Weekly Review

Weekly Review

I’m back at it again!  I am finished the main part of the field in “Doom”.  I’m about one quarter done.

I had the opportunity to hook on it during Beth Miller’s Parris House Thursday Zoom Hook-in yesterday. If you’re interested in joining the hook-in and are on Facebook, do a Facebook search for the group and ask to join.  Beth is very encouraging and always looking for new members.

This week, after returning home from the bicycle trip, was rest and relaxation time. We were able to put the house mostly in order again.

I ordered more greeting cards for the shop – some old designs and some new ones. I am also ordering from a Canadian company this time. I’m hoping they turn out okay. They should arrive in early October. When they do, I’ll write a blog post featuring them.

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

Having a wonderful time…

Having a wonderful time…

Company arrived Saturday and we’ve been having a blast!  A couple of us drove the sag wagon while the rest bicycled to Chester, Nova Scotia from Halifax. Yes. It was 77.2 km. They were an pretty tired crew when they rode up to the Mecklenburgh Inn, where we were staying. But happy too.  They had a good day on the trail.

And I had a good day with the other sag wagon person.  We drove the slow route to Chester, stopping to visit his old family haunts and some antique stores and book stores. We arrived in Chester about 1 1/2 hours before the cyclists. Enough time to read a book and nap.

We went to The Rope Loft for supper.  It’s a good restaurant on the waterfront with a fascinating history. The original building is over 200 years old.  Our travelling companions were comparing the structure to their almost 200 year old farmhouse.  It was a good meal with healthy portions.

After walking back to the Mecklenburgh, we played a difficult game of Scrabble.  It took an hour. We all had to help each other.  And no one scored over 200!

For those who have never been to the Mecklenburgh, it’s floors are peppered with primitive hand hooked rugs.  Absolutely gorgeous!  Here’s a sampler…

Today we complete the ride and head home.

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

Running Late…

Running Late…

Good morning everyone!  This past weekend was busy. The kitchen is mostly done. We have two stubborn parts to it. We want to replace the light fixture over the dining area and stain the wood threshold between the living room and kitchen. The light fixtures we pick are all out of stock, and we are having difficulty matching the stain for the threshold with the existing wood floor. We are waiting for more lighting to come into our area locally, and visiting a local hardware store to talk to their experienced paint staff about stain.

Despite all that, everything has been moved back into the kitchen as of yesterday, and I found a taker for my old stainless steel pots and pans. Yesterday I spent cooking in my new kitchen. It was nice!

In rug hooking, I have not pulled a loop these past few days.  However, I can at least get to my work now!  So work will continue on “Each Step Spells Doom”.

Friday Hubby and I went on a road trip to Amherst to meet up with some visiting relatives. We had a great time walking the town!  We ended up at Dayle’s Grand Market and meeting the owner of Maritime Mosaic, Karen McKinnon. We were greatly impressed by the variety of goods in her shop, and the quality.  A few rug hookers are represented. I highly recommend people stop in on their way through or to Amherst, Nova Scotia.

This week’s plan is to catch up on kitchen activities and start hooking again.  I hope to spend a few hours hooking on “Doom”.

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

 

Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings

It’s a holiday weekend here and the kitchen renovation is humming along  We’re taking advantage of the absence of outside workers to fix some of their mistakes, repair damage, install lighting, and general clean up and prep for the range hood installation.  I made a list of what’s left to do and it’s very short.  However it’s a holiday Monday and the home building and electrical supply stores aren’t open.  We’ll head out tomorrow and look for supplies.

In rug hooking, I started another piece Friday. I think it will be my last in the poetry series. It is a piece about how humankind’s activities have negatively impacted the Earth. It is a response to my youngest daughter’s poem “Each Step Spells Doom” – a very angsty teenage poem about the state of the earth – a bit of a depressing piece actually.

In fact, so much so it might morph into a slightly different design than what’s on backing.  And I might just not add the poem with this one. Normally they are on the label in this series.  We shall see.

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

 

 

The Weave

The Weave

This week I settled down and finally finished hooking “The Weave”. It is one of my children’s poetry series. I have two more of that series to hook and then I’m done!  I am actually reconsidering the remaining two pieces. I’m not sure one of them can be hooked. The design is too detailed for the medium of rug hooking.

In kitchen news…the plumber came and installed the sink, taps and dishwasher. He also fixed our hot water line problem.  Apparently there was a valve issue affecting the hot water flow.

Today the electricians come to install the lights and pull out the wire for the range hood. They may have to extend the wire for the range hood.  We’ll see.

I’m still waiting for the range hood to be installed. We won’t get a quote for that until Tuesday. We were going to have the kitchen installer do it, but the part we need to go through the wall isn’t available in local stores. The electrician who was here said it normally comes with the range hood. It didn’t. I hear the HVAC guys have it though. So, if they can provide it in a reasonable time frame at a reasonable price, the job is theirs.

I am looking forward to getting my kitchen back.  Almost there!  It might be time to start moving items back in there. Maybe this weekend.

If you have been, thanks for reading!  Be safe and have a great Labour Day weekend everyone!

Weekly Review – Ups and Downs

Weekly Review – Ups and Downs

Good morning all!  It’s been busy here.  As with most renovations there are ups and downs.

Downs:

  • Microwave is going to arrive five days later than planned, but that’s okay because…
  • the people buying our old appliances changed their minds and cancelled…soooo…
  • I have to get busy selling this old kitchen and  the appliances.

Ups:

  • However, the new microwave is on its way.
  • We were able to borrow a mini fridge from a friend to use in the basement during the renovation.
  • New fridge, stove and dishwasher arrive today.
  • All the main cabinet carcasses are assembled.
  • Someone is coming this evening to look at the old kitchen and see if they want to buy it.

I’ve also been busy in the kitchen.

  • I cut our chives and started chive vinegar to use in salad dressings.
  • I used up some frozen cranberries by making cranberry juice from scratch.  I’m trying to empty out the fridge and its freezer as much as possible.
  • I also made herbed whole wheat baking powder biscuits and
  • whole wheat dinner rolls for the basement freezer.  They will be to accompany suppers during the renovation.
  • I canned dill beans and froze some string beans for later.
  • Plus I made salmon chowder and other main meals for the freezer to thaw and eat during the renovation.

It’s been a busy week.

In rug hooking news, “The Weave” is almost finished.  Just a few loops to go!

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

 

 

Weekly Review – sidetracked

Weekly Review – sidetracked

Most people get sidetracked by summer fun this time of year.  Me?  I’m sidetracked by a kitchen renovation and food processing and storage for the coming fall and winter.

Yesterday I was in the basement rearranging the freezers and taking inventory. I actually started the inventory process in the cupboards on Wednesday.  I admit, I’m a bit of an organizing freak.  I like to know what I have and how much. Then I can plan to use it up.

I used to draw up a menu plan and follow it religiously.  Not anymore!  I make the menu plan and pick and choose meals from it depending on how I feel and my time constraints that particular day. It is a lot more relaxing that way.

In kitchen renovation news…the cabinets are half built. The installer will take over the kitchen on the 21st and remove the old kitchen.  Hubby will sand and paint.  The flooring guy will come do his thing. Then the installer comes back.  Then we have to call in a plumber to connect the sink and dishwasher. BUT none of the hookups can happen until we buy and receive appliances!  Rumour has it appliances are hard to acquire right now. We’re off today to check.

In rug hooking news…I’m almost done hooking “The Weave”!  I figure I have another three to four hours of hooking. Then the finishing.  I’m guessing, with everything else going on, it will be a couple of weeks yet.   I’m looking forward to “The Bubble”.

If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a good weekend everyone!

Thankful Tuesday

Thankful Tuesday

Today is a red letter day!  There is finally a start on our IKEA kitchen renovation!   We’ve been waiting a year.  It took six months to get all the materials and supplies.  We still haven’t bought appliances. We’re buying from IKEA. We were assured they have plenty in stock in their local warehouse.  We shall see.  I’m looking forward to a functional kitchen I can also use for dyeing fibre.

Meanwhile, I took this weekend off. Sunday we travelled to visit family.  It was a long, but nice drive.

My plans for the week?  Finish hooking “The Weave” and colour plan the next poetry wall hanging.  Probably “The Bubble”.

Otherwise?  It’s canning, processing and freezing food time. It’s time to stock up for winter.  This past weekend I made bread and butter pickles, blueberry honey jam, strawberry apple lemon jam and red currant jelly.

I’m busy organizing my cupboards, fridge and freezers. We have two freezers – one small chest freezer and a medium sized upright one. I put in an online order for some wire mesh bins to help organize the upright freezer.  I’m looking forward to having those in hand in a week or so.

Lots to do!

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

Weekly Review – In Person Hooking!

Weekly Review – In Person Hooking!

Today I hooked in-person for the first time in 18 months!  It was a great time, and nice to see everyone who came.  I worked on “The Weave”.  I’m almost finished the hooking.  I’m trying to decide how to finish it.  I think, in the end, it will be my standard fold over the edges, mitre the corners, and stitch in place.

I am taking advantage of the local situation and reaching out to others interested in learning what I know.  I recognize I do a poor job of marketing myself!  I, like a lot of people, find it difficult to “blow my own horn”!  However, I am interested in connecting up with other artists who rug hook as well as produce work other ways.  I find the work and process of creating art by other artists inspirational.  I am also offering to teach individuals rug hooking on a one-on-one basis.

This week I have been thinking ahead to September.  Hubby and I have booked a cottage for five days for retreat.  I’m looking forward to some time away to work uninterrupted.  Hopefully to start a new series.  To that end I have been busy photographing and sketching local scenes.  I am in the process of trying to decide how to translate them into hooked items.

Also in September we are hoping to go on a bicycle trip.  Hubby likes to bike, while I ride sag wagon (the car).  This time we will have people riding and driving with us, so we won’t be taking our car.  I’m hoping to spend some time rug hooking in Chester, N.S., and possibly Lunenburg, while I wait for cyclists, but we shall see.

Well if you have been, thanks for reading!  Take care everyone!

 

The Weave

The Weave

It is with sadness that I write this post. Judy Carter, a well known rug hooker and teacher, is no longer with us.  I have Judy’s book “Hooking Animals”, and was looking forward to taking a class from her one day.  I regret not having made a decision to take that class sooner.  I have never met Judy, but her impact can be felt throughout the rug hooking community amongst those who did. And it was a significant impact.  She will be missed.

Today, as I worked on “The Weave” – a rug about a poem on the stages of life – I thought about Judy.  I think it is time to add some darks, for the sad and the dark times in our lives.  May you rest in peace Judy.

If you have been, thanks for reading.

“The Weave” and Other Works

“The Weave” and Other Works

Good morning everyone! So you may be wondering which project I’ve decided to work on next.  I looked at my project mind map and updated it. I want to move onto some Nova Scotia themed mats, but I have three small poetry mats left from my children’s poetry to complete.  All three are on backing.  All three present different challenges. So I decided to finish those up.

I decided to hook “The Weave” next.  It is based on a poem my youngest daughter wrote around 17 years of age on the fabric of life.  I already put it on backing last summer. This weekend I colour planned it.  I am using a hexad colour scheme, which is new to me.  So I sent a series of texts, including photos, to my weaving relative with excellent colour sense to get her opinion.  I am eagerly awaiting her reply.  In the meantime, I’ve actually started hooking it.

While I am finishing the poetry series up, I am preparing for my next series of wall hangings focusing on the wharves of Nova Scotia.  Hubby and I went on a day trip with my walking buddy to her cabin/trailer on Digby Neck this spring before lockdown. I had a lovely time stopping in at the various wharves in the area, taking oodles of photos!

This weekend I started the preliminary sketching for a new series.   I am not sure how I am going to represent some of these wharves.  I may end up going slightly abstract…or not.  We shall see.

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

Weekly Review – “Making a Life”

Weekly Review – “Making a Life”

Yay!  I had some time to prepare a couple of hooked pieces for the wall. I created and attached labels and hanging sleeves to “Time” and “Autumn”.  They are ready to hang!

I started reading ”Making a Life” by Deanne Fitzpatrick the other day.  It is a great little read with lots of wonderful photography of her work.  I think it’s her most readable book yet.  It’s interesting how, over the years, you can see a writer’s skill progress.  This is true of other authors as well as Deanne.  In this book Deanne writes about her life as an artist the past twenty-five years.  She talks about her initial views on art and artists, and how she grew into thinking of herself as an artist and being an artist. A lovely read.

Next up?!  Colour planning my next project!

 

Weekly Review – What’s Next?!

Weekly Review – What’s Next?!

This week was productive.  “Gyeongju “ is finished and up on the wall!  “Time” is also finished. I have to put hanging sleeves on it and “Autumn”. My serger is back from having maintenance done on it, so I’m good to go!

I’m checking my Someday/Maybe list and crossing these projects off.  Time to decide what’s next. I’m tempted to work on “The Weave”. Or maybe “Where are we Going?”. Or “The Bubble”. Or something totally different.

Some people have a shortage of ideas to hook. I’m not one of them!  I have sketchbooks full of ideas.  I think I’ll pick smallish projects I can carry with me this summer – projects I can work on out on the deck, or at the cottage, or at my sisters’.

I have three smallish to medium sized poetry pieces on backing left to complete.  I will pick one and colour plan it.  I’m narrowing things down this weekend…hoping to have made a decision by Monday.

I have been busy since Covid began.  Enjoy this slide show of some of my finished work.

 

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Day Trip Time!

Day Trip Time!

Yesterday we were on the road most of the day. In the morning we dealt with gardening supplies, plants and coordinating someone to come look at the property.  In the afternoon we had fun.

We decided to drive the South Shore as far as Queensland Beach yesterday. We stopped in at the Red Wagon Art Studio in Hammonds Plains. They had a lot of excellent quality art supplies for a reasonable price, and Amy, one of the proprietors, was more than willing to show me around. They offer curbside shopping as well as shipping. I am keeping them in mind.

We also stopped at the Bike & Bean Café in French Village. Mind you, we actually trotted next door to Cavicchi’s for ice-cream!  The Bike & Bean Café is in front of the Rumrunner’s Trail. The trail literally runs behind their back door. Hubby is an avid cyclist and wants to bike that trail soon.

Next stop was the Hooked Rug Museum of North America.  I was there the day before they opened again, having closed it due to Covid. However, the marketplace was open for business!  I had a look around and purchased some lovely recycled plaids.  Then chatted up Sharon and Taylor out front.

Sharon was busy creating the new email about the finishing class coming up mid-September. There is a limit of fifteen spaces.  I hope to be one of them, but it depends on a lot of things.   I also heard about the “Rid the Winter Blues Hooking Retreat” in Rothesay, N.B.  It’s an interesting idea and, depending on our home situation, I might take part.

Taylor was showing me her hooking and we chatted about the AirBnB she rents out. It’s full for most of the summer, but into the fall there are longer openings.  It’s a reasonable price at $100CAD/night and two bedrooms – one with a queen bed and one a double. It’s on the coast near Blandford, N.S.  It looks like an ideal spot for an artist retreat!

I reluctantly left the museum to head for the beach. The beach was a bit of a disappointment. The tide was in, it was crowded, and no one seemed to be following the keep six feet away rule.  So we headed to a picnic table nearby, had a bite to eat, took photos of the ocean, and headed home.

Despite the disappointment of the beach it was a beautiful day!   In the evening we set to work in our yard, weeding a flower bed, turning up the dirt, tidying up.  Next up is to plant the annuals we bought and add mulch. Today’s job. Hopefully it will be finished by the time the rain comes this evening.

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

Better Late Than Never!

Better Late Than Never!

I missed writing a blog post for yesterday! Sorry to leave my readers hanging for a day or so.  My blog writing was delayed. More details below.

In the rug hooking arena, “Dancing Tree” found a new home!  I sincerely hope it gives joy and puts a smile on the face of the new owner for many years to come.

I haven’t progressed any further on “Gyeongju” or “Time” due to upcoming renovations.  We picked up the last of the kitchen cabinets last week.  This weekend and Monday we shopped for flooring and countertops.  Mission accomplished!  Everything should be on site in two weeks.  The guy removing our old kitchen and installing the new is thinking it will be four weeks before he gets to us.  However, we have a planning meeting with him coming up.

But before the kitchen renovation we have a front and side yard overhaul happening!  So if I’m a little scarce on here and don’t have much rug hooking to talk about, forgive me!

We are also talking about culling trees on the property.  We have a lot of mature trees between us and the neighbours.  But that and planting a new perennial bed between us and them won’t happen until late August into early September.

While I’ve been negligent on the rug hooking front, I’ve been busy preparing for the nature journaling conference, Wild Wonder.  It takes place next weekend.  It starts at noon Atlantic Time on the 23rd and continues through to 1:30 AM Atlantic Time on Monday, the 28th.  It will be 13 1/2 hour days.  Friends and family are taking bets how long I’ll last.  That’s a lot of Zoom time for me and a lot of sitting.  I will definitely be talking advantage of breaks to stretch and exercise.

I am also planning to squeeze an artist retreat in between the lawn renewal and the kitchen renovation.  So June and July will be busy.

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  I’ll keep you posted on the renovations AND any rug hooking. Have a great week everyone!

Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings

I have to start this post out with a correction. Apparently the driving force behind International Nature Journaling Week is Bethan Burton – a nature journalist from Australia. The week was made possible by numerous volunteers. Today is the last day of Zoom classes.  It was such a wonderful experience it motivated me to sign up for Wild Wonder.  Wild Wonder is a nature journaling conference that runs between June 23rd and 27th. It will be twelve hour days for me, so I will, in all probability, not be posting to my blog until it’s over.

I am planning an artist retreat for a few days in July, and another for September – both by the ocean.  When the Atlantic Bubble opens up again, I hope to spend some time in Prince Edward Island and maybe New Brunswick as well.

I finished hooking “Gyeongju”!  I have one circle I want to fiddle with a bit, but otherwise it’s ready for pressing and blocking. I am waiting for lockdown to lift one step further before heading into a lumber store for the piece of trim needed to hang it.  Next up is finishing the embellishments on “Time”.  I have a bit of embroidery to do and that should be it.

I received an email about In The Studio’s Workshop Week 3 this past week. I am only taking one class this time.  I took too many last time.  They were all good, but I just found it overwhelming. I really only have time for one class. Workshop Week 3 happens the end of October.  You can access more information on karendmiller.com .

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

 

Misty Monday Morning

Misty Monday Morning

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.

Weekly Review – This and That

Weekly Review – This and That

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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I processed (or finished) some hand spun alpaca yarn for knitting.  It’s hanging to dry as I write.

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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!

 

 

Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings

This weekend was spent rug hooking, talking with family, sewing a doll outfit and gardening.

I also sent an email to the photographer whose photos I am using as a base for some of my nature journaling. I wanted to make sure he knew I was using his photos and how. He was okay with it. His name is John Phillips. He’s a Nova Scotia photographer. Check out his website here!

I hooked more on “Gyeongju”.  I have one quarter of the border left to do – about four to five hours work.  I’m looking forward to finishing.

My doll now has a new sailor dress outfit.  This is my childhood doll and I’ve been meaning to sew her a new outfit for years.  I never really prioritized it though. But Saturday was the day. I sewed the hat, dress and panties.  The hat looks big, but actually just fits the back of the head.

My niece looked at it and commented the doll looked scary. Lol!  Poor doll is over 55 years old and missing a few eyelashes and a pinkie finger.  The missing lashes and discoloured face from age definitely give  it a different look! Lol!

This week I am pushing to finish hooking “Gyeongju” and blocking it.  I am also transplanting plants into pots for the deck garden.  I have extra plants to unload on friends.  I have a couple friends lined up already.

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

 

Lockdown Plans

Lockdown Plans

So for those of you who don’t know, all of Nova Scotia (where we live) has been placed in lockdown. We’re talking a super tight, don’t go out of your house unless you have to, lockdown. One person per household is allowed out to buy essentials – food, gas and medications – and it has to be the same individual throughout lockdown. We are allowed to walk, masked and socially distanced. If we’re a 1-2 person household, we can team up with another 1-2 person household and keep them in our bubble. When we do go shopping for groceries, gas or meds, we are not supposed to leave our community. It’s a bit stressful here right now.

So…our soil delivery for our newly made raised bed was canceled.  The greenhouse staff called and said maybe next week, maybe not until the end of May.  So much for my early spring crop. But it is what it is, and people need to stay safe!

Instead of focusing on the outdoors, which is hard to do anyways with all the rain forecast, I decided to focus on indoors.  Saturday I spent all day picking up my studio.  It was a mess!  It still has a lot of extra stuff in it that needs culling and putting away, but it’s better than before.  I made an eight minute video of the current state of my studio here.  It’s middling.   There’s still a lot to do in there.  However there is progress.  Last year this time we were dealing with this.

I also took time to do a quick two minute video of my nature journal.  It can be found here.  I hope to work on sketching some flowers I received for Mother’s Day.  I’m also contemplating a Great Blue Heron page for my nature journal.

Today I’m sitting down with my hook and working on “Gyeongju”.  I am also doing paperwork for my business.

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

 

 

Weekly Review – Gyeongju

Weekly Review – Gyeongju

Good morning everyone!  It’s been an interesting week here. Nova Scotia is officially in lockdown again…for the next four weeks. Covid is getting out of control.  We are canceling gatherings and staying home. It could be a good opportunity to get more hooking done!

Speaking of hooking…I’ve recently had some people ask me about my rug “Gyeongju”  (the South Korean roof tile end caps rug). I think it may need some explanation for those not versed in Asian architecture or Korean history.

South Korea is a beautiful country that has been decimated by wars during the 20th century.  Since the Korean War, which ended in the early 1950s, South Koreans have worked very hard to rebuild their land and heal their people. At one point all the trees were stripped off parts of the land so it was easy to see the enemy advance. That is why the forests in parts of South Korea look young…they were replanted after the Korean War.

During the early part of the 20th century South Korea was taken over by Imperial Japan. The Japanese tried to systematically destroy Korean culture.  One way this was done was by destroying the palaces in Seoul.  Since the 1990s there has been a focused and systematic approach by South Koreans to rebuild sites of cultural significance, including the palaces in Seoul.  How many palaces are we talking about?  There were five!

After years of helping South Korean immigrants and International students adjust to Canadian life, we had the opportunity of a lifetime to visit South Korea.  In 2017 we packed our bags and headed overseas with a previous boarder from Busan area in southeast South Korea.

Busan is a city of beaches that stretches along the coastline of the East Sea (if you’re Korean), or the Japan Sea (if you’re Japanese).  While in Busan we went to Dongbaek Island Park and saw the conference centre built for APEC 2005.  There was this magnificent carpet on the floor of the round central chamber where the heads of state met.  The colours of that carpet became the border in my rug “Gyeongju”.

We spent a couple of days there before travelling north and a bit west to Gyeongju.  Gyeongju is the historical capital of the old kingdom of Silla  Let me backtrack…

Long before the World Wars…in the 7th century…there were three kingdoms in what is now modern day Korea (North and South).  By the end of the 7th century one of them, Silla, was dominant over the others.  Gyeongju, as the capital, was home to more palaces which housed kings, and queens.  There are many royal burial mounds there, an observatory, and renovation of a famous garden has begun.

In Gyeongju there is a large park with five buildings that form one of many sites of the National Museum of Korea.  We were able to make it through two buildings in half a day.  One housed samples of the old roof tile end caps.

They were a designer’s delight!  All different designs in varying conditions and quality, the patterns on them piqued my interest.  Did they mean anything?  What were they?  How were they actually used?  Lots of questions, but few answers.

Enter our trip to Seoul!  After visiting Gyeongju we took the high speed train to Seoul.  There we visited three of the reconstructed palaces.  Here is a reconstructed South Korean palace roof.

The end caps were at the end of the roof tiles to prevent rain from sucking back up the underside of the roof tiles onto the wall of the building.

As you can tell from looking at my rug, “Gyeongju “, and the above photo,  I was also taken with the palace colour scheme.  Here is the throne room of the main palace.

So “Gyeongju” is really a memory rug of a wonderful trip to a beautiful country halfway around the world. I call it a rug, but I’ve been informed by Hubby that it will hang on the living room wall above our fireplace. The pressure is on people!  I want to get it right if I’m going to see it every day!   😂

Well if you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Plans for the Week

Plans for the Week

I have a busy week ahead of me. I have two Zoom meetings. Plus we need to run errands and catch up on household chores. I have a meeting with my framer about the embroidery and handwork I am having framed.  In-between all that I hope to hook more on the border of “Gyeongju” (aka the South Korean roof tile end caps rug), and embellish more on “Time”.

Both my hubby and I receive our first shots of the Covid vaccine this week. I’m building in some down time just in case.  I have some reading to catch up on.  There were also quite a few freebies from Sketchbook Revival 2021 that I’d like to follow up on.  Plus a friend sent me some bird photos to practice nature journaling.

I’m also trying to put my photos in order to have some printed professionally.  I am planning another series.

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Good afternoon everyone!  I worked hard this week and finally finished off the Sketchbook Revival 2021 lessons I wanted to do. This week there were classes in printmaking, mark making to loosen up, character design, costume design, collage, watercolour and nature journaling. I was enamoured with the nature journaling and think I’ll do more of that.

To that end I ordered two books: John Muir Law’s “Nature Drawing and Journaling” and Clare Leslie’s and Charles Roth’s “Keeping a Nature Journal”. Our library had multiple holds on both books, so I decided to buy them.

Here’s a slide show of finished work from the second half of Sketchbook Revival 2021.

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In other news…

I hooked quite a bit on the border of “Gyeongju” (the South Korean roof tile end caps rug).  Still have a lot more to go.

Hubby and I also took a day off and went with a friend for a drive out on Digby Neck here in Nova Scotia.  We meandered around, taking the scenic route on the way there.   My imagination wasn’t captured until we got out of the car at the wharf in Delaps Cove.  I was mesmerized by the age of the wharf, how battered it was, the rusty spikes and bolts holding it together, the huge granite boulders that made up the breakwater, and, of course, the fish shacks.  I took a lot of photos and endured quite a bit of teasing for doing so!

But that was just the beginning for me.  I requested we stop at the wharf in Parker’s Cove on the way back.  Once again I took lots of photos.  Our friend, from a fishing family, was having a good chuckle at me taking pictures of rope.  But you know, I’ll say here what I said to her – every good original design starts with a good photo.  I will probably get one or two pieces out of all those photos…and that’s okay.

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

 

Finishing Up

Finishing Up

Good evening everyone!  I’ve spent some time working on my pieces from the earlier Workshop Weeks and finishing them up.  I just have the embroidery and beading to do on “Time” now, before finishing it.

The abstract pieces – “Ocean Sunset” and “Poison” are finished, complete with hanging sleeves.


Autumn” needs a good steam pressing and, possibly, some fixing on one edge in the hemming.  Then a hanging sleeve attached.

I also finished the Fraktur chair pad, but feel it’s too small for a chair pad.  It will probably end up on one of my living room tables.

Next it’s onto the South Korean roof tile end caps rug, which I think I will simply call “Gyeongju”.  Gyeongju is the city with the museum where I saw all the ancient designs tile designs.  South Korea was originally an amalgamation of three separate kingdoms.  Gyeongju, historically called Seorabeol, was capital of one of them – the Silla kingdom (57-935 AD).  You can read all about it by googling it.  It’s a fascinating city, nicknamed “The Museum Without Walls” .  It is a National Park filled with reconstructed sites and buildings from the old kingdom.  There are burial mounds of kings and queens, and archeological digs abound.  Plus there is a five building museum.  It’s just fascinating.  We were there one day.  There is no way we had enough time to do it justice.

I have a series of wall hangings I’d like to do on South Korea.  We’ll see if I get to them.  I want to finish some poetry wall hangings first.

Other than that it’s been a busy few days.  I’m trying to at least watch the videos for Sketchbook Revival, which technically ended March 31st. The videos are available until April 16th.  I’m rushing to fit them in, but I doubt I’ll have time to do the projects.

I’m looking forward to spring and summer.  I’m already planning my artist retreats for the year.  IKEA says they’ll email when the kitchen cabinet frames come in.  I’m hoping to work my retreats around the kitchen renovation.

Well that’s it from here.  I hope everyone has a great week!  If you have been, thanks for reading!