Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Progress on Mat

Here's a picture of my current project. Actually, I have done abit more than is showing in this photo. It's coming along and I am enjoying the relaxing process. I have a real appreciation for this new art.

Well, spring is slowly coming to the west coast and my garden is beginning to pop out of the snow, one rock at a time. We have been very lucky as since February, we haven't had much snow and we dodged the snow that the Maritimes received yesterday.

Monday, March 30, 2009

West Coast Crafters

I was invited to meet with the West Coast Crafters Group on Sunday. I was blown away by the talent of fibre artists on the west coast of Newfoundland. I was made to feel very welcome but truthfully, I am amateur in comparison.

I don't think for one minute that it is easy making your living through artistic venues. And I don't think that the population at large realizes how labour intensive it is nor, do they realize the passion that these artists have in their areas of interests.

I feel humbled by the talent I saw. I had pictures to post today but somehow, they have disappeared into the great void. I did work on the chickens and they are coming along nicely.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring's To Do List!

This morning, there is a hint of spring in the air. It makes me think of my spring to do list.

1) Wash both vehicles( note to self: find hose first)
2) Clean inside of both vehicles.
3) Take off winter tires.
4) Put winter tires away.
5) Look at gardening books.
6) Try to find garden under snow.
7) Break up snow and ice to accelerate melting process.
8) Take down plastic on front deck.
9) Find dog poop covered by snow.
10) Take a rest first and have a cup of tea on deck.

Yes, this weekend I am going to think about the spring jobs but first and foremost, a nice cup of tea and some chillin' time!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I am simply blown away by some of the examples of rug hooking. This beautiful picture was on Gene's blog today and it is amazing. The lion, not even finished, almost looks so realistic that you can hear it breathing.

I received my two reference books from my NS friend, Susan and they are great. I couldn't resist diving into Deanne's Fitzpatrick's-Hook Me A Story. Because I have listened to both her videos on youtube, the book came alive and I could almost hear her voice reading the words. I even picked up a great tip about yarns!

I eventually I put the books down and took time with my chickens-the sad little dears. It gives me hope that someday, I pray, that I have even half the skills of all my hooking pals.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Too Tired...

Last night, I was too tired to even look at my latest project. It was one of those nights that I needed sleep more than I needed my new hobby. Sometimes, it feels like you hit a brick wall now and then, especially as we all get older.

Years ago, I could go on and on, like the energizer bunny but those days are sadly gone, I guess?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

And the beat goes on...

Actually, I was able to finish off the first chicken last night, but here is a picture of it prior to last night's hooking. It is amazing in photographs you can study them and see where you would like to make improvements. My Easter eggs are not shaped oval enough but I am learning as I go.

In the Western Star on Saturday past, was a large full page article on rug hooking in Western Newfoundland. Nice to see that there is such growing interest in this ancient art. Even a picture of Molly who I bought my first pattern from in Woody Point.

It is hard to learn an art in relative isolation, but I have done this many times before. I am able to obtain some really good techniques and tips from my fellow bloggers and from the various reference sources. Some things I still have alot of trouble with; like getting the direction of the wool correct and with the appropriate effect and of course, shading and colour usage.

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Pattern

I was not happy with the inukshuk pattern for several reasons. Although, it was very well drawn, it was too small and also, it needed better colours and shading than I was ready for. It was ripped out and put away for the moment.

I had purchased some Scottish burlap and was ready for drawing my first pattern. Somewhere I had seen a simple picture of chickens and a fence. I drew it out and then, off to Staples to have it enlarged to about 11 by 17. Nervously, I traced the pattern on the Red Dot and then, transferred it to the piece of burlap I had cut and zigzaged. I was quite pleased with the results.

Although, I had a busy weekend with cleaning catch up and my second Day Job, I did have time for rug hooking and started the new pattern. With the help of a book that I bought at Amazon on basic rug hooking, I was off to a fine start. I am using wool yarn and strips in a bit of a mixed media style.

Susan sent some fine examples of rug hooking and I was drooling abit over them as they are spectacular. She has some wonderful tips and the experience of many years of rug hooking.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring has sprung?

Well, maybe in the mainland but certainly not in Corner Brook. After yesterday's rain, came a freeze up overnight.

I am truly looking forward to the weekend. A bit of a busy day today but thoughts drifting as usual to the new hobby. It is truly amazing how many wonderful artists can meet in chance encounters. I purchased two beautiful books on eBay from a wonderful rug hooker, Susan. She showed me two pictures of hers and they are so beautiful. Just like Deanne, her pictures have touching stories attached to them.

Susan is living in another of Canada's secret treasures, Cape Breton Island. How often, when we get off the ferry in North Syndey, driving down the highway, just passed Baddeck, I will think I could live there...so easily.

This weekend, I am going to try my hand at drawing my own pattern. Pretty simple, primitive style, with a couple of chickens thrown in. I have to earn my wings in rug hooking and unlike, Susan and Deanne, I have miles to go in my learning.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Design Considerations

What do you do to overcome the lack of skill in the design area and still produce quality rugs? Well, I am challenged when it comes to drawing! Talk about primitive, you bet!!And worse than a kindergarten child. I overcame my drawing inability when doing cross stitching as there is a wonderful software package I bought a few years ago, which converts any picture into a graph complete with colour keys.

Although, I have thought about using that software package to design rugs, I haven't yet. In the meantime, another great idea came to me. I took stained glass classes several years ago and I wondered if the simplistic patterns in glass could possibly translate into rug design? I think so!

There are some wonderful sites on the internet complete with free patterns. Remember my inukshuk? I am not happy with the design and more than that, I am not happy with my shading ability at this point in learning. Here's what I am going to do!

Rip it...Rip it out and using the other side of the fabric, I am going to redesign it into something simple like Mr. Puffin head! Of course, this will not be until some time on the weekend as usual the Day Job has precedence.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

No where else in Canada, is St. Patrick's Day so revered, than right here in Newfoundland. At one time, more than 90% of the island, could trace their roots back to the emerald isle. Some to orange and some to green.

It is freezing this morning and we awoke to minus 20 degrees. But usually, St. Patrick's Day, it snows or rains, but not this year. Also, looking good to not have Shelagh's Brush this year. A storm just before or just after St. Patrick's Day.

A tip of the hat to all the Irish wherever you may be!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Countdown to Spring

It is hard to believe only 4 days to spring looking out from Gilliams Beach on the North Shore of the Bay of Islands. This is the time of year of brilliant sunshine and glittering ice.

I received a rug hooking basic skills book that I ordered from Amazon and looking at some of the pictures, I realized that I definitely need more skills! I started the inukshuk on the weekend and right now, it looks somewhat like a man looming on the icy shore. I need to get the colours and shading right and so much to learn from my list of hooking experts.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Where have all the Hookers gone?

This is a beautiful hooked rug, isn't it? Part of my routine during my morning break at the Day Job, is to go to the blogs of various hookers around the world and see what they are up to. The silence is deafening these days, and I am wondering just where all the hookers have gone?

With the spring on the horizon, everyone must be busy with other things. Of course, we on the east coast went from +3 to -15 in the same day, so spring is still some distance away. But we are hopeful, for sure.

I finished off the mug rugs and will probably bind all 6 of them on the weekend, but I will also be starting the next project. I am already working on my first pattern, well, in my head anyway.

Have a great day to all fellow hookers!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Mother's Love

Why are our Mothers so important to us? I believe it is that invisible umbilical cord that never goes away. The tie between Mothers and Daughters can be loving, abrasive and strong, all at the same time.

Who else knows what your voice sounded like when you spoke your first word? Who else was there when you took your first step or the first day of school. Let's appreciate our Mothers every day because there's no one like them!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What makes you happy?

I thought that the subject of what makes people happy is simple. But when I sat down to make my own personal list, it was hard to decide what goes first, along with what makes my list in the first place.

20 Things that make my Happy List

1) Time spent with my family
2) All my little fur and feather friends I have ever had.
3) Fibre arts of any sort.
4) Sunny days.
5) A glass of good wine.
6) A good meal shared with special people.
7) A long drive.
8) Walks by the sea.
9) New projects.
10) A problem solved.
11) Starry evenings by the fire pit.
12) A good story.
13) A good laugh.
14) Beautiful music
15) My garden in full bloom.
16) Beautiful rocks.
17) Rainy days in the summer.
18) Wild birds and animals.
19) Good health.
20) Learning something new.

What makes you happy?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Not much..

Not much happening at this end in the way of rug hooking. I have been busy with the Day Job which hasn't left much time for the hobbies.

Anyway, the sun is shining and the snow is abating, so spring is not very far behind. I only have one mug rug to complete. I have to tell you that I was disappointed with the quality of this kit. I purchased it through eBay and was not a bad price. However, as soon as I opened it and sorted out the wool strips, I knew that I was going to come up short on some colours.

Also, the mug rugs are so close together; less than 1/2 inch of fabric between them, that there won't be much in the way of salvage edging when it comes time to separate them. I will have to come up with some alternate finish but thanks to seeing some great examples on several hooking sites, I will be just fine.

By the way, I was able to match some wool that I had to the original colours where I was short, and you can't really see much difference. My morale of this story, is I won't be buying anymore kits on eBay. The next project is lined up on the lapframe and is an inukshuk and an iceberg. Following the completion of these patterns, I will strike out in the design world on my own.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Only in Newfoundland!

Here is the gripper strip for my new lapframe. As soon as the lapframe is ready, I will display it.

I have a funny story to share. This weekend, Pauline and I needed help to move a television. It is very, very heavy and although, we thought we might be able to move it, we decided to get help. I suggested N.P who had helped us one time before. So we looked up his telephone number in the telephone book.

NP wasn't at home, so Pauline left a detailed message with Mrs.P, telling the lady who she was and what was needed. NP returned the call about 10 minutes later, and said he would be right over.

Pauline met him in the driveway and brought him into the basement. She was laughing and I said to her where's NP? The man said he's NP! Can you imagine that there are two NPs in Meadows and Pauline got the wrong one in the telephone book!

What is the best part of my little story is that the wrong NP helped us move the television anyway! Only in Newfoundland, could this happen. By the way, we are still laughing about this mix up and I bet NP is still scratching his head too!

This is one of those moments we would never forget and neither will NP!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Be Still

How many times do we take a moment to be still? To have nothing on in the background. No radio, no television, no computer. Just some time to be still in our souls.

Too often today, we are bombarded by the distraction of everyday life. Sometimes, on the drive into work or on the way home, I turn off the radio and just listen to the hum of the tires and even, then, it seems too loud.

Imagine what the world was like before there were so many people and so much noise. Imagine just hearing the rustling of the wind in the trees, the sound of water in the brooks and the birds. You could hear someone walking miles away. Now, we have so much noise and no time to hear the stillness in our hearts.

I will take a moment this weekend to take some time, to be still.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


My mother said to me a few years ago, that life is made up of moments. I think she was right. Moments that you remember forever, moments that are forgotten forever. All just moments in the clock of time.

That's what I was thinking on my short drive into the day job. And it struck me how many moments are wasted and forgotten in one's life. And how a split second of a moment, can change your life forever.

I spent some nice moments last evening finishing off the mug rugs and setting up the next project. Now, there are some moments that I enjoyed!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Day Job

Here I am at the Day Job. You see all the ads of quitting your day job and working from your home. I always remind myself of the fact if it sounds too good, it probably is too good to be true.

I have always had a Day Job except for a brief time when health matters took precedence. I have been able to keep things in perspective. Day Job supports hobbies and other things like expenses. I follow the blogs of different artists and crafters trying to make a living from their hobbies and it is extremely hard, if not impossible. Even Mozart and Michelangelo had to once in awhile, take on a paying job that didn't necessarily fit in with their music and art passions.

It seems in life that people always long to do the things they aren't doing, while busy doing other things. It is our nature, I suppose. Let's be open to the present and true happiness, is wanting what you already have.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rain, Rain!

This is a picture from the Pynn's Brook webcam looking towards Deer Lake. I awoke to heavy rain this morning. Right now, the sun is trying to come out for a visit and is fighting with the clouds to do so.

The power was out for five hours and that meant a disturbed sleep as I had to get up at 3am to reset the clocks and more importantly, the coffee pot. I rarely need the alarm to wake up, ever. It is a gift, I guess.

I didn't do any rug hooking last night as Monday evening always seems to be a taking-it-easy type of day. I really enjoy the effort of keeping my blog current as it is a journal of my everyday life. I also enjoy that my mother looks in to see what "her curly top" is doing. Mothers! No matter how old their children are, they always seem to see them in terms of childhood memories! Gotta love them.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Next Project!

I started my next project which is a set of six "Mug Rugs" or coasters. The colours are quite nice and it is using wool strips.

Yesterday, I was able to visit a craft exhibit outside of the Pepsi Centre while the ECMAs were on here in Corner Brook. I got to meet Molly, the incredible rug hooker from Woody Point, Shawn, the wool designer/knitter and Urve, the wonderful glass creator. These three women are all extraordinary artists in their individual areas.

Meeting with Molly was informative and I realized in my few minutes with her, just how many mistakes I had made with my first project. Her pieces were absolutely gorgeous and she too, prefers using wool yarn. I will certainly be attending her classes this summer!

Pauline has made me a wonderful lapframe and this one with a hoop and large working area. She is going to make another one octogon shaped and with gripper strips that I ordered. I really like using the lapframe as it frees up both hands and with Pauline's design, I can tilt the frame in almost any direction.

Freezing rain and rain coming today but at least, you don't have to shovel it.