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How to Critique you Rug Hooking and Some Rug Hooking History

How to Critique you Rug Hooking and Some Rug Hooking History 1

How to Critique you Rug Hooking and Some Rug Hooking History
Are you listening?

Are you listening? 0

Good Morning,
I have not been reading quite as much as usual. Have you? Last night I decided to start a mystery novel and that has helped. It is a carry me away kind of book. I chose an Anne Cleeves novel with the Vera, the inspector. I find all that grimness a weird bit of comfort. It makes me think back to a book club that I was a member of in my thirties. At that time I had never read a mystery novel.
In fact I was a bit snobby about them. I liked, what I felt at the time, were more "literary" books. I think then I cared more what people thought of my reading taste. In that club, one member picked a mystery and I duly read it. I dubbed her choice as "less than" but felt it was right everyone got a turn to choose a book. Oh what a little snot I was.
I don't remember what the book was, or even really liking it but it opened my mind to a whole new genre. It lead me to Ian Rankin and Henning Mankell; to falling a little in love with difficult characters like Rebus and Wallander. It lead me to see that being narrow minded about my reading choices really did not serve me well.
A few years later Jennifer Manuel of Fish Eye Sisters told me about this writer she loved. Her name was Louise Penny. I got one from the library but I just didn't get Inspector Gamache. I told Jenn and she said she loved him. Well I thought Jenn was lovely. I trusted her reading mind. So a few years later I tried again, and now I love Louise Penny, respect Gamache and buy every new book in hardcover.
Finding something new is like that. It's like tasting asparagus for the first time when you were a kid, or spinach, or broccoli. At first you might not like it all. You might think you never ever ever will but something in you changes. You mature. You meet a nice person who loves asparagus. You change. You open up a bit.
Possibilities. What don't I know that I like? Oh goodness I love that question. It makes me so curious. Like is there a new flavour about to descend on us. My husband is of Lebanese descent so we have being eating zaatar for years. It is a mixture of thyme and sumac mixed with olive oil and spread on dough and baked. It is comfort food. Lately I see it everywhere. A few weeks ago I saw a zaatar salad dressing in the grocery store. I thought , imagine if I was just discovering this now, how great would that be?
Open. What do I miss when I don't stay open? All kinds of things probably. And it isn't all that easy sometimes. I feel like I have watched, seen, read, and eaten a lot. New ideas are not always easy to come by.
I am taking an online course and one thing the instructor says is so what if you heard it all before, listen, you might find something new here. And I do. I find new things sometimes in the old. I find there are new things tagged onto the things I have heard before. I also find that rethinking an old idea brings me to new places. And just finding that out is worth the whole course. My friend Carol Oram says, if you get one new idea in a whole book, that's a really good deal for $20 or $30 bucks. I love Carol cause she says stuff like that. Smart stuff.
Listening. Oh that's the key. Listening to wisdom around you. Listening to the good stuff. Normally I read aloud my newsletter to my husband before I send it out but I think I'll skip this one. He might guffaw. No he is not a "guffaw" type but he would have plenty to say about me and listening.
Listening. That is what I need to do more of. He'd like this part. But I am not going there with him. I will just try to quietly practice not walking out of the room when he is in mid sentence. Not asking "What?" when I have really heard what he said. Do you do that? My mind wanders. It thinks about blue wool when I am cooking supper. It thinks about macaroni when I am dying blue wool. It thinks about the shape of broccoli leaves when I am writing a newsletter. Like how cute and curly they are.
But back to listening. I want to listen more and I want to listen better. Now is a really good time for listening. There is a quietude that surrounds us. A quietude that is within many of us right now.
As I hook this week I plan to listen.
Listen to sounds of the birds in the morning.
Listen to my husbands laugh.
Listen to my heart.
Now it is more important than listen and to
Create beauty everyday.
Thank you...
Next Facebook Live Thursday, April 9th at 2pm Atlantic Time!
I'm gonna be there! Hope to see you there too!
PS. We are still shipping everyday. Each day one of us works in the studio alone to prepare your orders. I am answering the phones from home so they can fill the orders.
We are open for shipping
What about those chin hairs?

What about those chin hairs? 1

It's Wednesday but I wanted to tell you something. I have a little dressing room off my studio. Don't get jealous. It is not like one you'd see on House Hunters. It is just a room I put a big rolling clothing rack in and a second hand refurbished vanity that I bought from Peter at the junk store down the street. But it is my space to get ready for whatever my day might bring.
When I sit at it to get ready in the morning I feel like Audrey Hepburn until I lean into the mirror. Then I see that it's just me and I am still happy. I love to get ready. To get ready for the day. Or in the old days, three weeks ago, to get ready for an evening out Sometimes getting ready was my favorite part of the evening...I might be an introvert?
Being home and hooking rugs.

Being home and hooking rugs. 3

This hooked  rug was created as a tribute to domesticity. Flowers on the table. An oriental carpet underneath the table. A wooden floor. Clay vases. All the things I love. They are the comforts of home. When I walk into my house at the end of the day and see the flowers, feel the rug under my feet. I am soothed.

In this time that we are all facing together, we are getting back to domesticity. We are in touch with our homes, our families. It is not easy, this time. Right now I feel so grateful for my quiet home. I am comfortable. There is food in the fridge. There is  a yard to go out in with space around us. Today I worked from home. I got plenty done. I was able to text my coworkers with questions and have answers right away. It was good to be here.

I will go in on Sunday and fill orders. We are all working alone when we go to the studio. We make sure there is just one person there at a time to help prevent the spread of Covid 19. We are all taking it very seriously. We are all healthy and want to stay that way. 

So we are learning that this is a time Of coming home to the idea of home and appreciating it. Our homes are our place in the world. They are the spot where we belong. We all have work to do in our home. We have projects. We have books. We have crafts.  There are things to do and now there is time to do them. 
I hope you are reading this as a break from hooking your rug, or baking a cake, or putting away the dishes. I hope you are home, safe and cozy, and that there are flowers on your table.

Making 0

Working within parameters and pushing through when what you're creating isn't coming together. 

Recreating Winter Wonderlands

Recreating Winter Wonderlands 0

Seeing hooked rugs of winter scenes definitely isn't as common as seeing mats depicting bright and colourful autumn and summer designs. I suppose not many people look at a soft ivory and think "hmm, I'd really enjoy hooking an entire rug of this". It takes a different kind of bird to truly love and frequently find inspiration in those long winter months; even though it is the time when hookers are their busiest. To me however, there'd be nothing more cozy than sitting curled up in a blanket with a cup of coffee and hooking the ethereal winter landscape that's outside of your window onto the rug sitting in front of you.  Do you ever go to a friends house and notice how many paintings or photos they have hung up take place in the winter? It's because they're beautiful to look at. A charming photo of children making snow angels in crisp white snow with their cheeks all rosy, or a horse drawn sleigh making its way through evergreens, these are the type of images that you could be recreating! When winter comes, go outside and crunch around in freshly fallen snow, notice how quiet it makes everything, watch it tinkle down and blanket everything it touches. 

Winter themed rugs are probably not hooked as often because of their colour schemes and because you don't see many patterns floating around of them. Pale mottled greys, ivories, frosty blues, pale mauves and purples, dark blue greens; these are all beautiful when you see them melded together to create a snowy masterpiece. And the textures, the sparkle and the different things you could incorporate into a winter rug, the possibilities are endless. 

Next time the snow falls and you're feeling blue about the oncoming of winter, stop and look around, try to see the snow as a delicate decoration to your already inspiring world.