Last week I had a lovely retreat, so to speak, with Hubby. It was actually a working vacation for me. We went up to Annapolis Royal, NS and rented a cottage in the area. The view out the front window was gorgeous!
We decided we didn’t want to cook while there, so I roasted a chicken and cut it up the day before we left. I also made some hummus and vegetable sticks for dipping. Plus we took the usual peanut butter and homemade jelly, and boiled eggs. Plus fruit, bagels and bread. We survived on that, oatmeal and two grocery store salads for the entire time we were there.
Well, except for our friends’ providing a BBQ supper and a picnic beach lunch! I tell you…there is nothing better than eating fresh baked homemade bread sandwiches out on the rocks overlooking the ocean!
We were gone for three nights. My friends are rug hookers too, so we had a great time hooking and finishing while I was there.
I also searched for a suitable gallery to show my Parker’s Cove fishing shack series in Annapolis Royal. While there are a good many galleries there for the population, many have unfortunately closed since the beginning of Covid.
Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know I started hooking the large Parker’s Cove piece. It’s 12” x 36”. I am currently hooking the last of five fishing shacks. It will be a couple of weeks or more before I finish. We are expecting company.
I had a photographer in to photograph my work. It was a massive job! He managed to photograph everything in about an hour. We worked together to finish over 75 pieces during that time! This is all the work I have in the house that was not previously photographed, excluding the Parker’s Cove series. I’ll have that photographed when it’s finished.
Other than that, I’ve been enjoying Elizabeth Miller’s site – Parris House Creative Community – on Mighty Networks lately. There was a lovely Zoom meeting in our gardens, showing each other our yards, but focusing on vegetable gardens. Elizabeth has a huge garden! Plus she’s into so many interesting things! I loved the opportunity to see her space, even if only virtually. I also took part in her monthly Crafternoon on Sunday.
My first group show with Visual Voice Gallery in Truro started Monday! The theme is “Summer”. Check it out, either in person or online! You can find it online at: Visual Voice or visit 128 King Street, Truro, Nova Scotia.
I am currently busy preparing for a July show and sale at a local museum Stay tuned for more information!
If you have been, thanks for reading. Have a great week everyone!
I had a lovely afternoon last Monday up in Truro at the Visual Voice Gallery with the proprietress. We went through my work, I described my process, and she decided which pieces she wanted to keep for various shows. I also took my notecards on the off chance she might want some of those. She did!
So now if anyone is looking for my work through a gallery in Nova Scotia, they can contact the gallery owner at: email@example.com
The first show I’m a part of starts today at Visual Voice in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada. It’s a group show on the theme of “Summer”.
In other news…
The Visual Voice Gallery owner mentioned two other exhibits I could take part in this year, both group shows. One is the end of August into September. The August/September one is called “Offbeat”. I plan on presenting her with some unusual pieces I’ve hooked over the years to see if anyone is interested in them
She also mentioned the Christmas sale, in which she tries to keep items under $100 CAD. I have several items I could display in that sale as well. Then there are my Christmas notecards. So if you’re interested in acquiring or seeing my work in person, visit Visual Voice!
I am organizing hooked pieces for a photography session later this month. I finally went through the professional photos I’ve had taken in the past and noted them on my main inventory list. I need to be better at figuring out what needs to be photographed professionally and what’s already been done. Next up is to take the pieces that need photos off the walls for the photographer.
I am also preparing for an exhibit with The Bonnie Hookers July 14-16th at Scott Manor House in Bedford, Nova Scotia. I will take a variety of work that is a variety of sizes. I will be there most of those days to help demonstrate rug hooking, answer questions and facilitate sales. If you are a blog reader and show up at the sale, make yourself known to me and I’ll try to show you around the exhibit.
I’m working on finishing some of the Parker’s Cove fishing shacks. I’ve also started the biggest Parker’s Cove piece to date. It is over 12” x 36” and will take awhile to hook. I’ll be working on it during my upcoming self-designed artist retreat.
That’s it so far everyone! If you have been, thanks for reading. Have a great week everyone!
Good morning everyone! This week I finished hooking a couple more small Parker’s Cove fishing shack pieces. I am pausing to finish the ones I’ve hooked. Then I’ll move on. I’m about at the halfway point with this series. I’m still enjoying them immensely. They are such cheerful buildings to hook. I have hooked 14 pieces so far.
I also spent time sketching the remaining shacks. Though I do believe I have a couple more to go. I have the backing cut and prepared for transferring patterns. Next up is to transfer them.
I arranged for a photographer to take photos of some of my hooked pieces in late June. Hopefully that will include some of the Parker’s Cove series. I currently want photos of 50 pieces for my website and portfolio.
I have been busy updating my CV and resumé. Time slips away from me easily. It’s been five years since I updated it. I also need to work on my artist statement. Plus, it’s been a long time since I updated my portfolio.
Lots happening! If you have been, thanks for reading. Have a great week everyone!
Good morning everyone! This past week I have been busy hooking more Parker’s Cove fishing shacks. I have a few colour questions to fine tune them. My photos were taken late in the day and some of the shacks were in pretty deep shade. I need to get back up there to confirm the colour choices I’ve made.
To that end I booked a four day artist retreat in the area for myself in June. Hubby will go with me and spend time on his creative projects as well. I hope to be finishing the wall hangings by then, but we shall see. There are a lot more to do!
Last week I also enjoyed the company of real live, in person rug hookers! It sure is nice to feel comfortable getting together with other people again. We shared our work and hooked away. The time passed very quickly, and I am looking forward to getting together again this week.
I am still working through “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, with a group in the Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks. I am finding the chapter I’m on is taking a long time to complete. I am however, being jolted out of complacency, off my butt to get up and do something about my artistic career.
Two of the areas I am exploring are exhibiting and sales options. I am teaming up with two other rug hookers. We are all members of the same rug hooking group. We are tentatively booked for a museum in July. I am not convinced this will go ahead. If not, we will hold an art show and sale in my backyard. I am also checking out galleries for possible representation, though I am not very confident in this area, having had mixed results where we previously lived.
I am also preparing work to be professionally photographed. This is a challenge, as I have close to fifty pieces that need photographing. I am starting to think it might be more affordable to buy a subscription to Adobe Photoshop Elements after all!
I created a quick two and a half minute video of my studio on YouTube, for your viewing pleasure. It is, of necessity, very brief. If people show an interest, I may do a longer, more detailed one later.
Well that’s it for this past week. If you have been reading, thank-you muchly. Take care everyone, and have a great week!
Hi everyone! It’s been a busy week! I am preparing for our Canadian Korean friend to visit for Thanksgiving. We are having a mixed Thanksgiving dinner – both Canadian and Korean food. I’ve been busy preparing ahead of time. I made trips to various Korean grocers today, and serious cooking starts tomorrow.
Aside from that, my greeting cards have been taking back seat due to an unexpected opportunity falling into my lap. I will not say much now, but I did spend a lot of time arranging for decent photos of some work. The photographer was here this week to do the job. I also rewrote my bio for this opportunity.
Aside from the above, I have been busy cooking and baking this week. I baked a double batch of Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins, lots of 2-bite Brownies, a couple of Lemon Tea Loaves, a triple batch of whole wheat dinner rolls, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Granola. My freezer is full!
I also caved and learned to make yogurt in my Instant Pot. I started with a gallon of reconstituted skim milk and ended up with two litres of yogurt and two litres of whey after straining it. I used half the whey in my dinner roll recipe and, boy, did they turn out light and fluffy! I’m plotting how to use the rest of the whey. I hear you can freeze it for later use.
This weekend was spent rug hooking, talking with family, sewing a doll outfit and gardening.
I also sent an email to the photographer whose photos I am using as a base for some of my nature journaling. I wanted to make sure he knew I was using his photos and how. He was okay with it. His name is John Phillips. He’s a Nova Scotia photographer. Check out his website here!
I hooked more on “Gyeongju”. I have one quarter of the border left to do – about four to five hours work. I’m looking forward to finishing.
My doll now has a new sailor dress outfit. This is my childhood doll and I’ve been meaning to sew her a new outfit for years. I never really prioritized it though. But Saturday was the day. I sewed the hat, dress and panties. The hat looks big, but actually just fits the back of the head.
My niece looked at it and commented the doll looked scary. Lol! Poor doll is over 55 years old and missing a few eyelashes and a pinkie finger. The missing lashes and discoloured face from age definitely give it a different look! Lol!
This week I am pushing to finish hooking “Gyeongju” and blocking it. I am also transplanting plants into pots for the deck garden. I have extra plants to unload on friends. I have a couple friends lined up already.
If you have been, thanks for reading. I hope you have a great week!
So for those of you who don’t know, all of Nova Scotia (where we live) has been placed in lockdown. We’re talking a super tight, don’t go out of your house unless you have to, lockdown. One person per household is allowed out to buy essentials – food, gas and medications – and it has to be the same individual throughout lockdown. We are allowed to walk, masked and socially distanced. If we’re a 1-2 person household, we can team up with another 1-2 person household and keep them in our bubble. When we do go shopping for groceries, gas or meds, we are not supposed to leave our community. It’s a bit stressful here right now.
So…our soil delivery for our newly made raised bed was canceled. The greenhouse staff called and said maybe next week, maybe not until the end of May. So much for my early spring crop. But it is what it is, and people need to stay safe!
Instead of focusing on the outdoors, which is hard to do anyways with all the rain forecast, I decided to focus on indoors. Saturday I spent all day picking up my studio. It was a mess! It still has a lot of extra stuff in it that needs culling and putting away, but it’s better than before. I made an eight minute video of the current state of my studio here. It’s middling. There’s still a lot to do in there. However there is progress. Last year this time we were dealing with this.
I also took time to do a quick two minute video of my nature journal. It can be found here. I hope to work on sketching some flowers I received for Mother’s Day. I’m also contemplating a Great Blue Heron page for my nature journal.
Today I’m sitting down with my hook and working on “Gyeongju”. I am also doing paperwork for my business.
If you have been, thanks for reading. Have a great week!
I have a busy week ahead of me. I have two Zoom meetings. Plus we need to run errands and catch up on household chores. I have a meeting with my framer about the embroidery and handwork I am having framed. In-between all that I hope to hook more on the border of “Gyeongju” (aka the South Korean roof tile end caps rug), and embellish more on “Time”.
Both my hubby and I receive our first shots of the Covid vaccine this week. I’m building in some down time just in case. I have some reading to catch up on. There were also quite a few freebies from Sketchbook Revival 2021 that I’d like to follow up on. Plus a friend sent me some bird photos to practice nature journaling.
I’m also trying to put my photos in order to have some printed professionally. I am planning another series.
Good afternoon everyone! I worked hard this week and finally finished off the Sketchbook Revival 2021 lessons I wanted to do. This week there were classes in printmaking, mark making to loosen up, character design, costume design, collage, watercolour and nature journaling. I was enamoured with the nature journaling and think I’ll do more of that.
To that end I ordered two books: John Muir Law’s “Nature Drawing and Journaling” and Clare Leslie’s and Charles Roth’s “Keeping a Nature Journal”. Our library had multiple holds on both books, so I decided to buy them.
Here’s a slide show of finished work from the second half of Sketchbook Revival 2021.
In other news…
I hooked quite a bit on the border of “Gyeongju” (the South Korean roof tile end caps rug). Still have a lot more to go.
Hubby and I also took a day off and went with a friend for a drive out on Digby Neck here in Nova Scotia. We meandered around, taking the scenic route on the way there. My imagination wasn’t captured until we got out of the car at the wharf in Delaps Cove. I was mesmerized by the age of the wharf, how battered it was, the rusty spikes and bolts holding it together, the huge granite boulders that made up the breakwater, and, of course, the fish shacks. I took a lot of photos and endured quite a bit of teasing for doing so!
But that was just the beginning for me. I requested we stop at the wharf in Parker’s Cove on the way back. Once again I took lots of photos. Our friend, from a fishing family, was having a good chuckle at me taking pictures of rope. But you know, I’ll say here what I said to her – every good original design starts with a good photo. I will probably get one or two pieces out of all those photos…and that’s okay.
If you have been, thanks for reading. Have a great weekend everyone!
Hi everyone! It’s been a productive week for me. I’ve been practicing my watercolour painting, preparing for another art trip.
I’ve also started a small “African Dream” wall hanging for a friend. I drew the pattern on backing during my last retreat. It’s taken awhile to get to it.
I’ve also been selling plaid and check swatches on Facebook’s Rug Hooking Buy and Sell Canada. This is a group for rug hookers who live in Canada. I’ll be listing more plaids and checks throughout the weekend. I have fifteen listed and another fifteen to go. Then I have some heavier woollens, more like tweed, which I’d like to try hooking before selling. I’m just not sure they’ll hold together to hook well. Perhaps on a wider cut they might.
Plus I cleaned up my studio to entertain a photographer who is going to photograph some of my wall hangings. I spent Wednesday evening auditioning and selecting pieces for him to photograph. The resulting images will be used for greeting cards, promotional material, show applications, and my website.
Well that’s it for this week. I hope everyone has a great weekend! Take care!
Artist Retreat, that is. This week I had a lovely time at a friend’s cottage on the Bay of Fundy with my husband and my creative gear.
I took far too much stuff. We could barely fit it all in the car! But we did! Aside from gear we had to take clothes, bedding, food, and water for five days. Hubby took his bicycle to fit in some riding. We both took technology to work on various projects. It was forecast to rain.
I took work to finish. I took my camera for inspiration photos. And the tripod, just in case. I took my rug hooking frame and South Korea rug. I took my sketchbook and watercolour pencils. I took reading material and watching material. Also I downloaded some podcasts. I took linen and Red Dot interfacing to transfer those patterns I enlarged last weekend.
Our destination had no internet, so I used my cell phone to create a hot spot every day in order to finish an Udemy course on composition.
I organized for this retreat using an app called Simple Mind. It is a mind mapping app that allows me to see a lot of information in point form at one glance, and how it’s all interrelated. I was able to adjust my retreat plans as it happened, to accommodate for finishing things early. Not being distracted can really be a big boon to productivity.
We went on a lot of walks, with and without camera. Some to the beach, some not. Some with sketchbook, some without.
I read “The Art of Botanical Painting” by Margaret Stevens. It’s a great book if you want to be a botanical painter. I am not that detail oriented. I did garner quite a few colour and composition ideas for an upcoming series of wallhangings I plan to develop.
I also took Keith West’s “How to Draw Plants”, “Nature Drawing “ by Clare Walker Leslie, and “Drawing Scenery: landscapes and Seascapes” by Jack Hamm. These were more for reference. I haven’t drawn a seashore close up before.
I did manage some watercolour sketching for future design ideas. Lus I finished the Hearts wall hanging and coasters.
Absolutely no rug hooking done this week. However I did work on the website. Or rather my web developer did with my input. It should be fully operational now. If you encounter a problem please email me under the “contact” button.
I designed a pattern based on our travels in South Korea this spring, and put it on backing today. It is large – 36″ X 25″ – for me. I will have to do some dyeing for it. Probably tomorrow or next week sometime. I find my days getting busy now I’m back home and well again!
It’s come to my attention that my photos could use a bit more organization. To that end I spent considerable time today organizing them. I have them in three places, supposedly. Unfortunately, due to technological and human failure, I have some only in one place. I need to organize and rectify the situation.
How do you organize your digital photos?
I have thousands. Right now I set up a file system that starts with ‘Photos 2006’ and has folders up to this year. Inside each folder I have the year and month folders (eg. 2017 August). After that I tend to fall apart. Right now key events get their own folder in the year folder, among the month folders. For example, “2017 Sauder Village”.
This seems to be a good way to keep photos from getting lost. Unfortunately, I still have to use the search engine more than I’d like to find images. I need to get these labelled properly and under control.
I have close to 16,000 photos (including duplicates and edited versions). I’m looking for a good way to organize these so I’m not panicking whenever someone needs a photo of my work.
I plan on a working Saturday and taking a break Sunday. I hope everyone else has a great weekend!
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!
Look where I am folks!!! I’m in Canadian Living magazine’s July issue – Canada’s 150th Birthday issue! So pleased and happy with Canadian Living staff. They did a great job. Short but sweet. I’ve been tracking the response to the mention this weekend. It’s looking good so far. Subscribers to my blog have doubled already. And views of my website are up.
On top of that we were celebrating Mosaic – Regina’s multicultural festival – and hosting company. Company was very agreeable to attending Mosaic with us, which was good. We managed to see 15 out of 20 pavilions this year, along with watching at least part of the show in each pavilion. It was fun again, as usual.
I’ve also been posting old burlap patterns I bought from my old rug hooking teacher online to sell on my Facebook page – JLT Studios. Check them out! Some Bluenose patterns (also posted for sale here under “Patterns”), an old Jane Olson pattern, and a Mildred Sprout pattern. Also a couple of small stained glass patterns. I have a couple more patterns to photograph and upload this week.
And I’ve been busy organizing my work for the summer. I am hooking a small “Prairie Sky – Altocumulus” wall hanging at the moment. Using up scrap pieces of backing in my rug hooking studio. That will be my fun for the next few days.
Anyone interested in summer classes, now is the time to contact me. Use the form on my Classes page. Due to family issues I have had to change the class schedule for the summer and fall. Please check the current schedule to make sure the class you want is being offered. If you want a specific class and the time is not working for you, please contact me and we will see what we can do to accommodate you.
This week will see me
posting more patterns online,
adding more product to the website,
adding hanging sleeves to some smaller wall hangings,
cutting up some wool strips for sale,
finishing up my mini-portfolio photo book, and
hopefully finding my file folders for my classes! I’ve managed to lose those…
I hope everyone has a great week! I’ll check back in with everyone on Friday. 🙂
We live near a creek beside which the City has kindly placed a walking and biking path. Every now and then we go out to enjoy it. Yesterday afternoon was one of those times. We went on an hour and twenty minutes long walk. The Creek is a great place to people watch, as well as bird watch. I took plenty of photos and narrowed it down to this slideshow for my readers to view.
I told Hubby we need to go on more walks the next few weeks. I’m trying to get in shape for South Korea. I hear there will be a lot of walking. Lots to see and do! And I could use the exercise.
In the meantime, Saturday was the last From Start to Finish class. I had an excellent student who wasn’t afraid to ask questions and gave quality feedback when I asked. I really appreciated everything she had to say. I have revised some areas of the course based on her experiences, and mine.
I cleaned up the dining room and put everything back where it belongs. My dining room is looking more like a dining room than a rug hooking studio. It will stay that way until May, when a new set of classes will begin. Feel free to check out my classes and contact me if you are interested in taking any.
This weekend I was busy with my Etsy shop. I uploaded more items for sale.
I was also busy on my new website. Still trying to figure out the shipping issues with WooCommerce. Seems they aren’t as cheap as they claim to be. I’ll be looking at other options this week.
Upcoming this week…
~ I plan to hook more on “Moss”.
~ I need to add cup hooks to the packages of wall hangings I am selling.
~ I need to sew a hanging sleeve on one of the wall hangings.
~ I need to take some photos of others before posting them on Etsy.
~ I need to fill out Certificates of Authenticity for most of the wall hangings.
~ And I need to photograph and load more fiber bundles for sale.
I doubt I’ll finish all this in one week, but I’ll make a stab at it. The Certificates of Authenticity will take some time to fill out. They are quite detailed and I have quite a number to do.
Well I hope everyone is off to a great start of a new week! Enjoy the nice fall weather and try not to eat too much candy then next couple of days.