Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Summer Hook In

I love Hook-Ins!

A gathering of wonderful, friendly, creative women coming together for the sole purpose of rug hooking!

I was so involved with enjoying conversation, making new friends and reconnecting with old, that I forgot to take photos. A friend did get a few of my vending table.

If you get a chance to attend a Hook In, make the effort to attend and appreciate the hookers, the varied styles of hooking, and all that wonderful creative energy!
*thanks for the photos Marie!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dye Me A Rainbow

The inevitable finally happened.

I could no longer procrastinate.

It did not matter if outside temperatures were near 100', nor how many other items I had on my "to do" list.

It was time to unearth my dye pots and to DYE WOOL!

For now, I mostly use dye recipes that I've created using Pro Chem Dyes. I do like the colors I get with Cushing dyes too. Pro Chem containers, for me, are far easier to open and work with than the other brand's envelopes. I'm just lazy, and tend to be messy.

When I dye a batch of wool, I often dye over many diffferent textures. This gives you a variety of colors that all work together, and it makes your hooked work more interesting.

Whether you are a pro at dyeing wool or a newcomer there are a few things to remember! First, do have fun! What doesn't come out like you wanted now, just might be what you need later!

Secondly, but equally important, is to be safe! You are handing chemicals and boiling water. I suggest wearing a mask while the dyes are in powder form. Once you have the dyes dissolved in the cup of boiling water the mask can come off. When stirring, and moving your simmering wool or pouring out the hot water, be sure to be present and focused so that accidents don't occur! Some folks leave the hot water on the stove to cool down before they handle it. That is a smart idea, but I am often dyeing many batches, so that method doesn't work for me. Remember to have counters covered, and to wipe everything down once you have finished dyeing, you don't want to contaminate your food surfaces! I even use separate sponges for washing my dye pots

This week, despite the heat, I just might be able to "dye me a rainbow" of beautiful wool!

What does one do with all this lovely wool you might ask!? Well, I hope to hook with it, vend at Hook-Ins, and list it on my ETSY, all before the summer ends!



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sun Rose Tile

It is summer, full on, hot and dry!

This weather gives me a very different feeling than say, March, when it's grey and drizzly. My creative process is drenched with summer sun, heat, and abundant light! The other day I did catch myself complaining about the heat, and so, once again, it is time to turn that negative into a positive, and embrace it through a hooking project.

This piece, called Sun Rose Tile measures approx 8" x 8". It reflects the good things about summer. A morning with a beautiful sunrise in the garden. A lazy afternoon with ice tea, a good book, a friend, or project. An evening sunset as the outside temperature cools and we can finally open all the windows for the night!

I like to hook small projects as a way to test an idea. Separating the flower petals with a different color isn't a new idea but it is new for me to use the background color as the petals separating line. I like the look it gives the piece, sort of an Arts and Crafts Era feel. I definitely will continue to explore this concept in some of my future designs!


I hope you can use this summer heat to spark your creativity too!

You can find many of my patterns and rug hooking related items at my ETSY shop.



Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Hooked Flower Garden


Lately, it has been far too hot to be outside in my garden, so I'm inside, thinking about the flower beds I've created in my hooked rugs. There are many ways to use technique, color and texture to make your hooked garden bloom beautifully.


Nature's Dance (above photos) shows how outlining your motifs with similar value neutrals can help the flowers show up against a background, especially a medium value background. By outlining, it allows you to use lighters or darker values for the motifs and still have the motif show up against the background. I like the unity outlining gives to all the motifs, but be sure to change up textures and wools you use to outline so the rug stays interesting.

When I want a primitive flower to be viewed as if from the side, I move the center of the flower more toward one edge of the flower. This can give your rug design a different feel, rather than having all the flowers facing full on center. In Winter's Bouquet, here are examples of sideways and center facing flowers.


The above photo shows a complementary color plan. It is a sure way to make your hooked rug sing. In, Ode to Spring Center, I used the complementary colors of blue and orange. Notice that the orange leans to a peachy pink color, and the blue birds are a grayed, soft blue-green. It makes for a more lively rug if you also use colors that are on either side of the complementary colors you are using. So if looking at the color wheel, you would use in varying amounts, the Blue, and Blue/Violet and Blue/Green. For the Orange, you could also include Red/Orange or Yellow/Orange. The dark textured background is a great companion to the motifs, and doesn't compete for attention because it is a neutral.

When hooking a grouping of flowers, as in Autumn's Smile (below) I like to change the color slightly on some of the blossoms, again, as a way to spark interest. The rosehips are differing shades of yellow.

The spray of tiny blue buds are hooked with a few different shades of blue.

Textures are a good way to draw attention to a motif. Try using an interesting texture in your flowers, whether it's the center, petals, or all of the flower.


Here's to hooking a lovely array of flowers, and the best part is, you don't have to water them!

Please visit my ETSY shop to see more of my rug hooking patterns and designs.