Inspiration

While I’ve been waiting for the “hooking bug” to attack me again, I’ve been enjoying the work of others even more than usual.  What a treat when I received an email from my friend Jean who has just returned from attending the Green Mountain School at Montpelier Vermont. (That excursion is on my bucket list.)

I admire many people in the Rug Hooking community, but two of my absolute favourites were teaching this year at Green Mountain. …..Donna Hrkman and Jon Ciemiewitz.

I have never seen a rug hooked by Donna Hrkman that didn’t take my breath away.

IMG_3793

Her attention to detail and colour is wonderful, and  her subject matter is always arresting. What memories are being recalled as this veteran clutches the flag?IMG_3789

Donna’s two steam punk pieces both have the same general topic with very different outcomes and emphases. The neutral colour palette of the lower one highlights the mechanical aspects, while the vibrant colours of the other, make it almost a game to search for them within the work.

IMG_3790

….and aren’t those lace cuffs exquisite?

GetAttachment

This is not one of her works that I have seen before, and for some reason, I can’t make it larger.

IMG_3791 (1)

This powerful portrait should inspire me in my own neutral palette.

IMG_3792 (1)

This Aldzheimer’s piece has a profound effect on me every time I see it. Having watched the suffering of both my mother and mother-in-law due to this awful condition, I tear up every time I see it. The touching and sensitive way she has depicted the various cognitive abilities leaving the mind is simply genius….leaving the soul noble.

I couldn’t believe it when Jean told me Jon Ciemiewitz was also teaching at Green Mountain…..how lucky could she be! I have always heard such wonderful reports of him as a teacher, and who could not fall in love with his work.

IMG_3797 (2)

His use of light in that  rhino piece makes it almost photographic.

IMG_3798

….and here is the man himself

IMG_3796 (1)

….and here is lucky Jean with him.

Jean also included photos of some  beautiful antique  rugs which are on display at a gallery in Shelburne Vermont..IMG_3998

….can’t you just imagine the hooker mixing those two browns because there wasn’t enough of either one.IMG_3996IMG_4002IMG_4001IMG_3999

IMG_4008IMG_4006

I am amazed at how the reds have remained so vivid in this rug.IMG_4010

….such Christmas joy and chaos.

Thanks Jean for the pictures and the inspiration they have given me. After they arrived, I went and dyed a batch of wool, and I think I’m ready to get back to work in earnest.

…And thanks too to all who stop by and read my musings.

Hooking Funk

I’ve been in a bit of a hooking “funk” lately. ….and that’s unusual for me. I just haven’t really felt like hooking most evenings, and as a result I’ve made very little progress on my “Grumpy Owl”.

DSCF7588

I’ve done another layer or so of feathers on the left and I’ve completed both talons. I love the way he looks, so that isn’t why I don’t particularly feel like hooking.

DSCF7587

I used  #2 and #3 cuts for the feet. The #2 cut is tricky to hook with, but very effective in spots that need a fine line.  Many wools won’t hold together with such a narrow strip, but I’m using a cashmere which is very dense and works quite well. I’m pulling the loops quite high so that they will not be lost when surrounded by a wider cut.

As I putter along with the body, I’m debating how to hook the background. Originally I was going to do it in a “sepia” sort of colour, remaining true to the original  neutral picture drawn by  Mathieu. Now I’m debating about using colour….perhaps creating a gentle sunrise….indicating he’s not so much grumpy as tired and ready for a day’s sleep. Or another thought is a pastel colour arching out deeper as it moves away from his body to create a bit of aura. ….still debating with myself….

But back to my funk……maybe I need a shot of colour motivation ….while I like the neutrals, I think perhaps I’m momentarily colour deprived.  I decided to think about a possible “next project” and went looking for inspiration. I soon realized that everything that attracted me had a strong and vibrant colour palette.The wools I’m using now are drab and ugly as they sit in a heap around me, so maybe I’ll have to make piles of gorgeous crimson, teal gold etc. to surround me as I finish hooking my owl, or maybe I’ll give in and introduce colour to the background….ummmmm….decisions, decisions.

Sunshine Progress

The Sunshine Rug Hookers meet each Tuesday morning from September until the end of June, so we are wrapping up another successful year, with only two more weeks to hook and visit together until our summer break.

We meet at Rotary Place, our local community centre, in a spacious meeting room with windows on each side overlooking two ice rinks.

DSCF7558

DSCF7557

This week I finally remembered to take my camera (with fresh batteries) to catch up on what people were currently working on.

Several members had taken a “shading” course earlier in the year with our talented Linda Wilson and were working on projects started with her.

DSCF7560 (1)

DSCF7561

DSCF7562

Gail brought in a unique project to show us. Earlier in the spring, we had all been rather taken aback to watch her hooking a totally plan black textured piece in even rows. This from someone who is wildly creative and loves vibrant strong colours. I know my reaction was…”Gail….what on earth are you hooking!!!!”

Here’s the story……She has a lovely collection of pins and broaches, and decided that rather than have them sitting in a drawer, they should be displayed and enjoyed in her home. Soooooo….here’s what she made. DSCF7568

A wonderful wall hanging to be enjoyed and have the selection readily at hand for wearing.

I took a peek at the back to see how she had managed to create a firm piece that would hold the weight of the pins and secure them without sagging….DSCF7567

….she mounted the hooking on (I can’t think of the proper name) that firm board that is used for mounting photos, then stretched  the hooking using strong fibre (I think she used the linen backing fibres).  Her sister Cheri has advised her to add two more rows of the corked edging around the outside to create a larger border, so that is in progress and you can see the loop of it at the top. Didn’t I say she is creative?

Two of our Sunshine Hookers are kept busy producing items that are constantly in demand. Ann Hallett regularly has large orders for her stars, and so she can frequently be seen surrounded by her lovely celestial creations.DSCF7585

DSCF7586

Cheri Hempseed on the other hand is known far and wide for her delightful portrait necklaces, which promptly sell out whenever she puts them up for sale.

DSCF7575

I admire them so much, particularly the patience and detail needed to create these small beauties (they are about 2″ x 3″).DSCF7493Her’s a photo of Linda Wilson wearing hers.

The rest of us were working on a wide variety of projects. Here’s a peek….DSCF7579

Brenda is starting a Deanne Fitzpatrick pattern I’ve not seen before.

DSCF7576Lynda is working on her delightful chipmunk, begun at a workshop with Wendie Scott Davis.

DSCF7580

Margaret is making maple leaf coasters, which may end up on a sales table if her husband doesn’t see them first.

DSCF7582Helen purchased this ball of wool from “Wool Gathering” at RUG, and is enjoying the patterns it is creating in this 12″  square pad.

DSCF7583

Jeanne is hooking a log cabin piece, and wishing she had chosen to do it in a 3 or 4 cut simply because then her choice of worms would be endless.

DSCF7570

Edie is thinking of fall already…

DSCF7572

Marion is doing crewel work for a change of pace.

DSCF7569 (1)

…and on a sadder note, Jean is completing Barbara Wilson’s unfinished hooking. Barbara died recently , and we will miss her a great deal. We celebrate with her family, her long and wonderful life filled with the joy of a loving family and extensive world travels.

DSCF7584

…and finally here’s Gail’s rendition of Sheila Klugesheid’s pattern.  I had such a hard time getting her to hold it low enough so we could see her smiling face.

Our final get together this year will be at Couchiching Beach Park, for a pot luck lunch and a day of hooking. I’ll be sure to take my camera that day to record the fun.

Thanks for stopping by.

Winging It

I can’t believe that it is 18 days since I last posted. I have been trying to help with yard work and gardening, leaving me too tired to hook many evenings so frankly, I’ve not made a lot of progress on my Grumpy Owl.

I have been doing a lot of pondering and thinking though, mostly about how to accomplish the shadowed parts. Once again here’s Mathieu’s original drawing.DSCF7142

….and here’s what I’ve been doing to hook his body…..edging with the light colours…DSCF7540

….and using a mixture  of these dark wools.DSCF7479DSCF7544

DSCF7545 (1)

To create even more depth on the right (shadowed side) I overdyed the pendleton plaid I used for the eyes with a stronger spot dye.

DSCF7554Here is the progress as I worked my way across the body. The beautiful depth and contrast of the body colour and doesn’t show up very well in the photos, DSCF7548DSCF7551DSCF7555DSCF7556

 

Now it’s back to the dye pots to create a wee bit darker colour for the wings on the right side, and then I can’t wait to try filling in the head feathers. At the moment I’m debating whether to use a #3 or#4 cut, and whether to use directional or  antigodlin (random) hooking for them. (the wings are directional, the body random).

It’s all a wonderful and creative adventure. The fact that it is all neutrals, is quite a learning experience, allowing me to concentrate on fine details that I probably wouldn’t dwell on if vibrant colours were involved.

My but I enjoy being a hooker!

Thanks for stopping by.

I’M SO GRUMPY

Well, I’m personally not grumpy, (at least I don’t think so), but I’ve been busy trying to create grumpiness for my next project. I’ve talked about the pattern in earlier posts, but it’s been quite awhile, so I’ll start once again from the beginning.

My youngest son Mathieu (artist, motion designer) drew this picture and titled it “Grumpy Owl”.DSCF7142

I fell in love with it, and asked him if I could hook it. He sent me a photo of it by email . I had it enlarged, DSCF7143then I transferred it to my backing.DSCF7185

The pattern is now 28″ x 32″ .

Then I stared at it for a couple of months (while finishing other projects) trying to decide how to translate Mathieu’s “dot work” drawing into hooking.DSCF7478While still having no idea how I’d proceed, I began outlining in black. I didn’t want it to be a realistic owl, but rather faithful to Mathieu’s drawing.

I experimented with interior colours by over dyeing various wool with three colours….clay, mouse gray, and charcoal.DSCF7479

Then used a much weaker dye bath over natural Dorr to create a mottled off white, and also a  slightly darker version. (they’re not nearly this dark in reality)DSCF7540

The outlining is a #3 cut, and the rest I’m using #4. It just seemed an appropriate cut to fill the small spaces effectively, and create the shading. (although I seldom hook with such a small cut).DSCF7531

Of course, before long I decided I had to try the eyes. I found this grey/blue Pendleton plaid……DSCF7542

….and used a #2 cutDSCF7536

….then hooked his bill. Now he has more character.

I’m really having a lot of fun with this as he comes to life.DSCF7538The black outlining is rather mindless, so that’s what I do when I’m hooking with others (mustn’t interfere with chatting you know)…..and the body I work on when I’m alone and can concentrate. To my mind that’s one of the big advantages to rug hooking….being able to jump around.DSCF7541

He looks a little sinister at the moment, but that will change I’m sure when I get colour in his head feathers.

My summer hooking lies ahead in having this fellow come to life.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Maud Lewis

Mary Lou had a great Maud Lewis surprise to show us at R.U.G. on Saturday.

But I’m jumping the gun a bit. First for some background. For those not familiar with the name Maud Lewis….she might be described as the Grandma Moses of the Maritimes, undoubtedly Canada’s most famous folk artist. …and patterns of her paintings are very popular with rug hookers.

imgres

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has this information about her life….
“Early Years
Maud Lewis (1903-1970) was born to John and Agnes Dowley in South Ohio, Nova Scotia. As a child, Maud spent most of her time alone, mostly because she felt uncomfortable about her differences around the other children. She had been born with almost no chin and was always much smaller than everyone else. However, Maud seemed to be a happy child who enjoyed the time she spent with her parents and brother. Maud’s mother started her painting Christmas cards to sell and thus her career as an artist began.

Her life and only experience of the world extended to an area between her birthplace in Yarmouth County and her married home in Marshalltown, Digby County. In 1935 Maud’s father died and in 1937, her mother followed. As was typical at the time, her brother inherited the family home. After living with her brother for a short while she moved to Digby to live with her aunt. There she met Everett Lewis, an itinerant fish peddler, and married him shortly after in 1938.

Life in the House
Maud spent the rest of her life living with Everett in their house in
Marshalltown. The two had what has been perceived as a formidable companionship, despite any character flaws neighbors found in Everett. Because of Maud’s worsening rheumatoid arthritis, she was unable to do housework. Everett took care of the house, and Maud brought in money through her paintings. The two were a pair that Maud was proud to be a part of.

The home they lived in was tiny in stature but large in character. Despite the lack of modern amenities like indoor plumbing and electricity, the house shows that Maud’s life in Marshalltown was full of enjoyment through her art. Those who stopped after seeing her roadside sign, “Paintings for sale”, found a quiet woman with a delightful smile. Her pleasure didn’t come from the pride of having done a painting, but the creative act itself and the enjoyment others seemed to get from her work.

Through newspaper and magazine articles, as well as television documentaries, Maud became well known and a reputation grew that’s still growing today.

The House
After the death of Maud Lewis in 1970, and subsequently of her husband, Everett Lewis, in 1979, the lovingly painted home began to deteriorate. In reaction, a group of concerned citizens from the Digby area started the Maud Lewis Painted House Society; their only goal was to save this valued landmark.

After a number of years of fundraising, the society realized that the project was going to take more resources than they could gather. In 1984, the house was sold to the Province of Nova Scotia and turned over to the care of Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

In 1996, with funds from the federal Department of Canadian Heritage and from private individuals, the processes of conservation and restoration began. The final, fully restored house is on permanent display in Halifax at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.”maudlewishouse

Her house was only 10′ x 12′

search

Well….Mary Lou Justason is the tireless director at large for RHMNA (Rug Hooking Museum of North America) , and as it turns out has been able to acquire five Maud Lewis paintings for the museum. Here is her story…..

“Last fall I talked by phone to Anne Phillips McCreary Juhasz, an elderly cousin of my husband, at her home in Chicago. She is a retired professor of education at Loyola University having started her teaching career in a one room schoolhouse in Ontario.
We spoke of her getting her affairs in order. After all, she is 93.
Among her treasures were five Maud Lewis paintings which she had purchased, while on vacation, in the late 40’s and directly from Maud Lewis, a little gnome of a lady, at her wee tiny house near Digby, Nova Scotia. When I told her about the Hooked Rug Museum of North America and suggested repatriating the paintings to them in Nova Scotia, she was interested.
Incidentally, she paid 25 cents for each painting.  They were chosen from a great stack of paintings accessed up a rickety ladder into a loft. Anne needed a flashlight to see what was up there. She got them framed simply but without glass and for a long time they were in her storage unit in her condo buildings
Over the winter and with many phone calls and letters bck and forth, we sorted out the details of getting them to me in Florida so I could transport them back to Canada.
Finally, with an early deadline, she or a trusted friend got them shipped to us in Florida and we brought them home to Honey Harbour.
They had a brief visit to RUG (Ruggers United Gathering) at the Simcoe County Museum, just outside Barrie, ON on Saturday where they were much appreciated.
They now have arrived in Nova Scotia and are with Suzanne Conrod.
They will be displayed there along with a donor plaque acknowledging Anne’s gift. They have had quite a journey and if they could talk, the tale would be much more interesting than I could ever spin, but I am happy they are back in Nova Scotia.”
….didn’t I say Mary Lou was a tireless ambassador for RHMNA…..
Well of course I was at R.U.G. and got to see them in person….and want to share them with you.
GetAttachment-2GetAttachment-3GetAttachment-4GetAttachment-1GetAttachment
( thanks to Marg Arland for sharing her photos)
It was such a treat to get to see them in person.
As I said…they are very popular subjects for hooking  and are sold by many vendors, particularly in the Maritimes.  (Please note that all works by Maud Lewis are copyright and the authority to license others to reproduce them rests solely with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.)   As it happens, Jean is working on a Maud Lewis piece right now….DSCF7528
The yoked oxen were a favourite subject and appear in many paintings…..Jean’s work is a spring time version. Maud Lewis’s wonderful clear colours and simple happy style make her work immediately recognizable and beloved…..as well as readily adapted to being hooked.
Thanks for stopping by.

R.U.G. May 2, 2015

I had a great time at R.U. G. on Saturday, but my camera did not! I thought I was being very clever, and changed the batteries just before I left. But oh no! It was as dead as a door nail when I tried to take a picture. It was only after I got back home that I realized I had used the batteries I’d just put in the recharger from my dying mouse, rather than the freshly charged ones on the other side. So I have no photos of the people or activities or the many venders, but luckily, Judith Ivi sent me the photos she took  of all the zentangle rugs, and I have some I took of them last week…..so I can share some of the day.

The zentangle presentation was varied and interesting…..from its zen and doodling roots (with lots of examples) to its adaptation to rug hooking in a wide range of variation…..even to having Mary draw a zentangle from scratch on an overhead while the rest of the program progressed.

Linda Wilson and this small piece were the initial inspiration for the topic of zentangle inspired hooking.DSCF7493

Linda hooked this little mat a few years ago at the annual in Ottawa when she took a short course on the topic, and she was the spear head for our group investigating its possibilities. Brenda (who is a tangler par excellence) gave us a wonderful talk at a regular Sunshine meeting a few months ago to get us going.

Some chose to hook in black and white, the traditional colours of zentangle.DSCF7485DSCF7484DSCF7487

Mary used soft chenille wool for this piece….

GetAttachment-6

 

Karen’s example is one of Judith’s photos, and for some reason I can neither rotate it, or resize it. It is for her grandson (these are his initials) and is partially hooked and partially drawn and the background, making a dramatic effect.

DSCF7488

Mary stuck with the yummy chenille for the background of this one, and added colour to the motifs . I love the story of her third example…..DSCF7492

While on vacation, without any hooking supplies, when struck with the desire to hook….she washed this bag (which had originally held some spirits) several times to tighten it up, made a hook out of a coat hanger….and “hooked” it with her available yarn by pushing her one hand into the bag to create tension and feed the wool up. As she said….when that “urge” hits a hooker….nothing can stop them.

DSCF7490

Cheri took a course with Rae Farrell, based on abstract design, and created this zen inspired beauty.DSCF7489Her second example is a very stylish tea pot. (almost looks like it’s dancing)GetAttachment-5

 

Isabelle was inspired with celtic hearts.

GetAttachment-1

Seven other members each hooked a 5″ x 5″ example (a specific zentangle exercise) then mounted them with some zentangle drawing for added interest. (I wonder if they’ll argue over who gets this????)

GetAttachment-8

Chris incorporated zentangle design into this delicate heart.DSCF7496Joanne , like many of us, sketched her idea first, but felt that when translated into wool, much of the zentangle aspect lost its impact. Still a lovely zentangle inspired apple tree.DSCF7486

Jean began work on her zentangle piece shortly after arriving home from a wonderful trip to the American south west. Her mind was still full of the desert and the images of navajo culture she had experienced. She incorporated those into her zentangle with every symbol and colour having meaning and significance.DSCF7483

…..as opposed to mine which has neither meaning or significance and is rather a sampler of six zentangle patterns.

My biggest “no-camera” regret, is that I have no photo of Wendie Scott Davis’s lovely Barbados inspired zentangle. In the making, we both struggled to make our pieces cohesive. Hers having multi coloured tangles, with the primary one a colourful sailfish. She used the colours of the central sailfish in her border which created a cohesive whole, and drew the eye around the whole piece, while I used position and value (and a lot of re-hooking) to try to balance mine. The same problem with totally different, but equally successful solutions  I think.   This link will take you to Wendie’s blog and a photo of her zentangle.    http://theruggedmoose.blogspot.ca/2015/03/does-hooking-in-colour-take-zen-out-of.html

Linda was the final presenter and discussed not zentangle but the process of choosing a colour pallette for a specific location.

We all learned a great deal from her problems and final success in creating a zentangle inspired rug for her bathroom which would compliment its new decor.DSCF7503

DSCF7504 ….these were the wools she used (the second set she chose)

GetAttachment-4GetAttachment-3GetAttachment-2

More next time about the “Hilda” mementos, and the Maud Lewis surprise.

I hope you’re having the same wonderful spring weather that we are.

Thanks for stopping by.

Share and Share Alike

At this year’s annual (which I wasn’t able to attend), an exciting new venture was launched which will involve all the OHCG groups.

TRAVELLING FRIENDSHIP RUG: 
The Friendship Rug is designed by Debbie Ballard, measures 60”x72” and is being hooked throughout The Year of the Craft (2015) and commemorates The Fiftieth Anniversary of OHCG  2016. 
Rug hookers are invited to hook their hands on the rug as it travels throughout Ontario, with its final destination being the 50th Annual conference at Deerhurst Inn in 2016. It has embarked on its journey beginning in Fort Frances and was at the conference in London. It has spent this week in Orillia, and at R.U.G. on Saturday it will be passed on to another group.DSCF7508 (1)
What a wonderful way for the rug hookers in Ontario to celebrate the Year of Craft….by combining efforts to create one large work of art…and how appropriate to have the topic be the 50th anniversary of OHCG (Ontario Hooking Craft Guild)….to be celebrated officially at next year’s annual.

During the past week, several of us completed hooking our hand, and at our meeting on Tuesday, a table was set up for others to do the same.

DSCF7520Mary and Rachael are working side by side.. DSCF7512

Many in our group tend to the wild and imaginative. I don’t know who hooked them all, but Gail  M. hooked hers in her signature vibrant reds and scarlets, while Cheri has used her favourite acid greens. Karen hooked hers last week when it was so unseasonably cold, so her hand has striped mittens, while mine is in the foreground in orange and rust with sparkly gold nail polish.
Fort Francis, the only other group to complete theirs so far , have created beautiful, lifelike hands in true flesh tones.
DSCF7509 (1)
Some folks at the annual drew and outlined their hand.DSCF7513 (4)
Some hands are complete…..DSCF7522….like Rachael’s. ….and some…..DSCF7527 (1)
….are grasping the edge.DSCF7526 (1)
It’s a large undertaking in more ways than one. … Look for it coming to an Ontario Guild near you.
I can’t wait to see the completed version next year in Huntsville.
Thanks for stopping by.

Starting and Finishing

Anyone who reads my ramblings here, knows that finishing is not my favourite part of rug hooking. As a matter of fact, most of my sewing and whipping is done when I have a deadline to meet. That’s the case now, once again. The Sunshine Rug Hookers are providing the program at R.U.G. at the beginning of May, so I need to have my zentangle, and Hilda’s English Sunset all done.

I procrastinated about sewing the zigzag edges on them for several weeks……why? Because my bobbin was empty, and I would have to rewind it before I could begin. Now if that isn’t the stupidest reason in the world! (but indeed I have had some bad experiences with my badly wound bobbins in the past)  ……however it’s amazing how simple it is when you follow the instructions.  When I finally got down to it, I kept thinking…..this isn’t a problem….what was the big deal?

DSCF7481

I’ve left 3 inches around my little seascape, since I’d like to frame it. I haven’t yet figured out how I’ll do that, so first I’ll finish the zentangle sampler.

DSCF7480

Now this is straight forward finishing. I want to whip it in black yarn with a back tape on the back. I went to get my materials and found that I don’t have enough black wool and my  bent yarn needle has disappeared from the planet. Sooo. yesterday I went to our local yarn/craft shop, and guess what….they are out of black 100% wool. With bated breath I traveled to Michael’s and luckily, they had what I needed. After purchasing a new needle, I remembered, that the old one is in the half completed edge of my Lunenburg landscape! (Serves me right for not having finished it long ago) . So I’m in business and I’m determined to get it underway today.

Of course while finishing is what I HAVE to do, my next project is what is really on my mind. My Grumpy Owl has been getting lots of thought, with ideas pondered and rejected over and over…..wide cut or fine cut?     realism…..or drawing style?   colourful or……monochromatic?

The first decision made was drawing style over realism, and to that end I began outlining with a #3cut in black.

DSCF7478

His shape and expression are sooo endearing, but don’t lend themselves to a realistic interpretation.

I’m leaning toward monochromatic….but using multiple textures and shades. To that end, I gathered up a few different wools….light plaids, a check, light grey, and oatmeal. and overdyed them with Pro Chem clay, mouse grey, and light charcoal.

DSCF7479

….just a bit to see if I liked it….Next step will be to create a much lighter version of this over some natural, then try both out to see if I like the effect. (I’m almost slapping my own hands to make myself whip instead of dye wool this evening)

This afternoon I’ll be taking advantage of this glorious spring weather to enjoy the sunshine while I help Ray clean up the winter debris in the garden. I have a great desire to plant some Morning Glories this year. I remember the ones in my grandmother’s garden, and I’d love to have some of my own. The older I get the more nostalgic I become.

 

Proddy Broaches Revisited

I received a “wish” from my daughter-in-law recently, for a proddy broach in the style of a prairie lily. I was quite flattered and more than delighted to see what I could come up with.

Not being a prairie girl myself,  my first task was to google prairie lilies to see what they looked like.DSCF7447

Aha, much like the day lilies I have growing in abundance in my yard. (…..well will have growing if spring ever arrives)

With only six petals, I felt I’d better use blanket weight wool so it wouldn’t be too flimsy….but my supply of blankets is non-existent, and  in fact all I could find was one piece of beige that I’d rejected in other projects because it was too heavy. DSCF7449

OK. I could make this work. What dye(s) would magically transform this blah beige into a vibrant orange. I looked through my charts and decided to try mustard, golden yellow, cantaloupe. and orange.

DSCF7454

I dyed a little test strip of each colour….and….DSCF7460

got this…..top….mustard….too dark and too red    2nd down….cantaloupe……YES!

3rd down……orange ….too dark    bottom…..golden yellow…..too yellow, but with possibilities

DSCF7465

I dyed two pieces with the cantaloupe (OK), and two pieces I dyed golden yellow, then dip dyed them sideways on both edges with cantaloupe. These were my favourites. They would have some shading and yellow in  the throat.DSCF7463

I began with a test flower.

DSCF7464

….and just laid out the petals on my desk to get an idea of the outcome. 6″ was a bit too big, so I cut down all of the petals about 1/2 “. Of course fixing one problem just presented me with another..cutting them down made them also narrower. I need enough backing covered in the centre to attach the pin and hold the whole thing together without it showing through to the front. Not having the option of adding more petals, I made skinny “lily-leaves” and placed them between the petals.DSCF7466

 

DSCF7468

….then ….out with my trusty “Tacky Glue” and on to the finishing. First I glued the ends of the leaves under the petals.DSCF7472

…then the backing. Many people sew the broach pins to the back, but I choose to purchase the ones that have a sponge sticky pad.  I use a hole punch and pop my pin through the holes, then glue the backing and pin to the back of the flower (staying within the backing circle) The pin sticks to the back and absorbs the glue holding it in place securely.  I’ve found if I use something to spread the glue evenly (like a ruler, old credit card, or piece of heavy construction paper) it makes a much smoother backing.DSCF7473

…a day to dry, and I’m ready for the final step……cutting off the excess backing. I do it from the top so as not to cut into the petals or leaves by mistake.DSCF7475

DSCF7474

Finally I use a black fabric marker around the edge to make that white backing edge less obvious.DSCF7477So tomorrow….into the mail and off to Regina, where my wonderful  clever and talented daughter-in-law will have a prairie lily  (the symbol of the Saskatchewan NDP party) to wear on her lapel as she begins door to door canvassing as the NDP candidate for Regina Pasqua in the upcoming provincial election. Thank you Heather for allowing me to have a weeny teeny part in your exciting campaign.