Not getting any hooking done this week.... but I have a really good reason! My sister, my brother & my stepmother are here for a visit and we've been traveling all over Northern California to see homes where we grew up, schools we went to, parks we used to play in....it's been fun & very interesting. The only scary thing is realizing how long ago we were children!
We spent time in Golden Gate Park at the Conservatory of Flowers (I can't believe I took these photos with my iPhone).....
And wandered around the old adobe buildings in Sonoma (wish you could smell the Wisteria)....
Little Miss Pig has had me fretting a bit.... she's quite lively but seems to be fading into the background and no self-respecting pig wants to do that! I'm sure most of you know all about this useful technique for taking a critical (& I mean that in the most positive way) look at the values in your work but here it is anyway....
When I question how the values are relating to each other, I like to photograph the section that I'm concerned about and transform it into a black & white image. (Aren't we fortunate to live in the digital age?). In the top photo we see the pig in color....... And the lower image is the same image transformed into black & white. So where did that pig go??? Because the values of the pinks in the pig and the values of the neutrals in the background are so similar, she pretty much disappears.
So, I could pull out the pinks & rehook the pig in darker values, but I really like the current pinks. And, lucky for me, my friend Julie was working on a wonderful rug of farm animals for her new granddaughter's room at our last Wine Country Rug Hookers guild meeting.
She has a delightful pig in the rug, hooked in a #3 cut, that she had outlined in a darker rose.....thank you for the inspiration & a perfect solution Julie! (And congratulations on that lovely little addition to your family xoxo)
I've been working away on the Simple Gifts pattern... what a primitive horse! He wouldn't win any prizes in a confirmation class but he has his own personality. I made a bit of a change in the shape to give him a very primitive mane flying in the wind. Perhaps his eye needs to be a bit more bright but I'll wait until later to make any changes. The horse is hooked with my Walnut Hollow plaid. After cutting the plaid into strips I've separated the colors into predominately brown & gray strips and used more of the gray in his belly area. Plaids are such useful and fun fabrics to use in our hooking.
I've also started playing with the border.....at first, I thought I'd use blocks of color but I kind of like this little test area of hit & miss.... we'll see!
Increasingly, my rug hooking customers are asking me to put together rug hooking kits for the patterns I offer on my website. I'm honored that they trust me with this task but, I confess, I also stress over the process....will they like the colors I'm sending, have I put in enough variety of wool, enough wool, is this color going to work? ....I could go on & on! While it's impossible for me to hook a rug from every kit that I put together, I've decided to use my kits to hook a couple of patterns that have been on my to-do list for awhile just to see how they come together & I thought it would be fun to share the process with you. So here's my start on the first project.... it's a delightful Primitive Spirit design, Simple Gifts. This is a fun and very primitive design inspired by antique Magdalena Briner designs. You can click on the picture if you want to see more detail. One thing to notice about my progress so far...you may not be able to see it in the photo but the border edge of the pattern was a little wonky (read: not on the straight of grain). I'm a bit obsessive about having the outer border be on grain so the first thing I did was to hook a single line of loops, on-grain, at the outer border. I may change the color later but wanted to at least have the placement of the line established.
I'll do my best to keep you posted on my progress!