Starting my new Klimt Venture

I finished drawing the pattern for ‘ Lady With Fan’ a couple of weeks ago, and began the actual hooking last weekend. I chose this particular painting to hook because of the many chinese symbols in the background. They are all related to a personal sense of peace and well being, and really spoke to me as I was struggling with my sister’s illness.

The pattern is 36″ x 36″…an unusual size. I’ve never before hooked a large piece in a square, but that’s what Klimt did, so who am I to argue.

I altered a number of the background details to make them “hookable”, for example many of “my” leaves, were mere slashes of colour in the original.

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I experimented with some 1/8th yard pieces done in the microwave (my first time doing that), and dug through my stash for other colours to try.

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I like to begin with the eyes, then mouth, then nose, so I am immediately working with a personality. I also always have to do a lot of altering. My way seems to be…plunge in with both feet, then figure out what’s wrong and keep changing it until I’m satisfied . That has certainly been the case with her face. (I think I’m going to have to give her a name…just ‘lady’ doesn’t seem appropriate for such an intimate relationship as we have).

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At this point, I had already ripped out my first attempts at her skin, and had started again.

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One of the first things to bother me was her chin…too heavy.

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I removed the bottom row of hooking around her chin and was much happier with the result. I liked her nose on it’s own, but it didn’t match with the angle of her eyes. It was too face forward, while her eyes looked left. With suggestions from my good friend Jean, I took out the left side and tried again.

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As I look at this picture, I wish I had left this profile….because…

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I’m not pleased with how it ended up, and I intend to do version number 3. I did however decide to work on something else first until I could figure out how to fix it…..it’s way too bulbous at the bottom.

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I also altered the left eye…adding some white beyond the edge of the pupil so it was a better match for the right one. (the last two photos show the change)

I moved then to the crane, and hooked it with left over pieces from my stash. It is mostly hooked with a 6 cut, and I originally began with a 3 cut for the yellow edging.

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It got lost amid the turquoise however, so I took that out and replaced it with a 4 cut. Amazing what a difference that little bit of extra width made to how it stands out.

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I added more hair along her brow line, and left little ends at the bottom of the curls on her face (I may or may not clip them off) I hooked her hair with 4 different textured wools all jumbled up together. I love watching how such different wools blend together to make hair that is vibrant and alive.

For the first time in awhile, I have an entire weekend without comittments, so I’m looking forward to snuggling up and getting lots of  hooking and reading done.

Thanks for stopping by .

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A Tribute to Marion Brumwell

As I was originally preparing this post about Marion’s work, my only sister lost her long battle with cancer. It has been a difficult time…..relief that her pain is ended, and her struggle over, and a deep sense of personal loss. I no longer have that ever constant friend to share the large and small details of everyday life. Even last night as I was uploading the pictures, and couldn’t remember the correct name for some of Marion’s techniques, the thought passed through my mind….I’ll call Audrey….she’ll know what it’s called. Although not a rug hooker, she was the finest craftsperson I ever knew. So my heart is sad, and I’m two weeks late posting about Marion’s beautiful work.

Regular readers of my blog will know that on the first Tuesday of the month , the Sunshine Rughookers meeting features a “show and tell” of the work and life of one of the members.  January’s featured member was Marion Brumwell.

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This is a friendship rug, and although hooked by a number of artists(including Marion), there is wonderful unity in the colour scheme.

Marion is first and foremost an embroidery artist, although she also loves rug hooking. She explained that although the majority of her time is spent on the intricate and delicate historical forms of pulled work and embroidery, she knows that her eyes will eventually force her to give it up, and she will then have rughooking to fall back on.

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We all like to see each hooker’s  first rug….Marion’s was a German street scene done in latch hook.

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She likes to do small pieces, mostly pillows, since she only hooks at meetings. I love the colours in these geraniums.

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She designed this pillow at a workshop on fractors.

She showed mostly examples of her amazing embroidery. The intricacy and variety boggles my mind. (I can happily tackle a hooked piece that is huge….but I’m all thumbs even trying to thread a needle). Marion explained each of the various styles, and told us how they were done, but with the stress of the intervening time, I have to admit my memory is now sketchy….so I hope you’ll enjoy the photos, and forgive any errors on my part.

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I think this is called white work. The threads are drawn out to create the spaces, then the design is worked by combining the remaining threads she has also done raised work on top of that. If you look carefully at the picture, you can see the 3 dimensional aspects of it.

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The detail in this small portrait is amazing.

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This is also raised work…this is quite tiny, and soooo intricate….done with gold threads.

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I think this is a more in the style of embroidery that I have done with a variety of stitches.

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The work in these last three photos simply took my breath away. They are so wonderfully tiny and detailed. This one is a needle case, again done with pulled white work. Each thread is counted and specific ones removed then the spaces knotted or tied to create the patterns

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This was my favourite of all….a little sewing kit with needle case, pin cushion scissor holder, all of which fit into the beautiful box. It was so tiny and delicate, from where I was sitting, I couldn’t believe it was all embroidered, and had to get up for a closer look…it looked like a fine porcelin painting.

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…another sewing kit…..which all fits into the little box. Marion’s skill and knowledge seemed unlimited. She is continually taking courses both online and by extensive travel… learning the historical methods of this wonderful work done in great variety of methods in a wide variety of countries….and she has taken this all up since retiring as a school administrator. I never cease to be amazed by the skills of our Sunshine members.

Crocheting with Nylons

At one time in my life, I crocheted afgans, vests, scarfs, hats….you name it, but it has been a very long time since I picked up a crochet hook, and a first time using a nylon stocking cut up on the diagonal into one long strip. To be honest, although at one time I had a case with every size of hook….I couldn’t lay my hands on even ONE proper crochet hook…so I’ve been using my poor discarded pencil hook, and although it is a little “fine” for the job, it is certainly adequate.

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I took a scrap piece of rugwarp to practise on, and it was sure a good thing I did.

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My first attempt was UGLY bad,

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but with trying again, I got the knack of it.

Never having tried an edge rolled forward before, I waited until the ‘try out’ session to decide how wide the edge should be. I decided on an inch, which gave me enough fabric to fold twice, hiding the zigzagged edge.

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and I’m rather pleased with how it is turning out.

In the mean time…..

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I’ve started drawing the pattern for “Lady with Fan”….I must admit I enjoy the process of drawing it……….not so enthused about the transfer part…it’s slow and time consuming to make sure the ink is getting through to the backing. Maybe one day I’ll get hubby to make me a light table….that would be lots easier.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by.