Hooking

going around in circles

I have recovered my interest in my big rug with the Annie Dillard quotation at each end and have been hooking away on it. Of course we had a very rainy, cold weekend at the cottage and  sitting by the fire, listening to music and working on a rug is a great way to spend a wet day. I’m working through the design block I’ve had about this rug and soon I’ll show you what I am up to–but let me just say that my fellow rug hooker, Liz, made a casual comment about my hooking in circles–or did she say going around in circles??–and that was the germ of the rest of the design. Interesting how it goes.AD rug time

And here are a couple of sketches I managed to do when the rain held off and I could actually get out on the water. I’ve been using a Fabriano Venezia watercolour sketchbook (this book is happily available in my local art store). This is the second of these books I have tried and I really like the paper and size and weight of the book. I wish it opened up better–but now that I’ve read that review, I’m working on giving the book more ‘encouragement to lie flat’.

I am also back in the studio after several months away and have a new bag design almost ready to show you. I should have two new bags on the blog next week.5 sis

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kilim keeners

Fifteen Moira Mat makers took a Kilim workshop with Anne Boissinot this past weekend. Anne provided us with an amazing array of examples, an overview of the history of Kilims, and a full package of templates to help us design our own Kilim patterns. It was a busy three days with lots of colour planning and problem solving. By Sunday, everyone had a design on their backing — each one with a story and each one different.

kil1Above is a portion of an award-winning Kilim designed and hooked by Anne and below are a few of the many Kilim examples she brought to inspire us.

kilim2Templates are carefully cut out, traced on the backing and then the hooking begins. Anne was there to support and inspire through every step. The Moira Mat Makers say a big thank you to a wonderful teacher. I am sure there will be some incredible Kilim rugs at the next annual!

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some of the winners from the Ontario Rug Hooking Craft Guild Annual Conference

mary anne keast pictorial

I am just home from the annual meeting of the Ontario rug hooking guild held in Oshawa this weekend and I wanted to share some of the winners of the rug display. There were so many wonderful rugs but, as always, it was hard to do justice to them in photographs. Here are some I managed to take. Our local rug hooking group was very proud that Mary Anne Keast’s wonderful piece was the winner in the pictorial category. Some of the other winners are pictured below: Barbara Lucas in the Mad About Texture theme category, Pat Lawson in the wide-cut category, Susan Clarke’s carpet bag in the original category and Jocelyn Gordon’s Animal Puzzle won the Craft Ontario Affiliate Award.barbara lucas

Pat Lawson George Lake Narrows

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animal puzzle jocelyn gordon

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rug hooking annual, why I love CBC and more

I am leaving this afternoon for our annual Ontario rug hooking conference in Oshawa. I have not been hooking very much this year, so I have only two small submissions, each self-portraits of a kind, and you can see them below. But first I want to share a link from the CBC. I was driving yesterday and I heard this on Michael Enright’s Rewind. The program focuses on a wonderful interview Peter Gzowski did with Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin. But what stopped me in my tracks and what I want to share with you is the very beginning of the program where Justine, a 26 year old medical student, writes a letter to CBC. This small segment captures the magic of the CBC and its importance to all of us. I encourage you to listen.

A second link is to an interview with Kaffe Fasset. He takes us through his sketchbooks and his wonderful fabrics. It’s under four minutes–give it a go!

And speaking of a life with colour, here’s what I found yesterday at my favourite second hand shop: a wonderful cotton scarf and a polka-dot cotton top. Perfect.cr

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spring changes

brushes

HAPPY APRIL 1st! Here in Ontario we have sun and double digit temperatures, finally. The sap in the maple trees is pouring and it’s time to get out the bikes. HURRAH!

We made a spring change on the blog too. We  put a new button on the right side of the page under Navigation: Rug Hooking Gallery. A selection of my rugs was on the blog at some point, but in one of the updates that page was replaced and somehow the gap slipped by. So I have reposted some of them on this special page accessed from the sidebar button. Check them out when you have a minute. I haven’t been working on my latest rug, How We Spend out Days, for some time but I will get back at that this summer.

brown toteI’m also back in the studio and inspired–finally! I decided to ‘test drive’ one of my totes, a good thing to do for quality control, to see what it is like to live with and use a design. So I packed up this one and took it to Seattle as a carry-on. I’ve been using it every day since. It’s made from deep brown upholstery remnants and it is both roomy and tough. I can stuff it with all my sketching gear, gym shoes, macbook and other paraphernalia and it handles it well.

studio2So…I had some equally good black upholstery remnants and upcycled men’s leather jacket pieces, not enough for a tote, but enough for a shoulder bag. You can see the start  here on the cutting table. I’m considering adding a flash of red to this one, maybe under a pocket flap, or inside the strap tabs.

And to finish off with some colour. This pile of cashmere was on the table–glorious colours. I bought them at a thrift store sale deep in the winter and there they were, through the freezer and washing stages and ready to inspire. cashmere

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puget sound 2

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These are some of Donna Hrkman’s fabulous rugs. Of course nothing beats seeing them in person–and these photos were not taken under the best conditions.  But their power and intensity (and her talent) are still so evident. There was lots of learning in the four days and there were many wonderful hooked faces, both human and animal, well on their way by the end of the class. Donna teaches regularly and I would highly recommend a class with her.

There were three classes at the school (Nola Heidbreder and Liz Alpert Fay also) and each night the students from one of the classes talked about rugs they had brought to share. This was a great feature of the school not only because we could see great rugs, but it is such fun to hear the stories behind the pieces. Below are just a few: Sunny Runnells’ Emily Carr, Sarah Judith’s mountain scene and Tanya Graham’s forest.

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In addition the school offered optional art classes given by Mary Watson. Mary teaches children and took us back to our 9 year old selves, a great freeing approach. This was my first time ever with pastels and I loved it. Below is le vrai Matisse, my table-mate Carol’s version and then my demure version.

A great school: wonderful people in a perfect place. Thank you Sarah and Michele.

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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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