Saturday, July 28, 2012

Steal like an artist

I ran across a quote this morning

as I was wandering across the web like a



“You don’t want to look like your heroes,

you want to see like your heroes.”


I think this is something I’ve been thinking a lot

about recently, perhaps in the back of my mind,

but seeing this quote pulled it to the forefront

for me this morning.

I’ve been rug hooking for over 10 years now and

I like to look back and see how my hooking has changed

with the years.

When I first started, I was drawn to hooking because of

the antique rugs that I would see in “Country Living

Magazine”.  I wanted to emulate or copy that look.

That’s what I did……


However, deep down inside I’m really not a dark, drab

primitive girl…..I do like rustic, but I’m more rustic with a

splash of hot pink!

That picture above, the hot pink giraffe in front of

the worn, rustic boards…..that’s how I felt in the primitive

world of rug hooking.

Not sure exactly where I fit in.

So I hooked a rug that had a primitive theme, but I

ventured out and made it a bit more girly…..

Much to my pleasure and surprise, I lot of people

liked it!

This gave me a little more confidence to be myself

and embrace what I felt like was more “me”.


It was around that time that I ran across the work

of Karen Kahle….I loved her style and tried to

emulate it in the patterns that I purchased

from her…..

I love how she added dabs of color here and there

in unexpected places, her cute little cottages

and crocheted edges. Seeing her style made me jump

off a little more and try my hand at making

some of my own designs, like this….

From loving her work I learned to steal the parts

that I loved!

Okay, so what if I tried even brighter colors?!

So far I had broken away from the drab, primitive

colors and gone to pastels….still a little safe, seeing

how Shabby Chic was all the rage.


So, I jumped!

I hooked this vivid turkey that was based on

an old vintage postcard that I had found years



Then I came across

the work of Deanne Fitzpatrick.

At first I just thought,

wow, her hooking is really MESSY!


I was taught to pull up nice, even loops….she certainly

wasn’t doing that! What does SHE know about HOOKING!


Then I ran across one of her books.


Deanne is also an incredible writer, that’s when I fell in love and found

that she was hooking from the heart and hooking

what she knew.


That was another light-bulb moment for me!


I need to be hooking what I know and what I love!


Bright puppies….

Wild gardens….

I’m learning to steal from artists and

mash those things that I love about THEIR

work into my own art.


  1. GREAT blog. Thanks for sharing your insight.

  2. Tammy, what a great post! I find it very inspiring..... and "validating". Love that last quote in the black and white. Well, your look is what really got me jazzed to hook years ago. I think seeing so many possibilities in others work is sooo important for me. I don't want to copy, but techniques, shapes, colors, and bits of motifs from other fabulous designers find their way into my rugs. It's just part of the process for me. I think it all comes together to create new and different rugs, bags, mats, etc. Had such fun yesterday!

  3. Great thoughts, great post. Thanks. I needed that today.

  4. How true! Hook what you love! be passionate for yourself and break rules. I love bright colours. I try to hook what I like after all it is for me. I like exploring and developing. Now I just need to get back at it. With the great summer we are having hooking has definitely taken back stage.
    Love your rugs!

  5. I hate reading most blogs, but really enjoyed yours. Your artwork is inspired . . .My world is too dull and love the bright colors and even some of the "girly" colors you incorporated into your work. Thank you