Moving On…

Moving On…

Good morning everyone!  This week my copy of Rug Hooking Magazine arrived.  I was very pleased with the look of the article I submitted for publication.  I would like to publicly thank…again…the editor, copy editor and photographers of my work.  You all were amazing!

I started on my next series and am already half finished the first mat, but it’s smallish…about 8” x 10”.  This series pays homage to the hard work and creativity of Nova Scotia’s fishermen and women.  It is a series centred around the humble fishing shack.

The inspiration for this series came from our drives around the Nova Scotia coastline, visiting small villages and their wharves as we went. I initially thought I would do a series on wharves, and I might yet. The wharves all seem different to me, with their own character, depending on the season and time of day.

But when we drove past Parker’s Cove it was “Whoa Nelly!”   Our driver stopped on our way back from Delaps Cove, where we had checked out the wharf.

In Parker’s Cove the brightly coloured fishing shacks smiled in the sun, beckoning us for a closer look.  Smiled?  More like danced for joy!  They are a brightly coloured group of buildings encircling the wharf area.  I was truly grateful for a modern cell phone camera to use instead of those old film ones. My companions were having a good chuckle at my expense over the number of photos I was taking. But, even with all the photos, I still didn’t have the angle I wanted for this first design.  I fudged it a bit.

Earlier this week I transferred two designs to backing I wanted to reuse, and started hooking.  Here it is so far.

To be honest, there are some things I don’t like still, and this is definitely not all going to stay “as is”.  But it’s a good start.

In other news…

For those who don’t know, Workshop Week 4 is coming up the end of this month and into February. I have participated in the last three, and, having finished the poetry series, wasn’t sure if I’d have pieces to work on for Workshop Week 4.  It seemed to have classes that required a fair number of works in progress, which I just don’t have. However, I looked more closely.  Always read the fine print carefully!  I ended up signing up for four classes.  Not all of them required WIPs. If you’re interested I would suggest contacting Laura Salamy at High on Hooking on Instagram.

While cruising the Net I found In The Studio is offering another seminar/artist talk mid-January – this time by Sarah Leighton.  I am very interested. I found this information on Instagram as well.

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  I’m off to prepare for classes and a Zoom hook-in today. Have a great weekend everyone.

Weekly Review: The New and The Old

Weekly Review: The New and The Old

Or maybe that title should read “the old and the older”!  Good afternoon everyone!  It’s been a busy week.  This has been my Christmas baking week.  I have one more batch of cookies to go – Danish butter cookies called Raspberry Ribbons. Everything else is in the freezer, awaiting a cookie exchange later this week.

About the post title…I’ve been enjoying old things this week.  I posted Monday about working on my Trip-Around-The-World quilt that I started when I was seventeen.  Not to get into details, but that was quite a few  decades ago!  I started out hand piecing it and hand quilting it.  I ended up finishing the piecing by machine and I’m just finishing up the hand quilting now.

I learned a lot with that quilt.

I originally wanted it to be queen size, but I didn’t like the border fabric once it was attached, so I cut it off. Now I  have a 60” square quilt.  It’s really a lap quilt.  That’s okay. It’s almost finished!

I also discovered I don’t like hand piecing or hand quilting.  As the years have gone by I’ve had increasing difficulty seeing to thread needles, which doesn’t help.

This was my first quilt and I picked small 2.5 inch squares to make a big quilt. My patience was not up to the task!  I had long stretches of time, when life got in the way, where I did not work on it at all.  But it’s been sitting in a bag in my living room for two years now.  It’s time to get it out of there!  I won’t move it until it is finished.

What’s left to do?  I have about 2 inches of hand quilting from the end of my last hand quilting to the binding (yes, I’m aware it’s being done out of order) all the way around the entire quilt. Maybe 120 rows of 2 inches of quilting to finish.  I’m hoping to be done by Christmas.

That’s the “New” of “The Old and The New”!   What’s “The Old” you might ask?  Well, I bit the bullet and purchased two older rugs this week.  They were posted on Facebook and I fell in love with one in particular, the moment I saw the photo. I have no idea how old it is, but I was told it once belonged to Carol Harvey Clark and is loosely referred to as “The Wedding Rug”, though the seller didn’t know for sure if it is one.

It has a very unusual asymmetrical geometric design.  The colour combination of greys (faded blues), greens, yellows and pinks is striking. If I look at the base of the loops and the back of the rug, I can see it was once much brighter and more intense. I thought at first it was on burlap, but the whipping is starting to wear on the edge, revealing a white backing that is very supple. I’m guessing it’s linen.  I’m thinking about replacing the whipping where it’s worn, and placing the rug on the floor of an infrequently walked in part of the house.

That led me to Judy Taylor’s Facebook group on repairing hooked rugs, and ultimately to her website, where I ordered her book on repairing hooked rugs – “Save That Rug!”.

The other rug I bought is “about 70 years old” according to the seller.  A fine cut, fine shaded floral with a green background.  It’s gorgeous!  I almost didn’t buy this one. It has edge issues and is on burlap.  But I think it can be repaired.

Yesterday, after the foot or so of wet snow we had, I took both rugs out to clean.  I was being extra careful with them.  It did brighten them up some. Next up is to repair them before shopping for a proper underlay for them and putting them permanently in place. That may not happen until the new year.

This has been a long blog post!  If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Weekly Review: Christmas Decorating

Weekly Review: Christmas Decorating

Good morning everyone!  This week has been one of preparing for the upcoming holiday season.  I hosted a tree decorating party yesterday.  I invited a few friends to help.  Our house is small and with Covid doing its thing again (still) I decided to err on the side of caution.

We had a potluck buffet and it was great! One of my friends surprised me with a home baked bread Advent wreath!  I’d seen one at her place before  and commented on the uniqueness of it. She decorated it before she left last night.

We had a young lady come who helped decorate the tree, the front window and arrange some Christmas florals in a floor vase.  It was great to have her energy and enthusiasm in the room.  I think I still need more ornaments on the tree, but we were running out of them. I just didn’t buy enough. Something to think about next year.

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Then there were the garland ladies!  They did a magnificent job of making two cheap Michaels garlands look good. Trust me, that was a job!

One lady took on the mantel and went all out.  It looks gorgeous!

I am so happy for the help of my friends.  They did a wonderful job and we had great fun doing it. The food was good too.  I made some mulled apple cider as well.  It was a great time, and lots of fun. Thank-you to all involved!

In other news…I am still in the process of printing out labels for “The Weave” and “Where Are We Going?”.  Once those are done I’ll be taking a month long break from hooking. I want to focus on finishing up some other projects around here.  I have some quilts and other projects to finish up.

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

 

Weekly Review – It’s Finished!

Weekly Review – It’s Finished!

Good evening everyone!  I finished hooking “Where Are We Going?”, and with it the poetry series of hooked wall hangings. This weekend I will be hemming and attaching hanging sleeves to it and “The Weave”.

I am pleased with this series, and also happy to be moving on.  I’ve been working on it for far longer than I anticipated, due to hooking for other reasons, and moving cross country.  The full series took me eight *years* to complete!  I am a slow hooker who packs a lot of life into her days.  Hooking is only one of my areas of interest.

This week I have been busy transferring files from an old external hard drive that is being retired because the company that made it is no longer going to support it.  I still have more files to go.  The hard drive stopped recognizing all my Apple devices.  However it still recognizes Hubby’s PC, so he transferred everything to flash drives and we’ve been transferring files that way.  I’ve had to go through every file to make sure there were none missing and no duplicates. Time consuming to say the least. We won’t be buying that type of hard drive again.

We are still busy preparing for Christmas. There’s been a flurry of activity and plans surrounding the occasion. I unpacked the pre-lit pencil Christmas tree to make sure all the lights were in working order. They are!   I’m trying to decide how I want to decorate this year – casual or glam?  Hmmm…I think casual.

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

Progress…

Progress…

Good evening everyone!  I’ve been working more on “Where Are We Going?” this week.  I’m almost finished the picture part. Now to colour plan my half border. I think I’ll use the blue from the blue jeans in it.  Other than that I’m not sure.  I have some last minute colour planning to do!

Aside from hooking on that, I’ve been shortening curtains so we have a better pair for the basement bedroom. It will be nice to get something decent up.

I’m already surrounded by Christmas planning. Michaels had tree sales on before Remembrance Day, and we needed a new tree. I purchased one 40% off. I also picked out some Christmas florals, ribbon, and general craft supplies. I have plans…! 🙂

I sorted through my Christmas ornaments and separated them by colour family.  I sold most of my ornaments and decorations before we moved.  I haven’t replaced them because our house is so small, I don’t know how or where we’d store them after Christmas!  I am going to have to put my thinking cap on this year.

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  I hope you have a lovely weekend!

Where Are We Going?

Where Are We Going?

Good afternoon everyone!  I decided to give the tablecloth to a worthy cause.  I could remake it into a duvet cover, but it would cost me a lot of time, effort and money. It’s a gorgeous cloth that is better used for what it was intended – a tablecloth.

After making that decision I’m back to rug hooking.  Today I’m working more on “Doom”, which I just realized has another name – “Where are we going?”.  I think I like that better.  I will use that from now on.

Yesterday I cut a lot of fabric strips, made some nylon “yarn”, and organized for a rug hooking group that met this morning.  I had a great time with the ladies and managed to accomplish a lot on “Where are we Going?”.

Yesterday I was late into the Parris House Zoom hook-in, but enjoyed the little time I did have there.  Lots of phenomenal work being done, and very good brains to pick for ideas.  If you’re a rug hooker and interested in being part of the group, contact Elizabeth Miller, Parris House, Parris, Mne., USA  on Facebook.

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

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!

 

Weekly Review – Hectic Days

Weekly Review – Hectic Days

Hi everyone!  It’s been a busy week!  I am preparing for our Canadian Korean friend to visit for Thanksgiving.  We are having a mixed Thanksgiving dinner – both Canadian and Korean food. I’ve been busy preparing ahead of time.  I made trips to various Korean grocers today, and serious cooking starts tomorrow.

Aside from that, my greeting  cards have been taking back seat due to an unexpected opportunity falling into my lap.  I will not say much now, but I did spend a lot of time arranging for decent photos of some work.  The photographer was here this week to do the job.  I also rewrote my bio for this opportunity.

Aside from the above, I have been busy cooking and baking this week.  I baked a double batch of Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins, lots of 2-bite Brownies, a couple of Lemon Tea Loaves, a triple batch of whole wheat dinner rolls, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Granola. My freezer is full!

I also caved and learned to make yogurt in my Instant Pot.  I started with a gallon of reconstituted skim milk and ended up with two litres of yogurt and two litres of whey after straining it.  I used half the whey in my dinner roll recipe and, boy, did they turn out light and fluffy!  I’m plotting how to use the rest of the whey. I hear you can freeze it for later use.

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!

Happy Thanksgiving

to all my fellow Canadians!

Happy Saturday Everyone!

Happy Saturday Everyone!

Good afternoon everyone!  It’s been a busy week, what with being the end of one month and the beginning of another. The usual banking and shopping happened.  The grocery shopping was a bit more complex this time.  Canadian Thanksgiving is next weekend and I wanted to buy some food ingredients early.

We also have company of the Asian persuasion arriving for Thanksgiving. Our Thanksgiving roughly coincides with the Korean Chuseok Festival.  I love cooking, and I love a lot of Asian food. So I’ve been busy exploring the local Korean grocery stores in search of ingredients for my meals.  There isn’t much I’m afraid.  But maybe I just haven’t found the right store…

Yesterday I spent making three different kimchi recipes of varying heat. I also made the spicy pickled radish (daanmooji).

Today I’ve switched gears.  I’m thoroughly into North American cooking.  I made unsweetened applesauce to freeze for baking,  I have vegetable stock simmering on the stove.  Plus I am in the process of making Apple Peel and Core Jelly.  I use local apples and wash them all ahead of time with a produce wash from Norwex to get off any chemicals or coatings.

I think I am going to need to take a break from rug hooking until fall harvest is finished.  There is simply too much going on here.  I’m loving it though.  It’s nice to have a full larder.  I do have an abundance of tomatoes still.  I think I’ll roast some and store them in the freezer.  They take up less space that way.

As you can see, my mind is not on rug hooking these days!  If you have been, thanks for reading.  Have a great weekend everyone!

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

I’m back at it again!  I am finished the main part of the field in “Doom”.  I’m about one quarter done.

I had the opportunity to hook on it during Beth Miller’s Parris House Thursday Zoom Hook-in yesterday. If you’re interested in joining the hook-in and are on Facebook, do a Facebook search for the group and ask to join.  Beth is very encouraging and always looking for new members.

This week, after returning home from the bicycle trip, was rest and relaxation time. We were able to put the house mostly in order again.

I ordered more greeting cards for the shop – some old designs and some new ones. I am also ordering from a Canadian company this time. I’m hoping they turn out okay. They should arrive in early October. When they do, I’ll write a blog post featuring them.

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

Lovin’ My New Kitchen!

Lovin’ My New Kitchen!

Hi everyone!  No rug hooking this week…I’ve been making up for lost time in my new kitchen!  What have I been making?

  • cooking red kidney beans from dried,
  • cooking chickpeas from dried,
  • cooking black beans from dried,
  • baking johnnycake (aka cornbread),
  • baking 2 loaves of French bread,
  • baking a triple batch of whole wheat dinner rolls,
  • making a triple batch of whole wheat tortillas,
  • baking granola,
  • baking granola bars,
  • making Nanaimo bars, and
  • making Raw Energy Balls.

I am attempting to provide healthy snacks for Hubby for his bicycle rides. Though, I admit, the Nanaimo bars are just because they’re his favourite.  I used the recipe on the City of Nanaimo website .

My treat for you is my Raw Energy Ball recipe.  There are many versions of this floating around the Internet.  This is the version we use.

Raw Energy Balls

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground cardamon (optional)
  • 1/4 cup raw almond butter
  • unsweetened shredded coconut

Grind almonds until finely ground to meal in a food processor.  Add everything BUT the coconut.  Process until just smooth enough to shape, but not runny.  Squeeze into 1” diameter balls.  Roll in coconut.  Let sit in fridge to cool and firm up before serving.

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As you can tell, it has been a busy week in the kitchen. This weekend we have company arriving. I may or may not post on Monday. Lots happening!

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

 

The Weave

The Weave

This week I settled down and finally finished hooking “The Weave”. It is one of my children’s poetry series. I have two more of that series to hook and then I’m done!  I am actually reconsidering the remaining two pieces. I’m not sure one of them can be hooked. The design is too detailed for the medium of rug hooking.

In kitchen news…the plumber came and installed the sink, taps and dishwasher. He also fixed our hot water line problem.  Apparently there was a valve issue affecting the hot water flow.

Today the electricians come to install the lights and pull out the wire for the range hood. They may have to extend the wire for the range hood.  We’ll see.

I’m still waiting for the range hood to be installed. We won’t get a quote for that until Tuesday. We were going to have the kitchen installer do it, but the part we need to go through the wall isn’t available in local stores. The electrician who was here said it normally comes with the range hood. It didn’t. I hear the HVAC guys have it though. So, if they can provide it in a reasonable time frame at a reasonable price, the job is theirs.

I am looking forward to getting my kitchen back.  Almost there!  It might be time to start moving items back in there. Maybe this weekend.

If you have been, thanks for reading!  Be safe and have a great Labour Day weekend everyone!

Weekly Review – renovations

Weekly Review – renovations

Kitchen renovation update:  The flooring is in, the wrong dishwasher was returned, and the new one arrived. I sold the old kitchen cabinets. I gave the dishwasher to our kitchen installer and we recycled our old broken microwave.  I also sold the old stove – the last of the old kitchen.  Installer measured new cabinets to be sure there was room for everything in the kitchen.  There is.  Fridge might be a tad small.  We’ll see.

Turns out the guy who laid our flooring has a construction company.  They renovate bathrooms.  We need a shower in our basement bath.  That will mean digging up the floor for new plumbing, removing the ceiling and walls to rerun electrical wires and enlarge the bathroom.  We have tentatively decided to spring for it…depending on the quote

The contractor and plumber are available, but a quality shower stall is not.  We would have a shower stall professionally tiled. We want the bath done by the end of the first week of October. Company arrives soon after.

If we go ahead with the bathroom renovation, next week Hubby and I will be on the road buying supplies for the job.  We’ll leave the contractor to deal with caulk and grout.  He seems to know what kind he wants.

In rug hooking, nothing has happened.  I’m definitely taking an extended break to get these renovations done in time.  As soon as the kitchen is finished we have to put stuff back in it.  Then we have to clear stuff out of the way in the basement, so the contractor can knock a hole in the wall of my studio to enlarge the bathroom to make room for a vanity.  I think we’ll be busy!

If you have been, thanks for reading.  Hopefully by Monday evening my kitchen will be finished and I can post some after photos for you to see.

 

 

Weekly Review – sidetracked

Weekly Review – sidetracked

Most people get sidetracked by summer fun this time of year.  Me?  I’m sidetracked by a kitchen renovation and food processing and storage for the coming fall and winter.

Yesterday I was in the basement rearranging the freezers and taking inventory. I actually started the inventory process in the cupboards on Wednesday.  I admit, I’m a bit of an organizing freak.  I like to know what I have and how much. Then I can plan to use it up.

I used to draw up a menu plan and follow it religiously.  Not anymore!  I make the menu plan and pick and choose meals from it depending on how I feel and my time constraints that particular day. It is a lot more relaxing that way.

In kitchen renovation news…the cabinets are half built. The installer will take over the kitchen on the 21st and remove the old kitchen.  Hubby will sand and paint.  The flooring guy will come do his thing. Then the installer comes back.  Then we have to call in a plumber to connect the sink and dishwasher. BUT none of the hookups can happen until we buy and receive appliances!  Rumour has it appliances are hard to acquire right now. We’re off today to check.

In rug hooking news…I’m almost done hooking “The Weave”!  I figure I have another three to four hours of hooking. Then the finishing.  I’m guessing, with everything else going on, it will be a couple of weeks yet.   I’m looking forward to “The Bubble”.

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

Weekly Review – “Making a Life”

Weekly Review – “Making a Life”

Yay!  I had some time to prepare a couple of hooked pieces for the wall. I created and attached labels and hanging sleeves to “Time” and “Autumn”.  They are ready to hang!

I started reading ”Making a Life” by Deanne Fitzpatrick the other day.  It is a great little read with lots of wonderful photography of her work.  I think it’s her most readable book yet.  It’s interesting how, over the years, you can see a writer’s skill progress.  This is true of other authors as well as Deanne.  In this book Deanne writes about her life as an artist the past twenty-five years.  She talks about her initial views on art and artists, and how she grew into thinking of herself as an artist and being an artist. A lovely read.

Next up?!  Colour planning my next project!

 

Weekly Review – What’s Next?!

Weekly Review – What’s Next?!

This week was productive.  “Gyeongju “ is finished and up on the wall!  “Time” is also finished. I have to put hanging sleeves on it and “Autumn”. My serger is back from having maintenance done on it, so I’m good to go!

I’m checking my Someday/Maybe list and crossing these projects off.  Time to decide what’s next. I’m tempted to work on “The Weave”. Or maybe “Where are we Going?”. Or “The Bubble”. Or something totally different.

Some people have a shortage of ideas to hook. I’m not one of them!  I have sketchbooks full of ideas.  I think I’ll pick smallish projects I can carry with me this summer – projects I can work on out on the deck, or at the cottage, or at my sisters’.

I have three smallish to medium sized poetry pieces on backing left to complete.  I will pick one and colour plan it.  I’m narrowing things down this weekend…hoping to have made a decision by Monday.

I have been busy since Covid began.  Enjoy this slide show of some of my finished work.

 

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Weekly Review – International Nature Journalling Week

Weekly Review – International Nature Journalling Week

Good morning everyone!  I’m right in the middle of International Nature Journalling Week put on by Bethan Burton and friends. It’s quite good. It’s free, but there has been a request for donations. It’s seven days long with two sessions per day. I’ll have to miss a couple of sessions due to previous commitments, but overall I’ll be able to get the flavour of the week.

In other news, we spent the week in the yard. It’s been the first decent week of weather for planting since last spring. I took advantage of the situation.  All our seedlings are in the ground, and a good deal of seeds.

I’m having incredible luck with growing from seeds down here!  Everything seems to grow!  I gave a third of my tomato plants to one friend, and another third to another friend. Same with pepper and oregano plants. I still had twelve tomato plants of three different varieties to plant!  I had six  or seven pepper plants of three different varieties. Plus, leeks, onions, peas, Swiss chard, kale, two kinds of beets, radishes, lettuce, squash, zucchini, cucumber, turnip, carrots, and much more.

My pots and raised beds are going to be overflowing. We had too many tomato plants, so we planted them and the remaining marigolds in the perennial bed.  We’ll see how they do in the part shade.

The weather has been gorgeous, for the most part. I’m spending a fair bit of time on the deck, relaxing.  When I’m not pulling weeds. We have a severe goutweed problem here. So we’re busy dealing with that. We back onto a Municipal green space that has become infested. It’s spreading into our flower beds.

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

Weekly Review – Museum Hanging System

Weekly Review – Museum Hanging System

This week was a week of moving forward on various projects.

I finished spinning an alpaca fibre I acquired from a lady out in Regina, Saskatchewan many years ago (thank-you Sharon!).  It’s a beautiful soft yarn, and I haven’t processed it yet!  This yarn will be used for knitting.

In the process of cleaning up my studio last week I found my old doll.  It’s over 50 years old!   It needs new clothes.  I believe the last time I sewed for her was in the 1980s, and it was just a pajama top and panties set.  This time she’s going to sport a coordinating sailor dress, panties and bonnet in various patterns of hot pink!  The sewing pattern is decided and cut.  Today I plan to do some sewing.

In the rug hooking arena I dyed more purple wool fabric to finish hooking the border on “Gyeongju”.  I figure I have 6-8 hours of hooking left to do.  Then it’s onto blocking and hemming the edges.  I have to decide what kind of hanging system to use with it.  It’s a pretty heavy piece, so I may take the time to make a full museum quality hanging system.

What’s that? You ask?

Well, I take a strip of thin wood (check out the trim section of your lumber store), cut it to length, and shellac it.  Then I staple hook and loop tape to it – the hook side.   I sew the loop side to the top of the rug.  I drill a couple of holes either end of the trim…right through the hook and loop tape.  I screw it to the wall where I want to hang the piece, making sure it’s level.  Then I just push the loop part of the tape onto the hook part, making fine adjustments as I go to make sure the rug is hanging level.

It is a time consuming way to hang a rug, and is not cheap.   But it’s the best system I’ve seen for big heavy rugs like mine in the long run.

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

Studio Organization

Studio Organization

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


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

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

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

Studio Update

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

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

It’s been a busy week for me. In between rug hooking, yard cleanup, sewing and gardening, there’s also been nature journaling. I’m really enjoying learning more about observing and recording nature, even though I struggle with the scientific end of it…primarily thinking of questions to ask about my observations. But, the drawing practice is invaluable!

I spent some time watching YouTube videos by John Muir Laws on nature journaling.  He uses coloured pencils outdoors.  Because I’ve been working from photographs indoors, I’ve been using watercolours.  You can use either in either location.  But I’m thinking I could use a greater variety of journals, at a more affordable price, if I learned to use coloured pencils properly.  So I put an order into Michaels craft store for curbside pickup of a few pencils and a case to hold them.

Here are more watercolour pages in my nature journal.

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In other news, I finally finished the last project for the L.L. Bean shirts that belonged to my dad when he passed away three years ago.  Dad loved L.L. Bean clothes – their shirts in particular.  He had white hair and blue eyes. He could wear just about any colour, and did!  The bright orange nylon one became a cushion cover for his widow. The rest I took and sewed into various projects – one for each descendant.  You can find “The Shirt Project” video here .

While all of the projects but one were finished within a few months of Dad’s death, one project in particular was vexing. One of my nephews wanted a knife sheath for a jackknife. The shirts just aren’t built for that. But I happened to have some tanned moose hide, so thought I’d try. Then we had to focus on moving. It wasn’t till last fall that I picked up the project again. I broke many needles and couldn’t sew the moose hide on my home machine, even with leather needles. So, after consultation with my nephew, I sewed this alternative gift. Here’s the final project for my last nephew.

Hubby and I also put together a raised garden bed to run along the side of our raised deck.  We traded our deformed cedar we had to have cut down (it was growing in power lines) for some milled lumber leftover from a neighbour.


We also put together a Muskoka Bear chair, which is really a type of Adirondack chair.  Hubby is working on the matching chair now.  It came in pieces.  Hubby sanded it, painted it and assembled it.  The colour is Aruba Blue by Benjamin Moore, and I just love it!

Well, if you have been, thanks for reading!  I hope you all have a wonderful, productive weekend.  Take care.

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!

 

Weekly Review – Dyeing Nylons

Weekly Review – Dyeing Nylons

Hi everyone!  This week was about hooking more on my Workshop Week courses, and dyeing nylons.

I am done the abstracts from Donna Mulholland’s class.  I’m finished the tote bag from Beth Miller’s class.  I’m about halfway done the hourglass wall hanging from Nadine Flagel’s class.  I still have the Fraktur chair pad from Susan Feller’s class to hook.

I had a great follow up Zoom session with Nadine Flagel yesterday. She  confirmed some of my thoughts about the hourglass piece.  I made some changes already, but have more to go.  I have to be careful because I don’t want the finished piece to be overdone.   I want to embellish the sand with beads and embroider some orange flowering vines up the brown hourglass supports.

But onto nylons…

Why dye nylons?  How do you use them?  Well I use mine for added texture in my rug hooking.  I think it’s a good way to recycle them and keep them from the landfill.  I also find a pair of nylons goes a long way. If I cut in a spiral down the leg, and pull taut, so it forms a rope, I end up with a small ball of nylon “yarn” I can hook with, and have fewer ends.

Nylons have a long history in rug hooking. The Grenfell Mission rugs were hooked in straight rows with “silk stockings”, the precursor to nylons. Now, imitators of that style of rug hooking use…you guessed it…nylons.

Today I’ve invited a couple of friends over to watch me strip colour out of  nylons and dye them.  I strip the colour out using RIT colour remover following the package directions.  Then I dye them with acid dyes.  My favourite dyeing techniques for nylon are just a solid one colour in the dye pot type dye job, and spot dyeing.  By Monday I’ll have something pretty to show you!

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

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

So after looking at my project mind map Monday, how did I do this week? Well, as you can see from the above photo, I’ve removed some of the hooking on “Autumn” to correct a composition error.  

I also took the second session of Beth Miller’s class on hooking a tote bag and finished my project bag. It was a fun class and it was interesting to do something a bit different with my hooking, rather than making another piece to hang on the wall. I really enjoyed this class.

I also worked more on the hourglass for “Time”, a poem my youngest daughter wrote when she was 11 years old. I plan on adding embellishments to this piece. And I will be attaching the poem, on a label, to the back of the wall hanging. This project is for Nadine Flagel’s class.

I have pressed and pinned my abstract pieces from Donna Mulholland’s class. I plan to hem those today.

That leaves the chair pads from Susan Feller’s class to do. Tomorrow I’ll be dyeing fibre for those. I plan on dip dyeing some coral/pink for carnations. I may need more blues for “Time” as well.

Next up after the first chair pad is to finish my South Korean rug. It’s been sitting around far too long. I started it last January 2020. Then I bought a house and furniture and decorating and well, lots of time with family (when Covid let us) and on artist retreats…it was a great year in a lot of ways, but I didn’t work much on the South Korea rug.

Thankfully, come last October, Karen Miller’s first Workshop Week gave me a bit of a wake up call to get hooking again. It’s been slow over winter. Mostly I’ve been playing with finishing class projects and organizing my studio so I can actually get in there to work! I have entirely too much stuff there still.

I have, however, been sketching new designs. Hopefully this year I’ll get to those. I find large projects bog me down. This South Korean End Cap Tiles rug is large for me.

 

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