Christine here. First, thank all of you who wrote to me and wished my mother well. She did so beautifully after her knee replacement that I couldn’t believe it! For an 80 year old lady with heart disease and poor circulation, she is healing up very well and already striding around with a (hopefully temporary) walker. She’s sharp as a tack and still beating me at word games… that’s the part I was worried about; in my former life I saw some post-op strokes. And, I watched my grandmother become demented at 80, so I always fear the loss of my mother’s intellect and personality.
Enough of that. This post is about something else entirely! This post is about a collection of rugs that are so sweet and so pretty that I got permission from Val Galvin to write about them. I meant to put them in the newsletter, but I had trouble with fitting everything in, so I decided the blog here would be best.
Aren’t these birds just adorable? The chickadees are my favorite birds, with their little black caps above white feathers. Val has hooked them to look very cute, but I think the frame of braiding makes this a really beautiful rug.
The next in the chickadee series has a cream background with blue leaves. I like the way the braids transition from the cream color to the vibrant blues.
I think this one might be my favorite, in part because I love that yellow-green or “poison green” of the hooking background. The birds turn topsy turvy, and the green and brown evoke the forest.
We leave chickadees and go to robins, all lined up. Look at how the rusty braids point out the proud red breasts of these birds. While I love the hooking, I think the braided frame is what really “makes” this rug.
Here Val branches into quail — a family of quail with two little chicks. You can’t help but laugh at the ridiculous top feathers these birds wear. The brown and teal braids are a perfect frame.
OK, my parents (avid birdwatchers) would be embarrassed by my being unable to name what bird this is, but I can tell you that they are pretty in this rug!
Here’s the last one: isn’t this a calm rug? The soft grays and greens make you almost hear the waves against the rocks and the fog over the water. An oystercatcher hops along the rocks looking for mollusks.
I really enjoy seeing when an artist is so captivated by a subject that they explore it again and again, tweaking this aspect or that, changing colors to change the mood of the piece, and bettering their arrangement or portrayal each time. Val has clearly done that in this Bird Series.
Val has a studio, “Renditions in Rags,” on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. I’ve heard about Val for years from my friends Dianne Tobias and Kris McDermet, who I believe met her at the Thetis Island fiber gathering, but I haven’t yet met her myself. Please take a look at her Facebook page, Renditions in Rags. She offers classes in both hooking and braiding there and seems to have a lot of fun at whatever she’s doing!
Finally, let me just say that here I am in just an absolute disaster of a house, running back and forth between Lancaster (Mom) and Pittsburgh, trying to get a newsletter and handouts done and teach a class last weekend and everything else…. and Dianne taunts me by sending a photo of where she was on Thetis Island. Makes me wish I had Star Trek’s transporter up and running.