Happenings

Happenings

Good morning everyone!  This past week has been busy and fun.  I enjoyed time spent hemming the two Parker’s Cove wallhangings and the Boucherouite wallhanging.  Next up is hanging sleeves on the backs. Then to add the titles.

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Coming up with titles for pieces has always been a struggle for me.  I try to somehow relate the title to the concept or idea that inspired the piece.  Other times it is based on memories, like “The Farm”.  Sometimes, if I’m really lacking in creative ideas, it’s just a numbering system, like “Parker’s Cove #1”, “Parker’s Cove #2”, etcetera.

I decided to call the Boucherouite wallhanging “Moroccan Dream”.  It was inspired by the Moroccan Boucherouite rugs, but isn’t really a Boucherouite.  From what I can find online, there are no circles in true Boucherouite rugs.  So “Moroccan Dream” is more in the style of a Boucherouite rug, but not a true Boucherouite.

I’m still waiting for inspiration on the Parker’s Cove series of wall hangings.  They deserve better than just a numbering system.  I wanted to name them after the owners of the fishing shacks, but I don’t know who they are or how to find out, short of going there one day and bothering the fishermen and women as they either leave or come back from fishing.  Hmmm…

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In other news…I am still preparing for the onion skin dyeing workshop.  I have also started video taping for an online video course on onion skin dyeing. I’ve had great fun dyeing wool fabric this week, and experimenting with mordants and different dyeing techniques.

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I have also been experimenting with “stories” on Facebook and Instagram. I am hoping to place more content on Instagram in the coming days.  Check out my Jean Ottosen Studios Instagram account for updates.  Next up is to learn how to effectively create and use Reels.

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I attended a great Biz/Studio Q&A on Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks this past week.  A lot of topics were covered and good ideas were discussed.  I have a lot of ideas to work on.

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In other news…after months of struggling with a rug hooking frame that was virtually falling apart, I finally gave it and some Chair Doctor glue to a carpenter friend to fix it for me.  I have had this frame over ten years, and used it heavily.  It owes me nothing.  Still it is my favourite frame.  It’s great to have it back and in working order.

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In yet more news…I have been busy spinning up some alpaca, Corriedale wool and wool roping to make a nice fuzzy yarn for dyeing and hooking into my wallhangings.  The people of the ASH Guild (Atlantic Spinners and Handweavers) have been very helpful.  I attend their Zoom Fibre Days and learn a lot.

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Well, if you have made it this far, thank-you for reading.  I hope everyone has a great week!  Until next time, take care!

Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings

The hooking on the Boucherouite is finished!  It is in my pile set aside for finishing.

I washed the fisherman’s rope for framing the Parker’s Cove fishing shacks series.  It is a great deal more pliable and, I believe, will work for my purposes.

I had a great time participating in Beth Miller’s Beginner Dyeing Demonstration in her Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  While I am not a beginner dyer, I do think I can learn something new from everyone I meet.  Beth demonstrated electric skillet dyeing and microwave dyeing, which I’ve never done before.  I was curious about her methodology.  Now I’m on the lookout for an electric skillet!  I guess it’s time for another trip to the thrift store…

I had great fun showing the ladies at the Sunday FiFi Zoom meeting through Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks how to do the herringbone edge on a piece of hooking.  I hooked a quick hit and miss hot pad in order to show how to do it. My only criteria for the hot pad was that I had enough of a particular colour of wool to do a full row in the squares.  I used leftover worms/noodles from other projects. I used 100% wool and it is on a primitive linen backing.

The edge is made from a hand spun, hand dyed wool yarn.   It is worked over a core of 100% cotton cording from Michaels craft store, which I pre-washed in hot soapy water.  The cording and yarn are quite large for the piece in order to show up more clearly on the camera when I was demonstrating.  As a result, rather than rip it all out and redo a smaller size, I made it a design feature.  I brought the hot pad up to the level of the whipping by padding the back with quilt batting, before lining it with a piece of wool fabric.

in other news…I am practicing hosting Zoom meetings…because…

Upcoming workshop…

I am preparing to teach a live beginner onion skin dyeing workshop in Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  It will be Wednesday, March 30th, from 7 – 9 PM EST.

In that Zoom workshop I’ll be teaching immersion dyeing, casserole spot dyeing and marrying wool while simultaneously overdyeing it with onion skin dye solution. I have created an introduction presentation, a presentation on record keeping and one on experimenting with different agents to set the dye.  If I have time, I’ll also show samples of different fibres dyed with onion skin and different setting agents.  It’s a lot to pack into a two hour workshop, but I’m game to try!  I am limiting the class to 5-10 participants, so I can meet everyone’s needs.

In order to take this class you must be a member of Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  It costs just $10 USD per month.  The cost for the workshop is discounted for Beth’s community to $40 USD per person.  When it is offered off that platform, it will be a tad more expensive.

I recommend signing up soon, so you have plenty of time to gather up onion skins!  You will need 6 – 8 large handfuls of dry yellow onion skins.  You can score these from family and friends, or your friendly produce manager at your local grocery store.  Ask if you can clean out their onion bins at the end of the day, or whenever they need it done.

You will also need an enamel roasting pan with lid for stovetop use (or an old enamel refrigerator bin and tin foil for a lid) and a long handled wooden or white plastic spoon.  These will be dedicated dye equipment and can be found at thrift stores, yard sales, etc.  There is a more extensive supplies list on Beth’s Mighty Networks site.

This workshop promises to be very informative and great fun!  If you’re interested check it out on Mighty Networks!

That is what is coming up on my schedule so far this month.  As for this week…I will continue preparing for the workshop, hook more on the Parker’s Cove series, and work on “The Farm”.

If you have been, thanks for reading!  I hope you all have a great week!

Monday Ramblings

Monday Ramblings

Good morning everyone!  This will be my one and only blog post this week.  I have several projects on the go.

  • the Boucherouite is almost finished hooking.  I need to decide on a finish and do it.
  • “The Farm” is waiting in the wings. I have ideas in my mind for how I want to accomplish it. It will definitely be a mixed media piece.
  • the Parker’s Cove series is partly on backing.  I think I will need a dye day to create more fabric of the right colours.
  • I am preparing to teach the herringbone edge to a group on Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community network on Mighty Networks.
  • I also have another rug hooking project I’m working on behind the scenes for now.
  • I have several Zoom meetings to attend and one to run this week.  I plan on playing around with how Zoom works, so I can offer a seamless workshop experience in the future. Stay tuned!…

I hope everyone has a great week!

 

Blog Review & Changes Afoot

Blog Review & Changes Afoot

Good evening everyone. I have been working on a lot of projects around here, so am backing off my blog for a bit.  I’ll be going to a once a week post on Mondays.  Most of my readers check-in on Tuesdays, so that should give them something to read throughout the week.

One of the projects I’m focusing on right now is the Boucherouite of course. It is almost finished hooking. While I enjoyed it, it’s definitely time to move on.

To that end I’ll be working on “The Farm” simultaneously with more Parker’s Cove pieces. I am still wanting to do the Parker’s Cove series and have some creative ideas for framing them.  We’ll see what transpires.

Aside from that, I’ve been laying low as far as online hook-ins have gone this week.  I’m busy learning new things here. I am looking forward to showing some progress on projects Monday.

Make It Happen Monday

Make It Happen Monday

Almost there!  The Boucherouite rug is moving along.  I hope to finish it this week.

Saturday I attended a Zoom seminar on “Women Artisans of Morocco”, sponsored by the Textile Museum Associates of Southern California.  Over 1000 people were in attendance!  Some via Zoom and some via YouTube Live. The speaker was Dr. Susan Schaefer Davis.  She was very knowledgeable about introducing the women and their work.  Her presentation included discussion of rugs, embroideries and handmade buttons of the High and Middle Atlas Mountains. I came away with a new knowledge and appreciation for Moroccan textiles.

I finished reading ”Color Choices” by Stephen Quiller.  I have not studied the colour wheel to that depth before.  I have informally learned it, but not the theory behind it and how to use it to create a cohesive colour scheme.  My use of colour is largely intuitive.  This was a good read for me.

”The Farm” is slow going.  I’m still selecting fibre and embellishments to explore techniques.  Plus I continue to research techniques in an effort to decide which ones I’m going to use.  I have a choice of painting the sky, reverse hooking it, or using canvas embroidery techniques on it.   I need to experiment a bit to see which will suit the piece better.

I am not sure what this week holds, but it promises to be busy.  If you have been, thanks for reading!  Have a productive week everyone!

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Good day everyone!  The Boucherouite rug is progressing.

I worked on ”The Farm” this week.  I embroidered leaf veins to hold background leaves in place.  I used a technique called proddy to create 3D leaves of different shapes and sizes.  I purchased some beads to use as berries.  I’ve done a lot of research on techniques for this piece.

Four more Parker’s Cove patterns are ready to be hooked.  I was looking for fishing rope to devise a unique finishing technique…possibly using knots.  A friend came through in spades.  I am using an old book that predates 1918 for knot ideas.  It’s titled “Knots, Ties and Splices” by J. Tom Burgess.

I had good intentions of repairing “The Wedding (?) Rug”. However, my Fraser 500 wool stripper (strip cutter) broke.  I’m waiting for better weather to connect with someone who might be able to repair it.  We’re supposed to have another winter storm this weekend.  Meanwhile a friend has the right size cutter wheel and will cut the necessary strips for me.

Charlie Dalton, guest speaker on the In The Studio seminar series this month, gave a great talk!  He talked about his journey to becoming a rug hooker and how he drew his inspiration from past and present artists.  Then he gave us a grand overview of his work.  It was a very interesting and inspiring story!  Thank-you Charlie and In The Studio!

I’m almost finished reading “Color Choices” by Stephen Quiller.  I actually borrowed this book for the last two or three chapters in it, but found the first chapter so fascinating I kept reading from the beginning!  It’s a new way of looking at the colour wheel for me.

I’ve been busy working my way through Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” with a group of ladies in Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.  It’s been very good so far.

I am really enjoying the supportive community Beth Miller is developing on Mighty Networks.  Beth has demonstrations and Crafternoons planned every month, and finishing days quarterly.  There are over ten boards on a diverse range of topics – rug hooking is only one of them.  Soon she will be adding member only classes to the roster of happenings.  Membership is only $9.99 USD per month…well worth it for me so far.  I encourage you to check it out.  There’s a free three day trial.

Well, that’s my review for the week!   If you have been, thanks for reading!

 

FOR SALE FEATURE: Prairie Sunset Large

FOR SALE FEATURE: Prairie Sunset Large

I grew up on the Canadian prairies and spent most of my adult life there. The one thing about the prairies that stood out to me was the vivid sunsets.  This scene is of such a sunset hovering over a field of ripe canola.   The wispy clouds were truly red on the bottom!  It was a gorgeous sunset, and if I had pure gold to hook into it, I would! 

“Prairie Sunset Large” is actually 12” x 24”. Most of my prairie sky pieces are small 6” square pieces. By comparison this is large. It is hooked using the traditional rug hooking technique of pulling loops up from below the piece using a hand hook.  All ends or tails are pulled to the top and clipped even with the hooking.

It is made of wool, silk and nylon, on primitive linen. Some of it is yarn and some fabric. Some is hand spun and some commercial yarn. Most everything is hand dyed.  Though some fibre may be commercially dyed. 

“Prairie Sunset Large” is $300 CAD. It includes free shipping in Canada.  It comes with an artist’s certificate of authenticity, and a museum quality hanging system.

The hanging system consists of a shellacked oak board and hook and loop tape stapled to the board and sewn to the back of the wall hanging. 

Contact me at: jeanottosenstudios@gmail.com for more information or to purchase. 

Snow Day!

Snow Day!

We woke up to a fresh blanket of snow covering the ground this morning, and more snow falling. It was quiet and beautiful!

A snow day for us means an at home day. So today I’ve been doing “errands”  and paying bills online.  I’ve also been transferring files from my iMac to my Lenovo laptop.  My iMac is on its last legs and I will not be replacing it.

I managed to copy four more Parker’s Cove fishing shack wall hangings onto backing. I have at least one more long one to transfer to backing, and several smaller ones yet.

I have not worked on the Boucherouite rug since Friday.  Nor have I worked on “The Farm”.  

I have finished spinning and plying some dark green Corriedale wool for rug hooking.

Plus I attended a Zoom lecture by Tom Hannihar, sponsored by the Textile Museum Associates of Southern California, on the molas of Panama and Columbia. A mola is a type of handwork created using reverse appliqué, appliqué and embroidery.  It is often made by girls and women, and sewn to their blouses. It was a fascinating lecture.

This weekend they have one on the women artists of Morocco.  I plan to attend that Zoom lecture too.  

I am currently reading “Color Choices” by Stephen Quiller. This book is aimed at artists and uses manufactured paint names for the various colours on the colour wheel.  The concepts are good for all media though. I am enjoying it. I hope to finish it by the end of the month.

I am also embarking on a re-reading of Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way”. I am doing it with a group of people on Beth Miller’s Parris House Creative Community on Mighty Networks.   I learned a lot about myself the first time through this book over 20 years ago, and I’m thinking it might be time to revisit it now.

Mighty Networks is a paid platform, and Beth is just getting started there. However she already has some demos, a crafting afternoon, and a finishing afternoon once a month in the works. There are plans to offer courses through the site as well.  Plus there are boards on a wide variety of topics.  You can check out her site on a free 3 day trial.  After that it’s $9.99 USD per month.

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

Weekly Review: sidetracked

Weekly Review: sidetracked

Hi everyone!  I had one of those weeks this week. I was sidetracked by computer issues and different exciting happenings I can’t tell you about yet. It’s a project still in the planning stages.

However, I did accomplish some of what I set out to do this week!  The Boucherouite rug I am working on is half finished.  It’s great fun to work on.  I am enjoying playing with pattern and colour.

I changed up “The Farm” a bit.  I’m thinking of possible techniques I could use to create 3D flowers and plants around the edges.  I’m considering felting flowers, silk embroidery, beadwork, stumpwork embroidery, Brazilian embroidery… There are a lot of options.  I’ve spent a lot of time on YouTube watching tutorials.

I have more Parker’s Cove fishing shacks in my sketchbook and some ready to go on backing.  I’m hoping to work on those tonight and tomorrow.

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

 

FOR SALE FEATURE:  African Dream

FOR SALE FEATURE: African Dream

Good afternoon everyone!  It’s a beautiful winter day today.  The bright blue sky and brilliant sun, though cold here, reminds me of much warmer climes. Today’s feature rug is “African Dream”!

“African Dream” started as a curiosity piece.  We had purchased a cheap grey and grey-blue mudroom rug to protect our hardwood floors.  It was an ugly colour, but I found the design intriguing.  It was striped, but there was pattern within each stripe. I wondered…”What if…?”

Colour…it needed colour.  It also needed to be enlarged and to have contrast added.  It needed some variation in the pattern.  In short, it needed a makeover!  I grabbed my sketchbook and made a quick small sketch.  I later enlarged the sketch and transferred it to linen backing. 

I pulled from the colours I had seen in African cloth to hook this wall hanging.  Composed of many different colour values of silk, wool and nylon, it contains a lot of movement.  

I used yarn, fabric and upcycled pantyhose (nylons) for this project. Some of the yarn is homespun and dyed by me, some indie dyed and spun, and some is commercial. The pantyhose have been stripped of their original colour and dyed by me.

Measuring  28 3/4” x 24”, “African Dream” is a large rug for me.  It has a cotton hanging sleeve attached, and is hung from a dowel supported by two cup hooks.

It comes with an Artist’s Certificate of Authenticity.

It is on sale for $700 CAD, shipping included in Canada.  If you are interested, contact me, Jean Ottosen, at: jeanottosenstudios@gmail.com 

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