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!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Well, well,well.

Well, well, well, well, well.
This should be said with some tsking and slanted head wagging, negatively, to and fro, voice raising and lowering as needed.

Two good things on my hook something every day promise, I'm doing it, the hooking I mean.
And I'm being quite dutiful about it too.

But as you might notice I'm not posting about it.
Not once.
Until today.
You might wonder why.
Well, wonder away.
Wonder till your heart's content. Your guess is as good as mine.

All I can say is I'm walking about 5 miles a day and at the end of the day I just can't roll downstairs to the studio so easily to photo my project nor can I sit long at the computer, there is danger I'll seize up.
Here is the photos I've nabbed, some days I just pull a few loops others I hook quite a bit.

The leaf

the outline

The ground

Come on by to the WandaWorks Open House to check on my progress on Saturday December 12, 10 til 2
write me for the street address
It's a free session all are welcome.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Open House/ Make Something Every day

Traditionally in the month of November I like to ignore it or kick it's ass with some creativity. This is even a class you can take as part of your Welcome Mat subscription fee. It's worth $36 just to get through November or any dark time in your creative life.

Traditionally in the month of December I try to make something every day.
I need to make things.
Like I need to breathe.

This practice helps while away the dismal days of Northern Hemisphere living in early winter.
All the Vitamin D in the world cannot substitute for making.

Last year I was awfully involved in recovery, every move I made was clumsy and The Majic Carpet Dye Company needed constant tending. So I had a pass on Make Something Every Day for 2014.

Brainstorms were apparently drifting elsewhere this fall.
And I had a deep lack of clever precipitation.

On Saturday night the heavens opened up with big fat flakes of snow.
And with it came some big fat ideas. I hope they don't turn out to be flakey.

I plan to hook something every day in December, not something in totality, but parts of things which I may finish by Dec 31 or may not. I welcome your company as you try to hook every day.

Hooking can take a back seat in the flurry of activity that is this three ring circus I conduct.
This Hook Something Every Day will get me back to my frame.
I'm getting excited about my 2016 Exploratorium classes and will turn my hand as well as my mind to these colourful looks at the very close up or far away.

Now down in my splendid studio I'm having an Open House.

Wool, Batts and silk scarves

Why don't you stop by on Saturday, December 12? You can come between 10 until 2, I hope this is the first of many. You can see what I'm up to and get inspired wool for clever hooking, batts and interesting inclusions for spinning, hand dyed gorgeous yarns for the knitting, Majic Carpet Dyes and beautiful Wandawear items and you can also just sit and visit. Write me to subscribe to my newsletter list to be informed on all upcoming WandaWorks opportunities.

Spinning sparkle and Majic Carpet Dyes

I'll see you as I account for my hooking each day here.
With pictures and pithy reports of eureka moments and dismalities.
Yes I made that word up right this minute. 
Seems accurate.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Got Style?

This is our Tuesday Tip from The Welcome Mat today.

Got Style?

Want to have a recognizable style unique to you?
When you throw down your hooked rug we will all know it's yours immediately.
This is easier to achieve than you think.

It takes action:
Sit down at your frame every day, show up.
Hook just as you please. No apologies for your winsome ways.
Do small studies and sketches.
Critique each day. Is it as beautiful as you imagined?
Correct it
After about a month of two of this steady work you will see some important movement towards your style.
You will also have gorgeous studies you can develop into larger works whenever you like.
Things you probably shouldn't do during this period:
take your work to be gazed upon and commented on by other hookers unless you are thick skinned
ask for a critique
take hooking classes
use somebody else's pattern
look a lot at others rugs, it doesn't matter what they've made.
Things you can do during this period:
Observe closely that which you think about with pleasure and kindles your heart
Take in inspirational things that create vivid spark in your soul
Have plenty of experiences and love flowing in and out
Free yourself from your beliefs that impede what you want, cut ties, burn bridges, stand erect and alone if you must
Go towards the people and places that support you
Have kindness and acceptance for the style in you and how it emerges
Remind yourself of your incredible potential every 1/4 of the day - Morning, Noon, Evening, Night
Have perseverance, even the ugliest of things we make work towards our beautiful
Accept, respond lovingly, continue to work EVERY DAY
What will be possible?
Terrifyingly exciting isn't it?
But oh so welcome.
What do you think? Yay or nay?

Sometimes these Tuesday tips are practical; how to finish a round hooked object say or deep thinking, why do we make the same things or mistakes over and over or quirky but they are just one of our daily informational, inspirational and interesting columns on The Welcome Mat. Join us today right here!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

I'm making!

I'm making things, how about you?
Since we last talked we've refurbished and rejigged the studio

The during

The after

 This area's still a little untamed!
I need wildlife to work.

It just all seems lighter airier and all about one thing, a focus on wool!
I moved my clothier stuff up to the spare room. The first time I've sewn upstairs for 25 years. Out of the dungeon, I'm free at last!

I finished a big rug hooking project I've mulled up down sideways and in and out for two years.
It's a tarot card.

I've dyed two articles for Rug Hooking

Taught an online landscape class on The Welcome Mat about getting depth in your scenes and my students  made incredible projects, I was so happy and proud of their individuality shining through.
Here is a kit I sent to one of my students.

 Here is our diorama to help break down the components to create good depth.

I've been teaching our yearly free class on The Mat, The Spirit Hare too.

This cute pattern was designed for The Mat by Caryn Devlin of The Wool Garden

I also spun 1850 yds of wool for Spinzilla, I am on the Koigu Team!
I used some Koigu roving and Koigu yarn ends from the factory to spin into yarn.
Top right yarn ends, middle skein yarn ends and bottom row third from the left is my Koigu Roving.
The rest were spun from my own Wild Wanda Big Batts.

Here is my latest Dyeing to Know Column on The Welcome Mat where I'm focusing on French colours.
I've completed the French Farmhouse and the Parisian Apt. Next month we will be looking at 
Le Cafe for colours to dye from using Majic Carpet Dyes.

I'm looking forward to November when I can hunker down and have a November /December Romance with some of my unfinished projects and start the new hooking year fresh!

Until next time,

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Are you game for a toothsome online class?

Here I am at the shore of Lake Huron near the Fishing Islands.  I love the wonderful, beautiful place I live and consequently I've hooked many landscapes. I've learned so much over time and now I'd like to share this with you.
 I hope you are eager to dive into a new topic in this summer's lab study. We will dive into landscapes and how to make them more artistic.  What do we need to consider and how can we get some "feeling" into our pieces? And this lab is everything you are looking for to develop your skills doing ANY hooking where you require depth including portraits!
 I'll be providing a new beautiful pattern, great visuals,  help with fabrics and maybe even dyeing aid if needed, I will be interacting with you as though we were together. You can use your own fabrics or order some of mine. Just let me know what you'd like. I encourage the use of many "kinds of stuff" to hook with in this lab.
The project will not be large, about 9 X13" but it can be enlarged if you wish. The concepts are easy and so fruitful!
At $100, this lab is a fraction of going to rug school and you can work in your pyjamas and anytime during the day or night. 
Our Lab will commence August 5th! You will have 3 months access to class with the bulk of information being presented in the first month but I will attend to you during all three months.

Everyone is welcome to join even if they just finished studying on this in person.
I'm so looking forward to working with you on my favourite topic! 

How do these classes work?
I present you with any digital materials, pattern, notes on transferring etc I think you need or you ask for.
I start presenting lessons in the lab once a week or every 10 days or so. 
You ask any and all questions you need to. I answer your questions tailored to suit your needs and experience.
You do the required work, send in homework for help or commentary. Ask more questions if you need to.
You move on to the next lesson.
You have 3 months to complete the lab.
We all have a ball.

When can I join?
You can join this class anytime and your 3 months will start ticking away.
It is more lively to join the class when it is first introduced because you can interact with all the participants as well as myself.
Can anyone take this class?
Yes even if you are a beginner and have never taken a class online or just learned to hook.
This class is meant for Mat members only, to take this class you must be a member.

Please send any other questions about this lab to Join our landscape lab right here.
See you there!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Warm Dark Wandering

Contrary to the title this is not a dyeing formula inspired by a nighttime search for the water closet.

It is for this amazing wool:
Over 1/2 yd natural wool using my Majic Carpet Dyes and my wandering dye method.

Toasty Warm Dark Wandering
1/4 tsp. Yellow
1/8th tsp. Orange
1/8th tsp. Blue
1/8th tsp. Blue Violet
3/8th tsp. Black

Join the free Majic Carpet Dye Club for more a cool dark wandering formula - go here and look on the comment wall.
Happy Dyeing

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Manistee Ten - Making Rugs of Distinction

Here is a list I made in 2008 of important key things to think about when you want to hook rugs of distinction.

Know yourself and what you want and like, then do it.
Use a full range of values, that means white and black and every value step between.
Create glow
Create iridescent events
Let the rug tell a story, something happened, something is happening, something is about to happen
Let your rug be meaningful for you
Go beyond expected outcomes
Have new experiences
Don't look to rug hookers to see how or what to hook - this is key!
Try anything you may think of, if you can think it, you can do it.

You CAN do anything you wish, just make a start, you have to put something in to know what to take out.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Time to blossom

I'm not sure you know what you are capable of.
I think you extend yourself only so long as it feels comfortable.

Sometimes you even put on the appearance of others to sop in their "significance"

Where are you? Are you in there?
It's time to come out and play.

Who cares if you fail or incur some criticism?
Isn't that just part of being authentic?
Even the most boring and goofed up display or version of yourself is leagues greater than a copy of someone else.

Be your own magician,hero or idol.
Don't look up to others, look up to yourself.
You are right there waiting to blossom.