Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Welcome Mat is Now and Forever Free

Yes it is true.
As of this evening there is no longer a fee for the Mat.
It is as free as a bare bottom toddler.
You will never pay for access to The Welcome Mat even if I'm starving.
I'm always thinking about how to keep The Mat current and interesting and not be a burden or boring.
I'm really excited about this radical move to a free service and I can feel the positive energy already!
I can't tell you enough how thankful I am for all of your support during the years, you have blessed me in a thousand ways and helped us do so much here at Wandaworks. My company flourished and grew with your subscriptions.

So you might be wondering..... what will the Mat will look like moving forward?
You can pin to pinterest or link to facebook whatever you want that I originated from The Welcome Mat. Please ask others if you might pin or post their work first before you do it.
Each week I'll post a Our Weekly Bread discussion for a week long chew.
I change up her outfit and her main page weekly including bringing back our tidbits on Monday
We will still look at artists weekly in Styles on Thursdays.
Monthly there will be on Saturday or Sunday of each week:
a video
a lesson with a pattern attached
a formula collection
a Let's Look At This column
This means only 12 emails a month on average lessening the time you need to belong and interact.
All at no cost.
Yup - FREE
I will continue to conduct paid for classes there. All paid for classes will still require a subscription.
I will be closing down the WandaWay Studio in a week or so to reduce confusion.

I have two initiatives from the old MatI want to complete.
Colour Craft and my French Colours collection and I'll be doing that shortly.
Spread the word my hookers. The Welcome Mat is free, free at last!
To join go to
If you need to discuss this with me for any reason please write to

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!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Sharing From The Welcome Mat

This is our Thursday Welcome Mat column; Thinking About. 

Thinking About: Class Confusion and Mistakes
Have you ever been in rug school and there is someone who speaks whispers with authority on what should be done or what we are accomplishing as a class? Not the teacher mind you but a fellow student.
Before you know it we all think we should be doing what they suggested and we are off on a tangent instead of the straight path the teacher set down.
The person next to you can help you a great deal in rug school. They can also impede you  or completely distract you. When you need to know what to do ask your teacher.
I like to be interrupted during students "turns" if your progress is being impeded. If I think you are taking advantage I'll tell you you'll have to wait or if the question will take more than 30 seconds to answer you will have to wait for the window when I move onto the next person.
Mostly our fear of doing something wrong causes us to question ourselves or feel we didn't hear correctly, makes us feel unsure.
Take a look at our weekly main page section, I'll place it in here for posterity:
Thing I'm telling you this week
First a bit about Jack London:
And now his attitude:
“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
What I like LOVE today
Light and dark, calms and excites colours
Can you see it?
What I read and heard:
This is so important to remember!

There is something else I want you to remember please.
Your divinity is pure and true.
You have it in you to be what you glimmer from time to time all of the time.
Let it go, let loose.
Is there way you think you could listen more carefully to your own whispers in class and in life?

And now a bit about my online class confusion if you don't mind.
It has come to my attention 3 times this week people think my classes run like other online classes. 
My classes don't disappear nor are not attended by me after a certain date.

It's like I run magical school where every time you open up a classroom door there I am!
I'm just waiting for you to join me instead of you all being there waiting for me to come as with other online teaching.

I want to reiterate that any and all classes I hold for a fee online are always available. You can join them any time.
They are not subject to a start date. 

I'll join you when you comment or hand in your homework to encourage you and uplift, to refine and reinforce.
It's that simple.

Here is my complete online class list with a brief description, cost included, they have various extremely generous times to complete them.
On The Welcome Mat: you must be a member to participate, cost for this is $36.
join by going here
Colour Counselor  pay $10 for colour help in your rug when things are not going right
Painterly Poppies Class -$75  learn how to use colour in  new way to create dimension and vivacity, includes dyeing lessons and two patterns.
This is Wandering -  $30 - learn how to go beyond with expanded wandering dyeing methods
The Colour Lab - $180 -  learning useful tools about colour and rug hooking to help you be a colour master. Does not contain pedantic colour theory.
The Dyeing Colour Lab - $150 - learn how to dye like a master, free of formula books, see a colour - dye that colour.
Landscape Lab - $100 - create landscapes with depth and colour vivacity, pattern included
If you don't like paying to learn our free online classroom on The Mat has many classes with pattern included for you to take.

On The WandaWay Studio: this membership is free, join by going here.
Individual Consultation - $100 - I work with you on a project for one month to help you over trouble spots.
Eco Dye - $50 - learn how to create dye effects with things from nature and your home, it is fun and lends a unique quality to your wool which will only enhance your rug works uniqueness.
Dyeing With Ice and Snow - $25 - use that nasty winter stuff for great dyeing effects!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Welcome Mat Daily Bread - Dyeing Effects

We are in a sharing mood. This is our topic of the day today on The Welcome Mat.
We are continuing this conversation from yesterday about how to create these effects in wool. Due to some questions I've continued with more info on how to do this.

Please enjoy.

Here is what I wrote yesterday:
Today Juliana asked me:
"How would you hook/ dye this under painted look?"
Bunny Secrets - Rita Kirkman
I'm thinking she meant the background, but I see the rabbits have the same quality to their coats.  Note: Juliana meant the rabbits it turns out
I can frequently get these effects through using my wandering dye technique.You can read about how to do it here along with doing the Point and some formulas for that. Or take a master class in Wandering here for $30. It lets me have warm and cool colours in the same piece of wool. Marbelized wool will also do the same thing.
BUT the finer you cut these wools the less they can perform for you in this way.
We diminish the dyed effect with smaller cuts.
How would you hook or dye this effect? Note: we had several great suggestions
And Julianna if I've got hold of the wrong straw or am hareing off in the wrong direction please redirect me and this conversation to rights. I'll be away until tomorrow night and I look forward to your brilliant ideas!

And now today:
I thought I would try to explain an interesting event between wool we dye and how it looks hooked.
You've probably had the most perfect looking wool for what you wanted to hook, bricks, trees, grass, eyes, you name it!
Then when you hooked it up it lost the effect you wanted.
In the case of our rabbits from yesterday, here they are again:
Bunny Secrets                            
Rita Kirkman is the painter and here is her site.

I would need to prepare a least three, maybe 4 pieces of wool in the wandering pot or with marbelizing to get 4 values.
Each value would contain variants of the colours present, the yellow in the lightest value, the dull orange, bright blue, dull green and in some as they darken value - violet.
Once this dyeing is done it would be simple to just hook this up.
I agree a challenge would be a good idea.
But I want to tell you it needs to include hooking because that is the real way to prove the wool is viable.
Often wool for these effects is quite ugly on it's own.
In this rug:
I used marbelized wool for my flesh with a few other pieces of colours thrown in.
I had made partners of (sage green, tan, violet) ( orange , tan, sage green) to dye. This gave me 6 pieces of two sided wool that had one or the other colours more present.  I used the warmest colours in the lighter areas and let the greenish ones be the middle areas and let violet shade.
It allowed me some big leeway for shading.
This was just stuff I had on the shelf.  But I do have a very wide range of goods to hook with because I need a wide range of values, temperatures, saturations in each colour.
To do an image search just go to Google images and click on search.
Plug into what you see, take a good long look.
Don't try to make or buy one piece of wool that "does the job", it rarely functions well.
Make smooth transitions in your colour work, let one colour bridge all sections, it might darken or lighten, brighten or dull but it will hold all what you see together.
Can you find that colour in the rabbits?
One of the fun things we can do to get this "pastel effect" is let core show in our wool, you do this by having you water super hot with dye and wool present with an acidy dye bath, it will give a great effect on already colour wool of light to medium values. You can add two or more colours by waiting for the water to clear each time.

Note: This is the stuff that you can learn on the Mat on a daily basis, it is all archived and RICH with what you want to know to hook and grow as an artist. You can also ask me most anything and I'll do the best I can to aid you. $36 a year? How could you pass this up?
We would love to have you with us!