Hi! For those of you who have followed me (and I thank you kindly!) I want you to know that I have been in a dilemma of where to take my blog. For those of you who don’t know me, I started Alaska Locker Hooking in 1999 with locker hooking and in 2005 I got into crocheting with fabric and making rugs and crocheted felted wool bowls. I started my Etsy Shop where I still sell my locker hooking and crochet epatterns. And somewhere in there, I was also making my “Alaskan Stuffies”! I still crochet and felt bowls and sell them every year at the Arts & Crafts Emporium Holiday Show, at a booth a that I share with my artist husband!
As you follow my posts, you will see that in the summer of 2014, I fell in love with Zentangle® Art and became a CZT (Certified Zentangle® Teacher), November 2014 and I have been teaching Zentangle® classes at Blaines Art Supply ever since. I have decided to continue this blog but changed the the name to: “Donna Jacobson, CZT Blog”. It will include everything I do!
Fiber Art Website: www.alaskalockerhooking.com
Zentangle® Art Website: www.tanglealaska.com
Hi! We just recently wrapped up our Finally Friday Paint & Stitch Get-togethers! Jake and I have been hosting these gatherings all winter long and now will take a summer break and come back in October. Every month, on the 2nd & 4th Friday evenings, people from the community who share common painting & stitching interests gathered at the Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center, downtown 5th Ave, Anchorage, Alaska. It’s a beautiful Art Gallery and so cozy in the back where we meet. Thank you Jana for letting us get together there! So Jake’s (Kurt) the painter and I”m the stitcher.
Our First Gathering
It’s been a lot of hard work but soooo much fun and rewarding! Almost every gathering we’ve had different people come and join us along with a small core group that formed. We also have a potluck and that has been really nice because we start at 6pm and many come straight from work and we all share our goodies together while unwinding from the hectic week. We all share our talents too and I’ve learned so much and made friends.
I saw painters who started as beginners become experienced and awesome painters! I saw crocheters who began to knit! I saw friendships develop and blossom! I’ve known some of the people for a long time but got to know them better. The buzz was always “what are we going to bring to eat and work on this week?” I saw the excitement each time we all came together, excited to share and learn. I have a hard time around people (I fake it pretty good) but everyone made each other comfortable and was accepting of each other. Even though we were all different ages, we were like one big family! It was so wonderful to experience that! I love each one of them.
We even shared things that we made, like I bought a beautiful pair of earrings from Cathe! And Nicole brought handmade felted soap! Jan and Joni bought some of Jake’s paintings and Angie showed her cute crocheted baby onesie & hat sets along with her Angry Bird hats she sold at Christmas. We all watched Sarah work on her darling crocheted mushroom until she completed it. Funny, I never did really complete anything because I always got side tracked looking at everyone else’s projects:)
The last Friday the stitchers convinced me to show them how to locker hook and before I knew it I had a FULL class! I honestly wasn’t prepared for a class….thought it was just going to be a demo! But everyone, having stitching experience whether it was knitting, crochet, tatting, felting, weaving, embroidery, jewelry, sewing, and etc. all caught on fast. It was a great class and I am so proud of them:)
I know we are going to miss our Friday gatherings but it always seems that when spring & summer come we all are out doing other things. In Alaska we take advantage of the good weather! But we will all come together again in October and share more projects, fun, food, laughter, and friendships. Hope everyone has a great summer and Jake and I can’t wait to see you in October!
Hi! Oh my gosh!! I’ve been having Soooo MUCH FUN making crocheted beaded dream catchers and learning all about the history! I love crocheting and I love dream catchers! I thought I’d see if they sell at my Etsy Shop, Alaska HomeCrafters Emporium, or maybe a tourist at Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center might find them as fascinating as I do. When I moved up to Alaska someone gave me a dream catcher to keep the good dreams coming and the bad dreams trapped in the web. I still have it! I think everyone should have one 🙂
Dream catchers are arts and crafts of the Native American people. Traditionally dream catchers were made from willow branches bent into rings or oval shapes and sinew for the web. Feathers decorate infants and children’s dream catchers, but all dream catchers are embellished with totem animals, beads, and small stones. (I love to embellish!) The ring is believed to represent wisdom, strength, and unity.
One legend tells of an elderly spiritual leader who had a vision of Iktomi, the great trickster and searcher of wisdom. He appeared in the form of a spider and spoke to him. As he spoke, the spider picked up the elder’s willow ring and began to spin a web. He spoke about the cycle of life and and many lessons. The ring represents the cycle of life, for as we come into life as infants and grow into adults, as elderly adults we must be taken care of as infants, thus completing the cycle of life.
When the spider finished, he had spun a web inside the ring and told him that when the dream catcher is hung above ones bed, good dreams will float through the web’s holes and down the strings of beads and feathers, placing good dreams into your head while one sleeps. Bad dreams are caught in the web and tangle up in the web & beads and stones and with the first rays of daylight, they evaporate and disappear. Pretty awesome don’t you think!
Wishing you good dreams and peaceful sleep.
Hi! The Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center has officially moved from L St. and reopened its doors on 423 5th Ave, Anchorage, and I was there! It was absolutely fabulous! We had a great turnout for the event and everyone was amazed at the transformation of the store. The first Friday of each month, galleries and cafes downtown feature different artists and art shows and a lot of them are within walking distance. We had old friends, other artists, and tourists stop by, which was really fun! For our first friday’s “First Friday” we featured all the artists in our store! It was awesome! I brought in my quilt rack and hung two large crocheted rag rugs.
Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center opened its doors
The front of the store is our Gallery (I’m on the right behind desk) …………
The Gallery at Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center
………And the “Sled Dog Cafe”, is in the back of the store where we have tables & chairs, couch, and comfy chairs by a fireplace. We sell coffee and cookies which goes to support our classes and events. Our cafe motto is “Stop. Sit. Eat a cookie”! The Sled Dog Cafe is where we hang our “First Friday’s” featured art and lay out food and drink. The art will stay there for the month until the next “First Friday”.
Sled Dog Cafe at Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center
Our store also features the Jon Van Zyle Museum, which is in the back of the store next to the Sled Dog Cafe (door on the left in above photo). Jon Van Zyle is a well known and respected artist who paints beautiful Alaskan art and the Iditorod and has ran & completed TWO Iditorod races. He also is the official artist for the Iditorod Poster, which comes out every year. They are awesome! He has illustrated many, many Alaskan books. He and his wife, Jona, live in Anchorage, Alaska, with their dogs (and cats).
Jon Van Zyle, at “Jon Van Zyle Museum” in Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center
It was a fabulous and successful evening and we are already getting ready for next month’s “First Friday” which will also be our “official” GRAND OPENING of Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center, featuring Jon Van Zyle! He will be there, so write this on your calenders…….July 6, 2012.
Hi! Years ago rag rugs were made from old clothing, stockings, etc. and rugs were used on beds to keep families warm and then went down to the floors and on walls to insulate their homes. I’ve crocheted rag rugs for a long time but I’ve always used new store-bought 100% cotton fabric. I even have several rag rug crochet patterns that I sell. But the prices for cotton fabric has gone sky-high here in Anchorage and I simply can’t afford to make rag rugs anymore. So I got to thinking that I should give recycled sheets another try and succeed this time! So I’m RECYCLING FOR EARTH DAY (tomorrow) and beyond!
I absolutely love going to thrift stores and looking for treasures! I’ve never told anyone this, but my Senior Prom dress was from a lovely second-hand store and it was gorgeous, definitely something I’d never be able to afford if I bought it new! So I’ve been having a blast looking for recycled bed sheets and I’ve found some nice colors and designs. There’s not a huge selection to choose from but it’s a start. I got a BIG SHOCK though at the cost! I had no idea they cost sooooo much! The lowest was $7.95 for a twin and then jumped to $12.95!! These are used, and some with holes! But then I remembered that some thrift stores have different colored tags–50 % off weeks. Last week it was yellow and this week is orange. And the Salvation Army sheets cost less but usually only have one or two, maybe.
Recycled Sheets for my Rag Rugs
I started my new recycled rag rug in my usual spiral fashion with crochet hook size Q and it was terrible! The color joining was horribly uneven! I couldn’t figure out what I was doing so wrong? And I was so close to being done!
Spiral Rag Rug and Uneven Color Changes
I ripped it out and tried and tried again and again. Nothing worked! So I ripped it back to the second red circle and joined each round. But it still didn’t work, so I ripped it back to the center red circle and it still sucked! So…….I guess the lesson is, rip it ALL out and START OVER! I knew that!!
Rag Rug with joined rounds and even colors
And this is how my recycled rag rug FINALLY turned out! I can live with this one, OK 🙂
1. When working with such contrasting colors it’s better to join each round to minimize color changes. With similar colors you can use the easier spiral method just fine.
2. When it doubt, RIP IT OUT!
3. Trust your gut and do it right the FIRST time! I knew that!
4. Happy EARTH DAY 2012 and hooray for RECYCLING!
Hi! It is sooooo cold in Alaska!! I love Alaska but I’ve always wondered why so many people take off every winter and I swore I would never leave. I came up from Seattle where it rained all winter long and we ignored it and just went on our way. No big deal. So when I moved to Alaska, I adopted this attitude and I pretend it isn’t cold and there is no snow out there. Of course I’m always prepared in case!
But this winter is different and I’ve had it! I’ve tried to live with it, but this year there is NO pretending that it is TOO cold and there’s TOO much snow! I’m caving in! I really wouldn’t mind leaving Alaska and coming back when it’s warm! I certainly don’t want to be around when break-up happens! We are going to have a lot of MUD!!
This winter has been really hard on everyone! I have friends that have literally escaped to their cabins and I haven’t heard from them at all. Some friends who are up-beat people have admitted this winter is the first that they’ve experienced cabin fever. Some have broken bones. I walk through stores and I’ve NEVER seen so many SADD lights. Yup, I bought a Happy Light! Some swear by them. I’ve been using mine and haven’t noticed anything significantly different. But I haven’t had to increase my prozac again………..yet 🙂
But if you have to live and stay in Alaska, this is the time to bundle up, like Joseph! I crocheted this warm cocoon for him when he was little and now his brother is at the right age to use it. I bet it’s cozy and warm to sleep in! I would LOVE to have one for myself! I’d go into my cocoon the first sign of snow and not come out until it’s gone.
It is still snowing and this week we have MORE coming and even a blizzard warning for tomorrow! One good thing is that it gives me an excuse to craft more! I wonder how others “cope” with hard weather??
Hi, I teach crochet and locker hooking classes at Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts in So. Anchorage (Dimond Blvd). This is an older store but has been remodeled recently and they built a NEW CLASSROOM! I’m really excited about this store and the opportunity to teach again! Now both Jo-Anns in town offer classes!
Every month or two Jo-Ann holds an “Open House” where all the teachers come together and we promote our classes and people are free to ask us questions and sign up for classes (plus they can get a discount that day!). We have one coming up this Saturday, 2-11-2012. It’s a lot of fun! We usually have other demos going on too. Part of my responsibility is to make and show samples of class projects which are being offered and are coming up on the calender. It’s like “show & tell” and I love it! I really enjoy talking to the people and many of them I know or know me BUT they don’t know we offer classes NOW!!
One of the classes that is being offered is the crocheted Baby Blossom Hat and I thought you might enjoy a sneak preview! It’s easy and I had a blast making it. Don’t you think these are absolutely adorable!!
Make a Baby Blossom Hat at Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts
Hope to see some of you at this “Open House” or the next one…………
Hi! Well I’m back from a LONG time off! I was planning on flying to Colorado for my daughter’s “surprise baby shower”, but I got a SURPRISE when she went into labor 2 months early! So I flew down to take care of her and Joseph as she was on strict bed rest. We did have our surprise baby shower and WOW! she was surprised! It was pretty cool! I had started making baby boots and hat for a baby gift but I wasn’t finished, so I had to sneak around and crochet while she wasn’t looking (like late at night!). I barely got them done and I wanted to share them with you. They are very cute!
Booties and hat for Wyatt!
Maybe next time I’ll have time to add a pom pom on top! Lime green is my daughter’s favorite color and it worked out great because we didn’t know whether she was going to have a boy or girl!
Wyatt is healthy and all are doing great. I think Joseph will have so much fun with his little brother and I’m so thrilled to have another grandbaby!
Bring a piece of “Alaska” indoors!
As you know I’ve been crocheting glass covers this summer and I got to thinking about picnics and my daughter’s outdoor wedding coming up. How do you keep the paper napkins from blowing away? So……….I’ve been having fun crocheting rocks that I’ve found on the beaches in Alaska! I soak them, scrub them, and then crochet the rock using 100% cotton thread and sign them. They are natural Alaskan rocks! A long time ago I crocheted two rocks for bookends to use in my store (for my Laurel Burch journals) and they are just as pretty now as then. But this time I’m getting more creative and adding beads, buttons, ribbon, crocheted flowers, and more and having an absolute blast doing it!
One of my collections of Alaskan Crocheted Rocks
Jake and I go to the Alaskan beaches and hand-pick each beautiful naturally flat and smooth rock, which we lug home. We have a favorite beach but you have to go down and back up a very, very steep cliff to get back to the car. Of course it is so much easier to do in the fall when it’s cooler outside. Put them in the back of the car and they help with traction in the Alaskan winters! My husband is such a good sport! At first he thought I was crazy, but now he actually thinks it’s really cool and he even uses them at work!
I make my Alaskan Crocheted Rocks to use as napkin and paper weights, book ends, door stops, decorative and conversational pieces like in bowls and windowsills. Great for picnics and barbeques! Or decorate your garden!
And they make perfect unique little gifts! This is the crocheted rock I gave to my dear friend, Rene.
Hi! I’m back to crocheting glass covers! I’ve been making these for a long time and thought I would share them with you. Because I live in Alaska, when summer comes everyone gets out of their homes and stays outside until the snow comes again. Well, we have a picnic bench under some trees and the leaves, dirt, bugs, not to mention the pesky mosquitos fall into our glasses! So I came up with these colorful glass covers to protect water or wine, or whatever you may have in your glass. They work well for coffee mugs too! I also make larger sizes to cover food bowls. If you don’t want to use them on top of your glass, just slide them under your glass and you have classy glass doilies. And when they aren’t on your table, they look really pretty under potted plants, etc.
We have been saving all sorts of glass jars and that is what we use for our ‘everyday ware’. They look really cool on your table! In fact, we have so many now that our cupboards are literally over flowing! The glass covers also look quite elegant on wine glasses too! For red wines I use dark color thread and for white wine, it doesn’t matter.
I love to choose different colors and add the beads on the ends. The beads look pretty and are functional by weighting the cover down. I’ve used charms and buttons too. I’ve tried using plastic beads because they can go in the wash (inside a delicates bag), but they don’t hold enough weight, at least for outside. I’ve even gotten fancier and made lacy glass covers (like doilies) but I have to keep the stitches tight so little bugs don’t sneak in.
Do you prefer a set of the same color or a mix of different colors glass covers? Each one is unique even if they are the same color because they are handmade! You can find the “Crochet Pattern” for it on my website.
Crochet Glass Covers
Wine Glass Covers
Have a GREAT summer everyone and protect your glasses!