Chugging Along…

Chugging Along…

Hello everyone!  I’m a few days late with my blog post. Wild Wonder nature journaling conference ended in the wee hours of Monday morning. I took every class and checked out some of the social breakout rooms and chats. It meant 12 1/2 hours of excellent instruction a day!

I didn’t need to do it this way. Classes are recorded for future viewing.  But I have a hard time carving out time on a regular basis for thirty classes plus keynote addresses. So I try and do it all during the five days of the conference.

Monday I spent catching up on sleep.  Tuesday I spent catching up around the house.  Today I spent preparing for hurricane Fiona. I hope she will be a post tropical storm or less by the time she arrives in my part of the world, but the local meteorologists aren’t so sure.  So we prepared.

The last couple of days I spent time hooking more on the large Parker’s Cove fishing shacks series wall hanging.  It’s been slow going.  I basically took the summer off to be with friends and family. Now I’m back on track.

Well that’s it.  Talk to you later.  If you have been, thanks for reading   Have a great rest of your week and weekend everyone!

 

A Little Fun

A Little Fun

Hi everyone!  I started a new business journal not long ago.  I find my bullet journal, note taking style of journaling to be helpful in keeping me on track with everything that needs to be done.

I worked on my website more. It’s been challenging.  The photos in particular.  I may have to pay someone to deal with those. Though I’d like to know how to do it myself. Eventually I’m going to have to. I also worked on entering new product.

I made a trip to the Visual Voice Gallery and back, to pick up a piece to ship to a private buyer. I shipped two pieces off to a private buyer.  In the end there were actually five pieces sold since the beginning of September, which I consider very good. I am quite pleased with that. Just a reminder folks – the “Offbeat” exhibit is up until September 24th!

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I had lots of inspiration trips this past week.

Thursday we were up in the Annapolis Valley area to Gaspereau Valley Farms. I took my spinning wheel for a going over by a lady there.  I found mohair locks, undyed, and purchased a pound.  I am going to have fun dyeing them!

Friday we were up to the Gallery in Truro.  Today we went to Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park and I sat on the beach and painted for a couple of hours.  A beautiful day!

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I am back working on finishing the Parker’s Cove fishing shacks series.  It is proving more difficult than anticipated.  And more time consuming.  I think I finally found a way to do it that I like.

This week I will be busy attending a worldwide nature journaling conference.  That is another place I look for inspiration – nature.

If you have been, thanks for reading!  Have a great week everyone!

News – ko-fi

News – ko-fi

Hi everyone! I’ve been very busy lately.  I’m working on a channel on the ko-fi platform.  You can check it out here.

Ko-fi is a platform where you can simply follow someone for free information, become a supporter by donating to their channel, become a member of the channel for a monthly membership fee (and receive extra content), and potentially take part in that channel’s community.

What is the content?  At the moment it is mostly videos and blog posts.  I’ve determined I don’t film well!  Despite that, so far I’ve uploaded five videos, and I have another two ready for editing. I am currently taking my From Start to Finish class and putting it up under the Beginner Tier.  I have given public access to “Intro to Rug Hooking – Part 1 – What is Traditional Rug Hooking?”.  However a Beginner Tier membership Is required for the rest of the series.   I will be posting the rest of the series this coming week. Plus I have uploaded videos on finding fibre to hook and how to prepare fibre for hooking.

I have also uploaded a video on one way to finish a hooked rug.  It is under the Beginner Tier.  It is the same finishing video that was on YouTube for a few years and garnered over 34,000 views.  It’s been off YouTube for a few years now.

My Intermediate Tier includes more in-depth videos and videos on other creative topics as well.  To date I have a video on “The Shirt Project”, where I turned many LL Bean shirts and a bit of stash fabric into mementos for the many descendants of the owner of those shirts, once he had passed.  I also have a walk through video of my nature journal.  There will be more videos to come in this level, especially related to rug hooking.

For those rug hookers who are more experienced and do their own dyeing, I have uploaded a video on my Advanced Tier on spot dyeing using multiple colours and syringes.  This is a traditional oven dyeing method.

I will be uploading videos on a regular basis.  I also am planning on  blogging regularly.  Plus there will be fibre and patterns uploaded to the shop regularly.

So keep your eyes open for changes coming up this fall!  If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

 

 

Summer Update

Summer Update

Hello everyone!  A lot has been happening here.

The “Summer” exhibit ended and I took more work up to Visual Voice Gallery for the next two group shows this year.  The Gallery now has a good cross section of my smaller works.  If you are interested in anything smaller than 12” x 12”, feel free to contact the gallery.  I have yet to update my website shop.  That will be happening this week.  It was a fun afternoon, chatting with the gallery owner and getting feedback on various pieces and from her and her clients.  If you are interested in my work, just call and ask.  If she doesn’t have it, I’ll have it here in my studio.

We also had company arrive and leave.  We were a pit stop on the way to see their parents. It was fun to meet their children.

We did have a lot of tree pruning and culling done. A crew of 4 or 5 guys came with chainsaws and a bucket truck with mulcher on back. It took them all morning to beat back the jungle.   There is a lot more sun on the garden now. I’m hoping to plant some understory shrubs below the mature oak, maples and poplars.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the garden too.  We’ve been harvesting peas, radishes, lettuce, beet greens and Swiss chard. I planted more peas and beans just last week. We’ll see how the peas do in the heat.  I planted them in a shade garden essentially, so maybe they’ll be alright.

Hubby helped me put down cardboard and wood chips (the mulch from the trees) between and around the raised bed garden.  We’ll see how it does for keeping down weeds.

Of course, to do all this work in the garden we had to remove the garden netting.  And, of course, as far as critters were concerned it was open season on the garden!  The deer have been browsing the beans.  The blue jays are after the snap peas.  The starlings are digging up my bean seeds.

A robin and flicker were out near or on the edge of the garden today.  I don’t know what they were up to, but they both looked awful guilty!  The robin hopped down from the edge of the raised bed and slunk away with the occasional furtive backward glance.  The flicker stayed so still a couple feet from the bed, hoping I wouldn’t notice him no doubt!

I just shook my head and smiled. It’s a good thing critters are so darn cute!  I may have to cover my beds again until the second planting of peas and beans sprouts.

Aside from that I’ve been working on my large Parker’s Cove piece, updating my inventory, transferring files from my iMac to laptop, and adjusting work for the gallery – new hangtags and new hanging systems.

I’ve been reading a lot of gardening and permaculture books, and watching YouTube videos on the subjects.  I’ve also been watching videos on harvesting and preserving produce and herbs.  We are having a bumper crop of herbs this year.

As most of you who follow me on Instagram know by now, I am no longer on that platform.  I cannot delete my business account apparently, but I have removed all my images save one. I can no longer access my personal account, so if you are someone I know in real life, and you are trying to get a hold of me through Instagram, I suggest you try my business page on Facebook, or send me a message through Messenger.  Otherwise email is best.

To be honest, I found the payback for being on social media to not be worth my time and effort. I will retain Facebook, for now, but I am even reconsidering it. All my information is on this website, as well as this blog. I prefer to spend my time creating, rather than on social media.

That’s it for this week!  If you made it this far, thanks for reading!  Have a great week everyone!

Review & Catch Up Week

Review & Catch Up Week

Good morning everyone!  I had a wonderful time at the Show & Sale with The Bonnie Hookers at Scott Manor House this past Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  I managed to share information on rug hooking, demonstrate and even sit someone at a frame to learn. The ladies I worked with were kind, friendly and generous.

I’ve yet to check in with Visual Voice Gallery to see how the “Summer”  exhibit went. I’ll touch base sometime this week.

I did manage to hook a lot on the big Parker’s Cove fishing shacks wall hanging. I may need to pause to dye more blues for the sky.  I also worked on finishing some Parker’s Cove pieces.

I’ve been busy in the garden.  I’m reorganizing my freezers in preparation for this year’s harvest.

This week will be a mix. We have various appointments and a property management crew coming to cut a few trees and prune others.  The trees surrounding our yard are large, producing too much shade, and possibly a hazard during a winter storm.  Now is the time to deal with them.

Well, that’s it for now. If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

Summer Happenings

Summer Happenings

Good afternoon everyone!  It’s been a busy couple of weeks.  Hence the lack of blog post last week.   We had company the last while and we took the time to show them around the Maritimes.  It was our vacation, as well as theirs.

I did not accomplish much rug hooking, but I did manage a bit on my large Parker’s Cove fishing shacks piece. I need to refocus on finishing the edging on the earlier ones and hooking more of them.  I believe I counted 15 shacks in total.

In other news…

The show and sale at Scott Manor House in Bedford, Nova Scotia, starts Thursday at 1 PM and goes until Saturday at 4 PM. Friday we will have the doors open from 10 AM to 4 PM. There is, reportedly, an afternoon tea at the House on Friday as well. There will be a broad range of styles and prices at the show and sale.  If you’re in the area it would be a nice way to spend some time.  I understand Scott Manor House offers guided tours as well.

The exhibit at Village Voice Gallery in Truro is still on.  It ends July 16th. There will be another group show the end of August into September. I will be a part of that as well.

That’s it for my rug hooking news.

I have a lot of company and vacation time coming up.  Extended family and friends coming to visit.  We’ll be heading out sometime in August to connect up with family in New Brunswick.  Lots happening!  Gotta love summer!

My garden is a mixed bag.  Some of it is growing very well, some of it is so-so, and some is not doing well at all.  Still, I am harvesting lettuce, radish, beet greens and Swiss chard to make wonderful salads. Plus I’ve already harvested some basil, cilantro, thyme and parsley. Everything is going as well as can be expected in the garden department.

If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week!

Artist Retreat

Artist Retreat

Last week I had a lovely retreat, so to speak, with Hubby.  It was actually a working vacation for me.  We went up to Annapolis Royal, NS and rented a cottage in the area. The view out the front window was gorgeous!

We decided we didn’t want to cook while there, so I roasted a chicken and cut it up the day before we left.  I also made some hummus and vegetable  sticks for dipping. Plus we took the usual peanut butter and homemade jelly, and boiled eggs.  Plus fruit, bagels and bread.  We survived on that, oatmeal and two grocery store salads for the entire time we were there.

Well, except for our friends’ providing a BBQ supper and a picnic beach lunch!  I tell you…there is nothing better than eating fresh baked homemade bread sandwiches out on the rocks overlooking the ocean!

We were gone for three nights.  My friends are rug hookers too, so we had a great time hooking and finishing while I was there.

I also searched for a suitable gallery to show my Parker’s Cove fishing shack series in Annapolis Royal.  While there are a good many galleries there for the population, many have unfortunately closed since the beginning of Covid.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know I started hooking the large Parker’s Cove piece.  It’s 12” x 36”.  I am currently hooking the last of five fishing shacks. It will be a couple of weeks or more before I finish. We are expecting company.

I had a photographer in to photograph my work. It was a massive job!  He managed to photograph everything in about an hour.  We worked together to finish over 75 pieces during that time!  This is all the work I have in the house that was not previously photographed, excluding the Parker’s Cove series.  I’ll have that photographed when it’s finished.

Other than that, I’ve been enjoying Elizabeth Miller’s site – Parris House Creative Community – on Mighty Networks lately.  There was a lovely Zoom meeting in our gardens, showing each other our yards, but focusing on vegetable gardens.  Elizabeth has a huge garden!  Plus she’s into so many interesting things!  I loved the opportunity to see her space, even if only virtually.  I also took part in her monthly Crafternoon on Sunday.

My first group show with Visual Voice Gallery in Truro started Monday!  The theme is “Summer”.  Check it out, either in person or online!  You can find it online at: Visual Voice or visit 128 King Street, Truro, Nova Scotia.

I am currently busy preparing for a July show and sale at a local museum Stay tuned for more information!

If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

 

Humming along…

Humming along…

I had a lovely afternoon last Monday up in Truro at the Visual Voice Gallery with the proprietress.  We went through my work, I described my process, and she decided which pieces she wanted to keep for various shows.  I also took my notecards on the off chance she might want some of those.  She did!

So now if anyone is looking for my work through a gallery in Nova Scotia, they can contact the gallery owner at: gallery@visual-voice.ca

The first show I’m a part of starts today at Visual Voice in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada.  It’s a group show on the theme of “Summer”.

In other news…

The Visual Voice Gallery owner mentioned two other exhibits I could take part in this year, both group shows.  One is the end of August into September.  The August/September one is called “Offbeat”.  I plan on presenting her with some unusual pieces I’ve hooked over the years to see if anyone is interested in them

She also mentioned the Christmas sale, in which she tries to keep items under $100 CAD.  I have several items I could display in that sale as well. Then there are my Christmas notecards. So if you’re interested in acquiring or seeing my work in person, visit Visual Voice!

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I am organizing hooked pieces for a photography session later this month.   I finally went through the professional photos I’ve had taken in the past and noted them on my main inventory list. I need to be better at figuring out what needs to be photographed professionally and what’s already been done.  Next up is to take the pieces that need photos off the walls for the photographer.

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I am also preparing for an exhibit with The Bonnie Hookers July 14-16th at Scott Manor House in Bedford, Nova Scotia.  I will take a variety of work that is a variety of sizes. I will be there most of those days to help demonstrate rug hooking, answer questions and facilitate sales.  If you are a blog reader and show up at the sale, make yourself known to me and I’ll try to show you around the exhibit.

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I’m working on finishing some of the Parker’s Cove fishing shacks.  I’ve also started the biggest Parker’s Cove piece to date.  It is over 12” x 36” and will take awhile to hook. I’ll be working on it during my upcoming self-designed artist retreat.

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That’s it so far everyone!  If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

 

 

Exhibit Time!

Exhibit Time!

Hi everyone!  Lots happening on the art front these days!

  1. Today I run some work up to Visual Voice Art Gallery in Truro, Nova Scotia for jurying into their Group Spring Show. The show runs from June 20th – July 16th.
  2. I will be part of an exhibit, along with the rest of The Bonnie Hookers, at Scott Manor House in Bedford, Nova Scotia from July 14-16th. A few of us will be taking shifts at the exhibit to demonstrate rug hooking.
  3. I am taking an artist retreat for four days next week to visit Parker’s Cove again, and check out venues that might want to hang my fishing shack series.

Aside from that…

  • I am sewing the cording onto the Parker’s Cove pieces and whipping the ends.
  • I also started hooking my large Parker’s Cove piece.
  • Plus I am transferring more small pieces on backing.

It’s been a busy week in the rug hooking department.

I would be delighted to meet up with any of you at one of the shows!  Make yourself known to me as a blog reader, and I’ll try and spend some time with you going around the gallery.

If you have been, thanks for reading!  Have a great week everyone!

Finishing Up

Finishing Up

Good morning everyone!  This week I finished hooking a couple more small Parker’s Cove fishing shack pieces. I am pausing to finish the ones I’ve hooked.  Then I’ll move on. I’m about at the halfway point with this series. I’m still enjoying them immensely. They are such cheerful buildings to hook.  I have hooked 14 pieces so far.

I also spent time sketching the remaining shacks.  Though I do believe I have a couple more to go.  I have the backing cut and prepared for transferring patterns.  Next up is to transfer them.

I arranged for a photographer to take photos of some of my hooked pieces in late June.  Hopefully that will include some of the Parker’s Cove series. I currently want photos of 50 pieces for my website and portfolio.

I have been busy updating my CV and resumé. Time slips away from me easily.  It’s been five years since I updated it. I also need to work on my artist statement.  Plus, it’s been a long time since I updated my portfolio.

Lots happening!  If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

 

Online Course!

Online Course!

I am teaching a live online class!  June 4th, 10-noon AST.

This course is a Beginner Traditional Rug Hooking class.  It will give the participant an overview of the process of traditional rug hooking. We will have a design on backing and be hooking by the end of the class. We will be hooking a variety of fibres.  There will not be enough time to finish the piece during the class. I will, however, either demonstrate (if we have time), or send out finishing instructions after class.

In order to achieve our goals in this class I will require students to have a six inch square pattern drawn the correct size and okayed by me by May 28th. I will send guidelines on how to do this to students as they enroll.

What you need…

If you are taking this course you will need the course kit.  If it needs to be shipped, you will be charged shipping costs.   We will advise you of the cost before shipping.  There are options for pick up, so let me know and we can see what can be arranged.  

The kit will include: 

    • A specific rug hooking hoop,
    • A specific hook,
    • A piece of backing with the edge already finished,
    • A piece of fabric for transferring pattern to backing,
    • A fibre package with enough fibre for a 6 inch square piece. 

In addition to the kit you will need the following on hand for class:

    • A small pair of sharp pointed scissors that will cut fabric,
    • A ruler,
    • A soft HB, B or 2B pencil.
    • A fine tipped Sharpie industrial black permanent marker (available at Walmart or Staples).  
    • Your design, on paper, already accepted by me as suitable for this class.
    • Long sewing pins (the kind with the flat heads…something about 2” long.

The cost of the class, including supply kit, is $140 CAD.  If you are interested you can contact me through the contact form on this website, and I will direct you in how to pay and access the class.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact me.  I will try to answer as best I can, and I appreciate your feedback!

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In other news…It is definitely spring around here!  The trees are leafing out and flowering, plants are popping through the undergrowth, birds are building nests…under our deck. Ugh!  Yes, a wonderful Robin couple have set up housekeeping right under the seating area of our deck, about four feet from the raised bed garden and six feet from our outside water shutoff valve. We are sneaking in from a different angle where they hopefully can’t see us. Saturday I walked by the raised beds and was dive bombed by the male. I think it was a bit of a surprise for both of us!

We’ve been busy transplanting plants and shrubs from friends and neighbours.  Thank-you everyone!  I still haven’t planted the vegetable garden.  I think I will invest in some bird netting before I do.

Aside from gardening we are looking at the trees on the property and assessing which ones go and which ones stay. They need thinning and pruning.  It’s a big job.

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I have been working more on the Parker’s Cove fishing shacks series.  It is so much fun to hook these cute little shacks!  I spent a couple of days this week dyeing fabric for them.  I am sketching more to hook.  I am almost halfway done the series …I think.  I’m not entirely sure how many there are, and won’t know until I visit the wharf sometime in June. I’m looking forward to our trip up there.

Well, that’s my news for this week!  If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

 

 

Home Happenings

Home Happenings

I am busy sketching, transferring and hooking more of the Parker’s Cove series. It is a big series with a lot of different pieces to it.  Last week the hooking was actually quite slow.  I spent a lot of time planning the series and adding to the mind map for it. I also spent time dyeing wool fabric for it.

I took time to go through my morning pages, looking for ideas for future creative endeavours.  In fact, dealing with my morning pages from “The Artist’s Way” have taken up so much time that I dread them.  It’s nice weather here, and I want to be outside.

Hubby and I picked up a new gazebo last week. Well, Hubby and a friend.  We couldn’t fit the first one in our car to bring it home and Walmart doesn’t deliver.  When a friend found out, they came to our rescue, and her hubby went with mine for a gazebo in their hatchback.  The two men even set it up right away!   We all celebrated with tea and cookies inside it when they were finished.

Other than that there has been a lot of yardwork happening.

  • I removed the tulips the deer keep eating.
  • We dug up an area of goutweed, only to find landscape cloth and what looks like a dry ditch underneath.
  • I weeded and raked our raised beds.
  • I tried to stake our peonies with tomato cages with no success.  They need something bigger and sturdier.
  • Hubby has been busy weeding the front yard and planting beds.
  • A neighbour came over to cut a few trees from the many on our property.
  • We have been emptying the dirt out of the cloth pots I use for the deck garden.  My goal is to clean them and replant them.

There is a lot in the works right now.  I’m in the middle of moving my  website to Shopify.

I apologize to my email subscribers who received multiple blog emails on Saturday.  The blog posts were old ones.  We, my web developer and I, still don’t know what happened, but we understand it has stopped.  Please let me know if it has not.  My blog is not stopping.  It is merely being moved to another platform.

And to the person or entity in Pakistan that accessed over 1170 blog posts in 2 hours yesterday morning…we’re watching what you’re up to…

Well, if you have been reading, thank-you.  Have a great week everyone!

Monday, Monday…

Monday, Monday…

Good morning everyone!  This past week I have been busy hooking more Parker’s Cove fishing shacks.  I have a few colour questions to fine tune them.  My photos were taken late in the day and some of the shacks were in pretty deep shade.  I need to get back up there to confirm the colour choices I’ve made.

To that end I booked a four day artist retreat in the area for myself in June.  Hubby will go with me and spend time on his creative projects as well. I hope to be finishing the wall hangings by then, but we shall see.  There are a lot more to do!

Last week I also enjoyed the company of real live, in person rug hookers!  It sure is nice to feel comfortable getting together with other people again. We shared our work and hooked away.  The time passed very quickly, and I am looking forward to getting together again this week.

I am still working through “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, with a group in the Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  I am finding the chapter I’m on is taking a long time to complete.  I am however, being jolted out of complacency, off my butt to get up and do something about my artistic career.

Two of the areas I am exploring are exhibiting and sales options.  I am teaming up with two other rug hookers.  We are all members of the same rug hooking group.  We are tentatively booked for a museum in July.  I am not convinced this will go ahead.  If not, we will hold an art show and sale in my backyard.  I am also checking out galleries for possible representation, though I am not very confident in this area, having had mixed results where we previously lived.

I am also preparing work to be professionally photographed.  This is a challenge, as I have close to fifty pieces that need photographing. I am starting to think it might be more affordable to buy a subscription to Adobe Photoshop Elements after all!

I created a quick two and a half minute video of my studio on YouTube, for your viewing pleasure.  It is, of necessity, very brief. If people show an interest, I may do a longer, more detailed one later.

Well that’s it for this past week.  If you have been reading, thank-you muchly.  Take care everyone, and have a great week!

Lots Happening!

Lots Happening!

I’ve been working steady on the Parker’s Cove fishing shack series.  I have finished hooking eight, and have five more on backing, ready to go.  I’m currently looking for a venue that will exhibit my work and sell it for me.

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I finished appliquéing all the blocks for the South Korean appliqué quilt top.  I decided to stop at twelve.  I spent time drawing out the quilt top, including the sashing and borders.  There will be white-on-white sashing, a batik border, and a second narrower border of more white-on-white ..if I have enough.  I delved into my tote bins and found batting big enough for  the quilt.  Next up I will have to look for backing.

I attended the Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks Embellishment workshop this past week.  It was fun and informative.  I worked some on “The Farm” during the demonstration.  Some of the other students shared embellishment work they had done.  Very interesting and educational.

I also attended Parris House Creative Community’s monthly Crafternoon.  I managed to hook another fishing shack piece there, as well as exchange a lot of rug hooking related information.

I attended the ASH guild Fibre Day this past weekend via Zoom.  I am still spinning wool and alpaca.  I need to process some skeins of yarn.

That’s been my week as far as fibre is concerned.  If you have been, thanks for  reading!  Have a great week everyone!

 

Back in the Groove

Back in the Groove

Good morning everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend.

Last week I spent some time dyeing fibre for the Parker’s Cove series.  I used straight up ProChem Key Lime for the bright neon green, and the other colours were from the Woolly Mason Jar system. Lucy Richard has a great system for matching colours quickly.  If you’re a dyer who is often in a hurry, her system is the way to go!

I’ve been working on the Parker’s Cove fishing shack series. I have finished two small pieces this week and have a larger piece on backing.

“The Farm” is currently languishing on the sidelines.  I have a steep learning curve to learn multiple techniques I want to use for this piece, so am wanting to wait until I have more time and energy to devote to it  That, plus I want to finish my Parker’s Cove series of at least ten pieces by mid-November.

The South Korean appliqué quilt blocks are almost complete.  I decided not to go further than the twelve blocks suggested by the pattern.  However I will also be putting sashing between the blocks and a border all around…neither called for in the pattern. That will make it large enough to be used as a lap quilt. It will be machine quilted by a professional long arm quilter.

I took part in many events this week related to rug hooking.  Wednesday there were two online meetings: one for crafting (where I transferred a pattern to backing), and one for rug hooking (where I  hooked a small piece for the Parker’s Cove series). Thursday I attended an in-person hook-in at a friend’s place. I started another small Parker’s Cove piece. And Thursday evening I attended a Zoom presentation by Susan Feller on Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  Susan talked about what it takes to become a professional artist as a rug hooker. A very interesting presentation with lots to chew on.

I also spent time cleaning up my studio after the whirlwind that was Sketchbook Revival!  I haven’t had it looking that good in ages, so I took photos and immortalized the occasion on Instagram and Facebook. Haha!

It is now a mess again…because I’ve decided to finish a project that’s been percolating a long time in my brain…like five years.  Our trip to South Korea in 2017 needs addressing.  I did create and have a photo book printed, but I had no place for ephemera.  So after Sketchbook Revival I decided it was time to sit down and do it.  I pulled out old bookbinding supplies and created a blank journal with cartridge drawing paper and Waterford cold press watercolour paper.  I’m highly doubtful the journal is big enough to hold everything, but I need to do some serious culling of memorabilia anyways.

If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

Studio Clean Up and More…

Studio Clean Up and More…

I finished Sketchbook Revival 2022 and embarked on a clean up and reorganization of my studio this week.  I finally parted with a box of old original artwork.  I hope the thrift stores we donated to recognize the value of what they have and can actually earn some money from it for a good cause.  At any rate things are looking a lot better.  My main objective was to get my art supplies out in the open so I can easily grab them to use them!

I also managed to repair one of the old rugs I purchased in February and placed it on the studio floor.  It was going to go under the tables in the sitting area, but I was very nervous of having it under the coffee table and chair legs.  Plus the design would be hidden.  So I pulled it out into the middle of the floor.

I also worked on my South Korean appliqué quilt this week.  I have eleven blocks finished, and am working on the twelfth.  I’m trying to decide if I want to go any larger.  It’s a lot of work and I really would prefer to rug hook.

To that end,  I decided to buy my own scanner and printer.   I picked up my scanner last week.  My printer has to be brought in from Toronto and won’t arrive until this week at the earliest.  I used the scanner and photo editing software to scan, enlarge and print my largest Parker’s Cove pattern.  I did it the hard way.  A friend later told me the easy way!

I am working my way through “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron for the third time in my life.  I do it, but with a few modifications.  It takes time to do.  The tasks and exercises are often time and energy consuming.  However, it is worthwhile to do it once every five to ten years…to refresh my memory and see where I’m at…how I’ve progressed.

I attended several crafting events last week.  Wednesday I attended three!  In the morning I got together with some crafty family members and friends online to chat and craft.  That’s when I work on my appliqué quilt.

Wednesday afternoon I got together on Zoom with a group of rug hookers.  This week I worked on repairing the large vintage rug I purchased.

Wednesday evening was special.  I was at an online event hosted by Beth Miller on her Mighty Networks site, Paris House Creative Community.  It was a Q&A on book proposals and publishing.  It was very helpful and informative.

I’m really enjoying Beth’s Mighty Networks site, and encourage you to check it out!  It’s an inspiring and encouraging place to be.  Topics are not only about rug hooking, but also soap making, beekeeping, chicken raising, cooking, knitting, etcetera.  There is a lot of variety, especially if you start a thread or sign up to attend a Zoom event.

Thursday I reorganized the studio in the morning and hosted a rug hooking friend there in the afternoon.  She had some good ideas on reorganization.  I finished repairing the large vintage hooked rug and placed it on the floor. Then switched to designing the layout for my appliqué quilt.

Friday I attended a Zoom rug hooking group in the afternoon.  I cleaned my studio more while chatting with the other rug hookers.  Towards the end of the meeting I took them on a virtual studio tour.

Last week was business taxes as well.  I have those finished and in to the accountant. Now I’m just filing receipts.

I am not sure what this week holds.  It may be time for a bit of a slower pace.  I have some other projects to work on that don’t involve rug hooking.  I need to sit down and prioritize.

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  Have a great week everyone!

 

Make It Monday

Make It Monday

Good morning everyone!  This past week I was busy.  I finally mended my rug, “Pennsylvania Dutch”, which has been languishing for about five years in my mending tote.

This rug was the very first rug I designed and hooked after learning to rug hook in 1985.  It is t-shirt and polyester double knit on what I was told was burlap, but must be primitive linen.  I say that because of the hard wear it’s gone through since being made.  It lived on my kitchen floor in front of the sink for about 10 years.  Then spent the next 20 years on a concrete laundry room floor.

Meanwhile I’d wash it *in the washing machine* every 6 months or so when it grew dirty, and hang it to dry before blocking it again.  I DO NOT recommend washing your hand hooked rugs in washing machines folks!!!   Just let me make that clear.  There are much better and kinder ways to clean rugs!

At any rate, I am glad this one is back in usable order, and will be buying a protective pad to put underneath it for future use.

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I finished sewing a hanging sleeve for “Moroccan Dream”, my Boucherouite style rug from Laura Salamy’s class in Workshop Week 4.  Today my hubby and I hung it in my studio.  We had a tough decision whether to hang it vertically or horizontally.  We finally decided on vertical.  It can always be changed.  The beauty of geometrics. 🙂

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I tried to finish the small Parker’s Cove piece, but was one inch too short of the fisherman’s rope needed for the edge.  So disappointed!  Still, a friend says she has access to a lot of it and to just let her know when they are all ready for edging. She’ll get me some.  I have four more on backing to hook.   I need to do some dyeing before I can hook them.  I did sew and attach hanging sleeves to the two finished fishing shack wall hangings.

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I ripped out the diagonal stitches in the sky of “The Farm”.  They just did not look like they belonged.  The sky is the background layer in this piece and doesn’t need anything to give it movement.  There will be plenty of movement elsewhere in the piece!

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We finally hung my loose attempt at an Azeri rug!   “Family Reunion” is up!  We have officially moved in!

An Azeri rug is actually a type of Turkish rug that has images from a person’s life scattered on a background, with an oriental border.  It is originally a woven and knotted rug.  Of course mine doesn’t follow the normal rules…it is hand hooked and, because I had never seen an Azeri rug, I put order to the images in the centre.  The scenes follow the progression of events on a trip to an extended family reunion one year   Hence the name of the wall hanging. Hand hooked Azeri rugs are also mostly hooked in straight lines.

This wall hanging was hooked with wool, but had added wire and beads.  It is lined with cotton batik.  The fringe is wool, silk and cotton, with beads of various kinds.

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Onion skin dyeing continues.  I decided to try marrying wool by throwing it in the pot with a post-mordant of Dyer’s alum. The results are stunning!  The commercial green dye that bled from the first marrying and overdyeing session, continued to bleed and married all the colours into these stunning greens and golds!  I am very happy with the results!

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Sketchbook Revival 2022 started last week.  There is another week to go.  It is a free art summit organized by Karen Abend.  Every day I receive an email with two video links to two lessons by different artists on different topics.

I am a little late starting, so am behind by three days.  The video links are usually kept up after the summit. I’m glad.  This past weekend I devoted to trying to catch up.  It didn’t work.  I suspect I’ll be going past the two week summit.

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Well that’s it for this week. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading.  Have a great week!

What’s Up?

What’s Up?

I’m still working on sewing hanging sleeves on wall hangings.  I was out to pick up some hardwood dowels to hang them.

I’m still thinking about the fishermen’s rope edging on the Parker’s Cove wall hangings.  Alternatively, I saw some black parachute cord I might braid for an edge.  Still thinking.

“The Farm” is coming along.  I am working on the sky.  I am not sure I like it, so it is difficult to motivate myself to work on it.

I have decided to turn the onion skin dyeing workshop into a paid course. I have a lot of video to edit, as well as audio.  Plus I have more to record. This week I have more video filming to do.

I am currently soaking half of my previously dyed onion skin wool in water, in preparation for an after bath of dyer’s alum.  I’m curious to see if it will shift the colour without adding more dye solution.   If not, then I’ll add more dye solution and see what happens.   It could be interesting.

If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

 

 

Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings

The hooking on the Boucherouite is finished!  It is in my pile set aside for finishing.

I washed the fisherman’s rope for framing the Parker’s Cove fishing shacks series.  It is a great deal more pliable and, I believe, will work for my purposes.

I had a great time participating in Beth Miller’s Beginner Dyeing Demonstration in her Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  While I am not a beginner dyer, I do think I can learn something new from everyone I meet.  Beth demonstrated electric skillet dyeing and microwave dyeing, which I’ve never done before.  I was curious about her methodology.  Now I’m on the lookout for an electric skillet!  I guess it’s time for another trip to the thrift store…

I had great fun showing the ladies at the Sunday FiFi Zoom meeting through Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks how to do the herringbone edge on a piece of hooking.  I hooked a quick hit and miss hot pad in order to show how to do it. My only criteria for the hot pad was that I had enough of a particular colour of wool to do a full row in the squares.  I used leftover worms/noodles from other projects. I used 100% wool and it is on a primitive linen backing.

The edge is made from a hand spun, hand dyed wool yarn.   It is worked over a core of 100% cotton cording from Michaels craft store, which I pre-washed in hot soapy water.  The cording and yarn are quite large for the piece in order to show up more clearly on the camera when I was demonstrating.  As a result, rather than rip it all out and redo a smaller size, I made it a design feature.  I brought the hot pad up to the level of the whipping by padding the back with quilt batting, before lining it with a piece of wool fabric.

in other news…I am practicing hosting Zoom meetings…because…

Upcoming workshop…

I am preparing to teach a live beginner onion skin dyeing workshop in Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  It will be Wednesday, March 30th, from 7 – 9 PM EST.

In that Zoom workshop I’ll be teaching immersion dyeing, casserole spot dyeing and marrying wool while simultaneously overdyeing it with onion skin dye solution. I have created an introduction presentation, a presentation on record keeping and one on experimenting with different agents to set the dye.  If I have time, I’ll also show samples of different fibres dyed with onion skin and different setting agents.  It’s a lot to pack into a two hour workshop, but I’m game to try!  I am limiting the class to 5-10 participants, so I can meet everyone’s needs.

In order to take this class you must be a member of Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  It costs just $10 USD per month.  The cost for the workshop is discounted for Beth’s community to $40 USD per person.  When it is offered off that platform, it will be a tad more expensive.

I recommend signing up soon, so you have plenty of time to gather up onion skins!  You will need 6 – 8 large handfuls of dry yellow onion skins.  You can score these from family and friends, or your friendly produce manager at your local grocery store.  Ask if you can clean out their onion bins at the end of the day, or whenever they need it done.

You will also need an enamel roasting pan with lid for stovetop use (or an old enamel refrigerator bin and tin foil for a lid) and a long handled wooden or white plastic spoon.  These will be dedicated dye equipment and can be found at thrift stores, yard sales, etc.  There is a more extensive supplies list on Beth’s Mighty Networks site.

This workshop promises to be very informative and great fun!  If you’re interested check it out on Mighty Networks!

That is what is coming up on my schedule so far this month.  As for this week…I will continue preparing for the workshop, hook more on the Parker’s Cove series, and work on “The Farm”.

If you have been, thanks for reading!  I hope you all have a great week!

Blog Review & Changes Afoot

Blog Review & Changes Afoot

Good evening everyone. I have been working on a lot of projects around here, so am backing off my blog for a bit.  I’ll be going to a once a week post on Mondays.  Most of my readers check-in on Tuesdays, so that should give them something to read throughout the week.

One of the projects I’m focusing on right now is the Boucherouite of course. It is almost finished hooking. While I enjoyed it, it’s definitely time to move on.

To that end I’ll be working on “The Farm” simultaneously with more Parker’s Cove pieces. I am still wanting to do the Parker’s Cove series and have some creative ideas for framing them.  We’ll see what transpires.

Aside from that, I’ve been laying low as far as online hook-ins have gone this week.  I’m busy learning new things here. I am looking forward to showing some progress on projects Monday.

Make It Happen Monday

Make It Happen Monday

Almost there!  The Boucherouite rug is moving along.  I hope to finish it this week.

Saturday I attended a Zoom seminar on “Women Artisans of Morocco”, sponsored by the Textile Museum Associates of Southern California.  Over 1000 people were in attendance!  Some via Zoom and some via YouTube Live. The speaker was Dr. Susan Schaefer Davis.  She was very knowledgeable about introducing the women and their work.  Her presentation included discussion of rugs, embroideries and handmade buttons of the High and Middle Atlas Mountains. I came away with a new knowledge and appreciation for Moroccan textiles.

I finished reading ”Color Choices” by Stephen Quiller.  I have not studied the colour wheel to that depth before.  I have informally learned it, but not the theory behind it and how to use it to create a cohesive colour scheme.  My use of colour is largely intuitive.  This was a good read for me.

”The Farm” is slow going.  I’m still selecting fibre and embellishments to explore techniques.  Plus I continue to research techniques in an effort to decide which ones I’m going to use.  I have a choice of painting the sky, reverse hooking it, or using canvas embroidery techniques on it.   I need to experiment a bit to see which will suit the piece better.

I am not sure what this week holds, but it promises to be busy.  If you have been, thanks for reading!  Have a productive week everyone!

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Good day everyone!  The Boucherouite rug is progressing.

I worked on ”The Farm” this week.  I embroidered leaf veins to hold background leaves in place.  I used a technique called proddy to create 3D leaves of different shapes and sizes.  I purchased some beads to use as berries.  I’ve done a lot of research on techniques for this piece.

Four more Parker’s Cove patterns are ready to be hooked.  I was looking for fishing rope to devise a unique finishing technique…possibly using knots.  A friend came through in spades.  I am using an old book that predates 1918 for knot ideas.  It’s titled “Knots, Ties and Splices” by J. Tom Burgess.

I had good intentions of repairing “The Wedding (?) Rug”. However, my Fraser 500 wool stripper (strip cutter) broke.  I’m waiting for better weather to connect with someone who might be able to repair it.  We’re supposed to have another winter storm this weekend.  Meanwhile a friend has the right size cutter wheel and will cut the necessary strips for me.

Charlie Dalton, guest speaker on the In The Studio seminar series this month, gave a great talk!  He talked about his journey to becoming a rug hooker and how he drew his inspiration from past and present artists.  Then he gave us a grand overview of his work.  It was a very interesting and inspiring story!  Thank-you Charlie and In The Studio!

I’m almost finished reading “Color Choices” by Stephen Quiller.  I actually borrowed this book for the last two or three chapters in it, but found the first chapter so fascinating I kept reading from the beginning!  It’s a new way of looking at the colour wheel for me.

I’ve been busy working my way through Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” with a group of ladies in Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  It’s been very good so far.

I am really enjoying the supportive community Beth Miller is developing on Mighty Networks.  Beth has demonstrations and Crafternoons planned every month, and finishing days quarterly.  There are over ten boards on a diverse range of topics – rug hooking is only one of them.  Soon she will be adding member only classes to the roster of happenings.  Membership is only $9.99 USD per month…well worth it for me so far.  I encourage you to check it out.  There’s a free three day trial.

Well, that’s my review for the week!   If you have been, thanks for reading!

 

Snow Day!

Snow Day!

We woke up to a fresh blanket of snow covering the ground this morning, and more snow falling. It was quiet and beautiful!

A snow day for us means an at home day. So today I’ve been doing “errands”  and paying bills online.  I’ve also been transferring files from my iMac to my Lenovo laptop.  My iMac is on its last legs and I will not be replacing it.

I managed to copy four more Parker’s Cove fishing shack wall hangings onto backing. I have at least one more long one to transfer to backing, and several smaller ones yet.

I have not worked on the Boucherouite rug since Friday.  Nor have I worked on “The Farm”.  

I have finished spinning and plying some dark green Corriedale wool for rug hooking.

Plus I attended a Zoom lecture by Tom Hannihar, sponsored by the Textile Museum Associates of Southern California, on the molas of Panama and Columbia. A mola is a type of handwork created using reverse appliqué, appliqué and embroidery.  It is often made by girls and women, and sewn to their blouses. It was a fascinating lecture.

This weekend they have one on the women artists of Morocco.  I plan to attend that Zoom lecture too.  

I am currently reading “Color Choices” by Stephen Quiller. This book is aimed at artists and uses manufactured paint names for the various colours on the colour wheel.  The concepts are good for all media though. I am enjoying it. I hope to finish it by the end of the month.

I am also embarking on a re-reading of Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way”. I am doing it with a group of people on Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.   I learned a lot about myself the first time through this book over 20 years ago, and I’m thinking it might be time to revisit it now.

Mighty Networks is a paid platform, and Beth is just getting started there. However she already has some demos, a crafting afternoon, and a finishing afternoon once a month in the works. There are plans to offer courses through the site as well.  Plus there are boards on a wide variety of topics.  You can check out her site on a free 3 day trial.  After that it’s $9.99 USD per month.

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  Have a great week everyone!

Weekly Review: sidetracked

Weekly Review: sidetracked

Hi everyone!  I had one of those weeks this week. I was sidetracked by computer issues and different exciting happenings I can’t tell you about yet. It’s a project still in the planning stages.

However, I did accomplish some of what I set out to do this week!  The Boucherouite rug I am working on is half finished.  It’s great fun to work on.  I am enjoying playing with pattern and colour.

I changed up “The Farm” a bit.  I’m thinking of possible techniques I could use to create 3D flowers and plants around the edges.  I’m considering felting flowers, silk embroidery, beadwork, stumpwork embroidery, Brazilian embroidery… There are a lot of options.  I’ve spent a lot of time on YouTube watching tutorials.

I have more Parker’s Cove fishing shacks in my sketchbook and some ready to go on backing.  I’m hoping to work on those tonight and tomorrow.

If you have been, thanks for reading   Have a great weekend!

 

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