Before the tide comes in.

As I hook along on my Found on Beach piece, I’m still pondering how to attach the beach litter to it.  After I finish the hooking and blocking, I might proddy some junk into the hooking and then back it with a piece of foam-core [reused from another purpose, of course], so there will be something to sew the bigger or heavier items onto.  Time will tell if this will work.

I hooked the pail and shovel in  #8 cut wool strips and the sand in my new-favorite #8.5 strips.  I love combining a number of sandy-colored wools to achieve the look of footprints on the sand.  I rarely hook something in one flat color.

My basket of available litter and trash is overflowing. It is probably too much for the two pollution pieces I’m doing, but I’ll use up as much as I can.

On another topic, yesterday the family of Magdalena Briner Eby donated one of her original hooked rugs to the Historical Society of Perry County [PA], where Magdalena lived.  Some of us Magdalena Rug Hookers were there to witness the donation and offer a small rug show and demonstratio to members of that committee.  I felt a certain pride that so many of us rug hookers from all over the globe, have a connection to this simple country woman, who made rugs to keep her floors warm and decorated them with motifs from her farming ways.  I’m sorry I didn’t take my camera to get a photo of the hand-over.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the art of rug hooking through the centuries.

Found on Beach in progress.  The sand will hook up quickly and then the fun begins!

Found on Beach in progress. The sand will hook up quickly and then the fun begins!

Found on Beach.

My next hooked piece will be titled, Found on Beach.  It will be another in my Mother Earth Speaks series.  This one will depict the litter that we humans create, which ends up on beaches.  I cringe every time I see people release helium balloons, which often end up in water and choke animals.  Beach goers leave behind all sorts of trash, including cigarette butts.  Other litter washes ashore from far off places.

As for the design of this piece, I think I will hook a child’s pail and shovel on a sandy beach. This could be almost any beach in the world.  I will affix different kinds of trash that I have collected.  I haven’t yet figured out how I will do this, but as I get into creating this piece, I’m sure it will all come together.

I’ve designed and hooked a number of Cape Cod beach-inspired pieces and can’t wait to start hooking this one.  I spot-dyed some sand-colored wool and will decide what color to make the pail and shovel.  I prefer to make decisions as I work.  This sometimes makes for “reverse hooking” as I change my mind about things, but that’s not a problem. 

Tree leaves and daffodils have really come out this past week.  Our redbud trees, once tiny twigs, are showing their beautiful magenta blossoms.  Robins are gathering nesting materials.  This new season is in full swing!

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

Gathering inspiration for my next piece.

Gathering inspiration for my next piece.

A beach junk sculpture in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

A beach junk sculpture in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

The three R's.

Back in the day, the three R’s stood for, “Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic”.  Today they are often used for “Reduce, Recycle and Reuse”.  All of these things are important, but I’m glad the new version is gaining popularity on our crowded planet. 

I’ve been pondering what rug to do next that isn’t a super-secret rug and I’ve chosen to do two pieces in my Mother Earth Speaks series.  I switch between depicting a man-made ecological disaster and a natural one.  Since Looming in Greenland was the last one I hooked, and that was a natural near-disaster, it’s time for a man-made one.  There seem to be abundant choices, unfortunately.

Scenes of our beautiful planet choking on plastic waste haunt my thoughts, so I will do one rug with detritus found on just about any beach.  I even saw photos of garbage washed ashore on an uninhabited island!  The other piece, which goes along with this unfortunate theme, will be plastics floating on the ocean. 

A couple of years ago, I gathered some man-made items from beaches on Cape Cod.  I had the kernel of an idea in my head that I would incorporate this into a hooked piece.  The time is now.

I hope you’ll take this journey with me as I decide how to depict this growing problem.  Perhaps you will join me in being aware of the problem and doing your part in picking up litter along a roadside, using cloth grocery bags, saying “no” to one-use plastic.  It’s not easy, but if we each do our part, it can make a difference. 

I’d love it if the rug hooking community would create pieces addressing this issue.  Perhaps you already have.  Please share them on my Crows Foot Farm LLC Facebook page.  I’ll try to figure out how to make an album of them there.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and we can each do our part to protect it.

Some of this detritus is from beaches on Cape Cod.

Some of this detritus is from beaches on Cape Cod.

Some of the collected “stuff” for my projects.

Some of the collected “stuff” for my projects.