Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Pastimes PEI – thanks to our 2012 rug hooking customers and friends….

28 Dec
Pastimes PEI hooked art pieces

Rugs and wall hangings at Pastimes PEI

Demonstrating Rug Hooking at Orwell Corner Historic village

Demonstrating Rug Hooking at Orwell Corner Historic village

We’ve had a busy year here at Pastimes PEI and quite a change since summer because Heather retired from her real job and spent it at the rug hooking shop which is my (Shirlee) porch, actually. We do not have a big space but we ‘make do’.  The skill of “making due”  is part of our PEI heritage that we have re-invented in our rug hooking business. When you grow up making due, you never truly get away from it. Rug hooking began because people had to make do or not survive in PEI’s cold climate.

This fall we honored our culture by inviting people in to hook with us on out new mat. We designed a scrap mat just for the occasion.

we created a new pattern for a traditional scrap mat

we created a new pattern for a traditional scrap mat

We wanted our event for Culture PEI Days to be as authentic as possible so we did what they used to do in the olden days: they set a mat into the frames and called on their neighbors and friends to help them hook on it. When theirs was well underway, they went to their neighbor’s house and hooked on theirs; and so it went, a winter of hooking without actually staying home alone and hooking on one’s own mat. It was a social event mixed into the work.

You can see the slide show of our Culture PEI Days at on our Pastimes PEI facebook page under pictures. We have the finished mat hanging on our wall for all to see. It is made of almost all recycled clothing. We opted for new wool for the border so we would not run out.

Shirlee andJack getting the new mat in the frame

Shirlee andJack getting the new mat in the frame

Donald MacDonald was happy to meet and greet us

Donald MacDonald was happy to meet and greet us

Before Christmas we set up a display at the Belfast Mini Mills Christmas Fair with a very interesting group of fellow artisans. We were at the Belfast Historic Society’s Christmas Market the next Saturday.

Pastimes PEI Art Cards from out Hooked Pieces

Pastimes PEI Art Cards from out Hooked Pieces

We make Christmas cards as well as regular greeting cards from our hooked pieces. This year we had quite a few new cards to add to our collection. We have so many photographs from over the years…… many of our actual pieces are sold so it’s nice to remember them in cards and photos.

We had some time to actually hook this year, but not as much as we’d like. I’ve added a few pictures here of our work and, of course, nothing suits unless we add a few things from our yard…….

from our house to yours........

from our house to yours……..

Our Christmas Tree.... complete with chicken-little

May 2013 be just ducky for all of our family and rug hooking friends
wool and patterns and all things hooked at Pastimes PEI

wool and patterns and all things hooked at Pastimes PEI

Advertisements

Our Pastimes PEI Rug Hooking Patterns are Made Right Here in PEI

19 Apr

This post contains  my answer to Rug Hooking Daily‘s three questions below:

Heidi’s Questions:

Hello pattern designers, we have a few questions for you….

What goes into the making of a hooked rug pattern? Often we look at a well executed design and it looks as though someone simply put whimsy and sharpie to canvas et voila a pattern!

Her comment: of course, I know that’s not the way it works. Some of the very best patterns seem as though they were so simple to put together. Making it look easy seems to be an art in itself.

Tell us about your design making process, the work that lies behind creating a good pattern that can be sold to be hooked. What is it like to work at this as a source of income and how important is copy-write for all of us who love the craft?

My answer: 

Funny you should ask……..I can comment on all of the above – by the time we get out patterns on ‘printed’ on the backing for sale in the shop, we have put a lot of work and thought into the design, the placement of the motifs and thought about how it can be hooked successfully by our customers. It is quite funny, actually, when we hear people comment on how easy they could do it themselves. In the shop, it is mostly new or non hookers who make the casual comment while the experienced hooker is gladly shelling out the money for the pattern. We see it all the time – people with the main subject hooked but stuck on what to do next. Often there is not enough room around the outside to make the main motif(s) fit into a pleasing place in the mat. We take into consideration all that stuff when we create a pattern: we plan the size and proportion of the mat, the placement of the main subjects and the amount of background or ‘space’ other than the motifs, the best type of border, and lots of other little details. After we hook one sample, we get it figured out and look at size, shape, placement before committing the marker to burlap/linen. You have just got me started: we love to design patterns!! by we I am talking about my sister and I – she actually draws the patterns on the pieces for sale – I am far too messy.

Now what was the other question? Source of income? You bet; our Prince Edward Island patterns are of local subjects and based on traditional Island and Maritime patterns. We specialize in geometrics – vintage hooked geometrics never cease to amaze us here at Pastimes PEI. Bring in your vintage geometric and try not to be surprised that we ignore you and gloat over an old, well-used hooked mat from the past.  And we think that patterns should be simple – simple subjects, limited colors; plain, in fact, is most charming and actually harder to create successfully than hooking in too many colors;  our patterns reflect that: simple yet charming with that ageless look. That’s our style and it works well for newer hookers. they will not get overwhelmed with too much clutter and color in a project. When we first started making patterns to ‘pay for our hooking habits’ we thought they were pretty plain… they still are; we have come to recognize it is our style, after the style of our ancestor-hookers.

copyright you SAY? Most of the time people respect our work; it is something we tell people: we made this and we are proud to sell it to you; you can not find it anywhere else; please respect that. I am not sure how anyone can ‘love’ a piece if they know it was taken from someone else’s collection. Assert yourself and tell others that copyright applies to rug designs as it does to other works created for art. It is pretty easy to copy stuff from the internet these days and I see more and more people talking about the infringement issue. It is like buying fake brand name clothes – you get what you pay for.   My conscience would bother me. I love to get the high- feeling of seeing/making my own work. I have lots of other comments, actually, butshould get into action and actually hook something today. Cheers from Shirlee for today. And please comment,,,,,

Our winter visit with the folks at Roseneath Country Inn B&B

29 Feb

Yesterday was a snow day on Prince Edward Island so we decided to visit Brenda And Edgar Dewar of Roseneath. Edgar’s grandmother was a woman who hooked very beautiful rugs in her day. So Barry and I visited to find out more about this remarkable woman of a bygone era. I have to say that I got so excited about seeing her picture and the old pictures of the Dewar Mill which they operated, I forgot to get her full name…. that’s all because we were not the only visitors to stop by their home yesterday. Barry and I were joined by two more visitors so that made our little adventure in the snow even more interesting. Brenda served us all her lovely warm scones and coffee as we chatted about who was related to whom and other important matters of the day. there are so many interesting places and interesting people on Prince Edward Island… their website is a great place to meet these two: http://www.rosebb.ca/

I Married the Coats Today – Really

8 Nov

We rughookers call overdyeing fabrics without using any dyes at all – just using the ‘bleeding’ from one fabric color into another – the marrying of the coats.  While I am sure no one knows how the name came about, people used the technique to make varying colors of black, navy, wine etc. to meld together in a hooked mat especially for a background. One article of clothing was not large enough to complete the project so they put enough fabric together in a pot and simmered it on the back of the wood stove until the colors ran into each other. Usually, that is not what we want for our usual laundry, but for rughooking it’s ingenious…. using what we have without buying a thing.

my coat parts on the line



it’s hard to see the variations….



birds had a lovely day too….

and Jack has recovered….

 Here are my coats on the line this am. They are actually too heavy and felted for rughooking so I plan to do some felting projects for Christmas…. plan, being the operative word here. The chickens and ducks were having a great day too so I thought I would show them off as well. As for Jack, he’s back to his old self with the help of a dose of calcium evey day for the rest of his life.

Celebration of craft – Cultural activities – The Guardian

27 Sep

Celebration of craft – Cultural activities – The Guardian

My Latest Painting Entitled ‘Jack’

16 Sep

My Latest Painting Entitled ‘Jack’

Save the PST | Discover PEI Studios

13 Sep

Save the PST Discover PEI Studios

We’ll be featuring the Cavendish hooked mat and patterns called :A Piece of Cavendish on burlap and on linen.

Beginner’s kit for hooked PEI homestead

17 Aug

Today’s kit is a new little beginner’s PEI House kit.

house kit11 008

house kit11 003

It is a nine inch sampler to hang or use as a trivet when it is finished. By the time you are finished you should know if you love hooking or not. Most people fall in love with the traditional art of rug hooking because of it’s simplicity. Every person will produce a different looking product because there is no one way to hook any piece. You can rip back with ease if you do make a mistake.

Cattails Studio- Brenda Watts Woodwork: Muddled Drinks for Hot Days

3 Aug

Cattails Studio- Brenda Watts Woodwork: Muddled Drinks for Hot Days: “I make muddlers for mojitos, old fashioneds, mint juleps or well any fresh fruit is fantastic muddled in a summer drink with or without alco…”

Cattails Studio- Brenda Watts Woodwork: Vintage Wood & Lettering

7 Jul

Cattails Studio- Brenda Watts Woodwork: Vintage Wood & Lettering: “I have been using up my vast collection of antique wood….for some reason I have an unusually large number of table leaves..this is pine, t…”