Tuesday, 16 December 2014

December 2014 - Busy.

I realized today that I had not posted in a while. Typical Christmas prep has been keeping me busy. It will get busier so this will probably be my last post for a couple of weeks. Probably until the new year.
George and I had had a beat up, duct tape repaired, tree for more than 30 years. I replaced it this year (Chris
saved some of its branches for a nostalgic wreath) and I love that the new one is small enough for me to reach the top,
has the lights already attached and stores away in 3 pieces. I also like that there is no duct tape and
I don't have to tie it to a door knob to keep it upright!
Rasta was very curious about it. Its his first Christmas tree.
Rasta has actually been quite good about the tree. He likes to sit under it and I don't have any ornaments actually hanging below it. When I leave though he lets me know that I'm not really the boss of him. There is always an ornament on the floor somewhere when I return.

"I'm ignoring that tree for now, but when your gone.........the house is my playground"

He also likes to participate in the gift wrapping. Chewing on ribbons being his favorite contribution.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all who read this.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Rug Hooking, A tale of 2 cushions.

I love rug hooking. The process of rug hooking. The almost meditative, pulling of loops. The gradual process of creating what I have in my minds eye. The part I don't care for, is the finishing. However, this post is more about the finishing than the hooking, as it was the finishing that gave me as much satisfaction as the hooking, in these two projects..

Plaid Rose Cushion.
I took a workshop at the Annual this spring in which we were taught how to cut apart a plaid to get the different values of colours. With this class came a pattern of a rose that could be hooked with the colours from the plaid.
The pattern hooked as it was given.
I have decided to replace the cushions on my couch so this was to be one of the replacements.

I attached wool to either side of the backing and then hooked up to it, leaving space for whipping.
The plaid I was using was from a wool shirt so I sewed the button section on one side and the button
hole section on the other (and the pocket, just for fun).
I whipped the edges, sewed the top and bottom by hand and viola ..... the back ....
.. and the front.
Wool felted landscape cushion
In November I took a wool felting workshop with Jennifer Budd (woolscapes ) at Five Oaks. Jennifer is a friend and artist from Paris, ON.
We spent the morning on needle felting. This involved using a needle, poked rapidly into the material, to attach wool roving on to a wool background.
The raw materials

The final product, A windswept Lake Erie.
The afternoon was spent learning how to wet wool felt. This involved using hot water, soap and agitation (the moving of the materials, not the emotion) to felt the wool roving together.
So many wonderful colours.

It was difficult to visualize the end product as this was the first time I had tried this technique but I knew I wanted the colours, at least, to remind me of my trip to the UK. I was trying to get the effect of a lake in the Lake District.
At the end of the day I had vaguely the effect I was trying for.
I took it home and did some needle felting on it, to better get the look of mountains reflected in a lake. I then attached the felt to some backing, sewed wool around it and hooked up to the wool.
Wool sewn on, hooking in process.
I sewed matching green wool to be the back of the cushion and then started experimenting with some trim. My original plan was to stitch some matching yarn to the edge of the pillow but that turned out to be too narrow for the size. I tried twisting 3 strands of the yarn but didn't like that look either so ended up braiding 6 strands and sewing it on.

This wool, hand dyed by Ingrid (Ragg Tyme Studio) was wet felted into the mountain, hooked around the
felted piece and then braided for the edging. It ties it all together nicely.
I'm not sure how resilient the felted piece will be so I think the cushion will probably reside in the spare bedroom.
Rasta seems to approve.