Thursday, May 26, 2022
Thursday, January 20, 2022
The title says it all.....my brain has decided to lock into hibernation mode! Now after chatting with our Wednesday hooking group, we all figured out that it's probably a combination of too much screen time and just being home. Last year we didn't all have our fiber festivals, art shows, etc to go to (either vending or shopping), so I think I've exhausted any ideas.
I have been hooking and wool dyeing as well as organizing my workroom and barn studio, but good grief, I'm tired of cleaning....lol. On the bright side, I've got three events scheduled, and am going to start a Thursday Zoom hooking night on January 27th. Here's the link Thursday Night Rug Hooking It will run from 6pm to 8pm, and feel free to drop in at any time.
My 2022 events calendar so far is
Oxford Historical Society Fiber Festival - April 9-10. I'll add another post with the times and location.
Connecticut Sheep and Wool Festival - April 30th at the North Haven Fairgrounds, North Haven, CT. Times to follow.
Quiet Corner ATHA Hook In - June 11th at the fairgrounds in Woodstock, CT. This is a wonderful group of hookers, and their hook in fills up fast! You can request a registration form from Barbara Dexter @ email@example.com They also have a Facebook page with more info.
I've also been filling up my Etsy shop - https://www.etsy.com/shop/Ravensgateprims I am trying something new and added three listings of wool applique/penny rug bundles. I have so many scraps from other projects as well as wool that just isn't conducive to cutting into strips for rug hooking.
I've also added a few new kits, so if you're ready for a new project, or want to learn to rug hook, they would work great.
Monday, January 10, 2022
I don't know about you all, but I kinda feel a little like we're living the movie Groundhog Day! Anyway, enough of that, on to more interesting things!
I have added two new kits to my Etsy shop, and am in the process of scheduling both in-person and Zoom rug hooking classes. If anyone would like to schedule a class on a specific day, either in-person or Zoom, please let me know!
I'm also working on a few new things for Raven's Gate Primitives, including some videos on YouTube. Tik Tok is also under consideration, but the thought of joining all those young 'uns is a little scary! :0)
If you are looking for classes, please check back in a couple of days. I'll have a post with the dates/times.
Have a wonderful day and stay warm!
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
So, last Tuesday or Wednesday, I came across an Instagram post from an organization called Multicolores. This wonderful organization is a non-profit in Guatemala that supports Maya women in self-discovery and artistic development. (I grabbed this from their site because, well, they say it best)!
The organizers were giving a free spot in their Intermediate-Advanced Rug Hooking Class, so I added a like and comment, and promptly forgot about it. On Friday, I got an email from the Creative Director, Madeline Kreider Carlson that I was being given a spot and the class starts on Saturday! I downloaded the course information, and informed everybody in my house that I was busy Saturday and Sunday!
Fast forward to Saturday, and let me tell you, I was blown away! Instead of me telling you about what I saw, let me show you pictures of the beautiful art I got to look at as well as chat with two of the artists in this group. (I did get permission to post pictures from their website, but definitely go there and check it out, there's so much more)!
One of our teachers
designed and crafted by Bartola Morales Tol, member of the Patanatic rug-hooking group
designed and crafted by Imelda Estela Pich Chopén, member of the Chuacruz rug hooking group
designed and crafted by Nicolasa Pacay Barán de Barreno, member of the Patanatic rug hooking group
The class was three hours on Saturday and three hours on Sunday. We were given some templates that are used by the Maya artists as well as beautiful examples of their rugs. The two artists that were our teachers for this class were Irma Raquel Churunel Aju' and Yolanda Churunel Aju' (sisters).
Irma Raquel Churunel Aju' is inspired by ancient Mayan symbols (nahuales), and is a member of the Multicolores Leadership Program
Yolanda Churunel Aju', and is a pioneer in designing story rugs. These story rugs portray a narrative often inspired by Maya history or legends.
There were four of us taking this class, and got to design our own rug, learn how to cut the t-shirts into strips, get feedback from Irma and Yolanda on our design as well as our color choices. They were so kind, and their knowledge just blew me away.
We were also given our own Nahuale, or spirit totem and your sign is assigned to you at birth from the Tzolk'in calendar All we needed to do was given them our birth date and year.nahuale Tz'i You will definitely see this in a future rug I'm going to do,
So, now it's Tuesday, and I'm ready to start my Multicolores rug. I've got my paca stripped and in bundles, and "some" color planning. (I'm not the best as color planning ahead of time).
I've only touched the tip of this wonderful organization and the class. Please go to their site, read about the wonderful artists and organizers of the group, then get ready to drool over the beautiful artistry!!
Saturday, March 20, 2021
Happy First Day of Spring!
Today was a good day. It was sunny and warm (ish), and I took a little trip to Target (masks on, ya'll)!
So, I'm going to preface this post with something.......I'm incredibly blessed. During this pandemic, I've had very few complaints. Yes, my fiber business has suffered with the closing of fiber festivals, and not being able to meet with other fiber people in person. That being said, I don't depend on my business to support anything other than itself. Aaron also owns his own business (private and corporate aviation), and he has had to hustle to keep it open and solvent. He has been incredibly successful at this, so our paycheck has been steady, and he has been able to keep his other employee. I don't have to worry about keeping the roof over our heads, our bills paid, or where our next meal is coming from. There are so many people across our country, the planet even, that are struggling.
Now, with that being said, I have realized something about myself. I am not a very nice person to me. I have spent more time inside my own head this past year than any other time, and it's not super comfortable. When I made the decision to leave my corporate job of eight years, I had so much outside support. Listening to other artists on social media, it's very apparent that not everybody has the support I have. Aaron took on financial support of our household, and even bought me a backyard studio that is an absolute refuge for me.
He is always encouraging me, and has great advice for a beginner entrepreneur. My parents, sister, in-laws (and out-laws, lol), and our kids, are the most supportive people I know. My biggest enemy to my self-confidence is me! If you heard what I say to myself in my own brain, you'd be shocked, I know I am! I just never realized it, it just became my norm. I can't think of anyone that could say anything to me that is worse, or even comes close to what I say to myself. Weird, right? Well, not so much. I've been doing a lot of reading/research on this, and it's not uncommon. Being an artist is something pretty new to me. It's not something that I ever thought or wanted to do, but I've always been that "crafty" person. Cross-stitch, embroidery, dried flower arranging (hello 80's and early 90's), crocheting, then rug hooking, knitting, spinning, etc. The first time someone called me an artist, I didn't realize they were talking to me. It's taken me a minute to claim that particular title, and still feels weird to call myself an artist, but I'm getting there. It's all part of the work, I think, and there's some work to do. I've decided that the mean girl that lives rent-free in my head is going to be evicted. It's going to take a while because she has been living there for quite a while, but I've got a plan. I refuse to continue to make myself small, or conform to fit into some construct that my brain/ego has decided is comfortable. I'm going to take chances, try different things, and when that mean girl starts to spout off, her comments will be replaced with encouraging, supportive talk. Yes, I have conversations with myself...lol.
Ok, now that that's off my chest, let's see a couple of finished rugs!
This is a dragon drawn by our (bonus) daughter, Ashley. I wanted to do something different, and asked her to draw me a dragon. No other instructions, just that. I really like her fierceness.
I'm currently working on the third Lake Bird, the Wood Duck, and tomorrow will be a day in the dye post. I need a bunch of background colors, and don't have any on hand.
Now that I've dumped my brain onto this post, I'm going to go veg out in front of the tv for the rest of the night. Have a wonderful evening/day, and remember......Be Kind to Yourself!
Thursday, February 11, 2021
My week has been a little busy, but nothing mind-blowing. I started dyeing wool for my Etsy shop and hopefully shows for 2021, finished decorating my February feather tree, and worked on my vintage rug repair. I'll do a separate post on the wool dyeing tomorrow because I'll be back in the dye pots again.
February's feather tree came out pretty cute! I made over 200 fabric yo-yos for the garland, and crocheted tiny hearts for each branch.
The fabric yo-yos are pretty easy to make. I basically started at the beginning of the Hobbit movies, then moved onto Lord of The Rings trilogy, and....voila! I do use what I call a "cheater" to make them, because I don't have the patience for making a template, cutting each circle perfectly, and sewing perfect, tiny little stitches. This is what I use....Yo-Yo Makers
I've already started thinking about how to decorate my feather tree for March/St. Patrick's Day. Also, I make and sell goosefeather trees on my Etsy shop, and do custom sizes if interested!
My rug repair is going slowly. I sewed the first patch down, and realized that I made the patch too small. I will add another patch below the original one, and sew them together. I re-hooked a few loops, and the original hooker definitely hooks tighter than I do. No biggie, but it's pretty interesting to see the differences.
I'll do some more work on her over the weekend, and will have at least one patch sewn on and re-hooked. The original wool is in great condition, but I can tell that the strips were cut from maybe some kind of clothing. Most are a consistent width, but there's a few that are a bit wonky. Hopefully I won't have to dye matching colors, but we'll see!
Check back in tomorrow for some beautiful hand dyed wool!
Friday, February 5, 2021
I am a huge fan of thrift stores, antique stores, tag sales, and estate sales. No matter where I go, I usually come across vintage rugs that usually have some kind of "issue". I do have a couple that are pretty much pristine, but the rest have various wear places, tears, and worn edges, and they have all been hooked on burlap. Burlap does not wear well, but the art that has been created by women and men many years ago, deserve a second chance (at least I think so)! So after a lot of research online and in books, I've decided to take one of mine and try repairing her. I am going to document the process, and hopefully you all will enjoy the journey!
So, here's our candidate.....isn't she a beauty?! I would like to be able to use her on the floor in my kitchen after the repairs are done.
From the back, it looks like there's been repairs done in the past, plus, either the original hooker, or the repair person (could be the same person), also put "patches" on each corner. So, what these patches look like, are pieces of those denim patches moms used to buy to sew onto the knees of their kids' jeans. Not sure if they still exist...lol
These two are views of past repairs to the rug
Here's the damaged areas that I'm going to repair. There are a few weak places that I'll look at after I do the initial repairs. I may need to take out those loops, add reinforcement linen patches and rehook