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!

 

Season’s Greetings!

Season’s Greetings!

Good morning everyone!   I hope everyone is trying to take some time to themselves to just enjoy this time of year.  It’s hard when you have children in your life to take some time for yourself any time of year, let alone during the holiday season.  But the dividends of doing so far outweigh the costs.  The same goes for the childless people picking up extra shifts this time of year so those with children can spend time with theirs.  I hope you find some time to just enjoy the season.

Friday I hosted a cookie exchange.  We had a great time chatting, eating and playing games.  The cookies were great too!

We went to a friend’s for a Christmas dinner Saturday, where I re-learned how to darn my good hand knit wool socks.  I’ve been busy mending socks ever since.   I have a lot with holes I’m afraid!  We had a wonderful Christmas dinner, opened some gifts early, and played games.

Sunday I went for a walk with a friend in the snow, as it came lazily drifting down from the sky.  We visited family to drop off gifts.  We are slowly preparing for Christmas.

My future creative plans?  I’m busy preparing to knit a beanie hat (or a toque as we call it in Canada) for my last Christmas gift.  After that I want to knit myself another pair of wool socks.  Plus, now I’ve finished the Trip-Around-The-World quilt, it’s time to finish the South Korean appliqué quilt.  I have nine blocks stitched.  I need at least 27 more.

For those of you having a lonely Christmas – whether due to Covid or other factors – I encourage you to reach out to others online or by writing letters or email, or Zoom/Skype/FaceTime…whatever works for you.  Give a bit of yourself to others, or take some time to heal.  That is what I’ll be doing the next two weeks.  I’m taking some time off to spend time with family and friends, and to enjoy Christmas.  I’ll spend time knitting and quilting for a change.

This will be my last blog post until after New Year’s.

If you have been, thanks for reading, and…

MERRY CHRISTMAS 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!

On the Road Again!

On the Road Again!

Good afternoon everyone!  We are on another road trip – this time to Moncton, New Brunswick to visit relatives.  We took our company with us.  We have had loads of fun exploring the countryside.

I had a wonderful time yesterday in Susan Feller’s “Mastering Design” Zoom class in Workshop Week 3. By the time it was over I had a new design and unifying elements for a series of fishing shack hooked pieces. I’m very happy with the results of the class.

I am just finishing the knit baby hat for a relative’s new baby. It is hand spun alpaca, hand dyed with cochineal.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and is experiencing a good week. If you have been, thanks for reading.

Weekly Review – Sightseeing

Weekly Review – Sightseeing

Good afternoon everyone!  Hubby and I have been showing a friend around PEI and Nova Scotia. There is nothing like acting as a guide to out-of-province company for learning about your home province and neighbouring province.

We’ve checked out Scots Bay, Halls Harbour, Stirling’s in Wolfville, The Valley, part of the South Shore (including Peggy’s Cove and Queensland Beach), some of Halifax, and then took a side trip to PEI.

We’re staying at a relative’s place near Montague.  One day we travelled the east coast up through Souris to East Point Lighthouse, stopping at Singing Sands Beach on the way.

The next day we headed up through Mount Stewart to Prince Edward Island National Park.  We drove the scenic coastal drive through the Park, and then on to the Anne of Green Gables site.

After a couple of hours, and a lot of walking, at Green Gables we headed into Charlottetown.  We enjoyed a wonderful waterfront walk in Victoria Park. Then headed up to Queen Street to enjoy some Cows ice-cream. We checked a used bookstore  and a game store on our way home.

A quick call to an Island merchant told us one of the best places to buy fresh oysters.  We stopped at the Sobeys in Stratford to pick them up and received a wonderful lesson in oyster shucking and eating!  I highly recommend Sobeys’ staff, Jonathan, at the Seafood counter for going above and beyond!

Today has been a quiet day. We walked the Confederation Trail from Brudenell to Montague, stopping at The Lucky Bean Café for their breakfast board and some games. It was a fun time.  We headed back to the house via the Trail for lunch.

Tomorrow we head home.

In creative news…the baby hat is almost finished.  I neglected to bring my blunt tapestry needle for sewing in the end.  I will finish it up at home.

In rug hooking news…We saw some wonderful hooked rugs at Green Gables House.

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Sunday evening In The Studio’s Workshop Week 3 starts with the hook-in gathering.  Monday I have Susan Feller’s design class. Friday will be the final Panel Discussion. I’m looking forward to a fun and educational time.

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

Stash Utilization

Stash Utilization

Good afternoon everyone!  I have a confession to make.  I am a fibre-aholic.  I collect flibre…preferably silk, wool, and cotton.  I have it in yarn form and in fabric form.  I rug hook, so I have a lot both types for that.  I also spin, which makes the situation worse!  I have two large Rubbermaid Roughneck totes full of natural fibre yarn.  It’s time to use some up.

We had a new baby born into the extended family.  Needless to say, some things have halted. Like rug hooking. I’m sending a gift her way, and maybe a little something for the mom.  I’m eyeing my yarn stash…maybe some soft hand dyed hand spun merino.  Maybe not the best for a baby.  I’m thinking about it.  It’s not superwash wool.

That’s where my thoughts are going today. That and just catching up on grocery shopping.

I hope everyone is  having a great day.  If you have been, thanks for reading!

Oops!  I’m Late!

Oops! I’m Late!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just Motoring Along

Just Motoring Along

Hi everyone!  I had lots of rest this past weekend. Guess I needed it. Today I’m back and eager to get back at things.

I finished sewing on hanging sleeves and Hubby hung the Old Tyme Scrappy quilt on the wall.  I hemmed my jeans. I’m done the face mask order. I’m almost finished Autumn. I’m hand sewing the binding on the Trip-Around-The-World quilt.

The cushion cover is a bear I have to face this week. It’s a mess and I have to rip about one quarter of the blanket stitch out.  I also have to fix the rip in the back.  Sigh.  Have you ever had one of those projects where nothing seems to be going right?  Well this is one of mine.

Once all those are done I want to get back to my South Korea roof tile end caps wall hanging. Hubby already has a place he wants to hang it. I’m a bit miffed with myself that it’s taken a whole year to complete one medium sized wall hanging.  But I have done many things besides it, including a major move in April. While I had it on backing and started in January, I was living in someone else’s home and didn’t want to overtake it with exploding boxes of fibre.  I did for a while anyways, the few days I searched for fibre for the piece, but I quickly packed it all away.   I found my accommodations more suited to knitting and quilting small pieces. I worked on a gorgeous appliqué quilt pattern while there! Which reminds me I still have a couple of knitted cushion covers and the appliqué quilt to finish.

Lots of projects to finish!  Looks like I’m going to get some time to do them.  Nova Scotia’s Covid-19 cases are rising again and we’re limited to our five person bubble.  I’m staying home for the most part, and working on my projects.

If you’ve been reading, thanks! And have a productive week everyone!

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Hi everyone! We signed for the house, put down our deposit, and are looking forward to closing mid-April. It’s been a long haul. We’ve spent time browsing home building stores. I’m into the home renovation mode. I picked up several countertop and paint samples. We’ve arranged to check out the house again this week for measurements. While there we’ll take a few photos.

We have people lined up to help us move in the first weekend in May. We want to have as much work done on the house as possible before then. That gives us a two week window to renovate. So not doable if we use contractors, so I imagine most of the work will be done by ourselves.

In the home decor department I’ve finished the first cushion cover and am onto the second. I may, or may not, knit a third.

I’ve picked up the appliqué quilt again and am sewing more blocks. I hope to hook more on my South Korea wall hanging, and finish the “Hearts” coasters this week.

I’ve discovered Wayfair.ca this week! I’ve been exploring design options on my iPad. Mostly I’ve been disappointed with apps that advertise “Free” and then have crippled the app unless you buy a monthly subscription after you download it. So right now I’m trying to use Wayfair’s mood board feature. Haven’t figured it out yet, but I have browsed their shop for ideas and garnered a lot for my various rooms.

I have a wood floor lamp my mom turned on a lathe when I was a child. The lampshade sadly needs replacing. I’ve been struggling to find the right size and shape. Wayfair has it. For over $100!!!

A friend suggested I knit a lampshade. There is a design in “Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders” book I have. However it’s for a smaller lampshade. I’m debating it. I have the yarn already. It would take more time, and it would be a lot of texture…depending on the pattern used. I would have to recreate the pattern to fit the old lamp shade. Hmmm…

Lots happening, so keep an eye out on this blog! Hoping to have my studio up and running by Fall at the latest. Only one year late! Sigh. It is what it is.

Week in Review

Week in Review

Hello! I had a fun week this week. I was able to attend a short workshop with Lucy Richards and a friend of mine. It was hosted by Diann McDonald, an Oxford punch certified instructor. It was a great chance to meet Diann and get to know Lucy’s Wooly Mason Dye system. I was picking up my set of cool colourway ProChem dye cards while there. So excited to have my dye jars made and ready to go! Thank you so much Lucy and Diann! The eight value spot dye swatch turned out perfect by the way.

Aside from dyeing fabric I also finished reading Karen Miller’s book “Eyes Open to the World”. It was very interesting and I can hardly wait for her second book to come out. Only one suggestion, and it’s a practical one…Karen, ask your publisher to put a sturdier cover on your next book. I’m afraid I’ve managed to bend this one. Hubby, a retired librarian, and I are contemplating ways to reinforce it so it can withstand the wear and tear I’m going to be giving it. We think our best bet is to head to Staples and see if they can do anything with it. Thank-you for a great read!

I finished the second bed sock now. They’re a bit big, but nice and comfy for bed.

Bed Socks from Ella Rae yarn.

I haven’t had much time for the appliqué quilt this past week. Must get back to that. I would like to have the top finished by summer. I had some wonderful rug hooking friends donate some old freezer paper to the cause. For some reason freezer paper is difficult to find locally. I am doing freezer paper appliqué and will need a fair quantity of it.

We’ve finished house hunting folks! We’ve found a cute little split level with 2 bedrooms up and 1 down. It’s in a nearby community close to Halifax, N.S. It’s an R2000 home, meaning it’s warm. It needs updating in the baths and kitchen, but it’s small enough we can handle it. Other than that, it’s just a case of painting. I’m very happy and we’re excited to get into it…which won’t be until April at the earliest. We’ll see. Lots to do before then anyways!

I’m knitting cushion covers for the new living room furniture. The yarn is Sublime Organic Cotton DK. It’s showing the patterns beautifully! I’m using stitch dictionary books from a used bookstore and a garage sale as guides for ideas: Mon Tricot’s “Knitting Dictionary Stitches Patterns” and Maria Parry-Jones’s “The Knitting Stitch Bible”.

I finished the “Heart” wallhanging and am hooking matching coasters. These are fun pieces for around Valentine’s Day. They probably won’t be ready this year, but they will be ready for next year!

I hope my readers enjoyed reading and have a productive week. Take care!

What I’m Up To

I finished my first bed sock and am almost done the second. They are a bit large, but that’s okay. If I knit myself a real pair for walking I’ll go down one size.

I finished the first eight appliqué quilt blocks and am onto the next eight. Having a hard time finding time to do this, what with other distractions and only being able to do it during daylight hours. My appliqué stitching is a mess after the sun goes down, even with lights on!

I am reading “Eyes Open to the World” by Karen Miller. I’m really enjoying it! I’m halfway through the book now. I’m a slow reader.

I missed rug hooking, so I scrounged around in bins and boxes for some scrap linen backing. I freehand drew some hearts on it, on top of some squares that were already on the backing.

I commandeered Hubby to move boxes of fibre around so I could find the appropriate colours to prepare for hooking. I settled on pink, red, purple, and white. I am using my usual wool, silk, and nylon.

Then I discovered my portable lap frame had cracked during our move. I quickly mentioned it to a friend and she offered to bring one to our group meeting this week for me to borrow. I took my cracked frame to the meeting and asked for advice on fixing or replacing it. I was surprised the answer was try Gorilla Glue! So Hubby went out for some Gorilla Glue and is poised to try and repair my frame.

I hope everyone else is having a productive time. Take care and I’ll try and check in next week.

My hearts wall hanging
Weekly Review

Weekly Review

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!

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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!

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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!

January 2020

I have plans. Big plans. I sat down and went through some unfinished projects I’d like to finish, and some I’d like to start. It’s going to be a busy year!

Finished over the holidays were the following:
~ a soy silk/alpaca drop stitch scarf, modified free Ravelry pattern,
~ a soy silk/alpaca tuque, my own pattern,
~ an alpaca/Merino/bamboo set of wrist warmers, free Ravelry pattern.

In progress are the following:
~ a trip-around-the-world quilt…yes, I’m still working on that.
~ a South Korean appliquéd quilt pattern. I’m gathering supplies for that.
~ a needlepoint cushion cover. Yes, I’m still working on the hydrangeas.
~ the sandpiper crewel embroidery.
~ a hardanger wall hanging that just needs framing and hanging.
~ hardanger Christmas ornaments.

In the wings, waiting to be started:
~ a gold work wall hanging,
~ a robin needlepointing piece,
~ several sketchbooks of patterns to hook into rugs and wall hangings.
~ various scrapbooks from the last 18 years of photos.

This all sounds like a lot. But I have a partner in crime. Someone who can help me by encouraging me and holding me accountable. Not just my readers my friends, but also our current hostess/landlady. Our hostess is a craftswoman herself, and knows how valuable motivation in the form of accountability to someone else can be. She and I have decided to start a quilting challenge on Monday, January 6th. A block a day. That could be difficult for me as I’m starting with an appliqué South Korea quilt. But we shall see. Any forward progress is good progress in my view.

Beginnings and Finishings

I started the planning for 2020 by unpacking my Finished Work binders that contain photos, patterns, and instructions of various craft projects I’ve made over the years. It was a trip down memory lane and filled me with inspiration and anticipation.

I’ve decided this year, 2020, is all about finishing. I have numerous projects I’ve put off working on over the years. We are currently temporarily boarding with a very crafty lady. She and I have decided to embark on a finishing challenge for this coming year.

To that end I’ve pulled out my Trip-Around-The-World quilt again. I started it when I was seventeen, using fabrics leftover from my mother’s and grandmother’s sewing projects. It grew to include fabric from my sisters’ sewing projects. Until finally it grew so large I actually had to go out and buy fabric. It’s my experimental quilt. My first run at hand quilting (the center), AND my first run at machine quilting (the border). I used a mix of cotton and non-cotton fabrics…not the best choice I know now. But when I was piecing it in my late teens I had no idea. The backing is actually a piece of poly/cotton…also not the best choice.

I put a border I did not like on it at the suggestion of another quilter. Our hostess says she thinks it can be fixed with some judicious appliqué. We’ll see. I’m counting on her guidance. She used to teach quilting. I’m really just a beginner/intermediate level.

Aside from that I’ve pulled out the South Korea roof tile end caps rug and have been hooking it. I’m stuck. I want to dye some red-purple wool fabrics and silk for the design. I already spun the red-purple yarn I plan to use. However I have no place to dye fibre here really. It would be a major inconvenience for our hostess and for Hubby. But I’m thinking. I mean…I have a hot plate and drying rack. It’s definitely doable. I’d just have to have Hubby help unpack my dye equipment and supplies…and he is really not keen to do that. Our stuff is piled in boxes high to the ceiling here!

I did finish the Dropped Stitch Scarf from Ravelry. It’s a free pattern. I’ve yet to block it and weave in ends. Again, it’s for lack of space…and supplies. I could use a good drying mat for my knitting.

Other than that I have a needlework pillow top project, hardanger Christmas ornaments, the sandpiper crewel embroidery, another hardanger wall hanging to stitch, and one to frame. I also have a couple of quilts I want to sew…larger ones for our bed. Plus I have some needle painting and embroidery projects. Oh and a goldwork project. That will be it I think. If I finish half of that this year I’ll be doing well I think!

What about you? What are your plans for the year 2020?

Back at it again!

Back at it again!

Hi everyone! I’ve been spinning and knitting away. I managed to finish spinning the red purple and the golden yellow for my current project – the South Korea rug. We’ll see how that hooking project goes. I’ve determined the pattern is too detailed to add my silk fibre strips. The pattern loses definition when I do. This project will definitely be a learning one, but then, what project isn’t? I find I learn something with every project I do.

I’m also knitting more on the silk/alpaca Dropped Stitch Scarf. It’s a free pattern from Ravelry. Almost done. Only about ten inches to go! Looking forward to blocking and wearing it.

Dove of Peace Ornaments

Aside from the fibre activity I’ve been to the local rug hooking guild. They are a very talented group of ladies! They are a huge group! I visited on a day when some of them were selling crafts as well. I bought some beautiful small dove Christmas tree ornaments and took the phone number of a knitter. That reminds me, I must call her. I’m thinking I’ll put in an after New Year’s order. She knits wool socks and shawls.

I’m also reading. I finished reading “Hooked Mats of Newfoundland and Labrador” and was struck by the diversity of design within the region. There is a history of the Rug Hooking Guild of Newfoundland and Labrador at the beginning of the book. That is followed by many examples of hooked mats from various parts of the region. I found the history of the mats fascinating.

I’m currently reading “Silk Stocking Mats” by Paula Laverty and enjoying the history in that. I’m not a big history fan, but these two books include a lot of visuals to make it interesting and clarify what happened when.

Two days ago I processed the yarn I spun. I’m already noticing the difference between the humidity here and on the Prairies. It’s taken two days to dry instead of one!

Earlier this week we dug out Christmas decorations and decorated a tree and the main floor of the house where we’re staying.

We baked up a storm and hosted a cookie exchange for our landlady, daughters, and our son-in-laws. I hate to tell them, but our cookies are already gone! That’s probably a good thing, and we probably shouldn’t eat any more! However I know I’ll be making chocolates soon. So there will be lots of goodies yet for Hubby and I to share with others.

Cookies for the Cookie Exchange.

Well, it’s time to get going here. Take care everyone. Have a safe holiday season!

We’re Here!

We’re Here!

Our stuff has arrived! We are truly and for good moved to the east coast of North America!

We had a fairly uneventful trip east, aside from Hubby picking up food poisoning in Northern Ontario. We spent an extra night in Thunder Bay before moving on to Sault Ste. Marie. Other than that we made a few visits with relatives along the way.

We stopped in at the rectory in Chelsea, QC. It is home to an artists co-operative involving over 100 different artists! Some very interesting fibre work happening there.

We also stopped in to visit Lucy Richards in her home in Moncton, NB. She is the source of the Woolly Mason Jar system of dyeing fibre. I purchased one of the color card sets and some accessories to try her system next year, when we move into our new place.

We arrived in Halifax area last Monday and just set up our technology today. Too much to do otherwise! We’ve checked in with one child, but not the other. We’ve had a winter storm and Hubby is sick with a cold. We will hopefully see the other next week.

I’ve been to a SCRABBLE night with the ladies and, with their help, came in second in the game I was playing. They are very friendly people.

Our host likes games, so Friday night pizza and games continues! We may switch up the meal part a bit, which is fine by me. I’ve eaten a lot of pizzas in my lifetime!

We’ve been exploring the area where we’ve landed. We’ve discovered a pharmacy not far away, a few grocery stores, and some good restaurants. Our host is a wonderful source of where to buy things cheap! She’s a great recycler/make doer!

We’ve been to the Health Department for new health cards. Next up is to use them. This week is doctor week. I’m stressing over it already.

We’ve also discovered we are next to a beautiful small lake. In fact, we are on a hill and you can see the lake through the trees. Great for walking! Hubby has been on several walks, but I’ve been a bit slower to partake. I’m tired and still have my ‘cough’.

In fibre news, I’ve been spinning a lovely red purple Merino wool for my South Korean rug. I’ve yet to process the yarn, but will take a photo when I do.

I also have some golden yellow and lemon yellow Merino to spin together. I think. I’m not sure. The golden yellow is in the landscape down here in summer and fall (goldenrod). The lemon yellow is more of a stretch for this landscape. I’ll have to think on it before I combine the two.

I found my knitting today and think I’ll work on it as well. I’m still working on that Ravelry Dropped Stitch Scarf from home spun alpaca and silk.

I’m also checking out the rug hooking collection at the nearest library. I have a few books to read the next few week – a couple on silk stocking mats, and Karen Miller’s book.

Well folks, have a great week! Hope all goes well with everyone!

A Busy Time

The house sold and we’re busy preparing for the move and saying good-bye to our many good friends. We will miss you all.

We moved everything back to the house from storage and decided that was enough. We hired a real moving company for the actual move. We were going to do UHaul, but it was just too much work.

I’ve been busy listing items for sale online, and selling them. Hubby has been making trips to the Salvation Army Thrift Store to drop items off. It’s amazing how little you need when faced with paying for a move!

We continue to have our weekly Pizza and Games night with friends. I’m still sick, but it’s only a cold I’ve been told. As long as I don’t laugh too much I’ll be fine. When I laugh I cough.

Creativity these days consists of planning, organizing, and getting things done. Not much. Thankfully my whiteboard is starting to look a little emptier.

In rug hooking news, Karen Miller’s new book is out! I am represented in its pages in the plein air hooking section. I’m looking forward to receiving my copy.

I packed my car bag for the road trip east today. It has knitting in it. I’ll also be spinning some roving into yarn.

Hubby and I were a bit concerned about all the stuff we want to take in the car. So we hauled it all into one room in one pile for a visual assessment. It should be good.

We celebrated a friend’s birthday recently. Baked a cake and had it with ice-cream for dessert. She wanted to learn to make pizza from scratch, so a couple of friends gave her a pizza stone and pizza cutter, while we gave her a couple grocery store gift cards. She and her sister were here visiting about a week ago and I showed them how to do it. They are excited to try.

Well, that’s it. The goal for today is to check the emergency kit in the car and to visit the lawyer to sign the final paperwork for the house sale.

My Work Basket

My Work Basket

Today I decided to go through my work basket beside my comfy chair and see what was there that I could work on. I found a lot more than I bargained for! Some of these unfinished projects date back a decade or more ago!!! I’m going to try and work my way through them.

Not much happening these days. We enjoyed the weekend at Wascana Lake watching the Canadian National Championship Dragon Boat Races. We had friends racing in one of the boats.

TeamKorea – Canadian National Dragon Boat Races

I’m still attending a cardiac gym three times a week, which wears me out. However I badly need it.

A few weekends ago we drove up to Last Mountain Lake Wildlife Refuge and watched the various birds and waterfowl. The pelicans, black terns, and red-winged blackbirds were out in force!

We noticed a lot of building construction at the headquarters site. Looks like a new observation tower is going up, as well as a new information kiosk.

Pelicans at Last Mountain Lake Wildlife Refuge.

Two weekends ago we went out to Moose Jaw, SK to walk some of the trails in Wakamow Park, down by the river. Afterwards we stopped in at Grant Hall Hotel Lounge for appetizers, drinks, and dessert. We had a lovely time!

We’ve been enjoying our summer by going to places we’ve never been the entire time we’ve lived in Saskatchewan, or places we’d like to say good-bye to. We’ve been here 24 years now. It’s the longest we’ve ever lived anywhere. Now our children have moved east we have no family here. We are moving closer to family.

If you’ve been reading and made it this far, thank-you. Take care and have a great week!

I’ve been away

I’ve been away

Sorry for taking so long between posts folks. I’ve been sidetracked onto clearing an 18 year backlog of mementos destined for family scrapbooks. Tomorrow is my second Scrap Meet of 2019. I hope to finish scrapbooking 2001, which takes 1 1/2 scrapbooks.

I love these Scrap Meets! We are a group of ladies who meet at a local church hall and scrapbook from 9 AM to 9 PM…or until you can stand it! I’m taking a cushion this time so my back won’t send me home early.

Each Scrap Meet is $25 and another $20 for the food. The food includes a morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and supper prepared by a 4-star chef. It’s excellent!

The lady who organizes these Scrap Meets – Wanda MacDonald – has supplies on hand if you run out or want to buy anything, but she is not a pushy seller. I really appreciate that! If you want anything in particular it’s best to let her know ahead of time. She is a Creative Memories consultant.

People at the Scrap Meet work on either traditional or digital scrapbooks. It doesn’t matter. I’m working on traditional flat scrapbooking. Some people do beautiful pages with lots of embellishment. I’m not one of those. With 18 years to catch up on, I’m am going as fast as I can!

Other than that, there has been a death in the family and we were out of province for a week to attend a funeral and visit with family.

One of those family members was my big brother, who has suddenly developed an interest in our family history. In an effort to appease his curiosity I took a box full of my mother’s family history files over to his place. We spent a day going through them before he sent them all through his high speed scanner to distribute to other members of the family. I hear he wants to start in on the three or four boxes of my father’s family next. That’s at least 3-4 solid days work.

The only really creative thing I’ve done lately is knit on a scarf made of home spun alpaca and silk yarn. It’s the free Ravelry Drop Stitch Scarf Pattern. I made it a bit wider than the pattern called for and wish I hadn’t. Hopefully when I block it everything will work out fine. I’m half done.

That’s it from here. I hope everyone had a good month. Talk to you all later!

And so it Begins

And so it Begins

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.

Yarn to be Knit

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!

South Korea inspired tile end cap rug. My next rug hooking project.
Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Hello everyone.  Despite being thwarted by a day long power outage on Tuesday I was able to update my shop section of the website by Thursday.  You will notice a few changes.  For one, I’ve taken all the plaids to zero inventory because I appear to have lost them somewhere…in a moving box no doubt…somewhere…  

Gold Fiber Bundle

Secondly, I have listed more fiber bundles for sale – a Lemon Yellow and a Gold bundle.  Right now there are five of each, with a variety of wool fabric and wool and silk yarns in each one.   Each bundle has five pieces of wool fabric at least 3.5″ x 12″ (up to 5″ x 14″) and five 5 yard pieces of wool/silk yarn or roving of different types for texture.  No two bundles are exactly the same, but the colorway is the same.  I plan to create more fiber bundles in the near future.

Hand dyed brown wool DK weight toque.
Toque from Berroco Vintage DK weight yarn.

The past week or so I’ve been busy organizing my knitting and actually knitting.  I’ve knit two beanies – one a cream colored beanie and one a hand dyed variegated brown wool beanie – and am currently working on a hand dyed variegated brown wool neck warmer.  I’ll update you later.  I have a lot of knitting to do before Christmas!  

Also, I seem to be working on a new WordPress platform that is giving me a headache.  Below are some knitting photos I wanted to share with you, but they seem to permanently be stuck on their sides, despite my best efforts to rotate them so they are right side up!  I will continue to work on this issue in hopes of sharing more photos.  Otherwise photos could become sparse on my blog. 

I have a full weekend planned.  I hope my readers are enjoying the season.  Thanks for reading. 

I’ve been absent

I’ve been absent

Hi everyone!  Sorry I’ve been absent from blogging for awhile.  It’s been pretty busy on the medical front and I’ve been taking time to deal with various issues.  Things seem to have sorted themselves out a bit now.

I’m still knitting.  It’s great for stress relief.  I gave away a Fleece Artist Greenwich Dunes National Parks chinook yarn beanie hat or toque.  That required making another to go with the set for a planned recipient.  The hat is finished now and, as soon as Canada Post gets sorted out, will be on its way.

I also finished some Fleece Artist Grasslands National Park fingerless mitts or wrist warmers to go with a matching toque.  Not sure who those will go to yet.

Plus I am currently knitting a Drop Stitch Scarf (a free Ravelry.com pattern) from alpaca/silk home spun for someone.

My plans to knit up my yarn by the end of next year may be a bit optimistic.  However it is all wound into balls now, thanks to the help of a friendly person at a local knitting group.

That’s about it for now.  Hope all my American friends have a great Thanksgiving! 🙂

His and Hers Beanie Strikes Again!

His and Hers Beanie Strikes Again!

Hi everyone.  I’ve been busy this week with a lot of medical stuff.  However I was able to finish knitting the His and Hers Beanie from Ravelry.com using Fleece Artist Grassland National Parks Chinook yarn.  I’m currently knitting matching wrist warmers from the free DROPS pattern on Ravelry.  My plan of who to give all this finished knitting to is in a state of flux.  I’m not sure what I’ll do with them.  I may end up donating it all.

I was to the Open Fibre Night for the Regina Weavers and Spinners Guild this week.  Had a blast with about nine other people in attendance.  There were three of us newcomers.  Though truthfully I’m not entirely new.  I was there once last year, before my Dad became really sick and I started having health issues.  Hopefully I’ll have time to make it from now on.  Met one of my followers on Facebook. Always such a surprise and delight to meet someone who takes the time to follow me.  Thank-you to everyone who does.

Today I’m off to a local knitting group.  I want to work on those wrist warmers.  I also want to get into the boxes of rug hooking fibre and see what I can conjure up in the way of fibre bundles to sell on my website.  I have lots of fibre, it’s just getting at it right now is problematic.  But it sure would be nice to organize and sell some of it before we move.

I’ve been exploring some interesting facets of bullet journaling this week.  Ryder Carroll, the originator of the system, released his first book on the subject last Monday.  It’s called “The Bullet Journal Method” and it is very good as an introduction to the system.  I haven’t finished the book yet, but there is promise of it having material for seasoned bullet journalists too.

Meanwhile I am in the Minimalist Bullet Journal group on Facebook.  There another member has posted a video explaining what he refers to as his “Frankinlog”.  It really condenses a lot of information into a few pages…well…actually a double page spread with a couple of Dutch doors.  Dutch doors are pages where part of the page (top or bottom) has been cut off, giving you a shorter page in-between two full size pages to write more notes.  The advantage is you can see the top (or bottom) of a page (say a calendar) and still have oodles of pages below it to write task lists.  I’m going to try it starting January.  I’ll post a photo then to show you how it works.

I hope everyone enjoys a lovely fall (or spring) weekend.  Take care my friends.

Artsy Happenings

Artsy Happenings

This week I reknit the Fleece Artist Fundy National Park yarn flat-topped hat in new modifications.  The top is no longer flat.

I also finished the Fleece Artist Greenwich Dunes National Park yarn neck warmer, and am halfway through knitting the wrist warmers.

Aside from knitting, I’ve been organizing and planning knitting projects.  I’ve been researching how to combine David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” and bullet journaling.  Some serious project planning happening.  Check out these videos…

Bullet Journal Set Up & Journaling for Creatives by HoneyRozes
Bullet Journals and GTD – Bohoberry
My Bullet Journal – 4 Months In – Kendra Bork
Boosted Journal by Ricardo has some good ideas on productivity bullet journaling as well.

Checked out Assiniboia Gallery’s “Trains” exhibit yesterday.  Great show!  Some lovely work in a wide variety of styles.  They also have a couple of small Rod Charlesworth pieces for sale as well, but they are not part of the exhibit.  I love Rod Charlesworth’s style.

Spent last Saturday at a music concert at the local university.  It was a modern and contemporary music concert by Barbara Pritchard and Rose Bolton.  It was really interesting.  I’ve never really been exposed to that type of music before.  It reminded me a bit of atonal music, but it was better.  (I’m not a fan of atonal music.)  It was very good, and I (and the people I went with) could see applications for it right away.  So funny.  Hubby is a movie buff and saw the applications for it in the movie industry.  My friend is a family therapist who saw therapy applications right away.  The 15-year-old who went with us confessed to being scared in the middle of one piece (!).  And I was just mesmerized.  The theme was “Fire” and all the pieces related to fire in one way or another.  I felt like I was by the campfire or a forest fire, and warm for the first time in ages!  It was a fascinating body of work.

This week we had our wedding anniversary.  We headed out for a drive in the nearby countryside and enjoyed the scenery.  We went for a short walk by a lake.  Stopped in a small town at the local bakery for drink, snack, and conversation with the locals.  Came back to town just in time to stop at a favorite restaurant for supper.  A lovely day.

Met someone in the grocery store the other day who was curious about my ‘craftwork’ and wanted to know if I would show it to him.  I assured him I would be here at least the winter, and would be delighted to share my work with him.  To all my readers, if you want to come talk crafts with me, I am available.  I haven’t gone anywhere and won’t be until next year sometime.  Just use the contact form on this site, or give me a call.

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