Good morning everyone! It’s been a busy weekend in the renovation. Saturday the kitchen came out. We still have the stove for sale. The people who bought the old kitchen are coming to pick it up tomorrow. Hubby has filled holes and primed the kitchen walls. He’s applying the finish coat right now. The flooring guy comes tomorrow.
One fly in the ointment. We have the wrong colour stainless steel dishwasher. Apparently there’s regular stainless steel and black stainless steel. I did not know. So I have to phone IKEA and make arrangements for the right one to be delivered…hopefully by the end of the week.
In other activity, Hubby and I took last evening off and went to visit the Halifax Public Gardens The dahlias were in bloom and it was just beautiful!
Also, my peach jam decided to gel after all! Maybe today I’ll fix the labels on the jars from “syrup “ to “jam”.
If you have been, thanks for reading. Have a great week everyone!
Today I hooked in-person for the first time in 18 months! It was a great time, and nice to see everyone who came. I worked on “The Weave”. I’m almost finished the hooking. I’m trying to decide how to finish it. I think, in the end, it will be my standard fold over the edges, mitre the corners, and stitch in place.
I am taking advantage of the local situation and reaching out to others interested in learning what I know. I recognize I do a poor job of marketing myself! I, like a lot of people, find it difficult to “blow my own horn”! However, I am interested in connecting up with other artists who rug hook as well as produce work other ways. I find the work and process of creating art by other artists inspirational. I am also offering to teach individuals rug hooking on a one-on-one basis.
This week I have been thinking ahead to September. Hubby and I have booked a cottage for five days for retreat. I’m looking forward to some time away to work uninterrupted. Hopefully to start a new series. To that end I have been busy photographing and sketching local scenes. I am in the process of trying to decide how to translate them into hooked items.
Also in September we are hoping to go on a bicycle trip. Hubby likes to bike, while I ride sag wagon (the car). This time we will have people riding and driving with us, so we won’t be taking our car. I’m hoping to spend some time rug hooking in Chester, N.S., and possibly Lunenburg, while I wait for cyclists, but we shall see.
Well if you have been, thanks for reading! Take care everyone!
Hi everyone! A late post today. No rug hooking related work done on the weekend. Instead I chose to be outside and managed to get heat exhaustion two days in a row. Today was my second covid vaccine shot. Except for my morning and evening walks I stayed indoors…drinking lots of water.
I’ve been browsing and reading library books. I have Deanne Fitzpatrick’s “Making a Life” in front of me. I want to start that next.
I also have some poetry books on the go, and a natural history book for Nova Scotia. I’ve been using the “Book of Nature Poetry” edited by J. Patrick Lewis to find poems to add to my nature journal pages. Sunday we were up to Cape Blomidon and I painted a very poor quality watercolour of the cliffs and ocean. I just accepted it for what it was. Some days my art works and some days it doesn’t. Today I added a poem about the sea by Lillian Moore and felt a bit better about the page.
On our way to the Cape we stopped at The Naked Crepe in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. It’s a cute restaurant with patio on Main Street. We ate indoors, out of the sun, and were rewarded by an excellent view of the chefs making the crepes. It was fascinating to watch!
There were a considerable number of options on the menu. The servings were quite large. Still, we found room for dessert crepes. We had the Thai spicy chicken crepe, the donair crepe, the lemon curd crepe and the berry fruit medley crepe. My favourite was the berry fruit medley crepe. It came with sweetened yogurt in a crepe shaped like a cup, surrounded by a mixture of berries and fruit drizzled with maple syrup. We waddled out of there and headed back to the car to continue our trip to the Cape.
Well, if you have been, thanks for reading. Hopefully I’ll have something related to rug hooking to post the end of this week. Have a great week everyone!
Good morning everyone! I had an delightful weekend this past weekend. The border between Nova Scotia and the other Atlantic provinces opened last Wednesday. One of my sisters lost no time coming our way to visit with friends and family – us included. So Friday we hosted a dinner for seven people in our tiny home. I had fun setting it up and cooking. I love to cook. I took no photos of the event. I totally forgot about my camera this weekend! We had a delightful time catching up.
Saturday Hubby and I headed out to Lunenburg for a late lunch and to look around. We browsed the bookstores and I picked up a poetry book that looked good at first glance, but turned later to be a so-so poetry book. Actually a kind of depressing poetry book. I’m reading it, but it’s already on the chopping block to be given away.
Afterwards we headed out to Second Peninsula Provincial Park. It is a beautiful park with a few picnic tables. Unfortunately it was raining by the time we arrived, so we didn’t get out to check it out further. We took a leisurely drive home instead.
Sunday I decided to watch some of the videos for International Nature Journaling Week. I finished all of Day 1 and half of Day 2. There are a lot of extra links to blog posts, websites and podcasts, not to mention YouTube videos related to the day’s theme. I’m checking those out as I go.
Sunday I was also able to settle down and stitch the loop portion of hook and loop tape onto the back of “Gyeongju”. I’m waiting for my shellacked oak hanging board to cure before stapling the hook side of the tape to it, mounting it on the wall, and hanging “Gyeongju”.
I’m going so slow it seems. Lots to preoccupy me these days. The kitchen countertop is being cut and we are negotiating pick up, hopefully later this week. Our kitchen flooring will arrive later this week. I need to clear out the utility room as it will be our makeshift kitchen.
The landscapers are here working on our front and side yards. Today they are ripping out what’s there. They say they’ll be finished in three days. It’s a busy time.
Well that’s it for now! If you have been, thanks for reading! Take care and have a good week.
Good morning everyone! I’ve written about Sketchbook Revival before. It is a free two week set of classes by different artists, organized by Karen Abend. I discovered it through another rug hooking artist’s blog. I can’t remember whose it was, but I want to say a deep heartfelt thank-you to them.
Sketchbooks are the foundation of any art practice, and that includes textile arts such as rug hooking. It’s where we experiment and explore new ideas. They are foundational for developing your own style. I cannot emphasize enough that if you want to develop your own style, buy a sketchbook and use it!
That was my big mistake when I started out. I viewed rug hooking as craft, not art. I rarely used my sketchbook and relied too much on other people’s work as a basis for my own. Don’t do that! I learned the hard way that rug hooking is an art form, a textile art.
I eventually did learn to use my sketchbook more, thanks to Deanne Fitzpatrick’s online courses from 2012-2014. Thank-you Deanne! However recently I’m noticing I stop using it when I feel I have “enough” rug designs to keep me busy for years.
But I miss sketching. I decided I don’t need to keep a sketchbook just for rug hooking ideas. I can keep one, just because. Sketching in all forms is not only good for idea development. It can also be done just for pleasure.
So when I read about Sketchbook Revival I was ready to do something. I signed up for the two week program which runs the last two weeks of March. However, I had a busy two weeks otherwise and did not get around to the workshops much.
Thankfully Karen Abend has set it up so it’s easy to access and you can go at your own pace. Each day you receive an email with the links to two videos in it. Each video is by a different artist and is a different project. The idea is to get people to use their various art supplies. Each video also has a materials list and title and brief bio on the artist teaching in it.
Karen keeps the videos accessible for two weeks after the last class. Thank-you so much Karen! I am racing to finish them now. So far I am halfway through the workshops. I am learning a lot, and using tools and techniques I’ve never used before.
So without further ado, here is a peek into my sketchbook for the first half of Sketchbook Revival. Bear in mind the goal in these classes is not finished pieces ready for framing, but rather, pieces for learning to use new tools, techniques, and ideas.
Good morning everyone! Today I thought I would write about creativity…and my other hobby.
I’ve come to believe that once creativity is unleashed in a person, it’s hard to stop it. It shows up in different aspects and areas of their lives. I was fortunate – creativity in the form of textiles came at a young age. It was encouraged by my grandmother and mother. They had scrap fabric, thread and needles from sewing our clothes. As a child I started out sewing doll clothes by hand.
When I grew older and was enrolled in Brownies (the junior division of Girl Guides at that time). I discovered embroidery. Over the years I have learned a variety of embroidery techniques – cross stitch, Brazilian, Hardanger, etc. I made many beautiful items, and some not so beautiful. Like everything else, embroidery takes practice. Not all pieces are destined for greatness.
However some were worth saving. I have several pieces from over the years that I finally had framed. I took a couple of classes from the well known Hardanger teacher, Elsie Mae Quick, of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. It was a great stepping off point. I finally had the intermediate piece framed the other day.
I was a member of the Regina Stitchery Guild for a while. There were many excellent stitchers and mentors there. One was Carol Storie of Heartfelt Designs. I really enjoy her patterns and have stitched a few of them. I finally had one framed.
Hardanger is one of my favourite forms of embroidery. I have used the technique to make Christmas ornaments, for gifts, and for functional items in my own home and others.
I also am enjoying learning Brazilian embroidery. I haven’t done any for a long time though. I have been absorbed in rug hooking for over five years. Recently I rediscovered a binder with pattern book, needles and threads. I’m pretty happy. Someday soon maybe, as a break in rug hooking…or maybe as embellishment on rugs…hmmm…
Then there was online learning. It opened up a wealth of possibilities. I took some courses from Sharon Boggon of Australia. One was on designing your own embroidery from scratch. It was a fascinating course on using fabric, beads, buttons and various types of threads to create a unique piece. I created “Under the Sea”. I was able to frame it recently as well.
I am very pleased with the framing of these pieces and have a few more in for framing now. Many thanks to Karen Haverstock of Haverstock Creative Designs. They look gorgeous!
If you find yourself stymied or stuck in one area of creating, my advice is to learn something new. You never know what might break the log jam and start you creating again. Plus, you never know where your new skills might take you!
If you have been reading, thanks! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Are you ready? Or more accurately, am I ready? Today marks the first class in the In My Studio Workshop Week for me. I’m excited to be in Karen Miller’s Travel class. I have several sketches from my South Korea trip to work with, and several photos otherwise. I’m looking forward to learning her process for taking an idea to pattern to finished piece.
I finally finished the centre of the South Korean wall hanging! Now I’m onto the border. Last Thursday I dyed some fibre with a friend. Last evening I finished off the dye job. Hopefully these colours will work with the rest of the wall hanging.
I also checked in with the local spinning group via Zoom and spent time at my wheel spinning some gorgeous alpaca. This will not be going into a hooked piece. It will be used for knitting. It is spinning up very fine. Just right for some lace knitting.
I hope this finds everyone well and safe, and looking forward to the week. If you have been, thanks for reading. ❤️
In Friday’s blog post I shared photos of where I’m going on various projects. Today I’m showing you how far I’ve come on the South Korean roof tile end caps wall hanging. This week I’ll be doing some dyeing to have enough fibre to finish the border. I’m hoping to finish it by the end of the month. 🙂
Aside from the South Korea roof tile rug I have several other South Korean designs to put on backing. Some of them I’m just a bit unsure of the best format for them. I’m hoping Karen Miller’s Travel class will help me.
The poetry patterns are calling my name. I think they will be next for hooking. They are all on backing and ready to go.
I’m still working through Meryl Cook creativity workbook and designing hooked pieces.
This past weekend was Hubby’s and my anniversary. We spent a fair bit of time out in nature or driving through it, enjoying the fall colors around us. It was beautiful and wonderful to get out and about. I took a fair amount of inspiration photos for future hooked pieces. I’m looking forward to more wall hangings down the road. 😊
Happy Friday everyone! This week was short, but productive. I’ve been busy reading “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. I wrote down everything I had in my mind that needed doing, then created a project list from the things I needed to focus on, and then a next actions list for the list of things to do. I’m swamped! I’m also loving it! But I can’t take on anymore.
I’ve also been working on my South Korean roof tile end cap wall hanging. It’s slow going, but looking better these days. A friend was over to help me pick out fibre for the border. I will be doing some dyeing and overdyeing.
We also went through the poetry wall hangings I want to hook. They are on backing and ready to go. I just have to finish this South Korean wall hanging and swing back to them for awhile.
I’m still sketching the South Korean designs in my sketchbook. Lots to do yet. Plus I’m still working through Meryl Cook’s “The Creativity Workbook”. I’m enjoying the inspiration of the fall colours around me.
I’ve been listening to Cindi Gay’s rug hooking podcasts while hooking or afterwards. She is a very wise lady full of all kinds of knowledge about rug hooking. I don’t hook the primitive style, but I still learn from her. Thanks for doing the podcasts Cindi!
The last week of October will be a busy week. The In My Studio Workshop Week is on then. I have a Travel class with Karen Miller, a Words and Images class with Elizabeth Miller, and Intuitive Hooking with Meryl Cook. There will also be a group hook-in and a panel discussion I’m looking forward to stepping outside my comfort zone to learn more from these talented teachers and others.
If you’re interested in taking classes I believe there are a few openings left. Contact Karen D. Miller on Facebook and check into the events she is hosting.
If you’ve been reading, thanks! Have a great weekend!
I hope everyone had a good and happy Thanksgiving! Even though we were encouraged to stay home or in our small bubble, it was possible to get together with family and friends through technology. Long live FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp and other apps that connect us!
I just went through my first Thanksgiving without a deep freezer. Let me say how thankful I am for our food supply chain. I picked up a frozen turkey Friday and it thawed in the fridge all weekend. I have a fridge that runs cold, so it needed that time to thaw. In fact, it was still partially frozen Monday morning! I ran cold water in it before stuffing it and hoping for the best. I cooked it in a Look bag and tin foil roasting pan, as we have no roaster and no place to store it if we did have it! It turned out just fine.
Because our current chest freezer does not work properly and our upright freezer, which we ordered in August, has yet to arrive, I decided, in the best interest of not wasting any food, to gift our Thanksgiving guests (my daughter and her husband) with leftovers to take home. Hopefully little food will be wasted.
Other than Thanksgiving this has been a quiet weekend for me. I took some time off to read, review and reorganize. I’m reading David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” for the second or third time in about 15 years. I realize just how much I have put on my plate to deal with right now. I decided to back off and focus on the big picture – the long term view – for the moment. So I’m back in a goal setting phase, making sure every activity meshes with future goals and my vision of where I want to be ten years from now.
This is a challenge for me. My husband is seven years older than I, and is a senior now. I have discovered that in marriage planning cannot happen in isolation. You have to consider the other person and what reactions or parts they might have in the plans. This is especially true for me as I am not driving at the moment for a variety of reasons.
I am going back through photos and sketchbooks for ideas for mats of various kinds. There are way more ideas than I can possibly hook. It’s so hard to decide what to do and what to leave undone. Do I compromise and hook a small mat instead of a large one? Or is it better to just not hook it at all? In the meantime, I have South Korea mats and poetry mats to hook.
By the way, I discovered the shape of “joy” to me this weekend. I drew a sketch to twig my memory. It needs some revamping, but the basics are there. I may have another mat to hook soon!
If you have been reading, thanks! I hope you enjoy your week ahead. Cheers…Jean.
I found myself really fighting my South Korea roof tile end caps wall hanging this week. I decided to not rush it and just work on it briefly each day. Instead I’ve been busy sketching more designs – both of South Korea and from Meryl Cook’s “The Creativity Workbook”.
Despite spending more time this week drawing designs for South Korea wall hangings, I’m not sure how many will actually make it onto backing. I’m seriously thinking about the viewer, as well as the creative act (by me). There’s a balance that has to be struck there for me. In previous years I hooked too much for the viewer, with the odd exception. Now I’m wanting to get back to the act of just creating. It’s important for me to know what I want to say with my work first though. So I’m thinking.
I’ve been working through Meryl Cook’s “The Creativity Workbook”. I am paused on finding a design that expresses how I feel joy. I did go and experience a couple of things that give me joy – walking in nature amongst the fall foliage. I picked up a variety of shapes and colors of tree leaves and have been busy designing leaf patterns and templates. But to actually draw joy is another matter altogether. I think I know the color/s of joy for me, but not sure of the shape of it…yet.
Wednesday I joined an In My Studio Zoom meeting to listen to Judi Miller talk about artist residencies. It was a very informative talk about the options available, what you need to have a successful one, and her experiences. I thoroughly enjoyed the talk and would like to thank Judi publicly for making the time and effort to do it, and to thank Karen Miller for organizing and facilitating it.
I received my ProChem dye powder shipment this week. I’m looking forward to more dyeing. I’m wanting to dye the pine trees, ocean and skies using Lucy Richard’s spot dye formulas. I’ll be dyeing the old-fashioned way – in the oven – rather than in a microwave I do not have a microwave to dedicate to dyeing, nor a place to put it.
Well that’s my review for this week. If you’ve been reading, thanks! I wish you all a happy Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, wherever you may be. My next blog post will probably be posted Tuesday. Take care everyone!
I had the delightful pleasure of meeting Susan Logue this weekend when she showed up on my doorstep to look at some wool for a friend. I really enjoyed contact with another rug hooker. Susan wrote the “Past & Present Antique Dyes” books, which I have and have used in the past. It was a fun time chatting with her about rug hooking, and it was nice to meet her friend.
One thing the visit made me realize was how starved I am for other artistic people in my life. I’m enjoying the online classes because of that, but somehow they aren’t the same as real live one-to-one encounters. They have their good points too though. I sure am glad to have the online experience too!
Saturday I tuned in to Lucy Richard’s FaceBook LIVE dye workshop. It was an interesting experience for me. I hadn’t microwave dyed before meeting Lucy. To be able to do a spot dye by microwave is great! And the pine tree, ocean, sky colours were great! If you head over to her website or FaceBook page you can find a link to donate to her video making efforts. If you donate $10 or more your name is entered to win a gift box of goodies. This time she is including the wool she dyed, among other things. It’s a half yard of wool folks…just saying. It’s a great deal! And a great gift. And it keeps Lucy doing videos.
I’m so anxious to get my dye studio up and going. Hubby is finishing painting the upstairs hall and then wants to do the guest room. It will be awhile before he gets to the dye studio/laundry room.
I hooked more on my South Korea roof tile end cap wall hanging. It’s slow going. It’s been awhile since I’ve hooked circles. There are a lot of circles in this wall hanging. It’s a challenge.
I started Meryl Cook’s exercises in her book “One Loop At A Time: The Creativity Workbook”. I was surprised how I could pull out one issue that was really bothering me, journal it positively, and create a rug design in under half an hour! I now have at least an 18”x18” design to put on backing and hook! I may have to expand it to 20”x20” or larger to fit in all the lettering, or cut back on the lettering.
Our sofa beds come today! That means everything will be in the house to finish the studio. It’s been a long haul! I will be so happy to have everything done. Next up will be the dye kitchen. Hubby and I are already talking.
This past weekend has been very productive for me. I was able to select photos from our 2017 trip to South Korea and put them in an inspiration folder on my computer. This past weekend I’ve been sketching possible compositions.
Sketches of South Korea
I will be taking another Karen Miller class tomorrow on materials and techniques. I’ve also signed up to listen to a talk on In My Studio by Judi Miller on artist residences on Oct. 7th. Plus I will be taking part in the Workshop Week through In My Studio the end of October. A busy fall of learning! So nice to be able to do this online.
I have also been hooking more on the South Korea roof tile end caps wall hanging. I am going slow, having stopped several times for dyeing and travels this summer. I am hoping to be finished by Christmas.
I managed to tear my Dorr wool into one yard pieces and wash and dry them in preparation for dyeing. My front loader really shrank the fabric, but it is still great for dyeing and rug hooking. It is all stacked neatly, awaiting dyeing.
I listed the fall colours swatches for sale. There are 15 of them at $3 each + shipping. They are 3” x 16” and Dorr wool. If you’re interested, contact me either here, through Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
I also listed the small landscape I hooked using the swatches for sale It is 8” x 5” and unfinished. I’m asking $60CAD “as is”, or $80 CAD if you want me to finish it and include the hidden hanging system. Again, you can either contact me through this website, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
This week I’ll be working more on the South Korea wall hangings. I also want to get the issues surrounding my rug photos and branding sorted out. I am likely going to order more fabric dye powder.
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week everyone!
Good morning everyone! It’s been a busy week. Monday I heard from my branding expert. She sent an email instructing me what to do with her files. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to even look at her email till Thursday.
Tuesday it rained and blew and thundered. I spent the morning taking Karen D. Miller’s online design course. It was excellent! It motivated me to sort through my over 1000 photos of South Korea and pull out about fifty or so to work on for wall hangings. Some of those are of the same subject, so in reality I’ve only got about 20 different works of art there…enough to develop a theme. Thank-you Karen! I’m looking forward to the “Materials and Techniques” course next week.
Hubby and I also spent some time Tuesday downstairs hanging more wall hangings on the second wall of the studio. We made the call to put our not yet purchased TV in the guest bedroom, rather than on my studio wall. We can watch it from the sofa bed we’re going to have in that room.
Wednesday Hurricane Teddy was supposed to blow through town, but it didn’t blow very much. So instead I phoned a friend and invited her over for dyeing fibre using Lucy Richard’s Woolly Mason Jar System. We did some spot dyeing and some pot dyeing. We dyed wool fabric while my friend was here.
Dorr wool dyed with the Woolly Mason Jar Dye System.
Drying fibre after dyeing.
After she left I continued dyeing fabric and yarn for my South Korean wall hanging. I also used up the rest of the fall colours dye solutions I’d mixed up a week or so ago. I was rewarded with this beautiful spot dyed piece of wool.
Front of piece.
Back of piece.
Wednesday morning I also received the link to the photos the photographer took of my wall hangings. I have some editing to do.
I also received my shipment from Dorr Woolen Mill Wednesday. I have natural wool for the next 3-5 years! I don’t go through it fast, but when I need it, I really need it. I also purchased some different types of backing to try: bleached linen, monk’s cloth, and rug warp.
Bleached linen, rug warp, and monk’s cloth.
I’ve tried a Walmart version of monk’s cloth before and it was not pleasant to work with. This time I want to try the real stuff for rug hooking.
Likewise I’ve tried rug warp before and found it difficult for my wrist and hand. But I wanted samples for my courses. Now I’ll have them.
The bleached linen is a novelty for me. I normally use unbleached primitive linen. But I’m thinking I might be trying some pieces with exposed backings. We’ll see. If not, I’ll use it for regular hooking.
Thursday my short shank medium Moshimer hooks arrived. If anyone wants one I’ll sell one for $20 CAD plus shipping.
I continue to hook on my South Korean roof tile end caps rug, ever so slowly. I’m going to have to pick up speed. I’d like to be finished it and onto other wall hangings.
If you have been, thank-you for reading everyone. I hope each of us has a wonderful weekend. Take care!
It’s amazing how much we collect, both in our personal and business lives. Nothing has shown me that more clearly than this move. I have STUFF! As fast as Charlie puts together IKEA storage units I fill them.
I made a decision. I’m selling all my scrapbooking supplies and going digital and online. I’ve been toying with the idea for a couple of years now. I don’t do much scrapbooking, but when I do I like to attend weekend scrapbook meetings and accomplish something in one fell swoop. I notice hauling around the supplies is getting to be an issue for me. That would be alleviated by going online and doing everything in the comfort of my own home.
I’ve made photo books online before and have had moderate success. I discovered an online business, forever.com, at one of the scrapbook meetings I attended. I’m giving them a try. I’ve seen some of their finished photo books and they’re great! They seem to be using good paper and good ink. Owners of the books claim the books are as good now as when they bought them years ago. I’m ready to try and find out.
I’ve also discovered I have a lot more rug hooking supplies than I thought I had. I’m sorting them out now and preparing to list some for sale online. I’m using my Facebook page – JLT Studios – and the newly formed Rug Hooking Buy n Sell Canada Facebook page. I will also use the local Kijiji and VarageSale.
Charlie and I took a break from working on the house last weekend and headed up beyond Canning, Nova Scotia. It is beautiful country up there. We stopped at Grand Pre National Historic Park on the way. We walked through the woods to the old Acadian church. I really enjoyed all the wild flowers on the way. There is also a great planting of coleus just before the statue of Evangeline of Longfellow fame. The colours were magnificent! I sense another rug coming on…
A friend has offered us the use of her cottage this summer, whenever we want it. We could both use it. I’m thinking of taking an artist retreat out there for about five days. Charlie has been trying to write a book on his laptop. There are trails in the area we could hike. It was very kind of our friend to offer the cottage, and we hope to take some advantage of it.
Today we’re having an “at home” day. The wind outside is howling and blowing snow around. Police are advising people to stay off the roads. There are a lot of snow drifts developing and accidents. We are taking their advice!
I thought I’d take some time to fill you in on my latest reading:
I finished Meryl Cook’s “One Loop At A Time”. I found it a very interesting way to rug hook, having never heard of chakra colors before. I love the look of her work! I am so glad Meryl decided to pick up the hook and work her way through recovery using rug hooking! This book is the story of how Meryl worked towards wellness and recovery following surgery using rug hooking and her creativity. I find times of sudden illness have been life changing for me as well.
I am finally getting serious about Karen Miller’s book, “Eyes Open To The World”. I am loving her writing style! Both she and Meryl have great writing styles. They don’t waste words and they are very clear in what they say and mean. I like that.
I’ve finished chapter 1 on traveling and really seeing what’s around you. And I agree. It’s too easy to just go, go, go and not really see what’s around you. That’s what happened on our South Korean trip in 2017. Thankfully I captured a lot with my camera on that trip. It definitely helps to be a decent photographer when you travel, or to travel with one!
As one of the featured rug hooking artists in her book, I can see where I have an unusual word cloud of artists and people who’ve inspired me. I think sometimes we’re too narrow in defining which “artists” have inspired us. I have to include my grandmother, a fibre artist long before they were called such. She was an excellent needlewoman, seamstress, quilter, etc. She inspired me to make time for my creative work and to aspire to excellence in technique, as well as interpretation. She inspired me to create works with meaning – something I am still working towards at this time.
I also find my children’s poetry to be inspirational. They were pretty good poets as children – far better than I was! They created a large body of work and have given me permission to use some of it in my rug hooking. I am currently planning a three day retreat for myself in order to put more patterns on backing, color plan, and dye fibre for them. That’s a tall order for three days, but we’ll see how far I get.
Of course I am inspired by the usual Impressionist, Van Gogh, Emily Carr, Group of Seven, Georgia O’Keefe, etc. They all affect how I perceive and interpret what I observe. They teach me, as Karen writes, about light, perspective, and color.
I am also finding inspiration in unusual places. Take for instance, the manhole covers in downtown Vancouver. Don’t laugh! They have great designs I’d love to do a rubbing of some day. Unfortunately it’s rather crowded for that. I settled for snapping quick photos!
Aside from reading and being inspired by Karen and Meryl, I’ve been busy quilting. The quilt I’m currently working on is from a South Korean quilt book a friend owns. I have no idea who the designer is or the name of the quilt, let alone the book. All I could decipher was the pattern diagram. A friend who used to be a quilt instructor gave me instruction on how much to enlarge it and how to quilt it using the freezer paper appliqué method. So far it’s working great! I have one block I have redesigned, as it requires tricky machine quilting to determine what it is exactly.
I’m hoping to turn it into a queen size quilt for our bed. We still don’t have a quilt for our bed. I’ve made lots of quilts for other people, so now it’s our turn. I have eight blocks completed and need at least forty-two total. That’s another thirty-four blocks! I can appliqué one a day.
I’m also knitting a pair of Merino wool socks from Ella Rae yarn. I was originally planning on making a shawl, but the yarn had breaks in it. In the end I decided to not only make socks, but to make bed socks. It’s cold where we live…especially at night. The breaks won’t matter if I’m just keeping my feet warm at night in them.
This morning I gathered up all my unfinished projects and took them to the upstairs living room, where it’s warmer. I stored them all in the large tote I have of projects I want to do or finish. I’m hoping to make strong headway on emptying that tote this year!
That’s my Weekly Review folks! Hope everyone has a great weekend!
A belated Happy New Year everyone! I guess I almost made it for Ukrainian Christmas? A little late for that too… Maybe I can be early for saying Happy New Year to my Asian friends? Lunar New Year is early February this year.
At any rate, we had a wonderful holiday season filled with lots of company. I enjoyed talking to family far away, and I also enjoyed playing many games with people near. Both Hubby and I took last weekend to just rest up. We are feeling a little older. It takes a while to recuperate.
I haven’t done much creative. I prepared my bullet journal for 2019. For those of you who don’t know, a bullet journal is an organization tool/planner. Google “Ryder Carroll”, or just “bullet journal”, and you’ll see plenty to feast your eyes. If it seems overwhelming, type in “minimalist bullet journaling” and see what you get.
I had an email pop into my inbox the other day advertising a Scrap Meet for scrapbookers this weekend. I sat on the fence about it for a while, and then thought about the boxes of memorabilia and photos, etc. I am moving. I decided to bite the bullet, spend the money, and do up some albums before I go east. That should help with decluttering a bit.
This is a big project to take on. I have 18 years of scrapbooking to do! Needless to say, I’m hoping to get a few years into each scrapbook. The photo at the top of this post only scratches the surface of what’s here. I’m looking at a couple of bankers boxes full of memorabilia, plus stacks of planners, boxes of journals/diaries to sort through.
To that end the last 48 hours has been pulling things together. I spent time culling duplicate photos (should have done that long ago!), and creating a timeline for the first year I have to work on – 2002. I haven’t finished 2001 yet, but I didn’t discover that until late this afternoon. It can wait until I finish with 2002.
The good news is these Scrap Meets are held every month. So as long as I can pony up $50/mth. for admission and food, and another $50 for an album and supplies, I can spend up to 12 hours working on an album. Not bad.
I am still looking at yarn to knit, fibre to make into bundles for sale, and a rug to hook. I unpacked my wool cutter the other day. Now I just have to figure if it will clamp on the table edge for cutting. I’m a bit concerned it won’t. If not, then I have some cubbies I could clamp it to.
I’m thinking of carrying #6 cut wool strips in my shop, but am not sure. Is there a market for such among rug hookers? I see some for sale occasionally by various vendors. I had a lady drop in one day and buy my scraps off me because she was just starting out and didn’t have a cutter. I’m just not sure if it’s better to leave the wool uncut or cut it for my customers. Any feedback from cyberland?
Well, that’s my post for this week. Hope everyone has a good rest of the week and weekend. Take care!
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.
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?
Christmas trees, stylized and not
ribbons and bows
Frosty, the Snowman
snowmen in general
chimneys with stockings
What types of items can you hook?
hot pad for the table
seasonal door stopper
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?
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.
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!
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!
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. 🙁
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! 🙂