Barn Owl with Moon - take 2.

Those of us who hook rugs find it amusing when someone asks if we actually put our rugs on the FLOOR and WALK on them!  Yes, we do.  Wool hooked onto a sturdy foundation can withstand many years of foot traffic. 

The second rug I ever designed and hooked depicted a barn owl sitting on a pumpkin with a large full moon low in the night sky. That rug had been on the floor in front of the kitchen sink for eleven years. Although the loops were somewhat flattened and it had a few stains, it was still in amazing shape.

Then it happened.

One of our dogs [I’m not naming names] had an accident on it. I picked up the rug, put it in a garbage bag, and took it out to the trash. I wasn’t upset with the dog at all. Stuff happens.

Deciding to re-hook that rug, I searched for the original pattern, but was unable to find it. Back to the drawing board I went and even added a couple of mice to the new design. I can’t wait to start hooking. I bought some beautiful dark, multi-colored, spot-dyed herringbone wool when I was at Sauder Village.  I’ll use it for the background. This new rug will be darker overall than the original.

I hope to have some good progress to show you next week. In the meantime, get your rugs out of the closet, lay them on the floor, and walk on them!

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the redesigning of an old rug.

  Barn Owl with Moon 2. Stay tuned.

Barn Owl with Moon 2. Stay tuned.

Oil and Water, the big finish.

The second hooked piece in my Mother Earth Speaks series is finished. This one titled, Oil and Water, represents the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, which was a truly devastating man-made ecological disaster.

After looking at many photos showing the massive oil spill on the water in the Gulf, I chose one for my model as I designed and color planned my piece. I spent a long time online trying to find the photographer [I had her name], but was unable to find where I could contact her. Because of that, I’m not posting her photograph.

This piece is 22” x 28” and is hooked mostly with a #8.5 cut of wool cloth on linen foundation. I also used many #8 cut noodles from my always-full noodle bin.  I also dug out a beautiful skein of sari silk in a variety of colors and added that here and there to add a bit of shine and a “bubble” effect.

I wanted an irregular shape for the border to add to the oil effect. I did my favorite binding technique with the excess linen folded up and basted around cotton cord and then whipped with some exquisite dyed yarn from Deanne Fitzpatrick.  I bought that skein of yarn when I went to a weekend workshop at Deanne’s studio about five years ago. I had never used it until now when it was the perfect yarn for this piece. As I’ve said before, having a good stash is worth its weight in gold.

My next project, after making a large custom pattern for a customer, will be to remake a rug from my pattern titled, Barn Owl with Moon. More on that next time.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in a stash containing some real treasures.

  Oil and Water, 22" x 28” wool cloth and sari silk on linen foundation. Designed and hooked by © Karen Larsen, Crow's Foot Farm Designs, LLC.

Oil and Water, 22" x 28” wool cloth and sari silk on linen foundation. Designed and hooked by © Karen Larsen, Crow's Foot Farm Designs, LLC.

  Finishing the irregular edge on Oil and Water.

Finishing the irregular edge on Oil and Water.

A book winner and projects completed.

I expected a great response to the book giveaway of Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs 28 [© 2018 Ampry Publishing LLC / Rug Hooking] and I wasn’t disappointed.

Thank you all for your comments and participation.  Congratulations to the lucky winner, Shannon, who said, “I would love to have such a great inspiration in my little hooking corner!" Shannon, I'll be contacting you for your mailing address. This book is just chock-full of eye candy!

My first priority after coming home from Sauder Village was to finish up the projects from the two workshops I took there.  One was an evening class with Nancy Z. Parcels, in which I learned how to make a brooch using wool quillies, buttons, and beads. It was a lot of fun and I now want to make more of these as gifts. My first attempt isn’t perfect, but you know what “they” say about practice…..

I also took a two-day workshop with Meryl Cook titled Hook a Healing Mat. In this class we worked with chakra colors and their meanings and how we can work with them. Some of us were working through personal issues and we vowed “what went on in class, stayed in class”. 

We each received Meryl’s 16” heart pattern drawn on linen as a starting point, but we were encouraged to make changes as we wanted. I made the center of mine a spiral that starts with the seventh chakra [the lavender/crown chakra] in the center and then spirals out to the first chakra [the red/root chakra]. We all wrote significant words around the outer edges of the linen that pertained to our issue. Since I decided to make my mat into a pillow, I embroidered the word “Own” on the back. That’s all I’ll say about my personal mat journey!

As always, being at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week is a full-immersion experience for me and it does take me a while to be fully back at home, both mentally, physically and emotionally. I think I’m home now.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the many facets of rug hooking experiences.

  My completed project made into a pillow and Meryl Cook's books as inspiration.

My completed project made into a pillow and Meryl Cook's books as inspiration.

  The back of my pillow with my key word in embroidery.

The back of my pillow with my key word in embroidery.

  I braided colorful Noro yarn to cover the pillow edges.

I braided colorful Noro yarn to cover the pillow edges.

  My quillie, button and bead pin made in Nancy Z. Parcels' workshop.

My quillie, button and bead pin made in Nancy Z. Parcels' workshop.

Celebration book giveaway.

As I get organized and back to hooking in my studio, I decided to do a book giveaway. I know you all love these as much as I do!

The book is Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs 28 [© 2018 Ampry Publishing LLC and presented by Rug Hooking Magazine]. This is the annual publication of the best rugs entered and chosen to be in Celebration. The variety of rugs is amazing and the talent is breath-taking.

Many of these rugs were on display at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week. I was there as a volunteer for Rug Hooking Magazine, so I had the fun of hanging the Celebration display. Up close and personal was a great place to be!

Not all rugs chosen as finalists were at Sauder Village, so this book is filled with even more beautiful rugs. It’s always the annual best of the best and a great book to have as inspiration for rug hookers everywhere.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in a collection of beautiful hooked rugs.

BOOK GIVEAWAY:  I am excited to have a give-away copy of Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs 28 [© 2018 Ampry Publishing LLC and presented by Rug Hooking].  To get your name in the drawing, please leave a comment on this blog post on my website.  [Below this blog post is the teeny tiny word “comment/s”. Click on that to open a space to type your comment.] Be sure to sign in to leave your comment, so I will have your email address to contact you if you win.  [Your email address will not be used for any other purpose].  The drawing will be held on Sunday, September 2, 2018 at Noon [EDT].  I will announce the lucky winner in my blog on Monday, September 3, 2018.  Good luck!

  Leave a comment below to get your name in the dye pot!

Leave a comment below to get your name in the dye pot!

Home again.

It was a very busy, exhausting, and FUN time at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week. 

This is the biggest rug hooking experience that I look forward to each year.  Thanks to Kathy Wright for her amazing organizational skills and to Deb Smith for allowing me to be an official Rug Hooking Magazine volunteer [along with Nancy Parcels].  We do have fun!

I’ll need a few days to decompress and digest all of the sights, rug hooking knowledge, new and old friends, etc. With that in mind this post is a short one.  I’ll just share a photo of the piece I had in the rug show. It is one I did as part of Lisanne Miller’s group project called, Landscape of Our Lives. My piece is titled, Shamanic Directions.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in a week crammed with all things rug hooking!

  Shamanic Directions, 24" diameter, wool cloth strips on linen foundation with embroidered elements on each quadrant, mounted on foam core backing.

Shamanic Directions, 24" diameter, wool cloth strips on linen foundation with embroidered elements on each quadrant, mounted on foam core backing.

On the road to Sauder Village.

Off I go today with Deb Smith for the always-exciting Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio.  The van is loaded with everything needed for the Rug Hooking Magazine booth, plus our bags, rugs, frames, wool - well, you get the idea.

During this week, I’ll try to post some photos from Sauder Village on my Crow’s Foot Farm Designs LLC Facebook page.  I’ll be taking a two-day workshop with Meryl Cook, called Hook a Healing Mat. And I’m excited to take Nancy Parcels’ evening class making a brooch.  Nancy is very talented making wearable art, so that will be fun!

I’m looking forward to seeing the Maud Lewis exhibit of rug adaptations of her painting AND some of her original art, as well.

Before hitting the road, a group of Magdalena Rug Hookers hung our rug show titled, Modern Magdalena, at the Landis House in Newport PA.  Our group did angel rugs and there are a variety of interpretations on that theme plus other rugs with different subject matter.

The opening reception was this past Friday and we had a nice turnout of community members. For those of you who live locally, the hours of the Landis House are Wednesday and Friday 1pm – 5pm and also the first Saturday of the month 1pm – 4pm.  The show will be up through November 3rd.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in this week of rug hooking fun.

  Hooker bling.

Hooker bling.

Oil spreading.

My Oil and Water piece is progressing in an organic way.  I don’t think I will know what it will look like until it is completely finished.  The colors and patterns are forming after looking at a number of photos of this man-made disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

As always, I have delved into my worm bin and have been able to use many precut wool strips. My goal isn’t to make a pretty picture. That would be impossible and a disservice to such a monumental environmental disaster. I’m even using a piece of primitive linen that had another design on the opposite side and some of the hooking done.  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Things are pretty busy around here these days.  Tomorrow a group of Magdalena Rug Hookers and I will be hanging our rug show at the Landis House in Newport, PA. The show, titled Modern Magdalena,  opens on Friday, August 10th and runs through the beginning of November.  The main theme of the exhibit is angels.  We have had fun interpreting the many kinds of angels all around us.

And then I leave for Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village next Monday.  I can’t wait to get there and rub elbows with so many excited and talented hookers.  Nancy Parcels and I will be volunteering to help out at the Rug Hooking Magazine booth with Deb Smith, so do stop and say hello if you’re there.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the busy times of rug hooking activities.

  Oil and Water in progress. 

Oil and Water in progress. 

Oil and Water.

There are natural disasters such as the Hawaiian volcano eruption and lava flow that I depicted in my recent piece, Pele Speaks, and then there are man-made disasters. 

My new piece for the Mother Earth Speaks series is titled, Oil and Water, and represents the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

On April 20, 2010 an explosion caused the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil-rig in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven people.  The BP pipe on the ocean floor gushed oil and gas for 87 days and released an estimated 3.19 million barrels of oil causing untold devastation on that region.

Some of the oil floated to the surface of the ocean, forming oil slicks, which spread by being pushed by winds. Some oil hovered, suspended, in the mid-water after rising from the wellhead. This oil mixed with dispersant, which, instead of breaking up the oil so it could wash away, allowed the oil to mix with seawater and stay suspended below the surface. About twenty percent of the oil sank to the ocean floor, damaging deep-sea corals and other ecosystems.

Of course many animals were impacted by this oil spill; fish, pelicans, turtles, dolphins, seabirds, to name just some.  I’m sure you remember the photos of animals covered with oil.  It had, and continues to have, a serious environmental impact in that area.

The overwhelming devastation of this man-made disaster made it difficult to design a hooked piece.  There was too much to depict, so I chose to hook a surface oil spill.  This piece will need added fibers after the hooking is finished.  I hope you will follow along.

There’s a lot of beauty out there, which needs to be protected.

  Having a good stash is crucial when planning a new piece. 

Having a good stash is crucial when planning a new piece. 

Summer is fading.

I know I’m wishing my life away, but I cannot wait until fall arrives.  There are signs that summer is beginning- just beginning- to fade a bit.  It has been hot and dry recently, which has made those signs more noticeable. 

I took a tour around the house and noticed a few changes.  The mulberries are all gone from the mulberry tree.  They were a big hit with deer, birds and some nocturnal animals, too.  Many of the perennials are looking a bit frazzled, but the bees are still working them.  Our vegetable garden has been a bust this year, but there is a good farmers market nearby.  We make do.  Our neighbors’ field was mowed and baled, which is a fun process to watch.  As always, vultures soared over the field looking for any small animals that were unable to outrun the mower.

Sewing has been on my agenda this past week.  I was going along really well with the curtains until my steam iron decided to start leaking and spitting rusty water on the white fabric.  I take care of my iron and never leave water sitting in it and I did clean it out before starting this project.  I guess I’ll have to invest in a new one.

My next Mother Earth Speaks project should be ready to go on the hooking frame by next week.  I have to rummage through my wool stash for colors.  This will be fairly colorful and might need a bit of shine with the use of sari silk. 

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the small signs of change all around us.

  Baling begins.  The color of the sky is amazing!

Baling begins.  The color of the sky is amazing!

  These are the BIG bales, which will be gathered up and taken away.

These are the BIG bales, which will be gathered up and taken away.

  I love Russian Sage and so do these big bees!

I love Russian Sage and so do these big bees!

  We always welcome our neighbors' guinea fowl, who eat ticks and other insects.  

We always welcome our neighbors' guinea fowl, who eat ticks and other insects.  

  Lucinda tried a selfie, but it's a bit out of focus.

Lucinda tried a selfie, but it's a bit out of focus.

Thumper guards the dye pot.

There were many of you who entered to win Ellen Banker’s new book, Hooked on Words [© 2018 Ampry Publishing LLC / Rug Hooking Magazine].  Thank you for all of your comments and enthusiasm.  It appears that I’m not the only rug hooker, who wants to improve her lettering skills.

Although Thumper is too short to reach into the dye pot, he kept a keen eye on the proceedings.  After much tossing and scrambling of the cards in the dye pot, the lucky winner was drawn out.  Robin Nalepa will be getting this book!  Her comment is, “Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!”  Congratulations, Robin, I’ll be contacting you for your mailing address.

There is an important sewing project that I’ll be working on for the next week or two, so rug hooking will have to wait.  I do have my next Mother Earth Speaks design in mind, so I’ll be ready to go as soon as the sewing is completed.

I’m still recovering from a wonderful week of having a house filled with family and friends.  Our son and granddaughter’s visit was busy and fun and the annual cornhole party went off without a hitch. Perfect weather!

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the time spent with family and friends.

  Thumper is making sure the drawing is fair and square!

Thumper is making sure the drawing is fair and square!

Hooked on Words.

The latest book I’m excited to give away is Hooked on Words, by Ellen Banker [©2018 Ampry Publishing LLC and Rug Hooking Magazine].

Even though I worked in the typesetting and lettering biz many moons ago, I resist hooking words. If anyone can turn around my hooked lettering phobia, it’s Ellen Banker!

This is such a fun book filled with Ellen’s colorful, fun, and imaginative designs as well as similar designs by other fiber artists.  Where to begin? 

Ellen says that it’s important to “match your typeface to your message”. She gives examples of how and why to choose a particular typeface. She also shows how to develop your own unique type style. In Ellen’s designs, the lettering is an important part, and sometimes the only part, of the overall design. Her creativity stuns me.

There is an intriguing chapter focusing on Bev Conway’s “secret messages” that can be hooked into your rug and only seen from the back of the rug. How cool is that?

Hooked on Words is filled with so many color photos of rugs by many hooking artists that you’re sure to be inspired. I know I am.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the many ways to hook words.

Would you like a chance to win a copy of this book?  Here’s how:

BOOK GIVEAWAY:  I am excited to have a give-away copy of Hooked on Words, by Ellen Banker[© 2018 Ampry Publishing LLC and Rug Hooking Magazine].  To get your name in the drawing, please leave a comment on this blog post on my website.  [Below this blog post is the teeny tiny word “comment/s”. Click on that to open a space to type your comment.] Be sure to sign in to leave your comment, so I will have your email address to contact you if you win.  [Your email address will not be used for any other purpose].  The drawing will be held on Sunday, July 15, 2018 at Noon [EDT].  I will announce the lucky winner in my blog on Monday, July 16, 2018.  Good luck!

  Enter for a chance to win Ellen Banker's new book!

Enter for a chance to win Ellen Banker's new book!

Pele Speaks.

Pele Speaks is finished. It’s the first piece in my newly created Mother Earth Speaks series. Pele Speaks is 24” x 44”, wool cloth strips and wool yarn on linen foundation.

I’ve learned some things about lava while creating this piece, such as the names of different kinds of lava. See my blog from last week if you missed that.

This week, I’d like to discuss the goddess Pele, otherwise known as Pelehonuamea. She is the goddess “who shapes the sacred land”. As she devours the Big Island, she is creating new land at the same time. In my shamanic studies, the goddess of the South, land of heat and fire, is She who creates life and death. This certainly describes Pele.

There are many folk tales about this fiery goddess. She can appear as a young woman or an old woman, sometimes accompanied by a white dog. Her image can show up in photos of the lava lake within the crater or molten lava flows. She may be a woman dressed in white, who appears and then disappears. She is revered and respected.

Travelers to Hawaii are warned against taking home any lava rock, which is a sacred piece of the fire goddess. Bad luck will befall anyone who removes it from Pele’s home.

Those of you of a “certain age” like me, might remember way back to 1972 when there was an episode of The Brady Bunch about the family’s trip to Hawaii. The boys gain possession of a small carved tiki, which they think is a fun souvenir, but it quickly brings them all kinds of bad luck. They wise up and put the tiki back where they found it. Lesson learned.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the fiery goddess, Pelehonuamea.

P.S.  Come back next week when I’ll be doing a BOOK GIVEAWAY. I know you love these as much as I do!

  Pele Speaks, wool cloth strips and yarn on linen foundation. Designed and hooked by Karen Larsen, Crow's Foot Farm Designs, LLC ©2018.

Pele Speaks, wool cloth strips and yarn on linen foundation. Designed and hooked by Karen Larsen, Crow's Foot Farm Designs, LLC ©2018.

  A close up of the hooked yarn billowy pahoehoe lava.

A close up of the hooked yarn billowy pahoehoe lava.

Lava.

Since I’m hooking Hawaiian lava, I was interested to find out if there are names for different types of lava. To my surprise, there are.

In the photo of Hawaiian lava by Leigh Hilbert that I’m using with permission for my Pele Speaks piece, there is what looks like two kinds of lava, but having read and looked at photos, I now believe it is the same kind called, pahoehoe [pronounced ‘paw-hoey-hoey’] - a nice Hawaiian name for it.

Pahoehoe lava is the second most abundant type. It’s characterized by a smooth, billowy, or ropy surface produced by its low velocity and air-cooled surface, which is not disrupted during flow.  In the photo, the striated and billowy pahoehoe lava can be easily seen.

Another kind of lava with a Hawaiian name is a’a [pronounced ‘ah-ah’]. This type has a very rough surface with loose fragments formed as the lava is pulled apart and twisted during flow.

There is another type called pillow lava, which is formed under water.  But enough science for today.

This past week I finished hooking the hot lava section and went on to hook in some dark grey foundation for the billowy lava, which I will hook with a variety of yarns. Before I start hooking with yarn, I steam blocked the piece and covered one side of the gripper strips on my frame, so I won’t pull out the yarn as I hook.  I don’t do much hooking with yarn, so this will be interesting.

I can’t wait to see how this looks and hope to finish it by week’s end.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the amazing forms of nature all around us.

  Pele Speaks is ready for the billowy lava to flow.

Pele Speaks is ready for the billowy lava to flow.

  Photo of Hawaiian lava by Leigh Hilbert, used with permission.

Photo of Hawaiian lava by Leigh Hilbert, used with permission.

Flowing.

I’m flowing right along with my Pele Speaks piece.  Using a nice wide #8.5 cut does help and I’m almost finished with the hot lava section.  I have been using many of my orange and orange/yellow wools, mixing them to create movement.  I’ve spent many happy hours in my studio.

The weather has turned HOT, which is hard on my cold-weather-loving self.  I hope it won’t interfere with my momentum on this hooked piece.  I’d like to finish it before the end of the month and before our son and granddaughter arrive for a visit in early July.  Their visit, and our annual cornhole tournament, will be my sole focus then. 

I have an idea for the next piece in my Mother Earth Speaks series.  I’ll share that with you when I’m ready to begin.  Another one is also forming in my mind and I have asked my sister-in-law, who lives on Cape Cod, to help gather some of the materials.  I’ll leave it a mystery for now.

We had almost no spring this year, just cooler temps and lots of rain, so our gardens are not up to speed yet.  My husband, the gardener, told me my favorite flowers, the Red Hot Pokers, are kaput.  Rotten roots, probably from all the rain.  That is sad.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and I will be patient and wait for the flowers to bloom.

  The lava is flowing....

The lava is flowing....

  When I hook the dark, puddled lava at the top in this photo,it will really make the lave pop!

When I hook the dark, puddled lava at the top in this photo,it will really make the lave pop!

Interpreting.

My project, Pele Speaks, is coming along.   I finished the lighter grey striated area.  There must be eight or nine different wools in it.  The amazing thing is that I had a two-gallon zip bag stuffed full of grey cut noodles/worms and although I used those with only a few newly cut strips, the bag is still half full.  As all rug hookers know, those worms reproduce overnight.  No matter how optimistic one is about using them up, they never go away.  I guess that’s not all that bad.  A worm in just the right color is handy to have when hooking.

As you can see from the photo below, I’ve begun the orange lava area.  I do have a nice array of orange wool.  Orange is one of my favorite colors.  It’s a power color that indicates Creative Energy.  This area will need to be hooked, looked at, and then tweaked.  Although the lava is flowing in a linear way, if you look at the photo [used with permission from Leigh Hilbert] you can see that there are ridges formed perpendicular to the flow.  My hooking is in the direction of these ridges.

My series, Mother Earth Speaks, has been occupying my thoughts recently.  There are a couple of ideas swimming around in my head.  I’m interested in mixed media pieces using wool, found objects, etc.  Thinking of how to interpret ideas is fun.  Making those ideas happen will be the challenge.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the images formed by one’s mind.

  The hot orange of lava.

The hot orange of lava.

  Image of Hawaiian lava © Leigh Hilbert

Image of Hawaiian lava © Leigh Hilbert

Translating.

My new piece, which I have titled, Pele Speaks, is 24” x 44”.  It is the first piece in my new series, Mother Earth Speaks.  I’m excited to get immersed in something that is purely creative.  There will be no pattern of it to sell.  That’s not the point of doing this.  It’s the journey, not so much the destination.  As Mother Nature speaks, new pieces will be added to the series.

I really love this photograph of Hawaiian lava flow, which I am adapting with permission from nature photographer, Leigh Hilbert.  [Check out Leigh’s site here.] What drew me to this image are the three very distinct areas of texture.  The lighter grey area is striated, the darker grey area has a puddle-like look to it, and the hot orange flowing lava looks like a living creature.  I suppose in a way, it is.

Adapting a photographic image into a completely different medium presents fun challenges.  There is no way I want to try to replicate the photo.  What would be the point of that?  It’s deciding how to suggest the different textures with wool strips and probably some yarn and other materials.  I seem to have lots of grey wool and a large amount of already cut grey wooly worms.  I’m purposely using a variety of cuts ranging from #7 to #9 to add to the uneven striations in the lighter grey area.

This is a fairly large piece and it will use up lots of my wool.  Believe it or not, that is what I want to do.  Like many rug hookers, I tend to hoard wool.  I like to look at it and imagine what I can do with it.  Well, this project will use up lots of greys and oranges.  One can always buy more wool.

I know I will have lots more to say about Pele Speaks in the coming weeks.  I hope you will join me.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the images of nature all around us.

  Many medium and light greys are being used. I may experiment sewing some grey yarn among the wool strips, but that will have to wait until the piece is almost finished.

Many medium and light greys are being used. I may experiment sewing some grey yarn among the wool strips, but that will have to wait until the piece is almost finished.

  Different wools, different cuts, and an uneven hooking technique [my usual style] will create movement and texture.

Different wools, different cuts, and an uneven hooking technique [my usual style] will create movement and texture.

A new series.

I have completed my super secret project and I’m ready to start something new.  As I was finishing up this project, using Tracy Jamar’s excellent book, Coils, Folds, Twists, and Turns [©2017 Stackpole Books], I was inspired to continue using standing wool and other elements in my next project.  I was having fun and that was motivating!

Nature has always been an important part of my life. I’m even contemplating doing not just one piece, but a series of projects about the Earth and the beautiful, scary, exciting, wondrous, and sad events that are part of Mother Nature’s panoply. I might name the series, Mother Speaks. I’m picturing a variety of materials used with and without rug hooking.

When I lived in Maine, I did a weekly live radio show called, Earthtones, on community radio station WERU-FM.  It was a nature-based show featuring indigenous, new age, world, and ambient music along with readings from works by nature writers.  There was even a live bird report by my pal, Birdman Bob.  I did the show for almost nine years and it was honestly the most fun I’ve ever had.  So, why shouldn’t fiber art be just as exciting and fun to me? 

The first project I’m planning will reflect the mesmerizing, and pretty terrifying volcanic eruptions in Hawaii.  The lava flows are amazing with colors so vivid they don’t seem real.  I found a photograph that I’d like to adapt and have received permission from the photographer, Leigh Hilbert.  I’m excited to get started!  Follow along as I decide how to adapt this photo with wool and other elements.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the many faces of Mother Nature.

  This photo of Hawaiian lava flow is my inspiration, used with permission from © Leigh Hilbert.

This photo of Hawaiian lava flow is my inspiration, used with permission from © Leigh Hilbert.

  I cannot wait to start creating with these beautiful wools and yarns.  And maybe other elements, too.

I cannot wait to start creating with these beautiful wools and yarns.  And maybe other elements, too.

On a roll.

After a few false starts, I’m having fun working on my super secret project.  Like many of my projects, one thing leads to another and I follow the breadcrumbs until I get to the end.  I think it’s fine to share a few things as I go along, such as a creative resource that is proving invaluable.

This resource is the book, Coils, Folds, Twists, and Turns by Tracy Jamar [© 2017 Stackpole Books].  Do you have this book?  It is filled with amazing techniques and ideas for all sorts of projects.  I wrote a review of it, which you can read here.

The photo below shows my standing wool quillies, which will be part of the project.  This is not really a hooking project, but as we rug hookers know, anything made with wool is fair game.  I’ve torn 1 ½” strips and folded them before rolling.  I like the soft edge this gives.

I’m still deciding what else to start hooking.  Sometimes I come to a pause and have to wait for inspiration.  Maybe I’ll jump right into a Halloween project.  It’s always the right time for Halloween, isn’t it? Or there are always the ferns and fiddleheads that are waiting.

There's a lot of beauty out there and in playing with wool.

book2.jpg

Micro-mini knitting.

I had a wonderful time in Oregon last week.  As usual, I took very few photographs.  I prefer to “live in the moment” and experience things as they happen.  That’s my excuse, anyway.  Suffice it to say, the weather was fantastic, and fun was had by all.

Having finished the Cinco de Mayo wedding gift rug, I find myself in a bit of a quandary deciding what to do next.  While I ponder that, I’ve been doing some micro-mini knitting.  I’ve made quite a few of these tiny beaded bags, which are decorative necklaces.  The size of the bag itself is 2” tall by 3” wide. 

Stringing the beads onto the cotton crochet thread is the most tedious part of the process. Once that is done, knitting the tiny bag on the size 0000 needles [essentially metal toothpicks!] goes much faster.  These two beaded bags are intended as gifts.

My super secret project is underway and I might share a few close-up photos as I go along, so the entire project will remain a secret.  It will be fun and something that I haven’t done before. 

The weather has finally turned the corner and some springtime chores are getting tackled here at Crow’s Foot Farm.  I washed the windows in my studio and put in the screens, so I can enjoy the warm breezes as I work. 

My hens are enjoying having their big window open now.  All of the winterizing has been removed.  I still have to clean the hen house, which is a major undertaking.  I’m delaying that chore a bit until an overcast and not-too-hot day presents itself.

How is your springtime progressing?  

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in preparing for the warmer months ahead.

  Almost finished knitting beaded bag number two.  

Almost finished knitting beaded bag number two.  

Cinco de Mayo.

Today’s blog is a bit brief as I returned very late last night from a trip to Oregon to visit my son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter Lucy.  I had such a wonderful time!  I only see them once or twice a year, but knowing that they live in such a beautiful place with outdoor nature-focused activities available year-round makes me happy that their life out there is a good one.

Oregon is incredibly beautiful with many diverse ecosystems.  I’ve been to the Columbia River Gorge, which has a major waterfall and a rainforest feel to it.  There are many vineyards, which produce excellent pinot noir, my personal favorite wine. There is a rugged coast with beaches and also a desert area, which I have not seen yet.  I will share some photos next week. 

Before my trip, I finished and delivered the Cinco de Mayo rug, which was a wedding gift for friends of my daughter.  I really went bright and happy with it, including gift-wrapping it with a piece of thin, brightly dyed wool and tying it with rainbow ribbon.

There’s a lot of beauty out there in Oregon and also in a gift for a happy occasion. 

  I chose a happy design with lots of color.  I don't know about you, but I think anything Mexican needs sugar skulls!

I chose a happy design with lots of color.  I don't know about you, but I think anything Mexican needs sugar skulls!

  I did my favorite binding method with cord whipped in place with wool yarn.  I used one strand each of dark blue and purple for interest and even more eye-candy!

I did my favorite binding method with cord whipped in place with wool yarn.  I used one strand each of dark blue and purple for interest and even more eye-candy!

  Here it is all ready to go carrying much love and happiness to the wedding couple.

Here it is all ready to go carrying much love and happiness to the wedding couple.