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WoolCake: Live Videos and Notes From Deanne

Thursday Live: 3 common mistakes beginner rug hookers make.

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 ; Showing up and Filling Up

Sunday Letter ; Showing up and Filling Up

Hello Sunday,
You honestly are one of my favourite days. You are the day I get to sit with myself for a few hours and really think about what I have to say. That time to reflect has become really important to me. It makes me think during the week about what's important. It makes me take notice of what others are saying, what I am reading because I know I am going to take the time to gather my thoughts together and share them on Sunday morning. This has become a ritual for me.
Rituals and habits are the essence of creative life. They are the foundation of making. Showing up and hooking even when I don't have an inspired idea. Showing up and writing when I feel like I got nothing to say.
Picasso said, "Inspiration exists, but it likes to find you working." Aww, the truth plainly said, I love that.
All you need is a habit of hooking ten minutes a day, or sketching while you are the phone or writing a letter on Sunday. These kind of habits build your creativity and they'll help you become an artist.
Lately I picked up my sketchbook again. I seem to have five or six on the go at once. Often they are neglected. Sometimes I think abundance does that. We don't appreciate things as much. For years I kept only one book. I filled it, then I moved on. I use my sketch book for notes but mostly for drawing out ideas for rugs. They are full of rough lines, imperfect sketches and scratches. In each book I fill there is probably one or two good ideas in a hundred pages.
I think I need to get back to the idea of one book at a time. I think I need to set a preciousness of intention around the book, not of what I put in it, but to make myself aware of the importance of actually drawing because when I do I just get so much better at it.
About three years ago I started drawing in my books with a sharpie markers as the lines were more like what I would hook with. I really like this because it feels more like drawing right on the linen. It feels like there is more possibility. Yesterday I drew for an hour with music on in the background. I was drawing flowers in vases. I drew about thirty, each one on a new page with my sharpie.
In the moment they all seemed pretty good, but there was one that was lovely so I left the book open on that page on the table so I could study it and think about it.
So I could imagine it as a rug. That's how it is. There is a single idea that can get worked and reworked until it changes itself into something you can work with.
And that's the work.
And it is work.
It takes time and patience.
It means facing limitations.
It means compromising.
But I don't know a single artist who isn't happy to do it.
Because the feeling we get when we make something beautiful is so deeply satisfying. It fills that well inside of us. For me it is one of the few things that fills it. Nothing else really works the same. A few hours alone making changes the way I see myself and what's around me.
Years ago I met an artist who was a nun. We were at her house and there was a little chapel in it. I asked her if she got down on her knees to pray. She looked at me solemnly and said, "When I work I pray." This moved me so deeply. I have carried it with me.
To intentionally bring beauty into the world is grace itself. We are given this opportunity, each of us, to add a little more to our own lives and the lives around us. It is a solemn promise we make to ourselves to show up and make. It is this terrific, powerful ,magnetic force and we hold it in our own two hands. Imagine that.
Thank you for letting me share your day. I hope you make something beautiful,

PS. I spent the last year creating colour school and it starts on April 6. You can sign up on our website hookingrugs.com.  This is the only time it will be available this year and you save $50 if you sign up before April 3.
  • Angela Davis
DFS Colour School is here! Save $50 if you register before April 3

DFS Colour School is here! Save $50 if you register before April 3

It's here! YAY!
DFS Colour School for Rug Hooking is about living life in full colour. We’ll talk about systematic understandings of colour but mostly we’ll see colour in practice. Colour work is a practice. We’ll talk colour. We’ll live colour. We’ll make colour in this four week course.
Think Colour immersion and you’ll be thinking colour school.
I will be taking thirty years of experience in working with colour and showing you how to add colour to your work in a practical and accessible way. There is no recipe for my or your understanding of colour. Instead colour is our everyday. It is an integral part of our life. It is a means of self expression. 
We will be thinking and talking about colour as we work: we will be feeling colour as we think about applying it to our rug hooking.
This course has taken over a year to create. So much time was spent ruminating, thinking, making and dreaming before I even got one word to paper.
So how do you teach intuition? The best way is colour immersion. In this course, I want us to look beyond colour theory into the idea of living colour. By living with and using colour we come to understand it, feel it, know it. 
This series of lessons will help you see colour as the important aspect of life as well as rug hooking. I’ll help you bring your eyes, heart and mind to it all around you. It will seep colour into all areas of your life and through this immersion you will find that colour selection and choice for rug hooking and other creative practices will become more natural and intuitive.
You can learn intuition. You can develop it. It just takes practice, understanding and listening to yourself.
Some of the Topics included will be:
Creating Palettes
Dying Wool
How artists approach colour 
Colour Language
Colour Planning
Colour Balance
Colour Theory
Living with Colour
Colour Book Reviews
Using Colour to Create Depth
Colour Backgrounds
Colour Collection and Storage
Colour Relationship
Psychology of Colour
Join me for videos and written lessons and activities that will bring colour to your life and in your rugs.
DFS Colour School
Join me for two weeks of videos, written lessons and activities that will bring colour to your life and in your rugs!
Course Starts April 6th, 2021
  • Angela Davis

Thursday Live : Colour creativity and rug hooking.

Sunday Letter: The Art of Social Conversation

Sunday Letter: The Art of Social Conversation

Good Morning,
I have talked to a couple of people in March who said they are in between seasons and they felt it. It made them feel a bit off, not ready to leave, not ready to begin. I loved their honestly. Their willingness to say "Well things are ok but not perfect." in response to" how are you?".
It takes some courage to tell the truth socially. To be open with each other. But when we tell each other how we experience the world, we are given the chance to connect. And connection is powerful.
And it does not have to be that things are not ok. Sometimes it is hard to tell people the impact of the profound and the wonderful. How a book you are reading is changing the way you think. Or how a person you are working with is making your life so much nicer. Sometimes things are really good but if you are like me you might just answer "good" instead of really talking. It almost feels like if you gush about your life you are at risk of being a braggart.
If you go on too much about what's wrong no one will want to ask you how you are ever again.
Sometimes when I see people they ask me "What's new?" three or four times. I do it myself sometimes to others. But I don't really like that question. It is a habit we have. It puts the onus on the person you are talking to to drive the conversation forward. Once they tell you what's new you can go from there.
And it's hard to come up with what's new. Like right there on the spot it feels like you have to make something up. And how much do you say before you risk boring someone. And how much is too much?
I'm never sure.
Actually, sometimes I almost feel awkward. Yup I do.
Am I alone here? Is the art of social conversation just wonky for me.
I can be a good talker. I am relatively confident. And I think I am pretty good with people. But bring me out on a Saturday evening, or sit me down to supper with a group and suddenly I'm feeling like I am in high school and having to fit in with the popular gang. So I am quiet. And when I am quiet I often think about the rug I am making or the book I am reading, or the way the light is reflecting on the wall and I drift off.
This is me.
Not your funnest dinner party guest. I want to be better but when I get there I retreat and let the big dogs have their day. They are so good at it. And I enjoy them, even if I do wander back home to my comfy chair in my mind.
I find it hard to sit for too long.
I find it hard to know what to say.
And I am prone to getting lost in thought. Not big important thoughts, just minor "I wonder what's for dessert." thoughts.
And I am admitting here that making conversation in social settings is hard for me.
That is why I admire the people who told me they felt off because they were between seasons. They gave us a place to go in the conversation. Their honestly made it easy to go forward, to discover more about each other. Conversation could flow. Connections could be made.
The people who put themselves out there a little light up the room. They don't take over, they are not boastful. They are interested in others and they are inclusive. They tell you what's new with out you having to ask. They are the connectors and they are good dinner guests. And I am thankful for them. In fact, I want to be a bit more like them. Not sure I can or will be, but it's on my mind for a while, and that's a starting point.
So next time I'll try to curb the "What's new?" question and start with something better. Maybe I'll even write myself a couple of crib notes to open up the conversation. No promises, I have been this way for a long time. Still, there's always time to become a little better. I'm working' on it.
Thanks for reading, for letting me share my thoughts with you. I hope you have a good week,
PS.We will pack the new magazine in every order placed in the studio www.hookingrugs.com or you can drop by the studio and pick one up. It's free.
PP.S Be sure to listen to the podcast while you hook. We have put a tab on the website with the podcast . Please review it on iTunes or wherever you listen. I would appreciate that. There are instructions on the podcast page how to do that.
  • Angela Davis