Artist Retreat #3

Artist Retreat #3

I have been incredibly blessed this summer. I just finished my third artist retreat for the summer. We went back to Scots Bay, Nova Scotia for the weekend.

This time I focused on plein air hooking. I took all my miscellaneous leftover “worms” – strips of wool and silk fabric, pieces of yarn and nylon stockings – and tried to hook the scene of Scots Bay from the window of the cottage.

Why indoors? It was far too hot and sunny for me to be outdoors. I could have moved to the deck and been one foot from where I was, but why? I would have loved to go down on the beach to paint and hook, but the sun and heat prevented that. I think I need to take my artist retreats earlier than July and later than August, when the weather is cooler.

But I’m not complaining! These three retreats have been great for jump starting my creativity and getting things done! My camera has been mega busy, followed by my paintbrushes and my rug hook. Plus I have managed some reading and work on my business plan. I also have had great quality time with Hubby. I’m hoping to have a couple of retreats a year from here on.

Prairie Sky – Sunset
Weekly Review

Weekly Review

I finished both “African Dream Mini” (10.5” x 15.25” – wool, silk, nylon on primitive linen – #6 cut) and “Hearts”! Both have a hanging sleeve on them. Next up is to cut dowels for the hanging system, find some cup hooks for them, and create Certificates of Authenticity.

After that I’ll be planning my next retreat. It’s actually going to be a painting retreat. No rug hooking. I have a third retreat in mind that I’d like to use to explore plein air hooking in the Maritimes.

What is plein air hooking? Check my blog post Monday for the answer!

Hearts – 5.5” x 19.5” – wool, silk, and nylon on primitive linen – #6 cut.

Retreat Time!

Artist Retreat, that is. This week I had a lovely time at a friend’s cottage on the Bay of Fundy with my husband and my creative gear.

I took far too much stuff. We could barely fit it all in the car! But we did! Aside from gear we had to take clothes, bedding, food, and water for five days. Hubby took his bicycle to fit in some riding. We both took technology to work on various projects. It was forecast to rain.

I took work to finish. I took my camera for inspiration photos. And the tripod, just in case. I took my rug hooking frame and South Korea rug. I took my sketchbook and watercolour pencils. I took reading material and watching material. Also I downloaded some podcasts. I took linen and Red Dot interfacing to transfer those patterns I enlarged last weekend.

Our destination had no internet, so I used my cell phone to create a hot spot every day in order to finish an Udemy course on composition.

I organized for this retreat using an app called Simple Mind. It is a mind mapping app that allows me to see a lot of information in point form at one glance, and how it’s all interrelated. I was able to adjust my retreat plans as it happened, to accommodate for finishing things early. Not being distracted can really be a big boon to productivity.

We went on a lot of walks, with and without camera. Some to the beach, some not. Some with sketchbook, some without.

I read “The Art of Botanical Painting” by Margaret Stevens. It’s a great book if you want to be a botanical painter. I am not that detail oriented. I did garner quite a few colour and composition ideas for an upcoming series of wallhangings I plan to develop.

I also took Keith West’s “How to Draw Plants”, “Nature Drawing “ by Clare Walker Leslie, and “Drawing Scenery: landscapes and Seascapes” by Jack Hamm. These were more for reference. I haven’t drawn a seashore close up before.

I did manage some watercolour sketching for future design ideas. Lus I finished the Hearts wall hanging and coasters.

It was very productive.

Production!

Production!

Face masks are finished!

Ken doll clothes are happening. There is a great disparity in sizes between free online patterns and commercial patterns.

Knife sheath attempt after all. Can’t get my domestic machine to sew through the suede leather, even with a leather needle. Will take moose suede to a leather worker and see what they say.

In my pile of things to finish by my chair. Notice the hooked heart hanging and coasters from February. They’ll be ready for next February.

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and a productive one. Till next time, take care everyone!

In the Making…

In the Making…

Happy Monday everyone! It’s been a productive weekend and day, primarily thanks to some unpredictable weather. Today has been raining off and on, making it a wonderful day to be in my studio.

I finished the doll clothes for the 16” Briar dolls. Here are the last few items I made. I shipped them all off Friday. I hope they all fit.

I moved onto the knife sheath. I had a chat with a friend who is a more experienced seamstress than I am and determined, after careful thought, that it just wasn’t going to work. The moose hide I have is actually quite soft. It used to be a woman’s suit jacket. I don’t think it will hold its shape well enough to hold a jackknife. I decided to make another gift for my nephew, and possibly include the moose hide in that.

I moved onto printing and cutting out the Ken doll patterns. Today I cut out all the pieces to sew. However…

I received a phone call from someone looking for the face masks this week. So I switched gears and cut out face masks. I’m in the middle of sewing them at the moment. I’m using the Olson pattern still. I use a batik quilting cotton for the front fabric, cotton sheeting for the liner, and a filter of diaper flannelette (single layer).

This weekend I decided to try selling some items on the Facebook Canada Rug Hooking Buy and Sell group. It was quite successful. I’m quite pleased with how it went. I sold several patterns. Time to update my website store to reflect the changes. I will be selling more that way.

My studio update as of Sunday? Hubby and I are slowly getting things sorted out. I went through all my rug hooking and made piles of what to mend, what to hang upstairs, and what to hang in the studio or downstairs. Basically we keep whatever is upstairs and whatever is downstairs is for sale. I sold a bin of old patterns over the weekend. Here’s the current messy, but functional, state of my studio.

Well that’s it for this weekend! I hope everyone has a great week! Take care!

A New Look!

A New Look!

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.

 

 

 

Weekly Review

I had a great week and managed to complete almost everything on my list.

  • I hooked more on “Prairie Sky – Altocumulus”.  I hope to work more on it today.
  • I posted the remaining old patterns for sale on my Facebook page – JLT Studios.
  • I added some 6″ square Prairie Sky wall hangings for sale to my website. They sell for $60 each + shipping.
  • I finished cutting up plaids and checks into #6 wide strips for sale for rug hookers.  They are sold in 1/2 pound bags for $20 each bag + shipping. I will be posting them on the website soon.
  • I am working on my mini-portfolio book today.
  • I am sewing on the hanging sleeve for “Wascana Creek – Study” today.
  • And finally, yes, I found my file folders for my classes!

 

Plaid and check wool strips cut to #6 width, packed in half pound bags and ready for sale.

 

Some of these patterns are available on the website now, and some have yet to be listed.  Look for these patterns to be available on the website soon.  They are old patterns purchased long ago (about 20 years ago) and on old burlap.  It is suggested people trace them on Red Dot and re-draw them on new backing before hooking them.  These are not my own original patterns, but the patterns of a few very talented rug hooking artists from the past.

 

 

Be sure to check out the website for new product this coming week!

Look where I am!!!

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

  • hooking more,
  • 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. 🙂

 

In my studio…

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 <jo6865@gmail.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. 🙂

In My Studio…

In My Studio…

Time to reboot here and redirect energies.  This week I’m hoping to get a few things accomplished.

  • I have a few wall hangings by my chair that require finishing,
  • I have “Moss” to work on,
  • I think I need to focus on my website,
  • I need to seriously clean up my sunroom studio.  It’s a mess.

Hope everyone has a great week! 🙂

In my studio…

In my studio…

ornaments-etsy-21a

This week things are chugging along.  I spent part of the weekend creating draft posts on Etsy for Christmas ornaments.  They will be up for sale this week.  Shipping in Canada is free.  Shipping to the US is $5 CAD.

I am finishing a few wall hangings and packaging some as well.  Some will need certificates of authenticity, and some will not.  I include certificates for original work 6″ x 6″ and larger.  Each certificate includes:

  • the name and size of the piece,
  • the materials it is made from,
  • the number it is on my inventory list,
  • the date it was completed,
  • my signature, and the date I signed it.
  • cleaning instructions and
  • my contact information.

I do hope to figure out what to do with “Moss” this week.  I may have to do some dyeing yet.

Also I hope to get in and pick up my sunroom studio a bit.  It looks like a tornado hit!

I’m putting the creation of more fiber bundles to sell on hold for now.  My priority needs to be putting things up on Etsy for Christmas, and then the new website, and lastly making more fiber bundles for sale.

ornaments-etsy-27a

In my studio…

oct-31-3

This weekend I was busy with my Etsy shop.  I uploaded more items for sale.

I was also busy on my new website.  Still trying to figure out the shipping issues with WooCommerce.  Seems they aren’t as cheap as they claim to be.  I’ll be looking at other options this week.

oct-31-1

Upcoming this week…

~ I plan to hook more on “Moss”.
~ I need to add cup hooks to the packages of wall hangings I am selling.
~ I need to sew a hanging sleeve on one of the wall hangings.
~ I need to take some photos of others before posting them on Etsy.
~ I need to fill out Certificates of Authenticity for most of the wall hangings.
~ And I need to photograph and load more fiber bundles for sale.

I doubt I’ll finish all this in one week, but I’ll make a stab at it.  The Certificates of Authenticity will take some time to fill out.  They are quite detailed and I have quite a number to do.

Well I hope everyone is off to a great start of a new week!  Enjoy the nice fall weather and try not to eat too much candy then next couple of days.

Cheers,
Jean

 

 

 

In my studio…

african-dream

Here it is!  All finished.  African Dream.  I need to make hang tags for it, but that can wait.

Sunday we were up to Saskatoon to check in with ArtNow.  It was a cool exhibit!  A great variety of work from a variety of artists and in a variety of mediums.  Great stuff!

Company has gone home now.  In-between visiting I was hooking and re-carding some alpaca fibre a friend gave me.

I met up with another friend last week.  She’s coming over this week to give me more fibre and some carding paddles.  I hear there is some upholstery fabric she’s wanting to get rid of as well.  I feel blessed to have such generous friends.

I decided to change the name of my new wall hanging to simply “Moss”.   I am going to have to give more thought to the colour planning for this wall hanging.

I hope everyone had a good weekend.  I look forward to another busy week.  Happy hooking everyone! 🙂

wip-moss-1

Quick Update

unnamed

ArtNow is on in Saskatoon at Prairieland Park folks!  If you haven’t been, go check it out!

As you know, African Dream is done the hooking stage.  I’m hoping to block it this afternoon.

I’ve already started colour planning for my next wall hanging.  It’s a long narrow wall hanging I’m calling Northern Exposure at the moment.  It’s moss growing on the north side of a tree.  Not sure how this is going to turn out.  I’m thinking I need some brighter colours than I have in my stash, but I so don’t want to go to the dye pots right now.  I have so much excess fibre around here.  I might try a funky colour scheme.

 

 

 

Weekly Review

Beauty F B

“Beauty” – still hemming this.

I managed a few things this week.

  • I sorted through inventory and checked to see if I had photos of everything,
  • I didn’t.  So I took photos of the wall hangings without.
  • I made draft listings on ETSY for everything.  They are ready to go live after the street fair.
  • I made hang tags for the wall hangings that needed them, and attached them.
  • I updated my business books,
  • I blocked and started hemming Beauty,
  • I finished hooking Dancing Tree,
  • And I hemmed and attached a hanging sleeve to Dancing Tree.

Today’s goal is to label Dancing Tree and put on hang tags. But we shall see.  It’s shaping up to be a busy day.

Dancing Tree F B

“Dancing Tree” – only the labeling left to do…and the hang tags.

WIP Thursday

Garden - 1 (1)

Today I have a few things to do to finish up Dancing Tree.  I’m not liking the dotted effect in the lower sky, so will be replacing that particular fiber.  Then I’ll be blocking and hemming Dancing Tree.  And hopefully attaching a hanging sleeve next week.

I did manage to knit more on the Cellular Baby Blanket.  It’s taking a lot longer than I thought.

Other than that I have two online courses in progress…neither of them related to rug hooking…well, one maybe, on communication.  The other is to give me ideas for tutoring.

Hope everyone has a great day! 🙂

Inspiration Wednesday

Hi everyone!  Things are looking up.  I am finished hooking Dancing Tree, and will work on blocking, hemming, and finishing for sale…hopefully be the CVAF Street Fair on May 28th.

I was out wandering around the neighborhood the other day and found some beauties.  I love taking photos of plants.  They give me a lot of inspiration.

Enjoy! 🙂

Garden - 3

Lamium in bloom

Garden - 5

Radishes are up!

Garden - 4

Chives are about to burst into bloom!

Garden - 2

Bergenia is blooming.

Garden - 1

Weeds, like dandelions, have been up for awhile now.

Weekly Review

BEG-on-wall

It’s been a busy week.  I finished the hanging systems for Sprouts and Blue-eyed Grass.  Hubby hung them on the wall for me.  They are now up for sale folks!

Sprouts is 6″ x 36″ and $225 CAD + shipping.  Blue-eyed Grass is 7″ x 36″ and $260 CAD + shipping.  Shipping via UPS runs about $75 CAD.  All pieces are insured for shipping.  Both pieces come with a Certificate of Authenticity as well.  Also, the hanging system (dowel) is included.

I had a delightful lady in Wednesday afternoon for a finishing class.  She is doing a wonderful job with her rug hooking and I hope to see her again soon.

I managed to package up Prairie Sky, the large version, and ship it off to its new owner.  Hopefully it will arrive safely.

I’ve been updating my business books as well.

AND, last, but not least, I actually cleaned up my studio!  I sorted out a mess of worms (small leftover strips of fibre).  I am feeling the need to do a scrappy wall hanging.  Hmm…will have to think about it.

Sprouts-on-wall

WIP Thursday

S and BeG hanging sleeves

I finished sewing the hanging sleeves on Sprouts and Blue-eyed Grass.  Had to make a run to Lowe’s to pick up some doweling to use as hanging rods.  Just waiting for Hubby to help hang them as they are both being hung in high places I cannot reach even standing on a chair!

Not much accomplished on the knitting the baby blanket again.  I’ve been busy with teaching a finishing class and tutoring this week.

Today I’m focusing on putting new patterns on backing.  I still haven’t decided which patterns I’m going to put on backing.  So maybe I’ll just put a bunch on and see what strikes my fancy to start hooking.

In…and out…of my studio…

AGR the Barn

Hubby and I were over to the Art Gallery of Regina this weekend to see my wall hangings on exhibit.  It’s nice to see them hanging with so many other local artists.

This week will be a mix of in and out around here.  A lucky someone purchased Prairie Sky – the large version.   So today I’ll be packing it up and hopefully, shipping it off. 🙂

The weather is forecast to be in the teens for most of the week.  That means yard work, and maybe just some general fun with the camera and my rug hooking frame outdoors.  I will also be working on cleaning the room our new boarder will be going into the end of the month.

I still need to put hanging sleeves on Sprouts and Blue-eyed Grass.

Still contemplating my next piece to put on backing.  I may pause to dye some silk fabric, especially if I can open the windows.  Might have to wait till next week for this though.  We are getting a couple of cooler days midweek this week.

AGR Dead of Winter

Weekly Review

WIP-BEG-e

It was a short week, but I did manage to finish hooking Blue-eyed Grass.  Today I’ll block it and hem it.  And that’s all I’ve done for rug hooking.

I think I’ll work some on hanging sleeves today.

Have a great weekend everyone! 🙂

 

In my studio…

In my studio this week I have a lot of catching up to do.

I have yet to put a hanging sleeve on Sprouts.  It’s been lying on my ironing board awaiting a pressing before I make the hanging sleeve.

I did not hook a many loops the past four days, and it’s been killing me.  But I am forcing myself to take breaks for the good of my body and disposition.  I need to remember to spend time with family and friends too.  But with everyone back home and back to work this week I hope to finish hooking Blue-eyed Grass as well.

 

In my studio…

blue-eyed-grass-sketch

Sketch I will base my Blue-eyed Grass on.

It was a busy weekend.  I dropped The Barn, Wascana Creek, and Dead of Winter off to be exhibited in the Art Gallery of Regina 40th Salon Show.  Now to focus on this week.  I’ll be busy finishing Sprouts and starting my next piece.

I think my next piece will be a tall, thin, blue-eyed grass wall hanging.  I’m thinking of trying to bleach some nylons for the background for it…to mix with wool and silk yarn and fabric.  But first I need to put the pattern on backing.  So I’ll be enlarging it considerably.  The piece will be about 3′ high.

In My Studio …

IMG_0968

Entries for the Art Gallery of Regina 40th Salon Show: “Dead of Winter”, “Wascana Creek”, and “The Barn”.

I hope everyone had a good weekend.  I know I did. 🙂  On my plate in the studio this week…

  • I have to put proper labels and tags on my pieces for the Art Gallery of Regina 40th Salon Show.
  • I need to buy sturdier dowels to hang Wascana Creek and The Barn.
  • I also want to finish Sprouts, which was forgotten in the excitement of the return of Moose & Mountains. 
  • If I have time, I have to sit down with my portfolio again and see what I’m missing.

What’s up in your world this week?

 

IMG_0967

WIP: “Sprouts”