Kids, Travel & Creativity

I taught a full day workshop yesterday at Fibrefest in Almonte, Ontario.  What a fun class!  Everyone was really focused on their projects and did such a great job.  It was a great group to teach.  That will be the last time I offer my Nature & Landscapes class until next Spring.  In the meantime, I’m looking at offering an evening Beginner Rug Hooking with Yarn class (likely my last beginner class for a good long while so if interested in being put on a list for more information, send me a message :)) and I’m gearing up for my first Portraits class in November (this class is full, but if interested, send me a message and I will put you on a waiting list for next time.  ๐Ÿ™‚ )

I posted on Facebook last week that I would do a blog post on this topic, and then with prepping for teaching time got away from me.  So here I am now, talking about the observations that I have made between kids, travel and their creativity and art.  As I’ve mentioned before, my kids do a lot of travelling.  From the time both of them were babies- actually, from the time they were in the womb!- they have been travelling with us.  So they have grown up seeing it as a normal part of life.  I absolutely love that.

Of course I know that not all families are in a position to offer these opportunities to their kids, but I am forever grateful that we have been able to.  I really see travel as a gift to my kids.  I was fortunate enough to have been given the same gift by my own parents.  Every summer without fail, we went somewhere.  Whether it was flying to the UK or Europe to visit family, or road-tripping to the maritimes;  vacations and travel were a part of our family.  And those experiences have stayed with me and have motivated me to pass on these formative experiences to my own kids.

I mentioned on Facebook that I purchased the book pictured above for my son on our recent vacation.  He is a five year old geography-addict, and has an overwhelming array of atlases, travel guides and information books about countries around the world.  But when I saw this one in the store, I picked it up for him because it was specifically geared to kids without being “dumbed down”.  And he loves it.  It got me thinking about how travel and world experiences affect kids and their understanding of the world, their curiosity to embrace new experiences and their creativity.

Both of my kids have an avid desire to learn new things.  They both enjoy learning how other people live, the plant life and animals in other countries, languages,and the experience of other kids around the world.  I credit that partly with travel.  They have both been in so many different places, seeing different ways of life and different things.  And a lot of what they have seen is just the everyday stuff.  When we travel, we like to immerse ourselves in the lifestyle while we are there.  We take time to go for a walk around the neighbourhood, shop at the local grocery stores and play at the parks.  My kids have spotted snakes in the forest at the top of a hill in Vermont, have eaten skyr by the shore in Iceland, have been blown down a hill by the strong winds in the Faroe Islands and searched for rocks on the beaches of the maritimes.  They’ve gone to art galleries, and museums and to the top of tall towers.  And wandered the streets with us in New York City, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City and Reykjavik looking at cool architecture.  They’ve gone on a three hour canoe ride where we passed waterfalls and looming rock faces, snowshoed through the woods to watch chickadees in flight and experienced hawks landing on their outstretched gloved hand.  And all of this has affected who they are, what they notice and how they think.

My kids have long become accustomed to me pointing out cool things wherever we are:  from the shape of a tree’s canopy, to lichen on a rock, to a building’s faรงade.  And over the years, they have started to notice their own things and point them out.  The consequence is kids that are always aware and focused on their surroundings- when they are travelling they are taking it all in and making their own little observations and deductions.  And these too stay with them.

And it also has a great effect on them artistically and creatively.  When we travel, I always make sure to pack lots of art supplies for the kids, because I know that seeing all of these new things and having all of these new experiences inspires them to express themselves creatively.  On a recent trip, the first thing my daughter did on arrival at our hotel in Old Quebec City, was to get out her sketchbook and sketch the view from the window.   In PEI this summer, my son set himself up outside in an Adirondack chair with his paints and painted the view we had of the ocean.  And when camping the other weekend, the three of us spent a few hours sitting at the picnic table and painting and sketching and chatting to each other.  Being in new places, and seeing new things, gets kids’ minds going and opens them up to creative expression.  My son also loves to draw maps, and the shapes of countries, and create his own maps.  His view of the world and his surroundings is different because he has travelled.

I can’t say enough how happy all of this makes me.  I can’t wait to go on more adventures with them, not just for the fun that we have, and not just for how it benefits them, but also for the fact that seeing the world through their eyes is a tremendous gift to myself as well.

 

Karen

Summer Updates!

I can’t believe it is August already.  I’m not sure where the time is going!

I took the summer off from teaching, so that I can have lots of time to hang out with my family. The kids and I have been crossing off all sorts of stuff from our “Summer Fun” list that we created at the beginning of the season and we all even managed to do an overnight trip on our sailboat.  We did our first camping of the summer this past weekend and it was so much fun as always.  We upgraded a lot of our equipment because we realized that we camp often enough that it warranted some better supplies.  Everything went seamlessly and we are in love with our new tent.  Algonquin Park is hands-down one of our favourite spots to camp.

Although I haven’t been teaching, I haven’t been idle on the art front. First- I announced a new class that I will be teaching this Fall!  The first session of my two-day “Hooking Realistic Portraits with Yarn” will be held in November. I have started prepping materials and placed a big yarn order to fill out what I already had in terms of a full range of skin tones. The class filled quickly as I had a waiting list of people interested in taking it.  I do plan to offer this class again in the Spring if there is enough interest, so you can email me at marzipanroad@bell.net if you would like to be on the waiting list for information.  If you have already let me know you are interested in the past don’t worry- I still have you on my list and will be contacting those people before advertising the next session.

Secondly, I will be teaching my “Nature and Landscapes:  Advanced Rug Hooking with Yarn class” on September 9th at Fibrefest in Almonte, Ontario.  It will be my first time teaching a workshop at this venue and I am looking forward to it.  Registration is still open if you are interested.  You can find the workshops on the Mississippi Textile Museum website under Fibrefest 2018.

Thirdly, I have been doing a lot of experimentation this summer.  I have been continuing to play around with combining my hand-woven backings with hand-hooking.  I purchased a pin loom about a month ago and have been having fun figuring out how it works and how I can make it work for me.  I think I have figured out a formula that works for me and now my wheels are spinning thinking of where I can take this new technique.  In addition, I have started experimenting with different paints on linen backing.  It is a technique that I have seen a number of fibre artists use before and it has been on my list to try.  I finally got around to it and was really impressed with some of the results.  I have purchased a fabric medium that I hope to try out soon to see if it will help, particularly with the watercolour paints, to keep them permanent and prevent fading.  Stay tuned as I continue to explore these approaches!

I was also excited to be included in a pottery exhibit put on by my sister and some of her friends called “The Art of Living” in Corner Brook, Newfoundland at the Rotary Arts Centre.  The show just wrapped up and 22 pieces of pottery found new homes!  My piece “Overcast” from my ‘Postcards from Newfoundland’ series was one of several pieces I had in the show and it has gone off to its new home in Texas! 

On the book front, I have finished a full draft of my book and now have printed it all out to do some final edits before submitting it to the publisher.  My deadline is October 1st but I am hoping to have it ready to go a bit before then.  In other news, I have had interest from the same publisher for another idea that I had and the plan is to sign a contract for that book in October.  I have already started lining up artists for this second project and I am so excited because it is going to be so, so good!!

Having the kids home for the summer is always so much fun.  I love that they like to just relax and don’t want to be over scheduled.  It’s perfect.  One of my other goals this summer was to clean out a lot of the toys and books (oh, there are so many books!) that have been outgrown.  With my boy now coming up for six years old it was time to clear out a lot of the toddler toys and little kid books that don’t see any love anymore.  My daughter has always been really good at letting go of things that she is done with and is very anti-clutter and not very into stuff.  I thought my son would be more resistant but he has been awesome about bringing things to me and saying he is done with them and that it is time to pass them on.  I can’t say often enough how much better open-ended toys are for kids both for holding their interest and for creative play.  Plastic toys that can only be played with in one way and with a  million little attachments that get lost all over the house are never a hit around here and I am so glad that my kids are learning the value of handmade things and good quality things.  So good for them and for the environment!

Summer is only half over and there are still so many adventures ahead!  I am looking forward to making the big piece that I started in June more of a priority.  It got pushed to the back-burner a bit as I focused on my weaving pieces.  But I have decided to work exclusively on it for a bit.

My daughter and I are also working on a project together and I am really enjoying the collaboration between us!  We are hoping to get it wrapped up by mid to late Fall so stay tuned as I will be announcing it once it is ready to go.  There are also a few other possible collaborations coming up which I will also announce if they come to fruition.

I think that is all I have to share for now.  Hope you are all enjoying a fabulous summer!

 

Karen

 

 

OHCG ANNUAL 2018

I’m so very behind in getting this out, but I figure better late than never! Unfortunately I do not have a lot of photos of all of the other beautiful work that was on display. Due to my schedule, I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to really take a good look at all of the wonderful pieces.

Two weekends ago was the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild (OHCG) Annual here in Ottawa. What a fun and busy weekend! I was so fortunate to have been selected by the organizing committee to have a Featured Artist exhibit at the event. So on the Friday I went in and got it all set up. Their team did such a great job of hanging everything. Friday night I returned to the venue for the Social. Was so nice to meet so many people that I had only met online before, and was super nice to catch up with people that I know but hadn’t seen in a long time.

On Saturday afternoon I taught the first of my two “Tulips: Hooking with Yarn” workshops. The rooms we were given for teaching were perfect- big windows with lots of natural light for choosing colours. I had a great group of students who were willing to get really creative with their tulip projects. It was a really fun class! Before my class started I managed to sneak in a few minutes to wander the exhibit and do a little shopping from the vendors. So many vendors were there! It was then that I also discovered this- I won an award! I was legitimately surprised. I hadn’t anticipated that at all. But I am thrilled that my work was recognized in this way!

Sunday afternoon I was teaching my second workshop. It was another great group! I really loved teaching at this event. Everything was so well organized and there was so much attention to detail throughout the weekend. It was also pretty exciting that I sold one of my new woven/hooking combo pieces at the Annual! I had sold another one earlier that week as well, so it has been great to see so much support for my new work. I am so happy that they have both gone to good homes.

Throughout this month I have been volunteering once a week in a school, teaching grade 5 and grade 6 students how to make hooked fibre art. We have two more sessions to go and the kids are really embracing the technique and enjoying themselves doing it! This week I am also visiting the Rideau Valley Boots & Baskets Guild to teach my “Nature & Landscapes” advanced class. I’m excited to spend time with this group!

I’ve been getting little pockets of time in to work on the book, but I am planning to work on it more intensively next week once all of my teaching has slowed down a little bit. Just a reminder too that I am teaching a Beginner Rug Hooking with Yarn class here in Ottawa on June 13th from 9:30 am-12:30 pm. You can email me at marzipanroad@bell.net for more information or to register.

Karen

It’s a new Season!

It seems that Spring has finally sprung! The birds are chirping, the sun is shining and buds are starting to appear on the trees. I’m getting excited for all of the inspiration that nature is going to provide once again. Don’t get me wrong, there is lots of inspiration to be found in winter too. But eventually I do get a little tired of the whites and greys of the winter months.

This past week, on a rainy day, I was particularly attracted to the lichen on the bark of the trees near me. When the bark is wet, the lichen really shines, and the yellows of this specimen almost seemed unreal. I’m still exploring and experimenting with lichen as a subject, and my photo led to this interpretation that I just finished up yesterday.

I’m still really enjoying the process of weaving my own backings. It is a very slow and relaxing process, and I have a number of ideas for how I can continue to build on this combination of techniques. I hope to do a little experimentation with that later this week, if I can squeeze it in.

Not only have we entered a new season in nature, but I feel like I have also entered a new season on the work front. Every year seems to be a little different with regards to when I am the busiest. This is definitely now my busy period for this year. Things are a flurry over here with preparing for a number of upcoming big events. The OHCG Annual is just two weeks away, so all the last minute framing and mounting is being done for my featured artist exhibit. My “A Mother’s Worry” piece is finally getting its frame, so my husband has been busy getting that ready, along with working on the presentation of a number of my hooking and weaving pieces. There is only one weekend left to get everything ready, with not much time during the week, so there will be a big push to get everything done. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it all comes together at the Annual!

Speaking of the Annual, I am also teaching two workshops there. So I have also been really busy with sending out class emails, preparing backings, sorting yarns, printing out handouts etc. etc. In fact, between now and the end of June I will have taught five classes for a total of 55 students! I’m sending out the last information email for one of my classes today and am really excited to meet new people and teach them how to hook with yarn. I’m also getting the opportunity to teach some kids throughout the month of May, something I haven’t done in awhile, which is going to be super fun!

My studio is a disaster with class materials strewn everywhere for the various classes. I am also knee deep in applications for various fibre related exhibits and opportunities. But I have been making some time to work on my latest piece.

This piece will be the continuation of my ongoing series of pieces inspired by the concept and experience of motherhood. The wheels have been churning with a number of new ideas for this series, so once this crazy busy season is over I hope to get to work on all of that a lot more.

And I’m closing in on having a first draft completed of the book! I’ve been putting in some full days recently on different parts of the book writing process, including tracking down and organizing photos and other details.

Watch this space for a few other little surprises here and there, as well as lots of photos from the OHCG Annual. When I re-emerge from this crazy busy time at the end of June, I hope to hunker down even more on the creativity and experimentation side. I’m so lucky to have a job that I love so much!

Karen

Latest News

Time to catch up a bit on all the recent news!

I think I had mentioned before that I am teaching two sessions of my Tulips: Hooking with Yarn class at the upcoming OHCG Annual here in Ottawa. In addition, I will have a couple of my pieces in the general display as well. New this year is also a trial run at having some pieces from Ottawa and area members for sale. I will have a few of my pieces in this as well, and they will be available for purchase at the Annual.

But the even bigger news, is that I was approached to be one of four featured artists at the Annual! What this means is that within the general exhibit there will be a fairly large section that will feature a number of my pieces, including many of my larger pieces that haven’t been on exhibit for awhile. This will be a really good opportunity to see some of my older work, along with my newer work. The exhibit is open to the public on Sunday, May 6th. I’ve been told to expect a turnout of at least 1000 people so this is a pretty big deal. Lots of beautiful work to see and there will be vendors as well selling lots of tools and materials. All the details are in the poster above and I will keep everyone posted as we get closer to the event.

I have a fair bit of teaching coming up this Spring that I have been busy preparing for. As well, I have been plugging away at my book. Things are really coming together and I am really loving how all the pieces are fitting together.

As I mentioned before, this year has been all about experimentation. I hit on a technique that I am really loving, and a lot of my experimentation time has gone into this as I am brimming with ideas for it. Once the ideas dry up, I’ll move on to another method, but for now I’m really enjoying this! I have been using my table top loom that I bought a couple of years ago to weave my own backings. Then I hook into those backings. The possibilities, as I am discovering, are endless.

So far I have been mostly exploring my fascination with lichen, but I have also branched off in a couple of other directions too. Expect to see a lot more of this weaving/hooking combination from me in the future.

The rest of my time has been going to preparing class teaching notes, class kits, prepping yarns etc. etc. I have begun the process of outlining a portraits class that I hope to hold later this year, but it has stalled a little bit while I prep for upcoming classes. Once those have passed I will get back to it again. I will be filling my portraits classes from my current waiting lists first, so if you have already contacted me with your interest don’t worry- I have your name! ๐Ÿ™‚ If you haven’t, feel free to contact me to be put on the list.

That’s all from me for now. Have a great long weekend!

Karen

A Mother’s Worry

Last week I finished up the large piece I have been working on. It is called “A Mother’s Worry” and it measures 30″ x 20.5″ and was hooked and designed by me using a variety of yarns on linen. It sure took a long time to finish! I think I redid the water section three times just to try to get it right. As you can see, there is a lot going on in this piece and getting it all to work together was a challenge. In the end I am pretty happy with it and I have had a lot of really great feedback. The piece seems to resonate with a lot of people and that is exactly what you want art to do.

I may change up her eyebrow before it is framed- sometimes I feel like it is a bit dark. The faces were definitely frustrating for me because of their size. They are far too small to get in a lot of detail and so I found myself disappointed in the end that they didn’t look more accurately like my kids. I think I’m over that now as I have reminded myself that it isn’t a rug about my kids per se, but rather they are representative of all youth and the struggles that they face in today’s crazy, messed up world. As someone said to me after seeing the piece, grown ups suck. What a poor job we are doing of creating a better world to our children.

As for the framing, that might take a little while because I don’t have a clear idea yet what would be the best frame option to complement this piece. I’m in discussions with my framer (ie. my husband) and once we have figured it out, framing will begin.

Karen

Celebrating My Two Loves

Have you seen the latest issue of Rug Hooking Magazine? I’m pretty excited that my article, “Celebrating my Two Loves,” is in it! This one is about that series of seven pieces I did that were inspired by my kids. I’ve had a number of people email me to tell me that they really enjoyed hearing the stories behind each of these pieces. I hope you enjoy the article too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Last week I also taught a Beginner Rug Hooking with Yarn class for adults. It was a great group, and the first time that someone has actually completed a piece by the end of class! I really love seeing how everyone interprets a subject differently, and sometimes people want to create their own design in the class and that is great too! That will likely be the last Beginner Adult class for a little while, but I will hold another one probably in the Fall. A lot of people have been requesting a weekend or evening class so I will try to make that happen!

In other news, my Tulips class that I will be teaching at the OHCG Annual here in Ottawa in May filled up really quickly! Thanks so much to everyone who was interested in this class. I can’t wait to meet you all!

I spent some time compiling my mailing list for those who have expressed an interest in a Hooking Portraits with Yarn class. Now that I have seen just how many people are waiting to take such a class, I’ve decided I really need to make planning one a priority. I’m officially adding it to my roster of things to get on and hope to have an announcement on this by the end of the year for sure.

Other than all of that, I’m still enjoying doing small experimental pieces each week. Some work, some don’t, but all are learning experiences. And I have started work on my next major project which actually doesn’t involve any hooking at all!

Karen

New Year; New Planner; New Plans!

Hope everyone had a terrific holiday season! Hard to believe it has come and gone already. Ours was very low key which is exactly what we needed. It was nice to take a step back from all the crazy hecticness of every day life and dial it back a bit for two weeks. By far my top three times of the holiday season are Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve. Christmas Eve is so magical- the lights, the stockings, the kids’ excitement for the arrival of Santa. Boxing Day is the best because we don’t leave the house. We lounge by the tree, reading books and doing activities that we got for Christmas and eat leftovers all day. So relaxing. And we really believe that New Year’s Eve requires a little….sparkle….or pizazz. So we always plan a fun little excursion that sets the day apart from all the others. This year we headed downtown where we spent the night. We went to the hotel pool, ate delicious food, and spent time together. My husband and I saw the fireworks reflected in the windows of a nearby office building which was perfect as it was about -38C that night so we were more than happy to stay nice and cozy inside!

There’s just something inspiring about a New Year, isn’t there? This year I am trying very hard to focus on the notion of creativity. I’m trying to do a better job of breaking down my days into categories and sticking to it: ie. book writing days, hooking days, teaching preparation days etc. What I really noticed from the past year was that I have trouble giving myself permission to take a day a week to explore new techniques or ideas. For some reason, particularly if my schedule is really full, this is the first thing that gets eliminated from my timetable. And I really think that that has to change. So this year I am building in a “Creativity” day a week.

Enter my new planner. I am definitely a planner person and always have one to keep track of our family schedule. But this year I wanted to have a separate one for my art/work. One that I can brainstorm in, sketch in, capture fleeting ideas and break down my work days better. This is the one I chose (see above) and I’m super excited to see how filled it will be by the end of the year!

I was also approached by a fibre art friend to join her in committing to making something new each week of this year. We call it “Work Week” and it is a really great way to stay accountable and to also get feedback from someone else about what you are doing. Over the holidays I jotted down a quick list of all of the projects that I want to tackle this year using this concept. All of those things that have been shuffled to the bottom of the pile because I just haven’t made time for them. Doing it this way, I plan to tackle a small, likely 5″ x 7″ piece each week using a material or technique that I have been wanting to explore for some time. The small size keeps it doable to complete in a week or so, and also has the benefit of keeping me focused on the purpose. The purpose is to experiment- not to necessarily end up with a phenomenal, ready to sell piece. Just keeping that in the back of my mind is already freeing as I have a tendency to think of things as a waste of time if they don’t end up “perfect.” Through this process, “imperfection” may actually be more of a learning process than perfection.

This doesn’t mean that I will not be doing larger projects. I am very close to completing my larger project (I feel like I have been saying that a lot lately but it is true!) and have several other large projects coming up. But I will also be making time for these smaller experiments and who knows, they may lead to larger projects as well!

I found it a struggle over the holidays to get started on my first “Work Week” project because the kids were still off school and I wanted to spend time with them. I wasn’t idle though. It seems every couple of years I get the crochet bug and I binge crochet and then set it aside again. This seemed to be the year and so I ended up crocheting myself a large, cozy blanket that I love.

Then I decided to do a project for each of the kids. I just finished up this blanket for my daughter, and have embarked on a “Volcano Bag” for my son. These were no super creative projects as I was following patterns, but the time I have spent on them allowed me to get into the rhythym of the motion of crocheting which freed my mind to contemplate some of my own work. And, the kids were super happy with their crocheted goodies!

I have my next Work Week project ready to start and will keep you updated each week as I embark on these adventures. I hope that you find your own way of tapping into your creativity in 2018!

Karen

P.S. The Volcano Bag pattern can be found at www.yarnutopia.com/2017/02/02/volcano-bag

Marks of Motherhood

For some time now I have been giving a lot of thought as to how I could convey my feelings about motherhood through my art. My motherhood journey has been a fairly all-encompassing one as I made the choice to stay home with first my daughter and then my son. Now that both of my children are in school, my life, and my relationship to the two of them, has of course undergone yet another transformation. I knew that my past ten years of mothering and my entry into the next phase of this journey all have given me plenty to say, but I have struggled with finding my voice.

That all changed when I embarked on my recent series which I call “Marks of Motherhood.” I find that there is a tendency for mothers who are artists to focus only on the positive moments and feelings of motherhood. There is nothing wrong with this of course, and I myself have done just the same with the pieces that I have made that have been inspired by my children. But it seems to me that to ignore the other aspects of motherhood seems to play into the stereotypes that society has set up around it. As every mother knows, not every moment is joyous and wonderful and golden and as an artist I really wanted to push myself to “go there.” Some moments are exhausting, frustrating, overwhelming, marginalizing and just demoralizing. Women are so reluctant to focus on the negative because they feel that to do so makes them look as though they don’t love their children and don’t feel fortunate. I don’t think this is true- I think that to explore the full depth of all of your feelings merely makes you human.

Marks of Motherhood II

The experience of motherhood changes a woman immediately and leaves her with a collection of “marks”: physically, mentally and emotionally. These marks are permanent, but at the same time are transitional and change shape and composition over time. No two women experience motherhood in the same way, and the experience of being a “mother” is very different from that of being a “parent”. While the journey is inevitably filled with joyous and rewarding moments, it is also by its very nature messy, with rough edges, frayed seams and exposed surfaces. It is by no means perfect.

Marks of Motherhood III

This series explores those marks of motherhood using the application of a variety of natural dyeing methods to the hand-hooked surface. These methods include materials found in nature, as well as rust dyeing. The results are always variable and unpredictable and one has to let go of the idealism of perfection- much like the experience of motherhood itself. I am also exploring the use of a number of different backing materials to support the narrative of my work. This follows on the experimentation I did with hooking on tulle in 2015 for my piece “Suspension.”

Marks of Motherhood IV

This is just the first of a number of series that I see coming from my experience of motherhood. I have several other series in mind which will use other methods and materials in order to explore the concepts that have come out of my own journey down this path.

Marks of Motherhood V

Karen

P.S. Just a quick note to let you know that I will be holding a Beginner Rug Hooking with Yarn class at my home studio in Ottawa, Ontario on Thursday, January 18th, 2018. The class will run from 9:30 am-12:30 pm and there are only two spaces left so email me at marzipanroad@bell.net to register.

As well, I currently have five of my small pieces on display and available to purchase at the Shenkman Arts Centre in Ottawa. They will be there until December 14th, 2017. Great for gift-giving this holiday season!

Week in Review

The November/December issue of Rug Hooking Magazine is now out and in it I have an article on how to hook with yarn. I was approached by the magazine some time ago to write such an article as they had been receiving a lot of questions on hooking with yarn. I was happy to share all that I know and the many tips that I have developed over the years through trial and error. I have been receiving a lot of positive feedback from people who are finding the article helpful and useful, which makes me very happy!

The past few weeks have been busy with teaching, and last week was no exception. I held the second session of my Nature & Landscapes Advanced Rug Hooking Class. It was another great group of students who had a great eye for finding potential subjects to hook on our nature walk. It was interesting how most of the students this time took a more abstract approach to their work. I love when people take my classes and decide to work outside of their comfort zones and try something new. For me, that’s what makes teaching so worthwhile. Can’t wait to see their finished pieces.

I have also been making a lot of time for myself in the studio this past week and weekend. Progress continues to be made on my large piece. I had originally gotten a little tired of working on the grass and had moved on to the water. Now that the water has been finished, I am forcing myself to go back and fill in all those little gaps in the grass before allowing myself to start on the sky.

I have finally also begun to tackle some of my more experimental ideas. Many of these ideas I had started to play around with a year or more ago, but then just didn’t have the time to see them out fully. When I was doing the full-time mama gig with time only in the evenings for work, I didn’t have the time for trying something and having it fail. What having the kids in school has meant is that I don’t feel the same pressure to always get things right the first time. This is leading to a lot of very interesting work that I am looking forward to sharing once I have spent a bit more time on it.

And work continues on the book I am writing! I am still feeling very excited about it which is my way of knowing that I am still on the right track with it!

This week I am teaching a Beginner Rug Hooking with Yarn class. There is some space still left in the class, and it is likely the last Beginner class that I will teach before next Spring. This winter I want to begin to develop a Portraits in Yarn class that I hope to start offering next Fall. If you are interested in the Beginner class this Thursday, you can send me a message for more information. The class will be held in Ottawa, Ontario.

Karen