Thursday, March 1, 2018

Yikes, it's March!!!

And I have already wiled away nearly 7 weeks in Barbados. (Actually had to check on "wiled vs whiled") The days seem long, but the weeks fly past.

We had our daughter, son-in-law and two "grands" here for a couple of weeks, which was pretty amazing. The four year old turns out to be a natural snorkeler and spent so much time under water, we thought he might grow scales and fins. Life returned to the slower rhythm after they left. Days filled with beach walks, swims in the sea, good books, good friends, potluck dinners and visits to our favourite restaurants. 

In the past week, I have heard from two of my Newfoundland rug camp students and they have given me permission to share their mats that were done in the Photo to Mat class there.

Here is Rhoda's piece, which she calls "Aground on Shallow Bay".  She said it was one of the photos that she took that feels very much a part of Newfoundland, and I think she captured the photo extremely well. The simple border and whipping make it look like it is framed. 

Within days of receiving the above mat, I got this one from Barbara - her grand dog Nixon, in his beautiful festive green velvet bow tie. She turned it into a pillow for Nixon's parents, who obviously are in LOVE with this very personal gift. 

It has been a cooler stay this year, with enough rain for me to do a bit of knitting and a couple of afternoons hooking. It has actually been the rainiest January and February anyone can remember, which is strange since it is supposed to be the start of the dry season. But as we Canadians keep saying "At least it isn't snow."

And speaking of hooking in Barbados, I finished a little piece that I brought with me - also adapted from a photograph. A friend who we sail with here shared a photo of himself and his grand daughter spending an afternoon on a beach on the east coast. I loved the photo and used all the teaching tools in my Photo to Mat class to create this little 6" x 8" piece to give to him. He is a "salty dog of a captain" with a soft spot for his grand daughter and many dogs here in Barbados. I think he will be touched - though he might wonder why the heck I did it!!

It was a great exercise to tackle so much subject matter in one piece. The two people, the dogs, the sky, hills, water and beach. I great lesson to share when teaching this class going forward.

So still another four weeks to go. They will waft by before we know it and we will be back home, counting down to next year.  Perhaps I will hook a few more Barbados photos before my return next year. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Still some December left, and I'm done!

Well, at least until I come up with another project to fill the remainder of the month.

For me, December is all about making Christmas things AND Barbados things too. It's become a tradition to do both. Some hats and mitts have been knit and given, since they aren't really a Christmas present for a 4-year old.

Neither are pyjama pants, if truth be told. But this year I had even more fun than last year's "beer pants". Because this year I got to do mother/daughter and father/son pj pants. Everleigh will only be just over three months on Christmas Day, so her pants are nearly as wide as they are long. But I figure I only need one picture and it will all be worth while. The boys will wear theirs all year long and love them.

Once again, in an effort to be frugal with the fabric, I managed to get some upside down hockey sticks on the boys' pants. Not nearly as funny as last year's upside down beer glasses and bottles.
Some modifications this year, Kris (father) asked for pockets. And Jackson (son) needed drawstring plus elastic, since he is such a skinny little fellow.

The other Christmas goodies are a bunch of appliqued ornaments, which was the project for our rug hooking group this Monday.  I made a few ahead as samples and just kept going. I love to hang one on a bottle of wine, or just give as a little gift.

As to the Barbados making, here are a few shots of the "frocks" I made for the trip. Let me say that when I am in Ontario, I rarely wear dresses. I am a t-shirt and jeans gal, but when in Holetown, wardrobe requirements are quite different. First of all, it is WAYYYYY warmer - hot in fact - realized by the first blast of hot air when they open the airplane doors. Dresses are cooler and the ones I have acquired over the years are perfect for multi purposes, including casual dinners and bathing suit cover ups. Every year, I add a few more to the line up. 

Here are this year's additions to the regular wardrobe.

A tie-shoulder maxi which will get lots of wear. 

A cover up made from the cheeriest fabric ever!!

A seer-sucker maxi with a little surprise hem. 

An amazing Sandra Betsina patter that I made for the Because of Jenna fundraiser.

Christmas projects are done. Barbados sewing is done. And I still have a few days left till Christmas and then a few more till Barbados. I am sure that I will find things to fill the space. Including the second sock for my husband for Christmas.

There are some other projects calling my name - so I will see where my time takes me.

I promise to share.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Hooking, Sewing, Dyeing, Making: Must be December.

Every year my Christmas list is filled with making. And as I make my way through my list of projects, I am pleasantly interrupted by other projects.

Another RHGNL student finished her project from rug camp this August and sent me a picture. These are her grand dogs and they have an incredible story. These two dogs were first rescued by their owners - and then were rescued again by their grandmother from the fires in Fort MacMurray. They stayed with her, in Newfoundland, for a few weeks and then flew home after the worst was over. Their proud grandma started hooking their likeness in our time together, and recently emailed me the finished (and framed) piece.

I can't remember if this was a gift, but if it is, I hope there are tears in the eyes of the owners. Not sure the dogs totally get it, but they would be very impressed if they did.

My gift making this year has slowed a bit. I had grand plans, but somehow a new "grand baby" and other news cut into my making time. I did sew some mother/daughter and father/son Christmas pyjama pants for daughter/new grand daughter and son-in-law/grandson, which I am totally hoping to get a shot of on Christmas Eve, which I can hopefully share after the fact. 

I knit an awesome Anemone hat for grandson Jackson and then made another for me, so we can be "twins". It is such a fun pattern to knit, I highly recommend it. Also, it is the first time I have received a thank you email from a ravelry designer and I must confess, I was totally star struck. Note to self: We all must remember to thank those who support us, and Cat Bordhi gets full marks for doing exactly that. I feel like I have truly made a friend. 

Today, I started my husband's yearly socks. He loves them more than anything. And he gets a new pair every Christmas. But these are socks with a difference. They are being knit from a "sock blank", dyed by my friend Sandra Marshall. If you don't know what a sock blank is, it is a pre-knitted piece of fabric that is then dyed by someone with dyeing talent. It has a live edge and that is what you ravel to knit your socks. So far, so beautiful. I will share a picture of the finished product.

So now there are still 14 days to go before the Santa event. I am sure there will be last-minute projects that I will come up with and wrestle to the ground. And that is just fine with me. I would rather be in a "making" frenzy than a "shopping" frenzy.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

I LOVE my students!!!

The last few weeks have been a hooking teacher's dream. Following my weekend at OHCG school in Ancaster, I have been receiving pictures of progress in the school and this week, more pictures of finished bags.

Drumroll please, for these finished bags. I love how different they all are. And remember, there was no pattern and everyone was working with their worms stash - no cutter was present (someone needed one and had to go to another class). People used yarn, sari silk, velvet, wool strips - and there was lots of wonderful sharing going on among the students. Somehow, worms are free game when everyone has a giant rubbermaid tub of them on the table. lol. For the middle bag, Sandra dropped in a little pre-made cosmetic bag.

If you click on the images, you will see interesting embellishments like quillies and wool roses. I love the zipper pulls on the first two bags. The third one is a clutch style with a beautiful button that has great sentimental value.

If that wasn't fabulous enough, I am thrilled to have FOUR new rug hooking students here in Peterborough!!! They all contacted me within the last several weeks and after each had a one-on-one session to get them pulling loops, they are now a wonderful new group for a Wednesday night class in the studio.

They are each on their way with their very first projects. One is doing a Karla Gerard pattern for her daughter. Another is doing a "moose" pillow (we are obviously a match made in heaven). The third is doing a series of chair pads for her cottage - in polar fleece. And the newest person to join the group is doing a poppy rug that she will start next Wednesday.

So many opportunities for "lessons in the moment" and for them to learn from one another. They are all at the very beginning and can share their journey with someone at the same place. Lots of fun and they will be well into their projects before I desert them for sunnier shores.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Double Up Pups

Another wonderful work by a Newfoundland student to share. And this one has quite a story.

When I was looking for photos from students for my photo to mat class, she was the last one to get photos to me because she was so busy going from workshop to adventure, all over the place. And when the photos arrived, this ambitious hooker sent two picture of two different Black Labs in her life - Brody and Boscoe - though I'm not sure which is which. 

So, I did the photo editing magic and sent her two colour plans, expecting she would choose one or the other. Oh no!! This dynamo decided to incorporate them both into a single mat. And a large mat to boot. Eager beaver falls short in describing this woman, who is a relatively new hooker, but takes on a challenge with a fierceness and dedication that is inspiring.

These are the photos we started with.

And this is the photo of the finished mat I received from her today.

Pretty incredible right? When we left school, she had both dogs pretty much done, and a little background in on the right hand photo. She also had a plan for the background and borders framing both images.

As you can see, the background on the left side pup was simplified, and made into an outdoor scene versus indoor, which I think makes the mat far more harmonious. And makes sense of the leaves in the inner border.

I think it is fantastic and will be a keeper for life that preserves these wonderful dogs. And what a learning curve for their creator, who had never hooked smaller than an 8-cut. She learned how to do smaller, lower loops when necessary, and go bigger when she can. Learning to combine different cuts in the same piece is a wonderful lesson.

Am I bragging? Only in that she is a very special person who I am proud to call my friend. I know she will be inspiring me and the hooking community for years to come.

Kudos to you, Margot.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

One Gorgeous Pooch and Three New Hookers.

Another finished mat to share from my wonderful class in Newfoundland. Here is the first finished pooch - one of 6 of the featured in photos in the class. When I said the class was "going to the dogs", I meant it literally, not figuratively.

This mat combines wool strips and wool yarns in order to get the many colours of brown. The expression in his eyes is totally captured and I love how Linda changed the background from snow to something less cold. Nope - not a big fan of snow, even in a mat.

I will have a couple more to share in the next while, since two more students have said they are done and just need to take photos. How awesome is that!!

I am also thrilled to say that three new hookers have contacted me in the last six weeks, looking for a teacher to help them get started. I think that they are all 'keepers'.

Kim was well on her way on a small sunflower chair pad, but wasn't sure she was doing everything the right way. Well, she was doing just fine, but some tips and a little guidance and she was off and hooking. We are meeting on Monday to discuss finishing. And she is going to try a sit-upon gripper frame that I am sure she will order from John Boorman, a local frame maker here in Peterborough.

Jennifer had just fallen in love with hooked pieces and wanted to learn. She was a natural at loop pulling and before she left after our first session, we had decided on a design for the first in a series of chair pads for her cottage. A simple design with fish and some brightly coloured polar fleece and she is killing it. She stopped by this week to try John's frame and had two fish done already.

Jill, the newest, arrived last night, bubbling with energy and enthusiasm. She brought a bag full of wool garments ready to be recycled. And a pretty big pillow pattern with a moose ready to go. Another one whose first loops were a breeze. With a few corrections to her pattern to get it on the straight of grain, she is ready to dive in.

How fun to have them find me and have each of them find out that "yes" - hooking IS for them. Hoping we can create a little group to meet on a regular basis, so they can get guidance from me and camaraderie from one another.

And before you know it, I'll be here bragging about them as well.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Some Very Serious Bragging.

Let's begin with the safe arrival of Everleigh Rae Scott Saville. She came into this world on Sunday, October 1st at 1:15 a.m. And we got our first glimpse less than 10 hours later. Her big brother, although a little tentative in the hospital setting, was quickly bewitched, as you can see in this picture.

At the very first glimpse of her, I was amazed at how much she looks like her brother. And everyone seems to agree, including their mom. Here is a picture that she shared on FaceBook that pretty much seals the deal. I guess the recipe was perfect the first time lol.

After staying in Toronto to help over the first week, I brought big brother home for Thanksgiving weekend while mom and dad continued to adjust to the new addition. I sent them back their very own turkey on Thanksgiving Monday.

I headed back again this week for a few more days, following a minor procedure Everleigh had to correct a tongue tie. Hoping that this helps the breastfeeding move forward. Dad Kris had to work the rest of the week, so I went to offer whatever help was needed.  I drove back home this morning and it sure is quiet here!!

Within two weeks, Everleigh seems like she has been there forever, and is adored by all. The infatuation her brother has for her holds tight. He can't wait to have his turn to hold her and is thrilled when she comes to meet him at the end of a school day. That will be Laura's big challenge - to not be feeding EXACTLY when it's pick-up time.

Here's a cute shot of them yesterday. Jackson wanted to watch "Frozen", so moved his stool over by her swing. As her eyes begin to focus, it looks like she is watching right along with him.

The other bragging comes in the form of two projects finished by my students at rug camp in Newfoundland this summer. They arrived in my "inbox" within a day of each other, and I have permission to share them both.

Here is Bandit, one of two cats hooked in the class. His mat was a gift for his owner who is the sister of the creator. Needless to say, she was thrilled to receive him. Although the background was simplified, there is no taking away how well she captured his 'catitude'.

The next mat is masterfully hooked from a photo of Quidi Vidi Gut. I am really hoping to visit there on my next trip to Nfld.

There is no greater compliment a teacher can receive than a photo of a finished project. It means that student enjoyed your time together enough to finish. Plus, we get to brag about them later.

Looking forward to seeing all the rest of them in their time.