One day you take a community adult education class; rug hooking it’s called. For the life of you, you can’t remember why the hell you did that. In fact, your ex-husband’s mom was a hooker, and you paid absolutely no attention to that. Really. None! All you can remember is that she used a lot of black backgrounds. (Something you despise because all-black is such a pain to work with. 🙂 )
Now and again, maybe fifteen years later, you think about where this rug hooking thing’s taken you, what it’s given you. And it makes you shake your head in wonder.
It’s given me a good bit of self-confidence
As an artist. Especially one who doesn’t really fall into the category of a traditional rug hooker but only because of my use of alternative fibers and other materials. Originally, because I hooked with t-shirts and such, I was afraid to hang with other hookers, join a guild. I got over it. Thanks, Adobe Wool Arts Guild (AWAG) for such a great welcome to Albuquerque’s fiber arts scene two-and-a-half years ago. And especially for your encouragement. It helped when I went out to sell at art and other shows. And it appears that I’ve made a little name for myself. Just yesterday, as I was wandering through Kohl’s, I got a call from some woman up in Santa Fe who found me online and asked if I could repair her punched rugs. Apparently, her dogs regularly do a number on them. Of course, I can!
Oh, the friendships!
Never mind that most of my friends here in my adopted city of Albuquerque are hookers. Hooking’s introduced me to folks all over the world – thanks, Facebook and now Instagram! Make no mistake, these are friends with benefits. Just take a gander at yesterday’s Loop by Karen Larsen. She’s working on a commission, a rug featuring two dogs and mentions how we learn from one another.
Judy Carter’s book, Hooking Animals [© 2014 Stackpole Books], is bookmarked and often referred to as I go along. Judy mostly hooks with narrow #3 and #4 wool strips, but I am hooking these dogs with wider #7 wool strips. That’s as narrow as I like to go, so I have used Judy’s book as an inspirational jumping-off point.
It has taken me years to realize and accept that I hook the way I hook. Although I have learned and incorporated many helpful hooking tips through the years, I must have confidence in my own abilities. I plan to look to my friend, Nancy Parcels, for inspiration as I do the background.
It does indeed take a village!
I’m doing a little teaching
Because of the feedback I’ve received when I sell my less-than-traditional rugs, I’ve been asked to teach people how to do it themselves. I was even invited to teach a rug hooking class up at New Mexico’s famed Espanola Valley Fiber Arts Center. Woohoo!
To be a part of Albuqueque’s larger fiber arts scene
There’s no better way to get to know your new town than to volunteer and join things. And the guild knew a sucker when they saw one. They made me AWAG’s representative to Albuquerque’s Fiber Arts Council. That meant meeting all kinds of fiber artists and working with them to make Fiber Arts Fiesta 2017 happen. I must’ve done a great job, because somehow I also became our rep to the Education Committee which is currently planning our biennial spring show “Earth, Wind, and Fiber”. (Entries are due February 25!)
Last week I asked you if you have any purses languishing in your closet, that I need them bad. Clarification: I need brand name-type purses. Frankly, the kind they DON’T sell at Kohl’s. I also mentioned that I’d explain why this week. Turns out that as a guild rep to the Fiber Arts Council, I had to vote on a charity to be promoted at the Fiber Arts Fiesta last May. We chose Susan’s Legacy, a non-profit that serves the needs of women with co-occurring addiction and mental health disorders. Having some family experience with such things, somehow, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I clicked my heels, and was suddenly on the Board of Directors. Long story short, we need money to make our programs go. One thing that’s worked in the past has been a silent auction at a women’s networking luncheon. Albuquerque’s Women Make a Difference puts that on – a big WOOHOO for them! We at Susan’s Legacy find the purses, clean them up, and run the auction at the luncheon this Friday, March 9. Registration starts February 19, on Women Make a Difference’s website. If you’re local, maybe we’ll see you??? (Or at least your purse. )
Where is rug hooking taking you?