Monday, July 18, 2011

Textures and designs

I have just returned from a family reunion in Georgia. It was the first time my family has gathered together since my Dad passed away. It was terribly hot and quite humid, but we had a good time together. I have the best family and love them dearly.

Whether I travel or am at home, I always notice textures in objects. I also notice colors, particularly the muted grays and browns that don't jump out at you. Subtle shading from nature makes me happy. Textures and colors inspire me to pick up my rug hook and create something. I thought I would share some of the things I saw in hope that perhaps you will be inspired too. I don't expect you to create designs from photographs, but to choose some things in your world that make you happy. Gather those things together and perhaps the artist in your soul will be inspired.

I liked the uniform round shapes of these caramel apples in a candy store. And the shapes of the stones might work as a scrap rug in muted tones.

I needed to look down to keep from tripping on the uneven stones, but enjoyed the patterns.

This was my favorite and I know it will eventually become a design for a rug.Textured walls were everywhere with uneven flaking paint. I don't know why I appreciate flaking paint, but I do. Perhaps I just like seeing imperfections. This oval window was also interesting.These plants (caladium?) had beautiful colors. The little lady is my neice Addy. Just after I took this shot she bent forward to smell the "fwower" and fell into the muddy planter. She was surprised and unhurt, and I was laughing!I have no idea what this is but talk about texture and color! Wow! It was fuzzy prickly spiny all at the same time!Pompous grasses always look so soft, and a strong breeze was blowing making them flutter and flow in the wind.This photo doesn't show the true deep lime green of this dock post, but you can see the beautiful patterning from the wear and wood grain.In the morning light the trees became sillhouettes. look at the top of the tree...see the bird?

Palms...such interesting plants.

If you are interested in seeing additional pictures of my trip please connect with me on Facebook (Lauri Troutman). I found no other rug hookers, spinners, needlepunchers, felters or knitters in Georgia, but I didn't look very hard. I did find many basket makers. I was there to enjoy the scenery, spend time with my family and relax. And I did!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independance Day

As a young child I was raised to appreciate our United States of America and our great flag. My Mother was born on Memorial Day and always said they had a parade when she was born. My spouse is an Army Veteran and we proudly display the flag every day. I learned as a child that the colors of the flag have significance. The white stands for purity, the red stands for hardiness and valor, and the blue stands for strength and vigilance. Did you know that a flag expert is called a vexelologist? I was taught that there are rules for how the flag should be displayed and respected. Some of them are:
* Never, ever let the Flag touch the ground
* The blue ground with stars should always be displayed to the left unless from a pole where it can be seen from all sides.
* The flag should be displayed outdoors only between sunrise and sunset unless properly illuminated.
* The flag of the United States should always be displayed higher or at equal level to other flags when in the U.S.
* At the first note of 'The Star Spangled Banner", our national anthem, everyone should show respect by facing the flag, standing at attention, remove hats and place their right hand over their heart. It makes me cringe when I see people at parades and ball games not getting to their feet to show respect for our flag. That's just the way I am.
As a child I attended many parades and enjoyed watching our Veterans, Girl and Boy scouts, Community Officials, Police and Firefighters show pride in our United States. Annually we would attend the fireworks at McGuire AFB on Independance Day. I read the Constitution and every day in school we recited the Pledge of Allegiance. I learned that our national motto is "In God We Trust".
Our Constitution has given us rights that many other countries do not have. I cannot imagine living in a country where I would be buried to my chest and stoned for showing my face or ankles or not wearing black all the time. Arranged marriages are common in many parts of the world, as young as 12 years of age. It is acceptable for a husband to beat his wife, even to death, but if she speaks one word against him or his family she will receive the death penalty. Can you imagine? We are so blessed to live where we can express ourselves as long as it does no harm to others.
There are times when I feel the actions of our government are in error. However, I will always feel proud that I was born and raised to feel pride for our country and honor the huge, huge sacrifices our soldiers have made. Being an American and enjoying the Rights of Americans is earned and not an entitlement. On this Independance Day, enjoy your families and barbeques and fireworks. But please remember that this isn't just a day off of work. This is a day for us to remember the intent of our Founding Fathers and remember that we are obligated to honor our flag and country. I'm so proud to be an American!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Where have I been?

I've been busy! I will confess that although I enjoy having a blog, there are times when I have so many other things I want to be doing. This post will catch you up on some of the fun activities I have attended while I have been away from my blog. I attended the ATHA Region I hook in several months ago and it was an enjoyable day. Here are some pictures of the venue and some of the beautiful rugs on display.

After that I went to Jeanne Fallier's studio "The Rugging Room". She is elderly, and has been teaching for many decades in Massachusetts. She is selling many items from her studio including patterns, wool and the rights to her designs. She is an inspiration, full of knowledge and it was such a nice visit.

I also went to the annual Spa, Knit and Spin weekend held in Freeport at the end of February. It is a weekend when you just make your hotel reservations 6 months in advance and show up. About 400 other knitters and spinners will also show up. No one knows how many people attend because there is no registration. We all gather and take over the lobbys, eating areas, pools and all large spaces of 3 hotels that are a short walk apart. Of course every year there is a blizzard, and this year it was predicted for Friday so everyone showed up on Thursday. Cancelling is not an option! Here are some shots of spinners...

Several people brought antique sock machines and great wheels.

There is a fashion show and an Ugly Sweater contest. I loves this cape and the sweaters this year were...quite ugly!

And there were vendors. The SPA is set up by a handful of volunteers. Nothing is scheduled except the fashion show. There were also some needle felters...

Well, those are a few of the fun ways I have been keeping busy since you last heard from me. I will update you more in my next post, which I promise will be soon!