Hi, Welcome to our first annual winter online retreat, Renew! 

Deanne Fitzpatrick is an accomplished artist, entrepreneur, published author of eight books about creativity and rug hooking. She is a transformative rug hooker who owns and operates a studio in beautiful Amherst, Nova Scotia.

Deanne's work can be found in private and public collections including The Canadian Museum of History, The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Art Bank, and the Rooms Gallery in Newfoundland.

She has received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Mount Saint Vincent University and has recently been awarded the prestigious Order of Canada, being recognized for her work in the advancement of rug hooking as an art form.

"I am so excited and have a joyous feeling that you have accompanied me for this retreat. I am here to do whatever I can to make sure you have a deep and meaningful time. I want this to be something that you do for yourself, that you will remember. Thank you for being part of the first annual online winter retreat!"~ Deanne

Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko
If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland
Steal Like an Artist By Austin Kleon
Little Stories of Your Life by Laura Pashby
Learning by Heart by Cortia Kent

Jean-Luc Godard (film director) - “It’s not where you take things from, it’s where you take them to.”
Works of Art: Vitruvian Man (da Vinci)
Da Vinci and “Vitruvian Man” https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/22/Da_Vinci_Vitruve_Luc_Viatour.jpg
Here’s the text above and below the drawing, translated into English:

Vitruvius, the architect, says in his architectural work that the measurements of man are in nature distributed in this manner, that is 4 fingers make a palm, 4 palms make a foot, 6 palms make a cubit, 4 cubits make a man, 4 cubits make a footstep, 24 palms make a man and these measures are in his buildings. If you open your legs enough that your head is lowered by 1/14 of your height and raise your arms enough that your extended fingers touch the line of the top of your head, let you know that the center of the ends of the open limbs will be the navel, and the space between the legs will be an equilateral triangle.

The length of the outspread arms is equal to the height of the man. From the hairline to the bottom of the chin is one-tenth of the height of the man. From below the chin to the top of the head is one-eighth of the height of the man. From above the chest to the top of the head is one-sixth of the height of the man. From above the chest to the hairline is one-seventh of the height of a man. From the chest to the head is a quarter of the height of the man. The maximum width of the shoulders contains a quarter of the man. From the elbow to the tip of the hand is a quarter of the height of a man; the distance from the elbow to the armpit is one-eighth of the height of the man; the length of the hand is one-tenth of the man. The virile member is at the half height of the man. The foot is one-seventh of the man. From below the foot to below the knee is a quarter of the man. From below the knee to the root of the member is a quarter of the man. The distances from the chin to the nose and the hairline and the eyebrows are equal to the ears and one-third of the face.

List of materials you will need for the retreat...

• Your rug hooking or hand work

• Teaspoon of olive oil, salt and warm wash cloth for Pyjama party

• One 8 by 11 piece of card stock cut into four 

• One piece of chocolate

• Sketch book

• Colouring pencils, markers or crayons

And don't forget to have your bingo card ready to play, which was included in the swag pack and downloadable swag pack. A picture of your Bingo card needs to be submitted to manager@hookingrugs.com by 3 pm on Sunday, February 25th to be eligible for our grand prize, a new CHETICAMP FRAME!! YAY!

Our Special Guests

We are so thrilled to have some special guests to enhance our retreat. They will share their experiences and creativity with all us Renew members. Enjoy their bios below...

Hayley Perry

Loop by Loop Studio was founded by Hayley Perry in 2013. Hayley grew up surrounded by rug hooking, thanks to her mother Sharon and aunt Deanne, but did not begin making her own rugs and designs until many years later. Hayley holds her education in Fine Arts and after getting her graduate degree in painting in 2011, she started dyeing and selling fabric online, hooking rugs, and making kits, which has blossomed into her full time career.  


Amy Oxford

Amy Oxford has been making punch needle style hooked rugs and teaching the craft since 1985. She is the inventor of The Oxford Punch Needle, has her work in collections nationwide, and has been licensed by The Shelburne Museum in Vermont to make adaptations of their antique rugs. She is the author of seven books on rug hooking including her latest, Intermediate and Advanced Punch Needle Rug Hooking – Techniques, Projects and Inspirations. 


Alexandrya Eaton

Alexandrya Eaton is a contemporary Canadian visual artist whose practice includes painting, textiles, sculpture, and weaving. Eaton’s current research examines how fabric manipulations can be incorporated into painting practice, and how the canvas, a woven material, accepts these folds and stitches, conceptually exploring layers and connections of material and memory. 


Rémi Lévesque

Rémi Lévesque started hooking when he retired in 2013 after a long career as a public high school teacher. In early 2017, as a volunteer at the Barachois Historic Church, in Barachois, NB, Rémi got the idea of organizing a small exhibit of hooked cushions. Thanks to the rug hooking international community, the idea rapidly developed into what is known today as Barachois International Collection of Hooked Cushions. 320 hooked cushions from various countries around the world including all American states and all provinces and territories of Canada. Invited to exhibit the USA50 hooked cushions portion of the collection, he was awarded the Sauder Award 2023; The collection that best exemplifies the Mission and Spirit of Historic Sauder Village.

Rebecca Humphreys 

Creating art with bold colours and textures makes my heart happy and my soul sing. I am not a “neutral” kind of person – I live my life, and create my art, in a bold and enthusiastic way. Throughout my artistic journey I have grown to learn that I do not always like to follow the rules! I also get bored easily and have resigned myself to the fact that I will always consciously (or unconsciously) seek out new art forms to engage my creative soul. Who knows what will be next!

Carla Middelburg

Carla Middelburg studied at Banff School of Fine Arts, Banff Alberta and Aprerion Workshops, New York.

Exploring various art mediums through the years, most recently working with textiles, she uses wool cloth and yarns for its many textures and unique tactile quality.

Working from her home studio in Baie Verte NB,  she creates imagery from a deep connection to her outdoor adventures exploring the Atlantic coast. She experienced and observed the many coves and bays of Nova Scotia,  Newfoundland and New Brunswick as an avid kayaker.

Her designs are original pieces hand hooked with dyed, over dyed, new and recycled wool cloth, yarns and silk on linen backing.

Greg Gaudet

Greg serendipitously began working at Deanne’s studio in 2019 after retiring from a 30-year career as a hospital Physiotherapist. His main functions at the studio (other than annoying his coworkers with his vast knowledge of copious topics) include production, planning & implementing Kit of the Month, as well as dyeing an array of wool yarns & fabric for special projects and for the studio. Greg was born in Prince Edward Island and went to University at St. FX and Dalhousie. He has, along with his wife Heather, made Amherst his home for 35 years.






Saturday, February 24th, 11 am ~ 6 pm

11:00 - 11:15 am      Intro by Angela Jorgensen

11:15 - 12 :15 pm     Welcome Keynote by Deanne 

12: 15 - 12:30 pm     Breakout Rooms

12:30 - 1:00 pm         Lunch

1:00 - 2:00 pm            Alexandrya Eaton

2:00 - 2:30 pm            Breakout Room

2:30 - 3:00 pm            Deanne, Mini Workshop: My Design Secret

3:00 - 3:15 pm            Bio Break

3:15 - 4:00 pm            Hooking Women's Portraits, with Deanne

4:00 - 4:15 pm            Sharon's Video / Introduce Hayley

4:15 - 5:30 pm            Hayley Perry, The Bumbling Bee: Using Line to Create Story

5:30 - 5:45 pm            Bio Break

5:45 - 6:00 pm            Pre-recorded Videos and Goodnight

Sunday, February 25th, 11 am ~ 6 pm

11:00 - 11:20 am      Pyjama Party and Sunday Letters

11:20 - 11:45 pm      Greg Gaudet, Colour on Fibre: Exploring dyeing techniques

11:45 - 12:00 pm      Breakout Rooms

12:00 - 12:30 pm      Deanne, Mini Workshop: Personal Color Story

12:30 - 1:00 pm         Lunch

1:00 - 2:00 pm            Rémi Lévesque, Community Projects and Rug Hooking

2:00 - 2:15 pm            Greg Gaudet, Colour on Fibre: Exploring dyeing techniques

2:15 - 2:30 pm            Breakout Rooms

2:30 - 3:00 pm            Deanne, Mini Workshop How to be an Original

3:00 - 4:00 pm            Selling Art with Carla Middelburg & Rebecca Humphreys

4:00 - 4:15 pm            Bio Break

4:15 - 5:30 pm            Amy Oxford, Rug Hooking, Creativity and Mental Health

5:30 - 6:00 pm            Closing Wrap up with Deanne


CLICK HERE to download Hayley's "Bumbling Bee" pattern which is she kind enough to share with fellow retreat members.  

“We are truth seekers, beauty seekers, wisdom seekers. We seek solace, and we use our craft as a meditation to offer solace to ourselves and others. When you have something really good you don’t hide it away. You put it out on the table and you let the light shine on it so it can be seen by whoever needs to see it.” Deanne Fitzpatrick