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PLAYING…

Yesterday Linda, Elizabeth and Sandi came for a play day! Elizabeth taught us how to hook little art mats around objects we gathered in the woods, on the beach etc. What fun this was – we glued objects onto our linen(of course I glued my fingers and not my objects – glue guns and I do not have a friendly relationship) and then hooked a little landscape around them. We used acorns, pinecones, lichen, stones etc. Once the pieces are finished they can be framed in a shadow box or applied to an antique or vintage object or just hung up as is. I took a few pix to share of everyone hard at work…

Linda got right into the fun – she had bags and bags and baskets of wonderful stuff…HPIM6585

See that lovely piece of lichen…HPIM6586

Our teacher, Elizabeth…HPIM6587

and her lovely piece in progress…HPIM6588Hmmmmm could it be my little acorn caps are lost – yes! will replace them with full acorns… This is supposed to replicate our shore line – stormy water, driftwood, stones covered with lichen and some dead birches on the hill…
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Sandi was making sunflowers…HPIM6589

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Elizabeth also finished hooking Mr. Squirrel – ahhhhhhh love all those fall colours – can it truly be almost fall already…

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I will be doing a beginner class at the Textile Museum in Almonte on October 5. If you are interested or know of any wannabe rughookers (we will be working with wide cut kits) please let me know.

TWIST WAS AMAZING…

Crowds were crazy on Saturday (thankfully a little less so on Sunday) but of course there were sooooo many wonderful vendors that people came from far and wide. I think I saw some ladies who came three days in a row to take various workshops! and to buy fibre…

So Gord and his trusty iPhone took a few pix to share … well actually he took a lot more but hmmm I edited🙂 …

On Friday I taught a primitive beginner class.  The class was located on a farm outside of St. Andre Avelin – during the day these little guys walked around and I was happy to see them eating plants as we all know what voracious appetites goats have and how omnivorous they are!  A little wool and linen or a rug might have been a tasty little treat!… So a rustic setting for a primitive class – how apropos!

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Another little visitor who seemed to be very interested in what was going on…

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Yup – class was outside in the barn! What a hoot – these are my students – all of them did an amazing job…

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Ahhhhhh the fibre… Gord tried to get signage into the photographs so that you would know who the vendor was…

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Of course, there were MANY MANY more vendors… and yes I did manage to spend a few dollars on goodies…

Jenny brought along her little sheep rug done in yarns and silks and recycled fabrics…

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TWIST … here we come…

Off to TWIST this afternoon. Tomorrow I am teaching a beginner primitive class and then Saturday and Sunday is the show. This is always a wonderful event with lots of great fibre vendors (so I can spend more money🙂 ) and beautiful finished pieces for sale by various fibre artists. Should be a fun weekend.

In the meantime, however, Helen and I worked on finishing the edge of her Angel rug. We had 4 long strips of wool in different colours picked out from the rug and the original intention was to do an appliqué edge with one colour on each of the 4 sides. However, as we were pondering over how to best do this, all of a sudden inspiration hit – why not cut up the 4 colours into 3 1/2 inch rectangles, piece them together into a longgggggg colourful strip and show bind the rug with that – and so we did! What fun – here is the finished product. This rug was originally started a few years ago and was meant for Helen’s twin girls when they were still tiny but since they are now in their mid 20’s it may end up becoming a grandchild’s rug – NOT THAT THERE ARE ANY IN THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE but someday!!!!…

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SO MUCH CREATIVITY…

I am always amazed at how creative and out of the box we can be in our hooking. Last Sunday, my friend Elizabeth came for a visit and brought along her small mats containing “objects trouvés” – a technique she learned in a workshop with Diane Learmouth at TIGHR. As you can see she has attached or included objects such as seashells and driftwood (on her seashore piece), acorns on her forest floor piece. Such fun – we are going to play next week as I would love to try this. Elizabeth has given me homework – search that forest floor (we do have 8 acres so it might take a while!) for objects to incorporate into my pieces – perhaps the dried up snakeskin I found around the pond????? or in this weather, hmmm maybe that was a desiccated SNAKE not skin!…

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Then yesterday, Alana sent me pix of her latest work which incorporates small hooked pieces inserted into her paintings… These are minis – 8 x 8 – but have inspired Alana to do larger pieces. What a wonderful way to give a small piece big impact…

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and then!!! Chris sent me a picture of her finished 3 Blooms (one of my Karla Gerard patterns). It is wild and colourful and just such fun…

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FUN IN THE SUN…

I taught a class this past Tuesday at the wonderful MacPherson House museum in Napanee. This lovely house dates back to the 1820’s and is one of the oldest houses in Napanee area. It is decorated in period furniture (ohhhh some lovely primitive pieces that I would have liked to take home with me!) and is surrounded by lovely old gardens. We hooked outside in the back yard under a tent with breezes from the river to keep us cool – cause you KNOW it was another stinker of a day! So a few pix of what the ladies were working on…Image 10

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Toni sent me a picture of her completed Winter Wonderland kit…

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We have had our usual complement of animals – ducks (whole family of 8) swimming around the dock, mama Minky (without baby this time) running along the rocky shore and holy cow yesterday morning we were sitting on the dock and all of a sudden crash bang a big brown animal came galloping down the hill. At first I thought it was our neighbour’s dog, Farley, who is a huge Chesapeake but NOOOOOO it was a deer! We are not sure if it was being chased by a coyote (or perhaps the wolf our neighbours have spied on our road) but whoosh it sailed through the air and into the lake! I had no idea deer could swim but this one went right by the dock at a pretty fast clip into the middle of the lake! We were shocked – and then worried. Will it drown???? Get the boat Gord – we have to save it. Until I realized hmmmmm how do you haul a big deer out of the water onto a pontoon boat!!!!! No no Gord said – we will herd it back to shore! Ha ha. In the end we decided as we watched it floating in the current to watch and see if mother nature did her thing and sure enough eventually the current which was moving into the shore started floating the deer back to land. Now it was out there for a while – all we could see was the head and big ears sticking up – but we figure hmmmm maybe it was enjoying the cool water! and was not in a big rush to make it back onto dry, hot land!

SPEAKING OF ANIMALS…

Finally Mr. Turtle is done – his shell is hooked and he has socks and crinkly skin on his head. His tail is a long wide strip wrapped around the wire armature. For a while he was eyeless as I lost the perfect vintage round ball buttons I had dug out of my button jar butttt found then when I did a clean up! (maybe I need to do that more often?). He was fun fun fun – methinks he needs a buddy?

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TWIST is coming up fast so I have been dyeing wool, drawing patterns, making kits and trying to get in a bit of hooking in the breaks! If you have never been to TWIST and love fibre try to come. It is a not to be missed event! You can find more info about directions, hours and vendors and classes on their website.

With fall fast approaching (oh gosh is it the second week of August already?), I have decided to hold a workshop here at the studio on making sunflowers. I have never been able to actually grow a sunflower – well not true exactly. I did have SOME sunflowers in the gardens over the years but the squirrels always seemed to think that I was growing them a treat! I would discover the sunflower, gnawed off the stem missing a few bites and lying on the ground! So I decided years ago to MAKE sunflowers that squirrels would not enjoy! and would love to have some of you join me in making a few more! Fill a bucket! or a vase! or attach them to rusty bed springs. The workshop will take place on September 16. So that we have time to finish one off (well could make a few more if everyone is a fast hooker!) I would like to start at 10 and go till about 3. That gives us break time to go down to the dock and maybe out for a quick boat ride! Bring your lunch – goodies will be provided along with coffee and tea. Cost of the workshop is 25.00 plus whatever supplies you need – I will have prefinished linen ready and wool and fibres available. Let me know if you are interested – I can accommodate about 10 maximum if we sit in the living room and lakeside porch…

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A SCHOOL OF FISHES…

HPIM6579will be heading to new homes in a week’s time. These were SOOOOO much fun to make that I decided to share the process…

Draw out your fish coaster pattern – pattern does not HAVE to be a fish as the process will work for any coaster design. Hook your fish – I used mostly left over worms from my stash. The only non scrap was the outside edge which was a wonderful bright plaid that incorporated all the fishy colours. Once I was done hooking I sealed the edges (on the back) with clear kitchen and bathroom silicone. This dries in 24 hours but remains flexible and is easier to cut out than if the edges are sealed with glue. I spread the silicone, which comes in a small tube (and should be used up quickly as it tends to dry up inside the tube and turn into a rock! SO MAKE LOTS OF COASTERS) about 1/4 inch wide along the last row of hooking ensuring that I covered not only the last row of loops but over the edge onto the unhooked backing as well. Let this dry for 24 hours and then you can cut out your fish right up against the last row of hooking.

At this point you can stop – you have lovely flexible coasters that will work fine as is. However, I wanted to finish off the back so that a hot cup of coffee would not mark the surface of the table below. For the backing I chose a thick stiff wool that was unhookable. I spread white glue all over my fingers – no no I mean all over the back of my cut out fish – well yup a lot ended up on my fingers!  Use a good glue – I think I actually used carpenters glue! – and make sure you cover the entire surface especially the edges (I squeezed a big blob of glue on the back and then spread it with a spongey brush). Then place your backing (do not cut out the shape yet) on top of the glued back of your fish and place something really heavy on top for 24 hours. The glue will dry clear and stiff! Once it is dry cut the excess backing wool off right up against the edge of the fish.

Again, at this point you can stop. However!!!! I am somewhat anal and did not want to see the edge of my last row of hooking so I cut an 8.5 strip of the wool that I used for the outside hooked edge making sure it was long enough to go all the way around my fish with maybe half an inch overlap. I have a wonderful bottle of glue with a nozzle that never clogs  (from the dollar store). I Spread glue all along the length of the strip  (one side only) and starting at the nose (do fish have  noses?  :-) ) I pressed the glued strip to the edge of my fish. Now this really requires three hands!!!! Having only 2 of course! glue got on me, table, fish etc. however I learned quickly that to make the strip stick to the sides I could push in the occasional straight pin (especially where the tail starts and ends and in the dip in the tail) to hold the strip on until I had finished pushing it on all the way around the fish. Although the ends are glued on top of each other, I did not want to take the chance of them coming apart later on, so stitched through the ends into the loops; also did this at the 3 points on the tail and then removed the pins before they BECAME GLUED INTO THE FISH – just in case little fingers might play with these fish! Let dry for 24 hours et voila fish coasters ready for your favourite beverage!!!! NOT FISH CHOWDER – fish became very distressed when I said FISH CHOWDER!

So have fun and let me know how your coasters turn out!

A very important notice – THE BARN RAISING PROJECT will be held at the Brockville Museum from September 19th to October 16th. If you have not seen these amazing rugs try not to miss the show.  For more details check out http://www.brockvillemuseum.com.

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