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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?
Have you cleaned your junk drawer?

Have you cleaned your junk drawer? 2

Like you, most likely, I cannot remember a time that I stayed at home so much and focused on my life, my art, and my work. This morning, here and now in this place I am seeing this as a time to love my life. To nurture it, to cultivate it, to prepare it for growth and change.
It is a time to be. A time to learn. A time to make.
Through out these days I have times when I have felt scared or stressed. For me, I always turn to faith. Faith in my family and my community. Faith in God and faith in humanity. Faith right now, regardless of your spiritual inclinations is important. We need it in ourselves, in each other, and in what ever it is that you believe. Faith.
  • Deanne Fitzpatrick
  • Tags: Journal
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.

A Lesson on Poppies

A Lesson on Poppies 0

If you've ever had the chance to visit Deanne's Studio here in the quaint town of Amherst, Nova Scotia, you understand that poppies are an ever present element of Deanne's rugs. Whether they're the focal point of the mat, or you see them lazily poking out in a faraway field, they add a pop of colour and interest and have evolved into a signature component of her mats. Seeing as poppies are so common to Deanne's rugs, kits and patterns, I thought a post with tips and tricks on how to hook them would be a valuable lesson!

First of all, you want to look have a look at a natural poppy, if you can that is. If it's the middle of winter or you're stuck up North, then Google Images might have to do. Looking at the flower in real life will give you an idea of what kinds of materials will best represent the poppies softness, beauty and uniqueness when you're hooking it into your rug. 

For colour scheme you can make your poppies a variety of bold reds, corals, magentas or a magenta and red mix, or an unrealistic colour scheme that gives your rug whimsical character. Make sure when picking your material that you pick at least 3 shades of the colour you've chosen for your poppies, make sure to include warmer and cooler tones. Adding yarns or sari silks in with your wool can add pops of colour and texture. The larger your poppies are the more varieties of colours you can use when hooking them. Deanne also suggests that you hook your poppies using different widths of wool to add some personality.

As for your poppy centres, they are typically dark but not quite black. If your poppies are in the background or not detailed you can get away with black centres but typically you should use a nice mix of navy and purple. Don't hook your centres in perfect circles and remember to use a mix of fabrics and maybe throw in a bit of a dark plaid. If you really want your poppy to stand out, also outline your petals in a dark fabric. 

Hook your poppies loosely, in irregular shapes to avoid them ending up as red, unrecognizable blobs on your mat. Start hooking each petal from the inside out, not in straight lines, and work on one poppy at a time. This ensures that each is unique and it's own individual flower ready to stand out and make your rug even more beautiful. 






Journal: Alone in New York City

Journal: Alone in New York City 0

Where ever I go I look for rugs. I always seem to find them. Last week I spent the week in Manhattan going to art galleries and eating pasta and going to shows.

I took a bus trip that leaves from my hometown twice a year and stayed in a great hotel close to Times Square. I went on my own, though I knew lots of people on the bus. A friend came down later in the week to join me for two days. It was great. 

The first night there I went to see Phantom of the Opera by myself. The following day I walked up to Moma and spent the afternoon.The Moma Design store across the street from the gallery was a lesson in beauty meets function. Each night at five I would meet the people on the bus for wine in the lobby. Then I would go to a restaurant on my own for dinner and meet them for a show. It was fun to have company some of the time but freedom to see what you needed to see.

Every day I would go to an art gallery or exhibit. I discovered so many artists that I had never heard of. It was like opening a present. I also found rugs. A block down the street from the hotel, Roy Lichtenstein, a famous American pop artist, a contemporary of Andy Warhol, had two huge rugs installed in the lobby.  Once I saw those I felt like I was in the right place somehow.

In Soho, there was a store selling antique Moroccan rugs.

I never saw a hooked rug, but everything around me made feel inspired to make more of them.

It was not easy to do those things all on my own but I felt I had to. In my writing here I am always challenging people to get out of their comfort zone. I needed to get out of mine to understand what that feels like. I challenged myself.

It is important to push yourself some. Mine was going to a city and exploring it on my own. I discovered that I was pretty comfortable going to crowded restaurants and sitting alone with my diner. I discovered that I could easily go to a show on my own. I always knew I was happy alone in museums.

I found some new artists and I am ordering books by them so that I can discover more about them. I am sure that seeing all of this will influence my work for a long time. 

By Sunday, after a week away I was lonely for my hook. Absence really des make the heart grow if that was ever possible at all.



Journal: Learn from the masters.

Journal: Learn from the masters. 0

In one of the most famous paintings of all time the paint is running.

”0h my.”

”How careless.”

”What a mess.”

Should Henri Matisse have stopped what he was

doing and cleared up that little drip.

Would we have loved it any more?

Look at the hands where they are joined...

is that really a hand? 

Well of course it is. It is an utterly beautiful one

but not a perfect one. 

Would you love this painting more of the

the hand were perfect? 

That iconic painting. 

That perfect symbol of love, spirit, community. 

The real question I think is would we have ever

loved it so at all?

Learn from the masters. 

There is so

much to learn from the masters.

When you hook, hook with spirit.

Hook with force.

Hook with energy.

Hook with joy.

Get engaged with your work. 

Imagine the piece finished. 

Imagine the piece loved.