Friday, December 29, 2006

I live! just in case you were worried, I am still on the "right side of the grass". I have just been really busy with Christmas and the holidays...

I wanted to write a quick post and finally present the long awaited gifts that I hurriedly worked on in the last month or so...
This is a mat I hooked for my sister's 4 kids, depicting their current zoo of 10 pets.
This is a mat I designed and hooked for my other sister's 2 kids to commemorate a day in the summertime when I took them out in the paddle boat on our lake and we saw a record=breaking 17 turtles in one trip.
...this is the finished checkerboard that was posted earlier as a work-in-progress.

Gotta run and get back to the festivities--I promise I will be a much more regular poster in the new year ;-)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

still here...hooking up a (snow) storm I've now been hooking for the last 18 days in a row and tonight will make it 19. I still can't share any pictures--sorry--but I promise that I will post some once the presents have been gifted.

So what else have I been doing while hooking like a madwoman? Season 1 of Six Feet Under. Seasons 1 and 2 of Grey's Anatomy (again!) Season 1 of Weeds. (and I just rented the first 3 discs of Season 2 of Six Feet Under...)

I think that I am on my final night of hooking on Wyatt and Sienna's present ;-) Not bad, considering I just made up the pattern and drew it on the linen last Monday night! I am hoping to design my final hooked present tomorrow night--and get hooking on it, too, so that I don't break the chain.

One thing that I have been noticing a lot lately is how much lint accumulates on your hooking and your backing while you are working. I usually try to scrape/brush it into a pile with my fingers and put it into my snippet bowl--but there is a better way! Use a Swiffer dusting cloth and wipe your work with it--all of the little flecks of wool lint are magically whisked away and your real work is revealed! (this suggestion is not sponsored by Proctor & Gamble--even though my friend does work there, I have to buy my own supply;-) )

It is still snowing....and the trees look gorgeous with their branches laden with white fluffy stuff. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I can hardly wait ;-)

Monday, November 27, 2006

9 and counting...

Well, I have been hooking for the last nine days in a row. I'm not sure if this is a record or not...but it is definitely much more than I have been hooking for the last year or so.

I finished the third checkerboard last week (I like it a lot more now--sorry I forgot to take a picture), and they are all pressed and waiting to be whipped. I am trying to decide how to finish them...and whether or not I should line the back or not (and hold it in place with the whipping) so they are temporarily on hold for now. Also, I was going to sew a skinny bag for the pieces (the mat would be rolled around the bag and tied with a strip of ultrasuede for storage)...but now I am wondering if I should just make a bigger bag for storing both the mat and the pieces. Any suggestions?

Meanwhile, my Christmas workshop continues to be busy. I started on the Christmas stockings on Thursday night...and just finished sewing them together and giving them their final pressing last night. Voila!

Tonight I am starting on top-secret Christmas Present #1 (of 2) unfortunately there won't be much to tell or show you about these for a month--but I will continue to keep in touch ;-)

Happy holiday gift making!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

'Twas a productive weekend!

So there was much hooking done this weekend--so much that I decided I needed take a break last night after only about 30 minutes. My neck has been bothering me. I starting using my big frame again, and at first I had it set too high and on too much of an angle. Several adjustments later it was a lot more comfortable--but not before I had buggered my neck/shoulder. Oh well, it is better hopefully I will be able to get back at it tonight. Plus, I am going for a massage on Friday morning, so that will help, too ;-)

What was I working on? Well, I finished the first checkerboard on Saturday...

...and I started the second. Finished the second.

...and started the third...

My favourite so far is definitely number two. I'm not really happy with number three, but I'm using the "just keep going" philosophy (and hoping for the best!)

In other news, I am already sold out of the Fall/Winter 2006 issue of the R.U.G. sack. There are still a handful of copies of Spring/Summer 2006 available if anyone is interested. It is impossible to guess how many spares I should print--I don't really want to be stuck with extras, since each copy costs money. Sorry to all who still want a copy of this issue--if you subscribe anytime between now and the end of April, I guarantee I will have a Spring/Summer 2007 for you ;-)

...back to work...happy hooking!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I'm back...finally!

Wow, what a crazy busy couple of weeks! The workshop at the Neilson Park Creative Centre in Etobicoke was great! A lovely bunch of ladies....and they were all excited to get to work on their purses. It will be great to see some when they are done.

While in the city I visited Village Yarns for the first time...what a nice shop! I think that I roamed around for over an hour admiring all of the beautiful yarns and colours--sometimes too much choice can be overwhelming and you can't decide or it takes forever. Eventually I picked (more than) enough to fill a bag....and I also bought a really pretty purse handle. The abalone shell handle reminds me of Table Cape (where we lived in Tasmania)....and I think that it will inspire another new pattern soon...

Christmas is creeping up quickly...and I still have many projects to complete (and several yet to be started). There are only two stockings to make this year ;-) I took a picture of my friends' stockings on the weekend and I will soon start making one for baby Adelaide. Sheri & Spencer's stocking were the first ones I made (in 2001)...

I also had great plans to make checkerboards for everyone this year, but the progress has not been swift--I have been too busy knitting of late--and I might have to suspend production until next year... There is always the One of a Kind show in a couple of weeks--I can always shop there instead ;-)

I am hoping to get a couple of solid days of hooking in this weekend, and will hopefully have some pictures early next week...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I (heart) Dollarama

Almost forgot...I had an amazing discover at Dollarama in the summer months and only bought 3 at the time. Once I realized how great they were, I returned only to discover they were sold out. What is the product? multipurpose Craft Mats. This heavy-duty plastic is great for templates - not too hard to cut and substantial enough to trace around without shifting.

I was surprised to see them back in the store this week. They come in 3 colours (purple, lime and blue) and the dimensions are 51cm by 43cm. Here in Huntsville they are in the same aisle as the craft supplies....good luck and buy lots - you might never see them again!

Hip Hip Horray!

I'm finished my evening bag. I designed, hooked, and mostly sewed together this evening bag in 2-3 days at the end of September...and then it got lost in my apartment. It barely took any time at all to do the finishing touches, but I guess that I was not very satisfied with the design (i.e. motifs) although I liked the pattern (shape and construction) well enough...and that was sufficient reason to delay indefinitely the final 45 minutes of work. Well, it's done now and I was able to take a couple of pictures, too (yes, I know I should have taken them in daylight--but daylight savings time is now over!) Ta da!

I have also been digging through my pictures to copy some for an upcoming article in the OHCG newsletter...and I came across two of my more recently finished purses. I am still working on the making up the patterns for them and the plan is to offer the designs in a limited number. I will also have blank patterns available, so that people can add their own motifs to the patterns.

Both of these purses are currently on display at the Bruce County Museum & Archives in Southampton until the end of the month.
As soon as I get my Christmas presents made (sorry....not too many sneak peeks on here since most of the recipients are frequent visitors....) I will be designing a couple more purse patterns.

It's glaze night at pottery I will have more bowl photos soon.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Monday!

I love Mondays after a productive weekend. Everything is ready for the workshop in Toronto this weekend--patterns are drawn, handouts are printed, wool is in baskets, demonstrations are packed and ready to go...all that is left to do is to pack it all in the car ;-) Here are the results from the dyeing on Saturday....

I also finished Wyatt's birthday sweater--a full week ahead of schedule! I am starting on Christmas presents this week....and hoping to make quite a few of them.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Lucky Seven!

We had our final throwing class at pottery last night. Most of the night was spent finishing our pieces and narrowing our week's work down to seven that will be bisque fired sometime between now and Wednesday (glaze night). I took a couple of pictures of the chosen few...and just tried adding them to the post, but silly dial-up at my folks seems to be making this impossible. I will add them as soon as I can.

Preparations for my upcoming workshop in Etobicoke are well underway. I spent several hours dyeing wool today and the last of the patterns will be drawn tomorrow. I really enjoy the dyeing process--sometimes I think that I like it even better than the hooking ;-)

While I was reorganizing my wool a few weeks ago, I was noticing that I have a lot of dark, duller colours and not too many light or brights. I really tried to focus on dyeing some new values and shades today....and the results will be in soon (the wool is all in the dryer as I type...)

The new Rug Hooking Magazine arrived yesterday...and on first glance it looks like a really good issue. I also received my copy of the new Celebrations today from there will be some reading happening tonight. I know what I'll be doing with my extra hour....

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hubris... pottery pictures today--I forgot to bring my camera with me last night. It's just as well. I was off to a poor start yesterday--unable to create anything worth saving until the last third of the class, when I did three round bowls in a row.

Sometimes we have such high expectations of ourselves that it can result in an inability to create anything. It is so easy to get focused on the finished product and miss out on the experience of the process. We must remind ourselves of this often. When I'm working on my rugs and this happens, I usually just stop, relax for a bit--sometimes days--and then get back at it. In a class atmosphere though, you don't always have (or feel that you can have) that luxury--expecially when it's a project that you can only work on in that class. Maybe I should just start heeding my Mum's advice and take up meditation... Not today, I'm too tired.

+ + + + + + + + +

I picked up the newsletters yesterday afternoon and stuffed them into envelopes after pottery until one in the hopefully Canada Post will be speedy in their delivery of the R.U.G. Sack to your doorsteps and some of you might even receive them before the weekend. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Pottery is fun!

I finally finished the Fall/Winter 2006 issue of "the R.U.G. sack", after spending most of the weekend making up articles to fill all of the white pages... I took it to the printers first thing on Monday morning, so hopefully it will be ready for pick-up some time today and out by the end of the week (fingers crossed!)

In the meantime, I started a pottery class on Monday night and it will run every evening until Friday. On Friday we will choose our 7 best pieces to be bisque fired and return next Wednesday to glaze 5. It is pretty messy work, but a lot of fun. I am hoping that the momentum will continue between now and Friday--I produced only 2 bowls worth keeping on Monday, and 6 yesterday! Here is a picture of my keepers to date....

I know that my sisters are hoping that some will be worthy of gift-giving--we will have to wait and see... ;-)

Sadly, no hooking until the weekend at least....

Friday, October 06, 2006

Day One...

Okay, so I know that I had finally commited to having a web-site....but do you know how much time it takes to set one up? It really doesn't fit with my compulsive need for instant gratification. And, as an added bonus, maybe I can take back the $74.95 book I just bought at Chapters!

Being new to blogging, I'm not really sure what is please bear with me as I go through the early stages of getting set up. In the coming days I will post some pictures of what I am working on now....

Happy Thanksgiving!