Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hard to live with aren't I.

Today's title is a statement with an upswing. I make people wear hats they probably don't want to, I take away special presents and throw them outside, you can't even belly up to the water trough without me making you wade knee deep in mohair!
Look at what Ceilie had to wade through to get a drink!

Here is Man, he is wearing his hat! He is on his way to work! Doesn't he look happy?

Really what he is is suspicious. Suspicious of people snapping pictures soundlessly and their motivations. Seconds later he was smiling like the cheshire cat. But right this instant... very formidable. He was once Whitney Houston's body guard and that look alone stopped stalkers and occasional bullets.

But I'm not afraid and neither is the Bird who regained her nerve and caught a mouse in the night which she awarded me with about 4 am. It is so much fun to toss a mouse! You should try it, very invigorating. For my part of the special evening program I got it airborne and out the back door.

The artist in me is fascinated by the depth of shadows indicating tail girth and it's sweet posture in death. Look at it toes... or run screaming whatever suits. If you can continue to study it, look at the deeper shadow from the deck board and the colour changes in it's little ear, look how the sunlight has gilded its whiskers. Look how colour repeats over its body. Lovely little gift wasn't it?

I'm going to dye soon and for hours, I'll keep notes and post pictures just for you.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

uhun Amen!

This morning I got up to find Birdee MIA. I know she was here about 5 in the morning because she got into bed with me to make passionate luv with my hands and head butt my corpulent torso 50 or so times as I tried to sleep.

The whole herd each get a tbsp of pouch food ( wet with greasy gravy, yeah I 'm an awesome cat chef!) and the rattling of the plates, shaking of the pouch and even my presence in the kitchen bring the whole posse in from the far reaches and in double time.

Not even that worked. I asked the rest of the livestock who knew what, guilty looks and lots of ???
Finally I hear some clunking in the bathroom and she appeared.
But she was looking both ways like she lived on a highway thick with transport trucks. And she wouldn't let me touch her.

It took me about 2 seconds to figure it out. We do have a transport truck living here and her name is Mary. She's got a few kung fu moves and lots of bull like charging behaviour. She is a hair longer than she is wide. We are talking line backer. Lightening striker.
And on an aside there is several things about her that remind me of my oldest brother. I KNOW!!! In the face, they have a resemblance and they are both the oldest and really looking for trouble to stir up and fur to ruffle. She walks a perimeter of the house when she is in a mood way like she is a bad cop on a beat looking for any thing that doesn't suit her.

Surprisingly I can control her by telling her to GO to bed!
It does not work on my brother but you could try it and see what happens with yours.

Here is Mary right now a live non action photo:
You can see she is still on the prowl even as she is lying still.

And Birdee's live photo: more of a supermodel shape and look how worried she is ... probably thinks I'm in cahoots with officer Mary and she's getting her mug shot.

Now I said all this to say I thought a lot about human behaviour this week and here it was all played out right in front of me in my own herd of cats.
I thought of some things and I thought I 'd share them with you because I largely study woolworkers and you are some and this might help you someday.

1. Don't come into a rug hookers house and shame her for having non-hooked rugs in her house on the floor and her rugs on the wall. That's your problem not hers.

2. Don't assume people are busy and not extend all rug hookers in the same area the same invitation to a public rug hooking function. That is the worst sort of manners.

3. Don't blame others for aforementioned oversight. That is even worser manners.

4. Don't tell the busiest person on the planet you were too busy to let them know something. Excuses are never acceptable in an apology.

5. Don't be afraid of bullying behaviour, you stick up for what is good and works for you. Bullies are full of fear, don't let their problem rule you.

6. Don't forget to recognize everyone has a right to do their own thing, even exhibit shockingly poor manners.

7. Don't forget to act out of love no matter your motivations. It works for all things.

8. Don't make others feel small so you can feel big.

9. Don't fall for lateral Kung fu moves and rushes, stand your ground, they soon roll over.

10. Nothing is worth missing your morning treat over.

11. Look both ways, if you see crazy cross the street, if you are crazy get help.

12. Try to find out if they make feliway for humans.

Going now to tuck Birdshine into my sweater and love her up awhile.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Birdee/Emerson/Revelations on Man

Birdee fussed around all afternoon at hook-in until I laid this pile of wool down to show Pam what we did last week in Peggy's dyeing class. Within minutes she was calm and content, she is looking a might baleful this instant because I disturbed her with my incessant requirements for blog fodder. (If she could talk what do you think she would say?)

I think we are like this too. We get wound up and can't get that Goldilocks "just right" feeling.
I've noticed this week as I prepare taxes and wind up on the approach to Woolgathering I need to make like I need to drink and pee. I cannot endure without it. Nothing is making me as content as I want to be except creating.

On Wednesday night I produced great and lofty clouds of amazing soft and silky mohair on my drum carder and I spun it up with some Louet Icicle I dyed. I added some more to it last night and then plyed it on itself.
To do this I make a ball on my ball winder and draw the one end from the inside and one from the outside and ply them.
Then I plied up some very fine wool I'm calling " I want to be more like Lauri" to make a hat for Man because he don't care none for my bulky weight art yarn.
Here they are, see dyed icicle laying beside yarn.
I've read stories where women knit sweaters for men who wouldn't wear them and happened to hang onto the sweater and let the man go and eventually find one who appreciates it. Yes this is a cautionary tale Man because I know you read this blog.

Remember the last hat I made for him ... the "I'll wear anything you make hat"?
I had to give it to my daughter's man, he loves it. That's my boy Matt!
Don't worry you won't be watching us on an episode of Jerry Springer anytime soon.
I'm gonna try one more time.

There is a site - 6 questions to ask yourself to get the most out of life
All I could think when I saw the title was ohhh, do I have to?
There was a great quote posted there though.
“We are always getting ready to live but never living.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Find yourself a settling down place this week end, tuck yourself in and get content, just like Birdee.
Oh and wear the "fly your freak flag" hat your wife knits you. Trust me nothing looks odder than shaved legs and cycling kit. You will look normal by comparison. You once wore sandals made from car tires.... this is nothing.

PS. I think Birdee was saying: Dads me finks you has better be wearings dat hat.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Photographic evidence, a true twist

As I prepare for the rug hookers arrival today I groomed my coif.
Long have I been told by #1 Daughter " your hair always looks the same no matter what, done , undone, always the same..."
I never believe her, I am so vain about my hair!
I decided to take a photo to compare to yesterday's under the hat affair...

Expecting a beautiful after shot worthy of The Extreme Makeover I was SHOCKED to see a barely perceptible difference.
Oh well, all those hair products sure are fun!
And I still love my hats and the feeling I'm making a glamourous difference some how... that's good .... right?
Just a reminder... get a new bra ok? you need one!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Heads Up/ Hat Weather/Turnabout is fair play

I'm going to confess right here I love hat weather, and we are still in the thick of it. Today for instance it is a wind chill factor of minus bleventy bleven. In case you don't know this number it is from the new math. Read dang cold, cold enough to bring tears to your eyes and snot to your knows and nose. A real brain freezer.

But I'm still happy because I can zoom out of this house with THE MOST unsightly head of hair you have ever seen and still look like I'm put together. Oh you blessed, blessed wool hat....

Look what it covered up today!!!!

Speaking of wool hats I found another victim tam ( could I call them victams? ) at Walmart - tan of course and this time I'll be couching on some explosions of handspun in paisleys and other folderolish shapes. This will take place after I dye it blue so it will turn teal... right? Tan wool + blue dye = teal!

As you know nature inspires me, I have rocks and twigs around me at all times and that's just in my hair!
In this blog instead of decorating with natural elements, Norm Magnussun goes out and decorates nature.
I found them delightful and imagined stumbling across them in the woods, what fun!

Monday, March 21, 2011

First Rug I've finished in Eons The JJ

Here is my January Journal 2011. This was a challenge on The Mat. We had many, many participants and as usual I'm bringing up the rear, I told you I like to sweep! It was wonderful to see the array of ideas and adventures we all had! We all had a great time sharing this experience.

And a close up so you can see the fruity pebbles border:

This might look alike a pretty strange rug. It doesn't make sense upon first glance or ever for some people.
Each motif hooked represents something about the 31 days of January for me and me alone. There are lots of secrets in this rug and if you look closely you might read some of them.
Lots of my newly acquired January skill in the form of handspun made it into this rug, there was green grass the first day and birds pecking away.
That is not a cupcake!
Can you find the dye pan?
Who's been leaving tracks?

I find these kind of create as you go rugs wonderful learning grounds, how to write with pictures, a good thing to practise.
For trying out colours and shapes together to imply ideas makes this rug is priceless to me.

And best of all as part of the turning new leaf.... I finished it ....I haven't whipped a rug since Churchill was a cowboy.
And I might wait for him to become a zombie before I do it again....
I hope you are finding time for happy hooking!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

First Heart Rock of the Season

Found this on the sandy shore ( about 5 feet long) at Colpoys Village.

Thursday was a doozy!

First of all, I went out on Wednesday night to see Spry Lake in bright moonlight and walk out on the ice for photos with the kind assistance of Man. I should not do that. That is baking time. That is getting the larder stocked for my hoards of wonderful hookers the next day...
It was fun and very productive but that meant I was up with the roosters baking ginger brownies and making these.

AND I had a special guest coming 2 hours early to learn the One Pan One Rug method of dyeing before hook-in. BTW Baking and dyeing don't mix. One must be entirely cleaned up before the next begins.
It was a busy few hours but by the time 9:30 rolled around I was ready!
When Peggy and Bev arrived we set right into determining her selection of wool to dye to create this picture. The smallest amount of wool we used was 1/16th, even though we may not need that much in the rug. Here was the inspiration:

Here are the array of amazing wools we got.

Peggy also prepared and worked out her piece using cut strips only ( read leftovers) and began it as hook in started. I suggested she work it in horizontal rows. No drawing. ( She is fearless!)
While doing the selection of strips I felt she made an amazing leap of both faith and understanding of colour use. The one inch she got hooked in using these strips held more magic in it than you can imagine, it was vibrant, lively and exciting. She got ignited with a spark it seemed. She came, she listened, she did and she learned. That's what I love in my students. It takes all four to succeed.
Beverley rode shot gun. We learned we were separated at birth.
We so enjoyed having them come and it is our fondest wish more people would take the trip to join us on the occasional Thursdays.
Here is Helen with her amazing floral, look at the border, she is using a striped fabric cut across the stripes hooked in wiggles. It is a miracle, just like Helen herself.

Shirley is really coming along with her Oriental... look how happy she is! It is beautiful! I caught these two just as they were about to leave and then promptly forgot to capture the other doings.
There wasn't a spare seat in the house!
PS I love my little corner I made for myself, it is working well.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My ankles hurt

Not really hurting exactly but just tender...
I'm very excited to spin and my feet are not used to the movement I need and of course I won't stop spinning.
I dyed a natural coloured batt ( see above) and spun it up! It made a beautiful fine yarn.

Here is my rainbow batt and you can see the yarn spun in the foreground, very, dare I say summery?

Look at my poor chair today...., oh of course the rug you see on my frame was the easiest one I ever hooked.... all black! In reality I blacked it out so you will be surprised in RHM toward the end of the year. You can see my January Journal there in the basket, it is in the process of being whipped, you should hear that little witch squeal!
Oh maybe that was me.... I hate finishing.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A little corner for me

As I prepare my revamped studio I thought I'd share with you the reason for all the changes... a space for my little corner, just for me.
I was finding the interruption of cleaning my hooking work up weekly before our hook-in was interfering with my ability to get some serious hooking done...
So now I have my corner and my own wee table and I think I'm in gravy now, I'm just getting it set up and will try it out tomorrow, it's hooking on Thursday. Can I stand not to clean up? Only time will tell. I'm having a little mini class with a special guest before hook-in, she's going to learn the One Pan One rug method recently published in the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of RHM.
I look forward to it.

Little Red Mitten Report

Yes, I'm the luckiest girl in the world!
Man squired me south on Sunday so I could go here on Monday:
Do you know where I am by this clue?
Perhaps if I mention the name of a wonderful wooly store.... The Little Red Mitten you might know?
If you like knitting, weaving, crocheting or spinning this will be your new favorite place!

I spent a whopping 4 hours there. I was trying out spinning wheels and Joan was wonderfully patient and indulgent as I'd only spun on my Hansencraft ( an espinner, no footwork necessary).

I made a few batts to take with me, why? .... because I'm a special needs spinner, I want to pass great lumps of stuffs through my orifice! I threw every thing in those batts I could think of!
Here is Joan, the owner of the Little Red Mitten,trying out some crazy batt I made on The Majacraft Rose. She looks happy!

Many customers came and went and asked lots of questions, Joan took this great guy around the store, he was very avid to know about how spinning worked, He had lots of great questions and even asked if he could try it. I had already decided I was going to buy the Pioneer so I invited him to sit down at it! Frankly he did better than I did.

I cannot tell you enough what wonderful customer service I had... Joan and her husband were beyond patient as I tried to force an elephant through the eye of a needle so that I could make my art yarns as I desired. Thank you to you both!
It seems like we both had a good time, you can read about Joan's experience here.

And now today I 'm having no trouble making what I want and having it spin in the direction I need! I felt that spring is a little late in coming or at least I'm tired of white stuff. So I made this batt to celebrate tulips and daffs and the greenery. I layered the colours along the spectrum.

Here is my single... spun on the Pioneer.... I'm doing ok Joan, thanks to my terrific teacher! Thank you.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Last Thursday's Hook-in - A Photo Essay


Is there ANYTHING better than a bunch of great people gathered together doing what they dig? There is good energy here!
Can you imagine though for a minute the amount of wool dust created from this many woolworkers? I'm a sweeper, I sweep, I don't vacuum. Sweeping calming, vacuuming a noisy hell.
In an effort to breathe after and during hook-in I've succumbed and got the studio a Dirt Devil Upright vacuum, $34.99- Home Hardware.
A jet taking off makes less noise, but the studio is DUST FREE.
Breathe free my fellow wool workers, breathe long and deep and don't dye with kool aid if you are dyeing for keeps.

* No hookers were harmed in the making of this essay, contents may contain some hookers too happy to be believed and generally this blog may contain some comments not to be trusted.


And this is why work doesn't get done on Finishing It Fridays

Really who would move this gently snoring kitty? Who? Just to finish a rug? What a trivial pursuit compared to sleeping.

My friend Pam and I are going to have a finishing Saturday once a month. There will be movie and laughs and well, you are invited, no charge! Write me a note if you want to come!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Long ago in a land far away...

I'm so prone to exaggeration! Not long ago and certainly not far away unless you are with me in deciding my basement is a destination.
I'm debating daily whether to make the trip one block to collect the mail these days so in love am I with staying in and cleaning and sorting and throwing and heaving.

And now back to our main news:
Take a look at something I unearthed right here in my own studio from about 12 years ago.

I'm rolling on the floor laughing at myself, I was a rug plannin'.
I'm laughing because I still love it and I'm double dang sure this was the very cusp of the beginning of the Red/Green affair I'm still in the midst of. Nope not the duct tape Red Green of Possum Lake, the colours.

So what happened?
Why didn't I make that rug?
After colouring it, I just didn't need to. Not every idea is rug worthy, the paper one suffices.
Don't let your your ideas turn into paper tigers, be brave, just 'cos you drew them doesn't mean you gotta use them.
Make sure you REALLY want to do that rug before you start grinding up wool!

Monday, March 7, 2011

LOL- The Jaunary Journal

I KNOW it is March!
But here the journal is as of Friday night and I've been putting the trim on it in the evenings.
( Big Love can you get any crazier?)
I'm trying to turn over a new leaf and you all know how heavy they can be.
It takes awhile.
I'm going to endeavour to finish off right away ( yes completely) the rugs I start from here on in.
PS that is NOT a cupcake but a steaming tray of Bull---- on the lower right hand side.

In other news, I'm working away on the
Great Studio Pillage and Tent Caterpillar Pogrom of 2011.
I don't have tent caterpillars but I do want space and I'm imagining ahead anything that takes up my wanted space in a greedy unwanted way is GOING.
I'm embarking a a new artistic stage where I'm reclaiming a section of my studio for ME!
So far I catched a corner for a beautiful chair.
This chair fits my cross legged self ( the ultimate hooking position) perfectly.
It is green, the colour of renewal and it is divine. May all my inspiration be so gifted as I repose and compose upon it.
Upon delivery a picture will grace these pages.

The above bloodletting and prying and prodding ( some hand slapping is required) has created wonderful riches for the give away portion of Woolgathering.
I hope you will be the recipient of some of them.

On the Welcome Mat we just started a group for very beginning dyers. It is going well and it is good to have company on these creative growth producing endeavours

I know there are no F words in hooking but I just couldn't resist the sentiment behind this poster!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dyeing My Tam!

Here I am out wearing my tam which was once a doe skin like tan, that is not a good colour for me.
I threw it into the frying pan and splashed dye up on it and before I knew it I had something dark enough for my black little heart...
It gets lots of looks because people can't figure out why it isn't more solid looking, or maybe they are wondering why my mom paid thousands of dollars for braces and I still have crooked teeth, it's hard to tell which is more puzzling for them.

Do you ever dye things that are not for cutting into tiny strips and hooking with?
I love dyeing garments too, silk and wool.
It makes them so interesting looking, out of the ordinary.

Why can't I be different and unusual... like everyone else?
Vivian Stanshall

Woolgathering Time is Coming!

Come one, come all to Spring Woolgathering. In just a few weeks we will all be hooking together having a great time. We would love to see you there!
Spring Program: One Hooker - One Line
A rug will be set up for each person coming to hook a line. Wool will be provided.
What is a line? That's up to you to research and share with us. Whose line is it anyway? Thick, thin, curved or straight, dark or light, which would represent you the best? This will be a journal of the day, a guest book of sorts of who attended.
It will be finished off for a draw at Fall Woolgathering, to be held Oct.15/2011. Mark your calendar, our Fall gathering is early this year!

Rug hookers are coming together on Saturday, April 2 from 9:30 until 3:00 for an all day hook-in at the Community Church of Christ 2555, 8th Ave W, Owen Sound, our usual spot. Come and enjoy great rug hooking fun and laughs at Woolgathering. All are welcome to come, spread the word to everyone you know ! If you can't come forward this onto someone who might, make an announcement at your hook-ins too.
This is a wonderful opportunity for new hookers to see a large variety of work and get inspired, good for jaded old hookers too !
Bring a lunch, perhaps some baking if you feel moved to do so, a project to hook on, rugs to show ( they don't have to be finished) piece of wool for the grand draw prize and other draw prizes if you can - is there something you no longer want or need ? Make another hooker happy !

If you wish to vend please come with your wares, a card table space cost $10, bring your own table. larger tables are in short supply if you need one book now, these cost $25. Notification to sell must be made 10 days prior to the event for insurance purposes.

To date there will be an abundance of beautiful WandaWorks products, Impressions in Wood with fantastic tools for hooking and other wonderful handcrafted items. If there is something you need specifically let vendors know ahead of time and we will make you very HAPPY !!! Please bring your rug if you need a special colour for it.
Cost is $8. For more info emailto: inquiry@wandaworks.ca

Directions from the South ( Hwy 6) and East ( get to Owen Sound on HWY 26 )

Drive along HWY 6 as you enter Owen Sound, look for 10th St. You will make a left turn onto this street.
You will drive down a hill then cross three intersections.
You will turn right on the fourth one.
You will have crossed a small bridge and the road to turn on is right after it.
It is 1st Ave W.
Follow that a short way until you reach 14 St.W, turn left.
Drive one block, turn right onto the Eddie Sargent Parkway or 3rd Ave W.
Follow this street until it intersects with 26th St W. Make a left turn.
Drive through 2 intersections, turn left at the third, this is 8th Ave W.
You should be able to see the church on the right hand side.

From The West and North
Go to the Drive In in Springmount.
Turn Left
At the first stop sign you reach turn left.
Continue on this road until it intersects with 24th St W make a right hand turn.
Follow this street until your reach 8th Ave W turn left , this is the street the church is on.
Look for it after you pass the ball diamond on the right hand side of the road. It is the same place but is now called The Community Church of Christ.

Contact me if you have any questions. See you there !!!
Happy hooking, Wanda

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Garden Of Weedin'

Here I am up to my nips in green and look at my physog, ( that's a short form for physiognomy in my family) my goodness I look consternated, why didn't I appreciate it? Please come back green, I promise not to take you for granted this year....

Boat Lake Sunrise/ Learning

This was a quick and exciting rug for me. I used a photo of Man's and dyed all the wool for it in one pan at one time. The instructions on how you might do this are in Rug Hooking Jan/Feb.2011.
It was wonderful for me to try something new!
Hooked in four days there are things I would change now as there always are when I get some distance from a project. Strangely though I'm quite a respecter of "that's a record of what you did then", apply what you've learned through that project to the next one.

Building blocks of learning, that's a good way to become better at what you do. Making yourself a foundation of tools and skills,using what you've learned up to the point you're at now, that creates more of you in what you make.

Learning about dip dyeing and its application early in my hooking life was a keen interest.
Once I knew how to both dye them and apply them I rapidly realized their stiffness wasn't working for me. I longed to have related colour transitions but I wanted more control of them, and sometimes I required a more subtle interplay of colour than dip dyes provide.
I would never have found the many ways I have to transition colours one from the other if I hadn't followed my head and satisfied my curiosity about dip dyes and I listened to my heart when it craved more even though it was enough for others.

All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe