Monday, May 24, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

That Albert, what a genius! Really.

"Any fool can know. The point is to understand. "
Albert Einstein
And what a leap that is!

Here is a rug I hooked of circles:
New born hooker of one month

Look at me carefully following the rule of three and trying to be expressive in my colour strip patterns. I didn't dye then and it shows.

Several years later, about 10 you can see how much stronger a statement I can make with the same general idea. I've got my big girl pants almost on! I know how to make things glow, build colour play within my circles while not distracting from them. My background is a whole lot of happiness to look at. There is richness and depth and best of all there is still a lot of things for me to learn... rules of three? Leave them be.

Here is a picture of a cat rug I hooked in my first year for my daughter Vanessa.
I had to turn the cat to face the other way because I couldn't "do" its face. I made a strange illusion where the cat seems to flip which way he faces, how disconcerting. I did get better at making the star insides look like the outsides...

You can see I was in love with the wormy look, I made this rug also in my first year of hooking.
I was getting a bit more sophisticated, you can see my attempts to provide light and shadow, my two part moon effect.
See how I loved Exclamation points even then!!!!

Hard to imagine how the very next cat I did 8 years later turned out like this...

And there are still so many more tricks for me to learn, I can't wait for them to appear.

The moral of this story:
You can know something, I knew the same principles of loop pulling then as I do know.
But what I understand now, that's the ticket.
I understand what to look at. I'm beginning to understand colour and how to control it. I understand how to make what's important stand out and what to let recede. I understand I want to have the illusion of physical depth in what I do. I understand how to do that. I understand it only by doing it. I do it by making mistakes and correcting them. I accumulate understanding by acting on knowledge, discarding what doesn't work and studying what people do in any medium that does work.
Study your rugs this week and see what leaps you've made from knowing to understanding, I think you'll be proud of yourself!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Interviewed by Brenda Beerhorst

As soon as Brenda joined the Welcome Mat her rugs, blog and spirit have inspired and intrigued me. You can imagine my delight when she requested an interview. Go here to read it.
Thank you Brenda!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Good Design- You can do it !

Hydrangeas using spotty, and funky based swatches

Good Design - You can do it!

The WandaWay Studio, Wanda’s online teaching studio, is pleased to announce a new class starting May 24, 2010. (note: this classroom is not on The Welcome Mat, all classes there are free to subscribers and there are lots of them!!)

This class is crafted to help those of you who are interested in designing your rugs or even making sure you know a good design when you see one to buy it. It does include the role a good colour plan plays. This class will save you oodles of trouble and give you confidence to do whatever you dream of.

This class consists of three lessons presented every 2 weeks for a six week span @ $25 each for a total of $75.

The Lines

The Colour

Bringing it to Fruition

There will be plenty of time to complete your homework assignments and there will be a tremendous amount of interaction between you and your teacher as well as between students. Videos, podcasts and slideshows as well as written material and visual aids will be provided to enhance your studying. We would love to have you join us.

If you are interested in this class and wish to sign up press this paypal button in US dollars below for instant payment. If this denomination doesn’t suit you or you are interested but don’t use paypal write to send a check.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A beautiful card

I love the names of colours on this Christmas card and how they invoke the season.
It would be a great exercise to imagine new names for them for Spring! If you like these types of activities you'll love The Welcome Mat, my live and interactive online magazine for rug hookers and woolworkers. Join the group Playday for creative exercises.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I just got this book and I'm loving it. Every page is a new delight. Very inspirational. I love seeing what people develop and invent, you can see clearly they have a "special " way about them and what they create. Look at one of the artists featured in this book working with wool and silk, Ulrieke Benner for a great example of invention and strength of her authenticity, it shines through whatever she does.
How do we get to the place where we are speaking through our truest self at that moment and not barking through our hat or up a tree or something else?
Let's start with being aware.
Gimmickery is a real phenomenon.
This word, as I use it, is my cross between mockery and gimmick.
Gimmick isn't a very old word. It came about in the 1920s as a result of wide spread advertising. A gimmick is something to draw you in. Like giving you a free pillow with every mattress or altering a building to appear like a log cabin or an Italian villa to attract eaters to restaurants. There is not much to a gimmick, it is about appearances.
Mockery, an absurd imitation, misrepresentation or interpretation of something.
Gimmickery for me - a representation of something that already exists or doesn't exist at all to make someone think an idea is new.
In common usage it means an array of gimmicks.

I'm sure people who have been hooking for 20 years or so know just what I mean.
If you can get your hands on older issues of RHM or News and Views you will see it too.
All it takes is a little research to find what are purported to be innovations are simply imitations of the past.

How to avoid falling into the gimmickery trap?

Look out for things that:
are way more complicated than they need to be
take a lot of talk to convince you
don't strike a bell with your inner authenticity
when used as directed don't improve a thing you do
look exactly the same as something you've seen a million times but you are told it is different
make you feel like you know something but when you need to do it .... whoops, it slips away

If we are talking about inventing stuff and I feel hardly anything has been invented yet on this planet or in rug hooking if you want a smaller view, I want you to know you are as capable as the next hooker to invent something. All you need is your own authentic self. That's is your best tool. And you need to try lots of times, make lots of prototypes as true inventors do. Lots of them will fail... excellent. They will be the stuff upon which something new arises.
More importantly don't be bamboozled by yourself or others.

Inventing is a doing thing not a thinking one, it is something to play at, with tons of what if questions.

Don't doubt yourself.... doubt them and that.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Helen's Triumph

Helen and her Aurora Borealis at Woolgathering. Amazing eh?

What Hook-in Looked Like last Thursday





Trying to knit my own warmth

It's been so cold here I'm back at knitting with that yarn I fixed awhile ago....
Thank goodness I have 5 skeins , a gift from Denise... because I appear to be knitting a blanket!!! LOL

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Search for heart

Here I am last night with the mother of all heart rugs. At Jackson's Cove the shore is a heap of wonderful flat rocks, I love rocks and I collect heart rocks. How I wish this one didn't weight a ton and I would have taken it home. It was all I could do to hold it up.
Never mind the babushka kerchief, if you live here you respect black flies, their season and the skin on your head.

Lots of people I've been talking to lately want more than a search for a heart on the shore.
They are looking for heart in what they see, buy and do, including their own rugs.
Here's a little list on how I think we can include more:

Look for themes recurring that compel you, act on them
Notice details you like, include them in your work
Complete nothing you've lost interest in
Feel your feelings
Make a ton of stuff
Don't let any project last too long
Get encouraging and supportive people around you
The answer to every thing else is yes
Wake the heck up, you aren't in a dress rehearsal, this be your real thing, right now
Have a mini date every day with yourself for artistic noodling
Don't take yourself too seriously
Set goals and challenges frequently, revise them as needed
Love yourself and everything you do, you are a gift to the rest of us, thank you for sharing!

I'm going back to get my giant rock, I want it!!
How I'm going to carry it, that's just a technicality.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Just when you thought you knew it all

I was interested in the "surprising" colour choices in this rug! It is from Dargate Auction Houses archive.
What do you think?
My friend Jean posted a great site on her page in The Welcome Mat.
It lead me to another part of it, novelty rugs from 1920 to 1990
Have a look.