Hooked Rug by Karen D. Miller

In Progress…..

sneak peek

Yes, beyond the travel and the studio preparation I have actually been continuing to plug away at my new piece.   This one will be a companion piece to my “Ghost Trees” from earlier this year.  I’ve never worked in a series before but I loved this concept and wanted to explore it further.  I still have a ways to go and I am still trying to figure out the background colour.  I don’t want to do black again but want a similar feel.  I thought for sure that I wanted a nice forest green background but when I tried it I wasn’t feeling it.  I’m moving towards a dark blue.   Once I finish the trees I may have a better idea of what I want.


Photo by Karen D. Miller

Inspiration Photo #13


What: A purple wild iris near Twillingate, Newfoundland.

Why did this catch my eye:   The colour is stunning.  The patterns on the petals are art in themselves.



I committed to posting 40 inspiration photos on the blog in 2014. The purpose of this exercise is to get me out of my comfort-zone: finding inspiration in my everyday surroundings. This series will continue throughout the year.

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Studio Status

This past weekend my goal was to paint the “accent” wall.  That was it.  Keeping my goals simple.  But I ended up getting it painted and a lot more.

As a reminder, here are a couple of looks at the space before:
Photo by Karen D. Miller

Photo by Karen D. Miller

And here is how it looks now!

studio 3


Yay!  No more bland beige.  No more weird beigey-pink curtains that we inherited from the previous owners and never got around to changing!

I love, love, love the colour of the accent wall.  It matches the colour of the new curtains perfectly and as my husband says, it adds a depth to the room.  The window wall is now a nice, light grey.  I have sort of gravitated to grey over the past few years.  I read somewhere (after I had turned half my house grey) that while beige was the neutral of the 90’s, grey is the new neutral.  I love it.  It goes with anything in the room and takes on different hues in different lights.

This room gets a lot of natural light as it is on the sunny side of the house so it doesn’t feel dark at all.  For evening I have a brand new floor lamp with five movable heads so I can direct light to wherever I want it.  And I’ll have my usual Ottlite right by where I am working so no worries about lighting.

It feels fresh and inviting!

There is a reason I’m not showing the other side of the room where the desk and computer are.  It isn’t painted yet!  There wasn’t enough room to pull everything out and paint it all at once so I decided to divide it up.  So while the room is not completely finished it is almost there!

Last steps are to paint that wall, put all the furniture back in place, set up my stand and hang my art on the walls.   Can’t wait to have it all complete!

Next update should be that the room is done and I’ll also show you inside the closet which is so organized now!!!



Photo by Karen D. Miller

Inspiration Photo #12





What: Icebergs.  Everywhere you looked in Twillingate, Newfoundland.

Why did this catch my eye:   Well of course they were cool JUST BECAUSE they were icebergs.  But beyond that I was struck by their shapes.  Each one was different.  Each one was constantly evolving as pieces would break off and new icebergs would blow in with the heavy wind.  Like watching clouds in the sky you could watch these icebergs for hours and always spot something new.



I committed to posting 40 inspiration photos on the blog in 2014. The purpose of this exercise is to get me out of my comfort-zone: finding inspiration in my everyday surroundings. This series will continue throughout the year.

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Magazine Article!



Awhile back, Trish Johnson wrote an article for the Canadian magazine “A Needle Pulling Thread” which showcased all of the Canadian rugs that were in Rug Hooking Magazine’s Celebration book last year.  There were 8 of us in it from Canada and a whopping 6 of us were from Ontario!!

Well, the magazine is finally out and the article looks great!  I haven’t been able to get my hands on a paper copy yet but I did find it digitally (so this is a photo of my computer screen and hence not the greatest photo).   Very exciting to be in this publication and thanks again to Trish for taking the time to write the article.


P.S.  There is even a little plug in the article for our show coming up in Niagara-on-the-Lake from October 4-November 28!  🙂

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Studio Status


Progress on the studio stalled a bit given that I was away for a week in Newfoundland.  That and we have had plenty of other house related jobs to deal with that always seem to take time away from the fun stuff.

It is really my goal to have it all set up and be moved in to the studio by September.  Should be totally doable as long as I get moving on it.  This week I bought the paint!  I went back and forth on colours and then my sister introduced the idea of having an “accent wall” (she is big into accent walls in her house and they always look great.  So I have gone that route and one of the walls will be a different colour than the others.  Really hoping it looks nice.  I also bought a new lamp for the room and all of the furniture that is moving out is now out.  Baby steps but progress nonetheless.

studio 2

While in Newfoundland I found this great pillow for putting at my back while hooking and a cute bulletin board-both at Target.   Yes, I totally could have probably found these things at my local Target instead of bringing them back in my luggage.  But, I saw them there and not here so home they came with me.

My goal is to tackle the accent wall this weekend.  Then get down to painting the remaining walls (which will involve moving the computer desk etc. so a bit more involved).  I have the curtains so they will be ready to hang.  And then I need to tackle the closet.  The shelf needs to be taken out (it is falling apart already) and I am going to put in a wooden bookshelf (that I already had in the basement) to organize and hold things like backing fabrics, frames and other bits and pieces that I don’t want out in the main space.

Will post more updates once I have made some progress!


Photo by Karen D. Miller

Inspiration Photo #11

rocks 1

rocks 2


What: Large rocks on the rocky beach behind our rental house in Twillingate, Newfoundland

Why did this catch my eye: I loved the colours of these rocks- coppers and greys.  I loved all the crevices on the rock face and the patterns that they made.  I seriously stood looking at them for a good twenty minutes.  The best patterns truly are those found in nature.



I committed to posting 40 inspiration photos on the blog in 2014. The purpose of this exercise is to get me out of my comfort-zone: finding inspiration in my everyday surroundings. This series will continue throughout the year.

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Back from Newfoundland


The kids and I had a fabulous one week mini-vacation to Newfoundland to visit my sister.  It was one of those trips with not much planned in advance other than a road trip to Twillingate for two nights.  The rest was relaxed (well as relaxed as it can be with two young children) and go with the flow.  Which was fabulous.

Our two nights in Twillingate were awesome.  I think I took a million iceberg photos.  It was the kids and I’s first time seeing one and it was amazing.  We didn’t just see one iceberg.  We saw LOTS of icebergs.  The one above was the one that was right outside the house we were staying in.  We could sit and watch it from our wall-length picture window.   Over the two days that we were there it was constantly changing and evolving as pieces would fall off of it.  And incidentally, when a piece did fall off you knew about it.  Such a tremendous booming noise!  And then the iceberg would bob back a forth in the water for a little while after.  Really cool.


Twillingate was a pretty little spot with lots of dramatic vistas.  The lupins were out.  And I also saw patches of buttercups.   They reminded me of my childhood here in Ottawa where we would find them in the fields.  Now that those fields are full of new housing developments I don’t see buttercups around here very much so I loved seeing them in Newfoundland.




We drove around Twillingate and New World Island.  We did a side jaunt to the community of Toogood Arm- just because it had a cool name.  It ended up being a really pretty spot with lots of inspiration so my sister stopped the car and I took a lot of photos.


On the way back to Corner Brook from Twillingate we ducked into Moreton’s Harbour.  Another pretty little fishing village.  And now I can say that I have been “all around the circle” (as the song says) having been to Fogo last year and Twillingate and Moreton’s Harbour this year.



We spent the rest of the week in Corner Brook hanging out at my sister’s house and doing some local stuff.  We made a stop at Harbour Grounds coffee shop to drop off my “about me” statement to hang with my art.  And we may have enjoyed a beverage or two while we were there.   Always popular is a walk around the Glynmill pond to see the ducks and swans.

We had great weather- in fact it was super hot and super humid which was not what I was expecting for Newfoundland.  And of course not many people or businesses have air conditioning there so there was very little respite from the heat!  It only rained one day while we were in Corner Brook and we still managed to find things to do so it didn’t phase us in the least.

We always enjoy our Newfoundland vacations and I have returned with lots of ideas and inspiration to incorporate into my work!  I love summer adventures!


Photo by Karen D. Miller

Canada Day weekend Camping

Photo by Karen D. Miller

After the success of our camping trip last fall to Algonquin Park, we decided to go again for the Canada Day long weekend. Last time we had a fantastic weekend at Pog Lake. This time we booked a site at Mew Lake.

Photo by Karen D. Miller

It was a beautiful spot but…..our particular campsite was terrible. It was so small we could barely fit our tent and the car on the site. And a good portion of the site was actually flooded from the lake! This meant the site was even smaller than it was supposed to be and it was like camping in a swamp. With all the bugs that go with it.

We were all mauled by blackflies, mosquitoes and whatever else was there.

Photo by Karen D. Miller

We had a campfire and toasted marshmallows but I can’t even pretend that it was enjoyable. The entire time we were swatting at bugs. Not even the smoke from the campfire helped.

In the morning the kids were begging to go home (I don’t blame them in the least) so we packed up and didn’t stay for the second night. I was kind of bummed at how it turned out but I think we learned a few lessons that we will apply to future camping adventures and hopefully avoid some of the pitfalls that plagued us this time.

All was not totally lost- I have some really special memories from the four of us hiding out in the tent on Sunday morning. And my husband and I did manage to get some interesting photos on Saturday night that have inspired me to try some new things in an upcoming fibre art piece.

It’s all about looking for the bright side….