My husband and I live in Oregon, which is a nature lover's dream. Our home is full of hand-hooked rugs, miniature collections, books, and music. For over 40 years I've kept a journal, illustrated with drawings and watercolors. I usually spend several hours each day working on my needlework. Having it in my hands brings me peace.
When I was a child growing up in Singapore, we did not have television, so much time was spent dreaming, reading, and learning to knit and sew. I made garments for my dolls and teddy bears, and created furniture from empty matchboxes and wooden thread spools. It was not until I was in my thirties and had moved to the United States that I finally acquired a miniature dollhouse. It was relatively easy to obtain miniature furniture for it, but floor coverings were hard to find.
After some experimentation, I found a needlework stitch called "French knots" that gave a nubbly, almost hand-hooked look to my rugs -- and I was on my way. I drew a simple pattern onto cotton backing material and set to work. Working with French knots was like painting with thread -- all I had to do was outline an area of the design and then fill in the area with knots.
After finishing the first little rug, I began a more elaborate design of a Pennsylvania Dutch horse and stars. That was about thirty years ago. Since then I have made hundreds of miniature rugs in various sizes. Many are in my dollhouses and many more have gone to collectors around the world.
Today I am an artisan with the International Guild of Miniature Artisans (IGMA) and enjoy occasionally attending juried shows where the best of the world's miniaturists gather to show and sell their creations. My work has also been featured in Threads Magazine, The Miniature Collector, Nutshell News, and Rug Hooking Magazine.
Several years ago, Miniature Collector magazine published an article of mine titled "Grenfell Rugs", which tells the story of Dr. Wilfred Grenfell and the unique and colorful mats made by the poor fisher folk of Labrador and Newfoundland in the early 20th century. I've loved those mat designs for years and have adapted several of them as miniature rugs, as can be seen in this reprint of the original magazine article.
Miniature Collector also published a wonderful article describing my large Tudor-style miniature house, a treasure I've been furnishing and outfitting for over 40 years now. The Tudor house contains many of my own miniature hooked rugs, as shown in the photo above. The story of the Tudor house and its significance in my life may be found in this reprint of the original article.
More recently, Miniature Collector published an article describing my current fascination with room boxes made from bamboo kitchen utensil trays, which I furnish using various combinations of miniature pieces I've collected over the years. These room boxes also contain my own miniature hooked rugs, mounted over wall coverings selected to convey the look and feel of particular historical period or style. The article also contains a tutorial illustrating the making of two miniature rugs I used in one of these room boxes, as shown in this reprint of the original article.