Sunday, September 30, 2012


Table rugs, 10 X 13, Lori LaBerge  2012

This week saw the completion of two more table rugs.  For these two, vertical stripes were added on the lower section for a slight change of design.  I tend to veer toward painting the metal parts in a shade of gold, but it just did not fit with the green rug, so I switched over to silver.

Wingnuts stitched to hooking

Coupling nuts (I'm learning all kinds of hardware terms!) stitched to hooking.

While shopping this week, I came across a great book on color. "Can't Fail Color Schemes" by Amy Wax.  The link is to Amazon which has it through third party sellers. Barnes and Nobles has the book available new here.

The book has sections on color meaning and perception, how light affects color and great photos of rooms decorated with various color schemes.

There is an explanation of why each color is used in the room in combination with the other colors. Though the book is on color in interior design, there is no reason why these color combinations could not be used in artwork.

Kami LaBerge, my daughter, will be guest blogging from Los Angeles the next couple of weeks, as my husband and I have set up house sitters and pet sitters and are headed off to Scotland to celebrate our 29th anniversary.   Next week, she will be writing on the colors of Southern California.  She has a bachelor's degree in Art History and a master's degree in Library Science.

I am busy making lists of galleries and woolen mills along with the castles and pubs we plan to visit, so there should be plenty to report on when I get back.  Think back to the wonderful vacations you've had or those in your future and have a great day.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Yellow table rug, 10" X 13" linen, wool, metal, Lori LaBerge  2012

This week has been a wonderful combination of dyeing, hooking, whipping edges, stitching metal to fiber and designing.   I love the table rugs.   They are wonderful for displaying pottery and look great on coffee tables, sofa tables and chests.  The rugs will be available for purchase at the Carolina Designer Craftsmen show in November.

Full view

The whipped edges were finally finished this week.   After the edges were finished, the various hardware parts purchased last week were poured onto the studio table.   Decisions were made as to which metal parts would go on which rug, then the parts were scraped and painted according to what was needed for the design.

Red table rug, linen, wool metal,10" X 13", Lori LaBerge 2012

Full view

I also purchased some art this week.  My husband and I took a ride toward Banner Elk, passed a little gallery and had to turn around to go take a peek inside.   I'm so glad we did as we had the chance to meet Sally Nooney.  The gallery was full of her paintings, fused glass and jewelry. She was a delight to visit with and we talked about art, painting, glass and rug hooking for at least an hour.

Now at home on an entry wall, fused glass, "The Forest" by Sally Nooney

I love exploring back roads and finding little gems like Sally's gallery. Enjoy a weekend ride near your home, explore new places for art and have a great day.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Table rugs in progress.  Lori LaBerge  2012  Hooking, whipping edges and embellishing the rugs still need to be completed.

This week I started work on a series of table rugs which will measure approximately 9" X 12" each.  They would also look wonderful framed if one wishes.  The rugs will be created in a variety of colors and based on the same design.   I also had the chance to do some dyeing this week:

Colors dyed for use on future table rugs.  

The table rugs will be embellished with metal so a trip to the hardware store was in order to search for items to add to the rugs.  When not at home, a good place to find me is in the hardware or electrical section of Lowe's, Home Depot or the local Trustworthy hardware store.  I love those places!

Items waiting to be scraped, cleaned, painted or used as is in work.

I had received an e-mail from the editor of Rug Hooking magazine, Debra Smith, a while back asking for permission to place my book in their "Good Reads" section.

It is in the September/October issue and they did a wonderful write-up on it. Information on ordering the book can be found here.  As I was going through the issue, an article I really enjoyed  was one by Diane Krys.  She combines knitting and rug hooking in a wonderful way and I can't wait to see more of her work.  

Think about how you can create different combinations in whatever your work, hobby or project may be and have a great day.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


"Deception of Beauty", 18 1/2"  X  34 3/4",  Lori LaBerge  2012

"Deception of Beauty" has finished the hooking and embellishing stage and is ready for edging and hanging work.  It's funny how projects change as you work on them. My original plan was to have wires protrude through the center of the piece, but as the work progressed I found myself acquiring various objects found throughout the house.  Some old washers, leftover strands of whipping yarn, and part of an old chain were positioned on the hooked work.  It seemed like with these items in hand, the piece basically finished itself.

Close-up, "Deception of Beauty"  Lori LaBerge 2012

The piece works on the premise that beauty can be deceiving.  The old items used were painted and otherwise improved upon, creating a sense of the new.  The viewer does not see the original appearance of the items or what lies behind the "make-up".  He or she has to determine where the deception comes in.

On another note, the middle of the week held a surprise.   I received notice that the rug my husband and I had commissioned from Alicia Keshishian had arrived.  Not only was the rug done, but Alicia was in town and delivered it herself!

Photo provided by Alicia Keshishian of weavers working on our rug.

Alicia drove over to the house with Laurey Masterton, who was in Alicia's color class at Penland with me.   Laurey runs a restaurant in Asheville, NC.  She is also working on a cookbook with recipes revolving around honey.  Keep an eye out for it on her website.

My husband Pete, myself, and Alicia.  We were excited as the rug was rolled out.  The colors were perfect and the design adds a terrific sense of style to the room.

The rug on its own.  Just beautiful.  The target in the lower left corner is for my husband, who is a competitive shooter and was captain of the U.S. Highpower Rifle Team for seven years and Individual National Champion in 1991.

As the first part of this week's blog was about reuse, I can't sign off without mentioning the Surplus section of Alicia's website.  It is here that she makes use of excess yarns by creating smaller rugs.  

Find some items in your home that are normally put to waste, think about how you may be able to put them to use and have a great day.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


It's back to the familiar after two weeks of weaving.  While I am planning to continue weaving in my spare time and work on ways to combine it with rug hooking, it felt good to work out a new design, throw wool in the dyepot, cut strips, and hook away.

"Deception of Beauty" in progress  Lori LaBerge  2012

The design above is a continuation of the idea I worked with in weaving class.  This theme will carry through in a new grouping of wall hangings and table rugs.  They will be hooked in an 8-cut, which will be new for me as I usually work in 6 and 4-cuts. The plan to somehow incorporate metal or hardware with these is in the back of my mind.  I will see if or how that develops as hooking continues.  It is fun just working on this as I go along, not feeling I have to stick hard and fast to my original plan.

Close-up of "Deception of Beauty" in progress   Lori LaBerge   2012

The table rugs will be based on sections of the larger pieces, though they may vary in color. I can envision the above close-up holding its own (perhaps reversed) as a beautiful compliment to the right piece of contemporary pottery.

Try working in a grouping or series, look at your previous work, see where your ideas take you and have a great day.