Saturday, November 24, 2012


During Thanksgiving holiday, we are on the road to attend the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Show.  Since everything was closed Thursday and we were away from home, we took in the walking trail at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

This great whirligig called "Wind Machine" by Vollis Simpson spins round and round.  It contains old fans, a small airplane, and other items related to wind.

Loved the way these three rings looked together.  You can see how large they are as the museum building is in the background.  It is called "Gyre" and is by Thomas Sayre.  It is almost as if it were one big spiral going underground to the next ring.

There used to be an old prison building next to the museum which was taken down.  This piece was created from some of the bricks from the building.  It is by Martha Jackson-Jarvis and is called "Crossroads/Thicket I".  

A close-up of the above artwork.  Here you can see the mosaic pieces between brick sections.

This is the great pathway you get to follow on the trail.  The artist is Steed Taylor and he calls the piece "Invasive".  Really reminds me of William Morris designs which flow so nicely.

Here I am sitting on a "Whisper Bench".  There is another bench across the path from this one.  You whisper through the horn shape seen directly to the side of me and the person sitting on the opposite bench can hear you loud and clear.  Great fun!  Created by Jim Gallucci.

There is a pinhole camera in the roof of the "Cloud Chamber" through which you can see the sky projected on the floor of the chamber.  I could not help but think of hobbits when I saw this.

This was an amazing piece by Chakaia Booker.  From a distance it looks like charred logs and then....

you take a closer look and see it is actually made up of tire treads.  Amazing! 

A tree made up of steel.  Love the craggy branches!

All good things must come to an end so we closed our walk with the Rodin Garden.  There are beautiful sculptures surrounding a reflecting pool.  A very calm area to sit, relax and think up new ideas for artwork.

Though this was not the traditional Thanksgiving for us, we had a wonderful time exploring the many talents of artists who contributed to the beauty of the museum walking trail.  If you are ever in the Raleigh, NC area it would make a wonderful outing.  Enjoy all the art that surrounds you and have a great day.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Since I've been working hard getting ready for the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Show in Raleigh over Thanksgiving weekend, I decided to take a few breaks this week.  In addition to a town revitalization meeting and a visit from my aunt and uncle, I received an invitation from friends Laurey Masterton and Alicia Keshishian.  Alicia was in town giving a presentation on her rugs at Laurey's restaurant in Asheville. 

Those who know me know if rugs are around, I want to be there.  For those who could not attend, here are some photos of a wonderful evening.

 When I saw this rug hanging up, I recognized it right away.  It is gorgeous and was purchased by Laurey when Alicia had it on display in the Penland Gallery in Penland, N.C.  You can see the depth it has when light hits it.

 The two samples above have beautiful shades of red in them with one minimalistic and one full of color. 

A closer look at one of the samples in the previous photo.  Alicia is a color expert and it shows in the way she puts various hues together.  This design makes me want to dance.

This piece, draped over a tabletop, garnered plenty of attention.  It was woven using bamboo silk giving it a luxurious feel both visually and to the touch.  Very rich looking.  Yum!

Samples with a touch of silk to add sheen.  I feel a great sense of movement in the left piece and a sense of peacefulness in the right sample.  A great example of how important design is and how rugs can bring a certain feeling to the room they are in.

  A closer look at one of the above rug samples.  I love the calming background color with the wicked bright line through it.

Those who attended had the opportunity to learn about the dyeing and weaving process during a slide show presentation.

A table with articles about Alicia and her rugs.  Color, color, color!

More socializing after the presentation. 

Alicia discussing rugs with one of many interested attendees.

A few of the many great treats Laurey had out for us.  Needless to say, I had to have more than one! 

Look out for events happening in your area and have a great day. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Time seems to be going by fast and it is only a week and a half until the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Show in Raleigh, N.C.  There will be clay, jewelry, metal, wood and, of course, fiber artists displaying their new work.  I am now in the process of finishing up some pieces and reconfiguring my usual booth set-up as I will have a corner booth this year.  Here is the weekly run-down of preparation so far:

"Not Like the Others" was hooked a while ago, but I could not quite put my finger on why I was not happy with it.  I finally replaced the outline on the three similar figures with a darker textured gold and it made all the difference in the world.  I love this piece now.  The gold wood backing and frame make a  great finish.  I also attached two lock plates on the sides of the work.

"Deception of Beauty" received a whipped edge this week.  During the work process, I often hook multiple pieces at a time and then whip the edges on them later.

The new shelving for my ProPanel booth set-up arrived this past week.  These were needed to display the rock rugs and table rugs made for the show.  I have been using ProPanels for a while now and love them.  They are easy to set up and give a professional look to a display.  This past year they have offered new products to their line such as lighting and adjustable stiffeners for holding the top of the panels together.

Here is the process of setting up.  I am doing the set-up down in the rec room of the house so when I arrive at the show I will know exactly where everything goes and set-up there will be easier.  One of the four new shelves is attached.  The shelves have to be attached before the walls are put together.  (I learned this the hard way!) The ladder is necessary as I have the eight foot walls.

All the walls and lighting are up now.  The area on the right side will be partially open (only two wall sections up) as it will face an aisle way and I want open space for people to view the booth from.

A view of how the new shelving looks with work displayed.  

I still have some work to do, but this is where I ended this week.  The open area in the back will have a curtain over it and will be used to place items needed during the show such as receipt books, tool box, extra lights, etc.  The new configuration seems to be working well and is probably the one I will use for the show.  The convenience of Propanels lets you change things around quite easily so you can play with the design before shows. 

This seems to be a busy time of year for everyone.  I have been trying to take a break once in a while and usually read a magazine related to art or decor during that time.  Make sure to give yourself the breaks you deserve and have a great day.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Festive Table Rug with metal, 10" X 12 1/2", Lori LaBerge, 2012

I am guessing I was in a festive mood when this rug was hooked as it really reminds me of a party or Mardi Gras with streamers and confetti falling down upon the crowds.  A better photo will be taken later. The current cold air and strong winds had me taking a quick picture outside and heading in for a cup of hot tea.  While sipping on tea, I managed to finish updating the website with the new logo and a new section of contemporary floor rug designs.

The time of year has come when I am finishing up most hooked pieces and getting ready for the Carolina Designer Craftsmen show which takes place Thanksgiving weekend.  Unless time permits, the table rug above will most likely be the last hooked piece that will be ready for the show.

"Rocks and Rugs:  When Opposing Textures Meet"  in Rug Hooking Magazine.

Rug Hooking Magazine's November/December issue arrived in the mailbox yesterday and I had a chance to see my article on rock rugs in print. The article has information on how the rock rugs came about, their relationship to my hometown, and the creative thought process.  I had a wonderful time writing it and in the future would like to do more to encourage others to experiment with the art of rug hooking. Thank you to Debra Smith, Kathryn Fulton and the rest of the staff at the magazine who made this such a pleasant experience.

November/December 2012 issue

I would encourage those interested in rug hooking to subscribe to the magazine.  It has articles for beginners as well as those more experienced.  The magazine has information for use by both traditional and contemporary artists as well as dye info.

Writing about your work can clarify why you are doing it and where you want to go with it. Take some time to think about all those wonderful pieces you've created and where they are leading you.  Would you like to do a series of works or possibly experiment with new styles?  Send a message to viewers or just create something beautiful?  There are so many directions.  Whichever you choose, enjoy the ride and have a great day.