Well, my first not-unpacking week was a busy, productive one - filled with things I needed to do and things I wanted to do. Good balance.
On the needed to do side, here are my studio stairs, which have been stained (2 coats) and varathaned (2 coats). If you have never stained anything, let me tell you it is quite an experience. First of all, the grain in the wood emerges as if it has lain dormant the entire time until you release it. No two boards are the same, so it's exciting to see what the next one is going to look like. (As I was staining, I was trying to think of anything else that changes so drastically with a simple step, and I kept coming back to roast vegetables versus raw - not sure why.)
Staining is also therapeutic because your mind is free to wander. I guess it's a bit like hooking that way. You get lost in it - the rhythm of the brush strokes is kind of like pulling loops. So I don't find it tedious work. The prospect of staining the entire studio is a bit daunting, but I plan on letting the wood age for a year first anyway, so I don't have to burn that bridge just yet.
Anyway, the second picture is my favourite board, because it definitely looked like two eyes staring back at me - in a good way. Since our home is log and pine, there is a LOT of wood and I must confess to having favourite boards here and there, in just about every room.
On the wanted to do side, I am happy to report that after 5 weeks of no hooking, I'm baaacccckkk! And it feels wonderful. Not only did I get two things on my frame, but also went to a hook in at RUG in Barrie on Saturday, so got to see lots of folks. It was great.
I also picked up a new hook to work on my Matrix Mat pillows that I have started - if you haven't heard about the Amazing Matrix Mats, go to Jennifer Manuel's blog and you can see for yourself. Because they are hooked on a #8 on rug warp, I found that none of my hooks was really doing a good job of pulling loops, so I invested in a wonderful new one that is perfect! It will take some getting used to, since my tension is very different with this hook, but I'm sure it will become more even in time.
That was not my only purchase - I more than made up for missing the Annual. A purse pattern and handles from Jen, some rug warp and patterns and birthday gifts for my sister - the book and some wool so she can start on a Matrix Mat. Hopefully, I will have pictures to share of my first pillow in a while. (The other project I have started is a big secret until after the reveal at Circle of Friends, a gathering in July, but hopefully I can show it after that.)
The sun emerged yesterday and we managed to find a couple of hours in the middle of it when the blackflies and mosquitoes were at bay and got a bit of yard work done. So, as this new day begins with the sun reflected on a mirror-calm lake, I'm sure I will cobble together a day of this and that, which is a nice start to week three.