Janice Lee: Class of 2023
Name: Janice Lee
Location: Valley NE
Tell us a bit about yourself. What are some of your interests and hobbies?
I have owned a rug hooking store for 22 years and have sold antiques for the last 42 years. I sing and act and taught voice and directed a nonprofit musical theatre for 40 years. I have a degree in animal science. As a lifelong “horse girl,” I showed horses in both Western and English and will always own a horse. My son is a rancher/horse trainer, and my daughter is a voice/acting teacher and has her own nonprofit children’s theatre.
I play the piano, French horn, and a little oboe. In recent years, I have taken up dog training and trialing and titled my Standard Poodle, Blue and Lagotto Romagnolo, Jelly, in obedience, rally, scent work, tricks, and barn hunt. I have six grandchildren who all love horses, dogs, music, or theatre. I have yet to teach one to rug hook, but I am working on that! I should mention that I am a McGown certified rug hooking teacher, also.
How did you get introduced to rug hooking?
A friend wanted to learn and needed three people for her group lesson. I did not want to learn to rug hook but talked my mother into going along with us. I fell in love with rug hooking with the first loop.
What was your first project?
A heart and hand chair pad.
Is there one rug that stands out as being particularly memorable?
I have made over 400 rugs and hooked projects. The most memorable are the most difficult ones. My series of cowboy rugs all had difficult elements, but my rug SPLASH, showing a cowboy riding his horse through water, was particularly memorable. Diane Stoffel is a good friend and mentor and I remember her saying to tackle only a quarter size area at a time or it can become overwhelming.
Is there a particular style of rugs that you're most interested in hooking?
I started out making primitive rugs and teach a class on making heirloom-style rugs. I love making a rug that looks 100 years old. However, I have become a fan of fine shading and love the detail I can get using #3 and #4, even #2 cuts.
What's your favorite part about hooking a rug?
I love that rug hooking can be relaxing and “fill in the blank” if I want it to be or it can be a brain tease and make me think about every loop I put in . . . depending on the style of rug I am making.
What's a piece of advice you'd give to a new rug hooker?
Just hook . . . a little every day. It won’t get done sitting in the closet. Leave it out and hook a bit every day and you will get better quickly. Sometimes it is important to just finish and not worry about perfection.
What do you love most about Celebration?
I love going through the magazine over and over again with friends. We pick our favorites, ooh and ahh over the difficulty of some, the cleverness of others. I keep them handy in my store to show people the different kind of projects that can be achieved by rug hooking.
In the Sticks
In the Sticks, 32” x 22”, #3-, 4-, and 5-cut wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Janice Lee, Valley, Nebraska, 2020.
I have hooked many horses and cowboys and always think I have a great advantage because I know how all the gear hooks up.
SPLASH!, 32” x 21 ½”, #3-, 4-, and 5-cut hand-dyed wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Janice Lee, Valley, Nebraska, 2020.
Branding Time, 32” x 21, #3-, 4-, and 5-cut hand-dyed wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Janice Lee, Valley, Nebraska, 2019.
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