UFOs and other sightings.

Happy April Fools Day.  The UFOs I reference are the Un-Finished Objects type, not the Roswell, New Mexico ones.  I seem to have a few knitting projects waiting to be finished.  And somewhere there is an embroidery project begging to see the light of day.   UFOs can feel overwhelming at times, so I will choose one at a time and plug away.

Another amazing sighting is the mosaic, “The Witching Hour”, created by my talented friend, Josephine Alexander.  We had our hooked rug/mosaic exchange at Breakfast Club last Friday and her mosaic is even more impressive in person!  It will be hung in the hallway, so everyone who enters can admire it.  For right now, it’s sitting on the antique cupboard until the hubby can get it hung on the wall.  I will do a bit of redecorating in that area to highlight this masterpiece.  Be sure to check out Jo’s amazing mosaics on Facebook under her business page, Grandmother Moon Mosaics.  Her still lifes, flowers, goddesses, and chubby mermaids are beautiful.

I am making progress on a super-secret hooking project.  And there’s another secret one that I have to design and hook.  They don’t help when I want something to blog about.  I think I will start my next piece in my Mother Earth Speaks series.. It will be a man-made disaster this time.  And what a sad disaster it is!  Stay tuned.

Spring has sprung around Crow's Foot Farm with chirping birds, spring peepers, daffodils, and increased wild animal sightings.  I hope you’re seeing lots of signs of new life where you live.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the gifts of nature and friends.

The Witching Hour 24” x 34” mosaic by Josephine Alexander of Grandmother Moon Mosaics.

The Witching Hour 24” x 34” mosaic by Josephine Alexander of Grandmother Moon Mosaics.

The Witching Hour 24” x 34” mosaic by Josephine Alexander of Grandmother Moon Mosaics.

The Witching Hour 24” x 34” mosaic by Josephine Alexander of Grandmother Moon Mosaics.

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.

Binding a Resistance Rug.

I finally finished hooking my rug titled, Women’s March 01-21-17.  It is a tessellation of pussycat hats in various shades of pink to honor the Women‘s March last January.  I knitted at least seven of these hats last year and some made it to the march in Washington DC.  It was a small way for me to participate in what was the largest and most peaceful march in US history.  It was also a march around the entire globe!

This rug has a couple of feminist buttons pinned on it and I will be looking for a few more to add to it.  It also has some velvet, sari silk, and strips of other colors that were donated by rug hooking friends, who wanted to contribute to my effort.

I wanted to do a different binding combining a cord edge with a crocheted outer edge using some bright pink yarn left over from one of the knitted hats I made.  After steaming the rug, I laid it right side up and arranged the cord [I use cotton clothes line] next to the outermost row of hooking and whipped it in place with dark red-violet wool yarn [I give a nod to Nancy Parcels' multi-cord edging technique here].  I then trimmed the excess linen to 1 ½” all around, folded it in towards the cord two times and then started to crochet.  This didn’t create the coverage I wanted, so I decided to whip around the rug with the yarn using a blanket [or buttonhole] stitch.  This created a nice beaded edge. 

Now I will continue hooking my Down to Earth2 round meditation mat and begin a super secret rug for a group project.  So much to do!

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in details that make a hooked rug special.

A whipped cord and a buttonhole stitch whipping make a special finish on this rug.

A whipped cord and a buttonhole stitch whipping make a special finish on this rug.

The finished rug and a great book filled with Women's March images from around the world.

The finished rug and a great book filled with Women's March images from around the world.

Another book giveaway!

Yes, it’s true. I love doing book giveaways and there are so many exciting new books on the market!

I’m going to give away TWO copies of the just released new book titled, Needle Felted Tapestries by Neysa Russo [© 2017 Stackpole Books]. For those of you who love to needle felt and those who would love to learn how, this is a book filled with designs, ideas, and all the practical information you need.

In her book, Neysa has included not only how-to information on her variety of two- and three-dimensional projects, but she also gives directions on how to wet felt wool and exactly what tools you need. She even suggests how you can make some of the tools to make your projects picture perfect.

The designs and projects in this book are really charming.  Neysa gets some of her inspiration from antique textiles, samplers, embroidery, needlepoint, and Middle East rug designs. I can imagine many of them not only as needle felted pieces, but also as hooked rugs.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the creative designs and needle felted process of Neysa Russo.

BOOK GIVEAWAY:  I am excited to have TWO copies of Needle Felted Tapestries- Make Your Own Woolen Masterpieces, by Neysa Russo [©2017 Stackpole Books] to give away.  To get your name in the drawing, please leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post on my website.  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, April 23, 2017 at Noon [EDT].  I will announce the lucky winner in my blog on Monday, April 24, 2017. Good luck!

Get your name in the dye pot for a chance to win this new book!

Get your name in the dye pot for a chance to win this new book!

A book winner and why "Art is more than just pretty pictures".

What a great response to my giveaway of the new book, Coils, Folds, Twists, and Turns by Tracy Jamar [© 2017 Stackpole Books].  This is truly an exiting book and I know the lucky winner will be as inspired by it as I have been.  It has given me a creative idea for my next super secret rug.

The winner is [drum roll please…] CINDY, who said, “Looks like an exciting fiber book. Thanks for the opportunity to win!  Congratulations, Cindy, I will contact you for your mailing address and have this book sent your way.

I have hooked more of my Resistance Rug and will do the background at Susan Feller’s Retreat Into the Mountains [WV] this coming weekend. I’m looking forward to this relaxing and rejuvenating weekend spent with other creative rug hookers.

Apparently, posting a photo of my Resistance Rug on one Facebook rug hooking group may have offended some people and it was taken off.  I’m not upset by that, just disappointed. and a bit confused.  “Art is more than just pretty pictures”, as I often have said.  I actually think my Resistance Rug is pretty attractive.

One example of this is Picasso’s, Guernica [1937], which I saw many years ago in NYC.  It is probably Picasso's most famous work and political statement.  It was painted in response to the Nazi's devastating bombing practice on the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. The tortured figures of both humans and animals create a very disturbing and chaotic scene. The large size of this piece [11'5" tall and 25'6" wide] makes the viewer become part of it. I’ve never forgotten standing in front of it and the effect it had on me.

I will show more of my Resistance Rug in a week or two with a caveat for those easily offended. For those of you with a sense of humor, I do want to give a link to the incredibly creative fiber work of Salley Mavor, who has also ventured into the political arena with her Wee Folk Players. Visit her website for a world of her small handmade folks. 

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in using one’s Art to make a statement.

Thanks to all who entered the drawing.  I actually have ANOTHER BOOK to giveaway in a week or two, so stay tuned.

Thanks to all who entered the drawing.  I actually have ANOTHER BOOK to giveaway in a week or two, so stay tuned.

Guernica by Pablo Picasso 1937.  Black, gray, and white oil painting on canvas.

Guernica by Pablo Picasso 1937.  Black, gray, and white oil painting on canvas.

Hook-in inspiration.

Saturday was the annual Woolwrights’ hook-in.  As always it was a fun, well-run and inspiring event.  Thanks to all the members of the Woolwrights group, who worked hard to make it a great day.

There were many excellent vendors, so the first order of the day for me was to shop!  Although I didn’t have a particular future design in mind, I managed to buy some beautiful dyed wool from Jan Cole, The Wool n’ Gardener.  I also bought a new Hartman prim hook from the Green Mountain vendors, because I have actually worn down the end of the one I’ve used for years.  The new hook is identical to the old one, so it has a wonderful, familiar feel to it.

It was great to finally meet Lori Brechlin and her daughter, Hannah, in person.  Facebook is great for making virtual friends, but there is no substitute for the real thing.  I’m looking forward to seeing Lori at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week this coming August.

I actually did some hooking on a new, possibly controversial, project.  I think I have to get several of these designs out of my mind and onto linen.  Maybe that will unleash my creativity again.

Below are a few photos of the hook-in.  I did take pictures of some of the rugs on display, but I didn’t note the name of the hookers/designers, so I am not sharing them here.  I am not a big picture-taker, because I prefer to experience things “in the moment”

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in a room filled with happy rug hookers.

The beginning of my new design. More to follow.

The beginning of my new design. More to follow.

Lin Keller, a quilter and rug hooker, finished her log cabin design rug. Isn't it gorgeous?  It looks like sunlight is streaming across it.

Lin Keller, a quilter and rug hooker, finished her log cabin design rug. Isn't it gorgeous?  It looks like sunlight is streaming across it.

There was an abundance of dyed wool at this hook-in.

There was an abundance of dyed wool at this hook-in.

More eye candy...

More eye candy...

These colors are so exciting and chase away any residual winter blues.

These colors are so exciting and chase away any residual winter blues.