Sunday Letter August, 9th 2020

Hello Sunday,

Gee you come around so fast, it seems like time flies between each time I sit here to write but in truth so much happens in a week. When I look back on it I think of all the great people who visited the studio. I think of all the laughs I had with the crowd I work with. And I think of yesterday lying on the beach for an afternoon with a book and my daughter beside me. About hearing my son walk in the door and lay down his bag to stay the night at the shore. It was a good week.

Last week I wrote that I was feeling a bit off and so many of you responded that sometimes you felt that way yourself. Others worried and responded in kindness. Truth is, I am good. I told you I felt off because I think most of us experience it sometimes and if you did I wanted us both to know that, and not feel alone in it. There is no need to be lonely. There is nothing wrong with an off day. As I said last week it can be a catalyst.

I just finished Daniel Leviten’s book “Successful Aging”. In it he talks about many things that help us age well. It stood out for me that he talked about the importance of social interaction and not being lonely, especially as we grow older.
I have noticed that as I age I like my own company even more. I can sit and hook or read for hours on my own and be perfectly content. I am conscious of this, and careful not to let it become the only way I spend my time.

I know we need each other. I have always known that. Levitan’s book was just a reminder for me to keep cultivating love and friendship. A reminder to ask myself who might need to hear from me? Who do I need to catch up with? To hold out my hand and see who takes it. Remember when you were little and walked to school with a friend hand in hand. How sweet that was. Now it is just a metaphor, but still we must keep each other company. We must try to be good to each other. To keep each other in mind.

I think of my father in law Theo who lived to be 96. He just loved people. He was often on the phone calling people to see how they were doing. He just wanted to connect. Whenever there was a storm I knew he would call to see how it looked out our way though we just lived a few miles apart. He was so good at reaching out.

Last year a woman was visiting the studio from British Columbia and met a group of rug hookers from Saint John. Through the jigs and the reels somehow they all connected and she made friends with the group. One of them was in the other day and said that through Covid the Saint John group has been zooming and rug hooking together, and their friend from BC was joining them.
These kinds of fun and easy connections are common in the rug hooking world. Perhaps that may mean rug hooking could be an important part of aging successfully. I know for sure that rug hooking builds community and connection. It is a way for us to create new friendships both online and in real life.

So many people have told me how helpful rug hooking has been to them through this difficult time that we have all experienced together. It gave them a place to go to sort out their thoughts. It offered comfort and solace. It also offered a sense of community online.
I love that. I love that you know that you have this craft, hobby, or art, whatever it is to you. It is so important to have things in your life that you enjoy and love to do. It is a blessing.
I feel so lucky and grateful that I have it too.Thanks for reading, I am glad you are there.


Are you listening?

Good Morning,
I have not been reading quite as much as usual. Have you? Last night I decided to start a mystery novel and that has helped. It is a carry me away kind of book. I chose an Anne Cleeves novel with the Vera, the inspector. I find all that grimness a weird bit of comfort. It makes me think back to a book club that I was a member of in my thirties. At that time I had never read a mystery novel.
In fact I was a bit snobby about them. I liked, what I felt at the time, were more “literary” books. I think then I cared more what people thought of my reading taste. In that club, one member picked a mystery and I duly read it. I dubbed her choice as “less than” but felt it was right everyone got a turn to choose a book. Oh what a little snot I was.
I don’t remember what the book was, or even really liking it but it opened my mind to a whole new genre. It lead me to Ian Rankin and Henning Mankell; to falling a little in love with difficult characters like Rebus and Wallander. It lead me to see that being narrow minded about my reading choices really did not serve me well.
A few years later Jennifer Manuel of Fish Eye Sisters told me about this writer she loved. Her name was Louise Penny. I got one from the library but I just didn’t get Inspector Gamache. I told Jenn and she said she loved him. Well I thought Jenn was lovely. I trusted her reading mind. So a few years later I tried again, and now I love Louise Penny, respect Gamache and buy every new book in hardcover.
Finding something new is like that. It’s like tasting asparagus for the first time when you were a kid, or spinach, or broccoli. At first you might not like it all. You might think you never ever ever will but something in you changes. You mature. You meet a nice person who loves asparagus. You change. You open up a bit.
Possibilities. What don’t I know that I like? Oh goodness I love that question. It makes me so curious. Like is there a new flavour about to descend on us. My husband is of Lebanese descent so we have being eating zaatar for years. It is a mixture of thyme and sumac mixed with olive oil and spread on dough and baked. It is comfort food. Lately I see it everywhere. A few weeks ago I saw a zaatar salad dressing in the grocery store. I thought , imagine if I was just discovering this now, how great would that be?
Open. What do I miss when I don’t stay open? All kinds of things probably. And it isn’t all that easy sometimes. I feel like I have watched, seen, read, and eaten a lot. New ideas are not always easy to come by.
I am taking an online course and one thing the instructor says is so what if you heard it all before, listen, you might find something new here. And I do. I find new things sometimes in the old. I find there are new things tagged onto the things I have heard before. I also find that rethinking an old idea brings me to new places. And just finding that out is worth the whole course. My friend Carol Oram says, if you get one new idea in a whole book, that’s a really good deal for $20 or $30 bucks. I love Carol cause she says stuff like that. Smart stuff.
Listening. Oh that’s the key. Listening to wisdom around you. Listening to the good stuff. Normally I read aloud my newsletter to my husband before I send it out but I think I’ll skip this one. He might guffaw. No he is not a “guffaw” type but he would have plenty to say about me and listening.
Listening. That is what I need to do more of. He’d like this part. But I am not going there with him. I will just try to quietly practice not walking out of the room when he is in mid sentence. Not asking “What?” when I have really heard what he said. Do you do that? My mind wanders. It thinks about blue wool when I am cooking supper. It thinks about macaroni when I am dying blue wool. It thinks about the shape of broccoli leaves when I am writing a newsletter. Like how cute and curly they are.
But back to listening. I want to listen more and I want to listen better. Now is a really good time for listening. There is a quietude that surrounds us. A quietude that is within many of us right now.
As I hook this week I plan to listen.
Listen to sounds of the birds in the morning.
Listen to my husbands laugh.
Listen to my heart.
Now it is more important than ever…to listen and to
Create beauty everyday.
Thank you…
Next Facebook Live Thursday, April 9th at 2pm Atlantic Time!
I’m gonna be there! Hope to see you there too!
PS. We are still shipping everyday. Each day one of us works in the studio alone to prepare your orders. I am answering the phones from home so they can fill the orders.
We are open for shipping

What about those chin hairs?

Hey there,
It’s Wednesday but I wanted to tell you something. I have a little dressing room off my studio. Don’t get jealous. It is not like one you’d see on House Hunters. It is just a room I put a big rolling clothing rack in and a second hand refurbished vanity that I bought from Peter at the junk store down the street. But it is my space to get ready for whatever my day might bring.
When I sit at it to get ready in the morning I feel like Audrey Hepburn until I lean into the mirror. Then I see that it’s just me and I am still happy. I love to get ready. To get ready for the day. Or in the old days, three weeks ago, to get ready for an evening out Sometimes getting ready was my favorite part of the evening…I might be an introvert?
What I have discovered is that even if I stay home I still like to get ready. That this is something I do for myself. In the last few weeks I still get up, shower, do my hair, put on a little make-up and pick out an outfit. It was for myself that I did all those things to begin with. I like to take a little time to nurture myself.
On Sunday afternoon I put on nice black leggings as a reward for my walk and a bamboo tunic with my Anne Marie Chagnon necklace and sat down with a book and fell asleep. It seems I am dressing for naps.
I still cut my chin hair with my little rounded scissors even if no one sees me. Did Audrey Hepburn have any quotes about chin hair? I am sure they would have been wise and helpful. I love her words so.
Yesterday I wore my pointy black and white zebra print flats around the house because it made me happy to look at my feet and I liked that snappy sound they make.
I think as time has gone on in this time of social distancing and self isolation it has become more important to take care of ourselves. To take extra care. Just before I sat to write this letter I put in earrings and swiped my lips with Revlon’s Bombshell Red.
This time is here and now. I am listening to the Health Authorities. I am staying home and social distancing. I am wiping things down, washing my hands often and taking this all very seriously. I go only to my studio when there is no one there. I walk. I stay home. I know you are doing these things too.
We are doing it not just for ourselves but for all of us. We are doing this for each other. As we go further into these weeks some of us get more used to it, and some of us find it harder or lonelier. However we find it, we must do it still. We must do it for the common good.
If you are finding it hard reach out via phone, zoom and facetime. Call someone you love. Write an email. We are all experiencing this together. Now is a good time to let people know that you care about them. Now is a good time to send someone a thank you email for some kindness they showed you months ago. Now is a great time to look after yourself. It is also a great time to reach out to others with a quick text or call.
Stay home. Be kind to yourself. Take a little time for yourself. Dress nice, and maybe put on a little lipstick before dinner. It might have been just for yourself that you ever did that anyway.
I just want to stay in touch with you because you are so supportive. Thank you.
Now it is more important than ever…
Create beauty everyday.What about those chin hairs

What have you learned about yourself

I came into my yard after my morning walk and I saw the branches in their baskets from Christmas looking so forlorn. It was not til the last couple of days that they were thawed enough to pull apart. I carried them to the fire pit.
It is way past time. At Christmas these baskets were a welcome home. Right now they are a reminder that I am out of step with the present. Today my doorstep is free and clear of any encumbrances. It is no longer a reminder of things that need to be done. It feels good.
I am a list maker but that doorstep never made it to the list. When I put things on my list, they get done. I love the thrill of the mark off…putting a line through it. Done. One woman told me that sometimes she writes down things she has already done on her list just so she can get the immediate satisfaction of striking it off. I smiled. I understood.
One of the things on my grocery list this week was yeast. After ordering online and going to pick it up it seems the grocery store is completely out of yeast. I found that so interesting. It made me think that people were stepping back to the things they used to do. There are many things we leave behind for no good reason. We convince ourselves that we do not have time to bake bread, to nurture ourselves with a homemade dough.
I have told myself time and time again that I don’t have time for this or that. It was just some kind of thoughtless mantra really. Because the time was always there.
We never had the time. But now we do. Really we always did. It was always about choice. About how we chose to spend our time.
I am learning so much about myself as I work from home.
Have you learned anything about yourself in these past days?
We have time to gather our thoughts and we have time to reflect on them. That is a gift. Even though it comes with so much difficulty and worry for so many of us, I keep hearing from people that this time has been very important to them. I hear that they are adapting to something they never expected to have to do. I hear that they are making out ok and staying home.
We learn from everything. There is good in unexpected places. I am so thankful for the leadership we have had here in Nova Scotia. People working together. I have always had huge respect for health care workers. Now I have even more. My respect for grocery store and pharmacy workers, couriers, our leaders and others has grown as well. So many people have had to make difficult choices.
I have learned that by nature I am mostly hopeful, and that hope, like faith is a thing you choose. Once you choose it you work from there to build it. Hope, as Emily Dickinson wrote,” is the thing with feathers the perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all. “
That quote has often bewildered me but today, as I get up from this chair to cut wool and do some hooking I understand it like never before.
Thank you for reading and for being such a supportive community. Stay home and be safe.
Don’t worry I still have half a jar of yeast.
Now it is more important than ever…
Create beauty everyday.
Thank you…
Thursday, April 2 at 2 pm Atlantic time I will do another facebook live rug hooking class on my facebook page
PS . Sale Until Wednesday, April 1 Only.
Hooking Painterly and Hooking Freestyle online Courses are now half price. These are two of the best courses I have created so if you can, now is a great time to buy them.What have you learned about yourself while you stayed at home?

Have You cleaned your junk drawer?

Like you, most likely, I cannot remember a time that I stayed at home so much and focused on my life, my art, and my work. This morning, here and now in this place I am seeing this as a time to love my life. To nurture it, to cultivate it, to prepare it for growth and change.
It is a time to be. A time to learn. A time to make.
Through out these days I have times when I have felt scared or stressed. For me, I always turn to faith. Faith in my family and my community. Faith in God and faith in humanity. Faith right now, regardless of your spiritual inclinations is important. We need it in ourselves, in each other, and in what ever it is that you believe. Faith.
I know so many things are out of my control.
That does not mean I just give up and wait to see what happens in life. I do have some control over how I act and respond. I try to make sound judgements based on the most well informed information I can find. I feel very grateful for the internet right now and our ability to communicate with each other. I also appreciate that we can ignore rumours and get accurate information from trusted sources online about what is happening and what we should be doing.
Keeping busy and turning my thoughts outward are important for me. I read, study and plan for my work. I call my friends. I work on my website. I teach myself new things. I create. I imagine. I wonder. I hope. I pray.
In doing these things I have come to realize that I may always do things differently after this time. I will change in some ways for the better and so will my studio. For me this is a time to refine my work and my life.
In just these few days I have found new ways of doing things. I hosted an impromptu virtual hook in yesterday with ten people from our Harbour course. I ordered my groceries online and picked them up. I have been calling friends just to chat. On Friday night four old friends got together on facebook messenger and had a virtual happy hour.
Social distancing, staying at home, working alone, & checking in on people by phone are my new normal.
I thought I might clean the basement and the hall closet and the junk drawer in the kitchen. I haven’t. There is still a glimmer of hope but so far they remain a mess. Instead books will get read. Drawings will be made. Rugs will will hooked.
In the coming weeks I will try to do some free things online for you to look forward to as you stay home and get creative. Please remember that Woolcake is now free and it contains three years of videos and lessons.
Thursday, March 26 at 2 pm I will do another facebook live rug hooking class.
Now it is more important than ever…
Create beauty everyday.
Thank you…
PS. Hooking Painterly and Hooking Freestyle online Courses are now half price.

Hooking Rugs and Home

This hooked rug was created as a tribute to domesticity. Flowers on the table. An oriental carpet underneath the table. A wooden floor. Clay vases. All the things I love. They are the comforts of home. When I walk into my house at the end of the day and see the flowers, feel the rug under my feet. I am soothed.

In this time that we are all facing together, we are getting back to domesticity. We are in touch with our homes, our families. It is not easy, this time. Right now I feel so grateful for my quiet home. I am comfortable. There is food in the fridge. There is  a yard to go out in with space around us. Today I worked from home. I got plenty done. I was able to text my coworkers with questions and have answers right away. It was good to be here.

I will go in on Sunday and fill orders. We are all working alone when we go to the studio. We make sure there is just one person there at a time to help prevent the spread of Covid 19. We are all taking it very seriously. We are all healthy and want to stay that way. 

So we are learning that this is a time Of coming home to the idea of home and appreciating it. Our homes are our place in the world. They are the spot where we belong. We all have work to do in our home. We have projects. We have books. We have crafts. There are things to do and now there is time to do them.
I hope you are reading this as a break from hooking your rug, or baking a cake, or putting away the dishes. I hope you are home, safe and cozy, and that there are flowers on your table.

Sunday Road Trip

I love working with Briggs and Little Yarn. I love that they make colours for the studio that are just our own. They dye them especially for us. That is just so cool. For us they are local. A small family owned business that has been passed down through the generations.

This palette is about meandering through the side roads of the county. They are the colours we see on a Sunday drive. I love watching the fields whiz by my window. Seeing them alight with golden rod does my heart good. I am happy to get in the car and take off for a run in a Sunday afternoon.

Today I took these woils and laid them on the road so that I could get a picture of them there. The UPS man, Travis , came by and said,” What are you doing?” One would have to wonder. It is as odd as can be to be in the middle of the road taking pictures of yarn. But there I was and here it is.

Now is the time to be good to each.

I came home from work today. I laid down my leather book bag and I thought that so much has changed in a week. This time last week I was thinking about completely different things and all those things seemed so important. They still are important to me just not as important as I had thought.

This week I am thinking about the importance of everyone doing their very best. We have to count on our communities members to listen & to follow the guidelines from Health Canada. We have to count on people to wash their hands, to keep their distance, to quarantine. We still have to count on each other even though we may not be together. It’s more important now that we be good to each other.

It is making us all think and realize how little control we have over so much of our lives. We all knew it it theory but now we feel it in action. It is humble pie served by the slice.

When things get back to normal I think I will appreciate gathering more. I think I will understand better the value of a visit. I think I will love others more. Right now is a time to be really to good to each other. It is a time to be respectful, to listen, and to look after what needs looking after.

I am listening and keeping up to date on all the recommendations from Health Canada and the Canadian Government because I believe that cooperating is important. I believe that is the best way we can be good to each other right now.

Hooking a self portrait

Hooking a self portrait

When I decided to hook a self portrait I thought about what I like to wear. Well for me that would be my blundstone boots. I live in them. Even more now that they come with a little heel. I can even dress them up a little. I love the little bit of black in the grey boot that looks like the elastic.

Hooking people is about capturing their essence, the thing that is really them. I felt that if I put the boots on the woman I am hooking people would clearly see that it was me. Just a little thing but I think it will make a difference when this rug is done.

I am really having fun making this rug. Picking out an outfit as if I was going out somewhere!

Can you remember big words or big ideas?

I am listening to a course on line and taking notes as I hook. I only learn so well by listening. I find I take in things better when I read or when I write about it. So as I listen I keep my pencil beside me and I take a few notes.

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I retain information. I am reading a book by Daniel Leviton on aging and the brain. As I read it I think to myself , Deanne there is so much of this that you will not remember. I never remember big complex words. Yet I read it still. I read it for the concepts and the ideas. I know I can always go find the word I need. I can google it. I wish sometimes I could retain language like my sister Joan. She knows exactly what the amygdala looks after and where it is. She knows all the other big words too. All I know is that, we’ll actually I am not sure what I know about it with out checking. That’s me . That’s her.

You can love your own brain and still admire anothers. Yet I read everyday. Lately I have been writing everyday too. I read because even if I cannot remember the ten things on the list, or the specific word for this or that, I still love a concept. I still love an idea. And books are full of them, and they are out there waiting for me.

How is your yarn stash?

Putting piles together is so much of what we do at the studio. We are always making . Whether it is kits, rugs, or bundles. I am sometimes just taken aback at the beauty of the orders as they go out. So how is your yarn or wool stash? We have been building people’s up for the last couple of weeks. Logan was putting these orders together today and I walked out and went “Wow, that is beautiful.” It makes me feel like I want to place an order just so I can have it mailed to me. I think whatever you do, whether it is small or big , it is worth taking the time to make it beautiful. The more beauty we surround ourselves with the better we’ll be.

Is rug hooking easy to do ?


Angela taught a woman to hook on Monday and she was back today to get another kit today. I understand that. As soon as I picked up my hook and did those first few stitches I knew I wanted to hook forever.

It was so easy.

Just one stitch.

If you make a mistake, no biggie, you just pull it out and start again.

I could not believe how easy it was. Just so simple.

That is what hooked me. Pun completely intended. I just loved the simplicity of it. It was like it was made for me.

I hooked my first rug with in a week. I drew my second one on a potato sack ( bad idea…they rot… and burlap is cheap) and made it.  I was completely hooked. If it is an addiction then it is a good one.

You can teach yourself in three minutes with this YouTube video of mine  that has taught over two million people how to hook rugs. That excites me!

My note from Warren Zevon.

The book Mary gave me for Christmas. The coyote silhouette. The little memory from Amy Ruck to remind me to write. A painting from Katie Allman. An Ethiopia proverb. A picture of Bethlehem. All bits of a life poised together for a picture. This spot changes , slowly but it changes, like I change. A message from Warren Zevon to enjoy every sandwich. Good advice. Simple sentence.

Mama, I never listened then but now I hear you all the time.

This is my latest rug. An ode to my mother, and advice for my own children I suppose. I carry all those bits of advice she gave me with me now. She is in my head. A constant companion.

There are seven roses in this rug for my family. We are seven sisters. Yes, no brothers. My father would say he was a rose between seven thorns . In jest, with a slight undertone. So I turned it around, not to make my father the thorn. He was a good soul as well. Just to turn that common saying on it’s head.

My sisters are all roses of one kind or another. Each one of them kind and good, doing their very best all the time. My mother loved to hook roses, another reason why they are in this rug.

Want to know my weaknesses?

Good Morning,
I had to do something odd yesterday. It felt very strange and rather embarrassing. I am taking an online course and one of the exercises was to do a strengths assessment. I had to send an email to twenty people I trust and ask them what my strengths were? I sent it to a variety of people, some I knew well, some I knew a little, but all of them I trusted to be honest with me.
It was a bit of an embarrassing thing to do. Like I was fishing for compliments. I am not. In fact I feel like I know what my strengths are as I have thought about these kinds of things for years. I was just giving this course I am taking my very best shot. It said not to skip the exercise so I listened.
Shortly after I sent out the email I lost my patience in the studio. That happened sometimes. Who would ever think that when they watch my you tube channel? I seem so pleasant.
I felt like I should send a follow up email saying…oh yeah, and add one weakness to that too please. But the truth is I am somewhat aware of my weaknesses too.
Sometimes they are my strengths magnified. It is like they are on a continuum. For example, If my strength is getting things done, then my weakness might be plugging away too long and too hard. If my strength is being creative that can mean I have a wandering mind and don’t listen very well. If my strength is in writing that might mean I do not communicate that well in person sometimes because I have already communicated it on the page.
It’s not just me of course. We are all, each of us full of strengths and weaknesses. And that makes me feel less alone. And in all honesty I don’t think I can do a fair strengths assessment of myself without also considering my weaknesses because my weaknesses affect the power of my strengths.
So as the responses to those emails come back to me I know that whatever my strengths are I still have so much work to do.That is the humility of an exercise like this.
I love getting older because I have time to try to do the work inside myself that needs to be done. Age brings a certain humility with it. We have time to appreciate our strengths and we can see what we built. We can also see what we were not strong enough to do. We can feel our own fragility.
We know what it is like to disappear in a room of young twenty somethings, but we remember what it was like to be in the centre of that room. That is a powerful wisdom that we can carry with us as we age. Last fall in a workshop a participant observed that as we age we become powerful in an invisible way. I found that very thought provoking and I have it pinned on my studio bulletin board as I am still working it out in my mind.
The beauty of a human life is that we can work on ourselves. We can take our strengths once we are sure of them and nurture them. Something even more beautiful is that we can take our weaknesses and coddle them a little so they soften and fade. We remain, I remain, a work in progress.
As always thank you for reading, supporting the studio and letting us do what we love to do,

It is all about the making.

My friend Carol is kind and generous. I always knew that. This week she came into the studio to show us the sweater she made from the Beach Palette that Logan dyed last summer. When Logan tried one the sweater and it looked so beautiful on her, Carol said , “You can have it.” We were all so surprised. It was beautifully knit. Hours and hours had gone into it. But Carol said, “ I had the pleasure of making it. “ I know it is true, that the making of the thing is a good part of the beauty of it. When you watch generousity in action sometimes it just takes you by surprise, and isn’t that the loveliest of things.

Lemon Coconut Rice

Lemon Coconut Rice

Pan fry one small onion in butter until translucent.

Pour in one can of coconut milk and 1 can of water.

Add the zest and juice of one lemon.

Bring to a boil.

Add 1 1/2 cups of basmati rice.

Cover and reduce heat to minimum for twenty minutes.

I served it with pan fried haddock and beans and carrots. It was delicious.

Can you use just one strip of a colour in a hooked rug?

I am working on a big floral rug with an organic shape. I have been picking small bits out of my big basket of mixed strips and throwing in things you would not expect. I like having that big basket beside me of bits from rugs I made over the past months because it reminds me not to do the expected. It reminds me that tiny bits of one colour in a rug create an unexpected beauty and feeling in it. We need to throw in the unexpected because sometimes it is that tiny thing that makes the mat.

The faithfulness of a hooked rug.

I was hooking so hard on this mat today. I mean I was like a fiend and felt I had to get it done. I was leaning into it. Feeling that it had to be now. I was tired and my hand was tired and suddenly I remembered that there was no rush. There was just me and the mat and that if I stopped right there and let my hand rest that the mat would wait. It would wait as long as I wanted because it is faithful. It will be there tomorrow and I could take my time. So I laid down the hook and went away. Tomorrow I will begin again.

Did you listen to your mother?

What kinds of things did your mother used to say to you when you were young? Were there old sayings in your house that you still carry with you? Do the advice people you love gave you still resonate today? It does for me. I carry all kinds of old sayings, and bits of advice around in my pocket. They sort of keep me company.
Old as Buckley’s goat, full as an egg, cute as a fox were used everywhere I went. Once I told my friend Don Miller, “I don’t boil my cabbage twice.” when he asked me to repeat myself. I am still living that one down.
Some of the things that I remember are just sayings but some are more important. They are truths.
“No one loves you like your own.” my mother would say when I asked her if anyone called. My father showed me that reading was an education. He always had a book in his hand. I never feel guilty buying a book. Where else can you get an idea for $30?
My mother never said a bad word about our her friends. She was loyal. When I look back she was such a role model for friendship. She really never talked about others. I love that. She was a listener to her friends, always there with a pot of tea. On Friday evenings sometimes she have a rye and ginger with our neighbor and they’d giggle about foolishness. I never knew what was so funny.
I keep a big stone on my desk that has the word truth carved in it. It reminds me of my father who said be honest. I think about this a lot when I write, and a lot in my daily life. It is there, set in stone under a picture of him and I.
I find it interesting that sometimes I listen to my parents now more than I did when they were with me. They both died when I was thirty four. I was a mother with young children, and a life full of activity. As I have gotten older and have more time to think and their voices often come to mind.
I love that about growing older. There is finally time to ponder again. Time to wonder. Time to let the magic in again. Time to finally hear all that was said. Time to listen. Time to be with the ones you love. Even if they are not here, you carry them with you. The relationship lasts forever. I still hear them everyday. They are with me in spirit.
There is no longer any irritation. I always got on my mother’s nerves. But that’s okay now. I just recall the good things and I understand that we were just different from each other. We have stopped bugging each other.
She shows up in my rugs all the time. Just the other dayI wrote in a floral rug, “Mama, I never listened then but I now I hear you all the time.” She is always the woman in the bandana in my rugs.
Knowing these things teaches me to be more understanding and appreciative about the relationships I have with people here & now. I still blunder. I still make mistakes. But I try harder and mostly I do better.
I don’t do perfect. Because perfect is just not me.
So I hope you go into your week filled with the good advice that someone gave you sometime, and that you are better because of it.
Blessings and warmth to you as the snow falls outside my window on this first day of March.
In like a lion, out like a lamb,
PS..if you want to come to the bookhou pattern design class there are just a few spaces left. Look below to see our knitters kit and our new super stash yarn and wool packs

Is it a plan or a promise?

There are turns happening everywhere. I turned the corner on my walk and I saw this fantastic tree hanging onto last summers fruit. Today I turned my rug on my Cheticamp frame and it made me feel so good. Sure that I was doing the right thing. Once I get one panel done I am certain that I am on my way. The colour plan, not that really ever is one, has been settled. It just happens for me by turning from one colour to another. The colour plan just gradually appears to me.

Arounna from Bookhou is coming to teach at Deanne Fitzpatrick Studio


Hello and Good Morning,
I have been thinking about my word for the year, Inspired and checking in with myself to make sure I have been using it. So far I am doing pretty good. I have bought some art work, visited several artists studios, took a little trip and read at least ten books. I have discovered that inspiration is about learning.
I have hooked lots. This week the work on my website and studio, also a very creative pursuit has slowed me down a bit. I think today is the day to start hooking again. I listen to a lot of podcasts and read in hope that it will inspire me. I read books, always looking for a new thought or an idea. I love to learn. I spoke to a few friends about it this week. I have this bit inside me that is never quite full. I know there is so much more out there to learn. That bit is never quite satisfied. ( More like Mick Jagger than I thought I guess). So much more to learn . So I am always seeking. I am one of those people. One who is always on the look out for possibilities. You know them, you might be one of them.
It can be exhausting but it can also be exhilarating. One good idea can lead to so many more ideas. Same with making rugs, you make something beautiful and halfway through you are thinking of what you will make for your next rug. I just believe that if there is all that inspiration out there in the world I might as well take in as much of it as I can. I just hold my arms out and hold as much as I can. By taking it in, I can be more inspired to put more out there.
I can think of many books or lessons that changed the way I saw things. That in turn changed the way I thought about things. The world itself is a growing place. It changes and evolves. We change and evolve with it.
I do this by learning as much as I can.
As I get older I find that I hear a lot of repeats. I hear some of the same things over and over. There are a lot of books, classes and podcasts, for example that do not go very deep.They are really just a handout with ten good points but take too long to get to them. It would be easy to say “I heard it all before.” Tempting. When it happens I remind myself that there are bright minds out there. Bright beautiful minds that will inspire you and it is your job to seek them out. If I am not learning things I need to reach a bit further. It is like a collaboration with your soul when you do good learning. It yearns for inspiration and creativity. I owe it to myself to fill it up. That’s my responsibility.
Still sometimes if I cannot find something worthwhile I keep some pablum on in the background or scan a book as if it I was doing a review of it. They reinforce what I already know, and maybe that will trigger something. I just try to keep an open mind, especially as I go deeper into my fifties. It is easy to get satisfied with what you know. I feel though that would be like surrendering my brain. I feel like I might miss something exquisite.
What if I had never learned to hook rugs? What if I had never tried lemon and garlic together? What if I had never learned how to use a computer? What if I had never taken a picture with my phone? Sure I could do with out most of these but I would miss out on so many opportunities and possibilities that these things have brought to me. They have brought beauty in all kinds of unique ways.
Learning is my go to thing. I create.Then I learn. It has been a cycle for me for years. One is as important as the other. They support each other. I am making a promise to myself to keep learning. To reach out to people who inspire me and to stay juicy with thoughts and ideas.
That what my word for the year really means.
Stay Inspired, Be Inspiring,
PS I have been working on my website adding new content and the free course for people who want to learn how to hook rugs.You can find it below. I also just added THE KNITTERS as a kit!



It’s on the List

Our New Palette Sunday Drive

We did so much rearranging and work in the studio this week. It is just beautiful to see to all come together. Angela and I have have been making lists and we have all been working hard to check things off those lists. Logan has been dying and tearing apart wool. Greg has been hanging new systems to display our yarn. Susan, Patricia and Cathy were cutting burlap, linen and ripping cloth for Logan to dye more. Angie shipped everything she could. We worked extra hard this week to get things in order. We have also set up a new list system so everyone knows what we need to do.

I love lists. I use the notes on my phone and keep lists for myself all the time. I email myself the list and work my way through it.

I am always making lists for what needs to be done in the studio. I also make lists for little things I need to pick up, designs I might like to make, books I hear about. Whatever. I like my little notes and delete them as I do them. For me they are like a little map. A reminder of what I need to do to get to another place. I have never had a lot of clarity about where I am going in life, art, or business. I just make a list, finish it, then make another one. There has been no big goal, other than to get through the list, which in itself is a small goal. Small goals though add up. Incrementally they lead to big changes over time.

One list I do not have is a bucket list. It is just not for me. I appreciate others having them. We all live in the way we like to live. There were things I wanted to do in my life, places I wanted to go but I never ever saved them for later. I did them as I could. Saved for them and planned for them. If I want to do something I start the planning right away. The first step towards it goes on the list. I believe that big things start with small things. Little tiny things that add up to something more beautiful in the long rug.

The next step of course is the crossing off the list. I love drawing a line straight through things with my pencil. I love deleting the items on my phone list and writing in another. This gives me a little thrill. You gotta really like crossing things off if the list if lists are going to work. I get the same feeling crossing things off my list as I do from the first bite of a really good carrot cake with cream cheese icing. It satisfies something in me. I’m not like Mick Jagger. Satisfaction guarenteed.

Now there are lots of big things that I might like to do, mind ya. I love renovations and home projects but I also know that I already have comfortable home, that my husband hates renovations, that I don’t like them much myself . I love coming home to a restful, peaceful home. When I see tools and work boots, and sawdust and insulation I am stressed. So I filter out what is necessary and what is not. Somethings I would like to add to the list are just not with it.

What do I really really want? Well honestly in the big picture I cannot tell you what my goals are because what I really want is peace and health and happiness. I want love. Not just for me, but for others too. For so many others. For the ones who surround us. But that’s not nearly enough. For we are all here together and we all need love.

I am sensible enough to know that I cannot put these things on my list. These are things I can only hope and wish and pray for. The things that go on the list are the little things.They are the things that lead us in the right direction. They are the turns in the road, the little towns we pass through. The daily activities are our navigation system. They get us places. These little notes to ourself, for that is what lists are, are the reminders that you are given a day, and it is yours to fill. What you do with it, how you fill it, will be what your life is made of.

Big goals are made up of tiny action after tiny action. One thing cultivating the way for another thing to happen. Right now I am ready to add some things to my list. One of them is go pick up a hand held vacuum so my little work space won’t be quite as dusty. Upon reflection, I have to say that some things seem as if they don’t really add much to the whole, or contribute a great deal to the bigger goals. But still we do them, for a day is a day, and every tiny thing is worthy. Help me remember this when I have to put on my parka and boots to buy milk and bread.

I thank you for reading, for buying my work, for sharing this newsletter with friends, and for being there for me to write to.

Have a good week.

The Perfect Pear

Hello there,
Yesterday, My friend invited me to go along for the ride to Moncton with her. I wanted to hook a rug. I want to do that most days since January started but I knew I need to go and see things. So I said sure, even though I wanted to stay home and hook.
We did her errand that needed to be done. We went to the market and bought fresh vegetables and some apples and some salted caramel sandwich cookies. It was a good visit. We had fun.
But the thing that really made the trip special was the shape of this pear in the picture beside me. I found it when I was buying apples in the market. It was worth the trip to just find this exquisitely shaped piece of fruit. Smallest of small, these little things are that inspire us sometimes. Be on the look out for them. They are important.
It is not that I want to hook this pear. The goal is not to always find things to hook. It is enough that I find it beautiful. That I can lay it on my kitchen table and look at it today every time I walk in the room and see that there is beauty everywhere. Even on a Saturday morning drive to the a little city in the middle of winter you can sometimes find a little piece of August that remains. You just have to stay open to the moment.
I woke up yesterday with every intention of working and hooking. A simple text from friend. She was holding out her hand so I took it. Change my plans. Let myself get inspired even if it seems that a road trip down a familiar highway might not be the thing you need. Move over and make room for inspiration in all it little forms and movements and surprises.To do that you have to put yourself first and your plans last. If you are like me, at least.
You have to follow the part of you that is quiet on the inside. There is this silent longing in us for beauty. It requires attention but in the midst of our schedules and plans we neglect it at times. By putting our plans last, I mean setting aside the plans that we believe should happen and letting the moment stir us. This is not easy for me. I am a creature of habit. I have my routines and rituals that I love. It always feels like a sacrifice to leave them. This is me, in my life. It is how I am.
One could say and I left my day only to find a misshapen pear. Or one could say, Look at that pear. Really look at it with it’s auburn skin and slim neck. Imagine it on the tree. Feel it’s cool weight in your hand. Think about this afternoon or tomorrow when I slice it and lay it on a plate with a bit of brie. Taste it. Think of how the farmer saved that pear for you, nurturing it through the cool months so it could lay on your kitchen table in January. Even in a little pear, there is so much. So much beauty. Too much to miss.
I am glad I did go yesterday because today we are here and pretty much snowbound.Opportunity comes, seize it. Even small things, things that don’t seem to matter much like a trip to the next town over.
On Friday evening we were out to supper with friends and my friend Sam was telling me about her grandmother who lived in Springhill. She was a free spirit and loved to be travelling. Whenever someone was driving to Amherst she would go along for the ride. One day, when one of her rides stopped to get gas, the gas man said, “Isabel, you are in every car that goes to Amherst.” And she very nearly was. If someone was going, she was going to.
We might not all be Isabels, but we can learn from her. At least I can. The freedom of doing something on the spur of the moment requires us not to schedule ourselves to heavily and to be open to a change of plans. To move freely through life unencumbered by our own ideas of how things should play out can lead to all kinds of beautiful.
So today I sit in the studio with no where to go. The roads are bad. The wind is whistling and I am happy to go to my frame. It is even sweeter since I missed the chance yesterday. You may already be an Isabel. But me I got a little work to do. So hopefully I ‘ll get a little more Isabel in me this year as I follow inspiration everywhere!
We have a sale on this years Sea Garden Abstract Winter 2020 Online Class with Special Prices only until February 4. This is a step by step how to hook the Sea Garden Abstract. You can register for the complete kit, just the pattern or even just the course alone below.
Thanks for Reading. I love it that you do.
Save Until February 4
Our Annual Winter online workshop is here! This workshop has lead to more completed rugs than any other workshops I have given. I’m really excited to reveal this year’s rug…

it’s fruitcake time again


I just made this fruitcake again on Thursday night. I soaked the fruit with a  tiny bottle of Kentucky Bourbon that a woman brought to me from Kentucky when she came on a bus tour this October. It really is delicious…

Dear Diary, I have it soaking, the fruit for this years cake. I am making it late so that I don’t have to make it three times like other years. When it is in the fridge I just keep going back to the kitchen.

Deanne’s Fruitcake
4 cups mixed fruit
1/2 cup  mixed peel
3 cups thompson raisins (dark)
1cup red cherries chopped
3cups pecan halves
2 cups slivered almonds
Soak in one  or two  or three or four ounces of southern comfort, bourbon, or rum over night. I used about three quarters of a cup.

Soften 1 1b butter, and cream with two cups of sugar and 1/2 cup molasses, 2 tsp vanilla. Beat vigourously. Add 12 (yes the whole dozen) eggs, one at a time.

Mix in3 1/2 cups flour, 1tsp cinnomon, 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice, 1 tsp ginger, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.

Combine flour mixture with fruit mixture and fold together. Scoop into four loaf pans, that have been well greased and lined with wax paper or tin foil. Bake at 275, for 1 hour and 20 minutes until knife comes out clean. I put a pan of water on bottom oven rack to allow it to steam a little. It keeps the cake moist.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do

On a Sunday Off

IMG_1542Hi Everyone,
I just got out of the water from a quick swim and I am ready to go back in. It rained here all Sunday morning and now the sun has come out for what might be a brief interlude. So I better swim while the sun is out. While it rained I laid down and read a Mary Lawson book called Road Ends that my sister had lent me. It turned into a Sunday morning nap. These are the quiet lazy days of August. We all need need rest and restoration. Sundays are often that for me. Long slow coffees, a bit of writing, hooking, or drawing. Trying not to waste the day playing on my phone, but to do things that make it count. For me that can be a nap, a good book, a walk, a bike ride, a swim. Things that build you up, and sustain you, but not big things. Things do not have to be big to count. I love a quiet lazy day.
Even on these quiet Sundays off, I think about the studio a lot .Greg and I were looking at our kitchenette in the back room of the studio and thinking that maybe it needs a little overhaul. It is cute but not that functional. At the studio every day we try to eat lunch together so it kind of our for prep area. Lunch is big part of our day. We enjoy those few minutes to sit and talk together even as customers come into the studio. Sometimes they join us for an oatcake. And we are always sure to tell them that we don’t mind being interrupted. It is a casual environment.
So back to the redecorating…my friend is moving and has a long cupboard for sale that might work for us. I looked at it the other day and thought I could inset rugs in the doors as they look like frames. The next day I thought that was a really bad idea. Today I thought, “Well maybe.” That is what ideas are like. You just have to let them roll around a few days. My friend gave me the weekend to think about the cupboard. I want to do something funky back there with it. The trouble with funky is that it can go to ugly really fast if you are not careful. I think for now it is worth a try but I need to reimagine the whole space when you add one thing.
Spaces are like that, as are rugs. If you add one colour to a rug it can knock the rest of your plan right out of the park. Suddenly everything about it changes and you need to rethink the whole thing.Almost anytime I bring anew piece of furniture to a room, I have to change five other things. It is part of the process of change. Change is constant in the studio.
Exciting things are happening. Last week Angela and I started working on this winters’ online class. Nothing definite yet but we are started preparing. I am in the beginning steps of a potential rug. Of course we never know if it is right for the course until the rug is completed. I cannot wait to get to the studio tomorrow and start hooking on it again. Sometimes when I am from it I wish for it to be with me.
Over the summer we had Amy Oxford here for punch needle class. It was so good to meet Amy. I loved observing Amy teach and meeting her assistant Kristy. We now have punch needles and her oxford rug hooking frames in stock in our online store.We decided that we will offer some courses next year with new teachers as well. It is good to introduce new ideas to the studio. It is fun to see all that life in the studio.
I wanted to let you know that we have put our fleece artist slub on the website in the East Coast Road Trip Colours. So there is now more selection of textures and yarns on our website.
Well that’s it for this Sunday letter. You are part of what made my day full and whole. I appreciate you being there, reading my newsletter, and all the support you lend to my work,
Thanks for reading, Deanne
P.S. If you scroll to the bottom of this newsletter I have posted our newest kit!…….And I have a put a rug on Sale for 60 percent off!


Just having Fun

Hello Everyone,
We are working on something. I want to start something new. Angela and I are cooking up a new idea for the studio that I think you are really going to enjoy. It will be free, joyful, and blend beauty, art, and community. It is something to do with Create Beauty Everyday. You’ll find it here in this newsletter soon. It might take us some time but we are gonna have a little fun.
So I go to the hairdresser, and who is there but Mary who works with me and she takes my picture and sends it to me. One time I would not have shown you this picture but for one reason or another lately I feel way more liberated. Not to mention tired of social media facades. Just be yourself is more important now than ever.
Clearly though not liberated enough to let my hair go grey. What can I tell you? I was trying, and getting all sweet salt and pepper on the top but I just was not feeling it. I wanted darker locks so I got myself another rinse.
Maybe I feel liberated because at the hair salon I go to you are all lined up with your little caps on with your wet heads waiting to be processed because Heather works a bunch people at once and everyone comes out looking great. We are like a little production line. You get used to just sitting there with your cap on and anyone might walk in. It is like a hair salon on television sitcom. If you want the after picture, scroll to the bottom of this newsletter. Yup… I am trying to get you to look at all the great products I put in here.
Logan is doing her workshop at the studio this weekend and the participants are happy having drawn their own designs with Logan’s help. It is amazing what you can do when people tell you can. When we support and teach other we get better. I love the liveliness around the studio when we have a class going on. Seeing people so engaged and loving what they are doing, it just makes me so happy.
I got some nice feedback on my new book this week. People are reading it and telling me they like it. I hope you will get to read it too.
I finished two broken pattern rugs. It is a new theme I have been playing with it. I hung them together because I needed to see them together. One is very neutral, the other very teal and blue. They don’t really belong together but I had to see them together.
So that’s it for this week. A dye job and something’s cooking in the studio. Angela and I are having fun getting it ready and we hope you will enjoy it.
Summer has our place hopping. I hope you get to visit us. Hit the road and come have tea and oatcakes. See ya here I hope, Deanne

Friendship is So Important

Hi Everyone,
This morning I got out for a bike ride and it felt so good. I needed some more air in my tires but I kept plodding on up the hill. I live in a dale so every way out is up a hill. It makes for good exercise. Though the thought of starting out on a hill makes it hard to get motivated to go sometimes. I came back, put some extra air in the tire, took a walk, and came home and drank coffee and read. I am trying harder to read more, and to read more intensely.
We just finished our spring retreats and it made me feel so good to see people leaving renewed and happy and engaged in their rug hooking. We had women from all over North America. That gets me excited.
You could feel the joy in the room and the connections being made between people. It energizes me to see it. Rug hooking builds community but it also builds us individually. Seeing yourself make something and holding that something in your hands builds your confidence. It shows you the power of transformation. You cannot see the power of transformation and not be reminded that we all have that potential with in us. If something so amazing can happen with a pile of wool and a piece of burlap, just imagine what you could do with yourself! What I could do with myself!
Recently I had chance to visit my friend Doris Eaton. She looks so good and we were so happy to get to spend time together. When I first started rug hooking, Doris encouraged and supported me to hook rugs the way that I wanted too. She told me to follow my own vision and not worry at all what others were doing in the rug hooking world. Over twenty five years ago she believed in me and helped me believe in myself. Over the years she bought several of my rugs and came to events I hosted again and again. She was good to me.
Friendship is so important. This week after the retreat I went out with my girlfriends for dinner at the local pub and listened to some music and shared a few stories. We need each other. I look back on twenty five years of friendship with Doris and I think about how her kind words lead me places. I think about the same with my girlfriends. We are growing old together, and we have supported each other through rounds and rounds of stories. When you have good friends you have to keep in touch. Don’t worry about who does the calling. Don’t keep tabs, just keep in touch.
In fact I just texted my friend Katherine to head out for a walk with me. So I am off. I hope you have a good weekend.
And remember “freeshipping” is the code to get free shipping on my website all weekend. Go on… get shopping. And after you do, call a friend and spend some time with them.
See you for tea and oatcakes at the studio, Deanne
1 From every hill, there is a view
Friendship is so

Sunday Afternoon Letter in May

Sunday Afternoon Letter….
Hello Everyone,
Have you had a good weekend? Did you get any hooking done or were you busy in the garden?
Yesterday I went out and bought six beautiful boxwood for the planters in front of the studio. It was a lot of hauling, lifting and lugging but the studio looks like something out of the city. Small town life, we always want to citify I guess. You know what! I just remembered I did not water them when I planted them. Maybe I will pop in tonight. I will post a picture on facebook so you can see them.
I also am hooking a hand drawn map of Newfoundland. I drew it freehand so it is not an accurate map but it is how I remember it from my grade five history which was taught to me by My Aunt Beth.
I also cooked a chicken pot pie. I had no gravy, just a leftover chicken breast so I made a roux with garlic, onion and chicken stock. It came out delicious. Here is the recipe:
Chicken Pot Pie …Chicken Pot Pie…Chicken Pot Pie
(Why 3 times.. what’s that about…?)
1 cooked chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
Chop Small and Boil:
2 small potatoes, 4 small carrots in 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
When they are just about cooked add in 1/2 cup of peas, 1/2 cup chopped fresh asparagus
Pan fry 1/2 onion and 1/2 clove garlic in 1 tbsp butter.
Sprinkle in 1 tbsp flour.
Over a low heat stir in 1/2 cup skim milk, then slowly add the stock from the vegetables until you have a thick sauce.
Mix all the ingredients together and put in a pie pan.
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup of flour
1 egg
1 tbsp vinegar
1/8 cup cold water
Roll onto floured surface and top you pie pate with this crust
Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes.
I really like making and “eating” chicken pot pie. My husband, on the other hand says I just really like saying “Chicken Pot Pie, Chicken Pot Pie, Chicken Pot Pie.” He mocks me and goes around the house repeating it supposedly the way I say it, in a kind of sing song voice. It’s true though, I am happy when we have it for supper. Say it three times and you’ll see it does have a nice ring to it!
Oh and here’s my new book if you want to preorder will be out in June.
Pre-Order: Making a Life, Twenty-Five Years of Hooking Rugs
We recently had a photo shoot for the people who work at the studio and myself so we could get some new photos for the website. I cannot say the women who work with me anymore because my friend Greg has joined our staff. You’ll be seeing these over the next little while.It was lots of fun and foolishness.
I have added a few new patterns to the website. Some like Cozy Rosy are really fun. I have put a little sale on that one if you want to take a peek at it.
Big News …I started a podcast …Yup .
I am not consistent and you never know what we are talking about but it is there on iTunes. I plan to keep at it. For years I had a community radio show where I interviewed local people. I decided to give it up last year in order to start a podcast for my studio called Create Beauty Everyday. So far there have been about six episodes. More to come.
Angela Jorgensen joined the studio in October and she was the last person I interviewed on my podcast. You can subscribe or just go check it out on iTunes. There is something about having a nice easy conversation with someone that I really enjoy. I am thinking a lot about who I would like to interview. It won’t always be directly about rug hooking but will relate to art and creativity and the beauty of the everyday. For example I spoke to my friend Lily about her love for domesticity. It is just something I want to be fun, so I am not putting expectations on myself about it.
Well I gotta go, I have two friends coming for supper and I gotta get cooking. Since I started writing this newsletter like a letter to friends I just really enjoy it. Thanks for being there, for all your support of the studio and being part of our clubs, and for reading.
Get hooking, go on, get at it… Deanne
Cosy Rosy 21″ x 32″
I am just deciding right now what to make for Next Month’s Paper Pattern Club!
I just found out that I can make the patterns for this club all different shapes and sizes which excites me and gives me so much more creative freedom!
Join Today and You’ll Get Next Months..I have got a few ideas!
NEW!!! Paper Pattern of the Month Club: Free Shipping! Includes Woolcake!

Everyday Angels

Good Old Fashioned Letter….Everyday Angels
Hey there,
This has been a week of adapting to small changes. Little things.
I had some company overnight at my house. Twice. Lots of busyness.
This week my friend, Sheree Fitch came to visit. Sheree is a writer and she is working on a book. As she does I have been working on a cover for her. It is a labyrinth and a set of angel wings. I learned a lot making the angel wings rugs. I outlined the inside of these wings and created flowers instead of traditional feathers. I love that the sketches made the flowers and that they still look like flowers even though they they were hooked in neutral colours. When I learn in my rugs it excites me so much.
When Sheree came this week, I wanted to take her pictures in front of it. I have a feeling that many people will have their picture taken in front of these wings. We are all angels to someone. Common angels. Aren’t they just the best kind. The person who does those kind little things for you. The ones who shed a little light or a little hope on your day.I have a lot of those in my life and I am grateful for every one of them.
It is Sunday Morning and the sunshine is flooding my house. I have opened the windows wide to air out my home. That avocado on the table is soon gonna be pairing with an egg. My daughter just texted me about a new podcast she thought I might like. It is called Invisibilia and is an NPR podcast with interesting stories to listen to while you hook. I listened to an episode and liked it. Maybe you might too. I like the company while I hook.
Avocado Toast…Sunday Morning Breakfast
Two pieces good bread toasted
Mash one avocado with 1/8 teaspoon chilli flakes, 2 tbsp lemon juice, and a dash of salt.
Fry two eggs Sunny side up.
Spread avocado on toast, and put the egg on top of the avocado.
Variations….add a slice of fresh tomato or a little aged cheddar.
This is a pretty easy recipe. Well I think I better go cause breakfast is calling. I hope you will consider joining Woolcake or Woolbox. I have put the links below. Be sure to read the news about Paper Pattern of the Month. I made a discovery that is going to make that club way way better.
Oh and remember Georgina, who worked here with me for years but ran away to Halifax…well she is doing good. Yesterday she told me she got a great new job in the city. As much as we miss her here, we are so happy she is doing well. There she is below looking all happy….
Thanks for reading, as always, I appreciate it, Deanne
P.S. I am using a new newsletter program. I hope you like it.
Big News on Paper Pattern Club
I just found out that I can make the patterns for this club all different shapes and sizes which excites me and gives me so much more creative freedom!
Next months is a beauty….good time to join.
NEW!!! Paper Pattern of the Month Club: Free Shipping! Includes Woolcake!
If you really want to get the inside understanding on how I work in the studio join Woolcake I’ll show you the rugs as I make them and as I am taking them off the frame. It is the place you’ll first here what is coming up in the studio and get the inside scoop and get to know me better.
Woolcake: Get to know Deanne in her studio.

So perfectly imperfect.

Hi Everyone,

On my morning walks last week I tried dictating a few little stories that I have had on my mind.  I simply spoke them as I walked along and the email app turned them into text for me. I wondered if this was a good idea or not. Was I losing my morning walk or was I gaining more clarity as I walked by getting things off my mind. There is no answer here. I don’t know. I loved discovering this new way of writing. But like many things, when you gain something , you must give up something else.

It felt really good to get those things that I think about on my walks out of my heart and mind and onto paper. But I could not help but wonder if it might be better just to let my mind roam free. I don’t think there is an answer to this. But still I ponder it because that’s what we humans are good at. We are good at thinking about things even if we know there might not be an answer.

We all work to be better. Stronger. The word I picked for the year. Just picking it does not mean much. It is the carrying out of the intention that matters. I am trying to be stronger, but that does not make me strong. There is no arrival, just the travelling towards the idea.

It is not something we master. It is just something to lead us. One of the tenets we follow as we try to create a good life. So this year. my word was strengthen. I have taken it to heart , trying to be more physically fit, more mentally fit, and making my art and my business stronger. I cannot actually tell you if it is working but I can tell you that it feels like it is working. I remind myself of it constantly.

In the studio I constantly remind myself of our Create Beauty Everyday motto as well. Actually it is not just in the studio, it is a very personal motto, and there are times as well, that I fall short here, and in every effort that I make.There is no shame in this. We set expectations for ourself and this is important, but we do at times fall short. I remind myself that it is the struggle that matters, that intention, and keeping that alive, and the trying. It is in trying that we become better.

As I mature I find that is all I can do. When I was younger my expectations were high for everyone around me. I am more accepting in my fifties. Thankfully. It makes me kinder, aging does. Gentler, but still I share all those qualities of my younger self with in my older soul. It’s not like you arrive. Though there are moments, fleeting as they are, that you think, “My, isn’t it all just grand, aren’t I grand.” Then you stumble, or say something you shouldn’t, or irritate one of your kids, or generally make an arse of yourself in one way or another. As foolish as it feels at the moment, this is really the beauty of life. The fact that we never arrive, that we are equally engaged in the struggle to be better, to love and to be loved. There is always more to discover, more to understand, more to gain, and more to lose.

We are so perfectly imperfect that it makes us beautiful. 

And it makes life beautiful.

Thanks for reading, I am glad you are there to write to…..Deanne

P.S. I love my new Mermaid Kit, She is not perfect either, and maybe not exactly aging gracefully but she’s got moxie. I think she’s great and you can hook her.

Saltwater Beauty…My New Mermaid Kit

Complete Kit
$189.95 C or $144.95 US

If you want to hear more from me consider Joining the Paper Pattern on the Month Club.
only $9.95 a month $7.95 US
and You will get Woolcake, our online learning site for Free

Join me, Deanne Fitzpatrick, to learn about creativity , art and rug hooking.

This site is where I keep a journal about my rug hooking. I update it frequently and discuss my creative process, my ideas about art, beauty, life,  creativity and rug hooking. It is the place where I go to write on a regular basis, to sort things out and understand my own work.

The site is full of how to videos, podcasts, articles, tips and learning from Deanne in her studio. New content is added four times a month. Join Woolcake for a fresh perspective on a traditional craft. One that instills in you the joy of making and keeps you inspired and wanting to hook wonderful rugs.

Think innovation,think joy, think rughooking, think Woolcake!

Come Learn with Me!

and it is only 34.95 a year, the price of monthly coffee!

P.S. If you are already a member of Woolbox or Pattern of the Month this subscription is included in your membership.

The Meditation of Hooking Rugs

Hi Everyone,
It’s been a joyous week! Really. We got so much done in the studio and that always makes me happy. When I see a lot getting done, it feels productive and exciting. It also means that we can ship orders a bit faster and make customers happier.

Winter started here early in November but spring has also come early and it feels it feels as if the world opens up a little bit when spring comes. We’ve been at the sugar woods several times which I wrote about in an earlier letter.

The spring makes walking so easy. Often I walk in the afternoon as a break from hooking just to stretch my limbs and always I walk in the mornings. That walk in the morning is the time to collect myself. It is a chance to be with myself. Sometimes I’m tempted to put on an audiobook or to listen to a podcast as I walk. Then I remind myself that I need a chance to let my mind roam. To think about the day. To think about what I’m doing in my rugs.

It is a chance to contemplate what each rug needs and what I could be doing to make it better. Often when I start a rug I start it  with one idea. There is a part of me that wants to hold fast to that idea and see it through. But then there is the other part of me, the part that knows to make art you have to be open and flexible and responsive and willing to listen to your soul. At night before I go to sleep  and in the mornings when I wake up and take that long walk I think a lot about what a rug needs.

But I  also think about what I need. It’s like a meditation. Just like our hooking is a meditation. It calms.  It’s soothes. It generates. Generate. That time with your self is generative. It leads to more. That’s the beauty of any meditation. It brings us closer to ourselves, to our art spirit.  It deepens the generosity inside of ourselves as we prepare to give to the world the beauty that only we can create.

Making is so misunderstood. It’s seen as a past time. It’s a hobby.  It’s sometimes seen as the lost art of the lonely and the bored. These are the words of fools of course. For we who make and only we, know the power between the hands and the mind as they work together and soothe the soul. 

This week I have been making a large important rug for a friend it’s important because it weaves together all the conversations we have had over this winter, this long dark beginning in November winter. It’s important Because it records us. It tells our story of friendship, of our saying hello and goodbye. It is the book of us being there for each other. The finished rug will matter but always what matters most is the making of the rug. Because in the making I think of her,  of what she has gained and what she has lost . And I pull each strip of wool up through the linen and as I do I feel that somehow it threads us together in warmth and in kindness. For when we make we love. We love quietly and without words but love is in the making.

So that is my story this week. I am glad you are there to write to. Your support of my work is important to me, and to the great people who work at the studio with me. We just hired a man! My friend’s husband has retired and is helping us catch up on kits. Yeah Greg!

I hope spring has come for you and I hope you make something beautiful, Deanne

P.S. I am working on some new patterns. Here’s one for you to think about hooking.

Boats Bountiful…a New Pattern by Deanne

Boats Bountiful On Linen $74.95 CND  $55.95 USD
18 by 23″

If you want to hear more from us consider Joining one of our subscriptions like Paper Pattern on the Month Club.
only $9.95 a month $7.95 US

and Get Wool Cake, our online learning site for Free

Join me, Deanne Fitzpatrick, to learn about creativity , art and rug hooking.

This site is where I keep a journal about my rug hooking. I update it frequently and discuss my creative process, my ideas about art, beauty, life,  creativity and rug hooking. It is the place where I go to write on a regular basis, to sort things out and understand my own work.

The site is full of how to videos, podcasts, articles, tips and learning from Deanne in her studio. New content is added four times a month. Join Woolcake for a fresh perspective on a traditional craft. One that instills in you the joy of making and keeps you inspired and wanting to hook wonderful rugs.

Think innovation,think joy, think rughooking, think Woolcake!

Come Learn with Me!

and it is only 34.95 a year, the price of monthly coffee!

P.S. If you are already a member of Woolbox or Pattern of the Month this subscription is included in your membership.

A March Road Trip

Hey Everyone,
I am so glad you are there to write to.  I want to tell you about my road trip. One is literal and the other is more, well, lets , say figurative. But to us rug hookers it is very real.

As I wait for my chicken stew to simmer I thought I would tell you a little about creating beauty everyday March style. You might think it isn’t easy. March here is cold and windy but there is the promise of spring in the air. Yesterday we took a trip to Joy and Darrell Trites Maple Sugar Camp in New Brunswick. I have know Joy for many years as a rug hooker who visits my studio with her friends. I had heard she had a sugar camp so I wanted to go. From early March and into April, Joy and her happy staff whip up buckwheat pancakes just like her family has made for generations and serves them up to hundreds of visitors who make the 15 minute trek to their beautifully built wooden camp. At this time of year, this is Joy’s way of creating beauty everyday.  The camp feels ultra Canadian with lots of buffalo plaid, wood heat, and of course the smell of maple. You can feel that everyone is there because they want to be there. They want the people who walk through the sugar woods to feel that joy too.

From running the studio I know what it is to do things with love, and I felt this at Trite’s Maple. Here is the happy couple standing with a rug given to Joy many years ago by a neighbour.

Her family and friends all help out in the camp on the weekends. It is bustling and happy and the food is delicious.
Doing things with love is so important. Whether it is cooking, rug hooking, or looking after our homes. When we do it with grace and kindness, two important elements of love, it is better for everyone.

In the studio this week Logan and I are working on a new palette. We’ll give you a sneak peak . It is not for sale yet. We want to get all the colours ready first and then we’ll tell you what we have in mind. Logan and I were talking and at the studio we want to always be creating whether it’s in dying wool, making kits, or making rugs. It is important for us both to make sure that it is innovative so we plan for the next little while to play with some palettes. Watch out for them.

The first palette we created together was East Coast Road Trip. This is a series of $14 swatches that I have used in my rugs for many years. These are the colours of the landscape around me. These colours are simply named, straw, pasture, sea, spring etc are the colours of our lives here in the maritimes. We named them after what we saw when we drove around with the windows down on a sunny summer day. Well, except for mermaid, we  took a little liberty with that one. You see, colour just isn’t colour it is the story of our lives. It reminds us, it triggers our thoughts, it brings our imagination to life. So have a look at our Road Trip Colours and see the world we have created.

Thanks for reading, it’s nice to know you are there, Deanne

Buy any Six East Coast Road Trip Colours and We’ll Add an Extra One for Free!
You do not need a code…we’ll know to add an extra.
The sale lasts until Friday!

Join me, Deanne Fitzpatrick, to learn about creativity , art and rug hooking.

This site is where I keep a journal about my rug hooking. I update it frequently and discuss my creative process, my ideas about art, beauty, life,  creativity and rug hooking. It is the place where I go to write on a regular basis, to sort things out and understand my own work.

The site is full of how to videos, podcasts, articles, tips and learning from Deanne in her studio. New content is added four times a month. Join Woolcake for a fresh perspective on a traditional craft. One that instills in you the joy of making and keeps you inspired and wanting to hook wonderful rugs.

Think innovation,think joy, think rughooking, think Woolcake!

Come Learn with Me!

and it is only 34.95 a year, the price of monthly coffee!

P.S. If you are already a member of Woolbox or Pattern of the Month this subscription is included in your membership.

Feb 25…Wondering about Wisdom

Hello there,
I finished two rugs in the last week and Angela will soon have them up on the website. I am in between ideas right now but still hooking. When I am between ideas I just hook one of our patterns. It keeps me nimble. I don’t like too long a break from hooking. I find it is a great place to go. For me it is like taking a trip to a place in your heart. It is very soulful. This week I have been listening to a Marianne Williamson book as I hook. I had read one of her books years ago but a recent quote I saw brought me back to her ideas. There are some challenging thoughts and ideas in it and it has really got me thinking. Thinking and Hooking, they belong together.


I have also been thinking a lot about wisdom this week. I think the wisdom in age comes from watching. I know that I have watched so many people grow and change over the years. I have seen people face challenges, suffer great losses and I have seen people experience amazing success. Just watching all this, and knowing the ups and downs of peoples lives, being a witness to the lives of others teaches you. It teaches you first of all, that “you just never know”.

I don’t think that wisdom comes just from growing older but from really observing and noticing what you see. It comes from thinking about our experiences, from thinking about the way we think. It is a constant search. You never reach a “wise” state or place, you just keep looking for more to learn. Even when you think that you have read that before, or seen that before, you just have to go back at it from a new place and see if it has anything more to offer. I do this all the time with my rugs and with books and learning. I have to re-imagine if I am going to keep creating.

Now that I have been at it for so many years I can see the “what is old is new again”. It would be easy to overlook it because I “have been there” but I have never been there as I am now, with what I know now, with the experience I have now.

I just dragged a bunch of wooden crates up out of the basement for display. I remember sticking them down there ten years ago, thinking I was finished with them. Clearly I was not…and the crates of course are just a metaphor for so much that we recycle in life.

There are so many good people in my life that I learn from. Last week I got together for dinner to consult with a friend who is planning a new adventure. Around the table there was so much good advice, so many good ideas, all put forth with no expectation. This is wisdom too. Knowing that you have advice and something to share but not expecting anyone to follow it. Knowing that others have things to tell you, but that ultimately you need to decide for yourself.

I think there is a lot wisdom found in who we surround ourself with, and a lot of wisdom in surrounding ourselves with the right people. People whom we can be good to, as well as people who are good to us. When people come to work at the studio, this is important. We are together a lot and it is important that we care for each other.

Last week I visited Brenda who works with me in her studio. She is a beautiful artist and can turn her hand at anything. We have worked together for nearly twenty years and she is about to retire. I will miss her and our shared history here in the studio but I am happy that she will have more time to create and help her husband Grant who makes our frames. She is ready, and as much as I will miss here, I know that she is doing the right thing.

I have had a really nice week. My daughter was home from school and we hunkered down for a relaxing week . I worked in the day but every evening we cozied up with movies and a few snacks.

It really was a winter break. We need these times where you really hunker down and settle into the season. Wrap yourself in a blanket and not worry about the cold or the storm outside because you have no where to go. It is February in Canada after all. It gives us a license to hunker.

I wrapped up the week with a trip to the city which is always good. I love to get to a good bakery and pick up some almond croissants and crusty french bread. I love a good french patisserie and it is always worth the trip to the city to find one.

I am writing this from my little home studio as this where I like to write these letters. It feels more personal. Today I started to write it at my work studio, but I thought I would save it til I got in my little letter writing spot here in the house.

I am off to enjoy a little cozy time, and maybe a little treat.

Thanks for reading, Deanne

P.S. There is only 6 more days to sign up for the online course. Join me if you can. Sign up below.

You Definitely Should Take the Online Course
We’ll be hooking fields, and orchards, and skies.
We’ll be hooking our way right into spring.
You should come along and get your creative juices flowing.

This field rug will be exciting and challenging to hook, but with the step by step instruction offered in these online videos I can lead you through it.
In this course we will be:
  • Creating a rug with meaning and warmth.
  • Handling materials to create flow within your rug.
  • Looking at how to handle a rug with three sections..foreground, middle ground and background.
  • Establishing strong foreground presences in field rugs.

$188 for four weeks of lessons and a pattern on linen delivered to your door. Starts March 4, 2019

Buy Now

or just the Course for $89

Buy Now

Join me, Deanne Fitzpatrick, to learn about creativity , art and rug hooking.

This site is where I keep a journal about my rug hooking. I update it frequently and discuss my creative process, my ideas about art, beauty, life,  creativity and rug hooking. It is the place where I go to write on a regular basis, to sort things out and understand my own work.

The site is full of how to videos, podcasts, articles, tips and learning from Deanne in her studio. New content is added four times a month. Join Woolcake for a fresh perspective on a traditional craft. One that instills in you the joy of making and keeps you inspired and wanting to hook wonderful rugs.

Think innovation,think joy, think rughooking, think Woolcake!

Come Learn with Me!

and it is only 34.95 a year, the price of monthly coffee!

P.S. If you are already a member of Woolbox or Pattern of the Month this subscription is included in your membership.

February 17: A Sunday Afternoon Letter & A Funny Video

My good friend always makes me laugh.
Hello Everyone,
The other day I was in a parking lot after a hockey game and I watched a couple both looking down at their phones checking to see what had happened while they were away from their phone during the game. It was only for a moment before they both looked up at the same time. To me it looked as if they were back to reality, realizing that the phone was empty. I am not judging, just observing. I am sitting here now on my phone myself while loved ones sit across from me. Each week I get a notice from Apple to say how much time I spent on my phone and it always surprises me. Some of it is spent reading, some writing, some learning but some is just lost. 

I think our time spent on the phone is often time spent searching. We might be looking for connection. I know I do anyway. Finding out what is going on, checking for messages, wondering has anyone tried to reach me. As much as it offers connection, because it does, it also can support us in our isolation. It is just a habit, one I am becoming increasingly aware of the need to change, thanks to that little report my phone sends me each week.

This year I said I was going to strengthen and I have been working on it some. I have found though that having a word to follow, and then choosing things to do to help you follow that word is not so easy. In fact some of the things I have been doing daily to strengthen might not be strengthening me at all. It is difficult to say what will strengthen you until there are results to prove it. As you try use a word as a guide to being better, you are really just trying.
One of the things I believe is strengthening is journalling, or blogging, just like I am going right now, right here with you. That is why I have started writing these letters to you. I think it is good for me to write. To stay in shape when it comes to words. I have been working to make my studio space more beautiful because I believe that beauty is source of spiritual strengthening. Coming in everyday and caring for and loving your space is important.

On the other hand I have been planking (an exercise) everyday since January 1 and I am still sore. It is not getting any better. At the suggestion of a massage therapist I started stretching as well, Savour, strengthen, stretch she said. Still I am sore. Friends told me to try it every second day or a couple of times a week instead and I might. But today it came to me, if this exercise is not making me feel good after 49 days, perhaps I should reassess. Aww, that is it, isn’t it? Sometimes you need to rethink things, and that does not mean you are giving up. I will continue to strengthen. I just might need to find a way that is better for me. It is like working on a rug that is not going well. Sometimes if it is a fight, you might just need to let it go. You can just start another.

Holding on too tight to things that are not working for you cannot be strengthening. Letting go of them sometimes can be because it is such a relief. So now as I finish this letter I will get ready to go for a second walk today. Walking I know strengthens my mind and my body.

The three rugs I posted here are for sale on my website. Until Tuesday, if you purchase any rug on my website that costs over $400 Canadian I will include a small framed 8 by 8″ original tiny landscape rug with it that you can give to someone else as a gift or that you can keep for yourself…but giving gifts is so much fun…it’s up to you.

Thanks for reading, off for my walk, Deanne

There is still time to join our online class

$89 for four weeks of lessons with me.

Other  Course Options BUY HERE

Join me, Deanne Fitzpatrick, to learn about creativity , art and rug hooking.

This site is where I keep a journal about my rug hooking. I update it frequently and discuss my creative process, my ideas about art, beauty, life,  creativity and rug hooking. It is the place where I go to write on a regular basis, to sort things out and understand my own work.

The site is full of how to videos, podcasts, articles, tips and learning from Deanne in her studio. New content is added four times a month. Join Woolcake for a fresh perspective on a traditional craft. One that instills in you the joy of making and keeps you inspired and wanting to hook wonderful rugs.

Think innovation,think joy, think rughooking, think Woolcake!

Come Learn with Me!

and it is only 34.95 a year, the price of monthly coffee!

P.S. If you are already a member of Woolbox or Pattern of the Month this subscription is included in your membership.

February 2019: Making it better

Twice last week friends brought me a loaf of homemade bread. It is the nicest kind of gift, gifts of bread to neighbours. I have been packing it in my lunches and eating it with my suppers. I think of them as I enjoy it.

Last night I had dinner at a friends house and when I came home I just so felt thankful for the friendship. A Monday night in February, three friends, and fish tacos. Not even a glass of wine, just a visit, a drop of tea and conversation. Being there for each other. In winter here in Amherst, NS, we hole up in our houses and retreat  a bit. Getting out is good for us. We need each other especially when it seems too cold to bother.

Yesterday I had lunch with Rebecca, who is the business development officer for our town. An hour with her and I leave brimming with thoughts and ideas. Do you have friends like that? One that ignite an energy in you? Ones that spark your interests and make you seek to be better? That is what Rebecca did for me yesterday. I came away thinking how can I do better? How can I make my art better, my studio better, my women’s clothing store better? Better.  Do better. Be better.

Every time she told me something she was planning it ignited another idea. Some were good, some needed work, but the ideas came because we were together and we were talking.

I have spent the last week trying to improve things around the studio. We have added new work tables and new bins where we make kits. We have prettied it up again, moved around furniture, gathered new props and bits of beauty. I exposed the wooden top on our big long work table and put clear glass over it so you can see it. Such small things but they change the atmosphere here for the people who visit and for us when we work here. It is warmer.

These kind of distractions ease the cold winter skies that hang above us. Answering the door to a gift of bread, buying a flower for the table, adding a bit of paint here or there. Refining things. Adding life. Enhancing.
Every time I start a new rug that is the goal. Make it better than the last. Find something new in the wool. Create the beauty. Do it everyday. Do it as uniquely as you can. Make it, make it good, make it right, knowing that the right way is really only your way, cause when you make, there are so many different kinds of right ways.

That is the blessing of creativity, it’s abundance. One idea begets another idea. That’s the blessing of a meal shared and thoughts exchanged, you leave with more than you sat down with. Ideas grow and we nurture them by coming together.

Here in Amherst , Nova Scotia, so many of us are trying to make it better, make it nicer. We have our heads down and we are making. Making things right as best as we know how. Putting our energy where our thoughts are and strengthening each other as we do it. The women I work with here in the studio add a lot to my life, as do the women I work with in my community, as do my friends. Life would not be as sweet without all these great people around me.

As always thanks for reading…. Deanne

You Definitely Should
Take the Online Course

$188 for four weeks of lessons and a pattern on linen delivered to your door. Starts March 4, 2019

Buy Now

Buy Ornate Starfish Pattern On Sale and Save $10 of Linen Pattern

Buy Now 

Making it a little better all the time…

Join me, Deanne Fitzpatrick, to learn about creativity , art and rug hooking.

This site is where I keep a journal about my rug hooking. I update it frequently and discuss my creative process, my ideas about art, beauty, life,  creativity and rug hooking. It is the place where I go to write on a regular basis, to sort things out and understand my own work.

The site is full of how to videos, podcasts, articles, tips and learning from Deanne in her studio. New content is added four times a month. Join Woolcake for a fresh perspective on a traditional craft. One that instills in you the joy of making and keeps you inspired and wanting to hook wonderful rugs.

Think innovation,think joy, think rughooking, think Woolcake!

Come Learn with Me!

and it is only 34.95 a year, the price of monthly coffee!

P.S. If you are already a member of Woolbox or Pattern of the Month this subscription is included in your membership.

Stormy Sunday: January 20, 2018.

Hello and thanks for reading,
It is Sunday Morning and a storm is coming up from the south. This morning I was thankful for the beauty of the snow falling on my walk, and the trees with their perfect peaks. I try to look at the place as if I were a visitor and it helps me see things as they really are. When a little light snow is falling and covering everything in a pristine white, changing it before your eyes that makes it a little easier to see things freshly.

This weekend I had a little pre storm visit to Halifax with a friend and we got to do so much. We went to Symphony Nova Scotia, only to discover that the conductor was someone we knew from Sackville, NB. The symphony was amazing. I think of all those musicians so dedicated to their individual work and how willing they are to set aside  that individuality for the whole, for the music, for the beauty of what they can be together. I love that.

We also got to Zwickers and Studio 21 art galleries and up to the Hydrostone for a peek around. At Props Floral Design in the Hydrostone, the owner put together a big bouquet of eucalyptus and bare branches for me. She told me she has had the store for over twenty years. I love seeing owners involved and still loving their businesses. The eucalyptus is scenting my back room. It reminds me of my wreath making days nearly thirty years ago before I ever knew about rug hooking. I would dry flowers and make little wreaths in what was then a barn attached to my house. Eventually that space became my studio after I received a Canada Council Grant for artists. Seems so long ago now.

The scents that carry us back in time. We all have them. Bread coming out of the oven, fish on the wharf, the salt air.

In the city I picked up a couple of twig wreaths for my barn doors but unfortunately they are making my barn look like it dressed as an owl. When the storm passes I will move them around. I think one in the peak might look quite nice. It could be spring before that happens. But later today I will probably be out there with a hammer. Once an idea gets in my head, my body just follows it. It is something I love about myself but bewilders others. I know it.

I finished the most beautiful rug lately. It is called Three Moose and the Seven Sisters. Moose were such a part of my life growing up. We would go fishing on the barrens and see them across the pond. They were just part of living in Newfoundland. You would see them on the highway, your eyes trained to watch for them. It was the conversation when you arrived somewhere, “Did you see a moose?” They have become for me like the silhouettes of my family, symbols of a place, and a people, and of myself and my parents. They also so symbolize a calm strength to me. I never think of moose charging, but of them quietly standing, strong, not wanting to be bothered. Thats just how they were for me as child.

So today I am at home cozy with the fire and I plan to hook on a rug that I am making about resettlement  It is called Red Island and is semi abstract, inspired by a painting that I saw when I was travelling. It is interesting that a painting from another artist in Eastern Europe can trigger an image in me about a tiny island in Placentia Bay that filled my childhood stories. It has taught me that the stories I put into my rugs are less important than the stories they evoke in you. I love that , how a simple image can mean so many different things to so many people. It makes art so powerful. It is about feeling. We all feel the same things, it is just that different ideas and images can bring us to those feelings.

I think it is because art evokes a feeling that we love it. The images  we see brings to life our own stories and our own feelings. Art is so much more about feeling than it is about anything else. Really that is what I hope my rugs do for people. I hope the colours and the ideas in them carry them some places  they want to go.

So today is a day to stoke the fire and to read and rest and create. It is my typical Sunday but the snow makes it so much more fitting. Here in Nova Scotia we like to hunker down and a good storm makes that so much easier.

I hope you will register for our online class that is coming up.We are working hard on our online class getting all the patterns drawn and dying wool for the kits. It is well plannd and the course will teach you step by step how to hook the rug. Remember it starts the first of March but you can take it anytime you want. It is yours to keep and you can learn at your own convenience. Early registration before January 31 is quite a bit less expensive because it allows us to plan and get the kits made up earlier. So all the information is below for you to join me.

Thanks so much for reading. Our list is growing and will be at over 10,000. It is lovely to have you all to write too, Deanne

Register Before January 31 and Save!

Where the Orchard Blooms: Hooking Field Rugs, 2019 Winter Online Course is a must this winter!

The Whole Package!
Online course with Deanne Fitzpatrick & complete kit!
This is quite literally the entire package! Not only does this product come with the online course and the pattern on linen, but it also comes with all of the colours and textures needed to complete the rug from start to finish! With this you will not only end up in the orchard, but you will be able to do it exactly as intended by design!

All of the products and combinations are valuable in terms of creating this beautiful rug, but if I were you this would be my top pick, because you will have exactly everything you need at your finger tips every step of the way!

And if you order this complete kit before January 31st and take advantage of the savings.
$399.00 CDN, $300.20 USD! 

There is nothing more priceless than creating beauty every day!

Saturday Afternoon Letter from Deanne January 12

Hey Everyone,
It is Saturday afternoon and I decided to leave the studio early and come home for a nap but instead I started thinking of my newsletter. The nap is coming later. I have been pondering that I am going to try to write these newsletters the way I used to write my blog. Just a few notes about what is on my mind and what I am up to. I am missing that kind of writing that I used to do and I feel that I want to get back to it.

Today I hooked five small foxes on a golden background. As I look at the design I created, a blend of a field rug and a Newfoundland village, it looks as if the foxes are sneaking in and stealing something away. It might be time. The foxes are looking like a symbol of change. I think this way about my rugs sometimes as I make them. Sometimes they are full of thoughts and ideas, and other times, they are just purely about beauty and there is no intellectualizing them. I seem to waver in this. Sometimes I want them to be a search for meaning while other times beauty is enough.

It is interesting having Logan working with me. She went art school and has a degree in Fine Art, so did Angela. I never went art school, mainly because I never even knew it was a possibility. I think it would have been lovely.

It is fun to chat with them about what I am thinking and get their perspective on what they are doing. We all approach our work differently. We all put ourselves into it in one way or another no matter how we learned. You too, have your own way of approaching your creative work. It is the beauty of it. We all get to put a bit of ourselves into it.

As I hook I have been listening to audiobooks so my mind gets carried off and my thoughts come and go. It is the beauty of making, that your hands are turning things over but your mind is free to listen, to grow, to learn. I am always on the lookout for audio books. Most recently I have listened to Krista Tippett & John O’Donohue. Two of my favorite people to listen too. The public library has just given me notice that a Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling pen name ) is available for me. I have read her Comoran Strike Novels  but I think I may listen to one. It is lovely to have your hands busy and your mind free.

I have been doing well with my strengthening resolution. I am planking ( google it if you are not daughter taught me this great little exercise) two or three times a day, walking, and working on my art and my business. So far I am sticking with my word of the year…Strengthen. I love it because it can apply to anything…mind, body, spirit. As for last years word “Savour”, I am still holding to it, but sadly, I do still whoof down my food sometimes, only to remember, savour, after it is gone, and I am looking for a sweet. I have though been better at savouring the moment. It is our job, I think, to know something beautiful when it is in our hands, and that is sometimes just the moment we are in.

Registrations are coming in for our class this winter and that excites me. I love the thought of watching people create Where the Orchard Blooms this winter and throughout the year. I have ordered the wool and we have already dyed the sky for the kits. So far I am really happy with the response. If you are interested all the information for registering is included below.

I have to go now as it is time to start a new novel and fall off to sleep for a nap. I have company coming over later and I have cooked them up a bite to eat. I even made some baklava. Yum. I hope you have a good weekend, and that you get some time to hook, and yes, maybe even a nap, Deanne

Register Before January 31 and Save!

Where the Orchard Blooms: Hooking Field Rugs, 2019 Winter Online Course is a must this winter!

The Whole Package!
Online course with Deanne Fitzpatrick & complete kit!
This is quite literally the entire package! Not only does this product come with the online course and the pattern on linen, but it also comes with all of the colours and textures needed to complete the rug from start to finish! With this you will not only end up in the orchard, but you will be able to do it exactly as intended by design!

All of the products and combinations are valuable in terms of creating this beautiful rug, but if I were you this would be my top pick, because you will have exactly everything you need at your finger tips every step of the way!

And if you order this complete kit before January 31st and take advantage of the savings.
$399.00 CDN, $300.20 USD! 

There is nothing more priceless than creating beauty every day!

Just the Course and Pattern!
Winter online course with Deanne Fitzpatrick & Pattern on linen.
This product comes with the online course and the24″x24″ pattern on linen. With this you will have the best of both worlds, the lessons at your disposal, and the pattern at your fingertips! With this you will be able to follow along with ease. All you will need is a stash to work from.

Until January 31st, this great product is just $169.00 CDN, $127.19 USD!

Just the Course $69
While winter comes with unique beauty, such as the glow of a sunrise over a snowy field, or the smell of woodsmoke cutting through the brisk night air, sometimes you need to insert a bit more colour in your life; and this years winter online course is exactly what you need to brighten the season!

This course will begin on March 4th, and you will receive two lessons a week for four weeks. A total of twenty instructional videos comes with this product guiding you through the process, and the focus will be on creating a rug with meaning and warmth, and of course learning how to produce flow. The modern field rug has a depth and flow that invites you into the space, and I can’t wait to get started with you!

Until January 31st take advantage of the savings! There is a lot to be excited about as you are sure to create a rug so beautiful, you will wish you could visit the orchard.

Until January 31st, the online course on its own is $69.00 CDN, $51.93 USD!

The Studio will be offering several packages for this course, pattern, wool, course and a kit.
Please look for these on the website as well.

Just the Pattern!
Where the Orchard Blooms: Field Rugs Pattern, Only on Linen!
The pattern on its own is gorgeous! At 24″x24″, the size is substantial enough to be a show stopper, while not being too large that it is intimidating to accomplish! The pattern only comes on linen, and if you have not yet hooked on linen you are definitely in for a treat. 

This product does not come with the online course, however the way it is designed is sure to promote flow, and invites your unique interpretation!

Until January 31st this pattern on linen is $119.00 CDN, $86.56 USD! feel the benefits while the sale still lasts!

Just the Wool Pack!
Where the Orchard Blooms: Hooking Field Rugs Wool Package
Please note: This package does not complete the rug. It is a partial kit.
Where the Orchard Blooms: Hooking Field Rugs, Wool Package
This wool package is absolutely gorgeous, and truly inspires the essence of my original rug. The colours and textures are to die for, and are meant to give you a good start on your piece. Trust me, you want this box!

This wool package includes: 9 swatches of wool cloth
11 mini skeins of Textured Yarn or Equivalent,
1 – 16 by 12 swatch of Blue
Sexy Jersey Swatch or small bundle of Sexy Jersey.

What you will receive won’t be exactly as shown, however we in the studio know that you will create something really beautiful with it!

Until January 31st, this beautiful box of woollen treasure can be yours for just $99.95 CDN, $75.22 USD!

A Belated Happy New Year

In typical technophobe fashion, my post comes a bit late. A computer glitch had kept me from posting earlier, much to my frustration. Perhaps it was karma’s way of making me reflect a bit more on what I wanted to share. With the help of the wonderful Deanne, I am now back in the game and ready to share my thoughts.

A new year, new hopes, new dreams.   I always find it a bit disturbing how easily we dismiss the previous year, hoping for a ‘do over’ of sorts.  All of the failures and challenges tend to be at the forefront when a new year rolls around.  It seems a perpetual second chance to make things right, to be a better person, to strive towards those goals that we had hoped to accomplish the previous year.

Could it be that we are approaching the season in the wrong mind set?  What if we looked back on the previous year and acknowledged the successes, the achievements hard won, whether they be small or large?  Why not start a new year with a list of the positives of the last year, not the negatives.  Perhaps our goals should be to build, not necessarily change, who we are.

As I think about what I wish to accomplish in this coming new year-my own  ‘do over’ year, I choose to think of it as a platform to build on what I have already accomplished and use the disappointments as teaching moments instead of failures.  I resolve to enter this new year facing forward, not  carrying the weight of past mistakes.  I resolve to make ‘let it go’ a bigger part of my own personal philosophy.

Let us all take the best of 2018 with us into this bright new year.


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