Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dog Day Blues

I wanted to post a blog yesterday and tried to come up with something clever to post, but was rambling about the house, accomplishing nothing, and especially nothing creative in nature.  In truth, I was mildly depressed and couldn't exactly put my finger on why..... I just was.

Sunday was my mother's 91st birthday and she gave celebrating a valiant effort.  She is struggling since her health took a turn 4 weeks ago.  Her abilities are fading away more and more and it is evident the light in her soul is beginning to dim.  I think this reality was hanging over me all day. 

I would describe yesterday as a day when I had "the dog day blues" which is my spin-off from the saying "the dog days of summer"  which I always feel in late August when the heat has grown old, the days are long and boring and I'm ready for a change of season.

I thought about hooking, but didn't feel creative; I thought about putting together a new rug hooking pattern to perk myself up, but I have two rugs to finish before I can indulge in starting another!  I still have the huge border to do on the MM rug and my Karen Kahle rug from my class in AZ last month.  I want to finish those projects before I escape into another project, so I let the emptiness of the day stay with me, without fighting it.
As evening approached, I was resigned to the doldrums, and settled in to watch TV with a corgi on my lap.  As a form of entertainment, I started searching for antique rugs on the internet, via my iPad.  It did help perk me up:  the hunt for pictures, the fascination of old rugs ..... and then I found it!!!! 

Have you seen this Magdalena rug, circa 1870?  I have never seen this rug and it isn't pictured in the wonderful book Rug Hooking Traditions with Magdalena Briner Eby, so I was shocked to find it.  It is huge at 45" by 115" or nearly 4 feet by 10 feet! Finding this picture was like finding a lost treasure.  Isn't it amazing?!   
I cannot get over Magdalena's enthusiasm for hooking and if I found my roots are tied to her in genealogy, it would make sense to me why we are such kindred spirits:  her prolific hooking, her love of folksy representations of animals.  I cannot get over her repetition of animals with exact similarity between each of the animal rugs.  The dogs are all the same obscure shape; the horses the same fun hit-n-miss hooking, the cats are little blobs and the birds are the same shape.  The scale of the animals is always fun to observe in Magdalena's rugs.  Isn't she amazing? 

Whenever I think of an artist whose work was only discovered in popularity after their death, I do so hope that they somehow know how much it is cheering people on earth, how much it is valued and how much it has influence others!  Thank you Magdalena, and please say hello to all the other fine artists behind the pearly gates too! 

POSTSCRIPT:  two people have left me messages via comments that The Woolley Fox will be making this pattern available, so I guess it has been in the rug hooking world's awareness for awhile.  This is great!  Have fun hooking it! 

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