Monday, March 5, 2018

Wanda And Her Color Lab

Hi I’m Wanda Kerr, the creator and hostess of the Welcome Mat, RHM’s dyeing guru and the author of The Colour Lab. I’m excited to hear you’re enjoying my book.
You’re reading it now and by all accounts, understanding the concepts, that’s sweet music to my ears.
I want to help you learn all you can about colour in the easiest possible way.
I use my methods everyday in my own hooking work and when teaching others about colour.  Over time I’ve made lots of colour mistakes and was determined to conquer them, that’s how I learned about colour, the hard way. I’ve listened to my students and their struggles with colour and tried to explain things as clearly as I could and these two experiences are the foundation for my book and my teaching. When I switched the way I was thinking about colour I went from hooking cartoons to hooking realistically, practically overnight.
Let’s be honest, all of us run into colour trouble while hooking. After you can pull a loop correctly the only thing left to master is colour. Every thing we create raises a bunch of decisions and problem solving with colours. 
The knowledge of colour, what it is and how it works is the key to unlock your hooking desires and dreams. My book, The Colour Lab is a great start on your road to better hooking. You are gathering up what I call “head knowledge” as you read it. I’m all for that! 
I’m also all for you learning as deeply as you can. To learn things in a way that makes a difference, I call this heart learning, we all need to take action. To support your heart learning I’m holding an online, lifetime class for readers of my book or anyone else who wants to know more about how to use colour. The principles in my book work for all colourists no matter the medium. The Color Lab will be our class text book. 

This is your chance to work with me through each chapter. You will have questions about the contents of this book. I’ll answer your questions about the chapters as you work through them.  I couldn’t possibly put in everything you needed to know between two covers.  I just barely started a conversation with you in the Color Lab.
My class will help us continue our beautiful dialogue. Everyone will go faster and further in a community.
In my online class I’ll build on the ideas in the book chapter by chapter. I’ll help you overcome gaps in your colour know how. I’ll meet you where you are right now in your colour journey, I’ve been there and know the way home. I’ll support your lab work as you complete it. I’ll deepen your colour understanding at your own pace. I’ll be your colour bitch. For life.  For $200 USD. 
Just imagine a time a year from now when you are part of the colour lab alumni and you run into a problem with your rug and instead of trying out 20 different colours you pick the perfect one right off the shelf? Imagine the power. Imagine the savings!
Well, What are you waiting for? You can take as long as you like to do the class work.
Join us, I’m here to help you grow!
The deadline for sign up is March 31, 2018. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Colour Lab Book

My book is being delivered to you as we speak. It is very exciting for me.
I thought you might be interested to learn a bit more about me and why I wrote this book on colour use.

I’ve had a life long interest in color especially when it involves fashion and textiles. I’ve handcrafted since I was 7 or so, my mother was incredibly generous with her tools and textiles. When she got a sewing machine she taught me to use it and kept me steadily supplied with fabrics. We had a sample case of yarns. I don’t know where it came from or what it was for but it was covered in delicious purple chevrons and when unzipped it was an Alladins Cave of Wool. There were all colors and thicknesses of yarns in what seemed like an endless variety. I was delighted by it. I had deep yen for the button can and would look at and sort those buttons endlessly. All of this was what I call color play and was very enriching. 

Thirty years later when I started rug hooking I was enchanted because of all the colors that could be incorporated. Unfortunately I found my love of color did not parlay into effective color use. I didn’t understand how to make color work for me, how to use the right component of a color to create the effects I wanted to represent in my rugs.  I have always considered my wool color work to be equal to paintings. When I wanted to recreate what I saw in my mind’s eye or make something look realistic I was missing some important tools. I had a strong desire to be able to hook whatever I saw or wanted to competency and verve.

Slowly and diligently I worked  at becoming a better colorist.  I observed the work of other types of artists and nature for color cues and began to discover what was going on with color in my work. I saw how colour shapes become representations of objects if placed carefully.  I began to look at color and the things I wanted to represent in new ways. I got out of my own way and expanded my love of color into a real marriage of passion and practice with a smattering of discipline. 

I realized this knowledge I was accruing was useful to anyone who uses color and began teaching what I discovered in easily graspable units. I built a very successful online class about color and how to use it more expansively and expressively.
This was an incredibly freeing class that informed you so you might hook whatever you like effectively and masterfully. My teaching is always about color. My aim is to help you know more about color so you can do more with it. It took a long time for me to discover how to use colour in a more effective way and my book opens the door wide and lets you revel in this knowledge in a simple, straight forward way. 

The Color Lab, will take the mystery out of color and replace it with mastery. It is a fresh way to look at colour and holds the building blocks of creating great rugs no matter their design. This book is useful to someone who is a beginner to a very experienced colour worker. The suggested exercises in my book that are included at the end of every chapter, are revelatory and enriching as well as being easily completed. Even if you only did one or two of them you will notice a remarkable difference in your color competency.

I’ll be offering a lifetime online class beginning April 1, 2018 to support the practitioners of the Color Lab Book as they work through each chapter. You will need to buy the book to participate. I’ll answer questions and support students as they discover color in a new and richer way. There will be additional gems revealed as we progress. Go to or for more info. 

I love the idea of rug hookers diving deeper into the use of color and swimming swiftly and with strength to the far shore. If you are like me that shore is a place we didn’t imagine possible to reach. I’m excited to imagine the possibilities you might realize with this useful collection of colour ideas.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

You're Invited to a Journal Study - With These Threads 2018

Ever January a faithful and unfaithful group of rug hookers join together on the Welcome Mat to create a January Journal.
We've been doing this for MANY years.

Each year I listen carefully and wait for our subject, theme or focus to appear.
This year it is a beauty: With these threads we create the cloth of ourselves.

It is a bit long so I've shortened it to "With These Threads"
Here is the backstory.
In October and early November my good great friend Alicia Kay and I were driving around North Carolina and we were discussing important character developing tidbits and interchanges we gather up from others and their view of us as humans through our lives. These moments both "see the whole you" and recognize your special qualities. They touch your soul. You hang onto them for a lifetime.
I said to her, with these little shreds I think we weave the cloth of ourselves.
This sentence struck us as very important, we thought right away this will be the construct for our January Journal project in 2018.

Each day important threads spin out towards us. They twirl their way around and encircle us with inspiration. Can we catch them? Can we notice small coincidences and soul filling shreds and record them in our journal rugs?
Every day is filled with meaning that soothes and strengthens us. Today I saw two majestic swans preening, so incredible and graceful, so big!
I saw a small boy clasp the hand of his doctor in a palm to palm, heart filled moment for them both.  It was beautiful in so many ways, black hand to white was gorgeous, the trust, the joy for the Dr. The wonder of the boy to meet such an evolved person who was simply available for him in any way he presented, who took the time to wait and be fully there. What a joy.
We will seek, wait for and capture these threads in our journal rug. They might come from events, thoughts or memories, people things or places.
You might think of your first textile memories or who first spoke to you in a way you felt noticed... our lives are rich with content if we would just take the time to be present and wait for inspiration and claim it by taking note. What threads have you gathered from others, are they thick or thin, long or short? Do they create chaos or order? Think on the cloth of yourself, what is it created from? How could you represent this? 
To fashion your journal rug you can work any way you wish.
I like to create a premise I will follow. I might concentrate on the colour of my "threads." I might concentrate on how they come together. I might suggest to myself I use only 5 values or only have curvy lines or repeated shapes I create/journal in the middle of. This is part is completely open to your interpretation.
You will create an interpretation of "threads" that make up you whether through time or during the 31 days of January 2018. You should have developed 31 "areas" to represent each day's insight into this theme.
I also like to apply myself daily and try to complete the day's hooking the next day. On Day 1 I seek out my soulful "thread". I develop the idea and draw it on the backing and begin to hook it. I might finish or not that day. Day 2 I seek my thread notion for the day and while this comes I finish up my Day 1 thread idea. Once I find my Day 2 thread, I develop the brainchild and draw it on the backing and begin to hook it. I might finish or not that day.
And so on.
This rug can be made in any way, with anything, with any style, in any size you like.
To join for free (The Welcome Mat is free and you need to join it first here) Then to join the free journal group go here.
This free group is unsupported by me, Wanda Kerr. Though I looks forward to seeing what you might create, i cannot help you by inspiring you, answering questions or giving advice.
If you seek such input I would be glad to work with you in the concurrent Journal Rug Class for With These Threads in her subscription classroom  - Teach, this costs $40 US for a whole year of her  monthly lessons and contains many great lessons already about enriching our rug hooking through better color use for instance. Teach also is part of The Welcome Mat and you need to subscribe to The Mat first before joining Teach.
Please join us now as we prepare to start hooking our rugs on January 1, 2018.
Take time for yourself and start the new year out on the right foot by hooking!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Fall Online Classes with Wanda; how they work

If you are interested in how my online classes work it would be great to read this letter!
Many of you are desiring deeper understanding of your craft.
I'm here to help you do this.
One of the ways I encourage this is through online classes inside my Welcome Mat now free.
I have two going this fall and I've had a number of questions about how they work so I'd like to explain further.

Spark is a year long collective, more than a class Spark is meant to gently push you over the edge to new territory in your hooking.

 Each week I'll present one of the following thrusts for you to think about, act upon, watch or ignore as you wish: Process, Colour, Teaching, Inspiration. I'll also be providing around 5 inspiring thoughts, suggestions, links and eye candy during each week to expand our horizons.
There is nothing you need to hand in or do in this class, it is meant to spark your understanding, depth of meaning and execution of your ideas through any medium. This is a class like no other offered. It is about you, your artistry. I'll be there to help you, make suggestions and inform you about the hooking work you choose to do in class to help you grow as you wish.
As with everything though, what you put in grows 10 fold into what you take from any group dynamic.
We have already started hooking on a pattern called Intersection, participation, size and cut are determined by you, great stretching is taking place as we explore our stashes and colour planning and intersections. Pattern is provided.

Wanda Kerr
Jean Schoderus

I'm only accepting students until October 15. We would be happy to have you join us. Go here to read more about it and press the paypal button if you are a Canadian.
If you are an American or other nationality just go here to join up and pay.
Only $150 for a whole year of creative thriving or 41¢ a day. You are not too late rather, just in time! We want you to join us.

The Exploratorium
This class is one month long.
It has a kit, including 2 sets of transitionally dye wool, some yarny splendid goodness, hand dyed nylons, and two textures +. Each kit is unique. Shipping is included in the price of the class.
Class will start Monday, October 24. I'll send you a notification of where to go to see it  the night before.
There are 4 lessons in this class and they will be set up in the first week so you might work at your own speed, fast, slow or somewhere between. When you complete a lesson or you need a boost or question answered you send in homework and I respond to your questions on the lessons, questions as you work, your homework and any other dang thing.
In this class we will look at how colour can transition to make your rug hooking more artful. There are many ways to work this pattern and we will explore them all. Colour choices cannot be made for your kit by you but all are gorgeous and I'll use my finely honed instinct when shipping, I promise.
                                                                      Each roll is part of one kit  
I only have room for 5 students. Will you be one of them? I hope so. Cost is $380 in the denomination of your residency country. This includes class, pattern you trace, bountiful kit and shipping. 
Here are some of the results of this class.
Jamestown Class
Asheville Class

If you have already contacted me about joining this class I'll be sending you your invoice today to be paid asap and shipping your kit on Monday. 

If you want to be in my group of students in this elite class, please write pronto as I'm taking students on a first come first serve, first paid basis. You will be sent a paypal invoice.

I hope that has answered some of your questions about my classes and how they work and you are inspired to join us!
Thank you, Wanda

Monday, September 12, 2016

Spark Up

Wanda is starting a brand new year long class on The Welcome Mat.

It is called Spark. 
Wanda relates and responds to you.
Inside Spark there are 4 sections
Each month we will touch on all four.
There will be patterns, challenges, learning and musings to ponder over.
Find out more about colour use in rug hooking, find out more about Wanda's process and your own. She will teach you all her tricks about creativity, spirit and art.
You will see more of Wanda via videos and teachings.
Best of all she will inspire you to ignite your spark as she fans hers.
Your desires in hooking are your tinder, all we need to do is flash a spark to get you fired up. 
Spark Starts on September 22, 2016
Cost: $150  as per your country of residence.

If you are a US citizen just join us here.

If you are a Canadian citizen and need or wish to pay in CAD please press this button and add a note of your Welcome Mat name  and email so I might send you your invitation.

We are only accepting SPARK applications until September 30, 2016
This is a one time class, it will not be offered again.
Join us for the time of your life!
“I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out
in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in
magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.”
Jack London

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Our French Colours Series

On The Welcome Mat I've been exploring France as a source for dye formulas.
This week we've been to a French Cafe
 Here's our Parisian Apartment Formulas

And those from a French Farmhouse

We have hundreds of formulas I've created just for my Welcome Mat dyeing column, Dye Matters, join us, you'll be glad you did.

" This is a lot different than when I belonged before" exclaimed an excited recent returnee.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy Birthday Present From The Welcome Mat

New Skills Monday - How to Enlarge And Print Your Own Pattern

This article contains the steps for creating a pattern from digital content, like a photo. It both enlarges and prints. I'll be sharing this all in my blog too just to show people our riches on The Mat.
I have with great success in the past turned something I drew freehand into digital content by taking a photo of it ( you have to be directly over it to take the photo) or scanning it.
Create a PDF of your artwork or photo.
Do this by clicking print and looking for the words PDF in the window.

Click this drop down PDF menu open.

Select Save as PDF.

This window will pop open.

Name it and make sure it goes where you want, have it end in .pdf
Open up this PDF
Click Print
You will see this window or something very similar

Now it is time to rejig the settings to enlarge our photo into pattern size.

Click on Poster in Page Sizing
Then increase the size of your pattern until the contents reach your desired size, I choose 350 %
Click on the photo to change the tiling to represent what percentage you've chose.

Click Print.
Tape the pattern together, removing any excess paper.
Go over all important lines with a black sharpie.
Look at it from a distance
Create half cross hairs in the corners for lining up if you need it later.
I sometimes do this tracing step on a window in the day time.

Tape your paper pattern onto a tabletop or counter, be aware sharpie might go through so take precautions such as a plastic sheet below the paper.

Tape your tracing medium over the paper.

Trace your lines and be sure to write a word in the margin of the photo so you will know which side is up when it comes time to transfer it.

Remove tracing medium from paper pattern and lay down your backing in it's place, make sure you have about 4 inches of backing outside the actual  pattern.

Tape your backing to the plastic covered counter so it won't move.

Tape your tracing medium down on your backing right side up ( this is where that word you wrote comes into play)

Trace over the lines slowly with a new black sharpie, the slower you go the better it will be.
Check to make sure you have done all the lines by lifting up the bottom of the tracing medium only.
All done?
Ok now go over all these lines again so they are clear and sharp.
What a pain in the hoochie but my darlings it will be yours.... all yours! The rewards are great!