Monday Meanderings

The finished yarn…

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and the finished Mud Fight…

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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.

Silk/Alpaca Yarn

blog-WIP-MFI finished the silk/alpaca yarn yesterday.  It is lovely and soft.  I had hoped to take a photo of it and post it today, but it is still drying.

Today I am taking a bit of a break.  I feel a bit frazzled.  I have an elderly friend’s 90th birthday tea to go to this afternoon.  That will be my outing for the day.

Otherwise I think I will hook a bit on Mud Fight and call it a day.

Well that was a bust!

I could not find all the fiber needed to spin the canola art yarn.  Plus I found my spinning wheel bobbins filled and partially filled with a nice beige silk/alpaca.  blog-silk-alpaca

Great for knitting, but not so great for rug hooking.  So I decided to work on it to finish it yesterday.  I did not quite finish, but I came close.  It will definitely be done this week.  And I will be ready to go with the canola art yarn, because after I came home I remembered where I put the rest of the fiber for it! 🙂

Pulled a few loops on Mud Fight…a very few.

Had my six week evaluation at the gym.  No change.  I was disappointed.  I was hoping for a bit of weight loss or strength gain.  However, on the up side, I have not been packing on weight like I was before.  And I do feel a lot stronger.  The staff and I adjusted my exercises for a harder workout for me.  I am a bit relieved…a lot actually.  Maybe I will see better results next time.

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It is a spinning kind of day!

WIP-MF-1Today is bright and clear.  It is going to be warm.  I will be enjoying the gym, going to Crafting, and attending a prayer meeting at the church.

I will be taking my spinning wheel and this to Crafting.

blog-spinning-fiberI will be spinning more foreground for my canola fields.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day! 🙂

In my studio this week…

blog-WIP-MFI have been working on my Etsy shop.  I plan to upload a rug a day for sale for a while.

I am also working on finishing some larger rugs.  Primarily Lost Soul, and Mud Fight.

And there is the large prairie sky and canola field I used to demonstrate at the CVAF Street Fair.

Plus there is spinning to do to replace some sorely need art yarn for canola fields in my Prairie Sky rugs.

And some dyeing for the sky in the large prairie sky rug.

Plus I want to mail the Poppy Kit to Gayle this week.  Should happen by Thursday Gayle.  I will let you know. 🙂

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Tweaking

WIP-DoW-5Yes, I’m tweaking this today.  I finished it yesterday, but did not get around to fixing the leaves.  I’m going to try to get some finer detail in them and clean them up a bit.  It’s kind of hard when they are only 2″ across, but we shall see.

Spent more time spinning the silk/alpaca yesterday.  It’s half finished.  I’m onto the second bobbin.

Hooking Along

WIP-DoW-4Someone came and saw Dead of Winter and did not recognize what it was.  I guess that means I succeed in doing abstract???  lol  I don’t know.  I will work on making the leaves more recognizable I guess.  Though dead leaves are pretty hard to make recognizable with a #6 cut fabric.  I’m actually tempted to make them even less recognizable and just go with a colour interpretation of winter.

I worked on the snow in the pot yesterday.  Today will be the lower part of the rug.  I may change the design even yet…  Just not sure about this one.

Back to spinning again today…silk/alpaca.  Should be fun!

These lovely flowers were brought to cheer me up.  I hope they cheer you up too and give you something to sketch this cold March day (well, here it’s cold!).

flowers-1 flowers-2 flowers-3 flowers-4 flowers-5

TaDa!

hat-and-scarfMy multi-coloured hat and scarf set is finished. I made this scarf shorter to tuck inside my coat for driving in the car. Most scarves are too long for me.

I am busily reading International Artist magazines and highlighting the notes I want from them. Learning a lot.  Yes, this is an old issue.  I have a few to go through yet. 🙂

IA-magHooking more on Dead of Winter. Having problems abstracting it.  Not entirely sure I want to abstract it!

WIP-DoW-3Picked up spinning yesterday. Started spinning some lovely alpaca/silk. It, unfortunately, has vegetative matter in it so I suspect it will be used for something other than knitting. We’ll see.

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In my studio today…

merino-naturalI spent yesterday afternoon spinning more wool for rug hooking.  I ended up with two beautiful skeins and some singles leftover.

I am watching Deb Menz’s Color Works for Spinners as I hook and go about my studio today.  I am enjoying watching her blend different fibers.  She gives a good grounding in the color wheel and how to use it.  I do not own a drum carder, primarily due to space considerations, but we shall see.  Right now I settle for purchasing other people’s blended fiber to spin.  Unfortunately most batts are blended for knitters, not rug hookers.  So buying my own carder and blending my own fiber has its appeal.

Today I will be busy.  I have a full day in my studio.  I hope to…

  • hook on the border for Lost Soul,
  • finish hooking the abstract rug,
  • finish off the abstract course,
  • plan sky in Prairie Sky rug and check to see if I have enough fiber to hook the rug,
  • sketch the newsletter cover,
  • read some of Wild Fibers magazine,
  • process the yarn from yesterday,
  • start planning rugs for spring sale.  I need to get something on backing for the stores!

mixed-emotions

Alas and Alack!

CtheSinAMy spinning wheel is ‘out-of-order’ until a new part comes in the mail for it.  Guess I will take that as a sign I need to spend more time on rug hooking and my course! 🙂  Yesterday though, I worked on this hat…

WIP-hat-1Finished Kandinsky’s Concerning the Spiritual in Art.  It was interesting.  In it he postulates that certain colours relate to certain sounds from certain instruments.  I had not thought about colour and music being related before.

He elucidates the difference between the colours in terms of opposites on the colour wheel.  And arranges them in a circle with warm on one side and cool colours on the other…and defined black and white as the presence of all colours and the absence of all colour.  And he discusses what all this means for the artist.  He goes into considerable depth on colour in this short book.

He also talks about innovation in the world and man’s role in it.  How man is like an acute triangle moving up an inclined plane.  The tip of the triangle is where new breakthroughs and ideas are happening.  They percolate down to the broader mass of humanity over time.  Until eventually the idea peeters out as new ones come along.  Gradually man continues to move up the inclined plane as more and more new ideas and breakthroughs are discovered.

And he says lots more… 🙂

While the translation I read is a bit rough, it is still fairly easy to follow.  It was a good challenge for my brain to read this short little book.  I recommend this for someone curious about the origins of abstract art.

Now to finish Hans Hofmann.

Wacky Wednesday

IMG_0254_0215Today is my wacky day.  I have a friend over in the morning.  I have spinning in the afternoon, possibly, and I have a church meeting in the evening.  Not a lot of time to accomplish much rug hooking.

However, yesterday I did pick out the colours for the border of Lost Soul.   It will not require any dyeing.  I am using wool from my stash.  I am still unsure of it and will do a trial section before settling on the colour scheme.

I read Hans Hofmann and Concerning the Spiritual in Art yesterday as well.  Plus I  finished lesson 2 and 3 of Deanne Fitzpatrick’s Beginning to Hook Abstract Rugs course.  I have at least one more rug design in my book.  I am playing with irregularly shaped rugs at the moment…and colour balance.

I also spun some more Corriedale wool yesterday.

Have a great day everyone!

Spring Must Not Be Far Away

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I spent yesterday doing some rearranging.  I tried to rearrange my sewing studio upstairs to fit in a chair and my spinning wheel.  I managed to just do it.  But my!  What a claustrophobic mess my studio is!  Maybe if I spin in there enough it will motivate me to clean it up. 🙂

Read more of Concerning the Spiritual in Art and Hans Hofmann.  Will read more today.

I started spinning the Corriedale wool I found in my spinning bags the other day.  It will spin up into a nice Aran weight yarn for hooking.

Hubby was off work yesterday so I did not accomplish much otherwise.  I did have my ESL student in the morning.  We finished syllables and worked on prepositions and speaking.  We decided Friday we would do a cooking class.  She will teach me how to make traditional Korean New Year soup and I will teach her how to make Ginger Cookies.  🙂

In My Studio This Week

Bud-2Finished this little rug (8 x 10″) on the weekend.  It is an enlarged view of a leaf bud under a microscope.   I think I will call it “Bud Light”. lol  No, I will think of something else.  The Budweiser people might come after me about that name.  For now I shall just refer to it as “Bud”.  I am so unoriginal with my names.  I think I need a course in creatively naming rugs!

This week’s plans…

  • tutoring two mornings and one evening,
  • two prayer meetings,
  • spinning at a crafting meeting,

And for rug hooking…

  • colour plan border for Lost Soul,
  • dye any fabric I need to dye for the border of Lost Soul,
  • Week 3 of Beginning to Hook Abstract Rugs,
  • read Kandinsky’s Concerning the Spiritual in Art,
  • read Karen Wilkin’s Hans Hofmann.

New rugs and old

pine-cone-patternStill working on Lost Soul, but I also have a few geometric/abstract kind of things happening right now. I am trying a new primitive linen backing and I am liking it better than the other backing I have been using.  Unfortunately as far as I can tell it is only sold in the U.S.  Means I’ll have to pay duty and customs on it when I bring it in, upping the price.  Still, it’s a dream to hook on.  I’ll have to figure out the relative cost to what’s available in Canada and see if it’s worthwhile switching to it.

I tutored my ESL student yesterday morning and she had to cancel Friday morning.  That works well for me as I have loads of stuff to work on this week.

  • hook Lost Soul,
  • hook Mud Fight,
  • hook Pine Cone,
  • hook an abstract bud shape,
  • hook a very enlarged cross-section of an okra…not sure what I’ll call it yet.
  • read more Wild Fibers,
  • spin some undyed Corriedale I found in my fiber bag,
  • spin some silk/alpaca, if I have time.

I might even have time to make some hanging sleeves for those small 6″ rugs!  We’ll see.  I also want to make sure I am entered in a local sale for the springtime this week.  If I don’t hear from them by Friday, I will go park myself in their offices with my application form and a cheque for my space.  I am hoping my partner in crime will go into the sale with me again this year.  But if she does not, I will still take part.  It’s just plain fun to.  I think I will take my hooking to work on this year.  It gives me something to do and entertains the public.

With that in mind, I have to start drawing, and hooking my spring line.  But that will be next week’s goal…

okra-pattern bud-pattern

Weekly Review

WIP-Lost-Soul-4I managed to accomplish a few things this past week, after a slow start.  I seem to have busy days.  The loss of one of my ESL students to an institute of higher learning has been good for me overall.

I managed to finish the first lesson in the Beginning to Hook Abstract course.  I am looking forward to the second lesson. 🙂

I finished spinning, plying, and processing the soy silk/alpaca.  I am now down to very short soft fiber to spin.  These would not be useful for rug hooking, so I am leaving them for now.  I have been scouting around on the Net looking for affordable fiber to spin.  I have to decide whether to buy it ready dyed or to dye it myself when I dye my cloth and yarns.

I have been reading some Wild Fiber magazine articles.  I was gifted with ten back issues, and boy!  Do I ever appreciate them!  It is nice to have such a quality magazine to find information on the world of sheep.

I am about halfway done the last quadrant of Lost Soul.  It is slow going as I am trying to control the colours so they do not get out of hand.  I want the rug to have continuity from one section to the next.

I have been busy sketching most days this week and have pages of rough sketches/compositions for rugs.  Time will tell how many of them are actually turned into rugs.

And last but not least, I organized the contest, which is still running till midnight Sunday.  If you are interested in winning the 5 yard bundles of 10 different homespun fibers, just post in the comments here, and I will add your name to the bucket for hubby to draw a winner. 🙂

Today in my studio

soy-silk-alpacaI did do everything I planned yesterday, despite fighting a migraine. Big weather change happening here. Temperature went from -25 Celsius to +2 Celsius in about 24 hours. Not good for me. However the fun stuff still got done!

I hooked more on Lost Soul.

I read more of Wild Fibers.

I finished sketching potential rug designs from the microscopic life book.

I finished plying and processing the soy silk/alpaca yarn, which will not be used for rug hooking. It is too limp and will not hold up like wool.

Today I have a student to tutor this morning. This afternoon I will hook more on Lost Soul, and work on my abstract rug hooking course.

Don’t forget!  The contest for my handspun yarn samples runs till Sunday midnight. 🙂

WIP-Lost-Soul

Stop, Change Gears, Move Ahead Again…

magazineOne of my ESL students was accepted into a more formal full-time learning situation.  I am excited for her and wish her well.  As a result I have two mornings open during the week.  This is good.  It gives me more time for rug hooking and my abstract rug hooking course, which is what I need right now.  So I am shifting gears to work more on those.

I spent time yesterday spinning and finished the soy silk/alpaca singles.  Hopefully I will ply them and process them soon, maybe today.

Other objectives for today?

  • read some of Wild Fibers magazine back issues.
  • sketching from my microscope book…some rough sketches for the abstract course.
  • hooking Lost Soul.

In the process of searching for abstract artists I have come across some fabulous Christian abstract artists!  Check out Jaison Cianelli, Mark Lawrence, and Ruth Palmer.  Now I am growing interested in abstract art I am going to have to poke around a bit and see what, if any, books have been written on contemporary Christian abstract art.

bookUpdate:  Remember the contest is open until Sunday midnight!

Contest coming up!

abstract-art-booksThis week is my 400th post…Wednesday to be exact.  I will announce a little contest on Wednesday that will run till the end of the week. Keep your eyes open!

This week I want to finish the last central quadrant of Lost Soul and start on the border.  Time to get this baby DONE!

I also want to spend time on Deanne’s Beginning to Hook Abstracts course.  Right now I am busy sketching.  Having a blast!  Yesterday I checked out our main library branch in town and found oodles of books on modern art, a few on abstract itself, and a few on particular artists that interest me.  I also picked up some books on photography.

photography-booksStill need to sew up some sleeves for small 6″ rugettes.  Might be a good idea to put some of them on backing as well.  We will see.  I have a lot on the go already.

It would be nice to spin more on the soy silk/alpaca blend singles.  Might not have time for plying, but spinning the singles maybe.

One of my ESL students will be taking a hiatus to partake of more formal learning, leaving me with two whole days a week to devote to rug hooking endeavours, plus afternoons the other three days.  Plus hubby works all week, meaning fewer distractions.   I have two prayer meetings and a Ladies Fellowship meeting to attend at church.

All that should make for a fairly busy week for me.  I am off to a great start today. 🙂  Hope everyone has a great day!

End of the Week

WIP-Lost-SoulIn retrospect I did not really have a great week for rug hooking this past week.  I did fit in all four ESL tutoring sessions, plus the group tutoring, and a prayer meeting.  I opted to do a prayer meeting by phone with my prayer partner.  It is shorter and we stay focused.  I am glad she is flexible like that.

But rug hooking…alas… I did work some on Lost Soul, but not as much as I had hoped.  I am working on the last quadrant of the rug center now.  Next will be the border.  It will require a bit of redrawing.

I drew the design for the larger Prairie Sky rug on backing last evening, but have yet to decide the design for the sky.  I think I will look back over the rugettes I have done in the past and see which sky might look best as a large sky.

I finished browsing Finishing Hooked Rugs.  Finally had a chance to sit down and read the latest ATHA magazine.

Was up to the local branch of the library looking for abstract art books, only to find they had none!  I could not believe it.  I will have to make a trip to the central library in downtown to see if they have anything.  Push comes to shove, I will have to wander over to the university and buy a card to use their books.  I did not think it would be that difficult to find abstract art books in a city this size.

I did go to Crafting this week and start spinning the soy silk/alpaca I had given to me.  I am finally getting a wee bit low on fibre, for which I am grateful!  I have been doing a lot of spinning lately and it is time to get back to rug hooking.

I started Deanne Fitzpatrick’s Beginning to Hook Abstract Rugs course.  I really enjoy her courses.  I love that she includes videos in them.

I also finished Fundamentals of Photography by the Great Courses people, and have started Cultures of the World.  So far it is proving very interesting.  Not entirely accurate according to my South Korean boarder, but for the most part so.

I had cheques come in from the two shops I sell my rugs through.  That was nice.  I had my taxes done and sent in.  Last year is all wrapped up now.  Onto this year.

Today I will be:

  • sketching,
  • watching and reading Deanne’s Beginning to Hook Abstract Rugs course,
  • reading Wild Fibers,
  • sewing hanging sleeves for 6″ wide rugettes,
  • and, last, but certainly not least, hooking on Lost Soul.

sketchbook-and-pattern

Finish it up Friday

WIP-Lost-SoulOkay, I really need to get down to getting some things done today!  I am up early and off to a good start.  I have another ESL student this morning.  I am playing catch-up from yesterday.  I ended up doing household chores and scanning negatives into the computer, and watching all of the rest of Fundamentals of Photography.  I started a course called Cultures of the World.  Lots to do today!

  • Scan some books I have for rug ideas,
  • Hook on Lost Soul some more,
  • Scan more negatives,
  • Read Finishing Hooked Rugs,
  • Spin more soy silk/alpaca,
  • Get that prairie sky rug on backing if it kills me!

For the first one on my list, which I have already started, I have pulled off the following books.  Ideas can really come from anywhere.  I find studying the work of other artists in other media to be stimulating and intriguing.  I am off to the library to check out some other more traditional art books.

Inspiration-Books-2I am currently taking Deanne Fitzpatrick’s Beginning to Hook Abstract Rugs online course.  I highly recommend Deanne’s courses as a way to expand your horizons and learn to hook.  I have taken most of her online courses to date – Wild with Wool, Wild with Style, Hooking People, and this one.  She is very generous with her information.  Her courses are well worth the money.

Inspiration-books

Soy silk/alpaca Heaven

ss-alpaca-singles Had a great time spinning the soy silk/alpaca blend.  Not finished by a long shot.  But it is very fine and soft.  A knitting yarn, not a rug hooking yarn.

I watched a lecture from Fundamentals of Photography on work flow and organization of digital photos.  It was very informative.  I spent some time last evening organizing my photos.  This is a very good course people.  It’s one of The Great Courses from The Teaching Company.  I am going to have to go through and watch it again sometime.

Today I am busy…

  • drawing a large prairie sky rug on backing,
  • watching more Fundamentals of Photography,
  • hooking Lost Soul,
  • spinning more fibre,
  • reading Finishing Hooked Rugs.

yarn-bins

Wild Wednesday

alpace-soy-silkWednesday is my busy day.  Between a prayer partner and prayer meeting I sandwich a crafting group.  I usually spin at the crafting group.  This week it will be the soy silk/alpaca blend above.  Somewhere in there I sandwich rug hooking.

Yesterday I managed to work on wedding photos, organize a slide show for my 2013 photos, grocery shop, tutor, and chat long distance with a family member.  I was delighted to come home from grocery shopping and find a late Christmas present of…guess what?

Wild-FibersYep.  Past issues of Wild Fibers and…

wedding-dressYes.  A silk wedding dress I sewed in the 1980’s. Returned stained beyond repair by red wine, to use in rugs. 🙂  Not sure I can use all of it, but some should be usable.  It has turned a cream colour from its original white.  Will have to check to make sure the colour change has stopped before using it.

Here’s to a productive Wednesday! 🙂

Tackle it Tuesday

silk-tencel-r-y-gMy silk/Tencel yarn I spun on the weekend turned out great for my purposes! 🙂  Nice and thick for rug hooking.

Today will be a ‘catch-all’ day.  Yesterday I pulled out our old wedding photos and discovered they had faded and whited out in areas.  It’s been 34 years now.  So hubby and I pulled out the negatives and he is digitizing them – i.e. scanning them into the computer, putting them on flash drive, transferring them to my computer, where I can edit them with Photoshop (I love that program!), before we save them to a CD to take to a proper photography place to print out quality prints.  This is a big job.  There are over 11 rolls of film.  We did one roll last evening, but now we know what we’re doing we hope it will go faster.

I made a sortie into the local camera shop the other day and was totally intimidated by the man behind the counter who did not seem to want to be much help.  So we left without buying anything.  I was wanting to look at lenses, and light diffusers for my flash.  Oh well.  Another day, sometime when I’m traveling, or online, or another shop.

Aside from the wedding photos, which hubby will work on today, I have to think of menus for the week and grocery shopping.

I plan on watching some more Fundamentals of Photography today.  Also pull some loops on Lost Soul.  

In my Studio

Over the weekend I managed to spin some beautiful yarn and hook more on Lost Soul.
Sorry, no photos.  My camera card died and needs to be replaced.  A job for today.

This week in my studio I am…

  • hooking Lost Soul,
  • watching Fundamentals of Photography,
  • tutoring two students twice,
  • attending an evening tutoring session,
  • attending a prayer meeting,
  • hosting a prayer partner,
  • drawing a large prairie sky rug on backing,
  • spinning more fibre,
  • reading Finishing Hooked Rugs.