Maritime Mary: Beautiful Work

At Deanne’s studio, we are always pleased when customers bring in their finished pieces to show us their work. Nilda dropped in a few weeks ago to let us have a peek at her work in progress and to select more perfect colours. Georgina then took a photo of her almost finished winter scene and many of you saw it posted on the studio FB page. 

I was nicely surprised when Nilda came in again last Tuesday with not just one completed project, but two. Her hand drawn winter scene is shimmery and icy with sparkly snow, but warm and cozy at the same time. The skies tell us that there may be more snow in the way. There is so much Canadian winter in this piece!

  
Her second piece really surprised me. I had seen a small image that was the inspiration, centred around a birch tree, but as you can see, it is so much more. Aren’t the colours amazing? Quite a bit of studio dyed jersey made it into this fabulous piece. 

  
Nilda, sharing your beautiful hooking made my day!  We know that your next pieces will not be shy of colour!!

Maritime Mary: Teaching

Last week at Deanne’s studio we hosted a large group of young children from our local YMCA. They were taking part in a week long arts and crafts camp and one of their experiences was learning how to hook at the studio and I was pleased to be their instructor. 

The children were eager to learn how to hook and every single one of them was successful at pulling the wool and yarn up through the backing. They loved the variety of textures and fibres and especially the colours. 

Today, two young girls who were part of that Y group came in with their grandmother to show her what they had learned and to teach her how to hook. All three sat around the frame for some time. Nanny was a good student!

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 

 

Maritime Mary: A Day at the Studio

Every Tuesday is different. When I arrive at Deanne’s studio on Tuesday mornings for my day of work, the first thing I do is to look around to check out what changes were made since the previous week. And every week, something is different. It could be a new rug on the wall, a new product, new wool colours, new yarns, or the furniture, well it could very well be changed all around. There is always something. 

Today was as most days are, filled with variety. Interesting people passed through to gather wool for projects, Bill Hopper came in and made us laugh, Harry the Printer dropped in, orders were filled and kits were prepared. We talked as we worked, that happens with a work force of women. It’s a great place to work. 

   

 

Today Deanne spent some time drawing one of a kind designs on linen and burlap. 

  

Laurie was busy at the serger preparing backing for Deanne’s designs. 

  Megan was catching up on emails. 

   

   

Poppies on the Edge of Town kits were prepared. 

Thirty Church: The Women’s Store is opening soon

So if you are wondering what I have been up to I can fill you in here! Today I bought the flowers for outside….I have been busy trying to get everything read for the new women’s store across the street. I bought some cedar trees just like a city store. The inventory has come in and we plan to open next week. We are getting so so close.

I feel like a child with a new amazing toy.

Thirty Church : the Women’s Store  looks beautiful. You can like us on Facebook at :https://www.facebook.com/thirtychurch

We’ll have a website up in the next month or so we hope.

I did though sew some backing on the frame and finished a set of small rugs this week.  I knit four rows today but my ball of yarn is tangled. Do you think that a sign?

Harry the Printer is on his way down the street with an opening soon sign. My goodness I am so excited. I just had to tell you that I am thinking of you and that I am still hooking and knitting and creating beauty everyday.

I hope you are too.

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Denny and her Ghandi Spinning Wheel

Denny is Megan’s Friend from Toronto.

This week she is here visiting Megan and comes to work with here each day.

You might say this week she is our studio cat.

She helps out. She does the dishes, talks to customers, helps them with their projects. She did the finishing on two of my latest knitting projects.

Thanks for that Denny.

She brings in projects to work on everyday. Yesterday she had this tiny spinning wheel invented by Ghandi that is portable and beautiful.

The day before she had a little hand quilting project with paper piecing.

Today here and Megan are off galavanting.

I wonder what she will bring tomorrow.

This is the second time Denny has spent a week with us. After Megan first started working here, she said, “I have an odd request. My friend is visiting from Toronto and I was wondering i I could bring her to work with me?”

I said, “Well that is an odd request, but we can try it.”

You see Denny used to work for Megan when Megan owned Lettuce Knits in Toronto so she is used to working in this kind of place.

Anyway I wanted to show you this amazing little spinning wheel that she was using yesterday.

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Beverly…welcome back, welcome back, welcome back

Beverly Mulcahey has hooked a lot of my patterns.

She has been visiting my studio since my kids were little. They remember she sent them those oversized sunglasses when they were little.

She hooks. She knits. See her sweater she has on…she knit that.

She knits to relax so it’s easy she says.

She is joyful and fun. She teaches nearly forty students in her hometown of Paxton, Mass.

I see her every year and every year she has a story or three or four.

She is always excited to come here.

She is a good friend of the place so she understood when we started moving furniture while she was here.

She knows what we are like.

She hooks beautiful rugs.

She is Beverly… and we are glad she comes and teaches and inspires others.

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What happened to the tea kitchen….

Theresa made her own tea today! and it was easy for her…..

Lorna is getting her own office, you see. She’ll be across the street at Thirty Church The Women’s Store.

I got a new bicycle..what does that have to do with anything?

Well see I wanted to be able to leave my bike at the studio but there was no room in my office because I shared it as the studio tea kitchen. The tea kitchen was hidden away a bit and if you wanted to make your own tea customers sometimes felt it was a bit awkward to come into my little space.

I was a little jealous of Lorna getting her own office with room for her bike.

See where this is going?

So we have been saying for months it might be nice to have the tea kitchen in our knitting room as we have a sink out there too. Last week Lorna, Brenda and I changed things around. Now I can fit my bike and my rug frame in my office. Yippee!

The tea kitchen is wide open in the knitting room. When you come you’ll feel comfortable storming the kettle on your own and making a drop of tea for yourself, just like Theresa did today. So come on over….we got the little drawers stocked with all kinds of herbals, and of course there is red rose or king kole.

Coffee too…french press is easy. Cream is in the fridge, help yourself.

The oatcakes are still on the table in the front of the studio. We want to give you incentive to wander around.

I have my very own office , first time ever.

I’m a big girl now.

Can’t let that Lorna out do me.

 

 

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if we are busy you can help yourself, in fact we encourage you to

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There’s Theresa with her cuppa

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Lorna says…”You can’t out do me missy”

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 my frame and my bicycle …welcome home Deanne they say

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In the office

My office is just a corner of the studio tea kitchen. Lorna really has the better spot over in the corner. I have a desk I found in the basement that probably belonged to Casey Realty next door in the nineteen fifties. It is big and has lots of room. I do not have it really organized or even really pretty but I know where everything is essentially. Sometimes I look at those home offices in the magazines andI suppose I should try to make this little office an inspiring plce I think..”that could be me” but the truth is , it just is not me. I spend a lot of time on my computer writing books and online courses and I suppose I should try to make this little office an inspiring place . Somehow it escapes me. I have made my studio at home a lovely space but this little space is always a wreck. I have nice bulletin boards with barely anything on them. I think really I should stop writing right now and pretty this place up.

This of course is a diversion……

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hookin’ and cookin’ and the mystery pattern club

We have decided that we really appreciate mystery pattern club members. We just sent out our second Mystery Pattern, and I just hooked up the third! They are small patterns, 15 by 15″ or around that size so you always have something on the shelf ready to hook. I liken it to the feeling of always having another good book waiting for you on the shelf.They are committed to us so we’re committed to them too. In the Month of March all mystery pattern club members will be interred to win one of Roberta Hancock’s pure silver necklaces.

You can join here

I hope you all have a good weekend. I am cooking beans and fishcakes this weekend with some salt cod that I have in soak right now. I do not have any big plans but I hope to do lots of walking if we do not get any more snow and lots of hooking on Sunday. Typical weekend for me, hookin’ and cooking’

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Mystery Pattern Rug Winner and Rug Hooking Scissors for orders over $50

Lots of news going on in the shop.

We have been busy with orders because with every order over $50 we are sending a pair of rug hooking scissors as a gift. As well we are drawing up all the patterns for the mystery pattern club. If you have been thinking of joining you should. We add lots of little extras for club members , including prize draws and a private Facebook page where you can see the progress of the patterns. I just finished the pattern for February and writing the members a note. I also created a few little tuckables…that is things we can tuck in the package.

We now have a steady group on our Wild with Wool Facebook Page.There are plenty of postings there. This page is set up only for members of the Monthly Mystery Pattern Club and for people who have taken our online courses, including the new Abstract Class.  It is a great way to keep in touch with other members of the club or people you have taken an online course from.

You can join the Mystery Pattern Club here. We are drawing up February’s mystery pattern today and I am really happy with it. We feel that the members of this club deserve some special treatment so last month we drew for an original hooked rug. Peggy Blazek from Indianapolis was the winner and she chose the Red Anemone shown here. Peggy has been to the studio for a workshop all the way from Indianapolis so we are especially pleased to have mailed her one of my original hooked rugs. I was so pleased to see it mailed off. We will be doing more draws for club members because they are special.

All our blog readers are special of course and that is why tomorrow we draw for the Blundstones so we will post the winner next week. It is good to have a bit of cheer in February.

For Valentines and until February 22 when you order $50 worth of supplies from the online shop we will include a pair of stainless steel rug hooking scissors (value $22) in your order. I am really serious when I say we appreciate our customers.  I do. All of us t the studio do. Thank you so much for your ongoing support.

Remember Wild with Wool online Course starts February 28!

I know we got a lot going on but there are a lot of you out there hooking rugs and you all like something different.

You will receive these rug hooking scissors when you purchase $50 with at the studio, online or over the phone. 1-800-328-7756

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This rug has been mailed to Nystery Pattern Club Member Peggy Blazek. I wonder what we’ll draw for next. Brenda and Megan get your thinking caps on.

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My rug is wearing well by the back door. I love the softness under foot when I go barefoot. All rug hookers deserves a rug on the floor. Why not?

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I hope you will join the Mystery Pattern Club

Maritimers Mary: Just Knitting

My friend asks me what I’ve been doing lately and I reply, “Oh, just knitting.” I call another friend, ask the same question and I get, “Just knitting.” I text my daughter, “What are you up to?” And again the same reply. She went to her friend’s house and you guessed it, she was knitting!

Everyone is knitting, enjoying the simple rhythm of the needles, moving wool forward, looping it around, knit one, purl one, knit two, purl two. Using circular needles, made of plastic, made of metal, straight needles passed on from elderly family members who are no longer able to knit. Bamboo, plastic, metal, needles that ‘click click’, we create a beat as we knit along.

Here at the studio, many people leave with lovely skeins of colourful yarn, excited to get home to knit. Some buy the yarn with no definite project in mind, letting the wool inspire them.

The Olympics are about to commence, so what better excuse does one require to sit, watch, cheer, and of course, knit?

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We are shipping the Mystery Pattern Today

 

Today is the day we ship the Mystery Pattern. Megan and I were talking the other day and we thought about the confidence that those who joined put in us and we thought we should do something special. This afternoon , we are going to draw a name from the members of the pattern club and the bundle club  ( you still have a few hours to join) and we are going to let that one person choose one of the four original rugs here and we will ship it to you. We just want the members to know how much we appreciate their ongoing interest.

We also thought that to make the pattern club interesting we just might keep those names in a bag for the occasional draw for members and that we’d really try to do things to make membership special. We are working on a few ideas already. We have been really thrilled at seeing people join because we know it will inspire them to hook.

I really appreciate people supporting the studio. Many of my customers have become friends over the years. I am excited to see the many versions of the same pattern hooked. We have decided that the pattern will only be available for the month it is offered for now. We might issue them in a couple of years but for now those patterns will only be accessible to club members.

So today Hopper took the first bundle off to the mail. I think in about a month we’ll start seeing versions of them hooked. My goodness , it gets me excited to think of a whole group of people all across North America hooking the same pattern at the same time.

Today is the last day to join for this month. Thank you to all the members, your pattern is being shipped.

Join the Mystery Pattern Club

Join the Mystery Bundle Club ( a great way to build your stash through out the year)

Or call to join at 1 800 328 7756 . It is available to other parts of the world for a little extra shipping. Call us if you want to join.

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Good Service

A few weeks ago I went to Carsand Mosher in Truro. I had been thinking of buying a new pocket camera for quite a while. I did not walk in with the intention of buying a camera. I was just interested in knowing what was available and was considering it.

I have dealt with Carsand Mosher years ago. They did my slides of my rugs for years  before digital images were the thing. They are a local company and they know their cameras.

When I went in I said that I was just curious and  Carla gave me all the time I needed. She answered about forty questions for me, spending at least a half an hour with me. She showed me how to connect the wireless camera to my phone. Once I decided to buy it she said that they would be there ifI had any questions. What I am really buying is their knowledge and support, their service. It comes with the camera.

Good service will never go out of style. People like Carla who know their stuff and graciously share it with their customers making small town shopping such a pleasure.

As I venture out beyond my comfort zone and work with my husband to start a women’s clothing store across the street I really want to make sure we carry the idea of good service across the road. Today we tore out the walls of the office at 30 Church Street, so we are really doing, turning a plain old office space into a beautiful mid priced women’s clothing store. It will be a boutique I suppose. We do not have a name for it yet. If you have any ideas we are open to it. Just leave your thoughts in the comments. We’ll be specializing in service, and clothing for regular sized and larger women too. It is exciting to  embarking on a new venture.

When I go to a store and meet someone like Carla, I realize that what we have in small towns will never really be overtaken by the big boxes. Good Service will always be valuable to many people. It gives me hope for my new venture, and all the small businesses in our little towns.

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30 Church is just across the street from our two businesses now so we’ll both work there some.

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Here’s Carla from Carsand Mosher in Truro. If you need a camera she’s there to help you.

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Win some Blundstones …Make a floor mat… See our new patterns

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My New Boots came to me wrapped as a Christmas Present….Maybe you’ll win yours on Valentines Day

and the boots can rest on your mat by the door….

Here’s a new idea….let’s put mats on the floor!

Let’s put boots on our mats.

Let’s really use them.

I just put a hooked rug by my back door to wipe our feet on. Yes I did. I had a tinge of “Oh noooo” but it was soon over come with “Let’s wear this thing out.” I just decided it was time to get back to my roots. A mat by the door. It might be the next big thing. Everything old is new again…sometime.

I became really certain I was doing the right thing when I walked across it in my bare feet.

Luxury.

Made with my own hands.

This year I think I’ll be making floor rugs and I invite you to join me.

Lets get back to basics…good old black boots and a mat by the door.

It’s a bit of a floor mat challenge.

Maybe you have a room that needs a rug…why not create your own carpet.

Many of my new pattern designs make great floor mats. Some are just fun designs to hook for anywhere.

So we’ll be putting names in the box and drawing the prize on Feb . 14.

Here is how you enter…go have a look at our new patterns and tell us in the comments which one is your favorite and why.

You can enter at the studio too, we have the catalog here if you want to drop in and a ballot box.

We’ll do a random draw on February 14 from all the entries online and in the studio and we’ll ship you a pair in your size or you can come try the sizes.

No purchase is necessary. We are happy are to hear about your favourites.

See our New Patterns HERE

Like Deanne Fitzpatrick Studio on Facebook

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Mystery Pattern Club…Mystery Bundle Club

We have had lots of people join and I am excited about the idea that all across North America there will be people getting inspired each month by our mystery pattern club.. Each month I will create a unique pattern on linen inspired by what I am working on or  from one of my original rugs. We’ll send you a new pattern each month. If you like we can also send you a bundle of wool that will be designed for hooking the pattern. Each month it is a new inspiration and it is always a mystery

Join the pattern of the Month Club

Join the Bundle of the Month Club

Take the year to create beauty everyday and join our  pattern of the month club.

$34 each month will deliver a new inspired pattern to your mailbox.

As I hook away on my own designs I will take time each month to create a unique and beautiful pattern for the club.

Each month you will be sent a  pattern on linen (15 by 15 inch or equivalent, each month we’ll have a new size and shape) that is inspired by what I am currently hooking, or by one of my original designs.

Imagine receiving a new hand drawn pattern every month in your mailbox. Imagine the fun that would be.

All you have to do is hook it from the  stash of wool you already have on hand,

or you can opt into our coordinating wool bundle of the month to hook your pattern.

Think of having these hooked designs ready for gift giving, to create pillows, to frame as art for your walls.

Join the club, and receive special club membership bonuses and treats.

You can also add our Bundle of the Month Club so that you will get a special bundle designed each month to go with your pattern.

We will charge your credit card each month.  You can opt out anytime, just call or email to let us know before the 15th day of the month.  We will send out the Mystery Pattern Packages on the last day of the month.

Join our Mystery Bundle of the Month Club and receive a new bundle of wool each month that coordinates with our Mystery Pattern Club. Each month we will build a beautiful inspired bundle of wool using our best and most interesting wools.

Each month you will receive a coordinated bundle of wool for $49.95 (regularly $54.95).

We will charge your credit card each month.  You can opt out anytime, just call or email to let us know before the 15th day of the month.  We will send out the Mystery Wool Bundle Packages on the last day of the month.

Build your stash of wool over the whole year with our beautiful cordinated bundles that are inspired by the creativity around the studio, and a new pattern design each month.

Our large bundles have a combination of wool cloth, fleece and yarn that are guarenteed to create a great colour plan for any pattern you decide to use it on. The bundles will be inspired by nature, the seasons, and whatever interesting pattern of the month that Deanne creates.

Imagine building your stash a bundle at a time over a year. Seeing it grow so that you always have the right colours and textures at your fingertips.

Our regular shipping charges apply .

You can also join our Pattern of the Month Club, where we will create a pattern to go with your wool bundle.

Keep in mind, the Mystery Bundles will contain different colours than the bundle pictured here.

Maritime Mary: “Do you hook?”

When working at the studio on Tuesdays, I’m frequently asked, “Do you hook?” The answer is, “Yes!” There is usually something on my frame or something being framed in my mind. Occasionally I join the Thursday Hook-In here in the studio but for the most part, I hook when I’m at home, watching TV, listening to music, watching the world from my sun porch, when I’m alone. I keep company with my hook.

I love how a very simple repetitive action allows beautiful colours and fibres to mix and blend, how ideas develop as a project grows. For me, hooking is a peaceful and stimulating activity.

About fifteen years ago I dropped into Deanne’s home where her shop was located. Within minutes she had me pulling loops through burlap backing. I went home with a kit, finished it in two days and I was literally, hooked. I bought a hook that day, a lovely hand turned one and to date, it’s been the only one I have owned.

And each Tuesday when I walk into the studio, I check out the wool cloth, the newly dyed colours, the new textures. Plans begin to formulate again. Ideas seem to be endless. Bliss!

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wine and wool on a Friday afternoon

 

 

 

A few months ago Katherine from the Fleece Artist said she would like to come and have a wine and wool tasting. She is a beautiful wool dyer and we have carried her yarns for years. I love her yarns for hooking rugs and now for knitting.

Wool tasting? Sounds fuzzy to me. But in my last post I was talking about the importance of curiosity so this afternoon I am waiting for the fleece artist’s arrival. I got the cheesecakes, some snacks, and the wine. Katherine is about to arrive with the wool.

How do we do it ? Everyone has been asking.

My answer? I have not got a clue.

I am just sitting here waiting with the wine and the cheesecakes, wondering how it’s done.

Happy to be a participant, and make a nice January afternoon, a little nicer.

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Do you have a favorite colour?

 

Sage Green is a winter colour. I’d like to say it is my favorite colour, shades of it, but , it is only my favorite colour right now in this moment. I love it because it is January soothing. It is warm. It is the first colour I see when I walk in my door at home.

I have a sage green camel back sofa that I bought eighteen years ago. I still like it. It still looks good to me. I change the pillows on it every few years but essentially I still like it. Every once in a while I imagine cream sofas but the feeling goes away. I am a sofa dreamer. I like couches. I like to think it is because I like to sit on them but really I am attracted to patterns, fabric, colour and sofas are covered in them. This one has managed to last. It has been in four different rooms in the house  and now it greets me as I walk in, a sage green welcome.

So if I tell you sage green is my favorite colour I ‘d have to lie because as much as I like it when I walk in the door, I am attracted to something else when I walk out the door. As a child I could name a favorite colour with certainty. This year it is purple, next year it would be green. Now I am smitten with so many shades I could never choose, not even for a season. I’ll find myself drawn towards certain shades for a while and then all of a sudden I am pulled towards something else. I love the jewels tones they get me excited. I love the neutrals, they soothe me. When it comes to colour I am all over the place.

Every colour is beautiful. I guess for me  there is no deciding anymore. I know I am effected by trends in the market place to some degree but now there is hardly a shade I do not like. I do notice in clothing, or furniture we are really limited by the trends because the colour is dictated by fashion. In knitting and rug hooking you can always source out or dye new colours which is refreshing. There are still colour trends in craft that usually follow the marketplace but there is less of it.

So right now at this very moment if you asked me my favorite colour I might say sage green. If you asked me tomorrow…I am not sure what I would say. Are you the same or do you have a favorite colour?

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belief in the making

 

 

 

I am sitting here by the fire as I write this. I am cozy, just hooked most of the afternoon on my large interior rug. It has a lot of red in it. I have so much wool up there in my house studio, yet I was short on colours. I think my palette has changed a bit because there are certain colours up there that I never go near. I seem to like more intense colours lately. I think I need to clean it out and bring in the new wool for the new year. I have noticed that certain shelves remain untouched, while others are pillaged repeatedly. It seems my reds, corals, and golds are taking a beating. Royal blue is nearly worn out, and strong greens have been severely weakened. I might as well give into it and remove the pales for now and bring in the strongs. These are the colours my hook seems to want.

The rug I am making now holds so much promise, yet experience has shown me that it could be a dud. You just never know. You do your best, choose the best wools, sit with your hook and invest the time. Sometimes you are really happy, sometimes, it’s okay. and sometimes you surprise yourself ands you feel like you cannot believe you made that. That is the hope I guess, that you won’t believe you made it. Today, sitting there, I was just happy to hold the hook in my hands, to be home with the warm fire underneath me. I hook in a room above our wood stove, I did not have a fire under my chair. The afternoon flew by because that hook was at home in my hands.

Earlier today I dropped in the studio to wrap some presents for the orders. While I was there I was able to help a woman pick out the colours for two rugs that she had designed. Her friend who was with her convinced  her to buy a cheticamp frame. I was so happy to see her go off with it because I knew it was going to be so much easier for her to hook those two rugs. I remember when I bought mine, twenty two years ago, and sitting underneath the window in my front room and hooking on it. It felt a bit magical not to be balancing my rug on my knees. It feels good to think some one is going to experience that same thing.k out wool for their projects, proably one of my faro

It is so much fun to help people pick out wool for their projects, probably one of my favorite jobs in the studio. Today we mixed yarn and cloth.  Mixing them gives you so much more opportunity for colour.

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Let’s talk Turkey…we are still wrapping presents to send to you

I still love presents.

I love giving them.

I love receiving them.

Especially little surprises.

This week until December 31 we are wrapping presents to go in all our orders over $50.

We are wrapping two presents for all orders over $100

and we are wrapping three presents for all orders over $200.

I just spent the morning wrapping presents for all the orders that came in yesterday. It is so much fun.

Notice the boots I got for Christmas…New Black Blundstones with red trim.

Keep your eye on the blog , we’ll be having a contest really soon and you can win a pair like these ones I got for Christmas,

Yes…the were a surprise.

So order this week and we’ll include a nice little surprise for you, or maybe two, or three. They’ll be wrapped! They’ll be sweet.

Order online or call us at 1 800 328 7756

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fresh ideas

A fresh take

newness

undiscovered potential

just waiting.

Wonder at what you never knew before

why suddenly an idea comes alive

when once before it would never have turned your head.

It is like you always a child inside and

there is a time and a place for everything your heart imagines.

fresh thoughts, fresh ideas, fresh dreams

there is nothing more beautiful than an idea

 

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Meeting Anita

This weekend I did a craft show, the first one in about fifteen years. i wanted to see how people responded to my kits and rug hooking in general. Megan and I packed her van and headed to Moncton and gave out over 1200 brochures featuring our new knitting shop and my rug hooking studio.
We reminded hundreds of people of their grandmother… Many people said so. It was not that we looked old of course but that we hooked rugs.
One woman brought her grandmother by my booth because at 94 she wanted to hook a rug. Anita, the 94 year old was also working the show. She was an antiques vendor. In my boothshe could not find the pattern that she liked so I said I would draw her what she wanted, which was just a simple rose with some leaves. We agreed to put a smallborder around it. I knew that she was not going to do a pattern that was not exactly what she wanted so I made her exactly what she wanted.
Seeing her there working at 94 is amazing. She was enjoying herself. It is inspirational to watch people like her age. They are curious and keep trying new things.
So one of the highlights of my weekend was making a mat back for Anita.

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Maritime Mary: To those who participated in the Fibre Arts Festival

Whether you are local to our area and took in activities, or if you travelled a short or a long distance, you were part of a wonderfully vibrant week here in Amherst. Our community enjoyed such a productive and inspirational pulse.  So many shared and learned.  All around our border town, on the streets, in stores, in restaurants, at shows and exhibits, you contributed to our festival.  So many came out.

At Deanne’s Studio, we enjoyed the great energy that came with our visitors.  We loved how you exclaimed and let us know that you were delighted to be in Amherst and in our shop. We watched how you carefully selected the right wool colours and textures for your current projects and for those in future plans.  We loved how local people, even those who do not hook, came out to look at rugs and to be part of the experience of the Fibre Arts Festival.

We’ll miss all our visitors!  As the song goes, “Will ye no come back again….?”

 

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Playing in the fleece

Whenever Delia sends us a bale of wool we want to play with it a bit and take a few pictures. How can we not really get our hands in it and carry on. Mostly we take pictures because they are guaranteed to be so gorgeous. Megan , Mary and Elwira all work with me. Elwira (left) cuts the wools for the kits which we are thankful for. Mary(right) retired from teaching a few years ago  and has been working at the studio on Tuesdays for a year. She is aka Maritime Mary and blogs here on Tuesday. Her latest post was about the island. Megan works here everyday, Monday to Friday and does just about everything from updating the websites to filling orders. They were contented to pose for me, I just could not let the opportunity go by. Who would not want to get down and play in all that fleece. IMG_7326 IMG_7327 IMG_7335 IMG_7336

barely spun, burly spun…celebrate them both

Come Celebrate the Grand Opening of the Electric Street Knitting Room

Oh yes  some of you have wondered if I have left hooking for knitting….not a chance.

Instead I am turning knitters into hookers and hookers into knitters. It is our mission at the studio to keep everyones’s hands busy all the time. We have found that most of you do both.

We have also found that yarns for knitting are good for hooking, and yarns for hooking are good for knitting.

We are having a party to celebrate on Saturday and we are having the World’s Best Cinnamon Buns made by Janie Allen of Oatcake Fame. We’ll have a few oatcakes too, how can we not. We’ll also have 15% off all yarns on Saturday including our exclusive Lichen and Lace, hand dyed by Megan, and our Burly Spun, which is one of the best yarns for hooking rugs, or knitting up a quick cowl.

We just also received new shipments of Noro and Lichen and Lace. It is all so lovely, whether you hook or knit it is waiting to be running through your fingers.

Megan and Brenda will be there to answer any knitting puzzles. I’ll be there to pour,my dear, cause I can only knit and hardly purl, but I am passionate about my knitting already.

My hooking is going along pretty sweet too. I have about twelve to fifteen rugs you have never laid eyes on hidden away for my new book. It is a fine time at the studio.

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Who stole Judy’s Sweater?

Vivian came today as she had knit a sample sweater for us that we could use in the studio. Today she brought us an incredible sweater.

There is a little problem though. It fits me perfectly.

Judy, our model, likes it to. In fact Judy needs it more than me, because Judy works here in the studio night and day. She just stands there and looks lovely in her new grey sweater and her cedar leaf shawl.

But I thought to myself, Judy should share.

I took the sweater right off her back, tried it on. It fit me perfectly. Vivian made that sweater for me I think, and actually, I am lending it to Judy.

I like Judy a lot. She is quiet and pretty, unassuming, but as long as we keep the heat on here, she is not going to need that sweater. I on the other hand will be braving the cold.

Judy and I will work it out. We’ll have to share.

Thank You Vivian for your handwork. It is beautiful.

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Keeping the hands busy

I wrote my little heart out today and something lovely came out of that I think. I am preparing gor our big October workshop. Lots done, lots left to do.
We are also working on the Fibre Arts Festival. It looks very good this year. Lots of great planning gone into it.

It was very busy in the studio. Yesterday we had a bus tour from Ontario. We made them a little lunch with help from Fran at the deli. It was very nice to see a big bus parked out ftont. They were all rug hookers and most stayed about an hour and a half in the studio. Lots of tea was poured.

The knitting room brings in lots of new people who live in town to the studio. It is really fun to see who is actually knitting. Lots of knitters in Amherst.

We have started a ten minute knitting or hooking club in the studio. When there is time all of us who eork there will take a break for ten minutes just to do handwork. It is kinda nice to treat ourselves to a few moments. Last night I watched lots of tv and forgot to knit! I was reminded today when I did my ten minutes at work.

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Sunflower

I planted a whole package of sunflowers and only a few came up. today the blossom peeked out at me. it is as tall as my door. It made me happy as I pulled into my drive way. Nothing prettier.

Today was really busy in the studio. I began working on a new design and have it all outlined. We also fixed up the website shop a bit, making sure it was up to date.

This weekend was exciting with Rockabilly Festival in town. We had plenty of good music and there was lots of interesting outfits around town. Polka dots would be the theme I think.

We had a reader request…Rebecca Humphreys was wondering if anyone wanted to call her if you can give her a drive (902-877-6879) she is attending the three day create beauty everyday workshop in October. She is coming ftom Halifax.

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Growing nicely

The knitting room looks so full now compared to when I took this picture just a month ago. We have it well stocked with great yarns for knitting and hooking. It makes the studio feel so big now that we have all those extra rooms. We are getting some great samples knitted up. Today we received a lovely pair of knitted fingerless gloves in Noro.
Megan also knit a leaf shawl and we bought a lace Judy to hang it on.
We are busting at the seams with wool and yarn. I love all the new wool and came home tonight with a shirt and a skein to make a purse.

Today we got a new bale of recycled shirts for rug hooking and we washed the first bale and put them out. We had many many visitors today who really enjoyed spending a long time in the studio looking around. In the middle of it all I took a little break and went to the deli for baked besns and gishcakes. She had made a fresh salsa with green tomatoes and apples. I asked for seconds on the salsa and of course Fran generously delivered it.

The long weekend is starting but I do not have any big plans, just a nice weekend at home. I think I will start it off though with dinner out …

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Notes on a Monday

Yesterday I laid my yarn in this bowl by Ghita Levin. It was do pretty. I am nearly finished one ball of yarn.

Don’t go thinking I am not hooking though. I have had to stop myself from hooking my arm off this week as I was on the last panel of a rug that is about six feet by six feet. I am not posting it here because it is one of the rugs for my next book. I promised myself that I would save these images for the book.

Today I also wrote about 2000 words for my new book. There is so much to write but so hard to do. Writing is hard work. Honestly, it tires you out physically which slways leaves me sort of confused.

We wrapped up the day though with a tea latte. I bought a fancy milk steamer when I went to the city on Friday. At three thirty today, Megan, Norma, Carol who was in to buy wool all sat down for an Earl Grey Latte, also known as a London Fog. We now have a nice line of teas at the studio that I bought mostly because I enjoy tea myself.

So now after a long busy day , I write this little note to review it I suppose, as much for myself, as for you.

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The birthday girl

This mother and daughter duo have a tradition. Each year, carol, Lorna’s mom takes her to a rug hooking shop and buys her whatever she would like for her stash. Carol said, if I just gave her money it would buy food or get lost in the budget. As it is , they get a day out together, a nice memory and her daughter gets a great present. I think this is a really good gift idea.

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Full day

Today started with a beautiful walk and I loved the willow tree I saw up the lane.
I then went out to Breakfast at Brittainys with my sister for eggs benedict with asparagus and swiss. It was nice to just have a sister visit. Though we live five minutes fromeach other we do not do that enough. We have a good new breakfast restaurant in town.

After that on to the Fibre Arts Festival meeting where we did some planning for this years event. The schedule is all up and done. Then Catherine Bussierre came and we did photography for the new book. Yup, I am working on a new one for next fall. I am very excited about it. I cannot show you the pictures here because I am saving them for the book… It will be like the big reveal.
We worked hard today, lugging rugs, taking pictures on the street, and playing with images.
It was a full and lovely day.
Then came home for quick fry steak and fresh vegetables for supper and a long walk with a friend. Now I am enjoying three giggling teenagers in my kitchen, gotta go, do not want to miss anything.

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Ruth, Barbara, and Ginger

So today our visitors were from Tennesee and Georgia. Barbara, Ginger and Ruth came and spent an hour or so looking around the studio. We loved their accents and that warm southern charm. We had fun having a little visit in the knitting room while I hooked.
Someone asked me today if I take a vacation in the summer. I find I love to be in the studio this time of year and cannot bear to miss too many visits. It is exciting to see who is coming in today.

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Free Pattern for Blog Readers

Hi Everyone,  to celebrate the launch of my new Hooking People DVD, a two hour Lesson  I am sending you out a free pattern called Settling Down.

You simply download the 8 by 10″ inch pattern, print it, trace it with wedding tulle or red dot tracer and then lay it upon your backing and trace it again with a sharpie marker .It will seep through and your pattern will be on the backing.If you need wool for the project or want to buy the dvd on hooking people call us at 1-800-328-7756.

CCE30052013_00000Download Settling Down Pattern 8 by 10″

Free to Download

Hooking People DVD has Arrived- Free Shipping

 I am pleased to tell you …..Its here! Hot of the DVD  Press….Two full hours 

How to Hook People Rugs with Deanne Fitzpatrick

Order Now- Free Shipping

 

This two lesson based DVD Deanne Fitzpatrick will teach you everthing you need to know about hooking inspiring people rugs.

Professionally Filmed by Catherine Bussiere it is beautiful, entertaining and rich with story.

It includes lesons on :

Hooking Portraits

Hooking Small People

Hooking People in Groups

Hooking Faces, Hair, Clothing

as well there are lessons on context and the importance of details.

 

 

 

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writing books

What makes you write a book. As I start my new one with just a half a page written, I wonder that myself. Maile, a reader who has been here for a workshop, asked that in the comments to yesterdays’ post. How does the process work?

My first book, Hook Me a Story happened because I was afraid that rug hooking would not been seen as part of the culture of Atlantic Canada. There were many books on rug hooking but none coming from the place where rug hooking had been so prevalent for a hundred and fifty years. That book was really about preserving culture. At the time rug hooking was  a quiet little  craft and I wanted to do my part to bring it closer to the mainstream. So I had a bit of a mission with that book.

It took a long time after that to get the go ahead for a second book. Finally , Rug Hooking Magazine published, The Secrets of Design that is now out of print. In that book I poured out everything I knew about design.

The two books I published since then have been with Nimbus Publishing, a small Atlantic Canadian Publisher. One of them, East coast Rug Hooking was also published by a bigger Publisher in the states for the British and Australian Markets. It was retitled Hooking Mats and Rugs. They did a good job producing the new version of the same book. All together, Nimbus and I have sold 25,000 books about rug hooking since Hook Me a Story was first published. Hopefully this has meant that at least that many people have tried their hand at rug hooking. I am pretty sure that is true.

So what is the process of writing a book. I think first the subject has to matter to you, and you have to believe the book has meaning. For me to write, I pretty much have to have a bit of a mission, a reason for getting the words on to the page, in some form. In my last book “Inspired”, I poured out the artistic side of myself. For some reason, I felt I needed to do this. I do not always know why I want to do something, but I really had a desire to write about the nature of creativity. I think that book, though appealing to rug hookers, was really written for anyone who wanted to make art.

My next book has to do with my desire to see younger women, and men keep hooking rugs. I want to see it emerge as a modern craft or art as well as a traditional one. It is both, undoubtedly.

The how of writing is like the how of making a big hooked rug. You just gotta show up and commit to it. I find writing much harder , mind you , as my comfort for it, and my ease with words does not really compare to my ease with wool. I can do it but it does not feel as easy and natural all the time. Sometimes it flows, sometimes it sputters. I just decide that I am going to do it. For this next book, I will be making the rugs first, or along with the writing. The other thing I value is an editor, who can pare down what I have to say to the essential elements. Sometimes you can use twenty words when only ten are needed. It makes a real book, having a good editor, and each time I wrote a book with Nimbus, they have provided me with that.  Thanks Maile, for asking the question .

I also wanted to tell you a nice thing that just happened to me while I was sitting her writing this post. The light was fading and my brother in law, George, got up out of his chair and walked across the room, which is a big deal for him as he finds it hard to get around, and he turned on the light for me to see better. I am so thankful for such small kindnesses. That was so sweet.

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newsy tuesday

Here I am blurry me, on the phone. Catherine Bussiere who blogs here on Sunday took a bunch of pictures around the studio last week, including these of me. Catherine said to say she was sorry she missed last Sunday because she had no internet access but she will be back. Catherine is taking some time off for a little bit but will continue with her beautiful poetic Sunday posts. I love going to the blog and finding them there.

Today I wrote the first words of a new book. I went off to a cafe and though I was distracted by the conversations around me I managed to get half a page written. It comes out slower than you might imagine, but still it comes. You might not see me posting too many new rugs for a while because  most of what I am doing is for this new book so I want them to arrive fresh on the page. It will be a while yet, perhaps 2014 in the fall, I hope.

In the meantime there is the new book that Sherree Fitch and I have coming out next fall together. The rugs for this are also a surprise and have been seen by very few people.

So today after we did out At the Kitchen Table interview for CFTA where I volunteer, I headed over to Sackville and had lunch at the Bridge Street Cafe. I had planned to work and dine alone but while there I ran into Adrinna, who runs an etsy shop called Plum and Posy and had given me an etsy lesson, so I joined her and her husband for lunch and had a nice chat. I also dropped into the Fog Forest Art Gallery to see the end of year show, and headed off for a decaf latte at the Black Duck. It was a whirlwind tour of Sackville and it was at the Black Duck that I started writing. It just began with a sentence…that sounds so easy.

Then I dropped in on a friend to see her rugs and check out her wool stash.

Right now I am excited about the rugs I am making. As a matter of fact I had to choose between writing this blog tonight and hooking on my rug as the last of the evening light was fading. The blog won, promises to keep. Thanks for reading, as long as you do I ‘ll keep writing. I am though thinking of trading in  Dear Diary, because it does not feel quite right anymore. When I first started writing the blog , it felt as if no one was reading but now I know you are and Dear Diary just is starting to feel a little inauthentic. So for now, or at least for tonight, but I think for longer, Dear Diary is gettin’ the boot. If this is a place where I tell the truth, then, the truth is, I know I am not writing in my diary.You might also notice I changed the look of the blog a little, letting you see all the weeks posts, and moving my favorites over to a little column on the side. I decided that I wanted the blog to be a little less crowded and to flow a little more. I hope you find it makes it easier to read through a weeks worth of posts.I also moved the categories up a bit so you could see them .

So I spent very little time in the downtown studio today as from there I came home and cooked Shepard’s Pie because my husband was returning home from a trip and I wanted a good homemade meal. Nothin’ fancy clearly, but tasty.  Mashed potatoes, cream corn, and ground beef, if that don’t make you feel at home , what will? Once I was home for a bit, my daughter arrived with three friends, then two more followed. It was just after track practice for them and they ate everything that wasn’t tied down which is fine by me. I love to see them coming. I want this to be that kind of house.

So that’s the news from my corner of the world. I hope yours is happy and peaceful, I really mean that.

 

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really cool….playing with words

Dear Diary, Just a playful image made of words. This is what happens when you play with photographs and aps. What is there to say here other than, somethings are purely just for fun. Somethings are just really cool.

Please read the little post below this one too and respond to us. Megan, our new person at the studio is helping me create a series of amazing workshops over the next eighteen months and we need to hear from you. IMG_1843 IMG_1844 IMG_1842

Welcome Megan

Dear Diary, in the quiet months of winter a woman in a red wool coat would appear in my studio occassionally. In retrospect, she was a bit of a vision. When you live in a small place you do not see many new faces in January. My interest was piqued. It turns out she just moved near by.

In february we decided to start our weekly hook in and Megan the woman in the red coat started coming. In her Thursday visits she was was working on her second rug, and she would sit quietly away hooking. Sometimes you just get a good feeling from some one.

We were not really planning on hiring anyone but it just felt like Megan landed here, and kinda belonged with us. She ran a knitting store in Toronto for years and had just moved here and wanted some part time work.

I have been thinking about knitting supplies here. We have added some felting supplies. I have also been wanting to see young women hook and Megan is young and fresh, not like a loaf of bread, more like a sea air…we have all enjoyed her company as well as her knowledge.

As soon as she came she started dying wool, jumping in to help customers, and she knows her stuff. When I ask her what she thinks , she tells you and she has good ideas. She just feels like she belongs here. She makes us a little better for being here.

Welcome Megan….

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