Review & Catch Up Week

Review & Catch Up Week

Good morning everyone!  I had a wonderful time at the Show & Sale with The Bonnie Hookers at Scott Manor House this past Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  I managed to share information on rug hooking, demonstrate and even sit someone at a frame to learn. The ladies I worked with were kind, friendly and generous.

I’ve yet to check in with Visual Voice Gallery to see how the “Summer”  exhibit went. I’ll touch base sometime this week.

I did manage to hook a lot on the big Parker’s Cove fishing shacks wall hanging. I may need to pause to dye more blues for the sky.  I also worked on finishing some Parker’s Cove pieces.

I’ve been busy in the garden.  I’m reorganizing my freezers in preparation for this year’s harvest.

This week will be a mix. We have various appointments and a property management crew coming to cut a few trees and prune others.  The trees surrounding our yard are large, producing too much shade, and possibly a hazard during a winter storm.  Now is the time to deal with them.

Well, that’s it for now. If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

Artist Retreat

Artist Retreat

Last week I had a lovely retreat, so to speak, with Hubby.  It was actually a working vacation for me.  We went up to Annapolis Royal, NS and rented a cottage in the area. The view out the front window was gorgeous!

We decided we didn’t want to cook while there, so I roasted a chicken and cut it up the day before we left.  I also made some hummus and vegetable  sticks for dipping. Plus we took the usual peanut butter and homemade jelly, and boiled eggs.  Plus fruit, bagels and bread.  We survived on that, oatmeal and two grocery store salads for the entire time we were there.

Well, except for our friends’ providing a BBQ supper and a picnic beach lunch!  I tell you…there is nothing better than eating fresh baked homemade bread sandwiches out on the rocks overlooking the ocean!

We were gone for three nights.  My friends are rug hookers too, so we had a great time hooking and finishing while I was there.

I also searched for a suitable gallery to show my Parker’s Cove fishing shack series in Annapolis Royal.  While there are a good many galleries there for the population, many have unfortunately closed since the beginning of Covid.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know I started hooking the large Parker’s Cove piece.  It’s 12” x 36”.  I am currently hooking the last of five fishing shacks. It will be a couple of weeks or more before I finish. We are expecting company.

I had a photographer in to photograph my work. It was a massive job!  He managed to photograph everything in about an hour.  We worked together to finish over 75 pieces during that time!  This is all the work I have in the house that was not previously photographed, excluding the Parker’s Cove series.  I’ll have that photographed when it’s finished.

Other than that, I’ve been enjoying Elizabeth Miller’s site – Parris House Creative Community – on Mighty Networks lately.  There was a lovely Zoom meeting in our gardens, showing each other our yards, but focusing on vegetable gardens.  Elizabeth has a huge garden!  Plus she’s into so many interesting things!  I loved the opportunity to see her space, even if only virtually.  I also took part in her monthly Crafternoon on Sunday.

My first group show with Visual Voice Gallery in Truro started Monday!  The theme is “Summer”.  Check it out, either in person or online!  You can find it online at: Visual Voice or visit 128 King Street, Truro, Nova Scotia.

I am currently busy preparing for a July show and sale at a local museum Stay tuned for more information!

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

 

Humming along…

Humming along…

I had a lovely afternoon last Monday up in Truro at the Visual Voice Gallery with the proprietress.  We went through my work, I described my process, and she decided which pieces she wanted to keep for various shows.  I also took my notecards on the off chance she might want some of those.  She did!

So now if anyone is looking for my work through a gallery in Nova Scotia, they can contact the gallery owner at: gallery@visual-voice.ca

The first show I’m a part of starts today at Visual Voice in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada.  It’s a group show on the theme of “Summer”.

In other news…

The Visual Voice Gallery owner mentioned two other exhibits I could take part in this year, both group shows.  One is the end of August into September.  The August/September one is called “Offbeat”.  I plan on presenting her with some unusual pieces I’ve hooked over the years to see if anyone is interested in them

She also mentioned the Christmas sale, in which she tries to keep items under $100 CAD.  I have several items I could display in that sale as well. Then there are my Christmas notecards. So if you’re interested in acquiring or seeing my work in person, visit Visual Voice!

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I am organizing hooked pieces for a photography session later this month.   I finally went through the professional photos I’ve had taken in the past and noted them on my main inventory list. I need to be better at figuring out what needs to be photographed professionally and what’s already been done.  Next up is to take the pieces that need photos off the walls for the photographer.

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I am also preparing for an exhibit with The Bonnie Hookers July 14-16th at Scott Manor House in Bedford, Nova Scotia.  I will take a variety of work that is a variety of sizes. I will be there most of those days to help demonstrate rug hooking, answer questions and facilitate sales.  If you are a blog reader and show up at the sale, make yourself known to me and I’ll try to show you around the exhibit.

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I’m working on finishing some of the Parker’s Cove fishing shacks.  I’ve also started the biggest Parker’s Cove piece to date.  It is over 12” x 36” and will take awhile to hook. I’ll be working on it during my upcoming self-designed artist retreat.

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That’s it so far everyone!  If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

 

 

Exhibit Time!

Exhibit Time!

Hi everyone!  Lots happening on the art front these days!

  1. Today I run some work up to Visual Voice Art Gallery in Truro, Nova Scotia for jurying into their Group Spring Show. The show runs from June 20th – July 16th.
  2. I will be part of an exhibit, along with the rest of The Bonnie Hookers, at Scott Manor House in Bedford, Nova Scotia from July 14-16th. A few of us will be taking shifts at the exhibit to demonstrate rug hooking.
  3. I am taking an artist retreat for four days next week to visit Parker’s Cove again, and check out venues that might want to hang my fishing shack series.

Aside from that…

  • I am sewing the cording onto the Parker’s Cove pieces and whipping the ends.
  • I also started hooking my large Parker’s Cove piece.
  • Plus I am transferring more small pieces on backing.

It’s been a busy week in the rug hooking department.

I would be delighted to meet up with any of you at one of the shows!  Make yourself known to me as a blog reader, and I’ll try and spend some time with you going around the gallery.

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

Garden In…Back on Track!

Garden In…Back on Track!

I’m back at the Parker’s Cove fishing shacks series!  Last week I made and sewed on hanging sleeves.  This week I’m attaching the rope around the edges. Hopefully I’ll have some nice finished pieces to show you all next week.

In other news…

Our two raised garden beds we ordered locally arrived Tuesday.  The soil came in the morning.  The beds arrived in the afternoon.  This week has been spent setting things up and planting.

We decided to create a mix of no dig, Hugelkultur and lasagna garden beds. So the raised beds went directly on meadow plants in our backyard.  Then we layered the bottom of the beds with two to three layers of flattened cardboard boxes, stripped of all tape and labels.  On top of that we piled branches from pruning the numerous trees around here.  On top of that we layered about an inch of grass clippings.  On top of that we layered about 4” of dead leaves from last fall.  On top of that we added about  four to six inches of the soil we ordered. Then we added two big bags of seaweed compost and a half bag of sheep manure.  We mixed that into a top layer of more of the garden soil we had ordered.  We left room at the top of the 19” deep raised beds for addition of mulch once the seedlings grow.

We raked the garden smooth and staked out the square foot grids. Then we built the garden structures and installed them.  I had great fun teaching Hubby some old Girl Guide knots and how to lash.  He was interested initially, but the novelty wore off. 😂 We planted the first raised bed on Friday.

I had to sew two garden nets together to make netting big enough to go over the garden structures.  Our yard is surrounded by trees and nesting birds.  There were some very curious robins keeping an eye on us.  Not only do we have birds too contend with, but also deer, racoon, rats and skunk. Oh, and neighbourhood cats that run wild.  So the netting is a good investment of time and money.

Saturday we planted the second raised bed. It went much quicker.  We did companion planting in the beds.  So, while we planted 35 different varieties of seed, we didn’t plant a lot of any one variety.  Now we water and wait.

Friday we also purchased and put together a small tumbling compost bin. It had 56 screws and nuts!  Seems to work well though. The bin was purchased at Canadian Tire.  It sits on a stand up off the ground, keeping it out of reach of rodents. It’s small, but if it works we may buy an additional one next year.  We’re looking for easier ways to do things, now we’re growing older. Turning a compost pile manually is too hard on our backs.

Finishing Up

Finishing Up

Good morning everyone!  This week I finished hooking a couple more small Parker’s Cove fishing shack pieces. I am pausing to finish the ones I’ve hooked.  Then I’ll move on. I’m about at the halfway point with this series. I’m still enjoying them immensely. They are such cheerful buildings to hook.  I have hooked 14 pieces so far.

I also spent time sketching the remaining shacks.  Though I do believe I have a couple more to go.  I have the backing cut and prepared for transferring patterns.  Next up is to transfer them.

I arranged for a photographer to take photos of some of my hooked pieces in late June.  Hopefully that will include some of the Parker’s Cove series. I currently want photos of 50 pieces for my website and portfolio.

I have been busy updating my CV and resumé. Time slips away from me easily.  It’s been five years since I updated it. I also need to work on my artist statement.  Plus, it’s been a long time since I updated my portfolio.

Lots happening!  If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

 

Monday, Monday…

Monday, Monday…

Good morning everyone!  This past week I have been busy hooking more Parker’s Cove fishing shacks.  I have a few colour questions to fine tune them.  My photos were taken late in the day and some of the shacks were in pretty deep shade.  I need to get back up there to confirm the colour choices I’ve made.

To that end I booked a four day artist retreat in the area for myself in June.  Hubby will go with me and spend time on his creative projects as well. I hope to be finishing the wall hangings by then, but we shall see.  There are a lot more to do!

Last week I also enjoyed the company of real live, in person rug hookers!  It sure is nice to feel comfortable getting together with other people again. We shared our work and hooked away.  The time passed very quickly, and I am looking forward to getting together again this week.

I am still working through “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, with a group in the Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  I am finding the chapter I’m on is taking a long time to complete.  I am however, being jolted out of complacency, off my butt to get up and do something about my artistic career.

Two of the areas I am exploring are exhibiting and sales options.  I am teaming up with two other rug hookers.  We are all members of the same rug hooking group.  We are tentatively booked for a museum in July.  I am not convinced this will go ahead.  If not, we will hold an art show and sale in my backyard.  I am also checking out galleries for possible representation, though I am not very confident in this area, having had mixed results where we previously lived.

I am also preparing work to be professionally photographed.  This is a challenge, as I have close to fifty pieces that need photographing. I am starting to think it might be more affordable to buy a subscription to Adobe Photoshop Elements after all!

I created a quick two and a half minute video of my studio on YouTube, for your viewing pleasure.  It is, of necessity, very brief. If people show an interest, I may do a longer, more detailed one later.

Well that’s it for this past week.  If you have been reading, thank-you muchly.  Take care everyone, and have a great week!

Studio Clean Up and More…

Studio Clean Up and More…

I finished Sketchbook Revival 2022 and embarked on a clean up and reorganization of my studio this week.  I finally parted with a box of old original artwork.  I hope the thrift stores we donated to recognize the value of what they have and can actually earn some money from it for a good cause.  At any rate things are looking a lot better.  My main objective was to get my art supplies out in the open so I can easily grab them to use them!

I also managed to repair one of the old rugs I purchased in February and placed it on the studio floor.  It was going to go under the tables in the sitting area, but I was very nervous of having it under the coffee table and chair legs.  Plus the design would be hidden.  So I pulled it out into the middle of the floor.

I also worked on my South Korean appliqué quilt this week.  I have eleven blocks finished, and am working on the twelfth.  I’m trying to decide if I want to go any larger.  It’s a lot of work and I really would prefer to rug hook.

To that end,  I decided to buy my own scanner and printer.   I picked up my scanner last week.  My printer has to be brought in from Toronto and won’t arrive until this week at the earliest.  I used the scanner and photo editing software to scan, enlarge and print my largest Parker’s Cove pattern.  I did it the hard way.  A friend later told me the easy way!

I am working my way through “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron for the third time in my life.  I do it, but with a few modifications.  It takes time to do.  The tasks and exercises are often time and energy consuming.  However, it is worthwhile to do it once every five to ten years…to refresh my memory and see where I’m at…how I’ve progressed.

I attended several crafting events last week.  Wednesday I attended three!  In the morning I got together with some crafty family members and friends online to chat and craft.  That’s when I work on my appliqué quilt.

Wednesday afternoon I got together on Zoom with a group of rug hookers.  This week I worked on repairing the large vintage rug I purchased.

Wednesday evening was special.  I was at an online event hosted by Beth Miller on her Mighty Networks site, Paris House Creative Community.  It was a Q&A on book proposals and publishing.  It was very helpful and informative.

I’m really enjoying Beth’s Mighty Networks site, and encourage you to check it out!  It’s an inspiring and encouraging place to be.  Topics are not only about rug hooking, but also soap making, beekeeping, chicken raising, cooking, knitting, etcetera.  There is a lot of variety, especially if you start a thread or sign up to attend a Zoom event.

Thursday I reorganized the studio in the morning and hosted a rug hooking friend there in the afternoon.  She had some good ideas on reorganization.  I finished repairing the large vintage hooked rug and placed it on the floor. Then switched to designing the layout for my appliqué quilt.

Friday I attended a Zoom rug hooking group in the afternoon.  I cleaned my studio more while chatting with the other rug hookers.  Towards the end of the meeting I took them on a virtual studio tour.

Last week was business taxes as well.  I have those finished and in to the accountant. Now I’m just filing receipts.

I am not sure what this week holds.  It may be time for a bit of a slower pace.  I have some other projects to work on that don’t involve rug hooking.  I need to sit down and prioritize.

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

 

Make It Monday

Make It Monday

Good morning everyone!  This past week I was busy.  I finally mended my rug, “Pennsylvania Dutch”, which has been languishing for about five years in my mending tote.

This rug was the very first rug I designed and hooked after learning to rug hook in 1985.  It is t-shirt and polyester double knit on what I was told was burlap, but must be primitive linen.  I say that because of the hard wear it’s gone through since being made.  It lived on my kitchen floor in front of the sink for about 10 years.  Then spent the next 20 years on a concrete laundry room floor.

Meanwhile I’d wash it *in the washing machine* every 6 months or so when it grew dirty, and hang it to dry before blocking it again.  I DO NOT recommend washing your hand hooked rugs in washing machines folks!!!   Just let me make that clear.  There are much better and kinder ways to clean rugs!

At any rate, I am glad this one is back in usable order, and will be buying a protective pad to put underneath it for future use.

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I finished sewing a hanging sleeve for “Moroccan Dream”, my Boucherouite style rug from Laura Salamy’s class in Workshop Week 4.  Today my hubby and I hung it in my studio.  We had a tough decision whether to hang it vertically or horizontally.  We finally decided on vertical.  It can always be changed.  The beauty of geometrics. 🙂

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I tried to finish the small Parker’s Cove piece, but was one inch too short of the fisherman’s rope needed for the edge.  So disappointed!  Still, a friend says she has access to a lot of it and to just let her know when they are all ready for edging. She’ll get me some.  I have four more on backing to hook.   I need to do some dyeing before I can hook them.  I did sew and attach hanging sleeves to the two finished fishing shack wall hangings.

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I ripped out the diagonal stitches in the sky of “The Farm”.  They just did not look like they belonged.  The sky is the background layer in this piece and doesn’t need anything to give it movement.  There will be plenty of movement elsewhere in the piece!

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We finally hung my loose attempt at an Azeri rug!   “Family Reunion” is up!  We have officially moved in!

An Azeri rug is actually a type of Turkish rug that has images from a person’s life scattered on a background, with an oriental border.  It is originally a woven and knotted rug.  Of course mine doesn’t follow the normal rules…it is hand hooked and, because I had never seen an Azeri rug, I put order to the images in the centre.  The scenes follow the progression of events on a trip to an extended family reunion one year   Hence the name of the wall hanging. Hand hooked Azeri rugs are also mostly hooked in straight lines.

This wall hanging was hooked with wool, but had added wire and beads.  It is lined with cotton batik.  The fringe is wool, silk and cotton, with beads of various kinds.

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Onion skin dyeing continues.  I decided to try marrying wool by throwing it in the pot with a post-mordant of Dyer’s alum. The results are stunning!  The commercial green dye that bled from the first marrying and overdyeing session, continued to bleed and married all the colours into these stunning greens and golds!  I am very happy with the results!

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Sketchbook Revival 2022 started last week.  There is another week to go.  It is a free art summit organized by Karen Abend.  Every day I receive an email with two video links to two lessons by different artists on different topics.

I am a little late starting, so am behind by three days.  The video links are usually kept up after the summit. I’m glad.  This past weekend I devoted to trying to catch up.  It didn’t work.  I suspect I’ll be going past the two week summit.

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Well that’s it for this week. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading.  Have a great week!

What’s Up?

What’s Up?

I’m still working on sewing hanging sleeves on wall hangings.  I was out to pick up some hardwood dowels to hang them.

I’m still thinking about the fishermen’s rope edging on the Parker’s Cove wall hangings.  Alternatively, I saw some black parachute cord I might braid for an edge.  Still thinking.

“The Farm” is coming along.  I am working on the sky.  I am not sure I like it, so it is difficult to motivate myself to work on it.

I have decided to turn the onion skin dyeing workshop into a paid course. I have a lot of video to edit, as well as audio.  Plus I have more to record. This week I have more video filming to do.

I am currently soaking half of my previously dyed onion skin wool in water, in preparation for an after bath of dyer’s alum.  I’m curious to see if it will shift the colour without adding more dye solution.   If not, then I’ll add more dye solution and see what happens.   It could be interesting.

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

 

 

Happenings

Happenings

Good morning everyone!  This past week has been busy and fun.  I enjoyed time spent hemming the two Parker’s Cove wallhangings and the Boucherouite wallhanging.  Next up is hanging sleeves on the backs. Then to add the titles.

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Coming up with titles for pieces has always been a struggle for me.  I try to somehow relate the title to the concept or idea that inspired the piece.  Other times it is based on memories, like “The Farm”.  Sometimes, if I’m really lacking in creative ideas, it’s just a numbering system, like “Parker’s Cove #1”, “Parker’s Cove #2”, etcetera.

I decided to call the Boucherouite wallhanging “Moroccan Dream”.  It was inspired by the Moroccan Boucherouite rugs, but isn’t really a Boucherouite.  From what I can find online, there are no circles in true Boucherouite rugs.  So “Moroccan Dream” is more in the style of a Boucherouite rug, but not a true Boucherouite.

I’m still waiting for inspiration on the Parker’s Cove series of wall hangings.  They deserve better than just a numbering system.  I wanted to name them after the owners of the fishing shacks, but I don’t know who they are or how to find out, short of going there one day and bothering the fishermen and women as they either leave or come back from fishing.  Hmmm…

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In other news…I am still preparing for the onion skin dyeing workshop.  I have also started video taping for an online video course on onion skin dyeing. I’ve had great fun dyeing wool fabric this week, and experimenting with mordants and different dyeing techniques.

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I have also been experimenting with “stories” on Facebook and Instagram. I am hoping to place more content on Instagram in the coming days.  Check out my Jean Ottosen Studios Instagram account for updates.  Next up is to learn how to effectively create and use Reels.

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I attended a great Biz/Studio Q&A on Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks this past week.  A lot of topics were covered and good ideas were discussed.  I have a lot of ideas to work on.

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In other news…after months of struggling with a rug hooking frame that was virtually falling apart, I finally gave it and some Chair Doctor glue to a carpenter friend to fix it for me.  I have had this frame over ten years, and used it heavily.  It owes me nothing.  Still it is my favourite frame.  It’s great to have it back and in working order.

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In yet more news…I have been busy spinning up some alpaca, Corriedale wool and wool roping to make a nice fuzzy yarn for dyeing and hooking into my wallhangings.  The people of the ASH Guild (Atlantic Spinners and Handweavers) have been very helpful.  I attend their Zoom Fibre Days and learn a lot.

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Well, if you have made it this far, thank-you for reading.  I hope everyone has a great week!  Until next time, take care!

Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings

The hooking on the Boucherouite is finished!  It is in my pile set aside for finishing.

I washed the fisherman’s rope for framing the Parker’s Cove fishing shacks series.  It is a great deal more pliable and, I believe, will work for my purposes.

I had a great time participating in Beth Miller’s Beginner Dyeing Demonstration in her Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  While I am not a beginner dyer, I do think I can learn something new from everyone I meet.  Beth demonstrated electric skillet dyeing and microwave dyeing, which I’ve never done before.  I was curious about her methodology.  Now I’m on the lookout for an electric skillet!  I guess it’s time for another trip to the thrift store…

I had great fun showing the ladies at the Sunday FiFi Zoom meeting through Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks how to do the herringbone edge on a piece of hooking.  I hooked a quick hit and miss hot pad in order to show how to do it. My only criteria for the hot pad was that I had enough of a particular colour of wool to do a full row in the squares.  I used leftover worms/noodles from other projects. I used 100% wool and it is on a primitive linen backing.

The edge is made from a hand spun, hand dyed wool yarn.   It is worked over a core of 100% cotton cording from Michaels craft store, which I pre-washed in hot soapy water.  The cording and yarn are quite large for the piece in order to show up more clearly on the camera when I was demonstrating.  As a result, rather than rip it all out and redo a smaller size, I made it a design feature.  I brought the hot pad up to the level of the whipping by padding the back with quilt batting, before lining it with a piece of wool fabric.

in other news…I am practicing hosting Zoom meetings…because…

Upcoming workshop…

I am preparing to teach a live beginner onion skin dyeing workshop in Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  It will be Wednesday, March 30th, from 7 – 9 PM EST.

In that Zoom workshop I’ll be teaching immersion dyeing, casserole spot dyeing and marrying wool while simultaneously overdyeing it with onion skin dye solution. I have created an introduction presentation, a presentation on record keeping and one on experimenting with different agents to set the dye.  If I have time, I’ll also show samples of different fibres dyed with onion skin and different setting agents.  It’s a lot to pack into a two hour workshop, but I’m game to try!  I am limiting the class to 5-10 participants, so I can meet everyone’s needs.

In order to take this class you must be a member of Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  It costs just $10 USD per month.  The cost for the workshop is discounted for Beth’s community to $40 USD per person.  When it is offered off that platform, it will be a tad more expensive.

I recommend signing up soon, so you have plenty of time to gather up onion skins!  You will need 6 – 8 large handfuls of dry yellow onion skins.  You can score these from family and friends, or your friendly produce manager at your local grocery store.  Ask if you can clean out their onion bins at the end of the day, or whenever they need it done.

You will also need an enamel roasting pan with lid for stovetop use (or an old enamel refrigerator bin and tin foil for a lid) and a long handled wooden or white plastic spoon.  These will be dedicated dye equipment and can be found at thrift stores, yard sales, etc.  There is a more extensive supplies list on Beth’s Mighty Networks site.

This workshop promises to be very informative and great fun!  If you’re interested check it out on Mighty Networks!

That is what is coming up on my schedule so far this month.  As for this week…I will continue preparing for the workshop, hook more on the Parker’s Cove series, and work on “The Farm”.

If you have been, thanks for reading!  I hope you all have a great week!

Monday Ramblings

Monday Ramblings

Good morning everyone!  This will be my one and only blog post this week.  I have several projects on the go.

  • the Boucherouite is almost finished hooking.  I need to decide on a finish and do it.
  • “The Farm” is waiting in the wings. I have ideas in my mind for how I want to accomplish it. It will definitely be a mixed media piece.
  • the Parker’s Cove series is partly on backing.  I think I will need a dye day to create more fabric of the right colours.
  • I am preparing to teach the herringbone edge to a group on Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community network on Mighty Networks.
  • I also have another rug hooking project I’m working on behind the scenes for now.
  • I have several Zoom meetings to attend and one to run this week.  I plan on playing around with how Zoom works, so I can offer a seamless workshop experience in the future. Stay tuned!…

I hope everyone has a great week!

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Good day everyone!  The Boucherouite rug is progressing.

I worked on ”The Farm” this week.  I embroidered leaf veins to hold background leaves in place.  I used a technique called proddy to create 3D leaves of different shapes and sizes.  I purchased some beads to use as berries.  I’ve done a lot of research on techniques for this piece.

Four more Parker’s Cove patterns are ready to be hooked.  I was looking for fishing rope to devise a unique finishing technique…possibly using knots.  A friend came through in spades.  I am using an old book that predates 1918 for knot ideas.  It’s titled “Knots, Ties and Splices” by J. Tom Burgess.

I had good intentions of repairing “The Wedding (?) Rug”. However, my Fraser 500 wool stripper (strip cutter) broke.  I’m waiting for better weather to connect with someone who might be able to repair it.  We’re supposed to have another winter storm this weekend.  Meanwhile a friend has the right size cutter wheel and will cut the necessary strips for me.

Charlie Dalton, guest speaker on the In The Studio seminar series this month, gave a great talk!  He talked about his journey to becoming a rug hooker and how he drew his inspiration from past and present artists.  Then he gave us a grand overview of his work.  It was a very interesting and inspiring story!  Thank-you Charlie and In The Studio!

I’m almost finished reading “Color Choices” by Stephen Quiller.  I actually borrowed this book for the last two or three chapters in it, but found the first chapter so fascinating I kept reading from the beginning!  It’s a new way of looking at the colour wheel for me.

I’ve been busy working my way through Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” with a group of ladies in Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  It’s been very good so far.

I am really enjoying the supportive community Beth Miller is developing on Mighty Networks.  Beth has demonstrations and Crafternoons planned every month, and finishing days quarterly.  There are over ten boards on a diverse range of topics – rug hooking is only one of them.  Soon she will be adding member only classes to the roster of happenings.  Membership is only $9.99 USD per month…well worth it for me so far.  I encourage you to check it out.  There’s a free three day trial.

Well, that’s my review for the week!   If you have been, thanks for reading!

 

Snow Day!

Snow Day!

We woke up to a fresh blanket of snow covering the ground this morning, and more snow falling. It was quiet and beautiful!

A snow day for us means an at home day. So today I’ve been doing “errands”  and paying bills online.  I’ve also been transferring files from my iMac to my Lenovo laptop.  My iMac is on its last legs and I will not be replacing it.

I managed to copy four more Parker’s Cove fishing shack wall hangings onto backing. I have at least one more long one to transfer to backing, and several smaller ones yet.

I have not worked on the Boucherouite rug since Friday.  Nor have I worked on “The Farm”.  

I have finished spinning and plying some dark green Corriedale wool for rug hooking.

Plus I attended a Zoom lecture by Tom Hannihar, sponsored by the Textile Museum Associates of Southern California, on the molas of Panama and Columbia. A mola is a type of handwork created using reverse appliqué, appliqué and embroidery.  It is often made by girls and women, and sewn to their blouses. It was a fascinating lecture.

This weekend they have one on the women artists of Morocco.  I plan to attend that Zoom lecture too.  

I am currently reading “Color Choices” by Stephen Quiller. This book is aimed at artists and uses manufactured paint names for the various colours on the colour wheel.  The concepts are good for all media though. I am enjoying it. I hope to finish it by the end of the month.

I am also embarking on a re-reading of Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way”. I am doing it with a group of people on Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.   I learned a lot about myself the first time through this book over 20 years ago, and I’m thinking it might be time to revisit it now.

Mighty Networks is a paid platform, and Beth is just getting started there. However she already has some demos, a crafting afternoon, and a finishing afternoon once a month in the works. There are plans to offer courses through the site as well.  Plus there are boards on a wide variety of topics.  You can check out her site on a free 3 day trial.  After that it’s $9.99 USD per month.

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

The Week Ahead

The Week Ahead

Good morning!  How’s everyone doing?  I hope all is well with my readers.   I had a great weekend and am looking forward to more this coming week.

Last night was The Gathering, the last event of Workshop Week 4.  It went quite well I thought.  There was a lot of very interesting discussion. I worked on my Boucherouite rug during that time and accomplished quite a bit.

I also spent time on my The Farm piece.  I mostly cut and tacked in place key appliqué pieces. I did hook the shutters on the windows and the porch roof.  I’m working on hooking the porch supports. Then I’ll take a break to sew down those appliqué parts.

I finished the braided edge on the chair pad and it is in situ.  Hubby says it’s more comfortable and a lot warmer to sit on.

This week will see more hooking on the Boucherouite, and work on “The Farm”.  I also have all the supplies and equipment to repair the edge of the big antique rug, nicknamed “The Wedding Rug”, that I recently acquired.

In looking at the antique green floral rug I have determined it needs to be fixed with the same type of backing it was hooked on.  I’m on the hunt for about a yard of high quality burlap for fine shaded #3 cut rugs.

Aside from that, I have some Parker’s Cove patterns to put on backing, and three Zoom hook-ins this week.  It will be a busy week for rug hooking!

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

Workshop Week 4 is Almost Over!

Workshop Week 4 is Almost Over!

I am going to miss the stimulation to learn. It’s been a busy week for me. Sunday I took Laura Salamy’s Baby Boucherouite class. I’ve been having great fun playing with my not so “baby” pattern!  It’s 10” x 32”.  It is pictured above.  I’m not fixed on the colours yet, but I’m trying to stick to the traditional red, blue, yellow, green and orange.

Then Tuesday I took Yvonne Iten-Scott’s Braided Edge class. My supplies for the class actually arrived Wednesday. Thanks, Canada Post! They held them up in Halifax since January 16th.  I live 15 minutes away. They arrived Feb. 3rd!  Regardless, I am pleased with my braid. I just have to match my ends and sew them together.  Then finish lacing and adjust them. I’m hoping to get to that tomorrow.

Tuesday evening I took Beth Miller’s class on Developing Personal Landscapes.  Beth took a very broad view of landscape, and I am glad she did. I chose to create a pattern of images of the landscape, in particular the plants, from my childhood on The Farm. In the centre is the old farmhouse in its heyday. It is framed by plants, shrubs and trees planted by my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.

This pattern is going to take a while to complete. I plan on using quite a few alternative materials and techniques with it. It could be a success, or a dismal failure. I’m thinking of visiting Michaels craft store for some embellishments for it.

I had a break from Workshop Week 4 on Wednesday. So I took advantage of a Zoom hook-in and worked more on my boucherouite.

Thursday I also attended an online hook-in, this time through Google Meets.  Then I joined the second braided edge class with Yvonne Iten-Scott.  I worked for an hour trying to butt the ends of my braid correctly. I’ve pulled it out five times so far. I dislike butting.  I put it aside to try later. I know what needs to be done, I just have to get the braid pattern to work out right!

Today’s class was Jane Mason’s “Watercolour for the Textile Artist”.  It was a fast paced class with lots of information.  It acted as a good refresher for me.  Jane is very knowledgeable on her subject.  The class was very diverse.

New Online Community

In-between all those classes I took time to explore Mighty Networks and Beth Miller’s site – “Parris House Creative Community”.  It’s a great little site just getting up and running.  There are many topic areas where you can add to discussions, kind of like Facebook groups.  Topics include: gardening, rug hooking, punch hooking, beekeeping, soap making, running a small business, creativity, cooking/recipe swap, canning and preserving, knitting and crochet, reading, chicken keeping, etc.  There is plenty there to occupy me and I don’t have to deal with FB algorithms, which have made the Internet basically useless for me. Beth eventually plans to run classes and seminars through this site – some free and some paid.

Parris House Creative Community has a free three day trial that you can access by contacting Beth at: info@ParrisHouseWoolWorks.com.  After that it is $9.99 USD per month for access.  I encourage you to at least check it out.

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

 

 

Save That Rug! Review & Update

Save That Rug! Review & Update

This week I am wanting to work on repairing old rugs and hooking on my second Parker’s Cove rug.  I also want to design and put on backing another Parker’s Cove rug.

I ran into trouble repairing the first old rug. The edge was bent back with no whipping on it. As a result, after years of use on the floor, the burlap backing has broken between these pins.

I’m not sure how I’m going to approach repairing it yet. I thought I’d look in this book by Judy Taylor for ideas.  It is full of detailed step-by-step repair techniques to use on old rugs. There are a lot of photos showing various steps in repair and before and after photos. Thank-you for such a detailed book, Judy!

The second old rug has been neglected for the first, at the moment.  I managed to find some wool yarn in my stash to repair the whipping. That’s a start.

Well, that’s what’s on my plate this week folks!  If you have been reading, thanks!  Have a great week everyone!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2022!  While I had a good year last year, I’m pleased to be moving on this year.  I finished many projects in 2021, including a series of hooked rugs, and a very old quilt. I also finished knitting not one toque, but two, for Christmas gifts. And I started knitting a pair of socks.

I was delighted to be able to help a young lady learn rug hooking this holiday season.  She was gifted a kit and I created a video specially for her.  I hope she continues to rug hook and enjoys it.

While I did not post to my blog over the holidays, followers on my social media accounts (Facebook in particular) will notice I have been posting new work from the last few years in my shop on this website.  I have had such trouble with my checkout that I’ve neglected posting new work. I’ve currently disabled the cart and checkout process by placing my shop on vacation.

However, if you want to purchase anything, feel free to email me at jeanottosenstudios@gmail.com.  I am still here and will ship to you.

This year’s plans are to move forward with a new series of hooked mats I hope to put on backing this week.  Hubby and I have driven around Nova Scotia, our new home province, a lot, and have discovered some wonderful places full of beauty and character.  I hope to create visual memories of these places for my home and others.

And now for the big news!  I have finished the series of wall hangings based on my children’s poetry!  The inspiration poetry was written or spoken from ages five to seventeen.  I hooked ten wall hangings inspired by the poems.  Most of the wall hangings have the poem that inspired it on the back on a label.  Eight of these pieces are for sale.  Contact me for more information.

And in even bigger news…!  I have had an article published in the January 2022 issue of Rug Hooking Magazine!  It is about the poetry series.  I was very pleased to be able to work with the editor and a photographer on this article.   A big thank-you to all involved!

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

 

Quilting Time!

Quilting Time!

Good evening everyone!  It’s raining and blowing outside, with the occasional rumble of thunder.  What weird December weather!  Hopefully it settles down by tomorrow.

I finished attaching labels to the back of “The Weave” and “Where Are We Going?”, effectively ending the poetry series.  Now it’s time for a break before moving onto another series.

My break is going to be spent finishing some projects I’ve already started. Top of the list is the Trip-Around-The-World quilt I started when I was seventeen.  That was a long time ago and takes the record for the longest WIP (Work In Progress) I have.  I just need to fix some hand quilting by the binding.  Then it will be done.

After the quilt I’m not sure what’s on my plate.  I have other quilting projects, a crewel embroidery project (or two), a needlepoint project, some small hardanger embroidery projects…  We’ll see how far I get.  Come January I want to go back to rug hooking.

If you have been, thanks for reading.  I hope everyone has a great week!

 

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.

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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!

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