People who have been reading my blog for a while know that my dad passed away the end of April. I was totally immersed in dealing with “The Shirt Project” for the two months following his death. “The Shirt Project” was the remaking of about twenty of his old L.L. Bean shirts into mementos for his descendants. That gave me time to think about Dad and to grieve. My projects received rave reviews from the recipients. I am glad they like them.
We are still planning on moving to the Halifax area in the future. But, added to that has been my own health problems. My old ticker just ain’t what it used to be. So I’ve been put on medication and had several medical tests. I’ve joined a gym and am receiving classes on how to take care of my heart. Hence I’ve decided to not teach rug hooking classes till after things have settled down a bit.
We’ve also been preparing for some interior painting and floor refinishing in our old house. It’s been a long haul of decluttering, selling stuff, donating stuff, and packing stuff to go into storage. And we aren’t near finished! We’ll be working on it throughout the rest of August and beyond.
I’ve done absolutely no handwork to speak of…short of re-spinning some cotton yarn for a friend. That was an experiment with mixed results. She decided not to ask me to spin any more of the yarn. It just was not designed for knitting. When knit up it made a hard surface on the finished project – both spun and unspun. It was a yarn of six strands, about DK weight, originally intended for crochet, and will be donated to some crocheters.
I have been keeping up with my bullet journalling. Now the doctors know it exists they are interested in all kinds of records I keep in it. I’ve switched to using a Traveller’s Notebook style bullet journal, but not the authentic TN…it’s too pricy for me. I picked up my look alike at Michaels one day while out shopping. They also had refills for it, much to my delight! I am finding this less time consuming than using the Lechtturm 1917 journal. Also cheaper. The TN style bullet journal allows you to slip four separate notebooks into one cover. That means information that doesn’t change from month-to-month can go in one notebook, and my day-to-day planner can go in another. I also have a notebook for my trackers for sleep, habits, productivity, weight, water consumption, expenditures/earnings, gratitudes, and blood pressure. And the final notebook is a food and exercise diary. It is really convenient to have all that information in one place. When I finish a notebook, I just slip it out of the cover, put in a new notebook, and continue on. Not near as much wasted paper as in the Lechtturm, and better organization for me.
Well that’s my post for this week folks! I’m afraid blog posts will be a bit sparse until I get back to my handwork. Hope everyone is having a great summer! Take care!
Hi everyone! I’m back from our little trip. The trip was a great time to engage other artists about their work. I was able to attend the Okotoks, Alberta spinning drop in and take my knitting. It was interesting talking to the ladies and I was able to wind my next ball of yarn there.
I was also able to visit a fantastic fibre artist – Deb Loosely – while in the area, and had a tour of her huge studio! Deb quilts, spins, knits, and weaves. Oh, and she sews as well. Found a wonderful costume book on her bookshelves that I haven’t seen in years!
By the time we made our way to Edmonton, I was in need of another fibre fix. I met up with an excellent intuitive painter. She is just on the cusp of deciding whether to go professional or not. I encouraged it as her work is very good. When she is ready, and gives the go ahead, I will post some more about her and her work here.
While away I took some time to knit. I finished the neck warmer to go with the hat I knit. Next up are the wrist warmers. They are knit from Fleece Artist’s Canada’s 150th National Parks yarn, in the Sable Island, NS colourway. The pattern is a free one from DROPS. I found it through Ravelry.
I’ve also been spinning a bit. A friend had some very fine stranded yarn given to her. It’s actually six fine strands laying together to form one strand. However, because it’s not plied it will probably split easily when knit. So I plied one ball and we processed it. It’s hanging to dry. Once it’s dry I’ll wind it into a ball and we’ll pass it off to our expert knitters to compare with the original yarn, to see which is easier to knit. If they like the plied ball better, I’ll ply the rest of them. There are a lot of balls.
In-between all that Hubby and I have been packing stuff, selling stuff, and designating stuff for charity. It’s a time consuming process. But we are managing to whittle things down slowly. We want to be done the process by the end of the month, when the painters come to move most of our stuff into storage before painting the interior of the house.
Welcome to my new website everyone! Take a look around and tell me how you’re liking the new look by posting a comment below. I welcome feedback. 🙂
The last month’s posts are missing on this blog, but that’s okay. I’ll update you here.
Since the middle of September I’ve finished “Escapees”.
I’ve also been out plein air hooking at Echo Lake Provincial Park here in Saskatchewan. It’s beautiful in the fall with golden yellow leaves on the trees against the bright blue prairie sky. Here’s what I was hooking in.
The other side of the lake looked a bit barren though. The leaves had already fallen and the golden brown of the grassy hills was showing through the bare dark branches.
The end result was a small approximately 5″ x 9″ piece I call simply “Echo Lake”.
I attended Art Now! in Regina this fall. It was an inspiring event for me. I was able to spend Saturday listening to presentations, and enjoy the artwork in-between sessions.
I’ve also been spelling off my hooking with knitting. I’ve finished my Painted Desert Shawl by Karen Klein (available free on Ravelry) from Sea Turtle yarn.
I’ve been knitting some baby items… a hat and some mitts with an i-cord string attaching them. I am currently working on this baby sweater, which requires I pick up stitches around the neck and down the front to knit a collar and button band. I am knitting to learn new techniques. I’m finding baby items ideal for this. They are small and quick to knit…when I’m not distracted by other things… The patterns for these come from “60 Quick Baby Knits”.
I’ve also been spinning. It’s come to my attention that I have a lot of fibre that needs to be spun. I just had my wheel serviced and will be working, when I have time, to spin it up. Here’s a couple of small skeins of old singles that I plied together to make yarn. I will overdye these to make them usable.
And, now that Canadian Thanksgiving is over, my eye is turned towards the upcoming Christmas season. To that end I diverted myself to scrapbooking last week. My daughter was married about twelve years ago and I promised her a wedding scrapbook. I think twelve years is a long enough wait! I had the tools, the time, and the money to finish it off. Traditional scrapbooking is not cheap! It is my daughter’s Christmas gift this year.
On September 23rd I took part in Sunrise Library’s Old Fashioned Fair. Sunrise Library is a branch of the local Regina Public Library. I had a blast! So much so I forgot to have photos taken of me there! I was with a group of weavers and spinners and we had a great time chatting and demonstrating to the public. Definitely on my repeat list if asked next year.
As a result of the Old Fashioned Fair I ended up at the local Weavers and Spinners Guild one evening. Had a blast spinning away while listening to the meeting. Lots of people doing interesting things there.
I’ve also been approached for information to include on myself and my hooking in a book to possibly be published in 2019. Writing everything down about my en plein air hooking was a bit of a novelty. I didn’t realize it was such a process, or that I knew as much as I did. It was good for me.
And in-between all that I’ve been helping my web designer with the new website, including the new videos for my classes that help explain what they are about. Please feel free to provide constructive feedback.
Here it is! All finished. African Dream. I need to make hang tags for it, but that can wait.
Sunday we were up to Saskatoon to check in with ArtNow. It was a cool exhibit! A great variety of work from a variety of artists and in a variety of mediums. Great stuff!
Company has gone home now. In-between visiting I was hooking and re-carding some alpaca fibre a friend gave me.
I met up with another friend last week. She’s coming over this week to give me more fibre and some carding paddles. I hear there is some upholstery fabric she’s wanting to get rid of as well. I feel blessed to have such generous friends.
I decided to change the name of my new wall hanging to simply “Moss”. I am going to have to give more thought to the colour planning for this wall hanging.
I hope everyone had a good weekend. I look forward to another busy week. Happy hooking everyone! 🙂
I finished my online Gale courses in communication and teaching writing: K-3 with flying colors on Friday. They were fun courses to take to shake up my brain again and bring out the appropriate knowledge for teaching. I think I’ll take a few more of these courses in the future.
I haven’t done a lick of work on African Dream or my g-mail account this weekend. A true weekend off! I was at a meeting on growth principles, and helping prepare food, serve it, and clean up for the church’s graduation luncheon. By Sunday afternoon, when it was all over, I was wiped and took a good long nap! Spent some time weeding the yard/garden.
This week’s plans definitely include African Dream and sorting through email. I’m not sure what else I’ll do. Depending on the weather I may spin a bit or do some plein air hooking in the backyard. I’m feeling a bit of a need for a change. Maybe some dyeing.
Friday is Canada Day and we are hosting a small gathering of friends. So some time will be spent planning and preparing for that. I’m looking forward to a week with a relatively clean slate.
What’s on the go this week? I’ve been having fun playing with different ideas and working on different projects.
- The Barn is started and the actual barn is mostly hooked,
- I continued knitting the baby blanket. I tried stitch markers for the lace pattern, but it did not work due to the nature of the pattern. So I am back to doing without.
- I went through my Hardanger box to file everything away on shelves, and came across a couple of kits, one already started. Both are for Christmas ornaments. I decided to work on the one that was already started. It has some nice cotton, linen, and metallic thread oval ornaments decorated with beads.
- I am still working on the Granddaughter’s Needle Box. It requires a lot of gluing and I spend time waiting for it to dry. By the time it’s dry I’m onto another project! I am not going to have enough glue to finish this. I’m thinking I may need to make a trip to Walmart to pick some up.
- See these lovely notebooks? Aside from being inspiration themselves, I use them to help organize my days. These have been in use since 2009, when I first read David Allen’s Getting Things Done. I use David Allen’s ideas to keep me on task and productive. Why are they in a WIP post? Because I updated them. 🙂
- Work on my portfolio has halted because we are running out of ink. Need to buy new colour ink cartridges for our printer.
- I haven’t even looked at my spinning yet. Maybe this weekend.
Well that’s my works in progress everyone. Hope everyone has a great day! 🙂
Colour planning “The Barn”…no yarn yet, but I’m getting there!
I spent Friday afternoon colour planning The Barn. This week I will start hooking it. I have also decided I need to pick up the pace on a few other things. Less computer time and more crafting time is needed. So, aside from The Barn, I plan on…
- working on my porfolio,
- spinning some fibre,
- knitting the baby blanket,
- working on Blogging 101. Don’t be surprised if you see extra posts popping up this week. 🙂
And look what I started yesterday. A gigantic needle box! I have a lot of needles to capture in one space. Hopefully this will help when completed.
Have a great day everyone!
WIP “Prairie Sky – Cirrus” wall hanging.
People sometimes ask me what took me so long to actually sell my work and start a business? The answer, as with most things in life, is complicated.
I’ve been absorbed and immersed in fibre most of my life, from a very young age. Learning sewing, embroidery, and knitting before entering the double digits in age. None of it was very good, mind you, but I had the rudiments taught to me by my paternal grandmother. She was an excellent seamstress and needlewoman, often winning prizes for her work.
As I entered my teen years I drifted away from fibre, encouraged by a school system that felt I was “matriculation” and didn’t need to learn to sew or create art. I balked at the latter. It was in my teen years I took up painting. My interest continued into my 30s.
“North Mountain Lookout” and “Azaleas”
“White Elephant Inn”
But I kept coming back to fibre… My grandmother taught me to tat lace as a teen. My mother bought me needlepoint patterns and supplies. I continued to embroider and sew. I learned cross-stitch. I attempted my first quilt at seventeen. It’s still unfinished! I did finish the quilt for my first baby’s crib though.
When I had my first child I learned to hook rugs. That was 30 years ago now. I hooked rug and painted side-by-side for some time. We moved and the paints were put away. The rug hooking too.
Our new community had a wide variety of fibre craft opportunities. I took up quilting…
Hardanger embroidery from the Hardanger Fjord region of Norway.
And finally settled on rug hooking again about 16 years ago. From the beginning I knew I wanted to design my own work. I also knew I didn’t want to just hook wool fabric. It creates beautiful work, but it just wasn’t me. And so the experimenting began…
“Pennsylvania Dutch” – t-shirts and double knits.
“Cohasset” a free pattern from a magazine. Yarn and wool fabric, sculpted border.
“Family Reunion” – wool yarn, wool fabric, beads, wire, silk thread, cotton threads, polyester thread, rayon thread.
“Hollyhocks” – wool yarn and fabric, polyester yarn, roving, mohair locks.
And I took up spinning…
Canola fields art yarn drying for my “Prairie Sky” wall hangings.
I was happily hooking along one day at the annual local fair, demonstrating, when a man came up to me and started asking about my work. By the end of the conversation he wanted to know why I had not become a juried member of the Saskatchewan Crafts Council. It was the first time I’d heard of the Crafts Council.
It took a few years, but finally I decided I was ready to take the plunge. I applied to be juried in and was. That was 2 1/2 years ago. Since then I’ve had a lot of fun learning the ropes of having a craft business. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long!
It seems like yesterday I was in the “upper room” of the Affinity Gallery in Saskatoon having my work juried. I look forward to many more years of fun and learning in this business.
A big shout out to all the people who have helped and encouraged me along the way. Both online and in real life. Without you I would not have had the courage to try and have a craft business. 🙂
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. Hope you have a wonderful day! 🙂
I sewed another fabric bowl yesterday.
It’s another one I want to keep. The patterns and instructions for these bowls are from this book…
The indecision came after I finished the bowl. It was only about 9:30 am and the plumber had not shown up yet. What to do? Go to the gym? Stay put and wait? And do what? I was very unsettled for some reason.
I decided to stay home and draw more small Prairie Sky rugettes on backing. I started hooking them. I also did an exercise workout DVD to appease my guilty conscience about skipping gym. I also spun another skein of art yarn for my Prairie Sky wall hangings.
The tiler phoned late morning to re-schedule. The contractor arrived around noon to check in and check things out. The plumber arrived around 2 pm. Company arrived at 3:30 pm and stayed till 5 pm. A friend picked me up after supper and we went to watch “The Green Prince”, a documentary film about the son of an Hamas leader, who worked for Shin Bet, the Isreali secret service, for ten years before immigrating to America.
I managed to pick up a parcel from The Woolery last evening and pulled out the necessary parts and equipment to get my Patrick Green drum carder fixed. I am mega happy about that and will spend time today on that… And processing that skein of art yarn.
Wall hangings and ornaments are in the process of being finished as we speak. Serged and blocked them on Saturday. Couldn’t sleep so was up around 1 AM pressing in edges/hems in preparation for finishing. Sewed the hems yesterday in the car on a road trip.
Was at the gallery that sells my work yesterday. A lady came in and bought 7 of my wall hangings! The gallery wants more inventory. Must finish these wall hangings and get them up there for them.
But the big news of the day yesterday? I scored a Patrick Green drum carder for free!
Granted, it needs a lot of work. About $200 worth. But a new carder is about $600 CAD. I am already scoping out sources for parts and accessories.
Almost finished the backing. Two more ornaments to go. So glad to have it almost finished. It will be the end of the Christmas inventory for me. Then I can get to work on some other larger projects. 🙂
The larger projects I’m thinking of?
- finishing the large Prairie Sky wall hanging,
- hooking the larger Geranium wall hanging,
- hooking the larger Golden Leaves wall hanging (the tree),
- and, so help me, I am going to start and finish that Goldfish wall hanging this winter!
Other plans for this winter? I must spin some more art yarn for hooked wall hangings next year.
Today is Wednesday. Above is the photo of the lovely Merino I spun on Monday. I am thinking it would look gorgeous in those autumn rugettes I plan to hook. 🙂
Today is gym day and Crafting. I will be taking my large Prairie Sky rug to hook. Lost Soul will have to wait another day to be finished. 🙂
I finished processing the bright orange yarn and it is dry. Yesterday I spun the variegated orange/gold/brown yarn and it is dry too. Yum!
I managed some hooking on the border of Lost Soul and some sketching as well.
I also updated my website. I have taken the galleries down from here on my blog and on the website. I am directing everyone to my Etsy shop. Keeping up all those galleries was too much work and they were always out of date as a result. I may do more with my website in the future. For now it directs people to different parts of the web where I am active.
I also edited my web page to be consistent with my Etsy shop and the rest of my online presence. It is easy to become too spread out on the web and lose track of what is written where. Hopefully I have clarified things for my readers.
Spent some time on the back patio spinning yesterday. I was dog sitting for a friend…well, puppy sitting. I am actually allergic to dogs and cats, so I kept this little guy out in the yard until night time, when he went to live in a friend’s kennel in the kitchen. He did not want to come in the house! lol He gave me a good excuse to enjoy my back patio and do some spinning.
Check out this decadent rich intense orange I plan to use for Goldfish! It is wool fiber I picked up at Golden Willow about a week ago. I may use some of it in my autumn rugs too. We will see. I spun some gold Angelina in with it. While that will look great on the goldfish, I’m not convinced it will look good in my autumn rugettes.
I also started spinning some variegated darker gold/orange/brown Merino for Goldfish and for the autumn rugettes. I am looking forward to getting onto those soon!
Finished spinning my second bobbin of canola field art yarn yesterday. Processed the both skeins and they are now drying.
It has been a bit of a challenge this week. I am adjusting to being back from vacation and catching up with what I have missed with people. I started tutoring again. But just for the summer. It ends the end of August and I will no longer take ESL students after that. In fact, I am not taking on any other students but this one, whom I have felt badly about since he first started coming to our church.
Instead I will focus on my rug hooking exclusively. While away on my vacation I had the opportunity to talk to Laureen Marchand of Grasslands Gallery about her mentoring program. I did not know if she would take on someone from the ‘craft’ field who is selling better in galleries than at craft shows. Turns out she is interested, so I am seriously contemplating that. However I am also a bit nervous about starting right before a major kitchen renovation and when my health is still not sorted out. I will wait till August to make a decision.
In the meantime, it is time to get hooking!
A planning day today. We are heading off on a road trip next week. I am taking some spinning and rug hooking to work on, as well as my sketchbook and camera.
We are heading to the hottest part of Canada. Hubby has had enough of cold weather! It remains to be seen if it is too hot for me. I have an upper limit of 30 C. After that I tend to get heat stroke. I bought a battery operated fan the other day…just in case.
Next up? Planning the food. 🙂
I have had an interesting last 24 hours. My days are a pretty mixed bag, especially when we have so much going on. Yesterday morning we had a couple young folks in measuring up our kitchen for the final measure before ordering cabinets. Today we went in and put down a hefty deposit on said cabinets.
I also made it to the Cardiac Rehab program yesterday morning. I am on a 30 Day Heart Challenge at the moment. So far it seems rather easy…mostly things I do anyway. I like the challenge though, and working as a group to accomplish goals.
The afternoon I was to Crafting and spun these lovelies…more canola field yarn. Once I am done these skeins I will stop for a while. I have some natural wool roving I would like to spin as well.
And in the evening I had a spa night with some ladies from my church. Great fun! Thanks ladies! 🙂
Today’s job? The never-ending border on Lost Soul. And to catch up on my sleep!
I did not achieve what I set out to do yesterday. We had a 4 1/2 hour visit from someone. Then a “quick” phone call (1 hour) to my brother who was flooded out last spring. He’s okay, but he was afraid we were flooded! Thankfully not.
Made biscuits for strawberry shortcake for supper last evening. And prepared other food for a potluck BBQ we had in the evening. We talked and played board games and walked to the Lake to watch the fireworks with a few of our guests. All in all a great evening!
On today’s agenda? The cardiac rehab program, spinning at crafting, and then a private manicure and pedicure at a friend’s place.
I have been taking my own sweet time with the border on Lost Soul. Spent today dealing with the kitchen renovation and this afternoon working on Lost Soul, reading some about retirement – hubby is close, and gardening. There is finally a break in the weather and I plan to take the time to work in the yard before the next rainstorm. Which looks like it might be this afternoon.
I’m off spinning with some friends today. 🙂 More canola field art yarn. 🙂
Later… and here it is! Still needs to be processed, but it is spun enough for my purposes. 🙂
Seems I have been out and about a lot lately. When we were on our travels this past weekend we came across this cute sight. Three toddlers lined up carefully at the edge of the dock by their mom who had them well-trained! She was going to help pull the boat into the dock. It was so cute and funny. She had them trained like a person would a dog. She told them to “Stay”, and kept repeating it all the way down the dock. The little one in the back finally yelled back “I can’t stay!” But came no closer than the closest child all the same. Finally they were all safely loaded in the boat and were on their way.
Things are happening this week in my studio. I will be hooking more on Lost Soul and spinning more canola field yarn.
Yesterday was a bit of a recovery day for me. I was to the gym, to visit someone with a friend, and napped for 2 hours! Then off to tutor non-native English speakers in the evening.
I did receive a wonderful package of spinning fiber from Paradise Fibers yesterday. I ordered some Corrie Cross, some Merino, and some Egyptian Red Bamboo. A shout-out to the wonderful people there. I love their fiber.
Today I am off for an outing at some point, but I really hope to do some hooking and prepare for some spinning tomorrow afternoon.
Finally had the chance to spin some of my canola field yarn. I was at a crafting group spinning when one of the ladies asked me about all the colours I have in my yarn. I told her the green is for the stems of the canola, the bright yellow for the flowers, the gold Angelina causes a sunlight type reflection, and the orange and red are the shadows.
She was amazed I could put them all together and get something that looked so beautiful. She, and the others, had difficulty imagining how it would actually look in a hooked rug. I will take them one of the Prairie Sky rugettes next week to show them.
I hooked more on the border of Lost Soul. A friend gave me some purple mohair yarn I am going to work into it. Not much, but enough for some texture, especially in tight places.
I did manage to hook some on Lost Soul yesterday. I also managed the gym and the dental appointment just fine. Unfortunately the “treatment plan” for dental work is going to be expensive I have a feeling. Sigh…
Another thing to add to my “to do” list is some spinning of art yarn this week. I am hoping to go to a friend’s home tomorrow with other friends and spin some more art yarn for my canola fields.
Today stretches out before me. I have a lot more cooking to do and some rug hooking. I hope to get a start on the art yarn.
The finished yarn…
and the finished Mud Fight…
Today I am off to the gym, and then spending time on the yard with hubby. This evening I will be tutoring ESL at the church again. I enjoy teaching people new to Canada English.