You know sometimes, you are having so much time at a meeting or class or gathering, that you get a little carried away? You get enthusiastic about the future. Maybe you buy more wool than you need, or you make a commitment to your local group, or you buy a pattern for a rug that is huge. And then you get home and say "What did I do?"
Well, three good friends, Lita McCormick, Sandy Myers, and Patty Simpson decided they would have their own little challenge. They decided to pick a pattern and each hook it in their own way. They chose a great design that is not too big. It also offers all kinds of choices and improvisations.
One friend got right in to it. Her rug was done in no time. One was in the middle, And the other said " What did I get myself into?" and procrastinated a little...okay, well more than a little.
Isn't it amazing how they are so different?
Well, guess what, they have decided to do it again. They are hooking the Talavera Pumpkin...
Let me start by saying I hate Picasso. He was a bully, a woman-hater, a bad husband and father, and jerk by what I can tell. But, he did some things right.
I like his early work, and once in a while, you can find a quote like this one that is worthwhile to hold on to.
My work is usually full of great chroma and contrast. But I am just coming out of a rough time when not only did I not hook very much, but color did not appeal to me. I even found myself dressing differently. I live in the South and there is color everywhere, except my closet. Lots of beige, black, and gray.
Things are looking up now but I still see less color in my work. The pieces seem fine, but not what I did before. Not what I think I really am. I am dyeing with Cushing dyes instead of ProChem. I guess I still have some healing to do. But my features - my smile - is coming back. And soon will the brights and lights. Enough of the darks and dulls.
Look at your rug as if it were the first time. Put it in a prominent place where you will see it in good light first thing in the morning. Ask for feedback from people you trust but remember friends find it hard to criticize, so ask them to truly be blunt. If you don't have anyone you trust, look at your work through a mirror or take a photograph . A black and white photo will make the contrast (or lack of)obvious. Amazing what you will see. Then you can work to improve your rug. Remember that every rug is not going to be perfect, ever. This is especially true if you have been hooking for only a few years. Otherwise, you will be very disappointed when you look back some day at the work you have done early on.
We wish you the time to enjoy what and who you love. We wish you security in your life...enough of what you need. We wish you good health or comfort and a path toward good health. We wish you safety and freedom from anxiety. We wish you peace in your heart, in your family, in your community,in your world. We wish you Christmas joy. Holiday blessings, Laura Kenyon and Debra Walland
Thoughts from viewing a rug show. Most shows have a nice variety of rug styles. Primitive, traditional, contemporary, geometric etc. This is a great time to reflect on your style.
Recently walking through a rug show,( ok I went back four different times,) I found a new appreciation for different styles. I am mostly a traditional pictorial smaller cut person. I saw some rugs that just blew me away. I also took the time to stop at rugs that I did not think were rugs that I would hook to study the techniques and color plans. I found I liked something in everyone of the rugs I saw.
What I took away with me was an expanded knowledge of the craft. I will now incorporate new elements into my hooking style. I loved the simple look of primitives but on a closer look they have complex fabric combinations using textures and plaids. I love the use of color in contemporary and geometric rugs. There were lessons in rug borders that were not rows of one color but a part of the rug as much as the main motifs. I have a student who loves the “Magdelana” style of rug and I know why, simple yet calming in nature.
Hooked By Dorothy Walsh
One other thing that I took away from the study of the rug show is that I am ready to try a new rug style. I have never found I that I have my own style. My style changes with my moods. I now think I am ready to use more color and maybe even more abstract style of hooking. I do not think I would have even thought to change the type or style of rug I hook if I had not gone to the rug show for this inspiration.
Check out these sculptures! Sheila Arbogast has been teaching these critters and has patterns for them. If you think they are too much to try without a little encouragement and instruction, she is teaching at the SCRUB Hooking Camp in Sebring, Florida in January. The info and registration is under the SCRUB tab on the home page.
Sheila also teaches purses and pillows.
So if you are bored with something flat, see Sheila, she will get you thinking in 3 dimensions. Looks like a wonderful class...I might have to take it....
So good to get out of my rug hooking desert and visit a place where people hook!
Spent most of my time on my brother's farm. Took them the first chair seat to match the table runner I had hooked for Christmas for them.
I was out there weeding the blueberry bushes and thinning the beets. The mountain views were incredible in any direction. Yes, I was cold. They were in Tee shirts and shorts and I wore jeans and usually 2 shirts.
Yep, that's me on his antique John Deere tooling around the meadow. Didn't dare get past second gear.
But I found this wonderful lady not too far down the road with a wool mill. She is a fiber artist with the mill, leaving the corporate world behind. She weaves for the love of it and runs the mill obviously successfully with a year backlog. Susan Snider has run the mill since 2016 and knows everything about what she does. They run sheep wool, angora, alpaca, llama, and would probably try anything. It is all custom work. Your fleece can be 1 ply thread or crazy yarns, or roving or felt mats or whatever..
These machines make the yarn. If you don't want to stop at the roving stage, it spins the wool onto 12 bobbins at a time. The plyer can make a single ply for lace making into funky bulky ply yarns. The day we were there she was making single ply Angora as thin as thread for a customer making Angora lace.
She also has a retail area with looms, as well as dyed and undyed yarns (some for rug hooking or punching even!) , roving, and all kinds of stuff for weaving, needle felting, knitting,and spinning. She teaches workshops all the time.
Susan was such a joy to visit. We spent an hour of her "off" time as she gave my brother and I the grand tour, explaining the whole process. She may have even convinced him to consider raising sheep when he is ready to add critters to his farm.
Here are her details:
Mad River Fiber Arts and Mill
6163 Main St. Waitsfield, VT
www.madriverfibermill.com email: Susan@madriverwoolery and she is on Facebook
Closed on Sunday and Monday
Susan, thank you for being so gracious and spending the time with us.
Stopped to visit my sister, Laura, on the way back and made plans for the Maine Harvest Hook-In and Green Mountain show coming up soon. Designing new patterns and working on new displays. Can't wait to get back to VT in October!
Back in South Carolina now where my first day back I found (and killed of course) a water moccasin. For those of you who live where there are no snakes, the water moccasin, or cottonmouth) is a pit viper that is extremely poisonous.
Did you ever wonder why all SALE signs are red? Did you even for a split second be surprised by the red title I used? Color definitely talks to us. A choice in color can make our work fly or hide. The right placement and amount of color can make an immense difference. So let's just look at a few colors and what they can do.
Brown, Gray, and Sky Blue
This is post 9/11 New York. The color choices tell us what we want to believe. Browns bring out emotions of stability and comfort. Brown is used to warm the scene,and give it stability. It is the "down to earth" color. But it also suppresses emotion - like we shouldn't get too comfortable. Gray is a neutral- it quiets and composes. It also can depress a mood. But it is often used in advertising to convey maturation or timelessnesss. New York is still standing. Blue is always known as the color of loyalty. Sky blue actually can inspire trust and brings out the sense of freedom. Thank you to Laura Kenyon for letting us borrow her work.
Orange, Red, and Yellow
We already talked about the sky blue. Along with freedom, it can evoke joy like in Ann Rudman's little friend. Yellow is the color of happiness and optimism. That shouldn't be news to anyone but too much yellow can cause anxiety, especially if it is a bright yellow. She used bits of the high chroma yellow, but her gold background is still a yellow. Far from being overstimulating, it actually does induce relaxation. Pay attention to wall colors, we use a lot of creamy yellows and gold in our homes and businesses-the color of wealth! Red is used by advertisers to draw attention and inspire action, thus SALE! We all know that red is for passion, either anger or love. It is such a strong color that it is often used with a blue or orange tinge, not a true primary. It is an energizing color but can be overbearing and be perceived as violent. Orange is an interesting color; the combination of yellow and red. It is adventurous and optimistic. Orange is the color of encouragement. Advertisers know that it appeals to young people. It is used to express freedom and draw attention. Too much orange can denote self-indulgence and insincerity.
We love color! That is why we are selling hand-dyed wool on the Seaside website now. It is the same wool we have at shows, so you already know the quality of the Dorr wool we use as a base. Keep checking back at the site for new wool as we replace sold pieces.
Note: This is a reprint of the latest newsletter. If you haven't subscribed, add your email address to the bottom of the home page and we will send one about once a month.
Debra -In Living Color (remember where that phrase came from?)
There is a tiny greasy spoon called "Harold's" on the main drag on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. It is a staple for the locals in the winter and gets flooded with tourists once the golf season starts in March and straight through the beach season and back to the golf season ending in November. But no one goes there for the food,
They are there for the entertainment, There are only about 5 tables for two and a short counter, but people wait. As soon as the front door sign says , "Sorry, we're open" (really) they start stumbling in.
Behind the counter is Chuck, a redheaded young (compared to me) guy who owns the place. He is the world's worst host, but world's greatest Red Sox fan. Don't walk in with a Yankees ball cap on...it either comes off or you go hungry.
Chuck's favorite one liner goes like this: Almost every tourist is trying to get friendly so he can eat. So they say "Are you Harold?". His stock answer is a straight-faced, "No, Harold is dead". It cracks up the regulars every time.
Just thought I'd share a little background of how my Chuck's Diner came to be. Hope I got you to smile. I also have to brag a little since it is included with "Curb Your Dog" and many much nicer rugs by some great artists in Ellen Banker's new book, "Hooked on Words".
So here is the rug that I hooked to use up some of my precut worms left from other products. I named it "Dots and Dashes". For beginners, they often call it these rugs "Hit or Miss". The idea was to just pull the next strip out of the bag or basket and it would be the next strip to hook into the rug. But I'll let you in on a secret...I cheat, most of us do. if we don't like that strip we'll pull out a different one instead.
When I decided not to put a border on it. The long sides of the rug with the strips all going across gave me a detail that had to be addressed. The edges were all beginnings or ends of strips, a little raggedy.
So I thought I'd show you how to hide the strip ends. This technique comes in handy,not just at the edges, but when areas of a rug with directional hooking meet and the ends just look a little sloppy. Of course, there are those hookers whose work is magnificent who hide every end, but I'm just not like that.
Here is the edge. As you can see, the tails are between the first and second loops. Here is how it is done.
Hiding the tail at the beginning of a strip
Start the tail one thread inside the border. Hook "backward"- make the first loop at the edge line. Hook the second loop just past the tail then go ahead and trim the tail.
How to end a strip with the tail hidden
Hook to the end of the strip, leaving a little more wool than usual. Pull the tail through the second to last loop.
Trim the tail short and tuck it under the loop. Here is how the edge looks with some strips started and some strips ended.
So there is a new technique for you. You might not want to use it often but now you have a new trick in your arsenal.