Monday, October 29, 2012

School's Out

What a wonderful weekend in Ancaster at the OHCG School. This was my third time teaching there, and once again it was my "favourite". I had an incredible class of very keen students and they made me extremely proud at "show and tell" yesterday.

The subject was "Photo to Mat, as Easy as That", and they really rose to the challenge. As you will see, the subject matter in the photos was as varied as the attendees and I think that kind of variety makes it much more interesting for everyone. And it certainly provides the teacher with lots of little lessons along the way.

There were many lessons about little shortcuts using the computer and although some were far less tech savvy than others, they all appreciated the demonstrations and will practice at home - or not.

Here is the class picture and a few of the mats-in-progress with their photos. (Someone was not at  the group picture - I just noticed - and I didn't get her mat-with-photo shot, so I am showing both at the bottom - sorry Gail).

There will be more details soon on the OHCG website  - from all the classes.

My wonderful class with their projects in progress - one missing.
This swan is hooked in yarn - the background in wonderful textures.
Beautiful mountains coming to life with glorious colours.
A vintage car with a vintage grandma being hooked in lovely sepia tones.
An incredible sunset cruise - look at that sky!
A close up on a happy sunflower against a stone wall with a collar of foliage.
Sorry for the bad "gymnasium" lighting -  this cardinal is incredible!
Another sunflower, this time against an incredible blue sky.
A wonderful shot of a competitive dirt biker - incredibly finished in 3 days!!

A special house - winter shot, summer hooking.
A wonderful backyard oasis - sorry for the flash on the photo.
The missing shot and mat-in-progress. Well under way.
Now that I am done bragging, it's time to put the studio back together again.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Wonderful Kind of Tired

I am back in my studio after 5 days on the road. I had two back-to-back workshops in Belleville and Campbellford, Ontario, which are 4+ hours away from Parry Sound. Lots of driving - thankfully in good weather and mostly in the light.

The first workshop was two days devoted to Colour in Belleville. It meant staying with my ma-in-law the night before and driving the rest of the way in the wee hours of the morning, watching the sunrise.

The second was two days spent in Campbellford turning photos into mats. Campbellford is also a hop, skip and jump from my mother-in-law's, so I drove there after the first workshop and drove from there to the second one.

Both of the workshops - and the groups - were incredible!!! And although it was a very action-packed time - and I do have a bit of trouble sleeping in strange beds - I came home feeling excited and exhilarated.

Between workshops, I tend to forget how amazing they are, and I sometimes get caught up in the preparation ahead of time and the distance that I need to travel to get there. That definitely falls away once I arrive. There is such an energy in these classes that you just get caught up in it and sleep doesn't really matter until you get back home LOL.

I had amazing hostesses in both groups who welcomed me into their homes. Special plans were made for dinners - one out and one potluck - and the homemade snacks and treats were amazing. A little hiccup in the second workshop meant that we had two different locations for the two days, but it all turned out incredibly well.

To a person, the women in both classes were very engaged and eager to learn. They stayed riveted throughout and worked as hard as I did. The material covered in both workshops was new to them and I think everyone enjoyed the explorations that we took into the world of colour and interpreting images as fiber art.

Here are a few pics that I took of the two groups.

The Colour folks in Belleville began with an image they brought and then moved the colours from that image  around an inch mat.




The Photo to Mat folks in Campbellford created patterns from cherished photos and got started on turning them into hooked keepsakes. As you would expect, the subjects were as varied as the participants. (They have promised to share their finished pieces with me, so I will be able to as well.)

Here are a few pics of the early stages of a few of them:







I think the thing I like best about teaching is getting to spend uninterrupted time with people who love this fiber art form as much as I do. And, as I always say, the shortest book ever written would be "Unfriendly People I Have Met While Hooking."

It was a pleasure to spend time with these two groups and we are already planning for next year!!!
Thanks so much to everyone for making me feel so welcome and so appreciated.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Thanks

It's a great word isn't it. Always appreciated. Maybe not said often enough.

I decided to make a pillow for my daughter and her beau, who are co-hosting Thanksgiving in Toronto for the very first time. This is how they are dealing with the age-old dilemma of "who gets us for the holidays". By inviting both families, they don't have to go anywhere. They just have to entertain 15 relatives.



So, although my hubby thought a 'thanks' pillow was a bit odd, I disagree. I think it is a real conversation starter. When people visit them and ask "what's the thanks for", they can say things like "thanks for coming" "thanks for being my friend" "thanks for sitting there" and so on and so on.

I am giving it to them to say Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for having us. And I know it will be a hit, since they have already requested to of Jenn Manuell's Amazing Matrix pillows for Christmas.

Happy Thanksgiving Canadian friends. And should you choose to, you USA blog pals still have lots of time to make your own "thanks" pillows.