Christmas Ideas!

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

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

What kind of patterns might you hook for Christmas?

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

What types of items can you hook?

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

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

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

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

 

A Brief Distraction

A Brief Distraction

While I’ve been sick with this cold I decided to take a break from dyeing fibre and focus on planning next year. I’m a planner. Anyone who knows me know I like to plan…well in advance…often to the extreme.  I love researching options and alternatives. I like to challenge myself.

Having said that, my big challenge in life is learning to pace myself. I also suffer from periodic bouts of depression. Anyone who has this knows it can be challenging to deal with. On top of that I am an out-of-shape middle-aged woman. So my goal for the rest of this year and next year is to refocus my energies, such as they are, to becoming a healthier me. And I want to enjoy smelling the roses as life goes by.

I have tried many types of planners and day timers in the past. They all worked to a certain degree, but seemed like an awful waste of paper to me. There were a lot of blank spots that didn’t pertain to me, and places I needed spots to write that didn’t exist, which necessitated buying an extra journal or scribbler to find space.

For a long while I was on the journal kick.  I had a journal for everything:  a giving journal, a gratitude journal, a spiritual journal, a daily journal, a work journal…  It was too much.  I ended up not using any of them because, well, I had no time!

So I embarked on a Google search.  I found YouTube bullet journal videos. I wish I could say I was smitten right away, but I wasn’t.  The videos I was watching were more like scrapbooking.  I didn’t have time for that.  Still don’t most days.  I tried it anyways, and lasted one month.  I liked the idea, but it was expensive.  I decided to cut costs and create my own Midori style planner.  It didn’t work as well as I’d hoped.  I let the whole bullet journaling thing rest a year or so.

Then, not long ago someone online mentioned bullet journals again.  Hmmm.  I thought I’d revisit it and checked with my eldest daughter, who is into organised living.  She suggested checking out Ryder Carroll’s bullet journal website.  If you haven’t seen this system before I highly recommend it.

I did away with the fancy scrapbooking style and started with a simple Dollar Store 5″ X 7″ scribbler. I’ve been trialing the system since September.  I’m impressed by the versatility of it. I can combine several journals into one using the collections feature of Carroll’s bullet journaling system. I am not wasting as much paper as my old system of journaling.  I like it.

To give you an idea of how the system might work, check out Ryder Carroll’s website.  Here are a few sample pages from my bullet journal setup in the slide show below.  These are not perfect pages.  They are a first attempt.

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I hope to become better later on.  I sure hope this system continues to work for me, because not much else has in my many years of planning!

Friday Review

Friday Review

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!

Sick Day!

Sick Day!

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

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

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

Silk yarn and ribbon.

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

 

Updates

Updates

Hi everyone!  It’s been a while since I posted on the blog.  I’m here to let you know ART NOW was a huge success from attendance point of view.  I was there Friday at noon and most of Saturday.  There seemed to be plenty of people milling about.  I also noticed a fair number of red dots beside art on the walls.

I listened to three presentations: Technology and the Future of Art Commerce, The Artist’s Right to Resale Royalty, and On Collecting Art.  All three were well done and very interesting.

The first presentation, Technology and the Future of Art Commerce, focused on Internet and digital art, as well as 3D printing and virtual reality art.  It covered what constitutes original art and how to market it.  Very interesting to hear where things are going.

The second, Artist’s Resale Royalty, was a subject I had heard a bit about through being a member of CARFAC, but didn’t know quite what to think.  Artist’s resale royalties seems like a no-brainer to me, but the actual implementation of a system for it seems like a bit of a minefield.  I’d hate to see a large chunk of the artist’s proceeds going to a middleman collection agency.  However, I was horrified to learn the galleries are buying Inuit art for a few hundred dollars, and then taking it to big centers like Vancouver and Toronto to sell for thousands of dollars!  The Inuit deserve better than that!

The third talk, On Collecting Art, reinforced what I thought already – buy art you love.  I found it interesting that all three panelists had run out of room in their homes for their art.  I can relate.  Only in my case it’s art I created.

Aside from ART NOW, which I really enjoyed this past weekend, I’ve picked up hooking “Escapees” again.  I only have the grass in the background to do.

Today I’m working on updating and creating price tags and hang tags for some wall hangings, as well as catching up with Certificates of Authenticity.  I also plan to work more on the South Korea photos, narrowing them down to the ones I want to use for creating future wall hangings.

This week I’ll be meeting with my web developer and we will start creating a new website.

Talk to you all later! 🙂

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.

Welcome to May!

What a beautiful May day we have here.  It’s overcast, just the way I like it.  Don’t get me wrong.  I like the sun.  But sometimes the prairie sky can be too bright for me.  It’s so intense in colour and brightness.

Yesterday Hubby and I had a delightful walk around Wascana Lake in the heart of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.  You wouldn’t know that out in the middle of the Canadian prairies lay this jewel of a park that houses the lake.  We watched all kinds of ducks and geese coming and going about their business.  It was a magical time.

This past week I’ve been focusing on getting back to a normal sleep schedule and organizing 1500+ photos of South Korea.  I’m still working on both.  I want to get the photos organized so I can get started on my next wall hanging/rug.  I’m debating whether this one will be a floor mat or not.  I want to use my leftover worms for it.  We shall see.  It depends how the design works out.  So this week is photo week, sketch week, and possibly design week.

Just a few reminders…

My work is currently in a group show at the Art Gallery of Regina until Friday.

Also, I am planning to take part in the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair again this year on May 27th from 10 AM – 4 PM.  I received notification of where my booth will be located.  For people looking for me, I will be at the far end of the Fair between Montague and Athol streets on the south side of the street.  Maybe start walking the Fair from the Elphinstone Street end if you want to still have money and energy by the time you reach my booth!

In other news…I am being published for real this time.  The information has gone to press.  Stay tuned for further information.  I’ll believe it when I see the article in the magazine!

In my studio…From Start to Finish

Hi everyone!  This past weekend I had a blast with a lady who took my Curves class.  My pattern didn’t quite work out the way I’d hoped, so I’ll be changing it.  The lettering was too small to hook.  I suggested switching from cursive to block lettering, as that might be more readable.  That’s what I’ll be doing with the future version of this pattern.  Plus, the pattern will simply be made larger, making it easier to hook.  Both my student and I agreed this pattern is good practice for lettering.  If you can hook it this size, any other size will be easy!

Meanwhile, this same student took my Introductory Rug Hooking class two weeks ago and finished the star above.  Didn’t she do a great job for a beginner?!  It still has to be clipped properly.

This coming weekend is the beginning of the Start to Finish class.  It’s a four week long class running Saturday afternoons from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM.  Cost is $300CAD and includes supplies.  For further information contact me and I’ll send out an information email.  This week I’ll be putting the final touches on the course syllabus, picking up supplies, and creating the handouts.

Other than that, I plan to hook more on “Moss”, upload more product to the website, and design more courses.  Oh, and then there’s the business plan.  That will take a lot of work.  I’ve been putting it off.

Weekly Review

It’s been mostly a week of planning for the new year.  I have a list of goals a page long that need some editing and narrowing to focus on what’s really important for the year.

A little website housekeeping.  I discovered the links under the “Recipes” tab were not working.  I sorted that out yesterday and the links now work.

I posted more wall hangings on the site for sale and I’ve started posting plaid swatches.  Keep your eye open for interesting swatches.  I’ll be posting more over the weekend and into next week.

I have also been searching glossy picture books for inspiration.  The latest one is “500 Art Quilts: an inspiring collection of contemporary work” by Ray Hemachandra and Julie Hale.  It’s a delicious repository of quilt photographs.  Loved the book, loved the photography.  Lots of color combination and design ideas there.  I have a lot to think about and do to design some new work.

Talk to you all on Monday!

 

 

Weekly Review

I did hook a bit on “Moss”.  I fixed some of the values on the moss, both in the shaded moss and the area where the sunlit moss hit the background.  Looking a bit better now.

Mostly I’ve been working on Hubby’s retirement this week.  Lots of meetings, phone calls, and emails about insurance still.

I’ve been spending time planning for the next year already.  This year was kind of a write off, what with Hubby’s retirement.  Next year we have a big trip coming up…a trip to South Korea!  Looking forward to all kinds of inspiration from that, and madly deleting photos and videos from my camera, iPad, and laptop to make room for more.  I’m getting close to full on the camera and laptop.

Spent some time reconnecting with friends.  I think Hubby is surprised by how busy I am.  I haven’t talked to my friends much for about 3 weeks due to dealing with retirement issues.  We’re still dealing with them, so I’m just taking time out for a fun break.  I am hoping after our trip that things will calm down a bit.

Our trip.  We’re off on another 10+ day road trip to Alberta again – checking in with family and distributing garden produce. We’re doing the Hwy 1 Studio Tour tomorrow, on our way to Calgary.  Then eventually we’ll head north through Red Deer to Edmonton.  Hope to post here periodically.

Have a great weekend everyone! 🙂

 

 

 

Quick Update

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ArtNow is on in Saskatoon at Prairieland Park folks!  If you haven’t been, go check it out!

As you know, African Dream is done the hooking stage.  I’m hoping to block it this afternoon.

I’ve already started colour planning for my next wall hanging.  It’s a long narrow wall hanging I’m calling Northern Exposure at the moment.  It’s moss growing on the north side of a tree.  Not sure how this is going to turn out.  I’m thinking I need some brighter colours than I have in my stash, but I so don’t want to go to the dye pots right now.  I have so much excess fibre around here.  I might try a funky colour scheme.

 

 

 

I’m Back!

AB vacation 2016 - 33

Canola field in bloom!

AB vacation 2016 - 3

Beaver pond gone amuck!  There were seven beavers damming this creek and creating a massive pond, or rather, a small lake!

AB vacation 2016 - 7

Preparations for a Moving Party!  It was difficult to stay gluten free this trip!

Had a great time on vacation in Alberta, Canada.  Spent time with family and shopping.  There is no provincial sales tax in Alberta. 🙂

Stopped by Shuttleworks and picked up some lovely knitting books by Sally Melville, “Hooking on the Wild Side”, and a sweater pattern for knitting.  Also picked up some fiber for spinning.  Everything is 30-50% off!  I highly recommend them.  They are closing their doors soon, so the deals will only be available for a short while, and while supplies last.

This week I’ll be skipping my recipe of the week in order to get back in the swing of things here on the blog.  Today will be my “In my studio…” post and Wednesday I’ll be back to my regular “Inspiration Wednesday”.

So…in my studio this week…

  • work on my website development course
  • work on “African Dream”
  • finish sorting my business email

In good news, all three of the finished pieces I submitted to be juried into the Saskatchewan Art & Fine Craft Fair were accepted!   So if you want to see “Blue-eyed Grass”, “Sprouts”, or “Dancing Tree” in real life, then is your chance!  It will also be the first opportunity to purchase them, as I have yet to post them online for sale.  The Fair is September 15th through 18th in Saskatoon, SK at Prairieland Park.  Looking forward to the event! 🙂

 

In my studio…

Last Mountain Lake - 11

Last Mountain Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada

Had a great weekend.  We worked in the yard on Saturday, cleaning up.  On Sunday we went up to the Valley, as it’s affectionately known, and checked out the market gardens and the Snack Shack.  I experienced french fries with sour cream, bacon bits, and green onions for the first time.  Not sure if it beats poutine or not.  Might have to try their poutine next time I’m there.

Today it’s a dark and dreary day out there, with intermittent showers.  I plan to spend my day indoors hooking African Dream.

I also want to finish going through my gmail account.  No, I haven’t finished yet.  I got half way and then stalled for some reason.  I think it was taking my online courses that stalled me.  But they’re over, so I have time to do this again.

I have a lot of reading to catch up on.  So in-between hooking stints I’ll read.

One of the books I’m reading is Rod Judkin’s “The Art of Creative Thinking”.  I’m taking it slow, because, well, there’s a lot to think about in it.  I read a bit, rebel, decide he’s right, and move on.  I think I’m a reluctant artist.  I mean I love the results, but not the time it takes to get there.  I’m impatient.  But once I sit down to do it and get started I am totally absorbed in the activity of creating and making something.  I love the feeling of accomplishment when I’m finished.

How about you?  How do you feel at the start of a project?  The middle or doing part? When you finish it?

WIP African Dream 10

WIP – African Dream – The color scheme is set.  Now to finish hooking!

In My Studio…

Tea-tray

I finished my online Gale courses in communication and teaching writing: K-3 with flying colors on Friday.  They were fun courses to take to shake up my brain again and bring out the appropriate knowledge for teaching.  I think I’ll take a few more of these courses in the future.

I haven’t done a lick of work on African Dream or my g-mail account this weekend.  A true weekend off!  I was at a meeting on growth principles, and helping prepare food, serve it, and clean up for the church’s graduation luncheon.  By Sunday afternoon, when it was all over, I was wiped and took a good long nap!  Spent some time weeding the yard/garden.

This week’s plans definitely include African Dream and sorting through email.  I’m not sure what else I’ll do.  Depending on the weather I may spin a bit or do some plein air hooking in the backyard.  I’m feeling a bit of a need for a change.  Maybe some dyeing.

Friday is Canada Day and we are hosting a small gathering of friends.  So some time will be spent planning and preparing for that.  I’m looking forward to a week with a relatively clean slate.

Weekly Review

Patterns - 2

“Escapee”…ignore the toes! 🙂  I might add some more to this drawing.  We’ll see.

A busy week with company and online classes.

I did manage to finish organizing the booth display for Saturday at the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair.  If you’re in Regina, SK that day, stop on by the booth and say ‘hi!’

I prepared three patterns on backing this week – one to hook at the Street Fair.

That’s all I managed this week folks.  Just too much going on.  I was feeling a bit under the weather at the beginning of the week, but all is well now.  I’m all set to go for Saturday. 🙂

Patterns - 1.jpg

“Northern Exposure” – you’ll see what it is when I finish hooking it! 🙂

WIP Thursday

Patterns - 3

A gray and rainy day here.  I have three more patterns on backing and am colour planning today.  I think I’ll be doing some dyeing of bright greens again.  But for now, I plan on working on this scrappy rug.  Trying to use up leftover worms here.  This will have an irregular edge, which is my first.  It will be interesting!

Hope this posts finds everyone well. 🙂

Inspiration Wednesday

I had a blast yesterday enlarging, printing, and transferring three new patterns to linen backing.

It’s been overcast and rainy here.  I haven’t been outside with the camera.  I’ve also been feeling a bit under the weather.  But I know just what will cheer me up!  Some flowers!

In my studio…

Sorry folks. No photo today. I’m on the road already.  It’s the beginning of the Cathedral Village Arts Festival and Hubby and I are taking in the festivities.  I’ll add photos throughout the week. 

This week I will finish labeling and making hang tags for Dancing Tree and Beauty.  I did not have time to do that on Friday.

I will finalize my booth design as well.

And I need to design a quick scrappy rug/wall hanging to demonstrate on at the Street Fair.

 

Weekly Review

Well this week didn’t exactly turn out as planned.  I spent a lot of time on tax stuff.  My email has been acting up.  So I ended up making more phone calls than I’d like.  But it’s done now.  It’s solved.

Also spent time planning and preparing for our new boarder to move in, including two or three grocery shopping trips different places and times.  Normally I do one run a week.  But this week I renewed my Costco membership and did a serious shop there.

I also spent time preparing for my tutoring sessions this week.  I’ve signed up for a free class to brush up on teaching K-3 kids.  I have not done it in a while and feel I could use a refresher course.  It starts mid-May.  However I have access to some of the resources now, and have been reading them.

I also have hooked a bit on Dancing Tree, but have not hooked as much as I would have liked.

And I have not knit a stitch on the Cellular Baby Blanket.

I have been doing a lot of future planning this week.  For some reason spring is when I like to do my planning, not the New Year.  Hopefully next week I’ll get on track again.

 

 

In my studio…

WIP-Dancing-Tree-6

This week I am focusing on the background for Dancing Tree.

It is also looking warm enough to open windows and dye some mid-tone and light blues.

And I want to be thinking about what to hook next.  I’m seriously thinking something scrappy might be in order.  For those of you who do not know, a scrappy rug or piece of hooking is a piece made of leftover scraps (also known as worms) from other projects.  I have a huge bag and some boxes of worms that seriously need to be used up.

Weekly Review

BEG-on-wall

It’s been a busy week.  I finished the hanging systems for Sprouts and Blue-eyed Grass.  Hubby hung them on the wall for me.  They are now up for sale folks!

Sprouts is 6″ x 36″ and $225 CAD + shipping.  Blue-eyed Grass is 7″ x 36″ and $260 CAD + shipping.  Shipping via UPS runs about $75 CAD.  All pieces are insured for shipping.  Both pieces come with a Certificate of Authenticity as well.  Also, the hanging system (dowel) is included.

I had a delightful lady in Wednesday afternoon for a finishing class.  She is doing a wonderful job with her rug hooking and I hope to see her again soon.

I managed to package up Prairie Sky, the large version, and ship it off to its new owner.  Hopefully it will arrive safely.

I’ve been updating my business books as well.

AND, last, but not least, I actually cleaned up my studio!  I sorted out a mess of worms (small leftover strips of fibre).  I am feeling the need to do a scrappy wall hanging.  Hmm…will have to think about it.

Sprouts-on-wall

WIP Thursday

S and BeG hanging sleeves

I finished sewing the hanging sleeves on Sprouts and Blue-eyed Grass.  Had to make a run to Lowe’s to pick up some doweling to use as hanging rods.  Just waiting for Hubby to help hang them as they are both being hung in high places I cannot reach even standing on a chair!

Not much accomplished on the knitting the baby blanket again.  I’ve been busy with teaching a finishing class and tutoring this week.

Today I’m focusing on putting new patterns on backing.  I still haven’t decided which patterns I’m going to put on backing.  So maybe I’ll just put a bunch on and see what strikes my fancy to start hooking.

Happy Easter everyone!

WIP-BEG-3

Today is my last post before Easter holidays.  It’s been a mixed up week for my blog, what with the router going and the snowstorm interfering with my plans for an outside photo shoot again.  However I did manage to work some more on Blue-eyed Grass, as you can see above.

I did cruise through another sketchbook, but I have not scanned more sketches into my computer for editing yet.  I am deep in debate with myself over what direction to take my work.  I seem to have two streams going: realistic work based on nature, and abstract…also most often based on nature, but not necessarily.

This angst is holding me back in starting new pieces.  This is part of being an artist.  I just have to continue my work and let it decide my future I think.

 

Internet down

I’m posting from my iPhone. We’re having a doozy of a spring snowstorm here and power was out for a while. I cannot get our modem up and running again. 

So on today’s agenda is more hooking.  I did do some research yesterday on eagles for a wall hanging based on my youngest daughter’s poem. She wrote it in grade 9 I believe.  But I’ll leave it till I finish the wall hanging to share.  

I will also be sketching and planning more wall hangings. I badly need a new footstool cover and may work on that as well.