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In My Studio…

Sorry for the late post this week folks.  Managed a few things last couple of weeks.  I finished re-reading “Vacations for the Spirit” by Alan Walker.  Also designed another poetry wall hanging based on a poem my youngest daughter wrote when she was sixteen.

I am currently hooking “Escapees”, my nasturtium wall hanging.  I will be working on it more this coming week.

I am also knitting a shawl from Sea Turtle Lagoon DK yarn,  I only had one skein of bright blue and bright green to work with, so it will be a very bright and interesting striped shawl.  But I love bright colors.

Mostly I am getting outdoors and enjoying the sunshine.  Hubby has been re-laying our front walkway after it was torn up for a sewer and water line replacement a couple years ago.  I’ve been helping and cheering him on.  We’ve been resetting field stone borders and back filling with dirt.  Also spending time getting quotes on work to be done on the house.

I am also culling through our belongings and selling them or giving them away.  We have lived here over 20 years and it shows when you walk through the house!  There is more stuff here than we reasonably need or want.  In the process of culling through things I am also reorganizing things to take up less space.  Hubby and I are wanting to downsize from our big old house in a year or so.  It’s a good time to be getting rid of things.

And…in the news…I am in the Top 60 Rug Hooking Blogs worldwide according to Feedspot!  Pretty cool, eh?!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Painted Desert Shawl pattern by Karen Klein. Sea Turtle Lagoon DK yarn.

Home Again!

Dancing Sheep – CASA art gallery – “Ganglamb Style”

For those of you following me on social media, you know I’ve been busy buying supplies, touring art facilities, and visiting art galleries.  I’ve also been researching artist retreats and residencies.  Unfortunately my iPad and iPhone would not let me post to my blog.  That will have to be remedied somehow.  Not sure how.  That’s the quick recap, now for the details.

We headed to Edmonton to check in with family and relax.  My stepmother is a prolific knitter and I spent a good hour or so one day going through part of her book collection, taking photos of ones that might interest me.  I’ll check them out at the library first.

Elk Island National Park – beaver lodge

While visiting Edmonton we went to Elk Island National Park for an inspirational (?) outing.  We went on a walk by Astotin Lake with tons of mosquitoes and frogs!  I think I managed to take some good beaver lodge photos.  Plus later we were able to catch a bison photo or two in the bison paddock.  Three cheers for Parks Canada and their free pass for Canada’s 150th birthday!

After a few days in Edmonton we headed south on the old highway – Hwy. 2A – through Wetaskiwin, Ponoka, to Lacombe.  Hubby and I like to find local places to eat – places with homemade meals and unusual items on the menu.  On the way to Edmonton it was Lionel’s Place in Vegreville, where we had the Ukrainian platter, with perogies, cabbage rolls, and kobassa.  It was delicious!  It also came with a tossed salad with olives and pickled beets! And how could we turn down home baked lemon meringue pie and a cup of tea?  So when we were closing in on Lacombe I pulled out my cell phone, did a trusty Google search, and turned up the Morrison House Cafe.  It is a lovely older home where the main floor was turned into a cafe and the upstairs is where the owners live.  It was very busy and I was glad I called ahead to reserve a table.  We had a wonderful meal there.  However, because it was so busy it was an hour before we were on the road again.

Legacy Studio – wool, linen, “Primary Fusion” kit, bent handled scissors, and ProChem sample cards.

That made us a bit late for meeting up with Laura Johnson at her home studio – Legacy Studio – in Cochrane, Alberta.  But Laura is very kind and accommodating.  We arrived an hour after we thought we would and I spent another hour in her studio shopping and purchasing supplies for this coming year.  I am now supplied with wool and linen.  Laura also solved my problem with cleaning my drum carder.  I purchased her flick carder out from under her.  It works like a charm Laura!  I was also able to pick up two rug hooking books – “Scrappy Hooked Rugs” and Deanne Fitzpatrick’s new book,”Rug Hooking with Deanne Fitzpatrick” – and a “Primary Fusion” kit on how to use ProChem dyes.

We raced from Laura’s studio to relatives in Okotoks via Bragg Creek.  Originally we were going to stop in Bragg Creek, but we just didn’t have time.  We were already an hour late arriving at Okotoks.  We are glad we arrived when we did, because not long after our niece arrived with a birthday cake for her mom.  I had no idea it was my sister-in-law’s birthday!  To say we were unprepared is putting it mildly.  I went out with my sister-in-law in the evening and was glad to see her friends, where we went, celebrated her birthday too.

Unwind Wool – yarn and book

While in Okotoks I had the pleasure of visiting the new knitting shop downtown, Unwind Wool.  It just opened in February and is quite small, but packs quite a bit into a small space!  I walked out with a lot of yarn, and a new knitting book.

“Prairie Sky – Altocumulus 13”

My sister-in-law also took me to a spin-in at a friend’s place.  I took some rug hooking with me and finished a “Prairie Sky – Altocumulus” wall hanging there.  I was fascinated by what I was seeing at Robin’s house.  Robin had a weaving studio too.  We wandered upstairs to see her Canada 150 project – a large blanket she had spun and dyed warp for that was on the floor loom awaiting her weft.  It was the most beautiful warp I’ve ever seen!  Every colour of the rainbow!  And I didn’t get a picture of it.  Sigh…too caught up in her studio and how she did things.  I quizzed her up about her dyeing methods. I noticed a sketchbook being used to record weaving patterns and asked about that as well.  I need to use my sketchbook more.

Which brings me to our next stop – Michaels.  There was a Buy One Get 50% Off the second deal on large sketchbooks.  I bought.  I now have two large sketchbooks to work in this year.

Later that day Hubby and I headed off to Lethbridge.  It was quite funny because it turned out my sister-in-law was heading to Lethbridge the day after with a group of weavers.  They were going to have lunch, visit the Lethbridge weavers, and tour CASA – the art center there.  My sister-in-law wanted to know if I wanted to join them for lunch and the tour.  You bet I did!  So we had a wonderful time of it.  The weavers took us up to their studio in CASA and we spent time looking at warp and chatting with them.

CASA – Weaving studio

One of the ladies had just come back from a residency in Iceland.  That got me thinking.  It never occurred to me there would be residencies for fibre artists.  I chatted her up a bit and noted the link for where she found the residency.  I spent considerable time later in the evening and during our visit researching art residencies.  There really is nothing out there for rug hookers.  The more I thought about it, the more problematic it became.  In discussing it with other relatives we were visiting the question came up “What is your goal for the retreat/residency?” and “Why not design your own?”.  Both very good points.  I sat down and designed one on the spot.  I think I will be giving the idea a dry run at home though.  I may have some quiet time in July for it.  We’ll see.

After spending time at CASA in the weaving studio a young man showed up to give us a tour of the facility.  We asked a lot of questions I’m afraid, and he ran over his allotted time, but it was fascinating!  An artist can become a member for $200 per year, and rent a cupboard space that is about 3′ x 8′ with a locked door for another $200 per year.  That gives you access to a shared studio space for 24/7.  I could go for that.  Just over $1/day for studio space!  What a deal!

CASA – 3D studio

CASA – Pottery classroom. They have a gas fired kiln too.

 

My sister-in-law and I parted at CASA and I met up with Hubby at the public library.  We didn’t spend time looking around however.  Instead we headed right out to the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens.  We had a relaxing time walking the gardens and taking photos.  I have lots to work with for awhile.

In the morning, before I went to lunch with the weavers and to CASA, my husband’s cousin took me to the CCWG (Canadian Wool Growers) shop.  I picked up some roving to spin.  Then we went to Knitting Time, the local yarn shop, and I picked up yarn to hook and knit.  Then it was off to Marshall’s – the local fabric store – to check it out and pick up a few sundry items.

Lopi destined for wall hangings or rugs.

A word about Knitting Time…I was fascinated by this small shop.  The proprietor not only carries yarn for knitting, but also fibre for crocheting, thread for tatting, rayon thread for Brazilian embroidery, cross-stitch supplies, felting supplies, and spinning supplies.  Plus she has pattern books too.  For a small shop she packs a lot in there!

The next day found us at SAAG (the Southern Alberta Art Gallery) checking out exhibits we did not understand.  I wish I could have talked to one artist in particular.  I liked her exhibit.  I think I understand what it’s about, but when my very logical and practical Hubby started asking questions, I was at a loss for words.

We also went to the University of Lethbridge to check out their gallery, only to find it closed.  But they did have the hallway exhibit – “Habits and Habitats” – up for viewing.  That was good.

Habits and Habitats

On Monday, yesterday, we headed home.  We stopped in Medicine Hat and Swift Current.  Tried to get into the art gallery in Swift Current, only to find it closed and them taking down the exhibit we wanted to see.  Oh well.  They did have a few pieces of the artist’s work in a display case in the library in the same building as the art gallery.  So we ended up checking out the library.

I found a book, “Where Women Create” by Jo Packham, which I took out and read on the way home.  There are a few good ideas in the book that I will implement.  I was reading the description of some of the studio spaces to Hubby.  He was floored to think some people have more space than I do. lol.  I must admit, my crafting takes up two rooms in the house – one for rug hooking, and one for everything else.  I keep trying to get it in order, but it seems as fast as I empty a space, it fills with something else.

We had supper in Moose Jaw at the Mitsu Cafe.  There is a sushi bar in the back of the cafe, and you can order dessert from the cafe out front.  We shared a Caramel Apple Crepe.  It was huge!  And delicious!

Mitsu Cafe – Caramel Apple Crepe

 

Weekly Review

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Sorry for the late post folks.  It’s been a busy day.  Unexpected company and some running around town.  I’ve been busy working on my website.  I think I’m done transferring files from the old blog to the new.  Next up is to post a few more items for sale.  We’ll see how it goes next week.

Also been creating draft listings on Etsy and posting items for sale on Etsy in my JLT Studios shop.

I did manage to hook a bit more on “Moss”.  I had a friend hold it up a distance away from me and decided the problem is values again.  Seems if I have color issues it’s usually in the values.

I started knitting swatches for a sweater pattern I want to knit.  A friend helped me wind two skeins into balls of wool yarn.

I had fun this evening at Nouveau Gallery’s 11th Anniversary Celebration!  I love this gallery.  If you’re ever in Regina I highly recommend it.  They represent a variety of local artists working in a wide variety of different media and styles.  Tonight’s work did not disappoint.  It was wonderful!

WIP Thursday

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A very bad photo of some gorgeous yarn.  I love this yarn.  I visited the ranch the wool came from and bought these from the rancher’s wife.  I over-dyed the pinkish red color with a green and got this beautiful variegated brown.  It will be interesting to see how it knits up.

I’ve started making a sweater from this yarn.  I hope it works.  I’m currently still knitting swatches to make sure I have the right gauge.  I want something that fits in the end!

“Moss” is at a standstill.  I’m busy creating my new website and uploading new items to my Etsy shop.  I need a clone.

Current reading is “Everyone’s An Artist” by Ron Tite, Scott Kavanagh, and Christopher Novais.  I just started and so far so good.  Makes me feel a lot better about my Liberal Arts degree.  Did you know one third of the top Fortune 500 CEOs have an arts degree of some sort behind them?  Makes me feel better already!  Looking forward to this read…

Lots happening on the home front today.  So we’ll see what actually gets accomplished here.

 

WIP Thursday & Weekly Review

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Knit cellular baby blanket with lots of mistakes in it.  In my defense I have to say the kinky yarn was not a good choice.  As was my decision to knit it while visiting with friends.  The yarn was the most problematic though.  It was difficult to see mistakes until quite a ways after they happened.  I figure it will be good enough for charity.  I won’t be knitting that pattern again.  Plus I think I’ll stick to straight knit and purl when I’m busy visiting.

Hi everyone!  I am getting a lot done this week.  No hooking on “Moss” yet, but the week isn’t over. 🙂

I did manage to finish knitting the cellular baby blanket.  I’ll be blocking it soon I hope, and then donating it to charity.

I’ve been working on matching Certificates of Authenticity with all my finished hooked pieces larger than 6″ x 6″ that are original work.

I’ve been writing draft posts for my Etsy shop.  Keep an eye out for more items for sale on Monday.

And I’ve been working on my website.

I’ll be taking tomorrow, Friday, off to help some friends and to remember those who have fought and died in war for Canada.  I will be back on Monday.

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WIP Thursday

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Knit Cellular Baby Blanket – almost finished!

I am almost finished the knit baby blanket!  Only a few more rows to go!  I want to try a new cast off method.  I’ll be checking in with my friend about that.

As for “Moss”…I am decidedly unhappy with it and haven’t worked on it all week.

Instead I’ve been preparing wall hangings for sale on Etsy and working on my new website.

I did not get to the Certificates of Authenticity yesterday.  So I will be working on those today.  I did manage to get about 150 cup hooks into little plastic bags (2 each) and into the wall hanging packages.

I have spent a lot of time planning our trip and studying Korean.

 

Weekly Review

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Wall hangings and ornaments yet to be posted on Etsy.

It’s been a busy week.  I’ve been posting wall hangings and fiber bundles on Etsy for sale.  Check out my shop to see what’s new!  I’ll be posting more work next week.

I hooked a bit on “Moss”.

I knit on the cellular baby blanket.

I worked a lot on my new website I hope to have up and running by January.

I finished putting together my green wool and silk fiber bundles…for now.  I have a lot of green fiber!

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WIP Thursday

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I haven’t hooked at all this week.  But I have been knitting on the baby blanket.  I can smell the end!  Just need to knit 2″ more in ribbing and cast off.

I’ve been a bit preoccupied since Hubby retired the end of September.  We’ve been running errands, on a trip to see extended family, and busy learning Korean.  Yes, we are going to South Korea next spring.  A friend invited us to meet her family and show us around her home country.  We said “yes!”

So we’ve been busy planning immunizations, travel insurance, booking flights (there was a really good deal if you had Aeroplan), and learning Korean.  At least I am learning some Korean.  Hubby thinks they will all speak to him in English over there.  He’s never traveled outside of North America.

I’ve been trying to think of fiber things to see and do in South Korea.  Not coming up with much.  I know they quilt and embroider.  But I don’t know of any rug hookers in South Korea.  There is a special cloth made from local plant materials on the west coast.  But we will be focusing our visit on Seoul and the east coast I think.  At least that’s the plans so far.

In rug hooking news:  I sent more “Star Rug” blank greeting cards up to Saskatoon for the SCC Fine Craft Boutique.  So if anyone is wanting any for Christmas they can contact the Boutique or me.   I’m hoping to get back to making more bundles today.  Lots of fun and inspiration in those. 🙂

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Star Rug blank greeting card – $5 CAD

Other Christmas themed or winter themed cards people might be interested in purchasing are below:

Noodles and Tea

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Hi everyone.  I’m feeling a bit under the weather today.  But I have to go out in an hour or so for a lunch meeting.  So I’m sitting down with my Wellness Tea from Epicure, generously laced with echinacea and honey.  I admit I slept in quite a bit this morning.

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I’m soaking some rice noodles to cook for my lunch (my meeting requires I bring my own lunch).  I use doctored up store bought Classico spaghetti sauce to put over it.  Sorry, no photos of the sauce.  As I’m watching my sugar intake as well as being gluten free I just buy a very simple basil and tomato sauce, add ground beef, onion, garlic, and sometimes part of a chopped green pepper and grated carrot. The grated carrot gives more of a meat taste to the sauce.  If I use a lot of meat I omit the grated carrot.  I usually like to add 1/2-1 lb. of cooked ground beef to a jar of Classico sauce.

Today’s goal is to package up some more “Star Rug” greeting cards to mail to the SCC Boutique in Saskatoon.

Hope everyone has a great day! 🙂

 

In my studio…

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Autumn Spot Dyed Wool Blanket – 7″ x 17″-18″ – $30 CAD for all three pieces, plus shipping.  $15 CAD for one piece, plus shipping.

Look what went on Etsy for sale this weekend! Yes, I put up some of the spot dyed blanket I used for the background in “Rose Hips”.  It is $30 CAD + shipping for the entire lot of three pieces.  If you are interested in only one piece, which is 7″ x 17-18″, I will sell it for $15 + shipping.

I also put up these two dark green wool and silk bundles for sale for $25 CAD + shipping each.

This week I am continuing my hooking on “Moss”.

I also plan to make more bundles for sale.

I also plan to knit more on the cellular baby blanket at Crafting.

I am currently reading my way through “Professional Blogging for Dummies”.  That will be followed by “WordPress Web Design for Dummies”.  Hopefully, between the two of them I’ll be able to get a website up and running by the new year.

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Rose Hips