I have been incredibly blessed this summer. I just finished my third artist retreat for the summer. We went back to Scots Bay, Nova Scotia for the weekend.
This time I focused on plein air hooking. I took all my miscellaneous leftover “worms” – strips of wool and silk fabric, pieces of yarn and nylon stockings – and tried to hook the scene of Scots Bay from the window of the cottage.
Why indoors? It was far too hot and sunny for me to be outdoors. I could have moved to the deck and been one foot from where I was, but why? I would have loved to go down on the beach to paint and hook, but the sun and heat prevented that. I think I need to take my artist retreats earlier than July and later than August, when the weather is cooler.
But I’m not complaining! These three retreats have been great for jump starting my creativity and getting things done! My camera has been mega busy, followed by my paintbrushes and my rug hook. Plus I have managed some reading and work on my business plan. I also have had great quality time with Hubby. I’m hoping to have a couple of retreats a year from here on.
I was on a wonderful trip to New Brunswick this past weekend. Partly to see family and partly to deliver all my scrapbooking cabinets and supplies. While there I had the opportunity to visit the gardens at the Irving Plantation in Bouctouche. I took a lot of photographs and did some sketching.
While in New Brunswick I also stopped at the Art Shack store in Moncton. It’s a friendly little store with knowledgeable staff. I picked up a couple of watercolour pads for my next retreat. I’m hoping to go to the cottage again before fall – this time for photography, sketching, painting, and hooking.
Frenchy’s!!! Need I say more? All the local rug hookers know Frenchy’s means fun! We stopped in Shediac and I went into a Frenchy’s thrift store for the first time in about ten years the other day. To be fair I lived about 1500 miles from the nearest Frenchy’s up until six months ago. I spent half an hour in the store and came out with two silk blouses, a wool skirt, a long wool vest, and lots and lots of pantyhose. Total cost was under $45 CAD.
What am I going to do with this haul? I am going to wash it, deconstruct it, and dye the nylons in preparation for rug hooking. Then I will cut it into swatches and strips to use some and sell some. It all sounds like a fun time to me!
That’s it for today folks. I hope you all have a wonderful week.
This weekend I decided to rest and relax and just “be”. Funny thing about that. As soon as I made that decision oodles of possible activities and things to do crowded my mind and I ended up scheduling them in my planner on my ‘to do’ list. So in reality this weekend became a time for planning and doing.
What did I plan? Saturday I rested, tended to my deck garden, and put down everything I could think of to do in regards to my business in another mind map – a six page mind map. I also dried some peppermint.
I also connected with someone who wants to buy all my scrapbooking supplies. My goal is to deliver them before the end of the month. I’ll be truly dependent on digital scrapbooking after that.
What did I plan Sunday? My next retreat! I also finished drying the peppermint – there was a lot of it – and dried some parsley. Plus I made sourdough discard crackers.
I also managed to serge the edges of all the patterns I drew on linen during my retreat. Plus I colour planned a medium sized African Dream wall hanging. It’s about 10” x 16”.
I set up some books for my business. I had officially shut my business down the end of 2018, when we made the decision to move in 2019. Now we’re relocated I’m wanting to keep records for the taxman or woman. Plus, I’d like to know my income and expenses for my own general knowledge…and planning. I’m in the process of starting my business up again now.
After a walk Sunday evening I updated my plan. LOL! So much for sitting and just “being”!
Artist Retreat, that is. This week I had a lovely time at a friend’s cottage on the Bay of Fundy with my husband and my creative gear.
I took far too much stuff. We could barely fit it all in the car! But we did! Aside from gear we had to take clothes, bedding, food, and water for five days. Hubby took his bicycle to fit in some riding. We both took technology to work on various projects. It was forecast to rain.
I took work to finish. I took my camera for inspiration photos. And the tripod, just in case. I took my rug hooking frame and South Korea rug. I took my sketchbook and watercolour pencils. I took reading material and watching material. Also I downloaded some podcasts. I took linen and Red Dot interfacing to transfer those patterns I enlarged last weekend.
Our destination had no internet, so I used my cell phone to create a hot spot every day in order to finish an Udemy course on composition.
I organized for this retreat using an app called Simple Mind. It is a mind mapping app that allows me to see a lot of information in point form at one glance, and how it’s all interrelated. I was able to adjust my retreat plans as it happened, to accommodate for finishing things early. Not being distracted can really be a big boon to productivity.
We went on a lot of walks, with and without camera. Some to the beach, some not. Some with sketchbook, some without.
I read “The Art of Botanical Painting” by Margaret Stevens. It’s a great book if you want to be a botanical painter. I am not that detail oriented. I did garner quite a few colour and composition ideas for an upcoming series of wallhangings I plan to develop.
I also took Keith West’s “How to Draw Plants”, “Nature Drawing “ by Clare Walker Leslie, and “Drawing Scenery: landscapes and Seascapes” by Jack Hamm. These were more for reference. I haven’t drawn a seashore close up before.
I did manage some watercolour sketching for future design ideas. Lus I finished the Hearts wall hanging and coasters.
It’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.
Today I decided to go through my work basket beside my comfy chair and see what was there that I could work on. I found a lot more than I bargained for! Some of these unfinished projects date back a decade or more ago!!! I’m going to try and work my way through them.
Not much happening these days. We enjoyed the weekend at Wascana Lake watching the Canadian National Championship Dragon Boat Races. We had friends racing in one of the boats.
I’m still attending a cardiac gym three times a week, which wears me out. However I badly need it.
A few weekends ago we drove up to Last Mountain Lake Wildlife Refuge and watched the various birds and waterfowl. The pelicans, black terns, and red-winged blackbirds were out in force!
We noticed a lot of building construction at the headquarters site. Looks like a new observation tower is going up, as well as a new information kiosk.
Two weekends ago we went out to Moose Jaw, SK to walk some of the trails in Wakamow Park, down by the river. Afterwards we stopped in at Grant Hall Hotel Lounge for appetizers, drinks, and dessert. We had a lovely time!
We’ve been enjoying our summer by going to places we’ve never been the entire time we’ve lived in Saskatchewan, or places we’d like to say good-bye to. We’ve been here 24 years now. It’s the longest we’ve ever lived anywhere. Now our children have moved east we have no family here. We are moving closer to family.
If you’ve been reading and made it this far, thank-you. Take care and have a great week!
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.
Hi all! We’re back from Alberta. We stopped in at the Harris-Warke Gallery in Red Deer to see Alberta artist Doris Charest’s exhibit. It was lovely work! While visiting Ms. Charest later I found out she has published an adult coloring book on a nature theme. I looked at some of the coloring pages and commented she needed to find a rug hooking pattern maker to turn some into patterns. For anyone interested, her website is dorischarest .
We spent time visiting family and friends for most of the week. Not much artsy going on. I did finish knitting my Garter Stitch Scarf from Shannon Okey’s book “Spin to Knit”.
We really enjoyed our time in Banff this past weekend. We took time to check out the local cuisine, go for walks, check out the Luxton Buffalo Nation Museum, and we even checked out the nearby town of Canmore.
Moving on to Red Deer and Edmonton. Saw a gorgeous art exhibit in Red Deer by Doris Charest. It’s upstairs in the Sunworks Home and Garden store, in the Harris Warke Gallery. There’s a cafe right there for a snack before or after viewing her artwork.
Made it to Edmonton tonight. Just chilling out and having a good time.
We made the trip to Calgary area one day later than planned. There was a snowstorm in Calgary Monday and we decided to avoid it. Or so we thought. We headed out on the road Tuesday and found the snowstorm between Moose Jaw and Swift Current. But it was okay. Only an hour long drive at 80 kph behind a semi-truck before we drove out of it. Otherwise our trip over was smooth sailing. Stopped at the Swift Current and Medicine Hat malls to do some shopping and to stretch our legs. Arrived in Calgary area by suppertime. Our hosts fed us a wonderful supper and we chatted the evening away, while knitting.
Hubby and I have been busy visiting IKEA in Calgary, checking out their furniture. When we move we want to leave most of our furniture behind. We’re checking out what we might replace it with and how much it will cost us. In case you’re wondering, it works out to about $1500-2000 per room to furnish an entire room. We decided to keep our old Billy bookcases because they are 1.5″ deeper and more stable than the new ones.
We also visited Okotoks and stopped in at the Heartland Cafe for tea and dessert. I had the best Carrot Cake with Pecans there. And huge slices! After snack I headed to Unwind Wool, while Hubby headed to the bike shop. I found some of the 150th Birthday yarn from Fleece Artist there and purchased enough to make quite a few hats and neck warmers. I have plans to gift these ones.
Since being here I have finished another homespun hat and started a homespun garter stitch scarf. Hope to finish it by the time I go home.
I hope everyone has had a good week and will continue to have a great weekend! Take care and God bless.
Hi everyone! Finished my slouch tam hat from the free pattern, Three Way Chunky Hat, on Ravelry. Had to take off the ribbed edging and reknit it on needles two sizes smaller. It worked! Fits like a charm now. Though one lady did comment the hat was too big for me.
Not much happening here…well…not rug hooking related, unless you count ‘liking’ various rugs on Facebook and Instagram! I’m loving what I’m seeing from other rug hookers these days. Lots of variety, and excellent quality work.
I’ve been focused on knitting. I started the blue Corriedale/BFL (Blue-Faced Leicester) wool hat from handspun yarn. It is a pattern from Ann Budd’s book “A Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns”, modified of course. I’ve knit the pattern once before for someone, slightly different yet again. This will take a while to knit as it’s on 4 mm circular needles. However, it will be a nice, warm, comfy hat.
Aside from that we’ve been busy with friends. Last night I was out with a friend to a movie called “I Can Only Imagine”. It was a stunning movie of forgiveness. A great theme song too.
We’ve had friends in several times for meals and games. I thoroughly enjoy those times too.
I took a friend out to an art gallery opening reception. The art was gorgeous. The people were a bit of a disappointment. No one greeted us or talked to us the entire time. Really weird. Usually gallery staff are right there to answer questions.
We had a gentleman come look at the house, but I suspect no sale yet. No problem. We actually were going to hold off putting the house up for sale till next year, due to extenuating circumstances in the extended family. The only way this man made it through the door to look is because he knew someone who knew Hubby, and well, one thing led to another. Right now there is far too much work to be done on the house to make it desirable to a buyer. It’s in a great location, but it definitely is a fixer-upper! Solid house, just we haven’t been able to keep on top of things over the years, what with everything else going on in our lives.
I’m off to visit relatives the next couple of weeks. I’ll try to post, but can’t make any promises. My iPad Mini and iPhone don’t like the Word Press app for posting to blogs. Frustrating. We’ll see. I’ll keep posting to my Facebook page – JLT Studios though.
I’ve been busy catching up from our trip a week or so ago. I’ve been reviewing my photos from the South Korea trip and have plans to sketch a wall hanging using roof tile end caps at the inspiration.
However, I managed to pick up a weird cold that is on again off again, or has been for over a week now. BUT I have also been busy restocking our freezer and pantry for the remainder of the year. Lots of baking and cooking happening. Our boarder is happy. Or at least will be until I present him with some vegetarian dishes. They are now added to our rotation in the interests of me losing some weight and improving my overall health.
While in British Columbia, I stopped by Granville Island in Vancouver. Had a great time chatting with shop proprietors and purchased some lovely silk yarn and ribbon, and some wonderful wool yarn. I’ve already sold one of the skeins of silk ribbon. I look forward to trying the others out before putting them up for sale.
Silk yarn and ribbon.
Here’s to feeling better and hope to soon be able to do something around here! Have a good week! Talk to you later.
We had a great time on our trip to B.C. A beautiful drive down the Fraser Canyon led us to a very busy lower mainland. Spent time visiting with family and checked out 10th Ave. Found the lovely Figaro’s for a real cup of tea and dessert.
Saturday we headed out to Granville Island. We checked out the Market. I had great fun poking around, and picked up yarn for hooking at SanJo Silk and the Fibre Art Studio. Also checked out Maiwa and Paper-Ya. Picked up a quality notebook for next year’s household bullet journal.
Sunday we went on a very informative walking tour of Chinatown. It was a free tour, which meant you tipped for it. The lady who gave the tour was excellent. She talked and walked us for 1 1/2 – 2 hours! We finished at a Chinese pharmacy that had dried geckos in it, to treat asthma and back problems. I’m curious how they’d use it…
We had a late lunch, and then walked back to my sister-in-law’s condo. Checked out some design features in the cityscape on the way.
Monday we checked out the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Museum and the Britannia Museum. It was a day of lots of walking. We had a beautiful walk down by the shore in Steveston.
Tuesday we headed to Vancouver Island to visit friends.
Brentwood Bay, B.C.
We spent Wednesday in Sidney shopping thrift stores and bookstores for anything rug hooking related. I found a book on Celtic knotwork and calligraphy I plan to make use of. I found a rug hooking book for my friend who is learning to hook now.
Thursday we headed up Island to Chemainus in the rain to visit Val Galvin of Renditions in Rugs in her home studio. We took the Brentwood Bay to Mill Bay ferry. Quaint and small, but got the job done. A fun ride, even in the rain!
View from ferry heading to Mill Bay from Brentwood Bay, BC.
Val is very friendly and helpful. I was able to purchase some pencil hooks from her, so if you’re looking, keep an eye on my page or contact me to have a look and a try. Thanks Val!
Jean Ottosen and Val Galvin
Friday we took the ferry back to Vancouver to be with family.
Ferry to Vancouver (Tsawwassen), B.C.
My sister-in-law and I had a great time checking out Michelle Sirois-Silver’s studio on her Open Studio Saturday. It was nice to see her again and chat. I loved seeing her work with zippers in it! While there I took a quick photo of the books on the counter. I’m always on the lookout for a good book! I’m curious to know which of these Michelle found most helpful. Guess I’ll have to interlibrary loan them and check them out. 🙂
My sister-in-law and I checked out the Artisan Market in the West Vancouver Community Centre. I dropped a fair bit of change on homemade jams and jellies, chocolates, etc. It was deadly on the pocketbook because everyone was using Square, meaning they all took credit cards!
We also attended the Vancouver Institute’s lecture Saturday evening on the global arms trade. It was very interesting. Mr. Andrew Feinstein from South Africa (well now from London) spoke. I had no idea how widespread it was and how bad it was.
Sunday we were at the Vancouver Art Guild Show and Sale. Lots of good work there, but the artists who stuck out for me were Beatrice Watson and Robert Kitt. Margaret Stott had some whimsical work that was excellent as well.
Monday and Tuesday we spent the days driving home.
Evening in the Rockies.
Dawn in the Rockies.
It’s a long haul from Vancouver to Regina! But Hubby was eager and I was glad to arrive before another snow storm. Yes, Regina was covered in a blanket of beautiful white snow when we arrived, and more followed. Hubby has been out shoveling and I’ve been busy with laundry and making a grocery list. And so life goes on! A wonderful trip and a great big thank-you to everyone who made it possible!
Hi everyone! I’m back on the road again! Hubby and I are heading to the west coast to Vancouver and Vancouver Island. I’m hoping to check in with Val Galvin in Chemainus for a fibre fix. Possibly I’ll be able to check in with a rug hooking retreat at Yellow Point on the Island too. We’ll see about our timeline. We are visiting friends for the most part.
In Vancouver I hope to check in with a fibre gallery I discovered. Hopefully we’ll get to Granville Island to check out the Craft Council of BC’s gallery and a few other galleries there. I would like to check Michelle Sirois-Silver’s studio out on Nov. 4th as well. Once again, family comes first.
We’ve spent the last week in Edmonton reconnecting with family and friends. Had a good visit with an artist friend from long ago. I brought my sketchbook and laptop so I could sketch some rug designs from our South Korea trip. I managed about four drawings so far. These are going to be much larger wall hangings than I’m used to doing.
I’ve also been knitting on the Baby Cardi from “60 Quick Baby Knits”. I’m almost done the second sleeve.
I also took part in the Facebook Black & White Photography Challenge. I didn’t do as well as I’d wished to, but considering my distractions, I did well.
I’m off to enjoy a breakfast here at the hotel. Hoping to make Vancouver by nightfall. Take care everyone and have a great weekend!
Had a great time in Winnipeg. My niece beat her personal best times in swimming in all her races. So proud of her!
While in Winnipeg we saw the Picasso exhibit in the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the more traditional art exhibit. Also saw The Manitoba Museum and The Museum of Human Rights. Stopped in at the Assiniboine Park and down at The Forks. There was free entertainment every night at The Forks. We made it down a couple of nights. Checked into several really good restaurants in town – Kiwa Korean Cuisine and Tuxedo Village Family Restaurant (Greek food) stand out at the moment.
Came home and Monday we had a gas insert installed in our fireplace. Tuesday we had window cleaners here to clean all the windows in the house. Today we had a painter come finish the paint job on the house.
Yesterday I went with a friend to a nearby beach town to drop something off and have dinner out. Today Hubby and I went to Assiniboia to see the Shurniak Art Gallery, have lunch, and check out the library. We drove home through Ogema and stopped for ice-cream. Cute little town.
Now I have no excuses. I have to figure out my website situation. I can’t post photos and I can’t renew any of the plugins on it. I will talk with my website developer this week about it. Apparently my theme is no longer being supported by WooCommerce. 🙁
I had a delightful day trip last week to Dilke, SK. Found this gorgeous fieldstone church there. One of the town residents opened the door for us to peek inside. I believe it was called St. Lucy’s Anglican when it was being used. It hasn’t been used in over two years.
This past weekend was interesting. We were creative in finding places with air conditioning to hide out in. Our house doesn’t have a/c. One of the places we ended up was the MacKenzie Art Gallery. I really loved viewing the Alex Janvier exhibit. It was awesome, informative, and sad at the same time. I wished Mr. Janvier was there to talk to though. The placards describing the work didn’t go near far enough!
After seeing Janvier’s exhibit we did a quick walkthrough of the rest of the Gallery, then headed to the Gallery shop. Hubby waited outside while I went in to look around. About 15 minutes later I went to leave. To my surprise there was no one else there! No staff, no customers. AND the grated doors were closed and locked up! With a sign saying the staff member would be back in half an hour! Oh my! Locked in a museum shop! Not exactly my worst nightmare. Ha! Actually, it would have been nice, if the staff had been there to answer some questions.
I caught the attention of a woman trying to get into the shop. We were laughing at our predicaments – me trying to get out and her trying to get in. I caught the attention of the security guards who by then had figured out something was going on that was abnormal. One of them came through a side door, through a workroom, and into the shop to escort me out.
Hubby decided I needed to be treated to dessert out to help me deal with the “trauma”. LOL! We headed to a lovely Regina restaurant called La Kasbah de Maroc for dessert crepes. They have a lovely Toasted Coconut, Banana Crepe, with Caramel Sauce.
It will be a mixed bag kind of week. We are having work done on the house. It may cause some disruptions. That, plus selling items online.
I will be working more on “Escapees”.
I also have some Certificates of Authenticity to print and fill out.
Plus I want to prepare a couple wall hangings for sale with new hang tags.
I’m wanting to design some wall hangings, but it’s too hot to do anything here. We do not have air conditioning. The outside air temperature hit 36 C yesterday. Thankfully we live in a big old house that takes a long time to heat up. Especially if doors, windows, and curtains are left closed. Unfortunately that makes it too dark for hooking. But even with our fans running, it’s hot!!!
Dancing Sheep – CASA art gallery – “Ganglamb Style”
For those of you following me on social media, you know I’ve been busy buying supplies, touring art facilities, and visiting art galleries. I’ve also been researching artist retreats and residencies. Unfortunately my iPad and iPhone would not let me post to my blog. That will have to be remedied somehow. Not sure how. That’s the quick recap, now for the details.
We headed to Edmonton to check in with family and relax. My stepmother is a prolific knitter and I spent a good hour or so one day going through part of her book collection, taking photos of ones that might interest me. I’ll check them out at the library first.
Elk Island National Park – beaver lodge
While visiting Edmonton we went to Elk Island National Park for an inspirational (?) outing. We went on a walk by Astotin Lake with tons of mosquitoes and frogs! I think I managed to take some good beaver lodge photos. Plus later we were able to catch a bison photo or two in the bison paddock. Three cheers for Parks Canada and their free pass for Canada’s 150th birthday!
After a few days in Edmonton we headed south on the old highway – Hwy. 2A – through Wetaskiwin, Ponoka, to Lacombe. Hubby and I like to find local places to eat – places with homemade meals and unusual items on the menu. On the way to Edmonton it was Lionel’s Place in Vegreville, where we had the Ukrainian platter, with perogies, cabbage rolls, and kobassa. It was delicious! It also came with a tossed salad with olives and pickled beets! And how could we turn down home baked lemon meringue pie and a cup of tea? So when we were closing in on Lacombe I pulled out my cell phone, did a trusty Google search, and turned up the Morrison House Cafe. It is a lovely older home where the main floor was turned into a cafe and the upstairs is where the owners live. It was very busy and I was glad I called ahead to reserve a table. We had a wonderful meal there. However, because it was so busy it was an hour before we were on the road again.
Legacy Studio – wool, linen, “Primary Fusion” kit, bent handled scissors, and ProChem sample cards.
That made us a bit late for meeting up with Laura Johnson at her home studio – Legacy Studio – in Cochrane, Alberta. But Laura is very kind and accommodating. We arrived an hour after we thought we would and I spent another hour in her studio shopping and purchasing supplies for this coming year. I am now supplied with wool and linen. Laura also solved my problem with cleaning my drum carder. I purchased her flick carder out from under her. It works like a charm Laura! I was also able to pick up two rug hooking books – “Scrappy Hooked Rugs” and Deanne Fitzpatrick’s new book,”Rug Hooking with Deanne Fitzpatrick” – and a “Primary Fusion” kit on how to use ProChem dyes.
We raced from Laura’s studio to relatives in Okotoks via Bragg Creek. Originally we were going to stop in Bragg Creek, but we just didn’t have time. We were already an hour late arriving at Okotoks. We are glad we arrived when we did, because not long after our niece arrived with a birthday cake for her mom. I had no idea it was my sister-in-law’s birthday! To say we were unprepared is putting it mildly. I went out with my sister-in-law in the evening and was glad to see her friends, where we went, celebrated her birthday too.
Unwind Wool – yarn and book
While in Okotoks I had the pleasure of visiting the new knitting shop downtown, Unwind Wool. It just opened in February and is quite small, but packs quite a bit into a small space! I walked out with a lot of yarn, and a new knitting book.
“Prairie Sky – Altocumulus 13”
My sister-in-law also took me to a spin-in at a friend’s place. I took some rug hooking with me and finished a “Prairie Sky – Altocumulus” wall hanging there. I was fascinated by what I was seeing at Robin’s house. Robin had a weaving studio too. We wandered upstairs to see her Canada 150 project – a large blanket she had spun and dyed warp for that was on the floor loom awaiting her weft. It was the most beautiful warp I’ve ever seen! Every colour of the rainbow! And I didn’t get a picture of it. Sigh…too caught up in her studio and how she did things. I quizzed her up about her dyeing methods. I noticed a sketchbook being used to record weaving patterns and asked about that as well. I need to use my sketchbook more.
Which brings me to our next stop – Michaels. There was a Buy One Get 50% Off the second deal on large sketchbooks. I bought. I now have two large sketchbooks to work in this year.
Later that day Hubby and I headed off to Lethbridge. It was quite funny because it turned out my sister-in-law was heading to Lethbridge the day after with a group of weavers. They were going to have lunch, visit the Lethbridge weavers, and tour CASA – the art center there. My sister-in-law wanted to know if I wanted to join them for lunch and the tour. You bet I did! So we had a wonderful time of it. The weavers took us up to their studio in CASA and we spent time looking at warp and chatting with them.
CASA – Weaving studio
One of the ladies had just come back from a residency in Iceland. That got me thinking. It never occurred to me there would be residencies for fibre artists. I chatted her up a bit and noted the link for where she found the residency. I spent considerable time later in the evening and during our visit researching art residencies. There really is nothing out there for rug hookers. The more I thought about it, the more problematic it became. In discussing it with other relatives we were visiting the question came up “What is your goal for the retreat/residency?” and “Why not design your own?”. Both very good points. I sat down and designed one on the spot. I think I will be giving the idea a dry run at home though. I may have some quiet time in July for it. We’ll see.
After spending time at CASA in the weaving studio a young man showed up to give us a tour of the facility. We asked a lot of questions I’m afraid, and he ran over his allotted time, but it was fascinating! An artist can become a member for $200 per year, and rent a cupboard space that is about 3′ x 8′ with a locked door for another $200 per year. That gives you access to a shared studio space for 24/7. I could go for that. Just over $1/day for studio space! What a deal!
CASA – 3D studio
CASA – Pottery classroom. They have a gas fired kiln too.
My sister-in-law and I parted at CASA and I met up with Hubby at the public library. We didn’t spend time looking around however. Instead we headed right out to the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens. We had a relaxing time walking the gardens and taking photos. I have lots to work with for awhile.
In the morning, before I went to lunch with the weavers and to CASA, my husband’s cousin took me to the CCWG (Canadian Wool Growers) shop. I picked up some roving to spin. Then we went to Knitting Time, the local yarn shop, and I picked up yarn to hook and knit. Then it was off to Marshall’s – the local fabric store – to check it out and pick up a few sundry items.
Lopi destined for wall hangings or rugs.
A word about Knitting Time…I was fascinated by this small shop. The proprietor not only carries yarn for knitting, but also fibre for crocheting, thread for tatting, rayon thread for Brazilian embroidery, cross-stitch supplies, felting supplies, and spinning supplies. Plus she has pattern books too. For a small shop she packs a lot in there!
The next day found us at SAAG (the Southern Alberta Art Gallery) checking out exhibits we did not understand. I wish I could have talked to one artist in particular. I liked her exhibit. I think I understand what it’s about, but when my very logical and practical Hubby started asking questions, I was at a loss for words.
We also went to the University of Lethbridge to check out their gallery, only to find it closed. But they did have the hallway exhibit – “Habits and Habitats” – up for viewing. That was good.
Habits and Habitats
On Monday, yesterday, we headed home. We stopped in Medicine Hat and Swift Current. Tried to get into the art gallery in Swift Current, only to find it closed and them taking down the exhibit we wanted to see. Oh well. They did have a few pieces of the artist’s work in a display case in the library in the same building as the art gallery. So we ended up checking out the library.
I found a book, “Where Women Create” by Jo Packham, which I took out and read on the way home. There are a few good ideas in the book that I will implement. I was reading the description of some of the studio spaces to Hubby. He was floored to think some people have more space than I do. lol. I must admit, my crafting takes up two rooms in the house – one for rug hooking, and one for everything else. I keep trying to get it in order, but it seems as fast as I empty a space, it fills with something else.
We had supper in Moose Jaw at the Mitsu Cafe. There is a sushi bar in the back of the cafe, and you can order dessert from the cafe out front. We shared a Caramel Apple Crepe. It was huge! And delicious!
I knuckled down yesterday and dyed some fibre for “Escapees”. I needed a variety of lighter greens. My stash is mostly blue greens at this point, and I have a lot of them. Might need to colour plan a wall hanging to use some of those up. I also need oranges and grays for “Escapees”, but I have the grays from a long time ago, and the oranges were dyed earlier this year.
My website has been up and down this past week. There seems to be irregularities with it. I have my web developer working on it.
I’m thinking of sorting through my leftover worms and offering some for sale in the near future. I’ve been thinking of doing a scrappy rug for some time, but now “Escapees” has come up and it will probably be a while before I start something else. I seem to produce leftover worms at an amazing rate!
I’ve finished designing the photo book for our South Korea trip. Hubby and I are “letting it sit” for a few days before we send it in to be printed. He may have extra photos and text to add. I’ve been impressed enough with the program from this company that I’ve decided to create a mini portfolio through them. It would be more like a look book – just a taste of my work. It’s much smaller than the large book we’re doing for our trip. The trip book is 12″ x 12″ and 145 pages long. The portfolio book will be 5″x7″ and 100 pages long…or thereabouts. Not entirely sure yet. First we’ll see if the trip book turns out okay.
In big news: I will be off August 7th – 12th to watch my niece swim in the Canada Games. This is a great achievement for her and we are extremely proud of her.
Below are some of the results of Dye Day in more detail. I’m loving the casserole dye jobs. The photos are showing more white than there really is on the fabric. That’s wool on the left and silk on the right.
One of the objectives of my trip to South Korea was to explore the handmade textiles in the area. I had unexpectedly more difficulty with this than I thought I would. The first part of the trip we were in Busan and Gyeongju with friends just acclimatizing. The second part of the trip I was traveling with men. I counted myself lucky to convince them to go through textile museums, galleries, and shops with me at all. Poor Hubby left one shop in a daze after seeing the framed goldwork for 450,000 KRW. That’s roughly $450US for a 12″ x 12″ piece of exquisite goldwork embroidery. Worth every penny in my mind. But I digress…
Our first textile stop was to Dongdaemun Market in Seoul to order silk for rug hooking and pick up burlap for samplers for my students.
To understand Dongdaemun Market you have to think of a large warehouse, three buildings of it, 5 or 6 floors of it, all fabric/yarn/craft vendors. One whole building is fabric. Each vendor has a space about 10’x 10′ to sell their product. So, for the most part they just have small samples out. You check the samples, order what you want, pay for it, and then come pick it up the next day when they bring it in for you.
Dongdaemun Market is one of the largest fabric markets in Asia, and I was thankful to have help getting through it. I have a friend with contacts outside Seoul who were able to tell me exactly where to go. I got in, ordered the silk, and was out in half an hour. Our guide was amazed! It was definitely a lot quicker with him to translate for me.
As we went through various museums I’d stop and take photos of textiles and textile related items. I found some interesting artifacts at the National Folk Museum of Korea, an unscheduled stop we just happened across on the grounds of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Check out the old looms in the National Folk Museum of Korea.
Also the traditional dress of Korea.
We saw a lot of people walking around in traditional dress, especially women, because you have free access to key tourist sites if you wear traditional dress. It was a little weird seeing people of all nationalities in traditional Korean dress, but one got used to it quickly. I opted to not go for traditional attire because of comfort and time constraints. We were really moving through sites at the rate of 10 – 12 kms. per day.
One day was devoted exclusively to my request to see textiles. We stopped first at the Embroidery Museum of Korea. It had piecework or patchwork samples in it, but no embroidery. I was a bit mystified. There were a lot of books for sale. The only one I wanted to purchase actually did have embroidery photos in it and was selling for close to $150US. I regretfully walked out and went onto our next stop…the Chojun Textile and Quilt Museum.
The Chosen Textile and Quilt Museum was a small place, but larger than the Embroidery Museum. And it had displays that included embroidery. There was some lovely goldwork on display. The quilts were not all made by Koreans or in Korea. We were told that the exhibit is actually a partial display of a private collection amassed by a generous lady over the course of 40 years.
After purchasing a sample of Korean piecework and some postcards, we headed off to Gallery 0001010 at the recommendation of the lady at the Textile and Quilt Museum. She told us it was “in the basement” of Myeongdong Cathedral. Hmm…Myeongdong Cathedral has no basement we could discover. What it does have is an underground shopping mall nearby. Sure enough we found Gallery 0001010 in this underground mall!
We were in luck! Not only was the gallery there, but the quilt show was open, AND the artist, Lee Jae Woo, was there as well. I had the opportunity to chat with her and her friend, and to show the guys some quilting. It was a delight to meet her and her friend. These quilts were machine quilted. Lee Jae Woo learned quilting in the USA. The small size of the quilt pieces and blocks just awed me. Look at this one…three different levels of close up…
By the time we were finished Gallery 0001010 it was suppertime and we were ravenous. We had a great bite to eat at a local restaurant and shopped Myeongdong Market before heading back to the hotel for the night.
We also popped into the Hansangsoo Embroidery Museum in Bukchon Hanok Village. No photos were allowed and there was not much happening. I understand you can arrange to take silk embroidery lessons there if you plan in advance. I did not. There were some nice embroideries in there. They appeared to be mostly one particular artist’s work.
Other fibre things of interest? The South Koreans excel at knotwork. They create beautiful tassels and hang them from long strands of silk rope with elaborate knots made in them. Check the sides of this painted panel hanging in the National Museum of Korea in Seoul. This is not a particularly elaborate one. Our guide said it was actually quite easy to make. However I’ve made tassels and they aren’t always ‘easy’, and I have never been brave enough to try knot work this fine.
If you feel so inclined there is a Knot Workshop in Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul where you can go and take a workshop in creating a basic knot. It is best to book in advance though. Interestingly enough, there are a lot of workshops and little classes one can take if they book ahead. I simply did not have time to do them.
When I asked around about the lack of textiles Korean women commented they were too busy working from 8 AM to 10 PM to have time to do handwork. Most Korean women with families are up at 5 or 6 AM to prepare for the day and don’t get to bed till 11 PM or midnight. Most textile work was done by retired women, and women who could afford to do it. However, while that may generally be the case, I do know some South Korean mothers who make time for handwork, and do an excellent job of it. Our guide’s aunt hand painted and made beautiful fans for Hubby and I from scratch…after she finished her day job.
I was disappointed not to get to see the dye garden at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul, or the dye workshop located in or near Bukchon Hanok Village. I was just too tired. Hubby and I both agreed we need to go back again someday and see more of South Korea.
What a beautiful May day we have here. It’s overcast, just the way I like it. Don’t get me wrong. I like the sun. But sometimes the prairie sky can be too bright for me. It’s so intense in colour and brightness.
Yesterday Hubby and I had a delightful walk around Wascana Lake in the heart of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. You wouldn’t know that out in the middle of the Canadian prairies lay this jewel of a park that houses the lake. We watched all kinds of ducks and geese coming and going about their business. It was a magical time.
This past week I’ve been focusing on getting back to a normal sleep schedule and organizing 1500+ photos of South Korea. I’m still working on both. I want to get the photos organized so I can get started on my next wall hanging/rug. I’m debating whether this one will be a floor mat or not. I want to use my leftover worms for it. We shall see. It depends how the design works out. So this week is photo week, sketch week, and possibly design week.
Just a few reminders…
My work is currently in a group show at the Art Gallery of Regina until Friday.
Also, I am planning to take part in the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair again this year on May 27th from 10 AM – 4 PM. I received notification of where my booth will be located. For people looking for me, I will be at the far end of the Fair between Montague and Athol streets on the south side of the street. Maybe start walking the Fair from the Elphinstone Street end if you want to still have money and energy by the time you reach my booth!
In other news…I am being published for real this time. The information has gone to press. Stay tuned for further information. I’ll believe it when I see the article in the magazine!
We had a great time on our trip to South Korea folks. We flew from Regina to Vancouver to Incheon Airport outside Seoul. Took the KTX bullet train to Busan on the southeast coast. Visited there for two nights and then took the KTX to Gyeongju about an hour north of Busan. Visited there for one night and a friend picked us up to take us to Daegu (an hour north) to catch the KTX to Seoul. Spent the last five days of our trip in Seoul. Flew back from Incheon, to Vancouver, to Regina.
Adjusting to Korean time the two weeks before I left was a wise move. I had almost no jet lag or travel fatigue. Hubby tried to do it too, but only got about halfway to Korean time. He did fine, but slept a bit more than I did the first day. In Busan we were able to: go for a walk along the seawall just outside the hotel, meet our guide’s family for lunch, walk on Gwangalli Beach, visit Dongbaek Island, where APEC 2005 was held, visit Bay 101 – where they have open air restaurants, street food, and an open air pub. In the evening it is THE place to be in Busan. People were having a good time and taking selfies or photos all up and down the shoreline. I took a photo of all the people taking selfies!
The next day we visited the markets. We picked up some fish cakes at a shop in the Station, paid our respects to the people who died in the Sewol ferry disaster, we headed out and saw four markets in as many hours. We checked out Jalgalchi Fish Market, Book Street, and a couple other general markets.
In the afternoon we headed to Gyeongju. Had a great 24 hours there. Gyeongju is the old capital of the Silla kingdom of Korea from 57 BC to 935 AD. It was responsible for unifying Korea. We walked the archaeological sites, the Wolji Pond and pavilions, an ate a delicious duck bulgogi for supper! The next day it rained so we spent it indoors at the National Museum of Korea Gyeongju. We headed to Daegu in the afternoon and caught the KTX to Seoul.
Seoul was a blast! It is a happening city. At first we had the guide rent a car the first two days. We quickly realized this is NOT the way to get around Seoul. Taxis, buses, and subway are the way to go. Driving is downright dangerous. Hubby has lots of photos of motorcyclists doing some pretty interesting driving with some very interesting loads. We ditched the car for subway, bus, and taxi.
Places we saw:
Lotte World Tower
Namsan Tower (very commercialized)
Dongdaemun Market (for fabric)
Korea House (for lunch and again for an evening show)
Folk Museum of Korea (we needed more time for this)
Seoul Museum of History
Bukchon Hanok Village (viewed from a private observatory and enjoyed tea in a traditional tea house)
Jogyesa Buddhist Temple
Embroidery Museum of Korea
Chojun Textile and Quilt Museum
Gallery 1010 quilt exhibit by Lee Jae Woo (in an underground mall near Myeongdong Cathedral)
Myeongdong Market and street food
Gangnam Square and Street (Kakao Friends store, Korean Dessert Cafe, and Billy Angel Cake Co.)
National Museum of Korea – Seoul
We saw a lot and walked an average of 10-12 km/day, but I didn’t lose any weight. I had too much fun eating at various restaurants in town. Our guide took us for Korean-Japanese food a couple of times, pork belly (thick bacon folks), hot pot a few times, bibimbap a few times, and Korean BBQ. It was all good, but my, I was full by the end of the trip!
I hope you enjoy some of the shots from the trip in the slideshow above. 🙂
Hi everyone! Short post today. We’re off to South Korea by the end of the week. I am not sure I’ll have time to post while I’m gone. If not, be prepared for an onslaught of photos when I return in a couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to eating lots of bulgolgi, bibimbap, and galbi. Might even fit in some japchae. We’ll see. I also hear the seafood is great there, and I certainly could use more of that in my diet!
Aside from the food I am looking forward to some serious fabric shopping at Dongdaemun Market. We are going to the big tourist market at Insadong, but I’m not all that interested in souvenirs at elevated prices. We’ll see though. I might be pleasantly surprised.
Mostly my goal is to come home with a plethora of visual images for my rug hooking. I will be taking those up at various venues. We plan to visit two palaces, a Buddhist temple, two markets at least, two embroidery museums, a quilt & textile museum, a live performance, and a national museum, and that’s just some of what we are planning to do in Seoul. We are also traveling to Busan and Gyeongju with our ex-boarder and she is going to show us around in those cities. We’ve left all the planning for those up to her. Busan is her home town, and Gyeongju is an historical site for all of Korea. I am anticipating a fun, informative, busy, and tiring couple of weeks!
I finished hooking “Moss” late tonight. I purposely put off typing this blog post till it was finished! There is no excuse for it not being finished long before this. But there you go. I started it in September of 2016 and finished it in April 2017. That is pretty slow going for me. Though I did manage to get this website up and running in there.
“Moss” is, like “Dancing Tree”, an actual tree along the shoreline of Victoria, BC, this time down in the Oak Bay area. We stopped at a viewpoint nearby to gaze out at the ocean under leaden gray skies. It did rain eventually, as it is wont to do on Vancouver Island in the Fall. But my, I do love Vancouver Island!
I’m taking a break from hooking rug until we are back from South Korea. Who knows what kind of inspiration I’ll find there and what direction it will take my work.
I notice while I am very interested in nature, I am often more interested in man’s interaction with nature. My prairie canola fields under the bright blue skies, the children in a quinzhee or playing in a mud puddle, parks here in the city, a tree in full autumn foliage with a garage roof poking into the frame, a planted garden sprouting. Hmm…something to think about. I may end up re-writing my artist statement.
On the business side of things, I dropped off my business books this week so the accountant could do my taxes for me.
I’ve also had a magazine express an interest in writing about my work. But we shall see. The last time this did not pan out, so no more information unless it does! They did send a few questions to ask me. I’m hoping they rewrite my answers and don’t publish them verbatim!