Posted by: laurawp | January 8, 2017

More arriving Caswell Impressions!

Caswell Impression #29 hooked by Cec Caswell

Caswell Impression #29 hooked by Cec Caswell

When I got home from Little River Inn Rug Camp, I found a couple of rugs on my door step… from Cec Caswell and Laurie Wiles of Edmonton, Alberta! Wow! Cec uses the alternating stitch in black & white to outline her flowers and leaves! this is often her signature stitch… though it is most often around the edge of the rug. I love it!

Caswell Impression #52 hooked by Laurie Wiles

Caswell Impression #52 hooked by Laurie Wiles

Laurie handles her purple throat flowers with finesse! The leaves too, are interesting with a variety of colours!

Caswell Couple hooked by Laura W. Pierce

Caswell Couple hooked by Laura W. Pierce

My friend, Nancy Terhaar, is hooking this pattern for the Caswell Impressions.  I haven’t seen hers yet… but she talked about how it represented her and her sweet husband, Ron. I was inspired after hearing that; I had to hook a version of my sweet husband, Kirby, and I. We got married in 1973; a time of ‘Open Marriages’… not that we would have such a marriage; we were much more traditional and would just be ‘we two’.  It was a home grown marriage; I sewed my own dress and wore flowers in my hair. Kirby bought some cool clothes at the local haberdashery. Our plain gold rings cost $12 for mine and $17 for his. It was supposed to take place in the park across the street from my folks home, but it rained. We all crowded into my folks living room; it was intimate and wonderful. The sun came out afterward, so we took our photos outside.

 

Caswell Impression #20 hooked by Ruth Scott

Caswell Impression #20 hooked by Ruth Scott

Ruth’s bluebells border on purple; the spotty green background is perfect! of course, I love her outline and fill randomly leaves. Ruth’s work always pleases me.

Caswell Impression #23 punch hooked by Karyn Dambach

Caswell Impression #23 punch hooked by Karyn Dambach

Simple and powerful, Karyn’s flower stands on it’s own. Her finished edge uses the same yarn as the middle colour in her flower. Perfect!

Caswell Impression #26 hooked by Patricia Helland

Caswell Impression #26 hooked by Patricia Helland

Loving the blue and red flowers; the blue showing up again on the leaf tips!  The dark background sets everything off perfectly.

Caswell Impression #32 hooked by Leisa Robinson Collin

Caswell Impression #32 hooked by Leisa Robinson Collin

All the way from the Yukon! That place that’s almost like outer space… far, far, away! Leisa teaches school and lives off the grid up north in Canada. We met at Puget Sound Rug School, then again at Western Teachers’ Workshop. She and her friend, Lise Merchant, are going to teach rug hooking in the Yukon… yaye! I love the colours in her rug; the golden edged leaves with light blue high-lights glow and murmur.

Just 5 more to arrive… I’m looking forward to that!

The Caswell Impressions will be shown at Sauder Village in August, 2017.  My friend, Barbara Larsen, and I will be driving out to Archbold, Ohio, to deliver the rugs at Sauder village.  We can stop by your place on the way; let me know if you’d be up for that.

Posted by: laurawp | January 1, 2017

Caswell #9 Colour Planning & Adjusting

'Caswell Impression #9' hooked by Laura W. Pierce

‘Caswell Impression #9’ hooked by Laura W. Pierce

The final result; I’m happy with it and it’s done by the January 1, 2017 2nd deadline. It was a crazy journey getting to this colour plan; it’s because of the ‘dull’ white I used to outline with. I could have changed the outlining, but it became my challenge to make it all work and understand why it was so hard.

Caswell Impression #9 colour plan 1

Caswell Impression #9 colour plan 1

Funny to see these two next to each other… I came practically full circle. I started off with coloured pencils and a yellow-orange and blue colour plan. I had it in mind to use a textured white with little bits of colour in the weave, as an outline.

Caswell Impression #9 colour plans

Caswell Impression #9 colour plans

I tried reversing the colour arrangement with white and blue flowers and an orange yellow background. but the flowers almost dissappear into the background. so I tried dark blue background, but the flower openings blended in. Then I tried a dark orange background and thought it might work. However, working with a dark outline as in these sketches, didn’t give me an accurate picture.

Caswell Impression #9 colour plan on the computer

Caswell Impression #9 colour plan on the computer

So I colour planned on the computer; first making the outlines off-white. Blue and Orange Yellow; one of my favourites!

Caswell Impression #9 colour plan on computer 2

Caswell Impression #9 colour plan on computer 2

Burgundy on Antique black, which is actually dark green; and changing up the 2 flower vines. hmmmm

Caswell Impression #9 - 1st start hooking

Caswell Impression #9 – 1st start hooking

Looking at the photo, it seems like it could have worked. But I wasn’t enjoying hooking it. I added a bright orange plaid to the background mix and still wasn’t happy. I wondered why I was hooking yet another orange rug?!! I tried the piece of wool next to it, but it just got muddier and more tedious.

Caswell Impression #9 with burgundy background

Caswell Impression #9 with burgundy background

I went into my stash and got a variety of burgundy wool pieces; from reddish to black texture overdyed with burgundy. This background worked for me. Actually, the Caswell Carpet had a dark background when it was originally made; it was a new style at the time.

But it seemed that the blue was not working for me, even though I hated to give it up?! I thought various pastels might work, but they blended in with the outlining; especially the lavender.

Caswell Impression #9 on it's way...

Caswell Impression #9 on it’s way…

Finally, I tried the orange yellow flowers with dark bright orange interiors. OKAY! I was still hanging onto the blue, but the bright blue green was obviously working better for me. Finally, I added a little bright blue green to the blue… in places.

I’ve heard talk of dark, dull, light and bright… I suppose I was having trouble with my colours because of the dull white. The same wool was light and bright used with a biege plaid texture that I used in the background of the ‘Caswell Blue Jay’. In this case, I found I needed hot bright colours with the dull white, to make it fun to hook.

Colour lessons with these small fun rugs are not too much of an investment…   and who knows, they may be very useful in the future.

Posted by: laurawp | November 27, 2016

Which pattern should i do next?

Caswell Impression #9 pattern

Caswell Impression #9 pattern

It’s marvelous to have another Caswell Impression to hook… they’ve been so much fun! This one got lost, so I’ve got a month to hook it, before the second deadline; January 1, 2017. Lately, I’ve been re-purposing patterns by drawing another pattern on the back; even my own. When a pattern never sells; after a few years in the offering basket, it’s time to re-purpose it.

Louise's Iris, 16x16" pattern, by Laura Pierce

Louise’s Iris, 16×16″ pattern, by Laura Pierce

Who would want to hook a giant Iris? the translucent quality of Iris petals… what was i thinking… ha!? This pattern was developed for a class on ‘Giant Flowers’ that Barb Kennedy offered at our ATHA chapter, several years ago. Also included in the group are the popular ‘Giant Poppy’ pattern, the ‘Giant Dahlia’, the ‘Giant Cala’ patterns and others. After I re-purposed this pattern, I thought about Barb’s class; it was about shading with wide-cut. I wondered if I could hook this Iris pattern effectively…?

'Louise's Iris' shaded with coloured pencils, by Laura Pierce

‘Louise’s Iris’ shaded with coloured pencils, by Laura Pierce

It’s easy to print a small version of the pattern and colour it with pencils or crayons… to see what I can do. I think I’ll look for another pattern to re-purpose; I may be ready to hook the Iris!

Tanya, Laura, Emma & Brigitta; the team at Little River Inn Rug Camp

Tanya, Laura, Emma & Brigitta; the team at Little River Inn Rug Camp

A great team and a great little camp! Tanya Graham and Brigitta Phy are great teachers, so having them teach at Little River Inn Rug Camp is a cinch! Our backdrop is part of the Caswell Impressions Rug Show. The first show, but only 65 of the 78 rugs were available for this rug show. The second deadline is January 1, 2017. Then i’ll be looking for other venues to show these wonderful rugs!

Caswell Impressions done in the warm colours/

Caswell Impressions done in the warm colours/

I separated the rugs in colour families; cool, warm and neutral. I was wondering how I would hang all the individual rugs… and this seemed like a reasonable starting point.

The group of neutral Caswell Impressions

The group of neutral Caswell Impressions

all of the rugs are beautiful and deserve to be shown off to their best advantage. This was a great trial run; yes they go together, but more room would be good.

Tanya's class listens to Tanya's art talk...

Tanya’s class listens to Tanya’s art talk…

a few more ‘cool Caswell Impressions’ on Tanya’s class wall… to the left.

Tanya talks to her class about creating art in their rugs.

Tanya talks to her class about creating art in their rugs.

The Caswell Impressions are on the wall, but class also goes on… with a few teaching props leaning up against the same wall. Rug Hooking is a bit messy and especially at rug camp!

Tanya talks about rug design and modern art

Tanya talks about rug design and modern art

Again, Tanya’s backdrop is the Caswell Impressions cool selection. The rug show was a couple of days in the hanging, but I learned a lot about the collection. I’m looking forward to hanging the show again… with more gallery lighting and space.  I am looking for venues to show the collection; let me know if your group would like to see them!  Next summer, I’ll drive them out to Archbold, Ohio, to show them at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week; August 15-19, 2017!  There are a lot of states between Petaluma and Sauder Village; let me know if I should stop by.

Caswell Impression #28 hooked by Mary Watson

Caswell Impression #28 hooked by Mary Watson

When I unpacked Mary Watson’s package and saw her beautiful rug; I thought… how wonderful; hanging flowers!

Caswell Impression #28 hooked by Mary Watson

Caswell Impression #28 hooked by Mary Watson

Then I realized that the rug was upside down, but her initials work both ways.

Caswell Impression #22 hooked by Lise Merchant

Caswell Impression #22 hooked by Lise Merchant

Another beautiful rug arrived that day; from the Yukon! Lise Merchant’s Caswell Impression is rich and vibrant with textures and spots of brilliant colour. As many of the Caswell designs fill their space, the designs are similar to tiles.

Caswell Impression #22 hooked by Lise Merchant

Caswell Impression #22 hooked by Lise Merchant

My mother used to say that a good design works upside down as well as right side up. Of course, in rug making, this is a good thing.

Caswell Impression #55 hooked by April Shekter

Caswell Impression #55 hooked by April Shekter

One more beautiful rug, from Portland Oregon; April’s rug is softly dramatic with cool colours. The design has a nice flow of stems and flowers; practically bending with the wind.

Caswell Impression #55 hooked by April Shekter

Caswell Impression #55 hooked by April Shekter

This Caswell pattern looks good turned 90 degrees too. Many of these rugs will make lovely pillows landing on the couch any which way!

I gave my rug hooking friends 2 deadlines; October 2, 2016 and January 1, 2017. Three quarters of the rugs have arrived and they are impressive. A familiar refrain is that the designs were fun to hook and the colours came easily from each artist’s noodles and stash. Also, the designs opened up a new avenue of expression for some of the rug artists. I’m very grateful for everyone’s participation in this project; and love getting to know each participant in a new, coloured and textured way!

I know a few more rugs are on their way; the first show will be at Little River Inn Rug Camp at the end of the month. I can’t wait to start hanging the show; even though the rugs are all as different as the rug artists that hooked them, they’re going to look great all together!

Posted by: laurawp | September 19, 2016

Caswell Progress & Pondering

Caswell Peahen in progress by Laura Pierce

Caswell Peahen in progress by Laura Pierce

I’ve finished up the Peahen and her flowers since I took this photo. Making the flowers orange seemed competitive with the mid-body feathers on the Peahen… so I decided to make the ground orange too. The Peahen’s feathers are grey or brown according to the visuals I’m working with… orange is part of the brown family of colour, I reckon. Also, I got rid of the smokey yellow, except for my signature. I had it in mind to use my ‘Green Shadow’ and now I’m convinced it was a good idea. I am wishing for a bit more black to balance things out, and have started an additional row around the edge. not sure about it, but I need to finish up before I can decide.

Caswell 'Think Pink' by Laura Pierce

Caswell ‘Think Pink’ by Laura Pierce

‘Think Pink’ was one of the early Caswell squares I did; using a orange brown spot as my starting place and outline. When I was finished hooking the piece, I felt like the orange spot was not present enough; so I used it to whip finish the piece. Since then, I’ve felt like there is too much orange spot. Since I baste my folded edge before I whip, I expect that I can change my mind and replace the whipping with a different material. But before I do, I mocked it up.

'Think Pink' Caswell by Laura Pierce with green border

‘Think Pink’ Caswell by Laura Pierce with green border

I think the change would make the orange outlining much more delicate… what do you think?

Posted by: laurawp | September 12, 2016

One more Caswell Impression

Caswell Peahen in progress by Laura Pierce

Caswell Peahen in progress by Laura Pierce

I’m very happy to be hooking one more Caswell Impression! especially the Peahen! One of my students had picked this pattern, but realized she was too busy to get it done. I’m having a lot of fun with the bright colours, even though the Peahen is quite dull compared to the Peacock. It’s our liberty as rug hooking artists, right? You can see a few ink marks in the feather area; I frequently will change a pattern as I hook it. Several of the Caswell Impressions artist have made changes to the patterns and done it their way… and I say ‘Yaye!’

Caswell Impression hooked in velvet by Robyn Schoder

Caswell Impression hooked in velvet by Robyn Schoder

I re-photographed Robyn’s velvet Caswells… in bright sunshine. I never photograph hooked rugs in bright sunshine because it shows each loop, which is distracting in regards to the image of the rug as a whole. Velvet is quite different; it’s luscious and shiny and that was not coming across in a regular photograph. I think this is a better photograph, but some rugs just need to be seen in person.

Caswell Impression hooked by Cathy Kelly

Caswell Impression hooked by Cathy Kelly

Cathy Kelly’s Caswell Impression has some shiny beads in the flower centers; they sparkle a bit in the photograph, but show better in person. I love Cathy’s colour plan; pushing the envelope a bit… yellow gold, yellow green and apricot… analogous I suppose. I am curious how this came about.

Caswell Impression hooked & sewn by Susan Feller

Caswell Impression hooked & sewn by Susan Feller

Susan Feller’s Caswell Impression is quite 3-dimensional! Puffy flowers and free wool leaves rise above the colourful stitched background. These alternative fiber manipulations look like fun! I am tempted to squish the flowers, but resist in an effort to keep each rug in pristine shape.

Caswell Impression hooked and sewn by Martha Lowry

Caswell Impression hooked and sewn by Martha Lowry

Martha Lowry showed her Caswell Impression on Facebook and garnered many, many compliments! It is 3-dimensional too with very wide loops, 2 kinds of ‘Shirring’ and twillies too. The beautiful soft colours and textures are hard to photograph; I held the rug next to my computer monitor to try and get the correct colouring. The wool flannel whipping is seamless and the round corners are stress free.

I have received quite a few Caswell Impressions and will be showing them at Little River Inn Rug Camp at the end of October. Even though the rug camp is full, you are certainly welcome to come by and see the Rug Show. We don’t fill up all the rooms at the Inn, so you can come up for a day and stay the night. www.LittleRiverInn.com

Posted by: laurawp | July 18, 2016

Polly Clark & her brightly coloured rugs!

'Crewel' design by Jane Flynn, hooked by Polly Clark

‘Crewel’ design by Jane Flynn, hooked by Polly Clark

Polly Clark showed this rug at the Western Teachers’ Workshop Rug Show the 1st year I attended, 2003. I had already met Polly before Teachers’ Workshop, and enjoyed reconnecting with her and seeing her exciting rugs!

'Wild Cherries' hooked by Polly Clark

‘Wild Cherries’ hooked by Polly Clark

Colour is one of the important ingredients of rug hooking and Polly played with it well. She would go out on a limb with bright pink and make it work beautifully! I’ve seen the ‘Wild Cherries’ pattern before, but don’t remember the scrolls around the edge… and I love her simple and effective treatment of them.

Polly Clark at our WCRH FAPO Rug Show in March 2004

Polly Clark at our WCRH FAPO Rug Show in March 2004

Our ATHA Chapter, Wine Country Rug Hookers, had a rug show and hook-in and invited a few extra rug artists to join us; including Polly.

A few of Polly Clark's rugs at the WTW 2016 rug show

A few of Polly Clark’s rugs at the WTW 2016 rug show

Polly’s niece, Jennifer Dotson, was our Rug Show Chair this year and was able to bring several of Polly’s rugs for our show.

'Run' adapted from Robin Price design, hooked by Polly Clark

‘Run’ adapted from Robin Price design, hooked by Polly Clark

It was great to see Polly’s version of this pattern, taught in a previous year by Robin Price. Polly added the second horse and it definitely adds fun to the ‘Run’!

'Lily O'Keefe' design by Charco, hooked by Polly Clark

‘Lily O’Keefe’ design by Charco, hooked by Polly Clark

Here’s another workshop piece, hooked by Polly in her wonderful colourful way!

'Jennifer' hooked by Polly Clark

‘Jennifer’ hooked by Polly Clark

Polly and I worked together on her portrait of Jennifer. It was a pleasure working with this talented artist!

'Swan' hooked by Polly Clark

‘Swan’ hooked by Polly Clark

These are only a few of Polly’s rugs. She always brought interest, excitement and colour to her Rug Art!

Posted by: laurawp | July 1, 2016

Western Ways

Zooming by the view of Mt.Shasta from Hwy5

Zooming by the view of Mt.Shasta from Hwy5

Mt.Shasta is sort of like Mt.Fuji for us northern Californians… a spiritual mountain, glorious with it’s snow topped peak. We stop in the town of Mt.Shasta for great coffees and lunch on our way to Oregon; this time for Western Teachers’ Workshop.

Uphill on Hwy5

Uphill on Hwy5

The more we travel up and down this highway, the more these mountains become familiar landmarks of our trip. another hill further up the hwy has a barn roof visible from the road with an American Eagle painted over the entire roof. Before Yreka, on the north side of the hwy, there is a large metal cow howling a warning, or is she howling at the moon? Several years ago, she gained a metal calf beside her, howling too.

'Little Quaint' design by Jane Flynn, hooked in progress by Cheryl Salzberg

‘Little Quaint’ design by Jane Flynn, hooked in progress by Cheryl Salzberg

Once we arrive at Riley Hall in Eugene, we settle in for a week of teaching practice and inspiration. A Tuesday class, ‘Textured Geometrics’, presented by Cheryl Salzberg was a fun exercise in trying various fibers in our hooking; lace, ribbons, slinky materials, etc. Cheryl also shared a fun textured wool that was white with black specks on one side and black with white specks on the other. it is used to good effect in the ‘Little Quaint’!

Roxanne Ross and Pat Wilson at the Rug Show

Roxanne Ross and Pat Wilson at the Rug Show

Each year, we have a rug show at Western Teachers’ Workshop, on Thursday. Roxanne and Jennifer Dotson organized and put up the Rug Show with the Junior class. It is always a great show of our teaching projects and our own original designs.

8 'Victory Flower' rugs and 2 William Morris Crow pillows.

8 ‘Victory Flower’ rugs and 2 William Morris Crow pillows.

Some of the patterns we teach are so much fun, they come back and make a splash at the rug show. Victory Flower is 20×20″ and fun to personalize and hook! You can order it from Honey Bee Hive, our new McGown certification sponsor.

'Orb Rose' design by HBH, hooked by Suzi Jones

‘Orb Rose’ design by HBH, hooked by Suzi Jones

Suzi’s rendition of this new pattern from Honey Bee Hive is so striking! I love graphics and the black and white backgrounds really set off the design!  I wonder what other colour plans we could do with this design.

'High, Wide and Handsome' design by HBH and hooked by Lynn Roth

‘High, Wide and Handsome’ design by HBH and hooked by Lynn Roth

Lynn always wows us with her colour sense and this piece is even more amazing… extra wide strips fill the petals and high and low medium strip make up the flower center. A beautifully crocheted edge finishes this rug perfectly!

'Wide-cut Rose' design by HBH hooked by Polly Clark

‘Wide-cut Rose’ design by HBH hooked by Polly Clark

Central in the Rug Show this year, was a tribute to the late Polly Clark; mentor and friend to all. Polly hooked her cheerfulness into all of her rugs; with a bit of pink!
I’ll show more of her rugs next time.

Posted by: laurawp | June 12, 2016

A jaunt to the Cambria Rug Show!

Old Prickly Pear at San Juan Bautista in Central California.

Old Prickly Pear at San Juan Bautista in Central California.

My husband, Kirby, and I decided to take off for a few days road trip and go see friends and the rug show at Cambria Pines Rug Camp. I’ve driven and ridden the trip several times down Hwy 101 to Paso Robles, then out to the coast to Cambria. We generally stop at San Juan Bautista for a picnic; it’s a dusty old California Mission town and something to see! An orchard fenced in with a brick and plaster fence has various fruit trees and includes a couple of old prickly pears. Look but don’t touch!

Big Sur view of cliffs and a bridge.

Big Sur view of cliffs and a bridge.

Since we were not in a hurry and enjoying the road trip; we decided to drive down Hwy 1 and see Big Sur. We were lucky with high fog and beautiful views.

Distant view of a 2 arch bridge in Big Sur.

Distant view of a 2 arch bridge in Big Sur.

It is a beautiful drive with plenty of pull offs so you can join all the other folks taking selfies and photographs. We met a young couple that were watching for whales. I’ll be back when I get a long lens for my camera. we’ll stay at one of the parks or possible a hotel; there were a few along the drive. A few people live up the hills, though not seen from the road; their mailboxes marked their presence.

'Enigma' rug hooked by Peg Richardson, 1992, adapted from newspaper illustration

‘Enigma’ rug hooked by Peg Richardson, 1992, adapted from newspaper illustration

It was great seeing friends and teachers at Cambria. The rug show included several original Elizabeth Black rugs, which Gene Shepherd had for sale. Most of them were quickly sold as soon as the rug show opened. I noticed another rug for sale by Peg Richardson. There was no price, but I was quite struck by the rug and decided to find out. It was a price I could afford and my musical husband thinks I bought it for him.

Rug information tag on the back side of our new rug.

Rug information tag on the back side of our new rug.

Peg Richardson hooked the rug beautifully, in a #3 cut. The tiny outlines in textures add a sparkle and fine graphics. Peg is no longer alive, I found out, but she left us this information on her rug tag. I felt like buying the rug honored her and her fine workmanship. Now I’m looking for a good place to put it.

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