Studio Organization

Studio Organization

Hi everyone!  This past week has been a busy week spent trying to get my studio in order. It was much worse than I thought!  We had initially bought furniture to fit the space as measured by a laser measure.  Well the laser measure was wrong – it was out by 1-2 feet. So I had furniture positioned at right angles going into the room.  But this week I took another look. I measured the room again and drew up an “as is” plan.


Then I took some photos to post online for some of my friends and see what could be done. Here’s the job half done on Wednesday.

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I posted a video for some online friends to give input on the situation and decided to measure up furniture to see what could be done.

In the end Hubby came down and  moved some boxes of scrapbook memorabilia and old journals upstairs for me to sort through later.  I still have wall hangings I’d like to hang on the wall, mending to do, a project box to sort, and a doll to dress!  But first I have to sew her clothes!  Here is a video of where I’m currently at with the studio.

Studio Update

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

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!

 

 

Studio Makeover

Studio Makeover

Hi everyone!  I thought I’d do an update on the studio makeover. The main part of my studio is ready.  However we are storing stuff in it until the basement guest room cum family room cum classroom is completed.  The paint is drying as I type!

I’ve been working in my new studio, enjoying it for a couple of months now.  It has been a great space to work!  I have projects strewn everywhere. I could wish for improved lighting still.  But the LED overhead lights are a great start.  I wish I had some kind of track lighting to light up my gallery walls.  I have two gallery walls at the moment, and hope to have a third before too long.

Check out my current photos. It’s a bit messy because of all the work going on here, but it functions for me.  That is good!

My current projects are:

  1. an appliquéd moose wall hanging or cushion cover for my nephew, in memory of his grandfather.  I’m not sure which will be better for him.
  2. Fixing a hand quilted quilt I started when I was seventeen.  We won’t say how long ago that was!
  3. Dyeing the border colors for my South Korean roof tile end caps wall hanging,
  4. preparing for Workshop Week next week, and
  5. getting the guest room stuff out of my studio!

Hoping to get considerable movement done on these in the next couple of weeks.

 

An interesting weekend

An interesting weekend

I had the delightful pleasure of meeting Susan Logue this weekend when she showed up on my doorstep to look at some wool for a friend. I really enjoyed contact with another rug hooker. Susan wrote the “Past & Present Antique Dyes” books, which I have and have used in the past. It was a fun time chatting with her about rug hooking, and it was nice to meet her friend.

One thing the visit made me realize was how starved I am for other artistic people in my life. I’m enjoying the online classes because of that, but somehow they aren’t the same as real live one-to-one encounters. They have their good points too though. I sure am glad to have the online experience too!

Saturday I tuned in to Lucy Richard’s FaceBook LIVE dye workshop. It was an interesting experience for me. I hadn’t microwave dyed before meeting Lucy. To be able to do a spot dye by microwave is great! And the pine tree, ocean, sky colours were great! If you head over to her website or FaceBook page you can find a link to donate to her video making efforts. If you donate $10 or more your name is entered to win a gift box of goodies. This time she is including the wool she dyed, among other things. It’s a half yard of wool folks…just saying. It’s a great deal! And a great gift. And it keeps Lucy doing videos.

I’m so anxious to get my dye studio up and going. Hubby is finishing painting the upstairs hall and then wants to do the guest room. It will be awhile before he gets to the dye studio/laundry room.

I hooked more on my South Korea roof tile end cap wall hanging. It’s slow going. It’s been awhile since I’ve hooked circles. There are a lot of circles in this wall hanging. It’s a challenge.

I started Meryl Cook’s exercises in her book “One Loop At A Time: The Creativity Workbook”. I was surprised how I could pull out one issue that was really bothering me, journal it positively, and create a rug design in under half an hour! I now have at least an 18”x18” design to put on backing and hook! I may have to expand it to 20”x20” or larger to fit in all the lettering, or cut back on the lettering.

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!

 

 

 

Make Moves Monday

Make Moves Monday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s up?

What’s up?

This week will be a bit of redirection in my studio. I have an appointment today to see about having a small wall hanging framed.  I’m not sure how it will go. It’s a new custom framer. I’m hoping it’s not too expensive. I have other work that needs framing.

Tuesday I’m busy taking Karen Miller’s creativity class “Getting Inspired: How to Find Ideas for your Art”. I’m looking forward to it.  If other rug hookers are interested there may be more spaces.  Search for Karen D. Miller rug hooker and contact her.

Tuesday I’m also fielding a call from a client wishing to order some art.  Wednesday I’ll be preparing the order and attending my cardiac gym program.  Thursday I’ll be shipping the order out.

Meanwhile I am continuing my studio makeover.  We are hanging artwork on the walls.  I’m having to make tough decisions on what to hang and what to store away.  It does, however, look a lot more homey down there.

Throughout all this, and in-between it, I will be hooking on my South Korean roof tile end caps rug again.  Hubby and I have decided it will hang above the electric fireplace.   But we shall see.  The colours are not what I had planned for that space.  Still, it’s the right size, we think.  We’ll see.

Have a great week everyone!

 

In the Making…

In the Making…

Happy Monday everyone! It’s been a productive weekend and day, primarily thanks to some unpredictable weather. Today has been raining off and on, making it a wonderful day to be in my studio.

I finished the doll clothes for the 16” Briar dolls. Here are the last few items I made. I shipped them all off Friday. I hope they all fit.

I moved onto the knife sheath. I had a chat with a friend who is a more experienced seamstress than I am and determined, after careful thought, that it just wasn’t going to work. The moose hide I have is actually quite soft. It used to be a woman’s suit jacket. I don’t think it will hold its shape well enough to hold a jackknife. I decided to make another gift for my nephew, and possibly include the moose hide in that.

I moved onto printing and cutting out the Ken doll patterns. Today I cut out all the pieces to sew. However…

I received a phone call from someone looking for the face masks this week. So I switched gears and cut out face masks. I’m in the middle of sewing them at the moment. I’m using the Olson pattern still. I use a batik quilting cotton for the front fabric, cotton sheeting for the liner, and a filter of diaper flannelette (single layer).

This weekend I decided to try selling some items on the Facebook Canada Rug Hooking Buy and Sell group. It was quite successful. I’m quite pleased with how it went. I sold several patterns. Time to update my website store to reflect the changes. I will be selling more that way.

My studio update as of Sunday? Hubby and I are slowly getting things sorted out. I went through all my rug hooking and made piles of what to mend, what to hang upstairs, and what to hang in the studio or downstairs. Basically we keep whatever is upstairs and whatever is downstairs is for sale. I sold a bin of old patterns over the weekend. Here’s the current messy, but functional, state of my studio.

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

Not Rug Hooking but…

Not Rug Hooking but…

I’m busy sewing doll clothes for my grandnieces and for a cousin’s daughter – one for 16” dolls and the other for Ken dolls of fashion doll fame. For the 16” doll clothes I’m using Simplicity 7644, McCall’s 8564, and McCall’s 2157. These clothes are for the Briar doll available at twigandtale.com They are available as instant downloads on Etsy. For Ken clothes I am using free patterns from Chellywood.com, plus Advance 2899, and Simplicity 5330. The first was easy to print off, the last two were instant downloads from Etsy again.

I’m currently on a sewing kick. I also have some face masks to sew and a leather knife sheath for a nephew. I might sew him something else as well.

I made all my father’s descendants a sewn item from his LL Bean shirts after he passed away. This nephew didn’t make it to the funeral, so he didn’t have a chance to speak up for anything. Eventually he said he needed a knife sheath. But Grampy’s shirts are not heavy duty enough for that. I have some moose hide from an old jacket one of my sister-in-laws gave me. I’ve decided to use that for the knife sheath. Grampy was, after all, a moose biologist.

Fast forward a couple of years and my nephew put in a request for “something” from Grampy’s shirts. I have a couple of pieces of old shirt left here and I’m going to see if I can do something for him.

Other that that, in rug hooking I have a Valentine’s wall hanging to bind, and some coasters to match. Plus I need to get back to my South Korea rug. I have designs I’d like to put on backing as well.

The studio is coming along fine. It’s usable. I still have too much stuff. I need to list some items online for sale. I’m part of a Canadian rug hooking buy and sell group on Facebook. I’ve been meaning to list items for sale there for some time.

I had Charlie put together the IKEA Havsta nesting tables and determined there was not enough room for them AND the coffee table and sofa bed we ordered. That means returning the coffee table. It’s going to be a tight squeeze in the seating area of the studio. I’m starting to reconsider having a TV down here as well.

Well that’s it for this week! I hope the Canadians reading all had a happy Canada Day! And I hope my American readers enjoy their Fourth of July!

Cheers!

The Painting is Done!

The Painting is Done!

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

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

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

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

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

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

And it’s Out!

And it’s Out!

The pellet stove has been removed! I am pleased to have space for another chair in the seating area of the studio. Kudos to Dan Walker, his co-worker, and Charlie for removing the stove and repairing the wall. The walls have now been painted and it’s time to fix the floor where the pellet stove sat, so the chair has someplace level to sit.

In other news, I am selling all my scrapbooking supplies. I purchased storage on Forever.com, as well as their programs Historian and Artisan. I also purchased a PC laptop to run everything on! I’ve used PCs before, but it’s been a while. This could be a bit of a learning curve.

The laptop is a Lenovo Legion Y740 15″ laptop. This is, I suspect, a gaming laptop. However, it was one of the few I could find with all the specifications required to handle everything I need it to do. Next up, once this is set up, I’ll be looking at a scanner and a printer. I have a lot of old photographs and negatives that need scanning.

I continue to unpack and sift through our belongings. I am to the point where I am shredding entire boxes of journals and papers from when the girls were younger. I have no idea why I kept it all! Hopefully this move will ultimately achieve our goal of downsizing all our stuff, as well as our accommodation.

In my leisure time I am reading “In The Company of Women” by Grace Bonney. It is a wonderful book full of interviews from successful women entrepreneurs. It has some sage advice and great quotes.

I also joined Udemy this week. Their classes are as low as $13.99 each until June 20th. I purchased three by Doris Charest, an artist from Alberta, Canada. They are: “Teaching Art Classes Online”, “Composition Basics for Abstract or Realism for Beginners“, and “Starting an Art Business”. I learned quite a bit from “Teaching Art Classes Online”. I don’t expect to learn as much from the other two. They are more refreshers. Mme. Charest’s teaching style and delivery is very good. I appreciated her honesty about her subject.

This weekend’s project…

Have a great weekend everyone!

More Culling and An Offer We Can’t Refuse!

More Culling and An Offer We Can’t Refuse!

It’s amazing how much we collect, both in our personal and business lives. Nothing has shown me that more clearly than this move. I have STUFF! As fast as Charlie puts together IKEA storage units I fill them.

I made a decision. I’m selling all my scrapbooking supplies and going digital and online. I’ve been toying with the idea for a couple of years now. I don’t do much scrapbooking, but when I do I like to attend weekend scrapbook meetings and accomplish something in one fell swoop. I notice hauling around the supplies is getting to be an issue for me. That would be alleviated by going online and doing everything in the comfort of my own home.

I’ve made photo books online before and have had moderate success. I discovered an online business, forever.com, at one of the scrapbook meetings I attended. I’m giving them a try. I’ve seen some of their finished photo books and they’re great! They seem to be using good paper and good ink. Owners of the books claim the books are as good now as when they bought them years ago. I’m ready to try and find out.

I’ve also discovered I have a lot more rug hooking supplies than I thought I had. I’m sorting them out now and preparing to list some for sale online. I’m using my Facebook page – JLT Studios – and the newly formed Rug Hooking Buy n Sell Canada Facebook page. I will also use the local Kijiji and VarageSale.

Charlie and I took a break from working on the house last weekend and headed up beyond Canning, Nova Scotia. It is beautiful country up there. We stopped at Grand Pre National Historic Park on the way. We walked through the woods to the old Acadian church. I really enjoyed all the wild flowers on the way. There is also a great planting of coleus just before the statue of Evangeline of Longfellow fame. The colours were magnificent! I sense another rug coming on…

A friend has offered us the use of her cottage this summer, whenever we want it. We could both use it. I’m thinking of taking an artist retreat out there for about five days. Charlie has been trying to write a book on his laptop. There are trails in the area we could hike. It was very kind of our friend to offer the cottage, and we hope to take some advantage of it.

Studio Update

Studio Update

It’s been busy in my studio! Charlie and I put together more IKEA Besta storage last weekend. This time it was a console storage and a freestanding unit. I unpacked and sorted sewing and quilting supplies before packing them in bins and putting them on the shelves in the storage units.

We found bins, with lids, at Dollarama for $4 each. There is only one catch – the bins don’t fit in Besta with their lids on. No problem. I’m leaving the lids off. I’ll store them elsewhere and keep them handy for when I want to travel with the bins to workshops or elsewhere.

Charlie installed new light fixtures in the studio and they are great! They are adjustable LED lights. I have them set halfway between yellow and daylight. The daylight setting is very bright. I decided to go for something easier on the eyes, and use adjustable task lighting when I need to see colours accurately. I’m planning on purchasing an adjustable OTT light for each work station.

The new LED overhead lights were $19.99 at Home Depot, with a $7 rebate from our provincial government, making them $12.99 each. That price is hard to beat! The government is trying to encourage energy efficiency. They improve the lighting in the studio immensely.

I‘ve unpacked a lot of boxes this past week. We have one bedroom downstairs I call The Pink Room, because, well, it’s very pink! We’ve been tossing all the empty boxes, things we want to get rid of, and things that will eventually live in that room, in there. The boxes were piled pretty high – up to my neck – and in some areas, higher. Charlie went in and worked hard over the course of a few days. He managed to knock them down so we can see the floor again.

We put together a new kitchen table and repurposed the old as a cutting table. I have a small portable ironing board I use on the cutting table for my ironing station.

We made a couple of trips to IKEA to purchase some more furniture and home decor items. They opened their doors again last Monday. We picked up a small table to finish my work area. Plus a small filing cabinet on casters, and various end tables and coffee tables that will accommodate storage. We won’t be putting those together until we have a very old pellet stove removed and the rest of the room painted.

That’s it for the studio update. If you want the video version, check out: https://youtu.be/uaZsAfIOrsk I can’t wait to get in there and start creating!

It’s been a week!

We’ve been busy this week. Charlie put together furniture for the studio with my help. Lots accomplished, but lots more to do. Yes, there’s a big scratch on the builtin bookcase/cupboard unit. The shelf was a bit too big to fit in after painting. Charlie shaved them down after that fiasco. We’ll be fixing that this weekend.

I had to measure my studio again. Apparently the laser measure we took the original measurements with was off by quite a bit. My actual working space measures 11’x12’. The rest of the space is designated family room. It’s 11’x9’5”. For me that’s a small space to work with. I will adjust. I have to.

We had some friends stain our deck this week. They did a wonderful job! I put in the deck garden the last two days. We originally had a large gazebo on the deck. We would like to have it back in place. We’re thinking about how to do that and make sure the plants get enough sunlight.

We tried digging up and moving a rhubarb plant that wasn’t doing well, and found out why. The soil is gravel and a fine red dust – looks like clay. Whoever prepared the yard in the first place didn’t bring in topsoil after building and before planting anything. The backyard is a lovely meadow. Though there are a lot of weeds. We figure we’ll be bringing in wheelbarrows full of real soil and mulch to deal with the perennial garden issue. The backyard may just stay meadow for now. We’re focusing on creating a presentable front yard this year.

We also purchased a deck box to store all the garden supplies. That meant we could clear it all out of the dining area in the house, where they were stored previously. I’m hoping that means we can put together our new table soon.

Not much done on the creative front. Too busy trying to organize things in our new home. Hopefully things will be up and running soon, and I can start back at my creative pursuits.

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday!

Good Monday morning everyone! Charlie finished painting the first studio wall this weekend. It looks wonderful!

I painted 37 year old cabinets and bookcases he’d made for me as a young wife. What a sweetheart! Those cabinets have been used in every home we’ve lived in. It was sad selling four of them for this move, but we had to downsize. They went to a good cause. A teacher wanted them for her classroom. The remaining four will be in our kitchen and my studio.

Bookcase by Charlie. Painting by Jean.
Cupboard made by Charlie. Painting by Jean. It needs to be cleaned up a bit on the hinges yet.

Today’s activities include putting together furniture for the studio wall that is finished, and filling it. That will, hopefully, empty a few boxes, giving us more room in the studio to paint more walls.

Other happenings around the homestead?

We are having the deck stained. Our friends were here Saturday and Sunday to work on it. Today is the last coat and touchups.

After the railing was done. We actually have the first coat on the decking. Looking forward to the second coat today!

I found wild purple violets growing in our backyard. I picked them and tried to make candied violets, but failed. I made a sourdough banana bread from YouTube later in the afternoon and tossed in the candied violets. It was delicious!

Wild purple violet

I’ve been checking out the yard and cleaning up flower beds – both front and back. We have an interesting backyard. There’s some grass, but not much. What we really have is a meadow. There’s wild strawberries, forget-me-nots, wild purple violets, and dandelions. All of these are in amongst moss.

The fringe benefit of not having just grass is that we see a lot of different insects and wildlife. This morning I woke up to a robin and pheasant eyeing each other warily from about ten feet apart in the backyard. Neighbours have reported deer in the area too.

I’ve been checking out the flowerbed situation. It’s quite overgrown. We apparently have a major goutweed problem. I’m sorting through how to deal with that now. If you have any experience please post in the comments below!

The deck garden is coming along fine. Seeds are up. In fact, everything I planted is up. I’m a bit overwhelmed. I had over planted because in the past I’ve had issues with germination and damping off. So far everything is growing quite happily. Hopefully I can get it all transplanted and onto the deck this week.

I have too many squash seedlings, so I’m contemplating planting them near the goutweed in hopes their huge leaves will smother it. But I don’t know if that will work. I think I’ll try several methods in different areas of the yard and see which method is best. Then next year I’ll settle on one method and try and get rid of the stuff.

If you’ve been reading till now, thank-you. I hope you have a great day and productive week! As always, keep an eye on my YouTube channel for more video about the studio renovation. Talk to you later,
Jean O.

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Hi everyone! It’s been a busy week. The IKEA furniture arrived yesterday. The delivery guys would only take it to the front steps. Our son-in-law was here to help us bring it into the house. He also helped my hubby, Charlie, put together the sofa. They also managed a great start on the large 4’x6’ Besta china cabinet/storage unit for the dining area. Charlie and I finished it today. I unpacked quite a few boxes into it.

Charlie also put together a small Billy bookcase. So far I’ve been able to unpack several small book boxes into it. I figure I’ve unpacked about ten boxes today – a fair bit of it glassware and china. So far only one item was chipped. The living room, kitchen, and dining area are looking much better!

We had the pellet stove technician in. He fired up the stove in the studio and gave us the situation. It’s a very noisy older unit and awkward to start. Plus the automatic shut off isn’t working. We have a few choices: leave it and be careful when we use it, don’t use it, replace with a newer model, or just have the thing removed and taken away. I’m leaning towards the last option as it would give me more usable space in the studio.

Right now all sources of heat in this house are electric, which comes in on overhead lines. We’d like to have a backup heat source that isn’t electric. We’ve been investigating solar. We have a wonderful southwest exposure to our roof. Plus there’s a provincial grant for going solar. We’ll see.

The pellet stove technician also works with air exchangers. Ours doesn’t work, but he said he’d do some research to see if he could find a suitable replacement and quote us for it and installation. It would be real nice to have one up and running.

I finished washing and repairing my main studio wall earlier this week. Charlie was down there to wash them again and do touch ups today. Hopefully he can tape it off and start to prime it tomorrow.

I’m excited to be getting the studio underway finally. But first I have a few pieces of furniture to refinish: a small cupboard, a small bookcase that fits on top of it, and an old table. All of them need a serious cleaning and painting before going to live in my studio and dye kitchen.

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

Planning

Planning

I’m excited to be planning my new-to-me studio! It’s the family room in the basement of our new home. Furniture arrives next week sometime, according to IKEA. But we shall see. With Covid-19 nothing is a sure thing!

Whether it comes or not, we won’t be ready for it. I have light fixtures and bulbs to replace and walls to prep and paint. There will be precious little time for that. Right now Hubby is busy prepping and painting his own office. Then my studio, then the master bedroom, before finally painting the guest bedroom. That’s as far as we can go without major renovations to bathrooms and kitchen.

We had intended on all the renovations being finished before we moved in. However, Covid-19 got in the way of that, so we’re living in a bit of chaos right now. That’s okay. I have some room to work. Though I’m not sure I’ll unpack much of the studio furniture when it does arrive.

Below is a floor plan with furniture placement of how I want the finished room to look. Right now we cannot buy sofa beds from anywhere because of Covid-19. That’s okay. We’ll wait on that. We can do the rest of the room. It’ll be a good chance for me to cull my stuff and see if I can get everything to fit.

Proposed Studio Layout. We’ll see what actually works when we unpack and start working in the space!

My primary concern is to improve the lighting. Right now the room is fine on sunny days. But if it’s overcast, evening, or night time the additional lighting in the room just isn’t good enough for me to hook rug and see colors properly.

We have a pellet stove in one corner of the room that looks like it hasn’t been used in ages. I called a pellet stove technician to come check it out and make sure it’s still serviceable. If so, great! If not, then it will be removed. I’m not sure we need one. It doesn’t get very cold here.

I made a video of the current “before” state of my room and posted it here on my YouTube channel. Check it out!

In my studio…

I’m back in my studio after sale day at the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair.   I actually sold well and had lots of inquiries, but the wind was gusting so badly in the afternoon we had to close up shop early.  Product was hitting the ground.  That was not cool.  So we packed it in and came home.

I’ll have to rethink my plans for next year.  I’m thinking of doing another sale later in the year, after all the inclement weather we seem to get at the CVAF Street Fair.  But we shall see.  The cost of the other sales are quite high…over $200 for a small booth 10’x10’…  I don’t know…  Hubby and I are thinking of alternatives.

Meanwhile, if you were at the sale and planning to pick something up the last hour or so of it, you can contact me through email <jo6865@gmail.com> or phone: 306-737-9950.  If you’re from outside of Canada it’s best to contact me by email.  We can arrange appointments for viewing rug hooking, and purchasing supplies, and materials.  If you are interested in signing up for classes you can check out my classes page here on the website and send me a note through the contact form at the bottom.

I managed to start “Escapees”, my nasturtium wall hanging, at the Street Fair, but honestly the wind was so bad I spent most of my time holding up the display, especially in the afternoon.  Still, I have some of it picked out and ready to go.  I’m nailing down more colours right now.

After coming home and putting away sale stuff, I decided a good cleaning out of the studio was in order.  I’ve spent the last two days on that.  I have a huge garbage bag of stuff to get rid of either by selling or donating, but the bulk of it is done.  I don’t know.  I use a lot of fibre and sell a fair bit, but it seems like the stuff multiplies!  My shelves are full to bursting!

This week I’ll be cleaning more, and finishing up some odds and ends in the studio.  I have a few wall hangings that need hanging sleeves, price tags, and to be uploaded to the website.  I have some narrow strips that need to be cut and put into my extra stripettes bin for future hooking or sale.

I have company arriving the end of the week, and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are the annual multicultural festival days in town – Mosaic.  I hope to enjoy both. 🙂

Weekly Review – Upcoming Show

Hi everyone.  This week has been busy.  I have been preparing for an upcoming show and sale.  I relabeled and packaged up “Dancing Tree” and “Blue-eyed Grass” for the Art Gallery of Regina Salon Show and Sale.  I’ll drop them off at the gallery in the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre later today.  The show starts March 22nd, 2017 and goes till May 5th.  I’ll be at the opening briefly on March 22nd, which is between 7 and 9 PM.  If you want to meet me there, contact me first to make sure we don’t miss each other.

If you’d like a studio tour while you’re in town for the show, please let me know ahead of time.  I will be away from the studio for two weeks in April.

I also managed to update and write more of a lesson plan for my student this weekend.  I am looking forward to exploring the world of rug hooking with her.

This week I am sorting through my greys and blacks and doing a full deconstruction of wool clothing.  In the past it was partly done, but not wholly.  So now I am cutting off seam finishes, ripping the fabric (pants, jackets, and skirts) down to a size that a cutter will handle easily, and pressing the pieces.  Then I’ll put them away.  This is taking surprisingly longer than I thought it would.  So far I’ve devoted four hours to the greys alone.  I figure I have about that to go.  I have a lot of grey and black fiber.  My goal is to save some space in my storage units.

Hope everyone has a great St. Patrick’s Day!  I’ll be celebrating with the boarder today.  Hubby is off to a supper with some ex-coworkers to talk shop and do some mentoring.  It’s pizza night here.  Might have to throw in a green salad! 🙂

In my studio…

In my studio…

This week is a week of preparation for Christmas for us.  I have yet to do any Christmas baking or cooking.  I will do a bit, but not a lot.  We are not in great need of a lot of fat and sugar! 🙂

I am focused on cleaning up the sunroom studio.  I am halfway there.

I am also focusing on uploading the end of the wall hangings on the website.

Plus I am focused on finishing my online courses.

Wishing everyone a fun and productive week this week!  Don’t forget to enjoy the season amidst all the preparations. 🙂

In My Studio…

In My Studio…

Time to reboot here and redirect energies.  This week I’m hoping to get a few things accomplished.

  • I have a few wall hangings by my chair that require finishing,
  • I have “Moss” to work on,
  • I think I need to focus on my website,
  • I need to seriously clean up my sunroom studio.  It’s a mess.

Hope everyone has a great week! 🙂

In my studio…

In my studio…

ornaments-etsy-21a

This week things are chugging along.  I spent part of the weekend creating draft posts on Etsy for Christmas ornaments.  They will be up for sale this week.  Shipping in Canada is free.  Shipping to the US is $5 CAD.

I am finishing a few wall hangings and packaging some as well.  Some will need certificates of authenticity, and some will not.  I include certificates for original work 6″ x 6″ and larger.  Each certificate includes:

  • the name and size of the piece,
  • the materials it is made from,
  • the number it is on my inventory list,
  • the date it was completed,
  • my signature, and the date I signed it.
  • cleaning instructions and
  • my contact information.

I do hope to figure out what to do with “Moss” this week.  I may have to do some dyeing yet.

Also I hope to get in and pick up my sunroom studio a bit.  It looks like a tornado hit!

I’m putting the creation of more fiber bundles to sell on hold for now.  My priority needs to be putting things up on Etsy for Christmas, and then the new website, and lastly making more fiber bundles for sale.

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Inspiration Wednesday

Today is inspiration of a different kind.  You know I said I’m working on decluttering and cleaning out my sewing room.  Well here’s a few photos to show you how far I was by this morning.

It isn’t pretty yet, but it’s getting there.  And the landing outside the room is overflowing with stuff to leave the house.  I am actually working on emptying this big wall unit to make way for more units with doors, like the one to the right of it, that will be easier to move. Then I will be  moving my rug hooking studio upstairs.  At least that’s the current plan.

To make me feel better about the process I’ve been listing things online for sale, and have actually sold some things! I also have a bag for Community Living – an organization that helps people with mental health – and a bag for the Salvation Army Thrift Store.  I’m also setting aside craft supplies for a local Art Exchange and a sewing/stitching/quilting group I know about.

 

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An empty design wall! 🙂

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The cupboard doors closed.  The drum carder in a new, more convenient location.  And empty shelves above! 🙂

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This is the large storage unit I’m working on now.  It’s 8′ long x 7′ high.  I decided to keep the yarn above and the one striped  box so far.  Still have to work on the left side and the area under the light.

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I am slowly working my way around the room to the bookcase.  I’ve already decluttered and sorted magazines, and I’ve moved most of my binders over here.  The drawer units are full of scrapbooking supplies I never have time to use.

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Working on this still. Mostly getting like with like.  I am hoping to sort through the fabric (some 30 years old!) and hang what I want to keep in the closet on tiered pants hangers.

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Still lots of rod space for hanging fabric.