Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkins galore!

I stopped by school today and was greeted with this terrific display of handmade pumpkins. Can you believe Second graders made these guys?
Although the pumpkins are all made from the same orange, white, green and black construction paper, they all look different.
  These guys just warm my heart!  
Definitely some inspiration for a hooked rug or two! 
Thanks for stopping by, Maria 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Barnyard Sheep is complete

There are some patterns that hook themselves and this was one of them. I designed this rug to challenge myself with depth perception (see previous post) and enjoyed the process. 
Lately, I have been pushing myself to hook rugs out of my box to expand  my hooking horizon and grow as an artist. Barnyard sheep challenged me not only with depth perception but also with color as these colors are not my normal palette.
After hooking this rug, I'm not so intimidated to hook landscapes and look forward to more challenging landscape patterns. 
The barnyard sheep pattern (14 x 20) is available for purchase for $35 plus shipping. 
M next challenge is to finish a rug that I started last fall when Alice Frazier, Ali Strebel and myself got together for a hooking weekend at Alice's fabulous cottage on Lake Erie. I think I surprised them when I started hooking this rug. I'm not sure if I shared this "way out of my box" project with you. 
So do any of you feel the need to challenge yourself as an artist and do something different or are you content to hook rugs that you like? Inquiring minds want to know.  
As always, thanks for stopping by, Maria 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Mother Nature at her best

Doesn't Mother Nature provide the best color inspiration?  It was a gorgeous fall day here in northern Michigan and I couldn't resist picking up some of these colorful leaves as I  walked through our property. 
 Look at that gorgeous purple leave?
This reddish orange one makes me smile.
Oh and that red and lime one is the best!
You can draw inspiration not only from the colors but also the shapes. 
Love the lime green leaves. 

I traced around the leaves for future projects. Please feel free to use them in any of your projects. 
Enjoy the rest of this gorgeous weekend. Thanks for stopping by, Maria 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

You guessed it

Another unfinished rug. As you can see,  all I have to do on this rug is hook the background and the crow.

You have to wonder why I set these rugs aside when they are so close to being finished. I think it is because the challenging part for me is color planning. Once I have the rug color planned, I'm ready for the next challenge all the while thinking "I'll finish the 'almost done rug' later in the week." Well let me tell you that does not happen. 

Part of the reason I designed this rug was to try my hand at hooking leaves. With all the worms I have it was easy to play with color in each of the leaves. I simply added a contrasting vein to the leaves and voila, a leave.

For the most part I'm happy with the leaves except for that purple one in the top left. That one will have to be reworked. The shape of the orange one of the top right also needs some attention.
As always, thanks for stopping by, Maria 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Depth perception

Recently I taught a class in Manistee, Michigan for a delightful group of hookers. They asked me to design several patterns for them to choose from and this was one of the patterns. What I didn't realize when I designed it was (for a primitive hooker like me) what an exercise in depth perception this pattern would be for me. 
When I hooked the  pattern, my fence was nearly as tall as my barn which was not good. I also realized I had to break up the background to create some more depth in the pattern. Color is a great way to create depth but so is direction. Between the sky and ground there is adequate contrast however between the two grass colors, I needed more differentiation than just the colors.
This is where I hooked the lower grass on an angle. I also hooked a very narrow dark beauty line between the sky and two patches of grass which helps separate the areas. 
After taking this picture and studying it, I can see I need to correct a few things. Looking at your rug through the eye of a camera helps you really get a good feel for how your rug looks. In mine, I can see that I need to add dark faces and ears to my little sheep in the background.
 Also, see that pesky orange piece of wool in the second layer  of grass on the left side? It looked great when I hooked it. Yeah, well that will be coming out of the rug. 
In the first picture can you see all those holes on the right side of the sheep?  That was another attempt to create some separation between the grasses. I had hooked the lower level of grasses in higgly piggly Deane Fitzpatrick style but it didn't look right so out it came. Here is what it used to look like. It just didn't work. I reverse hook a lot, how about you? 
Hopefully, I'll finish this rug in the next days and will post a finished picture of it. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Working on unfinished projects

Do you have any unfinished projects?  I know I have blogged about unfinished projects in the past and vowed to work on the pile but have I?  No!  Instead that pesky pile has continued to grow. 

I'd show you some unfinished rugs but that would take me away from working on them! (Chuckle)  Here is one that is nearing completion and headed to eBay. This rug was started last fall and it was an attempt to reduce my worm pile. That too is another blog post, the worm pile...

If anyone is interested, I'll offer this rug as a pattern. It is 12 x 15 and is $30 plus $3 for shipping. Thanks for stopping by, Maria