Monday, July 25, 2011

A Sign Sure to Bring a Smile

Today is the first day of rain in a very long stretch. The days preceding have been hot and humid - much too sticky to even consider picking up a strip of wool. But the days have been filled with lots of guests, water play, good food, good wine and good fun.

One of the things that has brought laughter to all of us is a crazy sign in town, about which I decided to post. It's become a drive-by attraction of the first order. Here's the sign.

I'm pretty sure that they didn't intend it to be a funny bone tickler, but we have had hours of fun imagining all the things that those missing teeth are up to. The hijinks of missing molars and bicuspids is just too much fun to ignore. And trying to re-unite missing teeth with their owners must be a difficult undertaking.

However, we are keeping an eye out for them. If we spot them, we know who to call.

I can't remember the last time that I laughed to the point of tears, but this sign got me. I sure hope it isn't just a case of "you had to be there", and I hope you enjoyed this post.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hubba Hubba

After celebrating Elaine's big birthday on Saturday, and giving her this mat, I can tell the story here on the blog.

We have been close friends since our boys were in grade 2 together - our boys are now 25. And when we met, we found out that we had nearly met many years earlier when we were both in Grade 13, since we were at the same high school. Crazy small world .... again.

We started hooking together, we went through the teachers' program together and until I moved north, we co-taught in her studio.  Rug hooking is just another thing we share that has cemented our friendship. We have remained incredibly close despite her move to Florida for 10 years and my move up here. Distance doesn't seem to bother us.

This is a picture of the two of us, taken in 1997 wearing those ridiculous t-shirts. When she gave me a copy of the picture, she had written "Hubba Hubba" and the date on the back. When I was going through some old pictures, I realized it was the perfect image to capture on her birthday mat. And it is fitting that the picture was taken at our "then cottage/now home".

This was an incredibly fun mat to hook - a smile in every loop. In fact, I think it was the inspiration behind the last post about "being an emotional hooker". It isn't very large, about 12 inches square, so it went quickly.

I hooked the figures first and when it came time to hook the background, I decided to treat the trees and grass in paisley, since that is what Elaine has been focused on for the past year. And she just finished teaching a week-long paisley class at Trent which was a huge success.

Elaine's family treated her to a weekend at Rocky Crest for this milestone birthday. As it is only about 20 minutes from me, I got to join them poolside on Saturday afternoon and give Elaine a big hug and her gifts. She was as pleased as I hoped she would be. And her family thought it was lots of fun.

Happy Birthday, Elaine. Thanks for going first. I'll be there before you know it!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hooking What You Love.

Does your mind wander as you hook? Mine does, and I find myself thinking of all sorts of things. I guess that zen state is one of the things we love about hooking, isn't it?

I was finishing my latest project on the weekend (a special gift for a special occasion, which I will share next week after it has been presented), and I realized that I am an "emotional" hooker.  The projects that I enjoy the most are the ones based on emotion. They are the mats that capture a memory or celebrate an occasion. They are the mats that follow the rule about hooking what you love.

When I thought back over my hooking history, I realized that nearly every mat I have done falls into the emotional category. The first mat I hooked was a moose - and it was the "emotional" connection that I had with the pattern that got me hooking in the first place.

After that first mat, I designed nearly every mat I hooked. Girls Weekend, Misty, and Fish and Checks were three early mats that were all about emotion. I loved every loop I pulled on them.

The next few projects were what I call "technical" projects. My kilim pillows, my fine-shaded floral piece and eventually my small Oriental. All are great learning pieces, but I didn't have the same emotional connection with them. In fact, the fine-shaded piece is still unfinished. I use it as a visual aid to demonstrate the value lesson, but there wasn't the same joy in every loop.

The next many projects reflected my emotional side and when you view my portfolio, you can easily see how tipped it is in that direction. Lots of faces, lots of moose and other critters I love. Mostly my own designs, but the occasional rug that was designed by someone else and adapted by me.

Over this past year, I have hooked more special occasion mats than ever before. Even the Christmas ornaments, baby name signs and Valentine hearts were a joy to hook. But the milestone mats of big birthdays or anniversaries, many adapted from photos, are definitely my favourites.

So, my little mind road trip on the weekend reminded me that I do truly hook what I love for the sheer joy of the emotion.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Perfect Canada Day Weekend.

There was so much to love about this past Canada Day weekend - beginning with the weather. Let's face it, when the weather cooperates, everything else is just so much better.

Here are a few of my "holiday" accents.

The guard rail people were in on the fun.

A couple of LED flags for the planters - I forgot to turn them on.

Morris in his jaunty cap.
I got four more of those umbrella hats, which were supposed to be for our Canada Day cruise. They were quite dangerous to put on (due to the many spikes) so we just put them on for the photo op and then they were off again. (The pics are on someone else's camera, so will be shared when I get them.)

Good company from Thursday to Saturday - great food. A wonderful Friday visit to the Rosseau Market and then just lots of water time.

My stand up paddle boarding is progressing slowly on my old dead windsurfer. So far, all I've managed to perfect is the "falling off" part. Some neighbours arrived with two real paddle boards, which appear to be wider and a tad more stable. Plus they have a little fin on the back which seems to keep them from going in a circle.

There was even a little bit of time for reading, hooking and knitting. I'm on the third book of the George RR Martin series (on which the HBO series "Game of Thrones" was based). I'm sure Jennifer Manuell is finished the fourth by now - somewhere in the reading, she screamed by me and there was no slowing her down.

I finished the first of the three baby blankets. Here's a picture before it goes to its new owner "Gavin".

It's a very happy blankie, but I think next time, I might opt for fewer yarn changes. And I might go up a needle size as it is quite small. I think it will be a perfect stroller, car seat blanket, but it is definitely not crib size. Two more babies in the queue, so I had best get busy again on the next one.

Happy July 4th to all my US blog pals. Hope you have as great a day as we did.

Knitting in Paradise

Every year when we come to Barbados, I pack a knitting project or two. Usually socks to knit on the plane and something to take to the ...