Saturday, June 29, 2013


I recently participated in the" International Tapestry Project: Fate, Destiny and Self-Determination".  This collaborative project is headed by Line Dufour, a tapestry weaver residing in Canada.  The project has three sections.  Line herself will be weaving a tapestry, a tapestry will be worked on by various individuals, and various shapes will be woven by individuals to be put into a larger installation piece.  

The project brings together a variety of fiber artists who will contribute to the installation work.  What a wonderful way to bring people together.  Below is the shape I worked on.

Created for Fate, Destiny and Self-Determination Tapestry Project,  Lori LaBerge  2013

The instructions for this piece were to work only in pure hues from the color wheel. There were also measurements included.  There is a Facebook page here where you can see other creations for this project.    

Once again, my husband and I are headed up to Vermont for a couple of weeks.   I am notorious for taking roadside photos everywhere we travel, even on local trips. There are always some memorable sights.

Humpty Dumpty was spotted in Colchester, Vermont.  It was created by my husband's cousin, Ann LaBerge.  She is an amazing artist working in a variety of materials.  We had a wonderful time talking about art when she visited us in North Carolina and I am hoping to have time to stop by and see her Vermont studio.

A dog made of hay bales lounging on the side of a long stretch of road. Such fun!

Further down the road, a companion for the first dog.  He looks a little worried. Perhaps he did something he shouldn't have.

I love architecture and upper section of this old barn has an interesting roof line with a slight outward curve at the bottom edge.

How often do you see a turquoise barn?  Love it and going to hook it soon.

Graffiti on an abandoned building.  Hooked graffiti would be great.

A cow made of moss greets visitors to the Stowe Craft Gallery in Stowe, Vermont.

Creativity is everywhere!  Take a ride, enjoy the sights along the way and have a great day.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


"Rural/Urban Compatibility"  9 3/4"  X  21 1/2",  Lori LaBerge  2013

We have always lived just outside of a city.  In Vermont, we were near Burlington; in Cary near Raleigh; and in Spruce Pine near Asheville.  I love both the quiet and beauty of the countryside and the vibrancy and activity of the city.  This piece melds the two.

The city section was hooked and whipped separately and placed on top of the gray background creating depth.  It is the best of both worlds.  The piece will be attached to an art board and placed in a floater frame.

My journal work tends to be moving more and more toward small side projects.  An urge came upon me this week to work in yarn. What colors to use?  During the week I saw blue, green, gold and white ... 

in a vintage serape I had found in my parent's basement.

in my son's closet.

on the bookshelf.

and, yes, even in the shower.

After the above photos were pasted into my journal, I decided to attempt weaving again, leading to this:

striped weaving, Lori LaBerge 2013

I love the texture in the white yarn.  It might be fun to hook with some of the wild, novelty yarns that are out there.  I tend to pick up thick yarns for hooking, but have not hooked as often as I would like to with eyelash or similar yarns.  I also would like to hook around a woven piece, thus combining the two.

Speaking of yarn, I was told by a friend of Melina White that she now has New Zealand yarns for sale at Seal Harbor Rug Company located in Manchester Center, Vermont.  There is a beautiful color selection on the site.  Makes me want to take out the old rug punch.  The company also offers hooked rug cleaning and repair, which is getting harder and harder to find.  Since I was born and raised in Vermont, I may just have to order some yarn to support Vermont business.

And look what I found at the newsstand after making the weaving:

Blue, green, white and gold.  I guess I am up to date on my colors.  Elle Decor is a great magazine for both color and decor ideas.  Love their modern angle.

Become aware of the colors in your surroundings, use them in other aspects of your life (art, clothing, dishes, decor, etc.) and have a great day.


We now have doors!

and a weather vane on the roof of the studio porch.  Yes, that is a turkey up there as our home is called Wild Turkey Lodge.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


I have been keeping an art journal and working on related side projects since January. With six months of work in the journal, I decided it was time to start referring back to it.  Flipping through the pages, I stopped at the section where I had written down words referring to roads (the subject of this years series of work). These were some of the words that had been written:

pavement     lines          lanes     curves      intersection     dirt          cobblestone 
shoulders     signs          GPS       scenery    winding          speed     street lights     
city               country       blocks    grids         one-way        route       highway          
rest stop      direction      map       traffic        cars              byways    trip                 
travel           street          exit         tolls          parking          parkway  viaduct           
rural            distance      merge    passage   interstate       urban      dead end
lights           skid marks  circle

Looking through these words led to this design:
as yet untitled, Lori LaBerge  2013

The process:

1.  The words city, country, urban and rural piqued my interest in the above grouping.  The urban city and rural country are opposites, yet I love the aspects of each of them and thought it would be interesting to combine them in one piece.

2.   I looked at photos of roadways:

One of many winding, hilly roads in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.  This is a view from Mt. Mitchell.

The streets of Boston viewed from the top of the Prudential building.  Roads form blocks for ease of transportation.
It is easy to distinguish the center city block in Edinburgh, Scotland.  The buildings, as in the Boston photo, are situated inside the rectangular road layout.  This photo was taken from Edinburgh Castle, which overlooks the city.

3.  The decision was made to create the city block of the rug hooked piece in rectangular block form.  Since the country and city sections are opposites, I did not want them both flat on the piece.  The city block section will be layered on top of the country road section when it is completed.

4.  The small dot was added as a "you are here" representation, commonly seen on maps.  The larger dots will even this out and the stripes are meant to be larger sections of road.

5.  Color was decided upon using freehand Photoshop Elements:

as yet untitled, color plan, Lori LaBerge  2013

It took me a while to learn, but I truly love Photoshop.  This step could also be done using colored pencils, marker or paints (which I still do quite frequently).  Photoshop allows the convenience of being able to quickly change colors for viewing, while hands-on just has a special feel to it you don't get from a computer.

6.  Wool was dyed or found in studio stash:

7.  Hooking was completed and whipping started on the city block section:

The roads were done in white while there is a faint grid done in light blue in the background as is used for reference on maps.  The rest of the piece will be hooked this coming week.

Rug Hooking Magazine has an article on hooking maps in the June/July/August 2013 issue.

Start a journal, go back to it every once and a while for ideas, design a new piece and have a great day. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013


"Through the Cherry Blossoms", 18" X 60",  Lori LaBerge, 2013

The hooking on the above piece was finally completed on Thursday.  The dark line on top makes a huge difference and holds the piece together nicely by balancing top and bottom.  You can see this if you put your finger over the top black line, view the piece, then remove your finger and view it again.  

A decision was made not to add any metal parts as I felt they would distract from more than enhance the piece.  It stands well on its own and makes a beautiful wall hanging.  It still needs to be whipped on the edges.  I am tempted to work on this design in various colors as a grouping of these would work quite well.

   Sample of the design in various colors hanging together.

Quite a bit of work was done on the studio construction this week and when I went to check on it, I found this in one of the corners:

Since I am in recycle mode lately, I grabbed a few pieces and came up with this:

"Roadhouse"  Lori LaBerge  2013

I painted the piece of wood black and hooked a random road design with #8 leftover strips of wool cut in half to #4, attached a metal plate and added a chimney.  It will be part of a grouping using the pieces of wood seen below.

Group of wood "roadhouses" with one down and three to go.

These will be done in my spare time as I have a few larger designs I am anxious to get started on for the road series.

Find a recycle item to make a design or an actual piece with, stretch yourself to work with various shapes and have a great day.


Well, this is more like it.  It's starting to look like something.  View looking in from studio entry.  The area under far window will be the dye kitchen and the small framed area to the left will be the bathroom.

Looking from dye kitchen side toward front entry.

Looking down storage area toward workshop (same size as studio) on far side.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


"Through the Cherry Blossoms" in progress,  Lori LaBerge, 2013

With the Monday holiday, it was certainly a short week.  I did manage to do some more work on the above piece.  Hooking should be completed this coming week with whipping of the edges started.  There will be a narrow dark stripe across the top of the piece to balance the dark wool on the bottom.

I am really enjoying the journal projects I started this year.  I am learning more about myself and art by leaving my comfort zone for some of these exercises.  

While in Vermont a couple of weeks ago, I helped my Dad clean out the house while Mom was in rehab recovering from a hip replacement.  So many memories came back as I cleaned out old trunks in the basement, drawers in various rooms and chests in bedrooms.  As I found some of my mother's items, the idea for a journal project germinated.  Here's how that project went this week:

I gathered a few of my Mom's items which she and Dad let me have.  A shoe from her wedding day, a glove, a beautiful piece of lace, a pin which opens (I plan to find a photo of Mom taken around her wedding date to place in it), and a baby blue slip.

 Wool and upholstery fabric were taken from the studio shelves for the project.

Various yarns were removed from their storage areas as a textural element.

I started a random design on monk's cloth.  A floral design began to emerge.  I wanted something feminine and something free form.

The design process continued to create a sense of balance.

The design finally reached a point where I was ready to begin the hooking process. This was a rough design to give me an idea of where I was going with the project. Things always change as I hook.

The pink area was hooked specifically as a place for the wedding shoe to sit.  When hooking a piece for items to sit on, the size and placement of those items have to be taken into account.  I cut strips from the lace and slip and hooked these into the piece.  Beads from the gloves will be stitched onto the final work.

The hooking, still on its frame, is completed.  A feminine look is different for me as I tend to veer toward geometrics and more masculine work.  I enjoyed the change.

"Rita", edging not yet completed, Lori LaBerge  2013

A rough photo with edges still unfinished.  You can see some of the lace that was hooked with ends left uncut.  This is the most personal piece I have done.  I plan to find a great spot in the house for it so that every time I walk by it I will be reminded of that wonderful woman I know as Mom.

Find some memorabilia from your family, create a work of art to celebrate someone special and have a great day!


This week more framing and the roof were added to the porch entry.