Weekly Review – Just Traveling On

We made the trip to Calgary area one day later than planned.  There was a snowstorm in Calgary Monday and we decided to avoid it.  Or so we thought.  We headed out on the road Tuesday and found the snowstorm between Moose Jaw and Swift Current.  But it was okay.  Only an hour long drive at 80 kph behind a semi-truck before we drove out of it.  Otherwise our trip over was smooth sailing.  Stopped at the Swift Current and Medicine Hat malls to do some shopping and to stretch our legs.  Arrived in Calgary area by suppertime.  Our hosts fed us a wonderful supper and we chatted the evening away, while knitting.

Hubby and I have been busy visiting IKEA in Calgary, checking out their furniture.  When we move we want to leave most of our furniture behind.  We’re checking out what we might replace it with and how much it will cost us.  In case you’re wondering, it works out to about $1500-2000 per room to furnish an entire room. We decided to keep our old Billy bookcases because they are 1.5″ deeper and more stable than the new ones.

We also visited Okotoks and stopped in at the Heartland Cafe for tea and dessert.  I had the best Carrot Cake with Pecans there.  And huge slices!  After snack I headed to Unwind Wool, while Hubby headed to the bike shop.  I found some of the 150th Birthday yarn from Fleece Artist there and purchased enough to make quite a few hats and neck warmers.  I have plans to gift these ones.

Since being here I have finished another homespun hat and started a homespun garter stitch scarf.  Hope to finish it by the time I go home.

I hope everyone has had a good week and will continue to have a great weekend!  Take care and God bless.

Christmas Ideas!

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There’s snow on the ground here.  Temperatures are unseasonably warm and the snow is melting, but as of right now, today, we still have snow!  That brings Christmas to the forefront of my mind.  That, and the query by Maggie Bathory of Aspen Rug Hooking about what Christmas themed ideas I might have have for rug hooking!

It’s not too late to embark on quick little projects for the house or the tree.  How about a candle mat?  A tree decoration?  Is your tree already up?  How about a small decoration for around the home? A seasonal themed hot pad for the table?

What kind of patterns might you hook for Christmas?

  • ivy
  • holly
  • reindeer
  • birds
  • toques
  • stars
  • santa
  • sleigh
  • bells
  • nativity scenes
  • wise men
  • baby Jesus
  • evergreen trees
  • Christmas trees, stylized and not
  • ribbons and bows
  • gifts
  • snowy landscapes
  • Frosty, the Snowman
  • snowmen in general
  • chimneys with stockings
  • toys

What types of items can you hook?

  • stockings
  • hot pad for the table
  • tree skirts
  • candle mats
  • home decor
  • table runners
  • table mats
  • coasters
  • seasonal door stopper
  • wall hangings
  • ornaments
  • chair pads

Ideally I start in February thinking about hooking for Christmas…especially when selling in shops or online.  I like to have a variety of items ready for the season and send them off in August or September.

I am only selling at the Saskatchewan Crafts Council Fine Craft Boutique this holiday season, and from my webpage shop.  However, it might be time to revisit some seasonal hooking for myself, my loved ones, and the house.

What kind of Christmas projects are you working on or have you made?

 

Sick Day!

Sick Day!

I’ve been busy catching up from our trip a week or so ago.  I’ve been reviewing my photos from the South Korea trip and have plans to sketch a wall hanging using roof tile end caps at the inspiration.

However, I managed to pick up a weird cold that is on again off again, or has been for over a week now.  BUT I have also been busy restocking our freezer and pantry for the remainder of the year.  Lots of baking and cooking happening.  Our boarder is happy.  Or at least will be until I present him with some vegetarian dishes.  They are now added to our rotation in the interests of me losing some weight and improving my overall health.

While in British Columbia, I stopped by Granville Island in Vancouver.  Had a great time chatting with shop proprietors and purchased some lovely silk yarn and ribbon, and some wonderful wool yarn.  I’ve already sold one of the skeins of silk ribbon.  I look forward to trying the others out before putting them up for sale.

Silk yarn and ribbon.

Here’s to feeling better and hope to soon be able to do something around here!  Have a good week!  Talk to you later.

 

Home Again!

Home Again!

We had a great time on our trip to B.C.  A beautiful drive down the Fraser Canyon led us to a very busy lower mainland. Spent time visiting with family and checked out 10th Ave. Found the lovely Figaro’s for a real cup of tea and dessert.

Saturday we headed out to Granville Island. We checked out the Market. I had great fun poking around, and picked up yarn for hooking at SanJo Silk and the Fibre Art Studio.  Also checked out Maiwa and Paper-Ya.  Picked up a quality notebook for next year’s household bullet journal.

Sunday we went on a very informative walking tour of Chinatown.  It was a free tour, which meant you tipped for it.  The lady who gave the tour was excellent.  She talked and walked us for 1 1/2 – 2 hours!  We finished at a Chinese pharmacy that had dried geckos in it, to treat asthma and back problems.  I’m curious how they’d use it…

We had a late lunch, and then walked back to my sister-in-law’s condo.  Checked out some design features in the cityscape on the way.

Monday we checked out the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Museum and the Britannia Museum. It was a day of lots of walking.  We had a beautiful walk down by the shore in Steveston.

Tuesday we headed to Vancouver Island to visit friends.

Brentwood Bay, B.C.

We spent Wednesday in Sidney shopping thrift stores and bookstores for anything rug hooking related.  I found a book on Celtic knotwork and calligraphy I plan to make use of.  I found a rug hooking book for my friend who is learning to hook now.

Thursday we headed up Island to Chemainus in the rain to visit Val Galvin of Renditions in Rugs in her home studio.  We took the Brentwood Bay to Mill Bay ferry.  Quaint and small, but got the job done.  A fun ride, even in the rain!

View from ferry heading to Mill Bay from Brentwood Bay, BC.

Val is very friendly and helpful.  I was able to purchase some pencil hooks from her, so if you’re looking, keep an eye on my page or contact me to have a look and a try.  Thanks Val!

Jean Ottosen and Val Galvin

Friday we took the ferry back to Vancouver to be with family.

Ferry to Vancouver (Tsawwassen), B.C.

My sister-in-law and I had a great time checking out Michelle Sirois-Silver’s studio on her Open Studio Saturday.  It was nice to see her again and chat.  I loved seeing her work with zippers in it!  While there I took a quick photo of the books on the counter.  I’m always on the lookout for a good book!  I’m curious to know which of these Michelle found most helpful.  Guess I’ll have to interlibrary loan them and check them out. 🙂

My sister-in-law and I checked out the Artisan Market in the West Vancouver Community Centre.  I dropped a fair bit of change on homemade jams and jellies, chocolates, etc. It was deadly on the pocketbook because everyone was using Square, meaning they all took credit cards!

We also attended the Vancouver Institute’s lecture Saturday evening on the global arms trade.  It was very interesting.  Mr. Andrew Feinstein from South Africa (well now from London) spoke.  I had no idea how widespread it was and how bad it was.

Sunday we were at the Vancouver Art Guild Show and Sale.  Lots of good work there, but the artists who stuck out for me were Beatrice Watson and Robert Kitt.  Margaret Stott had some whimsical work that was excellent as well.

Monday and Tuesday we spent the days driving home.

Evening in the Rockies.

Dawn in the Rockies.

It’s a long haul from Vancouver to Regina!  But Hubby was eager and I was glad to arrive before another snow storm.  Yes, Regina was covered in a blanket of beautiful white snow when we arrived, and more followed.  Hubby has been out shoveling and I’ve been busy with laundry and making a grocery list. And so life goes on!  A wonderful trip and a great big thank-you to everyone who made it possible!

 

On The Road Again

On The Road Again

Hi everyone!  I’m back on the road again!  Hubby and I are heading to the west coast to Vancouver and Vancouver Island.  I’m hoping to check in with Val Galvin in Chemainus for a fibre fix.  Possibly I’ll be able to check in with a rug hooking retreat at Yellow Point on the Island too.  We’ll see about our timeline.  We are visiting friends for the most part.

In Vancouver I hope to check in with a fibre gallery I discovered. Hopefully we’ll get to Granville Island to check out the Craft Council of BC’s gallery and a few other galleries there.  I would like to check Michelle Sirois-Silver’s studio out on Nov. 4th as well.  Once again, family comes first.

We’ve spent the last week in Edmonton reconnecting with family and friends.  Had a good visit with an artist friend from long ago.  I brought my sketchbook and laptop so I could sketch some rug designs from our South Korea trip.  I managed about four drawings so far.  These are going to be much larger wall hangings than I’m used to doing.

I’ve also been knitting on the Baby Cardi from “60 Quick Baby Knits”.  I’m almost done the second sleeve.

I also took part in the Facebook Black & White Photography Challenge.  I didn’t do as well as I’d wished to, but considering my distractions, I did well.

I’m off to enjoy a breakfast here at the hotel.  Hoping to make Vancouver by nightfall.  Take care everyone and have a great weekend!

 

Back Home Again!

Had a great time in Winnipeg.  My niece beat her personal best times in swimming in all her races.  So proud of her!

While in Winnipeg we saw the Picasso exhibit in the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the more traditional art exhibit.  Also saw The Manitoba Museum and The Museum of Human Rights.  Stopped in at the Assiniboine Park and down at The Forks.  There was free entertainment every night at The Forks.  We made it down a couple of nights.  Checked into several really good restaurants in town – Kiwa Korean Cuisine and Tuxedo Village Family Restaurant (Greek food) stand out at the moment.

Came home and Monday we had a gas insert installed in our fireplace.  Tuesday we had window cleaners here to clean all the windows in the house.  Today we had a painter come finish the paint job on the house.

Yesterday I went with a friend to a nearby beach town to drop something off and have dinner out.  Today Hubby and I went to Assiniboia to see the Shurniak Art Gallery, have lunch, and check out the library.  We drove home through Ogema and stopped for ice-cream.  Cute little town.

Now I have no excuses.  I have to figure out my website situation.  I can’t post photos and I can’t renew any of the plugins on it.  I will talk with my website developer this week about it.  Apparently my theme is no longer being supported by WooCommerce. 🙁

Have a great week everyone!

Friday Finale

Hi everyone!  I’m up early this morning, for a wonder.  I wasn’t in bed till after midnight.  I suspect an afternoon rest will be in order!  Mosaic was great though!  Both for fun and inspiration. The food was excellent too.

I finished my little “Prairie Sky – Cirrus” wall hanging and am onto a “Prairie Sky – Altocumulus” one. I have a lot of bits and pieces of linen backing that need to be used up.  They will most likely become ornaments and small wall hangings.

I’ve also managed to take photos of all the old patterns I have and will post those on my website and Facebook page for sale.

I made a list of things that need to be done in my little studio to finish up loose ends.  I’ll be working on those gradually.

I’ve also been working on creating a mini-portfolio photo book of my work to take to shows and show galleries.  It’s finally reached the point where I can’t take all my work with me.  So this serves as a detailed look at my development as an artist and shows potential patrons the width and depth of my style.

Today I’m looking forward to listing items online for sale, resting, enjoying company, and another evening at Mosaic.  Have a great weekend everyone! 🙂

WIP Prairie Sky – Cirrus 12

 

Inspiration Monday – Wascana Creek

We live near a creek beside which the City has kindly placed a walking and biking path.  Every now and then we go out to enjoy it.  Yesterday afternoon was one of those times.  We went on an hour and twenty minutes long walk.  The Creek is a great place to people watch, as well as bird watch.  I took plenty of photos and narrowed it down to this slideshow for my readers to view.

I told Hubby we need to go on more walks the next few weeks.  I’m trying to get in shape for South Korea.  I hear there will be a lot of walking.  Lots to see and do!  And I could use the exercise.

In the meantime, Saturday was the last From Start to Finish class.  I had an excellent student who wasn’t afraid to ask questions and gave quality feedback when I asked.  I really appreciated everything she had to say.  I have revised some areas of the course based on her experiences, and mine.

I cleaned up the dining room and put everything back where it belongs.  My dining room is looking more like a dining room than a rug hooking studio.  It will stay that way until May, when a new set of classes will begin.  Feel free to check out my classes and contact me if you are interested in taking any.

I am still hooking on “Moss”.

My current event is the exhibit at the Art Gallery of Regina Salon Show and Sale.  I have two pieces on exhibit: “Dancing Tree” and “Blue-eyed Grass”.

The last Saturday in May, the 27th, will be the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair.   It runs from 10 am – 5 pm.  I will be demonstrating and selling work.  I hope to see people there!

 

 

 

In my studio…and out – Inspiration

Hi everyone!  This weekend we had a great time, both teaching a class and attending a multicultural festival that greatly inspired me.  I didn’t get away unscathed.  I found some inspiration to purchase!

The Buddhist temple paper cut was actually a gift from the ladies at the Chinese booth.  There were some very delicate paper cuts available there.  The watch was $5 and is actually a gorgeous bracelet.  The Pashmina shawl has a wonderful paisley design I just couldn’t pass up.  The bright green and pink fabric is handwoven by the Chakra people from Bangladesh.  It is beautiful cloth!  The lady selling it suggested I make a traditional skirt out of it.  But I am hesitant to cut into it.  It’s just gorgeous!

So that was my inspiration for this month.

In other news…

  • my class on Saturday went really well.  My student and I colour planned a monochromatic grey, black, and white rug.  Lest you think that’s easy, let me remind you that grey has many different coloured undertones.  You have to have a good eye for shades and tints (value) to colour plan a grey rug properly.  Other “colours” have the same issue.  There are warm and cool versions of all colours.  But some have more undertones than usual…black and grey for sure.  At any rate, we got it done and she is off with lots of cut fibre to hook rug the next couple of weeks.
  • The Art Gallery of Regina Salon Show and Sale is coming up.  This week I have to prepare and pack my pieces for the show.  I’ll be taking them “Dancing Tree” and “Blue-Eyed Grass”.
  • I will be preparing for this coming Saturday’s class.
  • I will be hooking on “Moss”.

A reminder that after the end of March my next class will be May 6th and will be a Finishing class.  May 13th is tentatively set as a design class.  The Finishing class is 2 hours long, and the Design class is 3 hours long.  Both Saturday afternoons.  If you can’t make Saturday afternoon class and would like classes, feel free to contact me and we can arrange a mutually beneficial time for a class.

That’s the rug hooking plan so far this week.  Hope everyone has a great week! Thanks for reading! 🙂

In my studio – Dye week!

Hi everyone.   This week is the first dye week I’ve had in a long time.  I’ve been putting off dyeing since Hubby retired last fall.  Now is the time.  I warned the boarder and Hubby and we had a discussion about mealtimes around dyeing time – I do not mix the two!  Our Chinese boarder had to struggle with the English a bit, but once he figured out dyeing meant adding colour to fibre he was okay.  Have to watch how I use the word ‘dyeing’!

I am running out of my bright coloured fabrics.  Lots of the more sombre colours in my stash still, but not so much the bright ones.  Today will be yellows and oranges.  By the end of the week I hope to have some bright colours to showcase in my Friday Weekly Review.

I had a great From Start to Finish class on Saturday, even if it was a bit rushed.  My student learned a lot, and I learned a few things about teaching too!  I am looking forward to this coming weekend’s class, in which hopefully we’ll move at a slower pace.  I am excited to see how my student’s rug progresses.  I love the simplicity of the design already.

Sunday Hubby and I went for a drive to a small community to check out a new restaurant – 641 Restaurant.  We really enjoyed our time there and I took time to take photos for some ideas for rug making.  Lots of cool things there.

A half finished Shortbread Cookie Cream, or some such. It was raspberry and strawberry sauce with lemon curd, whipped cream, and a shortbread cookie. Lots of fresh raspberries and strawberries for garnish! Excellent!

An interesting chandelier…

Another interesting light fixture.

Hubby and I loved these glasses. Easy to handle and easy to drink from.

A funny sign.

I plan to work on “Moss” more this week as well.

I also want to delve into the rug hooking books that arrived last week more.  We’ll see if I have time.

Hoping to have a successful week, and hoping you do too.

 

In my studio…and out – the Mackenzie Art Gallery

Inuit tapestry weaving on display at the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina, SK until April 30th, 2017.

Yesterday Hubby and I headed out for a little inspiration and a bit of a break.  We headed to the Mackenzie Art Gallery here in Regina, SK.  There was a wonderful exhibit of Indigenous Peoples artwork on display!  It is the collection of Thomas Druyan and Alice Ladner of Yellowknife, NWT, Canada.  If you are in the area I highly recommend going to see it.  There are a lot of different media types represented, including fiber art.  Lots of new and interesting ideas.  Check it out!

Good news!  I was up to pay my entry fee into the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair on Friday.  We are IN!  The Street Fair is the last Saturday in May, so I have adjusted my class schedule for that weekend.  I will hold the Onion Skin Dyeing class another weekend.  Looking forward to another fun day at the Fair!

I’m gearing up for my Curves rug hooking class this weekend.  I plan on having a fun time teaching.  I love teaching, though I have been told that I tend to overwhelm at times.  I am concerned my students feel they get what they paid for!  I’d rather give too much information than not enough.  Still, I do have to slow my pace for new rug hookers.  After all, I want them to enjoy rug hooking and come back for more lessons!

Current reading…still working on my business plan, and some online courses.  The courses finish this week and then next week I’ll write the finals for them.  After that I’m taking a break and spending more time rug hooking!  I will finish “Moss” yet!  I am hoping to have it done before we leave for South Korea in April.  Then it would be ready for display at the CVAF Street Fair.

In my studio…

It’s been a busy weekend.  I uploaded more swatches to my website.  Unfortunately I am still concerned about my shipping section of the website.  It’s fine if you order one thing, but doesn’t increase if you order more than one.  Giving you, my customer, a steal of a deal!  But I could be losing money on the swatches if that keeps up.  I’m going to have to change it.

This week I hope to upload the rest of the swatches, the equipment, and supplies.

In-between all that I am hoping to hook more on “Moss”.  Plus I have some interesting books on folk art coming to me through the public library.  I am looking forward to lots of inspiration from those.

Inspiration Wednesday

Inspiration Wednesday

Not much time to take photos for Inspiration Wednesday this week.  I have another busy day of baking and cleaning today.  I’m signing off for Christmas.  For now enjoy my larger works I produced this year, soon to be up on this website for sale.  “See” everyone on December 27th. 🙂

“Wascana Creek”

 

“The Barn”

 

“Sprouts”

“Blue-eyed Grass”

 

“Dancing Tree”

 

“African Dream”

Inspiration Wednesday

Inspiration Wednesday

Today I’m drawing inspiration from my Christmas tree and what others have done creatively.    I’ll also be uploading more product on my website, and working on it in general.  I have three appointments today as well.  Plus two new lessons were published overnight for my online courses.  It will be a busy day here! 🙂

2016 CP Holiday Train

2016 CP Holiday Train

We really enjoyed seeing Dallas Smith and The Odds perform in -19 C weather in Regina…outdoors.  Poor guys.  The drummer’s fingers must have been frozen solid by the time they were done.  He didn’t wear gloves the entire time they performed.

So today I have a video for inspiration and some Christmas spirit. I hope everyone has a great Christmas Season this year.

 

 

Inspiration Wednesday

Inspiration Wednesday

Last weekend Hubby and I went for a drive to a nearby town, Lumsden, for lunch.  We took the back roads home and stopped in at Wascana Trails to walk off the lunch.

It was a beautiful sunshiny day, with nary a breeze!  We were surprised to see paragliders in the area.  But realized quickly these were motorized.  Lots of fun taking photos of them over the outhouse at Wascana Trails parking lot!

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Wascana Creek

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Inspiration Wednesday?

Inspiration Wednesday?

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Today is a different kind of inspiration.

I went through my magazine baskets (yes, that’s plural) by my big chair in the living room and turned up some old business journals with notes from past years.  One had considerable room in it, so I pulled it out for note taking related to my new website.

On doing so, I looked at the cover and realized, yep, design ideas come from everywhere.  I love the leaf pattern in the background of the butterflies.  Some day…

I don’t know if I’m the only one, but I also save or photograph the designs on facial tissue boxes.  There are some cool design elements there too.

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The other thing I do to find designs is look through the pretty coffee table picture books of nature and landscapes, or whatever takes my fancy really.  Sometimes if I find a scene I love, I’ll make a photocopy to add to my sketchbook for later adaptation as a hooked wall hanging.

And of course in the modern age I browse Pinterest and pin any interesting design and color ideas to my Pinterest boards.

Design is all around us.  If we are open to it and really see it for its worth, then we can go on to create beautiful original pieces of work.

Where do you find design and inspiration?  Post in the comments below to share your inspiration. 🙂

Inspiration Wednesday

Inspiration Wednesday

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It seems design is everywhere I look these days, and potential designs for wall hangings and mats are everywhere!  The front hall runner that turned into “African Dream” was one such work.  But now I’m gazing at a gift bag that was given Hubby filled with retirement gifts.  It has a nice all over pattern that could do with some tweaking for a floor mat.

Wait!  I didn’t say that did I?  A floor mat?  I can’t remember the last time I hooked a floor mat.

Today I am embarking on another knitting project I hope will turn out a lot better than the last.

I also have to work more on my website. I’m slowly getting it whipped into shape. 🙂

 

Inspiration Wednesday

Inspiration Wednesday

I haven’t been out taking photos as much as usual.  I’ve been busy adding cup hooks to my wall hanging packages for my patrons/customers/clientele.

This afternoon I’ll be printing off the Certificates of Authenticity and working on filling them out.

Here’s a few photos of tree trunks and trees to inspire you… 🙂

 

 

Inspiration Wednesday

It’s shaping up to be one of those days today.  I missed a doctor’s appointment this morning because I slept in.  I forgot about the appointment and forgot to set my alarm.  Hubby forgot about it too, so didn’t wake me up.  Phoned the doctor’s office and got “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”  Hmm…hope that means they actually will call at some point in time.

Was ready to settle in for the day at home and possibly out crafting with a group of friends, when Hubby told me it’s election day.  We vote for our civic government and school board today.  Guess I’ll do that right away here and then settle in to my day.

As for inspiration…a few photos…

As you can see, it’s still pretty nice fall weather here.  A few more trees have dropped their leaves, and bushes too.  But on the whole, it’s still pretty colorful!  I love fall colors!

Not in my Studio

Having fun on another road trip folks.  Checked out the Hwy. 1 Studio Tour again this year. It was great as always!  Friendly artists, a variety of art at a variety of prices. Hubby and I picked up a few things.

The weather is forecasting snow later this week here. We are hoping to leave for another visit before it gets here.

We harvested our patio garden before we came and have started eating through the produce.  Last night was beets, carrots, gluten free BBQ chicken, and wild and brown rice.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Inspiration Wednesday

Our house cleaner did not come today as planned due to illness.  So we are making the most of the day here.  Laundry, meal planning, picking up sunroom and studio, finally putting away bedding now company is gone, and possibly hanging new rugs on the walls.

We’ve been enjoying some nice long walks outside the last couple of days also.  Today I’m loving looking out my window at the trees and shrubs turning beautiful shades of gold, yellow, orange, and red.  Later we’ll go on another walk to run errands.

For now…enjoy these photos…

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The neighbours.

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Just turning colour.

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An errant Manitoba Maple sapling.  A “honey do” job for Hubby.

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And the Scarlet Runner Bean is flowering again!

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The ash tree turned colour last week.  They are the last to leaf out in spring and the first to turn colour and drop leaves in the fall.

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View over our garage…ignore the garage.