Friday, November 21, 2008

Mark Your Calendars.

On February 7, 2009, the Upper Toronto Branch of the OHCG is hosting our 3rd Annual Hook in. (The two previous days have been total successes and in my humble opinion, they get better each year.) I know this seems a long way away, but you'll be amazed how quickly we get there.

It will be held in Toronto at Jubilee United Church, 40 Underhill drive, 2 blocks North of Lawrence Ave., East of the Don Valley Pkwy, from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. It’s the perfect ray of sunshine in a gloomy February. There will be lots of vendors, chatter, activities and home baked goodies. If you can make it, bring your lunch and a mug and enjoy.

We started planning for this upcoming event last spring, before our Branch disbanded for the summer. We knew, based on the success of the Cat’s Meow project last year, that we wanted another project that would galvanize our members. But we wanted something completely different. And that turned out to be the biggest challenge.

A number of topics were tossed about and, eventually, we all agreed on the same one. Houses - more specifically two styles of classic Toronto houses (which in fact turn out to be classic Ontario houses) was the favoured topic. Our challenge is to hook our own, individual version of one or both of the two styles. Some of the super keeners already had something started, or finished, by the time we got back together again in September.

I like this concept of everyone hooking the same thing, and we certainly are not the first to feature this idea at a gathering. In fact, I have attended two R.U.G hook-in’s in Barrie that did the same thing. The first time, it was multiple versions of “mini Ramona” a pattern featured in Rug Hooking Magazine. At this past meeting, Deanne Fitzpatrick was the featured topic and the "show and tell" was different patterns of hers, interpreted by the various members of the Orillia branch. Both were fantastic.

The reason these exercises are so fabulous is that focusing on a single topic - much as you would suspect the opposite - allows all the individuality of each hooker to come through.

A different colour palette, fine cut versus wide cut, a change in house size, a repeated design versus a single house: these are all things that create very different works of art. So will it be with our houses, we hope.

The only common denominator of our exercise is the size: 12 x 16, a size which we decided was not too large an undertaking. I shouldn’t say "only common denominator", since there is another one. We each have to stand up and talk about what we did and why.

For me, there is such learning in these exercises. After everyone has had their “show and tell”, you get to see all the pieces laid out in a group. This is where you really see the differences. Side by side. Style by style. It is fascinating. The variety is a heady reminder that we all carry a voice inside that is, like our signature or our fingerprint, distinctly unique.

There will be, hopefully, lots more publicity about this event in the months to come, but I promised to highlight it on my blog. And there's no time like the present.

For those of you who are within driving distance (always a bit of a challenge in February) we’d love to see you there. If you need more information, send me an email at

For those who are too far afield, check back and see some of the masterpieces after the day. I was going to post my work in progress, but decided that would be spoiling the surprise, so will contain myself until at least February 8th.


Alice ~ Folk Art Primitives said...

Wish it was closer ~ I'be be there in a heartbeat!!
I just added your blog to my bloglist ~ I love to read it so I thought others would, too!

Wendie Scott Davis said...

Hi Alice,

Thanks for the comment and for linking me in on your bloglist. I left you a note on yours. Hope you are enjoying your Turkey weekend.


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