Rug Hooking in Florida

When I think of wool, I think of cold nights snuggled under a warm blanket…not Florida! And my latest art form uses a lot of wool. I love rug hooking so much that I’m willing to work with wool in warm temperatures, but I wasn’t sure other people in my RV resort would feel the same way.

Two ladies heard that I hooked rugs last year and approached me about showing them how to do it. Unfortunately, by the time this happened, it was already Spring and time to head home. But I promised to send them information about rug hooking over the course of the year, I signed up for a room in the Rv park, Sun N Fun, to hold our meetings and they said they would order what was needed to begin rug hooking. With that, we parted our ways for nine months.

All summer long, I sent out messages with ideas of where to buy a hook, frame and kit. I kept wondering if they would actually show up and want to learn. And the big question was would I be able to teach them how to do it.

Well, let me tell you that this season in Florida has been the best one for me yet! Here are the two lovely, FUN ladies that urged me to teach them.

Trisha and Sherry love to have fun!

And then another who parked her camper next to mine and saw me hooking my project from her window decided to come and join us.

I loved being Donna’s neighbor!

Donna, Sherry and I were already on the same street in our RV resort and Trisha decided to move over and join us. Our street became lovingly known as hooker alley. (I do at times wish this wonderful art had a different name!) We sure had fun getting together mid week to hook outside by our campers.

Hooking at the campsite

Even though I was still working on my hummingbird piece, I felt the need for a more simple piece to work on while teaching others. Something quick and easy that I could start and finish while showing the ladies each step. I designed the “Love Always” love bird piece. 

Of course, the birds are my sweetie and me. And of course, he had opinions as I designed it. At first I drew the birds to look pretty much the same. But he thought the male bird should be fancier, like in nature. We had a good laugh when he suggested a top knot! Even though he is bald, he thought the bird to represent him should have more feathers on top! So, I drew it out and liked it very much. I was able to start and finish it in a few days. I love my twist on Pennsylvania Dutch folk art. Pattern available here: Love Always

So, then it was time to design something else for me to work on. The hummingbird piece still needs to be finished. I don’t know why I’m dragging my feet on that one…. Anyway, there was one photo from our trip from Maine that I really love. I feel that it captures much of what my life is about: nature, travel and LOVE! Here is Matt and me by Bass Harbor Light.

I love the photo, but thought that the design needed to be tweaked a bit. Wanting us to be the focal point without having the piece huge, I made us a bit larger.

I had not yet hooked a sky, so I decided to follow the advice of Cindi Gay in her book: Pine Trees, Grass and Sky. What a wonderful book! And since I have’t done any dyeing of wool (although I am sorely tempted), I ordered “sky wool” from Cindi. It is just beautiful! My photo had no clouds in the sky, but I added some. Since I started the piece, I have spent quite a bit of time staring at the clouds in the sky. They are so varied and beautiful! Here is how it looks so far. My first hooked sky!

Bass Harbor Kiss by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

My friends and I also went each Monday to participate in hooking time with others an hour away. They were doing some overdyeing with ice. So I took some wool and gave it a try. What gorgeous colors! I really am getting quite interested in the dyeing process.

Well, my RV lady friends actually each finished a piece. Here is Sherry with her beautiful mat. (Notice her AWESOME name tag!? If you don’t have one yet, here is where you can order one: Rug Hooking Name Tag)

Sherry did great with her first hooked mat!

And Trisha finished her version of my “Happy Campers” rug pattern. She put the words, Joy, joy, joy, into it because RVing gives her and her husband such joy. What a joy to see her finished piece!

Happy Campers design hooked by Trisha Senterfitt. Design by Janine Broscious

So, rug hooking in Florida has been an amazing experience. I’ve had a great time seeing others enjoy learning a new art form. And I’ve made some lasting friendships! We are all looking forward to next season with many others promising to join us.

Bible Art: Connecting with God through Art

Isn’t it amazing how God knows exactly what each one of us needs to grow in our relationship with Him? But, of course he does! He created us with our unique needs and desires. Me… well, he made me with an intense desire to be creative just like him. A few months ago, I began seeing people posting photos of art they had done in their Bibles. Here is a post I wrote about my beginnings in Bible Art and another post that shows some of my Bible pages.  Now, it’s time to catch you up on some I’ve done recently!

Worry is something that I have struggled with throughout my life. Really, who doesn’t at one time or another? I suppose it comes down to the fact that we all want to be in control and we just aren’t. God is. And it’s hard to just leave it at that. Jesus knew we would struggle with trust and spoke about it in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 6:25-34 has always been a wonderful passage for me to think upon. Here it is:

 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

We don’t need to worry! In fact, that is something that people without Jesus do. If I didn’t have Jesus, I would REALLY need to worry. But, I DO have Jesus. He loves me and will give me everything I need. Since these verse speak so loudly to me, I felt I needed to illustrate them. Flowers, birds….yes, this would be a fun page!Bible Art by Janine Broscious

I got inspiration from one of my favorite books, “The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady” by Edith Holden. This is a treasure that I found in a used book sale. In this book, Edith Holden kept a nature journal of beautiful watercolor illustrations which I have always admired. I was a bit intimidated by trying this painting, but I have found that you just have to jump in. First, I covered the Bible page with clear gesso from ArtBasics. I traced her painting, then used graphite paper to put the outline of the birds onto my Bible page. After that, I looked at her painting, but just did my own thing with the watercolor paints. I kept the flowers and leaves simple and without detail so they wouldn’t detract from the birds.Bible Art by Janine Broscious

Edith’s birds were gray. But I was having trouble getting the colors right. In fact, I was just having trouble keeping the birds and the tree branch from looking like one huge grayish brown blob on my page. Perseverance is often the key with art. I just kept plugging away until all of the sudden, sweet birds emerged. I still have a long way to go to learn about watercolor painting, but it is a thrill when something comes together. I did have to use brown ink to bring out details. It’s a challenge to do these pages and yet still read through them.Bible Art by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Now, when I flip through my Bible, I can see these birds as a reminder of God’s provision. He takes care of the birds and the flowers. He makes them beautiful and gives them purpose. He will take care of me… and you too!Bible Art by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

My page was inspired by Edith Holden’s work, and yet is so different. Just like all of us. We are made in God’s image and yet with different needs…that He will meet.Bible Art by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Here is a gallery of other pages I have done lately. I hope they will inspire you to dig into God’s love letter to you, the Bible.

Bible Art Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

This is a reminder that God made me and he only makes things that are good.

Bible Art Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

Our faith is tested by trials.

Bible Art Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

In our darkest times, we need to remember who God is and what he has done.

Bible Art Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

If we come to Jesus and acknowledge that we need him to cleanse us, he will! Here I show the same page side by side to illustrate the effect of metallic ink.

Bible Art Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

If we approach life as a child, we will have complete trust in God, our father.

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Art Along the Way

This crazy life of mine has kept me traveling a lot lately. I’m thankful that art supplies don’t take up much room. I just “art” along the way. This flower doodle was fun, but I wonder if it’s too bright?Flower doodle bright by Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

So, I did another and took a pic before I colored it in case of wanting to do it another way. Flower doodle #2!

Flower doodle by Janine Broscious. www.joyfulwonder.com

Flower doodle by Janine Broscious. www.joyfulwonder.com

This time I used pastel markers, They are Faber Castell PITT artist pens. You’ll have to let me know which you prefer: bright or pastel.Flower doodle colored. Janine Broscious of JoyfulWonder.com

I decided to try another one with a word in it. Rejoice in the Lord always!Rejoice by Janine Broscious JoyfulWonder.com

It was wonderful to spend time with my grandchildren who live 12 hours away from us. These sweet girls kept asking if we would be “arting”each day. I had no problem complying!Beth and Emily "arting"

Our oldest granddaughter, Beth, was really watching as I drew flowers. She helped me decide what colors to paint these roses. I’m always relearning to trust God…no matter what. I used InkTense pencils on this one.Trust by Janine Broscious of JoyfulWonder.com

The girls say such sweet encouraging words to each other while arting. Both of them loved on each flower as I did this “Be Still” page.Be Still by Janine Broscious of JoyfulWonder.com

Beth surprised me by showing me her page the next day.Beth's artwork

We had a lovely time discussing what it meant to “Be Still.” I explained that we need to get quiet with God and learn about Him and trust Him. At times it means to take a deep breath, stop what we are doing and remember that He is in control. We don’t have to worry! I don’t know if she understood it all, but I think she got some of it. And she loves looking at her page which I know will not only be a reminder of our time together, but also of God. What a thrill to be able to have a conversation like that with her…and all because of art!

Just had to add one more pic of my lovely fellow artists!My fellow artists

Bible Art Journaling

Isn’t it wonderful to stumble upon something that resonates with you? Recently, online I had seen that some people were drawing and painting right in their Bibles. This really drew me in. I love art. I love to create. I know that God made me that way because He is my Creator. I’ve endeavored to use my art to glorify Him and this was such an intriguing idea to me. To use art while meditating on verses from the Bible sounded just right.

However, I was apprehensive to doodle in my Bible. What if I made a mistake? What if it turned out ugly? Was it dishonoring to God’s word? My ever wise hubby finally cleared this quandary for me by saying, “Hon, monks have been drawing in Bibles for centuries.” Of course! I love looking at illuminated Bibles. So, I finally just jumped in and did it. I bought a wide margin Bible for journaling first. And then I joined an online group for Bible Art Journaling. Rebekah R Jones picks a verse each week to journal and video tapes herself doing it. She is graciously sharing her journey and expertise with us for free! How amazing is that?! Here are some verses that I have done with her group so far.Be BraveLaughBe Bold as a LionMake a Joyful Noise

I am enjoying it so much, that I decided to do a verse from my devotions. I started out with drawing in marker.As for me and my house

Then added some color with acrylic ink and watercolor crayons. Oh, I used gel pens too.We will serve the Lord

How about you? Wouldn’t you love to join in with us? I hope I see you on the Bible Art Journaling facebook page. God bless you as you meditate on His love letter to you.

 

Never Bored

Recently, while chatting with a fellow artist, she said, “With all the fun things out there to create, how do people get bored?” I totally agree! There is never enough time in the day to create all the things I want to make. I’ve been enjoying several different creative avenues lately.

I met Caroline from Eagles Nest Woolens during Oktoberfest at the Schifferstadt Museum in Frederick, MD and  I admired her beautiful rugs and watched her as she hooked a rug. I’ve always been interested in rug hooking and she had a small kit for sale. I just HAD to try it!DSC_9649 3

It did take me a bit to get the hang of pulling the stips of wool fabric through the backing cloth, but as I continued, it got easier and easier. I finished hooking the design and steamed it. Now I just need to figure out how to finish off my pumpkin rug mat.DSC_9706 2

When I wasn’t rug hooking, I was finishing a doily. I almost always have one in the making. This one is special because it reminds me of my doily making beginnings. After teaching myself how to crochet, I made afghans and pot holders. Then, while at a star party with my hubby, I saw a woman sitting outside her camper creating something beautiful. I thought she must have been tatting but she explained that it was crochet but with thread. Anne was working from a book of designs from nature.DSC_9724 3

Of course, I ran right out and bought thread, a smaller hook and the book! Well, okay, several doily books. And I ended up making LOTS of doilies but for some reason none from that book. Finally, I have completed the butterfly doily from Anne’s book. Isn’t it gorgeous?! Can you see the profiles of butterflies?DSC_9696 2

Of course, I always have my camera handy and every year I make a calendar. It takes quite some time to choose the photos and edit them for the calendar. But I got it done! And they are available for purchase here: 2015 Calendars. These high quality wall calendars feature photos from our trip to England and Bible verses. I hope you enjoy them!DSC_9657 3

This time of year I always have jewelry projects. I was kept quite busy getting ready for a show. Here is one pendant that sold just hours after I posted it. Abalone is so beautiful.DSC_9548 5

Creating with Sterling Silver wire is one of my favorite things to do. Add my favorite stone, Labradorite, and how could I not love it? This labradorite pendant is still available!DSC_9670 4

Swirls and turquoise are an unbeatable combo too! This turquoise pendant is here on my website.DSC_9684 6

So, yes, I’ve kept myself contently occupied creating! No boredom here! I’m always happy to see another sunrise and create during another day. What keeps you contentedly occupied?DSC_9667 2

To See What We Can See

After visiting with our son and his family for two weeks, we are on the road again. The song, “The Bear Went Over the Mountain,” kept going through my head. Just the part, “to see what he could see.” We’ve never seen Wisconsin, so off we go. I actually have gotten so I enjoy driving the rig while Matt works in the passenger seat. Here is where I parked with the big rigs at a rest area. We sort of fit in, don’t you think?20140902_120304 2 I liked this sign at the rest area. My driving limit seems to be about 6-8 hours. I can’t imagine driving for 11.20140902_120544 2 We have arrived at our first place in Wisconsin, Sky High Camping Resort. Here is my view from our campsite. I’ve been doing laundry and catching up on emails.20140902_160955 2 And while at the laundromat, I met a fascinating woman, Ida Gannon. She was so friendly and said I should come to her site to visit her. Then she mentioned that she was an artist. That was it! I was absolutely going to stop by! As I approached, I heard a drilling sound.DSC_7929 First she draws her beautiful designs on the gourds. Then she does wood burning. But today she was cutting out portions of the design.DSC_7930 2 Ida, who is in her 70’s and is a widow,  says she loves to stay busy. But sometimes, she works so long that her hands get completely numb. She was glad I stopped by and gave her an opportunity to rest.DSC_7932 As I admired her beautiful art, I heard a tiny crunching sound. I kept looking behind me and finally Ida said, “It’s a little red squirrel.” I moved slowly hoping to get a photo. He was quite tame and just kept eating.DSC_7944 3 There always seems to be fun experiences to be had while camping, even on the days when I have to stay at the campsite. Right now new neighbors are setting up, Mike and Janey. They are pulling a toy hauler that carries their motorcycles. Who knows, maybe I’ll get a motorcycle ride!