Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A new floor!, well almost. . .

My husband was off for the holiday and had a three day weekend. We worked all three days and got about 1/2 way done. We are both feeling the aches and pains and looked forward to getting back to regular work today.

If you are one of my studio students, the floor probably will not be done for class on Friday, but the class goes on! We will probably have more room because all the furniture is stacked up on the finished side of the room.

The flooring is Bellawood Brazilian Mesquite. It is about the same color as cherry. When I learned that the cherry darkens over age, we decided against it. Not because we didn't like a darker color, but because you have to constantly move the furniture for about a year so that the aging happens evenly. Some of my furniture weighs a ton. It is not likely that we could move it around every couple of weeks. They even recommended not putting down an area rug for at least a year. I've been hooking my fingers off. When this rug is done, it is going on the floor. The mesquite color is stable, so we don't have to worry about playing musical furniture.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Website Name! cindigayrughooking.com

Thank you to everyone who emailed their opinions on the website name. A special thanks to Sunnie Andress of sunnieandressdesigns.com. The majority of you thought my name was an important part of the website name. Sunnie suggested www.cindigayrughooking.com. Perfect!

I purchased that name AND www.cindygayrughooking.com. I am now back to a name that reflects who I am, what the site is about and I don't have to spell it every time I give it out.

I am still on the computer a lot, but I am making some rug hooking progress. I have moved everything back to the studio upstairs because I now have 19 boxes of Bellawood Brazilian Mesquite sitting in the kitchen ready for installation in the living room.

I might have some progress shots this weekend if we can line up a nailer. . .

P.S. That is Gracie, my new kitten, keeping me company while I hook. The rug has gotten so big that the pile of it behind the frame and in front of my Ott light is just the right size for a comfortable cat bed.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I need to rename my website, please vote.

In November I had a billing mix up with my web host. As a result, I lost the rights to www.cindygay.com (Cindi with a y). My website is still OK because I use www.cindigay.com (with two i's). Before I realized what happened, a porno site picked up my name. Just a day or so later, I saw an article on the Internet about how this is happening quite often. I haven't had the courage to visit the site (there is an opening warning about the content) so I don't know if there is (ahem...) a legitimate reason for them to pick up the name.

For the last five years I have been telling everyone that my website is www.cindigay.com and if they entered www.cindygay.com they still got to my website, so the spelling was not important. Now it is. I reserved the following names. Which do you prefer? Do you have something else in mind? I'd love to hear your ideas. Please email them to me at rugmail-blog@yahoo.com.
  • www.cindigay.com
  • www.rughookingexplained.com
  • www.rughookinglessons.com
  • www.rughooklessons.com
  • www.rughooksupplies.com

Monday, January 7, 2008

Day 99. I am settled into the circle border with one exception. Do I want to hook multi-colored spots in between the circles, or do I want to keep that feature consistent? I have already ruled out hooking all the background black. I like the way the extra spots almost camouflage the circles. Hooking an all black background made the circles stand out too much.

As you can see I started on the right with multi-colored spots. I switched to a beige wool to hook the spots and am tinkering with the idea of using that as the background for the major border. That border is the one that started everything with the stair risers, Queen Anne Rose and Annie's Scrolls, available at Spruce Ridge Studios. On my page you will need to scroll down about half way to see the stair risers.

The biggest lesson here is that I hooked the new idea (all one color spots) that came to me to see what it looked like. AND I am not taking out my first attempt. I may even hook more mult-colored spots until I am sure of my decision. I will not change the discarded idea until I have no more room to hook. I often find that leaving the little oddities in the rug (usually because I just plain forget to go back) make the rug so much more interesting. I try to never rip out until I need that room to hook.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

How easily we forget!

My focus for the last two years has been to "get crooked." I thought I had made a breakthrough with Karen Kahle at Sauder Village in 2006. I was working on her Antique Rose Runner during the lunch break. All the other students were off eating and I was so excited about what and how I was hooking that I decided to work through lunch.

A woman came into the classroom to see what we were working on. I sat on the far side of the room. When she made her way to me, I stretched out the backing so she could get a better view. "Nice," she mumbled. I then explained how I was concentrating on making everything crooked. She brightened up and said, "Oh, it is supposed to be that way."

She probably felt sorry for me. This poor hooker can't hook a straight line!

I love this story because that week changed my hooking dramatically. I explained the feeling to my friends as "hooking naked." I had no cares about what row I was hooking in. I grabbed whatever color was on top. I turned my brain off and hooked away. I had that rug finished within two weeks of coming home. I usually return from camp with less than a square foot hooked.

I applied this mind set to the design of this rug. The four corners are slightly different. Nothing is perfect. But when I got to hooking the boundaries for the hit and miss, I hooked three rows in perfect alignment. I was unhappy about the look, see the post for Day 35! It took me this long to figure out what was wrong. This is one reason I always move out to the borders ASAP.

I decided to use the line I drew for the edge as a guideline only. I wavered three holes left and right at random. Then I hooked another strip on each side for the three rows I wanted. Much better. You can see the crooked rows in the post for Day 094. In Day 065 you can see how much of the straight stuff I ripped out.

I don't have this rug in my rug gallery on my website yet. I will let you know here when it is up and ready. www.cindigay.com

Border progress-Cat's paw

I have always loved the Cat's Paw rugs. I wanted to include this design in one of the minor borders, but I was afraid that it would look too modern. I decided to hook up a section. It looks great. Do you agree? I decided to make the background the darkest background value that I am using to outline the motifs in the center of the rug.

This test proves that what looks bad (or good) on paper as a black and white drawing can look very different once it is hooked. If I had not been so determined to find a way to make this design work, I would never have attempted it. On paper it looks very modern and completely out of sync with the center.

Day 94 Finally got to hook!

I finally got to hook New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. My husband, David, and I rented videos and stayed indoors. --It's cold out there! Especially after my days in the Florida keys.