Another Beginning

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 & crochet patterns. And somewhere in there, I was also making my “Alaskan Stuffies”!

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 ever since. I tried to add Zentangle to this fiber art blog (Alaska Locker Hooking) , but it hasn’t worked very well sooo...I have made a new Zentangle® blog called,   (which I hope you will follow!). I will also continue this blog, as I love fiber arts and still make things and I still do one Holiday Show a year! Does that make sense??

Fiber Art Website: 

bLUE Bowl-ForWebsite

Zentangle® Art Website: 

♥ Donna

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Filed under Alaskan Stuffies, Art, Crochet, Locker Hooking, Uncategorized, Zentangle Art

One Year CZT Anniversary!

Hi! It is really hard for me to believe it has been one year today when I was in Providence, Rhode Island, at CZT Seminar 17. After 4 days of intense instruction, I graduated and received my Certified Zentangle® Teacher certificate from Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts. It was one of the biggest days of my life! It was absolutely magical! I learned so much and made so many wonderful friends who I still stay in contact with. Zentangle® has changed my life, it has given me life! Being the agoraphobic that I am, I still shake my head that I really did it because it is very hard for me to even leave my house most of the time. I wanted so much to get a beautiful photo of Maria giving me my certificate and all I got was this…and I could NOT stop crying and saying “I did it, I did it, I really did it!” Maria, being the beautiful person that she is, handled it well! I’m also still amazed at that person who could not draw at all, now draws beautiful art and I am excited about teaching and sharing the Zentangle® Method™!


So much has happened in this past year! It’s been hard and yet wonderful! My goal was to teach Zentangle® Workshops at Blaines Art Supply (the only art supply store besides Michaels) in Anchorage, Alaska. When I got home I interviewed and got the job but it was one of the hardest interviews I’ve ever had and having been an RN in the past, I’ve had some tough interviews. Working for Blaines Art, of course I promote their products, but the problem was they didn’t have the Zentangle® supplies I needed (supplies I had learned from seminar). Not being able to use Zentangle® products was a challenge and I had to reevaluate and rethink everything. It stopped in my tracts at first but I’ve learned to be open and flexible because there are great art products out there. I’ve been teaching classes there now since January and everything has worked out just fine.

It’s been hard for me because there was only one CZT in my town and she doesn’t teach classes and I cannot turn to her for support. So I am on my own. Fortunately I have the support of my Zentangle® family in Providence and other online CTZ’s. My first class was January 9, 2015 and I was scared to death but my love for Zentangle® is so strong, that I did it! I think I had about 12 students and they were all so nice🙂 We did 2 tiles and learned 8 tangles. After that class, I had many students asking me, “now what??” I knew exactly how they were feeling because after my first class with a CZT I said the same thing and wanted to continue learning more and to tangle with others…it’s all about the process and the enjoyment of being relaxed, “in the moment”, and being with others who speak the same Zentangle® language. The end result is always beautiful art. So my wonderful boss at Arctic Rose Gallery offered me the space to have monthly Zentangle® Social Meetups! Yes fantastic!! Better yet, we gather on Sunday when the gallery is closed and is quiet :)  Perfect for the “Zen”!  The meetups have been so rewarding and fun and lovely friendships formed! And one of my students from my first class even went on to seminar and became a CZT!

1-9-2015 My First ClassZentangle Meetup

I have so much I want to share with you! I’m going to try to catch you up to the present and hopefully before 2016!
❤ Donna Continue reading


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Certified Zentangle Teacher

Hi! I’ve recently returned from Providence, Rhode Island. I know, pretty amazing for me! Those who know me, know that sometimes I can’t even get out of my house :)  It happened very suddenly when I got a newsletter from that there were 4 open seminar spaces available…first come, first served! This was my dream, to go to seminar to become a Certified Zentangle® Teacher but I figured I would have to wait until 2015 (it’s very hard to get in!). I would be trained by the founders of Zentangle®, Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts. Well a long story shortened…I emailed but the 4 spaces were already filled and I was #15 on a waiting list. I was so disappointed to think I almost had a shot of getting in!

About two days later I get another email and I GOT IN!!  That is, if I could fly to Providence, RI, and find a hotel in less than a week! The seminar is at the Providence Hotel but they were booked solid. Before I knew it I was on a plane and off to become a Certified Zentangle® Teacher! No time to think how terrified I was to fly and fly so far from home for 6 days. I’m talking about Alaska to Rhode Island! It took me all day to get there, starting at 3:30am (Sat)and finally got to bed at 4:00am the next day (Sun).

But I did it! I made it to Providence only to find out they did not have a room for me! Yes, NO ROOM!! I had a total meltdown (and I mean it was bad!) and was driven across town to another hotel. I had absolutely no idea where I was or who I was with. They fortunately came back to get me the next day (I was crossing my fingers that they would!). I emailed Martha (Maria’s daughter) to let her know what happened and checked into the seminar that evening. I stayed at Biltmore that night, alone and scared.


The next morning (Mon) after the morning class, Martha took me aside and said there was a vacancy at Providence Hotel and they were working on getting me over there with everyone else. OMG! I was soooooo excited, so relieved, so grateful, so exhausted! From then on I had the most FANTASTIC and AMAZING time! It was like I was living in a magical dream-world filled with beautiful tangles and warm and wonderful people. Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts and their entire Zentangle® family were unbelievably so kind and giving.

Me, Maria, and Rick

Me, Maria Thomas, and Rick Roberts

I met so many people from around the world. We had 13 countries and 22 students from Taiwan who became my friends (kneehow). I had so much fun and learned sooooo much!


When I got back, Blaines Art Store asked me to teach Zentangle® classes and I start in January 2015 (another dream come true!). I can hardly wait!!!! I am now a Certified Zentangle® Teacher!



See you in class🙂


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Zentangle Discovered

HI!  Last summer I discovered Zentangle® which has changed my life! I came across it at and was mesmerized by the beautiful art and I knew that was something I wanted to do. I ran out and bought as many Zentangle® books as I could find.  Zentangle® is an easy to learn, fun, and relaxing method of drawing repetitive structured patterns. It only requires a 3.5″ x 3.5″ white paper, 01 Micron Pen by Sukura and a pencil.  No eraser because there are no mistakes in Zentangle…just opportunities for new patterns.  This was my first attempt at tangling (before I took a class)🙂


My First Zentangle

Now, I CANNOT draw but it said it’s easy and anyone can do it and so I took a beginning class from a Certified Zentangle Teacher and came out with two beautiful pieces of art that I DREW!! Yes, I can draw Zentangle Art!  There were 6 students and we did 2 Zentangle® tiles each. Each tile had 4 different tangles (patterns) on it. The most fascinating thing to me was that we were each shown how to draw the same tangle BUT each of our tangles were totally different and so creative!! It was our own art we were drawing that came from our minds!  Just like in life, each person’s handwriting is different.  We each have different personalities.  Since the first time I saw Zentangle Art I secretly wanted to become a Certified Zentangle® Teacher.  I was convinced if I could draw such beautiful images, then anyone could and I wanted to share this magic!

First Class Zentangle Tile

First Zentangle class tile

Second Zentangle class tile

Second Zentangle class tile

Beginners Tile

Beginners Tile


I recommend taking a class with your local Certified Zentangle Teacher and explore



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What do I do with my Scraps?

Hi!  I have a lot of fabric! And I really mean A LOT! So what do I do with my fabric scraps? I LOCKER HOOK my scraps into functional and awesome things that I can use or give as gifts :)  I also crochet with my scraps (that’s another subject).

What in the world is LOCKER HOOKING, you say?

It is a long forgotten art, an “old rug hooking technique” thought to have originated in England in the early 1900’s.  There’s very little documented history about it. Locker hooking uses a locker hook, which looks like a 6.5 inch long steel metal crochet hook with a LARGE needle ‘eye’ on the other end (to thread the yarn through).  Also used, is latch hook rug canvas, yarn, and fabric strips (or thick yarn or wool roving).

A locker hook

Locker Hook

Inserting Locker Hook into Square

Inserting Locker Hook into First Square

The locker hook needle ‘eye’ is threaded with yarn and from the top of the canvas the hook is pushed through a square (with one hand), and from below the canvas a fabric strip is wrapped around the hook part (with other hand) and pulled back up through the same square to the top of the canvas again, making a fabric loop.  Keeping the loop on your locker hook, you continue to pull up fabric loops until you have about 10 loops on the locker hook.  Then...the locker hook and yarn are pulled through ALL the loops, thus  “locking the loops in place”.…. And that is it!

 What do you use the scraps for, you say? 

Well, you can locker hook all kinds of awesome things like rugs, wall hangings, blankets, clothing, baskets, bags & purses, pillows, lots of home decor, personal accessories, and much more!  Anything your imagination can dream of!  In 1999, I wrote and self-published a book entitled, Locker Hooking With Fabric Strips, which has tons of examples and ideas, along with teaching you how to locker hook.  Right now I’m updating the book and one of my 2014 goals is to get it out there as an ebook THIS YEAR!

Locker Hooking With Fabric Strips Book

Locker Hooking With Fabric Strips Book

Where are my scraps, you say? 

Let me show you a few out of the book that are very easy to do, have instructions, and you can do them too!

Locker Hooked Patchwork Quilt Block Rug

Locker Hooked Patchwork Quilt Block Rug

Locker Hooked Frame

Locker Hooked Frame

Locker Hooked Rag Rug

Locker Hooked Rag Rug

More locker hooking to come :)  In the mean time, available is my Beginning Locker Hooking Kit with an instructional booklet, canvas, steel locker hook, steel tapestry needle, and “Mug Rug” Pattern.  All you need is the yarn and fabric!  Oh, and you can purchase just the book if you want :)  For more information and shopping go to my website 🙂


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Filed under Art, Crafts, Locker Hooking, Rug Hooking

Pretty Glazed Balls

Hi!  OK, my 2014 New Years Resolution has started!  My goal is to get back into blogging again!  I spend so much time on my facebook pages that I have neglected blogging and I’m sorry about that!  I’m going to try to keep you posted with my current projects, experiences, and thoughts🙂

Right before Christmas I suddenly got this idea to decorate hanging glass balls.  I’ve actually wanted to do this for the last two summers for the tourists, cutting and painting “Alaskana stuff” on them.  They’re so pretty and can be hung all year round.  What nice little gifts they make!  A long time ago, my sister gave me a friendship ball (painted glass) which hangs in my living room and I think of her every time I look at it🙂

GlazedBalls-Facebook Photo

I’ve been having soooo much fun making them and selling them at Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center (where I work).  I either use clear glass or plastic ornament balls.  I got mine at Michael’s Arts & Crafts store (use your coupon!).  I cut small pieces of paper or fabric and paste them on using a small sponge paint brush and Mod Podge.  WOW!  I’d forgotten how much that glue stunk!!  But I kept on and after three days of horrible headaches, I took a break, and when I went back and got headaches again, and I realized it was the Mod Podge.  What a huge bummer!!!  I switched over to “Golden Gel Medium”, which is a lot more expensive but I don’t get headaches and so it’s worth spending more🙂

Before-Glaze Balls-cropped

On the drying rack and three more coats to go!

Let them dry between coats.  I used “Golden thick Gel (Matt)” on the ones in the photos but found that it was just too thick.  I really love and recommend the “Golden Regular Gel (Gloss) Medium” because it’s a thinner and shinier coat!  I think it’s the best!

After-Side View Glazed Balls-sm

Finished glazed balls and in the store! The hanging balls are made with fabric and the balls in the bowl are Alaskan paper.

Interesting…I found that when I put them on a green Christmas tree that the lighter ones stood out so I need to make more of those.


One of my favorites!

Wishing you much love for 2014 and lots of fun projects!


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Filed under About Me, Alaskan Life, Art, Craft Tutorials, Crafts, DIY-I Made, Uncategorized

Finally Friday Paint & Stitch

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

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.

Jan Instructing

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.

11-23-2012 Beautiful Paintings   Joni and BlueHands

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:)

Angie and Nija Turtles                Sarah

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:)

locker hooking gathering

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!

Jake Painting


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Filed under About Me, Alaskan Life, Art, Crafts, Crochet, Locker Hooking, Uncategorized

Our Hurricane

Hi!  About a week ago we had a HUGE storm, in Anchorage, Alaska!  Up where I live it was recorded up to 100-130 mi. an hour winds and hurricane rain.  They had just started working on our road and had closed it off (for a month!) so I had to take another road which is dark, narrow, windy, and scary during the day time let alone the night!  I was working downtown in the Gallery that night and I found myself driving home in the dark, during a  hurricane.  Each time a wind gust pushed my car I wondered if I was going over!  But the biggest problem was the poor visibility because the rain was so fierce!  It was pounding so hard on my windshield and my wipers were full blast, and I could hardly see the narrow road!  I remember thinking, I may go over the cliff and there is nothing I can do about it!  I was pretty shaken up by the time I reached home and I sure was glad to be there!  When I got out of my car I was literally shaking!  Soon after (during the news), we lost power but got it back the next day.  We were fortunate because most people around us lost their power for about a week.  Many of our friends went without power for well over a week.  We lost our TV and internet for five long days🙂

It howled all night long and shook our house, and the next day I looked out my kitchen window and this is what I saw…….

Fallen tree from my window

Photo taken through my screen window

The Tip of the Fallen Tree

The tip of the fallen tree

This is a BIG thick, tall healthy tree that fell!  That tree was right next to our bedroom, next to our heads!  My first thought was “I hope it didn’t fall on the neighbor’s shed!  We would be in big trouble”  It didn’t.  I went outside and took this photo showing how close it actually was to our house….

Fallen tree next to our house

Fallen tree next to our house & truck

I had just recently watched the coverage of Hurricane Issac off Florida and New Orleans and I could now identify somewhat with those who go through hurricanes!  I have an absolute love and fascination of the wind and of storms, but this one was just too close to home!

Click here for more photos of our  hurricane.


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Crocheted Dream Catchers

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.


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Filed under About Me, Alaskan Life, Art, Crafts, DIY-I Made, Uncategorized

Alaskan Landscape Series

Hi!  I’ve started a series of wall hangings, canvas, and etc. (which means the possibilities are endless!) featuring, “Alaskan themed landscapes”.   I can’t paint like Kurt Jacobson (Jake, my talented husband), but I love working with fabrics, yarns, beads, and mixed media.  When I first moved to Alaska, I was told that I’d “better get a hobby” because the long winters will drive you CrAzY!  All my life I’ve been into arts & crafts but to finally have an excuse to “get serious” about it, well it was just perfect!  PERFECT!  So…….. I took a quilting class and got a new start in my art, new marriage, new happiness in Alaska!  Back then I really enjoyed making small wall hangings and selling them, until I got totally  lost in my locker hooking with fabric…………and well, the rest is history!

I will be taking a “Painting on Silk Class” this Saturday and I hope to incorporate this into my Alaskan Landscapes.  I tried my hand at painting a silk sun catcher at Francine Dufour Jones demo and I loved it, and so all these ideas have been running in my head and I can’t stop running!  I’m pretty excited!!

This is my first official quilted wall hanging in my “Alaskan Landscape Series”.  It begins with water and fish, land with flowers and trees, to the Northern Lights sky.

Alaskan Landscape Wall Hanging

I entered this one in the Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center’s First Friday last month.


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Filed under About Me, Alaskan Life, Art, DIY-I Made, Uncategorized