Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Japanese Book Binding

Last winter I signed up for a Creative Bug membership. They have all sorts of crafts represented and some wonderful art classes. I have taken several of the classes, and although some of them are simplistic, I've gotten something out of each one. Membership is $4.99 a month. What I love about Creative Bug is the variety of options you have. Keep in mind, these are not Craftsy-like classes.

One of the classes I stumbled upon under "Paper Crafts" was a Japanese Paper Marbling class taught by Jody Alexander. It was a wonderful introduction to marbling paper. I got the supplies, and as soon as the holidays are over, I intend to practice and hopefully come up with something useful. Along with the marbling class, Jody also teaches a Japanese book binding class. What a wonderful gift to give -- hand marbled paper bound into a book! So here's what I just got from Dick Blick Art Supplies:

If you look carefully, you can see the stitching on the edge.

Really looking forward to trying these techniques out. If you are interested in investigating Creative Bug, here is the link:

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Dye Books

I know that not all rug hookers dye their own wool, but I have always loved dipping into the dye pots.  Because I was dyeing so much, my wool business became a necessity!

I learned to dye wool while taking class with Dick LaBarge, a very well known rug hooker and teacher. Dick is retired now from teaching, but I'm told he still hooks with some of his former students.

Anyway, Dick was a master at dyeing. I always felt like I was entering a secret laboratory when he got the dye pots out. We had lots of fun experimenting with colors and techniques.

From that experience, I developed three dye booklets of my own. These booklets used different methods -- spot dyeing, transitional dyeing, graduated dyeing, abrashing, and overdye. My first dye book -- The Dye is Cast -- is only available as a .pdf, but my later dye books -- The Dye is Cast Again and Three Times a Charm are still available in printed format.

The next photo shows most of my dye formula booklets that I reference when dyeing. My favorites are the three Prisms booklets. I also use Vermont Folk Rugs book of formulas on a regular basis. The Prisms books use only ProChem dyes, while the Vermont Folk Rugs book uses Cushing dyes.

I also have compiled in a notebook all my favorite formulas. I have my own formulas, and other favorites from the books seen in the photo. In addition, I have a lined notebook where I write down formulas I want to try, mostly ones I have developed on my own. I try to keep up with organizing these formulas, but sometimes I get behind and then have to search out that scrap of paper where I wrote down a new formula. That is not fun!

What dye books do you use?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Woodland Rug update

I have finished the interior of my Woodland scene rug. Just the border remains and some tweaking I want to do to some of the elements in the main body of the rug. I like using dyed roving to accent in small spaces. For instance, I'll probably needle felt in some black/gray lines on the birch trees, add some sparkle to the eyes, etc.

Here are two photos. I'll upload a photo of the completed rug once the border is finished and the rug is bound.

I need to have this rug completed by the middle of January, so I feel that I'm ahead of schedule. I'd really like to finish this week, so I can concentrate on the holidays.

I think I'm going to change the orange plant above the deer. Not really fond of it. Also, the spots need to come off the deer. He looks like part watermelon!!

Hope your hooking is going well, and the holidays aren't overwhelming you. If you need wool check out my Etsy shop and my Ebay sales. Links to the right!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

November Reading

I've been trying to do a lot more reading in the last few months. I love to read, but often don't make enough time for it. So, I started making a real effort to put a dent in my huge list of books I want to read.

I read six books this November, one of which was my book club selection. Here goes:

Georgia's Kitchen
Jenny Nelson

A disgraced NYC chef moves to Italy to work in a restaurant where she is not the head chef. Along the way, she meets some interesting characters, a possible love interest, and has to decide if Italy is really the place for her. Not great literature, but a nice read.

Fablehaven (book 1)
Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star (book 2)
Brandon Mull

I really enjoy reading children's literature, so I picked up book one of this series and was not disappointed. All kinds of fairy tale good guys and bad guys inhabit Fablehaven, a secret refuge for magical creatures in Connecticut. The first book was very good (they can't all be Harry Potter!), and so I quickly reserved a copy at the my local library of book 2. I'm enjoying the books and would love to introduce them to my grandson when he's a bit older. Looking forward to book 3!

The Girl on the Train
Paula Hawkins

I would imagine most of you have read this book if you are into the mystery/thriller genre. We read this for our November Book Club selection. I didn't love it, but it wasn't hard to read. You want to know who did it, so it made dealing with an unlikeable cast of characters and the much talked about "unreliable narrator" easier to push past. Do I recommend it? Yes, I guess so.

Go Ask Alice

I picked up this book at a garage sale a while back and decided it was time to put this one on my finished list. I went into it believing it was a true story, but the abruptness of the ending prompted me to look into the background of the book. Turns out it is not quite what I thought. I won't say much more because regardless of the background of the book, it is a powerful book about youth and drug addiction. Well worth it.

Timebound: The Chronos Files, (Book 1)
Rysa Walker

Another young adult novel, this one about time travel. I love time travel stories, and this was one of Amazon's "Kindle Deal of the Day" options. So, I gave it a shot. I did like the story, but there were too many versions of the time travelers in the past to make it clear as to what was going on in some parts of the book. There are other books in this series, but I'm not sure if I'll continue with it.

Currently, I am reading J.K. Rowlings Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I'm just barely into it, so I'll let you know what I think. It is written in play form, so a lot of imagination is required. Hope to see the movie once I finish it.

Click on the book images to read a description of these books on Hope you are finding time to read!