I have returned from vacation and a visit to Sauder Village Rug Exhibit where I was honored to be inducted into the first class of the Celebration Hall of Fame. Here a a couple of pictures of the event which I was able to share with my sister.
I was so surprised when my Rug Hooking magazine came in the mail today. I had no idea that my rug Satu has won a Reader's Choice Award for the Celebration of Hand Hooked Rugs contest, and that Satu is featured on the cover! What a happy surprise.
The magazine is wonderful, featuring children and youth rug hooking. The article I sent in about Alexander is published along with a number of other inspiring pieces about children creating their own wonderful rugs. It looks like rug hooking is alive and well in the next generation!
Had a great trip to Sauder Village this year. Here are some photo highlights.
Satu 2014. 36" by 48". Designed, dyed and hooked by April D. DeConick. Exhibited in originals category.
Mary Magdalene 2013. 30" by 40". Designed, dyed and hooked by April D. DeConick. Exhibited in the Celebration special exhibit.
Nine series 2012-2013. 30" by 30". Designed, dyed and hooked by April D. DeConick. Exhibited in special Rug Hooking Magazine exhibit.
Maggie 2014. 12" by 12". Hooked by Alexander DeGreiner.
I was honored to be awarded the blue ribbon for the invitational dye challenge for my eggplant gradation and sparkle wools.
I have hooked another 15 hours into my big mat of Satu the tiger from the Houston Zoo. I am almost halfway finished. I have done very little reverse hooking on this piece. It looks small in these pictures, but it is huge, 36" by 40".
I wasn't sure that I would like the amount of green and pink that I am adding alongside the oranges and maroons. But I think the combination is stunning. I am looking forward to moving down into the neck area and adding the cooler tones to balance the piece.
News on the website...you might notice that it looks different. I have completely recreated the Red Jack Rugs website and have a subscribe button to the right in the sidebar. If you want to receive my new posts via email, sign up and they will be sent to you automatically.
I have 25 more hours to log in on Satu, the tiger at the Houston Zoo. This means I have a total of 69 hours into the project at this time.
I have really only been able to work on this piece on the weekends, and then only a few hours here and there. I hope once summer hits, I will be able to sit down and get him completed.
One of the troubles is that I have run out of my dark wools, so I need to spend a couple of days dyeing. I have found this to be the case with most of my projects. I run out of my darkest darks before any other value. I assume that this means that we need a majority of dark to pop out the occasional light and anchor the medium values.
There is nothing to report in terms of new things I have learned yet. I did find that I was using too dull of colors in the oranges on the top of the head, so I had to go back in with some brighter orange wools here and there. That seems to have fixed the problem.
I have been hooking the Satu piece mainly on the weekends when I have a bit more time. I have counted up another 9 1/2 hours which is putting the overall time into the rug at 44 hours now. I am finding that color coding the value zones is helping immensely. Why didn't I think of this earlier? I am never lost in my pattern as I have been so many times before when hooking previous large rugs. I have done very little reverse hooking at this point in the project. I think I just need to get more of Satu hooked before I know what, if anything, I want to alter. Whether a color or value is wrong will depend on the overall piece. It is just too big, and I have hooked too little to know yet.
This week I was able to work on Satu in three sittings, about 3 hours each. I am trying to get his eyes finished and across the bridge of his face. I want to see the color and make sure it is what I want before getting too far in. The only stumbling point is that today when I worked on the right eye, I mistakenly had a piece of the backing folded in the back, so I hooked the entire eye through two pieces of linen. Real bummer. I had to take out the eye and do it again, so that took an extra hour. Total time so far: 34 1/2 hours.
On Friday, I spent 7 hours at the Stash Sisters Hook In, Hankamer, Texas. I made good progress on Satu, hooking a large portion of his left eye. I need to make some minor adjustments, including adding a purple wool to my mix. But for now, here is my progress.
Yesterday I spent the day (12 hours) dyeing wool for Satu and then cutting strips and organizing my colors. My color plan is to go grey and green for my cooler colors and golden orange and maroon for my warmer colors.
Cool colors: 115 Milk Weed; 150 Gray Lichen; 123 Shades of Dusk; 106 Moorland Moss; 158 Will 'O Wisp
Warm colors: 104 Somerset Sunset; 157 Sunkissed Gold; 121 Toadstool; 124 Rose of Sharon
Today I transferred the pattern on to my linen backing. Because of the size, this took another 2 1/2 hours. I also color coded the transfer so that it will be easier for me to find my place on my visual. The pen colors are coded to the value zones. Between the lines and the zones, I should not get lost as often!
Total time on the project so far: 18 1/2 hours.
I am recording another 2 hours into my project. This time reflects what it took me to put my sticky grid onto my visual and trace Satu onto it. For my grid, I use FibaTape which is a sticky grid that drywallers use to patch holes in walls. If you want to check it out for yourself, here is a LINK to purchase a roll from Amazon.
To use it, I unroll what I need, lay my visual face down on the sticky side of it, and then trace my pattern onto the grid. When I am done, I remove the visual from the grid and stick the grid to my linen foundation. I am ready to trace through it. It is so much better to use than screening because you can see through it easily, and it is so much better to use than red dot fabric because you don't have to worry about tearing it with your pen or deal with it slipping around.
Because I am dealing with such a BIG image, I decided to try to use different color pens to mark the different value zones when I traced. I have found that it is sometimes very hard to keep track of where I am when I am hooking when all I see is lines and more lines. I am hoping that the color pens will help me keep track of where I am on the map.
I used black for dark zones, red for light zones, and blue for medium zones.
TOTAL TIME LOGGED: 4 hours