Annie update … into the blue

annie basket

I’ve been spending some winter afternoons with Annie, and making some progress. When I look back at the last post, the progress is not as dramatic as I had hoped…but this is a big rug and it’s good to celebrate even a bit of progress. The green section is done and I am back in the blue, the middle. This kind of circular hooking is fun for me, even in a piece this size. It is a game–each circle is different from the others, in size and texture, in colour combination. And I am getting tantalizingly close to joining the two parts–when I reach that point, I’ll post again.

annie febr 8

annie febru 8


closing in on the middle…

I promised that I would post a picture of my rug Annie as she now stands. And, as you can see…I am closing in on the middle. Those of you who are regular readers of this blog know that for the last four years I have gone to Kenya at this time to teach both school and rug hooking. Now the month of February is open on my calendar. I’m looking forward to filling the February days hooking on Annie. I was looking back at older blog posts of the rug…yes I’ve been at it a while…and I came across this encouraging quotation from another Annie…Annie Leibovitz:

“Talent is something anyone can have. It can go away. It needs to be nurtured, taken care of. The best thing about getting older is that you kind of know what you are doing — if you stick with something. It doesn’t get easier. But you get stronger.”  annie jan 16 1

Here is where I was when I last posted in the summer and the two photos here show today. There is still a way to go, but in the spirit of Annie Liebovitz, I’m sticking with it. I’m not taking this rug out to hooking gatherings anymore–much too unwieldy. But it’s still a great joy to have her on the stand and to pull the loops and join the circles. Kind of like living. Sticking with it and getting stronger.annie jan 2016 2


happy 2016

annie dec 05

This is my fifth time to wish you blog readers a happy start to a new year. All the very best for 2016. I so appreciate that you visit the blog and sometimes leave comments. I know there are zillions of blogs out there and I value every visitor who stops by this one. I’m planning on making some improvements this month to make it easier to see what is available and what you can order. But more on that later.

Meanwhile, I’ve been spending time over the holidays hooking on my Annie rug which is about time and how we spend it. I’m finally making headway. The background moves from blue at each end into green and then back to blue in the centre. I am finishing up the green sections. I simply love combining various shades and textures and hooking them in circles. It makes a game, hooking the circles and then filling in the spaces left. Addictive when you get going. And listening to good radio which is so available as NPR compiles its best broadcasts. I’ve also been watching a stunning PBS documentary called The Royal Paintbox which here in Canada we can get through TVO.

Back to the blog for a minute. A blog provides an interesting vantage point from which to see your life as it passes. Over the past 4+ years, the blog has chronicled the progress on three big rugs and several smaller hooking projects as well as countless bags and totes and lots of sketches. I hope to have a second look at some of these which I have posted in the past year–bags I thought were good, sketches which evoke great memories and, in a week or so, a photo of the progress I’m making on Annie.

But in the meantime, enjoy the last hours of 2015, take some time to reflect on the good things and then plunge ahead into 2016. I’ll be here.


matangwe show at gallery 121

The show of the hooking created by the women of Matangwe, Kenya, began on Tuesday at Gallery 121 in Belleville, Ontario. The formal opening is not until tomorrow, but as you can see from the pictures below, many of the pieces are already sold. Chair seats, mats and trivets, all hand-hooked in Kenya from recycled materials, make up a portion of the new show. Everyone who visits the gallery seems captivated by the vibrant colours and designs. If you have been following the blog for a while you will know I have been working with this group of women on learning to design and hook for the last three years. It is simply marvellous to see the products displayed so beautifully and in one place. And if you would like to see some of the photos of the steps in the learning process, simply type in Matangwe in the search box above.

I would like to formally thank the members of Gallery 121 who have been so supportive of this project. This is a cooperative gallery powered solely by the talent and hard work of its members. They were wonderful to work with and, in addition, they have waived the regular gallery fee and commission rate so that all the proceeds will go directly to the women in Kenya. We are so fortunate to have such a gallery in our city. The show will be on until October 21, so please visit if you are in the area.

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matangwe show starts next week

I have been writing a profile of each of the 13 rug hookers I worked with in Matangwe, Kenya. We are having a show of their work at a local gallery. The show opens September 15, but the formal opening with reception is September 19th, 2-4 pm. I hope you will come to see the work in person if you are in the eastern Ontario area. I think it’s important that the visitors to the gallery can learn about the world of each of the rug hookers, so I am writing a short description of each rug hooker, just as they told it to me.. This is Everlyne, a veteran of the course, (two years) who hooked five pieces in the three weeks. You can see her here with one of her own designs. All the pieces are hooked with t-shirts and wool — chair seats, mats and coasters–and many will be available for sale. You can see more of the pieces here.DSCN1112


hooked rugs at the Belleville Library

A new show of hooked rugs by the Moira Mat Makers opened at the Gallery in the Belleville Library. If you are in the area, I encourage you to see this excellent display of rug hooking. The first two are my own rugs and then a few examples of the many wonderful pieces on show. The final piece in the showcase (so not a great photo) is of the darling bear hooked and sewn by Glenn Ryley Cotton. Note also his hand woven scarf! The show runs until September 17th.

pom 3 large

wedding rug

liz 2

Stained Glass Liz Brock

luba loon

Loon Luba Young

cindy 2

Poppies Cindy Lucas




I am a retired educator and recovered administrator. I have always been interested in fibre, first as a weaver, now as a rug hooker and screen printer. Over the last few years I have become passionate about giving a new life to cast-off wool and leather. This is my journal where I muse about my creative life.

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