Travel Friday

Where: Pog Lake, Algonquin Park, Ontario- 2013

Inspiration:  I really love camping. It isn’t something that I thought I would love but I really do love it.  It is terrific family bonding and together time.  And I have a real thing for trees and being inspired by trees.  So when I look at this photo it brings back memories and makes me feel inspired and happy.

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Every Friday in 2015 I am sharing a photo that I have taken somewhere that we have travelled. My goal in looking back at these travel memories is to rekindle the inspiration that caused me to take the photos in the first place.

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Karen

Hooked fibre art by Karen D. Miller Hooked fibre art by Karen D. Miller

Postcards from Newfoundland- Autumn in the Codroy

Hooked fibre art by Karen D. Miller

The Codroy Valley is located in  southwestern Newfoundland and runs inland. Its claim to fame? Well, that is where you will find Wreckhouse which is famous for its extremely high winds, so severe that they can flip cars and trucks. It is also known for having a lot of different species of birds. My sister used to go there to do some birding from time to time, though I’m not sure that she has been there in awhile.

When autumn comes and the leaves have fallen from the trees, all that is left is the naked branches which alone must withstand the winter months and the relentless winds.

This piece measures 5″ x 7″ and is framed. The trees are hooked with strips of leather which gives them an interesting glossy texture.

Karen

Hooked Rug by Karen D. Miller

Along the Path

Hooked Rug by Karen D. Miller

In The Arches Provincial Park on the Northern Peninsula in Newfoundland, there is a stand of twisted, gnarled, wind-beaten trees that stand along the path.  Instead of being foreboding, their bark has been bleached by years in the sun and so it is this strange dichotomy of bright and inviting yet still creepy and eerie looking.  We made a stop-over there back in 2007 to feed my then three-month old daughter as we drove up to the tip of the Peninsula.  I’ve been holding onto the photo since then, knowing that eventually I would do something with it.  And finally I did and here is the finished piece entitled “Along the Path.”

The style of this piece follows on the heels of my “Ghost Trees” piece.  I knew when I made that piece that I would like to explore more ideas using the same concept of light on dark and highly abstracted trees.  This was the first time I have ever made anything in a “series” (well, other than my Postcards series but that I think is a different kind of series) and I feel happy with this new piece and at the same time I feel like I am not yet done exploring this concept.  So I think the series will continue- probably with a few variations.

It measures 28″H by 16″W and was designed and hooked by me on rug warp using wool yarns and metallic yarns.   I am not framing this one- at least not yet.  So I still have to finish the edges and put on a rod pocket (hence the notations you can still see along the edges of the rug warp).

I’ve already started on my next piece- no rest at this time of year!  I’m very excited for the next one.  It is a collaboration with an artist that I have long admired and I am excited to see how it all comes together!  We are working on a tight deadline so I am going to keep plugging away at it before I get to the finishing of “Along the Path”.

 

Karen

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.

Karen

Hand-Hooked Fibre Art by Karen D. Mill

Through the Trees

Hand-Hooked Fibre Art by Karen D. Mill

It is finally finished!  This one was great fun to do because of all the bright colours and the abstract nature of the design.  Surprisingly I found all of the colours amongst yarn that I already had.  I think the only thing I had to buy was more black for the trees.  Many of the yarns were ones that I had picked up over the years, knowing that I would one day want to do something with them but never quite knowing what.  Well, I finally found a purpose for them!

 

Photo by Karen D. Miller

The inspiration for the piece came from this photo that I took last Thanksgiving in Picton, Ontario.  We had rented a cottage for the weekend right on Lake Ontario.  One morning I woke up early and quietly crept into the living room to look out the big picture windows of the cottage.   It was surrounded by trees with glimpses of the lake and a glorious sunrise peeking through the foliage.  I grabbed my camera and call it a mistake, or providence, but somehow the camera was on the manual setting and it wasn’t until after that I realized that my photos were distorted.  As soon as I saw this one, though, I got excited.  It was so cool!  I loved the look that the trees took on and the swirling of colours.  I knew immediately that I wanted to hook this scene!

I brightened up the colours but tried very hard to stay true to the shape of the trees as it was their organic abstract-like shapes that appealed so much to me.  They remind me a lot of a Group of Seven type approach to trees.

The final piece measures 17″W x 30″L and was designed and hand-hooked by me on rug warp.  I used all sorts of yarns for this one:  wool yarn, alpaca yarn, bamboo yarn, firestar, soysilk and acrylic yarn.

I’m really happy with this one!  Now I just have to do the finishing- I’m still torn between framing or just doing a rod-pocket.  I may wait a bit to decide on this.  🙂

 

Karen

Hand Hooked Rug by Karen D. Miller

Ghost Trees at Pog Lake, Algonquin Park

It is finally finished!  I finished it just a few days ago so it literally has only been removed from the frame and ironed.  But I thought I would show it to you now as it may be a little while before it is framed.

Hand Hooked Rug by Karen D. Miller

This piece was inspired by our camping trip to Algonquin Park this past Fall.  On our first evening, after the kids were asleep in the tent, my husband and I sat out by the campfire.  The only light came from the fire and when I looked up at all the tall trees that surrounded our site it looked almost as if they were glowing.  I grabbed the camera, but of course it was too dark to take a good photo.  My husband shone the flashlight up into the trees and it accentuated the ghostly look even more and allowed me to take a photo to work from.

Hand Hooked Rug by Karen D. Miller

It is hard to see from the photo, but the trees are made entirely from different shades of sparkly silver yarns.  The big tree on the right is actually made from silver silk sari ribbon.   In person, the trees really shine and sparkle when they catch the light.  For finishing I’m envisioning a frame, but a subtle hidden frame like that of “Beyond Swallowtail” where it gives the piece support but isn’t really showcased- the frame is more on the sides of the piece.  Once it has been framed I’ll share another picture.

This piece measures 17″ wide x 32″ long.  It is the first of my new pieces that I am making for the exhibit in October so anyone coming to Niagara will be able to see it there!

On to the next project!!

Karen

Hand Hooked Rug by Karen D. Miller

New Piece: Fall Fire!

Hand Hooked Rug by Karen D. Miller

 

I have started working on a really large piece which I hope to sneak peek soon.  But I took a little break from that to create this newest piece.  The colours of autumn are everywhere and hard to ignore and I felt I had to try and capture them in a small piece.

The hooked portion of this piece measures 8″ x 10″ and with the mat and frame it measures 10″ x 13″.  I used a lot of different textured yarns- from nubbly to shiny- and some interesting materials such as strips of silk and Leicester locks sheared right from the sheep and then hand-dyed.  The use of such bold colours is a bit of a departure for me but I really like how the colours all seem to work together and translate into the feel I was looking for.

This piece is now available for sale here.

 

Karen

Hand Hooked Rug by Karen D. Miller

Where in Canada is this….

Hand Hooked Rug by Karen D. Miller
Corner Brook, Newfoundland! As correctly guessed on Facebook by my lovely sister who should know- she lives there. 🙂

Corner Brook is situated on the West Coast of Newfoundland and is the province’s second largest “city” (the largest of course being the capital, St. John’s). Corner Brook boasts a population of roughly 20,000 people and is touted on its website as being “…one of the most dynamic and exciting places in the country in which visit, live, work or do business.” Hmm, not sure my sister would agree with this statement. But moving on…the main attractions are the Corner Brook Pulp & Paper Mill, Man in the Mountain (which if you buy the postcard you can pick out the “man’s face” in the rocks very quickly), nearby Marble Mountain for downhill skiing and the Corner Brook Museum (which after two trips to the city I have still yet to go to).
However, what Corner Brook may lack in excitement and man-made attractions it makes up for in beauty. About an hour or so away is the very large and spectacular Gros Morne National Park which is a definite must see for its variety of environments- from fjords to mountains and rocky hiking trails.

Driving through Gros Morne in winter.

The Tablelands trail in Gros Morne National Park

Downtown Corner Brook boasts the Corner Brook stream trail where there is, of course, the Corner Brook stream.

And of course, there is Captain Cook’s Monument. Located at the top of a hill this monument to James Cook (the first person to map the area) affords spectacular views of the Bay of Islands and was the inspiration for this rug.

Interested in learning more about Corner Brook, Newfoundland or its surrounding area? Or interested in visiting the very interesting and ruggedly beautiful province of Newfoundland and Labrador? Check out http://www.cornerbrook.com/tourism/tourmain.html or http://www.newfoundlandandlabrador.com

My sister and I in St.John’s, Newfoundland.

Karen

Hand Hooked Rug by Karen D. Miller

Fall is in the air……

Hand Hooked Rug by Karen D. Miller

The leaves are starting to change colour and fall off the trees and there is a chill in the air in the mornings. This is how you know that it is Fall! Here is a rug that I made called “Autumnal Forest.” This one won’t be listed in the store because its delicate nature makes me a little worried about shipping it through the mail. This one was an experimental mix of both traditional rug hooking and the use of natural elements- in this case bark from a dying Russian olive tree in our backyard. The bark has been varnished which creates a bit of a shine so the rug doesn’t show very well in photos but thought I would try posting one so you can get an idea of how it looks.

Why not go out and enjoy a nice fall day wherever you are!

Karen