Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Wonderful Workshop and Magnificent Moose

Last Thursday and Friday, I gave my "Photo to Mat" workshop to 14 enthusiastic hookers in Orillia, Ontario.

From start to finish, it was a great workshop! An easy drive of just an hour and a quarter and I arrived at a renovated movie theatre that is now the Orillia Community Church. We had a sun-filled, large room that easily accommodated us - lots of amenities including wifi and a coffee bar and on and on.

Here is the bright, cheery room we were set up in for the two days. In addition to the lower level where we had our tables set up for working, there was a wonderful set of sofas and coffee table for eating lunch.



The photos that people brought to work with ranged from an assortment of animals (giraffes and chipmunks, a beautiful pair of golden retrievers and a couple of moose), buildings, parents and grandkids, seascapes, pick up trucks - subjects as personal and as individual as the students.

I was lucky enough to spend Thursday night at my friend Helen's home in a lovely area of Orillia. I hadn't been there before and was very impressed with her "hood" and the lovely restaurant that some of us dined in on Thursday night. It was called Theo's Eatery and if you are ever in Orillia, I highly recommend it.

I took a few photos of their early stages on their projects on Friday, but have decided to hold off on showing anything until they send me their finished pieces, which they all promised to do.  I am always proud to brag about them here on the blog.

On Friday night, I arrived home just moments before the kids came from the city and made a delicious dinner. What a treat to have dinner made for me - and to have the kids here till Sunday after lunch.

Yesterday one of the couples we were with in Barbados arrived for a  short-but-sweet visit - basically dinner and a sleepover - again, not nearly long enough.  Check out my hostess gift! "Crawford" is needle felted and is sitting on a half birch log having his lunch. What a face!  He has a place of honour among his fellow moosies.


His creator has been making her own zoo of needle felted critters for her grand daughter.
And I am proud to be the owner of her first moose. She is very talented at many fibre arts.

She fell under the hooking spell while here and left with a frame, a hook, some backing and a project pattern. A sure convert!!! When she sat down to pull a few loops at the frame yesterday, it was like she had been doing it for ages. She is a natural. So another one joins the fold......





Monday, April 22, 2013

Sharing Some Knitting Treasures

Last week, right after I had posted here, one of my oldest and dearest friends, who has returned to Fredericton for her retirement, sent me a link to the most fantastic website/blog for those who appreciate things that go on inside the minds of fiber artists.

Check out this wonderful, magical place.  Make sure you click on the Meet the FAE link, so you can see these creations up close. What an imagination their creator possesses. And when I asked if I could feature her here, she told me to go right ahead. So, with permission, I get to share.

Here is the one that was my pal's inner fairie. I think she is called "Fifth" and you can see all her special wardrobe and additions.  Obviously, no two are alike and if you are in touch with your inner fairie, you can have a custom one made for yourself.


It must have been something in the air that day because, as I was spending time in Fairyland, my husband came into the studio with a package that was just delivered - out here - in the middle of the woods!!

Remember at Chrstimas when I posted about the Twelve Knits of Christmas? Well Fiona Goble, the author and designer of that book is at it again! She has just released Farmyard Knits, which is available at amazon.ca. (where I got this image)


Inside are 14 farmyard finds - including a tractor (so cute!) and a pattern for a farm play mat that doubles as a blanket. What a wonderful treat for a toddler to keep forever. I may just have to get going on this after I finish the next 500 hexipuffs!!!

In the meantime, a friend is coming to visit in a couple of weeks and she will go crazy for this. She has been needle felting all kinds of animals for her grand daughter and I think this will be right up her alley.

I am always thrilled when things that come off a set of needles are this creative and clever. Who says that knitting can only be about socks and sweaters. Heck, Fiona also wrote the "Knit Your Own Royal Wedding" book!!!!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Well, the winter avoidance is over for another year. And mostly, it worked. We arrived home yesterday from our 2-week road trip to Florida to find the yard mostly bare, but the lake still very frozen. I am hoping these warm temps do their thing and get the ice out quickly.

Once again, my hubby did ALL the driving, so I did ALL the knitting! On the way there, I finished my Colour Affection shawl, which I still need to block and darn in the ends. I took this pic which shows the colours and the yarn. I really love it!


On the way home,  I made lots of "hexipuffs" for the Beekeeper's Quilt - 24 in fact!


That brings my total puffs to 101 - YIPPEE, my first hundred done! Only a gazillion left to go!

The second Sarasota adventure was as good as last year, maybe even better. We did some of the same things - like wonderful beach walks at Siesta Key and Anna Maria Island. So, two great beach bar lunches.

This year, we went to the Ringling Museum, which we didn't do last year. Not sure what I was expecting, but it certainly exceeded my expectations a million fold. I was blown away by the artwork for the circus posters and a gigantic mural on the wall at the entry to the museum. The Ringling property itself is worth the admission, but when you add in all the galleries, plus a bonus Herb Ritts exhibit in the art galleries, it was virtually a sensory overload.

Inside the Circus museum is a replica of the Ringling Circus in its heyday, created by Howard Tibbals. He spent 50 years creating a to-scale model of the circus with over 45,000 items that he either carved or molded from clay. I could have spent a week there! I bought the book at the gift shop and have spent a lot of time reading more about him. He is a philanthropist in every respect and donated over $10 Million to the hands-on, interactive exhibit in the museum.

Here is a picture of Mr. Tibbals with some of the train cars that he created. He started as a child and is said to have spent over 20 hours a week for 50 years and is not done yet! What a legacy!!!! If you happen to be in the Sarasota area, don't walk RUN to this amazing place.


I did my fair share of outlet shopping and walked away with a few great bargains. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I fell under the Eileen Fisher spell at her beautiful store. I meant to just "fondle" but fell hopelessly in love with this outfit, so treated myself. I guess once a decade is ok.


We saw a hockey game in Tampa, which was so much fun. Louder and way more passionate than any Leaf game I have ever seen. And walking out onto the warm summer air on the rooftop patio for a beer while waiting for the crowd to leave was a huge treat.

So now back to reality until next year. Lots to do getting ready for hooking workshops, and it will be nice to start pulling loops again. The sun is shining, the laundry is waiting. But it really is nice to be home again.