Looking Backward and Foreward

Happy New Year to everyone. It’s that time to reflect on the past, and make plans (dare I say resolutions) for the new year. So I decided to review just what I had hooked in 2015.

I completed several rugs. Hijab……for the Women’s Day Art Show….DSCF7260

Creating Hijab was fun and interesting, (that’s a shadow across the top not a stain).  DSCF6994

I learned a lot in creating the red scarf with just three different shades of  mottled wool.

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This little bunny which was hooked in a challenge. It is not quite finished here. I’ve never liked it , so perhaps that’s why I can’t find a shot of the completed rug.

I hooked this little seascape using wool which was distributed amongst the Sunshine Rug Hookers from the stash of the late Hilda Hayes. We each hooked something which reminded us in some way of Hilda.She and her family came from England in the late sixties, and I thought this serene English seaside sunset was appropriate. DSCF7481It is now framed and hanging in my front hall.

I was hooking zentangles for awhile for our group demonstration at R.U.G. and this one is now whipped and  sits atop my hall table.DSCF7480I completed a number of small projects….DSCF7477

…..like these pins for my DIL

….and these mug rugs for various relatives  and friends…DSCN0064DSCN0061DSCN0062

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I whipped the edge of my Lunenburg rug…..DSCN0209….so it is finally complete….

I have my two “workshop pieces ”  underway but not completed….DSCN0164DSCN0163

(actually they are both farther along than this, but my camera has once again stopped uploading pictures  GRRRRRRR!!!)

The largest project, which I’ve been working on all year, is Grumpy Owl. DSCN0009Since this photo was taken, I’ve finished the background and done some reworking of the moon.DSCN0263….it is whiter, with more clouds and fewer “squiggles”and there may well be further adjustments to it.

So that was 2015.

Now for 2016, I’m ready to get back to working on my sweet Grumpy Owl and to finish it as my first project of the  year.

As for a New Year’s hooking resolution?  It is to  hook without pressured deadlines and to enjoy every loop I pull. Let’s see if I can keep this one.

Thanks for stopping by.

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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.

 

Hijab and Moths

The hooking on Hijab is complete, and I must say I’m pleased with the way the background turned out.DSCF7095

After steaming, I did some tweaking of the face and the bottom edge. The edge was somewhat uneven because many of the rows of hooking had ended on an angle. I improved that by adding a few loops in places that appeared jagged. I may have to make further adjustments when I begin the finishing if it doesn’t fold back smoothly.

Now I’m ready to move on to the next project. Recently I stumbled upon this skirt, which had been packed away for MANY  MANY years.DSCF7096Oh what memories. Although I now have an aversion to my poor sewing machine, it wasn’t always the case. My mom was an excellent seamstress, and when I was just a teenager, with her help  I  made a three piece suit (very chique at the time)….the skirt, a jacket, and a long sleeveless coat…..all fully lined and the plaids carefully matched at every seam. To this day it remains my finest sewing accomplishment and holds such sweet memories of my mom.The skirt is all that remains, so I decided I would take it apart and use it for my next hooking project.

Alas, after washing it I discovered it had quite a few moth holes. I washed it again, and took it all apart, but then wondered if it was folly to try and hook with it. I consulted my wonderful friends on “Yahookers” and received great advice from both JoAnne Harris and Ivi Collier. ….1) put it in the freezer for a couple of weeks, wash again, then use avoiding the holes   2) test the strips for possible weakness by pulling the ends before hooking them.DSCF7097

So here it is…disassembled, frozen, and awaiting a new life. Now to get on with the planning and drawing (and maybe even some finishing that should be done first….but never is).

Thanks for stopping by.

And Now the Background….

The face is completed, and I’ve done a bit more tweaking of the left eye. (increasing the black in the corner )

DSCF7020Time to get the dye pots out again for the background. I spent some time looking very carefully at the photo to decide what colours I could see and decide how best to dye them. I settled on using four dyes: golden pear, clay, pink sand, and chocolate brown. I worked with 1/8th yard pieces once again, and used 8 different versions…some with all the colours, some without either the brown, or the pink sand, and varying amounts to create effects/  I used just 1/16th yard to try the green colour of the aura using just golden pear and a weeny bit of clay to dull it down. The other 1/16th yard I dyed with just 1/256th tsp golden pear for the light part around her head.

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….it is mostly rather ugly wool in the piece, but I’m learning that it doesn’t have to be beautiful in the piece to create something beautiful when hooked. I want the background to compliment the hijab and draw the eye toward the centre and the eyes of the girl. DSCF7039

 

It’s underway….I’m not certain if the aura will stay or not.

I mentioned in an earlier post about the usefulness of the darker edges of each piece. They are certainly my most prized strips as I work on the background.  By hooking with the dark edges together, I can create a subtle darker line, much finer than the actual #6 strips I’m using.

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I think these add texture and interest ….can you see the 8 spots I’ve used this little technique in this corner? .

DSCF7043This is my progress to date.

If you live or visit in the Orillia area, OMAH (the Orillia Museum of Art and History) has just opened it’s Sir John A. MacDonald exhibit to celebrate his 200th birthday. It features many  hooked pieces in a celebration of our founding father’s life and times. Hopefully I’ll get some photos of it to share here.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Directional Hooking and Eye Surgery

As I’ve worked on Hijab, I’ve become aware of just how important  directional hooking is when trying to capture the draping of fabric. The hooded section over her head needed care, but when I got to the shoulder, I had to stop and really study the photo to figure out how I could create a realistic effect.  The direction of the hooking had to be combined with the direction of the shading …..which slanted a different way. I took photos of the process so I would have  it for future reference.DSCF6996

The arch needed to gradually flatten out to a straight line at the bottom, while at the same time the dull section on the right needed to be “arrow shaped” DSCF6997

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With the hijab itself completed, I could no longer put off making decisions about the face. After lots of thought, I went back to the first face I ever did…Emma Sue. She was hooked at a wonderful workshop I attended given by Anne Boissonoit several years ago. Emma Sue would be my directional guide.DSCF2137

I printed out a copy of her to have in front of me while I hooked, then forged ahead.

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It soon became apparent however that I had a major problem!!! (I had noticed it before…but ignored it)….The left eye was too far over to the left…..there was too much space between her eyes.DSCF7003

There was nothing for it….the eye had to come out.DSCF7004

I  carefully laid the removed wool out in the order of the eye, and re-drew it (with a red marker) slightly to the right. Then hooked a new eye (adding more black to the top lid and cutting down the iris).

It’s not a huge change, but to me, it makes all the difference. Now to finish the face while I contemplate how to create that wonderful background.DSCF7008

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Winter has arrived in central Ontario. It has been snowing all day today, and is to continue most of the week. The snow boots are out, the snowblower is working, the trees are etched with white, and I’m settling in to enjoy my winter wonderland.

Thanks for stopping by.

Why I Mottle

Recently on Lucy Richard’s wonderful site on facebook”The Wooly Mason Jar Rughooking”, the question was asked, do you use mottled or evenly dyed wool in your projects?  My response was that I used mottled the vast majority of the time. There are very valid reasons to use either one or the other, depending on the project and the desired effects, as well as just plain personal preference….Here is why I love using mottled wool in my projects.

This is the sequence of my hooking in the last week.

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I tweaked the point of the hijab at the centre of her forehead, by changing to a light strip that had more of the mustard colour showingDSCF6987 DSCF6989 DSCF6990 DSCF6993

This is the wool I used…. just four mottled colours which provide me with lots of options…

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Dyeing mottled wool works for me.  Here’s my general method: instead of adding all of the dye solution to the dye bath, just add 1/2 of the dye solution. Add the wool, then wait a bit, then pour the remaining dye solution over the top of the wool. poke the wool down to make sure it is all covered, but don’t stir (the more you stir, the less it will mottle).

Thanks for stopping by.