“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!

Wild Wonder 2021 & Beyond

Wild Wonder 2021 & Beyond

Wild Wonder 2021 is over for the year. Kudos to the organizers, volunteers and tech people who kept the ball rolling. It was a huge success from my viewpoint as a student.  Wild Wonder was actually a 7 day conference, but I only attended the last 5 days.  I didn’t realize I could go to the teacher conference as well.  Oh well.  Next year!

I really enjoyed the variety of approaches taken and taught by the various teachers this year – whether they were artists, scientists, writers, or real life teachers. They had an incredible wealth of knowledge to share, and they did.  I’m sure we only scratched the surface on many topics, and I look forward to following the posted links in the days and weeks ahead. Thanks everyone!  The classes were fabulous!

I enjoyed the keynote speakers, the virtual field trips, and the presentations. The event kicked off with John Muir Laws interviewing Tony Foster of The Foster.  Tony Foster is an interesting man who has painted in some of the roughest terrain on Earth. It was an excellent interview.

Keynote speakers included: Dr. Nooshin Razani, Fiona Gillogly and John Muir Laws, Richard Louv, Dr. Drew Lanham and Jane Kim.  I had to back out of one and couldn’t finish another due to being overtired.  The ones I heard were fascinating talks.  Dr. Razani spoke about the impact of nature on our health and accessibility as it relates to socio-economic factors.

My key take-away from Fiona and John Nuir Laws’ joint keynote address was how to ask questions in your nature journal.  Fiona’s Question Chains are phenomenal! I only watched part of this talk as I was too tired to finish it.  John Muir Laws talked about the difference between ecosystem, community and habitat.  He suggested we add ecology, or relationships to our nature journals.

I had to skip Richard Louv because this tired old body needed rest!   I’ll watch the video later.

Dr. Drew Lanham was an excellent speaker!  Very personable, and quotable.  He spoke about how he came to love nature, his mentors along the way, and paying attention to the details in life.  He talked about journals as a release, for healing and helping you sort your place in things and events out.

When John Muir Laws asked how the nature journaling community could be more inclusive, he talked about “the first protest of the day” – “when you wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and decide to do something different to make things different.”  He said if you see an injustice, don’t just look – speak up and say something.  Do something to change it.

His definition of conservation? “Conservation is caring enough about something intensely, other than yourself, that you will save it in abundance for someone you don’t know

The last keynote speaker, Jane Kim, spearheads InkDwell.  She is a large scale nature journaler, painting nature murals on walls and sides of buildings in public and private hands.  Her work is amazing!

I must admit I was really taken by the virtual field trips to Death Valley with Ryan Petterson and Coastal Alaska with Kim McNett.  I will be rewatching those and doing some nature journaling.

I had to back out of a lot of the social times I’d originally signed up for simply because of the time difference (I had to eat!) and my lack of stamina (I had to sleep!).  The conference emanates from California, USA.  That made for late nights for me on the East Coast.  At first I wasn’t sure if I had access to the class videos after the conference, but it turns out all attendees do.  I’ll be making use of them in the future.

The quality of my drawings went down significantly during this conference because I was trying to make notes and draw at the same time. I also had very limited time to draw. At first I was frustrated, but then I realized if I were out in nature there wouldn’t be much time to get images down on paper either!  After that I simply considered it good practice.  Here are some of my scribblings.  Forgive bad composition and very rough drawings. There were a lot of 10 second contour drawings!

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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

Weekly Review

It’s been a busy week for me. In between rug hooking, yard cleanup, sewing and gardening, there’s also been nature journaling. I’m really enjoying learning more about observing and recording nature, even though I struggle with the scientific end of it…primarily thinking of questions to ask about my observations. But, the drawing practice is invaluable!

I spent some time watching YouTube videos by John Muir Laws on nature journaling.  He uses coloured pencils outdoors.  Because I’ve been working from photographs indoors, I’ve been using watercolours.  You can use either in either location.  But I’m thinking I could use a greater variety of journals, at a more affordable price, if I learned to use coloured pencils properly.  So I put an order into Michaels craft store for curbside pickup of a few pencils and a case to hold them.

Here are more watercolour pages in my nature journal.

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In other news, I finally finished the last project for the L.L. Bean shirts that belonged to my dad when he passed away three years ago.  Dad loved L.L. Bean clothes – their shirts in particular.  He had white hair and blue eyes. He could wear just about any colour, and did!  The bright orange nylon one became a cushion cover for his widow. The rest I took and sewed into various projects – one for each descendant.  You can find “The Shirt Project” video here .

While all of the projects but one were finished within a few months of Dad’s death, one project in particular was vexing. One of my nephews wanted a knife sheath for a jackknife. The shirts just aren’t built for that. But I happened to have some tanned moose hide, so thought I’d try. Then we had to focus on moving. It wasn’t till last fall that I picked up the project again. I broke many needles and couldn’t sew the moose hide on my home machine, even with leather needles. So, after consultation with my nephew, I sewed this alternative gift. Here’s the final project for my last nephew.

Hubby and I also put together a raised garden bed to run along the side of our raised deck.  We traded our deformed cedar we had to have cut down (it was growing in power lines) for some milled lumber leftover from a neighbour.


We also put together a Muskoka Bear chair, which is really a type of Adirondack chair.  Hubby is working on the matching chair now.  It came in pieces.  Hubby sanded it, painted it and assembled it.  The colour is Aruba Blue by Benjamin Moore, and I just love it!

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  I hope you all have a wonderful, productive weekend.  Take care.

Nature Journaling

Nature Journaling

Good morning everyone!  Today I am talking about nature journaling.  I am a wildlife biologist’s daughter. I spent most of my childhood and early adult life outdoors and enjoying camping. My mother loved birds and plants and instilled her love of those to me. My father took us all out “into the field” from June through the end of August.

“The field”, for those not related to a wildlife biologist, means we lived in tents all summer long in the great outdoors, wherever it may be. For my growing up years that meant a place called Streeter Basin, followed by Gregg Lake, and then Kananaskis Research Centre, where we graduated to living in a trailer.  At Streeter there was no-one around for miles. Just my family, Dad’s grad students (“Don’t bother them!”) and nature. We learned to love nature.

Was this scary?  A bit.  I could tell you stories. But that’s getting off topic.  Streeter Basin was where I became interested in birds.  It was also where I started drawing plants.

By the time I was in high school we started going to Kananaskis.  There a kind botany professor let me tag along on field trips.  My mother was in his class. He would talk about the plants. I would go off nearby and draw them.

I did try and paint a few plants as an adult, upon taking painting courses.  But that was the extent of my nature drawing.  Until Sketchbook Revival 2021 and John Muir Laws’ class.

After drawing the Black-throated Blue Warbler in under two hours, I was excited again!  Here is a more or less cleaned up version of the original drawing, which had a lot of mistakes.

Enter my Internet search for resources. I found John Muir Laws has written, not one, but two books on nature journaling.  I also found Clare Walker Leslie had a book out on nature journaling that she co-authored with Charles Roth. Hmmm… I ordered both books.  (Clare Walker Leslie has a new edition of her book published this year!)

While waiting I decided to try my hand at it a second time.  This time I asked a nature loving friend if she had any photos I could use as a base for my drawings – as reference.  She did!  I received several shots with images of birds.  I decided to try again…this time I made a page for the Black-capped Chickadee.

I see several areas where I could improve my work, composition wise, artistically and with the text.  However, as a starting point these are okay. I need a record to see how I progress.

The books arrived Thursday and I have been immersed ever since. They are both excellent books. Clare’s and Charles’s book, “Keeping a Nature Journal”, is good for someone who has no clue about drawing and thinks they can’t do it. John’s book, “The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling”, is more detailed and in-depth.  Both excellent stuff!  Both are aimed at nature lovers everywhere who want to record what they see.

I was so excited by the books I powered through most of “Keeping a Nature Journal” this weekend.  I also watched a video on YouTube called “How to Build a Journal Page with Kristin Meuser.  On Kristin’s advice I decided to pick a smaller watercolour sketchbook to start.

I found a red journal half the size of the large sketchbook I had been using, and redrew the first two drawings, adjusting for composition.  I also tried some drawing from life, which is what nature journaling is all about.  It looks pretty rough folks, but it’s a start.  Practice makes perfect!

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So if I appear to be neglecting my rug hooking for a while, don’t be alarmed!  I am merely honing observation and drawing skills which will, eventually, show up in my wall hangings.

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

 

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!

 

Sketchbook Revival 2021

Sketchbook Revival 2021

Good morning everyone!  I’ve written about Sketchbook Revival before. It is a free two week set of classes by different artists, organized by Karen Abend. I discovered it through another rug hooking artist’s blog. I can’t remember whose it was, but I want to say a deep heartfelt thank-you to them.

Sketchbooks are the foundation of any art practice, and that includes textile arts such as rug hooking. It’s where we experiment and explore new ideas. They are foundational for developing your own style.  I cannot emphasize enough that if you want to develop your own style, buy a sketchbook and use it!

That was my big mistake when I started out. I viewed rug hooking as craft, not art. I rarely used my sketchbook and relied too much on other people’s work as a basis for my own. Don’t do that!  I learned the hard way that rug hooking is an art form, a textile art.

I eventually did learn to use my sketchbook more, thanks to Deanne Fitzpatrick’s online courses from 2012-2014.  Thank-you Deanne!  However recently I’m noticing I stop using it when I feel I have “enough” rug designs to keep me busy for years.

But I miss sketching. I decided I don’t need to keep a sketchbook just for rug hooking ideas.  I can keep one, just because.  Sketching in all forms is not only good for idea development. It can also be done just for pleasure.

So when I read about Sketchbook Revival I was ready to do something. I signed up for the two week program which runs the last two weeks of March. However, I had a busy two weeks otherwise and did not get around to the workshops much.

Thankfully Karen Abend has set it up so it’s easy to access and you can go at your own pace. Each day you receive an email with the links to two videos in it. Each video is by a different artist and is a different project. The idea is to get people to use their various art supplies. Each video also has a materials list and title and brief bio on the artist teaching in it.

Karen keeps the videos accessible for two weeks after the last class. Thank-you so much Karen!  I am racing to finish them now. So far I am halfway through the workshops. I am learning a lot, and using tools and techniques I’ve never used before.

So without further ado, here is a peek into my sketchbook for the first half of Sketchbook Revival. Bear in mind the goal in these classes is not finished pieces ready for framing, but rather, pieces for learning to use new tools, techniques, and ideas.

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Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Hello everyone!  This week I spent time helping a friend dye fibre a greenish gold spot dye for a particular project.  It worked beautifully

I also spent time tweaking “Autumn”.  I have finally finished the hooking!  That was quite a long haul.  It’s ready for pressing and finishing now. The changes were in the table in the left corner and the text in the bottom border.  I moved “THE” over a bit from “HUMS”.

This week I also started hooking my Fraktur chair mat that I designed in Susan Feller’s course, Folk Art with Flair, during Workshop Week 2.   I managed to get so far and that’s it. Hopefully I’ll be able to work on it today.  I haven’t chosen a background colour yet.  I was going to use parchment, but my dye job did not turn out on the wool.  It was great on the nylons!  But I need enough for four chair pads eventually. So I will be visiting the dye pots again in the near future.

This week I also started an online free Workshop that lasts two weeks.  I heard about it on Laura Salamy’s blog – High on Hooking.  It’s called Sketchbook Revival and it’s offered for free once a year.  You sign up and receive an email every day for two weeks, with links to two sketchbook lessons from different artists.  So far I’ve watched four videos.  Two were the preamble to the course.  The two videos yesterday were on familiarizing yourself with the art supplies you already have, and one line drawing.  So far it’s been interesting.  Check it out!

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

So after looking at my project mind map Monday, how did I do this week? Well, as you can see from the above photo, I’ve removed some of the hooking on “Autumn” to correct a composition error.  

I also took the second session of Beth Miller’s class on hooking a tote bag and finished my project bag. It was a fun class and it was interesting to do something a bit different with my hooking, rather than making another piece to hang on the wall. I really enjoyed this class.

I also worked more on the hourglass for “Time”, a poem my youngest daughter wrote when she was 11 years old. I plan on adding embellishments to this piece. And I will be attaching the poem, on a label, to the back of the wall hanging. This project is for Nadine Flagel’s class.

I have pressed and pinned my abstract pieces from Donna Mulholland’s class. I plan to hem those today.

That leaves the chair pads from Susan Feller’s class to do. Tomorrow I’ll be dyeing fibre for those. I plan on dip dyeing some coral/pink for carnations. I may need more blues for “Time” as well.

Next up after the first chair pad is to finish my South Korean rug. It’s been sitting around far too long. I started it last January 2020. Then I bought a house and furniture and decorating and well, lots of time with family (when Covid let us) and on artist retreats…it was a great year in a lot of ways, but I didn’t work much on the South Korea rug.

Thankfully, come last October, Karen Miller’s first Workshop Week gave me a bit of a wake up call to get hooking again. It’s been slow over winter. Mostly I’ve been playing with finishing class projects and organizing my studio so I can actually get in there to work! I have entirely too much stuff there still.

I have, however, been sketching new designs. Hopefully this year I’ll get to those. I find large projects bog me down. This South Korean End Cap Tiles rug is large for me.

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

This week my emphasis was on sewing new blackout curtains for our master bedroom. It faces the street and there is a street light right out front of the house. I finished all but the hemming by Wednesday night. They have to hang a while before I attempt to hem them.

I did start in on fixing the hand quilting on the 44 year old quilt, but the damage is more extensive than I thought. This is going to take some time to fix.

Tuesday we ended up running errands. Thursday I spent preparing for next week’s Workshop Week 2 through In The Studio, and organizing items to be framed. I took all of my needlework to the framer. I only wanted three pieces done at the moment, but I wanted her opinion on the others. She was very generous with her time and expertise. I have a better idea how to handle my items now. I’m going to cull them further to see how much I really want done.

I still want to finish the South Korea sketches, the South Korean rug, and my Autumn wall hanging. I haven’t decided how I’m going to hook the corner yet.

This week we had a number of health checks that took up time. Plus I go walking for an hour every morning with a walking buddy in my Covid bubble. Next week will be rug hooking time! I’m looking forward to Workshop Week 2!

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

Monday Morning

Monday Morning

This week is a red letter week! I finished binding the 44 year old quilt yesterday. All that is left is to fix and finish knotting the hand quilting. It’s mostly done, but needs a bit of touch up. I need daylight to see to thread needles. So it will happen Tuesday, because…

Today I have a friend coming to help me plan, measure, and cut curtains for our master bedroom. We actually have them planned already. This afternoon we’re getting together with the other friend in our five person Covid bubble to play some Scrabble. Come evening I expect to be sewing curtains. I doubt I will finish in one evening, but I should be able to finish all but the hemming in a few days.

Tuesday daylight hours are quilting time.

Wednesday I hope to have curtains hung by the end of the day. They have to hang a while before hemming. I’m leaving them a few days.

Thursday it’s back to hand quilting if I haven’t finished by then. If I have, it’s back to rug hooking. I’ve ripped out the table and mug in the corner of the “Autumn” piece I was hooking. I will be rethinking how to hook that corner.

I also have three photos of South Korea I’d like to make sketches of for some hooked pieces. Plus I have the border to finish hooking on my large South Korea rug.

Thursday I’ll also be taking my three pieces of needle work to be framed.

Friday I will be prepping for Workshop Week next week! Workshop Week is being hosted by Karen D. Miller of In The Studio. There are several teachers offering classes. I’ve signed up for four. I will have a lot of projects to finish when I’m done. I’m keeping them small, if possible. I have a lot of my own projects I want to work on.

It Starts Today!

It Starts Today!

Are you ready? Or more accurately, am I ready?  Today marks the first class in the In My Studio Workshop Week for me. I’m excited to be in Karen Miller’s Travel class. I have several sketches from my South Korea trip to work with, and several photos otherwise. I’m looking forward to learning her process for taking an idea to pattern to finished piece.

I finally finished the centre of the South Korean wall hanging! Now I’m onto the border.  Last Thursday I dyed some fibre with a friend. Last evening I finished off the dye job. Hopefully these colours will work with the rest of the wall hanging.

I also checked in with the local spinning group via Zoom and spent time at my wheel spinning some gorgeous alpaca. This will not be going into a hooked piece. It will be used for knitting. It is spinning up very fine. Just right for some lace knitting.

I hope this finds everyone well and safe, and looking forward to the week. If you have been, thanks for reading. ❤️

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Happy Friday everyone!  This week was short, but productive. I’ve been busy reading “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. I wrote down everything I had in my mind that needed doing, then created a project list from the things I needed to focus on, and then a next actions list for the list of things to do.  I’m swamped!  I’m also loving it!  But I can’t take on anymore.

I’ve also been working on my South Korean roof tile end cap wall hanging. It’s slow going, but looking better these days. A friend was over to help me pick out fibre for the border. I will be doing some dyeing and overdyeing.

We also went through the poetry wall hangings I want to hook. They are on backing and ready to go.  I just have to finish this South Korean wall hanging and swing back to them for awhile.

I’m still sketching the South Korean designs in my sketchbook. Lots to do yet. Plus I’m still working through Meryl Cook’s “The Creativity Workbook”.   I’m enjoying the inspiration of the fall colours around me.

I’ve been listening to Cindi Gay’s rug hooking podcasts while hooking or afterwards.  She is a very wise lady full of all kinds of knowledge about rug hooking.  I don’t hook the primitive style, but I still learn from her.  Thanks for doing the podcasts Cindi!

The last week of October will be a busy week.  The In My Studio Workshop Week is on then.  I have a Travel class with Karen Miller, a Words and Images class with Elizabeth Miller, and Intuitive Hooking with Meryl Cook.  There will also be a group hook-in and a panel discussion  I’m looking forward to stepping outside my comfort zone to learn more from these talented teachers and others.

If you’re interested in taking classes I believe there are a few openings left.  Contact Karen D. Miller on Facebook and check into the events she is hosting.

If you’ve been reading, thanks!  Have a great weekend!

 

Tuesday Tales

Tuesday Tales

I hope everyone had a good and happy Thanksgiving!  Even though we were encouraged to stay home or in our small bubble, it was possible to get together with family and friends through technology. Long live FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp and other apps that connect us!

I just went through my first Thanksgiving without a deep freezer. Let me say how thankful I am for our food supply chain. I picked up a frozen turkey Friday and it thawed in the fridge all weekend. I have a fridge that runs cold, so it needed that time to thaw. In fact, it was still partially frozen Monday morning!  I ran cold water in it before stuffing it and hoping for the best.  I cooked it in a Look bag and tin foil roasting pan, as we have no roaster and no place to store it if we did have it!  It turned out just fine.

Because our current chest freezer does not work properly and our upright freezer, which we ordered in August, has yet to arrive, I decided, in the best interest of not wasting any food, to gift our Thanksgiving guests (my daughter and her husband) with leftovers to take home. Hopefully little food will be wasted.

Other than Thanksgiving this has been a quiet weekend for me. I took some time off to read, review and reorganize. I’m reading David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” for the second or third time in about 15 years. I realize just how much I have put on my plate to deal with right now. I decided to back off and focus on the big picture – the long term view – for the moment. So I’m back in a goal setting phase, making sure every activity meshes with future goals and my vision of where I want to be ten years from now.

This is a challenge for me. My husband is seven years older than I, and is a senior now. I have discovered that in marriage planning cannot happen in isolation. You have to consider the other person and what reactions or parts they might have in the plans. This is especially true for me as I am not driving at the moment for a variety of reasons.

I am going back through photos and sketchbooks for ideas for mats of various kinds.  There are way more ideas than I can possibly hook.  It’s so hard to decide what to do and what to leave undone. Do I compromise and hook a small mat instead of a large one?  Or is it better to just not hook it at all?  In the meantime, I have South Korea mats and poetry mats to hook.

By the way, I discovered the shape of “joy” to me this weekend.  I drew a sketch to twig my memory.  It needs some revamping, but the basics are there. I may have another mat to hook soon!

If you have been reading, thanks! I hope you enjoy your week ahead.  Cheers…Jean.

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

I found myself really fighting my South Korea roof tile end caps wall hanging this week.  I decided to not rush it and just work on it briefly each day.  Instead I’ve been busy sketching more designs – both of South Korea and from Meryl Cook’s “The Creativity Workbook”.

Despite spending more time this week drawing designs for South Korea wall hangings, I’m not sure how many will actually make it onto backing.  I’m seriously thinking about the viewer, as well as the creative act (by me).  There’s a balance that has to be struck there for me.  In previous years I hooked too much for the viewer, with the odd exception.  Now I’m wanting to get back to the act of just creating.  It’s important for me to know what I want to say with my work first though.  So I’m thinking.

I’ve been working through Meryl Cook’s “The Creativity Workbook”.  I am paused on finding a design that expresses how I feel joy.  I did go and experience a couple of things that give me joy – walking in nature amongst the fall foliage.  I picked up a variety of shapes and colors of tree leaves and have been busy designing leaf patterns and templates.  But to actually draw joy is another matter altogether.  I think I know the color/s of joy for me, but not sure of the shape of it…yet.

Wednesday I joined an In My Studio Zoom meeting to listen to Judi Miller talk about artist residencies.  It was a very informative talk about the options available, what you need to have a successful one, and her experiences.  I thoroughly enjoyed the talk and would like to thank Judi publicly for making the time and effort to do it, and to thank Karen Miller for organizing and facilitating it.

I received my ProChem dye powder shipment this week. I’m looking forward to more dyeing.  I’m wanting to dye the pine trees, ocean and skies using Lucy Richard’s spot dye formulas.  I’ll be dyeing the old-fashioned way – in the oven – rather than in a microwave  I do not have a microwave to dedicate to dyeing, nor a place to put it.

Well that’s my review for this week.  If you’ve been reading, thanks!  I wish you  all a happy Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, wherever you may be. My next blog post will probably be posted Tuesday.  Take care everyone!

 

 

 

They Came!

They Came!

Two new sofa beds are in the house!  That completes the seating for the studio and the guest bedroom cum family room cum classroom.  I do not have room in the studio for my comfy chair and the sofa bed.  So we will be rearranging furniture in the near future.

Karen Miller’s class on Tuesday was a blast!  I had to design a piece on the fly…like a minute or two…and start hooking.  I’m a slow hooker, especially with materials new to me.  The object was to experiment with new materials.  I tried dental floss, pink elastics (off broccoli folks!), fabric strips, parchment paper (yes, the kind you bake on), acrylic eyelash yarn, wool yarn, wool fabric, silk fabric, cotton fabric, sewing with buttonhole thread, some twill weave tweed that shreds like crazy, and more.  It was a fascinating exercise!  Karen is an excellent teacher.  Here’s the results.

The South Korea rug is slowly progressing.  I’m sticking to wool, silk, and nylon for that one…so far.

I spent more time sketching the South Korea photos.  Lots of options for wall hangings.  Lots of elements I might piece together to form one wall hanging.

Branding progress…I think I have what I need now.  I’ll be visiting a local printer eventually for new business cards, hang tags, greeting cards, etc.  I’m hoping to find a local affordable printer who can do an excellent job. I currently use an outfit in the US, but I’d rather use local, if I can keep the quality.

Meryl Cook’s book “One Loop At A Time – The Creativity Workbook” arrived this week.  I’m looking forward to her class during the In My Studio Workshop Week the end of October.  I may sidetrack into some of that workbook before the October class.  I don’t believe it’s required for the class, but it is a good little thought provoking book I hope will get my creative juices flowing along different lines.

I am thoroughly enjoying online learning. I hope once Covid-19 is behind us it will continue. It is just so much easier for me, not just financially (no hotels or air fares), but logistically too.  Three cheers for the rug hooking artists out there putting in the tremendous time and effort it takes to create these online courses.  Know that I, at least, appreciate all you’re doing!

And that’s my review for this week.  I hope everyone has a great weekend  if you’ve been reading, thank-you .

 

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!

 

 

 

Frenchy’s!

Frenchy’s!

I was on a wonderful trip to New Brunswick this past weekend. Partly to see family and partly to deliver all my scrapbooking cabinets and supplies. While there I had the opportunity to visit the gardens at the Irving Plantation in Bouctouche. I took a lot of photographs and did some sketching.

While in New Brunswick I also stopped at the Art Shack store in Moncton. It’s a friendly little store with knowledgeable staff. I picked up a couple of watercolour pads for my next retreat. I’m hoping to go to the cottage again before fall – this time for photography, sketching, painting, and hooking.

Frenchy’s!!! Need I say more? All the local rug hookers know Frenchy’s means fun! We stopped in Shediac and I went into a Frenchy’s thrift store for the first time in about ten years the other day. To be fair I lived about 1500 miles from the nearest Frenchy’s up until six months ago. I spent half an hour in the store and came out with two silk blouses, a wool skirt, a long wool vest, and lots and lots of pantyhose. Total cost was under $45 CAD.

What am I going to do with this haul? I am going to wash it, deconstruct it, and dye the nylons in preparation for rug hooking. Then I will cut it into swatches and strips to use some and sell some. It all sounds like a fun time to me!

That’s it for today folks. I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Retreat Time!

Artist Retreat, that is. This week I had a lovely time at a friend’s cottage on the Bay of Fundy with my husband and my creative gear.

I took far too much stuff. We could barely fit it all in the car! But we did! Aside from gear we had to take clothes, bedding, food, and water for five days. Hubby took his bicycle to fit in some riding. We both took technology to work on various projects. It was forecast to rain.

I took work to finish. I took my camera for inspiration photos. And the tripod, just in case. I took my rug hooking frame and South Korea rug. I took my sketchbook and watercolour pencils. I took reading material and watching material. Also I downloaded some podcasts. I took linen and Red Dot interfacing to transfer those patterns I enlarged last weekend.

Our destination had no internet, so I used my cell phone to create a hot spot every day in order to finish an Udemy course on composition.

I organized for this retreat using an app called Simple Mind. It is a mind mapping app that allows me to see a lot of information in point form at one glance, and how it’s all interrelated. I was able to adjust my retreat plans as it happened, to accommodate for finishing things early. Not being distracted can really be a big boon to productivity.

We went on a lot of walks, with and without camera. Some to the beach, some not. Some with sketchbook, some without.

I read “The Art of Botanical Painting” by Margaret Stevens. It’s a great book if you want to be a botanical painter. I am not that detail oriented. I did garner quite a few colour and composition ideas for an upcoming series of wallhangings I plan to develop.

I also took Keith West’s “How to Draw Plants”, “Nature Drawing “ by Clare Walker Leslie, and “Drawing Scenery: landscapes and Seascapes” by Jack Hamm. These were more for reference. I haven’t drawn a seashore close up before.

I did manage some watercolour sketching for future design ideas. Lus I finished the Hearts wall hanging and coasters.

It was very productive.

On The Road Again

On The Road Again

Hi everyone!  I’m back on the road again!  Hubby and I are heading to the west coast to Vancouver and Vancouver Island.  I’m hoping to check in with Val Galvin in Chemainus for a fibre fix.  Possibly I’ll be able to check in with a rug hooking retreat at Yellow Point on the Island too.  We’ll see about our timeline.  We are visiting friends for the most part.

In Vancouver I hope to check in with a fibre gallery I discovered. Hopefully we’ll get to Granville Island to check out the Craft Council of BC’s gallery and a few other galleries there.  I would like to check Michelle Sirois-Silver’s studio out on Nov. 4th as well.  Once again, family comes first.

We’ve spent the last week in Edmonton reconnecting with family and friends.  Had a good visit with an artist friend from long ago.  I brought my sketchbook and laptop so I could sketch some rug designs from our South Korea trip.  I managed about four drawings so far.  These are going to be much larger wall hangings than I’m used to doing.

I’ve also been knitting on the Baby Cardi from “60 Quick Baby Knits”.  I’m almost done the second sleeve.

I also took part in the Facebook Black & White Photography Challenge.  I didn’t do as well as I’d wished to, but considering my distractions, I did well.

I’m off to enjoy a breakfast here at the hotel.  Hoping to make Vancouver by nightfall.  Take care everyone and have a great weekend!

 

Welcome to May!

What a beautiful May day we have here.  It’s overcast, just the way I like it.  Don’t get me wrong.  I like the sun.  But sometimes the prairie sky can be too bright for me.  It’s so intense in colour and brightness.

Yesterday Hubby and I had a delightful walk around Wascana Lake in the heart of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.  You wouldn’t know that out in the middle of the Canadian prairies lay this jewel of a park that houses the lake.  We watched all kinds of ducks and geese coming and going about their business.  It was a magical time.

This past week I’ve been focusing on getting back to a normal sleep schedule and organizing 1500+ photos of South Korea.  I’m still working on both.  I want to get the photos organized so I can get started on my next wall hanging/rug.  I’m debating whether this one will be a floor mat or not.  I want to use my leftover worms for it.  We shall see.  It depends how the design works out.  So this week is photo week, sketch week, and possibly design week.

Just a few reminders…

My work is currently in a group show at the Art Gallery of Regina until Friday.

Also, I am planning to take part in the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair again this year on May 27th from 10 AM – 4 PM.  I received notification of where my booth will be located.  For people looking for me, I will be at the far end of the Fair between Montague and Athol streets on the south side of the street.  Maybe start walking the Fair from the Elphinstone Street end if you want to still have money and energy by the time you reach my booth!

In other news…I am being published for real this time.  The information has gone to press.  Stay tuned for further information.  I’ll believe it when I see the article in the magazine!

In my studio…

In my studio…

I will actually be OUT of my studio most of this week.  I have last minute Christmas shopping and grocery shopping to do.  I have three social events this week…at least.  I have two appointments. And when I’m home I have company, and my two online classes to finish up.

If I have time I will be…

~ posting more product to the website,
~ hooking on “Moss” for relaxation,
~ designing more wall hangings (okay, that’s probably a pipe dream, but we’ll see)

I hope everyone has a wonderful time this week preparing for the Holiday Season.  🙂

 

In my studio…

In my studio…

pear-struesel-cake-2

I managed to partially pick up the mess in the studio Friday.  Spent most of the day working with Hubby to do a deep clean of the house before Christmas.  I try to do this every year before I decorate.

I decided to put up the Christmas tree last evening and managed it and a few major home decoration items on my own.  Still have a ways to go, but I’ll get there!  So, yeah, I’m in Christmas mode here.

Still thinking about rearranging artwork and hooked wall hangings on walls.

Today I’ll be dealing with organizing my business books.  Which means continuing to look for missing receipts.  I found some over the weekend, but I’m still missing a few.

I also hope this week to post most of my product on the new website.

I am in the mood to do more serious sketching of rug designs.  Different style.  We’ll see what happens.  They might make it to backing…or not.