Wednesday, February 23, 2011

MP by OP • Sunny's Henry's Pomegranate

Two finished purses in one week.... it's like an early birthday! :-D

Sunny sent me these pictures this afternoon and made my day. Her purse is beautiful - inside and out. She did a wonderful job on the finishing, and the wool used to line the flap is lovely.

Sunny writes...
Your directions were great. The only difficulty I had was where to put the fusible interfacing. I consulted a lot of other hookers in my group and finally decided to fuse it to the back side of my lining. It made sense to me to make the lining stronger so any weight in the purse wouldn't distort the hooking.I changed the interior pocket a bit. I made it a little shorter so that it is rectangular in shape and put a pleat in each side that's sewn down across the bottom. It gives the pocket more room.
Great job Sunny! Better brace yourself for the compliments -- they are sure to coming whenever you venture out and about.... :-D

Edited to add this note I received from Sunny.....
I just thought of another addition I made to the structure of the purse. I wasn't keen about the magnet to hold the flap down. One of our group suggested buying a strip of weights from the fabric store. I guess you use them to add weight to the bottom of drapes. I just whipped them into the edge of the flap when I was doing the finishing and it seems to have worked really well.
....another great idea!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

MP by OP • Marcia's Bar-Jello

I never seem to tired of seeing pictures of finished purses. I was especially happy to get this picture from Marcia on the weekend -- since she really changed up the pattern and made it her own. I think making it your own is really where it's at.....

It's always great to see something different and I find that the more I hook (and the more hooking examples I see), the more I am drawn to work that is very different from my own. When people use and combine markedly different colours, or hook in a unique or different style than I would (or) do...I want to just sit and stare, and cross my fingers that I will learn a little something.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Since Friday night....

What can I say....when I go into 'production mode', I produce! :-) Since Friday night, I've dyed over 175 pieces of wool (35+ yards) and 45 skeins of slub, cut up just over 7 yards into #8 cut (oh, how I love my double-wide cutter head....), washed 20+ yards of as-is wool, schlepped it all to the laundromat to wash and fold (twice!), created some labels for a new product, and made a bit huge mess!

Since today is Family Day here in Ontario....I was planning to reward my busy couple of days with 'a day off' ....and go and have a visit with AJ and then go north and visit my sister and folks. But when I woke up (after a wonderful sleep-in) and saw the state of my apartment, I decided to spend the morning tidying up a bit first. I was just too tired last night to do anything more than braid some slub.

If you've ever been to my place, you know that it's not really very big. Here are a few snaps that I took this morning....

Now I'm off to tidy....

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day.... (to me!)

(punch hooked by Sandra Marshall)

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Hope you are pampered and cherished all day long -- and if not by others, do it for yourself. You deserve it!

I took my own advice this year, and bought myself some new footwear. I've been a fan (from afar) of El Naturalista shoes for a couple of years now.....and the price planets aligned last week during a little detour. I was down in Belleville for work, and made a little side-trip to go and visit Christine for a sleepover and talk all things rug hooking on Thursday. We went on a mini-road trip to nearby Kingston and she took me to her favourite shoe store - where they were having a big sale - and the rest, as they say, is history.....

So far I've worn the navy boots almost every day....and the clogs just around the house. They are sooooo comfortable.

I'm heading off on another work adventure momentarily....but will be home again at the end of the week and ready for a big dye-fest on the weekend. So there won't be much exciting to report until then. Have a great week - and don't forget to eat some chocolate today!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Trish Johnson's Rugs - part four

As interesting as it was to see all of Trish's rugs on Saturday....what really caught my by surprise were her little art quilts. They were all the more wonderful because I arrived expecting rugs - not quilts. All of these quilts are companion pieces for rugs that she hooked....and I think that they make great little studies. I didn't think to ask which came first (Trish, if you read this....maybe you can fill me in?).

Regardless, I think quilts such as these would be a great way to try out a design idea, sample colour combinations or play around with composition - without requiring the same time commitment as hooking a big rug.

I was particularly fascinated by the backs of these pieces. The sometimes random thread colours, the interesting designs and the stitches coming together to form a simple sketch, without the clutter of the fabric colours or patterning.

My new sewing machine is capable of doing free-motion quilting, and I've been looking forward to taking a chunk of time and having a big play and experimenting with it (still waiting for things to settle down....LOL!) I've been waiting for years to give it a try -- ever since I set eyes on Diedre Scherer's fabric portraits.

From everything I've read on line, it can take a long time - and a lot of practice - to really get the hang of FMQ - which makes Trish's quilts all the more impressive in my eyes.

Thanks again to Trish for sharing all of her creations, and allowing me to share them on my blog. What a treat! :-D

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Trish Johnson's Rugs - part three

Here are 4 more bigger rugs - each one very different from the next. Again, the range is incredible - if I didn't know better, I might think they were hooked by different people.....

I have one more post to come with Trish's work - little art quilts....hopefully tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Trish Johnson's Rugs - part two

There are still lots more lovelies to come....

Most of these rugs are smaller mats....and they show a very eclectic variety of styles and colours -- and a number of different edge treatments.

During her talk, Trish said, "If you can't get what you want, sometimes it's good to like what you get...." Wise words. I can't remember which rug in particular she was referring to -- frankly I would be very happy to have ended up with any of her results.

Love the song (by Leonard Cohen)....and love the mat....

I want to dive deep into this water.....

The detail in this house mat is incredible -- and it's only about 10" by 15". I think it would take me a whole lifetime of constant fiddling to try to capture this much resolution! And the red tree with the red brick!

Sweet little mat of Trish and her sister as children....featured in A Needle Pulling Thread a couple of years ago....I think it was the smallest one (about 10" by 10" or smaller?)

Monday, February 07, 2011

Trish Johnson's Rugs - part one

After 3 full days of travelling last week, that finished with me arriving home late Thursday night, the last thing I wanted to do was get back in the car on Friday and drive to Toronto. Except for the planned PJ party at Elaine's with Wendie....and the rare opportunity to hear Trish Johnson talk about her rugs and see almost all of them together in one place. Needless to say, it was totally worth the drive.

Wendie already blogged about some of the wonderful stories behind Trish's rugs....and really nothing bring a rug to life quite like the story behind the rug - especially when you are a good storyteller. Unfortunately you will have to be content with some pictures of the rugs themselves.....and a few fuzzy ones at that. Sorry. No photograph (at least none of mine, and none that I can recall seeing) can do justice to a rug.....but they are better than nothing :-)

I took a whack of pictures, so I will break them up into a few more manageable posts. This first part contains Trish's first few rugs and a number of larger, pictorial/landscapy rugs.

I'm pretty sure the rug in this first photo was also Trish's first hooked rug.....
All of the wool was used 'as-is', except for the sky, which was a white skirt she dyed with RIT.

Most of these next few scenes recall childhood memories and family homes....

One of very few 'patterns' that Trish has hooked - Culley's cottage with lots of additions and customizations. I love the snow on the trees and the bright yellow on the scarf with the turquoisey water.....

I 'met' this rug on the pages of Celebrations years before I had the opportunity - or the nerve - to meet it's maker.....incorporating her grandmother's actual handwriting to help illustrate the store is such a terrific idea...

I don't think I will ever tire of seeing this next one - another Celebrations winner. You can see some close-ups on a previous post here.

Pretty amazing, eh. And there are still more to come.....

P.S. You can click on any of the photos (as with all photos on the blog) to see a larger, more detailed image.

Under the 'C' cup.....

I finally got around to putting the finishing touches on my bra at the hook-in this weekend (more to come on that later when I have time to crop all of the photos of Trish's wonderful rugs). All that was left to do was the sewing on of the little fish beads, and it took all of about 20 minutes. Now I just need to add it to the collection online.

I'm happy with how it turned out. I hooked right into the holes of the lace, using a variety of hand-spun and hand-dyed yarns, then embellished with an assortment of beads. It had a bit of an ocean look to it, so I added a little hematite fish bead that was in my box and then immediately wanted more. The next best thing (and only readily available option) were some little glass fish beads found at a store in town.

P.S. just in case your wondering (like several others before you), the bra was not dyed - it was purchased that pretty colour.