Saturday, January 25, 2014


"Blue Collar"  18 1/2 X 21 3/4,  Lori LaBerge  2013

"Blue Collar" is almost completed.  I still need to purchase the correct size D-rings to place on back for hanging and I want to find screws to attach the washers to the top rather than gluing them.  This week I painted the chain, put another coat of gel medium on the collage section and attached the pulley to the collaged wood.

To put the hole in the wood to attach the pulley required learning how to use a drill press. It looks a bit intimidating, but actually worked great.  This allows for a straighter hole through the 1 1/2 inch thick wood than a regular drill would create. You can see this was brought indoors.  Way too cold to work out in the shed.

The hooking on "White Collar" also continued:

"White Collar"  Lori LaBerge  2013

Though the original plan had a slight inclusion of design down the middle, I decided it was not needed as the tie which will hang down the center ended up being wider than I thought and would just obstruct any hooking.  When completed, this will be the same size as the "Blue Collar" piece.

With all the activity around home lately, I have decided to take this weekend to myself and experiment, create new designs, work plein air and do some drawing.  No phone, no computers, no interruptions.  

Plan to take a weekend for yourself and have a great day.


We installed the vent over the oven area along with cabinets.  Things were going smoothly until we realized the heating guys had moved the hole for the vent for some reason.  This means the oven will not be centered directly over the vent.  This type of problem requires wine and chocolate which leads to the realization that since this is a studio and not a home, there should be no problem.

Lighting was installed over the sink area in the bathroom.

The walls in the storage area were painted.

Facing the chaos as the old studio was dismantled.  This all needs to be moved.

Things get worse before they get better as a corner of the new studio serves to hold moved items.

A bookcase and some shelving (there never seems to be enough) starting to look like some kind of order occurring.  The oven and washer/dryer are in the far boxes on the right.  I am still looking for a table and decided to use an old folding one until I find what I like.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Rug Hooking Magazine includes a section on new books called "Good Reads".  This is always the first page I turn to.  This month they featured a book on hooked rugs and the Modern Art movement.  This is the kind of thing that excites me and I ordered it immediately.  Last week, when I ordered, the price was $89 through Amazon and is for some reason now up to $99.  I am currently about a quarter way through the book.

Cynthia Fowler has done an excellent job covering the modernist view of how hooked rugs fit into history.  She covers the history of businesses which promoted modern rugs designed by artists, how the businesses were run and promoted and and why they failed. I love the ton of references that are included so I can look up more articles and books on the subject.

It brings into question, what is art? what is craft? what is decorative art vs. fine art? are they really that different, can they be merged successfully?, etc.  I like the idea of artists working in different media which led to Modern artists designing hooked rugs.  Everything an artist does he or she learns from and develops new ideas from. 

This book informs the reader of a specific period of rug hooking history, leaving one wanting to build upon the ideas some of those involved in the modernist movement had about promoting the artistic merit of hooked rugs.  

"White Collar" in progress, Lori LaBerge  2014

Hooking continued this week as I dug out three different whites for the background of the mixed-media work "White Collar".  There is white and natural wool fabric along with a bright white yarn.  The yarn adds a glow that wool cloth just does not provide unless richly or deeply dyed.  The background is being hooked in a random pattern.

Relax with a great rug hooking book, enjoy your projects and have a great day. 


The studio continues to move along.  

This week my brother-in-law visited and did a wonderful job helping out.  Window trim was installed and the first coat of paint was applied to it.

A board was cut and placed along a 4 1/2" ledge on two walls.  It will be coated with polyurethane on a warmer day or when the heating is turned on, whichever comes first.

Here, the doors to the workshop are installed.  A second set of double doors and three single doors were also installed.

Cabinets are waiting to be placed over the oven. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014


This week was filled with variety.  We've had  company coming and going regularly since the holidays.  It seems to be a time of travel for many.  In addition to visiting, I have two hooking projects going plus I am working on the new studio.

I tore up accounting paperwork with names of blue collar jobs written on it to collage a 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 piece of wood.  This will be used as a header for "Blue Collar".  The collage work is purposefully imperfect as I tend to think of blue collar jobs as gritty and messy. These are the physical jobs which don't always receive the respect they deserve.  Who do we turn to when the electricity is out, our refrigerators break down or we have a water leak?  These are the people who keep our daily lives moving along smoothly.

Velcro was added to the top of the hooking on "Blue Collar" to be attached to the back of the collaged wood.  I still have to find a drill bit to drill through the heavy metal pulley that will hang from the wood.  Construction of mixed-media is always a challenge.

Another window was hooked  into the "White Collar" piece. 

Mixed-media pieces take more time than purely hooked work for me as I try to find the right elements.  It always makes me slightly nervous as far as whether everything will fit together correctly.  "White Collar" will focus on the stock market and I found the perfect tie to fit with the piece.  Bulls and bears along with ticker tape design adorn the fabric.

The majority of the week was spent on the new studio construction.

We completed all the painting and started on the flooring.  Here is the measured wood being cut.  Since Pete and I have done this before it went quite smoothly.

Pete worked on cutting any small pieces on the edges while I installed the larger planks. Notice the kerosene heater at middle right.  It gets cold working out there and this will keep it cozy until the heating is hooked up.

Here is the finished wood floor.  We will be headed out to pick up molding this weekend. We are continuing the wood into a section of the storage area through a door to the upper right where I will store framing supplies, boxes, etc.

Here you can see one of  the tracks we put up for the track lighting along with a light by the window where the dye sink will go.  We also put covers on the electrical outlets last night. On the upper wall is the heating and air conditioning unit.  

Projects can be time consuming.  Enjoy the journey and have a great day. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014


We had our first good snow covering yesterday and I couldn't help but notice all the beautiful shadows that formed and their variations in length and color.

Wide shadows cast by the dense trees in the woods.  They were a beautiful lilac and gray with a touch of rose which was reflected from the morning sky color.

A super long shadow from an electrical pole was cast across the field.  This photo was taken slightly later than the first and cast a blue tone.  If you look closely, you can see the color of the shadow changing as it gets further away.  Color gets cooler as it recedes.

This shadow's length was three to four times the height of the tree at 10:00 a.m.  When hooking shadows the time of day that is portrayed should be taken into account as this affects shadow length.  There are long shadows in the morning hours.  This photo shows a little better than the last how the color of the top of the shadows differs from the base of the shadow.

This tree was across the field from the one above and the photo was taken at the same time.  The shadow cast was about twice the height of the tree.  The color of the shadow varied from blues to purples.  Looking out the window  two hours later the shadow length was the same height as the tree.  Three hours later it was half the height of the tree.

Shadows across the hillside appeared to have a grayer tone and were about the length of the height of the tree at mid morning.

The finishing on "Blue Collar" was started this week.

I waited until I found a yarn that would work for the edges.  There was an ombre type yarn in my bin which took about an hour to untangle.  Whether this would have been a shorter or longer time without my glass of Merlot will never be known.

The variation of color fits well with the work and is more interesting than a plain matching cobalt would have been. 

Take some time to look at winter shadows, check to see how they change as time passes and have a great day.


 Last week was sheet rock and this week was primer and paint time.  The paint is called "Moondance" and is very light gray.  The ceiling is white.

The second coat of white is already on the ceiling and a second coat of gray will be painted on the walls this week.  I need to think about what color the moulding around the doors and windows will be and get ready to lay the flooring.