Having a wonderful time…

Having a wonderful time…

Company arrived Saturday and we’ve been having a blast!  A couple of us drove the sag wagon while the rest bicycled to Chester, Nova Scotia from Halifax. Yes. It was 77.2 km. They were an pretty tired crew when they rode up to the Mecklenburgh Inn, where we were staying. But happy too.  They had a good day on the trail.

And I had a good day with the other sag wagon person.  We drove the slow route to Chester, stopping to visit his old family haunts and some antique stores and book stores. We arrived in Chester about 1 1/2 hours before the cyclists. Enough time to read a book and nap.

We went to The Rope Loft for supper.  It’s a good restaurant on the waterfront with a fascinating history. The original building is over 200 years old.  Our travelling companions were comparing the structure to their almost 200 year old farmhouse.  It was a good meal with healthy portions.

After walking back to the Mecklenburgh, we played a difficult game of Scrabble.  It took an hour. We all had to help each other.  And no one scored over 200!

For those who have never been to the Mecklenburgh, it’s floors are peppered with primitive hand hooked rugs.  Absolutely gorgeous!  Here’s a sampler…

Today we complete the ride and head home.

If you have been, thank-you for reading.  Have a great week!

Running Late…

Running Late…

Good morning everyone!  This past weekend was busy. The kitchen is mostly done. We have two stubborn parts to it. We want to replace the light fixture over the dining area and stain the wood threshold between the living room and kitchen. The light fixtures we pick are all out of stock, and we are having difficulty matching the stain for the threshold with the existing wood floor. We are waiting for more lighting to come into our area locally, and visiting a local hardware store to talk to their experienced paint staff about stain.

Despite all that, everything has been moved back into the kitchen as of yesterday, and I found a taker for my old stainless steel pots and pans. Yesterday I spent cooking in my new kitchen. It was nice!

In rug hooking, I have not pulled a loop these past few days.  However, I can at least get to my work now!  So work will continue on “Each Step Spells Doom”.

Friday Hubby and I went on a road trip to Amherst to meet up with some visiting relatives. We had a great time walking the town!  We ended up at Dayle’s Grand Market and meeting the owner of Maritime Mosaic, Karen McKinnon. We were greatly impressed by the variety of goods in her shop, and the quality.  A few rug hookers are represented. I highly recommend people stop in on their way through or to Amherst, Nova Scotia.

This week’s plan is to catch up on kitchen activities and start hooking again.  I hope to spend a few hours hooking on “Doom”.

If you have been, thanks for reading!  Have a great week everyone!

 

Looking good!

Looking good!

Good morning everyone!  It’s been a busy weekend in the renovation. Saturday the kitchen came out. We still have the stove for sale. The people who bought the old kitchen are coming to pick it up tomorrow. Hubby has filled holes and primed the kitchen walls.  He’s applying the finish coat right now.  The flooring guy comes tomorrow.

One fly in the ointment.  We have the wrong colour stainless steel dishwasher. Apparently there’s regular stainless steel and black stainless steel. I did not know.  So I have to phone IKEA and make arrangements for the right one to be delivered…hopefully by the end of the week.

In other activity, Hubby and I took last evening off and went to visit the Halifax Public Gardens  The dahlias were in bloom and it was just beautiful!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Also, my peach jam decided to gel after all! Maybe today I’ll fix the labels on the jars from “syrup “ to “jam”.

If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

Weekly Review – In Person Hooking!

Weekly Review – In Person Hooking!

Today I hooked in-person for the first time in 18 months!  It was a great time, and nice to see everyone who came.  I worked on “The Weave”.  I’m almost finished the hooking.  I’m trying to decide how to finish it.  I think, in the end, it will be my standard fold over the edges, mitre the corners, and stitch in place.

I am taking advantage of the local situation and reaching out to others interested in learning what I know.  I recognize I do a poor job of marketing myself!  I, like a lot of people, find it difficult to “blow my own horn”!  However, I am interested in connecting up with other artists who rug hook as well as produce work other ways.  I find the work and process of creating art by other artists inspirational.  I am also offering to teach individuals rug hooking on a one-on-one basis.

This week I have been thinking ahead to September.  Hubby and I have booked a cottage for five days for retreat.  I’m looking forward to some time away to work uninterrupted.  Hopefully to start a new series.  To that end I have been busy photographing and sketching local scenes.  I am in the process of trying to decide how to translate them into hooked items.

Also in September we are hoping to go on a bicycle trip.  Hubby likes to bike, while I ride sag wagon (the car).  This time we will have people riding and driving with us, so we won’t be taking our car.  I’m hoping to spend some time rug hooking in Chester, N.S., and possibly Lunenburg, while I wait for cyclists, but we shall see.

Well if you have been, thanks for reading!  Take care everyone!

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

I finished reading “Making a Life” by Deanne Fitzpatrick this week. It was an excellent quick read.

I am also reading “Mary Oliver – New and Selected Poem” volume one.  I don’t normally read poetry.  I picked this book up because I was told she wrote nature poems.   Well some are, and some aren’t.  Some start out that way and end out in dark places related to the human condition.  So depending what you’re after, some may appeal to you while others leave you wanting.

I also purchased ”Yum and Yummer” by Greta Podleski.  I have a cookbook addiction.  I sold fully two thirds of my cookbooks before we moved…or more.  I’m down to four linear feet of cookbooks.  But when my doctor relative suggested “Yum and Yummer” I sat up and took notice.  I found the cookbook in the Truro, NS Coles bookstore on my way through town Monday.  It’s great!

This cookbook has everything a great cookbook needs – thorough ingredient lists and easy to read instructions, a kitchen wisdom section at the bottom of the page, gorgeous full page photos, and QR codes you can scan for 1 minute videos on how to prepare the recipes.  We tried Cauliflower, Chickpea & Sweet Potato Curry.  It really was “Yum and Yummer”!

I was away this week and did nothing creative.  I did share my work with my relatives and one of them shared her work with me.  It was a fun time, but too short.

I am looking forward to planning a day retreat this September.  Hubby wants to do some cycling with friends  I’m going along for the ride and fun. While they’re cycling, I’ll be sketching and rug hooking.

Well if you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great weekend everyone!

 

Weird Weekend

Weird Weekend

Hi everyone!  A late post today. No rug hooking related work done on the weekend. Instead I chose to be outside and managed to get heat exhaustion two days in a row. Today was my second covid vaccine shot. Except for my morning and evening walks I stayed indoors…drinking lots of water.

I’ve been browsing and reading library books. I have Deanne Fitzpatrick’s “Making a Life” in front of me. I want to start that next.

I also have some poetry books on the go, and a natural history book for Nova Scotia. I’ve been using the “Book of Nature Poetry” edited by J. Patrick Lewis to find poems to add to my nature journal pages.  Sunday we were up to Cape Blomidon and I painted a very poor quality watercolour of the cliffs and ocean. I just accepted it for what it was. Some days my art works and some days it doesn’t. Today I added a poem about the sea by Lillian Moore and felt a bit better about the page.

On our way to the Cape we stopped at The Naked Crepe in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.  It’s a cute restaurant with patio on Main Street.  We ate indoors, out of the sun, and were rewarded by an excellent view of the chefs making the crepes.  It was fascinating to watch!

There were a considerable number of options on the menu.  The servings were quite large.  Still, we found room for dessert crepes.  We had the Thai spicy chicken crepe, the donair crepe, the lemon curd crepe and the berry fruit medley crepe.  My favourite was the berry fruit medley crepe.  It came with sweetened yogurt in a crepe shaped like a cup, surrounded by a mixture of berries and fruit drizzled with maple syrup.  We waddled out of there and headed back to the car to continue our trip to the Cape.

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading.  Hopefully I’ll have something related to rug hooking to post the end of this week.  Have a great week everyone!

Road Trip and Ramblings…

Road Trip and Ramblings…

Good morning everyone!  I had an delightful weekend this past weekend. The border between Nova Scotia and the other Atlantic provinces opened last Wednesday. One of my sisters lost no time coming our way to visit with friends and family – us included. So Friday we hosted a dinner for seven people in our tiny home. I had fun setting it up and cooking. I love to cook.  I took no photos of the event.  I totally forgot about my camera this weekend!  We had a delightful time catching up.

Saturday Hubby and I headed out to Lunenburg for a late lunch and to look around. We browsed the bookstores and I picked up a poetry book that looked good at first glance, but turned later to be a so-so poetry book.  Actually a kind of depressing poetry book.  I’m reading it, but it’s already on the chopping block to be given away.

Afterwards we headed out to Second Peninsula Provincial Park. It is a beautiful park with a few picnic tables. Unfortunately it was raining by the time we arrived, so we didn’t get out to check it out further.  We took a leisurely drive home instead.

Sunday I decided to watch some of the videos for International Nature Journaling Week. I finished all of Day 1 and half of Day 2. There are a lot of extra links to blog posts, websites and podcasts, not to mention YouTube videos related to the day’s theme.  I’m checking those out as I go.

Sunday I was also able to settle down and stitch the loop portion of hook and loop tape onto the back of “Gyeongju”.  I’m waiting for my shellacked oak hanging board to cure before stapling the hook side of the tape to it, mounting it on the wall, and hanging “Gyeongju”.

I’m going so slow it seems. Lots to preoccupy me these days. The kitchen countertop is being cut and we are negotiating pick up, hopefully later this week.  Our kitchen flooring will arrive later this week.  I need to clear out the utility room as it will be our makeshift kitchen.

The landscapers are here working on our front and side yards.  Today they are ripping out what’s there.  They say they’ll be finished in three days.  It’s a busy time.

Well that’s it for now!  If you have been, thanks for reading!  Take care and have a good week.

More Day Tripping!

More Day Tripping!

It’s that time of year again!  We were out and about for Father’s Day.  Hubby and I drove to the Noel Shore along the Minas Basin of Nova Scotia.  It was a beautiful warm day. We stopped at the Walton Lighthouse and walked up to the Lookout.

The plan was for me to nature journal, but I just wasn’t feeling it.  Instead I went through my new pens and pencil crayons and made swatches on my sketchbook page so I know what they look like on paper. It was a useful exercise and needed preparation for the Wild Wonder conference coming up.

Today I did actual nature journaling. I sat on the deck and drew/painted one of my pots of strawberries. Our neighbour was out doing yard work and I was feeling incredibly slothful.  I got up and did some yard work as well.  This afternoon Hubby went on another bicycle ride, so I took the opportunity to watch a Marley Peifer YouTube video on nature journaling and journal alongside him.  The subject was a Pink Tarantula molt.

This week will be taken up by the Wild Wonder conference. I do not expect to have time to post Friday. I will catch up with everyone on Monday or Tuesday of next week.

If you have been, thanks for reading!  Have a great week everyone!

Day Trip Time!

Day Trip Time!

Yesterday we were on the road most of the day. In the morning we dealt with gardening supplies, plants and coordinating someone to come look at the property.  In the afternoon we had fun.

We decided to drive the South Shore as far as Queensland Beach yesterday. We stopped in at the Red Wagon Art Studio in Hammonds Plains. They had a lot of excellent quality art supplies for a reasonable price, and Amy, one of the proprietors, was more than willing to show me around. They offer curbside shopping as well as shipping. I am keeping them in mind.

We also stopped at the Bike & Bean Café in French Village. Mind you, we actually trotted next door to Cavicchi’s for ice-cream!  The Bike & Bean Café is in front of the Rumrunner’s Trail. The trail literally runs behind their back door. Hubby is an avid cyclist and wants to bike that trail soon.

Next stop was the Hooked Rug Museum of North America.  I was there the day before they opened again, having closed it due to Covid. However, the marketplace was open for business!  I had a look around and purchased some lovely recycled plaids.  Then chatted up Sharon and Taylor out front.

Sharon was busy creating the new email about the finishing class coming up mid-September. There is a limit of fifteen spaces.  I hope to be one of them, but it depends on a lot of things.   I also heard about the “Rid the Winter Blues Hooking Retreat” in Rothesay, N.B.  It’s an interesting idea and, depending on our home situation, I might take part.

Taylor was showing me her hooking and we chatted about the AirBnB she rents out. It’s full for most of the summer, but into the fall there are longer openings.  It’s a reasonable price at $100CAD/night and two bedrooms – one with a queen bed and one a double. It’s on the coast near Blandford, N.S.  It looks like an ideal spot for an artist retreat!

I reluctantly left the museum to head for the beach. The beach was a bit of a disappointment. The tide was in, it was crowded, and no one seemed to be following the keep six feet away rule.  So we headed to a picnic table nearby, had a bite to eat, took photos of the ocean, and headed home.

Despite the disappointment of the beach it was a beautiful day!   In the evening we set to work in our yard, weeding a flower bed, turning up the dirt, tidying up.  Next up is to plant the annuals we bought and add mulch. Today’s job. Hopefully it will be finished by the time the rain comes this evening.

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

Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings

I have to start this post out with a correction. Apparently the driving force behind International Nature Journaling Week is Bethan Burton – a nature journalist from Australia. The week was made possible by numerous volunteers. Today is the last day of Zoom classes.  It was such a wonderful experience it motivated me to sign up for Wild Wonder.  Wild Wonder is a nature journaling conference that runs between June 23rd and 27th. It will be twelve hour days for me, so I will, in all probability, not be posting to my blog until it’s over.

I am planning an artist retreat for a few days in July, and another for September – both by the ocean.  When the Atlantic Bubble opens up again, I hope to spend some time in Prince Edward Island and maybe New Brunswick as well.

I finished hooking “Gyeongju”!  I have one circle I want to fiddle with a bit, but otherwise it’s ready for pressing and blocking. I am waiting for lockdown to lift one step further before heading into a lumber store for the piece of trim needed to hang it.  Next up is finishing the embellishments on “Time”.  I have a bit of embroidery to do and that should be it.

I received an email about In The Studio’s Workshop Week 3 this past week. I am only taking one class this time.  I took too many last time.  They were all good, but I just found it overwhelming. I really only have time for one class. Workshop Week 3 happens the end of October.  You can access more information on karendmiller.com .

If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

 

Weekly Review – Gyeongju

Weekly Review – Gyeongju

Good morning everyone!  It’s been an interesting week here. Nova Scotia is officially in lockdown again…for the next four weeks. Covid is getting out of control.  We are canceling gatherings and staying home. It could be a good opportunity to get more hooking done!

Speaking of hooking…I’ve recently had some people ask me about my rug “Gyeongju”  (the South Korean roof tile end caps rug). I think it may need some explanation for those not versed in Asian architecture or Korean history.

South Korea is a beautiful country that has been decimated by wars during the 20th century.  Since the Korean War, which ended in the early 1950s, South Koreans have worked very hard to rebuild their land and heal their people. At one point all the trees were stripped off parts of the land so it was easy to see the enemy advance. That is why the forests in parts of South Korea look young…they were replanted after the Korean War.

During the early part of the 20th century South Korea was taken over by Imperial Japan. The Japanese tried to systematically destroy Korean culture.  One way this was done was by destroying the palaces in Seoul.  Since the 1990s there has been a focused and systematic approach by South Koreans to rebuild sites of cultural significance, including the palaces in Seoul.  How many palaces are we talking about?  There were five!

After years of helping South Korean immigrants and International students adjust to Canadian life, we had the opportunity of a lifetime to visit South Korea.  In 2017 we packed our bags and headed overseas with a previous boarder from Busan area in southeast South Korea.

Busan is a city of beaches that stretches along the coastline of the East Sea (if you’re Korean), or the Japan Sea (if you’re Japanese).  While in Busan we went to Dongbaek Island Park and saw the conference centre built for APEC 2005.  There was this magnificent carpet on the floor of the round central chamber where the heads of state met.  The colours of that carpet became the border in my rug “Gyeongju”.

We spent a couple of days there before travelling north and a bit west to Gyeongju.  Gyeongju is the historical capital of the old kingdom of Silla  Let me backtrack…

Long before the World Wars…in the 7th century…there were three kingdoms in what is now modern day Korea (North and South).  By the end of the 7th century one of them, Silla, was dominant over the others.  Gyeongju, as the capital, was home to more palaces which housed kings, and queens.  There are many royal burial mounds there, an observatory, and renovation of a famous garden has begun.

In Gyeongju there is a large park with five buildings that form one of many sites of the National Museum of Korea.  We were able to make it through two buildings in half a day.  One housed samples of the old roof tile end caps.

They were a designer’s delight!  All different designs in varying conditions and quality, the patterns on them piqued my interest.  Did they mean anything?  What were they?  How were they actually used?  Lots of questions, but few answers.

Enter our trip to Seoul!  After visiting Gyeongju we took the high speed train to Seoul.  There we visited three of the reconstructed palaces.  Here is a reconstructed South Korean palace roof.

The end caps were at the end of the roof tiles to prevent rain from sucking back up the underside of the roof tiles onto the wall of the building.

As you can tell from looking at my rug, “Gyeongju “, and the above photo,  I was also taken with the palace colour scheme.  Here is the throne room of the main palace.

So “Gyeongju” is really a memory rug of a wonderful trip to a beautiful country halfway around the world. I call it a rug, but I’ve been informed by Hubby that it will hang on the living room wall above our fireplace. The pressure is on people!  I want to get it right if I’m going to see it every day!   😂

Well if you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Good afternoon everyone!  I worked hard this week and finally finished off the Sketchbook Revival 2021 lessons I wanted to do. This week there were classes in printmaking, mark making to loosen up, character design, costume design, collage, watercolour and nature journaling. I was enamoured with the nature journaling and think I’ll do more of that.

To that end I ordered two books: John Muir Law’s “Nature Drawing and Journaling” and Clare Leslie’s and Charles Roth’s “Keeping a Nature Journal”. Our library had multiple holds on both books, so I decided to buy them.

Here’s a slide show of finished work from the second half of Sketchbook Revival 2021.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In other news…

I hooked quite a bit on the border of “Gyeongju” (the South Korean roof tile end caps rug).  Still have a lot more to go.

Hubby and I also took a day off and went with a friend for a drive out on Digby Neck here in Nova Scotia.  We meandered around, taking the scenic route on the way there.   My imagination wasn’t captured until we got out of the car at the wharf in Delaps Cove.  I was mesmerized by the age of the wharf, how battered it was, the rusty spikes and bolts holding it together, the huge granite boulders that made up the breakwater, and, of course, the fish shacks.  I took a lot of photos and endured quite a bit of teasing for doing so!

But that was just the beginning for me.  I requested we stop at the wharf in Parker’s Cove on the way back.  Once again I took lots of photos.  Our friend, from a fishing family, was having a good chuckle at me taking pictures of rope.  But you know, I’ll say here what I said to her – every good original design starts with a good photo.  I will probably get one or two pieces out of all those photos…and that’s okay.

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

 

Finishing Up

Finishing Up

Good evening everyone!  I’ve spent some time working on my pieces from the earlier Workshop Weeks and finishing them up.  I just have the embroidery and beading to do on “Time” now, before finishing it.

The abstract pieces – “Ocean Sunset” and “Poison” are finished, complete with hanging sleeves.


Autumn” needs a good steam pressing and, possibly, some fixing on one edge in the hemming.  Then a hanging sleeve attached.

I also finished the Fraktur chair pad, but feel it’s too small for a chair pad.  It will probably end up on one of my living room tables.

Next it’s onto the South Korean roof tile end caps rug, which I think I will simply call “Gyeongju”.  Gyeongju is the city with the museum where I saw all the ancient designs tile designs.  South Korea was originally an amalgamation of three separate kingdoms.  Gyeongju, historically called Seorabeol, was capital of one of them – the Silla kingdom (57-935 AD).  You can read all about it by googling it.  It’s a fascinating city, nicknamed “The Museum Without Walls” .  It is a National Park filled with reconstructed sites and buildings from the old kingdom.  There are burial mounds of kings and queens, and archeological digs abound.  Plus there is a five building museum.  It’s just fascinating.  We were there one day.  There is no way we had enough time to do it justice.

I have a series of wall hangings I’d like to do on South Korea.  We’ll see if I get to them.  I want to finish some poetry wall hangings first.

Other than that it’s been a busy few days.  I’m trying to at least watch the videos for Sketchbook Revival, which technically ended March 31st. The videos are available until April 16th.  I’m rushing to fit them in, but I doubt I’ll have time to do the projects.

I’m looking forward to spring and summer.  I’m already planning my artist retreats for the year.  IKEA says they’ll email when the kitchen cabinet frames come in.  I’m hoping to work my retreats around the kitchen renovation.

Well that’s it from here.  I hope everyone has a great week!  If you have been, thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

It Starts Today!

It Starts Today!

Are you ready? Or more accurately, am I ready?  Today marks the first class in the In My Studio Workshop Week for me. I’m excited to be in Karen Miller’s Travel class. I have several sketches from my South Korea trip to work with, and several photos otherwise. I’m looking forward to learning her process for taking an idea to pattern to finished piece.

I finally finished the centre of the South Korean wall hanging! Now I’m onto the border.  Last Thursday I dyed some fibre with a friend. Last evening I finished off the dye job. Hopefully these colours will work with the rest of the wall hanging.

I also checked in with the local spinning group via Zoom and spent time at my wheel spinning some gorgeous alpaca. This will not be going into a hooked piece. It will be used for knitting. It is spinning up very fine. Just right for some lace knitting.

I hope this finds everyone well and safe, and looking forward to the week. If you have been, thanks for reading. ❤️

 

Artist Retreat #3

Artist Retreat #3

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.

Prairie Sky – Sunset
Frenchy’s!

Frenchy’s!

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.

Making time…

Making time…

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”!

Retreat Time!

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 was very productive.

More Culling and An Offer We Can’t Refuse!

More Culling and An Offer We Can’t Refuse!

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Work Basket

My Work Basket

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.

TeamKorea – Canadian National Dragon Boat Races

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.

Pelicans at Last Mountain Lake Wildlife Refuge.

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!

Motoring On

Motoring On

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.

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

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”.

I also purchased some of the Canada 150th Birthday National Park yarn by Fleece Artist from Unwind Wools in Okotoks.  Thanks ladies!

Now I’m home it’s time to catch up and decide what project to work on next.

Banff, Alberta 2018

Banff, Alberta 2018

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.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Weekly Review – Just Traveling On

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.