Trashed.

Creating this Found on Beach project has been interesting and a bit unsettling.  I’m definitely an OCD neatnik type, whose personal motto is, “I love my OCD! “ So, trashing up a perfectly good hooked piece depicting a child’s pail and shovel on a sandy beach, was hard to do. I’m not sure I have added enough trash to it, but it will have to do.  I can only take so much.

Here is the finishing process that I did.  I bound the edges as I do with all of my hooked rugs [see my blog, “Binding the Cat”].  Then after hooking and prodding in most of the trash, I sewed the piece to foam core/board [recycled from another use] that was cut to the same dimensions of 18” x 24”.  I sewed on a few more of the trash elements at that point.

I knew the final stage would be to attach the entire piece to a wood frame that my hubby made me for another project, which I never used.  I wanted to use the colorful variety of buoy/ lobster trap rope that I found on a Cape Cod beach a few years ago.  I nailed the rope to the outer edges of the wood frame and added a child’s flip flop for good measure.  Then I carefully nailed the piece to the top of the frame by lifting the edges of the hooked piece and nailing through the foam board. 

This is the fourth installment in my Mother Earth Speaks series.  The next one will be plastic in the ocean, but first I think I’ll hook myself a rug with my motto “I love my OCD!”  A little respite from the sad state of our Earth Mother.

There’s a lot of beauty out there.  Let’s keep it that way!

Found on Beach 18” x 24”. Designed and created by Karen Larsen, Crow’s Foot Farm Designs, LLC. 2019

Found on Beach 18” x 24”. Designed and created by Karen Larsen, Crow’s Foot Farm Designs, LLC. 2019

Found on Beach before the trashing began.

Found on Beach before the trashing began.

Bits and bobs.

A good start was made on “trashing up” my Found on Beach piece.  I will do more on it before I show it again.  I’m still figuring out how to mount this piece, but I’m sure it will all work out well in the end.

Half of this past week was spent visiting a friend in Connecticut.  We had lots of fun.  Knowing someone for 40+ years makes for many shared laughs as we catch up with each other’s life.  Having friends from many years ago creates a wonderful continuity to one’s life.  Do you have friends from “long ago”?  I have a friend from back when we were both in nappies, another friend I met in pre-school, and many more from all the intervening years between then and now. 

Pennsylvania continues to have a lot of rain.  I wonder if this is the new “normal”?  I like a rainy day, so I don’t mind.  I took a few photos on one of the sunny days this past week and I’m sharing them below.  Just random things that caught my attention. 

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the company of an old friend.

Some natural treasures to save and admire.

Some natural treasures to save and admire.

Hot pepper and tomato plants. Hoping for a better growing season this year!

Hot pepper and tomato plants. Hoping for a better growing season this year!

I find these mud-dauber wasp tubes fascinating.

I find these mud-dauber wasp tubes fascinating.

The girls enjoy the dandelions.

The girls enjoy the dandelions.

A mini hen egg [with peanut for size comparison]. I save all of these tiny treasures.

A mini hen egg [with peanut for size comparison]. I save all of these tiny treasures.

Leave only footprints.

Have you ever seen photos of beaches after a holiday weekend or college spring break? The people are gone, but they have left behind literally tons of trash!  I don’t understand the mindset of humans, who can just walk away and leave trash in their wake.

Now that I have finished hooking Found on Beach, it’s time to figure out how to add the trash.  Of course, the trash I add will have to be a minimal amount and size to fit on this piece, which is only 18” x 24”.  Although I’m known for my “less is more” approach to things, I’ll try to stuff as much of my trash as I can on this piece!  I hope to have a good start on it by next week’s blog.

I have some ideas for the next piece, which will be plastic detritus in the ocean.  I’m feeling more and more as though I need to do multi-media pieces now.  In the past, collage and multi-media artwork was my passion and I’m being pulled back to it. 

Everything old is new again!

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in creating what is in one’s heart.

A variety of trash to choose from for my Found on Beach piece.

A variety of trash to choose from for my Found on Beach piece.

The beach before it’s trashed.

The beach before it’s trashed.

A Shutterstock image of beach litter.  It makes me sad and mad to see this.

A Shutterstock image of beach litter. It makes me sad and mad to see this.

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.

Talented friends.

I’m fortunate to have many talented and artistic friends. They never cease to amaze and inspire me.  Some of them make unique jewelry, knit beautiful garments, do creative embroidery, hook wonderful rugs, and create mosaic masterpieces. 

My friend, Josephine [Jo] Alexander is a mosaic artist, whose pieces take my breath away.  I love glass and have been tempted to take classes from her, but I’m resisting adding another craft to my repertoire.  I have a studio filled with wool. Can you imagine it equally filled with glass?!

Jo Alexander’s mosaic business is called, Grandmother Moon Mosaics.  Do yourself a favor and check her out on Facebook. She is prolific and extremely talented.  I am very excited that she and I are doing a trade.  To be honest, I think I’ll get the best of this deal.

I have begun hooking my design, Harvest Moon, for Jo.  I love hooking pumpkins, because orange is my favorite Creative Energy color.  One pumpkin is a brighter orange, with magenta highlights, which I love to add to orange.  The next pumpkin is more of a yellow color with a few dark teal highlights. The third pumpkin will be a blue gourd, I think.  I’ll have to see how it looks behind the barn owl.

I purchased a beautiful piece of Jan Cole /The Wool n’ Gardener’s spot-dyed deep turquoise wool just for this rug.  Jo loves rich colors and the turquoise behind the orange will be perfect.  I can’t wait to hook further to see how this all will play out.  The vines and leaves will be hooked in a variety of yellow-greens and I think the outer border will be a deep magenta, which I will dye. 

Oh, and the mosaic that Jo is doing for me also has pumpkins. And a crow. How perfect!

This new project has given me new energy during these snowy, quiet days.  I hope your winter is progressing well and giving you time for creativity, too.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the vibrant colors of a new hooking project.

Oh! These colors!  The start of my Harvest Moon piece.

Oh! These colors! The start of my Harvest Moon piece.

Color closeup.

Color closeup.

A winner and a rug finish.

Thanks for all the entries and comments for the book giveaway.  The lucky winner of Rug Hooking Journeys: Finding the Maker in the Rug by Tamara Pavich [©2019 Ampry Publishing LLC / Rig Hooking] is Lisa, who said, “I’m new to rug hooking and am completely taken with it. I love looking at others’ creations for inspiration. Thanks so much for this wonderful gift. Here’s hoping.”   Congratulations, Lisa, I’ll contact you for your mailing address and send this wonderful new book your way.

We had more snow here in Pennsylvania this past week and then some icy rain, so things were a bit dicey.  I stayed home as much as possible, which gave me a bit of cabin fever.  The good news is that I finished my piece titled, Looming in Greenland, the third installment in my Mother Earth Speaks series.  I have trimmed, folded, and basted my usual cotton clothesline into the edges, but I still need to whip the edges with yarn, which I will do at the Woolwrights’ hook-in next month.

Before I continue with my Mother Earth Speaks series, I want to hook my pattern, Harvest Moon, which I am doing as a trade with a friend, who is a very talented mosaic artist.  More on all this next week with some beginning progress on that rug.

I’m having a visit from my friend, who now lives in Connecticut.  We plan lots of things to do while she’s here, so it’s been fun. That has helped with the cabin fever.

I hope winter is bringing you time to be inside with your rug hooking project and a warm beverage on these cold days.  Look for signs if spring, which can surprise us when we least expect it.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the next new project.

Lisa is the winner of this great new book!

Lisa is the winner of this great new book!

Looming in Greenland designed and hooked by Karen Larsen. All finished but for the yarn whipping.

Looming in Greenland designed and hooked by Karen Larsen. All finished but for the yarn whipping.

Only The Shadow knows.

Groundhog Day, this past Saturday, brought some opposing prognostications about the arrival of spring.  In either case it will be six weeks until spring begins, but it’s a fun tradition.  Punxatawney Phil, a PA celebrity, predicted that spring weather would arrive early.  That’s good news.  However, my hen, Charlotte, saw her shadow, so she’s predicting six more weeks of winter.  Only time will tell.

This past week consisted of cleaning and straightening my studio.  My first priority was organizing my paper patterns from which I make my hooked rug patterns on linen backing.  Some of my “working patterns” [as opposed to the original drawings that I keep in separate folders] needed to be redrawn.  Having worked in a library many years ago, I also made sure the patterns were put back in alphabetical order.

Studio cleanup didn’t take as long as I anticipated, so I did get some hooking done on my Looming in Greenland piece.  I finished hooking the grey and threatening sky.  I don’t enjoy hooking in straight lines, but it seemed a good way to make a visual separation of the sky and the iceberg. I hope to have this piece finished in a week or two.  My next piece will be a lot more colorful, which will be fun.

I hope your weather is a bit milder after the cold snap we just had.  I’m going to start looking for signs of spring, how about you?

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the anticipation of warmer weather ahead.

Charlotte saw her shadow, but she wasn’t frightened at all.

Charlotte saw her shadow, but she wasn’t frightened at all.

Come into my studio while it’s clean and tidy.

Come into my studio while it’s clean and tidy.

A brief  neat and tidy view of the studio.  I’ve already dragged out some of these tubs.

A brief neat and tidy view of the studio. I’ve already dragged out some of these tubs.

Two steps forward and one step back.

This past week I was determined to finish hooking the biggest chunk of iceberg on my Looming in Greenland piece.  I did decide to “reverse hook” a good portion of it before forging ahead.  The acronym, NIMBY [Not In My Back Yard] kept running through my brain.  Can you imagine seeing this out your back window? If this berg should calve off a large piece, there would be mayhem and danger on this coastal village of Greenland.

I also began hooking the sky, which I decided to make grey and threatening to add to the suspense of the piece.  The grey also is a good contrast to the brighter color of the iceberg and helps “push” the berg visually forward.

There might not be more progress on this rug this coming week as I’ve decided I need to reorganize my studio.  I am not one of those artistic types, who love to be surrounded by messy tools of the trade and partially finished projects.  Too much visual clutter confuses me.  So, with that in mind, I will be working on boring, but necessary, studio organization this coming week.  Although not my favorite thing to do, it will help me in the future to work more efficiently.

A forward-thinking customer ordered one of my robin and babies patterns.  Spring is coming and it’s a great idea to hook a pattern for the upcoming season.  I’ve posted some of my springtime patterns below, which are available on the Shop page of my website.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in planning for the season soon to arrive.

Looming in Greenland work in progress. Adapted from a photo by Lucia Ali Nielsen//Reuters

Looming in Greenland work in progress. Adapted from a photo by Lucia Ali Nielsen//Reuters

The Early Bird Gets the Worm 20” x 16”

The Early Bird Gets the Worm 20” x 16”

Dinner Time  18” x 24”

Dinner Time 18” x 24”

Nest Eggs 14” diameter

Nest Eggs 14” diameter

This and that.

This past week was a quiet one in which I did some knitting, hooking, sewing, cooking and sitting by the wood stove. I do love the cold days of winter, which encourage all of the aforementioned activities.

My Looming in Greenland hooked piece, which is in my Mother Earth Speaks series, is coming along slowly.  Is it the giant iceberg that is causing a bit of obstruction?  I’m using spot dyed wool in values of a green-blue for the berg.  I’m not sure I like it, but I shall continue hooking and see how it comes out.  I’ve had lots of practice “reverse hooking”, so I might have to do some of that. Patience is a virtue when hooking a rug.

I’m also knitting some socks, which I love to do.  They might be a gift.  I’ve knitted many pairs of socks and wear them all the time. When one sock gets a hole in it, I admit that I toss it instead of mending it. I find that a mend on socks [at least the way that I mend] makes a lumpy area and is uncomfortable to walk on.  So, you might just see me wearing mismatched socks.  Happily, with age comes a letting go of what’s considered “normal”.

A beautiful bit of spring has bloomed in the house this week.  My friend, Pat, gave me an amaryllis bulb and I potted it the week before Thanksgiving. It is just now blooming!  Is that normal or did I have it in a window that isn’t quite sunny enough? I’m not much of a gardener, I admit.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in a home filled with projects and a hint of spring.

Looming in Greenland is a work in progress.  There may be many changes ahead.

Looming in Greenland is a work in progress. There may be many changes ahead.

I love knitting socks. My “signature” is using different yarn for the toes.

I love knitting socks. My “signature” is using different yarn for the toes.

Heavy blooms of this slow-blooming amaryllis.

Heavy blooms of this slow-blooming amaryllis.

Copyright and wrong.

I’m starting off the new year with a discussion of copyright law.  Pretty dry stuff, I know, but read on because there might be information you don’t know.

I’m a stickler for following copyright laws.  I’ve had some of my rug designs taken and used without permission and it doesn’t feel good.  In this era of the internet, it’s easy to think that because some image is “out there”, it’s up for grabs.  I understand how any why the disregard of copyright happens, but I hope that sharing this topic will be a good reminder.

I’m hooking the third piece in my Mother Earth Speaks series.  It depicts the gigantic eleven million ton iceberg, which is much too close to a small island village of Inaarsuit on the western coast of Greenland.  I think the iceberg has receded a bit, but it’s still a huge threat.

I searched online for photos of this iceberg and found several taken by different photographers and disseminated by several news outlets.  They are all very similar and are taken from about the same vantage point.  The photo I’m using as my inspiration is by Lucia Ali Nielsen via Reuters.  I have searched long and hard to try to contact Ms. Nielsen, but to no avail.  She is on Instagram, which I don’t do.  I’ve decided to not post her actual photo, but to give her credit whenever I share my hooked piece. 

I discovered a very informative article titled, Fair Use in the Age of Social Media.  This does give some leeway when using someone’s image as inspiration for an art project.  I hope you’ll read it as it gives a lot of good information on the subject.

I’m making good progress on my Looming in Greenland piece.  My Mother Earth Speaks series depicts natural and man-made ecological disasters or near-disasters.  Photos of my previous pieces are below with credit given.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the world around us.

Looming in Greenland - 22” x 40”. Adapted from photo by Lucia Ali Nielsen/Reuters.

Looming in Greenland - 22” x 40”. Adapted from photo by Lucia Ali Nielsen/Reuters.

Pele Speaks - 24” x 43”. Adapted with permission from photo by Leigh Hilbert. Depicts Hawaiian volcanic eruption and lava flow 2018.

Pele Speaks - 24” x 43”. Adapted with permission from photo by Leigh Hilbert. Depicts Hawaiian volcanic eruption and lava flow 2018.

Oil and Water - 22” x 30”. Adapted from photo by Kari Goodnough /Bloomberg/Getty Images. Depicts Deepwater Gulf Horizon oil spill in Gulf of Mexico 2010.

Oil and Water - 22” x 30”. Adapted from photo by Kari Goodnough /Bloomberg/Getty Images. Depicts Deepwater Gulf Horizon oil spill in Gulf of Mexico 2010.

Cross-training.

On a recent Saturday, Humble Stitch, a brand new local yarn and fiber craft store, hosted a Sit and Stitch.  I contacted my fellow First Monday Crafters and some of us showed up to sit, knit, and enjoy the beautiful ambience of this local shop.  Ambience in this case can be read as “irresistible shopping opportunity”.

I had previously bought a beautiful big ball of Noro yarn from Humble Stitch and as I sat and chatted with the other knitters, I worked on a cowl. I hope the temps will go down at some point, so I can wear it.  I even gave in to the urge and bought another similar ball of Noro in a different color wave to make another cowl. 

My maternal grandmother taught me to knit when I was eight years old.  That was very many years ago.  Although I’ve been knitting for decades, I am not an expert knitter.  I don’t want to knit intricate patterns with lots of color changes. I find the act of knitting to be relaxing and meditative and I like to keep it low key.

This past week I drew up a design for the next installment in my Mother Earth Speaks series of hooked pieces.  I need to live with it for a while before committing it to linen, wool, and hook.  This series explores both natural and man-made ecological disasters.  This next one will be a natural near-disaster to those living on the coast of Greenland.  That’s all I’ll say on it for now.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the communal sharing of fiber art.

Noro  yarn on the needles.

Noro yarn on the needles.

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.

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.