So many things have happened, so many changes and all for the good. We have a lovely new studio as of 2007 when my husband and I renovated the building we are in now. The first floor, retail area, is 1000 sq. ft. crammed full of hooking treasures, stocked with top quality rug hooking merchandise from floor to ceiling. Upstairs I teach and host workshops and our group, The Main Street Hookers, meet for fellowship and inspiration every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month.
So lets get started on the blogging....... I would like to share a story prompted by a recent email from a customer who sent us a picture of a hooked stool top. Lunenburg Tea Cosy is one of our designs which a customer adapted into a stool cover by squaring off the top of the pattern. Instead of the traditional red buildings of Lunenburg she vamped the design by selecting various colours, bringing a whole new feel to the pattern. Suddenly it represented any fishing village along the eastern seaboard, a quaint harbour in Newfoundland, a small inlet of Nova Scotia, a coastal scene from Maine.
Hooking is like baking, give the same recipe to 10 people and every dish will have a different flavour. Thank goodness as this makes us all unique! The same is true with rug hooking. The same pattern given to 10 hookers will tell a different story. Over the years, I have noticed that some people find it difficult to recognize an unhooked pattern on the rack from the finished rug on the wall. Colour is a huge influence, pulling from our memory banks past experiences. We react the same way to visual stimuli as we would respond to a pleasant scent through smell. Red may represent the dress that a favorite aunt used to wear, yellow can be the blond girl that stared back at you in the mirror. Rose, the dominant colour of the floral wallpaper at grandma's house. Green, a blanket you suckled as a small child. Memory and past experiences influence all aspects of our lives.
Colour is so personal. We wear it ever day. We choose our clothes, gravitating toward certain colours time and time again. Through experience, I believe that people buy rugs because of the colour first and the composition second. Probably the same is true for paintings. I ask rug purchasers what attracted them to the piece and "the colours" is the usual answer. We anal types like our art to fit our homes, not clash and stand like a sore thumb. We paint our walls and decorate our interiors first and then everything else skips down the same path.
An interesting observation I'd like to share. When customers come in the shop for colour planning a new project, they may not be sure where to begin, so we work together until we whittle it down to what pleases their eye. Time and time again I have to laugh, and let them know that they have chosen the same colours that they are wearing that day. They look down at their clothing and smile as the realization hits them. I boost customer confidence by telling them they colour plan every day. They dress themselves in coordinating outfits. Look at your rug as if you are dressing your body, it may help remove the apprehension out of the task.
I am told by a lot of rug hookers that colour planning is daunting. But remember, your aren't out on a limb....believe it or not your palette is partially chosen for you. Most of the rugs we hook are for our homes so if this next project is slated for the living room, draw on the colours in the curtains, the sofa, the throw cushions and carpet. There is no need to stress, your colour palette is being handed to you on a silver platter, reach out and grab it! Look at your surroundings and invite those colours in. Your home, the proverbial nest, is a representation of your favorite colours so run with it.
Tip: If you need help to dye the wool, gather paint chips and samples of your upholstery to take to your closest rug studio and use them as a guideline to plan your next heirloom, or dive into the dye pot and create those colours yourself. Don't try to be too matchy matchy, colours blend beautifully if tonally close.
There, I've lost my blog virginity, and I would like to say that it was very pleasurable! Hopefully you haven't fallen asleep, I'll try to keep the words to a minimum in future...this being my first time I got carried away!
Lunenburg Cosy squared off and hooked with lively colours.
Great job Dody Conner!
The pattern Dody modified. Lunenburg Cosy hooked with colours that represent its harbourfront.