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Woolcake Blog: Thursday FB Live Videos (2pm AST) and the Sunday Letters

What are the themes in your life? Inbox

What are the themes in your life? Inbox


Sometimes I feel like I write you the same letter every Sunday. The truth is the themes are always the same. I don’t have a new story every week. I just carry the same old truths around with me from week to week. 
Still I write. 
It is like if I hooked a house, and said, well, I hooked a house so that’s done. Or if I said I made a flower rug so now I am finished with flowers. We don’t do that. We work on themes for a long time. We make them, we leave them, we revisit them. Ideas are like that, they need to be pondered.
So each week I tell you about things like the importance of reaching out, of making, of being good to others. I remind you of the importance of our senses, seeing, touching, feeling, breathing in the scent of the world around us, and listening closely. 
I tell you that beauty is important. It is important to make and to see. I reassure you that creativity is in you, and in all of us. That it is worth pursuing because it deepens your life. 
I go on about the importance of gratitude, of living fully, of forgiveness.
I tell you that a life is meant to be lived as much as it meant to be questioned. 
And I tell you these things not to speak just to you but to speak to myself. To remind myself of the importance of all these things. For I so easily forget them as I get caught up in the day to day. I tell you these things as a way of talking to myself.
The little things are so easy to leave behind. It is easy to forget to pick the lilacs while they bloom. It is easier not to bake the cookies and fill the house with beautiful scents because you might eat them all. You could bake them, have two or four and share them. It will make your day and some one else’s. These little things make a life, especially as you get older. 
Domesticity, simplicity, your own small home traditions and daily rituals become more and more important. I sometimes battle between savouring and falling so deeply into them that I become slightly disconnected from the world around me. Because I know that connection is deeply important especially as we age I reach out.
These letters can sound like fairy talk ( my daughter’s words…I love them) but as my friend Lily says as you get older you really like the sound of fairy talk. You connect with the little things in a way you never thought you would.
I can tell you from experience that a wild rose smells different at twenty five than it does at fifty five. At fifty five it is so much more evocative of what is left behind. At fifty five it is time travel. It takes you back to the land of yesterday. And yesterday does seem like a fairy land, like a place that used to be, like a place of filigree that you slip through seeing but not being seen. 
That is what stopping to smell the roses can do. 
So I’ll keep this writing to you because when I write to you I go places unseen, unexpected. The themes may be the same but only like a day is a day. Everyone the same, only different somehow.
Each week you let me take you on a little story ride into my own creative life. What I really hope it that it carries you into your own creative life, because that is where you’ll find an energy and love that will drive your spirit to make. 
Thank you for reading
PS. There are only three more days to pre-register for the Painting with Jeanne Oliver Class before the price increase from $42 US to $62 US.
PPS. Our create beauty everyday ring is not just for rug hookers. It is a great gift for any one who makes things. It is a reminder to bring beauty into your life on a daily basis.
You can always reach me by email at info@hookingrugs.com
We are certain to bloom in June?

We are certain to bloom in June?

I can hear them on the beach. The sounds of splashing, children laughing and crying out about jellyfish. Parents knee deep in water modelling the glee they want their children to feel. Summer afternoon in early June.
At home in the yard the lilacs are blooming, lupins are coming out. I have the house filled with bouquets. The scent has intoxicated me all week. Who needs wine when you have June. The geraniums have been planted. A few marigolds are lining the hostas. The first warm days are approaching. 
My lavender is waiting to put on a subtle show and fill my hands with scent. The trees and alders on the side of the road are even blooming. Old forgotten apple trees are blushing in the ditches laden with flowers. Ferns are unfurling as the light shines into forest.
The days are long. The light lasts into the evening. I hook into the evenings if I feel like it because the light of day continues to shine. I stay up later just so I can have a bit of darkness to call me to sleep.
All this is beautiful, but what is even more beautiful about early June is the promise it holds. Somehow we set aside our work and our routine as we start the slow slide into summer. We predict joy. We measure our lives by time spent with each other. We know there is a summer full of evenings ahead of us. We believe that we will reap pleasure, strength and togetherness. June makes it easy to believe. 
It feels like a new way of being even though we come back to it year after year. It is the month we meet summer. It is a month to love whatever it is that grows in your world. It is a month to sow seeds for both pleasure and sustenance.
There is a promise of bloom after bloom, of bike rides on grassy paths, of picking a box of strawberries on your way to the shore. Something that is full of promise requires something very important. It will need love and nurturing. It will need to be savoured so that you can feel the joy coming. You will have it to give it your attention. 
Bring your rug hooking out on the deck in the mornings. Listen to the bird sing, and the peepers peep, and listen to the call of summer. It is talking to you. Listen. 
So June is for listening. For paying attention, for savouring. 
Oh to be June. Imagine. All that nurturing. All that attention. All that blooming. All that growing. It is a month for us to come to ourselves. To use our senses. A month to breathe in, to touch and feel, to be carried back to our grandmothers yard with the scent of lilacs, to see the beauty and to hear the call.
Come back to your senses, it calls, come back to yourself. Sit and make, and savour, and drink me in.
Love this month. Make beauty. Be good to others.
Thank you for reading.
PS. Be sure to check out my new course on the Jeanne Oliver Network with five great small projects! Save on the preregistration price of $42US. It goes to $62 on June 17.
Does your heart just know? Or are you sometimes uncertain?

Does your heart just know? Or are you sometimes uncertain?

Good Morning,
Sometimes a sentence will come into my head and I just have a sudden love for it. That is followed by and urge to hook it.
I have had a love affair with words since my twenties. I have words that I love for a time and I carry them around with me, using them too much for a while until they softly slip away.
Recently I wrote,” And the hatches are battened with the limited knowledge of the heart.” I drew a magnolia branch with buds and I wrote this sentence underneath it and hooked a big rug. I did not have it all worked out before I hooked it. That is what the making was for. It was a time to come to an understanding. That is after all what making is about.
I did not even fully understand what I was thinking. I did not have any wisdom I was bestowing. Far be it from me to think I have much offer other than some common sense, and how to hook a good rug. I feel confident about the latter part; the common sense sometimes evades me still.
Yet I loved the words. I was interested in the sentence. Battened hatches are comforting in a storm for sure. They are also a metaphor for being closed up. I don’t want to be that. Unless of course it is necessary. The good and the bad, I suppose are both possible with battened hatches.
Then there is the limited knowledge of the heart. This is clearer to me for I am never sure when someone announces “the heart knows.” Does it always? Does yours? Perhaps it does.
I follow my heart always with the same caution my mother would lend me before going out to a dance, “Be a good girl.” Enjoy yourself but don’t get blown over by fools and become one yourself. 
The heart, without the gut? without reason? I am just not sure I could go forward with just me and my heart. It only sees it’s side of things. There’s more to it that what the heart sees. I like to follow my heart but I bring my purse with me when I do. And in my purse are my gut and my reason. I mostly like them all together. Makes me feel safer.
Yet it was my heart that lead me to this sentence.
 It was my heart that lead me to this rug. 
There are times I guess when you can trust your heart , and making art is one of those times. Things don’t have to have meaning. What meaning they do have, you do not need to fully understand when you are making.
You can take risks without ever knowing the outcomes.
You can expound. You can ponder. You can follow your heart with a trail of wool and never get lost . When you make rugs you always come home.
So I go into my rugs knowing this.
Thank you for reading. I am just so glad you do.
PS. Be sure to check out my new course on the Jeanne Oliver Network with five great small projects! Save on the preregistration price of $42US. It goes to $62 on June 17.