Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Turkey Dinner Done and Dusted

It was a great weekend with both kids and their partners plus Jackson. Weather cooperated enough for nice long walks on the road. I don't remember ever seeing so many other walkers on a Thanksgiving weekend.

Now the turkey leftovers are all gone and I am packing my bags for my big trek to Edmonton to teach two rug hooking workshops. I was contacted by the Focus on Fibre Arts Association In November 2012 to see if I would be interested in coming there to teach.  Our rug hooking community sure does plan in advance. After nearly two years in the making (lol) I will be heading there on Thursday to start the first class on Friday.

I am teaching my Photo to Mat class the first week and have received very interesting images from the students for this class. A lot of my pre-work is done, so we should be ready to get hooking right away, and I will teach all the little computer shortcuts I use during class.

The second class is Hooking in an Impressionist style and again, very different selections for their pieces. I was surprised to find that 10 of the students are taking both classes. I hope they aren't sick of me by the time it is all over.

It appears there are some very very talented hookers in my classes.  Here is a link to the entries in their 2014 juried Prairies Competition. Fortunately for me, the entire show will still be hanging while I am there and I will get to see it.

Here are the rug hooking entries. Karen is not in the class. Her group exhibit is hanging  in the Niagara Pump House in Niagara-on-the-Lake until the end of November. But the rest are.

Heading West by Karen Miller

Moose by Janet McLean (Best of Category)

Prairie Landscape by Laurie Wiles (Best of Show)

Sunflowers by Laurie Wiles

Autumn Work by Lynn Roth

Blizzard by Faye Swenson 

I have not been to Edmonton since I was 21 and on my way to the Yukon. I was flying stand by and got bumped there. Spent 3 days at the YWCA before getting my next flight out. Needless to say, that was "quite a few" years ago. This is a fun reason for a visit and through all the email preparations and correspondence, I feel like I already know this group.

Will try to post progress while I am there.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Holy September, Bat Man!

And not just the beginning of September, but past the middle!!
Let's just say it has been a blurry month so far. And after such a you-know-what summer, not a graceful transition.

Too much on my plate. Starting with the paying work which has me at the computer at least 7 hours a day lately. So my life is back to having "weekends" in it. My play time.

So what else have I been up to? Here are a few projects that have somehow managed to get done.
A cutie-pie "monster cardigan" with monster for Jackson.

He is so big now that my early fears it would be way too big may be for naught. Here he is at my Toronto office a couple of weeks ago. Check out that hair!!!

Back in the Quilting department, I needed to make a housewarming gift and discovered the world of the Jelly Roll Race. Amazing what you can learn to do on the internet. Anyway, based on a couple of paint chips of specific colours, this is the lap quilt that resulted.

And as to hooking? Not a lot taking place, but another sample for my second class in Edmonton. This little mat is done from a painting I did a few years ago. I like how it turned out. The colour of the painting is really off.

The rest of whatever time I have has been spent getting ready for the upcoming trek to the Focus on Fibre Art Festival in Alberta. First time I have ever tried to do two classes back to back, but there you go.  Many of the students have signed up for both. Man, will they be tired of me by the end.

And I haven't even visited a single blogger friend lately either. Will catch up soon, hopefully.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What happened to summer?

It is July 30th. I am in the studio wearing long pants and a wool sweater. The furnace was on when I woke up this morning. This has not been Mother Nature's finest summer, that's for sure. And after that winter, I thought she would take a little pity on us. Apparently not!!

On the good news side, the flora here is very happy. Here are some of the roadside plants where we walk each day. There are some thistle-style weeds that tower over my head and I am 5'8" (or at least I used to be).

Someone else who is growing like a weed is the grand baby. He is now 7 months old and seems so big already.  His poor mom has started back to work this week, but his dad is taking over for the other half of the leave. This was the picture that Kris posted of him on Day 2 of Daddy Care. (Note that he has his phone handy, in case he needs to call his mom lol.)

The other benefit of the cooler weather is that it is perfect for hooking. And I have been doing quite a bit in between my paying work. Getting things ready for my big trek out west.  I am doing a few small pieces for samples of hooking in a painterly style.

The moose is very small - just over 5 x 7. The fruit is about 7" square. I have a few more to do and they are very enjoyable and quite quick. I am learning lots as I interpret each one.

Who knows what August will bring, but hopefully a few warmer days. I have only been in the lake once this year and same with the stand up paddle board. If the weather is truly a month behind, maybe we will have July in August.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Critters Get a New Look

In my years of hooking, although the majority of my patterns are original, I have only ever sold TWO. This is the second one. It is the wide cut pattern that I designed to get my certification in the TTEC program (Teacher Training Education and Certification) in the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild.

I called it Critters and I hooked it originally as a square pattern. It has been beside my bed ever since.

It was one of my rugs that I brought to Trent and on visitors' day, someone asked if they could buy the pattern. Just one little change - they wanted a rectangle, not a square. I figured it was no problem - I would just shorten it a tad and add something to either side. And you can never have too many trees, right?

Here is where I netted out after sketching it onto some psuedo red dot.

And here it is on primitive linen, ready to be mailed.

Since I don't design with sales in mind - strictly for my own purposes - it is very flattering when someone asks if they can purchase something from me. And it is wonderful to see what someone else does with it. I guess that is the joy in designing patterns for sale too.

Hopefully, I will get to share the finished mat as well.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Lost a day - gained a background.

Well, somehow it isn't July 6, it's the 7th.  And that has been happening a lot lately. The long weekends in there make it worse, but I generally know the day - just not the date.

Since this morning's post, however, I did get the background done in my little portrait. And I am happy with it.

I wonder why I am so much more forgiving with things done in wool than with things done with paint - or even worse (shudder) a camera.  I guess this is why I like rug hooking as much as I do. And why I LOVE rendering photos into little "snippets". Capturing a moment without too much self criticism is so much better than the alternative.

Anyway, I am happy with this likeness.

July 6 already?

Where did the month go?

Well, a good part of it went to "granding" and "teaching". We had Jackson and his mom here for a full week before my teaching gig at Trent.

I do a bit of a morning shift with Jackson so his mom can head back to bed. I am up already, so it is a natural fit. We hang out and watch a little Treehouse and then the day begins. You do forget how much time and space these little creatures fill.

Then, my wonderful week at Trent. I had a mixed wide cut class called "Primitive or Wide Cut - its up to you". My students would tell you that I have a bit of a fixation about the confusion between the two and my new motto (which they all learned to chant in chorus) is: PRIMITIVE IS A STYLE!! WIDE IS A CUT!! and my class was the perfect example of the difference.

I had about half the class doing PRIMITIVE STYLE rugs, while others in the room were doing geometrics, photo to mat projects or just wide cut rugs - in any style they chose. We had a fabulous week of sharing, learning, watching great videos and they did great work. By the end of a week, it is amazing to see how much everyone has accomplished. They have all promised to share their finished projects, so I should have lots of bragging rights very soon (or at least once the summer is done).

Then, we had our first solo stint with Jackson. His parents went to NYC for a late honeymoon, so we had three days and nights to ourselves. Happy to report no dents, scratches or bruises. Very little sleep as well, since you are constantly listening - afraid he might wake and you won't hear him. No chance of that, I discovered. But here is a "future rug" pic that Rick took of us. Pretty sweet.

And this past weekend, he came with his folks for another visit. Check out the sun suit. Future surfer dude, for sure!!

In between all the "granding", I did manage to do a tiny bit of hooking. I am heading to Edmonton this fall for their Fiber Arts Festival and am teaching a couple of classes. They requested a bio picture and since I don't have one I like much, I decided to hook one. This is where I am at the moment. This is very small - only 5 x 6, so the person who said she would never hook in a 4 cut again, actually did.

Lots of tweaking to do still, but just to prove I have not given up hooking altogether. lol.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Some Bragging

In the little break between the OHCG Annual that just passed and my upcoming class at Trent School of Rug Hooking  I have time to do a quick "braggy" post about my students' work.

They may not be a big group, but they are determined and I enjoy having them here in my studio on Wednesday afternoons. And it is my pleasure to share a little bit of their recent work with you.

First up, a smaller version of my washer/dryer pattern, hooked lovingly and "perfectly" by Shania.
Her handy hubby created a great hanging mechanism and this piece is now displayed proudly at the landing in their beautiful home. at 20" wide by 40" long, it was not a quick hook, but I think that Shania is even impressed by her creation.

Next is a trio of Barb's work. She fell hook, line and sinker for the photo-to-mat techniques. In fact, I may have created a bit of a monster here. Just kidding - these are fantastic! She just has to figure out where to put them. I have suggested a grouping (just like photos) on a wall. They are all about 8 x 10 or smaller.

The only thing I have to share of my own is the sign that I did for the Annual "theme" display. The theme was texture, so this is what I made for the display. I remember doing this when I was a kid. Not this big, but the yarn and nails thing - it was really fun.