Progress with Oil on Water

I’ll get to Oil on Water shortly….but first, my little project using batik. After an exciting (to me) start….I became discouraged with it and set it aside for a time. But needing something to hook on at Sunshine meetings (I can hardly carry Oil on Water to my frame, let alone haul it across the parking lot and up the elevator to where we meet), I brought the batik along and set to work. With some wise advice from Jean on how to correct the nose, I’ve been enjoying this experience with a new fibre (for me). DSCN0911.jpgWhile Jennifer Manuel ….of Fisheye Sisters (who sells the batik strips) uses the strips as is, I have found them too wide, so I’ve been cutting each one in half, and I find that much more manageable.

Another exciting event happened recently when I received a huge box of wool and various other goodies in an “ugly wool swap”. Just in case you may not know what that is….a box is started out full of one person’s “ugly wool” and is sent in turn to each participant. As it arrives, you take anything that appeals to you and replace it with a like amount of your own “ugly wool”. My goodness, it was like Christmas. I particularly had my eye out for wool which I could overdye for the background of Oil On Water.

dscn0879This huge piece of wool seemed perfect.dscn0883I soaked it (this is just half of the piece which was nearly 2 yards)dscn0887…….used  three pro chem blues…navy, brilliant blue, and national blue. 1/2 of the navy went in the dye bath, the wool was added, then the rest spotted over the top.dscn0922One piece I stirred to create a more consistent colour, the other I left purposely blotchy. (the wool is actually quite a bit darker than it appears in the photo)

Here’s my pile of “soon to be background wool” still awaiting the dye pots.dscn0930Most of it is other wool from the swap box, and the solid blue and green are from the wool Mary Lou Justason was selling from her stash at R..U.G. to raise money for the Hooked Rug Museum of North America.

As for the progress on “Oil On Water”….I’ve spent a lot of time working with the design trying to leave  it asymmetrical  but still making sure it is balanced.dscn0896On the right…I want the “flame” motif to swing down and around in a more or less continuous sweep….so I drew this….dscn0902-1…..but I’m thinking the turn from sideways to vertical is too abrupt….on the other hand I think I can tie them together with a swirling  shape much like the one on the top. The jury is still out on that decision…..so I’ve moved on to the left side for the moment.dscn0913The left top has long sweeping “stripes in a bit lighter blue than the background.

The bottom looked like this…(sorry for the huge long photo….I couldn’t get it to crop in half)dscn0894-1….so I decided to extend the little “nubbies” and create stripes similar to the top.dscn0903

My first attempt was wobbly at the top, and too fat…..so I re-drew the sweep smoothly to balance with the top.dscn0912-2….and used a lighter blue once again to create the subtle stripe….dscn0916-1…. (which shows up dark here).

If I can’t make up my mind about the bottom flames I’ll hook plain background for a few days while I ponder a decision.

As you can imagine….this piece has become progressively heavier and heavier. Since my creative juices demand that I have the whole piece available to look at, and clamping it to the top of the closet had become a two man job while I stand teetering on a chair…..Ray has made me a hoist!

He used a piece of 1″ x 4″, put a hook at the top of the closet on the wall , and a cleat further down the wall at the side  to secure it….DSCN0900.jpg

….so that I can attach it with clips at waist level then pull it up…dscn0901…I must admit it makes getting to the clothes in the closet a bit of a nuisance…..but it is oh so much easier to hang and I can dream away about how to progress while looking at the entire rug.DSCN0919.jpgNow off to hook some more background.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

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What’s Up?

There was lots going on at the Sunshine Rug Hookers meeting this week. It was interesting to see the influence of various fall events playing out in people’s work.

Evidence of Sandra Marshall’s Punch Hooking Workshop was all around.DSCN0197I think Kathleen designed this pattern using templates brought by Sandra.

DSCN0202Teresa is working with finer wool and a different sized punch than what I chose. She says she’s having trouble deciding how close to punch the rows.

DSCN0201Mary’s mom had three boxes of embroidery floss like this, so she is doing some very fine punching with it…DSCN0200(I have just such a box and I hope to try a similar project in the future)

Betty brought her ’embellishment project’ to show what she has accomplished so far….DSCN0181It is just stunning. I should have taken a photo from the side so you could see the 3D effects .

Linda Wilson’s recent mini class on stained glass inspired Karen to dig out a pattern she had on hand, and wow! She has been busy.DSCN0191I love the colour palette.

Linda had purchased a kit designed to teach values.DSCN0185….a simple view of trees….and many shades of green.

Recently, a well known hooker and teacher ,Hilda Wells, gave up hooking due to ill health, and held a sale of her patterns, wool, and equipment.

Gail is hooking one of her pieces…..DSCN0188….and Jean is finishing off another that was started by Hilda….DSCN0186Aren’t those shaded flowers beautiful. I love the dark colour that Jean has chosen for the background (I’m always drawn to dark backgrounds)

DSCN0187Diane is still finishing Hilda Hayes last piece…DSCN0189She said that little leaf by the bird will be coming out.

 

Jean C. is working on a commission..DSCN0180….she needs to produce a lot of her proddy broaches.

DSCN0199Janet has her prancing rooster under way…

DSCN0182Edie is using up scraps to make her ‘squares’ rug.

DSCN0193 (1)….and Marion is using a variety of textures….wool, yarn, sari silk, and quillies (standing wool circles).

….and I….DSCN0209….finally finished the whipping  on my Lunenburg rug.

DSCN0207Chris is knitting this delightful outfit for a ‘baby doll’ .(apparently I am quite behind the times since I didn’t know what a ‘baby doll’ was).

Cheri has nearly finished this beautiful, free flowing piece.

DSCN0203She hand cuts her fabric and uses a wide variety of materials.DSCN0204The results are always amazing.

I’ve shown Fiona’s rug at various points along its progress, but her addition of her “British flag” sandals really tickled my funny bone. I absolutely love them….and want to see them in person!DSCN0195….the border is made of wildflowers found around their Green River homeDSCN0196

(excluding my camera strap…which snuck in the photo by mistake)

This is a large rug…DSCN0194

…and one that will eventually be cherished by future generations I’m sure.

Aren’t we a busy and diverse group?

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.
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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.

An English Sunset for Hilda

After the passing our our dear Hilda at age 97 last year, her daughter gave her wool to the Sunshine rug hookers.

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We sold most of it and donated the proceeds to charity, but there were still many lovely pieces left. Mary Lou Justason and Linda Wilson came up with a wonderful idea and put it into action. They divided the wool into about 40 groupings and gave one package  to each of the the Sunshine members. We are now each creating a small hooked piece with this wool to have as a personal memento of our friend. We are planning to show them at R.U.G. and then invite Heather (Hilda’s daughter) to see them all at a meeting in May.

The package I chose was primarily navy, pinks and purples, and I decided to hook an English seaside sunset.

DSCF7363It’s tiny (just 25 cm. x 16 cm……sorry I can’t find an imperial ruler…but that’s approximately 10″ x 6″ ), and I added yellow orange/red and teal from my own wool.DSCF7367

Then, since Hilda’s wool was mainly solid colours, I  used the transition dyeing method (doesn’t use any dye), to create variation and highlights.

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….and ended up with this….DSCF7375So now I’m having great fun creating this little English sea scape, and imaging that Hilda is enjoying the view as well.

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Jean has created “Hilda’s Garden” with her wool.DSC03694

…..aren’t those little quillies delightful?

I’ll share what everyone else makes in a later post.

At our meeting this week I was working on “Hilda’s English Sunset”,  and here’s a glimpse of what everyone else was working on.DSCF7397Joanne’s adorable owl has a very ‘mola’ look to me. DSCF7404

Gail is hooking an abstract bench seat cover.

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Marion was off visiting when I snapped this photo, so I have no explanation for her work.

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Helen is continuing with her abstract moon/ night sky.DSCF7405Charlene told me the title of her lovely dressed tree, but unfortunately but I’ve now forgotten (so sorry Charlene).

DSCF7392Edie is coming along with the background of her floral piece. That lovely mottled background just makes the flowers pop.

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Isabel is just getting this rose underway.

DSCF7388Linda’s grandchild painted this tile and presented it to her. Fearing that it was fragile, and might not stand the test of time……..DSCF7389

…….. she has hooked a replica of this very special keepsake.DSCF7381Liz’s necklace is the inspiration for her present project. A gift from he son-in-law, it is a maori symbol called a kora….DSCF7384

 

….and she is hooking a tribute to it….DSCF7387……using sari silk, and wool which she herself has spun and dyed.

There’s more to show, and I’ll include the rest in a second post.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

Eye to Eye Part Two

More from the International Women’s Day Art Show. I just loved the wide variety of media used, and the countless ways in which the theme  “Eye to Eye “was evoked.

Amazing colour in these abstracts:DSCF7256DSCF7250DSCF7265DSCF7285I found this fascinating. The figures actually show up much more pronounced in the photo. They were barely visible to my eye in real life.

…these tender personal works…DSCF7275DSCF7276…and this wonderful lady inspired by “steam punk”DSCF7308

She’s well prepared for all eventualities with those glasses.

DSCF7272This was painted on myriad pieces of wood…what a unique canvas.DSCF7287

….and this large standing piece had raised cut outs, which were painted on the opposite pieces on the other side. (how did I miss taking a picture of the other side???)DSCF7314…inspired by a totem pole…DSCF7300…whimsical…and full of hidden details..

and  I’m sure  the style must have a name…but I don’t know what it is..DSCF7280There was a lot of beautiful photography. These two examples were especially powerful for me.DSCF7247These are photos of various nebula, and in the centre of each is superimposed a photo of a minute organism. The universe in its extremes.

The next is the same woman showing the passage of time and the effects of life. I found it very moving.

DSCF7269Actual eyes were featured in many works.DSCF7281DSCF7252The next and my last two photos are the pieces that I think of first when I am telling someone about this wonderful art show.

This work, moved me deeply, perhaps because I am a mother of three sons, and can only guess at the agony it evokes. My stomach literally knotted as I looked at it.DSCF7311

The mother, with memories of her precious son as a toddler, is now helpless and in pain as he makes disastrous choices. I will never forget this powerful piece of art.

…and this painting which made me laugh out loud when I read the title …….. Fifty Shades of Green.DSCF7292

….do you see the hunter and the hunted?

The exhibition is on until May 4th, at the Orillia Museum of Art and History. This is just a small sampling of the works on display.( I always get so caught up in looking that I keep forgetting to take photos. ) Do come and see it if you are in the area, You won’t be sorry.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Eye to Eye

DSCF7271Saturday (Feb 14th) was the opening of the International Women’s Day Art Show at the Orillia Museum of Art and History, and what a wonderful exhibition of the talents of women in this area. Not just the traditional art media were represented, but a wide variety of fibre art, sculpture, photography, and mixed medium pieces all representing the artist’s vision of the theme “eye to eye”.

Five  members of the Sunshine Rug Hookers  have their rugs on display.DSCF7237This is Cheri’s whimsical take on the theme.DSCF7251

Cynthia’s thoughtful study,

DSCF7264Gail’s wonderful 3D “I”DSCF7260……my Hijab… DSCF7302

….and Jean’s spectacular “Hamish”.

Other fibre pieces…DSCF7304DSCF7283DSCF7245

mixed media…..DSCF7261DSCF7262DSCF7238DSCF7299DSCF7298…this was one of my favourites

there were sculptured 3D pieces…..DSCF7294DSCF7328DSCF7307DSCF7315

zentangle….DSCF7323…….and many many more to come in the next post.

What a celebration of women and their amazing talents.

 

Jennifer Manuell Workshop

 

Last Sunday and Monday, the Sunshine Rug Hookers hosted two one day workshops given by Jennifer Manuell. The topic was making hooked jewelry, but no matter what the topic, attending a workshop given by Jennifer is both fun and informative.DSCF6896

Jennifer’s bubbly personality, high degree of organization, and vast knowledge ensure a wonderful experience for everyone there. Our host, Linda Wilson provided the perfect venue so it was a fun and informative day.

Jennifer’s  jewelry examples, left us all with something to aspire to in the future.

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Her personal choice of colour palette is very distinctive and recognizable, and one I have tried to emulate at various times, but alas, those brights always seem to speak to me too loudly.

Thanks to Teresa Morneau for sending her pictures to share as well as those I managed to take. (sorry Teresa, I can’t seen to enlarge your shots)

Here we are “in progress”.

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By our meeting on Tuesday morning, a few had finished their first piece. (I only got photos of three)

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We all came away with all the materials to make a second, larger and more complicated piece, so there will be lots of new jewelry being sported in our area in the coming months.

My personal thanks to Jennifer for a great day, and Linda for allowing us to once again use her studio.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. My turkey is thawing!

 

Borrowing an Idea

Signa Meus Vita is now steamed and lies flat and ready for the next step……the finishing.  (the variations in the background are not nearly as extreme as the photo makes them seem.)DSCF6775

The steaming itself presented a bit of a problem because of the “silk tears”. I didn’t want them to be squashed down , so I very carefully worked around them with the iron. However there were spots where they were too close together for me to steam the hooking and avoid them.  Luckily I found that if I quickly flipped the piece over and puffed the silk up with my fingernail, no harm was done.DSCF6778

They still stood nicely above the hooking.

The decision needed now was how to finish the edges. I knew i didn’t want a border, a whipped edge, or a frame. I want it to be a “hanging” as in “tapestry” style, as opposed to a framed “picture”. …..so on Tuesday at our first fall meeting of Sunshine Rug Hookers, I sat down with Cynthia (one of the most creative people I know), to ask her advice on how she had finished a rug I had seen and admired.

This picture of it doesn’t do it justice, but you can see the effect of the beautiful slub silk border, which has been lightly padded.

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….so with her information in mind I headed off to Fabricland, and found this beautiful slubbed silk which perfectly recreates the picture I had in my mind

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….once again the colours aren’t true….they go together very well in reality.

….as I said to Cynthia, I’m nervous to start the edging procedure, so I’m procrastinating by writing a blog about it instead. The plan is to create a type of “show binding” by cutting  bias strips of the silk which will be lightly padded with a small strip of quilt batting . ….just have to get up the nerve to start..

I’ve been hooking a bit more on “Dream Big” …less than two weeks now to the Ploughing match, so I should have some left to hook while demonstarting.DSCF6788Thanks for stopping by.

 

A Palette but no Plan

 

There was a fatal flaw in my colour choices for my Signa Meus Vita piece. I hadn’t thought about the fact that it is made up of a small number of large elements, and that didn’t leave options for enough repetition. My poor brain has been spinning this past week on how to place them.

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At this point I was blissfully unaware of the problem.

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I liked the bottom part, but the big blob of raspberry didn’t fit…..and all together it made me cringe….DSCF6613

….so it has been a great learning experience. While I loved this…DSCF6605

…….my piece with it’s large elements just didn’t translate to create anything like this . So back to the drawing board.

I reduced the colours in the palette…..removed the peach and the raspberry altogether, which allowed for more  repetition of the five colours I had left. I took the blue and dyed it very dark and used that for the central spider element…..something to anchor everything else.

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I went around in circles for days trying to come up with the best way to locate the colours, and finally just added a strip to each element in a possible colour to give me some idea of the outcome.  I make up my mind, then I think of something that I feel would look better, so I change my mind…..then the process repeats!!!!!  Yikes.

…..in the meantime….I thought the tears might look effective with something sparkly. I have a great gold ropey thread that would work well if I could find it in silver. Of course my local fabric store didn’t have that, but I found a fine sequin rope that I thought might be very effective. Well I was wrong again!DSCF6609

…after tugging the sequins through the backing, they wouldn’t all lay face up, so the effect was lost. (as well as the shape).

…attempt #2 at the tears…I was able to acquire part of a beautiful silk shirt that had been from Hilda Hayes’ stash. (I loved that I would have a symbol of that dear lady in my “symbolic” piece.)

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The photo doesn’t show it but the silk has a lovely shine.

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….so here it stands to date. I want to redo the green twist on the right….I don’t like the way I’ve manipulated the shading, and it’s too fat…..and I’m debating the possibility of replacing all the lilac with peach, since it also seems very subdued….who knows how it will end up!

Theme Rugs from the Annual and a Tribute to Judith Auger

I’m sorry to take so long to complete showing all the photos I took last week at the annual…..the weather has been so perfect here, and the wee veggie garden needed to be planted,  the car needed to go to the garage…….etc….but finally here is the next installment of fantastic rugs from Oshawa.

The theme for this year’s annual was “texture” and the display of rugs in the theme category showed a wonderful variety of ways in which using texture can either enhance or define a piece. (texture meaning use of textured hooking materials plaids, sparkly yarns, laces …or anything else you can hook through or attach to  the backing) I don’t have photos of all the entries, but here are the ones I have.DSCF6442

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These pieces were fascinating. I’m only guessing, but it seems like a “triptych” hooked perhaps by three different people, each with a different interpretation, and style. (the three different numbers showing that it is to be judged as three entries, not one) . I’d love to hear the actual story , if anyone knows.  PS…. Thanks to Susan Sutherland….here’s more info on these rugs…..they were hooked by three women from the Ottawa area, ( one being Barbara Lukas) and they were featured in an article in Rug Hooking Magazine.

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…..and the winner was….DSCF6441

….hooked by Barbara Lukas…. depicting her porch in winter. I’m really bad at remembering numbers….but I think she said she used 70 different colours to capture the snow and ice.DSCF6547It was so great to meet her and have time chatting over both dinner and at breakfast. I’ve still got pictures I took of the various guild group displays for another post.

Meanwhile…..back on the homefront…..Sunshine Rug Hookers were treated on Tuesday to the work of Judith Auger. Judith is a relatively new rug hooker, whose artistic talents are evident as she explores her new passion.

We share her with a group in Florida where she started hooking in 2012.

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Her first rug was for her husband, a scene from the maritimes recalling his youth.

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….such beautiful work for a new hooker!….her second piece…

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her first geometric….Judith isn’t a seamstress, and doesn’t own a sewing machine and she isn’t happy with the finishing on this rug. She plans to redo the binding over the summer. She is assiduous in searching for finishing techniques which will work well for her.

….to that end she has started this rug using Doris Eaton’s finishing method….(well she admits it is not exactly Doris’ technique, but her own interpretation of it)DSCF6557

Judith is so creative that she sometimes likes to just start hooking with an idea, and nothing drawn, and see where it takes her….

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….how beautiful is that!!!

….or this….done the same way….DSCF6553

…she calls this one “Lagoon”.

She is still making decisions about her poppies….DSCF6550DSCF6549

….We’re lucky to have her as a member at Sunshine Rug Hookers….even if it is only for half of the year.