Back Home Again!

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. 🙁

Have a great week everyone!

Week in Review

I’ve been having difficulties with my website this past week and weekend.  Please bear with me till we figure out what is going on.  Until then there will be no photos on the blog.

I have, however, managed to finish knitting my Painted Desert Shawl.  I need to weave in ends and block it.  Then it will be ready for a photo.

I have also worked a bit on “Escapees”.  Not as much as I’d like, but quite a bit none-the-less.

Plus we’ve had painters come and paint the exterior of the house.  They will have to come back and do some touch ups in a couple of weeks, but basically it’s done.

Next week there will be no blog posts.  I’ll be off in Winnipeg watching my niece swim in the Canada Games.  It will be a fun family time.  I hope everyone has a great week! 🙂

In My Studio

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!!!

 

Home Again!

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!

Mitsu Cafe – Caramel Apple Crepe

 

Dye Day

 

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.

 

Textiles of South Korea

Hubby and I at Dongdaemun Market in Seoul, South Korea.

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.

Floor loom, National Folk Museum of Korea, Seoul, South Korea.

Loom, National Folk Museum of Korea, Seoul, South Korea.

Also the traditional dress of Korea.

Korean Traditional Dress.

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 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 was a disappointment.  It had piecework or patchwork samples in it, but no embroidery.  I was a bit mystified as to why the name.  There were a lot of very expensive books for sale.  The only one I thought worth purchasing actually did have embroidery photos in it and was selling for close to $150US.  We walked out and went onto our next stop…the Chojun Textile and Quilt Museum.

This stop did live up to its name!  It was a small place, but larger than the Embroidery Museum.  And it had proper displays that included embroidery.  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.  The lady at the museum was kind enough to let us take a few photos…without flash.

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.  Unlike traditional Korean quilting these quilts were machine quilted.  Lee Jae Woo learned quilting in the USA.  Traditional piecework and quilting was done by hand.  Still, the small size of the quilt pieces and blocks just awed me.  Look at this one…three different levels of close up…

Hubby checking to make sure all the corners match!

Closer yet. Yes, those are smaller blocks even yet!

These small pieces were well under an inch square…more like a centimeter square. Amazing detail!

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, but 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.

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.

 

Welcome to May!

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

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

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

Just a few reminders…

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

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

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

To Korea and Back Again

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
Lotte Aquarium
Namsan Tower (very commercialized)
Gyeongbukgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
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)
Insadong
Jogyesa Buddhist Temple
Myeongdong Cathedral
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. 🙂

In my studio…or out…

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!

Weekly Review – Moss

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!

 

In my studio – Art Gallery of Regina

Hubby and I wandered over to the Art Gallery of Regina on the weekend to check out the Salon Show and Sale with fewer people around.  We took the opportunity to snap a few photos as well.  The show seems to be going well.

I am not fond of the way they wanted my work hung, but in order to meet the conditions of being in the show there was no alternative but to follow their directions.  They wanted all work hung from one nail, mine with a cord.  I prefer a hidden hanging system for my work and hang it that way at home.  I use two cup hooks at either side, just behind the edges of the wall hanging, and slip my hanging rods into those.  I think the cord and one nail cheapens the look of my work, and am not happy with it.

I hooked more this weekend.  “Moss” is coming along fine.  I should be finished hooking it by the end of the week.

Other than that, I’m busy switching to Korean time early to give me more time to enjoy the trip while I’m there.  I currently arise around 1 PM and go to bed around 4 AM.  It gives me lots of peace and quiet to think and read…and to watch the odd movie!  Ultimately my goal is to go to bed at 7 AM and get up at 3 or 4 PM.  Time is short to make that shift.

I am also getting my walking legs back in shape.  I see from our proposed schedule that there will be a lot of walking in South Korea.  So I am putting in a couple hours a day walking.  Thankfully I live in a good neighborhood for walking, though there aren’t many hills to practice climbing.  South Korea is quite mountainous, especially around Seoul, Busan, and Gyeongju, where we will be.

This week I’ll continue to hook on “Moss” and prepare for South Korea.  I have to provide my books to the accountant to do my business taxes while we’re gone, so it will be a busy week.  And I need to pick up an extra SD card for my DSLR camera.  It will be a productive week I hope.  But come Friday I’ll have fewer daytime hours to do things in.  I want everything purchased for the trip by then.

 

 

Weekly Review

I am doing fine trying to make a pre-trip time change.  I’m up till 3 AM these days and not awake till about 10 or 11 AM.  Halfway to Korean time.

I’ve been hooking on “Moss” this week.  It’s coming along fine.  I’m planning to be finished the hooking in a week’s time.

And I’m still working on a business plan.  I’m actually more of a visual person, so I suspect this plan will take the form of a vision board.

Test Post

I’m preparing to leave my laptop at home for our trip to South Korea.  This is a post done via my iPad to see if I’ve figured out how to post a blog post to my .ca site.  

On a rug Hooking note, I have been Hooking more on “Moss”. I’m getting excited to see the finished wall hanging!

Weekly Review – Loose Ends

I am busy preparing for our trip to South Korea in April.  Looking forward to new scenery and meeting friends and new people.  As a result I am tying up loose ends.  I am busy hooking more on “Moss” and hope to finish the hooking before I go.  I’m two thirds finished.

This week I finished preparing for the final From Start to Finish class tomorrow. I have to hook one more sample for me to demonstrate to my student, but that should not take long.

I spent this morning filling an ETSY order.  Just to let people know, I’ll be shutting down my ETSY shop gradually this spring and summer.  People will have to order from here on my website if they want my work, visit the SCC Fine Craft Boutique in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, or visit me in person at my studio (please contact me for an appointment).  I will maintain my presence on LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.  But my main focus will be Facebook and here on www.jeanottosen.ca .  I have nothing against Etsy.  I am just trying to streamline my online business.

I will be changing things around on my blog for awhile to see what works for my readers.  I have had a drop in readership since switching to the new blog.  Not sure what the issue is, but it is a significant drop, so I will be messing with things to see if I can get it back up there.

Hubby and I walked over to the Art Gallery of Regina Salon Show and Sale opening night Wednesday evening.  It was filled with people!  The exhibit is really good this year.  I encourage people to head over to the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre to take a look.  Afterwards we went to a nearby restaurant, La Bodega, for a decadent chocolate fondue for two and a cup of tea.

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

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The sky yesterday on our walk.  Love those clouds!

Good morning everyone!  I actually had a pretty good week this week, considering all the distractions in my life.  I was able to package most of my wall hangings and add cup hooks for hanging them to the packages.  Plus I was able to make a start with the certificates of authenticity.

I was also able to plan more of our trip to South Korea.  I’ve booked a hotel room already…six months in advance.  It seems hotel rooms go fast in Seoul.  I was already running into challenges finding a decent one in a decent location for a decent price for five nights!  Expedia kept raising prices on me and having disappearing deals every time I signed on.  So I ended up booking through Booking.com.

Plus I continued to practice my Korean.  I am at the point where I’m a bit discouraged I am not learning faster.  I read it and it all sounds so familiar.  But for the life of me I can’t remember how to say the words.  I guess that is all part of being older and trying to learn a new language.  I have three Korean friends who will be helping me over the weekend.

I am also continuing to work on my website.

Well it’s sunshiny here and I’m off for a walk.  Hope everyone has a great day today!

 

WIP Thursday

WIP Thursday

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Knit Cellular Baby Blanket – almost finished!

I am almost finished the knit baby blanket!  Only a few more rows to go!  I want to try a new cast off method.  I’ll be checking in with my friend about that.

As for “Moss”…I am decidedly unhappy with it and haven’t worked on it all week.

Instead I’ve been preparing wall hangings for sale on Etsy and working on my new website.

I did not get to the Certificates of Authenticity yesterday.  So I will be working on those today.  I did manage to get about 150 cup hooks into little plastic bags (2 each) and into the wall hanging packages.

I have spent a lot of time planning our trip and studying Korean.

 

Home!

Here’s a bit of a video blog of what I did on my vacation.  Just trying this medium to see how it works…

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We had a great time stopping at the Hwy. 1 Studio Tour on the way to Alberta.  Stopped at the Station House for lunch in Herbert, SK.  Made it as far as Swift Current, SK the first day. 🙂

After that we spent a lot of time checking in with family in Alberta.  Our trip home was memorable.  It was overcast, but did not snow…technically.  There were “snow showers” in Regina when we arrived.

We had a blast, stopping at The Root in Lloydminster for lunch.

And we stopped in McNally Robinson at the Prairie Ink for a light supper. Plus an hour of browsing books at the bookstore! 🙂

Back at it tomorrow…

Timmy’s

So here we are at the quintessential Canadian coffee and donut shop, Tim Horton’s. Taking our time going up the highway to Edmonton.   We’re driving ahead of snow, but Dad is having a good snooze now. We don’t want to wake him up by arriving early. We’re close enough we’re thinking of an IKEA pit stop.  Thinking of fibre stores to visit in Edmonton.  

Tuesday Meanderings

A leisurely day spreading out before us on our road trip. Visiting family for a few days.  I plan on going on a walk today. It’s a bit cool here, so we’ll wait till it warms up.

We were in Calgary yesterday and able to accomplish two errands. I was so happy. Hubby’s cord and adapter for his laptop died. We couldn’t find a replacement in Regina. But we found one at Memory Express in Calgary!

On a whim I had thrown in my Derek Alexander purse to be fixed. I had problems with their website. I’d phoned before and only got the answering machine.  I checked Google Maps and found their store was just three blocks from Memory Express!  So I took it over and dropped it off for repairs.  They said they’d fix it up and ship it back to me. So happy.  I’ve used and loved that purse for almost ten years.

We’ll I think it’s time to get onto eating breakfast.  Hope everyone has a great day!

Not in my Studio

Having fun on another road trip folks.  Checked out the Hwy. 1 Studio Tour again this year. It was great as always!  Friendly artists, a variety of art at a variety of prices. Hubby and I picked up a few things.

The weather is forecasting snow later this week here. We are hoping to leave for another visit before it gets here.

We harvested our patio garden before we came and have started eating through the produce.  Last night was beets, carrots, gluten free BBQ chicken, and wild and brown rice.

Hope everyone has a great day!

WIP Thursday

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WIP – “Moss” 

Well nothing’s changed in the WIP department.  Still a baby blanket to finish knitting and a wall hanging to finish hooking. Hopefully today I’ll find some time to work on them. I plan to change the values on the left side of the tree in “Moss”.  Too close in value to the background.

I have a friend coming over this afternoon.  I want to rest a bit, do laundry, and prepare for our upcoming trip.  We’ll be off to fair Alberta for a week to ten days to visit family again.

I’ve been thinking about my sewing room and studio, and realizing I have a lot of fibre and supplies to work my way through.  I have no idea what I’m going to do with it all.  I’m thinking it might be an idea to pack up fibre kits to sell.  I did sell some fibre in a kit the other weekend.  But it’s not something I’ve focused on up till now.

Do any of you think there might be a market for fibre kits?

 

In my studio…

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A combination of retirement floral bouquets.

Hi everyone!  Hope you all had a great weekend. We were busy with company again.

This week will be a rush.  I’m hoping to get some hooking done on “Moss”.  Also deal with insurance and get that finalized.  Then there’s the pension stuff we have to do.  Apparently we have to prove we exist and are married to a notary public somewhere.  Plus more time with friends.

I’ve decided against setting up a website for selling my rugs right now.  It’s just too busy and I do not have time to concentrate on it or get organized for it.

 

Yesterday’s distraction = Denmark

The finished star ornaments. :)

The finished star ornaments.

Yesterday I was distracted by planning a trip to Denmark.  Hubby has wanted to go for some time.  He’s a family history buff and is writing a book.  He’s about reached the limits for research options online and in Canada.  He wants to go and actually see places and take photos.  So I costed out a one month trip and sighed in dismay.  Denmark is an expensive place to visit!

I finished reading Chronic Condition finally.  It was a tough slog for me.  The Canadian health care system is very complicated and very sick.  I don’t know what the answers are.  One of the answers the author suggests is making a federal drug plan that purchases all the drugs for everyone in the country, and is partially paid for by automatic deductions from our paychecks.  In fact, he likes the idea of a patient partial payment for services too, to avoid overuse of the health care system.  I do not like that.  It penalizes people who are genetically predisposed to bad health.  At any rate, Chronic Condition is a thought provoking read, and I think a necessary read if one wants to carry on an intelligent conversation about Canada’s health care system.

I read more of The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide by Dr. David Miklowitz too.  Also scanned ahead a bit, reading key sections.  I need to go back and slow down and take my time reading it.  I’m not a fast reader.  However the material in this book is good and worth the read.

On the rug hooking front… I finished the 8 star ornaments!  Now onto the 8 circle ornaments. 🙂

Our Anniversary

There were thousands of geese on this unnamed lake making an awful racket!

There were thousands of geese on this unnamed lake making an awful racket!

Lots happening now we’re back from vacation!  Sunday was our 35th wedding anniversary.  We had a blast!  We live near the Qu’Appelle River valley.  It’s a big valley that is home to many market gardens and a few quaint towns…one of which is Lumsden.  So we headed out to check out the market gardens and found a treasure trove of autumnal images…

Last Import - 1 of 16Last Import - 3 of 16Then headed to the Chinese restaurant in Lumsden for a very delicious meal, before heading home via the back roads and a small town called Pense.  We arrived home about time for tea and a nap.

We realized there was an art show on, so we hoofed to the Prairie Artist Guild’s Fall Show and Sale.  It was the third day of the sale and most of the good work was already sold.  But we were able to see some fine work, especially by Larry Jackson, a local watercolour artist.

In celebration of our anniversary we watched the first Star Wars movie that came out in the evening.  It was released in 1977, but was one of the first movies Hubby ever took me to when we were dating in 1979/80.

All in all a great day!

Yesterday I was back into the swing of things.  I took my Etsy shop off vacation mode, and posted ten more items for sale.

I also got back to sketching.  No twist crayons here, so I’m using watercolour pencils.  It feels a bit different.  A bit messier to control.  But still, it’s good practice to use different media.

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