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.

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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.

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….and aren’t those lace cuffs exquisite?

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

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

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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.

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

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….and here is the man himself

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….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

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Edie is thinking of fall already…

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Marion is doing crewel work for a change of pace.

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…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.

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…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.