Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Colour at Play

This past weekend, we got together with four other couples at one couple's beautiful new cottage on Kashe Lake, just south of us. They took down the original cottage and built an incredible place on the property they have owned for many years, to make lots of space for their grown children and multiple grandchildren. Having a dozen people there at once is no big deal for them.

The focus on their lifestyle is all about playing, so I created this colourful little piece for them as my hostess gift. It seemed more suitable than a name mat in this particular instance. And red is their accent colour. So I just went to town with bright colours that will appeal to even the youngest "player".

We moved it around the great room looking for a good place to put it while I was there and when I left it was sitting on the right side of the stone hearth of the fireplace. I am sure they will find a perfect spot for it.

This word "play" also factored into the hooking of the piece. I used sari silk, roving, yarn, and wool and hooked everything nice and high. Then I outlined the lettering with sparkly jersey fabric.

When I got home from the weekend of eating, drinking, singing, dancing and generally making merry, I spent some quiet time figuring out how the Beekeeper's Quilt all comes together. And I decided to take a stab at it.

It is surprisingly easy construction - just stitching the points of the hexapuffs together and tying them together, leaving short tails on one side. That is how you can easily take one out if it gets damaged or dirty and put it back in. Like lego.

Here is a start - only 35 puffs in there at the moment. I am already really liking it and it is nice to have a break from the knitting. I love all the colours in there and it's fun choosing which one to place where, without being too anal about it.

Since I have a quilt on the sewing list and lots of little baby things on the knitting one, I had best get motoring on this assembly. But it sure is fun to play in such bright colours.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Challenge Mat Update

For those of your who already have a subscription to Rug Beat you may have already seen the update in the challenge. For those of you who don't, here's the latest on my rug:

A little mix up, due to me thinking I had another couple of weeks (when in fact I was a week late) meant that I scrambled a bit at the end to get something for Candi Derr to include in her update on Rug Beat.

Here is what I sent:

Here is what I said in the update:

As you can see, I have boxed each of the words (or two) and used a different font and treatment for each one. I had originally planned on doing them as word tiles that I could arrange around my studio in any shape I wanted (kind of like giant fridge magnets), but I decided that was just too much finishing, so I grouped them all together.

The fonts that I used mostly came from a website called, where you can download fonts for personal use for free or make a donation to the creator. If I were to make this into a pattern, I would pay for each of the fonts used, so as not to infringe on copyright. I love, love, love the "cat font" which is the second HOOK at the bottom right.

I have used all kinds of textures - sari silk, wool slub yarn, roving, sparkly jersey, lots of recycled kilt plaids and 'as is' wools. I did the word "WILL" in proddy after having pretty much decided to do a proddy border - only the top edge us done thus far.

I think this will become the "motto" for the studio. It will hang in a place where everyone can see it.

What did I LOVE about this project? Everything!!

I loved that there were at least 25 patterns in my notebook before I settled on this one.

I loved finding all the fun fonts.

I loved figuring out the relationship between all the words and fonts.

I loved hooking each of the blocks. Once I decided on separating them with the black and white tweed, it sort of gave each tile its own personality and I felt free to "go for it" on all of them. (I may change the second tile "what you", but am going to wait till I am all done the border before making that decision.)

I loved the exercise of trying to create a bit of a colour plan. Using a print of the original design, I played with coloured pencils till I was sure that each of the colours appeared more than once and then went from there. Each tile is like its own little mat and I tried to do one each morning, but not in any order. Sometimes I would just get the actual words done and then save the backgrounds for later.

I love doing the proddy border. It is so much fun and is the best way to bring all the colours from inside the mat to the edge.

Here are a few close ups of the different "word blocks".

Sari Silk lettering, recycled kilts

Roving, yarn and recycled wool
Slub sky and wool letters

Random plus signs - all wool
Sari Silk lettering
Proddy lettering
Feels like the 60's doesn't it?
Glitter lettering, yarn and recycled skirt wool
Cat font- what else can I say.

It really was a fun, fun project. I learned something from every single block. So it was definitely a Challenge - even for the Challenger.

Definitely Brag Worthy.

I received an amazing "photo to mat" mat on Thursday. This came from someone who took the workshop, did her first mat, but has done this second one all on her own.  I asked for permission to brag about it - on her behalf - and she said yes.

It's awesome. See for yourself.

This is the photo.

This is the mat.
She has totally captured the image - in fact she has improved it. The cropping in the mat is better without the dead centre paddlers. The dog is absolutely adorable - the face without a face is totally working. And I love the shorts and the movement in the water. So great!!!!

The lucky recipient of this mat was getting it this past weekend. I am pretty sure she will be absolutely beside herself - I know I would.

And I feel pretty confident in saying there will be a few more lucky friends in this gal's life who will get that special once-in-a-lifetime present. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Word Up

Well, Canada Day weekend came and went, with ho hum weather that really didn't encourage me to go "in" the water. I did get "on" the water on the paddle board and the pedal boat, but it was never warm enough for me to submerge.

Both offspring were here, daughter with future son-in-law and son with two other large meat-eating friends. So much food was consumed and I am pretty sure the Beer Store saw a little spike thanks to the folks at 319.

While people were sleeping in, I snuck down to the studio and did a little bit of hooking. Funny - every project that I was working on involved "words". For some, the words/letters are the entire design, for others only part, but it seems to be all I have been doing for the last little while.

I love words - having made my livelihood with them. I love fonts. I love lettering - and I am learning to love hooking them. It's something that some folks find intimidating, but I think it's like handwriting - practice makes perfect.

Here are a few of the words of the weekend:

This is the centre of my primitive mat inspired by my class at Loyalist.

A little hostess gift, which I hope the 'hostess' is not seeing ahead of time.

One of the words in my challenge mat from Rug Beat.
Lots more words left to go on the challenge mat - and lots more hooking on the Prim mat, but it is fun moving from project to project and font to font. I will definitely be adding a "words" class to my teaching portfolio.

Big Bird is Coming Along Nicely

First of all, welcome to another "theme" for my blog. The last one was just too hard to navigate - as an author or a visitor. This...