Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bel Canto

I just finished reading the book Bel Canto (P.S.) by Ann Patchett. This compelling story takes place in South America, but really it could have been any country in the world. The book opens with a birthday party for a Japanese businessman being wooed to bring his business to this economically needy country. As a surprise for this opera-loving man, a famous soprano is flown in to perform. The party is given by the vice president of the country, and it is in this setting that a hostage situation arises. Over the course of the book, the hostages and terrorists alike begin to develop relationships, and it is those relationships that compel the reader to keep reading and reading (or at least keep the book nearby!).

This is my book club selection for the month. Our discussion is next Monday night, and I'm sure it will be a good one. If you do decide to read this book, be sure to read the interview with the author at the end. It offers a lot more insight into the story and the characters.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Two more links (and then I'll stop!)

Here are two links to some interesting Web sites. The first has to do with color selection.


"COLOURlovers is a creative community where people from around the world create
and share colors, palettes and patterns, discuss the latest trends and explore colorful
articles... All in the spirit of love."

Lots and lots of pages to explore.

Another great Web page is http://surfacedesign.org. Check it out!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

More Great Links from Online Rug Hooking Magazine

Here are some wonderful links to rug hooking-related topics:

This is Abby Chapple's Web site. "It is designed to be an advocate for new, alterernative, or different possibilities for rug hooking." Her gallery of rugs is amazing.

This site is Lori LaBerge's, a contemporary fiber artist. You will find a gallery or her rugs (done in a slide show). There are three categories: geometrics, landscapes, and architecture. Very interesting interpretations, and I love her use of color.

This is the site of fiber artist Liz Alpert Fay, whose work is pictured in my last post. Of particular note is a page on her site with an article from the premier issue of Fiber Arts Now magazine. The article is about Liz and is quite extensive with loads of wonderful photos. I love the rug with the log in the center! I have a log I've been "drying out" for about two years. Makes me see some other possibilities for my "hunk of wood!" There is also a glimpse into her art studio.

Do click on the link for Fiber Arts Magazine. Their site is quite interesting, also.

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Online Magazine by Rug Hooking Magazine

The other day I got an email from Rug Hooking Magazine announcing the first issue of their new online magazine. Went to their Web site, and I took the plunge! Wasn't sure what to expect, but I have to say I was more than pleased with this new venture.

The content was wonderful as were the photos. I particularly liked the fact that within the articles were many links to other sites which gave further information on the topics. Over the next few days, I'd like to point out some of those links that I particularly enjoyed. Here is the first:


This link will take you to the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine. Click on the Beyond Rugs exhibit. When you get to this page click on the white icon with "Beyond Rugs" written on. You will now see what I believe is an online handbook for the exhibit. You'll get pictures of the fiber art and a short blurb about the artist. What a great exhibit. Couldn't believe some of the artwork.

Here is one of the pieces:
Liz Alpert Fay Spontaneous Stripe, 2008 (detail) Hooked New York Times Sunday Magazine covers and rice paper 20 x 18 inches Collection of Len Charlap
You will be amazed at what some of the pieces are hooked with! Enjoy, and check in over the next few days for some more great links!

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Worms are Married!

As per Julia's suggestion, I took the worms I had gathered from my projects over the years, divided them into two piles. One pile was greens, yellows, browns, and the other had reds, purples, blues. Took the green pile and overdyed them with a blue-green formula. Unfortunately, forgot to take the "before" picture. Here, however, is the "after" photo.

The purple/red mix was overdyed with my Scary Night formula. This is a photo of Scary Night overdyed on natural.

The worms are in the dryer right now, hopefully not clogging things up! They came out in great shades of purples and blues.

Got a lot of wool and binding tape listed on Ebay. Click on the link on the right hand side of the blog to view the auctions.

Monday, January 9, 2012

You never know...

You just never know what the day is going to bring. Got up normal time on Friday to find my husband sitting on the couch with chest pains. Got dressed in a whirlwind and off to the ER where we found that although he did not have a heart attack, he did need a cardiac catheterization. Turned out there were three blocked arteries, but not blocked enough to send us to Albany (closest place with a medical center) to have a stent put in.

Although I've been through my share of health crises with both my parents, my husband's parents and brothers, you just somehow aren't always prepared for what the day can bring.

It struck me while waiting for him to come out of the procedure how difficult it must be to have a family member chronically ill, how much energy it takes just to go to the hospital every day to visit. And to boot, you have to try to do so with a smile.

We are blessed that the results are hopefully just an eye opener to start living a healthier and less stress-filled life. (At least I hope that's all!) Of course, January is the perfect time to start making some of those changes. I hope that my husband can find the strength to make those changes.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pancake Dyeing

I think pancake dyeing is my favorite dyeing method. Layer upon layer of glorious color!

I don't know about you, but I have a private stash of wool that I don't sell. I reserve it for my own rugs. Recently, most of the additions to that stash are wools dyed using the pancake method.

Here is my most recent experiment.

The second piece from the top (these are folded in half) is going into a rug design I've been working on. The main motif is a whimsical bird whose head is going to be red and then the color will feather down (get it?!!) to the dark blue black. The third piece was originally a goldenrod shade. Don't you love the beautiful green that appeared?!?!

I wish my photos were better. I've been experimenting with my camera to get the truest color I can, especially when photographing wool for sale. It is so difficult and tricky with the light you get at different times of the day. Not to mention that the weather conditions can wreak havoc with the light!

Oh well, back to sorting worms.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January is the month for organizing! Right?

HELP! What do you do with all these worms? How do you organize them? I've got them in tupperware, in cigar boxes, in trays, stuffed in between layers of wool, not to mention that I find them on the windowsill, in the chairs, in the vacuum, etc.

Please tell me your ideas. I'm really trying to organize my supplies, so I don't wind up dyeing colors that I don't need. What works for you? Or is it hopeless!!!????!!!