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Thursday, 22 December 2016

Solstice

I hope you observed the winter solstice with joy in your heart....even if it's just the joy of each day having more daylight than the last as we move forward! 

The making has continued around here, although it has simmered in lieu of baking schedules and intense wrapping. All now seems ready...well no, that's not true as tomorrow begins round 2 of baking and the start of intense savoury making. Ah well. 

Peace will abound by December 27th or so. 

A successful Gingerbread Party was held for 9- to 11-year-olds. An early family event this week included an incredible Messiah presentation. So off we go into the frenzy. 

I wish each of you a peaceful and joyful time in the next couple of weeks. I'll likely not return to this space until 2017. So with that I bid you adieu! We'll chat soon about #17in2017! Are you in? 

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Christmas in the Making

Ah yes, the making for Christmas has begun! And it's about flippin' time... it's amazing how the end of November creeps up on me. 

So far I've made a Christmas runner and wreath for the door. For myself. Hhhhmmm, that's a problem. 




Now on to gifts.... wish this mitten would magically duplicate itself. It took quite a few hours but this thrummed mitten is delicious to wear I have to say (pattern and materials by Fleece Artist), because yes it's important for me to try it on repeatedly during the making process. I might even wear it around the house beacuse it's that yummy. I'll likely be making both myself and Smidge a pair as well, in the next century or two. For now though this pair, once it becomes a pair (#%#&$), will be gifted to a special family member who for now shall remain nameless because who knows if she'll read this? :)


And finally, I'm still hooking when I can carve out a few minutes. I have to say it's rather fun to do a summer scene in November. Just zone out and focus on the piece, and POOF you're right there and not really in the midst of damp, dull November. Dang, there you are November, back in your grey splendourishness. Somehow this pic didn't capture my swimmer, but you'll see more of this rug next time (designed by Deanne Fitzpatrick). I've challenged myself to use nothing but leftover strips to hook this one - I've made it so far! 


I'm also prepping materials for Smidgie's upcoming Gingerbread Party. She's invited seven friends and we'll be making Christmas crafts, playing games and decorating/eating gingerbread. Yes, I'm a lunatic. It's on the 11th - you can sit at your own comfortable, calm and cheerful home and chuckle endlessly. 

Enjoy your Christmas in the making!

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Ta-Da!

Yuppers, it's #16in#2016 complete! Technically, I could even call this 5 projects but I'll be mature about it. One project - 5 sets of 4 Christmas coasters. Gifties for teachers, coaches, etc. Done. In November. 




So I'm going to be crazy and say there will be more than 16 completed fibre projects in 2016. There, I said it. #17 in the works....


Wednesday, 9 November 2016

#14 & #15

Not even mid-November and I've completed #15 in my quest to complete #16in2016 fibre projects! One is a rag quilt for a new wee one in the family - pics after Christmas (groan, I know....sorry). 

But I can share with you a commissioned piece which was completed yesterday! My client wanted a red canoe pulled up on shore in a typical Canadian lake setting. So I started with some sketching, and created a pattern for some of the elements, but as you'll see my patterns are not thorough or set in stone.



After tracing through my large window, I had even less detail on my linen. 



Hooked in little bits of time here and there... made some adjustments... well lots of adjustments to be honest! 



And the final product will be delivered tomorrow. Here is (insert drum roll here) "Red Canoe". The owner is a visual artist, so fingers crossed that the rug is close to what she envisioned and has wanted for her home!



Update: The rug has been delivered and the client is very happy! She even changed her mind about where the rug will live in her home. Phew! 

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Happy Fall Y'all

Well, wouldn't you know it, I forgot to report the most important piece! I hooked this piece to offer as a raffle prize for the event at Lulu and Lavigne Home Studio on Locke Street in Hamilton.

6 cut on linen; hung on Lake Erie driftwood. Making this #14 of #16in2016. 



Hope it's enjoyed by its new owner. Happy Fall Y'all!!! 




Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Update on #16in2016

So if you remember, I challenged myself to create 16 fibre projects in 2016 (#16in2016). I wasn't doing too well until September came and I had to prepare for a demonstration and sale at a home decor store in Hamilton. The after burners were fired up and well, I think I may be in good shape after all. 

Looking back through the blog, I last reported Fibre Finish #8. Even if I consider the two Holstein mug rugs (see below) as one project, I hereby report Fibre Finishes #9, 10, 11, 12, and 13. You're welcome. 







Monday, 3 October 2016

What a Disaster

My hooking room has been a disaster since about mid-August. I've been madly hooking, whipping and generally preparing for an event that happened on September 30th. It was great fun, went well and I was pleased with the results! More about that in the next post.  

Just take a look at this mayhem though. And pics don't even capture the wool dust (I don't think)! 





Monday, 8 August 2016

Hooked this Summer

I know, I know....I shouldn't complain about the heat, drought and oppressive humidity. But I do and I will because summer is not my cup of tea. Never has been. I'd rather be cold. For one thing, I'm far more likely to get a migraine with the heat, than with cold. In the winter, I go for walks to "freeze" my head when I have a migraine. So yes, I can say that I am anticipating fall.

I'm going to be giving a hooking demonstration at a store in Hamilton in September. For that, I need a few pieces to show/sell and an item for raffle. So I've been hooking a few pieces and have several more in the line-up.

Nothing too exciting, but here's what been hooked over the last few weeks. #16in2016





Thursday, 7 July 2016

My Answers to What If?

Yesterday (I know, it's shocking, I'm actually blogging two days in a row), I asked a few questions and promised I'd be back with my answers. So here they are, for what they're worth. 

What blog would you read if you could only read one?

A difficult question to be sure. I think to get a mix of fibre fun and some good chuckles, the award has to go to The Yarn Harlot. Steph is highly talented, admirable in many ways and just plain funny. And I'm biased, she's Canadian and lives probably an hour away from me. Give it a try if you haven't already. 

What type of making would you choose if you could only do one thing for the rest of your life?

Another tough one for me, who's a multipotentialite and gets easily bored with one thing and has to change things up frequently. But alas, with only one thing to choose I would have to go with rug hooking. I'm hooked, as they say. 

What colour would you choose if you had to keep to one for every project you make?

Something many of us are guilty of and I top the charts, is over using our fave colours in our projects. Absolutely no question that for me it would something in the blue-purple world. I likely wouldn't get bored of it either. Or at least not for a while. 

What book would you take with you to a deserted island? 

Wow, why did I give myself such tough questions to answer? My problem is that I'm not great at re-reading books. Been there, done that. Even though I usually forget them as soon as I've put them down. My answer to this today though is Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs. I loved this book when I first read it and have been eyeing it up for a re-read (yes, really) because it's been a couple of decades (ahem) since I last read it.  There's enough food for thought in this book to be more than just an entertaining read, but to also provide lots to ruminate on while on a deserted island with little else to do but swim, and possibly perish. 

Have you had a nap in a hammock yet this year? 

No, I have not. I'm not much of a napper, though I think it's becoming more intriguing to me. Smidgie had "nap in a hammock" on her summer bucket list, which I found to be a very interesting list for a 10-year-old. So somewhere this summer I need to find her a hammock to try out. :)

How difficult did you find these questions to answer? 

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

What If?

Life's been chaotic, as it usually is in June. Smidgie is now 10, though she's in denial and would prefer to be 8 or 9. Fine with me, she's growing up too fast as it is. We found a perfect little stool today that may serve as a perfect bedside table for her. Sounds weird, but she has a very low bed, and hardly any room beside it for a night stand, so this stool might be perfect. It caught my eye because it has an old upholstered cover which screamed "hook me a new top" from across the thrift store. Only afterwards did I think about it possibly working as a night stand. Yes, her light might be a bit wobbly but if it's adorable and fits, and is cushion-y on top in case she rolls into it, then that's all the better. 

For some fun today, I had some random questions rolling through my mind that I thought I would share. I'll share my responses in a future post so that you can ponder them first.  Here we go.....

What blog would you read if you could only read one?

What type of making would you choose if you could only do one thing for the rest of your life?

What colour would you choose if you had to keep to one for every project you make?


What book would you take with you to a deserted island? 

Where will life take you in the next 1, 2, 5, 10 years? Care to speculate? 

Have you written out a summer bucket list? Or read someone else's? 

Have you had a nap in a hammock yet this year? Gosh, I wish I had one!!

Enjoy musing over these questions. Hopefully I'll be back soon with my own responses. :)

Friday, 27 May 2016

Fibre Fun

So I've been trying to just have fun with fibre lately. And lo and behold.... it worked! Just a simple heart on backing, pulling strips from my leftover bin. Colour isn't exactly right here, it's not this washed out in real life. Hooked it on my last piece of burlap, while ignoring the pattern that I drew on there long ago. 



I've been trying to get to a very long list of projects around the house - some fibre goodness and some not. Painting, house fix-ups, etc. are in progress but will be ongoing for quite a while. A new bed quilt is needed by a certain 9-year-old, who's current flannel one is badly faded. So the 315 squares have been cut and laid out. Her Nibs approved the layout, so now the torture sewing begins. 


I don't know how others go about this, but I stack the squares for each strip and label them alphabetically. Once a strip is sewn, the letter gets safety-pinned to the one end of the strip. Theoretically if I keep my piles organized, don't let the cat get into them, then my strips should all work the way they should at the end. And once the strips are sewn....then they get sewn to each other. This will be a painful lengthy project. 


As you can see, I've already sewn A through I, with J up next. There are 21 rows, so not even halfway yet. Ah yes.... this will take a while. Wish me luck!

Monday, 2 May 2016

Fibre Finish #8

This little quilt was started a short time ago, and finished today. A wee Trip Around the World in flannel. Scrumptiously comfy! With no intended home....yet



A wee bit of fun was had on the weekend, with Wool Doodles...


No plan, just pulled leftover strips from my big ol' basket..... and a peaceful afternoon was enjoyed. Aaaaaaaah. 



Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Life Lessons from a Kiwi

Sometimes life lessons are staring you in the face.

Take the kiwi for instance. Hairy and blah brown at first glance. Why did someone think to look further? Why not judge these little fruits by their cover and move on to prettier fruit like apples, pears, plums, and berries?




But somebody did look further. Or many people did.

Cut open the hairy, brown fruit and you’re met with gorgeous colour, fantastic taste and nutritious deliciousness!




Lessons: Look deeper. Don’t judge.Be open.  


Learn at every turn. 


Kiwis are happily brought to us by the letter K, as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. 

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

J is for Jos.

If you’re Canadian, you know what I’m talking about. Jos. Louis. 

The famous snack cake made by Vachon. For those of you who haven’t tempted your tastebuds with one, here’s what they are: two round red velvet cakes (that’s news to me, I never would have known to describe it as that. Thank you Wikipedia). Then between the layers is a cream filling, and the whole thing is encased in a chocolate coating.



As kids we always called them “Joe Louis” and ignored the “Jos.” I suppose we should have pronounced it “Joseph Louis” because Jos. is short for Joseph. Apparently, again my thanks to Wikipedia, Joseph and Louis were two of the Vachon sons.

Did anyone else eat them by slowly peeling the chocolatey coating off first? One of my childish methods of eating a Jos. Louis. I can’t be alone! Whether you eat the Jos. Louis by eating the coating first is an indication of your character, somewhat similar to whether you took apart your Oreos and Fudgie-O’s. Very telling, your sugar-eating habits, I tell you.

So if you’ve never had one, try a Jos. Louis or a ½ Jos. Louis as soon as possible. It’s likely you will not regret such a step. Personally I was always okay with the ½ size, other than the obvious shortcoming in pleasure. But I didn’t like the super Jos. Louis, a gargantuan version, when it came out. Seems counter-intuitive, but it was just too much for me. Thoughts?


To me though, the best thing ever made by Vachon were the Vachon cakes…the little cupcakes that came with either white, pink or chocolate icing. There were four of each per box. Heaven for your mouth. In recent years I’ve only ever seen them hit the stores around Christmas time, then this year, not at all. It’s a sad, sad day for Canada when the Vachon cupcakes can’t be found. Chalk up another loss to big business buying out family-run companies. Sorry to say. 

Today's trip down memory lane was inspired by the letter J, as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. 

Monday, 11 April 2016

Ice, Ice Baby

Mother Nature has been cruel of late. More snow, more ice. Will it ever end? Of course it will. In fact the rest of the week is looking up, way up in terms of temperature and sunshine!

[insert mental picture here of incredibly grey day]

It’s amazing how kids still embrace snow even in April. They still take pleasure from the fun that snow provides. Such a simple joy and frankly one we could all learn from, if we would just stop being such grumpy-pants. When do we lose that innocent joy in simple things? At what point in our stretch to adulthood do we refuse to embrace snow and just stay nasty all winter long?

The temperature is rising so it’s becoming slushy as I write. So, Mother Nature, perhaps it was just more moisture we needed to get our gardens growing this spring. After all, you know best.


Before we know it, we’ll be begging for ice in our drinks to cool the oppressive heat of summer. Cheers to that!


This post is inspired by the letter I and the A to Z Blogging Challenge. I'm an unofficial participant who sadly missed the letter H. Please don't be offended, I have nothing personal against the letter H. 

Friday, 8 April 2016

Gosh and Golly Gee

G. I am stymied by G. I will undoubtedly think of something once I hit 'publish' on this. But for now, all I can think is "Gee Willikers, G is a tough one!"

G is for good. G is for game. G is for Granny, how we do miss her. G is for Gin, a good friend and a good drink (to some). G is for grain, how lucky you are if you can eat some. G is for Google, a daily part of our lives. G is for glasses,  I need 'em and so does Smidgie. 

G is good. A good letter. Keeps F and H company. Gee, thanks. 


Thursday, 7 April 2016

F is for Fibre, not Fiber

I know, I know. You want to spell it ‘fibre’ not ‘fiber’. That is if you live below the 49th parallel. Those of us above the 49th parallel spell it ‘fibre’. 

Actually I’m lying. A good portion of Canada’s population lives below the 49th parallel; myself I live at the 43.6339° N parallel. I didn’t use anything more sophisticated that Google to come up with that. Sorry if that spoils your image of me doing something highly techy to figure that out.

If you know me, you know I’m a fiercely proud Canadian and a stickler for spelling and grammar, hence the need to write a paragraph about the spelling of fibre. Now, let’s move on, shall we?

Yes, today’s blog post is sponsored by the letter F. Okay, not sponsored. That would imply that F has some funds (see what I did there?) and is spending it on my writing. As far as I know, F is flat broke. Today’s blog post is inspired by the letter F. Phew.

Fibre is fantastic. Fibre is fun. Fibre is….what I live for in actual fact. No I don’t mean that I calculate the fibre content of my diet, day in and day out. While I do enjoy fruits and vegetables and try to enjoy a very healthy diet, I’m not referring to that kind of fibre. To me, that’s not fun or fantastic. I live on that kind of fibre, not for it.

Fibre is wool, cotton, hair, silk, linen, thread, fabric, yardage, art, craft, and so much more. As a maker (I prefer to call myself a maker instead of getting into the overly discussed topic of crafter versus artist), I am moved, inspired and thrilled by fibre in all its many forms. I love fibre and the limitless opportunities for making with fibre. Natural fibres…all the way, baby.



On the subject of fibre, I finished hooking my “Bunny Warhol” piece* last night (shown above). Here it is in its unfinished glory. Finishing will happen. Eventually.

So to wrap up, for F's sake enjoy fibre in all its forms and spellings!

Today's post is my part in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, which I am not officially part of (long story). 

*For those of you that have been reading this blog longer than a week, you realize that Bunny Warhol will be considered part of the #16in16 challenge. 

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

ECHO Echo echo

Echo echo echo

The other night I was in a church hall that has one of the worst cases of echo I have ever experienced. I’m sure the ringing in my ears had nothing to do with the fifteen screaming 9-11 year olds in the room! Nope. Literally had to escape a couple of times and let my ears calm down.

Which brings me to the other meaning of echoing, something that’s used in craft/art pursuits such as quilting and hooking. Probably others as well that I’m not well versed in.

I know that some people are not fans of echoing in rug hooking, but it’s a personal favourite of mine. I don’t answer to the rug hooking police….you know who you are. Or actually maybe you don’t. You may not realize that you get all judge-y with other people’s work. In my world there is no “right” way to do things. Perhaps there are techniques that serve to accomplish certain desired (to some) outcomes but I don’t worry about those.



So back to the echo. I fancy an echo in hooking, yes I do. If you’re not sure what I mean by echoing, it’s when a strong line or key element is followed exactly and repeatedly with the next row of hooking.



In one piece I completed several years ago, I made Echoing a major element of the piece instead of a subtle means of filling in the background. That’s just how I roll. 

Actually I’m not usually a rule breaker in life. Getting in trouble troubled me deeply as a child. Being sent to the principal’s office was my greatest dread. Now I feel like more of a rebel to know that in this one small way I’m a bad ass.

A bad ass who’s ears can’t handle the screaming of fifteen kids in an echo-y room. 

Today's post is courtesy of the letter E and the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Which I'm not officially part of because I tried to sign up too late, but I'm still participating. Bad ass again. Did you see that? 


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Definitely Design

It just so happens that the Smidge is home today, suffering horribly (NOT!) from a cold. Suffice it to say she’s sick enough to be home, so that she doesn’t infect the other kids. But she’s healthy enough to be driving me cuckoo!!

I said to her this morning, “D is for…..”? Her reply “Dinosaurs”. I refused to discuss dinosaurs for my blog post today. You’re welcome. So then she came up with Draw. Design. Decorate. Now we’re talkin’.

I’ve always been attracted to the idea of designing my own patterns – whether it be quilting, knitting, crocheting or rug hooking. To me it’s far more creatively satisfying to design my own work. I have a long list of new ideas that are busting forth. Time to get going on some of those.

Rug hooking by far (imho) provides opportunity for designing and seeing your vision come forth. I’ve done some of my own designs in the past. Some are not so great, others are better. One thing for sure is that there’s a fuller sense of accomplishment and fulfillment when you hook and complete a piece that came solely from your own ideas.



I was chatting with someone just last night about the stress release that comes with drawing and colouring. Hence the explosion of adult colouring books on the market. I haven’t bought one only because I think I might never stop colouring if I got one. I can see it being addictive, in a good way.
Drawing is something that I’ve been “meaning to do” for so long, because I acknowledge that you just have to do it to get better and to enjoy it more. I have one of those big books that’s full of prompts and blank paper. Really should get back to that.

So get to it today. Design something. Draw something. Get out your crayons or pencil crayons or really nice pencils that you don’t let the kids use. Or glue, sew or make something. Release your inhibitions (cue the music).   

Our kids do it so well because they haven’t yet been pounded down by society’s expectations, disappointments and judgments. Be a kid. Just today and maybe tomorrow. See what happens.


Why not draw a dinosaur? 

Blogging about D today as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge

Monday, 4 April 2016

New Chapter

My work life has taken an abrupt turn, as I made a decision to resign from my full-time position to give my health a break. I was suffering from very frequent migraine headaches and just couldn't handle the pressure to be at the office, sitting in front of a computer screen for 40+ hours a week. Perhaps a radical decision, but so far (3 weeks into it) I am happy, more balanced and have been mostly migraine-free!!! 




So you may think that this has opened the floodgates of creativity and productivity. To a certain extent, yes. I did get a pair of jeans hemmed that had been waiting for 5 months. I know what you're thinking... "Wahoo"! I've done a few other little bits and pieces in the Making Room, but nothing substantial because I still have my school work to do, and this particular course (my last in this journey) is a whopper. 



I have assembled a list of making to-do's, which is a list of WIPs that need to be finished:
  • finish whipping the 2nd mermaid rug
  • whip landscape rug
  • whip 01/16 rug (the January Journal rug has been completed)
  • finish hooking Bunny Warhol
  • finish K's quilt top
  • finish K's sweater before it's too small to wear (already a possibility)



Then I will launch into the copious new ideas that I have brewing!



C is for Catch-Up



Late to the party again. No worries, I’m not much for parties.

How many of us are perpetually in catch-up mode? It seems to be part and parcel of this spin cycle era that we are living in. Rush, rush, rush. Multi-task. Stress out. Cut corners. Make do. Quickly followed by exhaustion, guilt, feelings of inadequacy.

We continually promise to catch up with friends and family. More often friends though. Oh we must get together and catch up. Does this ever happen? No. Too much rushing around. Crazy busy. Busy busy busy. Where does the time go?
Laundry. House cleaning. Chores. Gardening. Dishes. Always catching up. Never ahead.

Is this the life we dream of? Is this the life we want to look back on and say “Wow that was fantastic. I’m so glad I got those sheets washed on April 2nd and that dusting was an amazing accomplishment mid-March.” 

Not. Bloody. Likely.

How many of us dream of freedom? Freedom from work. Freedom from debt. Freedom from responsibility. But in reality, will we ever feel like that day has come? Or will there always be something to catch up on? 

We run ourselves ragged waiting for that glorious day when we can retire and the only thing to catch up on will be our reading, sunning and napping. Truly though, will we get to that day and actually feel like “Aaah, this is it. The moment I’ve been waiting for has finally arrived.” Or are we more likely to then be driven to catch up on doctors’ appointments, babysitting grandchildren and getting our investments figured out.

So forget catching up. Yup, I said forget it. Instead, why not stay caught up. Stay ahead. Say no to more. Say yes to yourself. Say yes to enjoying today for today's sake. And for your sake. 

Blogging from A to Z as part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

 

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Around and About

So since I don't have any news of my own, I thought I would share a few interesting bits and pieces with you in case you hadn't seen some of this news. 

An interesting read about Vikings' use of wool: No Wool, No Vikings.

If you live in Alberta or are visiting: Artist, Donna Brunner's show in Edmonton is on now. 

A profile of rug hooker, Nola Heidbreder, and another profile of fine cut hooker, Meg Edleman

Only a few days left to catch this rug display, on until the end of February, in Waitsfield, VT.  

I'm still working away on my January Journal rug and yes, I'm well aware that it's the end of February. Happily, I can say that it is close to complete. I'll post a pic as soon as it seems like a good idea! 


Thursday, 21 January 2016

Just because

A few Haiku for you....just because. 

Silence ev’rywhere,
Snow falls slowly down around.
Wonderful winter.


What’s up buttercup?
Mom says to squiggly young’un.
Nuttin’ mama, just ….


Boredom reigns supreme.
Why do we subject ourselves
To mindless work lives.


Gray, white, brown, off white
The colours that surround us,
All the winter long.


Buzz, buzz, constant buzz
white noise never goes away 
ears ring-a-ringing. 


Blah January, 
Blah February also.
no light in tunnel. 

What about you? Do you ever randomly write Haiku? 









Monday, 18 January 2016

Teensy steps

Life is still crazy, I guess I shouldn't have expected anything different in 2016. I'm holding out hope for May, when my schooling will be complete.

In the mean time, my goal for January is to hook every day. First of all, I tweaked a project that I mostly hooked in 2015. This landscape was designed by Wanda Kerr of The Welcome Mat, for a class that she offered last year. When I first hooked it, Wanda provided gentle feedback on what I could tweak to improve the piece. Life got in the way, and the revisions didn't happen until months later when the course was over and I couldn't find the feedback. 


Alas, here it is.....


Finishing still required. Wonder what century that will happen?

Wait, there's more! No kidding. 

Wanda also runs a January Journal group every year and I usually want to participate. Though I don't really have time, I found a way to make my participation so simple that I might actually be able to pull it off. I figured that if I could hook a little bit in January, it would provide some Calm that I'm seeking, and provide some stress-relief. The theme this year is "Minding the Line". I elected to take the theme literally, and am hooking 3 lines per day. The first reflects the weather, the second reflects my mood, and the third reflects the overall feel of the day for the family. So far, I'm up-to-date. Yeehaw!

Now, please note this is a piece in progress and then lines that are missing are meant to be "snow" which will be fluffy white yarn, which pulls out continually while hooking. So those spots will remain empty until the last day. 

Progress shot.....


The numbers sit on the lines for that date (i.e. 4 is on January 4th's lines). 

Just a fun, colourful (unless I'm in a bad mood, or the weather sucks) rug that's keeping me hooking this month. 

Tada!