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.


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!


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.


Nature & Landscapes Class

Yesterday was the first of the Fall sessions of my Nature & Landscapes Advanced Rug Hooking Class. It was so much fun! It was a great group of ladies who were definitely open to getting out of their comfort zones and game to try anything. We started the class with a nature walk to explore different ways of “seeing” the things around us and to gather some inspiration photos for our work. Back at the class we learned about composing our image, colour planning, getting our designs on backing, and then got down to work on hooking the projects that they selected.

This first piece was inspired by a recent walk in the Mer Bleue Bog. The mix of acid greens and bright pinks is outstanding.

This piece was inspired by a lichen covered waste water grate we encountered on our walk. She wanted to combine another photo that she had of flowers so she added a flower in the lower corner. When this one is completed it is going to have quite an abstract feel.

This student was inspired by some fungi and moss that she encountered. Once she gets in her background colours the fungi is really going to stand out!

The mix of reds and greens in this leaf piece are fantastic. This finished image will really fill the frame and makes for a really interesting composition.

The dark greens against the pinks of this leaf are amazing. Nature really does do the colour planning for us in many cases.

The biggest take aways from the class were to give yourself permission to try something new, that making art should be a freeing experience and not one that is bogged down by too many rules, and of course that inspiration is everywhere!

I can’t wait to see what these finished pieces look like!

There are still two spaces left for this class next Wednesday here in Ottawa. If you are interested in more information, send me a message at marzipanroad@bell.net.


Embracing Fall

Every year I think I say that we had the best summer ever. But this year, I really think it was the best summer ever (I think I say that every year too. I guess that’s a good thing as it means that we live summers to the fullest!). We did so many things. Someone on Instagram (by far my favourite social media site by the way. If you don’t follow me come and check it out!) said that it seemed that we are always travelling. In some ways we are- my husband’s work hours are often less than ideal so we really enjoy little weekend getaways as well as longer trips just to get away from it all. As well, we are big believers that travel is great for kids and great for family together time. So whether it is a weekend away or a two week adventure, we love to be on the go.

The summer started out with a trip to Toronto to see the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario. And of course we also stopped by the Ripley’s Aquarium which is always a family favourite.

For the Canada Day Long Weekend we headed to Mont Tremblant. We had so much fun there and are already plotting when we will make a return. The kids especially had a lot of fun and are always asking when we can go back.

It wouldn’t be summer without camping! Every year we do two weekends of camping. This year we lucked out and managed to get both weekends at our hands-down favourite campsite in Algonquin Park, Ontario.

Although the weather the second time we went was less than ideal, we still managed to have a good time. Our camping weekends were filled with canoeing, hiking, watercolour painting, beach time and campfires. We all feel so much like seasoned campers now after doing this for five years. So many memories have been made with a simple tent and some toasted marshmallows.

Our bigger trip this year was in Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec. Our fourth time there and it never lets us down. The weather was perfect, the cottage we rented was right on the beach. We did lots of hiking, art making, eating local foods, kayaking and shell collecting on the beach. We all came back feeling reconnected, relaxed and invigorated.

This summer also saw me completing a number of plein air hooked pieces, teaching my advanced Nature and Landscapes class, and I went on a fantastic girl’s weekend with four friends that was so much fun and so memorable.

Now Fall is here and the fun hasn’t ended. The other weekend we rented a canoe and paddled down the Rideau Canal here in Ottawa. It’s been on our to-do list for awhile now and Canada’s 150th year seemed like the time to do it. The kids even really enjoyed it and luckily we did it before this heatwave hit the city!

We have a few more weekend getaways up our sleeve before winter hits. Can’t wait! In the meantime, it’s back to work for me. My son has started Senior Kindergarten part-time this year. It’s his first time going to school and he loves it! So, I’m able to take on a lot more projects of my own. First of all, I am teaching two classes of my Nature and Landscapes class in October. The first class is full but there is one spot left in the second class. Email me if you would like more information! I am also teaching an Adult Beginner Hooking with Yarn class in early November. There are a couple of spaces left in that also which you can ask me about if you are interested. All classes will be held in Ottawa, Ontario Canada.

I’m hooking away on the piece that I have been working on all summer. It’s a big one so it is taking a lot more time than I anticipated. It also didn’t help that I had to rip out a big chunk of what I had gotten done. These things happen, and fortunately I have just about finished redoing that section.

And the last big project that I have on the go is that I am writing a book! I signed a contract with a publisher the other week and have already made steady progress on it. I’m really happy with how it is coming together! More details on this when possible. 🙂

Hoping that you are embracing Fall wherever you may be. Next time I’ll post about a few publications that came out over the summer that I have work in.


Fall Classes!

I’m excited to announce two classes that I will be holding in Fall, 2017.  Details are below.  For more information or to register, you can email me at marzipanroad@bell.net.  All classes will be held in Ottawa, Ontario.


Beginner Rug-Hooking With Yarn for Adults

This is a class for anyone who has never rug-hooked before, or who has hooked before and would like to try hooking with yarn.   The class will be held on Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 from 9:30am-12:30.  The cost of the class is $50.00 which includes all materials and the use of a hook and hoop for the duration of the class.  The emphasis of this class is to cover the basics of this art form, while letting you explore your own creativity.

There are only 3 spots left for this class so register early as they fill fast!


Nature & Landscapes Advance Rug-Hooking Class (with yarn)

This class is for those who have hooked before and are wanting to take their hooking to the next level.   The class will be held on Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 from 9am-3pm.  This class will begin with a short nature walk in order to collect photos of subject matter for your project while learning to look at nature in different ways.   Back in the studio, topics will include:  composition, colour planning, basic rules of art, choosing yarns, and finishing your piece.  The cost of this class is $100.00 ($75 for the class and $25 for materials).

There are only 4 spots left in this class and previous sessions have filled up quickly, so book early!




Adult Hooking with Yarn Class for Beginners

I will be teaching an Adult Hooking with Yarn class for beginners at my home studio in Ottawa, Ontario on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 from 6-9 pm.  The cost of the class is $50.00 which includes all materials, as well as the use of a hook and hoop for the duration of the class.

I am not going to be offering as many adult beginner classes in 2017, so if this is something that interests you, this may be your last chance for awhile!  For more information or to register, email me at:  marzipanroad@bell.net.



Fall Classes for Kids!

I’m pleased to announce my new list of classes for kids in Fall 2016!

All classes will be held at my home studio in the east end of Ottawa.   The first two classes on the list are great for both kids who have done hooking before, and those who haven’t.

For those who have taken a class with me before, the third class, “Mastering Realism” is a great way to take their hooking to a new level.  This two session class will introduce elements of design and colour, as well as realistic shading.

To register or for more information, you can email me at:  marzipanroad@bell.net.

My classes tend to fill fast so let me know if you want to reserve a spot!  We are going to have fun this Fall!  🙂


Upcoming Hooking with Yarn Class!

Just wanted to let you know that I am holding another beginner class in hooking with yarn for adults on Saturday, August 27th from 6-9pm.  It will be held at my home studio in Ottawa, Ontario.  The cost is $50.00 which covers all required materials, including the use of a hook and hoop for the duration of the class.  There are more details on my website under Classes & Workshops.

If you are interested in this class you can email me at marzipanroad@bell.net. Just a heads up that I keep the class size small and they fill quickly!

I am hoping to announce some more classes for kids shortly so stay tuned!  🙂





Upcoming Classes for Adults!

Following on how well received my hooking classes for kids have been, I am now offering beginner classes for adults!

You can see my Classes & Workshops page on my website for more details about each class.  I am offering my ‘Hooking with Yarn:  Beginner Classes for Adults” in July.  You can choose from either Saturday, July 9th from 6-9 pm or Saturday, July 23rd from 6-9 pm.

The July 9th class is filling fast, so if you are interested in either time slot send me an email at marzipanroad@bell.net.   All classes will be held at my home studio in Ottawa, Ontario.