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WoolCake: Live Videos and Notes From Deanne — perspective in rug hooking

Sunday Letter: You have this well inside of you, keep digging.

Sunday Letter: You have this well inside of you, keep digging.

Good Morning,
I will get straight at it this morning. We were all born creative. We all have this well of creativity inside of us. We have this secret space inside of us that is made for making.
Some creative wells are pretty deep and they got that way because someone has been digging in them. You are creative. I am creative. This morning I am going to tell you a bit about my creative well.
Like you, probably, I drew as a child freely and easily. We never seemed to have any paper in our house so I would take the blank end pages of my father's paper back books and tear them out and draw on them. I would look through the old school text books in the house and see my older sister's drawings of women that they rendered while bored in class. I'd try to copy those drawings. And I would draw my own. I passed no judgement I just drew until I was about seven or eight and I started noticing others drew better.
Suddenly, it seemed the end papers of books became score tallies for card games. Fifty cents a game and a nickel in the hole, that was family time when I was growing up.
I left drawing behind as a young child.
I still made things. I made Barbie clothes, and crocheted granny squares. I played with copper wire and buttons to make really awful earrings. I wrote letters. Lots of letters. But I never thought of those things as creative. I never saw myself as creative. The only thing I ever drew was a vine with leaves, it was my go to scribble, my doodle. It never occurred to me I could draw.
Creativity was something I left behind as I grew up and even as I went through university. I never even thought about the word. And the word is a bit daunting. It just never came up.
In my third year of university I started visiting the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia just to look at the pictures. I had just discovered the difference between original art and department store art. I was twenty. I was doing a political science degree. I read books on Russia and the Middle East. I had no artistic inclinations other than I was curious. The idea that I could be an artist was not even an inkling in the back of my mind. I think it would have seemed a ridiculous idea.
But inside of all that, even though I did not know it, I was still the little girl who drew on the end papers of books.
Inside of each of us is that tiny artist. That little hand that brought what was around us to life so freely and easily with out judgement or despair, or foolishness is inside us.
That little hand is inside the hand you have now. Just look at your hands, really look at them and remember. Remember the time when they were not afraid to pick up the pencil, to mark things up with crayons, and hold them up their work for the world to see.
These hands are ours. They still hold this memory in them. And this memory is powerful because once we stir it up we realize that our well is there ready to be dug again. Ready to make.
I became interested in drawing again when I learned how to hook rugs. I was twenty four.
And it isn't all about drawing, that's just what happened to me. I still can only draw what I can draw. I know that the more I draw the better I get because I start to see again. Some where along the way I accepted that the way I drew was the way I drew. I could not draw everything but what I did draw had some feeling. The things I cannot draw I get some help with or I use a template or a pattern, and that's okay.
I don't limit myself by my own abilities. I learn from others. I study. I read. I teach myself. I ask for help. That way my abilities grow. That is the thing I love about creativity. It can be collaborative. It grows and builds upon itself and upon the creativity of others. As much as it is a well, it is also this big teetering tower that has grown because we have helped each other.
And if you keep using it, it gets better as you age. You have more sources, more knowledge, more history that you can draw upon. The well does not dry up. That's a myth. You keep digging, it will keep flowing.
Over the last year I put a lot of my creative energy into making DFS Colour School. I hope you will join me and learn this creative approach to colour for hooking rugs.
Enjoy your Sunday, and I 'll write next week,
and remember ...
You are creative!

Deanne
PS. If you sign up for colour school before April 3 you will save $50 on the registration.
PPS. YES!!! Slubby yarn is back in stock. Order here
Hooking a Self Portrait.

Hooking a Self Portrait.

When I decided to hook a self portrait I thought about what I like to wear. Well for me that would be my blundstone boots. I live in them. Even more now that they come with a little heel. I can even dress them up a little. I love the little bit of black in the grey boot that looks like the elastic.

Hooking people is about capturing their essence, the thing that is really them. I felt that if I put the boots on the woman I am hooking people would clearly see that it was me. Just a little thing but I think it will make a difference when this rug is done.

I am really having fun making this rug. Picking out an outfit as if I was going out somewhere!
Sunday Letter: We are all part of a rug hooking community.

Sunday Letter: We are all part of a rug hooking community.

Good Morning,
Are you curious? Do you like to talk to people about their life? Do you see strangers and wonder what their story is?
I do. I am interested. I like to talk to people. I am interested in people's stories. I like to know how they see things and how they got to be who they are.
Everyone has a story, that's an old line. It's also a true line. We get here because we follow a certain path, or perhaps because we don't.
For several years I was co-host of a radio show called At the Kitchen Table the where I interviewed people about what inspired them. I met so many interesting people. I usually left the kitchen table inspired to be better. That is the power of story for me. Other people's stories excite me to explore, to change, to push my own story forward.
Personally I learn and grow from listening to others. Whether it is through reading a book, watching a video or listening to a podcast.
After listening to many podcasts while I hook, last year I decided to create my own. It is called Create Beauty Everyday. Two to three times a month I post a story or an interview with people about how they create beauty. I talk to friends, artists, writers, business owners and all kinds of people about how what matters to them. It is a privilege to sit with people and have them tell you what matters to them. Spending time with people, really listening to them deepens our relationship with them. There is no better way to understand them, to build community with them.
For me it is about connection. When we connect it makes life fuller and richer. We are less alone. We seek understanding because it is important to feel understood. Being understood brings us into community with others.
So I reach out. It is why I write to you on Sundays, it is why I do the Thursday Lives , and it is why I do the podcast. I do it because I need community, and because I believe that we all need community. It enriches us, helps us grow, and makes our lives better.
Thanks for reading, I am glad you do,
Deanne
P.S I have out a tab on the front of the website with the podcast on it so it is easy for you to find and maybe listen to while you hook. If you listen to it and like it be sure to review it on iTunes or wherever you listen. I would appreciate that.
Sunday letter..rug hooking offers focus in age of distraction

Sunday letter..rug hooking offers focus in age of distraction

Hello,
This morning I googled the "age of distraction" and several books, talks and videos comes up. It seems we all know that we are living in a time when we are highly distractable.
Remember a few months ago I told you about my irritating habit of checking my email constantly. I checked it practically every time I saw my phone. It was a way of stepping out of the moment. It was a way of avoidance perhaps, though I am not sure what I was avoiding. Was it avoidance of being alone with myself for a minute or two with nothing to do? Was it avoidance of really listening to others?
Through the jigs and the reels of the last few months I have gotten into a healthier habit of checking my email and answering it 3 or 4 times a day. The thing that I have noticed is that I am much less distracted. And so now I much more aware of what is happening when I do get distracted.
Distraction, however we experience it, transports you from one place to another.
Sometimes we need this and set out to deliberately find it for ourselves. Some distractions are good ones, a friend texts you for a walk or your sister drops in. These are worth it. This for me is the good kind of distraction.
Other times it just pops up in front of us and takes us away from the thing we should or even want to be doing. When this happens to me I find that I sometimes cannot even remember what I was about to do.
Even with my new email rules I remain distractible. Because I made that change I have become more aware of what distraction does. I can observe myself being distracted. I can see it and I feel the results of it. It sometimes leads to stress and lost plans and ideas. Once I realize I was distracted by something, I often no longer remember what I was actually doing. I loose focus. My intentions are set off course.
Focus is probably one of the most important things we can offer our lives, our families, & our work. Certainly rug hooking itself requires deep focus and commitment. It takes time and love and understanding, just like most good things in life. When I put my attention there it makes me happy. It soothes me and leads me back to myself.
I get to choose where I put my attention. Sometimes I am led astray by a bit of glitter or a bump in the road and don't quite know how to get back on the path. When that happens all I have to do is pick up the hook and go to the frame and I'll find myself there waiting for me.
Rug hooking brings us into focus.That is one of the beautiful things it offers. In a time when we can so easily get lost in a sea of distraction, making things is like having a boat in a safe harbour.
I hope you get to make something today.
Thanks for reading,
Deanne
PS. If you want you can take the course only option for the winter online course. It is $99. I am going to add extra videos 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. So I am going to extend the sale on the course only option! It is a good choice if you have your own stash.
Thursday Live: Changing directions, textures and a new rug reveal

Thursday Live: Changing directions, textures and a new rug reveal

Thursday Live: Perspective in Rug Hooking and Hooking Houses

Thursday Live: Perspective in Rug Hooking and Hooking Houses

Rug hooking outlines and perspective in rug hooking.

Hooking houses.