The Neighborhood was the name I finally settled upon for this rug almost 15 years ago. Looking at it now, I think I could have named it Jack and the Beanstalk!. See how those rambling roses and plant stalks sprout out of the houses as if Jack himself planted the beans just moments ago!
Often with my designs, many seemingly random events or experiences align, and voila, a theme emerges! Here are the factors that came into play! One, I wanted to hook a large rug. This one, is 36" x 52". Two, I wanted to commemorate the houses I have lived in during my lifetime. Three, it was summer, and the deep red roses, the ones that have reverted back to their rootstock, were arching 15 feet or more towards the heavens, buds bursting in all their glory.
The absolutely best part about this rug, is that my daughter who was five at the time, wanted to help draw the houses! Frankly, in my mind, her little homes are the most endearing aspect of this rug. The couple of houses that I drew were good and adequate, however, hers were delightful!
She made darling little A-frames with too many windows and flowers as tall as the house! She was a natural, her renditions were a perfect way to represent a house in primitive/folk art.
One of my favorites of her houses is the one with many oddly matched windows. Yet, even sweeter, is the little mouse house next door. Notice in the following photo, the blue mouse house door drawn on the big house! Just what every adult wants, a door, so the mouse living next door can freely come and go!
The rectangular flowerbed shapes in front of a couple of the homes and the undulating flower bed were again part of my daughter's magic touch.
From a designer's viewpoint, I wanted the two main flower stalks that stretch on either side from top to bottom, to contain several varieties of flowers. Luckily, I'm not hemmed in by convention, so my imagination soared with creating many fanciful flowers. I especially love the open flower that has the shape of a five petal flower, yet the inside is hooked in the background color, making it light and airy!
Over the years, I must have had this rug in some doorway, where direct sunlight fell upon it and has faded some of the background strips or flower edges. That aging process adds to the quirky charm of this rug.
Having hooked rugs for several years, I do own many and have to have some of them put away. I trade them out as the season changes or as the spirit moves me. This week all my garden roses are in bloom, and so The Neighborhood is out in our living room once again.
The Neighborhood is a fun sweet rug, and the best collaboration I ever did!