Monday, July 26, 2010

Another Celebration Mat

I have another little mat to share that I couldn't post last week, since my friend Jane (for whom it was created along with her husband Peter) reads this blog.  I didn't want to ruin the surprise. The mat was received this week, so now I am free to share it.

Jane was my very first friend when I moved to Toronto a million years ago. She has been living in the Peterborough area for the past 20+ years, so we don't see one another that often.
However, like all good friends, we seem to pick up the minute we see one another - as if the last time were the day before.

Jane has recently taken up rug hooking, so we have yet another thing in common. She has a group in Peterborough with whom she hooks and is very enthusiastic about it. She even did her first year at Trent this summer in Bea Grant's class, and loved every minute of it.

Jane and Peter and Rick and I share another thing in common. Our Anniversary date - August 1st. They have an 11 year head start on us, however, so this year is their 40th!!! Wow! And they are off on a European River Cruise to celebrate, which is why I sent the mat a little early.

When the four of us got together  at our new home a couple of weeks ago, they shared stories and pictures of a Barbadian holiday this past winter. They had a great, warm February and March, and from the pics I found one to use and create a small celebration mat.

Here is the picture:

And here is the little mat

Thanks to Robert Browning for the words. I have always loved them and finally got a chance to use them here.

This was another fun "featureless faces" project, which I think captures the essence of the picture. I learned it is quite a bit tougher to do facial hair. However, I enjoyed doing it and think of it more as a large card than a mat.

With so few people these days making it to a big number like "40", it's definitely worth the celebration.

Happy 40th - again- Jane and Peter. Have a wonderful time on the cruise.

Bra Project Update

Before I do a new post, let me thank everyone who responded so enthusiastically to the Bra Project. Both here and on Rug Hooking Daily, the response was amazing!

I am now galvanized to take it to the next level with a couple of things up my sleeve. I delivered my hooked bra to the Hospital Foundation Office and they were thrilled, not only with my art bra, but also with the fact that the rug hooking community has embraced this. Obviously, they are very happy to have any support that helps raise the awareness and supports the cause. And tapping into a network like our rug hooking one is a big boon to getting the word out. (And hopefully a few more bras on the line at

For anyone reading this who hasn't been to Rug Hooking Daily, please go and see my page there. I have shared the steps in creating my bra. It's impossible to share a pattern, since it is dependant on the bra selected, but the general process is there.

And thank you all again for your support. It's much appreciated. I will continue to update both here and on Rug Hooking Daily as I create any more pieces.

Monday, July 19, 2010

You hooked a what????

I have a special fondness for "non-mat" hooking projects and in the past have done many different things that will never be put on the floor. Purses. Belt buckles. Flowers. Pendants. Snowmen - the list goes on. But I have just finished the one that will be the most unusual for my collection.

Here is a picture of it in progress. And I'm pretty sure you won't know what it is.

No, it isn't two Pac Men, although that is what it surely looks like.

Here's another picture that will help solve the mystery.

That's correct! I hooked a bra!!!

More precisely, I hooked bra cups and attached them to an existing black bra. Pretty neat, don't you think?

So, why on earth would I hook a bra anyway. Here's the story.

As a new resident of Parry Sound, Ontario, I volunteered to get involved with a fundraising effort to raise $700,000 for a new digital mammography machine for the wonderful new hospital here.  I am always blown away by the way smaller communities can take on, and achieve, these incredible challenges. I have no doubt that this group will succeed.

Anyway, this bra, which I am going to title "Hooked on Early Screening" will join a series of others on a website called  You can visit the site and see some of the other amazing "art bras" that have been created.  And you can learn more about the undertaking.

Maybe you'll even be inspired to hook one of your own and add it to the line!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Beth

Today is my baby sister's 57th birthday - wow, how did that happen.!!

She is known as the "little redhead" to many, and she has a unique fashion sense, to say the least. This picture was taken at our niece's wedding, to which Beth wore a tuxedo, red bow tie and her vintage red cowboy boots.

I decided to commemorate her "dress up clothes" in a small mat for her birthday. And for the first time in recent memory, I actually got together with her ahead of her birthday and gave it to her. She was delighted.

Homemade gifts are something I believe in - and I think I have "inflicted" many of them on Beth over our lifetimes.  One of my earliest memories was a grey and pink dress with big bell sleeves (we're talking the sixties here). I think I sewed the sleeves in backwards (give me a break, I was 12!) and I think in my rush to finish, didn't pink the seams. So, luckily for her, it probably came apart on its first journey through the wash.

I like to think that the gifts have improved over the years. And she has kept most of them (save the little grey/pink fashion fiasco). She is always very gracious. No wonder I love her.

Have a wonderful day Beth. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

My Newest Student.

This past weekend, we had a house full of fun. Our son and daughter came, along with two other relatives, my great nephew Ian, and his dad James.

We filled the days with all the things that you do when the weather is perfect - waterskiing, tubing, swimming, and relaxing with good books and the newspaper. Add to that lots of delicious food and conversation, topped off with fireworks on Saturday night, and it really does make for a magical time for all.

The icing on the cake for me was that Ian was fascinated by the studio and rug hooking  and asked to learn. I was thrilled to teach him and he became my first student in the new studio - and - at 14 - my youngest student full stop.

He decided he would like to hook a name sign -  his name is only three letters - an easy first project for sure. And the way he took to it, like the proverbial duck to water, he will be done quickly. Here are some pictures of him at work, starting inside the studio, but moving down to the deck in the afternoon to be with everyone in the shade by the water.

He pulled his first loops just before lunch and by late afternoon - with a big distance swim and water skiing in between - he had managed to finish all the lettering. He said that he found the second letter "much easier" than the first. I was quite taken with how relaxed and peaceful he seemed, hooking on the deck as everyone else was reading. A total natural, for sure.

He headed home last night with a work sheet to suggest a hooking order, baggies of cut strips, my small gripper frame and a couple of hooks. I bet he will finish this little project in a couple of weeks.  He has promised to send me updates of his progress. The tough part will be trying to explain the finishing process from a distance. Oh well, we'll figure it out when we get there.

How exciting to have started him on this journey. I feel very lucky to have been able to share my love of 'hookery' with him. 

Have fun, Ian. 

Cozy Evvie is Complete - well at least the hooking part.

Here she is. She is all hooked. She has the "best saying ever" on her shirt - printed on fabric, since it was way too small to h...