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It’s an Addiction!

Drawing Geometric Design on Rya backing

Drawing on the backing with a Sharpie marker

Despite the fact that I am trying very hard to use every spare minute to work on my rya rug-making book, I decided that I had to try the acrylic/linen backing I recently acquired when I “bought back” my grandparents’ rya rug business.  It’s lighter in weight than wool, but well-woven.  I just had to try it before I could promote its use to my rya clients who trust me.   So two days ago I played with a design on paper which I then drew onto the woven backing with a straight edge and compass.  It would be and easy design to recreate for someone wanting to play with mixing colors.

After First 6 hours of knotting

This is what the entire backing and rug looks like at this point

I made a photocopy of my sketch and painted with paints to see how I might approach the coloring of the rug… Then I picked out some vivid colors to work with–since it is winter–and color is therapeutic.

Close-up of the Knot Work and Color Blending

Last night I come in from the studio with a marked backing, a half dozen needles, and a small bag of yarn.  I sat next to the fireplace and made my first knots.  Within minutes, I was totally back in the groove.  “Would these colors work together?”  I had to keep knotting to see how the next color would blend with the previous one.  “How will they look next to the area coming in a couple of rows?”

My husband folded his book and headed for bed.  “Just one more row!”  Between 7 and 11 PM I had knotted about 8 rows (about 6″).  This morning as the snow was just starting to fall, I just had to complete a circle in the design, just to see its shape.

My color card, my painted sketch, and the rya to be

Wow, so this is addiction.  Just walk away.  I did.  Then in minutes I had to go back for more.

So I took these pictures, I’m making this blog post, THEN I will write a chapter in the book before I make another row.  (Well, maybe I’ll fill in that center area first; won’t take but a few minutes.)

Dressing for Creativity

You don’t need to wear inspiring clothing to be creative, but it can’t hurt.  A glance in the mirror reminds you. “Oh, yah, I’m going to paint something fun today.”  …or cook something wonderful … or write a new poem…

I carved this woodcut design in a piece of plywood I found in the kindling box, and it has become one of my favorite (and simplest) blockprints.  In fact this was my #1 custom order design for handprinted shirts this past holiday season.  One lady ordered three of them–one for each of her sisters!

The Carroll County Arts Council, is opening a new exhibit in the Tevis Gallery this week featuring creative quilt-making called Patches and Patterns. About thirty of my hand-printed shirts will be for sale during this exhibition to be held January 9 – February 22.

The opening reception for this show (and another show in the Community Gallery upstairs) is Thursday, Jan. 9 from 5:30 – 7:30.  Read details at this link:  http://www.carrollcountyartscouncil.org/aa_galleryexhibits.asp

I usually keep an inventory of about 15-18 handprinted shirts for each of my 25 designs.  This month, I have on display at the Art Center about 30 “Today I Will Create!” shirts in an effort to have multiple sizes, colors and styles for all.  I even have them in Youth sizes.

The short-sleeved shirts are $25.  The long-sleeves are $30.  All styles come in S, M, L, and X-L while they last.

See photos below.

Ladies 100% Cotton T-shirts by Comfort Colors and American Apparel  in Hemp, Lagoon, Eggplant, Crimson, Poppy, and Watermelon.  (The Eggplant and Poppy are form-fitting fine weave American Apparel shirts.)

Ladies Long-sleeve 100% Cotton shirts by Comfort Colors in Lavender, Raspberry, and Denim,

Unisex 100% Cotton T-shirts by Comfort Colors in Khaki, Flo Blue,Blue Spruce, and Hemp

The best selection will be early in the month.  Hopefully they will all be sold by Feb. 22.

So come to the Carroll Arts Center to see gorgeous quilts, and maybe you’ll go home with inspiration to create one of your own!

The Arts Council earns 25% of the price of the shirt for each sale, so come on out and support the local art community as well as taking home a very inspirational shirt to wear when you are feeling the urge to create.

Melinda