Seeing things

karen in red scarf in the mirrorI have been thinking about my voice here in cyberspace. Many of you know me as a rug hooking designer through my business Primitive Spirit and that I specialize in vintage style hooked rugs. You may have just found my blog and are interested in fiber arts like knitting or crocheting and enjoy reading about what I am working on.

I thought today I might share some thoughts about myself so that you would understand more about where I am coming from. So here are some things about me.

I notice things

DSCF1110I am always looking, seeing things. You could even say that I am living in a daydream. As I write this I can’t help but look up from my computer and un-focus my eyes to see the light shining on the countertop illuminating my orange pottery: I see a vignette, a composition. I see them everywhere all the time. Sometimes what I see makes me stop my work and think of how a color combines with another color. Or I may see a color in a new way. A dramatic shadow falling on a bead board wall may pull me in, musing at its shape. Or I might sigh at the subtle color change through the morning air as I look at the distance trees. I see the glow of light through a leaf. My eyes are taking in beauty and drawing inspiration. I do this as naturally as breathing. I love the world I see in all its changeability.

I am all about creating

DSCF1021Making beautiful things gives me joy. Using my hands and cutting, digging, knitting, sewing, painting. Today it might be hooking a rug. Tomorrow I may paint a shelf. I want to make something. Many things I keep and cherish and live with. And then I may give it or sell it and move on to something else. The creating is an end in itself and gives purpose and meaning to my life.

I am a time traveller


It is as if I am living both today and in another time period and I want to reach back and bring it here with me. I have a connection to the past that gives me a familiar feeling that I can’t ignore. When I see a vintage textile I feel a shiver of mystery that it has grown so old and lovely, as if it were made by me long ago. I love how age becomes an artistic element that adds a new unplanned harmony. I love being surrounded by beautiful objects from the past and I love crafting new things that look antique.

I see connections

I see life as a puzzle and the many pieces of it create a picture that elevates it to become a huge surprise. This makes me feel childlike, ever learning, ever in the ah-ha moment. This beautiful mosaic is supreme artistry to me, and I translate it as I blend dibs and dabs of color in my rug hooking, in many layers of colored paint in my faux finishes, as I decorate with pieced quilts and textiles, in carding bits of fiber together to spin into yarn. I feel akin to the Impressionist painters and how they used their brush stroke.

I see life as mystery

This last one brings perspective to all that I do. For as long as I can remember I felt that there was more meaning in life than what can been seen with the eye. That this special thing called ‘my life’ was not to be taken merely at face value. I could see that being put here on earth was a great gift, and that my quest was to be about discovering as much as I could about that mystery.

And since I am creative, I see that I am a reflection of a creator. One who loves beauty, color, and nuance. Who takes great pleasure in things like the flamboyant change of seasons, the dramatic light and shadow of a sunrise, and the way clouds dance across the stage of a blue sky.

itty-bitty-blogAs I grow older these mysteries grow more profound. I won’t be here forever. So what of it all? Did I do justice to the mystery? I don’t know. But I do know that the hidden hand has been there every step of the way, surprising me when I stumble onto something brilliant, beyond where I intended to go. I think of that as grace.

Thanks for reading my thoughts and joining me today on the creative journey ~ Karen

27 thoughts on “Seeing things

  1. Hi, am really missing you. Your style reminds me of myself. Looking forward to seeing you in the fall. Don’t forget the dye book.


  2. Dear Karen, I love your creations and patterns. I was fortunate to meet you several years ago at a Shelbourne, VT rug show. I have made several of your patterns. Your recent blog about inspiration is wonderful. I feel a connection with you since I feel the same in many ways. I especially liked the beautiful flower pin. Is there a pattern for it? You are an inspiration to me. Thank you, Claudia


    • thank you for connecting with me claudia. i do miss all the wonderful people such as yourself that i met at the Shelburne rug show. the flower pin — i assume it is the one with the ruffled edge? i want to collect my notes and do a pattern for it. in my etsy shop i do have a little sunflower pin pattern called raggedy ann flower pins.


  3. So beautifully written. I truly enjoyed reading your insights. Too often, I get so focused on what I have to do that I forget to look at the beauty around me. Well said.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love reading your comments…so many of the same thoughts I have about creating (though I’ve had to squeeze my creative soul between work hours lately, as a professional book editor; I’m starting to get a bit antsy sitting at the computer for too many hours under gray skies and not in the craft room). Someday, if you ever imagine a book–gathering your thoughts about creating, putting them onto pages, illustrating the pages with beautiful photos like the ones that appear on your blog, putting them between lovely covers, and then publishing a book that all of us could be blessed with, I’ll donate the editing for free! (I’m not kidding. I make a living editing books, but I like to volunteer some of my time to the arts and crafts world too)…your spirit comes through the ether and that’s a gift…thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Karen, I too see designs everywhere. I want to translate them through fiber, but my skills are not able to do justice to what I see in my head, and I don’t have the materials, or colors, to replicate my minds eye image. Just yesterday I was reminding myself that I only have one life so I won’t be able to craft all I would like to, and I need to be thankful for the blessing of the eyesight to see the images and glorious colors.


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