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Monthly Archives: April 2013

AHHHHHHH SPRING…

is here and my aching back knows it! Every year at this time I reallllly envy those people who live in more temperate climates. It must be so nice not to have to deal with the ravages of winter every spring – dead leaves that have blown back into the gardens, dead foliage we did not manage to get out of the garden before the snow, dirt, sand, salt from winter! But once I actually got out into the garden on Monday I remembered what I love about spring. I love to muck around in the garden clearing away all the winter mess and discover the beautiful little green shoots coming up. So on Monday I cleaned up 4 gardens. But when you live in the forest you need to have a particular method to your clean up – 1. don’t clean up leaves on a windy day! 2. work up or is that down-wind so that when the wind blows the leaves back they are not blowing into the already cleaned area of the garden! 3. do not try to rake out the forest – it was MEANT to have leaves and pine needles 4. wear gardening gloves cause hmmm there are critters under that leaf litter! and never ever tell anyone what critters you found – those black rat snakes and the black salamanders are endangered and you may never be allowed to clean up again!(hmmmm not a bad idea actually!) 5. make sure tetanus shots are up to date for when you rip open a finger or hand on rusty garden ornies! So slowly! the gardens are coming alive – just in time for my lovely momma deer and her darling yearlings to discover all those tasty fresh green shoots!

So while I have been playing in the gardens – others have been hooking!!!! My friend Liz is a budding fiddler and decided her fiddle case needed some serious embellishing!… Canadiana style!…

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Linda’s version of Alana’s funky Chicken Soup pattern…(I do carry this and many other of Alana’s wonderful funky patterns!)Image

A few pix of the class I taught in Hawksbury (boy I guess I had not cleaned up photos on my camera in a while!… and I wonder what Ruby is thinking…HPIM4456

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Brenda’s version of my Squirrel pattern – so very very different from my version and sooooo lovely!!!!…Image

Yesterday I taught a primitive dye class here in the studio – I think Meredith might have been under the assumption that dyeing is REALLY messy!!!.. 
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Next weekend I am taking part in a studio tour in Kingston. I will be a guest artist at my friend Tamara’s. The tour info is available here http://www.kingstonartists.com. It promises to be a wonderful tour as there are some pretty amazing artists taking part. Hope you can visit. And for those of you who are local please note NO STUDIO TOUR in Westport this spring! I am a little concerned as this is the first time in many years that Westport has not had a Dandelion Gardens Studio Tour and hmmmm will people show up at the door expecting 8 amazing artists here on the long weekend in May!!! to find ONLY me!!!

And finally, some new Carol Feeney patterns that I have in the studio – verrrrryyy different from my usual folk art or primitive style!!! but so colourful and lovely…

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NO HOOKIN’ HERE…

but ohhhhhh for the last few days I have been playing in the dye pots (well make that dye cups) with my friend Odette. We have been dyeing hanks of yarn for her to use in a wonderful Sophie Dygard inspired scarf. Then we played with her beautiful buttons (glass, mother of pearl and some bakelite). This interspersed with playing Tock – a Quebec board game first apparently, played in the prisons – and trying different crocheted edge finishes for hooking. Ohhhh these were so much fun and so exciting – so many possibilities!!!

However, Wendy did finish her Canadiana Maple Sugaring rug. It is wonderful – very aged and hmmmm a little dirty looking. I think she said this is the LAST RUG she will hook for her hubby because he made tooooo many comments about what he wanted changed!!! However he DID make a few wonderful recycled pieces that are up for grabs. So I have posted some pix below and prices and if you are interested in one of these wonderful pieces (unfortunately NOT the rug) contact Wendy at wenvin@live.ca:Image

Made out of recycled Ontario licence plates – 15.00 per letter …Image 3

Made out of recycled Corbels from Ballycanoe, recycled trim and vintage hooks – 80.00…
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WINTER IS BACK…

with a vengeance! Thursday I left for Montreal as I was teaching 2 classes in Hawksbury (close to the Quebec/Ontario border). Severe weather warnings all day but we had really good driving. Where we live there is NO SNOW anymore but we were staying with friends in the very west end and HOLY COW they still have 4 foot snow banks! Huge tree branches litter the entire area where they live – broken off by the heavy snowfalls this winter. And of course – Friday morning the weather hit! Snow, freezing rain made for nasty driving to and from my class held at the Fabric Box/Heartworks Quilt Shop in Hawksbury. It was the first time I had taught there and what a lovely location. I had a wonderful beginner class on Friday – 9 ladies who braved the weather and tackled rughooking and I think did an amazing job and got seriously hooked! Then Saturday back to the store to be entertained by the hookers from Martintown – Ruby and the girls! I had met some of Ruby’s friends previously and have posted some of their wonderful rugs but met quite a few more Saturday. They are a fun fun group of ladies and very talented hookers. All in all it was a wonderful 2 days organized by Linda Holmwood of Quiltworks. We hope to organize another class for sometime this fall. And to top it off I got to stay with my friend Diane and her hubby.

While I was away a comment came in from Elizabeth Martel – check out her blog for pix of some amazing hooked rugs being done by her group at http://sunshinerughooking.wordpress.com. I particularly like her Klimt inspired rug.

Last week I had a finishing class (you probably already know I prefer showbinding to whipping!) and Tanya came with one of her wonderful rugs. This is one of my patterns but oh be still my heart – Tanya has a wonderful primitive style that made this such an exciting primitive rug. My hooking is very very even so when I intentionally want to include more texture I have to really focus on it or it will start out texture and gradually become more even again. Tanya is self taught and just attacks the rugs with joy. Another friend of mine, Suzanne, hooks with that same style. She hooked this same rug but then went a bit further and hooked 4 chair pads inspired by the same design. They were so wonderful. If you want to read a bit more about this style check out Briarwood Folkart (click on the link below for the Grinning Sheep) where Kathy has pix of a rug done by Roberta from Nova Scotia and talks about Roberta’s style of hooking.

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BUSYYYY WEEK…

So not much hooking being done these days!

Last week at guild we had a speaker, Christine Gibson, who did a great presentation on various backings and the pros and cons of each. Very informative. Then she pulled out a few of her absolutely wonderful rugs and her gorgeous wool (superlatives I know but too true!). Here are some pix of some of the show and tell that day. I apologise for the grainy quality of the photos – must be those new rechargeable batteries! Or do I just need a new camera?

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Saturday was the hookin at the Olde Forge in Ottawa – about 90 hookers with wonderful rugs for show and tell. I did not take pictures this time but you should be able to see pix taken by the official camerawoman on their website soon.

My friend Liz just sent a pix of her completed Canadiana Challenge rug that she started at our Iawah retreat and and finished for her granddaughter Liberty. What a fun fun rug!

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HMMMM, WAS THAT CUT ONCE AND MEASURE TWICE OR….

did I do it backwards – yup!!!! Had all the wool stacked and ready to do a prodded finish on my M Shaw Rabbit. I had planned to make it into a round pillow and prod carrots and navy sky all the way around so zigzagged 1 inch from the last row of hooking and told myself now zigzag another half inch from that and started to cut instead! around THE FIRST ROW OF ZIGZAG which of course did not leave enough backing for me to comfortably prod my edge!!!! I was soooooooooo disappointed! the prodded carrot and sky edge would have been so much fun and instead I had to do a showbinding finish. At least I am doing it in a lovely green to give my mat a bit of pizzaz! but not quite the same!

Today I spent the morning at Stitch by Stitch. A lot of wonderful rugs were brought to be shared – some I took pix of and others I will wait until they are finished so that you can see the entire rug. Here were a few that people brought for show and tell…

Pat’s sheep rug (I believe this was a free pattern in RHM last year)…HPIM4430 Meredith’s SECOND rug – a Deanne Fitzpatrick pattern…HPIM4431Pat’s Woollen Memories rug done in a wonderful number 9 cut…
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I am offering a new pattern – well and old rug made into a new pattern. Years ago I bought a wonderful whimsical antique rug. A year or so ago a friend, Gwen, asked me if I could adapt the rug to incorporate her dogs (3) and horse and sled and old family home in Quebec. I am offering this wonderful fun pattern inspired by the original antique and Gwen’s amazingly primitive hooked version of the rug – on linen for $45.00. I call it (since there is no label on the original) Quebecois primitive (in honour of Gwen’s ancestral home in Quebec)…

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THE POST EASTER BUNNY…

Today is April Fools Day – and the only  mean trick I played was not feeding the deer anything but carrots because WE RAN OUT OF FOOD! Normally we would stop feeding them at this time of year but the sad look on their faces as they circle around the feeder looking for stray bits of grain is sooooo pathetic that tomorrow Gord is off to the coop to pick up ONE FINAL BAG(which is what we said a week and a half ago!).

Finished hooking the 2013 Rabbit rug – one of the Margaret Shaw patterns I recently ordered. It is small and was fun – a one day hooking project (well in wide cut!). Her patterns are such fun – whimsical, funky and spring bright! Now to decide what to do with him – I could just bind it and make a chairpad OR I have an old cheesebox lid – I could make the border wider and attach it to the inside of the cheesebox lid.

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Wednesday morning from 10 – 12 I will be at Stitch by Stitch on Gardiner Road in Kingston – cutters in hand. If you need help, need wool, need to cut wool or just want to sit and hook please drop in…