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Sunday, December 13, 2015

A 'Compilation' of Photographs of Creating 'Dream'



Saturday morning was marvelous. I got to start the morning with my son, Justin, over breakfast and lots of coffee at a local cafe. I love well established cafes- I love people watching and the accompanying sounds and smells- clanking plates, wafts of bacon and coffee, and observing people as they arrive. Over our toast and eggs, we talked about art, art and more art. I spoke of what a lousy blogger I am. "I don't know what to say!" Justin told me that that is because I am an artist and the things I really have to say are made with my hands. He told me to just post pictures- so, OK!


This rug is about a dream I had early last summer. I had experienced a broken heart in magnitude I could never explain earlier in the year. For months, I worked through the stages of grief that we all know. One morning I awoke from a dream so real and so meaningful that in the days to follow, I knew I needed to 'record' it with wool- one loop at a time. This is the very beginning and possibly my very favorite place to start- the face. It is always a surprise to me when a face is hooked in and my hooked piece from the onset carries personality and  helps me 'feel' the rest as I work away.


Rug hanging in wool studio where I can look at it as I come in and out- spotting problem areas or ideas. Here I have pieces of 'Midnight Blue' placed around to try to imagine what she will look like on the night sky.


I'm liking the night sky! A blend of my 'Midnight Blue' and 'Midnight in Paris.' The clouds and dress are both shades of Midnight Blue. I began hooking in segments of Sari ribbon through-out the sash.


At this point, I was trying to figure out how I was going to add the other details that I dreamed about.


In my dream, there was a cream colored 'globe' that represented the 'conflict' that I was so heart-sick over. My rug sat at this stage for quite some time until I decided to 'edit' what I actually saw. I was concerned that someone looking at it would not be able to figure out what was going on. What you see above is what I saw in my dream- soon to be 'edited.'




Do you see how I changed that globe to a moon? Oh, there is Mercedes who is at my feet every moment. She is a bit of a 'rug hooker' herself- she watches me dye and plan and hook and I actually talk to her as I work. 

"Girl, I love you, Girl! 
What do you think?
 Should I make a moon instead? 
Yeah, I thought so." 

Besides my dream, Mercedes (name meaning, ironically is 'Mercy, Pity, and Favor and no, I did not name her- she came to me with that name during 2015 while I was working through grief.) She has been the sweetest and most comical friend. OH! At this point, I noticed that the lady's neck looked like it had been scratched! I meant to suggest creases in her neck as she turned it but quickly saw that she looked like she had got in a tussle with an angry cat! Those lines were taken out and softened.


'Dream' hanging on my easel outside my shop. It will hang over my desk where I will always remember that dream that spoke to me about detachment and rising above.

So what is next? A pattern that I am actively working on only because I was dying to use a new color I have, 'A Rose By Any Other Name.' I simply think it is beautiful and want to use various shades of it to show how pretty it is and I am loving the whole idea...which was another topic of yesterday's breakfast with Justin. 



God bless you from my heart! Please visit my website at vintageheartrugdesign.com .

Friday, October 2, 2015

Dream

'Dream' That is the name of this design of mine. It will be like some of the rugs I have done- one of a kind- deeply meaningful to me and full of self-expression.

I have had 'Dream' drawn up on paper and hanging in my wool studio (ha! Its more like a cottage) for several weeks- the bulk of the summer. I have looked at it and known that I must do it. When I am finished, I will use it as an illustration when I need to when I want to convey the lesson I learned from a dream I had in the late spring/early summer. The lesson is detachment.

I have a relationship in my life that has caused me soul piercing pain. Should I admit that I have tried to find solace in a counselors office seeking emotion relief from a situation that I have been unable to resolve or make sense of. Last winter, I was over-run with pattern and wool kit orders. I worked from sun up to late into the night every single day. As soon as I would wrap things up for the day, the grief would overwhelm me all over again.

So, one night I had a dream. The dream consisted of three parts. In the first part, I was laying in a hospital bed. There were people gathered around me although I did not know who they were, except for my best friend, Louise. A nurse came in and asked me to roll over and as I did I saw my hands were swollen I knew I was very ill.

In the second part of the dream, I was in my childhood home. I am the oldest and all my younger brothers and sisters were playing and moving about the house like any other day from many years ago. However, in the dream, I was standing in a hallway that never existed in real life. It was filthy. Curtains hung torn and soiled. The floor was filled with debris. I stood there feeling like I must clean it up and that surely I could never just leave it. I needed to clean up that mess. Then I saw a snake in the corner. The snake started coming toward me, growing bigger as it it got closer. I lifted my foot and smashed it. Suddenly, I was in the third part of my dream.

I was in the night sky. I could feel a cool breeze envelope me. Stars twinkled around me and I was running my fingers through the clouds. I felt unbelievable peace and joy inside of me- a deep contentment. I looked and I saw the earth which, in the dream, looked like a cream colored ball. But I knew that that hallway and that mess was beneath me and as I looked at that globe, it got smaller and more distant and I was OK with it because I was so filled with peace.

When I awoke, my husband was standing at his dresser getting ready for the day. I asked him to sit down and listen to the whole story. When I was done, he said, 'I know what that dream means. Yvonne, the hospital represents the fact that you have been very emotionally sick. The second part represents a 'mess' that you so badly want to clean up but you don't know how. The act of smashing the snake means that you are done----done! And the third part is a complete detachment and rising above the whole thing.'

For days, I kept thinking about that dream and the dream became a tool I had in allowing myself to let go of something I have been unable to.

So this rug is a 'snap-shot' of the dream I had- of course, a younger, slimmer me-haha!

Here is 'Dream' in the front and what I think I will call 'The Little Spinner' in the back-ground. The Spinner will be a pattern that I will sell. I intentionally made the face very simple so that most anyone could feel confident in doing it. I know that so many of the ladies that enjoy rug hooking love spinning as well. I hope that they will love 'The Little Spinner.'

Before I say good-night, I have to share with you a picture I took earlier of my Mercedes. That sweet girl. Always by my side- always.

Good night!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Last Punch Needle Pattern....For A While

Being the oldest child of fourteen, I am naturally pretty goal oriented. When I make a list of things to do, and it comes to something I love as much as creating, I will follow through with that list. I had a few summer goals for myself and one of them was completing a few punch needle embroidery patterns. The above pattern that I have been working on, is what I consider the end of the line for a while unless I just happen to have an idea that sounds appealing to me.

I am eager, EAGER to begin really focusing on my passion and that is rug hooking. Tonight I dyed up some flesh. I have two designs I will be trying to work on together. One will be a spinner and the other a design that I have had hanging on paper in my wool studio for at least a couple months. It is called 'Dream.' It literally is a 'snap-shot' of a dream I had a while ago. It was a dream like none I have ever had. I woke up and felt a deep peace about a painful part of my life that I have been unable to let go of.

The Woolery

The above is 'The Woolery' based on my rug hooking pattern. I could not get a picture that even does it justice. By far, this is one of my very favorites.


This one was really fun to do- I mean A LOT of fun! I loved the applique part- another reason I need to take care of myself so I have many, many more years to do all the projects that I can possibly squeeze into my life time! So much to do! So much to do!

Now, I am so eager to get on my new rug hooking projects that I love so much. I liked the punch needle but I have dearly missed being able to concoct my own 'paints' and 'painting' with my hook what I see in my mind.

Before I say good night, I have to introduce you to one of the best things that has ever happened to me. 
Yes, that is me with my Doberman Pincher, Mercedes. I have dreamed for most my life of owning one. Every time I have ever seen one, I have always had to rush over to admire what I see.  About five years ago, my husband and I were up in the mountains. We had just got onto a trail and a jeep pulled up. Something inside told me that a Doberman would be jumping out and sure enough! there was one! The owner, a very husky and no nonsense man got out and I had to talk to him. He encouraged me to pet his dog and he shared that he was a veterinarian and had owned Dobermans most his life. As we talked, I watched his dog prance through the woods and my heart was melting. What a beautiful creature! His parting words to my husband was 'Go buy your wife a Doberman!'
A month ago, I found a Doberman girl- six years old. I really was nervous as I drove to meet her. Do I need another complication in my life? In the middle of everything, do I really need a rabid dog? They say this breed needs a confident and strong owner- I am the epitome of a nervous Nellie! Scatter-brained! As my son has teased, ' Mom, you zig zag through life.' LOL
In the month I have had her, my nervous heart has shed a few tears about how dear she is and what a friend she has become to me. She never leaves my side. While I am hooking, her head lays on my hip and she'll push her nose in for a little stroking which I love so much. When I go back and forth all day between my house and my wool studio, she's right there. Her funny antics keep me laughing every day. Everyday I just look at her and wonder where she has been all my life. I dread the day she is gone. I simply dread it. 
Anyway, this is Mercedes. 

Will be following up soon with the progress of the two designs I am dyeing wool for right now.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Harvest Blessings

'Harvest Blessings' 

A piece of wheat. That is where this one started. I saw a picture of a piece of wheat. Later that night as I lay in bed, I started wondering about wheat and colors I dye. Which formulas would work? Hm..I wonder how beautiful it would be if I dip-dyed a gold color to use as wheat? Blues and golds look beautiful together.....Wheat needs a sky. What to go on the sky? Cream and my 'Overcast Sky' that I always use. Those colors would be so soft and beautiful together. What time is it? Nearly one a.m. Oh well....cream.....a scarf...a scarf. OK. Did I turn off my coffee maker? Wait a minute. What about a girl carrying wheat? Oh yes! Ok and this will be a pattern and so to keep it simple, she will be facing away. Hm..hm. Wheat in a border- I always have those borders. 

As I lay there, I started visualizing my idea. The rug you see is what I had in mind as I started to doze off. I was tempted to get up to quickly sketch it all out but was convinced that I loved it so much that I would remember it and I sure did.

See those hills in the back-ground? Where I live , they surround me. You will notice that most all of my backgrounds show those purplish-blue hills. A back-ground is not 'right' without them to me because it is where I live. 


What was also exiting was that in the days that followed, as I drove about in the area that I live, wheat fields were being harvested and because of my plan, they seemed to have an excitement to them as never before. My eyes were studying the colors that I was seeing and through out the days that went by, I sampled different dye colors until I could not contain myself any longer and I BEGAN.

Doing this rug was a lot of fun and the best part was seeing something that happened in my head late one night come to life as I hooked away!

I almost for got to tell you that as I worked on this rug, I also was working on a little punch needle design to 'compliment' the rug design. It is a softer version and I like it very much. I used what I had of my growing collection of Valdani floss. I have to say I really love that floss. It has a naturalness to it. To me it is like hand-spun wool vs. acrylic- that's just my opinion. I very much love it- mostly those variegated collections they have. Here is a picture of the punch needle version of 'Harvest Blessings.'


Both of these are available in my Etsy shop. Both are available as kits if you prefer.

One last thing! I made my own web-site! Yes! I had my old web-site but found it so very frustrating. Someone was managing it. Every time I wanted to update it, it became a matter of me remembering to do it. And if you are familiar with how lousy I am at texting and messaging, you might guess that one simple change became very daunting for me and very frustrating. I am just someone that needs something right in front of me in order to focus on it. That is why my Etsy shop works so well for me and now I have a web-site that I can manage all by myself and keep focused on. Here is a link to it! Please check it out!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

New Punch Needle Embroidery Designs


A few months ago, I made a list of things to accomplish over the summer months.

A Web-site I can manage myself.
20 Half Yards of hand Dyed Wool
One or Two Magazine Submissions
 Punch Needle Patterns

These are the latest two.

Above is 'Fancy Needlework' that is based on my rug hooking design, 'Fancy Needlework.' 
Below is 'Flower Market.'
You will  notice in the 'Flower Market' design, a wooden crate. One evening my husband suggested that he make a tongue and groove box-end for me to attach my piece on. I LOVED the idea! There is a lavender tag that I aged. I have been pretty exited about that.

I have limited  kits for either design and patterns are available as well. I also have the boards that can be ordered.

So what have I accomplished on my list? 

Website is one page short of being finished.
Working on a Magazine Submission.
I have a half dozen punch needle designs done.
And I am slowly getting that wool done. I will not get caught off guard like I did last year- holy moley!

Either design and others are available in my Etsy shop!


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Refinement

I have been in a deeply contemplative mood the last few weeks- contemplating life, my life and the things that matter to me. I have been feeling peacefully alone in my thoughts.

I have been thinking about the different times in my life that were painful and yet, refining- things I have gone through that on the surface seemed like I came out a tangled mess but, in time, I found that I was made better, softer...made 'less.' And how many times have I said, 'Less is more!'

I have been thinking a lot about my work and what exactly it is I want it to be. I want it to be considered, 'less.' 'Less' meaning truly authentic and simple. Just simple. No bells, no whistles, nothing loud or ostentatious. Just true. And being 'true' is being vulnerable because it is the stuff of the heart. Have you ever had a rejected heart? I have discovered that rejection, if you let if make you better and not bitter, leads to more refinement- it makes you 'less' in a 'more' sort of way.

When you are 'less', you 'see' more- I see how much my husband adores me. I see that he is the love of my life. I see the stars in the night sky because I am looking up to God for answers and consolation. I see my own father's face as my children look at me. I can do this because of the refining and uncluttered 'quiet' in my heart.It makes me realize just what this life is- it really is so simple and wonderful and painfully.........refining.

"God, thank you for the refinement you have brought to my life. May it be expressed in all I do and all I am. 
Yours truly, Yvonne"

The last month I have been working on punch needle designs as requested! Now! Nothing can captivate me like rug hooking but I will create some punch needle designs. I started using the DMC flosses but have noticed (and how I have noticed!) the striking difference between the DMC and Valdani. So, now I am waiting for my Valdani to arrive and then I have a design that I am very exited to begin.

In the meantime, I have been  reproducing a rug that I have so admired. I do not know what it is called- all I know is I see a sweet lady , a dress, a handsome man and possibly cupid or a jealous man and I am mush- where is my hook? My basket of dyes? This design, I just found out this morning, was part of a series commissioned by James and Mercedes Hutchinson between the years of 1925-1945. Authentic and true and refined- and is admired still today!




Wednesday, May 27, 2015

'Handiwork'


I have sold out of the 'Handiwork' kits that I had available and I have more floss on the way for more kits. I have more punch needle designs coming. The next one involves a French Flower Market. Last night my husband came home and had a suggestion for a certain board for it to be mounted on and I was floored at his genius. I think you will be very pleasantly surprised.

While I wait for the floss to arrive, if you are interested in a kit, please let me know and I will reserve one for you. I have been surprised at how fast these sold and I hope to have enough for 15 more kits.

Feel free to contact me at yvonne@vintageheartprimitives.com or hooknwool@gmail.com.

Thank you so much!
~Yvonne

Monday, May 25, 2015

Punch Needle Embroidery Patterns

Stoneware Kitchen


During my life, I think I have tried my hand at countless arts and crafts. Calligraphy, ceramics, paper mache, all sorts of painting, knitting........of course, rug hooking............pottery, punch needle using yarn and the Amy Oxford punch-needle. I have done quite a bit and really enjoyed each one.

Then there is this punch needle embroidery. Hmmmm..............

I have been asked so many times about converting some of my rug hooking designs into punch needle. The thought of such tiny work has seemed very unappealing to me. All I could envision is wads of tangled floss and knots and forgetting to write down floss numbers. It just has sounded so tedious!! Not to mention how difficult it is on my eyes looking at such fine detail.

Well, where there is a will, there is a way. I have come up with two punch needle designs for you and I am half way liking them. The turning point was when my best friend introduced me to her reading glasses. 'Ohhhhh....so is this the key?? Ha!'


I have two patterns that I have done. 'Stoneware Kitchen' and 'Handiwork.' Both will have in the weeks to come complimentary rug hooking designs.

'Handiwork' is mounted on a board that I thought up- I love scalloped edges on anything and so why not? I would sure be glad to make you one if it is something you are interested in.

Handiwork


I am working on having two rug hooking patterns to compliment these punch needle designs. I really looking forward to doing them.

Here is a link to my Etsy Shop:

My Etsy Shop

I hope you have had a great three day Memorial weekend!

~Yvonne




Saturday, May 9, 2015

'Morning Light'


"The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining brighter till the full light of day" Proverbs 4;18


I have to say that recently I saw a quote shared on Facebook that helped me to understand myself a bit better. The quote simply said that great art starts (or involves) emotion. So many times, I have wondered to myself why that most every design I do has to have a woman. I really do TRY to think of other things. I mean, my 'Lamb and Crocks' is one of my top selling patterns. But, try as I might, late at night after the day has settled and the house is quiet, I listen to my music and my heart begins to stir. And I start to draw what I am feeling- so maybe- just maybe, each of my 'ladies' represents a piece of my mind and heart.

I have not made a pattern for so long and I have known that I am due. So, I wanted this one to be hooked with easier cuts and a fairly simple design. It's pretty simple- yes  indeed!

Many of the colors that I offer in my Etsy shop were used in this design- Peony Pink, Midnight Blue, Charcoal, Run Through A Meadow, Vanilla Bean and shades of Overcast Sky. Look at this little sheep!

This design is available in my Etsy shop:
 https://www.etsy.com/shop/VintageHeartPrims?ref=hdr_shop_menu



I bought the most beautiful yarn from an Etsy shop I love. Eager to use it, one of the little skeins ( the middle pictured below) became fleece for these little sheep. If you look carefully, you will see bits of lace- isn't it sweet? The name of the Etsy shop is 'Autumn Rose' 

I have so much on list to do in the coming warm months- a better website that I have been working on using Weebly, a couple more beginner kits, possibly some punch-needle designs, and the next pattern has already been hanging where I can look at it through-out the day planning my colors. It is very sweet.
On a completely different note, below you can see a little house my husband, Neil, has been making me. Things have gotten a little out of hand at my house- my living room is the hooking room as well as always having two easels with current and future work brewing- baskets and baskets of strips everywhere! My kitchen has dye pots and plastic wash basins of soaking wool- the island top full of baskets of dyes. Now the kitchen table has piles of folded wool and lists and labels and orders. If you were to go into my 'work room' which would be used in any other house as a family room, you would find my cutters and tracing table and patterns and piles and piles of wool- bolts of linen and wool and kits in the process of being assembled. Rug Hooking has taken over my home and I LOVE every bit of it! This little house outside will have water and electricity - I will be able to move all the dyeing out here as well as having a little 'nook' for friends that visit. I am thinking of doing the inside in creams and pinks and old blues. I can hardly wait!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Seeking, Striving With All My Heart!

'I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.' 
Vincent Van Gogh

'Louisa' is finished. I have learned so very much from doing this rug. I am here in Idaho and what I have learned has been on my own. A lot of studying and observation and things I learned when I used to paint. Who would have guessed back then how someday I would glean lessons learned painting and use them as I 'paint with wool.'

The collar bone area down to the scoop of her neck went in and it just looked wrong. Then I thought to trace my own collarbone area with my fingers and create the shape with the direction of my loops.

The background. Ha! I was convinced that once I had Louisa finished, the back-ground would be easy. Wrong. The background that I had dreamed of simply competed with her beautiful skirt. As I cut the area down and started pulling more and more lavender out, I saw that less was more. Suggestions of flowers over the ground was all that was needed. 


Louisa hung on my easel for over a week as I felt increasingly annoyed. I do that. I will feel such aggravation when I cannot solve a problem with whatever I am working on. As I looked through one of my favorite books of art by Alphonse Mucha, I noticed all the arches he used to frame all his ladies. A stone arch came to mind- stone, so that color-wise it would tie in with the soft  folds of her blouse. Lovely!

Currently, I am actually working on an up-coming new pattern. I have not done one of those in quite some time. I am taking some of the things I have learned from other rugs and bringing it into this new design. Similar in style to my 'Marie, the Rose of France' pattern, this one has a beautiful woman  and a sheep and a floral border. I have color swatches laid out and am in one of my very favorite stages of any rug design- the dreaming and building of inspiration. 

I have been working on many, many rug hooking kits this last few months. Currently my work room has neat piles broken down per kit and customer. I am getting them put together and I am visiting my Post Office daily. I have been receiving messages asking me if I do kits for my designs and the answer is absolutely 'yes!' Contact me through my Etsy shop or at hooknwool@gmail.com for information. And please come visit me on my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/vintageheartprimitives?ref=hl

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Louisa

This is my design that I am currently working on. It is called 'Louisa' -named after my best friend, Louise. Louise is a personal 'life coach', comedian, and entertainer all in one. She has been my best friend for 20 plus years.



This actually started when I saw a blouse that I thought was beautiful. I created the whole rug off that blouse. I saw it back in maybe early January and as the weeks went by I was so busy and had no time to devote to the lady that I was creating in my mind. But, I kept thinking about her- her hair, the style dress, the colors. I also kept thinking of her face. I was intentionally observed people's faces and how the light fell over cheeks and noses that I studied in conversation or my own in the mirror.

I was quite sure that once I had the hard part done, 'Louisa' herself, that the rest would be easy. Wrong! Her skirt came out so beautiful but it seemed that the background bothered me terribly. So, it has hung in my living room as I looked at it in irritation wondering what to do. I decided that what was bothering me was that the background looked too busy and competed with her beautiful skirt.

Looking through a book I have of one of my favorite artists, Alphonse Mucha, I was inspired by his arches that so many of his pieces have. I wondered if limiting the view of the background by having Louisa stand in an arch would fix the problem. After some thought, an old stone arch came to mind.

Not only did it solve a problem, but I really love it!

The stone arch is made from one of my favorite colors that I have available in my Etsy store. it is called, 'French Urn.' It's a blend of gray and brown which always looks so 'stony' to me and pleasing to my eye. 



Speaking of wool, I am finally working bit by bit at getting colors that I either use all the time or just love moved into my Etsy store. Raspberry Jam, Blue Lavender, Run Through A Meadow, Overcast Skies, Pumpkin Pecan Pie, French Roses and Midnight Blue. There are others and I have many more coming...if I could just tear myself away from Louisa for a while.







Sunday, March 1, 2015

Color that Inspires!


So, I have really been having fun dyeing my own colors. One of my favorite discoveries is how fun it is to have 'fun' cooking in an extra pot as I dye wool for my rugs and for the kits I do. Above are some of my 'Color Doodles.' Some I can do over and over- others, are one of a kind, like a bundle I sold today, 'Grandma's Pansies.' (Pictured- last three on the right)

I get into trouble with color. One color in the most unsuspecting place is enough to start my brain thinking of how I could use that color- which often leads to a bit of frustration because I would need ten lifetimes to do every idea that comes to mind. So, which one to choose?

I love shades of smokey blues and pinks and purples. What colors inspire you? And what are your favorite ways of using them? Do you have colors on your shelf that you can't bear to use until you find something so special and so worthy of such a delicious color?


This is a bundle that I call 'Mountain Rain.' These colors make me think of a the smells of a mountain after a rain. Wet pine, a stormy sky and raindrops. I have one of these left in my Etsy store. 


Now, this was a FUN piece to do. It is available also in my Etsy shop. It reminds me of a bed of Iris and that's why I call it 'Maggie's Iris Bed.' Raspberry, Gold and a rich deep Rose. 

What colors inspire you? Do they evoke memories or make you hungry even? 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Simplicity

'Simplicity' That's the name of my new pattern and also has been the theme of my last few weeks. This pattern is available in my Etsy shop- on linen. I can make a kit for you as well.

I am almost so close to finishing my ballerina rug, 'Tutu's.' I have been so busy with filling orders this last six weeks that I have had no time to even really look at it, however, I will let you see where I am at!



A pattern you can find in the January 2015 issue of Wool Street Journal.
The other news is that in January 2015 I was in Primitive Quilts Magazine and Wool Street Journal. I adore both publications. In the Wool Street Journal, you will see how I took scrap vintage pieces of fabric and hooked them into a small rug to give tribute to women through history who enjoy and earn a living with fiber arts. There is a pattern in that issue for you to hook or use in a punch-needle design. In Primitive Quilts January 2015, you also get a free pattern that I designed. It is my adaptation of a vintage chair-pad that was found in an old Kentucky cabin. It is one of my very favorite primitive designs I have done.

This is the chair-pad that I adapted for Primitive Quilts Magazine, January 2015 issue.