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Monthly Archives: September 2012

OTTERS DONE – WELL ALMOST…

I decided finally to not make the border fish and bubbles – otter food. Since Mr. Otter is now svelte and sleek he is on a diet so instead the border is falling floating oak leaves. The first ones were drawn in upside down – wrong direction – floating up instead of falling down! So drew out a few cardstock templates and traced them onto the border area and hooked them in very calm tones. Usually if I do a leaf it has tons of little bits of wool strips in it but this time I wanted them a bit quieter because there was so much going on in the rest of the rug. So now just show binding and finished! What to hook next is the big dilemma!!! But I have to admit this was a fun piece to play with – made me realise how much a rug can change when it is a new design never before hooked and nothing to refer to. Design changed (and changed and changed), concept for the border changed, colours changed, hooking style and direction changed! In the end i am pleased with it – even the reconfigured back foot which caused a bit of controversy :-).

Yesterday my friends Elizabeth and Lydia came for a visit (bringing gifts of food – yeahhhhh lunch!). Elizabeth had broken her wrist a few months ago and cannot hook or hand sew at the moment but wanted to make her rug into a pillow for her granddaughters birthday. We thought and thought – how to make it up as a pillow without a lot of hand sewing while still being able to get really close to that last row of loops. Finally the light went on! Proddy fringe. So easy – sew right sides together leaving about half an inch of the unhooked backing around the outside of the hooking showing and prod through that with 4  – 5 inch strips. Then stuff it with a pillow. A wonderful and easy and fast way to make up your pillow after the fact…

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RIVERUS OTTERUS AND QUILT CO…

Well the coming weekends will be busy – this weekend I am at Quilt Co in the Glebe in Ottawa, next weekend is our Fall Colours Studio Tour and the weekend after that I am at Fleece Festival in Woodstock. Then one FINAL show in November back in the Glebe – the spinners and weavers guild show. So hmmm all of a sudden I realised I had only about 15 kits left – how did that happen!!!! Consequently I am feverishly trying to dye wool, cut it and make up kits. Occasionally I actually get a bit of hooking in there as well – so the otters are coming along (slowly)…

I realise however as I look at the picture that his back foot looks rather more like hmmm well we won’t go there! Think!!!!! I will rehook that area for the – let’s see – would that be FOURTH time! Ahhh thank goodness for good backing and good wool!!! Water has been rehooked a few times. First time – wrong value and just dead. Second time straight lines – boring! Third time – I love it!  Movement, Whimsy, non realistic! Again in real life it is much more subtle (my eyes don’t have built in flash!!!). Love the way the trees and sky and moon worked out and the wool for the birch tree on the left was just SOOOO perfect for a primitive. But yup those 2 little things dangling from his belly – not looking like a foot – not even a primitive foot!!! So back to the drawing board! Just goes to show you that rugs evolve. The full otter initially was too fat (they are sleek! and svelte as Gord says), tail looked like a sail and head looked like a muskrat! Now I am thinking (except for the dangling bits) that he looks more ottery in a primitive way!

WONDERFUL GIFT…

The other day my friend Pat gave me a wonderful book (along with scrumptious chocolate croissants that were designated as Gord’s dessert!). The book is Rugs for My Red Cape by Edyth O’Neill. What an amazing gift and even more amazing was the coincidence that a number of years ago when Gord and I went to San Antonio for a convention we HAD to detour to Fredericksburg for a few days and I got to meet Edyth. This was the highlight of my trip (well that and the 3 hour shopping spree after we got off our plane at Country Gatherings just north of San Antonio!). Not only did I visit her workshop but she took me on a tour of her red cape. The house was originally built in Connecticut in the late 1700’s and Edyth and her husband Jack dismantled and transported and rebuilt the house in Fredericksburg Texas in the early 1990’s. It was true to the original era i.e decor, furniture etc. and just an amazing accomplishment. I so enjoyed my visit with Edyth – got to see her rugs in place, talk hooking and history and hmmm buy patterns!!! So so tragically, a few years later Edyth and Jack lost their beautiful home to a fire. I have always loved Edyth’s patterns and have hooked a few of them and after perusing this wonderful book I think I might have to buy  a few more patterns! Here are a couple of my Edyth O’Neill rugs – you can see and buy her patterns through the Woolley Fox.

DYEING AND PRODDING…

Thought I would share with you some pix of…

…Elizabeth’s wool for her huge rug unorganized…

Organized!!!…

…Yesterday’s proddy demo at the guild…

…in case you are not sure what proddy is…

Our own Pat Reid who explained and demoed proddy…

Pat’s Wool-Fred tea cosy – we each got a pattern for this!!!…

Prodded sheep (out of muslin not wool)

ANOTHER WEEK GONE…

Boy time flies. Cannot believe it has been a week (actually more!) since I last posted. Gord (hubby) mentioned he was getting bored reading the last post over and over! But it has been a busy week – our trip to Kincardine got cancelled because of a health emergency in our friends’ family – so what to do? Turn around and go home and hmmm work on the house? or keep going and visit my parents and find something to do in the area. Well we decided on the latter (did not take much convincing on my part!!!!) and spent 3 days in Waterloo area visiting parents and wonderful little towns of New Hamburg (where I was thrilllllled to find a tea shop called Phidellias that carried the amazing Lemon Chiffon tea I love), Shakespeare (full of wonderful antique shops were I could not afford a thing! – ahhhh I have to admit I love my local antique and junk stores! where I can actually spend $ not $$$) and Stratford (where had we had the time we would have taken advantage of a matinee play at the theater!). So although I missed walking the beaches of Lake Huron and playing brain twisting card games with our friends I did have a wonderful short trip. Came home to paint! 🙂 Just what I had been trying to escape but felt good when it was finished.

So yesterday my friend Elizabeth came for the day. We drew out her beautiful bigggg (70 x 50) rug pattern on her backing (no red dot or tulle needed either – just put the pattern underneath her primitive linen and traced! – remember to try that! if your drawing is dark enough you will be able to see through the primitive linen and save that additional step of tracing first on red dot (ugh) and then redrawing it through the red dot onto your backing!), colour planned it and dyed a lot of the wool. Elizabeth knew what colours she wanted (yeah all old toned down earthy colours!!!!)  so we dyed up background colours of dark dark navy, dark apple cider, dark olive brown and mixed those in with some wonderful plaids to give a beautiful exciting dark background that will shimmer! Then we dyed a wonderful green from Susan Quicksall’s dyebook and a gorgeous yellow that uses equal parts of Magic Carpet moss green and orange (loved that yellow so much I had to dye more of it today for my own stash). We pulled out some reds that were perfect and added in some great neutrals Elizabeth and I had and some brighter spot dyes for veins dyed by Karen Kaiser et voila it was ready to go home and cut and hook. Here is a picture of Elizabeth sitting on her soon to be rug (yes she wants it finished by spring because as she says it will be too darn heavy and hot to hook in summer):

and that beautiful yellow wool(I think this was 3/16 orange and 3/16 moss green over 9 pieces of wool):

FIBERFEST …

WAS WONDERFUL. What a fun weekend of meeting up with other fiber fanatics! The torrential rain and thunderstorms on Saturday did not seem to stop the shoppers and visitors! There were 3 wonderful venues – the museum, the Towne Hall and the Agricultural building – full of vendors, displays and demos! We had people from as far away as BC! (well I think they actually came to visit family but what a great opportunity to take part in FF!). I got to hook and schmooz and stayed with my friend Donna and raided her wagon full of what her husband calls “junk”. I came home with what I call “treasures” – big old cheese box, lovely old bottles (although Donna kept the Danderine which apparently was used 100 years ago to make your hair soft and fluffy and the beautiful blue “Liver salts” bottle!), an old cast iron (rusty yummmmm) floor grate, an old wonderful boot lath – not sure if that is what it is called but it would have been used as a frame for making boots). In Almonte – what a wonderful little town – I bought a great old iron icefishing spear head! Got some great yarns that will be wonderful for hooking at the Wool Growers coop. Oh and got to hook for 2 days straight! Not that I got much DONE! But it still was hooking – not cooking or cleaning or painting!

Nancy picked up the Blue Church and I think she liked it. Her friend kept trying to convince her to keep it for herself and get me to hook another – I do think that she was joking!!!! I thanked Nancy for giving me the impetus to try something so totally out of my comfort zone – not a style of hooking that I would do often but it was a good feeling in the end to know that I CAN do it if I want to!

Gord finally got time to attach my carved fish to my worm box – after I washed out the worm castings!!!! We had a wonderful old chair spindle that had the same creamy dirty chippy pealy paint on it as the tin for the fins – he screwed that into the top of the box and dowelled it into the bottom of the fish et voila – my fish has a base and is now resting on the grungy old shelf I bought at Old Jail antiques in Watertown. I love it and am already excited about my next carving class:

So this week we are off to Kincardine – cats have a babysitter and I will relax on the shores of Lake Huron with friends and Gord will golf! So no posts till we get back … have a wonderful (cooler) week…

OFF AND RUNNING WITH THE HOLIDAY HOOKING…

Do I love fall – ohhhh yes. Love the colours and cool days and no humidity and cold nights and blue jays. But hmmm weather is hot and humid, no fall colours to speak of. So I have to make my own fall – turn on the air and dye wool and hook fall stuff. I decided this year that I would take my Christmas stocking and hook it in fall colours and stuff it with a pumpkin and black cat (hooked and stuffed). But the stocking could also be filled with leaves, bittersweet, japanese lanterns etc. and the pumpkin and cat could become bowl fillers. I have made this up as a kit with the stocking AND pumpkin and cat, all the wool strips and the backing for the pieces for $65.00.

Just a reminder that Fiberfest in Almonte takes place this weekend. A wonderful place to enhance your stash! and view finished quilts, rugs and other fiber creations.

I also wanted to let everyone know about a wonderful little gallery – The Little Pump House Gallery in Gananoque. I have been asked to display a few pieces there along with a number of other amazing artists. If you are in the area drop in. I have included the E-invite for more info.