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!

 

 

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!

FOR SALE FEATURE: Prairie Sunset Large

FOR SALE FEATURE: Prairie Sunset Large

I grew up on the Canadian prairies and spent most of my adult life there. The one thing about the prairies that stood out to me was the vivid sunsets.  This scene is of such a sunset hovering over a field of ripe canola.   The wispy clouds were truly red on the bottom!  It was a gorgeous sunset, and if I had pure gold to hook into it, I would! 

“Prairie Sunset Large” is actually 12” x 24”. Most of my prairie sky pieces are small 6” square pieces. By comparison this is large. It is hooked using the traditional rug hooking technique of pulling loops up from below the piece using a hand hook.  All ends or tails are pulled to the top and clipped even with the hooking.

It is made of wool, silk and nylon, on primitive linen. Some of it is yarn and some fabric. Some is hand spun and some commercial yarn. Most everything is hand dyed.  Though some fibre may be commercially dyed. 

“Prairie Sunset Large” is $300 CAD. It includes free shipping in Canada.  It comes with an artist’s certificate of authenticity, and a museum quality hanging system.

The hanging system consists of a shellacked oak board and hook and loop tape stapled to the board and sewn to the back of the wall hanging. 

Contact me at: jeanottosenstudios@gmail.com for more information or to purchase. 

FOR SALE FEATURE:  African Dream

FOR SALE FEATURE: African Dream

Good afternoon everyone!  It’s a beautiful winter day today.  The bright blue sky and brilliant sun, though cold here, reminds me of much warmer climes. Today’s feature rug is “African Dream”!

“African Dream” started as a curiosity piece.  We had purchased a cheap grey and grey-blue mudroom rug to protect our hardwood floors.  It was an ugly colour, but I found the design intriguing.  It was striped, but there was pattern within each stripe. I wondered…”What if…?”

Colour…it needed colour.  It also needed to be enlarged and to have contrast added.  It needed some variation in the pattern.  In short, it needed a makeover!  I grabbed my sketchbook and made a quick small sketch.  I later enlarged the sketch and transferred it to linen backing. 

I pulled from the colours I had seen in African cloth to hook this wall hanging.  Composed of many different colour values of silk, wool and nylon, it contains a lot of movement.  

I used yarn, fabric and upcycled pantyhose (nylons) for this project. Some of the yarn is homespun and dyed by me, some indie dyed and spun, and some is commercial. The pantyhose have been stripped of their original colour and dyed by me.

Measuring  28 3/4” x 24”, “African Dream” is a large rug for me.  It has a cotton hanging sleeve attached, and is hung from a dowel supported by two cup hooks.

It comes with an Artist’s Certificate of Authenticity.

It is on sale for $700 CAD, shipping included in Canada.  If you are interested, contact me, Jean Ottosen, at: jeanottosenstudios@gmail.com 

FOR SALE FEATURE: Blue-eyed Grass

FOR SALE FEATURE: Blue-eyed Grass

One of the unique plants where I grew up was Blue-eyed Grass. It wasn’t very common, and when we found some there was always a bit of excitement from my mother, who studied botany. I loved the straightness of it.  Other plants kind of lazily drifted towards the sun, but Blue-eyed grass shot up like a rocket.  It is not a tall plant, being maybe a foot tall at best. But the single showy deep blue flower on top of the stalk made up for its diminutive stature. 

This stylized version of Blue-eyed Grass was created using wool, silk and nylon on linen backing. There is yarn and cut fabric strips in it. It is hooked using the traditional rug hooking technique of pulling up loops from the bottom of the piece. These loops are packed so tight they stay in place.

Blue-eyed Grass is 7” x 30” and comes with a hanging system. That system consists of an attached hanging sleeve and a dowel rod that hangs invisibly behind the piece.  All you need are two cup hooks to hang it.  It also comes with an artist’s certificate of authenticity.

At $275 CAD, shipping included in Canada, Blue-eyed Grass is on sale.

If interested contact me at: jeanottosenstudios@gmail.com  

 

FOR SALE FEATURE: Hearts

FOR SALE FEATURE: Hearts

Hearts was a pre-pandemic project that was waylaid by the arrival of Covid-19 in Canada in March 2020. It gave me something to do with my hands while wrestling with the changes in our world and in my life.

Hooked with wool, silk and nylon on primitive linen backing. Some hand spun yarn and some hand dyed fibre is included in these pieces.

On sale for $150 for all of them.  Or, if I split them up, $120 for the wall hanging and $20 each for the coasters. Shipping included for Canadian addresses.

Those interested in purchasing can contact me through email at jeanottosenstudios@gmail.com  or through my Facebook page – Jean Ottosen Studios – or through Instagram (Jean Ottosen Studios).  Or you can contact me through the contact form under the contact tab on this website.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2022!  While I had a good year last year, I’m pleased to be moving on this year.  I finished many projects in 2021, including a series of hooked rugs, and a very old quilt. I also finished knitting not one toque, but two, for Christmas gifts. And I started knitting a pair of socks.

I was delighted to be able to help a young lady learn rug hooking this holiday season.  She was gifted a kit and I created a video specially for her.  I hope she continues to rug hook and enjoys it.

While I did not post to my blog over the holidays, followers on my social media accounts (Facebook in particular) will notice I have been posting new work from the last few years in my shop on this website.  I have had such trouble with my checkout that I’ve neglected posting new work. I’ve currently disabled the cart and checkout process by placing my shop on vacation.

However, if you want to purchase anything, feel free to email me at jeanottosenstudios@gmail.com.  I am still here and will ship to you.

This year’s plans are to move forward with a new series of hooked mats I hope to put on backing this week.  Hubby and I have driven around Nova Scotia, our new home province, a lot, and have discovered some wonderful places full of beauty and character.  I hope to create visual memories of these places for my home and others.

And now for the big news!  I have finished the series of wall hangings based on my children’s poetry!  The inspiration poetry was written or spoken from ages five to seventeen.  I hooked ten wall hangings inspired by the poems.  Most of the wall hangings have the poem that inspired it on the back on a label.  Eight of these pieces are for sale.  Contact me for more information.

And in even bigger news…!  I have had an article published in the January 2022 issue of Rug Hooking Magazine!  It is about the poetry series.  I was very pleased to be able to work with the editor and a photographer on this article.   A big thank-you to all involved!

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

 

FOR SALE FEATURE: Star Rug

FOR SALE FEATURE: Star Rug

“Star Rug” was one of the first pieces I hooked for the Saskatchewan Crafts Council in 2012.  It was hooked at various venues across Saskatchewan and used to demonstrate rug hooking to people at craft fairs and shows.

“Star Rug” is hooked with silk and wool on primitive linen.  The design consists of a series of stars, freehanded onto backing and floating in six inch squares.  The entire piece is a take off of the traditional hit and miss rug, with both stars and their respective six inch backgrounds being hooked in deep, rich vibrant colours.

“Star Rug” was accepted into the travelling exhibit, “Dimensions“, of the Saskatchewan Crafts Council in 2013. It toured across Canada before coming home to rest.

I have always had a soft spot for “Star Rug”, as it was my first piece to tour extensively.  I’ve kept the price high over the years to reflect the quality of material, the work and the history of the piece. However, now I am ready to let it go.  The $500 CAD price tag represents a more than 30% price reduction.

“Star Rug” is 28.5” x 17 inches.  It comes with a museum quality hanging system of a finished oak board and hook and loop tape attached to the back of the rug and the board.  All you need are two screws to hold the board to your wall!  “Star Rug” also comes with an artist’s Certificate of Authenticity and care instructions.

If you are interested in purchasing “Star Rug”, contact me through the Contact button on this page or email me at jeanottosenstudios@gmail.com. I accept payment by e-transfer or PayPal. Shipping in the the southern part of Canada is free. I’m afraid I have to charge extra for remote places, the USA and international.

 

FOR SALE FEATURE: Star Wall Hangings

FOR SALE FEATURE: Star Wall Hangings

Good afternoon all!  Today’s feature are these larger versions of the bright star ornaments.  These are 6 inches square. Once again, no two stars are the same.  They are lined with coordinating cotton quilting fabric.  The hanging loops are made of silk ribbon. They are wool, velvet and silk hand hooked on linen.  Some yarn and fabric.  The yarn is often hand spun. Fibre is a mix of hand dyed, “as is” and indie dyed by other artists.

I often hang these in the top corners of archways in my house during the holiday season.  They can hang “as is”, or from a garland.  I have also hung them on the wall as regular decor.

Each wall hanging is $50 CAD, plus shipping and handling. Contact me through my contact form if interested.

 

FOR SALE FEATURE: bright star ornaments

FOR SALE FEATURE: bright star ornaments

Good morning everyone! Today I am featuring some 4” square ornaments in lime green, bright yellow and red.  I had a lot of fun making these!  No two stars are the same.  They are lined with coordinating cotton quilting fabric.  The hanging loops are made of silk ribbon. They are wool and silk hand hooked on linen. Some yarn and fabric.  The yarn is often hand spun. Fibre is a mix of hand dyed, “as is” and indie dyed by other artists. They are great for hanging on trees, garlands or swags!

I am selling them for $20 CAD each, shipping included if you live in Canada.

Please note:  I only sell to Canada and the United States from this website.  If you are interested in purchasing and come from somewhere else, please contact me through my Contact page.

 

Weekly Review: Almost Finished

Weekly Review: Almost Finished

Good morning everyone!  I’m almost finished “Where Are We Going?”.  I am unsure of the lettering situation in the border, as the letters are not centred in the border, but am not concerned enough to pull it out for a redo…yet.  I’m going to finish it first and then check it out again before I adjust anything.

It’s been a busy week here. We’ve been working on preparing for Christmas, finishing the last two things that need to be done in the kitchen renovation, and working on rug hooking related matters.

We gave away or sold most of our Christmas decor when we moved, thinking we’d be moving into a condo, but we chose a house in the end.  This Pre-Christmas season has been one of finding more decor for the house at a reasonable cost and with an eye to sustainability. In other words, I bought used as much as possible.

As far as the kitchen is concerned, we have two things left to do: install a new overhead dining area light, and the threshold strip between it and the living room.  We are trying to coordinate with a neighbour who has a special nail gun to come do the threshold strip.  Installing the light is a job Hubby can do.  But he is also busy working on our front entry walls, which were damaged when we sold our big old fridge and it was removed through the front door.  I am hoping to have everything done well before Christmas.

In rug hooking you will have noticed a new feature on the blog: the For Sale Feature.  I have decided to make an additional weekly post on Wednesday showcasing some pieces I have for sale.  Not everything I make is listed for sale in my online shop on this website. For the Wednesday For Sale Feature I will let you know how to order the item in the post.

I am also on the home stretch with “Where Are We Going?”  I am hoping to finish hooking this week. Then it will be time to make hanging sleeves for it and “The Weave”.

Well that’s about it for this week.  If you have been, thank-you for reading!  Have a great weekend everyone!

FOR SALE FEATURE: Burgundy & Gold Christmas Ornaments

FOR SALE FEATURE: Burgundy & Gold Christmas Ornaments

Good afternoon everyone!  I decided to start a sales feature post once a week on Wednesdays. This post is to showcase work that is for sale through this website, my Instagram account, my Facebook page or directly through me.

As Christmas is approaching I have decided to focus on Christmas home decor first.  Today I bring you some lovely 3.5” across burgundy and gold Christmas tree ornaments.

These ornaments are made of wool  and silk and hooked on linen. The back side is lined with burgundy wool.  These are all handmade, having been hooked using a traditional hand hook, and finished by hand as well. The hanging ribbon is silk.  There are circle or star designs available.

I have put these on sale at $15 CAD each, plus shipping and handling. These have been marked down because they are old stock.  But the designs are timeless!

I am open to local pickup by appointment, provided you wear a mask.  Hand sanitizer will be available at the door.   Payment can be made  by cash, PayPal or e-transfer. Just contact me at jeanottosenstudios@gmail.com requesting how many of which design you would like.  Stock is limited to what you see in the photos  Yes, that’s only 16 of these left!

The backs of 100% wool fabric.

 

Blank Note Cards!

Blank Note Cards!

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned I had ordered new blank note cards. Well they’re here!  Each card is a standard note card size with a high quality image on the front. They are on high quality card stock. I am selling these for $5 CAD each, or 5 for $20, plus free shipping in Canada if you order ten or more.  Limited stock available!  First come, first served!

Payment will be through PayPal.  Contact me at jeanottosenstudios@gmail.com for more information.

Weekly Review – Hectic Days

Weekly Review – Hectic Days

Hi everyone!  It’s been a busy week!  I am preparing for our Canadian Korean friend to visit for Thanksgiving.  We are having a mixed Thanksgiving dinner – both Canadian and Korean food. I’ve been busy preparing ahead of time.  I made trips to various Korean grocers today, and serious cooking starts tomorrow.

Aside from that, my greeting  cards have been taking back seat due to an unexpected opportunity falling into my lap.  I will not say much now, but I did spend a lot of time arranging for decent photos of some work.  The photographer was here this week to do the job.  I also rewrote my bio for this opportunity.

Aside from the above, I have been busy cooking and baking this week.  I baked a double batch of Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins, lots of 2-bite Brownies, a couple of Lemon Tea Loaves, a triple batch of whole wheat dinner rolls, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Granola. My freezer is full!

I also caved and learned to make yogurt in my Instant Pot.  I started with a gallon of reconstituted skim milk and ended up with two litres of yogurt and two litres of whey after straining it.  I used half the whey in my dinner roll recipe and, boy, did they turn out light and fluffy!  I’m plotting how to use the rest of the whey. I hear you can freeze it for later use.

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!

Happy Thanksgiving

to all my fellow Canadians!

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!

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!

A Thing Happened!  Dye Day!

A Thing Happened! Dye Day!

I had a great weekend!  A rug hooking friend was over Saturday and we dyed fibre.  She is relatively new to dyeing and I am showing her how. She, meanwhile, is a great help to me in terms of being much taller and having more stamina. Her height came in handy, as we did dip dyeing and transition dyeing of 18” long swatches!

What is dip dyeing and transition dyeing you ask?  Dip dyeing is when the swatch of wool is a darker version of the colour at one end than the other, and it moves gradually through the shades from dark to light.  It is achieved by constant dipping into the dyebath, until you get the right colour in the right place. Hopefully no horizontal colour lines can be seen in the finished product.  Here are our finished swatches.

We also did some transition dyeing.  Transition dyeing is dip dyeing two colours from opposite ends of the swatch.  When they meet in the middle there should be a gradually shift from one colour to another.  Ours didn’t work out that well, but it will serve my purpose, which is to hook sunsets

Aside from that I needed blues for skies. So we tried a partial gradated dye process. Gradated dyeing is when you have several swatches (usually 6-8) and dye the entire swatch one solid colour, but there are several others lighter and darker of the same colour.  Here’s a selection of blues for an example. There are actually five different colours of blue here and two to three shades each, at least, of each colour!

We also dyed other fibre. This was done to exhaust dyebaths (use all the dye in the water), and to use up some leftover dyebaths from previous dye jobs. Here are the blues…

From left to right: nylon (old pantyhose), wool fleece, wool bouclé, hand spun Shetland wool, silk bouclé, and Merino wool yarn.

Here’s the orange leftover from dyeing the transition sunset swatches.

Left to right: nylon, wool bouclé, wool fleece, more lighter coloured wool bouclé, hand spun Shetland wool, and Merino wool yarn.

If anyone is interested, I sell my dyed fibre.  I also will teach dyeing after Covid is over.  Just contact me using the form below.

Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings

Our sofa beds come today!  That means everything will be in the house to finish the studio.  It’s been a long haul!  I will be so happy to have everything done.   Next up will be the dye kitchen.  Hubby and I are already talking.

This past weekend has been very productive for me.  I was able to select photos from our 2017 trip to South Korea and put them in an inspiration folder on my computer.  This past weekend I’ve been sketching possible compositions.

Sketches of South Korea

I will be taking another Karen Miller class tomorrow on materials and techniques. I’ve also signed up to listen to a talk on In My Studio by Judi Miller on artist residences on Oct. 7th.  Plus I will be taking part in the Workshop Week through In My Studio the end of October.  A busy fall of learning!   So nice to be able to do this online.

I have also been hooking more on the South Korea roof tile end caps wall hanging.  I am going slow, having stopped several times for dyeing and travels this summer.  I am hoping to be finished by Christmas.

I managed to tear my Dorr wool into one yard pieces and wash and dry them in preparation for dyeing.  My front loader really shrank the fabric, but it is still great for dyeing and rug hooking.  It is all stacked neatly, awaiting dyeing.

I listed the fall colours swatches for sale.  There are 15 of them at $3 each + shipping.  They are 3” x 16” and Dorr wool.  If you’re interested, contact me either here, through Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

I also listed the small landscape I hooked using the swatches for sale  It is 8” x 5” and unfinished.  I’m asking $60CAD “as is”, or $80 CAD if you want me to finish it and include the hidden hanging system.  Again, you can either contact me through this website, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

This week I’ll be working more on the South Korea wall hangings.  I also want to get the issues surrounding my rug photos and branding sorted out. I am likely going to order more fabric dye powder.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week everyone!

 

 

 

Make Moves Monday

Make Moves Monday

This past weekend we were busy cleaning out the house and preparing the yard for an upcoming tropical cyclone heading our way. Typical fall weather for here, but Hubby and I have never experienced one. We are a bit nervous, but we’re inland a bit so hopefully it won’t be bad.

One of the things we did was hang some artwork up on my studio walls. Check out the photos of them so far. We still have more to hang above the straight row on the end wall.

I’m really enjoying working in my studio and looking forward to the arrival of the sofa bed sometime in early October. That should give me seating for 4 or 5 people, should Covid ever end. Plus it will allow extra sleeping space for guests.

I’ve hit a roadblock on the South Korea roof tile end caps rug. I need to dye some wool from Lucy Richard’s dye system. I’m trying to arrange a time to get together with a friend to do some dyeing. First, I need to check and see how many other colours I’m short on. No point pulling out the dye equipment just for one piece of wool if I need to do more!

I’ve been working with a young woman on branding for my studio. It’s been an interesting and educational experience. I’m looking forward to using my new logo!

I’m slowly building up my gallery on ArtPal.com. I’ll be posting a wall hanging for sale once a day for five days of the week. It will automatically post to Twitter, Instagram, and my FaceBook business page – Jean Ottosen Studios. Follow along, and if you see anything you like, contact me through any of those platforms or through my contact button here on this website.

I had the opportunity of taking Karen Miller’s online course, “Getting Inspired” last Tuesday. It was a great shake me up course. I knew most of the concepts, but had never put them together the way Karen did. She gave me a fresh perspective. It worked great for giving me ideas on how to approach a new series or work of art. Thank-you Karen!

This week I’ll be enjoying another Karen Miller course – All About Design! Check it out by searching for Karen D. Miller on FaceBook. It’s hosted on the Zoom platform. Looking forward to class Karen!

As always, thanks for reading and have a great week!

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

There’s been a lot happening this week. I put my website shop on vacation for an extended period of time, maybe for good. I’m debating rebuilding my entire website from scratch. I am frustrated with my inability to navigate WordPress and WooCommerce. I hope to consult with someone in October about the situation.

Highlights of this week were: finding a new platform for selling my wall hangings, selling several wall hangings, and seeing the new logo my branding expert developed.

The new platform is ArtPal. It is free to use, with no commission, but people pay you through PayPal. PayPal still takes their cut – about 3%. Still, it’s good for advertising what you have for sale across various platforms. I can set it to share my listing on FaceBook, InstaGram, and Twitter.

I am delighted I can say that three Prairie Sky pieces, Moss (a.k.a. Northern Exposure), and Sprouts have found new homes. I hope the new owners enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them.

As you know,if you’ve been following my blog, I’ve hired a branding expert to work with me in developing a new look for my business. One of the items she’s working on is a new logo. I’m not ready to divulge my new logo yet, but it’s coming! It’s simple and classy, but not too pretentious. I’m really excited about the change and hope to use it for many years!

Well that’s my update for this week folks. I wish you all a great weekend. Stay safe everyone!

What’s Up?

What’s Up?

Things are moving along here. I spent this past weekend hooking on the “African Dream Mini” for a friend. I’ve finished the hooking. Now for the binding and hanging sleeve. I hope to finish it this week.

I’m also planning my second and third retreats this year. Nothing like making hay while the sun shines! I have no idea if I’ll be able to take advantage of my friend’s cottage in the future. One of the retreats I’m planning isn’t really a retreat. It’s a visit to see relatives. But while there I’m hoping to fit in some photography, sketching, and painting.

Later this month I’ll be talking to a new web designer/graphic artist about redesigning my website and logo. We’ll be talking branding and marketing.

In the meantime I continue to sell supplies and greeting cards on the Facebook group Buy and Sell – Rug Hooking – Canada. I’m slowly emptying out bins in my studio.

Currently I am editing another video on my studio. It is an almost final peek at it. It is not perfect. The sofa bed won’t arrive till the end of September into October. That means I’ll be short sleeping and seating in the basement till then. I also am using the studio “as is”, so it’s a bit cluttered.

I hope everyone is geared up for a great August! Take care and catch up with you on Friday.

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Hi everyone! It’s been a productive week for me. I’ve been practicing my watercolour painting, preparing for another art trip.

I’ve also started a small “African Dream” wall hanging for a friend. I drew the pattern on backing during my last retreat. It’s taken awhile to get to it.

I’ve also been selling plaid and check swatches on Facebook’s Rug Hooking Buy and Sell Canada. This is a group for rug hookers who live in Canada. I’ll be listing more plaids and checks throughout the weekend. I have fifteen listed and another fifteen to go. Then I have some heavier woollens, more like tweed, which I’d like to try hooking before selling. I’m just not sure they’ll hold together to hook well. Perhaps on a wider cut they might.

Plus I cleaned up my studio to entertain a photographer who is going to photograph some of my wall hangings. I spent Wednesday evening auditioning and selecting pieces for him to photograph. The resulting images will be used for greeting cards, promotional material, show applications, and my website.

Well that’s it for this week. I hope everyone has a great weekend! Take care!

Plaids & Checks

Plaids & Checks

Hi everyone! Just a quick post to let you know I’m listing plaid and check swatches for sale again in my website shop. These are wool and mostly wool garments that have been washed and deconstructed and torn into swatches roughly 4” x 12” or larger.

I cannot guarantee they are 100% wool because, well, I don’t know. I did a burn test on everything so know they are mostly wool at the very least.

If you want any please do NOT order through the website.

My shipping feature is not working properly at the moment. Instead send me a message through my “contact” page or to jo6865@gmail.com, telling me which ones you’d like. I’ll tell you the total and the real cost of shipping.

Payment will be by e-transfer at this time, until I can get the shipping feature mess sorted out.

Have a great weekend!

The Painting is Done!

The Painting is Done!

The last coat of paint was finished on the last wall this morning. Tomorrow we can start moving things around again, including furniture. We need to fill the hole in the floor where the pellet stove used to sit. Then I’m placing a chair over it.

It was an interesting weekend. I spent time with Historian and figuring out just where my early photos were stored. Next up is to move everything to the PC laptop. I’ve been transferring fifteen years of photos the hard way due to technical difficulties with the PC and Apple products. I’m using a 4 GB USB stick on over 12,000 photos. It’s slow going. The iMac stopped acknowledging the 64 GB USB stick even existed! Tomorrow I hope to finish the job.

I’m also learning how to develop online courses. So far it’s been a steep learning curve, but enjoyable. I ended up purchasing Screen Flow to help with the editing process. It’s supposed to be an excellent program for developing video courses. We’ll see.

I’m also working on updating my website. At some point in the past my blog posts all had their authorship switched over to my web designer. My web designer has moved onto other things, and I just figured out how to bulk edit the posts. But there are thousands to go through. I can only do 20 at a time. That’s one page worth. I have over 120 pages of posts, old and new. It will take awhile.

Plus my shipping is way out of whack on my website. If you want to buy something, please use the “contact me” form. I will figure out shipping and get back to you.

I’m starting to get excited about my studio. Painting the walls white was a good call. The LED lights are on their halfway point between blue and yellow light. It’s nice and bright down there. I hope my studio will be ready soon for some hooking!

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