Sunday, April 28, 2013

Rugs in Bloom

I'm beginning my rose mat by Joan Moshimer and needed some direction. Rugs in Bloom by Jane Halliwell Green is a great resource.  It has chapters on flower anatomy, technique, value and color, dyeing, materials, the hooking of specific flowers and leaves, and more.  The flowers are divided by flower shape (cups, stars, bells, spikes, rays, trumpets, cones, etc.).  This approach is  helpful when working out the value and shading. The book comes with a free pattern for a 16" x 20" wall hanging of lilies and stars.
I am, also, reading A Rug Hooker's Garden published by Rug Hooking Magazine. Ten expert rug hookers give instruction on over twenty different flower blossoms. There's brief instruction on designing a floral rug, jar dyeing, and some dye formulas.
Another resource is Shading Flowers: The Complete Guide for Rug Hookers by Jeanne Field. The book has diagrams that are very helpful in explaining the fingering technique, and it has a lot of dyeing information. 
I've decided to hook my first rose in a 3 cut with 8 swatches of Maryanne Lincoln's basic red.  I'll post a photo later.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Kiss

The Kiss, 2013
Wool strips on linen, 16" x 20"

The Kiss is done. Well, almost.  I still need to do the finish work, but the fun part is done.  The design was drawn by Ben Guiliani for me for a portrait class with his mother, Sarah Guiliani. This was a fun project!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Klimpt Piece

Klimpt Piece Project, 2013
Wool strips on linen, 16" x 20"

Still working....... here's progress to date.  I have some areas in the hands I might want to tweak, but I'm going to finish and not make any changes until I can see the whole mat.  Now I'm searching through my stash for the golds in the background

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Coloring Book Page

Library in Town, 2013
Micron pen on Strathmore bristol,  8.5" x 11"

This drawing for the library project was made of a painting that hangs in the library.   The building drawn with bold lines in the right rear of the scene is the Gale Free Library.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Swatches for Rose Mat, 2013
Dorr wool, Cushing Dye, Pro Chem Dye

These swatches are intended for a mat by Joan Moshimer, "The One Rose". I couldn't decide what color I wanted the rose blossom to be, so I dyed these 3 sets of swatches. Each set has 8 color variations, though they all don't show in the photo.

The first is Maryanne Lincoln's Basic Red (3/8 teaspoon Pro Chem magenta #338, 1/8 teaspoon Pro Chem #119 yellow, and 1/128 teaspoon Pro Chem #490 blue) over white wool. The middle swatches are Cushing's American Beauty (1/16 teaspoon) over light lavender wool, and the 3rd swatches are Cushing's American Beauty (1/16 teaspoon) over a deep lavender wool.

I used Ruth Davis' quick way of dyeing a swatch, which is good if you don't have to repeat the color exactly.  I cut 12 strips of wool, 3" x 12", and soaked them in hot water with Jet Dry. I heated enough water to cover all the swatches and 1/4 cup of white vinegar in my enameled dye pan. I added my dye formula and mixed it very well.  When the water began boiling I added one piece of wet wool, stirring constantly.  I added another piece of material every 10 seconds, stirring all the time. (Thanks to my husband for timing) After adding all the wool strips, I let the dye bath simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  I found that some of the 12 resulting shades were very close, but there were enough choices to get 8 shades for a rose.

Now.... which to hook?   

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Project Progress #2

Klimpt's The Kiss, 2013
Wool strips on linen, 16" x 20"

This is another project I am presently working on.
I attended a three day class in hooking portraits with Sarah Guiliani beginning on March 2nd. I wanted to hook a detail of The Kiss. The Kiss (1907 to 1908 by Gustav Klimpt) was painted in oil and gilded in gold leaf.  The couple are surrounded by the pattern of their robes.

We had copies of our portraits in color and in black and white.  We used the black and white copies to plot the values of the portrait, finding and mapping the highlights and shadows. She, also, asked me to focus on the areas of color when hooking, and this made the correct placement of color much easier for me to see. Sarah instructed us on hooking features and hair. She showed us how loops can be feathered to blend areas (ex: to soften wrinkles). Sarah had recommendations on adding color and highlights to pupils, proper proportion and placement of the features, and the differences in features between men's and women's faces.  These are the first faces I've attempted to hook.
The Kiss


Project Progress

December Snows, 2013
Wool strips on linen, 24' x 36'

This is a pattern by Joan Moshimer that I've been hooking this winter.  Here's progress to date.  I decided to make this a night winter scene, so I added the moon.  I purposely used high contrast colors in the snow to add interest.  The evergreen is a green and white plaid used as is.  And the clouds on the horizon were hooked using a periwinkle and white plaid used as is. I think the plaid in the sky looks like cirrus clouds. I'm using 3 and 4 cut wool. This is the largest landscape rug I've hooked to date.
I'm working on other projects at the same time; a detail piece of the Klimpt painting "The Kiss" (I'll post a progress picture on this, too), a single rose (I'm dyeing the wool for this), and a Jane McGown Flynn pattern called "Humble Beginnings".

The Humble Beginnings rug is in an article on Peggy Hannum's website ( you have to scroll about half way down the article) and in her photo gallery.  Peggy calls the pattern a "delightful little 'primitive' ".  She says the pattern, hooked in a 4 cut, is good for a beginner and satisfying for a more experienced hooker. She lists a color plan and dye formulas for the rug.......this is my challenge.  I've collected the dye books, Dotti Ebi's Scraps or Spots, Edna Fleming's One Hundred & One Formulas for Casserole Dyeing, Jane Elliot's Color Flow 1 and 2, and Connie Charleson's Connie's Cauldren that Peggy uses in her suggested color plan. Yesterday, I ordered the wool I need. We'll see.......