Hooray…after a “hooking marathon” (!!!), I have finished this rug! 🙂
The Irish-English proverb is…”In a Cat’s eye, all things belong to Cats!”
At 28 x 39 inches, this is a larger rug than I thought I would do when I first started designing it. But hooking in my “freestyle” or “stewpot” style, things just evolve sometimes!!! …lol… This was such fun and I was experimenting so much that I have spent a lot of 6-7 hours a day hooking on it.
When I make stew or soup, I start out with a base of broth or french onion soup, etc. and then toss in anything I think will make a good tasting blend of meat, vegetables and seasonings when finished. This is the way I hook almost all the time now and it’s just what I did on this rug!
I started with the base (the background wool), added the cat figure (inspired by an antique primitive painting of a cat on wood), remembered an old saying about cats and looked that up…and went from there. Fish, mice, birds, bugs, etc. are all things cats like…so Celtic fish, a mouse from a free clipart design, my own bug and bird sketches and a sunflower from an antique botanical book were added to the mix!
Now my designs don’t look much like the originals as they are my interpretations hooked in my own folk art style…but the inspiration came from those things! So… they were gathered together and thrown into the pot! I love to add “confetti” dots to my rugs… so the “seasoning” is in all colours that I thought would add some fun to this one.
My main problem was working with the Cat face. I wanted it to have some “realism” so I stared a lot at a photo of my own cat’s face plus about 30 other cat faces in all mediums. For me, “realism” is foreign!!!!! 🙂 This face isn’t Really realistic as I would have had to dye wool, properly shade and hook strips in the proper fur growth direction, etc. and I did not want to go that far!!!!! But I hope that the face begins to resemble a real cat and not a cartoon!
I still have some “tweaking” to do on the cat’s whiskers…I wanted just a light touch using wool yarn and sewing it into the hooking.
My cat, Cassie, was a wonderful cat and had a lot of expressions. I wanted the Face and Eyes to draw the viewer because that was the focus of this piece. (Also, the Green of the lettering is the same Green as the cat’s eyes…and that green is used nowhere else on the rug! ) I chose a font that looked lively and fun for this piece…and I really like how it turned out. 🙂
The cat’s body and all the rest of the rug is not realistic at all as that was not necessary…I just had fun with the colours and the design. I gave the Sunflower a little “life” by adding vine “arms” and “feet”…it was fun to see the vines twining around the rug!!!
The border, which took hours and hours of work (!) was not planned. It just popped into my head one day so I did it…! I like it…it makes me think of fairy tales and fantasy …and I like the “orderly” surrounding the “chaos” in the rug center. It isn’t “geometric” in the sense that all of the blocks are exactly the same size. But it looks fairly “orderly” which is as close as I come to hooking geometrics!!!!! …lol…
So here is the Finished rug on day 21…It has been delightful to hook and has become one of my favourites! I like the “slightly smug” cat, the old saying, the combination of motifs from different centuries and the plays on words with the green of the cat’s eyes matching the lettering, etc. It is exactly the way I like to work…and I like the finished “Stew”. Thank you for coming on this adventure with me…Happy Hooking! Sunnie 🙂