This weekend I pulled weeds, finished preparing the alpaca yarn for sale, and pulled more weeds. Hubby and I had several serious conversations about the yard. Something has to be done sooner rather than later. We have a major goutweed (aka Bishop’s weed) infestation happening.
Our new mat for the deck gazebo came Saturday. It’s gorgeous and it’s from Costco. It was a very good deal. We are pleased to have a nice place to read, rug hook and spin on the deck out of the sun.
Plans for this week include more weed pulling. But also more creative work. I want to get “Gyeongju” finished and off my frame. I also want it steamed and blocked. I’m stuck on hemming until I can either have my serger repaired or get to someone else’s serger to do the job. Right now no one is going anywhere due to Covid lockdown.
I’ve been playing around with the project management app, Trello, and one thing it shows me clearly is how many of my projects are stuck because of lockdown. We aren’t supposed to go out except for essentials, and even then only one person is to go. That’s Hubby. I can’t call repairing a serger or buying supplies for a hanging system essential. And I certainly wouldn’t want Hubby to handle those transactions on his own. So…I can go so far with “Gyeongju” and then I wait…
I am also hoping to enter all my projects into Trello to see how many years of work I have ahead of me. I need to break it down into a reasonable workload.
Well, if you have been reading, thanks! I hope you have a good week. Take care everyone, and stay safe.
I’m trying out Trello project management app due to a reader’s comment not long ago. I have mixed feelings. I like it for breaking big projects down into smaller steps and creating a daily to do list. But I find it difficult to get a good global overview. I haven’t decided if that’s good or bad. Sometimes a global overview can be overwhelming and freeze you up. Other times it can show you where duplication is happening.
I’ve used mind maps since 1993. I’m used to them. But I think that’s part of the problem with me assessing Trello – I’m biased. So I’m going to keep experimenting with both and see if one works better than the other. I’m using SimpleMind for mind mapping…the paid version. It may be they complement each other. I don’t know. I have to play with Trello more.
In other news, I discovered a new website this week for budding artists and experienced alike. Check out Jeanne Oliver’s website. There are free courses, self study courses and actual paid classes I notice Deanne Fitzpatrick has a class being offered there as well. Lots to work with. I plan on exploring some.
I’ve been reading a new-to-me book called “Desire to Inspire” by Christine Mason Miller. It is a book on various artists with creative exercises in it to help you use your “creative passion to transform the world “. I’m on chapter two. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I’m still hooking on the border of “Gyeongju”. It’s a lot bigger than I thought, but it’s looking good! I figure I have two more hours of hooking to do and it will be finished!
I processed (or finished) some hand spun alpaca yarn for knitting. It’s hanging to dry as I write.
I attended a free nature journaling lecture via Zoom yesterday afternoon. It was hosted by John Muir Laws. It was about flower and leaf configurations. In it I found out the first week of June is International Nature Journalling Week. John’s website offers a series of Zoom workshops for free or donation (as you are able) during the week. I’m debating taking some. It depends on my time.
There is also a nature journaling conference called Wild Wonder June 23-27th. That is a paid event. More information can be found on John’s website.
If you have been, thanks for reading! Enjoy your weekend!
Good morning everyone! Today I am talking about nature journaling. I am a wildlife biologist’s daughter. I spent most of my childhood and early adult life outdoors and enjoying camping. My mother loved birds and plants and instilled her love of those to me. My father took us all out “into the field” from June through the end of August.
“The field”, for those not related to a wildlife biologist, means we lived in tents all summer long in the great outdoors, wherever it may be. For my growing up years that meant a place called Streeter Basin, followed by Gregg Lake, and then Kananaskis Research Centre, where we graduated to living in a trailer. At Streeter there was no-one around for miles. Just my family, Dad’s grad students (“Don’t bother them!”) and nature. We learned to love nature.
Was this scary? A bit. I could tell you stories. But that’s getting off topic. Streeter Basin was where I became interested in birds. It was also where I started drawing plants.
By the time I was in high school we started going to Kananaskis. There a kind botany professor let me tag along on field trips. My mother was in his class. He would talk about the plants. I would go off nearby and draw them.
I did try and paint a few plants as an adult, upon taking painting courses. But that was the extent of my nature drawing. Until Sketchbook Revival 2021 and John Muir Laws’ class.
After drawing the Black-throated Blue Warbler in under two hours, I was excited again! Here is a more or less cleaned up version of the original drawing, which had a lot of mistakes.
Enter my Internet search for resources. I found John Muir Laws has written, not one, but two books on nature journaling. I also found Clare Walker Leslie had a book out on nature journaling that she co-authored with Charles Roth. Hmmm… I ordered both books. (Clare Walker Leslie has a new edition of her book published this year!)
While waiting I decided to try my hand at it a second time. This time I asked a nature loving friend if she had any photos I could use as a base for my drawings – as reference. She did! I received several shots with images of birds. I decided to try again…this time I made a page for the Black-capped Chickadee.
I see several areas where I could improve my work, composition wise, artistically and with the text. However, as a starting point these are okay. I need a record to see how I progress.
The books arrived Thursday and I have been immersed ever since. They are both excellent books. Clare’s and Charles’s book, “Keeping a Nature Journal”, is good for someone who has no clue about drawing and thinks they can’t do it. John’s book, “The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling”, is more detailed and in-depth. Both excellent stuff! Both are aimed at nature lovers everywhere who want to record what they see.
I was so excited by the books I powered through most of “Keeping a Nature Journal” this weekend. I also watched a video on YouTube called “How to Build a Journal Page with Kristin Meuser. On Kristin’s advice I decided to pick a smaller watercolour sketchbook to start.
I found a red journal half the size of the large sketchbook I had been using, and redrew the first two drawings, adjusting for composition. I also tried some drawing from life, which is what nature journaling is all about. It looks pretty rough folks, but it’s a start. Practice makes perfect!
So if I appear to be neglecting my rug hooking for a while, don’t be alarmed! I am merely honing observation and drawing skills which will, eventually, show up in my wall hangings.
If you have been, thanks for reading! Have a great week everyone!
Two new sofa beds are in the house! That completes the seating for the studio and the guest bedroom cum family room cum classroom. I do not have room in the studio for my comfy chair and the sofa bed. So we will be rearranging furniture in the near future.
Karen Miller’s class on Tuesday was a blast! I had to design a piece on the fly…like a minute or two…and start hooking. I’m a slow hooker, especially with materials new to me. The object was to experiment with new materials. I tried dental floss, pink elastics (off broccoli folks!), fabric strips, parchment paper (yes, the kind you bake on), acrylic eyelash yarn, wool yarn, wool fabric, silk fabric, cotton fabric, sewing with buttonhole thread, some twill weave tweed that shreds like crazy, and more. It was a fascinating exercise! Karen is an excellent teacher. Here’s the results.
The South Korea rug is slowly progressing. I’m sticking to wool, silk, and nylon for that one…so far.
I spent more time sketching the South Korea photos. Lots of options for wall hangings. Lots of elements I might piece together to form one wall hanging.
Branding progress…I think I have what I need now. I’ll be visiting a local printer eventually for new business cards, hang tags, greeting cards, etc. I’m hoping to find a local affordable printer who can do an excellent job. I currently use an outfit in the US, but I’d rather use local, if I can keep the quality.
Meryl Cook’s book “One Loop At A Time – The Creativity Workbook” arrived this week. I’m looking forward to her class during the In My Studio Workshop Week the end of October. I may sidetrack into some of that workbook before the October class. I don’t believe it’s required for the class, but it is a good little thought provoking book I hope will get my creative juices flowing along different lines.
I am thoroughly enjoying online learning. I hope once Covid-19 is behind us it will continue. It is just so much easier for me, not just financially (no hotels or air fares), but logistically too. Three cheers for the rug hooking artists out there putting in the tremendous time and effort it takes to create these online courses. Know that I, at least, appreciate all you’re doing!
And that’s my review for this week. I hope everyone has a great weekend if you’ve been reading, thank-you .
Hello everyone! This weekly review is on the various books and websites used this past weekend at my niece’s. She wanted to learn patterned natural dyeing, not dyeing all one colour. She also is interested in growing a dye garden.
I taught her some of the natural dyeing I knew, and we spent one afternoon with Linda Wallbank, a spinner and weaver, who just happens to also knit and dye. She grows her dye plants in amongst her vegetables. So we checked out her garden too, and her animals – alpacas, llamas, and horses.
At any rate, aside from Linda’s and my expertise, I also used a bevy of dyeing books and websites to help us on our natural dyeing journey. Here are some of the websites I found useful:
I also took the opportunity to make use of my natural dyeing library with this workshop. I found the following books useful.
“Wild Color” by Jenny Dean
”The Complete Guide to Natural Dyeing” by Eva Lambert and Tracy Kendall
”The Craft of the Dyer” by Karen Leigh Casselman
”The Dyer’s Garden” by Rita Buchanan
”Natural Processes in Textile Art” by Alice Fox (rust dyeing)
”Harvesting Color” by Rebecca Burgess
”Natural Dyes” by Judy Hardman and Sally Pinhey
”Eco-Colour” by India Flint
”Shibori” by Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada, Mary Kellogg Rice, and Jane Barton
”Stitched Shibori “ by Jane Callender
While we didn’t do any shibori per se, we did spend a lot of time on tie dyeing. Looking at shibori books inspired my niece to stretch her tie dye design repertoire. We surfed the Internet and found some interesting patterns to try.
The top three useful books for this particular workshop were: “Wild Color”, “The Complete Guide to Natural Dyeing “, and “The Craft of the Dyer”. Having said that, we did have difficulty getting beet dye and blueberry dye to stick to the pre-mordanted cotton fabric, no matter whose instructions we used! And of course, we discovered they are both fugitive dyes. While I suspected the beet dye of being fugitive before we started, I did not know what to think of blueberry, having never used it. Other dyes we used were: carrot tops, onion skins, and staghorn sumac leaves.
All in all we had a great time experimenting, and the above resources were a great help. Check them out if you’re interested in natural dyeing!
The pellet stove has been removed! I am pleased to have space for another chair in the seating area of the studio. Kudos to Dan Walker, his co-worker, and Charlie for removing the stove and repairing the wall. The walls have now been painted and it’s time to fix the floor where the pellet stove sat, so the chair has someplace level to sit.
In other news, I am selling all my scrapbooking supplies. I purchased storage on Forever.com, as well as their programs Historian and Artisan. I also purchased a PC laptop to run everything on! I’ve used PCs before, but it’s been a while. This could be a bit of a learning curve.
The laptop is a Lenovo Legion Y740 15″ laptop. This is, I suspect, a gaming laptop. However, it was one of the few I could find with all the specifications required to handle everything I need it to do. Next up, once this is set up, I’ll be looking at a scanner and a printer. I have a lot of old photographs and negatives that need scanning.
I continue to unpack and sift through our belongings. I am to the point where I am shredding entire boxes of journals and papers from when the girls were younger. I have no idea why I kept it all! Hopefully this move will ultimately achieve our goal of downsizing all our stuff, as well as our accommodation.
In my leisure time I am reading “In The Company of Women” by Grace Bonney. It is a wonderful book full of interviews from successful women entrepreneurs. It has some sage advice and great quotes.
I also joined Udemy this week. Their classes are as low as $13.99 each until June 20th. I purchased three by Doris Charest, an artist from Alberta, Canada. They are: “Teaching Art Classes Online”, “Composition Basics for Abstract or Realism for Beginners“, and “Starting an Art Business”. I learned quite a bit from “Teaching Art Classes Online”. I don’t expect to learn as much from the other two. They are more refreshers. Mme. Charest’s teaching style and delivery is very good. I appreciated her honesty about her subject.
Hi everyone! Today I thought I’d take a look in my reading pile by the chair and let you know what I’m reading, why, and what it’s inspired.
One book I’ve been paying close attention to is “Creative Time and Space” by Rice Freeman-Zachary. It is subtitled “Making Room for Making Art”. While not devoted to rug hooking per se it does have an entire chapter on studio spaces of various artists. Since we’ve just moved I read that chapter and decided to do my studio up right this time. At the very least I decided to document the transformation from a very yellow family room to a studio. Keep an eye on my YouTube channel for a video in the next month or so!
Also in my reading pile is “Desire to Inspire” by Christine Mason Miller. It’s subtitle is “Using Creative Passion to Transform the World”. It is a book of ideas, techniques, and exercises that “help you discover your own strengths, goals and potential paths”. It explores the work of inspiring artists and their transformative art.
Following on the heels of that I still want to finish “The Secret Lives of Color” by Kassia St. Clair. It’s more of a fun cross between history and trivia on some of the more common colours used by artists of all kinds.
Then there’s “Living the Creative Life”, also by Rice Freeman-Zachery. The author interviews 15 artists practicing in a variety of mediums, including fibre arts, about creativity. It will be interesting. There’s a section on artist retreats by Sas Colby, a fibre artist. I’m interested in a fibre art retreat, but not with other people. I truly need to be alone, except for meals, which I’d love for someone else to prepare, while I just get some work done!
And last, but not least, I still haven’t read Deanne Fitzpatrick’s book “Rug Hooking with Deanne Fitzpatrick “. I’m hoping to read that as well.
Well that’s my reading list on the creative and fibrey end of things. What are you all reading these days?
I finished my first bed sock and am almost done the second. They are a bit large, but that’s okay. If I knit myself a real pair for walking I’ll go down one size.
I finished the first eight appliqué quilt blocks and am onto the next eight. Having a hard time finding time to do this, what with other distractions and only being able to do it during daylight hours. My appliqué stitching is a mess after the sun goes down, even with lights on!
I am reading “Eyes Open to the World” by Karen Miller. I’m really enjoying it! I’m halfway through the book now. I’m a slow reader.
I missed rug hooking, so I scrounged around in bins and boxes for some scrap linen backing. I freehand drew some hearts on it, on top of some squares that were already on the backing.
I commandeered Hubby to move boxes of fibre around so I could find the appropriate colours to prepare for hooking. I settled on pink, red, purple, and white. I am using my usual wool, silk, and nylon.
Then I discovered my portable lap frame had cracked during our move. I quickly mentioned it to a friend and she offered to bring one to our group meeting this week for me to borrow. I took my cracked frame to the meeting and asked for advice on fixing or replacing it. I was surprised the answer was try Gorilla Glue! So Hubby went out for some Gorilla Glue and is poised to try and repair my frame.
I hope everyone else is having a productive time. Take care and I’ll try and check in next week.
Hi everyone! I’ve been spinning and knitting away. I managed to finish spinning the red purple and the golden yellow for my current project – the South Korea rug. We’ll see how that hooking project goes. I’ve determined the pattern is too detailed to add my silk fibre strips. The pattern loses definition when I do. This project will definitely be a learning one, but then, what project isn’t? I find I learn something with every project I do.
I’m also knitting more on the silk/alpaca Dropped Stitch Scarf. It’s a free pattern from Ravelry. Almost done. Only about ten inches to go! Looking forward to blocking and wearing it.
Aside from the fibre activity I’ve been to the local rug hooking guild. They are a very talented group of ladies! They are a huge group! I visited on a day when some of them were selling crafts as well. I bought some beautiful small dove Christmas tree ornaments and took the phone number of a knitter. That reminds me, I must call her. I’m thinking I’ll put in an after New Year’s order. She knits wool socks and shawls.
I’m also reading. I finished reading “Hooked Mats of Newfoundland and Labrador” and was struck by the diversity of design within the region. There is a history of the Rug Hooking Guild of Newfoundland and Labrador at the beginning of the book. That is followed by many examples of hooked mats from various parts of the region. I found the history of the mats fascinating.
I’m currently reading “Silk Stocking Mats” by Paula Laverty and enjoying the history in that. I’m not a big history fan, but these two books include a lot of visuals to make it interesting and clarify what happened when.
Two days ago I processed the yarn I spun. I’m already noticing the difference between the humidity here and on the Prairies. It’s taken two days to dry instead of one!
Earlier this week we dug out Christmas decorations and decorated a tree and the main floor of the house where we’re staying.
We baked up a storm and hosted a cookie exchange for our landlady, daughters, and our son-in-laws. I hate to tell them, but our cookies are already gone! That’s probably a good thing, and we probably shouldn’t eat any more! However I know I’ll be making chocolates soon. So there will be lots of goodies yet for Hubby and I to share with others.
Well, it’s time to get going here. Take care everyone. Have a safe holiday season!
The house sold and we’re busy preparing for the move and saying good-bye to our many good friends. We will miss you all.
We moved everything back to the house from storage and decided that was enough. We hired a real moving company for the actual move. We were going to do UHaul, but it was just too much work.
I’ve been busy listing items for sale online, and selling them. Hubby has been making trips to the Salvation Army Thrift Store to drop items off. It’s amazing how little you need when faced with paying for a move!
We continue to have our weekly Pizza and Games night with friends. I’m still sick, but it’s only a cold I’ve been told. As long as I don’t laugh too much I’ll be fine. When I laugh I cough.
Creativity these days consists of planning, organizing, and getting things done. Not much. Thankfully my whiteboard is starting to look a little emptier.
In rug hooking news, Karen Miller’s new book is out! I am represented in its pages in the plein air hooking section. I’m looking forward to receiving my copy.
I packed my car bag for the road trip east today. It has knitting in it. I’ll also be spinning some roving into yarn.
Hubby and I were a bit concerned about all the stuff we want to take in the car. So we hauled it all into one room in one pile for a visual assessment. It should be good.
We celebrated a friend’s birthday recently. Baked a cake and had it with ice-cream for dessert. She wanted to learn to make pizza from scratch, so a couple of friends gave her a pizza stone and pizza cutter, while we gave her a couple grocery store gift cards. She and her sister were here visiting about a week ago and I showed them how to do it. They are excited to try.
Well, that’s it. The goal for today is to check the emergency kit in the car and to visit the lawyer to sign the final paperwork for the house sale.
Hi everyone. I haven’t posted for a couple of reasons. 1) I’ve been super busy with the move and medical happenings. 2) I’ve been having website issues. I am not a happy camper on either front because they take me away from my creative activities.
On the medical front…MRI is done. No results yet, but I feel fine…except my back…which was the reason for the MRI. I’ll wait a while and see if I receive a phone call from the doctor’s office in regards to it. No call is a good thing. If I don’t hear anything in about a month’s time I’ll call them just to double check everything is okay.
On the moving front, the house has been up for sale for almost two weeks now. We had three showings the first week and two this week. Kind of hoping for more, but we shall see. Like I said above, I’m waiting for about a month for medical results, so if the house doesn’t sell right away I won’t be disappointed.
The sump pump fix was a waste of money. The seepage was coming in even with it, and it wasn’t kicking in at all. So Hubby, under my direction, re-sloped the land at that corner of the house, away from the house. Then he caulked some thick plastic to the foundation and covered it with red shale. I suggested he redirect the downspout into the alley instead of onto the lawn. We took the opportunity to outline the entire area and the front flower bed it abuts against with lawn edging. That will hopefully keep weeds down.
After that we had a couple afternoons of rain and saw no return of the seepage in the basement. So we had new carpet laid. Then Hubby painted the basement and installed baseboards. It looks positively lovely down there!
Still…some nibbles on the house, but no offers.
As for my blog…grrr! I’ve been trying to set up a system whereby I can post from my cell phone or tablet to my blog. This is supposed to be easy, but is not. I cannot get it to work…at all. It posts to my old blog, but not my current one. Very frustrating. I think I’ll be buying a new laptop in my future, to be able to post to my blog while traveling and before we get internet set up wherever we end up.
Nothing creative happening here. Though I am reading “The Secret Lives of Color” by Kassia St. Claire. It’s a fascinating look at the historical side of color. I’m having fun reading and sharing the stories with people.
Hi everyone. This week I cast on the wrist warmers and started to knit them. I love the simplicity of the DROPS Design Extra 0-903 neck warmer and wrist warmer pattern. The only challenging part are the short rows on the neck warmer. I keep forgetting to wrap them as I do them!
As for the Fleece Artist Fundy National Park Chinook yarn? Let me just say, it is gorgeous to knit with! Doesn’t catch on the needles. Smooth and soft. Nice and thick for warmth. Also discontinued at this point in time…unfortunately. However, Fleece Artist is renowned for its excellent yarns. Check them out at FleeceArtist.com
I am knitting these using the needles recommended – 4.5 mm 16″ circulars for the neck warmer, 4.5 mm double pointed needles for the wrist warmers. The hat, which was knit from the free Ravelry pattern, His and Hers Beanie, by Krityum, used 4.0 mm 16″ circulars on the ribbing, and 4.5 mm 16″ circular on the rest of the hat.
My current reading is “Conran on Color” by Terrance Conran. I’ve had this book out of the library before. It’s an easy read for me. I love the color inspiration it provides.
This week was busy with medical appointments and gym. Things appear to be going okay. Still have a ways to go to stabilize things here, but it’s happening. Progress is slow, but noticeable.
I hope everyone had a good week and will have a great weekend! Take care and talk to you next week. Thanks for reading.
Hi everyone! I’ve been busy this week. It is the annual Cathedral Village Arts Festival. Hubby and I have enjoyed some of the performances and plan to go to more. So far this week we’ve seen the Mandolin Orchestra, a jazz band, a ladies choral group (Sisters of Mercy), and a Baroque ensemble. This is the first time in five years I have not been a vendor in the Saturday Street Fair. That’s okay. It was a great time in the past, and I will enjoy it again tomorrow as a spectator.
I’ve also been working on tote bags and wall hangings from Dad’s old L.L. Bean shirts. The tote bags took a lot more fabric than I thought they would, but they are sturdy little 15″ square bags, complete with two pockets inside.
I am still figuring out the moose wall hangings. I’m trying not to buy any fabric for this project. I need to bind 40 linear feet of edge in something…I’m thinking I’ll need 2 meters of dark navy or black fabric. I’ll be going through my stash I’ve already packed to see if I have anything suitable.
Tote bag #4 Side A
Tote bag #4 Side B
Tote bag #3 Side A
Tote bag #3 Side B
Pockets inside tote bags. One for cell phone and one for other.
Tote bag #2 side A
Tote bag #2 side B
Moose wall hanging in progress
Components for moose wall hangings
Backs of cushion covers.
Finished cushion covers.
Tote bag #1 Side A
Tote bag #1 Side B
Tote bags in the making.
I thought I’d tell you about and show you a great little bilingual coloring book on Alberta, Canada. It is by Doris Charest, an artist operating out of St. Albert, Alberta. The coloring pages in this 8″ x 11″ book are moderately detailed, and include cityscapes as well as natural landscapes and wild animals…even insects! If you’re Albertan, or making a trip to Alberta soon, this would be a handy little book to pass away some pleasant hours coloring. It could be colored by children over ten, I’d say, up to adults. It could also be used as a tool by teachers to teach their students about Alberta. The coloring book is available on Amazon.ca for under $12 CAD + shipping. Ms. Charest’s main art website is www.dorischarest.ca She also offers online art classes.
Changes happen. All my rug hooking is packed. I am not ruling out unpacking it, seeing as we have postponed the move for a year. But in the meantime I am finishing up some projects I started last year. This baby cardigan is one of them. It still needs buttons, but that can wait. I gave away all my buttons. I started this cardigan last fall to match a hat and baby mitts. I made so many mistakes I did not finish it. Finally I decided to plow on through and add the band. It is done, short of the buttons.
Knitting is not my forte, or strong suit. But I do like home knit products, especially those from hand spun yarn. My next knitting project is a winter hat for myself from yarn I’ve spun
It’s been an interesting week Aside from making the decision to postpone the move, I have been busy organizing trips to visit sick relatives and coordinating visits with and around my siblings. I am waiting for spring to come and roads to clear up to make a few road trips. Right now we are waiting for a severe winter storm to pass through Regina this weekend.
I’ve also been dealing with my own health issues No worries Just keeping on top of things can take time sometimes.
I finished watching “Art 21”. Most of it was interesting. I think it depends on your taste in art. It was primarily about installation art and performance art, neither of which really excites me. But I have learned a new appreciation as to what goes into those works of art.
I am currently watching the DVD “Understanding Art: the Baroque and Rococo. I’m on the Baroque. The narrator is entertaining, even if I don’t appreciate his taste or viewpoint all of the time. Most of the time he is very good and, really, the worst is I am left with lots of questions and wishing he didn’t have to move so fast through the material. I wish I could snag him and take him on a trip to Europe with me! His insight into what I would be seeing would add a whole new dimension to the trip! As for the Baroque period. As far as I can tell, it started out good, but degenerated into a sad state. I’m glad something came along to replace it!
We had a great week this week. From celebrating Lunar New Year last Friday to playing games with friends. We also have been getting outdoors more, which makes a huge difference in our dispositions. We’ve had some snowfall cover the icy sidewalks and streets so we can walk on them again, albeit carefully!
I’ve been updating my bullet journal and coming up with more efficient ways to use the paper. I don’t like wasting paper. I’m in the process of preparing for March.
Creatively, I’ve been doing more colouring in my adult colouring book. I’ve also finished reading Deanne Fitzpatrick’s latest book, “Rug Hooking”, which was excellent, as usual. And I found the art section of the DVDs in our branch of the library!
Today I watched “Art is a Mirror” – a look at an exhibit originally created and curated by Canadian artist Jeremie Giles. It is about Canadian artists – who they were/are, and what they contributed to Canada. Most of the 72 paintings were purchased by a couple of teachers who show the paintings on occasion, particularly in school settings. The DVD was produced in 2007, so things may have changed. It is a great way to study Canadian history through the eyes of Canadian artists.
The other DVDs I am checking out this week are: Simon Schama’s “Power of Art – Picasso” (episode 7), “Understanding Art – Baroque & Rococo”, and “Art 21 – season 7”. “Art 21” covers a wide range of artists from the USA to Sweden, Germany, and Mexico. Should be fun! If I can’t hook right now, I can read and immerse myself in art regardless!
Well, here are the results of this week’s dye jobs. The photos do not do the colours justice. They are more intense and deeper than the photos show. I really enjoyed dyeing these colours. I’ve been away from the dye pot too long!
An added bonus this week was receiving Gene Shepherd’s “Prepared to Dye” DVD set in the mail Monday. When I wasn’t dyeing fabric I was watching his DVDs. He does an excellent job of making what some see as complicated into a much easier to understand and do process. The first DVD in the set covers the basic traditional rug hooking dyeing methods. The second DVD is devoted to various spot dyeing techniques. And the third DVD is devoted to various dye bleeding techniques. I am excited and eager to try some of his techniques.
All this dyeing and class prep got me thinking it might be time for another trip to my favourite rug hooking supplier in Cochrane, Alberta – Legacy Studio – for more supplies. I’ve been making a wish list for the trip.
I am also busy preparing for tomorrow’s Start to Finish class. It’s on colour planning and material selection. By the end of the class we should be hooking rug.
I hope everyone has a good weekend planned. This weekend is a special event for us. Hubby is being honoured at a community event and his 65th birthday is Monday! We plan to make the most of it.
I’ve had an interesting week. It’s that time of year to be applying for exhibits and sales. I’ve applied for two so far. I’m not sure exactly where I stand in the application process on both of these exhibits and sales. I’ll fill you in when I learn more.
I did manage to upload more product – rug hooks – for sale.
I also chatted with my web developer about more ideas for the website. I look forward to upcoming changes as time goes by.
I was able to prepare my sample pattern and fiber kit for the Curves class next Saturday. I have also written more on my course outlines.
I pulled two books off my library shelf to help with a revamped business plan. One is “The Creative Entrepreneur” by Lisa Sonora Beam, and the other is “The Right-Brain Business Plan” by Jennifer Lee. I’ve used these two books before with considerable success. So I’m not really starting from scratch. Just planning what to do this year.
I finished reading “Canadian Folk Art to 1950” by Fleming and Rowan. Lots of lovely photos of a wide cross section of Canadian folk art. The text seemed excellent at times, but with long winded sentences at other times, making for a bit of an uneven read. However, the overall message was there and it was a good read overall. I enjoyed the few hooked rugs photos that were included as well.
Another book I am currently looking at is “Hooked on Cats” by Joan Moshimer. The rugs in the photos are beautiful! She uses Cushing’s Perfection dyes to dye wool for her rugs. I don’t use Cushing’s, but my Majic Carpet and ProChem will work just fine. Joan gives basic dyeing instructions in her book for onion skin dyeing, spot dyeing, dip dyeing, and for overdyeing. An informative book with a lot of patterns in the back and a nice gallery of finished work.
I had a great Introductory Rug Hooking class Saturday with a couple of wonderful women. It was a good time getting to know each other while getting to know a new craft.
Next class is February 25th and is a Curves class that teaches how to hook curves, circles, letters, and backgrounds. If we have time we’ll learn to hook bubbles too. I have space for two more students in that class. Class runs on Saturdays from 1:30 – 3:30 PM at my studio and requires you bring basic equipment and very basic knowledge of rug hooking (ie. how to hook a straight line and points). I will provide a fibre kit for you to hook – “Beauty”, as seen above. The pattern will be slightly enlarged at 7.5″ x 8″ to make it easier for beginners to hook. You will be learning how to transfer a pattern to backing as well.
I finished scan reading “Combining Rug Hooking & Braiding” by McDermet, Manges, and Tobias. It has detailed instructions for creating beautiful braided edges and rugs, as well as instructions for rug hooking. Excellent job ladies! I highly recommend this book for people interested in adding braiding to their repertoire of techniques.
I also scan read “The Rug Hook Book” by Thom Boswell. It has a good section on the history, followed by samples of work from well known rug hookers. He then gives explicit directions on what you need and what to do. The rest of the book contains patterns you can copy and hook. This is a good book for beginner to intermediate rug hookers.
As for this week’s plans…
back in my studio hooking on “Moss”,
working on more ideas for the website,
uploading more product on the website,
preparing for the Curves class on the 25th,
writing more class outlines, and,
now it’s February, it’s time I got a move on and developed my business plan for the year!
Hope everyone is having a great day today! Enjoy your week! 🙂
Spent some time preparing for my class of beginners on Saturday. Have the table all set and ready to go! 🙂
I also spent time writing the outline for a design class.
Finished reading “Ageless Entrepreneur” by Fred Dawkins. A good book told in narrative style. It turned out the emphasis was on creating businesses to support startups. It encouraged young and old to work together to build off the strengths of each age group, and to take away the weaknesses of each age group. I know from first hand experience that this is a good idea. The tech knowledge of the younger generation has been a great help to me. And their enthusiasm to get things done has really lifted my spirits. I love working with them! A good and easy read.
I just finished reading Michael Bird’s “Canadian Folk Art: Old Ways in a New Land”. It’s a good brief introduction to Canadian folk art, complete with wonderful glossy paged photos of some nice examples. Now I’ve moved onto a much thicker book “Canadian Folk Art to 1950” by John Fleming and Michael Rowan. I’m really enjoying it too, but taking it a bit slower. There is a lot to digest in this one.
I also found another book at the library entitled “Combining Rug Hooking & Braiding” by Kris McDermet, Christine Manges, and Dianne Tobias. What a feast for the eyes! I had no idea you could do the things with braiding that were done for that book! Some beautiful examples of work. There are also detailed descriptions and explanations as to how to achieve the many different looks. I plan on delving a bit deeper into the book this coming week.
Other than that I continue to work on rewriting my course syllabuses. If you’ve checked the menu at the top of the page you’ll notice there is a tab for classes. If you are interested in a class, but aren’t sure, be sure to contact me for further information. I can give you an idea of the topics covered in each class.
I’ve also been hooking more on “Moss” this week.
For those of you waiting to see if my shipping has been sorted out yet, it has. It is now safe and secure to pay and have items shipped across Canada and the USA, including Hawaii and Alaska.
I am thoroughly enjoying the work of my website developer and delighted she has sorted out my shipping mess for me. Stay tuned for further changes/additions to the website.
I have a copy of Kris Miller’s “Introduction to Rug Hooking” in my hands today. I found it at our local library. It’s a great book Kris! Thank-you for putting the essentials of rug hooking so well in words and photos. If you’re a beginner I highly encourage you to check out your local library and see if you can find Kris’ book. If not, check Amazon or her website – Spruce Ridge Studios. Kris covers history, tools, materials, and techniques in her book. A very clear description and a great read. Thanks for writing it Kris!
Had an interesting week business wise. I wrote up two of the ten courses rather quickly. But then realized I had given one of my crucial books for developing my Finishing 201 course away! Hmmm…I’m in the process of re-purchasing that. I am also halfway done rewriting the From Start to Finish course.
I decided that, what with this situation and taking three online courses at the moment, I needed outside help with my website. So I hired a website developer to look things over and come at me with ideas. She did. We talked for over an hour. She has some great ideas. I look forward to seeing the changes that will make my website more functional and appealing. Please note, the first thing she did was to make the site fully secure.
I am offering an Introductory Rug Hooking class on Feb. 11th, from 1:30-3:30 PM here in Regina, SK, Canada. I have one space left. If you’re interested contact me by Monday, Jan. 30th, and I can give you further details.
This two hour class covers a lot of ground. The primary goal is to teach you simple rug hooking of straight lines and points. The secondary goal is to give you some time trying out different supplies and materials and seeing what you like to use best before buying. We’ll also be talking a bit about the history of rug hooking, different tools and materials, where to find them, how to prepare a backing for hooking, and a simple way to finish your piece.
You use my tools and equipment for the class. If you want to buy afterwards you can, but you don’t have to purchase from me. The class costs $75 CAD + the kit costs $25 CAD. The kit is a 6″ square star mat that can be used as a home decoration item. You can find samples here. You have a choice of two of three colors (red, green, and yellow) for the mat – one for the background and one for the star.
These classes are full of learning and fun. Let me know if you’re interested and come to learn how to rug hook!
It’s been a busy week this week. Tuesday Hubby and I finally had enough of malfunctioning laptops and went out and replaced our old ones. We’ve been setting up new ones and transferring data ever since. I am still working on transferring my photos.
Things are complicated as I’ve moved from the Mac platform to the PC. I am much happier with the shift for two key reasons:
I can finally find all my files again and see everything clearly at once. No more guessing or using search to find out where Mac put things.
It’s bigger and better for a cheaper price.
The one drawback is the screen colors. It’s an ASUS and I can’t get the color and definition I’d like, even though I’ve reset the screen resolution to the highest level. I’ve been told I can mess with the way the colors show, but I haven’t explored that yet.
What this does tell me is that other people using different screens and monitors are not always seeing the bright colors in my work! The vagaries of shopping by internet I suppose. Everything is looking greyed on my screen currently. I hope this is not the case with my followers in cyberland.
In-between all that I did manage to upload more swatches for the website shop.
I’ve also been reading “Canadian Folk Art to 1950”. It’s an interesting read. The photos are good too. When I get further into it, I’ll give a proper 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.
I am late posting again. It’s been a wild day. My final lessons and final exams came in for my online courses. I had Christmas presents to finish buying this morning and afternoon. We ended up dealing with more health insurance stuff this morning. It was unplanned for, but necessary.
However, despite all that…this week I have been accomplishing a lot of behind the scenes work on my website and old blog. I finally have the old blog where it’s going to be for the next while. I’ll slowly be deleting old posts off it. If you are looking for something in particular, the old posts are here now. Use the search feature to find it.
I’ve also managed to upload a fair bit of product to the website shop. I still have more to go.
I did finish reading/browsing through “Create Your Own Website the Easy Way” by Alannah Moore. It is a good outline and framework for creating a website, but I’ve come to the conclusion there is no “Easy Way” when it comes to creating websites.
I did not have a chance to work on “Moss”, and I certainly did not have time or space to work on designing new wall hangings. There will definitely be changes in the new year…