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.

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….

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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????)

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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)

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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.

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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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….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.

 

Good News and Bad News

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that my son Mark gave me a wonderful new Imac computer (I have three wonderful sons who all spoil me). What a fantastic surprise, as my old Mac Mini was limping along on its last legs. The bad news is that although my old photo library is on the new computer, I haven’t yet figured out how to get it from documents to iphoto and can only access the photos by thumbing through them 1 by 1 (and there are 10,000 of them). The post I had planned to do required photos from the library…soooooo…while I sort that out, I’ve been finishing up my zentangle piece and I’ll share that.

The padula flowers were toned down by adding colours from the swirly section on the other side.DSCF7341

DSCF7346….and then I brightened the swirls a bit by adding more of the light tan.

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I know many teachers say to start in the middle and work out, but in this case, the middle was the very last thing I did. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to hook it.

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I settled on two shades of each of the main colours, and I really like the effect. I made two mistakes in hooking it though….can you see them? I’ve decided to leave them both there. (what group is it that always put an error in their work since God is the only one able to create perfection?)DSCF7362

So just a few rows of black around the edges to go, then steaming and whipping.

Mentally I’ve moved on to the next wee project. “An English Sunset for Hilda”

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….and I’ll tell you all about it next time.

Thanks for your interest in my hooking adventures.

Searching for Balance

Every piece I hook presents new learning experiences. I think that’s why I love hooking…..in this very simple art form there is always so much more to learn.

The challenge for my zentangle is how to make a cohesive picture out of six totally unrelated designs. I took the first steps in reducing the colours. Next was to balance their placement.DSCF7334

I felt happy with the yellows at the top and bottom, and the muted dip dye background around the top centre padula. I removed the yellow from the bottom right segment, and planned on blue padulas with some sort of contrast colour in the echoes…..perhaps the very dark blue.DSCF7340

Then a new consideration hit me. I liked the look of it but the vibrant colours totally would overpower the muted section on the opposite side, and unbalance the whole piece. Now what?

Out went the dark blue idea, and I decided to try the sand beige and blue green from the muted section to tone it down and tie the two sections together.DSCF7341DSCF7343

The light blue is still  too bright, but for now I’ll carry on and make a final decision later.

(I know Cynthia…I’m overthinking again….but I’m having fun in the process)

Colour Testing

My Zentangle needed a mental overhaul!

I began the hooking thinking of the separate sections, with no view to the whole piece. As a result while I liked the individual parts, the piece as a whole was ugly. When I think about it, it’s much the same process I went through when hooking Signa Mia Vita. Both times I had chosen too many colours for the pattern. (and my monochromatic taste)

SOoooooo….with a view to balance in the placement ….I did lots of pulling out.

This….DSCF7229became this….DSCF7333

…and there were two other areas as well, but I don’t have photos….I had the red/pink in a couple of areas, and it was all  removed.  My original idea of having it “go with” the hall rugs has been scrapped. These colours are in those rugs but that’s the only similarity…..and….I’m a happier hooker.DSCF7331

This loopy tangle is quite muted and quiet.DSCF7332

…while the blue triangles really pop with the lime green edging and black bckground. DSCF7334

It feels much more cohesive now, and I’m once again happy to hook on it. ….and that’s good…since the Brier Curling started yesterday, and I’ve got a week planned cheering on the amazing shots of Canada’s best men’s teams, while snuggled up with my hooking.

Tangling with Zentangle

Usually when I start hooking a piece, I have a general vision in my mind of what I want the finished product to look like. But not this time! Nope….I have no clue. So I’m “hooking in the dark” so to speak, trying stuff out, and discarding a great deal of it until I come up with something that pleases my eye.

I started out using a 6 cut, but quickly abandoned that for a #4. I couldn’t get the detail I needed with the #6.DSCF7230I hope the lime green will stand out better when more is added. As it stands…I’m not impressed.

I think this is the third set of colours I’ve tried in the “drape” design, and I plan to dye a lighter version of the green to add some variety. It certainly doesn’t set my heart afire with this combination.DSCF7229The ribbon loops please me so far, but I have no idea yet what style or colour of background to use in this section.DSCF7228I dyed 6 different colours of the yellow, planning to have the rings of this flower section get darker as it went out. I found it needed the blue for contrast, and now I’m debating how to proceed..DSCF7226The variegated blue is hooked with an overdyed plaid which I used in the hall rugs and really like. However, there is very little of it left, so I must use it wiselyDSCF7227

So far so good with the triangles. I like the blues. ….background black???? or the ribbon taupe???? ummmm…don’t know yet. DSCF7225

It’s quite a mishmash of unconnected elements at the moment, but hopefully I can eventually tie it all together to create a unified zentangle sampler.

A cold day to start off February, and a good one to stay inside and hook while I enjoy the Canadian Junior Curling Championships on TV.

Thanks for stopping by.