Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Green Cat

Green Cat 5-16-10

Green Cat 5-18-10

I finally started on Green Cat this weekend. I'm still debating on my color scheme with it. It isn't turning out as realistic as I was hoping for. I'm more graphic art than realistic. It's also more to minty side than I'd thought it'd be and the colors don't look that minty until I hook them. I did over dye some light teal fabric with yellows and greens trying to get more forest and kelly leaf green and thought it looked great but hooking it now I'm not sure. I had a big piece of it and needed a lot in the kelly green color range for most of the leaves but with bits and parts of other colors on the pieces. The pale green in the face is looking more like cream than pale green==grrr. It doesn't look bad but its isn't what I had in my head for it to look like and not sure whether to pull it all out and start over or not. I did change the colors in the nose from a yellower green to the kelly I used on the sides of the face, The yellower just sort of jarred with me so I did change it.

I also suspect my linen is more for larger than smaller cuts as it isn't holding the narrow cuts like other linen I have hooked narrows on. I'm having a harder time getting my shading with the narrows because of this. This was gift from a friend so I'm not sure where she got it and she usually hooks wide cuts.

I'll finish the head and debate whether I go on or change it. Ant opinions?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2nd section of Fiendfire done!

I really pushed myself on this and had another uninterrupted day to work so I put in a 15 hour day Tuesday and then finished the rest up from 9:30AM to 3PM today. I got the new part to be worked on re-stretched on my frame to work on tomorrow. Today more fabric cutting....

Tuesday 4-20-10 hooking

Wednesday 4-21-10

Next section to do

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekend Hooking on Fiendfire

I had the whole weekend to myself while my 2 sons went out of town to Atlanta and took the car which was okay so it was just me and the dog. Right now we are just down to one car though mine should be back up and running soon. I really enjoy alone time especially with nice sunny days in the backyard. The neighbors even cut my 3 foot high grass for me since they have a riding lawn mower and it took them no time to get the field done. At least now I can have the grandkids come over and play in the yard now.

I sort off pushed myself on hooking about 12 hours each day and 7 today before I came in to use the computer. This is getting very colorful. I haven't done any real color planning on this, it's grabbing whatever looks good at the time to stick in the various spots. Originally this was just going to black and gray but my slash of black wasn't as big as I thought it was so I've been improvising. I've been digging through my already cut strips from previous projects and adding in to what I was going to use from just my reds and purples. I'm trying for waves of colors, going in and out of the blacks. I think it's working?

This is Saturday's hooking 4-17-19

This is Sunday's 4-18-19

And here's today- Monday's 4-19-20
I got the rest of the colors put in and am now working on the background grays. I've got to cut some more tonight so no hooking until tomorrow.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fiendfire Bottom Section done

It took me 7 days to do the bottom part of Fiendfire. Though I still have the bottom bottom of it still to do and the sides on the bottom I'll get them later while I concentrate on the center parts. I have reprositioned the canvas to do the next section upwards. I've really been having to dig through my stash to do this one and hope I'll have enough grays to finish it. I've been working outside on this putting in 8-12 hours a day and really pushing myself to get this done by the end of the month. I know I won't have it done by the 24th, not if it took me 7 days just to get the bottom part done. I have at least 2 big sections to go and all the sides4-5 inches each side plus about 4-5 inches on the bottom too. Soar I am happy with it. It's more like doing one of my paintings than hooking and feeling very liberating for some reason.

Monday, April 12, 2010


I've started a new rug called "Fiendfire" named after a scene in the Harry Potter Deadly Hallows book where the Room of Requirement gets destroyed by magical fires that is full of all kinds of shaped flames. That's what the design reminds me of though the art was done years before I read the book. The original art was designed back in 2005 when I still designing tattoo flash. It was just a small sketch and I decided to try to do this as a rug and expanded on it somewhat. The rug will be roughly 3 x 7 on burlap in various sizes of wool strips, some of my spun yarns and unspun fleece.

Progress so far

Monday, April 5, 2010

SMILE Challenge and Tribal Sheep finished.

This is my entry for the SMILE Challenge on the Rug Hooking Daily group. I got it finished March 30. It was done on white linen in mainly 3's. The challenge part was the elf and I added in the sun, flowers and border and my season for the challenge was Summer. I think it's okay, This is one of the few pieces that isn't 100% my own artwork.

I just got the Tribal Sheep finished today and am almost through with the whipped edge. This is done in 3's except for the balck border which is in 8's on linen. I really like this one and am happy the way the gold background came out. There's about 4-5 shades of gold in it that I hand ddyed in different dye batches. The browns came from some wool that I got gifted with this year.

I'm going to try and finish up some of my UFO's--the Cat's paw runner, the tribal butterfly and Greenman before I tackle anything new. I'm also going to try and do some felting soon to make up some medicine pouches for the my show on April 24th.

Friday, March 26, 2010

More Tribal Sheep Progress

Yesterday 3-25

Today at 1 PM

Today at 4 PM

I didn't get as much done yesterday as I had a doctor's appointment and birthday party for my oldest granddaughter here in SC. Chloe turned 7. Wow, how time has flown. Hope you have a wonderful year this year.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tribal Sheep

Tuesday hooking

Today's hooking at 1 PM

Today's hooking at 4 PM

I started work on my Tribal Sheep rug the evening of the 21st so I have been hooking on this roughly 2 1/2 days in mainly 3's with a few 8's here and there. I'm using about 5 shades of golds, leftover in browns from the tribal rabbits and black, so a lot more limited palette than on the rabbits. With the warm sunny days we have been having lately I can sit and hook for a good 6-7 hours outside, then do a an hour or so hooking at night while I watch my TV shows. I'm feeling very good about this project and with luck might even done by next week.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tribal Rabbits Finished!!!

I finished the tribal rabbits at a little after 11 AM today. I really whizzed through this one. I maybe have 4 days total hooking time in this with 6-10 hours of hooking a day as I would hook starting in about 9:30 and keep going fairly steady until 4 PM then hook again in the evening for about 1-3 hours. I used a combo of 3's and leftovers in random sizes from other projects. The back ground evolved as I went along. I had seen something similar to it on a primitive rug hooking calender as a background but wasn't planned out when I started hooking. I hope the colors all work out okay with one another and I think I achieved my dulled palette I was going for. I found out I really need to dye up more browns as I was more limited in a range of browns shades than I was any other color I was using. The mat is 17 x 22 and I still have to finish the edge. I may have to spin up some yarn for this and dye it as I don't think I have anything I can use on it right now.

I'm going to start on the sheep tonight. It's going to have a gold background and I have been going back and forth over whether to do the sheep in black or a different color like blues or browns. The background is going to be more solid though of multiple shades of golds. Backgrounds are still giving me fits and I really agonize over them. I wonder if I can do one similar to the rabbits but not quite as pronounced in the golds so it's a pattern but not an obvious one. I don't want the background to be so busy or stand out as much. Most of my golds are overdyed over camel and tans from suits and skirts. Though there are a couple of pieces that came from the inherited stash.

I'm getting to feel better about my hooking. I'm still disappointed that no one has been interested in purchasing any of my patterns yet. I hope the new designs will spark some interest maybe. I do have a craft show coming up in April and I'm trying to get some rugs for sale for it so I am really pushing myself on getting hooking done now. Maybe showing my work will get people interested here in SC in trying to hook. If it wasn't for all the on-line support hooking groups I would get totally discouraged with it. That and Facebook have been helping keeping me going since I don't have a local group to hook with. Annyway back to cutting up strips....

Friday, March 19, 2010

New Rug and Designs

I just got finished with my SMILE Creative Challenge over on Rug Hooking Daily--wow first rug of the yar finished. But can't show it until everyone else is finished so at the end of March you can see it.

Have started another experimental rug. I'm on a tribal design kick and came up with 2 small canvases to work on. The First I started 3-15 is a pair of Tribal Rabbits and the other is a Tribal Sheep. Both with be done with duller tones towards the brown side. I'm working in a mix of 3's and leftovers from other projects. These are being made with selling them eventually in mind. So they are more decor orientated than I normally do. I'm trying some designs that my kids (late 20's to 40's) would be interested in since they love my tattoo designs and tribal graphics as I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from other people on them too. I doing the backgrounds in a sort of primitive style drawing on what I have seen in books on older rugs and the way they were hooked but putting my own contemporary twist on them. Hopefully this approach will work. The sheep rug I may or may not use some of my sheep fleece on. I'm still debating on that and will see how it goes when I actually get to it.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Decisions on Green Spirit

I started out hooking Green Spirit in dyed fleece like I had done the Mother and Child center on my Spirit rug but have not been happy with my results. I just wasn't getting the design to come out clearly and was losing a lot of the lines and shading just wouldn't work the way I needed it to. Remember last week that I inherited a new Bliss cutter with a #3 head. I have playing with the 3's on another design that I am doing as a challenge on Rug Hooking Daily. It's the SMILE challenge that Sunni is doing. I looked at that design and fleece just didn't seem to work for it so I got brave and started hooking with some of the precut worms left by the older rug hooker. I have been pleasantly surprised by the results I have been having with the shading and what I can do with the traditional style hooking methods. Keep in mind that when I use strips it has usually been 6's and above and I have been very nervous about trying to hook with something so thin as a 3.

This afternoon I sat outside in the almost 70's sunny weather to do some hooking. I got out some of the pre cut worms in shades of green and flesh tones and began hooking, despite my annoying next neighbors and their radio. The war of the backyard has not abated at all over the winter in fact it may have gotten worse as I can't set foot outside the backdoor without them cranking up their radio to painful levels and blasting me with gospel music and sermons even if before I went out it was perfectly quiet. I don't find people having religious views. I don't mind the same station if it is turned down low. I just object to it being loud and annoying me and I refuse to be run off from using my own backyard. I was in this house before they moved in. In defense I got my boombox out and if they didn't like my techno and German Industrial too bad.

Meanwhile back to hooking. I am enjoying using the 3's. And I think doing Green Spirit in them has really made a difference. At least I can see my lines and shading is closer to what I envisioned when I drew it. I really see a lot of possibilities for me artwise using them. I have not given up entirely on doing primitives or hooking with fleece but I am seeing my work in new ways. Once I get done with Spirit rug and my commission pieces I have another rug I have been wanting to do for awhile--Green Cat. I hadn't tackled it before this as I just couldn't see it being done with larger strips or with yarn because of the massive amount of fine detail it has in it. There's pictures of it in earlier posts on this blog if you want to see it.

Tonight I am going to start cutting up strips for the the background. I took apart Folk Angel as I just didn't like the way it was going. I am going to be using a lot of the colors from it, especially the reds and purples for the background of spirit. I have almost a full kitchen trash bag full of nothing but red 1" strips which looks like it might be enough to do the background. Cutting these up is going to take a while. I guess find some movies or shows to watch as I do not watch sports at all.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snow in SC

Yesterday we got about 3 to 6" snow here in Columbia which is a very rare thing. Luckily it did not turn into a ice storm which is really bad around here. It was really scary going back home last night as Sc is not really set up for snow and the most they can do is throw some salt and sand down on major roads which luckily we were able to use to get home. On my road no one had even been down it so we had to trail braze to the house. Today it's melting off the trees and power lines which is good. Hopefully most of the stuff will be melted off the roads by the time we leave tonight.

Thursday I lucked into a huge stash of rug hooking supplies. I was contacted by my local hookers about a give away of one of their former members supplies since she has gone into a nursing home and can no longer use it. I ended up with three huge trash bags of fabrics, most of which were off the bolt and were large amounts of yardage.Another member contributed a huge bag of hand dyed fabrics. I hot a newer model Frazier cutter with #2 and #3 heads, a bunch of small traditional hooks, scissors, binding tapes, a McGown hit and miss squares with flowers pattern, a beautifully done half finished floral rug with scrolls rug and hopefully all the cut strips and fabrics to finish it. I am going to attempt to finish it. I haven't done any traditional style hooking before and I am in awe of the very tiny strips this was done with. I generally use size #6 and up and mainly 8's. My fiber hooking is with both a fine hook and a primitive one depending on what I am doing.

I had to do some shifting and reboxing some of the crafting stiff to empty some containers to put the new wools in. Really need to get some see through containers and organize.

Here's the completed Mother and Child section on the Spirit rug. Next section I am working on with be Green Spirit. Then I'm working on the Earth tiger on Janice's rug.

Saturday, February 6, 2010



I'm sorry I haven't been writing in this since last fall. Lots of things have been happening but I haven't felt like writing. My latest bit was unexpected heart surgery Jan 27th. I had gone into a women's clinic to get a Pap spear and to get checked for breast cancer but my blood pressure was 180/120 and up for a couple of readings so they sent me across the street to the emergency room at Palmetto Hospital. Needless to say I was admitted and kept overnight with surgery scheduled the next morning. They put in 2 stints and told me I had 90% blockage, have lung cancer and some other problems related to that. I still have to go to another clinic to get checked for the breast cancer which I strongly suspect I have. I've been recovering, but I still don't have all the energy I should have and tire easily, I won't even go into all the depression over this and uncertainly about my life, art career, and future. What is bad is that I he no health insurance and very little income currently and am not old enough for Medicare and don't qualify for diability or Medicade. But I'm just going prod on and not let it all get to me.

I am hooking again. I have 2 commission rugs I am working on. One is a family Chinese zodiac type rug similar to my rug for a friend near Charleston that raises Tunis and TunisXShetlands. I am using the fleece from her sheep to hook her rug. I got the fleece in Nov and ahve it washed and dyed for hooking. The second is for a friend in Idaho that raises Icelandic sheep, Angora goats and rabbits. I am using her fleece to do a pictorial rug advertising her animals for use as a banner and display. Both are going to take a while to do as they are both roughly 3 x 4 and 4 x 5.

I have bowed out of my article I was going to do for Rug Hooking Magazine as with my health problems I am afraisd to commit to it and miss the the deadline plus if I have to have cancer treatments I'm not going to be in any shape to work let alone think to write.

I have been having problems hooking the 2 commission ones so I have startd working on a rug for myself using the designs I was going to use for the RHM one plus the other designs that weren't going to used and have put them together into one big 29 x 49 rug on monk's cloth which was originally going to be used to just do standups of the designs. This way I got all 5 designs in one place. The background I used a French Curve to trace around it shape randomly all over the mat and added in a couple of abstract human figures and some hearts. The background will be sort of strain glass like--at least that's what's in my head. I am using Karakul fleece from my friend Barb Barnett in Iowa that I trade my designs for her her fleece with.

I have spent most of the fall and winter washing and dyeing various batches of sheep fleece. The end of October I was washing and making batts of 20lbs Gulf Coast Native fleece for a local breeder, then in Nov I got 30 lbs of Anna's Icelandics, Jacob and Mohair and 25lbs of Janice's Tunis and Shetland fleeces and was washing them, and dyeing them as I went along for their rugs, then December and January I got 2 batches of Barb's Karakul and Tessdale fleeces, and have about 10 lbs more of her 28lbs of fleece to wash.

I have also been experimenting with spinning rug yarns. I have been doing some core spinning using both Llama and Shetland blends, and dyed Icelandic. The Icelandic is really soft and nice and not coarse so I am spinning some of it to make it a bit hardier for a rug. I am also experimenting with 2 and 3 ply yarns and blending the various fiber together to get a nice rug yarn. I am think of eventually trying to do some rug punching and to explore hooking with yarns more. I can't do any wheel spinning until after the 16th because of my surgery because they went in on my right groin which is above the leg I use to spin with since I have a single treadle wheel and I don't want to put any pressure on it by pumping my treadle. I am so hoping I get either an electric spinner or a double treadle wheel this year. My poor old German wheel is okay but very limited as to what it can do.

I also hope I can get a used gripper frame for my hooking--SOON! I'm still using my big oval quilting frame and stretcher strip frams with tacks for my work. I am experimenting with a pcv frame I made as a standing one and I'm using q-snaps to hold the fabric in place but not sure how they are going to hold when I have to move my hooking to another spot to work and try to use them over the hooking.

That's all for now. I hope to write more on this blog soon.