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Sunday Newsletter, January 17, 2021

Sunday Newsletter, January 17, 2021

Good Morning,
I want to tell you about my walks on these last two mornings. Yesterday morning there was a hoarfrost so every plant was covered in these tiny miracles. There were millions of little ice crystals creating thin layers over the structure of every stem and seed on my path. The night prior had been foggy and misty and it had gotten colder and the forest and the dale that surround me became majestic.
Now today is a new day. I walked early this morning in the pouring rain. The magical frosts of yesterday have disappeared and there is a skating rink in my driveway that I have salted so I can get to the road safely. The little miracles have dissapeared & the world is grey.
Winter here changes daily. Its cold, it's warm, it's wet, then it's snowy. The thing I know is that whatever it is like out I have to get out in it and accept it. It is something that is a given. I cannot control it. At the same time, except for the most severe storms where we need to stay off the roads, I cannot let it control me.
I cannot let the weather determine how I feel. I'd be so moody living here if I did. I live in a place where the weather is ever changing. We have seasons with in seasons.
And it is these seasons that I watch as I walk the same road everyday. Once my neighbour said, "I don't know how you can walk the same road everyday, day after day." I wondered about that for awhile too.
I wondered if I was dull perhaps hoofing it up and down this road. Then one day on a walk it occurred to me I have never walked the same road twice.
Between the light, the weather, and the charm of nature itself nothing ever stays the same. For the last seven months I have been watching the wild caraway along the side of the road. Honestly, I have seen some gorgeous sculptures but never one as delicately beautiful as this.
Yesterday in that hoarfrost she was covered in diamonds. At other times she is the black and grey of coal going to ash. In summer she was lit with gold. I can barely keep up with her. "She never walks in the room the same way twice", as Jim Cuddy says.
As creatives ( that's all of us...yes, even you, if you are doubting it) we are profoundly effected by what is going on around us. What we see, what we take in, the weather, the moods of others. Some of these things we have no control over.
While there are other things where we do have some control. For example, what I am reading, what I am seeing, and what media I am taking in. I have learned that watching flowers bloom and change and hearing birds sing has lead to me to art in a way that so much does not. I try to choose what leads me to beauty with out burying my head in the sand. For the world needs us, the creatives to contribute and make a little noise now and then.
As I write this the rain has stopped pounding on the windows here in mid January and the sun has lit up the snow for at least a few minutes. It is just the weather. It won't make this day. I have to do that myself with my spirit. I'll go to my frame after writing this and I'll try to create a little beauty. I'll try to contribute. It's the least I can do.
I think I should tell you that's it grey again. But that's okay.
Enjoy your day. I hope you see something beautiful today.
I hope you feel beautiful today.
Thank you for reading,
PS.We have sold out of kits for the years winter online course. I have asked Angie to dye some colours for our texture wall and have created a texture package of twenty textures, the pattern and the course. Limited Quantities are available below . You can then use your stash or purchase some green, blues, and other colours in the rug to go with your texture pack.
PPS. I am going to add an extra video in the course about how to work from your stash to create the rug. I want to hook the pattern again in a different way anyway. I love the pattern. It is full of opportunity to be creative.
What about those chin hairs?

What about those chin hairs?

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?

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.

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

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

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 fonder....as if that was ever possible at all.