Saturday, April 3, 2010

Inspiration at Moshimer's Studio...

If you attempt to accomplish all the things you need to do without finding a moment of peace or inspiration for yourself, you will find it hard to smile and enjoy the everyday blessings. My life is busy, but much of it is my choice because I choose to open my eyes to activities and inspirations that surround me. Sometimes that takes an extra hour of my day but it is important to me so I will take that time once in awhile. I need a breath of fresh air after work and find it by going to places that inspire me, or sometimes while sitting at my computer enjoying wonderful blogs, internet groups and websites.
The weather today was unusually beautiful for early April in Maine. So I decided to go to Joan Moshimer's Studio in Kennebunkport. It isn't far and an alternate drive towards my home. The studio is in an old home, and the walls are full of beautiful rugs and mats. Shelved full of lovely dyed wool, bolts of wool everywhere, and many hundreds of patterns from Frost to McGown. Many of the rugs were impeccably hooked by Joan, and most of the patterns can be found on their website.
I wanted to pick up a few Cushings dyes for my next rug and gain some visual inspiration for flowers. I certainly got my inspiration as the variety of rugs are like a breath of fresh air to me. I had no intention of buying wool, but of course I did buy a little.
This amazing Lion rug was hooked by Joan. It is 48" X 58" and quite detailed in about a #4 or #6 cut. There is a companion piece that Joan began but was not able to complete before she passed away.
Many of the mats have lovely braided edges, and I love the look. Making one is on my "Bucket List" of things to do before I "kick the bucket". The wools in the edge braiding are the same as the ones used to hook the center. I believe the shading in this tulip mat may have been what I was looking for as inspiration. I am not able to visualize how to shade a flower petal or leaf in my mind. I need to see something that someone else has created, and then I can take that information and create my own image. Mental notes for myself...create light near the petal edge to contrast with the background, and create dark veins. Blue and green can be used together in a leaf. Orange and pink can work well together. My mind is full of mental notes, and sometimes I actually put them on paper!
This amazing table wreath was done in the Waldoboro style of hooking. It is called that because it was done quite a bit in the Waldoboro Maine area and seems to have originated in that town with a group of women who gathered in what we would now call a guild. It is formed by using small cuts (#3 & #4) and hooking very, very tight so the hooked area hoves up. Then the area is trimmed or sheared. The result is a velvety sculpted mat. The Spring colors of this wreath are beautiful and my camera didn't do them justice.
This pansy rug was hooked by Joan Moshimer and measures 36" across. Notice the variegated yarn that was used to both bind the mat and create the fringed edge.
Some of the displayed mats are intricately shaded art made with 8 values of each color. But there are also examples of simple and primitive shading that are cheerful.
Chair mats are usually quick projects and the variety of patterns is endless. Most are 14" in diameter or smaller and can be primitive or detailed.
I do not aspire to make an oriental rug, but love to look at the designs. This was one of the simple designs and I really liked the way the colors play off of each other.
Joan's "Persian Blue" cat pillow has been widely published, but of course it is better seeing it in person. Thie cat belonged to her grandaughter LC. Look at the luscious colors on the rug behind it, and notice the scalloped edge.
And of course the Studio is known for their amazing dyed wool. Long ago they only carried their swatches that consist of 6 or 8 values, but have expanded to offer marbleized and dip dyed wools too. I like their Cushing dyes and enjoy the colors I get. I also use them to dye basket reed when I make my baskets.
It was a nice way to spend an hour, and on this beautiful day I am reminded how beautiful it is to live in this area of the country and so close to the ocean. Although it is still early and we might still see snow here, the marshes and grasses are ready to turn green with a small amount of encouragement from Mother Nature.
So my lesson for today is for you to take some time for yourself and live a more inspired life. It doesn't have to take money or very much time. Open your eyes to what is around you in your personal world that can inspire you. Take a walk...get mud on your shoes. Visit an art gallery. Meet up with a friend and enjoy a 'cuppa something with fresh scones. Visit a local farm and watch the sheep being sheared or baby lambs at play. Go to a bakery and enjoy the smell of fresh bread. Curl up with a good book. And then get back to me and let me know what inspires you...rejuvenates your spirit...opens your you confidence...and adds a breath of fresh air to your day. Enjoy your Easter weekend, and God bless you!


WoolenSails said...

My grandmother did floral rugs, wish I had one of them. I am enjoying the beautiful weather too and got a new vest and gloves and bill got new boots. Now if we can find a place to paddle that is not overflowing or running rapids, we will be all set;) You know me, paddling is my inspiration and retreat from the stresses of life.


Jacque. said...

Laurie...thank you so much for taking us on your day's journey of respite and inspiration. In doing so, you inspired me. To take time. I am always working on something, planning something to work on, and trying to catch up. There are days when it gets a bit overwhelming. So, this was a good reminder from you. Thank you.

Kimichris said...

Such beautiful rugs! Thanks for the reminder that we need to take time to stop and enjoy the gifts bestowed to us each and every day! I'm looking forward to our adventure at the end of April! See you soon!

Alice ~ Folk Art Primitives said...

Thanks for the inspiring post! And happy spring to you!!

Hooked on Primitives said...

WOW What a wonderful day and how inspiring!! Wish I could visit! Thanks so much for sharing your words and pics!! Blessings! Cathy

LadybugSue said...

I was here today and enjoyed it so much.