Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Fitting Mat to Feature

It is now the 10th day since our arrival in Barbados. Man, time sure does fly when you are having fun. We have crammed lots in but are trying to pace ourselves and save some special places and pastimes to meter out over our stay.

I think when I was at the airport hotel the night before we left, I received an email from Diana, one of my students in Edmonton. She was sending me her finished piece from the Photo to Mat class. And she gave me permission to share it with you.


It is such a sweet mat of her grandson. And coincidentally, my grandson Jackson is arriving here on Monday with his parents. I am sure that many of the pictures I take of him will look exactly like this little fellow.

Tomorrow, a group of us who are all rug hookers from Ontario are getting together for a Zentangle session. I first learned about them when I was out west and have been doing a few of them since I arrived. Although it is very early in my journey, I am finding it very calming and a perfect thing to do here. And I can see why so many people enjoy doing them. Now that I am aware of them, they seem to be everywhere.



These early explorations have been done in pen instead of the preferred fine point marker and pencil, but I can already see how you can create movement and shape within the shapes. My ultimate goal is to try to interpret this into a hooked piece.

I am hoping that once I do a few more, I can find shapes that capture the beauty here - of the sea, sky, sand and water. And that is what I am planning on doing with my worms that I showed a couple of posts ago.

Whatever the outcome, it is a wonderful way to de-stress (not that there is very much stressful about this beautiful place).


On this morning's coffee walk, we finally saw a family of green monkeys and I took lots of pictures.
This is another thing that might just have to be incorporated into that mat somehow.






Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Sneak Peak

Not sure if everyone is aware that Jennifer Manuell has undergone a transformation from Fish Eye Rugs to FISH EYE SISTERS with her sister Sandra. If you haven't seen anything yet, go here to see what they are up to.

When you get there, you will see lots of eye candy in the gorgeous photographs and also a link for their newsletter and their Instagram page.  They are definitely a dynamic duo and we will all benefit from the fruits of their labours and their awesome creativity.

I have been lucky enough to be their "fresh eyes" cum editor of two new pattern booklets they will be offering soon. Both are based on Jennifer's foray into Ewe Fuse, her proprietary method of fusing wool pieces to make fabric and then create outstanding original pieces.

The sisters gave me permission to do a screen capture of the covers of the booklets, so that I could tickle your curiosity and you can make sure you get notified when they are available.

They are extremely well written, very detailed and step-by-step (even for the logically challenged such as myself) and will produce results that will be awe inspiring for you and the folks who admire your creations.



Congratulations Fish Eye Sisters.  I think you have the start of something HUGE.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Warm Weather Worms

On our upcoming trip to Holetown in Barbados, there will be a number of rug hookers in our little "Canadian contingency". We agreed to bring some rug hooking supplies with us this year, for those rainy days when you really need to stay indoors - or at least in shelter.

Needless to say the 29 degree temperatures are not conducive to sitting under burlap or even linen - nor to holding wool strips in your hands, so I am putting together what I want to touch when in is warm and humid.  So my worm pile is made from lots of different dyed panty hose, some jersey fabric, some sari silk and some miscellaneous fabric and ribbon I have hanging about. My backing will be a piece of Monk's cloth left over some something - I think punch needle.

As you can see, the colour palette actually has quite a Caribbean feel. Not my usual colours when hooking at home for our colder climates. Sea, sky, bright florals. I just seem to be missing some palm tree greens. Think I will throw some panty hose into the dye pot this afternoon.


Everything in Barbados is brighter - clothing, house colours, artwork - even nature itself. In fact, many of the pieces of art that we admire there would look very out of place in our home - unless we had a Caribbean room (which is not a bad thought).

I have no idea what I will hook when I am there, but may opt for Susan Feller's method of doing a series of small studies, which could perhaps be joined together to make a "dreaming of Barbados" piece.  If you are not familiar with Susan's amazing work, please take some time to go and see her work. She is truly inspirational. I am a huge fan.

Or, I may just hook freeform - laid back and relaxed - like the culture itself. It's nice to not have anything specific planned.  No rules. No restrictions. Just do what you like.

Meanwhile, here in Parry Sound, as I stare out the studio window today, it continues to snow snow snow snow snow. It has been relentless, since our return from the city on New Year's Day. So dreaming of sea and sand is kind of a nice way to spend the afternoon.