Monday, April 30, 2012

A Weekend of Inspiration

I'm just back from a wonderful weekend of rug hooking inspiration - this was the annual Camp Wool April hook-in, held at The Coastal House in Wells, Maine. The rug exhibits on both days were extraordinary, with one stunning rug that kept taking everyone's breath away - check it out:

This is an Edyth O'Neill design hooked by Terry Parent of Freeport, ME. It was displayed on an antique iron bed all weekend. Many pictures were taken, and pictures just don't do it justice. It is absolutely spectacular. Terry finished it with a crocheted edge using the wools she hooked in the background. This bed rug is heavy! You'd never be cold under this!

There was a featured exhibit this year displaying the delightful rugs of Tom McNerney from Newburyport, MA. Tom is known for his wide-cut primitives, mostly his own designs, displaying his love of animals and nature. Below is a picture of Tom as he worked on another rug. He was on-hand for much of the weekend, demonstrating how he works with his extra-wide cuts and had fun talking to groups of hook-in participants about his rugs and the stories behind them. Tom is fun to listen and talk to, and is always eager to share his tips and techniques.

I was humbled by the talent on display this weekend! Activity in the vendor room was brisk too, and people were eager to add to their wool stashes! I tried to offer some great "needfuls", and actually debuted a couple of hooked designs of my very own - this is one of the samples for a two-design paper pattern set called "Warm Hearts". I'd found the great old wooden box at Camp Wool a while back and the paint splatters and patina inspired the color plan I used for the rug attached to it. The round mat, the second design in the pattern set, was a spin-off, continuing the neutral colors. I liked using the little bits of robin's egg blue here and there for a bit of interest. Here's "Warm Hearts":

And now it's back to the real world, where I'll review my sales from the weekend, take a look at what sold and what didn't, unpack the SUV and fill orders from last week and the weekend. Maybe later I can get back to what I'd really like to be doing, figuring out what my next hooking project will be! More pictures to come of the hook-in when I get them from my friend. Have a warm and wooly day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hearts Go Pitter Patter

I got to see my precious little Sophie last weekend. That's me holding her. Recently she found her thumb and makes use of it a lot! I hear from Mom & Dad that she uses it to comfort herself and go back to sleep during the night. When I visited in March I saw her voraciously mouthing her whole hand, and it wasn't long after that my son told me she'd found her thumb. Is there anything cuter? That's a heart-warmer for sure!

Here's another: I just finished a hooked piece with hearts in neutral shades. This is a section of it. After admiring some antique and not-so-antique rugs around Valentine's Day that were done in neutrals, I was obsessed with doing one myself. On a trip to a friend's shop I spied a great, old wooden box with a wonderful patina, and it was just the right size to fill with my hooks, scissors and wool strips when I go to my rug guild meeting or a class. It cried out for a hooked piece for the front, so it came home with me. The colors on the box, both of the wood and some paint spills and such on it inspired my neutral palette of browns and ivories, with just a touch of a faded robin's egg blue here and there. I actually did two neutral heart pieces and am working to get both into a paper pattern which I'll (hopefully) offer for sale at this weekend's Camp Wool hook-in, where I'm vending. A picture of the rug-mounted box will be forthcoming, as soon as I "clean it up" a bit in my graphic program.

The rain has stopped and I can almost hear the grass growing! I bet things will really POP in the next few days. Have a good one!

Monday, April 16, 2012

It's Not Your Right to Copy!

I've read some alarming posts on Facebook and the blogs I follow over the weekend regarding designer copyright violations. Some of the situations described are pretty blatant breaking of the law, and the people engaging in these activities are making no effort to hide what they're doing! I've been made aware of one web site in particular, which I won't name before I do a little more research, but they offer downloadable patterns that members scan and upload to this site, and other people can then download - for free, or a much lower cost than buying the pattern legitimately through the designer or a reputable shop or web site. I'm told there are sellers on eBay and Etsy engaging in copyright infringement activities as well.

Designers make their livings from their intellectual property and ideas, and they sell them to support themselves and their families. When others think it's OK to share patterns, going so far as to upload them to a web site to be downloaded by hundreds or thousands of others, free of charge, it really is like stealing from that designer!

If you are aware of activities like this going on, please share your findings! Together we can get these sites shut down and maybe get some people prosecuted. Make no mistake - copyright laws in this country are strong, they're real, and the penalties can include possible jail time! So, think twice before you make a copy of a pattern to share with a friend or group of friends. Let a designer know when you find their patterns being distributed in ways you know they don't offer them - most designers don't offer e-patterns, but that said, I know a few who do. If you make items to sell, be sure to give the designer credit for the original design. If you have any questions at all about a designer's terms in regard to their patterns, email, call, get the information before you get into trouble!

This has been a public service announcement from Simple Folk. ;-) Seriously though, drop a dime on these people who make it even harder for designers to make a living. Support the folks who create such wonderful things for all of us to enjoy!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

On the Road Again

I'll be vending at the annual Spring Fever Hook-in this Saturday, April 14th from 10am-4pm at the Knights of Columbus hall in Brunswick, Maine. This long-running hook-in is sponsored by talented Cherylynn Brubaker of Hooked Treasures. She offers ongoing rug hooking classes for all experience levels and has a wonderful studio in Brunswick. Pictured is her booth space from a previous event. The inspiration this hook-in always gives me is a big shot in the arm to get my creative juices flowing! Should be a great, fun-filled day. Hope to see some of you there!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hoppy Easter!

A vintage Easter postcard and my wish for a happy and relaxed Easter Sunday. No ham for us today, husband's not a big ham fan, so it looks like a nice roasted chicken with perhaps some roasted asparagus and red potatoes. I'll make us an Orange Yogurt Cake for dessert - it's an Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) recipe and sometimes I make it an orange cake instead of lemon. Both are TDF (To Die For) yummy!

Enjoy your day!