Artist Retreat

Artist Retreat

Last week I had a lovely retreat, so to speak, with Hubby.  It was actually a working vacation for me.  We went up to Annapolis Royal, NS and rented a cottage in the area. The view out the front window was gorgeous!

We decided we didn’t want to cook while there, so I roasted a chicken and cut it up the day before we left.  I also made some hummus and vegetable  sticks for dipping. Plus we took the usual peanut butter and homemade jelly, and boiled eggs.  Plus fruit, bagels and bread.  We survived on that, oatmeal and two grocery store salads for the entire time we were there.

Well, except for our friends’ providing a BBQ supper and a picnic beach lunch!  I tell you…there is nothing better than eating fresh baked homemade bread sandwiches out on the rocks overlooking the ocean!

We were gone for three nights.  My friends are rug hookers too, so we had a great time hooking and finishing while I was there.

I also searched for a suitable gallery to show my Parker’s Cove fishing shack series in Annapolis Royal.  While there are a good many galleries there for the population, many have unfortunately closed since the beginning of Covid.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know I started hooking the large Parker’s Cove piece.  It’s 12” x 36”.  I am currently hooking the last of five fishing shacks. It will be a couple of weeks or more before I finish. We are expecting company.

I had a photographer in to photograph my work. It was a massive job!  He managed to photograph everything in about an hour.  We worked together to finish over 75 pieces during that time!  This is all the work I have in the house that was not previously photographed, excluding the Parker’s Cove series.  I’ll have that photographed when it’s finished.

Other than that, I’ve been enjoying Elizabeth Miller’s site – Parris House Creative Community – on Mighty Networks lately.  There was a lovely Zoom meeting in our gardens, showing each other our yards, but focusing on vegetable gardens.  Elizabeth has a huge garden!  Plus she’s into so many interesting things!  I loved the opportunity to see her space, even if only virtually.  I also took part in her monthly Crafternoon on Sunday.

My first group show with Visual Voice Gallery in Truro started Monday!  The theme is “Summer”.  Check it out, either in person or online!  You can find it online at: Visual Voice or visit 128 King Street, Truro, Nova Scotia.

I am currently busy preparing for a July show and sale at a local museum Stay tuned for more information!

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

 

Humming along…

Humming along…

I had a lovely afternoon last Monday up in Truro at the Visual Voice Gallery with the proprietress.  We went through my work, I described my process, and she decided which pieces she wanted to keep for various shows.  I also took my notecards on the off chance she might want some of those.  She did!

So now if anyone is looking for my work through a gallery in Nova Scotia, they can contact the gallery owner at: gallery@visual-voice.ca

The first show I’m a part of starts today at Visual Voice in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada.  It’s a group show on the theme of “Summer”.

In other news…

The Visual Voice Gallery owner mentioned two other exhibits I could take part in this year, both group shows.  One is the end of August into September.  The August/September one is called “Offbeat”.  I plan on presenting her with some unusual pieces I’ve hooked over the years to see if anyone is interested in them

She also mentioned the Christmas sale, in which she tries to keep items under $100 CAD.  I have several items I could display in that sale as well. Then there are my Christmas notecards. So if you’re interested in acquiring or seeing my work in person, visit Visual Voice!

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I am organizing hooked pieces for a photography session later this month.   I finally went through the professional photos I’ve had taken in the past and noted them on my main inventory list. I need to be better at figuring out what needs to be photographed professionally and what’s already been done.  Next up is to take the pieces that need photos off the walls for the photographer.

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I am also preparing for an exhibit with The Bonnie Hookers July 14-16th at Scott Manor House in Bedford, Nova Scotia.  I will take a variety of work that is a variety of sizes. I will be there most of those days to help demonstrate rug hooking, answer questions and facilitate sales.  If you are a blog reader and show up at the sale, make yourself known to me and I’ll try to show you around the exhibit.

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I’m working on finishing some of the Parker’s Cove fishing shacks.  I’ve also started the biggest Parker’s Cove piece to date.  It is over 12” x 36” and will take awhile to hook. I’ll be working on it during my upcoming self-designed artist retreat.

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That’s it so far everyone!  If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great week everyone!

 

 

Back in the Groove

Back in the Groove

Good morning everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend.

Last week I spent some time dyeing fibre for the Parker’s Cove series.  I used straight up ProChem Key Lime for the bright neon green, and the other colours were from the Woolly Mason Jar system. Lucy Richard has a great system for matching colours quickly.  If you’re a dyer who is often in a hurry, her system is the way to go!

I’ve been working on the Parker’s Cove fishing shack series. I have finished two small pieces this week and have a larger piece on backing.

“The Farm” is currently languishing on the sidelines.  I have a steep learning curve to learn multiple techniques I want to use for this piece, so am wanting to wait until I have more time and energy to devote to it  That, plus I want to finish my Parker’s Cove series of at least ten pieces by mid-November.

The South Korean appliqué quilt blocks are almost complete.  I decided not to go further than the twelve blocks suggested by the pattern.  However I will also be putting sashing between the blocks and a border all around…neither called for in the pattern. That will make it large enough to be used as a lap quilt. It will be machine quilted by a professional long arm quilter.

I took part in many events this week related to rug hooking.  Wednesday there were two online meetings: one for crafting (where I transferred a pattern to backing), and one for rug hooking (where I  hooked a small piece for the Parker’s Cove series). Thursday I attended an in-person hook-in at a friend’s place. I started another small Parker’s Cove piece. And Thursday evening I attended a Zoom presentation by Susan Feller on Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  Susan talked about what it takes to become a professional artist as a rug hooker. A very interesting presentation with lots to chew on.

I also spent time cleaning up my studio after the whirlwind that was Sketchbook Revival!  I haven’t had it looking that good in ages, so I took photos and immortalized the occasion on Instagram and Facebook. Haha!

It is now a mess again…because I’ve decided to finish a project that’s been percolating a long time in my brain…like five years.  Our trip to South Korea in 2017 needs addressing.  I did create and have a photo book printed, but I had no place for ephemera.  So after Sketchbook Revival I decided it was time to sit down and do it.  I pulled out old bookbinding supplies and created a blank journal with cartridge drawing paper and Waterford cold press watercolour paper.  I’m highly doubtful the journal is big enough to hold everything, but I need to do some serious culling of memorabilia anyways.

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

Home Again!

Home Again!

Good afternoon everyone! We had a great time in New Brunswick.  Lovely scenery and lovely people. Company will be leaving soon and I am deep into planning November.

I finished knitting the baby hat. All that’s left is to mail it.

I am making a short list of projects to work on. Mostly it includes WIP’s, or Works In Progress.

  • I have “Doom” sitting beside my chair to finish hooking.
  • I also want to finish the quilt I started at 17 years of age.  I won’t say how long it’s been.  Suffice it to say I have taken my own sweet time hand stitching it.
  • I also have the South Korean appliqué quilt to finish.
  • I want to make some beeswax toppers for bowls.
  • I want to move onto hooking the fishing shack series I have planned.

That’s more than enough for November. Right now I’m just glad to have the baby hat finished.

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

On the Road Again!

On the Road Again!

Good afternoon everyone!  We are on another road trip – this time to Moncton, New Brunswick to visit relatives.  We took our company with us.  We have had loads of fun exploring the countryside.

I had a wonderful time yesterday in Susan Feller’s “Mastering Design” Zoom class in Workshop Week 3. By the time it was over I had a new design and unifying elements for a series of fishing shack hooked pieces. I’m very happy with the results of the class.

I am just finishing the knit baby hat for a relative’s new baby. It is hand spun alpaca, hand dyed with cochineal.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and is experiencing a good week. If you have been, thanks for reading.

Weekly Review – Sightseeing

Weekly Review – Sightseeing

Good afternoon everyone!  Hubby and I have been showing a friend around PEI and Nova Scotia. There is nothing like acting as a guide to out-of-province company for learning about your home province and neighbouring province.

We’ve checked out Scots Bay, Halls Harbour, Stirling’s in Wolfville, The Valley, part of the South Shore (including Peggy’s Cove and Queensland Beach), some of Halifax, and then took a side trip to PEI.

We’re staying at a relative’s place near Montague.  One day we travelled the east coast up through Souris to East Point Lighthouse, stopping at Singing Sands Beach on the way.

The next day we headed up through Mount Stewart to Prince Edward Island National Park.  We drove the scenic coastal drive through the Park, and then on to the Anne of Green Gables site.

After a couple of hours, and a lot of walking, at Green Gables we headed into Charlottetown.  We enjoyed a wonderful waterfront walk in Victoria Park. Then headed up to Queen Street to enjoy some Cows ice-cream. We checked a used bookstore  and a game store on our way home.

A quick call to an Island merchant told us one of the best places to buy fresh oysters.  We stopped at the Sobeys in Stratford to pick them up and received a wonderful lesson in oyster shucking and eating!  I highly recommend Sobeys’ staff, Jonathan, at the Seafood counter for going above and beyond!

Today has been a quiet day. We walked the Confederation Trail from Brudenell to Montague, stopping at The Lucky Bean Café for their breakfast board and some games. It was a fun time.  We headed back to the house via the Trail for lunch.

Tomorrow we head home.

In creative news…the baby hat is almost finished.  I neglected to bring my blunt tapestry needle for sewing in the end.  I will finish it up at home.

In rug hooking news…We saw some wonderful hooked rugs at Green Gables House.

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Sunday evening In The Studio’s Workshop Week 3 starts with the hook-in gathering.  Monday I have Susan Feller’s design class. Friday will be the final Panel Discussion. I’m looking forward to a fun and educational time.

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

Weekly Review – Travelling Along

Weekly Review – Travelling Along

We are busy having great fun with our company. We spent Thanksgiving Monday exploring Halifax and area.  We walked the pier in DeWolf Park in Bedford.  Then headed to Saint Mary’s University.  Then to Point Pleasant Park.

Tuesday we had a lot of errands to run.


Wednesday we headed up to Scots Bay, Nova Scotia to spend some time relaxing at a friend’s cottage by the Bay of Fundy. It rained while we were there, but it did not dampen our enthusiasm.  We had a great time exploring beaches and walking in the rain.  We also played games and put together a puzzle

I also spent time this week updating my business books and preparing for Workshop Week 3. I have only one class during Workshop Week 3 this fall, and that is a design class with Susan Feller. I am very excited to be taking another class with Susan. I learn so much from her. I sent her photos of what I want to work on next and some of my preliminary sketches. She was prompt and articulate in her responses.  I am looking forward to this class.

If you have been, thanks for reading. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

 

Back From New Brunswick

Back From New Brunswick

We had a great weekend trip up to New Brunswick and back.  We visited Kouchibouquac National Park and scouted it out for a potential bicycle trip for Hubby next year.  We had an interesting time exploring New Brunswick.  We were careful to stick to the car, have picnic lunches, and stay with our generous hosts every night. Covid cases are on the upswing there.

On our way home we stopped at The Alphabet Store in Oxford, Nova Scotia, also known as GJDE Enterprises Ltd.  It’s a fascinating store reminiscent of the old fashioned small town general store. There was something for everyone there!  They even sold some Briggs & Little yarn in my colours – very bright!  I left with a bag of goods.

After we arrived home my note cards arrived!  I’m going to prep them for sale this week.  They will be selling for $5 each, or 5 for $20.  I’ll officially launch them next week.

I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things here at home. Thanksgiving is coming soon, and bringing more company with it.

I hope to be able to finish up “Doom”, and with it the Poetry series.  It’s been a long haul, but worth it.  I learned a lot working on that series, but I’m ready for something new.

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

 

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!

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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.

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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.

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