Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Autumn's Smile

Today I'm feeling nostalgic about summer. I can feel the season change as Fall creeps in with the cool mornings and late in the day, finally warms up a sunny spot in my garden.

Last spring, when I first started blogging, I did a post about all the seasons.

Here is an excerpt from that post about fall and a piece I designed called, Autumn's Smile.

Autumn's Smile, was inspired by a bouquet I picked towards the end of summer. My favorite rose, a heady smelling repeat bloomer, still had a few buds, as well as rose hips forming too. It seemed so poignant to watch right before my very eyes, this summer blooming rose, surrender to autumn. Hence, the name, Autumn's Smile, obliquely refers to William Cullen Bryant's poem. "Autumn, the year's last loveliest smile."



Autumn's Smile is available in my ETSY shop


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Orchard and Lace Quail

Twice a day, the quail would venture out from the blackberry bushes and come up through the orchard to feed at my mother-in-law's well stocked bird feeder. There was a lot of underbrush near her feeder, so the quail, along with their chicks, must have felt safe and protected there.

Orchard Quail was inspired by those daily visits from the quail. The antique black background suggests that feeling of closed-in safety that surrounded the feeding quail. Orchard Quail also has an autumn feel for me, maybe because of the fall colors of red, orange, and warm browns spread throughout the design in the berries and mounded border motifs.

The second quail pattern, Lace Quail, is a spin off design from Orchard Quail.

I was asked to recreate the same feel, but instead of an oval format, they wanted the finished piece to be a rectangle. It was a fun challenge to revisit and hook a quail incorporating a lace-like oval shape within the rectangle. I framed it in an aged barn wood frame. The soft grays in the quail beautifully play off the frame's color and rustic look.

Orchard Quail and Lace Quail are available in my Etsy Shop!

Hooking Lace Quail on the Oregon Coast.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Harvest Party

In earlier posts, I admitted to not being so great at decorating for holidays. That still stands true. I do better with grasping onto seasons. They have a more natural rhythm for me, last for a longer time period, and have more ambiguous start and stop times.

As the weather begins to turn from summer to fall, as the days start out cool and roll into golden afternoons that smell of ripe fruit that have fallen to the ground and tainted the air with an earthy, overripe scent, I embrace surrounding myself with images that celebrate the coming autumn.

The initial design idea for this piece was for a scalloped border with a creamy yellow background. It reminded me of the soft light of autumn afternoons and the harvest activities which surround that time of year. There was a thought to maybe include pumpkins or apples.

Harvest Party's gathering of quirky friends somehow became a part of the design. I enjoy how each of these characters have their own personality. There's the mouse standing on his tippy-toes, and wearing his heart on his tail. The bird ready to spring forward to share her flower. The big-eyed dragonfly happily drifting between the two friends, ready to alight on the pumpkin.

Harvest Party is a light-hearted fun pattern to hook. It is available in my ETSY shop.

Happy Autumn!


Tuesday, September 8, 2015



It may seem like a strange idea to have salmon as the focal point in a hooked rug.

However, I have designed and hooked over ten salmon rugs. At one point, I instructed my rug hooking guild to not allow me to hook another salmon rug for at least a year. It seems I cannot help being drawn to the salmon, they are in my blood so to speak.

I was raised in a small town in the Pacific Northwest surrounded by bays, inlets and beaches.

The salmon for centuries to present time were important to the Native American cultures. In my hometown, the fishing industry was a major part of its economy beginning early on in the twentieth century. My grandfather, father, brothers, uncles, cousins and husband were all commercial fishermen at one time. My mom, sisters, and I worked at various jobs in the many fish canneries. Local fishermen fished in the waters of the Puget Sound and traveled seasonally to work in Alaska.

I have a deep reverence for salmon. I like the Native American folklore and stories involving salmon and also the role salmon played in my own family's history. Ravens and crows are also one of my favorite design elements, so it was meaningful to combine all these elements and ideas into one rug.

At the time that I designed this rug, all three of my children were in their teen years. I needed my creative outlet to reflect the peace and balance I was seeking for all of us with our hectic schedules during those years. My goal was to create an almost meditative feel. The stately tree with its long embracing branches that protectively encircle the raven. The raven, observing, perhaps even guarding the salmon. The salmon, content and almost looking happy, to be resting in the eddy safely below the roots.

Sanctuary's oval shape measures approx 25" x 32".

It is available in my ETSY shop along with other rug hooking related item.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Walk in the Garden

A Walk In The Garden, is a rug I designed over ten years ago. I wanted to capture a romantic feeling using horizontal rows of soft background colors as the backdrop and the organic shape of flowers as the focal point. I love the old fashion effect the center roses have on the rug, hooked in a style reminiscent of antique textiles.


The background is hooked in muted neutral, earthy tones of tan, camel, peach, and taupe. The lightest values are used for the wider meandering rows that represent the abundant plantings of the flower garden. The medium value background colors are used in the narrower rows to suggest a garden path with small brightly colored reddish flowers and leaves that have "volunteered" in random fashion on the path.


A Walk in the Garden measures 26" x44" and can be found in my ETSY shop along with other patterns and hooking related items.