Progress with Oil on Water

I’ll get to Oil on Water shortly….but first, my little project using batik. After an exciting (to me) start….I became discouraged with it and set it aside for a time. But needing something to hook on at Sunshine meetings (I can hardly carry Oil on Water to my frame, let alone haul it across the parking lot and up the elevator to where we meet), I brought the batik along and set to work. With some wise advice from Jean on how to correct the nose, I’ve been enjoying this experience with a new fibre (for me). DSCN0911.jpgWhile Jennifer Manuel ….of Fisheye Sisters (who sells the batik strips) uses the strips as is, I have found them too wide, so I’ve been cutting each one in half, and I find that much more manageable.

Another exciting event happened recently when I received a huge box of wool and various other goodies in an “ugly wool swap”. Just in case you may not know what that is….a box is started out full of one person’s “ugly wool” and is sent in turn to each participant. As it arrives, you take anything that appeals to you and replace it with a like amount of your own “ugly wool”. My goodness, it was like Christmas. I particularly had my eye out for wool which I could overdye for the background of Oil On Water.

dscn0879This huge piece of wool seemed perfect.dscn0883I soaked it (this is just half of the piece which was nearly 2 yards)dscn0887…….used  three pro chem blues…navy, brilliant blue, and national blue. 1/2 of the navy went in the dye bath, the wool was added, then the rest spotted over the top.dscn0922One piece I stirred to create a more consistent colour, the other I left purposely blotchy. (the wool is actually quite a bit darker than it appears in the photo)

Here’s my pile of “soon to be background wool” still awaiting the dye pots.dscn0930Most of it is other wool from the swap box, and the solid blue and green are from the wool Mary Lou Justason was selling from her stash at R..U.G. to raise money for the Hooked Rug Museum of North America.

As for the progress on “Oil On Water”….I’ve spent a lot of time working with the design trying to leave  it asymmetrical  but still making sure it is balanced.dscn0896On the right…I want the “flame” motif to swing down and around in a more or less continuous sweep….so I drew this….dscn0902-1…..but I’m thinking the turn from sideways to vertical is too abrupt….on the other hand I think I can tie them together with a swirling  shape much like the one on the top. The jury is still out on that decision… I’ve moved on to the left side for the moment.dscn0913The left top has long sweeping “stripes in a bit lighter blue than the background.

The bottom looked like this…(sorry for the huge long photo….I couldn’t get it to crop in half)dscn0894-1….so I decided to extend the little “nubbies” and create stripes similar to the top.dscn0903

My first attempt was wobbly at the top, and too fat… I re-drew the sweep smoothly to balance with the top.dscn0912-2….and used a lighter blue once again to create the subtle stripe….dscn0916-1…. (which shows up dark here).

If I can’t make up my mind about the bottom flames I’ll hook plain background for a few days while I ponder a decision.

As you can imagine….this piece has become progressively heavier and heavier. Since my creative juices demand that I have the whole piece available to look at, and clamping it to the top of the closet had become a two man job while I stand teetering on a chair…..Ray has made me a hoist!

He used a piece of 1″ x 4″, put a hook at the top of the closet on the wall , and a cleat further down the wall at the side  to secure it….DSCN0900.jpg

….so that I can attach it with clips at waist level then pull it up…dscn0901…I must admit it makes getting to the clothes in the closet a bit of a nuisance…..but it is oh so much easier to hang and I can dream away about how to progress while looking at the entire rug.DSCN0919.jpgNow off to hook some more background.

Thanks for stopping by.







Hooking With Friends

I can’t think of a better way to spend a winter’s day in January than curled up in a cozy chair by a fireplace, surrounded by friends, and hooking, visiting and eating home made soup for lunch. That’s just what I did yesterday at Helen’s . We were surrounded by inspiring hooked pieces on her walls.DSCF7201

….this hooked by Deanne FitzpatrickDSCF7202…and this wonderful tryptic also by her…DSCF7203….these finer hooked pictures…..


and delightful small pieces scattered about the room.

Ann was working on her famous stars…DSCF7214

DSCF7199….which sell faster than she can make them.

Cynthia is creating a piece inspired by the work of contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and her illustrations of Alice in Wonderland.

Cynthia’s creativity, use of varied materials, and free form hooking, have me holding my breath to watch this unfold.DSCF7210

The beautiful fuchsia is a sari silk and fairly glows in real life.DSCF7211

You can see the wide variety of colours in the “white” background already.

Jeanne was sporting the necklace she made at Jennifer Mauuel’s workshop.DSCF7196 DSCF7197

….while she has nearly completed the background of her  “Four Seasons “.DSCF7195

Helen is hooking a piece inspired by by a “Happy Winter Solstice” card produced by the Syracuse Cultural Workers.DSCF7209

….it  depicts night and day above and below the moon.

I was working on my Zentangle sampler.DSCF7217

….while Mary was corking ….DSCF7198

….with some beautiful coloursDSCF7207

and Kathy was knitting a shawlDSCF7194…..while wearing a poncho she made…DSCF7216

….decorated with a beautiful hand made broach…DSCF7215

…and Wendy popped in later with her knittingDSCF7212

….what  talented friends I have……….what an enjoyable day.



Jennifer Manuell Workshop


Last Sunday and Monday, the Sunshine Rug Hookers hosted two one day workshops given by Jennifer Manuell. The topic was making hooked jewelry, but no matter what the topic, attending a workshop given by Jennifer is both fun and informative.DSCF6896

Jennifer’s bubbly personality, high degree of organization, and vast knowledge ensure a wonderful experience for everyone there. Our host, Linda Wilson provided the perfect venue so it was a fun and informative day.

Jennifer’s  jewelry examples, left us all with something to aspire to in the future.








Her personal choice of colour palette is very distinctive and recognizable, and one I have tried to emulate at various times, but alas, those brights always seem to speak to me too loudly.

Thanks to Teresa Morneau for sending her pictures to share as well as those I managed to take. (sorry Teresa, I can’t seen to enlarge your shots)

Here we are “in progress”.











By our meeting on Tuesday morning, a few had finished their first piece. (I only got photos of three)

DSCF6908 DSCF6906




We all came away with all the materials to make a second, larger and more complicated piece, so there will be lots of new jewelry being sported in our area in the coming months.

My personal thanks to Jennifer for a great day, and Linda for allowing us to once again use her studio.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. My turkey is thawing!


A Day at R.U.G. part 1

For those of you who live in other areas, R.U.G. ( Rughookers United Gathering) is a twice yearly get together held at the Simcoe County Museum near Barrie Ontario. Admittance is free (a purse is passed for donations to the museum), and all rug hookers are welcome. It began as a gathering for local groups, but has become popular, and now people travel from a wide area of Ontario to attend.

There are venders, show and tell, a speaker, or programme, and various other activities, and causes that are promoted. (yesterday our group Sunshine Rug Hookers held a draw for this rug. The proceeds all going to Gilda’s Club, a support for cancer patients and their families.)DSCF5063

The rug was donated, partially finished to our group who then finished it, and decided to use it to raise money for a worthy cause. It is circular (it is hanging over a rail in this photo). Someone went home with a great memento of the day!DSCF5035IShow and Tell is always the highlight , with many wonderful rugs and stories shared. I’m sure many of you read Jennifer Manuell’s blog Fish Eye Rugs, and know that she made a life changing (her words) trip to Guatemala this winter. They visited a group of hookers there who are creating rugs from used local clothing…..and she purchased this rug from a Guatemalan lady. The colours and design are so distinctive….it took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes.

A small, informal group of hookers get together each week at a yummy shop in the village of Coldwater (about 15 miles west of where I live). The shop, The Purple Sock, specializes in wool and teas (interesting combination), but also carries some hooking supplies. The women in this group read the article in Rug Hooking Magazine about the Yahookers “SIncerely Jane” challenge, and decided to do their own version.DSCF5049DSCF5050DSCF5051DSCF5052 They each bought the book “Dear Jane” and laid out and drew the squares for their rug. Each rug was then passed around to the participants, and each hooker added a square from the original quilt to every rug so that the owner didn’t see her own rug until it was returned with the blocks filled in.

I didn’t take notes about what people said about their rugs, and it is all very informal, so no names were attached to the mats, so if I’ve got some info wrong, please let me know and I’ll correct it


This hooker is working to become a certified Jane McGown teacher, and this is her piece for fine shading.


And her scrolls…


A beautiful scrappy geometric…I’m pretty sure this is by Jo-Anne, and was given to her daughter to put by her bed in residence…her first year away from home at University.


Iris took city transport to catch her ride to R.U.G., so she brought 2 small rugs….this lovely kilim…..


….and this eye catching blues piece…..a variety of textures (including some bling) and some needle punch.


This wonderful mat is from a picture of the hooker’s parents. what amazing hooking!

I’ve got lots more to show….and I’ll do it next post. Right now…..the day is sunny and DH and I are heading out to pick up wonderful fresh drinking water at the spring in Elmvale……the world’s purest water.

Stay tuned for the rest.

A Jennifer Manuel purse…under construction

I’ve talked about all my large pieces now, up to what I’m presently working on, but I realize that along the way I’ve done a variety of smaller items.

One of these was a purse by Jennifer Manuel. I bought the kit for this little project, at RUGG a few years ago. This was at a time while I was still firmly entrenched in hooking only with #3 and #4 cuts. The wool was mostly recycled, so I struggled with it fraying, but I love the colours and the design. Of course, being me, I don’t like the sewing together part, so it remains…not quite finished. I still need to sew in the bottom, and the lining, and affix the handles.


Jennifer is coming to do a workshop with our group in the new year, so I’d better get my act together and finish this purse before I start another! Does anyone have a ‘like pill’ for finishing and sewing???