Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Signed Sealed Delivered

I'm all done my portrait. I'm sorry about the dim photo, it is night and that's the best we could do.... In real life this rug sparkles like a diamond, I don't know how or why.
I'll take a daylight photo of all the rugs tomorrow so I have a record of them.
Back to being done:
When I say I'm done that means I won't ever touch it again to fix anything.
When I'm done I'm really done.
Like for instance if Birdee decides to be a rug ripper and pulls all my teef out, I'd have to say I was in a bar room brawl just before the photo was taken.
Or if a rat chews my hat I'll just have to cut a hole in my hat.
If a flood stains one whole half of my face I'll say I had a birthmark then.
If I never see it again I'll say... what rug?

Do you want to see this rug and many other marvy rugs in person?
Maybe you could go to the exhibit.
Exhibit Title: Mary Anne Wise & Friends: the art of the hooked rug.
Dates: Sept 23 - Nov 18, 2011
Location: The Anderson Center, Red Wing, MN.
Hook-in: Sept 23, 1 - 5:30 (dinner available on site for $10. Reservations to Mary Logue:

I hope there will be a youtube video and I'll let you know when I find out.

I'm very happy to say ( singing the theme to Rocky ) that I am all done my rugs for this show on the date I aimed for.
This Peace by Water weighs 4.5 lbs.
All that remains is the packing up and the posting to take place tomorrow. Man and I did a little dumpster diving and we were graced with the perfect box.
I wonder how much the shipping will be? I bet between $60 and $100
I must be crazy.
It also appears I might be deranged by looking at my studio.
Chaos reigns.
Here is hooker's little helper Birdee... she was so devoted during the great hookathon of August 2011, she spent every minute I was in the studio with me.... or was she devoted to Heaven's to Betsy Wool and that lovely basket Joanne gave me ? Hard to tell....

May you sleep as peacefully as she.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Whew, I'm almost done this portrait

Man made me swear a holy oath not to touch my teefs today. I did carve one tooth out so it was more pointed and now these teeth look like mine. But I didn't rip out and I didn't rehook.
That's saying something.
I fixed my chin by moving the dark over one row, took out a bright warm and added in a dull darker warm. I fixed the right hand corner of my mouth. I added the ice, which is higher on one side than the other on purpose, the open water, the escarpment and now I'm dyeing for the sky. I have a colour I'm heading for laying a the top of the rug. Once again I thank my stars I'm able to dye or I'd be ready to spit about now.
I bet you are all very happy you will not have to hear the travails of my teeth any longer and would love a change of topic.

So here is a little something about my hair. Just for a change, good as a rest they say...

Last week I went to the hair dresser, oh I think it was the week before, anyway she was doing the "do" after the cut. All the sudden I see this weird white powder in her hands and she throws it onto my hair, scrunches it and it stays up.
My hair is a bit like those killer whales you see at Sea World, it has it's routine and it sticks to it and yes it does leaps and dives too but not like this.
I could not believe how it sat up and took notice of the strange substance.
I've heard how "invigorated " people feel if they indulge in Snow- if you get my drift and this powder had sort of a strange consistency, likes to be air borne, kinda got up in your nose if you weren't careful. And my hair had LIFT OFF without any other help.

I had to ask .... what's that?
And now I know you will want some too. Even if it is illegal and banned in 7 countries, and you could get arrested or die.
SUDZZ makes it. ( sure)
It is called Design Powder. ( yah right) 1/4 oz for $20
This is gonna be an expensive hobby.
Oh yes Amazon sells it and it smells like all the best candy from your childhood rolled into one.
What is this world coming to?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I got blisters on my fingers but I'm finally satisfied

Yes, No more touching my mouth.
I'm all about water and land now.
I bet you feel happy, no more false teeth or misfits.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fixes and Bucky's

My coat is making me a little crazy tonight but at least it is distracting me from my teeth which I spent TWO HOURS on today..... I'm practically a dentist.
I might have to do a couple of things lessening or deepening values in certain spots on my coat. But I declare now is the time for Old Grandad Potato Chips.
Tomorrow is another day.
A good hint:
I like to take photos of my work and print them out to troubleshoot problem areas, it allowed me to do lots of fixes today.
Right eyebrow,
Two too bright spots
One not showing up enough
Getting rid of my five o clock shadow... what a Godsend that was.
and the dreaded you know whats

My teeth... you do know if my hair was showing much I'd be totally obsessing about it but in lieu, may I introduce my teeth?
I have hooked my teeth with such a powerful amount of material they are actually physically convex.
Thank goodness for my Black and Decker Orthodontist Iron!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hmm- it's late and I'm tired but my coat is almost on

Added some slightly darker wool to my 5:00 shadow jaw line and I don't like it, it takes away from the strong sun lit effect and makes my ear look weird now that I have my scarf on. It doesn't look natural. The sun has essentially bleached out all shape to that section of my face.
I'll try it the way it was before with the scarf and see where I am.
Oh Man tells me to leave it, you know I ain't that kind, if I no like it .... well then it be done. Maybe I will use a less dull colour and warm it up too. Keep tuned in.
Note to self:
Things to change-
missing my all important telephone pole crevasses between my eyes
a small section of my crooked tooth - it needs to be grayer on the lower left hand corner.
my lips are pretty nebulous too, no vermillion line
my underwear
Man's eye glass prescription
my attitude

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dental Surgery Via Wool

Teef Recovery Group Joined and kool aid swallowed.


I'm still working on my lower lip, it looks like I'm biting it and I promise I wasn't.
Teeth are in and are not false but I'm ashamed to say they were grey, purple yellow and peach eeeeeewwwwwwwww!
Here is the state of the studio... not too bad... going off there now to fix my lip.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Filling in an odd shapes with loops Part 2

Still Hooking Hard

I'm hard at it - see some ripping to do on the left, because no eye shows it is hard to get things as they should be. Inherence always a tricky game, you don't want to start an ugly rumour but you have to let your viewer know the info you are alluding to.
I think I better add in some of my hat first so I can read my darks properly before I rip.

Monday, August 22, 2011

If By Water- Laughter

Well on my way, the bags under my right eye gave me a big pain but I got it ! I
learned August has an extra day, well one more than I reckoned though I do know the 30
days hath September, April, June and November, all the rest have 31 rhyme but I just wasn't thinking! I was looking and hooking!
All the better to get rugs finished.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Almost Done

Just have to fill in holes in my tree chorus line. Maybe lighten the top yellow patch, it is the right bright but too dark. One down, one to go!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Value Change

Peace by Water with a smidge darker sky as to allow the revelation of the near and almost departed sun.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Sky Appears

Here is my rug as it stands today, or should I say lays... the colours are more true to real life now as I took the photo outside and not inside, after dark, in a dull corner of my studio.
At this stage of a rug I start letting what the rug wants/needs dictate to me rather than the photo.
I'm learning TONS about saturation, TONS. And here I thought this would be a cakewalk, I long for a straight forward realistic portrait.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Daughter of Darkness

LOL! You know I really love working in the dark... it thrills me like nothing else!
Here I am sailing right along ( that was punny) with Peace by Water.

I must go now but ponder this. God makes a beautiful river as seen above. Why must he see fit to have me grow a moustache with hairs that curl up and then stick straight out? The presence of evil is easier to understand. Don't hurt yourself thinking about this. I caution you because this very thought is what took my boyfriend from this world to the next. e=mc2 my foot. Be careful.
Here is what he has to say about his own moustache, mine is pitiful by comparison, but is it a sign of genius?

Moustaches Make A Difference

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I should be....

Right this minute I should be catching up on my email. There is lots of wonderful things to respond to and some just rote but I gotta do it and sometime today.

Instead I'm obsessed with my rug. I'm having to hook at night quite a bit, and when I'm done hooking I think: that patch ain't right. But it's not the patch I'm working on. It is the patch acres below where I'm working.
Well, here is the strange phenom that is transpiring (oh and that's not the only one, more later) every colour I put in creates a new frisson in the other colours present. All was well until dulled down to within an inch of their lifes (yes that's a word), I inserted my yellows. There were two I used, one containing only slightly more yellow than the other.
And of course what should happen?
Yes predictably my lavender started acting like an ass and misbehaving. Looking both dark and unco-operative.
So now all I can think about is what to put in it's place.
I'm too afraid to go down and look.
Really I'm terrified.
If it was sunny today I'd throw that rug out in the way back of my Outback and let the sun do the soothing to that lavender.

Brief interruption to our regular programming...
I taught a clever and artistic woman to hook yesterday and she was coming in today to have her am I doing it right session. She is so smart and a real self starter.
Here is what she hooked.
Right away she knew something wasn't right about the dark middle but we quickly talked about it and I'm sure it will be perfect in no time. It needs to be lightened up to let the tree trunk come to the foreground. Well done Heather!

This session meant I had to go down and look at my rug whether I wanted to or not. When I took a photo it didn't look so strange, perhaps it is the green section which needs to show up to the party more, by being lighter, no worries I'll get it sorted out. But I don't think I can until I enter into the big bad world of dark for the tree area across the river.

BTW I was talking to Mary Anne the other day and I suggested she take a video of the show this rug is for and put it on youtube for us all to see if we can't make it to Red Wing. If it happens I'll link it in my blog.
Here is the info about the show again:
Exhibit Title: Mary Anne Wise & Friends: the art of the hooked rug.
Dates: Sept 23 - Nov 18, 2011
Location: The Anderson Center, Red Wing, MN.
Hook-in: Sept 23, 1 - 5:30 (dinner available on site for $10. Reservations to Mary Logue:

Strange Event #2
I started a new audio book last night.
Very good, about women in earlyish 1800s, the seaside and rocks. Tracy Chevalier- Remarkable Creatures.
I'm usually running through a paperback at the same time and I finished my current one last night just before going to sleep.

I picked up my new start paperback this morning due to not going on a walk, taking a day off because my ankle and heel was giving me hell all day long and still hurt in the morning.
Which means reading in bed in the early morning!!!

Two new book starts in 12 hours, good for anybody right?
Now I can usually keep these two book streams fairly separated.
I listen to books when I go walking, hook and sometimes when I cook.
I read books when I'm tired, sleepy, bored or can't put it down.

Two completely different funny bones being tickled there.

I pick up my book titled Curiosities by Joan Taylor.
hmmm another book with a character Mary, read read read, hmmmm she also collects fossils and sells them... readreadreadreadread, her father has the same name as the other Mary's father.... oh I must have read this last night and cross pollinated the reading /listening continuum. But wait, last night I heard about the Misses Philpot. Mary's father made them a cabinet for their curies.
Before my mind collapsed on itself I quickly surmised these were two distinct books on the self same true events taking place in Lyme Regis.

Still I think for my own sanity I best start another paperback.
Thoughtfully Penguin provides a reading guide for the Chevalier book, you can see it here.
Okay, now I'm just plain procrastinating.
Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A sweet ache

Tonight I'm making pizza. I was influenced by Food Network Magazine which is showcasing pizzas from every state.
It is a cool weather food in our house and I haven't made it in awhile.
As I was kneading my dough I notice an uncharacteristic ache in the muscles of my hands and a few knuckles I don't usually feel and know it is the results doing what I love.

Spent the afternoon hooking and I think I'm about half done my rug.

Everyday I'm upstairs dulling down even more light wool to knock out the brightness, it looks so bad in the pan but good in the rug.
It is ugly in the cradle but pretty at the table.
I can't believe what an impact the dark foreground has on my relative brightness, astounding.
Picture of rug coming soon, it is almost over it's birth pangs or should I say fangs?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Night And Day

Here is a portion of a rug titled My Giant Arse Rug.
It depicts both the night sky and the day sky at once.
Notice the wormy application of dissenting blues.
Caused by exposure to light, some were dyed over blue and kept their colour better, others over natural did not fair so well. What were we thinking?

And now your the real show begins:
Night time is not the right time at least tonight isn't working out too well for getting hooking done.
All my working life I've been self employed. This involves some fierce motivation.
For me that requires a basic system or a routine.
It has been thus: work in house and family things in the morning, business in the afternoon.
But since I started The Welcome Mat I find I like to work better on the computer when the old brain is fresh than wait until the afternoon. I have a brief respite in the evening of intelligence too, that is good for recognizing man when he comes in. The afternoon is taken up with errands if there are any, things I didn't get out done in the morning, like hanging out laundry and if I'm lucky a bit of hooking or dyeing for myself.
So my life long routine is completely cattywhangdoodle out the window.
And I'm hooking in the night and that ain't right once Man starts back educating outdoors in September we will be separated by the glass wall of the studio during the few hours we can spend together and it be dark too now when I draw hook to wool over linen. Not good.

New Lifetime Program

I can tell you I'm never going to be able to leave my computing until that late, I only like to have 12 email in my box at any given time. And sometimes the news that comes down the pike isn't always peaceful. Not good last thing before bed. This is a FAIL.

Revised New Trial Program

Ok, this seems more humane as it includes sleep and it is closer to what is going on but with the added benefit of an extra hook.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

If By Water- Baptism in Dye

My new project required some hot water and dye commitment from me yesterday. The time I had set aside to hook got used at the stove instead. Consequently I ended up hooking until 10pm. That meant of course I couldn't get to sleep because I was listening to the series on Alexia Tarabotti Book Three and heavens! shut the story off just as a needle was felt in her neck at the Italian Border.

Prior to my dyeing session I was just wimping along try to make this and that work but the real thing you should take away from this cautionary tale is, you can get away with fudging in temperature and saturation on one section or even two in a rug but you cannot get away with it when you are building an atmosphere and every piece of wool you choose is to the right or left of correct. BAH! Why I be so dumb? HUH?

I ripped out and rather than start from scratch I redyed the cut strips. Why through hem in a pile when they can be put to use for darker or brighter colours, you can even make them duller.
I love dyeing already dyed things to try to get them closer to my ideal. It is so much fun to punch the colour out or up or make them warmer or cooler. Sometimes you think nothing happened but affixing a clothes pin to one end will reveal all when you are done.

Two things you can note also, you can redye cut strips from a section of your rug and even dry them in the dryer ( #12 cut, no tangling) but be aware they will shrink slightly and will not fill up the space in the same way.

I dyed many uncut pieces of wool as well and was off to the races when I did sit down with The Parasol Protectorate.
It's movie date today, not sure what it will be but I gotta run as I'm already behind on my schedule and the requires getting off my behind!
Pictures of If By Water Rug 2 coming soon...

Welcome Home Baby Girl

After 6 years of travelling about my Memories of Mother Rug has arrived home.
It is an ovum newly released from the ovary and starting its journey along the fallopian tube.
What can I say? I've got a long memory!
It's so interesting to get rugs back you've sent away, they are like little time capsules, what colours, your style of dyeing... your loops and all pristine as the day you steamed them due to the lack of exposure to light. Now your real days will start baby girl, I hear the tick tock of Father Time already.

And of course Birdee staked her claim moments after it arrived and she's barely been off it since. Just adds some "drama in real life" to Baby Girl. Her proper name is "Going Down The Tubes"

Friday, August 5, 2011

Passed Out From Happiness

Birdee is in LOVE with my new spot dyes for the RHM J/F Issue!
What do you think she is dreaming of?

Here are all the pretty maids in a row!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Do I have to?

This makes me exhausted.
We think too much.
Here's to doing!!!
I'm off to hook dull lavender water, not drink it, wear it or smell it my friends I'm gonna hook it.
See all those action words?

My Novel on Why I'm taking Time Off

This photo is titled "Woman with a heavy load" Need I say more? LOL!!!!

I've recently heard people are conjecturing quite a bit on why Woolgathering is cancelled and unrelatedly, why I'm taking the summer off from having weekly hook-ins.

I want to reassure you I'm the same body and soul as I've always been and despite what you've heard about pressures I might have been undergoing, I'm great. As a matter of fact I'm better than ever.

Martin is now a teacher at The Outdoor Education Center and has the summer off. We've been having a great time.
During the last few months of the school year I was running two online classes with over 50 students that required daily attention and suddenly, but very happily our daughter was getting married, (and no I'm not going to be anyone's gramma soon). She met her heart mate and neither saw any need to wait. She gets that honestly enough because I was engaged for 20 days, at least she waited two months.

There was a lot of stuff to undertake just with my classes and I found myself not being my usual competent, happy self and stretched hard in all directions.
Unfortunately this did not make me thin.
We decided I needed some time off. I had not stopped hook-in for over 7 years except for occasions when I would go away to teach.

I have not been able to hook seriously and with a passion for a long time. This is not good. I'm a hooker! I gotta hook!
So I'm doing the thing I love this summer and it has restored me tremendously.

Now onto Woolgathering.

Long ago I accepted an opportunity to be part of a art gallery show in Wisconsin where I would develop a series of rugs around an idea. I'm writing about this on my blog and you can read about it there.
The announced due date for that show falls just before Woolgathering.
I'm also part of the Artists Around the Sound Tour as a special guest this Thanksgiving. I hope this will bring our craft to the attention of more people.
I have an online magazine that requires daily attention, a blog, an etsy store, as well as two online teaching studios and writing my articles for Rug Hooking each issue.
I can only do so many things at once and I want one of those things to be hooking.
I apologize to you if you are disappointed that Woolgathering is cancelled.

I'm not unable to leave my house because of agoraphobia, I'm not sick, sad, or divorced, nor befallen any other calamity. I'm not running away with my handsome Argentian gaucho or preparing to start a country and western band. Neither spinning nor embellishing nor painting have overcome me and caused me to turm away from hooking.

I'm hale and happy and doing what I'm meant to.
I hope you find yourself as blessed. Now if I could only get my garden straightened out, life would be most excellent.
I'd love to hear back from you if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to print this out and share with those you want to.
Happy Hooking, Wanda

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Look What Mrs. McCallum Made

Here is Mrs. McCallum
And here is the amazing reading map she made for the book On Beauty. I'd pay for this kind of thoughtful book tapestry.
How about you?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Rug/Hair do/ Just when I think I can't be surprised

Today upon the suggestion of a friend I cut my hair. I often cut my hair. No one can tell OR they are too polite to say your hair looks like a haystack that rats chewed.
I have to say Paula Deen be gone now.
Even though Mrs. McCallum's birthday is this week-end and she is coming home and it is her fondest wish.... I did it anyway.
And yes I'm wearing clothes, just not that you can see and upon looking at this picture I can see Paula is kinda coming out there on the right. Man asked how I did that, hair cut he means, not channeling Paula Deen and I told him I just stick in and start twisting and cutting. It seems like a good way to do everything and frankly that's how I hook too.

My new rug:
My new rug is coming along loverly. I can't show it to you right now because only me and maybe the keeper of the Cadbury secret could tell what it was. As soon as it is more cohesive I'll be showing you.
One thing I don't do while hooking my rugs is get all the stuff I need out for the whole shebang. I also use tons of different things to create one. So that's why there is no close to black wool of any colour left in this house and I do believe I'll be dyeing some more.

Speaking of dyeing... finally the day came when I have an article due. So today I dyed 15 spot dyes. In the oven. It was 29˚C, humidex ... bleventy bleven. Number of trips to an inferno- 1

I got it done though and they are all lovely though only 12 will be for RHM, the rest are for the sharing on the Welcome Mat.

Now it is time for me to tell you about my secret hobby. I'm collecting rumours about myself.
The first rule is I must find them out coincidentally. I can't go looking nor can I ask, nor listen to those who only want to tell me these rumours because frankly what people think or say about me is none of my business.
Rule #2 There are no other rules.

Here is the latest from the ministry of misinformation.
"Wanda is so sick she can't even leave her own house"

How interesting. I guess they've got more info than me on the subject, but I do seem to find myself surrounded by other scenery than my 4 walls on a daily basis. Today I actually thought I walked 7K around the concession, was at the movies, I imagined the whole plot of something called Cowboys and Aliens and I thought it was good even though Daniel Craig is too skinny. I went to Walmart, I went to the Source. I saw 7 egrets on the way home.
I ate the groceries I got at Walmart for supper, I can still feel them in my belly.
I must be totally freaking effed up, way past sick right onto crazy.

The legend grows. All comments are welcome of course. I relish them.