Friday, January 29, 2010

Sometimes what you do surprises you in Retrospect

Just looking at my fancys on the left side of the picture makes me excited to hook and I made the stuff!! There is Keith Small of Impressions in Wood and I talking about what he needs for some pansies at the Annual 2009

Today I commencing to proceed to do the paperwork to be a vendor at the OHCG Annual Rug Show in Cobourg Ontario, May 1 and 2.
It is a lot of work and arranging and sometimes I get tired just thinking about it.
Once I start doing it I love getting ready but on this cold day I'm thinking staying housebound until about July seems more practical.
Then I saw this picture and realized the stretching my mind out for new product, the prep, the figuring out how I want to display and talking great people, well, I'd miss it if I didn't go.
Maybe I'll see you there.
For Me:
I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.

William Allen White


Pondering Changes

The Vogue Rug has found a poker chip solution. It took lots of taking out and putting in to find the way. I change things in my rugs a lot. And I don't ever wait to see if it will improve. I recognize ugly when I see it and my eyes want some relief. They even threaten to quit if I don't change what they don't like.
I like the disappearing /reappearing of the yarn colours between the violet.
I hope you combine any materials you want to hook with together in your rugs. It's okay to do that.
Be inspired by what to hook by what you have. It's a fun way to fly.

I just read this quote:
"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." (Eric Hoffer)

I was just talking to my Barbie and we were saying, by the way she is about the wisest woman I know, we have to change. There is no way to stay the same.
If you try to stop changing, which is impossible, you will suffer.
Meanwhile on the cusp of change it can feel painful, even terrifying.
Pushing through the negativity .... that's what will give you real freedom.
You will soon welcome and embrace change, that is the best gift you can give to yourself.
Frequent reclines on the couch and breathing the same air as those who think as you do works miracles in the changeling state.
I hope to be posting more Vogue tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Heavy Metal

We are a two kettle house hold. We have only bathroom but two kettles!
Recently our 25 year old kettle bit the dust.
It was difficult to find a replacement that didn't look like a character from SpongeBob Squarepants
Here is our new baby! Ain't she pretty?
Are you wondering why I have two kettles?
Here are the reasons:
Thursday hook-in tea time- two big pots of tea, no waiting
Dyeing up a storm- I never run out of boiling water
Birthing Babies - Somebody could have triplets here
Frost bite- one for each foot
Busts the myth of a watched pot never boils, just watch one!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Scene and HERD

I've had quite a few busy days lately. I was trying to get in lots of skiing hours before the weather changed and I been feeling a little strange, like I was coming down with something but couldn't put my finger on what! I hope you are all in the pink of good health.

It's raining today so I'm stuck in and decided to tell you about what I've been looking at and doing. Not that it is all that interesting but it was heartening to me.

Looking at beautiful things people design:
As I read the week-end Globe and Mail, there were highlights from The Interior Design Show. Click to see the slide show.
I'm not sure I could live the with bulk of these ideas, some look as though they are waiting for an opportune time to come alive and attack. But I do lover ( I lover them I lover them I lover them ) the concepts and the creating and the seeing things in new light. Invigorating!

I'm part of a trend towards value and Red:
Leah McLaren is in aforementioned Globe and Mail testifying on the benefits of paying for online endeavours, declares it a new and needed resource and sees the trend. She is talking NY Times. She talks sense. Me I like to both buy the newspaper and get more in depth online, interaction etc.
And when you are done with your paper look what it can become.
This weekend I gave the Matters a homework assignment to study red, what amazing things I seeing and reading. Jo told me this was also an initiative of Atha. I'm not currently a member but I love being on the trend train. We will be studying a colour every other week. It is so good to see how something inspires and inspiration is catching. It can be a fascinating game, noticing how any person with vitality and vigor will have a little splash of red in a costume, in a room, or in a garden... Edgar Cayce

I'm also looking at my Vogue Rug. I've had a brief hiatus, 3 months or so and I believe with the help of my good and faithful Laurel, my new Welcome Mat assistant, I'll be getting to this rug right directly. I feel so glad to be hooking, I know you understand why.
Here is how it lays right now and I'm not minding it, I know now what colour my poker chips shall be. I'll keep you posted, want it done by March:

Friday, January 22, 2010

A very interesting book

I just got a new book. Every month or so the temptresses at Interweave Publishers send me a link. It is hard for me to resist at this time of year. I really crave stimulation.
I was so intrigued by one I bought it. To save money I got it from

The items are numbered and in a separate section the contents of the works are itemized.
For instance the Carolina Wren on the cover is made of credit cards. Amazing. It is making me look at all sorts of things. I especially enjoyed the geek section where the former computer parts reside.

Remake, Restyle,Recycle, Renew
1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse.
Garth Johnson

Here is a write up about it:

1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse

Remake, Restyle, Recycle, Renew
Garth Johnson

Artists and crafters have always been recyclers, but for many, it has not only become a thrifty choice, it has become a moral imperative. 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse contains a cutting edge collection of the most inventive work being made with re-used, upcycled, and already existing materials. The work in this book ranges from clever and humble personal accessories to unique and important large-scale works of art, including paper art, fashion, jewelry, housewares, interiors, and installations.

Garth Johnson is a studio artist, writer and educator who lives in Eureka, California. In addition to maintaining the website "Exteme Craft" ( Garth writes for CRAFTmagazine and his writing has been featured in museum catalogs, magazines, and books worldwide, including a contribution to the upcoming book Handmade Nation from Princeton Architectural Press. His first DVD, ReVision: Recycled Crafts for Earth-Friendly Living will be released by Eyekiss Films later this year. His artwork was featured in a solo show at Gallerie Maxim in Cologne, Germany in August, 2008. Garth received a BFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an MFA from Alfred University. He has taught at Georgia State University, Columbus State University and is currently a full-time instructor at College of the Redwoods in Eureka, CA. In addition to teaching, he is a sought-after lecturer and visiting artist, with recent lectures at Ohio State University, Illinois State University, and the Kansas City Art Institute.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I love doing this:

As you know my friend Barbie is starting a rug.
It is a using it up rug.
She brings me all manner of her leftover wool.
We decide what colour palette we wish to emulate.
I get so excited to turn a very magenta into a scarlet or a kinda horrible spot dye in to a beautiful rich teal with violet and green. Oh what fun it is. I was telling my sister in law, it's like MAGIC.
I love selling wool way better than lettuce. It never rots and always, always has a possibility to be something completely different. Not unlike ourselves!
My favorite quote:

A View from The Front Door

I collect heart rocks and I love this poster I made for colour class. A great quote.
The classy blue tape ? To die for my friends.... I know you want it.

“Teachers who inspire realize there will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how we use them.”

Monday, January 18, 2010

I finished it, I finished it !

Here is my 2010 project. Rolling Down the River

For the first time in a REALLY, REALLY long time I just finished a hooking project.
It is the September 20 colours in 10 inches challenge on The Welcome Mat !
People are making amazing things that are blowing my mind.
I made something really rather pedantic but I'm thrilled out of my gourd to have time to hook!
It makes me feel all the better about making my recent life changes, you know the one I mean.
I have order in my life and it feels great!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

He's Got Values!

Derick Melander's got it sorted out.
And so does Will Rogers:
"Even though you are on the right track - you will get run over if you just sit there."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Psychology Today on Creativity + Creativity Tip One Proof

From PT - Fright Bulb Column:
Sure fire tips to crush your creativity:
• Know exactly what you are doing before you get started
• Be careful not to offend
• Get permission
• Run it by everyone first
• Criticize yourself at every stop

These are great tips !!
Today at hook in Barbie was ready to start something new and she want to use up wool she had. This is a wonderful thing I love to do , it is like looking in the fridge 4 days past grocery day and two days before payday and saying what can be done ? Pure DEE Excitement.

She thought perhaps a very plain pattern of circles.
Yup they should touch.
Although the circles were the first thing we want people to notice, they are the last thing to draw.
First you gotta have a size, fat half yd of 54" linen. Then a perimeter. Where will your rug end?
Will you frame it with a border Barbie ? Yes please one 4 cm wide.
That left us a wonderful area to fill with rows of circles 72cm x48cm
We made a grid, they were .5 centimetre off square due to our measures. That was an allowable tolerance.
We decided the circles would meet across the rug but there would be a space between them going down taking up that 1 cm.
We next decided that we would make a little join where we had the 1 cm.
Suddenly ogees appeared running up and down between the circles.
Here is what it kinda looked like!
We got so excited and we began colour planning right way, the ogees instead of being just background, were going to be three rows of undulating jubilation. They ( ogees ) are much prettier in the hand drawn version ( I see a tablet in my future to help me draw things for the computer)
The middle one being brighter and the two on either side becoming duller and the half ones on the outside being darker. All from Barbie's stash. We used one of the Leatrice Eiseman books.
to hone in on what colours to use in her stash and which ones to shelve. By the way these books ( there are two and they are a bit expensive ) are amazing colour tools to help you express what you want to someone else without words. You can see what page makes you happy, then develope what you want from there using the colours presented in that particular palette . Barbie's was Woodland. We didn't know what we were doing from one second to the next but just let things develop.
Quote for the day:
"Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed."
Michael Pritchard

Charm Swap

It's time for a charm swap again and the Lady of the Charm is going to work her magic.
I took part in the second swap and it was wonderful and inspiring and so great to get all those charms at the end, each a little creation of wonder.
Here is what she had to say:
The picture above is the collection of charms that I recieved from 24 different artists when I hosted my first charm swap. Most of them were made by Rug Hookers on the Welcome Mat. The theme for the above swap was, anything you wanted, made from anything you wanted, with a size specification of no larger than 1 1/2 inches x 1 1/2 inches. It was such a pleasure to get to know, via email all of the wonderful Artists who's time and creativity made the swap a success. When Hosting a swap, I always ask for one extra charm, and when I attend a rug camp, or auction, I donate the extra set of charms that I make into a bracelet like the one above, as a fundraiser for that camp, guild, etc.

For the second swap, I mailed everyone a small packet of paper, ribbon, yarn, wool etc. in a theme I called "Fairy Forest". The charm fairies created charms using only the colors in their packet. The results were stunning. I'll try to get a picture of them up soon.

When I hosted the last two swaps, some charmings made and sent theirs in right away, other charmers sent in at the last minute, and still other charmsters sent theirs in after the deadline. So in order to respect every type of charmer, for this swap I will mail them out as they come in. This will make our swap run for a while, give everyone the time they need, and get the charms back quicker. I won't have to refuse anyone either.
As it dwindles down, if it dwindles down, I will make up the difference in charms. I'm sure I can find a crazy or two to help me do this. All charms must be in by November 1st 2010 for this swap. If you are interested write

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Erin's Adventure Concludes /Eye Candy

Take a look a this inventive flooring, I think it is beautiful.

Is there ANYTHING more satisfying then learning how to be independent and make your own artist tools, in our case wool? Erin did such a great job, she is well on her way to being a terrific dyer.
Have a great day,
From William Allen White 1868 -1944
My advice to the women's clubs of America is raise more hell and fewer dahlias.

Let's take a look at this

It's time to take another look at a piece of artwork. I like to practise this as a way of honing my ability to see. When I can see better I can do better hooking and I think I appreciate the genius of all artists much more when I stop to notice what they've done.
Meanwhile on the search for a good subject I found this wonderful selection of eye candy:

Our painting is from Cassius Coolidge, titled: A Friend in Need.It was hard to get a good rendition of this ad for your decent perusal. Go out and find a better one to study.
First the lighting: the light shining down to create this intimate scene is fully supported by a very dark under table and ceiling, the corners of the walls deepening in value add to this. I also notice small, very light things like glints of jewellery, edges of chairs and the shadows on the players help to create a cozy feeling.

There are many visual clues to the happenings, we can see the lateness of the hour, the wary watchfulness, the cheating right in the foreground.
Notice the small players are placed in the front, drawing our eyes around table and allowing us to see the expressions of all.
Colourwise, the green baize balances the red light. That red light puzzles me though because it looks incomplete compared to the rest of the subject matter. This was a commissioned piece and perhaps time or the funds paid for the work ran out.
The rest of the colours, the background players, look how they alternate , white or grey then brown and white, the two reddish brown players at the back are separated by the blue grey of the wall.
There is drama, the old thing I like to see in rugs, something is going to happen, is happening or just did happen is present as well as the best thing anyone can have, a sense of humour!

Have a terrific day !
Quote for today:
"If you believe everything you read, better not read."
Japanese Proverb

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Erin's Adventure Continues - Part Four

Making the lights, and the great question of how do you know you are done adding colour ?

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Erin Adventures - Part 3

Chopstick method- using a chopstick for measuring.

Some info about me and my vision

Look at this amazing picture... wow! There will be more of Erin's adventures posted soon. Ok, today I got a letter and I wanted to share my response with you.
This is stuff I want everyone to know.

Dear______________, Thank you for the time you took to respond to me. I have had much. and long experience with all aspects off online groupthink and the real life mechanics of "inter office politics", not to mention the dynamics of volunteers. For over 12 years I've run an online rug hooker something or other. That practically makes me a senior citizen on the net. I always try to take the middle road. I neither listen to scurrilous comments nor toadying. I try to look at an overview. I would never think of muzzling dissenters, nor can I, in all fairness, muzzle my self appointed watch dogs. I received many, many emails privately with people telling me what they thought and thank you for your concern on that point. I belong to a huge group of site developers and another of list creators. They have stern suggestions and ways of handling just such events which I find draconian. I like to let everybody say what they need to mostly. I draw the line when people use the forum to promote themselves in a way they wouldn't at a hook-in. I know these emotional flashes curdle the wame of some. I don't much like it either. But people, within reason, should say what they wish ( and I'll add in here for my blog readers - accept what comes as a result saying it ).
Almost everyone who is a list creator goes through the same crisis moment of SIZE overwhelming the vision and direction. We can't pretend something doesn't need to mutate or change, everything always does. My vision statement is and has always been to offer hookers more. That has never wavered in 8 years since I first thought of the Mat. I think my plan cues up very well. I think good has come of this ultimately. We can have a new resource, The Welcome Mat as an online magazine. Something the rug world has not seen for those who wish to be there. The Front Porch will be free and contain the bonhomie people liked on the Mat. You have refined your thinking on these matters and it has seemed to hone your self awareness, defined what you want to be part of. That can only bring you good. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours and I thank you so much for giving me your excellent points. Ever aware of more than you might imagine, Wanda in Wiarton.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Something new is in the air

You are among the first to know.
I just created a new site that will always be free for rug hookers to meet, show and tell, and talk up a storm with one another. I'll be making a more fulsome announcement tomorrow about the ins and outs of how things will work on The Welcome Mat.
Meanwhile you can use this button and be among the first to get a seat on My Front Porch

Or if you want to be a member of the Welcome Mat and haven't been able to do it yet

Erin Dyes-Part two- Video Blog

A dark ages grainy video about making purple

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dyeing Series with Erin- A New Dyer- Golden Yellow

Today Erin came and she dyed for the first time ever! And we recorded it for posterity. Her recipe makes a very good golden yellow using Majic Carpet. Try it yourself. More installations later.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My Blog - Myself

Me at the Big Bay Dock in summer wearing red and sitting beside green ! Happiness is....
This blog is the place where I feel I can speak about whatever is in my heart and that is very valuable to me. I like to use my hooking and really all that I do to speak the same thing. While talking to a friend today she instructed me that we have much more in our hearts than love, we store everything there. That rang true for me.

It made me think about how I use colour. Does my colour use come from my heart, am I using what I love ?
I used to really dislike colours, in my 20s a house we rented had a red floor.
Oi it was the bane of my existence, now I seek out reds and crave them.
I recently saw a green that made me physically relax. I NEED THAT ! I'm glad it is in a form I could take home.

Two of our Thursday hookers finished rugs this week, what an interesting reaction they had! Doreen said finishing it off was almost anti climatic, now what? I think she has a point. Barbie has been dreaming about what she might do next for the last few months.
The great thing about hooking is it keeps us dreaming of possibilities, we don't always do them but it's wonderful to exercise our imaginations.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The colours least considered

Generally we don't notice some colours, you might think these are neutrals.
It has come to my attention that individuals each have their version of the un-noticed.
What are your rather not look at selections ?
I have terrible, terrible time with the pastels among us.
When I'm looking at something very attractive to me I can almost assure you it is NOT pastel.
But to create good or even fine work this lack of noticing or looking at pastels will hamper me and hinder my creations badly.
So to rectify this personal oversight I got me a book. I like to gently into the night.
white hot by Tricia Guild
book cover: tricia guild - white hot
Here is what I hope will happen, I will come to appreciate what pastels and what they can do for me, if nothing more than to use them as the transition from lights to darks. I do kinda like some of the juxtapositions in this book's illustrations. Surprise, Surprise!
What could you do to understand those colours which are irksome to you ?

I promised you a post on the things I noticed about my December creations.
Triangles ruled- as a curvy lover no one is more surprised than me.
Colours- lots of grayed out colours hmmmph, now that's a shock!
lines- lots of straight ones... what the hey ?

I see a new horizon for me.
You know, that's just the thing I think is most important about any endeavour. You will change, you must grow, when you can accept that, you can embrace that which you thought wasn't for you.
Triangles and muted colouration, here I come !

Hint for the day:
Look after yourself ( hook first ) and everything else will take care of itself in its own good time.