Monday, February 9, 2009

Bringing down the house.




Well, our "Hooked On Houses" hook-in was an amazing success! In fact, I don't know how it could have been better - and we will really have our work cut out for us trying to top it next year. We had over 100 attendees and I think every single one of them would say the same thing.

We picked our theme right after last year's hook in, so have spent a lot of time getting ready for the big day. Our results were outstanding. The houses above were chosen from the many that were hooked to demonstrate the theme. We chose two Ontario style houses - the Worker's Cottage and the Bay 'n Gable - which we based on the many houses in the Cabbagetown neighbourhood of Toronto. Then the members in our branch each hooked one or the other house - or both - in their own style. Since both of these houses can be found pretty much all over Ontario, many of the houses were based on homes that people knew personally - in other parts of the province.

Needless to say the variety was incredible. The cottage above was hooked by Elaine Copeman (who also hooked a close up view of the window box and filled it with proddy cabbages). The Bay 'n Gable was hooked by Trish Johnson, who also provided us with the sketches which became the basis of the two patterns. The picture of the house with the stark foreground and background is mine - based on an artist whose work I have admired for a long time. Her name is Jean Jack and she lives in Arizona. So my "Cabbagetown House" is situated in Tuscon LOL.

In getting started on our theme last year, I happened to find the Cabbagetown Preservation Association's website, which had illustrations of the two houses and information about the architecture and the history. I ended up connecting with the illustrator, who is very active in the CPA. Through our correspondence that began with my asking for permission to use the illustrations in our advertising, he offered to come and give a presentation on the houses. And it was amazing! He was a delightful presenter. His knowledge on the topic was bountiful and he gave us a virtual walking tour of the different houses, the architecture, the history of both the neighbourhood and the Preservation Association. He delighted the more than 100 women in attendance, that's for sure. He brought Newsletters to share and has asked me to write an article for the next issue, all about our exercise.

After his presentation, we had show and tell of our houses, and I presented him with small coasters I had hooked of each of his illustrations. New to hooking, there was lots of learning for him as well, and I think he enjoyed seeing what we did with his houses.

We also had a silent auction, lots of vendors, a 50/50 draw, yummy home baking, door prizes and the chatter of friends catching up with one another that makes these days so special. The sun shone, everyone smiled and it was just a perfect day.

As if it couldn't get any better, my good friend Jennifer Manuell (fisheyerugs.blogspot.com) spent the weekend with me, and we talked non-stop from her arrival on Friday to her departure before lunch on Sunday. We hooked, we exchanged knitting patterns, we drank wine, we ate good food and better cookies, we watched a movie, we dyed some wool (and a sweater) and we crammed more into a weekend than many can do in a week. We have such fun when she comes.

So, all in all, it was a pretty perfect weekend for me.

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