Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Birds of a Feather

Spring seems like the perfect time to reflect on using bird motifs in your rugs.

After all, here in Oregon, the swallows and buzzards have returned quite awhile ago. Now, when you step outdoors the flurry of songbirds singing and flying about, certainly catch your attention!

I have hooked many birds into my rugs from swans and geese, roosters and chickens to ravens and crows. Along with quails, hummingbirds, swallows and songbirds and more. Heck, I have even hooked a peacock!

Above Photo: Sanctuary: Raven or Crow peering from tree

Above Photo: Intrepid Souls: Hummingbird searching for blossoms

I like how adding a bird to a rug can add interest and charm. It can be part of the composition or a focal point. Many of my rugs tell stories. In River & Raven's Roost, (topmost photo) it was the raspy call of the raven that inspired part of this rug. In Dove's Song, it was a mourning dove's meditative cooing that mesmerized me as I stood in my garden. In Rose Wreath, (photo below) the flowers are the focal point, but the birds hidden within the wreath add a lot of sweetness to the piece.

Whether you design your own rugs, or purchase rugs made by other designers, consider hooking a rug with a bird motif in it. I am sure you will enjoy the process and love the outcome!

Please visit my ETSY shop and view my patterns, there are more patterns of mine with birds, too many to post.

Administrative FYI:Beginning in May and thoughout the summer months, I will be blogging only once a month. With the onset of warmer weather I will be outside doing more gardening, trips to the coast, and family visits. I do hope to get some hooking done too. I will keep you posted! Thank you, marijo


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Flying Flying Fox

This design, Flying Flying Fox, was inspired by an antique hooked rug's background that I admired. I loved the way the background colors flowed using a tight range of values, in warm and cool colors. This is not a case where you put all the wool strips in a bag, to then pull out any ole color and use in any area you are working on. I was surprised at how much thinking and scrutinizing went into the placement of each strip to create this unique look. Again, it was a good reminder, that primitive hooking does NOT mean simpler hooking, far from it!

I'm currently reexploring, my fox phase! I hooked my first fox rug, Cozy Fox, in the spring of 2014. When I blogged about that rug in the spring of 2015, a friend then told me of an amazing experience that she had with a gray fox, (I will blog about that soon with a rug to match). As I was designing that more folk-art style gray fox rug, I asked myself, why don't I design a more traditional primitive rug also, since I adore that style too, and so primitive Flying Flying Fox design was born.

I love this happy little self-assured fox. There is just enough color and texture differentiation in him to add interest to his "black" silhouette. The antique blacks are in the blue-black, purple and brown range of color, which perfectly compliment the warm-orangey background colors!

The background is hooked in light to medium colors of warm peach, tan, tawny and camel tones. The interest is added with the usage of cooler similar value grays that lean toward blues and mellow soft purples. I had to use a lot of different wools, and different directional hooking techniques so it would be interesting and not just a "blob" of color. I definitely want to explore this technique further. I was humbled by how tricky it was to achieve this "aged" look.

The suggestion of the flowers, or dandelions gone-to-seed are intended to fade into the background. It was a fun experiment to use a neutral light wool for the flowers, whereas normally, I use all sorts of color and values to define a flower from the background. A narrow strip of a slightly brighter color, is randomly "tunneled" around the edge of the flowers to softly define them.

As you know, I usually bind my rugs with a crocheted edge. This time, I wanted the binding to look rustic. So,I bound this design with 1/2" torn strips wrapped around cotton cording.

This carefree, bounding fox is soaring through a field of dandelions gone-to-seed. As he passes, the little white "parachutes" are sure to go flying, flying in all directions! I like to think he is inviting you to happily join him, to make a wish, and blow!

Please visit my ETSY shop to see Flying Flying Fox and other hooking related items.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Travel Postcard: A Dove in Flight

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words!

A Dove in Flight was a rug I finished hooking this past January and blogged about in-length, in a post on January 27, 2016.

Earlier this month I was fortunate enough to see the "dove rug" in it's new home!

Currently it is on the floor, though it might be mounted later as a wall hanging.

Picture Perfect!