accomplished by Tuesday. 😂 Have a great weekend everyone!

Make Something Monday

Make Something Monday

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

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

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

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

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

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

It’s been a busy week.  I went from just starting the Fraktur chair pad to finishing the hooking on it (see the above photo)!

That required a day long break to dye some background fabric.  I had to plan to dye enough for all of the chair pads I want to make.  There will be four total. I used a mix of Lucy Richard’s skin tone dye formulas to spot dye an interesting background.  When I saw it I thought it would hook up too dark.   In the end it is a great colour.

I’m very happy with how this turned out.  Thank-you to Susan Feller for all your patience and help!

I’m taking a break and going back to my South Korean roof tile end caps wall hanging. Time to finish up the border and put that one to rest.

If you’ve been reading, thanks!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Weekly Review – Dyeing Nylons

Weekly Review – Dyeing Nylons

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

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

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

But onto nylons…

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

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

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

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

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday Morning

Monday Morning

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

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

Tuesday daylight hours are quilting time.

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

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

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

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

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

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Not much happening here these days. I’m busy binding a quilt. It is giving me no end of problems on the corners. A friend offered to do it for me. I am debating it. It would be the first project I’ve ever given to someone else to complete! I’m hesitant to do so.

I had an email exchange with a framer this week. I’ve been trying to find one who does lacing or uses brass pins for framing fine needlework on linen. I found a lady who will lace small pieces only. So next week I will be taking three small pieces in to her. Two are Hardanger embroidery pieces and one is a free style embroidery piece. I have a lot more that needs framing, but these are a start. I’m trying to frame or hang finished work here. I have a lot in boxes and bags still.


That’s it for this week in the fibre department! If you’ve been reading, thanks! Have a great weekend everyone!

 

Finishing Old Projects

Finishing Old Projects

Sometimes I find finishing old projects hard. The knit cotton pullover sweater for the cushion covers from Saturday’s post was one such project. Another is this 44 year old quilt top.  It’s made from leftover fabric from my grandmother’s, mother’s, my sisters and my sewing, as well as old cotton sheets from my childhood, Dad’s shirts, and cotton broadcloth from the fabric store.

It was my very first quilt, and because of that there are a lot of mistakes and many learning experiences in it. It is hand pieced and hand quilted, and none too well done I might add!  I’ll have to fix it before moving onto the next project.

Still, for all the mistakes and trials that went into it, it holds a soft place in my heart. The fabrics are like little memory touchstones for me, reminding me of times gone by and people who came before me.

It’s hard for me to finish a piece like this. It’s like I will be putting the past behind me and that I’m leaving my parents and grandparents behind. But I know they are always with me in my memory.  I just have to take that knowledge from my head to my heart. Plus I’ll have the quilt to remind me.

Sigh.  Yes, sometimes it’s hard to finish a project.

 

Oops!  I’m Late!

Oops! I’m Late!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is an after photo:

Finally! I can see the back of the counter!

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

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

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

 

%d bloggers like this: