Monday, August 30, 2010

Glad Plaid Bag all hooked.

Here is the bag all hooked. Despite the amazing weather the last few days, I managed to get in an hour each day and it went quickly. The second side was a breeze, since I followed the colour placement from the first side. And that was indeed the trickiest part.
















I decided not to do the flap, which is one of the many options Jennifer gives you in the pattern -  have seen her bags with and without the flap, and since the buckle is very wide and keeps the bag well closed, I am happy without it.  So much easier to grab things from the bag without having to move the buckle and the flap out of the way first.

Now comes the assembly. I have put together two other bags, so this shouldn't be that much more challenging. And Jenn's instructions are very detailed to help me along.

I hope to keep up the momentum, but there will be an interruption this week - a little mat for a special celebration. But it shouldn't take long.

I will share progress on both next week.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Happy Purse Beginning

This past weekend I celebrated my last birthday of a decade and, as my friend Elaine so eloquently said recently of her birthday, "I felt really loved."  Celebrations began with a lunch with my friend Jennifer at Tall Trees in Huntsville - yummmm. I met her at her office and she had a bag of goodies for me, including a pandora charm (a bit of tradition for us) and a twist of her amazing new silk - check out her post.  We followed lunch with a trip to her local quilting shop where I found lining for this wonderful new project.



I'm calling this my "Glad Plaid" bag, and it's from Jenn's Bala Bag pattern. I wanted a larger hooked bag so I bought this pattern plus the leather strap and buckle a L-O-N-G time ago.

When I finished my last project, I thought it was the perfect time to start this. And I decided to use all my "plaids". After only a couple of rows of squares, I could tell this was a good decision. I love it! It makes me happy. Doesn't it have a slight retro feel to it? And with all these colours, there's nothing it won't go with (bad grammar here - oops).

And wait till you see the lining I (we) picked - another post for that later.

Back to the birthday - the kids drove up from the city on Saturday morning to the rainiest day so far this summer. But we hung out, played Scrabble, enjoyed a birthday feast and had a good catch up visit. Sunday, out for lunch together and then we drove them back - I needed my car.

So many birthday singers and calls and emails. And great gifts - I did feel very "loved". Thanks to all.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Underpainting Done

Well, here it is - finished.



I must confess that I am happy with the results and would definitely consider incorporating that into many sketches going forward.

As simple as this little mat was, getting all the elements to separate in values was a bit of a challenge and I hooked the water a few times to get to something that didn't blend into the trees.
This picture doesn't really show the separation.

But, I do like the underpainting part. So, I think tis exploration gave me the results I wanted.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Four Pillows

Here is a picture of all four "Amazing Matrix" pillows finished! Don't they look amazing? Thanks to Jennifer Manuell for her fresh take on the inch mat, these four beauties are complete and look wonderful on our leather sofa and love seat.


I don't keep all four on one piece - this was purely for the photograph. There are two for each piece and they sit against the arms versus the back.

As usual, the finishing was the true test of endurance.  As it was so warm for so long, it was hard to even think of holding layers of hooked wool and ultra suede on my lap. But a cool, rainy day presented itself and it was the perfect opportunity to finish the final two.

Of the many hooked pieces around the house, these pillows seem to attract the most attention.
Everyone wants me to make them one.  There may be a couple of gifts looming in the fall.

But a couple of other projects in the queue to finish first.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Underpainting - can you hook it?

I have always been a fan of art with an underpainting. I think that it makes everything look better, and I think that is why I love so many of the Canadian paintings that my husband and I have collected over the years. Nothing makes a sky and water look better than a touch of orange showing through.

In doing a little on-line research into underpainting, it turns out that it isn't a painting style that is restricted to impressionist work, although that's where I love it, but to still life painting, and portraits - virtually every kind of art. Virtually every medium as well, including pastels and pencil crayons. And several of the software programs for use with photography also have an "underpainting" tool to help give a painterly quality to a photo.

I was reminded of how much I like it a couple of weeks ago at the Muskoka Arts and Crafts Show in Bracebridge. I met a new artist whose work I really enjoyed. Here is one of his paintings.


In addition to doing an underpainting, he told me that he paints on plywood because he loves the texture that it gives. And he also discovered some art markers that let him outline his shapes before painting them.

When I got home, I took out a little Martina Lesar mat that I have been working on and decided to see if I could simulate an underpainting on it. As you can see from the subject matter, it's the perfect little piece on which to experiment.


I am introducing a burnt orange yarn into the already-hooked shapes as well as the to-be-hooked shapes. And I think it will create the effect that I am going for. And it's a good exercise to try something about which I have been curious to see if it will emulate the underpaintings of the artists I so admire.

I'll share photos as this progresses, but thought there was enough here to demonstrate where I'm headed.