Monday, 4 December 2017

December meeting of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers

Hi everyone
The Christmas meeting of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers is at Anne’s in Warrandyte this coming Saturday, 9th December. Please bring a yummy something to share as this will be our Christmas breakup.

Looking forward to seeing you all then,


Sunday, 26 November 2017

'Buda' Traditional Arts Fair at Castlemaine

Anne and I spent a warm day at Buda yesterday, talking to people and demonstrating our rug making.
I managed to get some bad photo's of the rugs inside the old homestead. The tour of the house was taken by an Enthusiast of the history and she described a family of largely unmarried girls who were encouraged and educated in anything they fancied and led a very adventurous life. It's worth a read here, and definitely worth the tour, although I'd like to go back and look at my leisure (knowing the story). The whole place, inside and out, has been donated to the Castlemaine Art Gallery, which also hold a fabulous collection and is worth a visit.
These Hooked Rugs are made on the old latch-hook canvas (which is so much harder to use than hessian or linen). A lady did a demonstration in the garden but we had to admit it was hard not to butt in! It was suggested you Must Put Latex or Thinned Glue on the Back to keep it together! Exclamation Mark! We politely didn't say anything and at least there was a bit of interest.
She did use a latch-hook with the latch sticky-taped shut, which isn't a bad idea and they are easily found in op shops. 

But I wanted to say how much Cheaper and Easier it is to work on hessian. And they don't fall apart. And come inside and look at ours!
Here I am working on the footy rug.
Anne with her newest proddy, started for the show (I think).
This one was behind a cabinet and in shadow. I really like it! 

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Traditional Arts Fair at Castlemaine

 Are you at a bit of a loose end this weekend? Nothing to do maybe? Why not head out to Castlemaine and attend the Traditional Arts Fair. 
And while you're at it take in the beautiful sights along the way.
You'll find Robyne and Anne from the Yarra Valley Rugmakers demonstrating rug hooking there. 

Traditional Arts Fair
Buda Historical House, Castlemaine
Sunday 26th November.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Weekend spinning retreat at Greenhills in Canberra.

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Leaving home on Friday, 5 am, we drove through the beautiful country side of South Gippsland in Victoria, to attend a most wonderful spinning retreat in Canberra, the capital of our great land, Austalia. My friend who accompanied me, spent the weekend with her grand-daughter, who lives in Canberra.
After lots of stops and cuppas along the way, we travelled through beautiful country side, into NSW and the Capital territory and to Greenhills.
My dear friends Anne, Miriam and Jacqui had already arrived and lots of die-hards were already spinning away to their hearts content. I shared a room with Anne in bunk style rooms. We were spoiled with delicious food, snacks and drinks throughout the weekend, as we spun away at our wheels. There was a fashion parade on the Saturday morning and a raffle on the Sunday and I was blessed to win 200g of the most gorgeous dark brown, fine fleece which I shall enjoy spinning into yarn.

Alison, an Australian woman, and married to a Macedonian gentleman is showing a photo of her Macedonian wedding outfit. The red vest she is holding is worn over the undervest and under the apron, as on the dressed mannequin  you see in the photo at left, which is a 19th century day outfit for Macedonian women. Unfortunatly it did not fit the mannequin, and thus she is holding it here.

This exquisite home spun mohair capelet was modelled and made by Ulli, one of the women modelling the garments.

Our rug hooking friends Miriam and Anne 
Anne, Jacqui and Maggie chatting away
More gorgeous handspun garment modelled by some of the ladies. 

 After a wonderful three days of yapping, spinning, eating, drinking and making new friends, each went back to their own corner of the world to continue their daily lives. God willing to meet up again next year, same time, same place. Cheers- Chris

Monday, 28 August 2017

October meeting of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers

Hi friends of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers

Next Saturday 28th October will be our next meeting, to be held in Warrandyte. Hope to see you. New members always welcome. Please use the contact form on the right side of the page if you are interested. 

Friday, 4 August 2017

July meeting of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers

Hi friends and followers of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers.
I know I have been amiss of late in posting. Time seems to get away from me and before I know it a month...or two has passed  and oops, no posts.

We had a most wonderful meeting in the cold of the Victorian winter in Warrandyte in July. However we were toasty warm in front of, not one but would you believe two lovely wood heaters in Anne's home in Warrandyte.

Our group was small but that never seems to matter much. The conversation was lively and interesting as always.
 As we continued to work away on our rugs- Joy on her Psalm 23 rug, Anne Marie on her yarn hooked chair pad, Anne on her paisley rug and Chris on her In the Beginning rug, we chatted away and enjoyed a lovely winter lunch of soup and goodies.
We are looking forward to having our long time member Robyne join us again very soon, after an abscence of more than twelve months. We all miss you Robyne.

Before we knew it, the day was over and off we went, each to their own homes.

 Regular followers may remember the oriental rug I have been working on for the last couple of years. Well, I thought I would post an update for you. Two thirds finished, one third to go.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

July meeting of the Yarra Valley Rug Makers

July already. The shortest day of the year has come and gone, however it is certainly still chilly enough to 'rug' up in front of the fire with good friends and interesting conversation.
If you have not been to one of our meetings, please come and join us in Warrandyte on Saturday, around 10ish, please leave a message in the contact form box on the side. We would love to see you.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

June in Loch

June in Loch was cold, but the atmosphere was sunny and so was the room we were in. It was wonderful to see six of us girls get together to share our love of hooking and fellowship. The girls travelled from far off to unite us in our common love of rug hooking.

As we hooked away we chatted and shared of what was important to us in our personal lives, our joys and sometimes our pains.
There is something very special about being together as a group of women, this is how we communicate.

Joy had started her next stair tread the month before and made great headway with her second sheep on tread number three- 'in the Valley' a rug of deep shadows and highlights among the trees in the dark valley. It will be beautiful.

Anne worked on her stairpad, hooked with beautiful jewel colours in wool yarn, which gives a rug such a different look to woll strips. It is soft and puffy, just lovely.
Jen worked on her 'tightrope to the sun' rug. Jen is a busy lady and often our monthly meeting is the only time she can work on it. However it is coming along beautifully.

Anne Marie is also working on a wool yarn chairpad, also in lovely bright colours of her home-spun, hand-dyed wool.

Leanne took the time to just relax and chat.

I- Chris continued to work on my Persian style rug called 'Tehran', designed by Rittermere back in the 1970s. I have this rug standing in front of the fire in the winter months, so I can work on it any time. This is the time I get more done as it is visible from the kitchen and the sitting room.

The photo below shows one of a rug, called ├Źn the beginning God created', which I started while holidaying in Tasmania. I needed to start a project that was portable                                                                       
Leanne, just relaaxing and enjoying the time out with friends

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

June Meeting of the Yarra Valley Rug Mkers


Monday, 15 May 2017

May meeting of the Yarra Valley Rugmakers

We had the most wonderful get together at Anne's home in Warrandyte on Saturday. Some us hadn't seen each other  for months. Lots of laughing and joking around, as you will see on this fun video of Anne's last few prods on her gorgeous poppy rug. I hope you like it.

Weeell, I tried but I think my video must be greater than the allowable 100MB, so I'll post the pictures instead. If you would like to see the video, you can view it on my Rug making Hooks Face book page HERE

Thursday, 4 May 2017

May Meeting of the Yarra Valley Rugmakers

If you didn't make it to our April meeting maybe you can make it to our next meeting on Saturday 13th May, at Anne's in Warrandyte. Look forward to seeing you here.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

April meeting of the Yarra Valley Rugmakers

Hello fellow rug hookers
The next meeting of the yarra Valley Rug makers will be held this Saturday 1st April in Warrandyte.
All welcome 

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Decision Time

I haven't worked on this rug very much, for a while now... I've been doing quilts and Wagga's, knitting, bedding... Embroidery...
Also, we changed the lounge room around, so I'm not sure where it will go. Sigh...
But, I'm ready to go forth with the understanding that, All Will Be Revealed. I'll just have to find a place.
So, with renewed enthusiasm, I had a few sessions dyeing blankets (maybe that's a hobby in itself). Also, I've been trying to get my head around how I might do the outer area. I don't like the original drawing anymore and the scribbles impede my thinking.
Looking at it today, I wonder if I might simply do big fat raised spots in the green?
Waddya think people?

Not sure... Maybe too close?

Saturday, 4 March 2017

March meeting of the Yarra valley Rug makers

We had a wonderful meeting today with all of  four of us present.  it was lovely to have Anne Marie with us again too.

Anne's craft room

 We first had a drooling tour through Anne's craft room. Joy was needing some rug wool to whip the edges of the finished panels of her Psalm 23 staircase rugs and wouldn't you know it, Anne had the right wool in the right colour. I'm not kidding, you really can find whatever you want in Anne's craft room. It is a crafters paradise, but there was a condition attached to this.
For Joy to be able to use it she first had to untangle the massive criss cross wound skein that it came in.  she soon discovered that this was not one continuous length of wool, but many short lengths of approx 10 metres each (only guessing the lengths), which is off course fine when you are whipping an edge.
Anne Marie continued with her chair pad rug, which is being hooked with her lovely home spun/ hand dyed wool. Gorgeous colours.

Anne really is nearly finished with her Gene Shepherd Fowl Mood rug

Chris is continuing with her 'Monstera' proggy, which is starting to put her in a fowl mood because it is taking so long to complete.  I (Chris) have decided that hooky is my preferred style of rug making. I have already gone through what seems like miles of wool, but much more is required. I would have preferred to use polar fleece but have found green hard to find in Op Shops- not Anne though, she has green, and from the Op Shops. So my good old wool is the stand-by. Miles more dyeing to complete as well, in lots of shades of green.
 Maybe I am exaggerating jus tad, but not too much. I am looking forward to moving it along on the frame so I can check out the front. Right now it just looks like a bunch of green stripes.

Anne's 'Fowl Mood'

Joy's Psalm 23 rugs

After a delicious on the go lunch, we had a brief discussion about available accommodation at next year's TIGHR conference in the UK, to which at least two of us hope to attend, maybe more.  After this Joy returned to her untangling and Anne, Anne Marie and I- Chris, returned to our hooking and progging and before we knew it, it was time to go home. Cheers till next time.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Gidday fellow rug hookers
This is your official notice of our next meeting for the Yarra Valley rug makers, to be held on Saturday 4th March at Warrandyte. Hope to see you there.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Next meeting


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Showcasing the work of Dana Psoinas- Rug Hooker extraordinaire

This month, the Yarra Valley Rug Makers are show-casing some wonderful rugs from a very talented Rug Hooker from the United States, who has been hooking for only six years.
Dana at Sauder Village with her rug entitled, "The Guardian"

Dana says; 
"My Grandmother was a painter and has encouraged me throughout my life. I've always been drawn to landscapes and portraits. I continued to focus on that throughout high school and college. However, instead of pursuing a career in the arts, I married and raised a family. As my family grew I continued to take classes in pastel painting etc... but I met my rug Hooking teacher Loretta Scena just when I needed her most. My children were grown and didn't need me as much. I was a little lost. Loretta and rug Hooking brought art back into my life. I fell in love with the wool immediately. There's just something magical about manipulating wool. I am so pleased to be a part of the rug Hooking community."

Dana is in the process of having some of her work documented in a book that will contain these and other of her beautiful rugs. We, of the Yarra Valley Rug makers and you, our readers are privileged to share in some of her work. I hope you like what you see. Please like and comment to encourage Dana with her rug hooking endeavours.
I asked Dana if she had any special thoughts on her rugs that she would like to share with us, as well as some of the thing she learned from hooking each rug. The following are her rugs and her comments. 

The Guardian
35: x 47”
Designed and hooked by Dana Psoinas
#2, #3, and #4 cut, hand-dyed wool, on a linen backing.
Hand-Dyed wool

The Guardian is a mystical interpretation from the fairy tale, Red Riding Hood, but unlike the fairy tale, Dana wanted Red Riding Hood and the wolf to be companions.
Dana says, “Her face was the easiest for me. Her hair the most fun. The cape was so much harder than I thought it would be. I have a red chenille blanket and I had my daughter, myself, my son’s girlfriend model for me. I love the idea of hooking a story. This rug changed and evolved as it went. As it's not real, it was a challenge and a freedom of imagination.
background colors
The birches were cool. I learned that a birch is a birch no matter where. WHY did I have to make so many in my design? Thank you Michele M for your fabulous hand-dyed wool! 
The wolf was one of the scariest things I've ever had to hook! It was my first realistic animal. I often said that it's my pattern, so I can just cut the wolf out. Perseverance again. Hook, and un-hook......try again. The feeling of it finally being finished was wonderful!"

The Shahman
26” x 32 ½“
Designed and hooked by Dana Psoinas
#2, #3, and #4 cut hand-dyed wool on a lined backing
Additional materials; sparkly wool, ribbon and silver thread

This rug was inspired by a photograph of a man from Tibet, by an unknown photographer. 
"I was drawn to his lovely wrinkly face, full of life and expression. Since I couldn't find the photographer, I moved him to North America. I've always loved American Indian art.

I wanted to add fire, water, earth and air, since to me The Shaman is the keeper of the land and protector of the people.
I learned to use different fibers to acquire the look that I wanted. I learned to let my rug evolve. I'm pretty good at keeping the big picture in my mind, but you have to listen to your heart as new ideas come to you. Don't be too rigid with your original idea."

The Green Woman- An adaptation of Loretta Scena's pattern by that name
26 ½ x 28 ¼
Hooked by Dana Psoinas
Adapted, with permission from the pattern, “Green Woman” by Loretta Scena


The Green Woman was Dana’s first portrait.
Hooking this portrait was a natural extension to her love of drawing them, which led her to paint in wool instead of using pencils and paints.
“I've enjoyed working on this rug so much”, says Dana. “Loretta Scena's Avatar patterns just open your imagination up to so many possibilities. She made me realize that I could create anything.”
The details and shading in this rug are incredible and move the eyes from one area of the rug to another, where you continue to find more and then realize there is not one but three faces present.

The Muse
18 ½” x 23 ½”
Designed and hooked by Dana Psoinas
#2, #3 and #4 cut wool on linen
Hand dyed wool, shiny ribbon, thread and one earring

 An apt name for this lovely rug, the dictionary defines muse as, 
"A person — especially a woman — who is a source of artistic inspiration." And that is exactly what this rug is about.

Dana designed this elegant pattern for a workshop on how to hook flowers. 
"I learned that it is so difficult to make a pattern that have fine shading involved! My poor teacher must have been horrified when she received my multi-colored pattern in the mail! It was the only way I could make sense of the background. Also, I learned about hair. Highlights first, then low-lights and lastly everything in between. It was a challenge to hook hair which actually looked like it was pinned up.
Creamy skin is HARD to do! Patience. Don't be afraid to reverse hook until you get it right. My favorite part of this pattern was figuring out her silk shawl, trying to give it a silky look.
The fun bit was adding an earring which belonged to my daughter and was her belly button ring from her High school days."

Dana’s rugs are certainly among the best I have seen and she has a great future in the Rug Hooking world. I am sure we will see a lot more of her. 
Thank you Dana for being so generous with the sharing of your rugs and taking the time to write  the comments on each of them represented here.
You can see more of Dana's rugs on The Welcome Mat, HERE
If this link doesn't lead to her page on the mat, you may have to sign up to become a member first. It is free and well worth it.