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.


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. 🙂

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!


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!  🙂


Sandbanks Camping Weekend

camping 6

This past weekend we went camping at Sandbanks Provincial Park in Picton, Ontario. The main attraction is the beautiful soft sand beach that is right on Lake Ontario. We’ve been to the beach a number of times before and since we also like to camp I thought it would be the perfect combination for the long weekend.

camping 3

I have to say that none of us were particularly thrilled with the Sandbanks campsites. We have done a lot of camping now so we really have a good idea of what we like and what we don’t like in a campsite. Our particular campsite this weekend was pretty small, poorly laid out, very exposed and right beside a fairly busy road. It was also quite close to the Outlet River which runs between the camping beach and the day-use beach. The river was pretty stagnant looking and there was a really bad smell that would waft over the campsite from time to time. When we first arrived it was horrible and thankfully it was not as bad the next day but it was still definitely there. All this to say I don’t think we will camp there again.

BUT, our proximity to the beach and the great weather all weekend made up for some of the downsides and we still ended up having a great time.

camping 4

Our campsite had these great twisty looking trees. I never fail to find inspiration when we are camping, and this trip was no exception.

camping 1

I am definitely an evening beach lover. There is something so beautiful about sitting on a beach, in the evening when it is a little cooler, and watching the sun go down. I love watching the kids run around and play and taking photos of their little silhouettes while the sky darkens.

camping 5

Hard to believe that camping season is now over! But I’m already thinking over what spots we’ll camp at next year.

Camping is the best.


Long Weekend Relaxation

This past weekend was the Victoria Day weekend so Monday was a holiday.  In addition, my sister was visiting from Newfoundland for a week so we decided to do a day trip.  One of our favourite spots for daytripping is Perth, Ontario- it is only about an hour away from Ottawa and is full of heritage buildings and pretty spots.


My sister treated us to lunch and then we headed to Big Ben park (Ian Millar is from Perth and his horse, Big Ben, won many different equestrian events and was even in the Olympics with him several times).  It is a really lovely park right by the water with lots of trees for shade.   The kids played ball and Frisbee and we all took turns amusing them.  It was a super nice afternoon.

Having my sister here meant I got a very nice break from cooking meals and general child care.  So now that she has headed back home it means that I go back to my regular scheduling.  But it also means that I go back to making art.  I’m embarking on a big and very important piece.  And I have several upcoming application deadlines between now and the first week of June.  Time to get back to work!



Photo by Karen D. Miller

Camping Weekend

Photo by Karen D. Miller

This past long weekend we went camping at Murphy’s Point Provincial Park which is about halfway between Lombardy and Perth, Ontario.  (And Lombardy just happens to be where my favourite go-to place for antique window frames is located so I just may have dragged along a couple of new windows to the campsite….).  I was really, really hoping that it would go better than our last camping back in July.  And it was much, much better!  Our campsite was great- very secluded and spacious.  The bugs were no worse than we would find in our own backyard.  The weather was terrific except for one really big thunderstorm in the middle of Saturday night but it didn’t really bother us overly much.

The park itself was great too.  On the Sunday they had an open house of the Silver Queen Mica Mine which was an actual active mica mine back in the early 1900’s.  All along the trail they had costumed interpreters and the kids each had a little activity book to fill in.

The mine itself was like stepping into another world- when you looked back at the entrance you had come down through it was covered in bright green foliage and there was a slight mist in the air which gave it all a very otherworldly effect.

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Photo by Karen D. Miller

The park also had a little beach by the lake and so we spent the afternoon there and had a lot of fun.

It was all very bittersweet though as the camping season is now over and it is back to school and back to routine.  This Fall is unbelievably busy for me- in a good way but I still have I believe six major deadlines between now and the end of November.  So it was nice to get away, relax and regroup for the busy months ahead!


Karen D. Miller

Show postcards and some exciting news!

Karen D. Miller

Yay!  The postcards for the October show are made and ordered. We have a couple of venues in mind where we will hand them out and I can’t wait to see how they look printed.   Thanks once again to my husband who took my vision and made it reality on Photoshop.  He is becoming a bit of a Photoshop whiz.

Karen D. Miller

And now for the super exciting news.  Do you see it there?  That’s right, our little group is doing a SECOND show, next year, at the Papermill Gallery in Toronto!!!!!   This has been in the works pretty much since the same day that we booked the Niagara-on-the-Lake show but it has just taken a little while to get an exact date and firm up the details.   So, mark your calendars for March 2-16th, 2015!


Super Exciting News about an Exhibit!!

Remember  I mentioned here that while I was down at Sauder Village in August I met four other incredibly talented Celebration finalists who were all from Ontario?

And remember I mentioned here that I was working on something BIG behind the scenes?

Well, I am now thrilled and excited to announce that the five of us:

Gunda Gamble

Trish Johnson

Simone Vojvodin

Kathryn Taylor

and me  🙂

 are doing an exhibit together next year!!!!

How did this come about you might ask?  Well after we returned home from Ohio I was saying again to my husband how great the show was and how nice it was to have met so many finalists from Ontario.

“I don’t know why you aren’t all doing an exhibit together,” he said.

Hmm.  After some mulling of logistics I decided to broach the subject with the others and thankfully they didn’t think I was crazy and in fact were quite keen!  After researching a few galleries that I thought would be a good fit for our work, pinning down the details, working on an exhibit proposal and lots of emails back and forth between the five of us, we signed a contract this weekend with The Niagara Pumphouse Visual Art Centre in beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario!!!

Our exhibit will run from October 4th, 2014 until November 28th, 2014.  There is still much work to be done and many, many pieces to be hooked.  But I am super, super excited and I think the other ladies are too!

I am sure I will be sharing much more about this over the coming year as we prepare for the show!