Errands and housekeeping day today! Just came back from doing errands. I am finally culling my books. A trip to the liquor store for boxes was in order. Also stopped by the pharmacy for medication and my annual flu shot. And, I finally went for a haircut! So all the errands are done this morning. That leaves this afternoon for…
This is a short week so my plans are few. Not only is Remembrance Day smack in the middle of the week, on Wednesday, but Hubby is home today and we are focusing on housekeeping chores. And, sometime this week the excavators are supposed to be coming to replace our sewer and water lines.
Draw a new pattern on backing – poppies?, studio piece based on the plein air barn I hooked last year?, or a studio piece based on the plein air scenery piece from this year?
Colour plan rug,
Take Christmas ornaments to shop,
Get caught up on reading of business related material,
Yesterday I was distracted by planning a trip to Denmark. Hubby has wanted to go for some time. He’s a family history buff and is writing a book. He’s about reached the limits for research options online and in Canada. He wants to go and actually see places and take photos. So I costed out a one month trip and sighed in dismay. Denmark is an expensive place to visit!
I finished reading Chronic Condition finally. It was a tough slog for me. The Canadian health care system is very complicated and very sick. I don’t know what the answers are. One of the answers the author suggests is making a federal drug plan that purchases all the drugs for everyone in the country, and is partially paid for by automatic deductions from our paychecks. In fact, he likes the idea of a patient partial payment for services too, to avoid overuse of the health care system. I do not like that. It penalizes people who are genetically predisposed to bad health. At any rate, Chronic Condition is a thought provoking read, and I think a necessary read if one wants to carry on an intelligent conversation about Canada’s health care system.
I read more of The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide by Dr. David Miklowitz too. Also scanned ahead a bit, reading key sections. I need to go back and slow down and take my time reading it. I’m not a fast reader. However the material in this book is good and worth the read.
On the rug hooking front… I finished the 8 star ornaments! Now onto the 8 circle ornaments. 🙂
Why do I do this to myself?! Yesterday I was side tracked by figuring out numbers for retirement. Hubby wants to retire soon, so I am crunching numbers to see how it will work. Plus researching retirement options. Spent most of yesterday afternoon on that.
In the evening I was on the phone. We had a great time, so all is good. I don’t do hand work in the evening anyway, due to the poor lighting in our house. I really need to phone the Canadian distributor for Ott light bulbs and buy a replacement for my lamp. I’m a bit nervous about a light bulb that expensive surviving the mail though! They are $65 each I’ve been told.
“The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide” by Dr. David Miklowitz. Good reading for anyone, let alone bipolar people. Helps you understand them a bit better. At least so far it’s helped me.
I also spent considerable time reading a library book called “The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide” by Dr. D. J. Miklowitz. Bipolar disorder is in my extended family. This appears to be a very good book that discusses not only bipolar, but illnesses that are close to it, and tells the reader how to determine the difference. It also gives many case studies and real life examples, which are helpful in understanding the illness better. There are also lots of quizzes to help a person determine where they stand. I’ve only finished the first four chapters. I am looking forward to reading this very worthwhile book.
Yesterday’s sketchbook pages. Still working on images from Craigdorrach Castle in Victoria, B.C.
In rug hooking yesterday:
I did manage to sketch for most of the morning,
block and press the hems in on the remaining Christmas ornaments, and
I prepared 4 more linings for them.
I need to prepare 8 more linings and sew them on. Today’s job, if I don’t get distracted, is to sew on the ribbon hangers and linings.
I did finish Simply Modern before I arrived home Friday evening. 🙂 It’s a great book and I highly recommend it to people. Lots of images, ideas, and project ideas to work on! I appreciate the detailed instructions for various dyeing methods, and construction of pillows and purses. I also appreciated the section on style. Thanks Deanne! 🙂
Last week can be summed up as my reading week and sketching week. I took few photos, but did start to go through the copious photos I took out on the coast before, during, and after TIGHR Tri-ennial, translating them into simple sketches for future wall hangings.
Most of my week, which was in Edmonton, was spent visiting family and friends. I did manage to meet up with another rug hooker from TIGHR. We had a great time checking over each others work, chatting, and generally having a good time. I hope to meet her again some day.
More sketching yesterday. Reading more of Simply Modern.
I met up with a rug hooker I met at the TIGHR Tri-ennial. We had a great time sharing photos, showing each other our work, and chatting each other up about rug hooking. I am looking forward to meeting her again. 🙂
Planning two more get togethers today with relatives. Should be fun! 🙂
Sketching doesn’t have to be great art. It just has to get the basic shapes and colours down. Sometimes not even that. I enjoy using my sketches as a base and “mixing it up” in my wall hangings.
Had a great time sketching more yesterday. Took photos of interesting designs and shapes in the place we are staying.
I also read more of Simply Modern. As well as more of Chronic Condition on Canada’s health care system.
We spent the evening visiting family and having a great time.
I am surrounded at Dad’s by lots of visual stimulation. Lots of ideas for hooked wall art, and just plain art in general. Lots of colour ideas too! Really, ideas are all around us everywhere. We just need to train our eyes to see them. It helps to have a healthy dose of “what if…?”
We left Kamloops Saturday morning and drove through to Jasper National Park. We stopped many places along the way to explore and take photos. We discovered Valemount, B.C. is a busy little community even on a holiday weekend.
An old steam engine at Jasper train station in Alberta…right outside our hotel.
We made it to Jasper townsite by suppertime. We walked the town and finally settled on eating at an East Indian buffet. It was so good! Excellent choice for us, though I reacted to the food. I dislike having food intolerances. We stayed at the quaint Whistlers Inn.
We were able to visit family in Salmon Arm and Jasper area. Now we’re in Edmonton organizing the few days we have here. Lots more relatives and friends to check up on before heading home.
Today I’m preparing a ham dinner for a second Thanksgiving for extended family who enjoyed turkey yesterday.
I’ve been reading Deanne Fitzpatrick’s Simply Modern on the road. I am loving all the exercises and activities in it. I cannot wait to get home to try some out.
I am also reading The Art of Creativity by Rod Judkins. It too, is giving me a lot of ideas to try.
Rug Hooking Magazine – A Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs – Stackpole Books, 1991. This is an annual publication of Rug Hooking Magazine. A photographic look at some of the best rugs and information on them by the people who made them.
Rupp, Jenny & Lisa Yeago – Designs for Primitive Rug Hookers – Rug Hooking Magazine, 2007.
Siano, Margaret & Susan Huxley – The Secrets of Finishing Hooked Rugs – Rug Hooking Magazine, 2003.
The Patchwork Place – Warm up to Wool – Martingale, 2004.
What do I do when I am not rug hooking? Others have asked. I do a variety of activities when I am not working on my business or rug hooking. some of them are more distractions, and some are necessary.
For one, I like to read. I’m a non-fiction girl. I have a hard time concentrating sometimes, but I love the feel of real books (none of that Kindle stuff for me!) and the texture of the pages as they pass through my fingers. And the smell of a new book…oh my! 🙂
Current reading? I just finished The Cure for Everything by Timothy Caulfield. Next up is Chronic Condition by Jeffrey Simpson.
I, and those I’ve known, have had some health challenges the last year or so and the problems with the health care system in Canada have become a concern for me. I am trying to educate myself about the situation.
Part of those health challenges involve gluten. Actually, I’ve never gone to the medical profession about it, but probably should. I’ve been quasi avoiding gluten for three or four years now. I am not strict about it. I just limit it. I do have problems with fatigue, bloating, inflammation, and digestive discomfort when I eat it. But it’s not as bad as some people. I’m not celiac after all…at least I don’t think so. And, up until recently, it has been too expensive to stick to a strict GF diet. But with these cookbooks I am ready to go! I love to cook. 🙂
“More from the Gluten-Free Gourmet” has a great all purpose GF flour mix recipe in the front that I am using for when I eat starch, which isn’t often. And “Gluten-Free on a Shoestring” has some wonderful cost effective recipes in it. Though it is a bit heavy on the sugar. Both Hubby and the boarder suggested backing down the sugar in the recipes by about a third. GF on a Shoestring also has a website.
Other reading? Well when I can’t sleep at night, which seems to be more and more often, I am up in my sewing room cleaning up and looking through my filing cabinet of project ideas, or I’m in the hallway downstairs checking out my knitting books.
I went through these last night marking baby patterns I could knit up fairly quickly. I want a stash of completed projects for baby gifts. I attended two baby showers recently and realized I really have very little on hand for such events.
And during daylight hours I work on my rug hooking. I like to hook in my sunroom because it receives the best natural light. I find I often deal with colours that are so close to each other and with such fine nuances, that I need natural daylight to get them in the right place in my work.
Yesterday I had to go to the gym, and then needed a nap, and then…I hooked on Ripening Saskatoons.
It was a long nap. I am not happy with this. I am hoping when the background is put in it will make the berries pop more. We shall see. I am already running out of warm greens. And I’m going through a lot of light green sari silk yarn. It seems so odd to have a room full of fibre but not enough to finish the job! The story of rug hooking! 🙁
Arrived home safe and sound again. Hopefully we’ll be here for a while. 🙂
In my studio this week…
I forgot to pack Prairie Sunset to finish the edges, so that’s up to be finished, including the hanging system.
I want to prepare more swatches to post. If nothing else I am making space in my studio and arranging and organizing my textures and plaids better.
It would be nice to hook some on Okra. We’ll see.
I want to work more on my business plan.
Once again I’ll have a short week. Hubby is off Monday and Friday. I get some things done when he’s off, but not as much as when he works. I allow him to distract me when he’s home, and sometimes I’m the instigator myself! We are struggling with scheduling joint activities and creative alone time. He can retire any time now and we are thinking of the pros and cons, and how to manage a business for me and retirement for him. His days off are our practice ground.
Anyone else struggle with this scenario? Or any been there, done that experience?
I spent time on the trip going over my business mind map and updating it. I have so much I want to do! I will be prowling the neighbourhood this summer, looking for a good clump of poppies to photograph and hook. I will be part of a Remembrance Day exhibit at one of the shops where I sell. It will actually be up all of November.
I also took time to read a couple of CARFAC newsletters and make notes on articles. I really need to acquire some back issues. Laureen Marchand has written some excellent articles on the business of being an artist.
Well that’s it for today folks. Hope everyone has a great Monday! Take care all. ?
Finished hooking Prairie Sunset yesterday afternoon. It is pressed and ready for hemming today. Then it and Prairie Sky will be shipped to Saskatoon for jurying for Dimensions 2015 – the biennial traveling exhibit of the Saskatchewan Craft Council. But not till I pick up a couple of mailing tubes at Staples for them.
I also spent more time on my business plan. It is developing into a large collage. I am afraid I will not have room for everything. Especially if I combine the information from both books – When Talent Isn’t Enough and The Right-Brain Business Plan. However I will have fun trying! 🙂
Yesterday’s headache was finding demographic information and market area information. Thankfully I have a librarian hubby who specializes in researching that sort of thing for prospective entrepreneurs. With his help I was able to flesh out that section of my business plan. I spent considerable time mapping my competition. Google maps was being difficult, which did not help.
My brief summary at this point is to note that The Right-Brain Business Plan goes into more detail than When Talent Isn’t Enough. WTIE gives you a breakdown of what you need to think about and incorporate into a business plan, and TRBBP details the exact information you need and where to find it, including the statistics. Though as noted I need my librarian hubby to negotiate the government websites and dig out the information for me! TRBBP is good for both Canadians and Americans. It was wise of me to read WTIE before TRBBP. It broke me into the whole idea. Though WTIE is aimed more at American freelancers, primarily writers. TRBBP seems to be aimed more at visual arts creative people. I don’t think it much matters really. The information from both books is useful.
So has anyone else reading this created a business plan for a creative endeavour? How did you do it? What resources did you use? I mean, just how detailed does this have to be? I’m not going to be borrowing money, at least I have no plans for it.
I finished reading When Talent Isn’t Enough by Kristen Fischer. It gives a great overview of how to develop a business plan for the creative minded entrepreneur. I used it to generate a huge mind map of ideas for an official business plan. Combined with my JLT Studios Facebook page statistics I should be able to come up with a decent plan.
I may, or may not, visit Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan offices. I’ve used their services before and they were good. They might help me fine tune a business plan with actual sales figures, etc. I am not sure where one would turn those up.
I’ve moved onto reading The Right-Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee. So far it looks interesting. I have over two pages of notes on the first chapter alone…lots of ideas. Jennifer has you do creative exercises throughout the book to get the ideas flowing.
Here are some images I cut out that I determined later really tell me I want a separate studio from the house! Not likely to happen here. City bylaws would prohibit it. However, there are some ideas here for furniture that would make my life a whole lot easier.
As for Prairie Sunset… It is close to being finished. A few more loops in the sky. Some switching of colours near the sun, and I should be done. 🙂
I am hoping to finish hooking Prairie Sunset this week. Also planning to press and hem it. I will work on finishing Goldfish too.
I have a phone workshop mid-week and a social media workshop this weekend. Should be interesting. Lots happening.
I want to finish reading When Talent Isn’t Enough. Picked up two new books on the weekend, courtesy of a gift card I received for Christmas. The two book are: The Right-Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee, and How to Start a Home-Based Etsy Business by Gina Luker.I am looking forward to reading them and fine tuning my business plan and Etsy business.
What’s everyone else up to this week? Anything creative happening?
Today is a bit of a mixed bag. I plan on working more on Prairie Sunset. I am finished the canola field and am onto the sky. I did my research and checked my fibre for supplies to hook Prairie Sunset. So far it is looking good.
I’ve been posting a fair bit on JLT Studios page on Facebook the last few days. Still contemplating the direction I want to go with it. Right now it is aimed at other rug hookers. I am thinking I need to broaden my audience a bit.
I’ve succeeded in posting every day on this blog…despite some unusual situations.
I’ve been reading through When Talent Isn’t Enough. Today’s topic was pricing…I’m still at the beginning of the book. I’m taking my time and making notes on application.
I am really going slow with revamping my Etsy shop. Right now Etsy is revamping their site for sellers. I am waiting for them to slow down a bit before I try and load anything more. I’ve signed up for an early March online course on Etsy selling. I suspect I know most of what they are going to talk about, but there is a section on using SEO to acquire more views on your listings. That I need…badly.
Thanks for hanging in there with me everyone. We were at my mother-in-law’s funeral and, as well as celebrating her life, had a good time reconnecting with relatives we hadn’t seen in a very long time.
Sunday evening we headed south to see relatives who had been flooded out in the 2013 High River flood. Did not spend near enough time there. Hope to be going back again soon.
As for this week in my studio?
I spent some time on the way home creating a business plan mind map. I have a few areas I need some help with, but it is definitely a beginning. I had no idea I was so firm in what I want in some areas. The result of that was to go through my calendar and make notes on what needs to be worked on next.
post on JLT Studios Facebook page every day but Sunday,
write a blog entry on JLT Studios every day but Sunday,
start hooking my Prairie Sunset wall hanging,
check to see if I have the fibre to hook the Prairie Sunset wall hanging!
do a bit of googling for images of prairie sunsets. Need to check a few things.
attach new price tags to wall hangings,
finish reading When Talent Isn’t Enough,
listen to some Thriving Artist podcasts, and
update my Etsy shop.
What’s everyone else up to this week? Any news to share?
My mother-in-law passed away Sunday evening. I will not be spending much time in my studio this week. Hubby is preparing the eulogy. We will be traveling to another province for the funeral, and our girls will be flying halfway across the continent for it. Spent most of yesterday on Skype, email, and phone making plans.
Today I will be preparing food for a road trip and putting more designs on backing. I chatted with the owner of one of the shops yesterday and she has enough inventory for spring she thinks. I will talk to the other shop assistant later this month.
I am planning some reading for the trip to the funeral. I am still working with iPhone: The Missing Manual by David Pogue. And I’m reading Coaching the Artist Within by Eric Maisel. And then there’s When Talent Isn’t Enough by Kristen Fischer. Those plus visiting with family will keep me plenty busy.
Today is Wednesday, and we all know what that means! Jean is on the road again! I hope to hook more on Goldfish at Crafting this afternoon. I have this week to work on it and then, next week, I have to set it aside and work on other things.
Had a great day yesterday!
Hooked more on Goldfish,
Drew more rugettes on backing – Spring, Autumn, Crabapple Spring
Listened to Creative Insurgents,
Reviewing sales figures. I doubled my income last year. I hope to double it again this year,
Reviewed some notes I made since the New Year and have another list to work on the next while. 🙂
I even had the opportunity to play more with my iPhone and iPad and figure out how to write messages on the iPad and have the iPhone send them to people. This could get interesting.
One of the books I’m reading right now is Coaching the Artist Withinby Eric Maisel. Won’t have time to read today probably, but am looking forward to settling down with it eventually this week.
Just a note to my readers in the Winnipeg, MB, Canada area…Dimensions 2013 is now in Winnipeg! The exhibit has been split into two locations – the Manitoba Crafts Museum and Library and the Manitoba Craft Council. The first location has its opening reception Jan. 28th (tonight), 7-8:30 PM, and the second opens Feb. 6th, 5-9 PM. I have no idea if Star Rug is being hung or where, as they comment that “select parts of the exhibit” are hanging in each location. Would love some feedback from anyone in or near Winnipeg who has been or is planning to go to the exhibit.
I am also working on a new project, but I am going to keep that under wraps for now. Heads up for the future though. Something is in the air! 🙂
Well that was interesting. What I thought was a draft post posted early on me last night. But that’s okay. It helped my stats considerably. ?
Today I have a full day to be a rug hooker! I love my Tuesdays! I won’t make my frame by nine, but I sure hope to be at it by ten.
Today I am also drawing spring inventory on backing. These are small pieces other than Prairie Sky wall hangings. I’m looking forward to more Crabapple Spring and regular green Spring rugettes.
I think I need to hunker down and do some Autumn wall hangings too. People have asked for those in the past.
Plus I need to do some analysis of sales figures last year.
And I will be sketching, reading, and listening to Creative Insurgents podcasts.
Last evening I settled down to update my calendar with deadlines for this year. Planning to make time to finish all my hooking for the exhibits I hope to participate in. Next up is to lay out the actual hooking time and schedule it so I actually know what of my time needs to be protected. I have a tendency to take on too much.
What’s everyone else up to today? Am I the only one who has a tendency to take on more than she can handle? How do you all manage your time to get things done?
I think I am close to finished. I have a few things to tweak and double check, but generally I am happy with this now.
What’s up this week in my studio?
I will be working on my hardanger and
Above the Garage next.
Also mind mapping some notes from old International Artist magazines,
reading back issues of Wild Fibers,
and going through old course notes for more rug ideas.
Hoping to soon be able to get into the basement to work on proper hanging systems for Prairie Sky and Lost Soul. Right now there is kitchen trim everywhere! Hubby is almost well enough to pick up work on the trim again. He injured himself on the table saw over a month ago now. So glad it was not any worse than it was!
This week we will have the kitchen installers in again.
The kitchen renovation has hit a snag…and a delay. Some of the cabinets are damaged and some are marked. As they are a light maple, every mark shows. We are waiting till everything is unpacked Monday before exchanging for new ones. They will take 2-3 weeks to come. The new timeline is to be finished the kitchen by mid-November.
As far as rug hooking…I did manage to send some business cards to the shop yesterday. I also managed to photograph the order for the other shop. I stopped in on my walk today to check out the new shop. It looks lovely. I do need to take my new inventory to them when the owners are back.
I started reading I Just Like to Make Stuff. It is a light look at starting a craft business. I think it will help me sort out what I want from my craft/art. I will continue to work through it and see how I can apply it to my situation.
I did not have a chance to sit down at my frame and hook yesterday. Maybe today…
Maybe I should title it In my life today. lol Today the contractors are back for a final paint job and installation of base cabinets.
I am off to the gym this morning.
However I will be busy in my studio this afternoon. I have some business cards to mail out to one of the shops. I have some wall hangings and ornaments to photograph before they go to another shop. I have some more wall hangings to hook for Etsy. And I have those two new books to look at: Coaching the Artist Within and I Just Like to Make Things.
Sounds like a lovely day to me. Hope yours is as well. 🙂
Finished the prairie sky spiral design wall hanging.
Talked to hubby about opening our painted shut living room window for air circulation once the sunroom studio is shut off from the rest of the house by sheets of plastic.
Plans for this week…
finish the prairie sky rugettes for sale.
In other news, I bought a couple of new books at my local yarn shop – French Girl Knits and Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders. Both of them have small projects that can be done in fine yarn. Some are smaller than others. They look like good books for making gifts for the younger set. I’m thinking 30s and under. But also some good baby and toy ideas. SYOSW has all kinds of doll clothes and toys to knit, as well as bags, scarves, baby clothes, hats, fingerless mitts, gloves, and even socks! FGK has socks, hats, fingerless mitts, shawls, and lots of other patterns. I am looking forward to working out of these books when my Christmas orders are finished.